Gastien: The Cost of the Dream
Book One of the Gastien Series
by Caddy Rowland
Character Guest Post by Gastien Beauchamp
I hate to admit it, but I’m scared. I might be almost eighteen, and I might have been beaten many times by my father growing up, but this is much, much worse. When I ran from the farm a few weeks ago, I thought things would get better. How hard could it be to find a serving job in a restaurant? Even a job cleaning slop in the kitchen would be fine. I figured all I needed was enough money for one bowl of soup a day and a humble room. The rest of the wages would be spent on painting supplies.
You see, I left because I want to become an artist; perhaps the greatest artist to ever live. I know that sounds ridiculous. I’m a peasant farm kid. Well, you haven’t seen me draw! I can draw like nobody’s business, and I’ve done some watercolor. I just need to learn how to use oils.
I was full of optimism when I left home. I believed once I found a job there would be plenty of artists around to teach me the basics. I’m not shy, so I would simply ask.
The problem is I haven’t found a job. I’ve pounded on the door of every café and restaurant around. No one is hiring. I guess I’m a few months late. All of the jobs for slop cleaners have been taken for the season by students at the art school. Plus, serving jobs require experience. Who knew? How hard could it be to carry out a plate? I’ve even tried other businesses, but no one will hire me. There’s absolutely nothing until spring, and I can’t go back home. My father has vowed to kill me if I ever return.
One thing’s for sure: this city is heartless. My father used to tell me so, but I didn’t believe him. Now I do. So far, the best thing I’ve had happen to me is having someone unknowingly empty the contents of their chamber pot on my head as I walked underneath their window. That’s not saying much.
I’m hiding out in Notre Dame at night. I’ve avoided sleeping in the alleys, but I’m not stupid. It’s just a question of time before they find me and kick me out. Once they do, I’ll be on the streets. I’ve seen the tramps in the back alleys digging in trash bins for food. I’ve witnessed a man getting stabbed for his coat. And my sweet face? It isn’t going to be an asset when I have to face the men in those alleys.
Right now I sell charcoal drawings for a few centimes. Most days I earn enough to eat a bowl of soup. However, once I’m completely homeless, it won’t take long for me to look and smell so awful that no one will come near enough to sell them a drawing! What will I do then? I am already hungry; soon I’ll be sleeping on the cold ground. I don’t know how I’ll survive when it gets below freezing.
Still, I believe in my dream. I’ve known since I was a small child that I have no choice. I was born to paint. There has to be a way! I will not only survive these cruel streets of Paris, I will eventually have my own studio. I don’t care if people say peasants never own property. I will. It doesn’t matter what it takes; I’m going to make my dream come true.
Nothing will stop me.
Still, I have to tell you, I‘m scared. Damn scared.
When young Gastien Beauchamp flees the farm for Paris, the late nineteenth century bohemian era is in full swing. Color has always called to him, beseeching him to capture it on canvas and show people a new way of seeing things. His father belittled his dream of being an artist and tried to beat him into giving it up. The dream wouldn’t die, but Gastien would have had he not left.
He also yearns to become a great lover. After the years of anguish he has endured at the hand of his father, it would be heaven to feel pleasure instead of pain.
However, the city of Paris has a ruthless agenda. Unless a man has money and connections, Paris unfeelingly crushes dreams and destroys souls. With neither of the required assets, Gastien faces living in alleys, digging in trash bins for food, and sleeping where a man is often killed for his threadbare blanket.
Left with only his dreams, Gastien stubbornly pushes on. He vows that absolutely nothing will stop him, not yet realizing what keeping that vow might mean.
Sometimes the "impossible" is possible - but the cost can be extremely high.
This historical fiction novel is book 1 of a 5 book drama/family saga for adults (The Gastien Series). As such, it contains adult themes and graphic scenes.
Each book can stand on its own, but is most compelling read in order.
http://tinyurl.com/3ecu8ku For Kindle readers
http://tinyurl.com/3luddg7 To order paperback (Part 1)
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Gastien Fanpage: www.facebook.com/Gastien.Beauchamp
Caddy Rowland grew up with a stack of books that almost reached the ceiling before she was five. Books, along with her vivid imagination, have always been some of her closest friends.
She lives with her husband, who was her high school sweetheart. They are owned by two parrots. Besides being a writer, she is an artist. One can often find her “makin’ love to the color” (painting) with loud music blaring.
Her goal as an author is to make readers laugh, cry, think, and become intimately connected with her main characters. She writes dramatic novels showcasing the sublime joy and bitter tragedy of being human. [from the author's Amazon page]
Author Blog: www.caddyrowlandblog.blogspot.com
Author Central Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5106723.Caddy_Rowland
Come back tomorrow for more...