Ally Blue Contest and Guest Blog for “Long The Mile”

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ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords is happy to have Ally Blue with us today to talk about her latest release, the moving story Long the Mile for Riptide Publishing.  We have a contest to go along with Ally’s guest blog.  The contest details and the Rafflecopter links are listed at the bottom of today’s post. Now, let’s welcome Ally Blue!

Hi folks! I’m Ally Blue, and I’m wandering the internet this week talking about my new book, Long the Mile, part of the Home for the Holidays collection from Riptide Publishing. I’m super excited about this book, not only because I love the characters and the setting (Asheville, NC; my town!) but also because it’s raising money for the Ali Forney Center for homeless GLBTQ youth. It’s a wonderful cause

When my lovely and fabulous editor, Dr. Sarah Frantz, first contacted me about being a part of this Christmas collection, I was interested for a whole list of reasons. First of all, I already knew and respected Sarah as a romance fiction scholar and as a person, so that went a long way. Also, I’d heard good buzz about Riptide both from a reader and an author perspective. Always a good thing. The thing that probably sealed the deal was that twenty percent of the proceeds both from each individual book and from the collection go to the Ali Forney Center. How could I pass that up? The answer is, I could not.

After saying “YES! A thousand times, yes!” the next question was what to write? It needed to be a gay (in this case, m/m) romance. It needed to have a Christmas setting, with a theme of “home” in whatever way I wanted to interpret it. When I started pondering, I found that the answer came to me easily. I was going to take the theme very literally, incorporate our chosen charity, and write about homeless characters who are finding their homes again, both physically and emotionally. Thus Judah Jackson and Tobias Simensen were born.

The setting was easy too. Asheville is a wonderful, colorful, fantastic city, and like every city, we have too many people living day to day without any permanent shelter. I can’t tell anyone’s true story. All I can do is invent one. Or in this case, two. But I wanted to set this book in Asheville. I wanted to imagine what it might be like for my two guys – one who had been homeless for a while, and one who goes from rich to homeless during the book – to meet, get to know each other, and fall in love while living on the street. I wanted to consider how their situation would affect their relationship, and how that relationship would change when the situation changed.

I have to say, I’m pleased with how the book turned out. I hope all of you will be too Thank you so much for stopping by to read today! Enjoy Long the Mile, and all the other books in the Home for the Holidays collection!

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LongTheMile_500x750About Long the Mile:

Sometimes it takes losing everything to find what you really need.

When Judah went to prison for insider trading, he lost everything he thought was important: his business, his money, his power. But when he gets out, homelessness strips him of the one thing he has left: his self-respect. When another homeless man saves him from a beating, he begins to learn to rely on the goodness of those around him.

For Toby, life on the streets has become familiar. Comfortable. So comfortable he wonders if he’s given up on changing his life for the better. Then comes Judah. Formerly rich, newly homeless, all his pride and attitude gone along with his material possessions. Helping Judah feels good. Their unexpected connection—physical and beyond—feels even better.

Their shared situation nurtures a growing closeness that blossoms into something deeper. But when change comes knocking, it will take all their strength to keep fear and insecurity from tearing them apart.

  • 20% of all proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit http://www.aliforneycenter.org/.

Author Bio:
Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst. She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row. Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.

Connect with Ally on the interwebs: Twitter    Facebook profile    Facebook fan page    Tumblr    Pinterest    Fiction With Friction group blog   Goodreads   Love Is Blue Yahoo group

LongTheMile_150x300 tour blog jpgContest Details:

Ally’s giveaway:
Comment on this post or any of the other posts in the tour, and you’ll be entered to win an ebook copy of Demon Dog, book one in my Mojo Mysteries series. I’ll pick a winner on December 1st at 5 p.m. EST. Contest is valid worldwide.

Enter your details in the Rafflecopter below and leave a blog post comment to gain entry in the *Home for the Holidays* giveaway! This week of the tour closes at midnight, EST, on November 30th. One grand prize winner will be contacted at the end of the tour on December 16th. Contest is valid worldwide.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Review: New York Christmas by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4.5 stars

New York ChristmasDaniel Bailey and Christian Matthews went to the same university and Daniel was even in the same English class where Chris was the T.A.  But that is where the similarities  between them ended.  Daniel was gorgeous, rich, and a bit of a slut.  Everything came easy to him, including a trust fund at the age of twenty five and a job guaranteed at his father’s firm.  So Chris never expected to see Daniel again once Chris graduated, but life has a funny way of messing with your expectations.

Now years later, Chris is reeling from a series of blows life has dealt him.  Chris had graduated and become a teacher, the one thing he had always wanted to be and was great at.  But then his boyfriend, a fellow teacher at the private school they worked for betrayed Chris and the fallout cost Chris his job as well as ruined his reputation.  The only thing that saved Chris was his best friend offering him work at her bakery. That’s where Daniel Bailey walked back into Chris’ life, not as the rich man Chris expected Daniel to turn out to be, but as a police officer who very much wants Chris in his life.  Christmas is a season of miracles, and if it can bring Daniel back to Chris, maybe everything else can be made right too.  Everything seems possible in a New York Christmas.

RJ Scott broke out the carols, the mistletoe,  and the wassail because this story is permeated with the glow and good tidings of a wonderful Christmas tale.  I have certain expectations of a holiday story.  It must make me feel good, leave me smiling in joy for the characters who have found love in each other and the season.  I love to have some snow (although not necessary), some good deeds, and a couple or couples well on their way to happily ever after.  With New York Christmas I get all that and more.

I love RJ Scott’s characters and here she delivers two more wonderful men, reunited after years apart.   Time has changed both of them, especially one who seemed destined for a life lived shallowly and at the expense of others.  But Daniel surprises Chris and the readers with his depth, charm and commitment, to his job and to Chris as well.  I loved Daniel.  Chris is another lovely man who just happens to need a Christmas miracle.  Fired from the job he loved because of the cowardice of a man he thought cared for him, Chris was almost homeless if it were not for his friend who gave him a job, filling in for a worker out on pregnancy leave.  Chris is full of pain over the loss of a career as a teacher and lonely.  It is so easy to empathize with this man, so full of goodness that has been trampled on by others.  So when Daniel comes back into his life wearing the very uniform that is an emblem of safety, bravery, and wellbeing, you just know that Chris’ life has changed finally for the better.  And it has much to the delight of the reader as their relationship unfolds over the next 79 pages.

At the end, there are good tidings, holiday cheer and a couple deeply in love.  And that’s how I like my holiday stories and that’s why I loved New York Christmas.

Cover design by BitterGrace Art.  I loved this cover, the men are adorable and perfect models for Daniel and Chris.

Available through RJ Scott’s website.