Tia Fielding on Characters, Genderqueer, and the new release Four (Love by Numbers #2 (author guest blog)

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Four (Love by Numbers #2) by Tia Fielding

Dreamspinner Press
Published July 23rd 2019
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

Blog post:

Hi, I’m Tia, and I’m here to talk about… well, at first I didn’t have a clue about what I was going to write here. Promo posts can be the worst! I’ve also been at this blog before and answered interview questions, so I thought going another route this time.

So what should I write about? I thought about Four, the book I’m here to promote, and came to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, Kaos would like me to talk about identity. After all, that’s why there’s an author’s note in the front matter of Four.

See, both Kaos and myself identify as genderqueer. What is genderqueer exactly? Well, here’s the definition (of the adjective) you find if you google it:

Denoting or relating to a person who does not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.

Wikipedia goes on longer about it, but I’ll let you google that yourself. In short, “genderqueer” can be a blanket term for people who are nonbinary. There are many, many ways to be nonbinary, so some people like this word over the more concrete definitions.

In my personal life, gender doesn’t really play as much of a role at all, which is something that many cis-people (that is, people who are happy with the gender they were assigned at birth) don’t necessarily understand.

These days, you often hear the “But why do you have to kick up such a fuss over it? Why can’t you just be happy without being so vocal about your gender?” These things are 99% of the time said by cis-people.

I guess it’s hard to understand how it feels to be something else, to be other, when you never have had that feeling. If you’ve always felt comfortable with the gender assigned to you, how would you know how we, the non-binary people, feel?

So, let’s get back to genderqueer. For me personally, it feels good because it states that I’m non-binary, but it also has the word “queer” in it. I won’t even go to the whole discussion about “queer” and how some people still see it as a slur. It isn’t that for me, for me it’s badge I wear proudly.

Personally, I don’t feel feminine, or female, at all. But then I also don’t feel like I’m that masculine (on purpose) or that I want to be a man. If I wanted to, if I felt I was male, then that would make me transgender (if I chose that label for myself.)

Where does Kaos settle inside the same almost umbrella term? Well, he likes it because he isn’t transgender. He’s still a man, he still likes being a man, but he also has a side that’s very feminine. That side goes beyond liking makeup (say, like James Charles the makeup artist who still, to my knowledge, identifies as a man) with how he has what he likes to call “girly days.”

In Kaos’s mind, girl days are different. He starts to feel different during them. He feels maybe softer and more vulnerable in some ways, less ready for confrontation and above all, he likes to look feminine. He likes to wear blouses and/or skirts. He likes a jacket cut for a female shape.

But he doesn’t have gender or body dysphoria. He doesn’t hate his body, he likes it. He doesn’t need the parts that seem to go with the makeup and blouses in most people’s eyes. And that’s something I share with him.

While I don’t feel female (which is my assigned at birth gender), I don’t hate my “girl bits.” I don’t want “boy bits” either. If I could freely mix and match on daily basis, I probably would, if I’m completely honest, but I also know I’m not alone with that thought. Sadly the technology isn’t there yet, hahah!

The thing about labels is that they’re amazing when we get to decide them for ourselves. They help with feeling like we belong. Feeling like we’re on even ground after potentially floundering for a long time. It’s never too late to find a label that might just explain yourself to… yourself, and maybe even some others.

So if you ever encounter someone who doesn’t seem like they fit the label they say they are, remember this: their labels aren’t really for you and there’s no way for you to know how that person feels on the inside. For you, something might be simple, but to someone else, it might be the hardest thing to figure out in the whole wide world, and they might not be able to feel good about themselves before they do.

All in all, in Four, Kaos has gone through a lot, and some of it has been because he’s found his gender identity doesn’t match what he was assigned as a baby. Trusting all of it to the hands of Padraig isn’t going to be easy.

On the other hand, from Padraig’s point of view… well, he’s never liked anyone who isn’t purely male before. He’s never even been into feminine men. So getting a bit older and having to figure out your attractions might not run purely into the direction you’ve always thought they do can be a challenge.

I hope you enjoy Four and Kaos and Padraig’s journey together!

 

Blurb:

A Love by Numbers Story

When unlikely attraction blossoms between a twentysomething genderqueer tattoo artist and an older, small-town veterinarian, both are forced to face their pasts for a chance at a loving future.

Four years ago Padraig Donovan lost his husband, the only man he’d ever been with. Now his life consists of the work he loves, a big empty house, and the possibility of a lonely future.

Kaos’s experiments with makeup landed him in the hospital at the hands of his disapproving ex. With nowhere else to turn, he flees to Acker, Wisconsin… and runs into a sexy widower and the kindest man he’s ever met.

Padraig and Kaos know there’s something worth exploring between them, and as they raise a puppy and deal with the ups and downs of their respective jobs, they fit into each other’s lives in ways they never expected. Being with Kaos—who is so different than the guys he’s always been attracted to—opens up an exciting new world for Padraig. But can he convince Kaos to trust another man with his body… let alone his heart?

Author Bio:

Tia Fielding is a Finnish LGBTQ+ romance author. She lives in a small middle-of-nowhere town surrounded by nature and silence, just like she prefers. Tia identifies as genderqueer, but isn’t fussy about pronouns, because her native language doesn’t have gender-specific ones. She’s a lover of caffeine, sarcasm, peppermint, cats and dogs, sleeping and witty people.

Social Media:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authortiafielding/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/tiafielding

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Four ( Love By Numbers #2) by Tia Fielding

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

After fleeing from an abusive relationship, genderqueer Kaos is welcomed by friends Makai and Emil (book one – Ten) who give him a safe place to stay while he looks for part time work until he can get a Wisconsin tattoo license. There he meets veterinarian Padraig Donovan, a silver fox who lost his husband four years before and is still having trouble getting used to being alone.

Padraig is stunned when he meets Kaos (who happens to be more feminine that day) since he’s never given a moment of attraction to anyone with feminine qualities before. But everything about Kaos appeals to him and soon they’ve become friends, then friends who kiss and cuddle, and eventually more. But it takes a long time to get there and an equally long time for Padraig to come to terms with his grief and for Kaos to accept his own reactions to his second chance for love.

This is a May-December, slow burn, second chance love story. There’s a lot to like here and the author did a lovely job building the characters and allowing their relationship to develop. And there was plenty of puppy love as the couple adopted and trained a mutt so those who love men with pets stories should love this as well. On a dark note, there was an underlying dramatic turn of events involving a break-in at the vet’s office and a scene describing animal abuse.

But the overall story offers hope and a sweet romance so those who look for age gap and hurt-comfort MM romance should enjoy this one.

The cover by Garrett Leigh features a young blond man looking toward the camera, a hoodie/shrug over his head. This is a great representation of Kaos, and the overall look of the cover is eye-catching.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 222 pages
Expected publication: July 23rd 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB07T8PCDHC
Edition Language English
Series Love by Numbers 

Ten

Four