Coffee Sip and Book Break: Tina Blenke’s ‘Life Worth Living’ (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Life Worth Living by Tina Blenke
Release Date: December 9, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

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Today I’m very happy to be interviewing Tina Blenke, author of Life Worth Living. Hi, Tina, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

  • Tell us about your book.
    • Jake has been admiring Quentin from afar for four years during college. With encouragement from his roommate and best friend he reveals his secret and finds out that Quentin’s been keeping a secret of his own. It’s a sweet love story but the secret could tear them apart if Quentin’s family ever finds out. It’s a story of secrets, lies and hiding in the shadows without truly living.
  • How difficult was it to get into the main character’s head?
    • There are some aspects of Jake that are easy to identify with such as his disconnect with his family during his forced coming out. But he’s driven and attends college fawning over his secret crush for years. During a dark period of the story, Jake stumbles in his life and needs to find his compass again. It’s a downward spiral that was difficult to write because of the depths of his depression – this was the hardest because Quentin didn’t want to leave him there but it was a journey that Jake needed to make on his own.
  • Is this book a standalone or do you plan on visiting it again?
    • Initially, it was intended to be a standalone story and it certainly could stay that way. But, there was another character in Life Worth Living that begged for months for his story to be written – and can you believe that it’s even darker than Jake’s? The draft is already complete and out with my beta readers right now. It has also been written as a standalone but exists in the same universe as Jake and Quentin.
  • Why did you choose to write M/M stories?
    • It would be more appropriate to say that the genre chose me. There is a romantic appeal that draws me in because other than my writing, I don’t consider myself a romantic person at all. I’m more direct and closed off and I think that’s reflected in my characters. They have more depth and more than they might first appear on the page.
  • Where do you find your inspiration?
    • That’s a good question. When I was writing recently, there was a song that was playing in the background that immediately brought to mind a story that led to the most delicious little plot bunny. I had to stop writing my WIP to jot down a few notes based on that one song. Sometimes, there might be a couple I see on the street and I make up a story about them and other times it’s a picture on the internet. Muses are all around me and there are only so many hours in the day.

Thank you, Tina, for sharing so much with us today.  Now more about Life Worth Living…

Blurb

Jake has been hiding in plain sight, always a few rows behind his straight-crush Quentin during their four years of college. He’s been successful so far but just as they’re about to graduate, Quentin finds out Jake’s secret and Quentin shares one of his own. He’s in the closet.

Jake isn’t about to let this opportunity pass him by especially when Quentin is scheduled to leave for the East coast in a few short summer months. Willing to keep Quentin’s secret from his upper crust politically-fueled homophobic family, Jake shares his bed and eventually his heart.

Quentin’s life in the closet is non-negotiable. His family has strong political ties and any word about their son’s sexuality would cast him out of the family and out of his inheritance which he desperately needs to finish his education. He’s been successful keeping his sexuality a secret for years until he meets the irresistibly adorable Jake at an early graduation party.

Quentin is unable to ignore his desire for Jake and makes the life-altering leap that holds his future in the balance. Locked away from the public eye, the two men admit their love for one another. In three short months, they will be forced to part ways for graduate school but the challenges of potential scrutiny, family commitment and an un-promised future may prove to be more than they can overcome.

 

Pages or Words: 63,267
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt

“Cora? He’s really gone, isn’t he?”

“You did what you had to do to save both your life and his career. You didn’t do a goddamned thing wrong, you hear me? You are one of the bravest men I know,” she growled.

“Yeah, right. I’m the gayest man you know.”

“You shut the fuck up right now, Jake. I don’t let anyone bad-mouth you around me and that includes you. It takes a real man to stand up for who he truly is on the inside. The easy way out would be to hide who you are and live in the closet for fear of what the world will say or do to you.”

“Now that’s not fair,” I argued immediately, thinking of Quentin’s situation.

“And for what? Admitting that you want to love another man? It’s a beautiful romantic notion, Jake. You throw yourself bare to the world for love, the noblest feeling in the world, and all you expect in return is someone to return the feeling. And what does that rat bastard do? He shows you what it feels like to be loved, only there was a condition on it, wasn’t there? As long as he could hide you from the world and not be proud of the honest, kind and decent man that you are. He should have been yelling your name from the mountains or something. Instead? Instead, he runs and hides so he can save his face from his family.”

Buy the book: Wilde City Press | Amazon

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Meet the Author

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Tina is a retired Air Force brat and has lived in several states as well as a handful of countries. She has always had a soft spot for literature and is a voracious reader. When she isn’t writing, she can be found cuddled up with a good book. Though Tina adores a thrilling novel with sappy lovesick heroes, she is terrified of things that go bump in the night. This makes for quite a complicated relationship with zombies, something that she just can’t get enough of.

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

23-Dec

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Full Moon Dreaming

30-Dec

Love Bytes, Kirsty Loves Books, Book Lovers 4Ever

6-Jan

Wake Up Your Wild Side, Divine Magazine, MM Good Book Reviews, Hearts on Fire

13-Jan

BFD Book Blog, The Hat Party, My Fiction Nook, Louise Lyons

20-Jan

KathyMac Reviews, Unquietly Me, Inked Rainbow Reads, Jessie G. Books

27-Jan

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Alpha Book Club, Havan Fellows

3-Feb

Happily Ever Chapter, TTC Books and More, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Prism Book Alliance

10-Feb

The Novel Approach, Bayou Book Junkie, Molly Lolly, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

Final

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: 3 – $5 Amazon gift cards (1 winner each).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.   Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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