Francis Gideon on Tattoos and Transitions and their release Hopeless Romantic (guest blog and giveaway)

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Hopeless Romantic by Francis Gideon
R
iptide Publishing
Cover by: Vivian Ng

Read an Excerpt/Purchase it Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Francis Gideon here today on tour for their new release, Hopeless Romantic.  Welcome, Francis!

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Hello everyone! I’m Francis Gideon and I’m touring for my new release Hopeless Romantic, a trans rom-com of sorts. Follow along this week as I talk about all thinks romantic comedy, trans identity, and being pretty in pink! I’m looking forward to sharing some serious 1980s nostalgia; be sure to comment with your own bit of nostalgia for a $10 giveaway for Riptide publishing.

Tattoos and Transitions

In an earlier post on my blog tour, I talked about how Nick and Katie–the main love interests in Hopeless Romantic–are kind of like my partner and I. One of the major differences in that regard, though, is that my partner has zero tattoos and I have all of them.

When Nick first meets Katie, he doesn’t quite notice her tattoos because her jacket hides most of them. As the story goes on, and of course as they become more familiar with one another minus clothing, he starts to see just how many she has. Katie is covered in tattoos, and many of them, like my own, mark different stages in her gender identity realization and her transition. Her ‘shitty’ butterfly tattoo on her shoulder represents this the most since the butterfly is often used to describe transition itself; starting out in a cocoon and blooming into something more. But as Katie points out to Nick, that idea is old and outdated, and kinda shitty just like her tattoo. She doesn’t view herself as a butterfly anymore, because it implies that she must wait in order to be beautiful, when in reality, she’s beautiful how she is now. Her tattoos after that point become a way to rebel against the standards of beauty that trans women are often forced to comply with. And of course, Nick finds them beautiful–like her.

I’m not a trans woman like Katie, but nonbinary, so my tattoos communicate slightly different things, but they are definitely a record of my transition. I have two tattoos of Artemis and Orion on my lower back, sketched from woodcuts of the Greek Gods, as a way to communicate a dual my gender identity; I also have a series of tarot cards that represent part of my coming to terms with not transitioning medically (so in many ways, my tattoos here became my transition), and I have several other smaller tattoos that marked particular salient moments–like a boy from a children’s book and a grandfather clock.

Both of those last tattoos are on my inner arm. My tattoo artist told me that what we get on our inner arms is what we most want to protect. So to me, those two tattoos represent the parts of my trans identity that I wanted to keep the most: childhood nostalgia in the kids’ book, and my future legacy–since the clock was an inheritance gift in my family.

For Nick, his only tattoo is his inner arm–and it’s a heart with the city of Toronto inside of it. To him, that’s his legacy and his future. Though he lives and works in a town two hours away from Toronto, the Toronto community is where he got his first degree, where he met his friends, and where he found himself. It’s also where he first kisses Katie, and so the city–and his love for her–become intertwined.

About Hopeless Romantic

Nick Fraser is a true romantic. He wants the guy instead of the girl, but other than that, he wants everything his favorite rom-coms depict: the courtship, the passionate first kiss, the fairy-tale wedding. But after breaking up with the love of his life, Nick wonders if anything fairy-tale will ever happen for him.

Then he meets Katie, who’s just like a rom-com heroine. She’s sharp, funny, sweet, and as into music and punk culture as Nick is. What’s more, he’s incredibly attracted to her—even though she’s a woman. Nick has never considered that he might be bisexual, but his feelings for Katie are definitely real.

When Katie reveals that she’s transgender, Nick starts to see how much he doesn’t understand about the world, queer identity, and himself. He is hopelessly in love with Katie, but this isn’t a fairy tale, and Nick’s friends and family may not accept his new relationship. If he wants it all, he has to have the courage to make his fantasy a reality.

Now available from Riptide Publishing

About Francis Gideon

Francis Gideon is a nonbinary writer who dabbles in romance, mystery, fantasy, historical, and paranormal genres. Francis credits music, along with being an only child to a single mother, as why they write so much now. Long nights at home were either spent memorizing lyrics to pop-punk bands or reading voraciously. Add a couple of formative experiences in university, a network of weird artist friends, and after years of writing stories Francis never showed to anyone, they now have books to their name.

After receiving an MA in English literature, Francis wanted to do something a bit more fun. They soon found the LGBTQ romance community and fell in love on the spot. Since then, Francis has attempted to balance writing romances with as many different types of couples as possible while also attending school for their PhD. When not writing fiction or teaching university classes, Francis works on scholarly articles on everything from character deaths in the TV show Hannibal, the online archive of Canadian poet and artist P.K. Page, and transgender representation on YouTube. Francis is a middle name, used to keep students from Googling their teacher and asking far too many questions.

Francis lives in Canada with their partner, Travis, where they often spend nights disagreeing about what TV show to watch and making bad puns whenever possible. Travis receives dedications in Francis’s novels because he tolerates Francis’s long hours and listens to random story ideas late into the night. Francis also might be a bit of a hopeless romantic—as if you didn’t already guess.

Connect with Francis:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Hopeless Romantic, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A MelanieM Review: What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

What It Looks LikeEli Bell is the only son of a police chief inspector and a forensic scientist. He’s grown up wonky in a world that only deals with the straight and narrow — and his new boyfriend isn’t helping.

Rob Hawkes is six feet of muscle, tattoos, and arrest warrants. A career criminal and a former guest of Her Majesty’s Prison Service, he’d rather hit Eli’s parents than sit down to dinner with them. One wrong move, and Rob could destroy Eli — and his family — without a second thought.

But this isn’t what it looks like.

Rob’s not in control here — and Eli’s the one to blame.

What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger is one of those books that took a while for me to finish and even longer to write a review for.  Why?  Because I couldn’t figure out exactly why I couldn’t connect to the book and the characters.

Its well-written and the story certainly emotional and pertinent to the times.  So why couldn’t I get involved?

It kept coming back to the characters.  I’m just not sure I liked them very much.

The character of Eli Bell, which will hold a few surprises for the reader, has had a childhood that has been emotionally overwhelming at times in a family not always supportive and understanding.  He’s realistically drawn as a character but…and here’s my but…I  got  tired of Eli quickly.  He covers the same ground in his arguments, shows little growth as a person for the longest time.  Kudos to the writer for making Eli real, but after a while…I wanted to put the book down because scene after scene I knew what was coming.

Rob Hawkes was a little more interesting but again not by much.  A bad boy by history and now by his own choices (and need), he comes off as going over the same landscape as Eli does. He looks after his younger brother, comes from a troubled, criminal family known to the police. He’s angry that Eli’s dad hates him. He hates Eli’s dad. You know the drill.  Its a pattern.  Perhaps that’s the authors intent.  Both are stuck in a pattern, even with each other.  Unfortunately, so is the reader.  At least that’s how I felt.

About 75 to 80 percent through the story, I started to care about them.  Everything turned over for me.  I liked their relationship.  Things that felt needlessly tedious were dropped in favor of change and the story seemed fresh again.

There is considerable amount about Eli and his sexuality. Also Eli and Rob’s relationship includes a huge amount of bdsm content.  As this makes up a large part of the story, if this is not your thing, I would take that into consideration when thinking about reading this story. Metzger does fold it realistically into Eli and Rob’s relationship, less so when its occurring at Eli’s house.

As I stated, I really went back and forth with this review in my head.  There are some wonderful scenes and elements here, most of which I felt came towards the last part of the story.  There the book became more concise, the narrative pared down to what mattered most (at least to me) and I could connect emotionally to the characters and their relationship.

You may feel otherwise.

Its the first book I’ve read by this author and I certainly look forward to reading more.  What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger is a well-written book that left me with a conflicted review.  Maybe that’s as the author intended.  Pick it up and decided for yourself.

Cover art definitely shows a inked bad boy.  Nice but standard.

Sales Links

   JMS Books

 

 

 

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 20th 2016 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634862288
Edition LanguageEnglish

Think Love and Videogames Clash? Check Out Sex, Love, and Videogames (Serpentine Series #3)
 by CJane Elliott (author interview, excerpt and giveaway)

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Sex, Love, and Videogames (Serpentine Series #3)
 by CJane Elliott
Release Date: August 21, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Where can you buy the book?  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe)

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My Author Interview with CJ Elliott

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing CJane Elliott, author of Sex, Love, and Videogames.

Hi CJane, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi there. Thanks so much for having me on your blog today to talk about my newest book, Sex, Love, and Videogames, the third novel in the Serpentine Series. Each book is a standalone but the series has recurring characters. Sex, Love, and Videogames is the story of Jed Carter, who we first met in Serpentine Walls, and Charlie Ambrose, a new character to the series.

• Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?

I’m influenced by the cover. I might pause at a cover that draws me in, then read the blurb. If the author isn’t known to me, I base my purchase mostly on the blurb and whether the story sounds interesting. I tend to buy women authors and I like stories about relationships. I will also buy a book based on recommendations from other authors or friends.

• What does ‘romance’ mean to you?

Romance means hope. It means that falling in love is possible and so is having your happily ever after. In my books, the characters often have to grow and change before they’re able to allow love in, but that’s what makes it satisfying when they finally get there.

• What are your current projects?

I’m about to begin the editing phase on my next Dreamspinner release, which is a follow-up story to my novella Wild and Precious. We find out what happens to Cody Bellstrom as he travels on a train out West. The story is called There You Are and will be published in December or January.

I submitted a story for the Dreamspinner holiday anthology this year, Home Is Where the Christmas Trees Are, and will hear whether or not they accepted it in September. *fingers crossed*

I’m planning my next novella in the Wild and Precious universe and the fourth novel in the Serpentine Series for publication in 2016.

But Dreamspinner had to go and add their new line: Dreamspun Desires, which is Harlequin-style romances featuring all the traditional tropes! Now I have to write something for that too!
• What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

Getting started. I brainstorm ideas, make an outline, and dither around before I start the actual writing. But once I’ve gotten the first chapter written, I’m on a roll.

• Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

I’m a licensed clinical social worker and I work for a Hospice in my day job. Far from being an “evil day job” I truly love the work I do.

Now about Sex, Love, and Videogames

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Blurb

Shy guy Jed Carter has always felt invisible next to his charismatic older brother, Kent. Kent’s master plan for Jed is simple: University of Virginia, business, sports, and ladies’ man. None of it is Jed, except for playing on the rugby team, which he joins in defiance of soccer-loving Kent. Jed comes out in his sophomore year and starts seeing Pete, an attractive junior, who uses him for sex and videogames. Jed wants more—in life and in love—and starts making his own plans. First on the list: getting to know Charlie, the handsome guy working at the local videogame arcade.

Charlie Ambrose has always felt like an oddball, and not just for his tendency to stutter. Being gay sets him apart from his African-American community, and as a “townie,” he doesn’t fit in with the college crowd. Charlie’s inspiration is his cousin, Morocco, who’s transgender and doesn’t give a fig about fitting in. Art is Charlie’s passion, and when a local videogame designer discovers him, Charlie’s living a dream. The only thing he’s missing is love. But the last person Charlie expects to find it with is a cute, white U.Va. rugby player named Jed.

Pages or Words: 264 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, New adult, *Trans, Interracial

Excerpt

“Okay, warm up laps!” Beau led the rugby team in a slow circuit around the perimeter of Mad Bowl. After a few laps, he stopped and had them do stretching exercises.
The other team did their warming up, and when they moved to take positions, Jed noticed a pair of people standing on the sidelines. His breathing stopped for a second. Charlie stood, hands in his pockets, shifting from foot to foot, while Morocco, a vision in a pink track suit, set up a camp chair (apt name, that) and sat down. Morocco saw Jed looking and waved. Charlie turned and gave a small wave himself, and Jed waved back, heart beating faster.
“Who’re they?” Bud asked, squinting over at them.
“Um, Charlie’s a guy who works at Lucky’s. In the gaming area. And the other is his cousin.”
“Hmm. Townies?”
“Yep.”
“She’s cute.”
“Um, well, about that….” Jed cut himself off because the referee blew the whistle. Time to play ball and hope he did well in front of those two.
The game proved the usual testosterone-fest, with lots of grunting and body contact. When Jed scored some points, Morocco produced pom poms that matched her outfit and waved them wildly.
At the break, Jed ran over to them for a minute to say hi—fuck what the rest of the team thought.
“Jed, child, my word!” Morocco fanned her chest. “Y’all are such manly men! Rugby is going to be my new obsession, I just know it!”
“I like it. My mom never let me play contact sports in high school, so I kinda love ramming into people.” Jed felt his cheeks flame at what he had said. Crap-a-doodle.
But Morocco laughed and Charlie faked a cough so he could smile behind his fist.
“So, hey, thanks for coming. I gotta go back now.”
Charlie nodded as Morocco said, “We’ll see you after the game.” She picked up her pom poms. “Wa-hoo-wa!”
When the team huddled before the second half, a homophobe named Welburn said with a sneer, “Who are those freaks on the sidelines?”
Another guy laughed. “Yeah. I thought all the he-shes lived in San Francisco.”
“What’re you talking about?” Bud peered over toward Charlie and Morocco. “That girl?”
Welburn spit on the ground. “That girl is no she. She’s a he. What the hell are they doing here?”
Beau raised his voice. “Hey, concentrate, guys. We need to win this game.”
Jed held up a hand to stop Beau from continuing. “Before we do that, you all need to know that those are some friends of mine. So shut your fucking faces before I shut them for you.” He leveled a lethal glare at Welburn and his compatriot.
Fueled by his anger, Jed played an amazing second half, and the team pulled out a victory on the strength of his points alone. After their team high five, he trotted over to Charlie and Morocco. Charlie smiled broadly while Morocco jumped up and down. “Jed, Jed, Jed! Wa-hoo-wa! Thass right!”
“Okay, okay.” Jed couldn’t help laughing at Morocco’s outrageous enthusiasm. “Thanks for coming to the game.”
“It was fun. I’m glad we came.” Charlie took a step back, seemingly surprised to have gotten two stutter-free sentences out.
“I’m glad too.” They gazed tentatively at each other, and Morocco suddenly got busy folding up the camp chair.

 

About the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.
CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.
In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cjane.elliott
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CJaneElliott
E-mail: cjaneelliott@gmail.com
Website: http://www.cjaneelliott.com

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of any Serpentine Series book.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Tour Dates & Stops:
21-Aug

Boys on the Brink Reviews: http://www.boysonthebrink.com/blog-tour-and-giveaway-sex-love-and-videogames-by-cjane-elliott/

Divine Magazine: http://divinemagazine.net/book-stuff/sex-love-and-videogames-by-cjane-elliott-keep-me-in-mind-tour

Jessie G. Books: http://jessiegbooks.com/blog-tour-sex-love-and-videogames-by-cjane-elliott/

Bayou Book Junkie: http://bayoubookjunkie.blogspot.com/2015/08/keep-me-in-mind-mm-sex-love-and.html

28-Aug Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Happily Ever Chapter

4-Sep Amanda C. Stone, MM Good Book Reviews

11-Sep V’s Reads, Bike Book Reviews, The Novel Approach

18-Sep Hearts on Fire, Love Bytes

25-Sep The Jena Wade, My Fiction Nook

2-Oct Inked Rainbow Reads, BFD Book Blog

9-Oct Prism Book Alliance, Molly Lolly, Velvet Panic

 

 

WillPride

In the Book Spotlight: The Camp by Victoria Zagar (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Camp by Victoria Zagar
Release Date: August 5, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Prizm Books
Cover Artist: BSClay

Sales Links:   Torquere Books  | Amazon

Blurb:

Jesse Harvan comes home from school one day to find his parents have discovered the gay pornographic magazine hidden under his bed. Disgusted, they decide to send Jesse to Camp Grady, a summer camp which prides itself on converting people’s sexuality.

Once at the camp, Jesse meets the other inmates: Charlie, a disabled African-American gay teenager, Natalie, a transgender girl, her sister Lita, Japanese lesbian Sakura, and last of all, Minister Grady’s son Jacob, who works for the camp under duress. These teens must learn to bridge their differences and get along if they’re to beat their common enemy and keep their identities–and sanity–intact.

Pages or Words: 27,600 words

Categories: Contemporary, LGBT Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction, Transexual, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance

Excerpt:

I sit in the back of an old school bus that has been converted for the camp’s use. It rankles that I didn’t even get to say goodbye to Sam. Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me near him. I tried to send him an e-mail, but it was blocked. I didn’t have time to figure out how their new family-filter software worked. The next morning, I was on a plane to Pennsylvania, Mom and Dad accompanying me like this was some kind of family vacation. They left me at the airport and went their own way, transferring me directly to camp custody so that I wouldn’t get infected with any gay on the way.

I know I’ll be going back home eventually, but it doesn’t feel like it right now. I feel like Camp Grady will go on forever. My greatest fear is that the me who goes home won’t be the same as the one sitting here right now.

What if they can change me? What if they do have the power to fix me? That thought in my head argues with its natural opposite: I’m not broken. I won’t change. There’s nothing they can do to change who I am.

Last night I scared myself. I went onto the Internet and looked up ex-gay camps, which surprisingly were not filtered out. There are people who claim that they work. That they’ve thrown away partners, friends, and husbands because they’ve been ‘cured’. I read reports of abuse and beatings that made my stomach clench. I cried myself to sleep for the first time in a long time. I’m genuinely scared. How can something like this be legal? Apparently in California it isn’t. I wish I was a San Francisco kid. Maybe then my parents would be cool, and I wouldn’t feel so alone in the world.

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About the author:

Victoria was born in the United Kingdom but emigrated to the United States at age 21. She’s bisexual, genderqueer, happily married, and still shouts in a British accent. She lives with her husband in Pennsylvania where she spends a lot of time playing and talking about video games, especially Japanese role-playing games.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/synthesislandale
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/infinitelovefiction
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/landale
Website http://victoriazagar.com


Tour Dates & Stops: August 3, 2015
Parker Williams, MM Good Book Reviews, Just Love Romance, Jessie G. Books, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Full Moon Dreaming, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, My Fiction Nook, Ogitchida Book Blog, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow

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Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘The Camp’ by Victoria Zagar Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
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