Publisher: Wilde City Press (December 18, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: 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.
“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.”
Meet the author: 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.
"Thanks so much for having me today. I’ve been in the M/M genre for a couple of years now and started out with a paranormal novel about a pansexual vampire with amnesia. I followed that with a series of wolf shifter short stories and now I’m following it up with my new contemporary novel. This story is a sweet college crush that grows into a summer love but there’s a lot of turmoil in their lives. So many secrets surround them, both their own and those of others, that threaten to upend their love and in the end they must choose to let go and be honest with themselves before they can have that happy ever after."
1) Was there a basis for you story? A previous experience or something else?
It’s possible that I attended university for a science degree and had a school crush on a beautiful boy in the front of the class. It’s also quite feasible that he told me a secret one night before graduation and we were the best of friends for the rest of the evening. I’ve never seen him since graduation (when his best friend gave me a little bar of soap with a private message from my own Quentin) but I’d love to meet up with him again one day. He’ll always be in my heart.
2) What skills do you think a writer needs?
A wonderful imagination is essential. As a reader, we like to hear about new stories and fabulous adventures and not everything has to be wrapped up neat and tidy in a pretty little box. I want to earn that happy ending and feel like I was along for the ride whether it was painful or heart-breaking or the main characters really had to work for it. The writing is second to the imagination. You can be a great writer and be boring and then that would suck – unless you were a technical writer. But to write fiction requires imagination. I don’t want to read a text book.
3) What for you is the perfect book hero?
He has to be human, compassionate, empathetic and willing to put everyone else first – especially the little guy. In the stories, the reader is represented as the little guy and we want the hero to notice us sitting here in the dark with our book in hand wishing to be saved. I want my hero to see me, love the flaws in my own character and still want to be with me at the end of the day. I might be asking for the moon but, damn it, he’ll lasso it for me.
4) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Isn’t time always the issue? If there were more hours in the day or the week, it’d be fantastic! Alas, I have a family and pets and kids and a full-time job and hobbies like crochet and Netflix binge-watching that take up a lot of hours. I don’t plan on writing every day and putting out dozens of books every year. It isn’t because I don’t love to write. It’s my passion and I’ll make up stories until the day I die, but I want to live my life, too. I want to watch TV and play with puppies and attend my kid’s sports events because those things make me happy, too. I love my readers and I will continue to put out a few books a year but if I had to do it, it would take out the magic. Balance is healthy in everything.
5) Tell us about your favorite childhood book.
Undoubtedly, I loved Dragon’s Blood by Jane Yolen. There’s a boy living on a distant planet and he was sold into bondage when his widowed mother couldn’t care for him anymore. He works on a dragon farm and through careful planning, steals a dragon’s egg and raises the dragon to fight in the pits. I’ve read it every couple of years through my entire life and was one of the first books that set me on a path of adventure and love of reading.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tina-Blenke-Author/487878157926041?ref=hl
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7257278.Tina_Blenke
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
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