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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Blog Tour and Reviews~ A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote

A Family For Christmas - Jay Northcote

Author: Jay Northcote

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh

Release: November 18

Length: 45,000 words

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Zac never had a family of his own, but Rudy has enough to share.

Shy, inexperienced Rudy has a crush on Zac from the moment his new colleague walks through the door. On an office night out before Christmas, Rudy finds the courage to make a move, and they form a tentative bond. When he discovers Zac will be alone at Christmas, he invites Zac to come home with him.

Zac prefers to keep people at arm’s length. Yet when Rudy offers him a family Christmas it’s impossible to resist. With no parents of his own, Zac is pleasantly surprised to be welcomed by Rudy’s. The only drawback is that everyone assumes they’re a couple. Unwilling to disappoint Rudy’s mum and make Christmas awkward, they decide not to deny it.

It’s not a chore for Zac to pose as Rudy’s boyfriend, but the pretence makes him want things that scare him—things like a real relationship with Rudy. Zac’s suffered enough rejection in his life already and is afraid to risk his heart. If he can get over his past rejection and let Rudy inside his armour, he might get more for Christmas than he ever imagined.





Reviewed by


This was a short, sweet little Christmas story full of Christmas spirits, food, fun, family, cats, and blowjobs. ((Nothing screams Christmas like BJ's!! :p))

Rudy is a super shy guy who has a crush on the new guy, Zac. Only Zac is a real hard guy to approach and read. He seems very closed off and immune to office interaction, especially of its personal business.

Rudy lucks out during a small office Christmas putting after work. He gets to sit next to Zac and drink tequila and they start opening up to each other a bit. One too many tequilas has Zac walking Rudy home. It turns out to be quote a funny misadventure. 

One thing leads to another and all of a sudden Zac has agreed to go home for the holiday to Rudy's family. 

What he thought was going to be awkward and nerve wracking ends up to be the best Christmas Zac has ever had. Having grown up without his own family, it's quite a new experience for him. Not only does he gain a boyfriend and an impromptu family, bit he also gains a kitten, Holly. 

There was a bit of time in the middle where the story kind of dragged for me, but all in all this was a sweet and happy Christmas story. I definitely recommend it to get you Into the spirit of the season :)

4*


What a super sweet book!

Rudy is a super shy guy that has a massive crush on his new coworker, Zac. But because of his shyness, he hasn't got the nerve to talk to him. Rudy gets a liquid courage in him one night at an office gathering and makes his move. Unfortunately that liquid courage also has him doing things that I’m sure we have all done before. Zac walks Rudy home and ends up staying the night, but not in the way that you think. As they talk about Christmas in bed, Rudy finds out that Zac has nowhere to go and invites him home for the holidays with him. 


Zac has never had a family and he is very self conscious about it. He feels like people would look down on him if they really knew the truth. When Rudy asks him to go home with him for Christmas, he has no idea that not only will he be welcomed into a family that is absolutely amazing, but also ends up in great relationship and with a cat! 

I really enjoyed this book, even though there were a few slow spots. I would really like to see more of these two as their relationship moves forward. 


I give this book ****4**** super sweet stars!


BUY THE BOOK



Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.


Blog Tour ~ Truly a Miracle by Derrick Knight

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AboutTheBook


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TITLE: Truly A Miracle 

SERIES: The Innkeeper Series 

AUTHOR: Derrick Knight 

COVER ARTIST: Reese Dante 

LENGTH: 251 Pages 

RELEASE DATE: October 25, 2016 

BLURB: Dustin Hurst and Nathaniel Schmitt were happy when Nathaniel’s sister Natalie agreed to be their surrogate.  Both men were elated finding out that she was pregnant with twins.  Their dreams of becoming parents finally coming true, until one day, Natalie goes into preterm labor.  

Diana and Niles Hurst-Schmitt enter the world over two months premature. Immediately they’re transported to a nearby children’s hospital where doctors soon discover both twins have life threatening complications requiring surgical intervention.

During their children’s hospitalization, Dustin and Nathaniel grow fond of the many talented healthcare professionals working to heal their newborns, including the attractive dietitian Matt Bachmeier.  They think it’s only a matter of time before their babies are well enough to come home. Unfortunately, fate has other plans for the tiny infants resulting in Dustin and Nathaniel unexpectedly embarking on a terrifying journey witnessing their children fighting for their lives. 

As their medical crisis continues to unfold, Dustin and Nathaniel pray for a miracle their family so desperately needs. 


Excerpt   


“I don’t have a baker for tomorrow morning.” Nathaniel reached inside his coat pocket for his cellphone.  “I’m going to ask Mama if she could help.”

Dustin glanced at Nathaniel.

“It’s 1:30 in the morning.  I’m sure Marie is asleep.”

Nathaniel shook his head, his trembling hands making it difficult for him to punch the speed dial button.

“Who else can I ask?” Nathaniel put the receiver to his ear.  “My other staff is just part-time assistants, not trained professionals.  They couldn’t decipher the recipes or handle the volume of pastries needed for the morning rush.  Mama is the only person who could step into Natalie’s shoes without any problems.” After several rings, his mother answered.  “Mama, it’s Nathaniel.” Nathaniel fidgeted. “I’m sorry for calling so late, but I have a dilemma. Natalie was admitted to the hospital earlier and gave birth to the twins.  Don’t worry, she’s fine, but they were transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Oakhill.  Dustin and I are heading there now.” Nathaniel felt a sharp pain in his stomach. His hands were shaking. “Mama, I’m sorry I woke you up, but I’m in such a predicament.  You’re the first person I—”

“Breathe, Nathaniel.  Everything is going to be fine.” Marie sounded so clear and coherent, not at all sleepy. Nathaniel wondered if his mama had been up waiting for his call. She continued.  “Ray called Papa and me after he got her to the Emergency Room.  I thought you might be calling me asking for my help.  Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the bakery. Remember, I taught Natalie Marie everything she knows. I come from a long line of accomplished bakers. When I go in tomorrow, customers and staff will think it’s just another routine morning at Aunt Millie’s Bakery, I promise.”

Nathaniel sighed, collapsing back in his seat. “Thank you, Mama. You’ve really helped me out of a horrible predicament.”

“This is what mothers do for their children.” She paused.  “I’d do anything for you.  Just like I would for any of your brothers and sisters.  You kids are my greatest contributions to this world.” Then her tone changed to one containing a hint of humor. “I’m going to let you go.  After all, I’ve got to get up in a couple hours to get to my new job.  And don’t worry, Mama Schmitt is coming out of retirement.”

Nathaniel laughed, surprising himself.

“Thank you, Mama. You’re the best!”

“No problem.  Tell Dustin to drive carefully.  I don’t want to visit your whole family in the hospital.”

Nathaniel chuckled.

“Papa and my prayers are with all of you.  I love you, son.  Take care.” Then Marie ended their call.

Nathaniel turned to Dustin.

“Please hurry.  Our babies need us.”

“I’m already driving ten miles over the speed limit.” Dustin placed one hand on Nathaniel’s thigh.  “We want to get to the hospital in one piece.

BuyLinks




AuthorBio

Derrick Knight was born in Janesville, Wisconsin. Growing up, he always dreamed of becoming a writer. His grandmother got him hooked on reading mystery novels. It was in December 2011 that he purchased his first M/M romance novel. Instantly, he became hooked on the genre. After reading his first gay romance novel, he knew what type of books he wanted to write.

Derrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from University of Wisconsin- Stout, and a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. He has worked in the healthcare field as a dietitian for over twenty-three years. For the past nineteen years, he has functioned as a neonatal nutritionist for a large Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Central Illinois. Currently, he lives in Peoria, Illinois.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Virtual Audio Tour & Giveaway ~ How to Deal, All Cocks Stories Book 3 by~ TM Smith


Welcome to the How to Deal Audiobook tour, hosted by TTC Books and more.

How to Deal is the 3rd book in the All Cocks Stories and is now available in Audiobook format in addition to E-book and Print


Jon Brennan comes from a long line of men in uniform; all born and bred to both bleed and wear blue. His family and the majority of his co-workers support him every step of the way, so he doesn't need to hide the fact that he prefers men over women. Between the job and his larger than life, loud and rowdy half Irish, half Italian family, there isn't much time for dating, much less finding a guy who can deal with the stress and demands placed on the shoulders of an NYPD detective.
Kory White is cocky and abrasive with most people, but it is all a facade he hides behind to keep his heart safe. As a child, Kory lost his mother to an act of violence. Soon after, he and his baby sister Kassandra were separated by the system. Kassandra was immediately adopted, but Kory spent the next 10 years cycling through foster homes before moving to the Big Apple. In an effort to keep everyone at a distance, Kory has meticulously built himself an alter ego: Hayden Cox, All Cocks cockiest model.
These two strong-willed men definitely prove opposites do attract. Both are stubborn and hard headed to a fault, Kory more so than Jon. But Jon is used to being in control, the one calling the shots, and Kory fights him at every turn. Just when it seems they have found a way to navigate the unchartered territory that is love, tragedy knocks on Kory's door yet again. Volatile and strong, even in the face of adversity, both men refuse to give up on each other - or their love.
©2015 TM Smith (P)2016 TM Smith

Buy links Audiobook: iTunes | Amazon Audio | Audible
Buy links E-book or Paperback: 


Meet the Narrator!


Joel is a UK transplant, growing up with an American parents in a British commonwealth.  He is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of both American and British sounds.  His wit and comedic timing also appeal to producers.  He has developed a strong body of work for young audience, historical, fantasy, new-adult, romance and m/m fiction.  
His author’s have praised him as “a narrator among narrators, a man whose ability to create different characters rests on the power of his voice and his impeccable delivery”,  and a “true delight…" "legendary, and his professionalism, good humor, and charm make him a dream to work with”, "Anyone else would only be second best”.  
Joel records under two names, for mainstream and children’s fiction as Joel Froomkin, and for m/m and adult material under Joel Leslie and has consistent access to home studio for all production needs. 
{Image compliments of Author TM Smith (flying monkey) and Joel Leslie (Sexy Tinman) via GRL 2016 in Kansas City}

Narrator links: Audible | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Follow the tour: 

Nov 21st
BikeBook Reviews – Spotlight & REVIEW
MMBook Escape – Spotlight & Guest Post

Nov 22nd
ScatteredThoughts and Rogue Words – Exclusive Excerpt & REVIEW
HappilyEver Chapter – Inspiration/Gran Brennan & REVIEW

Nov 23rd
TwoBook Pushers – Spotlight only
OpenSkye Book Reviews – Spotlight & REVIEW
Books let us live a thousand words – Spotlight & REVIEW

Nov 24th
LoveBytes – This or That Thanksgiving edition (Author and Narrator)
GayBook Reviews – Narrator Interview & REVIEW
TripleA – Spotlight only

Nov 25th
MorticiaKnight – Spotlight only

Nov 26th
GayMedia Reviews – Playlist & REVIEW
CathyBrockman – Spotlight & REVIEW
TDCBook Reviews – Exclusive Excerpt & REVIEW

Nov 27th
BayouBook Junkie – Playlist & REVIEW
TheO’Raven Chronicles – Spotlight only

Nov 28th
BookBoyfriend Heaven – Spotlight only
WickedFaerie’s Tales and Reviews – Exclusive Excerpt & REVIEW

Nov 29th
Man2 Mantastic – Spotlight only
PurpleRose Teahouse – Guest post
MakingIt Happen – Spotlight & REVIEW

Nov 30th
DivineMagazine – Guest post & REVIEW
SinfulReviews – Spotlight only
PrismBook Alliance – Spotlight & REVIEW
Heartson Fire Reviews – Spotlight & REVIEW




A military brat born and raised at Ft. Benning Georgia; TM Smith is an avid reader, reviewer and writer. A Texas transplant, she now calls DFW her home. Most days she can be found curled up with a good book, or ticking away on her next novel. 

Smith is a single mom of three disturbingly outspoken and decidedly different kids, one of which is Autistic. Besides her writing, she is passionate about Autism advocacy and LGBT rights. Because, seriously people, Love is Love!


Author links: Amazon || ARe || Smashwords || Website || Facebook || Twitter 


Monday, November 28, 2016

Virtual Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Frostbitten by Charlotte Stein



Shy nurse Cora both dreads and lives for the moments she sees Zeke, an orderly at the hospital where she works. Zeke is too handsome, too compelling, too much, and seems totally unaware of Cora. But before she can bring herself to his attention, an explosion rips through the hospital Christmas party.

Zeke has noticed Cora—in fact, he’s so irresistibly drawn to her that he saves her from the explosion by turning her into a vampire, much to the jealousy and resentment of his partner, Merrick. Zeke hates being a vampire, and now that she’ll live, doesn’t want Cora to suffer his fate. If they can both resist the overwhelming instinct to bond, joining their bodies as Cora draws her maker’s blood, she might be able to return to her normal human life.

As Merrick uses every erotic trick to keep Zeke distracted from the blood passion, Cora becomes more and more drawn to both of her reluctant captors. And more and more happy to abandon her old life in exchange for an eternity with two hot immortal lovers. All she has to do is convince Merrick and Zeke that being a vampire isn’t all that bad.



Available from Riptide Publishing.  http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/frostbitten


About Charlotte Stein

Charlotte Stein is an RT-nominated erotic romance writer of over thirty novellas and novels. She lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and cheeky dog.

Connect with Charlotte:


Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Frostbitten, one lucky winner will receive an ebook of choice from Charlotte’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 3, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Virtual Book Tour & #Giveaway ~ Merry Christmas Mr. Miggles by Eli Easton

Merry Christmas Mr Miggles - Eli Easton

Author: Eli Easton

Release Date: November 23

Length: 50,000 words


Blurb

Toby Kincaid loves being the junior librarian in his hometown of Sandy Lake, Ohio. He spends his days surrounded by books and chatting with the library patrons. He especially adores the head librarian, Mr. Miggles, who is kind, witty, knowledgeable about everything, and hopelessly addicted to Christmas. Sean Miggles is also pretty cute—especially for an older guy who wears ties and suit pants every day.

But Sean keeps himself at a distance, and there’s a sadness about him that Toby can’t figure out. When Sean is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he gives up without a fight. Toby realizes that he alone can save the library—and their head librarian.

Toby will need to uncover the darkness in Sean’s past and prove to him that he deserves a second chance at life and at love too. And while Christmas miracles are being handed out, maybe Toby will get his own dearest wish—to love and be loved by Mr. Miggles.


Review


If you really want to get into the Christmas Spirit, this is your book. It was heartbreaking, heartwarming, endearing, and left you with a sense of Faith and Christmas Spirit for sure. It also reminded me to go to my international liquor store and pick up Glüwein, gods that stuff is delish!

Anyways. I adored Mr. Miggles and Toby Kincaid, and the townsfolk and how they all came together, but I think I adored the library the most.

4.25 Holiday *


Author Bio

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer, and a profound sleeper, Eli is happy these days writing love stories as a m/m romance author.

As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, two cows, pot belly pig, and cat.

Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at eli@elieaston.com
Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008994061782




Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ The Soldati Prince by Charlie Cochet

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Hello, all! Thank you so much for joining me here today as we celebrate the release of The Soldati Prince, the first book in the Soldati Hearts series! The Soldati Prince is a shifter fantasy novella about an unassuming barista named Riley Murrough who goes from serving lattes to being hunted by demons. If that wasn't bad enough, he's told he's the fated prince of a centuries old tiger-shifter king from another realm. Talk about a tough day.

Surely it must all be a terrible misunderstanding. Khalon King couldn't agree more, and he's determined to get Riley off his hands as quickly as possible. Riley has no intention of being tied to the grumpy king who seems incapable of saying two words to Riley without growling at him. Riley sets out to find the Great Priestess, along with Khalon and a small group of his warriors. They're determined to have her undo what's been done, but first Riley has to live long enough to get there, and without strangling Khalon along the way.

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ABOUT THE BOOK


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Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Gay Romance, Shifters, Demons Series: Soldati Hearts Length: Novella, 97 pages Published: Nov 23rd, 2016 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press ISBN: 9781634775809
One moment, Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next, he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger-shifter he would rather strangle.
Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world, where he belongs. On their journey, they might discover why the goddess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.
First Edition short story published as The Soldati Prince in Charmed & Dangerous by JCP Books LLC, 2015. Second Edition has been re-edited and extended to novella length with new content.

PURCHASE LINKS

OUT NOW!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

GIVEAWAY

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

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Check out the Soldati Hearts inspiration board on Pinterest.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Virtual Blog Tour, Giveaway, & Interview ~ Flying Without a Net by E.M. Ben Shaul




 FLYING WITHOUT A NET ~ SUMMARY AND AUTHOR

Summary
Dani Perez, a secular Israeli working as a software engineer in Boston, has never had trouble balancing his faith and his sexuality—until he meets Avi Levine, a gay Orthodox Jew and sign language interpreter. As they fall in love, Dani finds himself wanting Avi in his life, but he can’t understand how Avi reconciles what his religion demands with what his body desires. And although he wants to deny it, neither can Avi.

Despite the risk of losing Avi forever to a religious life that objects to their love, Dani supports him through the struggle to find an answer. Will they be able to start a life together despite religious ideology that conflicts with the relationship they are trying to build?


  FLYING WITHOUT A NET ~ EXCERPTS


May the words of my lips match the words of my heart.

* * *

Avi looked at him, concern plain on his face. “What is it, Dani? Are you all right?”
      “I'm fine. I just realized that I really needed to tell you now.”
      “Tell me what, Dani?”
      “I love you. You're… you are the best person I've ever met, and I'm proud and humbled to call you my boyfriend.”
      He paused, part of him wondering why this was all spilling out now. It's not as if he hadn't known, probably since Avi's bike accident, that he loved Avi, but he hadn't been ready to say anything. And what he'd said to Avi was true—he wasn't saying this because he expected to receive anything in return or to hear anything specific from Avi.
      In that moment, he wasn't sure what Avi would say or how Avi would react. The silence, though it had only been seconds long, was making Dani twitchy.
      “Avi?” Dani was terrified that Avi would see his declaration of love as manipulative, as a ruse to try to get Avi back into bed, which it wasn't at all. “I… I don't expect you to say it back. I don't want you to feel compelled to express feelings you don't actually feel just because I said it. It's just that, while I was sitting in the bedroom trying to give you space and time to process, all I could think about was how much I wanted to wrap my arms around you and hold you and make you comfortable and happy.”
      “Oh, chamudi, I…” Avi put his head on Dani's shoulder. “I love you with all my heart. I feel like I've loved you forever.”

* * *
(NOTE: FLYING WITHOUT A NET includes several prayers, including the following two excerpts.)

Tefilah: Blessed are You, Who Has Such Phenomena in His World
      We say, Hashem, that you created humans in Your image. Yet we believe with complete faith that You have no corporeal body.
      If You did, and it looked like Dani's, well, then.
      Is it chillul Hashem—desecration of Your name—to say, Good going? He is…gorgeous. And I finally perhaps understand what people mean when they talk about human beauty. I mean, I've appreciated good looking people before. But this is the first time I've been literally up close and personal with another man's body. With Dani's body, specifically.
      And he is… amazing.
      Dani is as beautiful on the outside as he is on the inside. And while I knew that he was a very handsome man, I had not thought about what that might mean for his physique. He is the physical embodiment of the fantasies I did not know I had. As Shlomo HaMelech—King Solomon—wrote in Shir HaShirim, “As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the sons; in his shade I delighted and sat, and his fruit was sweet to my palate.”
      I understand Shir HaShirim, the Song of Songs, much more now. I can relate to the lover who is basking in the beauty of their beloved, who is so struck by the appearance of the one who is in their heart that they wax poetic, that they write the most epic of love songs.
      “My beloved is mine, and I am his, that feeds among the roses.”
      I have never completely understood all the blessings we have for all the random occasions of life, but the one for seeing a beautiful person or creature now resonates with me. Baruch atah, Hashem, Elokainu melech haolam, she'kacha lo ba'olamo—blessed are you, Hashem our God, King of the universe, who has such phenomena in His world.

* * *

Tefilah: Create for Me a Pure Heart

      In these, the earliest hours of the day after Yom Kippur, please, Hashem, hear my request.
      My heart is torn. I am caught between love of You and Your mitzvot and love of myself. Love of myself and love of my family. Love of my family and, perhaps, the possibility of love for another man.
      I know. It's too early for me to call any feelings I have for Dani anything other than friendship. And I know that from the perspective of halacha, of Your laws, there is no sin involved in thoughts, in feelings.
      But what if those thoughts, those feelings, cause others pain? What if by my actions, or at least by my consideration of future actions, I am causing pain to another person.
      To my parents? To my family?
      I stood next to Abba at shul all day. We sat in the same seats that we have used for as many Yom Kippurs as I can remember. But I was a different me from whom I have been. And when we struck our hearts with our fists and asked forgiveness “for the sin we have committed with false denial and lying” and “for the sin we have committed by disrespecting parents and teachers,” I couldn't help but look over at him and also think about Ima sitting in the women's section on the other side of the mechitzah. When they find out, when they learn that I am not exactly the son they think I am, when I tell them that I am still their Avi and I hope they can still love me, how will they react?
      I have friends who have left Your path when they could not find a way to reconcile their love for You with their love for another man. I do not want to turn away from all of Your laws, from the way I have been taught and from the life I have grown up loving. But I fear that my parents will reject me outright when I tell them.
      I should have more faith in them. I should have more faith in You. Please, Hashem, help me to have faith.
      Lev tahor be'rah li, Elokim–God, create for me a pure heart. Al tashlicheni milfanecha–do not send me away from before You.

* * *

“All of the dati people I knew before I came out, they all thought that gay people were an abomination. And while, yes, I’m learning that not all dati people feel that way, I still have trouble understanding how someone can identify as dati and gay,” Danid said. I mean, yeah, halacha doesn’t mandate thought, just action. But how many people know that? How many people practice that?”
“A lot of people know. Think of it this way. Halacha has a lot to say about kashrut. But not everyone keeps the same type of kosher, even among the dati community. So, for example, I don’t hold that you have to only eat glatt meat or chalav Yisrael milk, but other people do. That doesn’t make my type of kosher any less legitimate than their type of kosher. The people who only eat glatt or chalav Yisrael won’t eat the food I make, but that’s because of how they interpret the rules. In my experience, most of them don’t believe I’m not keeping kosher; they just hold by a greater stricture.”
“We have a difference of opinion on how to interpret the law,” Avi continued. “Judaism allows for that; we have a long tradition of different communities having different standards, all of which are considered legitimate interpretations of halacha. Same with this. My interpretation of halacha has no problem with my being gay and my being frum. Someone else’s opinion of halacha may not be as inclusive, but those people may also say I don’t keep kosher enough or that the fact that I have a television in my house or an Internet connection means that I’m not frum. I disagree. My community disagrees. If they don’t like my interpretation of halacha, they can leave me to my life. I’m not going into their houses and saying they have to be accepting of my kashrut standards, but at the same time they cannot come into my house and tell me that I cannot eat my own food to my own standards of kashrut.
      Avi stopped and took a breath. Dani closed the distance between them and took Avi’s hand. “Okay, motek, I get it,” he said. “I think. I mean, it’s still a huge thing for me to work through, since I have been so used to the dati community that I know judging me simply for whom I choose to love. I just… Until I met you, I had never met an Orthodox Jew who was open-minded about gays. So I admit it will take me some time to adjust my biases. Please be patient with me, motek.”
      “We’ll be patient with each other,” Avi said, bending for a kiss.

* * *
V'ahavtcha, al tassir mimenu l'olamim—and Your love, may You forever not remove it from us. Please help us to find our way as we navigate our love, through Your love.

* * *

Flying Without a Net will be published by Interlude Press on November 17, 2016. Connect with author E.M. Ben Shaul at embenshaul.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/EMBenShaul and on Twitter at @embenshaul.


VBT: Flying Without a Net—EM Ben Shaul







Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing E.M. Ben Shaul author of Flying Without a Net
Hi E.M., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.





1)      Do you buy a book because of the cover, the blurb, or something else?
All of the above! For example, I am currently reading a book called Like Dreamers by Yossi Klein Halevi. It first caught my eye in the bookstore because it had as its cover photo one of the famous pictures of the paratroopers who captured the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967 during the Six Day War. When I read the blurb, it intrigued me further. And then when I flipped through it, I found that it had maps inside, and I’m a sucker for books that include maps.

2)     What does ‘romance’ mean to you?
For me, romance requires a real connection between people. It can’t just be flowers and gifts and the material objects that people give each other; it can’t just be nights out at fancy restaurants and expensive dates to shows. Romantic gifts incorporate elements unique to the gift giver and the gift receiver. A gift of a dictionary for a word lover, when the gift giver has taken time to think about what kind of dictionary the person might like in view of which ones they might already have, that to me is more romantic than a bouquet of flowers.


3)     What are your current projects?
I have a partially written novel that is a romance between an injured retired gymnast and his physical therapist, who is a retired competitive swimmer. I’m also working on a novel about a man who gets involved in political intrigue because of gifts sent to him by his grandmother. What he doesn’t know is that his grandmother has a past that she’s never divulged to anyone, and now he is getting drawn in.



4)     What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

Remembering to add in the visual aspects of the story: describing the room the characters are in, the clothing they’re wearing, the food they’re eating. With Flying Without a Net, especially, the characters are very talky. I had to work to break up the long sections of dialogue to remind the reader where in space and time Dani and Avi were while having their in-depth conversations.

5)     Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people.

I do the majority of the household maintenance in our home. If it needs to be hammered, screwed, or epoxied, I’m the go-to person. The toolbox in the hall closet is mine, and our daughters have learned to ask Mommy, rather than Daddy, to fix broken toys. My father taught my sister and me the basic maintenance skills that he thought we would need, and those skills stood me in good stead when I was in college and after when my husband and I formed our own household. And then I tend to put away my tools and pull out my knitting or my sewing machine or some other handcraft.


About the Author
E.M. Ben Shaul lives in many communities. An Orthodox Jew and writer of gay fiction, E.M. lives in the simultaneously gay-friendly and Jewish-friendly Boston area with her husband and twin daughters. A technical writer by day and freelance editor by nights and weekends, E.M. likes to knit, cook and coin neologisms. E.M. seeks to explore the seeming conflict between religious teachings and the heart’s desires.

Flying Without a Net will be published by Interlude Press on November 17, 2016. Connect with author E.M. Ben Shaul at embenshaul.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/EMBenShaul and on Twitter at @embenshaul.

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