BLOG TOUR: LIFE WORTH LIVING BY TINA BLENKE with #Excerpt and #Giveaway plus an author #Interview on Tale Talk
Author Name: Tina Blenke
Book Name: Life Worth Living
Release Date: December 9, 2015
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
“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.”
With Author Tina Blenke
I want to thank the author, Tina Blenke, for taking the time to answer a few questions, and give us a little insight into her world. So... I'll start us off with this...
1. If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would change in your latest book?
I always wonder if it’s long enough but so far this is the longest novel I’ve written. I would have liked to go more into their relationship, maybe more about what Quentin was cooking or more with Jake and his club-boy friends that are mentioned but never seen. I could have written more about the lab life but didn’t want to bore anyone but nerds like me.
2. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yeah, I do. Usually, I struggle with how much to reveal. I don’t want to bog the story down in the details or worry about adding too much fluff when I want the reader to know just as much as the character who’s head we happen to be in. I don’t like to jump to different point of views because life isn’t like that, focusing instead on one man and his side of the relationship. Maybe I can stretch my wings on future stories but this one is all in Jake’s head.
3. Are there any new authors that have grasped your attention?
Though like most readers I tend to stay loyal to my favorites, I spend quite a bit of time trying out new authors. I’d like to wager that I read up to half of my stories with new authors and new-to-me authors. I enjoy different voices and stories and like to stay out of a rut.
4. If you had to kill a character in your book, who would it be and why?
I’ve killed a few characters but they were all in my first novel. Sometimes I know it’s coming and sometimes the story leads me down the path and it happens. When the character has been in the story longer, then it’s more difficult to have them die. They’ve become part of the main character’s life and they take it quite hard. Evander had a difficult time when a teenager he’d made friends with was murdered quite violently. Poor guy.
5. How did you come up with the title for your book?
In this case, it’s a line from Les Miserables that I really loved. It hit close to home when thinking of this story and it all worked together. Once, there was a brainstorming session with a friend of mine. We were silly on coffee and hid out from our bosses and thought up names for the Shifting Paradigm series – there are so many titles without books for that series and I have some catching up to do!
6. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In this case, it’s all about being true to yourself and not living up to other people’s expectations. Both of my guys need to learn this lesson in their own way. Quentin needs to admit his sexuality to his over-bearing parents and Jake needs to be the man he is and not who he thinks can keep a man like Quentin interested.
7. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! I’m working on the sequel to Life Worth Living entitled Like Nobody Else. There is a character that Jake meets at the museum and I needed to explore his story a little deeper. We find out that Dorian has commitment issues and is a bit of an exhibitionist in that most of the time his sexual exploits occur in public. He meets a man who takes the relationship at face value and Dorian is tempter to pursue more. Unfortunately, Dorian is also being stalked by a violent jilted lover and every time Dorian is attacked he leashes out on his new boyfriend. A decent guy can only take so much.
8. Do you read your reviews? Do you have any advice for how to deal with the bad?
I’m not supposed to read them. I know that. I’ve been warned by well-seasoned authors that I shouldn’t but it’s difficult not to. But, I don’t get too offended because I really haven’t received anything scathing yet. There are stories written by huge authors that I don’t enjoy so I can’t take my reviews too seriously.
9. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What it is?
I don’t see myself ever writing about aliens. As a mainly paranormal writer that might sound strange, but I just couldn’t do it. Give me any other creepy crawly or spookable thing and I’ll consider it but aliens? No, sorry.
10. When you are driving down the road, what music do you listen to?
My sister says that I listen to angry music but that’s because she has no taste. Muse is my all-time favorite band followed by Bush but I’m diverse, too. I like hard stuff like Five-Finger Death Punch and toe tapping crooners like Bruno Mars so I’m a bit all over the place.
Thank you, Tina for stopping by and to the readers visiting, don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $5 gift card from the author.
Buy the book:
Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28245086-life-worth-living
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.
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
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Tour Dates & Stops:
Rafflecopter Prize: 3 - $5 Amazon gift cards (1 winner each)