Tuesday, November 3, 2015

INTERVIEW: A.M. Leibowitz plus #Giveaway! #GayFic #Religion #Trans

Hello A.M. and welcome to "Home of the Sweetness" <3 Thank you so much for subjecting yourself to the RANDOMNESS that is a Raine O'Tierney interview! Please don your best hat, and let's get started!

Introduce yourself by telling us the favorite thing you’ve ever written—regardless of publication status!

Actually, it is published—I wrote a short story for my publisher’s anthology called “Between Us and the Penguins.” Let’s just say it involves a nerdy butch news producer and her zookeeper girlfriend, a pair of “lesbian” penguins, and a teenage trans girl.

If you could go back in time and have a conversation with 13-year-old yourself right now, what would you say?

Your body is just fine the way it is, it’s totally ok to like girls too, and boy/girl aren’t the only genders.

What is your biggest, most wildest, most extreme writing dream or goal? No dream is too outlandish.

To write something of the quality that could be read and discussed in a high school lit class but with 100% more queer characters than any of the ones I read at that age.

Describe yourself using song lyrics.

I think these both sort of describe me for different reasons:

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

[“Hallelujah,” Leonard Cohen version]

I want to know where the bad feelings go
When I'm depressed and I get down so low
And then I see you coming to me and it's all right

I want to tell you right now
I'm not afraid to say how
You put this love in my heart

[“You Put This Love in My Heart,” Keith Green]

People—basically good? Or basically bad?

Basically good. I was taught we’re bad at our core from birth, but I don’t believe that. I think there are people who use their humanity to do evil, evil things, but I don’t believe any of us are born that way.

Why are you so awesome?
  1. I’m a classically-trained violinist, and I play with a real orchestra and everything.
  2. I have 2 college degrees, neither of which I use professionally but I’m still really proud of.
  3. I am fiercely loyal and passionate about social issues, particularly lgbtq+, bullying, and educational justice.

What is one mistake you’ve made during your writing career that you’ve learned and grown from?

Just one? That words mean things, and intent only matters when you already know the person’s heart. I have to be careful of what message I’m putting in writing. Bonus: Even if I’ve read a manuscript 6 times, I need to do it a 7th.

How do you think you’d handle yourself in the zombie apocalypse?

Panic. And then contact my twelve-year-old, who apparently recently learned to make candles out of mayonnaise from watching YouTube videos. I’ll let him handle all the survival tactics.

You are now filling the bathtub with soda. For reasons. What kind? And why?

Mountain Dew, and my spouse would prefer I keep the reason private.

And finally, for THE most important question of all: what kinds of dachshunds are the BEST kinds of dachshunds?

The kind of “dachshunds” which are actually a Jack Russell mix with a stubborn streak (also known as my dog). Wait…is this a trick question?

~ ~ ~

Author Name: A.M. Leibowitz
Book Name: Passing on Faith
Series: In Good Faith bk #2
(Can be read as a standalone)
Release Date: November 1, 2015
Pages or Words: 276 pages, approximately 96,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Trans*, Religious/Spiritual
Goodreads Link
Publisher: Supposed Crimes LLC (Acquitted Books) 
Cover Artist: Stacy O’Steen

Following his father’s death, Micah Forbes believes he can finally put the family who rejected him and their religious bigotry behind him. In a cruel twist, his older brother calls to tell him he’s inherited their father’s abandoned vacation home.

Micah discovers the house comes complete with a long list of repairs, boxes full of family secrets, and a handful of quirky neighbors. Despite not wanting to get in too deep, he can’t help the spark of interest stirred when the sexy redhead next door offers his help. Everything about the enigmatic Cat Rowland throws Micah off-balance, from his gender-bending sense of fashion to his handy repair skills to his deep spirituality. Before long, Micah is swept up by Cat and his friends, but Cat himself keeps his heart carefully protected.

When Micah’s past and his present collide in a painful way, his self-destructive coping habits threaten to overwhelm him. To save himself, he needs to open his soul and let someone in. Cat has the key to unlock him, if he can let down his guard and trust his faith enough to catch Micah as he falls.


Micah decided he would sit right there until he was struck with a brilliant plan for how to manage his misfortune. It might have been a whole two minutes before someone knocked on the front door. Huffing, he rose and went to answer it.

He nearly groaned when he saw who it was. Cat, his oddly chipper neighbor, was back. He had a glass of what might have been lemonade in his hand and a lopsided smile on his face. When he looked up at Micah, his expression changed. His smile slid away and his eyes widened.

“You okay?” he asked.

Micah ran a hand through his hair and contemplated telling Cat it was just allergies. Instead, something made him say, “No. I am not okay. But if you want to come in and sit on my couch, risking black lung from all the dust, by all means.” He stood aside and swept his hand, indicating Cat should join him.

Hesitantly, Cat stepped over the threshold. He extended the glass to Micah. “Thought you could use this. Maybe you need something stronger, though.”

Micah snorted. “Yeah, probably, except I don’t drink.” He accepted the lemonade and took a sip. The tart liquid was refreshingly cool against his burning throat. “Thanks for this.” He tilted the glass toward Cat.

Cat grinned. “I was a little worried for a minute there. Want to tell me about it?”

Micah sighed heavily. “I inherited this house. My father just died.”

“I’m sorry,” Cat said, his voice soft and warm.

“I’m not.”

Available from Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

*What inspired you to write Passing On Faith?
I was deconstructing my religious education after 20+ years in conservative evangelicalism. I pretty much poured all my own anger and hurt into the story while at the same time trying to nurture the tiny spark of faith I still had. The main characters are the personification of the complicated relationship between my identity and my religion. Wow, that’s kind of a downer, even though the story really isn’t only sad. Sorry!

*Is there anything special you’d like us to know about your story?

I used the fairy tale Puss in Boots as the basis for my outline. Cat, the main character’s love interest, is based on a cross between an actual cat and a real person I knew. The name “Cat” was a place holder until I came up with something better, but it stuck.

*What are your hopes for this title?

Hm…I hope at least one person reads it and discovers they are not alone and they are valuable just for who they are. There is a line in the book where Cat says to Micah, “We both think your father’s God is an a**hole.” I think so too, and I hope people know that God doesn’t exist. (Whether or not some other god/gods exist is a whole separate topic.)

Meet the author:

A. M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyunchained/
Website: http://amleibowitz.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8544236.A_M_Leibowitz

Tour Dates & Stops:

3-Nov:  The Hat Party, My Fiction Nook
4-Nov:  Velvet Panic, Love Bytes
5-Nov:  Divine Magazine, Nephy Hart, Lee Brazil, Posy Roberts, Inked Rainbow Reads
6-Nov:  Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews, Happily Ever Chapter
9-Nov:  Bayou Book Junkie
10-Nov: Wake Up Your Wild Side
11-Nov: BFD Book Blog
12-Nov: Prism Book Alliance
13-Nov: Jessie G. Books, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews

Rafflecopter Prize: Signed print copy of 'Passing on Faith' by A.M. Leibowitz

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congratulations on the release and looking forward to reading it!

  2. This sounds really good. Congratulations on the release.