Wednesday, January 13, 2016

INTERVIEW: Tina Blenke plus #Giveaway! #Gayrom

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Tina Blenke author of Life Worth Living.

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

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.
How do you feel about e-books vs print books? 

Personally, I like the convenience and non-cluttery aspect of ebooks. It’s easier to carry my entire library on my cell phone using the Kindle app and never having the struggle of not having another book ready to go ever again. I still have a shelf dedicated to those signed by the author but I prefer pictures of me with my favorite authors having a good time instead of a paper book that I’ll never read. It’s cool but it’s such a waste of space and material. I’d rather enjoy the convenience.

What process did you go through to get your first book published?

In hindsight it really wasn’t that bad but at the time I thought it was so terrible. I’d finally finished my first novel but hadn’t heard of beta readers until I met another new author and we exchanged manuscripts. (We’ve both been published several times since those days!) We worked well together and shared sorrow when the rejections came and encouragement with each submission. I think I was rejected a handful of times before finding a home with eXtasy and it was a perfect match for my new story. I’ve heard others were accepted their first time out and some never sign, it’s just a wide range of experiences for all of us.

How do you find or make time to write? 

That’s the crux of it all, isn’t it? It’s hard to make the time and maybe that’s something I need to work on in this new year. The hardest part is not getting down on myself when I can’t make the time. That’s the single most important thing is to be nice to me whether I can make the time or not.

Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members? 

My first beta reader Lauren (she’s mentioned in every single book) was my biggest supporter and cheer leader. She reminded me almost daily during those first rejections about why I was doing this and she never gave up on me. Still to this day, even when she’s had some terrible life events happening to her, she makes the time to help me out because she’s an amazing giving person. I hope someday to meet her in person so I can thank her face to face for her love and work.

Tell us about a book you’re reading now. 

I just started a story called Time Gone By by Emma Marie Leya. I’m attached at the hip to Facebook and there are several groups on there with notifications when there are free books available online and this was one of them. I’m in the world of Jon and Wyatt and so far their resurrected love is sweet and touching. So far, I’m liking it very much.

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Author Name: Tina Blenke
Book Name: Life Worth Living
Release Date: December 9, 2015
Pages or Words: 63,267 words
Categories: Contemporary, Erotica, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

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.”

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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.

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