Hi guys! I am super excited to welcome the fabulous Amy Lane here to Joyfully Jay (Hi Amy!). As you all know, she is super awesome and I am thrilled she is our guest today. Amy is here to talk to us about City Mouse, her new release with the equally awesome Aleksandr Voiniov (see review). She has also brought a great giveaway with her. So please join me in giving Amy a big welcome!
Hi everyone, and welcome to the virtual book tour for City Mouse, our brand new sequel to Country Mouse! Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov here, and we’re thrilled to celebrate this new release with you. Co-writing from two different continents isn’t always easy, but with characters like Owen and Malcolm, we couldn’t help ourselves! We’ll be sharing exclusive excerpts & guest posts all week long, and we hope you enjoy reconnecting with these two as much as we did.
Follow along all week—each stop you comment on enters you to win a $10 gift card to Riptide Publishing! Giveaway entry closes March 22nd at 11:59 p.m.
Food Maketh the Man by Amy Lane
So, about two months after Mate and I moved in together—pre-marriage, still living in sin—I decided to make spaghetti sauce.
Diced tomatoes, tomato puree, celery, onions, olives, sausage, garlic, all slow cooked for a day, and put over fresh pasta. I was so proud.
Mate took one bite, shrugged, and said, “Yeah, but my grandma’s is better.”
I, uhm, haven’t made sauce from scratch, and it’s been almost twenty-five years. I mean, seriously—when I get a warmer reaction from sauce out of a jar? Hell no am I spending that much time making spaghetti sauce!
Cooking is one of those things that a lot of people associate with homemaking, of keeping house—but in these days, as more of us depend on take-out and frozen food with more frequency—it’s also become an indicator of wealth. Do you need to cook, or can you afford to eat out? (Of course, some of you sick people out there make exquisite meals for the love of it. Since none of you are inviting me over for dinner, we’re not talking about you for a minute. We’re talking about the people I know, who totally understand why I’ve been serving my husband sauce out of a jar for twenty-five years.)
I think about it like this: In books set in the Regency or Victorian eras, even the poorest of the middle class had at least one servant to help with the bulk of the work. In this day and age, we don’t have servants, per se, but we do have other people making our food for us, making an low hourly wage, who have to go home and prepare their own food. So, we don’t have “Betsy” doing our shopping and cooking our dinner, but boy, howdy! We sure do stop at Chipotle a lot!
So when Owen starts cooking for Malcolm, two things are happening—neither one of which Malcolm is prepared to deal with.
The first is that Owen is doing for Malcolm. By a simple household chore, Owen is showing that he cares, and by aligning himself to Malcolm’s diet, he’s showing that he respects Malcolm’s life choice.
He’s also reflecting back on his childhood, during which money was in short supply, but love abounded.
So at the very beginning of Country Mouse, when Owen says, “Okay, now we have our staples. Money and food,” he gets it. He gets that if Malcolm lets him cook, then Owen isn’t only showing Malcolm that he loves him, but he’s shifting, every so subtly, his priorities, from the work obsessed hard-ass to the caring, committing partner.
I learned the same lesson. I mean, I still haven’t tried to make spaghetti sauce from scratch, but I have other things. I have potato salad and fried chicken and sausage stuffing. I have poor-man’s stew, refrigerator dump stir-fry, chicken soup and stroganoff. I have, in fact, developed an entire backlist of stuff I can cook not only for my husband but for my family. It’s a compromise—it’s stuff that I like to cook as well as stuff I like to eat, and stuff my family will eat as well.
I don’t have to cook it these days, but my husband has come to appreciate walking in the door and having dinner ready. (Just like I’ve come to appreciate the fact that he doesn’t mind me taking off on business trips for conventions and conferences—trust me folks, June Cleaver I’m not!) And, as both of us become more health conscious, that dinner is more about veggies and less about meat, and that’s a sign of love too.
So, staples. Owen has it right—from that first sandwich, Owen knows that food isn’t just the way to a man’s heart, it’s the opening negotiations to a long-term investment.
With Malcolm, that investment pays off!
When Malcolm Kavanagh took his first step toward emotional maturity by declaring his love to Owen Watson, that was just the first chapter in their story. Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that happy endings take a lot more work than that.
One problem: Malcolm has never been in love. He doesn’t know the rules of a relationship and isn’t confident enough to trust that his is real. He learns the ropes by sharing his life and his flat with Owen, but relationship boot camp proves a challenge. Everything is a struggle, from accepting Owen’s low-status job to putting his boyfriend above his personal trainer.
Luckily, Owen knows a little more about relationships, and labors patiently to survive the first six weeks of their life together. From the art galleries of Cambridge to the tawdry majesty of the Dominion theatre, Owen adapts to England while Malcolm adapts to the whole human race. Maybe, if Owen is patient enough and Malcolm learns to give, the two of them can make it past Relationship Armageddon to a real happy ending.
Buy link: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/city-mouse
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head. She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies. She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
You can find Amy at:
- Website: www.greenshill.com
- Blog: www.writerslane.blogspot.com
- Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/#!/amymaclane
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001702070484
Aleksandr Voinov has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and he works as a financial editor in the research department of a pan-European investment bank.
After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write edgy, dark, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days. He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, Loose Id, Dreamspinner, Storm Moon Press, and others.
You can find Aleks at http://aleksandrvoinov.com.