Today I am so pleased to welcome Shira Glassman to Joyfully Jay. Shira has come to talk to us about her latest release, Climbing the Date Palm. She has also brought along a copy of the book to give away. Please join me in giving Shira a big welcome!
Imagine a fairy tale with a bisexual prince, completely head over heels with the engineer his father hired to handle improvements to the city. Then imagine that same handsome prince distraught and fighting for his life as he shows up on the doorstep of the next kingdom over, bleeding and unconscious, begging for assistance. His father didn’t pay the engineer’s workers what they were promised, and now he’s thrown Prince Charming’s boyfriend in prison and sentenced him to death. Help!
Luckily, he’s come to a kingdom with a lesbian on the throne and a fierce warrior woman at the head of the royal guard. So maybe there’s a shot at rescuing his true love after all…?
Meanwhile, the queen is looking for a way to conceive the expected royal heir without having to touch a man, even one as pretty as Prince Charming. How will she and her partner navigate this hurdle?
Climb on board the dragon’s back for an adventure about food, family, faith, and justice.
After bringing each other pleasure, they’d clung together and kissed — thorough, minute-long kisses that lived in a time between times. It wasn’t today, and it wasn’t yet tomorrow; they existed in a little world inhabited only by themselves.
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt so good in my whole life,” Kaveh murmured, resting his curly head on the cushion of Farzin’s shoulder.
“That was the idea,” Farzin replied. “I’ve always wanted to make you feel good. Even before I knew it made me even more of a weirdo.”
“How so?” Kaveh asked as he snuggled closer.
“When we were friends in school,” Farzin explained, “especially after you were so nice to me and treated me like you actually valued me as a person, thinking about you made me happy. I wanted to make you feel the same way. You always looked so glum and unloved.”
“My family is…”
“You never treated me like I was worthless. I used to wish you were my brother.”
“I think I did too. I didn’t understand.”
“What made you understand?”
“As I was saying, I noticed you were always sad and needed affection. I knew a way to bring myself warmth and peace, and I figured that if I did it for you, it would feel good for you. It didn’t even occur to me that what I wanted to do was related to what everyone was talking about doing with girls. I just… I think I was silly enough to think it was something different that I’d come up with all on my own — something that only applied to me.”
“When did you figure out what it really was?”
“I was reading the second page of a love poem one day when I was bored and waiting for my mother to finish with something so I could show her a clockwork eagle I’d built. I was really surprised and fascinated because the speaker in the poem felt about the subject the way I felt about you. I was excited and turned the page back in her book so I could see what was going on, so I could remember to tell you about it the next time I saw you.” Farzin paused to steal another kiss. “Sorry, I just like kissing you so much that I had to do it again!”
“You can have all the kisses you want for the rest of my life,” said Kaveh enthusiastically. “Let me guess — the poem was about a man and a woman, right?”
“Exactly,” said Farzin. “You can imagine my surprise. I immediately asked my mother if a man can love another man the way men love women, and she said she didn’t see why not.”
“But you never told me…”
“No, and you were engaged to Azar anyway.”
“Did you ever like a man besides me?”
“There were some of my father’s guards that I… Well, I’ve always known I was different, but since I liked women too, and knew I’d enjoy being with Azar, I wasn’t worried about it…” He shuddered with pleasure as Farzin wrapped his arms around him and pressed him close. “Is this real?”
“I sure hope so. Otherwise you’re lying on the ground under a bridge that doesn’t exist humping the grass on the riverbank.”
Prince Kaveh, the youngest son of the king of the City of Red Clay, is bisexual and completely besotted with Farzin, the engineer his father hired to oversee the improvements to the city’s roads and bridges. However, the king doesn’t share his positive feelings. After Farzin ends up at the head of the protest that ensues when the workers are only paid a third of their promised wages, he’s thrown in prison and is scheduled to be executed.
Queen Shulamit, who rules over the neighboring nation of Perach, is eager to assist the desperate prince. She, too, loves justice and has a same-sex partner. She’s also hoping Kaveh, with his royal blood, is willing to give her and her sweetheart a legitimate heir in exchange. But can she find a peaceful solution that will pacify the king next door, get his workers fairly paid, and free Farzin? Or will she and her dragon-riding bodyguard Rivka have to go to war?
Shira Glassman is a Jewish violinist living in Florida. In this book she draws on the worker’s rights activism of her spouse and other local labor leaders, as well as her own bisexuality and love of food, for inspiration.
Shira has brought an ebook copy of Climbing the Date Palm to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Sunday, July 27th at 11:59 pm EST.
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