Today I am so pleased to welcome Riley Parks to Joyfully Jay. Riley has come to talk to us about a new release, Bleeding Like Me. Riley has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Riley a big welcome!
I want to make you uncomfortable. Not for shock value, people can see through antics, but with themes that are often glossed over because they’re not glamorous or sexy. There are stereotypes regarding romance reads; that they’re light and frothy, mindless and fun, and while some can and should be, many aren’t. Relationships are difficult. There are variables that will always exist when disparate human beings find one another and attempt to face life as a team.
Sometimes I wonder how any relationship works at all. People are autonomous with brains that aren’t made to meld. I crave a psychological understanding of love, of what makes the challenges worth it. Lust is easy. It’s carnal, animal and present. Love is difficult. It’s built, tended to, and too often abandoned.
The characters I create will always be imperfect. Like a tree, they grow from dirt, some strong and steady, others so frail they break in the breeze. Throughout the pages of their novel, I saw into them, revealing a bull’s-eye of rings, years of their lives I’ll never talk about, but will always show in the way they view the world.
In my debut novel, Bleeding Like Me, I introduce readers to Jackson Jablonic and Evan Goodwyn, two flawed men from the streets of Chicago, who, for different reasons, became affiliated with violent gangs. Through drug addiction, brutality, and seemingly endless peril, they remain; finding a stability within each other that shouldn’t exist in their volatile world.
Jackson and Evan aren’t heroes. Not even close. They do awful things, and aren’t necessarily good people. And yet, you may grow to love them, as they love one another, and that itself may make you uncomfortable.
Being gay in their neighborhood is perilous. Being gay in a street gang is unheard of. Being gay and in love with a man in a rival gang is a death wish. Through drug addiction, brutality, and seemingly endless peril, they remain; finding stability within each other that shouldn’t exist in their volatile world.
He didn’t paint people; the curves of their bodies and angles of their faces never interested him as much as cityscapes. The circumstances of his life had compelled him to create new worlds that he could get lost in rather than reflect the features of the people he ran from. He constructed buildings from their foundations, making them taller and stronger than he was. He adorned the edifices with countless windows, always left open or cracked so hope could pour in and fears could seep out. Tree lined streets reminded him how to breathe, pumping oxygen through the atmosphere, off the canvas, and into his lungs.
He didn’t paint people until the day he no longer desired the anonymity of his cities. The streets didn’t feel like his escape anymore, not like him. Cerulean skies gave way to pale blue eyes and bus routes to pink pouts. Evan didn’t paint people until he painted Jackson.
Find Bleeding Like Me on Goodreads
Riley has always loved to write, believing that life has the possibility to be its most beautiful when it’s portrayed on the pages of a book. Feeling the need to create and liberate in the midst of the political landscape, Riley writes novels that focus on LGBTQ protagonists, wanting to honor a community that deserves better representation depicting lives, loves and triumphs in all facets of fiction.
Riley has brought 2 x $15 Boroughs Bucks to give away along the tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
- By entering you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set out by Rafflecopter for entries.
- Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
- Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
- By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
- Void where prohibited by law.