Welcome to the Too Stupid to Live Blog Tour!
Normally, I’d be throwing confetti around (as in my last couple of blog tours) but this time I decided to go bigger—I’m giving away original artwork. For those of you not familiar with my male genital sculptures (that makes them sound so respectable, doesn’t it?), I’ll direct you here http://annetenino.com/x-rated-crochet-gallery/ to my website, where I’m showcasing the ones I’ve made in the past, and the ones I’m giving away for this blog tour. For those of you dying to win, the details are at the bottom of this post (but really, it’s only polite to read the post first, right?).
On that note, I’ll stop the intro stuff and get on with it.
When I was writing these posts, my daughter suggested a post on the history of gay romance. I told her I just didn’t know enough about it to discuss the topic, but then it hit me that I did know something about the development of gay romance, because I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking into gay romance tropes.
Here’s the thing with gay romance tropes—they’re pretty much the same as hetero romance tropes, they just get used a little differently. I could go into that, but I don’t want to write a blog post about gender politics and the inequities heroines face that heroes don’t and vice versa. Instead I’m focusing on the few tropes that are unique to gay romance. One is the Gay For You/Out For You trope which isn’t a factor in Too Stupid to Live (and to be honest, something I’m not a fan of). The other trope is closely related to GFY/OFY: Coming Out.
In every M/M romance ever, the “outness” of the characters is a factor. It can be the plot point the whole story is hinged on, or it can be a minor mention near the beginning, but it’s always, always a factor. Not so in straight romance. No one’s wondering as they read about a heterosexual couple, “Does her mother know she’s attracted to men?” I suppose the argument could be made that her mother’s wondering if she still a virgin, but the fact that she wants to have sex with men is a foregone conclusion (unless and until she comes out as a lesbian).
Now comes my moment of honesty—I’m near the end of this tour and I’m a little wrung out on writing posts, so I sort of cheated on discussing Coming Out, but I don’t think you’ll mind. My cheat? I’m excerpting a scene from Too Stupid to Live where Ian comes out to his assistant at work, Andy (short for Andrea). This is a bit far into the book, but it doesn’t contain any real spoilers.
Enjoy! And stay tuned afterward for the blurb, buy link, and of course, today’s yarn penis question.
On Thursday morning, Ian went to work and found himself staring at his desk for fifteen minutes before Andrea knocked on his door and walked in, carrying a mug. He grabbed a pen and a notepad, trying to seem like he’d actually been doing something.
Andy carefully set the coffee-filled mug on his desk and readjusted a couple of paper clips, his stapler, and a pen. She straightened up, inspecting her redecoration attempts and smoothing her skirt.
Ian wasn’t the best with body language, but he got the feeling she was nervous.
“How’s your coffee?” she said.
That was for him? In spite of being her boss, she’d never brought him coffee before. Huh. “I haven’t tried it yet.” Obviously. “Thank you for bringing me some.”
Andy clasped her hands and straightened her shoulders. “Ian, um, I have something to talk to you about.”
“Okay, have a seat.”
She sat in the chair across from him.
They looked at each other across the desk.
“Is this about work?” he asked.
Andy nodded quickly. “Um, sort of. It’s work-related.” She took a deep breath. “Are you attracted to men?”
Ian’s brain skidded to a halt. He stared across his desk at her.
She slowly turned red. “I really don’t care, I was just curious,” she said. “It was none of my business, I shouldn’t have asked.” She was saying the right things, but something in her face made him think that it did kind of matter somehow.
Ian ran a hand across his jaw. Okay . . . “So, you don’t need to talk about work.”
She ducked her head. “Sort of. I mean . . . No. I was just . . . I’m sorry.”
“Does it matter to you if I’m gay?”
She jerked upright. “No!” This time he believed her—she looked at him like he had completely missed some point. What the fuck?
Andy closed her eyes after a second and leaned forward to massage her forehead with her hand. “Listen,” she said. “It’s none of my business, it’s just that Tierney’s a known homophobe, and I know he’s a college buddy of yours. I thought, if you were gay and didn’t know about him . . .ˮ She shrugged stiffly.
Ian coughed. “I’m well aware Tierney’s a ’phobe.”
Andy nodded slowly, looking down at the surface of his desk. Ian stared at her, thinking hard. He hadn’t expected this to happen quite this soon. He had a planned answer for these kinds of situations, but now that he was facing it . . .
Fine. He unstuck his tongue from the roof of his mouth and took a breath. “Yeah. I’m gay.”
Andy’s eyes widened. “You seem so straight.”
Oh, for fuck’s sake. The first time he’d ever come out to anyone outside his family, and that’s the reply he got?
“Oh, God,” Andy moaned, covering her face with her hand. “I’m so sorry, that was the lamest thing to say. Just tell me to shut up.”
“Thank you,” she said from between her fingers.
Another uncomfortable pause, then they both spoke at once.
“Since you and Tierney are working on that project—”
“Listen, I’ve never told anyone I work with—”
They shut up in unison.
Ian held up a hand and tried again. “Tierney doesn’t know, okay? You’re officially the only person I’ve ever worked with who knows, and I’m trusting you to keep quiet until I tell people—”
Andy overrode his hand. “Oh my God, Ian! I would never out you. What kind of person do you think I am?”
“The kind of person who asks her boss if he’s gay?”
She bit her lip. “Oh, crap. I guess I did do that. I won’t tell anyone, you can trust me. And at least we don’t have anyone else in this suite to worry about overhearing us yet.”
Ian jumped right on that subject as a viable escape from the current one. “Yeah, we need some help around here. Are we ready to start interviewing?” They needed to hire two coordinators to assist them and a secretary for the brand new Interagency Disaster Relief Coordination Department that Ian headed in the Health Division.
“Yeah, um, that’s another thing I wanted to talk to you about. My little brother has some secretarial experience, and—”
“Are you serious?” Ian groaned.
“He’s gay?” she offered.
“So I’m supposed to hire him because he’s family? Andy, c’mon.” They quickly fell into the sort of banter Ian had already become used to with her. Thank God. He finally agreed to interview her brother, and she agreed to do some of his paperwork in exchange.
Before Andy left, he told her, “I trust you.”
Title: Too Stupid to Live by Anne Tenino
Romancelandia Series Book One
Whitetail Series Book Three
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, M/M
Length: 315 pages/Word Count: 80,500
It isn’t true love until someone gets hurt.
Sam’s a new man. Yes, he’s still too tall, too skinny, too dorky, too gay, and has that unfortunate addiction to romance novels, but he’s wised up. His One True Love is certainly still out there, but he knows now that real life is nothing like fiction. He’s cultivated the necessary fortitude to say ‘no’ to the next Mr. Wrong, no matter how hot, exciting, and/or erotic-novel-worthy he may be.
Until he meets Ian.
Ian’s a new man. He’s pain-free, has escaped the job he hated and the family who stifled him, and is now-possibly-ready to dip his toe into the sea of relationships. He’s going to be cautious, though, maybe start with someone who knows the score and isn’t looking for anything too complicated.
Someone with experience and simple needs that largely revolve around the bedroom.
Until he meets Sam.
Sam’s convinced that Ian is no one’s Mr. Right. Ian’s sure that Sam isn’t his type. They can’t both be wrong . . . can they?
Read my review of Too Stupid to Live HERE .
Now for today’s contest question (it’s an easy one), but first, let’s go over the contest rules, such as they are:
*I’ll be giving away one crocheted cock per post; please include the question you’re answering in your email so I know which post it is.
*Winners will have to provide me with a mailing address to send the penis to after I notify them by email (about January 21st).
*There are no geographic restrictions on winning—I will send anywhere in the world, even to countries in which customs may confiscate the item (although if it doesn’t make it, I won’t be able to provide a replacement, I’m sorry).
*Winners will be chosen randomly from each correct answer I receive by January 20th. That’s two days after the blog tour ends.
To win, correctly answer the question below in the body of an email sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s Andy’s little brother’s name?
About Anne Tenino:
Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.
Anne’s husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne’s need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. They were raised to be open-minded children, however, and other than occasionally stealing Ken1’s strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.
Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.
Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site
Follow the rest of the tour HERE.