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Guest Blogger - Brynn Stein

First off, I need to apologize to Brynn for getting this up so late. My internet at home has been out off and on. It went down just after my post last night. I can't post from my lab at work and it's been down again here until now. Here's hoping I can get this up for her because her new book sounds really good. Not only that she's talking about a very important subject and there's a giveaway and I'm sort of gumming up the works here with my shoddy rural internet that's the equivalent of two tin cans and a string.

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Blog Tour for Through the Years

Thanks Jana, for hosting me today.

I’ve noticed that there is a common theme in most of my stories…homophobia. There’s a good reason for that. I live in the Bible Belt and that affliction is quite common here.

I work with several people who are vocal homophobes. If anyone follows my blog, I have a semi-regular feature there called “Tales from the Bible Belt” that focuses on these people…in particular one man whom I just refer to as Coworker. Or, Narcissistic Bible Thumping Coworker…depending on how exasperating he had been that day.

I work in a private school for children with emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, or Autism…or sometimes combinations of the above. This man has actually sat in official meeting and told same gender parents that their child is ‘screwed up’ because their relationship is a sin and God is punishing them. He refuses to call these families, even though we are both supposed to contact every family on a regular basis, in the hopes of desensitizing the families to calls from the school. (The theory is that if we call for good stuff too, they’ll be less likely to avoid our calls for the not so great stuff). He constantly berates the kids either directly or in general in a ‘social skills’ lesson (that usually more closely resembles bible study, even though we are not a church-run school). What’s worse is that my almost equally homophobic principal seems to turn a blind eye to this behavior, even though it is frequently reported.

And that’s not the only examples of homophobia around here. My daughter works with a gay man who is forever verbally bashed by his coworkers both to his face and behind his back. My brother has taken all kinds of abuse throughout his life, including physical bashing. My brother in law and his partner have replaced windows in their house and repainted their cars more times than I can count.

In short, there is a lot of homophobia around here, and unfortunately, most of it is attached to religion in some way if not actual churches (though there are plenty of churches here that at the very least turn a blind eye to hatred toward gays if not actively espouse it).

There are also plenty of churches here who try to combat those same teachings, but unfortunately, the first type of church is often much more vocal.

In my stories, I try to realistically portray the first type of church, but also am careful to mention that the second type of church exists too.

In Through the Years, Edward grows up in the former. After a lifetime of having it all but literally beaten into him that homosexuality is wrong, he has a horrible time accepting that trait in himself. That attitude drives much of the conflict throughout the story (though there are plenty of other conflicts as well).

I also mention several people even within that same church who don’t believe the rhetoric.

Later in the story, I focus on a church that is much more tolerant and loving. One of the second generation characters goes to this type of church, having ‘shopped around’ for a church that would accept her Uncles Gene and Edward. This church is much more Christian, in my opinion.

What do you think readers? Do you mind reading stories that realistically portray homophobic churches, as long as the author acknowledges (or even focuses) on churches that are not of that ilk?

Comment below to be entered into the raffle.

Here’s how the raffle works:

I’ve listed the tour stops below and have given either the link to the blog in general or to my post specifically. Feel free to stop by as many as you want. For each stop that you comment on, you will receive one entry to the giveaway. I’ll check all the stops numerous times throughout the tour and will draw five winners on Thanksgiving Day, so even if you come in late to the tour, you can go back through the list and comment on past stops.

I’m giving away five prizes. Prize 1) a signed paperback copy of Through the Years; Prizes 2 and 3) electronic copies of Through the Years, Prize 4) your choice of either a signed paperback copy or an audiobook of Living Again (the audiobook won’t be available until December), and Prize 5) an electronic copy of Haunted.

Blog Tour Stops for Through the Years
Blog Stop Date Blog Owner Blog Address
1 October 6 Anne Barwell http://annebarwell.wordpress.com

2 October 7 Grace Duncan http://www.grace-duncan.com/

3 October 8 Jessica Skye Davies http://jessicaskyedavies.blogspot.com

4 October 9 Shira Anthony http://www.shiraanthony.com/?p=4032

5 October 10 Emma Tett http://emmy-j.blogspot.co.uk

6 October 11 Kim Fielding http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/please-welcome-brynn-stein/

7 October 12 Bike Books Reviews bikebookreviews.blogspot.com

8 October 13 Tempest O’Riley http://tempesteoriley.com

9 October 14 Sean Michael http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca/

10 October 15 Allison Cassatta http://allisoncassatta.blogspot.com/2014/10/author-spotlight-brynn-stein.html

11 October 16 Jana Denardo http://jana-denardo.livejournal.com/

12 October 17 Louise Lyons http://louiselyonsauthor.wordpress.com

13 October 18 PD Singer http://pdsinger.com

14 October 20 Shae Connor http://shaeconnorwrites.com

15 October 21 Suki Fleet http://sukifleet.wordpress.com

16 October 27 Charlie Cochet http://purpleroseteahouse.charliecochet.com

17 October 28 Elizabeth Noble http://www.elizabeth-noble.com/my-blog

18 October 29 Tara Lain http://taralain.com

19 October 31 Sophie Bonaste http://sophiebonaste.blogspot.com

20 November 4 Kit Moss http://kitmossreviews.blogspot.com

21 November 10 Lane Hayes lanehayes.wordpress.com

22 November 13 Mike Rupured http://rupured.com

Thanks again Jana, for letting me stop by today.


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Blurb for Through the Years
Edward and Gene were instantly drawn to each other when they met at college in Maryland. Fast friends, they developed a "closer than brothers" relationship. But then Edward began to feel more for Gene. In 1967, those kind of feelings would not be tolerated. Not even by Edward himself.

Gene always thought he was asexual. He had never been attracted to anyone... until he met Edward. He dreamed of Edward as more than a friend throughout college, but he knew Edward would not welcome that kind of attention. So Gene wasn't surprised when Edward reacted badly to a drunken kiss just before Edward's graduation. He was surprised when Edward moved to Florida and had little to do with him for years afterward.

When fate finally brings them back together, Edward is married and has a little girl. Gene gladly accepts the role of "Uncle Gene," happy to have Edward in his life in any capacity. Together, they face all the trials and tribulations life throws at them, including the death of Edward's wife, and as each grows and matures, their life views change. The relationship they've secretly wanted all along is closer than ever, and if Edward can break free from his homophobic upbringing and admit his feelings for Gene, there might still be a chance for them to share their lives in the way they both desire.

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A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Brynn Stein has always loved to write. Fan fiction, original fiction, whatever. While Brynn wrote in numerous genres – everything from mystery, to contemporary, to supernatural – she had always tended toward strong male characters. And then she discovered ‘slash’, male/male romance, and all those strong male characters were finally allowed to express their love for one another. It seems that there are always at least two characters clamoring to tell Brynn their story.

Brynn lives in Virginia with one of her two two-legged children, and two four-legged ones. Her supportive family encourages her writing and provides a sounding board for fledgling stories. When she isn’t writing, Brynn teaches children with special needs. In free time, when such a thing exists, she reads anything she can get her hands on, and haunts bookstores. She draws and paints, and enjoys the outdoors—especially if she can get to the beach—and is always thinking about her next story.
Please feel free to contact Brynn at any of the following:


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No worries Jana. Thanks for working so hard to get the post up tonight. I certainly understand rural internet snafus.
You're welcome. Happy to have you here.

Oh seriously we have ONE tech. I know his name. Bet he asks me to go check the outside connections myself. They're on the roof. It's not happening
This sounds like a really different type of book! And having the potential to be sad and hopeful, both. Good luck with your sales!
Thanks for commenting. I've put your names in the raffle
Thank you!

Through the years

Hi Brynn! This is Xena.

It's very difficult to appreciate from here in England what is really going on in the Bible Belt. Around here homophobia is mostly indirect (not completely, though) and Bible doesn't count for much. Well, it counts for nothing. The question of choosing a church doesn't arise here, since the only occasion people ever see inside a church is at a funeral. In this respect stories of vocal homophobia and bible bashing may seem exaggerated, and all the related tensions - plot furthering devices. In fact, your insight into your working environment has helped me a great deal to put everything into perspective. It is quite unsettling that someone working with people can be so homophobic and still keep his job. All the credit to you for choosing this genre and tackling these issues. You know, by contrast, in my latest book I have a scene with my two (male) MCs kissing in the canteen at work (not casually at all, spontaneously) and two of their co-workers looking at them disapprovingly, and I never stopped having misgivings about it, thinking 'no, perhaps these co-workers wouldn't dare to stare like this'.

Re: Through the years

Thanks for stopping by.

I live in Appalachia and like Brynn, I've seen some frighteningly bad homophobia around here

Re: Through the years

Thank you for your response, Jana. I had no idea you're revolutionaries, writing what you're writing.

Re: Through the years

Some places more so than others. I was pleasantly surprised last year when we first opened the LGBT club on campus there wasn't a bigger backlash

Winners of the Raffle

Thanks to everyone who commented. Late comers, I got your names too. I just didn't reply to your posts directly as I wished I had had time to do. I think I've learned my lesson. No more raffles being concluded on Thanksgiving Day.
And the winners are:
Julie Small – Signed copy of Through the Years
HB – electronic copy of Through the Years
Zeoanne – electronic copy of Through the Years
Lee Todd – Signed paperback or audiobook of Living Again
Xena – electronic copy of Haunted
Please send your email address to brynnstein2@gmail and I will get your prize right to you. Winners of electronic copies, it’s easier if you have an account with Dreamspinner so I can just move them to your bookshelf. For signed paperback copies, I need your physical address (you can email it to me so it’s not visible to anyone else, and please let me know if you want me to write anything in particular. Lee Todd, let me know if you’d rather have the signed paperback copy or the audiobook.