BLOG TOUR – INTERVIEW – Minuet by A.M. Leibowitz – #Excerpt #Giveaway #Interview

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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author A.M. Leibowitz to Stories That Make You Smile! A.M. is here today celebrating the release of Minuet, the final book in their musical themed Notes from Boston series. A.M. has brought along an excerpt and a generous giveaway, and has taken the time to sit down with us and answer a few questions about their writing! 🌟

Minuet by A.M. Leibowitz

Book 4 in the beautiful Notes from Boston series!

Series: Notes from Boston (book #4)
Publisher: Supposed Crimes
Cover Artist: Brett Kessler
Release Date: September 1, 2019
Length: Novel / 93k words / 272 pages
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): MMF, LGBTQ, Romance, Contemporary, Literature, friends to lovers, polyamory, aromantic, transgender man, bisexual, pansexual, triad, ménage, fat character, addiction, series, series finale

It is not necessary to have read the previous books in the series, but it doesn’t hurt!

Warnings: There is no graphic description of anything, but there are themes of addiction/recovery/relapse, gender dysphoria, family violence, adultery, and body image

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Series Blurb

When Trevor, Nate, Jamie, and Mack moved in together, they had no idea how it would change their lives. Four roommates. Four stories about living and loving in the City on a Hill.

Book Blurb

When it comes to love, Mack Whitman prefers to limit it to writing songs and poetry. Aromantic, he’s content to have quality friendships and people who sometimes also share his bed. He’s never considered himself the jealous type. But when he sees everyone in his life, from his best friends to his occasional partners, moving toward more settled lives, it leaves him frustrated, disappointed, and worried he’ll be left behind.

Amelia Roberts doesn’t care about the genders of her partners as long as she follows her one rule: Don’t ever fall in love. It’s worked out well for her, since that’s a line she knows she’ll never cross with Mack. He’s as happy as she is to keep things as they are. The only trouble with her philosophy is that she didn’t count on meeting the one person who might change her mind.

Jomari O’Brien’s supportive family made it smooth for him to transition several years ago. Since then, he’s been in and out of love, and other people’s beds, plenty of times, and he has no regrets. Each one is a small part of a larger symphony. Becoming involved with two people at once is a more complicated harmony, but it’s one he’s willing to learn as long as they are.

Their individual melodies become discordant as they struggle to make them fit together. But if all three can learn to play with each other instead of against, they may yet hit all the right notes.

Excerpt

They paid for the groceries and headed for Mack’s van. Once they’d loaded it up, Mack went to start the van, but Trevor put a hand on his arm.

“Wait.”

“What?”

“I’m not letting you go home without talking about what the hell that was back there. You were really pissed off when you came to see me. You’re calm now, but if you go back home, you’re gonna get right back into that mess all over again.”

He was right, and Mack knew it. He turned over the engine. “Look, it’s freezing out here. I’ll drive you back, and I’ll explain on the way.”

“Fair enough.”

Mack waited until they were out on the road to say, “It’s fucking weird, having both of them together. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before, but not like this. I don’t know. It felt like they were doing this bonding thing, and I wasn’t part of that.”

“I get it,” Trevor said.

“Do you? Because your family looks different.”

“What is it you wanted? To have Amelia to yourself? You’ve said she’s not your girlfriend. So why does it matter?”

“I don’t know!” But he did know. He had a very clear idea why it bothered him so much. Mack slammed his palm against the steering wheel. “She and I…we’re both fucking Jomari. We all know, but we’ve never hung out just the three of us.”

Trevor seemed to contemplate that. “Yeah, I’d say that’s different from my family. It really bothers you, huh?”

“Not that. It’s…” Mack didn’t know how to explain the way he’d seen the tender gestures between Amelia and Jomari. Sure, she would do the same for him, but it didn’t look or feel identical for some reason Mack couldn’t pinpoint. “I guess they’ve been getting to be closer since she started playing with Cian’s band.”

“Makes sense. Spending more time together. But you think there’s more going on?”

“I don’t know,” Mack admitted. “Up until now, I wouldn’t have thought so. She always said she was mostly into women. She doesn’t date men, and she made that clear to me. I didn’t care. But now here she is, and I can’t really tell what’s going on. She’s already cancelled plans with me so they could go out.”

“Ah.” Trevor was quiet a moment. “People change, you know. Until Andre, I thought I only loved Marlie and the couple times I fooled around with guys were, like, just sex. Then after Andre, I thought maybe Marlie was my exception and I mostly wanted guys. Now I’m not sure, but it doesn’t matter because this works for us. Jamie’s only into men, but I know he’s fucked women on camera and enjoyed it. He said Cian can’t separate love and sex, he’s got a high drive for both, and he doesn’t care about gender at all. Maybe Amelia’s needs have changed.”

“Maybe.”

It wasn’t only about whether or not her relationship with Jomari was changing. It was why. Why now, after years of things being the same? What made him different from everyone else? Mack hated the feeling she’d finally had enough and was choosing someone who might be able to give her what he couldn’t. But why would she have told him their kind of relationship was enough if it wasn’t? She knew who he was and that he made no apology for it. Was it like Trevor said, and she was changing, or had she been dishonest?

“Listen,” Trevor said as they pulled into his driveway. “Why don’t you invite Jomari for Thanksgiving?”

“What? Why?”

“It might be easier if it’s not the three of you having to figure this out alone, that’s all.” Trevor unbuckled, but he didn’t move. “Talk to them. The only way I made it work with Andre and Marlie is by telling them both the truth. And the only way I didn’t fuck it up with Jamie was by telling them I needed him in my life too.” He curled his fingers into a fist. “If only we could work that out.”

Mack didn’t reply. Jamie was still a sore spot for both of them. He helped Trevor unload the groceries and put things away. They had some time for him to think about inviting Jomari, but he wasn’t sure he was going to.

“Thanks for your help,” Trevor said. “Hey, you feeling better?”

“Maybe.” Mack accepted the Night Crawlers from Trevor. “I should get these to the others.”

“Good luck.”

Back in the van, Mack looked at the package on the passenger seat. For once, Trevor was right, but tonight he didn’t have the right words. Instead, he would bring the sour gummies as a peace offering and sit with them this time, even if it meant he had to watch confusing science fiction shows. He pulled out onto the road and headed for home.

☆ Author Interview ☆

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

I switch between projects until I’m about 2/3 done with one of them, so getting stuck is rare. If I truly feel blocked, one of the ways I open my creative flow is with tarot. I don’t do readings for myself or others, but I do spreads for my story or characters. It’s not magic; it simply helps me focus my mental energy better. Sometimes the picture on the card brings thoughts or feelings to the forefront. Other times, it’s the meaning of the cards, individually or combined. Not only does this bring fresh life into my projects, I also find it relaxes me. The more I stress about not being able to write, the less likely I am to be able to free my mind. Doing a tarot spread takes me out of that tension and breaks the cycle.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

I don’t think I can say anything is a “must-have.” It’s so individual. I can only tell you what my tools are. I have my tarot deck for unleashing my creative spirit; my composition book (picture of a cute kitty) and my gel pen (favorite brand) for taking notes; Scrivener for drafting; Google Docs for real-time conversations with my beta readers; and Word for sending drafts back and forth with my publishers (or uploading if I’m self-publishing).

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

I was trying to finish this one while in the midst of feeling like a medical experiment. So I would say the hardest part was managing my worsening chronic illness while drafting a novel. I almost didn’t complete it. Aside from that, it was a challenge getting to the heart of the main characters’ problems. They were all more or less driven by their fear of letting go of control. In a sense, that mirrors exactly how I was feeling while writing them. It definitely doesn’t make it easier if both author and characters are dealing with the same emotions!

What other artistic pursuits (it any) do you indulge in apart from writing?

Like one of my MCs in this book, Jomari, I’m a violinist with an orchestra. I’ve played since I was 7, with only a short break when my kids were tiny. Our repertoire often inspires aspects of my writing, whether that’s a direct correlation (my characters playing the same piece) or a mood.

My other hobby is dance. I’m currently taking only Irish dance through a non-competitive studio, along with my teenage son. It’s a lot of fun, and our instructor is great. I would love to learn ballet, though. Unfortunately, the beginner class is on the same night I have orchestra. Maybe someday I’ll be able to try it out.

What’s your drink of choice?

Coffee! Due to my health issues, I can’t drink alcohol, and I’m not a big fan of soda or other fizzy drinks. But my day doesn’t start until I have that first lovely, hot mug in my hands. I’m practically swooning just thinking about it.

What are you working on next?

I’m about halfway through a road trip novel featuring a couple of minor characters from a previous novel. I’m also revising an old pair of novellas for a re-release. I’ve got three projects in waiting, two novels and a novella. Most of my projects are connected in some way to other books I’ve written.

Meet the Author

A.M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. They keep warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. Their published fiction includes several novels as well as a number of short works, and their stories have been included in multiple anthologies. They are an occasional host for Bi+Plus, a podcast for the bi+ community, as well as doing bi+ advocacy work and curating the best-of bi list on the QueerBooksForTeens website. They are a social media contributor for Supposed Crimes, LLC, and they post about news, reviews, and updates. In between, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, books, chronic illness, and their family.

Website | Facebook Page | Twitter (@amyunchained) | Instagram (@amyunchained) | Goodreads | QueeRomance Ink | Amazon

Also by A.M. Leibowitz

Notes from Boston Series

Giveaway

A.M. is giving away a $10 amazon gift card AND the first three books in the series in eBook format as a single prize. For a chance to win, enter via Rafflecopter:

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