Spank or Treat and Wooden Spoon Chronicles available!

Just a few quick announcements.

Spank or Treat 2016 is now available on Amazon. Hurrah!

Also, the November special content is now available (depending on your pledge level) on Patreon. My site is available here.

Hope you enjoy!

 

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We must hope

No, hope was not my first reaction to the election news. Nor was it my second, or third, or fourth.

My first reaction was a wave of unrelenting, sickening, and despairing denial.

No.

No.

It can’t be.

There will be a miracle.

After the official concession, I cried. Then I took a shower. I need to clean the news away from me so I could rest–at least a few hours before resuming my life.

I’m not talking policy here, or politics. You and I may have different views on policy, and that’s fine. We respect differences in opinion here, but we also respect decency.

If you want to hear how I’m finding hope, along with a small but mighty team of Giving Tuesdays readers and authors, visit my (free) Patreon podcast here.

We’re supplying a low-income, at-risk elementary school classroom with books, supplies, gift books for the children to take home, and a pizza party to celebrate life, learning, and love.

Let’s hope for the future.

Won’t you join? It’s not too late. 100% of the money goes toward books or supplies for the kids, and you can even earmark your money for a special item.

A.M. Leibowitz is visiting to share her new book Walking by Faith

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Title: Walking by Faith

Author: A.M. Leibowitz

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Length: 261 pages

Goodreads

Categories/tags: LGBT literature, Christian fiction, bisexual, genderqueer, romance, contemporary, disability

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Publisher

Synopsis:

For Becket “Cat” Rowland, falling in love has never been easy. The summer he meets Micah Forbes, the intensity of his feelings brings back all the memories of eight years earlier.

Following a brutal attack that left him nearly dead, Cat is a mess inside and out. To cope with the trauma and with his view of himself that he’s nothing but an empty shell, he’s taken three vows: simplicity, chastity, and silence. His once colorful, trendy, and often feminine wardrobe has been replaced with jeans and t-shirts, and he’s sworn off men. He locks himself away from the world, using the memorized prayers of his childhood as his only speech.

Cat is lost to himself and everyone around him until another hospitalization introduces him to nurse David Simms. David takes Cat’s silence in stride, caring for him without pushing and slowly building Cat’s trust.

Outside the hospital, Cat discovers he has more in common with David than he knew, and they begin to build a friendship. As it slowly grows into love, David reveals his own need for someone to take him as he is. Cat begins to let go of his vows one by one, only holding onto the silence.

Despite how far he’s come, Cat’s increasingly severe panic attacks threaten to undo everything David has helped him build. Cat’s only hope is to break the final vow and tell the truth about the night of his attack. When David fails to keep a promise he made to be there for him, Cat has to stand on his own and prove to himself he’s strong enough to survive.

Prequel to Passing on Faith.

About 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. In between noveling and editing, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and their family.

Social Media:

Blog | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Tumblr | Google | Pinterest

Tour Stops:

Charley Descoteaux – November 1

Caraway Carter – November 2

Shan Jeniah’s Lovely Chaos – November 3

Fallon Brown Writes – November 4

Nephy’s World – November 4

De-blog – November 7

Louise Lyons author – November 7

Dawn Sister – November 8

Governing Ana – November 9

PenPaperPad – November 10

Mann’s Ramblings – November 11

Excerpt:

Cat knew exactly where to go. He’d seen what he wanted there when they’d been displayed in the window a couple of months ago. The bell over the door tinkled as he entered the tattoo and piercing shop.

At the sound, the owner emerged from the back. “Well, hey!” he said. “How’re you doing?”

Cat gave him a bright smile. “Doing fine.”

The owner jumped. “You weren’t so talkative last time I saw you.”

“Things change. Listen, do you still have the hemp rosaries with the hand-painted beads?”

“Sure do.” The owner motioned Cat over to the case. “What are you looking for?”

David wasn’t Catholic, nor was he part of any other tradition which used prayer beads, but it hardly mattered. Cat scanned the various offerings then pointed to one at the end of the row.

“That one,” he said.

The owner wrapped it up for Cat. “Interesting choice,” he remarked.

“Oh, it’s not for me. It’s a gift.” Cat smiled.

“Ah,” the owner replied with a wink. “I see.”

“But I’ll also take…that one.” He pointed to another one, quite different from the first. The one he picked for himself had rose-colored stones and a detailed pewter crucifix. “I need to replace my old one.” He pulled it out of his pocket. “Can you put this medallion on it for me?”

“Sure can,” the owner replied. He glanced at it and laughed. “Philomena?”

“Patron Saint of blood disorders,” Cat said. “I have hemophilia.” It might have been the first time Cat hadn’t felt as though he should explain or excuse himself when he said it.

Once Cat was out of the store, he took the rosary he’d bought for David out of its paper to examine it more carefully. It was made of black hemp cord, and instead of beads, it was knotted. The cross was hand carved from soapstone, and there was an oval pendant of Agatha, Patron Saint of nurses. Cat ran his finger over it, imagining David’s hands touching where his had. He slid the rosary back into its bag, pocketed it, and walked the short distance back to the cafe for his shift.

Interview:

What inspired you to write this story?

People kept telling me how much they loved Cat in Passing on Faith, so I wanted to tell his story. But I didn’t want to simply re-tread his romance with Micah from his perspective. This was sparked by a quote in PoF where Cat’s sister says he’s in “shut-down mode” and won’t talk to her. I wondered why not.

Is there a character you feel especially connected to? Why?

To Cat, of course, although he is really only one aspect of my inner self. His questions and mental dialog about his gender mirror my own. But I also feel linked to Cat’s mom, as a parent myself.

What was the hardest part of writing this?

Getting the emotions just right. It is really hard to show the kind of gender dysphoria both Cat and I experience, and I also sometimes find it hard to pour feelings out on the page—as though I’m revealing too much of myself in them.

Tell us a little about any upcoming projects.

I’m working on several things: The next part of my Notes from Boston series; a young adult coming of age novel; and the last part of Cat and Micah’s story, Keeping the Faith. I’m always busy working on something.

Tell us a bit about your cultural, ethnic, religious, and/or spiritual background and how it informs your writing. I come from a mixed background—Jewish/Italian. Those are both very strong cultures, from traditions to food to faith. Neither of my parents was religious when I was growing up, and I got caught up in fundamentalist evangelicalism to compensate. I’m no longer part of that world. I am now a Christian by choice, but I also honor my Jewish ethnicity and continue to practice customs learned in childhood.

What cultural value do you see in storytelling? It’s how we make sense of our histories, develop our values, and pass them on to the next generation. Ideally, that’s an ongoing and dynamic process rather than becoming stale and stuck in the past rehashing values which no longer fit.

How do you hope your writing influences other people? I hope most of all for people to learn they are not alone, they are not wrong, and they are not broken.

Word Sprints!

  1. As a kid, were you a Goody-Goody or a Wild Child? Goody-Goody
  2. In school, were you more academic, artsy, or athletic? Academic and artsy

If you could have any career (other than writer), what would it be? I’d go back to nursing

walkingbyfaith

#SatSpanks, #8Sunday, and #SnipSun: Bastia: The Early Years

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Rainbow Snippets, Weekend Writing Warriors, and Snippet Sunday!

Find more spanky fiction at Saturday Spankings!

What if heterophobia were real? What if, instead of religious leaders denouncing love between people of the same gender, a state theocracy decreed, “Our god commands women to marry women.”

What if loving the wrong gender could get you ostracized, imprisoned, and re-educated? In fact, you were turned over to “parents” tasked with re-programming you to live according to their definition of normal?

Yes, we are talking about conversion therapy.

That is, an attempt to “cure” a person of his or her sexual orientation, often (but not always) conducted under religious auspices.

Yes, it really does happen in our world, but it’s the opposite way around. LGBT people are told their identity is wrong, sinful, and an abomination. A perversion, a one-way ticket to damnation, and a morally wrong “choice” to be corrected with persuasion–if persecution can be classified as such.

In Becoming Clissine, I asked what would happen in a world where religious persecution of sexuality was the norm, but the roles were reversed. What if being LGBT were normal, and being heterosexual was not?

As I’ve revisited this world in more recent years, I’ve pondered how this alternate reality came to be. Why would a society choose to disenfranchise a significant portion of its population?

And then I found myself with the story of Altrea, the foremother of Bastia. Years before Bastia (as we know it in Becoming Clissine) came about, a young woman named Altrea lost her freedom and virginity to a man chosen by her father. The consequences of this one decision rippled down for generations and affected another young woman named Clissa.

This weekend’s snippet continues with the story of Terris from last week. Terris has an impressive story of her naming and birth, but near the end of her life she wonders whether the glory was worth it.

(For an audio recording of the entire second chapter, please check out this free post on my Patreon site.)

Bastia: The Early Years – Now available!

 

He told me other countries followed a star in the north, but I couldn’t believe it. How could anyone follow a northern star? We looked to the East, where Mother Sun welcomed us each morning before beginning her journey across the sky. North meant foreigners who worshipped strange gods and women who had no more rights than a child. If a wife displeased her husband, he could divorce her with a single word. If a man slept with half the tribe and fathered an army of illegitimate children, other men slapped him on the back for his “good seed.”

A wife, if she entered into the discussion, would be chided for failing to do her duty.

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What if heterosexuality were a crime?

In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?

In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.

In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?

Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.

Why is love a crime?

Order now!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Updates on Giving Tuesday, books, and more!

If you have subscribed to my Patreon page, you’ll notice a brand-new feature. Podcasts! For the time being, they are free to everyone. However, subscribers receive their very own RSS feed. This automatically updates your favorite podcast application (such as iTunes) with the newest episodes).

As a bonus, there are book excerpts read by yours truly. Subscribers get to vote for which book and excerpt. This month, there will be a special subscribers-only podcast with one of my personal favorite Kat and Natalie scenes. I wanted to have it ready for you today, but I’m croaky with a sore throat. Sigh! I’ll see if I can do a quick podcast later today (after resting). Crossing fingers I’ll be back to normal (or as normal as I get) by tomorrow.

The latest podcasts have given updates for our Giving Tuesday project, also known as Readers for Ron. THANK YOU to everyone who’s been so generous in your support. For more information, visit the (free) podcast page on Patreon.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful week! Stay healthy.

#SatSpanks, #8Sunday, and #SnipSun: Bastia: The Early Years

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Rainbow Snippets, Weekend Writing Warriors, and Snippet Sunday!

Find more spanky fiction at Saturday Spankings!

What if heterophobia were real? What if, instead of religious leaders denouncing love between people of the same gender, a state theocracy decreed, “Our god commands women to marry women.”

What if loving the wrong gender could get you ostracized, imprisoned, and re-educated? In fact, you were turned over to “parents” tasked with re-programming you to live according to their definition of normal?

Yes, we are talking about conversion therapy.

That is, an attempt to “cure” a person of his or her sexual orientation, often (but not always) conducted under religious auspices.

Yes, it really does happen in our world, but it’s the opposite way around. LGBT people are told their identity is wrong, sinful, and an abomination. A perversion, a one-way ticket to damnation, and a morally wrong “choice” to be corrected with persuasion–if persecution can be classified as such.

In Becoming Clissine, I asked what would happen in a world where religious persecution of sexuality was the norm, but the roles were reversed. What if being LGBT were normal, and being heterosexual was not?

As I’ve revisited this world in more recent years, I’ve pondered how this alternate reality came to be. Why would a society choose to disenfranchise a significant portion of its population?

And then I found myself with the story of Altrea, the foremother of Bastia. Years before Bastia (as we know it in Becoming Clissine) came about, a young woman named Altrea lost her freedom and virginity to a man chosen by her father. The consequences of this one decision rippled down for generations and affected another young woman named Clissa.

This weekend’s snippet continues with the story of Terris from last week. Terris has an impressive story of her naming and birth, but near the end of her life she wonders whether the glory was worth it.

My elder brothers and sisters were named after aunts and uncles, grandparents, and esteemed ancestors.

The midwives touched their foreheads. A curse. Some women, crazed with the pain of birthing, lost their minds and delivered curses from another realm. Others feared passing madness from mother to child, and any early signs warranted an elaborate cleansing ritual from our shamans.

When Father heard the story, however, he declared I had been marked by the gods. Terris, the eastern star, shone brightly enough to guide the entire world.

(For an audio recording of the entire second chapter, please check out this free post on my Patreon site.)

Bastia: The Early Years – Now available!

av-bastia-tey-200x300

What if heterosexuality were a crime?

In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?

In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.

In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?

Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.

Why is love a crime?

Order now!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Bastia: The Early Years is on sale!

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If you’ve waited for Bastia: The Early Years, you’re in luck!

It’s now available on Amazon and FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

If you’d like to listen to one of the chapters read aloud by the author (yours truly), you can visit my Patreon page. This and several other audio posts are available FREE for a limited time!

You can even add the RSS feed to your podcast application of choice (such as iTunes), also FREE! https://www.patreon.com/rss/anastasiavitsky?auth=343de122bd48bcf2db8808f7e3013cfb

The last I checked, it only showed one episode. There should be four episodes (five files as episode four accidentally got split into two parts).

*Special offer for readers who purchase, read, and review Bastia: The Early Years! Contact me on the social media avenue of your choice with a link to your review, and I will send you a free copy of Becoming Clissine (the first Bastia chronicle).

Happy Wednesday!