We’re so pleased to welcome author Brandon Witt today, on the release day of his new Mary’s Boys novella, Vodka & Handcuffs.
What Is Romance?
There’s always a lot of debate about what a romance is. While there are definite rules (believe me, they’ve been shouted at me, and not by my publisher), I think there is a wide range of wiggle room. At least I hope so.
My Mary’s Boys series of novellas (each one can be read as a standalone) are intentionally lighter than most of the other longer romances I’ve written. They are not, however, bubblegum, cotton candy, and all sugar. Those things are great, but I’m a meat kinda of guy, or at least a cheese and carb kind of guy.
You’re not going to find a lot of angst in Vodka & Handcuffs, but Vahin and Marlon do have challenges to face, both in their personal lives and making it past that initial hookup. There’s another aspect to this book, one that you probably noticed by the cover. Both of the main characters are men of color.
Why do I bring that up? Well, let me take a step back.
For me, when I write about gay men, I often have them face some sort of discrimination, even if it’s off page and an issue they deal with in the past. Honestly, I’m tired of Coming Out stories all the time, or stories that deal solely with the gay man coming to terms with being gay. Those are important, but there’s much more to being a gay man. However, if there is no awareness of those issues by that gay man, I can’t help but question the believability of that gay character. Of the real gay men (and women and all other members of the LGBTQ spectrum) I know, there isn’t a single one who hasn’t had to deal with these issues in one form or another.
Given that, I found the idea of writing POC characters and not mention the issues around race and racism not only unbelievable, but disrespectful. The discrimination/fear/hate I’ve experienced as a gay man has been bad, but it also has formed me to be who I am. Take it away and you ignore my story. I’ve no doubt the same is true for race issues, and I wanted Vahin and Marlon to be able to tell their stories.
Again, why do I say this? To let you know up front what you’re getting. I’ve seen some people say they won’t read V&H because it will be nothing more than an after-school-special about race and current social issues.
It isn’t. Not even close.
Vodka & Handcuffs is a story about two men, two men of color, who fall in love. Period. I wanted Vahin and Marlon to be as believable and as authentic as they could be, because, to me, that’s what makes love powerful.
This stop on the blog tour isn’t to convince you to read Vodka & Handcuffs (Though I hope you do. It’s about one of my favorite couples I’ve written). Instead, this post is to simply let you know what you’re in for. Low angst, but also low cotton candy, but a whole lot of two complex men falling in love and finding their way.
Hop on over to Alpha Book reviews as the release day portion of the blog tour continues with an exclusive excerpt from Vodka & Handcuffs.
About the Book
Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.
Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.
Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?
About the Author
Brandon Witt‘s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….
April 19 – MM Good Book Reviews
April 24 – Joyfully Jay
April 25 – Open Skye Book Reviews
April 26- The Novel Approach
April 26 – Alpha Book Reviews
April 27 – Love Bytes
April 28 – Divine Magazine
April 28 – My Fiction Nook
May 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed
May 8 – Boy Meets Boy