Guest Post Tasty Tour Stop: Unquiet by Melanie Hansen + Excerpt & Giveaway!



Please give a warm welcome to the lovely Melanie Hansen to Ever After Book Reviews! She has graciously agreed to stop by and answer the question: Why women love M/M Romance? She share her first experience with M/M Romance (Male/Male), why she reads it, writes it and loves it! Take it away Melanie...

I’ve only been reading M/M romance for a little over two years now. Like most women I’ve talked to about it, I was lead to it through a beloved series that introduced an M/M couple. For a lot of my friends, it was the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  For me, it was the Nature of Desire series by Joey W. HillRough Canvas, her one and only M/M to date, is AMAZING, and I highly recommend it!! 

About 10 years ago I was writing a lot of M/F erotica and posting it to an erotic stories site. There was a whole separate category for M/M stories, and I always felt so naughty when I clicked one and read some ‘illicit’ man-on-man action. Most of the stories were along the lines of “Home alone with my sister’s boyfriend” or “In the gym shower with my straight friend.” So when I thought about anything M/M, it was usually hardcore erotica, basically porn without plot.

When I got to Marcus’ and Thomas’ story in Rough Canvas by Joey W. Hill, I had no idea what to expect. A gay romance? Before I read that book, I’d never thought of M/M stories actually being love stories; all I knew about was the erotica. Of course I knew that gay men loved each other, my own uncle has been with his partner for over 20 years now, but I didn’t know that a whole romance genre existed that featured gay men, stories that were nuanced and emotional.

After reading M/F romance for years, M/M romance seemed so fresh and exciting. A whole new world of books opened up for me, including some now very beloved series and couples. There are so many subgenres and tropes to get lost in, such as ‘gay for you’ or ‘out for you’, in the closet, coming out…each one featuring men falling in love with each other. And oh, my, the sex is just so hot! *fans self*

Another benefit of reading gay romance is that it’s made me even more aware of the issues facing LGBTQ people today, and I feel that through my reading and through my interaction with the gay romance community, I’ve grown so much more informed about what’s been done and still needs to be done. With a gay couple in my family, that’s become very important to me for many reasons.

Now how I came to be writing M/M romance, well, that’s a very different and very long story. I wrote a blog post about it on my own blog, which I’m linking here

Thank you so much for hosting me today!

You're very welcome! Please stop by anytime! 

The reason I love reading M/M romance is because I love men of all shapes, sizes, ethnicity, race, and sexual orientation. Their happily ever afters are just as important and just as passionate (if not more) than Male/Female romances. Thank you, Melanie for sharing with us today! 

Keep scrolling for more information about Melanie, how to connect with her, an excerpt from her latest release, UNQUIET and a giveaway!



Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Connect with Melanie


Unquiet
Resilient Love #3
By: Melanie Hansen
Releasing January 22, 2016
Dreamspinner Press


Loren Smith has been in love with Eliot Devlin almost his entire life. During their turbulent childhood and teen years, Loren didn’t always understand Eliot, and sometimes he could be a challenge, but Eliot was the only one to ever truly ease Loren’s deep loneliness and accept him. When Eliot’s increasingly erratic and self-destructive behavior culminates in a suicide attempt at seventeen, Loren is devastated.

Upon meeting again by chance nine years later, Loren is enjoying a successful career as a police officer while Eliot’s life has been a constant struggle for stability. In and out of mental hospitals, with a rap sheet a mile long, he continues to be buffeted by the twin storms of mania and depression. Loren’s love and protectiveness for Eliot are deeply ingrained in him, however, and their feelings for each other are quickly rekindled.

Loren has issues of his own he’s dealing with, and trying to understand and cope with Eliot’s bipolar disorder isn’t easy. They believe they’re meant to be, and Eliot brings a fulfillment to Loren’s life that no one else will ever match. But as they both come to realize, love by itself can’t cure all.


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When they woke the next morning, they packed an overnight bag and headed north on I-17. Eliot was amazed at the view out his window, craggy rocks and towering saguaro cactus eventually giving way to the pine trees of the Coconino National Forest.
In Flagstaff they stopped for gas, and both of them shivered at the cold bite in the air. They ran by a sporting goods store to buy some fleece pullovers, and Eliot goofed off with a couple of plaid hunting caps, complete with fuzzy earflaps. He grinned at Loren, trying to keep the hat from falling forward into his eyes.
“You look about twelve years old,” Loren said drily. “That hat swallows you whole.”
As Loren reached out to take it off of him, he stroked his thumb along Eliot’s cheek.
“I love to see you smile, to see you happy,” he whispered. He grabbed a simple knit cap and pulled it over Eliot’s head, fussing with it a minute before saying, “Much better.” Eliot scanned the room and, not seeing anyone, stretched up to give Loren a kiss.
Soon they were on the road again heading north, and Loren took Eliot’s hand, twining their fingers together and resting their joined hands on his knee. Eliot could sense Loren was turning something over in his mind, so he just waited.
Are you happy, El?” Loren finally asked. “I’ve seen so many different incarnations of your moods, but I honestly don’t know if I’d recognize happiness in you.” His voice held a faint note of apology for asking, and Eliot glanced at him, surprised but pleased by Loren’s candor.
“I don’t know if I’d recognize happiness either, Loren,” he admitted, rubbing his thumb over the back of Loren’s hand when he threw Eliot a stricken look. “Hey, hey,” Eliot said reassuringly. “I don’t mean that the way it sounds.”
Eliot blew out a breath, thinking about how to explain this. Loren waited, but his lips were pressed together in a tight line, and Eliot squeezed his fingers.
“Usually when I wake up in the morning, I’m afraid,” he said slowly, and Loren opened his mouth to speak but then didn’t say anything. Eliot glanced at him again, then continued, “I feel the craziness, the madness lurking, just waiting for me. It feels like it’s attached to me, that when I get out of bed, I’m dragging it with me. It’s always there, ready to pounce and swallow me up.”
“Oh, El,” Loren whispered achingly.
Eliot stroked his hand. “And this morning when I woke up, I wasn’t afraid. I think that’s what it feels like to be happy. It’s enough for me.”
Loren didn’t say anything, but a lone tear slid down his cheek. Eliot reached up and wiped it away with his thumb, stroking Loren’s jaw tenderly.
“What’s the matter, honey?”
Just then the sign for a scenic lookout appeared, and Loren took the exit, parking the truck. He stared through the windshield, blinking fast, more tears welling up.
“The thought of you for all those years, waking up afraid,” he whispered brokenly. “And I wasn’t there, Eliot. I wasn’t there.” Eliot could see Loren’s throat working as he fought not to cry, and with a soft exclamation, Eliot opened his arms, gathering him close. He stroked Loren’s hair, feeling the hot wetness of tears against his neck.
“But you were there, Loren. Shhh,” he murmured.
When Loren calmed a little, Eliot pulled back and took Loren’s face in his hands, forcing him to meet his eyes.
“I’ve been in a lot of therapy over the years, and they always ask me the same thing, what my best memories are, what memories do I have of feeling happy or safe. I’m supposed to bring them to mind when I’m stressed or scared or angry. It’s part of cognitive therapy, learning to readjust your thinking, to focus on good things and not negative things.”
Eliot caressed Loren’s face. “And Loren, there’s a lot I don’t remember, but what I do, every single one of those types of memories is about you. Being kids, riding our bikes, playing with toys, laughing at stupid jokes. Then later the way you held me in the dark after a nightmare or sat with me when I was so sad and hurting that I wanted to die. The way you—the way you loved me, loved my batshit crazy and fucked-up mess.
“You’ve always been with me, Loren, through my memories. Always.”
Loren completely lost it then, and Eliot let him cry it out, murmuring to him, rocking him, reveling in being the one to comfort, to soothe, of being able to shore up the man he loved when he needed it.
Finally the storm passed and Loren pulled away, sitting up and scrubbing his hands over his face.
“I’m glad, El,” he said hoarsely, clearing his throat several times before starting the truck and pulling back onto the interstate. “I’m glad I’m your best memories.”


2 comments:

  1. Great post! Thank you for hosting UNQUIET today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for hosting me! :)

    ReplyDelete