Giveaways, Keira Andrews, Self-Published

Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Clean Break by Keira Andrews

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The Novel Approach is pleased to have Keira Andrews with us today on the A Clean Break blog tour. Enjoy the guest post and excerpt from the book, then be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win an e-copy of any book from Keira’s backlist (*excl. A Clean Break*).

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED

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Culture shock is described asthe feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.” For young Amish men David and Isaac, leaving their insular, isolated community behind and moving to San Francisco isn’t easy.

Have you ever experienced culture shock? After university I backpacked around Australia for a year, which was a wonderful experience. Probably my biggest period of culture shock came when I worked as the bartender in an outback hotel hours from anything. Here’s a picture of the town of Duchess, which is in northwest Queensland.

Duchess

Yep, that’s it. That’s the town. Duchess was a thriving outpost at the turn of the century, but for decades now only the hotel remains. The main building hosts the pub and a few small rooms, and there are portable rooms out back. For a month I lived in Duchess, serving beer, beer, and beer (and occasionally a packet of crisps, aka potato chips) to the railway workers and sheep station ringers. There was no radio or TV, and the Internet was still too new in 1998 to have made its way to Duchess.

It was an interesting experience, to say the least. The men were friendly and kind, and said stereotypically Australian things like “fair dinkum.” They invariably apologized when they swore in front of me. It was fascinating to learn about their lives, and they were patient in explaining Aussie slang to me when I couldn’t keep up. I read a lot of books in my off hours, and went for walks with my mixtapes and walkman—my only source of media entertainment.

My month in outback isolation ended when I discovered a snake in the kitchen. After a moment of frozen terror, I darted into the bar and screeched for the manly men. Fortunately the snake was dozy and coming out of hibernation, and they were able to capture it. I asked optimistically if it was a carpet snake, which is one of the few Australian snakes that won’t kill you. “Nah, that’s an Adder,” one of the railway men replied.

A Death Adder, in fact, and it’s not just a clever name—you’re toast in three minutes if bitten. And thus ended my outback adventure, as deadly snakes in the kitchen was a little too much culture shock for me! Besides, after a month with no TV, I was jonesing to get back to the world. I can’t imagine what it would be like now going out to Duchess, as I imagine the cell service is rather nonexistent! Not sure I could get by without my iPhone. How about you?

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a clean break-200-300Blurb: They’ve escaped to the outside world—but can they really be free?

David and Isaac have found happiness in each other’s arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac’s brother Aaron helps them explore confusing “English” life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don’t have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?

But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he’s overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.

While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.

Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Smashwords

Journey to San Francisco with Isaac and David in A Clean BreakA Clean Break is the sequel to A Forbidden Rumspringa, and David and Isaac have left their families and way of life to live with Isaac’s older brother in the city. Here’s a little excerpt of the boys in the Target change rooms trying on their new underwear. For them, it’s a whole new world!

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Excerpt: Isaac took the room on one side of the narrow hallway, and David the other. He could still hear the ever-present music, which he supposed was better than silence, since he felt incredibly self-conscious all of a sudden.

After hanging up his hoodie, David perched on the little stool in the corner and removed his sneakers. He peeled off his T-shirt and with a deep breath, stood and pulled down his jeans. The air felt cool against his cock and balls, and he was acutely aware of how many strangers there were just beyond the flimsy dressing rooms.

He grabbed the first package in the bag and ripped it open. They were briefs of different colors, and he chose the white ones. He wasn’t sure if the size was right, since they felt tight as he pulled them up. They seemed to fit around the waist, but they squished everything else together, his privates bulging against the cotton even more than the man’s in the picture.

“Isaac?” he whispered. “Have you tried any on?”

“Boxers. They feel strange. What about you?”

“Briefs. Definitely strange.”

“Show me.”

“I’m not going out there! Someone might see,” David hissed.

“Just open your door and I’ll open mine. On three. One, two—”

His pulse racing foolishly, David listened to the creak of Isaac’s door and edged his open. Sure enough, he could see right into Isaac’s dressing room. Isaac stood in nothing but the little shorts, which were decorated in squares of greens and blues.

Isaac’s gaze raked over David, and he swallowed hard. “You look…”

“Silly?” David peered over his shoulder into the mirror. He could see the faint shadow of the crease in his backside through the cotton. “They’re so tight! I know this is the way they’re supposed to be, but…”

“You need to buy those.”

“Huh? Aaron already bought them.”

Isaac shook his head. “Right. I forgot.” He peeked down the hallway before adding, “You look really, really good.”

“Oh.” David flushed as he looked down at himself. “You think so?”

Isaac nodded vigorously. “You look like the man in the picture.”

Even though he was standing there practically naked—and practically in public, even though no one could see—confidence surged through David. “You should try them too. The boxers look good, but…” He could imagine how the tight cotton would hug Isaac’s lean hips, and—

As the man at the counter began speaking, they both jumped and slammed their doors. David leaned against it, heart thumping. He stared into the mirror, suddenly feeling unbearably exposed and wrong. 

Aaron’s voice echoed from down the hallway. “Hey, man. My brother and his boyfriend are in there. They’re new around here and need clothes, so we’ll be here for a while. I practically filled the cart, so we’ll start with the jeans.”

As the man replied, David took a deep breath and blew it out. Boyfriend. Aaron had said it to a stranger like it was nothing at all. David couldn’t imagine what it would be like if he and Isaac didn’t have Aaron to help them. He’d thought he was so very worldly taking June’s truck to the drive-in and wearing jeans. Reading a dirty gay magazine from the gas station. What a joke—he barely knew anything.

Then Aaron’s voice was right outside the door. “You can only take eight items in at once, so I picked stuff for each of you. We’ll start with the pants.” He placed a few over the dressing room door. “I’ll sit out here and wait for the fashion show. David, I went a size smaller than the jeans you already have. And there are skinny leg, boot cut, dark wash—actually, never mind that. Just try ’em on and see what you like.”

David could barely get his feet through the bottom of the legs, so he hoped they were the skinny ones, as he couldn’t imagine anything skinnier. The dark denim hugged his thighs, and he wasn’t sure he’d be able to bend over. There were two mirrors in the stall, and he looked at himself from all the angles.

The shame evaporated, and energy pulsed through him as if the music in the air was singing inside him. It was frightening, but exhilarating. With his bare chest and the jeans clinging to his body, he could almost be an English rock star, or someone in a movie. He’d never looked so different in his life. So very not Amish. He ran his hand down his chest and belly, and then lightly over his fly. He still wore the briefs, and he tingled.

“How’s it going, David?” Aaron asked.

With a deep breath, David opened the door. He grinned. “Not bad.”

Copyright © Keira Andrews

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Keira AndrewsAbout the Author: After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

Where you can find Keira: Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

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27 thoughts on “Blog Tour and Giveaway: A Clean Break by Keira Andrews

  1. susana says:

    My first “cultural shock” happened when I was at university, I lived in a flat with a girl from Bostwana. I really liked her, but we were so different! Despite being more or less the same age (twenty) the way she dressed, thought, behaved or even cooked were completely allien for me. Even though, we forged a nice friendship. I learnt a lot from her. It was a nice experience.
    Congratulations on your new release. The excerpt is great. I’m looking forward to continue reading. ;)

    Like

  2. Debra E says:

    I just read that scene in the book and am loving it! I have family living in a small town in the mountains so that’s a bit of culture shock. We’re in the same state but life is so different there. My nephew was 8 before he even saw or rode on an escalator when he visited us and that amazed me.

    Like

  3. Waxapplelover says:

    Love the excerpt. And the story about the snake! Even though I do like snakes, I prefer to see them with the shield of glass between us.

    Like

  4. jenf27 says:

    My first real dose of culture shock occurred right after university when I moved from Northern California to Central Illinois (for a job). It was really different for me – in all the wrong ways. I moved back west after 2 years.

    Thanks for the post and contest! I got my copy of A Clean Break. :-)

    Like

  5. My first culture shock was back in 1979. I was newly married to a man from Louisiana. His sister had passed away and we are going to the funeral. A wake at another sister’s house. The dead sister was in the living room and I was expected to sleep there! We lived in a big city and this was a small town, no hotel so I slept in the car! They thought it was so funny even all these years later!

    Like

  6. Tammy says:

    I really enjoyed the post and the excerpt. I haven’t read A Forbidden Rumspringa yet but I have heard great things about it. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Like

  7. I have enjoyed reading A Forbidden Rumspringa, but I worry for these two as it will such a major culture shock form and they will feel the loss of their family/community support. Culture shocks for me was moving to a new country with my family as a child, away from granparents and all familiar, even though the language was the same the culture and people were different. Thank you for the giveaway.

    Like

  8. Antonia says:

    I think the biggest culture shock I felt was when I moved from the Northeast to the South for work. It was so different! The area had it’s good points, but I did end up moving back. Thanks for the great excerpt!

    Like

  9. Jen CW says:

    The greatest culture shock that I ever had was leaving my little town in Wisconsin on a school trip in high school and coming to Washington D.C. Big city, so diverse. It was a bit of a shock. Thank you for the great post and story. I love snakes, but poisonous ones…not so much.

    Like

  10. Biggest culture shock was when I went away to college. There was a lot of change to deal with and there were people from all walks of the earth there who just were different but cool.

    Like

  11. Missy1980 says:

    congrats on this sequel! Can’t wait to read it. My culture shock was when I went to study in Germany and I had to split my flat with a Spanish and a German girl. They drove me crazy! One was a perfect housewife while the other was always dirty..arguments were our daily thing!

    Like

  12. I hate to be repetitive, but college was my first culture shock, too. I grew up in Houston, and moved to Austin for college. Now, Austin, might be the state capitol, but it’s a fraction of the size of Houston. I also experienced my first “dry county” then. Seriously? A county in which you couldn’t order alcohol in a restaurant? No wine with dinner? I couldn’t get back to “civilization” soon enough, and in my sophomore year, I transferred to U of H. Oddly, enough, I moved to Austin many years later, and am now living in a tiny town to the north of Austin that calls itself a city, though it only boasts 28,000 inhabitants.

    My second significant culture shock came when I spent a summer in California visiting some friends. After growing up in Texas, I found myself in a place where I experienced my first taste of religious freedom. I’m Wiccan, which is not popular in Texas. They actually give out bible verses when kids go trick-or-treating in the town where I currently live, and they hold church services in the local elementary school. Separation of Church and State doesn’t exist here, and freedom of religion translates into the freedom to be any brand of Christian you choose. If you’re not Christian, you’re looked upon as something to be scraped off the bottom of a shoe. If it were financially feasible, I’d live someplace where my family wouldn’t have to hide so much of ourselves, but that’s just not an option right now.

    This short excerpt is an excellent sample of David and Isaac’s story. Their sense of wonder about modern society is absolutely charming, and I look forward to reading about them. Thank you for sharing this with us, and for the giveaway. Best of luck with this release!

    Like

  13. Denise Dechene says:

    We moved around a lot when I as growing up so I had to meet new people every couple of years. After awhile I got used to it. Funny story about snakes. We lived on a farm in upstate PA. The farm house sat in the middle of 300 acres. We were watching TV when my sister screamed in the kitchen. We ran in and she was across the room and a snake slithered down the stove, across the floor and under the door to the basement. Apparently it had come out of the ceiling onto the stove. Scared her to death, and it didnt do the rest of us any good either. Thanks for the chance

    Like

  14. tea58 says:

    My culture shock was when I left home at 16 to go to work by another family in the main city. It was a long time ago but it showed me that people can really be bad if they want.
    Thank you for the chance to win a book of yours, Keira

    Like

  15. Happy Monday, everyone, and many thanks for stopping by to enter Keira’s backlist e-book giveaway. This contest has ended, and today’s winner is

    Waxapplelover

    Congratulations to you! I’ve just emailed Keira with your contact info, so expect to hear from her soon. :)

    Like

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