Hi everyone, and welcome to the virtual book tour for City Mouse, our brand new sequel to Country Mouse! Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov here, and we’re thrilled to celebrate this new release with you. Co-writing from two different continents isn’t always easy, but with characters like Owen and Malcolm, we couldn’t help ourselves! We’ll be sharing exclusive excerpts & guest posts all week long, and we hope you enjoy reconnecting with these two as much as we did.
Follow along all week—each stop you comment on enters you to win a $10 gift card to Riptide Publishing! Giveaway entry closes March 22nd at 11:59 p.m.
By Amy Lane
Okay, I’ll cop to it.
There’s a whole lot of me in Owen’s mom. (Or, well, Owen’s mom in me… I’m a big girl!)
Anyway, when Owen’s mom caution’s Owen to beware of the six-week marker in a new relationship—or anything else for that matter—she is preaching a doctrine from my Forgive Yourself for Being Human Bible. And she’s also relying a lot on some solid empirical evidence that I’ve amassed over the years. The first six weeks of anything—new job, new relationship, new baby, new life situation—those are the absolute hardest. At the end of six weeks you will be at your most pissed off, most exhausted, most end of your rope. Week seven? Well, it’s not automatically better—but it’s not as bad as week six. Week eight is a little better than that, and so on, and eventually, you’re used to it. But week six? That’s when the disasters happen—want some examples?
· Babies—I’ve had four. When my oldest was six weeks old, he was at the worst of his colic. I spent my nights driving him around the neighborhood and my days sobbing until I couldn’t stand it anymore and had to take a shower. Week six with Big T was when I set the kitchen on fire. I put the fire out, cleaned it up, quieted the baby, fixed something else for dinner, and looked completely together. My husband came home and asked me what that smell was, and I had the now-infamous, “I’m too stupid to LIIIIVE!!!” meltdown, which lasted approximately two days.
· School—I swear to Goddess, the six-week rule almost started a riot. We sent out progress reports late that year (we started late for various reasons that year) and a bitter north wind was blowing, and a lot of those kids were NOT doing well. For no reason at all there were suddenly ugly mutters and a mass of kids roiling in the courtyard and every teacher in the school was walking through it screaming, “Break it up! Break it up! Get to your rooms!” And scarily enough, that wasn’t the first time that six weeks portended a dire shift in the climate of all those kids. Of course the teachers were always exhausted too, and that made things challenging, but every year after that, I would schedule a movie for the six-week mark. It was amazing what that six-week movie did for morale.
· Life changes in general—my husband coaches soccer, and when he was coaching the U6 teams, one of the big challenges was watching the kids get used to not only soccer, but kindergarten as well. During one particular year, Mate had three year and four year old girls on the team, and all of his boys were in kindergarten (including our son.) Zoomboy fell asleep in the car on the way to the game—and, apparently, so did all the other boys on the team. By third quarter of the game, all of the boys were on the sidelines, sobbing on their mothers, and all of the other parents were telling their three year olds that if they didn’t get out and play for the boys, they weren’t getting ice cream after the game. Mate was at a loss—he was literally picking up children and planting them in the middle of the field in the hopes that they’d start moving on instinct when they saw the ball, and I was no use at all because I was losing my nut on the sidelines. It was farce at its finest, and I couldn’t stop laughing. Sure enough, we did the math? And that was six weeks from the beginning of school—on the dot.
So when Owen’s mom tells her son to beware after the first six weeks, she wasn’t talking out her ear! Test it out—the next time you have to start school or start a new job or put a kid in a sport, pay special attention to the peak of your exhaustion. And then, when you hit that mark?
Man, pamper yourself. Take a day off, take a date, give the kid an extra hour of nap, buy a toy, or stock up on the ice cream. Human beings are fragile—but it doesn’t take a lot to store up our reserves of good humor! A little bit of good cheer (and sleep! Don’t forget sleep!) can go a long way in making the six week mark fall something short of emotional Armageddon.
A magical weekend, a breathless declaration, a happy ever after . . . Right?
When Malcolm Kavanagh took his first step toward emotional maturity by declaring his love to Owen Watson, that was just the first chapter in their story. Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that happy endings take a lot more work than that.
One problem: Malcolm has never been in love. He doesn’t know the rules of a relationship and isn’t confident enough to trust that his is real. He learns the ropes by sharing his life and his flat with Owen, but relationship boot camp proves a challenge. Everything is a struggle, from accepting Owen’s low-status job to putting his boyfriend above his personal trainer.
Luckily, Owen knows a little more about relationships, and labors patiently to survive the first six weeks of their life together. From the art galleries of Cambridge to the tawdry majesty of the Dominion theatre, Owen adapts to England while Malcolm adapts to the whole human race. Maybe, if Owen is patient enough and Malcolm learns to give, the two of them can make it past Relationship Armageddon to a real happy ending.
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head. She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies. She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
You can find Amy at:
· Website: www.greenshill.com
· Blog: www.writerslane.blogspot.com
· Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/#!/amymaclane
Aleksandr Voinov has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and he works as a financial editor in the research department of a pan-European investment bank.
After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write edgy, dark, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days. He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, Loose Id, Dreamspinner, Storm Moon Press, and others.
You can find Aleks at http://aleksandrvoinov.com.