Sweet Young Thang : Blog Hop
“Sweet Young Thang” by Anne Tenino.
Well, it’s that time again . . . Anne Tenino Blog Tour Time!!!
This tour is in celebration of my July 22 release from Riptide, Sweet Young Thang. This book is the third (but not the last) in my Theta Alpha Gamma series. As is usual for the blog tour, I’ll be giving something away, but what’s unusual (for me) is that this year, what I’m giving away is a mystery. To me. In other words, I’m going to offer the winner their choice of a number of items, like signed copies of my print books, or possibly a crocheted to order phallus, or even a different handmade item—I have a few things in mind . . .
So, how do you win? Well, it’s simpler this year. There will be one question and one question only about Sweet Young Thang, but you have to find the question somewhere on this tour. I’ll be announcing just before the tour where each post will be, so make sure you check in if you want to win.
Okay, enough housekeeping, on with the tour!
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When funny isn’t funny
I write humorous things, at least sometimes. Most of my works are classified as romantic comedy, and that was partly my intent when I started writing. I have a weird brain, which always wants to turn situations toward the ridiculous. (My children figured out long ago that making me laugh often gets them out of trouble.) Sometimes my brain and I fight about that, as a matter of fact.
I was recently asked to give writing advice, and one of the things I said was “not everyone can like your work.” This is something I’ve told other people many times, and I believe it. I may not like it, but I accept that. So, when someone who I’m “friends” with on social media once said she felt that I was “trying too hard to be funny” I could (eventually, with therapy) shrug it off. She didn’t get my brand of humor, and that’s fine. We’re even still “friends” and interact with each other.
Then something weird happened while writing Sweet Young Thang and I had a humor revelation—it occurred to me that my characters don’t always get my humor. (Or wouldn’t if they were real people, but in my mind they are. It’s a common writerly affliction.) Sometimes, things happen to them that I find hilarious, and I write it to emphasize said hilarity, but if I were to ask, say, Brad (from Frat Boy and Toppy) “Hey, how do you feel about me making you have an argument with your inner drama queen?” I have a feeling he wouldn’t be amused. (Not that I’m going to ask him to make sure or anything.)
C’est la vie. Or so I thought, until my characters found something funny that I didn’t. Let me illustrate my “aha!” moment for you.
In Sweet Young Thang, the two main characters are Eric Dixon and Collin Montes. Collin is the sweet young thang in question, and a character I first introduced in Frat Boy and Toppy. He’s almost twenty-two to Eric’s thirty-six. Eric is a firefighter paramedic who meets Collin at a real and actual emergency – the official blurb can be found HERE.
So anyway, I’m writing along and Eric and Collin are doing their thing, falling in love (you’re all romance readers and don’t consider that a spoiler, right?), and one day—for reasons that I would consider a spoiler—someone from Eric’s work (the fire department) calls his house, but wants to speak to Collin.
Now, see, people at the station mostly call Eric “Dix” and occasionally “Dixon.” So, this person calls and is talking to Collin, and Collin says something that this person perceives as very Eric-like (for the record, this person also tends to leave words out of his sentences when it’s obvious, such as the odd verb) and he asks Collin, “Dix rubbing off on you?”
Eric and Collin thought this was hilarious. I was sort of like, “meh.” Not because it wouldn’t be funny in real life, but because it’s not that funny to read. On the page, we see “Dix,” but in real life, (or audiobook) we would hear “dicks,” and imagine that this (older, straight) guy was asking Collin if he was into bukkake.
Well, after this amazing moment of enlightenment, I started looking for other situations where my characters find something funny that I don’t. There are a few, here and there, but I noticed other things—situations that one character finds funny, but another doesn’t. I’ve decided to share one of those with you today.
This short excerpt is from Chapter 3, when Eric and his partner, Lincoln, are leaving the hospital after a call. In this case, Eric is the humor victim……
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“Saw your ex,” Lincoln said. “Couple weeks ago when Mandy and I got a babysitter and we were eating dinner at the Water Station. Jay came in hanging on some rich-looking fucker and he acted all surprised to see us there, but I watched him detour halfway across the restaurant to accidentally walk past our table. He made a big show of asking about you.”
“When was this?” Eric asked, but he had to wait for the answer, because they’d reached the rig and split up, Eric walking to the passenger door.
Lincoln started talking as soon as they’d both opened their doors. “I just said it was a couple weeks ago. Since I switched shifts I don’t see you as much, so I forget to tell you this shit. You should come over soon, man. Mandy’d love to see you, and you haven’t seen Greta in so long she’ll forget who Uncle Eric is any time now.”
Eric snorted and pulled on his seatbelt. “You’re really starving for some male company, aren’t you?” Lincoln and Mandy had two daughters; Greta was three and Cecily was nine months. He hadn’t seen the baby in a while either. “Okay, I’ll come over next week some day.”
Eric nodded and figured their conversation had wound down, but Lincoln wasn’t done talking about Jay. Crap. He grinned over at Eric as he started the engine. “So Jay the other night, he asked me if you’ve found the right man yet.”
Eric laughed shortly. “What, like he wants me back?” As if that would ever happen.
Lincoln grunted, checking his mirrors and putting the ambulance in reverse, starting the dumb back-up beacon noise. “Yeah, if you let him fuck whoever he wants on the side. I can’t stand that bastard. When I see him—you know, if I don’t manage to hide from him before he sees me—he acts all concerned for your welfare or something, but it’s bullshit. Still kinda pissed Mandy wouldn’t let me crawl under the table.”
“He just wants you to tell me what he said. It’s a mind game.” Jay’s way of getting all possible attention, even if he wasn’t around to enjoy it.
“I guess.” Lincoln started heading back to the station, quiet for a few seconds, fooling Eric into thinking the subject had finally died.
But it hadn’t. “He also asked Mandy if you were ‘over it.’”
“Jesus,” Eric groaned. “It’s been four years since I kicked that little prick out.”
“Hey man, you know our deal: no details about your sex life or your dates’ attributes.”
“Anyway, you know what Mandy did—she says, ‘Over what?’”
Eric laughed along with Lincoln. Mandy always had his back when it came to his love life. Thank God, because it had taken him a while to get over that asshole. He should have realized that it was a set up when Jay had said he didn’t know if he could be faithful. Then when he did fuck around, he’d been able to say, “Well, I warned you.” As if that had made it all right.
“Then he made that comment that really pisses Mandy off.”
Eric opened his mouth, because he knew what was coming and he didn’t need to hear it again, but Lincoln didn’t pause.
“He was like, ‘Oh, he finally found someone as domesticated as he is to settle down with, then?’”
Eric blew out a breath. As if it might clean out the bitter aftertaste that comment always left in his heart.
“So Mandy says, ‘I think the word you’re actually looking for is ‘domestic.’ ‘Domesticated’ refers to animals, and I’m sure we can all agree that Eric was never your pet.’” This time Lincoln laughed much more than Eric did.
To read more of this excerpt follow the link to the Sweet Young Thang excerpt. You’ll find the excerpt at the bottom of the page, hiding behind a tab labeled “excerpt.” Riptide is sneaky like that. And of course, you can also buy the book there, or at any of your favorite online booksellers.
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About the Author :
Raised on a steady media diet of Monty Python, classical music and the visual arts, Anne Tenino rocked the mental health world when she was the first patient diagnosed with Compulsive Romantic Disorder. Since that day, Anne has taken on conquering the M/M world through therapeutic writing. Finding out who those guys having sex in her head are and what to do with them has been extremely liberating.
Anne’s husband finds it liberating as well, although in a somewhat different way. Her two daughters are mildly confused by Anne’s need to twist Ken dolls into odd positions. They were raised to be open-minded children, however, and other than occasionally stealing Ken1’s strap-on, they let Mom do her thing without interference.
Wondering what Anne does in her spare time? Mostly she lies on the couch, eats bonbons and shirks housework.
Check out what Anne’s up to now by visiting her site annetenino.com