LYLBTB Advent Event 2013 : Amy Lane

When we asked Amy Lane if she had any Holiday books out this year….  she gave us a twofer! We also asked her a little bit about her Holiday traditions and she said this :

Fried chicken.  I don’t cook a lot, but every Christmas we clean the house and the kitchen (and brother, that’s a big one) and I make fried chicken.  The kids swear by it–and I’m proud to be able to cook just one thing that the kids don’t hate.


Title : Christmas Kitsch

Author : Amy Lane

Publisher : Riptide Publishing (BUY HERE)

Genre : M/M, Contemporary

Length : 254 pages (e-book)

Published : December 9, 2013

Rating : 1/2

 B L U R B : 

Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.

Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.

But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.

Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.

R E V I E W :

Rusty Baker fell into friendship at first sight with Oliver Campbell. Rusty became Oliver’s friend and Oliver tutored Rusty informally. Slowly, Rusty’s friends began to drift away. He was okay with that as around the same time he began to realize they were ass holes. Losing his old friends wasn’t bad, but Rusty was about to graduate and leave home to attend Berkeley. Rusty is capable of doing the work, but he’s not necessarily Berkeley material and his dad pulls some strings to help him get in. Rusty knows he cherishes his friendship with Oliver, but he hasn’t yet realized how deep that friendship goes. Despite his protestations, Rusty isn’t stupid and he can comprehend things when he finally sees them. After a summer of working for Rusty’s dad’s construction company, Rusty gets ready to leave for school and Oliver kisses him on their last night together. Rusty likes it but isn’t entirely sure he’s gay. He knows he really likes Oliver. He considers his sexuality undeclared. Rusty’s roommate Rex isn’t content with Rusty not knowing his sexuality. He attempts to help Rusty decide by continually showing Rusty all the possibilities he can engage in with various partners. Rex means well, but in reality it’s just another stress added to Rusty’s life as he struggles to stay above water at Berkeley. After an incident with a professor Rusty decides to go to sleep. He sleeps for days. Rusty finally wakes up to a panicked Oliver on Skype and Rex running to the rescue. Rusty’s life begins to get better, then he goes home for Thanksgiving.

Oliver gives Rusty a big welcome home kiss. Rusty needs it so much. Berkeley could have killed him. Literally. Unfortunately, Rusty’s mom sees them kissing. Rusty is forced to choose, then and there, if he wants his family and all his material goods or Oliver. Rusty goes home with Oliver. To say that Rusty is overwhelmed by the situation is an understatement. Rusty is thrown away from his own family and welcomed by Oliver’s large and loud family in a matter of a few hours. Oliver’s family begins planning how to get him a car and a place to live while Oliver’s father gives him a job. Rusty sees he’ll be able to move forward with his life, but it’s kind of sad to see he’s not at able to afford much of anything yet. His apartment isn’t quite what you’d call a dump but nice is a stretch. Rusty doesn’t want Oliver to live that way. Rusty doesn’t want to live that way, how could he do that to Oliver? Oliver doesn’t see it that way. He wants to live with his boyfriend and start their life together. Rusty at least wants a real bed before he brings his boyfriend home. Rusty and Oliver get their bed from where they least expect it.

I have to give my deepest thanks to Amy Lane for not floundering in the poor little rich boy trope. Yes, upper middle class Americans seem to all suffer from a specific set of problems but that in no way negates that they are very painful for the people experiencing them. Rusty did not fit into his social circle. He was not the boy his parents wanted either in terms of his sexuality or his skill set. Rusty’s parents objected as much to his desire to work manual labor as they did his sexual orientation. What really saved the story from wandering into cliché territory was Rusty’s lack of desire to provide wealth for Oliver. Rusty wanted to give Oliver a home with as much love as the one Oliver shared with his father. It was never about things for Rusty. It was about love.

In typical Amy Lane fashion this book made me cry but not in the really awful places. Yes, Rusty’s time at school was terrible and yes seeing his parents’ notes on his childhood as though he were a commodity and not a human was awful, but I didn’t cry there. I lost it when things finally began to go right for Rusty. When he remembered the truly loving moments from past Christmases with Nicole and Estrella, when Oliver hanged his mother’s ornaments, and when they got they finally got their bed I bawled. Amy Lane isn’t part of the Tissue Triumvirate for nothing. All in all this was a heartwarming tale that spanned years of a romance with childhood sweethearts making their own way in the world and as such it was beautiful.

Rated 4.5 stars by Faye

LYLBTB 45 star

going up

Title : Going Up

Author : Amy Lane

Publisher :Dreamspinner Press. (BUY HERE)

Genre : M/M, Contemporary

Length : 94 pages (e-book)

Published : December 25, 2013

Rating : 1/2

B L U R B : 

Every dreary day, Zach Driscoll takes the elevator from the penthouse apartment of his father’s building to his coldly charmed life where being a union lawyer instead of a corporate lawyer is an act of rebellion. Every day, that is, until the day the elevator breaks and Sean Mallory practically runs into his arms. 

Substitute teacher Sean Mallory is everything Zach is not—poor, happy, and goofily charming. With a disarming smile and a penchant for drama, Sean laughs his way into Zach’s heart one elevator ride at a time. Zach would love to get to know Sean better, but first he needs the courage to leave his ivory tower and face a relationship that doesn’t end at the “Ding!”

R E V I E W :

What a wonderful little read! This was almost the perfect Christmas read – it was sweet, a little bit sad, and all kindsa fairytale-like! For a feel good, truly heartwarming read then I highly recommend this book!

About the Author : 


Amy Lane has four children, two cats, an aging dog, a crumbling mortgage and an indulgent spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you give her enough diet coke and chocolate, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Author Links:


…. annnnnd into Santa’s Sack goes an e-copy of “Going Up!” Remember all winners will be announced on December 30th. Good Luck!