Leather and Love: How Romance Helps Stamp Out Hate.

Hello everyone, and welcome to Torquere Press' Charity Sip Blog Hop! As you may know, every year Torquere Press and its participating authors pick a charity benefiting the LGBTQ community and puts out a submission call for short stories based on a theme. Those authors who take part donate 100% of the royalties earned on these stories, with Torquere matching the donation. This year, the charity chosen was NOH8, and the theme was leather. I knew I wanted to take part in this. Not only would it offer me the chance to write a story folks might enjoy, but the proceeds would be going to a wonderful charity. My first challenge was writing a story that fit with the leather theme. When you think romance, certain things tend to come to mind, but being an author of historical romance, the first thing that came to my mind was boxing, and given the eras I write in, the next logical step was a story set during the roaring twenties when boxing was exceptionally popular, thanks to such boxing giants as Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney. The sport had evolved from illegal, bare-knuckle brawling in dusty saloons into huge sporting events attended by thousands of men and women.
As I sat down to write In His Corner, I knew it would be as much about the fight for love, as the fight to win the match. I got an image of two men, a young college educated fellow who came from a humble background, and his hero, Jessie 'the Demon' Dalton, the world heavyweight boxing champion he fell in love with. In His Corner isn't about how Eli and Jessie meet and get together, it's about second chances, and finding courage. Eli has been around Jessie since he was eight years old, his boyhood crush developing into something deeper as he grows up, but just when Eli finds the courage to tell Jessie how he feels, everything comes crumbling down around them. Jessie has lost his title, his reputation, and before he knows it, he's lost Eli--something he hasn't recovered from even five years later when Eli walks back into Jessie's life, determined to find out why Jessie pushed him out. Only Jessie isn't the same, confident, imposing man he used to be, and when Eli sees how much Jessie needs him, he steps up to the challenge. Not only is he intent on showing Jessie that he's all grown up and here to stay, but that what they felt for each other is worth fighting for.
Love is a powerful thing, and for me, reading romance is more than just the guilty indulgence many believe it to be. It's not just about hot guys getting it on (not that there's anything wrong with that), it's about the courage these men show, the stand they take as they follow their hearts against all manner of adversity. Romance tells stories of what people are capable of when they lose their hearts to someone, of how fiercely they're willing to fight for that love. Love transcends gender, and more importantly, stamps out hate, reaching out and touching that part of us that yearn for something deeper and greater. Love has the power to make amazing changes, as long as there are folks willing to listen.
♥ Giveaway  For a chance to win a $10 Torquere Press Gift Certificate and this handmade, vintage-style boxing notebook, just leave a comment below. ♥ Rules ♥ *** Please make sure to leave an email address for the delivery of your prize should you win. ** Blog hop ends at midnight (Est) November 11th. * Winner will be announced on the blog Monday, November 12th. ♥♥♥ In His Corner is available from Torquere Press and Rainbow eBooks. Don't forget to check out all the other amazing Charity Sips! *** To rejoin the hop, just click on the Charity Sip icon at the top of this post. ***


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