I am so excited that my new novel, Autumn Changes, went live today at the Dreamspinner Press website. And once more it has a cover painted by the remarkable Paul Richmond! It is quite simply gorgeous!
I was pretty involved with this one and I worried that I was driving poor Paul insane. There was some cultural stuff that needed to be exactly correct and he came through in shiing colors (pun intended and acknowledged!).
Where I work there are many diverse cultures. People from all over the world. People from Vietnam, Thailand, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, and more…including Samoa.
Before working there, I think I was totally ignorant of Samoa. I mean I knew it existed of course, but knew nothing at all about it. But the Samoan people I’ve gotten to know are extraordinary people. I have fallen in love with them and their culture. They are a proud people and I have come to find out that they have been around for a couple thousand years and the theory is that they are the origin of the island peoples. They have even taught me some of their language.
I began to entertain the idea of writing a novel about a young Samoan man and what it would mean to him, his family, and more, if he came out as a gay man. Especially since a huge percentage of Samoan people are Mormon. I finally decided to tackle the story and it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever written and I hope I did a good job. I did give the galley to a young man named Phillip and he assured me that I did a good job and that he is very excited about it. Makes me so happy because I know if someone does an Amazon search, it could very well pop up and I knew I had to get everything right!
Here is the cover blurb….
Asher Eisenberg is a brilliant actor, destined for fame and fortune. But a traumatic incident in his past has caused him to reject his Jewish heritage and hide from everyone behind walls of arrogance and selfishness, and he blurs his loneliness with a lot of sex and alcohol. When he meets Peniamina Faamausili, however, he strangely can’t stop thinking about the young man.
Peni is struggling with his sexuality, the Mormonism he was raised in, and the Samoan heritage that calls to him. He longs to receive the pe’a—the traditional Samoan tattoos– and learn more of his people’s ways. He has no interest in a man like Asher, who appears to use men and put them aside and whose drinking can’t help but remind him of the drunk driver who killed his father. But he can’t deny his attraction to Asher and finally agrees to a date if Asher can go thirty days without a drink.
Asher is about to go on a journey that will awaken him to his friends, his past, his future, and even to love. But that awakening could well demand the sacrifice of the dream he holds most dear.
It was also a difficult book to write because the love interest is Jewish by heritage–or at least he is from his mother’s side, which is what counts according to Jewish culture. Asher has some stuff to deal with so that he can not be ashamed of who he is. I was relieved that at least one Jewish person says I got all that right too. I even spoke with a brilliant rabbi to get the scriptures right.
So I am very proud of this book and very excited to reveal the cover and thrilled to announced it is available for preorder as of today!
This book is such a huge blessing in my life. I am so grateful it came together the way it did! So grateful for my publisher, my editor Andi Byassee, for my gorgeous cover by Paul Richmond, and for so much more! I can’t count!
Life is good!
La manuia le aso,
PS: Did I mention that Autumn Changes is now available for preoder? LOL! You can find it by clicking right here!