Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank A.M. Leibowitz for stopping by today.
Title: Passing on Faith
Author: A.M. Leibowitz
Publisher: Supposed Crimes
Cover Artist: Stacy O’Steen
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Trans*
Following his father’s death, Micah Forbes believes he can finally put the family who rejected him and their religious bigotry behind him. In a cruel twist, his older brother calls to tell him he’s inherited their father’s abandoned vacation home.
Micah discovers the house comes complete with a long list of repairs, boxes full of family secrets, and a handful of quirky neighbors. Despite not wanting to get in too deep, he can’t help the spark of interest stirred when the sexy redhead next door offers his help. Everything about the enigmatic Cat Rowland throws Micah off-balance, from his gender-bending sense of fashion to his handy repair skills to his deep spirituality. Before long, Micah is swept up by Cat and his friends, but Cat himself keeps his heart carefully protected.
When Micah’s past and his present collide in a painful way, his self-destructive coping habits threaten to overwhelm him. To save himself, he needs to open his soul and let someone in. Cat has the key to unlock him, if he can let down his guard and trust his faith enough to catch Micah as he falls.
Ten songs to write Passing on Faith to:
- Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode) -This is actually a song about an unhealthy romantic relationship—having a partner who is your everything. To be honest, I find it to be an unhealthy view of the actual Jesus, too—a “god” who can be easily manipulated with prayer to do our bidding is an idol. Both of those are part of the point of the story.
- Be Thou My Vision/Brother James Air (Steve Hall) – Cat is a cellist, and Brother James Air is one of the songs Micah hears him playing. I particularly like this version.
- Faith of Our Fathers (traditional hymn, sung by Bing Crosby) – Most of the chapter titles come from hymns or Christian pop music. It’s the faith of his father Micah has spent his whole life rejecting, with good reason.
- All Are Welcome (hymn by Marty Haugen) – I was introduced to Marty Haugen at my Lutheran church—I’d never heard of him before. I love this hymn for its inclusive lyrics and the idea we are in this together.
- Place in this World (Michael W. Smith) – The 1980s and 90s were an era during which Christian pop music had a certain…feel. I was in high school when this song came out, and I remember some of my friends being offended because it was “too secular” and because the idea of questioning one’s place or purpose was supposedly a demonstration of lack of faith.
- Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) – There are other versions of this song, but the Leonard Cohen lyrics are the ones most fitting to this story because they invite consideration of what is sacrilegious.
- How Beautiful (Twila Paris) – Another popular 1990s song. Cat doesn’t really see his faith and his identity (his gender and sexuality) as separate things. This is reflected in his belief that sex is holy and that Communion and prayer are affirmations of who he is.
- There Is a Balm (traditional spiritual) – There’s a chapter titled “The Sin-Sick Soul,” which is a line from this song. Both Cat and Micah are…unwell, for lack of a better term, in different ways.
- The Prodigal (I’ll Be Waiting) (Amy Grant) – There’s a running joke in the story about 1980s Amy Grant. I’ll just leave it at that.
- You Put this Love in My Heart (Keith Green) – Can’t have a story with old Christian pop music and not include Keith Green. He was ahead of his time, making wide room for questioning and rejecting the idea that something had value just for being labeled “Christian.” His death was a terrible loss.
Micah decided he would sit right there until he was struck with a brilliant plan for how to manage his misfortune. It might have been a whole two minutes before someone knocked on the front door. Huffing, he rose and went to answer it.
He nearly groaned when he saw who it was. Cat, his oddly chipper neighbor, was back. He had a glass of what might have been lemonade in his hand and a lopsided smile on his face. When he looked up at Micah, his expression changed. His smile slid away and his eyes widened.
“You okay?” he asked.
Micah ran a hand through his hair and contemplated telling Cat it was just allergies. Instead, something made him say, “No. I am not okay. But if you want to come in and sit on my couch, risking black lung from all the dust, by all means.” He stood aside and swept his hand, indicating Cat should join him.
Hesitantly, Cat stepped over the threshold. He extended the glass to Micah. “Thought you could use this. Maybe you need something stronger, though.”
Micah snorted. “Yeah, probably, except I don’t drink.” He accepted the lemonade and took a sip. The tart liquid was refreshingly cool against his burning throat. “Thanks for this.” He tilted the glass toward Cat.
Cat grinned. “I was a little worried for a minute there. Want to tell me about it?”
Micah sighed heavily. “I inherited this house. My father just died.”
“I’m sorry,” Cat said, his voice soft and warm.
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About the Author
M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith
Tour Dates & Stops:
9-Nov: Bayou Book Junkie
10-Nov: Wake Up Your Wild Side
11-Nov: BFD Book Blog
12-Nov: Prism Book Alliance
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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