Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Lisa Henry for stopping by today.
Title: 4th Anniversary blog tour – Bliss
Author: Lisa Henry
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Genre: Fiction, Gay Fiction
They’re always happy.
Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it.
So is Tate Patterson. He’s from Tophet, too, but he’s not a legal immigrant; he snuck in as a thief. A city without crime seems like an easy score, until he crashes into Rory during a getaway and is arrested for assaulting a citizen. Instead of jail, Tate is enrolled in Beulah’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program. By living with and serving his victim for seven years, Tate will learn the human face of his crimes.
If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Tate is fitted with a behavior-modifying chip that leaves him unable to disobey orders—any orders, no matter how dehumanizing. Worse, the chip prevents him from telling Rory, the one man in all of Beulah who might care about him, the truth: in a country without prisons, Tate is locked inside his own mind.
Bliss is being sold in a special discounted bundle by Riptide this week only. Check out the sale on this series and other bundles at http://www.riptidepublishing.com/anniversary-sale
Thank you for joining Riptide on our 4th Anniversary blog tour! We are excited to bring you new guest posts from our authors and behind the scenes insights from Riptide. The full tour schedule can be found at http://riptidepublishing.com/events/tours/riptides-4th-anniversary-celebration. Don’t miss the limited time discounts and Free Books for a Year giveaway at the end of this post!
Please welcome Lisa Henry to the tour.
It’s always fun when you’re writing something, and someone says, “Oh, is that another romance?”
And you’re like, “Um…”
Because here’s the thing. I don’t think that everything I write is a romance. I definitely don’t think that Bliss is a romance. I think that it might be a love story, but it has no romantic elements. I think, actually, that Bliss might almost be a horror story. And while everyone who reads m/m knows how varied it is, and how many genres it crosses, it’s not exactly easy to explain to the outsiders:
“No, it’s not really romantic. It has mind control. And rape and violence. It’s pretty dark.”
Maybe there’s something pretty dark about me too, because I have always been fascinated by exploring the places where sex and violence meet, and characters are beaten down just to see if they rise up again. Sometimes I’m only discovering my characters as I write them. If I don’t break them into tiny pieces, how will I know exactly what they’re made of?
There’s an element of that in Bliss. I think that Heidi and I both pushed our characters hard to see exactly how they’d react. And with a co-writer in the mix, there’s always the real chance that they’ll react in a way you never saw coming. You set up a scenario. What’s going to happen? Will your character choose option A, or will he choose option B? And then your co-writer makes a note, and suddenly you realise there’s also option C, and a whole lot of other options besides.
When I was a kid, I used to have recurring nightmares about being stuck in a dark house that was full of endless rooms and corridors, and it didn’t matter what way I went, I could never find the exit. I have a feeling it would have been really handy to have Heidi with me then, saying, “But look, there’s a window.”
Co-writers can always spot the windows.
In many ways I think that Bliss is the darkest of the books Heidi and I have written together. King of Dublin is brutal, but there’s never any question of that. In King of Dublin, there is never any real doubt that the character of Ciaran is a slave to a brutal master. In Bliss, though, the kicker is that Tate, thanks to a chip in his head that modifies his behaviour, is a slave who feels physically ill when he is not bowing and scraping to his master. And Rory, of course, has no idea that Tate is a slave. Do Rory’s good intentions matter at all when it turns out that Tate was never capable of giving his consent? At what point should the tiny part of Tate’s mind that he still has control over start to hate Rory? At what point should the reader start to hate Rory? There are more questions in Bliss, I think, than answers. Heidi and I explore the dark places, we don’t conquer them.
But for all that Bliss is incredibly dark—heed the warnings, definitely—I think that another thing Heidi and I have in common is our belief that however much a character gets broken down, and however dark things get, there is always space for a sliver of light to shine thorough, and space for something like love to form. Not romance necessarily, which requires a different sort of origin, but love. Because love, we like to think, is tough enough to find a way even in the darkest places.
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About the Author
Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
Connect with Lisa:
- Blog: blogspot.com
- Twitter: @lisahenryonline
- Goodreads: com/LisaHenry
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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