Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Kris Ripper for stopping by today. Please give zir a warm welcome.
Title: The Butch and the Beautiful
Author: Kris Ripper
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Genre: Contemporary, Gay, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Romance
Release Date: 08/22/2016
Jaq Cummings is a high school teacher who really wants a committed relationship—as long as it doesn’t keep her out late on school nights or interrupt Sunday mass with her dad. She is absolutely not about to fall for the hot-mess divorcée she hooks up with even if said hot mess pushes all her buttons. Jaq’s white knight days are over.
But one hookup with Hannah becomes two, then coffee, then more incredibly hot sex. And unlike most of Jaq’s exes, Hannah’s not looking for someone to come on strong. In fact, Hannah comes on plenty strong enough for both of them. But she’s just out of a disastrous marriage, she’s in the process of moving across the state, and Jaq can’t take a chance on yet another relationship where she defaults to being a caregiver instead of a partner.
Just when Jaq decides her relationship with Hannah is far too precarious, a crisis with a student reminds her of her priorities and makes it clear that sometimes, you have to take big risks to get what you really want.
The Butch (and the Femme)
Let’s talk about our history.
When I say “our” I mean “queer”. If you’re not queer, it’s totally cool, I invite you to this awesome space, where we will all talk about queer social history. Welcome!
When I was coming up, not quite in the dark ages (really just in the nineties, though they increasingly feel like the dark ages), I really wanted to be a lesbian. Like, really really wanted to be a lesbian. I was today’s equivalent of a too-familiar online friend to lesbian culture, always reading the magazines, getting a little too close to any depiction of a gay woman as if by proximity alone I could become what I desired.
I knew I wasn’t a lesbian. Same way I knew I wasn’t straight or bisexual. I just…wasn’t.
But oh, I wanted to be. I wanted to be a hot butch dyke in a tailored suit with excellent posture. You know the kind of woman I’m talking about. She walks into the room and your eyes are drawn to her because everything about her is on point. And of course, she has an absolutely jaw-dropping femme lady on her arm. (You just know she opens doors for her lady, and you just know that her lady teases her about being chivalrous, but secretly loves the attention.)
I was not that person. Because: not a woman, and not a lesbian. But the gorgeous thing about being a fiction writer is getting to live all the lives you can’t actually live.
Enter: Jaq Cummings.
I had a decent idea who Jaq was long before I started writing her. She’s a lesbian who feels powerful in her butch identity. And she’s not only looking for a femme girl, but Jaq grew up with the same narrative I did, and it’s just possible that she’s always kind of…imagined herself with a beautiful woman, who wears high heels and makeup and embraces femininity.
Enter: Hannah. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah.
Hannah’s all soft curves and sharp edges, and she appreciates Jaq’s innate butchness without seeing her as either dominant or macho—both things Jaq’s been (incorrectly) taken for in the past. Some things (ahem bedroom things cough) just gel. Other things, like the day to day grind of being in a relationship, learning about each other’s lives, take a bit more work.
I really wanted to write a butch/femme story that was more self-aware than the shallow narrative I grew up ogling from the sidelines. I wanted to write people who felt totally established in their adult lives, but who were also vulnerable, and wary, and engaged in the eternal struggle between protecting their hearts, and opening them.
And I also wanted to write two women having a lot of hot sex. There. I said it.
Did you grow up looking at certain relationships, wishing you could find one of your own? Do you own a tailored suit? If you don’t mind my asking, where did you—
Oh, sorry. Suit shopping is a bit beyond the scope of this post. sigh
To celebrate the release of The Butch and the Beautiful, one lucky winner will receive their choice in ebook from Kris’s backlist. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 27, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
About the Author
Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a toddler, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.
Connect with Kris:
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
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