The lovely A.M. Leibowitz is on the blog today with her latest book, Keeping The Faith. Check it out
Slowly, hands shaking, he opened the second letter and withdrew it. In spite of the tears threatening, he chuckled when he started reading.
Remember how we met? I’ll bet you don’t know what a wreck I was that summer. Holy shit. I wanted you so bad. I was like a teenager with his first crush. I did everything I could to be near you, even though I was sure we could never make it work. This one time, I waited in my living room just so I could watch you get the mail. I might even be able to excuse it if I was looking at your ass or something, which is what I tried to tell myself I was doing. And don’t you dare pretend you weren’t ogling mine because I caught you at it all the time. Anyway, nope. I wanted to see things like, did you look through the pile first and pick out the good stuff? Or did you take the whole stack inside without peeking? I tried to imagine you putting it on your table and opening it one by one, and I wondered which ones would be most important. Did you know you can tell a lot about a guy by how he sorts his mail?
I’m not sure I learned anything that day except that I was lying to myself. I pretended I only wanted to peek because you were hot and I was curious. Except that’s when I figured out I wanted more than to fantasize about you opening your mail. Wait…that sounds bad, but I think you know what I mean. I wanted all of you, and it scared the piss out of me.
The letter was long, and Cat shared with Micah things he’d never said out loud. He’d talked about why he was afraid to get attached, but he’d never mentioned the little details of his internal dialog as they slowly made their way toward each other. It was strange and yet somehow not to see the events through Cat’s eyes. His words brought back all of Micah’s memories of that summer.
By the time he was done reading, Micah was laughing and crying at the same time. This seemed to confuse Thomas, who chirruped and hopped off Micah’s lap to go find a less emotional sleeping spot. Micah set aside the letter and picked up the key to insert it into the lock box.
The latch sprang open, and he lifted the lid. Micah stared at the contents. There lay Cat’s most personal and intimate belongings, items Micah had either not known about or had searched for before assuming LR had them. Cat’s rosary, his MedicAlert tags, an old-fashioned metronome, his pot leaf earring with its mate he never wore and magnetic ear cuffs, and a pair of sunset orange lacy bikini underwear. The last one made Micah blush, laugh, and choke up, in that order.
He closed the lid and his eyes, leaning back in his chair. For several minutes, he didn’t move, allowing himself to absorb everything he’d seen and read over the last half hour. When he opened his eyes again, he knew what he was going to do. A slow smile spread across his face as he turned it over in his mind, knowing exactly how he wanted to craft the story.
His laptop was still sitting on the table, and he pulled it closer. He closed the project he was working on and started a new one. His fingers hovered as he contemplated a title, but he couldn’t think of anything that fit, so he simply typed, Love Letters. For a moment, he hesitated, and then he began to type.
Title: Keeping the Faith (Faithfully Yours #3)
Author: A.M. Leibowitz
Publisher: Supposed Crimes
Publication Date: November 1, 2017
Length: 238 pages (~84k words)
Genre: Literary fiction/romance
Categories/Tags: Bisexual, transgender, grief & loss, spirituality, Christianity
ISBN: 1944591273 (ISBN13: 9781944591274)
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0764ZQMJP/
It’s been three years since Micah’s spouse, Cat, passed away at the age of thirty-six. In the process of cleaning his house, Micah discovers a series of letters Cat hid before he died, in which he made one request: that Micah empty his life of Cat as a way of moving on. Micah has been able to work through his sorrow, but he’s unable to fulfill Cat’s last wish. He can’t see a way past his loneliness despite all the caring people around him.
Enter two new friendships. Jude, Micah’s vivacious new coworker, brings joy back into his life. But she has a big secret about her family, and the truth will rock Micah’s understanding of who she is. Chris, the new minister at Cat’s former church, intrigues Micah. Unlike Jude, Chris is an open book, from his musings on theology to his work as a trans advocate and activist. His gentle manner and deep faith become safe space for Micah to open up about his loss.
Through them, Micah becomes involved with the town’s new community center, where he offers a creative writing class. Using Cat’s detailed letters, he fictionalizes their love story to share with his students. In doing so, he at last begins to sort through his complicated grief. Micah learns he doesn’t have to erase his life with Cat in order to make new memories. He may even be falling for Chris, despite their vastly different spiritual views. With a little help from family and friends, Micah will need to open his heart to love completely again.
This book is about loss and grief, particularly the death of a long-term partner. There are scenes of character death, funerals, and reactions to loss. There are also numerous references to spiritual trauma, lgbtqia antagonism, abusive family members, and previous suicide attempts. There are no graphic or detailed scenes of the content, however they are mentioned throughout. It may bring up strong feelings in readers. It is not meant to describe every person’s experience nor give advice.
A. M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. They keep 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, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and their family.
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OIC158W