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text 2017-11-02 08:10
Book Blitz - Keeping The Faith



Title: Keeping the Faith

Series: Faithfully Yours, Book 3

Author: A.M. Leibowitz

Publisher: Supposed Crimes


Cover Artist: Stacy O’Steen

Release Date: November 1, 2017

Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, M/M

Words: 84,000


View on Goodreads







 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 again.





After flipping through an album of Cat’s early childhood, Micah put that in the growing pile next to him and lifted out the letters.


These were different. They were written more recently. Micah went through the envelopes, his mouth dropping open in surprise. Cat had written them all during the time after he’d become ill. He’d known then he was dying; it had been his choice not to take drastic measures to alter the course of his long illness. It had taken five months almost to the day for him to finally acquiesce to the effects of multiple organ failure on his body. The final month had been agony, and Cat hadn’t been lucid enough in that time to compose any more letters. The last one was dated about five weeks before he died.


The only thing left in the trunk was the small box. Micah took it out and examined it. The box was metal and had a lock, but there was no key. Micah searched the bottom of the now-empty trunk, but there was nothing inside. He shook the box and heard the items rattle. There might be a way to pick the lock, but he wasn’t any kind of expert.


Micah opened the first letter. Inside, he found the key to the lock box and a folded piece of paper. He withdrew both and set the key on top of the box. Slowly, he unfolded the letter and read the greeting. He only got as far as Dearest Micah when he let the paper fall from his fingers. His immediate urge was to shove it back into the envelope and never open it again nor any of the others.


His head swam; he wasn’t ready for this. What secrets was Cat going to reveal in death that he hadn’t shared in life? It was as though Cat spoke his name right from the page, and it tore open the wound of his death. Micah’s eyes burned as he struggled to hold back an ocean of raw grief. Unable to continue for the moment, Micah let it take him, covering his face and sobbing.


It took a moment for him to realize that something was nudging him, and he fought to regain control. Opening his eyes, he found Thomas in his lap, trying to press close to Micah’s chest. Thomas’ head rubbed under Micah’s chin, and the cat purred. The rumbles soothed Micah, and his crying slowed. He took a deep breath.


He could do this. He could read Cat’s letters and not fall apart. Cat had trusted him to do so eventually, and Thomas was here to comfort him. Micah wiped his eyes and nose and picked the letter up again.


Buy Links:


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Smashwords | Kobo



Author Bio:



 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. Their published fiction includes several novels as well as a number of short works, and their stories have been included in multiple anthologies. In between noveling and editing, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and their family.

Connect with A.M. Leibowitz:


Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page |

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Google Plus





To celebrate the latest release from A.M. Leibowitz, 3 lucky entrants will win an eBook bundle of all four titles in the Faithfully Yours series, which includes the following:

  • Passing on Faith
  • Walking by Faith
  • Leaps of Faith
  • Keeping the Faith

For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway closes at midnight EST on November 10, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tour Stops


November 1:

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Drops of Ink
Stories that Make You Smile
Books, Dreams, Life

November 2:

BFD Book Blog
Romance Novel Giveaways
***Kitty's Book Spot***
Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews

November 3:

Happily Ever Chapter
My Fiction Nook
The Layaway Dragon
CelticLady's Reviews

November 4:

Boys on the Brink
Liz's Reading Life
Making It Happen
Loves Great Reads

November 5:

Abibliophobia Anonymous
I Heart Reading
Bayou Book Junkie
Anna Butler - Love That's Out of This World



Tour Hosted by LoveBound Promotions





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review 2016-04-16 15:40
London-based police procedural which is engaging and interesting
Faithfully - Howard Mellowes


Detective Inspector Allen Chase ends up with running three cases simultaneously but are they connected? A run of burglaries, the harassment of an IT executive and the murder of a dominatrix all occupy DI Chase and his assistant, Trainee Detective Constable Lauren Halshaw. They eventually work their way through to a suitable solution.

The writing and plot are engaging and plenty of characters are introduced - many red herrings of course. With a slight soap opera side to it, it's well worth a read

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review 2016-04-11 09:18
London-based police procedural which is engaging and interesting
Faithfully - Howard Mellowes


Detective Inspector Allen Chase ends up with running three cases simultaneously but are they connected? A run of burglaries, the harassment of an IT executive and the murder of a dominatrix all occupy DI Chase and his assistant, Trainee Detective Constable Lauren Halshaw. They eventually work their way through to a suitable solution.

The writing and plot are engaging and plenty of characters are introduced - many red herrings of course. With a slight soap opera side to it, it's well worth a read

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-06-13 16:30
The Poetry of Revictimization
Tess of the d' Urbevilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented (Collected Works of Thomas Hardy 3 volumes) - Thomas Hardy


Sometimes a book out of my past comes singing to me, and I know that the time to reread it is now, although I invariably don't know why.  That does not happen very often and I have always known that I will reread Tess.  I first read Tess twenty years ago and it began a love affair for me with the novels of Thomas Hardy.

Tess is a book about a woman who is "seduced" and then revictimized over and over again.  Tess starts as a beautiful and charming but naive girl, who is essentially unprepared by oblivious and self-centered parents for the life that is to befall her.  Tess very much has the personality of those who are target by abusive and predatory personalities.  If anything she is overly concerned for the feelings of others, inclined to minimize or even dismiss her own poor treatment, while overly blaming herself for what happens.  Like Dostoevsky's The Idiot she is a central character who is pure and struggles to understand the victimization that befalls her.

The initial incident comes early and at the end of the first part one of seven, she is "seduced".  This being a Victorian novel the sex must happen between chapter breaks, but Hardy makes it clear that it is no seduction at all.  Her rapist, Alec D'Urberville, has been repeatedly rebuffed, and finally begins the act when she is sleeping.  Tess blames herself for a moment of weakness, but this is a part of her self-deception.  Hardy does not have the conceptual tools developed in the 20th century for acquaintance rape, but clearly Tess blames herself for her violation, in addition to blaming her violator.  Hardy's subtitle: A Pure Woman.  Shows where he stands.  It is not, as it is sometimes taken to be, an attack on Victorian prudery, but instead an account of how once, someone is a victim of a crime, they can end up being victimized over and over again.

Tess, becomes pregnant with an infant that soon dies.  Her parents, indifferent to her suffering, either minimize or ignore what has happened to her.  Tess soon leaves to become a diary amid.  The pastoral scenes around the dairy are perhaps Hardy's best invocation of landscape and countryside.  They have stayed with me over all these years in sharp detail.  Tess is consumed by a sense of being stained and corrupted and somehow at fault while at the same time has a conflicting feling of being violated.  It is this exploration, which is part of Hardy's genius.  The imposition of Alec D'Urberville's view and the corresponding reinforcement of it by society, is at war with her instinctive sense of morality.  It is at this point that the book becomes deeply and movingly about revictimization, how it works and what its consequences are.

I always think of 1984 and Lolita as the two great books on oppression.  While each deals with a specific kind of oppression, they both depict starkly the actual realities of any kind of oppression that they can stand in for anything.  I once read that the best book for understanding abusive relationships was 1984 and I believe that to be true.  As those books are to oppression, Tess is to revictimization.  The details and specifics might vary, the nature of the victimization and the nature of the revictimization vary, but the essential nature of it is as clearly exposed in Tess as in any other book.

What makes the book so disturbing is the nature of this revictimization.  It is not just society in general that revictimizes Tess, it is in particular those that she most loves and cares about.  Most obviously her husband a man who she idealizes Angel Clare.  Angel Clare has many of the features that Hardy theoretically admires in a man.  However, he can not find in himself a way to "forgive" Tess.  This is despite the fact that he has engaged in a sordid weekend of sex, which he of course wholly chooses.  He instead abandons Tess to a life of poverty and want.

Tess then once again encounters Alec D'Urberville who is acting as a lay preacher.  Alec immediately throws this over in a campaign to harass and control Tess.  In doing so he blames Tess for his fall from religion and we see that even religion is responsible for Tess' revictimization.  Finally, Tess gives in to him not for herself, but as a way of saving her now destitute family.

Throughout the whole thing Tess is passive.  This has brought the novel in for some criticism, but a novel about re-victimization must be about a passive main character by its nature.  The novel divides the world into predators and prey with the bulk of humanity the idle spectators that betray their roles as protectors or even as decent bystanders and actively or passively produce a situation in which Tess cannot be anything other than a good person and a victim.  It is only in her last desperate act, an act done out of faith for a husband that has spent the marriage betraying her that Tess becomes in any way an active character.  

What makes the novel so disturbing and difficult to read (I could only read it in little fragments) is this systematic betrayal, by all that should protect Tess.  Tess places the blame for re-victimization on the protectors and it is this which is both the great insight and the most disturbing feature of the novel.

Hardy's prose is at his most beautiful of all the novels.  Hardy is very much a writer, who flouts what is considered good writing at the time he was writing and what is considered good writing today.  He injects himself into the narrative making philosophical comments and comments on the characters.  He will also veer wildly between styles, at one moment writing poetically about landscape and the next reproducing the country slang of milkmaids.  That is not meant to be good writing, but I think the writing is Hardy at his most beautiful and poetic.

Beyond all that is the figure of Tess.  We see little of her interior life, and the figure of a milkmaid whose virtue is stolen does not appear to be a promising one, but she is one of the great characters in literature and there is something about her characterization, which makes her the very epitome of noble suffering.  The book is not a tragedy in the normal sense.  It is not really Tess' character flaws that bring her down, although she does have the character of a victim.  Instead, it is the very flaws in the nature of humanity and in those she trusts and believe in that doom her.  In that sense it has more in common with works, like Lolita, The Idiot and 1984, than with Greek tragedy.

In my opinion one of the ten or twenty greatest works of fiction ever written.

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review 2014-08-01 15:54
So this is how we ended up with 4 stars.
Forever Yours Faithfully - Sara York

Well this one was a surprise and left me in a bit of a quandary. While I only gave the overall book a 3 star rating. I feel obligated to give the ending 5 stars because any story that can leave me as emotional at the end as this one did deserves 5 stars somewhere along the way and to me it was definitely the last few pages that earned those 2 extra stars, holy crap! I mean really, I absolutely did not expect it to grab me that hard.


'Forever Yours, Faithfully' is not a sunshine and roses kind of book and I don't mind that. Life is frequently messy and heartbreaking so I like it when there's a bit of that in my books it gives them a dose of reality and makes things more believable for me. This story did have a dose...it had a metric shit-ton!!! To the point where I was starting to feel like maybe even I'd found my limit on how much angst I could handle in any one story. 


I started reading this book at 5 in the morning and  somehow along with my daily real world obligations I managed to finish this before 8 p.m. last night. Now you would think that any reasonably intelligent person would have come to the realization that they were a little more emotionally invested in this book than normal given that I couldn't seem to really put it down...not me, I read on oblivious to it, my stomach tied in knots over the events transpiring between the e-pages. My brain raging against how fate seemed to be conspiring against our MC's, I needed to know dammit, I couldn't stop, I was halfway through supper when I realized I was still reading (something I never do because this is when hubby and I catch up on each other's day) I forced myself to put my book down as my patient other half smiled with tolerance at me and we chatted. Dinner dishes were cleared in record time and he went off to watch the news and I returned to Randy and Greg's story.


In the end I vacated the house for the sanctity and silence of our back yard. Also I needed some sunshine to lift my spirits things were just getting too depressing, I mean really what the hell else could go wrong for these two men? 


And this is where I leave you this is where I don't tell you if things went horribly wrong or wonderfully right.


What? Really how dare I? Well you see I long ago discovered that if I know the ending of a book to some degree it always spoils it for me. I'm never as emotionally distraught as the author wanted me to be or as over the moon with joy for the Happily Ever After that our heroes so richly deserved and because the ending of this book was for me the absolute best part I refuse to spoil it for others. So you'll have to wonder, did I go back into my house smiling and laughing because finally these two men found the HEA they so richly deserved or was I crying and raging because Karma had once again been a bitch to them...or you could read the book and decide for yourself.


And this is how 'Forever Yours, Faithfully' got a 4 star rating from me. 3 stars for the bulk of the book and 5 stars for an ending that totally blew me away. Split the difference and you have 4 stars. Happy reading...or....not?


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