TRANS BOOK MONTH: Jay Northcote on “Trans Visibility in Fiction”

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We at Just Love are absolutely thrilled to present Trans Book Month throughout July, elevating the voices of trans authors, readers, and allies in discussing trans representation in books. Today we’re honored to have author Jay Northcote on the blog, talking about the importance of trans visibility in fiction.

Thank you so much for joining us today, Jay!

Trans Visibility in Fiction: How a Story Changed my Life
By Jay Northcote

Thanks for inviting me to post on your blog during Trans Book Month. I love that you’re celebrating trans representation in fiction, because I know first hand how important transgender visibility in fiction can be.

I’m a transgender man. I finally came out last year (age forty-five), after a long and painful process of sloughing off layers of denial. But if it wasn’t for reading the right story, I might never have realised who I really was.

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Book Blast: What Happens at Christmas, by Jay Northcote

WhatHappensXmas_FINAL

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

What Happens At Christmas, by Jay Northcote
Publisher: Jaybird Press (November 19, 2015)
Word Count: approx. 37,000 words
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance, Contemporary

Happy Release Day to Jay Northcote and her newest novella, What Happens at Christmas! This is an incredibly sweet holiday short story, about two long-time friends who finally work up the courage to become something more.

Looking for a Christmastime romance to keep you warm this winter? Keep reading for an excerpt from the novel, and don’t forget to check out the giveaway… you could win an e-book from Jay’s backlist and a $10 gift certificate!

And check out my review of What Happens At Christmas here!

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Blurb:

When two friends pose as boyfriends, could what happens at Christmas turn into something more?

Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame.

Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion.

In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas… right?

Final

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Book Review: What Happens at Christmas, by Jay Northcote

northcote-happens-at-christmasWhat Happens at Christmas, by Jay Northcote
Release Date: November 19, 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5

Buy Link: Amazon

* I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. *

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When two friends pose as boyfriends, could what happens at Christmas turn into something more?

Justin is recently and unhappily single. Christmas is coming, and he doesn’t want to face his ex alone at their office party. So Sean—Justin’s best mate and long-time secret crush—volunteers to go with him and pretend to be his new flame.

Sean has always lusted after Justin from afar, but there’s never been a good opportunity to ask him for more than friendship. Posing as Justin’s boyfriend isn’t a chore, and if Justin wants to rebound onto him, Sean’s more than willing. At the party pretence and reality blur, and a kiss on the dance floor leads to a night of passion.

In the aftermath, they both assume it was a one-time thing until fate intervenes. Stuck together in London over the holidays, they give in to temptation again. But what happens at Christmas stays at Christmas… right?

chase-fortunate-blizzard-divider

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Review: Helping Hand, by Jay Northcote (Rating: 3.5/5)

Today I’m reviewing Helping Hand, by Jay Northcote (Jaybird Press // June 26, 2015 // 33,000 words). It’s a gay-for-you (m/m) romance novella that shows the shifting relationship between two best friends as they start to accept their attraction for each other. See below for the review!

* I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. *

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Summary: When Jez suggests watching some porn together with his best friend Mac, he isn’t sure what reaction he’ll get. They’re both horny, stuck at home on a Friday night, and Jez’s past at an all-boys school means he’s more comfortable getting off around his male roommate. But surprisingly, Mac agrees, and it sets off a chain of events that eventually leads to a more hands-on arrangement… and to Jez realizing that he has feelings for his very straight friend.

Why you should read it: Despite my repeated dislike of novellas, this is one that actually worked well for me. Northcote doesn’t attempt a huge story arc in a short space. Everything is contained, and the focus is on a specific series of events, so the pacing doesn’t feel rushed. The relationship actually progresses really naturally, as Mac slowly unwinds and starts to feel more comfortable. The writing is solid, the characters are interesting, the sex is hot, and the emotions feel realistic.

Why you should give it a miss: The first part of the novel was really difficult to get through. At the start, Mac and Jez are not the kind of characters that I have much interest in getting to know. (If this was set in America, I’d say they were stereotypical college frat boys.) If you don’t mind 19/20-year-old boys with ridiculously over-active libidos wanking off to porn together (but no homo, dude!), then you might not have the same problem. Thankfully the characters evolve and become more interesting as the story progresses!

Overall: I actually really enjoyed this once I moved past the initial characterizations. Northcote shows a great relationship from the first moments of attraction, through the confusion and identity crises, all the way to the HEA.

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