Raine O’Tierney’s Bowl Full Of Cherries

This morning I have the pleasure of hosting Raine O’Tierney. Her latest book Bowl Full Of Cherries is out now. Since doing the interview with Raine I have read the book. It’s amazing. If you only read one holiday book this year (though why you’d limit yourself to only one is beyond me) read this one. She takes a look at how someone that has been bullied in the past because of his size. I’m not going to spoil the book but suffice it to say that she does an amazing job at it. Be sure to go all the way to the bottom and enter for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!

Amanda C. Stone: Good morning Raine! I’m so excited to have you back today.
Raine O’Tierney” AMANDA! Thank you so much for having me back for another interview. I always adore sitting down and talking with you.
ACS: Aww yeah! That makes my day. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am to read this book. As someone that has dealt with weight based bullying all her life, thank you for writing this. My question is where did this story idea come from?
RO’T: I woke up one day with the urge to write a handsome MC with a big, beautiful heart. Pretty standard, right? Except I knew I wanted him to be overweight. This had no bearing on his beauty or his heart, it was just part of him. I’ll be honest with you: the story idea scared the hell out of me because I thought, “Am I even a good enough writer to do the story justice?”
ACS: *interjects* Yes. You are. But that’s my opinion.
RO’T: But BECAUSE I’m super stubborn, I said, “Oh yeah, let’s rock this thing!”

I desperately want to see more diversity in M/M romance books, in all regards, but specifically in terms of size and shape. I enjoy the fit-n-toned MC as much as the next reader, but that’s only one segment of the community. There are beautiful people in this world who look nothing like the gents on a standard romance cover. My hope is that Bowl Full of Cherries proves to be a body-positive addition to the genre.
ACS: I’m sure that you’ve hit that mark. I just hope more books with characters of other body types come out. Was it hard to write about bullying and the effects of it?
RO’T: Actually, yes. One scene in particular. I’m a big gal and I have been for the better part of my life. I can tell you the exact moment I realized I wasn’t skinny. The first day of sixth grade when two girls I didn’t even know and hadn’t don’t anything to made me feel small. I’ve felt small pretty much every day since.
ACS: *hugs tight* It’s hard to understand, even as an adult, why those people felt the need to treat others that way.
RO’T: In addition to my own experiences, I started to do research on today’s climate of fat-shaming and became so depressed and disgusted by people’s cruelty (heightened by the anonymity of the Internet) that I had to quit the research and breathe through a panic attack. But once I’d stepped back, I figured out exactly how I wanted Crowley to grow and learn to love himself. It wasn’t enough for Rell to find him beautiful, he had to [REDACTED!] …You’ll just have to read how he empowers himself. I personally think it’s beautiful and I wish I was as brave as Crowley!
ACS: AH! You terrible tease! That’s ok because I’m excited to read how brave Crowley is. Now I haven’t read the story yet, so no spoilers. But from the blurb, it sounds like Averell didn’t identify as “gay” or “bi” before meeting Crowley. Did you purposefully set out to write a “Gay For You” story?
RO’T: I definitely I knew that Averell was going to be ‘gay for you’ (because I really enjoy the trope) but it also really fits his personality. When Rell meets Crowley, he sees (and likes!) who Crowley is and how beautiful he is inside and out. Rell isn’t distressed by his realization at all, it just is—he likes Crowley. You’ll have to decide for yourself, but I think the result is pretty adorable!
ACS: I enjoy the trop as well. Will we be seeing more from these characters in the future? Or is this it for them?
RO’T: Oh, yes, yes you will. ^_~ Hopefully next Christmas… I may or may not have been working on the sequel to this story right before this interview, actually.
ACS: WOOT! *happy dance*Final question. Again, no spoilers! But is there a happily ever after here?
RO’T: YES! Always. <3 I’m a firm believer in HEAs. The world can be a gloomy place sometimes so I like to put a little ‘forever’ in every book if I can.
ACS: Happy endings make me swoon a bit. Thank you so much for joining me here today. It’s always a pleasure to have you!

Porker, Fatty, Tons-of-Fun: Crowley Fredericks has heard it all. He’s dropped a lot of weight since his high school days, but he’s still a big guy, and the painful words and bullying follow him. Rejected—again—because of his size, Crowley is starting to think that maybe love just isn’t meant for huskier men.

Averell Lang and his twin are so different they might as well not even be related. So when Rell’s brother brings his roommate home to snowy Susset for the holidays, Rell expects the worst—another uptight, pretentious hipster. What he discovers instead is Crowley. Nerdy, fascinating, attractive, Crowley. Rell never expected to look at a man this way, and what he sees in Crowley Fredericks is something he didn’t even know he was looking for. If both men can overcome their hang-ups, they might unwrap more than presents this holiday season.

Even through the snow, Rell didn’t feel the cold. His face burned with the excitement of escaping the Livery and absconding with his brother’s best friend. He clasped Crowley’s hand, pulling him through the street. They ran and skidded and laughed, moving farther and farther away from the club.

“It’s beautiful tonight,” Crowley breathed and Rell squeezed tighter. “Doesn’t it weird you out though?”


Rell knew what Crowley was asking—didn’t even pretend that he didn’t. Stopping, he tugged lightly so Crowley came stumbling up beside him. He twined his arms around Crowley’s waist and held him for a moment, right there in the middle of the sidewalk.

“Does it weird you out? I’m your best friend’s brother.”

“Not weirded out at all.” Crowley shook his head. His dark eyes shimmered with concern. “But for you… I mean, it was loud in there and hot and fun and there was alcohol and… sometimes… things just happen and—”

“Yeah, things happen,” Rell agreed. “Except I’ve been to a lot of stupid hipster clubs with a lot of Tyler’s friends and….” He leaned forward and kissed Crowley again, letting the experience linger, melting the chill between them. He tasted like nogtini. “And nothing like that has ever happened.”

“But… do you even like guys?”

“Owl. You’re a guy. I like you.”

“But have you been with a guy?”

“Why are you over-thinking this?” Rell asked, gently cupping the side of Crowley’s face.

About Raine:
Raine O’Tierney, a passionate believer in what she calls The Sweetness, writes positive stories about first loves, first times, fidelity, forever-endings and.friskiness? When she’s not writing, Raine can be found fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job.

Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers. She changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Raine lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author and sometimes writing partner, Siôn O’Tierney.

Contact her if you’re interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about what kinds dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!
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Tour Stops:
5-Dec: BFD Book Blog, Louise Lyons, Molly Lolly, Velvet Panic, Carly’s Book Reviews
8-Dec: Hearts on Fire, Fallen Angel Reviews, Multitasking Mommas, Prism Book Alliance, Rainbow Gold Reviews
9-Dec: Up All Night, Read All Day, The Blogger Girls, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Inked Rainbow Reads
10-Dec: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Love Bytes, Iyana Jenna, Cathy Brockman Romances
11-Dec: Crystal’s Many Reviewers, MM Good Book Reviews, Queer Town Abbey, Full Moon Dreaming
12-Dec: Parker Williams, Amanda C. Stone, 3 Chicks After Dark, Cate Ashwood, Rebecca Cohen Writes, Michael Mandrake

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