Saturday, May 27, 2017

Blog Tour: Equality by Helena Stone #Review #Giveaway #Guest Post

When an issue brings out the best in a nation

It goes without saying that the result of the marriage equality referendum in Ireland was a cause for celebration for those who, like me, supported a Yes-vote. But, in retrospect, that wasn’t the only reason the days, weeks, and months leading up to that crucial day in May lifted my spirits.

The sheer number of, often high profile, people lending their voice and prestige to the campaign was as astounding as it was heart-warming. Actors, sport personalities, a former president, a well-known politician all stepped up, sometimes sacrificing privacy, either their own or that of a family member.

In fact, I am convinced that the only reason we heard so many ‘No’ voices during the campaign is the Irish rule regarding elections that says that both sides of an argument should always be represented in the media. And it was telling, even during the early days just after the referendum had been announced, that while those advocating for a Yes-vote always sounded conciliatory and forgiving, their opponents always made a desperate and somewhat aggressive impression while they used arguments without relevance and tried to pull unrelated issues into the discussion.

And that was only the beginning of the wonders. In the last few days leading up to the referendum it became very clear that the issue had managed to inspire people to go to previously unknown lengths when our (air)ports found themselves working double time just to accommodate those who returned home in order to add their support.

#HomeToVote was used 72.000 times on Twitter in the lead up to the May 22nd poling day. While I can’t claim that every tweet represented a person who made that journey, it is safe to say that the referendum led to something unique. Emigrants are not entitled to vote in Irish elections or referendums and up until May 2015 people had not been inclined to make a, sometimes very long, journey just to be able to cast a vote. I have to admit that I spent a lot of time staring at my computer screen through tear filled eyes over the 48 hours leading up to the referendum.

When, after a longer than comfortable wait, the numbers were at last announced, we learned that 60.5% of eligible people voted; the highest turn-out for a referendum since the start of the twenty-first century. 68% of those who voted gave a resounding Yes in answer to the question ‘Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex'. Translated into numbers this means that 1,201,607 people voted in favour while 734,300 voted against. And only one county out of forty rejected same-sex marriage.

In retrospect it is easy to say that the result was never really an issue. All the polls indicated a win for those in favour of equality. But then, we’d seen that before with other referendums only for the outcome to surprise all. While I was cautiously optimistic throughout the whole campaign, I couldn’t help feeling as Lorcan does in Equality when he says:

“I can’t help worrying that we will need to convince a truckload of straight people to vote Yes on a subject that won’t change their lives one way or another. I mean, even if they do believe we should have the right, will they come out to vote? What if it rains on the day?” (…) “We both know what the church is going to be saying about this subject. And there’s still a lot of people in this country who will follow their priest’s orders without a second’s hesitation, just because that’s what they’ve been doing their whole lives.”

Which made it all the more satisfying to wake up to headlines like this one the day after the result had been announced.

Buy Links: Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Length: 58,300 words

Dublin Virtues Series

Patience (Book #1) Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK
Renewal (Book #3) Pride | Amazon US | Amazon UK 


Love is love. But what if the fight for equality gets in the way of building a relationship?

Lorcan Barratt has never considered himself relationship material. After his parents made it perfectly clear they’d never welcome a partner of his into their home, he learned to love his own company and can’t imagine sharing his life with another. After a single passionate kiss with Eric Kavanagh—the night before he travels to Canada for three months—Lorcan’s no longer sure he wants to be on his own. The problem is, he has no idea what sharing his life with someone else might entail.

Eric Kavanagh grew up in a loving and supportive family and always assumed he’d end up in a committed relationship. Sure that he’s found the one, Eric doesn’t worry about the fact that Lorcan has no experience when it comes to love and relationships. They are good together, so what could possibly go wrong?

When both men get involved in the marriage equality referendum in Ireland, it appears to bring them even closer together until Lorcan’s insecurities get the upper hand and he shuts Eric out. Will the fight for a yes-vote cost them their relationship or will they be able to find a balance between the love they share and the need for equality?


Equality, the second book in the Dublin Virtue series, can be read as a standalone but we do get to see Eric and Lorcan’s first kiss which in my opinion gives a more complete idea of these two guys.

I loved the start of the story because going through the nervousness and worry that Lorcan is feeling waiting for Eric to return from Canada gave me, as a reader, an immediate connection to him. Lorcan and Eric are very different people. Lorcan is much more intense especially when it comes to the dynamic of his family and his being gay. He obsesses over things that are important to him but has that worrywart and guilt thing down pat. It also gave me a better understanding about him and made my heart hurt for him. Lorcan’s grandmother was freaking fantastic! She stood by his side and spoke out against his parent's beliefs which just further endeared her to me.

Eric is quiet and the type of person that thinks things through before reacting. Now he’s back home he decides traveling isn’t for him especially since he has Lorcan there. The author’s characterization of not just Eric and Lorcan but to each secondary character was wonderfully done. She weaves each personality trait so well with the story that you feel each character in every part.

Lorcan and his struggle were what initially hooked me to this story, and his struggle with not only his family but with this new relationship was what kept me going. This story of equality that the author wrote was beautiful and touching and I recommend you give it a read.

May 23 - The Novel Approach
May 25 - Urban Smoothie Read, BooksLaidBareBoys, Dreams and Screams Bookaholics, Book Lovers 4Ever, Booklove
May 27 - Diverse Reader
May 29 - Joyfully Jay, Sexy Erotic Xciting, M/M Book Addicts, Keysmash, Making It Happen, MM Good Book Reviews
May 31 - The Geekery Book Review, Padme's Library, Sarandipity Book Reviews, Bonkers About Books, Bayou Book Junkie, Reading Is Our Satisfaction, Dog-Eared Daydreams, Foxylutely Books, Jim's Reading Room

Author Bio

Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.

Helena can be found in the following places:

Facebook Author Page
Amazon Author Page

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