Thursday, August 6, 2015

New Release by Renae Kaye: "You Are The Reason" #Interview #Excerpt #Giveaway

Davo’s a pretty average guy. He has a decent job, owns his own home, and spends his weekends at the pub. He fully accepts that he’s gay, but doesn’t want to be one of those gays, who are femme and girly. He likes football and other masculine pursuits, and firmly avoids anything that could be seen as femme—including relationships that last beyond fifteen minutes.

Then Davo’s friend and gay idol not only gets a boyfriend, but also adopts a baby girl. Davo is seriously spooked and scuttles down to the pub in fright. That’s where he meets Lee, who is cute from her cherry-red hair, to her pretty little dress and pointy red shoes. Davo is charmed—but how is that possible? He’s gay. Isn’t he? Then Lee tells him he’s actually a guy—he just likes to wear women’s dresses occasionally. Thoroughly confused about an attraction that’s out of character for him, Davo begins the long journey to where he can accept himself without caring what everyone else thinks.

 Available: August 7th 2015
Author: Renae Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 226 pages

An introduction to You Are the Reason
As you can see from the blurb, Davo’s a bit of an idiot.  He has this strange idea that hanging out with a flamboyant gay people will make him act the same.  He’s scared of it, because he was ridiculed as a child.
Davo meets Lee in the pub one night, where Lee is dressed as a woman.  Through a series of mishaps, he promises Lee three dates if Lee will help him out of a big problem he has.  Davo doesn’t do dates.  The following scene is when Davo picks up Lee for their first...

I approached the front door, clattering up the outdoor marble steps— and who had marble as their front steps? The doorbell was discreetly placed on the wall next to the extrawide double doors, and I waited with trepidation as the chimes echoed through the house. What the hell was I doing? A date? I was Davo, wasn’t I?
There was the sound of unlocking on the other side of the door, and it opened, revealing an older woman dressed in pants and a beautifully knitted jumper. Oh, shit. He lives with his parents.
Nothing can make a man’s balls curl up tighter than the thought of meeting the mother of the man he hopes to fuck hard later that night.
And this woman could be none other than Lee’s mother. She was delicate and older but definitely a feminine version of him. If I had met his mother before meeting him, I wouldn’t have mistaken Lee for a woman. This woman wore her femininity well—bright red hair (most probably dyed), a lush mouth, small jawline, and piercing eyes. She also had curves. Whereas I had assumed Lee was simply a thin, athletic woman, his mother showed me that the same set of genes, infused with the XX chromosome, created a curvy body that would’ve driven the straight men crazy in her younger years.
No wonder Honey Brennan lit up the screen, with a mother like that to emulate.
She smiled. “Hello. You must be David?”
I swallowed hard and put on my best greet-the-parents smile. “Hi. Just ‘Dave’ is fine, thank you. If you call me David, it makes me think I’m in trouble.” How lame, you idiot. I gave myself ten points for not swearing in front of the woman but immediately deducted fifteen points for being a lame-arse.
She smiled. “Very well. Dave it is. Now come on in.” She stepped back and waved me inside. “I’m Lee’s mother, Charlotte, in case you hadn’t guessed.”
I was checking out the acres of marble in the entrance hall, mentally trying to measure it to see if it was bigger than my entire house. I half heard her words and answered with only one of the two brain cells I had in my head. “Yes. I could see the resemblance to Lee immediately. You’re both beautiful.”
There was a pause while I deducted another twenty points from my scorecard. Pathetic comments never made a good impression.
I turned back to her with an embarrassed blush, only to see an answering stain across her cheeks. But she was smiling slightly, as if I had said something she agreed with.
“Come through to the kitchen,” she invited. “My husband is cooking dinner. I’ll introduce you, then find out where Lee has disappeared to. He’s been in a mad flap all afternoon.”
I followed her through the house, taking in the rich woods, the original artwork, and the spotlessly clean floors. “Oh. Is he okay? If there was a problem, he could’ve called to cancel.”
Mrs. Brennan stopped just before a doorway and threw an amused look over her shoulder at me. “It was nerves.”
Then she swept into the kitchen and hailed her husband.
Nerves? As in he was nervous about tonight? I set my face to a no-I’m-not-going-to-fuck-your-son expression and followed her into the meals area. An older, white-haired gentleman, wrapped in a bright green apron, was chopping up onions at the bench. He looked up as we came in.
“Howard,” Mrs. Brennan called. “Come and meet Dave. Keep him entertained for two minutes while I track down Lee.”
Lee’s father looked up with a huge grin and waved the knife to say hello, then motioned me to take a seat. “G’day, Dave. You can call me Howard. Now tell me, what do you do for a job?”
By the time Lee entered the room twenty-five minutes later, Howard and I were deep in conversation.
“…but I want my business to be profitable. Paying ten times as much for the same product doesn’t seem like good practice to me,” Howard was saying.
I was immersed in the discussion and missed Lee’s entrance. “But it’s not the same product, is my point. You’re taking a risk that the overseas factory is using the same standard as Australia. All I’m saying is that I have been called in to fix so many problems in the past. Inferior materials, shonky welding jobs, you name it. I found one brace that had been superglued instead of welded. If you’re willing to put your workers’ lives at risk like that, then by all means, import cheap designs. Me? I’d rather a local company do it, do it right, be there to install it on the spot, and come out to deal with any problems.”
Lee interrupted our discussion, which was the first I realized he was in the same room. And from the look on his face, he’d been there for a while. “Dad. You’re not discussing work are you?” He looked dismayed.
I turned around with a guilty face. “Sorry. My fault.” Then I got a look at him, and my breath caught in my throat. I thought he looked good in red, but he looked stunning in green.
The fifty points I’d added to my total for having an intelligent conversation with Lee’s father had ten points deducted for coming out with a single-syllable sentence. Immediately Lee blushed and looked at the floor with both pleasure and embarrassment. I gave my total another fifty points for the pleasure bit and decided to ignore the embarrassment. He looked great, and he should have no embarrassment at others commenting on it.
“You look great too, Davo. Very classic.”
I shrugged. “White shirt, black jacket. Can’t go wrong, right?”
We were eying each other off, silently complimenting and telling the other how sexy we found them, when Howard cleared his throat. “Right. And I have to agree with you there, Dave. My boy certainly knows how to dress.”
The word “dress” made me cough, but Lee burst out laughing. “Oh, Dad. Be careful what you say. Didn’t you know that the first two times I spoke with Davo I was actually wearing a dress?”



     Is Lee inspired by anyone? (Actor or other) 

One of the best things about being an author, is you get to play God.  YOU get to be the one in charge and laugh like crazy when you create a giraffe (GOD:  hahaha – isn’t making an animal with such a long neck hilarious??).
In the same way, I got to play God with Davo’s life.  He’s so anti-girl, anti-fem, anti-flamboyant that I just had to find him someone who was all of these things – and what better way than a guy who dresses in women’s clothing for fun?
So once I had the idea, I went searching on the internet for an image.  I wanted a firm picture in my mind of how Lee looked in a dress.  He needed to pass as a woman, and as a man.  And I came across this great photo:

The person in this photo describes themself as genderfluid.  But it gave me a starting point. 
Lee isn’t genderfluid or trans.  He presents as a guy 95% of the time.  Oh, sure – he enjoys a bit of flamboyance in his clothing, and a bit of guy-liner is great, but he just likes to slip into a dress sometimes, too.  He doesn’t think it’s wrong, or strange.  It is a part of his personality and he’s comfortable with it.

    You Are The Reason, is it a romantic comedy of sorts? That seems to be your formula and you’re amazing at it. 

Aww – thank you.  Yes, I would describe it more as a humorous romance.  Shawn’s Law is the only one of my books that I deliberately amped the comedic elements up.  For spin-offs, I try to keep the same humour level as the first book, so that readers who enjoyed The Blinding Light, can expect the humour to be of a similar type.
One of the reasons I first put pen to paper put word on page to write a book, is that I love stories that make me laugh.  I couldn’t find enough of them in the MM genre (remember this was a couple of years back) so I decided I would write my own, to make myself laugh.  And Loving Jay was born.
I write to amuse people.  I write to cheer people up.  I write to tell a good story that leaves a reader smiling as they read the last page.  It’s the Renae Kaye way.

       Lee’s parents seem fabulous! Truly. Were they easily accepting of Lee’s entire lifestyle? Was it a struggle? 

You Are the Reason is Davo’s story.  We don’t get much of Lee’s back story.  I really like Lee’s parents though.  Lee has an older sister who is a famous actress, so probably anything Lee does is rather anti-climactic to them.
This is not a story of the struggle to be gay.  This is a story of Davo’s struggle to accept that gay comes in many forms – and that’s okay.

      What’s the “points added, points deducted” thing about? 

LOL.  That’s Davo’s inner drama queen.  Don’t you ever play the points game?  “Ten points if you can make that cute bartender smile.  Twenty points if you can get Jason to drink anything other than beer.  Fifty points if you can run over that Grandma up there— no, only ten.  She’s moving too slow and is too easy to hit...”

     Was there a plot bunny that hit you into writing this story?

Ahahaha – was there ever!
You see, I never meant to write Davo as an MC in a story.  He was just Jake’s friend in The Blinding Light.  Then the readers demanded that I write his story.   Come on, people!  He was the opposite of a romantic figure.  The following lines are taken from The Blinding Light:
My good mate Davo is a top, 100 percent of the time with no exceptions to the rule. Ever. He has a standard pickup line: “Are you a bottom? Yes? Hi, I’m Dave.”
I guess that stops any disappointments later on during the relationship—the whole fifteen minutes of it, anyway. Davo has been topping his way through life since I’ve known him.
“So do you think that straight guys can get turned on by gay guys? Does it matter if the hand on your dick is male or female?”
Davo leaned against the wall and gave it serious thought. “To me it doesn’t matter if I’m desperate. I’ve had BJs from women before. You just close your eyes, you know?”
So when the readers kept asking for Davo’s story, I sat down and reviewed what I had said about him.  He sounded very masculine and very anti-female – perhaps he was afraid of the girly stuff.  I knew he needed someone special... how about someone who completely at ease with the girly stuff?
And Lee arrived...

     You refer to Davo as an “idiot” LOL… Is he an amalgamation of people you know or knew?
LMAO.  I once had a conversation with a gay man about homophobia.  He asked me why people were so homophobic, and I hypothesized that they had learnt it from their parents.  But then I mentioned my parents have never had anything nice to say about queer people, and he asked me why I wasn’t the same.
I thought about it – why wasn’t I the same as my parents?  In the end, I concluded that I had grown up with homophobia, and if you’d met the thirteen-year-old me, you may’ve been shocked.  But, somewhere in my teens, I stopped and thought about homophobia and came to the idea that there was nothing wrong with being gay.  I questioned the teachings of my parents, and came to a different conclusion.  It is a part of being human.  If no one ever tried anything new, or questioned beliefs, or rethought through the way we did things, then we would all be stuck in the stone age.
There are some people out there who never question the things they were taught as a child.  To some, it doesn’t occur to them.  Others are too afraid.
This is Davo.  He was bullied and mocked as a child by his teacher – a man in authority – who encouraged other boys to beat the “girly” inclinations out of their classmates.  It has made him afraid of acting like “one of those gays.”
As an adult, he logically can see that his teacher was wrong, but he still can’t quite get over that hump that will allow him to accept “one of those gays” as a close friend, or boyfriend.
Until he met Lee...

Renae Kaye is a lover and hoarder of books who thinks libraries are devilish places because they make you give the books back.  She consumed her first adult romance book at the tender age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped since.  After years – and thousands of stories! – of not having book characters do what she wants, she decided she would write her own novel and found the characters still didn’t do what she wanted.  It hasn’t stopped her though.  She believes that maybe one day the world will create a perfect couple – and it will be the most boring story ever.  So until then she is stuck with quirky, snarky and imperfect characters who just want their story told.
Renae lives in Perth, Western Australia and writes in five minute snatches between the demands of two kids, a forbearing husband, too many pets, too much housework and her beloved veggie garden.  She is a survivor of being the youngest in a large family and believes that laughter (and a good book) can cure anything.
How to contact Renae:
Twitter:  @renaekkaye

Renae Kaye is doing a giveaway! YIPPEE! She will gift ONE person a copy of her new book, You Are The Reason! Simply fill out the rafflecoter below :) Contest will run until August 12th! Winner will be contacted via email, so please check your spam.
Thank you, Renae for stopping by and sharing all this awesome insight into your new book!!! It's sure to be a success.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This book sounds really good! Thank you for the chance! :)

  2. Congratulations on the new book! Can't wait to read it. Not good at jokes, sorry :(

  3. A joke...A recent worldwide survey showed that out of 2,146,703,436 people, 94% were too lazy to actually read that number.

  4. Sorry to disappoint but I have no jokes to tell! Congrats on your newest release!

  5. Sorry. I can never think of anything if I'm asked specifically for something like a joke!

  6. Ooh, an on-the-spot joke? I'm pretty sure you don't want to hear the lame knock-knock joke I would come up with. ;) Not a joke...I've loved every Renae Kaye book I've read.

  7. Sounds great, I love fem characters. I can't wait to read the book :)

  8. Q: What do you call a gay cowboy?
    A: A Jolly Rancher!
    lol! Thanks for the chance :)

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.