Him Improvement by Tanya Chris :: New Release + Author Interview

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Him Improvement by Tanya Chris :: New Release + Author Interview

Book Info

Title: Him Improvement

Series

Author: Tanya Chris

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Published: 3 September 2019

Cover Design: Alexandria Corza

Length: 60,000 words 161 pages

Keywords : Contemporary, M/M, Romance, enemies to lovers, opposites attract, millionaire, age gap, gentrification, compromise

Add To: Goodreads

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner |  Amazon US |  Amazon UK

B&N |  Apple |  Kobo  |  Google Play

Him Improvement by Tanya Chris :: New Release + Author Interview

BLURB

The course of true love runs through every neighborhood….

Only one thing stands between Gregory MacPherson II and his dream revitalization project for the gritty neighborhood of Ball’s End: a rinky-dink, run-down used bookstore called Hailey’s Comic. But when master negotiator Mac shows up to make a deal with the owner, he comes face-to-face with quirky, colorful Hailey—unexpectedly good-humored about Mac’s attempted eviction and, also unexpectedly, a hot guy.

Hailey won’t give up his lease, no matter how much money Mac offers. When it comes to consummating their mutual attraction, though, he’s a lot more flexible. Soon Mac has as hard a time prying himself out of Hailey’s bed as he does prying Hailey out of the building. But Hailey doubts Mac’s plans serve Ball’s End’s best interests, and he insists Mac give him a chance to prove his case. If they’re going to build a happy ever after, one of them will have to be remade….

Him Improvement by Tanya Chris :: New Release + Author Interview

Author Interview

Author name: Tanya Chris

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Sweets. I love sweets. Chocolate, cake, all of it.

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

In The Unbearable Lightness of Being (which is not at all a romance), the author talks about how we as humans want to believe there’s such a thing as the best course of action to take and that we can somehow figure out what that is. Then we look back on our choices and decide whether they were “right” or not based on the outcome. But we don’t know what the outcome would’ve been if we’d chosen differently, so we’re still only guessing.

That’s the “lightness of being” that’s unbearable—that idea that life isn’t as serious or consequential as we think it is, that maybe there aren’t right and wrong answers. I think about that when I’m feeling stuck or indecisive. Life isn’t something I can control, so it’s okay to stop trying so hard to control it.

The poem that touches your soul…

When I was nine, I got a book of poetry for Christmas, and I loved it so much I memorized a lot of the shorter poems in it. This was one of them. It seems particularly relevant these days:

“I saw a man pursuing the horizon”

By Stephen Crane

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;

Round and round they sped.

I was disturbed at this;  

I accosted the man.

“It is futile,” I said,

“You can never —”

“You lie,” he cried,  

And ran on.

In my family we say “you lie and run on” to each other as a way of saying we’re not buying whatever you’re selling.

Bonus poem! I first saw this as a young adult and it’s always resonated, but I’m not sure I’ve really learned the lessons in it yet.

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn…
With every goodbye you learn.

Author: Veronica Shoffstall

The event that altered the course of your life…

On January 1st, 2010, I stopped drinking. Nothing will ever be more important than that.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

If you’d asked me four years ago, it would’ve been this: to be a writer. I could cite some writing goals I haven’t achieved yet, like hitting a best seller list or making a certain amount of money, but just publishing books and having people read them is everything I ever dreamed of.

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

Emotions are temporary, but the regret that comes from hurting other people is permanent. We can sit with discomfort or sorrow or disappointment for a while without having to fix it. The best course of action to take when we’re feeling hurt is often to do nothing.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

I might block certain people’s access to the internet.

The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most…

I have an enemies-to-lovers called Among Heroes that features two snarky dudes hot-shotting their way through a plane crash. I snickered the whole time I was writing it. I still laugh reading it.

And the promo… (anything you wish to say about your book, the series, the book cover, your writing process, the characters, etc.)

Him Improvement is a heart-warming story about two men on opposite sides of an important issue. Mac comes from a rich background. He’s accustomed to being right and getting his way, and although he’s not a bad person, he makes typical upper class judgements about the poorer people living in the neighborhoods he reclaims through his development projects.

His redemption comes in the form of Hailey, the owner of a used bookstore in one of those neighborhoods. Mac’s infatuation with Hailey is sudden and all-consuming. It opens his mind to seeing the world from a different point of view and makes him want to be a better person. Basically Mac will do anything to make Hailey happy.

Hailey is this beautiful free spirit who’s found a community in a rundown neighborhood called Ball’s End. He doesn’t want to leave the home he’s made there, but he does want Mac. The two of them have a lot of compromising to do, and they do it beautifully.

I love writing about good people who have real issues to work through to reach their happy ending, and Mac and Hailey were particularly delightful to write. Also, used bookstores are my happy place, so I enjoyed setting a story in one.

Blurb:

The course of true love runs through every neighborhood….

Only one thing stands between Gregory MacPherson II and his dream revitalization project for the gritty neighborhood of Ball’s End: a rinky-dink, run-down used bookstore called Hailey’s Comic. But when master negotiator Mac shows up to make a deal with the owner, he comes face-to-face with quirky, colorful Hailey—unexpectedly good-humored about Mac’s attempted eviction and, also unexpectedly, a hot guy.

Hailey won’t give up his lease, no matter how much money Mac offers. When it comes to consummating their mutual attraction, though, he’s a lot more flexible. Soon Mac has as hard a time prying himself out of Hailey’s bed as he does prying Hailey out of the building. But Hailey doubts Mac’s plans serve Ball’s End’s best interests, and he insists Mac give him a chance to prove his case. If they’re going to build a happy ever after, one of them will have to be remade…. 

Thanks for having me on your blog!

 

 

Excerpt

Chapter One

GREGORY MacPherson II didn’t have the time or the patience to make a personal trip to a bookstore, but here he was. Alone.

No patrons roamed the narrow aisles formed by overstuffed bookshelves. No clerk waited at the vintage cash register sitting on top of a linoleum-covered counter barely capable of holding its weight. No one rushed to greet him from behind the tawdry multicolored curtain hanging at the back of the store.

From where he stood only a few feet inside the doorway, leery of allowing anything in the dusty hodgepodge to brush against his suit, he could see straight down the center aisle all the way to the back of the store. It was a thirty- foot-by-sixty-foot shoebox, longer than it was wide, one of four retail spaces on the ground floor of the six-story brick building and the only one still open. Which was why Gregory MacPherson II, commonly referred to as Mac, had personally dragged himself down here.

How the place could stay in business without any workers, never mind customers, was a mystery he didn’t intend to solve. He was there to shut the place down, not rescue it, though in the few short minutes he’d been exposed to Hailey’s Comic, he could already list a half-dozen ways to improve its profitability.

That sign out front, for instance. It was a purple whirlwind of planets, well done if you were going for an acid-trip vibe, but the name implied there’d be comics, and the sign implied there’d be comets. Or drugs. And from what he could see, there were neither. If an establishment wanted to bring in customers, it needed to make clear the services it provided and establish confidence that it would provide them well.

Then there was the matter of actually waiting on the customers you did bring in. A bell had tinkled as he’d entered, but apparently only for its own enjoyment.

“Hello?” He raised his voice to a level that couldn’t be ignored and had a brief moment to wonder if he really was completely alone before a head and a hand appeared around the edge of the curtain.

“Mercy, you scared me,” the head said. It belonged to a young man and had a mop of brown hair piled on top of it, a few shades lighter than Mac’s own reddish brown. “Sorry, I didn’t hear the bell. Give me a minute. I’m sort of in flagrante delicto.” The head disappeared.

“In flagrante delicto doesn’t mean naked, you know,” Mac told the air where the head had been. “It means you were caught doing something you shouldn’t have been. Something sexual.”

“Now, now. It’s never wrong to masturbate. There.” The head reappeared, this time attached to a body that gave Mac a startlingly clear vision of how it would look masturbating. The man was stringy, taller than Mac’s six- foot frame, but lean and underdeveloped—the body of a person who spent a lot of time reading. Or jerking off.

“What can I help you with?” He was in his mid-twenties, so perhaps ten years younger than Mac, dressed in jeans laddered with intentional rips, each the same two inches wide, running down his thighs like claw marks. His face was clean-shaven, fresh with his youth, and Mac wondered how his skin would react to having Mac’s tightly trimmed beard rubbed all over it.

“You’re free to browse around, even if I’m not out here.”

Mac added lax security to the mental list he was pointlessly compiling. “I need to speak to the owner.”

Hailey Green, owner of Hailey’s Comic, was the only thing standing in the way of his plans to revitalize this misbegotten section of Ballhaven, which plan started with this very brick building and would ultimately lead to Ball’s End—as everyone called it; he’d have to do something about the branding—becoming the newest hot spot for millennials to eat, drink, shop, and live. Urban revitalization was Mac’s business, and Hailey Green was Mac’s problem.

“Still me,” the man said, tilting his head to the side asif to take in Mac’s appearance more carefully.

Mac hadn’t changed clothes before driving down to Ball’s End, though he could’ve guessed the place would be dirty. He’d been reading a report on the effort to clear 502 Main Street of its tenants and had made an abrupt decision to come down and take care of ridding the building of its final holdout himself.

Him Improvement by Tanya Chris :: New Release + Author Interview

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Author’s Bio

Tanya Chris writes feminist-friendly romance in a variety of sub-genres and pairings–most especially M/M. Born on the West Coast and raised on the East Coast, she’s fact-based but thirsty for justice, and her books often include an examination of a current social issue, even when they’re set in the past. As a lifelong genre-hopping reader herself, she admires character-driven work with a message, regardless of the form it takes.

Tanya is an avid rock climber, a long-distance runner, and a participant in her local community theater where she has tackled most roles, including playwright, actor, director, producer, and stage manager. Her travels, both for climbing trips and for cultural exploration, have brought her to places as fascinating as Egypt and as beautiful as the Dolomites, though there’s no place like home.

Tanya is best known to readers for having written Aftercare and to writers for the quote “Writer culture is researching what degree is needed to be a paleontologist so your shapeshifting vampire dinosaur erotica will be authentic.” Her website features dozens of free stories, including the aforementioned (and highly authentic) shapeshifting vampire dinosaur erotica.

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