Page/Word Count: 39 pages/11,500 words
Release Date: December 16, 2015
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Holiday Themed Contemporary Gay M/M Romance
Reid, an American shark research scientist, is in Perth, Australia working to develop a mobile app that may revolutionize shark safety practices. But even the company of his boyfriend, Graham, isn’t enough to stave off homesickness as Christmas approaches, and a missing shark and Graham’s struggling business seem set to ruin the holiday for good.
I was lucky enough to be able to help A.V. with betaing this story and I was impressed with the level of research she did to get the Perth feel just right. Below is a guest post where we talk about the on going fight for Marriage Equality in Australia. Change will come, let’s just hope it’s sooner rather than later.
On the Global Stage: Marriage Equality in Australia
Hi, RJ, Happy Holidays! Thanks so much for having me on your blog for ‘Five Engagement Rings‘— the fifth day of the ‘7 HOT Days of Christmas Blog Tour’ for “Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas”!
Thanks for asking me. It’s always nice to read about my little patch of the Earth and it’s not very often –read never – that I come across Perth in a book.
Oh, those authors are missing out! The more I learned about Perth, I had to write about it. Here’s a quick side-story: the way I first got to know RJ. I’d noticed where she lived, and I asked whether the term “lifesaver” or “lifeguard” was more prevalent in Western Australia. She answered, and within moments, she was taking a poll on Facebook with her friends! Now that’s pretty extraordinary. I took a chance, and asked if she would be kind enough to read “Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas” in one of its early drafts for Aussie-accuracy, and she agreed! I’ll always be grateful for her willing kindness. <3
Now, when I was writing this novelette, I waffled about how much of a “statement” I wanted to make with it. I came to realize that if I can’t make a statement with my own writing, then why write anything at all? So, this is a special post because it’s about one of the central themes of my story: marriage equality in Australia.
About the time I was outlining this story, the world was in a beautiful afterglow from Ireland saying YES to equal marriage by an unprecedented popular vote. America was still waiting, but hopeful, while our Supreme Court judges decided what was constitutional for all U.S. citizens. I was noticing rumblings that Australia was up next to be in the spotlight for same-sex rights. RJ, what sorts of things have you been seeing and hearing, and has it been building for a while, or does it seem to be happening quickly in the wake of other favorable outcomes around the world?
Our last Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was a staunch Catholic and was vehement in his statement that the Australian Constitution would not be changed. (Currently it states that marriage is between a man and woman.) Mr Abbott’s sister is gay and has been in a relationship for many, many years and Mr Abbott states that he loves his sister’s partner, but he believes that marriage was only for one man and one woman. (He studied to be a Catholic priest once so his faith is very deep.) When he was ousted as PM and Malcolm Turnbull came to power we all thought “Woohoo. Marriage equality at last!” There was a huge push and it dominated the news, but, even though Mr Turnbull is quite liberal in his views, he states that the Party’s policy is to go to a vote at the next election, much like what Ireland did. The majority of us think it’s a waste of money (it would cost $millions to have a separate vote) and we don’t understand why the Australian Government is dragging its heels. It’s globally embarrassing.
Funny you say that; I have a lot of my own global embarrassment. Don’t get me started on Prop 8 from 2008—I do live in California. Talk about shame! It was feelings like these that prompted me to write “Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas” as if the cross-party bill had gone through and that there was a successful vote in favor of equal marriage. I chose to do this because, to me, that reality is how it should and needs to be. I am hoping that what I’ve written as fact inside my fiction will soon bear no separation between it and what has already come to pass. I’ve read articles that’ve said it is inevitable Australia will have marriage equality put into law—if not now, soon. I even found this great new video from Australian Marriage Equality that outlines a solid plan to help love win in 2016.
What’s your pulse on it, RJ? Is Australia going to make it happen this first time around?
God, I hope so. I can’t imagine how stupid we’d look if it didn’t happen soon. We have openly gay members of parliament and it probably feels a slap in the face for them especially. They’re the ones passing bills and voting within the Party to change things, yet this one policy has become such a sticking point. Honestly, to be the only English speaking, Western country to NOT have marriage equality is highly embarrassing. We’re on the wrong side of history.
I know that feeling, and waiting for people to make up their minds to do the right thing…ugh. But, soon! May 23rd and June 26th will always be days of happiness and hope for myself and countless others around the world. I’m incredibly proud of every person who is fighting for and supporting marriage equality in Australia now, and looking forward to adding their happy date to the list. The world is watching, and we’re cheering you on! Together, we can all stand on the right side of global history.
Thank you so much again for having me here, RJ!
You’re welcome anytime! :)
Keep scrolling for the Grand Prize Giveaway!
A.V. Sanders loves and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She shares her home with her husband, two cats, and tropical aquarium fish. She is an avid hoarder of Halloween decorations and inconsequential information. When writing science fiction, mystery, horror and romance with LGBTQ main characters, she can be found staying up all hours of the night listening to endless sets of EDM music. She is an advocate of love, art, animals and frivolous acts of beauty. She also has a growing suspicion that not causing harm to one another is what matters in the end.
Connect with A.V. Sanders:
// Website // Twitter // Facebook // Tumblr // Goodreads //
‘7 HOT Days of Christmas Blog Tour’ Schedule:
12.16 – Wednesday – THE NOVEL APPROACH – A Partridge in a White Fir Tree: Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaways
12.17 – Thursday – CARLY’S BOOK REVIEWS – Two Sea Turtles: ‘Christmas Memories’ with A.V. and Carly + Giveaways
12.18 – Friday – PRISM BOOK ALLIANCE – Three French Men: ‘Let’s Talk About: Sharks!’ + Giveaways
12.19 – Saturday – BAYOU BOOK JUNKIE – Four Sea Birds: ‘On Location: Inspiration for the Story’ + Giveaways
12.20 – Sunday, Double Day! – AUTHOR RJ JONES’ WEBSITE + BECAUSE TWO MEN ARE BETTER THAN ONE BOOK REVIEWS – Five Engagement Rings: ‘Marriage Equality in Australia’ with A.V. + RJ Jones, Review at BTM, Giveaways at both!
12.21 – Monday – ON TOP DOWN UNDER BOOK REVIEWS – Six Blokes a-Layin’…Out: Review + Story Playlist + Giveaways
12.22 – Tuesday – HEARTS ON FIRE REVIEWS – Seven Sharks a-Swimmin’: Character Interview + Giveaways