Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway!
Banner art art by Becca Schauer
It’s a bright and sunny morning and the queen’s girlfriend is on her way back to the palace when she discovers something shocking that will rearrange lots of people’s lives: a beautiful young man, on the point of death, lying across a wandering horse. Who is he? What does his fancy clothing and royal ring mean? How did he get those wounds, and why did he come here for help?
The answer, as he soon reveals from the safety of a sickbed, is that he’s the youngest prince from a neighboring country, and his father has thrown his boyfriend into prison on a trumped-up treason charge. Apparently, in the City of Red Clay, asking that the king actually pay your workers what they were originally promised for a public works project “isn’t patriotic.”
Climbing the Date Palm is the story of two young men—one a good-looking but miserable prince struggling to rise above his anxiety and his father’s low expectations, the other a brilliant and earnestly moral activist who just wanted to do the right thing and never intended to end up leading a mass revolt. They complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses and give each other joy, and when they’re in trouble, they try as best as they can to protect each other.
It’s also a story about family. In real life, same-sex romance isn’t the beginning and end of a gay or bisexual person’s social sphere. There are also our mothers and fathers, our children, our siblings and those best friends who have become surrogate siblings, and our bosses and employees. The world of Date Palm (and its prequel, The Second Mango) reflects this richness, focusing just as much on the friendships between queer people, or between queer people and their straight loved ones, as it does between specific romances.
Come check it out if you’ve ever wanted to read a fairy tale where Prince Charming is bisexual, or where the male romantic interest is a fat gay nerd. Come visit for the benevolent but fierce dragon, the five-foot-eleven warrior woman, and the kingdom ruled over by a tiny lesbian in braids. And grab some baklava or stuffed grape leaves, because this is a book with serious food.
Kaveh came to Home City looking for someone to save his boyfriend’s life. He found that, and more—a “family of choice” around whom he feels for the first time that he can truly be who he wants to be. I invite you to come follow in his footsteps, and taste the baklava for yourself.
Click here to see an excerpt from the book.
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