Book Spotlight: Growing Pains by Cass Lennox

Growing Pains
(Toronto Connections #3)
by Cass Lennox
Date Released: March 20, 2017

About Growing Pains
Gigi Rosenberg is living his best life: performances in the big city, side gigs at a dance company, a successful drag act, and the boy of his childhood dreams who now adores him. Even if the boyfriend part isn’t the sparkly ride of passion he expected it to be, life is sweet. So when his sister’s wedding calls him back to his hometown, he sees an opportunity to show the hicks from his past how wrong they were about him. Only, his boyfriend isn’t quite on board.

Brock Stubbs left their hometown and his parents behind for a reason, and the prospect of facing them again is terrifying. He swore he’d never go back, but Gigi has made it clear refusal isn’t an option, and Brock will do nearly anything for him. There’s just one deal-breaker of a problem: Brock promised Gigi he was out to everyone, including his parents. He lied.

It’s magical to run into the sunset together, but staying the course takes work. For Gigi and Brock, going home feels like the finale of a long, disappointing year. Sometimes love isn’t all you need.

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About the Toronto Connections series
The winters might be cold, but hearts are warm in Toronto. Canada’s largest city is home to a big lake, a big tower, and a big queer community. People here are trying to get by like everyone else: pay the bills, deal with life in the city, and maybe find some happiness along the way with someone who’s sweeter than maple candy and more constant than a Canadian’s love for Timmie’s coffee.

For some, falling in love is a real challenge. For others, falling is the easy part—it’s the happy ever after that proves a little more difficult. But in the end, love is worth every complication, misunderstanding, and occasional swear word.

About Cass Lennox
Cass Lennox is a permanent expat who has lived in more countries than she cares to admit to and suffers from a chronic case of wanderlust as a result. She started writing stories at the tender age of eleven, but would be the first to say that the early years are best left forgotten and unread. A great believer in happy endings, she arrived at queer romance via fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and manga, and she can’t believe it took her that long. Her specialties are diverse characters, gooey happy ever afters, and brownies. She’s currently sequestered in a valley in southeast England.

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A Guest Post by Cass Lennox
The Rent Phase

Gigi, one of the protagonists in Growing Pains, is a performer. He can sing, dance, act, and is trying to build a life around doing those things with a drag act on the side. It's a difficult career path to follow, and while this story is definitely not about that, I couldn't resist throwing in a few references to one of the key influences on him.

I'm talking about stage musicals.

In my age group, liking musicals was seen as a sort-of-okay but pretty geeky thing, limited to the music and theatre kids. I think they were ahead of the curve, because the stage musical scene seemed to re-explode a few years later (o hai Glee). Huge hits like Rent, Wicked, the rediscovery of classics like Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Jesus Christ Superstar (um, does anyone want to talk about Tim Minchin as Judas in that? Just me? Okay), The Lion King, Billy Elliot, Matilda, Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, Hamilton, etc etc as well as the smaller stage pieces that didn't go global – suddenly they were amazing and cool and everyone had to see them! And rightly so – they're awesome.

For me, it started with winning a ticket lottery to see Rent on Broadway during a trip there. I knew absolutely zilch about it, but thoroughly enjoyed myself. Now Rent has dated kind of badly – what do you mean you're refusing to pay rent? What the hell's wrong with you? And how did all you bohemians find empty exposed-brick warehouse apartments in Manhattan anyway?! – but I don't know any musical lover who didn't go through a Rent phase for at least a brief period of time.

In honour of those kids, (plus the families who lived with them during said musical phases) and the people they grow up to be, here are some of the musical songs that led Gigi down his chosen road.

"Take Me or Leave Me" (Rent)

"The Point of No Return" (Phantom of the Opera)

"Sing" (A Chorus Line)

"What Do You Do with a BA in English?" (Avenue Q)

"Gravity" (Wicked)

"Turn It Off" (Book of Mormon)

"When I Grow Up" (Matilda)

To celebrate the release of Growing Pains, one lucky winner will receive $15 in Riptide Publishing credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 25, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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  1. Thank you for sharing that with us. I didn't use to be into musicals but I have more of a appreciation for it now. My sister loves Rent too. Thanks for sharing those video links =)
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  2. Congrats and thanks for the post. My being of an older generation, and a band/theatre nerd, I'll unashamedly take some of the credit for being ahead of the curve on musicals :-). I do love Toronto, so that in itself interests me in the book, and Gigi (although I'm more like Brock).
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  3. Thank you for hosting me and Growing Pains!


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