16 January 2015

The Burnt Toast B&B Tour Stop!

 After breaking his arm on set, Wolf’s Landing stuntman Ginsberg Sloan finds himself temporarily out of work. Luckily, Bluewater Bay’s worst B&B has cheap long-term rates, and Ginsberg’s not too proud to take advantage of them.

Derrick Richards, a grizzled laid-off logger, inherited the B&B after his parents’ untimely deaths. Making beds and cooking sunny-side-up eggs is hardly Derrick’s idea of a man’s way to make a living, but just as he’s decided to shut the place down, Ginsberg shows up on his doorstep, pitiful and soaking wet, and Derrick can hardly send him packing.

Not outright, at least.

The plan? Carry on the B&B’s tradition of terrible customer service and even worse food until the pampered city-boy leaves voluntarily. What Derrick doesn’t count on, though, is that the lousier he gets at hosting, the more he convinces bored, busybody Ginsberg to try to get the B&B back on track. And he definitely doesn’t count on the growing attraction between them, or how much more he learns from Ginsberg than just how to put out kitchen fires.
Soooooo I have to start out by admitting that this is the first book I’ve ever read in which one of the main characters was transgendered. And while there was no mention of it in the book’s synopsis, the fact is that with The Burnt Toast B&B being a part of the Bluewater Bay series it wouldn’t have deterred me from reading it. To be honest, I’m kind of glad I didn’t know because I feel like it enabled me to experience Derrick’s stunned reaction when Ginsberg makes the revelation – and just like Derrick, the stunned silence was not due to an “Eww that’s gross” response, but rather a “Dude, I did NOT see that coming!” reaction. But much like Ginsberg, I expected a far different response from Derrick and was just as shocked with the lack of judgment that Derrick showed.

One of the things I enjoy about the Bluewater Bay series is that the books seem intent on showing that love is love and things like age differences, race, gender, and socioeconomic status shouldn’t stand in the way – that nothing should effect who you love as long as you love that person fully. The Burnt Toast B&B demonstrates this perfectly. It also does an excellent job of demonstrating how one’s self-doubt, self-recriminations, and internalized stereotypes can destroy a relationship and a person’s happiness. Not only does Derrick have to admit that he loves Ginsberg, he also has to learn how to let go of his old-fashioned gender role biases and how to love himself. Fortunately, Ginsberg and Jim are there to help him along the way, even when the help he needs is a good punch in the nose.

Ms. Belleau and Ms. Haimowitz have created a wonderful romance about two men who are each lovable in their own way. Thankfully Ginsberg’s outgoing and charismatic personality complements Derrick’s withdrawn and surly nature. Except for the informative and freaking hot sex scenes, I tended to forget the Ginsberg was transgendered and I suspect this is the authors’ intent because it furthers the point that love is love. Regardless, The Burnt Toast B&B is another great addition to the Bluewater Bay series and my re-read list. I do so hope that there are more books being written for this series as I have enjoyed every page I have spent in Bluewater Bay.
Hi, and welcome to the Burnt Toast B&B blog tour! We’re Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz, the authors of the book, and we’re so thankful to have you along for the ride, and thankful to our hosts, Crystal's Many Reviewers, for having us here today!

Normally on a blog tour, we like to share all kinds of behind the scenes goodies to do with the book: inspiration images, glimpses into research and plotting, deleted scenes, conversations about our process, character bios, etc. For this tour, though, we’re doing something a little different, but we hope you’ll still find it worth your while.

When Heidi first pitched The Burnt Toast B&B, it was as an opposites-attract story centring around the world’s worst B&B . . . and an M/M romcom where one of the lead guys just happened to be transgender. Writing solo, she’d done a trans book before, but that was very much a Trans Book, all about exploring gender identity, defining who you are, and coming out to your friends and loved ones. This book . . . isn’t that. It’s the story of an optimistic hipster stuntman and a pessimistic lumberjack who learn to make espresso, fix up a failing B&B, and generally butt heads in between loads of laundry.

Ginsberg, our hipster, is much like many of our other favourite M/M heroes: he’s funny, resilient, romantic, and sexy as hell. He’s also transgender; secure in his identity, his body, and his sexuality; and working in a career he loves. But his life isn’t without hardships. Ginsberg made his own family after his biological one turned out to be too toxic to live with. He scrimped and saved and borrowed to pay for the medical care he needed to be happy and healthy. He found a roof over his head as a “considerate couchsurfer,” living with friends and acquaintances on a temporary basis when money got tight. In Derrick and his failing B&B, Ginsberg finally finds an opportunity to have a real home, if only he can convince Derrick to keep the place open.

Ginsberg’s background of financial hardship and lack of family support is all too common among many people who, like him, are trans and trying to live happy, fulfilling lives as their true selves. As such, we the authors, our publisher Riptide, and our generous blog tour hosts will be using the next few days to highlight the personal fundraisers of real trans people in need. We hope that if you’ve got a little extra money this month, you’ll consider donating, and if money’s tight, maybe you can help by spreading the word, too. 
Today we’re here to try and help out Zoe, a 29 year old trans woman looking for support in her transition: http://www.gofundme.com/HelpingZoe

Zoe has known she was a girl since she was four years old, and now at twenty-nine she’s been out and living as a woman for eleven hard years. Thanks to unsupportive parents and job discrimination due to her being trans, she’s had a lot of financial struggles and hasn’t been able to transition as fully as she needs and deserves. Now she’s looking to “put all this behind [her]” and focus more on helping others, but to do that, she needs our help first. Zoe’s fundraiser has been online for awhile and hasn’t gotten nearly enough donations, and three months ago she left a message that she’s “almost ready to give up”. Now is the time to come together, rally behind her, and maybe help return her sense of hope. Please give as generously as you’re able at http://www.gofundme.com/HelpingZoe

Thank you so much for following our (slightly unconventional) blog tour! Be sure to leave a comment on this or any of our other tour stops for a chance to have $50 donated in your name to a trans-related fundraiser/charity of your choice. And if you choose to donate to any of the fundraisers we’ve highlighted over the course of the tour, don’t forget to forward proof of your donation to info@riptidepublishing.com with the subject line “Burnt Toast Tour Donation” to claim your $5 coupon(s) and enter your name in the extra special drawing!

Lastly, if you or someone you love is transgender and going through a difficult time, please check out the Trans Lifeline, http://www.translifeline.org/. This crisis helpline is staffed entirely by trans volunteers and runs at least twelve hours a day, seven days a week, in the US and Canada. If you’re in crisis, please call them. If you’d like to support this nonprofit, please visit http://www.gofundme.com/translifeline.


  1. Thanks for the review and fundraising! I've enjoyed the tour.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  2. I've really appreciated this tour and the extra chance to help people.

    caroaz [at] ymail [dot] com