Get My Novel for Free this Canada Day Weekend!

by L Matthews on June 29, 2013

Pumpkin Spiced Cupcake and the novel

I recommend using vegan cupcakes as bribes.

Guys… remember when I said I had signed up to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) back in November 2011? Remember how I had a fabulously fun time writing what became The Old Arbutus Tree? Remember how I said that my characters, Rose and Jason, started steering the novelling ship and kept amazing me as everything fell into place with the plot and little wonderful details? Remember how I agonised over how to write queer teen sex scenes? Yeah? Seems like so long ago!

Well, after writing it in 2011, editing it in 2012, and then editing it and editing it and editing it… the novel is now out! With a beautiful cover photo by Mykola Swarnyk, The Old Arbutus Tree is a shiny and wonderful thing that is sitting beside me as I type. I’m a little smitten, and may have drunk a tad too much champagne earlier this week when it arrived. Maybe.

In The Old Arbutus Tree, I wanted to write about how difference (sexual or otherwise) can make you vulnerable, especially in a small town and in a climate of fear. For teens, Rose and Jason, their differences from their peers exposes them to horrendous injustice. The Old Arbutus Tree is a story of discovery, empathy and learning how and who to trust. It lays bare the common confusion of adolescent sexual identity and the devastating effects of a small town’s prejudice. When power, privilege and access conspire against justice, Rose and Jason are forced to see how desire is policed by our peers, our town, and the wider judicial and medical establishments. Can they help each other recognise real love, in whatever form it comes, and give themselves permission to accept it?

The Old Arbutus Tree by Leigh Matthews

Print copies will be are on sale on Canada Day and I’m offering the eBook version for free! Head on over to the mighty Amazon and grab your free copy this weekend (the promo ends on Monday at midnight PST). If you don’t have an eReader then don’t worry, you can still read the book on Kindle Cloud. And, even if you have no intention of reading it… it’d be great if you downloaded it anyway as that will help bump up the novel’s ranking and get it in front of more people who might want to find out about queer injustice in Alberta in the 1980s. There are some of those people around, right? Thanks for helping an author out.

It’s been a long time coming and a steep learning curve but I’m very excited about the novel and I’m already trying to find time in my schedule to edit the next one!

I think I might make myself a cake in the shape of a book this weekend; perhaps it will be easier to format than the blessed Kindle…

Hope you all enjoy the novel and your holiday weekend!

NB: Trigger warnings for sexual violence in the novel.

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