Watch Point by Cecilia Tan

Hello! I’m Cecilia Tan, and right now I’m virtually touring my gay Navy SEAL romance, WATCH POINT. At each stop on the tour, leave comments to be entered to win a gay/queer romance prize pack from yours truly, including not only a copy of Watch Point, but a few of my other books (The Prince’s Boy, Magic University) and a Daron’s Guitar Chronicles swag pack with notebook and stickers.

Before we get into a spotlight of Watch Point, Cecilia has a few thoughts to share with us! ~ Military Romance as Guilty Pleasure by Cecilia Tan

For the most part I am against using the term “guilty pleasure,” because it is so often applied against things that we shouldn’t be guilty about. I believe in the pursuit of pleasure as a human right, so long as that pleasure doesn’t infringe other human rights. We shouldn’t have to feel that reading romance novels, in particular, is a “guilty” pleasure, as if they are the equivalent of having a chocolate chip cookie when we are “supposed to” eat carrot sticks.

 

But I do have a wee bit of guilt over one corner of romance, and that’s military romance. My conscience nags me: how can you enjoy reading and writing Navy SEALs when you don’t agree with American military might being abused around the world?

 

Navy SEALS in particular are a hot trope in American romance, especially since the assassination of Osama bin Laden, who for over a decade was held up as *the* “bad guy,” the villain of the world. It was a team of Navy SEALs who handled that operation, and the SEALs, who were already elite, were shot into the stratosphere of pop culture mythos in the wake of all the movies, books, and documentaries that followed. There are other elite military corps to write about: the Green Berets, US Army Rangers, Delta Force–and that’s just in the U.S. military. But the SEALs have captured the public’s imagination.

 

A romance novel always walks a line between needing to be realistic enough to create emotional impact and being fantasy enough to give us the safe buffer to ride out the twists and turns in the story. Wish-fulfillment is the engine that drives the story and traditionally in heterosexual romance the thing most fervently wished for is a perfect (yet imperfect) specimen of masculinity. Whether he is a billionaire, a sheik, a cowboy, or a kilt-wearing Scotsman, the romance hero embodies something the reader desires–passion, honor, riches, a heart of gold, strength–or more likely some combination. The Scotsman is uncouth but passionate, the cowboy strong but reticent to shore his heart. The Navy SEAL joins this cast of male paragons easily enough, and all of them can be translated into gay romance seamlessly.

 

But SEALs embody a kind of paradox. They are part of the military, where every man (and woman) wears a uniform to erase their individuality, and yet as members of an elite force they are each honed individually for their specific skills and talents. They are the ultimate soldiers (technically sailors; they’re Navy) yet they are also mavericks who operate alone, in pairs, or in four-man teams, often operating autonomously inside enemy lines. SEALs are the opposite of the rank and file. It’s no wonder they’ve captivated the popular imagination and movies and books have made them out to be a kind of cross between James Bond and Captain America. The paradox of being both under command and a rebel is very compelling to the American imagination. Being “rebels” is woven all through our patriotic stories (Boston Tea Party, anyone?) but so are tales of loyalty and sacrifice to the nation. It’s a mixture that’s irresistible in an “American” hero.

 

Some authors are able to write Navy SEALs without getting into the politics of the military. I’m not one of them. Part of that is the fact that in the Wounded Warrior series I am writing gay heroes in particular, and the recent history of LGBT folk in the US military is unavoidably political. But even aside from that, I think the main reason I wanted to write a Navy SEAL story in the first place is that I’m questioning the use and/or mis-use of American military might around the world.

 

Is examining the issues enough? I don’t know. What I do know is that in creating Eric, the Navy SEAL hero of Watch Point, I have created someone who embodies everything I think our best sailors, soldiers, and pilots are: patriotic, honorable, and willing to fight for justice and the downtrodden, to protect our democracy from totalitarian dictators and other threats. Whether the policymakers in Washington are as good-hearted is hard to determine, but all I know is there are a lot more Navy SEAL heroes in romance than politicians.

 

About Watch Point

Eric Sakai-Johnson joined the Navy SEALs to protect his country and the people he loves. After discharge, he finds himself relegated to protecting big pharma billionaire Aiden Milford from assassination attempts and kidnapping. Until Aiden reneges on a promise, fires Eric, and lets Eric’s mother die with millions of dollars in medical debt.

Now Eric is the kidnapper. Snatching Aiden’s twenty-two-year-old son, Chase, for a multi-million-dollar ransom is the only way to get justice. It’s time for Aiden to learn what it’s like when someone you love is at the mercy of forces beyond your control. Eric has it all planned out. The one thing he didn’t plan for is the intense erotic spark between him and Chase.

Chase has been chafing under his father’s autocratic control. A gay hookup app has been his only ticket to rebellion—to clandestine moments of freedom, excitement, and danger. Now it’s his ticket to a deep connection and amazing sex with his “captor.” On the rocky island where they’re sequestered, Chase finds Eric to be everything he wants in a man: quiet, strong, capable, and honorable . . . until he finds out he’s been captured for real.

 

Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/watch-point

 

20% of all proceeds from this title will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. Twenty percent of the proceeds from this year’s collection will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

The Russian LGBT network was founded in April 2006. It is an interregional, non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. They unite and develop regional initiatives, advocacy groups (at both national and international levels), and provide social and legal services.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: https://lgbtnet.org/en.

This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:

Pre-ordering this collection will allow you to download each story two days prior to its official release date, as well as save 20% off the list price of the individual books.

 

About Cecilia Tan

Cecilia Tan is “simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature,” according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan’s BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers chapter of RWA.

Her professional writing career began when she was still a teenager and her father offered to match every dollar she earned from writing while she lived at home. She immediately landed a gig writing a monthly column for Superteen magazine and provided articles to Teen Machine and other teen magazines. Her first professional fiction sale didn’t come until after college, though. While working a day job in book publishing in Boston, she began sending out erotic short stories. On the day she left her job to pursue a master’s degree in writing, her first short story acceptance arrived.

That was in 1992, several months after she’d founded Circlet Press, Inc., then the only book publisher dedicated to erotic science fiction and fantasy. Her first book, Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords, was self-published through Circlet because there was literally nowhere else that would even consider it.

Since then, Tan has authored many books, including the ground-breaking erotic short story collections Black Feathers, White Flames, and Edge Plays, and the erotic romances Slow Surrender, Slow Seduction, and Slow Satisfaction, the Secrets of a Rock Star series, The Prince’s Boy, The Hot Streak, and the Magic University series—as well as various nonfiction books on baseball including The 50 Greatest Yankee Games and The 50 Greatest Red Sox Games.

Her short stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Nerve, Best American Erotica, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and tons of other places. She was inducted into the Saints & Sinners Hall of Fame for GLBT writers in 2010, was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Leather Association in 2004, and won the inaugural Rose & Bay Awards for Best Fiction in 2010 for her crowdfunded web fiction serial Daron’s Guitar Chronicles.

She is the editor of the Baseball Research Journal and is publications director for the Society for American Baseball Research. She is also a part-time taekwondo instructor and is a certified therapist in an Asian bodywork style known as Okazaki restorative therapy. (That’s a fancy way of saying she can break you and then fix you up again.)

Tan has also been a lifelong activist in the BDSM and leather/fetish community. She is the founder of the Fetish Fair Fleamarket, the largest BDSM event in New England, and served for twenty years on the board of directors of the New England Leather Alliance (NELA) before stepping down to concentrate on writing and education.

She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner Corwin and three cats. Find out more at www.ceciliatan.com.

 

Connect with Cecilia:

 

 

Giveaway

 

To celebrate the release of Watch Point, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag including a copy of Watch Point, The Prince’s Boy, Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Vol 1, a DGC T-shirt, notebook, and stickers! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 11, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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9 Thoughts to “Watch Point by Cecilia Tan”

  1. H.B.

    Congratulations on the book release! It looks wonderful.
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  2. Jennifer

    As a new to me author, this is a great prize!
    jlshannon74 at gmail.com

  3. Trix

    I don’t generally believe in guilty pleasures either, but I do understand your conflicted feelings!

    vitajex(At)Aol(Dot)com

  4. Paul Wilgus

    I love military based books and this one sounds great. Sometimes paybacks are a bitch…lol.
    heath0043 at gmail dot com

  5. James Escol

    I’ve just finished reading Watch Point & I liked Eric & Chase a lot. The mindblowing sex, the battle of morals in Eric’s head, the undeniable chemistry between them & all the intense scenes packed into one created an amazingly crafted story. Great job! And I wholeheartedly agree with military people being honorable ones since they put their lives in danger to protect everyone’s safety. I couldn’t admire them for their passion & dedication even if I tried. =)
    mushyvince(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. James Escol

      ‘I couldn’t admire them MORE even if I tried’ is what I was supposed to say.

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  7. Lisa

    Thanks for your post. Having served in the military for 10 yrs & worked with some of the special forces, it’s tough not to hold them up as heroes. They do some of the most difficult jobs in the world. Do I believe our military forces have been misused? Absolutely. I believed that while I served. As our gov’t becomes more & more corrupt our military will also be more & more misused. That’s my $.02.
    legacylandlisa at gmail dot com

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