Title: Keeping the Faith
Series: Faithfully Yours, Book 3
Author: A.M. Leibowitz
Publisher: Supposed Crimes
Cover Artist: Stacy O’Steen
Release Date: November 1, 2017
Romance Genre(s): Contemporary, M/M
About the Book
It’s been three years since Micah’s spouse, Cat, passed away at the age of thirty-six. In the process of cleaning his house, Micah discovers a series of letters Cat hid before he died, in which he made one request: that Micah empty his life of Cat as a way of moving on. Micah has been able to work through his sorrow, but he’s unable to fulfill Cat’s last wish. He can’t see a way past his loneliness despite all the caring people around him.
Enter two new friendships. Jude, Micah’s vivacious new coworker, brings joy back into his life. But she has a big secret about her family, and the truth will rock Micah’s understanding of who she is. Chris, the new minister at Cat’s former church, intrigues Micah. Unlike Jude, Chris is an open book, from his musings on theology to his work as a trans advocate and activist. His gentle manner and deep faith become safe space for Micah to open up about his loss.
Through them, Micah becomes involved with the town’s new community center, where he offers a creative writing class. Using Cat’s detailed letters, he fictionalizes their love story to share with his students. In doing so, he at last begins to sort through his complicated grief. Micah learns he doesn’t have to erase his life with Cat in order to make new memories. He may even be falling for Chris, despite their vastly different spiritual views. With a little help from family and friends, Micah will need to open his heart to love again.
After flipping through an album of Cat’s early childhood, Micah put that in the growing pile next to him and lifted out the letters.
These were different. They were written more recently. Micah went through the envelopes, his mouth dropping open in surprise. Cat had written them all during the time after he’d become ill. He’d known then he was dying; it had been his choice not to take drastic measures to alter the course of his long illness. It had taken five months almost to the day for him to finally acquiesce to the effects of multiple organ failure on his body. The final month had been agony, and Cat hadn’t been lucid enough in that time to compose any more letters. The last one was dated about five weeks before he died.
The only thing left in the trunk was the small box. Micah took it out and examined it. The box was metal and had a lock, but there was no key. Micah searched the bottom of the now-empty trunk, but there was nothing inside. He shook the box and heard the items rattle. There might be a way to pick the lock, but he wasn’t any kind of expert.
Micah opened the first letter. Inside, he found the key to the lock box and a folded piece of paper. He withdrew both and set the key on top of the box. Slowly, he unfolded the letter and read the greeting. He only got as far as Dearest Micah when he let the paper fall from his fingers. His immediate urge was to shove it back into the envelope and never open it again nor any of the others.
His head swam; he wasn’t ready for this. What secrets was Cat going to reveal in death that he hadn’t shared in life? It was as though Cat spoke his name right from the page, and it tore open the wound of his death. Micah’s eyes burned as he struggled to hold back an ocean of raw grief. Unable to continue for the moment, Micah let it take him, covering his face and sobbing.
It took a moment for him to realize that something was nudging him, and he fought to regain control. Opening his eyes, he found Thomas in his lap, trying to press close to Micah’s chest. Thomas’ head rubbed under Micah’s chin, and the cat purred. The rumbles soothed Micah, and his crying slowed. He took a deep breath.
He could do this. He could read Cat’s letters and not fall apart. Cat had trusted him to do so eventually, and Thomas was here to comfort him. Micah wiped his eyes and nose and picked the letter up again.
About A.M. Leibowitz
A.M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. They keep warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. Their published fiction includes several novels as well as a number of short works, and their stories have been included in multiple anthologies.
In between noveling and editing, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and their family.
Connect with A.M. Leibowitz
To celebrate the latest release from A.M. Leibowitz, 3 lucky entrants will win an eBook bundle of all four titles in the Faithfully Yours series, which includes the following:
- Passing on Faith
- Walking by Faith
- Leaps of Faith
- Keeping the Faith
For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway closes at midnight EST on November 10, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.