Review: Long the Mile by Ally Blue

November 27, 2013 Review 8

Review: Long the Mile by Ally Blue

Sometimes it takes losing everything to find what you really need.

When Judah went to prison for insider trading, he lost everything he thought was important: his business, his money, his power. But when he gets out, homelessness strips him of the one thing he has left: his self-respect. When another homeless man saves him from a beating, he begins to learn to rely on the goodness of those around him.

For Toby, life on the streets has become familiar. Comfortable. So comfortable he wonders if he’s given up on changing his life for the better. Then comes Judah. Formerly rich, newly homeless, all his pride and attitude gone along with his material possessions. Helping Judah feels good. Their unexpected connection—physical and beyond—feels even better.

Their shared situation nurtures a growing closeness that blossoms into something deeper. But when change comes knocking, it will take all their strength to keep fear and insecurity from tearing them apart.

20% of all proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visithttp://www.aliforneycenter.org/.

Title: Long the Mile
Author: Ally Blue
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Down, Hell's End, The Secret of Hunter's Bog
Series: Home for the Holidays
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: How I Met Your Father, Lost and Found, Christmas Kitsch
Published by Riptide Publishing
Source: Publisher
Published: December 2, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Male Male Romance
Pages: 140
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website

Stars: five-stars
Flames: four-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

Long the Mile was a heart wrenching and heart-filled story of two men whose pasts were different but along the way found commonality in the present and future.

Judah was recently released from prison. A self- made man, caught in the scheme of insider trading; he lost everything while serving his time. Money, home, friends and faith.

Toby, also homeless, had almost resigned himself to his circumstances, but still harbored some semblance of hope. The two men forged a bond that was beyond the physical and ventured into survival.

Ally Blue painted a tale of survival of the fittest. A problem that exist with today’s homeless. Ms. Blue’s portrayal was not one of fantasy but of reality as Judah and Toby traversed the hardship of homelessness, ambiguity, and general feelings of despair. Each man reacted to his circumstances based on his past life, but soon learned that if a future was to be had then his way of thinking needed to change.

Ms. Blue’s writing was gutsy as she wrote of a bit of humanity in trying times. I adored her portrayal of both men and the love and bond created between the two. Judah and Toby were characters with little to no hope yet each possessed the will to live and better their circumstances. They both touched my heart strings and had me cheering for an HEA.

Long the Mile is a tale well worth any readers’ time. Kudos to Ms. Blue for making a donation to the Ali Forney Center in New York- a worthy cause.

Karyn Gerrard

 

Hi y’all! I’m Ally Blue. Thank you to The Jeep Diva for having me here today! Like several of my previous books, my latest release, Long the Mile from Riptide Publishing is set in the town where I work: Asheville, North Carolina. It’s a really cool place, but like many cities, we have too many people living on the streets and not enough services to take care of them. In this post, I’ve put together a few facts about homelessness in Asheville, and following that, a few “fun facts” about the real places that I’ve mentioned in the book. Enjoy the fun stuff, and please take the facts on homelessness as food for thought regarding the people who need your help in your own area. Thank you for reading!

Average low temperature in Asheville during the winter months is in the 20s (Fahrenheit). That means that anyone forced to sleep outside is sleeping in temperatures well below freezing for most of the winter. Check the average temps where you live, especially if you’re in a northern city, and try to imagine yourself living in those temperatures day after day and night after night, rain or snow or shine, without relief. I can’t. It horrifies me to think of people having to make it through night after night and day after day with no shelter in conditions like that.

Asheville’s homeless population is counted on Jan 25th of each year. In 2012 the count was 523, 80 of which were chronically homeless. View the PDF here.

If you looked at the PDF, you’ll see that there are FAR too many children on the street. As is the case in most places, many of the homeless (though by no means all) have mental health issues. The lack of mental health services is a contributor to homelessness everywhere, Asheville included.

According to the same group who collects this data, not being able to afford housing is the primary contributor to homelessness.

Asheville has (as far as I’m aware) the only membership organization for the homeless anywhere in the country. It’s the Asheville Homeless Network, and this organization has worked with shelters and other service providers in the community to help the city’s homeless population in countless ways. For example: with the help of the AHN, some of the shelters now have a Code Purple, which allows them to let any homeless person into the shelter at any time when the temperature drops below freezing (which happens a lot here in the winter) and to expand their sleeping capacity with cots, sleeping bags, etc, so that more people will be safe and warm inside rather than sleeping outdoors in the cold. During a Code Purple, people needing shelter do not have to participate in the shelter’s programs like they normally would. The link for AHN above tells you more about the network, and has links for local resources, telling you how you can help. You can also check with your local shelters to learn how to help in your own community

 

If you read Long the Mile, you’ll see some spots mentioned: buildings, restaurants, landmarks, etc. Some of them are made up on my part, but not all. Here are some awesome Asheville spots that are very real, and are places to see if you ever visit:

The Kress Building. It was a 5-and-10 cent store (or at least the bottom part was) in Asheville’s long ago days, and had fallen into disrepair. The building was restored in 2000. Now the upper floors contain high-end condos, and the upper street level holds the Kress Emporium, where a whole bunch of local artists sell their stuff. The bottom street level is a different store, I can’t remember the name of it but it’s a really cool place. Lots of awesome furniture Both stores are wonderful places to shop for local Asheville wares.

The French Broad Chocolate Lounge. A relative newcomer to Asheville, but one of my favorite places in the city. They make their own chocolate on site, and every single thing they make, from the French press coffee to the cake to the yummy truffles, is excellent. I take everybody there when they visit. If you go there, be warned, there will be a line out the door on weekend nights; they have live music and it gets crowded. If you want to go just to experience the place and get great food and drink, go during the day.

Barley’s Taproom. Asheville’s become a bit of a foodie Mecca in the last few years, with fabulous new restaurants opening practically every day. But Barley’s is an Asheville staple. It’s been here for nearly twenty years. They have branches in other nearby cities now, but the Asheville one is the original. I don’t drink beer, but I’m told you can get anything you want here. They also have a nice wine selection, and some hard ciders, hopefully more to come once the new local cider brewer starts up. And the pizza is to die for!

Pritchard Park. If a city can have a heart, this is Asheville’s. This is where people gather. This is where the famous drum circle happens every Friday night. This is where impromptu rallies tend to come together. It’s partly the geography of the streets which form a triangle, and partly the way the park itself is put together with seating and green space. The big, megaphone protests might happen in Pack Square, but the seeds tend to sprout in Pritchard Park.

The Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club. Or, just The Orange Peel. THE BEST live music venue ever in the history of the world. Says me Hey, the bathrooms are still clean even after the show! Every time. Beat that. They Might Be Giants even wrote a song about the place. Kind of. That’s how awesome it is!

So, that’s my town. A bit of the fun, and some of the serious. I hope you enjoyed the tour Please take a few minutes this winter to contribute what you can to your local shelters. Call them up and ask them what they need. Coats, blankets, food, money, volunteers, supplies, etc. They will be happy for your help!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

20% of all proceeds from this title are donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York, whose mission “is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.” To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit http://www.aliforneycenter.org/.

 

Bio:

Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst. She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row. Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.

Connect with Ally on the interwebs:

     Website     Twitter     Facebook profile     Facebook fan page     Tumblr     Pinterest     Goodreads

Love Is Blue Yahoo announcements group          Fiction With Friction group blog


8 Responses to “Review: Long the Mile by Ally Blue”

  1. Pansy Petal

    As a veteran myself, the charities that get my money most often, are usually veteran related, which includes the homeless vet. The only non veteran related organization I contribute to is the Make a Wish Foundation.
    Ally, this book sounds good. I look forward to reading it. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kassandra

    If I have the money and an organization needs it, I will most likely donate to them. The hubs and I have two daughters that have special needs, so we tend to donate to a variety of charities related to those, as well as several Native American charities. Being an Army brat of a retired Disabled Veteran has me donating to most veteran related charities when I can.

  3. BookLady

    Long the Mile sounds like a very touching book. Thanks for sharing the review and information about homelessness. Some of my favorite charities are Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, and the local animal shelter.

  4. Ally Blue

    Hi everybody, thanks so much for stopping in to comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 Big thanks to the Jeep Deep also for hosting me today, and also for the awesome review. I’m so happy you liked the book, thank you!

  5. Jbst

    I enjoyed the posting about Asheville, which sounds like an interesting place to visit. Matthew 25 is one of the charities that I like to donate to.

  6. Ally Blue

    Hi folks! Well, I’ve done my thing and picked a winner for an ebook copy of Demon Dog, using my trusty random number generator on Random.org. If anyone is interested in my process, what I did was to assign each original comment on each blog a number. If you commented on multiple blogs, then each comment got its own separate number. After that, I added up the total number of comments and had Random.org pick a random number. As it happened this time, that random number was 1, Shirley on the Blog of SidLove. Congratulations, Shirley!

    Thank you to all the wonderful blog hosts for your graciousness, thanks to everyone for commenting, and special thanks to all who bought the book, or gave to the Ali Forney Center directly, and to all of you who do what you can to help those around you. You are all awesome! Happy Holidays to one and all!

    p.s. Asheville is indeed a fabulous place to visit! Seriously, you HAVE to go to the Chocolate Loungue. I’m not even kidding.

  7. Ally Blue

    Okay, Shirley very kindly let me know that she already had a copy of Demon Dog, so I re-drew and the new winner is Emily on Coffee & Porn 🙂 Congratulations, Emily! I emailed you off list. Once again, thank you to everyone who commented, y’all are the best!