Giveaway + Blog Tour: The Preacher's Son by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock's here today to talk about her and writing partner's newest novel & they're offering a giveaway to sweeten the deal. Take it away, J.A.! 

J.A. here! Writing The Preacher’s Son required Lisa Henry and me to think quite a bit about faith. Lisa wrote a lovely post for Sinfully about her experience with religion growing up, and about how she used those past experiences to connect with our protestant MC Nate even though she’s an atheist now. 

My experience has some parallels to Lisa’s. My dad was raised Swedenborgian (yep, the dude who traveled to space and made friends with aliens), and my mom Presbyterian. But they were both skeptics, and by the time I came along, they were pretty distanced from their respective religions. I went to church a couple of times with friends, but always found it boring and could never imagine actually taking the Bible as truth. As a queer woman, I was particularly wary of what most religions thought about my friends and me, and pretty hostile toward the concept of organized religion as a result. But I definitely went through a phase when I was little where I was scared Hell might be real. And another phase where my beloved gerbil died, and so my mom bought me a cassette of the Mariah Carey/Boys II Men single “One Sweet Day,” and I played it on a loop and imagined Cocoa shining down on me from heaven.

Most of us have a system of beliefs that guides us. Most of us have doubts, questions, moments where we need to acknowledge forces larger than ourselves. The Preacher’s Son is, on the surface, the story of two belief systems clashing. But really, it's about how all people have fundamentally similar needs and desires. It’s about the way we use our beliefs as self-protection, as weapons, and as a source of comfort. 

Self-righteousness, fear of the unknown, the belief that you know the answers and have a right to tell others how to think and behave…these are human qualities, not religious qualities. So it helped to approach the story not just from the point of view of “how does it feel to be religious?” but by looking at what beliefs guide each character. It’s not just Nate and his reverend father who organize their lives around absolutes. Jason does too. And each character is fighting a battle not to let their version of “right” lead them to do harm.

While religion plays an important role in the book, we don’t see it as a story about religion, but rather about the fears and doubts we all deal with, and the choices we make based on what we believe. 

Jason Banning is a wreck. His leg’s been blown to hell in Afghanistan, his boyfriend just left him and took the dog, and now he’s back in his hometown of Pinehurst, Washington, a place that holds nothing but wretched memories…and Nathan Tull. Nathan Tull, whose life Jason ruined. Nathan Tull, who will never believe Jason did what he did for a greater good. Nathan Tull, whose reverend father runs a gay conversion therapy camp that Jason once sought to bring down—at any cost.

Nathan Tull is trying to live a quiet life. Four years ago, when Nate was a prospective student visiting UW Tacoma, his world collapsed when senior Jason Banning slept with him, filmed it, and put the footage online. A painful public outing and a crisis of faith later, Nate has finally begun to heal. Cured of the “phantoms” that plagued him for years, he now has a girlfriend, a counselor job at his dad’s camp, and the constant, loving support of his father.

But when he learns Jason is back in town, his carefully constructed identity begins to crumble. As desperate to reconcile his love for God with his attraction to men as Jason is to make sense of the damage he’s done, Nate finds himself walking a dangerous line. On one side lies the righteous life he committed himself to in the wake of his public humiliation. On the other is the sin he committed with Jason Banning, and the phantoms that won’t let him be. But is there a path that can bridge those two worlds—where his faith and his identity as a gay man aren’t mutually exclusive?

And can he walk that path with the man who betrayed him?

The Preacher’s Son by J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry is available from Amazon. 


Lisa Henry likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.
Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied history and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

J.A. Rock is the author of over twenty LGBTQ romance and suspense novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A.’s books have received Lambda Literary, INDIE, and EPIC Award nominations, and 24/7 was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Enter your contact info in the comments for a chance to win your choice of any of our backlist titles! Drawing takes place at 11:59 pm on 1/20.


  1. Thank you for the post, J.A. I'm not religious myself, I sort of build my own set of beliefs and they include dogmas from various religions...But I'm always interested in how other people live their faith.
    congratulations on the release. It sounds really good

  2. Nice cover. Looking forward to a delicious read.
    fides fox (at) gmail .c o m