Guest Post and GIVEAWAY: Shira Glassman

Posted: September 5, 2013 by sidlove in Free Stuff, Giveaway Contest, Guest Post
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
The Second Mango by Shira Glassman

A young woman’s search for love, family, and her own strength


Hello; I’m Shira, and I’m addicted to storytelling. For years, I pictured my mind as a waiting room full of lesbian princesses. Tired of waiting for fairy tales to include same-sex love, I tried to write my own. Again and again ideas would pop into my head, obsess me for a weekend, and then begin to gather dust. I feared I wasn’t even capable of making up my own characters.

The Second MangoThen my father passed away, and writing itself seemed to slip from my fingers.

“Write it out,” people told me.

“I can’t write it out in fanfiction,” I said. “None of the characters I care about have been through something exactly like this.” And I didn’t particularly feel drawn to new characters just on the basis of our shared loss, either.

I did think about writing original stuff, of course. But–write it out? Write about it? That terrified me. When I write, I live those scenes, those emotions. I didn’t want to relive those last few days. I didn’t want to shut myself inside that room again.

But then I realized–don’t write about the death itself–write about someone dealing with the death. Start the story later, and you can write about someone feeling exactly the way you are now.

And that’s how Shulamit, the heroine of the “how would a lesbian princess find a partner, anyway?” plotbunny, became a queen.

When her story opens, she’s at a low point–missing her dead father and a runaway girlfriend, desperate for a partner or even any friends at all who don’t feel distant and mocking like her ladies-in-waiting, and she’s also suffering from what we today would call a ‘protein intolerance’ (gluten and poultry, specifically) but without the benefit of modern medical science or “can I have a gluten-free chocolate chip cupcake, please?”

rivka and sword-flat-2Rivka, The Second Mango‘s other protagonist, is a Jewish feminist answer to Siegfried. Five-foot-eleven, brawny, and bold, she towers over the young queen and easily wins her confidence, as well as the prospect of permanent employment as captain of the royal guard. But there’s a catch, says Shulamit–she needs the help of Rivka and her dragon in order to find a girlfriend. Hers is a culture that doesn’t talk openly of homosexuality, and they’ll have to be creative about their search.

Too bad for her that Rivka is straight–that would have been too easy! Rivka is, in fact, not only straight but in love with a dead man. Eventually when she and Shulamit begin to become friends, she tells her all about the wizard she loved, the wizard who secretly taught her to swordfight. This romantic subplot may appeal to those readers with a fascination for the older, fatter men (with a goatee!) who one hardly ever sees as the male half in a fictional romance; this is for anyone who ever cheered when Jo married Professor Bhaer in Little Women, but wished he’d nourished her sensationalist writing instead of stifling it.

Shulamit and Rivka eventually find happiness, but part of that happiness is their sisterly friendship with each other. Family of choice is a major theme of The Second Mango, as well as the idea that same-sex romance and strong platonic friendship aren’t mutually exclusive within the same story. And, of course, the dragon! Can’t forget about the dragon–transportation, comfort, weapon, and friend. I sure hope you like mine, and I hope you have fun with my book.




Follow the given format to enter yourself into the contest:

Email ID*:
The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*:

Message to the author:

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CONTEST WILL END ON 10th September, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!
  1. […] Enter to win a free copy of the eBook of “The Second Mango” […]

  2. The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*: Kindle
    Message to the author: Great job! I hope there are many more books to come.

    • Shira says:

      I’m not sure I can actually get that from Kristi (although I’ll ask, if you win!) The ones I definitely know I can get are pdf, ePub, mobi, and html. And of course, I could be completely wrong — everything I know about eBooks I’ve learned on the job as a recently published author, not as a reader. I think I’ve read maybe three eBooks total. Nothing against them, of course.

      Also, thank you for the compliment. There is a book two and I will go back to book three when I have a chance to do some historical research about massage oils 😛

  3. DebraG says:

    THis book looks intriguing. I loved reading about it.

  4. The format in which you’d prefer to read the book, in case you win*: Paperback for preference if I am honest…but .mobi (for Kindle) would be absolutely great.

    Message to the author: An interesting idea. I admit to only having heard of your novel in passing and hadn’t given it a great deal of attention, but having read your blog entry above I find myself…intrigued. Good luck with any further projects you might have in the works.

  5. Trudy Becker says:

    Anything that works with a KindleFire HD would be best. This book’s concept just seems like so much fun!

  6. photoluv60 says:

    This looks very interesting

  7. Arabella says:

    Hello Shira. Excellent post! I am a (aspiring) writer, and a lot of what you wrote really resonated with me. Self-doubt makes me self-conscious about my writing, which eventually causes me to abandon story ideas for fear that they aren’t good enough. I’m glad that you were able to overcome your own doubts to write ‘The Second Mango.’ From what I’ve read both here and from the previews at Amazon it sounds pretty intriguing and I’m excited to see that there is a sequel planned. I think you did a good job creating warm, believable characters whom the reader will identify with. It makes me happy to see authors who have struggled with the same issues I face become successful. Reading your post inspired me to dust off some old stories I’d started but never finished. Maybe there’s hope for me after all! :p

  8. Ashe says:

    preference: pdf

    I read the amazon preview, and it was amazing! I really really really want to read this book. 🙂
    The Second Mango came to my attention through bisexual-books on tumblr. Thank you for writing a positive bi character.

    • Shira says:

      Oh, my gosh, thank you. I hope you like it if you win, and I also hope you’ll still buy it if you don’t 😛 Aviva being bi means a lot to me, although most of the reasons why are somewhat spoilery. I’m waiting to hear back if they’ll take my second book, which centers on a bisexual prince “from next door”, so hopefully they’ll let me tell more stories about bisexual people who are neither depraved nor greedy nor flaky.

      …I’m actually planning on writing a big ‘bisexuality and my writing’ blog post soon; I’m talking to the bisexual-books people about putting it up on there. Stay tuned. 🙂

  9. sidlove says:

    Ashe has been picked as a winner for this contest. Congratulations!! Your copy will be sent to you soon. In case, you don’t receive it, kindly contact me.

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