Monthly Archives: August 2013

A little of this…a pinch of that…some family and a fic rec!

Yeah, I know, I haven’t blogged for a while. Been really busy writing (and reading) and RL is as busy as ever! Man I could use a week of with nothing to do but clean my house and yard (and read).

My WIP is coming along and I’m proud to say its like nothing I’ve ever written before, starting with the fact that it’s a wolf-shifter story. Let me tell you, that makes me all kinds of nervous because there are some amazing writers out there who excel at shifter stories. M.D. Grimm and C. Cardeno come to mind as does Mary Calmes and Kim Fielding. Throw in M.A. Church, Poppy Dennison and Chris T. Kat and there is a whole lot of excellence to strtive for.

Then I had a friend remind me that there are certain rules for shifter stories that the author usually has to set for themselves. And the author that breaks their own rules is in for a hard time. Plus there seems to be set ideals within the genre the writers seem to fall back on. I’ve always been a rule breaker though.

I will post the prologue soon, just to give you all a taste.

Other than that, we are almost done with the Summerfest for my favorite fandom. I’m still involved in it and will probably continue to write fanfiction for it for as long as people will keep reading it. The wonderful friends I made there led me to submitting my first story for publication and I would never want to turn my back on them or let them down.

I’m still waiting to hear from Dreamspinner about my latest submission. God I hate this part so much. I’ve considered self-pubbing, like some of my amazing friends do, but I’ve come to realize that I count on the support of my publisher. And it’s not just the fact that they do my covers or that their edits always make my story better in every way.

I love my publisher. They make me feel like I’m part of something wonderful. I know I shouldn’t be writing this. It’s just asking for fate to kick me in the teeth and have them reject my manuscript, but it’s true. I never could have done this on my own and I think they totally earn their share of the profits from my writing.

The other Dreamspinner authors make me smile and I feel like part of a big family. Of course, they can be intimidating with their talent and their larger than life personalities, but they also give me something to aspire to, even if I’m not sure I can ever get there.

I would love to attend one of the author events. It looks like so much fun and I would give anything to put faces and voices (yes, I’m weird that way) to the names I see every day. Of course, I would be ridiculous. I’d fangirl all over them and they would probably question my sanity.

That’s okay, I do it all the time.

Attending a conference is one of those things that’s on my “someday, come hell or high water” list.

What else is going on? My sister is moving away. She’s found herself a wonderful man and is moving forward in her life and I’m really happy for her.

But I’m sad too. She is my best friend and one of my biggest supporters. I can’t imagine not being able to walk down the street and knock on her door. Dinner at least once a week is going to be a thing of the past and I’m honestly not sure how to deal with it.

She’s never lived more than 15 minutes away from me in almost 43 years and this is going to be hard as hell to deal with. Adding to my sadness is that her oldest girl is going with her. My nieces and nephews have always been bright shining stars in my life and this girl always makes me smile.

She’s funny and beautiful and smarter than she ever gives herself credit for. Her mouth is almost as big as her heart and I love it when she’s snarky and full of wit. She’s her mother’s daughter with all the confidence that my sister never had in herself but should have.

They are amazing, wonderful people whom I’m going to miss like crazy. I will miss movies and drinks with my sister and my nieces surprise drop in visits and I will probably cry a lot when they are gone. It’s only three hours away, but right now it feels like the other side of the world.

Luckily, I still have her son and other daughter here. My nephew has been a source of joy since I found out my sister was pregnant with him and I hope he knows that my door is always open whenever he needs it.

My other niece, well, it’s been amazing watching her grow and that last few years she seems to be really coming into her own. It’s true transformation that has been inspiring to watch.

And of course, my folks and my brother are still here and I’m incredibly lucky for that. I’m hoping to spend more time with my parents now that mom is retired and dad is semi-retired.

And my (way taller than me) little brother is my hero. Smart, wicked funny and good-hearted and he never lets me down. And his girlfriend is a fantastic person who’s become a really awesome friend and it makes me happy that she makes him smile. Her kids are pretty cool too, lol.

And I have my amazing daughter and my supportive husband so, while I will be sad, I also have things to be happy about.

Anyway, I guess I had more to say than I thought. This whole getting to know the author through her blog just got a little “in-depth” I guess. I hope you don’t mind.

And now for the fic rec portion of our program….

Phoenix Rising by Theo Fenraven is a wonderfully crafted fantasy story. The picture he managed to paint took my breath away and I fell hard for his characters. Artemis is a cop who is just starting to realize that he needs more in his life than just his job. When he meets Talis, he feels a pull like nothing he’s ever experienced before. Watching these two men find their way is nothing short of amazing.

Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Rising-ebook/dp/B008JQQCOK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1377300374&sr=1-1&keywords=phoenix+rising+theo

And as always, you can find me here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cindy%20Sutherland&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

and at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=454

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Filed under Friday Ramblings, Writing and thinking.

Some thoughts, a give away and a fic rec (of course)

So, I’m writing something and I’m not sure if I’m going on the right direction with it, but I like the idea so I will keep going. My inspiration is not a fandom this time, but a person and an idea. Maybe I will tell you who and what sometime.

I haven’t heard from Dreamspinner about the submission I made, but at the moment I’m going with no news is good news. I will keep hoping.

I went to the local library the other day. I used spend a lot of time there, but with all the writing I’m doing and the fact that I read mostly ebooks on my computer, I have been remiss in saying hi to my friends there. While there, I went to the card catalogue and looked myself up…I’m not there yet. But, I looked up Dreamspinner and was gratified to see several pages of books listed there and so I have hope for the future.

The librarian, a wonderful lady I’ve known for years, came to chat with me and asked what I was doing. I told her I was looking myself up in the card catalogue (as I blushed like crazy) and she asked why so I told her about my stories. She asked me why they didn’t have any copies of my books and I said “because they are gay romance novels”. She looked at me like I was nuts and I was getting ready to defend myself when she said “So? We’d love to have them.”

Huh…I wonder how one goes about donating an ebook to the local library?

Also, the more I hear coming out of Russia and from the IOC, the more I think any gay athletes and their supporters should just stay home. I know you have a point to make, I know you’ve trained so hard and so long for your chance to be there, but it’s not worth your safety. And as the IOC has threatened to ban anyone who attempts to make a stand, you would be there without any backup. I know you will probably go and I understand. I’ll be the person sitting at home not watching the Olympics and hoping desperately that you will all return home safe and sound.

Meanwhile, I’m watching as state after state and country after country are coming to terms with equality and while I know there is a long way to go, these steps that are being taken in the right direction almost every day give me hope that one day everyone I care about will be treated with respect and dignity.

So, I’m feeling a little nostalgic so I’ve decided to do a giveaway. Comment here or at my FB author’s page and I will pick a winner in a couple of days. Any of my stories, the winner picks the one they want. Here is the link to me at Dreamspinner so you can read the blurbs and pick one. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454

The link for my FB authors page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cindy-Sutherland-Dreamspinner-Author/313915495374744

Sorry for the shortness of today’s blog, but RL is definitely busy this week. 5 small children under 6 is enough to keep anyone busy, so I don’t feel too bad for feeling like a Mack truck ran over me at the end of the day.

But, I do have a fic rec for you. Beyond Duty by SJD Peterson is a wonderful story about two soldiers who’ve loved each other for years and then end of DADT means changes for them. They are good changes but still hard for men who’ve lived the military life of rules and routine. I loved watching as they figured out how to be with each other the way they always wanted to be. Do yourself a favor and read this story that’s sure to make you smile. Here is the Dreamspinner link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4097&cPath=55_424 and here is the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Duty-ebook/dp/B00EAE7HQM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376486815&sr=1-1&keywords=beyond+duty

And as always, you can find me at the Dreamspinner link above or at Amazon as well: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cindy%20Sutherland&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

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Filed under Giveaway!, Hump Day, Writing and thinking.

Russia is out of step with the rest of the world

So, it seems to me that some people and some countries are always out of step with the rest of the world and while that can be a good thing, sometimes it’s really not. Sometimes it just ends up make you look like a toddler throwing a tantrum.

Or in the case of Russia, like you are taking a giant step backwards in your evolutionary process.

The recently adopted draconian laws against the LGBTQ community harkens back to the days of iron-fisted Tsars and it terrifies me. Watching on the news as people are arrested and beaten for nothing more than declaring who they love makes me wonder what kind of Hitler-like aspirations Valdimir Putin has.

It seems kind of telling to me that these laws have been brought into action mere months before the opening of the Sochi Olympics. I’m hoping that if the laws had been in place earlier that the Olympic committee would not have decided to award them to Russia.

So now the countries and athletes who are supposed to be participating come February are left with a difficult choice…or at least I hope it’s difficult. Do they go to the Olympics or not?

And I get it, I really do. Years and years of training for the chance to show the rest of the world what you can do and make your country proud. It’s the ultimate aspiration for the best athletes in the world. But the 2010 Winter Olympics will forever be tainted because of the country they are being held in and the man who decided to put these laws into place.

For the members of the LGBTQ community the choice is doubly hard. Do they go and spend the whole time in fear of discovery and prosecution? Putin has assured the world that the laws will not be enforced against athletes and others connected to the Olympics but other members of his own government have stated that the laws will indeed be in effect.

So, what to do? Do you go and participate and use the fact that the eyes of the world will be on Sochi to make a statement? Or do you boycott the Olympics and make the statement the kind of persecution going on in Russia is unacceptable?

I am torn on this subject. On one hand, I like the idea of making a statement. I’d love to see someone unfurl a rainbow flag during a medal ceremony! But on the other hand I’m terrified that in their zeal to make a point, someone might end up hurt or imprisoned and I don’t think that Russia cares enough about world opinion to be counted upon for leniency.

I don’t know what the solution is. Part of me want’s to say “Stand proud and let your rainbow flag fly high!” but another, more cautious part of me wants to tell all the people associated with the LGBTQ community to stay home and stay safe because sometimes when you walk into the lion’s den you slay the beast, but sometimes you get mauled to death.

Then there is this whole business of the dumping of the Russian vodka in the streets. While I understand the need to make some kind of protest, I’m not sure that there is anything that the makers of Stolichnaya Vodka can do anything to change government policies they have publicly stated they despise. From what I can see, Stoli has long been associated with the LGBTQ community and they seem to be very proud of it. And the fact that they have made a statement against their government at all is something I consider to be very brave, all things being considered.

So, what can we do, those of us who support equality for everyone? Make your feelings known in the way you feel is right for you and show your support the best way you know how. Contact your government or the Olympic committee and tell them how you feel. Use social media to your advantage as I am. It’s a great way for the average person to get their message out there.

A little personal story for you. I had to go to the chiropractor last week and we were half-way through my treatment when he suddenly asks me “what’s with all the rainbows?” I regularly wear a Pride bracelet and a little rainbow pin that a friend in England sent me and I love when they make people ask questions.

So, I told him that I was a big supporter of equal rights and that I wrote gay romance novels. He looked at me for a second and said “but you’re not gay, are you?” He knows my husband. I told him no and that the books I wrote were actually m/m not f/f. He stopped and looked at me in shock and says “Really….REALLY? Wow, how does that work?” I burst out laughing and we spent the next 20 minutes in a discussion about equal rights and my association with the LGBTQ community. He told me that he never would have guessed that I was so “badassed” His words, not mine, but it did make me giggle.

I do so love an opportunity to have a spirited discussion on a subject that is so dear to me and if I get the chance to educate someone while doing it? All the better.

Okay, the fic rec. Love, Like Water by Rowan Speedwell is a wonderful story about a man who is so broken by his circumstances that he is certain that he can’t ever be fixed. When Joshua Chastain’s mom suggests spending some time at his Uncle’s farm where he loved to be as a child, he goes just to make things easier for her. There he meets Eli Kelly, a man who just might be up to the task of helping Joshua heal his broken spirit. This story made me cry and broke my heart as I watched Joshua’s spiral into hopelessness before he finally finds his way to break free of it with Eli’s help.

Here’s the Dreamspinner link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3970
And here is the Amazon link. http://www.amazon.com/Love-Like-Water-ebook/dp/B00DUQ5ABK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1375797059&sr=1-1&keywords=love+like+water

And as always, here’s me! http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=454 and at Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=Cindy%20Sutherland&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank

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Filed under Hump Day, Writing and thinking.