Category Archives: I’m so excited!

Love Aggression, the Pride Parade and life in general. June is a busy month!

My latest novel, Love Aggression came out on May 30 and I am so immensely proud of it. Getting it published took a long time and I hope Ashavan Doyan and Ron Desroches at Purple Horn Press know how grateful I am for all of their hard work. And writers, especially new writers, if you’re looking for a publisher, then give Purple Horn Press a chance. They will walk you through all the steps and I promise, you won’t be sorry. Here’s a link to the submission guidelines!

You know, this has been a stressful couple of months for me. Waiting for the release and then sitting and watching my book riding the rankings at Amazon like a roller coaster. It’s left me feeling a little sick to my stomach. But it also gives me a feeling of accomplishment that nothing else can compare to.

So what else is new? It’s Pride month, obviously and I got back to the parade this year, after having to work last year. My daughter Meghan was part of the Grand Marshal contingent this year and it made me so proud to see her walking up there with her peers, and standing up for herself and the community she was representing.

For those of you who don’t know, Meghan is pansexual. That means she doesn’t really care about the sexual identity of the person she’s attracted to. She looks more at who a person is in their heart and in their mind and I think that makes her amazing.

This year was the first time we encountered a protest at the parade. A group of people from the community wanted to be heard and made sure they were. I absolutely understand that there is still work to be done on behalf of transgendered persons and people of color in the LGTBQ community and I’m glad they had the chance to say what was on their minds. I hope that it will open up a dialogue with the Pride Committee and others who need to work on their interactions and support with the people are still feeling like they are on the outside looking in and terrified of the things that could still happen to them.

However, as a mother, watching your child disappear around the corner at the end of the parade, out of your sight, only to have it all stop a minute or so later it was very scary. I couldn’t see her, or the group she had been with, but I could see all the police officers who were there providing security looking in that direction. My only consolation was they didn’t seem very concerned and when I texted Meghan she answered me right away, telling me about the protest and letting me know that she was with people she trusted and out of harms way.

Fortunately it ended a short time later, with concessions made on both sides and promises for future talks. But the thought of what could have been left me sleepless for more than a few nights.

I thought about telling her no more Pride but then I realized that if I was going to stand with her and the rest of the community, then I also had to understand that sometimes there are risks. I always considered that before going, although my concerns where always more along the lines of queerphobic assholes causing problems.

I think when we are celebrating how far we have come in the world in regards to equal rights, we sometimes forget how far there still is to go. And as an ally, if I want to celebrate with you in the good times, I also have to stand with you in the scary, sad and frustrating times. This year was a sobering reminder that Pride didn’t start as a celebration, it started as a protest against oppression and I’m thankful for that reminder.

And as for the rest of life, well, it’s busy. Working full-time, trying to promote Love Aggression and finding time to read, write reviews for the Love Bytes book blog and work on my WIP…well it doesn’t leave time for much else.

Except thinking about that sequel my publisher keeps hinting at. Woof!

Anyway, you can find all my books at Amazon as always. And just so you know, my best-seller Wrapped Up in Chains is only 99 cents until the end of June!

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Filed under I'm so excited!, Monday Raves, Pride, Things I'm Thankful For, This is important., Writing and thinking.

Patience is a virtue, might be my only one…

So, it’s been a while. Life had definitely been making things interesting lately….or always.

Work keeps me the most busy. I love my job but sometimes it feels like it’s taken over my whole life and I have to work harder on changing that a bit.

Also, trying to write takes up a lot of my time. Not actually writing of course. That would be silly. I mean trying to find the urge to write. When I’m not at home with free time, there are a ton of ideas running through my brain. I write chapters of stuff in my head when I have no time to write it down, but as soon as I sit down in front of my computer, it all flies right out of my head and all that flows from my fingers is gibberish.

However, things are looking up. I’ve got some chapters of a new story, one that my friend, editor and publisher (all the same person, lol) says has promise. And I have an idea for Love Aggression.

Oh yeah, there’s that too. After a long, long, (so freaking long) time, Love Aggression will be out on May 30th, thanks to that publisher I mentioned. Purple Horn Press has taken a chance on me and for that I am eternally grateful.

I can’t wait for you all to read this story. I am still so proud of it. Its funny, after I go through the editing process with a book, I usually end up almost hating it. The stress of the whole publishing process drives me up the wall because it makes me feel so incompetent.

But with this story, its different. I still felt like a moron after the 3 round of edits but all in all, I still love it. I love my characters, especially Jesse. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love kids and Jesse is no exception. He’s a mashup of all my nieces and nephews with a big splash of my sarcastic, sassy and amazing daughter thrown in for good measure. I spent a long time looking after other people’s children and I’ve met dozens of wonderful kids just like Jesse…without the wolf shifter thing of course.

And Ty and Kelan? I hope you fall for them as much as I have. Sometimes I can’t believe that they chose me to tell their story. They lived in my head for a long time and I don’t think I’m quite done with them yet. They might make an appearance in another story I have in mind that stars one of my side characters that my pre-readers and proofer seemed to be fascinated by.

What else is going on? Pride is coming up in a couple of weeks. I’ve already booked the day off because I had to miss last year due to work. I am really looking forward to this year. I’m going with my girl, of course, and some of her friends who have never been. One of them is a young man who has just recently come out and he really is a wonderful human being. He’s been a great friend to my kid, which will always win my heart over and I know that experiencing Pride with him and Meg and Dani and Jeremy will be a lot of fun.

So yeah, that catches you all up on me. In a couple of weeks there will be another post with my flailing about my book and I will apologize now for my over-enthusiasm. For now, here’s a look at my beautiful cover, designed by the very talented Ashavan Doyon.

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Filed under I'm so excited!, Things I'm Thankful For, Writing and thinking.

Anyone interested in an audiobook? Let’s catch up and do a give away!

So, my novel Wrapped Up in Chains is finally out as an audiobook at Audible.com and I’m very excited about it. I was sitting there listening to it the other day and I have to admit, it’s a little strange to hear it read out loud. I tried to be objective and listen to it just as a reader but it was impossible.

We are our own worst critics and have having been over the story a million times during the editing process, I did hear some things in the audiobook that I feel maybe I should have done differently. However, I still love the story and I’m very proud of it and I found myself in tears in a few places…and laughing out loud in others.

What else is new? I am in the middle of editing Love Aggression with my wonderful new publisher, Purple Horn press and my editor Ashavan Doyon. I am blessed to have someone who is a talented wordsmith helping me polish this story. It took me a while to get to the point where I could appreciate what good editing can do but now I understand that even the very best writers need help now and again. And the rest of us need it all the time.

We are working on doing a cover reveal very soon and I can’t wait to show you what a talented visual artist that Ash is. He found the perfect bits and pieces to put together to make something that I think is amazing and reflects my vision of what represents the story.

I’ve got a few WIP’s that I keep going back to but I have two plot bunnies that keep hopping around in my head and I just know that sooner or later I’m going to have to get one of them down on paper, so to speak.

Of course, there’s real life in there too. Working my butt off at my day job, but I am enjoying it still so if I have to work for a living (damn it) then at least I like what I do and love who I work for.

So, that’s it. Keep your eyes and ears open for the Love Aggression cover reveal and I’ll try to keep you all updated more often.

So now, here’s the give away part. I’m giving away 2 copies of the Wrapped Up in Chains audiobook so if you’re interested in a copy, comment on this post to enter, and let me know what it is that you like about m/m stories.

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Filed under Giveaway!, I'm so excited!, Writing and thinking.

Love Aggression has a wonderful home!

Long time no blog huh?

Yeah, there’s a lot going on that’s keeping me distracted so here’s a little catch-up!

I wanted to talk a little about Love Aggression. I’ve been working on this story for far too long and it’s been a lot of ups and downs but it finally has a home at a wonderful new publishing family, Purple Horn Press. I’m very proud to be a part of this new venture. It’s being run by two amazing men. Ashavan Doyon and his husband Ron Desroches.

Ash is a brilliant writer whose wonderful stories always wring my heart to peices before putting it back together again. They are raw and real and there’s always little bit of my friend Ash that I recognize in every story, because they all come from the heart. He had to deal with the fallout of Torquere and All Romance Ebooks closing and became determined to provide a better place for authors.

Ron is a businessman who will be making sure that everything is being run the way a proper publishing family should be and I know that between the two of them, they will make sure that every author that publishes with them is treated with decency and respect, something that seems to have been lacking as of late with some publishers and promoters.

So, if you have a story you’d like to get out there and would like all the help that a publishing family has to offer, give Purple Horn Press a chance. They are accepting submissions and the guidelines can be found here.

So, Love Aggression…it’s kind of a strange name but it has a story behind it. In fact, the whole book was written around it.

I was talking with a friend one day. They had adopted a Pitbull from a rescue shelter and after having him home for a little while they realised that there was a bit of a food issue with the dog. It all came to a head one day when they were feeding both the rescue dog and the other dog they’d had for years and the rescue attacked their other dog. Of course, my friend intervened and ended up getting bitten in the process. After everything had calmed down, my friend had gone back over the info they’d been given from the shelter and realised that in their enthusiasm, they’d missed the part about the dog being starved almost to death in its former home and it suffered from food aggression.

It was understandable. After living so long with not enough food the dog was very protective over not only its own food but any food in his area. The solution was simple really, they just had to feed the dogs in separate rooms and after that things ran a lot more smoothly.

That got us talking however. About how when you’d been denied something so important your whole life and how it would make it even more precious to you. And this idea came into my head…what if you’d never been loved? Your parents didn’t care about you, made you feel unworthy of love and because of that you’d never trusted anyone to really love you? Then what if you found yourself with a child? Someone who loved you just for being you? And then you found a lover, someone who fit everything you never admitted to wanting and who made you feel like you deserved to be loved for the first time in your life?

And then imagine what you would do if someone tried to take them away from you? And what if you weren’t completely human and that the animal that lived under your skin fought and howled to be let out to protect the most important people to you when they were under attack?

That’s where this story came from. Ty is a father and a lover whose whole life is wrapped up in protecting his son Jesse and his boyfriend Kelan from the men who killed Jesse’s mother. The fact that he’s a wolf shifter just means that he has one more fight going on, but this one is inside of himself, against the wolf who is a part of him but almost has a mind of its own at the same time.

I can’t wait to share this story with all of you. It took so long to get it out of my head and heart and into my book but I’m very happy with how it all turned out and I hope you will be too.

If you are looking to catch up with some of my other books, you can find them at Amazon.

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Filed under I'm so excited!, Things I'm Thankful For, Writing and thinking.

So, you have a few questions about AIDS Walk 2016…

I know what you’re thinking. She just blogged, like a couple of days ago? What could she possibly have to say already? It’s usually month between blogs posts, unlike real life, where I never shut the hell up!

But, I just announced the other day that for the first time I’m participating in the 25th Annual AIDS Walk and Superhero run in Edmonton and I’d like to talk a little bit about that.

Every year I do a post on December 1st for World AIDS Day and I always try to explain why it’s so important to me to bring awareness to those around me. I probably do a terrible job at putting into words why I feel so strongly about it, but my feelings about the whole situation grow stronger every year and I’m finding myself looking for other ways to show my support for people who are HIV positive. I had no idea that Edmonton did such an amazing event every year, let alone for the last 25 years!

I get a lot of questions these days. Why do I write books where the two main characters are both men? Why do I attend Pride (and take my kid with me)? Why do you worry about things that have nothing to do with you? Why are you being so weird? Are you gay? Are you HIV positive?

You wouldn’t believe the things people feel free to ask you when they are hiding behind a computer keyboard and have no fear of any consequences (or any manners either) and while I’m under absolutely no obligation to answer any of them (as far as I’m concerned anyway) I’m willing to answer some.

Why do I write m/m romance books? Because it makes me happy. It lets me show my support for the LGBTQ community in a unique way that also lets me express myself creatively. I’m insanely proud of being published and I will never regret finally giving in and submitting my first manuscript to my publisher.

Why do I attend Pride? Once again, it lets me show my support for a community that has shown me nothing but kindness and understanding and I truly believe equality is everyone’s right and going to Pride lets me see how it could be in a world where discrimination and bigotry wasn’t tolerated. Why take my kid? Because I want her to grow up in a better world. Someone once said “be the change you want to see in the world.”and so taking my daughter and educating her is one of the ways that I’m doing that.

Plus, Pride is a whole lot of fun. Being surrounded by people celebrating who they are is one sure way to find a bunch of joy for yourself.

Am I gay? Nope, definitely not. However, I don’t have to be gay to know that there are terrible things happening to people for no logical reason what-so-ever and be outraged by it.

Am I HIV positive? Also no, but I’ve never had cancer or diabetes or MS either and still managed to find a way to support the people who are living with those diseases and the people who love them.

Why am I being so weird? Honestly, I guess weird depends on your point of view. I think I’m perfectly normal and you wanna know a secret? A big one?

I’m kind of selfish because in finally letting myself express my feelings about so many things I’ve always believed in but been too scared to say makes me feel better about myself.

Being good and kind and doing the right thing makes me feel good about myself, even if every once in a while, someone manages to push a button or two resulting in a long rant on my blog about why I do what I do.

And for the last question…why do I worry about things that have nothing to do with me? Because I believe we are all stuck living on this great big world of ours and I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to be the best human beings they possibly can. And I think too many people don’t realise they aren’t as unaffected by what goes on around them as they think they are.

So, there you go. It’s just me trying to be a better person and make the world a better place for my kid in the ways that I can.

So, that being said, if you wanna support me then click here on the clicky thing and take a look: “clicky thing”

BTW, a little side note to my handsome and wonderful nephew. I know the walk is on your birthday and I promise to make it up to you with the dinner and dessert of your choice whenever you want it. I hope knowing that your Aunty is doing something to help people will help you forgive me for missing your big day.

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Filed under AIDS Walk Edmonton, I'm so excited!, Pride, This is important., World Aids Day

Heading off to Pride…and a book rec.

So, here we are again. It’s June (almost) and that means Pride celebrations will be happening all over the place, including Edmonton, where I will be heading on Saturday with my daughter and some young friends from work who’ve never been to a Pride celebration but always wanted to.

First of all, for those people who’ve been asking Pride is celebrated in June as a tribute to the Stonewall Riots that took place on June 28, 1969 and started at the Stonewall Pub in New York. I could write a lot of things about Stonewall and the brave people there who took a stand, but I’m just going to leave you the link and let you all read it for yourself.

Ever since there, people have come together to celebrate and support the LGTBQ community in June. And that’s where I’m taking my daughter.

She’s been before, a couple of years ago.. I went the year before myself and even though I was alone, I enjoyed myself so much and couldn’t wait to take her the next year.

Why did I go? Because I wanted to show my support for a community that is often discriminated against for no good reason. Loving someone is not something that should even be used against you to cause you pain or suffering and for these people it so often is.

I also went to show support for the people I write about. I have met some of the most amazing and wonderful people since I started writing m/m novels and I want to express my love and adoration for those people who have been so kind to me. Plus, it was a lot of fun being around people who are so happy to be able to be themselves. That kind of joy is contagious and something that everyone should be able to feel.

Why did I take my daughter? Because I want her to live in a better world and it’s children like her who will make it better. I want to live in a world where my grandchildren will say “Really Nan? There was really a time when gay people couldn’t get married? That’s so weird!”

It’s already different for you. When I took her, I wrote a blog post about how it felt to watch her experience Pride for the first time. I kept waiting for that “aha” moment, when she looked around and realized that this was how things SHOULD be all the time. I was disappointed for a while when she just took it all in stride and then I had a little epiphany of my own. To her, this was how it was and there was no surprise for her, because this how I raised her.

To Meg, the parade was fun, because you know, they always are, and it was awesome walking around, exploring the booths and meeting new people, but for her. there was nothing out of the ordinary because I raised her to  live in the world I wanted it to be, not in world that still is in so many places.

She thinks discrimination of any kind is just stupid and she doesn’t understand why anyone would look down on anyone else because of race, religion or sexual orientation. She’s always saying “there’s so many real things in the world to worry about. Why do people care who other people love?”

I’m pretty damn proud of her.

So this year, I’m taking more people with me. A girl I work with has always wanted to go but was reluctant to go alone. I get that. For a lot of people, roaming around a bunch of strangers is a scary experience and when I told her she could go with us, she was thrilled to get the chance. Then her boyfriend asked to come and I said why not? The more the merrier, right?

I can’t wait. I think we are going to have a lot of fun. Hopefully we will meet new friends and run into some old ones. My kid will come home decked out in rainbows, tired and happy with lots of stories to tell and hopefully so will our friends.

And you never know what kind of interesting things can happen when you set out on an adventure. The parade has been moved to one of my favorite parts of town so there will be lots to explore, we will spend some time walking around the University of Alberta as well, and it’s a pretty cool place too.

I’ll let you all know if something interesting happens.

Ok, so for all you asking, I’m still working on Love Aggression. I have some edits in the works and then I will decide what to do with it, whether it means submitting to another publisher or self-publishing, I still love this book, so I’m determined that it will see the light of day.

I’ve also got a couple WIP’s on the go, so I’m keeping busy.

Now for my fic rec. I have two actually. The first one is Floodgates by Mary Calmes. It’s from Dreamspinner Press and I have to say, this author never lets me down. I always go into a Mary Calmes story knowing I’m going to finish it with a smile on my face.

Tracy is an amazing man who made me smile on the first page of the story. Smart, sexy and stubborn he stole my heart from the get-go. He loves fiercely, whether the person is  a friend, family or a lover and there’s nothing he won’t do for someone he cares about.

And Cord stole Tracy’s heart. He’s a big, gruff man who has love Tracy for a long time, but never gives in to his heart until Tracy lets him know that it’s all right to do it.

Check it out here at DSP. You won’t be sorry.

My second book is Otter Chaos by P. D. Singer. Lon and Corey are two of the most adorable characters I’ve ever read and ottershifter Lon is to cute for words. When the author gets inside Lon’s head when he’s an otter, I was absolutely entranced.

If you’re looking for a book that’s has a little sad, but then a whole lot of happy, this is the story for you. Find it here at Amazon.

Also, Dreamspinner has given their site an amazing update so go and check it out as well. You can find me here and I hope you like what you find.

Of course, I’m also on Amazon so look me up.

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Filed under I'm so excited!, Pride, Writing and thinking.

Where in the hell have I been???? And yes, I have a book rec!

So, life has been a little busy. To say the very least.

I quit my dayhome after 12 years and took a job as a cashier at a local grocery store and after 6 months, some foolish person made me the Front End Manager (sorry boss, you’re awesome) and it feels like I’ve been running in circles ever since.

However, today I sat down and wrote 2000 words for the first time in forever and it felt damn good. My shifter WIP is finally going again and I can’t wait to get it done. I’m so proud of it and I hope you guys are all gonna like it.

And so much has happened in the world of equality.

In the United States, everyone is entitled to get married to the person they love. And isn’t that just the grandest thing?

The law says so, no matter what small-minded county clerks in Kentucky think and by the way, Kim Davis you should be ashamed of yourself. You are not someone who should be trying to represent “marital purity”  with your background and it’s sad that they didn’t just fire you for not doing your damn job. This circus you’ve created to grab your 15 minutes of fame is shameful and unnecessary and I’m betting that there are a lot of Christians out there who are ashamed of your bigotry.

Okay, there’s my rant for the day. I refuse to give this woman one more minute of attention.

So, what else is new? My girl is starting grade 9 this week and I keep looking at her and wondering how in the hell that happened. She’s so smart and funny and sarcastic and beautiful and every single time I look at her, I’m so proud to be her mother. I mean, she’s 14 years old and is taking World History as one of her optional classes! She could be taking foods, or woodworking or something but no, she’s basically taking Social Studies on purpose! God I love her!

My sister got married to the man of her dreams and it was a beautiful wedding. It was about as country as you can get and everyone had a blast and I’m so happy for her and her kids and the new family she’s building with this amazing man who makes her smile.

On the writing side of things, I’m waiting for the release of my first audiobook. That’s right, Wrapped Up in Chains is coming soon as an audiobook and I admit that I might have squealed a little when I heard about it.

I also have an idea for a sequel to Wrapped but I refuse to start anything until Love Aggression is finished. I am done being distracted away from this story.

So yeah, that’s a pretty boring update I guess. I’ve been working so damn much that there really hasn’t been time for much of anything else, but I promise that I’m going to try to do better with these blog updates, okay Aunty LeAnn?

I do have a rec for you as well. The College Rose Romances by Ashavan Doyon are a perfect set of stories for those of you who like their stories to feel a little more real. Loving Aidan, Steven’s Heart and Andrew’s Prayer are not fluffy. There is pain and angst and so much heart in this wonderful series and I encourage you all to check them out. You can find Ashavan on Amazon here.

And of course, you can find me on Amazon as well here.

And for your viewing pleasure, a gorgeous photograph by Anthony Aceto. He’s amazing with a camera.

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Filed under I'm so excited!, Things I'm Thankful For, Writing and thinking.