Category Archives: I’m so excited!

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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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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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.

A change is as good as a rest….and an author rec

So. I’ve made a big decision and I’m changing jobs. I’ve run a dayhome in my small town for the last 12 years and while I’ve loved the kids and had a lot of fun, I think it’s time for something different. I love that it made it possible for me to stay home and care for my daughter, even if she didn’t always appreciate it (Mom, I wanna go to the cool dayhome Mercedes goes to) but I think I need to get out and remember how to interact with people older than 6.

There’s also the whole issue with kids coming and going and never knowing how much my paycheck is going to be at the end of the month, plus the fact that I’m considered to be self-employed and the pains that causes me. When people can just pull their kids and leave a serious 650 dollar hole in your paycheck, it leaves your feeling scared and unsettled.

So, I’ve given my noticed and started training at my new job and while I know that it will hold its own challenges, I’m hoping it will rejuvenate me and help other areas of my life as well.

Like my writing. It is so affected by the rest of my life. When I’m worried and unsettled, focusing on my story is difficult at best and some days, it’s downright impossible. When you can’t figure out if you can pay your bills, it’s hard to concentrate on romance between two hot and growly shifters and I really, really want to get this book finished.

My daughter is old enough now, that spending some time alone at home isn’t too much of a hardship for her. In fact, she will probably enjoy the freedom that comes with it (of course, living in a small town populated with so many family members sort of limits that freedom a little naturally). But, it was gratifying to have her tell me that it would be weird not having me around and that it would take some getting used to. I think it helps that I will be working at a store that’s a 10 minute walk from our house and she always knows where to find me.

On the writing front, well it’s much the same. The French Translation of my second novel “All the Things I Didn’t See” is out today from my publisher and I’m finding that very exciting.  It’s the fourth language for that book and it makes me smile to think that people in other parts of the world are enjoying it.

The shifter story is coming along, slowly but surely and I’d like to say I’ll have it done by the end of March but I’m too chicken to make that kind of commitment. Anything could happen and I would feel even worse if I failed. But I have a lot of great supporters behind me, that are rooting me on and poking me in the back with a pencil when I let myself get too lost. They know who they are and thanks guys.

So, yeah, that’s it for the catching up portion of this post so now on to the part that I enjoy the most, the fic rec. Only, it’s not just a fic, it’s an author.

Rhys Ford is one of those authors that just lets me get lost in a story, so when I emerge from it, blinking in the light, I feel like I’ve been on a journey of epic proportions.

Her Sinners Gin series is my favorite. Big Irish men with huge families who inevitably find men who are a little bent, but definitely not broken. With a memorable dog as my favorite side character. These stories have made me laugh….and cry and want to throw things and I’ve never regretted letting myself get invested in the lives of the people she’s bringing to life.

I haven’t read her Cole McGinnis series yet, it’s next on my list, but her Hellsinger series is amazing.

My new favorite is Black Dog Blues. The first book in her new Kai Gracen series, it’s a roller coaster of a fantasy novel that twists and turns its way through the pages and I am dying for book two to come out.

Check her out at Amazon as well as at Dreamspinner Press and other places.

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

And just because I love his work, here’s another gorgeous photograph from my friend Anthony Aceto

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Pride history, NHTD and all the news that is the news and a fic rec.

So, I’m trying to get better at blogging more so here I go.

First things first. South of me, in the US it’s National HIV Testing Day. It’s one of many ideas put into place to encourage everyone to know their status. I would like to point out that this is something that everyone should be aware of, not just the members of the gay community.

I know too many straight men and women who still think after 30 years of horror and education that they can’t get infected because they aren’t gay. It’s a stupid and arrogant way of thinking and it terrifies me that my daughter is growing up in a world where this kind of thinking still exists.

If you’re sexually active, it’s your responsibility to make sure you know your status and seriously people, it takes so little time to find out. There is a wealth of information out there on the internet about where to get checked and where to find help if the worst outcome is revealed. Show yourself and the people you care about some respect.

A couple more things while I’m on my soapbox. 45 years ago, on June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Riots broke out in NYC. People pushed too far finally pushed back and it was the very violent beginning of a whole community of people finally standing up for themselves. Today Pride is a time for celebrating how far we’ve come with equal rights, remembering those people who have fought for the rights of the LGTBQ community in the past and thinking about how far there still is to go. This weekend there are huge Pride events going on in NYC as well as many other cities across the country. In Toronto they are celebrating with World Pride and I wish I was there! If you’ve never been to Pride, go and check it out for yourself. It’s an amazing journey and if you let yourself see all the joy and love there, it will make you a different person. You can check out more on the Stonewall Riots here: http://www.thestonewallinnnyc.com/StonewallInnNYC/HISTORY.html

And if you’re still wondering why the issue of equality is important to me, I’d like to draw your attention to another, darker anniversary this week. On June 24th 1973, 32 members of the gay community lost their lives in the Upstairs Lounge in New Orleans. While the best suspect was a patron who’d been thrown out earlier in the night, no one was ever charged and authorities made it perfectly clear that no one was really interested in solving the case. After all, no one important died. Yes, that was the attitude. It’s horrific and I’d like to think that it would be so different today but there is places where it wouldn’t be. Check out this article here for more information: http://www.back2stonewall.com/2014/06/june-24th-1973-orleans-upstairs-lounge-arson-attack-kills-32-people.html

So,I’m done with my soapbox now. If you’re still reading then here’s some more news that’s just all about me!

On July 1st my novel, All the Things I Didn’t See is being released in Italian by Dreamspinner Press. I am so excited about this! It’s already out in Spanish and I love that this is opening up my story to a whole new audience. I’m getting some amazing feedback already and I’m in a little bit of shock over the whole thing. If you’re interested, you can pre-order it here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5234 I love the translated title Tutto quello che non vedevo. I wanna hear someone say it in Italian….

Other than that, my shifter story is coming along and I’m very happy about it. My inspiration seems to have found me again and I can’t wait to get this finished.

Now, for a fic rec…

This time I’m reccing The Colors of Romance by Ashavan Doyon. It’s a wonderful story about a young man who’s decided that love isn’t for him…only to have his world turned upside down by a secret admirer. I loved the romance of this story and the determination of the secret admirer to make Theo happy. If you’re looking for a story that will keep you guessing and make you smile you need to check this out. It’s available here at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4670 I encourage you to buy it there if you can because we authors get the most royalties from our publishers. Of course it’s available at Amazon and ARE as well.

And of course, you can get all my books at Dreamspinner here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454

They are available at Amazon and ARE as well.

And here’s a photograph taken by a friend of mine. His sunsets are amazing and they always take me to another place….
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