Category Archives: Monday Raves

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.

The world keeps spinning…World Aids Day 2017

Every year at this time I do a post about World Aids Day. Why? Because I feel like it’s important to remind people that this epidemic hasn’t gone away and even though things are getting better, there’s still a lot of fighting left to do.

I remember becoming aware of HIV and Aids a long time ago, watching on the news as it became apparent that this new disease so many people were calling “gay cancer” was something that could…and would affect everyone. And I was horrified by the fact that so many governments seemed so unconcerned about doing something to help stop it.

I haven’t always been an advocate of equality. When I was younger I was so caught up in my own life, so sure in my immortality back then, that most of the time, the goings on in the world around me barely registered with me.

But as I got older, I grew to understand that the people I shared the world with did have an effect on me and my life and that by at least trying to make things better for them, I was making the world a better place for me.

So, I could spout statistics here, tell you about the millions of people around the world who are still contracting HIV and dying from its effects. I could tell you about the treatments that are helping people live better lives, treatments that when followed properly will leave someone HIV virtually undetectable. I could tell you about all the amazing people in so many different countries who are working together to hopefully and finally find a cure for this virus that has taken so many lives. I could tell you that there are drugs you can take that will help protect you from becoming HIV positive.

But I won’t. If you’re interested, you will look that information up for yourselves. All the soapboxing I can do here will not make you care if you don’t already. I’ll include some links at the end of this post to help you along if you care to learn more.

What I am going to do it to continue trying my best to help where I can. I’m looking for new opportunities in 2018. I’ll be doing the AIDS Walk in Edmonton again and this year I’m hoping my daughter will join me. My kid has so much heart and spirit and it makes me proud that she is so much more aware of what’s going on in the world around her than I ever was at her age.

We will go to Pride together again in 2018, doing our best to support a community that so many people we care about belong to. We always meet the most interesting people there and it’s one of the ways we find opportunities to give back.

And I truly hope every year when I write this post, that someday I will be writing about how the cure was finally found. That is my dearest wish for the people I know who are HIV positive and for everyone who is living with, or will be living with this disease.

Here’s those links I told you about.

The link to CATIE in Canada: http://www.catie.ca/en/world-aids-day

World Health Organization information: http://www.who.int/entity/campaigns/aids-day/en/

Canadian Aids Society: http://www.cdnaids.ca/

United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/events/aidsday/index.shtml

Please take the time to investigate the options in your own country, where you want to help, or you need help.

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Filed under AIDS Walk Edmonton, Monday Raves, Pride, World Aids Day

It’s a new year (almost) and here’s some observations…and a fic rec!

So, it’s December 29th and the new year is almost upon us. This isn’t where I was hoping to be at this time last year.

I was hoping to have at least one more novel submitted (and hopefully accepted) and maybe a couple of short stories for anthologies but I’m still plugging away at the same WIP although I seem to have broken the dam (knock on wood) and it’s coming along and growing into something I think I’ll be proud of.

I found out this morning that my novel Wrapped Up in Chains is going to be made into an audio book and man, I thought going through edits of my work felt strange, but listening to someone read my words out loud is really amazing and really freaky at the same time. It’s a little overwhelming actually but I’m so happy to have this opportunity. I think audio books are really important and not just to the blind.

My dad is a truck driver and he spends a lot of long, boring, lonely nights on the road, a lot of times in places with no radio access and the goes through a ton of audio books. They’ve probably saved his sanity on more than one occasion. But don’t listen to mine dad…just…don’t, lol.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I spend a lot of time thinking way too damn much and this time of year has me reflecting on what has happened over the past year…the good and the bad.

I had a book that went to number one in its genre and categories on Amazon. I never, ever expected that and I am so grateful to everyone who supported me through the craziness that came with getting that book published and promoted.

Thank you especially to my friends on twitter who passed the word along. I asked and you answered with enthusiastic yeses and I know that if it wasn’t for your support, I wouldn’t have gotten that far.

I took my daughter to her first Pride and had an epiphany. The reactions I was waiting for that never happened because she’s being raised in a different world than I grew up in and no one could have been prouder of their child. She’s smart, good-hearted and doesn’t put up with intolerance or bigotry of any kind. She doesn’t understand the fight for equality because for her, there should be no fight. She’s still young enough to believe that what’s right is what should be and as she gets older, I look forward to seeing the kind of woman she’s going to become. I just know she’s gonna be fierce.

I’ve met people who amaze the hell out of me. People who make me smile on a daily basis and even though I’ve never laid eyes on them (and probably never will) they’ve become the kind of friends I’ve always dreamed of having.

It’s not all been great. My sister moved away to make her life better and while I understood it, I still missed her terribly and no one is happier than me that she’s moving back in a few weeks, with her fiancé in tow. I can’t wait to just hang out with her again

My husband and I got to take Meghan to the Calgary Zoo on what I’m pretty sure was the hottest day of the year but it was still awe-inspiring. We also got to take her to Banff and show her what is probably my most favorite place in the world.

So, what am I looking forward to this year?

Getting this damned book done, and maybe another one I have started but put to the side concentrate on the shifter story. Other than that? I have no idea where I’m going or how I’m going to get there. I only know that I keep chugging along, trying to never give up and hope for the brightest possible future for my beautiful daughter.

So Happy New Year folks. I hope it brings you lots of love, happiness and success!

And now for the fic rec.

I read the most amazing series last month. It’s called the Free Men Series by Kate Aaron and consists of three stories called The Slave, The Soldier and The Master. They are about three men who find their way together and each book is told from a different point of view. The three stories run consecutively and are really just one tale broken into three parts. I highly recommend these novels that I can only describe as a sort of historical fantasy mashup. Tam, Kai and Lysander will draw you in and keep you intrigued. They will steal your heart and make you cry before making everything better with a hopeful ending.

You can find this series and all her books here on Amazon.

And of course you can find me here on Amazon

Or here at Dreamspinner.

And because I love his photographs, here’s another one from my photographer friend Anthony Aceto

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