Tag Archives: LGBTQ

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.

WrappedUpInChainsFS

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

My heart hurts but I have hope…remembering Pulse one year later.

I remember waking up a year ago and turning on the news and it wasn’t long until I started to cry. I just couldn’t fathom how so much pain and anguish could be visited on so many people because of who they love. Think about that for a minute. Because of who they LOVE…

How ridiculous does that sound when you say it out loud? I can’t bring myself to understand how love could ever be a reason for hate.

49 people lost their lives in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando Florida because some mentally deranged man decided walk in and start shooting. Why? No one will ever truly be able to explain it but it’s probably a combination of things. I’ve heard he wanted to make his father proud of him. I’ve heard that he may have been gay and it went against everything he and his family believed in. Self-hatred is a powerful thing, especially when everyone you surround yourself with openly hates everything you secretly know you are.

In the end though, the why of it all doesn’t change anything. Those people are still gone and their friends and family and the LGTBQ community and their allies are still mourning for them. Parents lost sons and daughters, children lost mother’s and father’s and so many lives were irreparably damaged and sometimes the scope of it overwhelms me.

The day after it happened, a gay couple I am acquainted with in town came into the store I work at and the sadness in their faces almost had me breaking into tears at the till and I wanted to walk up and hug them both so tightly. They are a couple in their 40’s who are always smiling, joking and they take the time to speak to me with kindness every time I see them so for me their pain was glaringly obvious as they caught my eye and nodded. It was heartbreaking.

I look at my daughter. She is the shining light of my life and I can’t imagine the darkness that would overtake me if she was no longer there. I’m trying to raise her to be the best person she can be and I love every single thing about her, the good and the bad. There is nothing she could ever be or do that would make me love her any less and every single parent should feel the same way.

The urge to hide her away to protect her is so strong but I know I can’t. So, I let her go, she’s 16 and starting to make strides toward her independent life and all I can do is hope that she finds her happiness.

On Saturday, Meg went to Pride without me for the first time with the GSA she attends and it was so hard. Letting her go to the city alone is difficult at the best of times and something like Pride could be an attraction to people who could be looking to hurt the LGTBQ community. But she is determined to show her support and she loves going to Pride so much. Like me, she finds that the joy of all the people celebrating Pride is contagious and as she has a lot of friends who are a part of the community, it is her honor (and mine) to go out and show her support for them.

Her and I have a deal. She gets to do things as long as she has her phone on her and always answers it when I call. Most of the time she does. Once in a while, she misses the call and it always makes my heart stutter in my chest until I hear back from her.

One of the stories that had me sobbing was of rescue workers and police, who in the aftermath of the murders, had to try to sort through the scene while listening to the never-ending ringing cellphones of people who were never going to answer them again. Loved ones, having heard about the shootings, desperately trying to get a hold of someone they knew could be there, hoping and praying for an answer that would never come.

So yes, today my heart hurts so very much. I will spend the day thinking about the Pulse victims and the friends and family who are still mourning for them.

But I will also be thinking about my daughter and her friends in the GSA. Kids who are being raised to help make the world a better place for everyone. I will think about all the people I’m seeing on the news who are remembering and paying tribute to those who were lost and know that are trying so very hard to help the community heal.

I know this post rambles on a little. My head and my heart are all over today but I felt the need to remember out loud. I don’t claim to be a part of the LGTBQ community and I can never truly understand everything they have been through, but I’m an ally, and I stand with them whenever I can. And I’m hoping for a better tomorrow for us all.

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Filed under Pride, This is important.

Ignorance has me sitting here shaking my head….

You know, I’ve heard some ridiculous things in my life and there’s no doubt I’ll hear more, but once in a while, I hear something that leaves me speechless…and not in a good way.

I was just talking to a friend and he was telling me a story that I’ve heard before. He’s a writer who spins amazing tales that leave me heartbroken before he picks up the pieces and puts it all back together again. I believe his books are so wonderful because he’s writing m/m stories from the point of view of a gay man who has lived what he’s writing about. There’s so much of him in his stories that I recognise from what I know about his life. The details might not be the same but he and his husband of many years are still in love and that’s something to be admired.

And that’s not to say that the ladies in this genre don’t write some breathtaking stories, because there’s some out there who make me crave every story they write because they are just that talented and fantastic. I feel lucky as a reader to have more and more stories to choose from in this field and I’m grateful to all the writers who grace us with their musings.

The thing my friend and I were talking about? The issue that’s put a burr under my saddle so to speak? He’s been told by women writers, to his face, that gay men should not be participating in m/m romance because it was “invented by women, for women”.

I have to admit, the top of my head just about blew off. And just to be clear here, I am a straight, female who is proud to be a part of this amazing family of writers but I cannot believe the gall of someone telling a GAY man that he shouldn’t be writing GAY romance stories because it’s not about him…

Excuse me? As far as I’m concerned, I am grateful beyond belief to all the gay men who have supported my writing over the years. This is them and their lives that I’m writing about and I do my damnedest to make sure I get it as right as I can. In fact some of my friends roll their eyes when I ask them questions because they’ve been asked “is this right?” so many time and they think I’m being a little ridiculous.

But as the writing community has found out in the last week, words hurt. Maybe most people don’t mean them with that intent, but if it is pointed out to you by people you are supposed to be supporting that what you’ve said has offended and hurt them then there is one proper course of action.

Apologize sincerely and learn from your mistake. Then move on. Don’t bluster and try to make light of it. Don’t accuse them of being too sensitive and don’t belittle their feelings. Be a grownup.

I don’t believe the gender of the writer is important in most cases. What’s important is the story and the feelings it invokes in the reader. But telling someone they shouldn’t be writing about their own lives is preposterous and if it wasn’t so ignorant it would almost be funny.

So I want to say thank you to all the men out there who have read my stories and sent me messages thanking me for them. I love hearing about how something I wrote has touched someone in some way. It’s what I dreamed of as a writer.

And I want to thank all the men who have supported me as I’ve dragged a story kicking a screaming out of my brain. The ones who told me when I got something right and the ones who told me when I got it all wrong. Both have helped me grow as a writer and I appreciate it more than I can ever express.

Anyway, that’s my two cents. My friend’s hurt was something I couldn’t ignore because it wasn’t something he deserved and I hope that the men in the genre realize that most of the women around here don’t feel that way and that we are happy to stand alongside you as we all try to live out our dreams.

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Filed under Things that bug me., This is important., 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.

AIDSWALK LOGO1

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

Exciting news and a little rambling…and a fic rec

Hello friends…long time no blog, huh? Life’s been busy as hell and my inspiration has been leaving me high and dry. It’s very frustrating to say the least.

But now I have some exciting news to share! Wrapped up In Chains, my best-selling novel published in 2014 is coming out in audio book form in a few weeks. It will be available at Audible.com and shortly after, at Amazon and iTunes. I’ve been waiting for this for what seems like forever and so stoked that it’s finally happened.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the book, here’s the blurb:

Devon West is a professional Dom who runs his own club, doesn’t believe in romance, and has never been in a long-term relationship. All this changes when he rescues Chase Mackenzie.

Chase is a runaway who has been kept as a slave since he was sixteen. Now twenty-three, he’s still innocent and sweet despite being severely abused and left behind by his Dom.

When Devon finds out that the man who held Chase hostage is the same man who hurt him terribly when he started learning about the sub/Dom lifestyle, he knows he has to keep Chase safe.

Spoiled rich boy and sociopath James Kingston is obsessed with Devon. He’s convinced Devon would be his perfect sub and Devon only thinks he’s a Dom because he needs proper discipline. Losing Chase to Devon is like rubbing salt in the wound, and he’s determined to get them both under his thumb. This time, Chase may need to rescue Devon.

I am still so proud of this story and the messages of love and appreciation I’ve received because of it still overwhelm me a little.

If audio books are your thing, I hope that you will take a listen to this one. I’ll post the links as soon as I have them but until the, you can get the ebook or paperback version here at Dreamspinner Press or if you prefer, you can pick it up at Amazon.

Oh and here’s the beautiful cover because it makes me smile. Paul Richmond did a beautiful job didn’t he?

WrappedUpInChainsFS

So, I have a few other things to say.

I probably shouldn’t get started on the US election because I know that it’s not my country, but I do have to say that the outcome affects so much more of the world than just the United States.

Maybe I would feel better if I could find one person who can give me some logical, sensible reasons as to why they support Donald Trump, but so far, I can’t. All I here is “he’s gonna fix this country.” When you ask how, people have no idea. They just know he’s spewing the hateful rhetoric that appeals to their bigoted, homophobic, misogynistic hearts. There doesn’t seem to be anything not attached to him that isn’t about anger and fear and I just don’t understand why anyone would want fall into that.

Do I think that Hilary Clinton is perfect? No, but then again I don’t have the highest opinion of politicians in general. I think many people start out in public service with good intentions but by the time they get to the point where they can truly make a difference they are so corrupted by the system that their original intentions are mostly likely lost.

But I hope that Ms. Clinton gets the chance to try because the alternative is so abhorrent that I can’t even begin to imagine how terrible it could be.

Donald Trump is a man completely obsessed with himself and this run for the presidency is nothing but a huge ego trip. He cares nothing for the average person because he has nothing in common with them. He’s never had to struggle for anything in his life and he sees himself above everyone. He holds no compassion or empathy for anyone and that is not a man who needs to have control over a country so powerful. In truth, I’m terrified of what could happen if he becomes president and I hope that all those people who have even a lick of common sense get out there and vote to keep America out of his hands.

Okay, I’m done with that now. On to more pleasant things.

I’m very excited for Rhys Ford’s new novel Mad Lizard Mambo come out in September so I am reccing the first book in the series Black Dog Blues.

Rhys Ford writes amazing characters that capture my heart and her Sinner’s Gin series stands at the top of my list of favorites. Miki and Kane and all their friends and family feel like friends that I visit often.

But Kai Gracen has his own charms and a kick ass attitude. This story is the best kind of fantasy and incorporates everything that I love about the genre. Here’s the blurb for Black Dog Blues:

Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in. Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.

It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.

But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.

This story completely swept me away and it feels like I’ve been waiting forever to see what happened to Kai and Ryder after the story closed and I’m sure I will be raving about Mad Lizard Mambo as soon as I can get my greedy little hands on it.

You can find all her books here at Dreamspinner Press or here at Amazon if that’s more your thing. Take a chance and try something new, trust me you’ll like it.

 

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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.