Broken Taboos: Religion #taboo #brokentaboo #religioninwriting

To continue the saga of what taboos I write, I’ve chosen religion as my next component. I don’t know how many of you have read my series, but if you have, then you know religion is an element in them. We’re always told growing up not to talk religion and politics. Well, I didn’t talk, I wrote. =P so there! ha!

Anyway, I write religion. In the James Matthews series it’s subtle. In the Spirit of Grace series…well it’s as obvious as the names of the books. In James, I handled it in an I don’t care but I want it in there kind of way. I wanted at least one of my characters to be Christian, and it turned out to be Addison Lee. She was the instigator, and James was the deflector.

James didn’t like that Addison wanted to pray before meals, especially at the work place. But Addison was her boss, so she sucked it up and did it. And then she missed it when [SPOILER]. It’s something I wanted in there to introduce the idea that oh my god, yes a lesbian can be a lesbian and Christian.

Time and time again I run into the push back in the LGBT et al community about Christianity. And you know what? I run into push back time and time in the Christian community about the LGBT et al community. It’s as if the two are warring and don’t want to even touch each other. Like really? We all live in the same country. We’re fucking neighbors, people! Get over it and be neighborly.

I get very tired of reading books that are so anti-Christianity or of seeing authors and readers post things on Facebook and in groups and on twitter and in blogs that are so anti-Christian simple because they write gay things. That’s not how it works. Yeah there are some out there on both ends of the spectrum, but I think rather both groups don’t want to start issues with the others. Mostly because if they did, they would both lose out.

Each group is just as important, and particularly in my life. Oh? I haven’t mentioned it? Then I shall mention it now. I’m an ordained minister. I went to four years of seminary to get my Master’s in Divinity. I have a Bachelor’s in Theology and Church History. Guess what–I’m also bisexual. I’m a bisexual Christian.

Perhaps that gives me an advantage, being bi. We break the binary in so many ways. It’s no longer about being one or the other. There’s a new element added in. BOTH or even better ALL! It’s how our lives go. We see it all, the good and the bad. We get shunned from the Christian community and we get shunned from the LGBT et al community.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to defend my sexuality to both Christians and those who claim they’re in the same club as me. Oh wait, that’s both groups! I cross the boundaries in ways no one would expect, and it really unnerves people. Being bisexual is an up yours to people who like lines. We don’t like lines. In fact, I’m not sure we have many of them at all.

Christianity isn’t the bad thing here. And the LGBT et al community isn’t the bad thing. It’s certain individuals in both groups who feel the need to expound hatred and lines when neither are necessary. BE NEIGHBORLY PEOPLE! Remember that. When you’re nervous because there’s a Christian or when you’re nervous because there’s a gay person. Be neighborly. That’s all we really have to do.

So yes, I talk religion in my books. I talk societal issues in my books. I get a lot of push back from it. If you’ve read For by Grace, you know there’s a kick ass character in there named Peter. I LOVE Peter. My publisher loves Peter. My beta readers LOVE Peter. Readers love Peter.

But there are some readers who hate Peter. He’s been called a religious nut job who just spews Scripture that makes no sense. I do implore you to actually look at the Scripture Peter is “spewing” because I did carefully pick it. By the way, it’s very hard to find a public domain Bible that doesn’t have the thees and the thous, but Peter so would not use them. Anyway, I’ve had a lot of push back on Peter, which is hilarious seeing as how the second main character and the love interest in the entire series is a chaplain. A CHAPLAIN! Someone who has power in the church.

I had thought I would get more push back for Amya than for Peter, but no, it’s come for Peter. No clue why. Peter is there for a reason. Aside from the plot points he needs to give to Grace and the fact that [SPOILER], he is someone who isn’t afraid to ask questions about faith and he’s just trying to figure it out. He’s trying to figure it out by asking Grace questions. Grace who is anti-Christianity not because she is a lesbian but because the church hurt her so bad she’s not sure she could believe in something so painful.

Spirit of Grace series was intended as a deeply spiritual piece, as a discussion on the LGBT et al community and the Christian community in a safe environment. The role of a Chaplain. Chaplains have this power and I’m not sure many realize it. They have the ability to come off as a counselor rather than a religious leader, and that makes them far more accessible. It also makes them freer in terms of the confines of the church. Amya explains that once.

Each of the titles of the books and the series name itself comes from Scripture. The first is from Ephesians 2:8. It was important to me to make it clear from the beginning that yes, there was going to be religion in this book and you better suck it up and deal with it because religion is something that needs to be discussed. It’s something we need to think about and deal with.

Religion itself has been around longer than almost any country. And this country, the United States of America, whether you want to believe it or think about it, was founded on Protestant beliefs. Beliefs that are fast becoming extinct in this world. There are more and more people each day who haven’t heard the story of Jesus, who don’t know who he was or what role he has in their history. I’m not saying that as a minister. I’m saying that as a citizen of the US. Whether or not you believe that Jesus Christ was born, died, was crucified and was raised, it doesn’t matter. His story has made an impact on where you are today. It’s history.

If we hadn’t wanted freedom of religion to believe what we wanted to believed, the United States would be a vastly different country. We wouldn’t be founded on that principle. We wouldn’t have been discovered and populated so quickly. We wouldn’t have the history we have with it’s religious wars and crimes against humanity.

It’s our history. It’s part of our current and present reality. Christianity is alive among us today, and yes, I’m going to talk about it. I hope to talk about it in a context that is safe and an environment that needs to think about why Christianity is so important. Not to believe, but because of the effects it has on us as people living in 2015.

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Broken Taboos: being bisexual and writing lesbian fiction

I wrote this post on my Facebook wall a while ago and realized quickly it was 1. too long for a post on Facebook and 2. really needed to be expanded on. So here you are…my rant on why I write broken taboos and then a calmer discussion toward the bottom.


 

 

What? I write things that are taboo? Things people don’t talk about? What? No…. =P

Lesbians!
Religion and lesbians?
Tentacles and sex?
Twincest?
Again! Religion and lesbians? Because we all know you can’t be a Christian and a lesbian…ummm…what?

Sex used to be a taboo subject too. Erotica, things with eroticism. Now it’s just another book. It’s hard to find books without sex in them.

So YES!

There are religious elements in every book in the James Matthews series. There’s also no sex. There’s also other taboo subjects. Mental illness. Foster care.

There are definitely overpowering religious elements in every book in the Spirit of Grace series. I mean, come one, one is a Chaplain and then you have Peter. OMG I love Peter.

Yes there is tentacles and erotica in Loneliness Ebbs Deep. It was a fun exploration of how to write hentai in a consensual and sensual way. Not to mention an exploration of how masturbation is a GOOD thing.

Yes in Quarter Life: Energy Feed there is twincest. It just kinda happened and it worked. They’re not human, so who knows what rules or social parameters they have. Also they don’t actually touch each other. There are rules, and they follow those rules.

Yes in Quarter Life the rest of the series there are witches, vampires, bigfoot, and a whole slew of other creatures that used to be taboo. There’s bisexualism in a realistic manner that isn’t all about let’s have sex with whoever because we’re bisexual and can use it as an excuse.

In Memoir in the Making there is the taboo of an age difference, quite a big one, there is the taboo of student/teacher relations NOT just being about sex but actually being about love.

So…I guess what this rant is for, which I’ve been shunting down for awhile, is to say to you…if you don’t like reading taboo things and exploring them further, then I am not the author for you. If you do like exploring taboos in the safe environment of reading a book, then HELLOOOoooo! Welcome to my world!

***

There is a reason why I write taboos, things that are NOT talked about. It’s nothing I can particularly say I went in expecting to write when I started the whole publishing thing, but I do have to say I love it. It’s a challenge to me. Not only does it make me think of how can I pull something like this off without being disrespectful, with making it more acceptable in society, but to actually have a point and a reason behind it.

The first taboo I deal with is writing lesbian fiction. It’s not even just the fact that people don’t really talk about lesbians, it’s the fact that lesbian fiction is the taboo in the LGBT fiction world. Gay fiction is readily accepted. People read it all the time. Straight people even. Same with bisexual and menage/poly. It’s just readily accepted.

But I find that lesbian fiction isn’t really read much beyond the lesbian or bisexual female realm. It’s a much smaller audience, and surprisingly, not a lot of people are willing to take a risk and try it. It’s as if something about two women being together and being realistic isn’t attractive to them.

Not only to I write lesbian fiction, but I write lesbian fiction as a bisexual/omnisexual woman. There we go, another taboo right off the bat. I don’t know if you know this, but lesbian fiction is not readily accepted by lesbians unless you, the author, are a lesbian yourself. I do have an advantage and disadvantage here.

1. I’m a woman (don’t even get me started on men who write lesbian fiction and are put down because of it)
2. I’m bisexual/omnisexual (meaning I get what’s it’s like to love a woman even though I married a man)

Being a woman gives me an instant in. Some readers see that I’m a woman who writes lesbian fiction and automatically assume I’m a lesbian. Which is fine, it really doesn’t matter to me. A reader is a reader. But it’s people who flat out refuse to pick up my books because I write something they don’t think I have any understanding on. It’s interesting to me because I mostly write urban fantasy…like I understand what it’s like to be a pyrokinetic or telepathic or a witch or a vampire. I don’t. Those things don’t exist in the real world. So why is it acceptable for me to write those but to lesbians?

It’s not something I claim to understand, but it is a definite belief. It’s something I want to explore, something I want to understand. But I’m not sure I ever will. And the interesting thing is…I do with with bisexual books. There aren’t a lot out there, but the ones that are tend to be ploy/menage. It’s not something I see as a common form of bisexualism. It doesn’t mean I won’t read the books, but it does mean I don’t consider those books bisexual. It’s different. I find that people rarely want to write bisexual or other colors under the rainbow (lesbian and gay aside) unless they actually fall into that category themselves. It’s as if people are afraid to test and try out and expand their creativity.

And I don’t blame them. If you’re constantly being labeled as “not this so I won’t read” then why even try to write it? This is where being bisexual/omnisexual comes in handy. I have been in relationships with women. Hell, I almost married one. So I do have experience, and the label of bisexuality comes along with the assumption of experience. So there are some readers, who with that label, will pick up my books.

But the point of this whole long post is that I break the taboos. I’m not someone who follows a binary (ha! Bisexual and binary!? Not likely). I’m someone who likes to explore what we consider societal norms and try to figure out why the hell they’re there and if they really work.

So this post begins a new post series that will go on for I don’t know how long. I’ll talk about some of the taboos I write, and I’ll talk about how I break them, or rather, why I wanted to write them.

Do I Feel Different…? Guest post with A. M. Leibowitz #lowereducation #MM #bisexual #romance

Hello one, hello all! Today I’m so excited to host my good friend A. M. Leibowitz on my blog. She’ll be talking about publishing and finally being a published author and just want that feels like.

***

10518908_10204489956156895_156712596_nWhen Adrian asked me to write this post, I jumped at the opportunity because, well, she’s one of my favorite people, and how could I say no? Then I realized I had to actually come up with a topic. I consulted my crystal ball (also known as my spouse), who suggested I write about whether I feel different now that my book is officially available to the public.

I want to say that I don’t feel different at all, that I was a real writer before, and I’m still a real writer now. I wanted to say that having my words in a format people have to pay to read doesn’t make any difference at all. But I would be lying.

I do feel different. It’s not just because the book is really, truly, honest-to-goodness available for purchase. It’s because in some way, I feel like I’ve earned the right to say to people, “You can buy my book. Or not. And if you don’t like it, you can leave me a bad review. Or not.” I no longer have any desire to hedge my bets.

Before, people used to say to me, “Oh, I would love to read something you wrote! Please let me know when your book is coming out.” And I would hedge. I had an overwhelming desire to say, “Are you sure about that?”

I come from a very conservative religious background. For some of you, that should tell you all you need to know about why I was hesitant. If you’re in the dark about it, here’s what that means.

It means attempting to put off a few people by telling them I write “romance.” It means glancing over my shoulder, leaning in, and whispering, “But I write gay sex.” It means giving people everything about the plot of the novel except for the part where my main character is bisexual and falls in love with another man. It means my neck sweating and my face turning a thousand shades of red as I say, “I don’t know if my book is church-approved.”

I’m now at a church where lgbtq+ people are welcome and affirmed, but that wasn’t always the case. The kinds of things I write are more than a little frowned on among my conservative friends. While I probably won’t lose any friendships, I might lose some respect.

When I wasn’t a published author, that mattered to me. It created in me the almost crippling fear that if I couldn’t make these people respect my writing, by extension I’d failed to make them respect me. Having a published novel has given me the confidence to stop allowing these people to own me that way. I’m not saying being published is the cure for all our writerly anxieties; it’s not. But for me, it was the boost I needed to be able to look people in the eye and take credit for my work.

I guess that means next time someone asks me what I do, I can say with conviction, “I write queer lit that falls somewhere between literary and romance. I swear a bit, and sometimes people in my novels have sex.”

Then again, maybe I won’t. I’ll wait until at least the second time we meet.

Amazon: Kindle Edition
Smashwords: 8 Different File Types
Barnes and Noble: Nook Edition
Apple: iBook Edition

Author bio:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

 

Find me on the Internet:

Web site:         http://amleibowitz.com

Facebook:        Amy Leibowitz Mitchell (personal profile)

A.M. Leibowitz (author page)

Twitter:           @amyunchained

The troll under the bridge… #WIPpetWednesday

Hello all! It’s been 4 weeks since I’ve posted last! Insanity, I say! Well, I’m back and I’m ready to post. It’s also been awhile since I’ve written. Talking with my publisher last night has instilled in me the need to write yet again (although, it might have been instilled before then, but it’s going to happen now).

I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this, but I do have a writing goal per year. My goal is to publish 2-3 books a year, and thus far I’ve maintained that. But in 2015, I only have 1 book ready for publishing. Unfortunately, this means I need to get my ass in gear. Like seriously in gear.

So I have new goals. I did also drop off the ROW80 bandwagon, and it’s pretty much over for this round, so when the next round starts, I’ll be joining in that again. For now I have 3 goals until this end of the year.

1. Write 1 chapter of Quarter Life: Unbound every day. My goal was to write 1667 words (like fake NaNo) every day, but I think it’s just easier on my mind to do one chapter. The chapters in this novel are only about 2,000 words each anyway, so what’s a little more going to hurt? =P This will be finished just before NaNoWriMo.

2. Write a short story for submission to an anthology which is an introduction to Emma from the Quarter Life series. The story needs to be 8k-15k words, and guess what!? I already have the plot in my head.

3. During NaNoWriMo get at least 50k words written on Grace through Redemption, finish the novel if at all possible. If I don’t finish the novel during NaNo, then I’ll finish it during December and hopefully have it ready for publication late in 2015. If not, Unbound will be there for 2015 and I’ll have 2 novels for my goal!

I’m sharing my goals with you all so you can yell at me when I’m not working and hold me accountable.

As for WIPpet Wednesday, I’m finally getting to it, since I’m working on writing Unbound again and since I’ve finally made some good significant progress, I’m going to share from it. My math is simple today 30 short sentences. 24 +2 + 4 = 30

I wrote this yesterday morning in a writing sprint, and I’m absolutely in love with it. So here’s an excerpt from chapter 13 of Unbound. Emma has snuck out of the house, she isn’t sure if she’s going back due to something that happened, and she needs to get her “energy” fix. She’s trying to find her dealer. So here you go…the fantastical world Emma lives in come to life.

Heading down to the old part of town, Emma walked in the light rain. It drizzled on her face, soaking her sweatshirt and hair with the mist. She was drenched by the time she got to the bridge where she knew the troll lived.

Sneering, Emma slipped under the far end of it and leaned against the cement support. She took two deep breaths before turning around to face the carved troll and lifted her cheeks to his eyes.

“Hello, my friend,” she stated. She’d only come here once or twice before, but the troll would know what she needed to find.

The stone cracked and ground as it moved, the troll’s face becoming animated s it broke away the shield of the day. Emma didn’t gasp this time as she had the first. She didn’t turn and run. Instead, she stood her ground and waited.

“My friend,” he said, his voice deep. “Come to find some more elixir?”

“You know it! Do you know where he is this evening? It’s been awhile since I’ve seen him.”

“Indeed, it has,” the troll answered. “He has changed his hiding place.”

Emma nodded, wishing the troll would speak faster. It was as if everything was in slow motion with him to a point where she was near falling asleep sometimes while she waited for his answer.

“He is down by the market. Far side. Red cap, as always.”

Emma smiled and bowed her head slightly. “Anything you desire from him?”

“Oh no,” the troll smiled but it looked more like a grimace. “He brings me mine.”

“All right,” she said. Crawling up on the troll’s arms and body to his head, Emma patted his cheek before she pressed her lips to his rough, stoney skin. “Until next time, my friend.”

IMG_6717.JPG modeled after the troll under the Freemont Street Bridge in Seattle, Washington

Thanks for coming and reading! If you’re interested in participating in WIPpet, it’s pretty easy. Share an excerpt of your WIP (Work in Progress) and somehow make it correlate to the date. Then you go to this linky here and link it up with the others. Make sure you check some of the other writers out to show your support! Thanks to Kathi as always for hosting.

A New WIPpet! #WIPpetWednesday and #ROW80 update

Well…I finished my novel! Yay! So that means I’m editing it, so still technically a WIP, but I’m going to start posting from Emma again. I finally have a title for it, not sure if I ever shared that. This novel has about 34,000 words written and I think it’ll end up being around 90,000 for the whole novel. It’s a third done and my goal is to finish it BEFORE NaNoWriMo. I want to write Grace through Redemption for NaNo. But I’m getting married in a few weeks, so I’m not quite sure how that’s going to work out.

Anyway, I’m going to do ROW80 update first.

1. Lovely, Dark, and Deep short story needs to be written by Aug 31st. 2k words a week.

2. Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie short story needs to be written by Sept 27th. 2k words a week.

3. Editing Fallen from Grace. 3 chapters a week.

I haven’t done anything except the third goal. I did finish my three chapters this week. I’m thinking I need to up it so I can finish editing before I get married. I think I’ll keep this as the goal and try to do extra! =P

 

For WIPpet.

I do not in anyway remember what I posted from this previously. So here’s a snippet from chapter 13, which is the last completely written chapter. 6 short paragraphs after some shit went down =P Molly and Emma are talking it out. (Yes, I’m aware Emma is called Caroline. I think that’ll be confusing until people read the whole novel. She’s lying about her identity, so when from Molly’s POV, Emma is referred to as Caroline.) My math is easy this week 20 (for the day) – (14 for the year) = 6.

The title of the series is Quarter Life, and the title of this book is Unbound. =D

Molly waited patiently until Caroline was calmed down enough to start talking again. Amachon was still nowhere to be seen, and she knew he would not return until she was done or until Joel woke up. Sliding a stool over so that she could sit, Molly waited a few more seconds before asking Caroline to continue.

“After that?” Caroline said. “I don’t really remember exactly. Chloroform—I remember the smell. Then I kind of woke up a little bit and realized we’d been drugged. Everything was so slow. And dark.”

“What happened?”

“Kirill.”

Molly remained silent as did Caroline. There was little need for an explanation as to why. Molly had essentially stolen for Kirill in his mind and thus he would steal from her. That was explanation enough for him. If she hadn’t done it, hadn’t allowed Jelena and her sons into her home and offered to hide them, Caroline would not have been put in danger.

It was one thing for Joel to be put in danger; he was her employee and knew the circumstances surrounding her work. Caroline was there by default of being too close to the situation in general. None of this should have happened to Caroline, and it was entirely Molly’s fault.

Guest Post with Caddy Rowland #authorcorner

The Frustration of “Gay or LGBT Fiction” Becoming Synonymous with “Romance”

 

By Caddy Rowland

 

 

When I started writing my first series, I didn’t realize until I had written the first three books I had automatically included either gay or lesbian characters in each one. As I sat and thought about it, I came to realize it shouldn’t have surprised me at all. I’ve always had a wide variety of friends. Many have are gay or lesbian. It simply comes natural to me to include people with different gender preferences in my work because I’m surrounding by it in life. Once I knew I had done so, I made a commitment to always have at least one LGBT character in my books. Sometimes they are side characters, while other times they take center stage.

Additionally, although my novels fall into many genres, in the end I’m a writer of drama. My tagline is “novels showcasing the sublime joy and bitter tragedy of being human”. How can I do so if my books only represent one aspect of humanity? Plus, I tend to both read and write dark, angsty, raw stuff. Certainly the struggles and history of LGBT people in most cultures fits the bill.

As I’ve become more aware of LGBT characters in literature, I’m increasingly frustrated with gay fiction being seen by many readers as always sex and romance. Not so. That would be m/m romance, which is much different from gay romance. Gay romance, in turn, is vastly different much of gay fiction. (The subject of m/m romance versus gay romance would be a several thousand word blog. Suffice it to say WOMEN read m/m, not gay men, because it’s written how WOMEN see romance. Gay men are men. I know a hell of a lot of gay men, and only one of them reads m/m—or, come to think of it, gay romance, either). Men are not generally romance readers.

I hate the categories “gay fiction”, “lesbian fiction”, and “LGBT fiction”. They tell the reader zilch. Oh, if only writers of gay fiction would put their books in genre categories that fit the story! After all, we only get two categories on Amazon. Why waste one that tells nothing regarding what the book is about? That’s what keywords and descriptions are for! Readers search by keywords. They type in “gay fiction”, etc so if you use the correct keywords they find you. THEN, only when they are on your page, do they see the categories, assuming they scroll all the way to the bottom. So tell them what the darn thing is about! Thriller, drama, mystery, contemporary, fantasy, horror. They’ve already typed in “gay”. They know that, now they want to know what kind of story you have to tell.

When a story is primarily about gay issues, then the LGBT category (or gay, etc, whatever is offered) makes sense. I have the last two Gastien books listed as gay drama because they are. They are historical and about the struggle and story of being gay in the mid-twentieth century. My current continuing saga is about sex-trafficking. A gay boy shares main character status with a straight girl from late in the first book on through. Gay has nothing to do with the type of story it is, so I didn’t waste a category on saying, “Alert! Someone’s gay!” Readers looking for a gay protagonist will type those words or “gay fiction” in the search and find it anyway.

People are missing out on so many great novels because readers falsely assume gay fiction is all about sex and romance. It’s time to change that. Many writers author gay fiction in other genres. Some may have some graphic sex, some won’t. Some may have a love story as part of the full story. Some won’t. But there are other things happening besides those things!

My first series, The Gastien Series, is a five book series with graphic sex and some violence. Most of the sex is not romantic or turn-on sex. It is sex for power or abusing power. It is sex for validation, mistaking sex for other people accepting you. The series is drama, historical, family saga, psychological and the last book is also a full-fledged, gut-wrenching romance. With an HEA. Or Not. The first three books have either gay or lesbian side characters. The fourth has a gay young man who ends up sharing main character status with the female protagonist halfway through. The fifth book is his story and almost all the characters are gay.

My current continuing saga, There Was a House, is a raw, dark, brutal look at sex-trafficking. It is a psychological thriller, political regarding violence in society, and suspense. It’s also about revenge and redemption. In it, six teenagers are trafficked into prostitution. A gay teen-age boy shares main character status with a straight teen-age girl throughout, starting late in the last book. Although being gay has a lot to do with why he ended up at a whorehouse, and why he’s able to plot a plan of revenge because people tend to only see what they believe to be true about him, “gay” doesn’t tell readers what the story is about.

Take a look at my work, Andrew Ashling, Brandon Shire, Rodney Ross, and Zathyn Priest and you will find gay fiction that is anything but romance (although Shire writes some and is very good at true gay romance). We are by far not the only ones. I’m just beginning to discover the authors of gay fiction. I like to read the same kind of stories I write, and it seems gay fiction is often times the kind of work that makes a reader think and feel.

I’d love to hear from readers about other works of gay fiction that aren’t romances; books that stuck in their minds for months. Feel free to contact me with author names and titles!

Bio PHOTO

Caddy Rowland is the author of a five book historical family saga called The Gastien Series. This story starts out in nineteenth century France. Gastien is a farm boy with dreams far bigger than a peasant has a right to. He leaves home to become a great artist and lover, but lacks education, money, or contacts. It’s a story about struggle and the quest for power, abuse of power, and the achievement of dreams.

The Gastien Series: Sometimes the “impossible” is possible, but the cost can be extremely high.

She is also the author of a psychological thriller, There Was a House, which is a four novel saga of revenge and redemption. Six teenagers have been sex trafficked and forced to work in a brothel where wealthy men satisfy their most vile sexual urges. The teenagers hang onto hope that one day they will be free, but escape isn’t good enough. Phoenix and Jamie head up a plan for total destruction of the despicable men who use them.

There Was a House Saga: They better be damn good. There will only be one chance.

Caddy grew up with a stack of books that almost reached the ceiling before she was five. Books, along with her vivid imagination, have always been some of her closest friends. 

She lives with her husband, who was her high school sweetheart. They are owned by two parrots. Besides being a writer, she is an artist. One can often find her “makin’ love to the color” (painting) with loud music blaring. However, when writing she prefers silence or classical music, so she can hear the characters telling the story.

Her goal as an author is to make readers laugh, cry, think, and become intimately connected with her main characters. Caddy’s writing style is usually described as raw, gritty, and “real”. Most all of her work is LGBT inclusive. In other words, she strives to make her work reflect humanity as it really is: varied and interesting.

Caddy Rowland: Novels showcasing the sublime joy and bitter tragedy of being human.

 

Social Media Links

 

Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX

Author Fanpage: www.facebook.com/authorcaddyrowland

Author Blog: www.caddyrowlandblog.blogspot.com

Author Central Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5106723.Caddy_Rowland

Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com

Twitter: @caddyorpims

 

House of PleasureEpisode 1 of There Was a House saga, a continuing story of revenge and redemption.

Fueled by rage and disgust, Phoenix runs away from home. The situation there had become unbearable. In fact, things couldn’t get any worse.

But they do. Betrayed in New York by a boy who she thought was a new friend, she finds herself taken prisoner by a low-class pimp. Then, when she thinks she’s on her way to her first seedy trick, Phoenix winds up locked in a limo with no way out. She wakes up in an illegal brothel in New Orleans.

Phoenix vows she will find a way to destroy Antoine, the owner of the brothel. Instead of being Antoine’s prostitute, she’ll become his lover, his confidante, and pretty soon, his manager. And then, when he least suspects it, she’ll bring the entire house down.

She better be damn good.

There will only be one chance.

**Content Warning: This book contains adult themes and scenes that deal with a difficult topic. 

Buy Links

http://tinyurl.com/kv8z5dt Kindle

http://tinyurl.com/oa37yvg Nook

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/house-of-pleasure-1 Kobo

http://tinyurl.com/lxr3p8e Paperback

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id845231912 I-tunes

 

 

Gastien has dreams far bigger than a mere peasant has a right to. When he flees the farm for Paris, the late nineteenth century 5.5"X8.5" Post Card Templatebohemian era is in full swing. Color has always called to him, beseeching him to capture it on canvas and show people a new way of seeing things. His father belittled his dream of being an artist and tried to beat him into giving it up. The dream wouldn’t die, but Gastien would have had he not left.

He also yearns to become a great lover. After the years of anguish he has endured at the hand of his father, it would be heaven to feel pleasure instead of pain.

However, the city of Paris has a ruthless agenda. Unless a man has money and connections, Paris unfeelingly crushes dreams and destroys souls. With neither of the required assets, Gastien faces living in alleys, digging in trash bins for food, and sleeping where a man is often killed for his threadbare blanket.

Left with only his dreams, Gastien stubbornly pushes on. He vows that absolutely nothing will stop him, not yet realizing what keeping that vow might mean. Sometimes the “impossible” is possible – but the cost can be extremely high.

This historical fiction novel is book 1 of a 5 book drama/family saga for adults (The Gastien Series). As such, it contains adult themes and graphic scenes. Each book can stand on its own, but is most compelling read in order. 

Buy Links (This Book is Now Perma-free):

http://tinyurl.com/3ecu8ku Kindle

http://tinyurl.com/k5fegj9 Nook

http://tinyurl.com/bx3edem Kobo

http://tinyurl.com/3luddg7 Paperback

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id874529184 I-tunes

 

A ROW80 Update on a Sunday Morn…

Welcome to my crazy morning. Sundays are always going to be insane for me! So I’m going to make this quick.

1. Fallen from Grace: write 1 chapter a week (moving week excluded): I wrote chapters 11, and 12 this past week, and I have about 1,000 more words on chapter 13. That MEANS!!! I only have two more chapters to write and the novel is complete! My betas are up to chapter 10, so I might just get this book out earlier than expected *crosses fingers* I sent in for the covers to be done, so I should be getting those soon for books 2 & 3 in this series. Eeeeek!
2. Promo: Answer three interview questions a day until done
3. Promo: Write out a guest post a week until done
4. Lovely, Dark, and Deep short story needs to be written/plotted 2k a day due Aug 31st –This is so not happening
5. Paranormal Romance short story 2k/day due Aug 9th — I’m worried this is so not happening. We haven’t made any more progress on it, and the 9th is well, fast approaching…

Also! If you didn’t already think I was insane with these goals for ROW80. I have two novels releasing in the span of a month. Whew. That means tons of book tours going on and getting set up. The one that just released on the 1st is a stand-alone!

70a86-awccoverJane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love.

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing.

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

 

Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
iTunes
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo

And this one!! That comes out on Sept 1st and is the final in a series. Ashes2final

Eleven years after the love of her life dies, James hopes everything would be normal and works to construct her reality as such. Her adopted daughter, Lily, finishes her sophomore year of high school with nothing other than good grades, a best friend for life, and goals for the future. James, after stepping back into the dating world, has a girlfriend with a steady, non-life-threatening job. Life is as peaceful as it can be. But a day at the waterpark with her daughter reveals the largest crack in the façade.

And nothing can stop chaos from ensuing.

 

Anyway…chaos ensues in my life, not just James’ as this all comes together.

I have tours for Ashes Fall and For by Grace that are accepting blogs. If you’re interested in either, let me know and I’ll send you a link to the sign up. =P

Across Worlds: Collision goes live!! #LGBT #scifi #erotica #lesbian #F/F

Across Worlds: Collision is LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This has been a long time coming. It was written a year and a half ago and took this long to get to the end of the process. I’m so thrilled and excited to share it with you all!

If you’re new and don’t know what Across Worlds: Collision is, well, let me tell you.  =P70a86-awccover

***

Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love.

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing.

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

***

Doesn’t this sound like a fun and awesome read? It’s going on a tour soon too! I wanted to share with you a review from a tour it went on in July.

S. A. Snow’s “Across Worlds: Collision” is steamy and perfect, especially if you like both M/F and F/F action! Usnavi, the leading alien of the novel, is capable of changing sexes and this makes for some hawt encounters! I loved this book – couldn’t put it down. Very sexy and also a great storyline. Kind of a sexed up version of “Calculating God” by Robert J. Sawyer. A really great, complete, standalone book. Also, strangely, if you suffered through morning sickness and other pregnancy woes, there’s a little bit of turn-about-is-fair-play in this book on that count! Amazing! 4.5 out of 5

http://ow.ly/zpW4g

I mean, come on! When I saw that I jumped and grinned all day long!!

Here’s some buy links for AWC if you’re interested in checking it out.

Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
iTunes
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
Kobo

 

The Power of Representation GUEST POST by Adrian Lilly #authorcorner

The power of representation

Whether I have one reader or 100,000 readers, I take the power of representation seriously. As authors, we have the opportunity to create characters, who in the best of circumstances can introduce readers to someone unlike a person they’ve ever met in real life, and in the worst case scenario, we create characters who reveal our own biases.

Here’s an example. If you’re a fan of the TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, you may have heard about the recent backlash involving words like “she-male” and “tranny.” Some members in the transgender community are offended by these words.

Because I am not transgender, I believe that I don’t get a say in what transgender individuals should be called. What I mean is that I believe that a group has the right to refer to themselves any way they wish, and I should try to abide by that. The same way I’d rather be called “gay” than “fag.” But, representation goes beyond our chosen and imposed labels.

When I or any other writer begins to create characters, we have a responsibility to try to create characters who escape stereotype. Stereotypical characters are flat and they don’t fully represent reality.

In the following, I focus primarily on the importance of queer characters. I use queer to try to encompass the multiplicity of sexual expression: bisexual, lesbian, gay, questioning, transgender, genderqueer and so on. And within each of those expressions are individuals. For example, if you have a character who is a gay circuit boy, do you explore all that has happened to him to lead him where he is, or just create a flat character who likes to party? Also, when creating queer characters, do we think about other intersections? Often, when someone says a “gay man” we immediately picture a middle class, white, gay man, and not a gay man with a different race and/or class background.

If, as a writer, you try to tackle an expression beyond your own, you should try to make that character as sympathetic and well-rounded as possible.

So, when tackling characters, here’s a short checklist I use:

1. Have I thought about my own biases? We all have them. Being aware of them makes us better writers (and better people, I think). If I have a bias against drag queens because one read me up and down, maybe I should try to create a beloved drag queen character to stretch my writing muscles.

2. Do I have only one character of a particular race/gender/sexual expression? If so, do I try to avoid the pratfall that this character represents everyone within that social category?

3. Is my character well developed enough to ‘run the gauntlet’? By run the gauntlet, I mean do I know enough about my character to put the character through a series of tests to see what he or she would do in any given circumstances/scenes (even if the scene doesn’t make it into the story).

4. Am I trying too hard? Let’s not work too hard to “other” our characters. In other words, being gay does not define every choice a character makes. Whether your character is straight/gay/black/white/male/female is not a defining trait in whether s/he runs from a werewolf.

5. What do my characters talk about? Have you ever heard of the Bechdel test? Basically, the test is whether female characters are fully developed or whether they only exist around men. I think the same can go for queer characters. What characters talk about is a powerful way to develop them. Dialogue is a strong tool to show interests, political persuasion, background—any host of topics. How a character talks about topics (word choice, grammar) is equally important. This can tell a reader such traits as class background.

6. How do other characters see a character? Identity is how we see ourselves and how others see us. Seeing your gay character through other characters’ eyes can tell a reader much about him or her. One character may think that your gay character is so wonderful he hung the moon while another may hate his guts. Maybe they’re both right. This can help address an important aspect of character development. Sometimes our identities are a performance. If a gay man wants to be seen by others as butch, he pulls on ripped jeans and a leather harness.

  1. Am I using societal bias for my own gain? Ouch. This question is a tough one, because it’s an easy trap to fall into. Have you ever seen any long list of movies from Psycho to Sleep Away Camp to Insidious 2 where the killers are men in dresses? That storyline is so played out, and gender nonconformity is portrayed as a dysfunction rather than an authentic expression. And in a society with very few positive representations, it is also pernicious. So, for instance, if you have a character like this, stop and ask yourself whether it’s fair.

This checklist is a reference tool—a guideline. Do I always succeed? Of course not. But I think that by opening the dialogue (with myself and with others), I’m taking an important first step in creating queer and other characters who are multi-dimensional.

As a gay man, I want positive representations of everyone in the queer community. And, I guess, the first place to start with those is in my own writing.

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Author Bio:

Adrian W. Lilly is the author of the novels The Devil You Know, Red Haze, The Wolf at His Door: Book One of The Runes Trilogy and The Wolf in His Arms: Book Two of The Runes Trilogy. His short fiction and poetry have been published in Hello Horror, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, Nervehouse and The Weekly among other publications.

He is a fan of Gothic suspense movies and novels, which greatly influence his writing. Adrian’s writing focuses on strong character development and the nuances of fear that build toward horror. The mansion in his first novel, The Devil You Know, was inspired by the grand mansions in the Victorian neighborhood where he lives.

Adrian writes novels, short stories, and poetry and has spent many years as a copywriter in the advertising industry. In addition, Adrian has directed two short films and co-directed a feature-length sci-fi comedy.

My website: www.adrianlilly.com

Facebook: facebook.com/adrianwlilly

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AdrianLilly

Twitter: @AdrianLilly1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6545875.Adrian_Lilly

 

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ON SALE FOR 99 CENTS!

Twenty-one-year-old Alec Rune is annoyed when his older sister, Lucy, ambushes him with a blind date with her friend, Jared. But Alec is immediately attracted to the intriguing, intelligent young man.

But the past has claws…

Ilene Rune nearly collapses when she meets her son’s new boyfriend. His black hair and startling green eyes are the same as a man she knew years ago—an evil, violent man with strange powers.

The present has teeth…

Investigating a string of missing persons cases leads Detective Carmen Salazar into the dark world of fairy tales and fantasy—and shakes her belief in what is possible or imagined.

And the future is filled with blood…

Alec awakes from a coma with no recollection of the night his twin brother was torn to pieces. As a madman closes in on him and his family, can Alec learn the werewolves’ plan before his entire family is destroyed?

This “multi-layered and unpredictable” (Christine Coretti) novel builds to “an absolutely epic ending” (thegayUK.com).

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Wolf-Door-Runes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00DR4H7QG

Kobo

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-wolf-at-his-door

Barnes& Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wolf-at-his-door-adrian-lilly/1116068410

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/332148

iBooks

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-wolf-at-his-door/id671203804?mt=11

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Ten months have passed since werewolves changed Alec Rune’s life forever. As he and his family pick up the pieces, the mastermind behind the werewolves is revealed, and he kicks the werewolf plan into motion.

Meanwhile, Alec Rune and Jared Kincaid work to find the other members of the pack, but with limited clues they are stalled. Alec’s sister, Lucy, is wounded—and vengeful—and is sculpting her will and body to be ready for the chance to exact justice. Ilene, Alec’s mother, is battling depression after the losses she suffered at the hands of the werewolves. She unwittingly stumbles upon an 80-year-old mystery and finds herself at battle with the werewolves once again. Her husband, Jason, feels in the dark and isolated from the family that is keeping secrets from him. So he begins his own investigation.

As the werewolves come closer to realizing their plan, the family is not the only ones in the path of destruction. Millions of lives hang in the balance.

And as the werewolves close in again, Alec and Jared will realize the price of great love, sometimes, is great loss.

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Wolf-Arms-Runes-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00IL2NLOG

Kobo

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/books/The-Wolf-in-His-Arms/

Barnes& Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wolf-in-his-arms-adrian-w-lilly/1118866910

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/411605

WIPpet Wednesday!! July 18, 2014

Hey all! I can finally announce my big news! I know a lot of you saw it on Facebook already, but not everyone is over there. I’ll be moving to an itty bitty town in the middle of nowhere Kansas come the middle of July. I’ve got a real big-girl job that starts on July 21! I can’t wait for it. I’m so crazy excited to finally be working in my field.

So in the midst of packing, I have a release coming up and a novel to finish editing and another novel to finish writing. I’m a bit cray cray; it’s okay.

I also wanted to share some other good news.

On June 1, my newest series was released…well book 1 anyway. Now, I don’t normally check rankings or reviews because let’s face it…the likelihood I’ll get a review a week is slim to none. BUT! I was turned on to checking my rankings, which I don’t normally do because I don’t want to know how bad my book is doing. Well…I’ve been checking them recently. Just once a day because I don’t want to become addicted to it. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling.

For by Grace has been in the top 26 of the Gay and Lesbian genre on Amazon since it’s release 18 days ago. Talk about ridiculous. I’m not sure what to do about it other than squee and tell everyone I know, so that’s why you’ve had to suffer through this rambling. It’s given me a lot of motivation to try and finish writing book 2 by the end of July/middle of August (I’m about halfway done with it) and maybe, just maybe, get it out in December.

Anyway! Onto WIPpet Wednesday now that I’m done rambling…

This week my post is still from Fallen from Grace (you know, that one book I want to finish writing soon). This is still coming off from last week; there’s a missing section you don’t get, but it shouldn’t be too jarring to skip it. My math is simple. 17 short paragraphs. 18 – 1 from the year = 17.

Here we go…

            Turning around to stare at him, Grace gave him a hard look. Maybe staring and glaring would work. If it did, then she would have her answers soon. Grace gave up after fifteen seconds of staring.

“What’s your name?”

The man didn’t reply. He didn’t move or do anything other than look back at her.

“Name! What’s your name?” She tried again, shouting louder this time.

Her frustration grew to its topmost levels when he still didn’t reply. There was a group of gawkers that were still watching the cruiser, all staring and pointing at her. Grace had had it with the clown and turned around to face the front of the car. She hit her lights and started toward the jail, making sure to follow protocol. Perhaps one of the corrections officers would have better luck getting him to talk to she did.

The entire ride was in complete silence. Grace pulled up at the jail and shut the car off. She didn’t want to go inside, fearing that Amya might be in there somewhere—it was after all her day to be there. She took a deep breath and stepped outside after closing the lid to the computer in the passenger seat. She opened the back door of the cruiser and helped the clown out, grabbing his wig as an after-thought.

Grace started to march him toward the door, but as soon as she got three steps in, the clown started resisting like a lost puppy on a leash for the first time. He wiggled and backed up, putting all of his dead weight into it so that she was practically carrying him each step. After five minutes of struggling and making it only another five feet, she gave up.

Planting her feet on the ground and glaring again at him, she walked him back to the car—a direction he was willing to go—and pushed him onto the cruiser. She gave him another pat down and then stood him up, looking him up and down.

“What’s wrong?”

The man shook his head.

“What is wrong?”

Again he shook his head.

“What’s your name?”

He shook his head and opened his mouth, a bumble of sounds and noises coming out. Grace stepped back and narrowed her eyes, realizing for the first time that the man couldn’t hear her. He was completely and totally deaf. He hadn’t even had enough hearing to learn how to speak. Grace bit her lip and shook her head.

Technically, she wasn’t supposed to handcuff him. However, since he had been fighting with her and resisting arrest, she had been allowed to, but there was no way to communicate with him without his hands. Grace took a chance.

She grabbed the notepad out of her pocket and the pen, setting it onto the trunk of the car. She unlocked the man’s hands and nodded at the notepad. He reached for it slowly and carefully, scrawling on it quickly before setting it back down. Grace looked over and saw a first name written in messy handwriting on the white paper.

She felt so stupid—if only she’d paid more attention to the few times she’d seen Crystal teach her kids the alphabet. Grace grabbed the pen and paper and wrote down what was going to happen to him next before she put the handcuffs back on one of his hands and lead him into booking.

Why I Nearly Gave Up Writing by Alan David Pritchard GUEST POST

Why I nearly gave up writing

 

When I was 9, my parents gave me a battered old Royal typewriter because they realised that I enjoyed writing. What this meant in reality was: I enjoyed coming up with ideas for stories and writing them down. For many years after, whenever anyone asked me what it was I wanted to do with my life, my assured and possibly over-zealous response was: I want to be a writer.

And so, for the greater part of my teenage years, I spent a great deal of my time churning out stories, poems and plays, all the while clinging to the romantic ideal of wanting to be a writer. Of course, nearly everything I wrote was, to a certain extent, rubbish – but I had the naïve belief that if I continued, I would get better and would one day be able to say: I am a writer.

There are two things significant about this: one, because I wrote a lot, I was already a writer; two, because my aspiration was over-simplified and not properly articulated, I was unable to develop as a writer until much later.

You see, in the beginning, I used to think that being a writer meant finishing pieces of writing. For a long while, I was a writer. I wrote things. I completed them. The joy was not in the writing, but in the completing. To be able to say “I finished a story” was more important than the process itself. The destination, as it were, was more of an incentive than the journey. And when I was finished, I would show off my completed product with a misplaced sense of pride: Look what I have written.

And then, after studying English at University and reading a great deal, I realised that I had approached it all from the wrong angle. I no longer wished to simply write, I wanted to write well.

That is when things began to change. From then on, finishing was not the priority – writing something that had merit, recognised by others as being good writing, was more important. Being more aware of the process and of my audience became something that demanded my attention. Quality over quantity now mattered. Thus it was that I spent many an hour painstakingly rewriting pieces so that they had more of a literary quality, with improved structure and well-rounded and developed characters, and cohesive themes and well-integrated motifs and …

It was impossible to finish anything.

Every time I began writing, I would revisit what I had already written and painstakingly go over every word with the fervor of a newly qualified English teacher, until everything was just right, perfect, polished. This meant I amassed many unfinished but well-written snippets. The internal critic took over.

The awful ‘this is not good enough’-syndrome prevented my ever finishing what I began. I was too busy rewriting the little that I had written the day before, and making tentative attempts to complete the next paragraph before over-analysing and re-writing that the following day. This process exhausted me and made writing more of a chore. I lost my incentive to finish because nothing was ever good enough.

Not only did the critic in me take over, but he began comparing my works to those of established successful writers and the gap between what I was producing and what they had published seemed too far to bridge.

So, for four years, I stopped writing completely.

Then, after deciding to sell the house in which I grew up, I found the only copy of a story I had written on my typewriter many years before. I remember reading to see if it was any good. It wasn’t and it was. But it did rekindle an important aspect of writing that I had completely forgotten: I realised that I had begun writing all those years ago, not because I wanted to be a writer, but because I had something to say. Writing was a means of expressing what I had to share with the world.

It was a short story called The Pebble Champion, and was written shortly after the death of my mother. Although not autobiographical, it was my attempt to convey the thoughts of a grieving teenager after news of a death and before the gradual acceptance of it. There were no books in our school library that dealt with grief in a way that I could relate to, and I remembered that that was reason for my writing The Pebble Champion. I wanted to capture what it felt like to be numb and somehow frozen in time – where the present is all that matters, the past is too painful to remember, and the future has no relevance. I wanted to capture what it feels like immediately after losing a parent.

The realisation that writing was about having something so say made me revisit my other pieces of writing, and gradually I began writing again – this time not worrying particularly about quality or quantity. The Pebble Champion was reborn as a novel. I decided to turn off the inner critic, and instead focus on letting the story finish itself. I accepted that whatever I completed was simply a first draft, or second, or third.

Once the book was written, I focused my attention on crafting – on editing, shaping, rewriting, playing with language – getting what I had said just right. This was the most difficult stage of the process and made the writing of the story seem comparatively easy. It was also the most enjoyable part. It meant I could delete aspects, reconstruct sentences and mould what I have written until it was able to convey what I wanted to say, not perfectly, but effectively. It meant I no longer needed to put energy into what I wanted to say but how I wished to say it. And, honestly, it is this how- process that was/is the most satisfying.

I decided to make my main character gay and not to make that the issue of the book. There are loads of coming-out/coming-of-age stories where the protagonists agonize over their homosexuality and it becomes the focus of the narrative. Chris, my main character, does have to deal with coming out, but for him that is not the issue. Dealing with the death of his mother and the collapse of his world is way more important.

I completed the novel in 1999, and it took 13 years and countless rejections before being published by a small British publishing company, Wilkinson House.

So now I can say: I am a writer. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is I have discovered that the joy of writing does not lie in finishing a piece or having it critically acclaimed. For me, the pleasure comes from crafting what you say until you say it just right.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.D. Pritchard is an author, poet and playwright.

His poetry has appeared in magazines, anthologies and websites worldwide since 2000. In 2005, he was made Poet of the Month by the then London Poet’s Letter Society, and was invited to read at the Poet’s Cafe in Covent Garden. His video poem ‘Like So’ was an official selection at the 2013 Visible Verse Festival in Vancouver, Canada. ‘Advancing Backwards’ is his first collection.

His plays, Round Here, Torn Jeans and Genius were published by New Theatre Publications in 1999 after winning festivals at schools in Cape Town in 1993, 1994 and 1995. ‘Genius’ won the Young Farmer’s Club Regional One Act Play Festival in Wales, and was later performed at the Brecon Theatre in 2000. Thirteen years later, it was again staged in Wales, this time at the Theatre Hafren in Newtown.

Alan has also written a number of teacher resources, including activity books for young readers, books on how to teach Macbeth and resources covering spelling and peer and self-assessment.

  • Alan’s official website is:

www.alandavidpritchard.com

  • Click this link to watch a promo video for ‘The Pebble Champion’:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQz9ByBPdc

  • Click this link to watch a promo video for ‘Advancing Backwards’:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkZibtyJMS9oYw5hVpKCeWw

  • Click here for more information or to purchase ‘The Pebble Champion’

http://amzn.to/1bIpGKG.

 

 

Following Your Dreams Guest Post by L. Dean Pace-Frech #authorcorner

Follow your own inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness ~ Allen Ginsberg

 

Thanks for having me on the blog today, Adrian. I am new writer, L. Dean Pace-Frech, and I want to write a little bit about following your dreams.

 

In 2006, a co-worker shared with me that one of her bucket list goals was to write a novel. That comment awakened a desire in me that had been buried since I was in the fifth or sixth grade. After a visit to Pea Ridge National Military Park near Pea Ridge, Arkansas, my characters and their story revealed themselves to me and I started writing.

My first novel, A Place to Call Their Own, was set in 1865-1866 the end of the Civil War. After working on that manuscript for four years, instead of working on the planned sequel, I felt the need to move to a different time period, country, and set of characters. Leander and his story in Disappear With Me was the second novel I wrote and published last year.

From there I went on to write a third manuscript, The Higher Law, that is in the hands of beta readers right now. I hope to have it accepted by my publisher and released later this year. Taking a break from my historicals, I am working a fantasy merman story set in the early 1800s called Sartin.

Once I found my first story, I jumped right in and started writing. I didn’t know a lot about fiction, other than reading it, and definitely didn’t know very much about the publishing industry, much less all the changes going on in 2008. But I didn’t let that stop me. Along the way I’ve learned how to write, craft stories, create blog posts such as this as well as maintain my own, and promote my novels.

No matter what your dream is, whether it’s writing a novel, getting a new job, excelling at your current job, jump right in and start working toward it. Like Ginsberg’s quote says, follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide your madness and eventually you’ll get there. Look what I did in just a short amount of time.

Thanks for having me!

 

About Dean:

New bw headshotWith inspiration from historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, L. Dean Pace-Frech started crafting his debut novel, A Place to Call Their Own, in 2008. After four years of writing and polishing the manuscript, he submitted it for publication and Musa Publishing offered him a contract in early 2013. Disappear With Me is his second novel.

Dean lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his partner, Thomas, and their two cats. They are involved in their church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, Dean enjoys reading and patio gardening.

Prior to novels, Dean did some technical writing in his career. He plans to write sequels to both A Place to Call Their Own and Disappear with Me and is currently working on a merman fantasy story.

Blog: Dean’s Web Site

Facebook: Dean Pace-Frech, Author page or send me a friend request Dean Pace-Frech.

Twitter: @deanpacefrech

Google+: +deanpacefrech

Goodreads: L. Dean Pace-Frech

Pinterest: Dean Pace-Frech

 

Buy Link: Dean’s Amazon Page

For excerpts: Dean’s Page at Musa Publishing

aplacetocalltheirown-510

When the War Between the States ended in 1865 many Americans emerged from the turmoil energized by their possibilities for the future. Frank Greerson and Gregory Young were no different. After battling southern rebels and preserving the Union, the two men set out to battle the Kansas Prairie and build a life together. Frank yearned for his own farm, away from his family—even at the risk of alienating them. Gregory, an only child, returned home to claim his inheritance to help finance their adventure out west.

Between the difficult work of establishing a farm on the unforgiving Kansas prairie, and the additional obstacles provided by the weather, Native Americans and wild animals, will their love and loyalty be enough to sustain them through the hardships?

 

 

 

 

disappearwithme-510Love is greater than hope or faith, but can Reverend Leander Norris convince a jury that the love he shares with another man is natural?

In 1910, the United Kingdom was in turmoil. King Edward died after only nine years on the throne. The social class system that upheld British society for centuries was being chipped away by social, political, and economic unrest across the Commonwealth. Amidst this backdrop, Reverend Leander Norris is accused of sodomy. After discovering his own self-worth and unconditional love, Leander finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right and pleads not guilty to the charges. Throughout the trial, Leander’s past is revealed, including the temptations that bring the accusations against him. By the end of the trail, Leander is once again reunited with a romantic interest from the past by the end of the trial; it may be too late to rekindle any love that might remain, given the circumstances of the era and Reverend Leander’s likely sentence.

 

#authorcorner Interview with Leigh Ellwood

Welcome one, welcome all! I had the wonderful opportunity this week to interview Leigh Ellwood about her upcoming novel and about writing in general! You’ll find that interview below.

 

I am Leigh Ellwood. I write smutty stories about people who like getting naked and having sex. Some have more sex than others, some have sex with people of the same gender, some have sex with more than one person, and still others have sex with toys and things that require the use of batteries. My stories range from a few thousand words to well past 70k. The book list link above breaks everything down for you – genre, length, and other attributes. My books are available at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Kobo, and ARe. Really, just type my name in any bookstore site and something is bound to show up.

 

Tell us about yourself. (can include or just be the author bio if you would like)

Hi there. Here’s the tl;dr version: I’m Leigh Ellwood and I write romance and erotica. I have been published under this name for almost ten years, and I have books with Phaze Books, Ellora’s Cave (later this month) and Decadent Publishing. I have also self-published some of my backlist. I live in the South and love to read and do yoga, and drink wine!

What is one thing not in your bio, something totally random that only a few people know?

I do write under other pen names, but I keep them separate. If you really want to know them, you can always shoot me an e-mail.

What made you decide to write? If it even was a decision. And what kept you at it?

I wouldn’t call it a decision – more like something hardwired into me. It comes naturally, and I just enjoy telling stories. New ideas keep me writing, and if I sell some that’s a bonus.

Who has been your biggest inspiration and support in writing and in publishing? Doesn’t have to be an author or anything, and yes, it can be your mom or dad.

I’m grateful for my family and my closest friend; he cracks the whip when I need it. Teachers have encouraged me to write more, and of course I read constantly. I’m inspired by too many writers to name.

Why is it that you are an independent author? What prompted the decision to publish with a small press publisher, and how has that experience been?

Eventually I will pursue traditional methods. Right now, I feel the stories I write are better fits for smaller presses. I do write gay and lesbian erotica, and the readership is strong there among certain small pubs. I also tend to write certain lengths that trad publishers will not touch. Over the last decades I’ve had several victories and disappointments. At the end of the day, though, I’m writing and that makes me happy.

 

Tell us a bit about Sugar Rush, without spoilers of course.

Sugar Rush is a novella of lesbian romance, written specifically for a call Ellora’s Cave did for their Hot Pink line. It’s about a baker named Neve who connects with Judy, a shy girl with a sweet tooth. Neve becomes somewhat of a celebrity when she agrees to cater a same-sex wedding, which leads to various complications in her new relationship.

 

If you could meet one character in real life from Sugar Rush—who would it be and why?

Definitely Neve. She makes awesome cupcakes!

 

What do you do when you get stuck in your writing? What happens when that nasty writer’s block sets down and refuses to budge—if you believe in writer’s block that is?

It happens to me. Sometimes if I’m stuck on a story I’ll set it aside and noodle on something else, listen to music, watch TV, anything to get the ideas flowing again.

 

Would you mind sharing some of your ups and some of your downs about writing and about publishing? Any advice to new and upcoming authors?

First thing to remember: it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. If you don’t hit immediately don’t believe it will never happen. I have published books that sold well, and others that flopped. Also, publish the way YOU want to – don’t feel you have to self-pub because everybody is doing it. If you want to submit to Harlequin or Ellora’s Cave, do it! You control your writing career.

 

Here’s a more serious question. What is it like to write in the LGBT realm of craziness that we all support? What’s it like to dip the toe into the rainbow through writing and publishing?

I like to call myself a storyteller. Sometimes, the stories are about same sex couples who fall in love. Happily Ever Afters aren’t limited to one type of person, and I enjoy reading LGBT stories as well as writing them. I like the community of writers, too. Everybody is different and believes in a common cause.

 

Why focus on the LGBT genre? What are the plusses and what are the minuses of doing so?

Like I said, sometimes a story calls for a same-sex pairing. If I could have done anything different, though, I might have considered a separate pen name for LGBT stories. I write all pairings, and sometimes a ménage. I kept everything under my Leigh name to build my backlist and variety. It’s great for readers who are interested in anything, but this way I’m also unpredictable. A reader may wish for an M/M story from me, and I publish F/F first. So I can understand that.

 

QUICKIES!

1. Dog or Cat? Tough one, but dog.
2. Favorite color?
Purple
3. Favorite junk food?
Chocolate!
4. Favorite musician?
Rush, The Beatles
5. Favorite curse word?
F*ck
6. Favorite quote?
“To eat good food is to be close to God.” From the film Big Night
7. Rolaids or Tums?
I actually take Gaviscon ;-)
8. Short or Tall?
Talllll…
9. Favorite body part?
Baby got back
10. Favorite holiday?
Fourth of July

10357900_10202588714294004_1173922118_nSugar Rush is available for Pre-Order!
Release Date: June 20, 2014

ARe ~ Kindle ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Ellora’s Cave

Baker Neve Rush is surprised to receive social media attention, both the good and bad varieties, after agreeing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. She cares about people’s tastes in pastries, not sexual partners. The newfound fame has gained her new customers—as well as one resurfaced ex. Gianna stirs up memories Neve would rather forget, and an impromptu flirtation with a client might just do the trick.

Judy Goldsmith finds Neve’s open-mindedness refreshing and attractive, and isn’t above a little scheming to get to know her better. As Neve and Judy satisfy each other’s sweet tooth in the most pleasurable ways possible, feelings begin to blossom. But their deepening attraction may not survive a little white lie…and an even bigger, darker secret.

A Romantica® GLBT erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

 

10364473_10202588713893994_876616623_n

A DIFFERENT CLASS

ARe ~ Kindle ~ B&N ~ Decadent Publishing

FDR High Class of 2004 graduate, Glenn Carson contacts fellow alumni to get a list of who will be attending the upcoming festivities. One call to a disgruntled former student leaves him shaken—apparently, not everyone is looking forward to the reunion. Hoping to ease his frustration, he contacts the 1Night Stand service for a relaxing and passionate encounter.

Known as “Mumbles” to former classmates, Rod Maloney would prefer to focus on the present and his successful business. However, past tragedies continue to haunt him, so he requests Madame Eve find him a man to show him a hot time and help him forget his troubles.

Will their one night together lead to a reunion after all?

 

Find Leigh here!

http://www.leighellwood.com

http://leighwantsfood.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/leighellwoodauthor

http://twitter.com/LeighEllwood

http://leighwantsfood.tumblr.com

Holla! It’s WIPpet Wednesday!

Hey all! It’s a crazy busy time of life for me right now. I’ll share more next week (hopefully). I’m still not ready to give out that part of the news yet. However, I’m leaving this weekend for a mini-trip that might be a make it or break it trip (again, more later), so that means getting to WIPpeteers this week is going to be difficult. I’m going to do something I hate doing. I’m only going to go to your blog if you go to mine first. *hides* I also probably won’t get to your posts until Tuesday of next week, so if I don’t show up right away, that’s why.

Now, onto WIPpeteering!

Today you get the opening of “Flirtatious Jive” another Amya short that I’m sort of working on. This would be the first in the series of shorts and happens close to the beginning of the book. You get 5 sentences for the month of May.

She’d kissed her on a whim. Amya’s heart had beaten so fast and her head spun from the alcohol. Everything in the moment was set and perfect. They had been at the bar, listening to a band that would never make it, and Amya couldn’t stop thinking about it. She had to do it. Three beers down, in each of them, and she was feeling really good.

And there it is folks! Don’t forget the Sunday is the release of For by Grace! The book that all these awesome little shorts are based off. =P I’m so excited for this release. Got a party going on that Monday and everything. It’s so crazy exciting!!

If you would like to join in WIPpeteering, feel free. Just post an excerpt of your current WIP (work in progress) that somehow correlates to the date. Then all you gotta do is link it up with the rest!

Coming Out: Is it Still Relevant? GUEST POST by Eduard Joseph #authorcorner

Coming Out: Is it still relevant?

By Eduard Joseph

 

Recently I came across a question posted in a Facebook group that got me thinking. The question was whether you would come out as gay if you knew your parents would have a heart attack. Most of the comments said no or hell no, while others said they would come out as gay no matter what their parents thought and that it was about being happy about who you are.

So the question that came to mind was something I think had to be discussed; is coming out of the closet still relevant in our day and age?

I am a gay man and my family knows this, though I never came out as gay. It was never about the fear of rejection, but rather the fact that I felt no need to make an announcement of it. In my opinion, announcements are reserved for pregnancies or lottery winners. Why would anyone feel the need to announce themselves to their family?

A person is either born black or white (or any other ethnicity), male or female, tall or short, etc. You didn’t have to announce your ethnicity, so why announce your sexual orientation? Most people feel that they have been hiding in the closet and the only way they can feel free is to announce to the world who they really are. But as I’ve come to realize, your family and friends know long before you made an official announcement of it.

There’s an increasing trend of persecution of gay people in African countries. Uganda and Nigeria have outlawed homosexuality and made it a punishable offence with some men facing 15 years in prison for being who they are. The thing that makes this persecution in African countries so frightening is that none of these men announced that they were gay. They didn’t flaunt it like the gay guys portrayed in sitcoms from the 90s. They were ordinary men who hid their true identity from a country built on tradition that doesn’t include homosexuality. It is seen as a perversion in some countries and frowned upon, but these two countries are at the forefront of heinous crimes against humanity. People’s houses are being raided and some burnt down in the persecution of gays. There was even an incident where a mob forced two men to have intercourse while being stoned.

These men in Uganda and Nigeria were sought out based on their demeanour. No matter how masculine a gay man is, there are still effeminate traits that hint at his sexuality – though it may not be as obvious as a flamboyant queen, if you know what to look for you will notice it. These men being persecuted were suspected of being gay because of rumours that started about their demeanour in everyday life.

In developed Western Countries, we love to think we have to come out of the closet to be true to ourselves; to be accepted. In truth, the world already knows you are gay. It doesn’t matter whether you are a masculine bear, or a skinny twink or a nerdy otter kind of man. You’ve sent out signals that hinted at your sexuality. Coming out is more a peace of mind for yourself rather than announcing to the world that you are homosexual. I think in a way it is still relevant to come out as being gay, but not in a way you might think.

I don’t see why a fanfare has to be made about coming out. There are no laws carved in stone saying that you have to blurt it out over dinner, or have a coming out party. Your family and friends already know you better than you know yourself and they are waiting to see you happy. The essence of coming out is not saying, mom and dad, I am gay, but rather accepting yourself for who you are and acknowledge the truth the world already knows.

The simplest way, I would think is to simply introduce the guy you’ve been dating to your family. That, to me is coming out enough. There’s nothing more to it.

 

I believe that even though you might not think it, your family and the world are ready to accept you for who you are. Religions are coming to accept homosexuals and I think it is because they have come across something profound – something I came across about a year or two ago. Some religious groups love saying that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Some religious groups love referring to certain passages in the Bible to back up their argument that homosexuality is a sin, but they are omitting passages that clearly indicates that Jesus never spoke ill of homosexuals. The Bible is written in riddles, almost like the Hollywood movie National Treasure. You need to know how to decipher clues and riddles in order to truly understand the Bible, and the reason for this is that one cannot simply go around blurting out the secrets of the universe.

THE TOWNMy book “The Town” (which is available as a free download from smashwords.com) deals with the issue of whether homosexuality is a sin or not. It is a coming of age story and looks at Biblical evidence which indicates that God created homosexuals the way they are. It is quite a controversial read and I would only suggest it to open-minded readers, but it’s something I feel every gay man and woman needs to read. It will put an end to the age old questions plaguing our minds; questions like why am I different? Am I really going to hell or is the pastor just full of it? I’ve been told that the book is blasphemous and based on vague little facts that’s been misinterpreted, but that’s just what religion is, isn’t it? It’s open to interpretation and who’s to say who is right and who is wrong?

I’m a 29 year old indie author from the concrete jungle of South Africa. After a few failed attempts at getting a publisher to recognise my talents, I went the self-publishing route and never looked back. I just loves a good mystery, so I incorporate elements of mystery, drama and horror into my short stories, novellas and novels. My biggest inspiration is my wild imagination (and nightmares of course), so if you’re about to read one of my stories be prepared for quite a few twists.

Where to find my books online: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/eduardjjoseph ; www.barnesandnoble.com/c/eduard-joseph ; https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/eduard-joseph/id656212157?mt=11

Social media: www.facebook.com/Eduardjoseph ; www.twitter.com/TheEduardJoseph

Don’t forget to enter the Author Corner Giveaway! It ends May 31st!  Here’s the Giveaway.

 

WIPpet Wednesday May 14, 2014

I was having a really hard time deciding whether or not to post a blurb or an excerpt from a short story I wrote this week. I decided to go with the short story. This story isn’t quite a stand-alone. I’ve had it in my head to write outtakes for For by Grace from Amya’s POV, and well…I wrote one. Now I have about 15 of them in my head and listed out, and I’m going this is gonna be a freakin’ novella! Not cool…My publisher just laughed at me when I told her.

So, I wrote the first one, which is not the first on in order, but it was the one I wanted to write. I titled it Trident, which you’d get if I gave you the whole piece.

I have a rafflecopter going right now! If you want to enter! So easy… You can get a whole slew of books from not just me. Here’s the link to the giveaway. a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t know what WIPpet Wednesday is, it’s where a bunch of us writers get together and post excerpts from our WIP (Work in Progress), and then we link them all together and read through them. The only hard fast “rule” is that the excerpt has to correlate with the date in some fantastical way. Today my math is easy. 14 sentences for the 14th of May.

This is the opening to the short.

Amya ran her hands through her hair as she rinsed the conditioner from the long strands. She let the hot water stream down her body, the conditioner running over her legs and down the drain. They had a date that night, one of many that they’d had, but Amya wanted this date to be perfect. Cupping her hands, she filled them with water and ran it over her face.

Grace was gorgeous. Amya hummed as she mentally ran through her partner’s body. Curves that were soft and slender, arms and legs to match. Amya knew Grace worked out on a regular basis, she had to—she was a deputy after all. Amya bit her lip and smiled at the thought. She was dating a cop, which was against regulations and had been off her list in any prospective partner. But there was something about Grace.

Opening her eyes, Amya stared at the green tiles of her shower wall. Heat rushed from her chest to her cheeks and down lower. God—she’d been daydreaming.

If you would like to join, make your own post and head over to KL’s page and link it all up.

What’s in a genre? #authorcorner

Welcome to Author’s Corner! I had a post lined up for this week, but unfortunately the author never got back to me. So…we’re going to have a bit of fun. I’m going to write up a guest post for you! I want to write about one of the reasons I publish and write lesbian characters.

That’s not exactly true though, not all my characters are lesbian. If you’ve read my series with James Matthews, I hope you inferred that Addison Lee is bisexual. Writing these characters actually has little to do with their sexuality. It wouldn’t bother me if Addy had ended up with Heath (well, I’ll be honest, I would have needed to have a sit down with her and yell a bit because he was one jackass), but if she’d ended up with a man, I couldn’t have cared less. Same with James—although James was certainly a lesbian.

The sexuality of the character doesn’t matter to me. It’s their personality. It’s the fact that the women I write are strong. They’re hard-headed sometimes, but they’re strong and independent. They don’t need a knight in shining armor, male or female. They needed to realize their own demons, to work through their own shit, and get through life, but a relationship is not going to make a difference in that and neither is their sexuality.

Why do I write lesbians? That should be a “no duh” answer at this point. It means I get two very strong women in one book! If they’re in a relationship, it means they’ll cause problems with each other, that everything won’t be so easy and hunky-dory for them. It means that strong women don’t need each other in the way that “traditional romances” happen. They aren’t all swoony and falling to the floor at a kiss.

It means they fight, argue, kiss and make up with each other. It means there’s tension but also an insurmountable amount of love. They might be in a lesbian relationship, but that’s not what makes them who they are.

Those of you who have read my series that’s out, or any of my books coming out, might not know, but anything published under this name thus far has no sex scenes it in. There’s no erotic content. All fade to black if even that. The sex isn’t what makes a story for me. The sex isn’t why these characters are together (although, it certainly could be in some cases). The sex isn’t the plot.

And I like it that way. I like it when there’s a plot that keeps people guessing. One that keeps the story moving to a point where the reader (and subsequently this author) never wants it to stop. That’s exactly what I want, and I’m pretty sure I achieve that. I’m definitely better at achieving it now than I was when I first started writing.

So yes, I write in the LGBT et al category. I have lesbian, bisexual and even gender-shifting characters. But that’s not why I write it, and it’s not the first category I would choose. When describing my work, I always start with genres, Urban Fantasy and Crime/Mystery/Police Procedural. That’s what I write. So what if my characters are lesbian women? It doesn’t make the genre. It doesn’t make the characters who they are. They’re still cops and firefighters and witches and vampires and even jerks on occasion.

Do I write LGBT fiction? Technically yes…but I’m more likely to classify my genre differently.

Cover FullFor by Grace will be released June 1, 2014 by Supposed Crimes, LLC. If you’re interested, you can pre-order the book at smashwords!

Being a Sheriff’s Deputy is not all about saving lives and arresting criminals, and each day Grace wonders if she’ll make it home.

While kids at the schools Deputy Grace Halling visits see her as the knight in blue-cotton armor, people involved in the cases she is dispatched to have a different opinion. She has every confidence in her ability to do her job and arrest criminals. She easily takes down a knife-wielding woman and a drunken combatant teenager without hesitation. Everyone—victim, suspect, or witness—has a story to tell or to lie about, and Grace is never perturbed by their tales.

That all changes when she looks down the barrel of a gun. She loses confidence in her ability as a deputy, she loses trust in herself and fellow officers, and she struggles to stay afloat as shift after shift passes. Grace cannot find her rhythm of being a deputy again. And when the Police Chaplain unexpectedly barges into her life, her personal and professional lives are flipped upside down. Grace struggles to find her even ground, worrying that the next time she stares a murderer in the face will be the last.

 

Forever BurnFirefighters are trained to keep calm in the face of extraordinary events, but James was never prepared for this.

Saving people is a regular practice in a firefighter’s line of work; it is not something extraordinary or unusual. Just routine. James has been trained to respond to emergency calls and what to do in difficult situations. For James, the most important part of her work is that she knows how to run into a burning building to save a life. She is a firefighter not for the glory and not for the honor. She is there to make a difference.

Working hard has always been a common practice for James, but when her secret significant other is pressuring her to solidify their relationship, tensions start to rise. James is being pushed into turning her life upside down and inside out. She can’t stop disturbing dreams about a little girl she saved from a house fire years prior. She struggles to find balance through the pressures and stressors of her daily life, but she still can’t shake the ill-fated feeling that something is wrong.

BUY HERE!

 

Check out my publisher’s website, facebook and twitter!! She’d love to hear a hello from you all.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Emotion GUEST POST by Meryl Scarlett Fortney #authorcorner

Emotion.

That’s what books are usually about, right? They’re meant to evoke emotion or deep thought. Something that may change the way that you think or spark a new idea that, on a small or large scale, changes the world.

But it all boils down to emotion in the end—Something that I’m not even that familiar with, if you didn’t already know.

And yet I’ve got two books published and two more on the way, one of which is the continuation to the #thepaxseries and the other the beginning of a whole new storyline!

I started writing my first series back in 2005 with a prologue that didn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but then it evolved, it evolved from life experiences that brought me and molded me into who I am now.

What I’m trying to do, though, is transform the series into something that is more inclusive of TBLG folks. Like, I’m sure there are plenty of authors out there who have done such, but maybe not on the scale that I’m working with.

My third novel and sequel to “Escape Velocity” is very science fiction and is more like a space opera than anything I’ve ever written. So, of course, there’s a spaceship and a crew—A crew that will be made up mostly of women and a few who are either lesbian, bisexual or even transgender.

The main character himself, Dante Marcellus, will be undergoing a sort of metamorphosis that I know will throw my readers for a loop. The specifics of that, though, will have to be discovered upon reading the book itself… Whenever I decide to give up procrastination and finish the third installment in #thepaxseries.

I imagine that, upon reaching the end of this story, for some of my readers, this will be a very emotional sort of deal, considering it’s the end of half of the series and the storyline of Dante Marcellus.

author photo

MERYL SCARLETT FORTNEY is an American-born, Pennsylvanian independent author and freelance writer.

She was born in Pennsylvania’s capital and lived in many places growing up, ranging from a few handfuls of different areas in her birth state to New Jersey and Florida. To this day she has yet to spend more than three years in one spot.

As a teenager, her original plan was to become an officer of the law, but upon graduation and realization of the “real world” (whatever that is) it became apparent that this would have been what many considered a bad move.

In her earlier years, she was fond of drawing, sketching, doodling and illustration and had originally wanted to create a comic book called “PAX.”

real life

And then the harsh realization hit her, “I absolutely suck at illustration!” So her love for creation took a few years off, until she turned 21, when she wrote the prologue for a story that would never exist, but would eventually bring to fruition the first book in her first series, “PaxCorpus.”

 

From that point on it’s been nothing more than menial jobs and constant determination to bring these universes to life and it all started with a character named Jack and a bottle of… Jack.

 

Pax CorpusSome believe extraterrestrials will end life as we know it. Others believe the risen dead will ravage the population and dominate the Earth. And then there are the others that think terrorists will wipe us out.

I say, “why not all three?”

The year is 2020, nearly six years after much of the planet’s population has been wiped out. Through the eyes of a man named Dante Marcellus, you experience the reclamation of memories lost due to unknown reasons.

With the undead and a slew of monstrous aliens (spawned from a rift in Manhattan) walking the desolate planes of the United States of America, the remaining population fights to survive under the protection of a group named PaxCorpus.

But to make things even crazier, the homicidal terrorist movement, ZeroFactor, threatens to murder anyone not affiliated with themselves – a new world order, they say – extinction.

Fighting tooth and nail to get a grasp on the events of his past, Dante unknowingly causes a chain of events that lead to an almost mirror of the events that caused humanities’ situation to begin with.

And with a vulgar, blood-stained kick to the face, everything unwinds right before him, with the barrel of his own weapon aimed between his eyes.

This isn’t about glampires or raging teenage hormones – this is PaxCorpus – the beginning of the end.

You can download PaxCorpus for free at:

Kindle, Smashwords, Google Play, iBooks

 

 

Picking up where PaxCorpus left us, Escape Velocity shoves you face-first into the abyss, grabs hold and never lets go.Escape Velocity

Follow Dante, Meryl and a ragtag squad of survivalists, who call themselves, Belligerent Underpaid Tactical Team, from the depths of the devastated state of New Jersey to the bowels of post-apocalyptic Manhattan.

With less than a day’s worth of supplies and their underground shelter lying in ruins, thanks to the terrorist cell, ZeroFactor, there is only one course-of-action–fight tooth and nail, bullet-by-bullet, to the enemy stronghold and Rift of Manhattan–or die trying.

The insanity doesn’t stop there.

Cybernetically modified, former Harrisburg, Pennsylvanian cop, Dante Marcellus, has a new problem. An implant inside of his head, where a bullet had once been, acts as a telepathic network between him and the thought-to-be-dead, Nuhm De’Ara.

Leaving a trail of bodies all the way to New York City, survival is less-than-certain, as their enemy clamps down with violent determination.

And when there isn’t even a glimmer of hope left for who remains, a man once known as Jack Marcellus returns–with vengeance and anger fueled hatred for the only person who could possibly save him from himself.

This time, there will only be one man left standing.

There are things much worse than the bite of a deader and the undead plague.

You can buy Escape Velocity at:

Kindle, Smashwords, Google Play, iBooks

 

Find Meryl Scarlett Fortney on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter!

For by Grace COVER REVEAL #authorcorner

Today is the cover reveal for my newest novel For by Grace. This is the start of a new series called Spirit of Grace. I can’t believe it’s going to be released in one month. And I can’t believe how hard it was to wait to reveal this cover to everyone. It should be available for pre-order soon.

I hope if you’re a big part of the book world that you see this cover multiple times today!

Cover Full

Being a Sheriff’s Deputy is not all about saving lives and arresting criminals, and each day Grace wonders if she’ll make it home.

While kids at the schools Deputy Grace Halling visits see her as the knight in blue-cotton armor, people involved in the cases she is dispatched to have a different opinion. She has every confidence in her ability to do her job and arrest criminals. She easily takes down a knife-wielding woman and a drunken combatant teenager without hesitation. Everyone—victim, suspect, or witness—has a story to tell or to lie about, and Grace is never perturbed by their tales.

That all changes when she looks down the barrel of a gun. She loses confidence in her ability as a deputy, she loses trust in herself and fellow officers, and she struggles to stay afloat as shift after shift passes. Grace cannot find her rhythm of being a deputy again. And when the Police Chaplain unexpectedly barges into her life, her personal and professional lives are flipped upside down. Grace struggles to find her even ground, worrying that the next time she stares a murderer in the face will be the last.

There is a rafflecopter giveaway for this reveal too!

Enter Here!

Fallen from Editing…=P WIPpet Wednesday! April 30, 2014

I have finished edits. I’m officially done with editing my own stuff for at least a month. Ashes Fall has been sent to the publisher, and I’m awaiting more edits back from her. I have taken on a new project, editing for a debut author. I’ll let you all know how that goes, but the prologue and first chapter were quite interesting so far.

Life has been crazy and amazing this week.

1. Sunday I emailed Ashes Fall to the publisher after FINALLY finishing my edits (she’ll get mad at me for using the word finally if she reads this, watch).

2. Thursday I started my new job working with low income kids in a free after school program.

3. Monday I wrote a 15 page paper, did the research that morning too, on the myth of redemptive suffering (that suffering is good, brings us closer to God and thus God gives us suffering) and sexual violence. Intense but awesome paper. I turned it in.

4. With the turning in of that paper, I’m done with my graduate school program! So graduation is set for May 9th, and I’m officially on the lookout for a real full-time job!

This is why I have had no time.

But now I do have time! Since my life is calming down, I finally get to write again. It’s been so long! (Since November, actually.) I have two novels that are in progress right now. The sequel to For by Grace (TBR June 1) which is titled Fallen from Grace. And a new series called Quarter Life. The first novel is titled Bound. This is Emma’s story if you remember it.

I’ve chosen to finish Fallen from Grace first, since 1. it’s a little bit more than halfway done, and 2. I actually have a publisher for it. I’m in the debate right now as to whether or not to submit Quarter Life: Unbound to a new publisher or not. If you have an opinion on this, please feel free to weigh in. I already know why I would be doing it, if I did it.

There’s still time to sign up for the cover reveal of Across Worlds: Collision on June 14th (Saturday). The more people the better to get this debut novel out there for more eyes to see. Follow this little linky here to see the blurb and possibly sign up. You just need any type of platform for it: Facebook, twitter, tumblr, google+, blog etc.

Tomorrow the cover reveal happens for For by Grace…I’m trying very, very hard NOT to post it before then. I find that as each day passes, the more I want to post it before the scheduled date. Go figure because that makes no sense in my head.

I think I’m done rambling for now.

As for WIPpet…I’m going back to Fallen from Grace. I’m at about 50k words for a 90k word novel. This is a COPS style crime/mystery.

Today you get 7 short paragraphs from Fallen from Grace, title called Gathering the Disciples. This involves one of my favorite characters I have EVER written. The last part of this excerpt is for Amy–she’ll know why. Peter has been on a ride along with Grace the entire night; he’s a 19 year old recovery alcoholic who just started back to school. Grace is the one who had a major impact on him going into recovery. They have a very complicated relationship. Peter and Grace are just finishing up the ride along, talking about Grace when she was younger.

My math, you ask? 14 (for the year) / 2 (for the year) = 7

“You know,” she started. “When I went on my first ride along, we got shot at.”

“Really?”

“Yup. Daniel Mason Brady, one of the best and kindest people I have ever known, took me on my first ride along. I was nineteen.” She smiled at Peter, remembering his age was the same. “We went to a car chase call that had ended by the time we’d gotten there. But the asshole had holed himself up in someone’s house. He’d just walked right in their front door.”

“Oh my God.”

“Yeah. No kidding. Freaked them out, I’m sure. Anyway, he walked into their house, threatened them with a gun and then killed the dad. He then barricaded himself. While he was in there, he shot out the living room window and managed to hit the windshield of the car Daniel and I were sitting in. The bullets didn’t come through the glass, but it scared the crap out of me.”

“Literally?”

“No,” she said and chuckled. “Not literally, but it was really close.”

If you would like to join in WIPpet Wednesday’s it’s open to all. Create a post with you current WIP (work in progress) that somehow correlates to the date. Feel free to get VERY crazy with your math. Then link it up with the rest of us crazies and go on and read!

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