QueerSciFi is running our first ever holiday blog hop. Our members will be sharing a number of our great holiday-themed titles on their blogs - it's a great way to find speculative-fiction themed LGBT holiday books! We've included buy links for each of the books below - books are listed in alphabetical order by title. Happy Holidays!
Candle in the Dark Anthology Author: Various Price: $5.00 eBook / $10.00 Paperback Summary: In almost all traditions, winter has been a time to huddle around the fire and be thankful for those the fire is shared with. The holidays grew out of a need to celebrate that time, from Christmas to Chanukah to Solstice. The longest night of the year has always held some special mystery, and we’re proud to present you with several stories of how those mysteries bear fruit. In the first story, Patrick receives a mysterious invitation to dine at the most exclusive restaurant for men. His server, Gio, encourages him to Savor the experience... Buy Links:
A Christmas Cactus for the General Author: Angel Martinez Price: $3.99 eBook Summary: Exiled to Earth for perhaps the worst failure in Irasolan history, General Teer must assimilate or die. Earth is too warm, too wet, too foreign, but he does the best he can even though human males are loud, childish louts whom he can't imitate successfully. When a grieving seaplane pilot strikes up a strange and uneasy friendship with him, he finds he may have been too quick to judge human males. They are strange to look at, but perhaps not as unbearable as he thought. Buy Links:
The Darkest Midnight in December Author: Jana Denardo Price: $3.99 eBook Summary: The year is 1930, and something is hunting infants and young couples in Economy Village, PA. When a local priest begins to suspect a demon may be the culprit, the sheriff calls in a team of Soldiers of the Sun. Caleb, Agni, Temple, and Li specialize in demon hunting, but they can’t rule out an old religious sect as the true culprit. Prejudice, distraught parents, and angry townspeople don’t make the team’s job any easier. And if something goes wrong, their own their own, because by the time their backup arrives, it will be too late. Buy Links:
Fruitcakes Author: Renee George Price: $1.99 eBook Summary: Losing your boyfriend because you see monsters...not good. Getting locked up in the local mental hospital because you accused your boss of being an actual ogre…also not good. Falling for your crazy roommate, who thinks he’s one of Santa's elves…so not good! Or is it? Come along for a sexy ride as Donner and Bran try to escape the locked ward before Christmas Eve so Bran doesn't lose the only job important to him. USA Today Bestselling author Renee George pens a laugh-out-loud MM Fairytale Christmas…Nuts included! Buy Links:
Holiday Lights Author: Jana Denardo Price: Free Summary: Aaron asks Rhys for some help with putting up the tree and finalizing their holiday plans, even though he knows Rhys will have something to say about all of Aaron's geeky ornaments. Rhys puts his own special touches on the holiday decorating as only a fae could. Buy Links:
Ilya and the Wolf Author: Rory Ni Coileain Price: $1.99 eBook Summary: Ilya, the youngest son of a Moscow oligarch, is so deep in the closet he’d find Narnia if that weren’t a decadent Western story. On Christmas Eve, his brothers lure him into the forest, intending to murder him and erase the shame he inflicts on their family by existing. However, the attempt is interrupted by Volyk, a wolf who carries the blood of the ancient oboroten’ —shapeshifters. Ilya never imagined a Christmas gift like the handsome wolf, but accepting what Volyk offers will have consequences that change both of their lives forever. Buy Links:
Lion's Hero Author: Alexis Woods Price: $.99 eBook Summary: Eight nights to fall in love. Ari has a mission: meet and fall in love with a man chosen for him by God. The catch: he only has eight nights to complete it—the eight nights of Chanukah Gabriel has a test of faith. Reaching out to a young man, he finds himself confronted with the unbelievable. Believe, and the Festival of Lights may herald a miracle. Buy Links:
Loving Blitz Author: Charlie Cochet Price: $3.99 eBook Summary: From North Pole City to Winter Wonderland, preparations are underway after a royal announcement sweeps everyone into a frenzy of festivity. At the heart of the celebration are the city’s most beloved elf pilots, the Rein Dears. Once the Big Flight is behind them, the pilots prepare for the royal event. Assigned a special task of finding an Elska rose, Cupid and Blitzen are unaware of how their friendship is about to change forever. Yet not all that glitters is gold. The sweet, angelic Cupid hides a dark secret, one that threatens to destroy his Rein Dear status, his friends, and the elf who’s captured his heart. It’s up to Blitzen to help Cupid see the light in the darkness and show him that together they can mend broken hearts. Buy Links:
The Magic of Christmas Author: Pelaam Price: $2.99 eBook Summary: Jared joins his four best friends on an early Christmas holiday in a beautiful winter wonderland. He's been in love with the talented and extroverted Casey for years, but lacked the courage to say anything. Casey loves Jared, but despite his gregarious exterior, inside lurks someone shy and insecure and so he's never spoken up. Both men are about to experience real Christmas magic. Buy Links:
Nicolas Author: Dianne Hartsock Price: $6.99 eBook / $14.99 Paperback Summary: Betrayed by a lover, Jamie rents an isolated cabin on Lake Huron, wanting only to be left alone. Instead, he is pulled from his solitary existence as an artist and tumbles headlong into the legend of Saint Nicolas. As a young man, Nicolas accidentally killed a man intent on murdering three children, only to have the man's malicious spirit rise up against him. Fleeing through the centuries from the Krampus, the evil troll-like creature that dogs his steps, Nico finds refuge with the young artist who takes him into his home and bed. But Jamie has questions. Who is Nicolas, and why does the Krampus want to destroy him? Buy Links:
No One to Greet the Season Author: Elizabeth Barrette Price: Free (poem) Summary: Victor Frankenstein and Igor have a queerplatonic relationship and a constructed son. Igor's deformed back causes him more trouble in cold weather, which makes Christmas more of a challenge. Victor helps him through it. Gothic fluff, holiday hurt/comfort. Buy Links:
Scrudge & Barley, Inc Author: John Inman Price: $6.99 eBook / $14.99 Paperback Summary: A classic tale takes off in sexy new directions! Poor Mr. Dickens must be twirling in his grave. When E.B. Scrudge, putz extraordinaire and all-around numbnuts, is visited by his dead ex on Christmas Eve, he can’t imagine how his life could sink any lower. But the three ghostly spirits that come along after are even worse! Good lord, a dyke, a drag queen, and rounding out the trio, a big, hunky bear with nipple rings and a butt plug! What’s next? What’s next is a good deal of soul-searching and some hard lessons learned with a dash of redemption thrown in for good measure. Buy Links:
Silver/Steel Author: Belinda McBride Price: $6.99 eBook Summary: When dream hunter Dylan Ryve spots a beautiful shapeshifter raising hell in a bar, he knows he wants the wild young man. But Travis Feris is more to Dylan than a few hot minutes outside in the snow; he's the assassin's ticket into the magical town of Arcada. He didn't plan to rescue the kid, but when he found the shifter being attacked, the opportunity to play hero was too good to pass up. Through the solitude of a long winter night, Dylan walks in Travis's fevered dreams, learning about Arcada and the pack, and showing the shifter the man he'd been so very long ago. Buy Links:
Spindrift Gifts Author: Aidee Ladnier Price: $3.99 Summary: Scars and a tattoo may be the only physical reminders from his years as a slave, but when Jimenez suffers a setback in his medical treatment, the only option is a therapy that will wipe away his all memories of the past including his time with Teo. Teo, torn between supporting his lover's decisions and the good intentions of his family, sets out to teach Jimenez about Spindrift Gifts and how memories are celebrated on Celos even when they are painful. Can Teo and Jimenez weather the storm to find their happily-ever-after on Celos? Buy Links:
Tempted from the Oak Author: Rory Ni Coileain Price: $5.60 eBook Summary: With his blue eyes and heart-melting smile, Gavin could have been made-to-order to entice Tearlach, a lonely tree spirit. But the human is the one who’s been enticed—stolen from snow-buried Minneapolis to the Scottish Highlands by Tearlach’s darag, the ancient oak tree of which he is the living spirit. Tearlach is trapped within the darag by the terrible memory of his own death—hundreds, maybe thousands of years ago, but as recent to him as his last heartbeat. And if desire for the handsome human fails to tempt him out, spirit and oak are both doomed. Buy Links:
Hello, Everyone! Welcome to the mad writings of a demonic squirrel today! Oh *looks to the side* what? *listens* Oh, you don't say? Well *brushes off imperceivable piece of lint* I guess we're not listening to the mad ravings of a squirrel. It seems we have a guest author today. The wonderfully talented Angel Martinez is here to talk ago us about her new paranormal series, Offbeat Crimes.
The series kicks off with her story, Lime Gelatin & Other Monsters. *looks at title name* You gotta love it, right?
So without further ado, here is Angel to talk to us about serious stuff. You know, funny. ;)
Paranormal Stories Should Be Serious
Paranormal Stories Should Be Serious, Right?
Yeah, well, often they are. A lot of paranormal stories take themselves too seriously. I’ve written some pretty deadly serious paranormal stuff, too, though I can’t write serious all the time. A lot for the absurd always creeps back in. And boy is there a lot of stuff to make light of in the paranormal genre.
While I’ve run into quite a few paranormal stories in gay romance/fiction that have funny moments (even Whyborne and Griffin have endearingly hilarious moments) there isn’t much in the way of gay paranormal stories that are set up as humorous rather than as a serious stories. We have werewolves and vampires galore and their dark and trauma-laden pasts. We have ghost hunters and fae, zombies and psychics. But not a lot of comedy. Even mainstream het romance is a bit light on the comedic paranormal except for vampire rom coms. Absolutely buckets full of those. One of the few I can recall offhand in gay romance is Geoff Knight and Ethan Day’s zombie romance, Guess Who’s Coming At Dinner, which was hilarious. I can’t even find a list on Goodreads for gay paranormal humor. That might be operator error, though…
When Amber Allure gave us authors the 77th Precinct prompt, the idea was for each author to write about a paranormal police squad in a chosen city. The idea itself seemed humorous to me, but I knew my cohorts would most likely write serious paranormal with Character Trauma and Big Bad Things and stuff. I have to be different. Funny…but what?
I’ll confess, my first thought was a vampire detective, kind of the easy way out, using a defective vampire. But the more I thought about it, the more he needed cohorts, other officers with broken paranormal abilities, until I had a whole squad full of them. Poor vampire (who can only drink “skim blood”) was pushed to the sidelines and another character got to play hero, one who can only absorb other people’s abilities. This sometimes gets messy, dangerous, and occasionally embarrassing. And we needed monsters! Ridiculous ones! So, yes, I have a whole notebook page of the most absurd monsters I could think of, some of which morphed over time.
There’s still mayhem and destruction, cause I like mayhem and destruction, and a budding relationship that’s not treated as an absurdity, but I do hope the structure of the story and the adventures of my broken paranormal cops will strike some funny bones.
Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters
Offbeat Crimes 1
(part of Amber Allure’s 77th Precinct Pax)
Officer Kyle Monroe’s encounter with a strange gelatinous creature in an alley leaves him scarred and forever changed, revealing odd abilities he wishes he didn’t have and earning him reassignment to Philadelphia’s 77th Precinct where all the cops have defective paranormal abilities.
Just as Kyle’s starting to adjust to his fellow misfit squad mates, his new partner arrives. Tall, physically perfect, reserved, and claiming he has no broken psychic talents, Vikash Soren irritates Kyle in every way. But as much as he’d like to hate Vikash, Kyle finds himself oddly drawn to him, their non-abilities meshing in unexpected ways.
Now, if Kyle and Vikash can learn to work together, they just might be able to stop the mysterious killer who has been leaving mutilated bodies along the banks of the Schuylkill.
Kyle sat up straighter, shifting to see between the heads in front of him. Soren looked like a poster boy for the model police officer, tall and straight, uniform crisp and sharp. He stood at parade rest beside the lieutenant, impassively surveying his new colleagues. A little knot of resentment lodged in Kyle’s stomach. At his own introduction to the 77th, he’d been nervous and fidgety, freaked out by the collection of…freaks. How can he be so calm?
“Officer Soren transferred from the Harrisburg PD—”
“Don’t they have enough freaky shit of their own up there?” Wolf called out in his rasping growl.
“Since Harrisburg is in our jurisdiction,” she continued with a quelling glance. “He’ll start out partnered with Monroe.”
“What does he do, ma’am? That it’s safe to put him with Kirby, er, Kyle?” Shira Lourdes asked as she flicked nervous glances across the room at Kyle. An empty chair slid away from her and fell over. Her partner, Greg Santos, shook his head and righted the unfortunate piece of furniture.
“Officer Soren’s abilities are his business, which he may or may not choose to share if you ask. And don’t bully him about it either, any of you.” Lieutenant Dunfee swept the room again, pinning each of her officers with her needle-laser gaze like captive butterflies. “Monroe, my office after briefing. Info on your current case.”
She dismissed them, stalking from the room with thunderclouds in her eyes. Kyle found himself approaching the new guy and trying his best not to be awkward. Did he offer to shake hands? Was it safe? Would the guy flinch like so many people did at the sight of Kyle’s scarred hands? Soren was even taller up close, six-foot-three of lean inscrutability, his blue eyes startlingly bright against smoky bronze skin.
“Um, hi, I’m Kyle Monroe.” Kyle fidgeted when Soren didn’t offer his hand either. “You’re with me, I guess. I’ll show you our spot in the squad room.”
Soren followed him silently and Kyle was starting to wonder if he was like Krisk in the not-speaking department until he finally spoke in a smooth, soft baritone, making Kyle startle and miss a step. “Why do they call you Kirby?”
“You’d hear it sooner or later, I guess.” Kyle shrugged. “It’s this thing I do, absorbing other people’s talents temporarily. If they’re close to me. Or touch me. Like Kirby, the little pink dude in the video game.”
Just that? Soren didn’t edge away, or change expression at all. Was he made of stone? “It’s a thing. Everyone here has a thing.”
After a few more steps, Soren asked, “Always?”
“What… Oh, was I always like this? Who knows? I mean, maybe I’ve picked up stray thoughts or something, but no. It’s pretty recent. Knowing that I do this.”
Kyle took a wide arc around Vance as he entered the squad room, pointing to the double desk in the far corner, well removed from everyone else. “That’s ours. Coffee’s over there, but you might not want that coffee. Let me grab my file and we’ll go see the lieutenant.”
“So what’s your story, Soren?” Vance called across the squad room. “What flies your freak flag?”
“Yeah, what do you do?” Jeff Gatling stopped ’porting his banana from one corner of his desk to the other.
“I don’t really do anything,” Soren answered as he hefted the empty coffeepot. “Guess I’ll make fresh since I’m the new guy.”
He opened the top to remove the filter and every human voice in the squad room yelled out, “No!”
Most people would have startled, maybe dropped the carafe. Soren just blinked at the roomful of people gesturing wildly. He took the filter out and emptied it over the trashcan. “Why not?”
“You don’t want to do that.” Kyle stayed by his desk, a nice safe distance from the coffee station. “That’s Larry’s job.”
“Larry’s not keeping up then.”
The container of sweetener packets began to rattle. It shivered across the counter and leaped to a messy end, ceramic shards skittering across the floor. The desk that Krisk and Wolf shared rose from the floor several inches and slammed back down. Wolf fled with a squeaking yelp just before the desk flipped on its side.
Soren glanced toward Kyle. “Larry’s not a cop, is he?”
“He is…he was! A dead cop. Larry’s a ghost. He gets ticked if anyone else makes the coffee. Put the stuff back, please!”
“Larry?” Soren raised his voice but to all appearances remained completely unruffled. “I’m new here. I’m very sorry I invaded your jurisdiction. See? I’m putting the carafe back. Closing the top. Are we good, Larry?”
A breeze ruffled through a stack of papers, but no further mayhem ensued. The carafe slid from its pad on the coffeemaker and floated to the water cooler where Larry, who never manifested in a visible form, whistled tunelessly while he filled the carafe.
From his dim corner of the room, Carrington said in his dry, genteel way, “Welcome to the Island of Misfit Freaks...”
2 commenters will be chosen at random (’cause I have a formula to do that and everything) for their choice of backlist Angel Martinez book!
Welcome one and all! It's wonderful to participate in this years Hop Against Homopobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia this year as we all celebrate International Day Against Homophobia, Biophobia and Transpobia this May 17th, 2015.
I sat for a while trying my darnedest to figure out what I should write about. I have lots to say, but when it came to this post I was stumped. I've written about bisexuality, homophobia, and all sorts of related topics so this should've been easy. I have talked about my bisexuality, should I talk about identifying as gender fluid? What would I say? I have talked about who I live in a conservative area so it makes it hard to met people like myself. To identify with anyone. Did I really want to discuss it again?
Nope. I write about those things in my books. I wanted something different for my blog post.
I sat staring at the screen and couldn't think of a thing. Frustrated I got up several times and came back, going 'round and 'round trying to decide what to say. Finally I couldn't take it anymore. I had to do something.
So what did I do? I took a walk. I didn't think forcing myself to watch a cursor blink, and not have something to say, would be productive.
The walk cleared my head, let my mind wander. It gave me space from the problem and made me feel better (instead of being absolutely frustrated and no outlet for my energy). And while out on my walk I took my "usual route." A route I have taken since I was in high school, needing an escape. (Yes, I have lived in the area for a long ass time.)
Best decision ever.
It's a nice time of year in Chicagoland. The air is fresh, alive. Everything is in bloom. The weather is just cool enough to not be cold, but not so warm you're sweating buckets. You can appreciate the smells and sights around you.
I have several houses I enjoy seeing aka stalking (and their yards—what can I say? I'm a garden voyeur. A construction voyeur. A, well, a "I like to watch change" voyeur.) We have some perpetual home improvement tinkerers in the area. Something new is always popping up in their yard, around their house, etc.. You can't help watching and taking note of what's going on if you've lived in the area a long time.
One of those house is a little carpenter-style stucco house. It sits on a corner so you can see 3/4ths of the house and yard. The owners take good care of it. Over the years it has changed colors. White. Off-white. Green. And with those color changes came other improvements as well.
First was the the front porch. Earlier on they went with a cinderblock design that went surprising well. Not something you expected but it worked. Then they added a back patio. Nice pavers with garden boxes around it.
For years the guys in the house focused on the inside. There were two doors that entered the side of the house, which seemed a little odd until I figured out door was meant for down (the basement level) and the other for up (the ground level). Slowly the floors were replaced with wood. A state of the art kitchen went in. The entry with the doors? Well, that always seemed unfitted because there was no divide between them.
But hey, it wasn't my house. If they wanted to share the entry and have two doors, go for it. Odd design, but I've seen weirder. (Including one that added a pirate ship in their yard - no joke.)
After they renovated inside to their satisfaction (I assume), the guys focused back outside. A tall fence went up in the backyard—maybe to keep us voyeurs from looking in. But you could still see the yard, so *shrugs*.
A tiny garage was added. Their regular cars never go in it, but it holds the lawnmower and other fun stuff. Their porch table and chairs go in over the winter. Their fire pit too.
Yes, I notice a lot happening in and around the house, but I walk by it nearly every days for years and years. When I went away to college I missed stuff. That sucked because then I had to figure out what changed because stuff had changed there. Little improvements happened.
Decades (yes, decades) passed. Twenty years makes it plural.
The two guys that lived there obviously held a great deal of pride in their work. They had one of the nicest houses because it was loved. Their cars went from being beaters to the expensive kind. They had a dog. It grew up, barked when I walked by. Eventually he was gone, though. The stone steps to the front of the house have been replaced by wooden steps. So, yes, changes happened. Big and small.
Oh, a few years ago the guys added one minor detail. One little thing that had changed in the twenty years I've walked by their house in the right-wing, conservation, catholic neighborhood they lived in.
On the outside of the fence, the one that went around their backyard, they added a flag holder.
The first flag they flew? A Pride flag. A beautiful rainbow flag. Four blocks from the catholic church. Three from the high school.
You know what happened?
Not a damn thing.
You could say "No big deal, I see pride flags all the time." But the thing is, here? In my neighborhood? You don't. Their pride flag is the only one I have ever seen out and proud as soon as the weather permits.
Could that have happened twenty years ago? No. Not one bit. Do we have other LGBTQ families in the area. For sure. I mean, I live here. But it's not like we go around advertising it. Not like what these guys did.
What that flag represents, the fact that no one has complained or damaged their property in any way, means so much to me. The fact that these guys can hang their flag, and no one bats an eye, shows how far we've come as a people. It gives me hope. It fills me with pride. It shows the amount of change that has occurred in our area over the last twenty years.
The other thing that changed? The two doors to make the house look like separate living spaces? French doors now.
The couple went from pretending to share a house to feeling safe enough to live there as a couple. One of their cars even has an marriage equality bumper sticker on it.
That is huge. So huge. It speaks volumes more than I could ever say here.
It shows how even conservative areas like mine are changing, can change, to be a place where all people are comfortable being who they are and not fear the consequences.
I will take that small pride flag over any declaration people could make to me in town any day because it shows progress. It shows hope. And it proves acceptance can happen anywhere.
The Mischiefers have a Rafflecopter going for the duration of HAHABT. Just enter below for the chance to win one of the many prizes being offered.
Below are the other authors, artists, reviewers, and publishers participating in HAHABT. Just clink on the links below to experience many more fantastic stories (and the chance for more prizes).
Vastine is here to visit us, giving us a wonderful look at her story, Glory Lands, as well as hold a little contest for everyone (Rafflecopter link below) for a $100 GC to Victoria Secrets or Amazon (runs through May 10th). First she shares a little bit about the research that went into her story.
Q: Historical books can be difficult to write. The language and culture has changed over time and can only be ascertained through research. What kind of research did you do for Glory Lands? And were there any interesting finds or surprises along the way?
VB: For some reason, this era and everything about it are so close to me, I don't feel like they're historical, just my own personal history---if that makes sense. As far as research, I've always been fascinated with the era...the Great Depression...particularly this location, and have spent so much time reading and absorbing accounts of the period. But, then, I've had the luxury of my roots being deep in this place and to have had relatives (my mother, particularly) alive to share real-life background. And the language and culture are surprisingly intact to this day. But as far as some actual words, it did take a bit of extra study to make sure they were authentic to the period.
The premier interesting find during research was the discovery of the sheriff of the real-life town where the story takes place. The story itself had been tossing around in my mind for so long but---upon stumbling on this man---the story found its heart. His story, the particular incident which begins the story, haunted me.
A Texas Piney Woods Story
Rural East Texas, 1931. Preacher’s son Emory Joe Logan and a fiddler from Shreveport, Glory Lands, meet and form a tender bond. When they are caught and arrested for homosexual acts by Sheriff Elihu Bishop, the lawman’s sanctimonious bigotry threatens to rip the young men from their families.
Emory Joe’s father, Pastor Charles Logan, is brought to his knees in terror, confusion, and anger. He still regrets not standing up against Bishop when the lawman murdered a youth in cold blood nine years ago.
Now there’s no longer a choice for the preacher to stand up to the lawman. Cold-blooded justice, bigotry-disguised-as-religion, and hatred take on a whole new meaning when they’re standing on his doorstep, ready to take the son he loves.
I’D BEEN scared lots of times in my nineteen years, but never as scared as I was as I sat with Daddy in the church.
He’d begged me to go home, to pack, and to head for the bus station while he met with the sheriff alone—how simple he made it sound, as though inviting Bishop to tea and cake.
No, I told him. I wasn’t leaving without some last words to Bishop. So if I insisted on facing the sheriff, Daddy begged me to wait it out with him at the church. He assured me Bishop would show up, as sure as night and day, and somehow he felt safer there in the sanctuary.
Tears threatened to make their way from the well in my belly to my eyes to see Daddy sitting—just sitting, still and silent, with his Bible in his lap—in his usual seat at the side of the pulpit.
He’d never in a million years have showed up at God’s house dressed in trousers, a sleeveless undershirt, and suspenders. Sweaty. Unshaven. I wondered if he even realized how much like a hobo he looked.
Who was to know how this day would end? It didn’t matter any longer.
All I did know was I’d never realized how much I loved my father until sharing that awful but somehow beautiful silence in that empty church while we waited for whatever was going to happen.
Did he know how proud Mama would have been of him? I hoped his heart knew that Mama was right beside him in that seat, holding his hand.
Looking back, I reckon my mother had always seen my true self. She’d always seemed to know there’d been something different about me. Although I knew without a doubt she would have been standing beside us right then, I was glad that she didn’t have to be.
“Daddy.” My own voice startled me when it broke the oddly peaceful tension inside the sanctuary.
Daddy, as though he’d been in a deep trance, glanced to me from whatever world he’d been lost in. “Son?”
“You know why I’m doing this?”
He crossed his legs, shifted in the seat, and shrugged. “I think so, Emory Joe.”
“If it had been just me, I’d have hightailed it out of here, not made a peep, so as to not embarrass you anymore.”
He just nodded.
I continued, “But you know I can’t, after what they’ve done to Glory.”
“I’m not really afraid, if you’re worried about that.”
“I know, son.”
“I love you.”
With his brow furrowed, he stared at me with some words perched on his lips. He said nothing, though, just smiled and nodded. But his smile had hugged me and held me hard, and I felt his I love you stronger than any spoken words. The affection piercing me through his unsaid sentiment was the sort a fellow would give his life to have.
The purr of a car’s engine and the crunch of tires on gravel outside the open doors of the church shouldn’t have surprised me, but my body jolted anyway. And I didn’t even have to look to see who’d driven up. I knew.
Daddy drew a shaky breath, closed his eyes, and softly chanted a Psalm. “They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me….”
Icy water pulsed through my veins with my spiked heartbeat.
Car doors opened and, after a pause, closed.
This was it.
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4617
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-glorylands-1401263-145.html
Readers' Remarks on Glory Lands (Optional in case you want to use a quote or two in the post)
"...This story is beautifully written with charm and a very classy style. ” cathy- (Amazon)
But every so often a story comes along and absolutely annihilates me. Glory Lands is that story...~ Astrid (Amazon)
It's a day late but I wanted to announce Jill P won the drawing for my portion of the Autism Blog Hop put on by RJ.
Autism Fact: "There is no medical detection or cure for autism."
Comment (with an email) to win an ebook from my backlist. Contest open until April 17th (central time).
My cousin was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome many years ago now, but before the diagnosis came, there were hard times because the once normal young girl, meeting every milestone she should, was no longer. Frustrated and scared, it was a lot for everyone to deal with. She was a lot to handle but we always made things work. Mainly, and more importantly, because there was communication through the whole process. We used words.
As an author we can pour over our own words all day and not be satisfied with what we have written. Other times we write 15,000 words in a couple days and feel we have created a masterpiece. But when we write those words we know when we put them down, they are only the first draft. All the emotions, ideas, and interaction between our characters are there on the page, ready for us to take them apart, to unwrap them to see what we can find and continue to explore again then hand them over to our readers.
The autism spectrum has a wide variety of people on it. Some are high functioning, just seeming a little odd while others are totally nonverbal, needing one on one attention, and everything else in between. It's amazing how words become so important to someone on the autism spectrum, or for a person who cares for a person with autism. For the mother who holds onto hope to her child's voice one more time, to say something like "Mom". For the Asperger's woman in the back of the office, cringing when her coworkers refer to her as "Canada" because she does things differently, knowing it's an insult, to both her and Canada. For the child who tries hard to communicate with his dad but can't look him in the eye because it's too hard. For the family overhearing people complaining about the behavior of their child when the strangers don't know. For the child who can finally say "Hello" after years of non-communication—triumph finally!
Words can build hope or tear it down. Words are so important but are often used carelessly. They have opened wounds but can be used to mend them. Words can bring kindness where none was, bring understanding to those who haven't experienced/interacted with someone on the autism spectrum. They can remind people to not rush to judgement and offer a hand for awareness.
Thank you for stopping by, you can find info on my upcoming release below. Don't forget to leave a comment for a chance at something on my backlist (Books Tab). In addition, there are many other authors taking part of RJ's Autism Blog Hop. You can find the list HERE.
Just released! Available at MCB website, Amazon, B&N, ARe and (soon) other third party sellers.
Since the dawn of human expression, man has gazed up at the heavens in wonder, inspired by the wheeling of the stars to explain his surroundings. While our perception of those surroundings have changed, from thinking of the Earth as a flat, stable plane to realizing we’re falling through space in a tiny atmospheric bubble, our wonder remains constant.
Space stations, alien races, far-flung planets—join the Mischief Corner authors as they explore the possibilities the stars might offer. The catch? Returning to mundane old Earth might be harder than you think.
Finding Connor: The Borillian Twist, Book 1 - Toni Griffin
Mark, a RAAF fighter pilot, is on leave for the first time since the aliens decided to say 'Hello'. He meets Connor, a numbers man for a casino, at a gay bar and danced the night away. Their one night together changes their entire lives and what people think they know about life on Earth.
The Usual Conventions: Unconventional Romances 1 - Mathilde Watson
When Chris meets the alien—man—of his dreams, "Ensign Brodeich Geinn" aka actor Brody Gates, it's as one of the coordinators for the first annual OBX Science Fiction Convention in North Carolina. To his delight, Brody seems to return his interest, albeit in typical alien "Brodeich" fashion. Awkward alien or not, Chris is more than willing to play out any sexual fantasy for his SciFi crush, especially when Brody fumbles over the simplest of human conventions.
Feel Me - Freddy MacKay
One terrorist blast changed Master Tobias Zimmer's entire existence, relegating him to being nothing more than just a "Coppies" because of the metal replacing his flesh. As the once future Shogun of moon colony Orion 1, he now idles his time away keeping tabs on the Loyalists while his father and brother broker negotiations with the Earth Consortium.
A confrontation with his childhood enemy, Dr. Thorsten Nordenfelt, sets into motion events that cannot be undone and puts Tobias's sheltered heart at the center of the colony's attempts to free itself from the repressive Earth's rule.
Shax's War: Brimstone 3 - Angel Martinez
The boys desperately need a vacation. With the not-quite-ill-gotten gains from the Frog incident, Shax takes the Brimstone's crew to the exclusive resort planet, Opal. What could possibly go wrong there?
Greetings, and welcome to stop number four in the SHRUG IT OFF tour!
Today I get to visit with my good friend, Freddy MacKay!
She’s a little bit squirrelly, so today I think I’ll talk about crazy critters.
But first, let me start by explaining how the tour works…
At each stop along my way I will randomly select one commenter to receive a free ebook from my backlist, AND, at the end of the tour, everybody who leaves a comment at any of my stops will be entered for a chance to win one of two $10 gift cards to All Romance Ebooks! Just be sure to include your email address in you comment so you can be contacted if your name is selected.
For my first stop I visited with my good friend Angel Martinez and I introduced Stephen and his constant companions. You can check that out here: http://angelmartinezauthor.weebly.com/1/post/2014/02/the-first-stop-shrug-it-off-blog-tour.html
On my second stop I introduced Connor at Iyana’s Rainbow: http://iyanajenna.blogspot.com/2014/03/in-spotlight-mathilde-watson.html
On my third stop I spent some time with Cherie in the writing cave, talking about devils and angels: http://talesfromthewritingcave.blogspot.com/2014/03/shrug-it-off-blog-tour.html
I have been hopping around this week, talking about my newest release, SHRUG IT OFF—and here’s what it’s all about:
For Stephen, dating is more than a challenge, it’s a nightmare!
All he wants is a man he can talk to, someone he can laugh with and be himself around. What he’s got instead is an incessant running commentary on everyone and everything. The meddling guides posted on his shoulders each have their own ideas of what Stephen should be looking for. From the right he’s urged to find a man like himself: confident, successful, and upwardly mobile. The little devil on his other shoulder is only interested in a guy’s face and what he’s got below the waist.
The two can never agree on anything—until Stephen meets Connor—and then things get really interesting…
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Personally, I don’t think any conversation about angels and devils could possibly be complete without some discussion about cats.
Not just any cats.
I can’t speak for everyone’s experience of course, but of all the cats I’ve known—and I have known A LOT of cats—torties have always had the most distinctive personalities. They tend to choose one person, and one person only, to bestow their good graces on.
In high school, by brother had a totrie who rode around on his shoulders or balanced on his outstretched hand.
My sister had one who’s best friend was a bird. And although technically she belonged to my sister, she chose my brother as her person and waited outside his bedroom door in the mornings.
And I had one who never weighed more than six pounds, but all the other cats and the dogs always gave her a wide berth.
In my mind, a person’s pets make up an important part of who they are. My life has certainly been made richer by the animals I’ve shared it with.
In SHRUG IT OFF, Stephen lives with the constant companionship of an angel and a devil.
Connor needed someone too, so I gave him a tortoiseshell cat named Samantha. And honestly, she was one of the most fun characters I’ve ever written.
At this stop on my tour, I would love to hear stories about the animals who have made an impact on your life.
Everyone who leaves a comment of any kind—pet story or not—will be entered in the drawings to win prizes!
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SHRUG IT OFF is available through Mischief Corner Books: https://mischiefcornerbooks.weebly.com/store/p40/Shrug_It_Off.html
All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shrugitoff-1439693-149.html
And on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IQBF7SA
You can find Mathilde Watson (that’s me!) online at:
I tend to be a little squirrelly, but my friends still love me anyway. ;)