Month: December 2013

FREE Gay Excerpt; 2013 My Book List; Naked Adore You Parody

Naked Adore You Parody

Author Jon Michaelsen sent me this link earlier this week and I wanted to share. It’s a sensual video parody of Miley Cyrus’s Adore You by model, Brian Hawn. Brian has several Ass-ets worth mentioning. I thought about posting something more solid to welcome in 2014, you know, like good old Joe Konrath did. But then I figured WTF? This naked parody really is a naughty guy with a strong story, my readers don’t really give a damn what my predictions for 2014 will be, and this really is about as good as it gets in life sometimes. So Happy New Year!!

2013: My Book List

Here’s a list of the books I wrote and had published in 2013. I’m putting notes with some to explain things I think are important, and providing links where I can. These little posts actually help keep me organized, because I honestly wouldn’t remember offhand what I did this past year without them. Here’s a link to my full published list.

Pledges  An anthology with Cleis Press edited by Shane Allison
With This Cowboy I Love so Freely A Collection of Western Short stories 50,000 words
Bad Boy Billionaire Books 8 book series:
The Vegas Shark Full length novel
The Wall Street Shark Full length novel
The Actor Learning to Love Full length novel
The Ivy League Rake Full length novel
Silicon Valley Sex Scandal Full length novel
Cowboy in Love Full length novel
Palm Beach Real Estate Scoundrel (not yet published)
Small Town Romance Writer (full length 110,000 word novel not yet published)
Glendora Hill 4 book Series:
Cowboy Christmas Miracle Full length novel
Sheriff and the Outlaw Full length novel (not published yet)
Bruno Gmunder Books German Publisher:
Daddy Knows Best short story in anthology
Straight No More short story in anthology
Cherry Soda Cowboy novella
Fangsters full length novel Riverdaleavebooks.com
Internal Desires novella
Second Chance Series:
Second Chance: Book 1 novella
Second Chance The Littlest Christmas Tree novella
Second Chance Book Three (not yet published)
The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance 50,000 word Anthology edited and published by Ryan Field

I think this is a complete list. It’s been a busy year and I may have missed something, and if I did I’ll update. I’ve also included a few that were published in 2012 to keep each series together in case someone asks me for a link to one particular series. It happens and it’s nice to just give readers one quick link.

FREE Gay Excerpt

This free excerpt is from my newest, yet-to-be-released novella in the Second Chance series. It’s so new I don’t have a title yet. But I will soon. I wanted to post this excerpt to show how this series follows a pattern. Each novella is completely different, with storyline and character development. However, the basic formula is the same, where each character in each story winds up in the same place at one point, and this point is where the main character is offered his second chance to go back and change the events of his life…if he so chooses to do this. I set it up almost like a television series, so readers know there are certain things to expect. At the same time, each novella will have more than a few surprises and a chance for each main character to get his own happy ending…again, if he so chooses.

The one recurring character in each novella is Rory, and he’s part of the excerpt below. He’s the guide each main character meets at the Department of Second Chances. Keep in mind this is still the raw version and there might be a few revises made in the final e-book.

 

“Not exactly,” Rory said. He grabbed Lance by the waist and lifted him up so he could sit on the table. Then he jumped up and sat beside him. “I haven’t mentioned the real reason you’re here. What just happened was only you getting a chance to live out your fantasy. It’s like a bonus. But it’s not all that important.”

            Lance laughed. “That’s easy for you to say. I just got pumped by more men than I can even count and I need to use a bathroom.” All those men had left him a mess and he wanted to clean up.

            “You don’t need a bathroom,” Rory said. “There won’t be enough time.”

            “What’s next?” He felt a thump in his chest. “I don’t think I can take on any more guys today.”

            Rory turned and sent him a stern look. “The main reason you’re here has nothing to do with sex. You’re here because you’ve been selected to go back to your life and get a second chance.”

            “You’re joking.”

            “I wouldn’t joke about that,” Rory said. “It’s not complicated, so pay attention. You’re going to get a chance, if you want the chance, to return to the most pivotal time in your life. It’s the time when you made a choice, and that choice affected the outcome of your entire life. In most cases, people return to their youths. But your case is a little different because the most pivotal point in your life happened when you were forty-two. Do you know what I’m talking about?”

            Lance didn’t have to think twice. “Of course I know.” He’d led an uneventful life until he was forty-two, and he hadn’t been prepared for what had happened.

            “You don’t have to go,” Rory said.

            “What happens if I don’t go back?”

            Rory shrugged. “I can’t disclose that. I’m sorry. I stick to the rules.”

            “Let me get this straight,” Lance said, “I get a chance to go back and redo my life. I can do things differently if I want to.”

            “Not exactly,” Rory said. “It’s not that simple. If you choose to go back for a second chance there’s no guarantee you won’t make the same choice twice. That’s really up to you. You won’t be aware you’re getting this second chance.”

            “That’s not fair,” Rory said. “Now that I know all the things I know about life I should be able to draw from my experiences.”

            “Nothing in life is fair,” Rory said. “And you’re no exception to the rule. Everyone gets their chances and everyone is treated equally. But sometimes we like to offer second chances where there were unusual circumstances.”

            “I’m not sure I want to do that,” Lance said. “If I do everything the same all over again I’m only repeating myself.”

            “Most people get some kind of sign the second time, so you might not repeat yourself,” Rory said. “It’s not anything obvious, and sometimes people ignore their intuition. But most of the time it works out well. The only risk you run is doing the same thing twice. And if that’s an issue you are by no means forced to take your second chance.”

            “Can I think it over for a day or two?” Lance asked. He knew if he took the second chance he would be returning to the time when he’d first met Sergio. His first partner, Davis, had been away on business so often and he’d been so lonely. He’d always wondered what things would have been like if he hadn’t left Davis for Sergio. Now Rory was offering him a chance to find out.

            “No, there’s no time,” Rory said. “You have to decide now.”

            He thought for a moment. He remembered the passion he’d first experienced when he’d met Sergio. Then he remembered the pain all over Davis’s face when he’d told Davis he was leaving to be with Sergio. He’d never seen a grown man with such a horrified expression since then. And yet, through all the pain, he’d loved Sergio with all his heart.

            “We don’t have much time,” Rory said. “You have to decide.”

            Lance squared his back and said, “What do I have to do?”

            “Close your eyes,” Rory said. “You’ll never remember a thing that happened here.”

            Lance closed his eyes and said, “Wish me luck. I have a feeling I’m going to need it. I’m not even sure what I would choose right now, and I’m aware of everything. I loved both of those men very much, and my life wasn’t easy with either of them.”

Homoerotic? Utah Against Marriage; Coke Cuts Gay Wedding Out in Ireland

Homoerotic?

Trust me, this link is mostly for photos. I can’t post them. But when you get there you’ll see what I mean.

I know a lot of gay men who don’t get this. They see straight men rolling around on a mat, with their arms and legs wrapped around each other, and they think it’s homoerotic.

It’s not. It might look that way. But the straight men doing this (unless there’s something we don’t know) are not even slightly aroused. If you still don’t get this, picture me rolling around on a mat with Rachel Maddow.

I can’t promise you much in this life, but I can promise I will NOT get aroused if Rachel Maddow climbs on top of me.

Photo attribution here

Utah Against Marriage

Last week I posted about a federal judge, Robert J. Shelby, declaring the ban on same sex marriage in Utah unconstitutional.

And now the fight to keep the ban is beginning and this next article states Utah is prepared to spend millions to have the ruling appealed.

‘To go through the court process on an issue that, on a 2-to-1 vote, the people of our state felt was important to have in our constitution, I think is of value,’ the speaker told KSL.

In 2004, voters supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and woman.

This is interesting to me for more than one reason. Tony’s brother and his family live in Utah now and we just saw Tony’s niece and her partner (she’s straight; her partner is a man) on Christmas day and they were telling us some of the cultural changes they’ve had to deal with since moving to Utah from the east coast over a year ago. For one thing, they said people in Utah don’t curse. They say “Son of a Bishop” instead of “Son of a Bitch.” Now, that’s hearsay, I know. But it’s not the first time I’ve heard this.

But what also interests me is that Tony’s niece and her partner also stated that they find Utah to be progressive and they never see any hints of homophobia in their circles. They have no reason to lie. So the 2004 vote where the people of Utah defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman makes me wonder. A lot has changed in ten years. And I can’t help wondering how things would turn out if the people of Utah were able to vote on this all over again. Almost every single poll I read in most places it says the attitude toward same sex marriage has shifted in an almost polarized direction, in favor of same sex marriage.

Coke Cuts Gay Wedding Out in Ireland

There’s allegedly an ad not yet released in Ireland for Coke with a gay wedding scene. And Coke decided to cut the scene and now they’ve come under fire. You have to read this carefully and think about it for a moment.

But in Ireland, the gay couple scene is replaced with an image of a young straight, interracial couple walking down the aisle.

They always gear ads like this to the country in which it will be shown. Even though 73% of Irish people support same sex marriage, it’s still not legal in Ireland. Coke wants their ads to reflect this. And I actually do get it this time. If gay marriage isn’t legal in Ireland why show an ad with two men getting married? They aren’t selling a brand to make political statements. They are selling a brand to make money and all they are doing is following facts.

You can read more here.

Robin Roberts Inspires; Pretty Boy Dead Best Book; Wicked Gay Blog

Robin Roberts Inspires

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robin_Roberts_at_Heart_Truth_2010_cropped.jpg

In the summer of 2007 Robin Roberts disclosed she had breast cancer. By August 2007 she had surgery and the follow up treatments she underwent continued into 2008. At the time, I followed her story closely because that same summer Tony was going through his life/death crisis. And the bravery Roberts showed during her own crisis left an impact on me personally and I think helped give me a sort of indirect support to deal with all the things I was going through that summer. She was a huge inspiration to me, and I never forgot that. And once again, Roberts recently became an inspiration to millions of LGBT people in disclosing that she’s a lesbian and has been with the same woman for ten years.

Unfortunately, Roberts was diagnosed with a bone marrow disease in 2012 and it gutted me to hear that after all she went through with breast cancer she had to deal with something else. You’d think once in a lifetime would be enough, but we all know that’s not how it works. Once again, Roberts has showed the same strength, dignity, and grace she showed while battling breast cancer.

On December 29, 2013, Roberts came out on Facebook:

 “At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude. I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health…I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together.” Roberts and Amber Laign, a massage therapist, have been together for 10 years. This was the first time Roberts publicly acknowledged her longstanding same-sex relationship.

You can read more here. Photo is in the Public Domain.

The support I’ve seen for Roberts has also been inspiring. This isn’t just fandom. It goes way deeper than that.

 Pretty Boy Dead Best Book

I usually don’t post these things because I find that any best book list tends to be fundamentally flawed at best, and highly subjective at worst. In small genres like M/M Romance where there are thousands of wonderful “best” books, best book lists also put writer against writer and book against book in ways I don’t always think are fair. It’s also a way for aggressive book bloggers to promote themselves and garner hits. As a small, humble blogger I absolutely refuse to do these things to exploit authors. I don’t mind doing it to other bloggers. But not to authors.

In the same respect, there are exceptions to every rule. The reason I’m mentioning the book, Pretty Boy Dead, by Jon Michaelsen, is because sometimes book bloggers do get it right and sometimes best books are given the credit they deserve. As it happens, I’m right in the middle of reading Pretty Boy Dead and it’s such a great book I wanted to post something about it. There’s a “best” book post up at the now defunct Jessewave web site, and Pretty Boy Dead is listed as one of the best books of 2013. In this case, I couldn’t agree more with this choice.

You can read more here. Along with Pretty Boy Dead, there’s a list of other best books for 2013. Some I read, some are excellent choices. But one or two leave me wondering…without the ambition to comment further because they’re so bad. Like I said, it’s all highly subjective. 

Wicked Gay Blog

Once in a while I come across a blog that’s for gay men that makes me smile. In this case, it’s a blog titled, Wicked Gay Blog, and you can check it out here.

I’m not going to link to any post right now because I like the whole package as far as blogging goes. I just want to give examples in a general sense to nudge people over there. There are posts about gay news, posts that are more personal, and topics discussed that are geared for gay men without a hint of judgment. And the photos are excellent, too. I have no idea how they get permission to use these photos, but I can only assume they have taken copyright into consideration, they are aware of how litigious people can be nowadays, and they know what they are doing.

They do have ads, but I don’t find them intrusive or annoying. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Bethenny Frankel’s Ass; Anne R. Allen on Writing; Gambian President Gay Hate

Bon Jovi/ Versace

For some reason, this older photo of Jon Bon Jovi started floating around social media over the holidays and it reminded me of a post I wrote last year about photoshopping, body images, and the difference between how celebrity photos are often altered in direct contrast to how fashion designers create what has always been considered artistic images that often border on the abstract. But even fashion designers photoshop celebrities sometimes, and this one photo in particular of Jon Bon Jovi is classic photoshopping at its best.

You can view the photo here. The guy looks great for 50 years old. But a photo can hide certain things that you can’t in real life. And 50 year old skin is not the same as 25 year old skin no matter how hard you try. That’s life. Plain and simple. And to take this to a writer’s POV, you can’t write about a 50 year old the same way you can about a 25 year old unless you’re writing paranormal or science fiction.

And this article goes deeper, with a few excellent examples of how celebrities really look before they’re photoshopped. I love the photos of Bachelor Clooney. And frankly, most of the photos “before” don’t look all that bad anyway and I don’t see a reason to photoshop them. This link also comes with a warning. You’ll have to look at before and after shots of Bethenny Frankel’s ass…something I’m sure we can all live without seeing either before or after.

Anne R. Allen on Writing

Unfortunately, I’m a little late with this link, too, due to family things Tony and I have been dealing with in the past few days. But I wanted to post it anyway because I think it’s an excellent example of many short posts I’ve written on the topic of writing rules. In fact, many of the comments in this post made me smile because I used to follow some of the rules when I first started out. And, as a writer who is constantly trying to evolve, I’ve also changed a few of my own opinions at times. And I think that’s why I like Allen’s post so much.

I like this one rule about show and tell because I’ve posted about it more than once.

Authors who follow this rule closely can write such murky stuff you never know what’s going on.

Is this really the best way to present a character? “He wore a helmet with a wide brim, longer in the back to protect the neck, big black boots, a protective coat, and overalls held up with red suspenders. He smelled of ashes and soot.”

Why not just tell us he’s a fire fighter? After three pages of these guessing games, the building has burned down and WE DO NOT CARE.

You can read the rest here. And I highly suggest reading them all. And this goes for those who might be considered critical book reviewers who often comment on writing rules and styles in book reviews. In other words, if you’re going to mention in a book review that the author shows and tells (or anything writing related) you should know the full meaning of how this works and that writers often balance show and tell on purpose, otherwise you’re going to look a little dumb and you won’t even know it…but other people will know.  
Gambian President Gay Hate

My first thought when I read this was that I’m glad I’ll never have to set foot in Gambia. But then I thought how awful it must be for LGBT people in Gambia to have a President who would actually give a Christmas speech and compare being gay to having a social cancer.

The president said homosexuality will ‘never be condoned’ and warned parents to steer children away from ‘alien cultures that could corrupt their minds at this stage of their moral and psychological development’.

Naturally, there are plenty of gay people in Gambia and they’re fighting for their rights. Homosexuality is a felony there and LGBT people can get up to 14 years in prison for being gay.

But it gets worse. This President, this sick idiot, wants to pass laws where it would be legal to behead gays.

You can read more here.

Duck Dynasty Saga; Vampire Diaries’ Gay Role; Gay 4 Pay Pornsters

Duck Dynasty Saga

I know this isn’t fresh news, but I thought I’d post about it anyway. Tony and I have been dealing with family things all week and I haven’t had much time to blog. In any event, creepy looking Duck Dynasty dude, Phil Robertson, is back on the show and this article analyzes a few possible reasons why he’s back after making some of the most hateful comments about LGBT people in recent history.

But what probably helped turn the tide in the Robertsons’ favor was that the debate wasn’t as clear-cut as the network and many in the media initially assumed. Robertson and his supporters argued that his anti-gay statements were an extension of his passion for the Bible. Once that frame gained a foothold — that this fight is about religion, and the freedom to endorse biblical teachings — A&E was stuck in the awkward position of appearing to advocate against both its own star and orthodox Christianity (ironic, considering A&E Networks garnered such goodwill from Christians for taking a chance on its The Bible mini-series on History this year).

Blah, Blah, Blah…

If you ask me it’s all a publicity stunt created to increase ratings in a dying medium: reality TV. We all know by now there is no such thing as reality TV. The good thing is that it’s all on record and it will be interesting to see how they ALL go down in history.

Read more here…  

Vampire Diaries’ Gay Role

In a more positive announcement, this next article says TV show Vampire Diaries will be getting a gay character.

A new hottie is enrolling at Whitmore after winter break! And he’ll be spending time with Caroline! Except he’s so not into her in that way as Luke, handsome and sarcastic, is gay. And also happens to have a sister on campus, one that he will do (or sacrifice) anything to protect.
  ]

You can read more here, and see the comments people left.

Gay 4 Pay Pornsters

I don’t think there’s a gay man alive who hasn’t wondered about this. Are male porn stars in gay adult films actually gay or are they really straight guys looking to show off a little and make a quick buck?

Before working at Next Door Studios I had heard of the term gay-for-pay, but I wasn’t really sure what all that label entailed. I, like many gay men, always had a fetish for straight men. The difference was my relationships with straight men didn’t involve money or the spotlight, but usually involved alcohol and some pretend sleeping. Most of these guys are married and have kids now and I was a part of their “experimental phase. ” A phase that they have moved on from and probably have not continued into their adult life.

I think the comment above is one many gay men can relate to. I can. And I never really “got” it either. But the article is interesting and you can read more here.

Reminds me a little of a new book I’m in with German publisher Bruno Gmunder, with a short story titled, Straight No More. You can read more about that here. It’s the kind of gay for you anthology that will leave a lot of people wondering how much is fact or fiction.

Don Weise’s Views; Victoria TX Kicks Gay Dancers Out

Don Weise’s Views 

Don Weise is a publisher/editor who has been working in LGBTI publishing for over twenty years. I’ve worked with him in the past, and he edited my novel, Fangsters, with Riverdaleavebooks.com. I met him a while back when he was senior editor at Alyson Publications when Alyson bought the rights to An Officer and His Gentleman. I have never worked with a more gentle editor than Don. I know gentle might sound like an odd word to use, but it’s the best way to describe my experience with him. He’s also a very interesting man and through a series of e-mail exchanges I’ve learned a good deal about more than one topic. Huff Po recently did a great interview with Don where he talks about LGBT publishing, the changes we’ve seen, and what changes still might happen.

DW…I think that with publishing at the big houses becoming so blockbuster-oriented, it leaves little room for midlist titles which is what most LGBT books are. Relatively few will sell over twenty thousand copies. However, that leaves the field open for small presses, gay and otherwise, to bring out more LGBT literature. The readers are definitely there.

I recently had a conversation with an author and we were both saying the same thing. And both of us have done indie publishing, but we both still prefer working with small presses.

You can read the entire interview in full, here.

Victoria, TX Kicks Gay Dancers Out

In a Texas town I’ve never heard of…Victoria…a gay couple dancing together was allegedly kicked out of a “straight” nightclub.

A dance club for heterosexuals (yes, they exist!) in Victoria, Texas is being slammed this week after ousting a gay couple for dancing together during a country music song. The director of operations at Cactus Canyon claims he was trying to “maintain the peace,” though we’re pretty sure he was just jealous of the couple’s superior dance skills.
Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/straight-texas-club-boots-gay-couple-for-violating-same-sex-dancing-ban-20131226/#ixzz2odKG1om1

The owner of the club has since apologized and claims it was all a misunderstanding. ACLU of Texas has offered to assist the couple.

One of the reasons I set my Glendora Hill series in Texas Hill Country is because I know a lot of gay people who live there and I’ve never once heard them complain of discrimination…at least not any more than in any state in the US. Trust me, I have plenty of Pennsylvania discrimination stories from first hand experience. So I think this is an isolated incident, and one that could have happened anywhere in the US. It’s important to point those things out so people don’t misinterpret things.

You can read more here.

Beyonce’s Top; M/M Support for Authors; Dell Blocks Gay Web Sites

Beyoncé’s Top

After handing out more than thirty five thousand dollars in gift cards a few days ago to Wal-Mart customers, Beyoncé has done it again with a new video that surfaced and proven she cares about her fans deeply and that she’s at the top of her game. This time Beyonce made a dying teen’s wish come true at a concert.

Taylon, whose last name and age have not been released, is suffering from inoperable brain cancer and her dying wish was to dance with the mega-star.

After learning of her wish, The Philanthropy Program Partnerships made it happen and organised for the youngster to meet and dance with her idol.

You can read more here. You can watch the video there, too. In this case, you can tell when someone really cares. It’s just all over both of their expressions.

M/M Support for Authors

Here’s an update on M/M author, Eric Arvin, who is going through a serious health crisis right now, and at this moment (I think) undergoing brain surgery. I only have an overview of the medical issues and I don’t want to post anything inaccurate, so I won’t go into detail about them now. But his health issues are serious and I’ve been amazed to see how readers and other authors continue to support Arvin, and his partner, T.J. Klune.

I think most of us have gone through fairly serious health issues with family members, so we know. I’ve been through my share with Tony. And reading and seeing all the emotion and support for both Arvin and Klune has left me speechless more than once. It’s just mind blowing how people in this genre have reacted with so much love. And it really hits home for me because I know what Klune is going through right now. I’ve been there and it’s a strange place to be. To watch someone else go through it isn’t easy. You act and react on instinct and raw nerves. It’s like being in a long term state of shock and you focus on the most important things at hand and everything else seems to diminish. All of this is happening on social media. There’s also a fund set up to help offset medical costs, and all kinds of other things that happen during times like this.

It’s also a little strange for me to watch all this unfold because I don’t know Klune or Arvin very well. I’ve only noticed things on social media and how T.J. Klune seems to have an interesting way with people most authors don’t have. But in my recent release for a book I wrote months ago, Cowboy Christmas Miracle, one of the main characters in the story goes through a serious health crisis in fiction that’s a lot like what Arvin is going through right now in real life. I’d never done anything like that before in a book because I don’t like to go that deep with emotions too often. It’s not only draining to write about, but also tends to darken a romance if it’s not done with care. I gave my characters a happy ending, and I’m hoping the very same for Arvin and Klune.

And, another author I know, Jill Elaine Hughes, spent the holidays in the hospital with her infant. Jill is a seasoned writer who has been around for a long time and she’s written M/M romance and recently a few new adult novels. She’s also a great mom who balances a full time writing career and a family, and I think all moms will agree there’s probably nothing worse than seeing your child hospitalized. And I just wanted to mention her and offer some support, too.

Dell Blocks Gay Web Sites

This is interesting because I’ve seen this discussion over and over again…all my life. Even when something isn’t deemed adult content and is rated G, there are people who think ALL gay content is unsafe and harmful just because it is gay content. In other words, a web site could write and post about LGBT people who are deeply religious, and that content would still be considered not suitable for children.

And now Dell and other companies are feeding into that mindset:

Leading computer companies are helping anti-LGBTI people to block public access to ‘gay and lesbian’ websites – including vital services. The policy, including at Dell, has been condemned as ‘incredibly poor business sense’ and dangerous for vulnerable people.

But more interesting than that, two companies are known to support LGBT people in public and yet they are also supporting a product designed to filter out gay content altogether.

You can read the details here.

I have to think about this one for a while. If I could block and filter the Bristol Palin types of the world I wouldn’t mind them blocking and filtering me.

But that’s not how things work. The bigger picture here is that ALL LGBT content is considered porn in some places, by some people and no one’s blocking the Bristol Palin types. I’ve seen it with books and the way books are sold and categorized. A perfectly harmless little love story with no sex at all could be classified as porn just because of gay content.