Category: Chase of a Christmas Dream by Ryan Field

National Ugly Sweater Day; Chase of a Christmas Dream

National Ugly Sweater Day; Chase of a Christmas Dream

It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes when a book of fiction is released there’s something in the book that mimics something in real life. In this case, it happened with my Christmas release, Chase of a Christmas Dream, and National Ugly Sweater Day.

I almost edited the excerpt below out of the book because I wasn’t sure if it would offend anyone. I don’t think of that as self-censorship as much as I think of it as covering the bases. In other words, even my mom has a few ugly sweaters I’ve often teased her about…especially Christmas sweaters. It’s all in fun and not meant to be taken too seriously. And let’s face it, who hasn’t seen a sweater so ugly it hurts their feelings?And, I also think there’s something very sweet about ugly Christmas sweaters.

In any event, here’s the excerpt from Chase of a Christmas Dream. And here’s a great web site that’s actually dedicated to “National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.”

Feeling bored? Uninspired by life? Do you need four cups of coffee just to break the monotony of the 9 to 5? Fortunately, there is one special day in December that will alleviate these common maladies. That day, my friends, is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on Friday, December 12, 2014! National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is about proudly sporting your favorite ugly Christmas sweater for the entire day…regardless of circumstances. Wear it to school, to work, to a funeral, to your sister’s wedding. Got an important interview on Friday? Oops, tough luck. Worried the judge will increase your sentence if you show up to court in an ugly Christmas sweater? Sorry bud, no exceptions. Share this special day with your friends and spread the word until your face falls off. Also, please send us pictures strutting your stuff in an ugly Christmas sweater. Let’s rock this! – See more at: http://www.nationaluglychristmassweaterday.org/#sthash.T3yeIzqb.dpuf
Feeling bored? Uninspired by life? Do you need four cups of coffee just to break the monotony of the 9 to 5? Fortunately, there is one special day in December that will alleviate these common maladies. That day, my friends, is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on Friday, December 12, 2014! National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is about proudly sporting your favorite ugly Christmas sweater for the entire day…regardless of circumstances. Wear it to school, to work, to a funeral, to your sister’s wedding. Got an important interview on Friday? Oops, tough luck. Worried the judge will increase your sentence if you show up to court in an ugly Christmas sweater? Sorry bud, no exceptions. Share this special day with your friends and spread the word until your face falls off. Also, please send us pictures strutting your stuff in an ugly Christmas sweater. Let’s rock this! – See more at: http://www.nationaluglychristmassweaterday.org/#sthash.T3yeIzqb.dpuf

It’s only a short excerpt. I can’t give any more out because of spoilers.


           Len was already out the door and halfway to the terminal. “Thanks for driving us, Travis,” Jim said. And then he got out and ran toward the terminal to catch up with Len. It was a huge relief for Travis to drive them there. Jim would have had to park and he wanted to be with Len in case the worst happened. Although he was telling everyone that everything would be fine, he wasn’t so sure about this one.

            They raced through the airport and found Helen and Radcliff Darling in the room that had been set up for people with family and relatives on the hijacked plane. The guards at the door asked them to show proof and identification and while they dug for their wallets Helen came over and explained who they were. Helen looked a little tired, and older, since the last time Jim had seen her. She was wearing jeans and her bright red Christmas sweater that had a big green glittery Christmas tree in the center.

            He hugged her and said, “How are you?”

And here’s another reference to the sweater. You can read between the lines.

           “Oh, good,” Doris said. “I’m glad they got in safely. Tell me, Jim, just between us, is your mother wearing another one of those awful Christmas sweaters again this year?”

            Jim laughed. “Well, yes, she is.” He knew where this was going.

            Doris sighed. “I’m glad I asked. This way I’ll be prepared for when I see her and I’ll refrain from saying anything that might sound insulting. I’ll just tell her she’s looking well and I’ll overlook the hideous Christmas sweater completely.”

            Jim knew Doris meant no harm by this. She was an older woman of extreme privilege who had never owned a Christmas tree sweater in her life. “I love you, Doris. And I’ve missed you.”

Chase of a Christmas Dream

 

Gays Paraded Naked in Egypt; Taylor Lautner Diffuses Gay Rumors; 15 HIV Myths

Gays Paraded Naked in Egypt

One of the things that’s always been popular with certain members of the straight community is catching gays in action and shaming them in public. I’ve seen it happen here in the US a number of times, and it’s one more reason to take the shame away from being gay. This, however, goes far beyond that.

This particular article talks about gay men who were arrested in an Egyptian bathhouse and paraded naked in public. They arrested about 30 for “perversion.”

Paraded naked as they were loaded on to trucks, the men shielded their faces from the glare of the media and other onlookers.

Along the police were Central Security Forces, an army forces formed of new recruits.

General Ali al-Demerdash, head of the Cairo security directorate, said the men were arrested in ‘a common public bathhouse in the Azbakeya neighborhood of Cairo for practising debauchery’.

Keep in mind they weren’t cruising in public place. They were in a gay bathhouse.

The rest is here. I would imagine most of the men are in the closet. According to this article it’s only getting worse in Egypt.

Interesting irony: Egypt is a favorite destination place for pretentious US gay men to travel.

Taylor Lautner Diffuses Gay Rumors

Evidently, an openly gay model, Murray Swanby, posed for a photo with Taylor Lautner and now Lautner is allegedly trying to stop gay rumors. Swanby posted a photo joking about Lautner being great husband material and all the speculation and rumor started to run rampant. Of course, once again, because it’s okay to burn buildings down in the streets and stop traffic during rush hour, but it’s still a shame to be gay in the US.

After several websites ran items with such headlines as ‘Did Taylor Lautner Just Come Out On Instagram?’ 

Swanby went online to quell the growing speculation. ‘If Taylor Lautner was coming out, I would have taken him home Thursday night,’ he wrote on Facebook and Twitter.

This all happened at a place called The Abbey in WeHo. It’s considered a gay “hotspot” but not exclusively gay. Jay Leno’s been there, Liz Taylor used to go, and they’ve even seen Hillary Clinton…and her best friend Gayle.

You can read the rest here. If you don’t think this is a matter of gay shaming look at it this way. If Elton John went to a strictly straight venue and someone took his photo and suggested he was straight would he have to diffuse any rumors that would ruin his career?

15 HIV Myths

You would think that after all these years of information floating around about HIV/AIDS everyone would know the basic facts. Evidently, that’s not the case.

Here are two examples from the 15. I would bet money most people reading this didn’t know.

Myth: Having gay bareback sex with someone who you know is HIV positive is the most dangerous thing you can do. 

Busted: You should obviously use protection with a positive partner. 

But if someone knows they are HIV positive, they will often be taking treatment. And the drugs means their infectiousness drops by 96% making them far less likely to pass the virus on. 

You are far, far more at risk if you have unsafe sex with someone who doesn’t know their HIV status and so is not on treatment. 

They may think they are negative. But if they have just got the virus, perhaps after their last negative test a few weeks ago, they are at their most infectious.

The rest of this piece is very interesting and I highly suggested reading it in full…whether you are gay or straight. Here’s the link. I actually do know them all (when you write gay fiction you make a point of knowing it), but I’m sure many didn’t know this:

Myth: As long as I only top I’ll be ok. 

Busted: ‘Bottoms’ are seven-times more likely to get HIV than ‘tops’ in gay sex. But any unprotected anal sex carries a risk of HIV transmission and being a top is not ‘safe’.

Chase of a Christmas Dream

Frat Boy, Gay Geek; CDC Report on Foreskin; Kindle Unlimited Hurts Authors?

Frat Boy, Gay Geek

We don’t usually associate gay guys with fraternities…unless it’s college frat porn. However, that’s just another stereotype that needs to be broken, and a concept that should be questioned more often. In other words, how many gay men don’t we hear from?


This article does just that. It’s about an op-ed piece written by a gay guy in a fraternity. He talks about what real life frat house living is like.

He acknowledges the “hyper-masculine, weight-lifting, polo-wearing, country music-listening” reputations that many frat houses and their occupants have.

“They like their beer and their women equally. Both a lot,” he says. “Nowhere in this list do you find Beyoncé or skinny jeans.”

But, he says, there still plenty of gay guys amidst all the rampant heterosexuality.

“[Gay people] join fraternities for the same reason that straight people do,” Harshbarger writes. “For me, an out-of-state student (1,406 miles out of state to be exact), my fraternity is like my family away from home. It’s a support system of 107 best friends that are just as ready to shotgun a brew with me at 8 a.m. on gameday as they are to sit and listen to me lament about how shitty my day was. Surprisingly, brotherhood isn’t contingent upon sexual orientation!”

Although this frat boy claims no one ever discriminated against him, the article goes on to mention examples of gay men who have been discriminated against by other fraternities.

You can read the rest here. 

CDC Report on Foreskin

I think the debate about whether or not to circumcise will be ongoing until the end of time, however, a report recently released by the CDC has drawn a few interesting scientific conclusions.

U.S. health officials on Tuesday released a draft of long-awaited federal guidelines on circumcision, saying medical evidence supports having the procedure done and health insurers should pay for it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines stop short of telling parent to get their newborn sons circumcised. That is a personal decision that may involve religious or cultural preferences, said the CDC’s Dr. Jonathan Mermin.

But “the scientific evidence is clear that the benefits outweigh the risks,” added Mermin, who oversees the agency’s programs on HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

I don’t know whether or not this can be disputed. As with all things involving the CDC I have a feeling it can be…you can’t trust anything government. But I’m not an expert on foreskin. I wish I still had mine. And if I were given the choice I never would have been circumcised. The problem is men don’t get that choice. And I don’t care what the CDC says about that.

The rest is here. I think uncut is always sexier.

Kindle Unlimited Hurts Authors?

Even though I do indie publish a lot more these days, I truly don’t know that much about Kindle Unlimited because I’m not part of KDP…for a specific reason. In order to be a KDP author I would have to sign an exclusive with Amazon which would mean I can’t publish the books anywhere else online. I depend on several retail web site where e-books are sold, not just Amazon. I believe in book distribution far and wide. It’s strictly a business decision on my part, and I do keep my books priced at .99 even though many have upped the prices of their books.

In any event, you can still buy my books at Amazon. You just can’t get them through the Kindle Unlimited program because of the Amazon exclusive. If there were no exclusive, I would join. But I’m not given a choice in the matter. So I never bothered to learn much about KU.

But I have been reading a lot of author complaints about KU in the past few weeks. At this point, most of the complaints have been through social media and private message exchanges between authors. I had four of those today myself on Twitter and I’m at a loss because I’ve never been part of KU.

Here’s one article that talks more about it. But there aren’t that many out there openly talking…at least not yet there aren’t.  This is what one author said:

Ok, some of you already know, but I had my serials in it for 60 days and lost approx 75% of my income. Thats counting borrows and bonuses.  :o My sales dropped like a stone. The number of borrows was higher than sales. They didn’t compliment each other, as expected.

Taking a huge ass pay cut while I’m still working my butt off, well that’s not ok. And KU effected my whole list, not just KU titles. :( At the time of enrollment I had about 60 titles total.

I planned on giving it 90 days, but I have a kid in the hospital for long term care and I noticed my spending was going to exceed my income-by a lot. I couldn’t wait and watch thing plummet further. I pulled my books. That was on Nov 1,  & since then my net revenue has gone up. I’m now at 50% of where I was pre-KU. During the time I was in KU, I had 2 new releases. Neither preformed vastly different than before. They actually earned far less (including borrows).

The entire article is interesting and if you are an author you might want to check it out. I always caution people to read quotes like the one above with a certain amount of apprehension. I’ve seen too many authors lie about their book sales and their income to trust anything anymore. It’s always inflated, and I find it hard to believe that these authors are capable of supporting themselves through writing. The one above has a kid in long term care and she’s paying for that with book sales? Doesn’t sound logical to me. I know what long term care costs. Some authors might be making more, not most, especially those who are not gaming the Amazon system. If these inflated book sales were real, literary agents would be banging down their doors, and so would big publishers. Take it all with a grain of salt. The odds are Z. X. Anonymousauthor who claims she’s making six figures is blowing smoke up your butt.

Chase of a Christmas Dream

New Release: Chase of a Christmas Dream

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-chaseofachristmasdream-1689839-145.html

New Release: Chase of a Christmas Dream

I don’t always post about new releases this way, with a stand alone blog post. But I wanted to add something about this Christmas book in a little more detail. This is part of the Chase series I started with my first indie book, Chase of a Lifetime, and the characters have changed and evolved over the past few years in ways I couldn’t have predicted when I released the first book. In fact, I didn’t plan this to be a series at all. And the only reason I turned it into a series is because I enjoy the characters myself so much.

In the book previous to this one, Chase of a Holy Ghost, Jim Darling-Mayfield goes through several disappointing, life-changing events that I can’t post about now because of spoilers. But Chase of a Christmas Dream gives Jim a chance to fill the voids in his life…the things he is missing and the fears he’s taken on, because of all the trauma he’s experienced. He even winds up going to a fortune teller in this book, out of frustration and fear. I tried to make that part humorous, but there’s also a deeper side to it I hope people will understand.  I’m actually very interested in the metaphysical and I took a lot of my own personal experiences and added them here.

Jim also meets someone new through Doc Sharp. He’s a young man who did a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a Marine, and he’s got more than a few surprises for both Jim and Len. Again, I don’t want to give out spoilers, but I think this part of the book…and series…shows how much Jim doesn’t care about convention or what most people think of as perfection. The fundamental flaw, if it could even be referred to as a flaw, in the Marine is something that I think helps all the characters move forward. And it shows how people can beat all the odds no matter what life hands them.

In any event, here’s the blurb for the book as posted on Allromanceebooks.com. I’ll post as many links as I have, and will update as I get more. Here’s the Smashwords link. I will post more free excerpts, too.

 Although Jim and Len Mayfield have had a rough year with the death of Arturo and Radcliff’s cancer surgery, Christmas at COAL Ranch is still something everyone’s looking forward to, especially their son, Culum. The entire family is arriving for a week and Len has planned his annual Christmas Eve horse and buggy ride around the ranch. This Christmas is a little different because they’ve met a sexy, handsome former Marine who lost his leg in Afghanistan, Jim’s dad is dealing with chemotherapy, and Len’s mom is now dating a former Catholic priest.

Everything should be perfect this Christmas, however, Jim is terrified something bad might happen to ruin their plans. So he visits a dubious fortune teller in Hollywood who sells him an eight hundred dollar “magic” candle that will keep all evil and impending doom away from his family. When he leaves the fortuneteller he feels so safe he doesn’t think anything bad can ever happen to his small family again.


Then fate takes over and Jim and Len face another surprise crisis that threatens to destroy the happiness they’ve worked so hard to build. And this Christmas could turn out to be one of the worst they’ve ever shared. Will the sexy former Marine who lost his leg be able to fill the void in Jim’s life he can’t seem to figure out? And will the fortune teller’s tragic prediction actually come true?