Russia: No Kid Contact
I’ve posted so many times about Russia, the Olympics, and the anti-gay atmosphere over in Russia I’m not even going to link and I think everyone knows most of it by now. Russian TV personalities who take part in bad Russian sitcoms want gays burned, and now Vladimir Putin says gays are welcome at the Russian Olympics but they have to stay away from children.
Speaking to volunteers today (17 January), LGBTI people ‘can feel calm and at ease’ while visiting Russia. But he emphasized no gay person will be arrested as long as they do not speak to anyone underage.
You can read more here.
I still call for a ban on the Russian Olympics. If this were any other minority in the US, and Putin made a statement like this about any group from African Americans to Asian Americans, I can’t help but feel the US would be looking at this differently. But because it’s gays we’re supposed to take it with a smile, be good sports, and keep our mouths shut so everyone involved with the Russian Olympics can make money. There’s something very seriously wrong with this. And Putin knows what he’s doing and he’s sitting back laughing at all of us.
Where did our leaders go? And what happened to all the promises we’ve heard? It’s amazing how many go blank at times like this. At the very least, I keep hoping there will be some kind of surprise from the Obama administration about all this that no one expected. Even if it’s just s small slap in the face to Putin. But I’m not getting my hopes up too high.
$5 Dollar Book Trailers on Fiverr
I’ve posted about the web site Fiverr before. It’s a web site where people will do almost anything for five dollars, from sing you a song to write you a book review. Even though I’ve never used Fiverr myself for anything, I do go there sometimes to check out the ads for pure entertainment. In spite of the controversy about authors who allegedly pay for good reviews and ratings, I feel safe posting about it because my hands are clean, so to speak.
I’m also not holier than thou. Just because I’ve never used Fiverr to get book reviews doesn’t mean I’m completely against others who do use them. In fact, I’ve been thinking differently about it for a while and if an author can get an honest, good review from fiverr for five dollars how different is that from getting an honest good review from Kirkus by paying hundreds of dollars because Kirkus has a “reputation?” If anything, Kirkus is the one screwing people over by charging that much.
The people who review the books on Fiverr claim they are legit and they claim they’ve read the books. And if this is the case, I’m not sure I see anything wrong with it. There are many other furtive things going on in publishing we don’t hear about. Book review web sites who do claim to be holier than thou are “in bed” with public relations firms that promote big name romance authors. We don’t hear about that often. Authors who claim to be self-publishing are going through the “services” of literary agents who are publishing professionals and not all are disclosing this as openly as they should be. We don’t hear about that very often either.
So if Betty Jane Author indie publishes a book, pays for an honest review and rating at Fiverr, and gets a few more people to read her book from that review, I just can’t seem to find anything criminal about it. Again, this is assuming the books are read and reviewed legitimately. But even in that case we can never be certain if anything is legit, which is why it’s important to vet all reviews while book shopping.
So when I spotted this ad for book trailers for five dollars last night I figured I would share it with other authors. I don’t know anything about it, and I don’t know how it’s possible to do a thirty second book trailer for five dollars, but this ad claims it can be done.
I’m an indie film maker with a feature film under my belt. Let me help you create a trailer for your book using your photographic images. (Note: You need a license for any images you did not create yourself.)
For $5, I will create a 30 second Youtube video trailer (.H264 format) that will display:
You can read more here. And for those who don’t like my opinions about Fiverr, remember I stated that I’m still not totally sure, but I’m not ready to slam them either. If Kirkus can do it why can’t Fiverr? I like to think there are still some good honest people out there reading and reviewing books. And if they are willing to do that for five bucks, I not ready to judge them yet. The fact that I don’t do it myself has more to do with my own vanity as an author than any strong moral convictions. I like to get my reviews, good and bad, the hard way. For free and from readers. But I might be thinking differently if I were a new author starting out.
Free Gay Excerpt
I think this is Friday, at least I hope it is. I’m not completely sure because this week…and month…has gone by so fast. There are reasons for that I’ll be posting about soon. It has something to do with our impending marriage in Vermont, a Supreme Court Justice, and a film documentary. But until it’s all absolutely, completely, and totally official I’d rather not get into the details until next week.
In any event, here’s an excerpt from my newest release in the Second Chance series. This one is titled, His Only Choice, and it’s about 30,000 words. I’ll be posting a cover preview sometime this weekend. I’ll also post a release date, too. Until then, here’s the blurb and a short excerpt.
In this third installment of the Second Chance series by Ryan Field, His Only Choice, Lance has to figure out a way to deal with the fact that his partner, Davis, of twenty years will be traveling extensively in Asia and leaving him alone for long stretches at a time. So Lance plunges into making important changes to the small brick and mortar bookshop he owns in New York’s Hudson River Valley to keep it competitive with the rising popularity in e-books. He’s also trying to deal with turning forty years old and it’s not working out well. In order to fill the lonely hours when he’s not working, Lance joins a gym and meets a very young personal trainer named Sergio who makes him feel so young and desirable again he starts lying about his age and telling Sergio he’s only thirty-five years old.
Like other books in the Second Chance series the story bounces from present to past a few times and the choice Lance has to make to get his second chance isn’t clear until the story is in full swing. But there are more than a few sexy gay surprises to keep m/m readers wondering what will happen next, which include whether Lance will ultimately choose his safe, quiet life with Davis. Or will he choose to go another round with dark, sexy Sergio with the weight lifter’s body and scruffy rough beard?
On Sunday nights, Lance Johnson didn’t get home from work until almost midnight, partly because it was his usual night to do the extra weekly cleaning in the pizza shop’s kitchen and partly because it was poker night for his partner of ten years, Sergio. As part owner of the pizza shop, Lance maintained certain routines and kept detailed lists of things he had to do.
On this particular Sunday night, he scraped a speck of melted cheese from the wooden block next to the cash register and sighed aloud wondering if he’d remembered to order more cardboard boxes on Friday. The last time he’d forgotten to do that Sergio had to make a run to the next town and buy pizza boxes from their competitor and Sergio hadn’t smiled about this.
Lance wiped the wooden board clean with bleach solution and sighed again, making a mental note to check his supply list before locking up that night. He glanced around the clean perfect kitchen looking for one more thing to do, hoping to kill time. It was eleven fifteen and he only had to walk out the back door in the kitchen, turn to the right, and climb up a flight of faded old deck stairs to get to the apartment he shared with Sergio.
When he spotted a few crumbs on the brown tiled floor beneath one of the pizza ovens, he crossed to the back and pulled a broom from a small closet near the sink so frayed at the bottom it turned sideways. He took his time sweeping the crumbs and even bent down to see if there were more crumbs beneath the oven. He could never predict how long Sergio’s Sunday night poker games with his buddies would last. It all depended on who was winning and who ran out of money first. If one of the guys was on a winning streak the game would end at midnight and Lance could go to bed. If the winners were balanced they could all wind up playing into the early hours of the morning.
After he swept, he went over the exterior of the already shiny pizza ovens with a wet cloth one more time. Then he bleached the back kitchen stainless steel counters and double checked his order list from Friday and found he had ordered the cardboard boxes after all. At five minutes to midnight, he removed his white apron and hung it on a hook near the back door and glanced around one last time. He set the burglar alarm and stepped out into the cold January night. The dumpsters overflowing with a weekend’s worth of garbage had become invisible to him by then. It wasn’t as bad in the winter as it was in the summer. The twenty degree temperatures made everything feel cleaner and toned down the smell of rotten tomatoes and partially eaten slices of pizza.
As he climbed the back stairs he heard the deep hollow voices of men laughing and joking around. They played cards at the kitchen table, an old fashioned affair with a pale green Formica top, chrome trim, and green Naugahyde chairs…a dinette set…that dated back to the 1950’s. Sergio had been promising him for the past ten years they would move eventually to their own home and rent out the apartment above the pizza shop. It wasn’t that they didn’t have the money. The pizza shop did well and Sergio was now part owner of the local gym. It’s just each time they reached the point where it was time to move Sergio found another investment and promised they would move right after that. Sergio seemed comfortable in the apartment; he rarely left town for longer than a day at a time.
At first, it was the time Sergio wanted to invest in the stock market. He’d received a tip from one of his clients at the gym and he’d invested all their money in one stock claiming they would become millionaires overnight. The stock failed and it took four years of scrimping and saving to replenish all they’d lost. After that, Sergio wanted to invest in a landscape company that only planted fake shrubs and plastic grass. They lost everything in that venture, too, and wound up working another four years to save up enough for a home. And when they reached that point again, Sergio was offered the opportunity to invest in the gym where he’d been a trainer for years and he literally begged Lance for permission to do this. Unfortunately, they learned some gyms are not huge money-makers and it takes years to get back an initial investment. The only reason the owner had asked Sergio to invest was because his cash flow had been dwindling to nothing. So Lance went back to working in the pizza shop seven days a week, scrimping and saving for another shot at owning his own home again. He’d once owned a home with his first partner but that seemed like another lifetime now.
At least they had the pizza shop, which wasn’t the most glamorous business but always generated an income. After Sergio’s parents were killed in a freak auto accident that involved a donkey cart and a loose goat while they were on a trip visiting family in Italy, Sergio inherited the pizza shop and he and Lance moved right into the apartment over the shop where Sergio’s parents had lived. This all happened the first year they were together and Lance was still running a little bookshop in town that he’d been trying to expand into a full time money generating small business. But then e-books started taking over, people stopped buying print books as often, and Lance couldn’t figure out a way to run both businesses at the same time. So he took over the pizza shop and shuttered the little bookshop he’d loved so much. The pizza shop was a sure thing; the bookshop was questionable. And Lance and Sergio were in no position to choose glamour over reality. When Lance had left his first partner for Sergio, he’d left with nothing but the clothes on his back.
Lance opened the back door of the apartment and entered the kitchen. The guys at the table all turned and shouted in his direction. Sergio was at the head of the table, Sergio’s best friend, Marco, was at the other end, Joey and Mike were on the right, and a big guy who owned the auto body shop in town, Frankie, was on the left.
“There’s my hot little piece of ass,” Sergio said, as he held the cards closer to his chest and looked up at Lance.
Although things had changed a lot with gay people since they’d first met in 2012, Lance still felt awkward when Sergio said things like this in front of other people. He sent Sergio a look and said, “Be good.”