Wicked Men Blog Tour #giveaway

 

Wicked Men Blitz BannerIt’s here! 7 unique excerpts, 6 episodes, 5 chances to win a FREE copy!

Get it from Amazon

Follow the Tour

June 11
Diverse Reader & Boys in Our Books

June 12
3 Chicks After Dark, Attention Is Arbitrary, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Bike Book Reviews, Book Reviews & More by Kathy, Charlie Cochet, Cup o’ Porn, Divine Magazine, Foxylutely, Gay Media Reviews, GGR-Review, Hearts On Fire, Love Bytes, Multitaskingmommas Book Reviews, Nautical Star Books, The Novel Approach, On Top Down Under Book Reviews, Prism Book Alliance, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words & Sinfully… Addicted to All Male Romance

Tour and materials organized by PAS Promotions

Why participate in the Blog Hop? #HAHATB

2015PngI recently had someone ask why I participate in blog hops like this?  This, being the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

The question was probably not meant to be as revolting as I took it. But to me, the undertone had more to do with a secret phobia of  ‘the gay agenda’ than it did with anything I post on this blog. That it came from someone who I thought of as a close personal friend bothered me even more.

So why do I do this? Better yet, why do I fill my timelines with LGBT news of suicides and murders and beatings? Why not just talk about books and cats and those funny gay YouTubers who shit rainbows and never have a bad day. They can just shave their forty-year-old chest and say “We’re all queer and happy here!”  and everything is okay. [Read more…]

Love, being difficult – Valentine’s Day Blog Hop

Valentine's blog hop lgbt romance

To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. ~Rilke

Wicked Men - gay romanceLove is love, but some people don’t know how to handle love. It’s a fact. They have ideas, thoughts, dreams and hopes, but actual love… Well, that’s pretty terrifying in the light of day.

Take two people, strip them emotionally naked, and they’ll usually run from each other instead of toward one another. I know, most romance books will tell you the opposite (it’s why I get so annoyed with the genre), but the sad fact is that, in reality, we often let the scars of our past haunt the dreams of our possible futures. Our actions aren’t motivated by what we desire most, but by what we fear most. [Read more…]

Interview and ebook Giveaway

Summer SymphonyI’m over at Attention is Arbitrary today with a rare interview AND I’m giving away two copies of my new novel Summer Symphony.

Meet me at Shira’s

Summer SymphonyI’m over on Shira Anthony’s blog talking about The Power of Music and how it relates to my new novel, Summer Symphony.

We all have a story about a particular piece of music, or a memory which is triggered when we hear that song. Stop by and share your thoughts.

Summer Symphony is available for pre-order from AmazoniTunes and Smashwords.

The Future of LGBT Rights

lgbt flagWhat challenges do you see for the future for LGBT Rights?

A lot has been written in response to this question. There are still so many challenges for the future of LGBT rights that it is hard to narrow them down to just a few key points.  But I do think there is one key element which succinctly addresses all the larger concerns.

Single-fix focal points

We tend to focus on one issue at a time as if the issues we face as LGBT were non-inclusive of all the other issues. And we do so to our own detriment.

The battle for LGBT rights will never end. Never. I know many feel that statement to be pessimistic, but it’s reality. You only need to watch the news and you’ll see the strife (often carried across generations) to realize we will always be fighting for equality. And if not fighting, then defending against the corrosion of those rights we have won.

Where we leave gaps, our opponents gain a foothold. Marriage is the current focal point. It’s snappy, it has immediate gratification, it has great sound bites, and look at all those smiling faces…everyone is all dressed up for the party.

What you don’t see behind those photos are the 200,000+ homeless LGBT kids still on our streets, the level of poverty that most LGBT’s live in every day, the barbarity of verbal and physical attacks on trans people, and the continuing racial divide that separates much of the LGBT community.  Job discrimination? It’s bursting at the seams, but you hardly hear a word about it.

All these issues are connected, but our opponents have successfully lobbied the public (which includes LGBT) into believing that we should segregate our thoughts. This is a health issue, this over here is a black/white issue, that one is a jobs issue. Look, this is a trans issue, that a religious issue, and this is a gay issue.  And those lesbian feminists, that’s something else completely.

We need to start understanding the mindset behind the attacks on the LGBT community. They come down to one very effective mechanism for ineffectiveness: divide and conquer.  As we allow our opponents to create dissension among the LGBT community, they gain and we lose. Yes, single-focus has helped us make great gains (look at how far we have come with marriage), but at what cost? Who do we leave behind? Who decides who we sacrifice? How many do we sacrifice?

The single greatest challenge for the LGBT community is to finally come to the understanding that we have allowed our enemies to divide us.  All LGBT issues affect all of us.  If just one LGBT person is bound by the definitions set by our adversaries, then we are all bound. Not a single one of us truly gets the rights we are fighting for. Not one. The commonality between us is not that we are LGBT, but that we are human and that our opponents have taken our self-anointed labels and attempted to turn them against us.  But we’re changing that, slowly. (See below.)

What are gay activists/allies getting right? Getting wrong?

Got it Right

Redefining LGBT. For a long, long time our definition of what means to be LGBT was determined by others, haters usually. Every major movement, every major victory comes down to one basic fact: We have taken back and begun to redefine what it means to be LGBT. Our voices are now heard, not because we have shouted down our foes, but because we have proven them wrong both morally and factually.  These facts –the essence of who we are, what we do, and how we live – are what have given us every major victory. Remember, it only takes 10% of population holding an unshakable belief to convince the rest of the population to adopt the same belief.[1] So yes, every voice counts, including yours.

Got it Wrong

Claiming we won. We haven’t won, not by far. Victory in a few skirmishes and battles is not winning the war. Ask any African American if they won the battle against racism, ask any immigrant, any non-white. Ask a woman how the battles still rage over misogyny and sexism. Ask an LGBT kid in a small town how safe they feel, or how included, or how reviled.

Exporting ‘My Gay Life’.  There’s a lot we can do to support the movements in other countries for LGBT rights, but simply exporting our own ideas and ideals in the same way we market the ideal gay image (which is male, white, svelte and rich) is not going to work. Real change is cultural change and most Americans (gay and straight) have little understanding of other cultures, including those which are relatively close to our own.

You cannot take the supposed playbook from the US LGBT rights movement and simply plop it down in another country which has thousands of years of history and culture. Boots on the ground is what we need focus our efforts on – that is supporting those native men and women who are striving to make a change within their own countries. Anything else is viewed as another attempt at a subversive ‘western imperialism.’ See China, Russia, Uganda, Croatia, etc. (The list is endless.) The religious right and extremist groups are making strides at proclaiming that LGBT rights are an ‘imported phenomena.’ (Next they’ll be a CIA plot.) We know this is not true, but we still continue to market being LGBT as a ‘freedom’ and not as an inalienable right of being human. And we still, unfortunately, have the imperialist idea that we, as Americans, know what’s best for others. It’s hurting our international brothers and sisters, and it is something we need to halt, now. A freedom is something that is granted by the powers that be, a right is something inherent in being alive. We, as a community, need to learn the difference.

[1] Branderati

Saugatuck Summer

SaugatuckSummer_TourBanner(2)Hi, and welcome to the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! First of all, I want to thank Brandon for hosting me again. One of my best memories of RainbowCon last month was the few minutes we got to talk when he extended the invitation. It’s been a while since I’ve appeared on his blog and I’m so happy to be back!

For those of you who have seen me talking about it on social media for the last nearly year and a half, you know that Saugatuck Summer was a labor of love far beyond what I would normally claim for one of my books. Of course I love them all, but Saugatuck Summer came from my very soul. Actually, I’m not certain it came from me at all.

SaugatuckSummerBasically, here’s what happened: One day I was driving along, running errands, and Topher Carlisle whispered one line of dialogue in my ear. Just one. When I asked him what I was supposed to do with that, he promptly took over my brain for fifteen absolutely insane days and at the end I had the first draft of Saugatuck Summer.

Topher’s story of recovery, hope, making mistakes, and growing up just told itself, and the experience of being the conduit for that was at times grueling and heartbreaking, but also euphoric and wonderful. It was one of those experiences that, as a creator of some form of art, be it musical, visual, or literary, you have once or twice in a lifetime if you’re extraordinarily lucky, when you know you’re creating something magical. I’m not sure it will ever happen to me again, but I feel absolutely blessed that this book has come of it. [Read more…]

HoT Blog Tour – Guest Post

Heart of Timber - mm romance

Today I’m over at Joyfully Jay with a special guest post and more insight into Heart of Timber. (You can read her review here.)The book is getting both raves and rages for reviews, but this post may add a little clarity as to why the story evolved the way it did. Or not. 🙂 You be the judge.

Did you miss the other HoT blog-hop stops?

Win a FREE copy of Heart of Timber from 3 Chicks After Dark.
You have until Friday midnight to enter. 

Boys in our Books (Excerpt)

Jessewave (Exclusive Interview)

Attention is Arbitrary (Spotlight)

Live Your Life, Buy the Book (Spotlight)

HoT Giveaway – MM Romance

Welcome to the blog tour for Heart of Timber, Book 2 of the Cold gay romance series!

Heart of Timber - mm romance

Win your FREE copy of Heart of Timber today over at 3 Chicks After Dark.
You have until Friday midnight to enter. Read their review.

Did you miss the other HoT blog-hop stops?

Boys in our Books (Excerpt)
Jessewave (Exclusive Interview)

HoT Blog Tour Day 4

Welcome to the blog tour for Heart of Timber, Book 2 of the Cold gay romance series!

Heart of Timber - mm romance

Heart of Timber - Brandon Shire

Boys in our Books (Excerpt)
Jessewave (Exclusive Interview)

 

Today we’re at Live Your Life, Buy the Book. Stop by and say hello to Barb!