#ThrowbackThursday – The Value of Rain

Four years ago today, I published my first novel. Since then, it has gained much acclaim, even with its dark subject matter.  It is not fluff and was never meant to be. This is a dark journey, one which some people have taken in real life.

A few of those travelers survived, most did not.

 

gay fiction

Blurb:

When love is locked away, it turns to vengeance.

Charles is 14, and after being discovered with his first love he is forced into a mental hospital to ‘cure’ his sexuality.

For the next ten years, Charles endures mental and physical torture as part of his treatment. When he is finally free, he begins a relentless quest for vengeance against the woman who abetted his commitment – his mother, Charlotte.

The Value of Rain chronicles a journey from hate to the unexpected beginning of redemption and reveals the destructive nature of families, secrets and revenge.

Reviews:

The prose is fluidly elegant, a symphony of phrasing that will stop you dead in your tracks with its sheer audacity and style. Mr. Shire brings to the literary landscape a unique and compelling voice and a storytelling style that grabs you by those inelegant short hairs and refuses to let go. It is sensual and distancing, allowing emotional respite without permitting release. It is literary, intelligent, and quite simply the best book I have read in years.
– Sand in My Shoes Reviews

Powerful and haunting. Best in LGBTQ Fiction 2011.
– Indie Reviews

Possibly one of my all time favorite books.
– Bittersweet Reviews

Beautiful, stunning, brutally real. A Top Read 2011
– The Reading Life

Available from Amazon, Nook, Kobo

or

Get  3 Award-winning novels in one box set.lgbt literary fiction

Tear Jerkers and Heart Breakers in LGBT Lit

lgbt literary fiction

3 Award-winning LGBT novels. One Box Set. One Price.

Limited time. Sale ends Aug 31, 2015

Limited copies available.

Reg $14.97. On sale as a box set for $8.99. Saves 40%
Get the ePub box set »
Get the Kindle box set »

The Value of Rain – Best in LGBT Fiction 2011, Top Read 2011

Chronicles a journey from hate to the unexpected beginning of redemption and reveals the destructive nature of families, secrets and revenge.

Listening to Dust – 2012 Rainbow Award Winner – Best Contemporary Gay Fiction

A book about love found, love lost and the devastating effects of homophobia.

Summer Symphony – Finalist – 2015 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards

A bisexual man’s perspective of what it is to lose a child. It is the story of how two men with exceptional talent and passion find answers in music and what they learn about strength, grace, and the endurance of love.

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…]

LGBTQ Push Back Fundraiser and Giveaway

lgbt book giveaway and fundraiser

From April 18th to May 1st, over 200 LGBT authors are coming together to push back against bigotry.

1) Instead of spending $5 on a book during the next two weeks, please consider donating $5 to an LGBT charity of your choice.

2) Go to Diverse Reader and tell them about it in the comments section.

3) Get in the drawing to win a book from one of the participating donors.

4) If you can’t afford to make a donation, then please share a charity link in the Diverse Reader comments section and spread the word across your social network. Every little bit helps.

Click the picture below to join in!

giveaway poster

Retro Reads… and a Giveaway

I’m over at Prism Book Alliance talking about two of my more literary fan favs, Listening to Dust and The Value of Rain. Feel free to stop by, enter to win a gift card, and join in the conversation at Prism.

Read their review of Listening to Dust.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00066] Listening to Dust - gay fiction

Spotlight on LGBT Nonfiction – The Road to Birmingham

Road to Birmingham - LGBT NonfictionImagine for a moment that your spouse is facing the battle of a lifetime with her health. The prognisis isn’t good. She fights courageously, but in the end, God calls upon her to join Him in paradise. As you try to grapple with the loss of your best friend, her family tries to sabotage your grief and all the things you and your wife held sacred.

You probably couldn’t imagine your life being this way, but for me, it was a constant nightmare. I had to deal with a lot of drama and turmoil after my wife died from a long battle with breast cancer. The Road to Birmingham was my way of dealing with all that happened. It was a way to cope with family. It was a way for me to deal with different friendships that I thought wouldn’t end. It was my road to healing, forgiveness, and acceptance. [Read more…]

When gay fiction becomes a personal journey

Friend and fellow author, Allen Renfro discusses his new book, Ambiguity. As many writers (and readers) can attest, a novel in the making is often a testament to a life’s journey.

AmbiguityBridgeI think I speak for many writers who become inspired that sometimes a story simply won’t leave you alone. The words come to you as you try to sleep. Walking along the street you see the characters in the faces that pass by. You hear the voices of the characters as you’re sitting in a restaurant and quietly listening. Finally you surrender and began the process of putting words to paper. The story for my novel Ambiguity came to me in such a manner and I think the story resonates even more right now at this point in time than when I first became inspired.

If you’ve read any of my work you are very much aware that my characters often wrestle with the centuries old conflict between religion and sexuality. In my novel Ambiguity, this conflict erupts into all out war. I wanted to explore the horrors of religious hatred toward homosexuality and also show the repercussions on both sides of this hatred. I wrote Ambiguity more for myself than anyone else. I needed to delve into my own experiences with religion, to understand my own mistrust of people who claim religion as their sole purpose for condemning homosexuality. In my own cynicism I wanted to show that many times people use religion to hide behind, to cover up their own secrets. There are many closets to hide in and come out of. [Read more…]

Nominated for Best Novella

Listening to Dust - gay fictionIt is my pleasure to inform you that  Listening to Dust has been nominated for a 2014 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards – Best Novella.  

As many of my readers know, Dust also won a Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction in 2012, and it continues to be the book I receive the most email about.

It is not an easy story. It was never meant it be. It is about love and loss. As one reviewer wrote: This ain’t Brokeback Mountain. It will rip your fu*&ing heart out without apology. I think that sums it up pretty well.

I have also made Martin Davies ‘short list’ of writers who make “gay literature and literature with homoerotic themes great.” What a honor to be listed among these writers. I urge you to check out the post and the books listed there. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

 

 

invisible – Short LGBT Film

Because love knows no gender.

 

Harley – A Sneak Peek at this Upcoming Gay Film

So far it’s short clips strung together and you’ll still see some watermarks. But the quality of the actors, the message, and the tension behind all of it caught my attention quickly. I think it will do the same for you. Let me know what you think.