Have you ever loved someone…

Have you ever loved someone
but walked away
because he could not fathom his own heart?

Is love at first sight rational?

heartdropI was asked this question a few days ago, and it stuck with me. I kept wondering, when is love ever rational? And this question led to others:

Does a modern romance even include such a thing? Or is that ‘old school romance’, from days long before we plastered selfies and our every intimate thought across the web?

Is it just hormones?

I’ve seen the word ‘insta-love’ enough lately to believe we’ve become cynical about the possibility of love at first sight. So maybe, in our modern era, we have unwittingly reduced love down to the equivalent of a possession.  (As in a thing owned.)

It’s sad really, if that’s all love has become.

Your thoughts?


Because Life – An Update

To those who have come to expect more frequent postings from me, I apologize for failing to post anything of substance lately. Simply put, it’s been one of those hectic periods in which the demands of life have left little time for blogging, writing, or simply keeping fans updated.

So here we go, an update to keep you updated because I have no time to update regularly.

Book 2 of the Cold series, Heart of Timber is in its final stages.

Heart of Timber - Brandon ShireWithin the next few weeks I’ll be sending it to the beta readers, editor, and cross-checking facts with my consultants. I expect the novel to come out mid-October, but we may hold it until after GRL.

GayRomLit 2013 in Atlanta.

I won’t be there. In fact I won’t be in town at all. I had planned to meet many of the authors I talk with regularly and several fans that asked about having coffee/lunch.  This will not be possible. Pride is also a nonevent for me.

10,000 Books Sold

We are just shy of having sold 10k books. As an indie writer with no time, no Facebook page, and no marketing budget, I think this is phenomenal. Each one of those sales is directly due to the encouragement and persistence of my fans.  They have helped spread the word and have aided us in raising awareness (and $$$) for homeless LGBT kids. Thank you so much.

Works in Progress

Readers have asked me about putting a special page up for WIPs. If you’d be interested in seeing this, let me know.  The main reason I don’t have one now is that I have many WIPs in various stages. I do not know when (or if) they will come to market. Both the muse and the demands of life dictate on what gets worked on and when.

However, next year I plan to have at least one of the LGBT Sci-fi series novels available. I will be backing off on the MM Romance for a while, but the muse really wants me to work on a romance story based in Croatia. (She usually gets what she wants first.)

Fundraising for Homeless LGBT Youth

LGBT Fundraising MM RomanceTo date, fans have helped raise over $3000 for homeless kids through various programs related to my writing/books. We also have a new fundraiser going on through Razoo with a long term goal of $25K. Some have said this is an unrealistic, I don’t believe that. There are too many people who still don’t know about the plight of homeless lgbt and the fundraiser is just as much about educating them as it is about raising money. Currently, we’re just $146 short of our short-term goal of $1000. Donate.

Maybe A New Publisher?

I have discussed submitting future work to an established publisher with J. Time currently spent on other aspects of self-publishing could be better spent actually writing, and working with a publisher would free up a lot more time for me. J and I are still looking into it.

Have Questions?

If you have questions or comments the best place to ask is in our Goodreads group. If I’m not around, my  fans are always happy to engage. [Caution: They’re a feisty bunch. 🙂 ]


Character Model come to life. Meet ‘Anderson’

As many of you know, I went looking for character models for both Lem and Anderson before I started to write what turned out to be my best-selling gay romance novel, Cold. I thought I needed these to help me build the characters correctly and strengthen their draw for potential readers in a prison setting. Of course, in doing this, I never told the models I used what I was doing or asked for any of their input.

antonio manero - cocky boysRecently I reached out to the character model for Anderson and surprised him with the news, not knowing that he had previously read one of my books. He loved the idea and was gracious enough to allow me an interview. I know I have teased fans relentlessly about his identity. (The only hint I gave was that he was one of the Cocky Boys.) But only  one person got his name right. So let me introduce you to the beautiful Antonio Manero. [Read more…]

Cold by Brandon Shire coming in May

Cold - Gay RomanceThe beta readers are sending back their comments about Cold.

“Another five star read!”

“Love these characters!”

“You had me crying, again!”

The exact release date is still to be determined, but it will be in May. You can join in the conversation on Goodreads, or get notified via email by signing up for my newsletter.


Read the book blurb

Prison is a brutal, heartless, and demeaning environment. No one knows this better than a man sentenced to life in prison for murder. Lem Porter is a high-profile prisoner who had a solid career ahead of him in a field he loved until he killed his brother. He has spent almost eighteen years behind bars and doesn’t have much hope left.

Anderson Passero had it all.  He built a career, a name, and a relationship with a man he thought he loved. Only after he very publicly landed in prison did he realize how ignorant he’d been. He has eight months left on his sentence and he is eager to go home and put prison life behind him. He doesn’t know it yet, but he will always carry these eight months with him, and they may just help him to understand what love really means.

NOTE to Current Email Subscribers: 

The frequency of emails will increase as we have integrated the blog with our email subscriber list at the request of fans. As followers of this blog know, we offer a broad range of voices from other LGBT authors, musicians and filmmakers, as well as info about LGBT Youth related news. It is my sincere hope that you’ll stick with us and help spread the word. Exclusive information about new releases and upcoming books will still be available via email first, before appearing on the blog or social media sites. 


Assumption and prejudice – from beta readers

Reading (© Jenny Rollo)

Reading (© Jenny Rollo)

Consider this.

My book, Afflicted came out in September. It is an HEA M/M novel that deals with a blind man and male prostitute who was thrown from the house as a young boy because he was gay. When I passed it on to my beta readers they loved the story, its eroticism, and its passion, but some of the comments I got back dismayed me:

Gay kid thrown from the house and becomes a hustler is a bit passe. 

500,000 homeless gay kids on the street right now, more than a few of them selling their bodies for $10 for a warm bed (for one night) and the concept is passe? Is this where we have come to? That we can scream about a chicken sandwich but step over a 15 yr old kid whose parents didn’t think him worthy of being called human? What does that say about how homophobia has really affected us when we can, as a community, accept homeless kids as normal or passe? Even in a fictional story the idea insults my heart. [Read more…]

10% of Book Sales to LGBT Youth Charity

As of September 1st, 2012 ten percent (10%) of ALL book sales will go to two LGBT Youth Charities


lgbt nonprofitAs most of my regular readers already know, it was previously set up so that 50% of the proceeds from The Value of Rain went to two charities working with LGBTQ youth. Unfortunately, that has turned into an accounting nightmare in which the end loser is the charities themselves.  With two books out, another coming out in September, and several more planned for next year I can see this getting worse.

Changing how I raise funds will allow all my readers to know that their money is going to a solid cause (getting homeless LGBT kids off the street) and broaden the choices for those readers while at the same time giving me/us the ability to send more money to the nonprofits involved. (10% of multiple books is more than 50% of one). [Read more…]

The Value of Rain – Year One

gay fictionWho would have thought we’d be sitting here one year later? Not me that’s for sure.  As most of my regular readers know I was prodded into publishing by some of my few, but very close, friends. J.S., who you met on my social sites while I was away, simply chuckles at this because he was one of those people.  He’s the one that dug through manuscripts saying What about this one?  Or Do you remember that one you wrote about…?

I specifically recall the conversation we had about dipping my toe into this publishing pond. How adamant I was about my own privacy, the lack of time I had to devote to it, and a million other excuses; anything I could think of that would take this ridiculous idea from his head. I know I told him that I had never allowed him to read my writing for this.  And of course his question was Why did you then?  I was stumped, my tongue a rogue little knot that could not find an excuse. Damned thing. [Read more…]

On Writing: Beginning with the End

writing, fiction, the hookThe hook in music is the riff that captures the listener and pulls them into the song, the beat and the experience of the music. It’s what gets you humming the tune days later and what brings listeners back to the artist and the memories they experienced when that particular song was playing. It’s one of the things I love about music.

In writing it’s a little different, but no less important. Creating a hook is built on sentences, one leads to another, and another, and another. From my perspective, it’s more like a maze, the further a writer can get you into the maze, the harder it is for you to get out until you reach the end. [Read more…]

Questions from readers

questions, answer, writing, authorI’m getting more and more questions from readers so I thought I would create a blog post that answered some of the most common. If you have a question, please feel free to contact me via my website or one of my social media sites. I may answer you personally, or make a blog post about it, or both.

You stated in an interview that some of the characters in The Value of Rain were based on real people, can you tell me which ones? 

Many of the characters were based on real people, the character Snow was one of them and the real person he was based on had a literal pelt of scars from his shoulders down to his wrist. Snow was a stark, beautiful young man whose voice haunted me until I gave him a voice in Rain.

[Read more…]