LGBTQ

Of Gods, Trees, and A Sapling Kindle Version is FREE for Limited Time!

My series of books, Dragonlinked Chronicles, is an lgbt-friendly young adult fantasy series, and the Kindle version of book 4, Of Gods, Trees and A Sapling, is FREE from 11/13/2017 until 11/15/2017 on the Amazon.com store, HERE. Take this short opportunity to read the latest volume while I work on the next book! The Kindle versions in the entire series are Kindle Lending Library enabled, so feel free to lend them to your friends with Kindles. Have no fear, Amazon pays authors who participate in that program.

Happy reading!

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Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Dragons, Fantasy, LGBT, LGBTQ, Sale, YoungAdult | Leave a comment

This Man Gets It. Why Can’t Everyone?

The world already has hurdles built in, and some get more hurdles put in front of them right from the get-go, right from birth. One of the reasons I decided to include LGBT characters in prominent roles in my books is because LGBTQ people, young people especially, need representation in media. In songs, art, movies, television, and in books. What they do NOT need is people who don’t understand, who don’t seem to want to understand, adding more hurdles to their lives. Dale Hansen says it better than I can, so please read the article I linked below about a video of his posted to Facebook concerning student wrestler Mack Beggs, then watch Mr. Hansen’s full video which is included at the bottom of the article.

Sportscaster Dale Hansen defends trans student wrestler Mack Beggs in amazing takedown

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, LGBT, LGBTQ, Life, Trans | Leave a comment

Of Gods, Trees, And A Sapling Now Available in eBook Format!

It took some time, but the eBook version of the latest book in the Dragonlinked Chronicles series, Of Gods, Trees, And A Sapling, is now available at Amazon.com (and all amazon sites, actually). The trade paperback version will be available within the next couple of weeks, depending on shipping times and whether I have to make adjustments based on the sample.

Many apologies for how long it’s taken. There are two main reasons it took as long as it did for me to finally finish this book. The first is that my life has been ridiculously hectic these past eighteen to twenty months or so. I won’t bore or bring you down with the details, but suffice it to say I wore black a lot and made a few trips to visit relatives in the hospital. There were a lot of days where I struggled to write.

Now, the biggest reason it took so long–and I mentioned I had suspicions about it in a previous post (which turned out to be true)–is the length of this book. In between uploads to Amazon after tweaking the format and fixing the two spelling errors that somehow sneaked through, I started work on another document, the trade paperback version. My preliminary pass at formatting that version indicates that, in print, this book will be seven hundred and seventy-three pages long. That’s more than double the length of book 2. I suspected it might be longer than book 3 based on how long it was taking me to complete a read-through, but it didn’t feel that long to me while I was reading it. My test reader’s only comment that was even remotely related to the length was that she couldn’t stop thinking about getting back to reading it in between her job as a substitute teacher, working on starting her business, and picking up her kids. So, she apparently didn’t think it felt long either.

At any rate, here you go. ENJOY!

(And for those of you who want a physical copy, I will continue working on the trade paperback version tomorrow, I swear!)

P.S. OH!  If any of you followed me on my Amazon author page and you did NOT get notified about the release, could you please post a comment below? If some of you were not notified, I want to speak with Amazon and find out if there is anything I can do to fix it. Thanks!

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Fantasy, Lethera, LGBT, LGBTQ, New Release, Update, YoungAdult | Tags: | Leave a comment

Heavy As Lead

I normally do not comment anywhere or to anyone about terrible events. I’m usually heart-broken, or numb, or dismayed, or all of it and don’t have the will to do so anyway. When the twin towers went down in 2001, I was so shocked that at first I felt like I was in some strange dream. What was on-screen…couldn’t be real. Those planes plowing into…no. No. No. No. No. No. Not real. Not possible! I had watched online and on television for hours but then…I couldn’t look at it anymore. I just couldn’t. I retreated to the only place I thought could get me away from it all—an online game. There I could mindlessly do quests until I could fully process the horror of what had transpired. It took days, but eventually, the dark cloud lifted from me and I could go about my life almost normally.

This past few days I’ve buried myself in writing, letting myself process what happened on June 12, 2016. I cannot believe someone could do that. I just do not understand how a person could wantonly kill anyone much less dozens and dozens. But someone did, and so many lives were lost. I grieve for the victim’s friends and families. And those who survived, too. They must live with the memory of the horror of what they went through.

I will not name that person. I will not name who that person claims they were associated with. I will not further that person’s goals.

My heart, heavy as it feel right now, is with the victims, their surviving friends and families, and the survivors. My heart is with Orlando.

Categories: LGBTQ, Life | Tags: | Leave a comment

Draft of First Few Chapters of Book Four Complete

A quick update for everyone. I just finished a read-through of chapters one through six. I normally do that every five chapters, but in this book, the events in chapter five lead right into six and I didn’t want to lose the writing momentum, so I kept going until I had finished chapter six.

Things are looking good, so far. I found that I needed to add a scene to expand a bit on a character and her actions, which is another reason I do read-throughs. The outline is a great guide, but it is in the writing and re-reading of the draft where you will often find better ideas or discover a better flow. I also find that re-reading the manuscript from the beginning every time I finish writing another five chapters helps keep the events in the book alive in my head and allows me to catch mistakes, duplications, and better judge the pace of the book overall.

Now on to chapter seven!

Categories: Dragonlinked, Lethera, LGBT, LGBTQ, Update, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Moonflower FREE for Limited Time

My short story, Moonflower, a sort of prequel to the Dragonlinked Chronicles series, is FREE starting today, for a limited time. This is a great opportunity to get a peek into the world of Lethera, to get a taste of the magic and the monsters, if you haven’t yet! Included is a bonus mini-story, Brilliant Points of Light.

 

Moonflower ebook cover, 2015 version.

Moonflower ebook cover, 2015 version.

Categories: Books, Dragonlinked, Lethera, LGBT, LGBTQ, Sale, Short Story | Tags: | 2 Comments

Another Reason Pauley Perrette is Awesome

I’ve always liked her character on NCIS, Abby, but this news shows how amazing the actress herself is. She’s written a song in support of LGBT youth, letting them know that even though it may not seem like it at times, there are people who love them. She also hopes the song and video can spread awareness of The Trevor Project, a place where LGBT youth can get assistance if they’re ever in a situation where they feel down or suicidal. The song is called Beautiful Child.

People deal with tragic events in different ways. When Ms. Perrette learned that the younger brother of a friend had killed himself, she took her feelings and channeled them into writing this uplifting song. With assistance from fellow actors from NCIS and other CBS shows as well as friends in the music industry, Ms. Perrette put together a music video for the song which premiered on Entertainment Tonight.

You can read Ms. Perrette’s interview about the song on ET Online here (the video for the song is below the story), and you can see the video here.

Categories: LGBT, LGBTQ, Life | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bond on Sale

I like to run a sale when I release a new book, but the Kindle Countdown Deals can only be run after so many days since the last one. I wanted to get the newest book, A Storm in the Desert, into reader’s hands as soon as possible, however, so I released it as quickly as I could. At any rate, starting today, and running over the course of six days, the eBook edition of the second book of the Dragonlinked Chronicles series, The Bond (US, UK), will be on sale under a countdown deal promotion. Two things to know about these promotions: 1) Amazon currently only offers them at amazon.com and amazon.co.uk, so I apologize to my readers from other countries for only being able to set the sale up at those two sites, and 2) the earlier you buy during the promotion, the more discount you’ll get.

Happy reading!

Categories: Dragonlinked, Lethera, LGBT, LGBTQ, New Release, Sale, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Hatred is a Terrible Thing

Several days ago I read a story about a trans-gender teen. Her classmates voted her prom queen. I was glad to see that this was possible now, that people’s minds and hearts had evolved enough so that this child could be happy. Sadly, there was backlash from closed-minded people. Cassidy dealt with it with strength and grace. Bravo for her. Then, today I read about a kid, Chad, who was thrown out of his home by his own mother when he came out to her. Luckily, he has one of the world’s greatest grandfathers and a place to live. I can’t say how I feel about his mother any better than her own father did, so I won’t. Just read his letter to her. We can’t know exactly what Chad and his mother said to each other, but at least her father left the door open for her to return to their lives, once she finds her heart. The saddest part is that this kind of stuff happens all the time. And it really shouldn’t. Kids have a tough enough time already dealing with school and with hormones sending them on emotional roller-coaster rides, all the while trying to figure out who and what they are. They don’t need all this hate thrown on top.

We need to fight against and cut down hatred whenever it rears its ugly head.

When I conceived and began writing Dragonlinked, I had your typical teenagers in it. Well, perhaps a little more well-behaved than the norm, but still, young adults with hopes and aspirations. Dreams. I threw in a monkey wrench for one of the characters, changed his life a bit. I was about half way through writing the book when I saw a video. And the video made me realize that an even bigger change was in store for the guy (actually, the seeds of it were already there, I just hadn’t seen it yet). The video? Hang on, let me back up a bit to talk about another video first.

Warning  for those who haven’t read Dragonlinked: Reading beyond here may reveal a slight spoiler.

I saw How to Train Your Dragon at the movies. I fell in love with it. Immediately. That movie grabs my heart and won’t let go. I can’t even tell you why (but I will sit down one day and study it). So I bought the blu-ray as soon as it was available and watched it the second it arrived. As the end credits began, the song that was playing once again grabbed my ear. I remembered it from seeing the movie in the theater, but now I searched the credits for the writer/performer. Jonsi. Hmm. With a quick Google-smack I found out he was also the lead singer for an Icelandic group named Sigur Ros. I pulled up YouTube and searched for the group. In the list of videos was one whose description said something about it being an award-winning video. Sweet. Click, watch. It’s for a song called Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa. The music and his voice were very dramatic and gave me goose bumps even though I had no idea what he was saying. The video? Holy cow, the video. It surprised me, shocked me, and moved me nearly to tears. Love. It is such a delicate thing, the tiny wings of a heart beating desperately, longingly. Can one control where it will land?

Jump forward almost a year. The book, as I said, was around halfway done. I was on the way home from picking up groceries, just about to pull into the garage, when a song came on the radio. Firework by Katy Perry. It had a decent enough tune, and the lyrics were kinda cool. I was humming it the whole time I put the groceries away. Then YouTube, search, click, and wow. I watched it several times. The message it was offering, the lyrics, the video, everything was amazing. About the third time I watched it, I noticed a scene. What I suddenly realized was a boy seemed to gather his courage, walk over, and kiss another boy.

Lightning-strike.

That video from Sigur Ros flashed through my mind and the scene from this video flashed through again. Connections were suddenly made, and scenes, images, conversations started popping into existence. That guy in the book, he was in love with another guy! The decision to absolutely do this having been made in that photo-flash instant of realization, I brought up the manuscript to look for ways to drop hints from the beginning.

So what the heck does all this have to do with hatred? Well, later, after the book was pretty much done, I gave it to a few test readers. I have to say, despite the powerful feeling I had that their relationship belonged in the book, I had doubts. I made the world of Lethera a place where who you fall in love with was not looked at any differently than whether you have brown eyes, or green, or blue, or whatever. It was just another aspect of your person. But still, two boys in love? I was a little nervous.

Only one of the test readers made mention of this aspect of the book. She asked if I was sure I wanted to leave that relationship in because I’d risk losing a lot of the potential mainstream audience for the book. Are you sure about this? Yes, I said, I’m leaving it in.

See, by this time I had also seen a few videos on YouTube from teens who’d been picked on, bullied, and had cut themselves or contemplated suicide. I had also seen the 2011 movie, Bully. All I saw made me sad, and worried for kids like them. I decided to take a stand. My own little stand, but a stand nonetheless.

These books set in Lethera, the characters in them, are my way of fighting the hatred directed at Cassidy and Chad, at kids like them. All those being bullied because they are not straight. They deserve heroes they can think of as their own. People (or characters in books, movies, TV) they can look up to and say, hey, they’re kinda like me. I’m not alone.

I have no idea if my books will help. It might even be conceited to think they can. But it’s what I can do to reach the most people. And if my books help even one person, it will have been worth it. Because everyone should do something. Speak out if you see bullying or hateful activity. Talk to someone who looks like they could use a friend. We all should fight hatred in whatever way we can.

Categories: Bisexual, Books, Gay, Lesbian, Lethera, LGBT, LGBTQ, Life, Movies, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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