Friday, April 29, 2016

Guest Post with Mia Siegert: Queer As Folk and How It Influenced Me

Today on the blog we have Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait which comes out on May 10th. Add it to your Goodreads or pre-order now! Now I'm going to move aside and let you all read Mia's guest post! Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments! I'm sure Mia would appreciate it.

Source  - Showtime
Queer as Folk and How It Influenced Me 

In the horse show world (at least in America for the hunter/jumper circuit), the LGBTQ community is widely accepted. This is something that baffles some people as there’s a lot of big money, but I guess maybe that money comes with passion and care about animals.

It’s interesting how, in growing up in that world, I became attune to a lot of the prejudices against the community. Or at least aware. I think this can be attributed to a lot of the books I read and movies I watched, especially Queer as Folk.

Although it’s often been criticized as portraying one perspective of gay culture with the parties and the drugs and the wild sex, Queer as Folk was almost my awakening. I can see the show’s flaws without rose-tinted lenses, but the grittiness of it woke me up. The fearlessness. I saw how one show fearlessly approached things, like gay bashings, drug overdoses, affairs, questionable consent. It had everything, even if we wonder why we sympathize with Brian, the protagonist, as he goes through man after man, not learning names, screwing around, doing coke. We see how his past with his abusive father led to these decisions, how he had to be dominant, the definition of a control freak, confusing power with sex and sex with power. We cry as we witness how he was unable to realize that he was the victim of statutory rape as he boasts about sleeping with his gym teacher when he was only fourteen because, “he loved it.” We cringe as we see the cycle continuing as 29-year-old Brian falls in love with 17-year-old Justin and, after learning what Justin’s age actually was, justifies it as best as he could.

So in a weird way, Queer as Folk taught me about the LGBTQ community to the mainstream world instead of just the sheltered world with horses. It alerted me to the realness of hostility, the issues within. It led me to realize why we sympathize with characters we shouldn’t, what makes an anti-hero likeable, and why. And, certainly, without question, it changed the way I write.

Have you ever watched Queer as Folk? For those that aren't aware, this was a show in the UK and then it was turned into a series on Showtime in the U.S. I didn't watch it on Showtime, but I found it online afterwards and have watched about half of the series now (I own all seasons). I need to continue, but I'm definitely a fan! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Waffling On About Belgium by Catherine Hume


It’s been less than a month since Belgium has been rocked yet again by acts of terrorism.  Anyone seeing this could leave us feeling cold about this small country at the heart of Europe, especially as LGBT people.

I’d been on holiday to Belgium twice before I moved there in 2014.  My experience as a bisexual person and gender non-conformist, as well as a woman, has dramatically reshaped my life.  What I first noticed as a gay person was the openness of a lot of gay venues – cafes, bars, pubs and the like.  They were located in “normal” areas of town, in among houses, not in gay villages or other enclaves as they often are in the UK.  I noticed that there were several LGBT magazines than we have in the UK, and a lot were free of charge with quality articles and quality production.  By contrast the UK has three or four UK-wide LGBT magazines – the number is uncertain because several UK publications often run out of money and so can’t afford to put out paper copies or even produce monthly editions on line.  In the UK, a lot of our LGBT venues have closed down.

Some say this is because LGBT people are now accepted in mainstream venues.  I think the closing of UK venues has more to do with the lack of money in people’s pockets - a lot of mainstream pubs have closed in the last few years.  Our one and only local LGBT group that addresses mental health and well-being has suffered a massive cut to its funding meaning it meets less than it did and can’t do the amount of vital work that it did three years ago.  In Belgium, I saw LGBT venues and groups flourishing.

Across Belgium, several towns hold their own Pride marches, but there is one central Pride in Brussels that is attended by people from across the country.  In 2014 The Belgian Pride attracted 55000 people.  In 2015, the number was 85000.  The Belgian Pride is political, attended by every political party, including the Right Wing parties.  All the political parties have their own floats and marchers, although the Right Wing parties have the smallest floats with the least marchers.  I was at The Belgian Pride in 2014.  The Pride started with proclamations at La Place de Bourse (the economic centre of Belgium).  Each political party had to promise to uphold Belgium’s LGBT charter.  Yes, Belgium has an LGBT charter!

The Belgian Prime Minister, who happens to be gay, was there at the 2014 parade, pausing for selfies with marchers.  Some marchers wore masks that were a mashup of Thatcher and Putin – a statement on the prohibition in Russia of talking about homosexuality.  There were three young men dressed in latex dog costumes, led around by another man in latex, and there was a guy with his bum out, but that was the only echo of the sexed-up, boozed-up scenes that we see at Prides in the UK.  The Belgian Pride was not only a political statement, but a celebration of how far Belgium has come in its treatment of its LGBT citizens.

I was lucky to live in Brussels – a small city with a huge mix of cultures and quirks from around the world, where Oriental men carried handbags and Arab men wore green glittery sandals – before I moved north to Ghent, a hippy town that combined peacefully its Catholic past with its lefty present.  Groups of students chat as they cycle on the tram tracks, and the trams simply have to stop and wait for cyclists.

Moving to Ghent was the best thing I did.  I moved in with a friend – a white convert to Islam who is homosexual, his brother and another guy who is polysexual and polygender.  With fluency in the national languages now being mandatory in Belgium, I enrolled at a daily Dutch language class alongside other foreign nationals who had had a university education in their own countries; Europeans, Africans and Arabs.  We talked about all sorts of things – in Dutch – from burqinis to music festivals.  One day we did an exercise in the text book that was based on a dating agency, and the aim was to be able to describe people.  A Spanish guy who is married to a woman asked if we have to choose opposite sex “dates”.  The tutor replied, “Dis is twee duizend en vierteen!”  This is 2014!  She saw no issue on choosing a same-sex or opposite-sex partner.

Walking around the centre of Ghent - which has lent itself towards a certain wealthier, thus often more educated, shopper by its mainly higher end retail – I saw two elderly women walking arm in arm and two teenage boys kissing at a tram stop.  Nobody stared, nobody looked twice, no one thought it was anything to think twice about. 

However, there is homophobia in Belgium.  I remember reading the accounts of two teenage girls saying they have been called “dyke” among other things.  My poly flatmate was called “poof” and “queer” in the street because he was wearing a skirt over leggings.  My homosexual housemate lost a job after the first day because he had mentioned he’d had a boyfriend.  Fortunately for him, the unions in Belgium are much stronger than they are in the UK, and he was given another job trial the following week which went well, and the union prosecuted his homophobic employer. 

As a masculine woman, I found people in Belgium welcoming even without any knowledge on their part that they were welcoming me.  In the UK, because I am more masculine than the average woman, and because I am university educated, I speak other languages, I travel and I speak my mind, UK women tend to be afraid of me, and so reject me.  However, in Belgium, I was constantly around university educated women who spoke various languages, who had travelled and who speak their mind.  I was not “different” in Belgium.  In Belgium I fitted in.

I remember going to Ghent’s nature reserve one Sunday evening for a klimaatwalderen – a guided tour around the reserve with the aim of learning more about how the natural world changes through the seasons.  I expected a small group of middle aged people in anoraks.  I was taken aback to see young blondes on the walk and they were taking notes!  That would never happen in the UK!  While I lived in Belgium, I only saw four fake tans (in northern UK towns you’d normally see at least four fake tans per hour) and perhaps two short skirts.  Women in Belgium – of all cultural backgrounds - tend to wear trousers, and then in the winter months they tend to wear colourful, thick woollen tights with flat-soled knee-high boots and thick knee-length skirts.  Whilst there is an open sex industry in Belgium, Belgian women tend to not see themselves as something to be objectified, whereas in northern UK towns, a lot of women feel their sexuality is their main ticket through life.  Feminism has passed them by.

By contrast, in Belgium, no matter what the time of day or night, or what area I was walking through, I always felt safe.  I always felt respected and I had a better sense of well-being.  If I could sort out my immigration papers and move back to Belgium, despite its problems, I probably would.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Interview: Dreaming Metal Author, Melissa Scott

Author Interview with Melissa Scott 

Questions by Lauren 

Books on Amazon

Melissa's Blog

1. You have been writing for decades now. If someone were new to your work, where would you like them to start?
That's a hard one to answer, actually, because not only have I written a lot of novels - more than 35, at last count - but they're in very different subgenres. I've written both fantasy and science fiction, far-future space opera and cyberpunk, alternate history and secondary world fantasy and mystery novels that take place in fantasy worlds. Not to mention the television and movie tie-ins! So I can't really pick one.  Let's see… If you like hard SF, I'd suggest Dreamships (freelance pilot Reverdy Jian suspects that an experimental computer construct might be true AI - and entitled to rights her human colleagues may not share). If you like space opera, I'd suggest the Roads of Heaven trilogy, Five-Twelfths of Heaven, Silence in Solitude, and The Empress of Earth. The science is based on Hermetic and neo-Platonic concepts like the music of the spheres, and in it Silence Leigh, who should be neither a pilot nor a magus, discovers that she holds the key to finding the lost planet, Earth. As far as fantasy goes, for a secondary world fantasy, you could begin with Point of Hopes (in which a pointsman - a police officer of sorts -  and a mercenary soldier join forces to discover who is stealing children across the city of Astreiant) or if you prefer more closely related worlds, there's Death By Silver, set in a Victorian London in which magic is as fussy and complex as any other Victorian profession, and two young men struggle to solve a mystery that touches dangerously on their shared past.

The thing that these books, and indeed all my books, have in common is that they're written from a queer perspective, and mostly feature queer protagonists and secondary characters. Coming out in the '80s, I was fascinated (and delighted) by the play of masks and personas in the community where I lived, a play that was at once deadly serious, self-protective, and a bravura delight, and my work is still informed by that world. I'm also consistently interested in issues of class, race, and ethnicity, and how those things play into each other, but probably the theme that runs consistently through all my work is a simple one: who gets to be considered a person? If that's a question that interests you as a reader, you can pretty much pick up anything of mine and find something that speaks to you. I hope! 

2. You have many awards -  Lambda Literary and Spectrum Awards. Was there one that really meant something to you in particular?
That's a hard one, but I'd have to say that the Spectrum Award for Fairs' Point was especially meaningful. I had begun the Points series with my late partner, Lisa A. Barnett. We had published two novels, Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams, and plotted one more before her death from breast cancer in 2006. The voice that we'd come up with for those novels was something very different from either of our individual voices, and I was afraid I could never recapture what she had brought to the series. And, of course, for a long time the idea of going back to the world that we had built together, to the characters that we had created, was really painful. But as I moved past the first hard stages of grief, it also became painful not to revisit Astreiant, and Lethe Press's editor, Steve Berman, gently encouraged me to consider at least one more book. Well, the book Lisa and I had plotted, and the story of how Rathe and Eslingen, the main characters, had become lovers, because that had originally happened off-stage, between Point of Hopes and Point of Dreams. So I wrote the latter as a novella, which Lethe published as Point of Knives, and realized that I could get back into that world, that I could find that shared voice, and that I wanted to keep the series going. Lisa and I had plotted most of Fairs' Point before she got sick, though we were stuck on one particular plot development, and I decided that I would at least try to write the full novel. I had to make a decision about that plot point - and did so with a certain amount of trepidation; if Lisa's ghost was ever going to haunt me, it was going to be for this! - but I ended up being pleased with the result. I could carry on this voice in a novel as well as at the shorter length. And so it was especially sweet to receive the Spectrum for it.

3. Along with your own novels, you have done tie-in work for classics such as Star Trek and Star Wars Rebels. How did you get into this line of work, and what is it like doing this type of writing, as opposed to your own original creation? 
I got into each of the franchises in a different way. I got Star Trek because an editor at Pocket asked me if I was a fan of Star Trek DS9 (yes) and if I'd be interested in writing for them, as they were trying to expand their stable of writers - this was back in the early '90s. So I pulled together a proposal (which became Proud Helios) and sent it off to him, expecting an answer in a few weeks. Instead, I got a call within the week, saying that he had sworn up and down that he wasn't going to do any books with space pirates, but - I'd convinced him otherwise. Needless to say, I was rather pleased!  

The Stargate novels happened when my friends and fellow writers Jo Graham and Amy Griswold proposed that the three of us turn our fannish mutterings about what should  have happened after the final season of Stargate Atlantis into a series proposal. Fandemonium, the publisher of the Stargate tie-ins, was enthusiastic, but I honestly didn't think that MGM would go for the idea of a 6-book "virtual season" - and then they did! 

The Star Wars Rebels story came about through Twitter. One of the Del Rey editors tweeted that women never asked her if they could do Star Wars novels, and weren't we out there? I immediately responded that I certainly was (I may have said something like "I would kill to write Star Wars") and as we talked, it became clear that I was a big Rebels fan, and, in particular, a Hera fan. I am still utterly gleeful that I got to write part of Hera's backstory!

The big difference, of course, is that this is work for hire - the copyright holder has absolute sway over what you write, and everything needs to be plotted out in advance in great detail. The proposal for the Rebels short story, for example, was as long as the proposal for some of my novels, and once it had been agreed to, I couldn't change anything without permission from the editors. More subtly, someone else - several someones, the writers and actor - have already done most of the hard work of establishing the character. Your job as a tie-in writer is to recreate that character, not to create it yourself; if you're very lucky, you'll get to expand on something that has already been brought in, but you almost never get to add anything completely to either the worlds or the characters. I think the challenge of matching the existing world/people is a lot of fun, and I'm always delighted when someone says "reading this is like watching the show."  To my mind, that means I've done my job.

4.. What makes an LGBT+ novel, in your opinion? 
That's such a hard question! The minute you try to define it, someone will write a brilliant novel that is obviously and unmistakably LGBT+ and yet breaks whatever rules you've just laid down.  That said… I think what makes an LGBT+ novel for me is that it's written from an LGBT+ point of view, that the story is told through an LGBT+ filter. Obviously, this can mean LGBT+ characters, preferably at the center of their own story (and preferably more than one - we don't exist in a vacuum except under special circumstances that are themselves worthy of being foregrounded in a story). I don't think that only a story about LGBT+ characters can be considered LGBT+, but I also don't think there are enough LGBT+ characters at the center of the narrative for us to dismiss this as no longer important. And I think the key thing there is that those characters should be at the center - it should be their story. For years I had a quote from Vito Russo's Celluloid Closet on the wall of my office, though I lost the tattered note when I moved four years ago: "This is what the closet is all about - translating one's natural impulses into a heterosexual language." I think the reverse — writing from the LBGT+ pov, in that language, through that filter, without translation - is what best defines it. 

5. What other LGBT+ books or authors would you recommend?
There are so many now! One of the great joys of editing Heiresses of Russ 2014, Lethe Press's annual collection of best lesbian SF/F was reading 60+ stories about queer women and not reading a single story in which lesbians were by definition evil, or who died tragically because that's what lesbians do. (And if you're looking for writers to follow, you could do a lot worse than to check out the three Lethe best-of anthologies, Wilde Stories, Heiresses of Russ, and Beyond Binary.) A hatful of random names, all of whom do wonderful work: Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman plus a whole gang of new writers to create a serialized prequel to Kushner's astonishing Swordspoint. Nicola Griffith. Don Sakers, who also reviews for Analog. Heather Rose Jones. Geonn Cannon. My co-authors, Jo Graham and Amy Griswold. Elizabeth Bear. Jacqueline Koyonagi. Hal Duncan. Anything from Cecelia Tan's Circlet Press. And I am forgetting more than I am remembering - one of the genuinely encouraging things about the shifts in publishing over the last decade is that it has become possible for more voices that don't fit well into the mainstream to find that audience that really wants to hear them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Love Comes to Light Author, Andrew Grey

Saying Goodbye by Author Andrew Grey

Love Comes to Light brings and end to the Senses series of stories.  There is always something sad about saying goodbye to characters you’ve nurtured and come to know so well.  The other side of the coin is that it’s freeing as well.  As writers, we never stop growing and sometimes we need to leave certain characters in our past so that we can make room for new ones.  To a degree, that’s what’s happening here.  The world around Patrick and Ken, Howard and Gordy has become populated with a wonderful group of people who will take care, love, and nurture each other.  I like to think that they will all look after one another and that allows me to move on.

I tend to fall in love with my characters as I’m writing them.  By now I have written over a hundred books and Dominic still comes upstairs sometimes to find me sniffling as I’m working.  He did that when I wrote Love Comes Silently and he did it as I was writing Love Comes to Light, as well as the stories in between.  That’s exactly what I want to have happen in a series.  But after 6 couples, and many ups and downs, it’s time to say goodbye.  With a series I always want to end it while the stories are fresh and I hope I did that here.   Enjoy my farewell to the Senses series. I hope you love it.  

Title: Love Comes to Light    

Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Senses Series
Genre:  M/M, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Mar 18 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print


Artist Arik Bosler is terrified he might have lost his creative gift in the accident that left his hand badly burned. When he’s offered the chance to work with renowned artist Ken Brighton after winning a contest, Arik fears his injury will be too much to overcome.

He reluctantly travels to Pleasanton to meet Ken, where he runs into the intimidating Reg Thompson. Reg, a biker who customizes motorcycles, is a big man with a heart of gold who was rejected by most of his family. Arik is initially afraid of Reg because of his size, however it’s his heart that warms Arik’s interest and gets him to look past the exterior to let down his guard.

But Arik soon realizes that certain members of Reg’s motorcycle club are into things he can’t have any part of. Reg can’t understand why Arik disappears until he learns Arik’s injury was the result of his father’s drug activity. Though neither Reg nor Arik wants anything to do with drugs, the new leadership of Reg’s club might have other ideas.

 Book Links

About the Author:

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Author Links

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Starting Blog Tours for LGBT+ Books: Sign Up Here

do not own this image - just sharing it to express my point! photo source
I'm planning on doing blog tours for LGBT+ books. I think there are so many titles out there that deserve more love and I would be really excited if you would be willing to help me out. How do you do that?

Well, let me know if you are willing to host these authors by leaving a comment and giving me your email. Of course, you are never obligated to host a book, but once I start working with authors, you'll get emails about them and their novel and what they are offering - reviews, guest posts, etc. If you are interested, you would then email me back. Easy! I'm making up a 'master list' of sorts right now with bloggers that are interested in helping out!

If you are willing to be added to the list or not, please spread the word if you can. Tweet it out, facebook it, mention it next Sunday on your wrap-up post, whatever! The more bloggers, the better, especially because not every blog will want to help with every novel.



Thursday, April 14, 2016

My M/M Choices for April 2016

April might be about halfway over, but I thought I would still share a few m/m novels that I found while searching Goodreads that are all released this month. Let me know which ones sound good in the comments, and if you have any others you'd suggest, share that too! There are some m/m novels that I already have to review this month, so I didn't include those. I only chose ones that I don't currently have to read yet. Regardless, if there is any LGBT+ novel (m/m or not) that comes out in April that you want to shared, please do!

Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote 

Released: April 15

Goodreads SummaryJohn Fletcher, a former musician, is stuck in limbo after losing his long-term partner two years ago. He’s shut himself off from everything that reminds him of what he’s lost. When his neighbour persuades him to join the local community choir, John rediscovers his love of music and finds a reason to start living again.

Rhys Callington, the talented and charismatic choir leader, captures John’s attention from the first moment they meet. He appears to be the polar opposite of John: young, vibrant, and full of life. But Rhys has darkness in his own past that is holding him back from following his dreams.

Despite the nineteen-year age gap, the two men grow close and a fragile relationship blossoms. Ghosts of the past and insecurities about the future threaten their newfound happiness. If they’re going to harmonise in life and love as they do in their music, they’ll need to start following the same score.

Scars and Secrets by Avril Ashton

Released: It simply says April on Goodreads

Goodreads SummaryAfter an undercover assignment that changed his life forever, FBI agent Donovan Cintron is barely hanging on to sanity. His new mission is to forget, by any means necessary, so he tries his hardest. Pills. Booze. The warm bodies that never quite measure up to what he’d had. What he’d lost. It’s almost a relief when his identity is leaked, and a bounty put on his head. He’s ready for it to be over. Except he’s not the only one marked for death. So is the husband he hasn’t stopped needing all these years later. He’d been aching to die, but for Levi Nieto, Donovan will live. To protect. To regret. To remember.

The realization that everything he loved was a farce sent Levi Nieto spinning out of control, and running away from the memories. Now Donovan is back in his life, still fully entrenched in darkness. Their sexual power games are one thing, but the truth of who they are to each other remains trapped among the anger, violence and lies suffocating them. Fixing what’s broken will take more than each man exposing his scars. Secrets—and blood—must be spilled.

Timing by Ashley John

Released: April 26

Goodreads Summary: Tom doesn’t have time for a relationship – not now that his fingers are practically touching the promotion he’s spent years chasing. His weekdays are consumed by desperately fighting for his editor’s attention and his weekends are wasted alone with meals for one and his cat for company.

All Cole has ever wanted is to work on the farm he was raised on, but money is tighter than ever and he is forced to get a job in a bar to keep a roof over him and his auntie’s heads. Time is running out for the farm but he spends his days dreaming about a future he thinks he’ll never have.

After an unexpected collision at the village train station, their lives suddenly become connected when Cole clumsily spills his coffee on Tom and it sets into motion something greater. Tom is wary of listening to his heart and Cole is distracted by the threat of losing everything. Each possesses something the other desperately needs, but can they ignore bad timing to listen to their hearts?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Interview with Author Tami Veldura

1. For those that are new to your writing, what would you suggest they read or check out first?

Hmm, well a new reader could easily start at a few different places. For contemporary fans: Stealing Serenity is a fun thief story with some light bondage and a lot of sexual tension. For genre fans: Blood In The Water is a pirates of the Caribbean style adventure story. Paranormal/historical fantasy. If a reader is low on cash, my military serial A Scorpion's Nature is uploaded to AO3 and available to read for free. It's over 70k, but it's not a complete narrative.

2. You have written a lot of LGBT+ novels. Did anything in particular lead you to write these stories? Why do you personally feel it's important to have books that feature LGBT+ characters?

I have! I moved into publishing LGBT work after discovering it by way of slash fanfiction. I'm still a huge fanfiction fan, though I rarely get the chance to read it anymore and almost never write. It was an amazing day when I realized I could publish, and get paid for, the work I already wanted to do in fandom. Until that point I thought I'd end up writing a fantasy or science fiction epic with a het romance.

I've always had a closer connection to fandom than the books I found in the bookstore. Which isn't to say the bookstore wasn't influential-- I grew up hording books and that habit has simply moved to the kindle app. But fandom and fanfiction explored tropes I never saw in the bookstore, and with characters I never saw. Fandom was probably my first exposure to political movements. I owe a lot to that community.

So when I discovered LGBT characters and my favorite fan tropes being published, it was a magical experience for me. From there I met (and continue to meet) people who've taught me so much of what being marginalized is all about. I'm still learning and discovering new aspects. Last year I started identifying as asexual. I had no idea such a thing existed before and without this community, I wouldn't have ever found it.

I think it's important to be exposed to these kinds of ideas and identities when you're young. If I'd had the word asexual in my vocabulary, if I'd had an opportunity to think about it before high school and college, I would have made some very different decisions. I never really felt out of place or confused when I was younger--but only because I've always kept mostly to myself and the judgement of my peers never came down on me very hard. That's very much not the case for so many kids (and adults!) 

3. Your genres are wide ranging - going from military romance to science fiction. Have you always written in a variety of genres? Do you have a favorite to write in and/or read?

I haven't actually! Growing up I was 100% a science fiction and fantasy girl. There was nothing else in my head. The first work I published, Closer Than Touch, is a military romance, but I didn't know that was a genre at the time. I had just come off of a Gundam Wing fanfiction bender and needed to express that somehow. I considered it soft science fiction, or maybe near-future fiction, for a long time.

I followed up with Baited, a contemporary story set in a small town. The book was written initially for the M/M Romance group's writer/reader event called Don't Read In The Closet (on Goodreads). I still don't know what possessed me to claim that prompt, but Baited is probably one of the most commercial books I've written.

Fanged, an anthology of vampire shorts, followed that, and that's as much a mystery as the others, to me. I wrote almost all of Fanged in the passenger seat of a truck after work over the course of a few weeks. Vampires were the thing I felt like writing, I guess. It was my first step into Paranormal and I liked what I found there.

Next was Blood In The Water, a historical/paranormal book with some fantasy leeway. This was another Don't Read In The Closet story. I never considered myself a fan of historicals, I'd never read any, but this book was probably inevitable. My father has a sail boat, I've reenacted the Elizabethan era (the Golden age of sail) for years, and the Pirates of the Caribbean fandom was one of my first. 

Military, paranormal, historical--I'd never played in these sandboxes before and a lot of my work was centered around figuring out what the hell I was doing. Spoiler alert: I still don't know. But this year is the first year I've put all my energy down behind something I feel is closer to me. Perihelion is a science fiction epic. Unlike my expectations when I was young, Perihelion doesn't have a het relationship shoehorned in. There are relationships, but they're all part of the LGBT rainbow. In a lot of ways, I feel like Perihelion is the culmination of everything that's come before it. I couldn't have written this story without the practice and experience the others gave me. I wouldn't have written such a diverse cast without first testing the waters in other books. I adore it.

I plan on spending more time in the paranormal corner of the world. Blood In The Water has a sequel in editing called Ruin and Will. I've been toying with the idea of writing a shifter omegaverse series. I'm very happy with the paths my writing has taken, even if they were unexpected.

4. What are some other LGBT+ books or authors you would recommend

I have quite a few queer authors that are simply auto-buys for me whenever I have the $$. E.E. Ottoman, Blaine D. Arden, Jordan L. Hawk, Alexis Hall, Aleksander Voinov, L.A. Witt, K.A. Meriken. They stretch over a lot of genres but they all write in the LGBT sandbox. All of these people are amazing to me, and I have personal relationships with several of them. I'm in awe of their work and constantly trying to reach their level of excellence.


Thank you so much to Tami for answering my questions! I really appreciate it. If you would like to follow Tami and her work online, be sure to check out the following links. This Friday, Tami is releasing Perihelion and it will be 99c during release week only! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

LGBT+ Giveaways on Goodreads: Nonfiction and Fiction!

It's time to announce some more LGBT+ books that are currently up for giveaway on Goodreads. This time around I have a nice mix of LGBT+ books - even a couple nonfiction titles - so hopefully you'll find something you like. If you can't enter (meaning the giveaway isn't for your country, etc.) then still think about adding some of these to your to-read list if they sound interesting!

Saving Delaney by Keston Ott-Dahl and Andrea Ott-Dahl

Check out the book on Goodreads

-you have about 3 more days to enter!

Polar Reaction by Claire Thompson

Check the book out on Goodreads

-you have about 6 more days to enter!

You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

Check the book out on Goodreads

-you have about 11 more days to enter!

Fair Play: How LGBT Athletes Are Claiming Their Rightful Place in Sports by Cyd Zeigler Jr.

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-you have about 26 more days to enter!

True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan

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-you have about 37 more days to enter!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Famous Names With LGBT Children

The lovely Jaclyn shared this link in my post about Gwen Stefani stating she would support her sons if they ever came out as gay. This article was written by The Advocate and talks about famous parents who have LGBT+ children and how, these days, they fully support them and all those who identify as such.

I would love to live in a day where stories like these, and the one I shared about Gwen, weren't something to be shared. I wish all parents could accept and love their children. I don't see that happening though, especially with people holding so tightly to what religion says about sexuality.

At any rate, I do like hearing these stories. It might be a "of course!" reaction for me (who does not yet have children) but it's not like that for everyone. Therefore, it's good to show that there are families out there that are supportive and loving and that are fighting for LGBT+ rights, whether they always did or they started to after learning about their own children.

Thanks to Jaclyn for linking me to this article. I thought it was worth making a post on so that others could check it out for themselves. It includes people like Cher, Magic Johnson, Sally Fields, and more.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Interview with Author Geonn Cannon

I'd like to welcome author Geonn Cannon to the blog today! He was kind enough to answer the following questions for me, so please read on and leave your thoughts!

1. Since 2007, you have begun writing professionally, which is often an author's ultimate dream. What made this the right time for you to do this? 

It wasn't my decision, actually. I had been writing and submitting original stories for a while before that, but nothing ever came of it. Then I wrote a novel called "On the Air" and I was posting it to a website chapter-by-chapter. The site's archivist was reading it and contacted me, said she worked for a publisher, and if I wanted to get it published she could put in a good word for me. A month later, the publisher accepted the manuscript. It was just a case of the right story at the right time.

2. You have published 30 novels in your career. Do you ever celebrate at a certain milestone? Do you have a number of books that you would love to reach or surpass?

I always celebrate a publication, even if it's just a small thing like having some ice cream or splurging on a movie. My goal was to have one novel for every year I've been alive, and I'm actually going to surpass that by my next birthday this December. My 2017 releases should push me over the edge where my age is smaller than the number of books I have in the world.

3. You have won two Golden Crown Literary Society Awards, and you noted that you are still the only man to have won a Goldie. Do you know why this is, and do you hope to win another in the future?

I think it's for the same reason the Goldies (and other events like them) exist. Novels written by and about women and/or homosexual romances tend to be overlooked or dismissed from other awards. They exist as a place where these writers and novels can get the recognition they deserve. The reason straight men don't tend to win Goldies is because the competition is full of amazing, talented women. Being recognized alongside them is a huge honor and the biggest compliment my writing can receive. I definitely hope to win more! I have high hopes for a few novels that are/will be eligible for the next award ceremony. Fingers crossed!

4. Since you have written so many titles already, do you have favorite books or ones you recommend people read first when they discover your writing?

I do! I write in a wide variety of genres, so sometimes I can tell what someone will be drawn to. If I think they'll like a dark antihero, I push them toward "Girls Don't Hit." If they have scifi and steampunk all over their Facebook, it's "Trafalgar & Boone." But my go-to suggestion is always "The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary." It's the book that I feel encompasses my career and my talent, and it includes everything I wanted to put in a novel when I first started writing. It has romance, it has someone finding a happy ending outside of a relationship, it has breakups and heartbreak, and it all takes place in Seattle (which I think is the most beautiful city in the world).

5. When reaching out for this interview, I was looking for authors that wrote LGBT+ literature, so how does your work fit that "genre"?

All of my novels feature women, first and foremost. I've always loved writing female characters and I was drawn to female characters in the shows I watched, and writing lesbian romances gave me a chance to double the number of women in my books. I've always said that I wanted to write stories about women who happen to be gay rather than focusing on that sexuality. Riley Parra is a cop fighting demons, and she has a girlfriend. Karen Everett and Lana Kent start a band, and they're attracted to each other. Claire Lance is a former cop on the run after being framed for killing her lover, who happened to be a woman. Their sexuality is important, but only as important as it is for anyone in their day-to-day lives. They aren't struggling with their sexuality, their goal isn't to come out to their friends and family. They're past that and they have other hurdles to overcome. That's what I try to write. I want to write about awesome women doing amazing things, and occasionally they might kiss another woman. 


Thanks to Geonn Cannon for answering these questions! Be sure to follow him on the following sites to keep up with his latest releases!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Discussion: Can LGBT+ Books Be Funny?!

In honor of April Fool's Day, I thought this would be an appropriate topic to discuss today. When people think of LGBT+ books, the common trope seems to be angst and sadness. Whether it's teenagers worrying about coming out or dealing with close-minded friends and family. Sometimes these teens are even bullied or beaten up. When the characters get older, they still deal with being misunderstood and ending up in bad relationships. Sure, I love dramatic novels; the ones that show the dark and grittiness of the real world. These things happen and they should be shown instead of shoved to the side. For those that relate, they can see themselves. For those that do not, they can learn more about other people and learn to be more empathetic.

However, there is more to the LGBT+ world than darkness, bullying, and anger. Sometimes people come out and are treated fine. Some people have no problem identifying as LGBT+ and are proud to flaunt it. Some LGBT+ people are really happy and fun and funny. These types of stories need to be
told too.

To be honest, I can't think of that many books that are about LGBT+ characters and are actually funny. Sure, there are funny moments and enjoyable characters. But what about a book that is mostly just lighthearted and fun? The one book I can really think of is the YA novel Simon Vs. the Homo-Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Simon's life isn't perfect and there are some tougher moments. I mean, come on, he's a high school student! What do you expect? However, the book isn't that heavy. Simon is a nice, amusing guy who loves Oreos! This is one book where it shows that being LGBT+ isn't a bad thing...being a teen is tough for everyone...and you can find happiness in a lot of different ways!

I'm not saying this is the only LGBT+ book I've ever read that was mostly positive and funny, but it's the one I can think of right now. I'd love to know what books you feel fit these categories! Even if the book isn't all that humorous, if mostly good things happen, let me know!