Embracing Change Release Day and the Love is Love Blog Hop

Wow, so today is a busy day. Working on a new book. “Embracing Change” a stand alone, contemporary romance, released this morning from Dreamspinner Press. And last, but not least, the Love is Love Blog Hop got started.
First, for those that haven’t seen it, here’s the cover for “Embracing Change”

EmbracingChangeFS

Blurb: Every day Sam Benito watches his marriage fall apart. He and his husband, Charlie, a New York Times bestselling author, fight constantly, catching their teenage son, Iggy, in the middle. If there’s any love left, it’s hard to find. Charlie, bent on self-destruction, crosses an unspoken line, and Sam realizes it’s time to leave as the man he fell in love with is gone forever.

After leaving his high-powered corporate job years ago, Sam now works at a small feed store in an effort to keep his family together. It’s a job he never thought he would find pleasant, but working with Geary Ellis may have something to do with his job satisfaction.

Charlie digs himself deeper, and Sam is helpless to do anything. Torn between his budding love for Geary and his years with Charlie, Sam finds comfort in Geary’s arms, but it may not be enough to hold him together as Charlie falls apart.

loveisloveHere are the links for the Love is Love Blog Hop: (Hey the rainbow penguins are really cute)

A.J. Marcus
Aidee Ladnier
Alexa Milne
Amanda Young
Annabeth Albert
Anne Barwell
April Kelley
Brandon Shire
Bronwyn Heeley
C. J. Anthony
Catherine Lievens
Cecil Wilde
Charlie Cochrane
Christopher Koehler
David Connor
DP Denman
Draven St. James
Elin Gregory
Elizabeth Noble
Ethan Stone
Eva Lefoy
H.B. Pattskyn
Hayley B James
J.M. Dabney
Jennifer Wright
Jessie G
Julie Lynn Hayes
Karen Stivali
Kazy Reed
Kendall McKenna
L M Somerton
Lily G Blunt
Lisabet Sarai
Lynley Wayne
M.A. Church
Megan Linden
Morticia knight
N.J. Nielsen
Neil Plakcy
Sibley Jackson
Stephen del Mar
Sue Brown
Tali Spencer
Tara Lain
Thianna Durston
TM Smith
Tracey Michael

Plus, there’s a raffle copter for a kindle loaded with books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So stop by and see what some of the other awesome writers are doing on their blogs and register for a chance for an awesome prize.

I hope everyone enjoys “Embracing Change”

Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Hey Folks, It’s time for another hop

2013 2

For everyone who leaves a comment, you’ll be entered to win an ebook. Either a copy of “The Cowboy The Clown and The Fire” or “Passion’s Storm” your pick. For extra chances to win, be sure to follow me on twitter and Facebook. The drawing for winners will be May 27th.

Also, be sure to click the link in the picture above, or here to go to more awesome blogs that are participating in the hop.

Homeless LGBT Youth

The teen years are hard for nearly everyone. For LGBT youth is can be harder still. During this time, people begin to express their sexuality and sexual identity. There are a lot of people out in the world that aren’t prepared to great their children’s differences with anything but hate. Hate is the worst thing that people can do at any time, but during the formative years it can leave lasting scars. Many teens and younger, when they reveal their sexuality, become the targets of abuse and neglect which can culminate in complete abandonment.

It is estimated that up to forty percent of the upwards of 3 million homeless youth are LGBT. This number is higher than the national average of people with home, which is about ten percent. And the percentages of those teens who find themselves victims of further abuse both sexual and none sexual is much higher than their straight counter parts.

The sad part of this is that many of the homeless LGBT youth are actually cast out of their homes by parents or guardians that cannot accept their lifestyle due to religious beliefs. They turn their back on their own offspring because of the hate that they believe comes from the bible. They don’t stop to realize that there is no real basis for their fear. This is something that can and has been argued extensively over the years, so I won’t go into it here and now, but it is a plague of stupidity that has to stop if we’re going to save these lost teens and ultimately our world. (It’s going to take a lot more than clearing up false sexuality beliefs to fix our world, but it would be a start.)

I’m one of the lucky ones. My parents, although from religious families, aren’t religious. The same goes for my partner’s parents. They all believe that even if they don’t understand, we’re their kids and they love us, regardless of who we are and who we love. I’ve been told by many of my friends over the years that they wished they had my parents. I think that if more parents in the world were like mine, it would be a better place. I do have relatives that we don’t talk about certain subjects around, but it’s not something that is avoided around my parent’s home.

I never had to worry about being homeless due to my sexuality, due to my finances, that’s a totally different story. In our corporate-ravaged world, there’s a growing number of people who are homeless due to finances. A lot of these people have LGBT children and that complicates their ability to find shelter and aid. Many of the homeless aid charities out there revolve around religious groups. Again they want to force their world view on the already emotionally battered people that come to them for help. LGBT youth, who don’t want to be something they’re not, are not welcome in these places and many times their families are faced with the tough choices of what to do, because many times they have more children than just their LGBT ones. Families can be torn apart by this, it’s not fair.

As a writer, I take pride in the fact that my words can help shape people’s opinions and overall thought processes. Writing has been liked to a form of mental healing. We hold a lot of power in our minds, fingers and keyboards. That power can either be used for good or evil. I’m sure that there are a lot of religious zealots out there that think that what I do is harmful, but I hope that through my stories, I can help mend the damage their hate does on our world. Hopefully my readers will share the love of my stories with others and through that help open a few minds and maybe, over time, more and more LGBT youth and adults will find themselves in loving, caring families that understand the concept of unconditional love.

In my current work in progress, “The Falconer’s Lure” hopefully book four of Ren Fair Romances, one of my main characters is a homeless 19 year old who was thrown out on the streets at the age of 17 when his parents discovered he was gay. He’s survived a lot and wants nothing more than someone to care about him. That’s what most people want, is someone to care about them and that they can care about in turn. As humans, we can’t care about something that we fear. It’s time to stop being afraid of those that people see as different. It’s time to stop the hate.

“The Jouster’s Lance” Release Day

After lots of work, I’m thrilled to announce that “The Jouster’s Lance” was released today by Dreamspinner Press. It’s the first book of Ren Faire Romances. The second book “The Satyr’s Song” is under contract already due out in September or October. The third book “The Archer’s Arrow” is currently in review.

The Jouster's Lance

Blurb

Dale O’Toole, aka Diederik, the Demon Duke of Denmark, takes his Renaissance festivals seriously. He has been on the jousting circuit for five years and enjoys his gypsy lifestyle, traveling to faires around the country. It’s fun and he has good friends.

Austin Renfro has worked in a pirate gift shop at the Colorado Renaissance Festival for several years but has a life outside the medieval fantasy world. When Austin spies Dale during the first joust of the season, he knows he must find a way to meet him, even if the jousters and royal cast don’t normally associate with the working class.

Their first chance meeting causes more than a little embarrassment for both men, but they don’t let that stop them. They try to let their budding love find its place while keeping it from becoming common knowledge. But when a particularly conservative knight catches them in flagrante, it’s bound to cause problems. After all, jousts are dangerous….

Great Blog Hop and Awesome Weekend

The Alpha Males Blog hop is going great. Don’t forget to leave a comment on the previous post to be entered into the drawing for a free ebook. Wanted to share what a great weekend this is being, not only are a lot of great people visiting the blog and leaving wonderful comments, but I just signed a deal with Dreamspinner Press for the novel “The Jouster’s Lance.” The great folks at Dreamspinner have already published two shorts of mine, “Soul Survivors” which was part of their summer daily dose this year and “On An Eagle’s Wings” which was part of “Animal Magnetism.” My experiences with them so far have been awesome and don’t expect that to change. I will keep everyone up to date as more details on “The Jouster’s Lance” become available, projected release is spring 2013.

Crafting Alpha Males

What makes an alpha male? From cowboys to superheroes, werewolves to sasquatches, what are the things that make up an alpha male? Every man likes to think of themselves as an alpha in one way or another. Many people want to be with alphas. The term alpha means first. Alpha males comes from the animal kingdom, they are the leaders of a pack, a troupe, a herd or any other group of animals. In real life some people who think of themselves as alpha males, and even alpha females can be real assholes. I don’t like being around that kind of alpha personality, and in all honesty I don’t think they should be classified as alphas, they are bullies and nothing more.

As a writer, I like to craft alphas that are strong and compassionate. They are the type of characters that I like to be, and that I like around me. I love having strong people around me, people without tons of fears, people who can go out and get things done without worrying about every little thing. It makes life interesting. It makes characters interesting. If writers were to just write about characters that let every little thing interrupt them getting stuff done, in the end no one would read the books. I think characters need to have strengths and those strengths need to be tempered with compassions, not fears. Years ago I went to a gathering and they had a hottest man contest, now it was a close call as far as looks go but the guy who won found a small kitten to hold during the contest. Sure he was hunky, but so were some of the other guys, he showed a compassionate side by holding that kitten. I think about that when I’m crafting my alpha characters. What kind of kitten can I give my alpha males to soften their edges?

How hot is the hunky cowboy who rides in on a lathered horse that before he bothers to get a drink of water worries about his horse and grooms it, feeds it and sets it out to pasture, and then takes a long draw on the water hose and splashes water down his sweaty chest? The show of caring for his trusty steed makes the character a lot more appealing to me than the guy who rides up on the horse, yells for a groom to take care of it while he runs into the house to do some sweaty ravaging. Yeah I like sweaty ravaging, but I can’t get behind the guy who doesn’t show a little compassion, no matter how hot he may be, both literally and physically. If the alpha male is going to take time to show some caring for the critters in his life, he’s going to take the time to show some real feelings for the people in his life too.

Some of this also comes into the details of a person. As a writer, it’s important for me to give my characters lots of details. It’s easy to get a cookie cutter alpha male who sees what he wants and takes it without care of the people around him. The harder thing is to build a character that has the strength and power to do that while at the same time showing caring and feelings to those around him. Words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ hold a lot of power in our real world, they hold just as much power in the worlds we create as our readers enjoy them. Sometime we might not even realize they are there, but they register in the back of our minds. A ‘thank you’ from a rugged man who just had breakfast cooked for him, softens the hard edges and makes him even more enjoyable than the guy who doesn’t bother to say anything wither its by design or the writer wanting to move onto another scene. Alpha males can cuddle. Cuddling is sexy. Alpha males who cuddle can be really hot. Again it’s a little detail that shows they care and will make the readers out there root for your characters even more.

I hope everyone enjoys the Alpha Male blog hop lots of other blogs to visit. Leave a comment, with your email, for a chance to win an e-copy of either “Passion’s Storm” my gay superhero romance or “The Cowboy, The Clown and The Fire” my m/m cowboy romance. If you follow the blog, twitter, and like my facebook page you’ll get an extra entry for each like and follow you make. Winner will be drawn at random on 10/22/12. A side note here, I don’t use raffle copter, just keep track of everything via spreadsheet.

Here’s a pic of all the prizes available for the grand prize. Check it out on the main site.

Backlist

Hey gang this is a great weekend to discover new and interesting writers taking part in the backlist blog hop. Stop by the main site and check out all the great authors who are participating.

For folks who leave a comment on this blog, you’ll be entered into a drawing for you choice of either “The Cowboy, the Clown and the Fire” ebook, or “Passion’s Storm” ebook.

I’m Coming

As a writer of male erotica, I spend a bit of time reading my genre. There’s a thing that to me is a dead giveaway that the person writing a story is one of the many women who’ve turned to gay erotica for the money they can make and not caring about how the gay men reading the story are going to take their mistakes. Nothing irritates me more than using the word come in the place of cum.

The word come is a verb meaning to arrive. It sounds just like the word cum, a layman’s term for semen. In most cases having a character scream “I’m ejaculating!” is a bit awkward. However screaming “I’m coming!” is like saying “I’m not here yet!”, when they are obviously there or they wouldn’t be having intercourse, beating off or whatever they are doing to cause them to ejaculate. Screaming “I’m cumming!” is correct because they are spraying cum all over wherever their penis, cock, dick or whatever you prefer to call the male sexual organ, happens to be at the time.

This is not meant to be a slam against women who write m/m romance/erotica. Some of them are very good and even when they get the words wrong can be very enjoyable. I just think if you’re going to write something you might want to get the words right and in my way of thinking, even if come is grammatically correct, it’s not subjectively correct. This goes back to the basic rule of writing, write what you know. Yes cum, cumming, came (yeah we can use that one) is a little less clinical than ejaculate, semen, or ejaculating, but if you’re going to be writing gay erotica you might as well get it right. And don’t even get me started on anus…