Friday, July 27, 2012

A Hero's Blog Hop

For my part in the Hero's Blog Hop, I'll be turning my blog over to my favorite werewolf, Calliph, from "Omarati" and "No Place Like Home."

And now, without further ado....

"Becoming a Hero" by Calliph

When Daniel asked me to write a post for him, I was apprehensive and skeptical. I don't live in a world of computers and blogs. I live in a world of magic, war, and passion. Everything in my world is tactile and real, whereas Daniel refers to many of his friends as "virtual." But he prodded and begged - and he's very beautiful when he begs....

::glances at my kitten, Mateo:: Daniel's prowess notwithstanding, I wasn't certain I was the proper person to talk about heroes. After all, I'm anything but. Daniel says I can't reveal too much, but suffice it to say my time during the war was horrific. I did things I am, to this day, not proud of. Things I have never forgiven myself for.

And then Daniel reminded me of something - in the eyes of  my son, Jonus, I am every bit a hero. Jonus came to me at a time in my life when I was not prepared to be a father - I had no intentions of settling down and raising a child. I was, in fact, as Daniel would say "hell bent" on sailing the world with my kitten. But life has a way of putting us exactly where we need to be, regardless of if we recognize our purpose.

Jonus sees nothing but the man I am now - he does not judge me on who I was, or what I had done. He believes that a man's worth is constantly changing, and so he must be constantly evaluated, and cannot be looked down upon for something that happened in the past.

For that, I am eternally grateful. And perhaps my son has the right of it. Perhaps a man's worth is a fluctuating thing, instead of a fixed mark. Perhaps no one deed is great enough to rule our destinies. I certainly hope that is the case.

Daniel has asked me to let you know that, for his prize, he is offering up a "free pdf copy" of my story "Omarati." I know not what a "free pdf" is, but I can attest the story is a sound one.

Here is the "blurb":

Everything changed for werewolf Calliph after the Shifter War. Now nothing more than a slave and plaything to human Prince Obyn, Calliph finds himself on the Golden Magus, sailing across the sea with his owner.  But fate has something more in mind for Calliph in the form of Ship's First Mate Mateo - who just happens to be Calliph's Omarati - his soul mate...and a werecat. Heartbroken, Calliph knows he can't stay with Mateo - he is forced to follow Obyn wherever he leads. Years later, when an attack at sea lands Mateo in the hands of vicious pirates, the cat discovers that, though time has changed some things, his bond with Calliph is eternal.

Daniel says to be eligible, you must leave your "e-mail" in a comment below.

I bid you good morrow and wish you much luck!


****PLEASE BE AWARE:  I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If being associated with that isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hot Summer Nights Giveaway Hop Winner

First, I have to apologize for not picking the winner on time. I've been dealing with some personal issues.

But... anyhow!! The winner is....Kassandra (

I'll be contacting you shortly!!! Congratulations!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Something I have to get off my chest...

There are moments in life that change us. Define us. I’m not talking about the obvious ones - near death experiences, births, those kinds of things. I’m talking about small moments. Moments that, to others, are inconsequential.

2009 was a particularly hard year for me. In 2009, Dan died. Dan was the first transperson I’d ever met. It was Dan who showed me I wasn’t bound by what “nature” had given me. It was Dan who showed me I could be more. I lost touch with him for a few years, but I never stopped thinking about him. When I finally got around to looking him up, I was too late. He had passed away of a massive heart attack the month before. One month. Exactly 30 days. I had taken 30 days too long. He never got to see me as an out-and-proud transman. He never knew I’d taken my transname as Daniel in honor of him. From that day on, I vowed to live my life in a way that he might’ve been proud of. To do the best I could, every day. To stay strong under the always mighty strain of being transgender, of being out. I vowed to stand up and stand out. I don’t know if he’d be proud of me or not. Some days, I think probably not.

2009 was also the year I lost Ginger. To some people, Ginger was just a dog. But to me, Ginger was my heart and soul. I was never maternal before Ginger. For a while, when I lived as woman, I saw my lack of maternal instinct as a horrible failure. Every female I knew could handle children. Every female I knew knew how to cuddle and coo, and how to kiss boo-boos. Me? Children revolted me. But then, in 2005, the SPCA brought in this emaciated, beaten up dog. Our doctor wanted to kill it. Seemed like the most humane thing to do. But then the dog looked up at me. She hadn’t raised her head or responded to anyone else. But she looked at me. Something in me shifted. I begged the surgeon to try to save her life. Several months later, she came home with me. Though I was still struggling with my gender, I’d finally found my maternal instinct. I doted on her left and right, allowing her to get away with things our other dogs didn't. She became my constant companion, and I referred to her as "my little girl" in conversation. No doubt a few people thought she was human. In 2009, she passed away in her sleep from heart failure. Something in me died that night, too. I’ve never felt the same about anyone - human or beast - since. It’s just not in me. I still say "my daughter died in 2009."

Sometimes, I dream of her. I dreamt of her last night, actually. That’s what prompted this post. When I dream of her, all that maternal stuff comes rushing back to me, but I can’t hold onto it. It’s gone when I wake. It breaks my heart to write about her. As I sit here, I’m typing through blurry, tear-filled eyes. But I’m thankful for the time I had - for what she showed me of myself, even if I can’t see it anymore.

In 2009, I accepted my first publishing contract. It wasn’t just a moment of pride. It was a moment of vindication. All my life, I’d been told I’d never amount to anything, especially in writing. Writing was a waste of time and I should put it away. So as I stared at that contract, with my signature on it - you can’t imagine the feeling. Four months later, the publisher went out of business. In the space of a moment, my dreams - everything I’d worked for, everything I’d battled for - was gone. It changed me, though. Made me even more tenacious - something I’d not thought possible. It hardened me, too, to a degree.

For a while, those moments stopped. Nothing particularly life-changing. Oh, things have happened, certainly. But they’d been things I took in stride as just another part of life. Just a thing to be dealt with, overcome.

Last year, I went to my first writing conference - GayRomLit. I didn’t interact with the other authors and readers much. The trip, for me, was more about proving my own self-reliance. I went places by myself. I braved things I’d been terrified of. Like birds. I know, it sounds silly for someone to say they’d been terrified of birds. But I have good reason. Growing up, my grandmother had a bird aviary. I’m talking an actual aviary. The thing was the size of half a house. She had tons of birds in it - cockatiels, parakeets, canaries, quail. Tons. More than she should’ve had. And none of the birds were socialized. Every Sunday, when I went over, my “job” was to feed the birds. Feed consisted of bird seed and meal worms. Life meal worms.

I was forced, every Sunday, to walk through the aviary throwing food. The birds would rush up to the sides of the cages, squawking and screaming, fighting with each other. The aviary was dirty - roaches would skitter away when you opened the door. The smell of bird waste was enough to make your throat burn. I had asthma, so of course, every time I left, I was sick. So yeah. There’s no love lost between me and birds. But last year, I faced birds. I went to the New Orleans Aquarium, and they have a place called Parakeet Pointe. You buy a stick covered in food, and walk out into a giant room full of birds, who then descend upon you to get the food. I survived without pissing my pants or making a giant ass of myself, and even managed to get some photos. Defining moment indeed.

Then this week, I had another defining moment. I’m still not sure what this moment has meant for me. I'm not sure what it has done to me.

I guess for most people, Facebook is just a place to go to keep up with what other people are doing. I guess for most people, it's just fun and games. For me, it's the only real interaction I have with people who are like me - other writers, other transpeople, other people taking care of sick spouses. I don't have a "real life" social life. I have Facebook. So, I take my relationships on FB very seriously. I hurt when my friends hurt. I laugh when they laugh. I share stories about them with my husband. I've met some of them in person, but most I haven't. But I love them regardless. I see the beauty in them, behind that screen. Sure, I know some people are fake on the Internet. I'm not stupid. But I also know some people aren't.

There's been a lot of online nastiness in the writing industry recently, specifically in the m/m industry. Lots of name-calling. Lots of smear campaigns. Lost of lies and mud being flung. For the most part, I'd stayed out of the firefight. I'll speak my mind, but nobody really goes after me. I'm not significant enough to anyone, and frankly people forget about me. No, it's true. Deny it all you want, but I've been through thirty-something years of life with people repeatedly forgetting I existed. So I know it happens. I've seen it online. "DC Juris? Oh, yeah! I always forget about him!" Yeah.

Last month. I started receiving messages from people, telling me this person had said that about me, that person had told this lie, etc. I answered them with honesty and I was glad the people had come to me to ask me to clear things up. I was baffled about why I'd been targeted, and not a little upset about it all.

Then, this week, it was suggested that someone I cared for deeply had been behind it all. I was devastated. Utterly wrecked. I couldn't believe that person had been so malicious. So cruel. I had trusted them. As it turns out, I managed to find the truth, and I know now who I can trust and who I can't.

And it got me to thinking about Facebook, and the whole online experience, and my... well, I'll just admit it - my dependency on it. Up until last month, I had seen FB as a safe place. A haven. A place where I could be me, and damn the consequences, because there were none. These people were just like me - they accepted me. They liked me!

Come to find out, I was little more than the stupid kid being made fun of by the popular kids. Not everyone was who they seemed to be. People I had liked turned out to be against me.

I've logged on a couple times since the revelations. Facebook isn't the same for me. I'm uncertain who to trust. Should I let everyone see my status, or only certain people? Will what I say be thrown back in my face later? Will it be twisted so that it's not even what I said?

I feel guilty for not trusting certain people. What kind of a friend am I, to question them? What kind of person trades their loyalty so quickly? Why didn't I just say "Pfft - yeah right!" and brush it off? I feel guilty for upsetting them, for adding to anything they might have been already dealing with. I feel embarrassed for being tricked into revealing certain feelings about certain people - feelings I've no business feeling, and feelings that can only lead to awkwardness. I feel stupid for being drawn into any of it in the first place. I'm a grown-ass adult. I feel stupid for my inability to just let it go.

It's all changed now. It's all different. I'm different. And I don't know exactly how far the ramifications go. Right now, all I want to do is curl up in a virtual ball, and stay away from everyone. That's not fair to the people who haven't hurt me. It's like I'm saying "You'll get around to hurting me, eventually." That's not how I feel. I'm certain of them. I just am so tired of the fighting and the name-calling and the mud slinging. I spent my entire childhood being called names left and right. Being told I was worthless. I just wanted one place where that would never, ever happen. And why should I have to give up my dear friends in order to avoid all that?

I want to jump up and down and scream "THIS ISN'T FAIR!!!!"

Writing Quotes

Just some writing quotes I found interesting. No clue where I found them - I had them saved in a file. Enjoy!

Gaston Bachelard: A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream.
Robert Frost: All the fun is in how you say a thing.
Henry Ward Beecher: All words are pegs to hang ideas on.
John Osborne: Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.
Ben Franklin: Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Socrates: Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.
Flannery O'Connor: Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
Henry David Thoreau: How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Peter De Vries: I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.
William Faulkner: I never know what I think about something until I read what I've written on it.
William Shakespeare: If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me.
Robert Benchley: It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Edmund Morrison: Like stones, words are laborious and unforgiving, and the fitting of them together, like the fitting of stones, demands great patience and strength of purpose and particular skill.
Mark Twain: Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
Ernest Hemingway: My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
Andre Gide: Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason.
Charles Caleb Colton: Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease.
Robert Frost: Poets need not go to Niagara to write about the force of falling water.
Joseph Pulitzer: Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.
Napoleon Hill: Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.
Ray Bradbury: We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
Peter F. Drucker: We know nothing about motivation. All we can do is write books about it.
Logan Pearsall Smith: What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers.
Samuel Johnson: What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
Samuel Goldwyn: What we want is a story that starts with an earthquake and builds to a climax.
Erica Jong: When I sit down at my writing desk, time seems to vanish. I think it's a wonderful way to spend one's life.
Anne Sexton: When I'm writing, I know I'm doing the thing I was born to do.
Samuel Lover: When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can sure it but the scratching of a pen.
Ivan Levison: When your writing is filled with detail, it has a lot more impact.
Rudyard Kipling: Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

Hot Jocks in July Giveaway Hop WINNER!!

And the winner is.... ::drum roll::  Rissa (raynman1979 at yahoo dot com)!!! Congratulations!! I'll be contacting you soon to find out which of my books you'd like!

Thank you to everyone who participated! I truly appreciate it! And if you didn't win - don't despair! There's plenty more hops where this one came from!

Hot Summer Nights Give Away Hop

I have to say, the characters of mine who always make my heart go pitter-patter are Brandon and David from "A Good Bargain." There's just something about the combination there - David is in his 40s and Brandon is in his early 20s - that just sets the screen on fire. Their attraction is down right combustible!

But here's what you really want to hear about - the prize!

One lucky winner will receive a story all their own. That's right - I'll write you your very own story, any pairing, any heat level, based on two names you give me and four prompt words. The story will be anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 words long, in pdf format, and I'll even have my fabulous cover artist, Victoria Miller from Breathless Press, design a cover for you.

Just leave your name and e-mail in a comment below, and on July 22nd I'll pick a random winner.

Good luck!!

If you're unfamiliar with what I write, check out my website -

****PLEASE BE AWARE:  I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If that isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop. Thank you.****

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cocked and Loaded, Shootin' Stars and Blasting Giveaway Hop WINNER!

::drum roll:: And the winner is.....

Lisa  (yankssssrule08(at)yahoo(dot)com)

Congratulations!!!! I'll be contacting you shortly to get details for your delivery!

Thank you sooooo much to everyone else who participated! I truly appreciate the support! If you didn't win, don't despair - there's tons more hops to enter coming up!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hot Jocks in July Giveaway Hop

Well, the only book I have featuring a jock is "Sundae Surprise," in which Rick is a baseball player for a town league. Don't get all excited though - that's not the focus of the story.

BUT it's no secret to anyone that I love, love, love, LOVE (did I say love??) football. I love the hot, sweaty guys, I love the tactical skills it requires, I love cheering for my team - screaming at the television screen because I *know* they can hear me and they *need* my input!!

I also love wrestling. I'm not talking Olympic stuff, I'm talking about WWE. Yes ::rolls eyes:: I know it's not "real." It's choreographed and scripted - duh. But seriously - is anything *else* you watch real? Is "How I Met Your Mother" real? Exactly.

Football and wrestling were pretty much all my dad and I had in common, and watching either one was the only time he was remotely nice to me, which may be why they've stayed with me as favorites. I've actually met several professional wrestlers, all of whom were sweet as pie. And I went to school with a player who just recently left the Chicago Bears.

Anyhow, onto what you're really interested in - the prize!! I'll give away a free pdf copy of any of my books, found at my website to one lucky winner.

Here's how to enter:

1. Follow my blog.
2. Leave a comment below, with your e-mail and follower name, if it's different.

I'll pick a random winner at the end of the hop.

Good Luck!!!

****PLEASE BE AWARE:  I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If winning that kind of a book isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cocked and Loaded, Shootin' Stars & Blasting Giveaway Hop

I'm participating in the Cocked and Loaded, Shootin' Stars and Blasting Giveaway Hop!

My giveaway for this contest is a delivery of red, white and blue flowers from 1-800 Flowers - sent to your home or place of work - your choice! 

Entering is easy - just leave a comment below with your e-mail. It's that simple!

Good luck!!!

****PLEASE BE AWARE:  I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If supporting someone who writes this sort of material isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****

Monday, July 2, 2012

OOPS!! Lovestruck Giveaway Hop Winner!

Jenkies, Shaggy!!! It looks like I never picked a winner for the Lovestruck Hop!!!


Okay - I'll even forgo the drum roll and get right down to it! The winner is Yvette (

Your free pdf copy of "Asian Persuasion" will be on it's way pronto!!!!

Angels and Demons Blog Hop Winner!

::drum roll:: And the winner is..... Sharon Stogner!

Congratulations!!! I'll be contacting you shortly to find out which of my books you'd like!

Thank you to everyone who participated and if you didn't win - don't fret! I'm participating in a *ton* more hops, so keep checking back!!!