Recommended reading: This is Misogynist Terrorism

Persuant to yesterday’s post, fo read this: http://www.shakesville.com/2014/10/this-is-misogynist-terrorism.html

I’m not exaggerating when I use the term terrorism, folks. And I’m not the only one using it.

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Score one for the terrorists #misogyny #gaming @femfreq @RiptideBooks

When I decided to write Player vs. Player, a great deal of it was inspired by events that happened a couple years ago to Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency and Jennifer Hepler, formerly of Bioware.

As the months have passed nearing the book’s publication, I worried that people would think I had hashed up an outdated incident and exaggerated it for story fodder. But I haven’t.

The reality is actually much grimmer.

Before I go any further, I will need to apologize. I’ve gotten three hours of sleep in the last 48 hours, I’ve had no coffee this morning, and my blood sugar is so low that I’m trembling. And I’m deeply upset and just… heartsick. My soul hurts. So I’m not necessarily at my coherent best right now, but I don’t have much time to post this before I need to leave.

Today as I woke up, looking forward to attending GRL, I discovered that Anita Sarkeesian has been forced to cancel an appearance at Utah State University. Apparently, the fact that this woman wants to speak about the treatment imaginary female characters receive in imaginary worlds and how that treatment reflects in our real-life culture is so intolerable that men have resorted to terrorist threats to try to silence her message.

This is after I’ve spent a week watching the #ineeddiversegames hashtag on Twitter and following the why-i-need-diverse-games blog on Tumblr. Which has also received a great deal of harassment from misogynists, racists, and homophobes who don’t see the lack of diversity in gaming as a problem.

Meanwhile, unarmed Black men are being murdered by the police forces who are supposed to protect and defend the people. And women are being assaulted and murdered for having the audacity to ignore catcalls or refuse unwanted advances on the street.

Do we not see that the reflections (or lack thereof) that we see of women, people of color, and MOGII/LGBTQIA+ people in our media (like video games) informs the culture in which women can be shot in the head and have their throats slit for not responding favorable to street harassment? That the portrayals of people of color in these games as being villains or victims or cannon fodder but never heroes whose stories we experience contributes to the dehumanization of people of color, to the point where young Black men who aren’t threatening anyone, who aren’t armed, who have committed no crime.

And the people who point out this issue are being threatened with rape and massacres and harassed until their voices are drowned out.

Maybe it’s my lack of sleep or lack of caffeine or lack of food, but today I just can’t with it all. We live in a world that hates women, that hates people based on the color of their skin or who they love or whether or not their gender matches their genitalia. And I just want to cry.

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Oh, hey, Player vs. Player is available now @NetGalley! #mysterysuspense #lgbtqia+ #gaming @RiptideBooks

PlayervsPlayer_468bannerI was wondering when review copies of Player vs. Player would be available. Somehow it snuck up onto NetGalley without me realizing! You can also pre-order PvP at Riptide or Amazon.

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In observance of Free Fiction Friday, I give you tentative blurbs to JUGGERNAUT and BANE #Strain @RiptideBooks

So, those of you who have been paying attention have noticed me talking a lot more (and a lot less vaguely) these past few weeks about the upcoming novels in the Strain saga.

Nothing is official or written in stone yet. I’m still waiting on a contract and I have no idea what the release date for these books will be. But I do have titles and tentative blurbs (again, however, they’re not written in stone. Pretty sure the titles won’t change, but the blurbs might.)

Juggernaut is the first of the two books. It’s set roughy 10 years before Strain and chronicles the events immediately before and after the pandemic that wiped out humanity.

JUGGERNAUT

Nicolás Fernández, better known to the clients of his mother’s escort agency as Octavio Costas, is one of the most in-demand male escorts operating independently of the corporate brothel system. To General Logan McClosky, Nico’s willingness to use his skills to influence political decision-makers make him a valuable asset, one McClosky isn’t afraid to employ to get the green light to activate Project Juggernaut, his last, best hope for turning around a desperate military situation.

Zacharias Houtman is struggling with a crisis of faith. Dutifully, he left seminary and his dreams of starting his own ministry behind to study political science and become his father’s assistant and advisor as the Reverend Maurice Houtman moves into the political arena. But his father is no longer listening to his guidance, veering into malicious and hypocritical zealotry intended to thrill the masses, and leaving behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy.

When their disparate worlds unexpectedly collide, both Nico and Zach will find themselves unwitting instruments in the events that lead up to the end of humanity and civilization as they know it. But will they survive the aftermath?

Those of you who are paying attention may recognize a familiar name in there. Yes, Zach is the elder son of Father Maurice from Strain, big brother to Jacob. Several other Strain characters will make appearances in Juggernaut, as well.

I will warn you right now: Juggernaut does not have a HEA or even a HFN. You have to read Bane, the sequel to Strain, to get that resolution to Zach and Nico’s relationship.

BANE

For two years, Rhys Cooper has lived with Delta Company, the exiled super soldiers infected with the Alpha strain of the Bane virus, whose Beta and Gamma strains destroyed most of the earth’s population. His passionate, undefined relationship with Sergeant Darius Murrell has helped him begin to heal from the abuse, terror, and isolation of his adolescence. But despite frequent sexual exposure to the Alpha strain, Rhys hasn’t become a Jug himself.

Zach Houtman has spent the last twelve years separated from his Alpha-infected lover, Nico. He’s worked for the Department of Pandemic Research and Prevention to study Bane, but his true intentions have been a secret. The head of the DPRP has a far more sinister project, and Zach means to put a stop to it.

Encountering the young man Zach’s father and younger brother terrorized for seven years wasn’t part of the plan, but Rhys’s immunity may be Zach’s best chance to expose the DPRPs secret agenda. And a surprising discovery might finally allow Zach and Nico to be together—and maybe give the Jugs hope for a home and future at last.

So, there you have it. Again, a great deal of this is subject to alteration, but what has, for quite some time, been a rather amorphous project now has taken shape.

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In honor of the #INeedDiverseGames tag, I share an excerpt from Player vs Player @RiptideBooks

For those of you who aren’t aware, I have a mystery/suspense novel coming out in December titled Player vs. Player. This novel is set within the gaming industry and deals with the rampant misogyny, homophobia, and racism in gaming and geek culture, and more specifically, the violent backlash against anyone who speaks out and threatens the status quo. It was inspired by, among other things, the way Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency has been treated for her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games video series.

Today, CypherofTyr on Tumblr started the #INeedDiverseGames hashtag on Twitter and a Tumblr blog called Why-I-Need-Diverse-Games. It only took a couple hours for trolls to appear and start trying to derail a tag that has already picked up some absolutely awesome momentum. In support of this, I thought I would share a particularly relevant excerpt from Chapter 18 of Player vs. Player.

Cast of Characters:
Rosena Candelaria: (Latina, pansexual) CEO of Third Wave Gaming Studios
Niles River: (Half-Turkish MOC, gay) Lead writer at Third Wave
Jordan River: (Half-Turkish MOC, gay) Niles’s identical twin brother, marketing director at Third Wave
Angela Payne: (Black, lesbian) Police detective
Timothy Wyatt: (White, bisexual) Police detective

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STRAIN is a Rainbow Awards finalist! #mmromance #post-apocalyptic @RiptideBooks

rainbow awardsStrain has made it to the final round of the Rainbow Awards in the Gay Sci-Fi/Futuristic category! Yay!

Right then. Time to go work on the next two books in the Strain universe.

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The Cult of Masculinity

Okay, folks, I’m going to the ranty place. Buckle up.

So, one of the latest bits of misogyny to make feminists on social media see red (and for good reason) is this commercial:

For the moment, let’s forget all the not-so-subtle subtext here. Let’s forget that something associated with being a woman is quite literally being equated to shit (he picks up the purse the same way a dog owner will collect their dog’s droppings.) Let’s forget that it’s saying that finding ways to cloak any un-masculine presentation is an endeavor worthy of applause, or that holding a woman’s purse for a couple minutes is so emasculating a task that he has to find ways to avoid being seen doing it.

When did carrying a purse become a purely feminine trait?

(The answer, for those of you who care about the history of fashion, is “sometime after the late 17th century, when men’s fashion started to come with pockets for carrying their coin, which was the only currency option back then.”)

Today, I was driving past the mall and I saw a man on the sidewalk wearing a very small backpack. Like, half as wide as a regular backpack and not as long. It looked something like this, but more canvas-like, not so padded and athletic:

In fact, in terms of size, it actually looked more like, well, this:

Titled on Ebay: “Cute women’s mini-backpack.”

Let’s face it, folks. He was carrying a “man purse.” And I hate that I have to call it a “man purse.” He wants the carry capacity of a purse, but he’s too manly to carry an actual, you know, purse.

Which is why I started wondering when carrying a purse became something unmanly. I mean, look at Scotsmen with their sporrans.

I mean, Liam Neeson here as Rob Roy is rocking long hair, a skirt, AND a purse, and I don’t care if you’re some freaky mutant hybrid made up of the combined DNA of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Vin Diesel and The Rock, your poor, teeny-tiny steroid-shrunken penis is curling up and weeping in envy because it knows you will never be half so butch as Liam in this picture.

Do I have a point here? Yes, of course I do. It’s the fact that ultra-masculinity is held up as such a gold standard for existing that anything which even hints at femininity is treated as though it will TAINT that masculinity by mere proximity. (Seriously, how manly are you really if the sight of a box of tampons can make you squirm?)

Now, as a woman, as a feminist, of course this bothers me because femininity is viewed as being inherently and by its very nature inferior. It’s even codified into our vernacular. A guy who feels he’s being treated like a woman will complain about the implication that he’s “less than” a man. Less than. I’ve heard femme gay guys use that verbiage. Men who were feminists and who love and support the women in their lives and claim to have no problems with femininity, especially their own manifestation of it. They use it without thinking about what they’re actually implying.

Less than a man.

Let’s say we’re getting away from this idea of gender as a binary and treating it as a spectrum. It’s still being treated as a VERTICAL spectrum, with masculinity at the top and femininity at the bottom. And that’s not good.

As a writer of LGBT romance (m/m for now but that may change in the near future) this affects me because a subject that comes up periodically in the m/m romance community is the trope that the roles a guy plays sexually correlate to his gender presentation. In other words, the femme gay guy is the bottom and the butch gay guy is the top.

Now, this is an absolutely 100% valid criticism. These heteronormative stereotypes are no good for anyone. The assumption that all gay men participate in penetrative sex is no good. The assumption that anyone has any business knowing what role someone plays in their private sex life is no good, unless the concerned parties are happy to share and not pressured by intrusive questions. There is a lot of BAD about that trope and I absolutely support dismantling it, so long as we can do so without committing erasure on or belittling the femme gay guys who DO enjoy bottoming exclusively, or the butch guys who do enjoy topping exclusively. We have to respect their presence in the community as well and not eschew them just because they slot into an uncomfortable stereotype.

But the TONE of the criticism sometimes bothers me as a woman. Because, of course, gay couples get asked (rudely and unacceptably) “which one of you is the girl?” So gay men are lashing back (justifiably) saying, “don’t ask me what role I play in sex. Don’t assume I’m the top or the bottom.”

Which is great if the end of that sentence is “because it’s no one’s business but mine” or if the answer were, “maybe I top and maybe I bottom, or maybe I do neither, it’s not your business and anyway, what difference does it make?”

But sometimes the subtext of that conversation isn’t “don’t assume I’m the bottom,” it’s “don’t assume I’m the girl.”

To which I would have to reply, “Wait. What’s wrong with being the girl?” I mean, why is being the girl fine for me (as a girl) but not for you, unless you think that “being the girl” makes you . . . less?

Unfortunately, just as straight women who purport to be friends and allies of the LGBT community can espouse homophobic and transphobic biases they might not even realize they hold, sometimes gay men, even those who claim to love and support women, can be misogynists, too.

But here’s the kicker: MISOGYNY IS THE ROOT OF HOMOPHOBIA/BIPHOBIA/TRANSPHOBIA. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it a million times again. There would be absolutely nothing threatening about men and women who cross sexual and gender lines if those lines weren’t in place as scaffolding to uphold this notion of masculinity being superior to femininity, and if the commingling of the two weren’t perceived as tainting that superiority.

So, guys–straight, gay, and otherwise–rock that purse if you need room to carry something. If you do to the store for your girlfriend/wife/platonic female roommate/BFF, slap those tampons down on the conveyor belt with an utter lack of give-a-fuck. Stop trying to uphold your masculinity by distancing yourself from the “taint” of femininity. Harmful stereotypes, damaging gender roles, and homophobia doesn’t end until the taboo of femininity ends. Work on dismantling that, rather than dodging it.

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Player vs. Player now available for pre-order at Amazon #mmromance #mystery #gaming @RiptideBooks

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Player vs. Player is now available for pre-order at Amazon.

Keep in mind that if you pre-order through Riptide, you get the book two days earlier, and more of the proceeds support the author and publisher. However, ordering at Amazon affects the chances of the book making bestseller lists upon its release, and that’s important too.

But, most important of all, readers have a choice. Which is always awesome.

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Unravelling Myself (The Evolution of My Self-Identity)

I should be writing but I keep getting caught up in thinky-thoughts about who I am and what it means so I figure I need to get them out there to clear my head for the stuff I’m supposed to be working on right now.

(warning: what follows will be some long and probably convoluted self-examination)

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Get your first look at Player vs. Player @RiptideBooks #mmromance #mystery #gaming #comingsoon

This weekend while I was enjoying myself at Gay Romance NorthWest in Seattle, Riptide released the excerpt for Player vs. Player in their weekend newsletter. It’s now available on their website, so feel free to take a peek!

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Pushing for change can be dangerous when change starts pushing back.

Video game writer Niles River loves the work he does at Third Wave Studios: creating games with mass appeal that feature women, people of color, and LGBTQ characters. To make his job even better, his best friend is his boss, and his twin brother works beside him. And they mostly agree that being on the forefront of social change is worth dealing with trollish vitriol—Niles is more worried about his clingy ex and their closeted intern’s crush on his brother than he is about internet harassment.

But now the bodies on the ground are no longer virtual, and someone’s started hand-delivering threats to Niles’s door. The vendetta against Third Wave has escalated, and to make matters worse, the investigating detective is an old flame who left Niles heartbroken for a life in the closet.

No change happens without pain, but can Niles justify continuing on with Third Wave when the cost is the blood of others? If he does, the last scene he writes may be his own death.

Player vs. Player is coming December 8, 2014 and is available for pre-order now!

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Sneak peak at THE HOUSEBOY: INITIATION (from UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER: An M/M Military Bundle) coming in October

As promised, I’m sharing an excerpt from my upcoming novella The Houseboy: Initiation, which will be published in the Unconditional Surrender M/M military bundle in October. I’ll put it under a cut, and warn you here that the story contains a significant age difference between the characters, BDSM, virginity kink, a gangbang, objectification and a whole bunch of other kinky things that might be uncomfortable for some readers.

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The summer in review (or: “where the heck have you been, Amelia?”)

So, it’s been almost two months since my last blog update. I know. Ask me how long some people have been waiting for responses to emails they’ve sent to me.

My dear friend Depression has been visiting this summer, and hasn’t wanted to leave. For the last several months, it’s been increasingly difficult to make myself do anything unless it has an actual deadline attached to it. Mostly I’ve been doing escapist stuff and avoiding talking to people (if you’re one of those people in question, I beg you not to take it personally, as I’m avoiding everyone. It’s not just you.) The avoidance is probably for the best, actually. When I tend to get this bad, I will often go off the rails and behave badly and lash out at people and it’s not pretty. It also, however, has not helped me get a whole heck of a lot done.

So, what have I been doing?

In order of what you’re going to see released, I have two projects approaching completion.

The first will be coming out just in time for GRL, and is a box set with a bunch of other authors whose company I’m incredibly thrilled to be in.

UnconditionalSurrender_400x600My story is titled The Houseboy: Initiation, and is nothing short of pure, unadulterated erotica. Seriously. There are a lot of stories where I go for “smut with substance” and there is a lot happening behind the sexytiems. This…is not one of those times. It’s Daddy kink. It’s BDSM. It’s age difference, virginity kink, gangbang, objectification, semi-public sex, exhibitionism, and God only knows what else. In many ways, it’s what Strain would have been without the angst and the fuck-or-die element driving the plot. If that sounds like your cuppa, I’ll be sharing an excerpt in my next post. :)

Of course, my depression means my inner critic is being particularly loud, and I’m convinced the story is awful and has no place in the bundle and blah blah blah, but hopefully it will go over well. The bundle is up for pre-order if you would like go that route, and here are the links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iTunes

No, you’re not imagining things, Yes, we really are offering you 300K of original stories by some of your favorite authors for only 99 cents. Jump on this. Seriously.

PlayervsPlayer_468bannerThe next project in the works will be coming out in December. I’ve already shared some about it, but in case you missed it, this is my first attempt at an honest-to-God mystery. (Yes, I went to the plotty place.) This is also the same book you might have heard me refer to in other places as Third Wave. I also went to a surprisingly low-smut place with this one. I’m not sure if I was proud or appalled at how sparse the content and kink warnings were when I was filling out the information for the product page at Riptide. PvP will be out in December and is available for pre-order from Riptide. Right now we’re in the middle of edits and I imagine review copies will be going out in the next month or so.

Now, what else have I been working on? Well, a great deal of my new-word productivity this summer has been spent on Bane. What Bane is, I’m hesitant to say, because it keeps changing on me. It started as a prequel to Strain, set about ten years before the events of Strain. It was the story of high-end escort Nico and Zach Houtman, the disowned elder son and brother of Father Maurice and Jacob in Strain, and how their actions and the actions of those around them led to the activation of Project Juggernaut and the plague that wiped out most of humanity.

And then I discovered that Darius, Rhys, Xolani and the rest of the Delta Company gang wanted in on some of the plot threads that developed as a result of those pre-plague events, it became a sequel to Strain with portions that jumped back in time (via extended flashback-like sections) to before the plague. So it was sort of going to be a prequel-within-a-sequel, if that makes sense?

But then, as I brainstormed a few plot points with Chris, the editorial assistant at Riptide, I realized I probably have too much content for just one book. Nothing is set in stone yet, but it is looking like it might be two books–the original prequel I envisioned, and then a sequel which will take the events of the prequel and bring them together with the characters from Strain. Right now the whole project is still being called Bane, though I imagine at some point there is going to be another title involved.

So, what does this mean? Well, I’m really excited about Zach and Nico’s story, especially since I get to delve into a lot of the politics and build the world and events that resulted in the plague, but for those of you who were fans of Strain, I’m sure the big news here is that yes, Darius and Rhys WILL be back. It was actually pretty amazing from a writing standpoint. I was stuck writing some stuff with Zach and Nico, so I decided to switch over and start working on a new scene with Darius and Rhys, and I swear, everything just fell into place. They came back to me so easily and naturally, and it just felt so right, and once I started working on them, everything else started to take shape and make sense. So I’m hoping to have the first draft of this two-book manuscript done in another month or two, and then hopefully Riptide and I will have more information for all of you.

And don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten that Geoff and Robin from Saugatuck Summer, or Matt and Chris from The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, are still supposed to get their own books. Those are just on the back burner for now because Bane is consuming my brain. And for those of you who are looking forward to PvP, you might like a heads-up that Niles’s twin brother Jordan will also be getting his own book, and also I may be dipping my toe into the f/f pool and giving Rosie, Niles’s boss and best friend, her story as well. In fact, she’s poking me in the back of the brain pretty hard and demanding it, and you just don’t say no to Rosie. It doesn’t happen.

Next month, I’ll be up in Seattle at Gay Romance NW 2014, and then in October, of course, I’ll be at GRL2014 in Chicago. I was not one of the lucky few who got an author spot, so I’ll be attending as a reader, but I will be at the Riptide table for the book signings, and I’ll be around, so you’ll get a chance to see me.

So there’s a lot in the hopper right now, the big issue is just overcoming the urge for avoidance and escapism that is part and parcel of being depressed. I’ll be trying to dig my way through my email and message backlog, so hang tight if you’re waiting to hear from me. Hopefully it will get easier the more I work on it. But for those of you are are still reading at this point, especially those of you who deal with chronic depression, what do you do to overcome it when you get in that place where you just want to avoid anything and everyone and not deal with it all?

 

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Player vs. Player now available for pre-sale @RiptideBooks #mmromance #mystery

PlayervsPlayer_500x750For those of you who have been waiting for my gaming industry whodunit mystery (formerly titled Third Wave) here it is! Now available for pre-sale at Riptide!

Pushing for change can be dangerous when change starts pushing back.

Video game writer Niles River loves the work he does at Third Wave Studios: creating games with mass appeal that feature women, people of color, and LGBTQ players. To make his job even better, his best friend is his boss, and his twin brother works beside him. And they mostly agree that being on the forefront of social change is worth dealing with trollish vitriol—Niles is more worried about his clingy ex and their closeted intern’s crush on his brother than he is about internet harassment.

But now the bodies on the ground are no longer virtual, and someone’s started hand-delivering threats to Niles’s door. The vendetta against Third Wave has escalated, and to make matters worse, the investigating detective is an old flame who left Niles heartbroken for a life in the closet.

No change happens without pain, but can Niles justify continuing on with Third Wave when the cost is the blood of others? If he does, the last scene he writes may be his own death.

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Last chance to enter to win your choice of my backlist titles! #SaugatuckSummer @RiptideBooks

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Today is the last day to get in your Saugatuck Summer trivia answers to be entered into a drawing to win your choice of my backlist titles.

How it works: Visit the stops along the Saugatuck Summer blog tour. At the end of each post, there will be a trivia question relating to Saugatuck Summer. Some of the answers can be found in the book itself, some can be found in excerpts posted along the blog tour, and others can be found in the quotes from Saugatuck Summer posted on Goodreads.

PLEASE do not post the answers in the comments to the blog posts. Instead, fill out the submission form HERE on my About page. Each correct answer gets you one chance to win. So far there only two people have entered, so there is still plenty of opportunity. Tomorrow I will do the drawing (assuming it’s necessary) and post the results!

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Join us @PDXPrideNW this weekend! @AnneTenino @devonrhodes @LC_Chase @ethanjstone @thedaisyharris

Anne Tenino, Devon Rhodes, LC Chase, Ethan Stone, Daisy Harris and a few others have gotten ourselves a booth at PrideNW in Portland this weekend at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. We’ll be toward the south end of the fair grounds, under a banner for Gay Romance Authors Northwest. If you’re going to be there, swing on by and say hi!

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Some weeks there’s so much to say that you can’t say anything

So, last week I was mostly offline except for blog tour stuff. Nothing going on, I just felt the need to crawl into my hole for a while, and then my kid had Friday off as well as Memorial Day so it was a long weekend parenting. Except for checking email, I went totally dark. No Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, whatever.

The point being, I was a day or two behind the ball learning about the UCSB massacre.

How did I find out about it? Well, my husband emailed me a YouTube video, which I ignored for a day because he often sends me links to miscellaneous stuff he has found interesting so I didn’t think it was pressing.

This was the video:

I’ve spent the week wanting to say something about it, but honestly I think Laci says it all in that video. I’ve been following the posts on Tumblr and the #YesAllWomen hashtag and vacillating between being saddened to the point of tears and enraged to the point of wanting to do violence myself, particularly at some of the male responses (and even some of the female ones.)

We live in a world where women who are killed by men for rejecting a man’s advances are being held culpable for their own deaths in the court of public opinion. Honestly, what is there to say about that? I can’t even. My mind goes blank and I just want to go HulkSmash! all over everything.

I read the #YesAllWomen hashtag, though, and while each and every anecdote fills me with sorrow and impotent rage, I actually don’t share most of those experiences. See, I’m pretty much a shut-in. I go out into public only when I absolutely have to, maybe 2-3 times a month, and usually it’s just to run a specific errand and head home, interacting with as few people as possible. The thing that saves me from sharing the nearly universal experiences of women trying to exist in our society today is a nearly pathological level of reclusiveness. Which is ridiculous. Is that honestly what it takes to escape the invasive sexism in our culture? Living like a hermit?

It seems almost a portent that this should happen the same week I contracted Third Wave with Riptide. I was originally going to self-publish Third Wave due to some scheduling conflicts that wouldn’t allow it to be released when I was hoping to release it, but those got worked out and now my family can go on our first vacation in almost four years rather than paying the editing costs for the novel.

Why do I say it seems a portent? Because Third Wave is about misogyny and homophobia, wrapped in a whodunit set in the gaming industry and geek culture. The same week that Laci Green says in her video, “misogyny actually kills people” I signed a contract on a novel about exactly that issue. My MC, Niles, is a gay man, yes, but an equally important character is his boss, Rosena Candelaria, the CEO of Third Wave Studios, which produces video game titles with mass appeal that specifically make a point of giving equal representation to women, POC, and LGBT players. It’s a book about feminist politics (and make no mistake, homophobia is at its heart an issue about misogyny as well, because there would be nothing threatening about people who blur the line between masculine and feminine if masculinity weren’t considered a gold standard that needs to be defended from any taint of the “inferior” femininity) and the backlash against anything that threatens the status quo of white cis-het-male privilege.

And just when I feared people would sneer or think I was exaggerating the problem, that no one would actually KILL over something like that, well, look what happened.

So remember that when you read Third Wave. Remember it’s not blown up for dramatic purposes. It’s very, very real. In the book I show some of the tweets and texts that Rosie and Niles deal with, and I will say right now that every single one of them is a paraphrase of a real tweet or text shared by feminist activists like Anita Sarkeesian of FeministFrequency, or the Fandoms and Feminism Tumblr, or Fat, Ugly, or Slutty.

So, stay tuned for more about Third Wave in the months to come. And pray/meditate/do whatever you do for the victims of the UCSB shooting, their families, and the women living in daily threat of similar violence being visited upon them.

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All Romance eBooks 50% Rebate Opportunity

Amelia C. Gormley:

Woot! Go forth and shop!

Originally posted on P.D. Singer:

Here’s your chance to stock up on titles from Eden Winters, Kate Pavelle, Cari Z, AmeliaC. Gormley, yours truly, and all your other favorite authors. If it has that little crown, it’s 50% rebate, all day on May 30th. Go on, you know you want to!

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A heart-to-heart chat with @MarieSexton and more on the #SaugatuckSummer blog tour @RiptideBooks #mmromance

Due to the long holiday weekend and my son’s 7th birthday (which is actually today) I wasn’t able to update about the Saugatuck Summer blog tour for a few days, but I wanted to be sure to point out the post that went up over the weekend at The Novel Approach. There, I sit down with the lovely Marie Sexton and have a very open talk about our personal experiences as the adult children of alcoholics and how that informed our handling of our respective characters, Topher and Trey (from Family Man.) I knew the moment I read Family Man (which was a couple months after I finished writing Saugatuck Summer) that one of the authors had personal experience with living with an addict and subsequently found out that it was Marie, and in the process of our conversation we realized there are some universal–and very ugly–truths that most people don’t talk about so when we see them revealed, it has quite an impact for those of us who have lived through it as well.

There were also several other spotlight stops–some complete with reviews!–over the weekend, so be sure to check those out as well.

MM Good Book Reviews
Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess
Book Reviews and More by Kathy
LeAnn’s Book Reviews
TTC Books and More
All I Want and More Books
Tracy’s Place

Each stop has a new Saugatuck Summer trivia question, and answering the questions gets you another chance to win your choice of any one of my backlist titles. Yes, this means some familiarity with Saugatuck Summer is required. Some of the answers can only be found in the book. Others can be found in the excerpts that have been posted along the blog tour, or in the quotes from Saugatuck Summer on Goodreads. PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER THE TRIVIA QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS OF THE POST. Instead, click the link to my “About” page and use the contact form there to submit the answers to my privately. Each correct answer = one entry into the drawing, so the more questions you answer, the more chances you’ll have to win. The contest will remain open until June 19, with the winners being chosen on June 20. So good luck

Also, stay tuned this week for some really exciting news regarding Third Wave, my upcoming murder mystery!

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Get a sneak peek at Risk Aware (Saugatuck #2) and more! @RiptideBooks #SaugatuckSummer #blogtour

Today on Day 4 of the Saugatuck Summer blog tour, I’ve got a special treat lined up in the form of an excerpt from Risk Aware (Saugatuck #2.) Those of you who have read Saugatuck Summer are already acquainted with Geoff and Robin, an couple who take Topher in when he’s got no where else to go.  Risk Aware is the story of how Geoff and Robin get together. I’m sharing it over at Delighted Reader.

I also have another excerpt from Saugatuck Summer, this one a talk between Topher and Jace when they reconnect soon after Topher has ended his affair with his BFF’s dad. That is happening over the The Book Nympho.

I’m also making a spotlight stop over at Butterfly-o-Meter with yet another chance to win your choice of my backlist titles. How does that work? Well, at each stop along the blog tour, I’ll be trivia question from Saugatuck Summer. Yes, this means some familiarity with the book is required, though it doesn’t necessarily mean a purchase is required. Aside from things like the Amazon and B&N lending programs, you might also find the answers in the excerpts I’ve shared along the blog tour, or in the Saugatuck Summer quotes on Goodreads. The more questions you answer, the more chances you have to win.

Please do not post the trivia answers in the comments on the blog posts. Instead, go to my “About” page, where I’ve customized the contact form there for you to submit the answers to me privately. The contest will remain open until June 19 with the winners chosen on June 20, to give people a chance to find the answers. Each correct answer is another chance to win! So come play with us!

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A new excerpt and more chances to win! @RiptideBooks @TheBrandonShire #SaugatuckSummer

Today on the Saugatuck Summer blog tour, I’m over at Brandon Shire’s blog sharing an excerpt featuring Topher and Jace as Topher tries to navigate how to handle your new love interest flirting with you right in front of the guy you just ended an affair with.

I’m also swinging by Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and Creative Deeds with spotlight stops. Each stop provides another trivia question to answer, which means another chance to win your choice of any one of my backlist titles.

Here’s the deal: At each stop, I’m asking a trivia question from Saugatuck Summer. Some answers can only be found in the book. Some can be found in the excerpts or posts that you’ll read along this blog tour. Others can be found in the quotes from Saugatuck Summer over at Goodreads. PLEASE do not post the answer in the comments. Instead, contact me using the form on my About page and send me the answer privately. Each correct answer will be entered into the drawing, which will remain open until June 19 to give folks a chance to find as many answers as they can, and then three winners will be chosen on June 20.

Please, come on and play along! I’m getting a bit lonely over here! Don’t be sure to miss my previous Saugatuck Summer blog tour stops as well, for more chances to win!

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Saugatuck Summer blog tour Day 2, new reviews, and more! @RiptideBooks #mmromance #newadult

It’s Day 2 of the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! Yesterday I stopped by Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews to talk with Casey Statton about the Saugatuck Summer soundtrack and made spotlight stops at Rainbow Gold Book Reviews and Romance Junkies.

Today, I’m over at Prism Book Alliance with my go-to artist, Kerry Chin, who despite the universe and technology conspiring against us, has been brilliant as usual in giving vision to what are, in my opinion, two very evocative descriptions of the art my character Jace does of the protagonist, Topher. Those passages were just begging for someone to bring them to life. I’m also making Spotlight stops at The Blogger Girls and Long and Short Reviews.

Each stop will provide yet another opportunity to win your choice of my backlist titles, with a little bit of a fun twist. This time around, I’m having a Saugatuck Summer trivia contest. This does not mean a purchase is required. All the answers can be found in the book, yes, and some of the questions can probably only be answered via familiarity with the book itself. Others, however, can be answered by checking out excerpts from other posts on the blog tour, here on my website, or reading the quotes from Saugatuck Summer on Goodreads.

PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER THE TRIVIA QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS. Instead, there will be a link to my About page, where I’ve customized the contact form so that you can submit your answers to me privately. Each correct answer will get you another entry into the drawing, and three winners will be selected. The contest will be open until June 19 with winners being selected on June 20. So be sure to check out every stop on the tour and answer as many questions as you can!

There have also been some lovely reviews coming in for Saugatuck Summer this past week. Check them out!

“one hell of an intense, gorgeous and wonderful book” — Sara, Boys in our Books

one really addictive summer read” — Jillyn, Bitches & Prose

one brilliantly written book” — Tina, Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews

“an emotional and engaging read” — Optimist King’s Wench, Prism Book Alliance

This hurricane of emotion is a category five recommendation.” — Tina, The Novel Approach

“I can think of quite a few of these guys that have stayed with me long after I finished their book. Topher will be one of those guys!” — Vanessa, The Jeep Diva

Tune in tomorrow for more of the Saugatuck Summer blog tour!

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New release, a soundtrack, a blog tour–what a day! @RiptidePublishing @SinfullySexyB @caseystratton #SaugatuckSummer

SaugatuckSummer_500x750Well, release day is finally here! Saugatuck Summer is now available at Riptide, Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and if it’s not up on Barnes & Noble and Kobo yet, it will be quite soon, I’m sure.

Today also marks the launch of the Saugatuck Summer blog tour! To mix things up a bit this time around, I’m doing a Saugatuck Summer trivia contest. Yes, this means some familiarity with the book is necessary. No, it does not mean a purchase is required. Aside from possibly getting the answers from a review copy, or through the Amazon or B&N lending programs, you may also find some of them peppered throughout the excerpts I’ll be sharing along the blog tour, or in the quotes from Saugatuck Summer on Goodreads. There will be a new question at every stop, including spotlight stops.

PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS. Instead, use the contact form here on my About page. Entries will remain open until June 19 to give folks a chance to find the answer, and winners will be chosen June 20.

TODAY’S BLOG TOUR STOPS (May 19, 2014):

Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews – join me as I stop by to chat with singer/songwriter Casey Stratton, whose backlist provides the soundtrack for Saugatuck Summer.

Rainbow Gold Book Reviews (spotlight stop)

Romance Junkies (spotlight stop)


Speaking of the Saugatuck Summer sountrack, if you haven’t already, be sure to check that out! Casey’s music is brilliant, and I was so thrilled to be able to work with him on this project. The soundtrack is only $10 which is a great price for a 24-track album, so please consider supporting this amazing independent artist. If the Bandcamp embed doesn’t work for you, you can also find the playlist on Spotify.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to find out where else I’ll be stopping and what I’ll have in store for you!

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Saugatuck Summer is available @RiptideBooks at midnight! @caseystratton #newadult #mmromance #comingofage

Well, it’s finally here! Tonight at midnight, Saugatuck Summer will go live for those who had pre-ordered from Riptide. There’s still a few hours left if you want to get your hands on it early, as well as be entered to win a year of free books from Riptide!

SaugatuckSummer_400x600One summer can change everything.

Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.

My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.

Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.

Starting Monday, I’ll be on tour, hitting a bunch of your favorite book blogs and offering chances to win your pick of any book from my backlist (all-in-one volumes not included.) Be sure to check out the tour schedule and brush up on your Saugatuck Summer trivia to enter to win!


SaugatuckSummer_CDcoverI am also really excited to unveil the Saugatuck Summer soundtrack from a brilliant singer/songwriter of my personal acquaintance, Casey Stratton. Casey not only generously gave me permission to reference his catalog of music for Saugatuck Summer, but he compiled the tracks into an official soundtrack for the book!

You can find it on his store here (if the link doesn’t work, check back in a day or two, it’s not quite live yet.) Or if you want a preview, check out the playlist on Spotify! Casey is an independent artist, so please, if you enjoy the music, purchase the album and support his music!

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Early Release Day! The River Leith Available Now! #mmromance #gay #ebook

Amelia C. Gormley:

You guys know how much I love Leta’s books. I’m not going to be able to dive into this one for a week or two, but I’m so excited for it!

Originally posted on Leta Blake:

The River Leith is now available!

Amazon

Smashwords

All Romance Ebooks

and Barnes & Noble!

What is the reason for this early release? Well, see, I’d originally planned to release the book on the 18th, my husband’s birthday, as a sort of, “Hey, happy birthday, babe! In your honor I released a book!” But, uh, apparently he’d rather I spent his special day actually, you know, paying attention to him and not messing around with getting files loaded, dealing with glitches, messing with blog posts and announcements, and all that jazz. Can you believe that? I mean, so demanding, right? ;) Seriously, though, obviously that release-day/birthday thing wasn’t the best plan in the world. Luckily, I resolved that and now…*drumroll*…the book is available several days early! Hooray! Go forth and buy! *bounces* *bites nails* Hope you enjoy!

Memory is everything. After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith Wenz wakes to discover his most recent memories are three years out of date. Unmoored and struggling to face his new reality, Leith must cope anew with painful revelations about his family. His brother is there to support him, but it’s the unfamiliar face of Zach, a man introduced as his best friend, that provides the calm he craves. Until Zach’s presence begins to stir up feelings Leith can’t explain. For Zach, being forgotten by his lover is excruciating. He carefully hides the truth from Leith to protect them both from additional pain. His bottled-up turmoil finds release through vlogging, where he confesses his fears and grief to the faceless Internet. But after Leith begins to open up to him, Zach's choices may come back to haunt him. Ultimately, Leith must ask his heart the questions memory can no longer answer. Memory is everything.
After an injury in the ring, amateur boxer Leith…

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Two weeks until summer–well, “Saugatuck Summer” that is. @RiptideBooks #mmromance #coming soon

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About this time two weeks from now, Saugatuck Summer will be starting to go live around the interwebs. If you want to register for a chance to win free ebooks for a year from Riptide, it’s available for pre-sale at their website. Pre-buying also means you get the book to download two days early.

Here I am, writing posts to gear up for the blog tour and bouncing up and down in anticipation because I’m so proud of this book. And to add to the excitement, we now have an excerpt! So be sure to head over to Riptide’s site (or there is a PDF available for downloading at Goodreads) to check out the first FIVE chapters!

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