Risk Aware – Free for a limited time at Amazon!

This week, Risk Aware is free at Amazon!

You can also pick up Strain for $0.99 for a limited time!

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Player vs. Player is now available! Also, end of year deals on my other books! #newrelease #freereads

PvP Facebook Banner

Decided to sneak this in there before the end of the year! Player vs. Player is now available, in both digital and print forms!

As with all my recent re-releases, this title is only available at Amazon, so that readers can take advantage of having it in their Kindle Unlimited library. However, for anyone who reads on another platform, I offer you a workaround. If you purchase the book at Amazon, send me a link to an image of your receipt/purchase confirmation (use the contact form on my About page) and I will send you an .epub or even a .pdf if you would prefer to have the book in that form.

PvP for Kobo 1800 x 2700

Pushing for change can be deadly when change starts pushing back…

Niles River has his dream job, writing for a socially-conscious video game studio, and working with his best friend and his twin brother. Sure, he has to deal with incessant harassment from trolls and even protesters who take issue with his ethnicity, his sexuality, and his politically progressive storytelling, but the chance to make a difference in the world through his art makes it worth it.

Until threatening notes begin arriving, hand-delivered, on Niles’s doorstep, and two cosplayers dressed as characters from Third Wave Studio’s latest game are murdered. Their deaths echo plot developments from unreleased content no one except people who work at the studio could know, and Niles is one of the last people to have spoken with the young women.

Now his formerly-closeted ex is investigating the crimes, armed security guards are patrolling the studio, and the death toll is mounting—and getting closer to home. If they don’t solve the murders soon, it could be Game Over for Niles.

Box Set with Background Cropped

In other news, an omnibus version of the Strain trilogy is now available everywhere. I don’t think it’s up on Itunes or Kobo yet, but I’m working on it. They just take a little longer to process. It’s definitely available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, however, and offers all three books at a significant discount to buying them separately!


Paperback versions of Risk Aware and Saugatuck Summer are also now available, though it’s a bit late to offer them as stocking stuffers! Still, if you’ve got those bookstore gift cards and love print, there are options!

And finally! I’m offering some end-of-year specials at Amazon!

Strain is currently available FOR FREE, and as of tomorrow, Risk Aware will be available for $0.99. So get those while you can and have a Happy New Year!

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Help for my family…


This is Bailey.

Bailey is approximately 5 years old, and lately she has barely been eating or grooming herself and we don’t know why.

She has moderately severe mats in her fur around her belly where she doesn’t let us pet or groom her. She has lost a little weight, she is hungry enough to beg (very uncharacteristically, because she’s never been the sort of cat who does that) when we’re eating something fragrant, but she ignores the dry food we give her.

We’ve had to start giving her canned food instead, and still she barely eats any of that. She hasn’t vomiting back up what she attempts to eat; she just. isn’t. eating. The other night she vomited up some white foam, which suggests that her stomach was completely empty. Not even bile.

We suspect it’s a dental issue, possibly a tooth abscess. We do know she has a tartar issue we’ve been procrastinating on addressing for financial reasons. We need to get her teeth cleaned and get dental x-rays. That will cost us about $400-$500. We took her in for an exam and bloodwork today. That was another $300. Hopefully that $700-$800 in vet expenses will be the end of this issue and no further treatment will be needed.

Christmas is coming up and it was already going to be a very lean holiday for us. My sister was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor; she’s going to be meeting with her neurosurgeon this week, and depending on how much support she needs during her treatment and recovery, I may be required to travel back home and help take care of her, which will be another expense we just can’t afford.

I don’t like doing this. I’ve never asked for money before, but I don’t see how we’re going to get through the next couple months with all of this going on, unless we let Bailey’s care go unaddressed.

I know it’s the holidays, and things are tight for everyone. But please, if you can, maybe contribute a little to my Ko-Fi account to help us get Bailey the care she needs?

Thank you.


I scanned in the receipt for the exam and bloodwork on Friday, and the estimate for the dental work and x-rays.

Bailey 11-24 cropped

The Pet Health Club membership made the exam free and saved us 10% on the bloodwork (so an $85 savings) and will also give us a discount on the dental work that isn’t reflected in the estimate. So ultimately the total will be less with the membership than without.

Bailey Estimate

This is the estimate for the dental work and x-rays. The handwritten $22.52 is for brushing out the mats in Bailey’s fur that formed because she hasn’t been grooming herself, which they figure they may as well do while she’s under anesthesia.

Her bloodwork came back Friday evening with an elevated white blood cell count, which is indicative of an infection. That, coupled with the slight inflammation at her gumline, reaffirms the working theory that there is a tooth abscess, but we won’t know until we get the dental x-rays. I did go back and pay $35 for some antibiotics which will hopefully reduce the swelling and make it more comfortable for her to eat, but it’s a just stop-gap measure.

Thanks to contributions at the link above, I’ve raised $270 of the ~$800 needed. Thank you to everyone who has helped.

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Newly re-released! Sea Change and Risk Aware, Saugatuck Books 1 and 2 #mmromance #gayromance #newrelease #kindleunlimited #books @caseystratton

I’m so thrilled to finally be able to announce that Sea Change (formerly Saugatuck Summer) and its prequel, Risk Aware, have been re-released!

As you may remember from back when I released it as Saugatuck Summer, Sea Change is my favorite of all the books I’ve ever written. Beautiful broken, self-sabotaging Topher has a very special place in my heart and I’m so glad he’s back with us again!

Both titles are available on Kindle Unlimited. Unfortunately, this means you can’t get them anywhere except Amazon due to exclusivity requirements. If you wish to acquire an .epub file rather than a .mobi, so that you can read on your Nook or Kobo or iThing, buy the books on Amazon and screenshot your purchase confirmation/receipt. Then contact me here using the contact form on my About page. I will get back to you via email and once you shot me the purchase confirmation, I will make the file available to you!

Be sure also to check out the Sea Change soundtrack by Casey Stratton! (Yes that is the old cover and title on Casey’s store. Due to issues Casey is dealing with right now, I don’t feel comfortable asking him to upload a new cover or do the work to change the title. His wonderful music is still the same, and that’s the important thing.)

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Concierge Service, now available

I got to talk to Pam about this when she was in Oregon this summer and I’m so excited to get to read it! This is right up my alley!

P.D. Singer

At last, Joshua Hannes and Craig Ridley are unleashed upon the world! Life and love in a five-star hotel in New York City, where Joshua fulfills the whims of the wealthy guests, and where Craig could be accustomed to having whims. Except Craig has whims of steel.

I try not to spend more than 20 minutes at a time staring at that beautiful cover, done by the talented Kellie Dennis of Book Cover by Design. Love the way Craig looks so hungrily at Joshua.

The lovely folks at The Novel Approach and Joyfully Jay are my hosts today. They have excerpts and oh, look, a Rafflecopter giveaway. 🙂

Concierge Service is available at your favorite bookstores!

AmazonBarnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple

Joshua Hannes, the concierge of the Vivaldi Central Park Hotel prides himself on fulfilling every impossible request. Tickets to a sold-out show? A purple dye…

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Strain is on sale for a limited time!

Strain banner

I almost forgot to announce this! This week, Strain is on sale at Amazon for $0.99. You can also, as always, read the entire Strain trilogy on Kindle Unlimited!


In other news, my Saugatuck series is getting ready for release! Saugatuck Summer has undergone a title change, and is now titled Sea Change. Still starring the same broken, irrepressible Topher, though!

SC - Teaser 1


And Geoff and Robin are as sizzling as ever in the re-release of Risk Aware!

RA - Teaser 2

I will share more about that as I have more details! In the meantime, be sure to grab a copy of Strain while it’s on sale!

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Juggernaut is free at Amazon this week!

Juggernaut bannerFrom today until Thursday, May 3, Juggernaut, the first book of the Strain series, is free on Amazon!  Be sure to grab it while you have the chance!

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The Strain Series is now available again at Amazon!

Series banner

I’ve just started the process of uploading the Strain books to Amazon to relaunch that series as the first part of re-launching all my titles that were published elsewhere.

YAY! I’m so excited!

For now, I’ve decided to only release the books with Amazon.

The good news for those of you with Kindle Unlimited is that you will have access to the books that way rather than having to purchase them, so if that has been an obstacle in the past, hopefully it won’t be anymore.

For the few of you who do buy through other retailers, I understand this may be somewhat distressing. And I’ll be honest, I’ve been really reluctant about participating in KDP-Select and Kindle Unlimited because I believe that Amazon’s model is extremely destructive for self-publishers and small presses and I object on principle to giving a single retailer exclusive rights to distribute my book.

However, it turns out, inhabiting the moral high ground doesn’t actually pay very well.

So, I’m going to try to split the difference. If you wish to read the book in epub or pdf format, buy it on Amazon, screencap your receipt or purchase confirmation, then contact me with a link to that screencap image using the contact form on my About page, here:


You can also use any of my social media accounts.

Once you’ve done that, I will contact you with a link to download a copy of the ebook in the format of your choice.

I will update any purchase links as soon as I have them, right now I’m just waiting for the books to process!


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Coming soon…

Stay tuned! The Strain series will be available for purchase again within a few days!

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An Announcement concerning my titles with Riptide

As of today, I’ve requested, and received, my rights back on all my solo titles published with Riptide Publishing. I expect my co-written titles will revert back shortly. As per usual, it may take a while for all the books to be de-listed with all the various vendors.

As for what’s going to happen from here on out, I’m not sure. I need to look at my options for a while, because all this has come on very suddenly, but in light of everything that has happened in the last few days, I felt it was the appropriate and ethical thing to do.

I’m still trying to parse through how I feel about all that’s happened, but ultimately my feelings are irrelevant. This is a time for the voices of the people who have been hurt and affected by all this to be heard and supported. I admire and stand by the courageous souls who have spoken out and hope they find comfort and healing.

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In Memoriam: Niki Massey, aka Nicole Forcine, aka feminace

I first met Niki in 2013 at GRL in Atlanta, GA, where she was doing video interviews with authors and publishers for her vlog and video book club. Here she is interviewing me with Anne Tenino:

I remember the interview being a delightful experience, Niki was clever and kind and just a lot of fun. I also enjoyed going back to her YouTube channel and watching the video book club sessions, of which I wish there had been more.

I met her again in 2014 at GRL, which she had used crowdfunding to attend. The first night we were there, we had dinner together with four or five other people. I think Heidi Belleau might have been there? The whole evening is a bit fuzzy because–as I infamously announced to everyone, and you’d better believe Niki kept teasing me about it all weekend–I was plastered after one and a half margaritas due to the fact that all I’d had to eat that day was two pancakes and a mocha. But we hung out several times during the course of that GRL, since I attended as a reader and not an author and therefore had no particular duties, and really she was one of my favorite parts of the experience that year.

I admit, I didn’t know Niki incredibly well. I followed her on Tumblr for quite some time, until she stopped being active on Tumblr, and always found the material she posted and reblogged to be insightful and thought-provoking and sometimes just plain fun. She was a huge fan of Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series, but I knew she was having financial troubles, so when the final book came out, I bought it and gifted it to her so she wouldn’t have to wait to read it.

After that, we sort of lost contact, mostly since she drifted away from Tumblr and that’s really the only social media platform I’m active on. If news of her passing last week has circulated in the M/M romance community, I haven’t seen it. So it wasn’t until today when I tagged her in the hopes of congratulating her on the release of her latest book (the release of which I hadn’t been aware of, most likely because we had fallen out of touch) that someone let me know what had happened.

I’m incredibly saddened, despite the fact that I didn’t know her well, because what I did know of her was so altogether wonderful.

RIP Niki. You’ll be missed in many communities.


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Oh yeah, I still have a blog, don’t I?

I have no excuses. Actually, I do. I rebuilt my computer a few months ago and in the process lost my password to log onto WordPress and I’ve been too lazy to go through the process of resetting it. That, and the holidays just sort of sucked out of me any desire to put myself out there socially in the slightest way so I’ve been pretty much a hermit since January. But now here I am.

First things first, Riptide has dropped the prices on, like a LOT of my books (and much of the rest of their back catalog as well!) So if you’ve been wanting to get caught up but haven’t had the money, you might want to check out the new pricing!

So, what’s new with me, you might ask?

First of all, I’ve got a new book coming out in a few weeks. If you follow me on Tumblr, Facebook, or Twitter, you probably already know that, I just haven’t posted about it here.


Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?

Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.

Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust—on both their parts—is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.

RISK AWARE is the story of Geoff and Robin, whom you first met as minor characters who were already an established couple in SAUGATUCK SUMMER.

Guys, it’s SOOPER KINKY, mmkay? Like whoa. I know, I know, big shocker coming from me, right? No, but seriously, even I was blushing as I wrote it.

What I loved about writing this book was the chance to explore some different and often neglected aspects of BDSM play, because I had a character who couldn’t go the route of the standard floggings and spankings and rope/cuff bondage. It required a HUGE amount of research, some of it in face-to-face (face-to-webcam?) chat with actual gay hemophiliacs who could give me insight into the clotting disorder–particularly as it regards sex–from the unique perspective of a gay man.

There’s a reason this book took over two years for me to write. Yep, that’s right. I started writing it a couple months after I finished Saugatuck Summer, in the late spring/early summer of 2013. I kept getting stuck and putting it on the shelf, then coming back to it because something just wasn’t falling into place, until finally it did. It’s probably the hardest I’ve worked on any of my books to date, so I really hope it finds an audience.

I’ve got a couple more projects in the hopper, one of which is the next book in the Player vs. Player series. I admit, it hasn’t been a terribly productive year for me so far, at least not since Risk Aware edits were completed. I went back down the gaming rabbit hole for a couple months, including trying my hand at making mods, which is something I’ve never done before.

Then I got into Shadowhunters and the Magnus/Alec relationship (Malec). That has pretty much consumed me for the past few weeks. I ever made my first-ever fanvidm, which again is something I never really imagined myself ever doing because God knows visual/video things and I are not really compatible.

So it’s been an…interesting spring for me so far, in which I’ve not done nearly as many of the things as I should have been doing and yet I’ve stretched myself and my limitations in a number of ways.

And now I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone things about Risk Aware!

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Get my titles at a great #discount during @riptidebooks end-of-year blowout sale!


Now until the end of the year, Riptide is having an incredible blowout sale and you can grab all of my backlist titles for a terrific discount!

The Laird’s Forbidden Lover — $0.99
The Professor’s Rule – The Complete Collection — $3.99 (individual titles are also discounted if you’re just missing some of the series)
Player vs. Player — $2.99
Strain — $2.99
Bane — $3.99
Juggernaut — $4.99
Saugatuck Summer — $2.99

Be sure to grab anything you’re missing from your library from any of Riptide’s other great authors as well!

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For all you Saugatuck Summer readers who wanted Robin and Geoff’s backstory…

… RISK AWARE has been contracted with Riptide. Look for it in the coming year!

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“The brunet”, “the blond”, and “the younger man” are ruining your books! And here’s why! #epithets #makeitstop

There are few lessons I’ve learned as a writer that I’m more grateful for than when Leta here took me in hand when I first started writing slash and taught me the proper use (or rather lack thereof) of epithets.

I’ve tried to do my part; the subject was going around once on Tumblr and I passed the lesson on, and at least one of my mutuals commented that they found the explanation I provided made a lot of sense and clarified the issue for them for the first time.

Recently, I was reading a book from a popular series by an author is who quite well-known in the genre, and the POV character was using epithets to REFER TO HIMSELF. Like: “The tall man drew the short man in for a kiss…” where the POV character is “the short man.” I cringed so hard.

So yes, please take note and follow this advice!

Leta Blake

I DNFed two books this week because I couldn’t deal with the authors’ wild overuse of epithets. One was self-published and the other was published by a press, so this isn’t just a self-pub thing. Authors, beta readers, editors, please, for the love of all that is holy, understand that epithets are unnecessary about 99% of the time. Every single time you use one, ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” I promise that the answer is nearly always no.

I googled looking for an explanation so that I wouldn’t have to actually write up everything myself. I found one on Tumblr that I’ll share here. Yes, it’s about fan fiction, but, dudes, this applies to all writing. Published work is actually expected to be held to a higher standard than fanfic most of the time, am I right?

GO READ THE ENTIRE POST but I am going to just cut and paste in…

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Yet another author misrepresenting themselves kerfuffle

Everyone knows my name isn’t really Amelia C. Gormley, right?


There. Now you know everything anyone who reads my books or has any knowledge of me through the world of m/m romance will ever need to know about me. Probably way more than you need to know, actually, considering how much 100% legitimately personal and TMI stuff I share on my blog and Tumblr.

In the past few months, the m/m romance world has had at least two instances of cis-(het?) women being exposed as having presented themselves to readers and reviewers and other authors in the genre as gay men.

Obviously, this is a problem.

I don’t think it’s any mystery why authors choose pen names. First of all, it’s totally a marketing tool. Throughout history, authors–especially women authors–have needed to misrepresent their gender in order for their work to be published or taken seriously.

In this day and age, that is still unfortunately true. And in all honesty male/male romance DOES have a problem where the readers and movers and shakers within the genre tend to elevate male authors above female authors. They get signed more readily. Their books get priority for editing and marketing. They get moved to market quicker and are a priority for reviewing or purchase by readers for no other reason than it’s a male name on the cover. That’s an issue we really need to deal with.

But these incidences are something else entirely.

This isn’t a woman representing herself as a white cis-het male just to get a foot in the door with publishers. In that case, the woman is part of an oppressed group just trying to get the same opportunities that come automatically and without scrutiny to a privileged group.

That isn’t the same thing at all.

If this were a white author presenting themselves as being black, we would clearly see why this is a problem. The issue here is the appropriation of an oppressed/minority identity by a member of a privileged majority in order for that privileged person to profit off the representation of an inauthentic identity.

These authors aren’t just using a male name. They are actually creating a gay male persona and using it for the purpose of essentially catfishing the entire genre.

Doing it just for the money is bad enough. But in the process, that privileged person also makes people in the oppressed group think they’ve found one of their own, someone they can relate to because that person is like them. And then it turns out to be a lie.

If you don’t understand why that’s an issue, refresh your memory about the Rachel Dolezal.

It not only hurts the people who have been deceived, it also damages efforts on the part of that oppressed group to be taken seriously.

A pen name? Pfft, that’s nothing. That’s business as usual. In a world where people as insignificant as local tv news anchors and newspaper reporters and even fucking baristas can get stalkers who think they have some claim on that person because they have a public presence, putting some distance between one’s public persona and one’s private self seems to be not only a notion worthy of consideration, but the only possible sane choice.

Especially when one writes in a genre that is dedicated to exploring the relationships and promoting/normalizing the acceptance of a subset of the population whose very existence happens to make another subset of the population ACTUALLY MURDEROUSLY ANGRY.

So yeah, I use a pen name and I am pretty certain exactly 0% of the people who follow me as an author are surprised by that fact.

However–I have never misrepresented WHO I AM AS A PERSON. Nor will I ever do so. I have never made up a fictional backstory for myself. I have never created a fictional reality to sell to my followers. I have never solicited donations for various causes under that assumed identity.

I am the gender I say I am. I am the age I say I am. I am the birthsign I say I am.

I, for the most part, have the same personality you see in my online and convention presence. I say “for the most part” because of course I do try to publicly present myself in the best light; I can be far more of an asshole in reality. (And considering how much of an asshole I can be online already, that’s saying something.)

I can promise my readers I will never lead them to believe the books or the blog posts they enjoy or connect with on a personal level, and the things I share or publish that make them feel they aren’t alone in the world for one reason or another, come from someone other than who I truly am.

I can promise the people I meet and befriend along this zany journey through this genre that they will never someday stumble upon the realization that I’m not the person they thought they had become close to.

I can also promise that if I ever say that the proceeds of sales from my catalog of titles will go to a certain charity or cause, it will go there. If I ever solicit donations for a charity or cause, they will go where they were meant to go.

If I ever solicit donations to meet personal needs–well, I’m reasonably certain I’ll never solicit donations that will go to me personally. Except, perhaps–and by “perhaps” I mean I can’t envision ever actually doing it but never say never–if I need some funding to produce and self-publish a title that I can’t contract with a press. (*side-eyes Swatted*)

In other words, with me, what you see is what you get.

Except my real name. Most of you don’t get that. Whatevs.

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So much ethics: An anti-GamerGate rant @Veeren_Jubbal @INeedDivGms @ChrisWarcraft

Today, CypherofTyr, who started the #INeedDiverseGames tag on Twitter and eventual blogs and groups on various social media and gaming sites, posted this to Tumblr:

Please keep Veerender Jubbal in your thoughts. He’s been targeted by GG yet again but this could get him killed. A bathroom selfie was photoshopped to make it look like he was holding a Quran, wearing a bomb lined vest and for some odd reason, a dildo was added. An Italian news outlet has run the story as true sadly, but Buzzfeed (for once was useful) and called out the obvious photoshop.

It looks like a piss poor photoshop, and it’s a photo where he’s staring straight ahead which someone else couldn’t have taken. However news outlets are running this photo, and that piece of shit Milo Y of Brietbart/GG infamy is trying to harass him further by asking for an exclusive for Brietbart.

Veerender is a very young, sweet guy who’s only asking for equality in games and more representation of Sikh’s and brown men like him. For this, for his rightful anger he’s been targeted yet again. The incorrect party line of “he’s a Muslim terrorist” isn’t new but with the strong anti-Muslim vibe going on because of Paris right now, I am really, really worried for his safety. Not tagging him so I don’t bring hate to his FB.

If you follow him on twitter, please send some words of support, cute animal pics or something. I am very, very worried someone will believe that image is real and go after him.


They did this this weekend, AFTER Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility. They did this in a time when anti-Islam sentiment is boiling over and Muslims all over the world are in danger of hate crimes.

It won’t matter that this innocent man is a Sikh. Many Sikhs have been subjected to hate crimes, especially since 9/11, because most people are too ignorant to realize that they’re not Muslims.

This is especially troubling because GamerGaters have been known to attempt murder-by-cop, in the form of something called swatting. Swatting is something that is done to a person who has been doxxed. The harasser makes some form of anonymous report to emergency services that something urgently bad is happening at a person’s address. Like, they’re holding a hostage or they’re waving a gun or whatever. This is done in the hopes that police will show up and bust down the target’s door with guns blazing.

Not that they’ll admit that is the goal, they claim it’s just harassment. But who living in the post-Ferguson world believes that it isn’t actually attempted murder? Especially since the targets of several notable incidences have been black or trans people (such as in this incident last year in Portland) both of whom have every reason to be afraid of being murdered by police.

(Ironically, a few months ago I started writing the sequel to Player vs. Player, called Swatted. My protag is of Middle Eastern descent. Guess what happens.)

For over a year now, I’ve been posting occasionally about GamerGate. GamerGate became a thing last August, just as I was finishing up edits to Player vs. Player (a book which was inspired by harassment of Jennifer Hepler, a writer who used to work on the Dragon Age franchise at BioWare) and Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic who runs a site called Feminist Frequency and does a Feminism 101-level critique of the portrayal of women in video games.

I’ve posted before about how I wrote Player vs. Player a year too early, because it wasn’t, in fact, informed by GamerGate. It just happened to be timely.

GamerGate claims to be about ethics in gaming journalism–which they basically define as preventing any gaming news outlets from posting any articles that might suggest in any way that women and minorities should receive better representation in video games. But here’s the truth about how it actually started.

TL;DR version: posts speculating about Zoe Quinn’s sex life kept getting deleted from legitimate gaming boards, and harassment posts kept getting deleted from other places. So the harassers decided they needed to try another tactic. Here are some of the posts leading up to these harassers deciding they were actually about “ethics in gaming journalism.”

(Extreme TW: Misogyny, misogynist slurs, homophobic slurs, harassment, bullying)

GG Zoe Quinn 01GG Zoe Quinn 02GG Zoe Quinn 03GG Zoe Quinn 04GG Zoe Quinn 05GG Zoe Quinn 06GG Zoe Quinn 07

So it’s completely well-documented that the “ethics in gaming journalism” was a deliberate ploy on the part of these guys to put a veneer of legitimacy on their campaign of harassment of women. The #GamerGate tag was invented, coined by Adam Baldwin, and began spreading all over Twitter.

In the aftermath, the harassment spread to Anita Sarkeesian, who was already misogynist gamers pin-up girl, and to a woman named Leigh Alexander, who posted an article in which she asserted “gamers” are over. You can read the post and see for yourself what her meaning was, but misogynist gamer dudebros didn’t look beyond the title, which they decided was an attack upon them and their identity, and they attacked back.

Then a game developer named Brianna Wu created a few memes mocking GamerGate. For that, she was driven from her home by death and rape threats. (TW: death threats, rape threats, extreme misogyny.)

In the process of crusading for “ethics in gaming journalism”, there has been a flurry of awful behavior. #GamerGate co-opted antisemitic propaganda images to smear Anita Sarkeesian. (TW: antisemitism)

(that’s a caricature of Anita Sarkessian)

(Source: Weev: Gamergate is “the biggest siren bringing people into the folds of white nationalism.”

They equated gamergaters to the #BlackLivesMatter protesters in Ferguson, and equated male gamers to black Americans in the Jim Crow era:

The GamerGate photoshop

The original image

Source: Things #GamerGaters Actually Believe, Part 294: Gamers are as oppressed as African Americans in the Jim Crow era

They created the #NotYourShield tag, which was supposed to prove they weren’t all white males, and then created sockpuppets posing as minorities to boost its population. Internet blackface.

(White nationalists are also claiming GamerGate is boosting their numbers. GamerGaters also frequently reference a trumped-up concept named Cultural Marxism, which is pretty much the next generation of the Nazi buzz phrase Cultural Bolshevism.)

A man named Davis Aurini, who outright confesses to being a white nationalist “on paper” partnered with another GamerGater to make a documentary called “The Sarkeesian Effect” and sought $15,000 per month for their trouble.

(This while accusing Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu of being “professional victims” capitalizing upon their harassment for sympathy and money. The irony astounds.)

They have committed ACTUAL acts of terrorism. In October 2014 Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel an appearance at Utah State University because someone threatened a campus massacre if she appeared (in the process referencing the actual 1989 massacre of several women on a campus in Montreal.)

This is on top of what Sarkeesian deals with on a daily basis.

When Felicia Day, popular actress and geek culture darling, timidly spoke up condemning GamerGate, they doxxed her. (Doxxing, for those who aren’t aware, is the publishing of a person’s personal and financial information–such as address, phone number, employer, family addresses, social security number, etc, for the purpose of harassment.)

Former NFL player and LGBTQIA+ rights activist Chris Kluwe, who had a couple days later posted an absolutely EPIC rant about #GamerGate, was also eventually doxxed. It is pathetic to note, however, that while Felicia Day was doxxed less than an hour after her post, it took them months to dox Kluwe. #GamerGate targets women much more aggressively than it does men.

They even spoke of trying to dox Brianna Wu’s veterinarian in the middle of the night as Brianna Wu waited at the vets with her dying dog. And then, of course, rejoiced and celebrated and harassed Brianna about her loss.

Last year, a Canadian teenager was arrested for swatting female gamers all over North America.

That’s not even close to the end of it.

The Venn diagram of GamerGaters and so-called Men’s Rights Activists isn’t quite a perfect circle, but I’d call it a short oval, at least. Paul Elam, leader of the MRA website A Voice For Men, initially voiced his support for GamerGate, but later seemed to walk to back. GamerGate is also supported by Roosh V, notorious pickup-artist who advocates for the legalization of rape (extreme TW: misogyny and rape apologia) and even confesses to committing rape (TW: rape descriptions).

The person who threatened the massacre if Anita Sarkeesian appeared at Utah State University referenced both GamerGate and repeated a lot of MRA rhetoric.

GamerGate also has a tremendous amount of overlap with neo-Nazi ideology. This really isn’t surprising. All three groups exist for the purpose of upholding white male supremacy, and they echo a lot of the same rhetoric.

For instance, ranting against the concept of so-called Cultural Marxism. The only difference between the three groups is MRAs blame feminists for it, white supremacists blame non-white people for it (as well as feminists), and GamerGaters blame “SJWs” (social justice warriors) for it.

It should be noted that “SJW” is pretty much the “all of the above” option, seeing as how it encompasses any oppressed group advocating for equality, including the groups that MRAs and white supremacists hate.

Here’s where it gets scary though:

Murder in the name of white supremacy is pretty much so universal that I’d be here for weeks listing them. Anders Behring Breivik springs to mind as one, but honestly it happens nearly every day in the US, frequently in the form of law enforcement killing black Americans.

MRAs has a history of celebrating men who murder women in the name of anti-feminism. They have stated Elliot Rodger would have been a hero if he’d just killed women and no men. They have blamed feminists for Rodger’s actions, because Rodger was an “incel” (involuntarily celibate) and because feminists engage in “creep shaming.”

Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot accused of crashing Germanwings Flight 9525, was called an incel hero and his actions an indication of the “beta uprising.” Vox Day, fantasy author and all-around horrible excuse for a human being, opines that Lubitz wouldn’t have crashed the plane if women and just jumped on his dick. MRAs also celebrated the recent massacre at Umpqua Community College.

PUA RooshV is so convinced that one day his followers will commit a massacre that he’s already formulating his response to it.

GamerGaters are already trying to commit murder obliquely with tactics such as swatting, and “raids” on sites such as Tumblr to attempt to harass depressed trans people into committing suicide.

How much longer before they go for the direct approach? Will someone have to actually die before these guys stop being handwaved off as just trolls?

They’ve just spread images of a Sikh man photoshopped to make him look like a terrorist. In the aftermath of a terrorist attack when the entire world is on a hair trigger. How can this be anything but attempted murder?

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Misogyny and discomfort with women’s sexuality

Yesterday, an anonymous gay man made a post about the fetishization and objectification of gay men in the m/m romance genre.

I won’t say he didn’t have some good points. He absolutely did. The fact that people in the m/m romance genre objectify and fetishize gay men is not a new one; it has come up repeatedly since I published my first book. It does exist, and it should really stop.

I also won’t say he tarred all women with the same brush, either. He included the obligatory “not all women” disclaimer. And I think if any woman reads that post and her response is “Not All Women!” then she’s doing exactly what she shouldn’t be doing and missing the point.

However, even though he made a good point, and even though he took care not to generalize, there is some deep misogyny in the post. And that’s not a new thing, either. It’s no surprise that some gay men are not exempt from misogyny. We live in a culture that actively works to undermine women, and no one is free of that influence, even women who are trying to overcome it.

As I mentioned in a comment to AJ Rose on Facebook, a lot of the fetishization and objectification I’ve seen in the genre actually happens outside the books, in the behavior of some readers and writers. In the presence of purely sex and phallus-driven stuff so prevalent at LGBTQ reader/writer conventions. At go-go boys and images of penises and nearly nude men in a space where the subject is supposed to be books.

But then he takes aim at the books themselves, and that bothers me. Because he acts as though all these books are about is the sex scenes, and that’s not true.

He says author’s portray men as “sex-crazed pigs.” It’s true a lot of books in the genre have characters who fuck around a lot. Usually the point of the book is for them to realize that that fucking around isn’t fulfilling them and that being with one person with whom they have an emotional connection is much more fulfilling. So if anything, the point of those stories is that men are NOT “sex-crazed pigs” but that they sometimes act that way for a number of factors.

Gay men are not exempt from the effects of toxic masculinity, which INSISTS that men must have high, aggressive sex drives, either. Nor are gay men exempt from hookup culture, which has spread throughout western society since the sexual revolution of the 60s. To ignore that would be to paint incomplete portraits of things gay men experience and deal with in our society.

Portraying that reality is only fetishization or objectification if the only point of it is to titillate. To portray it as part of a character’s journey is something else entirely. Especially when that portrayal involves the characters in question moving beyond those influences into something they find more satisfying with a single partner.

Now, I’m gonna throw a wacky, far-out concept out here. It’s sort of a big word, and Anonymous might want to write it down. The word is “storytelling.” It’s sort of a thing with authors. We’re kinda known for doing it.

Anonymous also lambasts the fact that protags in the story have sex with each other frequently. Again, that is only fetishization or objectification if it exists only to titillate. If it happens within the context of a new relationship forming, where the sexual energy is high because hello, the relationship is NEW, then it’s not fetishization or objectification. It’s simply portraying the very realistic experience of a newly-minted couple. It happens with m/f romance as well. Hell, it happens in real life. When my relationships were all new, we fucked like bunnies. It’s just a thing people do when they’re new and discovering one another sexually.

Okay, you say, those are valid points that Anonymous got wrong, but they’re not misogyny.

Well, here’s where it becomes misogyny:

He only smacks around the female readers and writers for it. Apparently it’s okay for male readers and writers to portray and enjoy these things, but not women.

As far as I can tell, according to Anonymous’s rant, the problem isn’t that these things EXIST. It’s that WOMEN ARE ENJOYING THEM EXISTING. That’s what he says is wrong with it all.

And that’s because we, as a culture, are very uncomfortable with women as sexual beings. See the phenomenon where women who willingly share nude selfies are whores and sluts and the pictures are disgusting, but a huge number of men in our society have an insatiable appetite for selfies that are shared without the woman’s consent.

Because it’s okay to enjoy women’s nude selfies, as long as they’re not shared and enjoyed willingly by the woman in question.

Men are allowed to propagate and consume sexuality. Women are not. And that, my friends, is bullshit. And it’s hypocrisy, and Anonymous should be ashamed for his lack of self-awareness.

We are uncomfortable with women’s sexuality on a societal level. And I say we because women are not exempt from this. It’s a product of the patriarchy which tells us that men’s sexuality is good and healthy and women’s sexuality is shameful and needs to be buried and repressed.


Even I, as sex-positive as I am, still struggle with it. The sight of (cis) women’s genitalia makes me squirm and not in the good way. Yonic imagery makes me uncomfortable, phallic imagery does not. It’s entirely possible that the reason I have gravitated toward m/m romance is because I find it easier to deal with male characters in a sexual context than female characters. Maybe. Back in my fandom days I wrote PLENTY of m/f erotica and erotic romance, so maybe not. Maybe m/m is just where I landed because it works for me as a writer at this stage of my personal development. Possibly the pendulum will swing the other way someday. Certainly I’m not in m/m romance for the money; I’d make far more money writing m/f.

Every day, as I evolve as a human being, I try to be aware of this influence and overcome it. I challenge myself daily to be as comfortable with the sight of a vulva as I am the sight of a penis. I struggle daily to find the same aesthetic value in f/f pictures and porn videos as I do in m/m pictures and porn.

That’s because I’m a self-aware human being, and I know that I am still under the influence of internalized misogyny.

Anonymous could do with a healthy dose of self-awareness. Because the problem made apparent by his post is not the problem he was ranting about.

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Get the complete STRAIN series for only $13.99 during @RiptideBooks anniversary celebration! #postapocalyptic #mmromance

For Riptide’s 4th Anniversary, they’re offering Strain: The Complete Collection for only $13.99. Which basically means you’re getting a book completely free. Get it while you can!

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The BANE blog tour is making its final stops today, with the last chapter of REFUGE, a free STRAIN-universe short!

I’m leaving in a few hours for Seattle, so I’m afraid I won’t have a chance to make this post later, even though one of the stops for the tour hasn’t been posted yet.

Today on the BANE blog tour, I’ll be sharing the final chapter of REFUGE. REFUGE is a sweet beginning to an trans romance set close to 30 years after BANE. There’s a chance it may be the basis for a continuation of the STRAIN universe, but we’ll have to see what the muse decides about that.

Yesterday, Kal and Billie resolved some of Billie’s misunderstandings about the Wapato Island Refuge and they set off with Zeus on their journey. Billie begins to understand how much she enjoys being with Kal, but is the time right for them?

You can find the installments for today at the following stops:

Smart Girls Love SciFi (Part 1)
BookLover Sue (Part 2)
TTC Books and More (Part 3)

I’m also making a spotlight stop at Rainbow Gold Reviews with another chance to enter the drawing for some Riptide store credit.

Thanks so much for joining me on the tour! If you need to catch up on REFUGE, you can find the previous installments here (or you can check out the Extras tab on the BANE page at Riptide):

My Fiction Nook (Part 1)
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (Part 2)

3 Chicks After Dark
(Part 1)
Book Reviews and More by Kathy (Part 2)
The Jeep Diva (Part 3)

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
(Part 1)
GGR Reviews (Part 2)
Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews (Part 3–please ignore the text labeling it Chapter 2, Part 3.)

Prism Book Alliance (Part 1)
Love Bytes Reviews (Part 2)
Butterfly-o-Meter (Part 3)

Remember that you can comment at each stop to enter to win some Riptide store credit!

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It’s Day 4 of the BANE blog tour! That means Chapter 4 of REFUGE, a free STRAIN-universe short!

Today is the fourth day of the BANE blog tour, and we’re bringing you Chapter 4 of REFUGE.

REFUGE is a sweet beginning to an trans romance set close to 30 years after BANE. There’s a chance it may be the basis for a continuation of the STRAIN universe, but we’ll have to see what the muse decides about that.

Yesterday, Kal and Billie started to get to know each other, but Billie’s desire to find a home outside the Clean Zone where she won’t be an outcast conflicts with her fear of Kal’s people in the Wapato Island Refuge and the horrible things she’s been told about them and their settlement all her life. Today they start to pick through the truths and the lies, to decide if Billie can ever feel safe there.

You can find the installments for today at the following stops:

Prism Book Alliance (Chapter Four, Part 1)
Love Bytes Reviews (Chapter Four, Part 2)
Butterfly-o-Meter (Chapter Four, Part 3)

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the final chapter! If you need to catch up on REFUGE, you can find the previous installments here:

My Fiction Nook (Part 1)
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (Part 2)

3 Chicks After Dark
(Part 1)
Book Reviews and More by Kathy (Part 2)
The Jeep Diva (Part 3)

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
(Part 1)
GGR Reviews (Chapter 3, Part 2)
Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews (Chapter 3, Part 3–please ignore the text labeling it Chapter 2, Part 3.)

Remember that you can comment at each stop to enter to win some Riptide store credit!

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It’s Day 3 of the BANE blog tour, with two new installments of REFUGE, a STRAIN-universe short! #postapocalyptic #mmromance

Day 3 of the BANE blog tour brings you the conclusion of Chapter 3 of REFUGE. REFUGE is a sweet beginning to an trans romance set close to 30 years after BANE. There’s a chance it may be the basis for a continuation of the STRAIN universe, but we’ll have to see what the muse decides about that.

Yesterday, Kal helped Billie out of the derelict building she was stuck in (and if you were paying attention you might have an idea of just how Kal relates to your faves from STRAIN and BANE.) Today you learn a little about what’s happening on the political front in the aftermath of BANE (don’t worry, spoilers are minimal and only very general.) You also learn how Zeus got his name!

You can find the installments for today at the following stops:

GGR Reviews (Chapter 3, Part 2)
Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews (Chapter 3, Part 3–please ignore the text labeling it Chapter 2, Part 3.)

There’s also an excerpt from BANE at MM Good Book Reviews.

If you need to catch up on REFUGE, you can find the previous installments here:

My Fiction Nook (Part 1)
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (Part 2)

3 Chicks After Dark
(Part 1)
Book Reviews and More by Kathy (Part 2)
The Jeep Diva (Part 3)

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
(Part 1)

Remember that you can comment at each stop to enter to win some Riptide store credit!

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The BANE blog tour continues, with Chapter 2 of REFUGE and more! #postapocalyptic #mmromance

Today the Bane blog tour has four stops, each one with a segment of REFUGE, the sweet (no sex) beginning of an MtF/M romance set some years after Bane. It’s possible it may someday be the concept for another full novel in the Strain universe, though I make no promises at this point.

Yesterday you met Billie, a transwoman in a bit of trouble. If you missed them, yesterday’s segments were:

My Fiction Nook (Chapter 1, Part 1)
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (Chapter 1, Part 2)

Today you get to meet Kal and perhaps more importantly, Zeus!

3 Chicks After Dark (Chapter 2, Part 1)
Book Reviews and More by Kathy (Chapter 2, Part 2)
The Jeep Diva (Chapter 2, Part 3)

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents (Chapter 3, Part 1)

Be sure to comment at each stop for a chance to win Riptide credit, and check in tomorrow for more segments of REFUGE.


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Kicking off the BANE Blog Tour! Check out the first few installments of REFUGE, a STRAIN-universe short!

Today we’re kicking off the BANE blog tour with four stops.

Segments of REFUGE, a feel-good (yes, you heard that right, I can write fluff!) STRAIN-universe short, can be found at the following stops:

My Fiction Nook (Chapter 1, Part 1)
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (Chapter 1, Part 2)

I’m also stopping by:

On Top Down Under
Coffee and Porn in the Morning

Comment at all of these stops for a chance to win store credit from Riptide!

BANE is now also available for purchase on the following sites:

Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Be sure to keep following the BANE blog tour each day for more chances to enter to win Riptide store credit, and further installments of REFUGE.


The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

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BANE is live on Amazon! #postapocalyptic #mmromance

Bane_500x750For those of you who rely on Kindle, BANE has gone live on Amazon. B&N, Kobo, et. al. will no doubt be trickling out over the next 24 hours or so.

Also, today is your last chance to get STRAIN for $.99, so if you haven’t already, take advantage of that!

And be sure not to miss the BANE blog tour kicking off tomorrow. I’ll be sharing a short (and very sweet, for those of you who doubted I could do stories without smut) story from the STRAIN universe, called REFUGE. It’s set quite some time post-BANE, but any spoilers are only of the most general sort.

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