Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DOMA Dreams of a Southern Kid

I dont think people understand why I'm so passionate about the politics of being gay sometimes. Sure everyone I know thinks being gay -- or any minority for that matter -- means your life is automatically a cause, but no one ever stops and asks if it's deeper than that. For some LGBTQI people I know it's about the intrinsic right to equality and personal freedom that comes with being a citizen of a developed nation. Some gay/lesbian friends (because let's not even joke anything being passed comes close to helping the trans community [and WE'RE OKAY WITH THAT!] yet and that's a fucking shame.) have their relationships that were affected by DOMA or some other law similar that affected their rights to serve in the military, adopt children or be recognized as their partner's family so they picked up the cause. Now, I totally am down with all of those. Yes, we are guaranteed equality, should be recognized in our relationships and should be able to serve openly if we are willing to die for our country, but my heart is bursting over DOMA because the little boy in me was made so cynical so long ago that I never allowed myself to imagine I'd see any of this in my lifetime.

I come from the South. The Deep South. I never try to hide that fact or play it down. I'm Southern. You can hear it in my accent, tell it from my colloquialisms. I was taught the fear God and say yes ma'am and hold doors for ladies. I love my heritage and the nicest people I've known in my life were "Southern by the grace of God" (no shit, people still say that). I have no issue with this. It's who I am and where I come from. It's my family and my friends and when you call us hicks it pissed me off cuz honey I've lived a little bit of everywhere in these Unites States and from Poughkeepsie, New York to Yelm, Washington there are "hicks" in every state. I'm probably better educated than some of the "Yankees" I know, to be honest so it's quite a rude generalization. But I digress.

Because there is such a conservative atmosphere where I come from, and since I still came up in the tale end before momentum for LGB rights had begun to advance so quickly, missing the current upswing by about 2 years, I didn't see any of the goodness in my teenage years. I was shunned by classmates, got gun threats in school for standing up for myself against hate speech, and when I was sexually abused by a classmate it went unnoticed because people just arent comfortable with such things. Then my family found out I was gay and I was set aside, quickly and with quite a bang. This was all part of the experience though. This was being gay, especially in the South. What else was I supposed to expect? And you know what, NONE OF IT surprised me. I can't remember honestly being shocked at one point during any of those events. I went through it all with a cool, hard knowledge that this was how my life was always going to be so if I just bit the bullet and survived then I could one day move somewhere more accepting and consider these things stepping stones to a better tomorrow.

Well, I didn't do that. I dated other Southern guys, always ones about as damaged, if not more damaged, than me. I let their closet and their issues hold my life stagnant because, again, this was the plight of the Southern homosexual who was self-loathing and only dated closet cases and men who wouldn't hold your hand in public because who'd wanna hold hands in public and have people think you're queer?! Not me, no way.

So I let it make me bitter. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Sometimes we do things to help us survive, but sometimes we're just cynical. Some of my relationship issues stem from not wanting to be as desperate and clingy as my father, nor wanting to find my validation in my relationships with other men like my mother. It's not all being gay.

And I don't for one minute think that being gay isn't one of the most amazing parts of my life. It has made me resilient and a fucking fighter and a survivor and made me different and stronger.

It was the lack of a dream or for hope of that Happily Ever After that made me cynical. I tried not to dream. Who wants to get their hopes up. Then holy shit I moved to a state that legalized gay marriage... IN MY LIFETIME...and I'm only in my early 20s! WTF?! Is this real? That's a long way from hiding who I am so I don't get hung by my testicles in the woods to being able to walk into a courthouse and sign papers declaring me someone's husband in front of God and everyone in my State.

But then there's the couples who were still being discriminated against because of DOMA and I made that the next thing to make me cynical. Okay, so now I won't date, I won't try to find someone because with my luck I'd find a partner from another country and we'd end up star crossed lovers in the middle of a horrible immigration dispute where we're work for years and still lose everything. (my cynicism knows no bounds) Again, I dared not hope that even a semblance of full equality may exist. Because maybe if it did, those things I'd grown up hardwired, that my family had been hardwired with, would have cost me that family and a happy childhood for nothing.

Eh, so now I look at it a little less dramatically and see, HOLY SHIT...I've wasted so much time. I, like so many little Southern boys who grew up playing on dirt roads and learned to drive in their grandaddy's pasture never dared dream I'd ever have the ability to have a REAL, legal fairy tale wedding. I grew up in the age of rich gays running to Vermont for commitment ceremonies that were considered a joke from an episode of Will & Grace to the people sitting in the pews of the Tri-County Baptist Church where my family attended.

It's possible. For some reason I got lost in thinking that was so impossible to dream about while I'm well-known for believing other things are so incredibly possible that now I feel silly. Yeah, I have mommy issues and I've had shitty relationships, but who hasn't? It's like... this moment of clarity occurred as we drew nearer this court decision and I realized either way that I can have that dream wedding. No one is guaranteed the happy ever after, but it's a possibility. And maybe, just maybe it's time to stop being trapped under what being gay meant I was limited to when I was growing up where people didn't understand homosexuality and better than they understood why boys needed to pass 8th grade if they could play football better than anybody in the county.

So I apologize to anyone I brought down with my jaded behavior. It was really more out of fear in believing I could have something, that we all could have something this simple yet this big... but it's why I was always there fighting for it. I guess I'd just shored up my defenses for the life-long fight many other activists have had on this front and didn't stop to ready myself for the day it actually happened.

So yeah, this means alot to me. My heart is overjoyed, overwhelmed. I thank everyone who got out there and marched and fought. I think I will be in shock for a while, but I'll keep going. There's still much to be done. For the kids who are being bullied, for the trans woman who can't use the right bathroom, for the couple who got beat for kissing in the park, for the man who was raped and due to masculine culture was shamed out of reporting his attacker there's still so much to do. But I won't let that fear, that lack of hope, hold me back any more. So yes, this was a very important day for me.

It's a new day and we did it. And I've never been so proud. And hey, all you Southern boys out there, what do you want your prince charming to wear to your wedding? I'm thinking khakis, linen shirts and bare feet on a beach. (okay so there's a little part of me that still feels silly thinking it, but they call that social conditioning so sue me) I may never be comfortable holding hands in public. But it's one step at a time, huh?

Congrats to everyone. This was a win for America. And despite how sad I am for my family and how wrong they were about me and my "lifestyle", that they let something so trivial come between us, this was a win for ME and my heart and I never realized just how important it was until I broke down at the news this morning, and I have no shame in admitting it.

So thanks. Thankyou thankyou thankyou SCOTUS for the right decision. And thankyou America for being my home. It took a while, but we're getting it right.

Peace, Love & PRIDE

Busted: A Don't Trust the Cut Teaser

Hey guys! We're only a week away from the release of Don't Trust the Cut and I'm so excited that I wanted to do a little more teasing. I thought I'd drop one of the lighter moments in the book that's er... awkward in the end. DTtC was listed as "surprisingly light despite the subject matter" so I figured I'd show one of those moments. Like Seven Sentence Sunday this won't be a very long excerpt. I mean... it is a teaser after all. So... yall enjoy!

Tucker placed the plates at the table. Jesse and Alison gave him entertained looks.

“What?” He was confused.

“Oh, nothing.” With a laugh, Jesse shook his head dramatically.

“You’ve only been sitting there laughing at the roast for ten minutes.” Leave it to Alison to always make sure he blushed every shade he could. He sat down in his chair as far away from the two of them as possible, hunching his shoulders in embarrassment, wishing he was a turtle so he could sink his head into his shell.

“Oh, come on, Tuck. It was cute.” The doorbell rang just as Jesse reached a conciliatory hand across the table to Tucker.

Alison wagged her finger at Jesse as she stood to answer the door. “Big burly men should never use the word cute.” The doorbell rang again. “I’m coming!” she screamed through the house.

Tucker took Jesse’s offered hand shyly. Jesse made it clear he would have none of that. He grabbed Tucker’s hand firmly and pulled Tucker to meet him in the middle of the table as he leaned over to give him a sweet kiss. They didn’t use their tongues, but tongues weren’t necessary. This was a hello.

Like coming home.

Oh no. That was not a good thought.

“Uh, boys.” Alison broke up their kiss, but they still lingered on each other for a moment. “Don’t let us be a bother or anything, but I was just telling Miranda here that she and Marmaduke seem to have a talent for stopping by on the same day.”

Both men snapped their heads at Miranda’s face. Alison’s face was trying to conceal laughter. Jesse seemed to tense, and Tucker’s gaze dropped at the unreadable look on Miranda’s face. There had definitely been that same hidden fire in them that he had seen at their last meeting.

“Nice to see you, Tucker, Jesse.” Her words were cordial enough.

“Nice to see you too, Miranda.” Tucker never took his gaze off the table. Why did he feel guilty?
“Guess complaining about exes is off the table as a topic,” Miranda said drily.

 Hehehe, I laugh at the image of this scene in my head. Miranda and Jesse have a few awkward moments like this. It's pretty amazeballs while painfully awkward. So don't miss that and more of Alison' when Don't Trust the Cut releases at LooseId on July 2nd. I will be providing buy links when available.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pride Month and Projects Galore

Hey guys!

I'm super stoked. So many good things going on these days. I'm gonna burst with all these feels. Oh em gee! Of course I'm all giddy cuz it's pride month and I've been volunteering for everything under the Pacific Northwest sun. Yours truly gets to wrangle shirtless boys all morning at the pride parade for Seattle Out & Proud. It may sound like a chore...I assure you, it is not. ;)


So first we have Don't Trust the Cut dropping in 2 effing weeks! I'm. So. Excited. *does the Jessie Spano freak out version of I'm So Excited* Now that I'm done with that.... I finished some serious dragon-writing throw-down fuck that manuscript hard and put it away DONE writing. 3 wks, 63k words and Trouble & the Wallflower is submitted to the publisher. *flails* I really am so stoked for y'all to meet Gavin and Davy. Also in the next couple months my weekly serial Room 1224 will begin (August 10) and Wide Awake is being re-released on August 6th with a re-edit, extra content AND a new cover by my bestie (and the best cover artist EVAH!) L.C. Chase (who did the cover for Stars and is pretty much doing every cover of mine ever from this point on......except DTtC cuz they didn't let me pick that artist but Dar Albert was fabulous so I digress.) Oh yeah. Wide Awake will be available in print on that day, as well. *happy dance*

By then we'll be making out way *THIS* much closer to my Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up,  Atlanta Pride (hometown, represent!) and GayRomLit retreat. I'm. So. Stoked. Been getting my swag ready for them all and hearing from alot of readers that I'm so excited to meet! Y'all have been so rad!

Which brings me to my next order of business. I have rolled right along into my next manuscript. Another day another gay, they say. (he he he) So I thought since I'm in a fantabulous fucking mood I'd share the picspiration and blurb for this novella I'm gonna hammer out in the weeks to come. I'm really excited about this one. I got a thing for bad boys and goddammit does Gianni fit that bill. I present to you... Gangster Country.

Logan Marshall

Gianni Rodrigues

Gangster Country by Kade Boehme

Logan Marshall moves to New York to be a social worker where he feels he's needed most. Logan's always had it good. His Daddy is a preacher, sure, but he preaches a laid back, tolerant congregation who accepted Logan's sexuality gracefully.  He's from a ranch in nowhere, Texas, which makes him a hot ticket in the clubs with his tight, work strengthened body and his cute accent. He's out of his element in New York, not looking for Mr. Right Now but Mr. Right. Until he meet's the hottest guy he's ever seen. Gianni is no good and that's a challenge. But Logan's up for a challenge.

Gianni Rodriguez grew up in Brooklyn. Nothing could be further from the way he was raised than innocent, good hearted Logan was. Gianni is fascinated that people like Logan even exist. And parents that not only are God-fearing, but also accepting?

Gianni has been carrying pot for his older brother, Miguel, since he could cross the street without someone holding his hands, and carrying a gun in his waisteband since he was old enough to shoot without making his arm feel like jelly. There's nothing accepting about the streets he roams. His Mexican father would sooner have a murderer for a son than a faggot and his Italian mother goes to confession if she accidentally flips the channel to an episode of Jerry Springer.

No. There's no acceptance for Gianni. Not even from his friends. As second in command of Los Cuervos, his brother's not-so-merry band of drug runners and pimps, Gianni's life would be in serious jeopardy if anyone ever knew the truth. That's why his growing attraction for Logan is a bad thing.

Logan is called in his capacity as a case worker on one of the Los Cuervos's suppliers' family and when he decides the children should be removed from the home, Gianni is the one called in to take care of the little problem. When Gianni realizes his mark is Logan all he can think to do is hide him and fast, risking everything, even his family for a hot piece of ass. One that may not even want him once he realizes what a monster the man he's been sleeping with really is. Could Logan be Gianni's reason to go straight? Or will they both go straight to an unmarked grave in the Poconos?    

 Yay! I hope that whet your appetite for more. I'm having wayyyy too much fun writing these guys' smexy times. ;) 

Don't forget Don't Trust the Cut is out July 2 at LooseId. And thank you guys for giving me the ability to do what I love. Y'all are the fucking bestest and I hope I keep making y'all as happy as y'all make me!

Peace, Love and Motherfucking PRIDE

Seven Sentence Sunday

Time for another Seven Sentence Sunday with Tucker and Jesse. We're only two weeks out from the release of Don't Trust the Cut (yay!!) so I thought I'd give a few more lines than just seven. As much I like to tease, seven just seems such a small number. So you get like nine in stead. Haha.

Anywho. In the following scene Jesse has stopped by to see Tucker and Tucker is making them some "hot chocolate". After revealing Miranda had come by to talk earlier in the night, Tucker is feeling a little guilty.

Jesse took Tucker’s shoulders and spun him around so they were face to face. Tucker looked hurt. “Hey, you, I know exactly what I’m getting into here. I never said it would be easy for me. This is the first time since high school.” Tucker looked surprised. “What, you thought I was just gay for you? You’re pretty, but I didn’t think you were conceited. Sheesh.” He could not help teasing the shy man. “Miranda knew this about me going into the relationship. You are not the other woman. I stepped back from a relationship that was going south fast to make sense of my feelings for you. I know that is not exactly what you want to hear, but please take it for what it is. I will not let you be collateral damage. That I can promise.”

“Don’t you know how to charm a boy?” Tucker said, playfully. “Marshmallows?” He held the bag up between them.

Alrighty! This has been another Seven Sentences, brought to you by that sexy snow man mug up there. Hope y'all enjoyed! It's almost here! Don't Trust the Cut releases July 2nd at LooseId. Stay tuned for giveaways, blog tour info and more teasers here at Kaderade: In Your Face (gosh, I'm so classy).


I do not own the rights to the photo of that damn sexy little snow man mug. Unfortunately.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Don't Trust The Cut Teaser: Jesse Meets Tucker

Alright! Another teaser from Don't Trust the Cut. Here's that welcome home party from the prologue. We meet Miranda and see how Jesse and Tucker's first meeting bombs hard core. Enjoy!

Jesse Bauer sat in a corner, playing with the label on his beer. He hardly knew most of the crowd here for this travesty of a welcome-home-slash-birthday party. His girlfriend had forced the issue of attendance since he was one of the guests of honor along with douche-bag Nate and some guy who’d been on vacation for two weeks in Canada. Yeah, our homecomings are definitely similar. He rolled his eyes and huffed at the thought. Coming home from a war with a GSW to the shoulder and a vacation are definitely the same. Another snort.
“There you are, baby.” Miranda wrapped one of her slender hands around his bicep and smiled at him. She was trying to make her overly painted face seem polite but wasn’t doing a very good job of it. He knew she wanted to bitch about his lack of interest in the party but would never do it with so many people around. He scrunched his nose at the strong smell of her vanilla perfume that didn’t mix well with the beer on her breath. She scoffed.
“I haven’t seen you in months, and you’re looking at me like I’m repulsive?” She obviously noticed his scrunched nose.
He shamelessly avoided her question. “Miranda, I’m jet-lagged, sore, and don’t know anyone. How am I supposed to enjoy this shit?”
“You could give it a try.” She practically gritted her teeth to stifle the urge to yell. He knew she was trying to help, but damn if he didn’t just want to be at home with some pizza and a movie. Maybe something with explosions. He missed explosions. Not the death part, but the sounds were fun.
“I just want you to stop sulking. You’ve been doing it since you were put in the hospital. I know it’s not easy, but you can at least try to move on. This party is the best place to start. With people who care.”
He couldn’t tell whether his face turned red with anger or embarrassment when she brought up the shoulder injury that had forced him into medical retirement after only ten years in the marines. He lived and breathed that job. Either way, she got the hint from the color of his face and his narrowed eyes and stopped whatever else she had to say.
“I’m going to refill my drink. I’ll be right back.” She stalked off, heels clacking. She looked like an emotionally injured Scarlett O’Hara, whom she strangely resembled, aside from the bleached hair. He scanned the crowd for a minute; the door opened.
Alison Marks came through. He remembered her from a Christmas party Miranda had thrown several years ago. He was about to make the effort to say hello to the one person he recognized when a man followed her in whom he didn’t know.
He couldn’t help but take in the sight of the man. He was slender but not too thin, with a lightly freckled face that spoke of a childhood in the sun. He was wearing a black henley, jeans, and a baseball cap that he’d turned backward. His clean-shaven face was almost too pretty to call masculine, and it was obvious he had a mop of black curls by the few strays poking out over his ears. He looked terribly uncomfortable as several people descended on him with pats to the back and hugs, shoving a beer at him.
Must be our Canadian explorer.
The man slowly scanned the crowd, and when his honey-brown eyes landed on Jesse’s stare, Jesse couldn’t  look away. Pow! Crack! was all he could hear in his head as a flame started to ignite between them. He could see a light pink blush creep into the other man’s face. How cute. Jesse felt a warmth spread throughout his body as they continued to look at each other. Miranda’s sudden reappearance broke the spell. Jesse saw the other man’s long, dark lashes flutter, and looked away, clearly embarrassed at the sight of her nearly crawling into Jesse’s lap. Jesse almost impulsively threw her off to go comfort the other man, who was now swallowed by more well-wishers.
Jesse looked back to Miranda, who was—not subtly—staking her claim on him. She must have noticed the eye sex he’d had with the other guy. He admonished himself for being so blatant, but she knew his preferences going into their relationship, hence the lap crawling and tight hand around his arm. He could not hide the annoyance on his face. Why not just piss on my fucking leg?
He didn’t know why he still dated Miranda. She had been the best option for keeping up the fa├žade while he was in the marines during the whole “Don’t ask, don’t tell” era, but he was retired now, and that policy was dead; he didn’t necessarily have to hide anymore. Except from his marine buddies. And his mom.
Never mind.
Miranda was still the safest bet. And she was sweet when she wasn’t like this.
“Let’s get out of here.” She had worked herself up. He felt a bit like prey.
“All right. Let me hit the john. Then we can head out.” He handed her his beer and made his way to the upstairs bathrooms Nate had insisted no one would use. He was wrong. Honey-brown eyes met him in the mirror when he opened the door. The man from before. He looked embarrassed as he pulled his sleeves down and pocketed what looked to be some sort of ointment. Jesse heard the Pow! Crack! in his head again and had to suppress the urge to hug the embarrassment right out of this man.
“I’m sorry. All done in here. I’ll just get outta your way.” The man spoke so quietly the words were barely audible, but Jesse could definitely pick up on a Southern accent that added to the man’s appeal. The man turned and cast his eyes downward as he tried to leave.
“You’re good, man.” Jesse couldn’t stop himself from word vomit, wanting anything but for this man to leave. “I saw you come in. I’m guessing by the reception that you’re Homecomer Number Two. I’m Homecomer Number One.”
The man raised an eyebrow. “Why do you get to be Number One?” Jesse held himself in careful restraint when the man smirked playfully.
“I got here first.” Jesse shrugged and gave a friendly smile. The other man’s eyes sparkled with good humor and looked more confident, even if it was for a fleeting moment.
“Jesse.” He held out his hand.
The other man looked at it for a moment before taking it in his grasp and shaking, saying “Tucker.” Tucker’s voice was barely audible, unlike when he’d attempted to be funny. Their eyes met again. Tucker licked his lips, making warm-fuzzy things happen inside Jesse. Jesse was not accustomed to losing control, ever…around anyone. That didn’t stop him from descending on Tucker’s lips.
Tucker tensed for a moment, sending a nervous shudder down Jesse’s spine. Jesse hoped like hell he did not read the signals wrong. But he knew he’d read them right when Tucker relaxed against him and opened his mouth for a deeper kiss, albeit shyer than Jesse would have liked. He still fell into the man’s mouth, feeling unstoppable. Tucker tasted like beer and toothpaste. He smelled woodsy and slightly of cologne that Jesse could only think was what the color blue would smell like. How strange.
Jesse couldn’t think of a better taste or smell . Tucker put his hands on Jesse’s chest and sighed into Jesse’s mouth. Jesse reached up and firmly gripped Tucker’s arms. What he thought would be a passionate move ended in a loud cry from Tucker, whose knees buckled like he was in pain. Tucker immediately drew within himself, looked around like a feral cat, and apologized as he darted out of the bathroom.
Jesse followed but couldn’t find Tucker or Alison to ask what the hell had happened or if he’d hurt Tucker. Someone said they’d left in a hurry. He did, however, find Miranda, who seethed in annoyance. He gave her an apologetic look.
“Can we go now?” she asked, obviously trying for seductive instead of annoying. He felt like an unimaginable bastard. He hoped she wouldn’t be able to smell the other man on him. He’d come entirely too close to cheating. He never wanted to be that kind of man, but Tucker was like a drug Jesse had never known was out there to indulge in.
He felt like an even bigger bastard when he thought of the other man as he fucked Miranda that night.
And the next.

And that's it! Don't forget that Jesse and Tucker's story is out July 2 over at LooseId (of course it'll be on Amazon, BN, ARe, etc) See you for Seven Sentence Sunday!