Monday, May 25, 2015

MM Memorial Day Scavenger Hunt

Army Banner 2 Update  

 Welcome to the first annual MM Memorial Day Scavenger Hunt! 10 Days, 30 Blogs, and loads of prizes! The rules are simple: At each stop on the tour you'll find a military themed picture with a word or words. Collect the words and figure out the secret phrase (HINT: It's lyrics to a song). Once you think you have the correct phrase, enter it into the Rafflecopter at any of the stops. One grand prize winner will be selected from all the correct phrases. Use the other Rafflecopter options to enter to win one of the runner-up packages. Good Luck and Happy Hunting! 

Our stop's phrase is: Can


 Grand Prize ($45 GC total) -Kindle Paperwhite (VWF) -Swag (VWF) -$25 GC (Jessie G) -$20 GC (Sara York) -2 ebooks (Jessie G & BFD) -Bad Boyfriends series ebooks & print (3 books) from Nya Rawlins 1st Place ($35 GC total) -$25 GC (Nya Rawlins) -$10 GC (Sloan Johnson) -CTR & backlist ebooks from Kade Boehme -Unicorns & Hidden Gem ebooks from Lissa Kasey -Winner's ebook of choice from MMGoodbookreviews -Adventures of Cole & Perry ebook from Amanda C. Stone 2nd Place ($30 GC total) -$20 GC (Aria Grace) -$10 ARE GC (Prism Book Alliance) -Love at First Site ebook from Cardeno C. -Trouble Comes in Threes ebook from M.A. Church -Winner's choice of Felice Stevens ebook 3rd Place ($20 GC total) -$10 Amazon GC (READing is FUN Da Mental) -$10 GC (Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy) -backlist ebook from Annabeth Albert -Winner's choice of Aria Grace ebook -Winner's choice of Andrew Grey ebook 4th Place ($20 GC total) -$10 GC (Felice Stevens) -$10 Amazon GC (Amy Lane) -Undercover Love series ebooks (2 books) from Brendan Cothern -Winner's choice of Susan MacNicol ebook -Winner's choice of Lexi Ander ebook 5th Place ($20 GC total) -$10 Amazon GC (BFD) -$10 GC (Lexi Ander) -Winner's choice of Kindle Alexander ebook -Winner's choice of Susan MacNicol ebook -Winner's choice of backlist ebook from Cate Ashwood  

Participating Blogs/Authors:
May 25
May 26
May 27
May 28
May 29
May 30
May 31
June 1
June 2
June 3

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

#HAHABT: Keeping Hope

Hi guys! Welcome to my stop on the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia.

Homophobia. Obviously it’s a strange concept to me since, well, I’m the homo that’s being phobed. I never understood it. I grew up knowing what the people around me thought of gays. Good lord, my dad would see an episode of Will & Grace coming on and he’d complain about how they were “promoting that shit.” He said the same thing about biracial couples, Jews, Catholics… He was pretty equal opportunity, but I digress.

I knew from such an early age that I liked boys. I said Johnathan Taylor Thomas was cute when I was 7, for heaven’s sake. I was ogling boys in tights in the ballet film Center Stage when I was 12, never giving a passing glance to the girls. I “stumbled” on gay porn at thirteen, and it’s like the final pieces of the puzzle fit together when I realized boys could be together like that.

But my being gay since effing birth came from an innocent place well before I even got what being gay meant. Before my being gay was something sexual, something political, something controversial. Before all of that, I was just the 10 year old boy with a stomach-aching, sweaty-palmed, want-to-see-him-smile-all-the-time crush on his best friend Caleb.

Then, my dad said it. Queer. Hell, I still cringe just as fast at the word “queer” spoken with a southern accent as I do “faggot”. In the south, it’s kinda one and the same. I’d never paid any attention to or understood just who these queers were or who those gays were who were promoting their “shit” in such a way that my father took offense. They were the others. Until I realized, oh fuck, They is actually We.

And I officially didn’t get it. Here I was, thirteen, not understanding why my dad thought something was wrong with it. Didn’t he realize I liked boys like that too? What exactly would I be promoting if I simply… existed?

Eighteen, my dad finds out I’m gay. He tells everyone. Yeah, that didn’t go so well. We haven’t seen each other in 8 years, not since the night he found my copy of Eating Out. Damn that cover for looking like porn. Hmph. Guess it’s good he didn’t find the M/M YA I had. His head would have exploded over some of those early ’00s covers, just sayin’.

In those eight years, I’ve also not spoken with my family—seriously my grandmother used the I have friends who can help with this line…seriously—and my mother and I fell out pretty hard over it.

But something fucking amazing happened in that almost-decade. First, I never ran into others who weren’t accepting. All of my friends, no matter how religious or what family they came from, seemed to rally around me. So as a sample of my generation, they seemed to be indicative of a changing tide. Then marriage equality seemed to grow legs, DADT was repealed, DOMA was overturned. My mom made gay friends.

I still catch myself taking a look around the room if my date is forwardly affectionate in public, still hear my dad’s words in my head and reel from the things my mother and I went through. But I can report, it is in fact getting better. I know my experience isn’t the same as everyone. The changes may even be too subtle for people, but the strides we’ve taken in just a decade… Man, how I wept when DOMA was overturned. It gave me hope. Hope that I may actually get to be married and have those things I was convinced by my family I never would.

I like to think a kid born now won’t have the same experience by a long shot. When he’s eighteen and his dad finds out, his dad may flip but maybe, just maybe, they’ll be solid. Maybe he won’t have to go through kids constantly asking him, “Are you gay?” when they mean they’ll kick your ass if you say yes. Maybe homophobia will be a word no one has to even try to understand.

Maybe he’ll hold his boyfriend’s hand and never even think to check the people around him.

Here’s hoping.

And for the record, those gay friends helped. My mom is now one of my best friends. So yeah… hope.

Thanks for reading, guys. Thanks for participating in #HAHABT. It means the world to me, to all of us involved, and I'm so happy to be a part of this.

Don't forget to enter the rafflecopter (it's super easy) to win my one big grand prize here which is an eBook copy of Chasing the Rainbow, a choice of any eBook back list title of mine, and a $50 donation in your name to a cause that's very very near and dear to my heart, The Ali Forney Center.

Good luck on the giveaway! And don't forget to [Click Here] and hit up the #HAHABT blog and scroll down to check out the other amazing authors— many of whom I call friend (I'm one stupidly lucky guy)— and keep spreading the love.

To read more about The Ali Forney Center [Click Here] or if you'd like to make a donation to them, either way [Click Here]. (For those who do, you're so effing awesome.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(EDIT: So sorry I'm a day behind on this. I scheduled the post wrong! Spaz strikes again.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Surprise! Release Day is Here!

Muahahaha! I pulled it off! I wanted to surprise everyone by releasing early. And I did it! So... I'm giving a final snippet and the buy link for Chasing the Rainbow. To answer a question I've gotten, yes I hope to get it in print in the next couple weeks, but in favor of getting it out a little early I decided to focus on the eBook first so I'll let everyone know when it should be available in print.

So many huge thanks to everyone for sticking around for snippets and congrats to all the winners of the giveaway! I hope you all enjoy Jody & Bobby's story.

So here's the snippet. They're sitting around Bobby's house having dinner there for the first time. I love this convo because it's just so... them.

Bobby couldn’t remember anyone ever making him feel special for just being Bobby. Not that people in his life hadn’t treated him well, it’s just that Jody had this easy acceptance of Bobby that he hadn’t experienced before. No need for castles or babies—yet. The thought made Bobby shudder.
            “What just passed through that head of yours?” Jody asked. “You look like someone walked on your grave.”
            “I was thinking about kids.”
            Jody laughed at whatever expression Bobby made—probably one of fear, if Bobby was honest. “Well, I don’t think you’ll be knocking me up any time soon.”
            “Thank God for small favors.”
            “So no adopting babies from China. Understood,” Jody said, gravely.
            Bobby paused, his fork halfway to his mouth. “Is that… Is that gonna be a problem?”
            Jody’s serious expression melted away pretty quickly. “No. Not hardly. I’ve never wanted kids. No worries about me flushing my birth control.”
            “You’re an idiot,” Bobby said, fondly.
            They ate for another moment in contented silence, swapping winks and playing footsy like a couple of lovesick teenagers. At least, this is what he assumed what lovesick teenagers had felt, and he was sad he’d held himself back from feeling that way for so long. For a minute anyway. Because holding out had given him Jody, so far. It was hard as hell to consider that a waste.


Thanks again, so much, guys (& gals, of course)
Happy reading and much love,

Sunday, May 10, 2015

'Chasing the Rainbow' Snippet Sunday & A GiveAway!

Heya guys (and gals!) First I'm gonna give a big shout out to the moms out there! Happy Mother's Day! (which is why we've got the big giveaway going down later in the post) It's time for my customary Snippet Sunday to promo my upcoming release, Chasing the Rainbow. You can see the official blurb [HERE].

So on with the is actually almost excerpt length haha. Then stick around to check out my It's Mother's Day & I Like Moms Chasing the Rainbow Giveaway. (Yeah. Long title. But whatevs.)

Anywho... In today's snippet, it's right after Jody catches Bobby—who Jody doesn't know is gay, yet—in an awkward position with Jody's mother (it's not THAT bad so stop side-eying me, thanks) and Bobby asks Jody to go have a sit down and chat to clear the air.

Bobby’s face fell, hand resumed twisting the napkin. They sat silently for a beat before Bobby finally spoke again. “That was awkward.”

            Jody titled his head in question.

            “That. With your… Mother.”

            Jody cringed. “Awkward is one word.”

            “She’s something.”

            “She is that. In my head I think of her like Samantha on Sex & the City. Only Samantha didn’t have all those marriages under her belt.”

            Bobby’s face grew contemplative before he responded, “Yes. I could definitely see that. She like that all the time?”

            “Pretty much. But she’s good people.” When she’s not cock blocking.

            “I was thinking she seemed like a girl in charge. If I swung that way…” Bobby let the trailed off words speak volumes. The way he pinned Jody with his warm but serious gaze made Jody’s hopeful side become all atwitter. Gross, atwitter?

            “So… You’re…”

            Bobby chuckled and leaned back in his seat, relaxing for the first time since they’d gotten there. “Yes, gay.”

            “Oh. Cool.”

            One of Bobby’s sexy, full brows went up. Jody couldn’t tell which incarnation of the man he likes more, the bashful, the boyishly brash, the chic businessman, or the guy he’d seen for months now in nothing but jeans, tees, and working boots.

            If he was honest, he liked it all.

            “So about that, then. You don’t know me all that well. I know we talk a lot, but you don’t know me well enough to completely trust me, but I’m asking you to trust that I would never have done anything like that,” he waved his hand, throwing a bit more accent to the last few words, “to get a client.”

            Jody’s felt his eyes widen. “Oh, no. I’d never think that.” He felt Bobby was wrong. The little bits of information over the last couple months of random, fifteen to twenty minute conversations had made him feel like the guy was at least a friend. He didn’t think he knew the guy well enough to loan him his car or anything but he’d consider him a friend, even if not a very close one.

            “Good,” Bobby said, visible relief in his eyes. Bobby picked up his candied drink and took a drink before speaking again. “About that book signing tomorrow. You were going to say something the other day.”

            Jody’s brows lifted in surprise, pleased Bobby remembered. “I was going to talk to you yesterday but you never showed.”

            “Oh, yes. Sorry. I got called to a job in Kip’s Bay. Emergency thing.”

            “No, don’t apologize. I just… Yeah. I was going to see if, afterwards, you wanted to do…This,” he said with a flourish of his hands toward the coffee shop.

            Bobby quirked that full brow again. “You wanted to leave a book signing at the coffee and book store you work at to have coffee somewhere else?”

            Jody looked away from the teasing in Bobby’s eyes. “No, well, yes.”

            “Why, Jody. Are you asking me out?”

            “It’s just coffee.”

            “Well, I accept.”

            Jody’s head snapped back in Bobby’s direction. “Really?” His whole body flushed at the lecherous up and down Bobby gave him.

            “Oh, yes,” Bobby said, huskily. “I’d been meaning to ask you. Didn’t know if you’d want to be seen with an old guy like me.”

            Jody shook his head. “Idiot. You’ve got like five years on me.”

            “I thought you were only twenty-five, though that doesn’t really jive what with you and Iz....” Bobby let that trail off, awkwardly

            “I look that young?” Jody, said, ignoring the awkward pause. He hated to say he got that age comment more often than not from men.

            “Baby face isn’t a bad thing, Joe,” Bobby said, kindly.

            “Yeah, well. How old are you?”

            Bobby’s expression shuttered a bit, but he maintained kind of you can’t hurt me if you reject me squaring of his shoulders. He recognized the posturing of a younger sibling. Aaron was prone to it when his brothers or Jody found a weak spot.

            “Thirty-seventh birthday in three months.”

            “Well, you look good. For such an old guy.” Bobby frowned at the tease and Jody couldn’t help bumping Bobby’s foot with his under the table. The glow it made in Bobby’s features was totally worth putting himself out there.

            “So we do this?” Bobby asked.

            “Wouldn’t miss it.” Jody would have said more but Bobby’s phone chimed.

            “Damn. Back to work for me.” They both rose, gathering their things and heading out onto the sidewalk. Bobby turned to Jody. “So tomorrow. It’s a date. We’ll go to dinner. On me.”

            The word date made something bloom in Jody’s chest. Or that could be— Holy shit Bobby’s kissing me. Just a closed mouth touch of the lips, Bobby’s hand gently cupping Jody’s neck. Nothing over the top, but a kiss full of more promises than any Jody had ever felt.

            Bobby pulled back and grinned lazily. “See you tomorrow.” And with that, he was off.

            Jody stood for a moment, still shocked, but tingling from that kiss. “Well, Italian men sure move fast.” He said out loud something his mother had said a few times. He understood now, but he didn’t think he minded one bit.

            He touched his lips and smiled. Nope. He didn’t mind at all.

ALRIGHTY! That's it. I even gave you guys the first kiss. Haha. Hope you enjoyed! Can't wait for you guys to read this one! <3

Okay. Now on the the It's Mother's Day & I Like Moms Chasing the Rainbow Giveaway! Enter in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card, eBook copies of Chasing the Rainbow and choice of back list titles!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck! 
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