Saturday, May 7, 2016

Rainbow Snippet May 7th

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

I would invite everyone to please come check out the Rainbow Snippets group, click on a link, read and comment on the writing available and get involved yourselves in this awesome exercise. The link to the group can be found HERE

This week, I have something a bit new, very rough, its from the rocker/bodyguard story I've been toying with. 

Look Jessie said at last. "I get it okay, you hate me, so let’s make it easy. I resign from the band effective immediately. As soon as the bank opens after the holiday I’ll put it in writing and get it notarized. That should make everyone happy and you won’t ever have to be disappointed in me again.”

“And that’s going to solve what?”

“Everything apparently because all of the bands issues would be solved.”

“And what about your issues?” Kyle demanded and grabbed Jesse’s arm.

“Like you give a damn.” Jesse grumbled trying to shake his grip off.

“I’m asking, aren’t I? Doesn’t that count for anything?”

“I don’t know anymore,” Jesse said softly.

On Desolation Angel and the Desolation Tour to come

My latest release, Desolation Angel has been out for two months now, but with all the things that have been going on in my life since then, this has been the first time I’ve had the opportunity to really sit down and write a bit about how truly special Desolation Angel is to me.

Desolation Angel was the first full length novel I’d tried to write in over a decade, the one before that had been in a novel writing class and while I had played with it over the years, I’d never felt that it to a level where I could show it to anyone. In that space between the class and writing Desolation Angel, I worked on little pieces. Poems, short stories, flash fiction, roleplay storylines for the online RPG game I was involved in, and somewhere in all of that, I wrote a little novella called Cold Confusion and found myself looking for a place to share it.

That search eventually lead me to the Gay Authors site. I signed up for a membership and posted my first story, which went through a mod, Cia, who sent me an email regarding the story and offered to work with me to polish it up to site standards. For me that was such a confidence booster. Here was someone telling me my story had merit, it just needed cleaning up a bit, so enthused, I jumped into the editing process and soon my story appeared.

At the time, I figured I’d gotten it out of my system. I’d never written M/M romance before though I very much enjoyed reading it, so I figured Cold Confusion would just be a one off, after all, it had been ten years since I’d tried to write anything long, by then I just didn’t figure I had it in me anymore. It had been a dream in my youth to be a writer, but by that point I was in my later thirties, too old for dreams, or so I thought. Then low and behold, this character popped into my head, and he was brilliant but troubled. His musical dreams were sparked by something I’d read while doing some research on a classical composer, and his friends and band members were an amalgam of different characters I’d written over the years.

I’d never imagined myself writing a romance, in fact, I don’t really consider Desolation Angel to be one. Yet, there is elements of a relationship forming, but this story is more about finding oneself and understanding that everyone is different, and meant to be special in their own right. My focus was to show that the idea we have of what is normal does not always fit who we are or who we were meant to be.

Dare is a troubled but beautiful soul and those who surround him know that. For some of them, no, it isn’t an issue, and while it is an issue for Sionn, it’s his fear for Dare’s safety that makes it so, not his desire for Dare to be like everyone else. Of course it doesn’t come through that way, when do we ever manage to convey things correctly when we are terrified?

Of course there is another relationship in the book, that is touched upon but not fully explored, yet, you see, about halfway through Desolation Angel I realized that I would never be able to tell their story in one book, so I started panning for a time when they would go on tour. There, it would be far easier to explore not only the ties that hold them all together, but them on the stage and the energy of performances.

That book is outlined already and writing will begin soon, I have two other semi-finished projects to complete first. To tell the truth, I’m excited to get started. I love the Desolation Angel group, I love what I’ve started there and the potential for where their story can go.

I also wanted to take a moment and talk about the pair that through the book is stalking them. You see, that’s taken from a memory, events of a misspent young adulthood and associations that were on the less than savory side. So yes, that need to get revenge might seem a little single minded to some or even far-fetched, but people do a lot of messed up shit when they think they’ve been wronged. Trying to save a reputation, or pay someone back for disrespecting them can become an obsession, and we all know that people can be obsessed with dumb shit that can land them in some pretty messed up situations. I wanted to explore that, not just in book one, but because there are things from Dare’s quest to be normal that will bite him in the rear later when the band is on tour. That instance lays the groundwork for one of them.

Writing Desolation Angel gave me the courage to write Guitars and Cages, as did the feedback I received from those who read Desolation Angel and fell in love with Dare just like I had. That book was the start of a new dream for me, and I am proud to say that earlier in the month I submitted both Burning Luck and a novella I had written a few National Novel Writing Months back, called Even Poseidon Drowns. They make up my seventh and eighth submissions to Wayward Ink, well if one doesn’t count the three short stories for anthology I’ve turned in.

Currently, I am working on a snakeshifter book I started over a year ago, it’s about halfway complete, and I am hoping that on my 18 day roadtrip I can knock out a big chunk of what remains. As for the Desolation Tour, I expect to have it finished by Christmas, as it will be this year’s NaNo project. It feels good to have goals again.

Here is a link to Desolation Angel on All Romance ebooks, it’s on sale right now, a great opportunity to give Dare and the band a chance.

Here’s the link to it at Amazon too both places give the opportunity to read the first chapter.

Friday, May 6, 2016

...And all Shall Fade to Black continues

Jax sat in a circle among the other participants of the eating disorder group he’d been meeting with for the past three weeks. It wasn’t easy, sharing his issues with strangers, but he was learning that it helped him look at food differently and understand that it was okay to have something unhealthy every now and again without feeling like he had to pay for it by starving himself and putting in extra workouts.

The binging was harder to deal with though, as was the headspace he found himself in when those moments hit. He hadn’t been able to share those thoughts with the group yet, most of the time he just tried really hard to ignore them or berated himself until they went away. Like this morning, when he’d felt the urge to buy half a dozen donuts on the way back from him run and start scarfing them on the short walk between the bakery and his door.
On one hand, he felt fortunate that he’d only eaten three before rational thought kicked in and made him hand off the rest to Callum, but that didn’t mean he’d stopped beating himself up over it. Sighing, he shifted in his seat and told himself to focus on the African American man who was speaking.

“Sometimes I eat when I’m not even hungry,” the man explained. “And yet I can’t seem to stop myself from getting up and going to the fridge. My wife is constantly yelling at me about eating all of the leftovers and getting into her shakes and yogurts, but I can’t seem to help myself.”

“Let’s talk a moment about what you feel while this is taking place,” the group leader said. “Are you board, restless, stressed? Many people find themselves using food as an escape from something else.”

“I wouldn’t say I was stressed out,” the man said. “Bored maybe, it feels like I’ve gotten into such a rut lately. Every morning I get up and I go to work and when I come home I find myself too tired to do anything but sit in my chair, turn on the television and make constant trips back and forth between that chair and the fridge until it’s time to go to bed.”

“Then perhaps it’s time that you look for activities you can do outside of your home. Explore a hobby, or a recreational sports league, perhaps even find something that you and your wife can do together so that you’re not simply sitting in front of the television each day.”

“I used to play football, back in high school and college,” the man said. “Thought about joining a park league but it seems like I miss the signups every year.”

“Then that might be something to plan for in order to not miss it next year. In the meantime, what else do you enjoy?”

The man shrugged. “Never given it much thought.”

“Perhaps it’s time you should.”

The whole time the man was talking, Jax was thinking about his own life. He’d never been one for television, and he was rarely bored, but when he was stressed, or feeling negatively about something in his life, he found himself eating more. In fact, all of his binges had come after big disappointments, the worst being after Jason had cheated on him and broken up with him because he hadn’t fit the ideal Jason had for what he’d wanted his boyfriend to look like.

Jax had been trying so hard too. Working his ass off in the gym to get cut and lose the last bits of extra weight he’d still been carrying around. After Jason’s betrayal, he’d done nothing but hold a private pity party for himself and indulge in every sugary treat he could get his hands on, indulging himself in a pity party of epic proportions until he’d woken up once morning and realized that only two pairs of jeans still fit.

After that, he’d never allowed himself to backslide so horribly, but a few time it had come close, and that had scared him so badly he’d made himself sick trying to make up for it.

“When I’m upset I eat,” Jax blurted, the words leaving his mouth before he could fully give himself time to think.

She nodded in encouragement and gave him a small smile. “That has been one of my biggest struggles too,” she admitted.

“I was always the fat kid, all through school, I guess I used food to make up for the fact that I was lonely, and that I was shy and I was never really good at fitting in, plus, it was kind of hard to make friends with people when their parents never wanted them to hang out at your house because your mom always seemed to have a different guy over.” Jax said.

His hands were on his knees and his eyes on the ground as he spoke, but now that he’d started opening up it was very hard to stop.

“There was always something in the fridge to eat though, and it wasn’t until I got older that I started looking in the mirror and hating what I saw. The only problem with that is, once I started, I can’t seem to figure out how to stop. I still look in the mirror and see that fat kid and when things go wrong, I still turn to food to make me feel better, even though I have friends I can talk to and someone who’s becoming very special to me.”

The change in his pocket jangled a little as he bounced his knee up and down.

“The thing is, I keep asking myself what he could possibly see in me. How he could ever find me attractive? I want to be with him but I keep thinking that it will only be a matter of time before he finds someone better and ditches me or cheats on me and I know that isn’t fair to him, to judge him by the things that one of my ex’s did, but I don’t know how to put away that fear.”

“One day at a time,” the group leader said. “And with honesty and conversation so he knows that you have issues that you are working through.”

Jax nodded. “He knows, sort of, I mean, I haven’t really been able to tell him my fears about him and I, but I’ve told him a little bit about my life when I was growing up.”

“I take it this is a new relationship?”


“Then as you both come to know each other better, these are things that you will want to share with him,” she explained. “It takes time and effort and sometimes a lot of setbacks before you’ll start to be able to look at yourself differently and even then, there might be times when something triggers you to slip back into old habits. If you can share what you’re dealing with, than the people that are closest of you will be better prepared to help you.”

“Even my sister and my closest friends don’t know all of it,” Jax admitted. “I’ve tried to keep it hidden and deal with it, but sometimes it’s too much and I can’t handle it on my own.”

“And that’s when you need to let others in and allow them to help you.”

“I have the same problem,” a blond girl three people away from Jax said. Carol, he thought her name was. “I try to keep my binging a secret, and I feel so ashamed when I notice that my clothes are fitting tighter. I lost my boyfriend over it all about a month ago and that’s just made it harder.”

“Did he, um, break up with you because of your weight?” Jax asked as politely as he could, not wanting to offend her or hurt her feelings. He knew first hand how bad that felt.

She just shook her head. “No, he told me over and over again that he didn’t have a problem with my weight, that he loved me. What he couldn’t deal with was me freaking out and getting jealous every time he talked to or even looked at a skinny girl.”

“I can relate to that,” Jax said.

“Is your guy built like you?” The blond woman beside the group leader asked.

Jax shook his head. “No, he’s shorter than me, a little stocky.”

“But you smile when you talk about him and your eyes light up,” she said. “It’s pretty obvious that you’re into him even if he doesn’t look like he’s spent hours and hours in the gym. So why shouldn’t he feel the same about you?”

Jax blinked, because damn, he’d never thought about it that way. True, Danny wasn’t built like most of the guys he’d been with and while he tended to lean towards women who were curvy with a little extra meat, he’d never considered that they might want him even if he was less than ripped. Maybe there was more skewed about his thinking than he’d ever considered.

Jax never could find an answer to her question and when the meeting broke up a short time later, he checked his watch, grateful to see that he had two hours to kill before he had to be at the shop. Gassing up the bike, he headed out of town to cruse the highway and try to get his mind straight. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rainbow Snippet May 1

Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

I would invite everyone to please come check out the Rainbow Snippets group, click on a link, read and comment on the writing available and get involved yourselves in this awesome exercise. The link to the group can be found HERE

So the last few weeks I have been treating you to pieces of my snakeshifter WIP, unfortunately, things have been so hectic that I haven't been able to work on that novel for awhile, soo, I'm switching gears today to bring you a piece from my dirtbike novel Racing the Sky which will be released later this year. 

Rubbing his temples Nicky followed them, stopping in the doorway as Terry pulled a suitcase from the back of the closet and began to pack.
“Hey,” Nicky piped up, “That’s my T-shirt.”
Terry scowled and threw it at him.
“Those are my jeans too.”
Terry held them up, looking them over before he tossed them to Nicky. “They look better on me.”

Nicky seethed as he counted to thirty and then counted to thirty again, holding his tongue rather than going off on Terry.