The Sound of My People: The Equal Rights Blog Hop

equal_rights_blog_hop_buttonWelcome to the Equal Rights Blog Hop! Each year, members of the the GLBTQ community and their supporters gather to celebrate the battle for equal rights. This year, thirty different authors have joined in the hop, and there are prizes galore! Be sure to check out the entire prize list at Queertown Abbey and see how you can enter to win the rafflecopter–as well as the Master List of Participating Authors.

Last year at my annual weekend gathering of fandom friends, where we meet up to stuff ourselves silly with each others best recipes and stay up until all hours talking about our fandom loves, there was a moment when all of us were busy on our laptops checking our emails, updating our status, or working on stories. The only sound in the room was the clattering of keys. One of my friends looked up and said with a happy sigh, “Ah, the sound of my people.”

We all laughed, and it has become a catch-phrase for us ever since.

You know what she meant, though. It’s true, as a species, we like to say ‘us, not them’ and form communities while at the same time, shutting some people out. The very thing that makes us recognize ‘alike’ makes us suspicious and leery of ‘other’. That need to separate people into tribes, into ‘us vs. them’ can be both a good and a bad thing.

This post was supposed to be about my first experience with the GLBTQ community, and I’d originally planned a nice sweet little blog post about how I did a lot of theater in high school and how my friends were neither my gay nor straight friends but my theater friends. I didn’t identify them as to their sexual orientation. It wasn’t a big deal. Ricky was the one who could hold a note for 16 bars without taking a breath. Amy was the one who made me laugh. Tom was the one I had a mad crush on, despite my friends telling me I couldn’t have a crush on him–and I knew it would never work, but I had a thing for talent, you see. Yeah, short and sweet, that was going to be my original post.

Then the whole thing with SCOTUS and their ruling on the Hobby Lobby case came down, and I have to tell you, I was both stunned and appalled. I’ve spent most of the week being seriously pissed. I’m sure I’ve annoyed and alienated many of my friends (and potential readers, too) with how angry I’ve been. I posted about it yesterday, as a matter of fact, and why I believe that the only thing that scares the GOP more than the mythical ‘gay agenda’ is the single, independent woman.

But here’s the thing. Almost every one of my GLBTQ friends have been just as upset, vocal, and angry by this ruling as I am–and for many of them, it has no direct bearing on them and their lifestyle. They resent it, however, for what it represents: discrimination on the part of one group of people against another group of people based on religious, economic, and political beliefs. They resent it in the same way that I resent seeing states pass laws banning equal marriage rights, or allowing discriminatory hiring/firing practices. Because it is wrong. Because no one group should be able to impose their will on others to this degree. All those times I stood up and cheered for my friends finally getting married, or I voted for someone who vowed to stand up for civil liberties across the board, or I fought to see some measure passed that would protect my friends? Well, yeah, they’ve got my back, too. And that, my friends, is what community is all about. I love you guys. 🙂

If you enter the Rafflecopter, you’re entered to win an e-copy of my award-winning novel, The Boys of Summer. I have a short story out in the newly released Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press, and will be releasing Walk a Mile, the sequel to Unspeakable Words, in Sept/Oct 2014. Good luck, and happy hopping!

Not Quite Shakespeare, Summer’s Sizzling Reads, and More!

NotQuiteShakespeareLGAh, lazy Sundays… for the past ten years, I’ve had to work most Sundays. Getting them back again has been lovely. Today I took the dog out for a walk in the forest while it was sunny and cool. Now it is clouding over and it looks like thunderstorms are on the way.

That’s okay. I’ve had a lovely late-morning breakfast with the BF, and I’ve got books to read and stories to write. I’m humming Keith Urban’s “Raining on Sunday” as I settle in on the couch.

First order of business: Not Quite Shakespeare releases tomorrow from Dreamspinner Press! This anthology features 15 stories from your favorite and new-to-you M/M romance authors–all set in the UK! If you’re an Anglophile like I am, this anthology will be right up your alley! Even if you’re not an Anglophile, this anthology could make you fall in love with the UK: its history, its beauty, its quirks. And let’s not forget the hot men, either! 🙂

The best part is you can pre-order it now–and it is currently on sale! Hurry, though, because I think the sale ends today!

Sizzling Summer Reads 2014The next order of business is that The Sizzling Summer Reads Party begins today on The Romance Reviews now until June 30th! There are over 250 participating authors and publishers, and more than 200 prizes up for grabs, with a grand prize of a $100 gift card! I’m participating as well, and my Q&A for my prize giveaway will be on June 14th. The answer to the question is hidden somewhere on this website, so poke around and see if you can find it! You have two weeks to find the answer before the question goes live! In the meantime, check out the great stories being highlighted on the site during this month. Come on, I know you’re looking for that perfect beach read, right? Even if you’re reading in a hammock in your own back yard. 🙂

As for me, I’m going to run out to the grocery store and pick up some pet food before the storm rolls in. Then I’m going to snuggle on the couch with the BF and read while we listen to the rain coming down. If only Sundays could last forever!

Coming Soon! Not Quite Shakespeare from Dreamspinner Press

NotQuiteShakespeareLGI’ve been haunting the Coming Soon page at Dreamspinner for the past few weeks now. I’m delighted at long last to be able to announce that the Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology is now available for pre-order on Dreamspinner Press!

Yay! I’m admittedly a bit of an Anglophile and I have been waiting impatiently for the release of this anthology! 15 short stories from some of your favorite M/M authors: all taking place in the lovely UK.

I have a story in the anthology titled Chanctonbury Ring, and my boys–meeting on the South Downs after years apart–rekindle their old relationship in a stable where they take shelter from a thunderstorm. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone in this charming set of smokin’ stories! Be sure to check it out! Not Quite Shakespeare is available now for pre-order, and will be released on June 2, 2014!

Coming Soon: The Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology from Dreamspinner Press!

Oxford LaneToday I’m over at Elin Gregory’s website speaking about my love of all things British. It’s all part of the run-up to the release of the Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology from Dreamspinner Press sometime next month!

Elin will be featuring posts from the authors involved in the anthology in the coming weeks, so do drop in and find out whose stories you can expect to read! I’m thrilled to be a part of this anthology–when I finally got to go to the UK a few years ago, it felt like I was coming home after a lifetime’s absence. 🙂 If it is possible for someone to fangirl over a country, well, I did it!

In fact, after I’d been there for a few days, my boyfriend’s stepmother announced that she didn’t believe I was American at all–she thought I was British and faking my accent. I can’t think of a nicer compliment! So do come on over and join in on the fun!