Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2015

HOP 2015
My first encounter with homophobia struck close to home. I was around eight years old, and it was my brother. He had been in and out of trouble, and it pissed me off because it disturbed the delicate balance between relative peace and absolute destruction that existed at home. Back then, it was termed “family problems” and we had more than our share. The guidance counselors knew all us kids very well. I am vague on the timing and the details, as happens over time. Also, although nothing was secret in our house and young ears couldn’t be shielded when the fights rose to screaming level, there was a lot that I didn’t fully understand. I knew that my brother had been to rehab after a couple brushes with the law. I knew he went to a halfway house. He was a teenager, far older than me and still my hero. He was always somewhat mythical to me. I don’t remember what our relationship was like when I was that young. I know we are very close now. He’s one of the people I connect most with in the world. Back then though, I mostly draw a blank, his memory is clouded by other images and sounds.

I knew he left school, he didn’t graduate. We were an affluent family, and for some reason, whatever he did was worse than my father being a raging alcoholic. Drinking was more socially acceptable. It turned out my brother was gay. Back then, his behavior was likely due in large part to his need to come to terms with that. My father and he were very close, and it pissed my father off. This was around the time that the AIDS epidemic was coming to light, at least in our small town. My brother was kicked out of the house, at sixteen or seventeen years old. It was a good thing those school counselors had gotten to know us all so well, it gave my brother a place to go. He went to live with his high school guidance counselor. We weren’t allowed to see him, or talk to him. I don’t know for sure how long that went on. A couple of years, at least.

It was a slow process, being able to have him in our lives again.  There were hurdles to overcome, and largely, he simply forgave, I think. We’ve never really spoken of it. I think he wants to forget that time, and I don’t blame him.

He went all around the world, learning about himself and about the the world around him. My talented brother speaks several languages. He’s one of the coolest people you’d ever meet, if you were lucky enough to get to know him. He’s charming and people are drawn to him.

It was a different time than it is now. Back then, people weren’t openly gay. My father wasn’t alone in his thinking. He made a lot of mistakes and that one is hard to forgive. The fact that my brother did shows what kind of person he is, what’s in his heart. My father seems to have evolved somewhat, though. My daughter is gay. My dad loves her the same as he does the rest of his grandkids and my daughter has never had to know the fear of “coming out.” She doesn’t have a horrific story to tell, or even a very interesting one. I don’t feel bad taking that away from her though, it should be as much of a non issue as if she were to have told me she was straight. She still faces homophobia when she goes out in public at times. People will give her a hard time for using the women’s restroom. People do a double take. My daughter is gorgeous, so that may be why people stop to stare. It should be the only reason, that they are caught by her beauty. The rest of it, the packaging, so to speak? It should be a non-issue Gender identity, sexual orientation, all of it. It’s truly no one’s business, and it shouldn’t be part of society’s conversation. I consider myself gender fluid. I prefer that others not consider my gender at all. There are so many more interesting things about me.

I started writing M/M mainly because of my brother. I wanted to show people that a strong gay male lead is every bit as hot, if not hotter, than their straight counterparts. I wanted people to love my gay male characters enough to put them in the book boyfriend category.  Once I got started, I found that I prefer M/M to M/F, both in reading and in writing. Have you read any good M/M books lately? Leave a comment or drop me a message telling me what you’ve read or if you haven’t, what barriers you think may be causing you not to. I will pick one winner to receive a signed copy of Set Adrift, the first book in my Immortal Isle Series. Runner up will receive an e-book copy.
Drawing will be done within a couple days of the end of Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia.  (Work schedule will determine the day, sorry to be vague 🙂 )

Here are the links to the other blogs that are participating, check them out. Many are doing giveaways as well.

1. Erica Pike (M/M) 2. Cherie Noel (M/M)
3. NJ Nielsen (M/M) 4. K-Lee Klein (M/M)
5. Bronwyn Heeley (M/M) 6. Chris McHart (Multi: M/M, TR)
7. Andrew J. Peters (GAY) 8. Prism Book Alliance (MM, FF, TR, Bi, Rev)
9. L.M. Brown (M/M) 10. Dianne Hartsock (M/M)
11. ScuttlebuttReviews (MM,FF,TR,BI,Rev) 12. Anne Barwell (M/M)
13. Anna Lee (M/M) 14. Draven St. James (M/M)
15. Anna Butler (M/M) 16. A.L. Wilson (M/M, Bi, TR)
17. Jacintha Topaz (BI F/F/M, F/F) 18. Blaine D. Arden (M/M, TR)
19. L. J. LaBarthe (M/M) 20. Iyana Jenna (M/M)
21. Kracken (M/M) 22. Victoria Zagar/Infinite Love (MULTI, REV)
23. Brandon Shire (Gay) 24. Lex Chase (M/M)
25. Amanda C. Stone (M/M) 26. Stephen del Mar (Gay)
27. JC Wallace (M/M) 28. Lasha’s Reviews (REV)
29. Angela S. Stone (M/M) 30. Serena Akeroyd (M/M/F)
31. Marie Landry (F/F) 32. S.J. Frost (M/M)
33. Raythe Reign Publishing (M/M) 34. Susanna Hays (M/M)
35. Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae (GAY, BI, F/F, TR) 36. Kaje Harper (M/M, Bi)
37. Barbara Winkes (F/F) 38. Kat Fletcher (LES)
39. Moonbeams over Atlanta 40. Fever Dreams (Raven J. Spencer)
41. Kimber Vale (M/M) 42. Sexy Erotic Xciting~ Evelise Archer (M/M)
43. Amelia Bishop (MULTI) 44. Shayla Mist (M/M, DES)
45. Caddy Rowland(Gay)/Sibley Jackson (M/M) 46. Thursday Euclid (M/M)
47. Nic Starr (M/M) 48. Anastasia Vitsky (Governing Ana) (F/F, BI)
49. Blogger,reviewer,author, editor, promotion 50. Caraway Carter (M/M, Bi)
51. Grace R. Duncan (M/M, Bi) 52. Elin Gregory
53. Kade Boehme 54. Amberly Smith (M/M)
55. Remmy Duchene Mantasy (M/M) 56. L M Somerton (M/M)
57. Erin O’Quinn (M/M) 58. Lori Toland (M/M)
59. Tyler Robbins (M/M, M/M/M) 60. BFD Book Blog
61. BFD Book Blog (REV) 62. Crystal’s Many Reviewers (M/M, F/F, TR, Bi, Rev)
63. Kenzie Mack (M/M, BI) 64. The Novel Approach Reviews
65. J.P. Bowie (M/M) 66. Devon Rhodes (M/M, Bi)
67. Thianna Durston (M/M) 68. Morticia Knight (M/M, Bi)
69. Bryl R. Tyne (M/M, TR, MULTI, F/F) 70. M.A. Church (M/M)
71. Books A to Z Book Blog 72. Catherine Lievens (M/M)
73. James Lee Hard (MM) 74. Eva Lefoy (M/M)
75. Matthew J. Metzger (MULTI) 76. Andrew Ashling (Gay)
77. Charley Descoteaux (MM, Bi) 78. Michael Mandrake
79. Kate Aaron (Gay) 80. DiverseReader (REV)
81. Hans M Hirschi (Gay, TR) 82. Aeryn Jaden (M/M)
83. Alex C.Clarke (M/M) 84. Louisa Bacio (M/M F/F Bi)
85. Talon ps & Princess so (MM, Bi, Poly, DES) 86. Tasha’s Thinkings (M/M, Bi)
87. Christa Tomlinson (M/M) 88. Alexa Milne (M/M)
89. IndiGo Marketing & Design (DES) 90. Eva LeNoir (M/M)
91. A.V. Sanders (M/M) 92. B. Snow (MULTI)
93. Alexis Duran (M/M) 94. Dean Pace-Frech (M/M)
95. Lily G. Blunt (M/M, REV) 96. Joelle Casteel (MULTI)
97. Sage Marlowe (Gay) 98. Author Susan Mac Nicol (MM)
99. Sloan Johnson (M/M, BI) 100. Cody Kennedy (GAY)
101. Lea Bronsen (MULTI) 102. Brina Brady (M/M)
103. WindWhisperer (Erotica Whispers) (F/F) 104. Bey Deckard (M/M, BI)
105. Andrew Jericho (Gay) 106. NSBeranek (Gay)
107. Freddy MacKay (MM, BI, Queer Fic) 108. Mischief Corner Books (PUB)
109. Angel Martinez (Gay/Bi) 110. Catherine Dair Cover Designers (DES)
111. Toni Griffin (M/M) 112. Carly’s Book Reviews (M/M, TR, BI, MULTI, REV)
113. Rory Ni Coileain (M/M) 114. M.LeAnne Phoenix (M/M)
115. Lucy Felthouse (Multi) 116. Bottom Drawer Publications (PUB)
117. Tempeste O’Riley (M/M, BI, Genderfluid, TR) 118. Love Bytes (REV)
119. DS Kenn (M/M) 120. Jolynn Reymond (F/F)

Quick thought before I sleep 

  

I like to post this and imagine someone seeing it and making up their mind to do that thing they have been dreaming of doing, scared of doing, needing to do. I imagine that it has an amazing and perfect outcome for them, their lives change and they are complete and content and they feel fucking invincible. And they maybe they don’t remember what gave them the nudge they needed, but someday they send their own sign out there for someone to see. Maybe that someone is me. I see that sign and I take control of my life and I become an amazing and unstoppable force.

Blog Hop Winners

Hello Everyone!

Time to announce the winners of the Hop Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia giveaway. I will also post this in the comments.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to read and comment on my post. This is my first year doing this, and it was a little more difficult than I had anticipated. I merely skimmed the surface on why it’s such an important issue to me, but it’s a start.

Winners, please drop me an email at setadrift@outlook.com.

Have a great day.

DS Kenn

List Randomizer

There were 10 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

  1. Lea Bronsen (Signed copy)
  2. Danny (e-book download)

Timestamp: 2015-05-25 07:25:45 UTC

random winner blog hop 2015

 

#HAHABT

Reader Interview- Sue Allen Milkovich

Many people know Sue. She has been a constant source of friendship and support for many writers on Facebook. Her group called ‘Friends’ is there for anyone to promote their artistic endeavors and she is everyone’s biggest champion. She was one of the first people to read my group on FB and she contacted me with the most loving and supportive message. She was our cheerleader and a source of encouragement. We often wrote, knowing that Sue would be online to read it, and that is what kept us going even in slumps or times we were crazy busy. If you are lucky enough to know Sue, then I am sure you know exactly what I mean. I have been fortunate to call her my friend for several years, and I love her dearly. I was truly looking forward to this interview, and as always, she didn’t disappoint.

DS: Which male book character would you want to spend the day with, and which female character? What would you do with each of them? Hang out with each separately or alone?

Sue: I don’t have a favorite female character anymore. I gave up on M/F books about 3 yrs ago and haven’t found a book that really pulls me back to that genre. I have read some great M/F books in the past 3 years but not any that would really pull me back into that genre for long. M/F Series I have to buy are Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward and Masters At Arms by Kallypso Masters and anything by Eva Lenoir and Harper Jewel.
DS: I definitely prefer M/M books as well, writing as well as reading. But, I love some of my M/F pairings that are coming up in the Immortal Isle Series.

DS: Which author would you like to hang out with, and what would you spend the time doing?
Sue: If I could spend time with any authors I could pick it would be you, DS Kenn, Jennivie Wirries, JT Cheyanne, VL Moon, Eva Lenoir and Harper Jewel. I would love to go to dinner and play Texas holdem’ with the 6 of you. I would give anything to meet you all or just conference call with you all. I think you are a superstar bunch of women. The best group of friends I have met on facebook. You all made sure to check on me after my dad died a year ago and it meant the world to me that you all cared and sent condolences.
And WOO HOO I actually know AUTHORS that mentioned me in their books, VL Moon published one of my reviews in one of her books and DS Kenn mentioned me by name!! I almost passed out, I cried like a baby both times and it was a childhood dream come true. You just have no idea, no idea how much that meant in my life. Who would’ve ever thought that would happen in my lifetime!!!

DS: I would love that! It sounds like a great time. I suck at poker but still, would be worth it. I’ve known Eva and Jennivie for a lot of years. I’ve written with both of them and I love them dearly. I have mad love for VL and JT as well. I don’t know Harper but if she is a friend of yours, she must be a quality lady and I am sure she is awesome. ☺

DS: What is your favorite genre, and do you ever go outside that genre?

Sue: I stay in the M/M genre because it’s not about saving the poor distressed woman. You get both points of view of the men. I always wondered what the men were thinking about the women they had to save and you never got his clear point of view.

But I stay with the M/M genre because I love men. I want to know what makes them tick. What they think, what turns them on. What they think about inside, there emotions you know what I mean. I think that is why I’m drawn to the m/m books. They work together to solve problems, no one has to save the damsel in distress. They don’t have to go through that whole drama of do I want him or don’t I, like they make the women do in the F/M books. God I can’t stand that whole conflict. Should I sleep with him or shouldn’t I? That drives me batshit crazy.

DS: I couldn’t agree more. I find it much easier to write and think from a male point of view. It’s more comfortable for me. It’s harder for me to even write female dialogue at times. And I am not all about the HEA. I will give it to most of my characters, but they will work for it, and it won’t be flowery. I can’t do flowery.

DS: What makes you want to try a new author?

Sue: The story is what draws me to a new author. If someone recommends a new author I look at the story the new author is releasing. If the story doesn’t look interesting, I don’t get the book. If the new author is releasing the story for .99 cents and the book is like 150 pages I’ll give it a try. But the story itself has to have appeal.

DS: What influences you more, the back blurb or the cover?

Sue: I think the cover and then the blurb. I hate to admit it. But the cover is what grabs my attention first.

DS: Do you read reviews? Do you write reviews?

Sue: I try not to read reviews. I read short reviews that don’t describe the whole story. I don’t want to read the book in a review I HATE THOSE REVIEWERS!!! I try to write reviews for books I like or love. If I like or love a book I get excited and have to write a review to tell everyone how great it is. I try to give out enough information in a review so that everyone wants to read it to find out what I’m talking about. I think reviews that tell the whole story are unfair to the book. Why read the book if the review gave it away already. Also a negative review won’t stop me from buying a book, just because someone doesn’t like it doesn’t mean I will. I have liked lots of books with 3 star reviews. It’s up to the reader what they enjoy so I don’t let reviews pick what I read. It’s the blurb from the book that decides what appeals to me personally.

DS: If you could ask any author any question, what would it be?

Sue: My question to any author is how do you organize the story? Once you start the story, how do you decide what will go into it and what gets left out? How do you pick the main characters and how do you leave characters out? How do you pick the villain? How do you choose when the story will end and how? I don’t understand the whole process of how it is organized. Can you find anyone who wants to answer that????

DS: That is a hard question! ☺ For me, the characters decide. You read my writing on FB. The story would develop in my head and then the characters kind of grow from there. Some were intended to be main characters, but for various reasons ended up being moved into a peripheral role. Dane is one of those, most likely. Lucas and Dacia as well. Chris will have a large role in one book. I have always seen him as a villain but with reason. All of my characters are like that though; they are part hero and part villain. And I hate leaving out parts of the story but sometimes you have to. The editors decide a lot of that, if it doesn’t add to the story, it’s out. I had to fight to keep Chris in book one, because I know he is going to be important later in the series and I wanted readers to catch the quickest glimpse of him. I will say that I am having a much harder time deciding where book two will start. I am hoping it gets easier with time.

DS: What book would you like made into a movie?

Sue: Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunters Series

DS: Any book or author pet peeves?

Sue: When they end a book the wrong way. I read a book once that I ended so fast I picked up my Kindle and looked for more. I was so mad I made a note on my order notebook to never buy a book by that author again and I deleted the book from my Kindle. I will never ever forget that authors name and I will never ever buy another book from her again. Every time I see her name I cringe and shake my head. If a book ends the wrong way too abruptly or with no rhyme or reason I will probably never read that author again. I mean if a book ends quickly that’s ok as long as you could see it coming, but if it just ends at the end of a sentence like that book I was talking about then I’m done.

DS: If you could mix and match pairings from different series/authors, what characters would you put together?

Sue: Character pairings from different books I don’t know about. I would like to see Laziel and Terric get together….hahaha. But as far as that goes I don’t know. Authors that I would like to see write together would be DS Kenn and Jennivie Wirries. I think the two of you could play well off of each other and come up with a great book. I know that you are both busy with your own careers to do anything like that but you are both terrific when it comes to paranormal characters. I think if we can ever pry the hard drives and notebooks out of Jennivie’s hands she will explode. I just have this image of her swimming in characters and stories waiting to be released.

DS: Jennivie and I may very well write something one day. I had approached her with a story I had in my head and asked her if she wanted to write one of the parts. She did a great job and we love the characters. Maybe someday…

DS: Can you list some of your favorite scenes from various books?

Sue: I can’t pick a favorite scene from just one book but I can tell you what part I love most. I love the part of the book when the characters realize that they are in love. When they look into each others eyes and know that this is the person that they want to spend the rest of their lives with. However the author writes that I think is the most important scene in the whole book. It doesn’t have to be wine and roses but it does have to be the most important.

Sue

Far too little time…

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Work and home and family are all crazy busy right now. Behind on blog posts, writing, sleeping… I’ve been trying to do some promo photos here and there, and trying to do giveaways when I get a chance.

Hope everyone is doing well and has a beautiful Thanksgiving surrounded by people you care about. I’m having my brother over, we just recently started speaking again, I haven’t really seen him since my college graduation. Hectic and chaotic, but worth it. I’ve never cooked for him before. Stay safe everyone.

Reader Interview – Beth

Beth is another friend I met on Facebook, and I can’t really remember how or when we weren’t FB friends. She is also one of my beloved Beta Readers, I trust her and value her opinion. She was gracious enough to agree to answer some questions for me, and I love getting different perspectives on authors and books. If you are interested in being interviewed, hit me up!

Beth's flower1

1. DS: Which male book character would you want to spend the day with, and which female character? What would you do with each of them? Hang out with each separately or alone?

Beth: I would pick Eggie Ray and just stay at home. I don’t know which female, maybe Beth from BDB. Then I could meet all the brothers. Separately.

DS: I would want to meet all the brothers, as well. Separately but then all together as well, I love the dynamic between them.

2. DS: Which author would you like to hang out with, and what would you spend the time doing?

Beth: I couldn’t pick just one. Shelly Laurenston and TA Gray. Would like to just be able to sit and visit with them, coffee and a meal, just like you would a neighbor. Talking and learning more about them.

DS. I would love to sit and hang out with you and Sue someday. Talk about books and authors, maybe all hang out and prepare a meal together, or go to a Barnes and Noble somewhere and sit for a few hours.

3. DS: What is your favorite genre, and do you ever go outside that genre?

Beth: Romance/paranormal romance and yes, I will read other books. I also like mysteries and adventure books. Nothing depressing or really sad.

4. DS: What makes you want to try a new author?

Beth: I always check B&N for new book releases. If it catches my interest I’ll buy. I also check sometimes for free books and take advantage of them. If I like it and it is part of a series, they have me and I will end up buying the series.

5. DS: What influences you more, the back blurb or the cover?

Beth: Absolutely the cover. I read ebooks now so no back covers.

6. DS: Do you read reviews? Do you write reviews?

Beth: Yes, I usually read other peoples reviews. Hate to admit I very seldom leave one myself. I am trying to do better now that I realize how important it is to the author.

DS: I’m the same, I’ve gotten better about leaving reviews now that I know how essential they are. I have a hard time figuring out what to say sometimes, without spoiling anything. Although, poor reviews won’t necessarily stop me from reading a book, just as good reviews don’t always mean I will like it.

7. DS: If you could ask any author any question, what would it be?

Beth: Jennifer Ashley, TA Gray & Shelly Laurenson. (Again, I could not pick just one). I love all of their books. I think my question would be how they come up with their characters and the different all the different personalities.

8. DS: What book would you like made into a movie?

Howl For It by Shelly Laurenston. I don’t know what it is about that book, but I just love it. Have read it numerous times. On the other hand, movies are rarely as good as the books.

9. DS: Any book or author pet peeves?

Beth: Why do we have to wait for the next book? Hurry up and write!

I know, I am impatient too, and this time it’s with myself for not having book two out yet. 🙂

10. DS: If you could mix and match pairings from different series/authors, what characters would you put together?

Beth: Eggie Smith, Mercury Warrant and Zsadist or Rhage

Reader Interview – Kim Stone

Kim Stone, a long time Facebook friend of mine, agreed to let me interview her. Hers was a fun brain to pick. 🙂stone

DS: Which male book character would you want to spend the day with, and which female character? What would you do with each of them? Hang out with each separately or alone?

Kim: Rhage from BDB, we would sit down to last meal together.

Cat from the Night Huntress series, we would talk about Bones for hours.

Hang out separately.

DS: Just about any Brother would be amazing to hang out with. My top two would be Zsadist or Vishous, but Rhage, yeah. I can see spending time with him. When I think of him, I picture him holding the moon in the palm of his hand.

DS: Which author would you like to hang out with, and what would you spend the time doing?

Kim: JR WARD, I’d spend the time grilling her about the BDB series.

DS: My brother is also a fan of the BDB series and we have always said we would love to have some time to walk around in her head.

DS: What is your favorite genre, and do you ever go outside that genre?

Kim: Favourite is very hard to pick, I love paranormal, YA , NA, M/M, Urban fantasy as well as Menage.

Yes for book group we pick books from every genre.

DS: What makes you want to try a new author?

Kim: Recommendations from friends, winning free books, genre I like.

DS: What influences you more, the back blurb or the cover?

Kim: Neither really, if it’s an Author I like I will read, if it’s a genre I like I read.

I mostly read ebooks,so no back blurb and the cover is irrelevant.

DS: That blurb, so hard to write! I think it’s the thing I agonize over the most about writing.

DS: Do you read reviews? Do you write reviews?

Kim: Yes I read reviews. Yes I write a few reviews..I always rate on Goodreads cos I can just star rate without words.

DS: If you could ask any author any question, what would it be?

Kim: Why does it take so long for the next book to come out????? * tapping foot*

DS: *swallows hard* I know, I know! It’s so hard, I’m impatient to write as much as possible but life seems to have other ideas. As a reader, it’s the same, I want to know what happens right away, I hate when a book ends.

DS: What book would you like made into a movie?

Kim: I have loathed just about every movie made from a book, they never put EVERY part of the book in,so I say LEAVE IT THE FUCK ALONE!!!

Yeah, I agree. The only good thing is maybe it brings people to the book who wouldn’t have read it otherwise? Maybe.

DS: Any book or author pet peeves?

Kim: Pet Peeve….”I let go a breath, I didn’t know I was holding” HELLO, the only time I hold my breathe is under water. END OF!!! One star penality in my review.

DS: Ah, this one is a tough call for me. I am sure I have used phrasing similar at some point. But then, there are times I’ve gotten so intense about something that I didn’t realize I had stopped breathing. It could be from pain, or anger, fear…

DS: If you could mix and match pairings from different series/authors, what characters would you put together?

Kim: Anita Blake, Cat Crawford, Mercy Thompson, Rose Hathaway and Riley Jenson.

DS: Can you list some of your favorite scenes from various books?

Kim: Adrian Ivashkov to Rose ..” Y…y…you broke my h.. h… heart”

Thank you for letting me interview you, Kim 🙂

(Photo provided by Kim and used with her permission)