International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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Today, May 17th, is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and many of your favorite M/M authors will be celebrating by sharing awareness and words of support and love at the Hop Against Homophobia And Transphobia blogspot. This day was created to coordinate efforts to aid in the awareness of LGBT rights and events worldwide. To participate in today’s event, I’d like to share how I started my passion.

I’m a reader, a voracious reader that can sometimes devour several books in a week. My love for reading started when I was a child but it didn’t become my passion until high school when I was introduced to a book that would change my view of the world: The Scarlet Letter. It was in the pages of this novel that I learned about ostracism, the world was no longer a safe place for everyone, and it. Blew. My. Mind.

Other classics followed this one and occasionally, I read classics to ‘cleanse my pallet’, even earning a minor in Literature to learn more. I didn’t read my first romance until about ten years ago and even more doors opened for me. Prior to that book, I would poke fun of women (I didn’t know men were reading them, too!) who would read this type of literature. I didn’t understand the need for fantasization or a happy ending.

Then, my boss handed me a copy of a M/M romance novel that she had purchased on accident. She said that it was something that I would enjoy…and truer words were never spoken. I consumed that book and read it several times. Then, I read everything else ever written by the same author, followed by a never ending stream of M/M romance novels. I could never get enough. I still can’t!

During this time, I had started my own novel and was in a rut. A writer’s block that was painful because I didn’t like my main character. In an epiphany, I changed my character from a female to a male and the writing flowed like a raging river. Dialogue flowed, the plot blossomed, and I fell in love with my men. I found out later that writing is the easiest part about creating a novel.

It’s important to me that I write in this genre. I have a political family and we’re involved in LGBTQ rights and activities because we want to and not because we have to. (Okay, we have to because equal social rights is fundamental.) It tears my heart when I hear of families ripped apart because of differences and here’s why those happy endings are so special to me. There’s enough hate and anger in the world and our children, friends, families…should never be pushed away because of fear.

I’d like to offer a giveaway of my eBook to those who participate and comment below. A winner will be selected by random.org on the 28th to allow everyone a chance or you can pick up your own copy of Athan’s Kiss. Just return back on the 28th to see if you’ve won. Enjoy the blog hop and end every day with a kiss.

Update (5/28): Ray has been randomly selected as the winner to receive my ebook Athan’s Kiss for participation in the HAHAT blog hop. Thanks to everyone for hopping for awareness and I hope to see you again. Much love!

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Athan’s Kiss

Athan's Kiss

It’s amazing how my manuscript was made into a book almost overnight. Weeks and months passed without a word from my editor and then a book cover was shared by the artist and the first professionally edited manuscript was returned. I was stunned.
I heard horror stories about returned manuscripts. Sometimes there were harsh edits, strict reviews, or even cause for rewrites. I was expecting the worst. But it was a really good experience. She was good and she was thorough. She obviously spent a lot of time going through the story and made it better. I could tell that she knew what she was talking about and even found a few sticky places missed by beta readers. She even liked my story.
My cover artist was fantastic, too. I really liked the colors and mood that he was able to capture on a flat book cover. His can’t be an easy job and I’m sure writers can be choosy. I know I was.
It’s been a few weeks now since my book’s release and it’s all surreal to watch the whole process. The evolution of my brain child. I can’t wait to send the second one out into the world.