Thursday, May 16

Blog Hops

Yes, you read that correctly: HOPS. Today starts the Blog Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia an event that is near and dear to my heart both as a writer of M/M Romance (because try as I might, I don't write fluffy-happy; my stories are HEA but there's always an issue or two lurking, be it an LGBTQ issue or a social issue) and as a bisexual woman. (Thank you again to the hosts/sponsors for their hard work!!) The hop is so important that I went ahead and signed up for it this year even after signing up for the Hot Summer Nights Blog Hop.
Getting back to what I talked about a few days ago (whether I write Gay Romance or Romance), I've been trying to work my way into more mainstream hops, not just for my own work but for the recognition of M/M Romance in general. So when the Hot Summer Nights Hop crossed my radar, I put my name down without thinking about dates, conflicts, or my sanity  :)  So there you have it, the story of two blog hops. :)

Here's how this is going to work:
Please leave ONE  comment below; by your comment I'll know which Blog Hop brought you here (keep reading for clarification). At the end each hop, I'll put names from that hop into their own hat and draw a winner; I want to keep things fair since I have no idea how much traffic either hop is going to generate. Please be sure to include your email address in your comment.
The give away prize is exactly the same for each hop: a Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate worth $10*.
In addition, I'm asking (but not requiring) folks to sign up for my monthly newsletter. The plan is simple, no spam just fun stuff, freebies, and announcements. Sign up here. To celebrate my first issue (coming out mid-June), I'll be giving away a Dreamspinner Gift Certificateand some really cool swag to a random subscriber. Subscribers will also get first shot at winning a signed copy of my third novel, due out in Sept/Oct.
* you will have to create an account on the Dreamspinner Press  
website to use the gift certificates, but it's easy and painless!

Blog Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

(May 17-27):

Please comment below and tell me what makes this issue important to you.  
In Russia, there are laws against
gay pride events. My heritage
is Russian, Irish, and Welsh.
For me the answer is that I'm a bisexual woman--but I know I've got it easy. I have a wonderful supportive husband, a grandmother who didn't totally freak out and lose it when I came out to her 20 some odd years ago, and I live in a neighborhood where, while I'm sure it would raise some eyebrows if I walked down the street holdling a woman's hand, I wouldn't get lynched, jailed, or murdered in cold blood for it. I realize how lucky that makes me.

I read  this morning (May 19) about a British couple (both men) who were brutally assalted. I had to include it here because so makes the point of why it's important to continue bringing attention to the problem of homophobia and transphobia.
In the U.S., the the rate of homelessness amongh LGBT Youth is around 40%. Most of them have been kicked out or ran away because their families rejected them, solely because of their sexuality. That's one of the issues I'm tackling in my current WIP (A Place to Belong). Andy gets kicked out of his father's house at 15 because he's gay; having no where else to go and no one to turn to, he ends up renting his body by the hour out on the streets.

I'll be blogging more about that and other things that are important to my heart in the coming weeks because...well, this is my little corner of the 'net and even though I write what I describe as "beach reads" (i.e. "cheesy romance novels"), I am who I am, and who I am is someone who tackles issues that are important to me in the only way I really know how: I write about them.

That's the thing, really: we all have talents, we all have a way to draw attention to the things that matter to us--and we all have things that are important to our hearts. Don't be afraid to get out there and say something about what matters to you. You never know going in how important it is to say something, to let someone else know they're not as alone as they think they are.

I am so proud of my fellow DSP authors Sue Brown (who I haven't met except over the 'net) and J.P. Barnaby (writing as Jamie Mayfield) (who I utterly adore!) for are donated money and raising awareness to and for homeless LGBT youth in their respective communities.
To get back to the Blog Hop Against Homophobia &Transphobia click here.

I just found out Paul Richmond the awesome artist responsible for my first book cover (Heart's Home) has done a special new edition of his painting Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise. Procedes from print sales of the edition, Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise Evolved, will go to Marriage Evolved.

Hot Summer Nights Blog Hop

(May 22-29):

Please leave a comment below telling me about your favorite summer memory OR just tell me what you love most about summert.

Please be sure to include your email address in your comment.
My favorite part of summer is sitting by the firepit in my back yard, sipping wine, and watching the lightning bugs zip around. Sometimes I even bring my laptop outside so I can write under the stars  :)
And like so many other people, I have a memory of a summer fling  :)  It was the summer before my senior year of high school and my best friend introduced me to this guy he met...heck if I can remember where they met, but this guy...we'll call him Don (because that's his name!) was new to the area or something and oh did I fall hard. He was truly my first great love. And the good news: even though he managed to break my heart in a fit of adolescent what-not, we're still friends. We reconnected a few years back and don't see each other much, but he's a great guy and I'm so glad we met. And ah... part of that story is worming its way into my next book! I've got a partial outline I'll be starting the actual writing in the next week or two. 
To get back to the hop click here.
This summer, I'm also going to be doing something pretty important with some of my summer days; I've started volunteering with Aids Partnership Michigan and summer is a big time for getting out into the community with outreach programs. I'm really excited with the prospect of helping out.
I decided to spend some time volunteering with APM because my third novel, Hanging by the Moment due out Sept/Oct is...well, it's about a lot of things, but one the biggest issues is HIV. Regular visitors know how heartsick I was when I started researching issues surrounding HIV positive status and dating.
I decided it was easy to give a percentage of my royalities to charity, but a lot harder to give my time. That's why I'm giving both.

 Thanks for hopping on by! I hope you get a chance to check out both blog hops; there are some amazing authors and publishers on both lists.


Sara said...

I identify as pansexual but thankfully that has not negatively impacted my life terribly much besides a bit of teasing in middle and high school when I was actually still identifying as straight but was very open about being an ally - I even was co-president of the school's Gay-Straight alliance (yes we knew there were more than gay and straight but that's what it was called)

Today is important to me because of all of my gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, genderfluid, neutrois (that's a gender term I just learned), agender, and asexual(did I leave anyone out? Probably...) friends and family members and the ones I have yet to meet.

My aunts are lesbians(my mom's sister and her fiancee) and have two kids. They're raising the kids in NYC so they have less stigma there than in some areas.

The first time I kissed a girl, I realized it and said "Oh my god this is my first time kissing a girl" and she was SO over the moon. Why? Because she is MtF transsexual and so many people don't see her as female yet. We're not dating now (we never actually were) but we're friends and she told me that I'm one of the few people who has ever treated her just like the girl she is. And that's sad because she exudes feminine energy but some people just Do. Not. Get. It.

I have friends who have gotten crap in school and at work because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Thankfully none of them have been physically abused or harmed because of it, and not many have suffered extreme emotional abuse because of it... but most of them have struggled in some way shape or form.

So, I'm happy about today being a day of recognition and action.


KimberlyFDR said...

Thank you for taking part in the hop!

I'm a fellow LGBT writer, also taking part in the hop, and the issue is important to me because hatred of any kind should never be allowed to grow. Love creates love, and the sooner the world understands that, the better we will be.

Sophia Rose said...

I enjoyed reading your story as I have many through the HAHAT hop. I am one that gets very caught up in my own little zone. I have learned so much today about my own ignorance and that others really are suffering. Like you, I live where people may stare for a few blinks at differences, but that's about it.

Thanks for the post and for the giveaway opportunity.
sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I'm here for the Hop against Homophobia and Transphobia...I'm amazed at how inspiring, heartbreaking, and hopeful all the stories are!


Anonymous said...

The HAHT brought me over. Several have written about homeless youth a very sad issue more should be done about.

cojazzchick AT yahoo DOT com

Alicia Nordwell said...

I was brought here through the HAHT. There are a lot of issues facing anyone who identifies as one of the many 'diverse'. Writing about them DOES help, so keep it up!

~ Cia

N.J. Nielsen/ Saddington said...

just stopping by to say this was an awesome post... HAHAT 2013 brought me here and I'm glad it did.

awindandbooks said...

Thank you for your great post. Raising awareness and working towards a more respectful and positive environment for all people is important to me, which is a big reason why I'm passionate about equal rights. Thanks for participating in the HAHAT blog hop!

awindandbooks at gmail dot com

Debby said...


C. Kennedy said...

Wow, what a terrific post!
Here's to the day that we no longer have a need for a Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia!

rwoods said...

Thank you for your inspirational support of LGBT kids.


JPadawan11 said...

That was a wonderful post. i was brought here because of HAHAT. Even though I am straight, I have a lot of friends and family members who are part of the GLBT community. When I read statistics like the ones that you put in your post, I get really outraged. That is someone's son, daughter, cousin, parent, friend who is facing these injustices and we just sit back and watch the whole thing happen. We need to do more to educate society and help our brothers and sisters who need it, regardless of sexual orientation. That is why i am participating in this hop. Because if we could get more awareness, then maybe the pain will stop.


Suze said...

Thanks for your comments - I hadnt heard about the couple who had been attacked - its always out of main stream news (except parliament is discussing same sex marriage again toady!). Always interesting how different all the posts are, with lots of thoughts generated. I can only cope with so many each day!

littlesuze at hotmail dot com

Melissa Keir said...

My favorite summer memory is swimming in my pool just as dark comes on the scene. I loved the feel of the water and the serene nights!

BTGNeditors said...

Great causes for your other hop. Thanks for being a part of the Hot Summer Nights Blog Hop. Your books look great and we wish you the best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Please count me in for the Books To Go Hop, too. I have a lot of fun summer concert memories!


nancy said...

In the last few days there have been several attacks on gay men in NYC, it doesn't just happen in the boonies. I am at a total loss at what can be done to stop this and just hope the world will be a better place for my grandchildren.

H.B. Pattskyn said...

Nancy: sometimes it really feels as if every step we take forward toward understanding and compassion we're pushed two step backwards by people who are determined to hang onto fear and violence. The best most of us can do is to keep speaking out and to educate our children so that someday *no one* will be bullied or brutalized.

Arely ZPerez said...

I love spending time with my family in the summer.


Unknown said...

What I love most about summer is being able to spend time with the family! Thanks!
hschrock24112 @ yahoo dot com

Casey said...

My favorite summer activity is vegetable and fruit gardening. The things I grow taste so much better than store bought food.
casey 446 (at) hotmail dot c o m

H.B. said...

It is a sad day when one can't walk the streets without being in fear of being in danger because of who they choose to love. It shouldn't matter what gender a person is, love is love and everyone has a right to love someone no matter what their gender.

humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

Unknown said...

Getting to sleep in, not having to worry about rushing my kids off to school. Laying out in the sun and swimming.
Irene Rosa

Urb said...

We all lose a little bit of freedom when one group suffers discrimination. Not to essential non net people, but you know what I mean? Thanks for a great post. Great picture, too!
brendurbanist at gmail dot com

hhkaufman78 said...

My favorite thing about summer is playing outside with the family.

ncprincess96 at yahoo dot com

Sophie Bonaste said...

I am here because I believe in equal rights for all. I have always supported gay right and over the last two years I fell into the world of gay literature, first by reading and now writing. I think that literature has the ability to be a real source of change and I want to be a part of that. Thank you so much for your post and participating in this amazing hop!

strawberryrose said...

I enjoyed the blog. Keep up the good work.

magic5905 said...

Thanks for the awesome hop.
magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

Pam said...

Something I love about summer is being able to sit outside and read.


Thanks for participating in both hops.

Unknown said...

Hop Against
Thank you and GL to everyone! jmelter(at)gmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

Hot Summer Thank you and GL to everyone! jmelter(at)gmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

The thing I love most about summer is the end of cold weather. neonangelwings(at)yahoo(dot)com
veronica vaughn

Anonymous said...

I love the summer. I feel so glad when I wake up and see the blue sky. The warm weather turns my mood into good no matter what. And a summer night at the beach is my ideal of happiness. :-)
alifeamongbooks (at) gmail (dot) com

Juliana said...

Thanks so much for your post in this blog hop and the other as well! Such an important subject.
OceanAkers @

Unknown said...

There are so many things that make this issue an issue for me, but primarily are my two cousins. Both gay and both bullied. I'm proud of both...more than I can put into words. And I love both more than they will probably ever know. They are my rocks...the reason I know love. They have always been like brothers to me and deserve, more than anyone I know, to be given the same rights I'm granted without, yeah, my cousins are my reasons for fighting.

Unknown said...

My favorite thing about Summer is long days reading at the beach!

Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
elizabeth @ bookattict . com

JanD said...

Summer means spending more time outdoors.
bituin76 at hotmail dot com

Elizabeth Inglee-Richards said...

Do you mind if I answer both questions? I’ll let you know I came through the Hot Summer Nights hop.

My favorite part of summer is that I have time to write. Since I write about hockey I seem to get all my idea when I have no time at all to work on them, then summer comes and I have the time to work on the ideas.

As to the question of why ending Homophobia is important to me… even if I didn’t have gay relatives and friends (and I have tons of both. Well not tons of relatives, my family is small enough to have a reunion in a phone booth) it would still be the right thing. Everyone deserves to live fear free. Diversity is better than a world full of sameness.

my e-mail is elizabethingleerichards at gmail dotcom

Elizabeth Inglee-Richards said...

Do you mind if I answer both questions? I’ll let you know I came through the Hot Summer Nights hop.

My favorite part of summer is that I have time to write. Since I write about hockey I seem to get all my idea when I have no time at all to work on them, then summer comes and I have the time to work on the ideas.

As to the question of why ending Homophobia is important to me… even if I didn’t have gay relatives and friends (and I have tons of both. Well not tons of relatives, my family is small enough to have a reunion in a phone booth) it would still be the right thing. Everyone deserves to live fear free. Diversity is better than a world full of sameness.

my e-mail is elizabethinglee at gmail dotcom

Peggy said...

Thanks for the post, I enjoyed reading it. I also signed up for the newsletter

peggy1984 at live dot com

Emily said...

I'm actually here for both hops, ironically enough. As for my sexuality, I identify as a heteromatic asexual. I love the Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise painting, it's beautiful.

As for the HSN Hop, I love the freedom of summer. Less obligations, more hope. Or at least, that's how I feel.

Thanks for participating in the hops!


Penumbra said...

I enjoyed your post.

Thanks for participating in this great hop!


MistyRios said...

For the Summer Night Hop
Favorite thing about summer is the sunshine!
Thanks for the opportunity!

Shadow said...

Hi! Sounds like a great book! One of my favorite summer nights was when my cousins, siblings and i camped outside, we stayed up all night, scaring each other, telling stories, playing board games, etc. We even stuck away to the park and played on the play ground for awhile. My parents were very, very strict. Getting away was so much fun and freeing! Its one of my favorite memories! Thank you for taking part in this awesome hop! Its so much fun! Its wonderful meeting and seeing so many great people! :)