#FREE “Mad Dog: A Novel” by Dave Wickenden

Mad Dog cover

“An epic new take on serial killer fiction that is reminiscent of Stephen King’s best work.” –Best Thrillers

Fourteen-year-old Daniel and his friends enjoyed the best that childhood could offer during the summer of 1975 in a northern mining town until someone started brutally killing family pets. Daniel, who wants nothing more than be the hero from his books, convinces his friends to help search for the ‘sicko’, but this only brings him to the attention of the killer. When evidence surfaces that points at Daniel as the killer and his two friends turn against him, he soon realizes that there is much more to being a hero than what he has read. Running away from home, he enlists two seniors and a neighborhood bully to help trap the real killer.

FREE at time of posting!

KINDLE UNLIMITED

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA

AMAZON AU

#PreOrder “The Other Side of Blue” by Anna Bloom

The Other Side of Blue

by Anna Bloom

Once Blue was all she wanted, first kisses and forbidden desires. Once Lyra was his only hope when the rest of the world had turned their back.

At college four years later, things have changed. Lyra is a star in the making. Jack has become a cruel and cold echo of the person he once was.

Between them lies a web of secrets and regrets.

But some things never change… can they resist one another, or will the call of their twisted love story finally break them both?

Pre-Order your copy at a SPECIAL introductory price!!

viewbook.at/AZNTheOtherSideOfBlue

#angstromance #forbiddenromance #brothersbestfriend #collegeromance #annabloom #barenakedwords

What they are saying:

“By the time I’d finished reading, I wanted to tattoo Blue over my heart.” Angel Devlin

“Prepare for a love story that will make your heart ache.” Nikki Ashton

“Beautifully written, both sensitive and seductive, her words will wrap you up and take you on a wonderful journey, that when it ends will leave you wanting – no demanding more, more of Jack & Lyra.” Goodreads reviewer

“I got pulled into this story so fast. The secrets, the mystery, the how’s and whys. The sexual chemistry was a huge attraction as well, lets not forget. SOOOOO GOOD!” The Dragon Den Book Blog

“Amazing story, wonderful character building and such an a-hole anti-hero in Jack!!
Blue, Green, bring on the damn rainbow!!”


#BookBlitz “Latch Key Kids” by John L. Sheppard

tour banner

Fiction, Coming of Age, Dark Humor 

Date Published: September 2020 

Publisher: Paragraph Line Books 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

Latch Key Kids, the long-awaited follow-up to Small Town Punk, chronicles the enduring impact one life can have on another.  

Resilience and the power of sibling friendship combine into a surprising, ingeniously layered comic novel about a boy inventing himself.  

In Latch Key Kids, Sheppard strips the flesh from the bone. He makes you laugh by combining searing wit with keen social observation. 


Also by John L. Sheppard

Small Town Punk 

Publisher: g Publishing 

Trapped in dreary Sarasota, Florida in the early 1980s—during Reagan’s “Morning in America,”—going to high school with junior fascists by day, working at Pizza Hut by night, his family a dysfunctional nightmare, 17-year old Buzz Pepper feels that nothing matters in life beyond drinking, drugs and punk rock. 

As the country around him is becoming more conservative and corporate, and adulthood seems like the ultimate corrupt existence, Buzz can only find solace within a close-knit group of fellow disillusioned teens, which includes his devoted younger sister, Sissy. As they drive around in Buzz’s beat-up van, encountering redneck cops, mocking the local “geezers,” and wondering if there is any meaning in what seems to be a meaningless world, Small Town Punk perfectly captures how it is to be young, yet feel that you have no future. 

In the tradition of Hairstyles of the Dammed and Perks of Being A Wallflower, Small Town Punk is a brutally funny and poignant coming of age story that brilliantly evokes the surging joy, confusion and rage of youth. 

Amazon


 Read an Excerpt 

Years later, Sissy would say, “You remember. Of course you remember. How could you forget?” 

No,” I’d insist. “I don’t remember that at all.” 

The summer we moved to Sarasota, one of the local news anchors shot herself live on television with a gray, little pistol. Bang, went the report, sounding like someone clapping together a pair of wood blocks. That’s the way Sissy told the story. I don’t remember any of it. 

Sissy and I were up early, she told me, eating Cocoa Puffs out of the box, dry. We paused and looked at each other, stopping mid-crunch. Sissy swallowed her mouthful of cereal and asked, “Did that just happen?” 

Did what just happen?” I asked. 

That cereal. I remember that. My teeth were sugary rough. I sucked at my molars. But the dead woman. Was there a dead woman? And why did Sissy insist on watching this woman every morning on some public affairs show called Suncoast Digest? 

Wait. I remember that part. It was because the anchor was clearly weird, for one thing. Like you knew that one day she’d do something odd on the air and if we missed it, Sissy would never forgive me. 

For another, the anchor had a recognizable accent. She was from our part of Ohio. It was like hearing the voice of home listening to Christine. Christine! That was the anchor’s name. 

The picture on the color set wiggled. It made everything orange, or maybe that was the 1970’s. Maybe the 1970’s were particularly lurid. There was this dead woman slumped over in a field of wiggling orange. There was another person screaming. A man wearing a headset ran up. He waved at the camera and then some color bars glowed. They were primary colors. Soon enough, an episode of Gentle Ben came on to replace Suncoast Digest. A boy and his pet bear. Sissy turned the dial, clunking through the channels that we could get from the antenna on the roof. She found nothing satisfying and turned off the set. 

You have so much to learn about life, little brother,” Sissy said. 

I’m your big brother,” I said. 

Sure you are.” 

But I am. I’m almost two years older.” 

Do we have any orange juice?” Sissy smiled, showing off her dimpled cheeks. Adults liked to pinch them. “Do you think she’s really dead?” 

Who?” 

My God, you’re dumb. How’d you get so dumb?” 

I don’t know. I think I got it from Dad.” 

That makes sense.” She stood up, so I stood up, too. She handed me the box of Cocoa Puffs. I rolled up the waxpaper bag inside and clicked the boxtop shut. “That weird anchor lady. You think she really shot herself?” 

I don’t know. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

She made a little fist and rapped gently on the side of my head. “Knock-knock. Anybody home?” 

Stop making fun of me.” 

You make it so easy, little brother.” She went into the kitchen and I followed her. 


About the Author 


John L Sheppard wrote Small Town Punk. He lives in Illinois.
 

Contact Links 

Website 

Twitter 

Facebook 

Promo link

Purchase Links 

Amazon 

B&N


RABT Book Tours & PR

#ReleaseBlitz “Unconventional Love” by J. Hart

Unconventional Love By J.Hart

AVAILABLE NOW!

https://books2read.com/unconventionallove

#UnconventionalLove #JHart #NewRelease #BareNakedWords #contemporaryromance #comingofage

 

“I loved everything Unconventional Love encompassed.

It was emotionally charged and just a perfect read for me.” Goodreads Review

 

Add to Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55219556-unconventional-love

 

BLURB

When you’re young, there’s always that one kid who doesn’t fit in:

too fat, too poor, too quiet, too annoying… the list goes on and on.

The thing is, that had been me. I’d been that kid.

I hadn’t fit gracefully into life’s jigsaw puzzle; I’d been that piece in the wrong box.

Cocooned in the wrong life, I’d been like a butterfly waiting to emerge, waiting to take flight, and at eighteen, that’s what I’d done.

Hope had soared as I’d unfolded my wings. I’d been free to start a future of self-discovery.

It had been time—time to finally find the right box and complete my journey.

I’d never imagined myself where I am today or who I am today.

This is that story of how I found an unconventional love, one I choose for eternity.

Add to Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55219556-unconventional-love

Purchase here

https://books2read.com/unconventionallove

Meet the Author

Janice loves Romance.

That sentence pretty much sums me up.

Since my teens, even then I would use all my pocket money and spend it on whatever the latest teen magazine was out, Jackie and My Guy being two of them. So you could say I’ve had an addiction to romance and the need to read about people finding their happy ever after for a long time.

With so many stories of my own now twirling and dancing around in my head, and after my dad’s death during Covid-19 it’s then that I started on a different path so, Janice now writes

Visit J.Hart on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/j.hartauthor/

Amazon Author page

https://www.amazon.co.uk/J-HART/e/B08HDBVVZP/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

#CoverReveal “Unconventional Love” by J. Hart

TITLE: UNCONVENTIONAL LOVE

GENRE: Contemporary Romance/Coming of age

Tropes: Mature YA, coming of age, second chance, self-discovery

Author: J. Hart

Cover By: Book cover by design

Pre-Order: 

https://books2read.com/unconventionallove


A
dd to your TBR:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55219556-unconventional-love

#UnconventionalLove #JHart #Coverreveal #BareNakedWords


BLURB:

When you’re young, there’s always that one kid who doesn’t fit in:

too fat, too poor, too quiet, too annoying… the list goes on and on.

The thing is, that had been me. I’d been that kid.

I hadn’t fit gracefully into life’s jigsaw puzzle; I’d been that piece in the wrong box. Cocooned in the wrong life, I’d been like a butterfly waiting to emerge, waiting to take flight, and at eighteen, that’s what I’d done.

Hope had soared as I’d unfolded my wings. I’d been free to start a future of self-discovery. It had been time—time to finally find the right box and complete my journey.

I’d never imagined myself where I am today or who I am today.

This is that story of how I found an unconventional love, one I choose for eternity.

Authors note:

I truly believe that all readers should go into this story blind to gain the full impact of the journey. Unconventional Love should only be read by a reader over the age of 18 and one who has an open mind.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janice Hart lives in the North West of England. She enjoys reading contemporary romance and sharing all about the great books she may have read on her blog and on other social platforms.

Janice is a wife to her husband Robert and has been for over 27 years (yes, that’s a long time!). She has two children, Yvonne and James, and two Grandchildren, Jaxon and Thomas. Janice also has a bossy little Shihpoo called Maisey.

Following the death of her Dad on the 16th May 2020 and during the Covid-19 lock-down Janice embarked on a new journey and wrote her first book.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/j.har…

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO: My Dad, Denis.



#Featured “fast” by Millie Belizaire

cover

~~~

fast
adj.
1. A girl or guy who is quick to engage in sexual activities.
–Oftentimes used to shame. Oftentimes used to blame victims for their own abuse.

After the untimely death of her mother, Caprice Latimore has to move in with her grandmother. At eight years old, life as she knows it is turned upside down. The trauma of losing her mother is made worse with the introduction of Marcel, her grandmother’s adult son who still lives in the home.
Her uncle Marcel takes an inappropriate interest in her that ultimately results in a tragic breaking point for the child. The only silver lining is that shortly after what Caprice calls “that night”, Marcel is booked by local police with a drug possession charge. He’s sentenced to prison for twelve years.

Seven years later, however, Marcel is released on good behavior.

Caprice is now sixteen, still dealing with the emotional scars of the past. But things aren’t like they were before.
Because now she has Shaun Taylor, the boy across the street who will do whatever it takes to make sure no one ever hurts Caprice again.

fast is a standalone that spans twenty years. Separated into three acts, we watch Caprice grow from eight years old to sixteen years old to twenty-eight years old. She gets hurt, she falls in love, she grows, and she just might overcome.

fast is a story written about victims who were made to feel like their abuse was their own fault.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Child abuse, assault in prisons, mental instability, etc.
Some themes touched upon in this story may trigger you. Please protect your mental health.

KINDLE UNLIMITED

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA

AMAZON AU

~~~

#Spotlight “The Stella Trilogy” by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

cover

Stella: Between Slavery and Freedom

In book one, Cynthia McNair and her boyfriend, Alex, express some racist feelings toward blacks. They visit Cynthia’s Grandmother Sidney McNair, who recounts the story of her ancestor, a slave named Stella Mae. Cynthia has no idea of her African ancestry or how deep this rabbit hole goes.

AMAZON

~~~

cover

Stella: Beyond the Colored Line

In book two, we dig deeper into the McNair family’s legacy. Named after her great-grandmother, Stella has a very light complexion, causing her to be the tease of her classmates. Unable to find solace among her African American contemporaries, Stella finds it challenging to adjust to a world where she is too light to be black. After The Great Depression of the 1930s forces Stella’s family to move to Chicago, a conversation with Aunt Sara provokes Stella to do something that will dramatically affect not just her life but the life of her children and grandchildren.

AMAZON

~~~

cover

Stella: The Road to Freedom

Book three follows Stella’s son Joseph after a fight with his brother compels a young Joseph to leave his mother’s house and join his friends for a trip to Atlanta for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) second conference. Excited to live life on their own, Jo and his friends have left school and the lives they were living for a chance to become part of the movement. With no money and virtually no plan, the seven friends, three black and four white, set out for the road when they are stopped by a racist cop who makes them exit the car. The teens are unaware that a mob of Klansmen await them at the New Orleans bus terminal. Find out in the third installment of the Stella Trilogy how Joseph and his friends discover the hard way that freedom has never been free.

AMAZON

~~~

#Excerpt “GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet” by Allan D. Hunter

~~~

coverNon-Fiction / Memoir / LGBTQ Coming-of-Age / Coming-out Story
Release Date: 3/16/2020
Publisher: Sunstone Press
Goodreads Button
Derek is a girl. He wasn’t one of the boys as a kid. He admired, befriended, and socialized with the girls and always knew he was one of them, despite being male. That wasn’t always accepted or understood, but he didn’t care–he knew who he was. Now he’s a teenager and boys and girls are flirting and dating and his identity has become a lot more complicated: he’s attracted to the girls. The other girls. The female ones. This is Derek’s story, the story of a different kind of male hero–a genderqueer person’s tale. It follows Derek from his debut as an eighth grader in Los Alamos, New Mexico until his unorthodox coming out at the age of twenty-one on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque. This century’s first decade saw many LGBT centers and services rebranding themselves as LGBTQ. The ”Q” in LGBTQ is a new addition. It represents other forms of ”queer” in an inclusive wave-of-the hand toward folks claiming to vary from conventional gender and orientation, such as genderqueer people. People who are affirmatively tolerant on gay, lesbian and transgender issues still ask ”Why do we need to add another letter to the acronym? Isn’t anyone who isn’t mainstream already covered by ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ or ‘bisexual’ or ‘trans’? I’m all in favor of people having the right to call themselves whatever they want, but seriously, do we need this term?” Derek’s tale testifies to the real-life relevance of that ”Q.” This is a genderqueer story before genderqueer was trending.

Purchase Link

Amazon

~~~

genderqueer book banner

 

EXCERPT

In Los Alamos, over Christmas break, Eddie and I soon fell into the habit of stepping out of the house and smoking a bowl after supper, and I started using that time to think out loud, to process things.

“One difference between being fourteen and being twenty is that virginity is different,” I began.

Eddie nodded. “Not so many people are virgins by the time they’re twenty. Could be you start to worry that you’ll be virgin forever, that it will be permanent.”

“Yeah, and becoming increasingly obsessed about it and feeling more and more left out while everyone around you is having sex. But I mean the virginity thing keeps you blocked if you aren’t like other boys, like me.” I sat back against the cast iron porch railing and faced him. “Way back in third grade I had girls who liked me, and they liked me as one of them.”

“It’s easier for girls and boys to be friends before sex and sexual appetite get in the way.” He nodded.

“Well, most of them were just friends, you know, but I also had a girlfriend back then, and we were in love. We held hands and kissed and wrote love letters in class. We were two of the same. And that’s how I like it. But the virginity thing gradually gets in the way of that. If you want to be heterosexual, sooner or later you have to go there. It’s like a gate, you know—THIS IS SEX—and it’s set up so it only works, it only happens, if someone is the boy, doing the boy thing. Not two of the same. I mean, maybe it isn’t sexy for girls unless the other person is doing that, pressuring, making sex happen. Or they just don’t have to, as long as the boys will. Either way, it’s how it’s set up. So it’s a gate with a gatekeeper. Keeping boys like me out.”

“Or maybe it’s just how we’re taught to think it’s set up, and when you are virgin you don’t know if it is true or not.”

“Well, if nothing happens and nothing happens…and you start to think the reason is that you aren’t doing the boy part…and then you try it, you find out that for you it is true because you just made it true.” I knocked the ashes out of the pot pipe and put it back in my coat pocket. “Anyway, it’s always there, and it gets in the way, I mean it looms bigger and bigger the older you get: You’re the BOY; you have to make things happen. And it seems so absolute when you’re a virgin: You’ve never had sex with a girl because you’ve never made it happen, and you never will until you do.

“Maybe it doesn’t seem so much a big thing after you do that. And then you can find ways to be with girls more like what you’re looking for. Just get it out of the way and move on.”

“Well, the problem there is that it’s not just set up so that the boy has to take the initiative. That’s bad enough but that’s not all there is to it. While he’s getting ready to try that, he’s hearing girls say all boys are like this and only care about sex, and boys are selfish, and it means the boy isn’t interested in her as a person. All that stuff is already written on the wall. So it’s not like he can just walk over to a girl he likes and say, ‘I like you; sure, what the hell, let’s have sex’ and that’s it. She wants sex but she wants it to be meaningful and special, or at least supposed to pretend she does or she’ll be called names like ‘slut’ and all that. And she’s been taught she has to slow the boy down and make him get to know her better first if she wants a relationship.

“See, he’s supposed to keep trying. So it’s not just ‘do this one thing once that’s specifically a boy thing, then you can be equals.’ The whole process is like that. And it keeps out boys like me.

I want to feel special and valued before I share sex with someone too. I want to feel like…well, wanted, not like I’m pushing myself on someone. And I want a girlfriend, I want to be in love and have a relationship. That’s just as important to me as it is to them.”

Eddie nodded again. Was I making sense to him? Did he understand what I was trying to say?

Eddie turned and stared out across the snowbanks covering our front lawn. After a moment he said, “You’re saying it’s like a Catch-22. You can’t qualify to be in the relationship you want except by starting a relationship that is not the way you want instead, with someone who won’t see you for how you are.”

Make that a yes. Someone on this planet thinks I make sense. So I should make sense to others as well.

 

The next thing that fell into place for me was the women’s liberation movement. Feminism. I was standing there on the front porch talking with Eddie and it hit me, this vivid image of an intense woman at the podium, her voice snapping like a whip, talking about the unfairness of sex role expectations, that when men do it it’s assertive, taking charge, showing initiative, oh but when women do it, oh, now it’s pushy, she’s being domineering, she’s a bitch. “Well fuck that shit,” she says, and the audience of feminist women cheer and raise their clenched fists in a salute.

Oh yeah, feminists! Sure, they had talked about the double standard.  How, if it was okay for men to be sexually assertive and be admired for their sexual activities and proficiencies, then it should be okay for women to be sexually assertive about their interests and appetites. If sexually active men are admirable, sexually active women should be similarly admired instead of demeaned as “sluts,” and so forth.

And I realized that the very existence of such women punched holes in the notion that only males who did the man-role thing could be heterosexual. Because as long as women exist who aren’t playing by those rules, I could interact with them and things could happen differently.

Excited, I outlined all this to Eddie. “See? This is important. This changes things. The gatekeeper can be bypassed!” Eddie grinned and patted my shoulder and said this was a good thing.

 

At first, it felt like solving an equation, or a technicality, almost like a legal point or recognizing a good argument to use in a debate. But a few days later I thought about it from a different angle. The feminist movement had provided a kind of home for a certain kind of woman: tomboyish non-feminine females who were more like boys in a lot of ways than they were like the other girls. Some people liked to claim that all feminist women were like that, which wasn’t at all true, but there were such women and the women’s liberation movement, with its attack on the unfairness of different expectations according to sex, obviously would have a direct and personal appeal to them. Some of them were lesbians, of course, but not all of them.

Maybe I would find that I liked feminist women not just because I could interact with them outside of the regular rules but because of their, well, tomboyishness, you know, butch characteristics. I might like that a lot. Meanwhile, yeah, it also meant I had natural allies of a sort. I needed to go meet some feminist women.

 

A couple nights later I stood on my front porch feeling militantly angry, ecstatically joyous, triumphant, determined, furiously vindictive, and free. Standing at my own damn podium. Yeah, fuck this shit!

So…I stand here a virgin because I don’t want to be the boy and take sexual initiative? Then by god, I will damn well die a virgin before I’ll take responsibility for any more than 49 percent of it! I’ve never known any girl who wanted to feel like she was pushing sex onto someone who didn’t properly appreciate it.   Why should I? 

I’m supposed to let the world paint me as only interested in sex, like I don’t fall in love or get emotionally invested and vulnerable to hurt when I’m in relationships? So it’s somehow okay for girls to only want me for sex in a way that it would not be okay the other way around? No! Double standard!

When girls are uncertain and ambivalent about their sexual feelings and appetites, people understand, it’s portrayed that way in movies and songs. But males are just supposed to be enthusiastically ready, like there’s no risk or reason to be hesitant? Fuck that shit too!

Girls have to put up with being seen as sex objects, and yeah I can see it’s no good being treated like that’s all you’re there for, but dammit I never get to feel desirable, cute, attractive in any kind of reciprocal way, that’s part of it too, and fuck that!

There are so many ways of thinking and behaving associated with girls that people don’t comprehend the same way if you’re a boy. I have been yelled at for being smilingly cheerful, ridiculed and despised for trying to play within the rules and get some protection, considered weak and cowardly for not valuing fighting and violence. Well, I’m claiming all that back as my own and I’ll be damned if I’ll be shunted shamed or ridiculed away from it ever again.

 

I was…OUT. The door was open and I was out of the closet now.

Hey, not my fault that when I come out it’s different from what everyone expected! Not straight. Not gay. Not transsexual, even. Something entirely other. It’s something else. What am I going to call it? I’ll think of something.

There had been something wary and guarded and furtive inside me that wasn’t there anymore. I no longer worried that someone would tease or harass me for being too much like a girl or not right for a guy. Now I didn’t care if they noticed!

This is who I am, how I am. Get used to it! I will never again tolerate people being mean and nasty to me and acting like I deserve it because I don’t act like a guy. From now on being all worried about that is their problem.

I smiled.

~~~

~~~

About the Author
Allan Hunter grew up partly in Valdosta GA and partly in Los Alamos NM and first attempted to come out as genderqueer in 1980, an endeavor made difficult by the fact that there was no such term for it in 1980.  He has used many words and phrases over the intervening years, including “sissy” and “coed feminist” and “straightbackwards”, but currently identifies as a “gender invert” which is a subtype of genderqueer, and colloquially refers to himself as a “male girl”.
He has lived in the greater New York City / Long Island region since 1984.  He came to the area in order to major in women’s studies and to discuss gender and related topics, and is the author of Same Door, Different Closet:  A Heterosexual Sissy’s Coming-Out Party  (published in the academic journal FEMINISM and PSYCHOLOGY in 1992).
Same Door, Different Closet was reprinted twice in subsequent anthologies (Fem & Psych’s own special reader HETEROSEXUALITY in 1993, and Heasley & Crane’s SEXUAL LIVES: A READER ON THE THEORIES AND REALITIES OF HUMAN SEXUALITIES, McGraw-Hill 2002).  A second theory paper, The Feminist Perspective in (and/or On) the Field of Sociology was made available for credited distribution and was included in a compendium,  READINGS IN FEMINIST THEORY, Ed. S. M. Channa, Cosmo Publications.
GenderQueer is his first serious attempt to write for the market outside of the academic journal environment.
He is active in local and regional organizations where he speaks to small groups about gender issues. He has addressed college women’s studies groups, alternative-lifestyle social groups, and given talks at LGBT centers.
Contact Links

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#ReleaseBlitz “GenderQueer: A Story from a Different Closet” by Allan D. Hunter

tour banner

~~~

coverNon-Fiction / Memoir / LGBTQ Coming-of-Age / Coming-out Story
Release Date: 3/16/2020
Publisher: Sunstone Press
Goodreads Button
Derek is a girl. He wasn’t one of the boys as a kid. He admired, befriended, and socialized with the girls and always knew he was one of them, despite being male. That wasn’t always accepted or understood, but he didn’t care–he knew who he was. Now he’s a teenager and boys and girls are flirting and dating and his identity has become a lot more complicated: he’s attracted to the girls. The other girls. The female ones. This is Derek’s story, the story of a different kind of male hero–a genderqueer person’s tale. It follows Derek from his debut as an eighth grader in Los Alamos, New Mexico until his unorthodox coming out at the age of twenty-one on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque. This century’s first decade saw many LGBT centers and services rebranding themselves as LGBTQ. The ”Q” in LGBTQ is a new addition. It represents other forms of ”queer” in an inclusive wave-of-the hand toward folks claiming to vary from conventional gender and orientation, such as genderqueer people. People who are affirmatively tolerant on gay, lesbian and transgender issues still ask ”Why do we need to add another letter to the acronym? Isn’t anyone who isn’t mainstream already covered by ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ or ‘bisexual’ or ‘trans’? I’m all in favor of people having the right to call themselves whatever they want, but seriously, do we need this term?” Derek’s tale testifies to the real-life relevance of that ”Q.” This is a genderqueer story before genderqueer was trending.

Purchase Link

Amazon

~~~

 

EXCERPT

I was in the house by myself and heard the doorbell chime. Denise Spears. “Umm, Jan isn’t here at the moment, but do you want to hang out for a while?” I asked, hoping she’d say yes.

“That’s okay because I actually came over to see you,” she explained, smiling at me. She came in and I closed the door, which latched with a resonant chunk in the quiet room. I was feeling pretty tongue-tied; I couldn’t think of anything clever to say. Denise looked a little nervous herself.

“I’m glad you came over. I like it when you’re here.” We hugged. After a couple moments I realized I should be acting like a host. Or at least not just staring happily at her and not saying anything. “Do you want anything, like to drink?”

“Not unless you want,” she replied.

Denise was smiling shyly, eyes down. She was wearing snug jeans shorts, with the legs rolled up to make cute little leg bands. I thought about how nice it would be to get my fingers inside that denim. This was maybe my big chance, if that’s what she had in mind. I wondered if she’d known that we’d have the place to ourselves when she’d decided to come over.

Maybe she did.

“I’ve been thinking about you and that hay ride,” she said, then blushed, “and, umm, you know.”

“I think about you too. And yeah…”

It wasn’t like how it was with Terri, who was always sort of challenging me to do stuff. I totally trusted Denise and I knew there was no risk that she was trying to set me up for embarrassment or humiliation. But somehow it felt serious and not like playing around the way it had been on the hayride or in Jan’s bedroom. “It was funny when Jan caught us on the floor that day,” I said, just to have something to say.

Denise chuckled. “I know, right? Like she couldn’t decide who to be mad at.”

I gestured to the living room couch, and we sat there, our backs to the big window.

Denise seemed fragile and somehow younger today and I was a lot more conscious of the age difference. It felt wrong somehow to try to start making out. As if she wanted me to like her and would therefore let me do things whether she wanted to or not. It hadn’t felt that way before, and maybe she was actually impatient for things to happen. But how it seemed was like we were both uncertain about what to do.

We kissed and held hands and talked on the couch for a half hour, then she said she’d better be heading home.

~~~

About the Author
Allan Hunter grew up partly in Valdosta GA and partly in Los Alamos NM and first attempted to come out as genderqueer in 1980, an endeavor made difficult by the fact that there was no such term for it in 1980.  He has used many words and phrases over the intervening years, including “sissy” and “coed feminist” and “straightbackwards”, but currently identifies as a “gender invert” which is a subtype of genderqueer, and colloquially refers to himself as a “male girl”.
He has lived in the greater New York City / Long Island region since 1984.  He came to the area in order to major in women’s studies and to discuss gender and related topics, and is the author of Same Door, Different Closet:  A Heterosexual Sissy’s Coming-Out Party  (published in the academic journal FEMINISM and PSYCHOLOGY in 1992).
Same Door, Different Closet was reprinted twice in subsequent anthologies (Fem & Psych’s own special reader HETEROSEXUALITY in 1993, and Heasley & Crane’s SEXUAL LIVES: A READER ON THE THEORIES AND REALITIES OF HUMAN SEXUALITIES, McGraw-Hill 2002).  A second theory paper, The Feminist Perspective in (and/or On) the Field of Sociology was made available for credited distribution and was included in a compendium,  READINGS IN FEMINIST THEORY, Ed. S. M. Channa, Cosmo Publications.
GenderQueer is his first serious attempt to write for the market outside of the academic journal environment.
He is active in local and regional organizations where he speaks to small groups about gender issues. He has addressed college women’s studies groups, alternative-lifestyle social groups, and given talks at LGBT centers.
Contact Links

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR

~~~

#BookBlitz “Anne” by Zarina Macha

tour banner

~~~

YA Coming-of-age

Published: June 2019
Goodreads Button
Anne Mason has a storybook childhood.
A wealthy father, loving mother, and a beautiful home in Richmond.
But behind the polished windows, Anne’s father brutally terrorizes her mother.
Sent to live with her aunt and uncle, Anne enrolls in boarding school. Though she thrives, the traumas of her past gnaw at her insides.
Will hope and inner strength prevail?

Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

Indiebound

~~~

EXCERPT

Picture this. A room with two cosy armchairs and a brown wooden table resting between them holding a small clock, tissues, and minuscule pieces of Celebrations chocolate. The temperature was not cold, and not hot, but that perfect warmth you get from adjusting both the window and radiator heating. In one of the armchairs sat a middle-aged man, bespectacled, foreign — German, perhaps — with a balding patch on his head and weight around his middle. A kind smile spread across his face, his head tilted, garnering the same curiosity as an inquisitive child. In the other chair sat a girl. Fourteen, black hair cane-rolled on top and pulled up into a tight bun. Black hands, black duffel coat, black shoes, black tights. All that shed a silver lining — or a blue one — were the sapphire-crystal earrings hanging from her ears.

The girl was me.

The foreign man peered at the clock. He and the girl had been sitting in the room for forty minutes, the slight utterance of monosyllabic dialogue passing between the two. The girl was staring at the floor, her face expressionless. With only twenty minutes left, the man took his cue to pick up the bowl holding the chocolate and offered one to her. She refused.

“I do like Celebrations,” said the man. “Always a succulent choice.” He was definitely German. “They really melt in the mouth. Maltesers are my personal favourite, though. They’re the most popular, aren’t they?”

I grunted in response. He sighed; not in exasperation, merely in concern. “I know this is only our second session, but it would be nice to hear a little bit from you.”

I uncrossed my legs. It was amazing how interesting your shoes became when you had nothing to say.

“I’m not trying to force you,” he said gently. “I know this has been difficult for you. You have had a lot to deal with recently, and in the past. But that is why I want you to know we are here for you. When somebody close to you dies, it’s the most horrible thing in the world. That’s why we want to help you get through this challenging time.”

I closed my eyes, raising my head to the ceiling.

“How are you feeling right now?” he asked.

I shrugged.

“Anne, you are more than welcome to take your time, but remember, in here, you are safe. No one can hurt you. What we say is confidential, and you can say whatever you like.”

He was right. And yet, the clenching in my stomach wouldn’t stop. It was a reminder that no matter how awful things became, you were still left with the scars.

I spent the remaining twenty minutes in silence. So much had happened in my fourteen years of existence, I was unsure of how to form the words.

That week, I mulled over my previous two sessions and decided I was tired of being a prisoner of my past. I no longer saw the point of keeping myself closed off. Help had been offered to me, so surely now was the time to take it. I could keep the ghosts chained to me, or I could let them be released, freeing myself in the process.

When I returned to Henry — he said I could call him by his first name — that following Tuesday, I was ready to begin telling him everything.

 

~~~

About the Author
Zarina Macha is an author, blogger and musician born and raised in London, UK. She studied Songwriting and Creative Artistry at The Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford. She regularly writes a social comment blog titled ‘The Zarina Macha Blog.’ In her spare time she loves reading and fan-girling over Game of Thrones.
In 2018 she began independently publishing her books through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. Every Last Psycho and Anne are her young-adult fiction novels that deal with mental illness, drug abuse, domestic violence and coming-of-age. Art is a Waste of Time and Single Broke Female are her two poetry books.
Around Midnight is her fifth self-published work. It is a young-adult drama about jazz, ambition, and a toxic relationship.
Contact Links

~~~

RABT Book Tours & PR