Monday, September 25, 2017

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hop Against Homophobia, Bi and Transphobia 2015

Hello everyone! As you can see by the beautiful badge here and on the side bar, I'm participating in the 2015 Hop Against Homophobia Bi - and Transphobia. As you can also see, my post is late. I went back and forth on what I wanted to write about. In the end, I decided to go with the topic that most often comes to mind when I think of the fight for Gay Rights.

I'm an African American woman. And to me, the fight for Gay Rights and against homophobia is very similar to the African American Civil Rights movement and beyond. I honestly cannot understand how anyone who has the skin of a people that have been discriminated against for the entirety of this country's history can't feel sympathetic to the Gay Rights cause. Our family members endured water hoses and police dogs during marches. They suffered milkshakes poured on their heads during dinner sit-ins. They were spit on when going to vote or integrating schools. But in the end, the sacrifice and abuse were worth it. African Americans can go to school where we want, we can shop where we want, and we can marry who we want.* So how can anyone who has that history in their blood turn around and want to deny the same rights to the Gay Community?

Whenever I see someone of African American descent saying that gays shouldn't have the right to marry or adopt children, it makes me disappointed and sad.  Slave owners twisted passages from the Bible to justify ownership of Black men and women as slaves. They prevented slaves from marrying, because they were property, not humans. After slavery's end, laws were created that prevented African Americans from marrying who they chose.  It wasn't until 1967 with the Loving vs Virginia case that the Supreme Court overturned any remaining laws against interracial marriage. How distasteful it is to me that some members of the Black community now have the same mindset when it comes to the Gay community. (Some may disagree by saying that people don't choose to be Black while they do choose to be gay. That belief always confuses me. Why in the world would anyone choose to live a life that brings with it discrimination and the danger of violence committed against them?)

It is my sincere hope that sometime in the very near future, people of other marginalized groups: minorities, women, persons with disabilities, etc. will realize that as humans we all deserve the basic right to legally be with the one we love.

Thank you for reading this post. For my contribution to the Hop, I am offering a prize: A $10 gift card to Amazon and a donation in your name (or alias of your choosing) to The Montrose Center.
Enter by commenting below. Leave your email in case you are the winner. If you prefer not to leave your email, be prepared to check back on May 25th when I announce the winner.

You can view the list of others participating in the Hop Against Homophobia and Bi Transphobia here: You can also visit the Facebook page here:

*I'm not naive enough to think things are perfect for Blacks in America. The recent civil unrest in cities like Baltimore are Ferguson is glaring proof that it is not.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Original Prompt Image
This week I'm finishing up a short free read for a Goodreads group I'm a member of. The Goodreads M/M Romance group puts out a yearly anthology of stories written based on prompts and images provided by group members. I discovered the project last year and I picked a contemporary threesome prompt. I choose it because it was something I hadn't really done before, and I wanted the opportunity to challenge myself. This year I picked a historical prompt, which has Mars, the God of War, becoming embroiled in the passionate love affair of two warriors. Yummy, right?

Again, I wanted the challenge of doing something I hadn't really written before. When I was in middle school and first practicing writing romance novels, I wrote historicals because that's all I read. As an adult, however, I've only written and published contemporary stories. But I'm a big ole history nerd. I took multiple history classes in college because I thought they were fun. I used to binge watch The History Channel before they moved to all those reality shows. This prompt in particular is set in one of my favorite time periods. I love the ancient world. Xena: Warrior Princess is one of my favorite all time TV shows. Gladiator (hot damn Russell Crowe was hot in that movie) is in my top five favorite movies. And I love Starz's Spartacus series. I'm currently Netflix binging it since I didn't watch it when it aired. Andy Whitfield was glorious in the role. I'm on season two and still a little iffy on Liam McIntyre.
Andy Whitfield entering the arena as Spartacus. So glorious

Anyway, back to the purpose of this post. I'm enjoying putting my spin on the rough and brutal beauty of that era. And in the mental lineup of books I want to write, I've got plans for a series set in the ancient world. So this is great practice for me. Since I'm so excited for this year's story, I thought it would be nice to have my own cover made for it. The amazing Jay Aheer will be creating it for me. But before she gets to work, I need help picking the image she'll build the cover from! I have four pictures below. Let me know in the comments which you think would be best for the cover art. Each vote will be entered to win a prize!





Here's the fun prize the winner will receive, a pair of super cool Bookworm socks! Remember, leave your vote in the comments on this blog post to be entered. One entry per person, open to US only. Votes must be received by 12 am CST 5/7/15. Winner will be randomly selected from all votes posted. Thank you for helping me choose!


Monday, May 4, 2015

May 1st

I survived another May 1st. What's the big deal with May 1st? Nothing, for most people. For me, it's the anniversary of my boyfriend's death. Tom passed away from skin cancer on May 1, 2009. Unfortunately, I remember that morning very vividly. Tom had spent the previous night at MD Anderson for tests and treatment. I woke up suddenly at 4:45 and just laid there for about twenty minutes, feeling sick and anxious, until the phone rang. As soon as it did, I knew for sure something had happened. Tom was already gone by the time I got there. He was hooked up to machines so that he was still breathing, but unconscious. So I sort of got to say goodbye, but not really.

The first few May 1sts after that were extremely difficult. I was depressed for the days leading up to them and for several afterwards. Depressed to the level where it was a struggle to do anything. I spent most of those days in bed, hiding away from the world. Then it started to get easier to survive May 1st. And oddly, that made me mad. I didn't want it to be easier to get past those painful anniversaries (his birthday, when he was diagnosed, etc) because it made it seem as though Tom was even further away from me.

Now, six May 1sts later, and I was neither depressed nor angry. I was moody that evening, but it wasn't horrible and it didn't hurt. I want to say that I've accepted his death and I know he's in a better place, etc. etc. And I know all that. I even dreamed a few years ago that he came to check on me. I opened the front door and he was there, as tall and wonderful as ever. There was nothing behind him but the brightest golden light. I was so happy to see him and I told him that I was alright. So yes, I know that he's gone and that he is in a better place. But I'm still disappointed that we aren't sharing a life together. I wouldn't say I'm bitter. I'm just ... disappointed. Maybe once I've moved past that feeling of resentment that he was taken from me, I'll be able to say those things without the underlying layer of disappointment that makes those words sound so fake.

Until then, I survived another May 1st.

Top Pic: Tom and I at home. Bottom Pic: Tom and I visiting the Busch Brewery on a trip home to meet my family.
Tom and I in Jamaica, 2008

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Right now, I'm sitting on my couch. I've just finished Game of Thrones. And I'm sleepy. Not due to GoT, just because it's 9:30 at night, I've been up since early this morning, and as usual I didn't sleep well last night. You'd think I'd go to bed, right? Wrong.

For whatever reason, I fight sleep.

2:30 a.m. is my normal bed time. And by that I mean the time my body refuses to stay awake any longer and I pass out. I don't know why I do this to myself. It certainly isn't healthy. I'm no doctor, but I suspect my lack of sleep (I average five hours or less a night) are factors of my weight gain and sluggishness throughout the day. The sleep I do get isn't fulfilling due to my knee, both pre and especially post surgery. I wake several times throughout the night in order to rearrange my leg into a more comfortable position. So what do you think is the first thing that pops into my head every morning? If you guessed, "Man I can't wait to go back to bed." You guessed right.

 And yet, the next night comes and the cycle continues. I don't go to bed. I stay up doing ... hell I don't know. I know I spend a lot of time on the internet, some of it researching for writing stuff, some of it not. But other than that I have no clue what I do every night. My dogs are smarter than me. They settle down and go to sleep while I stay awake.

Speaking of writing, my lack of sleep is affecting it as well. I can't concentrate very well, so I'm not having much luck getting words down. That sucks a giant bag of ... lemons.

Why do we do this to ourselves? I say "we" because I know I'm not the only one who does this. *waves Hi at other sleep fighters* Why avoid going to sleep when we know if we get that eight hours (or however much your body requires to be healthy) we'll wake up refreshed, clear headed, and with energy to carry out our day? I don't have the answer to that for you. For me, I think it's being irresponsible. A few minutes ago, I was thinking fondly of the days when my Tom was here. On workday nights we were in bed and asleep no later than 10:30. Neither of us had any trouble getting up in the morning and I know I certainly didn't move around in the zombie like state I do these days.

I'd like to get back to being responsible and going to bed at a smart time. So I'm challenging myself. This week, my goal is to have electronics and lights off by 11:30 every night. I'm interested to see if by the end of the week, I have more energy than I do most days. I think I will. If you're a sleep fighter, I invite you to join me! Let's get some of that restorative slumber, together. Except not really together, you'll be in your bed and I'll be in mine.
So grab your woobie, your pillow and your special blankie and join my pup Chunky for a nice, eight hour nap.

Good night!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Or Ambrollins, as we wrestling shippers like to call them.
Are you curious as to what I've been working on lately? Well let me share with you! As mentioned, I'm working on a starting a series. It will be set in the world of professional wrestling, which is why I've been posting my Hot Wrestlers of the Week. I figured a little bit of eye candy along with some bits of wrestling knowledge will help readers get into the series. And as I've mentioned before, wrestling is so deliciously homoerotic, how could I not write about it?

As this is my first attempt at outlining an entire series, I knew I'd need to go about it very carefully. I created a series bible to keep track of all the story outlines and characters.
I'd hate to give a guy brown eyes in book 1 and then compare his eyes to a summer's sky in book 4.

But speaking of my characters, I've got a great cast of people. They're different ethnicities and have varied backgrounds. That's the type of crew I like to read and write about. And yes, in the crew I have men and women, gay and straight. However, after asking for advice in the always fabulous M/M Book Rec group, I decided to keep the gay stories separate from the hetero. Not because of any negative reasons. Simply to make it easier for consumers to know what they're are buying. So the part of the series that I am working on now is gay romance. I even have a series name! My lovely bestie Amanda came up with Champions of Desire. I love it! All of the stories in Champions of Desire will be interconnected, but you will be able to read them as stand alones. And as for the as yet unnamed m/f books, you will not need to read them in order to follow along with what's happening on the m/m side. They will be completely separate, so no one on either side will feel as though they are missing out. I think this is
the best plan.

Anyhoo, I'm working on the first book now. It's tough because I've got guys from other books clamoring in my head for my attention. Especially the guys from books 3 and 4. Pipe down boys! I can only write one book at a time. In book 1 you'll meet Chance aka The Chancellor and Devin. Chance is a vet with Frontier Professional Wrestling. He's smart, doesn't take any shit, and is very much in the closet. Devin is a young signee with FPW. He's got a slight case of hero worship for The Chancellor. And he wouldn't mind doing a little private mat wrestling with Chance, if you know what I mean. *insert douchey wink*

Chance aka The Chancellor

So when will you get to meet these yummy fellas? I'm shooting for the end of June / early July. You'll keep your fingers crossed for me that I stay on track, right? Thank you kindly. Alright I must go. I left Devin walking around their hotel room in tiny little shorts, tempting the hell out of Chance. Better get back to them, I don't want Devin's legs to get cold. 

Thanks for reading!
I love my book baby.

Monday, April 13, 2015


This week's Hot Wrestler of the Week is a newbie. Well, he's not actually new to wrestling, but he is new to the main roster for WWE. He debuted two weeks ago as Neville. I'm not sure why they dropped his first name, I prefer Adrian Neville for sure. But he's got gorgeous new gear, a super cool entrance and his in-ring work is as stellar as ever. Plus, he has muscles in places I didn't know the body could have muscles. Ladies and gents, I give you the tiny but mighty, Neville.


From: Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Age: 28
Promotion: WWE
Height: 5'10
Weight: 194

Neville is just starting out on a new phase in his career. He wrestled for years in Europe, the American indies and Japan. In 2012 he was signed to work in NXT, the training ground for the WWE. But now he's been called up to the most visible wrestling show in the world, WWE Monday Night RAW. I wasn't there for his first match, but I was very excited to be in the crowd for his second match against the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins. I definitely marked out when his music hit. Here's the two shitty pictures I took!

Why was I so excited to see Neville? Well, he's one of those wrestlers that is a real crowd pleaser. His tagline is The Man That Gravity Forgot and he seriously deserves it. His arsenal includes all sorts of death defying moves that he makes look easy.

I'm somewhere in the crowd watching this!

The height this man gets on his high flying moves is insane. I don't think he ever did gymnastics. Which means he self-trained himself to flip and tumble through the air like a freaking acrobat. Amazing. Also, check out those back and thigh muscles!

 But it's not just his high flying moves that make him stand out. He's also freakishly strong. A few weeks ago he dead lifted 266 pound NXT champ, Kevin Owens, into a German suplex. Jeepers! My eyes could barely believe what they were seeing when they saw it. But of course, there's a gif to prove it happened.

 I'm sure that big things will happen for Neville now that he's on the big stage. After all, he was the NXT Champion. He defended the title in some great matches before eventually losing to a guy I think might be getting a turn on the HWOTW rotation soon. But I'm okay with him losing that title, because it means he got to move up to the main roster.


And with him on the main roster, more people will get to see his wonderful talent, which includes one of the most bad ass finishers I've ever seen, The Red Arrow.

Did you miss it? Here it is again. 

So yeah, I'm pretty pumped for Neville. But high flying moves and freakish strength aside, there's another reason why I think he's wonderful. As talented as he is and with that amazing body, he still has moments of self doubt. Back when he was wrestling as Pac, he did an interview on Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling Podcast. He spoke of being insecure with his looks and nervous about his performance and how he will be received by his peers and fans.
This man who to me looks like a freaking super hero, worried about being rejected and felt like he shouldn't try to reach for the top. It's crazy right? His incredibly endearing confession spoke to that part of me that is insecure about my writing and downplays the love the readers have for it. Seeing him achieve success after success has helped inspire me to stop being so freaking hesitant and just go for it. You should give the interview a listen, if only to hear his lovely accent. 

But I know, you're a busy person and podcasts are long. So instead, check out a few more pics of Neville, along with a video of him doing his thing. Enjoy!

This man has muscles under his armpits! I didn't even know that was a thing.

He's very flexible. He must do yoga.

I love to see a guy doing push ups with such perfect form.
Thanks for reading!

With the exception of the two shitty ones, none of the pics, gifs, and video are my own. All were found on the interwebz and used to showcase The Man That Gravity Forgot, Neville. Also, to hear the part I referenced on The Art of Wrestling, skip to about the 52 minute mark.