Friday, March 28, 2014

Saving Liam cover reveal and giveaway! #GayRomance

Happy Friday, people! 

Today marks the beginning of a two-week countdown to the release of Saving Liam, book one of my new series. Stay tuned for blurbs and teasers!

Cover by LC Chase

Because you can't have a cover reveal without a party, enter below to win a $10 Amazon gift card and then join the fun. This contest is good today only (March 28th) so hurry!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest Author: Draven St. James, Covert Delivery #MMRomance

My guest today is Draven St. James talking about the recent release, Covert Delivery, part of the Eostre's Baskets series.

Now available at Loose ID


Aspen Starr is in a bind and not in a good way. His father is trying to use him to sweeten a business deal and being a bought boy toy holds no appeal. Just when he thinks he has no options left Sundae’s Custom Easter Baskets knocks at his door. Soon he finds himself blindly following a trail right into the path of a sexy new boss and a whole new mess of carnal complications.

Garren Thomas has rules and one of those is to never get involved with an employee. Easy to say, harder to enforce when Aspen is hired on. With each passing day Garren's control slips until all he wants to do is spend his days with Aspen in his bed.

When faced with giving into his desires, Garren sees his simple life being torn apart. Can he get Aspen out of his system without losing his heart? Aspen isn't much better off. He is drawn to Garren, but he can't help the fear that the secrets from his past will destroy it all. As Aspen's begins to lose himself within the confusion of sex and love one question plagues him: who sent the basket?


Garren pushed away from the wall and into the light of the lobby. “Looks like I missed out on a lot.”
Aspen ducked his head and went to his desk to dig around in a drawer. The first time Taylor had sent him shopping for office supplies, Aspen had bought random sheets of kids’ stickers. On the rare occasion Taylor performed child evaluations, a little bribery to bring out good behavior never hurt. Aspen came away with two sheets of fairy stickers.
“Not too much. We’re working on crowns and a new kingdom.” Aspen swerved around Garren, his eyes twinkling. “Do you want a crown?”
Garren narrowed his eyes on Aspen. He put his hands on Aspen’s shoulders to stop him and leaned in to whisper, “That was low. There’s no way I can refuse those pixies. I’m going to end up with a glittery, construction-paper crown glued to my head, aren’t I?"
Aspen looked over his shoulder. “Don’t worry there won’t be glitter on yours. I’ll be the queen,” he murmured with a grin. “So you’ll need to fill the role as king.”
Garren shook his head. “You’re trouble.”
Aspen shimmied to dislodge Garren’s hands. “You just figured that out?”
With a resigned sigh Garren followed him.
“Girls, I found someone else who needs a crown,” Aspen declared, gesturing at Garren.
The tykes jumped up and down. Garren fought the urge to reach out and hug Aspen for giving them this moment of levity even at Garren’s expense.
Aspen held out the stickers, and the enthusiasm magnified until the girls were dancing around the room. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” the girls chanted in a singsong fashion.
A softly murmured, “Oh my,” came from behind Garren.
Garren turned to yet again see the shimmer of tears in Mrs. Burgett’s eyes, but a smile accompanied the moisture.
Aspen grinned back at her. “I hope you don’t mind. The girls have been fantastic. We’ve managed to make crowns and bracelets.”
“Even for you, Mommy,” one of the twins piped up and ran over to Mrs. Burgett to carefully hand her the items as though they were made of glass.
Mrs. Baker cradled them. “Thank you, Maryann.”
“Becca and Mr. Aspen helped,” Maryann replied.
“And we ate apples and cheese crackers,” Becca added.
Garren looked briefly at Aspen. He’d seen Aspen eating the same things earlier in the week.
“That was very nice of Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett said with a hitch in her voice. “But we have to go now, girls.”
“Oh,” the girls replied with exaggerated pouts on both their faces.
“Say thank-you to Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett directed.
Both girls ran over to Aspen and threw their arms around his waist. “Sorry we didn’t get a chance to make your crown,” Becca said.
“That’s fine, sweetheart. I’ll be sure to make a matching one when you leave,” Aspen assured her.
“You need to make two,” Maryann interjected. “One for the big king behind you. That way we’ll know you’re helping rule the kingdom even if we can’t see you.”
Garren wanted to pick the girl up and hug her. Tell her that everything would work itself out and she’d never be hurt again. While it was a possibility if Mrs. Burgett went through with the charges, he wouldn’t make promises he couldn’t keep.
“Thank you, Mr. Aspen,” Mrs. Burgett said. “You don’t know how much I appreciate you taking care of my girls.”
“You’re welcome,” Aspen responded.
Maryann and Becca skipped over to their mom, and grabbed hold of her hands as they exited the office.
Garren stared after their retreating backs. He grimaced at the tattered clothes and worn shoes. His jaw clenched, and he pivoted and stalked back to his office. The lump in his throat threatened to shatter his control of his emotions. He made it through the door, placed his hands on his desk, and breathed deeply. Mrs. Burgett reminded him of his mother.
Aspen lightly touched his back, and Garren jerked around to gaze at him.
“I know you’ll do all you can,” Aspen confided.
“And you?” Garren cracked and cupped Aspen’s face with one hand. “You gave those little girls your lunch and made them laugh. You took away their stress and let them be kids.”
Aspen glanced away. “I did what anyone else would do. They deserve to have as much joy as every other child.”
“You’re wrong. Not everyone would do what you did. I think most would have set them in the lobby and spent the time telling them to be quiet.” Garren had seen that reality time and time again.
Aspen shrugged.
Garren caved and leaned in until his lips were mere inches from Aspen’s. “You are so beautiful.”
Aspen didn’t back away. His breath came faster, and his eyes flashed with that same glow Garren had seen in the past.
“Garren,” Aspen whispered with a thread of uncertainty.
Garren brushed his thumb over Aspen’s full lower lip, and desire zinged through his body when Aspen’s tongue peeked out to trace the path. Garren’s brain screamed what a huge mistake kissing Aspen would be, but at that point he wasn’t being ruled by his head.

About Draven:

I’m a born and raised Oregonian. I’ve traveled extensively in search of mischief and mayhem to fill my books.  My ventures have been quite successful in inspiring a wealth of stories both sexy and humorous.  It gives me a great excuse to do some crazy stuff in the name of research. Of course at the end of the day, coffee within reach, laptop at the ready is where I find my peace.

Contact Draven:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Do You Belong? #MMRomance

I've seen several posts recently debating female authors in m/m romance and whether women have the right to pen such a thing when they're not male and in most cases not gay. As far as I'm concerned, it's a topic you can open and close in one phrase: of course they do!

Nearly every book ever written by a female author has had a male character in it somewhere. The same holds true for female characters in books written by men. If you're only allowed to write your own gender does that also extend to your own time period? Are historical romance authors not qualified to write stories based in 1920 England because they weren't alive then?   

As authors we have the chance to live through many different characters and writers with talent can create a male character that is just as true to life as a female one. In other words, you don't need a dick to write about a character who has one. 

If your heart is in m/m romance then by all means, write it! You belong wherever you feel you belong. Don't let someone else's opinions and personal hang-ups hold you back.

Available on Amazon

Friday, March 14, 2014

Devotion or Discrimination: What's The Difference?

Lately I've heard the same song played over and over in the press like it's stuck on auto repeat. No, not that one. Okay, let me be more specific. It's the one where a random public figure (celebrity, singer, athlete, etc.) flaps their gums about why they don't approve of gays.

My first question is always the same: Who cares? There isn't a single gay person alive anywhere on the planet that needs a random soccer player's approval to be who they are. 

In fact, my second question is always the same, too. Why do they keep answering this question? As has been proven countless times, there is only one right answer: 'Are you kidding? I love gays! I'm jealous that I'm not one of them.' Anything less than that will result in a barrage of hostility. It doesn't matter whether you mean it just say it and move on.

The press will continue to ask because apparently they think we give a flying fig. They are mistaken. We couldn't care less what a woefully ignorant pseudo-celeb from a random "reality TV" show has to say on the subject. We're not going to quit being gay just to make it easier for rap artists to stomach our presence or to give the ultra-conservatives a break and stop persecuting them with our existence. 

The latest poor sap to be caught in this trap insists gays aren't following the bible and he doesn't approve of them being together but that's just his opinion. He says he's right. Gays are wrong but if they want to live in sin and go to hell that's their business. He's not going to stop them and insists that point of view doesn't make him anti-gay just a good Christian.

That brings me to the heart of this blog. What is the difference between being a 'good Christian' and being anti-gay? Aside from the obvious issue of being overly judgmental about things that are none of his business, where's the line between devout and anti-gay? Several states are struggling with that same question. Some people seem to think you have to be a little bit of a hater in order to prove you're a good Christian. If some of their 'close friends and relatives' have to live as second class citizens with an abbreviated list of rights that's the price they pay for being sinners. We won't get into the ones who think they have to be outright trolls about it.

I know a couple of devout Christians who rarely tread anywhere near the hater line and wouldn't hesitate to tell the soccer man to stop giving the rest of them a bad name, not that it's necessary to slap him down even if they do have a point. His pronouncement that we're all going to hell isn't much of a threat. From what I've heard, hell sounds like a big pride parade so I'm not sure that really works as incentive to dive back into the closet. Still, Mr. Soccer Man is entitled to his opinion. We're right. He's wrong and if he wants to live as a woefully ignorant 'Christian' rather than seeing people as just people that's his business. We won't stop him. 

See what I just did there? Ha! 

Available at Amazon

Monday, March 10, 2014

Censorship In South Carolina

Over the years, I've read many stories about censorship in American schools and the continuing tug-of-war to shield children from what some consider adult topics. Today's article about South Carolina is a first. Apparently, some people don't consider college students mature enough to handle adult topics if they don't read about them on the internet all by themselves.

The whinging started over an email written to a state politician by parents of a prospective college student. The fact that the parents in question were not just average voters isn't mentioned but I think that little detail can be reasonably assumed. We all know the level of attention a single email from an average citizen gets in the political arena, but I digress.

The parents complained that College of Charleston (a public university) has a required course that assigns LGBT literature and they didn't want their freshman daughter exposed to such things. I think it's reasonable to assume those books weren't m/m erotica. After all, this is College of Charleston not UC Berkeley but I suppose anything is possible.

The politician (Republican Garry Smith) has decided to retaliate on behalf of the offended parents by cutting a chunk out of the budget for universities that have such a blatant disregard for conservative values. Before you get too excited, the chunk in question is minute...seventeen thousand at one university and fifty-two thousand at another. It's not as if the state legislature is attempting to close the campuses but it makes a definite statement; one Representative Smith openly admits is in retaliation for forcing students to read LGBT-related literature. 

I can see the point of the protest. The reading is mandatory and some students will no doubt be offended by it. They should have an alternative course or book available for those who are so overly sensitive they consider it a sin even to read about such things (the poor hopeless darlings). However, I take issue with political leaders punishing a public institution with budget cuts just because the administrators refuse to redesign the curriculum. At best, that's bullying. Many people would call it extortion. It's the sort of childish hostility I've learned to expect from the political arena and spend a considerable amount of time protesting.  

The budget cuts haven't been approved yet. They are still working their way through the House toward the Senate and eventually the Governor's office. Feel free to send a note to Governor Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) asking her to line item veto that petty piece of legislation from the budget bill.

Or, if you prefer you can scrape together some money this summer and send a check to the universities. It won't take many people to make up the budget deficit. One dollar from each pissed off LGBT activist and ally should more than cover it.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

5 Things You May Not Know About Author DP Denman

By now you've probably figured out that I have a thing about gay rights and coffee. I also write character-driven contemporary m/m romance but none of that tells you much about me so let me fill in a few more blanks.

1. I am vegan. For those of you not in the know it means I only eat a plant-based diet, no meat, diary, eggs, processed sugar or anything that isn't grown in the ground or on a tree. 

2. I've been a human rights/LGBT rights activist for almost ten years working mainly with Amnesty International, International Rescue Committee and recently Trevor Project.

3. I am a long-suffering Vancouver Canucks (NHL) supporter and recently converted fan of the Vancouver Giants (WHL). I've been known to watch college football but hockey is my sport.

4. I'm a bullying survivor.

5. I'm a realist. While I hope for the best, I acknowledge that the worst is also possible and never leave home without a backup plan...or at least a roll of duct tape.

Available on Amazon

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dancer's Heart is in a cover war! #MMRomance

Each month Masquerade Crew holds a cover war and Dancer's Heart is in the March lineup!

This wonderful cover was done by Judy Ballard at Custom eBook Covers. Help me show her some love by casting your vote today!

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