Friday, December 26, 2014

Bare Threads is on Amazon! #mm #SavingLiamSeries



Bare Threads is available for pre-order on Amazon!





Liam is not a family man. He’s learned to avoid the entanglement and its mire of expectations. Expectations he is destined to crush. Unfortunately, Justin is pushing him into the arms of a new family and he’s fighting every step...until a person he never expected to see again reappears. The confrontation brings a new perspective and the inspiration to make a few concessions for the sake of the only man he is willing to call family.





Part of the Saving Liam Series.







Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Successful Blogging - Where is your focus? #writing



I read an interesting article the other day about successful blogging. You can read the complete post here, but I wanted to focus on one of the author's points. He advised that unless you are a celebrity, it is a mistake to write a blog post about yourself.


"...readers don’t care about you. Not really. They care about themselves."
Michael Hyatt


Personally, I've seen plenty of author blogs talking about what that person is doing with their day, stories they're working on, legal spats with publishers, etc. Assuming author blog posts are aimed mainly at readers, do you think this rule applies to us?

As writers, we market ourselves as much as we do our books and I know plenty of best-selling authors who talk about their pets, their daily schedule, issues with chronic illness, and family milestones. I also know plenty who don't, preferring to keep their posts focused on their books. I'm a private person so, over sharing is not my issue. However, I've always assumed readers appreciate the candor of those who invite people to tour the rooms of their life through blog posts and Facebook updates. What do you think?

Do you prefer to read posts about reviews, new releases, progress on books, and the occasional puppy picture or do you prefer glimpses of the person behind the pseudonym?








Book 4 in the Saving Liam Series
Available for pre-order December 26th






Monday, December 15, 2014

Bare Threads Cover Reveal Contest Winner





The winner of the Bare Threads cover reveal contest is:
 Reed M. 

Congratulations, Reed and thank you to everyone who entered.




Available for pre-order December 26th

Friday, December 12, 2014

Perception, Reality and Misguided Depression #writing


I want to tell you a story about reality and perception.

I went to school with a guy who is now a self-made millionaire. A few years after high school he got into Amway and from there created a lucrative career as a life coach, traveling the country as a motivational speaker. His website features a glowing resume of success that began with an early venture into the restaurant industry. His pod casts, recorded on the deck of his seaside home, offer hints about how his plan can transform your life. Just for fun he wrote a book offering a few of his secrets and sold thousands of copies...because who wouldn't buy a book about how to succeed from a guy who appears to have done it? 

Conversations with him always involve a monologue detailing his wealth and influence. Our latest lunch together included all the stereotypical trappings: a rented limo, a posh restaurant in a city painted with pretension, expensive wine, names dropped all over the floor. You get the idea. Many people hover between envy and depression during those conversations...except those of us who know the details behind the numbers. 


Photo by Peter Lee


Yes, he ran his own fast food place the summer he graduated from high school, a shack the size of a carnival booth. He was out of business by the following summer. Yes, he earned a million or so from Amway and what he didn't lose in the stock market, he spent on travel and the fancy house and expensive car required to maintain the appearance of success. He's brushed up against bankruptcy several times and sold a handful of start-up businesses mere months before they died of financial starvation. He's hustled 70 hours a week for decades with rarely a break. He's failed and started over and over and over...but nobody hears those stories. They hear of his triumphs and pay hundreds for his advice about building the carefree existence of the financially secure. An existence he's never had because it's all an illusion.

The truth is in the losses and delinquent loans, mortgages and leases, sleepless nights and ulcers. It's something he will never admit because keeping the perception of affluence alive is about more than his ego. That dream is his business and selling it to others is what keeps him afloat.


Photo by Gianluigi Calcaterra 


I've found several parallels between his career and mine. It seems authors and life coaches have similar problems. Everybody has had a book perform far below expectations. Few admit it at the time because perceived success is as important to an author's image as actual success. Readers don't want to take a chance on a book the author admits only sold 20 copies. 


"I wasn't lying. I was writing fiction with my mouth."
~ Homer Simpson


That's the biggest reason I avoid comparing myself to other writers. How do I know I'm not comparing myself to an illusion? I have met authors who really are making millions each year, supporting their spouses and sending their kids to private school on royalties alone. I haven't met very many. Most people I know are struggling to reimburse themselves for covers, conferences, and marketing expenses. They live for the annual tax refund that temporarily fattens a starving bank account. They fret over how and where to spend money on promotion and lament the time it takes away from writing the next book.

I'm sure you can see the point of my tale. Don't be depressed because your success as an author doesn't match the stories you hear drifting around the internet. Things aren't necessarily what they seem. Sometimes a story of great success is just that...a story.





The Saving Liam Series
Get it today from your favorite ebook retailer!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bare Threads Cover Reveal and Giveaway!



Here it is! Book 4 of the Saving Liam series:


Available for pre-order December 26th


Blurb:

Liam is not a family man. He’s learned to avoid the entanglement and its mire of expectations. Expectations he is destined to crush. Unfortunately, Justin is pushing him into the arms of a new family and he’s fighting every step until a person he never expected to see again reappears. The confrontation brings a new perspective and the inspiration to make a few concessions for the sake of the only man he is willing to call family.






While this book will be the last one to focus on Liam and Justin's relationship, it doesn't mean the end of the series. There will be a spin-off book...maybe two...maybe three.

AND...to celebrate the official cover reveal over on All Romance Cafe, I'm doing a giveaway! What's a cover reveal without presents, right? Enter below for your chance to win.





a Rafflecopter giveaway











Catch up with the Saving Liam Series today!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Strip Tease Cover Reveal - Bare Threads



Five days to the Bare Threads cover reveal and giveaway!



Blurb

Liam is not a family man. He’s learned to avoid the entanglement and its mire of expectations. Expectations he is destined to crush. Unfortunately, Justin is pushing him into the arms of a new family and he’s fighting every step until a person he never expected to see again reappears. The confrontation brings a new perspective and the inspiration to make a few concessions for the sake of the only man he is willing to call family.

Book four of the Saving Liam Series








The Saving Liam Series
Get your copies today!




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Guest Post: Fallen Angels of Karnataka by Hans M. Hirschi



I'm thrilled to have author Hans M. Hirschi's latest book Fallen Angels of Karnataka on the blog today. Read all about this amazing store and get it while it's still on sale!

Oh...did I forget to mention there's a giveaway? Of course, there's a giveaway! Enter below for your chance to win.



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Enjoy Happy Geek Media’s debut virtual tour of The Fallen Angels of Karnataka






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The Fallen Angels of Karnataka by:
Hans M. Hirschi
Published by:
Yaree AB
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, LGBT, Social Awareness, Literary, Travel
264 pages
Release Date: September 15, 2014



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In an isolated mountain town in Norway, Haakon dreams of traveling the world, pursuing adventure, seeing great cities, finding love. His very first trip to London with friends from university offers much promise, yet soon after tragedy strikes. Still young, and mourning the loss of his lover, Haakon is not ready to give up on his dream, so when a rich Englishman offers him the chance to join him on a tour of the world, Haakon takes it, daring to believe that his dream is finally coming true...but at what price?

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel filled with adventure, life's hard-learned lessons, loss, despicable evil, and finally, love and redemption. See what others are saying about The Fallen Angels of Karnataka on the author's media page here.


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Excerpt


Athens

“As the flight was approaching Ellinikon International Airport, the captain announced that they would be passing over the city center, providing those sitting on the right-hand side of the plane with a stunning view of the Acropolis. Always sitting by the window, Haakon woke from his reveries and looked out. There it was, right below him. One of the most revered ancient building sites, sitting atop a hill overlooking downtown Athens. The city itself was amazing to look at with endless gray and whitewashed buildings, tightly packed and filling up almost all empty space on the ground in between the many hills surrounding Athens. And right in the middle was the temple complex of the Acropolis. It was a beautiful sight. Haakon could barely wait to climb the hill and look at the site up close. 

Ten minutes later, the plane landed safely with the Aegean Sea to the left and the city outskirts to the right. Haakon was to meet Charles at the hotel in Athens later in the afternoon, because he was still on his way in from Paris. After picking up his luggage, Haakon took a taxi to the Hilton, where they were going to stay while in Athens. The journey took about half an hour in the dense city traffic. It was an unusually clear day in a city often plagued by heavy smog, due to being tucked in between the surrounding hills. Haakon presumed that it must’ve just rained, because the air had a fresh, clear and humid smell to it. Or maybe it was because it was winter. He wasn’t sure. One thing he knew for certain: he did love his room. From the balcony, he enjoyed an unobstructed view of the Acropolis. He was about two miles away, and it was stunning. Haakon decided to take the opportunity to walk there right away, not knowing if Charles would want to climb the hill. If he did, he’d get to see it again. If not, at least he’d been there. 

On his way to the Acropolis, Haakon walked by the site of the first Olympic Games in modern time, the Panathenaic Stadium, built completely from white marble. He could almost imagine how it must have looked, which isn’t very surprising, since it had been built on the remains of an ancient site.”








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AMAZON/NOOK/ADLIBRIS/ELIB/BOKUS/YAREE

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is discounted to $5.99 right now, so grab a copy. The novel will not disappoint!
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author-hans-hirschi
Author Hans M. Hirschi

Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years.
A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.
The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.
A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”
Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union, the Writers’ Center in Sweden and serves as chair of the Swedish Federation of Self- & Independent Publishers.




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Good luck and happy reading and winning!



Tour Hosted by...

Happy-Geek-Media

Monday, December 1, 2014

World AIDS Day: Then and Now



Today marks a dark period in our fight for equality. It also commemorates the point when a new generation of activists emerged in the US, born of sorrow and indignation. 

The 1980s was the first time I'd witnessed firsthand such a coldhearted response to people in obvious trouble. Government and health officials refused to acknowledge a terrifying and deadly disease simply because most sufferers were gay. Within the first year over 100 men had died and they claimed the mystery disease wasn't a problem. Years later, religious conservatives clung to the same attitude. Death of thousands was the will of a vengeful deity who was purging the country of gays. There was nothing to be concerned about. If you were sick it was because you deserved to die.

I called bullshit on the concept, as did most with a conscience. Christianity speaks of helping the poor and ministering to the sick. Who is more in need of help than a guy living on public assistance because he's too ill to work? Who needs comfort more than someone lying alone in a hospital full of other sick men because all of his friends are already dead and his family doesn't care whether he survives? It was just a convenient excuse for hatred. Where that is concerned, not much has changed.



Photo by Victoria Pickering
AIDS quilt on display in Washington, DC. When shown in its entirety, it covers 16 acres and displays panels in honor of over 43,000 people - less than 20% of the lives lost. 


Watching sons come out to their parents from their hospital bed and schools expelling kids because they were HIV+ was heartbreaking. Fear was the overriding emotion even in those who weren't ignorant boneheads. No one knew what caused AIDS. No one understood how it spread. Could you get it from a kiss? From a sneeze? From a hug? There was no effective treatment and people were in a panic that went far beyond the mayhem of the recent avian flu. Even a whisper that someone was sick meant instant isolation by people they considered friends, immediate termination from their job, expulsion from school, and banning from the local grocery store. Existing organizations designed to help invalids, refused to go anywhere near people with AIDS. They were isolated to certain clinics, certain hospital wings, certain transportation companies. 

It was also an inspiring demonstration of the strength of the human spirit and a community taking care of its own. New organizations sprang up to deal specifically with those shunned by the rest of society. The sick helped the sicker, families and friends who had already lost loved ones adopted those who had no one, strangers became treasured companions. 

While the White House ignored pleas for help and pharmaceutical companies refused to pool resources to find a cure (they didn't want to have to share the patent), those in the trenches created their own social services and passed along information to help ease some of the symptoms. It's true that it had been a long time since the human race had seen a disease that spread that fast and killed that quickly, but I don't consider that a valid excuse. 


Graphic by AJC1



The name given to the virus in the early days said it all...GRID...gay-related immune deficiency. It established the attitude that still clings to AIDS and HIV today. It's a gay disease, a gay problem, a gay issue. AIDS showed us that inequality can be deadly, not in someone else's neighborhood with a random gay bashing but in our own community in a wave of death that turns bustling apartment complexes to empty slums.

This is why Pride celebrations matter, with the loud music and naked guys dancing on parade floats. We're not fighting for their right to be nude. We're fighting for their right to be.








Get your copy of the Saving Liam Series today!
Available at all major ebook retailers.