Guest Author JoAnne Myers

Poetry Cover
I WAS

I was afraid to grow up.
Afraid of life.
I worried myself to death.
It was hard to breathe.
Like a fish out of water.
Like having asthma.
High school was hell-crazy wild.
My only plan.
Just get up and go.
Cant be like mom.
She always had a plan.
Living her life without any man.
Cant think that far.
Felt out of place.
Like dust floating in space.
Scared out of my mind.
Of what I might or might not find.
Cant hack relationships.
More drama.
Why waste the time.
Still confused, but still craving knowledge.
I need to do what I want-for myself.
Even if its just me who cares.
Even if no ones there.
It was a long hard road.
To get my act together.
All bad choices, solely I sowed.
Working for nickels and dimes.
Like a newborn.
Taking one step at a time.

TO THE NEXT CHAPTER

Shadowed by pain, I slowly melt.
Nowhere to go, nothing to do.
Only aggravation and loneliness felt.
My life left empty, with nothing to lose.
Suffocating, I fall into seethe.
Falling as my world crumbles.
I’m left wanting to believe, searching for hope.
Like an acrobat walking an unraveling tight rope.
I call to those I’ve hurt.
Leaving a message ‘remember me.’
I’ve done things I want to forget.
A obstruction I’ve tried to avert.
I crawl out of the past,
finding a way at last.
To rise up instead of fall.
Destroying this dreadful brick wall.
See me now, strong and brave.
For I will never be hurt again.
I know I will adhere,
shedding this torment and pain.
The one I see in the mirror,
is someone, special and kind.
I now focus on what I am after,
moving forward, to the next chapter.

~***~

 

my photo apr 2011Author Bio:
I hail from the famous Hocking Hills region of southeastern Ohio. I have worked in the blue-collar industry most of my life. Besides having several novels under my belt, I also canvass paint.
When not busy with hobbies or working outside the home, I spend time with relatives, my dogs Jasmine and Scooter, and volunteer my time within the community. I am a member of the Hocking Hill’s Arts and Craftsmen Association, The Hocking County Historical Society and Museum, and the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center. I believe in family values and following your dreams.

 

Blurb:
“Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between” is a poetry collection that provides a glimpse into the heart, mind and soul, of its author. It is a heartwarming read, written with love and respect for others. Some poems were written in times of sorrow, other poems were written in times of joyous celebration. Life if like that.
“Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between,” is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/147837022x
My original canvass paintings, can be found at Books and Paintings by JoAnne or http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com

 

My upcoming releases from Melange Books are:
“MURDER MOST FOUL,” a crime/detective story due out July 2013
“WICKED INTENTIONS” a collection of paranormal/mysteries due out September 2013
“LOVES’, MYTHS’ AND MONSTERS’,” a fantasy anthology due out March 2014
Other books coming soon:
“THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY,” is a biography true-crime
“TWISTED LOVE,” is a true crime anthology
“FLAGITIOUS,” is a novella collection

 

Respectfully Yours,

 

JoAnne Myers Melange Author of Murder Most Foul,- Wicked Intentions,- Loves’, Myths’, and Monsters’,- The Crime of the Century,- Twisted Love,- Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between, and Flagitious.
Please join me, Mysti Parker, Tara Hall and others on June 21, at the Latte Lounge on the Coffee Time Romance website.

My website: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com
My website Blog: http://www.booksandpaintingsbyjoanne.com/page2

Buy Link to Poems About Life, Love, and Everything in Between: http://www.amazon.com/dp/147837022x

Guest Author Kate McMurray – Sweet, Comedy Lemonade

Sometimes life hands you lemons. Sometimes these lemons are shaped like invitations to your ex’s wedding. Sometimes you and said ex dated (albeit on and off) for ten years, and then he calls you to tell you he’s proposing to the girl he’s been dating all of six months.It sounds like the set-up to a romantic comedy from the late nineties starring Julia Roberts. Maybe that’s how I was able to find the humor in it when this actually happened to me.

The day I got the invitation in the mail, I posted to Twitter, “If my life were a romantic comedy, I’d go to this wedding and meet the love of my life.” One of my friends responded that this sounded like a plot bunny.

I sent in a reply card indicating I would not be going to the wedding. Besides my ex, the only people I knew would be there included his dude friends, all of whom are coupled, his parents—his father in particular never liked me because I was the shiksa who tried to corrupt his son or something—and this girl whose full name I’m pretty sure is actually, “Remember that girl Juliet I used to go running with?” because that’s how my ex—let’s call him Jay—always refers to her. So, yeah, no thank you.

But, you know, the situation was kind of funny. Jay and I called it quits almost five years ago, and we’ve both dated other people in the interim, and I am honestly happy for him. I mean, we’re still in touch, obviously, and maintain a solid friendship. I just couldn’t bear the thought of sitting in a room full of people who probably took his side in our break-up just to watch this man that I had once thought I would marry get married to somebody else.

So I wrote the first draft of Save the Date in some kind of feverish haze the week before the aforementioned wedding. And I thought, well, why not have a sense of humor about it? It’s a funny situation! If I can’t laugh at this and myself, what’s the point?

Of course Save the Date takes a different course than my life did, and any resemblance between the narrator Tristan and myself is unintentional—I made him an openly gay guy who loves fashion and sports equally, which… oh. (All my friends are like, “But Kate, you love fashion and sports.” I know. Um. Tristan loves football, but I love baseball. See the difference?)

Actually, the fun part about writing fiction is that you can write characters who are maybe better in some ways than you are. Tristan is much more clever than I am most days. He’s faster with the one-liner. He’s far more dramatic. He’s a lot braver. Hell, he goes to his ex’s wedding. Believe me, I know what kind of fortitude that takes.

I suppose I could have taken personal misfortune and turned it into something dark and dramatic, but in the end, I’d rather laugh about it. I hope you laugh right along side me.

KateMcMurray_SaveTheDateSave the Date blurb:

Tristan knows he and his ex-boyfriend Stuart were not meant to be, but that doesn’t make the invitation to Stuart’s wedding any less of a punch in the face. Tris decides that the only thing for it is to find a super hot date to prove to Stuart that he’s moved on and is doing just fine, thanks.

The path to the altar is fraught with obstacles, however, and Tris has to deal with the wilds of online dating, wardrobe malfunctions, men who look like pirates, emotional baggage, grooms with cold feet, and sports team rivalries before he even gets to the wedding. But when Tris stumbles on love in the last place he expects, he’ll need to let go of the past in order to move forward.

About the author:

Kate McMurray is an editor and award-winning writer based in New York City. She is the author of seven gay romance novels and a number of shorts and novellas. She is currently serving as vice president of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT special-interest chapter of RWA. When she’s not writing, she does crafts, plays the violin, drools over designer handbags, and is a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. Visit her at www.katemcmurray.com.

***

Don’t forget to leave a comment, along with an email address for a chance to win an eBook copy of Save the Date. Winner will be chosen at the end of the tour and notified via email.

Guest Author Brandon Shire – Homeless LGBT Youth and Cold

First, I want to thank Charlie for hosting this post and allowing me to be here to talk to you. This post is meant to be a part of the week-long blog tour for my new book Cold, which is a gay romance novel based in prison. But even in the midst of all the work that goes into creating a and promoting a book, I believe it is important to keep in mind the reason I began publishing – to raise money and awareness for homeless LGBT youth.

As a writer, I’m typically granted space around the web to spread my own message, often about the latest book. But lately I’ve begun asking why we continue to whisper about the problem of homeless gay kids and then scream on issues like marriage equality, as if 500,000 homeless gay kids aren’t important enough for the LGBTQ community to be loud about.

Did you know that LGBT youth make up 13-15 percent of the juvenile justice system, even though they are only 5–7 percent of the population? It seems like there’s a pipeline that runs directly from school to prison built especially for them, don’t you think? And it may very well be, because in today’s U.S. schools the police are roaming the halls and administrators are sending kids to jail for such heinous infractions as dress code violations, being late to class, and talking back. We’re not talking fighting and violence in school, we’re talking normal adolescent behavior, and for a LGBT kid that doesn’t fit in, or is forced to endure harassment by his peers and school employees, it becomes almost too easy to become a part of the juvenile justice system.

There’s a lot about the issue of incarcerating kids that I purposefully didn’t cover in Cold, because the book is an erotic romance novel based in an adult prison.  What happens inside a juvenile prison is often more terrifying, more unrelenting, and typically un-reported. I only touched on that briefly with my character, Anderson, in the adult prison system.  Anderson is a small man, a twink, who doesn’t have a fight game and is one that would be easily targeted by predators if he were a real person in a real prison. Anderson meets up with a predator as he comes to the end of his time, but is saved by an unlikely hero. That is often not the case as you can see here from a real life example of what happens to the weakest inside a juvenile prison.

Did the reality of that linked post ruin your taste for a fictional account of romance in prison? I hope not, but I hope even more that we don’t take the fiction we see around us and use it as a block against the vast reality that encompasses LGBT homelessness. Unfortunately, there is no one answer to youth homelessness. There isn’t a singular law we can pass that will help gay homeless kids become equal in the eyes of the law, or in the eyes of the people who step over them on a daily basis. It takes me and you making it a priority; just as we have made marriage equality a priority. It takes resources, and commitment, and yes, sometimes it even takes personal sacrifice.

I understand that this isn’t a typical book tour post, but the issue of homeless LGBTQ kids is important to me, and I hope it becomes important to you too. Because behind each of the stories you read within this genre, there’s a reality that is much, much worse and has no happy-ever-after to make us feel better when we curl up at night.

*****

Cold_600Cold by Brandon Shire

Published by TPG Books

Prison is a brutal, heartless, and demeaning environment. No one knows this better than a man sentenced to life in prison for murder. Lem Porter is a high-profile prisoner who had a solid career ahead of him in a field he loved until he killed his brother. He has spent almost eighteen years behind bars and doesn’t have much hope left.

Anderson Passero had it all.  He built a career, a name, and a relationship with a man he thought he loved. Only after he very publicly landed in prison did he realize how ignorant he’d been. He has eight months left on his sentence and he is eager to go home and put prison life behind him. He doesn’t know it yet, but he will always carry these eight months with him, and they may just help him to understand what love really means.

Visit Brandon’s website to learn more about his books and the LGBT youth charities he supports.

10% of the proceeds from the sale of any of Brandon Shire’s books are donated to LGBT youth charities combatting homelessness.