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WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN A CHARITY ANTHOLOGY WITH A DIFFERENCE – NO PRESCRIBED GENRE, OPEN TO ALL AUTHORS?
So – you all know I’m a trustee for The Being Me Charity. I had this kooky idea of putting an anthology together as a fund-raising initiative, from authors willing to participate on a non-profit basis. Sales proceeds will go to the charity. This isn’t an LGBTQ anthology, although I guess that’s where a lot of the stories may come from. The story line could be a challenge though, to perhaps move you out of your comfort zone and produce something different.
I’m looking for
• Short stories, around 2000 -4500 in length. This isn’t set in stone.
• Anything is suitable, from romance, to comedy, mystery, paranormal, drama, sci-fi to angst driven coping tales providing the human-interest aspect is sensitively tackled.
• This is a story about the person and their difference first, then written however the author sees it panning out in whichever way they want to tell it. If that’s M/M, F/F, M/F, etc. then that’s the author’s choice. There is no restriction.
• Gender and sexuality aspects really aren’t key factors to this collection unless that’s the difference the author is writing about or they wish to make it important to their tale.
• Stories need to be about people who feel they are different for any reason. They may be bullied, gay, transgender, or any other aspect of the Rainbow Alphabet. They could be straight, be of a different ethnicity, have two same sex parents, have a disabled sibling or parent, suffer from baldness, weight issues, dress Goth, work in a funeral parlour, do taxidermy, raise pink goats for a living or have something they feel sets them apart from the usual ‘societal norms’ of acceptance which leads to conflict and angst.
• It can be about people who’ve embraced their difference and own it; or people who struggle with it and keep it hidden.
• It can be YA, to NA, to more adult stories.
• It can be a family drama or simply one person’s story. It can be a person’s journey or simply a glimpse of one day in their lives.
• NOTE- ALL story content written will need to be suitable for a YA audience.
• There is no formula, no pre-conceived suggestions, just your own interpretation of this theme.
• I understand some readers might not like mixing genres, if that’s what happens, like this. That isn’t the point though- we’d hope that someone wanting to read this type of book will be open enough to the idea of reading about people from all walks of life, all sexualities, lifestyles and outlooks, all contained in one volume.
• The ultimate lure for someone to buy this book could be they get to read about someone #justlikethem. So #nodiscrimination #liveandletlive
I have a publisher for this project- Louis Harris from Cool Dudes Publishing has been kind enough to offer to provide some editing services, the cover and the publishing of the book. RAM PA Group are going to be co-ordinating all this for me.
If you’re interested please PM me and once I have enough interest, I’ll send you the publisher’s story spec and details and we can talk deadlines and process. Right now, I have no publication date in mind. It’s all open to negotiation!
Take a look at our website to see exactly what the Being Me Campaign is all about. It could even give you some inspiration when you read or listen to some of the stories people have submitted.
So, what do Susan Mac Nicol, Harper Fox, KC Wells, Sue Brown, Rhys Ethan, Aleksandr Voinov and RJ Scott have in common? Well, the answer is that they’ve all pooled their time and resources for one lucky person and their guest to join them at an intimate lunch event at a cosy, central London restaurant. You’ll both be wined and dined, there will be great goodie bags for you, and each one of these authors will sign a copy of a book you fancy having in your library.
Why are they doing this? One reason is they all love their readers. The other one is a little more serious. Susan Mac Nicol is a trustee for The Being Me Campaign — www.beingmecampaign.com — and this is one of the ways these authors are trying to help Susan raise money for the organisation. Susan’s fellow authors have been incredibly supportive giving her their time and contributing to the event. Ditto for the Being Me Campaign Chairwoman and co- founder, Tracy Shayler, who’ll be joining them at this dinner. So, there’ll be a table for eight set up for them- who will be the other two people who’ll be there for this evening of fun, food and laughter no doubt, and the opportunity to ask us anything you ever wanted to know about them, their books, the genre or the charity?
Pictures will be taken and there may even do some live streaming from the event.
You can donate and participate here : Being Me Author Lunch Event
The date of this dinner is Saturday 14th January 2017. A venue has not yet been determined but it will be in central London, chosen for easy access. The time is 12h30 pm. Dress is whatever makes you feel comfortable.
All you need to do to participate in this exciting event is donate £5.00 (or more if you fancy) to the charity over the next 30 days. The winner will be announced on the 22nd December, just in time for Christmas. Make sure you click the £5.00 donation sum if you’re only buying one. For every £5.00 you donate, you are entered into the draw again for the prize. There is only one winner chosen.
The competition is open to anyone all over the world of course because we didn’t want to discriminate. Logic tells us however flying in from abroad for this event might not be feasible. However, that’s your call if you donate* and you win!
We’re sorry that this event is limited to the UK but we didn’t see how we’d be able to facilitate this any other way.
There are some terms and conditions, and you can read them below. Please make sure you read and understand them because the organisers would hate you to be disappointed about anything. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com
*There are limitations to this offer so please read the terms and conditions. chuffed.org also add 0.35p to your donation so the final amount will be £5.35. If you want to only donate £5.00, please enter the amount as £4.65. NOTE: chuffed. org will also add an optional payment to your donation- please ensure you remove this so you aren’t charged for it on the payment screen.
Your donation constitutes your ‘raffle ticket’ to enter the draw. Should you not win the lunch prize, donations will not be refunded.
The ‘Event’ – the dinner at which Attending Author/s will be present
The ‘Event Organiser/s’- the team arranging this event
The ‘Attending Author/s’ – one of the named authors appearing in the list of dinner guests
The ‘Winner/s’ – the person chosen by the random generator to be the head guest together with their chosen guest
The ‘Venue’ -the place at which the event is taking place and which is named above
The ‘Date’– the chosen date at time of your donation
The ‘Time’ -the time of the lunch event taking place
The ‘Parties’ – all the people attending the lunch event
- These named ‘Attending Author/s’ have kindly agreed to be part of this ‘Event’ but the ‘Event Organisers’ reserve the right to substitute or cancel names attending should there be unforeseen events leading to one or more of them not being able to participate.
Every effort will be made to substitute another ‘Attending Author’, but this is not guaranteed.
- The ‘Date’ and ‘Time’ has been set and will not be subject to change by the ‘Attending Author/s’ unless there are extreme If this happens, the winners will be contacted and discussion for an alternative date will take place.
- If a rescheduled and mutual date cannot be arranged between the original ‘Parties’ within 1 (one) week, the original winner will be refunded their donation in full and another winner will be chosen to attend the lunch on the planned alternative date.
- *If the ‘Winner’ chosen is not based in the UK, or within reasonably close commuting distance, it is up to them, should their donation be chosen, as to whether they attend the event. This period of notification to advise whether they will attend will be limited to 72 hours after being informed of their winning status. If they cannot attend, then another winner will be drawn and after 72 hours, the same caveat will apply. Their donation will not be refunded.
- The ‘Winner/s’ will be expected to make their own way to the venue, and no costs will be borne by the ‘Event’ for any costs, transport, accommodation or other costs, incurred by the ‘Winner/s’
- The ‘Event Organisers’ also reserve the right to change the ‘Venue’. Every effort will be made to keep this event in the general locale of the originally named ‘Venue’ in central London.
- Unless advised otherwise prior to the event, the ‘Winner/s’ allow the use of their picture/s for anything taken during the event in any relevant social media streams and networks.
If you decide to donate – thank you so much and we wish you the best of luck in the draw!
Hi, and welcome to the Hard Climate Blitz tour and Giveaway. This book is the eighth one in my Men of London series. I think there’ll be another one. In fact, I’m pretty sure there will be. It will be a while coming though as I have other commitments first. So in the meantime if you haven’t read this series, why not give it a go. And please drop me a line and let me know how you liked it.
Series: Men of London #8
Genre: M/M New Adult Contemporary
Date: July 28, 2016
Eco-warrior Mango Manning must shake the demons of his past to win back London nightclub owner Ryan Bishop, who is suddenly facing issues of his own.
Brawny, beautiful, complicated and sexy as hell, eco-warrior Mango Manning is everything performer and London nightclub owner Ryan Bishop wants in a life-partner. But Mango has been loving and leaving Ryan for the past two years, and Ryan’s had enough. That’s why he’s moving on. Ryan’s the monogamous type—which means now he’ll be alone at the worst possible time.
Mango Manning knows he’s screwed up and has commitment issues. That’s why he’s been so on-and-off with Ryan these past two years. He’d thought he found a safe haven, a place to hide from the losses of his past, but there are other demons you just can’t escape. Like Ryan’s health. If Mango is to put things right, he must man up and discover a way back into Club Delish and the heart of its owner. Only then can they look to the future together, come what may. True happiness will slip through their fingers…unless they both grab on and hold tight.
“You have got to be fucking kidding me.”
Ryan gulped down the remains of his Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee and stormed over to his front door. He was as pissed off that he’d wasted a mouthful of expensive and exclusive coffee as he was with Mango, who stood at the entrance to his building being an insistent pest.
After the first buzz of the doorbell, Ryan had checked the security camera to determine who his visitor was. When he’d seen it was Mango, he’d ignored the bastard. Mango obviously didn’t have the keys he’d been given for Ryan’s flat and Club Delish in case of emergencies.
The buzzer had gone again. And again. Each time Mango lay on the bell longer than before. The fourth time it sounded, Ryan was ready to commit murder. The overwhelming desire to punch Mango’s lights out was, however, accompanied with an instant body tingle at the sight of his lover. Ryan knew this moment had been coming but he still wasn’t prepared for what he needed to do.
He flung the door open and put his hands on his hips. “You’ve got a fucking nerve,” he growled as Mango smiled hesitantly at him.
“Sorry for the buzzing and knocking.” Mango waved a tanned hand. “I didn’t have my keys with me.”
Ryan’s temper got the better of him. “It’s been six fucking weeks. Haven’t you got a whale to save or a bat to protect? Maybe visiting a whole rain forest of pygmy dwarves and their habitat? I know I have nothing here that might pique your eco-warrior interest so you may as well piss off.” Part of Ryan hoped Mango might do as he was told and postpone the pain for another day.
“Hello to you too, babe.” Mango raised one eyebrow. Ryan had to admit each time he did that it was as sexy as hell. And Mango knew it. “Pygmy dwarves?” Mango drawled, with amusement. “I had that particular excursion a few months ago, remember?”
“Don’t call me babe.” Mango’s smile faltered as Ryan took the comment and ran with it. “And I remember the whole pygmy dwarves scenario very well. It was the night you left me at dinner sitting alone like some pathetic man waiting for his date because you had an urgent plane to catch.”
Mango looked a little abashed but Ryan hadn’t finished. He waggled his index finger in Mango’s face. “Oh, wait, I remember now, the pathetic man waiting for a date was me. Because his date-to-be decided he had more important places to go.” Ryan took a deep breath, willing his ever-fiery drama queen to stay on the down-low. The throb in his temples signalled a low-grade headache coming on.
Mango held out a hand in a ‘whoa, stop’ gesture. “Ryan, I explained about that. The only plane out to the North Congo was the one I had to catch. They’d grounded a whole load because of some rainstorm coming in. It was the only way to get in and out of the conservation area.” He grinned faintly. “And for the record, you call them pygmies, not pygmy dwarves.”
Carefully constructed break-up plan forgotten, Ryan’s temper combusted at Mango’s teasing. “What-the-fuck-ever,” he exploded and slammed the door right in Mango’s face. He only wished Mango’s nose had been closer so he could have had the pleasure of hearing it break.
Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and a member of their Rainbow Writers Chapter. She’s also a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this…
I have a serious question to ask all the writers. This isn’t a post for sympathy or compliments so please don’t see it as such. I was in two minds as to whether to write it at all. Then I decided, hell, it’s a genuine appeal for advice and feedback. If people think I’m looking for aforementioned items, then stuff ’em. Writing is a lonely business and sometimes, you need your peers to tell you what you might be doing wrong.
I’ve been writing in the genre now for three years and when I first started I was on fire. I wrote all those books you saw released. I couldn’t wait to get home from work and pick up my laptop and write. Weekends weren’t spent with family or friends. I wrote. I was passionate, manic to the point everything else came second. Including people. And food. I lost weight because I couldn’t be bothered eating. I never watched TV. I went to bed at 12, 1 am every night. I had DRIVE for God’s sake. I was a demonic writer, obsessed, OCD to the point of being committed.
Now? Now I find it a chore to pick up my laptop when I get home and write anything. I find excuses not to. I feel a sense of dread contemplating what to write next. It’s not writer’s block because the ideas are there, they just need formulating into sentences. But I’m not. There, I mean. I’m not in the same place I was a year ago. And I really want to know why, what’s changed that my day is now one where I come home from the day job, plop down on the couch, watch some telly, do some social networking stuff but do anything than pick up my laptop to write. I go to bed much earlier than I used to, read a while, then drop off to sleep. Once I’m committed to writing, the words come and I write until I’ve had enough. But I’m worried, and frustrated and scared stupid. I want to be that me again, the one who had fire and passion and came to bed at 1am still full of ideas. So, tell me, please tell me, I’m not the only one that sometimes goes through this…and that it will all be okay. Because the alternative is too scary to contemplate. #BurnOut #MojoLoss
I have book deadlines to meet and I will do it, come hell or high water. I’m truly excited about my next project, ‘Sight Unseen’, a book I’m collaborating on with actor Nicholas Downs. We have plans to get this story published, then develop as screen play together and hopefully get this story to film. It’s exciting as hell and I am so looking forward to it. This book is my current priority. I need to focus and get it written. Nicholas deserves that much.
I’m busy writing Survival Game, which is Kyle and Eric’s story, another book in the Men of London series. This one won’t be forthcoming soon, like the others, but it will appear sometime in 2017. There may even be another one after that, Callum’s story.
I’ve got my gothic horror steam punk romance in the works, I have an idea for a new series which travels the world and is a rather a different take on a popular TV programme and I have a potential Rock Star book I’m dying to expand on.
So, to achieve all this, I just need to find my OOMPH!! Does anyone out there fancy kicking my ass to stop whinging so I can find my inner demon again? Or tell me I’m not alone, they’ve been through this too?
Hah. I’m sure you’d all line up to slap me stupid, or box my ears though. Take a number, and mosey on down. I look forward to it.
I have to agree with this post from the lovely Alina Popescu. Thanks to her for starting this off. I’m probably going off on a bit of a tangent here, but bear with me. I think it will make sense in the end.
In my opinion, this big, wide world of ours (not just Britain) is becoming a damn nanny state with its trying to protect us from ourselves. I may well become unpopular with this post, but you know what? I don’t really care.
Every day we hear and see things like this-
Don’t eat too much sugar, oh look, let’s tax it so people have to pay more for eating it.
Let’s hide cigarettes in plain brown wrapping and stow them away under the counter so people won’t be tempted to smoke.
And then there’s this – I can’t even…I mean WTF?? Really?
By the same token- let’s leave alcohol on show everywhere, make some cheap stuff so people can rot their guts, offer free drinks at Happy Time and generally promote drinking as a social pastime. I speak from experience when I say alcohol has been a huge detrimental factor in my family life (not for me but family members). It doesn’t stop me going out and buying a good bottle of wine though.
Why? Because I make the decisions for myself on what I’m going to drink, and how much.
I decide whether as a mother I give my kid a good slap on the bum because he or she is being a brat. I decide whether or not my kids can knock themselves on the forehead swinging conkers, or get a nasty scrape because they’re playing hop scotch. I decide whether to give a homeless person a sandwich or buy them a cup of coffee without Health and Safety breathing down my neck. Gasp! I even make the decision to eat that lasagne that’s over its sell by date. Sacrilege indeed.
So…. going back to warnings and preserving people’s sensibilities, (I told you I’d get there in the end) there are those who believe we should put them ad nauseum on books in case it offends or distresses someone. Hmm, let’s use Love and Punishment as an example of this type of warning
This book is about two men in a relationship, features raunchy gay sex, bondage, kidnapping and assault, rolling pins being shoved up a man’s arse, various nasty scenes of aftermath killing spree gore, a psychopathic serial killer, a detective who believes the ends justifies the means, and a singular act of determined and gritty violence by one man protecting the man he loves that some people might not agree with. It defies social morals and norms and asks the question- how far would YOU go to keep the one you love safe?
Hell, you know what, maybe I should use that as the blurb. It sounds like an interesting book to me. This warning is so going on Facebook afterwards as a post of its own. So who’s scrambling to go buy it? I see you…you can run but you can’t hide.
Recently a fellow author and very well-known book reviewer trashed both me and Love and Punishment because she didn’t like the subject matter. I believe in retributivism and her crowd didn’t like that I’d expressed this personal fact about myself in my Author Notes; they also thought some of the scenes were gratuitous. Well, hell, I know it’s not everyone that likes having a scene where a rolling pin is used as a torture implement but it’s really not that bad. I mean, look at fisting. Are warnings given for that happening in a story? Worth Keeping dealt with sexual abuse and self- harm, Saving Alexander did the same, but I didn’t get flack for that.
Bad things in books can often be used for good. A young man I know got in touch and said it had helped him, as a self-harmer himself, reading about what Nick was going through. Saving Alexander was used as a therapy tool by someone as a book for patients to read about and overcome similar things that happened to Alex. So it can go both ways.
I don’t generally put warnings on my books. Read the blurb and you’ll get the idea as to what a book is about. It’s about two men falling in love, telling their story and yes, hopefully having great GAY sex. If you feel uncomfortable reading the book, or don’t want to read about GAY sex, put the book down. Don’t read any more. If something acts as a trigger for you, please –put the book down. Let me be clear. I’m not belittling anyone who has had bad experiences and may still be suffering from it. But to be honest, me writing about strawberry pancakes or twinkling fairy lights may be a trigger for some people. An author can’t cover all eventualities.
One of my next WIP books is about a sexual predator priest abusing a young boy and then slaughtering his family. It has self-harm and I’ll make sure that factors into the blurb somehow so people know what it’s about before they buy it. If anyone has a specific concern about the content, I’ll answer them willingly and then let them make their own decisions about whether they read it or not.
Books are fiction. They are stories of fictionary people in fictionary situations. (I think that’s a great word, fictionary – I like it, not sure if it actually exists in this context but hey. I’m a writer. I get to make stuff up.) The author sets out to shock, make the reader feel emotion, empathise, sympathise, hate, adore, feel sick- it’s called writing. And if we achieve this, we’ve done our jobs. This group loved Love and Punishment by the way -it came third in a reader poll against some tough competition, not even in the M/M genre, but in the Thriller/detective category.
Caveat Emptor – Buyer Beware. Arm yourself before you buy a book. I like to think my covers and my blurbs give a reader an idea of what’s in the book. Reading a review or two before you buy also helps. Downloading the sample before you buy will help. Ask a friend. Use one of the wonderful reading groups we have on Facebook to ask a question if you even think there might be something in there you don’t like. I think there’s also a fine line between telling a reader what to expect overall and putting specific warnings about content in the preface/blurb to the book. I’d like to know the book I’ve purchased is MM. I don’t like cliff-hangers, so I’ll check out the book forums first if I suspect there is one or have heard there is. I’m not all that fond of ménage, so again, I’ll do my homework. But if I see the blurb talks about Larry, Curly and Mo in a relationship, I kind of think I’d have my answer. I’m not fond of mixed M/F and M/M sex scenes in the same book. I read both but don’t like it together. I won’t read twincest or incest. I’m not keen on every BDSM book out there, there’s only a few authors I read who I think tackle the subject well and with variety. And sometimes I’ll slip up and buy a book that has this ALL in the same story and you know what?
I pull up my big girl pants, forget that book and find the next read.
I think we all know that sometimes life can get crappy. No matter who we are, where we are or what we’re doing, there comes a time when sometimes all you want to do is hibernate like a bear, close the entrance to the cave, and hope that when we wake up things will be better.
I have always considered myself a glass half full kind of gal. In fact, I’ve been considered this to such an extent by friends and family that sometimes I have to watch my back so someone doesn’t slap me silly while they are angsty and I am trying to get them to see the light at the end of the tunnel which is NOT a train. I am known for always seeing the bright side, for finding the silver lining in the cloud yada yada yada. Cliches and platitudes abound on this subject.
But even positive thinkers need a little boost now and then. I’ve been going some tough times which have made me question my original outlook and wonder if I’ve been a fool all those years before. Wondering if in fact the people who tell me, ‘I always look on the negative side because then I won’t be disappointed and hurt’ were actually correct. For me to question this is like Luke Skywalker questioning whether he has a thing for Han Solo. Oh sorry, you all say he didn’t? Well, you can think what you like on that one 😉
Sometimes it takes life’s adversities to start over again. In 2000 my family -husband and two young children- left South Africa for England to try and make a better life away from the violence. We landed on the UK shores with six boxes full of clothes and some personal stuff, £3000, no jobs, no plan but we had a place to stay with a friend. Now we are settled, although life is taking a bit of a bad turn, but we are still together, still enjoying the UK, and my kids have had opportunities that they would never have had in SA. Like my daughter just getting her First in her BA Drama and Film Studies at Kingston University. I’m so proud of her, and she works hard and deserves it. This is something she’d never have done had we remained in Johannesburg. So the light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t a train works its magic. And then had I not come over to the UK, I’ve never have heard of Benedict Cumberbatch, never been inspired to write a book with a character inspired by him, never submitted it to a publisher and never would have been published. My childhood of dream of becoming a published writer was fulfilled. I’ve seen some beautiful countries and had a chance to travel.
Life has a way of making lemonade from the lemons even if perhaps we don’t see it right away. I’ve had to take a step back and try and find the good in the world around me, the benefits in the life I have which may have gone a little haywire but still has all the important bits. And if all fails, I can start again like I did when we first got to the UK. It’s hard, it’s sad, it’s difficult to bear sometimes but it’s life. So on reflection, I think I’m still that gal looking at the world in a half full way, even though it’s sometimes challenged. I have wonderful online friends who support me, I have my writing still to make the best of a dark day, even when I don’t sometimes feel like doing it, and I have my family around me, telling me it will all get better.
I don’t know about you but I’m grateful for all these special mercies and when I start bitching about my lot, and being a pain in the arse to anyone listening, pinch me hard, remind what I DO have to be lucky for and tell me to get a move on forwards instead of backwards. That’s the only way to go.