Thursday, July 31, 2014

Why The Name? And If You’re Offended...

So the question has come up, why the title Pray The Gay Away? What’s in a name anyway? Apparently some people are offended by the name of the book. I get it, however I’m not concerned with offending you when choosing a name for the book puts it in the top search on Google for How To Pray The Gay Away.

Why is that important? There are parents out there searching for answers, kids looking for information. Those kids are afraid and alone, wondering if their preacher is right, if they can be cured by praying the gay away. They are surrounded by close-minded individuals who tell them they are sick or broken. That is wrong.

Those of us who aren’t in the closet and read MM books don’t have to worry about our family finding out like these kids do. We don’t have to fret over what our parent’s will think. We read the genre and go about our daily lives. So yes, if I’ve offended some of the people who read MM on a regular basis, sorry, but I’d rather risk offending you than risk not reaching one family and showing them that there is another way.

I didn’t write this book so MM readers could feel good about themselves. In the beginning, when I first started writing the book it was a lark that soon turned into something so much more. Had I kept on the original path for what the book was going to be, I probably would have changed the name, but once the characters revealed themselves, I realized this book was going to be more than I had anticipated.

This series is bigger than me trying to please my readers. Yes, some of my books are written because of my readers, this one isn’t that type of story. This book series ripped my heart out, twisted me around, and left me bereft. I was empty for weeks after finishing this story because it is life changing for those kids whose parents want to send them to gay therapy camp. It’s crucial for kids who hear everyday that they are sick. If I risk offending one MM reader but save a kid from a lifetime of self-hate and pain, it’s worth it to me.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Campus Cravings Cover Reveal

Welcome to Cathia University, where school is in session! Nine of today's hottest gay romance authors have crafted brand-new interrelated novellas celebrating everything wonderful about college, with over 200,000 words featuring sophisticated professors, sexy teaching assistants, ambitious grad students, and spirited undergraduates, all looking for the same thing: an A+ in true love.

Annabeth Albert: Winning Bracket 
Cassandra Carr: The Eloquent Jock
Dalton Diaz: Lesson Learned
Mia Downing: Switching Leads
Whitley Gray: Artistic Endeavor
Bianca Sommerland: Solid Education
KyAnn Waters: Private Lessons
LA Witt: Did Somebody Order a Pizza?
Sara York: The Dust Of Everyday Life

Add Campus Cravings to your Goodreads to-be-read-list here:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How to edit

Editing is supposed to be hard. Here's what I have found works best for me. I haven't always done this, but I will in the future.

While writing, I never allow a mistake I see to go unfixed. Yes, I know there is the "just write" camp, I'm not in that camp. If I see something that is wrong, I stop. (I miss a lot BTW)

At least once while writing a book I will go back to the beginning and start reading, fixing as I go. With Colorado Flames With A Texas Twist, I read the first 30,000 words 4 times before I moved past 30K. So far, I've read the entire book 2 times, the first 30k, 6 times.

One read through of my book will be done reading the book backwards. Yes, you heard that correctly. I read from the top of the last page to the bottom, then I read from the top of the second to last page to the bottom, then the third to the last page and so on. Yes, It takes time. I'm currently doing this to a 16,000 word manuscript and it has taken me 3 hours to get 75% done. But there's more...

On one of my read throughs, I change the font to a script font. I like Apple Chancery. It's difficult to read your story in a font you're not used to. I'll probably switch to Lush, or Zapfino in a few months. You are forced to slow down and read the story, seeing each word, each comma, each period when you read in an unusual font. With computers, it's simple to change your font and catch your errors. Also, you should change your font size, this helps too.

When I am self publishing a book, I now read it on my Kindle before I let it go. Yes, that means I will have read Colorado Flames With A Texas Twist 6 or 7 times (the first 30K 10 or 11 times) before I publish. It's supposed to be difficult.

If you are new to writing, I suggest you develop a similar method before you submit. Reading backwards will help you figure out holes in your stories. Interrupting the way your brain thinks about the story flow is important when you are trying to catch your errors. Publishers expect your story to be good before you send it in. Don't give them another excuse to reject your story. There are a lot of excellent authors out there and many of them are willing to take the time to make the story clean.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What Should Christian Parents Do About Reparative Therapy Bans?

Many Christian parents not only in California but also across the US are wondering what to do about the decision SCOTUS made to deny cert to (that is, they opted not to review) Pickup v. Brown and Welch v. Brown. In doing so, they left in place a California ban on reparative therapy, which prevents licensed therapists from working with children to change their sexual orientation. Contrary to evangelical Christian beliefs, sexual orientation is not chosen, but a part of who the child is. Therapist who wish to force children to deny who they are, making them state that they aren’t gay or bisexual are pissed because they feel the measure violates their First Amendment rights.

The evangelical Christian angle is that in 2012 when California passed a law banning licensed counselors from offering reparative therapy to teens “suffering from unwanted homosexual attractions” it stepped on their toes. The law does not apply to clergy or other unlicensed counselors, but prohibits licensed doctors, therapists, psychologists, or social workers from offering the treatment.

The evangelicals scrambled, trying to find a way to work around the ban. They chose to enflame Christians with the broad spectrum of Parent’s Rights and violation of the counselors’ First Amendment freedom of speech. Luckily, a San Francisco-based federal appeals court upheld the ban, saying it regulates conduct and not speech. The Parent’s Rights group states that the distinction is hard to swallow because the majority of the “conduct” involves speaking. Yet, by denying cert the Supreme Court has left that ruling in place and the ban – which had been on hold pending this final appeal – can now go into effect.

There was no doubt in the reaction of the Parent’s Rights movement. Michael Farris, of states about the ruling, “This is an outrage.”

For Christians, homosexuality is a touchy subject. The Parent’s Rights movements take on the matter is that “it is so important that young people be free to work through this issue with their parents who love them, and not be forced into one single, “politically acceptable” path by overreaching lawmakers and bureaucrats. That the California legislature would be so bent on protecting one group’s rights that it would trample on the rights of others is extremely problematic.”

The problem is that these evangelicals believe that it is their right to force their children into whatever mold the parent sets. The Parent’s Rights group states  “The law that the Supreme Court has chosen to leave in place criminalizes a form of therapy with proven results among those who seek it. The law violates the right of parents to make medical, psychological, and therapeutic decisions that they, along with their child, determine to be in the best interests of their child. It also violates the doctor-patient decision-making relationship.”

But these children are not allowed to make their own decisions about what is in their best interest. In Lance Bass’s recent documentary, Kidnapped For Christ, the kids and teens are not allowed to decide. They are manipulated, forced into, taken against their will, and made to feel less than. The abuse continued by evangelical Christian parents in the guise of Parent’s Rights needs to be stopped.

Parent’s Rights groups fear those teens whose same-sex attractions arise from sexual molestation or trauma during childhood would be denied the professional care they desire and need. But they are assuming that teens being gay is brought on by trauma and neglect the fact that if a child is sexually abused they can always talk about that abuse and the counselor/therapist is not there to direct the child’s decision about same sex attraction, but help them recover from abuse.

Basically, the Parent’s Rights groups oppose the bans because they feel that it impose undue interference on the right of parents to make medical and psychological care decisions with and on behalf of their children.

But that’s the main problem. Most of these parents are not making the decision based on what’s best for the child, but based on what will embarrass the parent the least. The Parent’s Rights groups have proposed that a Parental Rights Amendment needs to be added to the U.S. Constitution so they can “protect the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children as a fundamental right,”

The main issue is that these people do not have the best interest of the child in mind. They are hung up on lies perpetuated by religious organizations. Any group, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or any other group religion that suppresses same-sex attraction, making those people feel less than, should seek the cause of their reaction to same-sex attraction, finding within themselves the problem, instead of trying to harm innocent children.

In the A Southern Thing series, Jack’s mom loves him dearly and works to understand what is going on with Jack. She doesn’t take man’s words on the subject of same-sex attraction, but she goes deeper to figure out if what her son is doing is wrong or okay.

If you are in the position that you don’t know what to do about your son or daughter’s same-sex attraction, read the series. If you’re on the fence about your co-workers or friends, read the series. I know I won’t change the minds of those who have lost their ability to actually love freely. They are beyond my reach, your reach, or any sane person’s reach. I can only hop that in the future religions stop trying to force their ideals down the throats of others. A Southern Thing series is a southern tale of good triumphing over evil! Read it and learn.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Love's Bitter Harvest by Jas T. Ward

 Romance- The Ward Way
Matt and Katherine McCall were high-school sweethearts and in love from first kiss. But time changes people and sometimes the strongest seed of love can only harvest bitterness.
Fast forward four years--Katy has a new life far from the one she had with Matt. And she thought it was all worth it.
Matt McCall's last four years were full of loss, doubt and sorrow. And now? He's only half the man Katy left behind.
Can love survive in hardened, bitter tainted soil? Or does it eventually die under the coldness of heart-break.
From critically acclaimed author Jas T. Ward, Dead Bound Publishing is proud to present-
Love's Bitter Harvest
Romance-The Ward Way


Matthew McCall had never been a sound sleeper. As someone who was made to work on the family farm at the age of seven, it was up with the sun and down with the moon. It took the most exhausting day for him to sleep so soundly that he didn't wake at the slightest sound. It was something that was his nature. Matt was always aware of all that was around him.

That all changed three months ago and now he sought deep sleep as the thing he craved most in the world. Well, second most. But the first was not even possible. Not now. Right now he was wide awake but faking sleep because what else was there to do? He heard the drone of his older sister Beth's voice and he wished she would just go. Leave him alone like he had asked her a dozen times to do. 

Daily. Since it happened.

Beth hadn’t granted his wish, so his tactic now was to totally ignore her. But he couldn’t stand how hurt she looked when he did, so sleep or pretending to sleep seemed to be the better option rather than him witness her pain firsthand. 

He was using that tactic once again when this time he heard a different voice with hushed tones mingled with Beth’s. His brow furrowed in concentration to make out the owner of the voice even though his head seemed to know before he did. Impossible. He refused to believe what his grey matter was starting to spell out as fact. But as he listened, there was no denying what his mind was most definitely wrong on as he cracked open one hazel eye and then the other.

Beth and the other speaker were around the corner from the living room, aka his new bedroom, and he pulled himself up to rest on his elbows, fighting the wave of dizziness that swept over him as if in defiance of what his body was forcing him to be. Leaning to the right, unsteady and making the unease worsen, he caught sight of a lovely, long leg wearing a fancy heel below what was probably an expensive skirt. Letting out a long frustrated breath he dropped back down to stare at the ceiling that was long overdue for new coat of paint. Another therapist, social worker, do-gooder or insurance rep, he assumed. It sounded like her, but there was no way she would be here. His mind was tripping and maybe his hope was helping it find the cracks in reality to do so; but his heart knew there was no way.

Closing his eyes, he brought a hand up to rub his hand on his brow and called out to Beth. He seemed to stay thirsty and he needed something stronger than water. Knowing she wouldn’t bring him liquor, something he hadn’t touched since that night, he would settle for sweet tea. “Beth? Bring me some damn tea.”

“Don’t you even know how to say please?”

His eyes snapped open and so did his jaw as he blinked. Slowly pulling himself back up to his former position, he could do nothing but stare. 

She looked so different. Well-polished and dressed with perfect hair, clothes too, despite what he knew were Fred’s paw prints on the fine material. Her makeup was flawless—something she never wore before. But behind all that glam, it was her. The girl next door was barely recognizable, but he would have recognized her anywhere even if he were blind. His heart started racing and now the dizziness wasn’t from his condition, but from the overwhelming wave of emotions that overtook him in seconds. Amazement, disbelief, anger, fear, hope and some he didn’t even want to analyze. His hazel eyes usually hazed with pain and the side-effects of meds blazed with all those feelings and more. His lip tugged up into a sneer and he fisted the bed covers under his hands. 

His voice was gravely and hoarse, words spat out and edged with a gruff growl, “What the hell are you doing here?”

Katy wasn't surprised by Matt’s reaction. After all, it had been almost four years since they had last seen each other. But there wasn't a week that had gone by when the memory of the day she left her husband, her home and her life behind didn't haunt her. And judging by Matt’s reaction, she wasn't the only one who was tormented by the ghost of their past.