Interview on The Author’s Show

HostPodcastHey, I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Linda Thompson over at The Author’s Show.  The broadcast is ONLY going to be up for 24 hours on Wednesday January 10!  Please tune in for it!

 

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Lezbelib

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I am pleased to announce that Lezbelib has joined us in celebrating lesbian literature over at the Lesfic Bard Awards!  Yesterday they gave us a shout on their site!  Check them out!  You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!

Support like this for our new awards is wonderful and we do appreciate everything everyone is doing to get the word out there about it.  We hope that it becomes an annual thing for everyone involved and that we become the premier award in lesbian literature.

Thank you!

Planet Nation

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I am pleased to announce that Planet Nation, has joined us in promoting lesbian literature.  Not only have they given us a shout out (thank you!), but they are offering to the WINNERS of the Lesfic Bard Awards the following:

– a guaranteed editorial/interview for the winners on Planet Nation (will be arranged via email)
– all authors who enter the awards can be offered an author profile on Planet Nation and also informed of how Planet Nation can support them (https://www.planet-nation.com/lbq-women/getting-know-community/138)
– advertising of the awards on Planet Nation website (please provide a 468×60 landscape jpg image)
– social media support (please provide up to 10 Tweets incl. hashtag and @s along with the time period they should be used within, I.e. they may change during nomination period, etc. Countdowns to closing, etc).
How is THAT for support of Lesbian Literature?  Please, show YOUR support to THEM in gratitude for their help by subscribing to their site, following them on twitter, and liking their Facebook page!  If you want, please let them know you appreciate their support by sending them a thank you, let them know the Lesfic Bard Awards sent you!
Please SUBSCRIBE to the Lesfic Bard Award News!

Merry Christmas

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Did you get a new Kindle or e-Reader from Santa?

As my Christmas and New Years gift to all my followers/readers/fans/friends, I’ve teamed up with I Heart Lesfic for three of my books to be discounted for those who go to their site and check out all the deals!  Not only mine but many other authors are all $1.99 or under, so you can fill up that new Kindle or E-Reader you got for Xmas right?

Here is a list of the terrific authors I’m pleased to be associated with that are participating:

Fiction

  1. The Dance by Suzie Carr—0.99

Literary Fiction

  1. The Art of Peeling an Orange by Victoria Avilan—1.99
  2. A Small Country About to Vanish by Victoria Avilan—1.99

Women’s Fiction

  1. Olympus Nights on the Square by Vanda Writer—0.99

Romance

  1. Mergers & Acquisitions by A. E. Radley—1.99
  2. Almost Heaven by Susan X Meagher—1.99
  3. Rare & Beautiful Things by Giselle Fox—0.99
  4. Finding You by Emma Nichols—0.99
  5. Remember Us by Emma Nichols—0.99
  6. Shattered Hearts by Noelle Winters—0.99
  7. A Vote for Love by Jea Hawkins—0.99
  8. Veritas by MJ Duncan—0.99
  9. Tangle by Em Stevens—0.99
  10. Lily’s Fire by Lise Gold—1.99
  11. Beyond the Skyline by Lise Gold—1.99
  12. The Loudest Silence by Olivia Janae—1.99
  13. Switchback by S.W. Andersen—1.99
  14. Love by Design by S.W. Andersen—0.99
  15. Open Spaces by Barbara Winkes—0.99
  16. Whole Latte Love by Pike Martel—0.99
  17. The Crossing of Bridges by Summer Munger—0.99
  18. Keeper of my Heart by Amy DeMeritt—1.99
  19. The Perfect Right Hook by Amy DeMeritt—1.99
  20. Perfect Match by Violette Grey—0.99
  21. All the Love Songs by Nicole Pyland—1.99
  22. Fresh Start by Nicole Pyland—1.99
  23. Roll with Me by Elizabeth Andre—0.99
  24. Out by Claire Highton-Stevenson—Free
  25. Next by Claire Highton-Stevenson—1.99
  26. One Way Ticket by Emma Collins—0.99
  27. Second Chances by Emma Collins—Free
  28. Magnetic Reverie by Nico J. Genes—0.99
  29. Island Skye by Fox Brison—0.99
  30. Heavenly Heirs by Fox Brison—0.99
  31. A Game of Love by Fox Brison—0.99
  32. Chasing Love by Carol Wyatt—0.99
  33. Reckless Love by Carol Wyatt—0.99
  34. Falling Slowly by Laura Conway—0.99
  35. Winter Nights by Laura Conway—0.99
  36. Sweet Surrender by Anna Cove—Free

Holiday Romance

  1. Mistletoe Mishap by Siri Caldwell—0.99
  2. That Old Emerald Mountain Magic by Cara Malone—Free
  3. A Christmas for Carol by Emily Sharp—0.99
  4. A Mistletoe Moment by Natasha West—0.99

Romantic Comedy

  1. Waltzing on the Danube by Miranda MacLeod—0.99
  2. Piece of My Heart by Bennett and Gardner—0.99
  3. Waiting for the Punchline by Natasha West—0.99
  4. Plethora by Kelli Jae Baeli—0.99

Erotic Romance

  1. Once in a Lifetime by Harper Bliss—0.99
  2. Willow by Raven J Spencer—0.99
  3. Cuffs and Protests by Layla Holiday—Free
  4. My Inner Dom by Layla Holiday—Free

Erotica Anthology

  1. Forbidden Fruit edited by Cheyenne Blue—0.99

Erotic Romantic Suspense

  1. Random Acts of Blindness Kelli Jae Baeli—0.99

Romantic Suspense

  1. Little Lies by Lila Bruce—0.99

Romantic Thriller

  1. Release Me by Mish Daniels—0.99

Romantic Drama

  1. Valerie by Kit Eyre—0.99
  2. Shattered Paradise by C. L. Cattano—0.99

Historical Romance

  1. Escape to Pirate Island by Niamh Murphy—0.99

Western Romance

  1. Somewhere between Love & Justice by S.W. Andersen—0.99

Paranormal Romance

  1. A Charmed Life by Jea Hawkins—FREE

Fantasy Romance

  1. Making a Tinderbox by Emma Sterner-Radley—1.99

Interracial Romance

  1. Skating on Air by Elizabeth Andre—0.99
  2. The Beauty Queen Called Twice by Elizabeth Andre—0.99

Medical Romance

  1. Tricky Chances by Camryn Eyde—1.99
  2. The Origins of Heartbreak by Cara Malone—Free

Young Adult Romance

  1. Love Triumphs Pain by Amy Demeritt—1.99

New Adult Romance

  1. The Rules of Love by Cara Malone—Free
  2. To Have Loved & Lost by Eliza Andres—0.99
  3. Marionette by T. B. Markinson—Free

New Adult Sweet Romance

  1. Christmas Cakes and Kisses by Anne Hagan—0.99

Short Romantic Reads

  1. The Energy Between Us by Josslyn Scott—0.99

Western Steampunk

  1. Djara by Kat Evans—0.99

Paranormal

  1. Demons Shemons by K. B. Draper—0.99

Fantasy

  1. Rapture by Pike Martell—Free
  2. Out of Her Depth by Pike Martell—Free
  3. Lady Blue by Prudence MacLeod—1.99
  4. Immortal Tigress by Prudence MacLeod—1.99
  5. Rise of the Queen by Prudence MacLeod—1.99

Science Fiction

  1. Outcaste by Fletcher DeLancey—1.99
  2. Banquet by Adan Ramie—0.99

Action & Adventure

  1. Too Strong to Die by Erin Wade—1.99
  2. Death Was Too Easy by Erin Wade—1.99
  3. Vetted by K’Anne Meinel—1.99
  4. Veil of Silence by K’Anne Meinel—1.99
  5. Doctored by K’Anne Meinel—1.99

Speculative Adventure

  1. Pitfall by Kelli Jae Baeli—0.99

Mystery

  1. A Crane Christmas by Anne Hagan—0.99

Suspense

  1. Devoted by Alison R. Solomon—0.99

Thriller

  1. Secrets by Barbara Winkes—1.99
  2. Fallout by Michelle Marra—Free
  3. Justice Scorned by Michelle Marra—Free
  4. Fatal Love by Michelle Marra—Free
  5. But by Degrees by Kit Eyre—0.99
  6. Chase Me—Natasha West—0.99

So, run, don’t walk (and don’t trip) to click on the links to get your discounted books!  Also, if you have a moment, subscribe to the I HEART LESFIC blog to find out reviews and recommendations from their hard-working minions! (lol).

 

 

 

Finding Holiday Joy in Hell

The year was 2001.  It was my year from hell.  In January I watched as my mother died, right after New Year’s.  I lived in California at the time.  When I flew back from her funeral, we got the days wrong because I was a little out of it, in a fog actually-mentally, and missed our flight by an entire day.  They weren’t sure they could find us seats and I asked which one of my sons they wanted to keep.  We finally got home!

When I got back, both my oldest son Chip and I had terrible coughs.  They’d been horrible at the funeral service, all through our short stay in Wisconsin, and flying, we just thought we had bad colds.  I didn’t have insurance, so we couldn’t just go to the doctor’s office.  Finally, it was so bad, I insisted we go to the walk-in clinic…I’d pay out of pocket if I had to.  Chip had bronchitis and I had pneumonia.  No surprise there.  In fact, I’d walked in telling them I had pneumonia.  But, they wouldn’t just give us the meds unless I promised to come back.  After sitting there for four hours, I’d have agreed to anything.  It did make me think though, if it had been worse, it could have destroyed a lot more than my pocketbook.  So, I got insurance.  The only thing they wouldn’t cover was pneumonia, because, apparently, that can come back.

I decided to sell my house in Huntington Beach that I had bought with my mother at nineteen.  It had been a wise investment and while Mom was alive, she wouldn’t let me fix it up at all.  It really needed an overhaul.  Two little boys, various pets, and adults…it was well lived in.  I found a wonderful realtor who helped me hire a handyman.  He did a beautiful job.  I wanted to move back in it was so nice.

I also had a divorce to finish.  I’d started it six years before, but for many reasons, hadn’t concluded it.  Mostly it was because he asked for alimony, half my house, and half my businesses.  I was pissed.  By the time I got done with him, he got nothing.

Meanwhile, I was having trouble breathing.  It wasn’t from the pneumonia, that was well past, but now that I had insurance, I called the insurance salesman and asked if I could go for a wellness check.  After all, I hadn’t been in eleven years since my son Andrew was born.  I needed to go.  Going to the doctor’s appointment, I had my truck tuned up from a long and intense trip we had taken for business, the truck ran out of gas on my way!  They couldn’t get me in for several weeks.  I told them, I didn’t have several weeks, I was sick, and now.  They asked me to see a nurse practitioner.  I didn’t mind, she’d taken care of my mother too.

The diagnosis was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, type B, and it was pretty advanced.  If I did nothing, it was going to choke me to death in four or five months.  The boys were ten and twelve, I couldn’t do that.  I tell you, if I was alone, the depression I was dealing with would have killed me too.  However, normal chemotherapy takes twelve or more months.  The doctor said not only did I not have the time for that to work, but he had an experimental treatment out of Stanford that he’d like to enter me in a clinical trial for.  I figured I had nothing to lose but my life.  I asked that he just make sure I didn’t get a placebo.  He assured me it was the trial and I would get the meds.  I made out my will with my lawyer, finished my divorce, and sold my house…in that order.

The clinical trial started right away, thank goodness, right?  Within two weeks I was bald.  Those who know me, know my hair is to my waist most of the time, so you can imagine how this affected me as it came out in gobs and I finally shaved off the rest.  Bald is beautiful right?  No.  Not on all heads, as I do not have a beautiful head, it looked horrible and was very cold.  They offered me wigs, but it made me shudder at the thought.  Instead, I covered up with scarves and a hat.

Meanwhile, I had to take care of the boys.  The lawyer explained that if I died, that while my estate which at the time was worth more than a million dollars between the life insurance, the house selling, and my businesses, would go to my boys…the boys, who I wanted to go to my brothers, would be ‘given’ temporarily to their nearest relative…their father.  If their father knew that the boys were worth over a million dollars, they would never have been seen again, he is that type of man.  So, I decided I wanted to go back to Wisconsin where I grew up, so they would be safe from their other nearest living relatives and my brothers would protect them.

I traveled, against my doctor’s wishes, so I could find a house.  One that the realtor showed me, I kid you not, had a creek running through the basement.  The thought of molds, moisture, and other things being let in through this did not appeal.  I didn’t find a place.  Fortunately, my sister-in-law found me a place to rent up by her and we did eventually move there…but only after I had completed chemotherapy.

You see, the treatment, called the Stanford Five Protocol, then in its experimental stage, was essentially twelve months of chemo in twelve weeks.  Let me tell you, I’ve never been so sick in my entire life.  You are supposed to lose weight then, I bloated.  It was horrible.  When it was over, I vastly relieved.  Originally, I was only to have nine weeks, but the doctor changed his mind and wanted the full twelve weeks, that was when I got depressed from the treatment.  He wanted to continue with radiation right away, but I was so weak, I wanted time to heal…and move.

My divorce had come through in June.  I had to get a doctor’s note that I couldn’t go to the court hearing because I was so ill from the chemo.  The judge granted everything I wanted.  I don’t know if he felt sorry for the dying woman, but I was grateful.  A week after getting my court papers, my house papers came through and they tried to give half of the money to my ex-husband.  I was furious.  Thank goodness I had the papers from the judge, granting him nothing!  He deserved nothing for not paying a dime of child support.  He never has.

 

When chemo was done at the end of summer, August, I moved everything lock-stock-and barrel to Wisconsin and the converted barn that my sister-in-law had found for us.  I could work downstairs and live up in the loft in an apartment with the boys.  It was a good thing too, as I was too weak to work somedays, and it took me weeks, months really, to get the household in order much less the work space.  I had to work, it was paying the bills and rapidly using up the monies from the house that sold.  The sad thing about the move, the movers broke a lot of things, didn’t pay for them ever (not even insurance), and held my things hostage until they nearly doubled their price on the move itself.  I’d heard of such things on 60 Minutes, I was the victim of the scam.

The boys entered new schools, and I had to find new doctors.  Apparently, the oncologist I chose was very well-known.  His staff were the worst and they treated me very badly.  Radiation isn’t supposed to have the side effects I experienced, but I lost weight, got dizzy spells, and felt nauseous.

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Still, I managed to get to some milestones.  My thirty fifth birthday was that November…after I finished radiation.  I celebrated with my sister-in-law and a friend from college.  I was grateful to even be there as the five months were up.  My hair had started to grow back after chemo in August and by November was an okay length that I no longer needed the scarves or hat.  I was, however, bloated.  This is a picture of my third brother and I when it had started to grow.

Thanksgiving was celebrated with my brother and sister-in-law who lived nearby.  It was weird after all those years of being in California and having pizza on that holiday as a joke, to celebrate a traditional holiday feast.  I managed to put my foot in my mouth as they made mashed potatoes from scratch and my mother never had.  She used dried potatoes and we made instant.  I made a comment that I had never seen my mother make mashed potatoes from actual potatoes and my brother was furious for some reason.

That Christmas, was celebrated in style.  The boys got so many gifts, because I was so grateful to even be there.  I celebrated with one of my brothers and his family down in Milwaukee and managed to bring my sister back into the fold of the family and start a relationship that my niece enjoys to this day with that part of the family.  Being estranged they didn’t have it before, and I was grateful that I was the impetus for that.  It was a wonderful Christmas, despite the year I had just experienced.  Seeing family and being with them all.

That New Year’s we celebrated together.  It was nice, and the boys and I had a tradition, we’d play Monopoly into the new year.  I remember things differently than they do, of course, but I was just so happy to be alive, to be there and to put 2001 behind us.  Christmas and New Years aren’t happy holidays for me because my mother died around then, but that year, I had so much to celebrate…I had my boys, a new home, and I was alive.  I may have residual pain, complications, and such for the rest of my life from our little experiment, but I am here, and I can still remember that year from hell and remember the Christmas and New Years JOY!

I tell you this, not to depress you, but to tell you that no matter how bad it is, or was, you can get through it.

Merry Christmas!

Facebook Jail

Facebook JailSome think it’s a myth.  Some, occasionally are put in a time out, otherwise known as Facebook Jail.  Others, like myself, are frequent victims or occupants.

Facebook Jail comes in MANY forms.  From getting a six to twelve-hour time out where you aren’t able to post in your groups, even on your pages, to getting a month of being unable to use Facebooks features.

The six to twelve-hour time out usual comes the first time you ‘violate’ their community standards.  Repeated violations can result in a twenty-four-hour time out and up to a week or that month.  This comes if you post too much on your own timeline, on pages, or groups.  It can also come if they ‘think’ you are spamming said timeline, page, or groups.  It can be as little as not being able to post in those groups, but it can be as much as you can’t post at all, or even to not in-boxing (private messaging) your friends on the site (which means you can’t even TELL anyone.)  Also, if you are bad enough, they can and will take away your account…and probably should.Facebook Jail (2)

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Now, I certainly understand those terms and conditions and have been put in said jail for posting a picture in a private group that was inappropriate (years ago),  or they thought it was.  I understand that having nipples or genitalia showing are violation of their community standards and I don’t really recall doing that, I won’t say I didn’t accidentally do it, but I learned a long time ago not to do that.   I was put in jail for this picture being reported and my lovely friends all posted it in a show of solidarity.  What’s wrong with it?

I’ve been reported a few times too, this too can result in the dreaded Facebook Jail.  I’ve had nasty attacks where someone saw me posting about my books, my pages, or just an innocent picture.  One report can do you in, but several sometimes is what it takes.

Get out of Jail Free Monopoly

I accept some of the strikes against me as my due, my own fault, as I use social media shamelessly to showcase my books, my publishing company and its authors, and now my lesbian literature awards.  Not only Facebook, but Google +, Twitter, Yahoo, and several others.  It’s only Facebook though that I seem to have trouble with…because, I have been marked…I know I have.

I am in over five-hundred groups on Facebook alone.  From lesbian groups to books groups.  Some are for the social aspects, some are for the books to post in.  No, I don’t post in all of them, all of the time.  In fact, it can be weeks before I visit many of them, because, well, you know…I do have a life.  I try not to post in them too frequently because that is rude, unless, it’s a posting group…you know, for books?  Also, I don’t spam, it took me a while since I started all this to learn not to spam because I was excited to share with people.  Now, I limit myself and it works, most of the time…unless I’m being targeted.

About five years or so ago, as I was learning this, I was in and out of Facebook Jail for two solid years.  I’d get out, only to be put right back in.  I think the fastest I ever got put back in was two hours, and that was for posting only a little in a couple of groups…but, see, I’m flagged as a troublemaker or something.  I have been put in for posting to my own timeline, one picture, and only one picture after not posting for hours, even days.

Get out of FB Jail

The thing is, they don’t want me to do exactly what I am doing here…for free.  So, I took out advertising.  I did a lot of it as I experimented with posts, my books, etc.  Learning key words, who to target, and I even asked some ‘experts.’  I don’t recall anyone seeing my advertisements.

Here is my theory, my opinion, (that I have shared with many of my friends) on the reason why:  Facebook is homophobic.  I personally think it’s run by younger men who are afraid of gays and lesbians and while they take my money, my advertisements don’t really get seen to the audience I intended because, most of the time, they are targeted to lesbians and I am obviously a very active lesbian.  I see the ‘likes’ and they are usually from Indian men…from India.  I do not target this audience at all.  So, why are the names from that area of the world?  Even posts on my own page aren’t seen by my nearly five-thousands ‘friends’ on Facebook.  The pages that I administer have over six thousand, shouldn’t those people who liked the page, be able to see the posts?  I think, lesbians, and probably gays too, are targeted so their posts are not seen.

What I don’t understand is that I have seen porn and worse on Facebook, I’ve even been sent disgusting pictures, as have many of my friends.  I have seen on a public page, that anyone can see, an adult woman going down on an eight-year-old boy.  I used to belong to a page that stopped such things, but it was depressing to me and I couldn’t un-see such things.  I had to stop trying to shut down all those horrible things with my friends.  It still upsets me to remember those kinds of pages.  I also have seen horrible abuse, women beaten, animals mutilated.  Facebook also penalizes you if you report such things too much (irony).  So, posting about my books is way more a violation than those other things I’ve mentioned here?  They are hypocritical.

I too want a safe and clean environment.  I don’t mind titillation, but I don’t want to see a guy’s penis on a page either and I don’t want the fourteen-year-old kids they allow on the site to see those kinds of things I’ve mentioned either.

It is sad though in an effort to be fair, they are allowing automated bots to stop people from posting legitimate things, and their appeals process is a joke.  No one ever answers it, even though they ask.  You never get humans that actually answer anything you appeal.  The appeal, rarely, if ever, works.

Now, you can believe me or not, that is your choice.  I’m not the only one experiencing it.  Not the only one discussing it.  Certainly not the only one in Facebook Jail.

Am I using social media too much, probably.  Am I using it the way it was intended, probably not.  But, let’s stop the hypocrisy and get real people in place to handle the actual violations, review them, and get rid of the real problems.

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Do I think I’m being targeted?  Hell yeah.  Do I think it will stop?  Hell no.  Do I think I will stop trying…nuh uhhhh….see ya all on the other side!