So Many Food Shows

We’re watching Grocery Games right now as we wait for Ink Master to come on. Competition shows are my favourite thing to watch. I like the ones where people are nice to one another but Ink Master usually skews to show the “asshole” behaviours rather than cooperative. I know it’s television. I don’t think I’m watching the whole, real picture on some of these shows but it’s entertaining.

And really, that’s what I want. To be entertained.

Not in the Gladiator kind of way but there you go.

And there’s a cat on the couch. She’s wanting a belly rub but in a picky kind of mood. LOVE ME! I SHALL BITE YOU! Harley is normally the good one. Badger is the pain in the butt. The dog however taps out whenever there is even a whisper of conflict or cats chasing each other around. He’s probably right now in my bed, lounging on his back with his feet in the air.

This is my life.

And a keyboard.

So the point of this post? Let’s bury the lead. I’ve got a blog tour coming up. It’s kind of bitter sweet because The Novel Approach is going on hiatus for indeterminate amount of time and well, if you know anything about me, it’s that I love Lisa to bits. I’m starting the rumour that she’s going to go on and become a French-trained chef. Possibly even master the delicate art of making handdipped peanut clusters in a candy shell. But she will host me on the Tutus and Tinsel tour along with Joyfully Jay, It’s About the Book and The Blogger Girls.

It’s a short book. And a short tour but I shall be bringing you holiday codas from some of my favourite couples.

And well, of course,  on December 21st, you’ll get to visit with Zig and her dads, Lang and Deacon as Zig discovers the meaning of family and the holidays.

Zig Reid-Harris has everything an eleven-year-old girl could ever want: a great home, two fantastic fathers named Deacon Reid and Lang Harris, and all the books she could possible read.

When a school assignment about holiday traditions unexpectedly broadsides her, she discovers burying the past isn’t as easy as it looks, and the stark reality of her life before her adoption sinks in. Ashamed of the bleakness and poverty she came from, Zig struggles with the assignment until an epiphany strikes the whole family—it’s time to start their own traditions.

Zig and her fathers plunge into the insanity of holiday joy, exploring everything the season has to offer and learning how precious family truly is along the way.

Preorder Tutus and Tinsel from Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tutus-and-tinsel-by-rhys-ford-10053-b

And… breathe.

I haven’t blogged in a couple of days. Okay more than a couple of days. Mostly because it’s been very busy here and I am close to the end of the book.

To be honest, never really sure what to talk about in a blog. If I were smart I would do some kind of video and be little bit more interactive. So maybe I should do that in the coming weeks and try to give a little bit more of a view into my life.

Other than of course me typing at my computer.

I feel a little strange talking about my books. Which is stupid because that’s pretty much what a blog is for, right? But it’s kind of strange or at least from this side of the table.

For example, Tutus and Tinsel comes out in a couple of weeks and I haven’t really spoken about it. Or at least not a lot. It was oddly a difficult book to write because I realized I don’t have a good idea about what Christmas traditions are, especially for mainland America. I’m not much of a Christmas person. Or rather the December holidays, to be inclusive. My two major holidays are Halloween and Thanksgiving. And it’s not because my family isn’t overtly religious or don’t do presents, it’s just not been a really huge explosion of a celebration for us.

So it was really kind of interesting to explore different traditions for a bunch of different religions and regions. So in the book, Zig has realize she has no familial anchor to the holidays so Deacon and Lang set about to helping her not just discover traditions they can continue as a family but also to help her realize she’s truly home.

I think that’s the driving force for every single celebration. Especially ones like Thanksgiving and the December holidays. It isn’t so much about what we can give each other but rather what we mean to each other.

I will admit to really liking to give presents. I don’t really care about getting them. I just like to give them. It’s always been that way for me. I’m sure there’s some sort of psychological hang-up about me not liking gifts because wanting them leads to expectations and often times, when I was a kid, having expectations always lead to disappointment. But this isn’t a therapy session and I’m not so sure that exists in me anymore. But I still like to give gifts.

There is also something about this time that I feel it’s necessary to give to others who perhaps cannot make something happen for themselves. I will adopt a family or two and arrange for flights or donate miles so people can go home for the holidays. I always give to pet rescues and gather up toys to drop off at Toys for Tots as well as the Boys and Girls Club. These are things I feel are obligations in a way because I have been given so much by so many that I should return that, I should pay it forward.

So perhaps that’s the reason we celebrate one another during December. It’s the end of a long year and we have all gone through so much. Now is the time to reflect on our relationships and to reach out to one another, making sure we all have rice in our bowls as well as water in our cups.

I am going to ask of all of you to reach out to someone over the next few weeks and make sure they’re okay. And if you are one of those people for whom the shadows are closing in on, I implore you to do the reaching out as well. While it is the darkest time of the year for so many of us, it should also be the brightest.

Light a candle. If not for others, do it for yourself. Let us see one another during the last few weeks of this year and in the months to follow. Don’t forget to celebrate yourself. Take the time to breathe. Take the time to care for you as well as those around you. Most of all, please know that I am forever grateful to everyone who is with me on this crazy journey I do every year.

You all are the greatest gift. I can ask for nothing more.

Today is World AIDS Day.

I was a young teenager when the men around me began to die.

I wasn’t a good person. To be fair, I wasn’t even really a person to begin with yet. I was still struggling through a childhood of immense abuse and the loss of two men who’d been my anchors and my protection. I was searching for a place to belong and to feel safe.

One of the places that gave me solace was the original Hula’s.

Mind you, I was underage and so were a lot of the people who I went with but I think the statute of limitations has run out on that. It was a loud, obnoxious, sometimes tense, but always freeing place to be. For a couple of hours a week, I didn’t have to be who I was to other people. I could just exist.

But, the familiar faces around me, the men I knew on sight and told me their stories about how they found the place and how they found themselves were disappearing.

It was a difficult, frightening time and so many of us felt like the world was crumbling around us. We’d existed behind those flimsy walls and under the sparkling lit trees, secure in our innocence and guarded by a few enormous men by the open gate. That was being taken away from us by a disease no one seemed willing to fight and was being used to condemn people to death others said they deserved.

While it was a different time, the hatred and fear was palatable and echoes of that still remain.

I lost a few friends. I have relatives who live their lives with HIV. While the horrors of the time it first struck like a reaper with a scythe remain with me, those are truly not my stories to tell. The injustice of that time also sticks with me. No one should be told as they take their last, final breath they deserve their death because of who they love.

I remember the sense of relief when I heard the drug cocktails were working because suddenly there was some hope sprinkled through the dread. It was too late for some and we lost some brilliant people, beautiful souls we could use right now. But others remain, strong and thriving, and I am forever grateful for those who continue to fight for a cure.

So on this day, I would ask all of you to embrace someone in your life. Just give them a hug. And send a prayer or a wish or whatever hope you can find that we put an end to this tragic disease.

 

* Photo credit to Alan Light.
Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand, Honolulu
The original location, as photographed in 1993. This location was sold, torn down, and Hulas has moved to a new location.

Coming up for air…

Okay… I’ve been heads down on the book so… I’ve not really even breathed long enough to write a blog post. But of course I am not neglecting you on purpose.

It’s rainy AF today in SoCal. Not as cold as the past few days. We’re sitting at a morning of 60º instead of 45. It’ll warm up like usual to about 70.

But man, the rain makes me sleepy. Soooo sleepy.

The dog’s already gone to crash in his dog bed. Because well, he’s getting old and he’s a dog. I’m sure he’ll wake up in time to bark at a bird or a lizard in the backyard.

Tutus and Tinsel WILL have a blog tour so… I’ll be posting about that in a bit. Hope you all have had a good November and let’s wrap up this year with a bang! Okay, maybe just some cookies and a cup of coffee.

Thanks…

I wanted to take a few moments before I started cooking — okay that’s a lie because I started a little bit of things — to tell all of you thank you.

So much of my life has changed over the last eight years. The writing stuff hasn’t, actually. I’ve always been a writer but this part of my life — Rhys Ford part — altered how I live. How I work. And has given me some very deep friendships.

All of which are because of all of you, the readers.

When I wrote Dirty Kiss, I never expected to discover and embrace siblings-not-in-blood along the way. I have found Lisa Horan, Mary Calmes, the San Diego Crewe,  and Greg Tremblay. I’ve made countless friends and some of them are quite dear, way too many to list. And I think if I began to, I would leave somebody out and it would devastate me. Seriously, names are just popping up in my mind like fireworks.

I am forever grateful to Elizabeth North has become a good friend and to everyone at Dreamspinner — especially Naomi — because I’m sure I drive them insane and I’m a bitch and a half to work with. I’m very grateful for my editors. From Lynn, Grace, Liz, and everyone else who checked over my words and sprinkled or erased commas. We have battled over word choices ( okay, battled is really just a strong word… I would actually say discuss) and actually at one time, had a back-and-forth conversation about paladins turning the undead at two levels higher than a cleric based on the rules in the Unearthed Arcana.

But really, I am in total debt to every single person who picked up one of my books. You have allowed me the opportunity to come visit with you, both through my words and by traveling to events. As many of you know,I feel very strongly about readers. You have welcomed us authors into your lives and spent a part of your day earning the money to bring us there. We are in your homes and thoughts and dreams by your grace.

I am honored to be there. I hope to continue to be there to entertain you and to give you stories that keep you up at night because that’s the greatest gift I can give you… sleeplessness because you want to turn the next page.

So thank you again from the bottom of my heart and I can’t wait to see what next year brings

Get the WHOLE Murder and Mayhem Series in Nov for less than $6! Including the standalone short, Cops and Comix, out Nov 16th!

Get the WHOLE Murder and Mayhem Series in Nov for less than $6! Including the standalone short, Cops and Comix, out Nov 16th!

Cops and Comix (Release Date: Nov 16)
A Murder and Mayhem Short

It’s all fun and games until someone leaves a dead body on the floor.

Life for comic book store owner Alex Martin usually runs to the mundane. Sure, he has a regular influx of geeks and freaks, but for the most part, it’s a familiar weird. That all changes when he opens up Planet X Comics one morning and finds a corpse in the middle of his shop.
When Detective James Castillo is called in to investigate, Alex is torn between wanting to climb the man like a tree and giving him a wide berth. Luckily for Alex, the handsome detective is just as interested in him—as a suspect in the murder.

Amazon:
Cops and Comix: https://www.amazon.com/Cops-Comix-Murder-Mayhem-Rhys-ebook/dp/B07HB49N9J/
Murder and Mayhem: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Mayhem-Rhys-Ford-ebook/dp/B07CZ2GVFQ/
Tramps and Thieves: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CZ2SSVP/

Dreamspinner Press Murder and Mayhem Series Page: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/murder-and-mayhem-8848-s