We Say Goodbye Today To The BEST of Cats, Tam.

Yesterday while I was in mid-flight, Tam Kitteh crossed over a line where decisions have to be made. These are always difficult conversations but in the end, they have to made. So this morning, my sister and her very good friend took Tam to the people who gave him the best of care during his twilight years and now have helped him across towards peace, happiness and probably all the shrimp and Greek yogurt a large black kitten could need.

I will miss him. He was named after a legendary Irish bard and could beg every bit of chicken out of your hand with his enormous yellow eyes. He was the best of pygmy panthers and one of the sweetest cats ever. Not one for cuddles, he would come and visit, ask for some love and then saunter off because well, he is in all things, a roaming, loving bard.

He is going home to be with his sister, Neko who has probably been missing him tremendously.

I hope they finally learn to share a bed, because for whatever reason… Tam always seemed to find that ONE spot she felt was the best and she deserved.

I will so totally miss him. He’s been with us for eighteen years, through thick and thin. And I loved every moment we had him in our lives.

Sin and Tonic

So, I’ve spent the day plotting out Sin and Tonic. I started at about 10 AM and it is now 2:30 PM. I am only on chapter 18. I’ve stopped to do minor things like make sure the cat had his meds and that the dog’s eardrops were applied but for the most part, it is been spent on the book.

This is possibly the most detailed plot that I have done ever. I feel like this book requires it. Normally I just do a chapter number and a brief few lines telling me what scene needs to happen or what is the take away but this time I’m actually going scene by scene. Which I haven’t done since Black Dog Blues. It is kind of crazy to work like this. It doesn’t leave a lot of room to wiggle plot around but I think especially for this novel, it needs to be as tight as possible.

I will be writing some of this in Hawai’i, California, and if I don’t finish it earlier, probably on the road trip to GRL and while I am in Denver. So in a lot of ways, I am going to be on a road trip while writing about the band. That’s kind of ironic and in some ways, poetic. Because it mirrors the journey that I’ve taken. I started off in Hawai’i, eventually moved to California where I began to write about Cole as well as Miki and the boys, which led me to being published and attending GRL as an author. I have made a lot of friends along the way, met a lot of wonderful people, and had my life changed so tremendously on that journey. I hope all of you will be with me as we go through the final stretch.

It is difficult to be saying goodbye to Miki and Kane. Trust me I know that. It is going to hurt when I write those final twenty songs because I know that it will truly be the end. And while I don’t know if I’m ready to write that, I know I have to. The time is come. The time has truly come to write that sunset.

I’m not to say that it’s bittersweet because it really is not. It’s kind of cathartic, because Miki begins to heal. No, not just heal — he begins to thrive. And really is the point of the series. We started with Miki and Kane, so we’re going to end with Miki and Kane. I’m really looking forward to writing their happily ever after.

So…What Have I Been Doing?

It’s been a few days. Truthfully, it’s seemed like a lifetime. I’m writing this kind of late Thursday Night but it’ll post tomorrow morning. So let me touch on the moving parts of my life right now.

One.
Greg Tremblay won a Kick-Ass Award for his Narration of Black Dog Blues — An Earphones Award from AudioFile Magazine.

In Greg’s words:

HOLY MOLY!!!
A more deserving book I cannot think of… and I’m SO thrilled that it’s Rhys Ford’s amazing urban fantasy that gets this nod!
https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/131407/

I know you all are probably going…yes, yes… we know Greg’s one of your special kittens… Okay… actually Doodle Cat is. She’s adorable!

But I cannot really communicate how much I adore Greg as a person and how freaking talented he is. I want the best of things for him. And he really deserves so much recognition for all the prep, care and work he did on Black Dog Blues. Congrats and well done don’t even cut it but it’s all I’ve got. Along with…thank you.

Two.
I finished 415 Ink: Rebel and sent it off. The book ended up being so long but there kept being more and more stuff to say. It is the first in a new contemporary (my take on contemporary) series and I am very excited to be bringing it to you. Each of the covers will feature a custom tattoo done by a master tattoo artist. The first one is from Micah Caudle of Flying Panther Tattoos in San Diego, CA. I’ve known Micah for years and he does such damned fine work. I’m hoping to get Rob Benavides to do one.

If you were one of the GRL San Diego crew who went to get ink at Flying Panther, everyone down there says hi.

Three.
The cover for 415 Ink is done. It’s VERY different from what I’ve done before and I’ll reveal it later on this year. I am very happy with it and am excited even more about the series. I’m also excited about the first design for the shirts, etc.

Four.
I’m heading to Hawai’i… family visit for nearly two weeks. Wifi will be sketchy. Keep in mind, we’ve lost power there because a gecko fell on a transformer once. So, I’m braced for that in case something goes wonky. That aside, there’s going to be a pool, coffee and good friends. And food. I’m going to work to make sure people eat, laugh and most of all… sleep. Because really napping is awesome.

Five.
GayRomLit is happening in Denver in October. I and a bunch of friends will be doing a roadtrip from San Diego to Denver starting a week before GRL. We’ll be posting as we go along. So… Vegas, Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Durango and then into Denver through Colorado Springs. It’s going to be an adventure.

Six.
Sadly, our old man cat Tam Kitteh is very sick and on the eve of me leaving, I am of course concerned. He right now is on a huge, aggressive course of antibiotics and pain killers. So if you could please keep the old man in your thoughts, I’d appreciate it.

Seven.
There will be a very huge blog tour for Tramps and Thieves starting Sept 14.

I welcome you to join Rook and his cousin, Alex, on what should be an estate sale of macabre curios but what awaits them is something neither of them planned for Be sure you read the whole story AND please enter at EACH blog’s giveaway! One lucky winner from each blog will be chosen to receive a $20 USD gift certificate from the online store of their choice!

The course will be as follows:
Sept
14        MMGoodbook Reviews
15        Love Bytes
18        Sinfully Gay Review
19        Joyfully Jay
20        NDulgent Bloggers
21        It’s About the Book
22        The Novel Approach
23        rhysford.com (Epilogue)

 Eight.
Last but not least, it is time for me to plot and begin to write the end of Sinners. Miki and Kane will be back one final time in Sin and Tonic. It is an odd thing ending this series. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel when I’m done. Unlike Cole and Jae, I can’t see revisiting the boys from Crossroads Gin once we’re done with them. Maybe a novella of Con and Forest but the full story arc will be complete. Is it bittersweet? Hell, yes but I’m so damned glad to have you all with me along the way.

After Sin and Tonic, I will be returning to Kai’s world THEN working on Hellsinger 3 (Send In The Ghosts) which already has a cover. And a plot. I’ve got plots for the two books AFTER the next one I have to work on. Isn’t that just how life is?

So, there you have it. A brief tap into my last week and well, my immediate future. Much love to all of you and please let me know how you’re doing.

Tramps and Thieves is Available now for Pre-Order on Dreamspinner Press AND Amazon!

Tramps and Thieves, the sequel to Murder and Mayhem, is now available for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press AND Amazon! It will be released on September 18th!

Pre-order from Dreamspinner Press
Pre-order link from Amazon

Tramps and Thieves
Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.

Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.

For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.

When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.

 

Tramps and Thieves is Available now for Pre-Order on Dreamspinner Press!

Tramps and Thieves, the sequel to Murder and Mayhem, is now available for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press! It will be released on September 18th!

Pre-order from Dreamspinner Press
Pre-order link from Amazon to follow!

Tramps and Thieves
Whoever said blood was thicker than water never stood in a pool of it.

Retiring from stealing priceless treasures seemed like a surefire way for Rook Stevens to stay on the right side of the law. The only cop in his life should have been his probably-boyfriend, Los Angeles Detective Dante Montoya, but that’s not how life—his life—is turning out. Instead, Rook ends up not only standing in a puddle of his cousin Harold’s blood but also being accused of Harold’s murder…and sleeping with Harold’s wife.

For Dante, loving the former thief means his once-normal life is now a sea of chaos, especially since Rook seems incapable of staying out of trouble—or keeping trouble from following him home. When Rook is tagged as a murder suspect by a narrow-focused West L.A. detective, Dante steps in to pull his lover out of the quagmire Rook’s landed in.

When the complicated investigation twists around on them, the dead begin to stack up, forcing the lovers to work together. Time isn’t on their side, and if they don’t find the killer before another murder, Dante will be visiting Rook in his prison cell—or at his grave.

 

Okay… So Let’s Talk About Hatred.

HATRED
noun
ha·tred \ˈhā-trəd\

1:  extreme dislike or disgust :  hate
2:  ill will or resentment that is usually mutual :  prejudiced hostility or animosity

PREJUDICE
noun prej·u·dice \ˈpre-jə-dəs\

1:  preconceived judgment or opinion
2:  an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge
3:  an instance of such judgment or opinion.
4: an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

I posted these definitions to point out something key in the use of the word hatred. Usually mutual. I can hate broccoli which is definition number one because I’m pretty certain broccoli could give two fucks about if it likes me or not. However, we are definitely looking at the second definition with regards to the rise of facism and violence over the past year or so.

There have always been people who felt in their heart of hearts that I, as a person of colour (off-beige), deserve less than they get in life. Less money, less rights, and in some cases, even less life because they truly want other people to die. Solely because of the colour of their skin, the name of their God and anything else that is not exactly fitting into the box they’ve built in their mind.

These people are no longer afraid of the light. They have crawled out from under their rock, taken off their hoods and masks and are now walking amongst us carrying tiki torches and guns. They have murdered in the past. Do not forget this. This is a continuation of the murdering of millions abroad and countless thousands at home. These are the people who hung Emmett Till, shot Martin Luther King Jr. and interned Japanese-Americans. They beat to death Matthew Shepard, killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla and slaughtered 49 people as they danced and celebrated life in Orlando. And one, in particular, mowed down a group of people, killing a vibrant, young woman named Heather Heyer.

They carry flags of symbols they’ve stolen from other cultures, warping them into iconic imagery we now equate with death. They carry them so we fear their approach. They hope that if they carry these symbols we will hide away, that we will cower and scatter. They scream and strike, thinking their numbers will shield them, hide their identities and they can march freely against us, trampling our freedom and steal the rights we’ve all fought so hard and long to obtain.

See the thing is, those rights are ours. They were ours to begin with. Sadly, we are still waiting for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to be ratified despite it being a work in progress since back in the 1920s but still, these are all of our rights. This speaks to the struggle we seem to have as a nation to accept ALL people are created equal. We are literally still fighting to erect the foundation stones of what our country was built on.

And now these assholes come along and try to tear our house down.

They’ve always been there. These malignant termites who lurk in the darkness. Their hatred and prejudice are self-aggrandizing fantasies they are working very hard to make a reality. Not because they want to protect their culture. Our skin colours do not dictate who we are as people, our actions and our thoughts do. “White” isn’t a culture. “White” isn’t an identity. These people are no more “White” than I am “Yellow” or “Brown”.  “White” doesn’t define a person or make them better than the person next to them and no matter how loud these parasites scream they are being oppressed, they are not.

People are more than the colour of their skin.

These people are simply being told… we will not stand idle while you kill, subjugate and terrorize us and they are angry we refuse to lie down in the dirt so they can slaughter who we are, what we are and how we live. They seek to drive us into the shadows, hoping we will cow before them but we will not. We CANNOT. Not because we deserve better than what they want for us. No, that’s not it at all. We cannot let their prejudice survive because we want better for their children as well as ours. We can only move forward as a species if we are all reaching for the same goals, for the same stars, for the same dreams.

What do I want? I don’t have children. I will never have children. But that doesn’t mean I intend to leave the world without thinking about its future or about the people in it.

I want everyone to have the luxury of going home at night to their families, regardless of how that family looks. I want the children of these families to learn about other people and embrace other cultures, eat their foods and learn their language. I want people to look at someone’s differences and be curious not dismissive or incite hatred. And most of all, I’d like us to stop killing each other as if we are animals fighting for survival around a single watering hole.

There are enough rights and life for everyone here. Equality is like space, it is infinite. It is not a cup of sugar to be doled out sparingly among the privileged or a select arbitrary group. It cannot be made less because someone is afforded the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You cannot have less rights because the person next to you has the same as you do. That’s not how it works.

So, hatred. I can hate broccoli although I don’t. I can hate bitter melon, which I do. But hating someone because their existence threatens yours? It is, in essence, irrational. And while we cannot argue with the insanity that is bigotry and prejudice, we can stand against its violence, refuse to let them grab a hold of our society and say no to their theft of our rights. We cannot afford to let this stupidity slink back into the shadows. We cannot allow those who represent us to be silent in this war of words and blood. People have died because of these rancid beliefs, this mindset and if we do not stand against them, many more will follow.

What we can allow—what we must allow—is space next to one another for us to all exist together in peace. There is enough room for everyone at the world’s table and we need to fight to make sure everyone has a seat.

 

 

Dreamspinner Press GayRomLit Pre-Orders and Sales Table

Dreamspinner Press WILL be doing a Pre-Order for GayRomLit sale this year so you can pre-order any of the imprints’ attending authors at a discount and have your order shipped directly to the event.

We will be handing out pre-orders at the DSP Author sales table as well as before the event. We’ll have more information as we get closer to the date.

Additionally, the following authors will have paperbacks and at the table for purchase.
Bru Baker
Andrew Grey
Tj Klune
Carroll S Poe (CS Poe)
Rhys Ford
K-lee Klein
CJane Elliott
Rowan Mcallister
Kim Fielding
Taylor V. Donovan
Mj O’shea
Brandon Witt
Tempe O’Riley 
Shira Anthony

Also look for ebook-featured postcards (with purchase links) from:
Hunter Frost
Meghan Maslow
Avery Duran

Can’t wait to see you there!

Good Morning from Green Bay

Morning All… or what’s left of the morning.

Right now we’re holed up at a Starbucks on the day before the Writers’ Police Academy starts and allegedly writing. Everything is now plugged in, we have wifi and coffee. Well I think I might be the only one with coffee. The other two authors, Charlie Cochet and Victoria Sue both have tea.

And I’ve finally gotten situated on the table. So much fuss and cords.

Trying to finish out this book. Hopefully soon! Sooo close.

It was great meeting up with Vickie Peterson (watch me have spelled that wrong) last night. We went to Prime Quarter where they pretty much wheel a cow out, carve off a huge part with a chain saw and grill it for you. SOOOOO much food. But it was great company and well, we got to experience yet another Uber driver personality. Who then picked us up again this morning. Shout out to …. Edward.

Jason the Uber driver so far has been my favourite so he’s set the bar, Green Bay!

I should have taken pictures to include here. I’ll do some tomorrow. Right now, writing like the wind. 😀 Okay maybe a light breeze scented with a strawberry infused tea.

FAPA President’s Book Awards! Gold for Ink and Shadows, Silver for Hanging the Stars!

I am honored and so very grateful to Florida Authors & Publishers Association, Inc., Elizabeth North and Dreamspinner Press for the FAPA President’s Book Awards given to me this weekend! Thank you! Thank you!
And a MASSIVE thank you to you, the reader. So much love.
Ink and Shadows brought home a Gold Medal in the Adult Fiction-Genre: Sci-Fi and Fantasy category
AND
Hanging the Stars won a Silver Medal in the Adult Fiction-Genre: Romance category.
A special shout out and woot to TA Moore‘s bringing home the bronze and next year… or possibly next week… we shall rumble again! Seriously, love, I am so fricking proud of you. *hugs*