Okay… So Let’s Talk About Hatred.

ha·tred \ˈhā-trəd\

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

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
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*

New Ink. Rob Benavides of Flying Panther Tattoo in San Diego Rocks!

Ink is done. Hurts a bit. This was a two session stint. First pass was outline and shading of the lower half. Today (or rather yesterday) was finishing up the upper half, which includes very sensitive skin. I’d have tapped out if we’d done it all in one stint.

The design is meant to invoke kimono / textile flowers found in traditional Japanese art. Also in the style of hanafuda cards, a game I’ve played since I could count pennies…and taught others how to play. It’s an addiction. I need more people to learn it. But learn the Hawai’i style because it’s easier on the brain.

The dragon and other flower are much older and the inks have changed so dramatically since that time. We’re talking more than a decade-and-a-half or thereabouts.

This was done at Flying Panther Tattoo by Rob Benavides who is a master of tattooing and a really awesome guy. Those of you who read the Kai Gracen series might recognize the Flying Panther name. I gave them a shout out in Book One.

Now, I need a nap. And maybe some pizza.

Tramps and Thieves (Rook/Dante #2) Will be out on Sept 18th!

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.

Coming Sept 18th from Dreamspinner Press.

I’ll be in Green Bay from Aug 8 to the 14th….

I actually have a bit of the 9th open. Free and clear.

If you’re in Green Bay or thereabouts and want to meet up for coffee, totally can do that.

If you’re from the area and have suggestions on what to do in the city, I would LOVE to hear from you!

Leave me a comment or drop me an email (rhysford(at)vitaenoir(dot)com!

Dreamspinner Celebrates Elizabeth’s Birthday! 40% off All Imprints. GOOD UNTIL AUG 5. Use Code: ELIZABETH

Elizabeth North will be at Florida Authors & Publishers Association, Inc.’s annual conference this weekend, so we are celebrating early!
Good on all three websites: Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and DSP Publications. You can even use it more than once, so you don’t have to decide.

Hellsinger News and New Covers! AND Duck Duck Ghost is $1.99 on Amazon!

So, Hellsinger. Amazon! On Sale! Duck Duck Ghost is now on sale at Amazon US for $1.99 so you can get both books for less than Nine Dollars!

For our international friends who may not have this Amazon sale, the Dreamspinner store is price matching the $1.99 for Duck Duck Ghost.

I’ve wanted new covers for this series for a while now and after a long discussion with Anne Cain (Poor thing for having to deal with me), the Hellsinger series has new covers! We’d planned to do a whole relaunch of the series in October and all of the bells and whistles only to discover Duck Duck Ghost was tapped by Amazon to go on sale. Starting today and lasting throughout August.

Which is a fantastic thing! But man, I didn’t want the books to go on sale with the old covers and the lovely folks at Dreamspinner Press scrambled to get the ebooks updated in time for when the sale hit this morning. I am so so grateful for that because you know, book’s on sale! It should be all spiffy and new!

SO…we’ll be rolling out the new covers over the next couple of weeks. Amazon’s ebooks are first so they’d be in time for the sale and the others will follow, including the paperbacks! I’m also very excited to have seen the cover for Book 3, Send in the Ghosts, and I’ve got a plot. So, lots of Hellsinger news.

Thank you all for your patience and for your love of Tristan and Wolf. They will be back! Oh…and Cin. And that Harker guy.

Fish and Ghosts
Hellsinger: Book One

When his Uncle Mortimer died and left him Hoxne Grange, the family’s Gilded Age mansion, Tristan Pryce became the second generation of Pryces to serve as a caretaker for the estate, a way station for spirits on their final steps to the afterlife. Tristan is prepared for challenges, though not necessarily from the ghosts he’s seen since childhood. Determined to establish Tristan’s insanity and gain access to his trust fund, his loving relatives hire Dr. Wolf Kincaid and his paranormal researchers, Hellsinger Investigations, to prove the Grange is not haunted.

Skeptic Wolf Kincaid has made it his life’s work to debunk the supernatural. After years of cons and fakes, he can’t wait to reveal the Grange’s ghostly activity is just badly leveled floorboards and a drafty old house. More than a few surprises await him at the Grange, including its prickly, reclusive owner. Tristan Pryce is much less insane and much more attractive than Wolf wants to admit, and when his team releases a ghostly serial killer on the Grange, Wolf is torn between his skepticism and protecting the man he’s been sent to discredit.

Duck Duck Ghost
Sequel to Fish and Ghosts; Hellsinger: Book Two

Paranormal investigator Wolf Kincaid knows what his foot tastes like.

Mostly because he stuck it firmly in his mouth when his lover, Tristan Pryce, accidentally drugged him with a batch of psychotropic baklava. Needing to patch things up between them, Wolf drags Tristan to San Luis Obispo, hoping Tristan’s medium ability can help evict a troublesome spirit haunting an old farmhouse.

With Wolf’s sister handling Hoxne Grange’s spectral visitors, Tristan finds himself in the unique position of being able to leave home for the first time in forever, but Wolf’s roughshod treatment is the least of his worries. Tristan’s ad-hoc portal for passing spirits seems to be getting fewer and fewer guests, and despite his concern he’s broken his home, Tristan agrees to help Wolf’s cousin, Sey, kick her poltergeist to the proverbial curb.

San Luis Obispo brings its own bushel of troubles. Tristan’s ghost whispering skill is challenged not only by a terrorizing haunting but also by Wolf’s skeptical older cousin, Cin. Bookended by a pair of aggressive Kincaids, Tristan soon finds himself in a spectral battle that threatens not only his sanity but also his relationship with Wolf, the first man he’s ever loved.