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.

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

Breathing

There’s a certain point in exhaustion when the air in your lungs feels musty and tired. Like you’re exhaling the dust collected on a bookshelf from a library no one remembers existing. The possibility of life and knowledge hover there, trapped in the specs and bits floating in the thin sunbeam butting through the building’s boarded up windows but there is no one there to drink them in, so they exist… in that fetid hot still space.

I’ve reached that tired.

A lot of it is from GRL. Not that GRL isn’t the time of the year but mostly because there’s little time to rest and breathe, even when I make promises not to do so much, to take some time. I never do. I lie to myself all the time.

GRL is an odd balance of personality as well. Not just dealing with other people but also myself. I feel uncomfortable at times with crowds but these are my people. Or at least most are. You are never going to be everyone’s friend and in a crowd of gathered like-minded people, that is still the case. All you can do is minimize any internal damage you might do to your psyche and manage all of that.

And be sure to reach out and enjoy the people you do rub well up against. Because no matter how much of on the run you are, those are the people who energize you.

Sadly, one of the Five is leaving us today to go back home. TA Moore’s been on this side of the world for nearly two months now and well, it is time to say goodbye and return her back home to Belfast and all things Christmas. Because well, the adorable delightful girl loves Christmas and also since it’s almost Halloween, she needs to get back home to decorate the walk.

I’ll miss her. BUT I won’t miss her flimsy attempts to kill me. You’d think whomever sent her as an assassin would have trained her up first.

I will be heading over there to that side of the pond in March. Looking forward to seeing everyone in London on March 14th for our every-so-often reader meetup near St. Pancras and then off to Paris to see everyone else there. I can’t wait to get to the Salon du Livre 2019 and of course once there it’s back again to the UK for a visit with the Five.

But first! Napping! And well, writing.

I’ve got a new book I’m working on which came about after staring at the top of Tamm’s head in Florida. It’s about a former covert government operative who was retired out after a HUGE burn of his identity and well, he took a few bullets and the former child star who dumps a hell of a lot of trouble in his lap. It’s set in Koreatown, Los Angeles and really, all Kuro Jackson wants is to run his ramen shop and have a nice, quiet life. Pity Trey Bishop is what Fate delivers him instead.

I’ve got stuff coming out soon… Like Cops and Comix so I’ll be talking a bit about that and my Half Moon Bay Christmas story, Tutus and Tinsel. *grins*

Let’s have a great Halloween and off to those other holidays who really need more bats, moonlight and things that go bump in the night.

So a funny thing happened on the way to the pumpkin patch…

Actually nothing funny happened. Mostly I’m dead fucking tired, trying to play catch up and man Halloween is staring me down.

I’ve got full-size candy bars and toys coming for the kids who knock on our door. We live in a rapidly changing neighbourhood. What was once the bastion of old suburbia is now becoming a multi-cultural community. It’s fantastic to see kids of different backgrounds (both social and cultural) coming to the door together, usually dressed as superheroes or princesses or sometimes, some odd combination of something I can’t quite figure out.

But regardless, they do come up the walk and knock on the door, shouting trick or treat.

I’m going to say this very clearly… your kid wants to dress up as Moana, that’s awesome and I applaud them. Because Moana is a fantastic character who happens to be POC. If they want to dress up as Stitch, gonna applaud that too because well, he’s an awesome character who happens to be an Alien of Blue.

The celebration of an individual is a fantastic thing. Celebrating what they represent is great. Celebrating a culture and exploring what it has to offer is beautiful. We need to celebrate cultures not exploit them and that’s where we need to be careful.

Know the difference. We cannot throw everything into the bin of racism if it is not racism. We need to think about what we’re doing and saying. We cannot accept the knee-jerk reaction of… well, I don’t know so I’m saying no to everything and I shall police that among other people. That’s how we got dogmatic religion. Don’t parrot. Don’t accept. Challenge and think. And search. Explore. Make good decisions. And if you have questions, ask.

You should never be told by someone you reach out to that it’s “Not their job to educate you.” It IS our jobs. It’s everyone’s obligation as a person of colour, regardless of the colour, to educate and share what we know. To show what to celebrate and to also share what we find offensive. Go out and teach. Go out and learn.

But most of all, go out and share… and celebrate both our differences and our commonalities.

The Devil Take Me Blog Tour Last Stop and RELEASE DAY: The Novel Approach and Jordan Castillo Price!

Join me and the other authors in the Devil Take Me anthology as we embarked on a week-ish blog tour leading up to the book’s release!  AND TODAY IS RELEASE DAY!

Today’s Stop is at…. The Novel Approach

and our featured author is:
Jordan Castillo Price

Be sure to grab yourself a copy of the anthology and strap yourself down for the wildest of rides!

Purchase Devil Take Me at: DSP Publications, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

Tour Stops are:
10-10: Jordan L Hawk at My Fiction Nook
10-11: TA Moore at It’s About the Book
10-12: Ginn Hale at Love Bytes
10-13: C.S. Poe at Joyfully Jay
10-15: Rhys Ford at Two Chicks Obsessed
10-16: Jordan Castillo Price at The Novel Approach

Devil Take Me
Temptation lurks around every corner in worlds sometimes dark, sometimes lurid. Giving in is both dangerous and satisfying, though never in the ways one expects. While these enticements offer a vast range of benefits and boons, the cost is a soul and the devil expects his due. Sometimes suave and charming or calculating and cruel, these devils have schemes and desires of their own. They can be creatures to run away from… or toward.

Join the most unique and celebrated authors of LGBT urban fantasy and paranormal fiction for a fast-paced and unpredictable ride, from a city on the other side of reality, to a world suspended in dusk, to a twisted version of the 1960s and 70s.
Meet devils in top hats and waistcoats, a defrocked motorcycle-riding priest, and a genderfluid antihero—among many more. Full of humor, romance, horror, action, intrigue, and magic, these stories have one common element….They’re one hell of a good time.

The Devil Take Me Blog Tour Fifth Stop: Two Chicks Obsessed and Rhys Ford!

Join me and the other authors in the Devil Take Me anthology as we embarked on a week-ish blog tour leading up to the book’s release!

Today’s Stop is at….

Two Chicks Obsessed

and our featured author is:
Me!

Be sure to grab yourself a copy of the anthology and strap yourself down for the wildest of rides!

Purchase Devil Take Me at: DSP Publications, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

Tour Stops are:
10-10: Jordan L Hawk at My Fiction Nook
10-11: TA Moore at It’s About the Book
10-12: Ginn Hale at Love Bytes
10-13: C.S. Poe at Joyfully Jay
10-15: Rhys Ford at Two Chicks Obsessed
10-16: Jordan Castillo Price at The Novel Approach

Devil Take Me
Temptation lurks around every corner in worlds sometimes dark, sometimes lurid. Giving in is both dangerous and satisfying, though never in the ways one expects. While these enticements offer a vast range of benefits and boons, the cost is a soul and the devil expects his due. Sometimes suave and charming or calculating and cruel, these devils have schemes and desires of their own. They can be creatures to run away from… or toward.

Join the most unique and celebrated authors of LGBT urban fantasy and paranormal fiction for a fast-paced and unpredictable ride, from a city on the other side of reality, to a world suspended in dusk, to a twisted version of the 1960s and 70s.
Meet devils in top hats and waistcoats, a defrocked motorcycle-riding priest, and a genderfluid antihero—among many more. Full of humor, romance, horror, action, intrigue, and magic, these stories have one common element….They’re one hell of a good time.

The Devil Take Me Blog Tour Fourth Stop: Joyfully Jay and C.S. Poe!

Join me and the other authors in the Devil Take Me anthology as we embarked on a week-ish blog tour leading up to the book’s release!

Today’s Stop is at….

Joyfully Jay

and our featured author is:
C.S. Poe

Be sure to grab yourself a copy of the anthology and strap yourself down for the wildest of rides!

Purchase Devil Take Me at: DSP Publications, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

Tour Stops are:
10-10: Jordan L Hawk at My Fiction Nook
10-11: TA Moore at It’s About the Book
10-12: Ginn Hale at Love Bytes
10-13: C.S. Poe at Joyfully Jay
10-15: Rhys Ford at Two Chicks Obsessed
10-16: Jordan Castillo Price at The Novel Approach

Devil Take Me
Temptation lurks around every corner in worlds sometimes dark, sometimes lurid. Giving in is both dangerous and satisfying, though never in the ways one expects. While these enticements offer a vast range of benefits and boons, the cost is a soul and the devil expects his due. Sometimes suave and charming or calculating and cruel, these devils have schemes and desires of their own. They can be creatures to run away from… or toward.

Join the most unique and celebrated authors of LGBT urban fantasy and paranormal fiction for a fast-paced and unpredictable ride, from a city on the other side of reality, to a world suspended in dusk, to a twisted version of the 1960s and 70s.
Meet devils in top hats and waistcoats, a defrocked motorcycle-riding priest, and a genderfluid antihero—among many more. Full of humor, romance, horror, action, intrigue, and magic, these stories have one common element….They’re one hell of a good time.

The Devil Take Me Blog Tour Third Stop: Love Bytes and Ginn Hale!

Join me and the other authors in the Devil Take Me anthology as we embarked on a week-ish blog tour leading up to the book’s release!

Today’s Stop is at….

Love Bytes

and our featured author is:
Ginn Hale

Be sure to grab yourself a copy of the anthology and strap yourself down for the wildest of rides!

Purchase Devil Take Me at: DSP Publications, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

Tour Stops are:
10-10: Jordan L Hawk at My Fiction Nook
10-11: TA Moore at It’s About the Book
10-12: Ginn Hale at Love Bytes
10-13: C.S. Poe at Joyfully Jay
10-15: Rhys Ford at Two Chicks Obsessed
10-16: Jordan Castillo Price at The Novel Approach

Devil Take Me
Temptation lurks around every corner in worlds sometimes dark, sometimes lurid. Giving in is both dangerous and satisfying, though never in the ways one expects. While these enticements offer a vast range of benefits and boons, the cost is a soul and the devil expects his due. Sometimes suave and charming or calculating and cruel, these devils have schemes and desires of their own. They can be creatures to run away from… or toward.

Join the most unique and celebrated authors of LGBT urban fantasy and paranormal fiction for a fast-paced and unpredictable ride, from a city on the other side of reality, to a world suspended in dusk, to a twisted version of the 1960s and 70s.
Meet devils in top hats and waistcoats, a defrocked motorcycle-riding priest, and a genderfluid antihero—among many more. Full of humor, romance, horror, action, intrigue, and magic, these stories have one common element….They’re one hell of a good time.

Let’s Get Inked! Savior FINAL Blog Tour Stop is at The Novel Approach!

Welcome to Mace and Rob’s story! We’re back in San Francisco with the Boys from 415 Ink! Stop by each blog tour spot, get some tattoo information AND enter each blog tour’s giveaway. $20 USD Gift Certificate can be won at every stop!

The FINAL Stop on the Tour is: The Novel Approach!

Sept
11        Ndulgent Blogger
12        Diverse Reader
13        Joyfully Jay
14        Blogger Girls
15        Love Bytes
17        It’s About the Book
18        The Novel Approach