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Thirty Years of Pride

Thirty Years of Pride

by Jamie Fessenden

I came out in the early eighties, when I was still a teenager. I also had the misfortune of attending the Assembly of God church my father attended. So right out of the starting gate, before I’d even had my first sexual experience, I was EVIL. I prayed about it in secret, read the Bible, and fought my “sinful urges” for about a year, until I realized I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t deny how I felt, I couldn’t accept the lame explanations for why sex with someone of the same gender was wrong, if both of us were consenting adults, and I couldn’t continue to participate in a religion that made no sense to me.

So, I gave up on Christianity.

Maybe if I’d known my stepfather at the time (a Baptist minister my mother married, when I was in college), I’d have stuck it out. Bob is a wonderful man with an inclusive view of his religion. But I didn’t know him back then. While my mother accepted me without condemnation, she was divorced from my father and no longer attended church, which didn’t make her the best person to bring me back into the fold. (To be fair, I didn’t come out to my father back then, and I’ve since discovered he’s a bit more open-minded than his church.)

This was a decade after Stonewall, but though things had changed, it was still not a welcoming world for a young gay man. As a teenager, I was convinced I had to be the only gay man in my small town. I could find no evidence of an LGBTQ community. Keep in mind, this was before the Internet. There was nothing to guide me, except the few gay porn magazines in the bookstore. The used bookstore in town had some gay novels. I bought pretty much every one I found, as well as the ones that popped up sporadically over the next several months (this should have been a clue that other gay men were in the area, but I was slow.) Unfortunately, nearly all ended tragically, which just sent me into a downward spiral of depression. I was convinced that gay men could never find love and settle down with a family. We were doomed to anonymous encounters in porn shops, and death from AIDS or gay-bashing.

Read the rest on BG Thomas’s blog:

https://bthomaswriter.wordpress.com/2019/06/27/gay-pride-month-day-twenty-seven-special-guest-jamie-fessenden/

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No, I did not post about Instagram whatsa-whosits…

At least, I didn’t write the post. Someone hacked my account. I’ve changed my password, so hopefully there won’t be more of those. I apologize for spamming everyone’s inbox.

Jamie Fessenden (the real one)

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Guest blog: BA Brock on “King of the Storm”

KingoftheStormFSThanks for having me on your blog, Jamie!

You and I have discussed games before, whether they be single player video games with the new graphic card from factschronicle, tabletop role playing games, or even silly games about scrubbing dudes’ backs in the shower (that happened). And while I love many kinds of games for various reasons, I’d love to discuss several games I’ve specifically used as inspiration for my writing.

The very first story I published was about how my husbear and I met playing World of Warcraft. And my debut novel, King of the Storm, was inspired by the roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons you can check a lot of this games in elitist gaming, one of the best gaming websites if you want to Know More go here and check it out.

When D&D Next (5th Ed.) came out, my gaming group had to try it. D&D Next was fairly simple in structure, but my team and I found ourselves frustrated with the limitations to healing powers, and other mechanics. It was this struggle that helped me define how I wanted magic to work in my world for King of the Storm.

FATE ultimately became my favorite game structure for storytelling. My first FATE game was actually a Dresden Files campaign, but from there my group and I have done science fiction, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy. The options are limitless. With FATE campaigns, your character has a fatal flaw you create as part of their profile, and the storyteller can use your flaw to put you up a tree and throw rocks at you. It’s up to your team, your attributes and skills, and sometimes pure dumb luck, to get yourself down. Which is essentially the basics to storytelling!

Another game I love is The Sims. I’ve been playing since 1997 (SimCity 2000). The Sims is a simulated life game, and while not plot heavy, it allows you to create avatars with near identical images and personalities to your characters, and set them up with their potential love interests. You can observe character interaction; either how their personalities clash, or how they collide together into some very hot “Woo Hoo” action (Teen rated, of course). I can’t keep my current couple off each other, but I’ve had sims who cheat with the neighbors, die in all sorts of accidents, and also settle down and have multi-generational families. With each expansion, you can send your character into the unknown, and that’s another something I love to explore with stories.

It’s hard to take the gamer out of the writer, and I’m always trying to get my hands on other works of fiction about roleplaying games. In Screwups, Jamie has a group of characters who live action role play, which I found entertaining and hilarious. I felt as if they were pretty tame compared to some of the live action role players I’ve seen, but they were still pretty funny. You should check it out.

Thanks for having me, Jamie!

fullresB.A. Brock has lived most of his life in the Pacific Northwest. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in 2007 at Portland State University—which he mostly uses to contemplate how we can achieve a civilization more closely aligned with Star Trek.

When not writing, Brock spends his time reading/reviewing novels, training for marathons, and bemoaning the fact that the world has yet to make a decent gluten free donut.

You can find more of his works, as well as reviews and his blog at http://www.babrockbooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BABrockBooks?ref=hl

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/BABrockBooks

KingoftheStormFSKing of the Storm

Blurb:

No one can outrun destiny or the gods.

In Epiro, a kingdom in Greece, Perseus is prophesied to be a great demigod hero and king, with a legacy that will shape the world of Gaia. When he was born, his grandfather exiled him, and his mother brought them to Seriphos, where she created an academy for demigod youth. Perseus trains there and waits for the day when he will be able to take the throne of Argos.

Despite potential future glory, Perseus’s fellow students think he is weak. By the time he reaches manhood, he has given up the hope of having any real friends, until Antolios, a son of Apollo, takes an unexpected interest in him.  Perseus and Antolios fall in love, but Antolios knows it cannot last and leaves Seriphos.

Perseus, grief-stricken and lonely, rebels against the Fates, thinking he can avoid the prophecy and live his own life.  But when the gods find him, he is thrust into an epic adventure. With his divine powers he fights gorgons, sea serpents, and other monsters, and he battles against his darker nature. Perseus strives to to be the man he wants to be, but the gods have other plans.

Buy Links:

DSP Publications: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/king-of-the-storm-by-b-a-brock-168-b

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/King-Storm-Godhead-Epoch-Book-ebook/dp/B016R8B2QE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445303370&sr=1-1&keywords=king+of+the+storm+by+B.+A.+brock

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/king-of-the-storm-b-a-brock/1122806360;jsessionid=DDFEC4ED6F172948359F60D03A8737BF.prodny_store01-va07?ean=2940150812529

 

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9/11 -God are you listening?

Fred says it very well.

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Celebrate Dreamspinner Press’s eighth anniversary!

Year3and4_FBpostDreamspinner Press is celebrating its eighth year by having weekly sales. Last week, we had sales on all books by authors who joined DSP in its first and second years, and this week, we have 35% off all books by authors who joined in its third and fourth years.

And that would be me!

I published my first story with DSP (really my first story anywhere) in its fourth year, along with other fantastic authors like Victor J. Banis, J.P. Barnaby, Sue Brown, Kate Sherwood, Christopher Koehler, Rick R. Reed, Shelter Somerset, Eden Winters, Michael Halfhill, Sarah Madison, and… well, the list is huge!

And when you add in the authors from DSP’s third year, who are also on sale this week, it’s bigger than huge! (Whatever that would be. Giga-huge? Huge-normous?)

The entire list is on the home page at Dreamspinner.

So if you’re in the market for some terrific books at a 35% discount, head on over to Dreamspinner Press!

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Love Without the Words

Some good advice from the Huffington Post, with some commentary from author Thorny Sterling. 🙂

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Twist Arms – Lose Friends

I really haven’t been drawn to Google+ and I’m just getting the feel for Twitter, but it looks as if Facebook might force it upon many of my friends (it might not affect me directly), and I’ll probably have to follow. Pages are unacceptable.

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Today-only sale on my YA novels Dreams of Fire and Gods!

FrugalFridayThis Friday, Harmony Ink is having a sale on all three of the Dreams of Fire and Gods eBooks! That’s including the first novel, Dreams, which won Best LGBT YA Novel at the Rainbow Awards last year.

Each one is just $1.99, so the entire trilogy is just about six dollars!

Here are the blurbs and buy links for each one:

  1. Dreams of Fire and Gods: Book One

    A thousand years ago, two factions of gods, the Stronni and the Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak by warring for the land and the frightened humans who lived there. Then suddenly the Taaweh vanished and the Stronni declared victory.

    Now, as tensions escalate between the emperor and his regent, Vek Worlen, the vek’s son, apprentice mage Sael dönz Menaük, finds himself allied with a homeless vagabond named Koreh. Together they flee the capital city and make their way across a hostile wilderness to the vek’s keep, mere steps ahead of the emperor’s assassins.
    But Koreh has dreams—dreams of the ancient Taaweh—and he knows the looming war between the emperor and the vek will be nothing compared to the war that is about to begin. The Taaweh are returning, and the war between the gods may destroy the kingdom once and for all.
  2. Dreams of Fire and Gods: Book Two
    A thousand years ago, two rival factions of gods, the Stronni and Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak in their war for power. Then the Taaweh vanished and the Stronni declared victory.Now, tensions between the human emperor and his regent are at an all-time high. The regent’s son, apprentice mage Sael dönz Menaük, has fled the capital with his master and united with a vagabond named Koreh, but assassins dog their footsteps. The future is more uncertain than ever.Since the Taaweh city of Gyishya reappeared, the mages of Harleh have weakened, cut off from the source of their power. Sael and his father struggle to keep their respective cities from crumbling under the strain or being destroyed by the gods. Then Koreh learns of a dangerous Taaweh plan to rescue their queen from the Stronni—a plan only Koreh and Sael can execute.But they may not get a chance. In Harleh Valley, a young man named Donegh pieces together what happened. Intent, he makes his way through an increasingly alien landscape to carry out his mission: assassinate the Dekan of Harleh, Sael dönz Menaük.
  3. Dreams of Fire and Gods: Book Three
    Long ago, two factions of gods, the Stronni and the Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak in a great war. The Taaweh vanished when their queen was imprisoned, and the Stronni declared victory. A thousand years later, a young nobleman named Sael and his lover Koreh have rescued the Taaweh queen. In the process Koreh was killed, and now an injured Sael struggles to heal from both injuries and grief. Unknown to him, Koreh embarks on a journey across the land of the dead, trying to make his way back to Sael—and to life. But time moves differently in the underworld, and decades pass while Koreh travels.In the living world, tensions between the emperor and Sael’s father, Vek Worlen, who is regent of the eastern kingdom, have soured beyond repair. Worlen conspires with the assassin Donegh to break into the imperial palace and challenge the emperor to a duel to the death. But the goddess Imen has chosen a young priest named Gonim as her champion. Through him she discovers the Taaweh have returned, and her enraged king threatens to destroy Dasak and all its human inhabitants. Sael must save his world, must confront the gods and persuade them not to destroy humankind. But it seems hopeless. If only Koreh were at his side…

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The “I’m Not Gay” Homosexual

Worth a read. I went through something similar as a teenager. I knew I was attracted to men, but the idea that I might be “gay” was simply impossible. My church taught me that good people couldn’t be gay, and I believed it. Therefore, I must just be “confused” or maybe my faith was being tested.  I didn’t discuss this with anyone in my church, of course – I wasn’t insane. I simply prayed a lot.

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Guest Blog: Jana Denardo talking about steampunk

IfTwoOfThemAreDeadFSI enjoy steampunk for its creativity. I love all the clothes, backstories, and especially the music – Abney Park anyone? Steam-Powered Giraffe? – so I’ve wanted to write a steampunk story for a long time. I didn’t know where to go with it initially. I didn’t want to do the war story or airship pirates. Sure, those are great fun, but they are almost expected of the genre. I wanted to do something a little different.

The steampunk is the backdrop for the story more than the driving force. It is, at its heart a mystery with a fantastical setting. Getting the steampunk to even out with the mystery was a balancing act. I didn’t want to give the detective too much technology that wouldn’t have been around at the time. I wasn’t out to write CSI: 1890 (besides The Artful Detective already does a fine job of that). Nicolai Tesla’s and Abraham’s little toy at the end was really about the only weapon that wasn’t period. And how could I pass up the chance for Abraham to know Tesla? Tesla is one of my heroes.

While I don’t want to spoil the fun weapons at the end of the novella, I can talk about Victor being an airman before he went into the police force. So there are airships, and Abraham makes engines for them, which is part of his wealth. He’s also busy making his own personal small airships for fun. Steam-driven automobiles are slightly more prevalent and advanced than they would have been at the time mostly, because as a wealthy inventor would have one, and the police department has a couple and it made it easier to move Victor around where I needed him to go.

I wish I had more time to play with Abraham’s inventions, especially Cerberus, the mechanical dog he created for his son. There were more domestic scenes I would have liked to write but I didn’t want to take away from the tension of the mystery. Cerberus is the invention I liked the best, (one of my first readers likes the mechanical butler best), and I hope you will, too.

Thanks to Jamie for having me over!

IfTwoOfThemAreDeadFSExcerpt – If Two of Them Are Dead

I’m Detective Victor Van Voorhis. I need to speak to the master of the house.”

He’s expecting you. You can give your coat to Justin.” She waved her hand to indicate what looked like a tree stand with hands. She pressed the brass dogwood flower-shaped button in its center and the thing rumbled.

It wheezed and hissed little puffs of steam, and the arms extended as the contraption lurched forward on its wheeled base, startling Victor. He studied the machine, having never seen anything like it. He wondered how the mechanical butler worked, but it didn’t seem to work without someone there to turn it on. Was it more than a mechanized coat rack? Victor would have to ask.

Do you like Justin?”

The male voice dragged Victor’s attention away. A tall, almost overly thin man stood in an interior doorway that led deeper into the home. He was surprisingly clean-shaven, though his walnut hair was mussed. Grief pinched his otherwise fine features.

You named a machine?”

The man offered a wan smile. “It’s a quirk of mine, one of many. I name all my inventions. I’m Abraham Westbrook.”

To Victor’s surprise, this wealthy man stuck out his hand to shake. Victor felt nicks and calluses he hadn’t expected to find on a rich man’s hands. “I’m Detective Victor Van Voorhis. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Abraham nodded. “Thank you. Her children are upstairs with mine and their nannies. They weren’t here when it happened. Will you need to speak to them? They’re naturally very upset.”

Later,” Victor said, handing his coat to Justin, who rolled away back to its corner. “Just briefly about the morning, before they left. You can be present, of course. However, I have questions for you, sir, about your sister-in-law. I understand your brother is in the city. Were you and your wife at home this morning and afternoon?” Victor had no real idea how the rich spent their days. Why wasn’t this man at work? Did he even work?

I was here in my workshop.” Abraham gestured toward a hallway. “My wife passed over five years ago.”

I’m sorry.” The generic words of sympathy tumbled out of him. Victor was used to saying them several times a day when working a case.

It’s fine, Detective. Come with me. We can talk in my library. It will be more comfortable.”

Of course.”

Victor followed him through a living room roughly the size of Victor’s house, then down a hall with carpeting that ate all the sounds of their passage and felt like walking on a cloud. The scent of old books, slightly musty and even dustier, hit Victor’s nose as they entered the library. A large marble fireplace dominated one wall, with comfortable-looking chairs and a table with a whiskey decanter and glasses set out in front of it. Rows of books lined every other surface, along with more knickknacks and other memorabilia than Victor could easily take in.

Buy Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4990

Author’s Bio:   Jana Denardo’s career choices and wanderlust take her all over the United States and beyond. Much of her travels make their way into her stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery have been her favorite genres since she started reading, and they often flavor her works. In her secret identity, she works with the science of life and gives college students nightmares. When she’s not chained to her computer writing, she functions as stray cat magnet.

Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.

Social Media Links:

http://jana-denardo.livejournal.com/

http://twitter.com/#/JanaDenardo

https://www.facebook.com/jana.denardo

 

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