Thursday, 31 January 2013

Why Equal Marriage Matters

Hands up who's bored of the equal marriage debates rumbling through virtually every country in the west at the moment? It seems every other US state is currently having a referendum on the matter - with some voting for, and some against - the UK bill just hit parliament, and Paris was invaded by hoards marching both for and against. SCOTUS briefs are currently being filed in advance of the hearing on DOMA.

Whatever your political position - for, against, ambivalent - you can't escape it. I've heard arguments every which way recently, opinions and surveys and outright lies in some instances spread across the media. The most common complaint I'm hearing is that - in most places - us gays already have civil partnerships, so why are we banging on about marriage?

Continue reading at

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week4 #KDPBest

Ugh, the last week of January. Horrible, isn't it? It seems an awfully long time since Christmas, it feels like I've been back in work forever, and yet *still* payday hasn't rolled round. So here to chase away the New Year blues, I'm sharing not two but three books today that will put a smile on your - and more importantly, your bank manager's - face.

JET by indie powerhouse Russell Blake needs no introduction to tens of thousands of you already. But if you haven't read it, hold onto your pants because it's FREE on Amazon.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jet was once the Mossad's most lethal operative before faking her own death and burying that identity forever. But the past doesn't give up on its secrets easily.

When her new life on a tranquil island is shattered by a brutal attack, Jet must return to a clandestine existence of savagery and deception to save herself and those she loves. A gritty, unflinching roller-coaster of high-stakes twists and shocking turns, JET features a new breed of protagonist that breaks the mold.

The Yearning by AJ Rose is a wonderful novella that I have already gushed about quite enough here.Suffice it to say that review was written at 2.30am on a workday because I couldn't sleep until I'd finished it and when I'd finished it I had to review it immediately. Mr Rose still owes me several hours' sleep and I fully intend to claim them.

Eric is a fiercely passionate ghost with a complicated after-life. He’s in love with Justin, a mortician who is very much alive and very much in love with someone else, his best friend Darren. Torn between desiring Justin for himself or wanting Justin’s happiness, Eric never expected his death to be harder than his life. When darkness threatens Justin’s soul, is Eric strong enough to enlist Darren’s help, or will Justin be lost to both of them forever?

Finally I bring you Three of Swords by Theo Fenraven, a wonderful and unique paranormal mystery story with a pair of strong and dynamic MCs, this is one you'll want to return to again and again!

An old houseboat, a hot young guy, a couple of murders, and more mysterious keys than you can shake a stick at: this is what awaits Gray Vecello after his grandfather, Graham, is killed picking up high blood pressure pills.

A letter Graham left behind sends Gray and his unexpected ally, Cooper Key, on a journey downriver in an attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding an unknown treasure. On the way, they encounter both friends and enemies, one of whom will target Gray and Cooper for death. One thing working in Gray's favor: he has the sight, just as Graham had, but will it be enough to save them both?

Oh, and just in case none of you believe quite how cold and snowy it is in my neck of the woods; this was my garden last night. Brrr.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Chicks With Dicks: Covert Desires

I thought I'd throw my two penneth into this debate (because it hasn't been discussed enough!!). For too long there has been an undercurrent of certain readers rejecting (queer) male characters that they refer to as chicks with dicks.

Firstly, I think that's a horrible expression. Somehow it manages to be homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic all at once. I'm sure whoever coined it thought they were being sooooooooo witty. But what does it actually mean?

Continue reading at

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Day Soldiers - New Show Coming Soon to SyFy*

It's not often I get excited about a new TV show, but this one I can't resist. I'm a big fan of paranormal suspense shows like True Blood, but this is going to be darker, gritter and altogether more kick-ass than anything you've seen before.

Part horror, part comedy, part adventure, Day Soldiers will take you on an exciting ride through a world where monsters are monsters and the only thing they fall in love with is the taste of human blood.

Monday, 21 January 2013

When Sex Gets Boring

Yes, really. In certain circles, there seems to be a general malaise with the standard tropes of m/m sex. Anyone who's dabbled even slightly in the genre will know exactly what I'm talking about - a trope best described as 1-2-3-lube. If you don't know, don't ask!

Sometimes, it seems like every book contains the same damn scene. And while it might have been hot as hell the first time I read it, after the hundredth it's just...boring.

Continue reading at

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week3 #KDPBest

Baby it's c-c-c-cold outside! We got our first real snowfall of the year yesterday, it's five below outside and I for one am in the mood to snuggle up with something to take my mind off the fact that I can't feel my feet. Something with a bit of mystery and suspense. So this week I'm bringing you two books that will keep you on the edge of your seat whatever the weather.

Gone is a sci-fi mystery by bestselling, award-winning author Traci Tyne Hilton. When a rebellion Earth princess decides to shun her responsibilities back home by hiding out on a remote space station, she didn't figure on family getting in the way.

The disappearance of her younger siblings leads her on a quest into the darkest corners of space, and more than their lives hang in the balance...

Blood is a paranormal mystery, set on the Makoce Indian Reservation on Yellow Bird Mountain. A greedy oil baron unearths more than he bargains for when he starts to explore Native American lore, and discovers that there may be truth in their legends after all.

Fusing mystical creatures, Skin Walkers, humour, romance, murder and deceit with thrilling suspense, Blood is not to be missed!

Drawing the Line

In June 2011 when I first published Blood & Ash, no-one knew me. The wonders of anonymity - I could wander out into the big, bad world and do as I pleased. That is no-longer the case. A year and a half down the line, my identity has been compromised; the line between my fiction and my reality blurred. As an author - rather than just Kate-who-wrote-a-book - I try to keep some distance between my everyday life and my online life.

We all do, because we've all heard horror stories of fourteen year olds who announce a birthday party on Facebook, only to have the house trashed when three hundred twenty year olds gatecrash; or individual cases like the editor who got carjacked by an irate author whose book she rejected - who found her by stalking her on Twitter. This stuff happens.

Continue reading at

Thursday, 17 January 2013

KDP Select Revisited...

I hate to say I told you so. Really, I do. But back in November I wrote a post about over-reliance on Amazon, and in particular the Select programme. I decided to put my neck on the line and make some public predictions about how I envisioned the immediate future of indie publishing.

  • Indies will sign up to Select again in droves. Amazon will sell a record number of Kindles off the strength of their ebook store. The price per borrow will decrease, despite the increased pot, because of the increased marketplace and the flood of new Kindles out there. Authors will whine and wail and whinge, but they're tied in and there's nothing they can do until March.
  • Non-Select authors will see a (small) bump in sales from other domains - notably B&N and Kobo, both of whom have expanded their markets outside the US and are aggressively advertising. Those on iTunes will also benefit.
  • There will be a flurry of free books available from mid-Jan through to the end of Feb, as indies disillusioned with a slower-than-expected Christmas season decide to try a giveaway after all.
  • Amazon will harvest the best from the indie crop via their in-house publishing arms (for thrillers and romances, the two biggest genres on the store anyway). They will also sign up a significant number of indie books to their new film production branch.
  • Weighting will move in favour of Amazon's in-house authors.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Naming (and Shaming) Sexual Identities

We've all heard the term LGBT, right? Gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*. Do you know how many groups consider that acronym redundant? The NYT ran an article recently on what it dubbed "Generation LGBTQIA". Here's just a sample of some of the labels you can apply to your sexual identity: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, queer, homosexual, asexual, pansexual, omnisexual, trisexual, agender, bigender, third gender, gender queer, intersex, two-spirit, polyamorous... The list goes on.

Do we really need all these different definitions? Is it really necessary to split our community into smaller and smaller chunks of identity? At what point does an identity become so individual that it ceases to have any relevance to a wider group - and are we damaging our own equality movement by getting bogged down in a plethora of unnecessary labels?

Continue reading at

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week2 #KDPBest

The second week in my little project to bring you the best from the people I know. This week I'm introducing two stories in which high fantasy clashes with everyday life.

Day Soldiers envisions a world where a legion of vampires and werewolves has declared war on the human race.

The war has changed the world. The day now belongs to humanity and the night belongs to the things once thought to exist only in myths and legends...but there is hope. This new enemy has united humanity and an army has stepped forward to protect the light from the darkness. An army of heroes.

Betrayal of Magic is the story of Cadan Johnson, a seemingly-ordinary boy with a difference. He can perform magic.

The top-secret Department of Magic was set up in the 1930s when the US government because aware of the existance of mages and fantastical creatures. For the last eighty years, the agency has been commissioned with searching out and detaining these magical beings. Now a detainee within the Department, Cadan quickly realises the truth - that not everything in this world is quite as it seems.

Happy reading!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Putting the T in LGBT

We've all heard the expression LGBT Community. Yet too often that very thing - community - is most lacking. There are lines drawn in the sand all over the place: between gay men and women; between gays and bis; between trans* and everyone else; and between all the different shades of grey that make up each stripe of our little rainbow. Humans are essentially contrary creatures and too often it's the case that the more marginalised we are ourselves, the quicker we'll kick discrimination down the line to someone else.

Why that should be, no-one knows. Personally, it riles me no end that we can't all get along as human beings without having to distinguish between creed, colour, race, religion, gendered or sexual identity. Someone once said that the day we actually discover alien life will be a watershed, not because we've proved that we are not alone in the universe, but because for the first time we'll all be united as a single species. Chances are that even then we'll find something to disagree with our neighbours about.

Continue reading at

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Saturday Share - Reading Recs Week1 #KDPBest

Something a little bit new, each Saturday I'll bring you some recommendations from authors who have been not only wonderful colleagues of mine, but also great friends. People who keep me sane and understand the insanity of what it is that we do for a living! They're also exceptionally talented people, and today I'm starting with two very different books.

Lessons - by Anna J. McIntyre is a wonderful (straight!) contemporary romance, described by reviewers as A deep, rich story of love, family and friendship.

Or if you're in the mood for police procedurals, small-town politics, and death before dawn, Big Lake by Nick Russell is the bestselling thriller full of humour and intrigue, described by one reviewer as "Mayberry meets Twin Peaks!"

Whatever you're curled up with this weekend...enjoy!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Coming Out: A Never-Ending Process

I've just read a great blog post about coming out, which has got me thinking (again) about the whole process. I always say I came out at 14, but of course that's not strictly true. What I mean by that is I told my best friends (via email - my bestie responded with I KNEW IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but everyone else took a little bit longer, and it's a process that's still not really over. It never will be.

How many times do you refer to a gay person as 'out'? What you're saying, in effect, is that they're out to you. That's all. There is a perception that coming out is a single act, that one day you're sitting quietly in your closet and hoping that no-one looks at you too closely, and the next day you've emerged in a shower of rainbow flags and glitter and from that point on everybody knows, for better or worse - but that simply isn't true.

Continue reading at