Random Wednesday

I want to try something new.  If you guys like it, I’ll do it every so often.  Today, I thought I would share five personal facts about myself. Let’s get going shall we.

MDNeu 2.jpg

Fact Number One:
When I was in High School, back in the mid to late eighties, I had the opportunity to become a foreign exchange student.  I was in my Spanish class and my instructor mentioned being an exchange student to the class.  I made a few notes thinking it might be a fun experience.  Fast forward a few months, and I was selected to be an exchange student to West Germany.  I spent over three months in West Germany living in a small town southeast of Frankfurt.  This was the year before East and West Germany reunited. And it was also the summer between my junior and senior year.

My time in West Germany was amazing.  I learned the language (somewhat) and I went on a weeklong bicycle trip with my host-brother we rode our bikes from our small town of Mainhausen to the Starnberger See. The trip was long and parts of it were grueling, but I managed it and I have great memories from that trip. 

While I was there, I started a journal, and that is where the seeds for my writing were planted.

Over the years, I’ve had opportunities to return to Germany, but never back to Mainhausen or to Starnberger See, I hope to get back there again. Who knows, maybe one of my future books will have a shout out to that beautiful part of the world.

Fact Number Two:
I’ve hinted at this several times, but I want to mention here, loud and proud, because I do enjoy it.  I love cooking.  It’s a lot of fun and I enjoy trying new and different recipes.  On the weekends if I’m not writing or if we’re not out and about I cook. I’ll make a big Sunday meal.  I’ve done everything from homemade Lobster Risotto to Lasagna with homemade focaccia bread.  It’s a lot of fun and everything tastes better when it’s homemade.

Along with cooking, once a year, at Christmas, I spend a full day baking (well me and a few friends and family).  We will make anywhere from six to eight different Christmas Cookies.  We end up with hundreds of cookies, almost all I give out as gifts.  It’s fun and people actually make requests as soon as August.


Fact Number Three:
All Things Disney. I love Disney.  My favorite characters (and I will limit my list here) are Chip & Dale, Jack Skellington, and the Hitchhiking ghosts. There are others, but I’m keeping the list short.  Eric and I try to go to Disneyland or DisneyWorld once a year. If we don’t make it to a Disney park we aim for a Disney Cruise.


When you walk onto a Disney property, it’s like the world outside vanishes and it’s wonderful.  We’ve met so many great people on our Disney vacations, it’s always hard to leave. My goal is to get to all the Disney parks at least once and experience their differences.

At the parks, my favorite attractions are the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. There is something about both dark rides that brings a smile to my face; it takes me back to being a kid with my Donald Duck hat.

If you have a sharp eye, a reference to Disney is made in all my books.  It’s a fun little Easter Egg I add in to see if folks pick up on it. 


Fact Number Four:
Next up, my amazing family.  I grew up with wonderful parents and quite possibly the best older sister in the world.  There are eight years between my sister and I so when I was a kid my sister spoiled me. The deal was; First, if I didn’t cause trouble I got to go with her to do fun stuff. And, second If I didn’t tattle to mom and dad then I would get to go out with her and friends (keep in mind we did nothing bad, but that was the caveat for everything we did). Oh, the college parties I went to… what fun.

My luck with my family didn’t stop at my parents and sister, my extended family is pretty freaking great.  My Grandmother had a huge family (16 brothers and sisters) so we had family coming out of the woodwork.  Like all families as time goes on people pass and people move, but I’m lucky because I’m still in contact with a lot of my family, even if we don’t get to see each other that often.

Some of my best memories from being a kid was when my family would go on trips with my grandparents.  It was always a lot of fun and something I’m lucky to have experienced.


Fact Number Five:
Dragons. I love them. The mythology that surrounds them is incredible.  Part of why I wrote A Dragon for Christmas (haven't read it click here) was because of my love of dragons.  They are freaking cool. It would be amazing to ride one, of course they don’t exist but still I would love to have one.

Several people, over the years, have brought me different items with dragons on them.  In my office, there are several dragons out and about.  They are my protectors and guardians.

There you have it.  Five ‘fun’ facts about me.  Honestly, I thought this would be a lot harder to write, but it wasn’t and I found it kind of fun.  If you have questions about anything above ask in the comments below.  I hope you enjoyed this Random Wednesday.  Don’t forget to like and share it does indeed help.



Today I wanted to share some exciting announcements. First, I want to let you know (and you’re the first to hear the news) that NineStar Press will publish my Science Fiction novel A New World–Contact.  To keep the purchase price of the book reasonable they will release A New World–Contact in two parts. The book is hovering around 170,000 words (about 652 pages).  We are aiming to release Part One around the end of the year with Part Two coming out a few months later.  There won’t be a long delay between release dates.  Both parts of the book will be available in eBook format and paperback. So, keep an eye open for more news as we get closer to the launch date. If you want to learn more about A New World–Contact check it out here.

Second, on March 8th I’ll be interviewed on Outlook Video. Outlook Video is a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender monthly public access cable program and is associated with the Billy DeFrank Lesbian and Gay Community Center. Once I know when the show is to air, I’ll share it.

 Click here for more information

Click here for more information

 Click here for more information

Click here for more information

Third, on the writing front. This week I submitted a new manuscript to NineStar Press for evaluation.  The working title is T.A.D and the story is about an angel and drag queen.  It's a lot of fun. My hope is NineStar Press will pick it up.  So keep your fingers crossed.

One more writing update, this Thursday March 1st. I’ll have a featured Blog Post on NineStar Press.  You’ll be able to check out the post here however, I’ll be sharing the links on my social media pages.

You can see a lot is happening.

Before I sign off for the week, I want to mention how thrilled I am that The Calling is doing so well.  It’s gotten several 5–star reviews on Amazon and as of this writing the book has a 4.4 overall star rating.  Not to forget A Dragon for Christmas or The Reunion they are at a 4.5–star rating and a 4.7–star rating respectively.


Why am I mentioning this? Because ratings and reviews are very important for books and writers (especially lesser known authors like me). In almost every article written about helping your favorite author, ratings and reviews, are always in the top five, along with buying the book and recommending the book. Don’t take my word for it, here is an article by the Huffington Post with 10 Ways to Help Your Favorite Author. Click here. Here’s another article from Mill City Press that also offers some amazing ideas. Click here. If you want to try any of these out, I’ll happily be your test subject.

Are you ready to help me reach that goal? Have you read all or some of my books? Do you have an Amazon account? Do you want to be a part of my book’s success?



You don’t have write a full review, simply click on the 1–5 stars is a great help.

 Click here to go to Amazon to rate my books.

Click here to go to Amazon to rate my books.

Why is this important to me as a new author? Because once I hit twenty-five reviews the book will be eligible to be turned into an audio book.  In addition, another benefit is that once the magic number is reached Amazon will start marketing the book in the ‘if you like this book, than you might also enjoy this book’.

As my thank you, for your review, I will share it on my Facebook Fan Page and my Twitter feed to show the world how awesome you are.

On that note. I hope you all have a great week.  I love hearing from folks so feel free to leave me questions and comments below.

Self-Promotion… Ugh Must I?


I’m a pretty outgoing person.  I can talk to most people and I don’t tend to sit in a corner and study the house plants at a party.  People tell me I’m interesting and well spoken. For only being an active author for about a year now, I’ve got a pretty good platform on Facebook, Twitter and of course my website. So, why do I dread self-promotion?  Why can’t I pick up the phone (yes, people still do that) and call people and talk to them about my book?  Why can’t I make cold-call?

Back in October I did a post on Self-Promoting When you’re a Writer. Check out the post here if you missed it. The purpose was to give suggestions on ways to promote your book or books.

Now I need to step up my game. This week I needed to do two things I dread. First, I had to craft a query email to be sent out to a list of fifty bloggers and websites to ask them to review my book, The Calling. The book’s been out for almost two months and the buzz has started to wane so it’s time to get going on my second round of marketing and PR. Also, this week I had to make a cold call to a news producer about a potential interview they want to do with me.


Neither task was complicated and on paper it shouldn’t have taken up much time, but it did.  Especially when I went to make the phone call.  I dreaded having to pick up the phone and talk to them. I tried to be as prepared as I could for the call.  When I finally got around to making the call, I ended up leaving a voicemail. Sadly, the message I left… yeash.  I wanted to delete and redo the whole thing (that wasn’t an option).

Proud that I completed both takes I took a breath.  Luckily, I received some very positive responses to my emails and in the next few weeks I have a planned interview for a local GLBT Magazine Talk Show.  It should be fun.

Now as I sit here, I wonder why self-promotion is so difficult not just for me but for everyone. Is it because we believe we’re bragging and bragging is bad?

I suppose, but there are things that I’m really proud of and I have no problem talking about them. Okay that isn’t a 100% true I’m told I downplay things too much, but I’m getting better.

Is it that we’re afraid of being told no?

That’s a valid fear, but I’m told ‘no’ a lot (you should see my stack of rejection letters). So, why should that make me go into a panic attack when I need to promote myself and my work. Not to mention everyone else who has gone through the creative process we all get told ‘no’ a lot. Yet, from what I’ve read we all freak out about our own promotion.

Then there is the fact that sales is hard. Not to mention we don’t like salespeople and we don’t want to be like them. Perhaps, we hold ourselves back because of that bias?


Possibly, but I know a bunch of nice salespeople who don’t leave you with the creepy used car salesmen impression. So, I’m not sure about that one.

As you can see, I’m left with more questions than answers.  I did a bunch of digging around on the internet to see if I could find some helpful answers.  I found two articles/blogs.  

One is an open discussion about self-promotion (an article from 2014) the dialog was good (even though the information was geared more towards art and artists) I was relieved to read that others experienced the same issue.  You can read the blog post here.

The second one I found was from FastCompany and they made two suggestion that seemed reasonable (again this one is more geared for the self-employed) and worth a shot.  You can read he full article here.  It’s not a very long read so it’s worth a view.

What I enjoyed about both of these articles is that they offered some solutions that anyone could use. So, if you’re a writer reading this, or just someone who is trying to get noticed at work or by someone special I think you can get some good takeaways from them.

What I’m going to remember for the next time is that I need to work past the ‘yuck’ and make it happen, because no one else is going to bang my drum for me.

Until next week, enjoy your weekend and let me know your thoughts below on self-promotion.  Got tips or tricks for dealing, please share them.  Given what I read online and what I went through I think we can all use the help.

‘Lander’ has landed. Book 2 of J. Scott Coatsworth, Oberon Cycle Series

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone before we get into Scott’s new book. I want to invite you all over to my poetry section (click here) and check out my new poems, they’re free and you won’t see them anywhere else… at least not yet.

Now on to the focus for this week. I’m excited to let you all know that my good friend J. Scott Coatsworth is releasing a new book: Lander. Lander is the second book in his Oberon Cycle series.

Book Blurb:


Sometimes the world needs saving twice.

In the sequel to the Rainbow-Award-winning Skythane, Xander and Jameson thought they’d fulfilled their destiny when they brought the worlds of Oberon and Titania back together, but their short-lived moment of triumph is over.

Reunification has thrown the world into chaos. A great storm ravaged Xander's kingdom of Gaelan, leaving the winged skythane people struggling to survive. Their old enemy, Obercorp, is biding its time, waiting to strike. And to the north, a dangerous new adversary gathers strength, while an unexpected ally awaits them.

In the midst of it all, Xander’s ex Alix returns, and Xander and Jameson discover that their love for each other may have been drug-induced.

Are they truly destined for each other, or is what they feel concocted? And can they face an even greater challenge when their world needs them most?

The Oberon Cycle: Book Two

Series Blurb:

Xander is a skythane man whose wings have always been a liability on the lander-dominated half world of Oberon.

Jameson is a lander who has been sent to Oberon to find out why the supply of the psycho-amoratic drug pith has dropped off.

What neither knows is that they have a shared destiny that will change the two of them - and all of Oberon - forever.

Book Excerpt:

Jameson savored the kiss, his arms around Xander, the way they fit together just right. They were finally together, and Titania and Oberon were one again.

Erro, Quince had called this new world. Like the skythane god of the sun, the one Errian and the Erriani were named for.

For the moment, everything was right in his life, and he never wanted it to end.

A cold drop of water on his cheek brought him out of his reverie. He glanced up. Storm clouds were piled high, swiftly overtaking them. Rain began to pour out of the sky like a waterfall, and thunder echoed in the clouds as the valley went dark, sunlight smothered by the onrushing clouds. Nearby trees thrashed about in the wind, their purple leaves fluttering in distress.

“What the hell?” Xander said as the winds picked up and ruffled the feathers of his wings. He stared up at the black tempest.


“The Split!” Jameson shouted over the howling of the wind. He mimed the two halves of the world, each with their own atmosphere, suddenly being forced together in the middle. “When the Oberon half shifted, all the atmosphere it brought with it along the Split was forced up here!”

A bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree, crisping it to ashes and standing Jameson’s hair on end.

“Run!” Xander shouted.

Jameson’s vision swam, and a memory slipped into his conscious mind from that other part of him—a high-ceilinged cavern that was more like a faery palace than a cave—where he’d stolen away with a lover. More than once.

His stomach heaved at the displacement, and he clenched his hands. That wasn’t me. They were someone else’s memories.

“Follow me!” he shouted at his four companions—Xander, Quince, Kadin, and Venin—and ran toward the cliffs that were rapidly fading to invisibility behind the rain. He pushed down the memory-nausea, tasting bile in the back of his mouth.

Alia was missing. He’d last seen her as they had fled the Mountain, when it had begun to collapse. Jameson looked around wildly, but she was nowhere to be seen. “Where’s Alia?” he shouted at Kadin as they ran. Thunder shook the valley.

Kadin shook his head, mouthing, “I don’t know.”

Rain swirled all around them, coming down so fast that it pooled on the ground and ran in rivulets downhill toward the lake that was now half filled with the broken remains of the Mountain.

The mud made the footing treacherous. Jameson clambered up the hill, using roots and rocks that offered a firmer surface than the naked ground. The wind tugged at his wings, threatening to flip him over. He pulled them in tightly and glanced back to be sure the others were following him through the tempest.

Jameson reached the cover of the forest, plunging under the protection of the canopy. The trees here were tall and thin with white bark trunks and broad purple leaves that were being shredded by the storm.

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner eBook click here

Dreamspinner paperback click here.

Amazon click here

Barnes & Noble click here.

Kobo click here.

iBooks click here.

QueeRomance Ink click here.

Author Bio:


Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

Author Website click here
Author Facebook (Author Page) click here.
Twitter click here
Goodreads click here
QueeRomance Ink click here.
Author Amazon Page click here.

Interview with Author A. M. Leibowitz

Today I’m excited to welcome fellow author A.M. Leibowitz to my Scribbles Page.  They’ve been published for the last four years and have twelve works to their name.  Today we’re going to talk a little about their most recent work Keeping the Faith (Book #3 in the Faithfully Yours Series.)

Tell us a little about yourself and your writing.

I’m a lifelong New Yorker, married to a former Bostonian. We have the requisite two kids, a cat, and a dog, plus a super cute little house about a fifteen-minute drive from Lake Ontario. I’ve been writing since I was 8 or 9, but only published since 2014. This is my “raised a family, starting over” work; I used to be a public school nurse.

I was looking through your library of works and you have several books that deal with faith (in some form or another) what drives you to talk about faith in your writing? Do you find that people gravitate towards these stories?  What kind of reception have they had?

I was raised interfaith (one Jewish parent and one former evangelical parent). As a teen, I got sucked into a cult-like church and more or less gave up my Jewish identity as well as staying closeted for years. My spouse and I stuck it out for a long time, but when I was finally ready to come out, I couldn’t stay—I wasn’t welcome, and change from the inside proved impossible. We left, and I was angry and feeling so trapped by spending years trying to be the right kind of WifeMommy. Interestingly, it was LGBTQ people of faith who welcomed me first. I write a lot about faith to both channel the hurt and also to hold it in tension with the outpouring of love from those LGBTQ believers who cared for me.

For whatever reason, these stories seem to resonate. I commonly hear, “I don’t read the religious ones, but this one was good.” I think it’s because I allow characters to express both deep faith and deep pain at the hands of religion, and I don’t offer simple answers.

In your bio you mention you are a ‘feminine-leaning genderqueer bisexual person’ and you prefer the pronouns they/them considering that some in our society are still at odds with such designations are you finding it easier now to be your true self or do you still have a hard time especially with people’s lack of understanding?

Well, I’m publicly out, and my friends are pretty cool with things. But I’m not too open about it when I’m volunteering at my kids’ school. It’s less a lack of acceptance and more that it’s tiring to constantly have to explain. My kids themselves are awesome and have no trouble with this, and the same is true for most of my relatives. I’m lucky enough to come from a family of hippies and artists, and I live in a bit of a liberal bubble.

That is great.  It’s nice to see that you have so much support.  So, I want to switch gears here.  Please, tell us about your latest story.  What are you currently writing?

I’m working on the last part of my Notes from Boston series, and I’m writing a road trip novel. Because everyone has to do that at least once, right? Anyway, it’s loosely based on the story of Joseph (of Technicolor Dreamcoat fame, not Mary’s husband).

That sounds like it a lot of fun.  And yes, I think a ‘road trip’ novel is a requirement. One I haven’t filled yet.  So what is something you wish people would understand about your writing and your writing style?

That I don’t write romance! Okay, yes, there’s often a relationship. But I like to put that in the midst of other things happening. The one time I actually wrote a romance, it was terrible. Or I think it was, anyway.

(Chuckles) Oh I hear that.  Romance that scares the heck out of me to write I always worry I’m making it sound to perfect and fake. So when your’e not writing or spending time with your family what do you enjoy doing?

I’m a classically-trained violinist with a local community orchestra. 

Stop! Okay that is so cool.  I love music and the idea that you can play the violin is amazing.  Congratulations on that. 

(Laughs) Thanks it’s pretty cool. Also, this year, I also started taking an Irish step dance class. My son’s a dancer, and he’s been after me to try it out for years. I finally took the plunge.

Wow. Nice. You mentioned that most of your stories take place in the New York area (which I think is cool I do the same thing with my writing, placing in my neck of the words) when you do need or choose to use another location how much research do you do on the area you’re writing about?  Or do you just wing it?

For my Boston-based series, I just asked my spouse. He grew up there. Though I will admit to researching train routes and times. For a couple of stories, I didn’t specify a place, which was hard. The road trip novel I mentioned above takes place all along I-90, and that’s required the most research. I’ve only traveled about halfway myself. Hm, maybe I should go on a trip myself.

Travel is the best.  I highly recommend it.

I’m curious what is your favorite genre to write?

Contemporary general fiction, with just a splash of other genres. I’m looking to get back to my original love, which is literary fiction.

Very cool.  Like all authors harsh reviews suck.  How do you deal with negative reviews?

I figure they’re not for me. Reviews are for other readers. Who knows? Maybe a bad review will convince someone to try it anyway. The only times a review made me mad were when one reader had important details of the story wrong and when another reader inserted her personal opinion of bisexuals. I bit my tongue both times; it’s not my place to comment. Fortunately, other readers stepped in.

That is always tough.  I find it’s best to just leave it be, as you’ve said. Still I want to reach out and smack them… but I don’t. 

Moving on let’s talk about your latest book.  If you could which character would you like to sit down with and have a cup of coffee with? And why?

Oh, goodness. From the book I’m writing, I’d love to hang out with Amelia. She’s briefly appeared in the other Boston books, and she kicks butt. From my last published book, I want to sit down with Micah. He and I are kindred spirits, and I mostly just want to tell him it’ll all be okay.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Maybe a little life advice: It’s never too late to start something new or figure things out about yourself. I may not have understood myself or known I wanted to write when I was in my teens or twenties, but I know those things now. In some ways, I envy my kids’ having the freedom to develop organically. But in other ways, I think it’s okay that it took me so long. It’s good to learn and grow at every stage of life.

Nicely said.  I agree 100%. I’m so glad you were able to stop by.

Thank you for having me!

About Keeping the Faith (Faithfully Yours #3):


It’s been three years since Micah’s young spouse, Cat, passed away. In the process of cleaning his house, Micah discovers a series of letters Cat hid before he died, in which he made one request: that Micah empty his life of Cat as a way of moving on. Micah has been able to work through his sorrow, but he’s unable to fulfill Cat’s last wish. He can’t see a way past his loneliness despite all the caring people around him.

Enter two new friendships. Jude, Micah’s vivacious new coworker, brings joy back into his life. Chris, the new minister at Cat’s former church, intrigues Micah, from his musings on theology to his work as a trans advocate and activist. Through them, Micah becomes involved in teaching creative writing at the town’s new community center. Using Cat’s detailed letters, he fictionalizes their love story. In doing so, he at last begins to sort through his complicated grief. With a little help from family and friends, Micah will need to open his heart to love completely again.

Click here to buy the book.

Check out the rest of the series here click on the image to buy:

About A. M. Leibowitz:

Cartoon profile pic.jpg

A. M. Leibowitz is a queer spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. They keep warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing about life, relationships, hope, and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, they blog coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, books, and their family.




Where to find A. M. Leibowitz:

Website click here
Facebook click here
Twitter click here
Instagram click here
Amazon Author Page click here.  
Goodreads click here

Five Money Saving Tips for the New Year and a Writing Update

Since it’s the New Year I thought we could all use some money saving tips. So here are ten of my favorites:


1. Cook instead of eating out.  Considering how expensive it is to eat out, try cooking at home more.  It’s cheaper and you are eating more healthful especially since you know what you are cooking and what you are putting into it.

2. If you have direct deposit with your job have them take a hundred dollars from your paycheck and have it sent to a Credit Union or your savings account.  If you don’t have direct deposit have your bank do an automatic withdrawal from your checking account and putting it in your savings account on the same day you are paid. And if you want to be really old school put twenty dollars a week in an envelope and keep it put away.  Regardless of how you do it the money is gone so you won’t miss it and you’ll be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

3. If you like movies go on cheap nights.  Most theaters note only offer matinee pricing but usually once a week, typically a Monday or Tuesday the tickets will be about half the cost of what they would be on a Friday or Saturday. 

4. Along with cooking at home, double your recipe so you have leftovers to take for lunch.  If you can save the $10 for lunch each day that is about $200 a month you are saving. Even if you don’t like, or have leftovers, make a sandwich and take a piece of your favorite fruit, it’s a lot cheaper than eating out everyday.

5. This is a big one.  Make your coffee at home before you go to work and take it in a travel mug.  You can still go out of your Starbucks once in a while but at $5 (on average) for one Starbuck’s coffee the cost adds up.  It’ll surprise you how much you can save even if you just cut out one or two Starbucks a week.


Bonus. Buy what you can in bulk; laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, meat, cheese, cereal, milk, coffee, etc. These are things you’re going to use and when you buy them in small amounts can cost you a lot, but in bulk it will save you money.

These are all tips that Eric and I use (with the exception of the coffee we don’t drink coffee) and we’ve saved a lot of money.  It won’t make you rich, but it will sure help keep the money in the wallet. If you have any tips, share them below.

Writing Update:

What a busy start of the year I’ve had.  As you all know I had my book launch for The Calling this month and had an amazing write up in the San Jose Mercury News (click here for the article).  I also, had my first ever Blog Tour thank you to IndiGo Marketing.  If you want to check out each days stop, click on the day below:

Day One: The Blogger Girls
Day Two: Love Byters Reviews
Day Three: Queer Sci Fi
Day Four: Divine Magazine
Day Five: The Novel Approach

I also took some much-needed time off.  Eric and I went down to Disneyland for a week.  We hung out with some family and some amazing friends. It was a great break. Here are a couple fun pictures from our trip if you want to suffer through and check them out.


While I was on vacation, I got to finish The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky Book 1) by J. Scott Coatsworth.  Its a wonderful story and such a joy to read.  If you want to check out my review of the novel click here.  This is a must read if you love Science Fiction.  It has something for everyone. Buy it here.

For a quick writing update I wanted to share that, at this moment my publisher is evaluating A New World – Contact and I’m hoping to have more information on that soon.  I’m also working on book two of my New World Series and I’m over a three-quarters of the way through.

Which means, I’ll be working on the sequel to The Calling in the coming months. I have the second book outlined and I’m working on the finer points of the plot, but that doesn’t mean everything is set in stone.  So if there something special you would like to see in book two of The Calling now’s your chance to weigh in.  You can make your suggestions below in the comments section.  Please try to avoid spoilers. Let’s have a little fun with this.

Until next week have a great week.

2018 New Year Update

First Off.  Happy 2018.  I hope you all have a wonderful new year.

What a difference a year makes.  So much happened last year, and this year promises to be just as busy.  Last year I released two short stories (The Reunion and A Dragon for Christmas) through my publisher NineStar Press. Both short stories have been well reviewed, and they have seemed to resonate with people.  So if you haven’t checked them out yet you can buy them on Amazon here or on Barnes & Noble here

Some of you know, I was a judge for the Rainbow Awards (which was an absolute blast) I got to read some amazing books.  I’m hoping to get to do that again this year.

 Author M.D. Neu signing books.

Author M.D. Neu signing books.

Also, last year I finalized by debut novel The Calling, for release on January 1, 2018.  There was a lot to get ready (editing, more editing and pre-launch marketing) it was a lot of work but I couldn’t be happier. On January 1, 2018 The Calling was released to wonderful reviews. Then on January 11, 2018 I had the official book launch and signing. Which absolutely would not have happened without my amazing friends and family.  It was an incredible experience.  We had about 70 people show up.  For the event we had food, wine, Champaign, a wonderful introduction provided by Jean Blomquist renowned editor and writer for over 25 years, and of course a reading of The Calling by me.  I’m so blessed to have had such an amazing night.  I was doubly blessed when fellow NineStar Press author K. S. Trenten showed up to join in the celebration; she’s so cool I’m hoping to get her on my Scribbles Page until than check her our here and find her books here

 M. D. Neu with fellow Author K. S. Trenten

M. D. Neu with fellow Author K. S. Trenten

With all this happening I managed to eek out time to read several wonderful stories, most of which I’ve already spoken about.  However, the latest is this wonderful story by author SA Collins (find out more about SA Colins here), Angels of Mercy – Diary of a Quarterback – Part 1: Kind of Imperfections. If you want to check out my review, you can find it here. You should add it to your reading list buy his novel here.


What’s coming in 2018? Well, in the short term I’m going to be on a blog tour next week promoting The Calling so stay tuned for that.  Also, I’m going to be looking at doing a more in person events this year.  To that affect in April I will be a guest on WROTE Pod Cast (check them out here), which I’m excited about so I’ll keep you posted on that.  As for writing, well, I’ll be working on the second book of The Calling and hopefully in the next few weeks I’m going to have an announcement about my Sci-Fi book series A New World.  I’ve also got a few more short stories I’m hoping will get released.

On the Blog front I will to continue to bring you fellow authors who have amazing works, I hope you take the time to pick up their books, because these folks are so talented that it would be a shame if you missed them.  I’m also, going to be much better about posting new poetry at the very least once a month, so if you don’t see any new poetry bug me about it, cause I love sharing that part of my writing with you.

Well I think that is all for this week.  Over the next few weeks I’m going to be adding an events section to the website where I plan on sharing photos and the video from the launch party of The Calling as well as other in person events I do. Oh and keep an eye out for “Who’s reading The Calling” this should be fun, if you want a little hint of what’s coming check out my Facebook Page.

Anyway, if there is something you want me to share or something you have questions about, please feel free to let me know.  I love hearing from you.

Interview with J. Scott Coastworth

My first Author Interview of 2018.  I’m pleased to welcome J. Scott Coastworth to my Scribble page.

Welcome Scott.  Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Thanks for having me.

If you don’t mind, please give us a quick introduction of yourself?

Well, I live in Sacramento, California, with my husband Mark of 26 years. We live in a small yellow bungalow in a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood about ten minutes outside of downtown.

I have been writing since I was in fifth grade, when I won a University of Arizona writing contest that included my first sci fi story, illustrated in crayon.

I didn’t get anything published until I hit my mid-forties, but since then I’ve had 19 stories published with two more under contract for 2018.

Wow, winning a writing contest at such an early had to be exciting, is that what cemented your love of writing?

LOL… no. It was more the things I read, the worlds they opened up. I always had a gift for stringing words together. But hey, it didn’t hurt!

19 Published works that is excellent.  Congratulations.

Thank you. It’s been quite a ride since Dreamspinner picked up my first story three years ago.

Not only do you write but you oversee several Facebook Groups (Queer SciFi & Queer SciFi Writer among others and a popular website www.queerscifi.com) How did you get started with that?

When I came back to writing in 2014, I started making contacts on Facebook in the queer romance and queer sci fi markets. I found a couple groups devoted to queer sci fi, but none of them were quite what I was looking for – sort of an Algonquin Round Table for the modern age. 

So I built my own.

I like that, and I think it’s a great way to approach problems.  You didn’t complain, you went out and did something to affect change.

Thanks, well building what I wanted. I ran into Angel, one of my co-admins, on one of those groups. She wasn’t available at first, but I pursued her relentlessly, and when her commitment to the other group was done, she came to help with Queer SciFi (QSF).

I ran into Ben early on too, and eventually talked him into becoming an admin and taking the helm of the reviews part of QSF. We work well together, and that synergy helps to make QSF the great forum that it is today.

And it really is.  I’m so happy I found it.

Ah thanks.

So, not only are you overseeing a busy social media empire, but you have a very extensive list of novels, so what inspired you to start writing?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be either an astronaut, a rock star, or a writer.

The rock star thing never quite panned out. And astronomy turned out to be a whole lot about math. So writing it was.

My mom got me started on sci fi when I was in elementary school, and by third grade I had read all three of the Lord of the Rings books. I was enchanted by Lothlorien, and soon by Pern and Rama and the Foundation worlds, and I knew that I wanted to write those kinds of worlds. My novel list isn’t quite “extensive” yet – two out and two contracted – but I do have nineteen stories published in all.

Extensive or not it’s still impressive.  So well done and I love that your mom helped push into writing.  That is a great story.

Now, tell us about your latest novel and what inspired you to write it?


The Stark Divide” has a long and (forgive the pun) storied history. My first finished novel, “On the Shoreless Sea,” took place in a fantasy world in the middle of the void – a world where plants glowed and you could walk around its girth in a day.

It was roundly rejected by the sci fi publishers of the time, but when I came back to writing, it was one of the first things I picked up again, and I decided to go back and tell the backstory of the world. And so “The Stark Divide” was born. It’s the tale of a generation ship that takes mankind to the stars, and an evolution no one foresaw.

That is so freaking cool.  I’ve actually just started it and so far it’s great.  I know I should have read it first, but I working on it now.

(Chuckles) thanks.

Let’s talk a little about who has inspired you the most as a writer?

On a personal level, my husband Mark, who gave me a kick in the pants when I needed it, and who is always supportive of my writing.

Ahh.  Gotta love supportive spouses.

For fellow writers – Sheri Tepper, who told tales that left me thinking for weeks; Anne McCaffrey, who made a world filled with dragons and fire lizards and wonderful harpers; and Peter Hamilton, who writes about the future in such an amazing and exciting way. I mean, trains that connect planets – who knew?

Closer to home, my friend Angel Martinez, who has been writing for longer than she cares to admit, and who is always a class act in addition to being crazy silly.

Sounds like a good mix of writers.  Okay, when you’re not writing and running your social media platforms what do you like to do?

Spend time with my husband Mark – playing games, walking, seeing movies, going out for coffee or dinner. After almost twenty-six years, he’s still my most favorite person in the world.

That sounds lovely.  I gotta ask, what’s your favorite movie?

Hmmm… it’s a toss-up. Strictly Ballroom is way up there, as is Moulin Rouge – really, anything directed by Baz Luhrmann. Also, Romy and Michelle is one of my all-time faves. Oh and did I mention Edward Scissorhands?

As you’ve been around the writing world for a while now, I’m wondering if there are topics or issues you wish were more common in books?

Yes, I’d like to see us move past the focus on MM books (and even FF ones) and include more characters from other parts of the queer spectrum. I think it’s happening slowly – it takes time, but even in this difficult environment, we are moving toward justice and representation.

Nicely said.  So, as a gay man what are your thoughts about writing to an audience that is sometimes more interested in reading MM Romance. Do you find this to be an issue?

I truly think there’s something for everyone, and I think we paint with too broad a brush when we talk about the “difference” between MM and gay fiction. There are so many great authors writing all kinds of queer works, some of which have a lot of romance and some just a little. I think discerning readers of all stripes find the authors they like, and it doesn’t really matter whether or not their books have the “MM” label.

That is a fair point, however, don’t you think it can be difficult for LGBTQA writers who just want to tell good stories to be lumped into a romance category even though that wasn’t what they were going for? Then in turn being judged poorly for not having a romance story.

I think it’s difficult getting any book into the “right” category. Sure, it’s an issue when a book gets placed in “romance” when it’s really something else with a bit of a romance thrown in. But the same can be said of sci fi stories with queer relationships that get shunned by the “mainstream” market – see “Sad Puppies.”

Last questions and I promise it’s an easy one.  Do you have any final thoughts for us?

I feel truly blessed to be connected to so many great authors like you. I enjoy being a part of such a wide and diverse community. Thanks so much for having me on your blog – I hope to return the favor.

That was kind of you to say.  Thank you for all the work you do with QSF and thank you for taking the time to be here today.  I would love to have you stop by again.  Maybe once I finished with your current books I can have you back to talk about them.

Well that is all for this week.  Thank you Scott.

About J. Scott Coastworth


Scott lives between the here and now and the what could be. Indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine, he devoured her library. But as he grew up, he wondered where the people like him were.

He decided it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at Waldenbooks. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s brain works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He seeks to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own reality.

Where to find Scott:
Check out his website here.
Check out his QueerRomance Link here.
Find him on Facebook here.
Find his author Facebook Page here.
Find him on Twitter here.

Where to buy his books and check out his reviews:
Dreamspinner Press click here.
Amazon click here.
Goodreads click here.

Merry Christmas!

 Have a wonderful and blessed Holiday Season.

Have a wonderful and blessed Holiday Season.

I wanted to take this moment to wish you a very merry Christmas and thank you for being so supportive of me and my writing.  If you’ve been following along this whole year, you understand it’s been filled with amazing highs (three books picked up by my publisher, NineStar Press) and painful lows (Illness and deaths of several close family members). Still, I’m so blessed to share not only my thoughts with you all here, on my Scribbles page, but also, I’m able to share three wonderful stories with you. Click here for Amazon and here for NineStar Press where you can buy my books.

This year Eric and I are hosting a holiday party.  We haven’t done one of these in quite a few years, so I’m sure there will be pictures which I’ll share either here or on my FB page.  Also, during this holiday season I plan to finish reading, Diary of a Quarterback–Part 1: King of Imperfections, by S.A. Collins.  I, also hope to get more writing done. Even though I get just over a week off, I’m gonna be busy.

Feel free to share what you are doing for the holiday.  I love to hear from you.  So drop me a note and let me know.

Have a great holiday everyone.

All about San Jose, California

In anticipation of my two upcoming stories, A Dragon for Christmas (my holiday short story) coming out next week on December 18th (click here to learn more) and my debut novel, The Calling coming out January 1st (click here to learn more) I wanted to share some locations that will appear in both these stories.  Actually, a friend of mine asked me to do this blog post, and I thought it might be fun.  So, here we go…

Let’s start with, A Dragon for Christmas.  There are several places in this holiday short but let’s focus on some key locations.


First, the Dragon Training Facility.  This is the location were Carmen trains for her dragon. The training is difficult and only those that are special are considered for training.  Because of the health risks involved, I wanted a location near a medical facility and I could think of no better location than Stanford Medical Center. Here is a picture of the Center as it is in real life.  However, it’s much different in the story.

plaza de ceasar chavez.jpg

The next location that I thought would be fun to share is Plaza de Cesar Chavez where every year San Jose hosts Christmas in the Park. When not hosting Christmas in the Park the park sees a variety of other events throughout the year.  It’s located in the heart of downtown San Jose and worth checking out any time of year.

Evergreen San Jose.jpg

The last location I want to share is Carmen’s neighborhood. This is where she grew up.  Much like me Carmen grew up in East San Jose.  Not as popular, or as expensive, as Willow Glen or the Rose Garden. East San Jose is a mix of different cultures and has a rich vibrant atmosphere, which is why I had Carmen grow up here.

The Calling, much like A Dragon for Christmas is set in and around San Jose.  I include locations as far North as Los Altos Hills and as far South as Morgan Hill.  The main character Duncan comes to the area on vacation and never leaves.  Here are some key locations I used in, The Calling.  I hope you get a chance to explore them someday.

Santana Row 2.jpg

Santana Row.  This is where we are introduced to Duncan.  He is sitting and enjoying his lunch when our story begins.  Santana Row is a large shopping, dining, entertainment and living space in San Jose.  It’s more than a shopping center it’s a destination and given its popularity and beauty I couldn’t think of a better location to start.


The Winchester Mystery House. Even though only briefly mentioned at the start of the story its worth a mention here.  Duncan had spent an afternoon here before the story started.  After he toured the site, he crossed over to Santana Row for lunch.  Sometimes I wonder if maybe his visit to the Winchester Mystery House had anything to do with the future events in the book.


The 88. The luxury condo high-rise in downtown San Jose The 88 seemed only fitting for one of my characters, Victor, to call home.  In the book I changed the name to, The Heights, so I could experiment with the building a little more and giving Victor and the building more of a presence in downtown.  Nevertheless, make no mistake, The 88 didn’t need much of a tweak.  It’s an amazing building with fantastic views of San Jose and the rest of the valley.


Westfield Valley Fair. Somehow, shopping and shopping centers played heavily in this story. Westfield Valley Fair, much like Santana Row, was a necessary location for the story.  This is the largest mall in the area and they keep expanding it.  This mall also has a few shops there were required for the story.  I won’t say much more, but if you get a chance to check it out do it.

Los Altos.jpg

Los Altos/Los Altos Hills. Not technically part of San Jose, however, I needed a location for Juliet to live that would suit her.  I worked in Los Altos for three years and it really left a mark on me.  When I started to put the story together I was going to have Juliet live in Willow Glen. However, when I fleshed out her character I realized she wouldn’t live in San Jose. Instead she needed to live just outside of the San Jose and I couldn’t think of a better location for her than Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.  Her home needed to be kept close to San Jose, and having her outside of San Jose kept the city as the perfect backdrop for her and the story.

I hope you got a little taste for each of my stories and the locations they are set.  Clearly, there are many more locations, to many for me to go into here.  However, you’ll get to read about them when you pick up your copies of both, A Dragon for Christmas and, The Calling.

Until next week, have a wonder week.  For my wonderful Jewish friends Happy Hanukkah.

Review of, Disease by Hans M. Hirschi and a Book Announcement

This week I want to share my review of, Disease by Hans M. Hirschi.

Disease by Hans M. Hirschi is as beautifully written, as it is heartbreaking.  This is not a lite fun read that you pick up on vacation to relax.  This is a story to make you think and feel.


Disease is about one man Hunter MacIntyre who has recently been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.  He decides to keep a journal of his disease as a means to hang on to his memories. But the story isn’t only about Hunter it’s about Ethan and Amy (Hunter’s husband and daughter) Ethan, Hunter’s partner, also tells the other side of the story addressing sections of the journal that Hunter has written.  At first this is more about context to explain how he found the journal. However, as you move through the story and Hunter’s disjointed thoughts and memories Ethan’s interjections becomes more about telling the reader what is really going on as Hunter get’s worse.

As I mention this is heartbreaking story, but so powerful and wonderfully written that anyone who has a loved one who is suffering with Alzheimer should read it. The author paints a real picture of how this awful disease not only affects the individual with the disease but their entire family.

I love that Hans, took this painful topic and showed it to us through the eyes of a LGBT family, especially since this story takes place prior to Marriage Equality becomes legal in the United States.  This is important part to the story, as the couple has to consider all the legal ramifications that could affect their family. It’s painful to think about, and read, just how terrifying this reality has been for many people.

If you’re looking for a break from fantasy, romance, Science Fiction, or whatever definitely check out this story. Be warned you’re going to need a lot of Kleenex and you may want to take a few breaks to hug your kids and call your parents.

Get your copy of, Disease here.

About Hans:

Hans is an author who writes about things that are important to him: family, parenting, children, the environment, the world. Contemporary, fresh fiction with unconventional, hopeful or happy endings.  He’s married to his husband Alex and together they have a beautiful four-year-old son, Sascha. He considers himself a citizen of the world, having lived on two continents and traveled extensively. When he’s not writing, he likes to do public speaking or training (where he has his professional background).

You can find more about Hans here

This week I would also like to share the news that my new short story, A Dragon for Christmas will be released on Dec 18th. It’s already getting some great reviews so check it out.


On Amazon find it here
On NineStar Press find it here
See some of the early reviews on Goodreads here

I'm hoping at some point to have Hans here for an interview.  So keep your eyes open.  Otherwise, have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be kind to one another. 

My Characters Made Me Do It - By Morticia Knight

First off, I’d like to give a big thanks to M.D. Neu for inviting me to be a guest at his blog. It’s great to be here! When we were first going back and forth over what might be a good topic for today’s post, he mentioned that he doesn’t write romance, and also wondered what my feelings were regarding my journey as a published author over the past six years. Those might seem like separate topics, but they really aren’t.

I’ve been living in an imaginary world since I was twelve with an eye toward becoming a published career author. It wasn’t a ‘someday when I grow up’ sort of plan, it was more like a ‘next week after gym class’ one. When you’re twelve and make such a grand pronouncement, parents tend to roll their eyes, pat you on the head and say ‘sure you are’. Writer’s Digest magazine subscriptions, Annual Publishing and Literary Agent Guides notwithstanding, I caved at fourteen after my first rejection. I told myself that whoever that William Morrow guy was, he didn’t know what he was talking about, so who needs him anyway? I then promptly changed my career aspirations to Rock Star—which made so much more sense. As I was saying, fourteen.

Fast forward a zillion years later. Spoiler alert: The rock star thing didn’t work out. Off and on while I was going through the hassles of pursuing a music career (ugh, not for me), a brilliant story idea would jump into my head and demand I tend to it at once. Thankfully, one of my earlier computers destroyed all evidence of those little disasters by crashing. Saved by bad technology. Who knew?

I do need to stop right here, though, and point something out to those of you who hold yourself back from writing over your fear of those little disasters. They’re mandatory in the process of growing as a writer. Can’t be avoided. The only way to get good at something, is to keep doing it over and over and over. You never get it right, but you get better at it.

Okay, back to my eventual decision to pursue writing again. It began gradually, sort of dipping my toes in. I wrote bios for other musicians, or the CD liner notes. Reviews in entertainment mags, press releases, that sort of thing. Then I graduated to ghostwriting the memoir for a Hunter S. Thompson era journalist and co-writing with a rising guitar some of his early career anecdotes. No, it wasn’t fiction, but it was storytelling. Bios and press releases are like blurbs and taglines—they’re needed, and help train your mind to break things down to the bare bones. Beginning, middle and end. A complete story arc.

But the plot bunnies that were destroyed in the great computer crash of 2006 refused to die. The rambling, disjointed and cliché ridden drivel I’d twisted them into had, but the seeds were still there and hadn’t been poisoned. Now, is this the point I determined, why yes, I shall now write MM Romance and nothing else forever more? Nope. I started writing literary short stories, and dusted off those bunnies which all centered around various sci-fi and dystopian themes. One was very dark and twisted, others were more along the lines of Starman. Eventually, the Starman-esque ones took prevalence, and I was bored senseless with my so-called literary shorts (I had all of two of them published in a teensy community college lit mag), and didn’t feel I was doing the darker stuff justice. So, I stayed with what felt right, what I was being pulled toward more.

A couple things happened to me within a few months of each other during 2010 that changed everything. I had to have some minor surgery, so was bedridden at home for a few weeks, and during that time, I discovered an open submission call from a writer’s newsletter I subscribed to. My job was as a salary-exempt manager, so the sudden downtime had me antsy. I also figured I’d never have the opportunity to spend endless hours researching the latest in the publishing industry as I would while I was laid up, so I really made the most of it.

I clicked on the link for the open submission call, and discovered it was for an erotic romance publisher looking for short stories to include in an anthology featuring threesomes. Whoa. What is this sorcery? Obviously, I was a bit behind the times—salary exempt jobs will do that to you—because this was a hallelujah moment. It occurred to me that all the hand-wringing I’d been doing over how much sex to include or not include in my sci-fi stories, and whether they should have any romantic elements at all, would be non-issues if I wrote for an erotic romance publisher. Or, if I wrote romance.

My characters had been pulling me in that direction for years, but I’d been digging in my heels, resisting it because I’d never viewed myself as a romance writer. I decided to randomly order the top-selling romances from several erotic romance sites, and I included all pairings: MF, MM, MFM, MMF, FF and so on. I paid particular attention to the threesomes because of the call I wanted to submit a story for. What I discovered once I let myself read and enjoy those stories, was that I should quit fighting my characters and embrace the romance, make it a part of the character’s journey instead of an aside. 

I didn’t get accepted to that call, but the editor from it recommended my story to another editor at the same publisher, and I was accepted for an anthology that she was working on. The moment I received my first acceptance, everything changed for me. My attitude about my writing and what I wanted to do with it and how I was going to keep it going took over my life. The next story I sent in was also a threesome (MMF), since I’d already had positive results from that combo and because I had a really cool idea.

That’s the kicker. You have to have a cool idea, right? While driving to work one day—which is when I used to get a lot of my ideas— a scene popped into my head that had the ‘what would happen if?’ thought bubble attached to it. Those thought bubbles are essential to all writers. This one involved a gay firefighter recruit walking in on the straight fire chief—only to discover he’s not all that straight. What would happen? Is the fire chief angry, embarrassed, freaked out because he’s closeted? Is the firefighter recruit intrigued, shocked, thrilled, also embarrassed or all of the above? What would be the result of the actions they take after that night? 

I came up with a synopsis for that story and two others, then pitched it to my publisher as a three-book series. They said yes, it morphed into a six-book bestseller and Morticia Knight, Author of MM Romance was born. I should probably add something to all this. I didn’t arrive in the world of MM Romance via fanfic the way many have, haven’t been around as long, and I wasn’t aware until I’d been publishing for a while, that there was some backlash over women writing gay romance. I was instantly perplexed.

Tennessee Williams is one of the best playwrights of all time, and has written two of the most beautifully tragic and heartfelt female characters in modern theater. Stephen King has written some incredibly strong female characters—Dolores Claiborne and Fran from The Stand are two who come to mind—and he wrote them from the women’s POV. Got into their heads and hearts, and it never occurred to me to question his right to create those characters or to tell their difficult stories. I met Christopher Rice at a book convention a couple years ago, and we sort of joked about him writing MF romance and me writing MM romance, and it was a shoulder-shrug, laugh about it moment. No big deal.

I do believe in ‘own voices’, I believe it’s vital that people of color, those with disabilities, and everyone on the LGBTQ spectrum write, write and write. That as readers, we take the time to read their words and learn their truths. But, my own voice friends and family members also want their stories told as much as possible, by whoever wants to write from an informed stance. (I’ve already rambled on as it is, so the research aspect of ‘getting it right’ would have to be a whole other post!) Once I began writing again, I didn’t tell my muse to discriminate and I let my characters lead me where they wanted to go. The result has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me as an artist.


Oh, before I leave, I should mention that I did finally get a sci-fi series published! Yay! It’s not exactly Starman, no intergalactic babies or Dutch apple pie, but there’s lots of BDSM sex, gummy bears and it’s MMM (one human, two aliens *grin*). Also, it has a plot. No really, an actual plot with intrigue and uprisings and mysterious evil forces and lots of other cool sci-fi/dystopian stuff. It’s the Soul Match series, and Book Four, Surrendering For Two, was just released. If any of the above sounds interesting to you, please check it out!

Surrendering For Two (Soul Match 4)

Strength is found when surrendering to destiny.


Graham has suffered way too much at the hands of the Nall. Ever since he was enslaved after the invasion, he’s been raped and tortured by the Alasharian Supreme Commander and his cohorts. Condemned to die by hanging for his part in the human rebellion, Graham gives in to the inevitable, no longer caring if he lives or dies. But an unexpected event occurs and, at the last moment, Graham is saved.

Balor is a guard to the Nall, but he’s also a part of the growing rebellion among the Alasharians. When one of the Nall’s advisors enlists his help in getting a human prisoner to safety, Balor comes to his aid. Startled by the soul match hum that sparks to life when he touches Graham, but unable to do anything about it, Balor is determined to protect his human match at all costs. When Advisor Oman arrives on the scene to rescue Balor as he helps Graham to escape, it becomes clear that yet another alien/human triad is forming—even if Graham may never accept being bonded to two aliens after the trauma he’s endured at the hands of Alasharians.

The time has come to depart to the secret military complex where the human and Alasharian allies will stage their final assault against the Nall and the Void. Families are reunited and others torn apart as they prepare for battle. The allies fear what will become of them all if Chris, the special human Sha Sha Ar has chosen as their spiritual leader, is no longer there to guide them.

Where you can buy the book:

Amazon US 
Amazon UK
Amazon DE
Amazon CA
Amazon AU
Barnes & Noble
Pride Publishing
First For Romance

About Morticia Knight:

MK Author Photo.jpg

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little hearts desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share—her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Since then, she’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists along with three series’ titles receiving recognition in the Rainbow Book Awards.

Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the North Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men, she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons. 

Morticia’s Social links:
Website/blog click here
Amazon Author Page click here
Twitter click here
Facebook Author page click here
Instagram click here
Pinterest click here
Wattpad click here

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year for Thanksgiving I simply want to wish you all the very best.  I wanted to share some of the things I’m grateful for:

This has been an amazing year for me and I’m very grateful NineStar Press is publishing three of my works.  I hope in this next year I will continue to be as blessed.

I have a wonderful and supportive husband who has stood by me through all the ups-and-downs this year.  I couldn’t have done any of this without him.

Along with a wonderful husband, I have amazing friends who have been pushing me along this year, helping, and supporting me.  Especially Linda and Caroline.  

This year has been a mixed bag of health issues for our extended families and I’m very grateful that everyone is doing well and pushing through all their health issues.  I’m especially thankful that both Eric and I remain healthy.

Mostly I’m very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities that I have been afforded this year.

In closing, I want to share some Thanksgiving quotes:


And because we all need a little laugh:


Writer’s Newsletter vs. Writer’s Blog


Over the last several month’s I’ve heard that all authors must have a Newsletter. Something for the writer to send out to their readers and fans that gives them insider information on the writer and the author’s works. I thought that was the purpose of my Scribbles Page (my blog).  Plus, with the blog we get to interact with one another.  You can ask me questions and I can respond.  Which I like.  So, really, ask me questions and leave me comments I want to chat with you and hear what you have to say.

Anyway, I did a little digging around on the subject, and I found tons of information on how to write an interesting Newsletter and I found tons of information on how to write and interesting Blog.  What I didn’t find was a difference between them and if one is better than the other.  They are both about getting more information into the hands of your readers/fans and to tell them what is happening with your works and with you.  All of which is great.

While doing my research on this topic, I came across this great blog post about the pros and cons of a newsletter and blog. Check it out here. What I like about the post is that it doesn’t say one is better than the other. It does mentions why you would use one over the other and how to use each. There is a clear slant to using a Blog, but I like what Anne has to say about Newsletters especially when it comes to controversial content:

“Some content is safer to put in an email than out there on the Web. People who write about size acceptance or feminist topics are subject to horrific trolling and bullying and often prefer to use a newsletter. Ditto some medical and political content and erotica.”

All excellent points and considering how sensitive some readers can be, I can see why content providers would want to keep it to a Newsletter. Instead of the blogger putting that kind of information on their blogs.

What I appreciate is that she addresses having both, and how that may cause both fatigue on the writer’s part, but also on the subscriber’s part. Information overload is what I call it.  Some call it spamming. Either way it could be a bad thing for everyone.

The second article I found (a little older it came out in 2015) talks more about the benefits of a Newsletter over a Blog. However, what this article mentions is that some writers are taking their blog posts and turning them into a newsletter. This seems like a good idea if you provide a lot of content or have some amazing information about your upcoming book that would be better suited for a newsletter.

One thought from the article I appreciated was, “One place everyone still frequents multiple times a day is their email box, so savvy writers are beginning to take advantage of the captive audience that email provides. But far from creating the hated spam that fills our daily email, writers are creating email newsletters that replace or augment weekly or monthly blog posts and keep readers interested in their books and personalities.”

You can check out the article here

Now, I’m not sure I agree with the ‘spam’ part. I worry that more than one email a week is spamming someone especially if they are nice enough to share their email address with you.

There are clear benefits to each. If you’re an author let me know what your thoughts on Blog vs. Newsletter are.  If you’re a fan/reader, tell me what kind of communications you enjoy. I’m curious, as well, to what your thoughts are on how many emails per week from one source is too much?


When it comes to Newsletter vs. Blog, for me, I’m more about the blogging than the newsletters. A newsletter feels outdated (I did newsletters for a couple of start-ups I worked for back in the late nineties early two-thousands. We stopped because the click through rates continued to decline and people were unsubscribing more than subscribing). I figure, at present, I’ll keep going with what I enjoy and can manage.

I’m curious at were you all weigh in on the subject.  I’m not saying it’ll change my mind, but who knows.  Maybe, I could throw together a quarterly newsletter or something of the sort. If there is enough interest.

This week I have three fun updates for you:

  1. Last weekend, Live N in the Mix, interviewed me for a local cable access TV Show. Stay tuned for more details.  I’m not sure when it will air, but I’ll let you all know when it does.  I may even post the interview here on my website.
  2. On November 20, 2017, I’ll be part of the NineStar Press Author Take Over day.  It will be an all-day Facebook event.  I’ll be on from 8-9pm (PST).  I’ll be giving away three $10-NineStar Gift Cards and two autographed copies of, The Calling once it’s released in January 2018.  You must stop by on November 20th to see how to win. Check out the details about the event here.
  3. Lastly, this week I have a guest Blog on NineStar Press Blog. I talk about Why I Write and How the Stories Come to Me. You can check it out here.

See you all next week.

A Dragon for Christmas Cover Reveal and other Exciting News

So much has been happening these last few weeks it’s hard to keep it all straight. First, the launch of my first short story, The Reunion. Coming up, I will take part in a launch party with other NineStar Press Authors. Then, I will welcome my first guest blogger. After that I will be planning my own January 2018 book launch of, The Calling. Finally, not to be forgotten is the release of my second short story, A Dragon for Christmas coming out on December 18. So, today first and foremost here is the beautiful cover art for my new holiday eBook, A Dragon for Christmas. Click here for more information on the story.


As I mentioned there are several other things happening. On November 20, 2017 I will take part in an online launch party with other NineStar Authors. This will be an all-day event, where you get to chat with Authors, learn about their works, play games, ask questions and maybe win prizes. The event starts at 9am (EST) and ends at 1am (EST). I’ll be on-line at 8pm (PST) 11pm (EST) right after my buddy J.P. Jackson. For more info on the event and what authors will be on-line and when click here. Oh, and not to fear, I’ll be giving away goodies.  So, stop on by and say, “hello”.

Next, on November 29, 2017 I plan on welcoming Morticia Knight as a special guest blogger. Morticia is a best-selling author of M/M erotic romance who spends most of her nights writing. She’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists, along with three titles receiving recognition from the Rainbow Book Awards. To learn more about Morticia check her out here.

I can’t wait to welcome her to my blog as she writes in a completely different genre than I do, and I’m sure she’ll have some wonderful information to share with us.

As you all know, The Reunion just came out a few weeks ago (it still amazes me to say that) and its doing exceptionally well.  As of today is has 4.6-stars on Amazon and 4.18-stars on Goodreads.  It’s also been reviewed on Amazon UK hovering at 4-stars and on NineStar Press with a 5-star rating. I hope you have time to check it out and enjoy it before my next eBook comes out. The two works are completely different so it’ll be fun to hear what everyone has to say.

Speaking of NineStar Press, on November 14, 2017 I will be a guest blogger on their Blog.  The title of my blog post is, Why I Write and How the Stories Come to me. I hope you’ll check it out.  I’m flattered to be on their Blog and I hope to do it again.

Some amazing news I want to tease here is that in January 2018, not only will my first full length novel, The Calling come out (thank you NineStar Press), but with the help of some wonderful friends we are planning a Book Launch Party.  Not just any old book launch party but this will be a huge event. I can’t share details here yet, but trust me when I tell you it’s a big deal. I’m very excited and as soon as I can share more information with you I will.

This event will do Juliet proud… oh wait, you haven’t met Juliet yet. Well, on January 1, 2018 when, The Calling is released you will. I can assure you, this event is something Juliet would be thrilled with.

Who Loves You

Finally, over the last two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to read, Who Loves You by Emily Alter. It was a great read and you can check out my review and the book here. If you love character driven stories, you should read this novel.

Well, these are all the updates I have for you today.  As always I encourage you to ask questions and leave comments. I love hearing from you.  Also, please remember to like and share, because it makes a difference.  Until next week.

Book Review and Interview with Author Ambrose Hall

Happy Wednesday everyone. This week I’m excited to do another author interview and book review.  This week I’m welcoming fellow author Ambrose Hall.  I’ve known Ambrose a few years back now and I’ve finally got him to come over for a quick chat.  So, let’s jump right in and not waste any time. 

Ambrose welcome.  I’m happy you could swing by and do this interview. Please give us a quick introduction to yourself.

I’m a writer based in the UK. I mostly write speculative fiction with queer characters.

That was quick.

Too, quick?


Nah, it’s all good.  We have a lot to cover so let’s move into the good stuff.  Gods and Insects is the second book in your City of Ash Series.  It’s definitely a dark series but it’s also got a wit about it that I’m loving.  There are even hints of romance to it.  What made you pick this kind of series to write?

I’ve always loved vampires, but I’d never planned to write them, then a friend in one of my writing groups proposed a vampire writing challenge for Hallowe’en. I started with a short story, but it caught my imagination and I ended up with a short novella, told from five different points of view. I think vampires can be a great way to explore all sorts of facets of human nature. I started with the question: if you had eternity, what would get you through? The title of the first book, Love is the Cure, is somewhat ironic, as some of the characters end up on very dark paths believing that love is the thing that will get them through.

But you’re not a cynic about love. So, how did that work?

I wanted to explore all sorts of relationships, not all of them healthy. It’s a gothic story, so I wanted to show the heights and depths of emotion. And I’m a bit of a goth, so I can’t help falling to the dark side.

So, the idea of a dark vampire story fits you like a glove?

Ha, pretty much.

Asher, the main protagonist, has changed quite a bit from the first book in the series to this one.  Honestly, he wasn’t so likable in the first book. So, what can you tell us about his character growth between, Love is the Cure, and, Gods and Insects?

He’d led a very ordinary, sheltered existence in a comfortable middle class suburb and been good at sport. The only thing that had ever conflicted him was his sexuality and he’d kept that in the closet and pretended to himself it was just a phase. When he was faced with vampiric life, particularly the violence of his creator, Kerrick, it really traumatized him and he was completely overwhelmed.

He was a bit of a mess in the first book. Understandably so, given what happen to him.

Gods and Insects insect cover ebook.jpg

Yes, so by Gods and Insects, he’s trying to find his own way, but he’s lost and lonely and still following mortal patterns of behavior. When two more experienced vampires come along and offer him a home and protection, it seems like a good deal. The hardest thing for Asher is, even though he’s quite naive, he has a strong sense of right and wrong. In Gods and Insects, I wanted to explore what it would look like for someone like Asher to fall from grace. I also wanted to explore identity and how that’s shaped by our experiences, including the more traumatic ones.

Well he certainly was a new man by book two and I really liked how he grew between books.  I think it served him and the story well.

Thank you.

Now, I can see at least one more book in the series with how you ended this book (and thank you for giving it a proper ending and not having it end on a cliffhanger).  How many books are planned for this series?

It’s going to be a trilogy. The third book will be from Nico’s point of view. He’s a character who appears halfway through Gods and Insects. He’s trans and I wanted to tell a story with a trans main character, as I am. He’s also quite different from most of the other characters as he’s very much of the modern world, he’s much more in touch with his emotions than any of the others, and he has quite a different outlook. Unlike Kerrick and Asher, he’s also not a fighter.

Nico, was very different from all the other characters and I really like the contrast.  Honestly, he surprised, in a good way. It was this breath of fresh air and kind of highlighted everything that is ‘wrong’ with the other characters.  If that makes sense.  He’s also one of my favorite characters in this story.

He was, also, one of the favorite characters from the second book, from feedback I received, so he seemed like a good choice. The third book will follow his story, with the vampiric war continuing in the background and his growing relationship with Asher. All the books have looked at power dynamics, in and out of relationships, and the nature of power is going to be a big theme in this final story.

Without giving much away, I enjoyed the ending of this book.  You could have gone very dark, but you didn’t.  You kind of ended the book as I thought you would a middle ground was reached.  Was that your intention?  Not to have an overly dark ‘end of the world’ feel to the ending.

Gods and Insects is a tragedy for Asher, but in the sense that he embraces more of his vampiric nature. But he’s only at the start of that path. But there are still others in Asher’s life, particularly Kerrick and Nico, who have their own way of doing things. Nico is still very young and very human and he connected to the good in Asher. Kerrick is more violent, because he was raised in a violent time and had a traumatic start to life, but he’s also very caring and protective of Asher, as his child. Inevitably, there will be some conflict between those different paths. 

You and I both love vampire stories and we have a totally different take on vamps.  What made you pick the darker more sinister type of vampire?

I’m a bit of an irredeemable goth, really. I’ve always liked things dark. I grew up in a crumbling old Victorian mill town in the north of England, which may be partly to blame for my aesthetic tendencies. I wanted my vampires to be monsters – not mindless monsters, because that’s not the type of monsters vampires are, but still monstrous in some sense. I find the idea of human monsters fascinating. I suppose growing up as an outsider makes me more aware of the hypocrisy of mainstream society and the way that power is exploited. Violence and abuse of power are often not far from the surface, even in modern times. My own trauma tends to leak into my work. I often write quite dark, brutal dynamics between my characters and I like to push them to the edge. But I also want to honor the gothic tradition of exploring all the taboo things that lurk under the surface, so my vampires are dark but also sexually charged. I think the intersection between sex and horror is a challenging one and keeps readers on their toes. 

I know you have other stories in the works, however, I want to know about your City of Ash Series. When can we expect to see the next book?  Also, what else do you have in the works?  What can we look forward to seeing in the future?

My working title for the third book is Kill Your Kings. Hopefully that gives you a flavor of what it will be about. All the characters from the first two books will have some continuation of their story, though it will all be from Nico’s point of view, who is a seer from a very unusual bloodline. I’m writing it at the moment, so I hope to have it finished in the first half of next year.

And other works?

I’ve also been working on a 1920s horror story in the Lovecraftian tradition, which needs a final edit before I try to find a home for it.

I’ve recently been experimenting with sharing shorter fiction on Medium, so you can read some of my flash fiction on there. Click here.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community how important is it for you to represent our community in your work?  And as an author what is your responsibility to show all communities not just the LGBTQ+ community?

I tend to have LGBTQ+ characters in all my longer work. Like you, I want to write genre stories with LGBTQ+ character. Not just coming out stories, or romance, but also horror and science fiction and fantasy. I think being able to see ourselves in the stories around us is a really healing, self-affirming experience. For me, growing up in the 80s, there were a few indie films with gay characters, but in speculative fiction and film it was more often the bad guys who looked more like me. Being bi is often associated with evil and deviance in popular media, and obviously all villains are British. (Maybe that’s where I got my taste for black clothing from.) From quite a young age, I picked up the idea that I couldn’t be the hero in a story. Whilst I’m now always going to be cheering for the supervillains, I hope that younger generations get to grow up with a different message.

Nicely said. 

Thank you. Also, I’ve been working on my first romance, with a trans man as the main character. Trans representation is really important for me, and there’s not a huge variety of stories out there right now. I want to show that trans people don’t have to fit gender stereotypes, any more than anyone else, and have a little fun with a sex positive story. I’m playing around with Robin Hood folklore, which I loved as a child. Probably the last time I identified with a hero. I’m also experimenting with happiness and healthy relationships. Strange territory for me. The main character has a disability, so I guess I am conscious of wanting to include people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Although I’m also conscious that I’m not always the best qualified person to tell a particular story.

Well, I think your stories are amazing and I’m thrilled that I’ve gotten a sneak peek at both your 1920s story and your Robin Hood story.  I can’t wait to read them once they are finished.  Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I’ve had fun answering your questions.

About Ambrose Hall

Ambrose Hall is a speculative and literary fiction writer who currently lives in the South East of England. Ambrose originally comes from Bradford, in West Yorkshire, where he was infected with gothic decay and went mad on a moor. You can find his blog here  You can buy, Love is the Cure and Gods and Insects here

Review, Gods and Insects:

Gods and Insects insect cover ebook.jpg

Ambrose Hall, has written the second book in his, City of Ash Series. It’s a dark gritty vampire story, but these vamps aren’t your typical vampires they are dark and monstrous, but not mindless killing machines.  They have desires and dreams.  The second story follows Asher a newly turned vampire who is coming to grips with his new reality.  When we meat Asher in the first book, to describe him as a mess would be an understatement, but in book 2, Gods and Insects, he’s come into his own. Well, somewhat.  This story is about his growth and him finding his way.  I think it’s something that everyone can relate to.  Where do we fit in and we make a place for ourselves?

Even with the proper ending to Book 2, I’m looking forward to the next book so we can see how everything that has been set up in both books will play out.

Gods and Insects, is a dark novel with a bit of a goth feel to it.  It’s a great read and the characters are wonderful. Great care has been taken to give each character their own voice.  It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth checking out.

Writing & Personal Update


It’s time for another Writing Update and given all that has happened over the last several weeks there is no better time than now.  Things for me have been a mixed bag full of blessing and sadness. It’s never easy talking about the not-so-happy events going on in our lives, well not for me, but I figured I would share as talking it through is supposed to help.

Recently, my husband and I had to go to Utah to take care of my husband’s father. He has terminal cancer and dementia.  It’s not been easy, and my husband is an only child, so there is a lot for him to deal with. All I can do is support him and the decisions he makes. Luckily we’ve had some wonderful support from his aunt and uncle so we weren’t totally alone in dealing with all of this. 

A few weeks back we all spent a week in Utah taking care of his father’s house (getting it ready to sell). We also spent time seeing his dad and making sure he is settled in the care facility, which is amazing. The staff are wonderful and so is his father’s hospice worker.  As I’m sure you can imagine it was a stressful week, but we got everything we needed accomplished. By the end of the week we were all exhausted but we still had out humor. Eric’s uncle summed up the week like this, “It’s amazing we’re all still talking to each other.” We all got a good chuckle out of that.

Amidst that, my short story, The Reunion was being finalized and getting ready for its launch. The launch was October 23rd and went off swimmingly.  I’m so thrilled that I had the support of great friends, family, and the wonderful folks at NineStar Press (check them out here).  They really helped and made the process seem less.

Unfortunately, because this has been a mixed bag of emotions. Last week I got news that one of my only living great-aunts passed away (she was 99 years old).  This sad news brought up the memories of my grandmother (my aunt’s older sister) and the realization that that generation has all moved on. We have a close family so that has made it all the more difficult.

Also, on October 23rd it was the fifth anniversary of Eric’s mother’s passing in a tragic accident.  So, the day my debut short story launched there was an air of both joy and sorrow. Eric and I agreed that his mother would’ve been proud and excited and we’re sure that the launch date was no coincidence.

I’m a firm believer that our family never leaves our side and that they are always there with us. The launch day was one way for her and my mom (also passed away) to show their collective support.

There you have it an emotional roller-coaster.

I don’t want to end this on a sad note because as I said at the start these last few weeks have been a mixed bag of both good and bad. To that point, I still have two more books coming out over the next few months, A Dragon for Christmas (December 18th) and The Calling (Jan 1st) I’ve also, been writing/editing three different stories so there is much more to come. And lastly, I want to share some quotes from a few of the reviews I’ve received for, The Reunion (buy it here):


“…cleverly written and I couldn’t put it down because I just needed to know what had happened in this town!” – Lulu Forth (Alpha Book Club) full review here.

“I thought I knew where the author was going with the story and time after time, they proved me wrong.  And that ending….” – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (full review here).

“A fantastic story full of good times and bad, The Reunion is one of those tales that you're going to want to read over and over again.” – Amazon Review by Wordsmith full review here.

Until next week, have a great week gang.  Remember I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment and don’t forget to like and share.

October Book Reviews


Over the last few weeks I’ve been getting caught up on my book reading list and I have two great stories to share with you this week.

First, I read a short story by author J.B. Reynolds, What Friends are for, it’s a wonderful short story.  Check it out here.

It’s the fourth book in his, Crossing the Divide Short Story Series, but you don’t need to know the series to enjoy the book.  The story is about two moms who don’t know each other very well. They come from different walks of life and have different backgrounds providing for a great contrast. They spend an afternoon together and learn a great deal about each other. It’s excellent.  I provided a full review here.

Second, I read, Gods and Insects, by author Ambrose Hall. Check it out here.

This is the second book in his, City of Ash Series.  It follows Asher as he comes to terms with his new life as a vampire.  It’s a dark story, but still an excellent read and I highly suggest picking it up.  However, you’ll want to read book 1, Love is the Cure, so that you are familiar with the characters. Both books are excellent.

I don’t have a review posted of, Gods and Insects, because I’m hoping to convince Ambrose to stop by. I want to do an interview with him and talk about the book and this series.

Have a great week and let me know if you have any books I should read. I can’t promise I’ll read it right away, but I’ll add them to the reading list. 


Self-Promoting when you’re a Writer


Over the last few days/weeks I’ve been pondering self-promotion and the best ways to go about it.  Even though I have a publisher behind me and my upcoming books (NineStar Press check them out here) I’m going to have to do a lot of work myself (and I’m okay with that). Still, there is a line between promoting your work and basically being that annoying person who shouts, “buy my book” or whatever all the time.  For me, the key is having a good mix of promotion, content and finding what works then ditching what doesn’t.  That way you don’t feel like you’re out selling your soul to everyone who walks by.

The internet is a great resource at finding ideas and suggestion.  Here are just a few I came across and liked (I won’t be doing everything but I plan on mixing it up):

50 Ways to Promote your book

15 Do it Yourself Tools to Promote your Book

How to Promote a Book


Not everything is going to work out and sure I’ll be banging my own drum to get people to notice me, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, as long as I don’t become an annoying crow about it (please let me know if I do).

For me, my current plan is to focus on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.  Also, I’ve talked to friends and families who are going to help spread the word.  I’ve joined various genre groups.  A press release is in the works as are Facebook ads.  I’m working on engaging people and getting folks excited about my upcoming book releases. There are three scheduled over the next few months (two short stories, The Reunion and A Dragon for Christmas, and one novel, The Calling).  Additionally, several people have been contacted and asked to read my ARC for, The Reunion, and provide reviews for the release day.  One, thing I’m doing and I’m finding surprisingly helpful are author interviews on various blogs. I’ve picked up some great new fans and I’ve been continuing to engage them.

How will all this effect book sales and my efforts at self-promotions? I’m not sure yet, but it can’t hurt. I guess what it all boils down to is getting out there (whatever that means) and being seen.  As I move closer to my book release days, I will let you know how things go.

I would love to hear what your thoughts are.  If you’re a writer please share, if you’re a reader please tell me what you like and don’t like about self-promotion.  As always have a great week.

Polite Society…Ugh

We live in the age of Polite Society.  When you speak with your friends or coworkers, it goes something like this:


“Good to see you.” You say.  “How’s it going?”
Friend, “great. How about you?”
“I’m doing well.  Thanks. Talk to you later.” You smile and walk off.

That’s normally it.  There might be a little more banter about movies, sports or TV, but normally things wrap up quickly and you both go on with your day or move onto something else. It’s all lovely and polite and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  Except.  You both lied to each other.  Things aren’t great and you’re not doing well, but you don’t want to air your dirty laundry and your friend or coworker doesn’t really want to hear it. So, we pretend for the sake of social graces.

What brings this up? You’re asking.  Well, for me there is a lot happening right now and it’s made me take a moment and reflect on all that we don’t know about each other and what we don’t share for the sake of being polite.  Over the last six weeks (actually much longer) I’ve been dealing with major family issues, both my side of the family and my husband’s side of the family.  I won’t go into the details, however needless to say it’s been stressful and left me in a kind of funk.

I’ve tried to keep it away from both work and social media, because we all have our own crap we’re dealing with. What it’s made me realize are the smiles on each other’s faces are often a mask to hide the drama in our own lives. We want to show the world ‘we’re fine’ and ‘everything is great’ when in reality it’s the opposite.


Look, I’m not a proponent for ‘airing your laundry’ to the whole world (in face there are some people who do this way too much just for the attention they get) and a certain amount of ‘stiff upper lip’ is important. However, when we see all those smiles and we have our pleasant generic chit-chat about sports, or movies, or TV maybe peek past all that. Ask yourself if this is a moment I should go a little deeper, does this person need to talk, really talk, or do they need the false charade to help them get through all the crap they are going through? Because it does work both ways, sometimes we need Polite Society to get us through the day and provide us a break from our world of crap. Regardless, it’s worth at the very least a mental question and perhaps we should take a moment to open up and really talk to people especially our friends. 

I don’t know.  It’s just what’s been going on in my head these last few days. I’m not the only one to think this and I’m not the only one to point this out.

Feel free to share your thoughts.  I always love hearing from folks.

Also, I wanted to let you all know that I’ve read two really amazing books recently:

Daimonion by J. P. Jackson click here for my interview with J. P. and here to get the book.


When Heaven Strikes by F. E. Feeley Jr. click here for my interview & review of the book and here to get the book.

Until next time have a great week.