Archive for May, 2016


Six Covers

From midnight to midnight on Memorial Day, May 30, All Romance eBooks is running a 50 percent rebate on select titles — including all six of the SoulShares! If you haven’t discovered the Realm, and the Fae, and magick walking the streets of Washington, D.C. and overflowing from the nightclub Purgatory, now is your chance to get six SoulShares for the price of three (after rebate!) The link will take you to Book One, HARD AS STONE — follow it right on through to GALE FORCE, DEEP PLUNGE, FIRESTORM, BLOWING SMOKE, and MANTLED IN MIST!

http://ow.ly/WdeV300HZgy

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Rainbow Food

Happy Memorial Day weekend, Snippetteers! — here’s a bit of Clarence to accompany you into summer! (I needed seven sentences this time, rather than the prescribed six — hopefully no one minds? *winks*) This scene is set at the first blocking rehearsal for the Perchance to Dream Theatre Company’s production of The Tempest. Clarence Limont is the production’s Prospero, a major (but slowly fading) star of the London stage who has taken on the role as a favor to the director, an old school chum; Jaymes Stafford is the production’s Ariel, a recent college graduate who has quite captivated Clarence. And Troy Miller is Caliban, an arsecrumb of the first water and the particular bane of Jaymes’ existence. I picture Clarence as a slightly younger Ian McKellen (he’s in his early sixties, but at the moment is feeling considerably older); Jaymes’ mother is of German and Scottish descent, and his father is Jamaican; I can picture him perfectly in my mind, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a photo that does him justice. You’ll just have to imagine him for yourself — tall, lean, tawny, with an angular face and big dark eyes, and a cloud of tightly-kinked dark-blond hair. And quite shy, usually, in the presence of a Giant of the London Stage…

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By God, he felt a moment of genuine excitement, gesturing into the wings, Prospero bidding, coaxing Ariel forth for the first time in the play. And when Jaymes allowed himself to be teased out, as light-footed as a spirit in battered trainers, it seemed the excitement was mutual. Or at least contagious. Clarence was willing to settle for contagious.

A snicker came from the opposite wing, and Jaymes’ slight, sweet smile dissolved. Clarence didn’t need to turn to identify the culprit as Troy. The arsecrumb had been stepping on everyone’s lines, all through the reading process, and apparently was set to continue his winning ways, a dyspeptic God’s gift to the Bard’s canon.

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And, finally the usual couple of links:

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook — your destination for many more LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And just for today (May 28) my Russian shapeshifter novella, WOLF, BECOMING, is on sale at Dreamspinner Press for 25 percent off, as part of their birthday sale (but even when it’s not on sale, it’s a heck of a deal!) http://ow.ly/F34d300GBFc

AceBadge

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented on my post in the Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality! I’ll be making a $15 donation to Lambda Legal by the end of the day. And the winner of my giveaway is…

…drum roll…

AM!

Thanks again to everyone who commented, and see you again next year! (well, hopefully sooner than that…. *winks*)

Conall17

Hello, Snippetteers! I’m getting ready to send UNDERTOW off to my editor, so I thought I’d give you a little piece of it before I hit that “send” button. The POV this time is Conall’s (that’s him in the picture, everyone’s favorite ginger Fae), on his way back to see to Rhoann, who he left in the Pool in Central Park the night before (Rhoann being a Water Fae and a shapeshifter and wanting to spend his first night in the human world in the water, pleaseandthankyou.) Fae, by the way, hate being in enclosed conveyances. There’s something fundamentally disorienting to them about getting into a little box in one place, sitting still, and getting out of it in another place entirely. Conall has the ability to become incorporeal and fit himself inside his scair-anam‘s body, but even being able to travel that way doesn’t make the prospect of a train trip very palatable.

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Bad enough he’d thought it was a good idea to stash a newly arrived Fae in the middle of Central Park without supervision. Then, distracted by Cuinn’s story, he’d gone off to Washington Square Park in the wee small hours of the morning to meet up with Lochlann and Josh and Garrett, to do the by-now-familiar choreography necessary to ward the wellspring there. And then he’d been exhausted, but he hadn’t wanted to leave Josh to face the train ride home alone, so he’d Faded and gone with him, wrapped up in the comfort of his scair-anam’s strong body and warm heart but a bundle of raw nerves trapped in a rolling tin can nonetheless.

And then Fiachra had called, just past ten in the ever-loving morning, to say oh by the way, our new Fae is a shapeshifter and kind of casual about public nudity.

Four strikes. Am I out, or am I supposed to punt?

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And, finally, a couple of links, as usual!

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for more LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And, for those of you who prefer to do your book-buying somewhere other than Amazon, here’s the link to all six of the currently available SoulShares novels at Riverdale Avenue Books’ Web site, where you can get them in whatever format you like: http://ow.ly/NyuB300rGfE

Oh, and if you’d like to check out my stop on the Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality (and have a chance to win some books and trigger a donation to Lambda Legal), here’s the link — the Hop runs through tomorrow, and my page has a link back to the rest of the Hop, too: https://rorynicoileain.com/2016/05/17/hop-for-visibility-awareness-and-equality/

HopUmbrella

Ace3

Welcome to my little corner of the Hop for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality (formerly known as the Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia)! I’m thrilled with the name change, and the mission change, for reasons I’ll get to in a minute, but a quick introduction first: I’m an author of what I call mythic and legendary m/m erotic romance (I’ve been told by several judges over the years that I’m too mythic/legendary and not enough romance for the RITA Awards, so I figure I’m getting the balance right about where I want it!) And personally, I identify as asexual in casual conversation, autochorissexual if you feel like talking tech. (http://asexuals.wikia.com/wiki/Autochorissexual) I even have it tattooed on my leg. (See above.)

A few housekeeping details, before I get started –

I’m going to see if this works — our tech guru tells me that this ought to be a working link back to the rest of the Hop, to let y’all find (more) wonderful stuff to read! (and if this doesn’t work, there’s a link in the second comment to the blog, down below.)

*crosses fingers tightly*

Also, for every comment at the end of this blog, I’m going to be donating a dollar at the end of the Hop to Lambda Legal, to help with their coordinated response to the flood of “religious liberty” bills we’re currently seeing. Please put me on the hook for as much as possible. Seriously. Feel free.

And finally, every comment will enter you to win an autographed copy of the first edition of HARD AS STONE, the first book in my SoulShares series, if you’re in the US or Canada, or electronic copies of HARD AS STONE and GALE FORCE (SoulShares 1 and 2) if you’re elsewhere.

Now, with that out of the way –

Why I Love the Hop’s Mission Change

I’d like to begin with a very important caveat – in what follows, I am absolutely not purporting to speak for everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community. Or even everyone in that community who wants to make a change in the current political/social climate. There are as many ways to effect change as there are people who want to change things. And no one response to provocation is always the right answer. I’m just making a few observations about the path I’m on. And if anyone finds anything here that resonates, you’re welcome to join me!

It’s very easy, especially in the current, um, highly emotionally charged political climate, to define ourselves in terms of what we’re against, instead of what we’re for. Sometimes, in some contexts, it’s necessary to do that – when you’re standing up to speak out against a specific injustice, for example, or speaking truth to power. But we need to be aware that when we go beyond the needs of the present situation, and turn our opposition into part of what we see ourselves as, into part of our own being, there’s almost always a side effect. Consciously or unconsciously, our world turns into “us vs. them”. And “us” is always better than “them” – if it weren’t, we’d be on the “them” side. And unless we’re very, very careful, we look down on “them”. We turn “them” into “other,” and “less than.” And we turn “them” into a faceless mass, every one of “them” the same. One obstacle to be overcome, a single hateful voice to be silenced.

My native Minnesota was the first state to vote down a “one-man-one-woman” marriage amendment. We didn’t do it through advertising, or fiery speeches, or political rhetoric. We did it mindfully, deliberately, one conversation at a time. And by “conversation,” I mean telling our stories, yes. But also listening to the stories of those we engaged with. Refusing to believe that those who disagreed with us were “other.” Sure, some of our opponents were angry, bitter, hateful people. But a great many weren’t. A great many were genuinely afraid of a changing world they didn’t understand and didn’t feel like a part of. We talked to those people. We put our faces, and the faces of the people we loved, and the faces of the people our opponents loved, on their faceless concept of “them”.

And we made a difference. Not only did Minnesota vote down “one-man-one-woman”, but just a year later we went to the polls and made Minnesota the 12th state in the country to legislate marriage equality.

We don’t need unanimity before we can have equality. Hells to the no. Equality before the law isn’t something that’s up for a popular vote – and believe me, I’m as militant as the next red-haired Irish lawyer when it comes to standing up for the legal rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, and opposing the ridiculous and harmful legislation that seems to be assailing us at every turn these days. But at the same time, genuine equality, the kind we don’t have to be terrified of losing every time the winds of politics sweep another party into power or some demagogue decides to accumulate political capital by playing on a frightened minority’s fear of “the other,” isn’t a destination we can reach as a society by dragging the people who are afraid of it along behind us to some imaginary finish line. As wonderful as it would have been to be able to say the job was done when Obergefell became the law of the land, we still need to be having those conversations. Having the courage to put our faces on the faceless fears of those of our brothers and sisters who will listen. My priest made this point very succinctly in her sermon this Sunday – we need to have these conversations “with those who are willing to have them, and as we are able.” I’ve decided that what I want most give to this fight, even more than my Olympic-caliber snark and occasionally eloquent indignation, is my love. As much as I can, I want to come from a place of love. Because, ultimately, love wins. I truly believe that.

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A bit of a P.S. here, as long as I’m revising to add the link back to the Hop — I had an interesting experience the other night, a run-in with one of those folks who apparently ISN’T willing to have the Minnesota Nice conversation. One of my fellow students in an Irish song class, whose business card lists him as “author and Anointed Minister of God,” gave saving my soul the old college try after class. “Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Well, then, surely you understand that — even though I’m sure he loves …homosexuals… you can’t possibly be a Christian and approve of the homosexual lifestyle.” I’m afraid I have a ways to go before I can respond to people like that with the kind of love and patience I hope to achieve. *sighs* At least no one had to bail me out of anyplace…

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Here’s a taste of my just-completed (like, yesterday) WIP, UNDERTOW (SoulShares #7). Rhoann Callte, my shape-shifter Fae protagonist for this book (he’s presently a salmon), is something of a rarity among Fae – he’s demisexual. And it’s been a wonderful experience writing him!

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The water was full of light. Moonlight, and the strange orange light the humans created and hung from metal poles. For a while, Rhoann used the brightness to explore the boundaries of his new home, gliding along the uneven shore, letting the water from a small waterfall drum on his shining back, diving to test the depth of the water in a double hand of places.

The lake the other Fae had called the Pool was small for a salmon Rhoann’s size, but it would do for now. Just a little larger than a trap.

Aine was wrong. The other Loremasters were wrong. Rhoann swam in circles, in looped figures, out in the deeper center of the lake, his powerful tail sending him speeding through the water and scattering smaller fish. She took me — they took me — they stole me for nothing.

Rhoann dove, seeking cooler water, a clearer head. They were so sure. Two who needed my help, two who would not be whole without me. Bryce, with his stubborn refusal to be helped while there was still help he himself could give; Cuinn, his voice lost to a magick Rhoann could not comprehend.

Maybe Aine was right. Rhoann would have sighed, if this body allowed such. As far as she could see, at least. Maybe they will never be whole without me… so maybe they will never be whole.

The thought made Rhoann sad.

I am not whole, either. Though I am not sure I know what the difference feels like, between whole and not.

He broke out of his circle, swimming parallel to the shore, learning the shape of the lake with his body. Half his soul had left him, somewhere in the agony between two worlds. But was the emptiness he felt the echo of a missing soul? Or simple loneliness?

Loneliness. The word was strange, almost foreign. How could he be lonely, when all he had ever wanted was to be alone?

A massive willow tree arched out over the water, the tips of its branches trailing in the water. There was darkness of a sort in the shelter of the branches, and a gentle flow of cool water from a nearby spring, a human-made thing. Exhausted at last, Rhoann set himself in the flow, fins rippling just enough to keep him in place. His half-Royal magick touched the water, and called darkness into it, true darkness touched only by starlight.

The eyes of his salmon form never closed. But Rhoann the salmon could sleep. He went within himself, and he dreamed.
Dreamed of a lost world, and a lost soul.

And a human, with the hair of an ancient, a leg of bound magick, and eyes overflowing with utterly unFae tears.

********

arielprospero

Good afternoon, Snippetteers! — I’m getting close enough to finishing UNDERTOW that if I give you a snippet of new material, I’m going to be giving away the twist in the HEA, so I thought I’d give you six sentences from “Deeper Than Did Ever Plummet Sound,” my story for the Summer’s Day #Shakespeare400 m/m romance anthology. In this snippet, the cast of “The Tempest” is hanging out in a local watering hole, Angels Nest, after their first blocking rehearsal. Clarence, the production’s Prospero, is nursing a gin and tonic and watching a fellow cast member, Denton Miller, who’s just cheated in a game of pool against Jaymes, the production’s Ariel.

********

At first he’d thought he was simply reacting to the fellow in character; Prospero was an aristocrat, and Caliban was a vile, base creature who leered after Prospero’s virgin daughter and plotted to kill him. Not much there to like, surely.

It was possible, however, to play Caliban as, if not a sympathetic character, at least a complex one, filled with passion for the island he believed to have been stolen from him, moved by an impossible desire to be loved. Denton had obviously chosen otherwise for the character, making him almost cartoonish in his villainy. A lazy choice.

Even in the quiet twilight of his career, Clarence could not abide laziness.

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And a few links for you —

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for more tasty LGBTQIA+ goodness on a weekly basis: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And MANTLED IN MIST, SoulShares #6 (to whet your appetite for number seven, UNDERTOW): http://ow.ly/Q8kO300ciDt

FlagOne

Hello, Snippetteers! — I took a day off work this week in an attempt to finish UNDERTOW (which was technically due, um, Sunday). Didn’t quite get there — but some very wonderful things happened to our lads. And one of my favorite passages was touched off by nothing more than Lucien’s smile. (Just remember — Lucien was the head bouncer at Purgatory, and Mac was the lead bartender.) Enjoy!

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Mac had overheard guys at the club calling Lucien’s smile ‘ugly-handsome’. “That bouncer – he smiles at you, and you don’t care what he looks like any more.” He’d schooled the shit out of the more obnoxious patrons, and just shrugged afterward when Lucien asked why he’d been doing his job for him. And the rest… well, he’d just smiled, and kept his thoughts to himself. Lucien was Lucien. He was Mac’s light, and his love, and his life.

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And a couple of links to round out the week —

Rainbow Snippets on Facebook, for many more LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And WOLF, BECOMING, where old Russia meets new, and wolves are not what they seem: http://ow.ly/Fzal3000Jil