Category: Uncategorized


Hello, Snippetteers! — sneaking in under the wire this weekend, with a glimpse at Cuinn and Rian’s chapter in BACK DOOR INTO PURGATORY. (If you’re conversant with the SoulShares series, you’re going to love this book — I’m treating myself to giving each couple/threesome their own chapter, revisiting what I — and, I hope, you — love best about each of them. This week’s snippet is Cuinn and Rian, and that’s all the setup I’m going to give you. *winks*

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Cuinn’s mouth felt suddenly dry. “You… need it to hurt?” The lad had been an insatiable pain slut, well known to the S&M underground of Belfast, before he’d found the consummation he hadn’t known he’d been looking for, in Cuinn and in the Pattern.

“Only enough to remind me I’m yours.” The fiery gaze turned skyward, for a fraction of a second. “Yours and not hers.”

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Your link back to Rainbow Snippets, your home on Facebook for LGBTQIA+ yummy goodness: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

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Radical hate, radical love

Warning — this post is going to be just a little unusual for me, no matter which, or how many, of my faces you know.

Shall we begin?

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My epiphanies tend not to be blinding-light, road-to-Damascus moments (though I’ll admit I’ve had a few of those, like the moment when I realized that it was probably smarter to start carrying a walking stick than to keep falling on my head at inconvenient moments). More often, they’re moments when a great many things I already knew, miscellaneous bits of information acquired here and there the way a magpie accumulates shiny things, fall into a completely new, and perfectly obvious, configuration. The kind of moment that makes a person sit there with her mouth open, wondering idly if something’s going to fly in, while she contemplates the new pattern in her life and wonders what it’s going to do to all the careful constructs she’s already built.

I had one of those moments this afternoon. Some of my epiphanies (most of them, frankly) have very little to do with anyone but me. But this one… damn. I have to try to share it. If the pattern isn’t as logical to you as it is to me, I apologize; something I perceive all at once is hard to reduce to a linear medium like print. But I’m supposed to be a writer, right? That’s my job; getting what’s inside my head into yours.

I suppose this particular insight started with an article I read this morning, somewhere on the Internet; an article about the extent of Russian psychological engineering being conducted via social media. Facebook groups, and their equivalent on other social media (I’m primarily a Facebooker, myself, so I’m not as conversant with the other forms) seeded social media with messages designed to inflame, to set us against one another regardless of our political persuasions. Russian-backed groups posed as white supremacist organizations, published outrageous allegations, organized rallies, insisted that the only way to deal with illegal immigrants was to “kill them all.” They posed as BLM cells and so-called “Antifa”, advocated murder and rioting and looting. They posed as vicious homophobes, and as TERFs. And as individual trolls, they inserted themselves into as many conversations as they could, solely to fan the flames of our hatred for one another.

To a child of the Cold War, this isn’t as crazy an idea as it sounds. I grew up in an era when every school had its fallout shelter every classroom had its duck-and-cover drills; one of my earliest memories is of my father trying to explain the nuclear test-ban treaty to his three-year-old daughter so I would stop crying and go to sleep, without looking out my window waiting for the sky to glow, and then to fall. Paradoxically, I’ve always loved Russia, and Russians, ever since I can remember… but the hostility of the Russian government was a fact of my life during my most formative years. And it seems odd to that Cold War child that no one seemed to foresee social media being weaponized in quite this way – maybe if Facebook had been invented by someone a little older, the world would be a different place right now. Or maybe not…

We talk about terrorists being “radicalized”. I don’t know how many of us have ever given any thought to what that actually means, since it’s something that happens to people Other Than Us. Maybe we imagine being locked in a room, listening to a hypnotic voice chanting over and over again until the capacity for conscious thought is gone. Maybe we imagine a deliberate program of indoctrination, available in secret corners of the Internet to those fanatical enough to seek out the instructions that will turn them into killing machines.

I don’t think that’s what it means at all. I think it means exactly what’s been done to us, and is still being done to us. It means ensuring that the medium in which most of us spend so much of our time is filled with the voices of hate – sometimes the voices of those who hate us, and sometimes the voices of those telling us “we” have no choice but to hate them. It means saturating the public discourse with the language of fear and loathing and hatred, until those are the only responses we think of when someone disagrees with us. Until we respond even to those we love with anger and suspicion, prepared to be wounded.

I don’t pretend to be a professional in the field of psychology, but I do know something about the Jungian notion of the shadow. The shadow lives in all of us, the impulses and emotions and thoughts we choose (for the most part) not to air, because we know their capacity to cause harm and pain to ourselves and others. But sometimes, this theory goes, we feel we have permission to let the shadow out. There’s great power in the breaking of a taboo, a rush, a euphoria. And it’s addictive – once the shadow is out, it takes a tremendous effort to cage it again.

I thought, during the summer of 2016, that that was the appeal of the current occupant of the Oval Office – he was giving his base permission to let out the hate and the fear and the jealousy they’d kept bottled up. They felt safe, free to hate.

Now, though, I’m starting to realize that I was only seeing part of the picture. All of our shadows have come uncaged. We have all been radicalized. We are encouraged and prodded and coaxed to dehumanize those with whom we disagree – and that’s so much easier when they’re being encouraged and prodded and coaxed to dehumanize us. Those flames probably don’t even need to be fanned any more – but the fanning goes on, groups and bots and trolls and clickbait Web sites feeding the fire and waiting for us to destroy ourselves.

The manipulation has had another effect, too. One I can speak to from personal experience, and one brought home to me all too clearly last night. Some of us – many of us, I think – fight the radicalization. We refuse to join in the shouting, hurl the stones, lash out at enemies real and perceived. But there’s a cost to that, too: despair. Depression. I’m entitled to wear the semi-colon, and I might, someday; the night after the last election was the first time in my life I woke up in the middle of the night and prayed to die before dawn. The first, but not the last. Thankfully, I’ve found a medication regimen that works, and something else, which I’ll get to in a minute, and I’m no longer at risk.

But not all of us are so fortunate.

The poison in the air around us kills, as our m/m community learned last night, when one of us could no longer see any path to the light. James’ last Facebook message told us so, and said good-bye; what struck me about his message, though, and added to this quiet epiphany of mine, is that apart from its finality, his message could have been sent by almost any one of us. How many of us have “said good-bye” to Facebook, or social media, temporarily or permanently, because we simply can’t bear the hatred, the anger, or just the “drama” – us, turning on our own, treating our own the way we treat the “enemy”? The people who knew James well picked up on the difference in his final message, but I’m sure that to many, it was another entry in a wretched, hurting, despairing string of farewells. We hoped he’d take time away to restore himself, and come back to us when he could bear to, as so many of our friends have had to do.

James was one casualty in this war. I’ve known and loved others. I came close to being one myself.

For me, it ends here. The war ends here. I will not allow myself to be manipulated any longer, either to hate or to despair.

I mentioned “something else” a few paragraphs ago. I’m an Associate member of the Order of Julian of Norwich, an Episcopal contemplative order. Mother Julian was a medieval anchoress, the author of the first book published in the English language by a woman, Revelations of Divine Love. In a nutshell – the tl;dr, if you will – her premise is that God is love, that he created all things through love, that his will for the world is perfect love.

My own theology is a tiny bit more eccentric than Julian’s (good thing I’m an Episcopalian, we’re good with eccentricities). Julian was saddled with a theology that held that God was all-powerful, and caused everything that happened; therefore, if something bad happened, that theology was tasked with explaining why a good God made bad things happen, as well as with explaining why God didn’t just bring his will to pass, if he could do anything. My own personal theology holds that God isn’t all-powerful, because he gave us free will. Our own wills are powerful enough to do things God doesn’t want us to do, because he refused to create a race of slaves.

So if I am to pray “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” if I want God’s will, that perfect love, to exist here and now, I need to give my small part of that will back to that purpose. My will has to be love, too. Fortunately, as one of my favorite benedictions puts it, “We are not called to love perfectly, only to love.” Because perfect love is much too much of a challenge for me – there are times when just plain ordinary love is well out of reach, and the best I can do is try not to hate, just for today. And sometimes I fall short even of that. But I’ve promised, I’ve bound myself to love. Radical love. So I pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again. It’s been a lot harder to do that lately… but now I see the strings of the puppeteers, the little man behind the curtain. It’s a different game now. (And when it comes to those who have deliberately aligned themselves with the hatred and the fear, for their own advantage — love doesn’t necessarily mean sweetness and light and flowers. But letting go of the hate frees me from the burden of seeking vengeance and frees me to seek justice.)

I suppose, in the end, this is another one of those epiphanies that’s addressed mainly to myself. It’s not my place to tell anyone else how to live their life, and it’s definitely not my place to consider anyone else’s path inferior to my own. But I can invite you to join me on my path – please do, it’s easier, and much more pleasant, to walk in company. (And it’s going to involve writing, I promise! – it’s the despair that’s been keeping me from writing, and I’m convinced that writing romance is part of the way I’m called to let that radical love into the world.) I won’t be used any longer, I won’t be manipulated… and I will love.

Walk with me, dear ones.

Hello, Snippetteers! — sorry to have been away so long, but for those of you who haven’t been following my mini-saga on Facebook, one of my cats, Captain Jack Harkness, ran away just after we moved, at the end of August; he came home mid-September half starved and with a broken jaw, so we’ve been through surgery and tube feeding and waking up in the middle of the night for feedings… but Jack is fine now, apart from a few shaved patches that are acutely embarrassing to him (not to mention itchy), and eating like a horse (well, a pony) to make up for lost time.

And here’s a snippet from the work in progress, BACK DOOR INTO PURGATORY, the ninth and last SoulShares book. I decided to be mean this time and stick with the six sentence rule no matter what. Enjoy! 😉

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Josh leaned forward, took his weight on his hands, and brushed his lips across Conall’s. “Want me to unbind you?”

“No.” Conall swallowed a lump in his throat. “Take me. Just like this.”

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And links for your reading pleasure —

Rainbow Snippets, your home on Facebook for LGBTQIA+ goodies of all sorts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And the recently-released STONE COLD, SoulShares #8: http://ow.ly/BcYh30gc7BM

Hello, Snippeteers! — things have been a little slow in the writing department lately, as the Ni Coileain household is packing up to move across town next week. But I finished off STONE COLD and sent it off to my publisher (watch this space on September 28!) and now I’ve started work on the last SoulShares novel, BACK DOOR INTO PURGATORY. It’s a little different from the others in the series — no new couple, though everyone from the preceding eight books will get at least one more turn in the spotlight as the Fae and humans of Purgatory face down their ancient enemy once and for all.

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“You’re going to have to keep your head down in order for me to tie off that last — oh, hell.” Josh straightened. “I know that look.”

Conall sighed. “Sorry, dar’cion.” He didn’t bother contradicting his partner; it was bad enough that he’d been snapped out of his delicious state of willing submission by a familiar frisson of energy along his spine. “Something’s come through the nexus.”

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And, as usual, finishing off with a couple of links:

Rainbow Snippets, your Facebook pied-a-terre for all tales LGBTQIA+ — https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And my page at QueeRomance Ink, a resource for romance all across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, searchable by author, title, subgenre, trope, pairing, and much more! — https://www.queeromanceink.com/?s=Rory+Ni+Coileain&search_type=book_search

Hello, Snippetteers! — seems like I’m always apologizing for being away. But at least this time I’ve finally got a handle on my Executive Function Disorder (I think) and am almost done with STONE COLD! So here’s a bit from the last chapter (still an Epilogue to go, but I’m almost done with the main story, at least…) POV character is Maelduin, who has just finished good-naturedly complaining about the difficulty of removing Terry’s clothes while lying on top of him, and while Terry is doing his bit to be terribly distracting. And Terry is the only one who’s actually speaking. (Seven sentences, again, alas — hoping I get a pass for having been gone so long! *winks*)

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No, that was not an innocent smile. “You think you’ve got problems? I may be the first man ever circumcised by the zipper of his own jeans.”

The flood of images touched off by Terry’s unfamiliar words took Maelduin several seconds to process; the processing left him no less confused than he had been, and slightly appalled. Terry’s laughter — at his expression, no doubt — recalled his attention to what he was supposed to be doing, and also begged for a kiss, which he was happy to provide.

“I suspect we’re not going to get me out of anything with you still lying on me.”

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And a couple of links, to round out the experience:

Rainbow Snippets, your (endlessly patient) Facebook home for all manner of things LGBTQIA+ — https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And my page on QueeRomance Ink — not a sales site, but an LGBTQIA+ romance database searchable by book, author, genre, trope, heat level, and much more — https://www.queeromanceink.com/?s=Rory+Ni+Coileain&search_type=book_search

See you soon!

Hey, Snippetteers! — seems like I’m always apologizing for absences lately, but this apology is a little different, because I finally know what’s going on with me. I have a diagnosis of adult onset Attention Deficit Disorder, and I won’t bore you with everything that that implies (I’m going to try to write a regular blog post later to do that!) but the short form version is that since November I’ve been really, really lucky to write 100 words or so a night. But I’m on meds for it now, and starting to do better. So here’s a Snippet for y’all, and just for fun I’m not going to tell you ANYTHING about what’s going on. Other than that Maelduin’s the POV character. Yes, I’m evil.

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He dropped to his knees beside Terry, brushing ice crystals from his face, shivering with the intensity of his relief as one wisp of breath and then another curled from between Terry’s lips to be caught and whirled away by the wind. And the ice melted where his fingers traced; gently he stroked Terry’s eyelids, his mouth.

Eyelids fluttered, then closed. “Too cold.” Only a Fae could have heard Terry’s whisper. “Le’ me sleep.”

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And, as usual, a couple of links for you!

Rainbow Snippets, your Facebook home for all kinds of LGBTQIA+ goodies — https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And my page at QueeRomance Ink, where you can find buy links for everything I’ve got going on right now (and whole lot of other great LGBTQIA+ romance into the bargain!) — https://www.queeromanceink.com/?s=Rory+Ni+Coileain

I’d like to thank Dale Cameron Lowry at https://readersandwritersforlgbtchechens.wordpress.com/ for giving me the chance to help signal-boost the terrific work of Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens and Books Save Lives. If you read my books, or my Facebook posts, or pretty much anything I write anywhere, chances are you don’t need to be told about the horrific scenes presently unfolding in Chechnya, gay men imprisoned, tortured, killed – some by the authorities, some by their own families in “honor killings.” Concentration camps, and governments – including, to my shame and outrage, my own – turning a blind eye.

So, instead of telling you that story, I’d like to start by telling you a story about a story.

I was inspired to write WOLF, BECOMING by a panel discussion at the first Rainbow Con, back in 2014. The Sochi Olympics were coming up, and the institutionalized homophobia in Russia was very much on everyone’s minds. I was a panelist on a Sunday morning panel on “religion in LGBT fiction” (It was Easter morning, it seemed appropriate), and someone proposed doing a charity anthology – all m/m stories set in Russia or the Ukraine, all featuring HEAs – gay men living and loving their truths in a regime that was beginning to indicate that it had no intention of allowing them to do either. And I got to thinking about a dear friend of mine, a gay Russian man, living in the U.S., who I’ve known for over 20 years. He had lost his partner to cancer a few years previously, and had followed his partner’s wishes and brought his body back to Moscow for burial. And by 2014, because some American embassy attaché’s kid decided to write a book about his years in Russia during the Cold War and thought it would add verisimilitude to out my friend, my friend can’t go back to visit his partner’s grave, not without risking his life.

And right after I left that panel, I discovered that the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar anthology for 2014 was going to feature Christmas stories from countries other than the U.S. Now, I’m not necessarily the brightest bulb on God’s Christmas tree, but when an idea hits me over the head hard enough, even I notice.

So WOLF, BECOMING was born, a novella-length story out of ancient Russian legend and the modern day, a wolf shapeshifter reviled by wolves for his strangeness and the third son of a powerful Russian oligarch, a wealthy man who can’t afford the disgrace of a gay son. The story pulls no punches – one reader has commented “You know, this is the first Christmas story I’ve ever read that features an attempted fratricide.” It’s dark and cold, yet it’s also warm and beautiful and the HEA I wished I could have given to my friend, and so many men like him.

I wish I could reach out and do more now, as another cancer spreads in Chechnya. I’d offer the royalties from WOLF, BECOMING, as part of the good work Dale and so many authors are doing (go check out that link at the head of the article for even more ways you can help) but Volyk and Ilya would have to hit the NYT bestseller list for me to be able to give as much as I’d like. Although I will donate royalties to Rainbow Railroad – at the end of this post is a link to WOLF’s page on QueeRomance Ink, which isn’t a sales page but has links to every place you can buy the novella. And if you hit me up on Facebook by private message, or e-mail me at Rory (dot) Ni (at) yahoo (dot) com, and attach a screenshot of your receipt, or some other proof of purchase, before the end of May, I’ll donate the royalties. But I want to do more – so every comment on this blog post before the end of May will mean another $1.00 donation from me. I’d let the comment period run even longer, but this money needs to get where it’s going, so we can get these men to safety.

So…. read, comment. And wherever you are, and whoever you speak to, speak up. Speak out. Silence is a luxury no one can afford right now.

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WOLF, BECOMING’s QueeRomance Ink page:

https://www.queeromanceink.com/book/wolf-becoming/

Hello, Snippetteers! — sorry for the long absence, hope today’s entry makes up for it a little. (Of course, if you’re the kind of person who thinks a good tease doesn’t ‘make up for’ anything, we might have to agree to disagree. *winks*

To get you up to speed for the snippet — Maelduin has finally come face to face with Tiernan, his uncle, the murderer of his father, the Fae he’s spent his life training to kill. The trouble is, Maelduin’s just been presented with a couple of hard truths — he now knows why Tiernan killed his father, and he knows that Terry, Maelduin’s SoulShare, is in danger and in need of immediate rescue. The only solution Maelduin can come up with is to surrender; the only problem with that solution is that Tiernan doesn’t want to accept. (Oh, and Clo’che is the word as’Faein for living Stone, which is what Tiernan’s left hand is made of.)

And I might, just might, be off next weekend, too, because JOHN BARROWMAN is coming to ComicCon Minneapolis. *squee!!!!!*

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Getting up was difficult to the point of humiliation. No one spoke — though the dragonet hissed in what might have been laughter. Maelduin ignored it, choosing to look instead at the male he was sworn to kill. “Why did you feel you needed no blade to meet me?” he blurted into the awkward silence.

Tiernan said nothing, but extended his crystal hand again. Even warier of the gesture a second time, Maelduin stared as Tiernan produced a grace-blade from the Clo’che of his own hand, balanced it perfectly across two fingers as the harsh light winked off its wickedly sharp edge, then flipped it into the air and reabsorbed it back into his hand.

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And, as usual, a couple of links for you —

Rainbow Snippets, your home on Facebook for tasty LGBTQIA+ morsels: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And my page on QueeRomance Ink — not a sales page, but a one-stop searchable collection of LGBTQIA+ romance novels complete with buy links: https://www.queeromanceink.com/?s=Rory+Ni+Coileain&post_types=mbdb_book

Hello, Snippetteers! It’s the middle of a crazy weekend — I help run a two-day party here in the Twin Cities, for four or five thousand people, on St. Patrick’s Day and the closest Sunday to it. And today I had to get my taxes done. *shudder* But now I’m coming up for air, and I have seven (oops) sentences from STONE COLD for you. The speaker is Terry, who’s trapped with Coinneach in a ward that’s been put up around a wellspring. Coinneach is a Gille Dubh, a member of a race that hates the Fae (and has good reason to); there’s a truce between the two races right now, but Coinneach suspects the Fae have already broken it, and is trying to get evidence out of Terry, basically by trying to convince Terry that Maelduin, his Fae SoulShare, is lying to him, conning him, in an attempt to get back the half of his soul Terry has. And Terry’s kind of predisposed to believe Coinneach, because Terry has a really terrible track record when it comes to love — it’s not all that hard to convince him that he’s just made one more bad choice in a long line of bad choices.

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I’d rather be right than take a chance on being happy.
When had he decided to live like that?
He hadn’t. He’d never made that decision. He’d simply let one acceptance of ‘the way things were,’ one way of coping with a hurt, slide into another, until the acceptance had become his reality.
Maelduin offered him magick, maybe more.
If he could take the chance.

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A couple of links for you —

Rainbow Snippets, your Facebook home for more LGBTQIA+ yummy goodness: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/
And my author page on QueeRomance Ink, a new searchable site with buy links, for romance all over the rainbow: http://ow.ly/2f0t30a2KEs

rainbowsilk

Hello, Snippetteers! — sorry for the long absence, I’m only now getting back to writing and my last couple of weekends can be found in the Urban Dictionary under the definition for “chaos.” But I’m back! (And I’m registered for GRL in October, as a Supporting Author, but hoping to upgrade because I l-o-o-o-o-v-e doing readings!)

This weeks snippet is part of a conversation between Josh and Conall; they’re trying to figure out what to do about Tiernan’s nephew, Maelduin, who has come through the Pattern to take revenge for his father’s death (his father being Tiernan’s brother, for which murder Tiernan was exiled to the human world to begin with). The first speaker below is Conall.

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“I’m guessing this is what Aine was warning us about, in the message that came back through the Pattern.”

“‘Guard the Guardian,’ you mean.”

Conall nodded. It would have been nice if the ancient Loremaster could have been a bit more forthcoming, but no use trying to put the lightning back in the cloud. “She must have known our new friend was coming through. And if she saw fit to warn us, one way or another he’s definitely going to be a thorn-ball under Tiernan’s scrotum.”

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And, as usual, a couple of links —

Rainbow Snippets, your home on Facebook for all kinds of LGBTQIA+ goodies: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

And a new one — QueeRomance Ink, a searchable database for LGBTQIA+ romance, including buy links: https://www.queeromanceink.com/