Saturday, July 25, 2015

Timmy's Review of At the Lake by Geoff Laughton

This was a bit of a light read. In a way, that’s a good thing, but also not such a good thing. Let me explain. One way I know I’m invested in the characters is by “feeling” their emotions. And, if I’m emotionally invested in characters, I normally find I enjoy the read more. On the other hand, if I’m not too deeply emotionally sucked in, I get a nice break from crazy roller coaster of emotions a deep read will put me through. If the story is a light read, then the story needs to be stellar to keep my interest. At The Lake had enough going on to keep me interested, but not so much that it weighed heavy on my emotions.

I liked the bit of back-story we get in the beginning, but not all of it was important to the story. I felt the author was almost trying too hard to make something of the back-story. I think more character building and a little less camp building (the camp was explained in detail) would have helped.

Once into the story, I did get hooked on Shane. I really enjoyed following his time at camp. He was good at what he did and was a great support to the campers. I liked how realistic he felt. I also liked that he had such strong feelings about the financial and status difference between him and William. That felt real to me. However, the author didn’t really follow through with that. It might have been a great opening into a small drama that could have helped the story. I also liked how Shane overcame his fear and learned to live with his disability. That is an important thing to have in a YA book. It wasn’t always easy for Shane, and it didn’t magically get better at the end of the story. It is something he will always live with and always have to work through. That felt very realistic to me.

William fell flat for me. I wasn’t able to invest in him at all. He was sweet and seemed caring, but he felt like he kept his distance from Shane. He didn’t feel there at the end. I would have loved to see William’s character fleshed out more. Perhaps more conversations between him and Shane might have helped so I could see what Shane saw in him. He had good qualities, but I really felt the story was more about Shane, and not the two of them getting together. I liked the story, and I would recommend it for a light weekend read. I give this story 3 marbles.~Timmy

At the Lake is available at

About At the Lake

Shane Martinelli and William Houghton come from very different backgrounds. They meet at a high-end summer camp in the Adirondacks, where Shane works as a lifeguard to earn some money and begin saving for college. William is one of the guests, and he doesn’t want to be there. As far as William knows, his father only dumped him at the camp so he could spend time with his latest mistress. When Shane figures out William can’t swim, he offers to teach him. William enthusiastically responds, but when an unexpected storm blows in, William is caught in the water and Shane comes to his rescue. They barely reach shore before lightning strikes the dock—close enough to damage Shane’s hearing.

The following summer both boys return to the camp. Shane doesn’t let his use of hearing aids stand in his way. William is now a counselor-in-training. The attraction between them is undeniable, but how can they possibly make it work? Once camp is over, a week at William’s family home in the Hamptons will determine if the love that bloomed at the lake can survive in the real world. 

Find Geoff Laughton on Goodreads and on Facebook

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Get Your #illGoWithYou Button! An Ally Project

#IllGoWithYou allies go into bathrooms and other spaces with transgender people who may be afraid or concerned about their safety. An #IllGoWithYou ally offers support, buffering, and nonviolent assistance when asked.

What is this idea?

We, the organizers, are part of the queer community. And while we can generally “pass” enough to avoid comment in gendered spaces, not all members of our community can do so, want to do so, or are confident in their ability to do so. This threatens the safety of transgender, genderqueer, and other gender-nonconforming people. Additionally, the legal status of gender-nonconforming individuals accessing gendered spaces is inconsistent, and often challenged.

We say this sucks. No one should have to feel unsafe using a restroom or other gendered space that conforms with their gender identity.

Our pledge, the pledge of #IllGoWithYou, is that those of us with passing privilege offer to be a bathroom buddy, a watch-your-back person, a stand-up-for-you person. #IllGoWithYou says “I will have your back. I will be your witness.”

What Can I Do?

First of all, be the change you want to see in the world. If you see someone being bullied for their gender expression or identity, speak up, help them get out, or get help.

The #IllGoWithYou organizers have also created #IllGoWithYou buttons you can wear on a jacket or backpack to indicate publicly that you are willing to be tapped as a bathroom buddy (or other type of ally–sometimes you just need someone to pretend to know you long enough to get some random jerk to back off).

You can also Tweet or post on Facebook, Tumblr or other social media with the #IllGoWithYou hashtag. Remember that hashtags are NOT case-sensitive, but you CANNOT use an apostrophe! We’re normally in favor of good punctuation, just not in hashtags!

Steps For Allies

Be visible: Wear one of our buttons or use the #IllGoWithYou hashtag to indicate willingness to be a buddy.

If you are asked for help, and you feel safe doing so, help! Ask how you can help your buddy the most.

A special thank you to Allison Hickman for sharing this important post on Facebook

All Copyrights are property of I'llGoWithYou.Org ©2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Because It Started This Way, Part II of Raidean's story, a FREE serial read by Timmy Ashton

I'm over at Love Bytes today with a very special short story written by Timmy about an intersex character, Because It Started This Way.

It goes without saying that this story is very special to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing it, Timmy. And a special thanks to all of you for reading Timmy's story.