Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Timmy's Review of Every Inferno by Johanna Parkhurst


Jacob Jasper “JJ” Jones had his life torn apart at the age of 5. He lost his parents in a fire and was sent to live away from his younger sister. Not being able to be near her and feeling as if he was somehow responsible for his parents’ deaths, he has found his escape from life in the form of alcohol. JJ meets awesome people, learns some important life lessons, and finds someone that means more to him than drinking. He and his new friend become sleuths and work to discover the truth behind his parents’ deaths. I liked the book and characters a lot. Most of all I liked that JJ wasn't perfect and didn’t suddenly become perfect in the end. This made the book more real to me. I would have liked more of an ending so it didn't cut off with a brief explanation of what happened to JJ. All in all, this book is a great read. ~Timmy

Every Inferno by Johanna Parkhurst
Available in Print and eBook 
Dreamspinner Press/Harmony Ink Press, Amazon and All Romance Ebooks


What if your whole life was defined by one moment?
What if the only way to redefine it was to catch a killer?
Welcome to the world of Jacob Jasper Jones...


"A fascinating whodunnit about murder, family, and finding out who you are....I look forward to more by this author." ~Brian Katcher, award-winning author of Almost Perfect

Depressed. Defiant. Possible alcoholic. These are just a few of the terms used to describe fifteen-year-old Jacob Jasper Jones. Lately, though, JJ has a new one to add to the list: detective. He’s been having strange dreams about the fire that killed his parents ten years ago, and he thinks he finally has the clue to catching the arsonist who destroyed his family. 

A murder investigation isn’t the only thing the dreams trigger for JJ, though. They also lead to secret meetings with his estranged sister, an unlikely connection with a doctor who lost his daughter in the fire, and a confusing friendship with McKinley, a classmate of JJ’s who seems determined to help him solve the mystery. 

All JJ wants is to shake the problems that have followed him since that fire, and he’s convinced he must catch the arsonist to do it. But as JJ struggles to find the culprit, he sees there’s more than one mystery in his life he needs to solve.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Author Chat! Meet me at Rainbow Gold Reviews Facebook Page tonight 7:30 p.m. PST!

Come on over to Rainbow Gold ReviewsFacebook Page for an author chat! We'll be talking about PRIDE and writing high-action stories! Comment there and on Rainbow Gold's blog for a chance to win an ebook copy of my novella, Safe! Come check it out!


Friday, July 18, 2014

LT3 Press presents Project Fierce Chicago, an anthology to benefit homeless youth

Thank you so much, Cody, for having me as your guest today. No one can dispute the tragedy of homelessness, especially for our youth, and I'm very happy to be part of this wonderful anthology.

Nobody deserves to be without a home. In collaboration with several authors, Less Than Three Press offers up an anthology of stories about young people who find that home and family are not always where you expect to find them.

All proceeds from this charity anthology will be donated to Project Fierce Chicago.

Project Fierce Chicago's mission is to reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing affirming, no-cost transitional housing and comprehensive support services to homeless LGBTQ young adults. PFC also aims to encourage community-building and civic engagement through cooperative living and youth leadership development.

LT3's Project Fierce Chicago charity anthology includes 20 short stories from Aeris, Vicktor Alexander, Talya Andor, C.J. Anthony, Blaine D. Arden, Kayla Bain-Vrba, Sophie Bonaste, Kenzie Cade, Jana Denardo, Alessandra Ebulu, Dianne Hartsock, Leta Hutchins, Caitlin Ricci, Lor Rose, B. Snow, Rin Sparrow, Andrea Speed, Piper Vaughn, Layla M. Wier, and Xara X. Xanakas

Pairings: M/M, F/F, genderqueer
Content: Contains no explicit content.


Family conflicts, abuse and problems at school all contribute to the homeless epidemic in the LGBT youth community. Some find themselves on the street after 'aging out' of foster care, but more and more gay and transgender young people, emboldened by increased acceptance in society, are coming out in their teen years, when they are still reliant on their parents. Sometimes faced with hostility or rejection at home, many teens turn instead to the streets.

John Cerdon, a 22-year-old Filipino, came out to his parents four years ago, leading to friction. He spends most nights sleeping on a friend's floor.

"I'll just say my mother chose my stepfather over me," Cerdon said.

When he has no other option, Cerdon sleeps on the Red Line, where he said he has been robbed twice and assaulted.

While they account for 5 to 10 percent of the youth population, gay and transgender youths are estimated to make up 20 to 40 percent of the young people experiencing homelessness nationally. In Chicago, 11,471 young people between ages 14 and 21 experienced homelessness last year, according to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

"The data on homeless youth is generally poor, and it's worse for LGBTQ," said Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, adding to the mix the population of "Q" or "questioning" youths, those who are unsure of their sexual orientation...."  ~~Erin Meyer, Chicago Tribune reporter


Alexis Allegra, associate director of residential programs at Teen Living Programs, confirms the static nature of LGBTQ youth homelessness. “I think this is a consistent problem and it is not something I have seen drastically change one way or another over the six years I have worked here,” Allegra said.

The struggles faced by LGBTQ youth include sexual and physical harassment, as well as stigmatization at school and home, leading them to run away.

“Youth have either been kicked out of their parental homes or have chosen to leave because of the harsh criticism and intolerance they experience,” Allegra said. "They might live at a friend’s house. They might couch surf– staying one place for a few nights and then go to another friend’s house.” ~~Streets of Chicago Chicago LGBTQ Homeless Youth by Raven Icaza

Project Fierce Chicago will provide transitional housing for LGBTQ young people ages 18-25, for an initial term of one year. In addition to living space, food and hygiene products, residents will have access to services aimed at a successful transition to independence, including case management, professional and living skills training and educational support. These services will primarily be provided by dedicated volunteers.

PFC’s aim is to become a largely self-sustaining community through the maintenance of a community garden and an in-house workshop in which staff, volunteers and residents create daily living items such as soap, lotion and household cleaning products with natural ingredients. The house will also have a space in which to showcase the art and creative projects of residents and community members.

Sammy: My story in the Project Fierce Anthology

At fifteen, Sam inadvertently comes out to his parents, but instead of the support he hopes for, they send him to live with his uncle. Unfortunately, the man is even less tolerant of his uniqueness. Rather than change to please his family, feeling unwanted and misunderstood, he runs away to find a better life.

But the crowded city isn't kind to a young man with no home and no prospects of work. When this story opens, Sam has been on the streets for several years when one of his 'regulars' begins to take more than a business interest in him. For the first time Sammy dreams of more than a bleak lonely future, but does he dare hope that someone like him could find their happily ever after?

Excerpt:

John tossed his apron in the hamper then slipped out the back of the shelter into the dark alley and hurried around to the brightly lit street in front. Couples were enjoying the last of the day's warmth on the waterfront and he envied them as he headed toward his apartment complex. His pulse sped up as he neared the Morrison Bridge. Though it was after nine, traffic was still heavy on the bridge and also along Naito Parkway.

Passing under the bridge, he glanced down the bike path running alongside it, searching for Sammy. His heart leaped to his throat on seeing the familiar figure huddled on the grass, arms wrapped around his knees, looking alone and dejected. John ached to go to him, but would Sam want to talk to him? They weren't really friends. John paid for his company.

A soft sob floated on the night air and plunged straight into John's heart. He hurried over to Sam, then stood biting his lips, not sure what to say.

"What do you want?" Sammy's voice sounded tired, rough with tears.

"Do you need help? Can I do anything?"

Sam raised his head, blue eyes shimmering at him through wet lashes. Recognition sparked in the beautiful depths, then they widened. "You." Sam struggled to his feet, hugging his bare arms across his chest against the chill creeping up from the river. "Sorry, I have to cancel on you. I'm closed for the night. Try again tomorrow."

He brushed past John and started down the bike path. John's heart thumped painfully. "Sam?"

The young man stopped and swiveled abruptly. The lamplight caught his expression, a hint of fear, anger; the light clearly showing a cut lip and the dark swelling of a bruise on his ivory cheek. John clamped his lips shut on a murmur of pity, noting he held his left arm as if it hurt.

Helplessness swept through John. "Let me help you. I can make you a cup of coffee at least. And dinner, if you're interested. I make great spaghetti."

Doubt crossed Sam's pretty face and the end of his pink tongue nudged the cut on his lip, twisting John's heart. Impulsively, he touched Sam's arm. "Did someone hurt you?"

Sam stared at his hand, not answering. John was grateful he didn't yank his arm away. Finally Sam nodded.

Anger flashed through John, but he didn't want to scare Sam off with questions. "Come home with me," he urged softly. "I won't ask anything of you. I want to help and… I could use the company tonight."

Blue eyes glanced upwards, vulnerable. But then Sam blinked and mischief curled his lips. John winced at his false bravado. "Whatever you say, hon." Sam hooked their arms and started along the wide path following the riverfront. After only a few steps in the chill evening air, John shrugged out of his coat and put it around Sam's shoulders. Sam looked amused but pulled the coat tighter around his thin cotton shirt. "Thanks."

John's heart pattered. He liked Sam's arm linked with his. A few people gave them curious glances, but for the most part, they were ignored. He wished the circumstances were better, that maybe Sam was his boyfriend and they were walking home from the movies. They reached his street and his pulse quickened when he led Sam to his apartment.

Pairings: M/M, F/F, genderqueer
Content: Contains no explicit content.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Timmy's Review of Safe by C. Kennedy

Safe was a good read, but sad and hard to read at times. Safe takes us on a journey of two friends who become lovers. They support and help each other to become the men they are. One reason I don’t like short stories is because I don’t feel I get enough time to get to know the characters and their stories. However, I do feel that Cody did a great job of going through their relationship by giving us glimpses of the past. The little pieces of their history together really make them and their story feel so much more real for me.

I felt like I could relate in some ways to Nico, though our situations were very different. He had such a hard life, and needed badly to be protected. Caleb wanted to be that protector even before he was old enough to really know what that meant. Caleb was a great boyfriend. So very caring, sweet, and most of all, protective.

I want more! I would really love to know what became of these two, and how their story might end. I hope to one day get to read more about them. Until then I will leave you with a few words about the part of the book that I was disappointed in. This is not the story, writing, or author, but is a sore subject that I feel the need to address when I’m given the opportunity to.

I was extremely frustrated by the fact that Caleb's dad did nothing to help Nico when he Caleb first went to him. Sadly, that is all too common. If nothing else, It’s my hope that this book will open some eyes to the abuse that goes on that most are too afraid to get involved with. Don’t make excuses of why you shouldn’t or can’t help. Get in there and protect these kids who are beaten. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking the right questions and taking the appropriate actions. I know Cody has links on his blog for kids that need help, but this link is for the people who don’t know how to help. ~Timmy

Available from: Harmony Ink Press

Find Cody on FacebookGoodreads, Twitter @CodyKAuthor, Amazon
and read Cody’s free serial story, Fairy.
About Safe
Caleb had one mission in life.
To keep his boyfriend safe.

They met at ten, kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen. Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict, mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist—literally. One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Timmy's Review of His Grandfather’s Watch by N.R. Walker

I have a dear friend who I love and respect. A few months ago, she told me her husband’s mom had Alzheimer's Disease. I didn’t know what that was or what it meant, so I did what I do best and researched it. In my research the thing that stood out to me most was that it was a disease that not only affects the patient, but the family as well. It can destroy families and people who are not the patient. 

The first part of this story I grew to really respect Callum. He went to see his grandma everyday, even when it broke his heart to do so. Alex was just what Callum needed in his life. He was strong and supportive. 

The second part of the story was a story of its own. I bawled my eyes out in those few short pages. I will not give away spoilers. I will only tell you this is a must read! It’s also a free read and short so it won’t take much of your time.

As with all short stories I was disappointed that it was so short, and I didn’t get a chance to fully get to know the main characters, but I would definitely recommend it to others. ~Timmy

Available from N. R. Walker as a FREE READ

You can find N.R. Walker and her books on her blog, AmazonTwitterFacebookGoodreads, & Smashwords

About His Grandfather's Watch

**FREE READ**

It was just an ordinary day for Alex Harper at Harper's Antiquities, until Callum Winters walked in with a watch.

"It was my Grandfather's. I was hoping you could tell me something about it."

A love story of two couples, generations apart.

Disclaimer: This is a rewritten fanfiction. And is available only as a free read. Do not pay to download. It has not been professionally edited.



Friday, July 11, 2014

Timmy's Review of Here's to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst


I have to start this by saying that Dusty is the best big brother! I really enjoyed reading this book. The love Dusty had for his two younger siblings gave me so much respect for him. Though his life got tough and unwanted changes happened, he stayed as strong as he could for them. Even when he made a bad decision (slightly out of greed), it was because he loved them and wanted to be their supporter. He didn’t want to share his siblings. He met a few great people along his journey and learned to accept help. 

Now, about the book, I have to say that you can tell a teacher wrote it because you get a bit of interesting history in it and, because I’m a major geek, I researched it further. I love when a book can teach me something. However, in a few places the history lesson came in at odd times. I felt they were a bit of a filler and didn’t like that a ton, but it is important to know that this did not take anything away from the story itself. 

The reason I write this good review but only give it 3 marbles is because I didn’t care for the ending of the book. I felt like there could have been a bit more to the ending. I really wanted to know what happened with the boys, and how Emmitt’s mom took the news of him being gay. I felt that once the drama died down, the author rushed through the ending. I hope I get a second book so I can find out what becomes of them. Don't let that stop you from reading it. It's good and a worthy read. ~Timmy


Available from Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner

Find Johanna Parkhurst on her blog, on Harmony Ink Press

About Here's to You Zeb Pike

Fact: When Zebulon Pike attempted to climb what is now known as Pikes Peak, he got stuck in waist-deep snow and had to turn back.

That's the last thing Dusty Porter learns in his Colorado history class before appendicitis ruins his life. It isn't long before social services figures out that Dusty's parents are more myth than reality, and he and his siblings are shipped off to live in Vermont with an uncle and aunt they've never met.

Dusty's new life is a struggle. His brother and sister don't seem to need him anymore, and he can't stand his aunt and uncle. At school, one hockey player develops a personal vendetta against him, while Emmitt, another hockey player, is making it hard for Dusty to keep pretending he's straight. Problem is, he's pretty sure Emmitt’s not gay. Then, just when Dusty thinks things can't get any worse, his mother reappears, looking for a second chance to be a part of his life.

Somehow Zebulon Pike still got the mountain named after him, so Dusty's determined to persevere—but at what point in life do you keep climbing, and when do you give up and turn back?


Monday, June 30, 2014

PRIDE v. FREEDOM, and a Little History About our Flag

As PRIDE month draws to a close, I'm over at Jase's Athenaeum talking about the history of our PRIDE flag and, more importantly, how our LGBTQIA youth of today view PRIDE. 

As an author who writes LGBTQIA works, I wish to bring awareness to current crucial socio-economic, political, and personal issues surrounding PRIDE and those who don’t identify with the strict binary categorization of sexual identity. Today is a time of change in perspective, and also one of behavior and the law. Now, more than ever before.
Joining me on Jase's Athenaeum, is my good buddy, Timmy, with his thoughts on PRIDE. He makes a very astute observation about pride that gives us much fodder for thought.

Thank you, Jase, for the honor and privilege of being on your blog!