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It's always hot, too. Christmas here in Australia is usually a warm one, with various ranges in temperatures depending on where you are in the country. No snow here on our Christmas day! Just sunshine, maybe some wind, and if we're very unlucky, it'll be over 40oC/105oF. Luckily in my home, there's airconditioning and a ceiling fan!
In the spirit of giving, I'm giving one reader an eBook copy of my latest release, Book, Line and Sinker. Leave a comment to go into the draw!
Blurb: After seventeen years serving in the Australian Army, Ash returns to his childhood home in the outback town of Quorn. Filled with the desire to live a happy life in peace and with loved ones, Ash is grimly determined to beat his PTSD and tackle his flashbacks.
What Ash isn’t prepared for is Jaxon, the new librarian in Quorn. Jaxon is calm, gentle, kind, and a rock for Ash’s battered psyche. Ash finds himself falling for the handsome newcomer, even as his mind and memories of the past torment him.
When he has the idea for a mobile library to bring books and entertainment to remote communities in the far north, Ash is delighted that Jaxon is with him every step of the way. But though the library, called Book, Line, and Sinker, takes off, Ash’s past continues to plague him. Can Jaxon’s love be enough to keep them together until Ash is strong enough to stand on his own?
Enjoy the Blog Hop!
Author Happy Holidays Hop—Click For More.
Come share the Holiday Spirit Down Under!
This was something that all Australian authors were worried about—the proposed changes to copyright laws. Under the proposal, copyright for authors, which was in line with the international standard of existing with the author or their heirs/assigns for 70 years after their death, would be changed. The change would make it so the copyright would expire 15-25 years after the first publication date of the work.
The author of this proposal is the Productivity Commission, who are tasked with finding new and interesting ways for people to be productive and the government to make money. Its basic role is to help the government to make better policies in the long term interest of the Australian community.
The next proposal by the commission is one that hasn’t been rebuffed by the government or agreed to—in short, the government has given a non-answer on the question of whether or not they’ll go with this recommendation. This is to remove PIR—Parallel Importation Rules—where "an author owns territorial rights to their work, which means that they can sell their book to one publisher in Australia, one in America and another in the UK, and those publishers have an exclusive right to sell that book within their market only. Booksellers can therefore only buy bulk copies of a title from the publisher who has rights in their own territory, so Australian booksellers purchase from Australian publishers." 
As it stands at the moment, a consumer can buy a book from anywhere in the world. The system in place is fair and balanced, in that people can buy books in Australia published by Australian publishing houses or imports from overseas publishers, or they can buy books from overseas retailers such as Amazon, Book Depository or secondhand merchants such as Better World Books. Basically, the way it is, everyone gets paid, everyone's happy. This is the system in place in the US and UK as well as here, but it might not be here for much longer. Who knows.
Lastly, there is the debate of what constitutes fair use and that’s a murky thing at the best of times. Who knows what will happen there.
There's a petition to support Australian authors which is still up and running, so if you want to sign and support, that would be wonderful.
Dreamspinner Press has released the first three books of The Archangel Chronicles in one bundle, as a special collection. It's available now in eBook for $9.99! You can get it here.
Gabriel, Michael, and the Brotherhood of Archangels must try to deal with relationships while fulfilling duties of fighting demons and protecting humans in The Archangel Chronicles. Gabriel and Michael have been pining after each other for centuries, but an egomaniacal human trying to raise a hell army pushes their relationship to the backburner in No Quarter. Gabriel and Michael are finally reunited in No Surrender, No Retreat, but their happiness is threatened when someone begins kidnapping angels and selling them on the black market. In No Shadows Fall, newly bonded Gabriel and Michael and torn from their idyllic island retreat when Gabriel’s ancient enemy Semjaza escapes from his prison.
This is available only from Dreamspinner Press and I'm so excited to share this collection of the first three books with you all. I hope you guys all enjoy them!
Hi, there! Rebecca Hamilton here to tell you how SUPER excited we are to bring you this MEGA giveaway! First place prize is a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card, but we also have 12 runner up ebook and paperback prizes! Entering will connect you with 21 paranormal romance and urban fantasy authors for more great deals, freebies, and giveaway, so in a way, everyone wins!
Before you enter the giveaway, check out an excerpt of DARK INDISCREATIONS: A Prequel by Shakuita Johnson, one of the authors sponsoring the giveaway!
He worked himself up with so much anger that he marched to his parents' bedroom. He yanked open the door and barged in without even bothering to knock. He was beyond caring at this point. At his arrival, his mother opened one eye from where she was laid up, cuddling with his father. Eww… Maybe he should have knocked first.
"Really James? What is the problem today that has you in a fit?" Marcella asked, with an eyebrow raised.
"I am not a child!"
"Mm, when you act like this, it's hard to tell," Michael retorted.
"The two of you aren't funny. I'm serious!"
"You're always serious," Marcella said, mocking his tone.
"Don't mock me," James answered. He growled, baring his fangs.
"That's enough out of the both of you," Michael warned. "What is it James? What's wrong now?"
"What's wrong, is I'm twenty-one, yet I still live at home. What's wrong is that you still follow me on a hunt. What's wrong is that I'm not a fucking baby anymore. Stop treating me like one!"
"I see," Michael said.
Marcella scrunched up her face and made a tsking sound in the back of her throat because of his little outburst. Well too damn bad. The shit stopped today.
"I'm moving out," James said. "I'm going to build my own hut and I will live there alone or with Kain!"
"Don't be ridiculous," Marcella scolded. "You are staying here and that is final. I don't want to hear anything else about it. Do you understand me, James?"
"You aren't listening, Mother. I'm not a child and I'm tired of being treated like one."
"Well, when you start acting like an adult, we will treat you like one," Michael said, stepping in. "In the meantime, you aren't living far from our sight. Did you forget the fact that you died?"
"Oh my god! How long are you going to hold that over my head? It was one time, Father. One! It hasn't happened again and it won't."
"We'll see. You are staying here for now and this conversation is over," Michael said. "Now close the door on your way out."
His parents went back to resting on the bed as if he wasn’t even in the room anymore. Even still, they treated him like a child! James stormed out and slammed the door behind him. He opened it and slammed it once more to really bring his point home.
Fuck! His parents were assholes and a pain in his ass. They insisted on parenting, instead of letting him live his own life. It was unacceptable. They were determined to ruin his life with their meddling. It was unheard of in Mystic culture. He shouldn't be the only child, and they shouldn't be trying to keep him under their roof. He was a fucking laughing stock. His entire extended family talked about him behind their backs. They were the top of the food chain, yet he and his parents were barely respected in their own community because of their choices. The worst part was his parents didn't even care. He told them what was being said and they just shrugged and said dumb shit like, "They won't say it to our faces."
James was ready to murder. He couldn’t wait until Kain got there. Someone was going to die tonight, and it wasn't going to be pretty. He was going to rip some poor asshole apart and with his bare fucking hands. He needed to destroy things today.
The emotions were so strong, that he could feel the magic coming off him in waves. If he wasn't careful he would destroy the hut with his erratic magic. That would just make his parents hound him even harder. Any excuse was a good enough reason for them to keep him here. He was done giving them any.
He tried to steady his breathing and think relaxing thoughts, but it wasn't working. Where the fuck was Kain? He needed to hurry up before James lost his damn mind and blew everything to Hell and back. With the mood he was in, it was a good possibility.
Don't forget to also check out the complete list of books included in this promotion! Some of the authors have even put their books on sale just for you! Click any book to check it out on Amazon!
For the most part, this year hasn't been a good one. I'll spare you the gory details, but the year so far has revolved around health issues, both mine and my mother's (who I'm a carer for), and other relatives. At the current moment, I'm on (hopefully) the last leg of a nasty sinus infection that has laid me up for nearly three weeks; prior to that, mum was in the hospital; my grand-niece was ill, my niece had the worst ear infection I've ever heard of, my cat was sick, and the list goes on. Subsequently, there's been little in the way of work done. And I'm annoyed at my own human frailty--being tired, being sick, being tired and sick, being depressed--for not getting more done on works in progress that I can't stop thinking about. The mind is willing, sort of, but the body is weak.
It could be said that rather than write this blog post, I could be working on a wip, but the truth is that it takes a lot less concentration to write a blog post than to work on a wip. And I've been Lady Silence for some time and felt that it was probably a good idea to sort of pop my head up and say here I am, I'm surviving.
There were good things that have happened this year, the first being the Cut Snake Collective photography exhibition I was part of, which was a terrific experience and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The second was a short holiday I took mum on before she went into hospital, a trip up to the Flinders Ranges (where my latest release Book, Line, and Sinker is set) and that was wonderful.
1. The ochre pits, where the Adnyamantha people gathered ochre for paint. 2. Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby in its natural habitat, in Brachina Gorge. 3. The Chase Range.
A small selection of the photos I took. To see more, go here.
Anyway, I have been reading a lot, a varied collection of books, actually, so here's a list of some of the ones I particularly enjoyed.
Career of Evil - Robert Galbraith
Close Encounters of the Furred Kind - Tom Cox (non fiction)
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
New Watch - Sergey Lukyaneko
Throne of the Crescent Moon - Saladin Ahmed
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
The King - J. R. Ward
Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein
Feral Machines - Ginn Hale
The Archer's Heart - Astrid Amara
Midnight in Peking - Paul French (non fiction)
Some are re-reads, because a book is a joy forever. And that, dear friends, is that. Hopefully the last half of this year will be infinitely less absorbed by health issues and I can write! Hope you're all happy and healthy. <3
From the Safe Schools website, I quote:
All Australian schools value the health and wellbeing of students and agree that bullying of any kind is harmful and should not be accepted. Across religions and cultures there is a shared belief in the right of all people to be safe, happy and healthy and to be treated with dignity and respect. This is not possible for students and staff in a homophobic or transphobic school environment.
With government and community support, we are assisting hundreds of schools across the country in their efforts to actively promote safety, diversity, inclusion and respect for the whole school community. This includes working in partnership with government and independent schools, schools in diverse geographic locations, and faith-based schools.
It's a good program, and an important program. It was providing a lot of support to kids who needed it, a lot of teaching to those kids who didn't quite understand GBLTQI issues, and assisting teachers, parents and schools as well.
However, with an election and a new, highly conservative government, came some pushback against the program. That pushback turned into outrage which turned into demands from the far right and from various groups who are blatantly homophobic and transphobic to gut the program entirely. Many parts of the right wing conservative media lashed out at the program. I link them here, but I warn you, the contents of these articles can be triggering.
The Australian cried that the Safe Schools program was (gasp!) making kids learn how to say the words "transgender" and "intersex." Honestly, there's a lot of pearl clutching in the above article and I can imagine the author fainting and someone crying for the smelling salts. I personally rolled my eyes so hard at this piece that I'm surprised my eyes didn't get stuck in the back of my head, but I digress. From Sky News comes the piece that former conservative Prime Minister John Howard is "baffled" that the program even exists. The Brisbane Times is glad the program is getting scrutinized because it's "an excuse for brainwashing … a license for depravity." A mother wrote to Senator Cory Bernardi, a far right senator about the program and was told, among other things, that "You clearly haven’t got any idea what is in the program. If you did then you would be worried about your children being exposed to unhealthy ideas at such an early age."
In the end, new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, called for a review into the Safe Schools Program, giving into the demands of the far right members of his party (Liberal Party) and members of groups who are blatantly homophobic and transphobic and make no apology for it. The review listed a string of recommendations which Turnbull accepted and decided to pare back the program and make it for high schools only. The Conversation goes into more detail about this and the outcomes of it, concluding that:
Much of what the Safe Schools Coalition aims to achieve relates to the whole school culture. While some of this includes lesson plans, this is just one aspect of the program. The remainder includes contextual approaches to reducing homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and encouraging a school culture that is more inclusive of any difference and diversity.
(Warning: the above is pro the Safe Schools program but may contain material that is triggering.)
The Saturday Paper also has a good article about the history of the program and how it was targeted and its near-demise. (As with all articles linked here, please beware that it may contain triggering material.) Doctors and health professionals came out in support of the program, sending an open letter to the Prime Minister and the government on the subject. More media began to publish pieces in support of the program and detailing what happened to a great support and resource.
Politicians and journalists can talk in grand terms and somber tones about the program and debate until the cows come home whether or not it's a good thing or bad thing. But the ones who really need to be heard are the children themselves, and their families, and those who grew up knowing they were different but didn’t have anything like Safe Schools to turn to. One mother begged the government to reconsider, as her son is transgender. Another woman wrote passionately about growing up the child of lesbian parents and of her own coming out without having the support of something like Safe Schools.
However, these words fell on deaf ears as the lobbying by Christian groups and right-wing MPs had the program downsized and, in the words of one MP, "gutted."
And yet, despite the downsizing, the gutting and the verbal abuse thrown around about the program, some light shone in a dark and ugly tunnel. The states of Victoria and ACT decided that they were going to defy the federal government and fund an unchanged program from their own state budgets. In South Australia, Uniting Communities (Uniting Church) backed the program and teachers rallied in support, urging the SA state government to follow in Victoria and the ACT's footsteps.
The program isn't dead yet, despite many wishing it was. The debate continues to rage as children navigate the ever-changing waters of school society and those schools who are involved in the program are doing the best to help them. For myself, I think the program is a great one and it should be embraced by all the states and territories in Australia, and not removed from the curriculum.
Comment to this entry to go into the draw for an eBook copy of my latest book, Book, Line, and Sinker from Dreamspinner Press.
FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE REST OF THE HOP.
"Book, Line, and Sinker" is on sale now and for the release of my new book, it's been on a blog tour! Pop along and have a read.
9th: MM Good Book Reviews.
13th: Gay Book Reviews.
15th: Oh My Shelves!.
15th: Open Skye Book Reviews.
15th: Dreamspinner Press Blog.
15th: Divine Magazine.
17th: My Fiction Nook.
18th: Long and Short Reviews.
19th: Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
20th: Love Bytes.
I also got a wonderful review (which I'm still starry-eyed over!) from Coffee Time Romance! Thank you so much for that, and I am so glad you loved Song of Song. The review is here, and Regina who reviewed the book gave it 5 cups out of 5!
ETA: Additionally, I recieved a wonderful review from Joyfully Jay! Thank you so much and I'm so glad you enjoyed it. The review is right over here, and was reviewed by Kris who gave it 4.75/5 stars!
ETA the second: Two more wonderful reviews, first from Serena at Love Bytes Reviews, here and second from MorganSkye at Open Skye Book Reviews, here. Thank you so much!
And that's not all that's happening today. My niece is having her baby, her fourth child! She's gone into hospital with her husband and the whole family are waiting by our phones to hear if she has a boy or a girl. I'm about to be a great-aunt... again!
I'm also thrilled to be the Author of the Month at Divine Magazine, do drop in and say hi! Author of the Month post is here.
WHAT I'M READING.
I'm 3/4 of the way through Red Phoenix by Kylie Chan. I really liked the first book in this series, White Tiger, but I find the MFC incredibly annoying and I frequently want to apologise to readers and say that not all Australians are like this. That's usually when I put the book down for a while. When I pick it up again, I enjoy it until once more, MFC with her magical perfect perfection that astounds even gods and goddesses that she insults and shouts at like unruly children, makes me want to hurl it at the wall. So I have a love/hate relationship with this series. Love, because all the secondary characters and the villains are fabulous and modern Hong Kong is beautifully written, but hate because of the MFC. And now there's all these hints the size of anvils that MFC is going to end up being part or entirely goddess of an ancient culture, and that goddess form will be a serpent. I'm not laying bets on how "astonishing" everyone else in the book will find this, because I don't like losing money.
But other than that, I'm enjoying it!
WHAT I'M WRITING (+ A WRITING GOAL).
Nearly finished the vampire novel that I started writing for NaNoWriMo, but I'm not sure I'm going to go on and finish it with a gazillion edits and chops and changes or not because I'm not entirely convinced it's not crap, so there's that.
Still working with Cate Ashwood on our second collaboration, set in Australia.
Song of Song will be out on the 18th January 2016 and Book, Line and Sinker will be out in March/April 2016, both with Dreamspinner Press.
WHAT WORKS FOR ME.
Sleep. Quiet. The sound of rain on the roof. The internet not being down, because it's hard to research something when your ISP suddenly drops out. My cat cuddling up beside me. <-- Same as last time.
WHAT ELSE IS NEW.
I've had the first batch of work done for the exhibition I'm involved with for next year's Fringe. The Fringe runs through February and March. So John and I have been driving around and I've been taking a million photos. I'm lucky to have a brother who doesn't mind driving me hither and yon for this. We ended up in the town of Sedan a few weeks ago, Sedan is 110km north-east from Adelaide and is tiny, but for me as a photographer, it was a gold mine.
And the year's coming to an end, it's gone by so quickly! It'll be Christmas in 23 days, argh!
1. Ruin on the way to Myponga Beach, some 80kms south of Adelaide. 2. The beautiful 18 meter tall statue of Kwan Yin at the Nan Hai Pu Tuo Buddhist temple in Sellicks Hill, also down the south coast of SA. 3.Ruins of Arthur's Seat in the Adelaide Hills. 4. The center of town in Sedan, 110km north-east of Adelaide. 5. Castiel. Because he's adorable.
The comments for this one are so lovely, again, thank you. "This story is like the most delicious dessert for the brain! How beautifully written it was and what a great romance between these two so likeable men! This is for sure a well deserved ten across the board. Nothing less will do for this beautiful story. It's such a delight when one comes across a story so well written, a story that wraps you up in the softest wool cotton keeping you warm way after 'The End'. More stories like this one need to come out. So, I suggest to these two wonderful Authors to Get Going! I Want More!!!"
And don't worry, we two authors are working on more stuff together. :D
The comments for this novel made me smile: "This story was so nice and easy to read. What really kept me into it, outside of being a good read, was the mention of several cities in Australia that I was somewhat familiar with because of my author friends who live there." Thank you so much and I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
So what can you expect this year? Quite a lot. Some of the guests and events include the Pride March, which kicks off at Victoria Square at 5:30pm on the 14th, an evening with Conchita Wurst, Stephen Fry in Adelaide, Australia's Homosexual Histories Conference, Hiroto Simizu lecture, art, film, music, dance, parties, lectures, talks, cabaret, comedy, and more. There's events for youth-aged people and for retirees, including the SA Samesex Dancesport Competition. There is also a Transgender Dinner and the International Day of Transgender Remembrance evenings, and sessions featuring sexual and gender diversity within Indigenous Australians.
From the festival's site, what this year's Feast is about:
The 2015 Feast Festival promises to be an exciting fortnight of entertainment and a spirited celebration of - and by - the LGBTIQ community.
This year's theme - "Come as you are", is about being welcome, being yourself and feeling comfortable, safe and supported through a rich and diverse Arts Festival.
We hope that you will join us - and Feast Ambassador Conchita Wurst – at this year’s festival!
Part of the festival this year is the lounge, which has a library. Dreamspinner Press has donated books to this library, as have a group of Adelaide authors and other members of the community, particularly Tim Harkness, who in my humble opinion has been awesome about the entire thing. The lounge opening is at 5pm on the 17th November, where there will be books to peruse and wine to drink. It's at the Lion Arts Center courtyard on the corner of North Terrace and Morphett Street. Myself and fellow author and all round nice person L. V. Lloyd will be there too!
Check out what's on at Feast by visiting the site, where you can download a copy of the festival guide.
And now to the next story. :)
The final book in the Archangel Chronicles will be released on the 2nd. It's available for preorder now on the Dreamspinner site, but it is indeed the last one.
I have been so incredibly lucky to be able to write this seriews and have it find its home with DSP. I began them wanting to write about Archangels and Archdemons and how the two ancient enemies would interact in crisis that were bigger than their animosities. I also wanted to develop romantic relationships within that framework, and the main one is that of Archangels Michael and Gabriel.
Theirs is a love that is essentially "friends to lovers." I'm sure many--if not all--of us have had a crush on someone and kept it as quiet as possible for various reasons, and in Michael's case it's purely a lack of self-confidence. He doesn't feel that the dashing, handsome, outgoing Gabriel would have any interest in him at all. He hides it so well, so deep within himself that it's kept buried for centuries. Michael is shy and retiring, keeping himself separate from the rest of the Brotherhood and so it isn't until a meeting of all of the Archangels that Gabriel catches his attention and is drawn to Michael more than ever before. A slow and gentle courtship begins as the two open up more and more to each other, their relationship and their love growing.
Of course, nothing is ever easy and there is always some plotting or misdeeds that interfere with the path of true love.
Now, with nine books in the series, everything is over and with a happy end for everyone--except the bad guys.
I hope everyone has been with these characters since the first book will enjoy the last and I hope that new readers of the series will enjoy it just as much.
Thank you to all my readers, past, present and future; to Elizabeth and DSP for publishing the series; to Cate and Meredith for beta'ing; to Ericka, Lynn, Ian and the editing staff; Anne for the amazing covers. <3 <3 <3
The Archangel Chronicles can be bought here.
1. No Quarter
2. No Surrender, No Retreat
3. No Shadows Fall
4. The Wind-up Forest
5. The Crystal Lake
6. The Bone Cup
7. A Shot in the Dark
8. A Fire in the Heart
9. A Candle in the Sun