Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I-TUNES STORE FEATURING FIRSTINASERIES PROMOTION FOR CHOSEN BOOK SERIES



READERS WHO BUY FROM I-TUNES STORE: 

I am proud to announce Gastien: The Cost of the Dream was chosen by Apple to be promoted in the FirstInASeriesFree promotion for the next couple of weeks! They put it in Historical Romance, and it isn't a romance...but at least it got in. I guess they figure Historical was close enough.  

CHECK OUT MANY OTHER FREE BOOKS THAT ARE FIRST IN A SERIES! 

Here is the link:https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMultiRoom?cc=us&fcId=826975374

Thank you. I hope you find some great new series to enjoy in 2015.

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com

Twitter: @caddyorpims

Monday, December 22, 2014

101 FREE Flash Fiction Stories by Hugh Howie and others!


Hi,

I have a FREE ebook for you.

Stories on the Go
101 very short stories by 101 authors

The idea for this anthology was first launched by Hugh Howey of WOOL-fame, on Kboards, a forum for Kindle owners and the home of a bunch of unruly indie writers.
My friend and author, Andrew Ashling ended up coordinating the whole project, and we all owe our thanks to him.

This is so-called flash-fiction. All stories are a thousand words or less and can be read in about five minutes. Perfect to while away the time when you're waiting for something to happen or someone to arrive.
Did I mention it's completely free?

My own story is set in the time period and area the first 2 Gastien books were in: late nineteenth-century Paris in the Montmartre area. It is about one of the few female artists of the time.

You can download Stories on the Go on




I hope you'll enjoy your free ebook.

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims

Friday, December 12, 2014

Remember Hobby Lobby Ruling? As Predicted, This Nonsense is Spreading


Remember when Hobby Lobby won the court case that they CAN discriminate and not offer certain health insurance benefits because of "religious" beliefs? I had blogged here it was only the beginning, and we would see our freedoms further eroded under the guise of "freedom of religion". What it really amounts to are bigots and sexists finding ways to control women, gays, and other people they just don't happen to like much.

Think I'm joking? Well, yesterday a federal judge granted the Hastings Chrysler Center (a car dealership) in Hastings, MN (the state I live in) the right to decide not to cover "certain" forms of contraception because they are against his religious beliefs.

I'm sad, angry, and scared. Next it will be pharmacies not filling prescriptions. Or a nurse in a hospital withholding treatment. Or anything. Because, truly, now that a couple of businesses have paved the way, anyone can put their personal beliefs in motion and ask to be granted immunity from providing the things Americans are supposed to have the rights to.

It isn't far reaching to assume a Jehovah Witness business owner could be granted the right to exclude blood transfusions from employee insurance. Or a bigot business owner to quote some Bible verse about gays  to the court and be granted the right to not cover drugs for HIV.

Don't people see what's happening right under our noses? While people bitch and moan about how prayer in school should be a big issue, or who should have the right to marry, rights are being stolen from us and we aren't doing a damn thing about it.

The far right has been very savvy about getting people who have no business voting for the party who is only interested in the very wealthy to actually vote for them. How? By getting them frothing at the mouth about small things like the prayer in school, all the while making sure freedoms we already have are steadily being taken away. Just like with health care. They are dying to take away what little progress has been made, and will do everything possible to block single payer or even government health care. Why? Because they don't give a shit about people. They only care about making money, and they hide behind religion to make gullible people their puppets. They do it by acting like they care about being "Godly."

In reality, they could care less about prayer in school. But it gets religious nuts voting for them. They only care about abortion because they want to control women. If they did really care about human life, they'd want to support programs that actually help feed those children they're so gung-ho about seeing born.

It's all about power. And we're allowing them to gradually eat away at our freedom. One business, one blocked policy at a time.

If ever there were a day where flags should be flying at half mast, I'd say today would be the day.

America isn't losing its greatness because of a lack of belief in God. America is losing its greatness because we're allowing zealots to control us in the name of religion. Talk about taking the name of the Lord in vain. What a perfect example.

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com

Twitter: @caddyorpims



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ho Ho Ho Pulling out the Tree For the Grandson



It's been about seven years since we've bothered to decorate for Christmas. Since we are childless by choice and both of us had been working good paying jobs until I got the crazy idea to write, we always just bought what we wanted and didn't even bother with gifts for each other, except for maybe three times in several decades. Most of those gifts ended up being returned or put on the rummage sale pile.

But now things are different. As I've mentioned in past blogs. we have a grandson by love. He is now three, and for the first time will be in town for Christmas. Oh, believe me, Christmas is a BIG DEAL to this guy. And it should be. I have happy memories of many a grand Christmas growing up. Perhaps that's why I don't feel the need to do it up as an adult. There is no way I could mimic the perfection of the Christmas's my parents gave me. Think epic Christmas movie in all it's splendor and you wouldn't even come close.

But now that Gideon knows what Christmas is, and will be in town, we dug out the tree, fibromyalgia be damned. I got it decorated, and it looks lovely even if I say it myself. What few other decorations we didn't ditch at a garage sale several years ago are also displayed. It makes an acceptable Christmas scene. Thank God. As a child I remember going to "old people's" homes where they didn't decorate. It made me sure they were mean and crabby.

Well, color me Santa, I don't want to be seen as a Grinch. So, the lights on the tree are lit, decor is out and even played with at times under close supervision. Gifts will be under the tree. He always did get plenty of gifts from us, but this time they will be sitting under evergreen branches like they should be.

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas, or happy whatever holiday you prefer to celebrate, to you. We are really looking forward to seeing Christmas magic again through the eyes of a three-year-old boy.

Now where did I put the Bailey's Irish Creme? A few slugs of that will make the holidays even merrier, I'm sure.

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims         

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

NEW RELEASE! House of Shame (Sometimes all you have is hate. Sometimes that's good enough.)

 House of Shame (click on cover)



This psychological thriller is the conclusion of a 4 book saga about 6 teenagers who are sex-trafficked and plot revenge. The saga features both a straight female protagonist and a gay male protagonist who share main character status by the end of book one- House of Pleasure. As with all books in the saga, this book is available  in e-book at Amazon, B&N, I-tunes,and kobo (whenever kobo gets done fumbling around with publishing it—hopefully before the end of the century). The paperback will be available by early November on Amazon, also.

Here is the the blurb:

Book 4 (Conclusion) of There Was a House saga, a psychological thriller about revenge and redemption. 

Phoenix has been plotting to devastate her captor and destroy his brothel of under-aged sex-trafficking victims ever since arriving at RĂªve. But the beating he recently gave her over some bank accounts fans the flames of hatred into a firestorm. Now, to her delight, plans to accomplish exactly what she’s been hoping for are in place—and the results will be brutal. Even better, every depraved man using them for sex will be revealed for what they are to their family, friends, and business associates. 

Phoenix, Jamie, and the other captives know the plans must play out flawlessly. Any unforeseen glitches will likely mean not only an end to escape, but of their very lives. However, perfection seldom exists. Something is bound to go wrong. 

And when it does, Jamie will be left wondering if he’s just signed all their death warrants. 

**Content Warning: This drama contains adult themes and scenes that deal with a difficult topic. 

In case you have been waiting for the 4 book series to be complete (and it now is), here is the link, cover, and description of the first book in the series:



Book 1 of There Was a House saga, a continuing psychological thriller about revenge and redemption. 

Fueled by rage and disgust, Phoenix runs away from home. The situation there had become unbearable. In fact, things couldn't get any worse. 

But they do. Betrayed in New York by a boy who she thought was a new friend, she finds herself taken prisoner by a low-class pimp. Then, when she thinks she's on her way to her first seedy trick, Phoenix winds up locked in a limo with no way out. She wakes up in an illegal brothel in New Orleans. Phoenix vows she will find a way to destroy Antoine, the owner of the brothel. Instead of being Antoine's prostitute, she'll become his lover, his confidante, and pretty soon, his manager. And then, when he least suspects it, she'll bring the entire house down. 

She better be damn good. 

There will only be one chance. 

**Content Warning: This drama contains adult themes and scenes that deal with a difficult topic. 

The second book is titled House of Pain and the third is House of Trickery. 

Sometimes all you have is hate. Sometimes that's good enough.

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The End And Now The Beginning



August was a busy month. Our grandson, Gideon turned 3 on the 20th and I turned 59 on the 26th. We are entering an exciting time in our relationship. Gideon not only talks like crazy, he makes jokes, thinks things through, and is constantly surprising all of us with what he comes up with. His third year is also sometimes a year of rebellion. Still, he's my Gideon Gumdrop, and he's informed me I'm his Grandma Gumdrop.

His 3rd was celebrated in style. Cake and ice cream were enjoyed and many presents unwrapped. He was thrilled when earlier in the day I called to ask if he wanted to come along on errands and also pick up his birthday cake for the upcoming evening. He walked into the store, up to the counter and said, "I want my birthday cake now, please." We had asked him what theme he wanted, and each time he stated, "Bees!" We couldn't find a bee theme here in town for the decorations, but I special ordered a bumble bee cake. We also, between the two homes, each had a stuffed bumble bee. Those two bees joined the Sesame Street characters to help him celebrate. I don't know what time he got to bed, but let's just say it wasn't early.

For my birthday, I decided nothing could be more fun than a day at Comotown (a children's amusement park) with Gideon. Just the two of us. We played mini-golf for the first time. It went much better than I envisioned. Then it was off to the rides. He informed me he wanted to go on the swings. After asking, and measuring, it was determined he was big enough to go. He laughed and screamed, yelling, "Hi, Grandma!" each time he spun by. After getting off he looked me straight in the eye and declared, "I AM going on the Leapfrog." It's really called the Frog Hopper, but Leapfrog works for me. It's a smaller ride like the bigger one where about 12 people sit in a row, the ride goes up, then drops down like you will crash to the ground. It stops, goes up, repeats, etc.

Well, just two weeks prior he had gotten out of line for that particular ride. I was glad because I had my doubts he was ready. This day, though, I've never seen such a look of determination on a child. When I asked if he was sure, he said, "Yes. I am going." The attendant said some 3 year-olds rode it, and he was tall enough. A woman next to me said her child was three and went on it, so I approved it...only to stand there wondering if I was the worst grandma in the world. 

As he got on, I said to another lady also watching a child, "I think I made a big mistake letting my 3 year-old grandson go on this. He's too young." She shuddered and said she felt the same about her 4 year-old. All of a sudden, the ride started. Gideon let out a joyous scream and laughed so hard it made me laugh. The lady asked, "Is that one yours?" I shook my head yes, afraid to speak in case my voice broke. "Well," she laughed, "there's your answer." He laughed and squealed and screamed with the others the whole time. Gideon ended up going on the leapfrog and the swings 3 times each!

Driving home, I asked what rides were his favorites. "The swings, and the leapfrog," he replied. Then he said, "Grandma?"

'"Yes?"

Lat year the leapfrog was scary. This year it's just fun!" More laughter. 

Never mind it wasn't last year, but two weeks ago. I guess in his mind 2 years-old means a year old now that he's 3! How cool that he now faces a fear and conquers it—and oh my, how fast they grow. Every moment I spend with him I think about how precious the time is. It's going too fast, and yet each day is better than the last.

For me, it's the end of my fifties this year. One more year and then I'll be sixty. Doesn't seem possible, either. My time has gone just as fast as watching Gideon. Next year I'll choose to look at my sixties as just another beginning. 

Tomorrow, Monday, I start having Gideon over most weekdays again. Parents are back teaching for the school year. I have so many fun plans for him! I could blog daily about this kid, but I don't. I have other things to bring up, bitch about, share, dream with you so I try to mix it up.

When we got home on my birthday we parted ways to change clothes. Then all of us went to dinner to celebrate. One of my best birthdays ever. Something tells me they'll always be magical as long as Gideon is part of my special day.

But that boy. He has endless energy! When we got home, he told his dad, "We ripped Comotown up!" That we did. 

And that isn't bad, for a toddler and an almost sixty grandma. Not bad at all.



Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims

Monday, August 25, 2014

eFestival of Word-BEST OF THE INDEPENDENT EBOOK AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED!


The Gastien Series is runner-up for BEST SERIES 2014!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for The Gastien Series for this award, and Gastien:Circle of Destiny for Best Historical. Gastien: Circle of Destiny didn't place, but it was still a great honor to be a finalist in both categories. I appreciate you voting!

And thanks to those who voted for other talented authors up for these awards. We're all busy, and any time someone takes a few moments to do something nice like this they deserve a round of applause. These kinds of things let authors know they're doing something right!

Here is the complete list of winners:

2014 eFestival of Words Best of the Independent ebook awards


I was thrilled to see my dear friend author Andrew Ashling won TWO awards plus was runner-up in a third! He's a talented writer and deserves the recognition. Another author friend, Kristine Cayne, did the same. Congratulations to both of these fine authors.

This was the 3rd year for these awards. The online event gets bigger every year. If you didn't join us this year, I hope you stop by in 2015. It's always in August and there are giveaways, author panels, games, and prizes! You can still read the panels and check things out here: eFestival of Words

On a completely bizarre side note having absolutely NOTHING to do with writing, I am proud to say I did something today I've never been able to do before. I flipped two fricking eggs in the air from their fry pan and they actually turned and landed right. On the last day before I turn a year older. I can't wait to tell my husband. He was a chef for years and always laughed at my attempts.

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims





Monday, August 4, 2014

Eye Candy. What Makes YOU Hot?




Okay, this indie author was all set to blog about never underestimating a grandma and all of a sudden an email came. A writer friend mentioned that he wondered if it was good or bad to have people on book covers, as who he finds hot another might not. Well, never one to shy away from thinking (and sharing!) about what looks get me going, I shot him back an email...and decided to blog about same subject.

So this blog is for fun. It's trite and shallow. It's about looks only. Yeah, we know other things are just as, or more, important. So what? Let's have some fun. It's probably surprising to some that a fifty some year old woman would still even think about this, but let me assure you that never stops. Not according to what I hear from older friends.

Anyway, I remember reading posts with lots of replies on boards about people on covers. It seemed to end up about 50/50. Some people want them, some want to imagine how the character looks. Most, I'm wagering, still do that even with a picture of the character on the cover. But my friend was right. What I think is sexy in looks may be the opposite for you.

I am attracted to men and here are my likes and dislikes:

 Hair color doesn't matter. Hair length doesn't matter, as long as it goes good with the face and, if long, it's nice hair. Thin, straggly long hair turns me off. Nice long hair is gorgeous, no matter the length.

If a guy has feminine eyelids (Paul McCartney eyelids, the kind most women have) instead of deep-set eyes where you don't see the lid, that is a plus to me. Soulful. Yummy.

Muscles? Um, no thanks. At least not the kind body builders have. They look bulky and cloddish, and like they can hardly move. Clumsy in bed. Ick. But slight muscles, or swimmer/gymnast muscles are a turn-on. They are muscular, but not big globs of muscle. Long, lean muscles instead of bulky. Yes, thank you.

And what's with the muscle thingys on body builders that make their neck connect to their shoulders like slumped shoulders. I HATE that look. I like straight shoulders, not an upside down V thing.

I don't really care for hairy chests, but if I loved someone who had one it would be okay. I wouldn't expect them to shave it, what a hassle.

And I do love me some pretty boy. Yup. There it is, out in the open. A guy that looks pretty or androgynous is a huge turn-on to me. He looks creative, kinky, adventuresome, and like he'd be one hell of a lot of fun in bed and out. A little make-up and an earring? All the better. Oh, let's experiment on each other. Please. Yeah, that guy doesn't play by the rules, and I'm so glad he doesn't. "Oh, you prefer men? That's okay. I'll watch and take photos." (Yeah. Another fantasy of mine. I probably should of warned you at the beginning. You're thinking, "Oh my God, Caddy...did she just admit that in public?" Hey, I'm human. We all have our kinks, even if we don't act on them. Sigh.)

For me, the ass is the sexiest part of a man, with eyes a close second.  Give me a nice, firm ass and Paul McCartney eyes with guy-liner on them and you've got a deal. The big deal of the day. And it's all behind curtain three!

Men in uniform: military, cops or firemen do NOT turn me on. In fact, quite the opposite. I have always fought authority (and just like the song, authority always wins. Usually.) and so those men do nothing for my libido. Suffice it to say we've never played cop in our bedroom. And never will. Unless Dave wants me to be the cop. Then we might talk.

All through grade school I had this almost rabid fear that I would be sent to boarding school, put in jail, or forced into the military. I knew I would die because I wouldn't fall into line. It would be a slow death, too. When I thought about these things my stomach hurt so bad I couldn't sleep. Don't ask me why the military because "girls" didn't often go into the military then. But I knew males got drafted and I remained certain they'd change it at any time, just to torture me. Yeah, authority figures and I don't get along much. That probably also explains why I was self-employed most of my life.

Well, I didn't marry a pretty boy, but he did make the grade. He had nice, defined muscles from farm work, but not bulky. He had a slender, slighter build and a damn fine ass. Great, straight shoulders. The sexiest eyes I'd ever seen, even without the Paul McCartney lids. And that smile? Ah, man. When he smiles all bets are off. I'll even put away my police handcuffs then.

However, the dude won't let me put make-up on him. Ah, well. Nobody is perfect.

How about you? What kind of looks turn you on and what looks do the opposite? I'd love to know!

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims


Friday, July 11, 2014

All Work and No Play? NO WAY!



As an indie author, I've read several blogs and countless posts about how you need to "really want" to be a successful author and prove it by writing ten, twelve, or more hours a day. "You really serious about wanting to succeed? Then get busy and write a book a month. Write every waking moment. Write at your kid's soccer game. Write after your spouse has gone to bed. Write early in the morning before anyone else is up. Write, write, write."

It's as if you can't be a success if you don't give up the rest of your life for writing. Sorry. I'm not buying it. Oh, maybe that's true if you want to hit 5 or 6 figure a month success. But, truly, if all you are doing is writing night and day, what are you going to do with that money, anyway? What difference does it make if you buy a huge mansion or expensive sports cars if you sit at your laptop writing? The house is enjoyed by everyone but you, the cars too...or they sit in the garage. Why go on trips if you're going to be writing day and night during your visit to France? Unless you get a kick out of simply looking at a high bank balance, I don't see the point. Are you working so someone else doesn't have to after you die?

See, I have a husband I love. He's not only my best friend, he's my confidante, my strength, and one hell of a good lover. Write after he goes to bed? Um, I don't think so.I have some family I love. I want to be present in their life, not on the sideline typing away while they wonder why they mean next to nothing to me. I have friends I love. They're a LOT of fun. I want to give them my love, my attention, and my time. I have a grandson who will be three next month (we're childless by choice, he is the son of our dear friends next door, and he considers us as much "Grandma" and "Grandpa" as anyone else. In fact, they are more family to us than our families.) This boy won't be small long. Right now parents and grandparents are his world. In a very short time, we won't be. That time will never be gotten back, so there is NO WAY IN HELL I'm passing on any time I can spend with him in order to type on my laptop in the hope of making huge money.


Sure, I believe in hard work. To a point. I believe in finding time to write and time to paint. When doing those things, I believe in applying myself to the best of my ability. But they aren't the sole reason I'm here in this body on this planet. Even though I see my writing and painting as creation, as something I give to the world, to me the real reasons we are here are for education, experience, and enlightenment. None of those are found behind your keyboard. At least, not in sufficient quantities to really grow you.

I also believe you can succeed at writing by working a normal work day. You may not become rich, but you can make a decent living. If by some stroke of luck I become rich, fabulous. But, really, I am aiming for making enough that we keep our house, can go out to dinner when we want, see movies, go to plays and the orchestra. Maybe one trip a year, sometimes far away, sometimes not. Staying in normal places, doing normal things. Stopping to talk to normal people in those places.

So, starting tomorrow Dave and I have two weeks of vacation. We've always taken two weeks in a row, except for one year when I worked for someone who wouldn't let me, which is why I've been self-employed most of my life. I know what I need to be productive. This is one of those things. Two weeks is almost unheard of now in this country. I wonder why we allow ourselves to be slaves to work. Perhaps more marriages would be worth saving if people invested more time into them, both daily and taking long vacations together. Europe does it and they haven't crumbled. I think we can manage to allow ourselves plenty of play time and down time.

In fact, I'm starting a day early. Today I'm going to clean the house (a surprise for my husband, as he usually does half) and, if the neighbors have time, go to Costco. But first I'm going out to breakfast by myself and reading on my kindle. Yeah, I'm behind on my next book. Truly, I think readers will understand. Hopefully they're busy with summer, too. When I come back to the real world in two weeks, I'll be able to finish that book, and I can guarantee it will be a better book for my having this time off.

And you know what? You know that question "What will be important to you on your deathbed?" Well, when I'm dying I won't be thinking about how many stories I wrote or paintings I painted. I'll be thinking about the people who have mattered to me. And you know how I want to be remembered? I don't want to be remembered so much for how deeply I mattered to them.

I want them to remember how deeply they mattered to me.

There's only one way to make sure that happens. I need to spend time with them, real time with them where they are the focus of my attention. THAT is what makes me rich. THAT is what I'm here for.



Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

LGBT Inclusvie Fiction in the Running: Gastien Series and Gastien: CIrcle of Destiny ARE FINALISTS!

I'm so excited! The finalists for 2014 eFestival of Words were announced yesterday and I'm proud to say that not only did Gastien: Circle of Destiny make the cut for finalist in Best Historical Fiction, but The Gastien Series: (Link takes you to my author page, where you will find all five books in the series and my other work) itself is a finalist for Best Series! I don't know who nominated me, but I thank them and I also thank the panel that decided the finalists and Julie Dawson for heading up the eFestival of Words and making it an annual event.

I'm especially pleased because the series is LGBT inclusive and it's important for LGBT books to be finalists in contests where all kinds of fiction is in the running. The first three books of the series have either gay or lesbian side characters. The fourth has a gay character that takes over main charactere status about halfway through (and also a gay side character) and the fifth book is definitely gay fiction. Regardless of if you are straight or LGBT, you will find this is a series that grips your heart and evokes strong emotion. All five are dramatic historical family saga and there are several love stories over the years, but the fifth book has a truly poignant gay love story and is a story about the struggle of being gay in the early to mid-twentieth century.

You can help make Gastien: Circle of Destiny and The Gastien Series the winners of their categories by going here: Register and Vote . Yes, you take a couple of minutes to register, but then you can vote for these books and other favorites. I would truly appreciate it if you are a fan of my work, dramatic fiction for adults, or dramatic fiction that is LGBT. 

Here are a couple of other LGBT works that are finalists. If you are fans of their work, love LGBT fiction, or simply love a great story regardless of if it is LGBT or not, why not also give them a vote today? Brandon Shire is a newer friend, and I have known Andrew Ashling and been friends for a few years. They are both two of my "must read" authors and I know they'd appreciate your support. If you haven't read them, you are missing out on two of the best writer's out there today.

Brandon Shire, Listening to Dust: Best Novella

Andrew Ashling, The Invisible Hands Part 2 Castling: Best Novel
Andrew Ashling, The Invisible Hands Part 3 Pawn Storm:  Best High Fantasy(Sword and Sorcery)
Andrew Ashling, The Invisible Hands Part 3 Pawn Storm: Best Cover Art

I see many other author friends in the finals and I wish everyone luck. 

Remember: Your vote counts. I hope you go and vote TODAY!









                                                         





 
           
Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling a Very Slippery Slope



Anyone who thinks the decision made by the Supreme Court regarding Hobby Lobby's right to deny coverage of birth control for women would greatly benefit from thinking again. Let's not forget this is the same company who stood with the group who was AGAINST gay equality only a year or so ago.

Allowing a company to deny rights because of religious beliefs opens up all kinds of ugly possibilities. For instance:

1. Hobby Lobby has already shown they don't much care for gays. Are they going to deny gay spouses insurance? How about gay employees? What about other business owners who belong to some "religion" that is bigoted against gays?

2. It doesn't stop there. Christianity isn't the only religion in town. How about a business owned by a person or people who follow a religion that treats women as 2nd class citizens, or worse? Can they deny women work because they believe they should stay home? Can they tell them they have to cover their whole body except for the eyes or be fired? If not, why not? Isn't this the same thing?

3. How about a company owned by a Jehovah Witness? Can they refuse to cover blood transfusions?

4. My mother was a Christian Scientist, although not a very faithful one. You see, she took me to the doctor. That's frowned upon. She was even shamed at church for wearing eyeglasses. The reason? If she had enough faith, her eyes would be perfect. So, what if a business is owned by a group of Christian Scientists? Can they deny health care completely? After all, they don't believe in it. Prayer and faith cures all.

This, friends, is why it is so very important to vote for more than just president. The people you elect as congress men and women decide who sits on the Supreme Court! Do you really want it ruled by narrow-minded bigots who think religion trumps human rights?

This ruling is a travesty. Even worse, it's the fault of the voting people. If you don't start being involved, don't start understanding that voting for people with open minds is the only way to ensure that someday it's not YOU discriminated against, then we lose the battle. 

Some of these right extremists try to convince us they are on the side of the constitution. Don't let them fool you. The constitution was written to protect all Americans, not just some who believe in the religion these nutcases deem as right and all powerful, even in the case of government.

You can hide your head in the sand and say, "It doesn't matter who I vote for. They're all the same." and lose your rights, or you can educate yourself and make a difference. The clock is running. Today it was women's birth control. Tomorrow, for any obscure reason, it might be you.

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com

Twitter: @caddyorpims

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What's Gay Got To Do With It?



Since June is Gay Pride Month, this seems to be a perfect time for me to talk about some of my frustrations regarding the reading and writing of LGBT inclusive fiction. What really bugs me is that gay fiction seems to now be synonymous with gay romance. The funny thing is, I know a hell of a lot of gay men. About 99% of those men never read gay romance. It isn't just the fact that much of it is written in a style (m/m romance, which is quite different than gay) which caters to women (i.e. one alpha male, one "chick with a dick" and a strict following of all the tropes that go along with the romance genre). It's also because, at least by what they tell me, these guys just don't enjoy romance novels. Not surprising. M/M isn't very true to what most gay relationships are like. It is how most WOMEN hope romantic relationships could be like. Most straight men don't read romance for that same reason. That's not a knock against romances. They are a valid, wonderful genre. They just aren't all encompassing, and it's sad to see "gay fiction" be seen as one and the same.

So, then we get to the problem of how to market gay fiction that either:
a. deals with gay struggle/issues and gay history or
b. has gay main/side characters throughout the book, but the focus is on the story, not their sex life. There may be sex, and even romance, in the story. It could be graphic. It just wouldn't be the sole storyline.

As an author, I can select "gay fiction" or "lesbian fiction" or "LGBT" depending on the book vendor. But, truly, what does that tell a reader? Absolutely nothing when it comes to the type of story it is. Why should a book be categorized by gender preferences? I've noticed there isn't a "straight fiction" category. Of course not! So, shouldn't stories with gay characters by put in the mystery, thriller, fantasy, etc categories instead? That way EVERYONE has a chance to read that story instead of focusing on who the main character might be interested in for a personal relationship.

The description can be used to let people know the main character is gay, and so can keywords. People searching for gay fiction will type in that keyword and the book will still come up. There is nothing lost by putting books in the genre categories they belong in and not wasting one on gender preference. After all, the category doesn't show up until you get to the book page. Once someone has typed in "gay fiction" and your book comes up, now they can look at the categories or read the description and see it is a mystery. Or a fantasy. Or historical.  Cool!

I do have a couple of the Gastien books listed as gay drama. That makes sense, as the storyline is about the history of gays in the mid-twentieth century, and about the struggle. I also think it makes sense to have a "gay romance" category, but last time I looked Amazon had done away with it. Maybe it will come back. I hope so.

Right now, "gay fiction" being seen as "romance" is doing a disservice to readers. Because it is so widely believed that gay fiction is always a romance, many fabulous works of gay fiction get overlooked. Ever read Brandon Shire's "Listening to Dust" or "The Value of Rain"? If not, you've missed out on two to the most gripping, gut-wrenching novels ever written.How about Andrew Ashling's "Randamor the Recluse" series (divided up between the "Invisible Chains" 3 books and the "Invisible Hands" 3 books, 4th coming), his evilly funny "Just Don't Mess With Us" or his disturbingly possible "A Dish Served Cold"? No? You're missing out on one of the best story tellers out there. "The Cool Part of His Pillow" by Rodney Ross has biting humor and is the story of one man coping with his long time partner's death at mid-life. I don't know why he has it listed as a romance. There isn't a romance in there (the romance took place in the past), and the story is wonderful.It's a great book I bet you'd enjoy. I also recently read "The Statue" by Zathyn Priest. This novelette was well-written and engrossing. He's a new author to me. I'm going to try another after I finish the novel I'm currently reading. I strongly suspect I've found yet another talented gay fiction writer.

There are many more, I'm sure. And I'm going to find them. Why? Because I love drama and angst. I like a book to make me think and feel. To stay with me for months after I put it down. For some reason, gay fiction writers who write non-romance gay fiction provide those things better than most other writers out there today. Many authors cater to what's "in" and that isn't what I like to read. I understand doing that, and may do that in my next series. We all need to pay the mortgage. But it's unfortunate that too much gay fiction is overlooked because people tend to think it's all sex and romance so they don't read it-especially gay men!

My current continuing saga, There Was a House (House of Pleasure, House of Pain and House of Trickery are out. House of Shame, the final book will come out in later summer) are the same way. A gay teen-age boy shares MC status with a straight teenage girl. It's a psychological thriller about sex trafficking. His gender preference for a romantic partner has absolutely NOTHING to do with a story  like that. The fact that he is gay has a lot to do with why he ended up dumped at a whorehouse by his father, and why people tend to see him as a stereo-type, allowing him to form a plan of devastating revenge. What's gay got to do with it? In his case, one hell of a lot. Still, I elected not to waste a category on "LGBT". It's keyworded, though. But I felt the two categories it's in were more importnat in portraying what type of story it is.

A great thriller is a great thriller. A fabulous historical is, well, a fabulous historical. Authors', let's not diminish these facts by categorizing books simply as "gay" and making people guess what they're about. We only get two categories on Amazon. People will find you by keywords if "gay" is important to them. Use those keywords to both your and your readers advantage.
 '
Readers, you can help, too. If you want gay fiction that isn't romance, type in "gay fiction"  or "gay thriller", etc and then read the description, look at the categories on the book page, read the sample, read the reviews. Some great novels are waiting for you...and you don't have to want romance and happy ever after in order to find it in  gay fiction.

Do you have favorite gay fiction novels that aren't only romance? I'd love to hear from you with the author name and title!

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com
Twitter: @caddyorpims

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Brandon Shire Shares His Thoughts About Challenges for the Future of LGBT Rights



It's Gay Pride month and I wanted to write something that made a difference. Then I read Brandon Shires post on his blog yesterday and realized I couldn't say it even close to as good as he did. I asked him for permission to re-post his thoughts here, and he was kind enough to say yes.

If you haven't read any of Brandon Shire's books yet, you're missing out on someone I feel is one of the most talented out there. Here is his Author Central page: Author Brandon Shire . I've read them all and loved them. Listening to Dust and The Value of Rain remain two of my favorite all time novels.

Challenges for the future of LGBT Rights

What challenges do you see for the future for LGBT Rights?
A lot has been written in response to this question. There are still so many challenges for the future of LGBT rights that it is hard to narrow them down to just a few key points.  But I do think there is one key element which succinctly addresses all the larger concerns.
Single-fix focal points
We tend to focus on one issue at a time, as if the issues we face as LGBT were non-inclusive of all the other issues. And we do so to our own detriment.
Where we leave gaps, our opponents gain a foothold. Marriage is the current focal point. It’s snappy, it has immediate gratification, it has great sound bites, and look at all those smiling faces…everyone is all dressed up for the party.
What you don’t see behind those photos are the 200,000+ homeless LGBT kids still on our streets, the level of poverty that most LGBT’s live in every day, the barbarity of verbal and physical attacks on trans people, and the continuing racial divide that separates much of the LGBT community.  Job discrimination? It’s bursting at the seams, but you hardly hear a word about it.
All these issues are connected, but our opponents have successfully lobbied the public (which includes LGBT) into believing that we should segregate our thoughts. This is a health issue, this over here is a black/white issue, that one is a jobs issue. Look, this is a trans issue, that a religious issue, and this is a gay issue.  And those lesbian feminists, that’s something else completely.
We need to start understanding the mindset behind the attacks on the LGBT community. They come down to one very effective mechanism for ineffectiveness: divide and conquer.  As we allow our opponents to create dissention among the LGBT community, they gain and we lose. Yes, single focus has helped us make great gains (look at how far we have come with marriage), but at what cost? Who do we leave behind? Who decides who we sacrifice? How many do we sacrifice?
The single greatest challenge for the LGBT community is to finally come to the understanding that we have allowed our enemies to divide us.  All LGBT issues affect all of us.   Tweet this!If just one LGBT person is bound by the definitions set by our adversaries, then we are all bound. Not a single one of us truly gets the rights we are fighting for. Not one. The commonality between us is not that we are LGBT, but that we are human and that our opponents have taken our self-anointed labels and attempted to turn them against us.  But we’re changing that, slowly. (See below.)
What are gay activists/allies getting right? Getting wrong?
Got it Right
Redefining LGBT. For a long, long time our definition of what means to be LGBT was determined by others, haters usually. Every major movement, every major victory comes down to one basic fact: We have taken back and and begun to redefine what it means to be LGBT. Our voices are now heard, not because we have shouted down our foes, but because we have proven them wrong both morally and factually.  These facts –the essence of who we are, what we do, and how we live – are what have given us every major victory. Remember, it only takes 10% of population holding an unshakable belief to convince the rest of the population to adopt the same belief.[1] So yes, every voice counts, including yours.
Got it Wrong
Claiming we won. We haven’t won, not by far. Victory in a few skirmishes and battles is not winning the war. Ask any African American if they won the battle against racism, ask any immigrant, any non-white. Ask a woman how the battles still rage over misogyny and sexism. Ask an LGBT kid in a small town how safe they feel, or how included, or how reviled.
Exporting ‘My Gay Life’.  There’s a lot we can do to support the movements in other countries for LGBT rights, but simply exporting our own ideas and ideals in the same way we market the ideal gay image (which is male, white, svelte and rich) is not going to work. Real change is cultural change and most Americans (gay and straight) have little understanding of other cultures, including those which are relatively close to our own.
You cannot take the supposed playbook from the US LGBT rights movement and simply plop it down in another country which has thousands of years of history and culture. Boots on the ground is what we need focus our efforts on – that is supporting those native men and women who are striving to make a change within their own countries. Anything else is viewed as another attempt at a subversive ‘western imperialism.’ See China, Russia, Uganda, Croatia, etc. (The list is endless.) The religious right and extremist groups are making strides at proclaiming that LGBT rights are an ‘imported phenomena.’ (Next they’ll be a CIA plot.) We know this is not true, but we still continue to market being LGBT as a ‘freedom’ and not as an inalienable right of being human. And we still, unfortunately, have the imperialist idea that we, as Americans, know what’s best for others.  It’s hurting our international brothers and sisters, and it is something we need to halt, now.

Tweet the above quote by clicking


Visit Brandon's website and blog here: http://brandonshire.com/author-bio/

Thanks, Brandon, for letting me feature your post. Your writing moves me as a reader and inspires me as a writer. My world is a better place having read your work and for knowing you. Hugs.

Caddy Rowland is a novelist and painter. Her social media links follow.
To find out about her novels visit http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005FW8BZE
Sign up for New Release Newsletter by Email: http://eepurl.com/rfjaX
Author Email: caddyauthor@gmail.com

Twitter: @caddyorpims