Wednesday, September 30, 2015

If You Want to Lose Readers, Don't Talk Politics, Religion...and what's that other one?

The bumper sticker "Abortion stops a beating heart" makes no sense to me as an appeal. So does making a roast beef sandwich, except in that case the heart is beating inside something that can experience emotions, fear and pain.

Also very few people on this planet will ever ask for an abortion as easily as they would a roast beef sandwich.

I was too young to have a child and my relationship with my boyfriend was rocky. That's the reason I had an abortion: I wasn't ready. The experience was painful and horrifying (and that was just walking into the clinic past the protestors harhahar) No, really, it was a bad time for me, and I swore that I wouldn't do it again. I haven't. No matter what my past, I know I can't make that choice for anyone else.

I still think about that baby-that-wasn't, usually to think "s/he would be xx years now. Wow." I hated that experience -- and have always known it was entirely the right thing to have done.

So away from the specific, which is still odd to admit in public, and back to the general. Back to the idea that ordering a roast beef sandwich is fine and making the choice to remove an embryo isn't. I don't understand, up to a certain point, why any other people would get involved in that decision. Why isn't it standard for the public to judge the start of life with the same criteria we judge the end of life?

"A sizable contingent would assert that life begins at 25 weeks. The rationale for this starting point is based on our definition of death. The definition of death is not disputed, and is considered the time when electroencephalography (EEG) activity ceases. EEG measures brain activity and must demonstrate regular wave patterns to be considered valid. Therefore, by this rule the onset of life would be the time when fetal brain activity begins to exhibit regular wave patterns, which occurs fairly consistently around week 25. Previous to that time, the EEG only shows small bursts of activity without sustained firing of neurons." (from

After that point, I doubt few people are comfortable with abortion on demand. When could abortion possibly be appropriate after 25 weeks? danger to the mother, no fetal brain activity? ...Otherwise? The answer to that does not lie in any solution produced by vote-hungry politicians who wouldn't know gray areas or complex situations if, and when, they're smacked in the face by said complexity, I do know that. Case by case? Doctors and patients--but also probably some kind of board? Including someone trained in medical ethics?

Any other people involved in deciding for the family facing late-term abortion? No. Just be thankful you don't face a tragic, unhappy situation. Not really our business and we should be grateful for that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Praise for Easy Action

this is rambling as usual...the part about writing m/m romance isn't actually important so don't get caught in this first part, okay? Good. 

I've been thinking about the whole co-opting the gay thing lately. It started when I read a few threads about how m/m romance is becoming mainstream and a bunch of straight ladies are writing it and that's creepy.  The argument of how the experience of being a gay guy belongs to the gay men and using for our own profit squicks some people -- that kind of makes a bit of sense. I understand it to a degree.

I understand but I don't agree because fiction is fiction is fiction is made up stuff that we all get to play with.

 BUT THAT is not what I really am thinking about. It's only the starting point. Let's get to the part where I have a DUH moment.

I have a gay kid. The fact is, his life is so much easier than it would be for a gay or lesbian my age. It's easier than it would be for his brothers -- who are only a few years older. That means, I hope, it'll be easier for the kids who come after him.  Easier and easier. No one in his family immediate or extended has ever suggested that his being gay is bad, sad or even slightly off. We're lucky to live in these times.

I write historical gay romance and I wondered if anyone alive in this country could comprehend how horrible it was for the people who had to hide who they were all of their lives -- or risk blackmail or worse? Maybe my guy will get hints of it if he moves to another part of the country. I expect he'll get tastes of hatred from nasty looks and comments, but hell, we ALL get nasty looks and inappropriate comments. Just try being a fat middle aged lady and see what happens. I'm hoping he won't get even that many.

So that's what I was thinking about....
..... and then I ran across a thread on a facebook page I'm on.

This was a nice thread, a decent thread with perfectly nice people. A guy with a gay middle schooler was asking for advice about social groups for his kid. Lots of people had great ideas.  But there were many more "go guy! you're great dad" comments. And "aren't we a great community" comments. These things are true. I'm not disparaging them. I like that people are saying positive things.

But would people say the same thing if a parent came on a thread and said "my daughter likes to ride horses. Any suggestions?" Of course not. 

I've never before questioned this "Go, you! You're a wonderful parent!" thing--even though it really is about being a regular sort of a parent, asking for advice on something that should be normal.

The reason I haven't wondered about this enthusiastic over-response is simple. The times I've asked people for advice about raising a gay kid, and have gotten that "go you! you're wonderful!" response, I've reveled in it. Everyone likes being told they're doing a good job. (Particularly when the job is parenting because man, that shit can get tough.)

But here's the thing. The actions I've been told are extraordinary are so ... extraordinarily mundane. I'm talking about asking about a gay men's choir or looking up the mailing address of the rainbow club. I'm not talking about getting up at five am to drive a kid to practice or sitting next to a sick child's bed. Nothing I've done is heroic or strenuous. These are not worthy of pats on the back because they seem like standard things a parent would do for his/her kid under "normal" circumstances. And we get to my point (at last). Apparently being gay still doesn't fall under the normal umbrella -- and that's just sad.

The people who've most often praised my actions are adult gay guys who are over thirty. They're the ones who've effusively THANKED me for taking an interest in my kid. And that just makes me want to cry and go beat up someone.  Maybe the first person to look at those men funny.

Anyway. That has nothing to do with writing gay romance. Except it's just interesting to note that even though we've come a long way and I'm complacent about my own sweet kid's future (mostly because he is so sweet) the "not normal" of being gay is still there.

Friday, July 24, 2015


I've resigned myself to just using the blog for promotion or other things, like perhaps chickens. or occasional rants. So it's a deserted zone, usually...but the fact that I'm not writing here might mean I have a life, right? **

Hey.... never mind that. It's time to pop the champagne and bring on the dancing boys and yapping puppies. I have a new book out today! Yay! Go buy it! Read it even!

For now it's at Amazon only!

Kidnapped by his own target, this crooked cop is having one bad day.

Detective Caleb Walker is foiled by his own industriousness. Determined to capture a criminal, he plants evidence—and is discovered by his higher-ups. Now blackmailed into being the strong-arm for a corrupt politician, he visits a poor widow he must convince to surrender her son. Yet something about her stirs his memory, and long-submerged desires. When she pulls a gun on him and demands he switch sides, he’s stunned, annoyed…and intrigued.

No one will take her son from Julianna. Least of all her sinister ex-father-in-law whose abuse damaged her late husband. With the handsome detective smirking in her sights, Julianna must convince him to help her keep her baby safe from the very people holding Caleb in their powerful grip. In a desperate bid, she kidnaps the cynical Caleb—and struggles to ignore the heat sparking between them.

As they pursue answers, secrets are uncovered—including Julianna’s and Caleb’s. Two imperfect hearts together may be enough to win the day. If their enemies don’t destroy them first.

A gaslight historical set in New York City. This version includes an excerpt from Powder of Sin.

**not likely

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

what am I doing?

1. Trying to title a historical -- New York, 1880s, widow holds a policeman captive. She has her reasons, okay? Then I have to write cover copy and send descriptions off to the designer.

Anyone got any ideas? He's (slightly) corrupt and has been sent to take away her kid (at the behest of her in-laws)
Her Charming Captive
Her Clever Captive

I used to hate writing synopses but I'd rather write a dozen if it's that or come up with a single title. Ugh.  Also writing back-cover copy = worst ever

2. Fretting about my little dinosaurs. No need because they are strong critters.

You shall not pass!  

3. Living with all four of my men. All are men now. You go off-line for a few months and BOOM your little kids are grown up and your husband of course doesn't age at all.

4. Mourning my big pup. I miss her a lot. She was a good, good dog and a fabulous writing companion.

Friday, March 27, 2015

My post about DA*

I'm a coward so I did it anonymously. But I figure, what the heck--I should be braver, and yo, this blog doesn't get a lot of traffic.

I posted this in the very long and heart-felt (hey romance writers and romance readers--what do you expect?) thread at Smart Bitches.

 anon because I'm still intimidated **says:
I’ve never been attacked by Jane so I’m not taking the whole thing personally, but “attack” is definitely the word for some of the backs and forths I’ve witnessed between her and authors and publishers. Generally speaking, I think I’ve agreed with her more often than not. Yet I’ve also seen a kind of self-righteousness and holier-than-most attitude that almost made me feel sorry for the people she’d target…almost but, like I said, she was usually right. [I'd amend that to "she was often right"]

I’d hope that a purely black and white view of issues will end for her now that she’s guilty of doing the sort of thing that would have sent her into one of her usual articulate, well-reasoned attacks.

If this were fiction...There’s a trope of a proud woman humbled that I usually think is despicable. (It practically ruined the movie Philadelphia Story for me) But maybe the notion of relaxing the stiff, unbending rules of punishment would be something to strive toward. More accepting apologies without additional scolding. More good humor about mistakes, even when you call them out–because calling them out is good.

But I’m kidding myself. She’s a human under attack–a lawyer to boot– and they’re not known for opening their hearts and minds in these situations.


* Like most posts about DA, it adds nothing. Insight isn't what this part of the process is about. In fact insight is rarely my goal because that means having answers.

**Not so much that I'd be shunned by a community but that I'd cross someone like Ann Somerville and Azteclady, two passionate arguers whose passions burn hotter than Fabio's hair on an 80s cover. Fierce frightens me almost as much as spiders in the shower do. 

Not just promo, also recipes

Bonnie and I have a book out next week. I started grinding the promo machine into gear (goddamn, that clutch is shot. You're never going to make it into third gear, Rothwell. Lemme help you push that thing back into the driveway. Yeah, best to stay home and read a book) 

That meant I thought about this blog as a way to flog books and had a pang of no, no, that's not what I wanted. Not pure promo. That's not what I'm here for. Let's do food, shall we?**
Lovely nourishing food -- because we're still trying to be healthy around here. How about gluten-free, sugar-free cookies?**** Yes, I know that kind of "treat" frequently looks like roadkill and tastes like pious and dreary dust, but I like these. I almost invented them! Except for the fact that there are variations all over the place, I made this recipe up!


They don't have sugar (except the stuff in the fruit. Okay, and in the dark chocolate bits. FINE they have sugar but not the kind from a bag.)
 Here's the recipe.
 6 medjool dates
1 banana
1 cup oatmeal
1 egg
1/3 cup almond meal (Trader Joe's carries this and the dates. You can also just grind almonds up. They're stickier that way, but that works)
1/4-1/3 cup milk (I got impatient and just poured it in so measuring didn't happen)
Grind this stuff up in a food processor. I did the dates and oats longer than the rest of the stuff because I wanted them to be finer.

Also I let the goop sit in the food processor for a few minutes. That was not on purpose--but I think it helped make them more tender. (The oatmeal mellowed as it swapped stories with the banana)

Add some chocolate chips because you can--as you add the dark chocolate remind yourself that it is healthy. Add nuts if you'd rather. Or both. Or coconut. Or, if you're feeling extra trendy, ground flaxseed. Dried fruit would work--I mean on top of dates. Chop it up or throw it into the grinding stage.

These things hold together nicely so add whatever you want within reason.

Or you could add nothing but why would you pick that?

Blop them onto a tray by the spoonful and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes or so. I was going to bake them 15 minutes, but they were fine at 12 minutes.

 This made 12 cookie things--more like dense little cakes. They weren't sticky or tough at all--and are pretty moist. I like them.

If you don't want them as moist, maybe leave out the milk.

**Since I'm sick of the Dear Author topic ##  (except for the covers that Mrs. Giggles made)

**** but with that egg, they're not vegan. My chickens point out it's cool to eat eggs. They like theirs scrambled. [and, to be honest, I suspect the milk is unnecessary.]

## being sick of the topic didn't stop me from writing about it, see article above this one.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Just what it says -- a giveaway!

I wasn't going to just use this blog for promo, but that's life, kid. And a giveaway is always fun.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Bohemian and the Banker by Bonnie Dee

The Bohemian and the Banker

by Bonnie Dee

Giveaway ends March 14, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Thursday, February 19, 2015

ten favorite facebook types

I just read another list of Ten People to Unfriend on Facebook. Sheesh, what  downer. So many finger-shaking tsk tsk bad puppy lists. They couldn't be more annoyed if those rule-breaking facebookers actually came to their house and peed on the new carpet. 

That's really the only reason I'm writing this, an anti-anti response. It's not like I actually care what you write on your facebook page. I'll read your page because it's easy to do, and something other than working, and because some of you I like and miss, even if I've never met you, Ann C. 


1. Lets anyone post, even people who disagree. That means some good, passionate discussion can happen.

2. Shuts down the shit. Any internet thread anywhere will contain crap-o-la. Trolls happen and then there are the people who resort to ad hominem when they get angry. Good facebookers will stop that useless conversation. Or if they don't, their responses are smart-assed enough to make the nasty poster look silly.

3. Is willing to change her mind. Enough outside evidence is presented to make him rethink a long-held belief.

4. Is funny. So what if his posts are all just sharing Takei. Some of that shit is v. funny. FUNNY HAH HAHA HA.

5. Makes his or her own memes. Those might show insider jokes but that's okay.  Insider jokes are fine now and again because feeling confused is good for those of us on the outside.

6. Might do vaguebooking but usually describes what's going on, eventually. Sometimes a "today sucks" is all she wrote. Hey, her page, her emotes, I got that. Go for it on occasion.

7.  If he writes about the weather, it'll be funny or pithy or tragic -- or knowledgeable because she's a meteorologist.  (and speaking of insider: Lyons and Drager FTW Goddamn, I love their explanations).

8.  When he asks for advice he tells us what he decided to do. Because we're nosy like that. 

9. Knows the Daily Currant is satire. I wasn't going to go hostile, but really, fuck you, Daily Currant. You're the only thing on the planet that makes me feel sort of sorry for Sarah Palin.

10. Warns us that the video she posted will contain an earworm. Except did you know rick-rolling is coming back? Ancient history for the internet is fresh again? Or not.

11. Posts goats. Those rascals are still not old.

12. Also chickens.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

FREE short story part one! FREE

This is the novella/short story I wrote for Heroes and Heartbreakers.
You can buy it at Amazon or go to Heroes and Heartbreakers and read it free! (or do both. I won't try to stop you.)

The first half is up today, the second will be posted tomorrow.

Go read! And what about that cover?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

happy new book day to me!

"Must Loathe Norcross is small town m/m romance with a lot of hot body lusting, neighbourly nosiness, some quirky humour, and a delightfully gentle sense of love and romance."
booktopia november romance buzz

"...  I really had fun with it. I love Summer/Kate's writing and it always pulls me right through from start to finish. Recommended."
five stars Eli Easton

It's out today! Right now! You can go buy a copy for less than the cost of a Barnes and Noble fancy drink that I'm planning on buying myself to celebrate release day!
buy at Samhain.
buy at Amazon
buy at barnes and noble

When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as traveling light.
Born wealthy and ambitious, Grady once worked hard and played hard—so hard, it brought him to the brink of ruin. Now, after a five-year retreat into the contemplative life, he’s dipping a toe back into the real world.

Assigned to write a series of articles about a Connecticut valley’s small towns, Grady checks into a local hotel. And meets a bellhop who seems determined to show him around…and maybe indulge in a more intimate tour later on.

When Josh’s boss half-jokingly suggests he get on a first-name basis with the writer who could make or break their town’s reputation, Josh jumps at the chance. He dreams of seeing the world, but the man he thought might be his ticket out turns out to be less influential—and more attractive—than he expected.

Together they uncover a strange plot to detour Norcross’s tourist dollars, a plot that leaves Grady bruised and angry. Now they’ll have to decide how far they’ll go to save the town…and how far they’ll fall for each other.
Product Warnings
Steaming-hot room service, delivered by a cute bellboy in uniform. Stolen towels will not be tolerated, but stolen hearts? Help yourself!

Friday, November 21, 2014

New cover! Old book!

A fantasy romance, set in another world.

"This is a weird and wonderful fantasy. Very powerful--and uplifting.
 --Rob Preece (Goodreads)
The revolution has swept the world, and the ancient rulers--mind-travelers who controlled others with their psychic powers--have been swept from existence. But one of the true revolutionaries must follow rumor to track down the last of the mind-travelers.

Hunting mind-travelers is what Cor does--despite the burden of guilt he carries. The cast-away, Numi had been banished from society for her powers. Beautiful and more dangerous than any other enemy Cor's encountered.

Numi will haunt her enemy the only way she knows how. . .

I wrote this a while back and published it via booksforabuck. It was never a big seller, except it did very well at fictionwise....which should tell you how long ago the book came out. (fictionwise went under in 2012.)

Last month, I got the rights back from. I had an editor go through it, and bought a new cover. The editor, who's picky, said she enjoyed it. So okay! That's great!

Now you can buy it again, but only at Amazon. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

why pointergate is important--despite the stupid title

I worked with refugees for ten years. Every one of the hundreds of people coming through my classroom had lived in a war-torn country. Every single person I met there had seen people they loved killed.

the women who'd watched all the men and boys over 12 marched to the village green and shot to death. Every. Single. Male.
the woman who had her baby taken from her and thrown over and over against a wall
the man who had both his hands and feet lopped off
the man who cried every day at the back of the classroom and whose hands were permanently bent because they'd been tied for over a year.
the kids who wore that thousand yard stare no matter what you said to them or showed them

Their stories seem so far removed from our world that it doesn't seem possible it could happen here.

I learned three things from working with them:

1. No country inhabited by humans is safe from the terror created by that kind of hatred.
2. People you think you know can turn unbelievably horrible overnight. It's as if a switch is turned on, but really there are signs. Watch for the signs.
3. The war and killing ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS starts with information from reliable sources (the government and/or news) dehumanizing people--the ones who end up dead or driven from their homes.

When men who pass as reliable (wearing neckties and good haircuts) tell stories based on fear and lies turning fellow citizens* into something as less than human, their lies must be uncovered. They shouldn't be vilified either (mocked maybe) but their exaggerations and dehumanizing lies MUST be revealed.  Not doing so risks lives.**

I didn't believe that before I met all those refugees--I would have thought it was comical to believe our country and culture could ever start one of those horrible wars based on hatred of fellow citizens' color or religion.

After meeting those refugees, I take those threats very seriously.  I am very jumpy, as in I feel the urgent need to jump on any story by anyone that seems to have the goal of making my fellow citizens afraid of a particular race or belief system (And major world religions**** do NOT promote violence. Only extremist wings of them do and please, please yes go ahead and denounce the extremists looking for violence. I don't want the Timothy McVeighs or bin Laden walking the streets).

Collective guilt is a myth created by people looking for trouble.


*or people in other countries, duh.
**no, I don't think minnesota is in imminent danger of exploding with race wars.  But once you wake up to this kind of awareness, it's impossible to let even small shit pass.
**** When I see Muslims tarnished with the brush of extremism, I think of my friends, the Bosnian refugees, and hope they never have to see a repeat of what destroyed their old lives happen in their new country.