Category Archives: Contests

Happy Holidays Blog Hop! A list of lists and a giveaway from Lou Sylvre

author-happy-holidays-hop-2016
Hello, and welcome to my post for the style: color;maroon>Happy Holidays Blog Hop! I decided to keep it simple, and post a short list of short (holiday-flavored) lists. That’s coming right up. I’ve also got a little Lou Sylvre news and info, and a prize drawing and teensy swag offer for Holiday Hoppers. For more holiday-style goodness, check out the other bloggers in the hop, listed right here at this link to the blog of our host, Nikki J. Markus..

Now to the lists!

My three favorite things about the holiday season (not counting being with people I love, because that goes without saying):
(The first list.)

  • Lights! Or perhaps I should say “light,” because winter is soooooo dark. It would be different if I lived in the southern hemisphere, I suppose, and I don’t’ think I felt this way growing up in Southern California, where it never gets quite as dark in December as it is here, a mere thousand miles north in Washington. Our daylight hours here are pathetically short for the months bracketing the solstice, and the low-angled sunlight often hides behind cloudy skies. Holiday lights and candle flames truly “make the season bright,” and it’s a life-saver.
  • Pajamas. No seriously. It’s a family tradition to gather on the day of our celebration for breakfast. The rule is pajamas. No one is allowed to be dressed in actual street clothes, even if driving many miles to get to the gathering. This is my rule, and since I’m the grandma, well, it goes. I’d make allowance for guests, but generally speaking, those outside our immediate family who have chosen to join us are perfectly willing to get into the spirit, and they wear pajamas too. In fact, they often wear the silliest pair.
  • BreakfastWe have lots of food. I no longer have to cook it all. We all manage to squeeze in at the round table . Those are all good things. But my favorite part about the day is German pancakes—that’s what we call them, and they’re reasonably close to what I’ve seen called a German pancake in the few restaurants that have them on the menu. But this is a family recipe. Interestingly, my mother, who was from Germany and came to the US as my father’s bride when he was stationed in Frankfurt in the late 1940s, had never seen such a pancake in her homeland. She learned the recipe from her mother-in-law, whose heritage was a mix of Native and French Canadian. Regardless of whether they’re German, they’re darn good eating, a hefty version of a large crepe, which can be eaten with maple syrup, or rolled up with jam (or whatever) inside. They were always a treat when I was growing up, and now the big treat for me is to see not only my children, but my grandchildren devour them.

(The second list)

Three lists of holiday books (a list of lists in a list of lists):

  • On Goodreads, “Best Gay Winter-ish Holiday Romance”. I love the title, and this is a great big list, with more than 250 books.
  • M/M Holiday Delights.”This is more than a list, really. A long series of cover-blurb-link type posts hosted by Melyna on her beautiful Books, Coffee, and Captured Moments blog. Delight-full. (heh!)
  • My own tiny list, right here:The Christmas Wager by Jamie Fessenden, Finn’s Christmas by Angel Martinez, and (yes, of course I’m going to put my own book in here!) Falling Snow on Snow by Lou Sylvre.

(The third list)

Four winter holidays, with a tradition and song to go with each

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That’s it for my holiday bloghop entry. Comment by 12/21 with a tiny winter list of your own and enter win a $10 GC for the Dreamspinner Press catalog.

Some Lou Sylvre news: Falling Snow on Snowreleases 12/23 from Dreamspinner, available for preorder now, and I’m on a blog tour! Start here at MM Good Book Reviews blog for day one (yesterday), and get all the links for preorder and for the rest of the tour. While you’re there enter the blog tour giveaway, too! Here’s a review by Mt Snow on Rainbow Gold Reviews.

a-cup-of-kindness-vignette-12-16-print-cvr One last special thing. I’m giving away a litte, itsy-bitsy holiday Vasquez and James Universe vignette, available online at Love Bytes blog, or get a printed and signed copy. If you trust me with your mailing address (I won’t abuse it), write me at lou.sylvre@gmail.com, and I’ll mail you a copy.

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Filed under blog hop, Contests, just a category, Lou Sylvre

Hopping for Visibility, Awareness, and Equality—Focus: Visibility (Or, on peeing in North Carolina and such)

Hello! It’s IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), and I’m here (with the rest of the hop bloggers and readers) to talk about visibility, awareness, and equality.HAPHOBIAUMBRELLA2016

Well, that’s a lot to talk about, so let’s break it down. Let me start today by talking about visibility, and specifically visibility in the United States.

This year, Trans-related issues are big on everyone’s radar, what with hater legislation (let’s call it what it is) about—of all thigs—bathrooms being very visibly bandied about and enacted in several states, with North Carolina’s HB2 taking a front and center position though Tennessee and eight other states including Minnesota have similar bills. Yes, visibility is an issue across the LGBT-QIA spectrum, but for now, let’s talk about Trans, baby.

“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry—which is happening as I write—is one of them.”

~~Bruce Springsteen

Why focus on visibility?

As I see it from a historical perspective, because visibility is the crux of this focus on toileting. Conversely, invisibility has been both a product and a tool of hateful bigotry for… well, maybe as long as there have been humans who hated. If you are a member of any group that has been marginalized (to any degree) by the dominant culture, you very likely have experienced invisibility. Sometimes, it is a protective instinct to retreat into it. If a hypothetical ‘they’ don’t know that a hypothetical ‘you’ is African, Native, gay, lesbian, refugee, bisexual, HIV+, immigrant—anything that doesn’t match ‘their’ perception of ‘like us’—if ‘they’ don’t know, it is possible to avoid being excluded, ridiculed, ignored, followed around by the store detectives, or beaten to a bloody pulp. Sometimes, invisibility isn’t on purpose. ‘You’ can’t or won’t or just don’t happen to hide your color, country of origin, sexuality, gender identification, age (etc), and therefore the store employee skips over you, your job application gets lost, you speak and no one hears you.

But it shouldn’t be like this. Not only does rendering certain people invisible in society result in numerous individual violations of constitutional human rights, it attempts to rob people of status as human beings. You realize, don’t you, that in the sixties, if you had asked school officials about gay or queer students, they very likely would have said they didn’t exist?

I believe bigoted people feel threatened because trans (and other rainbow spectrum) individuals have shrugged off their cloaks of invisibility—a brave thing to do, dangerous, but life-affirming. People have embraced their identity and thus their humanity. “I am this person, exactly as I am meant to be.” That is a joyful thing, to be celebrated.

Except to the person who keeps their mind closed around the training tapes they’ve heard all their lives, which make it clear that if someone is different, they’re dangerous. If that’s the case, you’re likely to be afraid.

Two ways to deal with fear. One: find out why and fix it. This usually involves a willingness to learn and understand—to listen and truly hear. Two: turn it into something else—hate.

Hate= “it’s not me it’s you.”

So we have Hate Bill 2 and around 100 antil LGBT-Q spectrum bills around the US.

Getting back to North Carolina where you might have to flash your birth certificate to get into a bathroom (because hey, what’s more important for a state legislature to spend time on than where people pee?), just today I saw an article relative to North Carolina’s ridiculous law, being trans, and visibility. Singer Laura Jane Grace, founder of the punk band Against Me, decided they shouldn’t cancel their appearance. In her particular case, she thought another approach would be more effective.

She’s a trans woman, you see, so she burned her birth certificate on stage.

© Brian Ach, Invision/AP

© Brian Ach, Invision/AP

“Goodbye gender.”

~~Laura Jane Grace

Thank you for reading and hopping for the cause. Comment on this post and enter your name for a giveaway: $15 Gift Certificate Dreamspinner Press, ARe, or Amazon. I’d love to hear how you feel about visibility, whether you have experiences to share, news, or thoughts on the subject. Or, comment on any aspect of these issues, the hop, or my post.

Here are all the blog hop links, for your convenience! (Thanks all you bloggers!)

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Filed under blog hop, Contests, homophobia, IDAHOT Blog Hop, just a category, Transphobia

If you entered the contest in my last post, you may be interested in a couple more chances to enter. Visit my post at Love Bytes reviews, and while you’re there, you can read a sexy excerpt from A Shot of J&B and take a look at a sexy guy enjoying his night. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/X9do4k. 🙂

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by | March 8, 2015 · 1:16 pm

An excerpt from A Shot of J&B (Sonny James’ timely advice to Brian!) And a contest…

rope spider 7b93b2305e712e8ea61a8ecbe732fc88Oh, hello. I just remembered I have a blog here…
Not really of course, but I’ve neglected it for far too long. So to celebrate my return I’m offering an excerpt from my book coming out on March 16th, A Shot of J&B, and a chance to win something a little strange. I’ll tell you about that at the end.

For now, let’s start with this: You can preorder the book at Dreamspinner, and save 20%, simply by keying in this discount code: ASHOTOFJB. You can get there by clicking this link: http://goo.gl/K6Dj2d. This book starts a new series, Vasquez Security, the Next Generation, and as you might have guessed I’ve spun it off the Vasquez and James series. The main sweeties in this one? Jackie and Brian (J&B).

You may have already seen the fabulous cover Reese Dante created for this book, but if you haven’t here it is! Cover, A Shot of J&B artist Reese Dante, author Lou Sylvre

And, also in case you haven’t seen it yet, the Blurb:

Six years ago, Brian Harrison helped save the life of Jackie Vasquez, and he’s never really forgotten him. After the rescue, Brian ended his employment with Jackie’s uncle Luki and left the US for England, aiming to distance himself from the confused feelings—not lust, but not brotherly—that then sixteen-year-old Jackie engendered. Now Jackie has become a man, and when they meet again by chance, lust with a dose of D/s rope kink is definitely on the list of possibilities. As they get to know each other, though, lust shows every sign of growing into love, deep and true.

When Jackie moves to London for graduate studies in criminal psychology, he and Brian hope they’ll be able to enjoy each other’s frequent company. But they haven’t factored in the claim Brian’s police job with Scotland Yard will make on his time, especially when the “Gaslighter crimes” sap investigative resources. An abandoned aide dog named Soldier leads to a breakthrough clue, and a chain of discoveries fall like dominoes. As Brian rushes to beat the criminal’s game before it escalates to true terror, he comes to an undeniable conclusion: Jackie Vasquez, the man he loves, is in mortal danger.

Now, the excerpt. A little scene setting, it’s December 26th, and Brian is visiting Luki and Sonny while in the States for the holidays, and just by chance, Jackie is there. (They haven’t seen each other for close to six years.)

Their meal finished, they all bussed dishes, then Brian helped Sonny stow leftovers.-Follow_the_Oldtimers_Advice.-_-_NARA_-_514272

“Don’t think I don’t see what’s going on,” Sonny said, with no preamble.
Brian actually felt himself start to blush, but he clamped down on his emotions and played it cool. He hoped. “What?”

“He’s a wonderful guy. And he’s all grown-up, now.”
Brian said nothing, wrestling with some unruly plastic wrap more viciously than necessary.

“Jackie, I mean,” Sonny clarified, though he obviously was aware Brian knew.

After stowing the covered dish in the fridge, Brian stepped back, put his hands in his pockets, and decided not to even try to be coy. “I know, Sonny. And you’re right—I can’t help but be conscious of him when I’m in the same room. It’s the same feeling I had when we first met, that we have some connection we don’t know about. Only now, he’s obviously… an adult. So there’s another… dimension to it. I… I don’t know,” he finished, aware that it sounded lame.

“I don’t know, either, Brian,” Sonny said, wearing an easygoing, practical look that Brian recognized. “But that’s just it. You never know. I know you have your club, and that meets your needs for now. But maybe keep an open mind?”

Brian worked up the nerve to ask his question—one he really needed the answer to, but was afraid of what it might be. “Um. Well, Sonny. My kink.”man in ropes d8e0a1031980e0c32cc36016182755db

When Brian paused, Sonny inserted, “Yes, control. Domination. On the lighter side, though, if I’m not mistaken. Ropes, maybe?”

Brian chuckled. “Damn, Sonny! How do you do that? Yes, that’s it exactly.”

“And you’re worried.”

“Yeah!” Brian huffed out a somewhat frustrated breath. “I mean, I know Jackie… I remember what he wrote in his e-mails, and things. And…. Well, frankly, I have enough experience to know a sub when I see one, usually. But….” He stopped, trying to compose his thoughts, so he could speak them clearly. “He’s been hurt, right?”

He waited, but this time Sonny didn’t rescue him from the need to express himself, only glanced at him, gave him a quick nod, then returned to wiping down the counter.

Brian sighed, then struck out into dangerous territory. “He interests me, and honestly I think I interest him. But I’m afraid that if we were to get together, it wouldn’t be good for him—he might be hurt. I don’t want to be part of that.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Brian.” Sonny hung up the dishtowel, then leaned back on the counter.

“But not surprised. You’re a good man, I think. Do you want advice?”

“Please,” Brian answered.

Sonny scratched at his chin thoughtfully. “I’m not really in the habit of giving it, but okay. First, don’t put the cart before the horse. Foresight is good, but why worry about something that doesn’t quite look to be happening yet?”

“Right,” Brian said, feeling a bit foolish.

“There’s no reason to feel foolish—it’s good that you care enough to think about these things. I’ll give you a little information: Jackie has come a long way since sixteen. He’s worked very hard to understand himself and put the things that happened to him in some kind of context. He’s strong and bright, and yes—adult. Anything more is for him to tell you, if he wants. So I suggest you talk to him, and maybe listen to him. If something develops between you, trust him to know what he wants, and trust yourself, too.”

Brian smiled. “Thanks,” he said quietly, because he knew what Sonny said was not only right, but should have been obvious.

Sonny slapped him on the shoulder in a friendly manner, and said, “I hear Luki calling the dog for his walk. We should all go, get outside while it’s not raining.”

And the contest: comment on this blog post, and you’re in the running. What’s the prize? Heh. I’ll name a character after you, or put your dog, cat, or bird in my next book in this series (Your choice.) Any takers?

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Filed under A Shot of J&B, Contests, M/M romance, Vasquez Security TNG

Inkslingers’ NYE dinner buffet–bloghop style! Read, drink, be merry, win prizes!

Inkslingers NYe Dinner Menu FINAL (1)
Hey everybody, welcome to Inkslingers’ M/M author progressive New Year’s Eve 2014 dinner buffet.

I know, what does slinging ink have to do with cooking, right?

Nothing, but nevertheless, as a group of authors (who write dirty, sexy, queer books) we’re staging this event for the fun of it and for the opportunity of awarding some pretty decent prizes.
Inkslingers facebook banner

Here’s the way it works:

You can “choose your own dinner adventure” from appetizers, soup, salad, main dish and dessert, but those of you who visit and comment at each and every blog will be entered into a drawing for one of three (3) $35.00 gift cards to the venue of your choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance Ebooks.

Plus, some individual authors might include a private drawing for those people who stop by. (A comment on this post, for instance, earns you a chance to win any Vasquez and James e-book.)

So read, drink and be merry! Happy New Year from all of us, at the M/M Writers’ Buffet!

For full blog links visit http://zammaxfield.com/new-years-eve-progressive-dinner/.

Now down to the business of cooking:

My cooking theme these days is simple, light, and tasty, and all the more so for New Year’s Eve, and my soup choice is dead on. This recipe comes from Fitness magazine online, “12 Simple Soup Recipes,” and it’s one of the few recipes I don’t alter at all when cooking. It’s not going to break the bank, require a foot-long shopping list, or keep you busy for hours chopping stirring. And, it uses up the extra can of pumpkin that always seems to remain in my pantry after the holidays! Most importantly: it tastes righteous. (Nomnomnomnom…)

Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 3-1/2 c. chicken broth (low sodium works well here, and vegetable broth is a veggie alternative)
  • 1 c. applesauce (the more apple-y the better, and if you feel like working a bit harder chop up a half cup of apple (peeled) and sauté it with your bacon)
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • sour cream (the recipe says light, but… I can’t do it)

pumpkin soup from fitness magazine
Putting it together:
Saute the bacon (with apple if desired), drain fat. Add (to the bacon, not the fat, heh)the pumpkin, broth, applesauce, ginger, salt and pepper, bring to boil, simmer for a little while (non-specific, I know). Garnish with sour cream. (Easy-peasy, right?)

I like to have a little sparkling apple cider to complement this, but if you’re a lush… er, person who drinks wine, you might like something light and white, a tad fruity. 

Thanks for stopping by! See you at the next stop. Have a good time, and don’t forget, comment here for a chance at an e-book, and visit all the blogs for the $35 gift card (x3) giveaway.
VJ 6 cover banner
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Filed under blog hop, Contests, Inkslingers, Vasquez & James

Congrats to my HAHaT drawing winner!

congratulations bookshelf spectrum flickr goo ftuos 3330670980_dab9f6b5c8_z

The winner is JenCW! Congratulations Jen! Thanks for your comment and “playing” my raffle!

I’ll email you personally.

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by | May 25, 2014 · 12:23 pm

Because of Jade is live at the Dreamspinner Store! I have news and this beautiful graphic to share…

A grapic of Luki, Sonny, and Jade with a quote.

The new Vasquez and Jade novel is live for download at Dreamspinner Press, and I’m excited about events slated over the next few weeks. Today, release day, Monique Lehane at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews will will post a review, and the first installment in my blog tour. This tour is themed, The Further Adventures of the Vasquez-James Family! Yes, I’ll be posting some mini-fictions at various places around the Internet, along with other stuff. You can find a calendar here in a goodreads blog post, and track me down as it happens to enter for prizes and join me for what I hope will be some fun. Or, read at your leisure, if you feel like adding a little extra Luki and Sonny to your day. 🙂

I hope you’ll join me, and maybe check out the book.
Oh yeah! There’s a discount: 20% off with code: JADEBOOK</strong. Almost forgot…
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Filed under Because of Jade, Contests, M/M romance, Reviews, Vasquez & James

HAHAT 2014 blog and giveaway—Celebrate, but stay for the long haul, because *this is beautiful*

HAHAT 2014

Another year has gone by, and equal marriage rights have been popping up all over the USA.

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia is a yearly event on May 17th, and the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia is one way some of us bloggers participate. (Click that link for a list of all participating blogs!) Since last May, the US Supreme Court has made a landmark decision, believe it or not, helping to prevent California state law from undermining marriage rights for people who love another of their own gender. And several states have found their conscience and passed laws equalizing marriage rights. And some state courts have overturned bans. Even the IRS has joined in to treat people in same-sex marriages equally with their heterosexual counterparts. The list of accomplishments goes on—there’s a lot to celebrate. In that spirit

I’m giving away $15.00 in money for (what else) books from Dreamspinner Press.

All you have to do to enter is comment below, naming the one event since May 2013, personal or public, that most spurred your hope for equality. You don’t have to use a lot of words, a few will do and they don’t have to be fancy. I just want to cheer when I read your comment. 🙂

But I’m no believer in blind optimism. I think there are many good reasons to hope and envision a day when who a person loves is not hung from the town hall for public judgment. We’re not there yet, though. I recently was asked why I write homophobic events into my stories. Well, my characters are gay. I’m bisexual. Homophobic stuff happens. Hate crimes happen. Bullying and abuse of LGBTQ spectrum teens continues to happen, be tolerated by some who should know better, and to cause despair to the point of suicide. And as for marriage equality, here is a map of the US. After you’ve looked at the map,

consider this: Only the solid dark blue states have fully legalized same-sex marriage. I count sixteen.

For a greater eye opener, look at the full legend, here.
US states by same sex marraige status

Honey, we have a long way to go, just for the legal stuff! Changing minds and hearts, stopping homophobia and transphobia, is another layer—a thicker, crustier, more corrosive one, and it moves glacially slow. I remind myself of this so that I

don’t lose heart, and do dig in for the long haul

.

Why does it matter?

Because this is beautiful:


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Filed under Contests, HAHAT 2014, homophobia, Marriage equality

Update: Now we are four (chatting authors on 3/31, that is)

Last post, I told you that Rainbow Gold will be hosting Violet Joicey-Cowen, Teodora Kostova and myself for a 1 hour chat on 3/31 at 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight time (4:00 PM Eastern). Well, things just got even better. We will be joined also by author T.a. Chase! Click here to go to Rainbow Gold. That means four authors, four prizes to be won in our Rafflecopter giveaway and that link is already live! Go forth and win books!
violet joicey-cowen The Choosing Teodora Stoyanova DanceVJ 4 covers by Monique

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Filed under Contests, Lou Sylvre, Vasquez & James

Three Authors, Three Giveaways: Rainbow Gold chat 3/31

VJ 4 covers by Monique
Join me (Lou Sylvre), Violet Joicey-Cowen, and Teodora Kostova on March 31st, 1:00 PM Pacific, 10:00 AM Eastern! We’ll be chatting for one hour on Rainbow Gold. (That’s a link, click to go there.)

Teodora Stoyanova DanceWe’ll each be giving away a book. It should be fun, so come on by! violet joicey-cowen The Choosing

It’s going to be a Rafflecopter giveaway , multiple chances to enter, easy peasy!

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Filed under authors, Contests, Vasquez & James