Content / Spoiler Warning: There is no suicide in the book, but there is frank discussion of trans / homophobia and by the end the novella left me with feelings of optimism, and hope. (Full Review)
About The Book: Spiritually divorced from the church, former exorcist Ryan Macy is finding his own path as a ghost hunter. Traveling with only what can fit in his trusty truck, he road trips around America trying to prove the paranormal.
When he’s called to a church to investigate a demon possession, what he finds is unexpected and, perhaps, just as divinely in need: A seventeen-year-old kid named Andrew. Ryan is certain something evil lives within the house: home-grown hate. Kicked out for being gay, Andrew hitches a ride and joins the ghost hunting team. But something is following them…
What did it feel like to write a demisexual character in an erotic romance? By Kaelan Rhwiol
Asexuals aren’t interested in sex or are repulsed by it, right? Well, yes and no.
Many asexuals have little interest in sex, or they may lack sexual desire. Some asexuals lack attraction, meaning they may experience sexual desire but lack attraction to others. The asexual spectrum is incredibly broad and varied. There are so many ways people experience being asexual, but there aren’t a metric ton of fiction books exploring those individual realities.
Sex very much repulses some of us, and anyone talking about asexuality needs to know that aces like that exist. People also need to know that my kind of ace exists, too.
That for some of us, we can and do have sex for a lot of different reasons. As many varied reasons as there are individual aces; including wanting to please our partners because it pleases us to do so, to wanting to have children, to experiencing connection, to enjoyment. Some of us, given the right circumstances, can and do enjoy the act itself, really. We’re still asexual.
Have I blown your mind yet?
And what in the world does this have to do with the book I have releasing today? My BLOODBOUND?
A couple of years ago, after figuring out that I’m demisexual, I did what I usually do and looked around for fiction books, ideally in my favorite genres of romance and SFF that featured demisexual main characters.
I didn’t find many. In fact, I only found three. Three books and two of them were self-pubbed, so not well known. Thankfully there are more now, but at the time I felt that I needed to write a book in order to see someone like me on the page.
A gray-ace who very much identifies as asexual who happens to be in a happy relationship and who enjoys sex. One who, for all intents and purposes was a sex-repulsed ace until I wasn’t. Until I needed to start identifying as a gray-ace instead. I wrote all of that into BLOODBOUND.
So what did it feel like to write that?
It was hard, very hard. I’ve been known to liken it to scraping the main character, Rhian, out of my soul with a sharp blade and then bleeding her onto the page. Because a lot of the time it felt exactly like that. I had to relive a lot of relationships where I wish I hadn’t gotten sexual with people, and that wasn’t pleasant. I also had to examine a lot of my feelings and experiences from a semi-impartial writer’s viewpoint. So yeah, it wasn’t easy.
I write almost exclusively own voices work, meaning that my characters share parts of my marginalizations’. Most are queer or mentally ill; some are kinky, some are mixed-race or non-binary, some are autistic or have survived a lot of trauma, some experience the pain of a sibling’s death, but they’re all parts of me. I find I do my best writing when I’m passionate about the subject, and for me, lived experience gives me a unique perspective into a lot of intersectionally marginalized identities.
I’m used to the experience of writing bits of myself and my life into my work. So I expected writing BLOODBOUND to be similar, hard, but not too hard, easier in fact than writing things I’m not.
It didn’t turn out that way. Rhian, my demisexual assassin, is the most of me that I’ve ever put on the page before and BLOODBOUND was the hardest book I’ve ever written. Rhian exposes the most personal aspects of myself in a lot of ways, the parts that I feel are most likely to be the worst reviewed, and the most hated parts. Why do I feel that? Because demisexuality is still so misunderstood, so unknown, and aces, in general, get a lot of hatred to start with. Demis tend to be the red-headed step-children of the asexual spectrum in my experience.
During the writing of it, I felt like I had to be so very careful with concepts and word choices, and at times I questioned what the hell I was doing writing an ace character who enjoys sex of all things, in an erotic romance!
But why not? Why shouldn’t people like me be able to see ourselves on the page as well? Why shouldn’t people who used to be sex-repulsed, like me, or who just never had any interest or understanding for it, (me at other times in my life) have that experience, that reality, to read? I think we should; I think we need to have that, as much as any other marginalized identity needs to see themselves. It’s imperative for us to have mirror books. Those books that we can see ourselves in.
So no matter how worried I am, or how afraid I am that people won’t connect with this very profoundly personal part of myself, shared through the vehicle of my main character, I still wrote and shared it. I needed to. Even if it hurts.
I’ve worried, all along, from the time I had the idea all the way up through writing, submission, acceptance, cover design and editing that demisexual readers will hate my book. It can only show my experience of being demisexual, which may be remarkably different from other demis. It has had four demisexual sensitivity readers, so hopefully, we’ve caught any issues there may be with representation, but it can’t represent all of us, because I’m only one person. Maybe it can let some of us see ourselves though, and that was my goal in writing it.
To let some of us see ourselves.
Rhian is content in her life. As a pwca, a Welsh shapeshifter, she is bound to the Dark God Arawn as an assassin. So when he assigns her as ambassador to oversee Ontario for him, it’s a shock.
Her new job? To find out who murdered her predecessor and bring them to justice, as well as to oversee the otherkin and clean up their messes before the humans find them—all to preserve the illusion that magic and supernatural creatures do not exist.
The problem? One of the otherkin she’s supposed to oversee is her estranged husband, Kai, the only person Rhian never regretted having sex with, and the only one she can’t forgive.
Kaelan was born and raised in upstate NY, in the Adirondack mountains.
Xie started writing when xie turned 11 and hasn’t ever stopped as evidenced by the massive amount of notebooks and digital files of xyr writing xie has hanging around.
Xie identifies as queer, because xie fits many of the letters of the QUILTBAG/LGBTQQIP2SAA acronyms.
Kaelan holds a B.A in bioanthropology/forensic chemistry and an MST in education/world history. Xie loved University, so holds minors in English, Literary Fiction, Creative Writing, Linguistics, Graphic Design, Folklore, Medieval History, and Modern Dance.
Xyr hobbies include reading, spinning wool with a spinning wheel, cooking, knitting, sewing and making jewelry.
Xie currently lives in Southern Ontario, Canada with xyr partner of 20 years, their two kids, three cats who put meaning to the phrase ‘foot fetishist’, and a grumpy rescue chinchilla.
The best place to connect with Kaelan is on Twitter, where xie spends way too much time.
Hello all! Today is the release of Unburied Fables! This collection enlisted talent around the world. From students to seasoned professionals, these writers came together to raise awareness and reinvent classic stories. While they showcase a wide variety of LGBTQA identities, origins, styles, and endings, all the tales in this anthology have one classic element in common: a happily ever after.
Fifty percent of this collection’s proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project, a non-profit focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and other queer youth.
The #WattpadBlockParty is finally here! I’m so excited to be a part of it and to have Hello World’s first chapter debut this Friday. There are sooo many authors joining and countless giveaways so instead of posting a giant list of names I’m going to recap the party’s juicy details every Monday!
Will I get tired of that pun? That answer is no. Check out the trailer before I think of another!
During her ordeal with the Sect, Estelle Bailey dreamt of escaping back into the arms of the sea—and Azariah. But freedom came at a price, and though she’s back with the Sachael who’s stolen her heart, she’s also land-bound until the next full moon. And with the threat of Orontes looming ever larger behind them, Azariah, Estelle, and Michael—her once-captor turned rescuer and friend—are on the run. Following Michael’s lead, they seek sanctuary amidst the natural beauty of the Orkney and Shetland Islands until Estelle can complete her next submergence ritual and Azariah can whisk her away to the safety of Saicean. Secrets, betrayals, and old enemies await them, though, and as events spiral out of control, Azariah makes a decision that puts all their lives at risk, forcing Estelle to face a journey she never wanted to take. With time running out and tempers running high, her only hope to save the man she loves lies in a reconciliation between two kingdoms who despise each other.
Book Two in the Mine Series, Sachael Desires further expands on the intricate underwater world of the Sachaels, and the hostility and isolation of not belonging. | Get your copy today!
For seventeen-year-old Kira, there’s no better way to celebrate a birthday than being surrounded by friends and huddled beside a campfire deep in the woods. And with a birthday in the peak of summer, that includes late night swims under the stars.
Or at least, it used to.
Kira’s relaxing contemplation of the universe is interrupted when a piece of it falls, colliding with her and starting a chain of events that could unexpectedly lead to the one thing in her life that’s missing—her father.
Tossed into a pieced-together world of carnivals and gypsies, an old-fashioned farmhouse, and the alluring presence of a boy from another planet, Kira discovers she’s been transported to the center of a black hole, and there’s more to the story than science can explain. She’s now linked by starlight to the world inside the darkness. And her star is dying.
If she doesn’t return home before the star’s light disappears and her link breaks, she’ll be trapped forever. But she’s not the only one ensnared, and with time running out, she’ll have to find a way to save a part of her past and a part of her future, or risk losing everything she loves.
Dreamy, fluid, and beautiful, Link pairs the mystery of science fiction with the minor-key melody of a dark fantasy, creating a tale that is as human as it is out of this world.
Summer Wier is an MBA toting accountant, undercover writer, and all around jack-of-all-trades. Link is her debut novel and the first in The Shadow of Light series. She has three short stories appearing in Fairly Twisted Tales For A Horribly Ever After and co-authors the Splinter web serial. When she’s not digging through spreadsheets or playing mom, you can find her reading/writing, cooking, or dreaming of the mountains in Montana.
The Deceptive Cadence blog tour makes a spot with us! Not only is there another giveaway to offer you, but we also have an exclusive character interview for you!
Before this, what have the hardest decision you’ve had to make?
Before going back in time? Um, I’d say travelling so far to go to University. I was scared to go clear across the country, but I needed it after all the drama in high school. I needed a fresh start.
Has your idea of happiness changed after loss?
Yes. I think sometimes we get so caught up with being better, or right we forget the important things. Seeing Austin and Melody dead reminded me of what really matters most; my family and the people I love. I realized that without them, nothing had much meaning.
Is there any slang that you are going to bring back with your second chance? Or dread hearing again?
Ha ha, I don’t know. I do say things that are so out of time though, so I have to be careful not to fall into too many bad habits.
Do you believe in soul mates?
I’m not sure. I don’t think there’s one person out there for anyone, if there was, then what happens if one dies before they meet? Or they never have a chance to meet? Or if they do meet, they’re not in the same place in life and don’t notice each other? I think there are people out there who can become our soul mates if we choose. I mean, if I never chose to move to Perth, I never would have met Austin. I believe our soul mates come from the choices we make, not destiny. Or maybe I’m just thinking too much.
What is your favorite time travel story?
Time travel story… hmm… well, Geri and I like having girl’s nights and watching eighties greats, and Back to the Future is a repeated favorite. Oh, and Bill and Ted is pretty great too.
Before the accident, what would have been your one do-over?
Geri. I love that girl like nothing else. There’s never been a truer friend than her. Even Lyla and Tara don’t quite meet her standard. I missed her every day after we fought, and wished I knew what I did. She’s definitely top priority for my do-over.
Besides the obvious of being given a second change what is your favorite thing about going back?
Seeing my teen years with a fresh perspective! Who wouldn’t want that? Then of course, I’m so excited about falling in love with Austin all over again. Being married is wonderful, but the beginning, when you first start dating, is exhilarating. Everything is new, and full of energy, and Austin was such a gentleman. I was so lucky to have him.
About Deceptive Cadence:
Cadence Anderson has the perfect definition of happily ever after . . .
Until she doesn’t. A freak earthquake shatters her life as surely as her home, taking away everything she holds dear. She wakes in a hospital to find that her beloved husband and infant daughter have been killed, crushed by the earthquake’s wrath. Disoriented, injured, and alone, Cadence refuses to accept the loss. So when a man claiming to be her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time to save her family, she doesn’t need to give it a second thought. She accepts.
Thrust back eleven years, she now faces the ordeal of high school all over again. But this time, she’s armed with all the knowledge of her adult life and the determined to do everything better, from preventing the loss of her best friend to avoiding her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. She’s focused solely on Austin, her future husband, and is content to bide her time until she meets him again.
But then James Gordon crosses her path. Cadence wants to remain single, but James has his sights set. He is determined to win her over, and he’s very hard to resist. As Cadence starts to develop unwanted feelings for him, she realizes he threatens to disrupt everything, changing the future and distracting her from her original goal. Now, Cadence must choose: deny the unpredictable and exciting path James offers her, or stay true to the life she had and is trying desperately to resurrect. Second chances are more complicated than they seem.
Deceptive Cadence combines the soaring emotion of a heartfelt romance with the innovative storytelling of magical realism, crafting a uniquely moving, intricate tale about love and loss that asks: what would you do if given the chance to right all your wrongs?
About Katie Hamstead:
Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush”, and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.
After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and their dogs.
She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing. Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an Acquisitions Editor to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.
Today rings in the half way mark of the year, which also makes this Friday the 6 month anniversary of Bone Diggers being available on Wattpad! I’m so excited to see the ever growing following this story has. It’s been something hugely important to Andy and I for years, and it’s really amazing to be able to share that with everyone. To see the tweets, comments, even worry over the characters is really what every writer wishes for.
So on this anniversary of sorts, I have a few announcements today. The first, welcome to this brand new site! You’ll still be able to follow along with us on social media, but now we can connect in a new way too. Another new feature is that freelance services are also for the first time being offically offered. You can check out more infomation about that under “Design Services.” The last announcement today to celebrate the 6 month mark is to show our appreciation with a giveaway another video game book and some extra goodies from me!