Push Back Extended

Due to the configuration of some people’s paydays, we are extending the end date of the Push Back to May 5th. The #Pizza4Equality GoFundMe campaign ended yesterday, but there are plenty of LGBT charities who can benefit just as much. So please go here to read a freebie story I wrote and get yourself entered, whether by donation or sharing across social media to help spread the word!

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Scene Flash: Long Fall of Night, Book 1

“Have you got a phone?” Elliot pulled an iPhone out of his pocket and waved it. “Try to turn it on,” Ash instructed. The screen remained stubbornly black. “It’s fried. A regular power outage doesn’t do that.”

Elliot threw up his hands. “What are you saying? This is a solar flare or something odd that took out the whole country?”

Ash stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, a frisson of fear dragging up his spine like a resurrected zombie shambling for brains. If Elliot wasn’t coming, he needed to ditch the kid before he got to the illegal stuff, and it clearly wasn’t happening until he explained what he knew. He was uncomfortable enough with breaking more than the underage drinking laws. Last thing he wanted was a witness or to get Elliot in trouble. “I don’t know. I have no evidence for anything. All I know is my uncle, who keeps his ear to the ground about foreign stuff and terrorists and shit like that, called me and told me if something unusual happened, to get out of the city. He sent me an email and said to be prepared. I need to get to my sister and nephew before any inmates do. I’m not going to sit around and wait for this place to descend into Lord of the Flies.

Elliot stared at him, confused, eyebrows furrowed, but opening his mouth to ask another question.

Ash lost patience and snapped, “Are you staying here or coming with me?” Elliot’s eyes went wide. Ash got right in his face, their lips an inch apart. “If you’re staying, I’m gonna kiss you goodbye and walk away. Five seconds.” He paused long enough to count down, while at the same time, giving Elliot a thorough eye-fuck for old time’s sake. Elliot’s skin reddened and he demurely dropped his gaze.

“Time,” Ash said softly, then kissed his lab partner for all he was worth, with full body contact, holding his head captive with one hand and pressing his other into the small of Elliot’s back. Delving his tongue into Elliot’s mouth, he groaned when his startled partner got over his surprise and kissed back with equal fervor, the caress of tongues and clash of teeth not usual for them. Hell, the kissing was unusual. Ash was almost instantly hard, regretting there was no time for this, let alone more to explore it. With one last sweep of his tongue between Elliot’s lips, he pulled back and looked into Elliot’s eyes. “Then I guess this is goodbye.” He ignored the pang in his chest, swinging around and striding away.

Calling All Readers

The push back begins today!

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We’ve gathered the biggest incentive we can, with 224 generous authors, bloggers, publishers, and allies offering incentives to entice you for two weeks, from April 18th to May 1st. All you have to do is click here and read, donate, and/or share across social media and leave us a comment to tell us how you’ve helped, and you’re entered to win.

But the real winners are the people helped by your generosity, the ones who need it most: LGBT homeless youth.

As an added bonus, I’ve written you a little story. But to read it, you have to click the link. What are you still doing here? Go! Donate! Win!

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Overwhelmed

The response to my call to action post for LGBT authors has been incredible, humbling, and overwhelming, to say the least. Kate and Meredith report feeling much the same astonishment from their posts on the fundraiser.

There are more than 200 very generous authors who’ve jumped in with both feet.

Due to the massive outpouring of support, we are at capacity and are moving the RSVP date for donors to today, April 9.

Authors, if you want to make a donation, this is your last chance. Please contact me at (ajrosefiction [at] gmail [dot] com), Kate Aaron (author [at] kateaaron [dot] com), or Meredith King (diversereader [at] yahoo [dot] com) by the end of the day to get involved.

Readers: get excited! We’ve got hundreds of authors, review blogs, and publishing houses all offering rewards to anyone prepared to donate a little bit of time or money to charity, so be sure to keep an eye on DiverseReader on the 18th April for your chance to take part.

Calling All LGBT Authors

You know what pisses me off?

People expecting me to tolerate them when they are intolerant of me. Being told that because I’m in a same-sex relationship, I’m somehow less than. That my voice matters less. That my choices hurt other people who literally have nothing to do with me, but their choice to minimize me is more important than my right to live in liberty and pursuing happiness.

I was born in the United States, land of the free. But I am not free.

I can’t go to every state in the country and have my soon-to-be marriage to a woman recognized. I can’t get a job anywhere in the country without checking first if I can be fired for being in love with my fiancée and willing to commit myself to her for the rest of my life.

And now, I can’t drive into the state of Indiana without fear that stopping for a bite to eat with my partner wouldn’t get me thrown out on my ass, legally. Well, until they put through an amendment saying it wasn’t okay to do so by business owners whose religious beliefs clash with my life.

In the wake of the passing of the Indiana Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, a fundraiser set up to support a family who own a pizza parlor and think it’s their “right” to refuse service to LGBT customers has raised almost $1 million.

Unfortunately, a pro-LGBT counter-fundraiser hasn’t got nearly the same traction. It’s one thing to tweet our outrage, or share a link on Facebook to an article. It’s another matter entirely to put our money where our mouths are. I think about whether or not I could walk into a business in Indiana (or any of the other 28 states considering such legislation without making LGBT people a protected class) and end up humiliated by being tossed out because I dared briefly hold Kate’s hand or otherwise make it obvious I’m in love with her.

Imagine that. Being told no, you’re not worthy of sitting at their tables, eating their food, no matter if you can pay for it, because the person sitting beside you is your partner and happens to have the same chromosomes as you. It would probably make a scene, right? It would definitely be enough to raise tempers. If my children were there, witnessing in action the active discrimination of their moms, my utter mortification would be complete.

What are we supposed to do, stay home? Not drive through this state and stop for a hotel room or gas? What if there’s a writer’s con there, a business reason for me to enter Indiana? It’s demoralizing, humiliating, and downright wrong that a country with religious freedom woven into the fabric of our constitution has places where they say it’s okay to use that religious freedom to beat a demographic of society down.

What does it say to our youth, who aren’t in their thirties and know how to stand up for themselves? It says sit down, shut up, and pretend to be our definition of acceptable or just go away.

THAT PISSES ME OFF.

So Kate Aaron, Meredith King, and I are gathering up as many authors as we can who write about love in whatever form it takes to take a stand as a collective community and try to counter the pizza place’s fundraiser. Together we can reach hundreds if not thousands of readers, and we’d like to offer them the chance to win an ebook if they donate $5 to a deserving LGBT charity or share charity links across their social networks.

We sent out a few very large PMs on Facebook to rally authors who want to shout love is love just as loudly as we are to our side in this. But one, those big PMs suck and to those who were cool about it anyway, thank you for being patient with us for the initial push on this. Two. We know we missed people, but we don’t want any author who is willing to join us in this effort to feel like they can’t. We want everybody who is able to hop on this wagon if you’re so inclined.

So what do you say? Can you spare a copy of an ebook (reader’s choice works best, but we know some authors have publisher restrictions) for a worthy winner as incentive for readers to donate? We need to hear back by Thursday, April 9th (to diversereader at yahoo dot com, author at kateaaron dot com, or ajrosefiction at gmail dot com), for a blog post going up on 18th April at http://diversereader.blogspot.com announcing the giveaway, the rules for readers, and the reason behind the fundraiser.

The day of the post, all we ask is that you share the post link on your various social media to alert your fans of the opportunity, and when the deadline for the giveaway passes, we’ll email you the name of your winner and their email so you can contact them about their prize. It’s easy, hosted in one place for readers to follow and enter, and will show that we mean business.

As of the writing of this blog post, we have 106 participating authors. ONE OH SIX. It seems like those we’ve been able to get in touch with are just as indignant as I am. Because we ARE ALL human beings, and no, I will not sit down, behave, and be someone else’s definition of acceptable when who I love hurts no one.

LGBT people aren’t going anywhere, and our allies have loud voices. Let’s use them.

*ETA, we’ve been contacted by some of the review site owners about adding in a gift card for the cost of a single book as incentive as well, and I’d like to say that’s awesome, if those sites are willing to do so. You’ll be emailed just as an author would to handle transfer of the prize to the winner, but we’d like to keep it to the cost of a book per gift card, so as to avoid a sort of lottery situation. Money for donations gets into potential legalities I’m not sure would help the cause. 

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