|To Whom it May Concern at RWA,
Today, February 18, 2020, I am resigning my membership in RWA. Please remove me immediately from your membership.
I have been a member in good standing since 2011, and a member of my local chapter (Calgary Association of RWA) just as long. I have volunteered at the local level for most of those years, either on the board, maintaining the website, or currently, as the diversity liaison.
I cannot in good conscience remain a member of RWA, as it is quite apparent that RWA is not willing to create a safe and inclusive space for its marginalized authors, whether they be people of colour, queer, or disabled, at both the national and chapter levels of the organization. RWA has continually demonstrated that it is a white supremacist organization, enabling bigotry of all types, and I cannot remain a part of such an organization at any level. I despise that my membership fees have gone towards an organization that has stifled ethics complaints by members, engaged in racist acts against Black authors and other authors of colour, demonstrated that LGBTQ2S+ authors not being paid by Dreamspinner Press are not important enough to receive assistance, censured authors striving for DEI, including Courtney Milan, and has so completely disregarded its own bylaws and procedures.
The continued lack of information and lack of reform in RWA are unacceptable. I cannot see RWA managing to include DEI at every level of its organization, and as a queer author, I am no longer willing to exert any effort or emotional labour towards this when my basic rights and humanity are not recognized.
Alyssa Linn Palmer
|To the members of CaRWA,
As of today, February 18, 2020, I hereby resign my post as Diversity Liaison, and resign my membership in the chapter. I have been a member since early 2011, and have volunteered for many of those years, whether as the website person, on the board, and most currently as the diversity liaison.
Partly I am resigning due to the actions of the national organization of RWA, which has demonstrated time and time again its allegiance to white supremacy and systemic bigotry, and its continued lack of will to eliminate such bigotry from its organization. I am also resigning because it has been demonstrated to me that many members of CaRWA are also unwilling to eliminate bigotry from their thoughts and actions.
As diversity liaison, I tried to bring knowledge of the value of diversity, and the need to decry racism, homophobia and ableism. I also tried to support those with low income by spearheading a Perseverance Fund. I see now that I was not strong enough to be effective, that I still bent to protect the sensibilities of the “nice white ladies.” And yet, with the recent survey in January, I was shown that even these lukewarm efforts were unwelcome, that members felt that my efforts were “shoving these issues down their throats,” or “too political” and that members just wanted to “focus on writing” and that they were feeling “attacked” or unable to post “for fear of being criticized for what they post.” Or, indeed, that they “didn’t need to learn about diversity because they work with diverse clients.”
That members felt comfortable sharing their explicit homophobia and other bigotry in this survey indicates to me that CaRWA is not a place for me, a queer author with chronic illness. I do not think that there is a possibility for true diversity, equity and inclusion in CaRWA, as there are too many members who take offense at even the possibility of such things.
I am unwilling to continue to expend my emotional and physical labour to support a group that does not share the same inclusive views.
Alyssa Linn Palmer
I’m delighted that this book of my heart, the sweet yet hot love story between high-flying lawyer Kitty Kerr and artistic organic farmer Lucy Shen is now out in the wild, waiting for you to read.
This book started with names. Lucy was first, the name coming from the English middle name of my friend Nina. Lucy also has her last name, Shen. It’s a tribute to Nina, one of my best friends, lost too soon. I’d like to think she would have been tickled pink to find out that in another world, she’s part of a tender romance, and is an organic farmer with a kickass talent at welding sculptures from old farm parts. <3
Kitty’s name came second, well, almost third, because I named Lucy’s farm (Country Mouse) first. And then I thought, what might be sweet yet cute but to have a Kitty for the Mouse? (I’m also a big cat person–see my Instagram, lol–seriously, cats for miles.) Then, I needed a bit of opposites attract… and Kitty became a lawyer. Corporate law, at that.
And then, I read the book Chop Suey Nation: The Legion Cafe and Other Stories from Canada’s Chinese Restaurants, by Ann Hui, and dug into some history of Chinese immigrants in Canada, and that’s when the restaurant pop-up idea started to percolate. (It also gave me an excuse to buy more cookbooks and experiment in the kitchen, something I highly recommend!)
So, if you’re in the mood for a tender yet hot romance between an anxious lawyer and a dedicated and hardworking farmer, this is your book. Fortunately, it’s been released on Bold Strokes Books, and it will be released on Amazon, B&N, and other retailers like The Ripped Bodice on February 11th. Take some time with Kitty and Lucy, and find out what they get cooking.
Kitty Kerr is a high-flying lawyer when her career plans are derailed by the luscious blackberries from Lucy Shen’s Country Mouse Farms. Kitty can’t get enough of the fruit, or of Lucy. Suddenly, she’s wanting things she never dared to want—Lucy, and the life on the farm. But how will being an artisan cook/farmer fit with her legal ambitions and city habits?
Between her beautiful farm and her sculpture, Lucy’s life is set. Falling for a big city lawyer is not part of the plan. Even as Kitty helps make her dreams of spotlighting her farm’s produce in restaurants a reality, Lucy’s terrified that she and the farm aren’t enough to keep Kitty interested in love and the simpler things in life.
Pulled in two different directions, will the city kitty and country mouse be able to make it work?
(And many thanks to Tammy Seidick for that gorgeous cover! Doesn’t it make you just want to devour those blackberries?!)
Jason K. Foster
The House of Shudders
(YA- Historical Fiction)
Based on true events
Release date: June 1, 2019
at Big Sky Publishing
Nazi Germany is ruled by Hitler’s barbaric policies of racial cleansing. Ingrid Marchand’s only sin was to be born black. Horrifying institutions like Hadamar are where the undesirables – including the mentally and physically disabled and children – are systematically tortured, gassed and executed. It is where Ingrid is humiliated and brutalised and will encounter a depth of hatred the world has never seen before.
On the brink of starvation, can Ingrid survive the horrors of her incarceration and help bring her tormentors to justice?
Hadamar is a gripping tale of survival in a world of hatred, horror and insanity.
Hadamar was a tough book to read. It’s not that it was poorly written, because it wasn’t. It was vivid, and compelling. However, the subject matter is pretty dark, given that the book is set in a hospital the Nazis created in order to kill those people (children and adults, though a lot of children) that they felt were not proper Germans, or were disabled or wrong.
Despite the dark subject matter, the book was compelling, and especially the protagonist, Ingrid. Ingrid is of mixed race, with a white German mother and a black French father. At first, her father is taken away, and then she is sterilized. That’d be enough, but then the Nazis take her away from her mother and move her to Hadamar.
The book covers until the end of the war, so there is a lot of historical detail, and a lot to take in. There is also a decent resolution, which I wasn’t certain of, given the subject matter.
This was well worth the read. I expect it would be of special interest to those studying WWII, or other subjects attached to it. I’d like to read other books by this author as their writing is strong and I expect they would do well no matter what their subject.
Excerpt – Chapter 1
Standing either side of me they placed their hands under my armpits, lifted me up off the chair and took me away to an adjacent room. Inside, there were medical stands with hanging bags, and metal trays bearing all kinds of silver tools. In the centre of the room was a bed. At the end were two leg clamps that resembled horse stirrups and on either side there were two more belts. The nurses threw me down heavily onto the bed and attached a black leather strap across my chest, forced my arms along the outer parts of the bed then fastened my wrists into place.
I tried to move my arms. I tried to flip my chest from side to side. It was useless. I went to kick my feet, but the nurses had a tight hold of them as they fixed them into the stirrups and strapped them into place. The two nurses covered their faces in white masks and gloves as the two Obersturmführer appeared. The older doctor paused over my abdomen as he pressed his fingers down on either side of my belly button. He turned around and reached for a large knife.
Hovering above me, the blade glinted in the artificial light as he twisted his hand. With his left hand he retrieved a small square of white bandage. Momentarily placing the knife beside me, he picked up a brown bottle, placed the bandage across the top and tipped it. After dabbing my belly with the bandage, he put the bottle down and picked up the knife once more. I watched on, utterly helpless.
He plunged the knife into me.
At first I felt nothing but the pressure of the scalpel as it drove its way in. I remember thinking that my blood was the same colour as anyone else’s. Then came the most excruciating pain I had ever felt; as if someone was driving a hot poker into my sides and twisting it around and around. I scrunched my eyes closed, but I could still feel the doctor’s careless cutting as he carved me up like a butcher hacking up a carcass. I begged myself to pass out but I couldn’t. Instead I opened my eyes, lifted my head as high as I could, and watched as he reached for another tool that looked like a pair of scissors. Unable to raise my head any higher I couldn’t see what he was doing, but I heard a loud clicking sound. Then I felt a needle being threaded through me.
He cut me again, on the second mark he had made. I felt the same sensation: the scalpel penetrating my skin, the same jagged slicing, the clicking sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason K. Foster
is an author, poet, freelance journalist and high school teacher.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications)
and Graduate Diploma in Teaching from WSU
as well as a Master of Arts (History) from Macquarie University
and a Diploma in Spanish from Macquarie University.
Jason is widely travelled having spent time in five continents and over fifty countries.
He has taught in Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain and Argentina;
experiences that bring a distinct range and unique world view to his writing.
He has published ten books in the true crime and historical narratives genres.
He has also been published the world over
with his work appearing in a range of mediums
from History magazines in the United States to Australian travel magazines
to Poetry Anthologies in the United Kingdom.
Buy the book: paperback and ebook available from the publisher, on Amazon, Google Play, or the App Store
You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blog participating in this tour.
Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter,
as listed in the entry form below,and win more entry points!
Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour
will give you 5 extra entries each time!
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Global giveaway open to all
1 winner will receive a print copy of this book
CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ MORE REVIEWS, EXCERPTS,
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Check out The London Game and all my other books, now on sale all month long at Smashwords!
A Queer Summer Night in Cowtown is the latest anthology from the YYC Queer Writers group and features 10 new shorts, ranging from erotic to spec-fic and everything in between. Best part? All royalties go towards the amazing Camp Fyrefly!
There’s an ebook, and a paper book. Pre-order now from Amazon (links for Kobo, etc. coming soon!)
From May 27-31st, check out all sorts of amazing lesbian fiction novels, novellas and other stories that are on a seriously cheap sale! (Including my novellas Vee, Vee (vol 2), and Prohibited Passion.)
Blondel, author of the hugely popular novel The 6:41 to Paris, evokes an intimacy of dangerous intensity in a tale marked by profound nostalgia and a reckoning with the past that allows its two characters to move ahead into the future. [provided by the publisher]
NB: this is NOT erotica!
“Exposed deals with the joys and uncertainties of youth, as well as aging and regret, thwarted friendships and loves, and nostalgia and searching for renewal. It’s beautifully written and sensitively translated from French, highly engaging and accessible to a wide array of readers. It contains no explicit sex or anything that would put off a reader open to the experience of good literature.”
This book was a bit of a tough read for me. I found it hard to get into, and then hard to stay engaged. I usually quite like this author’s books, but somehow, the characters just didn’t do anything for me, didn’t liven my imagination. It could be that it was just too much interior development, too much “navel gazing” for my taste. Certainly I can relate to middle to late-aged white men having some sort of existential crisis, but this time, it was difficult at best.
As the synopsis points out, this isn’t erotica. Though I don’t know why someone would think it is, aside from the mention of a character posing for a portrait in the nude. (the “NB” seems a bit prissy, IMO, a bit too judgmental about erotica. In fact, this book may have done better to have some proper erotica in it. There is definitely homoeroticism in it though, between the teacher and the artist.)
I’ll likely read other books by M. Blondel, but this one definitely won’t get a re-read.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
was born in 1964 in Troyes, France
where he lives as an author and English teacher.
His novel The 6:41 to Paris has been acclaimed
in both the United States and Europe.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
You can enter the global giveaway here
or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook,
they are listed in the entry form below
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]
Global giveaway open to all US residents
CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ MORE REVIEWS,
Air Born (The Guardian Series), an all-new Paranormal Romance by Rayanne Haines is NOW LIVE!
Quinn Taleisin hates secrets, and shadows, and subterfuge. Which is why she still can’t believe she agreed to become a member of the Guardians, an elite force of immortals tasked with keeping the balance between good and evil in the world.
Sounds great, except, to be a guardian you must agree to live in secrecy. Quinn is a wind elemental. Being caged in by secrecy is worse than death for someone like her. She can’t imagine a worse fate—until she’s asked to work with Lachon Findel, the man she holds responsible for her mother’s death and her father’s insanity.
Lachon is the oldest living elemental in the world. Known as Lachon the Law, he’s an earth element; a man who sees the world in black and white, right and wrong. So maybe once, briefly, a hundred years ago she thought he was a good guy. She knew better now. No way would she fall for his savior of the world shtick.
When the dangers of the past catch up with them, Quinn realizes the only way either of them will make it out alive is if she can put the ghosts of the past behind her and finally trust the flesh and blood man in front of her.
Grab your copy Today!
About Rayanne Haines
Rayanne Haines grew up on a small horse ranch in Alberta. She spent most of her youth re-enacting scenes from Anne of Green Gables to attentive audiences that included pygmy goats and roan stallions. The horses were thrilled. Her father could never figure out why it took her three hours to clean the barn.
Her mother was an avid reader and instilled a love of literature in her at a young age. She has always been fascinated with learning people’s stories.
She has a fondness for mountains and rivers and all the creatures that live within them. And she believes in magic, the spirit, that which we cannot see.
Rayanne knows stories and poetry can transform lives. She approaches her writing from a place of joy, wonder and empowerment.
Connect with Rayanne Haines
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/rayannehaines/
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Website – http://www.rayannehaines.com/