Rainbow Snippets #13

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My snippet today is from Bescreen’d in Night again. 🙂 This time, it’s from the beginning. It’s sweet, and it gives hope… and a sentence-ish over the six.

“Tonight, we tied ourselves together in the oldest way possible.” David’s hands fell to Jonathan’s chest, he leaning in to hold Jonathan’s gaze captive, amber to blue, as he pressed a kiss to Jonathan’s lips. “Tonight, in my mind—”

“I became your husband and you became mine?” Jonathan finished, quirking an amused eyebrow.

Tears of joy sparkled in David’s eyes, his smile shining like a sun as he answered, “Yes!”

“Babe…” I love you so much. “I’m going to marry you someday, I promise you. One day, I will give you Shea.”

HOP AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, TRANSPHOBIA, AND BIPHOBIA: BREATH OF A HOPE

Welcome to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia! Today kicks off my second round on this Hop, and it’s good to be back! Last year was amazing, and I hope to see many rainbows this week! The Hop runs from May 17-24, and it looks like a great turnout again! Much love and support are to be had!

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Last year, I wrote a piece called Always Keep Fighting, which you can find by clicking on the link. In the last twelve months, much has happened in my life, both good and bad, but one very important thing happened only last month on my birthday.

I came out to my family in Texas.

My plans were to do it over the Christmas 2015 break, on a vacation I wanted to take so badly to see them—I’d not seen my parents in over three years. I wrote a mockup of how it’d go and called it Glittering Soul. I felt like a walking open wound, nerves raw and infected. I worried that all the building I’d done on my relationship with them over the last fifteen years was soon to be swirling down the drain, that I’d be truly alone.

My plans fell through when HR didn’t approve my vacation in time, which began a new wait… ye gods, that was killer for me. I’d already been waiting since October, when I’d made the vow to be honest, to never keep myself a secret ever again. The bout of depression I’d been swimming through prior to the holidays grew worse, and on the morning of the seventh (I think) of January, I found myself losing the battle of the day before the day had really even started. It was a Rise Against and Hozier day, and as I was getting ready for work, all I could see was how bad I was, and for a plethora of reasons. I’m almost forty-one. I’m not one of the beautiful people. I’m not successful. My writing is mediocre at best. I’m hidden (or is it hiding?) in the basement of my best friend’s house.  I’m never going to be more than this. To top it off, I’m all alone. Still. Come out or not, I’ve no-one to share it with and I’ll probably never find her.

Sound familiar?

[Digressing for a moment, on Memorial Day of 2015, I decided that I wanted to make and be my own anti-depressant, so I designed a tattoo based on three things: blood and fire, Winchesters, and Within Temptation. Their translation is below:

20150529_133332(left forearm)

My anti-depressant works quite well. On good days, it makes me smile because I know I’m strong, I know I’m a “fire sign, man, a fire sign!” and so I burn hot, and I know I can keep going… and I know how far I’ve come. On bad days, it pisses me off because why the hell did I put some stupid symbol on my body forever? Why the hell did I choose that one? Stupid logo. You’re such a stupid person, why the hell should I keep fighting? And scars? My scars are ugly and that’s why—why the hell did I put that there?!

Yeah, it works pretty well, I’d say!]

Going back to what I was saying, that day, I was wishing like hell I’d put it somewhere I couldn’t see it. The day was a normal day, but for my mental state. Nothing spectacular or terrible about the shift. I came home, ate my dinner and watched my Winchesters, trying desperately to draw strength from the brothers, and I saw a comment on Facebook from my friend Anna—“Oh, David…”—and what little positivity I had gleaned from my little happy place took a flying leap off a cliff.

Shush

If there’s one thing I’ve always had to keep me somewhat sane, it was music… and David started it, he rescued me when I was twelve with his Heroes and Never Let Me Down albums. Losing him was horrendous for me, and coupled with all my terrible what-if’s… I spiraled for an almost unbearable three months.

The week before I left on vacation, I spoke with one of my friends. Her girlfriend lives with her and they’ve been together for years. I asked them both about coming out, and my friend said hers was nothing. Her girlfriend’s was a different story, one many of us know all too well, one ending with her not speaking with them anymore. I remembered in that moment, my best friend’s advice from way back: “tell them when you know you can exist without them, because you might have to.”

I did what I could to prepare, but the environment Texas is currently in, politically, made things rough. I traveled at night, so the morning would be long. I made it through Easter and the next morning, my mother took me to lunch at my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant in Grapevine. I didn’t plan for the conversation to be right then, but after the server took our drink order, my thoughts drifted to “what if I told her here?” and I guess she picked up on it, because she asked me, “What is it?”

I must’ve blanched. I felt my heart move up into my throat and I think I could hear it. My mouth went dry. I felt my eyes sting. I rambled. “Well, I… I want to talk to you about something. I mean, I need to—I’ve wanted to for a long time—I-I-I—”

My mother’s face broke into an expression of concern. “Just say it. You’ll feel better.”

I knew she knew then. I knew it. Didn’t she? “You do know… don’t you?” is all I could manage. The tears in my eyes blurred my vision as I mentally begged all my gods that I wasn’t about to lose her. Not her. Not my mother.

She furrowed her brow. “That you’re gay?”

I blinked, sniffled, and nodded. “Yeah.”

“I’ve known for a long time. I’ve just been waiting on you to tell me.” She smiled at me. “You know, I’m always going to love you and I’m always going to be proud of you. Do you have a girlfriend?”

(screenshots of the text I sent my best friend just minutes after we left the restaurant)

Over the course of the next three days, I experienced much the same reaction with my grandmother, my little brother, and even my father. None of the hatred I expected to be subjected to, came from any direction when I came out of my Texas closet… and as I was flying home, I realized one very important thing: it shouldn’t be like that.

I shouldn’t have to worry about what I wear—I should be able to wrap myself in a Pride flag and run down the street if I wanna, or wear my NO HATE IN MY STATE Texas shirt, or just one of my AKF shirts. It shouldn’t be an issue of If I wear it, will I get attacked? Secondly, I shouldn’t have to worry that I’m going to lose my family because I love someone. Something my daddy said to me when I spoke to him really sticks out. He said, “The greatest command the Lord gives us is to love one another and the second greatest command is to never judge. How can I follow His commandments and not love you? How can I follow His commandments and shut you out because you love someone? I am not the Judge, He is. I am your father, and I couldn’t live with myself if I hurt you for loving someone.”

I never intended to ramble on this long. I never intended to do anything but assure you that we are here for you. The end should never be your answer. Your fight should continue until you cannot fight anymore and then your cry for help will draw our community to your aid. Love is love, remember?

Another thing to remember? YOU ARE NEVER ALONE! I love you. We all do. One day, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia—I hope those will be a thing of the past. Until then, I stand with you, beside you, and I’m proud of you.

ALWAYS.

You are worth it. Your life… it’s beautiful! Your song… it’s perfect. Live on the breath of a hope… your spaceship knows which way to go. I promise.

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M. LeAnne Phoenix, 17 May 2016

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Rainbow Snippets #7

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I promised that I’d post again, because I’m finally writing again. 🙂 This is good. This is from a short story called Through Her Sunken Dream, and it’s about the effects of severe depression. It’s also two females in the lead this time, my second foray into that genre. Hope you like!

P.S.–I went a little over the six. Apologies!

—-

Her vision blurred a bit, scaring her since the room was already dark. She shuffled over to the line of light with the moving shadow Tara figured must be her girlfriend. Her hands searched for the doorknob, slipping on the metal handle two or three times before managing to unlock the door. As it opened slowly, Mina careful of her proximity, Tara whispered, “We were snuggling… weren’t we?”

“You said you needed to pee,” Mina answered, keeping her voice calm, but her facial expression told Tara of the terror filling her. “I’m going to turn the light on, babe, because I need to see you.”

“I’m cold,” Tara told her girlfriend. “Can I have a blanket?”

THE COVENANT… on the fence?

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BLURB:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees

the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive

reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their

parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in

their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for

their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Carly from Carly’s Book Reviews has this to say about The Covenant:

5 out of 5 stars

“That many young people are forced to hide their true selves for their own safety is a bitter truth that Phoenix tackles head on. The malevolent reaction to their love is both disturbing and heartbreaking. Jonathan references the depth of emotion found in the Greek concept of agape love when describing his feelings for David. Their love is pure; forged in the fires of prejudice and hate.

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read. Built on a foundation of love, it’s the type of story meant to be read more than once because you’ll discover something new every time. It isn’t for the faint of heart but persevere until to the end and you will walk away with a deeper understanding of compassion, strength and hope.”

WHERE TO GET IT:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

RELEASE DAY: The Covenant (#1)

It’s out today on CoolDudes!!!!

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BLURB:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees

the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive

reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their

parting test David and Jonathan’s  covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in

their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for

their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all along.

Carly from Carly’s Book Reviews has this to say about The Covenant:

5 out of 5 stars

“I was fortunate enough to be involved in the beta reading process during The Covenant’s creation, which means I was able to immerse myself into the characters’ psyche and multi-dimensional plot development. Annie’s stories always have a bit of an otherworldly feel to them; her writing is contemporary but with a hint of soulfulness that make them timeless.

That many young people are forced to hide their true selves for their own safety is a bitter truth that Phoenix tackles head on. The malevolent reaction to their love is both disturbing and heartbreaking. Jonathan references the depth of emotion found in the Greek concept of agape love when describing his feelings for David. Their love is pure; forged in the fires of prejudice and hate.

The Covenant will strip you bare and then carry you up out of darkness and into the light. It’s one of the most powerfully emotional stories I’ve ever read. Built on a foundation of love, it’s the type of story meant to be read more than once because you’ll discover something new every time. It isn’t for the faint of heart but persevere until to the end and you will walk away with a deeper understanding of compassion, strength and hope.”

WHERE TO GET IT:

CoolDudes: http://www.cooldudespublishing.com/the-covenant/

Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/foVw

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecovenant-1937665-149.html

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1NkQLzv

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018RBXPJ6/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28052976-the-covenant

Pride Promotions The Covenant Cover Reveal CONTEST

Shared on Michael Mandrake’s blog… THANKEE, THANKEE, MICHAEL!!!! 😀

Michael Mandrake

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Author Name: M. LeAnne Phoenix

 Book Name: The Covenant

Series: Covenant Series

Book: One

Release Date: January 15, 2016

Blurb:

When love is forbidden, who can you trust?

Seventeen year old David has been best friends with Jonathan for as long as he can remember, but the day he sees the pastor’s daughter press a soft kiss to Jonathan’s cheek everything changes. Overcome by jealousy, his explosive reaction reveals a deeper connection that sends their relationship spiraling down into dangerous territory.

When their clandestine love is discovered, they have nowhere to turn for help. The brutal circumstances of their parting test David and Jonathan’s covenant to each other in unimaginable ways. Forced to face their fears, it is in their darkest moments that the two young men discover that the courage, hope, and strength they need to to fight for their love, has been the foundation of their covenant all…

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Cover Reveal Day!

Holy crap, it’s here! 🙂 I’m so dang excited I can’t even get my eyes to close! I’m working all day today and I’ll probably be carrying my phone around like it’s my binky because I’ll need to see what’s going on! Hahaha!!!

A proper tour done the only way that Will at Pride Promotions knows how to do it: perfectly!

So… how to begin? Continue reading “Cover Reveal Day!”

COMING SOON: FINDING LOVE (Box Set of M/M Stories that Celebrate PRIDE)

It’s up on GoodReads… and it should be released next week! Soooo excited! 🙂 I love being a part of this project and Indigent! Soooo proud of these stories! All ten (this book and Indigent) are by amazing authors, and I am blessed to know them, let alone publish alongside them! Keep an eye out! All proceeds go directly to The Trevor Project!

COOLDUDES PUBLISHING: INDIGENT IS COMING!!!!

Indigent. With stories by Frederick Eugene Feeley Jr., Mari Evans, Leona Windwalker, M LeAnne Phoenix and Author-Shaye Evans. From CoolDudes Publishing. Sharing is caring. Caring for our LGBT charities accross the globe. Watch this book trailer to find out more.

Indigent Releases on 15th June. Pre-ordering from
http://www.amazon.com/Indigent-Charity-Frederi…/…/B00Y1JLCMQ
and
https://gumroad.com/l/GUXKS

**SO STOKED for this!!!! ❤ I can’t wait for it to go live! Don’t forget to get your copy! 🙂 JUNE 15TH!!!!