Rebound is coming!

Sapphire Books 2014
Sapphire Books 2014

Women’s basketball star Conner Maguire has the world by the tail. She’s at the top of her game, in demand, and life is good. One day the unthinkable happens and her world is ripped apart. That split second event forces Conner to re-evaluate her entire existence. A beautiful warrior with a shattered heart and incomparable spirit may be the key to conquering her fears, if Conner can open her heart enough to see the world from a new perspective.

Blog Hop: The next big thing

Hi gang! Wow it’s great to be back. I’ll have a longer post with a few announcements coming in the next couple of days, explaining what’s been going on in LM’s world and reconnecting with my peeps. (That’s you!) But for now, my good friend Cheyne Curry, fabulous author and film maker, tagged me in her blog hop tour. Thanks Cheyne! Today’s topic is the next big thing. For me, that’s a story near and dear to my heart. Read on…

 

What is the working title of your book?

My current WIP is Rebound
Where did the idea come from for the book?

The story came to me from watching a few simply amazing people in my life who have flourished despite adversity that they’ve experienced. So, I used their examples as a starting point for the story and let my own creativity take over from there.
What genre does your book fall under?

Lesbian Romance/ Drama
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I get asked this question from time to time with my other stories. I suppose it’s fun for folks to imagine what actors might be cast to play various characters in stories they enjoy. For me, I prefer to stick to writing. My characters are composites of people and experiences I’ve had throughout my life, so that would make it difficult for me to decide. I’d love to hear readers’ picks though. LOL

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A twist of fate can alter our entire reality and force us to dig deep in search of our authentic self.
What is the longer synopsis of your book?

I haven’t written a complete synopsis, but here’s a bit to give you an idea:

Conner Maguire has it all. She’s a professional athlete on top of her game, with a gorgeous partner, and all the trappings of fame. A twist of fate changes everything, leaving Conner alone to rebuild her world and even her identity. Coach Shawn Tyler isn’t cutting Conner any slack. She’s challenging, frustrating, and beautiful. Shawn might hold the key to Conner’s future, if they each can get past their individual pride long enough to open their hearts to new possibilities.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Rebound will be published by Sapphire Books in 2013.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It’s still a work in progress.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?

This seems to be related to the question above. I was inspired to write this story by the incredibly talented and strong individuals in my life who rise above any challenge, despite being differently-abled. I think all of us wonder if we would have what it takes to overcome a sudden injury that completely alters our physical or mental reality. Most of us are stronger than we know. The key is understanding the truth that nearly all of what the outside world sees is not who we really are. But human nature usually prevents revealing our truest selves unless something rocks our world, good or bad. This story explores that phenomenon.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

While not a sequel to Faithful Service, Silent Hearts and Tactical Pursuit, Rebound tells the story of Conner, Mac McKinley’s young cousin. Readers first met Conner in Tactical Pursuit.

 

Next Wednesday check out these author’s blogs to find out about their Next Big Thing. I’m tagging Isabella, Jett Abbott, and Linda Kay Silva.

Vote Equality

Same-sex marriage is on the ballot in four states today. Thirty-two times before voters have cast ballots on the question of marriage equality throughout this country, and thirty-two times we have lost.  But this is the first time that the question has been on the ballot since the repeal of DADT and the president going on record as saying that lesbian and gay couples should have equal rights. Now, I know that some of you will still say that the president’s initial position was to endorse civil unions but not gay marriage. That is true. But you know what? I don’t care. The fact is that he came around and endorsed our right to marry, and that is huge. I’ve had people in my life tell me that getting to know Sandy and me has changed their opinion on same-sex marriage. That’s a good thing. Changing hearts is important.

So, here we are on yet another election day. I hope all of the marriage equality ballot measures are successful. The country is moving in the direction of equality, much to the consternation of the religious right. Try as they might, as with all civil rights issues before, truth, love, and equality will prevail. Those of you in Maryland, Minnesota, Maine, and Washington should know that we are all with you in spirit. In Maryland the marriage equality initiative seems solid, with a 9 or 10 point lead. Maine’s marriage referendum looks like it has the votes, with a 13-point lead. Washington has the brightest outlook, with a 54 to 38% lead among likely voters. Minnesota’s question is a gay marriage-banning proposal, or to put it more honestly, the conservatives want to enshrine inequality into the Minnesota constitution.

What all of these initiatives have in common is this: The people have the power to choose equality. And if you’re a lesbian or gay citizen in those states, or the friend or family member of a lesbian or gay American, it’s your duty to get out and vote. There is no room for apathy, folks. I hear so many of my friends saying, “Oh, I don’t like politics,” or some other lame excuse for inaction. If you don’t look out for your own self-interest, how can you expect others to do so? Friends, this is how our country works. Democracy is a privilege and a duty. Today, this duty couldn’t be more important, not only in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, but everywhere in this country. If you care about equality, get out and vote. It’s imperative. Your quality of life depends on it.

The gains made for equality are fragile, and we’ve seen what can happen when we allow those who stand against us to frame the message. The stakes for those of you with marriage equality on the ballot are high and the implications for the rest of the country are huge. Momentum builds, change takes hold, and equality eventually wins. History bears this out. Get out the vote. Tell your family and friends. Let them know this is personal. Make your voice heard for equality. This is your moment.

Vote.

Unchecked Hate Has a Price

After the disturbing news of several more hate crimes against lesbians and gays recently, my friend, Barrett wrote eloquently on her blog about this disturbing hateful trend that seems to be growing in our society. Check out her outstanding words.

I, too, have been deeply impacted by these crimes and it has made me wonder what’s happening. Barrett had a couple of ideas spot on: We should be able to disagree without violence and the hypocrisy and the hatred has to stop. One of the best ways we can do that is to take a stand against hateful rhetoric, wherever we hear it. But too often, our society turns a blind eye when hate and intolerance are broadcast via the airwaves or simply uttered in our presence.

Consider the popular comedian, Daniel Tosh, of Comedy Central. Last month he joked about rape in a standup show. When a woman in the audience objected, was Tosh apologetic? No. He doubled down. He followed with, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by, like, five guys right now?”

Seriously, Daniel? Yes, I know, he offered a half-assed Twitter apology. Whatever. Here’s the thing. Daniel’s rape subject matter has a history. Here’s another example of his twisted humor, using his sister in one of his rape jokes. I’m only including his video because you have to hear it to believe it. This guy has issues. Worse, he has a following.

But the thing that makes my blood run cold is that, even with his propensity for this type of cringe-inducing stand-up, he is wildly popular. He should be a pariah, but he’s not. At least he hasn’t been until this last over-the-top rant. The fact that there has been at least some backlash is encouraging, but it’s not nearly enough.

Kids are getting bullied and committing suicide because of their perceived homosexuality or disability. In story after story, not only did other kids join in, but parents, and in some cases teachers, said nothing—or worse fueled the taunting behaviors, through tacit, even active encouragement. Popular pastors are preaching intolerance and hatred. Rush Limbaugh resurrects the old “Feminazi” label and calls a college student a whore for speaking about reproductive rights. Citizens at a political debate boo a gay service member currently serving in Afghanistan. All in plain sight and without any real consequence to the haters. Oh, but the consequence is very real, my friends.

I talk often about the power of touching one person at a time in my life. It’s the best way for me to fight the overwhelming feeling of helplessness that can so easily take over, because it seems so hopeless sometimes. The simplest part is also the hardest because human nature is usually to avoid conflict, and we mostly try to get along with our family and friends. But I suggest to you that we have to speak up. No, not make speeches or wear a t-shirt emblazoned with: I’m a Lesbian! (If you want to, that’s cool, though.) What I’m talking about is refusing to be silent in the face of this misogynist, homophobic, racist intolerance that too often goes unchecked. There are many moments in our daily lives that give us the opportunity to make statements large and small, and every one of them is huge when we do. Whether we boycott companies that bankroll anti-gay measures, calmly tell a male co-worker that his sexist remark is unacceptable, or explain to a child in our life why a cruel joke isn’t funny. It matters.

“Us versus them” is destroying us. Girls are being gang raped, a young lesbian couple is shot, a gay couple savagely beaten, and there was yet another mass shooting last night at a religious temple in Milwaukee. The tragic list goes on, chipping away at our collective spirit. It’s all about the different, the weaker, the other. Somewhere along the way, those who spew intolerance have gained a perverse acceptance, and those who speak for the different have been marginalized, as though they are saying something wrong. That is what we must change. I may be hopelessly naïve, but I believe it’s possible. Hate breeds in ignorance and division from one another enables hate to spread. Divide and conquer is the tactic. Demonize the different. The problem is, that fracturing of our collective whole is what’s taking us all down. Each of us has a role in stopping it.

There’s a saying: We become what we think about. What our society needs is a lot more thinking about our common humanity and a lot less looking for reasons to hate.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Peace.

~LM