Monday, August 31, 2015

The WORDS are there and you're NOT going anywhere. Take a DEEP breath.


There have been plenty of times I’ve needed to hear that. Plenty of times where those simple instructions seemed the hardest thing in the world. What’s a deep breath gonna do? When things are a mess, when it all goes to hell, why tell me to do what I gotta do anyway?



Well, because sometimes it’s the only thing you CAN do. It won’t make anything easier, but when you’re rushing around trying to fix everything, you end up breathing hard and fast and not in a good way. While you scramble around struggling to make the world make sense, you’re usually gasping for air.

Today’s post is a response to seeing a lot of people stressing out. For good reasons, but at time the negativity can really drag you under. Believe me, I know.

Rather than depress myself talking about HOW I know, I figured I’d address one of the issues I’ve seen coming up a lot lately, and that’s authors feeling the need to write enough to stay relevant.

Seeing this breaks my heart because, the way I see it, after you’ve put a book out there, after you’ve shared the artistry of your words and your stories, there’s no way you can become irrelevant. You’ve accomplished a certain immortality that few ever manage. Your words will live on forever.



Maybe that sounds like poetic nonsense, but for me, there’s something soothing about it. I could freak about pushing back deadlines and not writing enough. Gods know I get my share of hatemail over both. As I posted recently, I’ve had my moments where I could honestly say getting a job asking ‘Would you like fries with that?’ would be preferable to knowing I’m disappointing so many people because there’s no machine to make what I do go faster.

But that’s what makes art so precious. We hear again and again that our books aren’t our babies. That they’re a product and we have to learn to let them go and not take offense when critics tear them apart. Which is good advice, if only for our sanity.

For our creativity? For the words that never seem good enough? For the fragile muse who can be shut down by the most cruel critic?

And the cruelest critic, as we all know, is the artist themselves. If a hundred readers write angry letters about how long a book is taking, you can guarantee the author’s told themselves the same thing a thousand times. And wasn’t as polite as the most ignorant troll.

So what I suggest is this. Take a step back if you need to. Yes, this is still a job, and for those like me who live off our work, we can’t retreat too far. But we can get enough distance to make it just us and the words, if only a little while. To fall back in love with reading and writing and the passion that got us this far.


Enough distance to take a deep breath. And keep going.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

There Are No Gay Players In The NHL Series-The Strain on Gay Collegiate/Pro Hockey Players by V.L. Locey


Is there anything more crushing to the human spirit then to have to deny who you truly are? Imagine being an artist living in a culture where your peers frowned upon painting. Or, perhaps you love to write but society hated and scorned authors. Maybe you love floral arranging but your family detests flowers. Or, just maybe, you collect dolls but your church is vocally against doll collecting.

I suppose some of you will scoff at the comparisons above by saying that collecting porcelain dolls is very different from having sex with someone of the same gender. True, it is, but the hatred against those who are different is the same. Being ridiculed and ostracized because of whom you love is part of a debilitating cult of masculinity that so many athletes in this country are forced to deal with. It`s hard for adult gay and lesbian athletes. Try to picture the strain of being a young adult and having to face this kind of abuse.

It is a well-known fact that gay teens are three times more likely to
have suicidal thoughts and twice as likely to suffer from depression. Now, add in the burden of being part of a team playing a sport you love but being terrified of someone finding out that you're gay. There have been countless reports of hate crimes committed against LGBT youth by people their own age. Gay teens grow into gay men. It is time to stop letting homophobia rule the locker room. There is so much more that needs done. We can't stop pushing for acceptance now that marriage equality is the law of the land.

We need to start raising young boys with a new set of rules. We, the parents and coaches of the future NHL players, need to teach boys that being open-minded, tolerant, and loving is what really makes a man. Teaching love and acceptance starts young. Maybe someday, if we do a good job now, future players won't have to worry about coming out and the aftermath of shame and scorn that announcement will bring. Maybe, just maybe, future hockey players will be able to show up and just play.

Wouldn`t that be awesome?

Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L. Locey




*~*
Long Change

Collegiate superstar goalie Boone Crockett seems to have the world at his feet. He’s rich, handsome, attends an elite college and is a hot prospect for the pros. Pity all that is a front for a deeply closeted and troubled young man.
All Boone’s life plans are shattered when flamboyant ex-figure skater Preston Gordon, an orange-haired twink, shows up to audition for the team’s mascot position wearing sequins, scarves and toe picks. His moves on the ice send Boone into his own pirouette of frustrated and reluctant desire.
As senior year progresses Boone slides deeper and deeper into a dangerous depression, Preston’s sensual strength the only thing he has to hold on to. If Boone can’t keep from plunging through the thin ice he’s skating on, it could take a twink to make the big save.



*~*
Two Man Advantage

Victor Kalinski, all-star forward for the Boston Barracudas, is one of the biggest jerks in professional hockey. Before long his aggressive attitude gets him shipped off to play in the minor leagues.
Furious, he takes to the ice with equal amounts of skill and scathing sarcasm, which doesn’t win him any friends—except for good-natured alternate captain Daniel Arou. He won’t take any of Vic’s crap, and he won’t take no for an answer.
But Vic’s troublemaking is pulling his career one way while Dan’s talent is pushing his in the other. However much they scorch the sheets, they might soon be separated by more than Vic’s fear of being hurt.

Monday, July 27, 2015

There are NO gay players in the NHL-PART Two (Saku Koivu's reply in English and French)

Not the most flattering picture, but I'll never forget how excited I was to meet this amazing man. He signed a hat for me which I have locked away in a safe until I can get a special hat display. Might sound nuts, but I learned after my daughter lost half the team's signatures on a hat she accidentally mixed in with the laundry.

I may never get another chance to meet him, so I'm taking no risks!


So back to the interview! Again, here's the link if you'd like to watch it (Question at 39:00) : http://video.canadiens.nhl.com/videocenter/?id=822515&catid=66

**Credit to Jade Baiser for the French translation:


"In November, Mr. Molson stated in an interview with the Gazette that the Canadiens would welcome an openly gay player on their roster. As a former Hab, do you think the atmosphere in the locker room would make acceptance that easy?"

En Novembre, M. Molson a déclaré dans une interview à la Gazette que les Canadiens accueilleraient un joueur ouvertement gay sur leur liste. En tant qu'ancien joueur, pensez-vous que l'atmosphère dans le vestiaire rendrait cette acceptation si facile?

Saku Koivu:

"I know it’s been in the news also, in Finland and everywhere in the last few months and I strongly, strongly believe that yes. I don’t think it would be a problem. I know if that would happen it would bring up a lot of questions. But for players in a team I don’t see that being a problem at all."

Je sais que cela a fait la une en Finlande et un peu partout également au cours des derniers mois et je crois fermement que oui. Je ne pense pas que ce serait un problème. Je sais que si cela arrivait, cela apporterait beaucoup de questions. Mais pour les joueurs d'une équipe, je ne pense pas du tout que ce serait un problème.

Very straight forward. And exactly what a young boy or girl who loves the sport needs to hear. Female hockey players have come out, but our guys still aren't ready. Maybe this won't do much, but you never know. His words may be exactly what they need.

My next post will have a collection of links to some of the best posts I've found on the topic, as well as some information on gay players in other hockey leagues.

There are NO gay players in the NHL



Saturday, July 25, 2015

There are NO gay players in the NHL-PART ONE

I don't believe that. I don't think anyone does. According to some studies, 10% of the population is homosexual. There are aprox 690 active players in the NHL and 1500 contracted players.

You do the math.

Why is it that every other professional sport has had at least one player come out within the last few years, but hockey players remain silent? There could be many reasons, but my own experience leads me to believe the organization still has a long way to go. 

The media may be part of what's tripping them up.

To be honest, I didn't want to get into all this because I see the strides happening in professional sports and I tend to look at the positive. Players in different sports are coming out. The media is making it possible for them to reach the fans and show acceptance. The YOU CAN PLAY project is supported by some of the players I love.

Changes are happening. While doing research, I came across this special by TSN which is a must see:

TSN Original-Re/Orientation


So we're done, right? Gay marriage is accepted in the US. It's been legal in Canada for the past 10 years. Sports are catching up to equality everywhere.

Blinders aren't a fashion accessory anyone should EVER conform to. We still have a long way to go.


This image was put out there for 'International Day Against Homophobia'. Awesome, right? A visual to show how tolerant we are of people of different orientations. Quebec's beloved sport being shown in an image of support.

I hadn't seen this image until I did some research. And very few people have. According to this article, one of Quebec's biggest media outlets took it down that very day in their building: http://www.dailyxtra.com/anti-homophobia-poster-hot-quebecs-videotron-49379

Now, this could be completely out of context. Maybe the Quebec media is doing more than I know. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I have my own experiences making me wonder...

This past December, I took the opportunity as a First Line member of the Montreal Canadiens fan club to visit the Bell Center and see one of my all time, favorite players, Saku Koivu. Even before he won his battle against cancer and made strides in improving treatment in Montreal, I admired this man. I was thrilled just to get a chance to be in the same room as him. 

But, as an author who writes about hockey and is aware of the issues involving gay players, there was a very important question I needed to ask him. I knew if any player could make the statement that a gay player would be welcome, it would be him.

Here's the interview. I'll post a transcript of my question below since I know I made a mess of this. I won't quit my day job as an author and become a reporter! ;)

My question comes at 39:00


"In November, Mr. Molson stated in an interview with the Gazette that the Canadiens would welcome an openly gay player on their roster. As a former Hab, do you think the atmosphere in the locker room would make acceptance that easy?"


As soon as I can, I will have a transcript of his reply, but it was perfect. What every young player who may be gay needs to hear. 'You are welcome'.

Only...well, I hope the player is English. Because my question was the ONLY one not translated. And when interviews with Koivu are mentioned at all in the media, his very important message to gay players is ignored.

Now, to be real, I made a mess of that. I was nervous and maybe I didn't speak clearly, but even after the question was repeated, and Koivu answered, there was the same opportunity as with every other question for a translation.

So why didn't it happen?

I can't say for sure, but I do know one thing. I am a sports romance author. My books have reached over a million readers. Some of them have told me they never read gay romance until they picked up my books.

So I have a voice that can reach many. And I will use that hoping that there's one player out there that will hear me and know he is not alone. The charities and the media have taken a HUGE step to pave the way for that brave player who will finally come out, but there are still many obstacles. This blog series will confront many of those obstacles. I will have a transcript of the interview in English AND French as soon as possible. Other sports fiction authors will speak their mind.

Maybe my question was uncomfortable for the interviewer (who I believe is from RDS). I don't want to assume anything, but what I'd like to know is WHY? This was an opportunity to show how a legend in our organization felt about a very important issue.

My name didn't have to be used. I would have been fine with just his answer being out there for one young player to feel the support that's needed. Koivu is a man any talented player can admire. Let HIS words speak to them!

That didn't happen. So I will use my voice and get his words to the people that need to hear them. And hopefully, next time the opportunity comes, the media will grab it and make a difference.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Please don't make me WAIT!!! And...I'm gonna try! ;)

This question has been asked by quite a few people, so I figured I should address it here. I have discussed it briefly in the Cobra discussion group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/143748802468093/

Not everyone is there though. You should really join! <g>

Anyway, the question is: 'Will we really have to wait until 2016 for the next Cobra book, Line Brawl?'

The answer?

Maybe.

The dilemma is that as much as I love our boys, I have several other projects going that I can't put off. Fans of the Deadly Captive books have every right to be pissed by how long it's taken to get the last book of the trilogy out. Many know why I couldn't put it out sooner, but that's irrelevant when it comes down to the fact that the book needs to get out there.


Celestial Pets is another book that's had some delays. Thankfully, I'll be releasing the full book in August. I'll have a pre-order link up soon so you all can grab it if you want. I love the book and I hope you'll all enjoy it as much as you do my other books.

BUT there's some good news on the Cobra front. Our easily misled rookie, Braxton Richards, will be getting his own novella, Neutral Zone Trap, as part of the Seduced by The Game: Cancer Charity Collection, starting in October. His book is set to be released October 7th, followed every few weeks by another release in the collection to raise money to support cancer charities connected to the NHL.

With all these projects, I can't say for sure when Line Brawl will come out, but I don't see it taking too long because I'm chewing at the bit to write Pischlar's book! It's going to be a massive one, probably closer to the length of Iron Cross, if not longer.

I will also be starting my new series about our sexy new Southern boys, which is why I'm so excited to be doing the Writer's Police Academy in August. I can't write unless I'm confident about the material, so I'm going to learn everything I can about law enforcement to make the lives of our Kentucky State Troopers as realistic as possible.

One thing I can promise is that if you love my work, you'll be getting tons of it this year! This year meaning hockey season, but you probably aren't all that surprised that my calender works that way. ;)

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments. I hope you've all enjoyed Goal Line and I'm looking forward to sharing many more books--both with the Cobras, as well as some new men I know you'll fall in love with--for a long time to come! And thank you so much for all your support! You guys rock! :D

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Goal Line RELEASE DAY and #AskACobra

It's....RELEASE DAY!!!! :D

I'm so excited, I just need to celebrate with you all. 

So here's what we're going to do. I'm gonna have a little party, somewhere I've never partied before.

On twitter.

And yes, I'm totally, shamelessly, copying EL James' idea with the #Ask thing, but it worked so well for her that I...

All right, I'll behave. <eg> But in all seriousness, I think it could be fun.

So join me on twitter!

https://twitter.com/BSommerland

or find the Cobras, who will be getting a lot more active!

https://twitter.com/DartmouthCobras

And if you haven't grabbed GOAL LINE yet, here's the links:

http://www.amazon.com/Goal-Line-Dartmouth-Cobras-Book-ebook/dp/B00XSYKTKQ/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

AMAZON- http://bit.ly/goallineKIN
Kobo - http://bit.ly/goallineKOBO
B&N - http://bit.ly/goallineNOOK
iTunes - http://bit.ly/goallineITUNES


I'll be giving away prizes all over the place today, so make sure to comment, share, and most importantly, join me on Twitter! Let's make this the best release EVER! :D

Dominik deserves it! <3

 

Friday, June 26, 2015

GET READY TO PLAY ROUGH GIVEAWAY-Forward Pass by Desiree Holt


Forward Pass
by Desiree Holt
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Sports Romance




Get Ready to Play Rough
Shay Beckham grew up idolizing her brother’s best friend, star quarterback Joe Reilly. There was no one in their Texas town who had the moves to match Joe on or off the field. Years later, he’s still a player who has what it takes to drive any hot-blooded woman wild. But Shay isn’t a kid with a bad case of hero-worship anymore. She’s grown-up and independent, with her feet on the ground and a serious head on her shoulders. If she could just say the same for Joe.
It’s been fifteen years, but Joe Reilly hasn’t forgotten the skinny little kid who used to follow him around like a shadow. What he can’t get over is that the skinny shadow has grown into one hell of an incredible woman. One any man in his right mind would kill to get his hands on. And one who seems to be completely immune to him. He knows he and Shay could have something special together. If he could only convince her he’s about more than just the game.



81,521 Words



Known the world over as The Oldest Living Erotica Author, Desiree Holt proves every day that she is more than the sum of her years and more than the grandmother who plays with Barbie and Ken dolls: She is The Hardest Working Erotica Author, producing one novel or more each month and receiving rave reviews.
She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of the Holt Medallion, multiple winner of the Whipped Cream Book of the Week Award and is published by five different houses. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village VoiceThe Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail and numerous other national and international publications.

“Get out the ice water and fan…Desiree Holt delivers smoking hot alpha heroes and red hot romances.” Lea Franczak, USA Today Happy Ever After blog

Learn more about her and read her novels here:
www.facebook.com/desireeholt
Twitter @desireeholt
Pinterest: desiree02holt
Google: www.desiree02holt


LinkedIn: www.LinkedIn.com/desiree01holt

Comment for your chance to win a $10 AMAZON gift card from Desiree Holt! :D