Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highway Man chosen as a Top Pick of 2011 by Top 2 Bottom Reviews

Lisa at Top 2 Bottom Reviews selected my short story, Highway Man, as one of her Top Picks of 2011. My pal, P.D. Singer's, Maroon: Donal agus Jimmy, also made the list. What a great way to end the year!

Find the entire list here:

Happy New Year!

Well folks, it's that time of year again, when I normally sit around sipping wine and reflecting on the past year. All things considered, 2011 was a very good year for me. I published one novel, Settling the Score; three novellas: Fanning the Flames, Galen and the Forest Lord, and A Lie I Can Live With; and two shorter works: Highway Man and Summer Boys. I attended GayRomLit and had an awesome time, not to mention got to hang out at some awesome bars! And Settling the Score won an honorable mention at the Rainbow Awards.

All assorted family members are doing well, and the evil day job holds steady. Yeah, a very good year.

So I raise my glass and toast you all.  May your 2012 rock.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone!

If Santa doesn't make it to your house this year, it's 'cause he's... um... tied up at mine!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

In our diverse world there are many holidays celebrated at this time of year, and I'd like to wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, or any other joyous occasions you may be observing. It's been an eventful year, and I count myself blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family members, some family given to me by nature, others adopted along the way. Here's to continued good times in 2012.

Those of you who have met me in person know that my signature of "Hugs, Eden" is more than simply a way to sign books and emails -- it's a personal philosophy.

So Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Contest for The Match Before Christmas Series

The contest for the Match Before Christmas series is up at Mrs. Condit Reads Books, and she  had some lovely things to say about the first installement.

Find the contest and review here:

Kind Words for A Lie I Can Live With

Review Feliz had this to say about A Lie I Can Live With at Reviews by Jessewave:

I loved watching those two men slowly getting to know each other. Although the story is told from Otis’s POV, I felt like I got to know Garrett very well, too. He’s not at all a shallow beauty queen, but has depths and personality and his own set of hang-ups (and the most adorable parents, by the way!) Garret literally turns Otis’s head with a good, old-fashioned courtship, which in turn brings out the very best in Otis. Those two made so much sense together and were two so likeable guys, I simply had to take them to my heart. Warmly recommended.
Read entire review here:

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Chance to Win The Match Before Christmas Series

Right in time for Christmas, Mrs. Condit Reads Books is reviewing and hosting a giveaway of all three stories in The Match Before Christmas series:


Dec 21 - The Match Before Christmas
Dec 22 - Fanning the Flames 
Dec 23 - A Lie I Can Live With 

Want to know more about how this series came to be and my own dating misadventures while researching? On December 23, watch for an interview with yours truly and the chance to win all three books just for leaving a comment on the contest post (random drawing).

Happy Holidays, ya'll!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eden Winters - The Fiftieth Anniversary Edition

Okay, so it's actually a birthday, which is an anniversary, if you think about it. Today marks the moment in time when I officially become a half century old. And you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. In fact, I boast that I'm going to make fifty look so good that everyone will want to be fifty. My young-un co-workers say they believe me too.

What's so special about turning fifty? Well, for one, I now can spout little tidbits of wisdom like these:

1)      While having your heart broken hurts like hell, you'll survive.
2)      Love doesn't cure all ills. And you have to work at it.
3)      Don't believe those new-lover-every-week celebrities. A person is perfectly capable of being happy on their own.
4)      If someone says they'll give up something for you when you didn't ask them to, they're actually telling you the one thing that you can never compete with.
5)      If someone close to you doesn't bring something positive into your life, they shouldn't be in it. (Boy, I wish I'd known that at twenty!)
6)      Sometimes people are bad, and you can't do anything to change them. But you can pray for them. And aggravate them by being nauseatingly nice. (That really pisses them off!)
7)      There are three kinds of people: those who like you, those who don't, and those who don't really care one way of the other. Expending time and energy on the last two groups will get you nowhere. Treasure your friends.
8)      You have ultimate control over your decisions. And let me tell you, it took the full fifty years for me to figure that out.
9)      Be kinder than you have to, for the person you're talking to may be on the edge and needing one kind word to pull them back.
10)  Hugs cost nothing, but feel really good.
11)  Sacrificing lunch breaks and working while you should be at your kid's school function isn't actually going to impress your company, isn't going to get you that promotion, and isn't going to get you a raise. What it will get you is a resentful kid who didn't have a parent cheering them on at the school play. I'm not saying ditch your job all the time, but for important events in your family's lives – be there.
12)  If you think your lover is cheating, they probably are. And no, it's not your fault. They are responsible for their own behavior.
13)  As in point twelve, no one can make you angry, hurt, or disgusted. You do that yourself.
14)  Parents get old and won't always be there. Spend time with them now. They still have so much left to teach you. And you will miss them when they're gone and say, "Why didn't I go to see them more?"
15)  Everyone has something valuable to teach you, even if it's just to stay the hell away from them.
16)  You don't have to have kids to go to "kid movies."

While there may more, these are the ones that stand out in my mind on this day. I used to think fifty was ancient, not I realize I'm merely getting started. Here's to the best years of my life.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Love shown to A Lie I Can Live With at Brief Encounters Reviews

Cole at Brief Encounters Reviews rated A Lie I Can Live With an "A" and had this to say about the story:

There’s so much to say about this story, and I’m sure that I’ll find other things when I read this again and again, as I know I will. Otis has now made my list of my all time favorite characters, right next to Barry. For the happiness this story gave me alone, I have to give it an A, and recommend it highly to everyone I know!

Read full review here:

Find it here:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Settling the Score won an Honorable Mention at the 2011 Rainbow Awards

Today I received a very unexpected email from Elizabeth Rolle that said:

"I'm glad to announce you are among the finalists or honourable mentions of 2011 Rainbow Awards. Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction."

I'm shocked, thrilled, and dancing with glee...which could be dangerous for a woman my age.

Here's the category results.

Thanks to Elisa Rolle and her team of judges. This had to be a grueling undertaking. I'd also like to congratulate all the winners. What a year!

I saw many names I knew and have added countless books to my TBR pile, thanks to this effort. Elisa's support and the Rainbow Awards do so much to help promote the genre we love. Thanks again, Elisa. 

A Very Timely Post

It seems my post on Jeff Erno's Bullied yesterday was extremely timely, for today that same book won an Honorable Mention at Elisa Rolle's Rainbow Awards for Young Adult/Coming of Age category.

Please join me in offering my congratulations. Bravo, Jeff!

Here's the awards link:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lovely Review for A Lie I Can Live With at Queer Magazine Online

Reviewer Serena Yates had this to say about A Lie I Can Live With:
"If you like stories with a strong humorous streak (this had me in stitches as often as it almost made me cry with the depth of the emotions Otis experienced), if you want to read about two men taking it slow so they can build a proper relationship, and if you like hot sex (even though they will make you wait), you will probably like this story as much as I did."
Read entire review here:

Here's the blurb:

With a few extra pounds and a geek reputation, Otis Tucker despairs of ever finding someone to share his life with. When the GLBT dating service matches him with handsome hunk Garret, he thinks it's some kind of joke. But the more he learns of Garret, the more he realizes that even gorgeous people can be taken at face value and that Mr. Perfects come in many different sizes.

Read an excerpt:

Find it here: 

Bullied by Jeff Erno - Post 2 of 2 - A Guest Post by Jeff

When Jeff Erno first agreed to do a guest post on my blog, we thought about something Holiday-ish, but when he sat down to write, his words took an entirely different direction. Tears came to my eyes as I read his post, and I'm honored to share his words with you. - Eden


Why I Care About Bullying by Jeff Erno
My childhood development and coming out story are not so different than that of any other gay man. When I was very young my mother noticed I was different and often told me (and others) that I was “special”. Not special in the “rides the short bus” kind of way, but unique—different from other boys. My early Christmases and birthdays were not like those of most boys. I asked Santa for a Barbie Head (A huge bust of Barbie. It was cool because you could do her makeup  and hair) and an Easy Bake Oven.  I used to go over to my cousin’s house and spend the day playing Barbies with her. I was the only boy who knew all the girl games. Hopscotch, Down-Down-Baby-Down-By-The-Roller-Coaster, Jump Rope, etcetera.  When I was four, Mom caught me in her closet trying on clothes. At age eight I talked our babysitter into painting my fingernails pink because I loved her nail polish.

Around the time I started grade school, I had a religious conversion experience at the Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School.  I had been “born again” or “saved”.  I think all the kids who attended got saved. It might have been mandatory. At the very least, it was expected. Well, I took it quite seriously, although I may have been the only one. From that point forward, I was deeply religious.

My religiosity and my effeminacy eventually became synonymous. Well they were to my mother anyway. The fact that I was so devout and so disciplined about my faith was consistent with Mom’s belief that I was special. As I got older I began to figure out that other people had expectations. There were behaviors which were considered normal and others which were not. There were boy toys and girl toys. There were things that boys could like and things that girls could like, and if you happened to be a boy who liked girl things, you had to keep them secret. In the fourth grade I learned how to crochet. I could only do my crocheting at home in secret, though, and making a beautiful afghan was not something I could brag about or be proud of.

By the time I was in the fifth grade, I was being bullied pretty badly at school. I cried a lot and begged my mom not to make me go. This seemed strange to her because she knew how much I had always loved school. Around this time, she and my father were having marital problems and were fighting constantly. Mom took me to a doctor and he prescribed some anti-anxiety medication for me. He told me I needed to stop worrying so much about everything. Mom was convinced that my biggest problem was stress caused by the fighting in our home as well as by the bullying at school. She believed the kids picked on me because I was religious—not because I might be gay.

I was pulled out of the public school in the sixth grade and sent to a Christian school where all my classmates were religious. It should have been the ideal situation for me because I no longer was different. I should have fit right in and been accepted with open arms. During the second week of classes, my teacher held me after class for a one-on-one counseling session. He pulled out his Bible and quoted verses to me from the Old Testament to show me that God wanted boys to act like boys and girls to act like girls. He said I needed to start working on becoming more manly. Follow the example of the other boys in class, he said. I was so embarrassed that I never told anyone.

The bullying continued even at the Christian school, but it was much subtler. One time I was taken into the bathroom and gut punched repeatedly. Another time I had my head flushed in the toilet. I knew I could not tell anyone though. I knew I had to be tough because God expected it.

High school was different. I got sent back to public school because my parents felt that the small Christian school would not have the classes I needed. They didn’t have a chemistry lab or even a gymnasium. Well, that’s what my mom and dad said, but the real reason was that they couldn’t afford the tuition at the Christian school any more.  I had thought the bullying was bad in the private school, but it was nothing compared to public. My freshman year of high school was Hell on earth.

When I turned fifteen I began working at the local supermarket as a bagboy. I talked my mom into letting me use the money I made to pay for my own tuition so that I could return to Christian school. I went back in the tenth grade and worked really hard to complete my classes as quickly as possible. I advanced through three grades in just two years and graduated a year early.

Eventually I figured it all out. By the time I was eighteen I knew I was not “special”. I was just gay.  I finally left my religion and embraced my authentic self. During the 90s I was very active in my local gay community. I volunteered with PFLAG and the AIDS outreach organization. I moved to a town that had a social group for LGBT people, a Gay Alcoholics Anonymous, and even a gay bar. I stayed in the retail grocery business and eventually became a manager.

Now here it is twenty-some years after high school, and we hear all of this stuff about bullying. We now have Facebook and other social networks which did not exist back when I was growing up, so there is a lot more public discussion about bullying. When a gay kid commits suicide, it doesn’t take long for a lot of people to find out. Every time I hear a story of a kid like Jamey Rodemeyer, my heart breaks. I can’t help but think, “There but for the grace of God…”

When I was a teenager I wished that some adult had understood. I didn’t want to be special. I didn’t want to be given special rights or privileges. I didn’t even want to be noticed. I just wanted to be safe. I just wanted the pain to end.

I do not know how to make things different. I really wish I did. To be truthful, I don’t know what I can do, if anything. That’s why I write. That is why I wrote Bullied. It’s the only thing I could think of to do.
And that’s why the issue of bullying is so important to me.


Thank you, Jeff for sharing this very personal look at your life with us. 

I have already mentioned his book "Bullied," but Jeff also has a soon to be released novel that I am very much looking forward to: Second Chances, coming January 1, 2012 from Camel Press. Pre-order now at Amazon. 

Harold Wainwright is dying. At seventy-nine, stricken with malignant cancer, the multi-billionaire insurance mogul realizes he has much to regret. In his youth he rejected his only true love and instead chose to advance his career and build his financial empire. Single-mindedly he focused upon achieving his own goals, looking out for number one, and acquiring a monetary fortune. Now he is alone, and all he has is his money…and his life is over. 

Doctor Timothy Drayton has devoted his entire career to developing the technology to prolong human life. His entire focus has been upon creating a computer chip which can be implanted into the human brain, allowing human consciousness to be transferred from one human subject into the mind of another. Given optimum circumstances, he is confident that he can now preserve the consciousness of a dying patient into the mind of a donor subject with an electronic surgical implant. 

Jesse Warren is eighteen years old, about to graduate from high school. He’s a track star, model student, and the typical all-American kid. One day while on his way to track practice, tragedy strikes, and Jesse is in a terrible accident, rendered comatose. When his family learns the horrifying news, they believe they’ve lost their son forever. Jesse Warren is pronounced “brain dead”. 

When neurosurgeon and world-renowned brain specialist Dr. Timothy Drayton arrives, telling the Warren family that he has an advanced form of experimental treatment which can possibly save young Jesse and restore his consciousness, the Warrens are convinced that God has sent them a miracle. They are overjoyed the next morning when their son undergoes surgery and awakens as a new man. His memory loss, they are convinced, is amnesia due to his accident. 

Jesse lives, and is given a second chance. Will his new life prove to be the impetus for significant change, or will the old Harold Wainwright emerge to make the same mistakes a second time around? Most of us are given but one chance to make the right choices, but imagine if… there were such things as Second Chances.

Bullied by Jeff Erno - Post 1 of 2

As the year draws to a close, I tend to look back over the last twelve months at both the highs and the lows. I've been priveledged to have had a very good year. I can accredit two of the high points to one man: Jeff Erno. When I met him at GayRomLit, I found him to be every bit as sweet and engaging as he is online. I'm thrilled to have met him face to face. I also feel priveledged to have read his book, "Bullied", for as much as I came to know him through conversation, I knew him better after reading such a deeply personal and eye-opening book.

Ever wonder how someone can be a bullly? Turn a blind eye to bullying? Believe the victim "brought it on themselves?" I couldn't. That is, until reading this remarkable set of short stories that allow us to step outside of ourselves and see the entire bullying issue from other points of view. At times heartrending, other times triumphant, at all times thought-provoking, "Bullied" is a must read in my book.

While I don't think I've ever recommended a book on my blog, I feel the need to recommend this one. Mr. Erno has generously donated proceeds from sales of this book to anti-bullying campaigns such as The Trevor Project.

Here's the blurb:

Every day, all over the country, teenagers struggle with the realities of bullying. Tormented, ridiculed, and beaten—simply for being who they are—these teens face alienation, humiliation, and even the explicit assertion that they have somehow brought this upon themselves, that they should just blend in. Bullied is a series of short stories exploring the world of these teens from several different viewpoints: the victim, the bully, the gay bystander, the straight friend, the concerned parent.

Closeted Bryan wonders why Christian Michaelson doesn't just try to blend in if he hates being bullied so much. Star athlete David isn't a homophobe—after all, he's not afraid of anything. Jonathan, a Christian fundamentalist, must weigh the Bible against peer pressure and what he knows is right when he discovers his childhood friend is gay. Bully victim Chase Devereaux finds an unexpected ally in a brave fellow student. A single mom struggles to accept the reality that her only son is gay. Two tough gay teens are forced to confront their own inner demons when tragedy befalls a classmate they failed to help. And overweight Kirby finds the strength of character to make a friend, which leads to a lifestyle change and a chance at love. Each character grows as an individual as he or she comes to terms with what it means to be a gay teenager in America.

Find it here:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday Snark!

Today's episode of Saturday Snark is from Highway Man. Killian Desmond likes to be in control -- the man he dubs "Tex" sees no problem with that.
“Mind if I drive?” Killy asked. He’d come a long way in three years, but still couldn’t handle someone else’s driving.
“Gonna kidnap me, haul me off somewhere, and have your way with me? No need for all that; I’m willing.” Dimples framed Tex's devilish grin.
“Nope, I just prefer to do the driving.”
“Then I reckon you’ll have to make it up to me, that not-kidnapping thing, ’cause let me tell ya, ever since you walked into the bar I’ve been fantasizing. And oh hell yeah, you can do the driving. Now and later.”
Find Highway Man here: 

Check out the other snark at by clicking the links below, or join in the fun at Marie Sexton's site: