Sunday, 29 June 2014

Well, This Is New! Cover Reveal/Book Announcement for Truth and Other Lies

You won't believe it (I hardly do), but at the end of this week my new book, Truth and Other Lies, will be released by Evernight Teen! We are living in exciting times! And today I'd like to reveal the great cover supplied by Sour Cherry Designs:

Have you ever wanted to get noticed? Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you worked or how hard you tried, nobody in the entire world cared what you did? Well, what if someone famous—and we’re talking Oprah-famous, here—noticed you for the one thing you wish you could hide? For your one big secret…

That’s exactly what happens to 18-year-old Kenneth McIntyre when television guru Prahna Mehta hails his self-published novel as the next bestseller. Little do his new fans know Truth and Other Lies wasn’t written by Kenny at all… and it isn’t fiction. Kenny’s been keeping secrets for years. Sometimes he feels like he’s lying to everybody he loves.

When Kenny gets swept into stardom, how will he hide the secrets he’s kept for years? And, if his lies are exposed, will anyone stay by his side?

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Asking Difficult Questions (and never answering them)

I like writing about moral quandaries.  I like writing about grey areas and loyalties and tough decisions.  In a literary atmosphere that seems to prefer a black-and-white good-versus-evil approach, this isn't always a popular choice.

But I do it anyway.  Why?  Because when I read a book that asks a difficult question and then promptly answers it, I always feel a little like I'm being preached to, no matter what the "issue" is.  As a writer, I like having the space to not always answer questions for my readers.  If it's left open-ended, that question sticks with me for years.

That goes for books I've written, as well.

The best example would be my Laura and Mila story "I Hate Love."  On the surface, this is a Valentine's Day lesbian romance for teens, but there's a vein running through this story that deals with a difficult decision the girls have to make.  Actually, you could argue the story is about the decision and the love story is incidental.  (I'm not sure if you'd be right, but you could argue it.)

Here's what happens: Mila and Laura are in the hall at school and they're making fun of their friend Jaden for dating an "old dude" he works with at the movie theatre.  One of their teachers overhears this conversation and calls the girls over for a serious talk.  See, as a professional working with minors, he's bound by law to report what he's heard.  Technically, since Jaden is underage, his relationship with an older man would be considered abuse.

Now the girls have to decide: do they lie to their teacher for loyalty's sake? They don't want Jaden to get in trouble. Anyway, he's a teenager, not a little kid.  He can make his own choices. Right? Even if it is kinda gross that he's dating some weird old guy.  Or maybe he's not.  Laura and Mila don't know the ins and outs of Jaden's personal life.  Maybe he made all that stuff up...

Laura and Mila obviously want to do the right thing, but sometimes it's hard to know what's right.

So, am I taking the easy way out by not quite answering this question?  I hope not, because it was (and always is, for me) a very deliberate measure.

Here's the thing: I write for a young adult audience basically the same way would for an adult audience, prosaically. After all, adults enjoy YA and I expect my reading audience to consist of a lot of adults. The difference is that, when we're dealing with issues that are in some way "moral" there can be an assumption that I'm trying to teach teens how to act and react.  I'm not.  I'm asking questions in hopes of getting teens (and adults) to wonder, "What would I do if it was me in that situation?"

Taking an open-ended approach is my way of circumventing the question of whether a narrative is descriptive (showing the reader what the characters are doing) or prescriptive (suggesting appropriate action). The longer we ruminate over a tough question, the more time we give ourselves to understand all possible perspectives.

If at some later date we happen to find ourselves in the kind of quandary we've reflected on because we encountered it in a piece of fiction, we'll be better equipped to act.

That's my take, at least.  I don't have all the answers...

About I HATE LOVE by Foxglove Lee
Where's a girl to go when every direction is the wrong direction?
Half the school calls Laura "The Ice Queen." Even her closest friends have never seen her cry... until she's assigned to debate a Pro-Valentine's Day position in class. As far as Laura and Mila are concerned, V-Day's just an excuse to sell chocolate. Their friend Jaden says they're against Valentine's Day because they hate love. Maybe he’s right. Laura's never wanted the things teens are supposed to want most. Why is she so different?
On the eve of Valentine's Day, warmth creeps into Laura's life from unexpected sources. By midnight, life might not feel quite so icy.
A short story for teens. 

Amazon UK|
Barnes and Noble|

Friday, 13 June 2014

#PRIDE Sale at Prizm!

I've announced coupons and sales before, but this one is different.  It doesn't last two or three days--no way--it lasts the entire month of June! Get 20% off anything at Torquere Press or Prizm Books using the coupon code PRIDE.

That means 20% off my 1980s novel, Tiffany and Tiger's Eye.  If you're looking for a great spooky, weird, lesbian cottage-themed novel, this is the book for you:

More about Tiffany and Tiger's Eye:
How many secrets can a family keep?

If there's one thing Rebecca knows, it's how to hide her problems. But with a rock-and-roll dad who drinks too much and a mom who works day and night, Rebecca needs a sympathetic ear. That's why she tells her troubles to Yvette, an antique doll that once belonged to her grandmother.

In the summer of 1986, after her father's strange disappearance, Rebecca and her little brother are sent to the cottage with Aunt Libby and Uncle Flip. Rebecca's relieved to get away from the city, and her relief grows to bliss when she meets Tiffany, a water-skiing blonde who dresses like Madonna, makes her own jewelry, and claims to see auras.

But strange things happen when Rebecca spends time with Tiffany. Her aunt and uncle are convinced she's acting out -- and she'd have good reason to, considering they obviously know where her father is and won't say -- but she can't convince them she isn't the one trashing her bedroom and setting fires. As crazy as it seems, Yvette must be the culprit.

There's nothing more dangerous than a jealous doll that knows all your secrets...

Friday, 6 June 2014

I bought Sue Heck pants!

Pink pants!

Do you watch The Middle?  Because Sue Heck is my hero.  She fails at everything, but maintains a positive attitude regardless.  She falls off the horse every time, but she always gets back up.

So many admirable qualities in one teenaged character!

Sorry for the crotch shot. It's hard to take pictures of your pants with a webcam!
And she's a pretty snazzy dresser, too...

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Prizm in Perspective: Water Seekers

You can thank the #OutWriters hashtag for the reemergence of Prizm in Perspective. Check #OutWriters out on Twitter.  Tell the world why LGBTQ fiction is important to you.

But first, find out about:

Water Seekers

Nuclear devastation is the past. The need for water is the present. Can they survive to find a future?

I watch the sun coming up on my right as I walk. We’ve only got about three hours now before it gets too hot and we have to stop. We’ve learned not to leave it too long, learned not to wait until the last minute to put up our tents and hide within their dubious shelter. The sun will kill you if you let it.

Better to lose daylight, lose marching time, than to get stuck in the full sun. Of course it’s not much better in the middle of the night either. We have to stop and get set up before it gets too cold. The night will kill you if you let it.

Zara talks about what it was like before -- how their days used to be based on being up when the sun was up and sleeping during the night when it was dark. It’s just another one of the differences between then and now. She’s the oldest of us, she tells us about the differences, about how they used to do stuff. A lot of it is really crazy, but I guess that’s natural. I guess that’s why it happened.

by Michelle Rode
Pages: 159 / Words: 55500
ISBN: 978-1-60370-483-0, 1-60370-483-3
Genre: GLBT, Urban Fantasy
Age Rating: Young Adult
Ebook zipped file contains: html, Adobe and Sony optimized pdf, prc
Published by Prizm Books:
Available in print at:

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Prizm in Perspective: Eagle Peak

In celebration of the #OutWriters Twitter hashtag I blogged about a few days ago, I thought I'd revive my Prizm in Perspective feature here at the blog. There's only so much blah-blah-blahing I can do about my own novel. My publisher, Prizm Books, carries lots of other LGBTQ fiction. Imagine that!  (If they only published my book I'd be worried for them, LOL).

Today we feature...

Eagle Peak

Eagle Peak, population 596, has two bars, five churches, and a vibe (or lack thereof) that couldn’t be more different than Sean's native Minneapolis. Moving to rural small town Minnesota, Sean must leave his life of acting classes, going to all-ages shows, and hanging out with friends, to enter into a world of pep rallies, pick-up trucks and country pop.

Sean’s inclination for heavy eyeliner, black attire, and surly attitude make him an easy target of suspicion, intrigue, and prejudice in the small town of Eagle Peak. But despite Sean’s growing sense of dread and depression, small town Minnesota also offers a lot of firsts: he becomes the love interest of three classmates of which one is a closeted gay boy afraid of his own sexuality, he is surprised to discover and chant with a Buddhist family in town, and he gets in the middle of an abusive father and his town jock son. Sean’s old life of theater, live music, and diverse friends collides with his new life in Eagle Peak, and Sean is left confused about what he thought he knew about small towns, the world he left behind, and himself.

by Elizabeth Fontaine
Pages: 191 / Words: 59700
ISBN: 978-1-61040-661-1
Genre: LGBT, Contemporary, Drama
Age Rating: Edgy Young Adult
Ebook zipped file contains: html, Adobe and Sony optimized pdf, mobi

Published by Prizm Books:
Available in print at:

Sunday, 1 June 2014

#OutWriters Like Me

Just in time for Pride Month, a pretty cool publisher called Cleis Press has spearheaded this thingamabobby called...


Actually, it's a hashtag, so I really should say #OutWriters.

What are OutWriters? They're peeps like me.  Thanks for asking.  And who am I?  I'm a queer writer, writing about queer things... like a young woman whose turnstile-hopping incurs the wrath of the subway system (what?) or a guy who comes out live on national TV (yup) or... and this is the best one, by far... a girl whose only friend is an evil doll that starts setting fires when she falls for a blonde in a blue bikini.

The point of the OutWriters twitter hashtag is to tell the world why we do what we do.  Why write LGBTQ characters?

I place queer characters front and centre in my YA fiction because I always hoped to find books about people like me in my school library, growing up.  And I never, never did.  That's why, when my novel Tiffany and Tiger's Eye came out in February, the first thing I did was start writing to library systems across the world and asking them to please buy my book. I'm a pretty shy person and not at all a cold-calling self-promotion type writer, but I steeled my... oh, there's a word for this... girded my loins?  I don't remember it right now... I steeled SOMETHING and just did it.

(On a side note, if you want to ensure your library carries quality fiction featuring queer characters, I've posted instructions here: Please have a look!)

You can see what other OutWriters are saying by searching the hashtag on Twitter.  Here's a taste:

Why LGBT YA? When you're a kid, you're looking for examples of kids like you. Not every princess is blonde. Or white. Or a girl.

We can be the heroes of stories. We can have happy ever afters. Books matter.

Not only do I write what I know, I write what I would want to read.

We All Belong. Offering strength/comfort/humor from all P.O.V.'s. Because too many good people have been lost from the lack.

You can find out more about this whole OutWriters thingybopper at: