Hey guys, today we have John Amory, one of the authors from the Dreamspinner Press Charity Anthology One Pulse, visiting with an incredible guest post, so check out the post and then I want you to check out the blogs that the other One Pulse authors will be visiting during the next two weeks. <3 ~Pixie~
Jon Keys, Alicia Nordwell, Mickie B. Ashling, M.T. Aspen, M.A. Church, Caitlin Ricci, George Seaton, Jayce Ellis, Bree Cariad, Chrissy Munder, Ellis Carrington, Felicitas Ivey, John Amory, Grace R. Duncan, John Goode, J. C. Long, Elizabeth Noble, Renee Stevens, Troy Storm, Connie Bailey, Dev Bentham, Andrea Speed, Laura Lascarso, Lila Leigh Hunter, Emery C. Walters, C.C. Dado, Sera Kane, KC Burn, Vicktor Alexander, Edmond Manning
Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.
To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.
“One Love, One Pulse”
by John Amory
For the LGBT community, the events of June 12, 2016 will forever be a part of our history. Just like the Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969 and the day marriage equality became the law of the land in the US on June 26, 2015, this is a date LGBT people will commemorate for years to come. This date, though, will be one of mourning and remembrance for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.
It’s hard to explain to non-LGBT people how those hours, days, and weeks following the shooting impacted me. Pulse was a safe space. It was a free space. It was an accepting space. It was a nonjudgmental space. It was a space where the ostracized or criticized could be the person they maybe could not be elsewhere, and they could revel alongside peers, friends, family, and lovers. For some who lost their lives that night, it may have been the only space they could be or do this. I find myself crying again as I write that, just as I cried that morning when I awoke to the news of not only the most fatal mass shooting in modern US history, but the most fatal anti-LGBT hate crime as well. This is 2016. It’s been almost fifty years since Stonewall, yet this is the news we all awoke to that Sunday: 49 people, almost all people of color and LGBT-identifying, were murdered in the early morning hours.
How easily could I have been one of those 49? I spent that Saturday evening drinking and dancing with friends, too. How easily could the space we occupied become one filled with violence and death? Too easily. It’s a deep-seated fear which lives in all of us, but maybe more so in those of us who identify as LGBT: that our happiness is not guaranteed and can be stolen from us at any moment. It could be from a passing thug who doesn’t like gays and decides to instill some physical punishment. It could be from a government that doesn’t want transgender people using the “wrong” bathroom. It could be from a gunman who chooses the most crowded night of the week to open fire at a nightclub. That feeling of inadequacy, of danger, reared its head for many of us in the LGBT community on June 12.
But as we have proven time and again throughout modern history, we will not be held down and made to feel inferior or wrong or afraid. Across the country, millions of people, even those who are not part of the LGBT community, held hands and helped us rise up and reclaim our confidence. We all stood, and continue to stand, in the face of terror and fear and said, “We are stronger together. We are one.” My own small community of New Hope, Pennsylvania, a tiny town along the Delaware River known for its antique shops and its fiercely proud gay contingency, held a vigil on the water for the Pulse victims. A priest and a rabbi stood alongside the president of the Pride committee to pray, to console, and to rebuild. In less than 24 hours, the vigil was organized and advertised; a crowd of 50 or so was expected. Nearly 500 gathered.
And it was a beautiful thing to see. It was, of course, awful to be brought together under such circumstances. It shouldn’t take the loss of 49 lives to make people understand our shared humanity, but whatever the reason, we stood beside each other that night stronger, taller, and more determined than we were the day before. We reminded each other of how great we are when we put aside differences and just be. So that’s what I wrote about. In the Pulse aftermath, I wrote about how wonderful it feels to be a part of something as small as a Pride celebration at a nightclub and something as big as humanity. I cried then; I’m crying now. Just as it was so difficult to explain how deeply the shooting affected me in a negative way, I struggle to explain how deeply the outpouring of love and encouragement affects me in a positive way now.
It takes so little: so little to take a life, and so little to make one better. Today, text someone you love and tell them how amazing they are. Reflect on how lucky we are to be alive, to be here together, right now, right here. Remember that underneath it all, beneath the ideologies and lifestyles and designer labels and sexual encounters, we are the same: one race, one love, one life, one pulse.
One Pulse Stories
A Single Night by Jon Keys
The aftermath of tragedy calls for more than just physical healing, but Devon and Logan may find it with family—and with each other.
About Best Friends & Boyfriends by Alicia Nordwell
Cory and Elliot have been blood brothers since a bully gave them each a bloody lip when they were in elementary school. Now that Cory is finally eighteen, Elliot has to convince him they’re destined to be more than best friends.
Adíos by Mickie B. Ashling
My name is Joaquin Gallegos and I died last night. There are no angels hanging around to carry me off to my happy place, or their dreaded counterparts waiting to drag me down to hell, a favorite threat I tossed out whenever Mario, my son, tried to explain his orientation. All I know is that somewhere between dead and deader, there’s a seventy-two-hour grace period to take care of unfinished business.
Asking for Trouble by M.T. Aspen
Dancers Mel and Bree are young when they fall in love, though time and tragedy pull them apart. When Mel finds new happiness with pop princess Annie, a link is also forged with Bree, because each of them loves Mel and is sure she can never have her. Finding a solution isn’t simple, but family and love trump fear and hate every time.
Chasing Tyme by M.A. Church
Alex and Dayton couldn’t be more different, but somehow they’ve made their relationship work. On their second anniversary, Dayton surprises Alex with a romantic weekend, determined to overcome Alex’s reservations and pin his lover down once and for all.
Coming Out by Caitlin Ricci
Jason is managing to stick out the last few months before college thanks to the time he spends with his horse and his friendship with fellow rider Luke. He’ll need all Luke’s support when he decides to come out as bi to his parents.
Cucurrucucú by George Seaton
Harley thinks he’s helping the less fortunate by volunteering to teach swimming at a public pool in a depressed Hispanic neighborhood. While befriending David, a teen who latches on to him, Harley finds he’s the one who needs to learn about life and love.
Dance by Jayce Ellis
Roger knew letting his friend talk him into meeting for drinks at a gay nightclub was a mistake, especially when he’s knocked over in line by a man who’s all Roger’s fantasies rolled into one. Dylan wants to makes amends for their collision, but Roger can’t seem to catch a break from his bad luck.
Everyday Miracles by Bree Cariad
Reverend Jonathon Neiland has been working for four years to open an LGBT youth shelter, but the city council has shut him down every time. That the new leader of the council, Court Brecker, is on his side seems nothing short of a miracle.
Everything I Need by Chrissy Munder
Joshua would be happy to run off to Vegas to marry his fiancé, but Michael’s big family expects him to follow tradition with an equally big wedding—even though he’s marrying another guy.
For the First Time by Ellis Carrington
Gary and Wyatt had always planned to room together at college, but when Gary realizes he doesn’t want to watch Wyatt bring cheerleaders back to their room or go out on dates with sorority girls, he doesn’t know how to break the news without losing Wyatt’s friendship.
Get Me to the Church Town Hall on Time by Felicitas Ivey
Gabriel’s lover, Tobiah, just asked him in a chat window to get married. And Gabriel is crazy enough to say yes. Now he has to get upstate before the license office closes. Nothing can stand in the way of true love—except long drives, traffic jams, and thunderstorms.
Happy Pride by John Amory
The Philadelphia suburb of New Hope celebrates Pride in May to avoid competition from bigger, nearby events in Philly, New York, and Asbury Park. At the first Pride week after marriage equality became the law of the land, the tight-knit, small-town LGBT community has much to celebrate.
Hope by Grace R. Duncan
Miguel Garcia and Luis Rodriguez are hiding the fact that they’re destined mates because their alpha has been downright violent toward gay wolves. When Luis’s family finds out, they kick him out. With the help of Miguel’s mother, they set out to find a pack that will accept them.
Let Them Eat Cake by John Goode
A Tales from Foster High story
Matt and Tyler are getting married—but while there might not be quite as much bigotry and hatred in Foster, Texas, the hate didn’t go away completely. It’s up to Tyler and Matt to find a way to carry the torch forward.
Magical Boys Just Wanna Have Fun by J. C. Long
Life’s not easy when a magical ladybug seeking a hero to battle the forces of darkness turns Yuki into the Cerulean Fairy. Yuki is determined to spend a normal afternoon with his boyfriend, Taka, but the need to disappear and fulfill the role forced upon him is playing hell with his relationship.
Magicicada by Elizabeth Noble
Russ and his dad, Mike, have always shared a fascination with cicadas. While coming out as gay isn’t easy, Russ knows Ian is the one when they discover a shared love for the cyclical broods. Through good times and bad, the singing of the cicadas provides the soundtrack of Russ’s life.
More Than a Pact by Renee Stevens
After one drunken night in college, Paul smothered his attraction for Mac, though they’ve remained close friends. Years later, on his birthday, Mac shows up to remind Paul of the pact they made—if they were both still single when they turned thirty-five, they’d see if they could make a relationship between them work.
One Big Happy… Bunch by Troy Storm
Orlando florist Jason finds himself attracted to his new assistant, Rennie, but he doesn’t want to risk his relationship with his partner, Manny. So he encourages Rennie to make a move on his crush, Darren. But Rennie is attracted to Jason, too, and suggests a ménage a quartre. Can their four-way trial possibly work?
One Heart at a Time by Connie Bailey
When drag queen Frank Suarez’s car breaks down on his way to the Orlando Rainbow Awards, the last thing he expects is for his neighbor to offer him a ride. But as they discover, they both have a lot to learn about each other.
Perfection by Dev Bentham
Moving back to his hometown after a friendly divorce, Kevin is ready to try a real relationship again. His ex-wife Rachael tells him that being bi just increases his options and encourages him to volunteer for the town’s first Pride parade. When Kevin clicks with his committee partner, Ty, it all seems too perfect to be real.
Pride by Andrea Speed
An Infected Series story
It seemed a bit redundant to even have a Pride parade in Seattle, since in some neighborhoods it was a year-round thing, but as soon as Dylan heard Roan had never been to one, he insisted they go. He said it was a “gay rite of passage,” which Roan in no way thought was true. Still, he went along with it, because Dylan wouldn’t let him escape.
Pull by Laura Lascarso
After eyeliner-wearing Hiroku is punched in the locker room by the football team quarterback, Berlin, the quarterback’s best friend invites him to go shooting. While Hiro suspects it could be a scheme to get him alone so the whole team can jump him, Berlin is Hiro’s idea of masculine perfection, and another part of him suspects Berlin isn’t quite as straight as he seems.
Raffled Kiss by Lila Leigh Hunter
Coming home after eight months at sea on his first deployment, all Daniel wants is time alone with his husband, Ford. But both Daniel’s friends and Ford’s mother think buying them chances in the First Kiss raffle is the greatest idea ever.
Ranch Dressing by Emery C. Walters
Rance was a man’s man: strong, virile, and could sit a horse like he was born to it. Terrance was a big wuss who liked dress shirts and ties and tea dances. The trouble was, Rance and Terrance were the same person. And when Rance rescued Hawaiian cowboy Ramiah from the side of the road, the prettiest blue eyes he’d ever seen stole his heart.
Read My Lips by C.C. Dado
When Marcus’s sister said, “One of these days you’re going to meet someone who takes your breath away,” he wasn’t prepared for it to happen at a drag show. At first Marcus isn’t sure if the person drawing his attention is male or female, but when he meets Sam, it no longer matters.
The Stag’s Bane by Sera Kane
Baine was born a dog in the Lower World, the world of humans, but he was chosen by the Huntsman to join a pack residing in the Higher World, the world of magic. Baine lives up to his name when he corners the magical White Stag. Years later, when he finds his prey again, he learns how much the hunter can enjoy being the hunted.
The Tithe by KC Burn
Ruchaba farmer Aric has met the tithe ship alone for the past seven years, since his best friend Tobin left for the excitement of other planets. Spending the day watching the activities of the transport was more like a pilgrimage than because of any real hope Tobin would return. How could the dustbowl of P-591 compare to the glamour of space travel?
The Wooing of the Marqués de Sierra de Outes by Vicktor Alexander
A Scandalous Whispers of the Remmington Realm story
El Marqués de Sierra de Outes has been searching high and low for the enchanting male woman he danced with only briefly years before. But when he meets his former dance partner again, Señora Juan Manuel Eva Ibáñez has no interest in becoming his lover, and the marqués must find another way to pursue his courtship.
They Danced by Edmond Manning
Once there was a tribe where every man was the one true king, and every woman, the one true queen. Odd, you may think, and wonder how any work got done in such a society with everyone making rules. But these were not those kinds of kings and queens.
Connie Bailey, Ellis Carrington, Edmond Manning, Chrissy Munder, Caitlin Ricci, Andrea Speed, M.T. Aspen, Jayce Ellis, Sera Kane, Dev Bentham, George Seaton, Renee Stevens, Emery C Walters, Vicktor Alexander, Alicia Nordwell, C.C. Dado, M.A. Church, Troy Storm, Mickie B. Ashling, KC Burn, Jon Keys, John Goode, John Amory, Grace R. Duncan, Felicitas Ivey, Elizabeth Noble, Bree Cariad, Lila Leigh Hunter, Laura Lascarso, J. C. Long