Gothika 5 is coming in time for Halloween! (M/M romance preorder)

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I am so beyond excited to be a part of this great anthology with some very awesome writers in the M/M community.

Blurb:

Since ancient times, humankind has looked into the night sky and wondered: Are we alone? Are there other civilizations beyond the stars? Will we ever encounter these beings? Who are they, what are they like, and what might they want with us?

These questions are about to be answered, but those who discover the truth might wish they had never asked. On the other hand, some might find salvation in visitors from other planets. For while some aliens are hostile, others are benevolent. Some have little in common with humans, but for others, the need for love and acceptance is universal. Lives will intersect and otherworldly passions will ignite as four acclaimed authors of gay romance explore first contact—and where it can lead.

Authors:

F.E. Feeley Jr

Jamie Fessenden

Kim Fielding

B.G Thomas

From my own personal story – My Final Blog – here is an excerpt:

The house was quiet at two thirty in the morning. Outside, the wind howled as tree limbs brushed against the window, making eerie scratching noises against the glass. A clock tick-tocked in the kitchen until the second hand reached twelve in its continuous rotation. Then it stopped. The lights, which had been off, flickered in a wave throughout the house as if they were ocean waves crashing upon the shore. In slow motion, they came on and went off on their way to the bedroom where George slept deeply. Had he been awake, he would have noticed the smell of ozone, as if lightning had struck somewhere close. In the bedroom, the lights flickered once before going dark. The computer in the corner booted to life. George rolled over in bed and murmured Elijah’s name. The load-up screen finished, bringing up the desktop. Its blue light illuminated the room. George rolled over onto his side, subconsciously avoiding it. The camera

The load-up screen finished, bringing up the desktop. Its blue light illuminated the room. George rolled over onto his side, subconsciously avoiding it. The camera atop his computer, used to skype with distant friends and relations and to take the occasional selfie for his Facebook page, began to focus in and out. A window popped open on the desktop, and the image of George’s bed appeared. Suddenly the screen turned completely white and began to flash in quick succession, in patterns of three. Through the speakers, pulses blared in time with the flashing light. It came out as a static thud-thud-thud. George rolled over in bed again and threw back the covers before sitting up. His face was creased with the indentions of the pillow and his hair hung in his eyes. As he stood up, George’s T-shirt clung to his lithe body.

He walked closer to the computer, his eyes staring, dead, into the flashing light. George stood there swaying on his feet for a moment before reaching down and removing his shirt. The white light flashed in quicker succession and the pulses coming out of the speakers increased in volume. He turned around slowly, lifting his arms into the air and then back down in a strange sort of ballet. Once he turned back around, George tucked his thumbs into the waistband of his pants and, in one fell swoop, lowered them to the ground. He kicked out of them and stood there, barefoot, in front of the computer screen, with a semi-erection. Once again he turned in slow motion. When he came back around, the flashing had stopped, although the camera box was open. On its swivel, the camera turned its eye up at George. The lens began to flash with a red light into the eyes of the man who now stood there with a full erection jutting out. And then the screen went dark and the computer shut itself off. George stood there a moment longer before turning around and walking back, naked, to his bed. He climbed underneath the covers and turned over onto his side. Before too long, snoring could be heard as the lights in the bedroom flickered three times before reversing their travel through the house.

Gothika 5 “Contact” comes out October 24th! Just in Time for Halloween!

Visit https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/contact-7680-b to order your copy today!

 

Gothika #5 Contact M/M Romance

The newest Gothika anthology, subtitled Contact, features four stories of alien encounters by me (Jamie Fessenden), Kim Fielding, B.G. Thomas, and a new addition to the list of Gothika authors, F.E. Feeley, Jr. It’s available for pre-order now at Dreamspinner Press and will be released on October 24th, just in time for Halloween! My story […]

via “Abducted” (from Gothika #5: Contact) is now available for pre-order! — Jamie Fessenden’s Blog

Message in a Bottle (Part 14)

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Fear can either motivate you or it can debilitate you.

I remember when I was a kid the fear that was constant in our  house. Fear of my parent’s mood. Fear of my father being awakened early from a nap and coming downstairs to find a house not clean. Fear of my mother’s mood should she find dirty clothes in a drawer on a Saturday night before church. Fear of having our entire bedrooms tossed, being beaten and made to clean it all up before we went to bed that night.

But the fear wasn’t just internal. It was external as well. Detroit in the 1990’s was like a war zone. We lived close to three rival gangs, Cash Flow, Latin Counts, and World Wide Gangsters (Folks), all through growing up there had been minor gang organizations like Young Guns or even Camel Boys Inc. but they were killed off or chased away.

No, when I was a kid, these were the heavy hitters. You had to watch what colors you wore to school because you walked. Who you talked to. What street you caught yourself on. I remember one time being outside playing when a fight broke out between two rival gangs and watching them exchange gunfire with an Uzi. I was standing right there. I saw how a bullet hit the curb where one of the members had been standing just seconds before and seeing a chunk of it turned to dust.

I had a person I went to church with, die in a firebombing that was meant for his neighbor. The authorities scraped him off the basement floor because the house collapsed in on him when he was trying to escape.

In the summertime, gunshots ran out as frequently as children played outside. Houses burned all the time. Til this day I can smell smoke and it’ll wake me up out of a dead sleep to go and check to see if my house is on fire.

This combination of internal and external stress created in me a very unhealthy and often times panic-stricken individual. Add in the wrath of God from fundamentalism and the fact that I was hiding my sexuality in a deep dark place inside of me, I was in hell. Hell isn’t a place, it’s a state of being.

And my body took the brunt of it. At sixteen I was in a size thirty-six pants. I would eat and eat constantly. In school, I was tormented by other people, mostly male students, for being gay.I was shy, effeminate, and overweight. It made me an easy target. i always denied being gay since middle school, not only because that meant social suicide in Southwestern High School anyway, but because of what I was taught about homosexuality in church meant that I would go to hell. And I  put my sexuality in the box of, “I can’t be this  because I’m saved,” and went on, the best I could, with life.

Fear and violence seemed to come at me from all directions. You never knew what was going to happen from one moment to the next. I would refuse to defecate until I absolutely had to. I would hold my bowel movements and had done since I was little. A sign that, I discovered recently, I was in some way trying to control something. Something.

This was not a life of someone who lived in the United States of America. This was the life of someone growing up in a blown out old Soviet Bloc Country or some shitty little town somewhere in the middle east. (And speaking of the middle east, Dearborn was right next to us and for all the rumors about how bad Muslims are – Dearborn which houses the largest population of Muslim Americans in this country – looked like paradise in comparison to Detroit).

And I was there for twenty years.

I guess I’m sort of a veteran, of what I am not exactly sure. I don’t even know if it has name. But it does have a place in me. And because of that, one doesn’t simply move on. There is no get over it. It’s defined me. It’s walked with me through most of my life. If you believe the new data coming out ACES (Adverse Childhood Experience Study) it may have even shortened it.

(That’s why I quit smoking, watch what I eat, do yoga, and write books and poetry. The Health Department website and Center for Disease Control all  said that this was a good idea. )

And I was always afraid to talk about this. Like I would be letting open some Pandora’s box that I couldn’t contain. That what I would summon would hurt people because I told the truth. That somehow my parents would get hurt and I was protecting them. Or the people I went to church with, would somehow find these words and mock me. Or that people would pity me, or hate me, or be angry with me, or not believe me. I was afraid of opening my mouth to speak.

I hate what they did. I hate what happened to me. I  hate that I’ve carried the weight of it all my life. And I hate them. The church, parents, people who watched and did nothing to help. Detroit, you ugly, ugly bitch.

But fear is a terrible thing. And as I am writing this to sort of put this all down, place a value judgment on it, to say once and for all that this was bad. That there was zero good in this. And acknowledge that I was a passive recipient of this place and all of the evil that walked in it (to include the church). I am working through my fear. I’ve been in a perpetual state of fear all my life to some degree or other. This is an exorcism of sorts.

I wanted to end this in anger.

And then I get down on my knees and I thank God for it. For all of it. For the privilege of it. And instead of hating it. I am made to love it. Hatred binds. Fear controls. I tried running from it all my life. I tried so hard to get away. Afraid to turn and face it. Afraid to let it wash over me and sit in the middle of it. But not anymore.

So to let go. I must love it. I must forgive it, forgive them, and forgive myself. I must have the courage to do so. I must have the courage to not only love the skankiness of all of that but the skankiness and mess that I became as a result. And then, maybe then, I can know peace. I can know heaven. And know God. And then, maybe then, I’ll let go. I think this is the beginning of that process.

I owe it to my husband. But more importantly, I owe it to myself.

I’ll write more when I can.

 

 

Autumn is her name (Poem)

I wrote this poem last year. And since Autumn has come around once more, I’d like to share it with you. The image can be found originally at this website. They have a lot of pretty cool pictures there.

 

autumn-is-her-name

 

Contact (Gothika #5) Cover Reveal! — Gay Book Reviews – M/M Book Reviews

This month, author F.E. Feeley, Jr. joins Kim Fielding, Jamie Fessenden, and B.G. Thomas in the next installment of the Gothika series! In this volume, the authors explore alien abduction, the possibility extraterrestrials might be living among us, and a war between interstellar races with Earth caught in the middle. Cover artist AngstyG once again…

via Contact (Gothika #5) Cover Reveal! — Gay Book Reviews – M/M Book Reviews

Message in a Bottle (Part 13)

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I have a dog. He’s a beautiful five-year-old German Shepherd named Kaiser. He’s such a stud. Everyone stops when he walks by and looks at him when I take him out on his walks. He’s not the usual black and brown Rin Tin Tin – he’s a little more black.

But he has these deep brown soulful eyes that just stare at me.

In the morning when my husband gets up for work and I walk him to the door and kiss him goodbye, I’ll lay back down for an hour or so. When I do, I pat the side of the bed where my husband lay and Kaiser leaps up and immediately settles down for me to pet him.

He wants to be wherever I am. If I am working on the computer writing a blog, a story, or poem, he’s right here. If I am in the living room watching a movie with John, he’s in my lap.

I could pet this dog for hours and he’d let me.

I always thought pet people were ridiculous. Thousands of dollars to treat cancer in their animal. Find the perfect food. The perfect Vet. Have them groomed and walked… I would always say, “Those people are crazy.”

Until I got a dog of my own. And now, No. They’re not so crazy after all. Why?

Because a dog loves you NO MATTER WHAT.

I remember coming out as gay in my twenties. I remember the static I took from some of my family. People I had been cool with suddenly weren’t cool with me, especially some of the people I’d gone to church with. Even my brother was quick to tell my mother once when she was angry with him, “How can I embarrass the family, you have a gay son.”

Now, mind you this was after I had joined the army after 9/11, deployed to Kuwait in support of O.I.F (Operation Iraq Freedom) and was there for a year, honorably discharged, got a associates degree and was working on a bachelor’s.  But that didn’t matter. I could have caught Osama Bin Laden, Hussein, killed Uday and Qusay myself and made it home in time to save the stock market from crashing in ’08, so, yeah none of the aforementioned stuff really mattered to them.

I was gay.

I remember when we were in church when I was a kid. I wasn’t a fan of preaching, I really took to music. And my mother, her friend, and I would sing gospel songs in church. I figured if I had to be here, I might as well do something I enjoy doing and it was good fun.

After I’d come out my mother was practicing a song one day , I heard her, came downstairs to help out and we had a good time. Felt like old times.  And then she looked at me and said, “Too bad you’re gay. You could come to church and sing this with me tonight.”

It felt like she had kicked my soul in the crotch. I was very very hurt. I soon left Michigan, and my family, behind me.

One day, years later, I was feeling pretty down on myself. I can’t exactly remember why. But I was feeling like maybe them whatadipshit evangelicals were right. Maybe I was damned. Maybe I had made a choice, and somewhere along the line had condemned my soul to eternal hell and torment. Because, you know, Fundamentalism wasn’t bad enough.

But then I looked over at my dog who was lying on the bed next to me and I came out to him. I said, “Kaiser. I’m gay.”

And in disgust, he got up and barked at me. When I tried to approach he bared his teeth and snarled. It got so bad I  had to give him away. He wanted nothing to do with me.

You know I’m kidding. You know what he did? After my husband and I told we were gay and that he had two daddies,  he yawned. Put his head down on my lap and looked up at me with those soulful brown eyes.

kaiser

 

I knew three things at once, I had just experienced Agape love (Godly love) for the first time, I would never again feel bad about being gay, and I wasn’t as good a person as those mentioned before me. I was better and always had been.

Some shit’s just beneath you.

I want to be the man my dog thinks I am.

I’ll write more when I can.

Message in a Bottle (Part 12)

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You can’t control and make people afraid with a loving God. A loving God takes away the entire platform of Independent Fundamental Baptist movement and a lot of other denominations of Christianity.

Think about it this way, when we see art like a painting or hear a symphony or watch an incredible movie – we think to ourselves – wow, the guy/gal that did this was talented. We see not only the art but in observing the art, we catch a glimpse of the artist as well.

So, the irony here is that these people ‘fear’ God so much they’re not only willing to talk shit about The Creation but The Creator as well.

I mean think about that.

Yesterday while I was leaving the grocery store, I put my cart away in the coral and looked down and at my feet was a discarded Chic Tract. I picked it up and idly went through it. And of course, like all those Tracts, the fear of punishment rang through the pages. Fear of a God, Fear of The Devil, Fear of Hell.

chick-tract

So, in short, people are ‘getting saved’ at gunpoint. It’s fear that brings them to God. And the producers of this track, since they brought you to God, know exactly how it is you have to live to please God and the cycle begins. And theirs is the truthiest truth that ever did truth and everyone else is doomed to hell.

Their God is not a god of love, but a god of retribution and anger, vengeful wrath waiting to be tossed out upon unrepentant sinners. That’s not only religious ideology, it’s also political. There is an agenda there. People join IFB, and similar denominations,  out of total fear for their immortal soul, give their life to God, and become miserable while being promised a heaven made of gold. But there is a far more insidious thing going on in the movement as well.

I’ve heard hell fire and damnation sermons most of my young life ala Jonathan Edward’s Sinners in the hands of an Angry God. And what sounded to me like certainty back then, wasn’t certainty at all. But the constant regurgitation of fear to keep people in line. But that fear, I discovered later, not only kept people subservient to the will of one man, it also cut them off from seeing and being a part of the creation that God made. That creation -people and their music, and poetry, paintings and symphonies, other ethnicities and yes, even the hated Rock and Roll and dancing. Expressions of Humanity that profess its will to not only survive but thrive all the while experiencing everything God created along the way.

When I was a kid, my sisters and I would turn on B.E.T or MTV and watch Soul Train and listen to music and I remember being in awe of these professions of love from the Power Ballad singers. And I remember the dancing on Soul Train that looked so happy and fun and imitating them. And listening to Roberta Flack, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, The Nelsons, and marveling at the creativity of it all. Even though we knew if we got caught there was hell to pay. And trust me, there often was.

And we were often drawn to it anyway. Not because of it being sin. But because it was true. The songs they sang were truth. And truth is a dangerous thing in world of half truthes and manipulation.

And these pastors cut people off from that. because there is one thing that man desires above all else.

Power.

And kings can’t be kings without coercive powers. And subjects won’t be subjects if The Gospel of Life sings to them louder than  the Gospel of fear, hate, and retribution. Why do you think Slavery was even rationalized? Why did Jim Crow stick around for so long? The Rise of the ‘moral’ majority? Breaking the will of a child?

Because the subjects found their way into a voting booth and they took their gospel of fear, hate, and retribution along for the ride.

We’re often taught that the Pilgrims came to America to seek religious freedom. What we’re not told is that these Pilgrims who were mostly puritan tried to subvert The King’s authority in England and got run out. They wanted to be King. They didn’t object to the power the king had, they object to HIM having that power.

So the next time someone wants to talk about ISIS or Islam or The Taliban, hand them a Chic Tract and talk to them about our own brand of whackadoodledoo’s that are just as capable of insidious things from having been cut off from their own humanity for so long and indoctrinated to hate the world and the people in it for so long, that they’d become violent as well to keep people in line.

The Bible does say man is flawed and falls short of his glory.

But let me make it very clear to you,  that just means you aren’t perfect.

It doesn’t mean that your rotten and horrible. God loves you. He loves you. And he doesn’t make mistakes. And just because you may have done something wrong in life, like everyone else, doesn’t make you bad. You are not inherently evil. Mankind is Good. He doesn’t make junk. You’re his art. He’s the artist.

((Atheists be like: I don’t believe any of that anyway. I agree with you on more points than I disagree with you on, believe me))

God is not going to send Christ to die for something he despises.

Didn’t happen.

Anything that says otherwise is nothing more than a con job. And those pastors who perpetuated this better pray that God is loving and all merciful, because ….damn.

Fear is big business. And business lately, has been real good.