Tag Archives: guest post

STRANGER AT SUNSET is in the spotlight for @ThePenMuse

PenMuse
Website | Facebook | Twitter @thepenmuse | Google +

I’m featured today on the wonderful site of Denise Alicea, author and owner of The Pen and Muse Book Reviews. I’m honored she’s given me space on her site to feature my book.

Connect to Denise at her virtual homes and see all the services she provides.

Hop over to The Pen and Muse and read the Spotlight on Stranger at Sunset.

Enjoy,

~ eden

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STRANGER AT SUNSET is in the spotlight for Jessica E Subject (@jsubject)

jessica subject
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google +

I’m featured today on friend and author, Jessica Subject’s site. Jessica has been interviewed here before and is one of the few writers I know who writes sci-fi romance. She is an incredible and prolific writer, and I’m honored she’s given me space on her site to feature my book.

Don’t forget to connect to Jessica. She’s another fabulous and supportive Canadian writer to know.

Hop over to Jessica’s site and read Stranger at Sunset in the Spotlight.

Enjoy,

~ eden

 

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Pride, Prejudice and Diana Ross ~ Read a guest blog by @dailygrime

I’m delighted to welcome English writer, Michael Grimes to my blog. I first started reading Mike’s writing about six months ago and found him to be humorous and witty.

His observations on politics, sex, music, world issues, and a host of other subjects are delivered with flair and intelligence. At times, his words are biting, but there is always that underlying truth. His honest writing is something I greatly admire.

I am happy to kick off April with his post. It’s one that fits well with my own sensibilities about tolerance and acceptance, especially where sexuality is concerned.

Please welcome Michael Grimes.

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Pride And Prejudice – How Diana Ross Helped Me Become Comfortable With Everyone’s Sexuality

~ by Michael Grimes

diana ross

The World’s Best Babysitter As Seen In His Bathroom Mirror In 1977

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all gay men, regardless of race colour or creed, wish they were Diana Ross. Actually, I have no idea how universal that truth is nowadays, but back in 1977, it was pretty much gospel. And it was in 1977 that I was first introduced to homosexuality by my deeply gay babysitter, Gary.

I can hear a little bit of clenching and tensing going on out there, but don’t worry. This isn’t the earnest beginning of my misery memoir. If the cry-ography is your chosen reading genre, I shouldn’t bother reading any further. This bit is an unalloyed tale of unspoilt childhood innocence I’m afraid.

Gary was the second brother of three brothers. Their dad was a close childhood friend of my dad. Their mum was my mum’s best mate. The oldest brother was a career criminal, as was the youngest. Gary was the gay one in the middle, which made parts of my young life a little like a Martin Scorsese movie. Later in life, Gary became a Catholic priest, which made it really like a Martin Scorsese movie. But back in 1977, he was just my babysitter.

I absolutely adored Gary. Gary babysitting me on a Friday night was the highlight of my week. We sat and made fun of television programs. We indulged in experimental cookery. (Our greatest triumph was something that Gary christened “Pecule”, because of how peculiar it looked. Neither of us plucked up the courage to actually taste it.) But above all, we played games.

Admittedly, most of these games involved Gary being Diana Ross and me being The Supremes. Gary always brought along his record collection. He had a lot of Motown. In fact, I don’t think Gary owned a single record that wasn’t Motown. Many gay men have an affinity for tragic female figures. I was almost certainly the only little boy in my school who knew all the words to the classic 1972 movie soundtrack album Lady Sings The Blues.

After all the fun and games, Gary would plonk us both on the sofa and I’d be allowed to watch whatever horror film was on until Mum and Dad came back from the pub. Bear in mind this was the 70s. Kids weren’t handled like the hothouse flowers they are regarded as today. It was perfectly acceptable for an eight year old to stay up watching an old Dracula movie as long as there was no school the following day.

I knew there was something different about Gary, but I had no idea what it was. What I did know was that whatever that difference was, it made him more fun than anyone else I had ever met.

As I grew up, I began to realise what was different about Gary, or at least what ballpark that difference was in. Human sexuality is a very, very complicated thing after all. Facebook has recently introduced 50 different gender options for its members, rather than the traditional binary “male or female”. There are those who feel this is modernistic noodling of the worst kind, but it isn’t really anything new. There are many older and wiser cultures which have recognised multiple shades of gender for millennia.

All of this deeply upsets the deeply religious Christians of course. (Not all Christians by any means though. Some of them ring it off the hook and actually follow the teachings of Jesus.) “God hates homosexuality” they say. By which they mean that they hate homosexuality. By which they mean they don’t understand homosexuality and are fucking terrified of it.

There are many things I don’t understand. I don’t understand why gay men go “cottaging” or why heterosexual couples go “dogging”. Then again I don’t understand why people spend their chilly British weekends going camping. Just because I personally don’t get a thing doesn’t make it automatically wrong or invalid. My understanding of French is ropey at best, but I wouldn’t advocate the eradication of the works of Voltaire or Balzac just because I can’t read them in their original intended form.

Leviticus tat

The sad fact is that many deeply Christian folk are also deeply hypocritical. When it comes to homosexuality, they love to quote Leviticus. They don’t adhere to many of the other pronouncements in Leviticus of course. They do not eschew “eating blood” or “eating fat” (Lev. 3:17). That would be black pudding and most of the American diet prohibited. They have a bit of a lapse of conscience when it comes to “finding lost property and lying about it” (Lev. 6:3), presumably because “finders keepers” trumps the Bible on that particular point. And “thou shalt not touch the carcass of an animal which does not both chew the cud and have a divided hoof” does kind of make it impossible to play American football, the ball itself being made of pigskin.

Some Christians seem to think that even talking about homosexuality is a danger to their children. There are many things which actually are a danger to their children of course (cars, guns, lack of affordable healthcare) but, strangely, they seldom raise much of a fuss about these issues.

The only danger to their children as regards talking about sexuality is that these children might learn to embrace what they are and there is a chance that what they are is gay. In which case these parents would have to disown their children because their own upbringing has covered them with so many layers of bigotry that they can’t move themselves to do what any thinking, feeling human being should do. Give their child a big hug and tell them how proud their very existence has made them since the moment they were born.

The fact is that, whatever the Bible says, we are all unique individuals, and really there are as many different genders and sexualities as there are human beings on the planet. The thing that made my babysitter such fun was not that he was gay, but that he was Gary and he was true to himself

Whenever a girl dresses as a boy or vice versa, or someone erases all clues via androgeny, they are not doing it to be outrageous or annoying. They are doing it to feel like who they are inside. For some people, walking around looking as society expects them to look makes them feel uncomfortable. In fact, it makes them feel as uncomfortable as I would feel walking down my High Street dressed in a frock. It’s a big wide world and there is room in it for every expression of sexuality. The sooner that becomes a truth universally accepted, the better.

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Connect to Michael 

michael grimes

Website | Twitter: @dailygrime

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Please show Michael some love. Read, comment, and share. If you’d like to be a guest blogger, connect with me and let’s talk. ~ eden

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Canadian Rhapsody ~ Read a guest blog by @nchardenet

Please welcome American turned Canadian, author Nicole Chardenet. I asked her to write about her experience of becoming a Canadian citizen, then I braced myself. You see, Nicole was interviewed in my author series last year, and her answers had me in stitches, as does her post here.

She pokes fun at everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE—Republicans, Canadians, the Irish, and more … so please … pour yourself a vodka or a beer and enjoy the musings of this very funny lady.

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CANADIAN RHAPSODY

~by Nicole Chardenet

Nicole Chardenet Pravda

Nicole at Pravda Vodka House, Toronto

When Canadians ask me why I moved from the US to Canada nine years ago, I tell them, “Better beer.”

If they’re Republicans I tell them, “Better healthcare and all the damn socialism.”

And then I tell them what we do all day is smoke pot and have gay sex.  I love messing with Republicans! They’re so naïve.

“Why would you move to Canada from the US?” asked one early Canadian friend. “I’d move there in a heartbeat if I could, that’s where all the money is!”

Well, yeah, back in 2005 that might have been true…but nine years later I’m making a lot more money than I was in Connecticut and I’ve moved up the food chain professionally. And, the US has gone to @#$% since I left.

Truth is, I can no longer remember anymore why I moved. All I can tell you is it seemed like a good idea at the time.

zombie best

Zombie American Tea Partier, Toronto Zombie Walk

While I watched the US banking system crash and burn like Charlie Sheen on a three-day coke bender, as I lived and worked in the country with the most stable banking system in the world (who knew?) it seemed one of the all-time greatest decisions ever made in the history of the world.

Now, when people ask me if I’ll ever go back I think, “Only if the US government outlaws the Republican Party and makes it legal for decent, intelligent Americans to feed them to rabid orcas.”

The whole thing really started when I read on a news site about a dozen years ago that Ireland wanted to become the Silicon Valley of Europe. They encouraged immigration by techies and investors, and since I was in a very bad place in my life personally, I decided to apply. Unfortunately, Ireland had extremely high standards for immigrants and also favoured EU members, so I never even filled out the application. My skills were too generalized for their high-and-mighty selves. I was so mad I didn’t speak to Ireland for years, until their whole economy went belly-up.

Mom, Dad & me

Nicole w/ her mom and dad at Centre Island, Toronto

Meanwhile, a longtime email friend near Toronto kept urging me to move here, enticing me with an offer to share his house if we split the bills. That sounded like an awesome deal, except for the part where I’d have to move to – Canada? Really? The True North strong and sleep-inducing? Whose flag was – what, I don’t know, a pot leaf or something? Whose history was – well, did they even have one? I mean, who knew anything about Canada? I’d visited relatives in Montreal when I was a kid but my buddy lived near Toronto. I’d been there once before, on a day trip with my family when I was in university. I remembered Toronto as clean, with a beer factory and decent-looking subsidized housing.

anniversary pic 3

Nicole’s 1st year anniversary in Canada

I scheduled a reconnaissance trip, then had to reschedule because of the SARS crisis. When I became reasonably certain Toronto wouldn’t kill me, I discovered I liked it. Around this time, things started to get ugly in US politics with the American invasion of Iraq and then later the Iraqi prison scandals, and I began to feel uncomfortably like I’d better get the hell out of Dodge before the Republicans passed a law herding all liberals, homos, and evolution supporters into Jesus camps where we’d be subjected to Mao-style “re-education” efforts, except with more crosses and bigger guns and hair.

Nicole - Day 1

At Fan Expo pushing her 1st book, Young Republican, Yuppie Princess, 2011

Long story short, I filled out an application longer than a Rob Ford police report as Canada wanted to know absolutely everything about me including every single address at which I’d lived, ever, some information about my ex even though I’d made it clear he would NOT be joining me, and, of course, the requisite four rolled-up Tim Horton’s cups to prove that I did intend to become a Real True Loyal Canadian. (Fortunately we had Tim’s in Connecticut).

After that I had to visit the police station to get fingerprinted so I could schlep my grubby mitts off to the FBI so they could run a check on me to make sure I wasn’t a terrorist, fugitive, international jewel thief or close personal friend of Robert Mugabe. Later, I had to visit a special Canadian-approved doctor to make sure I wasn’t trying to sneak any expensive diseases into the country. Then I crossed my fingers and fervently hoped that Canada had way lower standards than Ireland.
It did, and my temporary visa arrived a little under a year and a half later. I stuffed everything in a U-Haul and crossed the border, which wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as I’d thought it would be, as they praised me on the penmanship of the most anal-retentive list of personal goods they’d ever seen, and I think I scored some extra points for having a French name. They didn’t even ask about the sword I brought nor did they want to see proof that my cat’s rabies shots were up-to-date. (Which just goes to show you the Glenn Beck-head and Faux Newsie critics of Canada’s spongey border are right – any old terrorist can cross with a tetanus-laden rusty weapon and a foaming, frothing housepet anytime they want! Fear us, O Canada!)

Nicole - zombie drummer

We’re proud to have you as one of our own, Nicole!

Once I was officially over and stamped I heaved a sigh of relief. The Republicans couldn’t get me anymore and I was turning my life around.

It hasn’t been a complete bed of poppies, of course, but I can honestly say the last nine years of my life have been the most stress-free since I was pre-school.

Thank you Canada, for being so good to me. And for Nanaimo bars. Canada’s greatest gift to Western civilization!

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Connect to Nicole 

Tongue of Dog’s Breakfast Blog | Nicole’s Novels

Website | Twitter: @nchardenet | Facebook | Google+

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If you would like to be a guest blogger, please comment below and let me know. The goal is to highlight YOUR writing. Connect to me via any of my networks. Twitter and email are best.

While you’re at it, show Nicole some love in the comments, will ya? Isn’t she adorable? 

Many thanks, 

~ eden

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Dads and Daughters ~ Read a guest blog by @HefferonJoe

Over the next months, I’m encouraging guest bloggers to share about themselves. As we all know, writers, like other professions are multi-dimensional beings. Authors have lives and interests outside of writing.

Given that, I’m opening up my blog to writers to showcase their style, their loves and passions, their humour, and their knowledge on various subjects.

The goal is to allow the author’s own voice to create an interest in who they are.

So … let’s get started.

Remember Joe Hefferon? I interviewed him in December. He complained vehemently that he was one of my last interviews of the year.

He was joking … maybe.

Regardless, I’m making him my FIRST guest blogger of 2014. See Joe? I was listening. 😉

If you missed his revealing Q and A, please go here. It’s a good one, and I’ll wait for you.

There are many sides to Joe as you can see, and one of them is a soft side. He might not want to admit it, but it’s there, and you don’t even have to scratch far beneath the surface to find it.

Read his humorous, heart-warming post about dads and daughters.

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Who is Joe?

Joe was in law enforcement for 25 years before he retired as captain, and is a single dad and father of two. He keeps his hand in law enforcement, teaching classes in Personal Safety and Recognizing Signs of Danger for corporate clients.

He writes a terrific column for About.com called the Inspiring Women Series.

He is the author of the noir crime novel, The Sixth Session and a personal development book inspired by the principles of architecture called The Seventh Level. Joe’s books are available on Amazon.

Joe is currently working on a noir crime novel set in L.A. in 1965.

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Dads, Daughters and “Honey, Where’s My Blue Shirt?”

“The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” – Charles de Gaulle

I can explain all my unfortunate lapses in common sense to any woman who has had the infuriating luxury of living with me.

I have a daughter.

Look, I love her to pieces and would slay dragons for her, but I’ve also had entirely too many awkward conversations in my life, way more than my friends who just have boys. They’re easy-shmeasy compared to these complicated girl creatures. My daughter is 27, so I’ve already experienced the following brain-seizing moments:

  • Hey, guess what? I got my period.
  • I’m in love with this boy at school. Yes, the one with the blue hair.
  • No daddy; it doesn’t wash off.
  • Do you want to talk about sex? I’m sixteen now and…

Most of the time, when our little girls say these things – out loud because they’re tiny sadists – we get instantaneously non-functional. Our mammalian brain takes over and our breathing becomes shallow; the room dims and our synapses misfire at will. We can only hear voices in a slow-motion, distorted garble. We can’t think or speak; our eyes twitch spasmodically; the hives make an audible popping sound as they pierce the epidermis and finally, just before our lungs collapse, we hear a progressively louder banshee wailing in our brains, “no-No-NO-NOOO!!!!”

But we recover, ’cause we’re guys. We are born with a dump switch in our brains that helps us forget most horrible things. It’s what makes it seem like a great idea to call an ex-girlfriend up for a dinner, even though she’s now a hermitic, raging, venom-spitting alcoholic because we dumped her. But that was like two years ago.

Now pay attention guys – I’ve figured something out about these dastardly damsels that might help, or not. Those girl-becomes-woman moments are designed to torture men. It’s like live-fire girl-school training day. They’re instantly good at it, and damn proud of their rite of passage. The worst part is; daughters tell you these dreadful things in a relaxed, detached tone that only tightens the straps on the jacket. “Here’s a crayon, daddy. Why don’t you draw your feelings.”

They have kept their desire for these moments cleverly hidden under hugs, tea parties and wounded teddy bears, but they’ve been waiting patiently, even adorably. Sometimes they smile in that “Oh and senator… love your suit” kind of way as they deliver the shiv. (For the cinematically challenged, that was a Silence of the Lambs reference. Try to keep up.)

Women get mad at guys for sprinkled toilet seats and selective deafness, but hey, we’ve been under a lot of stress. We have daughters. But here’s what else I’ve figured out. Now relax and focus because I’m going all multiverse on you.

Women have a way of communicating through an intricate system of parallel universes and even though they can inexplicably hate each other for wearing the same shoes to a party, when it comes to guys, they army up.

Whenever any of us do something unimportant like say, put an empty milk carton back in the fridge or check out her mom’s rack (not bad for 56), they send out a message through the ethers. Their scouts retrieve the messages from right under our hairy noses on Pinterest and Skinny-Girl margarita bottles and pass along the fire-when-ready orders to pre-pubescent daughters. Get it now? It’s actually brilliant but I’ll never admit it.

Knowing this only adds to my paranoia and my frustration. I saw two heavy-set Nigerian women whispering in the mall yesterday and I know they were talking about me. (add accent) “That’s him right there, holding in his stomach for the sales girl. He said he loved her, but he lied. Kill that one slowly.”

I get frustrated because I know that every guy who reads this will forget it as soon as Sports Center starts, and will thus be horrified during football season when his teen-angel bends over for a tostido chip and flashes a whale-tail in front of his buddies. He won’t know what else to do but sit wide-eyed as the lager runs from his mouth. “Maybe they didn’t notice,” he’ll growl in his empty head. But someone did just a few months ago – a woman, a mother.

In early July at a neighborhood cookout, his friend’s teenaged daughter climbed out of the pool like a scene from Wild Things and well, he noticed – so did the girl’s mother. She observed the ‘notice’. The message went out. His own daughter received it through an Amanda Gomez song. Within days she was wearing underwear you could fit in a shot glass.

So what’s the lesson here, relationship-wise? I don’t know. I have a daughter.

We could try putting out the garbage before they ask, noticing their hair and only looking at our own feet when we’re in public. It might ease the stress a little, might make a few days more congenial, but long term it’s a lose/lose.

Guys can’t be blamed for this vicious cycle of stupid acts paid for with insidious revenge tactics. The problem is; the attacks of the girl army only make us more inept. Or maybe we just don’t care. I forget. Stay connected…

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Connect to Joe

Joe Hefferon

Blog | Website | About.com Inspiring Women series 

 LinkedIn | Twitter: @hefferonjoe | Amazon Author Page

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If you would like to be a guest blogger, please comment below and let me know. The goal is to highlight YOUR writing. Connect to me via any of my networks. Twitter and email are best.

While you’re at it, show Joe some love in the comments, will ya?

Many thanks, 

~ eden

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