Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In Shadow is FREE for the Month of June

I've told this story many times before.

https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/in-shadow-a-novel
In November of 2015, I set out to write a stepbrother romance. They were popular at the time and it was National Novel Writing Month and I wanted to cash in.

I failed miserably, as always. If you see a book I've written calling itself a romance, please take that with a grain of salt. My books are queer fiction and erotica. If some of them contain some romance in passing, I hope readers find it fulfilling, but my work contains enough cheating and deception to piss off most romance readers.

So when I started writing "In Shadow," I was hoping for a sexy little cash cow. Instead, I ended up with an unreliable narrator conveying a story that is, in essence, an allegory of the contemporary relationship between Indigenous Peoples and settlers in Canada--a relationship that is all too often prettified, or at very least whitewashed.

I'll let you guess how many readers were anxiously awaiting this book's release. Here's a hint: not a lot.

Canadians are so nice. No matter where you live in the world, that's the one thing you know about us. We're SO NICE. And I think that niceness is what leads us to not want to discuss colonization and its impact on Indigenous Peoples down the generations. It's not nice to think about the negative ways in which our presence on stolen land has impacted (and continues to impact) the lives of those who were here long before us.

But we're so nice! We had good intentions!

Well, when your good intentions lead to cultural genocide, guess what? Fuck those "good intentions," because look at their impact. It's time to stop hiding behind the idea of good intentions and start acknowledging the history of this country for what it really is.

And not just history! We need to pay attention to what's going on in the present moment too. This is supposed to be a time of Truth and Reconciliation, and all I'm seeing are a bunch of streamers and party hats. 

But history is a good starting point, because many horrendous atrocities have been committed against Canada's First Peoples. The more history you learn, the more you feel like a piece of shit. But that's a good thing! We all need to get our heads out of the sand a little more and do a lot more acknowledging the consequences of residential schools and similar acts of colonization.

I highly recommend watching APTN's Reel Insight series of documentaries by Indigenous filmmakers. Potlatch Keepers, in particular, is a film I found very moving because of its complexities. I also learned a lot about the ways in which important rituals were criminalized by the Canadian Government.

Today is National Aboriginal Day (which, I hear, will henceforth be known as National Indigenous Peoples Day), so maybe it's shitty of me to give you a book featuring a main character who can't wrap her head around her own racism. But I'm giving this book to you for free, so I don't feel too bad. It's a book I want a lot of people to read. It's a book I think a lot of people need to read.

And if you want to ignore the sordid undercurrent that carries the story forward and read "In Shadow" as a paranormal stepbrother romance where a girl gets raped by a ghost a bunch of times, you can do that too. I don't control your brain. I just wrote a book. What you do with it is up to you.

In Shadow is free this month (ebook only) at many retailers, including:

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/in-shadow-a-novel
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1141673003
BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-shadow-giselle-renarde/1124327243

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1141673003

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bold Strokes brings us Girls Next Door #Lesbian #Romance

https://www.amazon.com/Girls-Next-Door-Sandy-Lowe-ebook/dp/B071J1WNHH?tag=dondes-20
Sometimes the most intriguing girls are right next door—BFFs, ex-girlfriends, new girls in town, party girls, study mates, teammates, and sexy strangers. All it takes is a night out, the right moment, or an accidental kiss to discover what's been there all along—the perfect girl for a love that lasts a lifetime. Best-selling romance authors tell it from the heart—sexy, romantic stories of falling for the girls next door.

If you're looking for an anthology of lesbian romance stories to read on the beach, by the pool, at the campground, sunbathing at the park, on horseback, during your coffee break, hiding beside the air conditioner, or whatever else you've got planned for the summer, guess what?  I've found it!

On June 20th, Bold Strokes Books is coming out with a collection called Girls Next Door. I've got my copy, and if you pre-order now you'll be seeing yours soon.

My contribution to Girls Next Door is a story called GOLD.

I got the idea while walking around a posh neighbourhood.  Mansions all around, and what goes with mansions?  You got it: gardeners.  I spotted a big butch landscaper working alongside a skinny femme and right away I started making up stories about them. When I got home, I started writing.

My butch character came on strong, larger than life.  In fact, when I submitted this story to Bold Strokes Books I thought there was no way they'd accept it.  My main character was too brash, too full of herself for romance.

But here's the thing about a character, like this one, who's convinced love is beneath her: when she actually falls for someone (the girl who's been working by her side all this time) it really makes your heart go fluttery.  It's a wonderful thing.

Girls Next Door will be available next week, but you can preorder the ebook today from AmazonYou can preorder the print book too, and spend your summer with Girls Next Door!