Out Today: Total Immersion

Total Immersion-rev3

I’m super excited about this story light, humorous new adult story, part of the Dreamspinner Press Daily Dose “Mended” anthology of hurt/care stories. Evan is hurting from an injury and a breakup, Bale is kind of on a search to find himself after breaking up with his high school sweetheart. They wind up rooming together on a trip through Turkey and Greece, and getting immersed in more than just the local culture. I hope you enjoy:

About Total Immersion:

Evan Stanton is in over his head. Injured from a fall on campus, he’s let his boyfriend talk him into a senior year total immersion trip—two weeks abroad—only his boyfriend ends up dumping him shortly before takeoff. Evan gets on the plane anyway, but he’s lost his hope and added to his pain.

Chris Bale decided to spend his senior year of college clearing his head after breaking up with the girl he’s dated since high school. He finds himself on a flight to Istanbul next to a surly kid with piercings and guyliner who couldn’t be more his opposite. They strike up a friendship anyway, and as they make their way across a foreign land, Bale realizes he’s too immersed in Evan to let go.

Find it: Amazon | Dreamspinner PressGet the entire Mended anthology 


“Evan, check it out!” Two of the girls from our group were looking through high-heeled shoes at a table. Next to them, Bale held up a small jar. You’d think it was a trophy. “Penis-enhancement cream!”

The two girls, Tamara and Susan, they giggled and looked at him like he belonged in a zoo. Bale sure didn’t seem to care. You’d think he won a competition. I’d say I couldn’t believe he shouted that shit from two tables away, but after asking the guy selling lacy thongs if they had any in his size and telling the dude at the baklava shop he’d like his pastry with extra nuts? I kind of can.

Turns out Captain Khaki has a bright, shiny freak flag.

I shook my head and made my way over. “Jesus, man. You’re gonna get us thrown in a Turkish prison or something.”

“I’m pretty sure they don’t really do that as often as rumor would have you believe.” He held up the jar. The label showed a grinning old man with a massively huge boner. “So. Whatcha think?”

“I think God only knows what’s in there, and it better never get anywhere near my dick.”

Bale tsked and shot me a scowl. “You know, for a guy who wears studded belts and eyeliner, I’d expect you to be more adventurous.” He reached up and flipped my hair out of my eyes. I hate when people do that, and I’d have said so if I wasn’t in the middle of an argument about penis cream.

~ ~ ~

Thank you for checking out Total Immersion. I hope you enjoy, and happy reading!

Find it: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press | Get the entire Mended anthology 




Fearless Project: Support Out and Proud LGBT Athletes

Photo by Jeff Sheng – FearlessProject.org

I nearly flunked high school gym class. No joke. My mother thought I was incredibly lazy. In truth, I put a great deal of effort into not participating. I was in a lesbian relationship for the first half of high school. I didn’t broadcast, but people knew. I was never seriously hurt, but there were shoves and threats, and that was just walking down the hall. Heaven forbid someone thought I looked at them funny in the locker room or touched them inappropriately while holding their legs for sit-ups or Lord knew what. Gym class made me anxious as hell. Participating in any kind of sport was never even an option as far as I was concerned. I really wanted to be a cheerleader. I convinced myself I wouldn’t have been any good anyway.

So I have a huge amount of respect and awe for any LGBT athlete who comes out at any point in their career, especially in their teen years when there is so much at stake. Kids can be cruel. Parents and teachers sometimes can be, as well.

My admiration extends to Jeff Sheng as well, whose photography work I find so inspirational. He’s done phenomenal photo exhibits covering subject matter like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the fence where Matthew Shepard lay dying. And for roughly the last decade, he’s also been working on a photo collection of hundreds of openly gay athletes which has gotta be as rewarding as it is exhausting. The Fearless Project is something personal for him–he was an athlete in high school, and quit because he thought he couldn’t be a gay in sports.

Even more, however, I really believe that this is a project that can bring an amazing amount of hope and awareness. The string of bullying reports and teen suicides isn’t so far back in our rear-view. The country is at a crossroads. Minds are changing and still more need to be changed, one hopes for the better. These kids, their bravery should be honored.

And the more this work gets out in the world, the more good it can do. I really believe that. Sheng has mostly been footing the bill on his own dime until now, and including the travel to all of the student athletes he visits. He’s got a little over a week to drum up a few grand more to complete the project or he forfeits everything that has been pledged. He’s self-publishing the project because no photography book publisher has been interested in publishing it. This is totally doable. Please help by supporting his Kickstarter project.