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Book Blast – Eighteen Moons by Andi Webb #giveaway

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Eighteen Moons

Author: Andi Webb

Publisher: Self-Published

This is a Non-Fiction book.

Theme: Relationships, Family through International Surrogacy

Length: 63 844  words/185 pages

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

 

 

Blurb 

Eighteen Moons is the extraordinary and moving story of Andi and John and how they set out to have the family they longed for. Not many people noticed the end of a multi-billion-pound industry that touched many, many thousands of lives… but this devoted couple lived through the final wave of International Surrogacy in both India and Thailand, then finally (before it had barely begun) in Nepal on the roof of the world. 

In their quest to become fathers, they come up against seemingly impossible challenges. From the very start they are overwhelmed with both bureaucracy and prejudice. The story of how this very special family comes together is filled with heartache and frustration, determination and courage. It’s a story full of humour, human frailty and, above all their determination to become the loving family they are today. 

‘Touching, insightful, funny and shocking. You won’t be able to put it down.’  Zap Magazine

Andi Webb is the author of the unmissable blog ‘Diary of a Gay Dad’

 

Buy Links 

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK

 

Excerpt 

Eighteen Moons is the extraordinary and moving story of Andi and John and how they brought together, against huge odds, the family they had longed for. Today they are loving fathers to five beautiful children including two sets of twins, all of them under the age of six. But the story of how this very special family came together is a tale filled with heartache and frustration, determination and courage. It’s also a story full of humour, human frailty and, above all, love. Their quest for children took them across the world and brought them up against seemingly impossible challenges. But as the whims of officials and government directives thwarted their every move and sent them on a wild adventure which took them from India to Thailand and on to Nepal, Andi and John refused to give up. Extraordinarily, Andi and John’s first twins were the last British surrogate babies to leave India (post new rules), their son was the last to leave Thailand and their second twins were the first British children to be born through surrogacy in Nepal. Happily together for twenty years and the besotted owners of two daft but loveable Dalmatians, Andi and John longed for children to complete their family. Two, they thought, would be perfect, ideally one fathered by each of them. After looking at surrogacy options worldwide, India seemed to offer everything they hoped for and in 2012 they went to India to begin the surrogacy process. A few months later, they heard that their surrogate was expecting twins. Andi went to India for the birth; the plan was that John would join them and together they would bring the babies home. When two gorgeous daughters were born they couldn’t have been happier. But what followed was a nightmare of bureaucracy and obfuscation, as John, the twins’ natural father, was refused a visa and the Indian Government refused to let Andi leave with the babies. For month after month Andi lived in India, caring for the girls, while he and John struggled to find a way to bring them home. At every turn they were thwarted until they became so desperate they considered smuggling the girls out of the country by boat. Their daughters were eight months old when, finally, John was able to go and bring them home. Same-sex surrogacy had been banned in India, so Andi, still longing to father a child, turned next to Thailand. With the news of a successful pregnancy everything looked rosy – until the Thai government also clamped down on surrogacy, the clinic was closed. For several heart-stopping days they didn’t know what had happened to their surrogate, or their baby. Finally they heard that all was well and Andi said goodbye to John and the girls and went to Thailand to be with his child. A son was born and a delighted Andi hoped to take him home within weeks. But what followed was an extraordinary saga of delays, denials and, eventually, Andi’s arrest on trumped up drug charges. Given the option by the arresting officers of waiting three months for a court date and a guaranteed three, month sentence, a second option was put on the table. No criminal record and the chance to be the first westerner to serve in the Royal Thai Army. This would take him to an army barrack’s deep in the Thai jungle, he had just one phone call, to tell John what had happened. On the day he was freed Andi found John, and their son, waiting for him. Days later, after five long months of waiting, they flew home, to introduce the girls to their new baby brother.When the surrogacy clinic in Thailand had closed Andi and John’s remaining embryos had been transferred, with the help of an Israeli agency, to Nepal, where surrogacy was still possible. At that stage, unsure of the outcome in Thailand, they had given the go-ahead for a surrogacy attempt. Now they heard that once again twins were expected, this time on the roof of the world. Andi arrived just after the massive 2015 earthquake in Nepal. The final five full moons of this story would be set in Kathmandu.

 

About the Author

Andi Webb is the writer of diaryofagaydad.net and author of the book Eighteen Moons (available through Amazon.com). Andi is a gay, stay at home dad to five young children under the age of six, living in ‘The Shires’ of England. The daily blog of family life both illuminates and amuses. Eighteen Moons is the memoir of how two men set out on the journey to becoming fathers to five young children, not an easy feat.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

Twitter: @andiwebb5  |  Instagram –  Diary of a Gay Dad

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of three ebook copies of Eighteen Moons.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

 

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Blog Tour – SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life by Kerry Ashton #giveaway

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life 

Healing from the Shame of Religion, Rape, Conversion Therapy & Cancer

Author: Kerry Ashton             

Publisher: Lynn Wolf Enterprises

Cover Artist: Kerry Ashton

Release Date: April 17, 2019

Genres: A Gay Memoir featuring M/M Romance & some hard core sex

Tropes: Forbidden love, Rape, Mormon Religion

Themes: Coming out, Forgiveness, Overcoming Religion, Rape, Police Surveillance & Arrest, Conversion Therapy including Electric Shock Treatments, and a 16-year battle with rare cancer

Heat Rating:  5 flames

There are many erotic passages—most are hardcore, erotic and explicit passages, all M/M. Many deal with scenes of sexual humiliation, degradation, group scenes, S&M and/or the gay male leather scene.

Length: 120 000 words /348 pages incl. 14 pages of B&W photos from author’s private collection.

Add on Goodreads

 

“A TRIUMPHANT MEMOIR!”  Clarion Books

Blurb                       

The first paragraph of Kerry Ashton’s new memoir explains a lot: “I told this story once as fiction in the 1980s, but this time I tell the truth. I even tell the truth, in #MeToo fashion, about being violently raped by another man when I was 18, with a knife held to my throat—a secret I kept from everyone, including myself, for over 40 years. The rape, like other experiences I endured while a student at Brigham Young University, where I came out in the early 1970s, had a profound impact on my later life. But this story is not so much about my rape or my coming of age at BYU, as it is about the lifelong effects of shame itself, not only about how I internalized and inherited a wounding shame from my Mormon upbringing, but also how I eventually unshamed myself. It is about the journey of a lifetime, finding spiritual growth, self-discovery and healing along the way, while encountering many miraculous events that pushed me forward through darkness toward the light.”

Telling about his experiences during his four years at BYU—the rape, falling in love for the first time, police surveillance, harassment and arrest, while enduring three years of conversion therapy and electric shock treatments—provide the structure of Kerry’s memoir. But intermittently, the author shares memories from his childhood, growing up Mormon in Pocatello, Idaho, and later from his adulthood, as well as from his professional career as an actor and writer, both in L.A. and NYC, describing encounters with Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis and Julie Harris, while detailing his experiences with Tennessee Williams and his brief affair with Stephen Sondheim. Lastly, he talks about the 12 years he spent in therapy, about his 16-year battle with cancer, how he eventually rid himself of the shame internalized from his Mormon youth, sharing glimpses into his sexual journey from his innocent youth through S&M and the gay leather scene in mid-life to the loving monogamous relationship he now enjoys.

 

Buy Links

Author’s Website

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Indie Bound

 

 

Excerpt                             

READ PART ONE HERE

The Holy War, as I have come to think of it, began on a hot day in early September 1971, the day I left Pocatello to drive four hours south to Provo, Utah, to attend Brigham Young University. As in all wars, whether holy or unholy, it would not be without its casualties.

I spent the morning packing things in my ‘56 Chevrolet, parked in the spot on the lawn where our driveway would have been had my parents ever had the money to pave it. A yellow-and-bronze, two- door coupe with cream interior, a huge cream steering wheel, and black dashboard, the car had class, which is why I named it Oscar— after the Academy Awards I hoped to win one day.

As I packed Oscar full of boxes, Dad worked under the hood of the car. Once Oscar was filled with boxes, I sank down on our front lawn. Knowing this would be my last day at home, I tried to capture everything I saw and felt around me: The red of Mom’s roses framing our side porch, the hazy blue of the late morning sky, the large pine tree at the front of our corner lot, and the blue-grey crag of Scout Mountain in the distance, where I had always imagined Santa’s sleigh flew over on Christmas Eve.

Hearing Mom humming in the kitchen as she prepared lunch, everything seemed right in my Latter-Day-Saint world.

Getting up from the grass, I walked over to where Dad was still working under Oscar’s hood. “Everything look okay, Dad?” I asked.

“Oh, sure,” Dad replied in his folksy way. “I just wanted to make sure everything’s good with your car. I don’t want you stranded on the highway.”

Though I had fulfilled every church obligation, I was not the mechanic that Dad had hoped each of his three sons would become. I left mechanical jobs to Dad or to my two older brothers, both married by then.

“I love you, Dad,” I said suddenly. He stopped tinkering with the spark plugs and looked up at me. “I love you, too, son,” he replied, embracing me with a greasy hug.

Mom came out on the side porch just then. Wiping her hands on her apron, she called out to us, “Okay, you two! Lunch is ready!”

I washed my hands at the kitchen sink and let Dad wash his hands in the bathroom. Then I joined Mom at the kitchen table while we waited for Dad.

“Kerry Lynn,” she whispered, stroking my dark brown hair as she often did, “I don’t know what I’m going to do without you.”

Now a grown-up, or so I thought, I bristled at her calling me by both my given names as it sounded so girlish. But since it was my last day at home, I chose to ignore it.

“With all the kids married,” Mom continued, “and you going off to college, this house is going to feel awfully empty without you.”

“Maybe you and Dad will finally get some peace and quiet,” I kidded. “Maybe now you two can finally go on that second honeymoon you’ve talked about.”

“Maybe,” she said, laughing as she reached out to hold me. “I love you, Kerry.” As she held me tight, I never wanted to let go. Once Dad joined us at the table, he said a blessing on the food, as we always did in our home.

After the blessing, we tore through the food. Mom had made some of my favorites: Her wonderful potato and egg salad, savory burgers with all the trimmings, and delicious corn-on-the-cob bought fresh from the farmer’s market.

After lunch, we went into the living room where Dad anointed my head with oil, laid his hands upon my head, and gave me a sacred Father’s Blessing—the blessing of a Melchizedek Priesthood Elder— warning me to be “mindful of the Adversary.”

Before I left that day, Dad took a photograph of me standing in front of Oscar. Barely 18 and dressed neatly, at 6’3” and 190 pounds, I was the very image of a conservative, clean-cut, LDS young man who loved his Mormon family, the LDS Church, and his Heavenly Father.

I arrived at Salt Lake City three hours later. From there, it took me another hour driving south on Interstate 15 before I arrived in the city of Provo.

Taking my first glimpse that day of Provo through Oscar’s wide windshield, I could see the white LDS Temple huddled against the Wasatch Mountains, its golden steeple gleaming in the late afternoon sun. Further north, Mount Timpanogos reached heavenward, while a sign at the main entrance to the BYU campus read: “The World Is Our Campus.” In reality, the campus became my world.

Driving north past the immense Cougar Stadium, and then into the foothills just beyond the BYU campus, then turning east and heading toward the mountains, I came to the huge Marriott Sports Arena under construction on my right, and stopped at the light. Once the light turned green, I made a left turn onto Sumac Avenue, climbing dramatically into the foothills, before pulling into the driveway in front of my new off-campus apartment.

 

About the Author

Raised in Pocatello, Idaho as a Mormon in the heart of Mormon Zion, Kerry attended BYU in the early 70s, where some of the most dramatic events recounted in his memoir took place.

Always interested in pursuing a career as both an actor and writer, Kerry wrote his first play, BUFFALO HEAD NICKELS at the age of 17, and published it at 18. Since then, he has published several works, among them most prominently THE WILDE SPIRIT, a one-man play with music, in which Ashton starred as Oscar Wilde, and also wrote the play’s book, music and lyrics. The play won Kerry critical acclaim for both his writing and performance, and three 1977 L.A. Civic Star Awards for Best Actor, Play and Direction. The play ran for three consecutive seasons in Provincetown, MA from 1990-1992, and was produced Off-Broadway in 1996, winning Kerry a National Award of Merit from ASCAP. The author now makes his home with his partner Victor Ramirez in South Florida. For more info, visit www.KerryAshton.com.

 

Author Links

Author’s Website & Blog

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

Goodreads

LinkedIn

 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of two eBooks of SAINT UNSHAMED

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

New Release – SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life by Kerry Ashton

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: SAINT UNSHAMED: A Gay Mormon’s Life 

Healing from the Shame of Religion, Rape, Conversion Therapy & Cancer

Author: Kerry Ashton             

Publisher: Lynn Wolf Enterprises

Cover Artist: Kerry Ashton

Release Date: April 17, 2019

Genres: A Gay Memoir featuring M/M Romance & some hard core sex

Tropes: Forbidden love, Rape, Mormon Religion

Themes: Coming out, Forgiveness, Overcoming Religion, Rape, Police Surveillance & Arrest, Conversion Therapy including Electric Shock Treatments, and a 16-year battle with rare cancer

Heat Rating:  5 flames

There are many erotic passages—most are hardcore, erotic and explicit passages, all M/M. Many deal with scenes of sexual humiliation, degradation, group scenes, S&M and/or the gay male leather scene.

Length: 120 000 words /348 pages incl. 14 pages of B&W photos from author’s private collection.

Add on Goodreads

 

“A TRIUMPHANT MEMOIR!”  Clarion Books

Blurb                       

The first paragraph of Kerry Ashton’s new memoir explains a lot: “I told this story once as fiction in the 1980s, but this time I tell the truth. I even tell the truth, in #MeToo fashion, about being violently raped by another man when I was 18, with a knife held to my throat—a secret I kept from everyone, including myself, for over 40 years. The rape, like other experiences I endured while a student at Brigham Young University, where I came out in the early 1970s, had a profound impact on my later life. But this story is not so much about my rape or my coming of age at BYU, as it is about the lifelong effects of shame itself, not only about how I internalized and inherited a wounding shame from my Mormon upbringing, but also how I eventually unshamed myself. It is about the journey of a lifetime, finding spiritual growth, self-discovery and healing along the way, while encountering many miraculous events that pushed me forward through darkness toward the light.”

Telling about his experiences during his four years at BYU—the rape, falling in love for the first time, police surveillance, harassment and arrest, while enduring three years of conversion therapy and electric shock treatments—provide the structure of Kerry’s memoir. But intermittently, the author shares memories from his childhood, growing up Mormon in Pocatello, Idaho, and later from his adulthood, as well as from his professional career as an actor and writer, both in L.A. and NYC, describing encounters with Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis and Julie Harris, while detailing his experiences with Tennessee Williams and his brief affair with Stephen Sondheim. Lastly, he talks about the 12 years he spent in therapy, about his 16-year battle with cancer, how he eventually rid himself of the shame internalized from his Mormon youth, sharing glimpses into his sexual journey from his innocent youth through S&M and the gay leather scene in mid-life to the loving monogamous relationship he now enjoys.

 

Buy Links

Buy the e-Book for $1.99

Now Thru May 2

Author’s Website

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Indie Bound

 

 

Excerpt                             

PART ONE

I told this story once as fiction in the 1980s, but this time I tell the truth. I even tell the truth, in #MeToo fashion, about being violently raped by another man when I was 18, with a knife held to my throat—a secret I kept from everyone, including myself, for over 40 years. The rape, like other experiences I endured while a student at Brigham Young University, where I came out in the early 1970s, had a profound impact on my later life. But this story is not so much about my rape or my coming of age at BYU, as it is about the lifelong effects of shame itself, not only about how I internalized and inherited a wounding shame from my Mormon upbringing, but also how I eventually unshamed myself. It is about a lifetime journey of spiritual growth, self-discovery and healing, including many miraculous events along the way that pushed me forward through the darkness toward the light.

Growing up in Pocatello, Idaho in the 50s, in the heart of Mormon Zion, was like growing up in Oz, where Mormons kept me on a religious path the way the Munchkins told Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road. Most American families felt pressure in those years to appear like the perfect U.S. family seen in TV shows likeFather Knows Best and Ozzie and Harriet. But in our insulated Mormon community in southeastern Idaho, the expectations of appearing like a perfect family increased dramatically.

With a population of 35,000, Pocatello was Idaho’s second largest city in the 1950s. It is now twice that size if you count the suburbs. Home to Idaho State University, Pocatello was and still is very LDS—as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints call themselves.

In Pocatello, like all LDS communities, church membership divided into wards. My family and I were members of the Pocatello 15th Ward, one of several wards within Alameda Stake, and among the more than 40 LDS wards in Pocatello. As LDS Brothers and Sisters, we proselytized Gentiles—as we preferred to call non- Mormons—but we never socialized with them, since the Prophet had warned us “to avoid the mere appearance of evil.”

To survive in my LDS family and Mormon community, I had to pretend to be a perfect Saint the way my parents did.
Both of my parents were raised dirt poor during the Great Depression. Mom was barely 17 and Dad only 20 when they married during his military furlough, prior to Dad shipping out with the Navy to serve in the South Pacific during World War II. After Dad returned from the war, my parents had four babies in six years. The firstborn, my oldest brother Dennis, was expected to be the responsible one. When he couldn’t live up to all that was expected of him, he became the family scapegoat. My sister Denise was assigned the role of Daddy’s little girl, his perfect Mormon princess, and the sweetest of all of us. Craig would later make Dad proud as a popular athlete in school and in his later and highly successful career in public education. Without knowing it, Dad had claimed the first of his three children as his own. So when I came along, being the youngest and Mother’s last chance, she claimed me entirely for herself. As my New York therapist noted decades later, “Whether you were a boy or a girl, she knew she would name you Kerry, since she expected you to carry and meet her emotional needs from then on.”

Both of my parents had dormant and repressed shame boiling within each of them. Sometimes, as my siblings and I made our way down the LDS yellow brick road, my parents’ shame came sailing at us like the fireballs thrown by the Wicked Witch.

I don’t know how old I was when Mom lay me out naked on a changing mat, as I waited for a new diaper. I only remember that when she wiped down my genitals, my “little pee-pee,” as Mom called it, sprang to attention. “Oh, dear!” Mother exclaimed, removing her hand from my penis as though she had just touched a hot poker. What Mommy had been doing to my pee-pee had felt pleasurable. I wanted the feeling to continue, but when I reached down with my right hand, to rub the spot that had felt so good, Mom smacked my hand away. “No, Kerry Lynn!” she said. “You mustn’t do that. That’s naughty!”

My little hand stung and I cried, but the real pain was in the shame I had just internalized. It was sinful to give myself pleasure! The next time I remember being shamed happened when I was five. My father Allan Ashton, an insurance salesman, was 35 at the time. My mother Millie Jane Ashton was a 32-year-old homemaker. At 11, my oldest brother Dennis was already a bully. At ten, my sister Denise was the saintliest among us. At seven, my brother Craig already fit in the way he was expected to. And I was Mom’s “baby.”

Getting in our car after spending hours in church, I announced my true feelings from the backseat: “I hate church. It’s so boring!”

Enraged, Dad turned to face me in the backseat. Looking directly into my eyes, he gave me a dire warning: “Kerry, I don’t ever want to hear you speak that way again about our Church!”

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” I whimpered, already repentant for my out- spoken honesty, behaving like the best little Mormon boy in the entire world. Yet, it was not my father’s rage but the look of disapproval on my mother’s face that had me cowering.

My mother was the only source of love I knew or had ever known. I could no more live without her approval than the earth can live without the sun. Clearly, I was trained from an early age not merely to be her baby boy, but to behave like her exclusive property. Not that Mom or anyone in my family would have seen it that way; her complete commandeering of my psyche and all that I was, of my very soul, was not something that she was aware of consciously, any more than any member of my family was consciously aware of their assigned roles in our dysfunctional family system. But the fact that I was my mother’s personal slave is true nonetheless.

Mom had trained me well: A lifted eyebrow meant she was dis- pleased with me, that my only source of love and companionship might abandon me. At five, I had already learned the truth: To survive, I had to lie; I had to become inauthentic and false.

When I was six, I performed in a church play with my family on the stage of our LDS ward’s reception hall. It was my first appearance on stage and I was nervous. Some little girls giggled backstage as Mom stripped me out of my clothes for a quick costume change. Naked and mortified, I was Mother’s property to do with as she pleased. Once dressed, I stifled my tears and made my entrance holding my owner’s hand.

That same year, our family visited my Aunt Ruth and her family at their home in Ogden, Utah. Aunt Ruth had a little girl named Carrie who was just my age and, like me, loved to sing and dance. After Carrie got up on the kitchen table and sang, “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” we all applauded.

Wanting me to have my turn in the spotlight, Mom encouraged me to sing “If I Were King of the Forest” from The Wizard of Oz, since I did a good impression of Bert Lahr’s performance, complete with dialogue and dance steps, and I always got rousing applause. “Go on, Kerry Lynn!” she said, nudging me onto the kitchen table. “Sing the Cowardly Lion’s song!”

I got up on the table, but when I sang, “It’s hard believe me Missy, when you’re born to be a sissy,” Dad yelled, “Stop singing that song!”

“What?” I asked, surprised as everyone else.

“Get off that table, young man!” he hollered. “No son of mine is going to perform on a table like a … like a …”

“Like a what?” Mom interjected, getting up in Dad’s face.

Dad shouted back at her, “Millie Jane, pack up! We’re leaving!”

Before I knew it, we were in the car driving home. Sitting in the backseat, I knew Dad was ashamed of me, but I didn’t understand why. “Why didn’t you let me finish my song, Daddy?” I asked.

As I began to cry, Dad warned, “That’ll be enough, Kerry Lynn! I don’t want to hear any more about it!” Dad gave my mother a warning glance. “This is your fault, Millie Jane!”

“My fault?” Mom retorted. “Why? Because I stand up for him against you and all your bullying?” Clearly, I was the reason for their fight, but I still didn’t understand why.

As my parents fought over me, I cried even more.

“Stop crying, young man,” Dad shouted, “or I’ll give you something to really cry about!” But the more I tried to repress my tears, the more I sobbed.

“That’s it!” Dad shouted, pulling the car to the side of the road. “You’re getting a beating, Kerry Lynn!”

Wild with shame, Dad jumped out of the car. Deciding that his belt was not harsh enough, he went along the road and tore a two- by-four from a nearby fence. Bringing the board back with him, he dragged me out of the car.

“Allan Ashton!” Mom exclaimed. “You are not going to beat our child with that two-by-four! I will not allow it!” But Dad already had my pants down and was paddling me when Mom got between us. “Allan, that’s enough! What is wrong with you?”

Undeterred, Dad continued my beating as the drivers passing by looked on in horror.

That incident was so emotionally painful for me that I blocked out any memory of it. It was only after years spent in therapy decades later, and only after my sister Denise shared with me her memory of the entire event, that I finally faced the truth.

Regardless of what had made my father so angry that day, he made it clear to me then that I was a source of shame for him, one he either had to ignore or obliterate.

******

The Holy War, as I have come to think of it, began on a hot day in early September 1971, the day I left Pocatello to drive four hours south to Provo, Utah, to attend Brigham Young University. As in all wars, whether holy or unholy, it would not be without its casualties.

I spent the morning packing things in my ‘56 Chevrolet, parked in the spot on the lawn where our driveway would have been had my parents ever had the money to pave it. A yellow-and-bronze, two- door coupe with cream interior, a huge cream steering wheel, and black dashboard, the car had class, which is why I named it Oscar— after the Academy Awards I hoped to win one day.

 

About the Author

Raised in Pocatello, Idaho as a Mormon in the heart of Mormon Zion, Kerry attended BYU in the early 70s, where some of the most dramatic events recounted in his memoir took place.

Always interested in pursuing a career as both an actor and writer, Kerry wrote his first play, BUFFALO HEAD NICKELS at the age of 17, and published it at 18. Since then, he has published several works, among them most prominently THE WILDE SPIRIT, a one-man play with music, in which Ashton starred as Oscar Wilde, and also wrote the play’s book, music and lyrics. The play won Kerry critical acclaim for both his writing and performance, and three 1977 L.A. Civic Star Awards for Best Actor, Play and Direction. The play ran for three consecutive seasons in Provincetown, MA from 1990-1992, and was produced Off-Broadway in 1996, winning Kerry a National Award of Merit from ASCAP. The author now makes his home with his partner Victor Ramirez in South Florida. For more info, visit www.KerryAshton.com.

 

Author Links

Author’s Website & Blog

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

Goodreads

LinkedIn

 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of two eBooks of SAINT UNSHAMED

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Blog Tour – #IsHeHereYet: Being the person you want to be with by Dr. Tony Ortega #NonFiction #SelfHelp #LGBT #Dating #Relationships #Motivational #Psychology

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: #IsHeHereYet: Being the person you want to be with

Author: Dr. Tony Ortega

Publisher: Ortega Psychology LLC

Genre/s: Non-Fiction,  Self-Help, LGBT, Dating/Relationships, Motivational, Psychology

Length:  172 pages

Goodreads  

 

Blurb

#IsHeHereYet: Being the Person You Want to Be With is an extremely raw (and funny) look at the perceived epidemic of being single in our quest for love. It dismantles the notion that there is something that we need to do in order to bring in “The One.” Instead, it challenges you to be “The One” and see what shows up then. Regardless of the outcome, the end result will be the best version of you possible. This book is geared toward single and partnered people alike. Through personal and professional accounts of real life situations, as well as thought expanding exercises and meditation tools, the reader will leave with a greater understanding and concept of themselves. They will be able to “date themselves” and create the space to naturally attract loving and authentic relationships.

 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Availability: Paperback, eBook, International distribution

Amazon UK 

Amazon US

 

Excerpt

They say your deepest pain becomes your greatest purpose. And this pain was fucking deep.

The catalyst of this book was a breakup. It is ironic that a breakup influenced the development of a relationship book; or, maybe not so ironic. For centuries, artists have created beautiful things from unrequited love. A broken heart has been at the foundation of many of history’s greatest masterpieces.

So, here is a little history: I pride myself on being a very accomplished man. Most of my endeavors are met with a great deal of success. However, there was one area that had eluded me most of my life: relationships. I was convinced I was doomed to be single—as every relationship with a guy I ever had ended in a disaster. I was so miserable being single that I would do everything in my power not to be single. When relationships ended, I did everything I could to avoid the pain. I thought I wasn’t good enough for relationships.

I lived in this story for many, many years. As relationships kept failing, I would shake my fist at God, or see myself as “different” or “less than” because of it. This all led to me getting into some very dark places in my life.

The evening of Friday, November 2, 2012, I was sitting on the toilet in my apartment in Queens, half drunk on frozen margaritas, smoking a Marlboro Light, and arguing with my “boyfriend” over forty dollars. (I use the word “boyfriend” in quotations because it was a relationship he had no idea he was in.) At that moment, I woke up—with a deep knowing that this relationship was over. I felt so pathetic that I ended the conversation, took a long last drag off the cigarette, and knew something had to change.

I decided to take hold of the wheel of my life and change direction. Over the next couple of years, the right people, the right books, and the right programs came my way. While some bounced in and out just to jumpstart my spiritual path, others have remained, mainly my study of the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles. It was the teachings in this text, combined with my spiritual and metaphysical work, which led me to unravel the things I was using to numb out and begin to feel more alive.

After beginning my spiritual journey and immersing myself in A Course in Miracles, I decided to work with a life coach; someone who seemed to have the well-rounded kind of life that I wanted— including a wonderful relationship. A relationship was one of the things I had not yet been able to successfully work out at the time, maybe because I was avoiding, or too busy working on myself. Through my work with this coach, I was able to rewrite the scripts I had been living under for most of my life and dive head first into the dating pool. It was easy at first, and I still stumbled on many occasions as my dating muscles had atrophied quite a bit in the years that I had not exercised them, but I kept taking that next right step.

On March 3, 2016, I met Fernando, the man of my dreams (or so I thought back then). While we had been talking for months online, we had not met before our date. I turned him down for sex over and over again as I was initially not really into him. But I began to think he seemed to have all the qualities I wanted in a man, which is why I continued to hold off on a one-night stand. He was equal parts sexual and spiritual. He was gainfully employed and seemed as motivated to work on himself as I was.

Fernando even matched most of the qualities I had listed in my “Manventory” I had completed New Year’s Day 2016 (more on Manventories later). I figured, Let’s meet and see what happens. When I first met him, I was like, Homeboy photographs a lot better than he looks in person. After chatting with him for a while over drinks and then ending the date with an intense make-out session in the streets of New York City, I was smitten.

However, there were some speed bumps along the way. He was dealing with some personal issues that I felt would get in the way of anything blossoming from our union, but something told me to give him a chance. I made myself wrong for feeling this way and dove in with my eyes closed. We had a lovely relationship that lasted sixty-nine days. It wasn’t perfect, but it broke my then eight-year dry spell, and I was in love.

After a few weeks, he even said, “I love you.” This was thrilling because no one had said that to me in such a long time. I thought that I had achieved the prize from all my hard work since that fateful Friday night in 2012. I had learned my lessons from all my previous failed relationships and now found what I was longing for.

He even gave me the title of “boyfriend,” which only lasted seventy-two hours before he decided to take it away.

I turned into a state of fear for the remainder of the relationship and he ended things quite abruptly on May 10, 2016. I was devastated.

For the next six weeks, I felt completely at a loss over what to do to manage the pain. I numbed it through alcohol and sex. When I was more rational, I searched the Internet for books on gay relationships and breakups, but everything was so out of date. My coach was very supportive, but he was still in his wonderful relationship, and I felt like I couldn’t relate to him because he had what I wanted and but just lost. This is no reflection of his capacities as a life coach. On the contrary, the man is simply amazing. I just had to go through the emotions.

I decided that if there wasn’t a good, up-to-date, dating and breakup book for gay men, then I would write it. I was fed up with the “single-to-relationship” books that were currently on the market. It seemed that all of these particular books were “do this and get the relationship.” I decided it was time to write a dating and relationship book that was more along the lines of “do this, be the person, see what shows up.” At the time of writing this book, I am still single and dating.

 

About the Author

Dr Tony Ortega is a first-generation Cuban American gay man. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, life coach, and author who has been in practice since 1992, currently serving the LGBTQ population in his private practice located in Brooklyn, New York. Tony (along with his teaching partner, John Davisi) is the co-creator of the movement, RawSexySpiritual: Spirituality for Gay Men (www.rawsexyspiritual.com). Tony combines cognitive behavioural techniques along with active coaching and metaphysical principles in his work with clients. Additionally, Tony provides spiritual life coaching for individuals seeking a different way to live. He works with his clients within these three principles: Rewrite Your Story, Find Your Voice, and Live Authentically.

 

Social Media Links

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Online profile

Twitter

Facebook

 

 

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Book Blast – My Horrible Gay Dating Life – Dimitrius Jones

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: My Horrible Gay Dating Life

Author: Dimitrius Jones

Publisher: Self-Published

Genre/s: LGBT romance, non-fiction

Length: 35,677 words/99 pages

Is it a standalone book? Yes

 

Blurb

Based directly on the author’s dating journey, Dimitrius Jones shares tales of his romantic misadventures. Ready to feel better about your love life? Of course, you are.

Navigating the world of dating is hard. Having a gay dating life is even harder. While waiting for his new romantic interest to arrive at a coffee house, Dimitrius decides to dig deep into his past to see where it all went wrong. What follows is a trip down memory lane full of outrageous encounters with cheating boyfriends, family drama, and a grown man who likes to wear diapers.

Realizing nearly every relationship he’s been in has ended in catastrophe, Dimitrius devises a plan to properly manage his latest romantic-fling-turned-tragedy. He wants to become a better person and meet better people. The problem is he’s only got until the end of his next date to figure out what to do next.

Still think your dating life is bad? Think again.

 

Add on Goodreads  

“The stories in the short book are presented in a humorous and thought-provoking way.” Amazon Reviewer.

Excerpt

Chapter 1: “Mr. Danvers”

I entered a crowded Starbucks doing my best to maintain my now-infamously cool demeanor as the two baristas attempted to greet me from behind the counter. After quickly realizing they were in the presence of an ice queen, they resigned back into their routines of mixing up the shop’s signature, hilariously-overpriced drinks. The smell of freshly ground coffee glided into my nostrils, filling my lungs as I searched the interior of the shop for an abandoned corner. Luckily, I had arrived just after the morning rush and was able to find a spot just out of the baristas’ field of vision. An introvert’s paradise, it was completely devoid of human life and incapable of sustaining social interaction. I quickly crossed the room before taking my seat in an oddly uncomfortable black chair. Placing my brown duffle bag in front of my legs, I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. Instinct pulled my hand towards the buzzing device before I stopped myself. Now wasn’t the time for me to be gazing at a screen. I had managed to royally screw up today in more ways than one, and I needed to gather my thoughts.

My reflection in the window to the right caught my attention. I was slouched over with my head resting on the back of my palms with my elbows planted firmly into the ceramic tabletop. Anyone could see I radiated defeat. It didn’t help that my ensemble for the day was black from head to toe. You see, it was a day of reflection. If all went according to plan, I would spend the next thirty to forty-five minutes mourning my dating life. I would look back on the good times, the bad times, and I would fumble it all into a sick reversal of the “well it could be worse” variety. Naturally, the best-laid plans seldom came to fruition. At any moment, my date would arrive, and the dance would begin. Sean seemed nice enough. He returned my texts in a timely manner, gave me my space, was fantastic in bed, and wasn’t clingy. Anyone would be happy to scoop him up, leaving the remaining single guys to poke each other with tree branches.

 Of course, I’m sure his wife, two kids, and their three dogs loved him more than I ever could. Perhaps today was the day I’d hear him mention that he was even married. After all, it wasn’t until my interview with his wife just thirty minutes ago that everything came to light in the first place. The meeting was going spectacularly until I happened to glance at the family photo sitting at her desk. Normally, I would use a family photo as an opportunity for small talk until I saw who was in the picture with her. With that realization, let’s just say keeping my composure was the least of my concerns. I should have known there would be some sort of catch. He was simply too perfect, but don’t we all deserve a little perfection every now and then? So maybe mourning my dating life wasn’t the original plan. Maybe I tend to be dramatic. It’s not like I needed to make my dating adventures any more exciting than they already were by pretending I was in some sappy romantic comedy flick. Or maybe that was how I managed to get through these kinds of situations.

I finally succumbed to temptation and checked my phone. I had received an email from the office where his wife worked as the recruiting manager.

“Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. While we were impressed with your credentials, we have decided to move forward with other candidates at this time.”

Now completely crestfallen, I decided maybe it was a good idea to switch gears on the mourning bit. As I squirmed to get comfortable in my chair, small bits and pieces of my time with Sean began to make more sense. We saw each other often enough, but it was always on odd occasions. We hardly ever went out at night because he “wasn’t a night person.” He was also very fond of meeting me on my side of town despite me living in the most boring part of the city. At first, it confused me; now, I knew better.

There was something I needed to understand about myself today, and I had the rest of the morning to figure it out. Sean would be the latest entry in a line of disastrous dating scenarios I often found myself in.

I glanced at the counter just as one of the baristas averted his eyes to continue pretending to busy himself with a jar full of straws. I could learn a thing or two from him, I suppose. Was it possible to fake it till you made it in a normal, stable relationship? I received a text from Sean; he was running late and was about ten minutes away. Realizing my haze of disappointing news was reaching its end, I decided to send the one text capable of turning the purest of hearts catatonic.

“We need to talk when you get here.”

“Okay sure. Everything okay?”

 “No.”

Annoyingly cheery bell noises erupted from the tiny speakers as the first call reached my phone. I glanced down at his name for a split second before moving from my seat to stand in line. I decided I was up for trying one of the shop’s many overpriced iced teas as I watched the beginning of Sean’s breakdown. As a rather cold-hearted, calculating Virgo, I could already pinpoint every stage of his eventual demise. By the time I had finally stopped stamping my foot long enough to decide on my order, he had already called three times; each call had been ignored. The next step was to receive another text. Before I could reach the counter, my phone vibrated again.

“Why aren’t you answering your phone? What’s going on?”

“I’m in line ordering. I’ll see you when you get here.”

“Just tell me what’s going on with you. You’re acting really weird right now.”

The cute barista complimented me on my outfit. Like the asocial ice demon I had slowly become over time, I nodded curtly before snatching up my drink order and gliding away freezing everything in my immediate vicinity. Sean called again just as I took my seat to finish brooding; he was clearly in full-on panic mode. What would I even say to him? Would cursing him out in the middle of this coffee shop really prove anything? Would he suddenly realize the error of his ways and vow to never cheat on his wife again?

I decided it was the perfect opportunity to do some soul searching. Before His Unfaithfulness walked through the door, I was going to figure out exactly where my dating life went wrong. As with any caffeine-induced daydream, things could spiral out of control rather quickly. Luckily, my brunch date had a bad habit of being late to nearly everything. Even a little passive-aggressive text warning wouldn’t get him to speed down the highway.

With that knowledge in mind, I realized it wouldn’t hurt to start from the beginning.

 

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

About the Author 

“No matter if it’s destroyed, a heart grows back, and we can only attribute it to being a miracle. Yes, it’s an awesome, unfortunate miracle.”

Dimitrius Jones is a freelance writer who has personally interviewed celebrities such as Rasheeda from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and Claudette Ortiz from R&B Divas. He also enjoys working with children and currently works to help foster children prepare to adjust to the pressures of navigating the foster system.

Of course, his free time isn’t nearly as exciting as most people think. Truthfully, he spends most of his time watching anime, daydreaming, and hoping that some rugged gentleman will sweep him off his feet while he’s standing in the grocery store checkout line.

 

Social Media Links

Twitter 

Facebook 

Instagram 

Blog/Website 

 

 

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

 

February 5

Tangents and Tissues 

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

Blazing Zane Book Blog  REVIEW

MJ’s Book Blog and Reviews

Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings

Bayou Book Junkie

Nerdy Dirty and Flirty

The Way She Reads  

MM Good Book Reviews

Lily G Blunt

February 6

Love Unchained Book Reviews REVIEW

Sur l’étagère, derrière la sirène en plastique  REVIEW

RAM PA Group

Stories That Make You Smile 

My Fiction Nook 

Gay Book Reviews

February 7

Drops of Ink

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read  REVIEW

Louise Lyons

We Three Queens

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Book Blast – The Loss of Self by Alek Martin

An Intimate Autobiography

Book Title: The Loss of Self

Author: Alek Martin

Publisher: Alek Martin

Cover Artist: Guillaume Beauchamp created the cover but isn’t the Photographer

Alek Martin is the guy on the picture and holds all the rights

Length:  54 549 words/ 288 pages

This is an intimate autobiography not fiction.

 

About The Loss of Self: My path of Self-Destruction to the point of total humiliation

A very private and intimate Autobiography of the last seven years, my fall from “Grace,” as I like to describe it.

Death, Sex, lots of absurd, artificial

An appalling Break-up, which was the Catalyst to it all.chemed-Sex.

H.I.V., Bankruptcy, Almost-Suicide, Meth and so much more!

I lost faith in humanity

I lost myself.

I always had rules, goals and boundaries which I lived by endearingly, but after the Death of my beloved Grandmother, I started a Path of Self-Destruction to the point of total shame.

Do you know what it feels like to be standing on the Edge of a building, you have nothing to lose, and the only thing that keeps you from jumping is to return to an abusive Boyfriend who has nothing else to offer you, but to lie to you, to control you and to take the next puff of the Meth pipe!

Would you go back?

I did!

Back to the gay Lifestyle I never asked for.

To a Lifestyle where I ended up having Sex for Cash, me of all people?

Why, one must wonder, why?

I kept on punishing myself.

I accepted that my own boyfriend brought guys home and had sex with them in front of my face, looking me straight in the eyes.

And his eyes were saying:

“ I’m going to break you, and you will accept everything I am going to give you ”, and I did with little resistance.

I enforced his behaviour by overeating and

I lost my body.

Why did I let this happen?

What is my problem?

Why on earth would I who was successful in business and Life, always had monogamous, and highly Moral Relationships accept all this?

After 44 years on this earth, I finally discovered why!

My “Core Problem” wasn’t the people I met,

they were merely clones that I choose very distinctively yet totally unaware.

I recreated the worst of all relationships, the one I never had,

The one I never understood.

The relationship between my mother and myself!

It’s about the fact that she never fought for me,

she never placed me first, and that behaviour made me feel not worthy, not good enough.

She never chose me!

But you have to fight and understand your

“Core Problem”

and deal with it, as harshly and honestly as you can!

It will hurt, and sacrifices will have to be made,

but the pain isn’t anything compared to the pain that you will encounter if you don’t!

 

 

Buy Links – Available on KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

EXCERPT FROM THE LOSS OF SELF BY ALEK MARTIN

The Miami Moment

Menintogear was down the drain; the official news came in from my accountant!

I was officially broke!

My investors drove me crazy,

and I was totally and utterly financially dependent on Georg.

I had sold everything.

This was the first time in my grown-up life that I was dependant on someone else.

His ways were worse than ever, careless, drunk and high all the time.

His drunken abusiveness became more frequent, targeting only me!

He screamed,

he threw things around,

I couldn’t take it anymore!

Yes, I went back to him even after the Boston incident.

That is what this book is about co-dependence at its best.

The weather here in Miami was Stormy and flooding was everywhere.

I didn’t know anymore what to do, how to get myself out of this situation, where to turn and I had no one to talk to.

I was estranged by my fault with all my friends, as they were sick and tired of listening to me about the same story over and over.

I was in this mess all by myself.

Georg had to be conquered, but I just didn’t know how to.

Georg made all the money and kept it very well hidden.

My desperation was immense.

My primary investor was infuriated with me, as he believed it was my fault that the Project Menintogear went down the drain.

But it wasn’t. I still felt tremendous guilt.

Could I have done more? No, but yet again my trust in the wrong people broke this wonderful project.

I understood him very much, as I would’ve been mad as well, But what was I supposed to do?

Kill myself?

And for the first time in my life, the Idea of killing myself became a daily thought, and I was starting to worry about my safety very much.

The situation was simple; I was broke,

except for the 15000 Euros from Georg, which he wasn’t gone pay me back,

I was homeless, and I refused to Escort,

I had to vomit when I thought about it and got extremely depressed and mad when he did it, even now, after I no longer loved him, it still bothered me.

The day came where physical violence took over, and he and I went at it.

It was terrible, and it started with the fact that I told him to please stop doing chems with his customers, as I wanted to have a break from it all,

a well-deserved break as I needed to make better decisions so staying sober and focused was key.

And let me tell you that Georg without Chems was rather boring but high he was a terror a fucking horror,

but Georg on chems and alcohol was unbearable!

Either I would strike him that he would die and I would end up in jail for the rest of my life, or I needed to escape, but how and one of a sudden the idea of suicide was the only way out, and it was calming me tremendously.

So the day came

It was a very stormy outside, and I love those days, if I am happy and content, which haven’t been now in 2 years and six months.

I looked out the window and had no idea what I thought about. I was staring at whatever without any thoughts! I was empty!

I got dressed looked at the flat and saw this mess of a man,

in bed sleeping,

which was the only time I had peace of him, and I left the flat, sometimes I just sat there feeling the peacefulness of the situation, and that became my sanctuary.

The flat was about 200 meters away from the Ocean, which I walked towards.

The waves that normally calmed me were wild and tempered.

I couldn’t relax as my back was against the wall.

I didn’t see the solution, so I walked and walked until I ended up on some building, I don’t know how many floors up, but it was as high as I’ve ever been!

I stood on the edge and looked around being almost blown off.

And here are my thoughts:

I’m alone,

My grandmother is gone,

My mom the person that raised me,

my family and I don’t talk anymore since,

I lost my business, my car, my dignity,

my belief system and

I am raping myself over and over.

I am afraid of Georg, so much that at times I can’t breathe,

I am broke,

Menintogear which was a chance to get out of this mess,

is down the drain,

not because it was a bad idea but because I got framed, yet again

and I have no one to talk to,

My investors might eventually sue me.

I felt no way out and slowly, but surely the thought of leaving life was making me feel relaxed and chilled, and I moved towards the edge.

I stood there for hours, and then a thought hit me:

“What about my sister, how will she feel, when she gets the news of my suicide and what about my beautiful little niece?”

And then and there the fighter within me arose back to life.

I told myself:

I’m not jumping because I don’t have the guts, but because I’m not done with this life,

and no Georg will send me to hell.

If so, I will decide and no one else.

“You will go back to this horrible and unbearable situation and take all,

all you can handle,

and when that moment arrives, you will exit this hell.”

And so I did!

I walked back to him, and his degrading, immoral Lifestyle.

I went into the house, and he was awake, high already, the pipe loaded with meth and the GHB bottle next to it.

But I didn’t care anymore.

Something within me knew what to do, and I can be very persistent.

I looked at him, went into the bedroom and for the first time locked it and put my headphones on, and longed for the day when it was all over.

That was the day where I started to plan my Exit!

 

About the Author

“I used to lie and embellish, so I could somehow function and deal with my life, my family! I dared to face the truth and since then I’ve been able to rebuild and found the real meaning of my life!”

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Instagram

 

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

January 15

Blazing Zane Book Blog, Love Unchained Book Reviews,

Book Review Virginia Lee, T.N. Nova Author,

Sur l’étagère, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings,

Rainbow Gold Reviews, Gay Book Promotions

January 16

Valerie Ullmer,  Stories That Make You Smile,

MM Good Book Reviews, Lily G Blunt

January 17

Books Laid Bare Boys,

Bayou Book Junkie

January 18

OJ He Say!

Gay Book Reviews

January 19

Tangents and Tissues, Louise Lyons,

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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