Giveaway Drive

The Blog of Sid Love is hosting a giveaway event for the readers and fans. This is your chance to win some ebooks for FREE – written by some well known M/M authors! The event began yesterday featuring our first author “Lee Brazil” and his books and this will go on till 30th April. The blog will feature not one, not two but 11 authors ready to make the month of April, quite amazing for you!

LEE BRAZIL’s giveaway contest is still on: GIVEAWAY #1

Our second author for this event is none other than SUE BROWN! On behalf of all the readers, I welcome her on my blog.

Sue has decided to give away her upcoming book “The Sky is Dead” for this event, which releases tomorrow, the 17th! I am sure you’ll be very interested in knowing what the book is all about and also what Sue has to say.

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Sue Brown

The Sky is Dead is my new release tomorrow. Sid has very kindly offered to let me hold a giveaway on his blog. Leave a comment on this blog, by answering a simple question, to enter the draw.

I thought I’d tell you a little about the background to The Sky is Dead. The story is a departure for me. Not from the angst. You know me, I always write angst. It’s a departure for me in that I wrote it first person, present tense. I wrote it last year as I travelled across America for GRL. I was in Danny’s head and boy, did he have a lot to say. This is Danny’s headspace, his tale and his life.At the time I was lucky enough to have Tom Webb to talk to, with his experience of dealing with vulnerable and homeless kids. I didn’t set out to write a tale about a homeless kid, but that’s how Danny turned out.

The statistics for LGBT teens becoming homeless makes grim reading. I’m not going to delve too deeply into the whys. Suffice it to say that kids being thrown out for being gay is not uncommon. As a parent it is difficult for me to understand how the hell you can throw your child out for their sexual orientation. It makes me so bloody angry. In case you think I’m making it up, I was hunting for references to give you and I came across Throwaway Teens. Read this without feeling angry.

So let’s look at the figures. I took these statistics from the National Coalition for the Homeless.

  • 20% of homeless youth are LGBT. In comparison, the general youth population is only 10% LGBT.
  • While homeless youth typically experience severe family conflict as the primary reason for their homelessness, LGBT youth are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse before the age of 12.
  • LGBT youth, once homeless, are at higher risk for victimization, mental health problems, and unsafe sexual practices. 58.7% of LGBT homeless youth have been sexually victimized compared to 33.4% of heterosexual homeless youth
  • LGBT youth are roughly 7.4 times more likely to experience acts of sexual violence than heterosexual homeless youth
  • LGBT homeless youth commit suicide at higher rates (62%) than heterosexual homeless youth (29%)

I’m sure you can look at other stats and they will be equally grim, and completely unnecessary.

I googled throwing out gay kids, and came up with people asking if they should eject their gay child from the house. Do what? You need to ask if you should throw out your flesh and blood? The answer is NO!

I’ve been trying to decide what percentage of the royalties to give to a UK charity helping homeless LGBT kids, the Albert Kennedy Trust. In the end I decided they will get all the royalties from the sale of this book.

AKT london_pride

The Sky is Dead came from a British comedian about looking up in an American city and not being able to see the sky. In the end Danny lives in my local park but the title still fitted the story.

THE SKY IS DEADSkyIsDead[The]

Buylink: Dreamspinner

Blurb:

Danny is young, gay, and homeless. He lives in the park, preferring to avoid attention, but when thugs confront a stranger, Danny rushes to his rescue. He and the would-be victim, Harry, form a cautious friendship that deepens months later, when Harry persuades Danny to visit his home. Daring to believe he has found happiness, Danny finds his world turned upside down yet again when tragedy strikes.

Until he runs out of options, Danny won’t trust anyone. Finally he has to accept the offer of a home, and Danny becomes David, but adjusting to a new life isn’t easy. When he meets the mysterious Jack, it stirs up feelings he thought were long gone. Can David dare to allow himself to love? Or will the truth bring his new world tumbling down around him?

Excerpt:

August 2012

 “WHY do you never mention your parents?”

“Hmmm?” I hadn’t been listening, too lost in the feel of Jack’s strong hands massaging my feet.

“Your parents. You never talk about them.”

I shrug indifferently, not really interested in talking about my family. “They threw me out.”

There’s a long pause before Jack says, “When?”

 “When what?” He digs his clever fingers hard into the ball of my foot, and I hold back a yelp.

 “When did they throw you out?”

 “Five minutes past twelve on New Year’s Day, 2000.”

 “How old were you?”

 “Sixteen.”

 “Your parents threw you out when you were still at school?”

“Yeah.”

He’s silent for a minute and then more questions. I know there will be more questions. There are always questions if you are honest.

 “Why did they throw you out?”

Reluctantly I open my eyes, because he has stopped digging into my feet and I’m not happy. “Why do you think?”

“Because you are gay.”

 “Bingo. On the nose. Ding dingding for the brainbox.”

 “But you were a kid.” He sounds outraged for me.

 “What’s that got to do with it? You know it happens all the time.”

 “I thought that sort of thing didn’t happen over here. I thought we were all”—he makes air quotes with his fingers—“enlightened.”

I shrug again. “Obviously my parents missed that memo.” I wriggle my toes hopefully, but Jack doesn’t take the hint.

 “What made them throw you out?”

 “I just told you that.” I try not to snap, but we’ve been having a chilled evening on the sofa. Him, me, a bottle of wine, and a long, leisurely massage that was hopefully going to end in a happy ending. I was still hopeful that might happen.

No such luck. He tickles my foot enough to make me really yelp. “Tell me why they chucked you out, then.”

 “Do I have to? It was a long time ago.”

 “David.” I hear the warning in Jack’s voice. He isn’t going to be deflected, no matter how hard I try. Thirteen years ago I was a different boy, Danny, loved by his parents. Then it all changed.

I sigh and sit up, running my hands through my hair. “I kissed my boyfriend. Dad saw us and threw me out. End of story.”
“Your father threw you out of the house for kissing your boyfriend?”

 “That’s what I just said. Can we stop with the interrogation now? Do you want a drink? I could make coffee, or we could get another bottle of wine. Do you want more wine? I won’t because I’ve got to get up tomorrow, but I could get you one.” I stop babbling long enough to stand up, but he pulls me back down, manhandling me so I’m straddling his lap.

 “Please tell me what happened.” Jack holds me down with one hand and cups my chin with the other. I get lost in his expression, his eyes dark, the deepest forest green.

 “I don’t want you to know.”

Jack kisses me softly. “I know you don’t, but I need to know. Tell me where you lived.”

My mouth is dry, and I lick my lips, trying to moisten them enough to speak. It’s so hard to talk about this part of my life. All I’ve ever wanted to do is forget about it. And there’s so much at risk telling him the truth. “South London still.About ten miles away from here. It was New Year. We had a party like we always did, and it was the millennium, so everyone was there.” The family had been there, as always, even old Auntie Peg and her farting Pekinese. But this time Dad had invited the whole street to see in the new century. “We had the telly on and heard Big Ben.” My dad insisted on seeing in the New Year with the chimes of Big Ben, just as he forced us to endure the Queen’s speech every Christmas Day.

“Then what?”

 “We were hugging and kissing. Everyone was at it.” I’d already been kissed by my parents and all the aunties and uncles, even old Tom down the road had pulled me into a hug so hard I’d had the breath knocked out of me. “Then Steve kissed me.”

 “Steve was your boyfriend?”

“Yeah. My mum and dad thought he was my best mate. He was my best mate, but he was more than that.”

 “Did you love him?” I hear the jealousy in his voice. I see it in his eyes. This is the first time he’s tripped over my past, my ex-lovers. My past is just that—in the past and forgotten. I wish to God I’d remembered that before I’d told him the truth.

 “I thought I did at the time. Now, I dunno. We were kids.” Of course I’d loved him, with all the innocence and naiveté that a sixteen-year-old possesses.

 “So you kissed him in the excitement and your dad saw?”

It hadn’t been quite like that. We’d wished each other a happy new century along with everyone else, and then he’d caught my eye, and we sneaked out into the back where it was dark and quiet. He’d pushed me against the wall and kissed me, saying everyone deserved a special kiss. Even at sixteen, Steve had known what to do with his mouth to make me horny.

 “Something like that,” I agree.

 “Then what happened?”

 “It was just my luck Dad came out for more beer and caught us kissing. He went ballistic, yelling he didn’t want a homo for a son, and then he threw me and Steve out of the house.” I can see the pity in his eyes and I hate it, hate it. “Don’t look at me like that. I’m not a charity case.”

He strokes my face with his long fingers, and if I hadn’t been so pissed off, I would have purred. “I never said you were.”

 “You were thinking it, though.”

“Maybe a little. What did you do then?”

 “We went back to Steve’s.” I remember the shock I felt as we walked down the street, the numbness in my mind as I tried to get my head around what had just happened.

 “At least you had somewhere to go.”

I nod. I had—for a while. We’d let ourselves into his empty house—his parents had gone away, which was why he’d been staying with me—and he’d bathed my eye, trying to staunch the blood. In addition to chucking me out, Dad had given me a parting present of a black eye and a split lip.

Unwittingly, he’s tracing a tiny scar on my cheek where Dad hit me. “Did you stay there after that or did you have family you could go to?”

I shake my head. “None of them wanted anything to do with me once my dad spread the news. They all told me they didn’t want a queer in their house. I stayed with Steve for a bit, but his parents didn’t want any trouble. They were having a hard enough time finding out their son was gay.”

 “So what did you do?”

I look away, not wanting to tell him the truth. Not wanting to admit the shame in my past.

He grips my chin firmly and forces me to look at him. “David, what happened next?”

 “I got taken to a halfway home and then I lived rough for a while.”

“How long? How long’s ‘a while’?”

 “Over three years.”

 “Jeez.” He lets out a shaky breath, and I can see his eyes glistening in the dim light of the lamp.

That’s it. I’ve had enough. I clamber off his lap and head for the bathroom, giving the pretense of needing a piss. Thankfully he doesn’t follow me, and I spend the time staring in the mirror, seeing the frightened little boy I’d been then rather than the man I’ve become. When I get back he’s staring at his hands. He looks up as I come back into the room, and gives me a wan smile.

 “Why have you never told me this before? I’ve known you for over eight years. Why have you never told me about your past?”

 “You never asked.”

 “Don’t give me that. You know I did. I’ve asked you over and over what happened to you, but you never said, and Mary wouldn’t tell me.”

I smile at that. Mary wouldn’t. She’s very protective of her kids, even years after they leave her. Really, no one leaves Mary. I’ve got to know most of her charges, past and present.

He sees my smile and snaps, “It’s not funny, David.”

My smile fades. “I know it’s not funny, but what do you expect me to say?” I hang back by the door, unwilling to face his anger. This was my life, dammit, not his. What the hell right did he have to be angry?

He stares at me. “I met you when you were twenty. Why did you never tell me about your life? All those times I asked and you’d only just got off the streets?”

 “Babe, I wanted to forget that boy ever existed. I still do.” That’s not me—even if I did just catch a little glimpse of Danny in the mirror.

I can see from his frown he doesn’t really understand. Taking a deep breath, I sit down beside him and hold his hand. Maybe now is the time to tell my story. Not all of it, of course. There are things I can never tell him. The things I had to do to eat, to survive. It’s a miracle I’m alive and not dead in some alleyway with a needle stuck in my arm. I didn’t contract HIV or the clap. I survived, and I can show him that. I’m not a victim and the sky isn’t dead.


Now for the question…

What date did David/Danny get thrown out by his parents?

======================================================================

To win this contest and take home a free copy of The Sky is Dead, reply to this post in the following format:

Name*:
Email ID*:
Your Answer*:
Message to the author:

Feilds marked * are necessary

Please note that all the comments for this contest will be under moderation and hidden from public view till 19th April, 2013.

Contest deadline: FRIDAY – 4/19/2013 – 11:59 PM Central Time

So HURRY!

======================================================================

Author Bio:

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot, and has become an expert at ignoring the orders.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

Sue’s Website  ||  Sue’s Blog  ||  Sue on Facebook  ||  Sue on Twitter

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Comments
  1. Urb says:

    my name: Urbanista
    Email; brendurbanist at gmail dot com
    Answer: five minutes past midnight on New Years Day
    When I worked at the homeless shelter, underage youth were not permitted to stay. I wondered where they would go for the night. Identical twins with matching Corvettes ran the shelter?

  2. DebraG says:

    Name*: Debby
    Email ID*:debby236 at gmail dot com
    Your Answer*: New Year’s Eve/ Day
    Message to the author: I have a GLBT daughter and she was afraid to come out to us. She thought we were going to kick her out. But we love our daughter and every aspect of her.

  3. Esther Tan says:

    Answer: January 1, 2000. New Year’s Day.

  4. zeoanne says:

    The statistics you’ve mentioned are horrendous and it’s a crying shame that the same goes everywhere. I so wish I had the power to house and protect every single one of those children.
    Danny been thrown out on January 1st, 2000 is, unfortunately, such a common story. When are people going to stop and understand that these are human beings that deserve the same love they were given the day before the parents found out they were gay!!!

    Thanks for writing this story, Sue. I’ve been thinking about doing the same. Contacted an acquaintance who works at an HIV clinic but he never responded. Sad.
    Thank you also for the giveaway.

    Z.
    zeoanne@gmail.com

  5. Elaine Lee says:

    ELAINE LEE
    elaine.lee11@yahoo.com
    NEW YEARS DAY 2OOO AT FIVE MINUTES PAST TWELVE
    CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE BOOK SUE THANKS

  6. Juliana says:

    Juliana
    OceanAkers@aol.com
    New Year’s Day
    Thanks for writing about such a tough subject, Sue. The statistics are staggering but it just seems like not enough is done. I’m glad you wrote about this MC’s struggle.

  7. Laurie P says:

    Name*: Laurie Peterson
    Email ID*: goaliemom0049 (at) gmail.com
    Your Answer*: New Years party 13 years before
    Message to the author: Love your stories, I find them to have so much food for thought.

  8. trish2144 says:

    He was thrown out on New Year’s Day 2000.

    Thank you for the contest and the heartbreaking excerpt.

  9. Phoenix Emrys
    olorien56@gmail.com
    Jan 1st 2000 (5 minutes past 12)

    This sounds like a real tearjerker! Whee! My favourite kind!

  10. Rachel says:

    Rachel Gebhardt
    rachelngebhardt@att.net
    New Year’s Day 2000

  11. andys says:

    Andys
    aspeed2 at gmail dot com
    Answer*: Five minutes past twelve, New Year’s Day, year 2000

    I know the statistics, and they’re just horrifying. I’ve tried to broach it myself, but it’s just so overwhelming and sad. The fact that anyone is “thrown away” is just horrible. Anyways, on a less depressing topic, I’d love to read the book. Thank you for shining a light on it.

  12. Dani says:

    Danielle Maas
    dambo9@live.nl
    Five minutes past twelve on New Year’s Day, 2000.”
    So the answer = jan 1 st 2000

    Definitly entering because this is so on my wishlist !!
    Looking forward to it Sue
    x dani

  13. Erica Pike says:

    Name*: Erica Pike
    Email ID*: eripike at gmail dot com
    Your Answer*: Five minutes past twelve on New Year’s Day, 2000
    Message to the author: Congrats on the release 🙂 I loved the excerpt.

  14. Olga says:

    Name:Olga
    Email:osorgini@gmail.com
    Answer:1/1/2001
    To Sue: Love your books, the couple I loved the most was Tommy and Noah. Keep writing and filling our minds with your beautiful stories.

  15. The answer to the Question is New Years Eve.
    Wonderful but very sad post about our gay youth. It rips my heart and soul apart every time I hear or read about more young innocent youth being flung out of their homes. It angers me so much. It’s not ever anything I can understand or ever want to for there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for it ever.
    I want to open my heart and home to these young people who just want to be loved and accepted for themselves.
    Thank you sharing about your book, and looking forward to read the rest of the story…*S*

    Darcy
    pomma @akwolf.com

  16. Jbst says:

    Name*: Jbst
    Email ID*: strive4bst (at) yahoo (dot)com
    Your Answer*: January 1, 2000 at 12:05 a.m.
    Message to the author: Story sounds heartbreaking and angsty, which happens too often in reality.

  17. Christopher Hammel says:

    Love me some Boys of the “Lost Cow Ranch”. (“Morning Report” series)

  18. Christopher Hammel says:

    Oh and it’s “Five minutes past twelve on New Year’s Day, 2000”.

    Christopher Hammel
    christopherhammel@yahoo.com

  19. Trix says:

    Trix
    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com
    January 1st, 2000

  20. Penumbra says:

    Name*: Penumbra
    Email ID*: penumbrareads@gmail.com
    Your Answer*: New Year’s Day, 2000
    Message to the author: Sounds like a good read 🙂

  21. Toni Ward says:

    name : Toni Ward
    email : juxonward@gmail.com
    answer : 12.05am on 01/01/2000
    mssg : Can’t wait to read this Sue. Your books are always a treat 😀

  22. ilona says:

    Name*: Ilona Fenton
    Email ID*: felinewyvern@googlemail.com
    Your Answer*: 01/01/2000
    Message to the author: Thank you for the giveaway.

  23. Name Petronella Bond
    Email ID tuckerpuss@aol.com
    Your Answer* 1st January, 2000
    Message to the author: Patricia Logan keeps telling me to read your books so I would love to win one!!

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