Aunt Daisy's Funeral

Love Is Proud GENRE Gay • Multi-Author Anthology • Erotic Romance
ISBN 9781634862080

E-Book: JMS Books LLC | Amazon Kindle Unlimited
Print: JMS Books LLC | Amazon

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016, a gunman entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and opened fire. Forty-nine innocent people lost their lives that night, and many more were injured. The LGBT community reeled when the news broke, not only because it was the deadliest mass shooting in the US to date, but because the act of terror and hatred was aimed directly at them.

In the aftermath, many of us struggled for a way to express our grief and fear. With that goal in mind, the authors of JMS Books sought an outlet for their emotions; thus, this anthology of short stories and poems was created.

Love Is Proud celebrates queer love in all its forms, showing that love must triumph over hate. Whether it's spending a quiet evening together at home, a night out on the town, or attending the local Pride event, this collection embraces how empowering love can be between men -- or women, or any and every shade under the LGBTQIA umbrella.

Featuring never before published work from 49 different authors, Love Is Proud is a collaborative effort whose entire proceeds will go to Equality Florida to benefit the victims and their families of the Pulse nightclub shooting. All the work in the collection, including the editing, has been donated to offset the costs. This stunning anthology will be a charitable keepsake whose message of pride in who and how we love is an enduring testament to all those affected by this tragedy.

Authors included in this anthology are: Jeff Adams, Addison Albright, John Amory, Leska Beikircher, Mychael Black, Mel Bossa, David Connor and E.F. Mulder, T.A. Creech, Nanisi Barrett D'Arnuk, Kim Davis, Annie Dean, Vivien Dean, Keelan Ellis, Paul Alan Fahey, Eric Fahnestock, Dean Frech, Francis Gideon, Lisa Gray, La Toya Hankins, William Holden, Drew Hunt, Rebecca James, Nickie Jamison, Shawna Jeanne, Iyana Jenna, Dilo Keith, Shawn Lane, Kassandra Lea, W.S. Long, Rae MacGregor, Wayne Mansfield, J.T. Marie, Matthew J. Metzger, Ruby Moone, H.D. Nels, Deirdre O'Dare, R.M. Olivia, Terry O'Reilly, Jessica Payseur, Matthew Robbins, Rob Rosen, Feral Sephrian, J.M. Snyder, Louis Stevens, Michael P. Thomas, Tinnean, J. Tomas, J.D. Walker, and Emery C. Walters.

EXCERPT FROM "Touchdown"
    Darrin Houghton leaned against the window of the subway train as it rattled along. He was on his way home after a performance of the Broadway show in which he was a dancer. He was tired. And, tired was not a good time to think about his situation with Brad.

    It had been six months since the wedding of two of Darrin's fellow dancers from the show. Brad Grabosky, at the time, a very closeted star NFL football player, had surprised Darrin by showing up at the wedding. After the ceremony the two had gone out for drinks and Brad had declared he was ready to live a more open life, saying, "I don't want to make some big coming out announcement to the media. I want to just let it happen gradually, however that works out."

    He then compared the process of his coming out to a football game, saying that he and Darrin were close to the goal line and they had a few downs yet to play. But, when they crossed that goal line for the touchdown, it would be their wedding day.

    Darrin had imagined that wouldn't take much time. But the game seemed to have stalled, and he and Brad were in a similar situation to where they were before Brad had asked Darrin to marry him. True, the pair went out frequently now rather than staying hunkered down in Darrin's apartment. They attended parties hosted by Darrin's gay friends and even went to gay bars. Darrin had gone to all of the playoff games and the Super Bowl the previous year. Brad had invited him to the celebration parties following the Hounds victory. However, Brad had only introduced him as a good friend, not his fiancé, or even his boyfriend.

    When Darrin questioned Brad about this, Brad reminded him that they were taking it slowly and letting folks figure it out for themselves. Brad said he didn't want to become the poster child for gay rights in the NFL. So, despite Darrin's disappointment in the situation, he loved Brad and had no intention of walking away from the only man he'd ever considered marrying.

    However, on nights like this, after both a matinee and evening performance, Darrin's fatigue caused his defenses to slip. His dissatisfaction that things with Brad remained stagnant got the upper hand.

    And, his friend Carl, a fellow dancer, didn't help.

    "I thought you two would have been married by now. I mean that's what he told you after Alan and Tony's wedding waaaaay last December, if I remember correctly."

    Darrin had defended his man by saying, "Brad wants to let the news come out to the press gradually; he doesn't want it to detract from the team or the team's focus."

    "But that's what you said when the Hounds were in the playoffs and the Super Bowl. That was ages ago now."

    Darrin sighed. Privately he agreed with Carl. It was June. The sports world was zeroed in on the NHL and the Stanley Cup, the NBA championships, and baseball. Football was a distant memory. To Darrin's mind this would be the perfect time to walk down the aisle and let the world know who the real Brad Grabosky was.