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A Guest Post from Maya Tyler – Author of A Fairy’s Quest (@mayatylerauthor @tirgearr) #tirgearr #tirgearrtuesday

I love miniatures. When I was a kid, I studied dollhouse and accessory catalogs and books for hours. Somehow—since this was before the Internet—I found a listing of dollhouse stores and

I even convinced my parents to take me to several of them. I enjoyed looking, but I also developed an interest in making model houses and dollhouse furniture (with kits).

I still enjoy browsing a dollhouse store. I bought an adorable miniature violin at the last place I visited. My youngest son was playing violin at the time. And the dollhouse kits I see advertised on Amazon and Wayfair always catch my eye. I would love to make one, but the adult in me asks, “Where are you going to keep it?” and this is a legitimate question. My house is a cozy two-bedroom bungalow. I found a decent alternative in book nooks, bookshelf inserts of a miniature scene. I’d like to make one, but since I’d like to buy the supplies in person, I need to wait until COVID is over.

In the meantime, to satisfy my infatuation with miniatures and dollhouses, I found an app called Design Home. It’s like decorating a virtual dollhouse with furniture, rugs, paintings, and plants. Using the app, I designed a living room for my main character, Alina Lehrer, in A Fairy’s Quest.

Alina is recovering from a trauma. A few months ago, someone tried to kill her. When she has a flashback, she reorients herself by looking slowly around the room. I describe her process in the excerpt I included below.

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Excerpt:

Alina Lehrer shook off the unbidden memory. Everything’s okay. I’m safe here. She took a deep breath, then moved her gaze slowly around the living room of her townhome condo in Chicago’s Oakland neighborhood. From her viewpoint on the white leather sofa, everything seemed to be in its proper place.

The impressionist painting behind her hung high on the light gray wall with its bold blues and greens practically jumping out of the frame. It made a pleasing focal point, bringing together all the colors in the room. Her potted white orchid stood tall and delicate in the corner next to the pale blue armchair. She paused to close her eyes and inhale its sweet fragrance. Feeling a bit calmer. Next, she settled her gaze on the vase of fresh-cut flowers placed perfectly in the middle of her reclaimed wood coffee table, centered in front of her sofa. Perhaps it was indulgent, but buying fresh-cut flowers from the nearby farmers’ market was her weekend guilty pleasure. A slender blue and white lamp, topped with a shallow, drum-shaped white lampshade, sat in the middle of the square, marble-topped end table. Her gray oak floor gleamed from a recent polishing.

Everything was in order—better than usual—since she’d been cleaning non-stop since the incident. Why did she care so much about having everything in its place?

When everything else goes to shit, you need an anchor, something stable, reliable.

Home was that place for her.

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A Fairy's QuestBlurb:

New York had Broadway. LA had Hollywood. Chicago had magic.

During the Golden Age of Magic, descendants of The Anunnaki sought refuge in the City of Magic.

Five years ago, fairy princess Alina Lehrer played the role of dutiful daughter until, in a single act of rebellion, she broke her arranged marriage agreement with David Laurent and destroyed a powerful alliance between their families. She fears her mother will hold it against her until she fulfils her familial duty—to reclaim the fairy crown that had been stolen from them more than a century ago.

Now, the usurper to the throne is dead, thus ending the fairy-wizard feud. It is time to reclaim the throne, and ultimately the stolen crown. But happily-ever-after seems as far away as ever for Alina. She is still heartbroken after the rejection of her first love and is still healing from a near-death trauma. She must push aside her personal feelings and find a way to confront her demons in order for her to complete her quest.

Rylan Jackson, codename Orion, has an impeccable record as a trained assassin for The Royal Court of Fairies. As The Court’s most trusted asset, he always gets the job done. Until his target is Alina, the one woman he can’t resist.

Fate has placed Alina and Rylan on opposing sides in a world of deception and betrayal. Where truth is ambiguous. Where loyalties war with affection. Where there are no coincidences.

But Alina has the power to change her destiny and soon learns Fate is not set in stone.

Available from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

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Author Bio:

Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings. An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys hanging out with her family, reading, listening to music, practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.

You can find Maya on the web at the following locations:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog

Guest Post from Kaje Harper – Helping LGBT Chechens #chechenrainbow

You may have heard the news coming out of Chechnya, part of the Russian Federation, where police are kidnapping gay men (and those they perceive to be gay) and taking them to camps for torture. Several state-sanctioned murders have also been reported.

Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens is raising money for organizations working directly with gay men and other persecuted LGBT people in Chechnya and the northern Caucasus.  We do this through direct donations, donating royalties to these charitable organizations, and an online auction that runs through Saturday, May 13, at 12 noon CDT (6 pm BST and 3 am Sunday morning AEST).

MM romance and YA author Kaje Harper has donated a complete ebook set of her Hidden Wolves paranormal romance series to the auction. Here, she talks about why she got involved:

Why I Got Involved in Helping LGBT Chechens

This feels like the year of injustice. Not that the world hasn’t always been a place where people suffered unjustly for who they are and who they love. But now, more than ever, those who represent me on the national and international stage are betraying their responsibility to speak up for rights, for compassion, for human worth and dignity.

This is also the year of the individual. So many of us, in a thousand venues, lifting our individual voices, volunteering, contributing, protesting, speaking up, trying to fill the needs that the wealthy and powerful are abandoning.

LGBTQ Chechens are not the only folk on the rainbow spectrum in grave danger if they’re discovered, but in some ways they represent the darkest of our current fears. These men have been taken, put in camps, disowned by their own families, abused, tortured killed, for being gay.

With a few exceptions (Bless you, Angela Merkel) our governments have remained silent. The leader of Chechnya has stated there are no gay men in the whole region to deserve rights, and the loud response of logic, of compassion, of protest — a hundred nations who should be speaking out with the clear understanding, shouting that hate does not erase 5% of the population… echoes only in our heads. That lovely sentiment of “never again” is shown to be only paper words to our leaders.

We can’t save them all privately. Donations can’t move 5% of the population of a region to safety, nor even the much smaller fraction who might come out and request it. But every person we can move is one fewer lost to hate. Every voice that is raised increases the chance that we might shame others with more power to speak up internationally. The worst crime is when this kind of human rights abuse happens in silence, and the most painful is to know we could have saved lives but turned our backs.

So why participate in Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens? Because I can. Because it gives me one more chance, beyond all the other things I do, to make a difference. Because it is a rainbow splash of hope, in a dark year that needs it. Because even one man spared torture and death would still be worth it.

And last, perhaps least, but worth remembering – if we do not speak up now, whose voices will be raised when they come for us?

I have two LGBTQ kids, and I would pray that if we lived in Chechnya, and some other author lived here, that author would be trying in ways simple and creative, to fight the evil of violent bigotry, whether it impacted them or not.

We are one world, and none of us are a solitary, untouched island within it. We live and die, together.

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Get Involved

Readers      

 

Authors, Publishers and Artists

If you’re an author or artist who would like help out, please sign up at Authors & Publishers for LGBT Chechens. There, you can also find answers to frequently asked questions about royalty donations, the charitable organizations that are helping LGBT Chechens, and more.

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Kaje Harper is an M/M romance author, writes a little YA, and moderates a YA LGBT Books group on Goodreads.