Rave Pre-Release Reviews for Only the Lonely & New Review of Arctic Absolution

OnlyLonely_CvrPDFOnly the Lonely is a prequel novella to the Twin Ties series and it’s released on May 17. This week, 2 incredible reviews came out for it from On Top Down Under Book Reviews and Hearts on Fire Reviews

~* 5 STARS for Only the Lonely from Hearts on Fire Reviews *~

“Besides being the queen of stories that push conventional boundaries, I also firmly believe that no one does prequels quite like Lynn Kelling either… Now that I’ve had the chance to devour a little bit of prequel Evan, I have an irresistible urge to re-read the original trilogy – I loved it that much! For fans of the series, this is a must read” – Wendy, Hearts on Fire Reviews

~* 4 STARS for Only the Lonely from On Top Down Under Book Reviews *~

“In a lesser author’s hands it could have been gratuitous. It wasn’t, because it’s Lynn Kelling and she’s a strong, empathetic writer who loves her characters. It touches your heart and makes you want to wrap Evan up. …Recommended for people who are as addicted to Lynn Kelling’s writing as I am, who are probably hooked on this series – or would like to be – and those who can read it and think, ‘Shit, how am I reading this?‘ but continue on because they just have to. Because it’s powerful stuff.” — Kazza, On Top Down Under Book Reviews

Only the Lonely is available for Pre-order NOW! Add it on Goodreads here…

And just posted over at Top 2 Bottom Reviews is a new review of Arctic Absolution, with thoughts on how I break MM readers’ “safe rules” in the course of the book, and why it worked for this reviewer. Check it out at the link…

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~* Roxy Reviews Arctic Absolution *~

“Lynn Kelling and her publisher have earned the title of Must Have’s by Roxy… Talk about well written and completely interesting set of men…these are them. Lynn did a fabulous job and I’m in love with her characters. I can’t wait to read another one…so, I’ll just go and do that now.” — Roxy, Top 2 Bottom Reviews

Huge thanks to all of the reviewers!! I’ve been making huge strides in my personal life, as far as my mental health and happiness is concerned, and I’ve been channeling that energy into writing the 3rd book in the Arctic Absolution series. Jaye and Dixon deserve peace and their happily ever after, so that’s what I’m going for.

 

Life After Abuse & Loss

Howdy, friends and readers. I’m writing this post to touch base with you all, and also to try to do justice to the process of recovery from abuse, loss, or trauma. I’m an emotional abuse survivor. It’s funny, but not in a ha-ha way, that I have written solely about survivors of abuse since I first became a writer, without realizing *AT ALL* that it was because I have been abused my whole life. I was telling myself something for a long time, and have only just heard the message. It’s hard to explain how that’s possible if you haven’t experienced emotional and psychological abuse. Basically, the whole gist of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), of which both of my parents are textbook cases, is they are experts at pretending to be perfect people, while convincing their victim (in this case, me, their daughter) that everything “wrong” – their abuse, their lies, their rage, their never-ending harsh judgment, their cruelty, and the impossible, constant obligations – is all their fault. That it’s all my fault. That I’m the problem.

I’ve seen emotional abuse by people with NPD described as emotional rape. And it’s not just once. It’s every day. For, in my case, thirty-seven years. While brainwashed to think the suffering I endure is solely because of my own failings, that not only do I deserve the pain, but that I should enjoy it and beg for more.

What happens if the victim of this treatment figures out what’s REALLY going on? When it comes to NPD, no one believes them. Not therapists (usually), not siblings or the rest of the family. The abuser has done such a convincing job of pretending to be faultless to the outside world, many won’t see past the lies and mirage. Additionally, when the abuser publicly starts to utterly destroy the reputation of their victim (and they will) so that no one will ever (rightly) cast any blame on the abuser for their actions, most totally buy into it.

That’s the stage I’m in now. I’ve cut off all contact with them.

Is it scary? Absolutely. But, it doesn’t matter. Change is always scary. How do I describe how glorious it feels to be out of their reach? Imagine that since birth, for thirty-seven years, you’ve carried a bag filled with a hundred pounds of bricks. You have no concept of life being different, or that the pain is something you don’t need to feel. One day, you realize you can set the bag down and walk away. The wonder of that, the freedom and sudden lightness, the joy and revelation—it’s everything. Would I touch that bag of bricks ever again, even for a second? Nothing on heaven or Earth could make me, besides my own massive, ingrained guilt, but I won’t let the guilt win.

The hardest part of all of this? My beloved brother, who died exactly one year ago, was another one of my parents’ victims. He carried his own bag of bricks his whole life—from birth until death. He never got to feel how good it is to set it down and be free while still in this world. But I believe one of the reasons I’ve finally been able to recognize my own situation is because he’s watching over and guiding me. I believe with my whole heart that he wants me to be free in ways he never achieved.

I know my parents are saying things to people in their circles about me. The claws are out and they’re trying to drag me back into the cage they like to keep me in. But I won’t go.

I know my head is screwed up. My view of who I am, how things should be, what my responsibilities are, and what reality is, is skewed. I’ve been trained to think I’m never good enough. To expend 100% of my energy trying to prove I’m not as worthless as my parents have led me to believe I am. As I learn the truth of what I’ve been through (and believe me, I’m studying my ass off), I see how I’ve failed to draw healthy boundaries, whether it’s a case of not saying stop if touched inappropriately when all it does is set off blaring psychological alarms; or instinctively apologizing to my mother for making her mad enough to verbally assault me; or to prioritize sculpting others’ perceptions of me over protecting my own health and sanity just because my parents have taught me who I am underneath it all is, in their eyes, a failure.

I see it all now. I really do. 

There is nothing wrong with who I am. I’m not a failure, or worthless. I deserve to be happy and enjoy life, on my own terms.

My new path is going to be built on truth, respect, and healthy boundaries. But what does that mean for someone who writes fiction? Storytelling is the sculpting of perceptions, after all. The act of sharing them is a way of striving for approval, when that same endless striving is what has been crippling and destroying me, from the inside out.

There are reasons why I am a writer. Writing has been a huge factor in my healing and self-discovery process. It’s the way I’ve been subconsciously trying to save myself for years. It’s the way I figure out how to be strong, and brave. It’s the way I explain everything I’ve gone through, for my sake, my husband and kids’ sakes, for my departed brother’s sake, and for everyone who hasn’t yet discovered they can set down the weight that’s slowly breaking them.

I’m in the process of piecing myself back together. I’m deliberately choosing to do things differently than I have always done them. I’m protecting myself. I’m recovering. I’m taking time to rest and savor each day for the blessing that it is. I’m writing, too. My thoughts aren’t yet focused on one project. They’re still too scattered for that, but I’m getting there. I’m hoping in the future, there will be less pain and trauma for my characters as well, that as I rise above my situation and live more healthfully and joyfully, their happily ever afters will be even more breathtaking. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m much better equipped to fight for it and ready for the challenge. Thank you to everyone who has sent messages of support. You’re each helping to restore my faith in the goodness of people, and you have no idea how very much that means to me.

With love,
Lynn

Caged Jaye Blog Tour Final Day

CagedJaye_BlogTourFFP

It’s the last day of the Caged Jaye Blog Tour and we’re going out with a bang! I’ll be stopping by 3 blogs and wrapping everything with the Release Party and Author Chat at ForbiddenFiction.com tonight! Stop by and say hi. I’ve got a bunch of excerpts to share, not only from Caged Jaye but a few of my other forthcoming releases as well. There’s a separate giveaway just for the chat, so don’t miss out!

At On Top Down Under Book Reviews I’m talking about Jaye’s ghosts and their part in the story.

Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter has an exclusive excerpt that’s a heated moment which takes place in the prison showers!

My most personal post is at Hearts on Fire Reviews with a post about being a survivor and writing about them too.

The Release Party and Author Chat is this evening at 8 PM EST at this link. Hope to see you there! Bring all of your burning questions! 😉

The Full Tour Schedule:

Monday, April 11th:

  • At Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews, a character interview with Jaye will be featured, talking about the period of his life covered in the novel and where he is now.

Tuesday, April 12th:

Wednesday, April 13th:

Thursday, April 14th:

Huge, squishy hugs and thanks to all of the blogs participating in the tour & for sharing their feedback on the book!!

Caged Jaye Blog Tour Day 3

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It’s Day 3 of the Caged Jaye Blog Tour and I’ve got a guest post and another exclusive excerpt lined up for you! There were also a few more outstanding reviews posted last night and linked below…

At Prism Book Alliance, I’m sharing insight on how writing non-romantic erotic fiction, like Caged Jaye, is different than writing romance-centered stories. My simplified version: Story + Hot Sex – Romance = ??

Gay Book Reviews will be sharing an excerpt about when Jaye gets his teardrop tattoo from tattoo artist, Disciples boss & owner of Jaye’s ass, Cash.

5 Stars for Caged Jaye from Joyfully Jay Reviews
☆☆☆☆☆

“Take all of the warnings into consideration for if there ever was a book deserving all of them this is the one as the writing is exceptional, which allows for the scenes to be highly visual. Jaye is a survivor and readers that dare to enter these pages should also be able to claim survivor status when they come out the other side. If you are absolutely sure you know what you are getting yourself into, then this book is outstanding and a highly recommended read.” – Michelle, Joyfully Jay Reviews

~*~

4.5 Stars for Caged Jaye from Love Bytes Reviews
☆☆☆☆☆

“Caged Jaye is an incredibly intense, emotionally dark book. You go through almost every emotion there is…  If you enjoy reading gritty, hard hitting story’s this is the book for you.” – Tammy, Love Bytes Reviews

~*~

4 Stars for Caged Jaye from The Novel Approach Reviews
☆☆☆☆

“I was intrigued by it, heartbroken by it, angered by it, sometimes even repulsed by it, but in the end, I was drawn to it too.” – Lisa, The Novel Approach Reviews

~*~

*REMINDER* – Don’t forget to stop by the Release Party & Author Chat TOMORROW 8–10 PM EST for some Q&A about the book, excerpts from Caged Jaye AND your ONLY chance to read excerpts from a few of my forthcoming releases, including Only the Lonely and Boy in a Dress. There will also be a giveaway of a free ebook!

The Full Tour Schedule:

Monday, April 11th:

  • At Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews, a character interview with Jaye will be featured, talking about the period of his life covered in the novel and where he is now.

Tuesday, April 12th:

Wednesday, April 13th:

Thursday, April 14th:

Huge, squishy hugs and thanks to all of the blogs participating in the tour & for sharing their feedback on the book!!

Rave Review Recap for Day 3

unnamedI’m beyond thankful to have had 4 glowing reviews of Caged Jaye come out today from Prism Book Alliance, The Blogger Girls, QUEERcentric Books & The Dark Arts, and a bonus 5+ Star review of Arctic Absolution yesterday from Gay Book Reviews! Here’s a snippet from each along with links to each full review:

5 Stars from Prism Book Alliance
☆☆☆☆☆

“This is Lynn Kelling far darker than even her usual shade of black. That being said it was worth it and I actually read it twice before writing this up.” – Caroline, Prism Book Alliance

~*~

5 Stars from The Blogger Girls
☆☆☆☆☆

“This was an amazing story that had me on the edge of my seat and turning page after page to see how Jaye made it out.” – JustJen, The Blogger Girls

~*~

5 Stars from The Dark Arts
☆☆☆☆☆

“Holy Crap! I’m in love with this book! It was so dark; so raw and unforgiving. Lynn Kelling is definitely on my favorite author list, and I can’t wait to read more of her work.” – JJ, The Dark Arts

~*~

4.5 Stars from QUEERcentric Books
☆☆☆☆☆

“An extremely well-written and engaging story of a life no one should ever have to endure…” – Jay, QUEERcentric Books

~*~

BUY LINKS & STORY PAGE FOR CAGED JAYE >

~*~

5-plus-book2 copyAnd as an AWESOME added bonus, Arctic Absolution got a 5+ STAR Review yesterday from Gay Book Reviews!

5+ Stars for Arctic Absolution from Gay Book Reviews
☆☆☆☆☆

ArcticAbsolution_CvrReduxMED“If you like hurt/healing/comfort and a shit load of angst, seeing justice prevail, excellent characterization and a unique story line plus an orgasm inducing HEA, GET ON THIS BOOK! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! It’s crazy good folks. CRAZY good.”
– Gigi, Gay Book Reviews

BUY LINK & STORY PAGE FOR ARCTIC ABSOLUTION >

Much love & many squishy hugs to all of the reviewers for their kind feedback!

 

Caged Jaye Release & Blog Tour Day 2

CagedJaye_BlogTourFFP

It’s Caged Jaye Release Day!! To celebrate, I have a busy day planned, stopping by three different blogs with unique surprises & giveaways at each one.

At The Blogger Girls, I’m discussing my process of writing about the penitentiary to which Jaye is sent—FCI Sheridan.

At The Novel Approach, I’m talking about taking characters past the labels of “good” and “bad”, and how the characters in the book blur lines.

Queercentric Books has the first of three exclusive excerpts from the novel, starting with potentially the darkest selection, which takes place immediately after a traumatic event for Jaye.

The Dark Arts MM Erotica also has a Release Day Review of Caged Jaye here.

Gay Book Reviews has a 4-Star review of Caged Jaye here.

“This was my first time reading Ms. Kelling’s work, and I’m officially a fan… I felt like I was watching an episode of Oz. The writing was excellent, the research that clearly went into Ms. Kelling’s work is noticeable.” – Natalie, Gay Book Reviews

*REMINDER* – Don’t forget to stop by the Release Party & Author Chat this Thursday 8–10 PM EST for some Q&A about the book, excerpts from Caged Jaye AND your ONLY chance to read excerpts from a few of my forthcoming releases, including Only the Lonely and Boy in a Dress. There will also be a giveaway of a free ebook!

The Full Tour Schedule:

Monday, April 11th:

  • At Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews, a character interview with Jaye will be featured, talking about the period of his life covered in the novel and where he is now.

Tuesday, April 12th:

Wednesday, April 13th:

Thursday, April 14th:

Huge, squishy hugs and thanks to all of the blogs participating in the tour!!

Caged Jaye Blog Tour Day 1

CagedJaye_BlogTourFFP

On day 1 of the Caged Jaye Blog Tour, Jaye himself will be over at Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews with me for a character interview. Some time has passed since the period of his life covered by the novel, though for him the memories may still be fresh. I’ll be asking him about being “Johnny”, Cash’s property, and how he views that persona now. I’ll also be asking Jaye about Cash and Dixon, how he’s doing now, and much more.

I’ll share new reviews of the book as they come in. On Friday, Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews gave the book 4.5 Stars! Here’s a bit of what they had to say:

“Seeing Jaye take back his power, fight the hold his attackers still had on him and transform himself was gruesome, terrifying and thrilling all at once… There is a lot of hopelessness and fear, but there is also this utterly amazing character in Jaye who will get under your skin from the moment you start reading and carve out a place in your heart.” —Debra

Read the full review here >

Read their review of Arctic Absolution here >

Many thanks to Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews and all of the blogs generously participating in the tour!

Monday, April 11th:

  • At Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews, a character interview with Jaye will be featured, talking about the period of his life covered in the novel and where he is now.

Tuesday, April 12th:

Wednesday, April 13th:

Thursday, April 14th:

Arctic Absolution Cover Reveal & Caged Jaye Blog Tour

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As the release day and blog tour for Caged Jaye approaches (April 12 for the release, see below for blog tour info), we’re starting off celebrations with a brand new, gorgeous cover for Arctic Absolution, as well as a new logo for the series. Check out this awesome post at Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews, or this equally fabulous post at On Top Down Under Book Reviews for a look at the full artwork, more information AND a giveaway of an ebook copy of Arctic Absolution! Arctic Absolution was Kazza’s Book of the Year for 2014 at On Top Down Under Book Reviews, and full reviews for both Arctic Absolution and Caged Jaye are linked there!

Join me from April 11th through April 14th, for a blog tour celebrating the release of the Arctic Absolution sequel, Caged Jaye! The 4-day blog tour will feature author posts and multiple giveaways, giving you the chance to win free copies of the book!

unnamedMonday, April 11th:

  • At Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews, a character interview with Jaye will be featured, talking about the period of his life covered in the novel and where he is now.

Tuesday, April 12th:

Wednesday, April 13th:

Thursday, April 14th:

This is my truth

Dear Mom,

“It’s all about you, and you make sure of that. Your wants, needs, and demands are always the main focus. Everything must be done your way, or it’s not acceptable. You never stop to consider that others have rights too. In your eyes, you know what is best and are always right, and I have to fall in line or incur your wrath, displeasure, and disappointment.

You are completely self-serving. You use every situation to fulfill your needs. You are blind to others’ needs, deaf to their emotions, and expert at manipulation. You work hard to trigger my guilt, sadness, rage, and constantly berate, blame, and criticize me, and I am always miserable around you.

How I long for some sign that you like or love me, but in all my years with you, I’ve never felt this, and this lack affects me deeply. As I was growing up, you never showed any understanding of what I was feeling, and when I tried to make you understand, you either ignored or minimized my feelings, or became angry and said that I was ungrateful or disrespectful for criticizing you.”

That’s a passage from Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up’s Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents, and it perfectly describes my reality.

This is a personal post. These are the things we don’t talk about. I need to finally say them, and this feels like the safest, freest place I can do so. People are upset with me for speaking up—several of my closest relations and the same people who should have been my support system. They call me a liar and say I’m ungrateful and selfish. They want me to stay in the diminished, submissive, subservient role I’ve always held. I won’t do it anymore – not for them. Not for anything.

If someone asks you to sacrifice your mental and emotional health in order to spare their feelings, they’re wrong, toxic, and dangerous. Period.

I write unhealthy parent-child relationships into almost every single one of my stories. This is why. Writing is how I’ve dealt with my own pain, striving for growth and clarity through my characters. This past New Year’s Eve, after a particularly explosive and cruel incident, I hit the wall. I couldn’t go a single step farther. Enough was enough, and I said so. They really didn’t like it. Since then, I’ve been trying to break the cycle, break contact and begin to heal myself. It’s still a work in progress and the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it has been helping. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, though the anxiety is a constant struggle. There are other members of my family that are displeased with my efforts and the ways I’ve disrupted the emotional and practical balance of my family of origin. They blame me, entirely. They want me to do what has always been expected when Mom gets upset—shut up and take it, then beg forgiveness for making her so angry.

That’s abuse. I’m not going to be their victim anymore. I’m also not going to allow them to place my husband or my kids in the path of my mother’s fury just to help vent her emotional turmoil following the death of my youngest brother, who was another one of her victims and the only other person in my entire extended family who believed this was wrong and understood what I’ve suffered my whole life.

It’s not okay. Being a grieving mother is not an excuse to treat your only daughter like nothing more than a handy emotional punching bag. I deserve better than this. My kind-hearted brother deserved so much better than this. She will never be the type of mother I’ve dreamed of having, so I’m letting her go, and mourning the loss of the fantasy mother and happy childhood I never had. For those who don’t believe me, it’s not my job to convince you. My only job is to take care of myself, my husband, and my kids, to the very best of my ability.

If you, somewhere out there in the world and reading this, can relate to any part of what I’ve said, I’m asking you to please make the choice to take care of yourself first. No matter what the relationship is that’s hurting you—parent, sibling, spouse, friend—you deserve better, too. You deserve love, respect, and kindness. If someone tries to hurt you, get away from them. Protect yourself. You’ll be so much happier and you’re stronger than you know.

I love my mother, and all of my family, but I need to take care of myself first, no matter what that means. Now, I’m taking healthy steps forward. I hope they find a way to do the same.