Denying the Devil Within

Hello, friends. I’m offering up a weird confession today to help give a glimpse into what it’s been like to recover from childhood emotional abuse—an incredibly private battle that is not typically shared with anyone, usually because skeptics and deniers are plentiful due to abusers’ devious skill at pretending to be other than they truly are. I have written a lot of abused characters, but after living enmeshed with lies for so very long, truth is an astonishing breath of fresh air. By acknowledging these things, I’m hoping to help others identify their own inner struggles and ways to combat the destructive forces imposed on us against our will. Please remember, even if no one else is fighting for you, you can always be your own hero. I’ll be here to cheer you on.

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FREE FICTION & 20% OFF SALE

Young sporty man over Smoke.WhatevertheCost-CVR

My awesomesauce publisher, Forbidden Fiction, always has several books and short stories serializing as free reads for members at a given time. Right now, I have TWO novels serializing with FREE chapters being posted every week—From Temptation and Whatever the Cost! The free reads are available for members of the site, but it’s free and easy to sign up, so what are you waiting for?? It’s a great way to check out new authors and sample some of the amazing fiction being released from people who believe steaming hot stories shouldn’t skimp on plot or quality writing.

Also happening NOW—20% OFF ALL GLBT ebooks ONLY at Forbidden Fiction’s shop site: FantasticFictionPublishing.com

Read From Temptation for FREE…

Read Whatever the Cost for FREE…

From Temptation’s Blurb: Kyle Roth is no longer safe–not from his lover, not from his friends and, especially, not from himself. Questioning the choices that led him to a life of submission to the potentially dangerous Dominant, Ben Knox, Kyle sees no other way out than through old vices. Just when Kyle assumes all hope is lost he is saved by the persistence of an old enemy, Gabriel Hunter. Worse yet, a secret past withheld from Darrek–Kyle’s friend and Gabriel’s partner–threatens to destroy them all! (M/M)

Whatever the Cost’s Blurb: Liam and Jacen are roommates–and elite prostitutes working for a secret organization, The Company. They spend their lives making fantasies come true for spoiled, dangerous clients. In the midst of daily risk of emotional and physical damage, their friendship has been an island of sanity and safety. When The Company orders them to do a job together requiring them to cross the no-sex boundary that has kept them friends, Liam and Jacen must examine how they really feel about each other, and how far they are truly willing to go. Is this the life they want? Used to offering up their bodies without protest to the mercurial whims of others while fiercely guarding their hearts, the true meaning of love and consent is a challenge neither has ever faced before. (M/M)

Signs and Spirits

In the past, I’ve shared sad and upsetting news about my personal life here with you, friends and readers, but today I’d like to share some that’s much more hopeful and wonderful (because doesn’t the world need a little bit more of that?)

Since my brother Matt passed away, I’ve gotten signs from him—regularly and consistently. I believe everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. I believe a lot of people think signs/spirits/etc. is all bullshit and lies, because I’m related to several people who do! And that’s fine. They’re entitled to think that, and so are you. My personal belief is that there is an afterlife, and we can receive signs or messages from our loved ones after they leave if we stay open to it. (I struggle to understand why you would choose to think otherwise, especially if it’s your child/sibling/spouse/etc who has died, but I digress). Most of the rest of my family of origin do not believe this or are not open to it, so I also think that’s why I get so many signs from my brother. (For the record, I have had other experiences with spirits and ghosts, some alone and some in the company of my husband). Some signs from Matt are really blatant, like the Mother’s Day card from him I mysteriously found around last Mother’s Day, weeks after he passed when I was desperate for a piece of his handwriting. I’ve come across long-forgotten childhood mementos in the process for looking for something else entirely. When I went to fetch our Easter decorations, I found myself holding an essay I wrote about him when I was 14 titled “Boasting ‘Bout My Brother”.

Besides these “discoveries”, my husband and I have each experienced phenomena we can’t explain, like seeing someone out of the corner of our eye who isn’t there, hearing the door open and close when it’s triple-locked and no one ever came inside, or hearing footsteps come running down the stairs when the kids are sound asleep (I checked) and I’m downstairs alone watching TV. My children and I have also asked him for things, then gotten a direct physical response (help finding lost objects, or suddenly meeting an old friend I’d been thinking about but hadn’t seen since I was young).

We live in the house I grew up in. We bought it from my parents and its where Matt spent most of his life. There are a lot of memories there. My kids both sleep in bedrooms that used to be Matt’s at one point or other. It makes sense to me that he visits us there.

I’ve spoken to a popular local medium more than once, and gotten messages through her that are obviously from him, capturing his personality and circumstances of his death in ways she could never have known. I know he’s fine and watching over us. He’s promised he will always send us these “signs”. He’s told me he’s visited me in my dreams and he explained step-by-step through the medium what he was feeling & experiencing over the course of the 24-hours before he died in a freak slip-and-fall accident. I even know which of my deceased relatives waited with him in ICU as he lay dying to help him cross over (and it’s not who I expected!)

This weekend, I had two new “events” happen. Saturday evening, I was in my bedroom getting ready for bed and some artwork we have hanging up caught my eye (full disclosure—it’s an intricate illustration we bought at the Haunted Mansion in Disney). It has a quote within it and I forgot what it said, so I went to read it. It’s actually a poem about things that happen when ghosts are present and *as I’m reading it* the cabinet door on my dresser popped open. The last time I’d touched that door was at least 7 hours earlier. Directly above that cabinet is where I keep my memorial necklace with Matt’s fingerprint, which I wear every day. It was equal parts scary, exciting and hilarious (my brother definitely had/has an odd sense of humor!)

The next day, Sunday, an hour after the kids were in bed, hubby and I were watching Game of Thrones and chatting when a nerf gun bullet sitting on the ottoman directly in front of us rolled itself over for no apparent reason. We both saw it happen. Hubby poked it like it was a snake, but it didn’t move again. The first thought for both of us was how Matt loved more than anything to have nerf battles with our kids when he visited.

I love when this stuff happens, and these little messages from beyond, letting me know he’s still with me. It feels like actual magic. My brother’s life and soul has always been dedicated to family, and being there for those he loves whenever and however he can (especially if he can make them laugh in the process). He has gone way over the top with his expressions of dedication more times than I can count. Of course that wouldn’t change even if he’s here in a different form now. Take this as a reminder to be open and observant for signs from your own loved ones who have passed, because you just never know… They’re with you, whether you look for them at your side or not.

Release Day for Only the Lonely!

OnlyLonely_CvrPDFI’m so excited to be able to say that Only the Lonely (Twin Ties series) has officially been released! This is a dark, emotional story, but after going through 3 novels’ worth of Evan’s journey with him, I knew I owed it to him to capture the toughest period of his life. That’s what this novella does. The demons he faces here are a big part of who he is and why he acts the way he does. There’s a lot I personally relate to in what he struggles with, so I know how honoring the entire span of a nightmarish process is really key in appreciating the peace and happiness of a happy ending. I was never going to really know Evan unless I went with him through the trials of his fourteenth year of life, and I believe you’ll also have a greater appreciation not only for how far he comes over the course of the series by reading this, but also for what too many people like him have to live with through no fault of their own. Evan didn’t chose his circumstances, but he’s the one who has to walk that path. Recognizing the strength it takes to do so is a gift we can give him, and his kindred spirits.

Find out more at the story page, including content labels, excerpt, buy links and more…

Goodreads page…

Only the Lonely (Twin Ties series) Released Tuesday!

OnlyLonely_CvrPDFOnly the Lonely (prequel novella in the Twin Ties series) is released this Tuesday, May 17th! Please check the content labels on the story page for possible triggers before reading. This is not a romance, but does give crucial insight into Evan’s life before his brother and twins Alek and Luka were part of it.

**SALE: Only at FantasticFictionPublishing.com all ebooks are 15% OFF during the month of May AND you can get the 3 ebook set of the Twin Ties series novels at a reduced rate in ALL ebook formats!!**

Blurb: Evan Savage is a young teen desperately searching for something to hold on to and a way to be noticed. Living in rural Whippoorwill, Pennsylvania, his only family is an absentee father who leaves Evan alone for days at a time while away for work. Friendless and bullied at school, with only a nearby preacher named Jimmy to look out for him; Evan gratefully accepts attention wherever and however he gets it. Sometimes it feels like part of him is missing, and every day the void consumes more of Evan’s ability to fight back against his circumstances. While looking at himself in the mirror within a recurring dream, his reflection keeps reaching out to him with happiness he doesn’t feel, from a world different than his own, though much less tangible. Anonymous sexual encounters with strange men satisfy Evan’s need for company and reassurance that he’s someone worth wanting, as well as test his boundaries. But, faced with the growing temptation to slip away for good, it’s up to Jimmy, and Evan’s dream-world counterpart, to try to keep him there.

~* 4 STARS from The Blogger Girls *~

“Stop and grab this little insight into our young Evan’s adolescence. It is guaranteed to make you love him and Jimmy more…and want to further pound his clueless father into the ground.” —Susan, The Blogger Girls

Thanks to the Blogger Girls for the awesome review! Please follow the link to read the full write-up…

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

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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

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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

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*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

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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

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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

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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

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BUY LINKS & STORY PAGE FOR CAGED JAYE >

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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!