Being Me

Various characters are explored; the bullied,  handicapped folk,  people of color, even an alien, and futuristic caste systems. These are stories that explore the emotional growth of troubled young men and women all with differences. They are mostly HEA, with characters going through change to celebrate their differences.

The Being Me Campaign presents well written stories by authors who write with passion and guts. Authors not afraid to delve into the sometimes murky and dark world of characters who find it difficult to accept themselves. Authors who delight in taking their readers on a journey fraught with insecurities and flawed characters who eventually come into the light.

Each writer fulfills a silent promise to the reader; that by the time her story ends, the character/s will have changed, and that is the essence of every great story.

Sixteen stories from gifted authors take Being Me to a higher level. If one of these stories helps another person overcome his/her burden, then this anthology will have helped in some way to dispel the myths surrounding our own psyche; because who we are now, is just a small step towards who we can be in the future.

These stories are about people who’ve embraced their differences and own it. ALL story content is suitable for a YA audience. Stories by Louisa Mae, Maggie Chatterton, Melissa E Costa, Jack L. Pyke, Jo Tannah, Lynn Michaels, Susan Mac Nicol, Lane Swift, Louis J Harris, Alex Jane, Dilo Keith, Duncan Swallow, Jane Stemp, Viva Gold and Fiona Glass.

Louisa Mae’s Lost and Found, explores the question; What does it feel like to have loved and lost? When the one person you want is the one who caused the pain in the first place. Can that first love ever be found and rekindled? How deep can the hurt cut? And it does cut deeply. Especially when betrayal is involved.

In Melissa Costa’s Losing Sight, a meddlesome sibling has other ideas about how his handicapped brother should find independence. All too often, handicapped people are seen as weak, but some are incredibly strong, especially when they break away from the bonds that tie.

Jack L Pyke’s The Wall, with Bitch slaps, blushes, and mass uploads of bullying: lunchtime at high school doesn’t get much more “normal” than this. At fifteen, with a lack of emotion that’s a… concern to staff, Liam’s got his back against the wall, hoping to make it through the lunchtime dinner queue. Special needs? Special Forces couldn’t make it out sane through this.

Lyndon Ortiz learns the value of being assertive in Jo Tannah’s
Chocolate for Breakfast
and learns from a middle aged woman that no matter a person’s age, it’s unwise to give in to pressure and to win. All it may take is a gentle smile and an iron will.

Lynn Michaels’ Chester was a Boy, explores an area most of us have been through. Chester is a boy. A boy who thought he knew himself. A boy who’s world changes with one kiss. A boy who must come to grips with his wants and desires in a confusing world.

Susan Mac Nicol, in Strawberry Kisses, gives her character, Vincent, a hated birthmark. It makes him an easy target for bullies. Then he meets Pollack, a young man who doesn’t give a damn how different he is. Suddenly, Vincent’s stain of shame doesn’t seem so bad after all.

Lane Swift’s Privacy Settings shows how easy it is to invite an attractive stranger into your life with an invitation to meet again. But when you discover who the stranger is, you find yourself torn between pursuing a romance and sacrificing your much-valued privacy.

Louis J Harris’s The Twelve Steps takes us into the mind of a gay bilateral amputee athlete who avoids romance at all costs because he feels he is some kind of monster, and regards himself as only half a man.

In Alex Jane’s Don’t Say It, the rodeo circuit is exactly where Caden has always wanted to be, except it’s not the comfortable ride he’d expected. Not fitting in is taking its toll, and although he doesn’t want to leave, he’s not sure how much longer he can pretend to be happy while seeing the man he loves in someone else’s arms. But maybe it’s not Caden who needs to make a change.

Dilo Keith’s Naming Names follows Jesse, the submissive partner in a BDSM relationship. He gets saddled with a silly nickname, an event that leads to learning that Kevin, his dominant, once had a sillier name. When Jesse tells Kevin and his houseguest he believes he should be punished for his manipulative efforts to learn Kevin’s old nickname, the other two men agree and subject Jesse to an extended tickling session. Meanwhile, Jesse remains uncomfortable with the idea of telling his mother Kevin is his dominant and not the boyfriend she hopes he has.

Duncan Swallow’s Last Confession, is something of a classic ‘stranger comes to town’ story. A man fetches up in a small coastal town in some unspecified area of the US. He’s ‘from a small place back east.’ He’s rapidly accepted by the population, is amiable and hardworking, sociable but self-contained. It’s only when he dies that a letter he leaves to the town tells the surprising reality about him.

Jane Stemp’s Mapskin, tells the story of Will, who hides his scars from everyone, even from his family, until a chance meeting on the beach. From Hannah he learns, slowly, to turn the damage that he has tried to ignore into a line on the map of memories, and to find a different way of being himself.

A second story from Duncan Swallow called Laughter With Kafka takes place in an almost surreal Mildly dystopian future, and an ecowarrior courtroom drama played for humour. Little guy takes on the big guys and a corrupt government, aided and abetted by a friend who owes him a favour from a long time ago.

In Viva Gold’s Metamorphosis, Ezra looks in the mirror and still sees a fat, ugly teenager that was bullied at school. With the help of family and friends, he finally moves forward with his life and achieves great success. Now he is expected to attend a reunion and confront those who mocked him relentlessly.

In Fiona Glass’ The Visitor, Madoc is an ordinary bloke in an extraordinary world, where homosexuality is frowned upon and people are segregated based on the colour of their hair and skin. But everything changes when handsome stranger Josh’s world collides with his. Even though Josh is only visiting, he inspires Madoc to change his entire world – and to wait half a lifetime to find true love.

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Amazon top customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars: I love the stories in this book
By T. Walters on November 1, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition

I love the stories in this book. Everyone that it focuses on is in someway different and unique trying to find love and acceptance. This collection shows that despite appearances and “what’s normal” wanting and deserving happiness is what everyone wants no matter the way that love is packaged.

5.0 out of 5 stars: Fabulous book!
By Stephanie VO on November 2, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition

I love this whole book! All the authors did a fabulous job it showing that it is always good to not to let what is considered ‘normal’ tell you that you can’t love or be loved. This is a great campaign and the book has a story for everyone.

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