~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~it's all about the love~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hop Against Homophobia - In memory of William Neale

In the memory of the passing of a good friend and highly-respected member of the m/m romance community, this post is in memory of William Neale. I've talked about Bill before in various ways and his passing is still fresh and teary in my mind. 

Bill's books are emotional and thought-provoking, and the perfect example of how a man can write with his heart and not just his brain. I only say that because controversy still exists in the m/m community over whether the difference between male and female authors can be clearly defined by what and how they write. 

As far as I'm concerned, Bill and others like him, JP Bowie, Ethan Day, Andrew Grey and others, shoot that theory all to hell. JP has even told me that many suspected he was female because of the romanticism of his stories. I'm not trying to start any more controversy, but on a day designed to throw some light on the issue of homophobia, hate and fear, I believe I can state my opinion without cause for attack. One person's opinion may be another person's need to judge, hate or even fear, but for today I choose to believe we can all get along and come together for a good cause.

Bill passed away in March just after finishing the last in his Home series and he was proud of hell of what he'd accomplished. The final book is called Hope and that's exactly what William Neale's writing is to me ~~ hope that one day the issue of homophobia and the hate, fear and bullying that comes with it, will not be an issue at all.

Comment on this post to win ebook copies of the entire Home series. I'd love it if you'd also comment on how Bill's books affected you if you've read any. Basically this is a William Neal lovefest post. Enjoy and good luck.

* * * * *

From the website of William Neale:

~~William Neale lived in Cleveland, Ohio with his partner of over a decade, Marty. He passed away unexpectedly in March 2012. 
~~Relatively new to the world of contemporary m/m romance, he spent over thirty years as a successful corporate communications executive, ad man, and PR "spin doctor."
~~Knowing how to "make up the truth" prepared him well for his next career as an author. William made no apologies for the fact that his books and characters are often larger than life. A William Neale novel invites you to a fantasy - to a place where you can dream and hope that indeed, happily-ever-after can and does exist.
~~Those who seek brutally "real," gritty, and angst-ridden life stories probably won't find them in a William Neale book. "That's okay," said Neale. "Not everybody wants or appreciates a feel-good story. As for me, reading has always been a wonderful escape from reality. Even as a child, I loved the fantasy of becoming Peter Pan, Huck Finn, or one of the Hardy Boys."
~~William greatly appreciated every email, comment, suggestion and most of all the support of his readers and fellow authors. He treasured the interaction that he had with all.

* * * * *
The Home series:


Lucas Reed is a Cleveland advertising executive who returns to his southern hometown to deal with the sudden death of his estranged homophobic father. There, he unexpectedly encounters Rogan James, the former high school bully and now local deputy chief of police who had once made Lucas's life miserable.

Reacquainted 12 years later, the two finally acknowledge a long held powerful physical attraction that quickly evolves into an even stronger emotional connection

But all this becomes secondary when a local reporter's secret obsession for Rogan threatens not only the end of their newly found love, but their very lives


Colby Dawson returns to his southern hometown after serving his country in the U.S. Air Force. Emotionally scarred by a broken relationship, the last thing he wants is another man in his life. But he doesn't count on falling in love with childhood best friend, Kyle McCoy, now a local deputy sheriff. Their relationship seems almost too charmed until a corrupt governor attempts to locate a state prison next door to Colby's family home. His prominent father and brothers organize an illegal protest effort that will force Colby to choose between loyalty to his family -- or to the partner and lover who may have to arrest them. Not only is Colby and Kyle's relationship in jeopardy, one of them will fight for his very life while the other must confront his guilt


Grayson Wagner is a classical pianist who was unemployed, hungry, and on the brink of being homeless until he’s hired by a big-hearted former country music star as her new piano player. Gray loves his job but his new life is threatened when a near fatal accident delivers him into the brawny arms of Jacob Kent, a reclusive park ranger. Their physical attraction quickly turns into much more. But can their love survive Jacob’s secret? Or, a shocking revelation that threatens to tear down the very house that love built?


Dumped by his closeted lover only to fall for a man who’s already taken, Spencer Hawkins finishes up his fellowship to discover he doesn't have a job. For anyone on the outside looking in, it seemed Spencer was failing miserably at life in general, until one phone call changes everything. The prospect of pulling up stakes and relocating to a new city provides the one thing he needs most—Hope.

Hunter Harrison's partner has left, abandoning not only him but their adopted son whose heart defect has left them in limbo awaiting a heart transplant that may not come in time. It took meeting Spencer for Hunter and his son to find something new to hold onto—Hope.

Building a love that can last a lifetime will take strength and the one thing they found in each other—Hope.

* * * * *
1. Leave your name and email address - the winner will be contacted by email
and there will be a post here, as well
2. Any personal thoughts about William Neale and his books are greatly appreciated,
but any negative feedback will automatically void your comment completely
3. If you haven't been to my own personal blog post - hop on over there
4. Keep on hopping - there's lots to discover
5. Join the cause to make homophobia, hate and fear a thing of the past


  1. I was so sad when I heard the news about William Neale. I read so many nice comments and tributes about him on differentnt blogs after his passing. He sounded like such a kind and caring man, a true gentleman.

    I've read several of his stories, but only the first one(Home)in his Home series. I really like what I've read so far. One that made a lasting impression on me was Christmasing With You. It was such a sweet story(and yes,it made me cry). That one made me think of his partner Marty. Hope he has someone to help him get through the difficult times.

    You can just tell what a loving man he was from his writing. He will be truly missed.


  2. Thanks for doing this; if Bill were still with us he would have had his own post up here for this Hop, and it would have been sweet and poignant and articulate.

  3. I agree Kaje. That's one of the reasons I'm doing it, plus I convinced him to do the Hop and he reopened his blog just for that purpose.

    Thank you, Lisa. He was a fabulous man and yeah, Christmasing With You made me bawl my eyes out. :)

  4. I'm fairly new to reading M/M Romance and when I asked for recommendations, William Neale's name was one that came up quite often. I've read Christmasing with Y0u, and had planned to add his other books to my collection in the near future. I do not doubt that he has left an indelible mark on the genre, and the many people who knew him.


  5. ive never head or William but now i sooo want to read his work my heart goes out to all of his friends and loved ones for their loss seems the reading community lost another good one maybe someday homophobia will be a thing of the past until then ill celebrate the love and lives of all the GLBT community M/M romance holds a special place in my heart ty for introducing me to works i havent read before and for including me


  6. Although I love all William Neale's books, my favorite is Home....it was one of the first contemporary M/M romances that I read and I adored the dynamics of the two main characters.
    Thank you for hosting.

  7. Wonderful post! You honored William with your thoughtful, heartfelt words and you've done him proud! Somehow I've missed reading his material, but I plan to remedy that very shorty. Thank you for sharing his story with us. *Hugs*


  8. Thank you for this wonderful post and for taking part in the blog hop!


  9. Thank you for sharing this with us today.


  10. I was and still am very sad about William's death. He was wonderful author.


  11. What a wonderful post!! William will never be forgotten. His words will remain as his legacy. I wish I had gotten to know him. All I know is what I've read and I'm sad I wasn't able to have at least one chat with him.

    Thank you for doing this for him.

  12. K-lee,
    he was so very dear, wasn't he? I'm thankful I got to meet him, sad to have lost him... I love his writing. Special, special man. Thanks for giving him his own post.


  13. Such a wonderful post K-lee. He will long remain in our hearts and memories.

  14. Thank you for writing this post in memory of William. When I met him at GRL he just kept telling me how happy he was that I'd decided to come and how proud he was of me for coming out, in spite of everything.

    Weeks before he passed, William and I started emailing and talking about GRL, my writing, my books and he was even encouraging me about future as an advocate for gay/transgender rights, GLBTQ kids and as a writer. He was truly, truly amazing. So encouraging and uplifting. He helped me endure and keep going, he helped me push through a lot of the darkness and uncertainty that still plagues me. I read his emails sometimes when I need a pick me up because his words were so kind and encouraging.

    It was very kismet that his final book was entitled Hope because that was something he was absolutely brilliant at spreading around and instilling in those whose lives he touched.

    Thank you for this post K-lee. Thank you so much.


  15. K-Lee, Thank you so much for this post. I didn't know WIlliam very well, but I met him at GRL last year and he was an absolute sweetheart of a man. I also just finished Home, and I totally agree, there is no gender difference in writing romance. It was a Love Story, with a capital L and S. Thank you, William, for giving more beauty to the literary world. ---wtprater

  16. I can't believe I didn't know about William Neale before this hop. I know he must be smiling down on all the participating bloggers this weekend.


  17. I love William Naele's books. He will be missed.


  18. Being relatively new to the M/M community, I'd never heard of Bill until his passing--but the outpouring of testimonials and the huge sense of loss at his death speak volumes about what kind of man he was.

    And that's all that counts in the end. What kind of person you are. The lives that you impacted and the love you leave behind. Being gay or straight, black, white or other, male or female, tall or short, bushy-haired or bald--none of those qualifiers are necessary or important, are they?


    Great post. I can see why so many people miss him.

  19. I actually don't want to be included in contest since I own all his books but I wanted to comment. I love his work and have reread his home series many times. I never got to meet him but wrote to him twice and he responded both times. He seemed like such a nice man that I was excited to meet this year at GRL. His passing will be felt for a long time. I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to family. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  20. I didn't know Mr Neale personally, but as a fan, I thank you for hosting this blog. He seemed to be such a loving and creative soul, my heart goes out to his family and friends. One of my favorite books is "A New Normal". Not many can pull a story like that off, but this one, to me, was brilliantly done!


  21. Wow, he's gone and I didn't even know he existed. I guess I'll have to discover him now...

  22. As a relatively new writer in the M/M genre I had never until now heard of William Neale. I will however investigate his books. They look and sound wonderful.

  23. Beautiful post K-lee. Thank you.


  24. I ran across the blurb for "Home" just a few months before William Neale's untimely passing. To me he was a new author to explore. I put that book, as well as the next in the series, on my 'Wish List' until such time that my funds allowed me to make another purchase of books. Then, just a very short time later, the unimaginable happened and Mr. Neale's name became all too familiar but for the very worst of reasons.

    Thanks K-Lee for paying tribute to a man that so many seem to have loved. Wish I'd had the chance to get to know him.


  25. I was so excited to go to GRL this year because one of the authors I would meet was Mr. Neale. I was so sad to hear of his passing and I hope all of his loved ones know how much he gave to our community.
    Thank you for posting in his honor and participating in the hop.
    RIP Bill <3
    bellaleone4 at gmail dot com

  26. I never did get the chance to read his books but I've always wanted to. I'm sad to hear about his death and my prayers go out to his friends and family. Thank you for including such a wonderful author in this amazing hop.


  27. I have not read any of William's books, yet. They have all been added to my list. If they are as good as the blurbs sound it is a sad thing their will be no more.

  28. I came to read about Hope just about the same time as I heard about William's death. I read all the wonderful tributes to him and have his name on my to-buy authors list. When i saw his name on the original blog role, i did wonder what i would find here but glad i visited and got chance to say, Thanks!

  29. I never knew William although I heard of his passing. Nor have I had the chance to read any of his books as yet. I am relatively new to the genre and have a LOT of catching up to do. I am sure when I do get round to reading them I will enjoy them immensely.

    lmbrownauthor at gmail dot com

  30. I have all of his books on my kindle and have read them over and over. He was such an amazing man that I only wish I could have met.....He left an incredible part of himself behind in all the people's lives he touched.....Thanks K-Lee for sharing this with all of us.

  31. I'm relatively new to the m/m romance community and unfortunately never had the chance to read William Neale before his passing. I'll definitely pick them up.

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  32. I was so sad to read about William's passing. I would love to win this series, I know so many people respected him in the community and he will be missed.

  33. I didn't know William personally but his writing always had a warm presence about it. He will be missed.

  34. I had met William at AAD 2011 and he was so kind. His books are beautiful... and now there will be too few because his life was too short. rpoma72(at)yahoo(dot)com.

  35. I have never read any of his book but I might have to fix that.

    burchills AT gmail DOT com

  36. You're right, K-Lee, those guys DO shoot the argument out of the water.

    I was so looking forward to meeting Bill at GRL this year. I didn't know him well, but his passing still made me cry. Mostly I'd heard about him from you and others, but I'd also had a few email exchanges with him. Unfortunately nothing that let me get to know him on a personal level, but they were always kind and helpful. The same goes to comments from him on the yahoo groups - always kind and a gentleman.

    eripike at gmail dot com

  37. Sadly I never had a chance to read any of his books but I have been so touched to read everyone's thoughts.

    Thanks for the giveaway and please count me in!

  38. I have never read any of his books. I feel that I have missed out a lot because of that!

    Even if I don't win the competition I will be getting some of his books to read.


  39. I am also relatively new to the m/m genre and have not had the opportunity to read Bill's books yet, though they are on my list to get. I have heard so many wonderful things about him and his books in the last 2 months.

    susanmik AT gmail DOT com

  40. I have not read anything by William Neale, but the Home series sounds absolutely wonderful. This is a really neat thing you're doing to remember him by. I'm sure he'd approve. ;)

    Ashley E

  41. Thanks for the post, he will be greatly missed.


  42. Such Wonderful, Heartfelt Tribute in your Post K-lee, Sending Big Cyber Hugs Your Way!!!!

    I very much enjoyed reading William Neale's Books. He was a Very Talented Writer & will truly be missed…but we can Rejoice in His Life by the Wonderful Gifts He left Us….His Amazing Books.

    Thank you so much for Hosting this Wonderful Blog Hop with Erica Pike & N. J. Nielsen. I am truly amazed with the amount of Extremely Talented Authors that have come together for such a Great Cause, the Hop Against Homophobia

    Take care K-lee & Wishing You All the Best,
    PaParanormalFan Renee
    paranormalromancefan at yahoo dot com

  43. Thanks for participating!!


  44. Thank you very much for honouring William with me an thank you for attending the Hop. ;)

    Random.org (Bob) has chosen a winner...


    I'll be contacting her ASAP.