Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wednesday Women: Claire and Tamiel by Catherine Lane

For this week's Wednesday Women, Catherine Lane has something special for you: With Ann Etter, she'll introduce her leading ladies in audio. It took us a bit to find out how exactly to bring the file to you, but we figured it out!

My good friend Ann Etter and I are putting together an audio clip for my latest release, the lesbian urban fantasy Tread Lightly.

“Is there a specific voice that you hear for Claire?” she asks over the phone.
Claire is a level-one–plus fairy godmother and the POV character. We need to get her just right.
“I don’t know.” Clearly I am no help at all.
“ Okay,” she says, “I hear her as down-to-business. She may be a magical, but she’s grounded in the real world.”
“True, but right now she’s in way over her head both with her case and with Tamiel.” That’s the guardian angel she’s falling for.
“So you think she should be both confident and vulnerable at the same time?” Ann asks.

So she sends me this:

I listen to it a couple of times and dash off the following email.

Claire is perfect, but Tamiel’s voice may be a little too high. I always equate high with young. And while Tamiel is inexperienced outside of her life as a guardian angel, she’s been around much longer than Claire. What do you think? Also in my head, Tamiel is pronounced as Tam’-ee-el. Sorry I didn’t tell you that before.

Another take pops up in my inbox soon after. Ann’s nailed both Claire’s and Tamiel’s voice, and we are off and running in creating an audio clip of the scene. As someone who has no talent in reading out loud, I’m really lucky that Ann will read for me, and we have created clips for all my books. Right around this time, though, I always have the same thought: Audiobooks are such odd animals.

Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love them, and Ann just took a 3000 mile road trip in part, I suspect, to listen to several audiobooks from first word to last— six to be exact, five lesfic and one mainstream. But listening to someone read a book out loud is definitely not the same experience as reading it to yourself.

Reading a novel can be very intimate for the author’s words flow directly into your mind. You and the author become partners, and the experience can sometimes even bypass language and go straight to emotion and feeling. And if all this is really working, reading a book creates a special literary space that’s bigger than either the author or the reader—where each brings unique perceptions and intentions and because of that, only the two of you can enter.

Listing to a book, on the other hand, is more like joining a really cool club. Already the author and the narrator belong, and behind the scenes there is an editor, producer and often a director as well. Everyone adds their spin on the story. When you slip the CD into the car’s dash, you open the door to that meeting and everyone who’s already part of the club is waving you inside.

So, click below and please join Ann and me in the world of Tread Lightly. The door’s wide open.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday Women: Kat and Willow by Raven J. Spencer

This week's Wednesday Women are from Raven J. Spencer's latest novel Willow, an erotic romance/adventure out on May 18th. Welcome!

Looks can be deceiving.
In Kat’s opinion, the optics aren’t great at all when an old mentor comes to hire her for a job. Now running a landscaping business, she doesn’t appreciate the reminder of her old, far more dangerous life—but Franklin Garrett knows that she can’t say no.
Aside from the landscaping job, which, she assumed, is nothing more than a cover, Franklin asks her to look after his daughter Willow while he is on a business trip. Willow who moved in with her father after her divorce, spends her days by the pool and seems to have little ambition.
Too bad Kat is still attracted to her.
Looks can be deceiving, and so Kat has to learn that there’s more to Willow than she imagined.
In order to move forward, she needs to confront the secrets of the past…

Willow has her own secrets, and many good reasons for them. There are things that she can’t tell her father, or the woman he hired to be her bodyguard. She won’t let any of it stop her from going after what she wants.

About Raven:

Raven J. Spencer, lesbian, married, loves everything sensual and indulgent which led her to write erotic romance and fantasies. When she's not writing, you can often find her on Pinterest in the pursuit of inspiration and cheesecake recipes.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RavenJSpencer
Amazon:  www.amazon.com/author/RavenJSpencer

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wednesday Women: Lisa and Senna by Caren Werlinger

This week's Wednesday Women are Lise and Senna, introduced by Caren Werlinger. Welcome! (And if you're signed up for Bookbub, watch out for Caren's promotion).

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Lise and Senna

The Beast That Never Was, despite its obvious loose association with the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, was actually more inspired by a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. I have loved this poem for years. I translated it from the German and knew it would eventually turn into a novel.

In this story, both main characters are stuck in roles imposed on them. Lise, as the eldest daughter, takes over after her father dies. Despite her mother’s schemes to marry her off, she knows marriage to a man is not what she wants. She has no language to express what she feels and fears, but she knows her heart.
Senna is constrained by the curse placed on her over a century ago. Because of it, she never gets the opportunity to become close enough to anyone to see herself as anything but a monster.
When they meet, everything changes for both of them. Suddenly, “the possibility of being”—being more than what others see, being strong enough to fight for what they need, maybe even being loved—changes how they see themselves.
Deliberately vague as to exact place and setting, the story is still firmly rooted in Europe and told in a fairy-tale setting. Beyond the changes that take place in the minds and hearts of the two main characters, this novel also looks at the darker side of human nature—the side that shows itself when it is afraid.
For a different twist on an old favorite, check out The Beast That Never Was.

Here’s an excerpt as a teaser:

Senna lay in bed, unable to sleep as a confused storm of emotions churned within her. She turned on her side and pulled the curtains of her bed apart just enough to see the fire burning in the fireplace. Never had she known anyone like Lise—someone who simply wanted to be with her, without wanting anything from her, who didn’t try to possess her or claim her as some kind of prize. She was so… pure, so innocent.
Giving up on sleep, Senna rose and went to the chair near the fire. Her leg was nearly healed, and she walked with barely a limp. The flames burned higher at her approach. She sat, drawing her knees up, wrapping her robe more tightly around her. She felt old, worn out.
“You are old,” she reminded herself, speaking aloud to the empty room. “It has been one hundred and twelve years that you have been living like this.”
Over a century. She closed her eyes. She used to hope—hope that there was some other way to end this curse; hope that its power would fade with time; hope that one of the places she fled to would be different somehow. But it had been long since she had dared hope in anything. It had become too painful to keep hoping, only to have nothing come of it, year after lonely year.
But now, there was a new flicker of hope, and its name was Lise. She smiled. Such a pretty name. She bowed her head and rested her forehead against her knees.
A sudden knock startled her. She jumped up from her chair and raced to the top of the stairs. Down in the foyer, the door was open and Lise stood there, holding a large bundle.
“Help,” she said, dropping to her knees with her burden. “I need your help.”

                                                                             Copyright 2016 Caren J. Werlinger

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Wednesday Women: Juliet by Annette Mori

This week, meet Juliet, leading lady in Annette Mori's latest, Captivated. Welcome Annette & Juliet!

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The main character in my latest book, Captivated, has a quirky lead character named, Juliet. At first, I wanted to name the book, Juliet the Spy, because she was loosely based on an adult version of one of my all-time favorite characters in the children’s book, Harriet the Spy. The title got nixed, but the character remained.

Not only is Juliet the town snoop, but she also skates the edge of a bona fide diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Many of us have compulsions and joke about being OCD, but a person who truly has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder must live with a set of challenges that most people do not experience. I know this because my mother was a lot like Juliet and her compulsions went far beyond minor obsessions.
It was important to me to portray Juliet as quirky, but loveable. It is easy to cross the line into irritating.  This was a very difficult balance and a lot of my words ended up on the cutting floor because as my editors pointed out, “we get it already, she has OCD.” Yet, I also wanted to help people understand how the disorder affects every part of the person’s life, especially their relationships.
I believe in the end, I did accomplish what I set out to achieve. I wanted people to understand the basic concept of embracing individuality and a person’s unique quirks…in essence loving them for those traits, not despite them.
My grandmother often said that every pot has a lid. I do believe that my mother found her perfect lid in my father, who was her exact opposite. My father appreciated my mother and fundamentally celebrated her OCD because he needed it! I expanded on my mother and father in my weekly blog this past Friday if you’d like to read more about that. Suffice is to say that my book, Captivated is a tribute to my mother.
Here’s a passage from Captivated to give you a glimpse into Juliet.

Juliet pushed the door open to a grinning Tanner. She was careful not to touch the door handle and used her shirt again. “Did the housekeeper take a vacation or something? It’s disgusting in there.”
“For someone who was tied to a chair with a gun against her forehead, you sure have a smart mouth. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you don’t have to express every little thought that pops into your head?”
“Trust me. I’ve kept a whole slew of thoughts to myself. This is me being restrained,” Juliet quipped.
“Hmmm. Good to know. I recommend you working on your tact just a smidge more.” Tanner held out her thumb and forefinger to demonstrate.
“Fine, but if you expect to keep me alive, I need cleaning supplies to rid this cabin of whatever harmful germs have been allowed to flourish without intervention.”
“I didn’t exactly have time to make it presentable for company, and just for the record, I don’t normally live this way. This was a last-minute decision. Come on, let’s eat.”
Juliet looked at the old oak table and sighed. Although it didn’t have any obvious remnants of moldy food or other repulsive items, she was distrustful.
“Stop eyeing the table like it’s your enemy. The food is in a bag, wrapped tightly. Germs aren’t skilled enough to burrow inside two layers of protection. God, I’ve kidnapped a germaphobe.” Tanner shook her head and grimaced.
“I’ll just take the sandwich right from the bag. No need to get out any plates or put it on the table.” Juliet scrunched up her face.
Tanner rolled her eyes and pulled out the bulging sandwich wrapped in white paper. After handing it to Juliet, she dug into the sack and pulled out a bag of potato chips and a cookie.

If you’d like to read more, Captivated is available on Amazon, Affinity, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble. Usually it hits the Bella site in about a month after release. I always appreciate hearing from readers, so drop me a line at: annettemori0859@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday Women: Haley Jordan and Dr. Tonya Preston by KD Williamson

It's been a while, but here's finally a new Wednesday Women blog! This week, KD Williamson joins us to introduce her leading ladies. Thank you, KD!

Between the Lines is third book in the Cops and Docs Series. Like my other books, it is very character driven, but this one is even more down to earth. Characters are people too so by the time the last page is turned or maybe even before that you’ve discovered someone to have lunch with; play video games; stare at/pick up women or even binge watch Netflix.
As a reader, I think you’ll find all that and more in rookie cop, Haley Jordan. She’s loyal, funny, caring and is as laid back as they come when she’s off the clock. She values family which include her friendships and works hard to be friend Haley, daughter Haley, slutty Haley, and partner Haley. She keeps strong boundaries between them all. There’s no drama and no unwanted expectations. It’s just the way she likes it. With that being said, she isn’t the stereotypical butch.
Dr. Tonya Preston is far from the quintessential ice queen. Still, she has her moments, which aren’t without justification given what she’s dealt with in her home and community. She’s not meek. She’s not mild, but she is stuck. Like Haley, she has many roles and does her best to excel at them, even if they aren’t who she wants to be. Duty to her family and her job, as a psychiatrist, has made it hard to have a life and she’s gotten used to feeling lonely even when she’s around people who profess to care. She’s gotten used to pretending. She’s gotten used to ignoring her own needs.
Their first meeting is a catalyst for them both to accept their lives as is or make changes. Haley brings the fun, the laughter and heat into Tonya’s life. In return, Tonya brings steadiness and an awareness that Haley needs to get through an unexpected situation. They are strong. They’re snarky. They both do what they think is right. They’re smart and they know their own minds. In other words, they fit, making them everyday women with everyday problems centered around family, work and each other.
Pure romance.

Social Media Links
Buy Links for Between the Lines

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Thank you!

...for keeping Callie and Rebecca in the Top 100 of lesbian fiction/romance. I am also happy to announce that the Wednesday Women blogs will resume for a bit. Check back tomorrow. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cover Reveal: Autumn Leaves, Winter Storm, Spring Fever and...Summer Wine!

Coming soon!
From March 15th to March 18th, the story of Callie and Rebecca will return with new covers and a new--the final--part, Summer Wine. All books will be available through Kindle Unlimited.

It's been a long road with some unexpected detours, and I apologize to the readers who have waited this long--I hope the conclusion will be worth it. Autumn Leaves was my debut novel back in 2012, and a lot has changed since then. I finally created my thriller series with the Carpenter/Harding books, as I always wanted. I even wrote urban fantasy (RISE).

Publishing Summer Wine has always been part of the plan, and I'm happy that the wait is almost over.

Autumn Leaves is a coming out story. Not all of my books are, as characters are in different stages of their lives. However, I do think that this type of story is still relevant. It continues to be until it is safe for every LGBT person to come out, and be out, no matter where they are.

For the occasion, I plan to do a Facebook Author Takeover event. (Lesfic Romance and Summer Wine). If you're an interested reader, or an author who'd like to promote their work in a one-hour-slot, please let me know.