Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cover Reveal: RISE



RISE.

Angel. Vampire. Witch. Fairy. Shifter.

For a long time, paranormal beings have lived alongside of humans, and minded their own business. After being mocked, hunted and used for millennia, it’s not in their best interest to get involved in human affairs—yet, these five females can’t turn away from the attacks on the dignity of human women. They have intervened before, but one incident convinces them that the time has come to turn their efforts into a global movement. The tide is finally turning.



Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Design of Everything Perfect -- new excerpt

If you're thinking about picking up The Design of Everything Perfect for your summer vacation--or just because--here's a new excerpt:




 
At the bar, she took a seat on one of the bar stools, and ordered a Cosmopolitan. Watching people dance to a song that went straight to her, well, heart and lower located places, she was waiting for the magic to begin. The first sip of an amazing drink. The first eye contact. She’d bring home a favorable impression of NOLA after all.
The first woman to casually stroll her way was a cute blonde with curly, shoulder-length hair. She stopped to order a drink, giving Payton a long sideways look and a smile. She wore jeans and a low-cut top, revealing an average-priced wardrobe to Payton’s schooled eyes. Payton wasn’t a snob. She appreciated people choosing clothes that fit their personality and body.
“How come you are all by yourself?” the woman asked.
“I’m a tourist—kind of,” Payton told her.  “I had the choice between getting up at five to catch my flight, or simply stay up. I thought this place was worth checking out. I’m Payton.”
“Maryann,” her companion said. “Good choice. This is a cool place, awesome drinks—as you already found out—and you can meet interesting people.”
You have no idea, Payton thought, amused. She was, after all, an interesting person if the tabloids were to be believed.
“Sounds great to me. So, Maryann…” For some reason, her gaze fell past Maryann and locked on a woman who stood leaning against a pillar, beer bottle in hand. It might be the one cocktail she had almost finished, but Payton stared, unabashedly, long enough for the woman to catch her doing so and smile smugly in acknowledgment. Payton felt her cheeks flush, more with excitement than embarrassment. She tore her gaze away hesitantly, her voice breathless when she asked, “You live here?” Truth be told, she had come here with the intention of not wasting any time. Her approach seemed to work with Maryann, but all of a sudden, Payton wasn’t so interested anymore.
“Yes, I moved here for work a few years ago. I love it here. It’s where all my favorite lesbian detective novels take place.”
Payton smiled at that before she tried to unobtrusively check for the other woman again. She hadn’t moved from her vantage place, still studying Payton and Maryann with interest. Maybe she was looking for more than one partner for tonight…This time, the heat welled up and went everywhere. Payton was willing to experiment—maybe not that much tonight. She signaled the bartender for another drink, barely able to wait until it was ready.
“I like those novels too,” she said to Maryann. It was the truth, except it had been a long time since she’d had the leisure to sit down and read. Working on her designs was quality time these days, when she didn’t have to attend this charity dinner or that runway show. The cocktail arrived, and she stood, picking it up. “I’m sorry, but I have to go. My date just arrived. Have a great evening.”
She didn’t wait for Maryann’s reaction, the pang of guilt fleeing quickly as she made her way through throngs of people to her intended target, the woman she really wanted to get under tonight.
Payton had met women like her before, gorgeous, with the attitude and the skills to back it up—they usually didn’t stay in her life for long, but she never regretted the time spent together. Her hair was long, but the buttoned down white shirt and black jeans told Payton a lot about who’d hold the door open for whom. Well, she didn’t mind any opening of doors, as longs as things were equal in the bedroom.
“Funny,” she said, craning her neck a bit when she stood in front of her, even in her own three inch heels. “Maryann just told me I could meet interesting people in here. I think she was right.”
“What else did Maryann tell you?” the woman asked, amused. Her voice had a warm, dark timbre, and Payton silently congratulated herself on her choice. This one was a winner. Tonight, she’d be all hers. If all else failed, few women could resist the temptation of a luxury hotel and unlimited room service. Payton didn’t think she’d have to work so hard with her.
“Honestly—I met her five minutes ago. When I saw you, I thought it wouldn’t be fair to get her hopes up too high.”
“Really. Now you’re messing with my hopes instead?”
Payton smiled behind her cocktail glass. “I wouldn’t call it ‘messing’. I’m in a city where I don’t know anybody except my super-annoying clients, and I’m a little lonely. I really don’t like to sleep alone.”
She hoped that wasn’t too direct. There was a type of woman who liked to stick to a certain protocol. It wouldn’t work for Payton in a relationship. Then again, she wasn’t looking for a relationship at the moment, but someone to spend the night with—a few hours, anyway, until she had to go to the airport.
“I can take care of that.” The woman reached out to brush her fingers over Payton’s cheek, her voice dropping to a whisper that caused a pleasant shiver easing down Payton’s spine. She could feel her toes curling slightly, a nice kind of foreboding. “Can I buy you a drink first? I’m Rose, by the way.”
“Payton—and yes, you can. I just had to make sure no one else was snatching you away from me.”
Rose’s reaction was a throaty chuckle. “It sounds very convincing when you put it that way.”
“Good, that was the plan. What do you say we postpone the drink and get out of here? We can always go down to the hotel bar later. They have a pretty good selection as well.”
Rose seemed to hesitate for a moment, then she nodded. “Yeah, let’s do that.” It was subtle, but present, the negotiation for some sort of balance. When they left the bar, Rose’s arm was around her in what could have been a practical move as the place had filled up even more. However, it had the feel of something more emotional, possessive. Payton was fine with that. She loved knowing she belonged.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wednesday Women: Shea Stevens by Dharma Kelleher



We haven't had a Wednesday Women blog in a while, so I'm happy to present Dharma Kelleher who's joined by the protagonist of her debut novel "Iron Goddess," Shea Stevens. Congratulations on the release!

Now, let Dharma take you into the world of Shea Stevens... 



Going for the Grit

About ten years ago, I grew increasingly frustrated at the lack of diversity in the lesbian fiction I could find. 

For starters, most lesfic novels were either coming out stories, romances, erotica, or cozy murder mysteries. But there’s so much more to being a lesbian than coming out, falling in love, having sex, and stumbling over dead bodies. 

Where were all the adventure stories? The thrillers? The space operas? The urban fantasies? And why did the stories always center around the main character’s sexuality? Straight fiction didn’t do that.
And then there were the characters. Almost exclusively white, young, nubile, upper middle class women, like much of the cast of The L Word

After a while it felt like a literary diet of mayonnaise sandwiches on Wonder bread. Where were the outsiders? The troublemakers? The misfits? The punks?
It was this hunger for diversity that propelled me to write. 

Along the way, I became a biker myself and fell in love with the multi-faceted biker subculture. It really is a whole different world, full of conflict, drama and interesting, flawed characters. Heroes, villains, antiheroes, victims, and survivors, but none of them boring.

This is how I came up with Shea Stevens, the protagonist of my debut novel Iron Goddess. She’s an ex-con, lesbian biker who builds custom motorcycles for women. Not the kind of person you’d invite to your baby shower or gallery opening, and she probably wouldn’t come if asked. 

She’s not young and pretty, but pushing forty with a roadmap of scars crisscrossing her face and fingernails permanently stained with engine grease. You wouldn’t want to date her because she’d never have time for you. Too busy either building bikes or getting in trouble, while trying to help others out of trouble. 

She doesn’t always do the right thing or the smart thing, but when shit goes sideways, she’s the one you want on your side. She’s tougher than boot leather and go to any length to protect the people she cares about. She’s no angel. Just a badass survivor with zero tolerance for assholes, bigots, and bullies.

As the daughter of an outlaw biker, she grew up learning how to pick locks, hotwire cars, ride motorcycles, and shoot guns. All good fun until dear old Dad murdered her mama when Shea was fifteen. 

After serving time in prison for boosting cars, she’s tried to live a clean life, running her motorcycle shop, Iron Goddess Custom Cycles, with her business partner Terrance and a crew full of ex-cons and recovering addicts. 
 
But when someone steals three custom motorcycles and shoots an employee, Shea’s old instincts kick in. Rather than trust the cops, she opts to handle things herself. Doing so, however, leads her back into the violent, drug-fueled, cutthroat world she had tried so hard to leave behind. And this is where the rubber literally meets the road in a series of high speed chases, fierce gun battles, kidnappings, and bloody acts of revenge. 

Iron Goddess isn’t a lesbian romance or even a cozy mystery. It’s an exciting, gritty, violent tale about renegades, outlaws, and misfits, set in Arizona’s rural high desert. Sort of Sons of Anarchy as seen through the eyes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I hope you’ll join me for this bumpy ride. Just hold on tight and wear a helmet. 



Dharma Kelleher writes gritty tales about outlaws, renegades, and misfits. Her hobbies include riding motorcycles, picking locks, and getting inked. 



Her debut novel IRON GODDESS from Alibi (Penguin Random House) is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, and Books a Million.  Learn more about her and her writing at dharmakelleher.com.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Excerpt: The Design of Everything Perfect

Most of my recent releases have been in the suspense category - now it's time for a romance again. Rose and Payton's relationship is complicated right from the start. Can they overcome their respective pasts, or are will history repeat itself?


Here's a little sneak peek of my next release, The Design of Everything perfect:
 



Rose hadn’t envisioned celebrating with a $150 champagne, but so be it. She pulled a chair for Payton who carefully sat down in her tight black and burgundy dress. She was once again wearing heels with a height that made Rose dizzy to look at.
Proceeding to open the wine and pour a glass for each of them, she said, “Enjoy. I hope you like what’s on the menu today.”
Payton looked her up and down unabashedly. “I’m sure I will.”
Rose laughed. “I’m flattered, but let’s have some food first? I’m starving too.”
* * * *
Halfway through the meal, Payton sat back and studied her curiously. “Since we’re here now…I guess it would be appropriate to do this. You know my name. I guess with the last name being Smith, my parents had to come up with something more original…anyway. I saw yours on the doorbell, and I have to ask. Daisy Dumont, the politician’s fiancĂ©e?”
“Oh.” Of all the subjects, Rose hadn’t expected this one to come up. After all, she’d ended up in bed with Payton trying to escape from family matters. “She’s my sister. How do you know her?”
Payton shrugged and took another sip of her wine. “I’m working for her on some things for the wedding. Wow, I’m not sure if this is an even bigger coincidence, or no coincidence at all.”
“She might have mentioned me. I’m the sister who’s not invited.” That didn’t sound bitter at all. Time to change the subject.
“That sucks,” Payton said, leaning forward to place her hand over Rose’s. “I’m sorry for bringing that up. I hope that doesn’t change your mind about me…us…because there’s no way I can get out of that contract now. Wow, and she even invited me…what a b—sorry,” she said, blushing. “I’m digging myself deeper, and we haven’t even finished the first course. Are you going to throw me out?”
“No, not at all.” In fact, it did her some good to have someone approach the situation with some reason and humor, someone who was on her side in this. The short trip to New Orleans and its fallout had almost made Rose feel like she was the one at fault, that she couldn’t keep quiet, and that she was the one making it hard on everyone. “You’re right, it sucks, but let’s talk about something else. First of all, you look amazing. How you can make it more than two steps in those heels without breaking something is beyond me, but I admire it.”
Payton laughed, happy with the praise. “It’s not that hard. Even if you don’t usually wear them, you’d be fine with a little practice.”
“Maybe, but that wouldn’t be such a good idea in my job.”
“Speaking of which…there was something I wanted to ask you. Have you ever considered modeling?”
“Modeling? Hell, no.” Where did that come from? “Honestly, I never thought about it. I don’t think I’d be good at it, and besides, that industry isn’t especially fond of women.”
“That depends. I think you’d be very good at it, but it’s not for everyone. So, what do you do?”
“I’m a cop. A detective, actually.” Rose braced herself. On occasion, this piece of information was followed by questions about whether she’d ever shot someone—she hadn’t—or if she’d be willing to use cuffs in bed. It had happened one time.
“Really? My Dad was a cop too,” Payton said, looking tense all of a sudden. Rose hadn’t missed the use of past tense. She did the math quickly, before Payton elaborated.  

Curious? Check out www.amazon.com/author/barbarawinkes and hit the "follow" button if you'd like to be informed about new releases.


 



Thursday, May 26, 2016

Cover reveal: The Design of Everything Perfect

Coming this summer:




Rose, a detective with the NYPD, tries to battle her frustration from a family visit in New Orleans the only way she knows how: With a one-night-stand. She doesn’t find out until later that the other woman is New York-based designer Payton Smith. They see each other again and the attraction flares once more, but things soon get complicated: Rose isn’t out in her workplace and doesn’t want to be. Payton is out and proud, but she carries issues with her she evades with the help of beautiful designs, and sometimes, a bottle. They both have a long way to go. Can they make it together?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday Women: Sandee Mason by B. Lynn Goodwin



Today, we have another Wednesday Women blog by fellow Eternal Press author B. Lynn Goodwin who introduces Sandee Mason from her novel Talent. Thanks B. Lynn & Sandee for visiting!


B. Lynn Goodwin
@Lgood67334







Role Reversal:
A Brief Interview with TALENTs Sandee Mason

“Sandee Mason? I’m Peter Donovan from the Wolf Print.”

As if everybody didn’t already know him. His picture is in every issue.

“Do you have a couple minutes?”

I set down my phone. Diego just texted: The band got a gig at a birthday party. Can’t do set workday. He can wait a few minutes. 

I figure Peter wants a quote for an article about my brother, who disappeared eight months ago while serving in Afghanistan, but he surprises me. “Can I ask you a few questions about Oklahoma?”

I don’t want to talk about the show. All I ever do is dumb stuff like sweep the stage and call people up if they miss rehearsal. The real stage manager is Rob. I’m just his assistant, and believe me he lets me know it. “What do you want to know?”

“I got the facts from you drama teacher, so I guess I want a more personal angle. Why did you get involved?”

“I wanted to be an actor, but in some ways being Assistant Stage Manager is better. I guess.”

“How is it better?”

“I … uhh … I get to fill in when anybody who doesn’t have an understudy is absent.”

He stares at me. I’m not going to tell him I like hanging out with Rob Cooper. I’m not even sure that I do, but he’s a senior, and he and Bri used to play on the same Little League team, and having him around is a little like having Bri back. Peter is still staring.

“Umm. Is that enough?”

“What else do you like?”

“Getting props?” I see his face drop. “Boring, I know.”

“So you like filling in on stage. Which role did you want?”

“Ado Annie. I love her. She’s such a flirt and she gets in a fight and everything. But that role went to Nicole Lorca.”

He rolls his eyes. What’s up with that? Everybody does it, and I have no idea why. 

“Why did the school pick Oklahoma when we live in California?”

“Good question.” I start to laugh. “No one has ever asked that before. Why do you work on the school paper?”

“Excuse me. Who’s interviewing who?

His eyebrows shoot up and he stares for a minute. Then he starts laughing. “Rob was right about you.”

“What did he say?”

“He said there’s nobody quite like you. So tell me everything. Which actors are the ones to watch?” He leans towards me. For the first time I notice that he has incredible blue eyes. And freckles. But not so many that his skin looks splotchy. “Who misses rehearsal? Who is a ham? Are you just doing this cause it will look good on your college application or is it actually worth your time?”

He really wants to know. “It’s worth my time.” I say slowly. I know he’s going to ask why, and I don’t know how to answer. Time to improvise, I tell myself. I stall by taking a long drink from my water bottle. “Lots of reasons,” I say with a smile. “Why do you think I like it?”

It’s fun throwing questions back at him. If things don’t work out for me in theatre, maybe I’ll become a reporter.
+++

TALENT is about Sandee Mason, who wants to find her talent, get her license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, Bri, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan. You’ll find all about her adventures with Diego, Rob, Nicole, and the others in TALENT, which is available on Amazon at Talent. (cut & paste) http://www.amazon.com/Talent-B-Lynn-Goodwin/dp/1629293350?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_pap_swatch_0&sr=



Author B. Lynn Goodwin owns Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com. She's written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing) as well as Talent (Eternal Press).  Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; The Sun; Good Housekeeping.com and most recently in Purple Clover. She is working on a memoir about getting married for the first time at 62 to a 2-time widower, seeking his third wife, that she met on … gulp … Craigslist.  


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hop for Awareness, Visiblity and Equality




 Please check out the official page for the hop here.

At the end of the post, you'll find a list of all participating authors who would love to have you drop - or better: hop - by. Have fun!


If there’s anything to learn from history and politics, it’s that we can never let our guard down, no matter how good things might be personally, at this moment. Progress is never completely linear and unhindered…There will always be those people who want to go back to “simpler times” when prejudice and discrimination was widely tolerated.
Through visibility, information and education, many hearts and minds have been changed, but not all want to change. Some couldn’t care less about logic, or numbers that prove there’s no way to justify the recent bathroom paranoia. If you take a closer look, it’s incredibly cynical that these are coming from the same people who casually accept endangering women’s lives by denying them access to reproductive health care.
I believe we have to accept that there are some we can’t reach by appealing to logic and kindness, and find ways to protect ourselves—by trying our best not to let these people have power.

The single most important thing is probably our vote. It’s not just about one candidate on any level of government, it’s about the domino effect that majorities have, up to decisions made in our highest courts.

Dialogue is important, but it’s also healthy to identify when you need to walk away from an individual, and your relationship with them, knowing it does you more harm than good. This can be hard to do, especially when the person in question is someone close to you.

Overcoming differences within our community is another way to move forward, because whenever there’s in-fighting, there’s always a third party benefiting, and in this case, the stakes are much too high.

These days, whenever companies come up with inclusive measures or commercials, hate groups cry for a boycott. On one of the articles regarding this subject, one commenter said “Stop using us to sell your stupid [product].”

Really? What is the alternative? Keeping LGBT folks out of commercials, making them invisible again? I want to see LGBT couples and families EVERYWHERE, in every commercial, TV and movie. Sure, the person has the right to voice their opinion, but what if that particular commercial actually helps viewers to correct their idea of “normal”? What if it brings more people onto the same page?

We need to keep talking to each other, so the common goal doesn’t get lost in misunderstandings. The term “queer” can be empowering to some of us, incredibly hurtful to others. It’s quick and easy to start a shouting match on social media, but why not avoid it in the first place by listening to each other?

When bigoted minds, in it for power, money or ideology, win, we all lose. All of us who believe in equality, logic and kindness, have that in common, and it’s something we should always keep in mind.

 If you'd like to check out my books, you can find a list here at the Lesbian Authors Guild. 

I'll draw 2 winners for an ebook each from the commenters. Enjoy hopping! :)