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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Brandi Kennedy Blog Hop

About Brandi:
Brandi Kennedy is a romance novelist who is finally living her childhood career dream. As a child, books were her world and through adulthood, that love of words has never changed. Brandi is now a contemporary romance novelist and poet with a deep love of writing and a curiously adventurous desire to someday write in several other genres.

A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet, and of course, mothering her two young daughters. Currently, she finds her home in the heart of
Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.

Fat Chance: The Kingsley Series #1


Prescription for Love: The Kingsley Series #2


Wrestling Harmony: The Kingsley Series #3

More than Friends: The Kingsley Series #4

Selkie I


Selkie II

Fighting for Freedom

Courageous (a short standalone novella)

Where to Find Brandi:
Twitter: @brandikennedy84
Instagram: @authorbrandikennedy
Snapchat: @brandikennedy84
**For some exclusive fun, different and exciting new information as well as an extra monthly flash fiction, join her for as little as $1 at:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

RISE. Escapism and Politics, and a sale.

Politics and Escapism

Do they go together? Can we ever separate them?
As an author, I’m working on making a living. I tell the stories that mean something to me, and, fortunately my readers, about women fighting the odds…As a woman and lesbian, I believe all of those stories, not just mine, carry a clear political statement, and that’s a good thing.
We don’t have to go back in history—homophobia and misogyny are well and alive, and I’ve always believed that fiction can open people’s mind, move them, move all of us forward despite the ever predictable backlash. On the big screen (Katniss, Lisbeth, Wonder Woman), on the small screen (Supergirl, The Fosters, etc.) and with each of us individually.
I chose these days specifically to put RISE on sale, because I want to put it into the hands of as many readers as possible, for both selfish and unselfish reasons.
It’s about escapism. It’s about politics. Oh, and vampires and angels.
I think that’s a good recipe for fighting the odds.
Hope you enjoy reading about some badass females assisting human women in the revolution, and if you’re marching this weekend, stay safe.

RISE is $2.99 on Amazon.com until Sunday: smarturl.it/RiseBW

Sometimes it's easy for us to  give in to the pressure to market our books, sales and book-related blogs that the reason why we wrote a particular story can get lost in the messaging. Of course I hope you'll check it out, at the reduced price, at the original price, or in Kindle Unlimited/Prime.

Aside from the business aspect, I just love these characters. I imagine them in the kind of action movie that I hardly ever get to see, with women as the leads--women who work together towards a common goal, with all the rewards and complications that come with that.

It's fun, it's sexy, but there is more to it. In real life, there's always the danger to fall for the "divide and conquer" scheme from the other side. Even paranormal ladies have to consider this when they try to come up with what's the best way to get rid of patriarchy.

For a shifter and a vampire, vigilante justice isn't such a big deal. Angels, fairies and witches are not necessarily on board with that. How far will they go to teach humans, and is there a point where said humans would turn against them rather than join them?
Daphne, a vampire, and Madina, a witch, have maintained their relationship in spite of their peers subtle disapproval, but now they need the support of both Daphne's clan and Madina's coven, and not only that--they are trying to convince witches and vampires around the world to join the cause.
Cass, a shifter, is married to a human man, and she'd prefer for him not to find out about her true nature, but is that even possible when they are trying to change the ways of millennia?
Skylar is aware that her fairy skills and her contribution in the fight will be different from Cass's and Daphne's, and sometimes she's not sure they are of equal worth.
Rafi, the archangel, watches over her friends as they are trying to introduce a new paradigm to more or less willing humans, while not losing who they are at the same time.

So while there comes a moment when we think of sales and downloads and reviews, what comes first is the characters and their story.

PS: If you loved Madina and Daphne's love story, you can find a bit more about them in the short story Genesis, in the Spank or Treat 2016 anthology (there's no spanking in the story though, and there's only one other F/F story).

If you'd like to learn more about the characters first, you can do so on this blog, starting with Rafi http://barbarawinkes.blogspot.ca/2016/09/rise-rafi.html (you'll find the other links there).