Monthly update – August 2016

Heart Trouble_JaeSummer is slowly coming to an end, so I’m trying to enjoy the last gorgeous weeks here in southwestern Germany while I eagerly await the publication of my next novel and first medical romance, Heart Trouble. It’s a book with an unusual plot, so I can’t wait to find out how readers will react to it.

I have already translated the book into German and have sent it off to the editor today. The German title is “Herzklopfen und Granatäpfel,” which roughly translates to “Heart palpitations and pomegranates.”

I also finished revising my two nonfiction books for writers in August.

Point of View and Show, Don’t Tell will be out in October, just in time for NaNoWriMo.

Other than that, I spent most of my time doing research for my next novel, which will focus on Jordan, the charming womanizer who was a supporting character in Heart Trouble. She’s a surgeon, so I had to do some research into her everyday life. Her love interest is a virtual assistant who works mostly with authors… Maybe I should hire her :-)

On the editing front, I’m honored to say that I am working on line editing Fletcher DeLancey’s Catalyst, which is the next book in her Chronicles of Alsea sci-fi series.

So here are the numbers for August:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL784 hours608 hours266 hours187 hours197 hours2,042 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours
April116 hours87 hours26 hours---11 hours240 hours
May136 hours54 hours---79 hours14 hours283 hours
June108 hours101 hours---4 hours21 hours234 hours
July67 hours66 hours---46 hours36 hours215 hours
August48 hours80 hours78 hours11 hours68 hours285 hours

Please check back so you won’t miss the publication of Heart Trouble next month—or subscribe to my updates by entering your e-mail into the box in the right-hand menu.

Jae

And the winners are…

Shaken-to-the-Core-3D-BookCover-transparent_backgroundThank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway! I received an in-box full of fun messages.

My favorite answer was this one:

Clearly, the answer to your question of how many books you have published in English is not enough.  We want more.

The correct answer was thirteen, by the way! 

Here’s a complete list of all my books of more than 50,000 words: 

  • Oregon Series: 2 books (Backwards to Oregon; Hidden Truths)
  • Hollywood Series: 3 books (Departure from the Script; Damage Control; Just Physical)
  • Portland Police Bureau Series: 2 books (Conflict of Interest; Next of Kin)
  • Shape-Shifter Series: 2 books (Second Nature; True Nature)
  • Vampire Diet Series: 1 book (Good Enough to Eat)
  • Moonstone Series: 1 book (Something in the Wine)
  • Standalone romances: 2 books (Shaken to the Core; Under a Falling Star)

The rest of the books, including my nonfiction books for writers, have fewer than 50,000 words.

Since so many people participated, I decided to give away two instead of one signed copy of Shaken to the Core.

The winners are:

Grace

Simone K.

Grace and Simone, please send me an e-mail with your address so that I know where to send the paperback.

Everyone else, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter. There’ll be another giveaway next month that you don’t want to miss!

Giveaway: Win a free copy of my historical romance

Shaken-to-the-Core-3D-BookCover-transparent_backgroundIt’s been about two months since my latest novel, Shaken to the Core, has been published. Sales are going well, and the book is getting great reviews. So, as a thank-you to my loyal readers, it’s time for a giveaway.

To enter the drawing for a signed copy of Shaken to the Core, send an e-mail to jae@jae-fiction.com and answer the following question:

How many English books over 50,000 words have I published so far?

Please don’t leave a comment on this blog, or you might give away the correct answer to your competitors for the paperback! :-) 

I’ll announce the winner at the beginning of next week. If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to my newsletter by entering your e-mail on the right-hand side of page. That way, you won’t miss the announcement of the winner or any future giveaways.

Here’s a description of Shaken to the Core:

Kate Winthrop, the only child of a wealthy shipping magnate, has the course of her life charted for her by her parents. She’s expected to marry well and produce a successor to the Winthrop empire. But Kate has a very different path in mind. Her true passion lies with photography—and with women.

Alone in the city after losing her brother, Sicilian immigrant Giuliana Russo starts working for the Winthrops as a maid. Despite their different social status, Kate and Giuliana become friends, much to the dismay of Kate’s parents.

As the connection between the two women grows, a devastating earthquake hits San Francisco and ignites fires that sweep through the city for three days and nights.

Will the disaster shatter their tentative feelings for each other, or will they find the courage to save each other’s lives—and their hearts?

Join Kate and Giuliana on a journey of danger and discovery in the action-packed historical romance Shaken to the Core, set against the backdrop of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Click here to read an excerpt or to find the sales links!

Interview with KD Williamson, fellow author of lesbian romance novels

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing fellow Ylva author KD Williamson. KD and I go way back, since we both started our publishing career at L-Book ePublisher. Her two first novels with Ylva Publishing, Blurred Lines and Crossing Lines, have been bestsellers, so read on to find out more about the series!

 

Crossing-Lines-800 Cover reveal and PromotionalWelcome, KD. Please tell us about your journey in becoming a published writer. How did you come to publish with Ylva Publishing?

I was published before a few years back and won a Goldie for my book Forever Mine. After that, I got wrapped up into the world of fanfic for a few years. I finished a novel-length work and was taking a well-earned break when Astrid from Ylva messaged me on Facebook about Blurred Lines. I thought it was a joke, and I almost didn’t respond to her. I’m glad I did. It’s been a wild ride ever since.

 

Can you tell us a little about your newest book, Crossing Lines?

It is a direct continuation of Blurred Lines. Kelli and Nora are still in the honeymoon stage of their relationship. They are tentative around each other one minute, and the next everything works perfectly. Nora continues her journey of personal growth by letting other people in. Kelli is blindsided by continuing family drama that completely pulls her under and away from everyone important in her life.

 

Do you have a favorite line (or paragraph) from Crossing Lines that you’d like to share with us?

Kelli deepened her caress. They had been at this since sunrise, each touch seamless, leading directly to the next. Kelli didn’t want this…these moments…to end. This need for Nora wasn’t a product of avoidance or loss. It was a celebration of everything Kelli had gained—a woman who understood her and loved her, regardless.

What do you think makes novels about doctors and detectives so irresistible? Is it just the women-in-uniform phenomena?  

I think it’s the fact that women in those professions are educated, strong-willed, take-charge, and independent. They’ve learned to work hard and sometimes play hard too. So, when they clash, sparks usually fly in some way. Also, yeah the uniforms don’t hurt at all whether its scrubs and a lab coat, a pant suit, or a typical police officer uniform.

 

What attracts you to writing a series?

Honestly, I fell into it and started loving the idea of exploring the cop/doctor dynamic in different stories. I wanted to challenge myself with different characters with vastly different personalities.

 

Did yoBlurred-Lines-800 Cover reveal and Promotionalu even plan to make it a series when you started Blurred Lines, the first book in your “Cops and Docs” series? 

No…not really. The original work was about 600 pages long and had two separate stories in it so Blurred Lines concentrated more on Nora while Crossing Lines was more about Kelli.

How long did it take you to write Crossing Lines?

Nowhere near as long as it did Blurred Lines. That one took tremendous rewrites since it was originally fanfic. I had a chance to go beyond the fanfic and make the characters my own.  I finished Crossing Lines in a couple of months because I had pretty much perfected Kelli’s and Nora’s individual voices and knew where I wanted the story to go.

 

Let’s say Kelli and Nora, the main characters in your series, would decide to pay Starbucks a visit. What sort of coffee (or other beverage) would each order?

Kelli would want some bite to her coffee, so she’d want it extra hot and definitely a French Roast with just a smidge of cream and real sugar. She’d hate iced coffee. Nora likes things a little more decadent. I’d say she would order an espresso macchiato if she was getting something hot.  If she was in the mood for something cold, it would be a caramel espresso granita.

 

Do you have time to read? If yes, what were the top three lesbian fiction novels you have read this year?  

No, I don’t have very much time to read, but I will one day. I have a very long list that includes novels by KL Hughes, Lee Winters, Jae, Fletcher DeLancey, and a whole bunch of others.

 

What projects are you working on right now? Any upcoming releases?

I am currently working on Book 3 in the Cops and Docs Series. It’s called Between the Lines and will contain all new characters. I think, after everything Kelli and Nora have been through, they need a break. The new book will be out in December.

 

How can your readers get in touch with you?

I’m on Facebook as KD Williamson-Author. I am also on Twitter. You can e-mail me at Williamson_kd@yahoo.com or reach me via my and also my blog.

 

And where can they find your books?

Blurred Lines and Crossing Lines are available in the Ylva Shop, Amazon and a variety of other websites.

Both books are available at a discount right now, so head on over  to the Ylva Publishing webstore to get your e-book copy!

 

 

Book 1 — Blurred Lines:

https://www.ylva-publishing.com/product/blurred-lines-by-kd-williamson/

 

 

Book 1 — Crossing Lines:

https://www.ylva-publishing.com/product/crossing-lines-cops-and-docs-book-2-by-kd-williamson/

Monthly update (June & July 2016)

lesbosI realized that I was so busy in June that I didn’t post my monthly update. There’s been a lot going on these past two months. In June, I spent a week on Lesbos for a “book holiday”—writing workshops, readings, book discussions with readers, beach, and great Greek food. By the way, Lesvos Lesfic will be an annual event, so if that sounds tempting, check it out!

In July, I spent two weeks in the US or, to be more exact, in the Alexandria/Washington, D.C., area for some sightseeing and attending the GCLS conference. It’s always great to spend a few days surrounded by readers and writers who are just as interested in lesbian fiction as I am. I was also honored to travel home with two awards in my suitcase, one for Good Enough to Eat (paranormal romance) and the other one for Don’t Be Shy (erotica anthology).

In between traveling and attending conferences, I have been working on several projects. Most importantly, I finished revising my upcoming lesbian romance Heart Trouble. It’s my first medical romance, so I can’t wait to hear what readers will think. The novel will be out in September. You can find out what the book is about here.

Other than that, I’ve been working on two nonfiction books for writers. One is about point of view, the other about one of the most important rules of writing, show, don’t tell. They will be out this fall.

So, here are the numbers for the last two month:

 Fiction Writing EditingResearchNonfiction WritingMarketing & AdministrationTOTAL
2016 - TOTAL736 hours528 hours188 hours176 hours129 hours1,757 hours
January100 hours66 hours24 hours46 hours15 hours251 hours
February144 hours74 hours43 hours1 hour19 hours281 hours
March65 hours80 hours95 hours---13 hours253 hours
April116 hours87 hours26 hours---11 hours240 hours
May136 hours54 hours---79 hours14 hours283 hours
June108 hours101 hours---4 hours21 hours234 hours
July67 hours66 hours---46 hours36 hours215 hours

Please check back next month—or subscribe to my updates by entering your e-mail into the box in the right-hand menu—to find out what my next novel will be about.

Jae

Back from the GCLS conference

DCI just returned from ten days of sightseeing in Washington DC & Alexandria and from attending the GCLS conference–a conference for readers and writers of lesbian fiction.

This has been my third conference, and it’s always a highlight of my year.

It’s impossible to put into words how it feels to be surrounded by people who “get” lesbian fiction and what it means to me.

I attended a great class on Self-Care for Writers by Beth Burnett and panels on Women of Color in Lesbian Fiction and Differently Abled Characters. I was a panelist on the historical fiction panel, moderated by Patty Schramm, and I let myself be auctioned off for a lunch with two readers and Georgia Beers (not a sacrifice, really!).

It’s not just about the interesting classes, panels, and readings; it’s about seeing old friends and making new acquaintances. This year, I met one of my beta readers, who’s from Germany too, but we had never met face-to-face before, and some of my fellow Ylva Publishing authors and editors. We even had an Ylva dinner at a wonderful restaurant in Alexandria.

group

The GCLS is doing a great job of making everyone feel welcome. This year, they even paired up con virgins with buddies who introduced them around, and I was happy to volunteer to be a buddy for one of them.

The culmination of the conference is always the awards ceremony on Saturday night, and I was honored to take home two awards, one of them for Good Enough to Eat, my paranormal romance that I co-wrote with Alison Grey, the other for Don’t Be Shy, the erotica anthology that I co-edited with Astrid Ohletz.

Here’s a link to the full list of Goldie winners.

I’m already looking forward to the GCLS conference in Chicago next year!

Interview with Catherine Lane, author of lesbian romance “Heartwood”

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Catherine Lane, whose second lesbian romance novel, Heartwood, has been published today.

Since I was Catherine’s editor for Heartwood, I’m already familiar with her fascinating cast of characters and the great way she’s interweaving present and past. I think many of you will enjoy the novel too, so read on to find out more about it.

 

cover of Heartwood by Catherine LaneCan you tell us a little about your newest book, Heartwood?

Heartwood is about four very different women who find themselves in The Springs, a women’s resort town up the coast from San Francisco.

Beth, a famous lesbian author who has retired behind shut doors in order to block out her mysterious past with a gorgeous movie star.

Nikka, an ambitious lawyer who is asked to close her eyes to what is really going on to advance her career

Maggie, a free spirit who takes the right path, no matter what the cost

Josie, a mysterious stranger who just may hold the key to everyone’s secrets

Their stories collide one wild summer on the banks of the Tall Tree River when all of them are forced into unthinkable decisions that will change their lives and forever.

 

What was your favorite part about writing Heartwood? And what was most difficult?

I love how the different timelines and stories collide at the climax of the book—both at Fern House. I love the way actions in the past parallel those in the present.

The most difficult part was right after that climactic moment. Before I started writing, I had only charted the plot out to the climax. So after I was done with Chapter 11, I was in the exact same boat as the characters. We were all thinking: What have I gotten myself into? And what on earth is going to happen next? Luckily, as it turned out, it was a happily-ever-after for all of us.

 

One of your main characters, Beth, is a writer. Do you identify most with her? How much of you is in your other characters?

I wish I could identify with Beth. She writes a national best-seller that is read in college courses as a seminal work of the LGBTQ movement. Actually, I took inspiration for Beth from Patricia Hightower and her book, The Price of Salt.

As for me, I made it into the novel in much less glamorous ways. Like Nikka, I’m a little obsessed with to-do lists. My wife and I just bought a brand-new Subaru Outback—yes, it’s white with tinted windows, like Nikka’s in Heartwood. And Nikka and I both like granola and yogurt for breakfast as well. She, however, has much nicer hair than I do.

 

How long did it take you to write Heartwood?

From rolling the idea around in my head to sending the last draft back to my editor, all in, it was around ten months. This timeline was pretty short for me. As some of you might know, I work full-time and have a son, a wife, and a nutty dog, so my time often isn’t my own. I want to thank my family since they gave up all their vacations this year to pretty much watch me disappear into my office. We’re saving up for a big trip next summer, so it wasn’t a total loss.

 

cover_The-Set-Piece_500x800Heartwood is the second novel you published. Many authors struggle with the second book because they feel the pressure of having to live up to readers’ expectations. How was writing your second book compared to your first for you?

I knew from the beginning I was tackling more with Heartwood than I had with The Set Piece, and that was, without a doubt, very scary. But I also knew that I had learned a lot while writing and editing my first book, and so I was excited to see if I could put that knowledge back onto the page. I often joke that I am getting my MFA at Ylva University. I’ll be sure to send out announcements if I ever graduate.

 

Do you have a favorite line (or paragraph) from Heartwood that you’d like to share with us?

This is about Nikka, soon after we first meet her.

“For now at least, she had sworn off love. There would be plenty of time for that when she made junior partner. Besides, a drawer full of anatomically correct toys thankfully had no opinions on penalties against a defenseless receiver on the football field.”

Just a throw-away really, but for some reason, I always chuckle when I reread this as if the sex toys would actually start talking about football strategy. Hey! Wait a sec. Talking sex toys – there’s a story in there somewhere!

 

Let’s say Nikka and Maggie, the main characters of Heartwood, would decide to pay Starbucks a visit. What sort of coffee (or other beverage) would each order?

I’m going to have to bring in my wife on this one. She frequents Starbucks much more often than I do…

“Nikka is all about the caffeine and the efficiency,” she says. “She’d order an espresso and be done with it. Maggie, well…” She purses her lips while she thinks. “Maggie would bike down the street to Blue Bottle Coffee and get a Hayes Valley latte with the steamed milk design on top.”

As usual she’s right. My wife and I spend a happy moment talking about how smooth Blue Bottle coffee is and how we want a latte now. We’re both highly suggestible.

 

What projects are you working on right now? Any upcoming releases?

I am working on an urban fantasy called Tread Lightly which I think is scheduled for release in early spring 2017. It’s part of the Ylva Window Shopping series, where authors are given the same first paragraph, and then we get to take the story wherever we want. Mine strays into demon territory and the two magical women who get to save the world. Big, big departure for me…I’m a little scared… once again.

 

How can your readers get in touch with you? 

Facebook

My website

E-mail: claneauthor01@gmail.com

I would love to hear from readers, so if you have the inclination, drop me a line!

 

And where can readers find your new book?

Heartwood is available at the Ylva webstore and you can also pre-order it at Amazon and other major online bookstores. 

 

Heartwood by Catherine Lane

All Nikka thinks about is making partner in the law firm she works for. So, when the firm sends her to the Springs, a women’s resort town and home of famous lesbian author Beth Walker, Nikka jumps at the chance to prove herself to her sexy boss, Lea.

But nothing in the Springs is as it seems. Beth is hiding secrets about her mysterious past with movie star Dawn Montgomery. Lea may only be out for her own gain and keeping Beth a prisoner in her own home. And the only person who might see the truth of the situation is adorably impulsive Maggie.

Will Nikka stay true to her life’s ambition, or will she dare look into the mystery—and into her own heart?

Sex Sells – Does lesbian fiction always have to be lesbian romance?

Finding Ms Write blog tour.1

When people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them that I’m writing lesbian romance novels, I get a lot of interesting reactions. They range from “Oh, wow, I didn’t know there are books like that!” (I even got that from lesbian women a time or two) to “Doesn’t it get a little boring to write sex scenes all day?”

Comments like the latter come from people who apparently equate lesbian fiction with erotica.

And then there are the people who get this haughty look on their face and tell me that they “don’t read books like that” (meaning romances of all kinds, not just lesbian romances).

So, as you can imagine, I spend a lot of time educating people about lesbian fiction. Here’s what I usually tell them:

Lesbian fiction isn’t all romance.

Yes, many readers of lesbian fiction seem to prefer romance novels, but there are also science fiction and fantasy novels, mysteries, historical fiction, young adult novels, and paranormal stories featuring lesbian or bi main characters. Pretty much any genre you can find in mainstream fiction is represented to some extent in lesbian fiction too.

For the most part, the authors of lesbian fiction who don’t write romances don’t get as much attention as romance authors. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. Many lesfic readers stick to reading lesbian romances exclusively. There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you like to read and seeking out those books, of course. But sometimes, branching out and giving other genres a chance can be a great thing.

For example, I discovered that I really lovThe Caphenoned Caren Werlinger’s Turning for Home (general fiction) and Fletcher DeLancey’s Chronicles of Alsea series (science fiction), which both feature lesbian main characters but are not romances.

So if you are a reader who hasn’t tried branching out into other subgenres of lesbian fiction, you might want to give it a try. You might be surprised! I sometimes hear from readers who say that they don’t normally read historical or paranormal fiction, yet they very much enjoyed my Oregon series or the shape-shifter series.

Lesbian fiction isn’t all erotica.

Although there’s the subgenre of erotic romances, not every lesbian romance novel includes graphic sex scenes—and not all of them have to contain a sex scene, in my opinion. Some people don’t agree with me. In fact, I have once gotten a one-star review for not having a love scene in Something in the Wine. I agree that in some novels, I—as a reader—would be disappointed too if the author had me follow along the story of two people falling in love and then shut the bedroom door in my face. But that wasn’t the case in Something in the Wine. If you have read any of my other novels, you know I’m not afraid to write love scenes. But in Something in the Wine, my main characters just weren’t at a place where they would make love, so I ended the book without a love scene.

My newest novel, Shaken to the Core, doesn’t contain a love scene either. For most of the book, my two leading ladies are busy trying to survive the earthquake and fires, and afterwards, they are living in a tent, surrounded by thousands of other earthquake refugees, and the year is 1906, so that’s certainly not the place to make love.

Lesbian romance novels range from sweet to smoking hot, and that’s a good thing because every book—and every couple—is different, and the love scenes (or the lack thereof) need to reflect that.

Lesbian romances are “real” books.

Unfortunately, there’s a stigma attached to the genre of lesbian romances. Well, not just lesbian romances. Authors of gay or straight romances have to deal with the same preconceived notions. Despite the fact that romance is the biggest-selling genre, it’s often looked down upon as trashy, badly written, and formulaic. Even readers are sometimes too embarrassed to admit they read romance novels because they know what kind of reaction they will get from some people—mostly from people who have never even read a romance novel.

Of course, not all lesbian romance novels are well written, but that has nothing to do with them being romances. And yes, romance novels follow a certain formula, if you want to call it that: girl meets girl; they fall in love, overcome some obstacles, and in the end they get their happily ever after. But I don’t see that as a negative thing. Other genres have their formulas too. For example, in a mystery novel, a crime is committed; the detective (or an amateur sleuth) follows the clues; the case is solved, and justice prevails. Yet no one makes fun of mystery writers and readers for their genre of choice.

So, for the record: Lesbian romances are real books. If you write or read lesbian romances, please don’t say that you are writing or reading “just romances.” You are writing or reading romances. Period. Romance novels can be just as thought-provoking and well written as any other book, with complex plots and characters.

Some of the characters in Finding Ms. Write—an anthology full of romantic stories about readers, writers, editors, and other people involved in lesbian fiction publishing—have to deal with the same prejudices.

In my short story “Sex Sells,” Mara, a writer of lesbian mysteries, gets a call from her editor, who suggests she make her stories a little…sexier. Here’s how Mara reacts:

“You want me to write a…a…romance novel?”

Hayley huffed out a breath. “Don’t make it sound as if I asked you to write a trashy dime-store novel that involves a lot of damsels in distress, heaving bosoms, and moist love caves.”

Mara burst out laughing. Love caves? Had any of Hayley’s writers ever used that term in a manuscript? She was almost afraid to ask. “I don’t know. Even without the heaving bosoms and the love caves…”

“Come on. Putting a little romance in your books wouldn’t be that bad, would it?”

“Not that bad?” Mara’s voice ended on a squeak. “Hayley, I kill people for a living!”

You can find “Sex Sells” and eleven other short stories in Finding Ms. Write, which is available directly from Ylva Publishing or from other online bookstores such as Amazon.

You can also enter our giveaway to win a free e-book! To enter, leave a comment on this blog or any blog on the tour. We will draw the winner tomorrow, so check back soon!

Here are the other contributors to the blog tour. Check out their blog posts and leave a comment: 

The Power of What If (Finding Ms. Write Book Tour)

Finding Ms Write blog tour.1

Today, Hazel Yeats, author of lesbian romances, is guest-blogging about her contribution to our “book people” anthology Finding Ms. Write

So, here’s Hazel: 

A couple of months ago, standing at my window and staring at the street below, I was reminded of the opening scene of Sarah Waters’s wonderful novel The Paying Guests. Remember protagonist Frances Wray, anxiously watching her new lodgers unload their weird stuff from a removal van and carrying it into the house? Now, the same thing was happening to me, although—thank God—they weren’t lodgers but new neighbors moving in. It was unnerving enough having strangers across the hall; I couldn’t even begin to imagine the horror of falling on hard times and being forced to have them move into my own home.

But this was exciting too, right?

As it turned out, it wasn’t really. The family was perfectly nice but perfectly ordinary. As families go. A stay-at-home Mom, a slightly morose Dad in a brown suit, and two little girls, over whose tricycles I sometimes trip because they leave them out in the hall (eerily reminiscent of a particular blood-soaked scene in The Shining—don’t even get me started on what stories that might inspire).

The family keeps to themselves. There’s no borrowing cups of sugar late at night dressed in flimsy nightwear, nor do Mom and I exchange meaningful stares or does she purposefully brush against me as we pass each other on the stairs. She will nod rather than engage in conversation, and I don’t think she has an artistic bone in her body. So I guess it’s safe to say that watching them move in was where the similarities between Frances’s story and my own ended.

And yet this disappointing event was the inspiration for my short story “Vegan Delights”—the concept that with new people moving into the building or into the street, unexpected and even magical things are about to enter your world. And the great thing about writing fiction is that whatever you can imagine happening, you can bring to life in a story.

library-425730_640So the first question I ask myself in situations like these is definitely, what if…

What if someone moved into my building who looked exactly like the woman of my dreams? What if she was perfect in every way, but was a little elusive, hard to pin down, making her something of a mystery?

Long story short, this is how I ended up with Kate and her dream girl across the hall, Lara. Lara looks like a “deliciously androgynous anime character,” and Kate turns into a nervous wreck any time the girl so much as looks at her, but there’s no way of knowing how the enigmatic Lara feels about Kate. There’s a definite vibe, but Lara’s devotion to her boyfriend would indicate that she’s not interested… Or is she? Also, she never, ever, flirts with Kate. Or does she?

I had tremendous fun writing this story. Not only do I love to write about “literate” people, but our anthology Finding Ms. Write was all about happy endings, and nothing pleases me more than having my characters ride off into the sunset together. Or to at least have them take the bus into town. I like hope, you see. And a chance of a future that’s halfway decent. It’s what every story deserves.

For me, the great thing about anthologies is the diversity they provide. Even if there has to be a theme to the submissions, as was the case for Finding Ms. Write, the way the contributing writers ponder their mission and then come up with completely and utterly different storylines always amazes me. This is why I personally love a book with so many different voices, because it provides such a richness of flavors.

I count myself lucky to see “Vegan Delights” in this anthology, wedged in comfortably between some great, hot, surprising, and moving stories. Stories that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading. I am quite sure you will too. Enjoy.

Hazel Yeats

You can buy the paperback or e-book version of Finding Ms. Write directly from the Ylva store. It’s also on pre-order via Amazon and other major bookstore sites worldwide.

But wait, you can also enter our giveaway to win a free e-book! The rules are simple: We will give away five e-book copies. To enter, leave a comment on this blog or any blog on the tour. We will draw the winner on the last day of the tour.

Finding Ms. Write

FindingMsWrite_800Twelve authors of lesbian fiction bring you a collection of romantic short stories about “book people”—heroines who are somehow involved in the publishing industry.

From a novelist with the world’s biggest crush on her editor to a beta reader connecting with her cabinmate on a cruise, from a woman seeking rare books who finds love instead to a bookstore owner who’s drawn to the shy writer sitting by the shop’s window every day, this anthology is full of stories guaranteed to have a happy ending.

Step into our world of books and enjoy a glimpse into the lives of writers who are chasing deadlines…and finding love.

 

Includes stories by A.L. Brooks, Anastasia Vitsky, Chris Zett, Cori Kane, Elaine Burnes, Hazel Yeats, Jacelle Scott, Jae, Jove Belle, Kathy Brodland, Lea Daley, and Melissa Grace.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on our blog tour:

THE BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
June 15 – Jove Belle
June 16 – Anastasia Vitsky
June 17 – A.L. Brooks
June 18 – Elaine Burnes
June 19 – Lea Daley
June 20 – Melissa Grace
June 21 – Hazel Yeats (here!)
June 22 – Kathy Brodland
June 23 – Cori Kane
June 24 – Chris Zett
June 25 – Jae

Discovering lesbian fiction and the Sexiness of Paperbacks (Finding Ms. Write Book Tour)

Finding Ms Write blog tour.1

Today, A.L. Brooks, author of lesbian erotic romance, is guest-blogging about her contribution to our “book people” anthology Finding Ms. Write

So, here’s A.L. Brooks: 

Paperbacks are sexy!

A.L. Brooks_reading spotFor me, there is nothing better than sitting back in an armchair, preferably with a good glass of red wine by my side, and turning the first page of a real book. The crispness of the paper. The pristine print of the characters on the page. That smell that only a freshly minted book can carry. Paper, not pixels. Pounds and ounces, not megabytes.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not against e-books! They are a magical invention, which has made a big difference to my own life in two ways – firstly, enabling me to store many more books than my small flat would allow if they were in printed form, and secondly, giving me significantly less weight to carry on my commute on London’s infamously crowded Tube system.

This joy of the printed book has been with me from a very young age. My earliest memory is of sitting in the library of my primary school when I was just five years old. Perched on one of those very small chairs, only a few inches off the ground, my eyes sweeping slowly from left to right along the shelves in front of me, I was in awe. I was allowed to read any of these books, any time I wanted to. Heaven.

By the time I left school at sixteen, with very little in the way of qualifications, I was reading only adult literature, having long outgrown the books aimed more at my own age group. Whilst I wondered just what I was going to do with my life, the universe handed me my dream job. Just two months after leaving school, I was hired by a local independent bookshop as a sales assistant. This time I knew I had definitely died and gone to heaven. I spent all day, every day except Sunday, surrounded by books, in every shape, size, and genre I could imagine. Unpacking a box of new books from the wholesaler was a revelatory journey. It would take us ages, as every book just had to be examined, the blurb read out to the team, a discussion to be had as to who wanted to read it and why. And if we were very careful not to mark the pages or bend the spine, we were allowed to take any book home to read before putting it on the shelf for sale.

When the shop closed, suddenly, two years later, I was devastated. It is the only job I have cried over as I left it. I felt as if a huge part of me was being left behind somehow.

Some years later, as I was going through my coming-out process, I stumbled upon the Silver Moon bookshop, in Charing Cross Road. That shop opened my eyes to a world of lesbian writing, both fiction and non-fiction. I discovered I wasn’t the only woman who had ever felt all that I was feeling, or been confused and yet excited about what was happening to her. Silver Moon is long gone, but lesbian publishing is stronger—and publications by and about lesbians more available—than ever, through the wonder that is the world wide web.

But I still make a point of going to a bookshop now and again, just to stand there and see it and sniff its atmosphere and smile at the memory of how it felt to be able to do that, every day, and have someone pay me for the privilege. Heaven.

When I sat down to write my story, “Between the Lines,” for the Finding Ms. Write anthology, I already had one key scene in mind. This scene would play on all these memories of a life so closely linked to the world of books and connect the two main characters with something they both found incredibly important about books and writing, namely their mutual love for an actual printed book. I hope you enjoy reading that scene, and the whole of “Between the Lines,” as much as I enjoyed writing it.

You can buy the paperback or e-book version of Finding Ms. Write directly from the Ylva store. It’s also on pre-order via Amazon and other major bookstore sites worldwide.

You can follow A.L. Brooks on Facebook or e-mail her at albrookswriter@gmail.com.

But wait, you can also enter our giveaway to win a free e-book! The rules are simple: We will give away five e-book copies. To enter, leave a comment on this blog or any blog on the tour. We will draw the winner on the last day of the tour.

Finding Ms. Write

FindingMsWrite_800Twelve authors of lesbian fiction bring you a collection of romantic short stories about “book people”—heroines who are somehow involved in the publishing industry.

From a novelist with the world’s biggest crush on her editor to a beta reader connecting with her cabinmate on a cruise, from a woman seeking rare books who finds love instead to a bookstore owner who’s drawn to the shy writer sitting by the shop’s window every day, this anthology is full of stories guaranteed to have a happy ending.

Step into our world of books and enjoy a glimpse into the lives of writers who are chasing deadlines…and finding love.

 

Includes stories by A.L. Brooks, Anastasia Vitsky, Chris Zett, Cori Kane, Elaine Burnes, Hazel Yeats, Jacelle Scott, Jae, Jove Belle, Kathy Brodland, Lea Daley, and Melissa Grace.

Don’t forget to check out Elaine Burnes’s stop on the tour tomorrow!

THE BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
June 15 – Jove Belle
June 16 – Anastasia Vitsky
June 17 – A.L. Brooks (here!)
June 18 – Elaine Burnes
June 19 – Lea Daley (blogging at Jove’s site)
June 20 – Melissa Grace
June 21 – Hazel Yeats (blogging right here)
June 22 – Kathy Brodland (blogging at Jove’s site)
June 23 – Cori Kane
June 24 – Chris Zett
June 25 – Jae

Created by Krystel Contreras & Jorge Courbis