Tuesday, December 27, 2011

KatieBabs Lesbian Appreciation Week Info


Katiebabs AKA author KT Grant, is having a two week long lesbian lit appreciation week on her blog. There's a growing list of authors, publishers and bloggers who will be posting things during those two weeks to help support and give promo to lesbian lit/romance. 

Any authors who write f/f and bloggers who talk about f/f who follow me and don't know about it yet, you can still contact Katie to participate. 

And readers of this blog who loves reading f/f, please stop over to join in the discussion!


Pleas contact her at KatiebabsgATgmail.com

Friday, December 23, 2011

More Discussions on f/f Romance and its Popularity




When Kirsten and I first started this blog, there was a  fair amount of discussion about the popularity of lesbian/ f/f romance on the main romance blogs. I linked to those discussions and they are here.

We started the blog because we were kind of fed up with the constant criticism from the straight and m/m romance reading community that f/f was just not that popular because they don't want to read about women together for a variety of reasons. And the ewww girl cooties got thrown around quite a bit. We wanted a place for those of us who like reading it to be able to come and talk about reading girl/girl books without getting hit over the head. 

We also argued about how even on GLBT sites opening at the time to promo authors of GLBT that f/f was constantly under represented and or non existent, or thrown in with the gazillion m/m books as the token 2 or 3 books, making them virtually hard to find. F/F was constantly shoved in the ghetto or in the back corner of the room and we pointed it out often.

It seems though, that over the last two years, there's not been too many negative or disparaging discussions about f/f and even DA one the main romance reviewing blogs starting having regular reviews of lesbian books... for a while. This was huge.

I've also, over the last 2 years, seen a lot more f/f books being offered with publishers putting out a lot more than in the past. Many of my Twitter friends will read f/f even if it's not maybe their most favorite; they read it and enjoy it at times. It just seemed like it was a non issue anymore. Or at least from my perspective.

I think there are a lot more women, straight women, out there who do like reading it but just don't talk about it much or don't like to share it on romance blogs due to the general, subtle judgments from those who are adamantly not into it.

However, I do still love the idea that f/f gets more exposure and that discussion about it can only lead to more people becoming open enough to try. Or at the very least, not put down those who do like to read it with the "eww girl cooties" comments.

What brought about this post is that there's been a few discussions in the last week that has stirred it up again.

Jessica at Read React Review- did this post recently and wondered that  "We still really don’t see much f/f written, reviewed or talked about in the romance world."

She linked to this blog post about the distinct lack of lesbian (s) relationships in YA.

Both of these posts got quite a few comments and very interesting ones at that.

And a reaction post to the comments from Jessica's post "Ewww homophobic cooties" by same blogger linked in Jessica's post - Her post is about the underlying homophobia in many comments.

Then Katiebabs  did a post about it here. She's an author of f/f and states that her f/f are her best selling books.

Katiebabs then decided she's going to have a huge forum/ discussion trying to get authors and readers to talk about f/f as a genre and what's actually going on. Is the "f/f doesn't sell" mantra really true at this point.

Here's her promo post here. She's going to have a week long lesbian romance appreciation week. 

I think it's great that she's doing that. It will be really interesting if she manages to get a lot of input from authors, publishers and readers about how well or not well f/f romance is doing.











Saturday, December 10, 2011

Review- The Gunfighter and the Gear Head by Cassandra Duffy


The Gunfighter and the Gear Head
by Cassandra Duffy
Sept. 7, 2011
Lesbian/ Sci-fi/ Steampunk/ Western
98K words


Sky-captain Gieo and her fleet of steam-powered dirigibles are humanity’s best chance to turn the tide of the war against the alien invaders, but only if Fiona can protect her from blind cultists, jealous ex-girlfriends, and a town of apocalypse cowboys with suspect sanity.


Wow, this was the most unusual and fun book to read. I don’t think I can even classify it as it’s kind of a hodgepodge of genres that come together in creative and delicious way.  

It’s post-apocalyptic America. A war with an alien invader called the Slark has basically destroyed life and the planet as people knew it. Although the time period is not clear, references to current pop culture are made so it’s clear it’s sometime in the future but not far from our current time. Since almost all has been destroyed, including most of the population, the remaining survivors have come together in pockets around the country and are slowly setting up their own little societies and factions, many resembling the lawless towns of the West in America during the 1880’s.

In this new world, particularly in the central western states, women, prostitutes from Las Vegas mainly, have come to power and have started organizing armies and weapons to finally get control of the western states, which are still controlled by the Slark.

Most of this story takes place in Tombstone, one of the last free barrier towns between the Midwestern states and Southern states, which have formed their own societies based on old world mores, and the western states. Tombstone is basically controlled by a power hungry man who is able to control everyone due to his monopoly of Slark fuel, which is far superior to oil. The hunters, those who hunt Slark and kill them, are a rough and tumble lawless group. However they’ve created their own codes of behavior, which are a bit barbaric, but which they strictly adhere to.

Fiona, one of the main protagonists, is a deliciously intense character right out of Tarantino film. She’s a Slark hunter and takes no shit from anyone. She’ll kill without flinching or remorse if anyone breaks the hunter’s code and to defend herself and what’s hers. She’s a renegade and honorable warrior rolled in one and does what she has to to survive. She’s also quite powerful in Tombstone and people don’t mess with her since she has no scruples and parades the results of what happens when she’s crossed for all to see. It’s quite the contrast to her former life as famous world top model.

Gieo, on the other hand, is a naïve genius dreamer who keeps trying to fly her dirigibles close to Slark territory to map out the areas they control. She dreams of one day being part of an air force that will wipe them out. However, she’s the sort of happy-go-lucky type that can’t imagine killing either. Her dirigible goes down in the outskirts of Tombstone and it happens to be Fiona who’s out hunting who finds her and brings her back. She’s a technological wiz and this is how she survives. Both women just happen to be lesbians and the only women in the Tombstone.

These two make an odd but colorful couple. Fiona can’t believe it when after Gieo’s first night there, she finds Gieo surrounded by the roughest of men blithely trading her fix anything tech services for machine parts and technology she needs to get her gear going again. In an interesting twist of fate, in order to protect Gieo, the only other woman in town besides Fiona and who the crazy, fundamentalist cultist who live on the outskirts of town want to kill thinking she's the devil, Fiona has to claim her as her property by law of the hunter’s code.

Gieo quite gets into this wearing a dog collar and letting Fiona treat her as property in a semi-serious, teasing and flirtatious way, which bugs Fiona since this is not what she’s about.

Their sexual interactions are subdued on the one hand, Gieo only letting Fiona rub off on her but not getting off herself and keeping some distance, and yet, there’s a smoldering sexual energy that keeps them coming back for more. They kind of dance around each other in a somewhat cocky and playful way taking turns exerting power over each other. 

I rather liked the push/pull and even the evasiveness on both parts in between some juicy sexual encounters. It’s a lust at first site but a budding love in a slow bloom, which made me root for them even with the many obstacles, including Fiona’s past catching up with her in the form of past lovers and betrayals. Fiona wasn’t a saint before she ended up in Tombstone. And Gieo, while being a straight up innocent in general, allows herself to get seduced outside of her relationship with Fiona. However, I liked the way it was handled. It showed character growth for both women. 

Outside of the very entertaining and unique plot line and world building, there are many fascinating characters in this story as well. I think Cassandra Duffy created a very sophisticated world with characters, each having their own strong personalities---entrances and departures---that fully added to this story. Particularly all the women are portrayed as strong, sometimes ruthless, but very intelligent, which I liked.

The writing is very tight, no extra lines, characters or even tangents that didn’t add to this story. Fiona and Gieo aside, I’d love to read more from this world that Ms. Duffy has created. She definitely has a unique voice.

I definitely recommend this book if you’re into any of the genres but particularly if you just want a unique, entertaining read.

Heat level: 3 ½- sexual situations but not explicitly or deeply graphically written.

Grade: Loved

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review- The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (DVD)


The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (DVD)
1995
Contemporary/ Lesbian/ YA

While working part-time at her aunt's gas station, defiant tomboy Randy Dean (Laurel Holloman) falls in love with Evie Roy (Nicole Ari Parker), a rich, straight honor student who's already in a relationship. The two girls navigate the magical and confusing world of young love. Writer-director Maria Maggenti's touching and funny debut won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Independent Film in 1996.

This is such a cute, sweet story about two teenage girls falling in love for the first time. It’s done in realistic, honest, way but doesn’t get serious or heavy. Both actresses did such a great job. For once I believed both women were actually gay or attracted to each other unlike some other films I’ve seen recently.

Randy is a endearing character. She’s a tomboy/butch girl who is basically out in her school. Everyone gossips about her behind her back or even in front of her and she’s basically an outcast. But she does have a gay guy friend and she takes her situation with an ease that’s not typical of kids bullied or teased for being different, which I liked. She accepts who she is and while it does bother her that she’s picked on, she doesn’t let it overwhelm her and even tells people to fuck off. She’s also struggling with many other things in her life. She’s failing in school and might not be able to graduate and she lives with her aunt who’s trying to keep a tight leash on her.

Evie is the complete opposite. She’s one of the cool girls, popular, and has intellectual interests. She listens to classical music and reads poetry and lives with all the creature comforts that being upper middle class offers. You’d think she’d be really happy but she’s struggling. She’s not really feeling it with her boyfriend, who’s actually portrayed as the more emotional of the two, and there are hints that her over-achieving mother puts some pressure on her to be perfect all the time.

Both girls meet when Evie is worried that something’s wrong with her car and pulls into the gas station that Randy’s aunt owns and which Randy works in. Evie recognizes her as a school mate and they chat a bit. In school, they meet up again in the girls bathroom by accident when Randy goes in for a smoke, pissed off that she’s been chastised again by a teacher, and Evie comes in crying after having a spat with her boyfriend. They get detention for smoking and they start to form a friendship from that.

The rest of the movie is basically about their tentative coming together first as friends and then as lovers. It’s very poignant in parts, particularly when Randy confesses that she wants to hold Evie’s hand in a restaurant. Those first moments when things have started shifting in a relationship between two people from a friendship to a budding love is captured so beautifully and innocently.

Of course, there are kinks to this new love story. Randy lives with her aunt, her aunt’s girlfriend and her aunt’s ex-girlfriend who needed a place to stay. So she’s in house of all lesbians, which you’d think would be a good thing. However, they don’t have money, which causes friction. They’re a close knit, expressive group though compared to Evie’s staid home life. Shockingly, Randy’s aunt is not thrilled with this development even though they all know Randy’s a lesbian as well. And she’s pissed off with Randy for letting her grades drop and insists that she stop hanging out with this girl.

And Evie, whom I give a lot of credit to in this story since she has a lot to lose by being courageous and befriending the school outcast, is so open minded if a bit innocently naïve about how her friends will react to this new friendship. It’s not the reaction she thought or hoped for. But she doesn’t let that affect her feelings or desire to stick with Randy, which I thought was admirable.

The only thing about this film that went a bit hokey was the ending. It was a bit over the top, but it also explained a lot more of how and why the girls found themselves attracted to each other, the family dynamics and so on that partially formed who they were as people comes to a head giving the viewer a more intimate view of who the girls are. It was also funny and a sort of typical, gloss over reality for a light--- unrealistic love overcomes all--- American ending.

I definitely recommend this movie. It’s an all-around feel good movie and shows a young, budding lesbian love in a, fun, positive, and non-judgmental way.

Heat Level – 2  There’s some nudity in one sex scene. It’s a gorgeously, sensually choreographed sex scene that doesn’t try to titillate in sexual way as much as in a loving way.

Grade A-

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guest Author Post-The Allure of Vampires in Romance Literature by Paisley Smith

Guest Author post: The Allure of Vampires in Romance Literature -by Paisley Smith

Why are we so fascinated by vampires in literature, especially in romance? Nineteenth century vampires represented sexual desires that were considered taboo in polite Victorian society. Both Dracula and Carmilla spoke to hidden lusts, with the penetration of the fangs mimicking sexual penetration.

Nineteenth century literature depicted vampires and their bloodlust as wicked. But modern literature portrays vampire eroticism as supernatural and the vampire becomes attractive rather than fearsome. They are the literary bad boys and bad girls, only ratcheted up a notch.



Girls Who Bite, edited by Delilah Devlin for Cleis Press, offers fresh takes vampire lore with an erotic lesbian spin.


For bad girls looking for love…fangs are more than an accessory.

These are no Twilight tales—the stories in Girls Who Bite are varied, unexpected, and soul-scorching. Bestselling romance writer Delilah Devlin and her contributors investigate vampire myths from around the world, and add fresh girl-on-girl blood to the pantheon of the paranormal.

Take a walk on the wild side with some of the hottest erotic romance authors out there. In La Caída, a Mexican “salt-eater” saves a fallen angel and redeems her own soul. In Bloody Wicked, a powerful witch’s spell to lure a lover turns her into a vampire’s love slave. Through a Pet Door, a shapeshifting vampire meets the dominatrix of her dreams. South African Impundulu sweeps you back into a vampire’s primeval beginnings. With a list of contributors that include Adele Dubois, Christine d’Abo, Paisley Smith, Myla Jackson, Shayla Kersten and Vivi Anna, Devlin delivers a dark and sexy read you can sink your teeth into!

Inside Girls Who Bite:

Bloody Wicked
A witch becomes a slave to the vampire lover she conjures

Al Dente
A jaded vampire in Rome savors a renewal of love

Dark Angel
After a fateful night in a Berlin cabaret, a woman undergoes a blood rite

Pet Door
A shifter passes through the pet door of a dominatrix she seduces

Dark Guard
A detective partners with a sultry vampire to stop a serial killer

La Caída
A nagual rescues a fallen angel in the Sonoran desert

The Crystal Altar
An ancient crystalline cavern becomes the setting for a most unusual birthday party

Beloved
An Egyptian goddess exploring the remnants of her ancient world finds her immortal beloved

Bound Lust
A human dominatrix frees a vampire submissive from loneliness

The Gift of Lillith
An immortal surrenders her legacy to give continued life to her lover

Madeline
Long lost vampire lovers rekindle their dark passion in London

Red Horizon
Sailing the seas, a modern day vampirate is seduced by her human captain

Impundulu
A vampire journeys to South Africa seeking her lover and creator

Night at the Wax Museum
A museum security guard falls for a vampire trapped in wax museum exhibit

She Knows I Am Watching
A New World Vampire in Oxford feeds her victim’s dark and secret fantasies

More information can be found at http://GirlsWhoBite.net

Order Trade Paperback Now

More lesbian vampires from Delilah Devlin and Paisley Smith are coming soon in Bitten in the Big Easy, the first in the Femme Noir paranormal series!




About Paisley Smith:


Paisley Smith is a full time freelance writer and can usually be found in front of her computer either writing, chatting, promoting or plotting. It’s a glamorous life…working in one’s pajamas.

She attended college in the Deep South where she obtained a slew of totally useless degrees and developed an unrelenting sense of humor.
Her books can be found at Ellora’s Cave , Loose Id, and Cleis Press!
Paisley’s site: http://Paisley-Smith.com

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Review- War Games by K.S. Augustin

War Games
By K.S. Augustin
July 27, 2011
Sci-fi/ f/f
96K words
Pub: Sandal Press
Ebook


What can you do when you start falling in love with the woman you’re meant to kill?

Laisen Carros is a covert agent of the Fusion, sent undercover to infiltrate the Perlim Empire. However, the years she’s spent as Cheloi Sie fighting Menon rebels on an alien battleground are starting to exhaust her.

To Lith Yinalña, Cheloi Sie is nothing but a war criminal and she considers it her personal mission to kill her.

Unfortunately for Laisen/Cheloi, the Empire and an idealistic assassin aren’t the only things she needs to worry about. A treacherous subordinate—the ambitious Koul Grakal-Ski—is looking for any chance to grab control of the territory. When Laisen and Lith start falling in love, it’s only a matter of time before Koul notices. And acts.

I won this book in a contest and I’m so glad I tried! It’s again that rare SF/F book with a female protagonist who has a romantic interest in women, so it was a treat for me. The plot is fast paced, tension is kept high and the characters, all of them including the secondary characters, are all compelling and fully developed.

I really have nothing negative to say about this book. The romance and plot were interwoven in just the right way and with an equal amount of book space and development.

One thing I liked that might be reader preference is that a lot of the story is intertwined with moral conflicts. Cheloi Sie/Laisen Carros is the most morally ambiguous character in this story and it’s mostly from her POV that this story is expressed through. I can’t really say that she’s a morally upright person, which I think will push some readers’ buttons, but I loved it. I’m actually rather fond of characters who have to do things that are ugly or wrong for what they feel is a greater good. That character who will make decisions and not dwell on how it negatively affects their internal code.

Cheloi Sei is a general for the Perlim who are trying to get control of the planet Menon in order to gain some foothold to fight their real enemy, the Fusion. Cheloi is a spy for the Fusion and has been sent to infiltrate the Perlim by becoming one of them. To play her role to a T, she needs to make hard decisions in which she has to order the mass murder of innocent people so that her cover and loyalty to the Perlim is never questioned.

What’s interesting to me is that ultimately, maybe the Fusion are not the altruistic people that they are presented as. On the surface it’s implied that they are the more “enlightened” group trying to curb the “evil” Perlim Empire from destroying and subjugating an innocent people on a foreign planet. However, like in most situations of war, it depends on what side you’re on as to whether your side is the “right” side and that becomes an interesting conflict inside of Cheloi. Is she just a pawn for an equally controlling Empire?

 It’s interesting to me to think about these kinds of things because all of the characters in this story are acting and doing atrocious things, except for maybe Lith, in the name of the rightness of their empire and ideology. It’s for the greater good. K.S. Augustin did a great job of really getting into the internal conflicts or lack thereof when the characters are confronted with things that go against their beliefs, like falling in love with the enemy, etc.

Cheloi is a strong, steely, unflappable woman. She can’t afford to make one mistake or her cover and her mission to take down the Perlim as a Perlim general will all be for naught. Her second in command, Koul Grakal-Ski, is an ambitious man and resents her for being appointed to a position he felt was his. He’s looking at every turn to find something on her to take her down so he watches her every move carefully. He’s also extremely loyal to the Perlim Empire and would never do anything to hurt it. His need to follow orders and be loyal becomes Cheloi’s luck in her mission. But he still tries to undermine her constantly.

 To keep up with the stress of always being on top of things, she talks often to a virtual psychiatrist with whom she can interact with inside her head through a chip. In this way we get a good chance to see what’s going on inside of Cheloi Sie’s head, what she really feels, how things really affect her and we get to see that there are cracks. She’s very “human” and her relationships with the people she works with do affect her deep down. She's also got a painful past and that is constantly hinted at but comes out in bits and pieces, slowly allowing us see where she comes from ultimately.

Outside of her intense attraction to Lith, she’s particularly fond of Rumis, her adjunct who is extremely loyal to her and the Perlim empire. However, unlike the conniving Koul Grakal-Ski, Rumis is honorable in his loyalty to her and it eats at Cheloi that she is being deceitful to a man she admires. There are painful consequences in Cheloi’s later decisions about Rumis, which I thought added a lot to the choices she makes for her future and her loyalty to the Fusion. She pays severe consequences emotionally for liking him and I liked that spurred character reflection and growth.

So all in all I loved the dynamics of what drives all the characters. There are lots of interesting moral questions presented that made this story really interesting to me.

Then there’s the romance. Lith is a young idealist who gets swept up in the romantic ideology of freeing her people from the Perlim Empire even though her parents were born Perlim. She belongs to a small, rouge Fusion group who have sent her to kill Cheloi, whom they know to be a mass murderer of innocents. What she doesn’t know is that Cheloi and she are fighting for the same side, which sets up the very interesting conflict for her in her attraction to Cheloi.

Right from the get-go there’s a strong attraction between Lith and Cheloi, which both intrigues Lith and freaks her out. They get it on fairly quickly but if it’s found out that they are having an affair, Koul will have an excuse to get rid of Cheloi, so they have only stolen moments together.

One thing I’ll say here is that while I did feel they are attracted, I couldn’t understand why Lith would put up with being coolly dismissed after sex, which is what Cheloi does to 1. keep her distance knowing that Lith’s the enemy and she shouldn’t lose her heart to her, and 2. to keep the relationship secret. However, it was clear that Lith, while bothered by it, realizes that it’s necessary and can’t help herself, she wants Cheloi.

Lith's personal codes are called into question as well as she's forced to make an important decision, which could jeopardize her mission to kill Cheloi and her break her heart at the same time.

While not the most passionate couple due to these issues, the romance is nicely and slowly developed. I felt that these two ache to be together even if they’re rather reticent in their expression of it. And there is a happy ending.

Outside of all of that, there’s a nice tension and suspense throughout the whole book that kept the story exciting. There are so many twists and intrigues and alliances and deceits that I kept reading just to see what would happen. I definitely recommend War Games if you’re into sci-fi and f/f and even if you’re not. It’s just a good compelling story all around.

Heat level: 2-3. The sexual scenarios are not too graphically written. More sensually written with softer terminology used.

Grade: A-

Monday, September 5, 2011

For Labor Day, the fruits of my labor



Summer is almost over and I've been the queen of DIY for the last few weeks. Back in the day, I actually did construction. I loved it. Unfortunately, my body didn't and I couldn't continue with all the back and wrist problems. But I'm so stubborn and if I'm capable of doing something, I'm going to.


These last few weeks, and it's literally been like 6-8 hour, 5 days a week work, I've been redoing our deck railings and working in the garden, doing lots of yard work. And this last week I spent several days in the garage, putting up a bunch of shelves, organizing it and cleaning it. It looks so good now.

But all of this means I've had no time to really read. By the end of the day I've been exhausted and vegetated in front of the TV or caught up on Twitter and blogs I follow.

Last year I spent 6 weeks cleaning up the jungle that was our garden areas and put in some landscaping stone walls. It was hard work and it was this time last year when I finished, so we didn't plant anything. 


This year we went to a nursery and got tons of plants. This is pretty incredible, since my whole life I've hate gardening. I always thought that my worst nightmare would be having to work in a garden for even a few hours. Now, I'm in love with it. Proof that people do change over time. heh


We also found these really cool solar lights that change color, which we've littered throughout the garden. I can't stop looking and enjoy how nice it all looks now. It feels good when you work hard and create something gorgeous out of a mess. But I guess that's what authors do as well, huh? 


These pics don't do it all justice, but it's somewhat how it looks.


Before and After:

Buddha garden Before clean out

Buddha garden


Finished Buddha garden

Drive 

Finished Drive


Walkway

Finished Walkway


Finished Walkway






Our Deck:


Semi finished Deck- guys did the flooring and put up old floor boards as temp railing. This was two years ago, so it was time to finish this project.


Finished Deck-

Finished Deck


Speaking of labor, I still haven't been able to get a job. :( There are tons of jobs for what I went to school for, but it's the old chicken and egg story. They require 1 year's experience. But how do you get that experience if no one will hire you? Well, lucky for me, I got accepted to an excellent volunteer program at a clinic. In this clinic I'm actually able to do MA work, so this is great for me. At the moment, I'm working 16 hours a week and really enjoy it. Hopefully this will look good on my resume and more importantly, give me some actual  clinic experience. School is one thing, but reality is a whole different ball of wax.


In the meantime I need to start studying for my certification test, so still no rest for the weary. heh


I am reading. I've been reading full novels these last few months and, well, with only reading a few pages at night, it's slow going. So maybe when I'm done with my current book, which I'll be reviewing, I will read a few shorter ones. 


Also speaking of labor, this post took me days to do since Blogger's new UI sucks hairy pigs ass. Ugh


I hope everyone is having a good day off and revving up for fall. All of our new Japanese Maples will be turning orange/red soon. They will be gorgeous! :D


Monday, August 22, 2011

Contest Whoohoo!


I recently asked author Cathy Pegau if she'd be willing to do an interview and she was gracious enough to answer my questions. Cathy has just had a book, Rulebreaker, published and I loved it. Because I enjoyed it so much, I'm giving away 2 Kindle copies of Rulebreaker woot!

I hope you enjoy the interview : )

First, congratulations on your first published book! Did you know this day would come? Or did you fear it would take a lot more time? How many stories do you think you’ve completely written to get to this point?

Thanks so much! When I first started writing, I had delusions of grandeur and a five year plan that took a dozen to come to pass. With Rulebreaker being such a niche book, I was quite surprised it didn’t take longer to find a home. I was fully prepared to have it make the rounds then get stuffed in my virtual drawer.

I know EXACTLY how many stories I’ve written. Four full novels and three halves of novels. Plus dozens of pages of storylines for future novels.

You created an interesting character in Liv. She’s fairly complex in that she lives outside the law, and yet, she seems to have an inner code of honor. Was there someone in particular you based her off of?

You’re not the first person to ask me that : ) Liv is, I think, the Bad Girl (which, not so incidentally, was the original title for Rulebreaker) many of us have inside. Not evil, just willing to do certain things, mostly for cash, when normal means of acquisition are difficult. I didn’t have a particular person in mind, no, but reading about a couple of famous/infamous females helped shape her.

This blog is focused on promoting f/f stories. So I’d love to ask a few questions in that direction.

I know you love reading Sci-fi, so it’s a no brainer that you’d write a story in that genre. But what was it that made you decide the main love story would be between two women?

Did you find it more difficult to create a love story and write sex scenes between two women more so than writing a m/f story?

As much as I enjoy f/f, I didn’t consciously set out to write about two women. I knew it would take a very special person to cause Liv to break her personal rules. Almost immediately, Zia’s character popped into my head. I was a bit startled, but it felt right. The love story was organic enough that writing it came about relatively easily. I wasn’t trying to hook up two women merely for titillating girl-on-girl action. I actually found it easier to write the more sensual and emotional aspects of their relationship than when I write m/f. The physical scenes were new to me, but I don’t write graphic love scenes, even in my m/f stories, so a little extra reading and research worked to manage that. The hardest part was keeping the pronouns straight : )

In m/f the masculine/feminine dynamic makes for a great contrast/ conflict between two characters in a love story automatically. There’s so much to play with even if the male is a beta and the female is an alpha.

Both women, Liv and Zia, are strong alpha types in their own right. I noticed that Liv is more feminine around Tonio but more commanding with Zia, while Zia, who is definitely an alpha in her work, becomes rather soft and vulnerable when it comes to Liv.

Did you think when writing these women that you needed that contrast/conflict to make it interesting and not have two women who are too similar, or did it just want to happen that way?

I wanted two strong women, each with her own life, career, ideas and problems, but they still had to be individuals. Liv had been Tonio’s equal, but yes, in some ways she was willing to defer to him. When she felt like it, anyway : ) When she goes to work at Exeter Mining Liv has to take the reins in order to get her job done, so it suits her to be more forward with Zia. She plays the good little coffee girl in the office, but uses that to her advantage. Zia, on the other hand, is the cool, aloof exec when it comes to her job, but her personal life allows her softer side to come through. I actually wrote a character exploration scene with Zia and her former lover to get a stronger sense of her vulnerability.

I was quite amazed when you shared that your book had been picked up. This is because f/f still isn’t that popular, or nowhere near as popular as m/m in GLBT. While I do feel that more authors are writing it and more readers are open to reading it, I know publishers are still not as willing to go for publishing it.

The f/f market is way smaller than m/m, but hopefully it’s growing. There are some amazing authors and publishers out there. Carina Press is one of the larger publishing imprints to take f/f, making it more mainstream. Rulebreaker isn’t the only f/f story they offered this summer. Michael Merriam’s Last Car to Anwnn Station is a great fantasy with a f/f relationship. I think most people equate f/f and m/m with erotica, no matter what the heat level, and that may put them off. We’d find more readers if that assumption wasn’t made, which means more word of mouth about what’s available. Fingers crossed that f/f will get more exposure in the near future.

Did you fear that having a love story between two women would mean that your book would be passed up or that you’d be told to change it to a m/f?

As I wrote Rulebreaker, I honestly wasn’t thinking about the marketability. I just wanted to write an interesting story. I think if I had stopped to consider the market I might have put it away. But maybe not. I was having way too much fun with it. After writing and revising, as I researched the market, yeah, I was worried it was going to be passed up. I was told by more than one person the writing was fine but selling the story would be hard. No one suggested changing it to m/f. Which is good, because I wouldn’t have : )

I loved this story and think you have a great writing voice. Are there any plans for writing another f/f in your future?

Aw, thanks! There is definitely more f/f in my future! I’m working on the third book set in the same ‘verse as Rulebreaker (number two is a m/f). I also have a f/f historical paranormal western that’s been circling my brain for some time. That’s it at the moment, but I’m always coming up with something to distract me from what I should be doing : )

Thanks a bunch for having me here! I appreciate your support and enthusiasm on a personal level as well as for the f/f genre!

Just comment to enter to win a copy of Rulebreaker. I'm keeping the contest open until Sun. Aug. 28th. The winners will be announced at 6 PM PST on Sun.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle for PC or the apps for iTouch, iPad, iPhone. You can also read Kindle books on android phones and tablets as well.

Good luck!

Edited: All three commentors won a copy of Rulebreaker. Congrats! See comments section for info.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review- The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin by Colette Moody

The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin
By Colette Moody
March 2009
Historical/ Lesbian
204 pgs.
Pub: Bold Strokes Books

Buy it Amazon, B&N, ARe

The Gulf of Mexico, 1702: When pirates of the square-rigger Original Sin steal ashore to abduct a doctor to tend to their wounded, they end up settling for the doctor’s attractive fiancée—Celia Pierce, the town seamstress.

Together with Gayle Malvern, daughter of wounded pirate captain “Madman” Malvern, Celia becomes a reluctant participant in an unexpectedly thrilling journey through the Caribbean. For Gayle, Celia’s presence is at first a welcome and shapely distraction, but as her attraction to the seamstress deepens, she realizes that Celia comes to mean more to her than is almost certainly prudent. As Celia and Gayle navigate the perilous territories of gypsies, prostitutes, mercenaries, and slave-traders, they forge a partnership born of necessity that Gayle soon hopes will veer away from insurmountable danger—and instead detour directly to her bed.


This was such fun book to read! It seems really that most lesbian romances are contemporaries, so to read a story set in the 1700’s wherein the characters aren’t the typical of that time as well was a definite treat.

What I liked: Both of the main characters, Gayle and Celia are adventurous and strong. While Gayle has grown up on her father’s pirate ship and is used to the life of being a pirate, she’s tough enough to step up to the plate and has a good head on her shoulders for leading her crew and doing what’s best for the ship.

Gayle also has no compunction about killing other pirates from other ships who are evil incarnate and she’s quite aggressive about going after what’s hers. And while she won’t do nefarious things that other pirates are doing like slave trading, she sort of accepts that these things go on and will do what she can to stop it if it’s something that’s been requested of her. So she’s a juicy mix of heart and ruthlessness, which made her a much more compelling character than the usual.

Celia is an interesting character in that while she’s grown up as the daughter of a well to do man living a comfortable life in Florida, instead of craving a life of having continued creature comforts, she’s so open to any new adventure. In fact, she ponders how dull life will be with her betrothed, a doctor who doesn’t even get her subtle sarcasm about how less than thrilled she is to be with him.

After getting whisked away (kidnapped essentially) by Gayle and crew in need of a doctor, she’s intrigued and turned on by this unique, dynamic woman who’s the captain of a pirate ship and whose romantic preference is for women.

Celia also has no qualms about jumping when needed to fight for the ship and their lives even if she’s less inclined to get into scuffles if she doesn’t need to.

I thought their romance was a bit subdued, but their romantic and sexual dance was sexy and playful. They came across as a couple who definitely complement each other as well as enjoy the hell out of each other, both being game for anything.

The odd assortment of other characters: pirates, port shop keepers, family members are wild and colorful and added so much to this story. I also thought this pirate world, the ship, the towns, and situations were very descriptive and gave me vivid idea of what this world looked like.

What I didn’t like: there wasn’t much I disliked about this book at all. But one thing bothered me throughout the book and that was the constant reference to potential rape by gross, filthy, disgusting, violent men. Of course that was a reality. And I can imagine that the rare women who managed to be on a pirate ship would be a constant target of sex starved men. But still, it was brought up constantly and from many different situations. I kept imagining the worst case scenario even if it never happened. Even the thought of those women who were prostitutes willingly having sex with those men made me gag a bit. So for some reason my mind got distracted with that often while reading this book.

The Sublime and Spirited Voyage of Original Sin is a great read none the less and for the unique setting in lesbian it’s definitely worth reading. There’s tons of action, it moves quickly and there’s never a dull moment. Even when the women are getting to know each other, there’s always some excitement in the air.

Heat level: 3-4 some sexual situations not too graphically written but still spelled out. Heh

Grade: B+


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Interesting Statistics




I got this from the GLBT promo blog-

The big shocker on this? I had no idea there were so many GLBT persons in the Midwest. Wisconsin? Indiana? Illinois?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pimpage


A new anthology is coming out soon from authors Paisley Smith and Deliliah Devlin.

Pre-order for a discount at Amazon . It's in trade PB! Great for those who like to read paper.

Pop on over to Girls Who Bite to enter a contest to win Paisley Smith's Beguiled or Soft Swap

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Advanced Review- Rulebreaker by Cathy Pegau

Advanced Review-

Rulebreaker

By Cathy Pegau
Aug. 11, 2011
Sci-Fi/ f/f
89K words
Publisher: Carina Press

Coming AUG 8th

Buy it Amazon (Kindle), Carina Press

Liv Braxton's Felon Rule #1: Don't get emotionally involved.
Smash-and-grab thieving doesn't lend itself to getting chummy with the victims, and Liv hasn't met anyone on the mining colony of Nevarro worth knowing, anyway. So it's easy to follow her Rules.

Until her ex, Tonio, shows up with an invitation to join him on the job of a lifetime.

Until Zia Talbot, the woman she's supposed to deceive, turns Liv's expectations upside down in a way no woman ever has.

Until corporate secrets turn deadly.

But to make things work with Zia, Liv has to do more than break her Rules, and the stakes are higher than just a broken heart...

I was excited to read Rulebreaker for several reasons. I’ve read snippets of other stories on author Cathy Pegau’s website and enjoyed her writing, her style. Also, this book has a f/f love story and it’s sci-fi, a combination that’s fairly unique. I wasn’t sure what to expect since this is the author’s first published book, but I can tell you that I loved it.

I’ll be honest; it’s going to be hard for me to review this book. There were so many elements that I enjoyed, but how do you describe why you like chocolate vs. vanilla? It’s easier to come up with reasons I dislike a book. I’d love to do it justice though.

The plot: the plot of this story was definitely fun and unique. It’s about a group of con artists. It starts out with the heroine, Olivia, and her partner in crime almost getting killed by robbers at a bank they were in to actually rob. What a start! It sucked me in right away. When it turns out that one of the actual robbers is Olivia’s ex-husband, Tonio, even more interesting. It’s a great set-up for future conflict and set the intensity and excitement level kept throughout the book.

Outside of the main plot of Olivia and Tonio joining forces with others to con a major corporation, there’re juicy little side issues going on that created a lot of added tension and gave more insight to some of the characters. One is Olivia’s mother, a con artist herself who reinserts herself into Olivia’s life causing a lot of internal conflict for Olivia to deal with.

Although set far into the future, created with intricate world-building, typical social problems of the 21st century are present like corporate greed and abuse as well as current privacy issues of living in an high-tech world. I liked the contrast of future/present, which gave this story elements of familiarity and tension. Heh

The characters: Olivia, the main character, is a scrapper type who grew up in the world of con artists. Her mother taught her everything she knew, even used her in cons as a child. Olivia works at a normal, boring job to make money between robbing banks, but it doesn’t give her that adrenaline rush she craves. While she doesn’t think twice about screwing people over for a con, she is the reluctant hero/heroine type, which I love.

Her part of the con is to seduce a high-level executive to get information. Unfortunately, she develops a conscience where Zia is concerned, which screws her up. She’s a flawed character, which made her even more three dimensional and interesting.

Tonio is Olivia’s ex-husband and con artist himself. He pops back into Olivia’s life and asks her to work with him on a huge job. There’s still a fair amount of sexual tension between them even as they make it clear to each other that working together and sharing a space doesn’t mean slipping back into old patterns. Other partners on this job are definitely sketchy and he spends a lot of time watching her back against those guys even as he has his own greed in keeping it going.

I liked that while the sexual tension was there, he doesn’t push her nor does he act on advances from her. Actually I rather enjoyed that they are closer due to a friendship and having a shared intimate past. There’s something comforting in that. He’s a good, decent hero that everyone loves.

Zia is the mark who Olivia is to seduce and she's a lesbian. As a character, unfortunately, I couldn’t get as good a feel for her as the others. I think this is because of the 1st person POV from Olivia. Since Olivia has a past and lots of history with Tonio and her mom, I got a good feel for who those characters were through Olivia’s eyes. Since Zia is a new person to Olivia, there’s not as much insight from Olivia about who Zia is.

What I did get about Zia is that she’s a cool, tough, corporate executive who doesn’t take crap and who seems to not have a soft side. She also seems to be up to some nefarious things herself. Although as she and Olivia get to know each other, it’s clear that Zia is more vulnerable than she lets on.

Outside of the main characters, the rest of the characters are distinct and vividly drawn out, which added a lot more depth to this story.

The romance: this is hard for me to say because, well, I love f/f romances, but I just wasn’t really feeling the love story between Olivia and Zia. YMMV on that though. The trouble is I can’t put my finger on why. Their love story is built slowly enough to have a realistic development and build-up, all the right words and actions are used, their interactions are normal for a romantic story, but I just didn’t feel any real heat between them.

Part of that was most probably because I wasn’t feeling who Zia was. What her perspective was with Olivia. I couldn’t feel why she’d be attracted to Olivia other than Olivia is efficient, which I can see Zia would be turned on by. But what was personally going on that she became attracted to Olivia was missing for me. I also couldn’t feel why Olivia is attracted to Zia other than she feels sorry for and protective of her.

That said, by the end I did feel that they could be a long term couple and that they really loved each other. Their sex scenes were sensually written and I loved that Olivia accepts falling in love with a women with aplomb. It’s like, oh OK, I love a woman now. That’s it not a big deal was a huge plus for me. Moreover, their interaction causes a lot of conflict in Olivia, which causes her to rethink her life and what’s important, creating character growth.

And to be honest, the rest of the book was so good that the romantic issues weren’t really a big problem to me. I experienced this book more as an exceptional sci-fi suspense/detective/thriller with romantic elements.

All in all Rulebreaker is an excellent read. It’s suspenseful and has a lot of interesting twists and side corridors that are fun to go down. The writing is smooth with a perfect pace, which kept me on edge until the end. I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Pegau’s books. I’d love to read more from this sci-fi world that Ms Pegau has skillfully and colorfully created.

Heat Level: 3 – a few f/f sensually written scenes. Not very graphic but not side stepped as either.

Grade: A-

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pimping

I've seen these books have just come out, but can't vouch for any of them. Thought I'd post them anyway in case someone is interested.

By the way, the first two books are in Kindle. The last not... so far. This is important to me since all are from small epubs I've never heard of and I just don't do small epubs anymore.



Second Best Fantasy
by Angela Kelly

GENRE: Contemporary • Erotica • Lesbian Fiction
LENGTH: 44,368 words

Info Here

BLURB:
Everyone dreams of being a rock star. Dating one is the second best fantasy.

Maggie O’Leary is a lonely lesbian dazzled by the talent and charisma of up-and-coming bisexual rock star, Janine Jordan. A romance with Janine could spell trouble, but Maggie can’t help falling in love.

Set in New York City during the nineties, Second Best Fantasy follows Maggie and Janine as they embark on an exciting and surprising journey together, which carries them through the music scene toward stardom, creative artistry, career satisfaction, and finally, battles with their own personal demons.

With support and encouragement from families and friends, their life seems to be headed down the right path. But Maggie and Janine learn love is seldom simple or easy, particularly when both women are also involved in committed relationships with their own addictions. Theirs is a tumultuous love affair from the start. Can they survive the curves and upheaval along the way?



Behind the Dunes
by Dorla Moorehouse

Behind the Dunes is the story of First Lady Sharon Bradford who on the wake of her husband´s infidelity and ensuing political scandal, meets a woman named Matilda on the beach and falls in love with her. When Sharon'a Secret Service bodyguard outs her, Sharon and Matilda journey to D.C. in order to deal with the fallout. Sharon has to confront her country and estranged husband while struggling to define her self, her sexuality, and her new relationship. While her struggles lead to tension in her newfound romance, Sharon still finds the strength to forge ahead with her new life. Dorla Moorehouse is a writer and dancer based in Austin, Texas. Her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and websites.







Sweet Kisses and Lesbian Wishes
by Kissa Starling


From the critically acclaimed author of lesbian erotic romance comes an irresistible collection of novellas and short stories including Ps. I Love You, Helga House, I Heart You, Lesson Learned, and others. Her work has been nominated for awards and has appeared in many award finalist and winning anthologies.








Oh look, it's that cover again!