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!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review- Nurse Lovette by Paisley Smith

Nurse Lovette
By Paisley Smith
July 22, 2011
Contemporary/ f/f/ Erotica/ Kink/ Fetish
Novella- 15-29K

Buy it Ellora’s Cave

After two failed marriages, Avery Walker is encouraged by her therapist to explore her secret obsession. She can’t get off without fantasizing about submitting to intimate examinations—performed by a hot female nurse. When she joins a medical fetish website, she expects to find a partner who’ll provide a little probing and maybe some sexual release to help Avery get in touch with her kinky side.

Then she meets Nurse Lovette…


The consummate professional, Darby Lovette is determined to keep her relationship with Avery one of nurse and patient—nearly impossible when the gorgeous woman is on the exam table, willingly submitting to unspeakably intimate “procedures”. The fact that she’s loved and lost helps Darby maintain her resolve; falling in love isn’t part of her treatment plan. But Avery’s determination to explore sex with a woman just might be the cure for what ails them both.


Reader Advisory: This book employs myriad toys created especially for erotic exams, no holes barred, and, ahem…perhaps a sensual enema—or two.


Um, wow, I loved this book! I knew this book was going to have kink in it, that it was most probably going to be a good one-handed reading story with not much more to it.
But surprisingly, Nurse Lovette is far more than a fetish erotica story. It’s actually a sweet story about budding love and opening up and characters finding out who they really are by accepting and exploring their unique sexual fantasies with each other.

I don’t deny that Nurse Lovette is pretty much non-stop sex and with a specific kink. And damn, but it’s obscenely hot sex. Although YMMV if it’s not something you can imagine as sexy in a fantasy setting. Let’s face it a gyn exam is something most women dread and would rather skip. However, I felt it’s written so that the sex is more generic, with a specific fetish around it. What struck me most though, is how much heart and affection was infused into this story.

As erotica, I don’t really expect a love story. In this novella Paisley Smith managed to create enough romantic tension and at just the right pace that I was dying for these two women to get together.

Avery has fantasies of medical, specifically gynecological, procedures being done to her to get off sexually. She’s in therapy trying to figure out why this is so since she thinks it’s weird. Incidentally, all those fantasies only include female practitioners; no male Drs. She feels that these fantasies and needs are getting in the way of experiencing true intimacy with someone. She’s been married a few times and none of her husbands or boyfriends have been able to satisfy her or been willing to explore this with her. Her therapist suggests she find a person who’s willing to cater to her kink outside of a romantic relationship to see if she can find the source of it and maybe get over it.

Darby is a real nurse who works with patients who are dying. While she enjoys her job, due to the nature of it and other day to day things she has no control over, she has a strong need to dominate, to have some control in her life. So she has set up part of her own home as a Drs. office to offer private clients their nurse kink fantasies. She sticks to the fantasy and treats every client as a real patient in a Drs. office. Just coming off a nasty break up with her girlfriend who dumped her due to being bored with the kink aspect of their relationship, she’s determined to keep all clients at arm’s length, staying strictly professional.

Avery starts going to Darby for these sessions several times a week but finds that she wants more. Darby makes her feel things she’s never felt before and her desire and need to really connect with Darby on a deeper emotional level starts eating at her since the boundaries have been set and she wants to respect Darby in that.

For Darby, Avery’s response to her, her vulnerability, her willingness to really get into it with Darby is turning her on. Cracks in the wall of keeping it professional are freaking Darby out and she acts even more coolly with Avery, trying to keep her distance. But her job and her own intense attraction to Avery are shattering her cool facade.

Nurse Lovette also explores those feelings and thoughts that a character would feel who’s realizing that maybe they’ve been wrong about their sexual leanings and not known it. It’s written in a realistic, honest way. Both characters actually have some growth through their connection, which made this story far more than the typical erotica.

If I wouldn’t have been familiar with Paisley Smith’s books, I would have passed this book up. It would have been a shame because it’s ultimately a sweet, warm love story.

Heat Level: 5

Grade: A-

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pimping


Pop on over to Delilah Devlin's Blog where Paisley Smith is guest blogging and comment to win a free copy of Nurse Lovette

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review- Drifting Flowers- DVD

Drifting Flowers
DVD 2009
Chinese/ GLBT/ Lesbian

OFFICIAL SELECTION, BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL! Teddy Award-winning Director Zero Chou (Spider Lilies) weaves three poetic tales as the lesbians in Drifting Flowers seek their true identity. In the first story, Jing, a blind singer, falls in love with her band s tomboy accordionist Diego. In another time and place, Lily, an elderly lesbian and Yen, her gay friend, create an unexpected bond and support each other in a time of crisis. Finally, we see Diego before she joined the band, when as a teenager she came to grips with her identity.

I saw this film in my library selection and thought the cover was gorgeous. I’m also partial to Asian films and it’s rare to see an Asian film with a GLBT subject matter so it was a no-brainer to watch it. This film was touching, sad, poignant and different at the same time.

The first story is about a blind woman, Jing, who is taking care of her much younger sister. She’s a lounge singer and social services is trying to take her sister away since she keeps late hours and the sister is not doing well at school. Diego, a butch lesbian who plays the accordion as background music for Jing, befriends both of them and tries to help. Jing accepts Diego’s friendship and her love without question.

What’s interesting in that story is that the younger sister, who is about 9 years old, becomes jealous and sullen whenever Diego shows Jing any attention since she’s fallen in love with Diego. And when she sees them kissing, she starts acting out and treats her sister cruelly. In the end, social services convince Jing that her sister is better off with a foster family who love her and can give her good home.

There’s no love story here, just a brief glimpse into Diego and Jing’s long relationship as the ending of the story shows the younger sister coming back as a young woman. What’s compelling about it is how it’s told and the interesting relationship dynamics between the characters.

The second story was a bit confusing and vague, but just as compelling. Lily, a lesbian in love with a woman, Ocean, and a gay guy who is with Yen, get married to please her family. Both couples are shown in the beginning at the wedding laughing at having fooled the families. In the next scene it’s maybe 40 years later and Lily has dementia. Yen has gotten AIDS and his partner started cheating on him, blowing him off. Having nowhere to go, he looks for Lily. Lily, in her mind, thinks Yen is Ocean and keeps telling him to stop dressing like a butch because it will cause problems for them. So she dresses him like a woman all the time. It’s clear that she has lost Ocean for whatever reason and the grief has destroyed her.

This story was rather sad but very human. Two lost souls trying to find some peace in familiarity with each other. It’s never really clear though what happened to Ocean, nor why Yen would tolerate being dressed as a woman since he gets beat up in the park for doing so. However, it’s still an interesting story on the realities of being a gay person in that culture.

In the third story we get the back story of Diego. She’s a young girl, maybe in her teens, and she’s clearly butch. Her mother tries to get her to wear a bra but she feels disgusted at having breasts and binds them with a long strip of cloth.

Her family is in the “puppet” business, a sort of carnival side show thing and they are having a hard time keeping it going. The competition has started pimping his daughter out as a sort of semi stripper/singer in place of the puppets to get business and it works. Diego goes to the show to watch and is called on stage to tease/seduce, the girl thinking Diego is a young man. The two girls hit it off, and the other girl sexual seduces an inexperienced Diego.

I liked this story mainly because Diego’s butch-ness is accepted to some degree by her mother and family. Her mother tells the brother that she would like to give some of the family money to Diego since she realizes that Diego isn’t “normal” and will never find a husband to take care of her.

What was also good in this story is the Diego herself accepts who she is. She doesn’t care what people think and she doesn’t try to conform. This gave her an air of innocence as she goes about just being who she is.

All in all it’s a good film. There’s not a lot of actual relationship development; it’s really just snippets in characters’ lives. But it does give an interesting and maybe realistic portrayal of a gay person’s life in China.

Heat Level- 0- a few kissing scenes

Grade- B+

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Pimping




Normally I probably would pass up a book with this kind of title, cover and or content because it does come across as the typical lez pr0n for the dudes. However, the author is Paisley Smith and I just happen to enjoy her books. When I found out this book was coming out, I actually got excited. If anything she does write some really hawt f/f smexing. For that alone it's probably worth the read. heh

It's decidedly f/f kink, so it won't be to everyone's taste, but I think she's one of the few authors I can take reading kink from.

Coming this Fri-- July 22 at Ellora's Cave



Blurb:

After two failed marriages, Avery Walker’s therapist encourages her to explore her secret obsession. She can’t get off without fantasizing about submitting to intimate examinations performed by a hot female nurse. So when she joins a medical fetish website, she expects to find a partner who’ll provide a little probing and maybe some sexual release that will help Avery get in touch with her kinky side.

That’s where she meets Nurse Lovette. Darby is the consummate professional, determined to keep her nurse / patient relationship with Avery from becoming too familiar. After all, Darby has loved and lost because of her need to soothe patients beyond traditional nursing. But Avery’s determination to explore real sex with a woman just might be the cure that wasn’t part of Darby’s treatment plan.

Publisher Note: This book contains plenty of girl-on-girl sex, employing the use of myriad toys created especially for erotic exams, no holes barred, and ahem…since this is a medical fetish story we would have been remiss not to include the administration of an enema—or two.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review- Out on the Sound by R. E. Bradshaw

Out On the Sound
By R. E. Bradshaw
Aug 22, 2010
Contemporary/ Lesbian
292 pgs in PB

Buy it Amazon

If you like a good story with laughter, tears and suspense then this is the book for you. In her late thirties, Decky Bradshaw was set for life. She had an incredibly lucky life up to this point, excluding the brief marriage to her son's father. She had a great job, plenty of money and a very comfortable existence. Decky figured if someone ever came along that tickled her fancy she'd know. She never thought for one second it would be a woman. Neither did her mother. Follow Decky as she finds new love and deals with her, "Tennessee Williams in drag," overly dramatic, southern mother, Lizzie, and the hurricane of events she brings.

Where to start, where to start. This was a long, long book. However, I finished it, so that’s a pretty good sign.

I bought this book because it’s a coming out story with older characters. Unfortunately, almost every coming out cliché was in this book. It was almost like a “look at me, I’m so gay” coming out story. And it includes name dropping of almost every well-known gay celebrity, musician and author to make sure that we all know how gay the characters are.

I don’t want to slam this book totally. I liked the author’s voice. The writing itself flowed well. I was able to read it and I did enjoy some of it. But overall it had quite a few flaws for me.

The first issue I had was the unrealistic way in which the women come together. Decky and Charlie meet briefly a few times. Then they get together for one night. It’s Decky’s first time with a woman and the next day, Decky is saying things like:

“well, I guess it’s settled then. We are a couple and I’m out of the closet, ready or not.”


Really? She wasn’t even in the closet. She had never fallen in love with a woman before. And instead of just wondering where she’s at as I suspect a person falling in love with another person of the same sex and having gay sex for the first time would, she knows now she’s actually gay.

The thing is, Decky’s been hanging out with lesbians for years and never once had any attraction or clear idea that she even might be gay. You’d have thought that she would have had some sort of indication before now. So, somehow that didn’t ring true to me. And it took only one night together to start calling themselves a couple, which came off to me as a bit ridiculous.

The only thing that mitigated that was that their relationship does develop through the rest of the book. So while I can’t say this is a romance in the traditional sense due to no romantic build up, from the point they sleep together they really are a couple and there is some romance as they try to figure out their situation.

This book is written in three parts. The first is Decky and Charlie coming together and the shit hitting the fan in their small community where Decky is well known, that she’s suddenly gay. The second part is about some major homophobia in the form of a whack job mother and dickish guys with the whole “we’ll fuck the lesbian” out of you threats and attacks. Then part three is about them getting justice and the whole town rooting for them. It all came across as too over-the-top and like one huge cliché.

One thing that would have helped this book is if it would have been cut down by a third. The author goes on too many unimportant tangents like descriptions of food, preparing food, local history, as well as detailing daily mundane events that bog things down and take away from more exciting or interesting plot points. Maybe some readers would like all those little details, and they are good to a degree, but I did a lot of skimming through those paragraphs.

Then there’s Decky’s mom. She’s written as a raving homophobic lunatic that apparently the whole town knows is “eccentric” but doesn’t seem to mind. Apparently she has a lot of influence and inspires fear in anyone who dares to oppose her. I think the author was trying for some humor there, but it didn’t cut if for me if that’s the case. Lizzie is crazy. And the fact that she sits on the board of the local university that Charlie has come to teach at and that she is a community leader to some degree had me wondering. If she’s that whacked and unstable, why would she have any position of power in that community? She’s essentially just a bully. It is explained away as a bi-polar condition but her characterization came across as more cunning than having a mental disability.

Moreover, she’s soooo over the top homophobic as to be a caricature. I know people like that exist. And for all I know it’s an actual description of someone the author knows. However, a Westboro Church member, which is pretty much the extreme out there, doesn’t hold a candle to how homophobic Lizzie came across. So, no, she wasn’t just an eccentric character that people would laugh off, or even one that I would think Decky would stick around to get berated for on a regular basis. But that’s me.

Also unrealistic is Charlie defending her at the end. At that point Lizzie comes across then as a poor misunderstood grump. So not how she’s characterized.

The best part of this story was the trial, the last part. And I only got excited because there were some elements of surprise and mystery in how it was written. How Molly, their lawyer, builds the case and breaks down the prosecutor’s case was pretty entertaining. Enough so that my brain finally got engaged, because until then it was like a run on story.

I might try another book of R.E Bradshaw’s. This was her first book and maybe the whole, “isn’t it so exciting that I’m gay now” will not be the focus, but just the two characters and who they are will come out and shine.

Heat level: 1- not erotic- sexual scenarios mostly hinted at.

Grade: D+

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bisexuals, Bodice Rippers and lesbian fiction-- Oh My!

Wow, so I've been out of school for a month now and still not working and I haven't managed to do much on this blog. I'm still debating whether or not to really keep it going. I admit, it was nice just read as I pleased and not worry about getting a review up or coming up with a post. I'm not ready to get out of the game altogether yet, but still not willing to go full force again. But I do like getting info out there about new books coming out and such. 

There are a few books coming out in the next few months that I do want to promote so I will still be around for a while.

So... these last few weeks there's been some interesting posts that sparked some outrage and or had some interesting points of view. 



If you've been on Twitter and follow romance people and those who write/read GLBT, you might have come across this post by Dan Savage during Pride Month. It's a post about Bisexuals. Of course, pretty much every bisexual author I follow who read it was up in arms as well as me. Don't get me wrong, I like Dan Savage. 
I've been reading his column since the early nineties, The Stranger being a local free and alternative paper here where I live. But he went along party lines on this one and while he tried to stay somewhat politically correct in the post by acknowledging that Bi's exist, the gist was once again, that you're only bi because you haven't recognized you're actually gay, well for kids anyway. He does make a disclaimer that if you’re older and still identify as bi, you’re probably bi.

One thing that bothered me in this article was the insinuation that a bi partner should be honest with their straight partner that they're bi. I'm all for being honest with your partner about your sexual preferences and so on. You should be if you love that person. But the implication in this is once again that the bi person is a flake who because they can't decide which sex to be with, will cheat or never be happy with the sex they're with.

Seriously, I don't understand this. This would be like a heterosexual person telling their heterosexual partner, "oh, by the way, I'm heterosexual so beware; I might become attracted to another heterosexual person." Who thinks that way? No one. It also implies that bi's fall in love willy nilly. That anyone with a cock or pussy can seduce them away from the partner they're with more so than any heterosexual or gay person could be seduced away from their partner.

Dan is also chiding bisexuals for not coming out. Well, if he read his own article, maybe then he'd understand why. Typically, straight people just don't get it if a person says they're bisexual. What does that mean? You're gay? But you like the opposite sex too? And gay people just outright diss bi's altogether because, well, they can operate in a hetero normative world or they're just in denial about being gay. Isn't the argument that bi's are just confused until they figure out they're gay the same argument straight people say to gays? "Oh you're just going through a phase, you'll realize after you meet the right guy or girl that you're really straight and just experimenting now."

And he argues that if bisexuals would come out to everyone then there’d be less hostility by all those judgmental straights and gays, basically saying, it’s the fault of all those bisexuals for how they’re treated because they’re not out there yelling from rooftops that they are bi. I don’t know, does he blame gays then for not running around telling everyone that they are gay for all the homophobia attacks out there? No. It’s ridiculous.

I'm not saying there aren't people who say they're bi who figure out they are actually gay or straight. But why get on someone's case about how they identify? Who cares really? As far as I'm concerned a person could identify as a cat if that's what they feel. It's not my business.

Really, who would want to come out and say they're bisexual with each side giving them shit. They don't fit into a nice neat category that people can understand.

I think it's nice when people come out of the womb knowing they are straight or gay. But for that confused kid who has attractions to both and are just trying to find their way, I guess I only gets better if they finally get in line with that they are gay or straight.

To be honest, I'd say that over the last few years I've definitely gone from a 0 to 2 on the Kinsey scale. In fact, I've actually told friends and family, including my husband, that I'm probably bisexual. I have no problem saying this. But then again, I'm older and very secure in who I am and my sexuality. And... I give a crap what people think about it. I just don’t care.
But I can imagine being a much younger person and having attractions to both men and women and not saying a thing to anyone. Especially not when you'd get crap from both sides of the fence. 



Moving on....There was an article, the second in the last few months, going on about how romance novels are ruining women's ability to have realistic expectations in life and relationships. *sigh* You can read the article, but the comments say it all.

What gets me in these articles is that the main message is that women are just too stupid to think for themselves. That we're all a bunch delusional idiots who can't distinguish between fiction and reality. What always gets me is that these are women who write these articles and they are supposedly psychologists. 

Well, here's the thing...

A "huge number of the issues that we see in our clinics and therapy rooms are influenced by romantic fiction"

This is the problem right there. First there is no actual study to back up what they are saying based on people who read romance who aren't in therapy. But most glaringly is the fact that they are using  women who come to therapy as their source of statistics. As far as I know, and I've been in therapy, most people go into therapy because they are unhappy or discontented with something in their lives anyway. Of course they're going to bitch about something that's not right or perfect in their lives. 

I wonder though how many actually went into therapy and said "I read romance novels all the time and I'm so unhappy because I don't have multiple orgasms without any foreplay and my husband isn't a millionaire with  six pack abs. How can I get that?"

This article isn't a diss on romance readers, it's a diss on women and their intelligence. But what's new, right? 


Moving on some more...Sarah Diemer, whose book The Dark Wife I reviewed, did an interesting post on the lesbian genre in general. She wonders why lesbian books are predominantly contemporaries or mystery/spy/suspense and often coming out stories,  and why there aren't more fantasy or other sub genres within lesbian out there.

I thought this kind of interesting. I've been reading lesbian stories/romance for a quite a while now and she's right. There really aren't that many fantasy or other stories with gay characters, but not having the whole "I'm gay" focus out there.

I know there are some paranormal books only recently seeping into the lesbian genre. In my case though, I'm really sick of the shifter/vamp paranormals, so lesbian or not, I probably won't read them and are not too aware of them. But I do enjoy fantasy, sci-fi and other paranormal and there's not much out there. She does have a point.

"Is the lesbian genre remaining as status quo because women who love women want more and more and more stories about detectives and cops and office managers…or does it remain this way because lesbians will always buy a story about lesbians and don’t have any other choice but to buy these books if they want to read a lesbian book?"

This is an interesting question. I wonder if it isn't because gay persons are always on the outside of things in a heteronormative world. Many have to keep their private lives quiet or they chose to so they don't have to deal with homophobia and other judgments. So maybe in fiction they can be gay and in boring, everyday jobs and lives, without all that other reality stuff coming in? 

It could also be that most lesbians who write lesbian romance or books tend to be older and there's a generational gap in taste going on? Younger lesbians who are growing up in a world where there's still lots of homophobia but a lot less than there used to be and in a world where it is more acceptable to be gay than ever, might want stories that reflect their current lives and pop culture trends--- the recent explosion of YA paranormals.

To be honest, most of the lesbian I've read has been exactly what she's talked about. I would love to read more historical lesbian as well as pretty much any sub genre within lesbian. Maybe I need to look around more. But I think it's great that younger lesbians might bring, new, fresh and unique stories to the genre. 

Another interesting point she said was that most of her readers are straight. This surprises me because the reason that Kirsten and I even started this blog was because we were fed up with the lack of f/f available compared to say m/m within the GLBT genre. And we were tired of the straight girl "ew girl cooties" on message boards at even the mention of two women together in a romance.

Even now, author Jill Sorenson reviews lesbian and Bi oriented books on Dear Author and if you look the comments are always far less then for reviews of m/m. So it's interesting that her readership is mostly straight. The comments for the post are pretty interesting though.