Friday Feels: September 24 Edition

Welcome to the first edition of Friday Feels. Our goal is to help authors and readers connect over books, advice, music, and pet photos to help everyone get into weekend mode.

Click here if you’d like to learn why TB came up with the idea for Friday Feels.

Please scroll all the way to the end to see an adorable kitty!

Without further ado, here are the top 3 most clicked books of the week on I Heart Lesfic:

# 3 

UNBREAKABLE LOVE

by Chloe Peterson

Sophia Cordell fought hard to distance herself from her biological family and their life in the mafia. But when her best friend Harry’s life is threatened, she strikes a deal with her birth family: she must marry Harry’s adult daughter for protection and will owe them a future favor.

Billy Nielsen lost her mother to criminal activity. She vowed never to associate with anyone connected to that world. When she discovers Sophia’s ties to the mafia, her lingering teenage crush on the older woman dulls.

The two women settle into a fake marriage and all the uncomfortable situations it brings. As they adapt to playing the happy couple in public, their friendship blossoms. Soon, they discover a growing mutual attraction.

But Sophia’s family has a dangerous request as payback for protecting Billy and her father. One that might spell the end of her relationship with Billy, who just might be her forever…

 

# 2
LOVE AND LOTUS BLOSSOMS

by Anne Shade

Janesse Crawford is living the dream. Married to a man who loves her in the beautiful home he built for her with his own hands, she has raised two wonderful children and has a successful career doing what she loves.

But when Janesse’s past comes rushing back in the form of sexy and bold fashion stylist Maya Lawson, the lie she has been living for the past thirty years comes crashing in on her. She let Maya get away years before, but her second chance at true love will cost her the picture-perfect life she’s spent a lifetime building.

It’s not too late for Janesse to break through the mud of her life to blossom into the woman she’s always wished to be for the love she’s always dreamed of. But her path to self-acceptance will risk everything—and possibly everyone—she loves.

 

# 1:

ONE GOLDEN SUMMER

by Clare Lydon & TB Markinson

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Would you trade fame for love?

Saffron Oliver is the golden girl. Golden hair. Golden skin. Golden movie career.

Only one problem: she hates it.

She flees to her sister’s seaside town – where she meets the confident & charming Kirsty McBride.

Kirsty is everything Saffron wants to be. Perhaps also, everything she wants.

But Saffron can’t have it all. So now, she has to decide: does she crave Kirsty enough to blow up her golden life?

 

FREE BOOK

 

CARAMEL KISSES

by Les Mood

Available in Kindle Unlimited

A story of two enemies who become friends and then lovers, told with a little humor, a lot of romance, and a touch of steam. Emily loves her caramel lattes. Andrea loves her caramel flavored kisses.

The book will be free through September 28.

 

Author Judy Ramsook recommends listening to “Running Up that Hill.”

 

DJ, a reader, offers this sentiment to live by:

Never be so right that you back someone into a corner.

This gem is from DJ’s dad.

 

Meet Tsoki

Tsoki is the grandkitty of Gayle W, a reader. So cute!

That’s all for this week.

Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend!

Miranda & TB

Posted in Friday Feels | 6 Comments

KINDNESS TO STRANGERS by Les Mood

At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.

Today, the wonderful Les Mood is here to share a story. Also, Caramel Kisses, by Les, is free on Amazon through September 28. More details below.

Take it away, Les.

KINDNESS TO STRANGERS

It was during the last pandemic. In the 1980’s AIDS was running unchecked through the country. With no cure in sight, a diagnosis of AIDS was a death sentence. Particularly hard hit was the gay male population of Southern California. One of those infected was my older brother.

Sam was a classical musician who, like most musicians, had a day job. He was a dispatcher for a delivery company in Santa Monica. Nights and weekends he was rehearsing to conduct a concert at the Hollywood Bowl in the fall of 1987. That was cancelled when, in August, he was admitted to the hospital where he would remain for the short time that remained of his life. He has a panel in the AIDS quilt which describes him as a gentle man.

The Sunset Hollywood Hospital had an entire floor for AIDS patients At that time. Thanks to his day job, Sam had insurance, so his stay was covered. Many of the patients did not, and the hospital would have to eat the cost. Despite that, they did not turn anyone away. As I recall there was one doctor and several nurses and other staff who worked that floor. I don’t remember any of their names, which is a shame as they were true heroes in every sense of the word. In those days medical professionals were as fearful of AIDS, and those who carried it, as everyone else. These wonderful people were able to put their fears aside and care for those who were without hope. In addition to the very real danger they could accidentally get infected, they lived with the knowledge that none of the men they were caring for would leave the hospital alive. The emotional weight of what they were doing must have been enormous. They did it anyway.

Shortly after Sam was hospitalized our parents left their home in Wichita to be with him, staying at the house he owned in the Echo Park neighborhood of Hollywood. Mom was eighty-one at the time and Dad was seventy-eight, both life-long Midwesterners. To my knowledge Wichita was the largest city they had ever lived in. Every morning for over a month they ate breakfast at the same Denny’s Restaurant (knowing what a creature of habit Dad was, I’m sure they sat at the same table every day). After breakfast they got in Sam’s car and drove past the Hollywood Walk of Fame to spend the day in the hospital. It was hard for them, hard on them, to see their son’s slow decline toward the end, but they were there for him.

Every room on the floor was occupied by a young man, boys really, who knew he was there to die. Upon admittance, each was given a teddy bear. For too many, holding that bear was the only form of comfort he had. Some had families too far away to visit regularly. Others had been rejected by those who should have been comforting them. Instead they were alone in their rooms with no one to bring any brightness into their last days.

Except for the elderly couple from Kansas.

Dad, who was always uncomfortable with strangers, looked into every room every day with as cheerful a greeting as he could muster. Mom, who never met a stranger, would stop and sit with each boy; to visit if he was up to it, or just to sit quietly for a while and let him know by her presence that he wasn’t forgotten.

I am a writer. I’m good with words. Yet I don’t have the words to describe what an honor it was to witness so much courage and kindness in the midst of tragedy. The hospital staff who put their fears behind them to care for those young men. The men themselves who were facing certain death. And those two people, whose genes I am proud to share, who did what they could to comfort strangers in a strange land.

 

FREE BOOK

 

CARAMEL KISSES

by Les Mood

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Emily was new to Omaha, having moved in from Cheyenne when she got a promotion. She made her first friend, Jack, while having coffee before work. When Jack asked her out for dinner and drinks Emily had no idea he would be taking her to a motel bar, where he tried to tempt her up to his room. She also had no idea he was married – until she went to the restroom where she was ambushed and humiliated by his sister-in-law who accused her of malicious sluttery. Months after her ill-fated date, she started attending a yoga class, hoping to make some real friends.

Andrea followed her cheating brother-in-law to a motel bar in Council Bluffs where he was joined by an attractive redhead.  When the woman went to the restroom, Andrea took the opportunity to tell the woman what she thought of someone who would sleep with another woman’s husband.

It had been a long time between girlfriends for Andrea and she joined a yoga class in hopes of meeting someone. She developed a crush on Sonja, the good-looking instructor, who appeared to be equally attracted to her. Then She joined the class and Andrea was forced to share the instructor’s attention.

After her own ill-fated date with a philanderer, Andrea realized she might have misjudged Emily. Emily realized she was more attracted to Andrea than she had been to the man who tried to seduce her. When these enemies became friends, things got steamy. But would Emily’s family accept that she was falling for a woman?

This novel, originally published in 2020, has been revised and re-edited.

Caramel Kisses is free on Amazon through September 28.

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

I learned to read at age four, and have devoured books ever since. After spending nineteen frigid winters in Nebraska, I moved to Arkansas a few years ago where I live in the woods with five dogs, twelve cats (more or less), one donkey and a wife. It was here that I read my first lesbian romance novel and was immediately hooked. There is something magical in stories about two women falling in love. In 2019 I graduated from reader to author. I write romantic stories about women who are rediscovering their sexuality, exploring and indulging in relationships with other women.

 

CONNECT WITH LES MOOD

Blog

 

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

 

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Why IHL is Launching Friday Feels

FRIDAY FEELS LAUNCHES SEPTEMBER 24

I’ve been working as a full-time writer since 2012. In the beginning, I didn’t put in as many hours as I should have because I’d just moved from the US to London. I spent many months wandering the city streets, chanting in my head, “I can’t believe I live here now.”

However, that way of living wasn’t sustainable, and I started putting in some serious hours to get my author career going. The part of being a full-time writer many don’t warn you about is the inability to turn off your writing brain once it’s fully unleashed. It’s always whirring with ideas for stories.

Couple that with being an indie writer, which puts the onus on the individual to write, publish, and market (although, marketing one’s own work is becoming the trend for traditionally published authors as well), it’s hard to take time off. There’s always something that needs to be ticked off the never-ending to-do list.

I will admit I added a bucketload of work when I started I Heart Lesfic and the Lesbians Who Write podcast, but I enjoy both ventures quite a bit and don’t regret either.

Recently, I went for a hike on a Friday afternoon, and I started to reminiscence about the time when I had a 9-5 job in an office. I didn’t miss the work (I hated all of my non-writing jobs and always felt something meaningful was missing from my life), but I missed the feeling of Friday. Knowing I wouldn’t have to work for two whole days. On this particular Friday, I knew I had to do a couple more hours of work after my hike and would have to put in several hours on Saturday and Sunday as well.

It’s not due solely to working more than I used to, but many of us are stuck in a Groundhog Day like scenario with COVID and extreme weather. Days are blurring, and everything seems like a grind.

I really miss that Friday feeling, so I decided to launch a new feature on I Heart Lesfic to recapture it.

I’ve broken it down into parts, the first two being about books, because for as long as I can remember, I’ve equated weekends with reading.

I also wanted a way to get readers involved in the project, so I added sections where anyone can recommend a song that has a weekend feel or offer sage advice, and I rounded it out with a pet-of-the-week section, because one of the things that always puts a smile on my face when stressed is an adorable animal.

If you want to find out how to get in on the Friday Feels fun, click here. I think we all could use more fun in our lives during these stressful days.

Friday Feels launches on September 24.


Don’t miss any of the happenings on I Heart Lesfic. Sign up here for the newsletter.


Posted in Friday Feels | Tagged | 1 Comment

Acts of Kindness by Leni Hanson

At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.

Today, the wonderful Leni Hanson is here to share a story. Also, Leni is giving away 1 ecopy of The Last Time We Met. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.

Take it away, Leni.

Acts of Kindness

Back in February, this IHL newsletter listed the book Maggie Brown and I wrote in the Romance section. That was thrilling because of course I had been reading this newsletter for quite some time and The Last Time We Met was my debut novel (Maggie’s ninth). It seems fitting that I would use IHL and Project Kindness to publicly thank Maggie for her act of kindness in inviting me to write with her and to tell the story about how her character, Austin Farleigh (Playing the Spy), influenced me to think about my friendships and how I could be a better friend and kinder human being.

It has now been almost three years since I gathered up enough nerve to write Maggie about her plans to write a happy ever after for Austin who was only a secondary character in Playing the Spy. I hadn’t written an author before, but I was strongly motivated by the effect this character had on me.

Without going into a lot of details, suffice it to say that Austin made a unilateral decision that prevented her BFF from making the certain career-ending and embarrassing choice she was ready to make. I thought about Austin making that decision to step in without considering the effect her actions would have on her own career or their friendship. Then I thought about my own friends. How lucky I am that they are like Austin.

Austin led me do a sort of introspective of myself. What kind of friend am I? Do I perform selfless acts of kindness? How can I do more, listen better, be there? Have I misunderstood and missed the chance to show gratitude to others who were trying to help me? Am I doing all I can to be kind, generous, helpful and thankful to others?

Maggie Brown performed an act of kindness (also an act of insanity) by inviting me, an inexperienced writer, to join her in writing The Last Time We Met. Fittingly, it’s Austin’s well-deserved happy ever after. I’m so grateful that Maggie took the chance to work with me.

I want to close this post by thanking Maggie and Austin. You’ve helped me to become a better writer, and, more importantly, hopefully a better person.

 

GIVEAWAY

 

THE LAST TIME WE MET

by Maggie Brown & Leni Hanson

What if you’re a nerdy med student and a womanizing rock star wants you as her next conquest—then leaves you totally humiliated.

Now fast-forward eleven years.

Sexy and magnetic, Australian rock star Austen Farleigh is at the height of her spectacular career. Her penchant for one-night stands is as famous as her many songs.

American Dr. Merritt Harrington now works for Doctors Without Borders and is at a crossroads in her life. Her last assignment in the Andes Mountains was harrowing, and her love life at a dead end. No one has been able to ignite even a tiny spark since Austen—damn her.

When they meet again in Australia, Merritt is desperate to keep Austen at arm’s length. But temptation whispers in her ear.

From the US to Peru to Australia and the highlands of Papua New Guinea, their desire for one another is on an uncontrollable collision course—with a force they may no longer be able to ignore.

  • 1 winner

THE LAST TIME WE MET Giveaway

Rules

PROMOTION DESCRIPTION:THE LAST TIME WE MET giveaway begins on September 15 2021 and ends on October 15 2021.

The sponsor of this Giveaway is I Heart Lesfic. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Giveaway. Sponsor may be reached by email at tbm@iheartlesfic.com during the Promotion Period.

ELIGIBILITY: Open internationally. 

HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by visiting the entry form and entering a valid email address.  

WINNER SELECTION: The Winner(s) of the Giveaway will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. 

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 7 days of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account.

Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

PRIVACY: Any personal information supplied by you will be subject to the privacy policy of the Sponsor posted on the Sponsor's website. By entering the Giveaway, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address with the author/publisher to distribute the prize(s).

SPONSOR: I Heart Lesfic

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

Leni Hanson is a voracious reader. In addition to hundreds of paperbacks, she’s read over 700 lesfic ebooks on her Kindle since the first one: Georgia Beer’s “Blend” in May 2018. She loves lesfic books of all genres. Those who know her well compare her to Lucy Ricardo. Impulsive, wacky, means well, but always stepping into it.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by today and have a fab weekend!

Miranda & TB

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Epitome of Kindness by KJ

At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.

Today, the wonderful KJ is here to share a story. Also, KJ is giving away 1 ecopy of Ignis. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.

Take it away, KJ.

Epitome of Kindness

Kindness is so incredibly conditional.

There’s the kindness where a person donates to an animal shelter but not before taking a selfie to post all over social media, like 1980s wallpaper, informing the world of their fabulous generosity; the value of which increases in direct correlation to the number of likes they receive.

It still qualifies as kindness.

Then there’s the kindness that exists when a person tosses a couple of dollars into the hat of the homeless guy who lives on the corner with his dog and the shopping trolley of bagged clothes. Then that kind dollar-tosser meets up with his mates and tells them about his act of kindness and what a good bloke he is and his mates nod seriously and pat him on the back. It’s kindness that requires validation.

It still qualifies as kindness.

There’s the compulsory kindness, like the teacher randomly selecting a child, telling them to be nice to the new kid. Then the child smiles tightly and drags the kid around the school to show them where the toilets are located.

It still qualifies as kindness.

Then there’s the other type of kindness. It doesn’t need advertising, even though the promotion is valid. It doesn’t need a bunch of friends yakking about how great the person is, even though that’s valid, as well. It’s not obligatory; also valid. No. The other type of kindness is altruistic. It is quiet. It comes from a place that is internal, where it is invisible, where the product appears as if by magic.

I’ve experienced all those versions of kindness. I was the off-sider for a friend who wanted a photo next to the sign on the exterior wall of the centre for rescued animals.

I’d felt uncomfortable, and I couldn’t correlate discomfort with kindness.

Another friend donated five dollars to a woman warming the concrete in the space between the adult bookshop and the 7-11. Then proceeded to ask us if we’d witnessed their action, lifting their chin back towards the woman as if making sure of our attention.

My look of disbelief was not well received, and I couldn’t correlate disbelief with kindness.

I was that kid who was dragged about the school by a clearly annoyed peer who flung their arm to each side, like a frustrated tour guide, because they simply wanted to return to their game of handball.

It was embarrassing, and I couldn’t correlate embarrassment with kindness.

Then there’s the kindness that is quiet. It is exists in the background, letting the product of their generosity speak for itself. That kindness is altruism. And it was this type of kindness that I experienced recently. The product was obvious but you’d never know about the kindness that drove its creation. Let me explain.

For my first three novels, I designed the covers myself. Covers are, of course, the first impression for readers on Amazon. A giant version flaunts itself on the book’s purchase page. I had absolutely no idea how to design a book cover. None. I used an image I’d found on a free photo site and then applied the layout suggested by kdp. My designs showcased a rather appalling back cover completely black with size squizzillion font. The cover possessed a pretty dodgy spine which alternated between right or left-facing text depending on the weather. This was the wrap-around paperback version. Most responses vacillated between slow nodding and raised eyebrows and blinking with associated rolled lips. Then, after writing a decent book, that I was quite proud of, I wanted a proper wrap-around. I wanted a paperback that looked a bit more professional even if the text inside wasn’t. So I made an attempt at using kdp’s paperback PDF design template. I figured I could do it. Surely.

During the ensuing two weeks, I swore a lot. A lot. Then I decided to vent on social media because that’s what people do. So I vented on Twitter about how shit my design was for ‘Art of Magic’ and it was just as well I wrote words because graphic design was certainly not my forte. I posted evidence of my shit design skills and people pressed the heart button but were loathe to leave comments.

After a week of me ranting and thrusting those shit designs onto people’s timelines, a wonderfully kind person sent me a direct message. Em had seen my many posts, and eloquently agreed with the assessment of how shit the covers were. She applied the ‘gimme’ emoji, followed by the instructions that I was to send her what I had, and here was her email, and to give her two days, because most importantly, she knew how to wrangle the kdp PDF template.

And in exactly two days, Em sent me a perfectly aligned cover, with exquisite font, and an image which was beyond what I could possibly hope for. It was beautiful, and I was proud to have my words inside that cover.

I’d already wrapped in her a virtual hug of gratitude but I also wanted to shout my thanks via open twitter and anywhere that people read things. But Em didn’t want that. Not at that time. She’d simply wanted to rescue an author who could write reasonably well but couldn’t design herself out of a paperbag.

And that is the epitome of kindness.

 

GIVEAWAY

 

IGNIS

by KJ

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Felicity Davis, principal of Rawson Girls Grammar School, is a passionate educator, an inspirational leader, some say even an ice queen, although she’s not sure about that last one. But one thing Felicity knows is that she is perfectly happy with her life. That is until the trauma, the darkness of her past, comes crashing into her present, revealing a deeply buried secret, and placing Felicity and those she loves in incredible danger. Inspector Tal Diamandis takes on the case, attempting to extinguish the flames of Felicity’s past before they consume her. Matters become complicated as Felicity and Tal realise their mutual spark of attraction but when they finally connect the shocking links, the explosive conclusion will leave everyone reeling.

Can Felicity play with fire or will the fire become an inferno?

A dark, romantic thriller from the author of Coming Home.

  • 1 winner

IGNIS Giveaway

Rules

PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: IGNIS giveaway begins on Sept 9 2021 and ends on Sept 30 2021.

The sponsor of this Giveaway is I Heart Lesfic. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Giveaway. Sponsor may be reached by email at tbm@iheartlesfic.com during the Promotion Period.

ELIGIBILITY: Open internationally. 

HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by visiting the entry form and entering a valid email address.  

WINNER SELECTION: The Winner(s) of the Giveaway will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. 

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 7 days of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account.

Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

PRIVACY: Any personal information supplied by you will be subject to the privacy policy of the Sponsor posted on the Sponsor's website. By entering the Giveaway, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address with the author/publisher to distribute the prize(s).

SPONSOR: I Heart Lesfic

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

Best-selling author KJ lives in Melbourne, Australia with her wife, their son, three cats and a dog.

Her novel, Coming Home, was a Goldie finalist. Her other best-selling novels include Learning To Swim, Kick Back, Art of Magic, and Unexpected Gift: Christmas in Australia.

 

CONNECT WITH KJ

Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Website

 

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

 

Posted in Project Kindness | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Step Up by Ellen Hoil

At I Heart Lesfic, we believe the world could use a bit more kindness after one of the hardest and longest of years. Many authors have signed up to help IHL spread kindness in the world.

Today, the wonderful Ellen Hoil is here to share a story. Also, Ellen is giving away 1 ecopy of Traumatic Love. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.

Take it away, Ellen.

STEP UP

One of the things you hear most often when reading stories about acts of kindness is how, once an act of kindness is received, it should be paid forward. But what if we did acts of kindness despite our personal circumstances instead of waiting to pay one forward?

Let me tell you about a situation where I did exactly that. I don’t want it to sound as if I’m tooting my horn, but rather I’m sharing an example of doing an act of kindness because it’s the right thing to do.

Let me preface my story by telling you I’m all of five feet tall.

It happened one day a few years ago as I was driving to work. As anyone who knows my driving record can attest to, I tend to zone out when I’m behind the wheel, and I get distracted by random things. On this day, I was in rush hour traffic. Though it was busy, it wasn’t bumper to bumper, allowing me to glance at cars in the other lanes. That was when I noticed it. A car a few lengths in front of and to the right of me was shooting off sparks.

I assumed the muffler had come off and wondered how the driver couldn’t hear all the noise it had to be making. As the sparks seemed to get worse, I thought maybe the muffler was still in the process of falling off.

Traffic kept moving, but my focus was now on the car with the muffler issue.

As I watched, I realized that what I thought were sparks, were actually flames. The undercarriage of the car was on fire, and flames were shooting out from underneath.

The flames were now clearly visible, and I assumed one of the cars closer to it would alert the driver to the situation. I was wrong. No one did anything. After a few moments, I decided to move over to alert the driver myself. By then, the driver realized something was wrong and was pulling off to the side of  the road. I pulled up behind the car and waited to make sure it stopped. My hope was that the driver would exit to safety, but to my horror, the car kept rolling forward.

I hoped they would stop and get out as I had a busy day ahead of me, a boss who would take no excuse for being late, and it was a situation I clearly had no experience in. I prayed the driver would soon abandon ship. As the car finally came to a stop, the flames increased in intensitiy and licked up the side of the driver’s doors. I looked into the sea of morning drivers, on their morning commute, in optimistically thought someone else would stop to help. Not a single soul even slowed down.

Resigning myself to the situation, I jumped out of my car and went to the now open driver’s side door, still hoping another motorist would stop or the driver would get out on their own. Peering through the flames, I saw a woman in the driver’s seat.

“Get out!” I yelled over the sound of the passing traffic, none of which had yet to stop to offer aid.

“But I’ll get burned.” Her eyes wide and her voice breaking.

“Honey, you going to get burned worse if you stay there.”

The flames were now three-quarters of the way up the car. I was done trying to reason with her and reached through and grabbed the woman by the arm.

She struggled against me slightly, stretching towards the passenger seat. “My purse.”

Ignoring her pleas, I pulled harder and yanked her out of her seat and through the flames. We went back to my car while we both caught our breath and calmed down.

The side of the road was now occupied with two tiny women and a burning car. Traffic had slowed down, but still, no one stopped. No one ever stopped to offer us help. Someone obviously called 911, as the air was soon full of the sounds of sirens and airhorns from the arriving police and fire trucks.

The point I’m trying to make is that one should never assume someone else will be the person to offer the kindness. Step up and be that person, not because you owe the universe some karmic debt, but because you can and it’s the right thing to do.

 

GIVEAWAY

 

TRAUMATIC LOVE

by Ellen Hoil

Dr. Nydia Rogers was stripped of her future long before she had one, she now lives day to day. Her life focused on being a trauma doctor and saving others, not herself. Jo Powers, a cop doing her best to make a difference, is a survivor of domestic violence because of someone she thought was her protector. Chance brings them together, but will real life keep them apart?For the first time in her life, Jo will use every bit of charm and romance to gain the trust of Nydia to soothe both their wounds. Will it be enough to win the heart of the emotionally scarred doctor? Traumatic Love includes themes of surviving domestic violence, abuse, and bullying and is recommended for mature readers.

  • 1 winner

TRAUMATIC LOVE Giveaway

Rules

PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: TRAUMATIC LOVE giveaway begins on Sept 2 2021 and ends on Sept 30 2021.

The sponsor of this Giveaway is I Heart Lesfic. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the Giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Giveaway. Sponsor may be reached by email at tbm@iheartlesfic.com during the Promotion Period.

ELIGIBILITY: Open internationally. 

HOW TO ENTER: Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by visiting the entry form and entering a valid email address.  

WINNER SELECTION: The Winner(s) of the Giveaway will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. 

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information. Potential Winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 7 days of notification. Sponsor is not responsible for any delay or failure to receive notification for any reason, including inactive email account(s), technical difficulties associated therewith, or Winner’s failure to adequately monitor any email account.

Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

PRIVACY: Any personal information supplied by you will be subject to the privacy policy of the Sponsor posted on the Sponsor's website. By entering the Giveaway, you grant Sponsor permission to share your email address with the author/publisher to distribute the prize(s).

SPONSOR: I Heart Lesfic

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

Ellen Hoil lives in wine country on the North Fork of Long Island between The Sound and The Peconic Bay with her two cats Ood and River Song. “I can’t imagine living anywhere that isn’t near water and open space.” When she isn’t writing fiction, she does writing for her other career as an in-house counsel attorney. During her down time, Ellen enjoys her hobbies of photography, and getting involved in local politics including running for office. She is an ardent Sci-Fi geek and loves to attend Dr. Who conventions. A stint in Outward Bound as a teen helped shape her outlook on life. “My philosophy on life is that failure is never the end, but only a temporary stopping off point for a new adventure.”

 

CONNECT WITH ELLEN HOIL

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Thanks so much for stopping by today.

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July Book of the Month Winners

 

July 2021 Winners

 

ROMANCE 

 

PAS DE DEUX

by E.J. Noyes

Caitlyn Lloyd has the world at her feet. Or more accurately—under her horse’s hooves. With the 2016 Rio Olympics just around the corner, nothing is going to derail her long-held dream of winning a medal or two in Olympic dressage. Not even the reappearance of a childhood so-not-a-friend throwing her perfectly balanced life into disarray.

Addie Gardner’s career is at its peak, and accepting a last-minute fill-in position as the veterinarian for the US Olympic Dressage Team was a no-brainer. The fact that her old crush from Pony Club is on the team is just a bonus. Not a distraction at all. And it might just offer the chance to be friends with the girl who wouldn’t even give her the time of day twenty years ago.

But Caitlyn and Addie have very different memories of their time together at Pony Club and their first meeting as adults is less like a reconnection and more like a butting of heads. With the Olympics looming, they’ll need to set aside their history and learn to work together. And maybe Caitlyn and Addie will realize childhood memories aren’t always accurate, and that they have more in common than they would ever have thought. Maybe. Just maybe.

 

EROTIC ROMANCE

 

UNBRIDLED

by D. Jackson Leigh

After a hard-fought battle to take control of her personal and professional life, mystery writer Lauren Everhart’s star is finally rising. She vows never to give up control of anything in her life until she meets her niece’s sexy horseback-riding instructor and signs up for her own private lessons, and more.

Riding top horses on the show jumping circuit and igniting a woman’s desire are simply games of power, and Marsh Langston is a master player. Only this time, the flame she fans with Lauren Everhart burns too hot and so quickly it threatens to sear through Marsh’s impenetrable control.

 

DYSTOPIAN

 

THE OTHERS

by Annette Mori

As a seer and brilliant scientist, Em convinces her wife, Lise, to prepare for the inevitable conclusion, after the chaos caused by foreign countries attacking the United States. Leaving behind a wake of destruction and a new world order. Forcing them to navigate a frightening reality. After ten months in their cozy bomb shelter, they emerge to a world where the vegetation is surprisingly unaffected. Should they band together with other survivors or try to make it on their own? There are others in this unknown world. On the first day outside of their shelter, they meet members of an alternate society. Are they friend or foe? Change is inevitable. But will they change in ways Em and Lise can live with, or will this altered world change them into something unrecognizable?

Trigger warning: Rape is alluded to, but not written in any graphic form.

 

ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

 

DARK SKIES

Fox County Forensics: Book 3

by Cara Malone

Available in Kindle Unlimited

When disaster strikes, a seasoned firefighter and the chief medical examiner join forces to rebuild their city – and ignite a fire for each other they can’t extinguish.

On a dark and stormy morning, a tornado touches down in Fox County, destroying homes and families and uncovering decades-old secrets.

Dr. Amelia Trace has been training to handle a mass fatality for years, but when she arrives on the scene with her forensics team, things are worse than she could imagine. Entire neighborhoods have been leveled, a teenager’s sleepover has ended in tragedy… and the fire department’s newest recruits are running around like a litter of unruly puppies.

Fire Lieutenant Simone Olivier is getting serious side-eye from the beautiful, stern medical examiner and she’s ready to put her rookies on a leash when one of them discovers a victim with a bullet wound. The scene becomes a homicide investigation – Dr. Trace’s turf – and with a killer on the loose, it’s all hands on deck before the evidence gets washed away in the rain.

Simone and Amelia team up to catch the killer, but can these career women find room for love too?

Content warning: This book contains references to sexual assault. There are no on-page depictions or graphic details, but characters discuss an event in which sexual assault occurred. Discretion is advised.

 

GENERAL FICTION

 

THE DARK WINTER

Hobbs: Book 5

by Elena Graf

Available in Kindle Unlimited

In this fifth volume of the series, the residents of Hobbs, Maine, are relieved to have gotten through the summer relatively unscathed by the pandemic. Town doctor, Liz Stolz, is warning about a fall surge, but everyone is ready to get back to normal. Liz has agreed to help her friend, architect, Sam McKinnon, build a sound-proof practice room over Erika Bultmann’s garage. As the days grow shorter, Erika is worried about her wife, former opera singer and Episcopal rector, Lucy Bartlett, who walks alone on the beach before dawn. Fortunately, the early Christmas gift is ready before tragedy strikes. In the process of keeping a promise to a friend, Liz antagonizes her wife. Their marriage has been rocky since an impulsive kiss last summer. As the women of Hobbs pull together to help a beloved friend heal from her loss, the dark winter brings tension and realignment to their small community.

 

ANTHOLOGY

 

SLICED ICE

by Lee Winter

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Ten short stories based on Lee Winter’s fierce and unforgettable ice queens and villains have been gathered into one anthology containing lesbian love, lust, friendship, and romance.

Find out what happened after Lee’s stories ended, and in one case, before it began. Iconic characters revisited include Elena Bartell (The Brutal Truth), Elizabeth Thornton (Breaking Character), Monique Carson (Hotel Queens), Natalya Tsvetnenko (Requiem for Immortals), Catherine Ayers (The Red Files), and Cynthia Redwell (Under Your Skin).

 

AUDIOBOOK

 

IRRESISTIBLY BOUND

by Anna Stone

narrated by Lexy Rebe

Grab all four books in the sizzling Irresistibly Bound romance series in one collection.

Being Hers

While working at an exclusive club, law student Melanie attracts the attention of Vanessa, a glamorous executive. Soon, she is swept into Vanessa’s sensual games of submission. As their connection grows more intense, they realize their no-strings-attached relationship is turning into something more, but old wounds keep them from surrendering their hearts.

Her Surrender

When librarian April has a one-night stand with womanizer Vicki, she isn’t expecting their uninhibited night to leave her wanting more. What she’s expecting even less is that Vicki is the wealthy property developer who’s planning to bulldoze April’s library. As tensions heat up between them, neither can resist the pull of their attraction. Will their love-hate relationship cause everything they’ve worked for to go up in flames?

Hers to Keep

When art school graduate Lindsey joins a sugar baby website to pay off her debt, she meets an alluring older woman named Camilla. Lindsey isn’t interested in women, but Camilla has an irresistible proposal for her: move into her mansion for three months as her girlfriend and submissive, and all Lindsey’s financial woes will disappear. Their arrangement is just one big lie.

But what happens when the lie becomes the truth?

Freeing Her

Faith is thrilled to land a job as a nanny for a wealthy, recently divorced mother of two. The only problem is her boss, Eve. She’s uptight, controlling, and impossible to please. But when Faith discovers a side to Eve that she never expected, it becomes clear that behind her strict façade is a passionate woman bursting to break free and make Faith hers. However, if they give in to their desires, they risk losing everything.

 

Anique won the $15 Amazon gift card giveaway.

 

VOTE FOR AUGUST’S BOOK OF THE MONTH

It’s time to vote for your favorite August 2021 books.

Voting is open until the end of September.

Results will be announced in October.

Best of luck authors!

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