Guest Post: I am what I am by Charlie Conwell and giveaway

Happy Wednesday!

Charlie Conwell, author of A Chance Encounter is here.

She’s giving away two e-copies of A Chance Encounter to two lucky winners.

Please welcome Charlie Conwell.


Inspiration: I am what I am

Inspiration comes in so many forms and we all aspire to follow in the footsteps of our favourite authors experiencing different genres as we learn and grow. Growing up I was always interested in reading and letting my imagination run wild. My grandmother loved to spin a yarn to make you laugh on a bad day or tell a ghost story that would scare the bejesus out of you. Half the time I was always left wondering if it was made up or real. Witnessing the love between my grandparents even after sixty years was the most romantic view I had ever experienced. My grandmother, even in her ripe old age of one hundred was as frisky as a teenager and didn’t care who observed her want of ‘claiming’ her man, making my grandfather blush so hard. I love the thought of love at first sight, a love so strong that it can overcome any obstacle. Two people that are complete individuals but become better as one.

As a child, I would curl up reading Ronald Dahl and experience every moment seeing it play out in my mind, getting absorbed in the books and lost in the magic of the words. It was during my English class in secondary school when I realised the extent of the true power of the written word. The war poet, Wilfred Owen, showed me what it was to feel and see what I read. The vivid details and descriptive prowess left me feeling as if I were on the front line. Visualising the gruesomeness and even getting a sense of the smells left me in awe. I wanted to create and impart those feelings in my own writing, subjecting the reader to a rollercoaster of emotions, allowing them to see the movie play out in their heads and feel what the characters are experiencing.

Growing up in Northern Ireland there were no mainstream book stores that sold romance books with LGBTQ+ lead characters. It was a taboo subject, one that went against the grain of the “norm.” I wanted to write my books with strong female lead characters that just happen to fall for another woman. It’s not something to shy away from it’s something to embrace. You are who you are no matter who you fall in love with.

When ‘When Love and Fate Collides’ was first published, I had readers tell me that they really rooted for Riley and Taylor’s relationship. I wanted characters that the reader would relate to and that they love or hate. I left the ending open knowing that I was going to write a sequel.

‘I Love Who’ is the sequel where I delved a little deeper into the characters and the friendships between the women in the book. Rachel was a character from the first book that had many readers extremely upset but also feeling sorry for her and the situation she was thrust into. She found love when she wasn’t looking for it with a person she never even considered before.

‘3:33’ was the first book where I delved more into the darker side of love and obsessive behaviour. It was a challenge to write but is a book I am immensely proud of. Again, the characters are put through the ringer while fighting their own emotions and avoidance of feelings. This book has the message that no matter what has happened in the past, there is always light and love that will overcome in the end. Rachel and Layla made a guest appearance in this book which had some readers wanting another encounter with Riley and Taylor. To let you in on a little secret, they will be coming back in another adventure in the near future.

When writing ‘A Chance Encounter’ I wrote it with my heart, living the characters and putting myself in their place. This allowed the characters to flow and develop during the process.

It was inspired by the woman I adore, so the emotions that come through are very much real and reflect my romantic vision. We met in a chance encounter and love can conquer all when you face obstacles together no matter how tough they are.


A Chance Encounter

A Chance Encounter brings you on a romantic adventure to find everlasting love. Charlie has a focus on enlisting to follow her father’s footsteps into the military. She believes that in doing so her love life has to take a back seat because it wouldn’t survive her being away for long stretches at a time. That view gets thrown out of the window when she spots Emily in the crowd. A chance encounter that had her needing to get to know and spend time with her. That first instinct to stay on her own and live a soldier’s life takes a new turn when she finds out she doesn’t have to do it alone.

Emily sees Charlie and the sparks fly and even though it’s her first love, it’s one that she intends to keep. She shows Charlie that love can span distance and time while still being as strong whether they are together or apart. A connection burned so deep in their hearts that even though away from each other they are still connected.

So sit back, a cup of hot cocoa in hand and let me bring you on a journey of love, hopes and dreams.



Charlie is a romance author who loves to intertwine romance with crime, drama and explosive eroticism. Her first novel When Love and Fate Collides was published in 2017. She loves to write about strong female protagonists and throwing them through every challenge imaginable and having them test the bounds of love. Charlie has always been an avid reader and when growing up and coming out she found it difficult to find books with LGBTQ characters as the main protagonists. This is something that she didn’t like and wanted to make her mark. She has a very romantic soul and loves a happy ending but doesn’t make anything easy for her characters. When she isn’t reading or writing her amorous adventures she is chilling out with friends, cheering on her beloved Manchester United or hitting the fairways. With Charlie’s partner she has found a new love of American football – Go Panthers!



Facebook / Twitter: @charlie2017123 / Website



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New Lesfic Goodies: March 20th Edition

Here are this week’s new releases, giveaways, and lesfic news.


by MJ Duncan

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 15, 2018

Life is full of choices. Some are easy, others are more difficult, and then there are the ones that aren’t really choices at all. For Parker Ravenscroft, helping her brother always fell into that last category—risks be damned. All that changes when Sheridan Sloan re-enters her life. As their relationship grows from friendship to something more she’s forced to choose between her brother and her own happiness. Picking one over the other isn’t the end of things, however, because the ghosts of her past choices have the very real power to destroy the future she so badly wants.


Season Four
by Harper Bliss

Release date: March 9, 2018

Two years have passed since Dominique Laroche was elected President of France at the end of French Kissing: Season Three. She and Steph are living together at the Elysée, but their relationship is strained by the demands of Dominique’s job.

When a rising star of the opposition proposes a new law that would affect lesbians’ right to have children, Dominique is torn between her personal feelings and her party’s political line.

Feminist radio host Aurore Seauve is advising the opposition on the new law proposal, but finds herself more caught up in the intrigue at the Elysée than she wants to be, not in the least because of her interest in Dominique’s uptight chief of staff, Solange.

Zoya Das has moved from Sydney to Paris to be with her new love Camille, and is finding it difficult to settle into her new country, new language and new job. Meanwhile Camille is finding out the hard way that not all her colleagues are comfortable with an out and proud lesbian at work, even if she is friends with the president.

Relationships will be tested, loyalties will be questioned and assumptions will have to be set aside as both familiar and new characters navigate the turbulent waters of love–and politics.


by Saxon Bennett & Layce Gardner

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 15, 2018

Lucy Marshall thought she had it all—a successful career, a gorgeous girlfriend, and a well-organized life. Until she didn’t. Her girlfriend leaves her for a yoga instructor, her boss fires her, and she wants nothing more than to crawl under the covers and stay there. But her best friend, Harriet, won’t allow it. Harriet drags her to the wilderness of Oregon to meet the women of Sugar Pines. What she thinks is a relaxing retreat actually turns out to be much, much more. Lucy discovers the importance of friendship, sisterhood and, ultimately, love.


by Karin Kallmaker

Release date: March 16, 2018

Anita Topaz, Queen of the Bodice Rippers, is deliberately a woman of mystery. But pressure is mounting for Anita to reveal herself to her clamoring public. It’s scrutiny that writer Paris Ellison can’t allow, especially since the glamorous “Anita” is a work of pure fiction.

Lady Diana Beckinsale excels at disappearing into a good role. Especially if that role gets her close to certain objects she desires. When Diana proposes the perfect solution to Paris’s predicament, Paris is less than enthusiastic. She can’t let someone as unsettling and observant as Diana get too close.

But Diana is persistent. After all, if she and the handsome, secretive Paris both get what they want out of an unorthodox arrangement, then it’s a win-win for them both.

My Lady Lipstick is high stakes on a merry-go-round of lies—it’s all fun and games until somebody loses her heart.


by Hildred Billings

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 8, 2018

Their love was written in the stars, but one of them wasn’t yet ready for fate.

Ten years ago, Jess Mills had her life changed when she crossed paths with Shannon Parker, the most beautiful girl at their small liberal arts college. But what Jess assumed to be nothing more than a crush on a straight girl turned into the night of her dreams senior year.

Then? Nothing. Shannon was gone before graduation.

One of them has moved on. The other is just getting started.

Shannon bumps into Jess shortly after moving to Portland, a place her ex-boyfriend decided to call home. Both single, and both reeling from post-college life, Shannon realizes that it’s no mere coincidence she’s once again encountered the girl who defined her co-ed years.

It’s fate.

Jess’s love for astrology and divination is about to come in handy now that Shannon is determined to face her feelings and understand the whim of the universe.

She isn’t running anymore.


by Claire Highton-Stevenson

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 8, 2018

Ali and Susan Jenkins have it all. Their life together is mapped out on a one-way path to happiness, that is until Susan is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Ali refuses to accept it – her world is shattered.

Susan’s last act of love is to make her wife promise that one day she will open her heart again and let somebody else love her.

But will Ali keep her promise?


Salvaggio’s Light: Book 7
by C.L. Cattano

Release date: March 12, 2018

Rafe Salvaggio was left behind in Mexico and has to decide where she is going next. Eden Kingsley and their other friends can do nothing but wait and hope Rafe will come home. Katheryn Hardam has a new client who may be the key to stopping the Stewards group. She has new information and must decide if she only shows it to Eden or if she shows it to Rafe as well. Julia Hawthorn decides to help Eden and gets their friends involved. The issue is will her help be hindered by old jealousy or will she be able to put her feelings aside.

You won’t want to miss any of the action in this epic drama as Confronting Darkness, book seven of the Salvaggio’s Light serial, continues the journey of this epic contemporary romance.


It is suggested that readers of this story are adults over the age of eighteen. This dramatic series has many scenes describing sex as well as intense emotional scenes and acts of violence.

This is a serial story with themes that flow from one book into another with lots of twists and turns. Reading this series from the beginning is highly suggested, or the reader may not be able to follow all of the storylines.


by Emily King

Release date: March 16, 2018

When pharmacist Janet Webber relocates to the agricultural heart of California for a new job, she is not at all certain that she has made the right decision. Her love life is in bad shape, and the weekly business travel now required of her isn’t helping. But when Janet meets walnut farmer Gail Lawrence at a housewarming party, Janet decides that her love life may be turning in the right direction.

Soon Janet finds herself inspired by the abundance of local crops and begins cooking and baking to escape the stress of her work. When Janet’s baked goods are well received in the community, she allows herself to dream of starting her own business. With Gail’s encouragement—and her walnuts—anything seems possible. But will Gail’s reluctance to trust another woman again push the two of them apart before they can even get started?


Conch Garden Book 2
by Kristen Mae

Release date: March 19, 2018
Contemporary FFM Romance

A new friendship. A simple gift. A love that defies convention.

It’s been three years since Claire Pyles lost her baby to stillbirth, three years since her picture-perfect husband committed an act Claire can’t seem to forget, much less forgive. Three years she’s spent struggling to reclaim peace. Still, she has every reason to be happy—a dream job as principal cellist in the symphony, a beautiful home, meaningful volunteer work at the cancer center. Claire may have suffered tragedy, but it’s true what her mother always said: Someone always has it worse.

Right now, that someone is Hazel Duval, a violinist who recently stumbled into Claire’s life. Shy and prone to panic attacks, Hazel offers a welcome distraction from Claire’s own problems—something Claire can actually fix.

But when the two women travel to Italy for a music festival, Hazel’s panic intensifies, and Claire’s attempts to help seem only to worsen her friend’s mental state. Then one morning, Hazel does something Claire never would have predicted: she kisses her.

Claire views this kiss, and what follows, as the purest form of giving—a restorative she can offer her friend that no one else can. But what Claire is about to learn is that Hazel is not the only one who is broken, and Claire is not the only one with the power to heal.

Provocative, revelatory, and tragically realistic, Objects in Motion tells the other side of the story from Beyond the Break, where readers saw Claire only through Hazel’s eyes. Whatever readers of Beyond the Break thought they knew about Claire…they were wrong.


The Sullivan Vampires: Book 3
by Bridget Essex

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 12, 2018
Paranormal Romance

Is love forever?

Rose Clyde is irrevocably in love with the alluring vampire Kane Sullivan…but their passionate love affair has seemingly been doomed from the very start.

Once, long ago, Kane made an immortal enemy…and now that enemy has returned and craves revenge. Kane’s love for Rose is her only weakness, and–to exploit it–there is a plot for Rose’s life. If Kane’s enemies have their way, Rose will die at the grandest event of the year: the vampire ball.

But Rose just got Kane back. And she won’t lose her without a fight…

Find out if love is eternal in the passionate, thrilling conclusion to the SULLIVAN VAMPIRES trilogy.


by Lucy True

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 12, 2018
Paranormal Romance

Nine years after committing a heinous crime against the Fae, Chiara thought her trespass had been forgotten. She thought wrong.

Now an evil queen wants more than Chiara’s life – she demands her love as well. Forever.

Seeking retribution, she drags Chiara into the Otherworld and gives her a near-impossible task: She has nine days to find the gate to the mortal realm or be trapped in the Otherworld forever.

Desperate to get away from the queen and back to her old life, Chiara is prepared to face nasty fae, a dangerous world, and overwhelming odds to gain her freedom. What she isn’t prepared for is Shea, a cocky faerie huntress who dogs her every step.

The stakes are high, the temptations deadly, and failure looms at every corner. Chiara can’t let her guard down. She needs to be focused and determined.

She needs to not fall in love.

But as she navigates a twisted world, Chiara learns about an ancient blood and faerie secrets which have shaped her fate. And that infuriating, intoxicating huntress is tied to it all.

What happens if she succeeds?

And what happens if she finds she has a reason not to leave?


The Ice Rose Series: Book 1
by Destiny Hawkins

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 10, 2018
Paranormal Romance

I wanted to die that night. I wanted it all to end.

I stood at the edge of the rooftop ready to jump when my tired eyes met her glowing blues.

They weren’t natural. Nothing about her was natural, but I wasn’t afraid.

It wasn’t until her ice-cold fangs sunk into my neck did I find myself terrified.

But why?

Wasn’t death what I wanted? For once, wasn’t I getting exactly what I wished for?

Maybe I had hoped that in death, I would be reborn.

Who knows, maybe I would be.


Weather Witch: Book 1
Emilia Spring

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 16, 2018
Cozy Paranormal Mystery

Burnt-out social worker Natalie Ethridge thinks she’s caught a lucky break–a free cottage from her Great-Aunt. With nothing to lose, Natalie heads for the hills, or, in this case, the mountains. Turns out the cottage comes with a big family secret—Natalie is from a long line of witches. She quickly discovers that living in a new town isn’t easy, especially when lightning strikes whenever she loses her temper!

When an orphaned eleven-year-old stands accused of murder, Natalie’s social worker instincts compel her to solve the case and clear the child, even if it means digging into painful secrets the town considers long buried. Secrets that paint a target on her back.

Between her crazy family, magic lessons, investigating a murder, and the sexy witch detective hell-bent on keeping her in line, Natalie’s not sure which one will be the death of her first–her newfound abilities or the killer.


by Charley Clarke

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 16, 2018
Romantic Fantasy / Short Read

An orphan, Mal has never felt at home in her village. When wildfires force her people into the mountains, she finds a way of life she never knew existed. But will she finally find a place to belong?

Astraea leads the Dagruhn people, who live in the mountains, bond with dragons, and don’t take kindly to outsiders. When Mal and her people need shelter, will Astraea find the courage to put the needs of her heart above the needs of her people?

This story is approximately 9,500 words.


The San Francisco Mystery Series: Book 4
by Alexi Venice

Release date: March 15, 2018
Romantic Suspense

A suspenseful romance nestled in The San Francisco Mystery Series.

Temporarily living with Detective Tommy Vietti, Dr. Jen Dawson is frustrated with her love life. She’s interested in someone at the CrossFit box, but wonders why she keeps thinking about her ex-lover, District Attorney Amanda Hawthorne, while cultivating a relationship with the CrossFit goddess.

As Jen works through her conflicted feelings, she also must manage the expectations of her irritated boss-Dr. Melissa Cohen-and the daily drama served up by angry patients, wild animals and confidential information made public at the Cohen Clinic.

Even worse, Jen is asked by Amanda’s campaign manager to defend Amanda after her HEA-hellish ending to an affair-with Roxy. Jen will be damned before she’ll turn into the abused political wife, standing by “her woman” after Amanda fooled around on her. Yet, with just a short TV interview, Jen could clear up a mischaracterization of Amanda….

And, why won’t Roxy MacNeil, the Scottish MI-6 agent, leave San Francisco? Why must she continue working at the Hall of Justice, so close to Amanda?

To make matters worse, Tommy expresses his true feelings to Jen late one night, upsetting the emotional equilibrium in their co-parenting relationship.

Jen has been patient with Tommy, Amanda and Roxy’s dangerous jobs-and the way they bleed into her clinic and home life-but when all hell breaks loose, she’s forced to make some tough choices.


by Randi Triant

Release date: March 15, 2018
Literary Fiction

Camilla Thompson, a Humanities college professor who never did write that Great American Novel, hasn’t seen her son Nico for two years.

One morning she drives to the house where her ex, Allison, is still raising Nico. Knowing that they are away for a week’s vacation, Camilla begins to build a treehouse as a surprise for the son she’s not allowed to see.

But Camilla’s regrets, grief, and lack of construction skills aren’t the only challenges she’ll face. Old friends and unexpected visitors show up to help—and complicate matters. Free-spirited Taylor, Camilla’s best friend, arrives with her lover, Audrey, whom Camilla finds herself falling for. Then Wallace, Camilla’s Department Chair, disrupts everything with startling news that threatens to end Camilla’s career.

At first an impulsive idea, the treehouse soon promises to be an oasis for Camilla’s redemption that could free her for another chance at love and family. Then again, it might simply be just a bad decision.




by Yvonne Heidt
narrated by Leslie McDonel

Veterinarian Aislin O’Shea runs a busy clinic. She wasn’t looking for a relationship. She’d already had the perfect one. She certainly wasn’t attracted to fancy pants executive, Ms. Zane Whitman — she wasn’t her type.

Zane Whitman had it all. Stellar career, wealth, exclusive social circle, and models vying for her attention. Impulsive, emotionally charged Aislin was not her type.

Two women from the opposite side of the tracks.

Neither one expects meddling from an unexpected source on the Other side.

Neither one knows the train is coming.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Audible US / Audible UK


by Erin Dutton
narrated by AJ Ferraro

Maya Vaughn, the hottest young pastry chef to emerge from the reality television machine, takes a turn as a judge on the very show that launched her career, expecting to find a nice change of scenery and a little diversion.

A late-bloomer at 42 years old, Shannon Hayes is finally on the precipice of achieving her dreams. She has one shot to prove she can compete with chefs half her age and with much more experience. Engaging in a fling with a judge 14 years her junior would almost certainly kill that chance.

Their attraction offers a taste of the exotic but could turn into a recipe for disaster.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Audible US / Audible UK


DIAMOND DREAMS Ends on March 20th


KAI’S HEART Ends on March 21st


LOVE AT COOPER’S CREEK Ends on March 23rd


LUCKY 7 Ends on March 26th




A BOOK BY K. ATEN Ends on April 1st





Guest Post: My Awkward Ass Lesbian Life by Joi Miner and giveaway

Interview with K. Aten and giveaway


For reading suggestions hop over to Jae’s blog

You can subscribe to her newsletter at so you don’t miss this fun event.  

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Happy reading!


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Guest Post: My Awkward Ass Lesbian Life by Joi Miner and giveaway

Happy Friday!

Joi Miner is here to discuss coming out and the A Stud in Stilettos series.

She’s giving away e-copies of book 1 and 2 in the series to two winners. More details are below.

Please welcome Joi Miner

My Awkward Ass Lesbian Life

I’m a 36-year-old lesbian. This would be “normal” if I wasn’t the mother of 2, twice divorced from their fathers. People think it’s a phase. It’s frustrating. Having to explain to everyone, from my mother to my neighbors to my friends, and even my therapist that I am not bi-sexual. That I am not jaded. That I have always been lesbian. That’s my favorite conversation to have. And, to make matters worse, I’m classified as a “femme” (even though I prefer the term “Stud in Stilettos” but we’ll get to that later).

Most of my life, I was a lesbian playing a straight girl. I could’ve won an Oscar for it, too. I was a cheerleader, played soccer, rocked dresses and heels, modeled, can slay some make-up, and have two beautiful children with my two ex-husbands. My teens were interesting because I got to experiment, which only confirmed for me what I already knew. But, I wasn’t ready to divulge that information. Especially because I knew that it would kill my mama. Since I wasn’t ready to lose her so young, I posed. I played the role so well that I began to believe it myself. Pretending became… easier.

I came out publicly last June, at the ripe old age of 35. My daughter was the one who told me to stop fighting it because she’d never seen me be as comfortable with a man in all 15 years and 2 dads of her life. Yes, I said 2 dads of her life. Lol. So, I accepted it. Well, kind of. I’ve only had 2 “oh my God, I’m really a lesbian” breakdowns so far. But there were times when I wanted to crawl back up the rabbit hole and pretend that I never knew that Wonderland existed. I mean, that’s what this new world was to me. There were women, big, small, thick and thin, light and dark, feminine and masculine, dominant and submissive. I felt like Alice trying all of those different treats and sweets. Heterosexuality had been my White Rabbit. I was chasing it because I thought it would get me the acceptance of the world that I lived in, when in reality, I was conforming to the will of the “Queen of Hearts” or societal standards. (I can beat the hell out of a metaphor, can’t I? Lol)

I had been playing straight for so long that I didn’t really know how to be myself. For the first time in my life, I could relate to the pimply-faced, awkward teens. I was searching for my place in the world, beginning with my preference and label. I mean, you have to have those, right. What self-respecting lesbian doesn’t want to be branded and stamped? So, in order to be LGBTQ-Approved, I needed to decide on these things. What kind of woman did I like? How did I identify? How do I explain that I have two children, but I’m gay? What do you call a woman who loves all kinds of women, dresses like a “straight woman”, has children, loves sports, curses like a drunken sailor, likes to give and receive sexually, and can throw down in the kitchen and go out to the garage and put together a car? You call her— wait for it— a lesbian. *gasp* Well, I prefer EOL (Equal Opportunity Lesbian).

I guess I didn’t get the “Welcome to the LGBTQ+ World Handbook” that they give out when you come out. Maybe it got lost in the mail. All I knew for sure was that I felt like a fish outta water, gasping for air in this new heavenly atmosphere I was in. I call it heavenly because… well, the women. Duh! Women are just beautiful. They’re the 8th Wonder of the World, in my humble opinion. Their strength, the way their bodies curve, the softness of their features, their laughter. I was a kid in a candy store ready to give myself a stomachache. But I wasn’t supposed to feel like that. I was supposed to want a particular kind of woman. How was that gonna work? To me, they were all women when they took off whatever kind of clothes they had on at the end of the day.

This is where the term “A Stud in Stilettos”, the title of my first Lesfic novel series, comes in. I wasn’t the typical “femme” and I definitely wasn’t a “stud”. All the variations of those base labels are just confusing, so I gave up trying to shape-shift to find one that fit. I accepted my reality. I was a dominant female who loved to dress in “women’s clothes”. So, when I remembered the term a former friend used to define herself, “A Stud in Stilettos”, I was all over it. It fit. I soon found others who fit that “label” and my release of my series “A Stud in Stilettos: A Lesbian Love Tale” only brought out more women who felt like I did. But it also did something cool, it opened up our world to heterosexuals. It gave them a level of understanding that we are just people who want to be loved and allowed to love who we want. The response was beautiful and encouraged me to pen other Lesfic novels. It’s actually my preferred genre now. So, at 36, I’m finally one of the “cool kids”. Well, not really, but that’s what I like to tell myself. Might even run for office. Joi Miner for Class(ification) President: “Merging Worlds One Novel At A Time.”

Amazon links

Book 1  /   Book 2



Joi Miner is a 36-year-old lesbian mother of two, from Montgomery, Al (currently residing in Birmingham) who has turned her love for the stage literature into a successful career. A full-time entrepreneur, this author, poet, editor, and storyteller, loves spending time with family and friends, listening to good music, and using her gifts to articulate the world as she sees it to the masses. Joi loves writing engaging stories, with plot twists that keep her audience on the edge of their seats! From poetry to urban fiction to lesfic and beyond, she believes there’s a great story in each of our lives, and loves to bring those close to her to life on the stage and the page.



Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @JoiMiner



Enter here for a chance to win the 


All you need to do is fill in your email, check the box confirming you aren’t a robot, and hit enter.

Read more about it here.


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Have a fab weekend!


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Interview with K. Aten and giveaway

Regal Crest Enterprises author K. Aten is here.

Kelly is giving away two books, The Fletcher and Rules of the Road. More details are below.

I want to give a shout-out to Ted who helped craft the questions. And thanks to Kelly for being such a good sport.

Without further ado, please welcome the wonderful Kelly Aten.

Before we begin, thanks so much for stopping by today for a chat.

Hi, it’s great to be here answer questions and spill all my secrets. Well, probably not so many secrets since I’m pretty open about myself. I will say it’s a new experience to find myself as an author to be interviewed, straddling that line between fangirling and being fangirled. (Is that a word?) There are so many authors out there that I love and consider favorites. If I can just be one person’s favorite, I consider that a success.

Please tell us a bit about where you grew up and how it has impacted your writing.

I grew up poor near the center of Michigan, downwind from a dairy farm. <points at hand to show you her home town> (It’s a Michigan thing, because our state is shaped like a mitten) I wouldn’t say where or how I grew up impacted my writing at all, except that I’ve always been a bit of a dreamer. My love of fantastical artwork, large paper sacks of my mom’s sci-fi and fantasy books, and my insane curiosity and need to create were the biggest influences for my writing.

I’ve heard you love spreadsheets. Care to share about this, telling us how it started, does it persist, and why?

Spreadsheets! I know who told you that. LOL. Basically I work with Excel and Visual basic all day as my alter ego, Kelly-san. I love order/organization. I thrive on it and I also use spreadsheets in my personal life for a lot of things. I have documents for my financials, my library, tracking metrics for my books, diet/exercise, and for my writing notes. I keep extensive notes on everything when I’m writing. (names, chapter lengths, links to resources, plot ideas, power grids, fighting techniques, etc) And yes, I do think of writers as being a little bit like a superhero and a villain all rolled in one. Because we both save people and put them in jeopardy in our books, right?

Why is Halloween your favorite holiday and how do you typically celebrate?

Oh jeez, I love Halloween for a multitude of reasons. It’s not religious, it’s a holiday for the freaks and outcasts, and it’s a massive celebration of creativity. Every year my g/f, her ex-husband, and his wife (yes we have an amicable quad raising my g/f’s two boys) walk around the neighborhood with the boys trick-or-treating, and I pass out candy in our garage that I’ve spent all day decorating to look like a spooky E.R.  Some kids refuse to come in and I have to take candy out to them. But the look on both children and adult’s faces when then come in a look around, it’s totally worth the time and effort. I guess I enjoy another outlet for my creativity and being a bit of an entertainer.

2018 is a big year for you when it comes to publishing. How many books have been released and how many more will be launched this year? Also, why is 2018 your publishing year?

It is a big year and I’m super stoked! Let me begin with your last question first. I didn’t start seriously writing until the middle of 2015. I’ve always been a poet, but never put more than a few thousand words down into some pretty bad short stories when it comes to other writing. Then one day out of frustration and boredom, I finished a Xena fanfic I had started years before. It topped out at 66,000 words and I thought to myself “hey, let’s give this a shot”. So I finished another little story I had started back in 2007 and it was like a switch was flipped. I kept writing story after story obsessively. I posted my works on Archive of Our Own and got so much positive feedback I decided to submit a book, The Fletcher, to a publisher back in August of 2016. Three rejections later, I found my home with Regal Crest Enterprises in April of 2017. By the time they signed me I had a backlog of novels written which brings us to this year. They’ve done a phenomenal job of cramming my books down the publishing pipeline. The Fletcher just released January 3rd. Rules of the Road is due to come on March 1st. Then I have 3 more books schedule this year. April is book 2 in the Arrow of Artemis series, The Archer, September is my dystopian sci-fi, Waking the Dreamer, and December will be the last book in the Arrow of Artemis series, The Sagittarius.

How did Xena fan fiction propel your desire to write?

Xena fan fiction drew me out of a closet that I didn’t even know I was in. I believe there is a blog somewhere on Women and Words where I talk about the fact that reading female/female Xena fan fiction made me realize I was gay. It was a new and exciting time for me and there was a community within the readers that made me feel welcome. The desire to create my own tale intensified with each new story I absorbed. Fan fiction fueled my passion for a variety of different genres and showed me what was possible within one person’s creativity.

You have a partner, her kids, fur babies, and a day job. How to you squeeze in writing? Do you have a set schedule?

I have anything BUT a set schedule. My weekly work and commute total 51 hours a week. Then with both boys in sports, plus band/concert stuff, and all the normal family stuff per week (like family TV night watching The Flash, or board game nights on the weekends), life is busy. When I’m writing while sitting on the couch, the dog or the cat try to get in my lap forcing me to push the computer down to rest on my shins until they’ve gotten their fill of attention. On top of that, last fall I juggled 3 novels at once in the official editing process. Sometimes I write at home after the kids go to bed and the routine is complete for the day. Sometimes I write at work while on my lunch (or on the sly during long boring meetings). When I’m in the thick of novel writing I’ll stay up much too late and barely function on 4 hours of sleep the next day. I’ll go digging for information about something or another I’m writing about and get sucked into informational websites or videos, productive but still distracted from writing. Then again, there are days where I fall down the rabbit hole of Facebook or Pinterest and I’m not productive at all. I need to be better.

Tell us about your latest release. 

Rules of the Road is a rom-com I wrote over the course of 5 weeks in November/December of 2016. I had my heart set on this sci-fi dystopian but after the election it was a little too depressing and close to real events, so I opted for the light-hearted contemporary piece I had in my notes instead. Rules of the Road was actually inspired by my daily commute to work. I use the Waze app (a traffic/navigation app) religiously, which is hella useful. The book is about two women who meet and chat though a driving app. They both have major baggage but become friends. I figured if people can meet through online dating sites and things like Tinder, why not through something that wasn’t designed for that purpose? Nearly all the funny/gross work anecdotes contained within the book are true. I used my own engineering and manufacturing background, as well as a friend’s work stories (who was a dental assistant) for the source material. It’s funny though, even I laugh out loud while editing it and the stories are old news to me.

What inspired your first novel The Fletcher

The Fletcher (Arrow of Artemis book 1) was my baby, my passion piece. It was the first book I completed as the new ‘writer me’. It was inspired by my Xena fanfic, and yes even the characters. (There are so many current published books that had uber Xena roots) I’m not one for historical novels, and I’m definitely NOT a student of history, but something about the time period stayed with me and I had to tell a tale about it. It was also inspired in part by the novel Valley of the Horses by Jean Auel (and all the others in the series). I’ve always been fascinated by how people did things before the invention of many of the modern tools and medicines. And I did so much research for the Arrow of Artemis series. Set in ancient Greece in approximately 20 BCE, it was incredibly hard to find data but I managed. Flora, fauna, names, furniture, weather patterns, boats, weapons, fletching, archery, basically everything you can think of, I had to research. It was written before I switched notes over to spreadsheets and my notes document was 40 pages long on its own!

And the main character, Kyri Fletcher, I think perhaps she is an analogy for my writing in general. She is new to the ways of the world, and just wants to find her place in the scheme of things as well as a home. When Kyri endangers her future by saving a traveling Amazon from sure death, her dying father encourages her to leave and make a life with the Amazon’s tribe. The only reason this book ended up as a series is because when I finished writing The Fletcher, the story wouldn’t leave my head. I wrote book 2 of my urban fantasy series and knew I had to get back to Kyri. So I cranked out the 2nd and 3rd books (The Archer & The Sagittarius) back to back and the Arrow of Artemis was born.

Now that 2018 has hit and you have a full load of editing and publishing, has it impacted your ability to crank out stories?

OMG yes! After analysis (yes, I totally over-analyze everything) I realized that there were a few reasons my writing was bogging down so much.

1. Any author knows that editing is hard work. You go back and forth with your editor multiple times reading through the novel and fixing errors and such. Then there is a second editor, then a pdf review, then an eBook review. Not only am I thoroughly sick of my book by the time it releases, but I’m convinced it’s going to be complete and utter crap. An analogy would be to look at the surface of your skin through a magnifying glass. You’ll think you have a horrible disease.

2. Sometimes I’m editing more than one book at a time, each one taking up 100% of my energy and resources to get it turned around within a decent amount of time, and I never know when I’m going to get a manuscript back for another round.

3. Looking at your work under a microscope like that makes you see all the flaws and I’m not going to lie when I say my self-confidence and creative energy takes a hit. I start to second guess, convinced everything I’m doing is crap and wonder what the point is? Then I shake myself by the scruff of the neck and slog on. So yeah, the editing schedule saps my time and energy and also competes with my love of reading. *sigh*

What can your fans expect from you in 2019?

I’ve been writing along at a pretty good clip, though it has slowed considerably since last fall and my editing schedule began. Until that point I was averaging 4 novels a year. As of right now, 2019 is too far out to have a definitive schedule in place, but I know 4 books that are signed to release at some point next year. Running From Forever and Embracing Forever are books 1 & 2 of my urban fantasy Blood Resonance series. I also have Burn It Down, which is a contemporary piece about a Detroit firefighter working her way through grief and guilt. And the 9th book I have completed is the beginning of an epic adventure series. The Sovereign of Psiere is what happens when you want to write a book but can’t decide on a genre. It’s a bit steampunk, its set on a new planet with pyramids with a divine mystery. There are psionic powers and even some mythical beasts. But the biggest part of the tale is equal parts royal romance and Tomb Raider/Indiana Jones type adventure. While I don’t like writing series books in general, I had no choice with Psiere. It has a large over-arching plot and it couldn’t be told with just one book. 2019 may end up having a 5th book added, similar to my schedule in 2018. However I need to get off my duff and finish my current work in progress. Yes, my writing has definitely slowed.

Okay, time for the lightning round.

-Raman noodles: love or hate them?

Love, of course. I know this came from my beta reader which is why I’ll even include a pic! (I’m looking at you, Ted!)

-Who is Olivia?

Olivia is my pretty blue car. A Hyundai Veloster turbo, and she is the inspiration behind Jamie’s car in Rules of the Road. I’m glad I wrote her into that book because I’ll probably have to upgrade to something with more ground clearance and passenger room this fall. Living in a state rife with wicked potholes, and having a family, is really trimming off my cool points. *sob*

-Roller derby-fan or not?

I’m a pretty big fan, though I rarely get to watch bouts any more. I played for a few years between 2009 and 2012 but my knees forced me into retirement. I even won 3 awards my rookie season on the team. About once a year I travel across the state to see my old team play and catch up with everyone. Fun fact, I still run a roller derby oriented Facebook page that has more than 700 members. But shhhh, it’s a secret!









– One of your quirks not many know about:

There are a lot of quirks that people would know about me just by following me on Facebook. I love bow ties and pocket watches, I organize the sh*t out of everything (including shirts by color in my closet), and I dress my dog up in matching button down shirts with me to have selfie photoshoots. Things that people may not know about me is that I was a poet long before I ever wrote a story. And I love to make up words. You can find a few samples of my poetic writings on my website, under the “words” tab.

Thanks so much for chatting today.

No, thank you for featuring me. As you can tell I’m pretty verbose when it comes to writing. I can be the same way in social situations and many would be surprised to know that my social butterfly tendency was a learned trait. Once I warm up to people I’m fine, but I used to be pretty quiet until that point. However, no matter how social I seem, it’s draining. I like to come home and recharge in quiet. But…BUT, answering questions like this? Oh, I can do this all day long. Especially when I admire where the questions are coming from. I am honored to be featured on I Heart Lesfic, it is such a wonderful resource for readers like me. Not to mention, it is a great promotional boon to writers, uh, like me. It’s still hard to believe that I’m a real, published author. But people like you, positive reviews, and the occasional email from fans solidify it a little more each day. You have my deepest gratitude for all you do.



Release date: February 25, 2018

Jamie is an engineer who keeps humor close to her heart and people at arm’s length. Kelsey is a dental assistant who deals with everything from the hilarious to the disgusting on a daily basis. What happens when a driving app brings them together as friends? The nerd car and the rainbow car both know a thing or two about hazard avoidance. When a flat tire brings them together in person, Jamie immediately realizes that Kelsey isn’t just another woman on her radar. Both of them have struggled to break free from stereotypes while they navigate the road of life. As their friendship deepens they realize that sometimes you have to break the rules to get where you need to go.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS



Kelly works in the automotive industry coding in Visual basic and Excel. Her avid reading and writing provide a nice balance to the daily order of data, allowing her to juggle passion and responsibility. Her writing style is as varied as her reading taste and it shows as she tackles each new genre with glee. But beneath it all, no matter the subject or setting, Kelly carries a core belief that good should triumph. She’s not afraid of pain or adversity, but loves a happy ending. She’s been pouring words into novels since 2015 and probably won’t run out of things to say any time soon. You can see her full publishing schedule on her website.



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Enter here for a chance to win either:




There will be two winners. One will receive an e-copy of The Fletcher. The second winner will receive a paperback copy of Rules of the Road and signed swag.

All you need to do is fill in your email, check the box confirming you aren’t a robot, and hit enter.

Read more about it here.


Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.


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Lesfic Goodies: March 13th Edition

Here are this week’s new releases.

by Jae

Release date: March 7, 2018
Contemporary Romance

When Claire, an overachieving psychologist with OCD tendencies, hires Lana, an impulsive, out-of-work actress for a fake relationship, she figures the worst she’ll have to endure are the messes Lana leaves around. It’s only for a few months anyway. And it’s not as if she’ll enjoy all those fake kisses and loving looks. Right?

Ylva / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by Carol Wyatt

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 5, 2018

Hailey’s been struggling to break into the music scene and get discovered as a songwriter.

Her day job as a tour guide pays the bills, but what she really wants is to create music.

After a chance encounter at a local bar, Hailey ends up giving piano lessons to a beautiful, older woman named Elle.

Elle works hard, leaving little time for herself or relationships, but when her best friend intervenes, Elle might just have met the woman she didn’t know she’d been looking for.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by Sally Bryan

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: February 22, 2018

Who said coming out was easy? But for Freya that was the understatement of her life.

After five tiring years at medical school, it’s the perfect time to take a hard-earned dream trip to Europe and so, together with Gabe, her long-term boyfriend, they take a camper to the continent, to relax, explore and do those wild crazy things they’ve been denied.

However, their plans are cast into disarray after receiving an unexpected call from an old friend. He’s loud, he’s rude, he’s close by, he wants to join them – And he’s not alone.

Freya had not bargained on meeting Arwen, a beautiful and perplexing dancer from Australia and gradually, Freya’s orderly world turns to confusion as this exceptionally casual free spirit throws her entire life plan into doubt. Suddenly, the relaxing European adventure she’d once craved is now life changing as she risks everything to discover who she really is.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


Chicago Series Book 1
by Nicole Pyland

Available in Kindle Unlimited
Release date: March 4, 2018

Eva Dash has her career on track. After earning her Ph. D in Literature, she became a professor at the same college she’d called home as a student. When she loses the only job she’s ever wanted, she’s forced to consider leaving the only home she’s ever really known.

Ember Elliot, the reformed player, has finally committed herself to looking for the right woman while struggling to find herself in other ways. She’s tired of being misunderstood by her family and hiding a very important part of herself from them. Being gay isn’t her secret. Wanting to be more than just a manager at her family’s restaurant is and she’s ready to take steps to get what she wants.

The two women meet when Ember does her best to keep Eva from being a notch in another woman’s bedpost. They find each other at the time when both of them have lives and careers in flux. It starts with a scribbled warning on a napkin, continues with a tree house kiss and ends with a wall covered in chalkboard paint.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by Hannah Carmack

Release date: March 5, 2018
Contemporary YA

Alice “Al” Liddell is from Echola, Alabama. She leads the life of a normal teen until the day she’s diagnosed with vasovagal syncope – a fainting disorder which causes her to lose consciousness whenever she feels emotions too strongly.

Her mother, the “Queen of Hearts,” is the best cardiothoracic surgeon this side of the Mason-Dixon Line and a bit of a local hero. Yet, even with all her skill she is unable to cure her daughter of her ailment, leading Al into the world of backwater witchcraft.

Along the way she meets a wacky cast of characters and learns to accept her new normal.

Take Your Medicine is a southern gothic retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by Dena Blake

Release date: March 13, 2018

Kat Jackson is successful despite her estrangement from her parents and the loss of her wife. She’s resigned to live alone while struggling to maintain her dream ranch. When she falls for weekend cowgirl DJ Callahan, she soon fears all she knows to be true may be a cruel façade developed for her own protection.

DJ Callahan is a corporate lawyer who lives in the moment, never limiting herself to any one relationship. When DJ arrives at the Jumpin’ J Ranch, she has no plans to become involved with Kat, let alone open the door to her own past, which bubbles just below the surface, threatening to destroy her entire existence as a “big city lawyer.”

Having everything she could ever want in life, twice, is something Kat never expected. When she gets a second chance at love, following her heart will prove the hardest decision of all.

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by Heather Blackmore

Release date: March 13, 2018

Falling in love is the hardest business of all.

Entrepreneur and innovator Kadrienne Davenport gets results. A demanding executive and stickler for punctuality, Kade throws herself into work to avoid hurting anyone, convinced she only causes pain to those she loves.

When Jennifer Spencer meets an incognito Kade at a conference, sparks fly. But when Kade unexpectedly becomes her boss, Jen’s problems multiply. The company she founded is going broke, her grandmother’s dementia is worsening, and her attraction to Kade—her difficult, brilliant, charismatic mentor—is growing.

Kade’s desire to keep things professional between them is in Jen’s best interest. Yet what’s in Kade’s best interest…is Jen.

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by MJ Williamz

Release date: March 13, 2018

Ronda Meyers plays cornerback for the Texas Stars. She’s the league MVP, and she plays hard both on and off the field. Ronda’s life is going great until she gets a devastating injury in the second game of the new season.

Gayla Adkins is Ronda’s assistant and part-time lover. She takes care of Ronda after her injury and does her best to nurse her back to health. In the process, they discover love. They’re very happy until Gayla suspects Ronda of becoming addicted to her pain pills. She gives Ronda an ultimatum—get off the pills or lose her.

Is Ronda strong enough to kick her addiction? Or will she choose the easy way out and lose Gayla?

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


A Cape End Romance Book 3
by Aurora Rey

Release date: March 13, 2018

Nora Calhoun keeps her life just like her Provincetown B and B, neat and tidy. She’s thrilled when her niece Graham comes to stay with her while completing her graduate fieldwork aboard the Dolphin Fleet. She’s less than thrilled when Graham starts hanging out with Willa Lange, a sexy wanderer who works for the Fleet and seems to have her sights set on Graham.

At the encouragement of her sister Emerson, Will’s short stay in Ptown becomes a fresh start. She’s doing great—a decent job, a place of her own, and new friends. But when she meets Nora, she finds herself pining for more. The only problem? Nora is fifteen years her senior and doesn’t like her. Can the women overcome past hurts and find love or will their affair leave battered hearts in its wake?

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by C. Spencer

Release date: March 13, 2018

It’s a long weekend among six friends whose lives have intertwined through years of U-Hauls and regrets, almosts and what-ifs. As that poorly timed snowstorm whirls into town, it threatens to kick pent-up desires and tightly held secrets over the edge—especially for Jessie, who can’t stop thinking about her best friend Hadley.

Meanwhile Brie’s past overshadows her present-day, and the Lasleys just hope to enjoy their much-anticipated wedding anniversary. If everyone would just keep it together for the next few days, and if this snow would taper off, they just might pull off Sunday’s celebration. Drama free.

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by Jane Hoppen

Release date: March 13, 2018
Historical Romance

In 1853 Wisconsin, Evelyn Bauer’s husband dies and, to support her children and their farm, she must disguise herself as him and work the logging camp for the winter. Sarah Bell has lost her partner, Abigail, to pneumonia. When she’s offered a job as a cook’s helper at the logging camp, she has little choice but to go. The two women secretly forge a friendship as they struggle to survive the harsh environment.

As Evelyn’s and Sarah’s feelings grow, tension silently builds and their unspoken passion will either force them apart or bind them together forever.

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


Afterlife, Inc Book 3
by Brey Willows

Release date: March 13, 2018
Paranormal & Urban Fantasy / Romance

Fun-loving fury Megara Graves is seriously tired of working so hard. With the world collapsing around her, she no longer has time for the hedonistic lifestyle she adores. When religion merges with politics and both gods and humans show their true colors, she wonders if it would be better to let the world burn itself to the ground.

Dani Morana, more commonly known as Death, is busy not just with people dying as usual, but with the deaths caused by Chaos as well. She’s been horribly lonely for a long time but knows no one could possibly love her for who she is. Overwhelmed when the world erupts in fear and violence, she needs someone to turn to.

Will Meg and Dani be able to find their way through the darkness enveloping the earth? Or will Death be the last one standing?

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


by Kay Bigelow

Release date: March 13, 2018
Crime & Mystery / Speculative Fiction

Lieutenant Leah Samuels catches the first homicide case of the new year 2235, and a monster blizzard is obscuring the evidence. The Murder Scene Investigators find only blood and microscopic pieces of flesh and bone of an estimated twenty-plus people. With a winter that will last another six months, she can’t wait until spring to find more evidence in the killing field. Leah resorts to good old-fashioned detecting—and trusting her gut. The motive for the murders is more bizarre than she could have imagined. Finally, when she thought things could get no worse, she learns the woman she loves has betrayed her in devastating ways.

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


First Responders Series Book 7
by Radclyffe

Release date: March 13, 2018
Action & Adventure / Romance

Army National Guard Colonel Sawyer Kincaid has served her time dueling with death in the deserts of Africa. Now that she’s home, the only sand she wants to see is on the beach in South Florida. Too bad Tropical Storm Leo, swiftly gaining strength out over the Atlantic, is about to draw her in to another life or death war, this time on home soil.

Dr. Dara Sims has too many critical patients in the intensive care units at Miami Memorial to consider evacuation, no matter how determined the battle-hardened colonel is to make her. As far as Dara is concerned, evacuate is just another word for abandon. When a state of emergency becomes a state of siege waged by Leo, all she can do is hope the rising waters relent before she loses everyone, herself included.

Bold Strokes Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


Tales of Inthya Book 1
by Effie Calvin

Release date: February 19, 2018

Princess Esofi of Rhodia and Crown Prince Albion of Ieflaria have been betrothed since they were children but have never met. At age seventeen, Esofi’s journey to Ieflaria is not for the wedding she always expected but instead to offer condolences on the death of her would-be husband.

But Ieflaria is desperately in need of help from Rhodia for their dragon problem, so Esofi is offered a new betrothal to Prince Albion’s younger sister, the new Crown Princess Adale. But Adale has no plans of taking the throne, leaving Esofi with more to battle than fire-breathing beasts.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS


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Guest Post: Widening the Circle — The Future of Lesfic by Rae D Magdon and giveaway

Happy Friday!

Desert Palm Press author Rae D. Magdon is here to discuss her latest novel Lucky 7 and creating characters that readers will connect to. 

She’s giving away 3 e-books of Lucky 7. More details are below.

Please Welcome Rae D. Magdon.


Widening the Circle — The Future of Lesfic

For decades, modern lesfic has provided hope for countless women around the world. Reading about fictional sapphic women as they have adventures, fall in love, and rise up to become heroes has an impact on the reader that cannot be understated. These narratives offer us courage. They offer safety and refuge. They offer a lens through which we can visualize a better future, a future that includes us instead of erasing us.

But what about the women who aren’t always included in these stories?

What about women of color? What about trans women? What about gender nonconforming women, who might not be the ‘right’ kind of soft butch for a romance novel? What about disabled women? What about women with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD? What about women whose bodies don’t fit the conventional model of ‘attractive’ (a model created by straight men, by the way), but are still beautiful? What about women who aren’t in their late 20s or early 30s?

These women are the future of lesfic. They are the heart of our community in real life, and they deserve to see themselves represented in our stories — because they are us. They are you, person reading this article. Perhaps you aren’t white. Perhaps you have a physical or mental disability. Perhaps your body looks different from the bodies on billboards, but it’s still your body and it has attractive qualities. Perhaps you aren’t a cis woman. Perhaps you are older than the majority of lesfic characters.

People want to read stories that reflect reality. They want to read positive stories about women — and that means all kinds of women! This is what lesfic can offer that the mainstream media has yet to give us. Diverse stories sell, and readers are hungry for them. Not only can they be successful, they make a difference in the lives of the many women who read them.

My latest novel, Lucky 7, has a diverse cast. One of the two protagonists, Elena Nevares, is like me. She’s short. She’s curvy. She’s femme. She’s bisexual. She’s an older sister. She is smart and sarcastic and funny, and she has an anxiety disorder. She is also unlike me. She is Mexican. She has survived a near-death experience. She’s a jacker, someone who can plug the internet directly into her brain and interact with it through virtual reality.

The other protagonist, Sasha Young, is also like me. She’s an outsider. She’s brave. She’s lonely. She has had to forge her own family. She has depression, and she feels disposable. She’s had her heart broken. She is also unlike me. She’s a Black, gender nonconforming lesbian, and as the leader of her crew, she has almost died so many times that it almost feels normal to her.

For the parts of Elena and Sasha that are unlike me, I asked for the help of sensitivity readers. They were an invaluable resource while writing these characters, and I am so grateful to them for their knowledge and expertise.

As readers of lesfic, we should read stories about characters who are like us. We deserve to see female heroes who remind us of ourselves, especially in science fiction, which is a window into our own future. We should also read stories about characters who are unlike us, and seek to understand them better. We can do this by listening to people who have lived those experiences. By reading their books. By following them on social media. By talking to them.

As writers of lesfic, we should write stories about characters who are like us. Don’t worry, ‘will it sell?’ because I promise you it will. Readers need diverse characters. They need characters who aren’t white, who aren’t cis, who aren’t 36-24-36, who aren’t neurotypical, who aren’t always able-bodied, who are of all different ages.

Write about characters who remind you of yourself, and make the effort to understand more about communities you don’t overlap with. (Asking for help, and expressing respect and appreciation for the expertise of others, is a good way to do this.)

After all, if we can read and write about daring heists, evil megacorporations, artificial intelligences, giant robots, and virtual dragons (which are all in Lucky 7, by the way), why can’t we read and write about all kinds of women? Why can’t we widen the circle? If we do this, we will be making the lesfic community a bigger and more beautiful place.



Release date: February 4, 2018
Science Fiction / Romance

Elena Nevares is on the run. She’s a jacker, someone who connects to virtual reality with their brain, and everyone else on her crew was murdered during a mission gone wrong. Sasha Young is planning a rescue. She’s a handler, a team leader whose crew has been scattered by an evil corporation: AxysGenerations. Together, they  must find the rest of Sasha’s crew: Cherry, the engineer and explosives expert; Rami, the master of disguise; Doc, the wunderkind Medical Officer; and Rock, the mechanically modified muscle. But Axys Generations has bigger plans than taking down Sasha’s crew. Elena, Sasha, and the rest of the Lucky 7 must go on their most dangerous mission yet—not for credits or tech, but to save the world.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS



Rae D. Magdon is an author of lesbian and queer fiction. She believes everyone deserves to see themselves fall in love and become a hero: especially lesbians, bisexual women, trans women, and women of color. She has published over ten novels through Desert Palm Press, spanning a wide variety of genres, from Fantasy/Sci-Fi to Mysteries and Thrillers. She is the recipient of a 2016 Rainbow Award (Fantasy/Sci-Fi) and a twice-nominated GCLA finalist (Fantasy/Sci-Fi). In addition to her novels and short stories, she writes a queer podcast, Room 13. When she isn’t working on original projects, she spends her time writing fanfiction for Mass Effect, Legend of Korra, The 100, Wynonna Earp, and Overwatch.



Facebook / Twitter / Website



Enter here for a chance to win a copy of


All you need to do is fill in your email, check the box confirming you aren’t a robot, and hit enter.

Read more about it here.


Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Best of luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.

Have a fab weekend!


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Guest post: Small Town Life by Missouri Vaun and giveaway

Bold Strokes Books author Missouri Vaun is here to discuss her latest release, Love at Cooper’s Creek.

She’s giving away one e-copy to a lucky winner.

Please welcome Missouri Vaun.

Small Town Life

I’m excited to write about my newest novel, “Love at Cooper’s Creek.” It’s a contemporary romance set in western North Carolina. Here’s a short description of the book:

Shaw Daily flees corporate life to find solace in the rural Blue Ridge Mountains, but escapism eludes her when her attentions are captured by small town beauty, Kate Elkins.

I switched genres for this story. If you don’t know me or haven’t read my previous novels then you may not have noticed, but in the world that exists inside my head, this was a big deal.

My first few novels were science fiction, set on a future Earth where fossil fuels had been completely depleted so that humans are back to a world without machines. Large segments of those first novels are set in rural America. Then I followed up those books with two historical romances.

What I realized while writing all of those books is that my experiences growing up in the Deep South kept rising to the surface of every narrative.

At some point, my editor kindly observed that small town life was my wheelhouse. Setting, she pointed out, is often one of the most overlooked and under-utilized elements of story and somehow, without realizing it, it was becoming one of the strongest elements in my novels. I do try and pay attention to all the senses when I write. To describe how a space looks isn’t quite enough. Like the first moments Shaw Daily steps inside her grandparents’ old farmhouse:

“The screen door squeaked and the linoleum in the kitchen creaked as Shaw dragged her rolling bag along behind her. First things first, open some windows. The air inside smelled of old wood and forgotten things.” — Love at Cooper’s Creek

The idea for “Love at Cooper’s Creek” started with a brief bout of homesickness while I was traveling for work overseas (not for writing, but for my other job). I mention this in the acknowledgments of the book, but it bears repeating. For those of us who’ve left the Deep South because of the necessities of career there’s a part of us that always longs for home. The initial idea for this book might have started because of homesickness, but then, as with all character driven stories, this novel took on a life of its own. I love these characters and I fell in love with their journey.

“Kate rotated so that she was facing the creek. Points of light bounced off the rippling water like loosely strung pearls as it wove among the rocks. She closed her eyes and let the sound of running water soothe her senses. The stream had so little to do and not a care in the world, its only chore was to join with the river in search of the sea.” — Love at Cooper’s Creek



Release date: February 13, 2018

Successful but suffocated by the demands of her corporate career, Shaw Daily walks out on it all. She returns to her grandparents’ rural property in Cooper’s Creek, North Carolina, with a plan to hide out and reboot her life to be simple and stress free. But escapism eludes her when her attentions are captured by small town beauty Kate Elkins.

Kate has spent almost her entire life in Cooper’s Creek. For Kate, the bonds of small-town life are a source of strength and comfort. When her aging mother weakens, Kate takes a leave from teaching to care for her. Romance is the last thing on her mind when she bumps into her unrequited teen crush Shaw Dailey just back from California. Long-buried feelings resurface for Kate, but all Shaw sees is a beautiful woman saddled with the responsibilities she is finally free from.

Bold Strokes / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AUS



Missouri Vaun spent a large part of her childhood in southern Mississippi, before attending high school in North Carolina and college in Tennessee. Strong connections to her roots in the rural South have been a grounding force throughout her life. Vaun spent twelve years working for newspapers in places as disparate as Chicago, Atlanta, and Jackson, Miss. Her novels are heartfelt, earthy, and speak of loyalty and our responsibility to others. She currently lives in Northern California with her wife, Evelyn.

Missouri Vaun also writes under the name Paige Braddock.



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