My Review for Blake Everstone’s ‘Ominous Tales’

Good afternoon friends and welcome. I want to thank all of you who visited last week for my review of Amy Dunne’s ‘Season’s Meetings.’ This week I am featuring my review of ‘Ominous Tales’ by author Blake Everstone. Come over and join us.Ominious Tales Cover‘Ominous Tales’ is an assortment of short stories and poetry.  Each story is introduced with a poem.  This is elegant. They gave me a sense of wonder. The rhymes are a real treat and are great fine literature.

Each short story has its own protagonist. I am listing three who really stood out. One is daring, sexy, and possessive, making the story very exciting. Another is passive aggressive closed-minded, and stoic. Her character created another type of drama that kept me on edge.

In one of the stories, the main player lives multiple personalities as a result of being molested during her childhood.  This story really blew my mind and is a brain teaser.  Plan to read this one slowly as it is fast paced and you don’t want to miss anything. This one is a must read.

I fell in love with a fantasy story that had a mythical character in it.  This took me to another world.  I’m a big fan of imagination so this one suited me perfectly.

All the tales have paranormal in them, giving them a weird factor in an embracing storyteller way. The author grabs your attention with the first poem which leads into the first story. The author really pays attention to the characters needs and fulfills them beautifully.

This book can be read altogether or story by story. I wouldn’t recommend putting a bookmark in the middle of an exciting plot. Plan to take this with you to work so that you can sneak in a story during your downtime. You will not be disappointed. If you liked this book as much as I do, let’s start a discussion in the comments. I want to hear what you all loved about this compilation.Ominious Tales CoverHere is an excerpt to get you started.

I rush to her! Preparing all my strength to lift her and carry her was redundant, because she feels as if she only weighs 25 pounds. Dainty within my hands, I wrap my arms around her and run. I can hear each step the beast takes behind us. I imagine it to be at least 400 lbs. worth of fierce viciousness. The ground seems to vibrate as it gets closer. I fear it will not be long before it pounces. My soul quivers with every snarl. My legs feel heavy and are keeping me from running as fast as I sense I need to be. Sweat dripping from my face lands on my frail passenger. She opens her eyes and peers up at me. Her expression exhibits her gratitude as she endearingly snuggles up against me. Hearing another growl and the proximity of it, she realizes that we are still in grave danger. As if she is pulling energy, or what is left of it, from the bottom of her toes and the top of her head and generating all of it towards her mouth, she lets out a deafening screech. As the energy leaves her body, her luminosity dims and she passes back out. Her ear-splitting shriek startles me. Just when I regained my composure, while still running, a large wolf appears. Then two more and before I know it, we were facing a line of wolves in front of us.

 

Thank you for joining us this week. Come stop by next week when I’ll be featuring a personal blog. Stay tuned as author Graysen Morgen will be joining us in two weeks to share about her new book, ‘Castor Valley’.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2018
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Meet Artist Jennifer Lynn

Good afternoon everyone and thanks for stopping by. I want to give a big thanks to Amy Dunne, who’s book, ‘Season’s Meetings’, I reviewed. This week I am speaking with Artist and Chef, Jennifer Lynn. I am proud to introduce her to you.

Author Profile 2

“Great spirits always encounter violent opposition from mediocre minds”

– Albert Einstein

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a Jill-of-all-trades. I am predominantly a Chef and an Artist. I’m formally trained through college and university and I’m a papered chef and I’m a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. I’ve studied both trades for over 30 years. That study has taken me many places with the good fortune to meet many people around the world. I have an insane sense of humor. I live in the moment and worry very little about what others think of me. This gives me the freedom to create both food and art that people have not experienced before. I’m passionate and peaceful – if those two things can co-exist in one person I’m trying to ensure that’s possible. I meditate every morning, I work out every day, I eat well and I live well. Mind, spirt and body keep a person in a perpetual state of wellness.

Who or what influenced you to study the Culinary Arts?
I’ve had a passion for culinary my entire life. My Grandparents and my Mother were all amazingly talented cooks and bakers. I find though as I’m aging that I absolutely love baking more than anything. Yes, that means working out a lot more than before 🙂 Her professional influences are Massimo Capra, Chef John Higgins, Joanne Clayton, Jamie Kennedy, and the most influential for me Lynn Crawford – on her terms her way.

What vegan dish do you like to prepare?
I do a very large variety of vegan dishes but my favorite thing to make people, in an effort to help them understand that vegan food can be amazing, is my vegan apple pie. I love the looks on people’s faces when they’re eating it and an I announce it’s 100% vegan.

Apple PieWhere is a favorite place in nature that you like to visit?
Anywhere near water is my thing. I love to canoe and kayak and swim and just get out on the open water in a boat and fish or chill. I would love to learn how to be a better sailor so that investing in a nice boat would be worthwhile and then sail my way around the Mediterranean.

I understand you volunteer at The Soup Kitchen – Niagara Falls Community Outreach. How has the experience been and what do you like about it?
While I’m no longer active there and instead I’m working with a program to clothe and keep homeless people warm through the winter, I think volunteerism is essential to being a complete person. I believe that giving something back that isn’t about making money or improving your reputation among your peers is your way of paying society back for the many people who believe in you in your journey. It heightens your understanding of your own gratitude and how very necessary it is to always live a grateful life.

Who do you relate more to Edwina, Patsy, or Saffron from ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and why?
lol… Most people would say I’m slightly Eddy if they’ve known me my whole life in relation to my 20’s probably. I actually don’t drink a lot and I never do drugs so I would think their assumption is that I pretty much go through life with it really not getting to me. Minus the drugs and booze, I’ve always been a business owner and very motivated to be a success.

Do you feel that your passion for Go-Karts brings the inner-child in you out?
Ha-ha! Wherever did you find out that I’m speed demon? I actually have three speed passions, Go-Karts and Helicopters and Motorcycles. I love the rumble, the giggles, the rush, the vehicle in my complete control, the unknown variables of other people’s decisions and making quick sharp decisions that will keep me safe but allow me to pick up speed – sort of like working in a cruise ship kitchen ha-ha! I think because I don’t have a lot of outlets for stress other than working out and meditation, speed takes that last bit of angst I have and brings me back to center. I’m REALLY looking forward to the new track, the Super Mario track, that’s being constructed in Niagara Falls!!! (my home).

Artist Drawn Flower

Which lesfic authors do you follow? What book would you recommend and why?What an interesting question… I’m a huge Sappho fan and wish that more contemporary writers would dive into the amazing world of verse and poetry. Perhaps that’s my next pursuit. Too many of today’s lesbian fiction writers are following the same formulas and it gets a little Harlequin Romancy. However, one of my contemporary favorites is of course Dena Blake – I’m just in love with Racing Hearts. Another is J. Robin Whitley – Finding Home.

There are hundreds of lesfic writers out there pounding away every day on their craft. I suppose in my library I’ve shown a particular taste in style which would be Elizabeth Andre, Victoria Avilan, Gun Brooke who I actually first picked up because I love that pen name! ha! Beyond being in love with the way Judy Folger writes, I wish she would return to her blog – she pushed such fascinating topics.

Did you ever attend a New York Yankees game at the old Yankee Stadium before they moved? Who is your favorite Yankee and why?

Well I only see the Yankees in Canada when they come to the Skydome, aka Rogers Centre, to play against the  Toronto Blue Jays. I proudly and very unpopularly dawn my 50th anniversary Yankees hat and sit in a sea of blue cheering my pinstriped gladiators to victory. And, Derek Jeter – hands down was my favorite player for an all-around amazing athlete and example of profoundly good sportsmanship. In the current club I have yet to pick a new favorite.

Yankees Logo 1Yankees Logo 2

Do you listen to music when preparing meals? If so what are some of your favorites?

I listen to music all the time. Seriously. I listen from the time I start my day until the time I go to sleep. Music is my heartbeat. It inspires all of my various arts including my cooking. When cooking however, I tend to select the same genre of music for the food I’m preparing. So, if I’m making an extravagant Italian dish, I’ll be playing very old Italian folk from the 30’s or earlier.

Where is a place where you’ve always wanted to visit?
I’m dying to go to Brazil. I’ve been all round there but never there. The food, the people, the vistas, the music, the history, the passion for everything they are makes me want to just immerse myself in their culture for a good year. I’ve always wanted to go there but then the fire was fueled much more when Reaching for The Moon came out in 2013 – the story of Lota De Macedo Soares and Elizabeth Bishop. I have not stopped thinking about that country at least once a day since then.

Would you ever audition to be on Chopped on the Food Network?
No and actually I’ve been encouraged to at least go on Chopped Canada. I’ve been in competitions and I’ve also done quite a few fun black box events. But, I think when we take art and make it a competition we lose a lot of the real honest creative passion that goes into creating it.

Pretty Dish 2Rainbow Cake

What was the last performance you saw?

I’m a Cirque Du Soleil fanatic. I saw Volta. As always it was thrilling. This story in particular – the story of walking your own path or developing your own style – really spoke to me. As always Cirque never lets me down.

What’s next for you?
Well my artistic endeavors are taking off greatly. I’ll be hanging in the Hub Gallery on Queen Street in Niagara Falls Canada shortly – this month. I also find myself working on various commissioned projects. It’s a bit of break from the culinary world but no less challenging and satisfying. It’s also been a lifelong pursuit of mine to be recognized as a fine artist. So, this means a great deal to me.

I want to thank Jennifer Lynn for stopping by. Do check out her links below for more about her. You can buy copies of her artwork. Also she does book covers, including author J. Robin Whitley, so check out her online print gallery. For more information regarding J. Robin Whitley, click on the link below the picture.

Book Cover Art

http://www.jrobinwhitley.net/

Jennifer Lynn’s Online Print Gallery: https://www.artpal.com/jenniferlynn/
Chef Page with Nutritional Advice: https://www.facebook.com/chefjencanada/
Artist Page – all of my own custom artwork: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlynngallery/

Stay tuned next week as I will be featuring my review for author Blake Everstone’s ‘Ominous Tales.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2018
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Printed with permission

My Review for Amy Dunne’s ‘Season’s Meetings’

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Thank you so much for visiting last week. The blog meant a lot to me and thanks to all for liking it. This week I’m extending the holiday season with my book review for author Amy Dunne – ‘Season’s Meetings.’ As many of you know, Christmas is a favorite time of mine.

Season's Meetings cover“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

~ Jane Austen

The players of the story are Catherine and Holly, who go on an unplanned adventure together at a mutual person’s home, who happens to be Catherine’s only friend, Beth.

Catherine is a workaholic and uses her job to cover up an old love pain. However, she does outreach work to heal emotional scars. At the same time she is uptight and needs a release so she can enjoy the beauty that life has to offer. Her vibe is standoffish and she can’t relax at all.

“I’m sorry, Cat.”

“For what?” Catherine asked. Her palms grew sweaty and she blotted them on her trousers.

“I’ve tried to be reasonable with you. I’ve given it my best shot, but you’re right. I can’t change your mind. You’ve left me no choice.” Beth sighed dramatically. “I’ve got to use my secret weapon. I’m sorry.”

Holly is young, energetic and is starting out on her own. She is Beth’s cousin and was invited for the festivities. She keeps her life simple and it works for her.

I found Holly to be delightful and playful. Never did I sense negative feelings from her. Even in the worst of times, she still manages to be optimistic. Her character touched me.

A twist comes into the play putting the two women into danger. This got both of them to rethink their priorities and realize what is really important.  I was chilled as I read along.

There is a lot of suspense that kept me on edge. Also there is plenty of good drama between several of the characters. Maybe even a catfight. I felt the hairs on my neck standing up during these scenes. The interactions between the players flowed flawlessly.

And of course, there is romance in the story, which was tender and loving. Both of the women were equally involved and made a nice steamy scene, that gave me excitement. They were descriptive, but not over the top. I felt the love between them and couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next.

This book is sweet and I enjoyed it. It kept me in the Holiday spirit. The author is clear with her descriptions and atmosphere. It took me about five and a half hours to read and I would recommend carving out an afternoon where you can do just that. You are going to love how this story unfolds.

After I read the book, I got a chance to listen to the audible version. It is very smooth and easy to get into. The narrator voiced all the characters, creating a robust and rich experience. You will be very pleased.

Five Stars

Season's Meetings cover

 

 

Excerpt 1

Catherine straightened her shirt with both hands. She disliked this part of her job but also happened to be rather good at it. “So, if we don’t dramatically increase our sales before the Christmas break, January’s going to be a bleak month. With the current economic situation I’m sure I don’t need to emphasise how difficult finding a new job is. If you want to still have a job in the New Year, you’ve got to sell more in the next two and a half weeks than you did for the whole of last month.”

Tom, a lanky man with thinning blond hair, raised his hand. Catherine nodded curtly, giving him permission to speak.

“Isn’t that basically a threat, Catherine?”

Catherine folded her arms and regarded him coolly. “No, Tom. It’s an honest prediction of what’s likely to happen. I’m not here to be nice, to be liked, or to tell you comforting little lies. I’m here to get results.”

“But it’s so close to Christmas,” Alice said in an infuriatingly nasally whiney tone. She was plump with grey hair and a bright red nose from her incessant nose blowing. Large novelty Christmas tree earrings hung from both earlobes. “What you’re asking is practically impossible.”

“What I’m asking is difficult, but not impossible,” Catherine said. Exasperated by the attitude and glares she was receiving, she tried to boost their morale. “If we follow the strategies and give our all, we can achieve our targets. We’ve a distinct advantage. While all the other departments and sale companies dramatically slow down and take their eye off the prize in the lead-up to Christmas, we can reap the benefits. Unfortunately, there are going to be some restrictions. From this moment on, no more annual leave requested before Christmas will be authorised—”.

Excerpt 2

“Glad you see sense.” Catherine pulled out a chair from under the table. “I have another surprise.” 

“You do?” 

“Yes. I need you to sit down here, plug these earphones in, and close your eyes.” 

Holly looked confused but sat as requested. Catherine removed Holly’s plate to one side. When Catherine handed her the earphones, she hesitated and searched Catherine’s face. 

“Do you trust me?” Catherine asked, her heart beating a little bit faster. 

“Totally,” Holly said. She plugged her ears and clenched her eyes shut. 

Catherine quickly set up her tablet. The screen flashed, and when faces appeared she plugged the earphones in. 

Holly physically jumped from the sound. Her eyes flew open and she stared at the screen in disbelief. After three quick blinks, her hands shot to her mouth, and she let out a gasp. 

Catherine’s work was done for the time being, so she stepped away from the table. She watched Holly closely, storing everything to memory, especially the expressions and the few stray tears of what she hoped indicated joy. 

“Mum? Dad? Shit! How’s this even possible?” Holly asked. Listening to an answer Catherine  couldn’t hear, Holly nodded at the screen, and then looked over to her. Swallowing and clutching her chest, she mouthed the words, “thank you.” 

Catherine shot her a wink and left the kitchen, patting her thigh for Kimmy to follow her into the bedroom. Her plan for at least the next thirty minutes was to take Kimmy for a walk so Holly could have some privacy while talking with her family in Canada.

Purchase ‘Season’s Meetings’

I want to give you all a special thanks for joining us today. Also I’d like to send a thank you to Amy Dunne for creating this wonderful book. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be featuring Artist, Jen Chef.

Until next time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

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Holiday 2017 Blog

Good morning Everyone and welcome. First of all I want to thank all of you who visited last week for author Samantha Jacobey‘s blog blast. This week I’d like to reflect upon this year’s holiday season.Christmas 2017I just love this time of the year. We had an awesome Thanksgiving Day party and am feeling tons of gratitude. This year we stayed home for Christmas and had a few friends visit. We decorated the house with our tree. I usually put up the tree the day before Thanksgiving and throughout the season, I listen to Christmas music on the radio.

This summer we had to say good bye to one of our fur baby – Gila. I adopted Gila and her sister Pima, back in Jan 2004 when they were 7 months old. Both of them are polydactyl and have the cute hues of orange. Gila had a pale color and a triangular face. She would do all sorts of things such as give love bites on the nose. She will always carry a special place within our hearts.

IMG_2207For me, this time of year is really special. I feel different and am able to really embrace the concept of thanksgiving. I’m more in the giving mode. At my church each year they have a charity event where you pick cards off of the Christmas tree. It is for a child in need and I feel really good about buying them presents. This year we picked a young boy’s card. We plan to give to another child next year.

Another thing I did this year was buy blankets to distribute to the homeless. It gets really cold at night and I can’t imagine being outside without protection. It feels good knowing that several people are going to be warm.

This Christmas we went down to San Diego to visit the family. We had our party at a home that my brother-in-law was house-sitting. It was so nice to see everyone. A few members were not able to attend, but hopefully soon I’ll catch up with them.

Family 1Family 2Family 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love buying the family presents because they are so fun to shop for. This year we gave them pretty blankets, t-shirts, and gift cards, which they all loved. We showed up with bags full of wrapped gifts for everyone. I played Santa and distributed all of them. It was fun watching everyone unwrap their gifts. Like usual, I wore my Santa hat and Christmas boots.

The house had a hot-tub, so I of course, took a dip. Where else but in SoCal can you sit in a hot tub outside in late December. I want to thank the owners of the house for allowing us to use their house for our party. This meant a lot to me.

What I like about our family is that everyone respects each other and we always have happy gatherings. I am so grateful for that because I’ve heard horror stories about not so pleasant family gatherings. Since our family lives in different places in SoCal, we only get to see each other a few times a year. Thanks to social media I get to catch up with my niece who is always posting pictures.

Last Christmas, we went to Michigan to visit my family. I remember all the good times as a child going over to my aunt’s house and how warm it felt there. I wished I could see them more often, but we live over 3,000 miles away. It was a lot of fun and I got to see two of my cousins whom I haven’t seen since they were kids. I feel like I made two new friends that day. We have talked about another visit in 2018.

IMG_2216

We are planning on ringing in the New Year at home. At 9:00 p.m. we will call my mom in Michigan and wish her a Happy New Year. I am setting personal goals to help me grow spiritually in 2018. I am focusing on gratitude.

How about you?

Stay tuned for next week when I will be reviewing a book from Author Amy Dunne.

Until next time,

Lynn

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My Review of ‘Greetings from Janeland.’

Good morning everyone and welcome. I have been asked to participate in a Holiday blog blast. Editors Candace Walsh and Barbara Straus Lodge have put out a new book of short stories called ‘Greetings from Janeland’. Below is my review for the book. For those of you who’d like some discussion, feel free to leave your questions in the comments.

These stories are about married women leaving their husbands for other women. Each story is fast paced and the story was over by the time I was getting into it.  There was some romance going on between main characters. There wasn’t much to say about intimacy scenes. This you really have to use your imagination.

In one story the protagonist lived in the closet until she realized she was who she was and she wasn’t changing for society.  She stood up to people and walked her own path.  Her actions inspired me.

In another the lead character takes a leap of faith expecting a certain outcome.  The author showed her bravery and how she came to love herself.

“A moving, revealing, and often funny exploration of women who love women, and a reminder that whether love makes us glow with joy or ache with rejection, we still want more.”

— Victoria Zackheim, writer, editor, best-selling anthologist

My favorite story was about a woman who felt trapped by life.  She learned about men by observing them and proceeds to live her life by lying to her true self. She meets her best friend who helps her break out of the eggshell. The woman she wants to be is confident, happy, the best she can be.

The pace is smooth but there were parts that caused some emotions in me, which makes good storytelling. These stories are short enough to read on your lunch break, and I did just that. What I liked was there was no violence or strong language. The stories are enough to take you into another world if only for a brief moment. They encouraged me to do my own journaling.

Purchase ‘Janeland’

Check out the media below for this wonderful book.Publisher name

 

 

 

101 Hudson Street, Jersey City, NJ, 07302 | (201) 431-5455 | www.cleispress.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE9781627782340

Contact: Jennifer Do

do@start-publishing.com

646.257.4343

Heartwarming and tear-jerking, true stories of women who have redefined or questioned their sexuality

PRAISE FOR GREETINGS FROM JANELAND 

“These incredible writers describe love’s heartaches and passions in the no-holds-barred language of women’s desire. These stories are both singular and universal, and are poised to transform the world.”

— Karen McClintock, My Father’s Closet  

“This collection of brave, beautiful stories is an engaging, important lifeline for women who are taking on whatever life throws at them in order to live more authentically and passionately.”

— Samantha Waltz, Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience

“A moving, revealing, and often funny exploration of women who love women, and a reminder that whether love makes us glow with joy or ache with rejection, we still want more.”

— Victoria Zackheim, writer, editor, best-selling anthologist

“With clarity and compassion, the stories allow us to see what it might be like to live these moments ourselves, and remind us of the forks in our own traveled roads. Raw, honest, funny, heartbreaking, beautiful, and romantic; this collection touches every part of the human heart.”

—    Betsy Graziani Fasbinder, Filling Her Shoes: A Memoir of an Inherited Family 

GREETINGS FROM JANELAND should be of interest to:

Any LGBT, NON-BINARY, POLYAMORY, TRANSGENDER, or GENDER-FLUID-friendly outlet interested in exploring these unique, but shared experiences where women question and sometimes come to new conclusions about their SEXUALITY.

Anyone interested in a true HUMAN INTEREST piece about questioning one’s sexuality and the effects it can have in many areas of one’s life.

Anyone who can sympathize with or learn from the struggle to find ACCEPTANCE in society and with their own SEXUALITY.

Journalists and outlets that are interested in the lack of HETEROSEXUAL PRIVILEGE in non-heterosexual relationships

Any outlet interested in POLITICS and LGBTQI+ ISSUES (especially in AUSTRALIA!) 

ABOUT THE BOOK

In an increasingly common phenomenon, women who once identified as straight are leaving men for women ⎯ and they have fascinating stories to tell.  In this sequel to Lambda Literary Finalist Dear John, I Love Jane: Women Write About Leaving Men for Women, writers who come from a diverse array of perspectives open up and bare their souls. Essays on subjects such as repercussions, both bad and good; exes, both furious and supportive; bewildered and loyal family and friends; mind-blowing sexual and emotional awakenings; falling in the deepest of love; and finding a sense of community fill the pages of this anthology. One story is as different from the next as one person is from another.  With a foreword by former Editor in Chief of AfterEllen Trish Bendix, and essays by acclaimed writers including BK Loren, Louise A. Blum, and Leah Lax, relax, sit back and take a journey into Janeland-⎯a very special place where women search for, discover, and live their own personal truths.

ABOUT THE EDITORS

Candace Walsh is the author of Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Identity, a New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards winner and the editor of Dear John, I Love Jane, and Ask Me About My Divorce. Her writing has appeared in numerous national and local publications, including Newsday, Travel + Leisure, Sunset, Mademoiselle, New York magazine, and New Mexico Magazine. Her essays have been published in the anthologies Here Come the Brides!, Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, Blended, and Spent, and she is currently editor in chief of El Palacio Magazine. She lives in Santa Fe with her wife Laura André, their two children, and two dogs.

Barbara Straus Lodge is an essayist whose work has appeared in the New York Times Motherlode blog and the “LA Affairs” section of the Los Angeles Times. An essay under her pseudonym, Leigh Stuart, was published in the anthology Dear John, I Love Jane. Her work has also appeared in Parabola Magazine, The Rumpus, Literary Mama and a variety of anthologies.  

YZ

Greetings from Janeland: Women Write More about Leaving Men for Women

Edited by Candace Walsh and Barbara Straus Lodge

LGBT/Nonfiction/Anthology | Trade Paperback Original | 240 pages | Cleis Press | November 2017

Print: $16.95, 9781627782340 | ebook: $10.99, 9781627782357

Stay tuned for my blog next week. I will be reviewing the next installment for Samantha Jacobey’s ‘Christmas Candy’ series, ‘Christmas Carol’.

Until next time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

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Meet Photographer Laure Dherbécourt

Good afternoon friends. It is so great to see you all. Today I have a real treat for you. Photographer Laure Dherbécourt is here to chat about her work. This woman is amazing and each aspect of herself describes just that. Come on over and meet this talented and humble woman.

Profile picture (3)

Where Reunion Island is on the map

           Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in France. I wasn’t born there but I grew up in Normandy, in the country surrounded by goats and plenty of other animals and my parents always showed me the sustainable development. I made my entire schooling in Normandy… I worked 8 years near Paris after my graduation from college. It’s when I had my 1st experiences with women… 10 years ago, after I’ve lost my job I had a wonderful opportunity to come in Réunion Island (a French overseas department located in the Indian Ocean). I discovered this Island when I was in middle school. A classmate who spent 5 years over here finished her school-year with us. She showed us some pics during recess. I was intrigued so I asked my parents where Réunion was … They told me to have a look in the dictionary .. It wasn’t enough so I had a look in encyclopedias, I bought some books and fell in love with the Island. When I went to college, I met some people from Réunion and I discovered the creole language …  I feel at home over here … Even if I’m the only one person from my blood family over here & I’m single for now, I have a good Life and I enjoy it as a Nature Lover, a bird rescuer, a photographer, a scuba-diver, and plenty other things, surrounded by my heart family (I know one of my heart sister since 21 years) and a few other good friends. I love reading comic books (I’m a huge fan of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” since I was a child) and lesfic paperbacks in English (I also read some Ebooks sometimes ‘cause I’m not totally old fashioned, lmao), singing (working on country songs is another way for me to enjoy the English language), hiking, dancing, cooking, laughing and making the others laugh …

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Tell us about your love for Photography. Where can we find your work?

For now Nature photography (including underwater photography) is a hobby and I like it this way. But maybe someday it will be a part of my job… I’ll see later, when I’ll have more pictures, maybe I’ll release a book or two (I’ve already had several requests about that, mostly from US citizen).

I haven’t any personal blog. From time to time I share some pics for my friends on my personal Facebook page. Since I’m not a “friends hunter” I haven’t thousands of friends, I prefer to have only a few (hundreds) of cyber friends but being able to exchange regularly with them. Facebook is also a work tool for me, a way to reach some people I work with.

I’m not very active those last few weeks over there since I’m a bit bored by this social media but I have a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/Payoo974 ) where I share some pics too but less than on Facebook.. Of course I have some common contacts between Facebook and Twitter (since I met plenty of great authors on the Blue Bird) but I haven’t the same use … Twitter is for me a way to reach different kinds of people : scientists, artists, etc.

I must think a bit more about that but maybe someday I’ll share my work on Pinterest. On Instagram, you won’t find me for now since I haven’t any smartphone or tablet (so I can’t use the app which is needed to create the account…). I’ll see when I’ll have the good device for that (I mean when I’ll have no other choice than having a smartphone, lol).

One of my pics of Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) was published 2 years ago in a book about the local wildlife (“La Réunion, Faune et Flore” from Austral Editions).

20151010 - Book Fair - Release of 'Faune et Flore'

           Where is the most exotic place you’ve visited?

When I lived in France the most exotic places I‘ve visited were Réunion Island and Mauritius (in 2003) But since I live in Réunion now maybe I can say that the most exotic place I‘ve visited is Iceland (it was also in 2003)…

I love travelling … Since I was a child I dream to visit the USA and Canada but I also want to discover Australia, South Africa (and a few other countries in Africa), the Caribbean … I want to be able to dive all around the world …

       What do you like to during October? What is this month like in Réunion?

In October and November in Réunion it’s the arrival of the Southern Summer (I can’t say that it’s Spring since we only have 2 real seasons over here) : the days are a bit longer and warmer .. Plenty of flowers bloom and birds are everywhere, preparing their breeding season… Life and Love are in the air and it’s very cool !!

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Tell us about your interest in birds of your area.

A long time ago I’ve discovered the Tropicbirds through the lyrics of a local creole song … I instantly fell in love with the name “Payanké”. In French we call them “Phaétons” (Phaethons) or “Pailles-En-Queue” (but, please, don’t translate literally the name by “Straw-In-Tale” like I’ve recently seen … ).

I saw my 1st real Tropicbird in 2003 when I went under the tropics for the 1st time. Seeing those birds in flesh and feathers was amazing and I fell head over heels in love with them.. I wanted to know them better so I did some research but it was disappointing.

Eight years ago I joined the local ornithological association. I’ve learned plenty of things about plenty of birds. I’m a volunteer involved in the Rescue Network as “Head of Network”, it means that I’m an area manager or sort of and that I’m able to make some diagnostics about the rescued birds, take care of them, collect the data that scientists need for their studies, put a ring on them and, the best part .. release them !!) It’s very interesting but, once again, I wasn’t able to learn a lot about Tropicbirds until, lucky me, I found the part of the “Handbook of the birds of the world” which talked about Tropicbirds. I scanned it and I translated it into French … I learned a lot of things. But each day some new things are discovered so I try to stay informed since I’m currently, for the association a least, the Tropicbirds expert. More recently, a new book with a chapter about Tropicbirds was published : “The Birds of Africa: Volume VIII , The Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mascarenes”. What a surprise I had when I read it : I found my name in it about what it stays for now the most amazing thing I’ve witnessed in my life…

I love all birds but Tropicbirds are my favorites …

I currently lead a scientific study for the association (my 1st one !!) , I’ll let you guess what its subject is …  LOL

20160824 - White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) (1)The Birds of Africa - Volume 8 - The malagasy region (cover)

What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen in your life?

Like I said, Tropicbirds are my favorite birds and I can tell you that the most amazing thing I’ve witnessed was on April 18th 2011 when a Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) laid her egg in my hand … , when 46 days later (one day after the egg has hatched) PhaOnce opened his little eyes and looked at me right in the eyes (I was the 1st person he’s seen so I became his Mom). PhaOnce’s development lasted 4 months (against an average of 3 months in Nature) but he was able to take off. I cried a lot on October 4th 2011 … I was sad to see him leave but I was, most of all, very proud of him and happy to see him being able to live his life in the Wild, where he belongs like ALL the birds (and other wild animals) in the World …

20110418 - PhaOnce's egg just laid in my hand20111004 - PhaOnce ready to take off

PhaOnce stands for “Phaethon Once” .. but, at the same time, it’s a tribute to a former local slave who escaped, lived in a place called “Piton Rouge” (Red Piton) and was named “King Phaonce” …

Where is a great place to go hiking and see nature in Réunion? Which parts have you connected to?

Réunion (aka “the Little Hawaii”) offers several kinds of unique and unforgettable landscapes What is great over here is that from the crashing waves to the summit of the mountains Nature is everywhere … and our sunsets are amazing!

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We regularly (and literally) feel the beating heart of the planet over here, we can for real take the pulse of our Earth because of the “Piton de la Fournaise” (Peak of the Furnace), one of the most active volcanoes of the planet..

20160914 - Eruption - Piton de La Fournaise20171013 - Toward the ''Piton de Bert''

The National Park covers 42% of the island and it offers hundreds of kilometers of walking trails. Of course, you’ll also find walking trails outside of the National Park, in some protected areas.

If you want to explore entirely my lovely island, you must dive : snorkeling is great but nothing to compare with scuba diving !! And no need to be afraid of sharks. Sadly, we never see them when we scuba dive …

OK in Réunion you won’t find a very large range of wildlife (compared to Hawaii or Madagascar) but in the same time we have plenty of endemic birds, insects and plants …

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What caught your interest in beta reading manuscripts for authors?

I’ve been beta-reading in French and Creole for a friend of mine for several years now, and for almost two years, I’ve been reading lesfic in English. It was a bit hard in the beginning since I hadn’t practiced much English since graduating from college. But I’ve worked hard ( a lot of vocabulary searches), and step by step my skills have improved. I’ve noticed mistakes in novels from time to time, providing that information to the editors. They’ve always thanked me and assured that they would correct the errors before the next release of the book. I was happy to help.

I became interested in beta-reading lesfic after reading two novels written by the same author which were full of nonsense and typos (change in the name of the characters, poor pronoun usage, etc.). I was very disappointed with the quality, and I told myself that as a non-anglophone by birth, if I was able to catch those mistakes, maybe I could do some beta reading.

A few months ago, I saw an announcement posted by a friend of someone searching for beta readers. I responded saying that I was interested but asked if it was okay as English is not my mother language. When my offer was declined for that precise reason, I confess that I was offended, sad, and disappointed. BUT … (yeah there’s always a « but » somewhere) KA Moll saw the comment and directly asked me if I wanted to join her beta-reader-team. I was so touched and happy!! No need to tell you that I said yes without any hesitation. As a test, we worked on her then current WIP, “Close Enough To Touch,” written under her pen name “Cade Brogan”. We both appreciated the collaboration and decided to pursue it further. We’re currently working on, “Whispers of the Heart,” a sequel to “Change of Heart.”

A bit after I finished working with KA, another author sent me a friend request on Facebook. She’d heard about my good work from KA and asked if I would agree to beta-read for her. I want everybody to know that that author is you, Lynn … You’re very welcome BTW!! I appreciated our first experience working together and am happy to be reading your current WIP.

More recently, I had an exchange with Tey Holden about her novel, “Turning On A Dime” (Addy and Karen Series – Book 1). I wanted to read it but, sadly, I wasn’t able to purchase it as the paperback format was out of stock on Amazon. We began to chat about this problem, and as a solution, she asked me to join her beta-reader-team. So, here we go again!! We’re currently working together on her next novel.

I’m really touched by your trust ladies, THANK YOU !!!

KA Moll: http://www.kamoll.com/home.html

Lynn Lawler: www.lynnlawler.blogspot.com

& https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/

Tey Holden: https://www.amazon.com/Tey-Holden/e/B071ZTXFB4

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           What is the last lesfic book you read? What did you like about it?

The last lesfic novel I’ve read is Erica Abbott‘s “Fragmentary Blue” (Thriller series Book 1). It’s a discovery for me since I’ve never read anything by Erica before. I confess that I liked it a lot : there’s a good chemistry between CJ & Alex, some quite erotic passages, some action and a bit of humor… Definitely a good book !! Can’t wait to read the others in the series …

I love the novels which allow us to ask ourselves some questions for a permanent self-discovery journey (even if it’s a very emotional one) , which help us to evolve and become a better “Self”. Suzie Carr is very good in that both in her novels and on her blog : http://curveswelcome.com/

I’m a huge fan of thrillers and other cops novels. I also love the docs stories, the soldiers stories but also the more common people stories …

Sadly, some authors seem to forget that nobody’s has a “perfect body”, so, I really appreciate when the main character of a novel has a disability  … I want to remind that the beauty & the « physical perfection » will always be different due to the eyes which watch … The best way to truly love someone is not to watch outside but deeply inside the other person, to understand her heart, her mind and her soul …

I like a lot the “paranormal” topic. I know the Soul Mates / Twin Mates exist .. my Soul Mate, the ONE is somewhere, over here, or over there and we’ll find each other when the good time will arrive … Waiting for her, I enjoy my life and find the romance I need in those novels I love.

Since I haven’t read any sci-fi novels yet , I won’t talk about this topic, for now … I’m not a beginner any more since I read for almost 2 years now but I have still plenty of great authors to discover and hundreds (maybe thousands) of books to read before re-reading some of them …

Who is the person you admire the most and has been inspiring on your journey of life?

My parents showed me that, even it’s not the most easy path, it’s better to follow our dreams in Life, so … When , after having read Paolo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” I understood what I was supposed to do, I did it !! And my parents supported me …

My favorite singer, Véronique Sanson, inspires me a lot ‘cause she’s an engaged and courageous person…

On the Nature side, the Commandant Jean-Yves Cousteau inspired me a lot … I wasn’t able to become a marine biologist but is doesn’t matter, I deeply love the Ocean and do my best to protect it. Nonetheless, I’m in contact with several members of the Cousteau family … And since I’m a scuba diver myself, I hope, someday, I’ll be able to dive with some of them …

20170830 - Scuba diving in ''Canyon''

How does the ‘glass is half full’ apply to your life now?

A long time ago I understood that, even if there are rough paths in Life, tough moments never last .. So I’ve always been the positive kind of person. Life has already proven me several times that I’m right to think like that. So .. no matter what, even after a few very difficult years on all the sides of my life, I still enjoy what I have, I am grateful for it and look right in front of me , it’s the better way to move forward…

Some songs are great to remind you the need to move on. Right now the three which come to my mind are:

Chely Wright’s “Shut up and drive” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6NmMe7RYhk );

Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc ) & Shania Twain’s “Life’s About To Get Good” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we-VfNnbzzY )

Which other photographers do you follow?

I follow a bunch of photographers … on Twitter and/or on Facebook or elsewhere.

Klearphotography : https://twitter.com/klearphotograph or https://www.facebook.com/KlearPhotographyAndGraphicDesign/

Gabriel Barathieu (winner of the Underwater Photographer of the year: http://www.underwaterphotographeroftheyear.com/winners/2017-winning-images/ ). : www.underwater-landscape.com. or https://www.facebook.com/GabyBarathieu/

Nicolas Rakotopare Photography : https://www.facebook.com/nicolasrakotoparephotography/ or https://vimeo.com/nrakotoparephotography

Paul Nicklen / Paul Nicklen Photography: https://twitter.com/PaulNicklen or https://www.facebook.com/paulnicklenphoto/

Dave Z Photography : http://www.davezphotography.co.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/davezphoto/

Still on the artistic side, I also love: Street art, Scultpure, Drawing, Painting, Music , Singing with harmonies made only with human voices, etc …

Do you create ‘dark room’ photos?  If so, do you have one you’d like to share?

Nope .. no “dark room” required for me ‘cause I work only with a digital camera (I can’t afford to take silver halide photography, it’s far too expensive … ).

Please, note that I don’t need Lightroom or Photoshop either. What you see on your screen when I share a pic is what my eye has caught .. I never work on my pics. I use Photoshop only to put my copyright on the pics. One could think it a shame not to use such a powerful tool but it’s my choice : I’m a Nature Photographer, so , I keep only what Nature gives to me, in the way she gives it to me …

Besides photography, in what other ways do you express yourself in the world?

When I was a bit younger I used to write some poems .. Mostly in French and a few ones in creole from Réunion … No translation in English available for now but maybe I’ll translate them someday to share them with the entire planet …   Still about poetry I have a few ideas for some creations, directly in English this time but nothing concrete for now.

On Facebook I tried plenty of groups around a lot of topics but in plenty of these groups people are not there to share and exchange, they just want to flatter their egos. Since I’m not interested by this sort of people, I’ve left those spaces.

Still on Facebook , I joined several groups (mostly lesfic related). Each time I share, I do it in all of them but some are not very dynamic so IDK if I’ll stay long … The one where I deeply enjoy the dynamism , where I feel really good and, so, where I’m the most active is Sheena Lemos Ebersohn‘s “The Lesbian Review Book Club” : https://www.facebook.com/groups/LesReviewBookClub/

In spite of the strict rules in the groups, I’ve recently been harassed on Facebook (via PM) by a few women, and I don’t want to live all this once again.

I want to precise that, since I had very bad experiences before, I haven’t joined any dating groups (or dating sites BTW) Why ??? Just because I’m not on the internet to flirt (I trust the Universe to bring Love in my life … ) , I’m on the web to discover new things and places, exchange and share with people from the entire world. Our World is great and what makes is beauty is its diversity …

Oh … I wanted you to know that I also love inspirational quotations.. As example I can give you :

° “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

° “Work For A Cause, Not For Applause. Live Life To Express, Not To Impress. Don’t Strive To Make Your Presence Noticed, Just Make Your Absence Felt” – Unknown

° “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

° “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” – Alexander den Heijer

From time to time, I like pairing some of them with my pics as an illustration and share them on my timeline and in “Feed your Joy”, the group created by Suzie Carr on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/feedyourjoy/) …

Don't be pushed ...

Work for a cause ...

What is next for you?

I’m a former Purchase and Logistics Manager. Since a few days I’m officially back on the employment market 😊 . It’s a total professional reconversion so I make my come back with the help of a cooperative (they help people during a while, to let them the time to start their own business). Between a few other things (mostly translator and beta reader), I’m now a tourism consultant (for eco-tourism) and this new job will allow me to work on, for and with my passions … Life is good !!!

I want to thank Laure for stopping by. If you’d like to know more about Laure, go to these links:

           https://www.facebook.com/laure.dherbecourt

https://twitter.com/Payoo974

Feel free to ask her questions in the comments section.

Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be posting my review for author Candace Walsh’s ‘Janeland.’

Until next time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

Printed with permission.

Photos are copywritten.

#FF #Flashback Friday – Meet Author KA Moll

Good afternoon everyone and a warm welcome to you all. I want to thank author Darla Baker for stopping by last week. It was a pleasure to have you. For those of you who missed her interview, you can click on the link below.

https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/meet-author-darla-baker/
https://lynnlawler.blogspot.com/2017/11/meet-author-darla-baker.html

Today I’m reposting my interview with author KA Moll that was originally published on 04-Mar-17. Since then she’s been busy and published ‘Blue Ice Landing’ and as Cade Brogan, ‘Close Enough to Touch.’ In addition, she is hard at work with her next project, a sequel to her best selling romance ‘Change of Heart,’ due out in early 2018. KA is an amazing woman . Read on to find out more about this dynamic story teller.

***

Good afternoon friends and welcome.  Today I have a special treat for you.  Author K.A. Moll has stopped by to chat.  She is busy underway with several writing projects, one of which is discussed below.  I read her book, ‘Change of Heart’ and reviewed it on 26-Aug-16.  This is definitely one to put on your reading list.

Author PhotoAbout all you can do in life is be who you are. Some people will love you for you. Most will love you for what you can do for them, and some won’t like you at all.

~ Rita Mae Brown

What is ‘Change of Heart’ about?

It’s a story about high school sweethearts, reunited after two decades. It’s about how these two women move beyond hurt feelings and shattered trust to rekindle their flame that still burns hot.

What was your inspiration behind the book cover for ‘Change of Heart’?

The cover for ‘Change of Heart’ is from a watercolor created by my biological sister, Cindy. Her work is also on the cover of “For A Moment’s Indiscretion.” I don’t know how she managed to get inside my head to capture this story in her painting…but she did. I was adopted as a preemie and didn’t find her until I was in my forties. It never fails to amaze me how we connected. It feels as if she’s been a part of my life forever.

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so, did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?

I was on the school newspaper in high school and I took writing/literature courses in college.

Was there anyone or anything in your life who encouraged you to write?   If so, what did they do?

My wife is my number one beta reader and my biggest fan. I couldn’t accomplish half of what I do without her support and input.

Is there a different genre that you’d like to write a story in and why?

No, not really. If there were, I’d have probably already written it. To date, I’ve written books in romance, paranormal, and suspense/thriller.

One day you get the call asking if you’d like to make ‘Change of Heart’ into a movie.  Who would you cast as the main players?

Wow…that’d be a nice call. Hmmmm…I guess Lily Gladstone for Jack…but she’d need a haircut. And for Courtney…I guess Stana Katic.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Thank you. Thank you so much for reading my books and for opening your hearts to my characters, most of whom have considerable emotional baggage.

Can you elaborate on what has worked for you to regenerate creativity?

So far, I’ve been fortunate to have not needed much regeneration. If anything, I’ve had to beat stories down so that one could move forward. If I did need to regenerate, I’d listen to smooth jazz or walk a nature trail.

Have you ever created a character (either main or supporting) who was so awful in personality that even you felt dislike toward?

Jahi in “Haunting Love” was a nasty piece of work.

 

What musical groups do you follow and can you describe their style?

I like Fay Wolf, Hem, and k.d. Lang.

What is your favorite vegetarian meal?

I like most all vegetarian dishes a lot…especially Indian and Cajan…Mmmm, red beans and rice. But…I suppose my favorite would have to be my wife’s broccoli casserole.

Let’s give a shout out to TriPub books.  What would you like to say to them?

…That I couldn’t be more pleased…but they already know that.

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least favorite?

I pretty much love everything about it…but I suppose if I had to choose, my favorite thing would be getting to know and be a part of this amazing lesfic community. Least favorite…hummm…well I guess that would have to be marketing.

What other authors do you follow?  Which books would you recommend?

I’m a HUGE Radclyffe fan…although I must admit I like her older works better. My favorite of all her books is “Passion’s Bright Fury.” Next in line would be “Love’s Melody Lost.”

What is in the works next for you?

My work in progress is titled “To Believe In Magic.” Jack and Courtney from “Change of Heart” will be strong secondary characters in the work. If all goes well, it should release mid-summer.

Change of Heart book coverHere’s an excerpt from ‘Change of Heart’…

Jack opened the passenger door for Courtney and she climbed in. Then Jack walked around the vehicle to climb in the other side. She sighed as she looked over her shoulder to back out of the narrow driveway. “When are you gonna tell me, Courtie?” she asked.

Courtney began to cry.

“I can see it’s tearing you up inside,” Jack continued. “I think you’d feel better if you told me.” Courtney cried a little harder.

“Whatever it is,” Jack said softly, “it happened a longtime ago and we’ve moved on.” She shifted gears. “Why can’t you just tell me?”

Courtney hiccupped a sob.

“Okay, I’ll leave you be,” Jack said. “I guess you’ll tell me when you’re ready.”

Check out this link to my review:  ‘Change of Heart’.

Thank you all for joining us today.  Before you go, be sure to check out KA Moll’s links below:

Purchase ‘Change of Heart’

Website: www.kamoll.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/kamollwrites/

Twitter: @ka_moll

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLyxllnvI0k

Lesbian Talk Show Interview on writing damaged characters:

http://www.thelesbiantalkshow.com/how-to-write-damaged-characters/

***

Thank you for stopping by. All of KA’s books are available on Amazon. Stay tuned for my upcoming review for ‘Close Enough to Touch,’ the thriller by Cade Brogan. In the meanwhile stay safe and enjoy.

Stay tuned next week when I will be interviewing Artist/Photographer Laure Dherbécourt.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Meet Author Darla Baker

Good morning everyone and a warm welcome to you all. First of all, I want to thank SW Andersen and all who read the review I posted for ‘Switchback’. Today I have a real treat for you. Author Darla Baker has stopped by to chat. You are going to love this woman and all that she’s done for the LGBTQ community. Feel free to ask her questions in the comments.

“At the moment of commitment, the entire universe conspires to assist you.”

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tell us about yourself. (Official Bio)

Darla Baker’s career encompasses a diverse list of roles including best-selling author, publisher, podcast host, and software engineer. As founder and president of the nonprofit publishing house, Stone Soup Community Press, Baker is an advocate and mentor for writers of lesbian fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Her book series, Thalia Chase: Sex Therapist, was an Amazon best-seller. Baker’s Thalia Chase and fellow author Annette Mori’s Juliet Lewis, host lesbian fiction authors in character and help them with dating and relationships in a monthly podcast, Therapy Café.  Baker attended Georgetown College and Wright State University, where she completed her B.S.B. in Finance.

Outside of the literary world, Baker has dedicated more than thirty years to serving government, nonprofit, corporate, and Fortune 100 firms as a management consultant and software engineer – both independently and with notable organizations like DataStax and Hobsons, Inc. Prior to her corporate career, she spent nearly a decade with the Montgomery County Courts completing her tenure there as the Chief Deputy Clerk. In her rich personal life, Baker splits her time between Lake Cumberland, Kentucky, and Dayton, Ohio with her wife of twenty years and their two well-behaved pit bulls.

What is your sequel to ‘Eagle Cove’, ‘Seventy Six Falls’ about?

Seventy Six Falls (no hyphen) picks up about five months after Eagle Cove ended. In Eagle Cove we were immersed into Thalia’s life where we too grew to love her chosen family and the community in which both her practice and her life thrives.

Thalia is settling into a new life which now includes Amara, her pregnant lover, and her large and accepting Greek family. Nothing can interfere with their newfound happiness.

Or can it? 

The Supreme Court’s recent decision has legalized marriage for same-sex couples nationwide and LGBT couples everywhere are beginning to discuss their future just as straight couples have done for years. 

The Supreme Court’s decision wasn’t happy news for everyone, particularly for radical fundamentalist Christians in the bible belt. One such person is Karen Dolt, County Clerk for Williams County, Kentucky. 

Her refusal to honor the oath of office and issue licenses to same-sex couples has resulted in a media frenzy and an annoyance for several couples in the county. 

But when one of Karen’s refusals results in a tragedy that shakes Thalia to the core, will she be permanently damaged or will the power of love heal her wounded soul?

Where can we find ‘Stone Soup Community Press’?

https://stonesoupcommunity.com

What is the cutest thing your pit bulls do?

That’s a tough one. It’d be easier to answer what they do that isn’t cute. But I’d have to say my favorite thing they do is what I call, “The changing of the guards.” My wife, Carol, and I usually chill for a bit in front of the tv after dinner. Raven and Delilah jockey for the shotgun position on the sofa next to Carol. Typically, Raven wins and Delilah gets stuck riding shotgun with me on the love seat.

 At some point Delilah decides Raven has had the sweet position long enough. She hops off the love seat and starts “mooing” at Raven. You have to hear it to believe it. I’ve posted videos on Facebook. Raven responds with a low growl. This continues for about a minute when Raven relinquishes the spot. Delilah climbs up and gets cozy. And then Raven jumps back up and they all snuggle together. It’s a nightly ritual they’ve been performing now for 10 years. It’s one of the things I miss most when I travel.

Tell us all about your podcast ‘The Therapy Café’. What do you tell couples about the key to a successful long-term relationship?

Fellow author, KA Moll and I were introduced to each other and the concept for a podcast by Sheena of thelesbianreview.com. We didn’t know each other at the time. But we decided to give it a shot. We knew we wanted to do the show in character. So we put our heads together and came up with the idea of meeting at a bar/coffee shop called the Therapy Café where we dole out relationship advice to our listeners. Thalia and Zane turned out to be a fantastic pairing. Unfortunately, KA and I both got busy and KA wanted to retire Zane as a character. So we decided to take a break from doing the show this past Spring.

Before you get too sad, Annette Mori as Juliet Lewis from Captivated, has decided to co-host with Thalia and we’re going to bring the show back again on a monthly basis with our wildly popular author guest episodes. We recorded our debut episode while at LCLC this past October with Renee MacKenzie as Jordy Chapman from Pausing.  Look for this episode to be released in December.

Me: You can see my reviews for KA Moll and Renee MacKenzie below:

KA Moll’s ‘Blue Ice Landing’ Review

Renee MacKenzie ‘Pausing’ Review

How did Ask Thalia come about?

When I was developing the character Thalia Chase, I thought it would be an interesting marketing concept to have Thalia step out of the pages of the book and come to life in an accessible way as a sex therapist columnist. Bringing the advice column to life in the series as well as real life just seemed like a genius idea. I’ve not been as faithful at writing the column. However, it is the Ask Thalia blog that gave rise to The Therapy Café podcast. So, it’s all good. 

What is the last lesfic book you read? Did you like it and why?

Olivia: A Novel by Dorothy Strachey.

Considered one of the most-subtle and beautifully written lesbian novels of the century, this 1949 classic returns to print in a Cleis Press edition.

        Dorothy Strachey’s classic Olivia captures the awakening passions of an English adolescent sent away for a year to a small finishing school outside Paris. The innocent but watchful Olivia develops an infatuation for her headmistress, Mlle. Julie, and through this screen of love observes the tense romance between Mlle. Julie and the other head of the school, Mlle. Cara, in its final months.

         Although not strictly autobiographical, Olivia draws on the author’s experiences at finishing schools run by the charismatic Mlle. Marie Souvestre, whose influence lived on through former students like Natalie Barney and Eleanor Roosevelt. Olivia was dedicated to the memory of Strachey’s friend Virginia Woolf and published to acclaim in 1949. Colette wrote the screenplay for the 1951 film adaptation of the novel. In 1999, Olivia was included on the Publishing Triangle’s widely publicized list of the 100 Best Gay and Lesbian Novels of the 20th Century.

I loved it! I love historical fiction. But Olivia is even better because it was contemporary to the time. The language is beautiful and challenged my ear. And the story is classic, timeless, and very well told. I can see why it’s in the top 100. Perhaps I should put it on my bucket list to read all 100. Hmm…

Tell us about your article in the Dayton Daily News. How did it feel to connect with your local readers? Congrats.

Thank you! I must say I’m a little bit of an attention whore. So, seeing my picture on the front page of arguably the most read section of the paper on the most popular day was very exciting. I get so much out of connecting with local readers and local authors. I cannot believe how much richer my life is now than it was before writing Eagle Cove.

Tell us about your participation in the 2017 Dayton Book Expo.

When I saw the event advertised I didn’t think twice about signing up. But when the day arrived, it was sandwiched between two work trips and I barely had time to prepare. Thankfully, my wife helped me get ready. She threw my table items, books, etc. into a suitcase and when I woke up the morning of the event, we loaded up the car, grabbed some breakfast and headed out.

In some ways Dayton is a pretty good city for LGBTQ acceptance. Even so, I had no idea what to expect. As we were setting up for the event I looked around at the other participants. Of course, I didn’t know anyone else. I went to a few panel discussions and discovered that the majority of participants were Evangelical Christians of color. The sign on my table clearly called out Stone Soup Community Press as an organization supporting the LGBTQ community. So I was a bit concerned that I would not be welcome in such an overtly evangelical environment. What I found was completely the opposite. The occupants of the table to my left and directly in front were absolutely amazing. We traded signed copies of our books and had some amazing discussions. As I walked around and talked to other participants, I was met with warmth and genuine support. Yes, there were a few attendees who snubbed me when they realized my book was lesbian genre fiction. But that was rare. I got the opportunity to meet new people, even a Bold Strokes Books author who lives locally. The panels I attended were more inspirational than typical writer/reader conference panels. I left each panel with at least one useful nugget.

I bravely took the microphone to pimp my book, holding nothing back as I proudly described Eagle Cove as a lesbian erotic romance series. I must confess, however, that I did try to get out of doing this. But, my wife wouldn’t let me. I love my wife! 🙂 I will definitely participate in the event again.

Who was the last live musical performance you saw?

I typically go to several concerts and musicals/plays throughout the year. But this past year, I’ve been traveling so much, I’ve not gotten much of an opportunity to indulge. I had tickets to see John Legend and had to give them away due to a last minute site visit with a customer. I had to think on this one and consult my social secretary (aka Carol).

I attended my first Lammys this past June as a new member on the Board. It was a marvelous experience. I got to meet so many incredible people and I was such a shameless fan girl. Justin Vivian Bond hosted the Lammys and also performed a few numbers. She is hilarious and talented and very entertaining. If you get a chance to see her perform, I highly recommend it.

Where is the most exotic place you’ve visited?

In 2007 I joined a higher education marketing company, Hobsons. I was one of handful of fortunate souls who received an all-expense-paid week at the Dromoland Castle in Ireland. The west coast of Ireland is breathtakingly beautiful and I would love to go back sometime. Perhaps another item for that bucket list?

If someone were to create a movie based on your life, who would you cast for yourself?

Winona Ryder (a la Girl, Interrupted) for the “straight” years. And Janeane Garofalo (a la The Truth About Cats And Dogs) for the “lesbian” years.

Bit of trivia, Garofalo, barely five feet tall, sometimes had to stand on a box just to be in the same frame with 6-foot co-star Uma Thurman in The Truth About Cats & Dogs (1996). Carol is 5’10”. So, I can relate. 

Have you ever wanted to write a biography for another author?

Hmm.  That’s a good question. I like to read biographies and autobiographies. I recall having a conversation on Facebook with fellow authors about writing a biography of a fictional character. I can see myself writing that type of biography. But I think the research required to write a good biography of a real person/author would deter me from pursuing the project. 

What other ways do you give back to the LGBTQ community?

I joined the board of the Lambda Literary Foundation a year ago as their Treasurer. I cannot begin to express how proud I am to be part of such a prestigious organization and support the work we do.

I also joined the board of the Golden Crown Literary Society this past Summer. Lambda Literary and Golden Crown are very different organizations with decidedly different missions. However, both organizations provide valuable service to our community.

This past January I founded the 501c3 corporation Stone Soup Community Press to provide direct support to emerging and existing lesbian authors through publishing, a writers in-residence program, and the Therapy Café podcast marketing program. Donations to Stone Soup Community Press provide access to professional publishing resources to authors who could not otherwise afford those resources. Proceeds from our programs are donated to the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Golden Crown Literary Society, the It Gets Better Project, and The Trevor Project. 

If you had one wish, what would it be?

I can’t help but think of Miss Congeniality and say, “I really do want world peace.” But I suppose I’d have to back that train up a bit and wish for something that would address a significant root cause to a lack of world peace—intolerance. I would love the opportunity to live in a world where intolerance for diversity doesn’t exist.

SELRES_4391ce83-69db-4a0e-8040-0ffa00c343a7SELRES_aa8cdc79-fcf8-443c-8f8a-81a23daaef38I want to thank Darla for stopping by today. It was a real pleasure having you. Darla’s work is remarkable so be sure to check out the links in this interview. She is one amazing woman. Be sure to check out her links below:SELRES_aa8cdc79-fcf8-443c-8f8a-81a23daaef38SELRES_4391ce83-69db-4a0e-8040-0ffa00c343a7

Social Media

https://www.amazon.com/Darla-Baker/e/B01ERQ8G5I/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15204196.Darla_Baker

https://askthaliachase.tumblr.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/darlabaker/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/16158532/

https://twitter.com/askthalia

https://twitter.com/sscpress

https://www.facebook.com/thalia.chase.dkb

https://www.facebook.com/SSCPress/

https://www.facebook.com/thetherapycafe/

https://www.facebook.com/askthalia

Blogs/Websites

https://stonesoupcommunity.com

https://therapy.cafe

https://thaliachase.com

https://bakewell.me

Audio/Video Interviews

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCacjwRGLUSoUcOgBJlGFpFA

https://therapy.cafe

http://therapycafe.podbean.com/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/therapy-cafe/id1189993734

Stay tuned for next week when I’ll have a review by author KA Moll

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Photos subject to copyright

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My Review for SW Andersen’s ‘Switchback’

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I’m presenting my review for S.W. Andersen’s ‘Switchback’. This story is interesting and by the time it was over, I was once again in love with the mountain bike culture. Last year I read another biking book and am excited that more people are writing about this sport.

Author Photo

‘Switchback’ tells the story of Sierra Cody, an ambitious mountain bike rider, striving for the pros. She loves living outside of her comfort zone.  Her strengths are determination and focus. She carries a confident aura with her and really knows herself. She has a positive outlook on life and is very protective of her career, which is why she prefers to promote herself. She doesn’t follow rules or like being kept waiting.  However, I was pleasantly pleased to see that she respects others even when going after her desires.

She’s a love bug whom you can’t help but love.

Sierra turned and high-tailed it out the door, anxious to put miles between her and the lecherous receptionist in a hurry. Maybe she would use that memory as motivation on her next race start. That would surely get her out the gate in a hurry.

There are two other main characters, Kara and Jaime as well as a few secondary characters, whom I will touch on.

Kara is a medic who works at bike race functions.  She is tense and afraid and is uncomfortable in social settings.  The vibe I picked up was one that had been badly hurt before and was avoiding any chance for a potential new relationship.  She carries a bit of passive aggressiveness. Her pained look on her face is a concern for others.

She is very smart and asks questions.  Her heart is genuine. However, she’s a stickler to plans and doesn’t like to deviate. This caused some friction with the other players, but nonetheless, added to the depth of her character.

Another woman enters the picture, creating some intense drama for both Kara and Sierra.  Jaime is Kara’s ex.  Scenes like this are priceless and got me wanting more.

Now enter two secondary characters who I felt really added to the story, Nicole and Ronni. Nicole is Kara’s best friend and business partner. She is loyal and bears high self-esteem. Her grounding energy was very comforting and she bears the badge of trust on her shoulder.

Ronni is Sierra’s trusted best friend who has a mouth as big as the planet.  Her energy is brash. She never shuts up and at times I felt she crossed some boundaries with Sierra. Their interactions are hilarious. Her sneaky energy will roll your emotions. The way she talks sometimes will crack you up.

One unforgettable character may turn you off. The writer had great character development with this one. You may not like her, but she adds to the richness of the story.

The interactions between the characters is very well put together and it flows perfectly. I love the mountain bike scenes. The author did an excellent job bringing me there. I could almost feel the wind hitting Cody’s face on the way down the hill in a race.

There are scenes that are tenderly put together and the author really did perfect them. You will see in the story.

The romance scenes are tender and full of caring love. What I liked was that it was not all rush-rush to the bedroom. The lovers took time to get to know each other and it’s this journey that you want to read.

The sun’s rays danced along auburn strands and illuminated her profile, making her radiant as an angel from heaven.

Switchback (p. 209). S.W. Andersen Books. Kindle Edition.

The story itself took me about six hours to read, partly because some of the scenes were so good that I read them twice. The descriptions were precise and I felt like I was in the scenes. The writing made me feel good. I am recommending this book for everyone who enjoys some adventure.

Here is an except to get you started on this exciting journey.

Switchback Cover

Kara hummed and smiled. Sierra had appeared in her doorway in her baggy shorts with an air of confidence, muscled legs, gorgeous, soulful eyes, and a smile that made Kara’s chest thump like a herd of running elephants. The feeling of being pursued so wholeheartedly had left her brimming with indescribable sensations, but now her chest grew heavy and her breath restricted to the point of dizziness. The thought of Sierra being angry with her was too much to bear.

Would she get the chance to explain?

No one had ever left her questioning so much about her life. Sierra brought her back to a time and place when she was unhindered by the rigid routine she had set for herself. She was free to do as she pleased. Free to live. Free to feel. And boy did she want to feel. She ached to feel every inch of Sierra Cody’s toned body against hers.

“Why does she have to be so damned hot?” Kara grumbled.

Five Stars.

Purchase ‘Switchback’

 

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Happy Halloween

Hello everyone and welcome. We have now come to the last part of the year, the holidays. For me, the season begins on Halloween, a favorite of mine. I love pumpkins, both pie and jack-o-lantern. I love to make baked goodies with the pie ones and cut faces into the latter.

Halloween

As a child, I would dress up and go trick-or-treating around my neighborhood. As I got older, my costumes became more elaborate. One year my folks helped me make this warrior helmet. I think my favorite year was when I was in high school and dressed up as the grim reaper, complete with a rubber mask.

More recently my wife and I decorate the front porch and pass out candy each year. Our neighborhood has been blessed with over 300 kids. It is fun answering the door and giving them their treats. Over the years, we’ve seen some really unique and beautiful costumes. We are looking forward to this upcoming Tuesday night.

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In addition to the Halloween spirit, I love to create my vegan homemade pumpkin bread. I prefer to use pie pumpkins because they taste better than canned. This recipe is easy to prepare.

½ cup vegan butter
1 ½ cup sugar
1 pie pumpkin
2 Tbsp. apple sauce
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove)

Cut up the pumpkin into quarters and scrape out the seeds. You can use these to make baked pumpkin seeds later. Put the pieces into a Dutch oven and bake at 350° for one hour.

image2

Mix the flour, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Then blend in the butter and applesauce and set aside.

The pumpkin is done when you can easily poke a knife into it. Peel off the skin and put the insides into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Then add the sugar and pumpkin pie spices and mix evenly.

Add the pumpkin mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until smooth.

Grease a 9” x 5” baking pan with butter.

Put the batter into the pan and bake at 350° for one hour. I recommend checking it at 45 minutes depending on your oven. The bread will be done with you can poke a toothpick all the way through and have it come out clean.

Take it out of the pan and let cool. Enjoy.

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Creating lanterns are fun because you get to cut up the pumpkin and put your own touch on it. However, it involves careful planning so that you don’t cut yourself by mistake. I would recommend buying the pumpkin carving kit that is available at most stores. I make happy faces to represent how the season makes me feel.

Pumpkin2

 

Halloween represents letting go of the old so that the new can come in. I like that it is at the beginning of the season because by the time Thanksgiving comes, I am already in a different space. I use this time to focus on gratitude and what I can do to make the season as best as it can be, whether it be donating items to our church or else let a busy mother go in front of me while we are waiting in the checkout lane at the store. I am grateful for a lot of things. Most important is my health and my wellbeing.

Halloween happens right in the middle of the fall harvest. This gives me an opportunity to give thanks to all of the summer produce that was grown this year.

What are your plans for Halloween this year? What are you grateful for?

Stay tuned for next week as I will be featuring author Blake Everstone (‘Ominous Tales’ and ‘Jane/John Doe’). You are going to want to stop by and meet her and see why her efforts have made a difference in the world. You can check out her facebook profile here.

Blake Everstone FB

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017