Meet Author Ali Spooner

Good afternoon, friends and welcome. Today I am featuring author Ali Spooner who is here to talk to us. I recently read her latest book, “Back in the Saddle” so stay tuned for my review in the upcoming weeks. For those of you who don’t know Ali, she is the author of sixteen books that are available for purchase. Come on over and join us and if you’d like to ask Ali a question, you can put it in the comments below.

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

Samuel Jackson.

To me that says it all. As a storyteller, I relay the events of characters, and hopefully the reader emerges from the story with new experiences or knowledge, that meets their expectations of an adventure.

Tell us about yourself and what gets your creativity flowing?

I’m a native of Florida, but have lived in Alabama, Tennessee, and Wisconsin for short periods. I live with my partner of 22 years, Rhonda in our home in Pensacola. I began writing as a hobby to entertain myself and some online friends while in hotels on the road for work. I fancy myself as a storyteller who is learning to write, so I’m still a work in progress. I travel frequently for work, so driving, or flying gives me a great deal of time to think about story lines and often I’ll see a sign or an object that triggers a story idea. For instance, I was driving through Mississippi a few years ago and saw a crop duster pilot spraying fields of cotton, in preparation of harvest and it spawned a story I self-published on Smashwords around 2010, called The Painted Cat, and of course the main character was a thrill seeking, female, crop duster pilot. Sometimes a vivid dream will trigger a story or character and I never have difficulty coming up with story lines. I have on average 3-5 stories in various stages of development at any time and I work on whichever character speaks the loudest in my imagination.

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What inspired you to create the prequel, ‘Cowgirl Up’?

Growing up in central Florida, my family had several businesses. My father and uncle shared a grove caretaking business, managing orange groves for investors and our family groves as well. Our second business was the Crescent A Land and Cattle Company where we again managed herds for other’s as well as our own. During my childhood, I spent a significant amount of time on horseback as we “worked” cattle, moving them to different fields, penning them to provide healthcare or sending them off to market. So Cowgirl Up was a natural story for me to write. Many of the events the crew of the MC2 experienced from the long hours of baling hay, to training young horses were experiences from my youth. The title Cowgirl Up came from a sticker I saw on the back window of a truck pulling a horse trailer, presumably going to a rodeo or horse show somewhere in Florida. It was fun reliving some fond memories of working with my family.

Back in the Saddle cover

What is ‘Back in the Saddle’ about?

Back in the Saddle is a continuation of the journey the crew of the MC2 is experiencing. Coal, Stormy and Gene, the youngest of the crew get to live out a dream of participating in a live cattle drive in the mountains of Montana. Coal continues to struggle in her battle with PTSD, and in Montana, the flirtation of a beautiful cowgirl tempts Coal to stray in her relationship. However, Coal’s heart, is claimed by her partner, Mary Leah, and she stays true to this love. Melissa, the widowed owner of the MC2 and Mary Leah’s sister, for years after her husband’s death, felt she was satisfied with her life until a surprisingly new love interest steps into the picture.

Rhonda and I had a winter vacation in Montana years ago, and I fell in love with the country and it’s beautiful, wild nature, so the use of that setting for the cattle drive was easy for me to use.

How much of Coal is actually you? Or do you relate more to Mary Leah?

A bit of both actually. Coal has a bit of my younger spirit, with her love of horses, being a cowgirl and an out of doors type person. Like Mary Leah, I am also a cancer survivor, so there’s a part of me in her character as well. I think it’s natural for every writer to inject a bit of their personality or life experiences in their stories.

Are you an animal lover? Tell us about your experience.

That’s an understatement!  I learned to ride a horse before I could ride a bicycle and we’ve always raised animals or had a variety of pets. As kids, we experienced showing steers through 4 – H or the FFA (Future Farmers of America). We did our share of horse shows and loved to go to rodeos. As an adult, I have mainly had cats and dogs as companions, and they have graciously allowed me to live in their homes. I spent four and a half years living apart from my family for work and my two rescue cats kept me sane during those times and came home to live with us in our forever home. Just recently, Kiwi, our 9 year-old blue heeler, lost her battle with cancer and traveled across the Rainbow Bridge. She was considered Rhonda’s dog, but she was my snuggle-buddy and playmate. In her younger years, she would wear me out throwing a tennis ball for her to retrieve. She spent hours beside me in my office as I worked or created stories and was always the first to greet me when I came home from a trip. Rascal, my first rescue cat in Memphis, was the beautiful, tiger cat in The Painted Cat, and Kiwi has certainly filled her share of roles in stories, especially, Cowgirl Up and Back in the Saddle in the blue heeler puppies Bo and Dolly that Coal purchased as Christmas presents for Mary Leah and Gene. Kiwi has a special place in my heart and her spirit will grace futures stories as my companion in writing.

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Kiwi

If Coal could go anywhere for a first date, where would she choose to take her beau?

Probably the first date setting she helped Stormy arrange for Del when they first met. A beautiful spot on the MC2 where they looked across a valley and watched the sun set, the final rays of sunlight creating a brilliant palette of colors across the landscape, while she grilled a meal for them. They would share a meal, maybe a bottle of wine and then stretch out in the bed of a truck to watch the stars emerge in a sky free from manufactured light.

Do you like live music? Which bands have you seen live?

I love music of all types, but country music holds my heart. I’ve been lucky to see most of my favorites such as Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Gretchen Wilson, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, and so many others. I’m still hoping to see Garth one day, but as of yet, our paths have not crossed. There are many other artists I’d like to see, such as Fl/Ga Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Little Big Town…and the list goes on, so I have catching up to do.

What is your favorite musical instrument? Do you play? If so, tell us about it.

I can’t play a lick of music, but I love the sound of a banjo, and if I ever learned to play an instrument, it would probably be the one. Deirks Bentley, put out a folk album with a song on it called Up on the Ridge, that I love. It has a great feel of Appalachia to it.

Me: One of your characters plays a mean flute which I heard as I was reading along. Very well done.

What was your inspiration for choosing the settings for these two books?

I love the wide open, ranching space in Texas and thought that would make a perfect spot for the MC2. When I think of large ranches, I automatically think of Texas. There’s a few left in Florida, but I thought readers would relate more to Texas. As I mentioned earlier, I fell in love with the beautiful scenery in Montana, and would love to return there to see it across all seasons. The deep green of the woodlands against the backdrop of majestic, snowcapped mountains seemed the perfect setting for a cattle drive adventure.

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Tell us more about your passion for college softball.

In high school, I played every sport. My first love was basketball, and I played my freshman year in college. Softball was the one I played into my thirties, but only slow pitch, as the fast pitch craze didn’t catch on in the southern states until years later. I was born and raised a University of Florida Gator and follow our sports teams as a die-hard fan, win or lose. We are fortunate to have a great coaching staff and great softball team. I love watching the South Eastern Conference teams in all sports and hope to be able to attend the College World Series of Softball in the next few years. I’ve also found this to be a great way of finding new and different names for characters. I was amazed, but delighted to see a young woman named “Bubba” on a team this year. I enjoy college sports over professional ones because I believe college athletes play for the pure love of the game. It’s not a career for them and they don’t make millions or have products named for them, but they truly love their sport and appreciate the opportunity given them to play.

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Have you ever gone on a rustic outing in nature? If so where?

I enjoyed camping, but will now admit my camping is limited to a pull behind camper or cabin, as these old bones can’t tolerate sleeping on the ground. Some of my favorite spots are in western North Carolina and middle and eastern Tennessee. As a kid, I was a member of the Trail Riders Association in central Florida and we would camp long weekends in the summer with our horses in and around the Ocala National Forest. It was great fun swimming with your horse and cooking meals by campfire. Hmm, sounds a bit like Back in the Saddle.

Who was the last Affinity author you read?

I was honored to do some beta reading for Annette Mori on a couple of her upcoming titles. I love her quirky characters and the variety of her story plots. I also read Renee MacKenzie’s, book Pausing, which is an excellent read. I’m fortunate to publish with some fantastic authors, so I’m never at a loss for great stories to read.

Me: Stay tuned for my review of Renee Mackenzie’s Pausing next week.

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Can you share with us your love of photography? Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled to take pictures?

Photography is creating a visual story or record of memories I’ve experienced or shared with loved ones. I enjoy wildlife and landscapes as well as capturing family and friends. I have two grandbabies that give me plenty opportunities to photograph, as well as my fur family. With the creation of digital photography, I find myself taking hundreds of photos on a trip, so I have plenty memories to choose from as favorites when we return home.

One of my most exciting places to go was to Stonehenge when I visited London. I was in awe of the power of the setting. I could feel it vibrating through me as I walked amongst the monuments. Rhonda and I also traveled to Alaska in 2015 and the scenery there was amazing. I also love the waterfalls of western North Carolina, especially Whitewater falls. The falls are gorgeous no matter what season you choose, but I love it in the fall with all the foliage, turning colors. Yes, before you ask, these falls will be the ultimate destination in a short story, scheduled for release in February of 2018 called Shotgun Rider. These falls hold some special memories of my Mom and Rhonda, my partner.

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Do you have beta readers read your manuscripts?

Absolutely! I couldn’t live without good betas. I have a variety of readers who volunteer to read the drafts of my stories and provide excellent feedback on how I can improve the story. I try to mention them in the acknowledgement for each book, as they have been a tremendous help to develop it into the published story.

What is next for you?

I am currently working to develop a new series of books I call the Strong Southern Women series. There are five stories under development as a part of this series, but more to come. The first, Diamond Dreams, contracted by Affinity Rainbow Publications, will be published in the first quarter of 2018. It’s the first of three books regarding the lives of the St. Angelo sisters in rural Louisiana. Diamond Dreams follows the eldest daughter, Cameron (Cam) St. Angelo as she follows her dream to play college softball at LSU.

I believe in the concept of strong, southern women, as they have been the basis for most of my stories. These women are the characters that I know, and have grown to love. Ordinary people, that I feel that many readers can easily connect.

I’m also working on some other stories as well. A third book in the Hunter series is about two thirds of the way drafted. The fourth and final book in the Sasha Thibodaux vampire series is also underway. A sequel to the Cowgirl series has also begun to percolate in the back of my mind. So many stories, so little time to write!

As I mentioned earlier, I read ‘Back in the Saddle’ and have an excerpt to get you started.

Back in the Saddle cover  

Harley watched as the two women stepped off the porch. When they’d taken three steps, the clouds opened up. As they dashed for the house, laughing, Harley couldn’t help but smile. Melissa skidded to a halt when she reached the porch and waved to him. Harley waved back and returned to the kitchen, shaking his head. 

“Whew, that was cold,” Melissa cried out when they entered the house, and then broke out laughing again. They were both sopping wet, but Cam couldn’t prevent herself from joining Melissa’s infectious laughter. When she could finally stop, she looked at Melissa, who was still bent over laughing. Her wet hair framed her face when she looked up at Cam, whose chest tightened, making it hard to breathe. Cam slid down to the floor, unable to look away from Melissa. “What in the world are we laughing at?” 

Melissa sat down in front of her. “I have no clue, but I’m having a hard time stopping.”

Here is an excerpt from Diamond Dreams. As a baseball lover, I’m definitely going to check this out when it debuts next March.

The sound of the ball hitting the leather of the catcher’s mitt made a loud pop as it whizzed past Cameron St. Angelo. The inside pitch was meant to brush her back from the plate, but Cam barely twitched as she felt the air moving in the flight path of the ball in front of her face. After the umpire bellowed out “Ball two,” Cam stepped out of the batter’s box, and tapped the aluminum bat against her metal cleats. She turned her head toward the pitcher’s mound and grinned. “Is that the best you got Bugsy?”

“You damn well know it isn’t,” the angry pitcher growled back.

“Are y’all gonna play ball or jabber the rest of the game?” 

Cam stepped back into the batter’s box. “Sorry Blue.” She twisted her right foot in the packed clay until she felt comfortable and dropped her hand indicating she was ready for the next pitch.

“Bout damn time St. Angelo,” the catcher barked at her. “This gear is hot, so let’s get a move on.”

“Bring it,” she called out to the pitcher.

Ursula Bugg, or Bugsy to Cam, was a top ranked pitcher on the opposing team, and Cam knew she had a wicked fast riser. She also knew that Ursula had a weakness and it was Cam herself. They had competed against each other in every sport since they first met in high school, and Cam had always won the battle as the superior athlete. As hard as she tried, Bugsy had never bested her in any sport, and facing her now as the opposing pitcher, would make no difference. Yes, Bugsy was good, but Cam was better, and she understood how much she got into Bugsy’s head. They battled through three years in high school and by their senior year, Bugsy’s condition had grown to an obsession. 

It didn’t matter that Cam was an All-State shortstop and team leading cleanup hitter, bound for Baton Rouge in the fall with a full ride to play softball for LSU. Bugsy was determined to strike her out. Cam could almost hear the grinding of Bugsy’s teeth as she reached deep down inside for extra strength as she released the next pitch. 

“High and wide,” the umpire called out, “Three balls and one strike.”

Forced to throw a strike, or risk walking her, Bugsy stepped off the mound to wipe her hand, as Cam waited on the fastball that would be nestled in the center of the plate. She watched Bugsy step up to the pitching rubber, digging the hole beside it deeper for more traction and power, then begin her wind up. Her movement seemed like slow motion to Cam and the ball looked the size of a cantaloupe as it approached. Her eyes locked on their target as she tucked chin to her chest, her eyes glued on the ball as she started her swing. Her teammates were probably holding their breath, but Cam had no doubts. She caught the ball on the sweet spot of her bat, and that ball was going out of the park for a walk off home run. She rushed out of the batter’s box toward first base as the left fielder backed toward the fence until she realized there was no keeping the ball in the field of play. Cam rounded the base and slowed her pace to a jog as Bugsy glared at her from the pitcher’s mound. When her cleated foot touched home, the umpire called, “Ball game.”

Welcomed by her teammates with high fives and slaps to her helmet, she made her way to the dugout to drop off her gear before joining her friends in congratulating the other team on a game well played. When she approached Bugsy at the end of the line, she smiled, “See you next fall.”

“You better believe it,” Bugsy answered finally cracking a smile. She too, would also be attending LSU to play ball. “Maybe we’ll meet again next week if we make it to the tournament.”

I’d like to thank Ali for stopping by. Be sure to check out her links below for more new and exciting news. ‘Back in the Saddle’ is available and I’m encouraging you to check it out.

Ali’s Facebook Profile

Ali’s Amazon Profile –  Here you can check out her sixteen books.

Purchase ‘Back in the Saddle’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

Meet Author Jen Silver

Good morning everyone and welcome. Today I am featuring author Jen Silver, author of The Circle Dance and her new just released book, Running From Love. Jen has so many interesting things to share about herself. Recently I reviewed her book, The Circle Dance. Check out the link below to read more.

The Circle Dance Review

Come join us and meet this amazing woman, whom you’re going to love.

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“A book does not come to me as an idea, or a plot, or an event, or a society, or a message; it comes to me as a person. A person seen, seen at a certain distance, usually in a landscape. The place is there, the person is there. I didn’t invent him, I didn’t make her up; he or she is there. And my business is to get there too.”

From The Language of the Night by Ursula K LeGuin, an essay entitled ‘Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown’

Who is Jen Silver? Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

My parents moved around a lot and my childhood involved moving house numerous times and countries twice. I was born in England but they emigrated to Canada when I was four, then moved back a few years later after my younger sister was born. They then went back to Canada after deciding they weren’t missing anything here so my high school and college years were spent in Canada. Then I moved back to England myself in my twenties, stayed a few years and went back to Canada. My final move (probably) was back to the UK in the 1980s. I met my wife in 1987 while we were both working in London. So, this year we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary. We moved ‘oop North’, as they say here, twenty-three years ago and haven’t looked back.

I’d never considered myself to be a sporty person, so it was with some surprise that I found I enjoyed playing golf when I was introduced to the game in my mid-forties. I took up archery about seven years ago. I’ve also dabbled in martial arts—five years of Taekwondo, two years of Tai Chi. And nowadays, along with the golf and the archery, I enjoy taking part in boxercise classes.

I always loved writing and had drawers full of unfinished stories before I took the plunge and submitted something to a publisher.

It’s hard to believe that I now have six published novels to my name, and several short stories.

What is Running From Love about?

This is the synopsis:

Sam Wade returns home from a business trip to discover her wife of just two years has left her for another woman. Beth, a high school teacher, wants a divorce so she can settle down with her new (closeted) love, head teacher Lydia Carmichael.

To take her mind off the break-up Sam accepts an assignment to learn to play golf at the newly opened Temperley Cliffs golf resort in Cornwall. Beth and Lydia also plan their first summer holiday together.

Coming out, at whatever stage in one’s life, is never easy. Several characters in the story have to make decisions that will affect not just their respective partners but also how the wider world sees them. There is more than one way to run from love; from never having to make a commitment and say those magical three words, “I love you”.

Find out what happens when this diverse group of people find themselves together—and sport, betrayal, jealousy, and love form an unforgettable fusion of emotions.

The story is a mix of romance and golf. In the first draft, I got a bit carried away with the golf aspect and the beta readers indicated they wanted more romance and less about the game. I hope I got the balance right in the final version. I will have to wait and see what reviewers have to say about it.

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What was the deciding factor for your book title?

As with most of my books to date, it’s from a song lyric. I can’t recall which song this came from, but I was listening to Mary Gauthier’s albums during the time I was writing the book, so it may be one of hers. I thought of it as a working title and thought it might change by the time I’d finished the novel, but I found that it worked for the theme of the story.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters?

I always look at trying to make them like real people. I’m sure most authors do as well. But I can’t really get too excited about the lives of highly successful rich women falling for each other as they are not really in my sphere of existence. So, I try for a mix of lifestyles, occupations, and backgrounds…and see how they connect.

What is your favorite attraction in Yorkshire and why?

I love the countryside. We live in a deep valley with a road, a river, a canal, and a railway running through it. There’s a lot of history here as well. The people are lovely too.

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

Read my books. Review them. Tell other people about them. If you like them, that is.

Me: Authors appreciate reviews and it shows them that you care.

Can you describe the moment the last time you got a hole in one on the golf course?

There hasn’t been a first time, yet.

Would you like to share anything about your love for archaeology? Can you tell us about your last dig?

I’ve had the pleasure of digging at a predominantly Roman site called Vindolanda near Hadrian’s Wall for the last four years. It was while I was researching pottery for my debut novel, Starting Over, that I came across the Vindolanda website and discovered they had a volunteer programme where you can sign up to excavate for two-week periods between April and September. People come from all over the world to take part and it’s a great experience.

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Although I had finished an initial draft of the book by the time I first went to Vindolanda, I was able to incorporate some of what I learned there in the next draft.

Who is your favorite character from all your books and why?

Asking an author this is like asking a mother to name her favourite child. I have to like the characters to be able to write about them. Even the ones that readers may not find likeable, there’s always something in their character that’s redeemable. I think that’s why I would find it hard to write a detective novel. But if I do have to pick one character, I would go with Robin from Starting Over, and the other books in the trilogy. She kick-started the whole story and I know she’s often not liked by readers because she cheats on her partner, Ellie, over a long period of time. So, why would I like someone who cheats? Well, because I know that deep down she wants to change and through the course of the story she has that chance. I know in real life that may not seem too plausible, but I wanted to put a positive spin on it and maybe put some doubt in readers’ minds as to whether or not she can eventually maintain a monogamous relationship. (Robin is sexy as hell too, and rides a motorbike.)

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What was the last movie you saw in the theater? Would you recommend it?

I don’t often go to movies. I think the last one I saw was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And, of course, I loved it because I’m a Star Wars fan – particularly of the original three movies.

Which authors do you follow and what do you like about their writing?

I read a lot and obviously follow a number of lesfic authors whose books I enjoy.  But I would like to mention a non-lesfic author because her books are rich in history with lashings of humour…and tea. This is Jodi Taylor who has written a series of books under the heading “The Chronicles of St Mary’s”. St Mary’s is a historical research establishment where they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’ (or what we call ‘time travel’). This premise gives the author a chance to revisit many historical events to find out what really happened. Some examples are: Troy, Battle of Hastings, Agincourt, the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria, and the Cretaceous period to observe dinosaurs in the flesh. It’s all a bit mad, but good fun.

What is your favorite part of being an author? The least fave?

I enjoy writing, thinking about the characters, and seeing how the story develops. In common with most other published authors, the marketing is the hard part. Nowadays we have to rely on ratings on Amazon, maintain a constant presence on Facebook and Twitter, write regular blogs, and also try to get some reading gigs that may generate publicity.

What is next for you?

As of the timing of this interview, my next destination is the Golden Crown Literary Society Conference, which is in Chicago this year. There I will be joining other Affinity authors: Renee MacKenzie, Ali Spooner, Annette Mori, and Angela Koenig…plus all the other delegates: readers, writers, and publishers. This will be my third time and I enjoy meeting up with old friends and new on each occasion.

Golden Crown Literary Society

I’m also involved with Happy Valley Pride, a weeklong festival held in Hebden Bridge, which is near where I live. This is only the second year for the event. It was well received by the community last year and the plans for this year have grown from that experience.

Happy Valley Pride

This year I’m hosting a reading evening, sponsored by Affinity Rainbow Publications. It’s called ‘Lesbian Writers Read’ and is taking place on 8 August from 7 to 9pm at Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge. Four other authors are taking part: Lise Gold, Cari Hunter, Robyn Nyx, and Brey Willows. I think this is possibly the first event of its kind in the town so I’m hoping it will go down well.

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Excerpt from Running From Love (Chapter Six)

Andi felt awkward intruding on the other woman’s obvious sadness, but she didn’t want to just walk away. Although they had only met briefly, she sensed a bond between them. Nothing sexual, just a kind of kinship. And she hoped Sam wasn’t thinking of throwing herself off the cliff. She didn’t want that on her conscience.

“Um, look if there’s something you want to talk about, I’m here. Sometimes it’s easier to unburden yourself to a stranger.”

Sam gave her the flicker of a smile. “This is a job for me. I’m getting paid to do this. But I don’t know if I can now that she’s here.”

This sounded intriguing.

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“You’re getting paid to learn how to play golf?”

“Yes. I do in-depth research, usually for film or television companies. Sourcing locations, providing historical and cultural background as required. This job is for a writer who either can’t, or doesn’t want to, play golf herself. But she wants to sound knowledgeable when writing about it.”

“Couldn’t she get that from watching golf or reading magazines? And there’s loads of instruction videos on YouTube.”

“I know. But she wanted more than that. Maybe trying to understand why people do it, why they are so passionate about it.”

“That’s a tough one. But not easy for non-golfers to fathom.”

They stood together looking out over the ocean. The wind was starting to cut through the light jacket Andi was wearing.

“You said you didn’t think you could do this now, because…?” Andi wasn’t sure Sam would answer as she had gone quiet again.

With a heavy sigh, Sam finally spoke. “Because my ex is here. I didn’t know she was even interested in golf.”

“Ah.”

“Yes, ah. And her new girlfriend is joining her later this week.” Sam spat out the word “girlfriend” as if it left a bad taste.

“How long were you together?”

“Fourteen years. We got married two years ago in April.”

“Shit.” Andi didn’t know what else to say. Long-term relationships had always been a mystery to her. She had known Freya for many years but that worked because they only met up a few times each year. She wasn’t sure she could handle Freya’s intensity full time.

Andi touched Sam’s arm. “We should probably be getting back or they’ll be sending out a search party.”

Read the first chapter here.

Purchase ‘Running From Love’

Before you go, make sure to check out Jen’s links, including her blog, which you can subscribe to.

Amazon Author page

Affinity Author page

Blog: www.jenjsilver.wordpress.com

Twitter: @jenjsilver

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jenjsilver

I want to thank Jen for stopping by to chat. Her new book, ‘Running from Love’ is now available and I’m looking for discussion on this story, so feel free to leave a comment below. We’ve enjoyed having you visit.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2017

My Review for Jen Silver’s ‘The Circle Dance’

Hello everyone and welcome. Recently I finished Jen Silver’s ‘The Circle Dance’ and am reviewing it today. The title fits this story. Jen has been hard at work and has a new book, ‘Running From Love’, debuting on 01-Jun-17.  

This epic shows the lives of six women;  Sasha, Phoebe, Jamie, Van, Laurel, and Maddie.  There are six points of view which the author organized perfectly, creating a smooth read. All of the characters are important players.  Their stories will take you on a fun ride.  The setting where it takes place will draw you in with it’s beauty. Read on!

Sasha is a workaholic who left her girlfriend, Jamie, of six years to pursue a fling relationship with Phoebe.  She is a bit strange in some of her actions, including her ripping out flowers and roots from a garden.  We understand that she was angry at the time, and this scene added good drama to the story.  This gave me a strange first impression of this character.  I wondered what else she was going to do to stir things up

At the same time, Sasha stalks Jamie making the situations very awkward and uncomfortable for Jamie. I kept wanting to tell Sasha to let this all go and become her own best friend instead. She has too much envy in her and I didn’t see anything about a sense of trust.

Phoebe didn’t have what it took to be in a committed relationship with anyone. Her clumsiness was embarrassing and this contributed to her struggle. She didn’t want to take accountability for things, which is essential for a successful intimate relationship. She wants to change gears with something that is important to her, but Sasha doesn’t support it because she is closed minded and doesn’t like to wander off an established path. This makes tensions between them fierce and I was angry with Sasha.

 Hebden Bridge

Jamie is a cute butch with a tender heart.  She is confident and appears a bit laid back.  She separates her personal life from her professional one like night and day.  Her work is important to her and she doesn’t miss anything.  I found her professionalism to be desirable.  Inside she has a lonely heart and deserves someone more loving than Sasha. I felt she did the right thing and you’ll have to read the story to find out more.

Let’s bring in Van. She is laidback, patient, and has a caring heart. She knows how to put up with external drama and not have it bring her down. In fact, she’s the type who’s attracted to a woman’s inner quality that overrides any annoying traits. I applaud her for pausing before responding. I found her to be very grounded. She is a strong player and I really admired this character.

Laurel is a friend of Van’s and Maddie is a friend of Jamie. This couple shares a secret that involves one of the other characters. These scenes were well thought out and I could see the struggle between the pair and their teenage daughter, Taylor. There were some heart-warming scenes involving her. I really felt for this girl and was grateful that she wasn’t alone. I watched with interest how these scenes evolved and it was beautiful.

“I still, after all these years, love writing, and I don’t say I write well, but I write as well as I can.”

Ruth Rendell

Jen goes into the heads of her characters. Here we get to see their desires and secrets, including some naughtiness.  The details of the scenes added a lot of intrigue.

***

Van followed, enjoying the view of Jamie’s well-toned lycra clad legs and butt as they climbed. Not many people could successfully carry off the lycra-look, but this woman rocked it. Out of breath by the time they reached the top, she promised herself she would start an exercise regime soon.

***

Jamie drank some of the beer, tipping her head back, giving Van a view of her strong neck muscles. She sipped at her own beer to distract herself from the hormonal urges that were building.

***

The author writes some touching narration that added interest in the story.  The setting enticed me as I’m fascinated with England. I felt like I was on a mini vacation where I got to see the little things that make up Britain. This book got me thinking about a future visit.

This book is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Plot out some time because you’re going to want to spend time with it. I found myself rereading passages because they were so intriguing. The entire story was well thought out and all of the pieces fit. I am recommending this book for everyone. You may even want to read it twice, it’s that addicting. I did and enjoyed it.

Excerpt 1

As the train pulled out of Victoria Station, Jamie realised she had enjoyed herself during the meal. It had been fun to see Van again and laugh. When did the laughter stop with her and Sasha? Was that when their relationship began to die? Jamie was starting to think maybe Sasha had done her a favour by leaving the way she did. The distress she’d been harbouring for the last year was starting to fade. From the looks Van had been giving her while they ate, it was clear she was interested in something more than the occasional dinner date. Maybe it was time she moved on. Having Stevie back had helped, and her sleep was no longer disturbed with waking to the acute sense of betrayal and hurt that had dominated every aspect of her life for the past year.

***

Excerpt 2

Would you like a drink?” Van smiled. An old fashioned butch. This evening was looking better and better. “Yes, please. A white wine, which I know Laurel has chilling in the fridge.” Jamie smiled back and Van thought she better sit down before she fell down. That was a killer smile. “I’ll be right back,” Jamie said as she moved towards the kitchen. Van watched her go. The back view wasn’t bad either. What was her ex’s problem? Did Jamie snore loudly, fart in public, or have chronic bad breath? Only one way to find out and Van wouldn’t pass up the chance if it came along. Flirting wasn’t something that came naturally to her, but tonight looked like a good time to practice.

Five stars

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Photos subject to copyright.

Copyright 2017

My Review for Annette Mori’s ‘Locked Inside.’

Hello and good afternoon to you all.  Thank you for stopping by.  Today I’m featuring my review for Lesfic author, Annette Mori’s, ‘Locked Inside.’  This one is very unique, and rich in the storyline.  This is one that you don’t want to miss.  Annette is an awesome storyteller and knows how to draw the viewer in.  So read on.

 

Author Photo 1

Belief is a powerful force.

From ‘Locked Inside’

The main character, Belinda has been in a comatose for over six years and one day regains consciousness, but has no control over anything else.  She is observant and hears everything and understands it.  The reader gets to see her confusion and frustration when she was trying to communicate.  On the inside she is crying, feeling desperate for love.

I was appalled over the lack of care Belinda had in the beginning of the story.  Some people just don’t get it and it made me sad to see her caretakers watching TV while she lay there soiled.  It’s sad to know that this often happens to comatose patients who’s caretakers just don’t understand how to care for people like them.

Thank goodness one young woman nurse’s aide, Carly, came into play.  Her dedication and love was enough for Belinda to understand that there was hope out there.  This person treated our young heroine with respect and talked to her in a normal fashion about things that were normal for teens.  She set the tone for others.

I found Carly to be very strong, loving and caring.  Her faith in Belinda goes way deep and her heart aches for her.  She is intelligent and very wise and inspirational.  I applaud the author for creating this angel.

The author did a wonderful job showing the reader the inside of Belinda’s head.  Here I got to see her secrets and desires.  I know that many comatose patients are aware of their environment, including recognizing loved ones and understanding conversations.  I really felt her emotions and felt a connection to her.  It was as though I could communicate with her.  I felt like I was in her shoes and understood her.

The relations between Carly, and Belinda’s sister, Fran were priceless.  Fran believes in Belinda and is excited to help.

The author showed a nice sense of humor throughout the story.  There was one sibling rivalry scene that had me rolling in laughter.  Also the dynamics between the characters was priceless and heartwarming.

It was beautiful watching Belinda develop during the story and I thank the author for showing us that this is a process that takes time.  With each step of Belinda’s recovery, I was there watching how relations in her life strengthened.  It was Belinda herself who changed the family dynamics.  Her selflessness and strong faith changed the course of her fate.

Belinda is a normal teen on the inside, complete with raging hormones.  It is here that she is confronted with her sexuality.  Her family is traditional so up until that moment, she just thought that she’d be with a man.

During the story, Belinda falls into love, and this made my heart melt.  The way the author describes the romance scenes is addicting.

I  have included an excerpt:

I desperately wanted to have the same effect on her as she had on me, but I was very inexperienced in the art of making love. When you can’t ask questions without a bloody tablet in the middle of the experience, it’s a lot harder to communicate. I had to depend on non-verbal clues, physical reaction, and whatever vocalizations she gave to propel me in the right direction. I depended on my other finely tuned senses to lead me to the promised land, but it wasn’t pretty. We fumbled quite a bit with one another, but that didn’t make the experience any less glorious. I tried to feel, smell, and hear when I was on the right track.

It was impressive to read the awareness the author provided with ADA. To see one of the characters dancing in a wheelchair was uplifting.   At the same time I got to learn more about the locked in syndrome, which I had never heard of.  By the time I was done reading, I had a very clear picture and appreciation for other’s who are in Belinda’s shoes.

Keep your tissue box close by as there are a lot of touching scenes.  Also you may want to dedicate a day to read since it is so deep and meaningful.  I found myself thinking about Belinda even when I wasn’t reading and when I was done, I felt like I’d made a new friend.  This journey enriched my life and I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Five Stars.

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2016.

#Flashback Friday. Meet author Jen Silver

Good morning Everyone and a big welcome to you all.  Today is #FlashbackFriday #FF and I am reposting my interview with author Jen Silver, that was originally published on 30-May-15.  Since then she’s been hard at work with her new books, Carved in Stone (Starling Hill Trilogy #3) and The Circle Dance.  I would like to share with you first her latest news.

Here is the front cover from The Circle Dance:  Jamie Steele has moved to another town trying to forget the heartbreak of losing her lover. She now has a low paying job as an IT technician, lives in a rented room, and mostly failing, at the forgetting part. Ivana Spencer is introduced to Jamie over dinner at her friends’ house. She can see herself falling for Jamie, but Jamie hasn’t got over her ex, Sasha, and perhaps never will. Sasha Fairfield, finds her thoughts taken up with her ex-lover of six years and thinks she wants Jamie back. But given the acrimonious nature of their breakup will Jamie want to even talk to her? After all, Jamie lost her home, her job, her car…and most importantly, the cat…all at the same time. Follow this captivating romance as love dances through the lives of these women to its surprising conclusion.

The Lesbian Review Room Review Room wrote this review about The Circle Dance:

“This is a ‘domestic drama’ – an observation of human relations, from the hysterical over re-action of a frightened mother to the tears of a woman re-united with her beloved cat. Ms Silver shows us her characters flaws and foibles, watches them react to everyday situations, and allows some to grow and develop, while others struggle to learn life’s lessons.”

For more, please visit Jen Silvers Review with The Lesbian Review.  While there, take some time to check out their site.  You’ll be amazed at all the authors they’ve featured.

Purchase ‘The Circle Dance.’

Carved In StoneThe Circle Dance

 

Here is the front cover for her other book, Carved in Stone:  Join the characters from Starting Over and Arc Over Time in this final book from the Starling Hill Trilogy. Ellie Winters thinks she might be going mad. How else can she explain the conversations she is having with someone who has been dead for two thousand years? The ancient queen wants a proper burial for herself and her consort—and she is used to getting her way. Ellie has to convince not just her wife, but also the archaeologist, a former lover who first discovered the bones on Ellie’s farm. The loves and lives of the women connected with Ellie and the farm swirl through this journey of discovery, moving from the confines of the British Museum in London to the windswept landscapes of northern Britain. Carved in Stone has romance, adventure, a treasure hunt, and happy endings for all, living and dead.

Purchase ‘Carved in Stone.’

Jen is a well rounded woman who’s interests will really grab you.  This year she is taking part in a panel discussion at the 2016 Golden Crown Literary Society conference in Washington.  If you are going, make sure you stop by Affinity Press and meet her.

“Poetry, like music, has served as a means of political expression since the time of the bards and through to the current day with the popularity of slam poetry and spoken word poems.”                                             E.M. Hodge

Read more about this awesome  and passionate storyteller.  Read her latest blog:

2016 GCLS Conference blog

Here is the interview, originally posted on 30-May-15.  Enjoy!

Good Morning friends.  A big welcome to you all.  Today I am featuring author Jen Silver, author of “Starting Over” and “Arc Over Time.”  Jen has a passion for life that will sweep you in.  She is an incredible storyteller so pull up chair and join us in conversation.

Author Photo

“My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;

My heart is like an apple-tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea;

My heart is gladder than all these

Because my love is come to me.”

First stanza of ‘A Birthday’ by Christina Rossetti

 starting-over-195x300Arc Over Time Cover

 

 

What is “Starting Over” about?

Back of the Book blurb:

Ellie Winters, a successful potter, is living on a remote hilltop farm inherited from her parents. Her well-ordered life is shaken apart when her past meets her present.

Robin Fanshawe, Ellie’s philandering long-term lover, has a fragile truce with Ellie. The arrival of women from Robin’s present threatens to break that tentative pact.

Charming Dr. Kathryn Moss, an archaeologist and an old lover of Ellie’s, arrives on the farm searching for a new site to dig. When she discovers a previously unknown Roman settlement and ancient burial site on Ellie’s farm, Ellie allows her to start an archaeological dig of the area.

Will Ellie also allow the rekindling of an old romance or will she stay with Robin? Can that long term relationship, albeit tentative, recover from this collision or will an old romance trump everything she knows?

Will Robin, seeing the interaction between Ellie and Kathryn, leave her womanizing ways behind? Will she take a chance on giving herself wholly to the woman she loves?

These questions and the mystery of whose royal resting place is disturbed at Starling Hill are answered in this classic romance of simmering passions, anguished loss, and the wonder of love.

The novel is a romance and the primary focus is on the relationships between the main protagonists, but the findings of the archaeological dig gain in relevance as the story progresses.

There are a number of ongoing digs in Britain, and last year I volunteered to spend two weeks at the Vindolanda site. This is a large fort about a mile south of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. In fact, it’s not just one fort – they’ve discovered nine so far, some built on top of each other. This may seem like taking research to the extreme, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, that I’ve been back again this year.

When I reached the end of the first chapter in Starting Over, I didn’t have any idea where the story was going. (I’m not a ‘plotter’.) I had introduced a number of characters that all arrived at the farm on the same day, two of Robin’s lovers, plus Ellie’s son and girlfriend. Robin’s current lover, Jasmine, has travelled up from London and thinks she’s going to spend a week at the farm getting to know Robin better. The other woman, Jo, is someone Robin met at a market when she was selling some of Ellie’s pottery. Jo knows a relationship with Robin isn’t on and has come to the farm because she wants to learn how to make pots.

The story didn’t really start to take shape until the arrival of yet another visitor to the farm, Dr Kathryn Moss. She becomes the catalyst for what happens next.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main character in your story?

There are two main characters to start with – Ellie and Robin. As stated in the blurb, they have been lovers for a long time. What I wanted to portray was a relationship between two older women – Ellie is 53, Robin 43. At the beginning of the story this relationship has broken down. In terms of personality, the two women are total opposites. But this isn’t the problem. The problem is Robin’s inability to resist the charms of other women. And a lot of readers will think, why hasn’t Ellie dumped her the first time this happens? The problem for Ellie is that she is, unfortunately, used to being hurt. She’s a lovely person, but suffers from low self-esteem. So, this is where Kathryn comes into the picture. She would appear to be the perfect antidote to Robin. And this provides a dilemma for Ellie. Does she stick with what she knows, even if it’s not ideal, or does she take a leap into the unknown?

What was the deciding factor for your title “Starting Over”? Did it just come to you or did you try different ones?

It was always the working title. I thought the publisher might change it, but they thought it fit the story well. In a sense, when I started writing it, I was ‘starting over’. Affinity rejected the first novel I sent them, which wasn’t really a surprise. It was a story I had sitting in a drawer for twenty years, dragged it out, gave it some finishing touches and sent it off. However, the Affinity team encouraged me not to give up. They said they liked my writing style and would be happy to look at anything else I wrote. I said I’d started another and hoped it wouldn’t take twenty years to finish it.

I wrote a blog about the choice of title not long ago. It came from a song by a singer-songwriter duo, Chris While and Julie Matthews. The song is ‘Starting All Over’ and the lyrics resonated with me.

Recently your sequel “Arc Over Time” was released. Can you share more about it?

Yes. The book is out now in ebook form and will be available as a paperback in a few weeks. It continues where Starting Over left off – but the focus is on what happens with Kathryn’s love life. Obviously the back of the book blurb contains spoilers – for those who haven’t read the first one.

“Arc Over Time” has been described as “a journey of discovery for all involved.”  Can you elaborate on this?

I don’t want to say too much about it. However, one of my concerns from the first book was that Jasmine didn’t come across as a very likeable person. Although that was intentional at the start, as the story developed I thought it probably wasn’t fair on her. In Arc, she has a bigger role and makes some quite startling discoveries about herself, which results in making major changes in her life.

Did you do any types of writing in school?

I was always good at English and enjoyed the writing assignments. When I finished high school I thought about going into journalism, but ended up doing a college course in Radio and TV Arts, as it was called then. Now it would be Media and Communications. After I graduated I worked as a copywriter, mainly in radio, with a short stint in television. I preferred writing ads for radio, as there’s no limit to imagination. Bear in mind, this was in the dark ages before computers.

At home I was always writing stories, which never saw the light of day. If there had been an outlet for fan fiction in those days, I no doubt would have contributed. Then life took over, and although I continued writing for myself, I didn’t even consider trying to publish anything until two years ago.

Was there anyone in your life who was an inspiration for you to write? If so, what did they do?

I was fortunate to grow up in a family who enjoyed reading. We had a house full of books. Also my mother is a writer and has had a long career of writing novels, short stories, stage plays and radio plays.

My wife is also supportive of my writing endeavor. Lesfic isn’t something she normally reads, preferring non-fiction mainly. She didn’t read Starting Over until it was published, so when she said she enjoyed it – that really meant everything to me.

Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers? Can you elaborate on what has worked for you?

In terms of writing, I like to get straight into the story. That’s something I might be criticised for. I don’t go in for lengthy descriptions, which is why my books aren’t likely to go over the 200-page mark. Telling a good story is important to me, and I hope that’s what I’ve managed to achieve so far with these two books.

Where is the best course to play golf and why?

We have the choice of many wonderful courses in the UK. One of our favourite places for a holiday is the East Lothian coast in Scotland. We’ve rented a cottage in Gullane a number of times and played the courses nearby. There’s a lovely little course by the water called Kilspindie that is a favourite.

At least once a year, we go to southern Portugal or Spain to play – usually in the winter months when the courses here are wet and muddy – sometimes venturing further south to the Canary Islands.

And we enjoy our home course near Huddersfield – which is rolling parkland and very pretty in spring and summer.

I’m also an archer. It’s a sport I took up five years ago and I enjoy target shooting with a traditional English longbow at a local club.

This year the 2015 GCLS is being held in New Orleans. What does it mean to you and why?

I’m attending the GCLS conference for the first time this year. When I saw that Dorothy Allison was the keynote speaker, I booked up right away. She’s a writer whose work I’ve admired for a long time. I’m also looking forward to meeting the Affinity publishing team face-to-face. We’ve only talked through Skype as one of the directors lives in New Zealand and the other two in Texas. A number of other Affinity authors will be there too. And it will be great to meet so many readers and writers who I only know as ‘friends’ on Facebook.

If you got the chance to meet k.d. Lang, what would you say to her?

I would probably be too tongue-tied to say anything. I love her voice and have many of her albums.

Me:  k.d. lang’s music just sweeps me away and is heartfelt.  I’m going to encourage you all to check out her website.

k.d. Lang

What would you say is your fave pleasure?

Having a meal out with my wife. We’re both happy when we’re sitting in a restaurant with a glass of wine, studying a menu.

If someone were to ask you for a lesfic movie recommendation, which one would it be and why?

I can’t name just one. There are three I would recommend.

The Killing of Sister George: it is best remembered by women of a certain age for the scenes filmed in The Gateways, a real life lesbian club of the sixties in London. Although the scene with Beryl Reid and the nuns in the taxi is a favourite as well.

Desert Hearts: shame the film deviated from the book in many ways, but it was lovely to look at and the Patsy Cline songs are great.

Cloudburst: wonderful portrayal of older women dealing with the problems of old age. Both the lead actresses were excellent in it, but Olympia Dukakis was just amazing.

There are others, but those are the ones that come to mind right now.

What other authors do you follow and what is the last book you read by them?

This is hard to answer. I read a lot. When I first started reading lesfic, I enjoyed Katherine V Forrest, Claire McNab, Sandra Scoppetone, Karin Kallmaker, Jean Stewart, Chris Anne Wolfe, Jaye Maiman, J M Redmann…to name a few.

Recently it’s been great to find new authors (new to me, anyway): Sandra Moran, Lynn Ames, Cindy Rizzo, Clare Lydon, Rhavensfyre, Fletcher Delancey, Ann McMan…and many others.

I’ve just finished reading The Caphenon by Fletcher Delancey. She has created a fantastically credible, multi-faceted world in Alsea. It’s a long time since I’ve read a sci-fi/fantasy book although my shelves are filled with books by Ursula K LeGuin, William Gibson, Neil Gaiman, Philip K Dick, Doris Lessing, Manda Scott…and more.

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

Seeing my first published book in print, plus the lovely reviews and comments from readers.

The least favourite is having to put myself about – in terms of publicity. But as a new author, it’s necessary. So, I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me, Lynn, to talk about my books and myself…even if I’m not very good at it.

What is next in the works for you?

I’ve submitted another novel to Affinity, waiting to hear if they are interested in publishing it. This one is different to the first two, a separate story, but set in the same area where I live.

I’ve also just finished writing a third in what I would call the ‘Starling Hill’ trilogy. Again, I don’t know if it will be accepted. The danger of writing a series…it’s dependent on the sales of the first two books.

I would love to hear more about your archeological digs.  This photo shows you in your element.  Also keep us posted about your new book.  People love series stories and I have a good feeling that this one too is going to wow your fans, too.

Author Dig photo

 

Take a look at the excerpts from both “Starting Over” and “Arc Over Time.”

starting-over-195x300

Starting Over

Ellie was in the kitchen, sitting at the table, Soames sat contentedly on her lap enjoying the sensation of her fingers stroking him; long, leisurely strokes, starting at the top of his large ginger head continuing down his spine and caressing the length of his tail. Both Ellie and the cat had their eyes closed, but only Soames was purring.

Robin watched from the doorway. Lucky Soames. It had been a long time since Ellie had stroked her with such tenderness.

 

Arc Over Time Cover

Arc Over Time

The raindrops chased each other down the window as Den watched puddles form on the patio. Kathryn’s taxi had gone and she wasn’t sure how she was going to cope. Saying goodbye had been harder this time. Holding her tightly as they waited by the door for the taxi to arrive, Den had whispered into her ear, “I’ll miss you.” Kathryn had murmured an inaudible response. And then she was gone. Now it was just the rain and her tears falling in unison.

Also here is the back book blurb from “Arc Over Time.”

Dr. Kathryn Moss has job offers flowing in after her exciting archaeological discoveries at Starling Hill the previous year. Now she has choices to make that could jeopardise her relationship with Denise Sullivan, the fiery journalist, who has become her lover.

For Denise the choice seems obvious. She thinks they have moved beyond the casual sex stage to something more like a true relationship. However, she’s not sure how to handle Kathryn’s continuing infatuation with Ellie Winters.

Ellie’s new career as a promising artist proves to be a catalyst for the simmering tensions in relations between her wife Robin, Kathryn, and Denise.

Will Denise persevere in her pursuit of the reluctant professor? Does Ellie have anything to fear from Kathryn’s fascination with her art, or is there another motive behind the professor’s obsessive interest?

This wonderful romantic continuation with the characters from Starting Over ties up loose ends. But the question is – does everyone have a happy ending? A must read.

Like myself, Jen has her own blog over at WordPress.  Here she speaks more about herself as well as information about her books.  I found her latest entry to be very interesting as she talks about her dig!  So check this out.  She really values her subscribers so don’t forget to sign up.

https://jenjsilver.wordpress.com

 

Also, Jen has been a guest blogger for others.  These are a must check out!  Here she has a stunning story to tell!

https://uklesfic.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/jen-silver/

http://womenwords.org/2014/11/02/a-journey-to-publication-by-jen-silver-plus-giveaway/

Jen’s publisher, Affinity Press, put together this impressive interview of Jen  before the release of “Starting Over.”  In this one she shares about something fascinating that caught my attention about her.  To find out, go read the interview.  Thank you Affinity for sharing this.

 

http://affinityebooks.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=551&chapter=2

 

Jen’s books have been gaining a lot of popularity and their reviews reflect it.  Here is some advice from a writer to a reader.  After you read a book, give it a review.  Authors really appreciate it and it shows that you care.  To see what everyone is saying about her books, check out the sites below.  You will be pleasantly surprised.

 

Rainbow Book Reviews Review

Lesbian Reading Room Review

Curve Magazine Review

Planet-London Review

Rainbow Book Reviews Review – There was a time

Lastly, I am listing buying options for the books.  These are safe sites:

Starting Over

Affinity EBooks purchase link

Amazon purchase link

Amazon UK purchase link

Bella Books purchase link

Barnes & Noble purchase link

Smashwords purchase link

Itunes purchase link

Arc Over Time

Affinity EBooks purchase link

Amazon purchase link

Amazon UK purchase link

Bella Books purchase link

Barnes & Noble purchase link

Smashwords purchase link

Itunes purchase link

If you are looking for a great freebie read, these two stories are available from Affinity Press website.  These are a must read if you are a Jen Silver fan.

There Was a Time – Darts night at the Golden Dragon and Fin’s life is about to change forever.

Living in a small seaside resort she thought she was doing fine. Summer flings were great and winter evenings behind the bar were whiled away dreaming of the next conquest in the dunes.

Then in walked the stranger and Fin fell in love.

.

2014 Christmas Collection – Jen is one of five authors in this collection.

I want to thank Jen for stopping by to chat.  I hope you have enjoyed her visit.  Her journey is one that is inspirational and enlightening.  I am going to encourage you to reach out to Jen and say hello.  She loves her fans and will appreciate hearing from you.

Jen’s Facebook page:   https://www.facebook.com/jenjsilver

Jen’s Twitter:  @jenjsilver

Until Next Time,

Lynn

 

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Printed With Permission 2015, 2016

Meet Author Annette Mori (‘Locked Inside’)

Good morning and happy New Year to you all! May all your best wishes come true this year. Today I have author, Annette Mori (‘Locked Inside’) here to chat with us. Annette is a passionate woman who has a heart of gold. Pull up a chair and join us and feel free to ask our guest questions.

 Author Photo 1

“The last of human freedoms, the ability to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”

Viktor Frankel

Book Cover Photo

Who is Annette Mori? Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

Oh wow that is a very broad question. I’ll try not to bore everyone and just hit the highlights. I am a Human Resources Executive for a health system and have been doing that as my job that pays the bills for over twenty-five years. Let me just say that not all HR Directors are like Catbert, the evil HR Director. I didn’t start writing until later in life (fifty-four) and it’s only recently that I feel like I can legitimately call myself a part-time writer. I am happily married to a wonderful woman who puts up with my compulsion to write at all hours of the day and night, even during “our” weekends. Since we live apart during the week because our jobs take us in opposite directions, the weekends are the only time we have for us.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends – during the winter?

Spend time with my wife, cross country ski, and read and write in front of the fireplace. We also like to go out to eat on our “date nights”.

 Cross Country Skiing

What is “Locked Inside” about?

My publisher doesn’t generally like me answering this question because apparently I do a very sucky job of it. When I was trying to explain the plot before I sent them the manuscript…well let’s just say they forbid me to do that again because it didn’t sound all that appealing. How about if I encourage you to read Chapter 1 on the Affinity site and tell you that it is an uplifting book about Belinda who is a young woman with Locked Inside Syndrome. She forms an unusual bond with a very special young woman, named Carly and manages to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles. From all the feedback from those that have read the book it is hands down my best work and I would have to agree with that. One of the reviews probably summarizes the book far better than me. Here is one of my favorite reviews: “The mark of a truly good story is that it is capable of invoking emotion well after the last chapter is finished. It must have been very difficult to put into words what it’s like to wake up and find out you missed the last 6 years of your life, that you can’t move or even speak. Belinda’s tale of recovery after a 6 year coma is truly the stuff of inspiration and we are allowed to follow along in her arduous and amazing rehabilitation. A tremendous amount of talent and polish went into writing this story and the friendship and love affair between Belinda and Carly was oh so sweet. I would love to see this story re-released in an expanded version with more dialogue between Belinda and Carly especially when Belinda regains her speech and the ability to walk. What a wonderful story. I definitely put this one near the top of my favorites in this genre.”

Me: Take a few moments to listen to Annette’s audio teaser for ‘Locked Inside’.

“Locked Inside’ Audio Teaser

Recently you were “On the Grill.” Can you tell about the experience and what it meant to you?

I had an absolute blast. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the questions or I would sound like a complete dork, because I am one in real life, but the women were so kind, encouraging and supportive that the experience was magical all three times. As a result, I’ve gotten to know a little bit more about some amazing readers and authors who took the time to continue to follow my Facebook posts, blogs or e-mailed me later on. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with readers and authors almost to the point of distraction. I’ll fart around on Facebook now for hours each night.

Grilling

Click below to read Annette’s Grilling. A special thanks to author Dawn Carter for featuring her.

Annette’s Author Grilling

What was the deciding factor for your book title? 

Every book except for my debut book, the title just popped into my head. No magic, no special story around the title, just bam, that’s what I want to name it. For my first book the title would have given away the surprise in the middle, so my Publisher suggested a different title and I agreed.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters? 

I prefer to create flawed characters that people can’t help liking despite their imperfections. People are imperfect – that’s life. Sometimes I want the readers to admire their strength, sometimes I want them to identify with their insecurities, and sometimes I want the reader to feel their pain or challenges. Hopefully I’ve done that. If you don’t like a character, you can’t root for them and I always want the readers to root for my characters. I hope I’ve managed to do that with my main characters.

Have you received any awards or recognition for your work?

Nope. My debut book just came out in April of 2015. My Publisher nominated several of my books for a Goldie. I guess I’ll see if what the readers say matches what the panel at GCLS says. I’m hopeful, of course.

 

Book Cover Photo 4

If you were to write a biography, who would it be about and why?

I haven’t ever tried to write non-fiction because I like the freedom to make sh&% up. I don’t think I’d be very good at it, but if I had carte blanche, I’d write Mary Magdeline’s story and probably piss off several devout Christians with my unconventional take on her life

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

I am so touched and humbled every time a reader takes the time to write me or compose a review. I never in a million years would have guessed that I am able to touch people with my stories. I am profoundly indebted to every single person who purchased one of my books and took a chance on a new writer.

Me: Be sure to check out her blog, which has more exciting things about her life. Feel free to follow the blog.

Annette’s Blog

Have you ever done volunteer work for an animal rescue agency or fostered cats. If so how was the experience for you?

I haven’t officially volunteered for an animal rescue agency probably because I struggle to find enough hours in the day right now. However, that is something I would love to do when I retire. My wife and I have fostered cats before and also started to foster feral cats who eventually became part of the family. We feed numerous wild cats at both our places. I love cats and have to keep myself from adopting a ridiculous number. Currently we have five after rescuing two kittens from the engine of a car. We have a dog house with blankets set up at both our residences as well as a heated water bowl at the condo. I peek out the windows and often catch a stray cat or two nestled inside and it brings a huge smile to my face.

Me: Here is an adorable video that is a much watch.

Cute Cat Video

When your book is made into a movie, who would you like to see in the cast as the main players?

I’d love to see Ellen Page as Belinda and Jennifer Lawrence as Carly. I think both of them would do a fabulous job. If only that were possible! 

What types of music do you like to listen to when you are writing? Or – do you prefer silence?

I don’t prefer silence, but I don’t specifically turn on music either. I am like the absent minded professor when I get on a roll and don’t take the time to do much of anything besides boot up my laptop. When my wife puts on music, I enjoy listening to female artists such as Alanis Morrisette, Missy Higgins, Tristen Prettyman, Sarah McLaughlin, and Brandi Carlilse.

What is your favorite part of being an author? The least fave?

My favourite is the opportunity to create a love story that will take people on a journey away from the irritations and problems that everyday life throws in their direction. I’ve always loved digging into a good romance and letting the story take me away. He he, I’m thinking of the commercial, Calgon take me away…a good book is like a nice bubble bath.

My least favourite is writing the blurbs and marketing. My publisher says I am doing all the right things with marketing, but it is so against my nature. I’d really prefer to have people find my books without having the need to promote, but it just doesn’t work like that for new authors.

Me: One thing all authors love and appreciate are reviews. So please leave one for Annette when you are finished. Below I have a 5 star review from one reader for ‘Locked Inside.”

 

Excellent Read!

By carrie r camp on December 28, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This is my first Annette Mori book to read and all I can say is WOW! This book is not your typical lesbian fiction/romance novel…which is very refreshing. The main character Belinda has “Locked Inside” syndrome and has lived that way for 6 years until someone took the time to realize she was “there” all along she just needed someone to notice. Thank God for Carly and her amazing heart to see Belinda for a real person who deserved the best out of life just like everyone else. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the amount of details the author put into the story. At some points, you yourself just want to scream out with frustration on Belinda’s behalf. I think if an author can get you that involved and make you that emotional, she’s done an outstanding job of writing. Great book! Would definitely recommend it!

Here are some links to reviews for her other books. Take a few to check them out:

“Out of This World’ Review

“Asset Management’ Review

‘Live Forever Love Forever’ Review

 

What is next for you? 

I’m having a lot of fun creating new stories so I suspect I’ll continue to write well into retirement. After I retire, my wife jokes about driving the RV while I pound the keys. She asked me if we could write the RV off while we travel the country looking for opportunities to do book signings. I laugh and tell her, you do know that lesbian romance is a very niche market….

 Book Cover Photo 2

 

Locked Inside:

Fall of 2008

Awareness came slowly to me as the blanket of fog that smothered all signs of intelligence rolled back. I imagined an intricate spider web in my head tangled with fine silk strands as Wonder Woman slices through them like an adventurer hacking through a jungle.

I was still confused about where I was when I heard giggling. At first, I thought my sisters were invading my sacred space.

“Shhh, come in here and tell me every little detail,” a girl’s voice said.

“I don’t think we should be in here, Tammie. We’re supposed to be doing our volunteer hours, not screwing around in a resident’s room,” a different voice huffed.

I opened my eyes and a fuzzy picture began to emerge. Two strange teenage girls were huddled in the corner of a foreign room with sterile white walls. I wasn’t in my bedroom at home and I began to panic.

It’s probably hard for people to truly appreciate the terror that I experienced at this particular moment in my life. I had no idea where I was, who these strangers were, or what had happened to me. I would later discover that I’d forfeited six years of my life while hovering in a semi-comatose state. They never did figure out the origin of the illness or why I went into a coma and by the time I showed any awareness six years had passed and my family had accepted the original prognosis that I would never recover.

The tall skinny one with red hair shrugged, “Don’t be such a tight ass, Carly.” She pointed in my direction and giggled. “She’ll never tell.”

“That’s just mean.”

“What? She’s a vegetable, but right now she’s kinda creeping me out. Look, her eyes are open and it’s almost like she’s listening to every word we say,” the redhead blurted out.

The other one looked at me and frowned. “I think we’re upsetting her. She’s breathing really heavy now and I think she can hear us. Something is wrong. She looks terrified.”

I was trying to move my head, my arms, my legs, anything, but none of my body parts would cooperate with me. I felt my breathing quicken and I desperately wanted to communicate with them. I wanted to know where I was and why I couldn’t talk or move.

“She does look kind of agitated, Carly. Maybe we should get your mom.”

They left the room and I tried to move my head. I managed to move a couple of inches as I took in my surroundings. I was able to shift my eyes from side to side as I noticed a TV mounted high on the wall in the center of the room and a single bed with a simple nightstand on my right. It looked like a typical hospital room, but I wasn’t positive. In my mind, I was still ten years old and my parents were nowhere to be found. I wanted my mom. I wanted reassurance that everything would be okay.

I heard the click click click of heels on the linoleum floor and watched as an attractive dark haired woman entered the room. She had a stethoscope draped around her neck and one of the teenagers followed her into the room. They had similar features and I wondered if she was the mom the redhead referred to earlier.

“I’m sorry, Mom, Tammie dragged me in here. I didn’t mean to upset her and she looked like she was trying to say something. Her breathing got kinda fast like she was having a panic attack or something,” the young woman confessed.

Well that answered that mystery for me. The young woman must have been the one the redhead, Tammie, called Carly. As each minute passed, I was becoming more aware of my surroundings and remembering little details like the names of the young girls.

“Carly, it’s not like you to get sucked into Tammie’s harebrained ideas. I taught you better than that. Belinda is a very special case, but I don’t think she actually heard you or that you upset her in any way. She’s been completely unresponsive for nearly six years. Unfortunately her illness caused severe brain damage.”

“I know she reacted to something,” Carly insisted.

“Okay, let me check her out.”

The woman grabbed her stethoscope and I felt her hands push aside my clothing as she placed the cold silver end on my chest. Her hands were gentle, but the stethoscope was cold and I must have had some small reaction—although it didn’t feel like any part of my body would obey.

“I’m sorry, Belinda, did you feel that?” she asked.

Carly stepped up to the bedside and I could feel her touch my hand.

I looked down at my curled up hand, which resembled some kind of deformed claw.

“My mom’s a doctor, she won’t hurt you,” Carly soothed.

Since I wasn’t able to move any part of my body but my eyes and my head in incremental movements, I concentrated all my energy on letting them know there was someone locked inside this useless body. I wasn’t a vegetable.

“Hmmm, in all the years I’ve looked in on Belinda, she’s never reacted like this. She does respond to certain stimuli. We’ve always been able to feed her as long as someone touches her lips first. This is new, though. Her heart rate does appear to be elevated and there is definite movement in her eyes. Perhaps she is reacting to your voice.”

Yes. It was a start. I had to find a way to communicate and let them know I was aware and present.

Me: Here is an excerpt from ‘Out of This World.’

Book Cover Photo 3 

 

Out of This World:

Celeste had an uncanny ability to find the beauty in not only the wildflowers, but also the weeds. In a way, I felt like that weed she noticed and pointed to, bringing out the beauty for others to see. She knew the names of most of the plants that Sydney drew our attention to. I could tell by her grin that she already knew what they were when Sydney would proudly point them out, but she never revealed her knowledge. She was content to let Sydney be her guide. When we came across a Purple Dead Nettle she asked about it.

“Oh that’s just a weed.” Sydney waved her hand away as if the weed was not worthy of a name.

“The weed is beautiful. Why do you wave it off with disdain?” Celeste asked.

Sydney squatted next to the purple flower. “You know, you’re right, this Purple Dead Nettle is beautiful. I guess we are extremely arbitrary and capricious when determining which plants are beautiful flowers and which are noxious weeds.”

“I like your saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If a person on your planet is not considered beautiful, are they also considered unworthy?” Celeste asked.

 

Purchase “Locked Inside’

Purchase ‘Out of This World’

 

I want to thank Annette for stopping by to chat and share her amazing story. For more on her, please check out her links.

 

Annette’s Facebook Author Page

Annette’s Facebook Page

Annette’s Affinity Profile Page

Annette’s Amazon Page

Annette’s Twitter – Give her a shoutout!

Annette’s Goodreads Page – Don’t forget to follow her.

 

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Printed With Permission 2016.