Nudge: A Moment with Sandra Moran



I’m not going to lie. When given carte blanche to write about anything I wanted for this guest blog I found myself overwhelmed with the possibilities. For those of you who know me, I’ve got a lot going on – my love of neon, my constant power struggle with Spencer (the cat), and making pie charts that summarize my take on the quirkiness of life. But honestly, those really don’t have a lot to do with lesbian fiction – well, I mean, aside from the fact that I’m a lesbian and that I write fiction.

So, I thought about it … and I thought about it … and I went for a run and I thought about it some more. And then it came to me! I should write about what I know (aside from neon, Spencer and pie charts) which is the study of culture, the impact that has on who we are as a society, how it influences our lives and how I incorporate that into my writing.

As many of you know, I teach anthropology. And I love it because it’s a social science that delves into the reasons why we are the way we are. To fully understand why a culture (and society) is the way it is, you have to really examine it holistically. You have to look at the interplay of all of the parts:  the politics, economics, belief systems, marriage rules and gender roles. And the interesting thing about all of these cultural universals, is that they’re human-designed constructs – constructs that change over time.

Taking the long view – looking at change over time – fascinates me. And it’s something I focus on in my novels. You see it in “NUDGE” where faith and belief is examined in a way that shows that religion – ALL religions – are at their core, the same.

As background, “NUDGE” is the story of a New York advertising executive and life-long atheist named Sarah Sheppard, who, is visited by a mysterious client who offers her a job to write and market a comprehensive addition to the world’s religious texts.  She, of course, thinks it’s an elaborate joke and turns him down. But a series of events transpire that result in her having no choice but to take the assignment. She is quickly relocated to a remote estate in upstate New York where her job is to work with a group of scholars and theologians to compile The Addendum. As work on the document progresses, Sarah has to decide whether to deny her natural skepticism or buy into the idea that she really is working for a universal God.


As I approached the research and writing of “NUDGE,” I tried to remain objective. In anthropology, we don’t look at or judge if a religion is right or wrong. (Seriously, who are we to judge anyone else?) What we look at are the commonalities present in all beliefs so we can compare them. We focus on the idea that religion (again, all religions) do three main things:

  • Religion allows people, who are essentially powerless, feel like they have some modicum of control in their future. (If I just pray hard enough … make this sacrifice … do this “activity” then God/the universe/Mother Earth/etc., will give me what I want or need.)
  • Religion provides a moral compass. (This is good behavior and this is not. If I do what I’m supposed to, good things will happen. If I don’t, then … uh oh.)
  • Religion provides group solidarity and shared experiences with people who believe the same thing. Humans are social creatures. We are not meant to live alone and shared belief systems allow for that interaction.

With “NUDGE,” I tried to incorporate those similarities to show that all belief systems are really very similar. At their core, they provide structure and agency.

In addition to belief and faith, I’m also fascinated with gender roles, how they vary from culture to culture, and how they have changed through time. It’s an underlying theme in my novel, “Letters Never Sent” in that the characters of Kate, Annie and Claire struggle against the prescribed gender roles of the early 20th Century, just as Joan, Kate’s daughter, struggles equally hard in 1997.

As background, the novel opens when Joan travels to Lawrence, Kansas, to clean out her recently deceased mother’s home and prepare it for sale. As she’s cleaning, she finds an old suitcase containing a wooden box full of objects that include a spent bullet casing, a key ring, and a packet of sealed love letters – which she reads. And it’s through these unsent letters that Joan begins to understand that her mother’s unhappiness was, in part, because of the prescribed roles of wife and mother expected of her by society. She also comes to realize that despite the fact that her mother was functioning within the paradigms of the 1930s and Joan was working in the 1990s, their lives were in many ways, paralleled.

That last sentence might seem strange given that more than 50 years of “advancement” in regard to women’s rights had occurred between Kate’s experiences and those of her daughter, Joan. And change had occurred. But despite those political changes, in many ways, the underlying expectations of “what it was to be a woman” remained the same.

Despite all the cultural change of The Progressive Era, the passage of the 19th Amendment, the relative freedom of the flappers in the 1920s, and women going to work in traditionally masculine jobs during World War II, the underlying perception of women’s roles remained (and I would argue continues to remain) subtly the same:  cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children. Even today, 50 years after President Kennedy signed legislation calling for equal pay for men and women, women still make 77 cents to every dollar made by a man.

Long story short, we are products of our culture. Every day we work within its parameters and its rules. Again, there is no right or wrong – there just is. And it’s that “is” that I like exploring as a writer. And at the end of the day, if I’ve done my homework, what we find is that perhaps we’re (and by this I mean ALL people) really much more alike than we realize.

 Letters Cover


  1. How did you get started writing lesbian fiction/romance?

I started writing lesbian fiction several years ago. My undergraduate degree is in newspaper journalism and I had worked as a magazine writer, as a political speech writer and also as a staff writer for an educational publishing company. I knew I wanted to write novels, but I really didn’t feel like I had “lived” enough to have much of anything to say. So, I waited and waited until one I day, about three years ago, I realized I was ready – I actually had something to say. I wrote a couple of manuscripts, but it really all came together when I wrote Letters Never Sent.


  1. I write because…

I write because … I can’t not write. Stories are everywhere and I find myself fascinated with why people do the things they do. Heck, I’m fascinated by why I do the things I do.


  1. Heels or flats?

Flats … unless I’m wearing a suit or a dress and then heels.


  1. What kind of characters do you most like to write about and why?

I like to write about real, flawed, complicated characters. In Letters Never Sent, for example, all of the characters (Kate, Annie, Joan, Claire) were flawed and sometimes, not very likeable. In my new book, NUDGE, all of the characters have something about them that makes you not want to trust them – makes you question their motivations. I like exploring the darker side of what makes these people tick and what ultimately drives them to do the things they do.


  1. Tell us a little about your new release…

NUDGE is very different than Letters Never Sent. In short, it’s the story of a New York advertising executive and life-long atheist named Sarah Sheppard, who, is visited by a mysterious client who offers her a job to write and market a comprehensive addition to the world’s religious texts.  She, of course, thinks it’s an elaborate joke and turns him down. But a series of events transpire that result in her having no choice but to take the assignment.

She is quickly relocated to a remote estate in upstate New York where her job is to work with a group of scholars and theologians to compile The Addendum. Within days of taking on the assignment, she discovers that nothing and no one are what they appear to be. And, as more questions than answers mount up, Sarah has to decide whether to deny her natural skepticism or buy into the idea that she really is working for God.


  1. Name three things on your desk right now.

Stacks of textbooks and readings I need to review for next week’s classes, a Eucalyptus-Spearmint candle from Bath and Body Works (that has googly eyes pasted onto the side), and a green letter opener from the 1933 World’s Fair.


7. What are some of your favorite lesbian fiction/romance/erotic authors?

I love the work of so many that it would take forever to list them.


8. Favorite dessert?

Hot-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies or Snickerdoodles. Or peanut butter cookies. Or sugar cookies. Or almond macaroons. So … yeah … cookies.


  1. Plotter or pantster?

MAJOR plotter with maps, post-it notes and taped-together timelines.

10. What are you working on now?

I am currently writing a novel titled All That We Lack. It starts with a bus crash between New York and Boston and then works backward a day, six months, a year and two years, to show the interconnections of a funeral director from Seymour, Indiana, an insurance risk analyst from Chicago, a 10-year-old boy from Philadelphia, and a paramedic from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

11.Tell us one thing about you that most people don’t know.

I once took a job as a hand model for a Walmart advertisement. My hands were photographed holding a notepad with a grocery list and a pencil (or it may have been a pen). I was “discovered” while working as a server because, according the photographer, I had (and I quote) “every shopper’s hands.”



Sandra Moran is an author and assistant adjunct professor of anthropology at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.

A native Kansan, she has worked professionally as a newspaper journalist, a political speech writer, and an archaeological tour manager. In her novels, she strives to create flawed characters struggling to find themselves within the cultural constructs of gender, religion and sexuality.

She is the author of “Letters Never Sent” and “Nudge.”


Find out more about her at:

Broken in Soft Places: An Interview with Fiona Zedde


Broken in Soft Places 300 DPI


“Love, Memory, and the Trouble with Threesomes”


When I started my novel, Broken in Soft Places, I was in the middle of a renewed love affair. There is nothing else like that feeling of falling in love with the same person for the second time. Things that had irritated me in the past about my old, and now new, lover had faded with memory and the passage of time; her breaths were sweet to me again, our lovemaking more adventurous and tinged with the confidence of knowing what each other liked. As I fell deeper into love with her again, I wondered about the nature of memory and the ability to find something new in the old, of forgetting past hurts in order to give present delights a chance.


And so, I imagined another me, Sara Chambers, who in the past loved a woman so deeply that she was willing, in the present, to give that love another chance. What would that redux look like? Is it possible that love 2.0 has a chance to survive?


I dove into exploring Sara’s ambiguities, into the reasons she gave herself for going back to a lover who had already proven herself to be wrong for her. I continued this book even as my own rediscovered love fell apart and our couple-hood proved itself to be just as impossible as the first time.


In writing the book, I found no real answers to my own questions. Only a character who stubbornly resisted most of my directions, insisting on going her own way and making her own mistakes, taking her own pleasures and accepting all the consequences that came along with them. Sara Chambers is by no means perfect, but in writing her story, I found too that no love is perfect. If you’re willing to accept a flawed person for what they are, you must be consistent with that acceptance. They won’t change simply because you’ve gotten over your renewed appreciation for make-up sex in lieu of forgotten dinner plans or extravagant floral arrangements when it would have been better not to have an argument at all.


Of course, Sara’s affair plunges into territories that mine never did. Her story is filled with passion, betrayal, missed opportunities, and the many ways that those who claim to love us often end up being the first to wield the knife. An out lesbian, she is taken aback when her lover brings a third person into their bed and into their lives. A man.


In the end, I think I’ve written a pretty story. Not one with a typical Hollywood ending or even with orgasms bursting in every other chapter. Instead, Broken in Soft Places is a silken trap of a novel that tugs you into the heart of Sara, into her lover Rille, and the man who ends up being part of their lives in a very unexpected way. I hope you enjoy it.


 Broken in Soft Places 300 DPI


Buy links: Books:
Social Media:

Photo credit: TEKA Photography

Book blurb:

Some mornings, Sara Chambers wakes in bed next to her girlfriend and her girlfriend’s lover wondering how she ended up there. Beautiful, successful, and a force to be reckoned with at her Atlanta law firm, Sara is still powerless in her attraction to the rebellious and reckless, Rille Thompson.


As college girlfriends, Sara and Rille’s relationship had been incendiary, burning away Sara’s innocence and self-respect even as it widened her world beyond her wildest imagination. Now, almost twenty years later, Rille still pushes Sara beyond her limits, bringing a third lover into their bed and domestic lives when their monogamy gets stale. The hold Rille has over Sara—and their new lover—becomes as powerful as it is dangerous. Can Sara pull herself free in time, or will her life turn to cinders in the wake of Rille’s powerful flame?




  1.        How did you get started writing lesbian fiction/romance? – I grew up reading romances as a child- probably way too young – and always wanted to write the kind of books I had read, only featuring people like me. So, one day, someone actually took a chance on some of the mad scribblings in my notebook. My first nationally published story came out in Best Lesbian Erotica 2005.
  2.        I write because… – I love it. And I’m not good at much else.
  3.        Heels or flats? – Flats all day.
  4.        What kind of characters do you most like to write about and why? – I love to write about strong women with thorny and painful pasts. Writing them helps me to find my own strengths and conquer my weaknesses.
  5.        Tell us a little about your new release… – My new book is fantastic. You should read it!
  6.        Name three things on your desk right now. – Over roasted almonds, hand lotion, and caramel ginger candy.
  7.        What are some of your favorite lesbian fiction/romance/erotic authors? – I love Karin Kallmaker, Jewelle Gomez, and Michelle Cliff. All amazing writers.
  8.        Favorite dessert? – Jamaican rum cake.
  9.        Plotter or pantster? – Pantser. It’s much more fun that way.
  10.    What are you working on now? – Right now, I’m writing a story about a (formerly straight) runaway bride who escapes to New Orleans and ends up trying to steal her godmother’s girlfriend.
  11.    Tell us one thing about you that most people don’t know. – I like to kill bugs.


Book excerpt:


“Why can’t men be more like lesbians?”

Kendra looked at Sara as if the slender lawyer held the answer to that question and more. Sara shook her head, smiling gently.

“You’re asking the wrong one. Maybe your god would know the answer to that, darling, not me.”

Sara leaned back in her chair, letting the gentle spring breeze ruffle the skirt around her calves. The honeyed scent of blossoms from the trees surrounding the coffee shop’s terrace blended with the creamed coffee smell of their drinks. Kendra sighed and propped her chin in her palm. Her straightened hair swung heavily forward, curving around one rounded cheek.

Sara’s affair with Kendra had been a brief indulgence from the previous year, a blatant rebound after she’d walked in on Rille with a student from the university. The second forgiveness, but not the second infidelity, not by any means.  Sara glanced down at the clear glass cup of mochaccino steaming near her hand.

“Vic is acting like a total shit,” Kendra said. “I tell him about one damn girl on girl relationship and he gets hysterical, getting jealous of every girlfriend I see. Boys don’t even worry him anymore.  And in bed it’s worse, fucking insecure but acting as if it’s my fault.  It’s too bad; he used to be a great lay.”

“Before you told him about us?”

“Right.”  She sucked her teeth and smiled over at Sara.  “You look good though.”

Sara laughed. “I know.  Martyrdom must really suit me.”



She hadn’t come here to cry on Kendra’s shoulder about the madness with Rille. It wasn’t a coincidence that she’d finally agreed to meet up with her ex-lover after weeks of avoiding Kendra’s company. Sara needed the distraction.

Last night her lover had come to bed with kisses and revelations. After the tremors of satisfaction eased, leaving Sara’s body liquid and soft, Rille leaned over her with a different kind of attentiveness. There was a boy she’d recently met. She wanted Sara to meet him. He was beautiful. Special. Sara jumped out of the bed in shock, the air cool on her naked skin, denial of Rille’s desire for someone else rising up in her throat like bile.

No, baby. No. Don’t be like that. This is not like last time, Rille said.

No. This wasn’t like the last time. Then she hadn’t told Sara about wanting someone else. When Sara found them together in Rille’s office, the girl’s face awash in worship as she knelt before a cool-faced Rille whose legs were spread as wide as the chair would allow.  That was different. This was honesty.

Sara grasped her cup and sipped the hot drink, absently licking her lips to rid them of the foam she knew had gathered there. Across from her, Kendra followed the motion with a hungry look then blushed when she noticed Sara’s eyes on her.

            There were good reasons Sara had chosen her after the short-lived breakup with Rille last year: Kendra’s commonplace good looks that were nearly opposite to Rille’s peacock-on-a-chicken-farm flamboyance. And her ability to be completely and absolutely immersed in whatever thing she was doing at the time.

Sara lightly tapped the table top with a long finger. “Honesty is overrated anyway. Maybe you shouldn’t have told him. I’ve heard that men can only handle bi-sexual girlfriends in theory.”

“You should have told me that before.” Her red mouth glistened in the sun as she pouted. ”I figure since he asked me to marry him that he deserved to know.”

“I don’t know why you think that. Have you ever thought that he hasn’t told you about everyone that he slept with?”

Kendra sighed again, this time wrinkling her nose. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” The hot coffee she’d ordered sat on the table untouched. She leaned back in her chair, flickering her eyelashes up to look at Sara. “Distract me.”

It would be easy.  She could just reach across the table and touch her hand, slide her fingers between Kendra’s and suggest a quieter place, something wetter, saltier on her palate.  But she didn’t.  She never did.  Still, her thoughts continued on the same route.  Teasing.  Familiar.

Life was simpler with Kendra: days of laughter and food and sex, the nights with more of the same.  But even with the sweat drying on her skin and Kendra tugging on her body for another round, her mind was with Rille, steeped in its misery, remembering her smell and their own after-sex rituals.  No, she hadn’t been happy with Kendra, she had been waiting.  Sara released thoughts of Kendra’s hand and smiled.

“Come on, let’s go to the park. We can sit in the swings and eat ice cream.”

Sara thought she saw a droop of disappointment to Kendra’s mouth, but was too busy gathering up her things to pay attention.

F. Zedde-2


Jamaican-born Fiona Zedde currently lives and writes in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author of several novellas and novels of lesbian love and desire, including the Lambda Literary Award finalists Bliss and Every Dark Desire. Her novel, Dangerous Pleasures, was winner of the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Lesbian Novel or Memoir of 2012.


Writing under the name “Fiona Lewis,” she has also published a novel of young adult fiction called Dreaming in Color with Tiny Satchel Press. Find out more at


Feminist Smut by Victoria Oldham


A strong and wonderful post.

Women and Words

Check it out! Author and editor Victoria Oldham stopped by to share a guest blog with us. Vic has an awesome blog that you should totally check out HERE.

Feminist Smut
by Victoria Oldham

What was the first lesbian book you read?

Mine was Macho Sluts.

Not exactly a gentle, sweet entry into lesbian sex. (So to speak).
Ashley Bartlett and I agree that this book should be on every lesbian’s shelf. And that makes me feel better about the fact I’m old enough to be her mother. Although I guess that’s kind of creepy too.


I’ve worked in lesbian publishing for nearly a decade now. And it always amazes me how clear a divide there is between the lesbians who like sex in their novels, and the ones who feel it detracts from the story. I’ve had some quite vehement conversations around this topic, and lately those…

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Erzabet Bishop: Marketing Thoughts


Ylva Publishing

bio_pic_erzabet-bishop Today, Erzabet Bishop shares some thoughts on marketing with us. Erzabet is a published author. Two of her short stories found their way into our anthologies and her first novella will be published in June ( Sigil Fire) .

Working full time in my day-to-day life, I have to be smart about what I can and can’t do as far as marketing and social media are concerned. Most of my time off is spent writing; most of my spare moments at work are used for plotting ideas and scribbling them down on post-it notes and shoving them into my lanyard so I don’t lose them.  So what’s a busy writer to do? There are some things that I use to keep my name out there to create reader recognition. Here are a few.

*Support authors in your field by retweeting when you can. It supports them and in turn, they…

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Tips for Authors: Plot


Ylva Publishing

Paulette Lily Central Park 1 Today Paulette Callen, author of Charity and Fervent Charity , talks about the importance of plots:

‘As regards plot I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots. And as I think a plot desirable and almost necessary, I have this extra grudge against life.’

–       Ivy Compton-Burnett

Many modern novels do not have much plot, from what I can see.  In fact, a couple years ago, an article appeared in The New York Times maintaining that young adult novels (Harry Potter, Twilight, etc.) have become popular with all ages because in a YA novel, you can still find a plot.  I agree.  I remember making it all the way through Wolf Hall, which won a big award and got a boatload of hype, and I thought, What was this all about?  I have no idea.  The book had no plot…

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Did you catch this?


Women and Words

Women and Words – Did y’all notice that we changed out our header image. After all these years, we decided it was finally time to create a logo. What do you think?

ForeWord Reviews – ForeWord Reviews released their list of finalists for 2013. Check out the Gay & Lesbian (Adult Ficiton) category HERE. It’s all kinds of awesome.

The Liz McMullen Show

Cocktail Hour

Cocktail Hour, Bar Rag

Ylva, Spotlight Interview

Calls for Submissions

Just a reminder to everyone…

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Mariel Cove: Job Openings for Writers and a Series to Die For


Mariel Cove Book Cover BW

Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 360.550.2071 phone/text
Lesbian Erotica Comes to the Kindle & iOS Mariel Cove is a queer drama released in weekly installments
Port Orchard, Washington April 2013
Set in a fictional Pacific Northwest seaside town, Mariel Cove follows the erotic and everyday lives of fourteen women – lives fueled by scandals and secrets, a central mystery and steamy sex all over the spectrum.

Written by a three-generation, multicultural team of six women writers, Mariel Cove’s cast of characters is incredibly diverse – racially, economically, and sexually. From the Puerto Rican “lesbian Anderson Cooper” Arianna Trenton, to the deaf Native American marina owner Tal Ryan, the cast is anything but whitewashed.

Though the series began as a 300-page serial novel released in 25-page weekly installments, it was compared to television shows like The L Word. But there’s very little lipstick worn in Mariel Cove and no one is living a privileged LA life – not Roisin, the cafe owner living with Huntington’s or her barista/bartender daughter, Aidan, who works in the city part-time with her trans* best friend.
Mariel Cove was created by lesbian author Jennifer DiMarco. Dubbed a literary wunderkind in the gay press twenty years ago, DiMarco has grown beyond the action-adventure romps that put her on the Seattle Times Bestseller List but she still knows how to craft a compelling story. With a hand-picked team of writers – each of whom “control” one or more characters – DiMarco plots the series and functions as editor.

Writers on the team include Katie Fairchild, Kimbar Halvorsen, Noel Meredith, Skye Montague, Rowan Reynir and Neale Taylor. All twelve episodes (weekly installments) in Season One have been written and went on sale on April 1, 2013.
# # #
Find more information at
Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 360.550.2071 phone/text

Come Visit Mariel Cove A 500-word article by Noel Meredith
Port Orchard, Washington April 2013
If you take six dykes – twenty-four to fifty-two – and tell them to write interconnected stories about lesbians like them living in an isolated almost-all-woman town, don’t expect them to get along. And never, ever tell them to “keep the drama on the page.” It’s impossible. We’re women, after all, and the queer community has changed as much as cell phones in the last three generations. Just because we’re queer, doesn’t mean we have anything else in common.
Apparently, that makes for a damn good story.

When Jennifer DiMarco (Escape to the Wind, Seasons of Fire, et al) asked me to write the central character in her serialized lesbian erotic drama called Mariel Cove, I immediately answered, “What?” Jennifer envisioned Mariel Cove as a television show in novel format. There would be a “season” of twelve weekly “episodes” and a team of writers would each control one to five characters. If characters shared a scene, we’d write together. The idea was remarkable but the mythology of the Cove was even better and Jennifer had it all charted out.

Puerto Rican and Sicilian, renowned investigative journalist Arianna Trenton would arrive in isolated Mariel Cove under false pretenses and a twenty-year-old mystery would start to unravel. Along with this character, Jennifer asked me to write Celeste, a Black transplant from New York, a twenty-something ex-bicycle messenger trying to raise her deaf, autistic brother on her own and running from… something. I shared key elements in common with these two characters and I’d rarely seen them represented in queer literature – let alone any literature. I could not pass up this job.
Every season, the characters would stay the same, but the focus and the mystery would shift, so I knew that Arianna wouldn’t always been front and center. The writing team was expected to be fluid and adjust to these changes. Not always writing the “star” didn’t bother me, but the idea of co-writing gave me a headache. Isn’t writing, after all, the perfect career for introverted, control freaks like me? Plus, what if Celeste had a scene with some white grrl who didn’t know what a fixed gear was? I dreaded signing into the private writers’ forum for days. I shouldn’t have.

Over the course of twelve weeks, the six of us — Katie Fairchild, Kimbar Halvorsen, Skye Montague, Rowan Reynir, Neale Taylor and myself – developed and wrote about characters who were often blackmailing each other, keeping secrets, falling in and out of love, butting heads and butting into one another’s business, all under Jennifer’s guidance to keep us cohesive and on-schedule. We praised each other after each episode was done, offered honest criticism and saw our preconceptions – be they about race, kink, outing, or age – fall aside while we strove to create the most entertaining scenes possible.

No, we didn’t always get along. But we never left the project. In some ways, we were just like the women of Mariel Cove. We existed in an isolated world of our own. Sure, in one episode, Celeste rode her motorcycle up the coast to blow off steam, but she came back. We always came back. Because Mariel Cove is worth visiting, worth losing yourself in, and just maybe, worth staying for.

We can’t wait to welcome readers to our little world.

Find more information at
Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 360.550.2071 phone/text

An Interview with the Mariel Cove Creator Creator and editor Jennifer DiMarco answers questions about the series
Port Orchard, Washington April 2013

What is Mariel Cove?

Mariel Cove is a 300-page erotic drama written for queer women by queer women. The writing team used a television-like writing style and we’re releasing the book in weekly installments called “episodes.” Twelve episodes make up the first season. The series definitely has mystery elements as well – interconnected mysteries that unfold over the course of the season. Some are resolved by Episode 12, and some aren’t.

Where did you get the idea?

Two years ago, I took a break from the publishing industry to explore independent film. Mariel Cove is a marriage of the two mediums in many ways. A piece of fiction written by a group in a visual, fast-paced style. I started hearing a lot about serials being written for the Kindle and iOS but I couldn’t find any written by and for queer women. I thought we deserved that.

Why did you choose six new authors?

Over my fifteen-year career as a publisher, I’ve worked with both brand new and established authors. For Mariel Cove, I wanted six unique voices. Not one voice that everyone would look up to and emulate. I also needed egos checked at the door. Everyone on a level playing field; there was no “head writer.” There was just the writing team and me, the big bad editor. I looked for writers who were passionate about telling dramatic stories and writing hot sex scenes. I needed writers unafraid to create characters that push envelopes politically, sexually, and emotionally. Plus, I wish someone had given me a job like Mariel Cove twenty years ago.

How does group writing work?

The central plot for Season One was already written when the team was hired. It was like a tree with a trunk and some larger branches. The writers were hired to be in charge of specific characters. They each proposed some plot twists for their characters and added lots of back story and fine details. Once I approved all these new “facts,” I sat down with my associate editor, Brianne DiMarco, and we charted out every episode, scene by scene. Scene assignments would look like this:

Episode 1: Scene 1: Noel/Arianna. Arianna arrives on Conch Island by ferry and starts long drive to Mariel Cove. Reveal her appearance, job, general attitude. Her parents call. Reveal history of the Cove regarding Mariel Ridgeway.

There is a private online forum for the writers. I would post the assignments and the writers would write. Every scene is told in third person from one character’s POV. If you control that character, you write that scene. If another writer’s character is in your scene – a fight scene, a sex scene, any group scene – you write together in an online chat room or you write the scene alone and then run it by the other writer so they can tweak their character’s habits, outfit or dialogue. Each writer became an expert on her characters.

The cast is very diverse. Was that a conscious decision? The cast is very diverse. I didn’t grow up wealthy or in a white neighborhood, so I had no interest in a white-washed, upper class series. However, most of the fine details – the sexual variety, race, economics, diverse personalities and politics – were influenced by the writing team. Though I could generalize and say all our writing team is “queer,” for instance, where they place themselves on that spectrum is vast and varied. We also have a thirty-eight year age range among the team!

What’s planned for Mariel Cove: Season Two? We hope fans of the series will help us decide who should be the central character in Season Two. I do know that Season Two will take place a month after Season One closes and that a murder will occur during a massive super storm. The entirety of Season Two will take place over one week. I welcome fans to log into the fan forum or Facebook and let me know who they’d like to see more of.

Find more information at
Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 360.550.2071 phone/text

Series Trailer & Community Resources Robust community sites and a dynamic trailer invite fans to interact with the writers
Port Orchard, Washington April 2013
Watch the Mariel Cove series trailer and an interview with the creator and editor, Jennifer DiMarco, at then join the Mariel Cove fan community at:
Fan Forum
Google Plus
Email List Send a message to to be added.
Text List Send a text to 360-550-2071 to be added.


Sex. Scandal. Secrets.
A Weekly Erotic Drama for Queer Women.

Conch Island is the last island before the open sea, as far west as America allows. Mariel Ridgeway is a renowned painter and curator, a senator’s widow, and a legend in her time. When Mariel purchased a remote cove on the secluded island, she founded a cottage town of women living on the edge of the world.
But she had no idea how the raw forces of nature would fuel a town populated with passionate secrets.

“An erotic hybrid of ‘The L Word’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars,’
this is erotica by and for women. A smart, sexy, diverse and edgy drama filled with twists and mystery.”
–Jennifer DiMarco, Series Creator & Editor

Following the lives of fourteen fiery women, Mariel Cove is an erotic drama of interconnected mysteries, scandal and secrets. Styled like a television show, the series is written by a team of writers — each in charge of her own characters —
with twelve episodes in the first season.

Download a free excerpt, then get Episode 1 for just 99¢. Additional episodes are released every Monday for $1.99 or get the entire first season ebook now.
Book groups can order Mariel Cove in trade paperback in sets of ten.
Mariel Cove
erotica for women, by women
Season 1 is Available Now at
for Kindle, PC and iOS

Attention writers:

Now hiring for new serials and the brand new season of Mariel Cove. Seeking diverse, sexy new voices that can commit to a schedule and are willing to work with a team.  Contact Jennifer DiMarco and find out more information at:

Find more information at
Angels of Anarchy 7419 Ebbert Drive Southeast Port Orchard Washington 98367 360.550.2071 phone/text.

Mariel Cove S2

Music & Literature: Write, Read, & Roll, by Lynette Mae and Cole Armodica


Women and Words

Music & Literature: Write, Read, & Roll

Hey gang, it’s Lynette Mae. The release of Rebound prompted a few discussions about the links between music, lyrics and the longer written word. So, I thought it would be cool to have rocker Cole Armocida tell us about how she’s inspired to create her incredible music. For me, this project opened up creative spaces in my soul and the power has been nothing short of amazing. Now here’s Cole to start us off with her musical inspirations, and I’ll chime in later with some additional thoughts.

Here’s Cole:

Cole2013PromoPic copyGet lit and make music.

No, that’s not what I mean. Not all musicians create under the influence. Lit, as in literature. Yes, I’ve been inspired by some books to write lyrics. Inspiration can come from a storyline of a novel, a character, or even just one sentence. Movies, television shows, news programs, and…

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Did you catch this?


Women and Words

Lots going on in our little world, and it’s time for me to catch y’all up again. Hang on for the ride.

Women and Words 

  • Women and Words has booked a vendor table at the upcoming GCLS convention in Portland, Oregon. As of now, four of us will be there (Andi, Jove, R.G., and Yvonne). More details to come about this as we get closer, but for now, we invite you to come by and say hello.
  • We’re adding a seventh member to our regular list of contributors. I’ll do a formal announcement soon, but just wanted to give y’all a little hint that cool things are going on.

Mariel Cove – Andi posted guest blog featuring Mariel Cove a few weeks back. You can check that out HERE. They are looking for some new author for the upcoming season. Here are the details:

Angels of Anarchy (

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