New Release: French Kissing by Harper Bliss @HarperBliss

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Paris… City of lights, City of love… City of drama!

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

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

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

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

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

Warning: This title contains sensual language, ladies making love, overconsumption of French wine, and heated discussions on feminism and the right to orgasm.

Get it on Amazon.
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Broken in Soft Places: An Interview with Fiona Zedde

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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:
Amazon.com http://amzn.to/1917o1DCharis Books: http://bit.ly/1gE9khF
Social Media:
www.twitter.com/fionazedde
www.fionazedde.tumblr.com
www.fionazedde.blogspot.comwww.facebook.com/fiona.zedde

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?

 

 

Interview:

  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.”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

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

Bio:

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 About.com 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 www.fionazedde.com.

 

Switching Gears: An Interview with Rhavensfyre

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switching gears book cover 001Micah Connolly had spent most of her life trying to please others, starting with her family, and ending with Olivia Holden. When she found out that her beloved grandmother had passed away, she was bereft and sought solace with the only person she thought might offer her comfort. Olivia Holden was full of mixed messages, none of them clear, but most of them leaning towards a keen interest in Micah. Their first kiss was a disaster. Overwrought with emotion, she had meant to tell Olivia she had to go home and get her grandmother’s affairs in order, but instead, the night ended in a volatile exchange of words that sent Micah running.

Well over a year had passed since that fateful night, and Olivia still regretted her strict adherence to a set of rules that made her lose the one woman she felt she could love. Chance and fate changes everything when she recognizes Micah weaving her bike wildly through the busy streets of New York.

When Micah and Olivia finally meet again, it isn’t your standard happy reunion. Micah had changed, a lot. She was now darker, edgier, and carried a secret blacker than the leathers she prefers to wear. This new Micah also wasn’t the sort who would accept Olivia taking charge of their budding relationship. Micah had come to terms with a part of herself she had kept hidden, including some things that she wasn’t so sure the high-powered attorney would be game for.

A subtle and erotic game of power play ensues, one that both surprises and delights Micah, but also leaves her with a difficult choice. The past still haunts her, a past requiring an explanation that could tear down all of her carefully constructed walls. Every risk has its own rewards, but what Micah is risking could destroy her.

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Switching-Gears-Rhavensfyre-ebook/dp/B00GZ0BY04/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393826090&sr=8-1&keywords=switching+gears

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1. Tell us a little about Switching Gears.

Switching Gears is about two women who almost made a connection a year ago, but circumstances make them miss their chance. Olivia Holden finds she regrets her decision to keep Micah Connolly at a distance due to self-imposed rules, so when a second chance to bring Micah back into her life happens— she jumps on it in a heartbeat. The problem is, Micah is no longer the same woman she was a year ago, she is harder, tougher, and has a lot of emotional armor protecting her and the secrets she is keeping. What happens to Micah after she leaves is something that is eventually revealed to Olivia, over time and through a great deal of patience. Micah has a lot of demons to deal with and she isn’t ready to reveal things to the one woman who could unravel her carefully crafted armor.

Micah had learned the hard way that when bad things happen to you, you can let it destroy you or you can decide to step back and take a really good look at yourself. When she realizes that she isn’t living the life she wanted, Micah remakes herself. When Olivia enters her life again, Micah is at a point where she is becoming more comfortable with who she has become. Now, it is up to Olivia to decide if she can be the woman that Micah needs as well.

This story isn’t your simple lesbian romance, the characters tell it like it is, bringing with them all their fractured pasts. It is about two women who love each other and have to find their common ground to make it work, discovering aspects about themselves they didn’t know along the way.

Switching Gears is a story about discovery, acceptance and yes, a bit of healing as they explore the sexual aspects of their relationship. It is also a story about balance, where two dominant women have to learn how to give and take a bit, carving out a relationship that works for them. We wanted the characters to be surprised at what they learn about themselves along the way.

We like to think that there is one person in the world that you know is your one, but that perfect love comes with the risk of losing it all. You can’t hide parts of yourself from them, and you have to learn to trust and take that leap of faith with them.

2. How did you get started writing les fic?

We started writing together not long after we met, but never considered it something more than telling our story. Then, we got an idea for a couple of books that we started writing in our free time, only to give up after a catastrophic loss. We lost a lot of our documents to a bad virus that infected everything, including the backups, and we set it aside for a while. When we took up writing again several years later, it was just for fun on fan fiction sites—just to get our feet wet again. We were able to find some of our old work from email’s we had been sending back and forth to each other, and we decided to consider publishing after we managed to reconstruct a good chunk of our original manuscript.

3. Favorite movie?

Ok, so no one favorite movie. The Labyrinth with David Bowie can be agreed upon by both…I mean, it’s David Bowie!

4. Are you a plotter or pantster?

A mix of both, I think. We have an idea for a good story, and we know where the characters are supposed to go but sometimes things don’t always go as planned and they lead us somewhere wonderful and strange. So, closer to a pantster.

5. Do you have a pet? What?

Oh, gosh. Where to start? We have horses, a whole farm full along with two dogs and various cats.

6. When you write, do you listen to music?

Yes, the right music can really change the flavor of a scene. In fact, we have a list of music that Micah listened to in our first book, Switching Gears. Music is a big part of the creative process for us, especially for KL. For her, a character isn’t just about looks or attitude or behaviors, it is also about what kind of music they listen to, what sports they play, and even what they chose to do in their spare time. She will listen to “their” music while she types and it helps to get into the characters head. One lyric can blossom into an entire chapter if it sparks something inside.

7. Open your book to any page and give us a window into your character’s lives.

Sipping her coffee, Micah had nothing else to do but wait, so she pulled out her laptop. Maybe she could write something, since her art seemed to be suffering again. Pulling up a blank document, she tapped her fingers lightly against the keys, her thoughts wandering around in her head, trying to find something to write about. Unfortunately, her thoughts kept circling back to last night.

Taking another swallow of the tepid coffee, Micah tried an old trick of hers when she was suffering from writer’s block. As an artist, Micah had used this concept many times, letting the graphite or pencil travel across the paper unimpeded by thought or vision. Clearing her mind, she let her eyes lose focus, turning her thoughts inward. Her fingers travelled along the keyboard, typing without thinking.

It is an unfortunate truth that people are destined to repeat the same patterns in their life over and over again, unless something happens to wake you up, makes you open your eyes to new possibilities. It is also true that it is easier to see these patterns in others, while remaining blind to your own.

Focusing on the computer screen, Micah read her paragraph.

            Holy crap. Where did that come from?

            Micah had read dozen of stories that involved characters so involved in themselves; it took something major in their lives to shake them up, to make them re-evaluate their past choices, forcing them to make a conscious decision to change. It was almost embarrassing that she had fallen into the same trap. She was hurting Olivia, and in doing so, she was hurting herself and their relationship. It was ironic. As much as Olivia kept pushing her, at least it was because she was trying to get closer. Every time Olivia got closer, Micah had pushed back, caught up in her own issues. If they continued the way they were going, there would be no relationship to worry about. Micah shook her head. It was a difficult pill to swallow, discovering that you have been your own worst enemy. 

8. What type of character really resonates with you?

We try to write strong female characters. They may be damaged. They might have a past that make them less than perfect and sometimes difficult, but they have an inner strength that will/can lead them where they need to go physically/mentally and emotionally. No one saves them, but love is often the catalyst to bring their inner strength to bear on the important things in life.

9. If I were your favorite cookie what kind would I be? Would you dunk me in anything?

Oh, my! Other than saying that is not allowed, I will play along and say Ladyfingers. They are decadently rich, fun to eat, and you get to lick the powdered sugar off your fingers when you are done. No dunking.

(lol-Erzabet laughs)

10. What are you working on next?

Well, we just put out a self-published Novella called Life Is Not a Country Song, which is a sweet love story with a western flair. Who doesn’t love sexy cowboi’s, horses and dogs? In addition to that we have a new Novel coming out through Sapphire Book Publishing called Ladysmith. It is a fantasy novel with a twist and I think people will really enjoy the storyline. It is, of course, also a romance. It is in edits now and should be out in May!

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Rhavensfyre is the collaborative pen name used by two east coast writers, Roxanne and KL, who have been partners since 2000 and were finally legally married in Washington, D.C. in 2012. They have a small farm in North Carolina where they raise and breed horses with their two dogs and several cats in tow. In their spare time, they try to keep an organic garden and enjoy the fact that their farm is also home to several owls, a mated pair of hawks, one annoying woodpecker and the occasional bald eagle. In addition to the living creatures, KL and Roxanne enjoy cycling various East Coast trails as well as hiking the Appalachian Trail. Both ladies enjoy photography and love to share images from their frequent trips through the scenic countryside.

Roxanne, known to her friends as “Roxy,” is an Oklahoma native who lived in various states before graduating from a Los Angeles area high school. An avid artist, she spent ten years in the military–both Army and Navy–before embarking upon her second career. While serving as a patriot missile operator in the Army, she landed a coveted position as post artist, allowing her to pursue her creative passion on a full-time basis. After transferring to the Navy, she served as a hospital corpsman, deployed twice to the Middle East while assigned to a USN warship. She also worked in security during her last year of active duty before leaving the military for a career in healthcare. Roxy holds two bachelor’s degrees: one in criminal justice and a second in healthcare. Her personal interests include mythology, ancient history, and psychology, and she cites walking through the ancient city of Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, as one of the most amazing experiences she had while serving in the United States Navy.

KL was born in Norfolk, Virginia and lived most of her life in the South. She was professionally educated as a horse trainer and riding instructor, and she had innumerable wins in the Western Pleasure circuits until a traumatic back injury in 1999 prevented her from riding for many years. Today, she still pleasure rides, as well as breeds American Quarter Horses. KL is an avid cyclist, but her love of cycling doesn’t end with the local trails. She enjoys collecting and restoring antique bikes as well as tinkering with her own ride, doing all of the work herself. She is also accomplished in metalwork–from her work as a farrier to unique knife designs and artwork with steel and iron. Music is a big part of her life, and in her free time she enjoys strumming any of her three guitars or joining the owls by playing haunting notes on her didgeridoo.

Switching Gears is their first book. 

If you want to hear the Switching Gears playlist go to:

http://youtu.be/uG6UUZHD-Y8

Amazon link to Switching Gears:

http://www.amazon.com/Switching-Gears-Rhavensfyre-ebook/dp/B00GZ0BY04/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393826090&sr=8-1&keywords=switching+gears

Don’t forget to check out Rhavensfyre’s new story:

life is not a country song

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Life-Not-Country-Song-Rhavensfyre-ebook/dp/B00IEJ8GSC/ref=la_B00H7XQ5NO_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1393826241&sr=1-2