Tuesday, 1 October 2013
The Horde by Linda Kay Silva
Andi Unwrapped by Riley Adair Garret is a lesbian romance book that tell us the story of a woman who’s brave enough to stop a situation that is destroying her as a person and find a new path in her life, her true identity without someone telling her who she is.
Andi is a thirty-nine housewife and mother who suffers abuse on a daily basis from her husband, hearing all the time how inappropriate she is as a woman, mother and wife. One day, Andi has had enough and decides to finish her marriage and pursue her dream, go to college. Having made up her mind, she divorces and starts a new life working part time to pay an apartment that she hates and make her dream come true.
But Andi won’t only start living anew, without the negative presence of her husband; she’ll begin a path of self discovering that will bring her to face her more intimate demons, the real consequences of the abuse she suffered and her desire for women, something that she hasn’t felt ready to acknowledge until the most amazing woman comes into her life.
Britt is on the opposite situation of Andi. She is a lesbian and she knows it, she has a job she loves and isn’t interested in anything too serious but flings that won’t jeopardize her career, so feel atracted to a student is the last thing she wants. As a fifty-years-old woman, she knows what she wants, and it’s not fall in love with a woman who doesn’t know for certain if she’s straight or not. As usual, what we want it’s not what we get.
Riley Adair Garret has described the characters in a interesting way because, having two mature women, you wouldn’t think that they’d act as teenagers but, for a moment, it’s what they do. Andi is trying to find herself after years of abuse that has left scars so deep that she isn’t aware of them, and having everyone around her asking if she’s a lesbian doesn’t help to solver her problems, less if they throw themselves at her all the time. And then there is Britt, the most interesting and beautiful woman Andi has ever met who confuses her with her attitude towards her.
Britt is utterly confused too because she feels an undeniable attraction for Andi but isn’t ready to accept that it could be love and what the possibility entails. Maybe that’s why she behaves like a ten-year-old around the student and why she isn’t able to say the right thing in the right moment if Andi is present.
Among their doubts, the fact that they’re teacher and student doesn’t make things any easier because it’s enough difficult to discover and accept this life-changing details without having the menace of the dean knowing about their affair. In this context, Lisbeth situation is like a closure to Andi because after what happened with her husband she is able to face it and take actions against her abuser.
A book about self discovering and how we’re never old enough to learn who we are, which is as difficult as to define ourselves again after years of thinking that we know exactly what we’re willing – or not – to do to get a chance in love. But mainly about loving ourselves, which means that we can’t let anybody hurt us and that we deserve and have to pursue our happiness.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the last, Fin, Xena con. I was excited to join people from all over the world, who had the same interest as mine, the tribe of Xena. Unfortunately, it was my first and last con. Hence, Fin. I’ve been a fan of the show ever since it began. I do have to make one caveat here – I’ve never watched the final episode, Fin! Many will ask why and I’ll explain that later.
If you’ve never been to a Xena con you’ve missed out on one of the best experiences of your life. That is, if you like the tribal experience. I suspect that Xena con is like a Star Trek convention, or a Walking Dead con, in that they are centered around a shared experience. I had a similar experience when I attended my first Dinah. I was surrounded by my tribe, or what I like to think is my tribe there, too.
The people who attended Xena were warm, welcoming, and giving. I sat at a table one night until 3 in the morning, and talked about all of my favorite episode, fanfic, writers who got their start in Xena fanfic, and how Xena might have just saved the Lesbian genre through fanfic. That’s too is a post for another day. (Remind me and I’ll share my thoughts on this topic.) I met wonderful authors like – Mary B, (she’s a tiny thing and I tried not to go all fan girl, really I did,) Nancy Ann Healy (who made us all laugh at her stories,) Phair, Wendy Arthur, and others who liked the same things I do, writing, publishing and watch episodes of Xena. I had dinner with Bedazzled, a wonderful publisher who enlightened me on the other world of publishing. I met my facebook friends, Kim, Jay Jalee, Lucy, Joyce, Brian, Yara, and a ton of others who were nice enough to stop by our table and talk books, Xena and more.
I met fans of the show who like to dress up as their favorite characters, and loved to pose with those of us fans who can’t quite play dress-up like that. They were wearing awesome costumes that no doubt took hours, probably days, to create. Check out my facebook page for a photo of the smallest Xena warrior I met, she was the cutest Xena there. I met actors of the show who gave freely of their time. I think they understood that this might be the last time they were called upon, by the tribe, to talk about the show that catapulted them into the stratosphere. I was there when one actress, Jacqueline Kim, body surfed the crowd while signing Karaoke. Another mugged it up with us at the Sapphire table and another stood just a few feet away running her lines. BTW, Lucy Lawless looks great up close. Another BTW, did you know Ephiny now plays on Wentworth? Yep, and I missed getting her autograph for my wife. Ugh!
Finally, others from my own little tribe were there too. Linda Kay and Stephanie were awesome as they talked to readers, took pictures and hawked books. These women rock and if you haven’t check out their books, you really should.
I regret not coming sooner, but when I look back at what I was doing those past twenty years, I realize I was raising three boys by myself, working three jobs, (my life is a series of threes, more later on that,) and going to school full time – the first ten years. The last ten years, I was building my career and living vicariously through the photos and stories of others who attended the con and still not enough money to spend on a con and keep a roof over my three son’s heads. So, I will relish in the fact that I got to go to the last one. I will bask in the warmth my fellow attendees who shared so freely with me, and took the time to make my wife and I feel welcome.
I have found my lost tribe and wonder if we will meet in the flesh again. Surely, a show that gave us two strong female characters, with great sub-text, can’t walk off into the sunset. They didn’t lose their heads, so I can only hope that someday, someone will pick up the mantle and rise from the ashes to bring us more of the LOST TRIBE.
Thanks for letting me share my wonderful experience with my fellow xenites, my lost tribe!
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Empath and Mentor, Echo Branson, is heading towards one of the biggest challenges she’s ever faced. She has to go head to head with her evil father and she must also try to destroy the Genesys Laboratories and all they stand for.
Echo finds herself in a situation of someone else’s making. She’s caught up in a web of deceit and intrigue. Echo has to make a plan to save the supernaturals Genesys is holding prisoner on a remote Hawaiian island. Will Echo come up with the perfect plan? Will Echo be in time to save some of the people she loves?
Echo finds herself alone in the lab where Genesys carries out agonizing experiments on supernaturals like her. Echo must draw on every bit of strength she possesses to win this battle. Echo becomes aware of super powers she had no idea existed other than in myth. Unfortunately, Echo can’t save everyone she loves and holds dear. She has to face her darkest fears if she is to destroy her creator and Genesys once and for all. The time has come to fight back any which way she can, it’s war.
Another exciting, riveting, page turning read in this brilliant series. Each book gets more exciting and it’s harder to wait for the next in the series. We have many of the characters from the earlier Echo books and some great new characters to enhance and progress the story. Each character is multidimensional and has been carefully created, written and woven into the story at just the right moment.
The one thing I really love about Linda Kay Silva’s books is, the characters from previous books remain the same. Plus the books are a nice length to get stuck in to.
Echo really comes into her own in this book. She’s super fit and steps up to kick ass when she needs to. No dithering, just straight in regardless of the consequences.
I’m not sure how many Echo books Linda Kay Silva has planned, but, I’m sure there must be more from the way this book ended. There is no cliff-hanger, but there is a terrific opening for the next in the series. I hope we won’t have to wait too long.
Echo’s Revenge by Linda Kay Silva is the perfect book for those who are ready to have an amazing adventure with a spectacular woman, Echo Branson, and her atypical family where naturals and supers fight together to destroy Genesys.
Echo Branson, also known as Charlie o Jane Doe, hasn’t had an easy life. Being an orphan and discovering she has supernatural powers aren’t her main problems when she finds out that her real father abandoned her after erasing her memories, condemning her mother to give up her daughters and her life, and has given her sister Kristy to a group of heartless scientists that will do whatever it takes to achieve their mission, develop the perfect soldier, even if that implies destroying the innocent girl.
This is, more or less, what you’ll discover reading this fantastic book, but for those who know more about Echo and have accompanied her during her adventures, you will find out if Echo, her sister and the whole group of supers and naturals will get their revenge against Genesys and, more important, if Harmon Hayward and Kip Reynolds will pay after everything they’ve done not only to them but to those that have suffered similar destinies.
What begins as a mission to save one of her protégées ends with Echo discovering that her family is bigger than she thought and this will be essential to save the distance between her and her sister, as well as strengthen their relationship with their mother. Furthermore, Echo will learn that she’s capable of being the mentor Melika was for her for those who need her, even if it’s at the price of losing those important persons in her life that were always there for her, guiding her path; and if all this isn’t enough, her love life, if difficult or non-existent, will be shaken too.
There are two types of readers, some of you have read the whole Echo series and are excited because you get to meet with your favorite characters again – Echo, Tip, Danica, Kristy – ; or you’re like me, reading about this amazing character for the first time.
No matter what kind of reader you’re, I think the result for all of us is the same because it doesn’t matter if this is your first approach or you know them as family, you’ll enjoy the story from beginning to end. It’s not only full of action and fantasy, Linda Kay Silva has the ability of telling the story that will catch you immediately; you will hate the bad guys and love the good ones instantly because the author doesn’t waste time – or pages – and it’ll take you a sec to feel immerse in the dynamic of the series, making you want to read the previous books and those which are to come.
Tell us about yourself:
I grew up in a large family in southwestern Pennsylvania. Something restless inside of me poked at me and I joined the army at 19, having no idea where the adventure would take me. After a couple of close calls with investigations in the pre-DADT military, I realized that I couldn’t keep lying about myself, and I left the service after my enlistment. I had family in Florida, and soon became a law enforcement officer in Tampa. Three years later I met my wife and we’ve recently celebrated our 18th anniversary.
I’ve always written from a young age. My juvenile poems graduated into longer stories, and eventually, I decided to give novel writing a shot. Faithful Service, Silent Hearts was born out of a desire to tell one soldier’s story, in the days before DADT. Tactical Pursuit, the sequel, tells of the character’s move beyond the military into the law enforcement field. Something that is common, and not meant to be autobiographical.
What genres do you normally write in?
I write what I’d call dramatic romance. There’s a romantic element integral to my stories, but the action is key.
What genres do you typically read?
I read a little bit of everything. I love lesfic with a strong storyline, I’m not a straight-up romance fan. Beyond that I love action thrillers, but I’m a history and political geek, so I also read a fair amount of historical non-fiction and current events type of stuff, too.
Is there a genre you haven’t written in that one day you’d like to tackle?
Historical fiction and possibly memoir.
Are there any authors who have influenced your work?
Absolutely. The first that come to mind are Jeannette Winterson and Lee Lynch. Their ability to weave their stories through characterization fascinates me. I love rich, descriptive works with multi layered characters that reveal themselves to you in drips as the storyline flows.
What was the first book you ever published?
Faithful Service, Silent Hearts is my first published novel.
When did you first sign with (your current publisher)?
I joined the Sapphire Books family in 2013.
How did you celebrate your signing?
My wife and I went out to dinner and then had a romantic evening at home.
What was the craziest thing you’ve ever done when it came to a storyline in your book?
Well, I’ve been known to kill off a character.
Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?
I like to mull over my storylines when I go for my run. It’s a great opportunity to let my mind wander and maybe the endorphins help spark creativity. I only know that I do some of my best thinking and plotting while pounding the pavement.
Is there a certain time of day you prefer to write?
Mornings. My wife works midnights, so that’s when the house is quiet. Plus, my mind seems fresh and uncluttered before the stressors of the day intrude.
What is your writing day like?
Oh, LOL I don’t know what a writing “day” would be. My work and personal schedules relegate my writing to hopefully an hour here or there. If I ever have several hours—or even half a day to devote to writing, I wouldn’t know how to handle that.
Some quickies (pardon the pun—pick twelve):
Satin or Lace? Satin, I love the sensual glide.
Hot or Cold? Depends upon what I’m doing.
Camera or Canvas? Canvas. The textures of an original work of art are very seductive.
Denim or Leather? Denim for comfort.
Talking or Texting? Talking. I like the human connection.
Irish or Italian? Irish. Love the flow of the language and Irish music stirs me.
Thunder or Lightning? Thunder, particularly when it rolls and rumbles in the distance.
The sound of a heartbeat or a crackling fire? Heartbeat.
Holding hands or Holding her attention? Holding her attention.
Crayons or Paint? Paint, for the texture, and application possibilities.
Mountains or Beach? Mountains.
Rain or Sunshine? Definitely rain. Sexy and sensual.
Tell us about your new release.
My WIP is Rebound. It’s a basketball-themed story, with a HEA
What kind of heroine is Conner? Conner is an everyday heroine. A kid from a close Irish family who has to overcome some obstacles to find out what’s important in life.
Was there someone famous she resembled when you wrote her? Or is she based off someone you personally know? Neither. She developed out of a side character in a previous work.
What are your favorite character traits that you cannot resist?
Strength and loyalty.
What part of the female physique captures your attention?
As an author and essentially the “creator” of your character, do you find yourself attached to her in a personal way? Oh, I’m definitely attached to Conner. She’s the friend everyone would like to have.
If you could actually meet the character of one of your books, the exact woman you’ve conjured up in both looks and personality, which one would it be and why?
Jillian Gray because she is loosely based on my first love, the way I fantasize things might have turned out.
Tell us what kind of heroines you prefer to write about.
I like heroines who are strong, yet sensitive, are loyal, but have issues. They can’t be perfect, because none of us are. I like them to have a flaw to work on or through.
Does your heroine, Conner, take after you? Or is she someone you wish you could be?
All of my heroines are people I wish I could be. They probably have one or two of my deficiencies, but they are far more noble, I fear.
Out of all your books, do you have a favorite?
Right now, I’d have to say my second novel, Tactical Pursuit. I’m proud of the growth in my writing and character development. Although, hopefully, I’ll always improve and be able to say the same about Rebound and future works.