Review of Andi Unwrapped by Lesbian Fiction Reviews

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Andi Unwrapped by Riley Adair Garret

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.

My Lost Tribe – The Final Xena Con 2015

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!

~Isabella~

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American Yakuza II – The Lies that Bind

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

American Yakuza II The Lies That Bind by Isabella

Luce Potter, Head of the American Yakuza, rules with a rod of iron. She controls her crime organization with the precision of a well oiled piece of machinery. That is until lies, treachery and deception make her well ordered world spiral out of control. Luce has suffered a terrible betrayal, which is eating at her very soul and slowly destroying the life and love she has with her partner, Brooke Erickson.
Brooke finds her all consuming love with Luce being pushed aside, with Luce pushing her further away until Brooke is finally out of Luce’s life altogether.
Although Brooke is alone, she has no intentions of letting go of Luce. Not until she’s been given a satisfactory answer as to why Luce suddenly decided to throw the love they had together away.
Federal Agent, Colby Water, is investigating Luce and her crime organization. Colby is shocked to find someone she cared for in the past in the forefront of her investigation in to the Yakuza boss. Colby is determined to put Luce away for a long time. But before she can do that, she has to sort out her own organization first.
Federal agents, Russians, crime bosses, deceptions, betrayals and death are a melting pot for disaster. Will Luce and Brooke even survive everything that is being thrown at them from all directions? If they survive, will their love be strong enough to bond them back together?
Ever since I finished American Yakuza, I’ve been looking forward to the sequel. To say I wasn’t disappointed seems trite and no where near enough to say for this excellent follow up. The story is absolutely spellbinding, riveting and a page turner from the first page. Unfortunately, I’m never satisfied. Now I want more. I hope the sequel is well underway.
The surviving characters from American Yakuza are all back with some more added in. All the characters are fully formed and they all play their parts to absolute perfection. Interacting really well together. Goodies and baddies alike.
The story is fast paced and once started, I couldn’t put the book down. I devoured it in one sitting. Which means I got to read it again to write my review. No hardship there. My second reading was every bit as good as the first, if not better. I could take my time, enabling me to savor the story without the pressures of not knowing how it ended. This series is a keeper and when it’s all written, it will be nice to read each one back to back.

Andy’s Song – Review by Terry Baker

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Andy’s Song by Beth Burnett

Sequel to Man Enough
Andy Ericksson is trying her best to find out if her life is being fulfilled by sex without having a loving relationship to bolster it. She’s a big tough butch, but she has a loving tender way about her too. She doesn’t have to work, her trust fund is more than enough for her to live in comfort, but she works part time in a book store because she feels she should do something.
Andy has a lot of close friends and all the one night stands she could wish for. But she feels something is missing. Could it be that the something missing is love?
When Andy’s almost lifelong best friend and unrequited love interest falls in love with someone else, Andy is at a bit of a crossroads in her life. She meets someone who is not prepared to be yet another notch on her bedpost, someone Andy may be able to want more than just a casual hook up with. What will Andy do?
To complicate Andy’s life just a little bit more, her ex girl friend from college twenty years previously turns up again. Just when Andy thinks she may be able to fall in love, she’s now torn two ways. Will Andy’s ex lover thwart her plans to explore the possibility of a monogamous relationship with her new girlfriend? More to the point, will Andy be able to enter into a relationship and still have her freedom and her best friends?
In this sequel to Man Enough, we have the same circle of best friends, plus some new ones to get to know. There is more than enough background to read this as a standalone. The characters are so easy to get to know and love. The story flows along with much hilarity along the way.
The characters are all well formed and interact well together, making this an excellent read right the way through. There are lots of ups and downs and twists and turns along the way to enhance the story and move it forward at a nice comfortable pace. I ended up not being able to put this down and reading it right through.
This is a light hearted read with a serious theme running through it. I’m hoping there will be another book with these characters in. I’d like to see how Andy’s new life turns out.

Review of Connection by Terry Baker

Friday, 1 November 2013

Connection by Kim Pritekel

 

Teacher, Julie Wilson, lives in the small town of Woodland. Her life is laid back and relaxed. She is very close to her brother Matt and young nephew Skylar. She lives alone with her two beloved dogs, Bonnie and Clyde. Just one thing mars Julie’s otherwise perfect life, her controlling ex boyfriend, Ray, who refuses to believe their relationship is over and continues to harass her. Julie has no idea when she goes to the school one summer afternoon that Ray may well be the least of her problems. Hell and horror is about to enter Julie’s life and change it forever.
Drifter, Remmy Foster travels around from place to place, unable to settle down anywhere. She’s had a rough childhood and has suffered all manners of torment and abuse due to her special gift. Remmy is on the run from the ghosts of the past, although she’s never admitted as much to herself.
When Julie gives hitchhiker Remmy a ride into Woodland, Remmy finds herself thrown into a dangerous and dark abyss, something different from all her other experiences involving her special gift. Something she didn’t see coming until it arrived and more to the point, didn’t totally understand the meaning of. It will take all of Remmy’s power and ability to make the right connection in time. Life and death is in Remmy’s hands. Tick tock, the race against time has begun.
I want to start by saying that this book is dark, deep and dark, the darkest Kim Pritekel has written yet. It comes with a warning from the author too. I’d also like to add, there are graphic and grisly scenes and it may not be for the faint hearted. This says a lot about me. I absolutely LOVED it. Kim has written a true blockbuster. In my opinion, and I don’t say this lightly, it is her best ever book yet. But, I have thought this before about Kim’s books.
This book is a well written, edge of the seat, nail biting, thrilling, fast paced, action packed page turner right from the beginning. I hated to put this down once I’d started. But, it really was too long for one sitting, even though I stayed up late.
All the characters are multidimensional and interact very well together. The way the scenes are described, transported me right into the middle of the action to live the story as it played out. It’s shocking in parts. But, there is an underlying humor too.
The plot is so intense and intricately woven together, very well synchronized. It alternates between the victims and the would be rescuers seamlessly, going back and forth between the two.
Although there is a lot of fear throughout this book and the different tactics used to try to overcome it, the central pivot to the story is actually the connection felt by one person to another. A connection of souls which can only come into being when you’ve met your soul mate.
Kim Pritekel has really got deep into the minds of the characters she’s writing about. Nothing is left to the readers imagination and all ends to the story are neatly tied up. Which in turn has resulted in a really satisfying read. This is a book that will be in my re-read folder. I need to read it again to savor the story without the pressures of knowing the ending.

Getting to know Beth Burnett!

Beth’s debut novel, Man Enough!

 

Tell us about yourself:

What genres do you normally write in?

Romantic Comedy. Though, I do enjoy writing unusual fiction, and recently, a kind of mildly erotic short story for a woman I met.

What genres do you typically read?

I love so many kinds of books. Fiction, classic, Sci-Fi.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in that one day you’d like to tackle?

I would love to tackle a science fiction book. I love Sci-Fi so much and would be so happy if I could even come near Heinlein or Asimov or Bradbury.

Are there any authors who have influenced your work?

My dirty little secret is that I started writing my first novel after reading a romantic comedy by Sophie Kinsella.

What was the first book you ever published?

“Man Enough,” a charming and quirky novel about people across all sorts of gender and orientation lines, looking for validation and understanding.

How did you celebrate your signing

I called my sisters and screamed. Then I called my best friends. Then I called my friend, author and professor and all-around amazing woman Linda Kay Silva and let her counsel me for an hour to settle down and get to the hard parts of the new book… editing and marketing.

What was the craziest thing you’ve ever done when it came to a storyline in your book?

I had to learn that the storylines never play out the way I intended. At some point, my characters will tell me that they are absolutely not interested in following my outline.

Have you ever acted out a scene in your book?

I don’t think I should answer that on the grounds that I’m not sure of the statute of limitations on some of the activities.

What was the hardest scene you’ve written? Why?

I found the sex scenes easy and the emotional scenes more difficult. It can be hard to convey that heady, dizzying rush of new love. We all know what it feels like, but putting it on paper is difficult because love is so elusive. I wanted to do it justice.

Is there a genre you just won’t write?

Not that I know of. I am currently pondering writing an erotic novel and a book about God. (Two separate titles, mind you.)

Do you have any specific things (or rituals) that help you to write or that inspire you?

I only use my laptop and I like to have music in the background. I put my Ipod playlist on shuffle, so the soundtrack to my writing is schizophrenic. I was listening to my 70s mix when Davey went to Danny’s house for the first time, hence his unusual musical tastes.

Is there a certain time of day you prefer to write?

Dead dark night. I’m answering these questions at 3:30 in the morning, propped up in bed and freezing.

What is your writing day like?

I have to make myself a list every single day of the things I have to do. Then, I ignore the list and mess around on Facebook, or run errands, or hang out with friends. When the daylight is almost gone, I’ll grab dinner and eat it in front of the computer, reading what I had written the night before. Then, I will write until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.

In the morning, I will often go back and reread some of my nighttime ramblings.

These are just for fun so we’ll call ’em quickies:

Satin or Lace? On me? I’m a cotton girl all around.

Hot or Cold? Hot. I lived in Phoenix for ten years, the Virgin Islands for seven. Now back in Ohio and already planning the winter move to California.

Camera or Canvas? Camera. I love the instant gratification. Plus, I have no artistic ability. In Pictionary, someone thought my dog was a mutant donkey.

Denim or Leather? Denim. On me or my lover. I do like to ogle a hot biker chick in leather, but in reality, I’m in love with that denim clad earthy type who strums a guitar and hangs out in the woods, building fires and cooking stew for me.

Talking or Texting? I love texting! I have over fifteen hundred texts with someone I just met a few weeks ago. Though, I think there should be a rule that no serious conversation should be initiated over text. It is too easy to be misunderstood.

Irish or Italian? Irish drinking, Italian eating.

Thunder or Lightning? I like a good storm, so both. And hail. But no tornadoes.

Front seat or Back seat? I like to be behind the wheel.

Dark eyes or Light eyes? I like blue eyes. But it isn’t a deal breaker.

The sound of a heartbeat or a crackling fire? I adore fires.

Sleeping bag or Bed? Dinner or Movie? Wine or Beer?  Preferably, dinner and wine in bed.

Coffee or Tea? Both. Coffee in the morning, tea all afternoon.

Holding hands or Holding her attention? I do love touch.

Red or Black? Black. It is most of my wardrobe.

Crayons or Paint? Body paint. Edible.

High heels or Flip-flops? Leather Jesus Sandals or cheap sneakers.

Mountains or Beach? Beach.

Rain or Sunshine? Both have their perks. Sun for the most part, but a stormy rainy day that can be spent curled up in bed with a book or a beautiful woman is nice, too.

Picnic in the park or Dancing in the club? Picnic. I am so far beyond my clubbing days. I would much rather be sitting around with a bunch of lesbians talking about social issues, than trying to make myself heard on a dance floor.

Silk sheets or Cotton sheets? Cotton. Comfort can be sexy.

Tell us about your new release.

What kind of heroine is Davey Carter?

She is an every woman. She’s slightly neurotic, but so full of love. She worries about everything, but goes ahead and acts anyway.                                                                                     

Was there someone famous she resembled when you wrote her? Or is she based off someone you personally know? (pictures are welcome)

Davey looks like my fantasy version of myself. Pretty, dark-haired, kind of fit, but kind of curvy. Gorgeous eyes, great smile.

What are your favorite character traits that you cannot resist?

A sense of playfulness. I love it in my characters, I love it in myself, I prefer it in my friends and lovers.

What part of the female physique captures your attention?

A woman usually captures my brain first. Then her physical characteristics capture my attention. A sense of humor, a good heart, and a desire to nurture me are as sexy to me as a tall, muscled butch in leather.

As an author and essentially the “creator” of your character, do you find yourself attached to her in a personal way?

I love her as a friend, but I am not attracted to her. I do, however, find her butch best friend to be extremely sexy. In fact, several of my straight girlfriends and my two sisters are also in love with Andy.

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?

I think I would like to meet Davey’s mom, Leah. She’s just earth mothery enough to appeal to my inner lost child. She’s funny. She’s good with sex toys. And she bakes.

Tell us what kind of heroines you prefer to write about.

Davey was sweet, but my next heroine is hot and confident and absolutely sure of herself in every situation. I would love to be like that someday.

Does your heroine, Davey Carter take after you? Or is she someone you wish you could be? 

I have to be honest, Davey is more me than anyone else in my life. We diverge in several significant ways, but she shares many of my character traits. We are both mildly neurotic. We are both a bit insecure. We both love our friends and family with abandon. And we both tend to put sex and romance into a closet until someone special comes along and truly opens us to the magic of love.

Out of all your books, do you have a favorite?

“Man Enough” is my first novel and I do love it. But right now, the sequel, “Andy’s Song” is engrossing me.

Let the games begin!!

Hi Everyone,

This starts our week of games at Sapphire Books. We will be raffling off a couple of Amazon gift cards, a couple of autographed books, ebooks and an Ereader.

Today we have a $25 Amazon gift card for the lucky winner. This is how we’ll play the game.

Here are the directions on how to win.

1. You have to complete the crossword puzzle using your Always Faithful book.
2. You will need to send the correct answers to the crossword puzzle to publisher@sapphirebooks.com
3. In the subject line put Always Faithful Crossword puzzle
4. I’ll put all answers into a randomizer website and let it pick the winner.
5. Contest expires, Saturday, June 30 at midnight.

Here is the link to the crossword puzzle have fun!

http://www.sapphirebooks.com/AF_crossword.htm

 

Isabella

 

A five star review by Terry Baker

We have our first review. Thanks Terry for such a great review. I hope others will like it as much as you did. Thanks. ~Isabella~

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American Yakuza is live and ready for you!

American Yakuza

New Release from Sapphire Books Publishing

American Yakuza – Ties That Bind – Book 1
by Award winning author – Isabella

Paperback 14.95
e Bundle Price: $ 9.99 – all eBook formats
eBook Formats: AWZ, LIT, pdf, ePub, Mobi
Personalized e Bundle available only at Sapphire Books Publishing

Available at Amazon   Barnes and Noble    Sapphire Books Publishing

Lesbian Romance and Intrigue – Read the first 3 chapters here

Luce Potter straddles three cultures as she strives to live with the ideals of family, honor, and duty. When her grandfather passes the family business to her, Luce finds out that power, responsibility and justice come with a price. Is it a price she’s willing to die for?

Brooke Erickson lives the fast-paced life of an investigative journalist living on the edge until it all comes crashing down around her one night in Europe. Stateside, Brooke learns to deal with a new reality when she goes to work at a financial magazine and finds out things aren’t always as they seem.

Can two women find enough common ground for love or will their two different worlds and cultures keep them apart?

Writing builds character, or is that – Writers build characters?

I know I said my next blog post would be about the bloodsport called, Lesfic, but I wanted to give a little back with this post. So here it is:

The one question I’m sure all writers get: how do you come up with the characters in your book? Since I don’t write series books I can’t rely on the same characters to visit in every book, which means two to four new characters a book. That means different looks, personalities, styles, language uses, and names. Once I begin to develop the story, the characters start to take form. A look starts to develop in my mind’s eye. How they look, how they think, words they use, and personalities start to take shape. When this happens I start to use a character form I designed to keep track of their physical descriptions. I write down everything from the way they dress, the words they use, their moods, and finally words they would never use or be used to describe them. Why the last part? Well, it helps me to keep them in “character”, so to speak. To keep them from verging off into something they aren’t.

If a character is moody, dark and foreboding, I don’t want them to suddenly pop-up on the page farting sparkles and glitter, or suddenly become Ms. Mary Sunshine. It would be out of character and the reader would stop and suddenly wonder if they had missed something like: a medication change, a personality disorder I forgot to tell them about, or worse, a writer screw-up. I build all the characters, even the secondary ones, using my study sheet. It makes me think about them on a deeper level. Motivation, moods, why they do what they do and who’s to blame for it. I also have locations, a story synopsis, and a place for notes. I keep all of these pages, along with my research in a binder I build for each book. This allows me quick access to go back and make sure I’m not off track with my character building. I also put a pad of paper in it for outlining, notes, names, and anything else that might come to me. This is a pretty simplistic description of what I do and I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

I’ve attached my worksheets for you to use. Feel free to modify it to fit your needs, add details I might have forgotten or just see what I use to build a character. Enjoy!

So, does this mean writing builds character? Maybe.