Category Archives: Lesbian Fiction

Lichen Craig’s “Fireside” is Official! An Inside View of GLBT Books & Publishing

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From the GLBT Bookshelf website:

WELCOME!

Lichen Craig invites you into the Bookshelf’s study for an inside, close-up view of the world of GLBT books and publishing and the world of the arts and entertainment as  it pertains to GLBT literature. Sit beside the fire, pour yourself a glass, and listen in as Lichen talks to some of the most interesting and influential people in the industry: writers, publishers, illustrators, filmmakers, actors, reviewers and other movers and shakers. Each has a unique point of view, each looks at the world of GLBT books from his or her own unique perspective.

We will also look at trends within the GLBT publishing industry and trends in other areas such as current events, film, music, academics, and societal mood that influence GLBT literature.  Lichen brings you news from these arenas, and sits down by the fireside to chat with personalities that can bring you the most interesting and helpful insights into these fascinating worlds.

Step inside, pull up a chair, and make yourself comfortable!

CURRENT INTERVIEWS

ARTICLES

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About LICHEN CRAIG

Please visit their website for more information…

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Filed under Announcements, Gay Fiction, Gay Interest, Gay Romance, GLBTIIQ, GLBTIIQ Interest, Interviews, LBGT, Lesbian Fiction, Writers and Writing

Interview With Paulette Mahurin, Author of “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap”

Paulette Mahurin, an award-winning author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs–Max and Bella. She practices women’s health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. 

Paulette’s Interview:

First, let me say thank you for having me over to your great blog site for this interview. I’m very grateful for every opportunity to promote my book, especially since all profits are going to animal rescue (Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CA where I live: http://www.santapaulaarc.org/).

Tell us about yourself:

I’m a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in women’s health in a rural clinic in Ojai, CA, where I live with my husband Terry and our two rescue dogs, Max and Bella. Prior to doing women’s health, I spend years working in the second busiest emergency room in Los Angeles County, with the highest census of child abuse. You name it I saw it. My passions are writing, animal rescue, and advocating for tolerance.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

The story takes place in 1895, just after the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, and the impact that has on a lesbian couple living in a small Nevada ranching town. It’s a story about hatred, and how it shuts people’s hearts, how hatred is spread, and the devastating consequences that happen, usually to the innocents. It is also a love story, a metaphor on the power of friendship and the strength of the human spirit to rise above adversity and conflict to take the high road. It’s message is tolerance, have your differences but don’t make another human being a label because of them, we are after all, all just human, deserving of human rights. The genre is historical fiction.

Was the story and the lesbian theme sparked by personal experience?

Yes. I had a friend, who shall remain nameless, who was severely abused, molested, and tortured as a child and teenager. No counseling or other supportive help has worked thus far. It pains me deeply that my friend is in the closet, unable to live a life in the sun like flowers blooming, birds singing, dogs wagging tails, and others laughing and connecting from their authentic selves. . When I became ill with Lyme disease and was house bound, I had conversations with my friend and by the time I was better and started a writing class, in which a photo sparked the seed that was to become my book, the combination of the two women in a photo (an exercise from class was to take one of the photos brought in and write a ten minute mystery) and my friend’s saga screamed out to me, lesbian couple afraid of being found out. A lot of what I poured into the story was my angst over the heartache that my friend lives with.


What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

Writing is the easy part. Publishing and marketing, that’s not for the weak of heart. Takes an enormous amount of time to get the word out, whether published or indie. There are a lot of good people out there, networking, willing to help, like you, Annette, and that takes the sting out, big time.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I really can’t think of anything right now. I’ve been lucky with the editors I’ve worked with, lucky with the support I’ve gotten, and lucky with all the friends I’m making who are helping me promote. I don’t know what else I could have done differently. I put in the time writing, had a professional editor (three of them), multiple readers, and sent it out to tons of reviewers. I think the rest is luck, does that one special someone read and endorse it? I guess that’s every author’s dream. I’m still hoping for it, not so much for me, but because all the profits are going to animal rescue and when I think of getting their sorrowful faces out of cages and into their forever homes, with wagging tails, it makes my heart feel good.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

My experience with people who have been abused and persecuted. Then there was the research that strengthened my emotional conviction to bring as much truth to the page as I can. Oscar Wildes’ imprisonment, a gross miscarriage of a legal system, did that. It motivated me, brought me to places, that poured out onto the page, and I didn’t hold back. My best teacher has been life, experiences I’ve or others have lived that I’ve encountered. What could possibly be more powerful?

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

A writer writes. Just sit your butt down in the chair and do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s ten minutes or ten hours. It’s really that simple. Like the Nike commercial slogan, Just do it. And, tell the inside of your head, all the excuses and put downs to shut up!

All profits from the sale of the book are going to animal rescue, to be specific, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA. Can you say something about that? And, where is Ventura County?

It’s in California, the next county south of Santa Barbara County, which you’re probably more familiar with. It’s a large county, over 800,000 and just a few months ago had it’s first and only no-kill animal shelter open in one of the smaller towns, Santa Paula. My husband & I are animal advocates, been rescuing dogs for 28 years. The story of why I am donating all the profits to this rescue group was just written up in the VC Star (the largest circulating press in the county) and I’ll quote from them to answer this very important to my heart question.

“Paulette Mahurin’s eyes light up when she talks about the dogs. An animal advocate, the Ojai resident and her husband, Terry, have been rescuing Rottweilers for nearly three decades.

When her beloved rottie, Tazzie, died last year at age 15, she was heartbroken. In addition to losing her best friend, the dog had been her constant companion throughout Mahurin’s life-altering bout with Lyme disease.” The story then talks about my illness with Lyme disease getting into my heart valves, paralysis, arthritis & meningitis, and goes on to talk about how I attended class when I was well enough, and finally ends with this quote; “In honor of the 15 years spent with her beloved companion Tazzie, as well as her desire to support no-kill animal shelters, proceeds from the sales of “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap” benefit the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center.”
Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/08/ojai-authors-historical-novel-teaches-tolerance/#ixzz27bNu2fps
– vcstar.com

Tazzie was the most amazing dog. I had her portrait done while she was dying. It hangs in my bedroom where she used to sleep, and I wake every morning and say hello. We’ve had three more dogs since her death, but none can ever match up to my relationship with her or take her place, and some say she may have even saved my life by her constant attention and sensitivity during the worse. She’s now my angel. I hope to give back; it’s my prayer that the profits from my book can get some animals out of death row and wagging in their forever homes.

THE PERSECUTION OF MILDRED DUNLAP

 By Paulette Mahurin

Email: ptmahurin@sbcglobal.net

ISBN # 978-0-9771866-1-7   Price: $14.95

Published March 23, 2012

Kindle Version FREE on AMAZON October 19-22, 2012

Description: The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.

Editorial Reviews:

 “Paulette Mahurin’s first novel is surefooted and unflinching in its portrayal of a singular and unique character and her compelling struggles. Compassionate and confident, Mahurin allows Mildred’s story to burn through onto the page with all its inherent outrage and tenacious, abiding love. Here is a character we can champion—flawed, striving, surviving— and fully embrace in her awkward, beautiful navigation of a world that resists her in every way.”      Deb Norton, Playwrite/screenwriter of The Whole Banana

“If you need to question your values, read this book! The author captures the intolerance and hypocrisy of a 1895 Nevada town, and its transcendence in time through tolerance and understanding.  The angst and pain that two women feel daily, living the ‘lie’ of  their lesbian relationship, and the prejudice they must endure, is unconscionable.  I
was moved to tears by their struggle in the face of the conflicted values that continue to dominate our ‘modern’ society.”   —
William K. Fox, PhD, Professor of Zoology

Links:

AMAZON.COM
AMAZON U.K.
GOODREADS
SHELFARI
FACEBOOK
BOOK’S BLOG
TWITTER
BOOK’S WEBSITE
PRESS ARTICLE: VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section
GOOGLE PROFILE PAGE

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Filed under Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Interviews, LBGT, Lesbian Fiction, Writers and Writing

Decades by Anne de Gandt

Review: “I seek a woman, the woman of my desires. Who won’t be scared by loyalty and truth, nor turn away from the darkness of a soiled past.”–Decades by Anne de Gandt.

As I’ve experienced before, reading Anne de Gandt’s work, much is spoken, revealed and expressed in a dense, yet poetic way that left me as disquieted and thoughtful as the characters who share their emotions. There are times the narrative reads as literal, contemporary while at others it seems a dream, fantasy, and surreal, yet most of the time it is a mixture of all those things so that you wonder what is real and what imagined?

Elements of loneliness, pleasures that are simple and others complex, the desire for love and acceptance even after the knowledge and belief that one is soiled with past ugliness and indiscretion, the vulnerability that love inherently presents in us. Remembering this was a translated to English story from the author’s native French, reminds me of the different way people use a language, and is important for all readers to expect and understand. A native English speaker might have written the story differently, used other words in descriptions and ideas, but then it wouldn’t have the unique style that is Anne de Gandt.

I did find the paragraph structure a little problematic however; as many are extremely long and with the subject matter and imagery. I felt simplifying them would have been more effective, but wording and phrases were so often undeniably beautiful, “I don’t want to lose you. I want the disorder of happy horses to spread its euphoria through the infinite lips of joy, the bridges to keep swaying in the light, the sun to extend its rays of glory on our mingled skins.”

Lyrical, exotic, full of imagery that intrigues, Decades still conveys the dark poignancy of attraction, failure and fulfillment. ” Decades is currently free at Smashwords.

Description: “After the chaos of pain, the love desire, its expectations, its exaltations or disappointments. A love story of two women that will change their lives and give an unsuspected strength to each of them. Originally written in French, now translated to English.”

  • Publisher: Anne de Gandt
  • Publication Date: April 27, 2012
  • Available: Smashwords
  • Source: Self-procured

About the Author:

Writer-photographer, Anne de Gandt creates worlds which mingle past and present, dream and reality. She invites you to journey across time, space, memory, identity and hope.

Écrivain-photographe, Anne de Gandt crée des univers où se mêlent passé et présent, rêve et réalité. Son travail est une invitation aux voyages, à travers le temps, l’espace, la mémoire, l’identité et l’espoir.

My interview with Anne de Gandt. Anne’s website http://www.annedegandt.com/index.html. My review of her book, V.I.T.R.I.O.L.

 

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Lesbian Fiction, Reviews

Awakening to Sunlight by Lindsey Stone

Review: I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of Amsterdam, as I’ve not been there in years, plus I was reminded of my own beloved Berlin. Someone had suggested the improbability of the special kind of open generosity some Europeans show, in allowing someone they don’t know to share their home, renting out little used rooms, would be deemed too unbelievable for American readers, but I am very pleased the author has found so much positive response with open-minded readers “across the Pond.” This is exactly the situation which begins the co-habitation between the two main characters.

Although in the prologue we’re presented with the cause of the grief for Lizzy, it was a lot later when it was expressed more fully. Having recently lost a friend to suicide, I’ll say the descriptions of the enormity of the weight which presses down in all ways, completely exhausting you, was excellent. Anyone who has lost a loved one can identify, and even if you haven’t, the writing skill displayed brings it home. The unexpected arrival of Judith and her daughter, Emily, helps fill a void in Lizzy’s life she didn’t realize was so vast. Their relationship develops in a way that was both frustrating at times, as there were the rejected offers and misinterpreted gestures, but also entirely realistic.

I enjoy an author who sets a moderate pace, taking care with details, building their world and characters quite visually. There are readers who are only looking for an aim, a climax, a reason for why they are reading a book, when for those like myself the experience is all about relaxing back and letting the author show me their world and thoughts as they wish them conveyed. Lyndsey Stone did this exquisitely. Beautiful writing, beautiful story. Being fully satisfied by such a well-rounded read was my reward.

Description: “To embrace the future is to find the courage to accept the past.”

Judith Hilford flees from an emotionally abusive relationship and accepts temporary lodging arranged by a friend until she can set her life on a new course. Lizzy Mayfield, a filmmaker who lost her lover three years ago, comes home from a business trip to find Judith and her child unexpectedly living in her apartment.

Lizzy wants nothing more than to be left alone, but as Judith has nowhere else to go, Lizzy allows her to stay. While Judith struggles to create a new life for her daughter and herself, Lizzy is confronted with the vibrancy their presence brings to her emotionally barren existence. As Lizzy and Judith gradually become involved in each other’s lives, they are both forced to confront the ghosts of their pasts.

Publication Date: 15 March 2010

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

ISBN: 978-1-60282-143-9

Buy Link: In print & paperback format

Genre: Contemporary/Lesbian Fiction

Source: Publisher

Disclaimer:  COMPLETED FOR  QMO Books, AND ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 11 April 2011 . PLEASE VIEW THEIR WEBSITE TO SEE ALL REVIEWS AVAILABLE.

Author Bio:

Lindsey Stone was born in the West-Midlands of England, but at the age of 13 emigrated to the Netherlands with her mother and brother. Although she often misses the British landscape and its traditional food, she is pleased to live in a country where sexual orientation is no longer grounds for discrimination and where homosexual couples and their rights are recognized and protected by the law.

Her mind is a bustling playground filled with images, scenes, characters, and plots, all demanding her attention, but in those moments when they are kind enough to give her some peace, she can be found playing her guitar, or building something out in the garage, or simply slouched on the couch next to her trusted shadow, her Malinois dog, who somehow always seems to get the most space.

Lindsey is not easily swayed from her own beliefs and convictions, but will be tempted to get into a car with a stranger if he or she is driving a Jeep (the bigger the wheels the better) and she can be bought for an English Yorkshire pudding covered in mint sauce.

Website: http://www.lindseystone.nl/about.html

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Filed under Contemporary Fiction, Lesbian Fiction, Reviews, Romance

The Shadow of the Knife by Jane Fletcher

Review: Although I’d read books by Jane Fletcher before, I initially had difficulty getting into this novel. Granted, it was the fifth book released in the Celaeno series but it actually takes place earlier in the timeline, so it’s a “prequel” of sorts. I usually don’t have a problem accepting new ideas, scenes and storylines, and didn’t with “Shadow of the Knife”. In fact, I actually like being “dropped” into a new world and have to figure things out as I go. Don’t be put-off by the series numbers however, for each are stated as being capable of “standing alone.”

One thing I really appreciate about Jane Fletcher’s writing is the level of professionalism and attention to detail which keeps the plot focused. No random scenes or occurrences are simply inserted for effect, nor are emotions too extreme to accept. Sometimes there are aspects of the characters I might find personally exasperating, or a facet of the romantic scenes which I question, but I respect the writer’s vision.

The pace is progressive, balanced, with no real lags in action and a very fine climax after a clear build-up in action. I found main character, Ellen Mittal believable in the face of the escalating violence and deceptions, though I found her love interest, Hal, more compelling. I liked the intrigue of a kind of anti-hero, and the thought-provoking ending would certainly inspire readers to read the other books in the series.  I eventually found “Shadow of the Knife” to be well-worth the read.

Description: Militia rookie Ellen Mittal is well aware that the world cannot be reduced to simple questions of black and white, but she has no idea of just how complex and dangerous her life is about to become. The most vicious gang in the Homelands, led by the infamous Butcher, is extending its operations to Roadsend.

By her oath as a member of the Militia, Ellen is sworn to uphold the rule of law, no matter what the cost to herself. But as the body count starts to rise, Ellen finds her task made all the harder by a wall of silence from ordinary citizens, a commanding officer with her head in the sand, and the attentions of an attractive young farmer who is probably not who she claims to be. Ellen must work out who to trust, because if she gets it wrong she might easily lose her heart, or her life.
Publisher/Buy Link: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Fantasy, Lesbian Fiction
Book Length: Novel, 312 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60282-008-1 (e-book), 978-1-60282-008-1 (paperback)
Source: Publisher

Disclaimer: THIS REVIEW WAS COMPLETED FOR QMO Books, AND ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 3 March, 2010. PLEASE VIEW THEIR WEBSITE TO SEE ALL REVIEWS AVAILABLE.

Author Bio:

Jane Fletcher is a GCLS award-winning writer and has also been short-listed for the Gaylactic Spectrum and Lambda Literary awards. She is author of two ongoing sets of fantasy/romance novels: the Celaeno series—The Walls of Westernfort, Rangers at Roadsend, The Temple at Landfall, Dynasty of Rogues, and Shadow of the Knife; and the Lyremouth Chronicles—The Exile and The Sorcerer, The Traitor and The Chalice, The Empress and The Acolyte, and The High Priest and the Idol.

Her love of fantasy began at the age of seven when she encountered Greek Mythology. This was compounded by a childhood spent clambering over every example of ancient masonry she could find (medieval castles, megalithic monuments, Roman villas). Her resolute ambition was to become an archaeologist when she grew up, so it was something of a surprise when she became a software engineer instead.

Born in Greenwich, London, in 1956, she now lives in southwest England where she keeps herself busy writing both computer software and fiction, although generally not at the same time.

WEBSITE: http://www.janefletcher.co.uk/

(From the Bold Strokes Books and Goodreads.com websites)

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Filed under Fantasy, Lesbian Fiction, Reviews