Interview with Radclyffe

Radclyffe

I just finished reading Dangerous Waters  by Radclyffe, and I have had the opportunity to interview the author about it!

 

Who or what inspired your latest novel Dangerous Waters?

 

I was impressed by the incredible response from people—from community members to first responders—to the two nearly back-to-back hurricanes in Texas and Florida in 2017. The selfless outpouring of aid and support made me want to capture some of that as a backdrop to a First Responders novel, so I quickly re-arranged my writing schedule to fit Dangerous Waters in as the next book.

 

Who or what inspired you to start writing?

 

Every book I’ve ever read has helped create my life-long love of reading. I started writing lesbian fiction to fill a gap in what I was able to find to read at the time. Now even though there is a wealth of new queer fiction available, I enjoy the process of writing and sharing my work with readers.

 

Which of your books was your favorite to write and why?

 

If I had to pick one: Safe Harbor, since it is one of the earliest ones and begins the Provincetown Tales. I have always loved the characters and the setting—one of my favorite places to visit.

 

Who is your favorite character from your books and why?

 

Again – not a fair question since I have quite a few characters I like to revisit and write about. At the moment it’s Blake Remy, a trans teen first introduced in the second book in the Rivers series (Prescription for Love). His story has turned out to be a major secondary plotline in three books, and I get lots of emails asking me to write more about him.  Writing a young queer character has been challenging and rewarding.

 

How do you approach writing a new storyline?

 

For me, any story, but particularly a romance, is about the characters. I start with two characters who find themselves in a situation they never expected, often at odds at first, who learn more about themselves as they come to know each other.

 

Where do your inspirations for characters and their lives come from?

 

Most of the situations I write about come from real life events I have either experienced (as in the medical romances) or events I’ve read about that seem to me to be important and interesting for readers. Life is filled with “every day” heroes and those are the stories I like to tell.

 

Where is your favorite place to write?

 

I can write anywhere, but I prefer writing while sitting on a sofa rather than at a desk. I don’t listen to music although I can edit a draft while watching baseball on TV 😊.

 

 

What is your writing process?

 

I dictate my first draft with voice-to-text software and then edit the transcription on computer. I write from page one to the end, and I never write scenes out of sequence. The book grows as the characters interact.

 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

 

I learned to be a much better self-editor as I became more experienced. Being published has helped me be a better writer.

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

 

Becoming a member of the Romance Writers of America. Attending the annual meetings and learning from the best romance writers in the world has really helped me improve my craft.

 

What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

 

I’ve been fortunate to receive countless messages of support over the years, and they are all invaluable. I am always especially happy when someone tells me my books helped them come out or to realize they are not alone.

 

What book that you have read has most influenced your life?

 

The first book I ever read with a lesbian character—that was when I understood who I was.Beebo Brinkerby Ann Bannon.

 

How do you take your coffee?

 

Americano with ½ and ½.

 

Interview with Missouri Vaun

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Who or what inspired your latest novel Love at Cooper’s Creek?

Homesickness. I think for those of us who’ve left the Deep South because of the necessities of career there’s a part of us that always longs for home. The initial idea for this book started with a brief bout of homesickness while overseas, but then, as with all character driven stories, it took on a life of its own.

Who or what inspired you to start writing?

I think I’ve always written stories. My mom has some hilarious bits of writing from all the way back when I was in second grade. My childhood was spent in rural, sometimes quite remote, areas because my father was a forester. I think I began creating characters and stories for my own entertainment, so I didn’t feel quite so lonely. Not that I had a sad childhood or anything like that, but the easiest way to have friends in a remote place was to create them on paper.

Which of your books was your favorite to write and why?

Wow… that’s a tough question. The last one I finish is always my favorite. But that’s not entirely true… it’s just that the most recent is the newest to be released into the world at large. You feel attached, protective, and basically, you’re still living in that world in your head. The release of a book always, for me, comes with an immediate brief period of sadness… Like leaving friends behind and moving on to a new place, you miss the characters.

Who is your favorite character from your books and why?

Cole from the first novel, “All Things Rise,” might be my favorite. Possibly because she was the first, possibly because there’s a lot of myself in that character. But it’s hard to choose between the rest. I try to create characters that I would fall in love with or want to be best friends with.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a converted shed in my backyard. It’s small, but quiet. My father lined the interior walls with heart pine and we didn’t seal them, so it smells great… literally, like a pine forest. When I’m in that space it’s easy to be transported to another place or time. I also have a great writing studio in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the back side of my parent’s property. It’s built like an old 1930s era fire tower. But I don’t get to go there as often as my backyard.

What is your writing process?

I describe my writing process as chaos.

I keep one or two notebooks of random thoughts, and about a million scraps of paper in my pocket that I eventually type into a file on my laptop… My novels don’t really take full shape until I’m about thirty percent into the book. Then I go back and rewrite everything before moving forward.

I was in Amsterdam last year and had a pocket full of notes for a story I was developing. I’d forgotten about the notes… along with the cash… and sent my jeans out to be laundered. The laundry staff very kindly returned my soggy cash along with the wet, faded, unreadable remnants of my story notes in a zip lock bag. The moral of that story? Check your pockets… always check your pockets.

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How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I think the best part of working with a publisher for me has been working so closely with one editor. My editor, Cindy Cresap, has taught me so much… It sort of makes me wonder if I even had English composition in college… or if I did, possibly I slept through it.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Converting my backyard tool shed into a writing studio.

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What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

The sweetest thing a reader ever said to me was that reading my work, that my characters, made them feel less alone.

What book that you have read has most influenced your life?

It’s hard to narrow that down to one book… I could maybe narrow it down to one writer and that would be, James Agee. He literally paints with words. In terms of the first book I discovered that made me fall in love with reading? It was “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe,” by C.S. Lewis.

How do you take your coffee?

Often. Cream, no sugar.

 

 

 

Review of Twice in a Lifetime by Clare Lydon

Twice In A Lifetime

When one of my favorite authors contacted me to read her latest work I couldn’t turn down the opportunity. Twice in a Lifetime by Clare Lydon is a wonderful story of a second chance romance.

 

Here is a short blurb about the book:

When her first love walks back into her life, Harriet Locke is thrown – because Sally McCall still looks as gorgeous as ever. The trouble is, Sally doesn’t trust Harriet, and with good reason: she hasn’t forgotten the past.

Sally loved her once, but 17 years later, is that still the case? And if it is, there’s just the small matter of living in different states, as well as convincing Sally she’s worth taking a chance on again.

Will Harriet and Sally be lucky enough to find love twice in a lifetime?

From the best-selling author of London Calling and Nothing To Lose comes a witty & wondrous story of second-chance romance!

 

As always Clare Lydon delivers. Twice in a Lifetime is a cute lighthearted read.  I really enjoy how chance brings these two lovers back together. I thought that the characters were beautifully written. My favorite character was Sally. She was so relatable. I feel like everyone has been he here shoes before. Not knowing what choice to make because they don’t want to be hurt again. I was also a huge fan of Aunt Paula. She seemed like that crazy Aunt that everyone has. You can’t help but love her because she is so off the wall. The sex scenes in this book are a knockout. Clare really has a talent for creating some of the steamiest sex scenes in her books.

 

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a second chance romance. Also to anyone who loves steamy sex scenes.

 

I would like to thank Clare Lydon for allowing me to review this book.

You can purchase a copy of Twice in a Lifetime by clicking here.

Review of Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D

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I really enjoy reading Thrillers. There is something about the way they keep you guessing that I really enjoy. When I saw Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D available on NetGalley I couldn’t pass up the chance to read it.

 

Here is a short blurb about the book:

Lucy severed the connection to her first love when the seduction of college life pulled at her desires. Now in their thirties, Lucy returns home to cover a story where Detective Erica Chance plays a central character. Erica has spent a decade trying to banish the memory of Lucy, and on the surface, she has succeeded. Now, the reporter is back in her life, insisting she is a valued resource in the search for their hometown’s first serial killer. Old wounds are opened and new enemies are discovered as Lucy tries to take her chance.

 

I thought this book was great. I really enjoyed how the search for the serial killer was the main focus of the book. The way the relationship between Lucy and Erica was intertwined with the story of the missing women really made the story for me. Even though the women had a past they didn’t let it take away from trying to save the victim of the serial killer. I enjoyed how Lucy and Erica had a troubled past but still had a deep connection to one another. As everyone knows I always enjoy a story with a puppy in it and this book does not disappoint in that area. There are two cute little puppers to love.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the Mystery or Thriller genera.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

You can purchase a copy of Lucy’s Chance by clicking here.

 

Review of Wish on the Water by Eve Francis

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When I first saw Wish on the Water by Eve Francis I thought it sounded interesting. There are not many books that focus on genderqueer relationships and it was nice to see this type of diversity in a romance novel.

Here is a short blurb about the book:

When Whitney finds a pair of bright pink rain boots for her daughter Cayleigh, she thinks nothing of it–until the rain boots turn Cayleigh into a greedy monster who wants everything at once. Tired and frustrated one morning, Whitney runs into Chantal at a nail salon. When Chantal magically calms down Cayleigh, Whitney starts to crush hard in spite of her busy schedule and Chantal’s eight month pregnancy.

 Chantal Mackenzie considers her pregnancy to be the stuff of legends. Not only does the baby not have a father, but Chantal doesn’t consider herself a mother. After years of gender confusion, Chantal finally believes she’s found the right label of genderqueer for her body and her feelings about it. Upcoming parenthood and her growing attraction to Whitney are both exciting–but also complicating as Chantal struggles to find the perfect term for her as a parent and ways of living in an aggressively gendered world.

 A pair of neon flip-flops that seem to make Chantal ravenous, along with her increasingly vivid dreams about being a sorcerer, also make the last few weeks of her pregnancy memorable. As the due date draws closer, Chantal and Whitney’s relationship heats up, and the two start to feel as cursed as they do cosmic.

 I wanted to like this book more than I did. I just couldn’t get into the relationship between Whitney and Chantel. They had no depth to their relationship. Everything went perfectly for them and moved so quickly. While I am not a huge fan of angst in romance novels there does need to be some turmoil which brings the couple closer together, which I feel this book was lacking.

Even though I didn’t like the relationship aspect of the novel I did enjoy Chantel’s pregnancy. I thought it was interesting to see their view of pregnancy. I like how Chantel experienced pregnancy on their own terms and stood up for what they wanted. I have never seen this type of take on pregnancy before and it drew me into the novel.

While I wasn’t wooed by the relationship aspect of the book. I would still recommend it to anyone who is interested looking for a lighthearted read.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

If you would like to read this book if can be found at Amazon.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon

Today I will be participating in the bi-annual Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon. This year the read-a-thon is in honor the life of Heather Croxon a fellow blogger.  I have participated in this event for the last two years both in the spring and fall.

 

The goal of the event is to read as much as you can in a 24-hour period.

 

For this event, I’m not keeping a page count or anything like that. I’m just planning on cleaning up my to read list a little bit.

 

I’ll be on Twitter tweeting about my progress throughout the read-a-thon.

 

Dewey’s Read-A-Thon: http://www.24hourreadathon.com/

Heathers Blog: https://bitsnbooks.wordpress.com/

 

Are you participating? Let me know how it is going for you?

Review of Bittersweet by Nevada Barr

I really enjoy historical fiction so when I saw Bittersweet by Nevada Barr on my recommended kindle books I decided to take a chance on it. I mean what could be better than lesbian romance and historical fiction.

 

Here is the Goodreads blurb if you are interested:

In her very first novel, award-winning author Nevada Barr reveals another side to her remarkable storytelling prowess with this heart-wrenching yet tender tale of two women whose boundless devotion to each other is continually challenged in nineteenth century America.

 

I was not disappointed by Nevada Barr first novel even though it was not what I originally thought that it would be. I was expecting more of a classic romance novel with couple scenes of lesbian smexy time set in the old west. You will get no smexy time from Bittersweet. The novel focuses on the lives of Imogene, a spinster teacher, and Sarah, her young student, and their struggles to build their lives together in the old west.

 

I thought the characters were very relatable and their story was engaging. You couldn’t help but feel for Imogene and Sarah. Every time it seemed that their life was finally going well you could expect something to happen that would ruin the little life that they were able to build for themselves. The book is very emotional. I might have shed a tear or two towards the end.

 

I thought the book would have been better if it made it clear earlier on how Sarah truly felt about Imogene. It was confusing trying to guess if she saw her as more of a friend or a lover. It also has some very graphic rape scenes that are not suitable for every reader.

 

This touching historical novel is now one of my new favorites. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone that likes historical fiction. But if you are looking for a traditional romance novel this might not be the novel for you.