UNSUNG LOVE SONG is here!

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It’s here, you guys! My newest novel, UNSUNG LOVE SONG, is available on Amazon right now!
unsunglovesongcover
I’m so proud of this story. Of all my books, it reminds me most of HEART OF GLASS, my first novel. I love writing stories where the heroines follow clues together that lead them to something they desperately want, and it turns into an emotional journey that’s even more significant than the mystery. I really hope you enjoy reading it, that you love Celia and Gem as much as I do, and that the story transports you to all the beautiful locations I imagined while writing it.
 
Here’s the summary:
 
Celia Orne has a dream, and she’s finally been given the opportunity to chase it.
 
A botanist by day, poet by night, Celia uproots herself and moves to Florida in order to search for a legendary plant she’s always hoped was real. With recent heartbreak and long-past tragedy dogging her steps, she hopes that this new life of adventure will give her a chance to find some closure.
 
She never planned on fate throwing Gem Raglan in her way.
 
Gem is alluring, carefree, and a shameless flirt. She also knows the beaches and islands of Florida like the back of her hand, and she’s more than happy to help Celia explore. What’s so bad about having a little fun with her, as long as it doesn’t distract Celia from her quest? But before Celia has a chance to step on the brakes, her feelings for Gem grow into something more than just “a little fun.” If Gem’s smoldering glances are any indication, she feels exactly the same way.
 
But soon, getting distracted from her search isn’t Celia’s only problem. The closer they get to finding the legendary plant, the clearer it becomes that Gem is hiding something. And Celia, torn between the woman who sets her heart free and the dream she’s chased all her life, must make a decision.
 
Will making one dream come true mean giving up on the other?

Unsung Love Song — Release Day is Tuesday!

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Hi everyone! I am SUPER excited to announce that my next novel, Unsung Love Song, will be released this Tuesday, June 13!

It’s about Celia, a botanist and poet who moves to Florida to search for a legendary plant. There she meets Gem, a woman who is all contradictions. Here’s a teaser. They’re talking about mycologists, who study mushrooms 🙂

“What’s that?” Gem asked. Her bright eyes were full of genuine interest when they met Celia’s, and their color reminded her of sundried dune grass.

“Someone who studies mushrooms.” Again, Celia’s concentration slipped away and she was only half aware of what she was saying. Gem’s closeness to her made her feel strung tight in the most strangely pleasant way, like she was a harp string that would let out a heavenly note of music if plucked. As for Gem, even though her entire attention was on Celia’s words, the look in her eyes matched Celia’s feeling that their conversation was merely a cover for what they were exchanging in their gazes.

“Mushrooms, huh?” Gem said dreamily. “Seems a shame when there are so much more beautiful things to study.” The connection between them sparked and broke for a moment when Gem lowered her eyes, but Celia felt it flare up again when Gem’s gaze caressed her down to her bare toes. Celia’s breath hitched and her cheeks burned with heat. Finally, the thought came through: I can’t believe this is happening.

But it was happening. She couldn’t have imagined a more magical first day in Florida if she’d written it into a poem herself.

“Some mushrooms are very beautiful,” Celia murmured. Her eyes never left Gem’s. “If you stop to look closely at them.”

Gem didn’t reply, but the smile on her lips was confident and the look in her eyes was knowing. She combed her fingers through her hair, pushing it back from her face in a way that made Celia certain she’d gotten it out of the way for a reason. Celia’s heart jumped and cartwheeled; from the way Gem’s eyes lingered on her mouth and the way her chin lifted as she angled closer, it was clear what Gem was about to do.

I really love this book, and I can’t wait to share it with you! Take a gander at this gorgeous cover that my editor, Bridget Essex of Rose and Star Press, made ❤

unsunglovesongcover

Writing and Acting

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As a writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about how people feel and express emotion. When I’m writing a novel, it’s my goal to describe emotion from the inside and outside: the way a character’s mind and physical body reacts to their feelings and the way they look outwardly so that others can perceive those feelings.

I was an actor for the briefest of moments: six years in middle school and high school. I have a tiny bit of experience when it comes to what it feels like to act out emotions, but I have a lot more experience writing them. I’ve (somewhat obsessively) studied how emotions are felt and how they’re portrayed. My favorite TV shows and movies are ones where I can get some new insight into how an actor conveys how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking.

Okay, so here’s the thing: sometimes I have these ephiphanies that are blindingly obvious to everyone else. And I think this is one of them XD

Being a writer, I carefully consider how to describe a character to convey what they’re feeling. If a character I’m writing is angry, how does she feel from the inside? Does tension rise up the back of her neck? Is there a blocked, hot feeling in her chest? A sense of helplessness? And how does she look from the outside? Are her fists clenched, or her jaw? Is she trembling? Are her eyes wide or narrowed?

I always assumed actors did the same thing. I imagined an actor thinking out how best to convey the feeling of her character, including body language and voice and expression down to the smallest twitch of a muscle. That’s what I would do. (That might mean I’d make a lousy actor XD)

So I just finished watching the third season of TURN: Washington’s Spies. If you like American history (and seriously, even if you don’t!) give this series a try–it’s freaking incredible. I love every damn minute of it. Jamie Bell plays the main character, and his spellbinding acting is what brought on this epiphany.

I’m trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but there’s a part in the first season when his character is in a very traumatic situation, the kind that forever changes how he sees himself. As I’m watching, I’m captivated and stunned: it looks like Jamie Bell is literally hyperventilating.

And then I realized that he probably is. And maybe that’s how some actors do it. Instead of saying to themselves “How should I look in order to portray how I’m feeling?” they just feel it, and the portrayal is perfect. This blew my mind.

I mean, it’s not like I’ve never heard of method acting. It’s not like I haven’t listened to hours of actor commentaries on my favorite movies. I know that some actors feel their characters’ emotions acutely. But somehow it never hit me that I was making that assumption about how they approached acting, and that my assumption was linked to being a writer.

In other words, I learn something new that helps my writing every day… And go watch TURN XD

PRAIRIE HEART is available!

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PRAIRIE HEART is now available on Amazon! You can also read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

The paperback version should be coming in a few days 🙂 I’ll update you when it is!

I’m so excited to share this book with you. It was fun and challenging to write a love triangle, and my editors really loved it, so I’m very proud. I hope you love it too!

beautiful young woman portrait with long hair in motion, studio shot

Today’s the Day – PRAIRIE HEART!

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Today, February 21st, is the official release day for my newest novel, PRAIRIE HEART! It should be available on Amazon (and Kindle Unlimited!) soon, and I’ll post again when it is. I’m so, so excited to share it with you. I’m really proud of this story. Here’s the summary:

Eleanor Higgins has an incredible talent for matchmaking—for everyone but herself. Many of the couples in the tiny Colorado ranch town of Prairie Winds have Eleanor to thank for their happily ever after. But when her best friend, Morgan, asks for Eleanor’s help to set her up on a date…

Well, that’s where it gets complicated.

Morgan is funny and dashing, and she’s sexier in blue jeans and a cowboy hat than any ranch hand has a right to be. She also just came out. The thing is? Eleanor’s had a crush on Morgan since forever, and has spent her entire life convincing herself that Morgan was off limits. Now that Morgan’s told her she’s not exactly straight—and that Morgan needs her help to find the right lady—Eleanor’s heartbroken that this “right lady” is probably not her. Ever the great friend, she knows her own ex-girlfriend is absolutely perfect for Morgan…

A sexy camping trip, a tornado and an intense love triangle round out this heartwarming romance by best-selling author Marian Snowe!

Feast your eyes on this cover, you guys. My publisher at Rose and Star Press, Bridget Essex, is a genius designer and has captured Morgan perfectly. I’m dying with love ❤

beautiful young woman portrait with long hair in motion, studio shot

Finding ourselves in the past

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I love history. I love it so damn much. I minored in it when I got my BA in English. And I always, always find myself searching for any hint of women who loved women in times before the modern age. And men who loved men, in fact. And people whose gender presentation differed from the socially accepted “norm.” (Hint: There were and are far more of us than anyone ever told you in school.)

I could go on forever about the various people I’ve learned about, but there’s something particularly cool that’s going on in lesbian fiction right now. As I read more and more contemporary lesbian romance, I see that I’m definitely not alone in wanting to see myself in the people of the past. Whenever I pick up a contemporary lesbian romance novel that involves the characters delving into the past, chances are good that a historical lesbian couple will appear. I’m starting to hope for it every time I pick up a book where the description mentions some discovery out of the past  ❤

My first novel, Heart of Glass, which reached best-seller status on Amazon, had this as a central theme. I knew that I wasn’t the first to weave historical lesbians into a story, but I didn’t realize until recently how many other novels share this element. Here are some of my favorites:

Cross My Heart, by Natalie Vivien, has two of my very favorite things: lesbian romance and ghosts  ❤  This is a compelling, atmospheric story (and sexy AS HELL) that follows the romance between a commitment-phobic archaeologist and a librarian ghost-hunter as they unravel the mystery of a haunted Victorian mansion. The historical lesbians are woven intricately and eerily into the modern story.

Miserere, by Caren J. Werlinger, is (I think) properly classified as a historical fiction in its own right, since it takes place in the late 1960s. It also blends ghost story with romance and history, following a young girl who must solve a mystery from her family’s Irish past. This novel bridges the gap of time to bring the lesbian romance, which existed in the past, right to the forefront in compelling ways.

Rare and Beautiful Things, by Giselle Fox, is the latest in my collection of books with this theme. I haven’t finished it yet, but reading it inspired me to write this. So far, this novel is stuffed full of adventure and compelling characters, and I can’t wait to watch the historical aspect unfold.

Do you know of any contemporary lesbian romance stories that involve historical lesbians? I’d love to hear about them if you do!  🙂

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I truly wish that I could function and keep up with Facebook and Twitter and the news, but it’s the reality that right now, I can’t. I’m lucky to have a wife who keeps me up to date on the (generally horrific, sometimes hopeful) things that are going on in my country. But I still want to add my voice in other ways than the activism I’m doing offline, and so right now, I’m going to make this place my avenue to do that. And, naturally, I’ll still talk about lesbian romance a lot ❤

Here are some links that are giving me a bit of comfort and hope.

Author Bridget Essex has launched a t-shirt campaign to benefit Planned Parenthood. To get a “Nasty Warrior Woman” t-shirt, all of the profits of which will go to Planned Parenthood, we need to order enough t-shirts for the order to be funded. Please go check it out ❤

Are you addicted to dopamine? Yes. Yes, I am. This post explains the seek/reward cycle that triggers a dopamine loop–that desire to find out what’s going on, to learn something new, to download any available tidbit of information into your brain, and the satisfaction you feel when you do. This is why we keep scrolling on Twitter. Why we feel the compulsion to check Facebook in case something else has happened. Why, when we hear about some event, we think “I’ll just look up one more news article.” And yet, one more news article or five more minutes on Twitter only makes us feel worse. Just recognizing that this is a chemical process has helped me.

5 Ways to Celebrate Imbolc Without Spending a Dime. February 2nd is Imbolc, the pagan holiday celebrated halfway between Yule, the winter solstice, and Ostara, the spring equinox. It’s all about kindling a light in the darkness, about renewal and resetting, about gathering hope. I know I need that desperately right now. This blog post by Penniless Pagan has several fun ways to celebrate without spending.

Baubles

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I’m determined to post more here, and my wife suggested that I schedule time every week to do that, so I’m going to take her advice 🙂 The state of America right now (I live in New Hampshire) is…well. As a lesbian and a woman and someone who cares about the lives of trans people and people of color and immigrants and the disabled and other minorities, it’s put me in a near-constant state of panic. And if I’m in that state, I can’t write–and therefore can’t share my stories with you, which is my beloved career! So, while I’m remaining engaged in activism, I’m also keeping a tight rein on my news and social media consumption.

My wife posts weekly link round-ups in her blog, Wooly Witchy, and so I’m going to take a page from her e-book and share some cool things I’ve come across lately, in the hopes that they make you smile or interest you during this time of…well. Yeah.

Today is the 125th anniversary of the birth of Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to hold a pilot’s license and the first woman to hold an international pilot’s license! Today’s Google doodle features her. Because of the whitewashing of history, I’d never heard of her…and she’s amazing. Such awesome accomplishments, such courage in the face of adversity. She didn’t let the fact that nobody in the U.S. would teach her aviation stop her. I admire her very much.

This has been making me laugh lately: The Gallery of Regrettable Food. It’s a gallery of bizarre, frightening, and wonderful food from vintage cookbooks. The humor is occasionally not to my taste, but most of the time it’s freaking hilarious. I really love looking at vintage advertisements, and not just the shockingly racist/sexist ones that always come up first when you search for them. This site also features some of the wackiest ads.

In the vintage vein, I’ve become enamored with cute vintage ceramic figurines (mostly of deer and bunnies and the like). Instagram has a fantastic community of vintage shops; here are some of my favorites:
The Vintage Bulldog
Kitsch and Kawaii
The Vintage Unicorn
Angel Violet Vintage
Stella Rocks It Vintage

❤ ❤ ❤ I hope some of these links bring you happiness, and please know that if you’re hurting right now, I’m thinking of you.

SOMEONE LIKE YOU is now available!

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I’m so excited to announce that my latest novel, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, is now available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions!

I’m really proud of this book. Ruby, my wife, says that Delphine (the love interest) is her favorite of all my characters so far :3 And that makes me SUPER happy! I just love the chemistry between Maggie and Delphine, and their dynamic was delightful to write. I really hope you enjoy it. Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment or dropping me an e-mail! I love to chat with readers and other writers   ❤

Click here to find Someone Like You on Amazon!

A young woman is standing at the end of a pier by the ocean

Have you ever fallen for the wrong person?

Maggie Zurek is a high-powered executive who just pulled off the crowning achievement of her business career. Her future looks bright, but when a sleep-deprived car accident causes her family to send her on a forced vacation, Maggie is furious. It’s the worst possible time to waste two weeks at an island on the Maine coast. But she’s even more furious when she discovers that her sister signed her up for a self-help painting class with a teacher who is Maggie’s polar opposite.

Delphine Moss is free-spirited and reckless, a woman who shamelessly flaunts convention. She delights in challenging Maggie’s perfectionism and rigid views, and in spite of herself, Maggie is entranced by Delphine’s siren song. She’s never fallen for a woman before, so Maggie is utterly unprepared for the storm of emotions that Delphine excites in her. And there’s nothing Maggie hates more than feeling unprepared.

A passionate encounter leaves Maggie shaken to her very foundations, and she leaves the island, vowing never to set eyes on Delphine again. But in the course of a year, fate—a force Maggie never believed in—conspires to turn both of their lives upside down, and their unlikely reunion sends Maggie’s inhibitions up in smoke.

As the two women join forces to save Delphine’s island, Maggie struggles to come to terms with her feelings. Can two people who are so fundamentally different ever be happy together? And if Maggie allows herself to truly fall for Delphine, will Delphine ever see her as more than a conquest?

 

New Release Soon – SOMEONE LIKE YOU

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Sorry it’s been so long since I posted here! I’m more active over at my Facebook, but I’ve been keeping a bit of a low profile since the election in order to preserve my sanity.

But I have exciting news! I hope to release my next novel, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, next Tuesday (December 20th). I really, really love this one–it’s an “opposites attract” or “enemies to lovers” story, and I haven’t published a novel of that sort before. I adore the characters and I get giddy every time I read the scenes where they’re together. I think you’re going to love it!

My wonderful editor, Bridget Essex of Rose and Star Press, made me the novel’s cover. It’s BEAUTIFUL and perfectly captures the atmosphere of the story.

Below is my in-progress description. I can’t wait to share this novel with you all!

Have you ever fallen for the wrong person?

Maggie Zurek is a high-powered executive who just completed the crown jewel of her business career. Her future looks bright, but after a sleep-deprived car accident, her family sends her on a forced vacation to an island off the coast of Maine. Maggie is furious to be torn away from work, but she’s even more furious when she discovers that her sister signed her up for a self-help painting class with a teacher who is Maggie’s polar opposite.

Delphine Moss is free-spirited and reckless, a woman who shamelessly flaunts convention. She delights in challenging Maggie’s perfectionism and rigid views, and in spite of herself, Maggie is drawn in by Delphine’s siren song. Having never fallen for a woman before, Maggie is utterly unprepared for the storm of emotions that Delphine excites in her. And there’s nothing Maggie hates more than feeling unprepared.

A brief, passionate encounter leaves Maggie shaken to her core, and she leaves the island, vowing never to set eyes on Delphine again. But in the course of a year, fate—a force Maggie never believed in—conspires to turn both of their lives upside down, and their unlikely reunion sends Maggie’s inhibitions up in smoke.

As the two women join forces to save Delphine’s island, Maggie struggles to come to terms with her feelings. Can two people who are so fundamentally different ever be happy together? And if Maggie allows herself to truly fall for Delphine, will Delphine ever see her as more than a conquest?

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