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.

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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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THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US is #5!

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I am ELATED to tell you that my most recent novel, THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US, is #5 on Amazon’s Lesbian Romance Best Seller list!

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It’s getting great reviews as well! If you’d like to give it a read, it’s available on Amazon (link below) in both Kindle and paperback versions, and you can read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

I’d love to hear what you think about it 🙂

The Mountain Between Us by Marian Snowe

The Mountain Between Us

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I’m very excited to announce that my newest novel, The Mountain Between Us, is now available to buy on Amazon! You can also read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

This novel was a joy to write. My favorite part of writing romance is exploring the ways love can change a person, and how two people can overcome their fears and accept each other’s flaws in order to share their lives. Tess and Remy are perfect examples of this, and I hope you love this novel as much as I do.

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Buy THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US on Amazon

Is love worth taking a risk when nothing is certain?

Tess Monroe is starting a new chapter in her life—or, at least, she hopes she is. After quitting her tedious, dead-end job, Tess has some time on her hands before her new career starts, and she’s determined to make the most of it.

As a congratulations gift from her family, Tess receives a week’s retreat: a guided hike up to an exclusive yoga resort in the mountains. She’s certain this will be her chance for a fresh start, but the trip begins on a bad note when an unexpected storm turns the leisurely hike into a dangerous ordeal. When Tess slips off the steep, icy trail, her vacation and her life are in jeopardy…until she falls straight into the strong, capable arms of the world’s hottest park ranger: Remy Labelle.

Remy is a bold, intelligent woman with a cutting wit, and her striking features and smoldering smirk make Tess go weak in the knees. But Remy has a huge chip on her shoulder about the yoga resort, and Tess never takes chances when it comes to romance. Still, Tess can’t deny the incendiary spark between them, and she finds herself questioning her rigid expectations of what a perfect romance must be.

As things keep going wrong on Tess’s vacation, she and Remy grow closer and passions flare. But Remy’s past—and the manipulations of Melissa, the resort’s manager, who clearly has a hold over Remy—threatens to get in the way. Will Tess overcome her fear of heartbreak to try a relationship with Remy? And even if she does, can Remy drop her barriers and allow herself to love again?

HEREAFTER is available today!

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I am utterly elated to share with you that my second novel, HEREAFTER, is now available on Amazon and for FREE on Kindle Unlimited!

Click here to buy HEREAFTER on Amazon or read on Kindle Unlimited!

This book means the world to me. I poured so much emotion into it–it’s an intense, poignant love story that transforms both women forever. Writing it was an incredible experience for me and I learned so much about crafting stories. I’m so proud of this novel and I hope from the bottom of my heart that you love it.

Here’s the summary:

Detective Samantha Easton has always thought of herself as an adaptable person. But when she nearly dies after being shot on the job, Sam discovers something totally at odds with her rational, analytical personality: she can now see the spirits of people who have died, and she’s not finding it easy to adapt.

As if the sudden appearance of ghosts on the streets of Boston and her dead great-grandmother’s curious questions about her love life aren’t enough, Sam is being haunted by a mystery woman. This beautiful ghost, Mae, has no memories and is unable to move on from this life to whatever comes next—and she wants Sam to solve the mystery of her death.

Sam readily accepts the case, happy to get back to doing what she does best. There’s only one problem: falling in love with Mae wasn’t part of Sam’s plan.

As the two women unravel Mae’s secrets, they fall deeper in love with one another… But how can a ghost and a living person live happily ever after?

Cover reveal! ~ HEREAFTER ~

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My wonderful publishers have created a gorgeous cover for my upcoming novel, HEREAFTER. I’m so excited to share with you that HEREAFTER’s release date is July 26th – less than a week away!

HEREAFTER is the story of Detective Samantha Easton. Sam’s always prided herself on being adaptable, but after she’s shot and nearly killed on the job, something happens that turns her rational, logic-based worldview upside-down: she starts seeing the spirits of dead people.

As if ghosts wandering the streets of Boston and her dead great-grandmother prying into her love life isn’t enough, Sam is being haunted by a mystery woman. Mae, a beautiful ghost, has no memories and is unable to cross over to whatever waits beyond this mortal coil. She asks Sam to solve the mystery of her death in the hopes that it will bring to light why her spirit is still here. Sam’s happy to take on this challenge – detective work is at least more familiar than interacting with ghosts – but she didn’t plan on falling in love with Mae.

As the two women investigate Mae’s death and work to unearth her secrets, they fall deeper in love with each other. But how can a romance between a living person and a ghost ever turn out happily?

I’m so proud of this novel and I just can’t wait to share it with you! ❤

Finished draft!

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Sorry it’s been so long since I posted! I’ve been hard at work on my next novel, a romance with a side of mystery and ghostly happenings.

The biggest news I have to share is that on July 1, I quit my office job and I’m now writing full time. It took a lot of planning and a lot of kicks in the butt by the universe, but I’m so, so incredibly happy that I took this leap. I want to write stories that make people happy, stories that show that lesbians can and do have happy endings. It’s my greatest wish that I’ll be able to continue doing this for a living.

So! 😀 To celebrate finishing my draft, I created a graphic with a quote from the novel. Here’s a quick description of the novel’s premise:

Detective Samantha Easton finds that, after sustaining a near-mortal wound, she can now see the spirits of people who have passed. As a staunch skeptic, she has a hard time coming to terms with this, but things get even more complicated when a beautiful ghost–who Sam’s been seeing all over the place and can’t get out of her thoughts–approaches her. This ghost, Mae, asks Sam to solve the mystery of her death so she can cross over. That would be a hard enough task as it is, but as they grow closer to each other and to unraveling the mystery, Sam finds that she’s falling in love with Mae.

There’s so much emotion in this novel. Sam has a lot of things to work out before she can accept what’s happening to her, and it takes a serious toll on her. This is the hardest story I’ve written because of the heartbreak of losing loved ones and being afraid to lose them, but I promise you–I’ll never write a lesbian romance that doesn’t have a happy ending.

I’ll be spending this week deep in editing, and then the novel will go to my publishers. I can’t wait to have a release date to share with you! I hope, so much, that you’ll enjoy this novel. It’s been an incredible journey.

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P.J. Bryce

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