Posts Tagged 'Paranormal Lesbian Romance'

Surgery, Broken Bones, Friendship, Romance, and All the Other Things That Make a Book

BY  ALI VALI

Friendship is something my partner and I have not only shared for twenty-nine years, but something we cherish. We’ve never taken it for granted, especially after August 16th of this year. Emergency surgery is just that—something unplanned and urgent. The complications that come after are, in a word, hell.

 

C’s had it rough since August, but what a blessing it’s been to have not only each other, but the kind of friends who are gifts from God. The calls, cards, gifts, and prayers are what pulled us through without out too much mental scarring. To all of you who took time to send healing thoughts and prayers, you have our deepest appreciation. We both are truly blessed and humbled you cared so much.

 

When life throws you a multitude of curve balls, all of them aimed at your head, the knowledge you are cared for truly does bring solace. The churning in your gut caused by the realization you have absolutely no control over so many moments in your life is somehow more tolerable because you have friends who are willing to hold your hand through it all.

 

Our recent long hospital stay gave me the opportunity to return a lot of emails, and a lot of folks asked me if there’s any part of C or myself in the books I write, and if so, what. The one thing I try my best to convey, no matter the book, is the joy a loving relationship can bring to your life. It’s one of the reasons I suck at writing erotica. Radclyffe always tells me there’s too much story along with the sex, but come to think of it, Radclyffe always tells me there’s too much story no matter what. I have a little trouble keeping to those word counts, so thank you to my awesome editor Shelley Thrasher, who has no trouble trimming all that excess. Don’t let that Southern laid-back demeanor fool you; the woman is a slasher in every sense of the word.

 

So while C and I have been together almost thirty years, Kendal Richoux is over three thousand years old, and the two people she’s trusted as much as her father have been with her all those years. Imagine having someone in your life for an eternity like that and the depth of the friendship you’d share with them because of it.

 

The storyline and concepts of the Forces series,Battle of Forces 300 DPI though, different from the Devil books, deal with the same themes of family, loyalty to others, friendships, and in some cases, disloyalty to others. Both series are fun to write for different reasons, but when as a writer you can suspend a little reality that must be present in other books, it brings with it a new sense of imagination. Can you imagine a vampire hunting through the Devil series? Cain at times is bloody enough, but I’d guess she’d have ordered a boatload of wooden stakes from Home Depot by now, as well as hired Kendal for Swordplay 101.

 

Both series take place mostly in New Orleans, but I believe the city brings something to each story. For us, there’s no place like New Orleans—the food, carefree lifestyle, and the people have the history of this place in their DNA. And it doesn’t matter if you weren’t born here; I certainly wasn’t, but what a place to grow up. If you did grow up here and don’t have a story about sneaking into a bar when you were underage, then your childhood wasn’t a complete success. All you need to know is after a few beers, your first tray of crawfish or crab cakes, followed by some beignets, you’re a native.

 

This was the perfect place for someone three thousand years old who’s lived all over the world. Kendal Richoux lost a love in New Orleans and found it again a few hundred years later. Kendal feels at home in New Orleans because, like her, the city had so many facets and personalities.

 

This series appealed to me because of the snippets of history Kendal’s lived through. As a reader I love historical novels (if only KI Thompson would gift us with another one of those), but I can’t settle on one time period to actually write one. With a character who’s witnessed so much I didn’t have to, and different aspects of Kendal’s past were included.

 

Now you’d think after spending twenty-nine years with someone, the only new and exciting things left are the fantasies of how to kill that person and get away with it, but that’s not the case at all. Granted, I did scar C with a pressure washer, but aside from that, I truly enjoy romancing her. See. These blogs teach you something. No one loves a mob movie more than me, which I guess is why no one guessed the two truths and a lie on the panel I served on in Ptown. The audience wasn’t buying that Too Cute is one of my favorite television shows, but it is. So while you might think I spend most of my time thinking of new and inventive ways to kill people, I’m also pretty good at picking out flowers.

 

In honor of the woman I love, there’s also romance woven into this story as well, and it was nice giving someone like Kendal, whose past is so rich and full, a new beginning. Like I said, life is so much easier when you have someone who cares about you, and that only gets better when you find that someone who can make you laugh even when it’s the last thing in the world you want to do. No matter what’s going on, C can do that because she knows me better than any other living soul.

 

To me, the action is important to every story, but the romance is the center of it all. What I’ve tried to bring out in every book is that a character, no matter how strong, needs someone who allows them to let their load down if only for a little while. The journey to that point is what gives every book its heart.

 

That brings us back to friendship and where it takes us next in the Forces series. If I was one for hints, which I’m not, but if I was, I’d tell you the answer is found in a couple of places in this second book. Kendal and Piper’s, as well as Morgaine and Lenore’s story will go on. There are babies on the way and…wait, I forgot I’m not much for hints.

 

The other story that will continue is the adventures as well as romance C and I are always involved in. No surgeries, broken bones, and other such calamities will slow us down. We’ll, as always, relish the high points and not worry about the trials because of the aforementioned great friends who’ll see us through. So thanks again for the good energy you shot our way. We return it a thousand fold.

 

Thanks too for reading the books and the great notes you send. Events like Women’s Week in Ptown are always fun because I get to chat with so many readers about the books and life in general. You just never know when one of those conversations sparks an idea for the next storyline. Thanks for that too!

 

If you guess the theme of the third Forces book I’ll be happy to send you an autographed copy of the second one. The first three people who send me the correct answer to terrali20@yahoo.com get a book.

Five Things I’ve Learned From Vampires

BY Sheri Lewis Wohl

Scarlet Revenge 300 DPI

Not long ago I was musing about vampires. I mean, I write about them…a lot…and people ask me why…a lot…so I decided perhaps a little introspection was in order. Why DO I write about vampires all the time? Is there some deep-seated, unresolved psychological issue that compels me to always tread on the dark side? Nope—nothing that Freudian. Don’t get me wrong, I have my share of baggage but not enough to put me into permanent therapy. Am I really a Goth chick hiding beneath a prim and conservative exterior? Maybe—if I was a couple decades younger! Somehow I just don’t think that look would work for me at this age. Do I long for eternity? Not so much. The seasons of life make it rich and beautiful. I can’t see trading that for a forever without family or friends. Do I find the vampire’s power and strength sexy? Well, yeah I kind of do but that’s more of a perk than an explanation for my obsession.

No, as I thought about it, I decided the main reason I fixate on vampires is because of what I learn from them. Forget the folklore. Forget the legends. Forget the fiction. Get down to the essence of vampires and there is much to discover. My top five go something like this:

1.  Don’t give up. It might look like the end but it could just be the beginning of something new and exciting.

2.  Don’t be afraid of the dark. No matter how dark it might seem, the light will always come again.

3.  Don’t be afraid to make friends. A true forever friend may walk into your world at any moment.

4. Don’t be intolerant. Despite differences in race, religion, sex, or sexual preference, beneath it all we’re the same: human beings.

5.  Don’t wallow in self-pity. Just because something happened to you that isn’t fair and changes your life, don’t let it destroy you. Stand up, dust yourself off, and find a way to live in your new reality.

So there it is: five things I’ve learned from vampires and just a few of the reasons I’m drawn to them in my writing. It’s true, vampires might be the stuff of legends, good horror movies, and classic novels, but you know, once you get beyond the superficial, they might just have something to teach us all.

It’s called Imagination…

BY SHERI LEWIS WOHL

I love books. I love writing them. I love reading them. I love holding them. I love talking about them. There pretty much isn’t anything I dislike about books. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer and the day I sold my first manuscript was huge. Did I get a big contract? A giant advance? A whirlwind release tour? Nope. Did it matter? Not in the least. My dream of becoming a writer came true and that single reward was the only thing that counted.

I still get just as much satisfaction out of writing books. I get better at it with each one. I become a little more successful with each one. The work is hard, long, and sometimes tedious. The satisfaction of having put in the work immense. But the biggest joy is talking with people who read my books. I love their enthusiasm, their comments, their willingness to talk with the shy writer who usually hangs out in the back of the room.

That said, there’s one question I get asked routinely that always has me scratching my head. Oh, I get the typical—where do you get your ideas? Why do you write about vampires? Who is your favorite character? All standard questions for a novelist and all easily answered. But there’s another question that pops up again and again:  Have you done all the sex you write about?

That one makes me smile. Why, you ask? Well, as I typically answer that particular question with a question: “At least one person dies in every single book I’ve written and no one ever asks me if I’ve killed someone so why do you think I’ve tried every sexual encounter I write about?” It boils down to one single thing regardless of what I’m writing about: imagination. It’s the guiding force in every book and every scene. It’s what makes writing and reading so very much fun.

Today, I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s true I haven’t tried everything I write about when it comes to sex in my books but it’s possible, just possible, I write from a combination of experience and imagination. I’ll let you decide which is which. Let your imagination soar.

Sheri Lewis Wohl’s latest release, Scarlet Revenge, is available now at www.BoldStrokesBooks.comScarlet Revenge 300 DPI

Learn more about Sheri at www.sherilewiswohl.com, www.sherilewiswohl.wordpress.com, www.sheri26.blogspot.com, and on Facebook and Twitter

Put a Ring On It

What’s more romantic than a proposal? And no, I’m not talking about a book proposal.

Editors All Day, Every Day

BY CATE CULPEPPER

Listen in on any gathering of Bold Strokes Books authors and you’ll hear them wax rhapsodic about their editors.

“That literary giant, Dr. Shelley Thrasher, is a genius!”

“That sainted Stacia Seaman taught me SO SO SO much!”

“Ruth Sternglantz breathes life into my prose!  LIFE, I tell you!”

I’ve worked with Cindy Cresap for six years.  She has edited every book I’ve ever written for BSB.

Cindy Cresap, that illiterate cow.

Heresy, yes.  Heresy most dire.  But I am the only writer at Bold Strokes Books, the only writer in the world, who finds the editing process difficult.

I admit, I might sometimes be a difficult writer to edit.  I was capable, in one of the earlier Tristaine books, of producing the following sentence:

She raised her single-shot rifle and fired twice into the morning sky.

I saw nothing wrong with this sentence.  Cindy Cresap, to her credit, refrained from sarcasm and simply inserted this:  (?)

But the point is, Cindy Cresap sometimes wants to change my work.  She wants to correct my grammar.  True, she tries to explain to me why these changes are necessary.  But when Cindy Cresap starts going on about “comma flatstops” and “modifier tintinnabulation” or what the fuck ever, her voice comes out “waah waah waah” like all the adult voices in the Peanuts TV shows.

I’m especially gratified whenever I reduce Cindy Cresap to inchoate sputtering, as when she took umbrage to a line I used in my latest novel, A Question of Ghosts:

 “A single tear trickled down Becca’s cheek.”

Oh my god! (Cindy Cresap wrote.) It’s the ‘single tear trickling down a cheek’  – second only to ‘releasing a breath she didn’t know she’d been holding’ as the biggest cliché in romance writing! Please kill it! At least remove the ‘single’ description. (Cindy Cresap added.)  A tear is the same as a single tear.

Cindy Cresap likes A Question of Ghosts, though.  She thinks it’s my best yet.

And Cindy gets it, that her approval can be as hard for me to accept as her criticism, and I’ll second-guess her all the way.  After these years and these books, she knows she’s working with an author who didn’t see print until her mid-forties, one both blessed by the freedom of writing fanfiction and mired in its conventions.

Cindy and I disagreed once on something in a story that felt important to me.  She finally had to say no, this doesn’t work in the book, and you need to drop it.   Complying with that was hard.  Authors joke about their books being the children they send out into the world, but that’s true in a sense.  Mine are surely the only progeny I plan to offer.  Cindy was telling me she knew my child better than I did, and I was sure she was wrong.

Cindy was telling me the truth about the world my child was trying to enter.

As Jeanne Kisacky said:  “A writer is in the forest, describing the trees; an editor is in a high vantage point, simultaneously seeing the dirt, the trees, the forest, the paths and patterns manifesting in the forest, and the relation of the forest to the surrounding landscape.”

If I want to bury my nose in the bark of a redwood, I have to trust what Cindy tells me about the forest.  I will continue to argue with her forever about the placement of certain greenery, but our collaboration is sound.  I’m happy Cindy and I are in accord on A Question of Ghosts. 

I’m going to tell a story about the book now, which Cindy would say is too abrupt because the theme of my blog seems to be my relationship with my editor, but this blog is my tree and Cindy should sit the merry hell down.

Anyway, my good friend Jay came out to Seattle last summer to take the photo that Sheri Dragon has conjured into the cover for Ghosts you see hereThe picture is of the Lady of the Rock, a statue that graces the Brawley family plot in Lake View Cemetery.  Both the statue and the cemetery feature prominently in my story.  I was afraid the family wouldn’t allow the use of this image—that they might be uncomfortable with a lesbian theme, or they’d want to charge a fee I couldn’t manage.

Lynn Brawley-Birkwist’s response:  “We’re just fine with it!  Can we have two copies of the book?”

I hope you like A Question of Ghosts. It’s recommended by no less than Cindy Cresap, that most erudite and brilliant of editors.

I saw an angel in the marble…

Sheri Lewis Wohl here and starting off 2012 with the promise of letting imagination rule. Starting with the angel in the marble and that probably has you saying…what??? Well, it’s part of a quote by Michelangelo and the whole quote goes like this:  “I saw an angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free.” When I first read that I thought to myself how completely Michelangelo captured the heart and soul of the creative spirit in just a few words. It doesn’t matter the medium, for him it was marble. For Picasso, paint. For writers, like me, words. For all of us, it begins and ends with imagination and the ability to carve until we set our angels free.

Now the whole imagination thing probably scares the crap out of the people who know me and readers who have picked up my work. After all, it’s not exactly angels I’m setting free in my novels. Vampires, yes. Werewolves, yes. An occasional ghost or witch, yes. Angels, not so much. No matter what I try to write, something strange always creeps in. Even when I begin a book with no preternatural beings involved at all, damned if one them doesn’t pop up when I least expect it. It’s just the way I roll.

My upcoming book is no exception. With my first BSB entry, Crimson Vengeance, I introduced you to one of my all-time favorite characters, Dr. Riah Preston, a 500-year-old vampire. Love her, love her, love her. The book ended and I didn’t want to let her go, but where to take her next? The idea came to me as I was riding my mountain bike through Riverside State Park here in eastern Washington State. It’s a gorgeous park with hills, forests, the river, and more beauty than you can imagine. Unless, you’re me. Oh yeah, I see and appreciate the glory of Riverside State Park, but it’s not all I see. As I rode my bike the 22 miles from my office to my home, it occurred to me that the park would make a great place to dump bodies. And what would be the logical one to dump the bodies? A werewolf of course. Again, I repeat: it’s just the way I roll. By the time I met my editor extraordinaire, Shelley Thrasher, Burgundy Betrayal in all its werewolf and vampire glory was born.

Life is great. It’s filled with interesting people and awesome adventure. But for me, one of life’s greatest gifts is that of imagination. As Edgar Allen Poe once said, “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.” Let your imagination soar and embrace the dream. Find your own angel and carve until you set it free. Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year. Cheers and happy reading.

Spring Fling

Adorable and talented Bold Strokes Books author, Rebekah Weatherspoon dishes with me about vampires and her upcoming release, The Fling.

Shades of Paranormal

From Crimson Vengeance to Burgundy Betrayal, Bold Strokes Author Sheri Lewis Wohl offers a unique take on paranormal fiction.

Wilder than Wild

Tune in to hear what Bold Strokes Books author Meghan O’Brien is up to.

Vic of All Trades

Meet BSB editor and author, Victoria Oldham and hear how she juggles her multiple personalities:


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