Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A perosnal message and an incredible contest from Vanilla Heart Publishing!!!!

Once again, I have let my ultra-sensitive nature get the best of me. Once again, like so many people in the GLBTQ community, I recently faced some prejudice. I am lucky that it was nothing of any real significance, but I still let it get to me: right to my heart.

After lengthy discussions with some of the people involved, I/we know how we are going to handle the situation and continue on with our lives. The worst part was the fact that I allowed these certain people to get to me, to hurt me. All of us are moving on, and not allowing these people or incidents to continue to affect us negatively.

It is because of people and situations like this that I wrote Loving Her. Those stories are true to life. If you have not yet read Loving Her, please do so. Please read it so that you can better understand what we fight daily. Besides, Unbreakable Hostage is coming out soon & you know you want to have read Loving Her before Unbreakable Hostage comes out! ;)
We’ve put together a humongous box full of our Author’s Fabulous Titles! Win a Bookshelf full of terrific reading, brought to you by the amazing authors of Vanilla Heart Publishing! Yep, 25 Fabulous Novels and a surprise for the winner! See Below for details on how to get entries into the drawing to be held on Labor Day!
Contest open to residents of the ..US.. and ....Canada.... and must be over 18 to enter
GRAND PRIZE: 25 print edition novels (shown above - randomly drawn)
SECOND PRIZE: 5 Ebook Downloads of winner’s choice
THIRD PRIZE: 3 Discount Coupons for 50% Ebook Downloads
Post about our Build Your Bookshelf Contest on your blog with a link back to this post, then email us the location ONE entry for each
Purchase and/or read one of our great fiction titles, and email VHP the seventh line on page 27, the title, and the author’s name. ONE entry for each…
To get THREE entries all in one fell swoop, post a review on either Amazon or Barnes and Noble and send in the title and location of the review
Choose one (or more) of your favorite VHP books and post the Amazon link for a minimum of one week. We’ll give you ONE entry for each book after you send us the link to the place you posted the link, and an extra entry if you posted something about the title or author. (If you have your own Amazon A-store, put the book in your store and get the commission from Amazon, too!)
Post three or more cover pictures of our terrific VHP titles with Amazon links or Barnes and Noble links and receive FIVE entries when you email us the location for verification.
Host one of our awesome VHP authors on your blog (they’ve all got great blog visitor tidbits) and receive SEVEN entries!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

In lieu of Ask the Author Day...

Hey all! So, as some of you know, I have wonderful family events to attend this coming week. Starting Monday, my on-line time will be limited. I'll do the best that I can, but I will NOT be able to post my Ask the Author blog on the 15th. Sorry!!!

So, instead I'd like to proudly announce that both Imperfect and my suspense novel, The Unbreakable Hostage are completed and are in the very capable hands of my kick-ass publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing. They are both due to come out within the next few months.

So, if you're looking for books that will make you think; keep you on the edge of your seat; make you fall in love; make you angry; terrify you and just be a GREAT late summer read, you SO have to get these books. I am extremely proud of them both. They're both very different as far as genre and style. They're both giant leaps forward from Loving Her. So, if you want to read something new & interesting, keep checking back. I'll keep you all posted on ALL the great details on their releases & so on.

I'm also going to be attending some GREAT book fairs this fall, so stay tuned to that. It would be GREAT to meet you guys!

Thanks so much for all your kindness & support. I KNOW that Imperfect & The Unbreakable Hostage will NOT disappoint you in the least! So stay tuned for that & we'll get back to Loving Her on August 1st! :)

Happy reading!!!!!!! :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Favorite Quotes from Loving Her and a NEW!!!!

I’d like to thank everyone for their participation in this month’s on-line book club discussion. This is a great cross-section of quotes. They’re funny, romantic, gripping and sentimental. We’ll definitely have to do something like this again.

So go ahead and re-read your favorite quotes, find news ones & if you haven’t read Loving Her yet (what are you waiting for?!), you will love this book in its entirety.

And, I'm also proud to announce that after A LOT of hard work, has been revamped! Go check out the new website! It looks great & there is some very cool stuff on there! You will love it! :)

Anyway, without further ado: your favorite Loving Her quotes. Enjoy!!!

Linda & Katie

She wanted to see the blonde again, but she had disappeared into the sea of faces. Linda handed the young guy the money, took her pies and went outside. Amazingly enough, as she walked out the backdoor, there was the little blonde cutie smoking. She didn’t reach 5 feet tall. Her shiny, sun colored hair was pulled back into a short pony tail. Her dark blue eyes reflected the stars in the night sky. Both girls paused a moment and smiled sheepishly at each other.


Stephania couldn’t help but notice that Katie had started looking at her rather intensely. Being the comedian that she was, Stephania just started staring back, but with a rather comical expression.


Semester’s end found Katie moving into Linda’s apartment. Katie’s new “lesbian family” of Maria, Stephania, Liz, Jen, and Donna helped with the move. Linda’s circle had accepted Katie with open arms, and all were excited for the new couple. Moving wasn’t too bad since Katie did not have much to move in. She had the bare minimum, as that was all her parents would allow her to have. After getting things settled, the 7 girls sat down to a pizza dinner, compliments of Katie. They just started to enjoy their meal when the phone rang. Linda jumped up and answered.
“Hello?” Her raspy voice was clearly not what the person on the other end had expected.
“Oh – uh – hi. Is Kathrine available please?”
“Sure, hang on.” Linda put the phone down and walked over to Katie. “It’s for you, babe,” she whispered and she brushed a kiss on Katie’s beautiful cheek.
Katie rose, and picked up the phone. “Hello? Oh, hi Mom.” She paused. “Yes, that was Linda, my new roommate.”
“Roommate?” Stephania asked Linda.
“Yeah. Katie’s parents are tough. Her dad is a pastor, so she has to watch what she says. It sucks,” Linda whispered in reply.
In the background, the group heard Katie’s conversation. “No, mom, she doesn’t smoke. No, she doesn’t have throat cancer. That is her normal voice.” Katie was speaking shortly: she was obviously annoyed by her mother’s questions. “Yes, mom, I know she has a deep voice. But that’s – ” The rest of the gang could only imagine what was being said on the other end. Katie just stood silently, knowing there was nothing that could be said to her mother. Finally, she just yes-ed her mother and eventually hung up the phone.
“Everything ok, honey?” Linda asked as she put her arm around her love.
Katie sighed. “Yeah.”
“Your father is a pastor?” Jen asked. Jen was the quiet one of group. The question, and the tone of her voice were obviously concerned, and the fact that she spoke up meant that she took this very seriously.
“Yeah,” Katie cautiously answered.
“How do you plan on explaining this to your parents?” Stephania asked.

“Well, my parents are in Iowa. If I can find work here in Philly after I graduate, then I won’t have to answer to them any more.”

“There is a ton of work to be had around here,” Maria said. “I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
“Of course she will,” Linda said, pulling Katie close to her. “She’s bright and talented. If she can do everything she’s doing now, she’ll be fine. She’s awesome.”
“There’s no doubt that she is,” Jen said warily. “I’m still uneasy about this whole thing, though…”


“…I’ve always told you I’d do anything and everything for you.”


Katie came home and found her parents standing over Linda.
“Oh my God…” Katie was floored. Linda was huddled on her knees on the floor. Katie didn’t see the beginnings of a black eye around Linda’s left, dark brown eye. She also didn’t know that Linda had cuts and bruises on her arms and legs underneath her clothing. No one knew how violent Katie’s parents could be. Linda knew now, though. Linda’s right leg had been kicked so hard in the knee, Linda couldn’t move. “What the hell have you done to her?!” Katie asked.
“WE have done nothing to her. The real question is, what has she done to you?!” Katie’s father barked.
Linda just sat there, not moving, crying hysterically.
“She didn’t do anything to me, dad!” Katie shouted back.
“That’s a lie!” Her mother screamed. “We know about your – about how she, she…perverted you!” Her mother broke down into hysterics. Through her sobs she said, “We know. We saw one of her letters. It came after you left. We saw the ‘romantic getaway’ cruise thing that witch sent you! You would never have done that before! She twisted you! She turned you to her perverted ways!”
“Perverted me?” Katie asked in a quieter tone.
“They-” Linda was trying so desperately to speak, but it was difficult. “They think I hurt you - I ruined you,” she sniffled.
“NO!” Katie shouted as she stepped towards her parents. “She didn’t ruin me. She makes me happy! She supports me! She takes care of me! She-”
“You see that?! She even has you brainwashed!” Katie’s father shouted with conviction.
“Dad, I’m not brainwashed.” Katie said in a calmer, more rational tone. “She – This – Linda isn’t my first girlfriend, dad. You only think I haven’t dated, because that’s what you wanted to believe. You remember my friend Samantha, from high school? She was my first girlfriend, dad. I’ve always been this way.”
“No, no you haven’t!” Her mother screamed with tears racing down her face.
“You are only saying that to cover up for this…pervert,” Mr. Wolfe shouted and pointed down towards Linda.
“Dad, stop it!” Katie shouted. “Stop saying that shit about her. It’s not true. I love her!”
“That’s it,” Katie’s mother said sternly. She walked over and grabbed Katie’s arm, and started dragging Katie out. Katie’s size was her downfall. As much as she fought, her small structure was not enough to combat her mother’s strength.
“NO!” Linda shouted. “Katie!! Please don’t…” she pleaded from the bottom of her heart. “I love you!” Linda shouted, she tried to get up, but the pain was too much. Mr. Wolfe stepped over Linda and helped his wife drag their only daughter out of the sinful house.


Donna had been in the shower for…God knows how long now. She went over every inch of her legs with the razor several times. She wanted to be sure she hadn’t missed a thing. This was her first date in…6 months? She normally didn’t get this involved in primping herself. She wanted to impress this girl. Maybe this one would be different. Maybe this one would be it. After convincing herself that if she shaved any more, she wouldn’t have any skin left, she quickly reapplied her body wash and washed one last time. She had given herself 3 hours for this. One hour in the shower, one hour to get dressed and try to put on make-up, and one hour to get there. She turned off the water, slid back the plastic shower curtain, and grabbed her blue Egyptian cotton towel. She looked up at the clock as she dried off. “Great, she thought to herself,” only 50 minutes in the shower. That’s 10 extra minutes for trying to look like a girl.”

Stepping out of the steamy shower, Donna reached for her anti-frizz gel. This was the only part she had down-pat. Her tight blonde curls required the same treatment every morning. Anti-frizz stuff, followed by a light application of gel, for lift, and to keep the curls tight. Ok, hair is done.

Now for the tough stuff. Donna did not use make-up, ever. Except for weddings, funerals and first dates. Since all of her friends were gay or already married, that significantly lowered her chances of beautifying herself. As for funerals, it had been just over a year since the last one. Pretty lucky. As for first dates, well, that went without saying. Hoping that she knew what she was doing, and wouldn’t turn out looking like an Oompaloompa, Donna applied her face cream. The she attempted to use her concealer. “Gotta hide those damn bags under my eyes,” she thought. Next came the…the…Damn it! She decided to go with the powder foundation, although she simply didn’t know if that was the best way to go. After trying to blend it, and make it appear natural, the applications for eyes, cheeks and lips were easy: she only had one eye shadow, one blush and one lipstick. Ok, done. 45 minutes later. Not bad. She put on her traditional black skirt. The only skirt she owned. Used for all the same purposes as the make-up. She buttoned her white, button-down dress shirt, tucked it in and…voila! She kind of looked feminine. Truthfully, she felt like a fool. Maybe this chick wouldn’t even notice. Maybe she would. Donna would never know. Armed and ready to go, she said good-bye to Taffy, her calico cat; and left, nervously hoping that this was her last first date.


They were her family, outside of the group. Normally, they never interfered with her private life. They accepted Donna wholeheartedly, which was greatly appreciated in a job full of men, and when lesbians still fought prejudice. To find people who never passed judgment on her made more of an impression on Donna than they could ever imagine. They were like parents, which was welcomed since Donna had lost her parents years ago.


It was probably 10 or 11 at night when the phone rang. Donna didn’t notice the exact time. She had gone to bed early because she had a long shift the next day, and it started early. Wearily, Donna slapped her hand around on the nightstand until she found the phone. “Hullo?” Her voice was tired and scratchy.
“Donna,” the voice on the other line whispered. They sounded upset, Donna thought she heard sniffling.
“Hullo?” Donna was never known for her eloquent speaking. Her exhaustion was obvious this time, as her patience was wearing thin.
“Donna, it’s Katie.” Katie was whispering, barely audible. She was definitely upset.
“Katie?! What the hell is going on?” Donna was getting progressively loud while Katie got progressively softer.
“Donna…Please, be quiet. Please, I need your help. Can you come here?”
“Where’s here?” Donna asked. Her concern was growing exponentially.
“Third and Chestnut.”
“Why are you all the way down there?”
“I can’t tell you. Go to 3160. And please, get some back up and come in uniform.” Katie hung up.


She ran over to John, threw her jacket off and applied pressure to the wound on his lower back. He was bleeding badly. She prayed. She didn’t know to whom, but she prayed. She couldn’t lose John.


“You do realize that you have no jurisdiction here,” Brynn said. Brynn was cuter than John or Beth had ever led Donna to believe. She stood about 5’4”, had thick, beautiful brown hair that she pulled into a tight ponytail. She had large, deep brown eyes with a softness to them that Donna had never seen before. She was very much in shape, and her uniform hugged her curves and shape perfectly.
“Yeah, I know. I just need to be there. To be a part of this, and to see this ass-wipe’s face again,” Donna replied.
“Ok,” Brynn said as she took a deep breath. “Let’s do this.”
The group of 10 officers all walked up and spread out around the front door to the disheveled little house.
Brynn knocked on the weathered wooden front door. “Doylestown police, open up!” She called out. Donna was surprised at how big her voice appeared.
There was no response at the door. There were an old, beat up mid-80’s Ford pick up and a newer black Honda Civic with all the normal tricks and toys that “Tuners” have, both parked in the drive way.
One of the male officers proceeded to kick open the door. One by one, each officer, Donna included, with their guns drawn, crept into the house. Quickly and quietly, they spread out throughout the little house and began looking around. Donna and Brynn stuck together. They made their way through the dark, dirty house into the bedroom.


“I was just wondering if you were doing anything tonight.” Brynn asked. Donna didn’t think Brynn would be interested at all. She was pleasantly surprised.
“Tonight? Well, one of my friends is premiering as the prima ballerina at the PA Ballet, but maybe…”
“Can I join you?” Donna was taken aback by Brynn’s boldness.
“If you want, sure. The show starts at 8. Can I pick up you up at 6?”
“Sounds like a date,” Brynn said. She winked at Donna and walked away. Donna left the precinct trying to wrap her head around what just happened.

Liz & Jen

Liz stood in front of the full-length mirror. Her black with blue pin-stripes suit sat beautifully on her tall, lean figure. Her flaming red hair was pulled into a perfect bun. Not one hair was out of place. She continuously rolled the suit with a hair roller to ensure that there wasn’t any cat hair on her suit. Today was too important to lose on account of cat hair.


As Liz rode home on the train, listening to Metallica’s “And Nothing Else Matters,” she felt her cell phone vibrate. “Damn,” she thought. “I forgot to call Jen. She’s gonna have my hide!” Liz picked up the phone, and saw that the caller ID was not Jen’s number. She answered hesitantly. “Hello?”

“Hi, Miss O’Kane?”

“Yes, this is she.”

“This Gary Bruden from the Pennsylvania Ballet.” Liz’s heart stopped. The gentleman on the other end paused before continuing. “This is very atypical for us to do, but I must tell you that the other board members, the artistic director and I were all thoroughly impressed by your audition today. We’d like to offer you the title of Prima Ballerina.”

Liz had to use every ounce of strength not to scream right there on the Septa train. She took a few deep breaths to try to calm herself

“Miss O’Kane?”

“Yes, I’m here. I’m sorry. I just wasn’t expecting to hear so soon. I am flattered, truly. I would be honored to be the Prima Ballerina. When do we have our first class and rehearsal with the rest of the company?”

“Well, as you may know, we’re actually on a break right now, but classes and rehearsals start in 4 weeks."

“Well, ok then,” Liz said excitedly. “I know I’ll be speaking to you before then, and I’ll see you in 4 weeks.”

“Sounds good. Thank you very much,” with that, he hung up.

Liz so desperately wanted to scream, shout and jump for joy on the train, but she feared what might happen if she did.


The paramedics examined Jen thoroughly. Battered and bruised, they found no major injuries. They reminded her of her condition, and the need to be careful. As Jen was being lectured, Donna snuck away to make a quick, quiet phone call.

“Pennsylvania Ballet.”

“Yes, hi, my name is Detective White. Is Elizabeth O’Kane available, please?”

“Miss O’Kane is in rehearsal right now, may I take a message?”

“This is an emergency, please pull her from rehearsal. I promise it won’t take but a minute of her time.”

There was a deafening silence on the line as Donna waited and prayed that Jen wouldn’t hear her.

“Hello?” Finally, Liz had answered.

“Hey Liz, it’s Donna. Look, Jen fell this afternoon. Down the stairs.”

“Oh my God!” Liz exclaimed.

“She’s ok. The paramedics have treated her, there are no major injuries. She’s gonna be sore and hurting for a while. She was extremely embarrassed, but I had to let you know.”

“Thanks, darlin’. You’re the best. Just make sure she lies down and is quiet for the rest of the afternoon. I should be out of here in about an hour and a half.”


“Jen fell a couple of weeks ago,” Liz said to Linda as Linda turned her ratchet.

Linda looked up, and nearly hit her head on Liz’s truck’s hood. “What?!”

“Yeah. She called Donna. I wouldn’t have known about it had Donna not called me while the Paramedics were there. I mean, I would have weaseled it out of her when I saw all the bruises and stuff, but she’d rather not tell me this stuff, Lin.”

“She’s trying to protect you, Liz,” Linda said. “She doesn’t want you to realize how sick she really is.”

“That’s the worst part!” Liz exclaimed. “I do know! I see it. I know it’s killing her, and she’d like to have some pride and dignity. I know how hard it is for her to not be working any more. She just wants things to be the way they used to be.”

“Can you blame her?” Linda asked, her face practically buried in the truck’s big block.

Liz paused and sighed. “No. I would love nothing more than for her to be healthy again. But dang it, Linda, why the hell does she have to push herself so hard and end up hurting herself?! There’s no reason for it.”

“It’s like you said, she wants to have pride and dignity. Look at you and me. Imagine how you’d feel if you couldn’t dance any more. Imagine how I’d be if I couldn’t be a mechanic any more. Hell, look at all of us. We all define ourselves by our jobs. Donna is undoubtedly a cop. Maria eats, sleeps, drinks, and lives writing. Stephania models all over the world. Our jobs are more than just jobs to us. None of us wanted to adopt or try to have any kids. Look at us. We are a circle of career-oriented lesbians. Jen just wants to be her old self, and like the rest of us,” Linda explained.


The time for Liz’s big premier was finally here. After a year of intense training and rehearsal, the day had finally arrived.

Liz waited anxiously in the wings. Beth, the gang, even her parents were here. She didn’t want to disappoint them. Liz said a quick prayer as the orchestra began the overture.


“Jen, we’ve been together for 7 years now. We’ve moved all over the country. We’ve been through some great times, and some terrible times.” Jen just looked down at Liz in puzzlement. “Jen, I love you. I always have, I always will. If can weather what we’ve been through so far, we can get through anything. I want to be with you for all time. I want to always take care of you. I want to savor every moment of life with you by my side. Will you marry me?” With that, a small, black box appeared, Liz opened it, and inside was a beautiful, delicate diamond ring. Everyone at the table gasped out of excitement.

“Yes,” Jen replied, tears began streaming down her face. Everyone at the table just erupted with cheer, joy, laughter, and applause. Liz rose, and gently placed the ring on Jen’s finger.