Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday Women: Sara Denning and Emily Wyatt by Anne A. Wilson

This week in the Wednesday Women, Sara Denning and Emily Wyatt from Anne A. Wilson's debut novel Hover. Thank you for visiting and giving us a glimpse into the world of these compelling characters!

(Graphic provided by author)

 
Wednesday Women:  Navy Lieutenant Sara Denning

 Thank you, Barbara for hosting me on your blog, and for allowing me to introduce the main protagonist in my debut novel HOVER. Her name is Sara Denning and she’s a  helicopter pilot in the U. S. Navy. A lot of what you learn about Sara comes through her interactions with her roommate, Emily Wyatt, a fellow helicopter pilot.

Sara and Emily are on an eight-month Western Pacific deployment—members of an air detachment comprising two helicopters and thirty personnel—aboard the USS Kansas City. They are also the only two women on the ship in a crew of 500.

They are competent naval officers and pilots, yes, but these two women couldn’t be more different. I think the best way to introduce you to Sara is to give you an excerpt from HOVER, showing the back-and-forth banter between the two.

In this scene, Sara and Emily are getting ready for bed in their stateroom aboard the ship.


                I slip into my pajamas—an oversized Minnesota Vikings football jersey—and stuff my dirty laundry into the net bag that hangs at the end of our bunk.

Em changes, too. As always, it takes me a second to adjust to the sight of her in a long pink nightgown complete with lace around the collar. There’s just so much . . . pink. Except for the socks. Those are fuzzy and purple.

She unwinds the braid that keeps her long auburn hair neat and tidy while in uniform and shakes it free, then grabs a book from her personal library that she’ll fall asleep reading—one of hundreds of Harlequin romances she has brought along with her.

It doesn’t compute with me. It has never computed. In fact, I can’t reconcile it at all.

“Em, how many of those books did you bring with you this time?”

“Oh, fuck, I don’t know. Eighty? Ninety? I didn’t want to run out. But I can already see these are only going to last until midway through cruise, if I’m lucky. Why? Tempted to read one?”

“No, definitely not.”

“You know, I think this is one of your problems, Sara Denning. You can’t even chill long enough to read a romance novel.”

“How is that a problem?”

“Allowing yourself to escape to a place that connects with your inner femininity is important to your well-being. You’re gonna lose yourself otherwise.”

“What? I’m not losing myself. I don’t need to read that stuff to remind me that I’m feminine.”

“I think you do.”

“Please.”

“They all have happy endings, you know. A guaranteed, you’re-gonna-feel-good-at-the-end perk.”

“I don’t need a Harlequin romance to make me feel good.”

“You need something.”

I glare at her.

“And not just that, you need . . . well, you need to put away your systems manuals and let go of yourself.”

“I’m not having this conversation,” I say.

“Fine,” Em says, fluffing up her pillows before scooching under the covers. “I’m transporting myself to a happy place now. Goodbye.”

Climbing into my rack, I flip the switch for the tiny light above my bunk. As it flickers and yawns to life, I cross my arms behind my head, fixing my gaze on the miscellaneous ducting and wiring snaking across the overhead. The ship vibrates, hums, churns, and whines, but not loudly enough to block the sustained ringing from Emily’s comments. 

Allowing yourself to escape to a place that connects with your inner femininity is important to your well-being.

Not my well-being. I can’t succeed in this world and maintain that connection. It started the day I entered the Naval Academy, when I began a journey I had never intended, stepping onto a career path carved for someone else. To survive, the walls went up. And to get to where I am now, they stayed up. 

I shift my focus to my stack of journals. If I did need an escape, I certainly wouldn’t find it here. The pages don’t contain a lot of pleasant thoughts. But then, that’s silly. Why do I need an escape? I don’t need that.

 

As you can see, Sara is a no-nonsense person, studious, serious, and closed off. The reader doesn’t know it yet at this point in the book, but Emily is actually the more balanced of the two. At its core, HOVER is Sara’s story. It follows her journey as she opens up and becomes a more well-rounded woman, one who embraces all sides of herself.


If you’d like to learn more about HOVER, please visit my website, www.anneawilson.com.




Anne A. Wilson graduated from the United States Naval Academy and served nine years active duty as a navy helicopter pilot, which included deployment to the Persian Gulf. The Naval Helicopter Association named Anne and her crew Helicopter Aircrew of the Year, an award given for search and rescue. She lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona, with her husband and two sons. Hover is her debut novel. (Forge Books, June 2015)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wednesday Women: Grace Halling by Adrian J. Smith


This week, we have a knew Wednesday Woman! Adrian J. Smith introduces Grace Halling from her Spirit of Grace series. Read her interview here (and thanks Adrian and Grace for joining the line-up! Great to have you here!).
 
 
 
(Graphics provided by author)
 
 
Character Interview Grace Halling by Adrian J. Smith
 
 
Me: Hi Grace!!

 
Grace: Hello.

 
Me: I’m here for to interview you a bit about you in general and also the work you’ve been doing.

 
Grace: So I’ve been told.

 
Me: Right, so Grace, you’re a Deputy with the local Sheriff’s Department. What’s your favorite part of working in law enforcement?

 
Grace: **gives a wan smile** helping people.

 
Me: Do you think you can elaborate on that?

 
Grace: Well, I like to help people. I haven’t always been that way, but I like to give people a second chance if I can. Not all of them deserve it. Some criminals are just that, criminals, and they have no desire to change. But if they do, then I like to give them that chance to change.

 
Me: That’s very heroic.

 
Grace: It’s really not. Just trying to be an upstanding citizen.

 
Me: I think you accomplish that well. Is there anything you would like to see changed or improved in the justice system?

 
Grace: That’s an interesting question?


Me: I thought it pertinent after your last statement.

 
Grace: **hums** Yes, there is a lot I would love to see changed. Unfortunately, like any system, changes take a very long time to be made. I wish we focused a bit more on rehabilitation. Perhaps then I wouldn’t re-arrest so many people. I also wish—never mind, that one is good enough. I wish we would focus more on rehabilitation in the prisons system as well as the justice system. Well, I wish some of my coworkers would treat people a bit more humanely, since they are humans.

 
Me: That’s an interesting thing to say.

 
Grace: It’s really not. What’s your next question.

 
Me: Right, okay then. Who have been some of your heroes?

 
Grace: **tears up** Daniel Mason Brady and his wife, Carol. Both of them have been very more helpful and wonderful to me than I could have ever imagined. I don’t even know where to begin with them.

 
Me: **reaches over and squeezes her hand** It’s okay. I’ll just ask the next question. Um…What would you do if you weren’t a police officer?

 
Grace: Honestly?

 
Me: Yeah.

 
Grace: I’d probably be in jail right now. But if I wasn’t, I would love to be a teacher. I could have gone to school with my best friend, Crystal. Although, we probably would have not paid attention and flunked if the two of us were in the same class together.

 
Me: She sounds like the perfect best friend.

 
Grace: She is.

 
Me: So what’s your dream vacation spot?

 
Grace: A cabin in the middle of the woods with no one around. Forget traveling internationally. Way too much danger for that, but I’d love to be able to relax with no one else around.

 
Me: No one?

 
Grace: Well, maybe **blushes** Amya could come.

 
Me: Amya?

 
Grace: Uhh…my friend.

 
Me: A special friend?

 
Grace: **barely nods**

 
Me: **grinning** What’s one thing you want to accomplish in your life?

 
Grace: I want to save just one person, just one, from their own destructive habits.

 
Me: Haven’t you done that already?

 
Grace: I’m not sure yet.

 
Me: You’re very humble.

 
Grace: **shrugs**

 
Me: So in this cabin in the middle of a forest with no one around, what would you do?

 
Grace: **grinning** Read. I love reading.

 
Me: Yeah? What do you love to read? What’s your favorite book?

 
Grace: Oh I’m not sure I can pick a favorite. I love to read romances. They’re quick, they’re easy, they don’t make me think hard. I usually sit in the tub with a glass of whiskey and read for a while.

 
Me: I’m not sure I would have pegged you for a romance reader.

 
Grace: Me either.

 
Me: Well, thank you for talking with me today. It’s been great to get to know you a little better.

 
Grace: It wasn’t too painful.

 
Me: **grin**

 

 
BUY LINKS:

 

For by Grace (Spirit of Grace #1): Being a Sheriff’s Deputy is not all about saving lives and arresting criminals, and each day Grace wonders if she’ll make it home.

While kids at the schools Deputy Grace Halling visits see her as the knight in blue-cotton armor, people involved in the cases she is dispatched to have a different opinion. She has every confidence in her ability to do her job and arrest criminals. She easily takes down a knife-wielding woman and a drunken combatant teenager without hesitation. Everyone—victim, suspect, or witness—has a story to tell or to lie about, and Grace is never perturbed by their tales.

That all changes when she looks down the barrel of a gun. She loses confidence in her ability as a deputy, she loses trust in herself and fellow officers, and she struggles to stay afloat as shift after shift passes. Grace cannot find her rhythm of being a deputy again. And when the Police Chaplain unexpectedly barges into her life, her personal and professional lives are flipped upside down. Grace struggles to find her even ground, worrying that the next time she stares a murderer in the face will be the last.

 

 


 

 








 

Fallen from Grace (Spirit of Grace #2): Parables and riddles can’t undo the confusion Deputy Grace Halling experiences after her close call with death. Each morning she wakes up, puts on a uniform that feels far more like a target, and goes out to enforce the laws and protect the innocent. While her comrades in blue are murdered one by one with each passing month, Grace pushes for a call to action from her Captain. Her worst fear has become a reality.

Grace doesn’t know if she’s next.

 

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1CLYZQO
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1GdBH7p
Amazon
UK: http://amzn.to/1ENEYbL
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1IqB35V
Kobo: http://bit.ly/18UXTpQ
iTunes: http://apple.co/1EEpfJg
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1FAmZYY

 

Grace through Redemption (Spirit of Grace #3): Grace through Redemption blurb

 

Learning to trust herself again wasn’t easy. Deputy Grace Halling is back patrolling, and after a few months of quiet, murders of her comrades in blue begin again. Scared and determined, Grace follows every lead she can until she finds herself face to face with the barrel of a gun, only this time her finger is on the trigger.

 

RELEASES DECEMBER 1, 2015

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS/ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Adrian J. Smith, or “AJ” as she is often called, has a generous and soft heart. She loves to rescue stray cats and dogs, as well as those who just escape. Her hoard of animals currently includes two cats, two dogs and a fish, but no children as of yet. She’s passionate about LGBT et al rights, women’s rights and children’s rights.

AJ loves to read and write lesbian fiction, simply for the fact that strong women make her swoon and when two are involved her knees turn to jelly and she falls head over heels in love. AJ travels around the United States, and sometimes the world, gathering up stories for her novels. Currently, she lives in the middle of nowhere of the middle of nowhere and is rather difficult to find except on the internet, where she spends a lot of her time.

Connect with her online:

@AdrianAJSmith
www.facebook.com/adrianjsmithbooks
adrianjsmith.wordpress.com
www.goodreads.com/adrianjsmith

 

 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday Women: Katherine Mitchel by K. M. Hodge

This week in the Wednesday Women: I'm happy to present Kelly aka K. M. Hodge and her leading lady Katherine Mitchel. Learn all about the two of them in this character/author interview. Kelly & Katherine, thanks for visiting!

* * * * *

Ask Us Anything: Author KM Hodge and character Katherine Mitchel

 I would first like to thank Barbara Winkes for inviting me
to do this guest post so that I can introduce you to my dear character,
Katherine.  Last week, I hosted an "ASK ANYTHIING" on Facebook
to some of my faithful readers. They asked my leading lady, Katherine, and I
some interesting things. Here are some of the questions that they posted.

 
First of all, who am I and who is Katherine
Mitchel?


My name is KM Hodge, but please call me Kelly. Eighteen
years ago I birthed Katherine Mitchel, the leading lady in my novel, “Seasons.”
Life happened (marriage, a cross-country move, work, and children), and
 for many years she sat alone on disks, CD’s, thumb drives and eventually
a storage cloud. It wasn’t until my youngest was in a mother's-day-out program
two days a week that I was able to dust off the handful of chapters and turn it
into a full-fledged novel. I finished the novel during the National Write a
Novel in a Month event this last November. I then spent December-March having
it edited for content, copy and proof. On March 20th, “Seasons” went live on
Amazon.


 Who is Katherine? Katherine is a 33-year-old old FBI agent
who uncovers damning evidence against a crime ring called The Syndicate. The
group, which controls the police, Congress, and even the FBI, will stop at
nothing to protect their interests. With her life on the line, Katherine is
forced to put her faith in her new and partner Alex, as
she flees from
Washington D.C. and is placed in the
Witness Protection Program.  But you can't run from The Syndicate. In what
becomes the most dangerous investigation of their careers, Alex could
ultimately prove to be Katherine's last and only hope.

 
KM, Is there a message in your writing you want
readers to grasp?


Women’s rights and issues are important to me. I wanted to
give a singular voice to women who have experienced domestic violence and
sexual assault. Before I had children I worked for a Crisis Center where I
heard countless heartbreaking stories of abuse.


I’ve read all the startling statistics about the number of
women who have been raped and how there are some people out there that still
think that there are times when it is okay for one person to force another one
to have sex. I have also been there for friends and family who have experienced
these issues.

 I wanted to get a conversation started because change can
only happen if we start talking instead of just pushing these issues under the
rug. Victims of these crimes shouldn’t ever be made to feel shame or guilt, or
worse yet, feel that they deserved it.

 f you have been in a domestic violence situation or have
been sexually assaulted, it is not your fault and there are people out there
that can help you!

 Domestic violence hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673)

 
KM, what are you working on now?

All the things! I am working on the edits for book two of
this series, “Blue Season”, which is slated to be released September 20th. I am
also starting to outline and make notes for the third book in this series,
“Seasons Son”. Lastly, I am working on branding myself as a suspense writer,
which means getting new book covers that better match the genre as well as
getting new headshots!


 
KM, what is the hardest part of the writing
process?


Finding time! I am the mother of two very energetic little
boys. I do a lot of my “writing” in my head while I drive my kids all over
town.


 
Katherine, what was your favorite book growing
up?


As a freckled red head I was in love with Anne (with an “e”)
of Green Gables.


My favorite quote from it is: “Red hair is my life long
sorrow.” ―
L.M. Montgomery

 
Katherine, how many pairs of Louis Vuitton shoes
do you own?


Hmmm...okay so a lot. I may have a bit of a shoe addiction. I
have gone to
New York a few times to go to
the sample sales so I’ve gotten most of them at a discount. Let’s say it is
more than two and less than 30. They are the most comfortable shoes and they
look amazing.


 
Katherine, what was your relationship with your
twin brother like?


I suppose when we were very small we were close. I have seen
photographs of us playing together, but I honestly don’t remember it all that
much. He has always kept me at arm's length. When we were in school, he was
always competing against me and everyone else. Whether it was grades or track
and field, he had to be the best at everything.


 When we were in high school he was student council
president, on the debate team and was all-state in track and field. College was
no different; he got into all the top schools with full rides. I was the
complete opposite. I struggled to make good grades, was introverted and hung
out with the so called ‘bad’ kids. When I think back I may have even started to
date Charles just to make Scott angry. He always hated Charles, who was the bad
boy that got all the girls. We were too different and mostly just pushed each
other’s buttons.

 
Katherine, what are you most afraid of?

I’m afraid that one day I will slip and fall off the wagon. I
don’t know if I could get back on again.


 
Katherine, if you hadn’t worked for the FBI,
what would you have done?


I love art and have a secret passion for graphic design. It
would be fun to do the art for an ad agency.


 
Katherine, besides gardening, what hobbies do
you have?


I love to run! I run several miles a day and had even
competed in a few marathons. There is nothing like a runner's high!


 
Katherine what are five items you have in your
purse?


Wallet, keys, lipstick, gum and a swiss army knife.

 
Where can we learn more about you, both?



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KMHodgeAuthor

Blog: http://kmhodgeauthor.blogspot.com/

Amazon: Seasons http://www.amazon.com/Seasons-Syndicate-K-M-Hodge-ebook/dp/B00V17L29O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Twitter: @KMHodgeAuthor

 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wednesday Women: Jordan Carpenter and Ellie Harding

After a little break, we'll kick off the Wednesday Women with Ellie and Jordan, one of my pairings in the recently released Indiscretions. And this blog comes with a giveaway! Please leave a comment and your email address, and your name will be entered into the hat--winners, as usual, will be drawn the next Tuesday, noon EST. I'm giving away an e-book of Indiscretions.

Find it here (available for Kindle Unlimited).

These are the leading ladies:
 
Jordan and Ellie lead messy lives (we’ll get to that later), but they are committed to one thing: Finding a killer who thinks women who break the rules, whose behavior he considers “immoral,” should be punished.

 Officer Ellie Harding is back at work after she was attacked on her way home. She is determined not to let the doubts and nightmares get to her. She has decided that life owes her. Before, she would have never given in to the attraction to a woman already taken. The confrontation with the fact that life is short and can change drastically in a heartbeat changes everything.

 Jordan has been in an unhappy relationship with her partner Bethany for a long time. She can’t stay, she can’t seem to get out and with the job she has to do, she doesn’t have time to figure out how to turn her life around. Ellie, eager and irresistible, fits quite well into a dysfunctional pattern.


Indiscretions…transgressions…consequences. You never know who knows.

 
This book features an excerpt of the sequel Insinuations, scheduled for November this year. Happy reading--and come back for more Wednesday Women!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ann Mc Coy, Jordan Carpenter, Ellie Harding...not necessarily in the same book (a guest blog & a new release)


Some news to report:

In my guest blog at Women and Words "Introducing Ann McCoy" I talk about my first (and so far, only) straight main character.
There's a giveaway as well, but since this book isn't out yet, the winner may choose between my latest releases Familiar Places and Indiscretions. Thurday June 4th is the last day to enter:

http://womenwords.org/2015/05/31/introducing-ann-mccoy-by-barbara-winkes-plus-two-free-books/

And speaking of new releases: Here's Indiscretions, the first in the new thriller series featuring Jordan Carpenter and Ellie Harding


Now available from Amazon:

After surviving an attack by a stranger, rookie officer Ellie Harding decides to put herself first and make bold moves in both her career and her private life, refusing to let the traumatic incident get her off track.

Detective Jordan Carpenter faces the decision whether to remain in a disastrous, but long-term relationship or give in to the attraction she feels for her younger colleague. Her partner Bethany isn’t willing to let go, of Jordan or the case, a sadistic killer who murders women for behavior he considers immoral.

Can they find him before he strikes again?


Hope you're having a thrilling Spring/Summer! The Wednesday Women will start again on June 10th with more on Jordan and Ellie, and new guests after that.

Hope to see you!


Friday, May 29, 2015

Autumn Leaves Book Blast

Good morning! I wanted to let you know there's a book blast for Autumn Leaves today, run by Shades of Rose Media. You can visit the various blogs and enter a giveaway to win an e-copy here:

Tour Schedule

Thanks to Shades of Rose Media and all the participating blogs!



On Sunday, you can find me on Women and Words with a guest blog and another giveaway to mark the release of my new thriller Indiscretions.

Good luck & have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hop Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

Welcome to the Hop against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in support of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. See their official website here: http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/ As it's the usual with blog hops, you can win something--2 ebooks on this blog (details below).
* * * *
My wife and I got married in 2011. We had admittedly wondered if anyone we’d meet during and on the journey toward that glorious day would act any differently then they would with a straight couple. They didn’t. From the bakery that made the wedding cake, the justice clerk, employees of the venue where we held our reception or the hotel where we later went for our honeymoon getaway, everyone was friendly and professional. No big deal, for them anyway.
And it shouldn’t be.
To be treated like this on the day of all days should not depend on luck or be a privilege—it should be for everyone. Those who argue against laws that make the world more equal often argue that not all are ready for those changes. You know what? It doesn’t matter. There will always be some who aren’t ready, and we can’t afford to wait for them, because in the meantime, lives are on the line.
Not all hearts and minds can be changed right away through a law, granted, but legal security impacts the lives of many who will be able to live more authentic lives, and become more visible. This is where protections in housing and employment must come in—it makes no sense that someone is able to marry the love of their life and then gets fired the next day. Authenticity and visibility will expose the demand for a more diverse world in fiction, and in return, fictional characters help increase those. It’s refreshing to see that the last 5-10 years of TV brought more LGBT characters into viewers’ lives and helped others to come out. We need more of this, more characters to identify with, more happy endings, and in the long run, the change will manifest itself.
Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia come from extremely rigid and misogynist views on gender, and we need to address this connection in order to make this change last. Marriage equality is a great and important step toward that goal. Our allies have always understood that what we have in common is the desire for a permanent, loving commitment between equal partners, and that we’re not taking anything from them.
Love can’t wait any longer.
* * * *
For my giveaway, I offer 2 ebooks, winner’s choice (All have lesbian main characters. You can check them out under the book tab here on this blog). Just leave a comment to enter, and an email address so I can contact you in case you won.
and more...


The hop ends May 24th late, so winners will be notified on the 25th. Thank you!
* * * *
Find a list of all participants on the main hop page and below: