Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday Women: Rowan Knight by Liz McMullen

Good morning! It's Wednesday Women time, and Liz McMullen is in the house! She's presenting Rowan from the short story A Taste of Home. You can find it in the anthology Appetites: Tales of Lesbian Lust. Curious? If you leave a comment on this blog before next Tuesday, noon PST, you can enter the giveaway to win this anthology in e-book format.

Thanks Rowan and Liz for joining the Wednesday Women lineup!

(graphics provided by author)

Rowan Knight’s presence is the prevailing impression. She is tall with bold Native American features, and has a quiet strength that is incredibly sexy. Rowan may be butch, but she hasn’t forsaken her feminine side. Her long silky hair sways erotically when she is in motion. Rowan’s dark blue, nearly black, eyes make you want to get closer to discern their color, expression, and the inner thoughts that she rarely reveals.

"A Taste of Home," a short story featured in the Appetites Anthology, shows a different side of Rowan. She’s raw and struggling with the deepest hurt she has ever experienced. "A Taste of Home" is also the prologue for Words Left Unspoken. My intention regarding the prologue was to show the contrast between who she was when she arrived in Northampton, MA and who she has become years later. She finds her center in the intervening years between the prologue and first chapter. When the novel begins she is happy, at peace and a source of quiet strength and support for her friends. The prologue is important to keep in the back of your mind, it shows that she has secrets, painful ones, that will come into play as she falls in love.

Words Left Unspoken won’t be out until Spring 2016, possibly late 2015. Until then you can pick up a copy of Appetites, to get your first glimpse of this compelling character.

Leave a comment here for a chance to win the eBook version of the Appetites Anthology.

Link to the listing for Appetites:

Contact Liz McMullen


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Liz McMullen graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Political Theory, and has a Master’s degree in Education. She is an author, publisher, and talk show host. She has three radio shows: "The Liz McMullen Show," "Lizzie’s Bedtime Stories" and "JD & Liz Talk." Her debut novel, If I Die Before I Wake, was a Rainbow Award Finalist. Her first foray into erotica was "Hard Rock Candy", which was the start of her imprint, The Liz McMullen Show Publications.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday Women: Alicia Raymond aka "Berg" by Vanessa Skye

Detective Alicia Raymond, aka, ‘Berg’ by Vanessa Skye
(Vanessa has generously offered to give away three signed copies of The Enemy Inside, the first in the series (US). Please comment until next Tuesday, noon EST to enter).
 (graphic provided by author)


It's time for another Wednesday Woman! Today, Vanessa Skye gives us an analysis of the main character in her Edge of Darkness series (crime fiction), Detective Alicia Raymond, aka, ‘Berg’. 


Lets start with an excerpt of the first book in the series, The Enemy Inside:


‘Berg ran her hand over the spotless bathroom counter as she walked in to undress. Cleaning was one of her favorite pastimes, and when she wasn’t working, her weekends were a scrubbing, rubbing, and polishing frenzy.

You’ll never be clean, the shadowy voice in her head mocked.

She shoved the thought back down as she removed her clothing. Catching sight of her reflection in the large wall mirror perched over the sink, she stared at the bruises running across her naked abdomen and upper thighs before touching them in a detached way. Their purple, green, and yellow shades were livid against her pale skin. She probed them with her strong fingers, relishing the sudden, blunt ache for a moment. She frowned, unable to remember how they happened—or was it that she didn’t want to?

Berg glanced in the mirror. She could appreciate that she had a certain aesthetic charm to others, even if she couldn’t see it. Fortunately, the façade was all people wanted to see, so they never bothered to look any deeper.

She examined her face: brown eyes, high cheekbones, and heavy, arched brows. Running her fingers over the bump in her nose, she remembered the beating that had caused it. One of her stepfathers had been quite willing to use his fists against a small, defenseless little girl. She wore the bump like a badge.

She glared at the mask in the mirror, the mask that drew the men to her, the mask responsible for the pain. Loathing for both the men and herself rose like bile in the back of her throat as she stared. She wanted to claw the tissue from her bones with her fingernails, then crush the flesh in her bare hands, and watch it drip red into the pure, white sink.’


From the outside, many people who take Berg at face value would say she’s beautiful but ‘fucked up’. That’s true, but it’s also an oversimplification.


Berg is strong, but vulnerable. She’s tough, but weak. She’s caring, but emotionally shut down.


Berg’s a lot of things, but simple is not one of them.


While she’s had a tough childhood, and she’s been through the abuse and the foster care, it’s made her into the woman she is. As many abuse survivors will tell you, you become excellent at reading people—you can read the danger signs from a mile away. This is why Berg is the amazing detective she is, this is why she gets all the hard and cold cases, because she has a knack for finding out the truth and getting to the crux of a crime.


And it’s because of her past that she is driven to get justice for others. She will keep going, past the point of no return, and long past where other detectives might give up. She goes that extra mile, and won’t stop until she gets justice. Of course, there is a fine line between justice and vengeance, but I leave that up to the reader to decide.


Her job being what is, she has many emotional landmines to navigate in daily life. Every day, her childhood is starkly relived, and she deals with that in two ways: to protect herself from emotions, and to feed her addiction.


Like many survivors of a bad childhood, she anaesthetizes her pain in the only way she can, indeed in the only way she’s been taught, and that is through promiscuity. There is a strong gender theme through the books, that is: why women like Berg, who are promiscuous, are judged and considered ‘sluts’, when men carrying out the same ‘acting out’ are clapped on the back and congratulated.


There are also strong love and hope themes throughout the series between Berg and her partner. Berg has never been loved before, so of course once confronted with the intensity of these emotions, she runs for her life. It’s stunning to watch Berg come to terms with being loved, and therefore loving not only someone else, but herself, too.


Some people may read the series and think that Berg goes too far to get justice, and some may think she doesn't go far enough. Berg is all about an ‘eye for an eye’. But her partner, Jay, is far more forgiving and happy to work within the bounds of the law, even if that means that sometimes they don’t get the bad guy. To Berg, not getting the bad guy is intolerable.


Do you consider people like Dexter or Lisbeth Salander (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) to be villains? I personally don't, but others will likely disagree with this. So I urge people to read The Enemy Inside, Broken, and Bloodlines and judge if they consider Berg to be a hero or a villain for themselves.



The Enemy Inside (Only 99c January 8-29!)

While exploring the darkness in others, Detective Alicia Raymond discovers her own.

Chicago Detective Alicia Raymond, a.k.a. Berg, medicates her deeply buried depression and a brutal past with an obsessive desire to track down killers. Bringing murderers to justice is the only thing in her life worth living for.

So when she sympathizes with a vigilante who is exacting sadistic revenge, Berg faces a perilous choice: surrender to the powerful evil inside, or finally acknowledge the past she would rather ignore.

Like Dexter and The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Enemy Inside challenges the concept of justice, asks if the need for vengeance sometimes justifies murder, and explores whether you can ever heal from a broken childhood.

The Enemy Inside is now available in eBook and paperback on Amazon, Kobo, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, TWCS and Booktopia.


And at Pages & Pages in Mosman.




A Chicago mother is murdered in a robbery gone wrong...

A teenager is raped and beaten, her life hanging by a thread...

For Chicago Detective Alicia Raymond, a.k.a Berg, the need for justice burns deep and fills the emptiness when therapy and relationships fall short. And while Berg wages a life or death battle against a sociopath who is always two steps ahead, an old adversary will stop at nothing to end her career.

As Berg fights to prevent another murder, she will cross the line between hero and villain—and there’s no turning back.

Broken is now available in eBook and paperback on Amazon, Kobo, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, TWCS and Booktopia.


And at Pages & Pages in Mosman.



Following the acclaimed debut of The Enemy Inside and its sequel, Broken, comes the stunning conclusion to the ‘Edge of Darkness’ series by investigative journalist Vanessa Skye, Bloodlines.

Detective Alicia “Berg” Raymond is lying. She’s lying to the Chicago Police Department, to her boyfriend, Captain Jay O’Loughlin, but most of all, she is lying to herself—about her past, her future, and her addiction.

As Berg investigates a series of brutal rapes, she juggles finding justice for the victims, keeping her own sordid past buried, and wrapping her damaged head around living in a state of domestic bliss she’s certain she doesn’t deserve.

But when enemies from the past threaten her present, she is once again vulnerable to the demons that have plagued her. It’s only a matter of time before the lies unravel and destroy the fairy tale she’s finally started believing.

Can she save anyone from the lurking darkness or will her own bloodlines drag her under—this time for good?

Bloodlines will be released January 15, 2015, on Amazon, Kobo, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, TWCS and Booktopia.


Check out Vanessa’s Blog at

PS: Vanessa Skye's Blog Tour for the release of Bloodlines, the latest in the series, stopped by last Sunday. You can find all the buy links and additional info.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Bloodlines by Vanessa Skye

Please note that Vanessa Skye's heroine will also be in the Wednesday Women here on Word Affair this week!
Book 3 of Edge of Darkness Series
by Vanessa Skye


Release Date: January 22 , 2015
Genre: FICTION / Suspense / Dark
ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-366-9
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and TWCS PH

Bloodlines-3D-Paperback-eReaderFollowing the acclaimed debut of The Enemy Inside and its sequel, Broken, comes the stunning conclusion to the ‘Edge of Darkness’ series by investigative journalist Vanessa Skye, Blood Lines. Detective Alicia “Berg” Raymond is lying. She’s lying to the Chicago Police Department, to her boyfriend, Captain Jay O’Loughlin, but most of all, she’s lying to herself—about her past, her future, and her ongoing addiction. As Berg investigates a series of brutal rapes and sinks under an ever-increasing caseload, she finds herself juggling every aspect of her life—finding justice for victims of crime, keeping her own sordid past buried from her colleagues, struggling with blackmail that threatens to push her over the edge, and protecting her lover from the details of all of it. Wrapping her damaged head around living in a state of domestic bliss she’s certain she doesn’t deserve, Berg is driven by the need for justice and a determination to stop a rapist before any more innocent lives are ravaged. But when enemies from the past threaten her present, she is once again vulnerable to the demons that have plagued her every day of her life. It’s only a matter of time before her lies unravel and the fairy tale she’s finally started believing implodes . . . but the biggest threat of all, as it turns out, is her very own bloodline. Can she save herself, and the casualties of crime, from the lurking darkness waiting to strike, or will her own mistakes drag her under—this time for good?  

vskyeVanessa Skye has always had a love of words and spent her school years writing poetry, speeches, and fictional essays. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism and studying psychology at Charles Sturt University, Vanessa got a job at Australia's largest publisher of regional and agricultural news and information, Rural Press, where she worked as a journalist in the central west of New South Wales for four years. Thousands of stories later, Vanessa decided to move back to Sydney and try her hand at public relations while studying for a master’s degree in communication. Skip forward a few years and Vanessa was once again joyfully studying various psychology subjects while managing a Sydney public relations firm. Enthralled with examining the motivations behind people’s actions, Vanessa realized what she really wanted to do in life was combine her love of words with her fascination for human behavior. So Vanessa quit public relations to begin the significantly more impoverished life of a professional writer. Inspired by a recurring dream, Vanessa wrote her crime fiction debut, The Enemy Inside, which challenges the concept of justice, asks if the need for vengeance sometimes justifies murder, and explores whether you can ever heal from childhood abuse. Broken is her second book in this series. In her spare time, Vanessa wrote a short story, The Piece, which was published in February 2012, by Dark Prints Press as a part of the 'One That Got Away' dark fiction anthology. Vanessa now works as a freelance writer, lives in Sydney’s northern beaches, and tries to immerse herself in salt water at least once a day.  

Be sure to look for Book One-The Enemy Inside and Book Two-Broken well!

Praise for Bloodlines
"So good! As with the previous two books in this series, I absolutely loved it. The pacing was great, there was nice dry humour to lighten the very dark tone, and all the characters completed a satisfying arc from books one and two. Berg in particular is fantastic – I loved that she didn’t completely go back to her old ways when she was at her lowest, and the ending leaves us with hope for her future. " - Andrea


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday Women: Charity Northquest by Catharine Bramkamp

This week's Wednesday Woman is the creation of fellow Eternal Press author Catharine Bramkamp, from her novel Future Girls. You'll find an interview with Charity, and a little something extra for those of you who are interested in doing a review...but you've got to be quick. Thanks Catharine and Charity for visiting!

(Graphic provided by author)

Interview with Charity Northquest, heroine of Future Girls by Catharine Bramkamp

Future Girls:

On October 10, 2145, eighteen-year-old Charity Northquest's whole future is ahead of her--and the future sucks.


On October 11, 2145, she unexpectedly has a chance to fix it.

When her best friend is reported killed, but then re-appears the next day as an old woman, everything Charity has been taught is called into question. Even if she does not believe in time travel, she has little choice. So the ill-prepared Charity travels back to the mysterious and captivating 21st century where her single purpose of changing the future fades with the increasingly more urgent question of whether she can survive the past.

Buy links:

Future girls



Interview January 12, 2015

Book Title character is from and release date Future Girls Eternal Press Dec. 2014
Author Catharine Bramkamp
Character name Charity Northquest
Where were you born? I was born in Independent California, 2127
Where do you live? I live in what was once Sonoma County, California, but is now more of a walled city, no one lives in the country-side, there is nothing left there now.
How old are you? 18
What do you do? I help my mother manage the household and try to savor my schooling, after girls turn 18 we are automatically finished with our education.
Why did you decide to go into this field? Tell me about me. There is nothing else for girls to do in 2145 but to become mothers and help their husbands do well in the Reality Cloud. Believe me, the prospect is more than a little depressing.
Tell me about your family? What was your mother like? Father? Brothers/sisters? My father, like all men, works to maintain the Reality Cloud, the virtual reality system that all men work, play and negotiate the peace in. There is no need to much else when we have everything we need in the Cloud. But I’m worried about him, the electricity surges have been increasing and even though he doesn’t say, he could be held responsible if the surges continue and if the villagers and rebels harm the electric grid in any way.
If you could anything/anyone, who/what would it be? I want to change something, my best friend Mirabella thinks that we can do something to make our lives and our world better. According to the books we hide and read, people even women, can make a difference, but I don’t see how .
What are your plans? Until my best friend, Mirabella was killed, I had no plans, I didn’t know it was possible to have other plans! Then she showed up at the rest home an old lady. I don’t know how that is even possible, but now I have to actually break our afternoon curfew and find Mirabella’s room and discover what’s really going on!
What is the worst thing that can happen to you? The worst thing that could happen is I do nothing and let myself be part of a world where women can’t do anything at all for ourselves. The best thing I can do and the more frightening, is to trust that the strangers I meet are telling me the truth, and trust that traveling back in time will actually make my world better. To be honest, I don’t really know how, but I’m willing to try, what choice do I have?
What’s the one thing you could never say or do? I was raised never to question the One True God, but in my heart, I question both the God and the men who organize the One True Word. Is that wrong? I don’t know anymore.

Free copy of Future Girls in exchange for a review!

Email me at and request a free e-book of Future Girls. First three respondents will receive a copy!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wednesday Women: Aspen Kennedi by Melissa Grace

Happy New Year! And with the first blog of the year, the Wednesday Women are back in town--this week Melissa Grace's Aspen Kennedi comes to visit and bears a gift: If you'd like to win an e-book of Aspen's Stunt, please leave a comment on this blog (giveaway ends Tuesday Jan 13th, noon EST).
PS: Thanks for starting the WW blogs this year, Melissa, and I'm sure your German would sound just fine! :)
 (Graphic provided by author)
Happy 2015 everyone! Before I introduce Aspen Kennedi to you, I would like to thank Barbara Winkes for inviting me to participate in her Wednesday Women Blog. On a side note, some day I would love to practice speaking German with Barbara, but alas, I am sure she would think I sound an awful lot like a dyslexic Tarzan.


So now onto my new release, Aspen’s Stunt:



Aspen’s Stunt

Lesfic Romance Novel


Synopsis: Aspen Kennedi is a courageous and gifted motocross rider, living in a small town with her Father on their farm in Christmas Valley, Oregon. When the bank threatens to put the farm—which has been in their family for generations—into foreclosure, they search desperately for a way to save it.


Fortunately, Hollywood calls! They would like to hire Aspen as a stunt double for the famous actress, Wren Emerson. Willing to do anything to keep the farm, the naïve Aspen agrees to leave her home long enough to endure the rigorous film schedule and dangerous and demanding stunt double role under the command of the productions renowned director and prominent producer.


The first awkward meeting she has with the actress eventually flourishes into a friendship Aspen never thought possible. Despite the hometown boy who pines for Aspen’s heart, and the productions staff that think Wren should date whom they deem acceptable, the two girls can’t deny their growing desires for one another.


Aspen must now complete one more stunt. One that she hopes will overcome all the unrelenting obstacles they face, and will keep her home and heart in harmony, happily together.




Aspen’s first letter to her dad since arriving in LA:


Hi Daddy,


            Well, it’s been a whole week in California and I’m still going strong. My Stunt Coach, Jasper, is great and between you and me, has interesting fashion sense. With his dark, lopsided hair and pea-sized holes in his earlobes, I feel I must look pretty normal in full motocross gear. The Extra’s joke that I look like a Storm Trooper. Anyway, Jasper is very pleased with my aerials and has me on a very rigorous workout routine. I’m going to be able to do triple the work when I get back to the farm.

            Speaking of the farm…I miss it. I miss you. I hope my working down here in Hollywood isn’t making it too hard for you in Christmas Valley. I am going to finish this stunt job and bring home enough money that we won’t have to worry about our home going into foreclosure again. That’s my promise to you and you know a promise is a promise and can’t be broken. You’re such an incredible dad and wonderful provider, I am so glad I can do this for us. I’m sure mom even watches us from heaven and smiles at us with pride. I love you so much.

            The actress I am a stunt double for seems to be nice enough, although I don’t think that she likes that Director Wolff has told her to spend her extra downtime with me. He wants her to discuss scenes and such with me before they happen, but I think Wren has other plans she would prefer to tend to. She’s not really mean about it, but she sure isn’t friendly, either.

            Our hair and make-up person, Kerri, is nice. She invited me out to coffee the other day. I can’t believe how many coffee options there are here. It’s crazy!

            Well, I better get this in the mail to you so you can get it soon and not worry so much about me. Love you with all my heart!





Aspen’s second letter to her father:


Hi Daddy,


Today was rough. The other stunt double, Malachi, is a lot like those obnoxious competitors I race with from time to time at competitions. Now, I don’t want you to go and worry about me. I can certainly handle him… and I did, but I sure am happy to have this pen and paper in hand to vent.

Can you believe he T-boned me? Really, I’m okay, but he did get me pretty riled up. Not as riled up as Wren, though. The actress I told you about in my last letter? Well, she told him off and I think everyone was in shock. Even me. She’s a lot nicer than I realized and we have been becoming more and more like friends. Oh, and she think’s it’s pretty neat that I actually “write” to you than just up and text. Most people here think it’s crazy that my mobile phone can’t text. That seems to be what most people do around here when taking breaks.

Well, I know this is a short letter, but I’ve gotta get to set. I love you many times over. 





Aspen’s third letter to her father:


Hi Daddy,


Well, I’m am probably going to see you before this letter even makes it to Christmas Valley, Oregon. Yup, Director Wolff said we get to take some time off and I’ll be leaving first thing in the morning.

Obviously I will be using my phone later on to call you and let you know I’m coming and that Wren is coming with me. I’m sure you won’t mind and you are going to love her. We are going to take turns driving her car since her fans at airports and buses can make travel difficult.

Director Wolff said I can teach Wren some dirt bike riding skills. It’ll help with this movie we are making. I think I am going to take her out to the sand dunes. They are lot more forgiving when you fall.

Anyway, gotta go get packed. If I had an I Miss You Chart, the line showing how much I miss you would be off the chart.

And one more thing. Wren is teaching me how to cook, so keep the fire extinguisher nearby. Hope you are laughing as much as I am right now. Love you so much!





p.s. Please don’t tell Trigg I’m coming home.



About the Author

Melissa Grace is known to unexpectedly break out in ninja moves. An engineer, avid motorcyclist, devoted martial artist and passionate violinist, she grew up in Hanover, NH believing she would someday become a stunt woman. While she enjoys many opportunities for exploration of the world around her, her most treasured journey has been building a life with her family in Texas.


You can email her at:

Join her in the bardroom:
Twitter: @MelissaGraceITB

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holiday & Thank you!

Thank you for visiting Word Affair! The next year will bring new publications and more fabulous Wednesday Women guests--until then I wish you a peaceful time and a great start into 2015.

If you're in need of a last-minute gift, or some reading material for yourself, check out the Wednesday Women tab (mostly but not exclusively lesbian fiction), and my books are still 50% off at Coffee Time Romance. Or maybe a short read? Halfway Home is 99cts on Amazon.
See you in 2015! Stay safe.

The Winter Warm-up Blog Hop is over...and the winner is:

Shadow! Congratulations! :)