Blend by Georgia Beers Review

Ice Queen? Check. Woman warm enough to melt said Ice Queen? Check. Fun romance setting that makes me want to run down to my local wine bar and belly up? Check.

I’ve read other novels by Georgia Beers and she is one of my one-click favorites because of her consistency. Her books are always well paced, well written and hit all the emotional beats necessary for a robust romance. She hits all the right notes with this romance set in a Wine Bar. Like the title, Beers’ novel blends the storylines of her main characters Piper and Lindsay in her signature style. The story is subtle, yet compelling as the lead characters grapple with issues of self-esteem, grief, and ethical dilemmas. A low angst tale it still delivers a story rich in heart-rending moments before the characters get their happy ever after.  A well-crafted read, Blend is a marvelous way to spend an evening curled up with a large glass of your favorite vintage.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.

You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

Rainbow Snippet April 14-15

Hello All. Spring has finally made an appearance here, although it seems for a limited engagement based on next week’s forecast. I’m happy to offer a snip from my novel Both Ends of the Whip up for preorder from NineStar Press. You can save 30% and get the novel three days early if you order direct from the publisher.  

From Both Ends of the Whip:

Octavia washed up in the sink in the mudroom. The house was cool after the heat of the barn, and she shivered as she pulled her shirt on over the tank top she wore. She walked into the kitchen. The table was set with two place settings. In the center rested a crystal water pitcher and a large platter filled with thick wedges of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella slices drizzled with balsamic vinegar and fragrant green olive oil. Dark green basil leaves were scattered over the top and stood out against the bright red of the tomatoes. She inhaled the smell of Bridget’s signature crusty bread. Bridget stood at the counter, scooping berries into dessert bowls.

Taking in the line of her thick hips, the way her broad shoulders filled out her uniform, made Octavia’s mouth water, for more than the gorgeous lunch laid out for them. She crossed the floor and wrapped her arms around Bridget’s waist to pull her against her body. She kissed the soft space under her ear. “This looks and smells amazing. Is it for us?”

“Vivian had a late breakfast and left. She won’t be back until supper.”

Octavia pressed more kisses along the slope of her neck. Bridget brought her hand up and cupped the side of Octavia’s face, resting it there. Octavia stilled. She hugged Bridget closer. Their breathing synced, and the hurt and angry words melted between them. Love. She does love me. As much as I love her.

 

Rainbow Snippets ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/) is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this groupyou’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

 

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.

You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Snippets April 7-8

 

Hello Snippteers, I had a lovely week off at my aunt’s farm, whatever you celebrated, I hope it was good. This week’s snippet is from my novel Both Ends of the Whip scheduled for release May 7th. This novel was inspired by a tour of a vineyard in northern Italy.  Above is the gorgeous cover from Natasha Snow and NineStar Press. I hope you enjoy this snippet. 

From BOTH ENDS OF THE WHIP

“Do you still work as a photojournalist?”

Vivian brought her gaze back to Octavia’s face. “No. After…” She glanced at her hands before she brought her gaze back to Octavia’s face. “Everyone with a phone is a photojournalist now. I do portraits. Private events. I work when, and if I choose.”

Pain. Sadness. So much sadness. Let it go.Octavia wanted to cross the room and take away the sadness in her eyes, wanted to kiss her perfect mouth until she was breathless. What is the story there? Why so much pain?

Bridget made a soft sound, breaking the moment. “What time would you like your breakfast…? Um, what should we call you?”

“Vivian is fine. I’m not as—” she focused her gaze on Bridget’s face and Octavia’s stomach tightened with desire watching the exchange between them. “Formal as Martha, although we are alike in other ways.”

Bridget’s face flushed. “Could I see the kitchen please? Vivian.”

How long? How long will it be before she offers herself to her? Will I be there? I want to be there. Octavia stood up. “I think I can find the barn, if you two don’t need me.”

“Need and want are two different things.” Vivian raised her gaze to Octavia’s face, a half smile playing over her lips. “Come to the kitchen with us, and then I will accompany you to the barn while Bridget prepares dinner.”

Power and control flowed from Vivian like water over smooth rocks washing way any doubts Octavia might have had about what they had signed up for, leaving no doubt who was in charge.

 

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

Brenda Murphy writes short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her nonfiction and short fiction have been published in various collections. Her most recent novel, One was published by NineStar Press. When she is not loitering and writing at her favorite tea shop, she wrangles two dogs, twins, and an unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, https://www.brendalmurphy.com/blog.html

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Writing-While-Distracted

 

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

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Rock/Salt/Stone by Rosamond S. King Review

I had the good fortune to hear Rosamond S. King perform poems from Rock/Salt/Stone and a series from Abattoir as part of her cabaret-style performance of Resident Alien. It was utterly and devastatingly perfect. Her delivery of spoken word poems combined with through-line of song lyrics is powerful, and if you ever have an opportunity to see her perform, run do not walk to the venue.

The theme of her show addresses the experience of being unwelcome in one’s own home because one is queer, black, or an immigrant. Dr. King’s collection of poems Rock/Salt/Stone is a 2018 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist.

If you only read one book of poems this year, treat yourself to this collection. Dr. King’s imagery and language draws on different cultures, African, Carribean, Queer, and American, and folklore. Her poems are lyrical and rich, and her playfulness with language is apparent even as she addresses subjects that are heartbreaking, the positive energy of these poems shines through.

I am ever grateful I was able to hear her performance because now, whenever I read her work I will hear her voice as I read and re-read her poems. Even if you are someone who does not read poetry, particularly if you are someone who does not read poetry, get outside of your comfort zone and read these poems. 

My favorite poems from this collection are in no particular order: the poem wet, {I fell in love with the market woman}, you.nasty., and for Isatoufor Haddy for Adama for Elle.  Be warned the soul of these poems will get under your skin, you will not be satisfied with a quick read through but will want to savor each bite of her razor sharp observations about life dressed up as poems. You can find Rock/Salt/Stone at https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9781937658618/rock–salt–stone.aspx

And Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Salt-Stone-Rosamond-King/dp/1937658619

 

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Scheduling, Planning, and Life

As much as I’d like to pretend that my life always goes according to plan that would be a lie. This past week we lost one of our dear sweet pups. She was ten, a long time in dog years, never long enough in people years. She was the runt of her litter, the only girl, and feisty as hell.  She ran the house, was a fierce protector of our kids, and always ratted them out by barking when they did anything she thought was unsafe. She loved people and was a stealth kisser. 

Her death was sudden, but not unexpected as she had struggled with some health problems this past year. This week it’s been hard to sit down to write, my office feels a bit emptier and my house is too quiet. Her brother is still with us, and he’s been a huge cuddle bug and for that I’m grateful.  My plan to have my current WIP completed by the end of May is off the rails, I may finish by then, I may not. I’m giving myself permission to grieve as much as I need to, for me that means reading books with no angst and happy endings. I’ve managed to sit down to write yesterday and today and my time at the keyboard helps, immersing myself in my own own world where pets live forever is my favorite way to heal.  Schedules are great and planning is the only way that I accomplish anything, but grief has a way of up-ending all of it. So I’m going to do what I can and that will have to be enough. 

Rest in peace my Kona girl. 

Rainbow Snippet March 24-25


This week’s Rainbow Snippet is from my first novel, Sum of the Whole. I once asked a writer friend which of her many novels was the most difficult to write, and she said “The first one.” Never have truer words been spoken, because no matter how many how-to books you read on writing, at the end of the day you have to find a method that works for you. This novel took me a almost a year to write, the one after that I finished in four months. If you’re struggling to get your novel finished remember the first one is the hardest, so be kind to your self and keep writing.

I hope you enjoy this week’s snippet, and if you are of a mind to read the rest of the story Sum of the Whole is on sale at NineStar Press and Amazon.

From Sum of the Whole: 

“I’ve trained in the arts, Mistress, but I’ve not been requested to serve anyone before tonight.”

“Is that why your collar tag is zero?” Jaya flicked the tag with her finger.

“No, Mistress. We choose our numbers. I choose zero because it is the nothing that is.”

“Explain.”

“I exist as I am because you exist. I exist for you to empty yourself into me. I exist for your desires and your pleasure. I am the nothing that is.” Sarah’s voice was steady.

“A philosopher.” She held Sarah’s gaze. “Do you wish to serve me, Sarah?”
Sarah met Jaya’s gaze, the fear in her eyes replaced by boldness and want. “Yes.”

The earnest tone of her voice sent tendrils of desire curling through Jaya. “Strip.”

Rainbow Snippets ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/ )is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

Brenda Murphy writes short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her nonfiction and short fiction have been published in various collections. Her most recent novel, One was published by NineStar Press. When she is not loitering and writing at her favorite tea shop, she wrangles two dogs, twins, and an unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, https://www.brendalmurphy.com/blog.html

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Writing-While-Distracted

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

 

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Rainbow Snippet March 17-18

This week’s snippet comes from my third novel, Both Ends of the Whip, slated for release in May with NineStar Press. It was inspired by a tour of an amazing woman-owned and operated organic vineyard in northern Italy. I sketched a brief outline of this story in my journal on the ride back from our day trip.

From Both Ends of the Whip

She rolled open the door to the barn and shut it after her. The door to her office was half open. Vivian was sitting in the desk chair, her long legs stretched out in front of her and crossed at the ankles. Vivian. Waiting for me. She pushed the door to the office open wide and stood in the doorway resting her hand on the frame.

Vivian looked up at her. On the desk were two glasses and a dusty bottle. “Do you like cognac?”

“You always keep your cognac in the barn?” She moved to the chair next to the desk and sat down across from Vivian.

“Miriam liked a nip after a ride.”

“She sounds like I would have liked her.”

“Yes. I think you two would have liked each other very much.” She filled two shot glasses.

The cognac is the same color as her eyes. So beautiful. Octavia picked up her glass. “To old friends and new beginnings.”

Vivian raised her glass and touched it to Octavia’s before she took a sip. She licked her lower lip. She raised her glass. “To love’s memory.”

Rainbow Snippets https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

 

Brenda Murphy writes short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her nonfiction and short fiction have been published in various collections. Her most recent novel, One was published by NineStar Press. When she is not swilling gallons of hot tea and writing, she wrangles two dogs, twins, and an unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, https://www.brendalmurphy.com/blog.html

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Writing-While-Distracted

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

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Rainbow Snippet March 10-11

Props to my amazing father-in-law for this great photo from our trip.


This week’s snippet is from a work I signed a contract for this week.  The novel, Knotted Legacy,  is set on the Isle of Skye, and although the castle pictured above is not located on Skye, it was the inspiration for Rowan House.  I’ve always keep travel journals, I use them whenever I want to add details that lend verisimilitude to my manuscripts. I had a wonderful time rereading my journals and letting myself get lost in those memories as I created this story.  I hope you enjoy this week’s snippet. It’s a peek at a lunch date that becomes so much more than a meal. 

From Knotted Legacy:

Lucia picked up her menu and studied it. Martha took advantage of her distraction and studied her. Her loose curls were pulled back displaying her long neck, the low neckline of her dress showed off the swell of her breasts. Her brown skin glowed in the firelight reflecting off the white stone making her blue-green eyes even more stark in her face.

“It all looks so good. Can we do the tasting menu?” Lucia placed her menu on the table.

“Sounds perfect. It’s what I usually order. They have a wine flight they serve with it. It’s nice to let someone else make the decisions.”

Lucia tilted her head and fixed Martha with her gaze. “It is. As long as you trust the other to make the right choices.” Her voice was the same she had used with Robin, soft yet unyielding, quietly insistent, the voice of a woman so secure in her power she knew her words would be obeyed without question no matter the volume of her voice.

Martha’s body responded to her tone. She took a sip of her water before she answered. “Indeed. It only works if that’s the case.”

 

Rainbow Snippets (https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)  is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her nonfiction and short fiction have been published in various collections. Her most recent novel, One was published by NineStar Press. When she is not swilling gallons of hot tea and writing, she wrangles two dogs, twins, and an unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, https://www.brendalmurphy.com/blog.html

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Writing-While-Distracted

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

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Rejection: The good, the bad, and the angry

Rejection. As a writer, you will have rejections. And if you plan to keep writing you need to find a way to deal with rejection. Writing is unique in that there are a number of ways to be rejected. Most are form letter emails. Some, if you are lucky, will offer an explanation for the rejection. Some are the unmistakable sound of crickets, even with polite follow-ups.

The non-response response is perhaps the most difficult to deal with, it always leaves me with questions. 1.) Did you get my submission?  2.) Are you so unprofessional even a quick form rejection is beyond your ability? 3.) Am I not worth a response? 4.) Did something horrible happen in your life and you can’t even respond, or it has been so long that you don’t want to respond because you are embarrassed? 

A good rejection for a writer is a “revise and resubmit”, or  “I liked this but it does not fit with our anthology/brand/ direction”, or one that contains suggestions on how to improve your chances of being accepted. The best rejections end with “We would like to see future submissions or some such language that indicates the rejection is not a rejection forever, simply a rejection for right now, and that in the future it may be a yes.

The best way to respond to a rejection? Feel your feelings. Be angry, cry, fuss, swear, go for a run, eat ice cream out of the carton, do whatever you need to do. But do it away from the keyboard. Never write back a rude or angry reply. Just don’t. It will never serve you well in your career to respond with anger.  Remember publishing is a business, and as such decisions based are on more than the ability of a writer to write well.

Write this down. Post it where you can see it.  It is not personal. 

Send a very polite acknowledgment of the rejection. And if you are fortunate enough to have had an editor take their time to offer suggestions on how to improve your writing, be very gracious, and acknowledge their time and kindness. Editors are some of the busiest people I know, and for them to offer assistance when they owe you nothing but a professional reply, acknowledging them is reasonable and a good business practice. 

Writing is an exhilarating, frustrating, addictive career. Find constructive ways to deal with rejection. Do not let it derail your dreams. 

Brenda Murphy writes short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her nonfiction and short fiction have been published in various collections. Her most recent novel, One was published by NineStar Press. When she is not swilling gallons of hot tea and writing, she wrangles two dogs, twins, and an unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, https://www.brendalmurphy.com/blog.html

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Writing-While-Distracted

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

 

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