GUESS WHAT, DARLINGS????
EVERYBODY is a winner! Melissa Foster is giving everyone who entered the drawing an ebook copy of her book, Discovering Delilah.
So hang in there while I contact you to find out what file formats you all indulge in.
THANKS FOR PLAYING, and a HUGE BIG AWESOME MAJOR THANK YOU to Melissa Foster!
Hi, Women and Wordsters!
Well, we have a treat today! New York Times bestselling romance author Melissa Foster stopped by to have a chat about her latest release. AND I MEAN LATEST. HOT OFF THE PRESS YESTERDAY. More on that in a minute.
I cyber-met Melissa after I wrote this blog last fall in which I took to task the myth that there’s no audience beyond a really tiny one for F/F romance. Melissa read it and contacted me. She’s writing primarily in what we’d call the heterosexual romance market but she has a variety of characters across her book spectrum and in one of her series, she has a book that JUST CAME OUT (see what I did there?) whose main character is a lesbian and is on her way to falling in love with another woman.
That series is Melissa’s new adult Harborside Nights, and the book is Discovering Delilah. The series deals with a group of friends who have known each other for years. Each book focuses on a different character’s story. DD is the second book, and features Delilah and her growing feelings for another woman (you can see the book trailer RIGHT HERE).
Those of us who have been writing F/F romance know that the audience is primarily lesbian- or bi-identified women with some exceptions. Many of us also wonder why F/F doesn’t seem to get much play beyond our lesfic corners of the world, because as we know, there are some great F/F stories out there, with wonderful characterization, great dialogue, and all the other elements that make for an awesome read. Well, the obvious reason for that is because DUH lesbian cooties and nobody wants to get them except other lesbians.
But that, my friends, is changing, I think. Romance Writers of America has become more inclusive over the past few years, and includes an LGBTQ chapter and romances featuring lesbian or gay relationships have won some of the story contests and awards that RWA has going on. With some exceptions, sadly — in 2012, an Oklahoma chapter had an issue with LGBT romance. RWA responded (you can see that at that link), and reiterated that it does not condone discrimination. Regardless, all of us who are LGBTQ (and our allies) know that even with the great advances we’ve made over the past few years, there is still a lot of work to be done.
So we will continue to write all kinds of stories with all kinds of characters, as Melissa is doing with her work, even with the potential for blowback, as Melissa faced when she started working on Delilah’s story.
The upshot of this is, especially in the wake of the awesome happenings in June, I think we’re going to see a lot more F/F go “mainstream,” if you will, and I think there are going to be all kinds of shifts in various literary canons. Maybe rather than F/F romance or M/M romance or M/F romance, it’ll just be romance. After all, as I quoted another blogger last fall, we can all use another good book.
SO! Melissa is putting up an ebook copy of Discovering Delilah. If you’d like to get in on the awesome, leave a comment below. Please include your email address in the comment fill-out form BUT NOT IN THE COMMENT BODY. We’re trying to save you from spambots. You’ll thank us later. Really.
Drawing closes at 10 PM EST (US) Monday, July 13.
And now, I’ll let Melissa take it from here.
Discovering much more than Delilah
When I set out to write the Harborside Nights series, a new adult hetero and LGBT romance series, I did so because the characters and their world spoke to me so loudly that I might as well have been in bed with Wyatt, Delilah, Ashley, Brandon, Tristan, and all their other friends. What I found was a beautiful world, a bit of controversy, and an exploration of the incredible power that parents have over their children.
Discovering Delilah is the second book in Harborside Nights, and focuses on the blossoming love between Delilah Armstrong and Ashley Carter. Delilah’s parents were killed on the day of her college graduation, which, unfortunately, was the same day Delilah came out to them, and her ultra conservative parents did not take the news well. In the aftermath of their tragic death, Delilah is left struggling to pick up the pieces of her life, and trudge through the guilt they’d instilled in her forever, which led her to keep the most intimate side of herself a secret for so long.
Delilah’s grief leads her to a world of self-discovery, where she faces her deepest fears at the risk of losing her closest friend. Isn’t that what grief does? Makes us turn introspective and scares the shit out of us? Sure, but this story is about more than love, loss, and self-discovery. It’s an exploration of the people who influence us the most — parents, siblings, and closest friends.
It’s a test of strength for not only Delilah and Ashley, but for their friends and Delilah’s twin brother, Wyatt, who for the first time in his life, feels impotent to help. Wyatt’s story unfolds in Catching Cassidy, the first book in the series, where we learn how parenting can affect children so very differently.
I have children. And as a mother, I have to say that it’s hard to stomach the power parents hold over their children. On some level I wonder who we are, to decide what beliefs are right or wrong for them. Hello controversy!
Along those lines, I would like to share with you a little more unexpected controversy that I faced while writing Delilah’s love story. Writing is like living with friends in your head for months on end, and then opening the door and bringing them out to play.
I was thrilled when I began my adventure into Harborside and started work on Delilah. And then the advice began pouring in from author friends: The LGBT audience is too small to risk upsetting your het readers. And use a pen name so you don’t lose your het readers. Oh boy, really? Did I worry about turning off my lesbian readers when I published my het romances? Nope. So why worry now?
This was an eye opener, to say the least. Not one that would dissuade me from writing what I feel, of course. I found this advice maddening and shortsighted — and disappointing. It saddens me that in 2015 we’re still dealing with this type of prejudice, and I hope that by standing up and writing stories like Delilah’s, other authors will feel empowered to do the same, and not kowtow to pen names (which would be like writing in a closet!) or worse, not writing the stories at all.
Indeed. So let’s all keep writing, people! And readers, keep reading! And if you’d like a chance at winning a copy of Discovering Delilah, leave a comment below.
Melissa Foster is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of the Harborside Nights New Adult Romance series (includes LGBT), Love in Bloom Contemporary Romance series, and several women’s fiction novels.