The Path to Happily Ever After by Barbara Winkes

IndiscretionsCongratulations to RJ and Svelta! They both won a copy of Indiscretions by Barabara Winkes!

Check it out! It’s Sunday and I’m hanging in the woods with my family (camping). Technology is such an amazing thing. A generator and a Wi-Fi hotspot via my oldest daughter’s cell phone is all I need to hang out with y’all for a few minutes.

Great news! Barbara Winkes is with us again to talk about her newest books. Indiscretions is available now and Insinuations is scheduled for release later this month.

As part of her blog, she’s giving away a couple of copies of Indiscretions to two lucky winners here at Women and Words. To enter, you just need to leave a comment below. I’ll draw a winner this Friday, 9/4.

Good luck!

The Path to Happily Ever After by Barbara Winkes

I admit it: I’m an unapologetic believer in happy endings and soul mates, something that some feel has been overdone in lesbian fiction. I do not agree—I think regardless of what kind of romance you write, most readers want to feel like they’re getting some sort of emotional payoff for sticking with the characters, rooting for them until the end.

Is it realistic?

Yes and no. There’s no guarantee of finding that one special person, then again, that’s real life. In fiction, we have the power to create and end a story the way we decide. There will always be that power, regardless of how much we feel that it’s the characters talking to us, that we’re simply recording their stories.

We’re making it all happen—but like in real life, the path isn’t always easy. People—characters—make mistakes, they’re human after all. Sometimes, they are with the wrong person in the beginning, and rectifying that will not always be smooth sailing.

More than one reviewer pointed out that they had an issue with the cheating that takes place in Autumn Leaves, which really surprised me. It’s not that I condone cheating under any circumstances, I just didn’t find it realistic that someone in Rebecca’s situation would be able to end one relationship neatly and then start the other one. Emotions are messy. Somebody gets caught in the middle, even if it wasn’t the intention.

Regardless, a lot of readers enjoyed the journey of Callie and Rebecca which will come to an end in Summer Wine.

Somehow, the subject snuck in once more in Indiscretions, the first in the Carpenter/Harding series. Jordan and Ellie are obviously the endgame when it comes to the main couple, and based on my earlier experiences, I was expecting some negative comments on how I went about it. There haven’t been any so far, which might mean that some readers stayed away when reading the blurb, or I made it clearer as to why my character didn’t see any other way out of a relationship that hadn’t been good in a long time.

It’s fascinating to observe the differences in readers’ reaction: For some it’s cathartic to read about something similar to their own experience, some will avoid it at all costs. Being a reader myself, I have faced the same questions and sometimes dilemma when I cared about a character, but really didn’t want to deal with what she was going through.

As a writer, it’s necessary to be aware of these dynamics in order to determine how far we are willing to go, if we’re ready to compromise or will just live with the consequences.

When it comes to providing my characters with a prospect they deserve, most of the time I go with the latter.

Insinuations1Insinuations, the second book in the thriller series about Jordan and Ellie, will come out this November. I’ll give away two e-copies of Indiscretions with this blog, so you can get to know them. Thank you for reading!

A psychologist/trauma counselor by training, Barbara Winkes left her native Germany to live with her wife in Québec City. Telling stories has always been her passion. She loves to write suspense and romance with female protagonists who try to solve the puzzle of their love life, a murder case, or sometimes, both.



  1. Always a big fan of the happy ending :). if it’s messy getting there, it definitely reflects reality and makes it easily relatable for those of us who chose poorly on the first go-round.


    • It’s definitely interesting to explore those situations in fiction that most of us would to avoid in real life. It’s not always possible, and I agree that this can make characters more relatable. Thanks for your comment! 🙂


  2. Well, I’m interested. I’m not a fan of happy endings, more a reality freak. For me, thrillers are reading that is similar to comfort food. Life seems to dish out reality, then I see couples that are seeking that happily married ever after thing. Maybe some of us are lone wolves, though.


    • It’s a good think not everybody’s the same, otherwise, life would be boring, right? I’m aiming at a happy ending–or a happy place, since this is a continuing series–for the two leads, but they definitely have a long way to go. I write what I would like to see in movies–there are some thrillers that end with straight women characters not being in a relationship and happy (Angelina Jolie, Taking Lives, or Sandra Bullock in Murder By Numbers). It really depends on the story, sometimes a relationship isn’t the main focus. I would like to see lesbian characters in action/suspense movies in the first place, in a relationship (I know, I’m asking quite a bit. 😉 )


  3. With all the stress in my life these past few years, I really enjoy happy endings. I get enough reality, so I need a place to go where things work out nicely, so I can have a break from all my cares and worries. I look forward to reading your books and hope I win one of the free e-books. Thank you .


    • Good luck! Yes, fiction can be a great break from real life, and not every single detail has to be realistic. Sometimes it’s the escape that does the job.


  4. I would suspect the readers who had a tough time with the cheating might have been on the other end of a cheating partner. I have to admit to not necessarily having an easy time rooting for cheating characters yet I did like your book and m interested in the next installment. While cheating may be an uncomfortAble trigger, I like complicated imperfect characters. It makes it more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Annette, I’m glad you liked it! 🙂 I know, it’s not an easy subject for many. It’s nice to see though that readers didn’t see it as condoning the cheating, but rather a sign that the characters are in a mess they’re trying to get out of. I like complicated characters, too. If readers have an emotional reaction one way or another, I think we did our job.


  5. Just like people, characters can’t be perfect. Or if they are, they’re boring. For some people cheating is the only way they can leave a relationship and not be alone. Find someone new and get that new love feeling again.

    I was just in Quebec City. Maybe we passed each other on the street. Goo luck with the book.


    • That’s exactly what I was going for, characters who are quite competent in various areas in their lives, but have some less functional ways of dealing with trouble in a relationship they want out of.

      And Québec? Wow, it’s a small world. 🙂


  6. I am also a psychologist who specializes in trauma. There are definitely times when it is too painful or uncomfortable for me to read about a character’s choices. And I always understand that this is my individual dilemma and I don’t get upset with the book’s author.


    • It’s definitely a good thing to know your triggers and protect yourself. I asked around in a couple of groups if people thought the subject warranted a warning–the answer was no–so I made it clear in the blurb what the story was about. I understand–of course, I’m a reader, too, and there are subjects I’m more or less comfortable with. It doesn’t mean no one should write about them.


  7. First of all, congrats on your new book, Barbara! Sometimes fiction mirrors real life, and it’s understandable that some readers have a problem with the cheating thing. I’m a romance nut. As long as there is a HEA or hopeful ever after and the writing is good, and I know that yours is, I love to read the stories of not so perfect characters.


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