“If I laugh any harder or more I am going to end up in the hospital. I feel like I can’t breath half the time.”
“You can tell within a few pages when the writing is a cut above and it is here. The characters are well-developed, interesting, and very appealing. The dialogue is excellent and the building of the relationship feels realistic not contrived.”
India Bell is looking for a regular writing gig to supplement her royalties. She ends up with two assignments – one, to interview up-and-coming lesbian romance writer Tegan Lowry, and the other? To win a bet to write her own lesbian romance, thus securing for herself a job as an editor.
There’s a bit of an issue with the second of those. India writes science fiction, not romance. There’s none of that confusing touchy-feely stuff in her science fiction novels. Hell, she doesn’t even read romance, and as for the lesbian aspect, she’s not sure how to define her sexuality, but if she’s a lesbian, then she’s so far in the closet, she doesn’t even know where the door is. Maybe Tegan could give her some pointers on writing all those sex scenes she’s probably going to have to stick in there?
Tegan is thrilled to be interviewed, even by the awkward and socially-inept India. Not that Tegan views herself as anyone’s fantasy – she’s on crutches, and who would be interested in a cripple? Her deeply romantic fantasies are all lived out on the page. But when India suddenly asks if Tegan will join her in her writing cabin to get some serious work done, she jumps at the chance to leave her horrible basement apartment behind to concentrate on her writing in comfort and peace, with the fascinating, if rather emotionally-unavailable, India Bell.
In the gorgeous cabin on the outskirts of the small tourist town of Rain Falls, Colorado, the two women find themselves struggling with temptation and absurdity. It’s a situation they never thought they’d find outside of a romance novel.
“Great storyline. Action, adventure, comedy and love. I laughed out loud a few times”
Loved the lovely dichotomy of a writer writing about writing romance fiction while romancing a fellow author as they are sequestered together in a cozy cabin, then there’s also the wit as well as grit of the wimmin heroines! Additionally I highly recommend this author’s fresh turn of a phrase, I chuckled more than a few times! Then of-course the twists of the plot created some great tension…in a variety of ways ;-)”
In the gorgeous cabin on the outskirts of the small tourist town of Rain Falls, Colorado, the two women find themselves struggling with temptation and a stalker who insists on interfering. It’s a situation they never thought they’d find outside of a romance novel.
The moment didn’t last, soon India was stuck again, frowning at the screen.
“What’s wrong now?” Tegan asked.
“How the hell do you describe genitalia?”
“Well as long as you don’t call it a Panty Hamster, you’re golden.”
“That doesn’t help!”
Tegan sighed. “You just have to picture the part you’re referring to and find an analogy…something that it looks like to you.”
“How about…fleshy…snow pea in a pink…pod..?”
“Well that’s what I see when I think about a…pussy.”
“There. Why not just use pussy?”
“That’s so crude.”
“It’s erotica. It’s kind of okay to be crude.”
India sighed and reapplied herself to the writing, perhaps smacking the keys a little too hard while she was at it.
11. Sucker & Suckee
The description of the spaceship was easy enough. It’s not like she hadn’t described a ton of those throughout her Dark Nebula series. She just had to make it a different spaceship, and a different galaxy, and then add two women, and create a little sexual tension. She’d had women in her stories plenty, though she did more often than not have male protagonists. But none of them really had any sexual tension, because mostly that would turn into homoeroticism and her straight male readers probably wouldn’t care too much for that.
So. Two women. One romantic, the other, not so much. She could relate to at least one of them. Why wouldn’t this character be interested in sex? Was she an android? Well India wasn’t interested in sex either, and she wasn’t an android. She looked up from the screen at Tegan, happily tapping away. Was Tegan interested in sex?
“Are you interested in sex?”
Tegan’s eyes bulged. “What?”
“What?” India suddenly realized how that sounded. “Oh, no, I didn’t, I wasn’t making an offer–“
“No I didn’t think you–“
“I just. I was wondering about this character, and why she wouldn’t be…never mind.” India put her head down again and stared at the blinking cursor. More like the BLINKING CURSOR, as if she were CURSING at it. She drummed her fingers on the desk, had a drink of coffee. She could feel the heat across her cheeks. Curious, she pulled a small mirror from the desk drawer to see if maybe she had a rash. Her reflection was suspicious. The rash seemed to be more like a…blush. Okay, she had embarrassed herself. Like that never happened. On second thought, it hardly ever happened. India looked up at Tegan and cocked her head to one side when she noticed that Tegan also had a rash. Or a blush. She decided against asking Tegan about it.
India was challenged by one character, because she didn’t know how to make her nice. Didn’t at least one character in romances have to be nice? She mentioned this to Tegan, who offered, “Well, maybe you could make the character sort of a dominatrix…sorta bossy.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Well it might help you write her. You seem more comfortable giving orders, and so maybe it would be easier if you wrote a character more like yourself.”
India ignored the mild insult, knowing it was true. “But wouldn’t that be drifting over into another genre? Fifty Shades of Gay?”
Tegan shrugged. “I’m just tossing out ideas.”
“And me, without my helmet.” India bent back to her keyboard, but still found herself lost in developing the character.
Coffee. She needed a refill. Pushing up from the desk, India went to the kitchen and refreshed her cup. Stirring creamer into the brew, she glanced at Tegan, whose hands were paused on the keys. She seemed to be stuck, now. Hah. Payback is hell.
Sipping the peaberry manna, India stared at her laptop on the desk. She needed some other storyline other than the romantic part. Maybe that’s what was missing. Just tell a science fiction story that had two women in it, and at some point she’d find a place to insert things like sexual tension. Right. As she returned to her desk she suspected it might not be as simple as all that.
Seating herself, she noticed that Tegan’s face had returned to its normal color. She was again enamored with the keys and tapping at them like they were some kind of life force she was sucking up into her arms.
Life force. Sucking arms.
Maybe she could make one of the characters an alien who had suction cups on her arms, and tried to suck the life force out of the other character. So which one would be considered the romantic? The sucker or the suckee?
So she asked. “Would the romantic one be the sucker or the suckee?”
Tegan coughed. “You’re really gonna have to stop saying things like that.”
“Do you even hear yourself?”
“I’m just trying to figure out if the alien woman would be the romantic one, or if it would be the human one.”
“You’ve made one of them alien?”
“Well, it is a science fiction story.”
“No, it’s a romance, set in space….I thought….”
India frowned at the screen again. “I’m not sure what it is.”
“Have you written anything romantic yet? Or are you just setting up the story?”
“Both. I wrote the intro, sort of, and then skipped ahead to when they are…you know…getting…frisky. To see how I would do that.”
“Well would you like me to read it and give you some feedback?”
India looked down at the screen and back at Tegan. Couldn’t hurt. She turned the laptop around and Tegan started to reach for her crutches, but India stopped her. “No, I’ll bring it over there. She got up and carried the laptop over and set it down in front of Tegan.
India watched her eyes scan back and forth through the intro, nodding appreciatively. Okay, she was on the right track. She could do this. Then Tegan’s face changed to something she thought might be well-suited to the reaction of finding a kitten. In the rain. With perhaps one leg missing.
The woman sighed. “Um…”
“A romantic invitation doesn’t usually doesn’t begin with…I really want to put my cups on you.”
“Well goddammit. I told you I don’t how to write romance.”
“Ain’t that the truth.”
“Now you’re just being mean.” India headed for the hallway. In the bathroom, she splashed cold water on her face. I suck. I’m the sucker. And I was a sucker to accept this insipid wager from Wheeler. What the hell was I thinking? Now I’ve got to suffer through the derision of a crippled lesbian romance writer? In my own house? She splashed her face again, feeling no more refreshed, just wet.