Lucy Jane Bledsoe Interview

Women explore new territory in Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s fiction.

In her latest novel, The Big Bang Symphony (University of Wisconsin, 2010), three women—a composer, a cook, and a scientist—work together in Antarctica where the extreme climate exposes people to each other and themselves. In an earlier novel, Working Parts (Seal, 1997), the frontier is closer to home—adult literacy classes at the protagonist’s local library—yet equally challenging. Not only does the protagonist have to learn to read, she has to learn to be honest with people. In Biting the Apple (Carroll & Graf, 2007), the charismatic heroine, a motivational speaker and secret kleptomaniac, doesn’t push boundaries so much as cross them. But when one ex-lover refuses to bail her out and another stalks her, the protagonist is forced to decide which of her reinvented selves is authentic.

The complicated relationships in these novels do not necessarily end happily, but hope is present in the form of emotional growth for the flawed yet sympathetic characters. Lucy Jane’s books are also exceptionally well crafted and full of sly humor. She is, deservedly, a recent recipient of the Sherwood Anderson Foundation Fiction Award, as well as a four-time Lambda Literary finalist and one-time winner of the Stonewall Book Award.
 
 

Nairne Holtz

Nairne Holtz is the author of "This One's Going To Last Forever" and "The Skin Beneath" both from Insomniac Press.

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Blinded By The Light

Title: BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
Author: Morgan Hunt
Publisher: Alyson Books, Aug 2008
ISBN: 1593500858
Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: Murder-Mystery

“When Tess’ work takes her to Albuquerque for a temp assignment, she decides to visit the Lightning Field, an earthworks art piece constructed of 400 lightning rods arranged in an intriguing way out in the New Mexican desert. The remote locale is disrupted when a fellow visitor is apparently killed by lightning. Tess knows it was no accident, and how she solves this crime is quite a shocker!”

One of the most important things I’ve taken away from reading Morgan Hunt’s Tess Camillo trilogy of books is, do not take anything for granted. Nothing. And that everything can often be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so don’t waste it, as you may never get another chance. That’s just how Hunt’s eloquently, light-hearted, wryly and deftly written prose gets you.

Morgan Hunt dearly loves words as I love words, and it shows in every wonderfully crafted sentence she writes. Not only does Hunt know how to wrangle them, but use them to good effect. From her opening paragraph to her parting shot at the end of each chapter, she has you thumbing pages at such a rate with her droll, snarky humour and social commentary that you are, yes, almost blinded by her wit.

In this, her third outing, amateur sleuth, Tess Camillo is once again in the thick of murder. This time we are out in the deserts of New Mexico at a place called the Lightning Field. An experimental artwork where one of the guests is found dead, supposedly by a lightning strike from the previous night’s storm, but like Tess, we know different. And, not to give away too much and spoil the read, you just know that Hunt will have Tess come at this suspicious death in her own unusual way, to solve a murder. Which, as always, is done with a great deal of light-hearted humour and with the observational wit a great many of us have come to love.

The other pleasant thing about Hunt’s work is, that you don’t have to have read book one (or even, book two) to enjoy and appreciate this third novel featuring Tess. Hunt fleshes out her characters with plenty of foibles and flaws, gives just the right amount of background to bring you up to speed, and then pulls you along with a clever blend of action and romance, giving the reader a fun ride.

I love Tess; I love her almost as much as I love her author, Morgan Hunt. Both are emotional, intelligent, and yes, flawed women who have a great deal in common, both have survived breast-cancer.

Go have a read, and you too might thoroughly enjoy Hunt’s devilish wit.

REVIEWED BY ALEXANDRA WOLFE

Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra is the founder, owner, and publishing editor of the Kissed By Venus web site and magazine.

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Turn For Home

Title: TURN FOR HOME
Author: Lara Zielinsky
Publisher: PD Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-933720-74-6
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Genre: Romance

This is the sequel to Turning Point, however, since I have not read Turning Point this review is based on this novel’s own merit.

Brenna Lanigan and Cassidy Hyland have fallen in love. Both women, however, have numerous changes to make in their lives before they can find a way to be in a full-blown relationship. Some struggles to contend with in this book deal with intimacy, children, exs, career, publicity, and major decision-making, all the ingredients for a good romance.

With her divorce proceeding, Brenna is upset by her two teenage sons’ cold shoulders toward her having any relationship with Cassidy. Although, Cassidy’s son Ryan, the five year old, eagerly accepts the two women together, this makes Thomas and James lack of support even more upsetting.

Once the women return to work from a holiday hiatus, they find precious moments of intimacy around the movie lot premises. They begin to discover their supportive crew that surrounds them with encouragement. The paparazzi begin to get curious at the changes being shown between them.

When their romance is suspected, the ‘lesbian’ label sets off Mitch Hyland. As Cassidy’s ex-husband, he plans to remove his son from being raised by a lesbian, by force if necessary.

Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra is the founder, owner, and publishing editor of the Kissed By Venus web site and magazine.

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Book Release

“REEL FOOD FROM REEL WOMEN: OUR FAVORITE DISHES”

Editor: Nina Knapp
Purchase: www.reelrecipes.com
Available: July 11, 2010

“No matter what your culinary tastes, you are sure to find some interesting recipes in this book.” – Nina Knapp, Editor

REEL FOOD FROM REEL WOMEN is a collection of favorite recipes from women in the entertainment industry:  Rosser Goodman (HOLDING TREVOR), Katherine Fugate (VALENTINE’S DAY, Creator of “Army Wives,” “Xena” writer), Andrea Meyerson (LAUGHING MATTERS), Stacy Codikow (ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE), Kelli Herd (IT’S IN THE WATER), Nisha Ganatra (CHUTNEY POPCORN), Claudia Christian (“Babylon 5,” “Nip/Tuck”), and many, many more. 

REEL FOOD FROM REEL WOMEN has a wide variety of recipes, well-suited for any appetite or event.  “The Feature Presentation” section highlights main dish recipes from Linguine with Clam Sauce to Mini Brie Burgers;  “The Supporting Cast” features side dishes to compliment any meal or pot-luck, including Broccoli & Leek Soup, Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad and Irish Soda Bread; “The Concession Stand” is a delight of desserts – Lemon Lavender Sugar Cookies, Orange Cranberry Scones and more;  “The Wrap Party” recipes are indeed, party favorites – Artichoke Parmesan Spread, Mama’s Milk Punch, and Knapp’s own Killer Mango Salsa to name a few.

Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra is the founder, owner, and publishing editor of the Kissed By Venus web site and magazine.

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Colder Than Ice

Title: COLDER THAN ICE
Author: Helen Macpherson
Publisher: Quest Books
ISBN: 1-932300-29-5
Rated: 4 Stars
Genre: Lesbian Adventure

Allison Shaunessy is a woman on the edge. As an archaeologist with the Flinders Museum of Australasian Exploration, she and her team are racing against time to secure funding for an unprecedented excavation in Antarctica. Despite her best attempts, she despairs when she falls short of her financial goal.

In America, Michela DeGrasse, a psychologist with the International Space Research Institute, is involved with studying the interaction of humans in extreme environments. When Michela learns of the possibility of the Antarctic research, she attempts to join Allison’s expedition but is met with resistance. Only the fact that she is able to provide the needed funding allows Michela to join the expedition to continue her studies.

Allison and Michela instantly clash regarding the focus of the expedition and who should lead the team. They settle into a grudging working relationship that gradually deepens into a fragile friendship, but what they find at the expedition site defies all expectations. With hardship, extreme cold, and rivalry standing in their way, will the two women see past their own stubbornness long enough to allow their friendship to develop any further?

Here is my idea of a thoroughly engaging book, populated by believable characters struggling through realistic situations, making decisions and choices that reflect those we ourselves might choose or make in circumstances that conspire and challenge us.

I thoroughly enjoyed this absorbing, page-turning action-adventure and the characters who took me on a journey of discovery into the depths of Antarctica, where personalities clashed and emotions smoldered just beneath the surface.

Macphersons’ well-written prose evokes a sense of place immediately, while her ability to bring us right into the characters lives and personalities, from the get go, has you turning the pages to find out what’s going to happen next.

This is one you might want to add this one to your ‘must read’ list.

REVIEWED BY ALEXANDRA WOLFE

Alexandra Wolfe

Alexandra is the founder, owner, and publishing editor of the Kissed By Venus web site and magazine.

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