I’m not big on the lesbian romance genre. (I can’t believe I can say that with a straight face, considering I am currently dabbling in that genre, but anyway.)
I guess it’s because my early forays into it were a little sub-par. The characters were all a little too beat up, and some of the plot points bordered too far on the unbelievable side of the fence for me.
I get it. We’ve all been through our Coming Out period, our Lusting After our Straight Best Friend period and our U-Haul Lesbian period (in Australia we call it the Budget Lesbian period) among others. Most of us want to read about that stuff to make us feel better about bad decisions, bad romances, and to escape from our bad, sad lives.
Here’s the thing. I’m more than the sum of my bad and sad parts. I have lots of happy times. “Why doesn’t anyone write about the happy times?” I lamented. “Why doesn’t anyone write something fun?”
Then I found Layce Gardner. I am proud to be able to call her my Facebook Friend. (Which means that she stupidly accepted my friend request even though she didn’t know me from a bar of soap, and now I can stalk her interact with her whenever I want.)
I can’t remember exactly how I discovered her novel Tats, but I devoured it in two sittings. I would have devoured it in one, but a pesky little thing called my day job came between us.
I passed my paperback copy on to a great friend of mine, along with rave reviews. (Lisa, I still want it back!)
I loved the book so much, in fact, that as soon as the next book Tats Too came out, I downloaded it onto my kindle as soon as it was available. This time, I got to read it while I was on holiday in Fiji – I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a friend’s wedding get in the way of me and that book.
I read parts of it out to my wife, giggling like an idiot, while my wife just looked at me knowing full well I AM an idiot. “I guess you have to read what happened before” was my answer to her blank looks.
Anyway, to the point.
I downloaded and read Penny Nickels and Wild at Heart as soon as they came out too, and was itching for more.
That was a few months ago now, and I had decided that I wasn’t going to go out of my way to buy any new books until I had finished some of my own.
Then, I saw this pop up on my facebook feed:
I was so excited that the new book was available, but you know, my no-book-buying thing.
I held off for exactly three days.
I bought it, promising that I would only read the first chapter after I had at least completed my word-count quota for the day.
I only lasted a couple of hours before I thought “I’ll just read the first paragraph and see if it grabs me.”
A couple of hours of reading and laughing out loud later, I realised that it was past midnight, and that I had wanted to get to bed early, so I could get up early and get in some pre-caffeinated writing time. (For non-writers, that’s the best time to trick my muse into giving up some of her secrets – before she wakes up and goes MIA).
I don’t really have the whole “do something good, reward yourself” thing down very well.
So the truth of it is, I don’t think I can hold out on reading the rest of the book. I think I might just take an early weekend and go ahead and get it over and done with.
If you’re curious, my favourite part of the book so far is when the girls (Dana and Trudy) are sharing an unlit cigarette. They both take pretend puffs and then Trudy takes the cigarette back and “ashes” on the floor.
No wait. It’s when Dana meets Ellen. “She had brown-almost-black eyes like melted chocolate and a smile that reminded Dana of strawberry cheesecake. Her smile itself didn’t exactly remind Dana of cheesecake; it’s that the smile gave her the same feeling as looking at a slice of strawberry cheesecake.”
No, it’s the conversation about Dana’s need to fill a hole in a conversation. “See, when there’s a hole in the conversation I feel this urge to stick something in the hole. In fact, there’s very few people in this world I’m comfortable being around and not sticking something in their hole.”
Layce, you had me at “‘My girlfriend is a slut,’ Dana Dooley said.” It’s going to be another late night.
You can find Layce’s books on Amazon here
Check out her blog here