A Sweetwater Christmas Released

Winter Hearts, the 13 author compilation to raise money for charity, is now history. We raised several thousand dollars to be split between The Trevor Project and Stonewall! An official announcement of all proceeds is coming soon. In the meantime, that means my contribution to the anthology, A Sweetwater Christmas, is now available for sale as an individual book.

A Sweetwater Christmas

In 2017, I started a short story series, ‘Loving Blue in Red States’. There are currently seven short stories in the series. The first one was Sweetwater Texas. This novella, at reader request, is an expansion of that story, more than doubling it in length. Dozens of readers asked for the continuation of the Cass and Emmie story. They got their wish!

If you purchased Winter Hearts (thank you!), and read it cover to cover, you’ve already read A Sweetwater Christmas. If you missed out on Winter Hearts, you’ll get a chance at an all new anthology by a dozen or more authors next year. In the meantime, all of the stories and novellas in the anthology have been released back to their authors, just like mine has been.

For a limited time, A Sweetwater Christmas is available exclusively at Amazon and free to read via Kindle Unlimited.

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The Winner Is…

And the winner is…Sarah Auzina! What do you mean the winner of what? The naming contest, of course!

Oh, you want to know what she named and what she won? I see! Sarah is the lucky winner of the contest I put out to my newsletter subscribers to name the lawyer in my upcoming legal thriller, Steel City Confidential. She presented me with the name “Rochelle Robinowitz” and, after a back and forth exchange over how she came up with the name, I ran with it, with a minor change to spell the surname as ‘Rabinowitz’. That’s more common and it’s the spelling which my spell check likes; always a plus!

Cover of Steel City Confidential

Rochelle Rabinowitz will be the defense attorney in the story. We’ll call her “Ro”. She’s a woman in her forties of Polish, Jewish descent living and working in Pittsburgh, The Steel City. Don’t even try to tell me that’s not authentic, ethnic Pittsburgh!

Sarah wins the autographed copy of Steel City Confidential and special mention on the title page in all editions of the book. But, she’s not the only winner…oh no, no. You see, several people submitted some truly great names and, since this is an all-new book for me – and possibly a new series – I needed lots of names. Everyone listed below wins too! You’ll all get eBook copies of the book and special mention in the acknowledgments.

Additional Winners

I need many, many characters but these are characters whose names I took from those submitted for the contest followed by the name of the winner who submitted it:

  • Amanda Stein-Rabinowitz, Ro’s spouse – Kitty Author
  • Dominque Loya – Jr. laywer in Ro’s firm – Marcey Ruiz (Marcey also submitted Juliette Sawyer which I’m likely to use and Lily Bennett. I’m using the first name ‘Lily’ for Amanda’s daughter)
  • Gael O’Connor – Secretary/Paralegal (Male) – Deb Amia (she submitted it as a woman’s name but it works perfect for this)
  • Catherine Mueller, an investigator for Ro – A.C. Miller
  • Chase Haven, a police detective – Anita Helliwell (Also submitted as a female option but I’m using it as male.)
  • Declan Powers, the District Attorney – Also Deb Amia and also submitted as a woman’s name that I’m using as a male’s name.
  • Kimberly MartinKim Dyke – I haven’t picked a character for it yet but Kimberly is a very common name for women born in the years I’m working with and Martin is a very common last name in that area.

Thank you to all of the winners! Stay tuned for more about the book!

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Update on ‘The List’

I made a lot of promises last week. Many, many promises. I published this post about the lesfic list…The List, as it’s come to be known and the response was overwhelming. There are at least 40 missing/new names to be added. There are many corrections and updates to entries already listed as well.

Write Hand Woman NZ

Because I’m one person, with a day job, it was going to take forever to do all of that, without help. The updates and corrections, I’ll be doing. My good friend, freelancer Erin of Write Hand Woman, will be doing the research to make the additions and adding those to the master spreadsheet that drives the list that appears on this site.

If you’re waiting to be added – and some of you are checking daily, judging by site stats – your time is coming.

If you’re sitting there thinking, “Hey, I could use some assistance with ‘author stuff’ that has nothing to do with actually writing” then look Erin up. She’s great and likes to do the weird, time-consuming tasks we all hate but we know need doing. Oh, and she’s in New Zealand, so she does a lot of your work for you while you’re sleeping!

Stay tuned for the update of ‘The List’. It’s coming!

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Lesfic Authors – Our Growing Community

As more and more lesbians come out, more of their stories are coming out. More important is that more of the stories they have inside them, begging to be told, are coming out too. There are more active lesfic authors out there today, producing great fiction than ever before. And tomorrow? And the next day and the next? There will be even more!

Lesfic List Logo

Two and a half years ago – yes, that long ago – with a blog post, I created what ultimately became the Lesfic Author List. That initial post contained the names of 153 lesfic authors I was personally familiar with, I could track down online by website or by their GoodReads profile.

My initial post was met with such enthusiasm from authors and readers alike, and so many names were passed along to me, I wrote two more blog posts before the list was moved to its permanent page on my website. As of this writing, there are 409 authors listed in the active section!

The Lesfic Authors List Today:

In ongoing efforts, I’m working on identifying authors missing from the list, old/established and new, and also on identifying all of their works by genre; something the original list lacked. I’ve got a long way to go with all of this, but it’s a labor of love.

If you or an author you love isn’t on the list, let me know.

Why do this? Because it’s a living, breathing document of us, our writers, writing fiction for us. Because lesfic authors deserve the same recognition that mainstream writers get. Also because readers deserve to have a resource to easily find new authors in their preferred genres. And, perhaps most of all, because readers can read a lot faster than we can write. They need a place to go that lists everyone we can find that writes for us, about us. That’s why.

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Celebrating the Birthday of A. A. Milne

Beloved children’s author A. A. Milne has been gone from us since 1956, but his famed Winnie the Pooh series lives on in the hearts and minds of so many, young and old. I just want to celebrate him a little bit on the 137th anniversary of his birth.

Some of my favorite A. A. Milne quotes and lines:

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”

Winnie the Pooh
A. A. Milne’s most famous character, Winnie the Pooh

Happy birthday A. A. Milne. May you forever rest in peace.

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What’s in a Name? On Naming Characters

Naming a character, especially the main character of a story, is one of the hardest things a writer does. Oh, sometimes a name pops into your head and you build a story around it. Usually, the story and a character or two come to you first and you have to find appropriate names for them. As a writer, I want names that fit the locale, the nationalities and the ages of my characters, but more than that, I want names that have meaning and resonate with my readers. I’m sure most writers feel the same.

Cover of Steel City Confidential

My Morelville Mysteries series is well established. Those characters live in a fictional country village modeled after the one I live in. They sport last names common to people in this area and its surrounds. The most I usually have to do for a new book in the series is name a few new suspects and maybe a never before seen villager or two.

Now that I’m starting an all-new series based in a large, ethnically diverse city, I find myself starting all over to name all of the characters I’ve identified so far in the plot I’m building.

The Name Game

So far, I have 13 key characters I need to name for Steel City Confidential. There’s the lawyer and the employees of her law firm. There’s her client. Of course, there’s a victim. With victims and prosecutions come prosecuting attorneys, a judge, investigators and so forth. Then, each of the key characters (lawyer, client and victim) have family members. That amounts to a lot of names! What to do?

I threw up my hands, of course. No really. I sent out a newsletter to a large portion of my subscribers last week and asked for help:

“I haven’t named my lead attorney yet or her law firm. Help me find an appropriate Pittsburgh ethnic first and last name and/or law firm name (typically the attorney’s name) for a female attorney in her early to mid-forties.”

Name game children

Now, I did offer a bit of incentive for this request and boy, did it ever pay off. I’ve received dozens of names. I’ve gotten so many, that not only can I name the attorney (there are a couple of very strong contenders), but I can name most of the other female characters I know about so far and even a couple of the men.

The beauty part? Many of the readers who submitted names told me why they picked the names the did. This led to some interesting discussions with a few of them on family history, genealogy, entomology and ethnicity. It also led me down some serious rabbit holes of research.

I’ve decided, I’m going to use several of the names suggested and make it right with all of those readers. Oh, and the little contest is still open. Have a name you think is a winner? Go ahead and send it along. I might just use it and give you the credit.

P.S.: Please don’t submit the name “Sarah” or any variation of it. While I agree it’s a lovely name, multiple readers already think I should use it.

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Steel City Confidential Revealed

Introducing my upcoming legal thriller, Steel City Confidential. A few days ago, I mentioned I was working on the plot for the novel I was challenged to write. That novel is Steel City Confidential, the first book in the all-new Steel City series.

The cover for Steel City Confidential

‘Confidential’ will be released in April. A blurb is forthcoming, but rest assured, the book will include all of the original challenge elements:

Women Age 40+, children/families, investigators, outlaws, heroes, action and adventure, and of course, thriller elements.

Is this your first time hearing the title or seeing this cover? Yes? Then you must not be a subscriber to my email list. Subscribers learned about the book a couple of days ago and got notice of a very special contest involving it. Subscribers also get free books and other deals available only to them. Interested? Just fill in the info under “Get Anne’s Newsletter” on the right if you’re on a PC or tablet. You can also click this link, to sign up.

Stay tuned here and check out future newsletters for more insight into the story and into future Steel City Series books.

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New Year, New Books

Happy New Year! I know, you’ve already heard it a thousand times. I’m betting every author you follow has blitzed you with a blog post or an email full of resolutions, new book releases or what’s on the horizon. You’re probably thinking, you’re really late to this party, Anne!

I’m late for a reason. 2018 was a tough year for me and my family. We got through it. Because it was so tough, I only got done about 50% of what I intended to do on the writing and publishing front. Many of my plans got pushed to the side. I’m raring to go this year with a head full of ideas and not one, but three new books already in the works.

New Books

Steamboat Reunion Cover

I’ve been promising the Barb and Janet romance, Steamboat Reunion, for it seems like forever. It’s coming, I promise! It was originally supposed to be out early this month. Look for an early February release of it, instead. Those two ladies will finally get a little closure, but it’s not going to be a smooth ride, downhill…

The Cover for Tennessee Bound

Also coming is the twelfth Morelville Mystery which will answer the questions, “What’s Mel going to do? She’s not resigning is she?” The book, titled Tennessee Bound will be out in very late April. And yes, that title has multiple meanings. No spoiler’s here!

Before Tennessee Bound comes out, that ‘challenge book‘ will be coming out. Stay tuned for a cover reveal and a blurb on that and watch for that release in early April.

It’s getting pretty busy here!

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Two Big Sales for Book Lovers

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It’s been quite the year here, and not always in a good way, unfortunately. But, all of that is behind me and my family now. It’s time for a new year and a new beginning, including a few new books for your reading pleasure. Before those come along though, it’s time for a sale. In fact, it’s time for two big sales.

One of Two Big Sales - Smashwords

First up, we have the annual Smashwords Year End sale. It’s going on now through January 1st with thousands of ebooks, in all genres on sale. All of my ebooks, in all formats, are at least 50% off. Not only that, my good friend Elizabeth Andre is offering many of her books at discounted prices too.

Mega Lesfic Holiday Sale

That’s not all…not hardly! There’s also a Holiday Mega Lesfic Sale going on, courtesy of the hard work of the amazing T.B. Markinson. Once again, she’s pulled together several dozen authors who are offering up women loving women themed books in many genres for the holidays.

Hurry! This sale only runs through the 30th, so scoop up the deals while you can.

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Winter Hearts: 13 Festive Tales for Women Loving Women

Surprise! Winter Hearts, the ‘book’ I’ve been hinting at for months, is finally out. Whew! This was a hard one to keep under wraps for so long!

The Cover of Winter HeartsThirteen authors, myself included, got together and contributed a longish short story or a novella to this effort. The works are all holiday and women loving women themed; over 860 pages of reading joy!

Your authors and their stories are:

Eliza Andrews – Her Holiday Song
Lila Bruce – Easier Said Than Done (A Love Bites Christmas)
Giselle Fox – The Perfectly Imperfect Storm
Anne Hagan – A Sweetwater Christmas (yours truly with a greatly expanded version of my short story, Sweetwater Texas)
Jea Hawkins – Full Circle: A Must Love Chickens Christmas
Cara Malone – Christmas in Angel Valley
TB Markinson – A Christmas Miracle
Susan X Meagher – Family Matters
A.E. Radley – Holly Hollydays
Adan Ramie – Drive Me Wild
Emma Sterner-Radley – Greengage Holiday Cheer
Em Stevens – The Gift
Natasha West – Stock Take

The best part? All proceeds – every dime, every dollar, every pound, every Euro, goes to charity. Receipts generated from sales of this collection will be divided between Stonewall and The Trevor Project.

You can pre-order Winter Hearts right now for just $.99 from most major retailers. It will load to your preferred device on November 16th. Hurry, the $.99 price is for a limited time!


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