I don’t know if I’m like most authors, but I have a love/hate relationship with my books. And…if I’m perfectly honest, the hate usually overshadows the love. This mostly happens after I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time reviewing and re-reading the blasted thing so many times, I often lose count! Of the twenty-three books I’ve written, I can honestly say I’ve only fallen completely in love with three, because of the passion I had for the main characters in the stories. One of those books won a Goldie award, another was a Lesfic Bard finalist, the third is my latest book, Sculpting Her Heart. In my humble opinion these three are my best works to date.
Normally I don’t share the back of the book synopsis in my blog, but I want to offer you Sculpting’s blurb to help you understand how I fell in love with one of the main characters, Zari.
Zari Woods has achieved almost everything she set out to accomplish, despite overwhelming challenges. Except for one crucial goal—a girlfriend. On the surface, it appears as if she has everything, fame, money, a supportive best friend, and loving parents; but, to a person on the neurodiverse spectrum, a loving woman is an elusive and magical creature. When Frankie moves into her neighborhood, Zari starts a quest to climb that final mountain. Frankie is beautiful, kind, patient, and seems to genuinely enjoy spending time with Zari despite her quirks. Unfortunately, Frankie already has a girlfriend. Sort of. It’s complicated.
Frankie can’t believe she agreed to an open relationship with her girlfriend, Sam. That was the last thing she wanted. Her morals do not align with Sam’s. At all. Her growing attraction to Zari challenges Frankie’s perspective on her current relationship and her last-gasp effort to repair the ever-increasing divide. Will Frankie make the hard decision to let go of something clearly not working for a chance at real love and choose to bring Zari her heart’s desire?
Now to give you a taste of who Zari is…let me share a short passage…
I pushed the curtain aside because I heard my neighbor’s car. She was pulling sacks from the backseat and used her hips to close the door. She’d filled her arms with bags. I approved of her efficiency. She could have made several trips instead, and that would have left one arm free to close the door. A lot of other people would have done that. She looked over in my direction, and I hurried to close the curtain. I needed to call Jillian and ask her what to do. I tend to scare strangers, and I didn’t want to do that with my new neighbor. I decided she was definitely girlfriend material but only if she was a lesbian or bisexual. Or perhaps gender nonconforming. That was a contemporary option that worked to my advantage.
I pulled my phone from my pocket and called Jillian. “She’s home.”
“Hi, Zari. Who’s home?”
I’ve learned from Jillian that when she says and without following that one word with more words, she needs additional information.
“I think I’m ready to meet her. She has sufficient attributes to be my girlfriend.”
Jillian’s laugh came through the tiny speaker too loudly. “First, make sure she’s into women. Remember, no going after straight girls. Have you practiced your smile yet?”
“No. Should I do that first?”
“Maybe. But first, I have to ask why you think your neighbor is worthy of being your girlfriend?”
I understood enough that the question pleased me. Jillian’s probe had a subtle message, and I rarely pick up on subtle. She was telling me I’m allowed to have a girlfriend, and I don’t have to settle for just anyone.
“She’s efficient and pretty.”
“Well, then go out and buy a ring. You should ask her to marry you.”
“It’s too soon for that. I need to date her for at least a year before considering that level of commitment.”
“Sarcasm, Zari. We’ve worked on this. I was being sarcastic.”
“Oh, right. Sarcasm is hard when I cannot see your face.”
“Good point. My bad. Okay, here’s what you’re going to do. Bake some of those awesome chocolate chip cookies and bring those over to her. You can welcome her to the neighborhood with fresh-baked goods. And don’t be weird. No matter what she says, do not cite a bunch of random facts about anything.”
“What will I say to her?”
“Keep it simple. Say something like ‘welcome to the neighborhood.’”
“Should I tell her my name, or is it too early?”
“Yes, doofus, tell her your name and let her know you live next door. Then offer to help her settle.”
“How would I help her settle?”
“I don’t know. Maybe something needs fixing, or she needs help to move furniture.” Jillian sighed. That was my cue that she’d reached her boiling point of exasperation. I had to get the rest of her advice out quickly—in case she tells me she has to take care of something, when I know she doesn’t. I’ve gotten much better at recognizing untruths.
“I can do that. Especially if I research it.”
“Don’t tell her you need to research it. You can do that on the sly.”
“Tell her you need to get your tools or change into work clothes or something. Hey, Zari, I have to go now. Patty needs help with dinner prep.”
“Okay.” I hung up the phone and made my way to the kitchen to begin baking. I would bring the cookies over after breakfast. Tomorrow is a Saturday, and statistically, more people are home in the mornings on Saturdays. Not Sundays, because twenty-three percent of Americans attend church every week, even though that attendance is not only on Sundays. I’d still have better odds of delivering cookies on Saturday and meeting my pretty new neighbor.
Hopefully the blurb or the scene I’ve shared entices you to consider getting Sculpting Her Heart. This is a book and a character I hope people will love versus hate! Of course you can also still check out all my other books. By the way, I think The Panty Thief is still on sale! Also…check out MyLesfic.Com for two other sale books from Affinity, The Case of the Beggars’ Coppice by Erica Lawson and Charlie by Erin O’Reilly.
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