Wonder Boi Writes

Edge of Glory Sexy Pictures

That title got your attention, didn’t it?

Sorry, they might not be exactly the kind of sexy pictures one hopes for when researching a lesbian romance novel.  I did not find any Instagram shots of lesbian skiers and snowboarders in tawdry embraces, or semi-clothed lip locks you often find on the cover of our erotica novels.

What I did find, however, were pictures of truly powerful women with truly powerful bodies, none of which really fit with the type of bodies we traditionally see in Lesfic.  I know, I know. I hear from one reader at every conference that they want to see larger women represented in our fiction, and that’s absolutely what I had in mind when I wrote Beth from The Long Way Home, but that’s a different blog.  What I’m talking about with Edge of Glory, though, is muscular women.  And I don’t think I fully understood that when I started writing.

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During my first pages of my first draft, I will admit I thought of skiers, and to a lesser extent snowboarders, as skinny women. You wouldn’t believe how prevalent this image is.  So much so that my amazing cover artist Ann McMan almost had to use a hand drawn snowboarder for the cover of this book, because public domain images of female snowboarders generally look like this.

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I’ve watch more than enough snowboarding to call bullshit on that, but even as a winter sports fanatic, I’d only seen these athletes in the act of their their various professions, and when skiers are flying down a steep grade at 30 miles an hour in skin-tight Spanx, they looked pretty thin to me.  Snowboarders wear a lot more clothes (which is also another blog), but there didn’t seem to be any extra fat on them, and how could there be with the amount of calories it must burn to hold off the weight a competitor around an c-curve where crushing g-force meets almost reckless speed. Sure, I knew they were strong and fierce, but anyone who worked that hard and went that fast had to be super thin, right?

Wrong.

I mean, don’t misunderstand me, these women are not what anyone would call overweight, but that sort of skinny/fat dichotomy is super problematic for all women, and our community is not immune to dualistic thinking. I know I’m not. Thankfully, though, when writing this book, I had some real-life role models who refused to let me fall into that either/or trap by being comfortable enough with their badass bodies to show me exactly what I was working with.  The picture higher up in this blog is one I found while researching Olympic downhill skier Julia Mancuso’s off-season work out routine. Look at those shoulders!

And this gem happened to come out right after I started writing Edge of Glory, thanks to the epic body confidence of Lindsay Vonn.

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Why yes, yes that is a painted on swimsuit.  Go ahead and enjoy the view for a moment.  I’ll wait.  But before you’re ready to read on, can you take a moment to look at her thighs. Not a hardship, right, but I’m not just making the request to excite you or sell books by telling you this is the body my skier Elise is modelled after. I want you to look at those thighs, along with the thighs and glutes on pro-snowboarder Elena Hight.

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There’s no thigh gap on either of them.  In fact, on both of them, their thighs are wider than their waists. Not going to lie, the task of describing thighs like those in prose wasn’t as easy or as enjoyable as one might expect.  You see, in English we don’t have a lot of ways for describing women’s thighs in ways that are both flattering and accurately portray them as large.  In our culture, large usually equates to undesirable, at least when talking about that body part. My editor actually put a limit on how many times I could say “stacked.”  At one point we went with “bodacious.” “Sizeable,” “thick,” “big,” “mammoth,” even “meaty” or “muscular” all seemed to have at least borderline negative connotations, and yet I worried that if I didn’t describe them at all, or gave a generic descriptor like “beautiful” or “sexy,” readers would fall prey to the thinking that had filled my own mind early on and equate those terms with “thin.”

And when you look at the skier’s mid-sections, virtually none of them are flat. They don’t have “pot bellies” or “spare tires” or any of the other pejorative terms we use to denigrate women’s completely natural body types, but neither do many of them have washboard abs. And that’s awesome, but you know what else is awesome, snowboarders abs.

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So often my characters get labeled as butch or femme, whether I write them with those labels in mind or not, which goes back to our dichotomy driven minds, but I’m not sure how and who gets to decide those things.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with readers putting their own types and fantasies on my characters. I want them too do that within reason. However, the women I follow in the snowboarding world don’t easily conform to those labels any more than their bodies conform to societal expectations of the female form.  Their cores are hard and cut and powerful. They do not have soft curves, they do not have gentle swells, they do not have flat planes. They have ripples and ridges and raw strength.  They are not classic examples of a feminine form, but neither does their strength make them masculine any more than skiers thighs make them mannish.

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These body types are beautiful, these bodies are sexy, and these body types are worthy of being praised for the ways they lift up the majestic female form while defying the boxes we try to force women’s bodies into.

And so that’s what I tried to do in writing Corey and Elise. Their bodies are not skinny, they are not overweight any more than their bodies mark them as necessarily butch or femme.  Elise has big, thick, stacked thighs.  Corey has jagged rocks for abs.  Both of them find those attributes utterly irresistible in the other.  Neither one of them feels any need to judge anything about the other’s personality or sexual proclivities based on those features.

I hope the same holds true for you all as you read Edge of Glory.

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October 27, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Edge of Glory is Out!

The blog title says it all, folks. Today marks the Bywater release of my 11th full-length romance novel, Edge of Glory!

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We got our first taste of the release last week in Provincetown, and the response was fantastic!  Aside from our official events, I got to have a book launch party with some awesome friends and readers and my family at the beautiful Harbor Lounge in Ptown. I think Jackson was especially proud to be there, which of course made me proud that he’s still impressed with what I do for a living. I also think he may have sold more copies of Edge of Glory than I did, though to be fair, his happy little expectant face when he says, “My mom wrote this one,” is super hard to resist.

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Thanks to so many readers who came by our Bywater readings and signing, we sold out of every single copy of Edge of Glory in Ptown!  Let me honest, that’s a real heart boost for me.  I loved working with these characters so much, and I’m so excited to share them with readers. To know that some of them are just as excited to meet Elise and Corey as I am to introduce them gives me all the feels!

And since we actually had to turn a few readers away for lack of books to sell them, my amazing team at Bywater books rushed to get Edge of Glory live and online a few days early.  You can now get your very own copy in print or eBook exclusively at www.bywaterbooks.com

But wait, there’s more! We had such a rush on these books in Ptown that we decided to celebrate the big release by putting the entire Bywater catalogue on sale! That’s right, every single Bywater book is currently on sale, including Edge of Glory.  All you have to use coupon code Glory17 at checkout to get your discount!

So really, a new romance, an early release, and a sale…why are you even still reading this?  Go get your copy right now and start reading.

Please and thank you!

 

 

October 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Women’s Week Release

I am excited to announce that Edge of Glory is out!  Well, it’s out at Women’s Week anyway.  Folks who are in PTown right now can get their copies at Womencrafts ahead of the wide release.

Best of all, I got to hold the book in my hands for the first time. This is always a super special moment for me, but it usually happens alone in my home when the book box arrives in the mail.  For the first time ever, I got to share the moment, the one I’d worked for and waited for over a year, with my friends and colleagues who were all in Womencrafts when I walked up to the table.

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Thank you to awesome author Lynn Ames for getting this shot of me beaming proudly as I picked up my new baby for the first time. And here’s a happy, congratulatory photo bomb hug from trailblazer Marianne K. Martin.

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I really loved the special chance to share the culmination of such hard work with people who know what it’s like to stand in that spot.  It was also wonderful to have this experience in a place like Womencrafts. We are losing so many of our bookstores and gathering places that I appreciate the strength and fortitude it takes for women’s business owners to trust their livelihood to getting our work out to the reading public. I hold Michelle and her team at Womencrafts in the highest regard, which of course is why the whole Bywater crew worked double time to get Edge of Glory on their shelves before we even have it up on our website.

When the time came to get down to signing those first autographs, I couldn’t have been happier to be sitting along side my Bywater colleagues Carol Rosenfeld and Cheryl Head.

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I think it’s pretty clear from the way I’m still grinning at that pile of books in front of me, it’s going to be awhile before the high wears off.

October 12, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Women’s Week 2017

Hey Friends!

We’re one week from Women’s Week!  I can’t wait.  I love Ptown.  I love the readers who gather there.  I love my friends and colleagues who make the events so much fun, and I love that this year I get to launch a new book! Did I mention that the book doesn’t even come out at large for a few weeks and people at Women’s Week are actually getting pre-release copies? Pretty cool, right?

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I know I’m a bit biased, but I think that Edge of Glory is a fun read, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you. The fact that I get to start that process in one of my favorite places is a major bonus.

So, for those of you who are lucky enough to join me on this part of the ride, here’s all the places you can find me from October 11-14th.

Wednesday October 11
11:30 -12:30 – Signing books at Womencrafts
1:00 – 2:30 – Reading from Edge of Glory during the Author’s Favorites reading Provincetown Library

Thursday October 12
9:30 – 11:00 – Reading with the breakfast bunch at Napi’s restaurant
11:30 – 12:30  – Signing books and chatting with readers at Womencrafts
1:00 – 2:30 – Moderating the Building Tensions panel at the Provincetown Library

Friday October 13
10:00 – 11:00 – signing at Womencrafts
11:45 – 12:45 – Reading a little something sweet at the Provincetown Library
1:00 – 2:00 – book launch at The Harbor Lounge
5:00 – 6:00 – Playing in the annual readers and writers Wiffleball Game (104 Bradford Street) – All are welcome to play or cheer us on.

Saturday October 14
11:45 – 12:45 – Reading from Edge of Glory as part of the What’s Next panel at the Provincetown Library
1:00 – 2:00 – Signing books at Womencrafts

And if that’s not enough to keep you busy, here’s the full Bywater schedule of events:

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October 3, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

   

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