5 First-Person Stories with Kris Bryant & Tara on Les Do Books – In this episode Kris Bryant, author of 11 lesbian romances, joins Tara to talk about something near and dear to her heart: first-person narratives! She talks about why she loves reading and writing them, and then they share some of their favourites.
Listen to the episode here
Check out Kris & Tara’s recommendations:
Bonus book: New Ink on Life by Jennie Davids
Far From Home by Lorelie Brown
A Belladonna Ink Novel
My name is Rachel. I’m straight . . . I think. I also have a mountain of student loans and a smart mouth. I wasn’t serious when I told Pari Sadashiv I’d marry her. It was only party banter! Except Pari needs a green card, and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning in debt.
My off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible. We get along as friends. She’s really romantically cautious, which I find heartbreaking. She deserves someone to laugh with. She’s kind. And calm. And gorgeous. A couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good. If some of Pari’s kindness and calm rubs off on me, that’d be a bonus, because I’m a mess—anorexia is not a pretty word—and my little ways of keeping control of myself, of the world, aren’t working anymore.
And if I slip up, Pari will see my cracks. Then I’ll crack. Which means I gotta get out, quick, before I fall in love with my wife.
Strawberry Summer by Melissa Brayden
Just because you’re through with your past, doesn’t mean it’s through with you.
Margaret Beringer didn’t have an easy adolescence. She hated her name, was less than popular in school, and was always cast aside as a “farm kid.” However, with the arrival of Courtney Carrington, Margaret’s youth sparked into color. Courtney was smart, beautiful, and put together – everything Margaret wasn’t. Who would have imagined that they’d fit together so perfectly?
But first loves can scar.
Margaret hasn’t seen Courtney in years and that’s for the best. But when Courtney loses her father and returns to Tanner Peak to take control of the family store, Margaret comes face-to-face with her past and the woman she’s tried desperately to forget. The fact that Courtney has grown up more beautiful than ever certainly doesn’t help matters.
A small town romance.
Anyone but You by Chelsea M. Cameron
Things are going great for Sutton Kay, or at least they were. Her yoga studio is doing well, she’s living with her best friend, and she just got two kittens named Mocha and Cappuccino. Sure, she doesn’t have a girlfriend, but her life is full and busy.
Then her building is sold, and the new landlord turns out to be the woman putting in a gym downstairs who doesn’t seem to understand the concepts “courtesy” and “don’t be rude to your tenants”. Sutton can’t get a read on Tuesday Grimsdottir, but she can appreciate her muscles. Seriously, Tuesday is ripped. Not that that has anything to do with anything since she’s too surly to have a conversation with, and won’t stop pissing Sutton off.
Sutton’s life gets interesting after she dares Tuesday to make it through one yoga class, and then Tuesday gives Sutton the same dare. Soon enough, they’re spending time working out together and when the sweat starts flowing, the sparks start flying. How is it possible to be so attracted to a person you can barely stand?
But when someone from Tuesday’s past shows up and Sutton sees a whole new side of Tuesday, will she change her mind about her grumpy landlord? Can she?
Contains mature themes.
Winter Jacket by Eliza Lentzski
It all started with a broken classroom heater…
Graduate school prepares you for many things – the rigor of academic life, how to pull consecutive all-nighters, and living off a meager stipend without having to be roommates with cockroaches.
Elle Graft might have made it through six years of graduate school, but she’s not convinced she’ll survive her first position as an Assistant Professor.
Because for all she learned, graduate school never prepared her for dealing with a student crush.
Thorn by Anna Burke
On a cold day deep in the heart of winter, Rowan’s father returns from an ill-fated hunting trip bearing a single, white rose. The rose is followed by the Huntress, a figure out of legend.
Tall, cruel, and achingly beautiful, she brings Rowan back with her to a mountain fastness populated solely by the creatures of the hunt. Rowan, who once scorned the villagers for their superstitions, now finds herself at the heart of a curse with roots as deep as the mountains, ruled by an old magic that is as insidious as the touch of the winter rose.
Torn between her family loyalties, her guilty relief at escaping her betrothal to the charming but arrogant Avery Lockland, and her complicated feelings for the Huntress, Rowan must find a way to break the curse before it destroys everything she loves.
There is only one problem…if she can find a way to lift the curse, she will have to return to the life she left behind. And the only thing more unbearable than endless winter is facing a lifetime of springs without the Huntress.
New Ink on Life by Jennie Davids
Quiet does not equal weak….
Leaving a dependable job to apprentice as a tattoo artist was a drastic step after surviving breast cancer, but Cassie Whiteaker is nearly five years cancer-free. Nearly. She’s not ready to go out on her own until she clears that all-important hurdle. Also off-limits are relationships and sex – something Cassie is sure she’ll never want again.
Struggling tattoo shop owner MJ Flores doesn’t give a damn what people think, but losing Thorn & Thistle would mean losing everything. When her former mentor’s protégé arrives at her door, MJ hires her out of obligation…at first. Cross-stitching goody-goodies are not her type, but Cassie’s business background might just get the shop back on solid footing. They strike a bargain: Cassie will enact new marketing plans, and MJ will teach her to find her inner bitch.
Only when clients request to see Cassie – having learned of the beautiful, compassionate tattoos she creates for survivors and their families – does MJ realize all Cassie has endured. And as Cassie’s fears fade, she finds it harder to keep her admiration for her bad-girl boss from reawakening all she’d feared was lost.
Find Kris Bryant online
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
hi I’m Tara and welcome to les do books email me at Tara@TheLesbianReview.com with any questions or comments or come join the Facebook group the lesbian review book club so I’m really excited because Chris Bryant is back today she is the author of 11 lesbian romances the latest is falling it’s out everywhere from bold strokes books so go out and get it welcome Chris thank you so much for having me again so we’re gonna be talking about first-person stories today I was reading a particularly good one recently that got me thinking about how much I really enjoy these and I wanted to fangirl about them so when I put out a call in the lesbian review book club just to see who else loved them you put your hand up and I thought well yeah of course how perfect because you also write them I do so I was wondering if you could just first talk a little bit about what is it like writing first-person stories why why do you write them what do you like about them what makes these kinds of stories special to you well I I love writing first-person because I’m in the mind of the main character I it’s kind of like you’re in a game or jump rope and the game is going on and you just kind of jump in and you play the game for a little bit and then you jump out so it’s you know I think first-person is it’s just it’s a it’s a lot more emotional I think you you get into it right away you understand the pain and suffering and or any sort of anxiety or your the character has so you’re in it you’re right there you’re in it and I kind of like the journey that the character goes on you are on this journey with them they meet somebody you get all the fields of when you meet somebody for the first time and and you just kind of go along with them day by day week by week whatever and you get to learn the character along with them I like that it’s kind of like dating I get to date several times so you know and and it’s an with first person it is hard to you know to get a lot of backstory because it is first person so you can’t really write a book like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button you can’t start from birth to two you know death everybody always kind of wants a back story why is your character like this you know why why did she make this decision and you can kind of get into it somewhat but I feel like the story I’m telling is a story I’m telling and you know just kind of brush on the history you know for whatever reason like you know she came from a bad family you don’t really need to know all the details behind it because that’s not the story the story is the love story that she’s going on so good now I’m thinking about breakthrough I kind of let myself go on that book a lot myself had fun and and what would I do and what did I do in Alaska when I was there so a lot of that story is true yeah I’m thinking about now all right this is where I get to expose that I’m terrible with names so I think her name is Brynn yes yeah okay I didn’t need that preamble well I could have faked it but that I thought that was a really interesting thing how you handled that with her backstory so that it came in it happened but in a way that was natural and it didn’t feel forced it wasn’t like let me drop this information on my reader yeah I don’t think it’s I don’t think it’s necessary I mean when you meet somebody for the first time they don’t but all of their backstory and their history and the bad decisions they made and the good decisions they made it’s strictly your meeting that person from that day and you know every so often you can go in and drop a little bomb of something but it’s not I can’t go and tell somebody my whole life story you know they’d run well yeah let’s see if somebody does that on a first date there’s probably not that phone call has to happen in the next town yeah I just I feel like sometimes people forget that in first person versus third person you just don’t really have the luxury of going backwards like for here’s a little secret you’re the first to know but I’m actually writing a book in third right now though I am and I’m like oh my gosh it is so easy to drop nuggets of backstory of history and information I almost feel like I’m cheating oh okay that’s interesting yeah so because it is kind of easy to kind of drop a little nugget and say that was a lot easier than trying to drop a nugget and first-person so yes I am writing a story in third just to kind of give it a whack all right I’m excited about this I’ll ask you for details later okay because we also have recommendations for our amazing listeners we each brought a couple or a few to talk about so I am gonna start with what is probably my favorite ever first-person story I know right right go big or go home and what helps is that it very recently came out in audio narrated by the amazing Jill Smith who I have a massive voice crush on so I highly highly recommended an audio the book is called far from home by Laura Lee Brown I’m just gonna read the blurb off of Amazon so that people can get the sense and actually I think this is the first time that it’s not only a first-person narrative but it’s the first time I saw that the blurb was written in the first person as well so right away you get that voice of the of the narrator so here it is my name is Rachel I’m straight I think I also have a mountain of student loans in a smart mouth I wasn’t serious when I told Perry Satish’s I’d marry her it was only party banter except Harry needs a green card and she’s willing to give me a breather from drowning and dead my off-the-cuff idea might not be so terrible we get along as friends she’s really romantically cautious which I find heartbreaking she deserves someone to laugh with she’s kind and calm and gorgeous a couple of years with her actually sounds pretty good if some of Perry’s kindness and calm rubs off on me that’d be a bonus because I’m a mess anorexia is not a pretty word and my little ways of keeping control of myself of the world aren’t working anymore and if I slip up Perry will see my cracks then I’ll crack which means I gotta get out quick before I fall in love with my wife this book is so freakin good it’s so good so rachel is a narrator obviously that setup right there that Rachel how old is she roughly if she’s probably I would say she’s probably in her mid to late 20s it doesn’t say for sure but she’s done a master’s degree so she’s old enough to have done a master’s degree and to have been working for what sounds like it’s been at least a year probably more like a couple of a few years and when we meet her and I don’t feel like this is giving too much away because it says like right there in the blurb that she has anorexia when we meet her she still thinks that she’s in recovery and as we go through the book it becomes more and more clear that she’s not but she still doesn’t really realize it and Laura Lee Brown just like is so beautifully did this I mean I can’t I I have never experienced anorexia so I can’t actually say like how true it is but it feels very true and I’ve seen other people say that it’s it’s a very good portrayal and so we see how her mental illness informs so many of her thoughts and her perspective and where it really comes up especially well is in her interactions with Perry because she constantly feels like she’s not good enough for Perry because Perry is so she’s kind she’s gorgeous she’s accomplished she’s kind of all of these things and she feels like she’ll never measure up to what Perry actually needs and then on the other hand we see what Perry’s actually saying and so that like the perception doesn’t match with the reality of Perry’s words and deeds and I thought that was really powerful because I mean at first reading it it was really interesting going through it again this time with the audiobook because it helped me to see oh yeah it’s right there from the very beginning that she’s falling out of recovery and I didn’t see it at first because I believed her and I trusted her and I didn’t realize that she’s an unreliable narrator so yes highly highly highly recommend this one that sounds really good it really does mm-hmm and I like I like the whole I think you know now that mental any sort of disease or disabilities they’re coming to light more and more and so you know that’s why I think like listen kind of leadership and it deals with anxiety so you know my first girlfriend she had a really bad issue with anorexia and bulimia so yeah so that would so that really interests me to read it just to see if all that comes back to me mm-hmm so and and it’s kind of interesting because anorexia is a this sounds really really bad I don’t know how to put it but like for me when I was in my early 20s it was kind of a competition with my girlfriend’s and and I don’t mean competition in a bad way I just mean like oh my gosh she’s using all this weight oh my gosh I need to lose this weight so it’d be kind of like oh I lost three pounds oh I lost four you know cuz I’m very competitive and everything and unfortunately I slipped down that slippery slope too so yeah so I’m glad that there are books that are covering more things that are real to to young readers and to you know older readers as well yeah and honestly so I listen to listen recently that’s funny sentence to try to say and I can’t remember I don’t know if my half of the review is out on the lesbian review yet but I know for me because anxiety is a thing that I deal with all the time so for me I found that really kind of helpful in affirming and like my anxiety doesn’t necessarily look like her anxiety but it’s still nice to see yourself especially in that deep perspective and say like oh yeah it’s somebody else who absolutely hates going out with co-workers and they’re not just a weirdo it’s just part of who they are exactly and and you know and somebody who does suffer from anything whether it’s you know anxiety or anorexia or anything they they need to understand that they do struggle there is help and you can’t have a normal life what you deem normal you know what you want you know you won’t love you can have that you know you’re worthy of it and and so I think that was important and I think it is important now to get that across to readers you know especially now that we’re gaining more readership from younger readers we’re trying really hard to get more and I think they’re powerful messages that that we need to share I agree so what’s your first book so my first book is a Melissa Braden Strawberry summer and I guess I’ll go ahead and read the blurb because you surprised me by reading the the blurb of your first book so no okay so let me pull this up Margaret behringer didn’t have an easy adolescence she hated her name was less than popular in school and was always cast aside as farm kid however with the arrival of Courtney Carrington Margaret’s youth sparked into color Courtney was smart beautiful and put together everything Margaret wasn’t who would have imagined they would fit together so perfectly but first loves can scar margaret hasn’t seen Courtney in years and that’s for the best but when Courtney loses her father and returns to Tanner peak to take control of the family store Margaret comes face to face with her past and the woman she desperately tried to forget the fact that Courtney has grown up more beautiful than ever certainly doesn’t help matters so the reason why I picked strawberry summer is because it has a lot of it’s a very complete book especially in first-person you have you have the main character there’s so much dialogue in this book that you get to know the love interest almost as well as you do the main character so it’s told from Margaret’s point of view and it starts off you know and they’re actually it starts off present-day and then it kind of goes back in the past and you see the relationship grow fall apart and then it’s picks back up again present time but the reason why I like it so much is not only is it you know obviously well-written it’s also you get everybody’s story and there’s strong supports characters in this book to it it’s kind of fun and you’re like hey I go to visit Tanner peak and go to the strawberry farm and and it’s you know it’s not just a fluffy story there’s so much going on and there’s so much depth to it that is certainly one of my favorite first-person books and it’s and it was a very successful book for Melissa I love that book so much and like my favorite part and you know I’m not gonna try to ruin anything but you know I loved Margaret’s family they’re very well put together you know you just love the characters you love the mom you know the dad and the brother and when she comes out when she goes that’s her family that’s like such a great scene and I just I just figured that you know I think a lot of people need to see that that it can be a positive thing and it was just it was so cool it maybe it made me smile the whole time reading and then when I reread it I was like oh yeah that’s right I forgot this was such a good scene so I really appreciated that scene my favorite thing about that book and it’s kind of hard to articulate but I’m gonna take my best shot of it when she’s writing them in high school it feels like a young adult book when she’s writing them in college it feels like a new adult book when she’s writing them in the present it feels like a contemporary romance about adults and it never feels disjointed that shift doesn’t it doesn’t feel weird it doesn’t feel unnatural it feels actually very natural because all the while we have that same perspective telling this story so it’s almost like the book grows up as they grow up yeah no I agree I agree you know you see Courtney you know she’s kind of upper echelon she’s you know she comes from a wealthy family so you kind of get that hint of polish with her you know even when she is in high school there’s that you can tell that there’s some sort of I guess just high class mm-hmm but yeah I agree you know she kind of keeps that throughout the way but you also see Courtney loosen up – yeah you know and become more down-to-earth and so it’s kind of nice to see the whole progress since juniors in high school all the way to you know mid-20s I think so yeah I loved it yeah you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbian talk show calm your hub of podcast information so my next book is actually the book that inspired this podcast so it is called anyone but you by Chelsea I’m Cameron I’m going to say right off that I’m not gonna try to pronounce one of the last names because it is Icelandic and I don’t know how to do that alright so here goes things are going great for Sutton Kay or at least they were her yoga studio is doing well she’s living with her best friend and she just got two kittens named mocha and cappuccino sure she doesn’t have a girlfriend but her life is full and busy then her building is sold and the new landlord turns out to be the woman putting in a gym downstairs who doesn’t seem to understand the concepts courtesy and don’t be rude to your tenants Sutton can’t get a read on Tuesday can’t pronounce her last name but she can appreciate her muscles seriously Tuesday is ripped not that that has anything to do with anything since she’s – surly to have a conversation with and won’t stop pissing Sutton off Sutton’s life gets interesting after she dares Tuesday to make it through one yoga class and then Tuesday gives Sutton the same Dare soon enough they’re spending time working out together and when the sweat starts flowing the sparks start flying how is it possible to be so attracted to a person you can barely stand but when someone from Tuesday’s past shows up and Sutton’s he’s a whole new side of Tuesday will she change her mind about her grumpy landlord can she this book was a lot of fun because it is that enemies two lovers romance and they start off super antagonistic and like Sutton really can’t stand Tuesday Tuesday he’s a total dick for a long time and I’m like strawberry summer or far from home we don’t actually get to know Tuesday very well we do find out later on why she’s so closed off but because we have that deep deep view into Sutton and who she is and what she’s like and all of that you know I was really like team Sutton go to hell Tuesday so but then kind of overtime I liked the it was a really kind of gentle slow careful warming up to each other getting to know each other and even like how do you deal with being wildly attractive to someone that you’re not even sure you like like they that that’s a thing for them and it works really well so that as that happened and seeing Tuesday talk about grappling with that like I’m super attracted to you I’m kind of surprised that Yoga is harder than I thought it would be but I still don’t know if I like you and it’s like oh okay there’s something to this person she’s actually quite lovely and so did you get her personality just by conversations or how was her personality portrayed to you Tuesday she’s very very brusque she’s very short and she’s also deliberately with Sutton a lot of the time so that’s also kind of an interesting thing because at first it’s like why would somebody be that rude and then later it’s like oh you’re cat you’re that kind of person you’re just gonna slide the glass off the table just because you’re a cat kind of person so yeah it was funny cuz it was kind of like I I have a tendency just as a human as a human I sound like an alien when I say that I have put on a human skin no like so one of my tendencies with my friends or people that I like is that I I often get quite protective and I found it funny that I was actually getting quite protective of sudden and it’s like this is a kid this isn’t a real person this is just a character and that’s why I was like no like I want her to have good things and why can’t Tuesday be that’s a jerk and it was kind of the more I read I was like oh I started be kind of protective of Tuesday too but it took her dropping some of her attitude and then finding out why she had had that and then it was like oh well yeah okay I would probably be a dick too if I’d been through some of the things that she’d been through so it’s a gradual and you learn like with the character Sutton learns along – yes exactly like as Sutton figures it out I kind of figured it out – and I suppose even like if you’re if you’re a careful and close reader you might figure it out even kind of before Sutton does because she also has that like frustration fueling her and we get to be removed from that if we choose to so she’s already going into their quasi relationship with two strikes because like Tuesdays at role she’s taking over she’s just rude she’s very direct I like the term direct yeah I liked the element of them challenging each other to try their respective type of workout because Tuesday makes it clear that it’s like well yoga what do you like come on it can’t be that hard it can’t be like CrossFit which it turns out if you if you go to like an intermediate or advanced class yeah it’s really hard and on the other hand Sutton was like well isn’t it just like a bunch of meatheads doing crossfit like why is this even something I would want to do and it was nice seeing them each realize that like oh if I do this it’s going to help my own personal practice like it was kind of a nice element of the story mmm good so they got to grow through athletics more or less and I’ll and also athletic okay so what’s your second bug so my second book is actually the first first-person book that I’ve ever read unless Vic and and I talked about it before we did a podcast before and it was winter jacket belies Olinsky you know and it’s kind of like unlike Melissa Braden who you know you get to know the well-rounded characters upfront I like the way this book is and this is kind of how I write is there’s mystery you know like the Calvary to the blurb I’ll read everybody’s blurb and then we’ll go from there okay here it is it all started with a broken classroom heater dot dot dot graduate school prepares you for many things the rigor of academic life how to pull consecutive all-nighters and living off of a meager stipend without having to roommate with cockroaches Ella Graf might have made it through six years of graduate school but she’s not convinced she’ll survive her first position as an associate professor assistant professor because for all she’s learned graduate school never prepared her for dealing with a student crush so we got a lot of tropes there we have student-teacher we have a discrepancy and the reason why I like this book is because of the mystery and I love the mystery of a new relationship of any relationship really so you have this this professor she’s teaching this English class and the school is a liberal school and it’s kind of a Midwestern super-cold old building that doesn’t really have central heat or air and so they have to rely on like popin type air conditioners and heaters and one day it’s in the wintertime and the heater doesn’t turn off so like the classroom is like incredibly hot and she has this one student that doesn’t take off her jacket it’s a winter puffy it’s a Navy winter puffy coat you know all the way I think it goes down to past the knees and the student keeps wearing it day after day and so of course her attentions gonna go to that like what’s happening why is this girl not taking off her her jacket and so then noticing her that way she becomes kind of a little obsessed with her in a way like in a gentle obsessive not crazy way just a crush so and I love the mystery I love how she wrote it and and and it was so realistic because I’m like that with my friends you know she calls her she doesn’t really call her student by her name friends she refers to his winter jacket and so they have all these little jokes about winter check at this and winter check at that and and so and that’s kind of how real life is with your friends you know you never just you have nicknames for people in your life and and people go with that so I thought it was a realistic approach to write this story so that the readers comfortable right away I mean we’re dealing with taboos left and right and but yet you don’t care like you’re just I want to know why does she wear her winter jacket and up the whole time and it’s so interesting because then when you finally realize why it’s like that’s not even important at this point you’re into the relationship and but it was it was it was kind of cool it was a mystery it was just like a relationship you you learned about Hunter who is the student winter jacket you learn about her as as the book progresses it’s not there’s like hardly any dialogue in the first well at least not with a student you know in the first quarter of the book so I just I like the whole journey I like how they got to where they are and I know it’s a series but the first book got me started on the whole first person’s really cool I like this idea I like the mystery behind it and so that’s kind of how I write my books is with the character growing and learning about the other person like I said earlier about relationships you don’t know who you’re getting involved with you know at the very beginning they don’t come with a resume and say here here’s all the stuff I did that was really bad here’s the stuff I could have gotten arrested for or here’s the stuff that you know you should know about me so that’s kind of one of my favorites okay I still haven’t read it I know I know but I kind of feel like I should I know it’s the okay so it’s the problem of books that are available on Kindle unlimited is that I tell myself someday I’m just gonna turn my Kindle unlimited back on and then I’ll read all those and then I don’t do that because I’m constantly reading for review right well and and I think you know I said I bought that back in 2013 I think is when I bought it and I think that’s what it came out so I don’t know at the time if they had Kindle unlimited at that time I really don’t know I don’t know came about and I wasn’t published until 2014 so I know no 2014 I don’t know I thought it was before that yeah hmm I remember reading jolt when it first came out I really liked that book thanks a whole lot so the funny thing about tilt there’s a couple of funny things a lot actually I was just getting you know involved in writing and it was actually turned in and third person oh it’s a third person book and they’re like oh my god no there’s like we’re gonna give me a contract but let’s try to work on it so my editor now Ashley who is also known as the Christmas burr within the organization because she’s really only one I can communicate with me she said let’s write it in first and so I wrote him first and I really had no concept of I knew that my book was out there I didn’t really know about Amazon and the ratings and rankings of authors and when your book hits top you know 100 top 50 top 10 I have no idea no clue and it wasn’t I met read in October Joel was released in September so I didn’t really meet rad until October in p-town and she came over and she shook my hand it’s just like I just want you to know jolts Dylan doing really well I’m like thank you I didn’t know what she was talking about you know I didn’t know my reviews I didn’t know about any of the Facebook groups I was such a newbie and and my editor Ashley she’s like you need to get on Facebook you need to get on Twitter you need to get on all these different platforms so you know what’s going on and I said okay all right so I got on Facebook and I didn’t even look at Amazon until December and by then I missed all the Joel you know blow up and stuff like that and I didn’t know what anybody said about anything I missed it in all the groups and you know Goodreads I missed it I completely missed that whole first book okay that’s pretty funny well I mean just take a miss on Goodreads anyway all the time I just my personal advice to every author is just stay off Goodreads you know I’m a reader I’m a reader yes but I reviews I yeah I feel like you know it’s very empowering when you get really good reviews and and when you get bad reviews you’re just like okay I can see that or she’s completely wrong or that’s too bad she didn’t get what I was trying to say so there’s different ways to take it you know I’m not the kind of person that if I get a bad review I just you know I’m worthless the rest of the day or whatever I’m not like that I’ve actually learned from some of my reviews because readers have been reading books hundreds thousands of books even and so they kind of know this niche and what works and what doesn’t and you know I I can’t help that some people just don’t understand the concept of first-person them the way it’s meant to be read and the way it’s meant to be written you know there like I said there’s a whole mystery that I’m going for that when you start a relationship you do not know who you’re dating you don’t know that person in their history and stuff and so I try to capture that and I think for the people who are along for the ride and get that they’re just like I love this book this is great it has everything I want and then you have some people who are like I really wish I knew more about the other character but you know this is first person and unless I throw in you know 20,000 words of dialogue and that’s just not gonna happen and first person is internal you know you’re with that character the whole time so that’s kind of what I get out of it it’s just I want you to be with that person you know the main character I want I want you to be in her head I want you to feel what she’s feeling and understand how she’s feeling it and why she’s feeling it and the good and the bad you know sometimes I was like we were talking about sex I forgot where we were a bunch of us like I don’t know if I was on a panel or where it was but there are certain things that you think about when you’re having sex but that you would never say it out loud and so that’s kind of why my books in my head are kind of quote unquote sexually explicit in my head because when you’re having sex and you’re having these thoughts you’re not gonna say them out loud chances are you’re not like I want you to do this but an error you’re like I can’t wait to do this but you don’t ever actually say it because maybe you do maybe you don’t but I think realistically you say something different that doesn’t take away from the moment so so I try to I’ve toned that back a little bit because sometimes people get maybe offended by some other words so I use so I have tone that a little bit made it a little more romantic the thought process not what comes out of character ‘s mouth so I do learn a lot from reviews you know and then some I just think are ridiculous and I know actually the one thing that we’re not supposed to do is engage in bad reviews you know to say something bad reviews we’re not supposed to do it and I did one time and I still to this day stand for it because the person accused breakthrough of having pedophilia what yes right exactly alt because she said something about when Bryn’s girlfriend she’s 18 in college so yes so I had to kind of defend myself as a writer there because yeah that can ruin a book it can ruin or reputation sometimes that you know they take on this persona like you know what they say is like the word of God or whatever you know they take this this this this on and and I think that they you know you have a responsibility as a reviewer to you know take the book for what it’s worth the material it has you know and and just understand that it’s it’s not something that you’re gonna you’re not gonna like every book you read you’re just not going to so then you have to take it mm-hmm and say okay why didn’t I like this and not because you don’t like the writer or because you know it’s just sometimes it gets petty you know on some of the reviews and and you know I try to combat that and I try to just blow it off for people who don’t like me or don’t like first-person mm-hmm but I get I get a lot of support from a lot of other readers so that really helps yeah that’s good and you do you have a you have a pretty good following a pretty great people so I agree we went down as what to happen and I start recording apart no it’s good so okay so we have one book left that we both wanted to talk about yes so would you like to read would you like me to read the blurb feel free cuz I’ve put all my stuff up alright so the last book is thorn by Anna Burke on a cold day deep in the heart of winter Rowan’s father returns from an ill-fated hunting trip bearing a single white rose the rose is followed by the Huntress a figure out of legend tall cruel and achingly beautiful she brings Rowan back with her to the mountain fastness populated solely by the creatures of the hunt Rowan who once scorned the villagers for their superstitions now finds herself at the heart of a Curtis with roots as deep as the mountains ruled by an old magic that is as insidious as the touch of the winter rose torn between her family loyalties her guilty relief at escaping her patrol to the charming but arrogant Avery Lockland and her complicated feelings for the Huntress Rowan must find a way to break the curse before it destroys everything she loves there’s only one problem and she can find a way to lift the curse she will have to return to the life she left behind and the only thing more unbearable than an endless winter is facing a lifetime of Springs without the Huntress what did you think of this book well let’s start off by saying that my favorite Disney movie of all times is Beauty and the Beast when it came out I went to the theatre several times I know all the words to all the songs I will get up and sing them at any time this is good to know this is good to know for future GCLs or slash something sort of events that come up I will sing I love them so when I read about this book there was a there was a lot of like a lot of talk about it like I said if there’s a lot of buzz about a book that I’ll take some time and read it and so this is great so it’s kind of like getting the Beast and a little bit of frozen you know and who didn’t love frozen mmm and you know the thing I liked about it it was just absolutely beautifully written yes like it’s like the descriptions for like I was like okay I’m gonna highlight some some words or some sentences that I really really liked and I’m like everything you could tell this Anna really got into this story I mean she was there she was right next to them she had her furs on and she was writing their story you could tell you know the way she wrote it heard the language she used and just and I think you know like I was writing down all these different sentences and there was one that I wrote that was really really good and I can’t read my scribbles so of course as I’m using this computer I can’t go it to that so I’m so you tell me what you think of the story then I’ll find that quote oh I absolutely fully agree it is so beautifully written so like the prose is almost poetic right and the book is mostly told in the first person from Rowan’s perspective but the thing that I liked and thought was interesting was how at the end of each chapter we get a little bit that’s told in the third person from the huntresses perspective so we still get to see some of what’s going on with a huntress that roan would never get to see so we see sort of her almost more like physical journey I suppose to to get them kind of together and for for what they’re doing but at the same time we’re still we’re still kind of removed from the Huntress she’s not she never becomes fully knowable to us in the same way that Rowan does and that worked so perfectly for me anyway yes works yeah and I loved it and like I said there were so many good good sentences in this book that hard to narrow it down but one when this all kind of starts when she finally realizes Rowan Rowan finally realizes what’s going on I wrote this down this was past understanding past reason and certainly past the limits of my imagination so she was pushed at the very beginning to try to understand this whole folklore that or what she thinks is folklore and just kind of the rumors of the town and about the Huntress and then she realizes oh my gosh this is kind of true and so she can’t quite understand she’s seeing it happen she just doesn’t believe it it’s unbelievable literally it’s what she’s saying in that sentence it’s just she can’t grasp it she can’t understand it but she could have just said and I could have just written down I didn’t understand it but she says in such a way you know do you feel like this is written like the 16th century ish you know not by the words but just the way it’s written you know by saying yes something a certain way like you said it’s very poetic almost and so I really enjoyed this whole book from from the beginning to end well and I think it’s that it’s that that style of how she wrote it to that makes it still feel like a fairy tale there are no day there are no dancing teacups in this do you want all fans of Beauty and the Beast cuz it’s like it’s a gorgeous retelling of Beauty and the Beast and you’re right like it’s totally got a frozen vibe to it that I hadn’t even paid attention to because I knew like it was marketed as hey look at and I rewrote Beauty and the Beast but you’re right it’s that perfect kind of fusion of those two stories but it’s quite a dark story so it feels like a fairy tale but from where like from from the origins of fairy tales not from how they’ve been sanitized for little kids there’s a threat there’s darkness darkness yes yeah yes you know and her characters really put to the test in this I mean the character the Romans character you know she’s she’s a like an oppressed woman of said century and she doesn’t believe that that’s her fate and so so she kind of pushes against everything that is how her society is pushing on her as a woman okay you’re 17 or whatever and you need to get married and and you know she doesn’t really won all this because she you know she likes somebody else and and so she’s like her strong woman even when faced up against the Huntress you know she’s strong and even though there’s not a teacup there is a wolf pup though there is so there is there’s an element of cuteness too you know you have to find it but it’s it’s there I mean so it kind of gives you everything you know I think that the wolf pup is kind of symbolic as far as hope newness good from bad I think that that kind of represents you know that was so important to her you know to have that and that wolf pup and it kind of helped her sounds bad it kind of helped her grow a little bit and it’s just great book I recommend it you recommend it everybody should read it it’s true I can’t talk about anything else about it without getting into spoilers and I don’t want to do that I just think people should pick it up and experience it I don’t want to spoil this book for anybody so I’m just gonna throw in a bonus book I’m not gonna read the blurb I’m not gonna go into depth with it but I do want to give it a mention an honorable mention so my god it’s it’s called new ink on life by Jenny David’s it she is a brand new author this is her first book from and it’s out from Carina Press it is about a tattoo artist and her new apprentice it gives like that deep first person point of view for both characters it alternates between them one of the characters might also be kind of a dick there are also reasons for this I apparently have a tight fit as we usually call them ice Queens but whatever you know and yeah I think it’s it was very hard for me to put down it was I really see now I’m not being particularly articulate again anyway I I really liked it I had a hard time putting it down it’s not a perfect book but it’s a very good book and it had a lot going for it and I’m definitely gonna be keeping out an eye out for more stories by Jenny David’s and I hope she does more first-person stories like the concept tattoos I mean that’s kind of a big thing now especially in our society and what’s accepted it was yeah actually it was kind of fun for me reading it because I’m in the middle of a really big tattoo project so it was kind of fun kind of getting to see some of that and like the dynamics in the shop and all that kind of stuff and the backstory to the apprentice in particular I found really interesting and the reveal on that because she’s quite quiet and meek and you know the the shop owner who is kind of that main artist who was taking her on as an apprentice it’s like why are you like what are you doing this how did you even get into this and it takes a while for that to come out and when it does it’s brilliant I’m not gonna spoil it though okay don’t spoil it and what y’all again it’s called new ink on life so no I think that is all for this episode where can people find you online Chris if they want to connect with you if they want to connect with me Facebook Twitter my email address is Kris Bryant books at gmail.com my books are pretty much everywhere they’re on the bold strokes ebooks website Amazon Barnes & Noble Target things like that so they can find me yeah I’m easily I mean I respond pretty much to all my emails and to all my messages messages I get a lot of messages on messengers so I try to I try to keep everybody in the loop and respond as quickly as I can thank you so much for joining me again it’s always it’s always fun to be on this yeah all right so I’m Tara and you’ve been listening to Les Deux book so remember to email me at Tara at the lesbian Viacom with your questions or comments and if there’s an author that you would particularly like to see on this show reach out and let me know that too because I am looking for people to join me all the time if you’ve enjoyed this episode please check out the show notes where you’ll find a patreon link for the lesbian talk show or visit patreon.com slash the lesbian talk show our patrons get exclusive content like bonus podcasts author until use pretty cool stuff like that that no one else gets access to you can also join our Facebook group the lesbian via book club to talk about these books and anything else you’re reading and loving find this and many other great shows all you need to do is search for the lesbian talk show on iTunes hot bean stitcher or Spotify you