For today’s stop on her Black and Blue Love blog tour, Judy Folger answers a few “get to know you” questions.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite book or author you like to recommend? Do you have a comfort read?
I love to read a broad number of lesbian romance authors but I do migrate more towards Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker. Another of my favorites is Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. I know it may move a little slowly for today’s lesbians, but what a gift it was to young women coming out in the 1980s! A comfort read for me is to settle in to read a good lesbian romance book.
I also enjoy reading my friend, Debra Stang’s book, Hospice Tails. It’s a book of short essays about hospice patients and their pets. My favorite, of course, is the one about the lesbian couple trying to keep their fish safe from a couple of determined cats.
Kathy: What is your guilty pleasure?
Hmm, many things come to mind. Perhaps a nice, gooey chocolate sundae with a loved one.
Kathy: Favorite meal?
Breakfast! Eggs, bacon, hash browns, orange juice and milk! Good any time of the day!
Kathy: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
A social worker. My background and education are in geriatrics and social services. I have always found people to be fascinating. One of my favorite pastimes is people-watching. In fact, that’s how I’ve gotten some of the ideas for my books. I also love to visit with people from all walks of life. I’ve never understood people who only want to be around others like themselves—how boring!
Kathy: If you could time travel, what time period would you visit?
I love the old West. The early days of the pioneers, the American Indians roaming the plains. In some ways those were simpler times, and in other ways, survival was so much more of a challenge.
Kathy: Can you tell us a little about Black and Blue Love?
I got the idea for the book after reading an article which stated that all women in our society are abused, it is merely a matter of degree. The author used the examples of a controlling husband or a verbally abusive husband or even the physically abusive husband.
I got to thinking about the fact that I had not ever heard anything about lesbian relationships being abusive. The more I thought about it, the more I thought it was an important subject to write about. Apparently my readers agreed with me, because Black and Blue Love took off like a shot in sales and continues to be my best seller each month. Evidently it is a subject lots of women can relate to.
Kathy: What projects are you working on now? Any other projected releases for 2015?
I think readers will be happy to hear that I’ll be introducing a sequel to Black and Blue Love in March of this year. It’s titled Meara’s Mom, and it delves into the life of Della’s sister, Vanessa, and her daughter, Meara. Vanessa thinks she’s in love with another woman, but she’s not sure until her four-year-old daughter gives her a much-needed push. Della and Kallie show up as supporting characters. Meara’s Mom deals with another type of abuse in that Vanessa’s boyfriend is rude and controlling. That book is currently being edited and prepared for publication.
The book I am currently writing deals with a lesbian couple who have been together for around ten years. Their happy marriage is put to the test when one of them decides that her mother should move in with them “for a while.” Seeing a chance at a cushy situation, the mother fakes having “memory problems.” She is very manipulative and controlling and wants her only daughter to herself once again. Needless to say it’s a disastrous situation for the relationship!
Kathy: Thank you for chatting with us today!
Title: Black and Blue Love: A Lesbian Novel by Judy Folger
Publisher: Judy Folger
Genre: Contemporary, F/F, Romance
Length: 131 pages/Word Count: 40,000
After Kallie Moran’s husband, Aaron, is killed in Iraq, Kallie asks her law firm to transfer her back to her home town so she can be close to her mother.
When her request is granted, she realizes that closeness to her mother also means closeness to her mother’s dreadful sister, Bessie Benson.
Bessie is loud and crass, and her sons make a lifestyle of rotating in and out of the county jail. The only Benson that Kallie has ever been able to tolerate is her cousin, Andi. Andi, too, once dreamed of getting out of Brookville, but unlike Kallie, she never quite made it.
Now an out lesbian, Andi drags her intimidated partner, Della, to local bars and out-of-control family affairs. Della seems so miserable that Kallie finds herself reaching out to this beautiful, fragile-looking woman who just doesn’t seem to belong among the Bensons.
As Kallie and Della become friends, Kallie witnesses the verbal and emotional abuse Andi heaps on Della. Then comes the terrible night when Andi is no longer able to confine herself to words and slams Della to the ground, permanently scarring her face.
Della flees to Kallie for protection. In relative safety, she struggles to face the fact that she is a victim of lesbian domestic violence. She is also falling hard for Kallie, her rescuer.
Kallie, meanwhile, is keeping some secrets of her own. She wants to be with Della as much as Della wants to be with her, but she is afraid to embark on her first lesbian relationship.
Their love blossoms when Kallie risks her life to save Della from another of Andi’s vicious attacks. But it doesn’t take Andi long to realize she’s been betrayed. Furious, drunk, and carrying her father’s hand gun, she vows that this time she will REALLY make Della and Kallie pay.
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Della leaned into Kallie so that their bodies were pressed close together. Kallie finally did what she had been wanting to do since the day she met Della. She reached up and tangled her fingers in that glorious, unruly hair. She had expected Della’s hair to be coarse, but it was soft and warm in her hands.
Then Della’s hands found her breasts, and Kallie remembered where they were and what they were doing. It took every ounce of willpower that she’d ever possessed, but she withdrew from Della, backing into the wall at the end of the step. “We shouldn’t do this,” she said in a voice so hoarse with passion she scarcely recognized it.
Della’s green eyes reflected hurt and confusion. “Why not?”
“Because you’re my cousin’s partner.”
Della nodded sadly. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I’ll go.”
Kallie tried to think of something to say that would ease things between the two of them, but no words came to her mind. All she could do was watch as Della walked out the door.
A proud member of the lesbian community, Judy wrote her first book after she retired and hasn’t looked back since. Her books tell the stories of women in love who fight to overcome real-life problems. Judy was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Wichita but now lives in Merriam, Kansas. She has a son who also writes and a daughter-in-law who does paranormal investigations.
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