Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Two Alone In Dublin Blog Tour! (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Two Alone In Dublin
Author: Lucy Carey
Series: N/A
Pages: 106
Date Published: September 13th, 2014
Publisher: Lucy Carey Romance
Format: Kindle
Genre: LGBT Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Synopsis:
Surrounded by one million people in Dublin city, two women feel very alone. One a university student from a small town in the Irish countryside, the other an adventurous spirit from a city in Brazil, they've both been searching for the other among the irritations and noise of everyday life...
~My Thoughts~
So my first thought when reading this title was, “What the heck is a lesbian romance story?” Does the fact that the two romantic leads are women make this a lesbian romance versus a regular old romance romance? Or are there certain qualities to a romance that makes it a lesbian one…like do both leads have to be ultra-feminine? Butch? Why not just call a romance a romance and let the book description inform the reader that this is indeed a romance about two women? These questions and more bubbling through my brain at the odd titling, I began.

So Susie, the woman we initially meet, comes off as a very uptight chick. As someone with personal experience in dealing with bad roommates, I had very little sympathy for her pleas of loud music and drunken crying keeping her up all night.  It takes a certain kind of annoying person to quietly bemoan something without actually doing anything about it. She never even talked to her housemates about the noise other than yelling at them to turn it down occasionally.  Loud music is annoying you? MOVE. You got yourself into this; you even said that you thought your roommates were charming at first. If it bugs you now…get out! And the lack of humanity in ignoring another human being’s cries simply because Susie was tired…let’s just say it didn’t paint her in the most favorable of lights. Granted, she is a typical student who’s going to over-sleep her alarm clocks and run around being late to class, but she was a bit of a sourpuss.

It was a very very good thing that we met Mariana shortly afterward as her wonderfully nice and perky personality was an instant balm to Susie’s prickliness. Working as a Coffee Bean barista, she’s got that old town regular feel to her that makes you comfortable and want to stick around your coffee shop for a scone and a chat. She’s a Brazilian living in Ireland, and seems like the kind of person you’d want as a best friend. Even so, her years as a barista and doing the same thing day after day have left her a little world-weary and wondering if it wouldn’t be better to return home to Brazil. Character wise, Mariana seems really relatable. She misses home, is looking for a relationship she can count on, and she seems warm and nice. Only downside was smoking-ick and gross-but who knows. Maybe with Susie as her girl, Mariana will find the motivation to quit.  

One thing that I liked about Susie was that you know she is a lesbian right off. She and her friend Paul’s banter about beautiful women is perfect and just the kind of friendship you would imagine between two guys competing for the same woman’s attention. Susie and Paul bring out the best and the worst of both sexes and you really feel a sort of best-friendship there that was really cool and thankfully lacking any odd lingering sexual tension just because he is a guy friend. She is such a good wing-woman for Paul, that I actually warmed up to her quite a bit when they were interacting with each other. Additionally, Mariana didn’t need any prompting when it came to her attraction to Susie either. Almost every story I’ve read about gay/lesbian romances is about that first relationship that “reveals” to a character their newfound sexuality. While that’s well and good, it’s nice to see characters who know what they want and aren’t in the exploring phase.

On a similar note, it is always interesting to see how the pair “comes out” to one another. If they met at a gay bar or club, it’s easy because that atmosphere lends itself to flirting and hooking up. It’s so much different when you meet elsewhere, like the coffee shop for Susie and Mariana. It’s hard for the two to be able to tell if the other has feelings, or if they are just being friendly-something I imagine happens a lot in real life. There’s the tentative dance of is she or isn’t she, and no one wants to make the first move for fear of breaking up a friendship or alienating the other if they aren’t gay. So very complicated.

The couple’s romance is cute and quick, but we still get time to really like them as people first, not to mention see them bonding over English lessons, so the romance seems very real and like it could happen. I’m all for fairy-tale romances, but I like it even more when I feel like this could be any couple walking down the street’s “meet-cute” story and that’s what it felt like here. They clicked and everything was steamy and fabulous from there. Of course there was the occasional bump in the road for tension, but overall a great romance with a pretty happy ending.

Lucy Carey is a new to me author, but I really enjoyed her writing style. She’s mastered the ability to move characters around without it seeming awkward, and the characterizations (while not always likeable in Susie’s case) were nonetheless definite, and very tangible. I felt like these girls and guys could be anyone I had gone to college with and that helped them become real and interesting to me. Everyone from Susie’s Dad to guys in the club have their own, if brief, personalities that are somehow shown in just the few sentences they have to speak or move. The writing is easy, very readable, and flows lightly so that you can very easily picture the scenes as they happen. I absolutely love it when stories feel like you aren’t even reading; you just somehow magically end up at the end of the book-which is exactly what happened with Two Alone in Dublin. A very enjoyable read-possibly even keeper shelf material! 
~Guest Post!~
“It doesn’t sell,” the post on the online message board said. “Nobody wants to read lesbian romance.”

I read that comment on a writers’ forum a few years ago and I was baffled. Here I wanted to read sweet tales of Sapphic ladies in love and to write them, too, but I couldn’t seem to find many writers or readers like me—at least not when compared to other categories of romance.

Which made me wonder, why is lesbian romance such a hard sell when straight and male/male romance sells well?

I’m still not quite sure, all this time later, what the answer to that question is. I should clarify that I’m not a lesbian; I’m bisexual—like quite a few women I know. The statistics vary on how many women self-identify as gay and bisexual (the rate for each varies from 1% to 3% for each category) but there are a hell of a lot more women, I would wager, who class themselves as bi-curious—who are at least interested in or turned on by the idea of two gals falling in love or getting it on.

So what gives? Why the confident assertion by many in the romance world and in e-publishing houses that lesbian romance doesn’t sell—even though male/male romance sells massively to women?

I have a couple of theories (and feel free to tell me if you think they sound right or wrong in the comments): First, that the lack of sales of lesbian romance is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Someone, somewhere, decided long ago that women didn’t want to read about other women’s romances, so writers decided not to write it.

My second theory (and I’m aware it’s a little controversial) is that perhaps we, as women, are just so used to talking about male desire and thinking about male desire and catering to male desire—on the TV, in porn, in movies, in romance and erotic fiction—that we’re a little wrong-footed when it comes to focusing on the desires of two women. When there’s not at least one guy to be the “dominant one” or a fella who takes control and sweeps his love interest off his/her feet, does it feel a little alien to us as readers?

I’m not sure what the answer is. All I can hope now is that all those naysayers were wrong and that people will keep buying my book—a gentle lesbian romance about two women finding each other.

If you have any thoughts on the subject, I’d love to hear them in the comments.
-- Lucy 
~Try an Excerpt!~
It had been a couple of weeks since Susie Green had had a full night’s sleep. Sure, she’d snatched a few hours here or there in the early hours of the morning but it was fitful and uneasy, her mind overly alert to the call of her alarm clock. The noise started early in the evening, the rattle of music and chatter emanating from the other rooms in the house and intruding through her bedroom walls. She’d tried to drown the din out with headphones. That didn’t work. She’d taken to sleeping with a pillow over her face to muffle the sounds but that had only worked slightly on the quieter nights.


All she wanted—in fact, prayed desperately for—was a bit of uninterrupted sleep. Failing that, though, she’d settle for a bit of sympathy, which was in short supply lately. It felt like she had been whining to her family and friends about her housemates for a long time. Where once they had placated her, now, whenever she complained of the tiredness to her parents or older sister, she got that familiar nod or raise of the eyebrow. “Students, eh?”
~Meet Lucy!~ 
Lucy Carey, Lesbian and Bisexual Romance and Erotic-Fiction Writer

I am a 30-year-old bisexual author who writes the kind of fiction I think other LGBTQ women want to read.

As someone born and raised in Ireland, let me assure you: our country is beautiful…and so are its women.

I aim to introduce you to the best of both—the stunning scenery of the Emerald Isle and its funny, complex, gorgeous, lesbian and bisexual women. I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8565141.Lucy_Carey


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucy-Carey/1432435577012573
Lucy will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

17 comments:

  1. thank you for the excerpt, i enjoyed reading it :)

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  2. This was a lot of fun to read and review!

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    1. Hi, Andra Lyn. I'm not sure what happened--I posted here yesterday but I can't see my comment today. First of all, I just wanted to say, thank you for your wonderful, measured, thoughtful review. I will read it every time I need a confidence boost, it's so encouraging. :)

      Secondly, thanks for hosting me!

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  3. Your book sounds interesting. I have a friend who wants more f/f romances. So there's a market, but I've heard the lesbian community shares books. One person buys a paperback and it is passed around. True or not, I don't know.

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    1. Morgan, thanks for the info! Glad to hear there's a market out there. Tell your friend to keep an eye out for me! ;)

      I like that some in the community share books. I'm happy to hear that people are reading f/f romances, however they get them.

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  4. Wow!! Your post is awesome!! I love it

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  5. I liked the Excerpt.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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