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Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event: Leah from Loving Venus- Loving Mars Shares Her Favorite Books and Movies


I love that KB is doing this because I think there are many women who like or might like reading f/f but feel uncomfortable talking about it in a predominantly m/f, m/m reading romance community. I didn’t know I liked reading f/f until I actually came across it in erotica.

Just a quick introduction. I run (occasionally) a blog, Loving Venus- Loving Mars, that was set up several years ago to review and talk about f/f, f/f/m books. It was meant mainly to give the small group of straight and bi readers within the romance community who like reading f/f and lesbian a safe place to discuss it without the common judgments that were happening on the general blogs. We also wanted to give exposure to authors who were writing f/f to help support them writing more.

I love reading f/f because I find the idea of women, who are normally rather intimate in the way they relate anyway, taking it just a step further into the realm of love and sex more interesting and exciting to me. It’s like something I know and am very familiar with, yet it’s unexplored territory for me, so it’s an exciting mystery.

Katie asked if I talk about a few books and movies that I’ve enjoyed. I can’t say that I’ve read a whole lot of lesbian romance in which both characters are lesbian and not one is bi or curious. I’ve looked more for books with a bi slant or first time experience stories that would appeal more to the straight reader, but I’ll give it a shot.

Sci-fi:

Rulebreaker by Cathey Pegau. Cathy Pegau has a great voice. This story is unique and fun and it features a bi/lesbian romance in the sci-fi genre.

War Games by K.S. Augustin- What I liked about this book, outside of the excellent story-telling is that the main character can choose to be either gender. She can also choose to be heterosexual or gay. I love that for her, her favorite is to be a woman and in love with a woman.

The Gunfighter and the Gear Head by Cassandra Duffy – I loved this book. I think it’s fresh with a young feel to it and features an interesting blend of sci-fi, steampunk and western. The women are strong, sexy and independent, which is refreshing to me.

Fantasy/ YA:

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer. This book is gorgeously written and a great YA lesbian story. It’s a different take on the mythological characters Persephone and Hades. Sarah Diemer has written many books in the YA genre and gives a fresh, young voice to younger lesbians who want their own HEA.

Retro/Pulp:

Lois Lenz Lesbian Secretary- by Monica Nolan. This book is a hilarious spoof of 50’s lesbian pulp. There’s not much sex in this story, but plenty of double entendres and amusing moments with the story focused on a clueless young woman caught up in a lesbian world without realizing it.

Contemporary:

There are several authors of lesbian romance in the contemporary field. Any books by Radclyffe , Karin Kallmaker, Georgia Beers and Katherine Forrest (70’s-80’s iconic lesbian) are good to read. I haven’t read too many books by these authors but their books are a staple in the lesbian romance genre and the few I’ve read I’ve really liked.


Mystery/Thriller:

The Devil series by Ali Valli- She writes very intense and gripping thrillers in her Devil series. They are dark, fast paced with the characters acting in non-stereotypical ways.

Famous mystery writer Laurie King has a detective series with a lesbian character as the detective. It’s the Kate Martinelli series and they are really well written and don’t shy away from talking about Kate’s personal life. I think she’s one of the few mainstream authors who has a lesbian character as a regular.

Parnormal:

The Midnight Hunt by L.L. Rand- this is a dark shifter/vampire book. Very erotic with the definite fated/ “mine” story. Before this book I had only read m/f PRN, but I liked how it was written with two women as the fated partners.

Historical:

I haven’t read too many lesbian historicals. If you want to read some then the author Sarah Waters is a good way to go. I’ve only seen movies of her books but I know that her stories are lesbian centric and have become classic books that the straight community loves as well.

Movies I’ve watched with lesbian centric themes. There are quite a few good ones actually.

For the YA crowd I’d definitely recommend:

The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love- this is a very sweet and poignant coming of age story of two teenage girls from different backgrounds who fall in love.

Historical- two film adaptations of Sarah Waters books are a must see.

Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith. Both movies are BBC made movies and easy to find on Netflix. I got them both from my library. While both films are lesbian centric, Tipping the Velvet shows more of the life of a lesbian and the gay scene during the Victorian Era. Fingersmith is more of a Gothic thriller/drama with lesbian understones. Both are excellent films.


The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister and Portrait of Marriage are both excellent films about the lives of real historical lesbian/ bi women.

Contemporaries:

Fire- a film from India about two married Indian women who fall in love. This movie is intense, poignant and gorgeous. It’s one of my most favorite films in with an f/f theme.

When Night is Falling- This is also a gorgeously aesthetic film about an engaged straight Christian woman who falls in love with a lesbian.

Saving Face- is a sweet and realistic Chinese American film that centers around two lesbians falling in love while trying to find their place in traditional Chinese and modern American cultural values.

French Twist- a French comedy that deals with a married woman who falls in love with a lesbian. It’s very funny and the romance between the women is rather sweet with some sparks.

For good bi f/f oriented books, I would suggest books by these authors:

Kirsten Saell
Michelle de Lully
Paisley Smith
Leigh Ellwood
Adriana Kraft

4 comments:

Cathy in AK said...

Great list, Leah (and I'm not saying that because you mention my book ; ). I have read a few of the titles you mentioned and will definitely seek out others.

I have only seen Sarah Waters' "Affinity" in film version and enjoyed it. If you liked the films TTV and Fingersmith you'll enjoy the books.

Thanks!

Leigh Ellwood said...

Thank you for the shout-out!

Alyssa Linn Palmer said...

Thanks for the recommendations - I now have a nice big list to check out! (Especially Sarah Waters).

I've written a lesbian historical, set during Prohibition. It was a lot of fun to write. :)

LVLM(Leah) said...

@Cathy- Yes, I'm itching to read Sarah Waters. I need to get them in ebook though. I have one book but I'll probably not read it b/c it's paper. heh

@Leigh- :D

@Alyssa- I'm always looking for historical lesbian, f/f. I'll check out your book!

Thanks for commenting.