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Guest Barb Caffrey: Love in Changing Faces #MFRWAuthor

Today we’re excited to welcome author Barb Caffrey and her intriguing story of transgender love, currently on sale for $.99!

Once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do almost anything to keep you together—even change your faces.

When I first started the story that became my new contemporary LGBT-friendly novel, CHANGING FACES, I had no idea what I was getting into. All I knew was one scene: my couple, Allen and Elaine, were in a crisis. She wanted to leave him. And that would’ve been a fatal mistake. So two aliens—or angels, as I wasn’t quite clear yet what they were—decided to help them…the next thing Allen and Elaine knew, they’d been in a car accident, and Allen had woken up in Elaine’s body in the hospital.

Where was Elaine, you ask? That wasn’t so simple. She was…elsewhere, talking with one of the angels. (Yes, I decided they were angels, after a while.) And it was up to Elaine whether or not they were going to be able to go forward, albeit in different bodies than before.

This scene still exists in the current, final, version of CHANGING FACES. But the reason for that scene is not exactly what I thought it was, many years ago when I first started fiddling around with this story. You see, while Allen is a straight man in love with a beautiful woman, Elaine is gender-fluid, bisexual, and would rather be in a male body even though she will always think of herself as female.

Clear as mud, no?

So, how did I come up with this? I really don’t know. Sometimes I think the stories pick me rather than the other way around. And Elaine being the way she is threw me for quite some time, because I’d never met anyone quite like her.

Mind, both Elaine and Allen are clarinetists and graduate students, and I’ve met many musicians. (I play the clarinet, saxophone, and oboe myself, and have two degrees in music.) So that part of Elaine—the part that loves music, and that derives satisfaction from playing it well—was completely comprehensible to me. Which did help me figure her out, after a while…but I digress.

How did I find Elaine’s character? Oddly enough, it was through her love, Allen. Seeing how much he valued Elaine, and seeing how he viewed her, made an enormous difference to me as I wrote CHANGING FACES.

Granted, it was much easier for me to understand Allen. He’s a guy who deeply loves a woman. Allen is different in that he loves Elaine’s soul, not just her body. (More men should be this way. And more women. But again, I digress.) And he’ll do anything for her—demonstrably, anything. So long as he can be with her, he’s fine.

And if he has to be put in her body so she can heal in his, while he’ll definitely not like it, he’ll deal with it. Because that’s just how much he loves Elaine.

And Elaine knows this. Because she loves him just as much. She wants to be with him and to live and grow and get married to him, be only with him, and love him until the end of time. But she was hurt badly, years ago (a gang-rape), and she never felt right in her own body anyway. This makes it hard for her to be open with Allen about who she is and what she wants and how to go about it…and it’s why she was about to leave him at all, despite the fact she is desperately in love with him.

CHANGING FACES is a romance, so of course I wanted to find a way for them to be happy together. My solution—changing their faces—is not one I’d ever seen before. And getting two quirky, shapeshifting angels into the mix while I did it had enormous appeal because love is an incredibly important thing. Without love, we’d not be stirred to the heights of our creativity, and our passion would not be engaged, and we’d not be able to live and grow and get to know others as well as we know ourselves. Gender expression and sexuality matter a whole lot less than the soul does to love; if one soul calls to another, and is answered, that’s what matters.

As I see it, true love matters to the universe. That’s why I’m glad to tell Allen and Elaine’s story in CHANGING FACES, and I hope you will enjoy it, too.

BLURB

Allen and Elaine are graduate students in Nebraska, have been together for seven years, and are engaged. They love each other very much, and have many things in common. Both play the clarinet, are teaching assistants, are well-respected and seem to have their lives firmly on track. In fact, their life should be idyllic, but Elaine’s past includes rape, neglect, and abuse from those who should’ve loved her—but didn’t, because from childhood, Elaine identified as transgender.
When Elaine tells Allen right before Christmas, he doesn’t know what to do. He loves Elaine, loves her soul, has heard about transgender people before, but didn’t think Elaine was one of them—she looks and acts like anyone else. Now, she wants to become a man and is going to leave.
He prays for divine intervention, and says he’ll do anything, just please don’t separate him from Elaine. And in the form of a car accident, he gets his wish.
Now, he’s in Elaine’s body. And she’s in his. But both were injured, and Allen’s old body (with Elaine inside) is in a coma.
Allen can’t tell anyone who he is. But one thing’s certain: if Elaine can wake up, he wants to be with her. He doesn’t care what body he’s in, or that he, too, is now transgender.
True love matters so much to the universe, once you have found your soulmate, the universe will do anything to keep you together—even change your faces.

 

 

BUY LINKS

Note that CHANGING FACES is on sale for 99 cents/99 pence for a limited time as an e-book…

Amazon (US): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Changing-Faces-Barb-Caffrey-ebook/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (CA): https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (AUS): https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Amazon (IN): https://www.amazon.in/dp/B01N3CQKWJ

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/changing-faces-barb-caffrey/1125707044?ean=2940157587512

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, musician, and composer. She holds two degrees, is an inveterate and omnivorous reader, and is the writer of the comic urban fantasy romance AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (book one of the ELFY duology), available now from Twilight Times Books. (Book two, A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, is now out.)

Her stories and poems have appeared in many places, including GIFTS OF DARKOVER, STARS OF DARKOVER, FIRST CONTACT CAFE, HOW BEER SAVED THE WORLD, BEDLAM’S EDGE, BEARING NORTH, independently at Amazon (“To Survive the Maelstrom,” co-written with Michael B. Caffrey) at the Written Word online magazine, at Joyful! Online, at Midwest Literary Magazine, at e-Quill Publishing, and at Vision online magazine (a publication of the Forward Motion Writers Group).  She reviews books for Shiny Book Review and, more occasionally, at Amazon.com for their Vine program. And once upon a time, she was an opinion columnist and arts and entertainment reporter for both the Daily Nebraskan and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Ranger News; additional op-eds were published by the Racine Labor Paper and by the Racine Journal-Times (under the previous married name).

Blog: Barb Caffrey’s Elfyverse https://elfyverse.wordpress.com

Twitter  @BarbCaffrey

Facebook: Barb Caffrey

 

Coaxing the Shy Sexy One… #MSS178 #MFRWAuthor

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday Week 177, where authors tease you with seven sentences or paragraphs from their sexy stories!

This week’s theme is Shy Yet Sexy.

My first reaction to that theme was I don’t think we’ve ever written a shy lead character! So I scanned our book covers and smiled to myself when she popped out at me: Janet Baxter, from our F/F erotic romance, The Lady Wants More. BTW, we think our cover artist, Alessia Brio, did a great job capturing the contrast between this pair of sexy ladies.

We were invited to write this novella in 2011 for Torquere as part of Sapphic Signs, a twelve-month Zodiac series for lesbian fiction, and when our two year contract was up, we indie-pubbed it. Our choice of Zodiac signs? We selected our own birth signs, and Janet is me, Cancer to the core. We didn’t have far to reach for their relationship dynamics…

BLURB

Mix Cancer with Aquarius? Like oil and water – but when levelheaded Janet Baxter re-connects with free spirited Brenda Cassidy, the lady knows she wants more!

Janet Baxter keeps her post-divorce life neatly compartmentalized: Secure job, spacious Westchester County home, successful adult children, dependable community volunteer activities. Why is she drawn – for the first time ever – to attend her twenty-year college reunion in New York City?

Always a free spirit, Brenda Cassidy is comfortably bisexual and has no plans to ever settle down. But a fling? The reappearance of svelte, reserved Janet Baxter in Brenda’s life is nothing less than a gift, worthy of every enticement Brenda can conjure up. Can Brenda seduce Janet into an endless night of the lovemaking they enjoyed too briefly as college roommates? What if the lady wants more?

EXCERPT

SET UP At the reunion, Janet runs into Brenda, who’s just moved back from California to New York. They ditch the formal reunion proceedings and head to the campus bar where they used to hang out…

“Let’s dance,” Brenda said. “For old times’ sake. You used to be a good dancer.”

“I don’t know,” Janet said, half rising from her seat. Her protest caught in her throat. “I haven’t danced in years. Tom never wanted to.”

“Don’t you date? Get out of the house?”

Standing, Janet knew it was too late to avoid dancing. She closed her eyes. She loved dancing. She’d loved it ever since she was a little girl, when she’d started ballet lessons.

And she wasn’t a bad dancer. But as she grew taller and taller, fewer boys wanted to dance with her.

Her height had never posed a problem for Brenda. They’d often attracted stares and some catcalls, particularly when they slow-danced, but she’d never cared in those days. She just loved to dance, and people could have their own opinions. Of course that changed once Tom entered her life. He had never liked Brenda, and the feeling was mutual. Janet wanted Brenda to be her maid of honor. Tom insisted on his sister for that role, and she’d had to plead and plead to invite Brenda at all. Then Brenda wasn’t able to attend anyway.

Janet sighed and caved in to Brenda. With more than a little trepidation, she held Brenda’s hand and tried not to think about what the other Eagle patrons might be assuming as she and Brenda made their way across the dimly lit room.

Janet’s gaze dropped to the rise and fall of Brenda’s hips, which were covered in a chic skirt that stopped well short of the knee. Her former roomie still had a butt Janet would die for. How had Brenda maintained her figure all these years? Janet grinned. Maybe all the time Brenda spent dancing had something to do with that. Maybe she had a rigorous exercise routine. Janet shook her head. It was hard to imagine Brenda having any rigorous routine.

Sex. Maybe it was sex that helped Brenda stay in shape. Janet nearly giggled aloud. She’d had more than enough to drink. She glanced down again at Brenda’s ass, trying not to recall how she’d so thoroughly enjoyed cradling it in her arms. Her throat went dry. How could something so unacceptable feel so splendid? They hadn’t been together that many times, but she could remember every detail of their lovemaking—the seductive gestures, the words of endearment, the scents, the subtle noises, the feel of skin on skin.

Review: Five Stars: I loved these ladies! Building up the sexual tension between these two is the heart of this book. When they finally give in, I was right there with them. They are HOT!!!! Sheila G, Amazon

Buy link

Be sure to check out the other sexy snippets at these links:

 

Sexy for Saturday ~ #Sexy Choices #LGBT #MFRWAuthor

The last day of 2016 – how did your year turn out? It was a year of momentous choices, some good, some dubious. Among other things, hubs and I chose to come back to the writing we love. That decision definitely goes in our “good choice” column.

After a year-long hiatus, our first new release of 2016 was a lesbian romance short story, published in July as part of the Over the Rainbow anthology to support victims and survivors of the Pulse massacre in Orlando June 12.

Since that was an important choice-point for us, I thought we’d share Traci’s choice-point from that story. Traci plays shortstop on her State College Division III softball team, and she’s had a crush on her coach, Julie, since summer training camp her senior year of high school. This is their last game of the season. It’s the bottom of the ninth, one out, their team is ahead by one, but the opponents have runners on first and second.

EXCERPT

Julie tensed at the sudden crack of the bat and the sight of the sharply hit ground ball heading past the pitcher toward second. “Yes!” she said to no one in particular as Traci Anderson dashed to her left, gloved the ball and flipped it to the second baseman, who spun and threw to first for the double play. A fast runner might’ve beaten the throw, but not the other team’s chubby catcher.

Instantaneously, the girls from the dugout scampered onto the field, yelling their heads off. Gathering at the pitcher’s mound, the players hugged and screamed their joy. Their season had ended on a high.

Since it was the last game of the season, Julie bided her time at the top of the dugout steps. Then, one by one, she hugged each girl as they came back to the dugout to pick up their belongings. It didn’t surprise her at all that her captain shortstop was the last one off the field.

“Great play, Traci,” Julie said, hugging her tight and thumping her back. “You’ve been such an inspiration for the team these past four years.”

Traci tipped her head back and beamed at Julie through tears. “Thanks. Sally had to make a great throw to first, too.”

“You’ve been a great tandem. We’ll miss both of you next year.”

Traci dipped her head against Julie’s shoulder. “I’m going to miss you, too. So much. You’ve been the inspiration. Really.”

Julie hugged her tight. She’d learned over the years that parting never came easy. “Don’t forget my party Saturday for you seniors.”

“Of course I won’t,” Traci said, pulling away. As if on a whim, she rose on her toes and brushed her lips lightly across Julie’s. “I’m no longer your student, you know. How does that feel?”

Before Julie had a chance to respond, the blonde sprite dashed off.

How does that feel? Traci no longer her student—or those lips? What the hell was that about?

BUY LINKS

Here are links to the Over the Rainbow Anthology, filled with some of the best LGBT authors, ranging from laugh-out-loud funny to serious tear jerkers. We must never forget.

All sales authors’ and original publisher’s proceeds from this Anthology will go to the following Charity:
https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund

We’d like to give a special shout-out to eXtasy Books, who took on the task of editing, formatting and publishing the collection at no cost and are passing through all proceeds directly to the charity. Purchasing the book from eXtasy will result in more dollars going to victims than through any of the other vendors.

 
© 2017 Adriana Kraft. All Rights Reserved.