I just returned to the Northwest after an amazing week in New York. I spent the first night of my vacation in Saugerties so I could watch a horse show. It was a rare opportunity for me to see Olympic team members, Grand Prix champions, and some of the top hunter riders in the country competing live, and not on television. I even recognized riders whose images covered the walls of my bedroom when I was a teen—the horse lover’s version of movie stars—and they are still competing at the highest levels of the sport.
I started riding at age nine and competed in hunter-jumper shows in and around my home state of Washington. I’m glad I participated in horse-related sports for many reasons, and I benefited from the exercise, the chance to develop patience and discipline, and the simple joy of being around horses. But possibly the greatest lesson I learned was that gender and age should not be barriers to success. The equestrian events are the only ones in the Olympics in which women and men compete on equal terms. There are no quotas. A team of four can be any combination of female and male, and you might see riders in their twenties competing against others who are over sixty. The horses level the playing field.
After the horse show, I spent the remainder of my NY vacation in the Adirondacks at a Bold Strokes Books retreat. (BSB published my first book, Harmony, in early August.) Once again, I was star struck as I had a chance to meet some of my favorite authors, who are now my colleagues and friends, like Radclyffe, Jane Fletcher, Carsen Taite, Nell Stark and Trinity Tam, and so many others.
In the world of GLBTQ publishing, I’ve found the same atmosphere of inclusivity and tolerance as in the horse world. You aren’t limited by age, judged based on gender, or forced to fit any stereotypes. Creativity, storytelling, and passion level this playing field. And just read through earlier blog posts on this site—Delilah has collected stories from lesbians, straight women, those who write nothing but paranormal and others who never have before now (like me). With so many exciting voices, unhindered by quotas and enhanced by imagination, how can Girls Who Bite fail to thrill and entertain?
Find my book, Harmony, at Bold Strokes Books: Harmony
Sometimes conformity and control are only shields, and all it takes is the right woman to shatter the illusions forever.
Andrea Taylor craves peace in her life, no matter what the personal sacrifice. She arranges her career as a violist, her relationships with family and friends, and even her love life so she can avoid strife at all costs. Everything is going according to plan until she meets Brooke Stanton the night before Brooke’s wedding rehearsal and her ordered existence falls apart.
When Brooke hires a string quartet to play at her rehearsal dinner, she doesn’t expect to meet a woman who threatens the security of her already predetermined future. Suddenly she has doubts about the conventional path she has chosen and desires she can no longer ignore.
In an eclectic neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, these two women face a life-altering decision—will they fight the attraction that threatens their carefully structured lives or take a chance on finding the harmony only love creates?