Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'm Here. I'm Queer. Buy My Books.

Do you know how many books I've written over the past ten years? Yeah, me neither. But a lot. Definitely a lot--and when I say "books" I mean everything from erotic shorts to anthologies to novels to novellas.

I'm queer. I tend to write fiction from that perspective and on that topic, though I have written books about straight people too.

If you were to ask me, "Hey, Giselle, what do you write?" I would say, "I write queer fiction and erotica."

A lot of my books have been shoved into "romance" categories over the years, but I'm telling you straight-up: if you're into that whole romance scene with the happily-ever-after and no cheating I would just avoid my catalogue completely. I never set out to write romance. I set out to write queer fiction and literary erotica (and, more recently, pure SMUT!).

A lot of my books involve adultery because I spent 10 years of my life as mistress to a married man... which makes me kind of an expert, not to brag or anything. I know adultery intimately. That's why it sneaks its way into my work. Just like queerness. Just like gender non-conformity. It's part of me. It's part of my work.

The Other Side of Ruth is such a great example of what my work is and what it isn't. That book's about Ruth, a middle-aged married woman, who has an affair with Agnes, her twenty-something neighbour. Boom! Cheating. Right there. Boom! Lesbian erotica. Bring it. But this book's also a classic example of what I do because SPOILER it doesn't not end in typical romance fashion. That's because it's not a romance!

I come from the school of literary fiction where misery reigns. To me, The Other Side of Ruth is about all the ways in which Agnes is failed by society. She's failed by the people in her life, by systems, but the medical establishment. She's even failed by the book itself, because she doesn't get to tell her own story. We hear it from Ruth's point of view.

When I think of the most romantic book I've written, the one that pops into my head is Friday Night Lipstick--a friends-to-lovers novella about two older trans women. This book legit makes me cry every time I read the final chapter (which SPOILER does contain a typical happy ending), but it fails to meet the romance standard in other ways. First up, one of the characters is married throughout most of the book (albeit to an abusive partner), and the other has sex with two people right in front of her.

So this is me telling you where I'm coming from in hopes of finding more readers who are looking for the kind of fiction I write: readers who are looking for fiction from a non-binary queer, readers who appreciate literary erotica and/or smut, readers who aren't necessarily fans of the cookie-cutter approach to fiction (not that there's anything wrong with that!), readers who want something a little... different.

Because that's me. I'm a little different. And if you are too, or you just want to see what my world looks like, buy my books. Or see if your library carries them. If they don't, ask them to buy a copy of something that interests you. Or search my name at Smashwords or Kobo or Barnes and Noble or Apple and see what I'm offering for free this month. There's always something.

And sign up to receive my newsletter so I can tell you about new books as they come out:

I'm here. I'm queer. Nice to meet you.

Monday, October 17, 2016

#FREE #LESBIAN #EROTICA Bobbing for Peaches
Have I got a treat for you!

My erotic lesbian short story Bobbing for Peaches involves warm milk, sweet peaches, messy sex and depression. What more could you want?

Well, you might want it FREE.


I've made this story available as a free ebook at most vendors. Possibly this is a limited time only deal. Possibly I'll forget to raise the price. Hard to say. I've got a terrible memory--I'll tell you that much.

Not sold? Here's what it's all about:

Someone's getting busy in the kitchen! When Jocelyn arrives home from work, she finds her girlfriend Melanie preparing a sweet treat: a warm concoction of milk and peaches with a dash of cinnamon and a hint of pricey Tahitian vanilla. Good thing Jocelyn's in the mood to play with her food, because it's time to get naked—and get messy!

Here are some of the links to ebook retailers where Bobbing for Peaches is free:
Barnes and Noble:
All Romance Ebooks:



Saturday, October 8, 2016

#Taboo #Lesbian #Erotica In Print!

 I promised I'd let you know when my new anthology of taboo lesbian erotica was available as a paperback.

Well, guess what? The wait is over!

You can now buy Taboo Lesbian Erotica in print. You can buy the standard edition from retailers like

OR you can buy the large print edition for the SAME PRICE. If you need or would prefer larger lettering you don't have to choose between reading comfort and the impact on your pocketbook (pocketbook? Wallet. Credit Card. Whatever the kids are calling it these days. heh)

Here's a link for the large print edition:

Whether you just started reading my books or you've been buying them for a decade, I want you to know how much I appreciate your purchases. Thank you and enjoy!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Preorder In Shadow Today!

Last November I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month). I wanted to write something commercially-viable, something that would hit the market running and earn me enough money to buy fancy cheeses and maybe even a house.

Well, you've known me long enough to realize my plans to write anything with more than niche appeal tend to fall flat.

I set out to write a stepbrother romance because those were really popular at the time. What I ended up with was an allegory of colonialism.

Technically I guess it is still a stepbrother romance... but it takes a bit of a circuitous route to get to a happy-ever-after. It's really more of a psycho-sexual thriller. Even the eroticism isn't as as blatant as it is in most of my books. Or maybe it's MORE blatant because it's more understated, if that makes any sense. I don't think the words "pussy" or "cock" appear at all in this novel. I found a way to communicate powerful images without using vulgar language. Not that I'm opposed to vulgar language! I mean... this is ME we're talking about, author of Nanny State and Adam and Sheree's Family Vacation. But I do realize there are some books you're willing to read on the bus and some books you're only going to read in bed.
You can read In Shadow anywhere.

And you can preorder it now from many vendors--ebook only at this point, but I'll let you know when the paperback is available.

In Shadow launches November 1st, 2016. Preorder now so it pops up on your device as soon as it's available.

If you follow the link, it'll show you all the sites where you can preorder.

Here's that list for your convenience:
Barnes and Noble:

In invite you to subscribe to my mailing list too, so you can stay up to date with my literary comings and goings:

Saturday, October 1, 2016

If You Love Romance, You’ll Hate This Book

Hard to believe my lesbian novel The Other Side of Ruth launched almost a year ago. This October, I'm bringing back guest posts I wrote for other bloggers when the book came out.

Here's one of my favourites:

I myself am depressed more easily by works that evade, compensate or cover up than I am by ones that pursue their patterns to the conclusions inherent in them. I’d rather have an unhappy ending than a happy one if it’s an unhappy ending that the story demands.
~Margaret Atwood, from Survival: A Thematic Guide To Canadian Literature

Brief introduction for those who don’t know me: I’m Giselle, I’m Canadian, I’m queer, and I write books for a living.

Well… “books” could be anything from short taboo smut to novels with erotic content—the latest of which is The Other Side of Ruth, subtitled “A Lesbian Novel.” Not “A Lesbian Romance,” note. Although the book involves a woman falling in love with another woman, I really wouldn’t class it as a romance.

A couple years ago, I was talking about my books with my mom (a rarity—we don’t generally discuss my work). She knew I wrote erotica, and extended that to encompass erotic romance. Yes, sure, some of my books have romantic aspects (and some are actually tear-jerkingly sweet), but I still think of myself as primarily a writer of literary erotica and queer fiction.

My mom couldn’t understand what I was saying. She asked, “How can there be sex with no romance?”

First of all… awww! Isn’t my mom just the cutest? (Yeah, she is. She’s adorable.)

But secondly… that’s a remarkably complex question.

For a book to be considered a romance, or erotic romance for that matter, it needs to meet certain criteria. Basically, it needs to be about people falling in love and it needs to have a happy, fulfilling ending for those characters.

Right? (I’m kind of making up rules, here.)

Anyway, there’s more to romance than just the falling in love part and the happy ending part. In order to appeal to readers in the romance genre, a book needs to have a certain ebb and flow. You’d have to ask a romance reader about the finer points of what they’re looking for.

Here’s the thing: a “happy ending,” in the context of romance, has a pretty narrow meaning. Two (or more?) characters need to fall in love and end up together. If a character’s happiness comes from anything else at all (finding oneself, coming out of the closet, achieving world peace, bringing your dog back from the dead) that’s not romance.

Right? (I’m honestly making all this up.)

So what can you do if misery appeals to you?

Well, if you’re me you say, “Screw it. This book is not a romance.”

That’s what I did with The Other Side of Ruth. Ruth is thirty years older than Agnes, and she’s married to a man. We’re talking about sneaking around. We’re talking about lying. We’re talking about an illicit love affair.

When I started writing The Other Side of Ruth, I hadn’t exactly planned out the ending (or the middle… or the beginning…), but I knew I wouldn’t be doing this story or these characters justice if I shoehorned in a happily-ever-after for them. It’s not that they don’t “deserve” it… it’s just that I’m a realist—in life, and in fiction.

Sorry-not-sorry for the spoiler.

I realize there are a lot of readers who won’t pick up a book unless they KNOW they’re going to like the ending. I almost-sort-of understand. Almost. Sort of.

For instance, the end of The Cure for Death by Lightning ruined to story for me. Does that mean I wish I hadn’t read the book at all? No. I recognize that, as a reader, the most I can do is interpret what’s on the page. It isn’t my place to demand a different ending.

On the other hand, the ending of The Well of Loneliness (which *SPOILER ALERT* is pretty much exactly the same as the end of The Cure for Death by Lightning) is heartrending but perfect. It’s perfect because it’s realistic. You read it and think, “Yup, that’s life. Sucky, unfair, terrible life!”

Since many readers of romantic fiction are seeking to escape life (sucky life!) it makes sense that heartbreak wouldn’t make for a fulfilling capper, but me? I happen to like seeing life reflected back to me in fiction.

Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, The Other Side of Ruth. Yup, it’s got real life written all over it. Now I’ve got you thinking it’s all angsty-painy when, really, it isn’t.

To be honest, I find the ending optimistic and uplifting, even if it isn’t conventionally romantic.

That’s my take. I guess you’ll have to read it and decide for yourself.

The Other Side of Ruth is available as an ebook published by eXcessica, and also in print.

Get the paperback at
Or buy from and use Coupon Code AN5EWZTX for $5.00 off!

Get the ebook at…
Amazon UK:

All Romance Ebooks:


Friday, September 30, 2016

Taboo Lesbian Erotica: 10 Scandalous Stories

Have I got a hot read for you!

It’s forbidden. It’s wrong. You know you should resist, but the desire is too strong…

In Taboo Lesbian Erotica, kittens and cougars can’t fight their illicit urges. Their lust for someone off-limits is impossible to shake. What can they do but surrender to temptation? Especially when temptation comes in the form of discipline, punishment and scandalous sex with a woman who’s absolutely forbidden!

Ten shocking stories of women who can’t say no to scandalous sex!

Get it NOW from Amazon:

TABOO LESBIAN EROTICA contains new fiction and fan favourites. There are definitely stories in this book you've never read--stories about stepmothers punishing stepdaughters, stepsisters getting off together, a niece who's hot for her aunt, even a godmother assigned to give her goddaughter "the lesbian sex talk."

If you love taboo erotica, this is the book for you! And this week it's on sale as a new release for the low price of $2.99. That's TEN erotic stories for the price of ONE!

Get it NOW from Smashwords:

Friday, September 23, 2016

7 Fun Things to do on your Back

If you clicked because you thought I'd be telling you cool sex stuff, HAHA gotcha! Nah, I'm not trying to fool anybody. The truth is that my girlfriend and my cousin are about to undergo cornea transplants. For days afterwards they're going to have to lie flat, otherwise their eyes will fall out or something. I'm not 100% clear on the details.

(To be absolutely clear, my girlfriend and my cousin are two different people. I'm not dating my cousin. It's not like a wrote a lesbian erotica story called Pretty Cousin because I've got some kind of weird forbidden crush on her or anything.)

Anyhoo, the idea of people I love going under the knife is making me nervous so I'm channeling that energy into practical ideas. How bored would you get if you had to lie on your back for days just staring at the ceiling? Maybe you're doing exactly that right now and that's why you're exploring this post--you're searching for stuff you can do without using your eyes.

Well, here it is: my list of fun stuff to do on your back. I'll leave out the obvious (hopefully you can figure that out for yourself) but I will mention that I'm focusing on free options, relying on you having access to a library system, and focusing on Canadian content because I live in Canada, and so do my girlfriend and cousin.

1. Audiobooks.

My girlfriend's been reading audiobooks for years, even before her eyesight started deteriorating, so this point was the first that came to mind. She gets them from the library on CDs, but check out your library's website. You probably have access to audiobooks you can digitally download.

Alternatively, you can try out a 30-day free trial at Audible or purchase audiobooks or get them... I don't know where, exactly. I'm not a connoisseur. Every time I try to listen to an audiobook I just totally tune out. But, as I say, my girlfriend LOVES them so that's why Audiobooks are #1 on this list.

2. Podcasts

I wish I had a hundred million podcasts to recommend to you, but there are only a few I listen to with any frequency and they're all writing and publishing related. I'm sure there are a hundred million out there, so run a search. Find an established one that suits your interests and BINGE BINGE BINGE!

On the off-chance you, too, are an author, entrepreneur or author-entrepreneur (authorpreneur? Is that a thing people say?), I'll give you the inside scoop. Here are the podcasts I listen to:

The Creative Penn (highly recommended!)
Rocking Self-Publishing
The Worried Writer
It's a Mystery Podcast


3. Accessible Media/Described Video

This one is an especially Canadian recommendation. AMI-tv is a television channel available through every digital cable package in Canada (trust me--I have the most basic cable package in existence and I get). Every show on AMI is broadcast with described video.

What's described video? Okay, so try watching a movie or a TV show with your eyes closed. When there's a bunch of dialogue you can probably follow what's going on. What about when no one's talking?  How do you know what's going on? That's where described video comes in: a voiceover tells you what's happening, so you don't have to be able to SEE the television to follow the show.

AMI also creates a lot of original programming that's particularly relevant to its blind and low vision viewership. My favourite is Four Senses, a cooking show co-hosted by Christine Ha. In addition to the English TV channel, there's also AMI-télé which broadcasts in French with described video and also produces its own original content.

There's a third channel, AMI-audio, which is audio-only:

Daily, a team of professional narrators present feature articles from top Canadian and international magazines and hourly information updates. AMI-audio also produces a variety of original programs covering historical and current events, technology, entertainment and more. On February 1, 2016 AMI-audio launched Live from Studio 5, its first ever live studio morning show. AMI-audio original content is also available through satellite radio and as podcasts.

I watch the AMI French and English TV channels a lot, and one thing I really love about them is you start to feel a sense of community. Maybe it's just me. Maybe I need more friends.

p.s. I should mention that if a TV show is available with described video on another Canadian network (and if DV is available that should be announced before the show starts), you can enable your TV to talk at you the same way you can turn Closed Captioning on and off. To be totally honest with you, I've tried to do this on multiple occasions and it's never worked, so thank goodness for AMI.

p.p.s. If you don't have a TV and/or you do most of your media consumption via Netflix, I noticed the other day that when I scrolled all the way to the bottom of my Netflix screen there was a thingy that said "Audio Description." Sure enough, it took me to a browse screen of shows and movies available with audio description enabled!

4. Radio

Hey, you know what still exists? Radio! Some of it plays songs at you and some of it is talking... just like podcasts. In fact, you can listen to a lot of radio shows online now! I'm going all-in on the Canadiana today, because I'm sending you down CBC way.  I particularly like a show about the advertising industry called Under the Influence.

Again, the alternative to looking for this stuff on the internet would be to turn on a radio. If you own one.

5. Comedy Albums

Remember comedy albums? Me neither because I wasn't alive in the 70s!

Here's how I came to realize comedy albums are still a thing: my public library system gives me access to this great digital service called Hoopla. I stream music there (mainly Lana Del Rey--one of these days I'm really going to have to purchase Born to Die) but one time I started browsing, just to see what else was available. I came upon this category: Comedy Albums.

Comedy Albums? Is that still a thing?  I thought of Cheech and Chong, Steve Martin, George Carlin--and yes, their classic albums are still available--but alongside those are albums from contemporary comedians: Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan... I'd have to list every comedian you've ever heard of and then a bunch you've never heard of. There are so many!

Let's get ready to laugh!

6. Radio Dramas

Having been born after the time of comedy albums (or so I thought), I was also born after the day of radio dramas.

Or so I thought.

Then one day I took a tour of the CBC building here in Toronto and they showed us their radio drama recording studio. It was the coolest set-up, because part of it looked like the kind of TV set you'd see on a sitcom. There was a kitchen set up so the voice actors could physically act out emptying the dishwasher and closing cupboards. There were stairs to walk up and down. There were pads containing things like gravel or twigs to mimic the sound of walking outside.  The way I'd always pictured a radio drama setup was... remember that episode of Frasier where they do that murder mystery radio drama? But the one at the CBC was surprisingly large.

So yes, Virginia, radio dramas still exist! I found a bunch of them listed on Hoopla (again, through my library system), including Doctor Who radio dramas. With a quick Google search I've found you a bunch of them produced by the BBC and CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

7. Language Learning Albums

We're going old-school one more time with the idea of language learning disks. I use a program called Mango but you need to look at a screen for that. If you're flat on your back and you can't do screen-related stuff, go back in time--back to the 80s and those language learning cassette tapes. Perfect time to bring them out again. The most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me was to learn French, although it wasn't my girlfriend who made that gesture. Wasn't my cousin either. heh.

I'll mention Hoopla yet again, because that's where I saw language learning albums listed as digital downloads. See what your library systems has got for you. If you've never explored digital download services provided to you free through your public library, now's the time!

If you need to spend time on your back, might as well enjoy it!

Giselle Renarde is an award-winning queer Canadian writer. Nominated Toronto’s Best Author in NOW Magazine’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards, her fiction has appeared in well over 100 short story anthologies. Giselle's juicy novels include Anonymous, Cherry, Seven Kisses, and The Other Side of Ruth.