Tuesday, February 8, 2022


Cupid Hunting


Patty G. Henderson

 Copyrighted this edition February, 2022

I wait. Patiently. A shadow within the twilight. A dead woman. A victim of suicide, I remain shackled to this world, forever to re-live the mistakes I made while alive.

I shot myself because I loved Marcella. I placed the cold, grey steel of a 9 mm automatic into my mouth and pulled the trigger. I don't remember much after that.

It doesn't matter now that she laughed when I spilled my heart out to her. It doesn't matter that she lied and then flaunted the gifts I gave her while having an affair with my best friend. No, the only thing that matters now is that I find

the reason why I am one of the walking dead and put an end to its unchecked attack on the human race. I have to stop the fiend that creeps into lives with promises of unbridled lust and undying love. Its driven poets insane and countless others like myself to death. Cupid has to be stopped.

And to that end, I crouch here; a part of the darkness you can't see and wait for it. Two lovers sit across from me on the park bench, oblivious to everything except their lustful needs. I expect my prey to arrive soon. I know it's going to come because it's Valentine's day. A day for fools.

I hear the wings first. A light flutter in the night air. A soft, foggy image forms and hovers over the couple on the bench. Ironic that only the dead can see the nasty little beastie. The cherub-faced demon smiles and pulls out an arrow from the tiny quiver on its back. I never understood how those small wings could support that obese little body.

I have to stop it now. If it shoots the arrow and it strikes those poor, unsuspecting fools sucking face, they will be lost to the lethal poison that the little demon peddles as love.

I know I have to make my move now. Grabbing the same gun that took my life, I take careful aim and fire. Parts of Cupid

splatter into the air and the little gargoyle falls with a heavy thud. One more hellish cherub down, how many more to go?

I know that those who are among the living are not gifted with the sight to see into the other worlds around them, but something must have spooked those two on the bench. The woman jumped out of the embrace and looked around like a frightened rabbit. He tightened his grip on her, trying to calm her down. Good thing they couldn't see the bloody little blob lying behind them.

I knew they would be okay now. I have to reload the gun and move on. The night is still young. Valentine's Day isn’t over yet.



the end

Sunday, November 26, 2017


This is one bandwagon all authors are going to want to climb on. The big news is that audio books have made more gains among readers/listeners in 2017, while eBook sales have continued to decline.
After doing the research, the numbers are solid. Audio books gained a roughly 28% increase, while eBooks saw a nearly 20% drop.

That matters, folks. It matters to authors who are trying to eek out some extra pocket change for food or living expenses or maybe taking a long weekend excursion. It matters to authors who are trying to get exposure in as many markets as they can to reach readers. And it matters to your readers, if you're an author, to make your books more easily available to all segments of society, including some who may have difficulty holding on to an eReader or actual book, someone who is blind, someone who has a religious regime of exercise and needs a book to listen to while running through the park, or someone who is addicted to books but can't read and drive to work at the same time and would love to listen to a book. Well, you get the picture. As an author who writes lesbian fiction, it's a very small niche. An edge in a limited readership is something well worth taking advantage of. It's a scramble trying to grab as many readers as possible.

Authors, you need your book, all your books, in audio book format. And this is where indies (and I use the word here to indicate authors choosing to publish their own works via Amazon or Lulu, etc.) shine over contracted authors. It's literally FREE...yes...FREE...to create a professional audio book. No, I don't mean go out and buy recording equipment and a soundproof room for yourself. It's called Audible. Via their audio book production site, ACX, you can become a big time audio book producer. You get to audition voice actors (my own choice of words for "narrator") and method of paying them. Yes, they want to get paid too. But you don't have to pay them hard cold cash out of your bank account. Find a voice actor that will accept the "Royalty" plan. That means once the audio book is listed and for sale on Audible and Amazon, your voice actor and you split the royalties earned on the audio book sales. Simple. BTW, some voice actors will only work for pay upfront, and they list their going rate per hour's work. My personal finances don't allow for such spending, so for all my lesbian Gothic Historical Romances currently available in audio (see below), I have always found the most amazing voice actors willing to work with the Royalty plan.

Another reward you get by jumping on the audio book bandwagon is the chance to work with some amazing and accomplished voice actors in the industry. Many are award winning in their fields. I had an extraordinary opportunity to work with one such woman, Cathy Conneff. SHADOWS OF THE HEART is my latest Gothic Historical Romance. It's my only book set in England during the 1820s.
Setting out to find an actress able to meet the British language requirements, plus a bit of French accent for another important character in the book, I was pleasantly surprised that Cathy Conneff had found me and my book, and already put in an audition. That audition won me over immediately. I knew she could bring my book to life.

Not only did she do that, but she made my book better. Yes, that's right. A professional voice actor can not only bring your book alive, but make it better. With Cathy Conneff, it wasn't just reading the characters on the page, she became the characters. She immersed herself in the settings, the atmosphere. She created a whole new experience. She was so good, I recommend all who've read SHADOWS OF THE HEART, please take a listen to the audio book. You will come away with a whole new experience of the story. She is that good.

If not for the audio book and Cathy's amazing reading, SHADOWS OF THE HEART, would be missing a whole new audience.

I also had the opportunity to work with another big name in audio narration. Karen Rose Richter has won numerous accolades in the voice acting field, and she narrated two of my Gothic Historical Romances, THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE and CASTLE OF DARK SHADOWS. Again, in the hands of a professional, immersive voice actor, a book takes on a whole new life. Finding the right voice actor is a fun and exhilarating experience, and listening to someone else read and breathe life into your words is something all authors should not deprive themselves of. 

With sales of eReaders limping along, and the downward predictions for eBook sales, audio books appear to be taking the lead. As an indie author, I have seen more sales and generated more income from my audio book sales than eBook sales. I never thought I would see this happen. I'm currently creating more income from audio book sales. That may change. None of us have crystal balls (well some of us may, but they aren't sharing). The bottom line is that authors who are not opting to have their books produced into audio books are missing a big sales generator and an increasingly important tool in the author's tool kit. 

Audible and ACX are both connected to Amazon, but your audio books are also listed in iTunes. That's a winning combination. So go ahead and jump on the audio book bandwagon. It's picking up steam.

Please check out my Amazon Author page. You'll find links to all my books, audio books and lots visual media such as book trailers, to enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

When Being Too Creative is a Crutch

I'm a writer. I'm an artist. I write books. I create book covers for myself and for others as a freelance business. I also draw portraits in pencil as a hobby and sometimes, for commissions. A plentiful cornucopia of artistic endeavors. And that might be the problem.

Too much and you might choke one or more of those endeavors. Scattering one's energy and talents can leave you drained, with little time to devote to one entirely. And sometimes, if you're like me, you need to remain focused on one thing in order to fulfill it to the best of your ability. Giving of yourself in piecemeal affects the quality of one and all, I feel.

I've always been both an artist and a writer. I began my love affair with both at about the same time. One led to the other. They came wedded to each other. I dabbled with my drawings, but suddenly realized how much more in love I was with words. I wrote short stories and dark poems that got published in fanzines, or better described as magazines and publications that were privately, or fan produced, labors of love. Some paid me minuscule amounts, whole others were all for glory and exposure and yes, for fun. Pure fun. This was the early 70s, mind you. I wonder if many today even know what a fanzine was back then. They were the lifeblood of writers just starting out. And all of them were print. There was no digital revolution in 1970. Artwork was done by hand. Magazines and fanzines were printed on paper, some of them printed in mimeograph paper. Remember that? Well, maybe not many of you do. Google it.

As a writer, I have won multiple awards for my books. I had the glitter of stars in my eyes. I dreamt of multi figured writing contracts offered by the big New York publishers, fans lining up for my books and fame and glory. Ha. That never happened. My dream never happened. Every author dreams of signing a big contract with a big publisher and landing a real job as a writer. I settled for being self published, a very select reader base, and pennies as income for my books on monthly basis from Amazon. At least my fall from the top didn't hurt much because I never made it very far to fall from. But the failing of my dream still nags at me, making my discontent with my writing almost a form of hating the idea of writing or publishing. It was easy to turn my back on it and concentrate on my artwork instead. Yes, I now have a freelance business creating eye-catching covers for other authors. And I also draw portraits of my favorite television or movie celebrity and attend conventions to meet the stars and have them autograph my drawings. It's a wonderful hobby. But both my book covers and my drawings have taken much of my creative energies. It has left no room for writing. And writing has never wanted to go quietly into the dark. It still throws punches at me, demanding to feed it.

So, this is where I stand. I have two current WIPs (if one could call them much progress, really not much) that are punching harder at me to return to them. To finish the tales wanting to be told. I have new and exciting genres to explore, as well as some of my old favorites. Something must suffer. I don't work well with my attentions scattered so far between my creative endeavors. Maybe it's that fact that as I age, I can no longer accomplish so much. It could be that I truly do feel the reach of my own mortality getting shorter and shorter, and fear I may not be able to accomplish everything I wish I could.

Well, the conundrum is of course, exacerbated by the dire straights of society around me as well. When one is struggling financially, and with health concerns, it certainly does not aid the serenity of mind, the feeling of hope, we all need to feed the Muse. Feeling secure from being out in the streets or sick and dying is a human need.

If you've read this far, I do hope you won't feel cheated by my very simple conclusion. Follow the heart. And as in romance, giving your heart to more than one leads to trouble and heartache. Concentrating on where my heart leads is where I'll be in 2017 and beyond.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Caren J. Werlinger, author extraordinaire of some of the best lesbian literary works in current lesfic, has tagged me, yours truly, to be part of the Writing Process Blog Tour challenge that's swarming Facebook and elsewhere like a questionable virus....LOL. In a good way. Every author loves to talk about new books, old books, writing, etc. Thank you, Caren, for your books and your stories, and for tagging me. 

I had turned my back on this blog, The Henderson Files. But by being part of the Writing Process Blog Tour, it has made me look back and possibly see the light that I might have unintentionally left burning in my blog. It's been drawing me back. So, I'm happy to be back and perhaps find the spark to do a blog a week....or a month....or whenever. But at least I know I have it whenever I think I have something I might want to share. And I also love to feature other indie authors here at The Henderson Files. Hey.....I'm back. So, thanks Caren. Please check out Caren's blog once you're done here to check out her take on the Writing Process Blog Tour Questions.....


     I've been working on a new Gothic Historical Romance titled WHERE EVIL DWELLS. This time, the setting is 1820 England, and tells the story of Annalee Stewart, a young woman, left penniless and destitute by her father who lost the family fortune to his gambling debts and who dies leaving nothing to his daughter. She is taken in by her godmother but when she passes away, Annalee is shipped away to be companion to a young, infirm young noblewoman, the Lady Lenore Blackstone, wife to Lord Blackstone, heir to the earldom and Master of the foreboding Castle Blackstone, that sits atop a high point in the Devon moors. But Annalee didn't count on falling in love with the woman she was to serve or to be the object of desire of another noblewoman, Victoria Blackstone, sister to Lord Blackstone! But there is evil afoot in Blackstone Castle and death and betrayal around every castle corridor turn! What a triangle of love and web of intrigue and suspense that creates, right? The stuff of Gothics. LOL. This Gothic Romance is more romance than my previous three others and will hopefully be in publication later this year, 2014. Stay tuned. I hope to have a cover reveal in a month or so.


     Well, there really is no one else writing strictly Gothic Historical Romances in lesfic right now. Author Helen Dunn does have several. I guess that's why some affectionately refer to me as Queen of the Gothics in lesbian fiction. LOL. Most of the lesbian historical romances are either swashbuckling, fantasy or just simple historical romances. The Gothic Romances I write are homages to the Gothic Romances of the 1960s and 1970s which were published as cheap paperbacks and available at any drugstore or grocery store. But those were always heterosexual tales for the mainstream reader where the plucky heroine always meets and is swept away by the dark, brooding or mysterious and handsome guy after suffering through a myriad of hair-raising and life-threatening ordeals in a dark castle or mansion.
In my Gothics, the girl always gets swept the away by the girl! LOL. 


     I got my start writing short horror stories back in the late 60s and early 70s. Not lesbian fiction. LOL. My first full length lesbian novel was SO DEAD, MY LOVE, a vampire romance, and then I wrote the Brenda Strange Paranormal Mysteries of which there are four, THE BURNING OF HER SIN, TANGLED AND DARK, THE MISSING PAGE, and XIMORA, in that order. Those were mysteries mixed with the supernatural. Since then, I've written three Gothic Historical Romances, THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE, CASTLE OF DARK SHADOWS, and PASSION FOR VENGEANCE. I'm currently working on a new Gothic, WHERE EVIL DWELLS. As you can tell from my body of work, I enjoy dark and supernatural fiction. I've always loved the ghost stories and tales of dark imaginings since I was a child. I suppose that has translated to what I enjoy now. While my Gothics are romances with mystery and suspense, they are not supernatural. No ghosts and no monsters. I write what I like and what I want to read. Basically, I write what thrills me and entertains me and I hope that I write well enough and spin a tale good enough to keep readers as entertained reading them as I enjoy writing them. I write and read for entertainment.


     Inspiration. I need inspiration. I can get an idea for a book from a rift or tune from a piece of music or an image that comes to me in my dreams or simply lying in bed trying to drift to sleep. It can come from a sentence that springs into my head and immediately a plot line or idea and characters begin forming a story, insisting on being a new book. LOL. Inspiration is a beautiful thing and it's out there just waiting to be tapped into....

My physical writing process is rather exhausting for most, especially since we live in the era of electronic everything and tablets that you can pop into your pocket and can create "on-the-go." But no, I suppose I'm stuck in the past I love to write about. I write out my book on yellow notebook pads and then transfer everything onto the computer. I know, double the work and double the time, but I cannot write any other way. I cannot create with the clitter clatter of the keyboard as my muse. I much prefer the flow of ink onto paper. The quietness of it.....the organic idea of it all. I've even taken the challenge of writing much like the periods in history I write about. I like to turn down most of my lights and use candles throughout my apartment. I don't, of course, use ink and quill, just a ballpoint or roller point pen.

I'm also not too keen on outlines. I don't keep or do an outline. All that stuff is in my head. When I start, I already pretty much know what will happen and how it will end. I don't, of course, have an unbreakable plot. I make plot changes if something else seems better or different than what I began with. So my writing process is very organic, just like my way of writing it. Pacing is my writing god. Pacing, pacing, pacing. It is the single most important thing I focus on. Characters can play and plot lines and sub-plots can change, but pacing remains the most important focus for my books. Without proper pacing, a book with great characters, dynamic plot and evocative settings will still fall flat with disastrous pacing. Pacing.

Thanks for joining me in The Writing Process Blog Tour. I always support fellow indie authors and am tagging two authors who love and write Historical fiction. 

I'm tagging T.T. Thomas, author supreme of the finest lesbian Historical Romances. Check out her website.

And I'm also tagging Helen Dunn, who has a deep love of lesbian Historical fiction. Check out her blog.

Monday, August 12, 2013


UPDATE: I'll be opening up this blog to my own thoughts or topics on an irregular schedule. I'll still try and feature some interesting Indie authors.

Thank you to all the authors who Guested here and to readers and followers. This blog has outlived its usefulness.

Any updates or postings of interest can be found at my personal web site:


Friday, July 26, 2013


All about the Fantasy: Labeling in Traditional Vs. Self-publishing
Juli D. Revezzo

One year into self-publishing my work and what a year it has been! I have, in that time, also seen a novel I submitted to a small publisher, prior to, published by the small publisher, The Wild Rose Press. A long time ago, I started writing what was called Fantasy. Through the years that hasn’t changed. The strange thing about it is, those in the world of publishing who feel a need to box and label everything, have.

The Artist’s Inheritance  In my current series, The Antique Magic series, I write about ancestral curses, magic and witches. To me, it’s all pagan/supernatural elements—witches, gods, soldiers in a modern day town—elements which I put on par with Charmed (hello, Charmed), with a dash of Morgan le Fay, and things like that. Witches/supernatural equal fantasy to me. Always have, always will. But it seems like everyone you talk to calls my novel, something different! There’s no agreement among anyone, whatsoever of what the book is. In a way, that’s kinda cool and the whole lure of self publishing helping those that don’t fit into the Big Six’s teeny tiny little boxes. J On the other hand, it’s a Pain in the A** because of Amazon, who only recently decided to include Urban Fantasy in their KDP categories (a genre that’s been around since Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended).

Now, as I mentioned, I have a new book out from a traditional publisher—Passion’s Sacred Dance. It released Friday (*squee!*).  Ahem, Between Passion’s Sacred Dance and The Artist’s Inheritance, the elements included are virtually identical: myths, gods, warriors/soldiers and Druids in a modern day town—and the heroine’s long-dead ancestors make an appearance. Yet, by light of the fact that I lean heavily on the romance element in Passion’s Sacred Dance, even if I were to self-publish it, I wouldn’t think twice about the label Fantasy with a secondary category of Romance (are we seeing the overall theme of my writing here: Fantasy). To my publisher however, the romance is high importance, so I’ve no doubts where they’ll list it. To me, however, it’s all about the fantasy (one could even argue that the required Happily-ever-after of romance is a fantasy but that’s a subject for another time).

Genres are becoming very blended these days anyway (steampunk, anyone?), I’m not sure they’re necessarily reliable anymore. Luckily, there are some who don’t care about this, but care more for a good story, well told. :)

Will I self-publish again? Absolutely! Will I submit my next romance heavy fantasy to a publisher? You bet! I am a writer. Writing is what I do, and worry about the genre later. Hopefully the readers will be pleased. I know I am. Would you like to know a bit about my new romantic fantasy? Okay.

Passion’s Sacred Dance

Battling mounting debt, Stacy Macken is determined not to lose her historic art gallery. When Aaron Fielding appears and offers to help, she fights to keep the attraction sizzling between them from clouding her judgment. He may be her savior in disguise--but can she trust him?

Aaron intrigues her with tales of the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors who protect humanity from the monsters seeking their destruction. If Aaron can prove what he claims, she would give up anything to help--even the gallery he claims is sacred ground. But with her property set to stage the next epic battle, she needs answers. An old family diary will confirm the ancient legend is true, if only they can find it in time.

If the battle is lost, the enemy will take control of Earth for the next five hundred years. Stacy and Aaron's budding love might only complicate things.

It’s available now at Amazon and coming soon to other retailers.
For more on these and other books visit Juli at: http://julidrevezzo.com/
And Juli’s Amazon page.

Friday, July 12, 2013

GUEST AUTHOR BLOG: Caren J. Werlinger

How Lesbian is Lesbian Enough?

The topic of what it is exactly that makes a “lesbian novel” has been debated ad nauseum in many circles. Is it only those books written by lesbians, even if there are no lesbian characters? Is it only those novels whose main characters are lesbian? Or is it those whose plot and storyline would appeal to lesbians? The only consensus seems to be that there is no consensus. Maybe lesbian literature is more fluid and diaphanous than any of those definitions.

Lynne Pierce recently raised the question of what it is we want lesbian literature to become. She likened the current state of lesbian fiction as being in its adolescence, having begun with the pulp novels of the 70s and 80s. Most of those books were not brilliantly written or produced, but they were all we had, and we gobbled them up. Now, with more small lesbian presses and the advent of independent publishing, we are in the midst of a flood of lesbian fiction, much of it romances. Not all of it is good, maybe even most of it. But it seems to tickle the taste buds of many readers, and as with typical adolescents, there seems to be a huge preoccupation with sex.

Like most humans (certainly not all), the literature will hopefully mature past this preoccupation to embrace the totality of what it is that makes us lesbian. I love an occasional romance, but sometimes I want something that reflects other aspects of my life. It is certainly much more than the gender of the person with whom I make love, though for many straight people, the definition of “lesbian” probably begins and ends right there.

For me, my being a lesbian influences everything I am – how I perceive and interact with other people, how I look at advertising, how I interpret news events, how I arrange my legal and financial affairs to protect my beloved, how I place myself within society. Absolutely everything about me is colored by the fact that I am a lesbian, and sex is only a very small part of that.
That wholeness, that totality is what I want my books to bring to life. I’m no longer an adolescent, preoccupied with thoughts of sex (well, there are moments…). I am much more than that, and so are my characters.  Their decisions and interactions, their successes and foibles are all influenced by the fact that they are lesbian, even when there is no sex involved. Does that make my books and others like them “unlesbian”?

Apparently, at least one reader thinks so. In a recent review of my novel, Miserere, a reviewer stated, “While this is an interesting read, those who may be expecting a lesbian romance may be disappointed. This is not really a lesbian novel per se -- as the main protagonist is a young girl of about 11 years of age, and the two lesbian characters in the novel have no intimate moments.”

First of all, this book was never marketed as a romance, but more intriguing to me was this reviewer’s opinion that if the book included no intimate scenes, then it couldn’t, by her definition, be lesbian. Nevermind that every critical decision made by one of the main characters is because she has fallen in love with another young woman (and no, she doesn’t identify herself as a lesbian – it was the 1860s), or that the young girl becomes the book’s real hero precisely because she already knows, in her heart, what it is that makes her different.

By this reader’s rationale, any woman who is not in a relationship, not sleeping with another woman, would not be lesbian, either. No sex = no lesbian. I think there are many in our community who would argue that that makes no sense in our lives, so why should it apply to our books?
To me, some of the most enduring and powerful romances in movies and literature have been the ones that don’t involve people thrashing around like eels. Sleepless in Seattle jumps to mind as one of my favorites, with the only physical contact between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks being the holding of hands at the end of the movie (and I don’t remember the word “heterosexual” being uttered even one time). Jane Austen proved that a slow burn and prolonged attraction without our actually witnessing any sex between the characters has staying power – over two hundred years’ worth. Any of us should be so lucky as to have our books still being read two centuries from now!

I know, “it is a truth universally acknowledged” that sex sells. It always has and it always will. I can’t
help but think, though, that much of the current crop of lesbian romances will someday be looked back upon much as we now look at the novels from the 70s. My hope for our literature is that the novels that will stand the test of time will be those that transcend that very limiting definition of who we are and show us in our totality, as complex, complete human beings living our lives, even if the bedroom door is politely closed in our faces.

Please visit my blog: www.cjwerlinger.wordpress.com