Spotlight: Belinda Y. Hughes Visits to Talk About Lesbian Historical Military Romance, BLUES 2: THE COLONEL!

Today, we're doing something a little different. Fellow author and friend Belinda Y. Hughes is stopping by to talk about her new book!


 


Hello, Belinda! It's great that you're visiting MLB. Lovely to touch base with you again! :)

 

  

Hi! Thank you for having me here.






 

 

My pleasure, of course! So, let me ask a few questions since you're here...



 


All right.

 


Can you tell us a little about your book? When did it come out and where can we get it? 

 

https://payhip.com/b/ZFcg

Blues 2: The Colonel is the second in my Louisiana Lesbian Romance series. Where the first, Blues in the Night, was more about the music industry, Blues 2 takes a turn toward the historical and military sub-genres of romance. Blues 2’s main character is Colonel Marty G. LaFleur, a bird colonel retired Army nurse of the Korean War era, whom we first met as a church elder in Blues in the Night. In Blues 2, the only two women Colonel Marty ever loved fall prey to the ravages of gunfire. It’s up to her to recover their bullet-riddled bodies and save their very lives. Blues 2: The Colonel was released December 14, 2015. It’s currently available at the indie e-publisher Payhip.
 

Great!

 

So, how did you get into writing historical military romance?

 

A few things combined to inspire Blues 2: The Colonel. First, it was November, which means National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which I strive to celebrate annually with a new book. 

http://nanowrimo.org/

Also, you, my dear friend, approached me around the same time to share my latest LGBT romance with your readers - and I only had one, not a latest! So I took that as a sign that it was high time to get my fingers in gear and set about writing this second book in the series. When I cast about for who and what it should be about, there was no question that Colonel Marty would be the hero. And since I’m such a huge M*A*S*H fan, the Korean War flashback was inevitable. In addition, women veterans have had a difficult time getting noticed and many are even homeless! So I wanted to honor them for their service and heroism.
As for the bride, motorcycle and wedding parade, here is the pic that inspired all that. It's from the 2013 San Francisco Pride.


Actually, it occurred to me belatedly that, being partially set in the Korean War, which is now over 60 years hence, it qualified as a historical romance. As for the military, I come from a military-proud hometown and have always been attracted to members of the military. Also, when same sex marriage became legal throughout the United States, I had just completed the marriage proposal scene in Blues in the Night. On December 3, 2015, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that, as of January 2016, all forward combat roles would be made equally available to all women who could meet the qualifications, thus allowing women to advance more rapidly in rank and other career ladder benefits. This news came as I was still writing Blues 2: The Colonel. Sadly, three weeks later came the news that one of the first openly gay soldiers to get married, Air Force Major Adrianna Vorderbruggen, had been killed in Afghanistan. So history has happened right alongside these books. It’s been riveting to turn on the radio each morning and hear things in my books unfolding in real life.

Interesting!

 

So, what, do you feel, sets your book apart from other books in the genre?

 

Blues 2: The Colonel falls into many different genres. The main factors that set it apart are region, historical period, main character veteran status, age and fitness level for that age. So many straight romances I read - courtesy of author friends’ ARCs and Kindle editions and relatives’ used paperbacks - feature thirty-something heroines with expiring eggs. Where are the women my age (nearly 49) and up? Where are the women veterans? So I took that and applied it to my LGBT writing. Granted, I enjoy the periods most historical romances cover, but I haven’t seen one for the Korean War yet. I’m pretty sure there are some romances set in my home state of Louisiana.
As of this moment, to my knowledge, this is the first Louisiana Lesbian Military Historical Romance. I’m also fairly certain it’s the first Lesbian Military Romance, Louisiana or otherwise, though I sincerely hope that female veterans’ writing projects will change that.

All right.


 


So, give us a teaser or two of the book if you can.

 

The night before Aung was to leave, the unit gave her a bon voyage party, and the nurses presented her with a suitcase filled with American-style clothes and shoes and a nurse’s cape. Afterwards, Aung and Marty had savored one last night together, tucked away in their favorite corner of Korea. Now, a couple hours before the Jeep was to take Aung to the airport, they were having a private spring picnic, leaning against a boulder on the hillside, their wine, cheese and crackers arranged on a checkered blanket among the wildflowers.

As they gazed into each other’s eyes, there was a pop and the wine bottle shattered at their feet. As they scrambled toward the bushes behind the boulder, Aung shuddered and grabbed at her chest. Marty lifted a blood-soaked Aung into her arms and ran as fast as she could to get her to the hospital, zigzagging her path. The sniper fire continued behind her. Personnel were darting left and right to get inside the nearest doors. Halfway across the compound, Marty felt a burst of pain in her right hip and fell to the ground with Aung.

The ambulance pulled up behind them almost instantly. Corpsmen loaded them onto litters and delivered them safely to the hospital. Aung was immediately sent into the operating room. Thankfully, Brian and his partner in crime, Tomcat Masters, were already there on duty. Marty commanded the nurse debriding the wound in her right hip to hurry up and shoot a local in it, so she could get into the O.R. In short order, Marty was at the table next to Aung’s, where her kindly old Commanding Officer awaited her. They both gazed over at the next table. “How’s our girl, lads?” he called over.

“Stupid sniper got the aorta. We’ve got the bullet and glass fragments out, but she’s lost a lot of blood. We’ve already hung two units.” 

“Pulse is dropping,” the nurse at Aung’s head informed the chief surgeon, and quickly began squeezing the tubing below the blood bag several times. 

Masters turned to the nurse at Aung’s feet, “Two more units of O negative, stat!” The nurse at her head called out her vitals as the surgeons continued to work feverishly to close the aorta. 

“C’mon, Aung, you’ve got gumbo and garlic bread waiting in Baton Rouge,” said Johnson. 

“Pulse is getting stronger.” 

“You see any leaks?” Johnson asked Masters. 

“Nope, you?” replied Masters. 

“Me neither,” said Johnson. 

“Pulse, BP and respiration are all good. Nice and strong,” the nurse anesthetist reported through her mask as the assisting nurse passed silk sutures to the surgeons.

The surgeons turned to Marty as their C.O. patted her shoulder. “You heard that? One freshman nursing student, ready to go. Well, as soon as she’s up to it.” 

Marty breathed a sigh of relief and rolled face down so the Colonel could work on her. The Colonel examined the slug before tossing it into a basin and reached for the threaded needle offered by his assisting nurse. “No fragmentation,” he said. “But you’ll have to cancel your bid for Olympic track and field.” 

“Sciatic trauma?” Marty asked. 

“Yep.” 

“I can live with that.” 

“I can ship you to Seoul for some physical therapy and R&R,” offered the Colonel, patting her hand. 

“Be glad to route you there with another patient.” 

“Thank you, Sir,” Marty replied as two corpsmen carried her out to Post Op. Johnson ruffled her hair as he passed through Post Op en route to the office, “I’ll go notify Jan and the Dean of the change in plans, then stroll over to Aung’s place and have some tea.” 

“Good man,” replied Marty, patting his arm gratefully.

It took some time for Aung to heal up enough to be cleared for travel. Then the Colonel had to revoke all Seoul passes due to visiting dignitaries. Then the action at the front picked up again and Marty had to stay. Finally, things settled down to a dull roar again, and they made it to Kimpo for Aung to catch her flight. Marty led her into a shadowy corner under some stairs and held her close for several minutes, brushing her ears, nose and lips with kisses. “Oh, my heart. I’ll come home as soon as I can. Meanwhile, we’ve got letters, telegrams and phone calls. Jan’ll show you how to drive and send care packages and make a roux. You’re gonna love Livingston, honey. It’s quiet and friendly and you can grow anything you want in our garden. Be sure to let me know if you need anything.” With that, Marty slipped an envelope filled with extra cash into her hand.

“Com som ni da. I love you always, Marty-san,” Aung replied softly, slipping a Buddhist book and a strand of handmade beads into Marty’s pocket. “These will keep us close until we are reunited in the States.”


Ooh! I definitely want to know what happens next.

 

Let's try a different question, okay?


I'm sure readers are curious about your next writing project. Can you tell us what you've got cooking up now or is that a secret?

 

Next up is Blues 3: The Twins, which will cover the personal and professional lives of Colonel Marty’s female nephews, Sam and Ace, who are actively serving in the U.S. Army at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in Hackberry, Louisiana and at Murdo Station in Antarctica. I hope to research and discover what the newly instituted changes mean for them and their careers and home lives. At the very least, I’m thinking their stations may change to more hazardous assignments as they try moving up the career ladder in time for retirement. I have no idea what their choices and risks will be or who will survive. Along the way, one or both might attend a "womyn’s" music festival, where I’ll introduce the main character for my new series of spa mysteries. Stay tuned!


Very exciting! Sounds like you have it all figured out.

 

We certainly look forward to your other books! 

 



Thanks so much for stopping by to tell us about Blues 2: The Colonel, Belinda! 


Of course!


Readers, you'll just have to pick up a copy of this great Lesbian Historical Military Romance! ;)

 

https://payhip.com/b/ZFcg
  

Here is the blurb.

 

Lesbian military romance. Colonel Marty is back and under the gun. The church elder from Blues in the Night returns to rescue bullet-riddled lovers from the frontlines in the Korean War and back home in Louisiana. Can the retired Army nurse make it through the fire to her wedding day? 

 

Purchase Link:  https://payhip.com/b/ZFcg

 
Sounds like a great read! 


 


About the Author:

  

Belinda Y. Hughes is the author of Blues 2: The Colonel, Blues in the Night, Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 1 and 2 and Living Proof. She enjoys cozy mysteries, hot romances, aromatherapy bubble baths and hiking in the woods. Upcoming books include Blues 3: The Twins, another Louisiana lesbian military romance, in which Sam and Ace will take advantage of newly expanded MOS opportunities to further their military careers while trying to maintain their love lives. A new series involving natural health-themed cozy mysteries will begin soon.
 

Author Links:




  
Belinda's Books:
 
https://payhip.com/b/ZFcg

 
http://www.amazon.com/BLUES-NIGHT-Belinda-Y-Hughes-ebook/dp/B00ZQW7ZNC/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Red-Hot-Veggie-Lover-ebook/dp/B00H4L35NM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393011110&sr=1-1





Living Proof 



http://www.booklocker.com/books/1979.html

     

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for having me, Marie - and for lighting a fire under me to write this new book! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love this interview. Looking forward to reading the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks for checking out the interview, KakaNgilo! I can't wait to read your thoughts on the book. :-)

      Delete

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