Title: Her Name
Author Name: Alicia Joseph
Publication Date & Length: July 10th, 2014 – 94 pgs
Madison Andrews believes she has found the love of her life… but only in her dreams. She is convinced the woman is real and she seeks out their life together and the love she believes is her destiny. But how can Madison find the love of her life…and convince herself and her friends she’s not just escaping the death of her mother?
Madison Andrews has spent her entire life–unsuccessfully–searching for love. She begins having vivid dreams of the same woman every night, and soon, Madison believes this woman is the love she has been searching for. Madison’s dreams become more intense and she realizes the dreams she’s having recreate moments taken from actual events from her life–and this woman is there for all of it. Madison searches for her, but how can she find a woman she knows everything about… and yet nothing? She doesn’t even know her name.
“Did you ever have a dream where you woke feeling like it was real?” This is the perfect quote for this book.
From the moment I picked up this book, I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. I just had to know what happened and what was going on. There were moments where I though Madison was going crazy, just like she did. At other times I felt her frustration of no one understanding what she was going through.
Madison has dreams that feel so real that she expects to wake up next to the most amazing woman she’s ever met… Only there is no one there and no one else has met this woman. She doesn’t appear in any of the photographs that were in her dreams.
It’s the most mysterious and frustrating thing for Madison… and yet so incredibly interesting that you won’t be able to put the book down until the mystery is solved.
I absolutely adored this book and how well written it was. I connected with Madison and the unnamed (for the most part) woman. I cried. I certainly laughed at Shelly, Madison’s best friend.
I would definitely recommend Alicia Joseph’s work and would quickly snatch up any of her other novel/novellas.
Oh my God, this book! I’m not even sure where to begin. It’s hard for me to find a book where I can’t figure out the ending in twenty minutes or less, but this is definitely one book I could not figure out. There’s an element of the paranormal running throughout which is most fascinating and essential to the plot.
This story travels through the best and worst times of a relationship in only a few short pages, and it kept my rapt attention the entire time. I can’t honestly get the characters out of my head, and I’m sure I’ll be thinking about it for days and even weeks after. The characters are so real, even the side characters have personalities that pop and make them real.
I laughed and cried right along with Madison as she went through the motions of trying to figure out what was going on. Mostly, and probably, because I was right there with her trying to figure it all out and wanting to know who the mysterious woman was. I had a hard time getting her out of my head, the same way I’m sure Madison felt.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a quick contemporary read. I’m trying not to give away too much here as I gush, but this book has certainly had an impact on me. It gives me a lot to think about concerning the choices we make and believing in others. There are so many meanings about trust, friendship, family and true love in such a short piece. I find it amazing that the author was able to fit in so much in so little.
I will definitely be reading future works from Alicia, and I plan on re-reading this book in the future.
Now, I laid down my fork and leaned into my seat. I knew she didn’t want to talk about this anymore, but I did. “This all sounds crazy to you, and maybe in the beginning, it was something to joke about, but now, I’m not sure. These pictures were taken directly out of my life, and this woman was in every one of them. You can’t tell me I just dreamed it from memory, because my memory isn’t that good! The photos were identical all the way from the clothes we wore, to the smile on our faces. Hell, even the background was the same! She was the only thing that was different. How could that be?”
I stared at her, waiting for a response as she took it all in.
“Like I said on the phone, I just don’t know what you want me to say. I’m not sure what you’re asking me. Is it weird? Yeah, totally, but I’m no dream expert, and neither are you. Like I said before, maybe it’s your subconscious taking over. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, and it probably has some fancy scientific name.”
“She’s my wife,” I said flatly. “I saw a picture of us from our wedding, and we looked like we belonged together. We know each other. I mean, really know each other. I wish you could see us together, because you’ve never seen me this way with anyone before.”
“And what way is that?”
“In love,” I answered.
“In love,” Shelly repeated and then pushed herself away from the table. “Well, Maddy, me seeing you with her is something that will never happen. Do you wanna know why that will never happen?”
“I know why you think that will never happen, but that’s where you’re wrong.” I stared at her and said, “I’m just gonna come out and say it. I think she’s real.”
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What is one thing, not in your bio, totally random that only a few people know? The movie You’ve Got Mail always makes me smile and puts me in a good mood. I’m sure the fact that it revolves around books has something to do with that. 🙂
What made you decide to write? If it even was a decision. And what kept you at it? I didn’t start writing until after high school, aside for some really bad poetry, (which for some reason I still have). For a while I thought I was going to do something with music. I was drawn to it for the same reason I think we all are — because it’s inspiring. The most beloved movie scenes probably wouldn’t have evoked the same, strong emotion that captured an audience without background music. That’s what I need — background music to accompany every pivotal moment in my life. Haha! That would be nice and I did play a little piano and guitar growing up, but quickly realized I was terrible at keeping time (even with a metronome) and my voice was awful. I have no sense of pitch.
So my musical aspirations ended there, but I still wanted to be creative and since I’d always loved books, writing was the next natural creative outlet for me. In college, I took every writing course available to me, including screenwriting classes. I wanted to learn the craft in every style. I’m still learning and I hope that never changes because I only want to get better.
I keep at it because there is no replacement for writing. Writing is it for me. It’s hard to get right and I’ve gotten it wrong so many times, but giving up was never an option.
What interested you in writing fantasy romance? Did it live up to expectations? I didn’t set out to write a fantasy romance, but I was inspired and when inspiration talks to you, you listen. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of fate verses how much of our own destiny we control. Is something truly not meant to be or could we have made different choices to change the course of our lives that would have made that “something” attainable? This story explores that idea.
Her Name is story about a woman, Madison, who believes the woman she dreams about is the real love of her life. Madison’s dreams become so vivid that she’s certain this woman is real and that they shared a life together. While trying to find this woman, Madison discovers that she and this woman have met in real life. Their paths cross, but can fate alone bring them together? Will the universe force the two women to open their eyes and recognize the moment for what it is – their destiny?
This little novella beat any expectations I had. I am so proud of Her Name because it truly was one hundred percent inspiration that made me write it. I can remember jumping out of bed at two in the morning, just as I was about to fall asleep, because another idea came to me and I needed to write it down in my notepad before I forgot. That enthusiasm and excitement about this story was a lot of fun.
There were a couple ways this story could have ended, but for a reason I’ll never tell, it had to end this way.
Here’s a more serious question. What is it like to write in the LGBT realm of craziness that we all support? What’s it like to dip the toe into the rainbow through writing and publishing? This is a great question. I am a new author, so I’m only beginning to step into this realm of craziness, but I’ve already seen examples of authors supporting other authors – across all genres. It’s wonderful and completely uplifting because we’re all in this together and need a strong community. I believe we have that and I’m hoping I get to be a part of this “craziness” for a long time because I think it fits me.
Any thoughts on the importance of supporting the LGBT literary genre in a world that is changing so quickly? I’m new to publishing all together, not just in the gay and lesbian genre. I’m marketing my book on social media, just like every author has to do. Of course, a lesbian romance may not be a desired read for all people, but I’m not limiting myself. I think it’s important to put your work out there for everyone to see. When I promo in Facebook groups, I don’t just select the ones with the lesbian labels. I include my lesbian book in all groups.
I targeted a reviewer once because she specifically stated that she didn’t like novellas and had never read lesbian fiction before. My immediate thought was, “I gotta get this woman to review my book.” Maybe it wasn’t the best strategy, but it worked. She was very generous with her review. She thought the shorter length was perfect because the story felt complete and she was okay with the f/f love story. She gave the book five stars and that meant a lot to me because it wasn’t her genre.
I’ll continue to work to get my book in the hands of people who wouldn’t normally read it. I’d love it if after reading my book, that reviewer decided to give a different lesbian romance author a try. That’s how we build off one another and support the LGBT genre. Get your book out there and don’t limit yourself!
Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. This is her first published novella. She is currently working on a new lesbian romance novel. When she is not writing, the author enjoys volunteering with animals, reading, and spending time with her many nieces and nephews.
Author’s Website: http://www.aliciajoseph.com/