"C. Spencer brings meaningful narratives
to the queer literary scene."
SO IT WENT LIKE THIS
One day, Kennedy’s life is at a standstill on her therapist’s couch as she psychoanalyzes herself, her latest short-term failure of a relationship, and all of those mistakes she’s made along the way. Next, on impulse, she’s booking a get-away. Where better to find herself than a luminous gay-owned bed and breakfast on the coast of Maine?
Enter Logan, a stranger who approaches her in the lobby. Logan who’s oh so persuasive and determined to win her over. And maybe she does. Or maybe she’s beginning to, at least. But as the two find they’re inexplicably drawn to one another during an intoxicating and completely sublime few days secluded far away from reality, they’re also struggling with its transience.
So It Went Like This is a candid and deeply personal exploration of fate, chosen family, and that dreamy vulnerability intrinsic in life’s uncertainties, as told in interwoven perspectives. It’s a portrait that seeks an answer to an enduring question: What if some were predestined and meant for one another?
ON SECOND THOUGHT
Love is never easy.
But once you add a complicated ex-wife and eight-year-old daughter, you’re playing with a new set of rules. Madisen’s just beginning to figure those rules out when she meets Rae in what becomes an all-consuming affair filled with late nights and exhausted euphoria. Rae is charming. Madisen is smitten. And life couldn’t feel more perfect.
At least, that is, until her ex-wife begins to have second thoughts.
TRUTH OR DARE
It’s a long weekend among six friends whose lives have intertwined through years of U-Hauls and regrets, almosts and what-ifs. From the salt-sprinkled sidewalks downtown to outer bedroom communities, Mother Nature has its way of seducing even the most set in her ways to look at herself and others more closely.
So when that poorly timed snowstorm whirls into their New England town, it threatens to kick pent-up desires and tightly held secrets over the edge. This comes first for Jessie, who returns to her closest friend when her latest “relationship” ends in disaster—only to wind up further complicating matters. Except Hadley’s not about to be her next fling.
Ella and Sam Lasley are beyond content being years away from single, and a lot is banking on this weekend’s anniversary. But even as charming as Sam tries to be, months of planning might take a back burner to ingenuity if this snow keeps piling up—that is, if she can keep her wife’s mind off of work.
Ryan’s hoping three days off might help her reconnect with that out-of-her-league and much younger girlfriend, Brie. Still, faced with more turmoil than a late twenty-something can handle, Brie’s more engrossed in soul-searching and reminiscing. Those differences could be their demise, especially when Ryan makes an unexpected and heart-wrenching discovery of her own.
It’s hard to stand still amid a whirlwind of romance, anguish, and completely unexpected confessions. Still if everyone would just keep it together for the next few days, and if this snow would taper off, they just might pull off Sunday’s celebration. Drama-free.
I grew up in Southern California during the 70s and 80s, watching Disneyland fireworks off my balcony and ditching school to hit Tower Records and thrift shops on Melrose Avenue. I spent two years as an art major in college only to switch mid-way to English Literature, which led to an unnatural obsession with Hester Prynne, Lady Brett Ashley, and Henry David Thoreau’s lifestyle of resistance.
After graduating, I packed my car and moved to Burlington, Vermont sight unseen, living in the land of maple syrup and snowboarding for the next ten years. I currently reside in Western Massachusetts. I've worked as a copywriter and editor since 2001. In 2013, I began writing fiction on the side.
Kennedy’s taking some time away after a failed relationship and some self-evaluation. Meeting Logan, the two of them strike up an unusual connection. Determined to win Kennedy over, Logan persuades her to indulge in their secluded get away location, but they’re both struggling with very personal things.
Such an insightful and thought-provoking story, told from different perspectives to give a well-rounded account of events and the developing relationship between Kennedy and Logan. Kennedy was easy to identify with. Going through all she was it was understandable she just wanted to get away from it all and escape reality. It was brilliant how meeting Logan was like fate, depicting a typical situation we can all relate to. Everyone at some moment will have had that moment they wanted to be alone when someone came along and you didn’t know you needed their presence.
In a way everything that happened was magical and an exploration of life at its best. Throwing curveballs and the unexpected, disrupting plans for solitude, and bringing people into our lives to teach lessons or provide moments of realisation. That was definitely happening to Kennedy but there was no way to avoid Logan. Something bigger than both of them was at play and the way it brought them together as a great reminder that life will provide what you need, when you need it, so just go with it.
A great story, with much depth and self-exploration that not only leads Kennedy and Logan but has a profound effect on the reader too. I loved their connection and learned so much about just being vulnerable and giving into the natural opportunities that life presents to you." - NetGalley review of "So It Went Like This"
"C. Spencer is a new name to me, and I was absolutely blown away by ‘On Second Thought’. With her wonderfully realised main protagonists in Rae and Madisen, Spencer has created a wonderful romance that is better than anything I have read recently. Pitch-perfect plotting and flowing, crisp prose, ensures this is a standout, must-read for fans of lesfic. Sexy, romantic and intriguingly unpredictable, I was swept away by this wonderful story of star-crossed lovers. Oozing sensuality and dripping with sexual tension, I will definitely be rereading this book again... soon!" - NetGalley review of "On Second Thought"
"The intriguing blurb of this novel drew me in and it didn’t take long to devour this uniquely written book. What sets this book apart from most is first, the flipping of first person POV between Rae and Madisen and second, the sparkling tête-à-tête dialogue between them. Moreover, there was an interesting dichotomy to this story where their romance races at Mach speeds yet at the same time there is abrupt stagnancy from cautious introspection of their predicaments. This contrasting approach to the writing kept me on my toes and glued to the pages for a unique experience I won’t soon forget." - NetGalley review of "On Second Thought"
"This book is very different. The writing style in particular is very unusual. In lots of ways it’s pretty challenging and at times hard to follow the narrative and timeline, but stick with it because it’s very, very good. So many sentences are stunningly beautiful. The brief portrait of the critical mother is so acute it made me gasp with recognition. I think a lot of readers won’t like the book because it’s not a relaxing easy romance read, it’s clever and more literary. Personally I loved it, but be prepared to put some effort in because you need to properly read this one. There are so many blink and you’ll miss it moments. The friends and their relationships are sublime." - NetGalley review of "On Second Thought"
"Here we have a novel that is unique, both in narration style and content, that shows how different a lesbian romance can be, and I think the story is richer for it. I’ve noticed what I wouldn’t exactly call 'rules,' but something close to it, that seems to carve out a certain expectation for the lesbian fiction genre. I was thrilled to read another book that operated outside of them.... Fiction should be all things imaginative, and I may be on my own island with the realism prerogative, but at least that island has books like this on it." - The Lesbian 52 on "On Second Thought"
"I love the reminder this book offers that we’re never alone....It's a must read for those who enjoy unique and well-done character work and a multiple-character structure that allows for a more expansive look at our humanity. Because of its depth and many layers woven into this work, I know it's one of those books that will offer something new with each read, so it's a story I'll revisit many times." - The Lesbian Review on "Truth or Dare"
“This is more than a romance novel. I think it’s a Lesbian Romance and Drama novel. It’s written from all six protagonists’ point of view and with every change of perspective the author headlines which character we are reading from at that time....The dialogue is fast paced and witty which I really appreciated; there is no messing around with this book. Great debut novel and I can’t wait for what’s next from C. Spencer." - Les Rêveur on "Truth or Dare"
“Truth or Dare is an entirely fun read. It’s a low-tension slice-of-life meditation on the way that lives intersect....When Truth or Dare reaches into the realm of the erotic, it excels. Such scenes are sexy and palpable....This book is a must for fans of multiple-character structures and shows like The L Word. Truth or Dare is charming with its stories of queer women falling in and out of love. It is smart, funny, and romantic—the perfect read for a snowy night in." - Forward Reviews on "Truth or Dare"
"To say I was pleased would be an understatement. Here’s a quick summary—As a snowstorm rolls into town disrupting a long weekend among friends, a window is cleared into the lives of six women all in different stages of life—new love, old love, and love that’s since past. Alternating perspectives between Jessie, Hadley, Sam, Ella, Ryan, and Brie give an in-depth look into each woman’s life as relationships are examined leading up to an anniversary celebration.
Six alternating, first-person narratives is such a challenge and Spencer really outdid herself. Tone, voice, and word choice were all so distinct between each character. I really appreciated those small details that set them all apart, but also, the name of the character or relationship was given before each chapter/section where there was a change, making it even easier to keep track, though I don’t mind working a little for my fiction. The layout allowed for a seamless look inside each character’s head.
Perhaps even more impressive than the distinct voices were the compelling personalities of six very different women. Each character had their own edge, not always positive, but not exactly negative either—just, real. Take Sam and Ella, the couple who’ve been married five years and are still very much in love. While their narratives carry that romantic feel, they also don’t sidestep around the pitfalls of long-term relationships. Spencer allows her characters to be honest, whether it’s aching for a past lover or seizing the love in front of them.
If you’re looking for a story full of introspectiveness, compelling characters, and a wider view of the lesbian relationship, you might enjoy Truth or Dare." - The Lesbian 52 on "Truth or Dare"