Award-Winning Author of Slow-Burn Romances between Strong Women

Giveaway of lesbian romance novel “Alone” by E.J. Noyes

E.J. Noyes lesbian book giveawayThis week’s interviewee is fellow lesbian romance author E.J. Noyes, whose debut novel Ask, Tell is one of my favorite f/f romances.

E.J. is giving away two paperback copies of her latest book, Alone, sent worldwide, so don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!


Welcome, E.J. Please tell us a little about your newest release, Alone.

I’ve spent so long calling Alone “The Weird One” while trying not to give too much away, and it’s really hard to wean myself off just describing it with those three words! I suppose the first thing I can say about it is this is a novel I’m incredibly proud of, weirdness and all.

Celeste Thorne has been living in isolation for the past three-ish years as part of a four-year psychological experiment, and if she sees it through to the end she’ll get half a million dollars. Sweet deal. On paper, the experiment is designed to test people’s mental stamina for colonization of other planets, so the main and most important part of the experiment is that she’s totally alone. No voices or faces in any way shape or form, and her only human contact is via daily text logs with the people monitoring her. Celeste does have visitors—hallucinations of people she knows, which means she can at least have a conversation, even if it’s a rather one-sided one.

Unsurprisingly, she’s starting to be worn down by her isolation, when she encounters an injured Olivia Soldano. Olivia’s arrival sets off a chain reaction of moral and personal dilemmas regarding compromising the experiment, and also Celeste’s own needs as a woman who’s literally seen nobody for the past three-plus years. They’re forced to co-inhabit Celeste’s dwelling for a little while and, well, I write romance so…

As well as morality, I think Alone raises some interesting points about trust – trusting a stranger but also how much can you trust your own emotions when it’s possible they’re just a result of your upbringing and current circumstances.


I just have to ask: How on earth did you come up with the idea for Alone? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a novel with a similar premise.

Daydreaming, as usual. I’m not sure what exactly triggered the original thought, but I remember thinking about two scientists being forced to live in really close quarters while they monitored some boring experiment like How do plants grow in this xyz scenario, and how initial antagonism would (of course) turn to love. As all my thoughts do, it unraveled pretty quickly. What if only one person was isolated and someone just appeared one day. What if the person was isolated for years, and how would they feel suddenly seeing a human again. What if they weren’t a scientist at all, but just a regular person who wasn’t really equipped to be alone for so long. What if they couldn’t leave until the experiment was done, and maaaaaybe went a little off the rails mentally.

Everything else, all the background and characterisation, was really easy once I figured out what kind of person would participate in such a thing.


If someone offered you the same deal Celeste got in Alone—half a million dollars for four years in total isolation—would you take it? Why or why not?

If you’d asked me fifteen years ago, I would have said unequivocally yes. Casual job, no steady partner or wife, crappy car. Easy, right? I think four years of isolation with no internet or television or people distracting me sounds like the perfect set up to crank out a whole bunch of novels. But I’d miss my current life too much and I’d probably suffer some serious mental health issues as a result. Now I’d have to lean towards not taking it, though the “You could quit your job and travel around skiing with all that money!” part of my brain is screaming at me. Oh, yeah, and I guess life with my wife is worth more than half a million. (Psst, offer me $600,000 and I’ll consider that much time apart from her).

She read this and indignantly told me she’s worth more than $600k. $750k maybe?


Your book Ask, Tell was one of my favorite lesbian fiction romances of the past two years. It was hard to believe that it was your debut novel. Was it really the first book you ever wrote, or have you written other things before?

Ahh, thank you! And yes, it was the first book I ever wrote. Previously, the only things I’d written longer than a few paragraphs were—this is so embarrassing—short fictions I posted on Tumblr for my World of Warcraft roleplaying character. The Tumblr account is long gone, in case anyone is going to rush off trying to find my drivel.


One of the things that sets your books apart from many others in lesbian fiction is your choice of point of view. What do you enjoy about writing in first-person point of view, and could you ever see yourself writing in third-person POV?

Writing in first feels incredibly immersive, which suits how I construct stories in my head. I like to experience things as the character does, and have the same constraints that we as humans have trying to figure out what other people think and feel. I tend to get rather empathetic regarding my characters, so it’s almost—and this always sounds so lame—as if I’m writing something I’m experiencing. But like all POVs it has limitations (see above re: not knowing what other characters are thinking) which I try to work around – sometimes with success, other times not so much.

I have written some third person! I feel like I need a pat on the back… Lena, my historical fiction WIP, is split with “present time” in third person, then historical portions in first person as like a retelling of experiences from the character’s POV. I’m also in the process of turning a novel from first to third which is a new experience—it usually goes the other way when I vow “I am so totally writing this one in third!”, start in third and then realise Wouldn’t it be nice to really know what this character thinks? and change it to first.

When I write in third, it always feels really distant to me, which as a storyteller I don’t like. That said, it is something I would love to master, but I’m still growing and learning as an author so it’ll take some time to get there.

To clarify – it’s only writing in third that I struggle with. I read and love all POVs and tenses.


Your books typically revolve around raw experiences and complex pasts—the main character of Ask Me Again, for example, is suffering from PTSD, and Aspen from Gold hasn’t quite dealt with the physical and emotional consequences of the crash that ended her career. If you are working on a book like that, does it affect your own emotions? How do you make sure your writing doesn’t affect your emotional well-being?

It absolutely affects me, especially being the kind of get right inside the character’s head writer I am. While I’m researching and reading about other people’s experiences it really presses my empathy button, so Ask Me Again was incredibly difficult. It’s hard to make characters you love suffer, and I’ll be honest – I did cry a fair bit while writing it and definitely got a little down at times.

As to how I keep it from affecting my emotional well-being… Frankly, I can’t. Empathy aside, I work fulltime, have six horses, a needy cat, and a wife. I also try to have some sort of life (ha-ha), so my writing time is quite limited. I often find myself in a situation where I could really use a decent break to relax and “un-depress” myself but can’t take one because I have a deadline to meet. So I charge through as best I can. When I find myself close to my emotional limit, I make myself take short breaks to do something else or just get outside for some air, talk to my wife, force the cat to be cuddled. Or I just have a massive teary and then get on with it.


If you could turn any activity into an Olympic discipline, what would you have a pretty good chance at winning a gold medal for?

Standing on the deck yelling, “Stop wrecking your feed bucket/water trough/the fence/your sibling!” at horses.


If animals could talk, what would your cat say about you?

Oh geez, something really embarrassing like… “Mumma E is the best mumma, but needs to stop calling me Precious Purrpurreeni, and telling me that I have the cutest beh-wee and pawpees. My name is Smudge, and the correct words are belly and paws.”


What are your three “if you don’t like this, you can’t be my friend” books in lesbian fiction?

Choosing only three is agony! Especially if they have to be “pure lesfic” which means I can’t really choose The Traitor Baru Cormorant and its sequel The Monster Baru Cormorant which feature a queer female lead, but to me aren’t classified as lesfic. Oh, whoops, I just did mention them… Cough cough, sorrynotsorry.

For real though:

  • Benny Lawrence’s Rabbits of the Apocalypse – because the humour hits me square on the funny bone, the character voice is fabulous, and the book is a really interesting take on the post-apoc genre.
  • Meghan O’Brien’s Wild (especially audio) – a fabulous plot, sexy as hell, and so well executed.
  • Jessica L. Webb’s Trigger – such an interesting concept, and I have a huge character crush on Andy Wyles.


When’s your next book coming out, and what are you working on right now?

Sometime late in 2019 – If the Shoe Fits which focuses on Jana, Sabine Fleischer’s sister from Ask, Tell and Ask Me Again. Instead of books where my characters are already set in their lady-loving ways, I wanted to write a novel about an adult woman realising for the first time that they might be into ladies. Jana nudged me to say maybe there’s a reason she’s so fussy about every guy she dates. I’m also flipping between a bunch of different projects, including my historical fiction, a post-apocalyptic novel, a humorous romance, a dramatic romance, and whatever else pops into my head as an ‘OMG, must write’ like this spy/assassin series that I keep thinking about.

Help, I don’t have enough time.


Where can your readers find out more about you and your books?

The Bella Books site is the best place to check out my work:

If anyone wants to chat and help me procrastinate, I’m always around on Twitter (probably too much…) @zgrokit

Or you can message me on my Facebook page


Book giveaway

E.J. is graciously giving away two paperback copies of her new release, Alone.

She’ll ship worldwide, so anyone can enter. To be entered into the drawing, leave a comment on this blog post.

Entries close on Thursday, June 13, 2019, 10 a.m. CET, when I’ll draw the winners using a random numbers generator. I’ll notify winners via email. Your email address won’t be used for any other purpose.


There’ll be more author interviews, giveaways, and free books every month. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of them, please subscribe to my blog.

The Romance Bet by Jae

Free books
In my monthly reader newsletter, I share not just new releases and other book news but also free books, giveaways, and special offers. As a welcome gift, you also get a free ebook copy of my romantic short story The Romance Bet.

Subscribe to get free books

136 thoughts on “Giveaway of lesbian romance novel “Alone” by E.J. Noyes”

  1. Fabulous interview. And I think I read there that E.J has a cat named Smudge, which is awesome because I do too. And that’s not relevant, sorry, just got excited by furkids.

  2. Great interview! Interesting books recomendations… I have to check out ‘Rabbits of the Apocalypse’
    EJ, can’t wait to read ‘If the shoe fits’!

  3. I’m so looking forward to reading this. I’ve loved (really loved, not just liked a lot) the three books I’ve read so far by E.J. Noyes, and everything I read about this one makes me think I’ll probably love it just as much.

  4. Sounds like an intriguing story, a roller-coaster and giving an insight of the brain when living Alone for a long time. I would love to read this one!

    • Love all your books!! Keep on writing. I look forward to reading more of your exciting ‘daydream’adventures. Cheers

      • Our cat Yuki has a look in his eye when he expects me to keep my hands to myself. Even our dog gives him a wide berth.

  5. Hey there !! 👋👋

    Very interesting & funny interview (Gosh !! I loved the hypothetical new Olympic discipline & Smudge’s words … )
    Thanks for sharing it with us ladies. 😊

    « Alone » is the only released paperback of E.J.’ books missing on my bookshelf.
    I’ve read and loved 😍 😍 😍 😍 « Ask, Tell » (read twice actually), « Ask Me Again » & « Gold » … I’ve shared my reviews about the 3 of them on Goodreads, Amazon (.fr) and in 8 lesfic related groups on FB … « Turbulence » will be read soon (for now, between other things, I’m quite busy betaing)

    That’s soooooooooo cool to think about people who live far (far) away and to agree to send some books worldwide. So, thank you for the thought !!!! => Since my goal is having all E.J.’s paperbacks on my bookshelves, of course, I’d love to win one of the 2 signed copies of « Alone »…. 😉

    About the giveaway : good luck everyone !!! 🙃🙂

    Greetings from Reunion Island 🇷🇪

  6. I’ll read it tomorrow when my preorder arrives :-)
    EJ Noyes is an author I’ll read anything and everything written by without thinking :-)

  7. I’m a bit of Noyes fan and looking forward to reading Alone but I think I’d triple the prize money. Also looking forward to reading If The Shoe Fits, it’ll be great to catch up with the Fleischer sisters.

  8. Ask, Tell is on my permanent re read list and has been read multiple times 😀.
    Alone sounds like a really interesting (but wouldn’t want to do it!) story.

  9. Oh, did you say spy/assassin series? I can’t wait to see if you put that into words! And I have yelled at Chance quite a few times to leave his gear alone! Do you get the blank stare like I do? “What mom? I’s ain’t destroying my feed bucket, I’s playin!”
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the interview and offering your books in the giveaway!

  10. I have spent the last year ping-ponging between reading one of EJ’s books then one of Jae’s, so this interview was delightful.

  11. Omg I love your books! I was hooked from the second I stared reading Ask, Tell! I can’t wait to read this one!!

  12. Few books have affected me like the Ask Tell books. E. J. you have a way with threads and emotions that burrow to a person’s reality. I’m excited about If The Shoe Fits so please don’t disappear for 4 years.
    I’d love to explore the concept of Alone, I can not imagine how well you will draw us all in.

  13. I put this book on my wishlist as soon as I read the blurb. Sounds like a very good read and interesting subject matter.

  14. And now I know why my son recommended The Traitor Baru Cormorant to me. He’s always trying to get me into reading his favorite genre. The queer female protagonist would be a draw for me. I might actually try it. Looking forward to reading Alone! It sounds awesome.

  15. Whenever anyone asks what lesfic books they should start with, I immediately state “absolutely anything by EJ Noyes.” Excellent Q&A here, many of my own questions were answered about Alone, especially how it affected the author personally. EJ, I figure there was more than one gin involved in this writing process!

  16. That’s really interesting about writing in the different POV. Noyes does a fantastic job of delivering the characters so you can feel what they feel!

  17. Two of my favourite authors, talking about books. What could be better 😁 I‘m always looking forward to new releases. 😀

  18. “Ask, Tell” is a damn fine book and the premise of “Alone” sounds fascinating. I look forward to reading it!

  19. I don’t think it would be good for my mental health to be alone for longer than a week. But I’m very curious about this storyline.

  20. Great interview! Loved E.J. Noyes’ “Turbulence” and look forward to reading the rest of your books including this newest one.

  21. I have read everything Noyes has done so far. Even reviewed a few. I was so looking forward to this story, and even if I don’t win this free copy, it WILL be in my collection shortly. :)

  22. Alone sounds like an interesting psychological experiment but I dought that situation would happen on any normal human space exploration.

  23. Great interview! Ask, Tell and Ask Me Again, are in my top ten list for novels! I’m really looking forward to reading Alone. I like the psychological aspect of it, and I have often wondered if I could do *insert task here* for a large sum of money. I think I could, but. . .

  24. Great interview! I love “Ask, Tell,” and I think “Alone” sounds intriguing. Also, the Baru Cormorant series is amazing.

    • Great interview. Two of my favorite authors discussing books. How great is that? Can’t wait to read Alone. Sounds intriguing.

  25. Great interview! My cats too would correct my words. Looking forward to this book. I will have to look up her other ones as well.

  26. Very nice interview! I’ll definitely have to check out those other lesfic books. I trust Emily’s judgement :)

  27. Ask, Tell is in my top five favorite books right now. Gold is up there too. I also recommend any of her books.

  28. I too, read
    Ask, Tell and just really enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading more. New authors are fun to follow.

  29. I would second suggesting The Traitor Baru Cormorant and its sequel The Monster Baru Cormorant

    Looking forward to Alone too. :D

  30. E.J.-I know I am a total fangirl over you and your stories! I have read all of your books except Alone, which I am very eager to read. ASK, TELL is one of my ALL TIME favs and profoundly affected me. The level of detail you used during “the incident ” was outstanding. Your writing has such depth! I could go on…suffice it to say- Please keep ’em coming!! Ps I have recently read Jae’s Backwards to Oregon and loved it too!

  31. Thank you for the great interview. I loved reading Alone and it’s competing for the top spots on my re-read list with all of E.J. Noyes books. If I don’t win, I’ll buy this one as a paperback for sure. :-)

  32. loved reading this interview; E.J is so funny and a total sweetheart! Alone was already on my to-read list but, this got me excited to read all over again :)

  33. Great interview and I can’t wait to read the new book by E.J. Noyes. I absolutly lover all her other books so i am sure i will love this just as much.

  34. Great interview! Thanks for sharing. A very cleaver and engaging story, really had me engrossed. Loved Gold too and look forward to reading the others!
    Thank you 😊

  35. Wow this book sounds so intriguing. I havent read any of this authors works and it sounds like I might really be missing out. I cant afford a lot of books. But I am going to have to try and get one of hers for sure. Sure wish someone would offer me money to live alone when I was younger. For that much money I could have done it. If I could have furbabies. As long as I have animals I am contented.
    But I hope I can be lucky for a change and win a copy of this book. Really enjoyed the interview too.

  36. Wow the premise of that story does indeed sound intriguing and definitely like something i never seen or heard before.

    But damn 4 years for half a mil… that is a long time. There are degrading tv shows that offer more for a few weeks of being screamed at ;-)
    But seriously this story does sound like a must read.

  37. The book has a fascinating premise for sure.
    Sign me up for the second part, the part where you travel around the world skiing with all that money.

  38. I would totally take the half million, just give me unlimited books, a full pantry and gourmet kitchen. I look forward to reading Alone. A great concept.

  39. What an interesting concept. Half a million sounds great… but I would have gone mad, for sure. Oh, and I was totally taken by surprise just now that I know there’s going to be a book about Jana!!!! I remembered feeling bad about the coffee guy (but not anymore lol). Can’t wait to read them both.

  40. Ask, Tell is one of my faves! I really enjoyed Gold and Turbulence too. Have just moved Noyes’ other books to the top of my to read list. Thanks for the interview, always interesting to hear from the writer herself.

  41. This is a great interview and I really enjoyed learning more about one of my favored authors. Thanks for your candid interview.

  42. my favorites books of EJ Noyes are Ask, Tell and Turbulence. everyone is talking about it and I’m definitely excited to get a copy of Alone

  43. Great interview and now that school is over for the summer I can finally read all the books that have been piling up, including Ask Tell. I cannot wait.

  44. Great interview and now that school is over for the summer I can finally read all the books that have been piling up, including Ask Tell. I cannot wait.

  45. Since discovering her books, I’ve become such an EJ fan girl. I’m keeping this book for when I hit a reading slump and need something I know will get me excited about being a bookworm again.

  46. Loved the interview, thanks for taking the time! I’ve got a couple of your titles on my “buy soon” list, and the new one (Alone) sounds intriguing.

  47. Thanks for such a fun interview. What a delight to find this cool insight into how she produces such amazing books. Great to see Meghan O’Brien makes her list. Will have to check out the others. Waiting for a Noyes release I’m like a 5 year old a week before Christmas, staring at the base of the tree, desperate to rip open the boxes. And I tear through them as soon as the preorder downloads! ALONE is another fantastic piece of writing. I couldn’t stop reading it and now will savor a second or third go round, still rooted to the spot I opened it, surround by the wrapping. Good job!

  48. I’ve just discovered EJ but all her stuff sounds really good. Can’t wait to start reading. (Obv a free copy of Alone would be fab)!

  49. I enjoyed Ask Tell and Turbulence but Gold is my favorite so far. Alone sounds really interesting and is definitely added to my wish list. Thanks for the interview and a chance to win a copy.

  50. Great Interview 😃👌🏻 my favourite part is about the gold medal in the Olympics 🤣🤣🤣👍🏻

    ‘Ask, Tell’ was my first of E.J. Noyes, loved the book and right after got Ask Me Again, couldn’t resist 😉.

    I’ve heard great things about ‘Alone’, hope I can read it soon. 😊

    Thank you both, this is great 👍🏻

  51. Thanks to both of you for a great interview giving us a glimpse into the life of an author’s whose books are among some of my favourite releases in the last few years. It was really neat to see Benny Lawrence’s book on your list of three books….wicked humour.


Leave a Comment