Forbidden Fruit Blog Tour: Rachel O. Esplanade interviews Allison Wonderland

Forbidden FruitBecause I just can’t get enough of Forbidden Fruit, I’m hosting another stop on the blog tour. ;-) Rachel O. Esplanade, whom I interviewed last week, is interviewing Allison Wonderland about her story ‘Ungodly Ours’ in Forbidden Fruit.

Rachel O. Esplanade: The influence of organized religion on the characters in your story “Ungodly Ours” in Forbidden Fruit is very strong and spoke to me. Was religion a strong influence on you during your formative years? Are you a religious person yourself?

Allison Wonderland: Not at all. I identify as Jewish, but I’m essentially non-practicing. The story’s protagonist, Nadine, is raised in a family of faithful and fecund Fundamentalists. You know the caveat “Write what you know”? Well, for this story, I decided to take a flying leap out of my comfort zone and write what I know nothing about. Which is why I was up at ungodly hours writing “Ungodly Ours.”

Rachel O. Esplanade: You have had over thirty stories published in a wide range of anthologies over the last number of years. Where do you derive your story ideas from?

Allison WonderlandDivine intervention. Just kidding. You know how you always find things when you’re not actively looking for them? That’s how my ideas come to me. I’ll be somewhere – a roller derby, a theme park, a department store – and all of a sudden I’ll think This would be a great setting for a story. I can even be somewhere as seemingly uninspiring as the living room, in front of the television. That’s how “Ungodly Ours” came into creation. One of my guilty pleasures is a reality program popular in the States about a copious Christian family that expects every member to be strait-laced, straightforward, and, of course, straight. I started to wonder What if one of this family’s nearly two-dozen offspring develops feelings for someone of the same sex? It’s inconceivable. It’s incomprehensible. It’s inevitable. So if you join ‘em, you can beat ‘em.

Rachel O. Esplanade: Of the two lovers in your story, which character did you identify most with, Rebecca or Nadine? Why?

Allison Wonderland:  Nadine, for sure. She’s unobtrusive yet unmistakable, subdued but not subservient. She likes to think, rethink, and overthink, and I’m exactly the same way. In that sense, I did write what I know, and it really enabled me to embrace and embody the character.

Rachel O. Esplanade: What drives you to write, to actually sit down and bring a story to fruition?

Allison WonderlandDeadlines. I’m a procrastinating perfectionist, so I approach writing with a mixture of fright and delight. I love generating ideas and settings and titles for stories, and there’s nothing more fearful or wonderful than the blank page. Once an idea is ignited, it has to be incited, and that’s where deadlines come in. They’re my fruition ignition, if you will.

Rachel O. Esplanade: What is your favorite fruit? If forbidden, would you care to elaborate?

Allison WonderlandAvocado, apricot, and pineapple. Hey, there’s more than one way to be fruitful and multiply.

Excerpt from ‘Ungoldy Ours':

“Mom and I have something we’d like to discuss with you.”

You snitched, didn’t You? I glower at God. I begged You not to tell. I even promised You my firstborn.

I scramble to get my jumbled thoughts in order. I haven’t been sinning. I haven’t even been rebelling. I’ve just been… resisting. Gently, passively, secretly. Submissive in practice, dismissive in theory. When Rebecca comes over, my parents and siblings hold us accountable for our purity, even though they have no idea that that’s what they’re doing. It’s acceptable for girls to show each other physical affection, but Rebecca and I barely brush arms and we absolutely never kiss, not even on the cheek. When we say goodbye, we don’t frontal-hug, because that would make our breasts touch. Instead we side-hug, arms around each other’s shoulders, a perfect imitation of Thing 1 and Thing 2. At all times we are careful and prayerful.

So how did Mom and Dad discover that I am disobedient? Imperfect. Satanic. They will hate the sinner, not the sin. I will be excommunicated, exorcised, and excised from my family like bad words on TV or a filthy passage in a book. Unless I tell them the God’s honest truth. The truth is He’s got designs on us, and I don’t mean that disrespectfully. I mean we don’t get to decide how we’re designed. We only get to decide how to respond to God’s design, and I choose to respond by accepting the way He created me: in His image. Our Savior is not unsavory. So, by association, I am not guilty. Jesus already died for my sins. It’s no longer His cross to bear. Just because I’ve fallen for a woman doesn’t make me a fallen woman. It’s not like I’ve bared my body or shared it with some man. I haven’t even shared it with her. Mom and Dad have taught me well and I will show them how much their dutiful daughter has learned, so help me God.

Seriously, God—I need you. So help me. Please.

* * *

The next stop on the Forbidden Fruit blog tour is Erzabet Bishop interviewing Nicole Wolfe

Leave a comment on any post in the Forbidden Fruit blog tour to be entered into a random draw to win one of these great prizes. Prizes include a paperback copy ofGirls Who Score, lesbian sports erotica edited by Ily Goyanes, Best Lesbian Romance 2011 edited by Radclyffe, an ebook of Ladylit’s first lesbian anthology Anything She Wants, and a bundle of three mini-anthologies from Ladylit: Sweat, A Christmas to Remember and Bossy. All of these titles contain some stories written by the fabulous contributors to Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire. You must include an email address in your comment to be entered into the draw.

Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire is available direct from Ladylit or from Amazon, Smashwords, and other good retailers of ebooks. Check out Ladylit for all purchasing information.

EXTRA: We’re currently running a Goodreads giveaway. Enter here to win a paperback copy of Forbidden Fruit >>

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A Snog For Sommer

A Snog For Sommer

Fellow erotica author Sommer Marsden‘s husband is battling cancer, so the fine folks of Smut For Good have organised ‘A Snog For Summer‘. I’m all for smut for good causes, so of course I’m participating. If you can, please donate here, or help spread the word. All donations will go straight to Sommer and her family and you can donate until 20 September. All info here >> (Where you will also find a list of the participating authors and can hop along to their blogs and win some prizes in the process.)

I’m also giving away 1 signed paperback (or e-book, if you prefer) copy of Summer’s End to a randomly chosen commenter.

The snog I’ve chosen is from my novel At the Water’s Edge (out in November). It’s a very early sneak peek (and the text needs more editing), but I just couldn’t resist. It’s kind of a big deal for me to be posting this excerpt so early on, but this novel has been on my mind for so long now, I think I need to start sharing. ;-) (And it’s for a good cause!)

Before I can change my mind, I swim to the edge and, just as Kay returns, wrapped in a plush white towel, an extra one rolled up under her arm for me, I push myself out of the water. I notice how her glance lingers on my body, how all movement of her muscles momentarily stops.

“Here’s your towel,” Kay mumbles.

“Forget the towel.” I step closer, pull her towards me, close my eyes and kiss her. The earth doesn’t stop turning, but my head does spin. Because, in the pit of my stomach, I feel that this kiss is the beginning of something I already know I will never be able to live without.

When Kay grabs the back of my head with one hand, the touch of her fingertips travels through my system with tingling pangs. When we come up for air and our eyes meet, her towel-wrapped body a white spot in the darkness of the evening, any thought of what should or should not happen has fled my brain.

“What does it feel like?” she asks, her voice low and husky. “To stop worrying and give yourself the time and space to enjoy the moment?”

“Fucking hot.” I barely recognize my own voice. I’m still standing there naked, every nerve-ending in my body pulsing with that old, forgotten ache.

“Come here.” Kay unrolls the towel and brings it behind my back, tugging me closer towards her with it. “I’m all for a bit of indecent exposure, but there are limits to everything.” She casts one last, longing glance across the front of my body before tucking a corner of the towel underneath the hem of the other end.

You come here.” I lift my arms to pull her closer again, undoing her efforts as it makes the towel slide right off me, exposing my tortured nipples to the breezy night air. Neither one of us cares about indecent exposure anymore as our lips lock and our tongues explore each other’s mouth in another instant I will never forget.

Much more about At the Water’s Edge closer to its release date. Meanwhile, spare a thought (or a few dollars) for Sommer and her family…

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Guest post at Women & Words

WW

I was very lucky to be interviewed by Andi Marquette of Women & Words. We talk about Ladylit, Hong Kong and Forbidden Fruit (of course.) ;-) (If you like lesfic, Women & Words is definitely a website to follow.) Do join the conversation for a chance to win a copy of Forbidden Fruit.

Meanwhile, the Forbidden Fruit Blog Tour is still in full swing. Don’t forget to leave a comment and win a nice bundle of lesbian erotica.

Oh, and do stop by my blog tomorrow… I’ll be sharing the very first excerpt of my upcoming novel At the Water’s Edge for A Snog for Sommer.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Forbidden Fruit Blog Tour: Q&A with Rachel O. Esplanade

Forbidden FruitMy stop on the Forbidden Fruit Blog Tour today. Before I start on my Q&A with Rachel O. Esplanade, just a friendly reminder that Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire is still available for that very special price of 99 cents. (Also: thank you to everyone who has bought the anthology already!)

Over to Rachel…

Harper Bliss: Welcome to my blog, Rachel. Very happy to have you. It’s no secret to my readers that I’m a huge fan of sexy sports stories so, naturally, I loved your story “The Rules” in Forbidden Fruit. I simply have to ask: are you a sporty person?

Rachel O. Esplanade: I am absolutely a sporty person. In general, I enjoy playing, watching and cheering on most sports as well as cycling as much as possible. I am especially fond of team sports and, in particular, enjoy playing field hockey and gaelic football.

Harper Bliss: Our esteemed editor Cheyenne Blue pointed out to me that I actually own the only other anthology you have a story in (Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2005, Edited by Nicole Foster). Seeing as it’s been almost 10 years since your last publication, what compelled you to submit a story to Forbidden Fruit?

Rachel O. Esplanade: What compelled me to submit a story to Forbidden Fruit was the anthology’s call for submissions. As soon as I read it, I immediately thought of that intricate relationship between coaches and players on university sports teams. It is important for coaches to build a sense of belonging, to instill in players a desire to work together for a common goal. Often this is achieved through team outtings and social events.

Also, university teams can lead to some blurring of the lines between what is appropriate and inappropriate behavoir on and off the field. For example: last year’s MVP graduates and joins the coaching staff the next year; this year’s star rookie is actually an international graduate student and only a few years younger than an assistant coach; or if the team physio realises that they are taping uninjured thighs before each match… But what keeps all of these possibilities in check? What prevents someone from not manipulating the power dynamic to get closer to someone else? Those are the ideas that came to mind when I read the call for submissions. After that, “The Rules” pretty much wrote themselves.

Harper Bliss: This is a mandatory question in all the Q&As I conduct with guests on my blog: Which celebrity is at number one of your imaginary to-do list?

Rachel O. Esplanade: My absolute number one is Miss Sugarpuss, a fabulous cabaret and burlesque performer in Montreal. A more globally renowned celebrity who is a close second is the fabulous Drew Barrymore. A gorgeous woman with an entrepreneurial spirit and a delightfully mischevious smile. That Roller Derby movie, “Whip It”, swooooon!

Harper Bliss: Because it’s so excellent, I stole the next question from fellow Forbidden Fruit author Lisabet Sarai, who interviewed me on her blog yesterday. ;-) Have you ever partaken of “forbidden fruit” yourself? Care to share with my readers?

Rachel O. Esplanade: Oh dear. I most definitely have. It was delicious.

Harper Bliss: Please tell us a bit about your story, “The Rules”. You must love hockey?

Rachel O. Esplanade: I do love hockey, I enjoy playing it and watching it, especially live games. Unfortunately, I haven’t played field hockey in a long time, which may be why I felt compelled to write a story with protagonists that play the sport. During my early years playing sports, I had many crushes on fellow players. Crushes which I chose to not follow through on at the time. My desire to play, to be part of the team, to abide by its unspoken straight rules of conduct, were much stronger than my desire to explore the sexual possibilities with teammates.

Now that I am older, and have enjoyed reconnecting with one of those crushes in the most delightful way decades later, I wonder how much my need to stifle my attraction in my youth was about abiding by the rules rather than due to a fear of the explosive sexual chemistry that would have rocked my world and forced me to re-evaluate my priorities at the time. Who knows? One can never go back but one can explore the possibilities in erotic fiction, which is what I attempt to do in this story.

Excerpt from “The Rules”:

You were so blissfully happy when you received your Most Valued Player award. Your mini dress displayed your beautiful full form in a classy, sexy way—the skirt stretched over your strong thighs, with the tiniest hint of the snaps at the end of the garter belt holding up your stockings. I remember being lost in the aural fantasy of the snap of garter belt straps against your skin. I wanted to snap them while my lips nipped at the hem of your skirt and my other hand glided up your thigh to find a purchase around a cheek, a fesse as you call it. Mes fesses you’d say to the other players if they ever made fun of your horrible French. Mes fesses—my ass, or, I suppose, my ass cheeks. I was sitting there, fully enraptured in my fantasy when you accepted your well-deserved award. Until you thanked me in your speech and pulled me out of my erotic reverie into an unsettling, blushing moment when I had no idea what you’d said and I felt like the biggest creep. Especially when you beamed your happy, grateful smile at me.

Later, when I held your award as you collected your things, I sensed you caught me checking out your ass, your fesses, in the mirror as you changed out of pumps into walking boots in the ladies’ cloakroom. A movement at the corner of my eye informed me the gig was up—you were staring at my reflection in the mirror. But when I looked in the mirror, your eyes were focused on your boots.

Why did I check out your fesses? It was only a quick glance. Barely worth it. How old am I? Forty, not fourteen. Too old to be sneaking looks and blushing at unobtainable crushes. And you—twenty-three or twenty-four? Even if I weren’t your coach, I was being creepy. What was I thinking? But that was it—I wasn’t thinking. I was drinking you in, enjoying your flushed cheeks from your well-deserved moment.

A well-deserved moment for me too. One more year. One more year of keeping those boundaries solid, in high relief.

* * *

The next stop on the Forbidden Fruit blog tour is Rebecca Lynne Fullan who is interviewing Lisabet Sarai

Leave a comment on any post in the Forbidden Fruit blog tour to be entered into a random draw to win one of these great prizes. Prizes include a paperback copy of Girls Who Score, lesbian sports erotica edited by Ily Goyanes, Best Lesbian Romance 2011 edited by Radclyffe, an ebook of Ladylit’s first lesbian anthology Anything She Wants, and a bundle of three mini-anthologies from Ladylit: Sweat, A Christmas to Remember and Bossy. All of these titles contain some stories written by the fabulous contributors to Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire. You must include an email address in your comment to be entered into the draw.

I’m adding something extra here. Anyone who leaves a comment on my blog has a chance to win a signed paperback copy of my short story collection Girls Only: The Collection!

Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire is available direct from Ladylit or from Amazon, Smashwords, and other good retailers of ebooks. Check out Ladylit for all purchasing information.

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Q&A: Cheyenne Blue on ‘Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire’

Forbidden FruitI can’t remember when exactly Cheyenne e-mailed me for the first time with the idea for this anthology, but I do distinctly remember falling in love with the theme instantly and… I also know that a whole lot of months have passed since that very first e-mail. Meanwhile Cheyenne has been an outstanding editor, and collected 17 deliciously forbidden stories (including one of mine, and not because I made her, or at least so she claims.) ;-p

Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire is out today and you can buy it for $0.99 only (the price is so low, it should be forbidden!) ;-) This low price is only temporary though, so it’s best to grab these 17 hot tales now (just saying.)

As a reminder, here’s the blurb:

She’s off limits but the attraction burns so bright it’s impossible to resist.

This collection of seventeen stories charts the spectrum of unwise lesbian desire, gathering tales of women you should resist—but can’t. In Jean Roberta’s Shelter the bad girl’s back from prison. An upper-class lady seduces her maid in Laila Blake’s poignant story set in Regency England, while a Catholic nun is beguiled by a hooker in Lisabet Sarai’s powerful The First Stone.

These women are cops, slave owners, doctors, Dommes, and horse thieves, and you’ll find them at the pool, being seduced by older women, putting their job on the line for lust, or seducing the salt-and-pepper butch.

With stories from writers at the top of their game, including Sacchi Green, Erzabet Bishop, Beth Wylde, Harper Bliss, and Allison Wonderland, this collection is sure to thrill.

And you can buy it (for $0.99 until 11 September!) here:
buy
Direct from Ladylit
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon DE
Amazon CA
All Romance
Smashwords

Add it to your Goodreads shelf >>

Of course, to mark this joyous occasion (because this release will result in a party at Ladylit HQ tonight, seeing as we’re bursting with pride), I’ve subjected editor extraordinaire Cheyenne Blue to my usual high brow questions. My blog is all yours from here, Cheyenne…

1. Sell us your book in one sentence.
She’s off limits but the attraction burns so bright it’s impossible to resist.

2. Favourite line (or paragraph) from Forbidden Fruit
This is a difficult one, as there are seventeen stories from seventeen wonderful authors in Forbidden Fruit. It’s a near impossible task to pick one story, let alone one line or paragraph, that is my favourite. However, I’ll select one paragraph that epitomizes the forbidden fruit theme, the urgent desire for that which you cannot have. This paragraph is from Lisabet Sarai’s story “The First Stone” in which a nun working in a halfway house falls for a hooker in her care.

Something jolted through me—a lightning strike, a sudden storm, some personal earthquake. The floor dropped out from under my chair and I found myself suspended in space. My breath caught in my throat and perspiration soaked the armpits of my gray wool sweater. I’d been chilly before—we tried to stretch our donors’ generosity as far as possible—but now I burned. I couldn’t tear myself away from her gaze, though I knew I’d been staring far too long.

3. Last book that blew you away?
I read a lot, and I am very active on Goodreads (Hint: friend me! I’d love it!) so the books that blow me away are a diverse mix.

I’ll go with a short story collection I read recently by Ivan E.Coyote “Close to Spider Man”. These teeny-tiny coming of age stories are bleak, blunt, and beautiful.

4. Which celebrity is at number one of your imaginary to-do list?
Years pass, and my obsession with Amelie Mauresmo, now-retired tennis player, remains undimmed.

5. What’s your favourite sexy song?
There’s one song that gives me chills every time I hear it, with its sensual cleverness, and more than an overlay of bittersweet yearning.

Autumngirlsoup by the late, great Kirsty MacColl. Here it is on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebX2WCwzWKQ

Kirsty’s lyrics, particularly on the album “Tropical Brainstorm” which includes Autumngirlsoup, show an earthy, natural sexuality as well as wicked humor. There’s songs about stalking, about falling for a bastard, about the fun of cybersex.

6. What are you most proud of?
Erotica-wise, I’m proud of my longevity in a genre where writers come and go. My first story was published in 2000, and nearly 15 years later, I’m still here, still publishing, still producing stories I’m very proud of. And now I’m editing them too.

Apart from that, I’m proud of my ability to cook eggplant in seven different ways, put away a bottle of red wine on demand, and more or less keep time in my step aerobics class.

7. Who’s your favourite TV Character?
I’m sci-fi nut, and a Trekkie, so I’ll go with Kira Nerys from Star Trek: Deep Space 9. Or Starbuck from the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. I like complex, strong characters, and those two nail it.

8. Which author’s books are a must-read?
I’m Australian, and I love the physicality and guts of Australian English. Aussie writer, Tim Winton, is a fabulous read, literary but accessible, with a deep love of the outdoor world, small communities, and the ocean. “Breath” is my all-time favourite, but “Cloudstreet” is an iconic Aussie book, recently voted Best Australian Book in a public poll.

9. Anything else you want us to know?
I have to have my fingernails really short. Really, really, REALLY short. I can’t type if the nails are even close to my fingertips. The sensation of fingernails on keyboard gives me the shivers, and not in a good way.

10. What’s next for you?
I am currently in the final stages of putting together some collections of my short lesbian erotica. The first of these will be published by Ladylit later this month under the title “Blue Woman Stories: collected lesbian erotica of Cheyenne Blue”. This is very exciting for me—prior to this my work has been scattered through dozens of anthologies and websites. To see it brought together as a single author collection is very satisfying.

* * *

P.S. Do check out Cheyenne’s blog for information on the Forbidden Fruit blog tour. There are lots of lesbian erotica goodies to win!

You can buy Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire on Amazon US, Amazon UK and Smashwords (and it will soon also be available in paperback.)

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Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
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Q&A: Andi Marquette & R.G. Emanuelle on ‘All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica’

All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and EroticaPhew, that title is quite a handful, which is only logical because today on my virtual interview chair I have not one, but two esteemed guests! Usually, I write my own little intro, but, aside from being good sports and replying to my inquisitive questions, Andi and R.G. have provided their own introductory text. Extra points for that, ladies, and take it away…

Greetings and thanks so much for having us aboard for a day! R.G. Emanuelle and I just released the anthology All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica through Ylva Publishing.

This anthology percolated for a while before we decided to get to it and finally serve it up. The two of us had co-edited an earlier anthology—Skulls and Crossbones: Tales of Women Pirates (2010) —and we had so much fun putting that together that we decided to do another one down the line.

We thought about several options, and then it hit us. We decided to work with a theme that both of us love and that at least one of us has a whole lot of experience with. R.G. Emanuelle is a long-time foodie, food writer, and culinary school graduate. Andi just really likes food and all the things it signals about life and love.

We put our different perspectives to work so we could explore the sensuous qualities of food and how the act of preparing and eating it can engage many more senses than just taste and smell. We planned a menu that includes a variety of authors who incorporated food, romance, and/or erotica into their stories. We purposely left the subject open-ended so contributors had a lot of flexibility in terms of storylines and setting to bring their own particular tastes to the table. Our only requirement was that the story must incorporate food in its romantic and/or erotic trajectory.

We also thought it would be fun to include a recipe with each story. Some require cooking implements while others are whimsical accompaniments that don’t require cooking at all—at least not in the traditional sense.

Our menu includes the following authors: Ashley Bartlett, Cheri Crystal, Cheyenne Blue, Historia, Jae, Jove Belle, Karis Walsh, R.G. Emanuelle, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Sacchi Green, Victoria Oldham, Yvonne Heidt, and Andi Marquette

And here’s the Table of Contents.

We think you’ll find something tasty between these covers.

FIRST Q&A: Andi Marquette

1. Sell us your book in one sentence.
How about four words? Here: food, romance, sex, women.

2. Favourite line (or paragraph) from All You Can Eat?
Oooo tough call! How about I give you a taste of Rebekah Weatherspoon’s “Burn”? I like this one because when you read the story, you’ll get a sense of why this moment is so very important to this couple.

“The look on your face when you walk through the door is everything. I know you found the formal invitation on the welcome mat. The card is in your hand. You’re wearing a new dress that I’m sure you picked up for the interview. The aqua blue looks amazing against your dark brown skin, especially in the candlelight. Your locks are up in an elegant bun. You look beautiful.”

3. Last book that blew you away?
God’s War, by Kameron Hurley

4. Which celebrity is at number one of your imaginary to-do list?
Lena Headey, Gina Carano (these can change at any minute…)

5. What’s your favourite sexy song?
“Let’s Get It On,” Marvin Gaye (but I have lots of faves)

6. What are you most proud of?
I have lots of things I’m proud of. One is finishing my Ph.D. Another is getting my first novel published. I’m also proud of my friends and family when they do cool stuff that makes them proud.

7. Who’s your favourite TV Character?
I don’t watch a whole lot of TV. If I want to see something, I can usually stream it off Netflix. I have very few regular TV shows I watch. Those include NCIS and Walking Dead. And I have lots of fave characters from those shows.

8. Which author’s books are a must-read?
Hmm. I read both nonfiction and fiction, across all kinds of genres. So I don’t really do “oh, you have to read this author.” Usually what I’ll ask someone is what genres they read and then I’ll suggest authors in those genres for him or her. Having said that, Alexandra Fuller’s writing really resonates with me. Even at her most stripped down, it’s lyrical, haunting, and stays with you.

9. Anything else you want us to know?
Putting anthologies together is kind of like herding cats. But R.G. and I always have a good time doing it, so we’re planning others. Stay tuned for those. And we also do a lot of writing on our own. I write mysteries, science fiction, and romance and R.G. writes paranormal, romance, and erotica. Swing by our respective websites to have a looksee: www.andimarquette.com and www.rgemanuelle.com.

10. What’s next for you?
In addition to the release of All You Can Eat, I just released a romance novel in June, From the Hat Down (a follow-up to last year’s Rainbow Award runner-up novella From the Boots Up). I have stories in two forthcoming anthologies from Ylva Publishing, Wicked Things and Unwrap These Presents—proceeds from that one will benefit, as R.G. says, two organizations that help homeless LGBTQ youth.

I’m also working on the fourth novel in my science fiction series, the Far Seek Chronicles, doing a bit of research for the fifth novel in my New Mexico mystery series, and I’m messing around with another romance novel I’ve almost finished. And I’m thinking about doing another series in novella format. Still in the planning stages, though. And of course, eventually R.G. and I will probably start work at some point on another anthology. And at some point, I’m going to build a fighter ship and join the rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

Thank you, Andi. Time for your co-editor to spill the beans…

SECOND Q&A: R.G. Emanuelle

1. Sell us your book in one sentence.
With a menu that ranges from hot and spicy to sweet and mild, this book has something for everyone’s tastes.

2. Favourite line (or paragraph) from All You Can Eat?
Oh, that’s really hard. There are so many great lines and paragraphs in AYCE. But if I absolutely have to choose one, it’s this one from “Turn the Tables” by Yvonne Heidt:

“I wish to taste you, to worship you until your desire becomes so great, it will fill my mouth with the very essence of your spirit that I will swallow and take with me always.” Leonita pointed to her heart. “Here, I will carry you here.”

3. Last book that blew you away?
Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters.

4. Which celebrity is at number one of your imaginary to-do list?
I would say that it’s a tie between Salma Hayek and Michele Rodriguez.

5. What’s your favourite sexy song?
Another tie. Between “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin and “At Last” by Etta James.

6. What are you most proud of?
Making it through culinary school. That was tough. I was working full time and going to school part time. It was physically exhausting, but also mentally and emotionally exhausting in ways I hadn’t expected. There were times I thought I wouldn’t make it. But I did. Graduation day was bittersweet.

7. Who’s your favourite TV Character?
I don’t watch a lot of TV but I have been catching up on “Orange Is the New Black” and I’ve been getting a real kick out of Nicky Nichols, played by Natasha Lyonne.

8. Which author’s books are a must-read?
Sarah Waters, definitely. She tells riveting stories in the most elegant way. She draws you in and captures you with her characters and storylines without skimping on quality. Her language is eloquent and intelligent, yet she can make your heart race as if you were watching a Hollywood movie.

You should also read Lee Lynch—she’s a staple and pioneer of lesbian fiction.

9. Anything else you want us to know?
Andi and I had a lot of fun working on AYCE together, and we’re planning to do others. Our first project co-editing was on Skulls & Crossbones: Tales of Women Pirates back in 2010 and we had such a good time on that one that we agreed we’d do another one. But life issues got in the way for both of us and it wasn’t until this year that we were able to get together again to work on a new project. But it certainly won’t be our last. We enjoy working with good, established writers, but we both also like to introduce the readership to new writers. I want to give new writers the opportunity to be discovered and have their work enjoyed by others—as long as they do good work!

10. What’s next for you?
Well, I have many projects on my plate. I will soon be releasing book one of my novella series and I have stories coming out in a few anthologies: Hunger: Stories of Desire, Discovery, and Dissatisfaction; Wicked Things; and Unwrap These Presents. I’m also co-editor for Unwrap These Present, and all the proceeds are going to the Ali Forney Center in New York and the Albert Kennedy Trust in the U.K., both of which provide housing to homeless LGBT youth. It’s a great project and I hope everyone supports it by buying a copy. Besides, there are some great stories in there, including Lee Lynch!

Thank you for stopping by, ladies. I know what I’ll be reading this weekend.

You can buy ‘All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Lesbian Romance and Erotica’ on Amazon, Smashwords or All Romance.

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What’s up?

Just checking in, because I know it’s been too long. What have I been up to, you may wonder… Well, I’m glad you asked. ;-)

At the moment, Ladylit HQ is abuzz with putting the final touches to Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire, which will be released next Friday (5 September) at a very special launch price. I’ve been so excited about this stellar collection of stories for so long, I can’t wait for it to be published.

On the writing front, I’m currently knee-deep in the third draft of my (romantic and extremely emotional) novel At the Water’s Edge. We’ve set a release date for that around mid November, but much much more on this book later.

By the end of the week the first draft of a new novelette should be finished. It deals with exes who see each other again after a long time, a hotel room, a leather belt… you get the gist of it. ;-)

Speaking of leather belts, the short story I wrote for the upcoming Ladylit mini-anthology called ‘Cougars’ (the title is still a work in progress but pretty much covers the load) prominently features one as well, so if that’s your thing, look out for the anthology somewhere in October.

After writing French Kissing: Season One and At the Water’s Edge (my first full-length novel), I really wanted to focus on some shorter work, so I’ll probably write some more novelettes and short stories before getting started on French Kissing: Season Two (which I plan to do in October.)

So, in short: I’m back, I’m writing, and lots of goodies will be ready for publication soon (and autumn will be hot hot hot.) ;-)

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Snippet from ‘Lovely Rita’

Can't Get Enough

As promised last week, here’s a teaser from my story ‘Lovely Rita’ which appears in Tenille Brown’s Can’t Get Enough. The looks of the Rita from the title are based on those of a real life famous-person Rita (but not Rita Mae Brown ;-p), but really, you’d need to read the story to (possibly) guess who. ;-)

As a reminder, here’s the blurb for Can’t Get Enough:

Picking up where Gotta Have It left off, Can’t Get Enough captures the passion and intensity of quickies and nooners: those delicious times when the urge to merge takes over. Veteran erotica author and first-time editor Tenille Brown has collected stories for Can’t Get Enough that highlight the essence of insatiable desire. With contributions from familiar names like Rachel Kramer Bussel, Jacqueline Applebee and Giselle Renarde, along with newer faces like Monica Corwin and Beatrix Ellroy, this is a book full of diverse and dynamic characters who are bold and daring. The authors here knock the theme of Can’t Get Enough right out of the park with stories that will leave readers as breathless as the characters they’re reading about, dying for more.

And here’s my teaser snippet:

Sweat trickled down my temples as I danced for the first time in months. I didn’t care if Rita showed up. I boogied myself into a state of indifference I’d been craving for weeks. Pushing my arms above my head, I relished the predatory looks my exposed belly button received. Being declared too monogamous for Rita’s standards didn’t spoil me for this crowd. Just because I wasn’t one for sharing loved ones, didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the thrill of a one-night stand.

A girl dressed in black leather pants and not much else swayed closer to me. I’d been working on my abs tirelessly since Rita left me, and now they were working for me. She pressed her hips into my behind and left them there, finding the rhythm with me. I guess you could call it dancing.

“Want a beer?” she yelled into my ear over the thundering bass.

I spun around to get a good look at her face. Hair tied back in a loose ponytail, some curls springing free. Intense black eyes and no makeup on her face. Zero resemblance to Rita.

“Yes, please.” I shot her a smile. I was out of practice and fairly certain the sexy grin I was aiming for looked more like an insecure smirk, but she nodded and headed for the bar. I exhaled and brushed a strand of hair away from my forehead.

That’s when I saw her.

Important note: It should be quite clear from the pair of men’s legs on the cover, but Can’t Get Enough is NOT a lesbian erotica anthology (although quite a few stories explore the delights of lady loving, including mine, of course.)

You can buy Can’t Get Enough from CleisAmazon and everywhere else you like to shop for smut.

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Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
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Q&A: Tenille Brown on Can’t Get Enough

Can't Get EnoughOne is not really an established erotica writer until one has a short story published in a Cleis Press anthology (no one’s rules, but my own), therefore I’m extremely thrilled that Tenille Brown accepted my story ‘Lovely Rita’ to grace the pages (amidst a slew of fellow established erotica authors) of her new book Can’t Get Enough. I feel as though I have arrived somewhere special. Thank you, Tenille! ;-) I’ve invited Tenille to answer my usual high-brow Q&A questions and tell us a bit more about her new anthology. (I’ll post an excerpt of my own story next week.) Take it away, Tenille!

1. Sell us your book in one sentence.
Can’t Get Enough is a literary buffet of carnal delights.

2. Favourite line (or paragraph) from ‘Can’t Get Enough’.
Hands down, it’s from Tamsin Flowers’ story, and it’s:

It’s those damned cobbles. They get me everytime.

3. Last book that blew you away?
It had to be Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden, but… she blows me away every single time.

4. Which celebrity is at number one of your imaginary to-do list?
*coughs* Lenny Kravitz

5. What’s your favourite sexy song?
Adore by Prince. I get all tingly every single time I hear it.

6. What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of achieving the current balance I have in my life, being there for my family, and following my life’s passion and purpose – writing.

7. Who’s your favourite TV Character?
It’s a toss up between Lafayette from True Blood and Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory.

8. Which author’s books are a must-read?
Bernice L. McFadden, Alison Tyler, Fiona Zedde, Wally Lamb, Eric Jerome Dickey, Tiffany Reisz… I could go on and on, lol.

9. Anything else you want us to know?
I’m pleasantly surprised at how well Can’t Get Enough is doing. I can’t thank everyone for supporting me and my first collection.

10. What’s next for you?
I have a few stories coming out in a few collections. I am working on a full length project and working on pitches for more anthologies and the rest, I’ll leave to the universe.

* * *

Tenille Brown is a southern, shoe shopping, wine drinking writer who has been publishing her fiction and erotica for over a decade. She has edited her first anthology, Can’t Get Enough and her stories have appeared online on such webzines and in over fifty print anthologies including.

You can buy ‘Can’t Get Enough’ on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble and everywhere else on the internet and in the world.

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Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
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Cover reveal Forbidden Fruit

I’m happy to announce that we have an equally pretty cover to go with that fabulous table of contents. Hats off to the wife, who made this one as well. Feel like munching on an apple now? ;-)
Forbidden Fruit

In other news, today is my last day in the office. On Monday we’re flying off to Belgium for three weeks, where I will meet the newest addition to my family for the first time (and, to say it in my sister’s words, be my two nephews’ au pair when the day care centre closes for the summer.)

Earlier this morning, just in time before my ‘holiday’, I finished the first draft of the very first Harper Bliss full length novel. Getting through this first draft has not cost me any blood, quite a bit of sweat (because it’s so bloody hot in Hong Kong these days), and a whole lot of tears. It is, by very, very far, the most emotional story I’ve ever written, and I can’t wait to share it with you. (That being said, it will take quite some time before it’s ready for publication.)

Chances of me blogging while I’m away are fairly slim, but I wish all of you a great summer with lots of stimulating beach reads. ;-)

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Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
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