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.

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

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.) ;-)

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

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.

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

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.

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

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. ;-)

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

NEW RELEASE: Stormy Weather

Stormy WeatherI wrote Stormy Weather after finishing French Kissing and before launching into the first draft of the novel I’m still working on (almost done!) and, between long projects, it’s always such a joy to create something short and sweet (especially for someone with a short attention span like me.)

I got the idea for the story after returning from Da Nang in Vietnam, where I spent five days with my wife and mother-in-law under threatening skies, wrapped in warm sweaters, drinking too much (and playing pool) because, in a place like that, there’s really not much else to do.

What if two strangers met in a rainy resort? Those were the exact words in my notebook (i.e. Evernote, because who actually still writes things down in notebooks that don’t even light up in the dark?), and bam, a new story was conceived of.

Here’s the blurb for Stormy Weather:
Nic’s soul-searching getaway at a Vietnamese beach resort is turning into a rain soaked disappointment… until she meets Charlie, who teaches Nic that the storm raging inside of her doesn’t have to last forever.

And you can get it from these retailers:
buy
Direct from author
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon DE
Amazon CA
Smashwords
All Romance

Add it to your GoodReads shelf >>

If you’ve read any of my books, you know I’m a big fan of using storm metaphors for (approaching) climaxes and this story allowed me to take that to the next level. ;-)

Also: special thanks to my wife who designed the cover.

Enjoy!

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

Table of contents Forbidden Fruit

Cheyenne Blue, the tireless editor of Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire, and I have been e-mailing back and forth for a few weeks now, ooh-ing and aah-ing about the amazing line-up for this Ladylit anthology. There are some impressive names in this TOC, and the (for now) lesser-known ones have delivered equally hot forbidden tales of lesbian lust.

I’ve read all the stories and, well, as far as beach reads go, this one may be ideal (as long as you have a cool body of water nearby to bring down your core temperature.) Much more on this anthology closer to its release date (set for late August). For now, I’m just very happy, a little bit proud and extremely grateful to Cheyenne for bringing together such a talented group of authors in this anthology.

Table of Contents for Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire
Our Woman by Rebecca Lynne Fullan
Hands Off by Ava-Ann Holland
Shelter by Jean Roberta
Ungodly Ours by Allison Wonderland
The Rules by Rachel O. Esplanade
The Further Adventures of Miss Scarlet by Emily L. Byrne
Sunset, Sunrise by Sacchi Green
The Clinton County Horse Thief Society by Axa Lee
Freedom by Harper Bliss
Ascending Amelia by Erzabet Bishop
Bachelorette Party by Beth Wylde
Thanks to Irene by Nicole Wolfe
Ash by Niki Crow
The Law of Reciprocity by Laila Blake
The Shallow End by L.C. Spoering
The First Stone by Lisabet Sarai
Out for the Count by Cheyenne Blue

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

French Kissing Fantasy Casting: Stéphanie Mathis

Full credit to my wife, who fantasy-cast Cécile de France as Steph. It works out well in so many ways! Most importantly, she has that boyish charm and effortless, nonchalant elegance. I can just see her holding court at the bar at Les Pêches, possibly sneaking into Le Noir… Or, perhaps not entirely as planned, on her way to Dominique.

Admittedly, it would also be a bit of a disgrace to not fantasy-cast (is that a verb now?) anyone French in a serial called French Kissing set in Paris. Not that I have with Cécile de France, because she’s from Belgium. Ha! Okay, that didn’t make any sense. Although Cécile de France is from Belgium, she is super famous in France and might as well be French. (There is no work for her in Belgium, anyway.) (And her surname is ‘de France’.) Either way, no matter where she’s from, she would make an excellent Steph.

Cécile de FranceIf she thinks she can summon me… oh, what the hell. Taxi! Palais Bourbon, s’il vous plaît!

Cécile de FranceBack in the day, when Steph just started at Barbier & Cyr…

Cécile de FranceI know, I let her top me again…

This concludes the fantasy casting. Truth be told, apart from Steph, the names of these actresses appeared next to the names I gave my characters back when I was making my first notes months ago. All five of them have been in my head, doing all the things they do in French Kissing, for quite some time. For those of you who follow my blog, it may make for more interesting reading in Season Two! ;-)

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

French Kissing Fantasy Casting: Dominique Laroche

Yes, I’m keeping Steph’s fantasy casting for last (but only because she seems to be the hardest to pin a face on.) So, let’s do Dominique first. As you can see, the character of rising political star Dominique Laroche is based on an almost-real politician: Birgitte Nyborg.

At Casa Bliss, during that week about a year ago when we binge-watched all three seasons of Borgen, all we talked about was Birgitte Nyborg (and Kasper and Katrine… do yourself a huge favour: watch Borgen!) I may even have chosen to insert a bit of politics in French Kissing just so that I could have a character inspired by Birgitte Nyborg (and, yes, sometimes I do wonder if I shouldn’t just write fan fiction). ;-)

Sidse Babett KnudsenI’m conservative, but not that conservative…

Dominique LarocheOh god, what have I done? (And when can I do it again?)

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl

French Kissing Fantasy Casting: Nadia Abadi

It’s not because I have a serious soft spot for Juliette that I don’t recognise that Nadia is the real hero of their relationship. Maybe it’s unhealthy, or co-dependent, or just very lesbian, but Juliette needs Nadia. In fact, most characters in French Kissing need Nadia. She’s not free of mistakes—no one is—but she’s not afraid to speak her mind and, e.g., set Margot straight. (I won’t go into detail to avoid spoilers.)

Who better to portray such a wise, warm, righteous woman with a hidden dominant streak than Saul’s wife? I know, it’s a disgrace that I didn’t even know who Sarita Choudhury was before I swooned every time she got a few seconds of screen time on Homeland (but I’ll definitely be watching Kama Sutra this week!)

Sarita ChoudhuryYou can’t exactly tell by looking at her, but we all know what she’s thinking (about doing to Juliette…)

Sarita ChoudhuryOh Nadia, I, too, have tried to give up wine numerous times and have never once succeeded. 

So, now that I’ve revealed both ‘my’ Juliette and Nadia, how do you feel about their last sex scene in Episode Six? ;-)

+ + +
Latest releases: Stormy Weather, French Kissing: Season One and Bossy: Five Productive Tales of Lesbian Lust
+ + +
Want Hired Help for FREE? Subscribe to my mailing list >>
+ + +
Want more FREE stories? Download French Kissing: Episode One, Fool for Love (High Rise Novella One), Wetter, All of Me and New Girl