Speechless by Tamsin Flowers

I’m so honored to host Tamsin Flowers today!  Tamsin is a dear friend and one of the most talented erotica authors out there. If you’re not familiar with her work, you should be! I had the privilege of beta-reading her BDSM-themed serial Alchemy XII. We have also shared paged in several anthologies, including Summer Loving. When I asked her if she wanted to guest post while I was in the hospital, I was so excited when she offered me a previously unpublished story!!

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Speechless

Tamsin Flowers

 

His mother had christened him Bartholomew, his friends called him Barty, but Leonard had called him Batman from the very first day they met. And that was so many years ago now that neither of them could remember why. It might have started as ‘Bart, man’, but now it was Batman and it didn’t really matter why. That’s just how it was.

Barty lay in bed, pretending he was still asleep. He could sense Leonard fidgeting next to him and then he felt mattress shift as Leonard got out of bed. Bare feet on the wooden floor boards, crossing towards the window.

“Hey, would you look at that? The Petersens have got a new car.”

Barty pulled the covers up to shield his ear.

“I don’t know what they were thinking, with that color. It’s yellow, Batman, bright yellow. What were they thinking? It’s really not a good color when you need to resell a car. Is it? Would you ever by a yellow car? Geez, I don’t think that guy’s too bright. A yellow car.”

Even with his eyes shut Barty could see Leonard shaking his head.

“But it’s a nice day. Haven’t seen the sun like that all week. We should go out somewhere, maybe. Do something. But you know what I’d like first, Batman? I’d like you to screw me six ways to Sunday and then all the way back again. You know, fuck me proper, just how I like it. Just how you like it. What d’you say, Batman? Are you awake? Are you even awake yet?”

Barty raised a hand from beneath the quilt in quiet surrender.

“Okay, okay. I know it—you need coffee. A nice big coffee to get your motor running. Say, what did you think of those new beans I got? The first cup, I thought was good…”

Barty’s cock hardened under the covers. He didn’t need coffee to fuck Leonard. But he sure as hell would like one.

“…but the second tasted a little bitter to me. What did you think? Did you even have two cups?”

“Coffee,” said Barty.

“Coffee, right, I’ll go make some. Coming right up, coming right up.”

Barty could still hear Leonard talking in the kitchen even if he couldn’t make out what he was saying. Leonard came back with a tray holding two mugs.

“Here we go, coffee for the sleepy head. Did you just go back to sleep, Batman? Are you awake now?”

Barty sat up in bed with a groan. He reached across and opened the drawer of his bedside cabinet.

“What are you after, Batman? I’ll get it. Here, let me.”

Leonard came round to Barty’s side of the bed and put one of the mugs of coffee down on the cabinet.

“What have you got there?” he said, as Barty found what he wanted and pulled it out of the drawer.

He held up a ball gag.

Leonard’s eyebrows shot up.

“No, no, no. Not that, please, not the gag. Not today, Barty.” He only ever used ‘Barty’ when he was afraid. “Come on, it’s a nice day. We could have a nice fuck. You don’t need to gag me. I promise I’ll be quiet. Really. I will. Just don’t use the gag, hey?”

Leonard wasn’t scared of what Barty was going to do to him. He was just terrified at the prospect of not being able to articulate every single fucking thought that went through his mind.

“Leonard,” said Barty.

It was all he had to say. Leonard submitted himself to Barty’s possession and two minutes later he was spread-eagled on the bed, cuffed at the wrists, with the ball gag snugly in his mouth. Barty stood at the end of the bed looking down at him. Leonard was naked but Barty still wore his pajama pants and his cock tented out against the thin, striped cotton. He slipped his hand under the waistband and stroked himself, watching as Leonard’s eyes widened.

“You’re quiet,” said Barty.

Leonard grunted at the back of his throat and frowned. Barty laughed and discarded his trousers. He knelt on the bed, between Leonard’s legs. Leonard’s cock danced in front of him, but Barty didn’t reach out for it.

“Ah,” he said slowly. “There’s something I wanted to say and now I’ve got the chance.”

But he stopped talking and picked up a tube of lube from the cabinet. He tenderly spread Leonard’s legs and bent them up at the knee, and then applied a generous slick of lube to his ass crack. Barty’s hands were strong and sensitive from years as a sculptor—he worked and molded Leonard’s ass cheeks until the other man moaned with pleasure behind the gag. One finger, then two, prepared the way for him and then he pushed his dick hard into Leonard’s sweet, tight little ass. And no matter how many times he did it, it always felt the same. Always felt so good, like coming home. He pulled back and then rammed it home again. Leonard’s hips jumped and he pulled at the cuffs that secured him to the bed frame.

Barty glanced down at Leonard’s cock, dripping pre-cum across his stomach as it bucked which each one of Barty’s thrusts. That he loved. Watching Leonard come, watching his white spunk spurting across his soft belly.

But it would have to wait. He was on a mission today.

“Yeah, that thing,” he said, stopping with his cock deep inside Leonard.

Leonard moaned and shook his head. He hated being talked at when he couldn’t reply. Barty stroked his leg in consolation.

“Len?”

Leonard shook his head frantically.

“We’ve been together quite a time. It’s been a few years.” He paused and looked up at the ceiling, then over at the window. He looked back down at Leonard. “Would you marry me?”

In front of him on the bed, there was an explosion of emotion. Leonard couldn’t speak so he did everything but. He spluttered out bubbles at the edge of the ball gag, as muffled squeals died in the back of his throat. His arms thrashed against their restraints and his legs flapped about like fish out of water.

“Huh? You wanna say something?” said Barty. He resumed fucking him, slowly, easily, gliding in and out. “It can wait. Can’t you see I’m kind of busy.”

But he eventually took pity on Leonard and grabbed his cock. He worked his hand up and down it in the same rhythm, speeding up as his fucking gained pace. Harder and faster until he came with gruff moan, and seconds later Leonard came in his hand, choking against the gag and still just as frenzied.

Barty slumped forward against him, not caring that Leonard’s cum smeared his chest and gut.

“You okay, Len?” he said.

Leonard snarled as far as he was able. Barty pulled out of him and undid the gag. Leonard sat up, choking and coughing. His mouth was working but no words came out.

“Len?” said Barty.

One word.

“Speechless,” spluttered Len. His mouth moved some more but there were no other words.

So Barty fucked him six ways to Sunday, until finally Leonard found his voice again. But by that time they’d both forgotten the question.

“Yellow,” muttered Leonard. “Such a shit color for a car.”

 

Want more of Tamsin’s M/M stories? Check out Doing it for the Coach

doingitforthecoach_800Private Jimmy Jackson wants to make it onto the squad boxing team—and when he meets Coach Perry, he realises that’s not all he wants…

Private Jimmy Jackson joined the army for one reason—for the chance it would give him to box on the All Army Team and turn professional. But as a gay soldier, he sometimes needs to use his fists for other reasons, so when he arrives at his new unit at Fort Sandbridge, his main aim is to keep his head down, work hard and impress the coach. What he hadn’t bargained for was the sheer animal attraction that springs up between himself and Coach Virgil Perry the moment they meet. All Jimmy can think of is taking their momentary locker-room encounter further, and his fantasies are fuelled by dreams of what they could get up to alone together.

Luckily, Jimmy impresses Coach Perry enough with his boxing to be included in the training squad and, with his roommate and sparring partner, Moreno, he begins to prepare for the All Army Championships. A steamy off-camp incident with Coach Perry raises the stakes even higher. Perry makes it clear that if Jimmy wins his championship, he’ll make it onto the All Army Team with the opportunity of some one-on-one training. If he loses, he’ll be off the squad and his dreams of Coach Perry will be shattered.

The competition arrives and just three rounds stand between Jimmy and his dreams…

 

 

Recommended Read–Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction

Lez Talk

When I heard that one my favorite authors, K.A. Smith, was going to be in a new anthology, I couldn’t wait to read it. I pre-ordered Lez Talk, and was super excited when it appeared on my Kindle.

Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction is comprised of sixteen stories that defy easy classification. There are stories of sadness and pain, of love and sex, and even of magic. One of the editors, S. Andrea Allen writes in the introduction that

We say in our call for submissions: “We operated under the assumption that lesbian is not a dirty word.” At a time where a disavowal of any type of stable identity is at an all time high, it is important for us to focus on writing that celebrates Black lesbian identities and amplifies the diversity of Black lesbian experiences.

Allen and Cherelle did a standout job. The stories were ordered in a way that I wanted to keep reading, rather than feel fatigued. The variation in themes kept the anthology from being repetitive (which is always a danger). I finished the anthology last week, and I’ve been talking it up like crazy. As a bookworm, I know of no higher form of praise.

While I like most of the stories,  there were some standouts that deserve extra applause.

K.A. Smith has two stories in the anthology. Darker the Berry and Two Moons. In Darker the Berry, what looks like a supermarket pickup and casual sex turns out to be so much more complex than it first appears. I told K.A. that I would love to read a novel set in the Two Moons world because in such a short, lyrical piece, she does some intriguing world-building. K.A. is a member in my “never disappoints” club–I know that if I’m picking up an anthology or independent work by her, I will never be disappointed. (Click here for my review of Get At Me and Gina’s Do-Over).

S. Andrea Allen’s story, Pretty, resonated strongly for me. It begins “Everybody said she was pretty, for a fat girl.” I don’t think that there is a plus-sized woman who hasn’t heard that dig. I blinked back tears at the end of the story for that, too, was a moment I identified with. Her second story in the anthology, Epiphany, is the story of a love gone toxic. What do you do when you need to leave a relationship, but can’t see the way out? I walked away wanting to read more by Allen because in both stories, I became emotionally invested in her character’s stories and their outcomes.

Eternity Philops nearly broke my heart with The Other Side of Crazy. Delilah’s girlfriend Sam is cheating on her. Again. She waits for Sam to come home, but she doesn’t. Delilah ends up seeing Sam ]kissing a girl. The resolution of their story is gut-wrenching. Of all the stories in the anthology, this is the one that I’ve most revisited, emotionally, and continue to think about.

La Toya Hankins’s One More weaves the story of Toni’s first few decades of life. We bear witness to her first flickering crush in childhood that ends in shame, to her mom threatening to pull her financial support in college unless Toni renounces being gay, and the eve of her wedding. We see glimpses of the journey her family has taken on the road to accepting and celebrating Toni for who she is. Everyone except her mother. It hurts to be judged. It’s doubly painful when one’s mother–the person society tells us is supposed to love us no matter what–is the one doing the denying and shaming. Hankins deftly tells the story without allowing it to ever dip into melodrama, which it easily could have in the hands of a less skilled author. Bring tissues.

I would really love to see this become an annual anthology, or the first in a series.

Buy Links!

Amazon

Kobo

BLF Press

Recommended Read–Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey

Magics Pawn

I was born in 1978. In my small town it was considered enlightened to say something like “I have no issue with gay people, but why do they have to rub it in my face by kissing in public.” I was in high school when Friends first came on tv, and it was considered ahead of its time given it’s “positive” portrayal of Ross’s ex-wife (while incredibly problematic through today’s lens). No one was out at my school. Even Ellen DeGeneres wasn’t out yet.

In those pre-internet days, I found book at the library and at the one bookstore near my house–Waldenbooks. (RIP Waldenbooks). I grew up really poor, but my five dollar a week allowance was usually enough to buy a book each week or every other week. I didn’t spend money on clothes, makeup, or VHS cassettes (RIP), and only rarely on cassettes (RIP) or cd’s. From around the age of seven or eight, the staff at Waldenbooks knew me by name and reading preference. YA wasn’t really a genre at that point in time, so by my tween years I bounced between the kid and adult sections.

My mom didn’t censor what I read or bought, so at twelve I was ready Flowers in the Attic and Gone With the Wind along with the occasional BSC book. After I’d read all of Piers Anthony’s Xanth series and Christopher Stasheff’s Wizard in Rhyme series, I approached my favorite salesperson for a recommendation. I knew Brian liked fantasy, like me, so I knew he’d point me in the direction of a new read. His first recommendation was The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey, which I realize now was a way of feeling me out for my comfort level with nontraditional relationships. When I told him I really liked it and asked which Mercedes Lackey book he thought I should read next, he handed me Magic’s Pawn.

In every reader’s life, there are books that upend the way you view the world. Magic’s Pawn was one such book. Vanyel was the first gay person I ever “met.” At least whom was out to me–Brian was gay, but it would be years before I’d know that. Reading his story made me face my own internal prejudices and come face to face with how awful they were. When I was struggling to come to terms with my own bisexuality around five years later, re-reading Vanyel’s books were healing for me. I wasn’t alone in this. On Twitter, whenever Magic’s Pawn comes up in conversation, it becomes obvious what a huge impact the book had on my generation.

mercedes lackeyMercedes Lackey

Magic’s Pawn is an example of Mercedes Lackey at her best. Because of Magic’s Pawn and The Black Gryphon, I read everything Lackey wrote for years. I’d even spend my meager allowance on hardcovers–an insane luxury for a kid like me. I joined her zine, Queen’s Own (RIP zines) and wrote fanfic with my QO penpal. I bought the filk music associated with her Velgarth books. I have reread her books until they were in tatters, and then bought new copies. Which is probably why I’m disproportionately upset that she is still writing books in that universe despite being obviously tired of doing so. She can do so much better than her current Velgarth books would indicate.

However, I will defend her as an author until the day I die because of Magic’s Pawn trilogy, the Arrows of the Queen trilogy, The Vows and Honor books, By the Sword, The Black Gryphon, The Bardic Voices series, the Diana Tregarde series, and The Fire Rose. I like plenty of her other books, but those are the ones that made an indelible mark on my youth.

If you haven’t read Magic’s Pawn, you should. It stands the test of time.

vanyel fanartsource

Vanyel has only one thing he’s ever dreamed of being–a Bard.  Unfortunately he’s also the heir to his father’s estate, so music isn’t a career that’s in the cards for him.  He’s too small and fine boned to sword fight like his larger bulkier brothers and cousins, but his swordsmaster feels that the fast feint and dash method that would match his build is “cheating.”  Jervis promptly breaks his arm in punishment for “cheating.”

Apart from his older sister Lissa-who is sent away within the first chapter to become a guardswoman (there’s one girl in every generation who bucks tradition–and you always know who because they inherited the “Ashekevron nose)-he’s left without close friend or ally.

When he’s sent to Haven-the capital city of Valdemar-he’s told that he can’t even take his horse.  Insult after insult is given–he’s taken to the city between two of his father’s guards like a common criminal.  He’s so hurt that he decides

It was so simple–just don’t give a damn.  Don’t care what they do to you and they do nothing.

But like every emotionally abused child who has ever thought that before or after Vanyel, all it does is serve to isolate him further.

Left in his aunt’s care, he has no clue what to make of his unexpected freedom, his lessons with the bards, or Tylendel (one of his aunt’s students.)  His lessons, though, only serve to crush his one remaining hope–that he would be taken into Bardic Collegium and be made a Bard.  He’s a beautiful musician, but he doesn’t have the bardic gift and he doesn’t compose–and he’d need one of the two for them to remove him from the position of his father’s heir.  Vanyel is left without hope for the future.

Vanyel’s drawn to Tylendel, but has no words to describe what it is he’s feeling or why until a girl at court mocks ‘Lendel’s sexual preferences.  It is a lightning bolt to Vanyel, who hadn’t even realized that such pairings were even possible.  Watching them come together is powerful, as is the scene from the next morning when they sit down with his aunt to talk about what will happen now that he and Tylendel are a couple…

“The first problem and the one that’s going to tie in to all the others, Vanyel, is your father.”  She paused, and Vanyel bit his lip.  “I’m sure your realize that if he finds out about this, he is going to react badly.”

Vanyel coughed, and bowed his head, hiding his face for a moment.  When he looked back up, we was wearing a weary, ironic half-smile; a smile that had as much pain in it as humor.  It was, by far and away, the most open expression Savil had ever seen him wear.

“‘Badly’ is something of an understatement, Aunt,” he replied rubbing his temple with one finger.  “He’ll–gods, I can’t predict what he’ll do, but he’ll be in a rage, that’s for certain.”

“He’ll pull you home, Van.” Tylendel said in a completely flat voice.  “And he can do it; you’re not of age, you aren’t Chosen, and you’re aren’t in Bardic.”

“And I can’t protect you,” Savil sighed, wishing that she could.  “I can stall him off for a while, seeing as he officially turned guardianship of you over to me, but it won’t last more than a couple of months.  Then–well, I’ll give you my educated guess as to what Withen will do.  I think he’ll put you under house arrest long enough for everyone to forget about you, then find himself a compliant priest and ship you off to a temple.  Probably one far away, with very strict rules about outside contact.  There are, I’m sorry to say, several sects who hold that the shay’a’chern are tainted.  They’d be only to happy to ‘purify’ you for Withen and Withen’s gold.  And under the laws of the kingdom, none of us could save you from them.”

Looking back, it’s pretty revolutionary that this scene was written in the late 80’s when homosexuality was a huge cultural taboo and AIDS was a death sentence.  The Reagan administration was delaying research into HIV/AIDS because it was seen as a “gay disease.”  It was written long before conversion therapy was debunked as dangerous and damaging.  Lackey’s sex scenes are all off-page, but she was writing relationships like Tylendel and Vanyel (and even a potential all female triad relationship years earlier) long before we were having cultural discussions about LGBTQA representations in media and critiquing lack of representation.

While the spectre of Vanyel’s father looms over the relationship and has them playing a double game, the real danger to the relationship is from ‘Lendel.  More to the point, Tylendel’s obsession with a family feud his family has going with the Leshara family.  Lendel’s twin brother is the lord of their holding, and Lendel wants to take his side.  Heralds must be neutral, and Lendel is anything but.  When his brother is murdered, Tylendel’s control snaps, and he uses Vanyel to seek revenge.

—and that’s just the first half of the book. (description borrowed from my book blog)

 

 

Guest Post–O Dear…There’s A Woman in My M/M story

I’d like to welcome R.A. Padmos to the blog today. I met R.A. in the Totally Bound author FB group. I’m so intrigued to read The Bookshop and Unspoken. Leave a comment to win a chance to win one of R.A.’s books!

***

Unspoken is the story of a married man who falls in love with another man. It’s not a very usual theme in more recent m/m and gay romance novels, and neither does it seem to be a very popular one. Most readers, at least from what I see and hear, don’t like a woman being part of the one man is hot, two men are hotter picture.

So why did I choose to write exactly such a story? I can perhaps best call it a challenge to myself to write a historical novel with some absolute rules. I wanted to write a story about a Dutch working class man living in times of economic crises followed by five years of German occupation. It had to be an honest story, even if that honesty would cost me a few readers.

I had to face the fact that in those days, a man who could pass as straight, would likely make the choice to get married and start a family. He might not even recognise his own feelings, until lighting hit him and there was no longer a realistic way of denying the truth. But what to do with his wife and their four children? The most popular choice would be to let her die during the delivery of the youngest baby, which would give us a ready-made two-daddy family long before that concept became popular. Or I could write her as an unpleasant character, standing between our heroes and their love. If she would be nasty enough, who would blame a man for leaving his wife for the man who turned out to be the love of his life?

That, however, would be lazy writing. Above all, I hate portraying a female character as a bitch simply because she stands between two men and their true romance. So I ended up with a story of a man who falls deeply in love with another man and expresses his feelings in as many ways as possible. It’s also the story of a man married to a loyal sweetheart of a woman with whom he shares the responsibility getting a family through hard times.

Often enough that’s how things were back then, whether we, modern readers and writers of m/m and gay romance, want it in our stories or not. I know I had to take a deep breath to write Unspoken.

I’m happy I did.

Now it’s up to the readers…

unspoken_800

What’s it about?

When Stefan meets Adri, it is love at first sight. It does, however, take some time before he recognizes his own feelings. He’s a married man—a family man—with a strong sense of responsibility. In Dutch society of 1935, sex between men over the age of twenty-one might be legal, but acceptance is still a long way off.

As a working-class man without a steady job, he doesn’t have the means to ignore society’s rules and create his own little paradise in which both he and his lover can be together, without his family having to suffer poverty and shame. Despite all this, the lovers find a way to carve out moments of intimacy and happiness.

Then the Germans march into Holland and nothing will ever be the same again. The occupation, which will last five long years, offers both danger and chances, but choices have to be made—choices of the head and choices of the heart.

Readers might be interested to know that Stefan, Adri and others also play a role in The Bookshop, the story of bookseller Jakoba.

 

A small taste?

They ended up on the floor together, with Adri full of impatience undressing Stefan, his eyes wide with delight.

“No one ever looked at me this way.” Stefan wasn’t even nearly ready to accept the other man’s gaze in a matter-of-fact manner. “Maybe it’s something women don’t like to do, only men.”

“What kind of way do you mean?” Adri asked with clearly feigned innocence.

“As if you don’t simply accept that I want you, but want me just as much. Marije—I shouldn’t even talk about this—she’s a sweet woman, but she never does or says anything that even hints that she’s really interested in me as a man. Doesn’t she have the same needs?” Stefan wondered aloud, but hidden there was another, unspoken question. Did I marry her for exactly that reason?

 

unspoken_postcard

 

Where can I buy this book?

Pride Publishing

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

A few words about me?

In no particular order: woman, writer, in a relationship with my wife since 1981 (though we had to wait until 2001 until we could actually get married), mother of two grown sons, owner of cats (I can pretend, can’t I?), reader and a lot more.

I write in different genres under different names. I’m also S.Dora for my M/M erotica and Ella Laurance for my M/F erotica.

 

Where can you find me?

My blog

My Facebook

Twitter

Care for a free book?

Anyone giving a reaction to this post between now and Wednesday has a chance of winning one of my books. Winner’s choice. I do need an e-mail address for obvious reasons.

Guest Post: Lynn Townsend

Lynn Townsend is one of my favorite authors, beta readers, and friends (not in that order). Her new book, Classic is the third installment of the Rainbow Connections series. I can’t wait to read the conclusion of Vin and Beau’s story, and to see one of my favorite #fictionalcrush characters, Ann-Marie.

(My review of book 1, Roll is here)

classic

Hi everyone! Thanks so much to Delilah for hosting me here on her blog. This Delilah, as opposed to yesterday’s Delilah (as opposed to my EDITOR, Deelylah… seriously, I go from having an overabundance of Elizabeth’s in my life to quite a number of Delilahs!) and I met… I think it was when I did Rose Caraway’s Sexy Librarian’s… or it might have been when I sent out a call for Coming Together: Among the Stars… anyway, Delilah and I have become fast internet friends — she lives VERY far away… and is one of my favorite internet peeps. So, thanks to Delilah again, and it’s lovely to be able to chat with her readers and fans. Thanks for having me.

One of my favorite writers is quoted as saying, “When a man writes a romance, the woman dies. When a woman writes one, it ends all tidy and sweet.”

The Rainbow Connection, a series of novels I have been writing for the last four years, is a romance. Admittedly, it is a gay romance, and until very recently, the likelihood of it ending in legal wedding was up for debate. But it was always meant to end happily.

The truth is, I was inspired to write what started as a short story and grew into a series of novels (three have been, or will be soon, published. One that’s being written, and one — maybe two? — that are in preliminary planning…) from an event that took place shortly before another wedding, many years ago. I had a tumultuous affair planned, for characters who took on a life of their own, ripped my control right out of my hands, and took me on a ride that I’ll never forget.

So, when I offer forth this little short story, I say to you, this is not a true spoiler. You always knew we were going this way. The road has been long, it has been winding, and it has had a great many bumps in it. But you knew the destination when you got in the car with me…

These books were always meant to be a romance, and a romance often needs a good wedding…

The Rainbow Connections Series (with links to purchase)

Book 1-Roll  (Torquere, Amazon)

Book 2-Blues (Tourquere, Amazon)

Buy Classic (Book 3) from Torquere (New in print!)

A short story, in parts….

Wedding March, Part Four

by Lynn Townsend

Part One, Wedding March is hosted at VL Locey’s blog, Thoughts from a Yodeling Goatherder.

Part Two, Wedding March is hosted on EM Lynley’s blog

Part Three, Wedding March is hosted on Delilah Devlin’s blog

Vin was quite convinced that he gained fifteen pounds just walking in the door at Ty & Knots’s Cake and Bakery. The air was absolutely pungent with sugar and chocolate, cream frosting and fondant. And then — oh, dear God in Heaven — Aglaia led them over to the tasting station. The owners, Tyler Shaw and Sonya Knots, were on top of their game. Two full tables were loaded with tiny cake squares, each labeled, and then dozens of tiny dishes of frosting samples with itty bitty spatulas to spread each kind of icing on whichever sort of cake.

Find your perfect flavor, a banner read, hanging over the samples. As Vin understood it, the wait for a Ty & Knots cake, off the street, was over nine months, but Aglaia held special commissions open for her clients. Because of course she did.

Mexican themed round wedding cake with modeling chocolate carnations and piped buttercream frosting cascading dot design in many colors by Wicked Goodies

Mexican themed round wedding cake with modeling chocolate carnations and piped buttercream frosting cascading dot design in many colors by Wicked Goodies

After they tried every possible combination — and a few of them more than once, and oh, sweet lord, was Vin going to have to work out, later. His knee ached just thinking about it. But worth it, oh, so worth it — they came to the mutual conclusion that neither of them was going to speak to the other ever again in their entire lives.

Because they couldn’t decide between salted caramel and chocolate or pumpkin walnut with cream cheese.

“It’s astonishin’ to me,” Beau said in Vin’s ear, “how we’ve managed t’ live together for near on six years an’ I never realized what an ornery cuss you was.”

“Careful, babe,” Vin said, “your dixie’s showing.”

“You know,” Sonya suggested, “you don’t have to have just one cake. It’s very popular these days, especially when we’re talking about a reception of your size, to have several smaller cakes. You can have one largish cake, for the cutting ceremony, and then smaller, themed cakes scattered around at set-ups all around the room. And we’ll put one of each of your favorites on the sides of your main display cake, so neither of you feels the lack?”

“So what do we put as the main cake?” Beau asked. He had a smut of raspberry white chocolate filling on the side of his mouth and Vin was resisting the urge to lick it off. Not that Sonya probably hadn’t seen that behavior before. Vin was just trying to adult. Look at him, adulting all over the place today. Responsible, respectable business owner. That was him. He was reminded suddenly of the couple he’d spotted boning up against the back of one of his art displays, the late end of a show that hadn’t done particularly well, and smirked. He hadn’t interrupted them because he was just nice like that. But he had watched them, because he wasn’t that nice.

“Second favorite?” Sonya suggested.

Vin eyed the plates of cake cubes and groaned. He wasn’t sure he could go through another round of tasting.

“Don’t worry,” Aglaia said, pulling up her tablet. “I wrote them all down while you were tasting the first time. I think I got your general preferences.”

“You’re a genius and I love you,” Vin said, expressively.

“No, no, you love him,” Aglaia said. “You merely worship me.”

“And we should get one that’s red velvet and cream cheese,” Beau added, loftily ignoring this display of adoration and life-long devotion between his fiancee and his wedding planner.

“Why?” Vin made a face. “Red velvet is old-lady cake.”

Beau snorted. “Because it’s Ann-Marie’s favorite, and she has put up with God knows how much shit from both of us for the last several years and we owe her. Also, because I love you, I won’t tell her you said that.”

Vin made a face and decided not to argue, because if he did argue, and lord knows he was tempted to, it might become general knowledge that he had no freaking clue what Mila’s favorite kind of cake was. He wasn’t as good with the people thing as Beau was; he probably never would be. Note to self, he thought, ask Mila what kind of cake she likes. Because it was Aglaia, and it was Ty & Knots’s Cake, and he could always call one or the other on the sly, later, and have an extra ordered for his sister. Because, of course he could.

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Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn’s interests include geek comedy music, romance novels, octopuses, and movies with more FX than plot.

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Find Lynn on Social Media

Review: Heat Wave: Burlington by Lynn Townsend

Heat Wave Burlington

Heat Wave: Burlington is a novella by Lynn Townsend, one of eighteen Heat Wave novella being released by JMS Books over the course of July and August.

Brandon Russo is having another hot, boring day at work. Scott Seay is a photographer on the trail of Champy, the lake monster said to live in Lake Champlain. Their paths intersect when Scott is knocked off his bike and Brandon is the good Samaritan who helps Scott get medical attention. An attraction sparks instantly.

I really enjoyed this fast, sweet read.

Scott (a photographer who has an open mind about things like Champy) and Brandon (working at his aunt’s storage facility) are both very likeable characters. They interact and banter well, and their attraction is believable. Alison (Brandon’s older sister and a nurse) is a great secondary character.

The setting (the storage facility, for the most part) is not one I’ve run into before in erotica, but it works surprisingly well. This is a running theme for me when it comes to Lynn’s stories–another one of my favorites of hers, Holidays Hours (from Coming Together: For the Holidays) takes place in a convenience store. She has the ability to take a unconventional setting and make it the backdrop for a sweet love story.

My only real complaint is that it’s such a short read. I’m greedy, and I like Lynn’s stories, so I always want more.

Pick up your copy on Kindle for 3.99 (also available as an e-book from other e-tailers)

2014 Book Reviews/Recommendations

If you’re a last minute shopper, here’s a round-up of my book reviews for 2014, including a few new micro reviews as I’m running out of time before the end of the year.

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 6.22.32 pmPut these books in the hands of your loved ones…

A reminder–If I don’t love a book, I won’t review it here.  I don’t want to waste anyone’s time on books I didn’t like, or to throw around bad karma by ripping apart someone else’s book.

Books I’ve reviewed this year, with best of awards given by me

Twisted, edited by Alison Tyler

Those Boys by Alison Tyler  **Best Novella, 2014**

Summer Loving, edited by Alison Tyler

The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica, edited by Rose Caraway  **Best Anthology, 2014**–my top anthology

Zombie Erotoclypse by Tamsin Flowers  **Best paranormal, 2014**

Skirting the Issue by Alison Tyler, Sommer Marsden, and Sophia Valenti

Roll By Lynn Townsend **Best LGBT, 2014**

The Mighty Quinn by Sommer Marsden  **Best novel, 2014**

Chemical [se]X, edited by Oleander Plume  **My husband’s top antho, 2014** (runner up as best antho from me)

Alchemy xii: New Years Eve by Tamsin Flowers  **Start of something amazing for 2015**

Books I haven’t gotten around to reviewing at length, but wanted to review before the end of the year are

Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors, edited by Delilah Devlin.  If you like your erotic heroes alpha and carrying swords, you’ll love this one. My favorites included

  • “The Promise of Memory” by Regina Kammer is a sexy and poignant story set in ancient Rome.
  • “To Love a King’s Man” by Emma Jay features a strong woman who isn’t about to let love walk away from her.
  • “The Squire” by Cela Winter has our heroine pretending to be a male squire and all the awkward that happens when she falls in love with her new knight.  (If you loved Tamora Pierce’s books when you were younger, this story is for you.)

Sex and Cupcakes by Rachel Kramer Bussel.  I really enjoyed Rachel’s essays.  As a plus sized woman, I found her piece about dating a plus sized man (“My Boyfriend’s Fat”)  particularly poignant.  I also really liked “What kind of submissive are you?” because it gets to the heart of how aroused I am by a specific kink is affected by who I’m playing with, what else is going on in my life, etc.  This was my favorite non-fiction piece on sex this year.

Coming Together: For the Holidays, edited by Alessia Brio.  My story “New on the Naughty List” (excerpt here) is part of this anthology (and I have 5 pdf reviewers copies), but I want to talk about which stories I enjoyed reading the most.

  • “Holiday Hours” by Lynn Townsend is the tale about a bored convenience store clerk on Christmas and the unexpected gift she receives.
  • “Fox’s Holiday” by Leigh Ellwood was an enjoyable shapeshifter story that made me want to read beyond the end of the story–what would happen next?
  • “Accosting Santa” by Sommer Marsden is the story of a neighbor who attacks the man she sees sneaking into the yard next door and combines her trademark hilarious banter and sizzling sex.

Other Days, edited by Jessica Augustsson.  Not erotica, but if you have a speculative fiction enthusiast on your list, this is a great one.  (Yes, I’m in it).

  • My favorite story in the book is “Lessons Learned” by Jessica (which I excerpted here) in which we learn the identity of Jack the Ripper (full disclosure, I beta read the story, too).
  • “Crux of a Faded Soul” by Jennifer Silverwood is a suspenseful ghost story narrated by a someone who insists she isn’t a ghost.
  • “The Karelian Egg” by Robert Young is the story of Anna, who is tasked to go back in time and steal one of the Faberge eggs for a mysterious man holding her brother hostage.

My story Choices (excerpt here) is included.  I have pdf reviewers copies if you would like one.

I have only just begun to read Coming Together: Among the Stars, edited by Lynn Townsend, but I’m still going to tell you to buy it if you have a sci fi fan on your list who would enjoy some kick in their Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.  I’m sharing pages with Rose Caraway, Lynn, Jade A. Waters, and Malin James among others, so I know it’s going to be awesome.  I have one pdf reviewers copy available.

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If you want a reviewer’s copy of Coming Together: For the Holidays, Coming Together: Among the Stars, or Other Days, leave a comment here or email me at delilahnight at gmail

 

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Also, there’s less than a week left to read my story, “Baby it’s Hot Outside” for free.  It’s a Christmas story set here in sweltering Singapore.

Book Review: Chemical [se]x, edited by Oleander Plume

Chemical [se]x

When I first heard about Chemical [se]X, I was intrigued.  An entire book of erotica with the common theme of chocolate?  Yummy.  I bought it, but had not gotten around to reading it.  Then, a few weeks ago, I listened to Rose Caraway interview Oleander Plume and Tamsin Flowers about the book.  Once I heard the podcast, Chemical [se]X moved up to the #1 spot in my to-read queue.

I’m so glad I read this book.

During the podcast, Oleander talks about how she wrote a story about aphrodisiac chocolates and posted it on her website for free.  Then she thought about writing a sequel.  The idea then evolved into an anthology with the erotic chocolates as a common theme.

Much like Tamsin’s Alchemy xii erotic serial, Oleander’s idea is something I haven’t seen before in erotica.  While anthologies have a common theme, there’s nothing tying the individual stories together.  With Chemical [se]X, while each story works as a stand-alone, the connecting thread took the collection as a whole to a new level.  I want more anthologies like this.

My husband and I often read different erotic books as we have different turn-ons (with a few exceptions, like Alison Tyler), but our shared kindle account means that we can see and read the books that the other has bought.  When I was reading Chemical [se]X, my kindle account would tell me that I was last at a different page because I learned that my husband was reading it at the same time I was.  Much like the way we eat chocolate in real life, I devoured Chemical [se]X and my husband is slowly savoring it.

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I’ve mentioned before that I read a LOT of erotica.  With some exceptions (basically anything I review on this blog or authors I squeal about on a regular basis) this means I have zero issue reading erotica in public because I’m a bit desensitized.  I read using my kindle app on my phone which means I’m likely to read anywhere and everywhere.

I started reading Chemical [se]X in a very long line of Christmas shoppers waiting to be checked out, beginning with the story that started it all; “Chemical [se]X” by Oleander Plume.

“You really don’t find it hot in here?”

“No, the air conditioning is really cranked up today. If you’re too warm, blame yourself for wearing those dopey socks.”

Despite his protests about the temperature, he shrugged out of his lab coat, then stood up to sharpen his pencil. I checked out his butt, it was cute, taut, and round enough to fill out the back of his faded jeans quite nicely. Another fantasy filled my head, this one of Wyatt’s naked ass bent over my knee, slightly pink after a paddling by my hand.

I was feeling a little flushed by the time I was checked out.  I knew I should stop reading Oleander’s story in public.  But it was so good I couldn’t NOT read it and I had to hit the grocery store in the basement of the mall I was in before I could go home.  I’ve never been so turned on while riding an escalator before in my life.  I don’t expect to ever have that singular experience again, either.  Gold star for you, Oleander!
Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 10.46.33 pmOleander also contributed one of my other favorite stories–“Coffee Break”

My brain screamed at my mouth “Spit that out, some weird shit is happening,” but I literally could not stop, the chocolate had a hypnotic effect on me. Once I finished the entire piece, I stared at Zak while I licked the melted bits off my fingers. That’s when I noticed his skin was the exact same color as the chocolate, and I had the overwhelming urge to lick him, too. All. Over.

Zak and Ryan have the best banter in the book.  They are an odd couple of co-workers with Ryan just NOT GETTING half of what Zak means when he uses words like “pansexual.”  But by the end of the story there is an electric m/m/m threesome.  Bonus point for an interracial coupling–there aren’t enough of them.

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Jade A. Waters’ story “The Connection” was the story that resonated the most for me.

“The Connection” is about a couple who have lost their way from one another.  Aubrey buys the aphrodisiac chocolates, hoping that they might help her and Terrance find that old spark.

Aubrey wanted to wait for Terence, but she ached to know what these chocolates could do. Lifting the lid, she admired the six candies inside, each piece waiting for her in a black and white polka-dotted foil cup. The store clerk had explained this decorative packaging as specific to the premium box, “guaranteed to satisfy” or her money back tomorrow.

How could she resist?

I’ve been married for almost nine years, and I’m the mom of two children.  One of the realities of a long term relationship like this is that there is a lot of ebb and flow to the sexual connection, especially post children.  Jade nails how frustrating the isolation is, and how scary it is to reach out.

When I read this story, all I could think about was reading it out loud to my partner with some chocolate truffles nearby.

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“Bittersweet” by Malin James is the most lyrical story in the anthology.  Malin has a talent for paring a story down to its most  essential elements that is almost poetic.

I study Iain’s strong, broad back and wonder if I should stay for one last fuck. My head is all for leaving, but my cunt…my cunt wants a final go. Absentmindedly, I pop a truffle in my mouth. It’s smooth and dark with a spikey, citrus finish. Not at all what I’d expected—more bitter than sweet. Not really to my taste. And yet…each receptor in my mouth shivers.

I loved the flow of the story from the narrator’s ambivalence to the way that her sexuality is taken in a new direction with the chocolate stimulus.

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“The Stranger” by Tamsin Flowers is special for many reasons.  I knew to expect hot sex–that’s a given with Tamsin.  What I hadn’t expected was a story set in the deep South with such a pitch perfect voice.  A Southern voice is easy to screw up and hard to get right.  She nailed it.

I didn’t know how to say it to him. He was a stranger and eating the chocolate had made me desire him. I was suddenly overcome by a longing more intense than I had experienced in years. I put my hand to his groin to see if he was hard. Of course he was, and through his pants I could feel that he’d fill me up and then some.

Tamsin leaves ambiguity in the story that made my imagination run wild–why was he there? where did he go from there?  Did McGrindle’s carry the special chocolates or were the women the stranger left behind praying for lightning to strike twice?

Honorable mentions go to

“Dinner for Three” by L Maretta for a really hot f/m/m threesome.

“Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealer” by Ella Dawson for writing the finals week hookup I wish I’d had as an undergrad

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I should confess that when I finished the anthology I had a craving to write a story with Oleander’s aphrodisiac chocolate.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed that she decides to do a sequel so I can write and submit one.

A bunch of lovely authors…

lovely blog awardThe very lovely Lace Winter nominated me for the “One Lovely Blog Award.”  I’m going to accept-and use this opportunity to heed Alison’s call to arms

What if we promoted each other in little surprise ways like this—posting covers, pimping stories, sharing the wealth. Read a book you liked? Put up the cover and a link. Discover an author you think is fabulous—give an unexpected shout out, an unplanned review.–Alison Tyler

I’m going to tell you about 15 authors I love.  If I tag you, carry on the award or not as is right for you 🙂

The rules of the award state that I must thank Lace for nominating me.  Thank you, sweetie.  But more than that, thank you for becoming a friend over the past few months.  I’m so glad to have met you–and hopefully I’ll meet you in person one of these days.

The award also says I need to share 7 things about myself my readers don’t know.  I don’t often talk about my non-writing life here, so I thought that would be fun to do.

about me

1-I suffer from pinterest addiction.  I’ve yet to try something worthy of a Pinterest FAIL blog, but my ambitions almost got the better of me with Ms. 6’s birthday party earlier this month.

IMG_9445Pinterest Success!

2-I don’t speak Mandarin.  However, both of my girls are learning it, so I’ve picked up a few words here and there.  Today when my aircon repair guy was on the phone with my landlord I could make out the words I, you, can’t, this one/that one, and because.  Which is just enough knowledge to make me panic–hearing “can’t” over and over from a repair man when my air conditioning isn’t working and it’s in the 90’s was freaking me out.  Other words in my vocabularly include the words for “I don’t want to,” which my three year old whines ALL THE TIME.

3-For all that I’m an expat and have traveled all over the place now, the truth is that I never flew on an airplane before I was 20 years old.  I was TERRIFIED the first time.  Now it’s old hat.

4-I told my husband I was buying the new Taylor Swift album for Ms. 6’s birthday, but mostly I bought it for me.  He saw right through it.  Kind of the same way he saw through it when I  bought tickets “for her” to Taylor Swift concert earlier this year.

5-I spent my childhood wanting to be Kristy from The Baby-Sitter’s Club book series.

6-If I had a better voice and less stage fright I would love to be a Broadway star.

7-I picked a bad partner the first time I had sex.  He invited me to his room to WATCH ANIME and I was naive enough to think that’s what it meant.  When I realized he had other ideas I decided “eh, why not?” and we had sex.  After it was over, we realize that I’d bled.  My reaction was to sigh because I didn’t have a pad in my purse.  HIS response was to say “Why didn’t you tell me you were going to bleed--I could’ve put a trash bag down or something so you wouldn’t stain my sheets.”  Like I said–I did not pick a good partner.  But I did get a good story out of it, so there’s that?

Now we get to the good stuff–I’m going to tell you about some of my favorite authors.

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1–My very first story acceptance was from Rachel Kramer Bussel.  She has a new collection of essays out called Sex and Cupcakes.  It’s currently sitting on my Kindle waiting for me to get through this insane week so I can dive in.

2–The next editor to accept my work was Alison Tyler.  If you’ve read my blog you know I LOVE her work.  She has a number of recent releases–including a story in Filthy Housewives, edited by Violet Blue.  My favorite novellas from Alison are Those Girls and Those Boys–Sandy is one of my favorite fictional Doms.

3-I have to say that Sandy is ONE of my favorite fictional Doms because I just got a sneak peek at Tamsin Flowers‘ new project Alchemy xii, and given the chance, I don’t know if I could pick between Alison’s Sandy and Tamsin’s Harry.  I’ll post a review a little closer to the release date.  Tamsin also wrote Zombie Erotoclypse, which contains “Peeping Zom”-which contains the only Paul Revere reference I’ve ever seen in an erotica story.  I have a degree in History, so I think we should all take a page from Tamsin’s book and throw in clever lines like that one.  If you like your zombie erotica aurally, check out Rose Caraway reading “Red Hot Zombie Cock” on the Kiss Me Quick Podcast.

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4-Speaking of Rose Caraway, have you read The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica?  It’s my current pick for best erotica anthology this year.

5-Pillow Talk is a collaborative effort brought to us by Tamsin Flowers, Malin James and Jade A. Waters.  It’s so great to see a conversation between fellow erotica authors on topics like how their writing has evolved to be more selective about which details to include in a story and which to leave to a reader’s imagination.

6-Malin James‘ blog should be required reading for anyone interested in sex.  Her recent post “Ownership: On Sexuality & Feminine Relations” really resonated with me.

7-Jade A. Waters is a new author to me, but I’m looking forward to reading more of her work, including her story in the upcoming Lynn Townsend anthology Among the Stars.  I really enjoy hearing her opinions in Pillow Talk and on Twitter.

8-Lynn Townsend caught my attention with “Full Frontal Neighbor” in  The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica.  I subsequently read her novel Roll, which I loved.  I’m eagerly awaiting the publication of Blues in early 2015.  Lynn recently edited her first anthology and Among the Stars is going to be so awesome.

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9-I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Sommer Marsden.  I started reading Sommer’s work because she came so highly recommended by Alison.  I quickly became a huge fan of her clever twist endings.  Her new book is The Mighty Quinn, also on my kindle.  (Have I mentioned how crazy this week is? CRAZY busy).  I also loved her story “The New Girl” in Skirting the Issue  , “Appetizer” in The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica, and I’m looking forward to seeing her story in Coming Together: For the Holidays.

10-Janine Ashbless grabbed my attention with her story “Three Legs in the Evening” in The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica because I’m a Greek Mythology fangirl.  One of my daughter has a middle name pulled from Greek Mythology.  I’m super excited to read her new release Cover Him with Darkness.

11-Delilah Devlin edits some seriously hot anthologies with alpha males.  I  loved her antho Cowboy Lust, .  I’m currently reading Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors .  If you prefer Firemen, she also just released Five Alarm Alphas .

12-I’m a sucker for erotic fairy tales, and Kristina Wright has edited A Princess Bound,  Fairy Tale Lust, and Lustfully Ever After.

13-Lace Winter (who tagged me for this post) is not yet a published author, but I’m certain she will be soon.  She’s been posting excerpts from her WIP, and I can’t wait to read the whole thing.

14-I know Sophia Valenti‘s work from Alison’s anthologies, and her story “A Lesson in Lust” in Skirting the Issue is one of my favorite F/F stories.

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I’m going to leave  #15 empty—tell me who I should be reading that I haven’t discovered yet.

Other Days

Other Days

I’m very proud to announce that Other Days has been published.  The story I excerpted the other day, “The Choices that Damn Us” is included in this anthology.  Available now on Amazon US/US in kindle form (book form in a week or so) and in paperback on createspace.  Kobo, smashwords and other formats in early 2015 (due to some Amazon rules).

Obviously I’m proud of my story, but I want to take a moment to tell you about my friend Jessica’s story “Lessons Learned.”  If you have ever wondered who the real Jack the Ripper was, you’ll want to read this one. I love the build of dramatic tension throughout and the ending gave me chills.

Here’s an excerpt of “Lesson Learned”

“Come on, Polly,” I overheard Ellen try to convince Mary Ann to go back to the lodging house, and remembered seeing the nickname in the files. Mary Ann was drunk and refused to go. I heard her tell Ellen she’d earned her doss money three times over already that night (and then spent it all at the Frying Pan) and was certain that with her new bonnet, she’d make it again.

Ellen gave up and walked away. I went cold. The bonnet. The new bonnet. Would she be out here at all if it weren’t for me and that bonnet? I felt dizzy, like the whole world was spinning around me. Leaning against a cool brick wall, I tried to catch my breath.

“Jules? Julie! You there?” A cacophony of voices shouting my name in my ear brought me back to my senses.

“Uh…yeah. Yes, I’m here.” I shook my head to wake myself out of the stupor.

“We’ve been trying to talk to you for over a minute already,” Tom’s worried voice crackled over the earpiece. “What’s going on?”

“Are you still trailing her?” Martin asked apprehensively.

I looked around for Mary Ann, but she must already have turned up Whitechapel High Street; I couldn’t see her anymore. I ran around the corner and trotted as quickly as I could in these damned heeled-boots up Whitechapel Street past Garden Street and St. Mary’s. Still no sign of her. I turned left in a panic up the short bit of road called Baker’s Row and then right onto Buck’s Row (as Durward was known then) and everything was still and empty.

“I see you, Jules,” came Martin’s voice in my ear, clearly relieved. “What happened?”

Out of breath and lungs stinging like fire, I just shook my head and threw my hands in the air in response, knowing Martin would be able to see everything through his goggles. I didn’t know what had happened. I hadn’t seen anything. Hadn’t heard anything. I turned in a full circle, looking everywhere. My chest and throat felt tight with fear and frustration. I just wanted to cry. Had I missed some clue as I’d dashed along Whitechapel Street? Or maybe Mary Ann had turned up Thomas or Court Street instead of Baker’s Row? Or perhaps Jack already had her before I’d gotten myself together, back when I realized about the bonnet. I didn’t know her, but she was a living, breathing person, and I no longer wanted to find her killer—I wanted her to live.

Here’s the full Table of contents

  • Habejari’s Break by Kimber Camacho
  • House Call by Brandon Nolta
  • Deja View by Tim Koch
  • Affaire de Coeur by Susanne Hülsmann
  • A Fair Trade by Johannes Svensson
  • Escape Velocity by Melissa Swanepoel
  • Fire in the Bones by Marguerite Croft
  • Lesson Learned by Jessica Augustsson
  • Glass and Mirrors by Sharon A. Brown
  • Man, and None by Brandon Nolta
  • The Grande Complication by Christopher Reynaga
  • Contraband by Susan Hülsmann
  • The Karelian Egg by Robert Young
  • The Choices that Damn Us by Delilah Night
  • The Mer-Bell by Kimber Camacho
  • A Bird in the Hand by Johannes Svensson
  • Crux of a Faded Soul by Jennifer Silverwood

Edited to Add…Buy it here