And the winners are…
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OMG, for those of us in this hemisphere, it’s totally SUMMER LOVE time. But for those of you not sweltering/getting battered by various thunderstorms and wannabe tornadoes or digging for water, and are instead experiencing winter, well, you can live vicariously through the rest of us.
To that end, Ladylit‘s Caroline Manchoulas and Harper Bliss join us at Women and Words with a short Q&A Caroline put together with contributors to the anthology Summer Love: Stories of Lesbian Holiday Romance.
Here’s some background on this fabulous-ness:
As a couple who met and fell in love in summer, we’ve always been especially fond of the season. Every year it brings back memories of those first evenings spent together, having drinks on a terrace, slowly getting to know each other and feeling like there might be something there worth exploring.
The idea to edit a summer romance anthology together came to us while having drinks on a terrace as well, but it was in the late fall. In the sub-tropical country we now call home, summers are spent mostly indoors in refrigerator-like air-conditioning.
After several months of receiving, reading and evaluating many submissions, we finally arrived at the splendid list of stories contained in the finished product. And we couldn’t be more proud. The quality and diversity of the stories is amazing. Some of them are purely romantic, others are sizzling hot. All of them together make for a perfect sensual companion to any holiday.
And to celebrate all of this summer lovin’, Ladylit is putting up TWO EBOOK COPIES of this here anthology. To get in on the fun, leave a comment below. Please remember to include your email address in the comment fill-out form but NOT in the comment body. FOR REALZ. Cuz SPAM BOTS. We’re totally trying to help you out. We will close the drawing MONDAY JULY 20th at 10 PM EST! So there’s plenty of time to get in on summer lovin’. 😀
And now, I’ll turn it over to Caroline.
Summer Loving with Caroline Manchoulas and friends!
Putting together an anthology of this size was a new experience for me, but one I can’t wait to repeat. The anticipation when opening the mailbox in the morning to see if any new submissions have arrived; the excitement as you see one from a writer you love and admire; the thrill when you read a story by someone new to the scene and it goes straight to the YES folder; and finally the satisfaction when you see your book for sale online (especially if it’s the first time your name is on a book, as was the case for me).
The theme of the anthology was especially close to my heart as Harper and I met in summer many years ago so I asked her and two other contributors to answer a couple of questions about their summer loves and flings, and here are their replies.
Have you ever experienced a summer romance yourself? And did it end up turning into something more than a holiday fling?
Harper Bliss: I met my wife (and co-editor of this anthology!) in the summer of 2000, and we’re still married, so yes! It wasn’t so much a holiday fling, though, as she made me pursue her relentlessly, and it all went down in our home town as opposed to a sandy white beach. But, I persisted, and she was unable to resist my awkward charms forever, and 15 years later, she loves me still.
Allison Wonderland: It’s a given I’ve given in to some hot fun in the summertime, a season whose temperatures and fashions are designed to create and sate lust. It was a blast, but it didn’t last. While it’s a cruel summer, leaving me queer on my own, it was also adequately ephemeral, a many splendored fling.
Cheyenne Blue: It was actually a winter romance, but given that it was in tropical Far North Queensland, it was decidedly summery. There were a lot of white sand beaches, skinny dipping in the warm waters of the Coral Sea, and tropical nights with wine (and sandflies). It didn’t last, but I didn’t want it to either. It was perfect the way it was (well, except for the sandflies).
The classic location for a moment of holiday sexy times is the beach, but what is the most original spot in which you’ve had a sexy holiday encounter? And don’t be stingy on the details. . .
HB: In my head, I’ve had many. I also ‘hear’ beaches are terribly over-rated because of the sand going where it shouldn’t. . .Being a lesbian AND meeting my true love at the tender age of 22 actually didn’t give me much opportunity to pursue holiday crushes, apart from in my hormone-fueled teenager imagination. But, to be a good sport, let’s just say that, in my dreams, Gillian Anderson and Robin Wright have had many a sexy holiday encounter on cliff tops, back seats of cars, and green pastures.
AW: The dressing room of a thrift shop in a gayborhood. How positively pulpy. I mean, talk about women in the shadows who whisper their love! Queerly you don’t need to be a beach bunny or beach boi to experience good vibrations, and those vibrations are even more vibrant when they’ve got a vintage vibe to them. Ah, those lazy-hazy-crazy gays of summer.
CB: At the top of a fire tower in the Victorian High Country, Australia. The panoramic view meant that we could see the approaching 4wd and time our er… finish so that we were dressed and earnestly watching for bushfires when the tourists completed the climb up the lookout cabin.
Harper Bliss is the author of the novels Once in a Lifetime and At the Water’s Edge, the French Kissing serial, the High Rise series, and several other lesbian erotica and romance titles. She is the co-founder of Ladylit Publishing, an independent press focusing on lesbian fiction. Harper lives on an outlying island in Hong Kong with her wife and, regrettably, zero pets.
Allison Wonderland devotes her summers to carnivals, concerts, and literary events. She has contributed to over thirty anthologies, including Ladylit’s Forbidden Fruit: Stories of Unwise Lesbian Desire. Besides being a Sapphic storyteller, Allison is a reader of stories Sapphics tell and enjoys everything from pulp fiction to historical fiction.
Cheyenne Blue‘s erotica has appeared in around 100 erotic anthologies since 2000. Her best lesbian stories are now available in the Blue Woman Stories collections published by Ladylit. She is the editor of Forbidden Fruit: Stories of Unwise Lesbian Desire, also from Ladylit, and has edited short stories through to novels. Under her own name she has written travel books and articles, and curated anthologies of local writing in Ireland. She has lived in Europe and North America, but now lives and writes near the beach in Queensland, Australia.
Sun-soaked beaches, glittering blue pool surfaces and oceans painted by an orange-hued sunset have one thing in common: they’re the perfect background for falling in love. Who hasn’t felt that first wave of butterflies rise deep in their belly while pool side? Or that first quickening of the pulse when lounging on a lush patch of grass during a music festival? Summer is the perfect time to indulge in that sudden rush of first love or, equally so, the warm grip of long-fostered feelings for another woman.
This collection of fourteen stories runs the gamut of lesbian holiday romance stories. An Australian cookery course, a Belfast coffee shop, and even a romance writers’ conference are some of the backdrops for the summer love that unfolds in this lesbian romance anthology. Tamsin Flowers’s Drive Me Crazy takes place during Glastonbury, while Katya Harris’s sensual tale of passion between long-time lovers is entirely set by the side of the pool. Newcomer Brooke Winters brings us an irresistible tale of a woman running into a Mistress she’s played with in Spain, while Lucy Felthouse’s heroine gets much more heat than she bargained for when she goes volcano-watching on Lanzarote.
With stories by highly rated authors, including Annabeth Leong, Allison Wonderland, Erzabet Bishop and Harper Bliss, this collection is the perfect sensual companion to any holiday.
Table of Contents
“Stepping Out” by Cheyenne Blue
“Mother Tongue” by Camille Duvall
“Drive Me Crazy” by Tamsin Flowers
“In the Honey-Sweet Sunshine” by Katya Harris
“Third Time Lucky” by A.L. Brooks
“A Most Spectacular View” by Lucy Felthouse
“Summer Stock” by Emily L. Byrne
“Mistress by Brooke Winters”
“A Good Read” by RJ Layer
“Orchid Rain” by Erzabet Bishop
“The Boi Who Cried Woolf” by Allison Wonderland
“Old College Friends” by Annabeth Leong
“Free Summer” by K.A. Smith
“A Matter Of Inclination” by Harper Bliss