Anthology/Shorts

Tales From Sea Glass Inn – Karis Walsh

Tales From Sea Glass Inn – Karis WalshFour short romances which follow on and intertwine with the Original “Sea Glass Inn” and the lives of those who live in the small tourist village. An oil spill threatens to destroy the beautiful beach, the wildlife and the livelihood of the community. In the aftermath a collection of women are pulled together, some new, some already known, and in each short a romance unfolds.

Karis Walsh has an appealing and easy writing style that always makes her stories a pleasant read and a keen eye for human frailties that captures the interest. Here she pulls out the quirks of each woman and shows us who they are and what they struggle with in swift brush strokes.

The romances are necessarily fast, but despite that Ms Walsh gives us enough character development and angst to capture the imagination. Jenny and Helen need to overcome the patterns their upbringings have created. Ari and Jocelyn need to open up and let Karis Walsh biogsomebody in. Heather and Aspen are opposites, one driven and over ambitious, the other too scared to put herself out there, between them they make a perfect balance. Tam and Maggie must overcome the control they feel is essential, and the fears that caused their isolation. Throughout Pam and Mel, the Sea Glass Inn, and Cannon Beech pull them all together and give them a common context.

A thoroughly enjoyable read from a very good author, and a charming follow up to a definite favorite. The collection of stories stand alone, but if you enjoyed “Sea Glass Inn” there is an added bonus of seeing a snapshot from Pam and Mel’s ongoing lives together. A lovely summer read.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • First published 2016
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (12 July 2016)
  • ASIN: B01H2VLZKI
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Finding Ms Write – Jae & Jove Belle (Ed.)

Finding Ms Write - Jae & Jove Belle (Ed.)This is an amusing, fun and charming set of short stories written by an array of lesbian authors, some well known, others less so. The tone is light and the content entertaining, all based, of course, around writers, editors and publishers.

From a night of passion with a stranger on a cruise to a long-term partner trying out new things, the stories are a mix of fantasy and reality. There are also a mixture of age and experience, from young professionals to older women and established couple’s, which makes for a refreshing change.

The stories have various appeals, this isn’t erotica, it’s romance, and varies from soft explicit to fade to black. Having been to Con I do feel we ned a follow up from a certain author/editor…

I found them well written and enjoyable reads, if you like romance and enjoy short stories this is definitely for you.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • First published 2016
  • Ylva Publishing (June 29, 2016)
  • ASIN: B01H1P59MK
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The Chasing Game – Meghan O’Brien

The Chasing Game - Meghan O'BrienThe Chasing Game is hot, steamy and fun. It contains mild BDSM and some amusing roleplay, and carries a warning to that affect – so don’t read and be offended.

If you like something a bit different from a standard erotic short, this is an excellent addition to your bookshelves. Ms O’Brien plays with a role reversal that is interesting and very well thought through – certainly caught my imagination.

It’s more than just pure erotica through, the couples love and care for each other is evident throughout and portrayed with the ease of an accomplished writer. The dom/sub relationship is strong and the respect is clear.

This was my first Mehgan O’Brien and it definitely wont be my last – in fact I had to resist going right off on a tangent and buying the lot.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 36 pages
  • First published 2016
  • Publisher: Meghan O’Brien (June 3, 2016)
  • ASIN: B01GM4MHEO
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Three Shorts – Karin Kallmaker

Butch Across the Hall - Karin KallmakerThe Butch Across the Hall
Hot, sweet and short. Realising she wants more than vanilla, the chance delivery of post to the wrong flat gives Ronnie the chance to knock on Miki’s door across the hall. But will she have the nerve to ask for what she really wants?

Exquisite writing, extremely fiery sex, great characterisation despite the length and a totally enjoyable read. If you like erotica you will love this one… and if you are just maybe a bit curious, why not pluck up your courage and knock on that door.

Ice and Fire - Karin KallmakerIce and Fire

Passion alfresco. If you love a top, somebody who adores pleasing you, then this is the perfect example of how to keep her happy.

Another sizzling Karin Kallmaker for women who like to please their women.

 

SALT - Karin KallmakerSALT

Powerful, personal, poetic. This will resonate with anyone who has ever truly cried for a lost love, for an ex they still love, and for the frustration of watching that ex move on – knowing they too will cry salt.

(Not an erotic short)

(publisher review copy received)

The Butch Across the Hall
  • Paperback: 5,200 words
  • First published 2004
  • Publisher: KK – Revisions Copyright ©2016)
To buy from Karin’s web store – click here.
Fire and Ice
  • Paperback: 1,500 words
  • First published 2004
  • Publisher: KK – Revisions Copyright ©2016)
To download from Karin’s web store – click here.
SALT
  • Paperback: 1,100 wordss
  • First published 1998
  • Publisher: KK – Revisions Copyright ©2016)
To download from Karin’s web store – click here.

 

Stars: The Anthology – Ed. Janis Ian

Stars: The Anthology - Ed. Janis Ian The lesser-known Janis Ian – Science Fiction Fan and Writer and Editor of Stars: The Anthology

Sometimes a work goes beyond capturing one’s attention; it captures you. On occasion a book should be read more than once, savoured, with parts of it read aloud just to hear the words dance. I picked up Stars: The Anthology, edited by Janis Ian I was captivated by the beauty of language, her lyrics brought to life. Positively brilliant.

Short stories provide a fantastic introduction to any genre or as way to “shop around,” for new authors – rather like a taste test for fiction. An excellent short story can be a breathless ride into a world-building event that instantly mesmerizes the reader, with fully engaging characters, and a focus so tight, that the reader doesn’t notice the brevity of the tale.   It isn’t a stretch to write that the author of a short story has the same job as a songwriter: within a few moments, tell a compelling tale, in both a memorable and unique manner, that resonates timelessly.

So, not at all surprising, Janis Ian, one of my favorite songwriters, edited an anthology of science fiction short stories entitled; Stars: The Anthology. In her introduction she informs the reader: “I am no editor at all. I’m a songwriter…”

Janis Ian perfectly captures the reason that I am drawn to science. She writes; “Science fiction is a home for the homeless; for those of us who have spent our lives on the outside, staring through a plate glass window.” In other words, such stories allow our imagination to look at the world from a the gaze of the other – as apart from the world as is, while at the same time, searching for a means to create/explain/fix the world in order to find our place within rather than outside. Ian’s most poignant song, “At Seventeen,” embodies the outsider feeling and parallels her description of science fiction completely. What makes this particularly special to me is that Ian writes as a lesbian who experienced life as an outsider and turned to science fiction as a means to escape, something that I absolutely identify

Stars: The Anthology is one of the better anthologies that I have ever had the pleasure to read (and re-read.) What makes this something more than a standard Science Fiction anthology?   At first glance, current science fiction phenomena, a few who happen to be Nebula and Hugo Award winners, fill the table of contents — from Mercedes Lackey and Tanith Lee to Orson Scott Card and Harry Turtledove. That alone would draw me to the book. However, this anthology had a theme for inclusion: each story was inspired by one of Janis Ian’s songs.

“Inspired” by does not imply taking the lyrics and creating a story based on said lyrics. That result would be rather cheesy, in my opinion. No, the inspiration comes from what the author takes from the lyrics, emotional content, something that resonated – perhaps one particular line that seemed to lead the writer somewhere else. For example, Mercedes Lackey gleaned her story, “On the Other Side” from the lyric “Oh, but all that I remember is the children were in danger on the other side.” In typical Lackey style, she weaves a tale set in a world with following the horrors of war, with the children left in insidious orphanages of Valdemar.

Kay Kenyon takes a line from Ian’s “Society’s Child” and creates a fabulous tale, entitled “An indeterminate State” about artificial life and human downfall. Suffice it to say, the rest of the book follow suit with a plethora of amazing stories, yielding one of the better science fiction anthologies out there. In this case, “better” as well as unique. Stars: The Anthology provides an extra bonus: a link for the playlist of the all the songs incorporated. Obviously, I highly recommend this book.

Even if you are not a fan of Janis Ian, this book provides the reader with some very unique short stories written by some of the better science fiction writers of the current era.   For those readers that wonder why I’m writing this review for benefit of lesbian readers of science fiction, I believe that Janis Ian does an excellent job of capturing many of our experiences in her songs. While many of the writers included are not lesbians, their work is exemplary and befitting the lyrics of a timeless songwriter, who is openly lesbian and articulate on the experiences of being “other.”

For more information on this book, I recommend reading the article from NPR

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Lucky Bat Books with
    Rude Girl Press (January 21, 2014)
  • ASIN: B008GYTQ52
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L is For – Kiki Archer et al

L is ForA great mixed bag of short stories, from ghosts to erotica, humor to romance.

Contributed by UK lesfic writers the profits are being donated to the charity R U Coming Outl At just over $6 (£4) this is an excellent Christmas present and a great way to support a worthwhile LGBT cause.

Contributors: VG Lee, Suzanne Egerton, Kiki Archer, Deborah Underwood, Angela Peach, Sarah Bolger, Clare Lydon, Crin Claxton, Angela Clerkin, HP Munro, Nic Herriot, Karen Campbell, Frances Gapper, Jade Winters, Tanith Nyx, Andrea Bramhall, Rain McAlistair, Katie Bennett-Hall, Chloe A Marshall

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 193 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: AMAZON (NOVEMBER 26, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00Q9F6Y1Y
  Amazon.com
To buy the Kindle edition – click here.
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Unwrap These Presents – Ed. Astrid Ohletz and R.G. Emanuelle

Unwrap these presentsFrom poetry to shorts this anthology will have something for everybody. Tales of self discovery, of romance, of heartbreak and heartwarming. A strong dose of guardian angels with a side order of succubi and a vampire. Travel and snowstorms loom large as you might expect, but often with unexpected outcomes.

Not all the stories have happy endings, several leave us wanting more, and others leave the characters at the beginning of journey rather than the end. But as always our favorite writers have delivered a wide-ranging assortment that will warm the cockles of the most cynical heart.

You will recognize some, others may be new to you – but what better way to get a feel for a new author than a charitable and seasonal tale.

All profits of this anthology will be donated to the Albert Kennedy Trust in the UK and the Ali Forney Center in New York City. Both organisations provide housing for homeless LGBTIQ youth. Being a young homeless person at Christmas time must be a terrible experience, driving home quite how cut off and isolated they are. This is an excellent way to help provide housing and support.. all for just $8.

Authors: Andi Marquette, Ashley Stevens, Catherine Lane, Cheri Crystal, Cindy Rizzo, Clare Lydon, Devin Sumarno, Erzabet Bishop, Eve Francis, Fletcher DeLancey, Jae, Jean Copeland, Joan Arling, Jove Belle, L.T. Smith, Lee Lynch, Lois Cloarec Hart, Nikki Busch, Patricia Penn, R.G. Emanuelle, S. M. Harding, T.M. Croke, Wendy Temple

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 385 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing (November 13, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PM993OS
  Amazon.comTo buy the Kindle edition – click here.
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Available on Smashwords HERE

The Alleyway and Other Short Stories – Rejini Samuel (aka RJ Samuel)

the-alleyway RJ Samuel’s collection of short stories, The Alleyway and Other Short Stories, written under her given name, Rejini Samuel is by far one of the better collections that I have read in recent years. In fact, three of the stories were short listed for an international writing competition (Over the Edge New Writer of the Year) – and rightly so. Her writing is amazing. Actually, to say “amazing” seems trite, but I lack the adequate words at the moment to fully articulate just how moved I am. RJ lifted me out of my room, allowing me to become a part of the conversations and imagery alive in each story. With each bit of dialogue, I could “hear” the speakers, the subtle dialect/accent, their unique manner of speaking.

The descriptions, so vibrant, jump off the page — I could “see” what RJ wrote. Certainly, I could give a snippet of each story, but as they are rather short, I’d be guilty of spoiling. Yet, three stories immediately stand out.   “The Alleyway” blew me away. The dialogue, allusion, emotional landscape, actually transfixed me, I truly “heard” every word as they were spoken by the characters; I could see the facial expressions; smell the aromas wafting through the alley.

I admit, that as a writer, this is what I aspire to do, and RJ inspires me.   “Amy_Grrl” made me laugh out loud, with the most apt portrayal of fear of cyber dating and her internal dialogue about the standard lesbian relationship route (u-haul after a few dates) as the biggest thing that she must now attempt to avoid – again. Finally, “A Prison of Words,” struck a chord in me as a writer, speaker, and one who often feels trapped by what and how to say what I mean. RJ captured every emotion perfectly.

RJ Samuel BiogRJ is a brilliant writer. She speaks to me as a woman living in a diverse world, as a lesbian, as an artist, and as a person who seeks to connect with others and often feels at a loss as to how to do so adequately.   I highly recommend these stories. The brought me more than a little pleasure, the warmed my heart.

Product info:

  • Paperback: 45 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Amazon (September 18, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00NPIB85A
  Amazon.com

To buy the Kindle edition – click here.