erotica

Coffee Connections: A booklist

Most mornings before I head out to work, I brew up a pot of Yuban and pour it into my trusty Stanley thermos. It’s as much a part of my day as getting dressed. This beloved and essential morning ritual goes well with both solitude and company. 

For example, my idea of a perfect first date or family gathering starts with a cup of coffee. If nothing else goes right, at least there’s a steaming (or chilled or frozen) coffee concoction to enjoy. Throw in a good book and its game over perfection! The characters in the stories below geek out on B-grade sci-fi flicks, grapple with long-distance, attempt to run a cafe while still attending high school, and much more. Just add coffee. 

long macchiatos and monsters

Long Macchiatos and Monsters (Geek Out: A Collection of Trans and Genderqueer Romance) by Alison Evans
Published by Less Than Three Press
Available from Less Than Three Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Jalen, lover of B-grade sci-fi movies, meets the far-too-handsome P in a cafe while deciding whether or not to skip uni again. When P invites them along to a double feature of Robot Monster and Cat Women of the Moon, Jalen can hardly believe that hot boys like bad sci-fi, too. But as their relationship progresses, Jalen realizes P leaves them wondering if they’re on the same page about what dating means, and if that’s what they’re doing.” – from Less Than Three Press

coffee date

Coffee Date by K. Lynn
Published by Less Than Three Press
Available from Less Than Three PressAmazon, Barnes & Noble, Smash Words.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Alice is finally happy with her body and her life—except for the part where revealing she’s trans winds up leaving her hurt and abandoned over and over again. She’s decided she’s done making herself miserable by looking for love.

Love finds her anyway, in the form of Hank, the new guy at her local coffee shop. He’s sweet, friendly, charming… and will probably turn out like all the rest. Determined not to shatter the fantasy and lose him before she has to, Alice holds fast to her secrets. 

But if the truth doesn’t ruin everything, the lies will, and it seems no matter which choice she makes Alice is set for just one more heartache.” – from Less Than Three Press

Get it together delilah

Get it Together, Delilah! by Erin Gough
Published by Chronicle Books
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

Originally published as The Flywheel in Australia, 2015.

“Seventeen-year-old Delilah Green wouldn’t have chosen to do her last year of school this way, but she figures it’s working fine. While her dad goes on a trip to fix his broken heart after her mom left him for another man, Del manages the family cafe. Easy, she thinks. But what about homework? Or the nasty posse of mean girls making her life hell? Or her best friend who won’t stop guilt-tripping her? Or her other best friend who might go to jail for love if Del doesn’t do something? But really, who cares about any of that when all Del can think about is beautiful Rosa who dances every night across the street. . . . Until one day Rosa comes in the cafe door. And if Rosa starts thinking about Del, too, then how in the name of caramel milkshakes will Del get the rest of it together?” – from Chronicle Books

something-true

Something True (Out in Portland, #1) by Karelia Stetz-Waters
Published by Forever Yours, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, Kobo, and other retailers. Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Tate Grafton has a tough exterior, but underneath she’s kind, caring, and fiercely loyal. That’s why she first started working at Out in Portland Coffee-it was her way of repaying the shop’s owner for taking her in as a homeless teenager. Nine years later, the coffee shop is floundering and Tate feels like she’s letting life pass her by . . . until she shares an unforgettable night with a beautiful stranger. When the mysterious woman disappears the next morning, Tate doesn’t even know her name.

Laura Enfield was supposed to be in Portland for only a few days-just long enough to oversee a simple business deal before joining her conservative father on his political campaign. But when the closeted Laura romances an employee of the coffee shop her company is shutting down, things get suddenly complicated. Now, the lies she’s told for years are beginning to unravel, and her biggest secret is about to be exposed. Laura can’t stop thinking about the barista with the soulful eyes, but after a lifetime of deception, can she finally embrace something true?” – from Karelia Stetz-Waters

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Don’t Bang the Barista! by Leigh Matthews
Published by Leigh Matthews
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Drawing on the classics of lesbian pulp fiction, Don’t Bang the Barista! is set in the hipster-dyke triangle of East Vancouver, where friends Kate and Cass discuss the politics of hooking up with a hot barista crush. Is Cass warning Kate off over concern for her favourite coffee shop hangout, or does she have ulterior motives for keeping Hanna and Kate apart? What if Hanna actually has her sights set on someone else… someone already in a seemingly monogamous and hetero relationship? Navigating life in the queer East Van community certainly isn’t simple for Kate and her trusty canine, Jupiter, especially when Kate’s ex gets back into town looking more fabulous than ever. Can Kate finally figure out who she wants to be with before it’s too late?” – via Amazon.com

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Confessions from a Coffee Shop by T.B. Markinson
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Available from Amazon.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

“Cori Tisdale was on top of the world. A basketball star at Harvard and a promising author with a lucrative book deal.

A few years later, Cori’s life is falling apart. Her beautiful girlfriend, Kat Finn, has a shopping addiction. To make ends meet, Cori takes a part-time job at a coffee shop.

Just when Cori thinks her life can’t get any worse, an old crush appears out of the blue. Cori’s friendship with Samantha Clarke pushes Cori further into a dangerous abyss when Sam reveals two secrets to Cori and asks her not to tell a soul, including Kat.

Will this be the end of Cori’s and Kat’s relationship?” from T.B. Markinson

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A Caramel Macchiato with a Friend by Lila Bruce
Published by Sapphire Books|
Available from Sapphire Books, Amazon, and other retailers.  Join the discussion on Goodreads!

(A short story from the A Heart Well Traveled: Tales of Long Distance Romance and Unlikely Outcomes)

“Discover the many facets of romantic relationships as authors in volume one of, A Heart Well Traveled, unravel the trials and tribulations of long distance love affairs.

Each author, with their own unique style of storytelling, will leave the reader begging for more. Go from wild rides to gentle love stories, exploring the twists and turns lovers go through as they work to be together despite the distance between them.

Explore bonds beyond friendship, chance meetings, family drama, gender complexity, longstanding love and unexpected passion as lovers seek their happily ever after.

A Heart Well Traveled is a collection of short stories where women who love woman share the joys and challenges of long distance relationships.

Can love really conquer all?” – from Sapphire Books

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Categories: booklist, erotica, fiction, lgbt, romance, science fiction, Uncategorized, young adult | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Next Girl & Other Lesbian Tales

The Next Girl & Other Lesbian Tales

Sexy, suspenseful, and full of surprises, The Next Girl & Other Lesbian Tales features an array of previously published short stories starring women of color. Tawanna Sullivan serves up a sampler platter of genres: erotica, horror, suspense, thriller, fantasy, and romance. This slender volume is the perfect companion for any spare moment or a leisurely morning.

Just Desserts mixes a tryst and voyeurism between two couples stranded at an airport. The Getaway runs off to the countryside in the midst of a murder investigation. How far would you go for the woman you love? Operation Butch Ambush forces two groups with opposing gender ideals (Butch/Femme Preservation Society vs the Toi Bois’ “no matter whom you find yourself attracted to, be fierce enough to admit it and act on it” philosophy) to team up in order to save fellow butches from a reality television show. Famished reminds me of those six word memoirs. Though it’s only a page (a page meaning a Samsung Galaxy 5 screen-sized page), the story follows a relationship’s devolution over sack lunch; the ending offers smug satisfaction. The collection’s titular story, The Next Girl, involves a complicated case of romantic dibs between two friends.

Many of the stories felt like they ended abruptly, the rest of the tale just beyond the precipice. Granted, the author does note that a few are flash fiction pieces. Despite this, Sullivan creates vivid scenes and complex characters. The dialogue and pacing flow easily, adding to the overall immersive, enjoyable reading experience. She is currently at work on her debut novel. I’m excited to see how her talent at the abbreviated short form translates to feature length.

The Next Girl & Other Lesbian Tales
Author: Tawanna Sullivan
tpsulli publications

Released: January 2017
ISBN: 9780998432717
ASIN: B01MS3AKYU

Available from Amazon and KoboJoin the discussion on Goodreads!

Categories: erotica, lgbt, romance, short stories | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reading Resolutions for 2017

 Oh, reading challenges. I love them, and yet, I fare better with the types of reading challenges that quantify, rather than qualify, my choices. For example, Goodreads only asks how many books I plan on finishing between January and December. That’s pretty straightforward, simple, and, in some ways, not that much of a challenge. I can set the bar at 5 books, if I wanted (I would wither away if I was only able to read five books in a year).

My excuses/reasons for failing to cross the finish line of the 2016 PopSugar challenge are many. I’m like that dog in the Pixar movie “Up”; I get distracted by every book that crosses my path. There are certainly not enough hours in the day for work, commuting, and my myriad of interests. I am also unable to read less than ten trillion books at a time. There is currently one book in my glove compartment of my car; an audiobook in my car’s disc drive and on my smartphone; Analog magazine on my phone for endless lines at the grocery store; eBooks on my Nook; and on and on.

I don’t give myself a hard time for not living up to my own reading standards. It’s supposed to be so many other things above and beyond a mere assignment. I will, however, craft mini challenges for myself that highlight voices and genres I haven’t spent much (if any) time with. And then there is the news… So long 2016!

How about you?

Categories: anthology, audiobooks, erotica, essay, family relationships, fantasy, fiction, friendship, historical fiction, history, Holiday, horror, lgbt, librarians, literary fiction, Memoirs & Autobiographies, nonfiction, novella, paranormal, poetry, primary sources, retellings, romance, romantic friendships, short stories, Uncategorized, young adult | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

A Touch of Temptation

A Touch of Temptation

Kate Dawson’s life is mapped out from cradle to grave. Her mother strategizes the best possible husband, career, connections, and friends, for her only child. On the morning of her bar exam, the last step before taking on a leadership role in her family’s prestigious law firm, Kate passes out from a sudden illness and lands in the hospital. After several weeks recuperating at home, with evenings spent watching classic movies with her gran (Katherine), the family matriarch, Kate is ready to go crazy from her inability to run a mile without getting winded or stay awake long enough to study for the next bar exam. Despite her love of Cary Grant’s and Katherine Hepburn’s onscreen shenanigans, Kate feels lost without the finely ordered path she has followed up to this point.

Gran pushes Kate out the door, insisting the woman recuperate at her mountain cabin, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It starts out a mixture of the life Kate leaves behind in the city and the solitude of a well-worn refuge. Cue Chris, the woman Kate later (playfully) refers to as the “Lesbian Casanova”. It’s lust at first sight for Chris and confusion for Kate (as she has never felt attraction for a woman before).

Chris Brent is the studly butch-next-door. She oozes a sexy combination of confidence and competence. When she’s not riding her motorcycle with her dad and friends, she is hard at work building up her small landscape architecture business. Weekends often find her mingling with lovely ladies at sex parties thrown by her friend, the sexually vibrant and insightful Georgia, in San Francisco. Chris doesn’t want any of the complications relationships may bring. Still, when she meets Kate (a serial monogamist), it’s becomes harder to insist on no-strings attached sex.

At the heart of the two women’s journey is their struggle with what they thought they wanted versus what they’re starting to realize they actually need. Sexuality plays a substantial role in the story. Kate isn’t the only character who embarks on journey of self-discovery in this arena.

When the outside world seeps into their semi-secluded retreat, Kate and Chris face even more barriers. Nicole, Kate’s best friend from college, plays tag team with Kate’s mother in their attempts to derail the burgeoning romance. Support comes from at least one unexpected corner, which I found pleasantly surprising.

One of my favorite aspects of Julie Blair’s storytelling is her ability to make me feel like I’m there.  The family mansion and its palatial grounds and the cozy tucked away amongst the trees, with more trees than neighbors, are distinct. The spheres in which the women live and work are clear, emphasizing the seeming chasm between the two. Even now, a few weeks after reading the final word, I can close my eyes and instantly imagine myself at the cabin, in one of the luxurious gardens, or standing in front of the painted ladies of San Francisco. I also appreciate how the author does not use the characters to insist on one type of relationship as the ideal (i.e. monogamy).  

It’s fun and flirty, with a delicious mix of family secrets, double lives, and “world turned upside down” life events. I highly recommend this story for anyone who enjoys a healthy dose of sensuality and erotica with their romance *fans self vigorously*

A Touch of Temptation
Author: Julie Blair
Published by Bold Strokes Books
Publication date: May 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-62639-489-6

Available from Bold Strokes Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers.

Categories: erotica, fiction, netgalley, romance | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Darlin’ It’s Betta Down Where It’s Wetta

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Darlin’ It’s Betta Down Where It’s Wetta is a super spicy and salty romp on sea and on land! Once Pearl the mermaid and Chloe the human meet, the sexy good times commence and don’t stop until the final page. It’s an all-around fun new spin on the classic mermaid story. If you bring it along on a hot summer day outing, you may want find an isolated spot to read it 🙂

You can buy copies of it on Amazon and Rosalarian.com

***Note: This is an adult comic book and is not intended for kids.***

 

 

Categories: erotica, lgbt, retellings | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sweet & Steamy Valentines, Part 2

Hot Date

ble valentine

Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year: 20th Anniversary Edition (BLEY20)

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been twenty years since the inaugural volume of Best Lesbian Erotica was published.  As an avid reader of the past several collections, I eagerly awaited my ebook to arrive.  From start to finish, I was not disappointed by the quality of the writing.  The erotic build between the characters in the stories is a result of well-crafted depictions of emotional and physical connections.  One of my favorite aspects of this collection is how the stories let me taste and touch and see everything: juicy heirloom tomatoes;  the crowded, over-bright London Underground; bright red belt welts on tender flesh; and more.

Editor Sacchi Green explains her idea of what “Best” translates to on the page, in her introduction to the collection: 

Above all, “best” should mean original ideas, vividly drawn settings, creative imagery, fully developed, believable characters (even if occasionally that requires readers to suspend disbelief for the sake of arousal), and of course, plenty of steamy sex, with intensely erotic scenes that flow naturally from vanilla to BDSM to edgy frontiers that defy classification.”

Green’s parameters for “Best” are inclusive, with women and genderqueer partners represented; and a wide range of body types, occupations, and ages visible.  The stories she curated for the BLEY20 deliver on her erotic vision.  There’s no guarantee you’ll like any of the stories, but no matter what how your tastes run, I think there’s a good chance you’ll find something savory in this box.

Cleis Press – http://cleispress.com
Edited by Sacchi Green
Published: February 9, 2016

Categories: erotica, lgbt, romance, short stories | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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