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N.J. Walters: Second Chance at Love
Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Do you believe in second chances?

As a romance writer, I have to. Happily ever after is my stock-in-trade. As a woman, I want to believe in second chances. Life can be challenging at the best of times. With the stresses of modern life—careers, money, bills, children, family, illness—it’s no wonder that sometimes love isn’t enough to hold a relationship together.

But as a writer, I get the opportunity to rewrite history, to give a couple a second chance. What could be better than watching two people discover that the passion, the love between them hasn’t died, but is still there, waiting for the right spark to be rekindled.

There are times when two people are at different places in their lives, especially when they are younger, and their relationship doesn’t work out. They go their separate ways and live their lives, but fate has other plans. What happens when they are thrown together again, both parties older and wiser than they were when they were younger? Will they make the same mistakes or will they reach out and take a chance on their love?

That’s exactly what happens in my story “Roadside Assistance” when Esme Jenson’s car breaks down and the man who stops to help her is her ex, Vincent Durango.

This is just one of the short stories in Blue Collar: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, a wonderful new collection I’m thrilled to be a part of.

BLUE COLLAR

When it comes to love…Blue Collar is better!

It’s time to set aside those sexy billionaires and enjoy stories about the everyday, even sexier bad boys you meet in real life. They may have dirty hands and wear tool belts and jeans instead of Rolex watches, but they’re earthy alpha males unafraid to get down and dirty when face to face with a woman in need–whatever her need may be!

Just a few of the titillating stories inside…

In “Elevation” by Megan Mitcham, an always-in-control policewoman trapped in an elevator shaft gets a sexy rescue from the handsome repairman. A lonely woman drives a thousand miles to meet an oil field roughneck ready for a long night of laying pipe in Mia Hopkins’ “We Drill Deep While Others Sleep”. Jennifer Kacey shows the lengths to which an enterprising gal will go to get the owner of an oil change shop to check her fluids in “The Boss”. And those are just a few of the sexy stories inside this collection about the everyday hero next door.

These are men who’ve built their powerful muscles from hard work rather than inside any gym, and they sure know how to use their hard-earned skills to pleasure a woman…

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: http://bit.ly/BBBABCAMZ
Nook: http://bit.ly/BBBABCNOOK
IBooks: http://bit.ly/BBBABCIBOOKS
Kobo: http://bit.ly/BBBABCKOBO
Googleplay: http://bit.ly/BBBABCGPLAY

About the Author

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

Visit me at:
Website: http://www.njwalters.com
Blog: http://www.njwalters.blogspot.com
Newsletter Group: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/awakeningdesires/info
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/N.J.WaltersAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/njwaltersauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NJWalters
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/njwalters
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-j-walters

Blue Collar: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology is here! (Contest)
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

That big sexy book filled with steamy, blue collar heroes is here! And at just $0.99 (that’s just $0.06 per story!), you can’t go wrong. Indulge yourself!

All my author-contributor-friends and myself can’t wait for you to dive in. It is truly a labor of love. I chose all the stories and did the final polish. My very good friend at Lustre Editing did the line edits. My sister, Elle James,  created this incredible cover! All the authors are thrilled and are getting the word out! We’ll be blogging about our inspiration for our stories on my Collections website over the next couple of weeks. There will be snippets from the book and PRIZES! So, be sure to check us out. Maybe you’ll want to subscribe to that site so you don’t miss a thing!

On Thursday, we’re hosting a release party on Facebook! There will be tons of prizes, lots of fun, and you can meet the authors!

And something you can do? Tell a friend. Share the news. And if you have the time and inclination, write a review. We’d all be forever grateful! In the meantime, enjoy the 16 stories inside this lush volume of erotic short stories! Bon appétit!

Blue Collar

Get your copy here!
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Google Play

When it comes to love…Blue Collar is better!

It’s time to set aside those sexy billionaires and enjoy stories about the everyday, even sexier bad boys you meet in real life. They may have dirty hands and wear tool belts and jeans instead of Rolex watches, but they’re earthy alpha males unafraid to get down and dirty when face to face with a woman in need–whatever her need may be!

Just a few of the titillating stories inside…

In “Elevation” by Megan Mitcham, an always-in-control policewoman trapped in an elevator shaft gets a sexy rescue from the handsome repairman. A lonely woman drives a thousand miles to meet an oil field roughneck ready for a long night of laying pipe in Mia Hopkins’ “We Drill Deep While Others Sleep”. Jennifer Kacey shows the lengths to which an enterprising gal will go to get the owner of an oil change shop to check her fluids in “The Boss”. And those are just a few of the sexy stories inside this collection about the everyday hero next door.

These are men who’ve built their powerful muscles from hard work rather than inside any gym, and they sure know how to use their hard-earned skills to pleasure a woman…

 Table of Contents

We Drill Deep While Others Sleep by Mia Hopkins – After a thousand mile drive, a lonely lady meets her oil field roughneck for a long night of laying pipe

Elevation by Megan Mitcham – A policewoman stuck a hundred feet up an elevator shaft eagerly welcomes the rescue from a hunky repairman

Upside Down Love by Adele Downs – When a handsome construction worker rescues her after an accident, a divorcee discovers that falling in love at middle age is easier than riding a bicycle

Plays with Fire by Elle James – In an attempt to seduce a younger firefighter, a sexy widow gets a lesson in burning desires by the firefighter’s badass partner

Roadside Assistance by N.J. Walters – When a woman’s car breaks down, she gets a little “roadside assistance” from her ex

Cabin Fever by Kris Norris – After successfully avoiding a confrontation during her unit’s team-building retreat at her ex-fiancé’s inn, a police detective’s luck runs out

Shear Passion by Belinda LaPage – Among sweat, backaches and an insatiable lust, an itinerant shearer and a farmer’s daughter hatch an unlikely romance in the rustic beauty of a remote Australian woolshed

Traffic Stop by Kalissa Wayne – When a councilwoman gets stopped on a deserted country road, she gets a lesson in proper procedure by the sheriff

Special Delivery by Susan Saxx – When a former socialite’s life splinters apart on New Year’s Eve, it takes a machinist to show her that blue collar love is better

The Boss by Jennifer Kacey –The owner of an oil change shop gets a customer willing to do anything for him to check her fluids after hours

Challenge Met by Layla Chase – Following a long absence from a small Texas town, ex-soldier turned farrier accepts the flirtatious challenge of a wealthy rancher’s spoiled daughter

In the Heat of the Moment by M. Marie – When one of her detectives steps out of line, a police lieutenant wastes no time reminding him why she’s the commanding officer in their precinct

Renovating the Heart by Robie Madison – A sledgehammer-wielding divorcée finds her heart repaired by a contractor she hires to renovate an old family cabin

Full of the Wild Life by Tray Ellis – When her surveyor boyfriend returns from the Alaskan wilderness, a woman considers his proposal one more time

Bountiful Lust by Delilah Devlin – After bucking her trainer’s orders during a takedown, a female bounty hunter proves she’s ready for the job

Mr. Big by Sukie Chapin – Stranded on the roadside, a struggling grad student, who is also a part-time sex-toy peddler, finds there’s more to her hot mechanic than bulging biceps and mad skills under the hood

Contest

Rogues

Win a free copy of Rogues: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology #1! All you have to do is tell me which of the stories listed in the Table of Contents above you’re dying to read!

Love bounty hunters?
Sunday, June 11th, 2017

First, thanks to everyone who purchased Big Sky SEAL! It’s still in the top ten for Kindle Worlds Romance books this morning! And thanks to everyone who took the time to write a review! I’m really happy to know that y’all are eager for more bounty hunter stories because guess what? I have one inside Blue Collar, which releases this coming Tuesday! It’s a short story anthology, stuffed full with 16 wonderful, blue collar heroes. Best yet, the price of the anthology is only $0.99! Check out the opening of my story and tell me what you think!

Blue Collar

When it comes to love…Blue Collar is better!

It’s time to set aside those sexy billionaires and enjoy stories about the everyday, even sexier bad boys you meet in real life. They may have dirty hands and wear tool belts and jeans instead of Rolex watches, but they’re earthy alpha males unafraid to get down and dirty when face to face with a woman in need–whatever her need may be!

Just a few of the titillating stories inside…

In “Elevation” by Megan Mitcham, an always-in-control policewoman trapped in an elevator shaft gets a sexy rescue from the handsome repairman. A lonely woman drives a thousand miles to meet an oil field roughneck ready for a long night of laying pipe in Mia Hopkins’ “We Drill Deep While Others Sleep”. Jennifer Kacey shows the lengths to which an enterprising gal will go to get the owner of an oil change shop to check her fluids in “The Boss”. And those are just a few of the sexy stories inside this collection about the everyday hero next door.

These are men who’ve built their powerful muscles from hard work rather than inside any gym, and they sure know how to use their hard-earned skills to pleasure a woman…

Pre-order your copy here!

Excerpt from Bountiful Lust

The hunters I work with all have cool, dangerous-sounding handles: Catch, Dagger, Bulldog. My first day on the job, Dagger nicknamed me Buttercup, and it stuck.

Catch, the hunter who’d founded this agency, decided he needed a bounty hunter with “soft” skills. Someone approachable, whom mamas and girlfriends could confide in. Not that he ever expected I’d have to do the “heavier” tasks, like break down a door or take a target to the ground. Bounty hunting’s dangerous work and not meant for faint-hearted dudes—or girls.

I felt lucky when they called me Buttercup, but mostly, they called me “the girl.” Like this morning, when Catch handed out assignments and told Bulldog to take along the girl.

I didn’t make a fuss. PC communications weren’t part of any office handbook. I knew from day one I had to prove myself. Not that I’d gotten a chance, so far, to show them what I had. Being ex-military, and an ex-cop, didn’t earn me any points. I guess it didn’t help I was only five-feet-five and a hundred ten pounds soaking wet. Bulldog figured that with blonde hair and blue eyes, I looked more like a high school cheerleader—not a compliment, since he thought girls like that were stupid as hell.

Maybe I didn’t help my cause with the way I dressed. Ever since they’d named me Buttercup, I’d done my best to dress the part. Sure, I wore denim, tees, and boots, just like them, but my pink T-shirt emblazoned with “Girl Power,” and my purple-calico-lined jean jacket with lace inserts on the pockets, didn’t exactly fit with their leather jackets and black tees sporting bike club slogans. The few times I hadn’t been tied to a desk making phone calls to relatives to track low-lifes who’d skipped their court dates, I’d been relegated to staying in the truck while the guys did the dirty work.

Not so today, but only because we were going to reach out to Lenny Holcomb’s mama to see if she wanted to keep her house, seeing as she’d offered her home as collateral when posting his bond.

Bulldog gave me the evil eye as we walked toward the small, clapboard house on the bad side of town. “Shit goes sideways,” he said, “you stand back and let me handle it.”

I offered him a non-committal nod. “Think Mrs. Holcomb will give you that much trouble?”

He snorted and skewered me with a narrow-eyed glare.

“Ooh,” I said in my best little-girl voice and gave an exaggerated shiver, hoping he’d trip over his big feet. Not that I had to pretend my reaction too much. Something about the big burly guy did it for me. His face was too manly to be handsome—square jaw, crooked nose, laser-sharp blue eyes. Thick, gold-brown hair dusted the collar of his jacket. His six-foot-four, heavily-muscled frame made me feel feminine and soft and all those other useless qualities I despised in “helpless” females. Go figure—the thought of those big, hard hands rasping over my skin made me tremble.

At Mrs. Holcomb’s door, I knocked.

No response.

I knocked again. Still nothing.

Bulldog stepped to the left and peered into the window. “Don’t think anyone’s home. And since this is his address of record…” He backed up and raised a booted foot.

“Really want to knock down her door?” I pulled my lock-pick kit from my back pocket and knelt in front of the knob. A couple of twists of my tools, and the lock snicked. I turned the knob and quickly moved away from the door, giving way to Bulldog as he grumbled something under his breath about smartass women and strode inside.

Bulldog’s big frame filled my view, so I was taken by surprise when he cussed and rushed toward a hallway.

A crash sounded in a distant room. Light from an open doorway in the back glared as he ran through it. I followed, watching as our target ran for the chain link fence and vaulted it.

Bulldog cussed again, placed a hand on the top of the fence, but when he swung over his big body, the thin metal running through the top caved, and he fell to the dirt.

I picked another spot farther down the fence, grabbed a post and swung over, landing on my booted feet and shooting down the alleyway.

Behind me, I heard grunts and more curses, and finally, “Dammit, Buttercup, wait for me!”

I wasn’t waiting for shit. Lenny moved fast for a big boy. He was almost at the end of the alley. If I didn’t catch him quickly, I’d lose sight of him, and we’d lose our paycheck. With my breaths coming fast and sweat trickling into my eyes, I sped up, reaching out with my fingertips to snatch a handful of his shirt. With the fabric in my fist, I drew back and swung him.

He went sideways, but he didn’t go down. He twisted out of my grasp and raised his fists, his eyes widening as he looked me up and down, an ugly sneer stretching across his equally ugly face.

He swung.

But I was ready, ducking beneath and coming up to drive my fists into his fat gut, then bouncing back to avoid the next wide swing.

When he didn’t connect, his swing carried him forward, and he turned.

I rocketed to his back and wrapped my arm around his throat, grasping my fist to keep my arm in place, as he staggered then went to his knees, his fingers scratching my arms before reaching backward to pull my hair.

But he didn’t get a hank. His body crashed forward, bringing me with him, because my arm was trapped beneath his thick neck.

Boots pounded the pavement then slowed.

“Buttercup, need a hand?”

I wheezed, trying to drag in a breath as his weight crushed me against the pavement. “Roll him so I can get back my arm.”

Lenny’s body rolled to his side.

Bulldog lowered his boot then bent to offer me a hand up. His gaze went to the thick scratches on my arms.

Blood ran in rivulets from the deep gouges.

“Goddammit.” Bulldog’s scowl was scary as he blew out a deep breath, and then reached behind his neck to pull his T-shirt over his head.

He tossed it at me.

All I could do was stare at the grayscale tattoos covering his shoulders and chest, disappearing into his jeans.

“Wrap this around your arm. You’re gonna bleed all over my truck.” Then he went down on one knee and locked cuffs around Lenny’s wrists. When he stood, he kicked the low-life in the ass.

My soundtrack today…
Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Today, I’m busy putting the last polish on a collection due to come out next Tuesday, Blue Collar: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology. It’s going to be a meaty short story collection, stuffed with 16 super-hot stories about those attainable, sexy everyday boys next door. Pre-order your copy now for just $0.99—that price will not last!

And while you’re placing your order, enjoy this song by Rag’n’Bone Man. The low, gritty beat and growling vocals are keeping me in my chair—yeah, I’m doing a little chair-dancing, while I edit. Love this track!

A Glance Back at May & A Look toward June! (Contest)
Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

UPDATE: The winner of the gift card is…ButtonsMom2003!

* * * * *

Dear Readers and Friends,

Today is the kids’ last day of school! Woot! That doesn’t mean the adults get to slack. Just means we’ll be spending more time with them! We plan to swim as often as weather allows, camp a couple of times on the lake, take a field trip or two to attractions around the state… You know, summer fun things. Nothing huge, just busy! Have to keep them from whining about being bored.

For my part, I still have a ton of books to refurb and get out there, along with new stories, and a new short story collection to share! So, plenty on my plate to do—in between swimming! Did I ever mention I’m a water baby?

Hope you’re ready for summer too! And if you’re looking for stories to read beside the pool, maybe I can help you out…

If you missed this month’s releases…

Unbridled 600

How does a girl choose between the bad boy who needs her and the boy next door she’s always loved?

Dani Standifer arrives home at her West Texas family ranch a day early, ready to pick up where she left off with Rowe Ayers, her high school sweetheart. However, when she opens the door to their line-shack trysting place, it’s clear she waited a day too long. Rowe’s with someone else—another man. And not just any other man—it’s Justin Cruz, the bad boy with whom she shared one wild encounter, years ago.

Justin’s waited a long time for this moment. He knows his reputation, but since he seduced Rowe, he’s been a one-man cowboy—waiting for Dani to return and become the delicious fulfillment of his and Rowe’s needs—if she’s up to the challenge.

To her own surprise, Dani finds she’s more than ready to have both men in her life—as soon as she and Rowe teach Justin a lesson or two about love.

Their small town may not be ready for their kind brand of loving. And Dani’s brother Cutter’s mile-deep grudge against Justin throws in a complication that could break the foundation the three of them hope to build…

Get your copy here!

~~~~~~~

SOWithHisSEALTeam4 600

I’m Hunter. It’s the name I was born with, and the name my SEAL buddies let me keep, due to my uncanny instinct for finding enemy combatants. I’m not an easy guy to know. Most women might give me a look, but there’s something in my eyes I’ve been told, that makes them wary about coming closer. A hint of violence that only freaks find sexy. Freaks—and Sara, my little sister. Stepsister, that is.

Get your copy here!

~~~~~~~

Unforgiven 600

One lonely cowboy’s revenge was never so sweet!

Cutter Standifer is a man with a rigid personal code, who’s having trouble “acclimating” to the fact his little sister is marrying one cowboy and shacking up with a second. That the man she’s marrying is the same one who shattered his world a year ago isn’t something he can get past. Forgive and forget? Like hell. Not when he lost the only woman he ever loved.

It’s been a year since Katie Grissom shared the same air as Cutter, but she can tell he’s still simmering with anger over her betrayal. However, she’s been praying for a chance to make it up to him, so when Cutter offers her a no-strings affair, she jumps at the chance, hoping to either break through the rigid wall he has built around his heart or get him out of her system for good.

When Mother Nature complicates their arrangement, she’s scared he’ll do the right thing for all the wrong reasons. Now, she may never know whether she’s truly forgiven or whether he’ll ever learn to love her again.

Get your copy here!

~~~~~~~

NerdsBlindDate 600

When a lonely shut-in’s online query is answered for a sexy rendezvous, she’s stunned when her handsome “escort” proves more adept and familiar than she’d dreamed…

Get your copy here!

~~~~~~~

JanesWildWeekend 600

Jane wants Bruno…Bruno wants Cord…Cord wants Jane…but can everyone get what they really want?

Jane, fresh from a breakup, decides to seduce Bruno, one of the firemen next door, to restore her shattered confidence. But the trap she sets is sprung instead by his best friend, Cord. After she flees in embarrassment, Bruno makes a proposition too wicked for any good girl to consider, but how can she refuse the chance at not one, but two strapping firemen?

Bruno’s shared women with Cord before, but decides to use Cord’s attraction to Jane to break down his friend’s defenses for the ultimate threesome. Cord thinks he knows how this little tryst will go down, but he’s seduced into allowing Bruno intimacies this hetero guy has never before considered.

Get your copy here!

Coming in June & ready for pre-order now!

FourSworn 600

Releases June 2!

BlueCollar 600

Releases June 13!

BreakingLeather 600

Releases June 16th!

Contest

For a chance to win a small Amazon gift card, tell me your summer plans!

Happy Saturday! Check Out These Hot New Stories!
Saturday, May 20th, 2017

Happy Saturday! For most of you, I hope that means Happy Reading, too! Oh, to have the time to read a book… Well, I guess I do, since I’m editing quite a bit these days…

Anyways, I have some fun things to share! Two of my besties, sister Elle James, and the lovely Lindsay Cross, have exciting new books! And they both have drool-worthy covers! So, if you’re looking for a story to sink into, look no farther than Montana Dog Soldier or Mercy & Mahem!

If, on the other hand, you’re busy, busy, busy and want something short when you get a chance to put up your feet, check out my short story, Nerd’s Blind Date, or for those of you who were helping me come up with an appropriate title, my Badonk-A-Wonk story! Guess you had to have been there…

And if you’re not busy today at 3 PM Central, I’ll be live at the Romance Readers Recommend Presents Author Takeover–yes, a mouthful, but join me. I’m sure I’ll be giving away some things!

MONTANA DOG SOLDIER

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Brotherhood Protectors Book #6

Prior service Army Dog Handler Joseph “Kujo” Kuntz and his dog Six team with a female FBI agent to locate and neutralize a terrorist training camp

Discharged from the army after sustaining a shrapnel injury that left him with a limp, Joseph “Kujo” Kuntz is angry with himself and the world, and forced to start over with the injured military dog “Six” that saved his life. Kujo accepts a job with Brotherhood Protectors in the Crazy Mountains of Montana, hoping to find new purpose and come to terms with his losses.

Following a lead that a terrorist faction is near Eagle Rock, Montana, training to launch terrorist attacks, FBI agent Molly Greenbrier thinks she’s on a wild goose chase. She’s operating a drone, pretending to be a photographer for a GPS mapping company, when she’s attacked in the mountains and left for dead. Discovered by former military service dog Six and his owner, Molly is taken to the owner’s cabin where he administers first aid.

Now targeted by the faction, Molly is in danger. Kujo informs his new boss of the situation and is assigned as Molly’s protector until the team can neutralize the source of the threat. Determined to complete her mission, Molly accepts Kujo and Six’s protection and discovers an electric connection to the cantankerous former soldier. Together they struggle to locate the faction while fighting their burgeoning desire.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Nook | Kobo |IBooks | GooglePlay | Print

Mercy & Mayhem

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Marley was his madness. She was his addiction. He should have known she’d be his destruction.

He wanted nothing but revenge…until her.

Mack Grey wants one thing in his life: vengeance for the ex-CIA operative who betrayed his team, Jack Mankel. And he’s finally got the traitor within grasp, all he has to do is catch a hop across the Congo and capture his enemy.

He had no idea the depths to which Mankel’s evil could reach.

She never thought she could love again…until him.

All single-mother air force pilot Marley Mitchell has to do is fly a group of special operators across Africa for a HALO jump and then she can be back home with her baby girl. Then the unexpected happens. Her plane crashes and Marley has to rely on an insanely hot commander to get her out of the jungle alive.

Deep in the jungle, Mack gives her his heart and soul. He’s willing to lay down his life to protect hers.

But Marley has a secret.

A secret that could destroy not only their hope for happiness, but Mack’s entire team.

With Mankel closing in and guerilla soldiers on the prowl, their sensual attraction is put to the ultimate test in an action-packed thrill ride of passion so hot it threatens to burn them alive.

Get your copy here!

And if you’d like something quick…

NerdsBlindDate 600

Nerd’s Blind Date
(aka Badonk-A-Wonk)

When a lonely shut-in’s online query is answered for a sexy rendezvous, she’s stunned when her handsome “escort” proves more adept and familiar than she’d dreamed…

Get your copy here!

Sacchi Green: Strong Women, Fairy Tales, and a Short Story Writer’s Lament (Giveaway)
Monday, May 15th, 2017

UPDATE: The winner is…Annie Chanse!

* * * * *

I like to write and read about strong women.  Probably all of us do, from time to time, but even if I start out trying to write a more submissive character, by the end she’ll be as strong-willed as any hero. In my very first long ago erotic short story (eventually published in Dream Lover, an anthology edited by Kristina Wright for Cleis Press,) the central character is a prostitute dominated and brutalized by her pimp, a woman who has given up on herself and drifts through life. By the end, though, she has saved a demon imprisoned in a huge gargoyle outside her penthouse window, and become a powerful demonic angel herself. Yes, I also love fantasy stories.

I love to write historical fiction, too, but I don’t even bother any more to try giving my heroines a softer edge. In “Flight of the Falcon” (in Delilah’s anthology Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors) the Armenian Lady of Aragatsotn is every bit a match for the Mongol General from Ghengis Khan’s Golden Horde. In the other relatively few straight erotica stories I’ve written, I have heroines like a hot-air balloon pilot in 1800s San Francisco, a WWII Russian bomber pilot in the factual all-women Night Witches squad, and a semi-witch who saves the supposed “ogre” in the Puss in Boots tale. All strong women letting you share in their fun, and their sex.

With my preference for strong women, it’s not surprising that most of my work in recent years has been centered on lesbian characters, where I can have two (or more) strong women to play with. When I was invited several months ago to write a lesbian superhero novella, I wavered for a while—I’ve never actually been into superheroes, and I’ve never written anything longer than a short story. But I had a hint of an idea, and it seemed like a good time to take the plunge into a somewhat longer form than a short story, so I signed a contract, did great amounts of research, and actually got my piece done by the deadline. Whew. But—let me rephrase that. BUT! I was then told that I’d squeezed so much plot into the novella that I had to expand it into novel length. Which I’m trying to do, but there’s more difference between short stories and novels than just the word count. The pacing is different, and so is the way the characters are developed, and my editorial inclination to say the most in as few words as possible (I edit short stories for anthologies) makes it hard to adjust to the novel form. In short, this project is really kicking my butt. I love my characters, and I’ll finish the book, but it may well not be any good. It certainly won’t be what superhero fans expect, but it WILL be about very strong women. The title, probably, will be The Shadow Hand, from Ylva Books in 2018

I am now officially in awe of people who can write novels.

Back on the short story anthology front, I’ve been trying for years to get my main publisher to let me take on a fairy tale theme that would center on strong women and tweak the traditional expectations.  Finally, success! My newest anthology, Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales, is written for those who have had to settle for envisioning “he” as “she” when they’re reading fairy tales. I know similar books like this have been done every now and then, but I got such great stories from excellent writers that the stories themselves are worth reading as stories, regardless of the orientation of the characters—or of the readers.

Most of you probably don’t do this private re-gendering of characters in stories you read, and you may not like to read fairytales at all. Or if you do reimagine the characters, more likely you try now and then to envision “she” as a second “he”, which is fine. I’ve dabbled in m/m fantasy myself. Any variety is good exercise for the imagination (and the senses.) All else being equal, though, I take a story where it needs to go, with the characters who can best get it there. More often than not, these characters turn out to be lesbians, and this new anthology is a prime example. I know there are many readers who have longed for flights of imagination that could sweep them up into worlds of magic and sensual delights—if only all those heroes winning the day (and, of course, the girl) didn’t get in the way. Why can’t we have heroines who win each other?

As it turns out, we can. I asked writers for erotic romance, magic, and wild adventure, with women who use their wits, special powers, and/or weapons, and come together in a blaze of passion. The writers didn’t fail me. Some adapted traditional tales, and some updated old stories to contemporary times, in every case not merely changing the gender of a character but making the female aspect essential. Some created original plots with a fairy tale sensibility, while some wrote with merely a subtle aura of fantasy.

Their heroines are witches, princesses, brave, resourceful women of all walks of life, and even a troll and a dryad. There is laughter, sly wit, and an occasional tear; curses and spells, battles and intrigue, elements of magic and explorations of universal themes; and, yes, sex, sensuality and true love, all bound together into complex and many-layered stories. Whether a character is royalty or a miller’s daughter, a woman warrior passing as a man, a sorceress in flowing robes, or even a window inspector dangling in harness on a modern high-rise building—who better to rescue a long-haired captive in a tower?—all the relationships are passionate, intense, sometimes quick to ignite, sometimes all the hotter for restraint that flares at last into a fierce blaze.

If this just isn’t your thing, though, that’s okay. Maybe you could imagine that one of the “shes” is a “he”, although the fact of the characters being female is essential to most of the plots. But you might well discover that these stories of strong women in fantasy settings are well worth reading just as they are.

The Library Journal Review says of the book, “There is one creative hit after another…An excellent series of Sapphic fantasies. Highly recommended.”

Here’s a very non-representative excerpt from my own story in the book, but really, the stories are so varied that it would be hard to cite one as being representative. I went for humor in this one, but with more than humor at its core.

Trollwise by Sacchi Green

Trip, trop, trip, trop. Hjørdis stood back in disgust as Princess Tutti pranced across the bridge, hips swaying, the false tail strapped to the seat of her gown twitching. A coy toss of Tutti’s head knocked the goat horns on her headdress slightly askew. “Oh, Mr. Troll,” she piped in a falsetto voice, “are you there today? Don’t you want to eat us up? Look, this time there is a meatier prey than just we little goats!” She cast a mocking glance back toward Hjørdis. “A buxom brood mare!”

Hjørdis would have swatted the silly girl’s rump if there had been enough of it to be worth the trouble. Or, more truthfully, if she herself had not been bound by oath to abide peaceably among these puny southerners. For now. As it was, she took a threatening stride onto the wooden planks. Tutti ran off giggling toward the meadow, from which sounds of pipes and laughter and occasional playful shrieks rose above the lazy burbling of the stream.

Princess Vesla, also adorned with horns and tail, came up timidly beside Hjørdis. “There truly was a troll under the bridge a week ago,” she said in a tremulous voice. “When Tutti called out, I heard its voice, like the rumbling of stones. She thinks it was Werther, the dancing master, trying to frighten us, but I’m sure it wasn’t!”

“Oh? What did he say?” Hjørdis made some small effort to tolerate Vesla, who was not so spiteful as her sister Tutti. She felt also a slight sympathy for the girl, who had formed a hopeless passion for Hordis’s captive brother Harald. At least accompanying them on their outing, however nasty it promised to be, was an excuse to leave the castle.

“It said, ‘Scrawny bones not fit to pick my teeth! Get you gone!’” Vesla shivered. “But we haven’t heard anything since.”

Hjørdis knew a great deal more about trolls than these little twits ever could. More than anyone could who had not known Styggri. That sounded all too much like what Styggri would say, in a humorous mood. But Styggri had crossed into another world from which there was no return.

Hjørdis looked more closely at the bridge. Its sides and the pillars beneath were stone, with wooden planking wide enough for two carriages to pass side by side over its double arch. And wide enough for a troll to lurk beneath, although why one should wish to, or venture this far south at all, was beyond her. Still… She gazed far upstream to where water surged out from a cleft in a rocky hillside. Nothing to compare with the jagged mountains and plummeting rivers of her home, but still part of a long arm of hills and ridges reaching out from those same mountains.

“You go on to your frolicking.” She gave Vesla as gentle a shove as she could manage. Gods, these pampered southern girls were brittle, twiggy things! And their brother the prince—her husband under duress—was no better. “I’ll sit a while here in the shade of the birches. This heat annoys me.”

“Oh! Are you, then…already…”

“No! And if I were, it would be too soon to know. Go along now!”

Vesla went, trying to keep the gilded wooden heels of her shoes from making as much noise on the bridge as Tutti’s had done. Once safely across she looked back over her shoulder. “Give Werther a few stomps from me,” Hjordis called. The foolish dancing master deserved whatever he got, with his tales of ancient times in foreign lands where satyrs danced on goat hooves and bands of women ran wild under the spell of a wine god.

Get your copy here!

Giveaway

Comment about strong women, fairy tales, or short stories versus novels, and be entered for a drawing to win a paperback copy (in North America) or an ebook (elsewhere) of Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms.

About the Author

Sacchi Green is an award-winning writer and editor of erotica and other stimulating genres. Her stories have appeared in scores of publications, including eight volumes of Best Lesbian Erotica, four of Best Women’s Erotica, and three of Best Lesbian Romance. In recent years she’s taken to wielding the editorial whip, editing thirteen lesbian erotica anthologies, including Lesbian Cowboys (winner of a Lambda Literary Award,) Girl Crazy, Lesbian Lust, Women with Handcuffs, Girl Fever, Wild Girls, Wild Nights (also a Lambda Award Winner,) Me and My Boi, and Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year 20th Anniversary Edition, all from Cleis Press, as well as Through the Hourglass: Lesbian Historical Romance and Thunder of War, Lightning of Desire (Lethe Press.) Sacchi lives in the Five College area of western Massachusetts, gets away to her NH mountain retreat as often as possible, and makes the occasional foray into the real world to do readings in New York and other exotic locales. She can be found online at www.sacchi-green.blogspot.com and on Facebook..