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Gabbi Grey: Why I chose to write my first Sapphic Romance (Contest)
Wednesday, April 26th, 2023

UPDATE: The winner is…Stephanie!

Confession time – this isn’t my first lesbian romance.  I wrote a sweet short story for a charity anthology to benefit victims of the Australian Wildfires back in February 2020.  My little story gave me two characters I gave cameos to in a subsequent book.

Okay, now I have that off my chest.

I love my publisher.  They come up with great ideas and I’m happy to run with them.  For Passport to Romance, I wrote a gay novella Valentino in Vancouver set in – big surprise – Vancouver.  Under another penname, I wrote Bonding in Buenos Aires. One guess where I set that novella.  For their One Scoop or Two series, I wrote Catch a Tiger by the Tail which doesn’t sound much like an ice cream story until you realize tiger tail ice cream is a thing (orange cream mixed with ribbons of black licorice and, OMG, so so so good).

Last year, they asked for jelly bean stories.  Jelly Beans and Spring Things was the proposed theme.

At first, I didn’t think I had anything to contribute.  I’d just written Valentino and was preparing to write Buenos Aires.  And I had a third book, under another penname, that was on deadline.  Oh, and my contribution to the HEA Collective needed to be written.  I didn’t have time for a jelly bean book!

Except…yeah.  I remembered a character I’d created in Valentino – actress Elouise Hynes.  Elouise, like the character Seamus, is from Newfoundland.  But while Seamus still has a trace of an accent, Elouise went to Hollywood and tried to ditch the accent entirely.  She hasn’t turned her back on her roots – but she’s embraced the SoCal lifestyle.

Until a broken relationship sends her scrambling back to Canada, Vancouver in particular, to nab the lead role in a thriller.  By now, she’s out of the closet and has sworn off love after the disastrous dissolution of her engagement.  Then she meets bold and brash makeup artist Kelci, and her world turns upside down. Toss in characters previously introduced in Tiger and Valentino to bring readers along for the journey. Then, finally, throw in some April showers, jelly beans, and I had my story.

I tried to write a sweet story.  My editor gently told me I’d missed the mark by a mile.  She suggested I add a few swear words (which are normally in my stories) and add a sex scene (which fit beautifully in the story and the reader would never know it hadn’t always been there).  I call the story my spicy lesbian novella.  The book isn’t as spicy as some other things I’ve written, but there’s plenty of sexual tension and also plenty of love.  So the typical Gabbi Grey novella with the perfect HEA.

Thank you, Delilah, for hosting me today so I can talk about my beloved venture into Sapphic romance.  I’d love to offer a $5 Amazon GC to one of your faithful readers.  Let me know – how much does the cover influence your decision to try a book?  I love my cover of You See Me. I think my designer nailed Elouise perfect with the right amount of sexiness while showing that hint of vulnerability.  One random commenter will win the GC.  Thanks!

You See Me

Being dumped might lead to a forever love.


After a public break-up with my fiancée, I’ve retrenched in Vancouver, British Columbia to lick my wounds and star in a movie. I’m acting as if everything is okay, but then I meet a woman who sees the real me. Dare I take a chance to find real love?


I’ve admired Elouise Hynes from afar for years. She’s recently come out of the closet and was dumped just a short time later. I want to offer comfort, but I’m a make-up artist on her movie crew. Can we really form a lasting bond when she lives in LA and I’m staying in Canada?

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About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.

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Read an excerpt from Gilded Cage…
Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Gilded CageHere’s a snippet from my latest release. Be warned. The story is very erotic, contains scenes with BDSM, and features two female lovers—a witch and a vampire. Enjoy their “first meet”. Elena has no clue that her “target” is about to get the upper hand. I stayed twice in a hotel right next to the Old Absinthe House and knew I had to feature it in a story. I love, love, love it! Remember, you can get a FREE copy here: Amazon

Excerpt from GILDED CAGE

Elena approached Jean Lafitte’s Old Absinthe House from Bienville Street. She skirted the sidewalk, striding in long steps, enjoying the cloying heat, the mingled scents of life and decay, sniffing delicately when she passed a sewer grate, but not minding the odors all that much. Tonight, little would spoil her mood.

The tavern looked good for its age—although not as good as Elena. Not a single wrinkle marred her face. Not that she was mindful of her beauty. She only accepted it as a fact, having come slowly to acceptance, acknowledging her beauty not as a gift or a curse.

She dressed simply. Straight-legged blue jeans, a black tank, and black military boots. A man’s black-banded watch sat on her left wrist. Her hair was pulled tightly into a ponytail at the back of her head. Her only concession to her femininity were the large white-gold hoops she wore in her ears, and only because she liked the way they bumped against her cheeks.

Still, as severe as she knew she’d dressed, Elena drew attention. She had a model’s long, lithe frame and moved as fluidly as a cat. Again, facts about which she was aware of but not overly self-impressed.

She’d reached the point in her long life where little mattered. Not friendships, because they were fleeting. Not money, because it could be gone in a single day—something she’d faced twice now in her lifetime. Little interested her. She’d seen most of the world. Done everything. Her only constant was the hunger that drove her even now when she was wishing she could ignore it just a while longer.

The other constant was Angela. And she was meeting her tonight for the first time in ten years.

Her stomach growled loudly, and Elena growled right back, alarming a musician carrying a guitar case so much so that he stepped onto the street to make a wide arc around her.

Something in his keen eyes said he knew what she was. What she must do. And soon. She toyed with the idea of stalking him, making him her supper. That might amuse her, but she’d have annoying regrets later because she no longer wished to prey on the innocent.

Besides, he’d looked to be in the flush of good health, smelled of broccoli and legumes. His sweat was fresh, pure. She wrinkled her nose because she preferred blood flavored with sin even when she wasn’t being noble. Or at least, trying very hard to be.

Her secret wish, the one she’d shared only with a priest before she’d ripped out his throat, was that she would ascend to heaven after a very long stay in purgatory. Something the priest had said was impossible due to the horrendous list of sins she’d confessed.

No matter that she’d been forced into this undead life. The moment she’d opened her mouth and accepted Angela’s blood, she’d forever outlawed her soul.

At least, she’d have good company.

Her phone chirped, and she slipped it from her back pocket and swiped across the screen.

Am here. Where r u?

Elena grinned and tapped the button on the side to close the phone. She was so close she didn’t bother responding.

She approached the doors to the Absinthe House, smelled the citrusy, medicinal scent of the absinthe they served and the burnt sugar they lit atop the drink the house was named for. The odors of sweat and perfume, fresh alcohol from opened bottles, and stale liquor oozing from the pores of patrons, kicked up her heart beats. She dragged in the smells, discovered one intriguing aroma among the snarled pack, and homed in on it—lush, sweet musk. Feminine. Dark.

The sense she’d honed over time found the sinner. Her gaze tracked over the tables and the people seated at the bar, landing at last on a woman whose unblinking eyes stared right back.

Angela could wait. This one was too delicious to pass up. The woman’s hair was a mass of shiny corkscrew curls, which tumbled past her shoulders in shades of dark brown, blond and red. Her skin tone was a milky latte. Her eyes were golden and tilted upward at the outside corners, long, thick lashes sweeping downward to cast shadows against glowing cheeks, before rising again so that their glances locked.

The vixen’s mouth sent a thrill through Elena’s body, cinching her nipples, hardening her clit. Her hips swayed a little deeper as she approached. Draga, esti mina. You’re mine.

The woman’s head canted slightly, as though she had heard her, which surprised Elena. Most humans couldn’t hear the suggestions although they acted upon them, thinking they’d formed the thought themselves. Perhaps she was a sensitive, one with psychic gifts. There were many in this city.

Elena stopped beside the table. “Are you expecting anyone?”

A glance flitted over Elena’s slim frame. “I think I’ve been waiting for you.” Her voice oozed like caramelized sugar onto Elena’s skin.

Satisfaction shivered through Elena as she sat in the empty chair opposite the woman and let her own gaze trail lower. Her heart fluttered at the sight of the temptress’s breasts—nipples like dark moons, shadowing her gold tank, the tips protruding, lengthening as Elena stared.

Elena’s mouth watered; her tongue scraped the edge of an eyetooth, drawing blood. Her belly growled again, but the music and sounds of conversations flowing around them masked the insistent sound.

The dark-skinned woman lifted a hand from her lap, one long, slender finger beckoning a waitress. “Would you like a drink?”

“Perhaps, later.” Elena smiled, dipping her eyelids as she gave the sultry beauty a look that said without words what she hungered for.

A slight, feline smile curved the corners of her generous mouth. “Then we’ll leave. My apartment’s not far.”

Sacchi Green: Why Read Erotica, Straight, Lesbian, Gay or Beyond?
Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

I know I don’t need to convince any readers here to read erotica, but, believe it or not, some people need convincing, so I thought I’d share my recent experiences in trying to do just that.

I write and edit mostly lesbian erotica, often with elements of romance, but usually marketed as erotica, and usually for Cleis Press. My publisher’s promotional staff has lately been hooking me up with romance publications, resulting sometimes in rather puzzling interview questions (more on that later,) but I did get one request, for Romantic Times, that genuinely interested me: “Why Read Erotica?” I think they wanted an emphasis on lesbian/gay erotica, but in my experience lesbian readers’ reluctance to read anything labeled erotica is at least as great as that of straight folks. There’s some difference, but not all that much, so I chose to broaden my topic, while including specific benefits from lesbian erotica. Whether my piece will see print is still in question; I was told that they were aiming for an October publication, but I haven’t had any feedback. In any case, you can have a look right now! Here’s what I wrote.


Why Read Erotica, Straight, Lesbian, Gay or Beyond?

Sacchi Green

Reading erotica is good exercise. Not quite as strenuous as actual sex when it comes to circulation and deep breathing, but with the added benefit of exercising the imagination. An erotic story that sweeps you along, draws you into the emotions and physical sensations of its characters, gives both mind and body a workout. We read for the sensations aroused, for emotional and sensual charges as well as mental ones. Pure romance can provide these, to some extent; the heart seems to swell, the pulse quickens, the face flushes, there might even be a hint of tears. No wonder we call something with emotional appeal “touching”. But taking it to the unabashedly erotic level builds on this physical response, accelerates it, intensifies it, racing toward an ultimate, overwhelming goal.

Good exercise.

Broadening your horizons is good exercise, too. A new perspective, as with erotica outside of your own orientation, has the entertainment value of novelty and variety, while revealing the ways in which erotic and romantic desire are universal. There’s an educational component, too. Men reading lesbian erotica can learn more about female eroticism from two (or more) women than from one, and women can widen their understanding of the range of pleasures they can experience—and fantasize about. The same applies, reversed, for gay erotica, and with transgender stories the whole variety benefit is amplified.

You may also discover excellent stories and writers. Erotica has a bad reputation, some of it deserved, but there’s nothing inherent in the genre that prevents good writing. Straight and LGBT erotica can be as well-written and stimulating to both mind and senses as any other branch of writing. Erotic interchanges are essential parts of character development, dealing with heightened emotions and, in some cases, heavily weighted baggage from past experience. Shyness or confidence, impulsiveness or self-control, tenderness, vulnerability, repression, unapologetic sensuality; these are only a few of the traits that can surface in the heat of a sexual encounter. When both characters share the same gender, they can have as wide a range of personalities and characteristics as any other pairing. Women are as multi-faceted, fierce, and passionate, as men, and often better at expressing their emotions; men can be as vulnerable, complex and empathetic with each other as women.

I edit lesbian erotica anthologies, looking for stories about more than sex, but with sex flowing naturally from the story as a whole. I want a variety of voices, fully developed characters, vividly drawn settings, intriguing plots or story arcs, and originality. The complexity inherent in the very nature of life for lesbians (and the whole LGBTQ+ spectrum) adds an edge of potential risk, whether overt or unspoken.

That complexity and risk in lesbian and gay lives makes reading erotica especially important for us. The reflection of our own desires, fantasies and identities is both validation and celebration, even more essential than the physical and emotional charge.

Tastes vary, and the best writing may be hard to find, but explore a bit. Exploration, too, is excellent exercise.

Getting back to the matter of puzzling interview questions, in the context of an editor of lesbian erotica, I won’t bore you with the whole thing, but here’s a link to my recent appearance on Everafter Romance. I did my best to go along with it, and found some parts fun to work with; I did, for instance include Eowyn from Lord of the Rings in my list of “Book Boyfriends.” My publisher blurbed the link on Facebook, calling my answers “surprising and fascinating,” so I guess it worked out well enough.

I do very occasionally write heterosexual erotic romance, under the name Connie Wilkins, which I used for my story “A Falcon in Flight” in Delilah’s fascinating anthology Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors.

If you’d like a brief taste of the kind of anthology I edit, you could check out the Blog Tour I’m currently running with my writers for my latest anthology, Me and My Boi: Queer Erotica. Details, and some of the writers’ posts, are at You can even comment on any of the posts to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of the book.

My two most recent anthologies are shown below.

sgBLEOfTheYear_approved   sgMe and My Boi Cover