Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Getting a Clue and "The Further Adventures of Miss Scarlet"

Welcome to my post for the Best Lesbian Erotica 20th Anniversary Edition Blog Tour! Our wonderful editor Sacchi Green has organized a series of these to celebrate 20 years of terrific lesbian erotica from Cleis Press. Check out the whole series here

This marks my 9th appearance in the series, which is pretty exciting for me as a writer, and hopefully for you as readers! I've had stories in Best Lesbian Erotica 1999, BLE 2001, BLE 2005, BLE 2006, BLE 2008, BLE 2011, BLE 2014 and BLE 2015 and had the opportunity to work with Kathleen Warnock, Tristan Taormino, Laura Antoniou and a host of fabulous guest editors along the way. I'm so glad that Sacchi Green liked my story enough to include it in this year's edition.

"The Further Adventures of Miss Scarlet" first appeared in Cheyenne Blue's anthology Forbidden Fruit. Its genesis goes a tad further back to a cancelled lesbian noir anthology and an earlier version of the story that I didn't like as well. Truth be told, there were several versions of this story. For this one, I pared it down and reworked it from the original versions, but kept the two main characters: a notorious jewel thief (Miss Scarlet) and her obsessed foe, a police detective named Kendra McClain. Sparks fly when they get close enough to each other for a train ride that neither will forget in a hurry!


     The smile widened, brilliant lipstick parting over bright white teeth. “You can call me Scarlet, Miss Scarlet, if we’re going to be formal.” She tucked the e-reader away in a small black bag that matched her heels, but she didn’t take her gaze away from Kendra’s face.

    “Are we playing Clue? I’m not sure I want to be Colonel Mustard in the library, with or without a candlestick.” Kendra grimaced. She glanced down, this time looking beyond Scarlet’s body to her accessories. James always said that you could read a lot about a woman by what kind of jewelry she wore and how she put together her outfits. Kendra usually blew that off as his one concession to metrosexuality, but she was willing to make an exception tonight.
      Everything matched, not a hair out of place, not a chipped nail or a makeup smudge. Everything this woman wore was assembled with such care and thoroughness that she might have been playing a part on stage. With one exception: one of her rings was a giant, gaudy bit of bling that didn’t match her industrial-style silver earrings, necklace and watch. The ring was a mass of ornate curlicues around a faceted glass stone that was far too large and shiny to be a real diamond.

      “Nice ring,” Kendra drawled as the station signal beeped to let them know that their train was coming in.
      “Like it?” Scarlet smiled at her upraised hand. “I--” And the noise of the onrushing train cut her off. But for one crazy moment, Kendra could have sworn that she said, “I stole two others nearly the same size in Monte Carlo last year.”
     “What?” Kendra looked at Scarlet as closely as she could as she trailed the other woman onto the train. She reached for her phone, wondering if she could do a quick search on jewel thefts in Monte Carlo without arousing too much suspicion. But they were alone in the train car and headed into a tunnel, so there would be no signal even if she tried to claim a text message.
       And they were sitting down and Scarlet was resting her hand on Kendra’s arm, caressing it, stroking it until Kendra, watching it, thought she might go up in flames. “You’re so very strong, Detective. I do like a nice strong girl.” Scarlet looked up at her through thick black lashes, her gaze an invitation.

  To be continued...

Buy the book at your favorite store or follow the link for other options.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Help for writer Lars Eighner

@LarsEighner has written some fine books, including the terrific guide to writing better erotica, "Elements of Arousal." Please help him w/ medical bills if you can https://www.gofundme.com/fundlars

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year: 20th Anniversary Edition" is here!

This marks my 9th appearance in this series under various names, which I'm pretty excited about. But "The Further Adventures of Miss Scarlet" marks my first appearance as Emily Byrne so it's still like a first time! You can find links for buying this lovely book here. There's a Goodreads Giveaway in progress and you can sign up here. I hope you enjoy this installment of the series1

Table of Contents

Introduction by Editor Sacchi Green

Dust  Rose de Fer
Ascension  Louise Blaydon
Tomato Bondage  Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Royalty Underground  Megan McFerren
Reunion Tour  Harper Bliss
Hot Blood  D. L. King
Make Them Shine  Sossity Chiricuzio
Tears from Heaven  Jean Roberta
Luscious and Wild  Sinclair Sexsmith
Smorgasbord  R. G. Emanuelle
A Professional  Rose P. Lethe
Easy  Anna Watson
Grind House  Valerie Alexander
Give and Take  Annabeth Leong
Mirror, Mirror  Frankie Grayson
The Road to Hell  Cheyenne Blue
The Further Adventures of Miss Scarlet  Emily L. Byrne


The Best Lesbian Erotica series has a special place in my heart. Twenty years ago, in 1996, Tristan Taormino and Cleis Press published the first volume of Best Lesbian Erotica, and in 1999, to my amazement, my own very first erotica story made it into that anthology. When Tristan Taormino called and said that she loved my piece because it was so different I was hooked on the series and the entire genre for good. (Tristan also very kindly pointed out the many improvements I needed to make, of course; I had a lot to learn.) Seven more of my stories made it into further editions of Best Lesbian Erotica, although I got a bit distracted in recent years with editing ten themed anthologies of lesbian erotica myself, eight of them for Cleis Press. Editing this one feels like the greatest honor of all.
Back in 1996 there were far fewer markets for well-written lesbian erotica than there are now, but there were many majorly talented writers with the courage and the burning desire to tell the stories demanding to be told, stories that can still stir your senses and linger in your mind. There have been some changes in erotica over the years, largely in how far we dare to go and how much we think we can get away with, but I still remember stories from those earlier years as challenging as any written today.
The main difference these days is in the quantity of lesbian erotica available, and the numbers of people writing it well. For this 2016 edition (the title, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, has changed just a bit, but it’s still the same series) there was a superabundance of excellent work, and choosing was a harrowing as well as stimulating experience. Tastes differ, of course, especially when it comes to erotic preferences, so not every story will push every reader’s buttons, but for me the writers here make this edition outstandingly worthy of Best Lesbian Erotica’s long tradition of sexy excellence.
In the limited space of a single anthology, “best” has to take into account factors beyond any single measurement of quality. An apples and oranges comparison just won’t cut it; envision instead, say, peaches…smooth, rosy, rounded peaches…and pears…and maybe the occasional heavy melon… But don’t worry. No actual fruit metaphors are abused in this book.
Like Tristan way back then, the idea of “best” for me includes “different,” whether it’s a brand-new treatment of a familiar theme, a way with language that makes the words dance to an inspired beat, or a plot I’ve never seen before. Beyond those, each story has to contribute to a balance in the work as a whole, which should include a variety of themes, settings, voices, tone, and diversity of ages, ethnicities and physical attributes. 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 the story as a whole, ranging from vanilla to BDSM to edgy frontiers that defy classification.
Originality takes many forms. D. L. King melds the familiar tropes of werewolves and lesbian auto mechanics into a character as likable as she is sexy. Megan McFerren’s characters take refuge in a London bomb shelter during WWII. Emily L. Byrne’s brilliant incarnation of Miss Scarlet seduces a police detective in the NYC subway system. Louise Blaydon’s “nice girl” and “bad girl” strike sparks together forming a band on the gritty side of Liverpool in 1961. There are stories with touches of humor, or moments of tenderness, or immersions in the no-holds-barred depths of bondage and the keen pleasures of pain—and now and then all three at once.
What you get, in this anthology, is a seemingly infinite variety of lesbian erotic desires, in all the heat, beauty and power of both our darkness and our light. I’m immeasurably grateful to all these writers who crafted their stories as only each one of them could, and offered them to be included here.
From me, from the writers, and, I hope, from many of you readers; Happy Twentieth Birthday, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year! Birthday spankings may be in order, but be gentle with your paperbacks. With e-books—well, maybe you’d better find a surrogate spankee. Just read a few of these stories with her to warm things up.

Sacchi Green
Amherst, MA

Monday, February 8, 2016

Loft Literary class this Saturday

There's still time to sign up for my 2/13 @loftliterary class "Inflagranti Delicto: Writing Good Sex Scenes" - http://bit.ly/1PgPq0X