Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Year in Review Post

Xposting from my main blog.

Well, 2018 was a year...and so very much of one. It's difficult to disconnect my personal life from the national and global trainwreck, but I'll do my best. It was still a hard year: bad health news for close friends, bad financial and other news for others, the unexpected ending of a long-term friendship, my mother's increasing dementia, the sudden and abrupt news that I wasn't going to be laid off after all (bear in mind that I had three years to plan and prep for a nice break and down time, which I'm not getting), other sundry things. On the other hand, there was a lot of good stuff, too. Queen of Swords Press grew, I went to a lot of great events and met nice people, I'm ending the year with almost all the same people in my life that I hoped would still be there, I had some interesting new experiences and have been learning a lot, I don't have to go job hunting at the moment and I'm a lot healthier than I was this time last year (Norovirus recovery takes longer than you would think).

Starting with the events and experiences part of things, I was interviewed on North Manchester FM's radio show "Hannah's BookShelf" by the amazing Hannah Kate herself, then appeared a few weeks later on the Cocktail Hour Podcast. I did a reading at the University of Minnesota's Tretter Collection in March for the annual Quatrefoil Library's Women's Reading, went to ClexaCon in Las Vegas as a vendor with my pals from Blind Eye Books and hosted a Queen of Swords Press party at WisCon. I got interviewed at Shelfies by Bill Kieffer,  got interviewed with author Rachel Gold in the St. Cloud Times (best headline ever!), interviewed by Paul Weimer at the Skiffy and Fanty Blog and answered 5 Questions for author Loren Rhodes. As Emily L. Byrne, I did the WLW Blog Hop, and had guest posts up at I Heart Lesfic, Women & Words and on Sacchi Green's blog, Reaching Out. In addition to ClexaCon and WisCon, I did readings and panels at Outwrite in Washington, D.C., DreamHaven Books and Eat My Words Books and WordBrew 6 in Minneapolis. Queen of Swords Press had tables at St. Cloud Pride, the Twin Cities Book Festival, the Minnesota Women's Art Festival, 2 instances of the Books and Beer Pop-up Store, the Queer Author Holiday Fair and probably something I'm forgetting.

Writing and editing
. Queen of Swords Press/me and company put out three books this year:

Catherine had 6 stories published this year:
  • “A Winter’s Tale” in A Few More Winter Tales edited by Matthew Bright. December, 2018 (Fantasy).
  • “A Cry in the Night,” forthcoming TBD. World of Darkness: Ghosthunters (final title TBD).
  • “The Letter of Marque” reprinted on Curious Fictions. August, 2018. (Historical)
  • “Faceless” and “Firebird” reprinted in the OutWrite 2018 Journal, Issue 1. August, 2018 (Fantasy).
  • “The Mask and the Amontillado,” Tales of the Unanticipated #32, edited by Eric Heideman, July, 2018. (Horror)
  • “One Night in Saint Martin,” March, 2018. Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast, edited by Heather Rose Jones. (Historical)
  • And had an excerpt from Silver Moon in D.C.'s Metro Weekly

Emily (Other Me) had 4 stories published this year - I also helped raise money for Rainbow Railroad, The Aliveness Project and SAGE: Advocating for LGBT Seniors, donated book packages to Con or Bust and Sirens, and volunteered for my second year in a row as a member of the Community Review Board at PFund Foundation. Wow! I did more than I thought I had! Plus more fun stuff in progress, of course. Big shoutout to all the venues that hosted me, the Press and colleagues, all the other writers who tabled with or did appearances with me, to my wife Jana for helping out and splitting a table at the MN Women's Festival, to my authors, cover artists, copy editor, book designer, videographer and web guru (not all the same person!), to the folks who interviewed me, bought books, reviewed my work, the folks who boosted the signal and recommended books to others, folks who helped with marketing and to my friends who were there for me this year - thank you all very much!

Now for a brief respite, then on to 2019!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy holiday and book sales!

 Wishing all of you celebrating a Merry Christmas! And everyone else a happy Tuesday!

ALL of my books are on sale at Smashwords this week - 12/25-1/1/19.
My erotica collection, Desire, is on sale at the I Heart Lesfic Mega Sale from 12/26-12/30.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

New podcast!

‪Ooh! Check out this reading of my story "An Incident in Whitechapel" from my erotic short story collection, KNIFE'S EDGE, on the terrific Nobilis Erotica Podcast!

Monday, December 17, 2018

DESIRE makes a year's best list!

Reviewer and author Terrance Aldon Shaw included my erotica collection, Desire, on Big Brain Erotica's Best of 2018 list! Regular readers may recall that he also included my story "Toads, Diamonds and the Occasional Pearl" from Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms in his Best of 2017 list. I am thrilled and happy to make the list two years running!

Sunday, December 9, 2018

New guest blog post for BLE v. 3

My guest blog post for Best Lesbian Erotica v. 3 is up at editor Sacchi  Green's blog today! "Rainbow's End" is about queer bookstores and cute Goth girls and chance meetings that turn into something more. Check it out!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

New review!

Lovely new review of Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year Vol. 3, coming soon from Cleis Press! I'm so pleased that my story, "Rainbow's End," is finding its people.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

TOC for forthcoming book and more on the way

Check out the amazing TOC for Rose Caraway's The Sexy Librarian's Dirty Thirty Vol. 3! This is great company to be in and I expect this to be a smoking hot read. I should note that "Nights in Red Satin" is one of my bisexual erotic tales and I'm so pleased that it found a home here! Coming in 2019 from Stupid Fish Productions.

December is going to be very exciting!
Stay tuned for more excitement!

Friday, November 9, 2018

New guest blog at I Heart Lesfic!

Author T.B. Markinson invited me to do a guest blog at I Heart Lesfic today - "Hot Women, Cybertentacles and Everything." Why I write erotica, why I write about women and more about writing Medusa's Touch!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Writing My First Novel...sort of (WLW Blog Hop post)

This is a surprisingly complicated topic for me. Technically, my first novel was written several years ago, then published, then rewritten and re-released in a new edition when I started up my own publishing company, Queen of Swords Press. I started working on Medusa’s Touch before that happened, but didn’t finish it until Queen of Swords was up and running. I started Medusa’s Touch before Emily L. Byrne existed, in fact. So this post is actually about writing my first novel under this name, which is not my “real” name and not my ‘first” novel. Welcome to the wild and wacky writing life!

I’ve written elsewhere about the history of Medusa’s Touch, my spicy lesfic science fiction romance and about why I adopted a pseudonym for my sexy writing (link) so this post will focus on my writing process for this particular book. Medusa’s Touch started out life as a novella. Well, really, it started with an idea along the lines of “how come I haven’t written any cyberpunk?”  I don’t remember if the original idea was the result of something I was asked to write for a specific anthology or it just came to me one day and I started writing about TiCara, a medusa pilot who flies her spaceship with tentacle-like implants, and Sherin Khan, a beautiful intergalactic corporate rep with a bunch of secrets. Both of the characters are damaged by the world they live in, TiCara by her past as a former sex slave to corporate spies and assassins and Sherin by the loss of the implants she valued. Both of them are prepared to do almost anything they have to do to control their own destinies. And apart from the basic world-building, this is where the similarities between the original version and the novel ended.

Unlike a lot of fiction writers, I didn’t get started writing novels when I was a tyke, or even as an occasionally angst-ridden college student. I sat down when one day when I was in my early 30s, wrote up a short story, sent it out the door and had it get accepted. I quit law school a few days later and started writing (along with various day jobs). 

What this meant for my longer term writing career was:
a. I had no trunk novels lying around waiting to be revised or transformed into new work and b. I only wrote short fiction and nonfiction articles for about a decade of my writing life because those fit well with my schedule and I often got immediate gratification from selling them. Also, for some social context, I was writing a lot of literary erotica and there was a booming anthology market for it. One of those stories was a novella length erotic cyberpunkish tale that went on to get an honorable mention from the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards. It was called…"Medusa’s Touch" because once I give something a title, I have a hard time letting go.

Years passed. I finally started writing novels. I finished a novel and saw it get published. I got asked for more novels. I poked around at my pile of miscellaneous writings and my wife said, “What about that story about the woman with the tentacles that she uses to fly a spaceship?” This got repeated until it sank in. I created a book proposal and sent it in. Stuff happened and then I had an outlined novel draft and then a half-finished novel. And a publishing contract I had no intention of signing. The book in progress had no home or deadline, but it did have the pilot with the tentacles. And her hot lover. And some science fictional worldbuilding. So I dug in and wrote the whole novel. Then rewrote it. Then rewrote it a bunch more. I expanded the cast of characters, added a lot more details to the world-building, added some additional queer representation, fleshed out some of the secondary characters and made other changes to turn it into the current Medusa’s Touch, which I released through Queen of Swords Press earlier this year.

I should also note that my real first novel, Silver Moon, also grew out of a novella. I think that novellas function as the equivalent of outlines for a determined pantser like myself. It gives me a jumping off point as well as enabling me to organize my thoughts and my plots. But I also think that using novellas as a my “book starter” is a thing that I am starting to grow out of as a writer. None of my novels currently in progress have used novellas as a starting place. But can I finish them? That is burning question. I’m certainly giving it my best shot. All I can say is to please stay tuned for more books. I’ve got a lot more stories in me and I think they’ll emerge a t bunch of different lengths. Sometimes, you need to grow into your stories.

Next up on the Blog Hop, check out Serena Bishop's blog on her first novel. Find out how Serena managed to balance life, a science thesis, and write a novel (or three) in five years without driving herself or the people around her crazy. Serena J. Bishop officially joined the lesfic writing community in 2017 and has loved every moment it. When social media isn't distracting her, she writes about the dramas that play out in her mind when she is supposed to be focused on something else. Her first novel Beards has received positive reviews. She loves her wife and chihuahua.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

"Blood in the Rain 4" is out! And what's next

And it includes my story "Permanent Position!" Ebook is out now and print will be coming soon. My story is about temping for bisexual vampires. Also, hot sex. :-)
More details here: Cwtch Press

My story "Nights in Red Satin" will be appearing in The Sexy Librarian's Dirty 30 Vol. 3, edited by Rose Caraway, which should be out in the next month or two. This is one of my rare heterosexual stories and it's about aging and body image and having hot sex and an exciting fantasy life.

A reading of my story "An Incident in Whitechapel," from my collection, Knife's Edge, will be featured on the Nobilis Erotica Podcast in December. "Whitechapel" is a period piece about a Victorian lesbian hunting for Jack the Ripper, knife play sex.

I've also got a new guest blog coming up on I Heart Lesfic. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Blood in the Rain 4 is up for preorder

The vampire erotica anthology, Blood in the Rain 4 edited by Cecilia Duvall and Mary Trepanier is up for preorder! It will be out from Cwtch Press in a couple of weeks and includes my bi vampire erotica tale "Permanent Position."

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Audiobook news

So this is pretty cool. Candy Lovers: Sugar Erotica, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and including my story "Phone, Sex, Chocolate," as well as a bunch of other great stories (if I do say so myself!) is now out on Audible.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New acceptance and print buy links

Got a nice bit of news this week. My story, "An Incident in Whitechapel," which is about a Victorian genderqueer lesbian obsessed with hunting Jack the Ripper, has been accepted for the Nobilis Erotica  Podcast. It will be out in December! In the meantime, you can also read it in my collection, Knife's Edge.

And Medusa's Touch print buy links:

Stay tuned for a blog tour in October!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

It's here!

Medusa's Touch is out in print today! Currently at Amazon, should be on B&N and IndieBound and other platforms in the next day or two here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Book giveaway!

Comment on my pinned giveaway post on Twitter by EOD Friday of this week to be entered to win a print copy of Medusa's TouchMedusa's Touch should be out in all available channels in print and ebook by this weekend and Queen of Swords Press will have copies at St. Cloud Pride on 9/15.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Award Nominee!

MEDUSA'S TOUCH is the first nominee for the new Erotic Novel category at the GCLS 2019 Goldie Awards! #lesfic #sfromance

Sunday, July 29, 2018

New acceptance!

I've just had a story accepted for Blood in the Rain Vol. 4! "Permanent Position" is about bisexual vampires and temping, and really, who isn't into that? Blood in the Rain is a series of vampire erotica anthologies (all orientations) from Cwtch Press and this is my second appearance in the series. V. pleased.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

TOC for Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, Vol. 3

Which includes my story, "Rainbow's End!"

1 Ninjutsu • Valerie Alexander
11 Morning Fog • Scout Rhodes
16 Where There’s Smoke • M. Birds
32 Husher • Sommer Marsden
42 Fearless • T. C. Mill
56 The Night Shift • Pascal Scott
67 The Auction • R. G. Emanuelle
82 Rainbow’s End • Emily L. Byrne
94 Oliver: Twisted • Nanisi Barrett D’Arnuk
109 Fuck Me Like a Canadian • Raven Sky
118 Jani-Lyn’s Dragon • Nat Burns
126 Rules • Lea Daley
142 Perfume • R. D. Miller
151 Trying Submission • Xan West
166 Yin and Yang • Mags Hayward
179 Still Marching • Victoria Janssen
187 Sweet of My Heart • Anna Watson

Check out the details and the cover art at editor Sacchi Green's blog. Coming in December!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

New author interview posted!

I've got a new author interview up at author A.M. Leibowitz's blog today. Many thanks to them
For hosting and for asking great questions!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Book sale!

All my books are on sale this month at Smashwords! Pick yourself up a beach or vacation read!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

New Guest Blog at Women and Words

Happy Pride weekend! I've got a new guest blog up at Women and Words about writing my sexy new lesfic sf romance, MEDUSA'S TOUCH - comment to be entered in a drawing for a free copy!

Monday, June 11, 2018

5 Stars from Cheyenne Blue!

Acclaimed lesfic author Cheyenne Blue loved my new sf romance, Medusa's Touch, and you might too!

For the next 17 days, you can get Medusa's Touch in this Pride Month StoryBundle which also features books by Melissa Scott, Geonn Cannon, A.C. Wise, Don Sakers, Alex Acks, Tenea Johnson, Jo Graham, Joseph Carriker and Dayna Ingram. We're raising funds for Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian nonprofit that helps LGBTQ+ folks escape repressive regimes. Celebrate Pride, get some great reads and do some good!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

New Pride StoryBundle!

The #Pride Month StoryBundle is here! Featuring Queen of Swords Press titles MURDER ON THE TITANIA by Alex Acks and MEDUSA'S TOUCH by Emily L. Byrne, as well as great books by Melissa Scott, Don Sakers, A.C. Wise, Tenea D. Johnson, Joseph Carriker, Jo Graham, Geonn Cannon and Dayna Ingram and benefitting Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian nonprofit that helps LGBTQ folks escape repression! What's not to love? 🏳️‍🌈💖
We raised $1k for Rainbow Railroad last year - let's try and double that!

Monday, June 4, 2018


My sexy lesfic sfromance novel MEDUSA'S TOUCH is a featured title in the Speculative Fiction Showcase today!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Announcing "The Witches of Gloucester" by Lisabet Sarai

Its not about power. Its about love.

19,000 words
Genre: Lesbian paranormal erotic romance (FFF)
Heat level: Explicit (5 flames)
Includes special bonus storyLate Show
ISBN (Smashwords): 9780463719466
ASIN (Amazon):  B07DBB3ZTN

The historic port of Gloucester, Massachusetts has a special charm, due at least in part to its resident witches. For decades, raven-maned Marguerite and red-headed Beryl have lived among its hard-working inhabitants, making magic and mischief. Love and sex fuel their supernatural abilities, but duality limits their power. To reach their full potential, they need a third witch to complete their circle.

Rejected as a nymphomaniac by her puritanical boyfriend, Emmeline escapes to Gloucester to work on her PhD thesis. From the moment she arrives, Marguerite and Beryl sense her erotic vitality and unrecognized paranormal talent. The platinum-haired beauty may well be the enchantress they have been awaiting for so long. Now they need to show Em that her prodigious libido is a gift, not a liability, and to persuade her that her destiny lies in the sea-girt town they guard, and in their arms.

SPECIAL BONUS: Also includes "Late Show", a contemporary FF erotic romance tale about second chances.

Will she come, do you think?Marguerite gestured toward the 1930s brass Commodore clock on the mantel, which read ten minutes past four.She looked so nervous yesterdayas if she thought wed eat her alive.

Well, actually, when you put it that way...Beryl allowed herself a lecherous chuckle.

Her companion gave her an exasperated grin.This is not a joke. You know as well as I what is at stake.

Dont worry, Mar. Shell be here, though she may have to wrestle a few doubts into submission first. She feels the pull, just as we do, even if she doesnt understand it.

Well, I do hope she arrives soon.Marguerite surveyed the elegant table shed set. She picked up a Blue Willow porcelain teacup and wiped away an imaginary smudge.The icing on the petit fours is melting.

As if in answer, chimes tinkled at the front of the house and a hint of fresh air slipped in the open door, bringing the ubiquitous tang of salt. From his corner cage, Marguerites mynah, Jonah, exactly mimicked the sound of the doorbell. Beryl jumped to her feet.Ill go show her to the parlor.

No, nolet Gloria do that. We dont want to spook her with excess enthusiasm. Settle down and compose yourself. Remember, youre a member of the LadiesWelcome Brigade. Refined. Polite. Proper.

Proper?Beryl grinned and thumbed her peaked nipples, obvious as always through the navy blue crepe of her blouse. Her eyes fluttered shut as she relished the sensation.Refined? Me?

Marguerite licked her full lips. She swept her palms over the plum velvet caftan that hid her thighs.Try to pretend, darling. Just this once.

Explicit Excerpt

In the sweet darkness, every sensation grew more acute. Marguerite deepened the kiss, sucking Emmys tongue into her mouth, while Beryl stroked Emmys back, belly and thighs. The wandering hands barely touched Emmelines body but everywhere they traveled, delicious heat followed.

Sparks danced along Ems naked skin in the wake of Beryls fingers. Naked? When had she removed her clothing? Her eyes fluttered open. Shadows hung in the opulent room, shaped by candles that flickered on the mantel. It was nearly midsummer. How could the night have come so quickly?

Embarrassment, wonder and need warred within her.  Arousal coursed through her body in shimmering waves, so intense it was almost pain. She found herself splayed nude upon the carpet, arms flung out and erect nipples pointing at the ceiling. Her knees were bent, her thighs spread wide in lewd invitation. Moisture seeped from her exposed cleft, dampening the silky nap of the rug beneath her.

Beryl knelt in the gap between Ems legs, equally naked, her porcelain-pale skin gleaming in the dimness. Candlelight struck glints from her coppery crown. Emmeline couldnt help staring at the matching tangle hiding the womans sex. She ached to part that auburn curtain and taste the moist flesh it concealed.

The older woman grinned. Mischief glittered in her emerald eyes.Time enough for that later, girl. The first climax must be yours. Trust us. We wont harm you. We just want to teach you who you are.

We. The plural made Emmeline wonder about Marguerite.

Im here, darling.The lilting, cultured voice came from behind her. Em twisted backward. Marguerite knelt just above her head, thighs parted, buttocks resting on her heels. The tawny beautys pubic curls were mere inches from her own silvery locks, releasing clouds of tidal perfume. Flawless butterscotch-brown skin stretched over Marguerites lush breasts and swelling hips. Sleek muscles shifted under the smooth surface as she leaned over to brush her lips across Emmelines.

Even that brief contact sent lightning sizzling to Ems cunt.  For an instant she teetered on the edge of climax, before the luscious pressure subsided.

Shall we take you, Emmeline?Maguerites question wound its way into Emmelines consciousness, through a haze of lust.You must ask us. The ritual requires it.

About Lisabet Sarai

LISABET SARAI writes in many genres, but F/F fiction is one of her favorites. Her lesbian erotica credits include contributions to Lambda Award winner Where the Girls Are, Ippie-winning Carnal Machines, Best Lesbian Romance 2012, Forbidden Fruit: Stories of Unwise Lesbian  Desire,  and Lammy-nominated Coming Together: Girl on Girl. Her storyThe Late Showappears in the recently released Best Lesbian Erotica 2015.

Lisabet holds more degrees than anyone would ever need, from prestigious educational institutions who would no doubt be deeply embarrassed by her explicit literary endeavors. She has traveled widely and currently lives in Southeast Asia, where she pursues an alternative career that is completely unrelated to her writing. For all the dirt on Lisabet, visit her website ( or her blog Beyond Romance (