Giveaway Tuesday! by Annie Anthony

Oh, friends.  Friends. 2016 is flying by faster than that last hour before daylight savings time. (C’mon, admit there is at least one clock in your house/car/office you haven’t yet sprung ahead! I admit to one…)

I’ve been working double time, literally, editing and professional money-making far more often than I’ve been writing, and what feels like 25 hours a day (extra hour provided courtesy of that one pesky clock I haven’t adjusted yet…)  I’ve been plotting and scheming and starting the next chapters of my lesbian zombie work in progress, but I really need to come up with a real working title.  Anything I end up trying sounds like a very sad play on words… LZ WIP? (Lesbian Zombie Work In Progress? Yeah, you feel my pain.)

I had four releases out in 2015 and so far in 2016, I’ve released little more than the button on my pants… all this sitting in one place editing is hell on the waistline. So since I don’t have lots of new-news to scream to the hilltops about, let’s rally some excitement about  some old-ish news. And what could be more exciting than a GIVEAWAY?! (Twirl!)

So, friends, for your gifting pleasure, behold a real, bona-fide paperback book:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00032]

Amazon First Ladylove Link

I’ve attached the Amazon link for First Ladylove so you can read a bit about it, check out the reviews, then enter to win a paperback copy!  Winners will need to provide a mailing address (open to residents of ANY country!) If you enter, make sure you follow up to see if you’ve won!

First Ladylove is an anthology of seven stories of first-time lesbian love and romance. Here’s a teaser of the stories inside:

 

Dreams of Flying by Anastasia Vitsky

Librarian Karla has always lived by the rules. Now that she’s retiring, will she learn how to break them?

Cosmic Sutra by Jessica E. Subject

Victoria travels to Thanh Academy to study with beings from across the universe. Can she keep her feelings for a fellow classmate hidden, or will she risk friendships and her scholarship to find true love?

Centerfold by Kate Richards

Jesse goes to girls’ night at The Reef every week in hopes of getting somewhere with the gorgeous golden-haired Aurora. But sometimes fate has plans a girl getting ready for a night on the town cannot begin to anticipate.

Revelation by Cathy Pegau

Lizbet and Sahra are on their own behind enemy lines. Will keeping each other safe reveal more than their new-found relationship can handle?

Mile High Pleasures by KT Grant

Set in a world of flying steam airships and robots, the unappreciative Lottie Bells toils away as a seamstress. The only bright side is a visit from her childhood friend, Diana Russell, a lieutenant in the British Royal Air Navy. But when Lottie sees Diana again, she’s confused by her attraction to the beautiful lieutenant, who makes Lottie an enticing offer that may change their relationship forever.

Daring Destiny by Leigh Ellwood

Clara has waited the appropriate length of time since Shannon’s death to tell her widow, Desi, that she loves her. Desi doesn’t feel ready to move on, and Clara is determined to help change her mind.

Fixin’ Biscuits by Annie Anthony

Seasoned Fixin’ Biscuits waitress Cleary’s family falls apart while newcomer Ella’s is just beginning. Can they overcome the choices and secrets of the past and find love and family…together?

Let’s celebrate the end of the first quarter of 2016, the arrival of spring, and that one last straggler clock that thinks we can sleep one more hour with a giveaway.  To enter, comment on this post before 12 midnight on Friday, March 25! A winner will be randomly selected on Saturday!

Twirl!

 

Taking It With You- By Annie Anthony

sweethomechicago

Sweet Home Chicago (view from Lake Shore Drive)

Over the last 15 years, I’ve lived in one home for a decade and moved five other times. Most of those moves have taken places over the last three years since I left Chicago for Los Angeles. When I “go home” that means I’m going back to the place where I grew up, and for me, that means Chicago.  My apartment in Chicago is the place I experienced almost every significant event of my adulthood: marriage, divorce, coming out, then sickness and health. (I never did do things quite according to plan.)

In Chicago I was offered my first job in publishing and my first contract to publish my own written work. In Chicago my mother, brother, grandmother, and infant cousin are buried. In Chicago I still have boots and coats, gloves, and enough books to keep me entertained for weeks should I be snowed in during a visit. I even have a pretty well-stocked kitchen (tool-wise, not food!) and of course… yarn.

When I visit home, it’s like taking a trip in a time machine.  The memories are so real. The rooms and the streets, stores, and restaurants are all alive with memory. Since I moved to LA well into adulthood, I have dozens of friends and people who I consider family there, so every visit is an opportunity to reconnect with people whose bonds time and distance have not weakened.

When I lived in Chicago, I volunteered every week for four hours (sometimes more) for seven+ years with children who had special needs, many of whom were technology dependent. I keep in touch with many of the children I worked with and visit them on occasion when I go home.  This most recent visit home I was able to attend a birthday party for a little boy whose life story, family, and journey are so miraculous that every birthday deserves a ticker-tape parade. There is so much in richness at home, so much life.

I say that but then I board the plane.  I go back to my sunny apartment.  To a life devoid of old friends, and places I have been going for years, things I have relied on for decades to define, comfort, and entertain me. I play with my nieces—the new family that brought me west.  I settle into the bed, read the books, and explore new restaurants that are becoming trusted favorites. When I’m home, I text the people back in LA how much I miss them.  When I’m in LA, I text people in Chicago the very same things.

In moving to Los Angeles, I discovered something about home. Unlike the dozens of books I could not box up and drag to LA, home is something I have taken with me everywhere I have gone.  While going home is comforting, familiar, and full of joy, the new opportunities in a new place are just as important and motivating… which is why every time I board the plane and head home, I do eventually pack up and head back west.

I find that I’m less attached to objects (although let’s be real, my 10-year old King size pillow top bed in Chicago is SO superior to my barely-better-than-a-sleeping-roll Ikea mattress in LA) but I am equally attached to my old life and my new life. In fact, the constant in both lives is me, and I feel grateful that no matter where I am, I am . And in that sense, anywhere I’m comfortable and safe, happy and motivated is a place I can feel at home.

Annie Anthony blog header

Pacific Ocean

Where do you feel most at home? What little comforts can you not live without? Have you ever had to make tough decisions about leaving things, people, places behind?

More about Annie Anthony

Windy City Giveaway–by Annie Anthony

I’m super excited to  welcome a guest author to the Love, Lust, and Laptops party!  Remi Hunter is special… she is not only a recently retired Chicago police officer, but a dear, dear friend.  Her suspense novel, Windy City Heat, has enough passion to satisfy the most devoted romance reader, and enough true-crime to keep non-romance fans turning those pages.  I LOVED this book.  I love Gina and her sassy mouth; Sean and his complicated family and complex ties to Gina’s past and future; and Ray… oh, Ray. The partner who has a way with the ladies…

So you can celebrate the re-release of Windy City Heat, we’re offering one free e-book copy to a lucky winner! All you have to do is comment on this post today before 8pm PST and we will randomly select one winner.  You’ll need to provide an email address and let us know which book format you need, so make sure you check back on this page to see if you’ve been selected!

So please join me in welcoming author, friend, and (once-a, always-a) cop, Remi Hunter!!!

WCH

Blurb:

Tactical cop, Gina Aletti, doesn’t see a problem with bending rules to catch the bad guys. Sometimes, that’s what it takes in the endless battle against gangs, drugs and chronic crime on Chicago’s West Side. Her new boss doesn’t agree.

Fresh from a Spec Ops mission in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Sean O’Connor has zero tolerance for maverick cops. The battle lines are drawn; Gina and her new boss clash over everything, rules, regulations, and a career breaker, high-profile case.

When Gina’s informant goes missing, her search for him uncovers corruption inside the Chicago PD. Evidence surfaces that points at Gina as a dirty cop. The fight to clear her name may cost her everything…her badge…the man she loves…and her life.

 

Q & A with Remi Hunter

Remi, what will romance readers find in Windy City Heat? What about crime fans?

Windy City Heat, the first in the Windy City Cops series, is suspense with romance woven in. Crime fans will enjoy a peek into the real world of a plainclothes tactical cop, and romance fans will love the roller coaster romance and the HOT sex scenes.

Tell us about the challenges of writing crime stories with your background.

You’d think writing detective or suspense fiction would come easily to a cop. But the truth is the complete opposite. 

There’s a TV show that’s popular right now about a crack team of plainclothes cops. I tried watching it one day, because it was getting rave reviews. While entertaining, it was so ridiculously far fetched, it started to annoy me. But I can understand why the writer(s) threw everything but the kitchen sink into the plot. Real police work, while dangerous, is never that complex.

My biggest challenge as a cop slash writer is creating a mind-boggling mystery with lots of twists and turns. Honestly? That is not what the average cop deals with on a daily basis, especially beat cops. The John Wayne Gacy cases are far and few between. Most crimes are gang and drug related and not that mysterious. Pretty mundane stuff.

 I’ve dipped into my stash of creative liberty to pump up the adrenaline in WCH. And I’ve had a few fellow cop-friends call me out on it, too.

Tell us about your non-writing work before you retired and how that influences your stories.

I worked some of the toughest streets in the city of Chicago. I worked patrol in a blue and white, and like Gina and Sean, worked plainclothes in tactical. I taught for a few years in the police academy. My favorite assignment was in a patrol car, which is why my books all feature beat cops.

What are readers going to love about Gina?

Gina Aletti is never boring. She doesn’t always heed that inner filter that should keep her mouth shut. Sean would say she has no fear. She has a good heart, but it usually gets her into trouble. But she is endearingly naive for a big city cop, and she struggles to find a balance between being a hard-ass policewoman and … a girl. Readers will discover a bit of themselves in Gina Aletti.

What about Sean?

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, “I fell in love with Sean O’Connor.” He’s Army special forces, a war veteran and American hero, a reformed bad boy who worked his way up the CPD ladder. He’s a gentleman, which wins Gina’s reluctant heart, but his by-the-book standards make her crazy. He will tease Gina one minute and comfort her the next. And, of course, he’s a genuine badass. I like Alpha males, so Sean is all Alpha male.

Ray Lopez, Gina’s partner, is the ying to Gina’s yang. He has a quirky sense of humor and an easy going, it’s all good in the hood, kind of attitude toward life, even the difficult stuff. He tries his best to reign Gina in, and usually fails. While Gina will get easily frazzled, Ray is as calm as a bowl of jello. Ray Lopez is based on my first partner, Ray Saragosa. I’ve tried my best to make Ray Lopez as close to the real guy as possible, lol! 

If you don’t win the giveaway, you can buy Windy City Heat here: Buy Windy City Heat

Keep in touch with Remi and the Windy City Cops series here: Facebook Remi Hunter

Glitter, Hearts, and Zombies by Annie Anthony

If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to February 14 for the obvious reason: the mid-season premiere (WTF is that anyway, why were they on a mid-season hiatus!) of The Walking Dead. Wait… were you thinking Valentine’s Day? Yes, I do live the life of a glamourous romance writer, but since I’m single AF, most of the time that glamourous life resembles Joan Wilder from Romancing the Stone, but with an angry Chihuahua instead of a cat… So for me, I’ll be celebrating the day of chocolate, roses, and glittery hearts with, well, I hope some kick-ass killers of the undead. (Hmmm, perhaps this single AF thing is making more sense?)

I’m not only obsessed with TV zombies. I’m still tapping away at my lesbian zombie romance. The main character is just about to lead a small search party down a stairwell to find her roommate—who has left an ominous-sounding note and some boxes of ammunition behind. I’ve been trying to come up with all the awesome things that could happen on the stairwell—zombie granny, zombie rats, or just plain people with all their crazy-ass issues.

It occurs to me that one of the reasons why people love zombie stories so much is because the zombie genre allows us to face in brutally decisive terms some really tough reality.  If done well, the zombie story isn’t just about the scary undead. Zombie stories evoke huge human issues–right to life, self-determination, obligations of power, trust, hope, coping. Just thinking about who “deserves” to live and be part of a society is pretty consuming stuff, and let me tell you, I’ve already made some painful decisions about my characters.  (No spoilers here!)

Have you read any good zombie books? How about zombie stories with GLBTQ characters? If you try and search for “zombie” and “lesbian” let me tell you… the results are BAD. Worse than a single lesbian romance writer with an angry Chihuahua on Valentine’s Day bad.

If you’d rather think about love and squishy grown up  stuff than undead things this Valentine’s Day, check out Don’t Be Shy. This multi-volume anthology published by Ylva Publishing received a Rainbow Award honorable mention and Volume I includes my erotic short story, Slammin’ Sunday.

Don't Be Shy Cover FB

Enjoy an excerpt from Slammin’ Sunday:

In college, I had a poetry instructor who fronted a band in the eighties that opened for hard-core metal acts. She was from North Dakota. Had run away at fourteen. Married at fifteen. Divorced at seventeen. At nineteen, after years of living in vans and singing in dives, she landed a deal with a small label. But road life never really paid the bills, and while she’d never intended to settle down, by forty, she had a job.

Trading in shredded jeans and midriff tees for pencil skirts and cashmere wraps, she accepted an assistant professorship at a land-grant state college. She paced the classroom as though it was her private greenroom, and she couldn’t wait for the show to start. I watched her closely, hoping to catch the moment when she stutter-stepped between the present and the past. I imagined her tossing down the syllabus, kicking off her shoes, and striding barefoot to the back of the class. In my mind, she turned the desks upside down, and screeched metal instead of spoken word poetry.

She taught us very little about poetry, believing that “writing is a gift of the soul which cannot be taught in workshops.” So instead of an academic analysis of verse and themes, Dennie—she preferred we call her by her first name—told us stories. She would sit on top of the desk, her eyes half closed as if the memories she fought were more real than the bodies and faces of the students in front of her. Her outstretched hands met loosely in front of her chest, as if reaching for a mic that was no longer there. Maybe not all of the undergrads in upper-division poetry spent the ninety-minute seminar fantasizing about her legs and her ass. But for an entire semester, while her words kaleidoscoped across our landlocked, windowless classroom I focused as much on the shape of her lips as her stories .

She didn’t just preach at us, though. She put us on the spot, believing in what she called “incidental genius.” A lot of students grumbled, but I never minded taking my turn. . Tingling after Dennie’s voice called my name, I felt as though she absolutely believed I could combine colors and textures and objects in a way that revealed my vulnerability, my fear, my hope. All in two minutes or less. I loved poetry, but my undeniable reactions to Dennie allowed me to embrace the growing awareness that I loved women.

… By the time I reached thirty, I still loved poetry, still loved women, but wasn’t much different than the student I’d been. Unfulfilled longing was my loveless partner. Bland people, tedious work, and uninspired meetings hadn’t been objectives on my resume, but poetry doesn’t pay back student loans. This creative writing student ended up in another nearly windowless building, working a corporate insurance job.

One afternoon, my boss asked if we could chat. He leaned his ass against my desk and moved so close I could smell the stink from his lunch on his breath. We discussed a problem with a bulk reserve for far longer than the issue deserved, and by the time he moved on to another victim, I literally needed some fresh air. I grabbed my key card and headed out for some coffee.

I wandered up to Café Q, an artsy little cafe that specialized in drip coffee, loose teas, and artisan pastries. Every table was taken, mostly by people in suits chatting on phones or tapping at laptops. Students sat on oversized floor pillows while a homeless guy pilfered napkins and honey packets from the self-serve bar.

I ordered a small decaf and checked the community board. A neon green flyer caught my attention. Slammin’Sundays. Café Q was pleased to host an inaugural Sunday morning poetry slam. All participating poets were given a free small beverage and would be entered into a drawing for a $50 Q’s gift card. Sunday mornings don’t have to suck… now they can slam!

Corny flyer, yes. But it had been a long time since I’d had a moment of “incidental genius,” or even just listened to a poet live. I folded the flyer in thirds and then in half again and slipped it into my wallet.

Buy Don’t Be Shy

Countdown begins to Valentine’s Day, my friends.  Have fun shopping for chocolate, heart-shaped odds and ends, and red and pink frillies. Me, my crossbow, and my Chihuahua will be ready…

 

 

Message in a Bottle (or a Shoe Box) by Annie Anthony

What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, Blue Suede Boi—the first short story I ever published—was being pulled from the virtual shelves. Why? My publisher closed its doors. Sad for all involved. And for me, it literally felt like a door closing on my publishing dreams. While I started 2015 with some shattered dreams and a story that I loved in digital bits and pieces, the experience prompted me to try something I never thought I’d have the guts to do: self-publishing. Now, I had two things most self-pubbed authors don’t have at least at first—amazing editing of my story and a fantastic cover artist/book designer.

So what came next was truly the hardest part: the faith. Which seems really fitting actually since Blue Suede Boi is a story about a girl who doesn’t really believe she can have what she wants. Kaia has a shoe store job to pay the bills but doesn’t have hope she’ll put her Masters degree to work in the stockroom.  She had a girlfriend, but she always felt as though she was playing dress up in someone else’s fantasy. She had a crush, but she didn’t think the woman even knew she was alive.

But as they say when one door closes, another opens.  And not just one door in my case.

After I self-pubbed Boi, I received published three more works, two of which were with publishers. Like the universe was sending me a message.  Keep the faith.  Keep writing.  Keep submitting.

My goals for 2016 are simple: Keep writing. Keep submitting. Keep the faith.

Like Kaia, you never know when the universe is about to send you a message. In Kaia’s case, the message came with a platinum blond Mohawk and wore blue suede shoes.

Here’s a little excerpt of Kaia’s story, Blue Suede Boi. Feel free to comment on the excerpt below or share some of your goals for the new year!

blue suede boi_fullsize (3)

Blue Suede Boi

Annie Anthony

 

Amanda reached for a black leather chukka with neon green contrast stitching. One of my favorite fantasies sneaked into my head: Amanda on her back, me straddled over her with my ass in the air. I would lick and nibble the tight muscles of her middle, my nipples teasing against her firm stomach.

“Tell me why they don’t make shoes these cool for women?” she asked, as if I might really have insight on behalf of the shoe industry—me, a lowly clerk.

“I don’t think most women would wear a shoe that cool. But if they fit you, what does it matter who they were designed for?” I took the chukka from her hand, careful to just barely brush her fingers. My hand was already trembling a little, and I was probably sweating. “This one?”

“Yes, but I’d like to keep looking.”

“Sure. Do you want something in particular?”

“I have a date.” She dug her hands deep into the pockets of her worn skinny jeans. “So I need something really hot.”

“Oh.” I’m sure I didn’t hide my disappointment. A date. Of course, right. Amanda, the woman whose pheromones could turn straight girls gay from a distance of twenty miles—of course, a date. I dialed the intensity of my smile down a few more degrees. Shoes, focus on the shoes, not on Amanda’s nipples, which were hardening into peaks against the seams of what looked like a sports bra under her T-shirt. I swallowed. “Okay, then. Do you have an outfit you want to match the shoes with, or are you just looking around?”

“Yeah, I have an outfit.”

“What do you plan to wear?” Amanda’s white T-shirt was tissue thin, her tight grey jeans broken-in and well-worn. All boi. I gestured toward her, focusing my attention away from Amanda’s now fully erect nipples. “Something like what you have on now?”

“No, no, not this.” She tugged at the hem of her shirt. “I have some sweet tuxedo pants, and I was thinking a purple dress shirt or maybe a tuxedo vest with a tank top if it’s warm.”

“Tuxedo pants?” I imagined her long, slim legs in dress pants, her hair styled into spikes liked I’d seen her wear before. Even if she was shopping for a date with someone else, just thinking about her dressed up like she’d been when we first met made little tremors of arousal bank between my legs. “Okay, what color tuxedo pants? Just black?”

She smiled. “Actually no. This color. Kinda like what you’re wearing.”

I lifted the edge of my navy blue mini skirt toward her. “Like this?”

“Kinda, yeah.” She stepped closer and reached for the stretchy knit fabric of my skirt.

Amanda’s long fingers brushed the softest part of inner my thigh, her hand deliberately—deliberately—stroking me with a quick but firm touch.

“What do you think would go with this color blue?” she asked.

I suppressed a deep arousal-soaked breath. She was so close, I could have smelled the product in her hair—if I let myself. My pulse raced and I tried to ignore the whisper of her fingers at the hemline of my skirt. She could not be flirting with me, could she? Focus on the shoes.

I scanned the display. I felt dizzy. An electric warmth spread between her hand and my leg. Flirt?

I stood on the tips of my denim high tops, stretching to reach a pair of blue suede oxfords. “Do you like these?”

“Definitely. Can I try them?”

“Yeah, and the chukkas, too?”

She laughed, running a hand through that bleached panel of hair. “Is that what they’re called? Yeah, those too. Thanks, Kaia.”

I walked back to the stockroom, pausing to check my reflection in one of the security mirrors. Amanda. I couldn’t believe she remembered me. What were the odds that she would walk into my shoe store? Not really mine, of course. But was this just a coincidence? I finished my master’s degree nearly eight months ago and still hadn’t found a job. Well, a real job. I had worked this shoe gig all through grad school part-time. I tried to remember what she might have known about me, how she might have known where to find me.

I’d first met Amanda when I was dating Zen, and yes, that’s really her name. Zen was a lawyer, and she loved having me on her arm at parties but she sucked at anything more than lavish dates. Amanda worked at Zen’s law firm, doing something—IT maybe? I’d met Amanda at the firm’s holiday party. I was dolled up in an outfit Zen had picked out. I grimaced thinking about Zen. She had embarrassed me, trotting me out as eye candy. She called me her modern day Ann-Margret. I have natural red hair and a thing for thick wings of black eyeliner, sort of a retro glam vibe. I’m a redhead who likes wearing red, but I remember fidgeting in the strapless dress bought to match Zen’s burgundy shirt and holiday tie. The tacky bridesmaid-y dress, the coordinating colors…the whole scene was so not me. Zen and I lasted only about three months. The holiday party had been the last straw.

I’d been standing alone waiting for Zen to get drinks from the bar. Amanda and her date, a crazy-hot black girl dressed almost as flashy as I was, were the only other lesbian couple. I noticed them right away, the way Amanda’s hand hovered at the curve above her date’s ass, her brilliant-white mohawk a stark contrast to the businesslike haircuts of most of the partygoers. Amanda owned her swagger. She laughed and touched her date, tossing back drinks as though the firm event was just a pre-party warm up before a night of athletic and intense fucking.

I’d felt so jealous. Jealous as fuck. Zen was a confident butch, a half- Korean girl with a close-cut boy’s haircut and a stylish andro wardrobe. We talked, but we had zero chemistry. She was only interested in how I looked to other people. I let her take me out, pay for everything, hoping things might turn into more…but they never did. At that party, I felt sick watching the chemistry spark off Amanda and her date. I wanted to take home that gorgeous boi and fuck her senseless, grab that white-hot hair between my fingers and tug her face to my tits. I would never have anything close to that with Zen. That night, I knocked back too many glasses of wine and stared at Amanda from wherever Zen and I were—peering around the servers carrying cocktail snacks, running into Amanda in the ladies’ room. I’m sure I looked like a stalker, and I’d felt like the nerd at the high school dance with a lovesick crush on a popular athlete.

Zen had wanted to take me to her place after the holiday party. As she drove her sporty two-seater, she kept one hand under my dress, trying to stroke my pussy through my panties and teasing me when I didn’t get wet and encourage her.

“What’s up, baby?” She pulled her hand away and put both on the steering wheel. “Let’s go back to my place. I want you to sit on my face and come wearing that dress. You look so hot tonight, Kaia.”

I asked her to just take me home, told her I wasn’t feeling well. I hugged her before I went inside alone, knowing I would never see her again. I didn’t even feel like explaining. My heart sank and I felt alone and angry. Stupid candy-cane striped bow tie. Zen wasn’t a bad woman. She just wasn’t Amanda. I’d settled for Zen-relationships for too long. I wanted an Amanda of my own…that Amanda.

I got off that night, still wearing the bought-for-me red dress. I pushed my fingers deep inside my mouth, wetting them until they dripped. I rubbed my slick fingertips over my clit, arousal swelling my nub as I thought about how Amanda’s tongue would feel. I pictured her mohawk tickling my thighs as she licked me and imagined the feel of those spikes of sexy hair brushing against my chin as she sucked my nipples. I moaned so loud I probably woke my roommate, and a small squirt of come trickled down my fingers. I rolled over and grabbed my pillow for comfort, trying not to imagine what Amanda must have been doing with her date at that very moment.

Somehow, three months later, Amanda was in my shoe store. Shopping for a date, yes. But she’d remembered me. Maybe she had remembered the self-deprecating way I said where I worked and that I was a student when Zen had introduced us.

“I work at The Shoe Lot,” I’d joked. “Shoes at mall prices without the mall atmosphere.”

“Kaia is a graduate student,” Zen had said in a voice that suggested she expected Amanda to be impressed.

“School, school is great.” Amanda had shaken my hand. “And everybody needs shoes, right?”

“You know me, a closet full of fuck-me shoes,” Zoe, the date, had laughed.

Embarrassment and envy stampeded through my belly and rushed to my cheeks in a heady sprint. I felt lightheaded, conjuring a vision of Amanda and this sexpot tussling in the sheets…complete with fuck-me shoes.

“Classy, ladies. This is a work party.” Zen had shaken her head and grabbed my hand, towing me toward the managing partner and his wife.

The backsides of Zen’s and my coordinating holiday clothes could hardly have been a memorable introduction. Still, Amanda was here, shopping for shoes at my place of employment. For a few minutes, I had her attention. Whether she had a date with someone else or not, I smoothed my red hair and straightened out my side part. I grabbed sheer, pearly white lipstick from my purse and rolled just enough on my lips so they shined. Couldn’t hurt.

I quickly gathered her sizes and went back to the floor.

“Here.” She took the boxes from my arms.

“I don’t mind; it’s actually my job.” Chivalrous.

“Okay, but you’re not going to try to put the shoes on me, are you? That totally creeps me out.” She unlaced her perfectly worn-in oxfords.

“No, that’s fine. In fact, I have another customer I can check on. Try these on, and I’ll come back.”

An older woman asked for several styles of gel-sole walking shoes, so I ran back to the stockroom. After I delivered those, I checked on Amanda. She seemed to be thoroughly engaged, walking in front of the mirror and testing out the length of the toe.

“How are you doing?” I kneeled down, pulled the chukkas from the packing, and loosened the neon green laces. “How do those feel?”

“They feel amazing. What would you think about these with navy tuxedo pants?”

“Wow. These will be gorgeous, I think you’ll look great.” I imagined the shoes, on her feet, with the pants, and pressed my lips together. In my mind, I tugged the tuxedo pants from her hips.

“So what about you?” Amanda sat on the bench seat and handed me the blue suede oxfords, a really sharp pair with raw-cut black laces and black soles. She could have put the shoes on the floor or in the box, but she handed them to me. This time I didn’t avoid her touch.

Her grey eyes simmered with heat; her lashes were almost as pale as her long, sexy mohawk. She blinked as she held out the shoes.

“Me?” I took the shoes with one hand and boldly, with delight and desire tripping through my belly, let my fingers linger on hers.

“Yes, you. What are you gonna wear? Or do you want to surprise me when I pick you up?”

Blue Suede Boi Buy Link

 

More about Annie Anthony

 

 

New Year, New World… and a Game of Would You Rather by Annie Anthony

There’s nothing I would rather contemplate at the end of 2015 then the end of the world as we know it.  Not for real!  But in a zombie post-apocalyptic fictional kinda way, with a lesbian romantic twist.

I really am excited for 2016. New year, new stories, new possibilities in all areas of life. I’ve been working on a new story–a lesbian romance set in Los Angeles after of course the zombie apocalypse. And I mean, immediately thereafter, like before the main character figures out exactly who’s left alive in her building and what that means for her survival.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with this story, especially the “would you rather game.” In this yet unntitled story, the main character, Beatrice, and her roommate Rowena (Weena) hole up in their apartment at night and play games to help themselves prepare for and figure out who to save, who would survive. For example:  Lenny Kravitz and Mike Tyson are battling a horde of zombies? Who would you rather survive and why?

Here is an excerpt from my work in progress.  I’d love to hear what you think, and get your help… any ideas for a title? Right now I’m calling this “lesbian zombie romance” which really I think just won’t work…

 

Los Angeles- post zombies credit: Linnaea Mallette

Los Angeles- post zombies credit: Linnaea Mallette

Excerpt:

I was never someone who had those star-crossed encounters, you know? Meeting someone’s eyes in a coffee shop or a crowded bar.  If I had been unlucky in love before, my chances of simply finding another lesbian now—let alone experiencing mutual attraction and affection, shared interests—is about as likely as internet service magically being restored to greater Los Angeles. Ever.

The person I would most want by my side during the zombie apocalypse was also the woman most likely to ferret out women with even the most remote homosexual tendencies—my roommate.  Weena could get laid in an elevator of straight people—in between floors.  She had one of those larger than life personalities:  tall, big laugh, teeth so bright and a smile so engaging, women noticed her, looked at her, liked her.  And then of course they also fucked her, with a frequency that spun my 30-something spinster heart.

If you’d told me six months ago that it would be me still here, still fighting, I would have laughed at you.  For starters, I’m severely lactose intolerant.  Like, if they accidentally butter my toast at IHOP, I nearly shit my pants before the check comes—that intolerant.  Weens—full name Rowena Louise Mcgowan—Weena or Weens for short, was a security guard, for goodness sake. She carried a firearm, real handcuffs–not just the ones she used with her girlfriends for fun–and she had both the skills and the stature to overtake a fleeing man and bring him to his knees.  And she had.

But when the shit got real and we lost electricity, internet—for God’s sake cold beer—Weena decided to leave, to give up.  About two weeks into the new reality, we were on self-imposed lockdown in our apartment.  We shared a two-bed one-bath in a 30-story building overlooking Skid Row—which is how I know she could get laid in an elevator full of straight people between floors. She had.

We were playing a game we’d invented since the shit out there turned bad.  The game was a variation on “would you rather” but with a post-zombie apocalypse twist.

“Kristen Stewart and Kate Moennig are surrounded on all sides. You have an ax and a dagger which means you have to get close to the dead to kill them and you won’t have time to save them both. Who would you pick to survive? Kristen or Kate?”

I groaned a hungry—no, anguished, sound.  I weighed the choice out loud.

“Is there a chance she will be so grateful that she’ll immediately fuck me senseless for saving her life?”

Weena threw a cushion from the couch at my face.  She has perfect aim.

“Duh, Bug! What the fuck would the point of saving one of them be if there was no ‘I’m indebted to you for life’ fuck?”

My name is actually Beatrice and back when people called me, they mostly called me Bea, but Weena wouldn’t be bound by the nickname everyone else used.  She took a spin on “Bea” and from the first day we met, she’d called me “Bug.”

“God, I hate these choices. Ok,” I played this out. “For the immediate thank-you fuck, I’d probably have to choose Kate—“
“I knew—“ Weena screeched.

“Wait, wait, let me finish.” I pulled a long strand of hair through my fingers, imagining what I would have done a year ago to make myself gorgeous for the chance to fuck either one of them… or anyone else for that matter.  “We’re gonna need some women to help us repopulate the world assuming the world doesn’t completely end. Based on readily available information, Kristen might still have sex with a man.”

Weena shuddered.

“But… I also wouldn’t want to take the chance that I’d lose her to some guy who’d want to screw the gay right out of her. With Kate, I’m suspecting a lot less likelihood that she’d leave me for a wanger, even if it meant human civilization would end with us. That has a romantic sound to it, doesn’t it?”

Weena rolled her eyes, took the pillow back that she’d thrown at me, tossed it in my face again. “Choose!”

“Kate.” I settled it.

“That could have gone either way,” Weena took notes. Every time we played this game, we kept score in a log book. As though some day when faced with these choices in a crisis, we would look back on our decisions and know exactly what to do. As if anything that was happening around us could be studied, prepared for.

“Your turn,” I grabbed the legal pad and pencil. “You can take a steaming hot bath for one hour in an extra deep tub—yes, the water comes out of the tap just like before—or you can eat a full-on Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings in peace and safety. Your choice—one hour of clean or an entire meal of dreamy food.”

Weena’s expression darkened as she contemplated the choice. “Neither,” she said. “I don’t want either of those things, not anymore.”

“Are you sure? No strings attached? We’re talking straight up sweet potatoes, homemade dressing. Gravy so thick you could lie on it. A bed, I’m talking a bed of gravy.”

Weena shook her head, her lips thin as the lines on the paper. “Bringing back any taste of the real world, the old world, would only make coming back to this one that much harder. If you got to fuck Kate Moenning, shit, that would almost be worth splitting open zombie heads and shitting in buckets and foraging for jerky or something edible that hasn’t yet been ruined. But a turkey and stuffing or a hot bath? Jesus.  I can’t imagine how sick I’d feel if for one minute I had hope that the old world was still out there somewhere.”

Thanks for reading! If you like Bug and Weena’s story and want to hear more, let me know.

Check out my Pinterest board for photos that helped inspire the story Inspiration Board Lesbians and Zombies and my blog Annie Anthony Blog for more!

And whether you’d rather stay in 2015 or are looking forward to all the possibility of 2016, have a safe, happy, zombie-free New Year!!!

We Have WINNERS!

banner3There were over 170 entries for the wonderful prizes offered by the Ladies of Love, Lust and Laptops as part of The Hottest Christmas List Around. Thank you for participating in our Holiday promotion.

We hope you enjoyed the Christmas Lists of our Hot Characters and learned a little about our books. Be sure to FOLLOW LL&L blogs for more contests (I happen to know KaLyn Cooper has 2 releases in January and that means more….Diamond jewelry!)

The WINNERS are:

Kristin Arpin won the prize from Annie Anthony – One Exquisite Night in E-format

Joye won the prize from – Annie Anthony – a burgundy surprise box (you’ll appreciate this surprise when you read the book!). US or Canadian residents only to win the box. Winner must be at least 18 years old. 

Cindy Hazelwood won the prize from – Belinda McBride – Bad Angels books in E-format (3 books)

Artemisgeminii won the prize from – Emilia Mancini – Seducing Kate in E-format

Patricia Westover won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Manhandled E-format

Kenderly Woods won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Sinner in E-format

moosehog83 won the prize from – Jianne Carlo – Prymal Lust in E-format

Catherine Maguire won the prize from KaLyn Cooper Cancun Series in E-format (3 books)

necklaceCharlene Whitehouse won the prize from Lynn Lorenz – E-book and jewelry

cosmicread won the prize from Robin Danner – Bound in E-format

Diana Michelle Tidlund won the prize from Robin Danner – Christmas Spirits in E-format

Melissa Graham  won the prize from Sara Daniel – Captivating the CEO in E-format

Teresa Jensen  won the prize from Sara Daniel – One Night with the Bridal Party print anthology – US only

Paw Print Rhinestone BraceletJeannie Platt won the prize from Tami Lund – Into the Light in E-format and a silver paw print bracelet (US residents only for the bracelet). If winner is outside US – 2 EBooks – Into the Light & Dawning of Light, first & second in the Lightbearer series.

2015-02-01 13.39.35

Diamond Necklace

Laurie P  has won the Grand Prize Diamond Necklace.

If you are listed above, PLEASE Comment below with your email address so the LL&L Ladies can contact you concerning delivery of your prize.