Attending Authors Announced!

We do love a good bit of alliteration here at BSB… and now we’re happy to put it to good use.

Announcing the Attending Authors at the Bold Strokes Book Festival:

BSB ID Attending Grid

Join us on May 5th-6th, 2018 for what is going to be an AMAZING, ASTOUNDING weekend of literary FUN and FROLIC. Tickets are only £3 and the link for tickets will be announced in the next couple of weeks.

Come along for the panels, the signings, the readings, the conversation, and of course, the after parties.

Questions? Get in touch!

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Call For Submissions

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It’s a new year, and lots of people are already planning their getaways. Why not imagine what sensual surprises might await a traveler looking for adventure?

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: ESCAPE TO PLEASURE: LESBIAN EROTIC TRAVELS  

Editor: Sandy Lowe and Victoria Villasenor

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Publication Date: Winter 2018

Theme: Short story lesbian travel erotica.

When life becomes mundane, the best way to shake things up is by getting away from it all. On vacation, anything is possible and fantasies really can come true. Seduction and satisfaction are on offer for those ready to play while away.

Send us hot stories that happen away from home. Take us out of the everyday and into the exciting. Other countries, unusual places, new settings, hot women. Take your characters out of their comfort zones and see where it leads. Stories should include hot and passionate physical encounters with emotional depth to make the characters and setting come alive.

We’re open to a variety of genres and always happy to see diversity within a lesbian sexual orientation. The central figures should be fully developed and compelling. From gentle and sweet to hot and hard, send us what excites and arouses.

Deadline for Submissions: March 15, 2018

Guidelines for Submissions

  • Unpublished short stories only
  • Word count: 2,000 – 5,000 words
  • Electronic submissions only to: sandy@boldstrokesbooks.com
    • e-mail header: Escape to Pleasure_ Author Name or Pseudonym _Title
    • MS Word document attachment (story)
    • E-mail body: story title, author legal name, pseudonym if any, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, 50 word bio
  • Story Format:
    • Arial; 12 pt
    • Double-spaced; standard paragraphing; no HTML
  • General Info:
    • Submission receipt within 7 days; Submission decisions by May 1, 2018
    • Multiple submissions (no more than 2) accepted
    • Payment: $50 and 2 contributor copies

And the winners are…

The Winners of the 2017 BSB UK Book Giveaway Are:

Valden Bush

KittyKatWriter

Lisa T

Sarah Kerry

Lynsey

Stevie Carroll

Alison Ritchie

Devlyn Harley

Thanks for your great comments! Victoria will be in touch with your book prize (or give her a shout at bsbediting@gmail.com)

For the Love of It by Robyn Nyx

Boo and Kev

Going last on a blog tour when the topic is, “What does Christmas mean to me?” equals almost everything important has already been said. Family. Love. Friends. Quiet time. Remembering loved ones. Consequently, I’m unable to break new ground and give you anything spectacularly fresh. What I will give is my experience and my truth.

I loved Christmas as a kid. My brother and I would wake at three or four in the morning, have a “fuddle” (a picnic of chocolatey badness), and then go and wake mum and dad—usually with party poppers (I know, it’s surprising we weren’t smothered with pillows, but instead, one year, they rose earlier than us and returned the obnoxiously loud favour). I don’t remember much else, certainly not because memories were bad, but because I seem to have a pretty terrible memory period regarding much of my childhood. But I remember love, cuddles, and presents. We weren’t a religious family. Mum believed but also believed that you didn’t have to go to church to pray. God would hear you wherever you spoke to him. Apparently.

In 1998, Christmas became all about my little pup, Kev.

Kev was a bundle of brindle bounciness who came into my life by happenstance. I was on an all-inclusive holiday in Fuerte Ventura when I found him tied to a pole at the end of a half-made road in the middle of the desert. He was so thirsty that he drank the only thing I had to offer him: 7-Up. What followed was a love story. One that lasted fourteen years until 2012, when I lost him to a stroke. At some point, when I’m strong enough, I’ll return to writing his story, but I fear that may be some years ahead yet.

But I digress. Christmas became all about Mr. Kev.

I’d shop for him from around August, and I’d lovingly wrap every single present (and there were a lot of presents every year). I’d put all of those presents in a box and wrap the box. The first two hours of Christmas morning featured Mr. Kev carefully removing the wrapping paper, biting into the box, and then carefully unwrapping each present with a dexterous combination of teeth and claws. I’m so glad that I captured this phenomenon on video several times. As memories fade, as the years pass, and his furry little princeness becomes fuzzier to me, I’ll always have those videos (and many, many others of his wild and wonderful escapades, from beating up Labradors to climbing castle walls).

After 3:15pm on the 25th April, 2012, the heart of Christmas stopped beating for me. No longer did I love to buy gifts or rustle them up all pretty, with ribbon and bows, and the best wrapping Paperchase had to offer. In truth, it affected more than Christmas for a long, long time. It’s only since I met my now-wife, and fellow author, Brey Willows, that Christmas has recaptured its original magic. For reasons that it’s not for me to share, family is super important to Brey. And she treasures mine as if it were her own. I have a better relationship with my mum and dad now because of Brey. Don’t get me wrong, we had a good relationship before, but now it’s great. They’re not just my parents, they’re my friends, and Brey and I love doing cool stuff with them (like picking and carving pumpkins, making gingerbread houses, and having movie nights in our PJs). This Christmas, they’re coming over on Christmas Day and staying through to Boxing Day (despite living just a mile away), and I can’t wait.

My point, through this long-winded and slightly depressing blog, is that Christmas is about love. All kinds of love. Friends. Family. Wifey. It’s about cherishing what we have rather than focusing on what we don’t. It’s about making the most of the time with loved ones because, spoiler alert, neither they nor you are going to be around forever. And when they’re gone, you might well regret that you didn’t find the time for them.

I hate regrets. I always have. “I don’t have regrets” has always been my tagline. Anything I’ve done or said or experienced in my life has built me, in one way or another, even if they knocked me down first. So this Christmas, my first as a wife and with a wife, I’ll be thinking about that love and how damned lucky I am to have it. Because there are so many people in the world that don’t.

I’ll treasure it. I’ll protect it. I’ll remember it.

Happy Christmas, lovely readers J

Consider me contagious… by Ileandra

In years past I’ve been the most miserable Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. The commercialism, over indulgence and irritating insistence on the same four ‘festive tracks’ left me wholly ‘unwhammed’ (haha, see what I did there?). Add snow to the mix and one could easily confuse me for a person on their way to a funeral, rather than the jolly work Christmas bash.
I don’t know why it happened, or when. Just somewhere between gleefully opening the last door on my chocolate advent calendar at twelve years old, and working another six hours of overtime for Asda at nineteen, Christmas became something to be avoided. Oh, except for the fantastic array of festive movies that show up at about this time. Top of the list being . . . well, can you guess? Hell yes, ‘Die Hard,’ the ULTIMATE Christmas movie and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Anyway, aside from the glorious selection of cheeses suddenly available at this time, there was little to celebrate.
But now? Now . . . I find myself excited about Christmas for the first time in years. Partly because the other half is buying me a Wii U (ooooh yeah!) but mostly because of what Christmas has come to mean.
Family.
There’s so much love at this time of year. Tangible love and genuine joy, from hugs I’ll no doubt receive on Christmas morning, to the stars in the eyes of my little ones when they opened their personalised letters from Santa (I know, right?!). My family has grown so much in recent years, and this is the time I get to chill with the ones I consider my closest. My sister will be here, as will my mother, and then there’s friends who are more family to me than some of my relatives. It’s their collective joy infecting me like a bout of malaria; it’s in my blood, people!
So consider me contagious, lovelies; the Christmas season is upon us and I have more than enough cheesy grins and ‘yipee-ki-yays’ to go around.
Much love,
Ileandra

‘Tis The Season To Be Jedi By Lesley Davis

I like December. Well, I could do without the cold weather (it’s snowing here in the UK at the moment and it’s freaking cold!) and then there’s the fighting to find a parking space at the mall the closer to Christmas we get. But this year all my attention is focused firmly on the 14th. Firstly, it’s my birthday so that’s cool in itself. More importantly, the 14th is the UK release of “Star Wars – The Last Jedi”. I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan of the film series. Okay, maybe a little more than a fan.

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Okaaay, let’s just be honest here, I eat, sleep and breathe Star Wars and have for sooooo many years. I spent my formative years wishing I could be as cool as Han Solo so I could get a Princess like Leia…I really should have realised I was gay sooner than I did! But that romance, wrapped up in the fantasy world of heroes and outer space, calls to me still. It’s why I wrote “Raging At The Stars”; I wanted to share my own vision of an out of this world experience with aliens and heroines who could save the day against insurmountable odds, just like Leia did all those years before.

Of course, it’s going to be a bitter sweet cinema experience. Princess Leia has always been my heroine and losing Carrie Fisher last December was heart breaking. Even more so knowing that they had one more film to do and she would have gotten the starring role as befit her character. I’m not expecting to get through the film without crying.

And then just a week later it’s Christmas. Christmas for me is sharing it with my mom and a dear friend. It’s watching the Queen’s Speech, then watching Dr Who (Yay!! The female Dr should be revealed and history made this year!) And then playing games. Not board games or charades; in the Davis household (as, no doubt, it’s the same in the Williams-Sullivan household at any given time!) it’s the time to get the PS4 switched on, grab the controllers and go shoot zombies in whatever incarnation of “Call of Duty” is out that year! And, to shake it up, this year will be “Star Wars Battlefront 2” time and we’ll see who gets to play as Rey and lightsabre the baddies to bring peace to the galaxy! I’ve saved some DVD’s to watch as British Christmas TV is famous for its poor programming!

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My Christmas time is very low-key and quiet compared to most I guess. I have a feeling Trent and Juliet from the “Playing” stories have a much more festive season with plenty of lights and a well decorated tree and a huge party with all their friends. From the “Wings” series I see Rafe and Ashley’s Christmas being a little different, quieter maybe, more religious for Ashley than Rafe who is more concerned with keeping Trinity off the tree and out of the eggnog! “Starstruck” ladies Aiden and Cassidy would probably go to a party thrown by Mischa who would be dressed outrageously (and probably a tad scandalously!) as Mrs Claus. As for Pagan and Erith from “Truth Behind The Mask”? Their Christmas is available in the BSB anthology “Breathless – Tales of Celebrations” so please, go check it out!

It’s all what makes your season happy, however you celebrate or not. I wish you peace and joy in whatever you do. And if you’re playing multiplayer COD this yule? I’ll see you on the battlefield, soldier!

That One Story

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To me, the holidays are about stories.

The stories we catch up on. The stories we tell our friends about our family, and the ones we tell our family about our friends. The stories of work, of love, of heartache, of loss and gain. The stories we tell ourselves.

And the stories of the past…

I’d like to tell you one of those.

My mom was a teenage mother. We lived in some rough and tumble places in those early years. She had virtually no help from anyone. But she was determined to get us out and moving up. So she lied her way into an accounting job, and taught herself as she went. She did it so well, they never knew. (Eventually she became a licensed accountant; she taught herself all the way through.)

At one of her upwardly mobile jobs in the early years, there was a Hallmark type store next door. The kind with knick-knacks and stuffed toys and such. She’d wander around looking at cards and whatnot. Tiny little me? I went straight to the stuffed animals (cuddly toys in the UK wordage), and I sat in front of a Doberman Pinscher nearly as big as I was. It wasn’t pretty. Or soft. Or cuddly. But I was passionately in love with it. I sat and stroked it until we had to leave. I never asked for it, but Mom knew. The thing was, $30 was a hell of a lot of money; she hated that she couldn’t get it for me.

That Christmas I ran to the tree, as kids do. And there it was, guarding the tree with a red bow around its neck.

She’d scraped and saved to make it happen. It was one of the few things I carried with me into adulthood. Until the day came when a my mother’s little godson would go straight to it every time he came over. He’d sit stroking it exactly the way I did, and hated leaving it behind. It found a home with him one Christmas, and he, too, loved it well.

Stories. They’re part of us, and for me the holidays are about revisiting the ones that have helped make us who we are.

What do the holidays mean to you, folks? Do you have a special memory to share?