Reaching Out from a Mind as Dirty as All Outdoors
If you get lucky enough, I might post adult-only material from time to time, so be 18 or over, or please be elsewhere.
I'll be discussing erotica here, the writing of it and the people who write it, as well as what we've written. I find all these aspects stimulating, but if any of them bore you, feel free to skim. You never know what you might miss, though.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Have a Taste, Enter to Win a Copy: Blog Tour for Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales
From The Library Journal Review: "There is one creative hit after another...An excellent series of Sapphic fantasies. Highly recommended."
Welcome to the Blog Tour and Book Give-away for Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales. For the rest of June, the contributors to this anthology of fantasy stories with a fairy tale aura will be posting about their stories, themselves, the world, and whatever else they want to say, plus excerpts from their work. In the few cases where authors can’t fit blog posts into their schedules, I’ll fill in for them, and some will send me their contributions to post here.
I usually begin a Blog Tour for an anthology with my introduction to the book, and I’ll do that here, but I’ll also take this opportunity to add another thought: even though these complex, well-written characters are lesbian, the stories are well worth reading no matter what your personal preferences are when it comes to protagonists.
How often have you tried to envision “he” as “she” when you’re reading fairy tales? Those flights of imagination can sweep you up into worlds of magic and sensual delights—or would, if only so many heroes winning the day (and, of course, the girl) didn’t get in the way. Do you long for heroines who win each other?
I certainly do, so in this anthology I wanted erotic romance and wild adventure with women who use their wits and/or weapons and come together in a blaze of passion. These wonderful writers gave me all I hoped for, and even more. Some adapted traditional tales, and some updated old stories to contemporary times, not merely changing the gender of a character but making the female aspect essential. Some created original plots with a fairy tale sensibility, while some wrote with merely a subtle aura of fantasy. Their heroines are witches, princesses, brave, resourceful women of all walks of life, and even a troll and a dryad. There are curses and spells, battles and intrigue, elements of magic and explorations of universal themes, and, yes, sex, sensuality and true love, all bound skillfully together into complex and many-layered stories.
Royalty or a miller’s daughter, a woman warrior passing as a man, a sorceress in flowing robes, even a window inspector dangling in harness on a high-rise building—who better to rescue a long-haired captive in a tower?—all of them are made so real that you long to touch them, and be touched. The relationships are intense, sometimes quick to ignite, sometimes all the hotter for restraint that flares at last into a fierce blaze.
In all my years of editing anthologies, I’ve never read so many submissions that were beautifully written and just what I’d asked for. And I’ve never had so much trouble choosing which to use to fill the finite space in this book. I can only hope that readers will get as much pleasure from these stories as I did, and that Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms turns out to be, to quote a certain beloved film with a unique take on fantasy traditions, exactly, “As you wish.”
Here’s a very non-representative excerpt from my own story in the book, but really, the stories are so varied that it would be hard to cite one as being representative. I went for humor in this one, but with more than humor at its core.
Trip, trop, trip, trop. Hjørdis stood back in disgust as Princess Tutti pranced across the bridge, hips swaying, the false tail strapped to the seat of her gown twitching. A coy toss of Tutti’s head knocked the goat horns on her headdress slightly askew. “Oh, Mr. Troll,” she piped in a falsetto voice, “are you there today? Don’t you want to eat us up? Look, this time there is a meatier prey than just we little goats!” She cast a mocking glance back toward Hjørdis. “A buxom brood mare!”
Hjørdis would have swatted the silly girl’s rump if there had been enough of it to be worth the trouble. Or, more truthfully, if she herself had not been bound by oath to abide peaceably among these puny southerners. For now. As it was, she took a threatening stride onto the wooden planks. Tutti ran off giggling toward the meadow, from which sounds of pipes and laughter and occasional playful shrieks rose above the lazy burbling of the stream.
Princess Vesla, also adorned with horns and tail, came up timidly beside Hjørdis. “There truly was a troll under the bridge a week ago,” she said in a tremulous voice. “When Tutti called out, I heard its voice, like the rumbling of stones. She thinks it was Werther, the dancing master, trying to frighten us, but I’m sure it wasn’t!”
“Oh? What did it say?” Hjørdis made some small effort to tolerate Vesla, who was not so spiteful as her sister Tutti. She felt also a slight sympathy for the girl, who had formed a hopeless passion for Hordis’s captive brother Harald. At least accompanying them on their outing, however nasty it promised to be, was an excuse to leave the castle.
“It said, ‘Scrawny bones not fit to pick my teeth! Get you gone!’” Vesla shivered. “But we haven’t heard anything since.”
Hjørdis knew a great deal more about trolls than these little twits ever could. More than anyone could who had not known Styggri. That sounded all too much like what Styggri would say, in a humorous mood. But Styggri had crossed into another world from which there was no return.
Hjørdis looked more closely at the bridge. Its sides and the pillars beneath were stone, with wooden planking wide enough for two carriages to pass side by side over its double arch. And wide enough for a troll to lurk beneath, although why one should wish to, or venture this far south at all, was beyond her. Still… She gazed far upstream to where water surged from a cleft in a rocky hillside. Nothing to compare with the jagged mountains and plummeting rivers of her home, but still part of a long arm of hills and ridges reaching out from those same mountains.
“You go on to your frolicking.” She gave Vesla as gentle a shove as she could manage. Gods, these pampered southern girls were brittle, twiggy things! And their brother the prince—her husband under duress—was no better. “I’ll sit a while here in the shade of the birches. This heat annoys me.”
“Oh! Are you, then…already…”
“No! And if I were, it would be too soon to know. Go along now!”
Vesla went, trying to keep the gilded wooden heels of her shoes from making as much noise on the bridge as Tutti’s had done. Once safely across she looked back over her shoulder. “Give Werther a few stomps from me,” Hjordis called. The foolish dancing master deserved whatever he got, with his tales of ancient times in foreign lands where satyrs danced on goat hooves and bands of women ran wild under the spell of a wine god.
Anyone who comments on any of these blog posts will be entered in a drawing for a paperback copy (in North America) or an ebook (elsewhere) of Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms. Each blog you comment on gives you one more entry.
Here’s the lineup of blog posts—the links may be adjusted as we go along, so check back here every now and then.
June 14th: Sacchi Green-“Trollwise” (plus the Introduction)
June 15th: Cara Patterson-“Steel”
June 16th: Michael M. Jones-“The Miller’s Daughter”
June 19th: H.N. Janzen-“The Prize of the Willow”
June 20th: Annabeth Leong-“The Mark and the Caul”
June 21st: Brey Willows-“Penthouse 31”
June 22nd: Salome Wilde-“The Princess’s Princess”
June 23nd: Emily L. Byrne-“Toads, Diamonds and the Occasional Pearl”
June 26th: A.D.R. Forte-“Warrior’s Choice”
June 27th: M. Birds-“Woodwitch”
June 28th: Madeleine Shade-“Robber Girl”
June 29th: Lea Daley-“The Sorceress of Solisterre”
June 30th: Allison Wonderland-“SWF Seeks FGM”