“A Brighter Palette” is Live!

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Summary:

Annie Slocum is a bisexual woman struggling to make a living as a freelance writer. Stuck in a rut, she feels bored with her career, her relationships—her life. A chance meeting with Siobhán at a gallery adds a bright spark to her dull life.

Siobhán Murray is a lesbian Irish painter living in Boston. She loves her career, loves her life, but she’s missing the one piece that will make her life complete—a partner. She falls hard for Annie and is delighted to realize Annie inspires her work. But a string of failed relationships has left her wary of bisexual women and wondering if she can trust that Annie won’t leave her.

When Siobhán’s past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to decide if the new relationship is something that will burn bright and end quickly or if it’s meant to last.

Excerpt:

“God, that accent of yours.”

To her surprise, Siobhán flushed. “Impenetrable, isn’t it?”

“No, sexy,” Annie said. She leaned in to kiss Siobhán’s shoulder. “Very, very sexy.”

“You must have enjoyed yourself in Ireland then,” Siobhán murmured.

“I did.” Annie smiled, remembering the redheaded woman she’d shared a bed with for most of the semester.

Siobhán’s grin was salacious. “That sounds like a story I’d like to hear.”

“Really?” Annie asked with a laugh. “You want to hear about Brigid, the pretty redhead I dated? Or about the time her roommate almost caught us? I had my head between her legs when the poor girl walked in the room.”

“How naughty. I love that. You’re so cool and collected on the outside, Annie, but once we started talking, I could see the passionate side eager to get out.”

“I used to have a very passionate side,” Annie admitted. “Actually, what I told you about the redhead wasn’t the whole story. There’s a lot more to it.”

“I’m intrigued.” Siobhán propped her chin up on her hand.

“Well, Nora—her roommate—was definitely shocked. But she was less horrified than Brigid and I expected.” Annie felt her cheeks heat a little. “One night a week or so later, the three of us had a few drinks, and well, Nora confessed she was curious.”

Siobhán raised an eyebrow. “Curious about women?”

“Yes.”

“Go on then.”

Annie laughed. “Well, one thing led to another, and it wasn’t long before I was in bed with two women. And Brigid and I showed Nora just how good it could be.”

“Mmm, you little minx. And what did she think in the morning?”

“Oh, we’d thoroughly converted her to our ways,” Annie said with a laugh. “I don’t think she had another date with a guy for the rest of the semester.”

“And did she find her way into another threesome with you and Brigid?”

“A few times,” Annie admitted. “In fact, after my going-away party, I staggered back to their room and had one hell of a going-away after-party.” She grinned at Siobhán. “And then I felt like I was going to die on the flight home to Boston.”

“Worth it though?”

“Totally.” Annie sighed. “But after I got back to the U.S., I threw myself into school and work, and everything else fell by the wayside. I felt like I had to grow up and be serious. Focus on my career, find the right partner, make the smart choices. Until tonight, it had been a very long time since my passionate side had come out.”

“Why were you keeping her locked away?”

Annie rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling. “Fear, I suppose. After my last relationship went south, I just couldn’t work up the courage to try again.” She sighed. “So, my love life was boring, my job was boring, and I felt boring. Boring leads to more boring. I was just waiting for something to come along and wake me up.”

Siobhán sat up and straddled Annie, her dark hair falling like a curtain around them. “Well, here I am.”

She leaned down and kissed Annie, her mouth tasting of wine and chocolate now.

Here you are, Annie thought, and she wasn’t sure if it was nerves or excitement that coursed through her when she realized she had no idea if this was one night or the promise of something more.

Series and Number: Colors #1

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (Indie/Self-Published)

Word Count /or Page Number: 56,025

Formats/Price: eBook – $3.99/ Print – Coming Soon

Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Barnes & Noble

First for Romance: Coming Soon

iTunes

Kobo

Payhip

Smashwords

Find On:

Goodreads

Queeromance

 

Upcoming Release – A Brighter Palette

Coming June 30, 2017 – A Brighter Palette

A little over two years ago, I wrote this flash fic.  I’ve been wanting to tell Annie and Siobhán’s story ever since.

I’ve been working hard on it this spring and I’m excited to announce that I will be releasing the first book in their series, “A Brighter Palette” on June 30.  The series will be the “Color” series. “A Brighter Palette” will include their first meeting in Boston at an art gallery and the beginning of their relationship. The second book, “The Greenest Isle” will follow their move to Ireland and their life there.

I don’t currently have any ideas for a third book, but that’s always a possibility! Sometimes the characters just demand more.

Without further ado, here’s the cover, blurb, and a teaser from the first book.

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Summary:

Annie Slocum is a bisexual woman struggling to make a living as a freelance writer. Stuck in a rut, she feels bored with her career, her relationships—her life. A chance meeting with Siobhán at a gallery adds a bright spark to her dull life.

Siobhán Murray is a lesbian Irish painter living in Boston. She loves her career, loves her life, but she’s missing the one piece that will make her life complete—a partner. She falls hard for Annie and is delighted to realize Annie inspires her work. But a string of failed relationships has left her wary of bisexual women and wondering if she can trust that Annie won’t leave her.

When Siobhán’s past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to decide if the new relationship is something that will burn bright and end quickly or if it’s meant to last.

Excerpt:

Annie pressed her palms to her cheeks. “I got a little carried away.”

Siobhán straightened but didn’t slide away. “I enjoyed watching you get carried away. We’ll have to do that again when we aren’t in such a public place.”

Annie glanced around. Thankfully, they were toward the back of the nearly empty lounge and the backs of the booths had dividers. Unless a waitress had walked by, it was unlikely anyone had seen them.

“This is so unlike me,” Annie admitted.

Siobhán tilted her chin and gave Annie an appraising look. “Perhaps it’s just what you need.”

Annie’s embarrassment began to fade, and she offered Siobhán a small smile. “I certainly could use a bit more excitement in my life,” she admitted. “Although, that doesn’t necessarily include a public exhibition.”

“Public exhibition is optional,” Siobhán said, “but passion shouldn’t be.”


“A Brighter Palette” is available for Pre-Order on Amazon now!

Flash Fiction Monday – Red

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Kendra walked slowly along the driveway. Gravel dug into the bottoms of her feet, painting the rock with red with every step she took. The sounds of taunts still rang in her ears.

“Freak.”

“Dyke.”

“Psycho!”

“Killer!”

She’d heard them all before. Had been hearing the first three most of her life, although they’d gotten progressively nastier in the past six months. And it hurt worse when she’d tried so hard to be normal tonight. She’d dressed up in a pretty teal dress and let her mom take photos. She’d gone to prom with Kevin—her neighbor and best friend—and tried to pretend she was just like all the rest of the kids. But it had turned ugly fast. She’d gotten separated from Kevin at some point and now here she was, with bare, bloody feet, heading toward the last place she’d seen Dana alive.

The old Thompson house had been abandoned for years. She and Dana were the only ones who ever went there. They liked to poke around the gently decaying property and lay under the big old oak tree and kiss.

Kendra let out a sigh of relief as she reached the porch. The bare, rotting boards felt good on her feet after the sharp rocks. There was still caution tape on the doors and broken windows were boarded up. But Kendra knew the trick to getting through the back-entrance off the kitchen.

The floor in the dining room was mostly gone now, just a gaping hole where the scarred wooden boards had given way.  Kendra still didn’t know how it had happened. Or what had even happened. One minute she and Dana were exploring, joking about the fact that Dana was probably going to get tetanus from the cut on her hand, and then the floor was gone.

And so was Dana.

Kendra hadn’t been able to explain it to the police. Or the shrinks they’d sent her to. But they’d finally released her. There was no evidence that Kendra had done anything to her girlfriend.  Just rumor and suspicion. She hadn’t told them about the rest. The things no one would ever believe.

Kendra took a seat on the edge of the gaping hole. “Why didn’t you take me?” she whispered, voicing aloud the question that had been nagging at her ever since. “Why Dana? Why not me?”

She closed her eyes against the hot sting of tears. Cool, musty air wafted up from the basement. Her feet throbbed and she wondered if the faint drip, drip, drip came from a leaking pipe or the bloody soles.

A blast of warm, fresh air washed over her and, in the distance, Kendra could hear Dana’s laughter.


Sorry I haven’t been writing and posting flash fics much. I’ve been doing a ton of other writing though and I was glad to be able to join in this week!

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Family History

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“That was your grandmother?” Lena turned the photograph over to see Jeanette Fleming – 1943 in beautiful looping script on the back.

Amelia nodded. “Grandma was unique, to say the least.”

“Apparently.” Lena looked at the photo of a young, dark-haired woman perched on the edge of a rocky cliff. Inside of a giant egg. There were holes for her face and legs—slender, shapely legs at that—but none for her arms. Bizarre. When she glanced up, Amelia’s face was filled with mirth. For a moment, Lena could see the resemblance between daughter and granddaughter in the shape of her mouth and her laughing eyes. Not to mention the legs.

“So what was this photo for?” Lena asked. “I know you said she was a model in the 40s, but I’m perplexed about what kind of advertising campaign calls for a woman inside an egg suit.”

“It wasn’t an ad.” Amelia sipped tea from a large, blue ceramic mug. “She was a pinup.”

Lena eyed the photo skeptically. “I know the troops were hard up for women, but I would have thought the Vargas pinup girls would have been a lot more appealing than an egg. Unless this is some sort of straight-person fetish I’m unaware of.”

Amelia threw her head back and laughed. “I don’t believe so. It was part of a whole Easter series. You’ll find a few more of the photos somewhere in this box. There’s ones of her in bunny ears and a tail too.”

“Now that makes more sense to me,” Lena said drily as she set the photo aside. She picked up another photo that showed two women embracing. “Your grandma and her sister?”

“No, that’s Jeanette’s best friend Ada.”

“They look close.”

Amelia slid closer to Lena on the couch. “There are rumors they were a bit more than friends.”

“Really?” Lena inspected the photo more closely. It was always hard to tell with vintage photographs.

“It’s been a persistent family rumor. Supposedly they were involved before she settled down with my grandpa.”

“Hmm. Do you think she married because she had to? Because she couldn’t be with Ada?”

“I can’t be sure of course, but I don’t think so,” Amelia said slowly. “She and grandpa always seemed to be in love. They held hands all the time and one time I caught them kissing—quite passionately—when she was hanging up the washing on the line and he came to help.”

“Interesting.” Lena mulled over the idea. “I wonder if she was bisexual.”

“I don’t suppose we’ll ever know,” Amelia said with a soft sigh. She slipped an arm around Lena’s waist, and Lena pulled her closer. “She’s not around to ask.”

“What a shame,” Lena said. “I wish I’d met her.”

“You two would have gotten along famously.”

“Want to keep searching for clues about Jeanette and Ada’s relationship?” Lena asked, dragging the box of photos onto her lap so she could continue to search through them without letting go of her girlfriend.

“I’d love to.”


I had NO idea where I was going with this when I posted the photo, but I am really pleased with the way this turned out. Did you enjoy it?

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Memorial

The leaves crackled under Angela’s feet as she left the paved path that wound through the gravestones. A sharp November wind snaked under the hem of her jacket and down her collar as she clutched a blanket and a book to her chest. She should have put on the royal blue knitted scarf that Michael had given her, but she couldn’t bear the sight of it. Not today.

November ninth.

She hated the day.

For the first few years she’d worked on the anniversary of Michael’s death, throwing herself into her job and trying to block out every memory that tried to worm its way into her head. But she always found herself at the cemetery anyway, so she finally gave up pretending that the day would go any other way.

She came to a stop in front of Michael’s grave.

Nestled between the ubiquitous granite headstones was a sculpture. It was less than a foot tall, partially hidden by the dry leaves.  Angela shook out the wool blanket she’d carried from the car and spread it in front of the sculpture before taking a seat on it.

Michael lay below her in a coffin.  Rotting.

Morbid thoughts wormed their way into her brain sometimes. Like now, when she couldn’t help but wonder how decomposed his body was. She hadn’t had him embalmed. The unnatural preservation seemed worse than decay, but sometimes the thought of his ruined beauty made her feel sick.

She leaned forward, brushing the leaves away from the base of the sculpture. She’d had an artist friend create it, but she’d designed it herself. It was a hand clutching a book.

Her mother had accused her of being vulgar and disturbed. After all, it was how Michael had died, so distracted by the books he’d checked out at the library he hadn’t see the bus coming. She’d been a few yards behind, on her phone, not paying attention. She’d looked up too late to warn him.

She’d never get the image of his crumpled body out of her head, or the sight of a book clutched in his right hand.

She’d never get rid of the guilt either.

Angela looked down at the book she’d brought with her. A rusty brown smudge on the front cover was the only visible sign of damage. She opened the book, the spine falling open to the only page she ever read.

The words poured forth.

“Hand in hand we come

Christopher Robin and I

To lay this book in your lap.

Say you’re surprised?

Say you like it?

Say it’s just what you wanted?

Because it’s yours-

because we love you.”

A sob left her and she realized her cheeks were wet.

“My baby. My sweet baby.”

Angela felt someone sit down beside her and a warm hand stroking her back. She turned her head, burying her face in her wife’s neck and sobbed.

After eleven years, it should have grown easier, but it never did.

 


I had no idea where I was going with this, but once I started writing it flowed.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics.You definitely want to read Helena’s story this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Beacon

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The umbrella shone like a warning light at the end of the walkway.

Against the sodden wood and dreary sky, the red seemed eye-wateringly bright. Or maybe that was the tears.  Dana wiped them from her cheeks, although the misty rain had long ago reduced all of her to a soggy mess.  Her hair dripped, creating steady rivulets of water that meandered across her jacket and landed with a plop on her wool skirt. Her mother would scold her and bundle her off to bed with a cup of cocoa if she knew Dana was out here in the rain.

But how could she leave the park when any minute, Carole might come back?

A bone-deep chill had settled over her by the time shadows deepened  yet the park remained empty.  She could picture her mother, standing by the sink in her neat flowered dress and apron, staring out at the window with that little line between her eyebrows. She did that when her father was late getting home.  Hazard of being a policeman’s wife, Dana would guess.

Dana didn’t want to worry her mother, but she just wouldn’t understand about Carole. About the way she made Dana’s heart race and her hands tremble. The way it had felt to fall asleep together in Carole’s twin size bed, pressed close together under the pink, quilted coverlet.  The way she’d woken the other night with her hand up under Carole’s nightgown, cupping the soft swell of her breast.

Carole had liked it, Dana was sure of that. Dana had heard Carole moan softly and squirm against her. They’d both liked it when Carole had flipped onto her back and they’d somehow wound up kissing, legs intertwined, rocking and grabbing at each other until something in her seemed to break free and send a warm flush through her whole body.

Dana knew there was something vaguely wrong about what they’d done, but she figured as long as they didn’t talk about it, it would be fine. But Carole couldn’t look at her over the pancakes Mrs. Andrews made them.  And the next day at school she’d acted like Dana didn’t exist. They’d been friends since kindergarten for goodness sake.

It had taken a week of begging and pleading to even get Carole to meet her in the park after school, but she’d seemed like a different person as she stood under her red umbrella. Her long ponytail swished back and forth as she shook her head and told Dana they were no longer friends.

And now she was gone, leaving nothing but the umbrella she’d left in her haste to get away.

“Dana Price, your mother was worried sick! What on earth are you doing sitting here in the rain?” Dana tore her eyes away from the umbrella to find her father striding toward her, his uniform making him look even more imposing than usual.

Dana opened her mouth, but the words wouldn’t come out.  Kevin Price’s  scowl deepened, but there was an edge of concern. “Come on, we’re going home.”

Too tired to argue, she stood and let him tuck her under his arm.  He bundled her into the police car, wrapped a blanket around her shoulders, and turned the heater on full blast.  He didn’t drive away immediately though and as warmth began to seep into her chilled limbs, she began to shiver.

“Dana.” His voice was deep. Concerned. “What happened? You’ve seemed upset all week. Did someone hurt you?”

She turned to face her father, looking at his worried hazel eyes and the words spilled out her mouth before she could stop them.  She told him everything, blushing and embarrassed as she described what had happened in Carole’s bed, and how it had made her feel, but they’d always been close and she couldn’t keep this bottled up anymore.

By the time she finished, she was sure he was going to open the door of the car and tell her to get out, or take her off to the county jail.  But instead, he leaned his head against the back of his seat, closed his eyes, and let out a heavy, exhausted sigh.  “Oh, Dana.”

She wiped at her eyes.  “I’m sorry, Daddy.” She hadn’t even realized she’d started crying again. “I won’t do it anymore and I’ll go to church and I promise I’ll never, ever—“

“NO!” His voice was harsh and she flinched, unused to hearing him raise his voice. He turned to look at her. “No,” he said more quietly, “No, that’s not the answer, Dana.  That’s what I did for far too long.”

She frowned at him. “What do you mean, Daddy?” She hadn’t called him that in years, but right now she needed to pretend he could protect her from all of the scary things in the world.

“Do you remember Uncle Dan?”

She nodded, but her frown deepened. Of course she did, but what did her father’s best friend have to do with this? They’d been so close all through the police academy that her father had even named her after him.  And then at some point, he’d just stopped coming around.  Her mother’s lips had tightened every time she asked why Uncle Dan was never around, so she’d finally stopped asking. “Ohhh.” She blinked at her father through the damp fringe of her bangs. “You and Uncle Dan? You were like Carole and me”

Her father nodded. “I loved him.”

“But Mom?”

He looked down at his hands where they rested on the blue fabric of his uniform pants. “I love your mother, but in a different way. I thought I was doing the right thing, hiding, pretending like I was normal.”

“Does she know?”

“I don’t know.” He sighed. “Maybe. I think so. One time Dan and I were down in the basement rec room and we weren’t as discreet as we should have been. She might have overheard something. I never asked and she never confronted me.”

“That seems sad,” she said.

“It is, Puddin’,” he replied, using her childhood nickname , and she almost managed a smile. “And I don’t want that life for you. So I want you to be real careful until graduation, then go off to school, and find a way to be happy. I can’t promise it’ll be easy or that you’ll have the kind of life you deserve, but it’s gotta be better than what I have in this little town.”

“What’ll we tell Mom?”

“We’ll tell her you and Carole got in a fight over a boy. And I’ll convince her to let you go to the school in California. Maybe out there things will be easier for you. I’ve heard rumors that there are more people like  … like us out there.”

“Really?”

He nodded and shifted the car into drive. “It’s a whole different world out there, Puddin’. And you’re gonna go live the life we both wanted.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

As they drove away from the park, Dana could see the red umbrella in the side mirror, like a beacon of hope.


Obviously, at nearly 1,500 words, I went WAY over the word count for the week, but once the story began to unfold in my head, I couldn’t stop.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

 

 

Flash Fiction Monday – I’ve Got You

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I’ve Got You

Cara felt dizzy as she closed the door of the house she’d lived in her whole life.  “So that went …”

“Yeah.”  Ellie sounded as dazed as Cara felt.  “We really …”

“Holy shit.  They know.  Everyone knows now.”

“Yeah.”  Ellie’s face brightened with a grin and she squeezed Cara’s hand.  “They know about us now, Cara, and they’re okay with it.”

Cara stared at her girlfriend as the nervous tension that had been building inside her for weeks finally loosened and let go of its stranglehold.  “My mom and stepdad, your parents, our brothers they’re all fine with it.  With us.”

The relieved laugh burst out of her before she could stop it.  Ellie joined in, tears streaming down her face too and it wasn’t until she let out a hiccup that Cara realized she was actually crying. “What’s wrong?” Cara wiped away the smeared mascara under Ellie’s eyes with her free hand.

“I just … I was afraid my mom might not be okay with me being in love with you but she was great.   Really, really great and I just … I’m kinda overwhelmed.”

Cara pulled her closer, pressing a soft kiss to Ellie’s lips.  “It’s okay,” she said when she drew back.  “I’ve got you.”

 


 

I was glad to get back to writing a flash fic this week.  I’m still overwhelmed by my To Do list but I had a spark of inspiration when I saw this pic and took the time to write it.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other author’s flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!