Hello guys! Today I have Julie Lynn Hayes with me talking about the Bigger Brief Reluctant Romance anthologies! So ya come on in, grab a spot to sit, and enjoy! ;) Oh! And I'm over at her place talking too! LOL. It's a twofer... hehe.
Um, just scoot Kitty-Kitty out of the way lol.
Sometimes true love is reluctant to blossom and needs a little bit of coaxing in order to come out. But a strong will and a heart filled with determination will triumph every time! That is the definition of Reluctant Romance as put forth by the authors of Bigger Briefs, who are also the same authors who bring you free flash fiction every week, as the Wednesday Briefers.
How did this come about, you ask?
The answer begins over a year ago when a group of Silver authors got together and decided to write flash fiction on a weekly basis and post it on their blogs, along with links to all the other participating authors. Silver not only thought it was a good idea, they got their resident cover artist to design a badge for the use of the Silver Flashers, as the group became known. One author was in charge; she sent out the prompts on a weekly basis, and kept track of who was participating, and life was good. But eventually, the first author couldn’t continue, so she turned the task of keeping the group together over to a second author. And life went on.
It was shortly after that Silver took back the badge and forbid the use of the Silver Flash name (or anything with Silver’s name in it). The intrepid authors held a quick powwow and decided to continue under another name, and thus the Wednesday Briefs were born, which continue to this day. We were fortunate to have Victoria Blisse’s talented husband design a badge for our use.
And another wonderful thing happened—we threw the group open to anyone, published or not, from any publisher, not just Silver. By doing so, we’ve met some wonderful people and forged some new friendships.
The Wednesday Briefs delivers free flash fiction to this day, and has never missed a beat.
But then one day, Victoria Blisse suggested we write slightly bigger stories and put them together into anthologies to be published by House of Erotica – and thus the Bigger Briefs was born. We determined that for each theme there would be two anthologies—one m/m and one m/f. The first theme we used was Voyeurism, and the latest anthologies are based on the theme of Reluctant Romance.
And now here we are, having just released our second set of anthologies, and hard at work on the next one, our Halloween offerings. We hope you enjoy them!
I wrote a story for each Reluctant Romance anthology.
Lanb to the Slaughter - Julie Lynn Hayes
Elliot Lamb has crushed on Roy Slaughter ever since they started working together, but he's never had the nerve to make the first move. Now, with the help of his best friend, Tony Fox, he's gonna take a chance, even if it means going back to nature to do it!
I’ve had a major crush on Roy ever since I started at VMT. From the moment I first laid eyes on him, I was hooked. I’d never met anyone quite like him before. That was five years ago. At the time, I was drifting from job to job, trying to find a place where I felt at home. And then I met Roy and something told me I’d found that place. And that special man I’d been looking for. But I didn’t dare tell him. I mean, he’s just so… above me, you know? Big and strong and handsome. Like a weight lifter, but not overly muscled. I’ve seen him in the company gym; I know what he looks like when he’s all hot and sweaty, dressed in little shorts that only serve to emphasize his beautiful butt…
And here I am—the proverbial ninety-eight pound weakling.
I’ve known Tony since high school. He’s the one who told me about the opening at VMT. Tony’s about my height, maybe an inch or two taller. Dark hair, blue eyes, and a dimple in his chin.
Tony’s my best friend and closest confidant.
It started while we’re sitting at work one day, having lunch. Or rather Tony’s eating and I’m staring at my favorite obsession. He’s sitting across the room, having lunch with Dirk, who’s also in marketing—a bigger brownnoser I’ve never seen.
Something bounces off my chest. I turn my head to see Tony’s tossed something at me. I think it’s a snack cake or something. It looks chocolate.
“You gotta eat,” he says. “This isn’t doing you any good.”
“You know what.”
“If I knew what, I wouldn’t ask you what.”
We stare at one another for a whole minute, and then he says, “Look, I’m not blind. I see how you’re looking at him.”
“At who?” I feel dumb even playing at being dumb; my cheeks suddenly get hot. Am I that obvious?
He doesn’t reply. When I meet Tony’s eyes finally, he’s frowning. But just for a minute. Then his face clears and all’s well again.
“Look. I know how you feel.”
“You do?” I’m surprised. Tony doesn’t strike me as the kind to moon over anyone. More like the kind that goes after what he wants. Unlike me.
“Yeah, I do.” He reaches for his soda, takes a good long drink through the plastic straw before he speaks again. “I have an idea.”
“Maybe I could… you know… help you, or something?” He shrugs lightly.
“Help me? Help me what?”
Without answering, he turns his head and I follow suit so that we’re both looking at Roy. He must’ve made a joke. Dirk’s laughing fit to be tied, and he’s punching Roy’s shoulder like he has a right to. Makes my blood boil just to watch him.
“Why don’t I come over to your place and help you strategize?” Tony suggests.
Of Soup and Love- Julie Lynne Hayes
Annie Suarez is a busy romance novelist who needs help keeping her house in order while she writes. Her best friend Toni sends her Vincent Jakoubek, who is a veritable Greek god! The trouble is, she's ten years older than he is, and she shouldn't feel attracted to him, but she does, and when he tells her he loves her, she just knows that trouble lies ahead! How can she let him down gently, when her heart is saying don't let go?
“Toni, didn’t you hear what I said? He told me he loves me!” Annie fairly hissed the last words into her cell phone. It was difficult to speak quietly and shout at the same time; circumstances demanded discretion, while her upended emotions demanded satisfaction—she suspected she was failing in both respects.
A low throaty chuckle came from the other end of the line. “I heard you, loud and clear. So, what’s the problem?”
“The problem is he’s young enough… I mean, I’m old enough…” Annie darted a glance through the barely cracked door of her office. From this angle, she had a clear view of the hall, and part of the living room. There he was. Vincent Jakoubek. She could see his sexy back end, clad only in a pair of tight-looking black shorts, bob in and out of view as he hoovered the carpet. She was fairly sure he couldn’t hear her above the roar of the vacuum, but she wasn’t taking any chances.
“Don’t you like Vincent?” Toni had an infuriating way of throwing what she considered to be the truth out there. Annie thought her best friend/agent had an even more romantic view of the world than she did, and that was saying a lot since Annie Suarez was a romance novelist. She had a number of published novels to her credit, all written under her pseudonym of Grace L’Amour. “I do, but that’s not the point!” Annie protested. Closing her door, she leaned against it, sliding down to the floor until her butt hit the carpet, her heart fluttering. “That’s not the point at all.”
“Oh pooh, Annie, you’re being silly.”
A sharp rap on the door startled Annie. She gave a little yelp and dropped the phone. Fumbling between her legs, she recovered it, scooting away from the door as she felt it attempt to open, only realizing belatedly that the noise from the vacuum cleaner had stilled.
“Annie, are you okay?” came a gentle, sexy voice. Annie shivered. When he spoke, Vincent’s silken timbre had a way of going straight to her crotch, setting it on fire.
“I have to go.” Annie slid her phone closed without another word, fumbling it into her pants pocket. She scrambled to her feet, clutching at the knob for support, her weight pulling the door open.
Vincent stood in the doorway; her heart leapt at the sight. Twenty-five years young, he stood close to six foot, with tight black curls that framed a heart-shaped face, grey eyes alight with humor, terra cotta lips, and a dimpled chin. A face worthy of gracing any romance novel.
Or the pillow on her bed.
She pushed the inappropriate thought aside, clearing her throat. “I’m fine, Vincent, just fine.” She smiled to emphasize her words, but he didn’t seem convinced.
“I was about to start dinner and I was just wondering if I could get you something first?”
His eyes moved across the room and she turned her head to follow his line of sight, feeling suddenly guilty. Her computer sat on the desk; that’s where she should have been, working on edits for the novel that her publisher was eagerly awaiting. Third in the series. But she’d been doing other things, such as Facebooking, and talking to Toni, when she should have been writing. At the moment, the screen was frozen on the image of an Angry Bird. No relevance to her book whatsoever. Just a stress reliever that she used whenever her desire for Vincent grew too strong.
She’d been playing a lot of Angry Birds lately.