Tag Archives: lgbt

TWO 5 Stars for Redeeming Hope (Home for Hope #1) by Shell Taylor #MM #Romance @dreamspinners

1.5

Title: Redeeming Hope (Home for Hope #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Shell Taylor (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: October 5, 2015 – 205 pgs

Synopsis

Fifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.

A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.

When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.

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Review

FiveStars

To start of the review I want say I really loved this book!
You get your sweet with Elijah and Adam but not too much. I know the Elijah makes mistakes in this book everyone in life does, no one is perfect so when everyone kept giving him attitude about it and at least this is the way I saw it.. Kicking him when he was down it really irritated me. Yes what he did was wrong but he apologized and admitted when he was wrong. At first I was not a fan of what he did but when he owned up to what he did I really felt bad for what he went through and how he really did not have anyone there at the time to support him. So yes that part really drove me nuts but other than that I really loved this book! I think there is just that fine line with a book for me when a MC will forgive too easy or when they don’t forgive the other MC for the longest time, when you can’t help thinking all right already forgive him lol.  So if you can’t tell the author really grabbed me and pulled me into this book were I could not put it down once I started.
I really loved Adam and Elijah together, they just fit so well together. I also really loved how much Elijah was there for Kollin and how much he really cared for him.
So with this book you get your angst and your sweet but not to much, the perfect amount.
So all together I really loved this book except for that one part that drove me nuts lol.
I would definitely recommend this book!
Kara
FiveStarsI absolutely loved this book. It was my first read by this author and I loved everything about it. The writing was amazing and very easy to read and the characters were amazing also. Great character development which made me not want to put the book down. I immediately identified with Adam and Elijah and love the interaction between them. I also loved the whole supporting of LBGT youth and it got very emotional at times, but that is to be expected when dealing with the problems of LBGT youth. The secondary characters were also very well developed. I would recommend this to everyone and can’t wait for the next installment. Hope it comes out soon as the ending of the book kind of leaves you hanging.
~Lynn

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3 Stars for Loved, Settled and Understood by @KirstyGrant2 #F/F #lesbain #romance

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Title: Loved, Settled and Understood
Author Name: Kirsty Grant
Publication Date & Length: July 24, 2014 — 126 pgs

Synopsis

Following the death of her best friend, Laura, Sophie’s life is thrown into turmoil. Torn between the stability of her long term relationship with her boyfriend, Jeff, and the unexpected raw desire for Laura’s sister, Jane, Sophie finds herself questioning her sexuality. Acting upon her desire, Sophie discovers that following her heart has unforeseen consequences and she finds herself tangled in a web of complicated love and heartache. Loved, Settled and Understood is a passionate love story which takes Sophie on a life altering journey of grief, lust, love and anger. How many hearts will be broken in the quest for true love? Is it easier to walk away from love to avoid heartache? Will the words of her late friend, Laura, echo true and will Sophie ever be loved, settled and understood?

Review

ThreeStar

This novel is a fairly quick read. I was able to finish it in a single evening. It’s reasonably fast-paced with a cohesive plotline that moves along without sidetracking and unnecessary elements.

There were some things I liked and some things I think could have been improved upon. I was drawn in by the part of the plot involving the death of Laura, the main character’s best friend. Having lost a good friend to breast cancer a few years ago, I felt a sense of solidarity with Sophie in her grief.

Second, I enjoyed the sex scenes between Sophie and her love interest, Jane. They are steamy and descriptive, but not over-the-top with either flowery language or graphic vocabulary. They were nicely sensual. I also appreciated the realism of mild experimenting between Sophie and her friend Val without them suddenly developing lust or love for each other.

As far as things that could have been improved: I think the book as a whole could have benefited from higher quality editing. At times, the style was excellent, particularly at its most romantic. However, the rest of the story often felt like lower-quality filler in order to advance to the next romantic interlude. The entire first chapter had errors in punctuation and verb tense which were somewhat distracting.
I was disappointed that Sophie assured us multiple times that she was “not gay” as she came to terms with her sexuality. She seemed to have the common mistaken belief that there are no bisexual people or that she could not be one. This might have been all right if it weren’t overused multiple times each chapter before Sophie finally accepted her identity.
Finally, I was uncomfortable with some of the plot elements, particularly those that seemed like or actually were domestic violence. It’s difficult to believe, for example, that a woman who had been attacked by an intimate partner would eventually develop a warm friendship with that person. I was also bothered by the way Jane came across as a bit of a stalker, yet the reader was supposed to hope she and Sophie made things work.
Overall, this was an all right story. It was mildly entertaining, but I don’t feel as though I’ve come away from it changed in any way. On the other hand, I believe this author has potential, and I would enjoy reading her other work as she grows in her writing.
I give it 3 stars.
~ Amy
ThreeStar

This is a quick read, but it took me awhile to get into it. The writing is not great. The novel is written in first person, but the main character is lacking in personality until more than halfway through the novel. The plot is what helped move this piece.

I did, however, have some issues with the plot. Jeff, Sophie’s boyfriend, seems to have three or four different personalities. He goes from being a douche who just wants sex and cares only about his pleasure, to a total gentleman who will do anything for his girlfriend in the span of two chapters. Later on, he becomes violent to the point of almost raping Sophie, and then he’s perfectly normal and cute again at the end of the piece. The violence is what shocked me the most. For a relationship that has lasted either 2 or 4 years, unknown as it was a continuity error, Sophie should have known whether he was an abuser or not. If he was, that should have come through before halfway through the novel. I also did not like the fact that Sophie let him back into her life after something like that

The relationship between Jane and Sophie was the driving force for the first half of the novel, and it was great to see a budding relationship that had a lot of issues to overcome and seemed to overcome them. I think this is where the story was best woven and written. The anticipation was built, the struggles Sophie faced were felt, and the scenes were most vivid and well- written in this section.

By the end of the novel, I didn’t want Jane and Sophie to be together because Jane had sufficiently creeped me out. It was hard for me to want them to be together even though I knew that was what the author had intended. I have high hopes for this author and the stories she has in her head, the characters she has created. She just needs a bit more time to let the writing technique get better to match the plots she has.

I rate this novel a 3 because the plotline is developed and the basic of the story is there. This novel could have used help from a few more edits and beta readers to flesh out the writing and make it seem more alive. I look forward to seeing where this author will go in the next few years and seeing if her writing improves.

~AJ

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AuthorBio

My name is Kirsty Grant. I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and raised in a little town called Bonnyrigg with my mother, Eleanor, my step-father Ian and my big sister Marion and two younger brothers Jon and Chris. I have been writing for many years but it was only recently, after the death of my mother that I decided to give up a long career as a retail manager and study English at the University in Stirling, where I now reside.

I am in a happy and loving relationship with my partner, Helen, who supports me in my ambition to be a successful writer. My plan is to continue writing and studying and I look forward to all that life will throw at me along the way.

My mother, Eleanor, was an incredible inspiration to me and a talented poet and I would like to dedicate my work to her in the knowledge that she will be proud of all I achieve.

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Twitter: @KirstyGrant2
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Email: kirstgrantauthor@gmail.com

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4.5 Stars for Say Yes by Silvia Violet Book Blast #M/M #eroticromance #erotica

Say Yes Cover - Silvia Violet

Title: Say Yes
Author Name: Silvia Violet
Publication Date & Length: August 18, 2014

Synopsis

Rex Aiken recently started his own business, Grass Fed Texas, supplying organic beef to restaurants and catering companies. When he hosts an event for potential clients at a prestigious hotel in Asheville, the event coordinator, J, impresses him with more than his professional expertise. They indulge in a delicious one night stand, but Rex’s taste of J leaves him wanting more. Rex intends to savor J, and he refuses to see the distance between them as an obstacle. He’ll do whatever is necessary to convince J to say yes.

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Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/464280

Review

FourandHalfStars

I have to say based off the cover of this book, I wasn’t expecting much. I don’t think the cover does this book justice at all. It was sexy, it was romantic, it even had a bit of angst. It was, however, not about steak. Sure, Rex sells steak but the book isn’t about that. It’s about the unexpected situation that occurs between Rex and J and what they do about the intense heat that engulfs them both every time they barely touch.

1/4 star reduction for the cover that isn’t nearly as good as the book. 1/4 star reduction for lacking flow at times.

Teaser

SayYes600x600Banner

Excerpt

“So…um…you’re going to do some sightseeing tomorrow?” Jordan asked.

“I am. I haven’t been to this area since I was a kid, and it’s so beautiful this time of year.”

Jordan nodded. He’d picked up a pen and was rubbing the end of it over his full bottom lip. Rex wanted to replace it with his tongue. Jordan put the pen down and flipped through papers in a folder. When he licked the tip of his finger to help him unstick a few pages, Rex had to cover a groan by turning it into a cough.

Jordan glanced at him quickly before closing the file and slipping it into a drawer. “If there’s anything in particular you’d like to do, I could help you find the best—”

“I’d like to kiss you.” Rex hadn’t meant to be so bold, but he’d never been particularly good at restraining himself. His bluntness had served him well in business and almost as well in his attempts to pick up men.

Jordan made a strangled noise and looked up. “Mr. Aiken, I’m not sure that would…um…”

He looked terrified. Rex realized he was doing the same thing to Jordan that Lucy had done to him—putting him in a position where he could easily believe saying no would affect his job.

“I’m sorry. That was out of line. You did me a favor, and you deserve more respect from me.”

Jordan’s cheeks were now bright red. “I’m not offended, sir. I’m just surprised.”

AuthorBio

Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including paranormal, contemporary, sci fi, and historical. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

SocialLinks

Facebook: http://facebook.com/silvia.violet
Twitter: @Silvia_Violet
Tumblr: http://silviaviolet.tumblr.com

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4.5 Stars for Disappear with Me by L. Dean Pace-Frech #M/M #historical #romance

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Title: Disappear with Me
Author Name: L. Dean Pace-Frech
Publication Date & Length: Dec 4, 2013 — 261 pgs

Synopsis

Love is greater than hope or faith, but can Reverend Leander Norris convince a jury that the love he shares with another man is natural?

In 1910, the United Kingdom was in turmoil. King Edward died after only nine years on the throne. The social class system that upheld British society for centuries was being chipped away by social, political, and economic unrest across the Commonwealth. Amidst this backdrop, Reverend Leander Norris is accused of sodomy. After discovering his own self-worth and unconditional love, Leander finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right and pleads not guilty to the charges. Throughout the trial, Leander’s past is revealed, including the temptations that bring the accusations against him. By the end of the trail, Leander is once again reunited with a romantic interest from the past by the end of the trial; it may be too late to rekindle any love that might remain, given the circumstances of the era and Reverend Leander’s likely sentence.

Review

FourandHalfStars

Once again, I’m out of my typical, comfortable box when it comes to genre literature. I’m not usually one to pick up historical fiction, let alone historical romance. However, this one piqued my curiosity for the faith/spirituality angle, and I’m glad I took a chance.

When I think of a good story, the element that is most important to me is the characters. From the first pages I was drawn to the main character, Leander, and his world and struggles. Yet I also felt connections with the other supporting players, from those mentioned only briefly–such as the jurors at his trial–to his closest companions and lovers. There are no weak, flat characters in this story.

Though the storyline itself is tender and romantic rather than exciting and action-packed, the flow was still fast-paced enough to grab my attention and hold it. I read it on and off over the course of a couple of days; I didn’t want to put it down.
For me, the best part was that it was both deeply romantic and deeply spiritual, an expert blending of both. I have no doubt this is intentional–the main character himself sees his love for his various partners as spiritual. And though other characters attempt to impose shame on him, he never accepts it, maintaining his right throughout to live his life in peace and happiness.
Reading this was an emotional ride for me. Leander’s strong love for God, his lovers, those under his care, and the Bible shine through every part of the story, as though he is simply so full of life and love that he can’t help spilling it over into every act, including standing strong in his convictions. I am convinced this is what it means to truly be like Jesus.
I have no misgivings about  recommending this book to just about anyone. Although the themes might be considered “adult” in nature, there is no explicit content, and I would not feel strange about giving this to my own children in a few years when the religious and social contexts will make more sense to them. Nor do I feel any hesitation about recommending it specifically to my religiously-minded friends.
I give this 4.5 stars.
~Amy

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AuthorBio

New bw headshot

With inspiration from some historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, L. Dean Pace-Frech started crafting his debut novel, A PLACE TO CALL THEIR OWN, in 2008. After four years of writing and polishing the manuscript, he submitted it for publication and Musa Publishing offered him a contract in early 2013. DISAPPEAR WITH ME is his second novel.

Dean lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his partner, Thomas, and their two cats. They are involved in their church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, Dean enjoys reading and patio gardening.

Prior to novels, Dean did some technical writing in his career. He plans to write a sequel to both A PLACE TO CALL THEIR OWN and DISAPPEAR WITH ME.

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Twitter: @DeanPaceFrech

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4.5 Stars for The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen #trans #lgbt #ya

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Title: The Other Me
Author Name: Suzanne van Rooyen
Publication Date & Length: Dec 18, 2013 — 218 pgs

Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she’s an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn’t find out she’s a freak.

As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.

But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.

Review

FourandHalfStars

This is a fairly quick read, as it’s young adult and not long. It’s relatively fast-paced, as I expected. The YA genre and length should not be deterrents for anyone interested in the subject, however. This was hands-down one of the best works of YA queer fiction I’ve ever read.

It is the story of a South African trans teenager, though it is also in part a love story. Not merely in the romantic sense (though there’s a bit of that too) but in a general sense, including self-acceptance and love between friends or family members. Most people, not only teenagers, would be able to relate to the themes of feeling like an outsider and of being trapped in a life or body that feel wrong.

The first thing that impressed me was that it’s about a trans boy. More often than not, trans fiction focuses on people living their authentic lives as girls/women. Of the several YA tans-themed books I’ve read previously, all were about trans girls. The second thing of note is that it’s told mainly from Treasa’s perspective and with Treasa’s feelings about actually being a boy. Other books have told trans stories mainly from the perspective of lovers or family members. Finally, the last thing that stood out was that Treasa is also not straight. Again, the vast majority of my previous readings have involved trans people who are presumed gay until they transition, but Treasa maintains a preference for boys throughout.

Another aspect to Treasa’s identity as a gay boy is that often, trans stories are incredibly binary. In other words, someone “proves” to be a “real” boy because of a love for sports and typically masculine pursuits and interests. Treasa is, even as a boy, still somewhat gender-non-conforming. I appreciate that the author didn’t go overboard to assure us just how much of a boy Treasa truly is.

Those things alone make the book an absorbing read. In addition, the two main point-of-view characters, Treasa and Gabriel, are both very different from the teenagers who populate many YA novels. They both have secrets and things about which they feel hurt and shame, however, both are highly sympathetic characters. They are the sort of people who feel like friends after reading their stories. Characters are always my favorite part of any story, and I found myself drawn to both of them.

The only things about which I had any concerns are a few minor implications. First, Treasa muses that it must not be normal for a girl to want to write fan fiction about two boys. It’s hard to tell whether this is the author’s view as well or whether Treasa just feels like an “alien” already that everything is suspect.

My other concern was that Gabriel insists throughout the book that his few very minor gender-non-conforming behaviors (mainly music and nail polish) don’t make him gay. But he does it to the point that I couldn’t help wondering who he was trying to convince–himself or the reader. Again, it was hard to tell if this was the author’s insertion of her views or genuinely part of his character, an unwillingness to question his own sexuality. This becomes particularly important towards the end of the story.

These concerns are not reasons to dislike the book. On the contrary, they provide excellent talking points. Rather than making assumptions about the author’s intent or rejecting the book for perceived flaws, we should have open dialog about what those things mean.

Overall, I rank this as one of my all-time favorite YA books. Despite the fact that I’m well past the target age and rarely read the genre, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it to anyone who has adolescents, in part because the beginning of empathy is understanding. Provided the book is still in print, I fully plan to make sure my kids read it when they are older.

I give this book 4.5 stars.

~Amy

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AuthorBio

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing, she teaches dance and music to middle schoolers and entertains her shiba inu, Lego.

Suzanne is also the publicity manager for Entranced Publishing and is rep’d by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

Works include:
Dragon’s Teeth (Divertir)
Obscura Burning (Etopia)
The Other Me (Harmony Ink)
I Heart Robot (Month9Books)

SocialLinks

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Twitter: @suzanne_writer
Author’s Website: suzannevanrooyen.com

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5 Stars for Girls Only: The Complete Series by Selena Kitt – #F/F @SelenaKitt #LBGT

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Title: Girls Only: The Complete Series
Author Name: Selena Kitt
Publication Date & Length: July 21, 2014 – 178 pages

Synopsis

Get ALL of Selena Kitt’s series – Girls Only – the complete collection, in one big book for one low price! 

Selena Kitt’s *Girls Only*—where the girls get naughty together, but it feels oh, so good! These stories contain hot panty-melting girl-on-girl action!

Included in this collection: 
New Year’s Resolution
Sybian Sorority
The Hairdresser
Pajama Party
Moms’ Night Out
Girl Scout Trip
Pool Party
First Time
College Days
Stay

———-

New Year’s Resolution 
Tina’s New Year’s resolution brings out the explorer in her partner, Beth, and the two women go on a mission to find the perfect new toy for their sexual adventures.

Sybian Sorority 
Violet has a huge crush on her first college roommate, Chloe—but Violet can’t confess, because nobody knows Violet prefers girls. Chloe invites Violet to join the Eta Nu Pi sorority and Violet can’t resist Chloe’s persuasive argument, but when the girls find themselves involved in an erotic, mind-blowing hazing, both of them discover something about themselves—and each other.

The Hairdresser 
When Amanda’s hairdresser, Jen, discovers Amanda’s first gray hair at a routine appointment, it prompts a re-examination of more than just Amanda’s roots. As the two women commiserate about the dangers of getting older, they discover more in common than bad boyfriends—and a day of beauty and pampering turns into a night of sexual discovery and pleasure.

Pajama Party 
April plans one last sleepover at the end of the summer so she and her best friend, Casey, can do all those girlish, silly things together before they have to go be grown-ups in college. But when a game of double-dog-dare goes too far, the girls find themselves saying a far more heated goodbye than either of them had planned.

Moms’ Night Out 
Jaime and Caroline hit it off right away, both single mothers with young children. Jaime and Caroline jump at the chance for a Moms Night Out, but nursing mother Jaime doesn’t plan on how painful the night might be. When Caroline offers a unique solution to Jaime’s problem, together the two women not only save their night out, they discover one more delicious thing they have in common!

Girl Scout Trip 
Paige isn’t looking forward to chaperoning her younger sister’s Girl Scout Troop for a camping trip outing—burning S’mores, telling the same old ghost stories and listening to little girls giggle all night long—until she meets the new Girl Scout Troop leader, Brandi.

Pool Party 
When her new neighbor, Gina, moves in, shy Nancy gets invited to her pool party, but she isn’t quite ready for all the attention she gets in the bikini that Gina’s loaned her. And she definitely isn’t ready for that drunken, crazy point in the party when everyone abandons their bathing suits altogether!

First Time 
Molly likes babysitting for single mom, Faith. She’s younger and cooler than most of the other people she sits for and Molly finds herself lingering at the end of the night, asking the older girl questions about life and love… and sex. When Faith comes home a little drunk and a lot horny, Molly finds that tonight, Faith has some show-and-tell answers to her provocative questions.

College Days 
Wild and crazy college roommates Whitney and Meg end up at a local fraternity party where Meg, furious at her boyfriend for cheating on her, is looking to even the score. Whitney has no problem backing up her friend in her time of need, so when a drinking game gets out of hand, the two girls put on a show that will go down in fraternity history. Who knew? Turns out revenge is a dish best served up blazing hot!

Stay
Claire has experienced a great loss, and is facing another one—and she just doesn’t know if she’s ready to deal. Dr. Mary Rennalls looks at beautiful Claire with more than pity and compassion, but will the two women find solace in each other’s arms, or will Claire’s fear of losing yet another loved one keep her from trusting again?

Review

FiveStars

I’ve never read Selena Kitt before but I’ll tell you after reading this I will be looking for more of her work!!! The tens short stories are EXTREMELY sexy and naughty. Every story was very well written with believable characters that sucked you in and made you wish you were there yourself! They are all solid Woman/Woman encounters. Some are first time experiences while others are women that have been with other women before. Such a great combination all around for every story in this collection!

~Renee

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AuthorBio

Selena Kitt is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling and award-winning author of erotic fiction. She is one of the highest selling erotic writers in the business. With over a million books sold, she is the cream-at-the-top!

Her writing embodies everything from the spicy to the scandalous, but watch out-this kitty also has sharp claws and her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not pawing away at her keyboard, Selena runs an innovative publishing company (www.excessica.com) and in her spare time, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children—and her growing organic garden. She loves bellydancing and photography. She also loves four poster beds, tattoos, voyeurism, blindfolds, velvet, baby oil, the smell of leather, and playing kitty cat.

Her books EcoErotica (2009), The Real Mother Goose (2010) and Heidi and the Kaiser (2011) were all Epic Award Finalists. Her only gay male romance, Second Chance, won the Epic Award in Erotica in 2011. Her story, Connections, was one of the runners-up for the 2006 Rauxa Prize, given annually to an erotic short story of “exceptional literary quality,” out of over 1,000 nominees, where awards are judged by a select jury and all entries are read “blind” (without author’s name available.)

SocialLinks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SelenaKittFanPage
Twitter: selenakitt
Author’s Website: http://selenakitt.com/

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