By Cheyenne Blue (Guest Blogger)
First, in this post about firsts, a big thank you to Lisabet for having me on her blog—not for the first time.
2015 has been a year of firsts for me. First time to stand up on a surfboard—okay, it only lasted for about 3 seconds and ended in ignominy, but it’s something I never thought I’d manage. In my day job, for the first time I now have a boss who is younger than me (when did I get so old?) First time to have surgery (about as minor as it gets and still be surgery, but it involved blood and scalpels all the same).
It’s been a year of firsts on the writing front too. Most notably, 2015 marks the year of my first longer piece of fiction in print. I’ve been writing short erotic stories since 2000, had them published on various websites, and then eventually my first print publication in Best Woman’s Erotica. Yes, the very same series that is still running today, but this edition was 2002. Since then, I’ve notched up around 100 short stories in print and pixel in various places.
I love writing short stories. I love the brevity, the slice-of-life way of telling something. Around me, erotica colleagues were meeting the changing market and writing novellas, novels, and then series, but I continued with shorts. Part of it was insecurity—what you know and all that. Part of it was lack of time—I held a demanding day job and I squashed in writing time in between everything else. A lot of it was the more instant gratification of writing short: of finishing a story, of submitting, of acceptance, of contributor copies in my hand, of reviews. But a friend convinced me to try something longer, and you’ve guessed it: I loved the process. I fell in love with writing, specifically erotic romance, all over again.
My first novella, Never-Tied Nora, came out this week from Ylva Publishing (another first—a new publisher for me). Not only my first novella, but also my first erotic romance. And too, the first of a series. The follow up, Not-So-Straight Sue will arrive in June 2016, and that one’s a full length novel.
I hope you’ll check out Never-Tied Nora, which is available now direct from Ylva Publishing or pre-order from Amazon.
While we’re talking about writing firsts, of course I also edited an anthology of firsts in 2015. First: Sensual Lesbian Stories of New Beginnings is available now from Ladylit or from Amazon. There’s 15 firsts between those covers!
Nora Kelly loves her carefree London life where there’s always a new woman to seduce. Her big Irish family tease her about her footloose ways, but she knows she’s in no danger of losing her heart.
Her family has only one rule when it comes to dating: Nora can date any woman she wants—as long as she’s not a Flannery. The Kellys and the Flannerys have been feuding ever since both families arrived in London from Ireland sixty years ago, and time has not lessened the hatred.
But never-tied Nora has just met the woman of her dreams, and suddenly commitment isn’t a dirty word. Trouble is, Geraldine is a Flannery.
Can Nora convince Ger that, despite their families, they are meant to be together?
The Korean place was modern—tiled, cold, and echoey, but I didn’t care. We were shown to a table at the back where huge potted plants muted the worst of the noise. It was far enough from the kitchen that the service was beyond woeful, but I didn’t care. I sat opposite Ger once again and watched her expressions and gestures—the quick smile that lit her face like lightning over the ocean, and her small, white fingers with their short, blunt nails as they pointed to a menu selection.
We ate sizzling beef brought by blank-faced waiters, and if I’d been with Sue I’d have been whining about the price of everything and how that should at least get us a smile. But with Ger, complaining didn’t cross my mind. Indeed, I welcomed the awful service as it meant more uninterrupted time to look, to flirt, to touch her hand, to dream, to imagine, and to fantasize about an outcome between us. We finished the bottle of wine but didn’t order another. Instead, we drank water, and played the getting to know you guessing game.
“You’re a professional women’s hockey player,” I said. “Or a coal miner. Final answer.”
Her sigh was theatrical. “You’ve caught me. Want an autograph? Actually, my sister plays hockey. She says I should learn—I might meet someone. She reckons she’s the only straight woman on the team.”
I picked up her hand again. “Tell her you’ve already met someone.”
Her gaze clung to mine. “I might do that. Or I might let her set me up with Big Betsie, the goalie. I love a woman with muscles.”
I pushed up the sleeve of my jacket to show my forearm. “I have muscles,” I said in pretend affront. “All the typing I do, how could I not?”
“You’re a writer,” she guessed. “You ghostwrite autobiographies of the rich and famous. Or you’re a PhD student, four years into the world’s longest thesis.”
“I wish. Think dull. Think of the jobs that send you to sleep.”
“Hypnotherapist? Is that how you’re so successful with women?”
“You don’t know that I’m successful. I could be Never-Laid Nora, the unloved.”
Her expression sobered, and she shuffled her chair around the tiny table so that she was next to me. She was so close I could smell the spices from the meal on her breath. She moved her chair enough that it was angled toward mine, her legs capturing one of mine between them.
“Nora, look at me.” The laughter fled her voice. “If you are the unloved, if you are the unlaid, then—”
“Then what?” I was trapped. Caught in the intensity of her eyes and the steel of her thighs.
“It’s my lucky day, as you must be desperate.” Warmth radiated from her fleeting smile.
She leaned forward, enough that I could see the dark flecks in her sea-green eyes. “I won’t lie to you, Nora. I’ve gone home with women I’ve just met. Met them in a club, or a pub, or at my sister’s hockey game. And I’ve spent a night with them, and at the time it was wonderful. Sex, out of this world. But afterwards? Not so much.” She dragged a deep breath, sat back, and took a gulp from her water glass. “I’m tempted. I’m tempted to lean in and kiss you. Learn your taste, the sigh of your breath. See if your hair is as soft as it looks. I want to know you. Learn what your skin feels like. And in the morning we’d have coffee, and kiss, and swap phone numbers, and then I’d leave, or you’d leave, depending on where we were, and I’d wait for your call. Or maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe I’d have written you off as just another one of those women, and I’d go into work, and maybe I’d cry on my boss’s shoulder over you. Maybe not.”
Her quiet words held me spellbound, and even the tardy waiter arriving to clear away the dirty dishes didn’t interrupt.
“What do you want from me, Nora?”
My voice was a croak worthy of any frog princess. “Everything. I want everything you’ll give me.”
Cheyenne Blue’s erotic fiction has been included in over 90 erotic anthologies since 2000, including Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica, All You Can Eat: a buffet of lesbian romance and erotica, Sweat, Bossy, and Wild Girls, Wild Nights. She is the editor of Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire (Ladylit) which is a Lambda Literary Award finalist and a Golden Crown Literary Award finalist, and First: Sensual Lesbian Stories of New Beginnings. Her collected lesbian short fiction is published by Ladylit as Blue Woman Stories – volumes 1 to 3. Under her own name she has written travel books and articles, and edited anthologies of local writing in Ireland. She has lived in the U.K., Ireland, the United States, and Switzerland, but now writes, runs, makes bread and cheese, and drinks wine by the beach in Queensland, Australia. Check out her blog at www.cheyenneblue.com, on Twitter at IamCheyenneBlue and on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/CheyenneBlue