Monday, April 8, 2013


By Lily Harlem (Guest Blogger)

Coming Together:Triumphantly  is a collection of erotica that deals with reclaiming the body and sexuality after trauma. It contains stories of triumph, of healing, and of appreciating the body and its abilities after (and in spite of) the changes brought about by illness/injury. This collection will benefit the National Women's Health Network.

This collection is edited by Dorla Moorehouse, who pitched the idea to Coming Together as follows:

In late 2010, my friend and fellow writer Reesa Brown and I decided we wanted to edit an erotica anthology based around reclaiming the body and sexuality after trauma, such as illness or assault. This idea was very important to Reesa, who was a breast cancer survivor. We mapped things out, found some interest from other writers we knew, and put together a call for submissions, but then Reesa's cancer returned. She spent most of 2011 fighting, and most of the time she was too ill to work. We planned to relaunch our efforts as soon as she was well, but unfortunately, that day never happened. After grieving her death in January, I've decided I want to continue along with the project as planned, even though she is no longer here to co-edit with me. While more than a year has passed since our initial plans, my motivation is stronger than ever.

CONTENTS:  Shy Bird (Lily Harlem); Scarlet's (Maxine Marsh); Mine Like The Rest of You (Teresa Noelle Roberts); How Love Can Triumph Over Cancer (Mark Lawrence); Love the Second Time Around (Deva Shore); My Stillness (Corey Fisk); Finding Christine (Alicia Baines)

A note from Lily Harlem - I was keen to add to this collection of stories that aids such a good cause, and it's not the first time I've donated stories to Coming Together, I also have a steamy menage tale in Coming Together; As One. Shy Bird, the introductory story, was interesting to write. I made the guy the one overcoming physical injury and although he's a big, tough, leather-wearing, tattooed biker, it’s the shy, unassuming girl who he takes up bird watching in the Norfolk Broads with who finally heals his heart.

Be we male of female, big or small, we all have challenges in life to overcome, sometimes just everyday things, other times life altering events. While friends and family help us overcome many hurdles, the giant step that is being intimate again after trauma or physical injury requires the gentle hand of a lover. Confidence is a delicate emotion, acceptance a powerful one and love in all of it’s many branches can be the biggest healer of all. I applaud everyone who has had the courage to move on, make new happy sexy memories and to their special people who’ve nurtured them with tenderness, patience and understanding along the way.

You can find out more about Triumphantly (available in ebook) and more about Lily Harlem

Excerpt from SHY BIRD

"Have you ever seen a hummingbird dancing amongst the flowers?" Ray whispered.

"No," I said in an equally hushed voice. "Never."

"It's beautiful, a wonderful prism of color flitting around."

"Where did you see hummingbirds?" I asked softly so as not to disturb the marsh harriers slowly making their way toward us.

"In San Diego years ago, when I was touring with the bike. Absolutely stunning."

We were quiet for a moment, concentrating on the endless expanse of mudflats. I sneaked a glance at him. Like me he was perched forward, elbows on the windowsill of the hide and binoculars primed in front of his eyes. I loved the old moss-green hat he always wore—his lucky charm—and the way his dark curls licked around the edge. From this angle he was picture- perfect.

"I'd love to go to America," I said.

"You will one day."

"I'm not sure, the thought of flying is too scary. I prefer to stay here, in Norfolk."

"Flying, scary?" He shifted his binoculars and turned to me, a strip of sunlight slashed across the silver lines on his right cheek. "But surely, as a dedicated bird watcher, a committed twitcher, flying is something you're fascinated by."

I huddled lower and drew up my shoulders. His complete attention always thrilled me, but equally it terrified me. "Yes, but not to actually fly myself," I said, feigning a complete fascination in a common starling that was pecking near the hide.

"Sometimes you just have to go for it," he said. His gruff voice held a note of steel.

In my peripheral vision I saw him re-align his binoculars and settle down again. We were waiting for a sighting of a spoonbill. Hopefully we would soon be treated to a glimpse of one of my favorite birds.

"Even if you're scared or worried, or you can't imagine doing it," he went on, "everyone has to take a risk sometimes and then deal with the consequences the best they can if it all goes wrong."

I bit down on my lip as my heart swelled. Ray had taken a risk and then had titanic-size consequences to cope with. He'd had a big, mean motorbike, raced all over with his mates until one winter's day he'd hit ice. He'd skidded head first into a wall and spent two weeks in intensive care fighting for his life. The scars on his face were the physical marks left on his body, but from our talks I knew there were more inside. He beat himself up over what he put his parents and friends through and the fact that one side of his face now looked like it had a spider's web spun over it.

Listening to him talk, as we sat in the hide, was one of my favorite things to do. It was bi-monthly this meeting of twitchers, and the highlight of my calendar since Ray and I had partnered up a year ago.

"I'm not as brave as you," I said.

About Me

Lily Harlem is a multi-published, award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She lives in the UK with her husband and a bunch of animals, all rescued, and loves to spend her days immersed in imagination.

 Her books are a mixture of full length novels and short stories, some are one offs, some are sequels or part of a series (all can be enjoyed as stand-alone reads).

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Lily Harlem said...

Lisabet - Thank you so much for featuring Triumphantly on your blog today. This was a short story that I really enjoyed writing, not least because it brought back fond memories of walking in the Norfolk Broads when Mr H and I were first dating :-)

Colleen C. said...

Lily thank you so much for sharing about this collection. I enjoyed reading the snippet you have of Shy Bird here for us today! :)

Booksrforever123 said...

What a wonderful cause and so close a friendship you ladies had. I'm glad you continued her project. That's just wonderful.

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