Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
Best Lesbian Erotica 2015Best Lesbian Erotica 2015
Edited By: Laura Antoniou
Cleis Press
ISBN: 1627780912
December 2014

Reviewed By: Kathleen Bradean

Is it time for this anthology already? How the year flies. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, because Best Lesbian Erotica is a consistently good collection of work from a diverse group of writers.

Once again, I am a happy reader. So many compelling characters and good stories. And oh yes, hot sex, but that’s such a personal thing that I don’t even try to pick out the hottest stories for readers anymore.

If you’ve read my reviews over the years, you know that I generally pick out three or four stories from an anthology to talk about. That strategy doesn’t work for me this time. Each story was well-written. The more time I spend away from them, in the hopes that only a few are memorable, I find myself recalling almost every tale.

Okay, so there are a few that stayed with me. I like to compare the wonderful Fiona Zedde’s “Kiss of the Rain Queen” with Catherine Lundoff’s “Arachne,” because both are tellings of myths the way they probably used to be before the flesh and blood was stripped away to leave us with dry bones. “Kiss of the Rain Queen” evokes such a lush world full of spiritual beauty where “Arachne” speaks to the beauty of art. And yes, the sex is hot, but what stayed with me were the themes of personal worth. Arachne is confident in hers, but Hasnaa from “Kiss of the Rain Queen” has constantly been told that she’s worthless. Once she is with a lover who values her, she’s able to soak in the comfort and love.

I’m not usually a fan of stories told in the epistolary form (traditionally as letters, but nowadays commonly as a series of emails), but Lee Ann Keple and Katie King pulled it off well in “A Knock At the Door” as two women work through a fantasy where each gives the other multiple choices for where it might go next. It ends with a knock on the door, and you know these two lovers are ready to take it to the next level.

What do you want to read? Seasoned lovers helping youngsters who have lost touch with themselves? How about Sacchi Green’s “The Bullwhip and the Bull Rider” or Anna Watson’s “My Visit to Sue Anne?” Like a threesome? Deborah Jannerson’s “Andro Angel” or Nan Andrew’s “Learning to Cook” might be your thing. Okay, technically “Learning to Cook” isn’t, but neither is “Still Flying” by Andrea Dale, but there is another woman involved to get things going.

You really can’t go wrong with this anthology. It amazes me that every year they manage to find so many great stories, but they do. The stories are varied. There’s some BDSM, but there are also more vanilla stories, if that’s more to your liking. There’s sweetness and nasty, naughty sex too. Whatever mood you’re in, you’ll find something to entertain you here.

No Safewords: A Marketplace Fan AnthologyNo Safewords: A Marketplace Fan Anthology
Edited By: Laura Antoniou
Circlet Press
ISBN: 1613900724
February 2013

Reviewed By: Kathleen Bradean

The Marketplace series by Laura Antoniou has become a classic of BDSM fiction. Fans lovingly discuss the edition(s) they have and how worn they are. It’s a world unto itself with fabulous mansions, slaves, auctions, trainers, every type of service one could imagine (and a few new ones). It’s an amazingly complete fantasy where even the bureaucracy required to run it is fetishized. Turn a corner in this world and you won’t find a façade propped up by a few timbers. You’ll probably find a whole new area to explore. No wonder it’s so beloved.

I read a lot of erotica, much of it BDSM, and after a while most submissives and their dom(me)s blur into sameness, but while it’s been years since I read the Marketplace books, I recognized characters immediately. That’s one of the great strengths of the series. There are engaging characters of varying sexualities with different visions of what they want or need so that almost anyone can find someone to identify with, or at least to pique a reader’s interest in their story. The inclusiveness that’s been a hallmark of the series from the beginning, way back when nobody else dared mix hetero and LGBT sex scenes in a book, carries on with the cover of No Safewords. Call it daring, call it transgressive, call it post-whatever, you have to admit that’s one bold, beautiful picture. I have no idea what might frighten Laura Antoniou, but it certainly isn’t offending anyone’s delicate little PC feelings.

In her wonderful forward, Laura discusses her inability to trust others with her creation with charming frankness. With this anthology, she doesn’t give up control, but she allows aficionados to offer fanfic (I mean that term in the best way possible) that shows their love of the series and to expand the universe a bit. She retains control though, as shown in the comments preceding each story. That was a nice personal touch.

The anthology begins appropriately enough with “A Thousand Things Before Breakfast” by Marie Casey Stevens. More an essay than a story, it’s a good manifesto explaining why the characters pursue the lives they do.

“The First” by D. Alexandria explores a taboo most people in the United States wouldn’t have the guts to confront. A black woman ends up as the slave of a white man. Talk about a minefield of emotion, guilt, and history. Yet it is handled so well here without ever being preachy, angry, or apologetic. This isn’t a lesson; it’s a story that never flinches from saying difficult things, while also being quite erotic.  If D. Alexandria continues to write stories this bold, s/he will be an author always worth reading. 

I was so pleased to see one of my favorite characters in D. L. King’s “If You Try Sometime.” I was concerned about Robert ever finding his way, but with his new owner, as the title promises, you get what you need.

“Her Owner's Voice,” by Leigh Ann Hildebrand, intrigued me. A young woman inherits her father’s house, including a great many slaves, on her father’s death. She knows about being an owner, but until she finds her voice, the slaves run rampant over her. That’s not the part I found interesting. I loved the type of slave she wanted and the service she required. Fascinating idea.

It’s probably not much of a secret by now that I enjoy genderqueer characters. Sassafras Lowrey delivers an emotionally pleasing story of self-discovery and acceptance in “Hiding in Plain Sex.” My heart absolutely wrenched at the painful confusion over expectations and what it cost to put on that dress, but that’s what I want from stories.
Anna Watson’s “Delirious Moonlight, 1916: Mr. Sloan's Boy” takes readers back to the beginning days of the mansion. This slice of history will give fans some backstory. It was also interesting to see how this writer envisioned things might have been, back before the route to training was institutionalized. I can’t put my finger on exactly what made this story linger with me, but it did.

If you were worried that there wasn’t going to be a scene of intense punishment in any of the stories, “Pearls in the Deep Blue Sea,” by Jamie Thorsen, serves up what you might be looking for. In her intro to it, Laura talks about how it shows risks and consequences, and what happens when the necessarily secretive world of the Marketplace is endangered by careless words.

“Coals for the New Castle” is the second contribution to this anthology by Marie Casey Stevens. Maybe the prolonged ‘as you know’ parts of the conversation are references to stories further in the series that I have not read, or inside jokes. If that’s the case, fans might love references to events that had nothing to do with the story at hand. I found it a bit of a slog and lost interest.

“Getting Real” by S. M. Li is for any fans of psychological sadism.

Elizabeth Schechter’s “O, Promise Me!” closes the anthology with a period piece that demands a bit of suspension of disbelief, but it’s so fun you won’t mind being generous. If you love Victoriana and a dash of adventure, this slight twist on the tales of being held captive by a desert bandit (that’s only part of the tale. Ms. Schechter packs a lot of story into a small space - so to speak) will captivate you.