Friday, June 20, 2014

Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust Anthology Releases today!

I am proud to announce that I have a story in Wayward Ink's new anthology, Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust, which released today! This is my first, and certainly not last, collaboration with Wayward Ink, so let's celebrate together, while I talk a little bit about writing for an anthology.

Being part of an anthology is different than other writing. Being part of an anthology is a group effort, of which the sum is greater than the whole. I am proud to announce my first story for Wayward Ink Publishing, “His Prince Wore Pink Stilettos”, which is part of the Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust anthology. I am also very proud to say that I am an editor with Wayward Ink, and helped to edit some of these stories.
Sometimes you don’t want to read something heavy, you just want to take little nibbles of fiction. Stories you can stop and start at your leisure. Well, consider this book to be a smorgasbord for  your reading pleasure.
As the title implies, there will be love, loss, laughter & lust. Mostly I think you’ll come away with a smile on  your face, and perhaps a tear in your eye for what  you’ve seen in these pages.
My story, “His Prince Wore Pink Stilettos” takes place in the 1970s, and is one young man’s journey to sexual awareness. Being gay then wasn’t very easy, and Michael is clueless when it comes to boys, because he’s sure he’s the only one like him. And how can he tell the boy who’s the object of his wet dreams how he feels?
Here’s an excerpt from my story:

I WAS eighteen and gay at a time when it wasn't very well accepted, as compared to the grudging acceptance we garner nowadays, but this is 2006 and that was the 70s, a different story altogether. And St. Louis wasn't Los Angeles, and it certainly wasn't San Francisco, tending to be on the conservative side, existing as it does in the Bible belt. Puberty is hard enough to go through on its own merits, but when one comes to realize that what seems natural to you is considered an abomination by others—well, you sort of learn to keep your natural inclinations to yourself. And then you hope that you’re not the only one that feels that way.
I first came to understand that it was men that tripped my trigger, so to speak, and not women, when I was about thirteen. I have an older sister, Brenda, who used to read movie magazines like they were gospel. She was always raving about this that or the other handsome actor. And dragging me to the movie theater to see her current favorites, whether I was willing to go or not. I usually was—willing, I mean. After all, a free film is a free film. Even if I pretended to fuss about it. But it wasn't until we went to see A Man Called Horse that I got my first clue about my true sexual orientation.
There's a scene at the beginning of the film where Richard Harris, the rich Englishman who’s the hero of the movie, is bathing in a river when the other members of his hunting party are set upon and murdered by Native Americans. This same group then happens upon Richard as well, and they chase him from the water, at which point there is a fantastic view of his bare posterior. Well, when I caught a glimpse of those firm buttocks, so unmistakably enlarged upon the screen, I found myself riveted to the sight, unable—and unwilling—to look away. On top of that, I had a definite reaction—a very physical one—that caught me very much off guard. I think I even squeaked, embarrassing as that is to relate, because I remember my sister nudging me to be quiet, while she too feasted her eyes upon the screen. At her nudge, I spilled my cup of soda into my lap, which turned out to be fortunate, for it relieved my engorged situation, and I didn't have to explain anything to anyone. Other than myself, that is. And napkins took care of the rest.
That was when I had a long hard look at myself and the world around me, borrowing Brenda’s movie magazines for a comparison test. Yes, it was true, without a shadow of a doubt. It was the male of the species that turned me on. While I liked the women well enough, they did nothing for me in any romantic or sexual sense, and I had no desire to kiss any of them. Richard Harris, on the other hand... well, I was more than willing to be ‘ravished’ by him. Sort of like a reverse bodice-ripper, those popular romance novels where the heroine was ‘unwilling’, back when that meant she wanted it and didn’t know it. Well, I knew it, and I dreamed that someday that hunky Irishman might come and take me away.
That never happened.
This story was originally published by Dreamspinner Press a few years ago. It has been re-edited and the title slightly changed. I’m proud to have had it accepted by Wayward Ink for their Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust anthology. As the title implies, there is something for everyone in this book.

Wayward Ink is having a giveaway to celebrate the anthology’s release! Just enter your name in the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust

We’ve all loved.
We’ve all laughed.
Sadly, we’ve also probably all known loss in one form or another.
And, yes, we at Wayward Ink are sure we’ve all experienced lust!
In Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust, you'll experience one or more of the "L"s as we take you on a roller coaster of emotions.
Whether you like to sigh over the sweet, cry for the broken-hearted, enjoy a good laugh, or get a little hot and bothered; there's something for everyone in this collection. 
Buy link for Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust at Wayward Ink:


His Prince Wore Pink Stilettos
Julie Lynn Hayes
Wanted: one prince, ball optional…

Taylin Clavelli
What do you do when you become invisible to the love of your life?

Anyta Sunday
What if your fate is to lose the one you love and be doomed to live in a city of lost hearts?
Is it possible two dead hearts can see life again?

A Closed Door
Andrew Q. Gordon
Sometimes when you leave to find yourself, you've left the answer behind. 

Taylin Clavelli
Devastated by loss, Matthew sleepwalks through life, existing but not living.
Can someone rescue him from his waking nightmare and help him to live again?

Life According to Buddy
Lily Velden
Buddy is a penis on a mission...
Mission Objective: The Love Tunnel

Service with a Smile
Lily G. Blunt
Terry visits a men’s designer boutique, and Ash gives him service with a smile…

Hunter or Hunted?
Lily Velden
Any hunter worth his salt will tell you that in order to capture your prey, there are few simple rules you must follow…

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all.  Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Amber Quill Press, MuseitUp Publishing, Torquere Press, and eXtasy Books, and coming soon to Wayward Ink Publishing and Prizm Publishing. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at MuseitUp.  

You can find her on her blog at, and you can contact her at

My links:
Twitter @Shelley_runyon

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