Reaching Out from a Mind as Dirty as All Outdoors

If you get lucky enough, I might post adult-only material from time to time, so be 18 or over, or please be elsewhere.

I'll be discussing erotica here, the writing of it and the people who write it, as well as what we've written. I find all these aspects stimulating, but if any of them bore you, feel free to skim. You never know what you might miss, though.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Through the Hourglass: Lesbian Historical Romance

Another new anthology!

Check Women and Words ( ) on December 3rd for a chance to win a free copy—if you can stand to wait that long. These terrific writers really delivered.

Through the Hourglass: Lesbian Historical Romance Edited by Sacchi Green and Patty G. Henderson Published by The Liz McMullen Show Publications

 Here are the introductions and the list of stories to give you some idea of what you’ll find.

 Megan McFerren VOLVUR
Heather Rose Jones WHERE MY HEART GOES
Patty G. Henderson
Priscilla Scott Rhoades EMMA
Susan Smith
Cara Patterson PROPRIETY
Doreen Perrine
Connie Wilkins THE BRIDGE
R.G. Emanuelle
MJ Williamz
Aliisa Percival WITH A SPARK
Allison Fradkin
Ann Bannon


Patty G. Henderson We live in a harsh world. Technology rules and love is sometimes born and nurtured via an iPad, iPhone, or social media sites. Where is the romance? Lesbian fiction has its share of erotica anthologies, where passions, sex, and lust take center stage over tender romance. I yearned to see an anthology that captured those days gone by, where romance was sometimes slow and tender, but seething with passion beneath the velvet, satin, and proper restraint. I approached Liz McMullen with an idea to do an anthology honoring lesbian historical romance. It would be a first, and we would travel through history, telling tales of lesbian romance like the sands through an hourglass. I was honored that Liz wanted to see those stories too. And I do hope that readers who take the trip back in time to sneak a peek at lesbian love in the distant or exotic past or in not-so-distant times will be left all the more enriched and entertained.

Sacchi Green Through the Hourglass has been very much a group effort, so both Patty G. Henderson and I want to share our thoughts here, and publisher Liz McMullen will outline the charity aspect at the heart of our project. What could be more appropriate for an anthology focusing on historical stories of lesbians than helping organizations that benefit senior lesbians right now?

 History, to my mind, is the greatest story ever told—or too often left untold. Women loving women have been a fact of life for as long as love and women have existed. Who's to say some of those sculptors of full-bodied stone or ivory goddesses weren't women? We have always been here, in every era and every area of society, even though our stories have so seldom been told.

Fiction has its own power to deepen and intensify our perceptions and beliefs. Stories that show lesbians in well-researched historical settings, with passions fully recognizable today, rescue our past from invisibility and affirm our place through all time, past, present and future.

 The writers here are, of course, the real hearts and souls and inventive minds of Through the Hourglass, and their stories speak for themselves. We begin in the Old World with Megan McFerren’s “Völvur”, set in the Iceland of the 990s where the old Nordic beliefs have not yet given way to the newly arrived Christian missionaries, and girls called Wand-bearers still run free as messengers between the worlds.

Six hundred years later, in the mid-1500s, Heather Rose Jones’s “Where My Heart Goes” takes us to the Renaissance, where a woman’s royal privilege is offset by being a pawn of political intrigue and succession, but her heart is still her own to give, however long it takes.

 By 1692-93 in the New World, we find the brutal misogyny of the Salem Witch Trials pitted against the unbreakable bond between two women in Patty G. Henderson’s “In Full Moon Light”. Then, two centuries later during the War Between the States, in “Emma” by Priscilla Rhoades, a young woman passing as a man finds love in an unexpected setting before inevitably taking on the duties of a soldier. Meanwhile in Europe, also during the 1860s, Susan Smith’s “Saffron and Fennel” depicts an aristocratic widow taking on a man’s role in order to pursue archaeological exploration, and, with the scientifically trained daughter of a botanist at her side (and in her bed), discovering traces of women loving women as long ago as the early Cretan civilization. Just twenty years later, the characters in Cara Patterson’s “Propriety” struggle, with tenderness and wit, against class distinctions and the obligations of an Austrian Archduchess.

Back across the sea after half a century, in 1910, Doreen Perrine’s “A Year of Silent Promise” paints a complex scene of art and longing and the roughly beautiful coast of New England. Just a few years later, The Great War changes the world forever, and by 1917, an ambulance driver wounded in body and spirit by trench warfare in France encounters a free-spirited artist in England at “The Bridge” by Connie Wilkins. “Captain My Captain” by Lexy Walleans takes us forward four years to the postwar England of 1921 and another seacoast, where recovery and loss and memories of adolescent games of piracy affect the lives of childhood friends.

 The between-wars era of prohibition in the USA forms the colorful backdrop in 1928 to “The Rum Runner and the Show Girl” by R.G. Emanuelle, followed by a cluster of stories sparked by the drama of WWII. Jean Copeland’s “Nightingale” portrays the struggling nightclub scene on the home front, while MJ Williamz’s “My Elizabeth” depicts women like Rosie the Riveter building war planes, and Aliisa Percival’s “With a Spark” varies the theme with a celebrity visiting a Canadian bomb-building factory for a patriotic fund-raiser. Just a year later, in 1944, the characters in Alison Fradkin’s “With Ball Due Respect” pitch witty banter and score with each other as team members in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

The post-war decades bring us to times so recent that some of us remember them, and those who don’t know someone who does, but they still belong to the history that formed who we are today. Ann Bannon’s Beebo Brinker is an icon of lesbian literature, and here we have an excerpt from her book with all the grit and moody tension of Greenwich Village in 1962. Lee Lynch’s stories, too, have inspired us for years and continue to illuminate our world, and her evocative story “Honeydew Moon” is the perfect conclusion to our anthology, with an older, established couple in the 1980s sharing their memories of romance and struggle during the 1950s with young lesbians just beginning their adult lives.

 All these wonderful stories, with their passion, adventure, variety, and attention to historical details, have come together because of Patty G. Henderson’s original proposal.

From Publisher Liz McMullen A portion of the proceeds for Through the Hourglass will go to these charities that directly serve LGBT senior citizens: Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and The Gay & Lesbian Association of Retiring Persons, Inc. (GLARP). SAGE works to achieve a high quality of life for LGBT older adults, supports and advocates for their rights, fosters a greater understanding of aging in all communities, and promotes positive images of LGBT life in later years. Learn more about their mission and services by visiting their website: The Gay & Lesbian Association of Retiring Persons, Inc. (GLARP) is a non-profit corporation formed in 1996 by co-founders Mary Thorndal and Veronica St. Claire to call attention to the aging issues in the GLBT community. They are currently working on creating a retirement community for LGBT seniors. Visit their website to learn more about the organization and their mission:

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bonus Lesbian Historical Military Erotica Story

Free story!

Here, as a gift for anyone considering reading my latest anthology, is a free story on the same theme as the ones in Thunder of War, Lightning of Desire: Lesbian Military Historical Erotica (Lethe Press), but one I didn't include in the book. I wrote it originally for Lipstick on Her Collar, an anthology  I edited for Alison Tyler's Pretty Things Press about six years ago, and it was reprinted in Best Lesbian Erotica 2007. The title of the anthology was chosen by the original publisher, so how could I resist writing a Vietnam-era story with the same title and a sidelong tribute to Connie Francis? (If you're too young to know who I mean, look her up!)

Lipstick on Her Collar
Sacchi Green

The DC-7 burst from clouds over the South China Sea at an angle so steep VC rockets had no chance at a target. My breath caught and my butt clenched. At the last possible instant the plane leveled off, touched down, and came to a jolting stop.
I'd seen the same thing too often to be seriously alarmed. But I wasn't on board. And I wasn't Miss Maureen O'Malley from the Boston Globe, getting her first taste of the adrenaline-mill that was Vietnam in 1969. I wondered whether Miss Maureen's panties were still dry. And how long she'd last at this war correspondent game. If she couldn't handle the heat, the sooner she headed back to the Ladies' pages, the better.
She wasn't hard to spot on the tarmac. Miss Boston's dainty sandals, blue plaid skirt and matching jacket were about what I'd expected. The fine legs beneath the short hem, however, exceeded expectations.
I wasn’t the only one looking her over, but I was a lot more discreet about it than the guys. Any overt attraction to women could have landed me, if not in the brig, at least back Stateside with a dishonorable discharge.
She showed the strain of flying half-way around the world. Sweating in the sudden, brutal heat of Tan Son Nhut airfield, lipstick blurred and tendrils of dark hair curling damply on her cheeks, she seemed absurdly young. I'd have been all encouragement with a nurse or WAC just arriving in-country, but the orders to ride herd on a journalist were really chafing my chops.
"Miss O'Malley," I said firmly, seizing her attention, "I'm Sergeant Hodge, your driver. Let me get that bag." I bent to the heavy suitcase. Yes, very fine legs, and naked. No pantyhose. "C'mon in under cover while they unload the rest of your baggage."
She focused on me hazily. Probably hadn't slept for at least twenty hours. I felt just a smidge of sympathy.
"Oh...thanks...this is all there is.”
Well, that was a point in her favor. "Okay, good, but I still have to pick up a few packages." I was about to offer to show her the rudimentary ladies' room when she blurted, "But...I was expecting a woman driver."
"And I was expecting Maureen O'Hara,” I said, amused. Passing for a teen-aged boy often comes in handy. "Southeast Asia needs more redheads." I shed my helmet and brushed back my russet forelock. My short hair didn't tip her off, but my grin did the trick. She surveyed the rest of me more closely.
"Oh! I'm sorry." Her face flushed from more than the heat. "That's WAC insignia, isn't it. I still have a lot to learn."
No kidding. I silently steered her into the terminal, aiming her toward the restroom, and leaving to retrieve packages I'd promised to pick up. It wouldn't hurt to let her stew in a bit of embarrassment for a while.
Not for long, though. She emerged looking tidy and composed, make-up freshened. As she stepped up into my jeep she caught me admiring the nice rear view, and her deliberate wriggle as she settled into the seat made me wonder with a touch of paranoia just what this reporter had come to 'Nam to cover. A juicy scandal about dyke WACs would put women in the military back decades, just when we were needed most.
Through the dust and traffic I kept my attention on the road, weaving around troop transports and the occasional heavily-laden water buffalo. I could feel her assessing gaze on me.
"Miss O'Malley," I said, when the traffic diminished, "my orders are to take you to WAC headquarters at Long Binh. The captain will sort out what happens next. Apparently you have authorization to bunk in our compound, unless you'd rather check into a hotel in Saigon. Some of those places the French built are as ritzy as anything in Paris."
"I can’t afford a hotel," she said frankly. “It was all I could do to get here. Three papers gave me accreditation, which just means they'll consider printing what I write. None of them are willing to pay my way until I prove myself. Which I will!" Her face looked suddenly less cheer-leader-pretty--and more dangerous.
"I heard you wanted to write about the women serving over here," I said casually.
"Just for starters. I had to use that line to get anywhere. WACs, nurses, Red Cross workers, maybe some orphanage scenes."
"Look, Miss O'Malley," I said sharply, "You won't get far assuming the women here are just 'soft' news for the Sunday Supplement. Or the orphans, either."
She looked startled. "Sorry, I didn't... Well, thanks for reminding me to stay open-minded. I'll need all the help I can get to learn the ropes. But just call me Maureen, won't you? Should I call you Sergeant?"
"Not as long as you're a civilian," I said. "I'm Marjoe to just about everybody." I darted a quick glance at her. "Pleased to meet you, Maureen."
"Nice to meet you, too, Marjoe. And my apologies for not being Maureen O'Hara." Her teasing smile produced an all-too-charming dimple beside her mouth.
I looked her over. "Actually, you remind me more of Miss Connie Francis. That's just fine."
"Wasn't she here last year?"
"She was, and I have the autographed picture to prove it." A little casual conversation wouldn't hurt. "I wasn't a big fan before that. 'Who's Sorry Now' and 'Lipstick on Your Collar' aren't my style--I'm more of a "Born to Be Wild' and 'Light My Fire' kinda girl." I gave her a wide grin. Let her make what she wanted of that. "But Connie Francis sure got my respect. She went places Bob Hope wouldn't, hopping flights in Hueys and Chinooks to give the boys in the boonies a look at what they're fighting for." I wouldn't admit it to anyone, but I'd even sung along at Can Tho when Miss Francis led the crowd in "God Bless America".
Maureen sat up straighter. Her sweat-dampened blouse showed the distinct contours of her nipples. I managed not to stare.
"That's what I want to do! Get to see the real war, meet the guys and tell their true stories. I'm going to get out to the front, after a few weeks behind the lines learning my way around."
We were within the outskirts of the town by then. I jerked the wheel abruptly, pulling off into an alley. Miss See-All-Tell-All would have seen plenty of mortar craters already if she'd been paying any attention.
"You want to learn something?" Anger sharpened my voice. "Get out right here for a minute." Don't let her get to you...keep your cool... But I wasn't listening to myself. She was getting to me. In too many ways.
Maureen stared for few heartbeats, then stepped down onto the dusty ground. I kept my eyes strictly away from her enticing backside this time.
I grabbed a lug wrench from the rear of the jeep. Maureen looked me right in the eye as I approached, holding her ground, hands on her nicely curved hips.
"Behind the lines?" I asked. "Lady, there are no lines. See the chicken wire on the windows of that bus going by?" She nodded, but her gaze didn't leave my face. "That's to deflect grenades." I drew a groove in the dirt with the wrench half-way around her. "The only line in 'Nam is the one you pull around yourself to keep your shit together!"
She seemed to grow taller. I suddenly knew what was meant by that old cliché "flashing eyes". How had I missed noticing how green hers were?
"Sergeant Hodge," she said icily, "if you ever call me 'Lady' again in that tone of voice, I'll have those stripes off your sleeve, and the sleeve off as well!" She looked me up and down with disdain--until a hint of a smile made her dimple flicker. She dropped the briefly-assumed British accent. "And quite possibly the whole shirt."
I closed my gaping mouth, then opened it to take a deep breath. "Wal now, Miss O'Hara," I drawled, regaining some control, "Yuh shore are purty when yer angry!"
"Thank you, Mr. John Wayne," she said primly, and relaxed into a giggle. “Just never forget, I'm no lady, I'm a journalist!"
"Thanks for the warning," I said. Some woman! It was going to be damned hard to think of her only as a reporter, but her mental tape recorder was probably spinning right now.
Back in the jeep, I kept up a running commentary on bombings and mortar attacks by VC infiltrators, usually targeting troop transports and the bars and restaurants favored by American servicemen. Maureen reached into her shoulder bag for a notebook and did, in fact, start jotting down notes.
"Was that during the Tet offensive last January?"
So she had done some homework. Could be more to her than a pretty face, a knock-out body, and a wicked sense of humor.
"It goes on all the time at some level, but yeah, that was the worst of it. I was up north at Nha Trang back then. Never seen anything like it, and hope never to again."
"I hope you won't. Just the same... Don't get me wrong," Maureen said quickly, leaning toward me so that I couldn't help noticing her breasts pressing against her blouse, "but if a major offensive like that did come again, I wouldn't want to miss it."
"No chance it'll miss you." I didn’t bother with trying to squelch her voyeuristic instincts. On some level I understood them perfectly well. "It was bad here, bad everywhere. I was handling the nurse's motor pool, and every vehicle had to double as an ambulance, every driver as a corpsman, with or without medical training. Five straight days--never time to clean up the blood--they were handing out Benzedrine to keep us awake." I stared ahead for a minute or two, remembering. things I'd rather forget. Maureen leaned close, so absorbed that she'd even stopped taking notes.
"Some of the things I saw there," I went on, "still keep me awake. Some of the things I had to do..." My knuckles clenched on the steering wheel, white under their tan. "And that was nothing to what the nurses went through."
A current of empathy flowed from Maureen. A tremor in my voice, a catch in my breath, and she'll reach out to touch me, comfort me, put that half-raised hand on my shoulder…my thigh...
I turned abruptly with a half-smile. "But yeah, if it had to happen, I wouldn't have missed it. And later, when we had our perimeters more or less under control, there were nights when we'd take a case of cold beer up on the roof of some old French villa and watch Puff the Magic Dragon blast away at VC island outposts in Cam Ranh Bay. Or we'd see our choppers hammering the hills with rockets and tracers. Better than any fireworks you ever saw, and we’d cheer for the good guys--until time to go try to put the broken ones back together. Or into body bags."
Maureen straightened and got her pen moving. "Um, 'Puff’?" she asked, eyebrows raised.
"C-130 heavy cargo plane fitted out with heavy-duty artillery. Don't know who came up with the name, but it sure works up a storm of fire and smoke."
"Okay. Puff. Good one. I won't ask whether beer was all you had up there on the roof."
"If you can't manage a laugh once in a while, one way or another, you get so brittle you crack," I said. "It's all about survival." Maureen nodded. I had the feeling again that she might reach out and touch me--and I knew for certain that my body's reaction would be far from anything resembling comfort. Disappointment battled with relief as I pulled into the WAC compound.
 Our guard dog jumped up into the back as soon as I slowed. "Here's another fine dragon," I told Maureen, and ruffled his ears. "This is Spike."
 "I see that this one's armed with heavy-duty teeth," she said, extending a fearless palm to be sniffed. Spike, putty in female hands, leaned his big ugly head on her arm, nudged against her breast, and sighed.
I nearly sighed too. It was no use pretending that she didn't set off a fizz under my fatigues. Good thing the ride was over, and Miss Maureen O'Malley/O'Hara would be somebody else's responsibility. My only hope of resisting temptation was to assign another driver from the motor pool to show her around if we were stuck with her for long.
The few girls off-duty clustered around the jeep, either to get a look at the newcomer or to collect the packages I'd picked up for them. Lila Tunney cradled her shipment from Tokyo with care. "I'd be happy to share some of this make-up with you, Marjoe," she said slyly. "One of these days the captain might start enforcing regulations and make even you wear lipstick."
"Not so long as she needs her wheels kept in running condition." This was no time for Lila's teasing. After brief introductions I herded Maureen toward the admin building, resisting the urge to put a more-than-friendly arm around her.
What was the deal with this sudden, dangerous attraction? Yeah, sure, the stresses of wartime and all that. But I'd managed so far to keep a purely sisterly attitude--well, mostly pure--toward the women I worked with. Was it because Maureen wasn't "family" that my subconscious was allowing lust to break on through?
"Captain Ramsey will be right with you." The unit's cute little secretary surveyed Maureen with open curiosity. "Help yourselves to coffee."
"Thanks, Wilma." I was already at the hot-plate in the corner. "What do you take, Maureen?"
"Black is fine." She accepted a cup. "What was all that about regulations?"
"Just a holdover from the fifties." If Wilma wanted to listen, she might as well get her money's worth. She always got a kick out of bringing out the worst in me. "Now and then the military gets a bee up its butt about women soldiers being models of femininity. In the States some officers get tight-assed about it, but nobody enforces it in war zones."
"Sergeant Hodge!" The one voice that could make me jump sounded right behind me. I spun around so fast that hot coffee sloshed onto my shirt.
"I think it's time to make an exception in your case." Captain Ramsey’s tone had taken on a don't-you-challenge-me edge. "I expect to see you wearing lipstick within the next week. Consider that an order."
Wilma snickered. The captain turned calmly to Maureen, who had just handed me a napkin. "Miss O'Malley, I hope Marjoe has been taking good care of you."
"Oh yes," Maureen replied demurely, watching me dab at the wet splotch on my left breast. "Very helpful."
"I'm glad to hear it. Your Congressman has asked that we give you every possible aid and protection."
"I'd appreciate that," Maureen said sincerely. "Just while I get my bearings."
"This next week could be difficult," Captain Ramsey said. "The Tet holiday is coming around again. Our intelligence indicates stepped-up activity, though not on the scale of last year. While you're here, under our protection, I'm going to have to insist that you go nowhere beyond the base perimeters without Sergeant Hodge. She’ll be your designated driver." She looked at me with an entire lecture condensed into one stern glance.
"But Captain, I'll be too busy...I thought I'd assign..."
"I'm delighted to hear that you've been thinking, Marjoe," she said drily, "but no one else has sharpshooter rating on both 45s and M16s. It's a matter of security."
"Women don't get sharpshooter ratings," I protested. "We're not even technically allowed to carry weapons."
Wilma had kept quiet about as long as she could manage. "Just the same, it's in your 201 file," she said. "From Basic at Fort Benning, but you'll never see a badge for it."
"So that's settled," the captain said with finality. "Wilma will handle any further details. Show our guest around, Marjoe, take her over to the mess hall, and then finish whatever motor pool maintenance is scheduled. Wilma can be my driver for the next week."
She held out her hand to Maureen. "It's been nice meeting you, Miss O'Malley. Don't hesitate to let me know of any problems. I suggest you have Marjoe drive you into Saigon tomorrow for some orientation.""
"A sharpshooter?" Maureen asked with interest when the captain was gone. "How did you pick up that skill?"
Wilma was miming putting on lipstick, pursing her lips and working them together with gusto. I grabbed at Maureen's diversion. "Where I come from, in northern Wisconsin, the better you shoot, the better you eat. It's a family tradition."
"So what brought you all the way to Vietnam?"
I could sense that mental tape recorder flickering behind her green eyes. "Getting as far away from family tradition as possible," I said. "So, Wilma, where do I dump Miss O'Malley's gear?"
In her room, temporarily vacated by a lieutenant on leave, Maureen slumped onto the narrow cot. I retreated to the doorway. "Jet lag hitting hard?" I asked. Her short skirt was hitched so high that I could tell what color panties she wore. Pale pink. "How about you get some rest, and I'll save a sandwich for you."
She yawned, and stretched. Both skirt and undies inched higher. For an instant I could also tell, no surprise, that she was a real brunette. Then she sat up.
"No, they say the best way to reset your internal clock is to eat meals on the local schedule. Just let me change into something that hasn’t been sweated in for twenty-four hours, okay?" In one sudden motion she pulled her blouse off over her head. Her pale pink bra was very nicely filled indeed. She bent to rummage in her suitcase, breasts nearly spilling over, I edged farther away.
"Marjoe?" Her voice was muffled by the knit shirt she was pulling on. "How come I'm not bunking with you? For security?" Her eyes emerged, gleaming with mischief. Her skirt slid down to be replaced very, very slowly by a pair of sleek black slacks. Every wriggle was deliberate. She knew exactly what she was doing to me. What I hadn't figured out was just why she was doing it.
"I sleep with the jeeps. Alone, except for Spike." And he wouldn't be any protection for you. I gave thanks as never before for my lean-to hooch built against the side of the motor pool's Quonset hut. I'd be in desperate need of some alone-time tonight--if I could wait until then. She was building enough tension to have me punching holes through plywood if I couldn't get relief soon.
The WAC division didn't have its own mess hall, so we ate at the 24th Evac hospital with the nurses and the ambulatory patients. I didn't try to prepare Maureen for what she'd see, but after one quick clutch at my arm she handled herself like a real trooper. By the time I left she was circulating among nurses and amputees and men trailing IV trolleys like the best of the Red Cross Donut Dollies (a term I use with the greatest respect).
I looked back once and saw her kneeling beside a wheelchair, listening intently to a kid who could barely speak through his bandages. Her hand rested on his arm. I wondered cynically, or maybe jealously, whether it was compassion or journalistic skill that drove her.
She was still at the hospital at six, pale and strained behind her bright lipstick but managing to smile for the boys. I tracked her down in a ward of patients who couldn't make it to the mess hall. After forcing her to come along for some dinner, I half-carried her back to the barracks. Jet lag and sudden immersion in the realities of war had pretty much knocked her out.
"Get some sleep before you forget how." I eased her onto the cot and tried to get away. She held tight, her arms around my hips.
"Stay with me, Marjoe. Please." Her face was pressed against my crotch. She had to know, by my aroma, by my pulse, how much I wanted to stay.
"I can't." I pulled away. My butt burned where her fingers had dug in. "Maureen, I have a job to do over here. I need to keep my hands clean." Hands that shook with the urge to reach out to her, stroke her dark hair, pull her face hard into the ache between my legs...
"Always?" she asked.
"Except for motor grease and mud. And blood," I added, before I could stop myself. So much for keeping it light.
"You've never touched a woman over here?"
"Who's asking, the reporter?” I said nastily.
Those green eyes really were magnificent in anger. Relenting, I added, "I'm not absolutely sure. There was this head nurse--we both dived into the same bunker one night during a heavy bombing. She asked what I had in my canteen; when I told her it was water, she said, 'Good, mine's whiskey, we can mix and share'. Which we did. I can't remember clearly just how much mixing and sharing went on."
"Right," Maureen said sarcastically. "How much liquor does it take to get you in that state? And where can I buy it?"
"Forget it. The next time I touch a woman, I intend to remember it."
I stepped forward. She inhaled sharply, lips parting, breasts rising. I yanked the army blanket up to cover her. "Get some rest," I said. "You'll need it."
I shut the door behind me carefully. If those plywood walls hadn't been too flimsy to filter out even a whisper, Miss Bright-Eyes-and-Heaving-Bosom would’ve had more than jet lag and in-country shock to exhaust her.
Maureen seemed rested by morning, but I wasn't. Much more of this, and Spike would go looking for a quieter hoochmate. He sniffed my crotch with interest before I lit out for the showers extra early. I was reaching for my towel with dripping hands about the time Maureen stepped naked behind the canvas partition. I caught her checking out my ass. Fair enough. One brief glimpse had left her smooth curves printed indelibly on my memory.
The twenty miles to Saigon had their share of tension. I usually traveled with a Colt 45 tucked inconspicuously down beside the driver's seat, regulations be damned, and this time the captain had wangled an M-16 rifle for me. I didn't ask how. No fire-power would deflect a grenade or a mortar, but you did what you could and wore risk like an extra stripe on your uniform.
As we started out, Maureen said demurely, "My mother taught me never to distract the driver, so I’ll try not to bother you."
"You'll distract me less once we get you outfitted to blend into the background," I told her. The tight black slacks and white tank top definitely stood out. The helmet I'd made her wear looked more jaunty than utilitarian. "Rumor says the North Vietnamese have offered $25,000 for an American woman, a 'round-eye'. I've never heard of anybody collecting, but there’s no point offering one up gift-wrapped."
"Only $25,000?" She preened teasingly, hands running over chest and thighs.
 "A journalist might bring in more." I reached out to give one breast a sharp pinch. No point now in letting her get away with much. "Especially one more generously upholstered than the typical Vietnamese girl. At least the NV value us more than the U. S. Army does, with the puny $10,000 life insurance policy we get."
I steered the subject into the universal griping-at-bureaucracy routine. Maureen was good company the rest of the way, asking intelligent questions, paying attention to the answers, and keeping teasing to a minimum.
In Saigon we drove down boulevards lined with elegant French Colonial architecture, crowded with trucks and old Renaults and the pedal-driven rickshaws called cyclos. I pointed out the Caravelle Hotel where most war correspondents hung out.
"Writing 'front-line' dispatches at the bar behind a line of brandy-and-sodas," Maureen said dismissively. "Getting all their news from the Pentagon’s 'five-o-clock follies'. No thanks."
I looked at her with new respect. Maybe she knew this reporter business better than I'd realized.
At the notorious Thieves' Market you could get anything that had ever passed through an American PX, and many items that never would. We got Maureen outfitted in tan and olive drab shirts and pants and the ubiquitous blue jeans.
"Wait a minute, we forgot something," Maureen said urgently over lunch at the California Bar and Grille on the liveliest strip of Dong Khoi Street. She waved toward the honey-skinned working girls replenishing their makeup, preparing for a later influx of horny GIs.
"You want one all to yourself," I asked, "or can we share?"
"Not my type," she shot back. "I'll stick with round-eyes. But shouldn't we pick out some lipstick for you? Captain's orders?" She made kissie-mouths at her compact’s mirror while freshening her glossy lips. "How about my Burgundy Passion?"
I'd been working on forgetting that little incident. But the Captain wouldn't. "Lila offered to share. Just once will get me off the hook."
"Cocky, aren't you," she said, with a look that made me consider some blacker-than-black-market shopping, but we needed to beat the rush hour, Saigon's most dangerous time.
Not that danger couldn't strike any minute. Fifteen miles out we hit a military roadblock. Smoke billowed from around a curve. I detoured onto a longer, narrower riverside track, making sure my guns were accessible.
Maureen kept quiet for a while, but finally blurted out, "Did you ever shoot anyone?"
"Maybe," I said shortly. There was firing in the distance, either from the road ahead or the roughly parallel highway we'd left. The driver of a supply truck going the other way motioned us wildly to go back. I slowed, started to turn--and heard the unmistakable whoosh of a rocket launcher somewhere behind us. An explosion rocked the area where the supply truck, now out of sight, might have been.
"Hang on!" I veered off on a rutted cart track toward the river a hundred yards away. A fringe of trees would hide the jeep, I hoped, but just in case I made Maureen scramble out and lie with me farther along, behind a log where I could brace my M-16. We waited, watching the road.
Maureen pressed against my side, her body shaking just slightly more than mine. "I don't know whether I've ever killed anybody," I said conversationally. "In Nha Trang they overwhelmed our perimeter, looking for medical supplies. It was dark, chaotic, but I think...well, I don't usually miss. And we beat them off."
I was wound tighter than Jim Morrison's guitar strings. Maureen stroked gently up my spine to the nape of my neck and massaged away some of the tightness, but tension of a different kind radiated from her touch, ripples of heat licking all the way down my body. Even my toes twitched inside my heavy boots. I couldn't keep my hips from shifting. Maureen slid her hand down my back to my butt.
"We do what we have to," she said, her breath warm on my ear. Her dark hair tickled my cheek. "You'd be out there leading a platoon if they'd let you." The pressure of her hand increased, her fingers digging in just slightly.
"Maybe," I said, steeling myself not to react visibly, however damp my khaki briefs were getting.
Maureen's fingers dug deeper, then moved between my butt cheeks. "Am I distracting the driver too much?"
"Hell no! Good practice for capture and torture." Danger and lust pumped adrenaline through me, triggering a fight-or-fuck response. If I didn't fire a gun soon, something else was sure going to go off.
Maureen heard the approaching truck a fraction of a second before I did. I lifted my head, tightened my grip on the rifle--and she pulled me back down, cramming her helmet over my hair. "Don’t wave your fucking red flag at them!"
"Thanks." I peered carefully over the log at an ancient flatbed farm truck. The grim-faced young Vietnamese riding on the back didn't look like they’d been laboring in the fields.
We didn't breathe. I could feel Maureen’s heart pounding in time with my own. The truck passed out of sight, and still we lay immobile.
"Will there be more?" Maureen asked at last.
"Maybe. We'd better wait..."
My words were cut off by her mouth covering mine. I’d barely set the guns aside before we were in a rolling clinch, scrabbling to get through each other's clothes.
Maureen won. Her hands were inside my pants, one on my bare butt and the other working hard between my thighs, before I got through her shirt and clinging tank top. With my fingers finally inside her lacy bra, I hung on, pinching her swelling flesh. The feel of her nipples hardening to rigid engorgement intensified my clit’s response to her demanding thrusts.
She worked me hard and fast, our mouths pressed furiously together with only a few moans and grunts escaping, until I had to get enough air for the noises she forced from me. With one wild glance to be sure the road was empty, I let go and shouted up into the quaking leaves of the trees.
By the time I could breathe, Maureen was naked with her shirt spread under her arching hips. I dove right in to her luscious tenderness, feeding her need with tongue and hands until her yells made the leaves quake, too. And then, after a short rest in each other's arms, we started all over again. Frequent checks of the road for traffic only added a spice of danger to our frenzy.
As sunset approached I had to consider what to do next. We'd finally got dressed, and cleaned up at the edge of the muddy river, when we heard cars approaching slowly. Two jeeps. One driven by an MP, one by Wilma.
 "Company," I murmured. Maureen barely managed to brace before a furry, joyful Spike rocketed into us.
"Easy, boy!" I grabbed his collar and went to meet the captain.
"You're both all right?" she asked sharply, then saw Maureen emerging from the trees with hair quickly combed and burgundy lipstick freshened. "It's a good thing we brought the pooch. He alerted us that you were in there."
"We took cover for a while, Captain." I looked her straight in the eye. "There were indications of enemy activity ahead and behind." Whatever she might suspect, I could defend my reasons for leaving the road.
"You were right," she said. "But the area is secured for now, so let's get moving."
By the time I retrieved my jeep the MPs had gone and Wilma was chatting up Maureen. Her prattling ceased, and she began whistling a familiar tune. Everyone looked at my rumpled shirt. I'd scrubbed my face in river water, but...
"Marjoe has lipstick on her collar," Wilma said gleefully, in case anybody hadn't recognized the Connie Francis song. "That doesn’t count, though. She's not off the hook yet, is she?"
Maureen stepped right up to the plate. "Of course it doesn't count. But this should." She put her arms around my neck and kissed me hard enough to weaken my knees. "Thank you, Sergeant," she said, pulling away, "for taking such good care of me."
The captain's face was impassive, except for a twitch at the corner of her mouth. She wiped a neatly folded handkerchief across my lips, gazed at the results thoughtfully, and said, simply, "That will do.”
A week later Maureen wangled a ride with a chopper pilot heading toward Pleiku in the highlands. Two months later she sent a clipping of her first published article. Others followed. I kept them deep in my duffle bag, along with several intimate items imbued with her scent, mementos of a few more rushed, intense encounters scraped out of the quagmire of war. I have them still, wrapped in a rumpled, burgundy-stained shirt that will never be washed again.  







Monday, October 19, 2015

Thunder of War, Lightning of Desire Is Available Now!

Edited to add: The paperback price is now correct on Amazon, $13.50.

Thunder of War, Lightning of Desire: Lesbian Historical Military Erotica is out now in Kindle format! The paperback will follow soon, but Amazon has the price of that wrong just now; it will be $15.00, not $35. Meanwhile, on Kindle it's $6.99.

Here's the Table of Contents, followed by my Introduction, to give you an idea of what these great writers have to offer:

War of the Rebellion
Pascal Scott—1862: The War Between the States: Tennessee

Victoria Janssen—1863: The War Between the States: Virginia

Forbidden Love
J.B. Hickok—1900: The Boxer Rebellion: China

Victoria Janssen—1916: WWI: France

Eagle of Death, Raven of War
Jessica Taylor—1917: WWI: Russia

The Battle of Blair Mountain
Dena Hankins—1921: The Battle of Blair Mountain: West Virginia

The Girl at the Window
Cara Patterson—1942: WWII: Russia

Moment of Peace
Jove Belle—1945: WWII: South Pacific

CB Potts—1952: Korean War: South Korea

Sacchi Green—1969: Vietnam War: Greenwich Village, New York


History, to my mind, is the greatest story ever told. And, as with any narrative constructed by humans, it has errors, omissions, and a fair share of outright fiction. History fascinates me as much as any intentional fiction, even though I’ve come to realize the ways in which the stories of certain populations were told, and not told. Women have been largely ignored by preponderantly male historians, and LGBT people were either ignored or vilified, but in recent years more and more has come to light about their lives and roles, even in warfare, that most dramatic, memorable, and endlessly rehashed area of history.

This book is admittedly fiction. These are stories of lesbians who are active participants in warfare, and of lesbian sex as well, with passionate characters finding each other amidst the storm of war. Women come together for comfort, for relief, driven by adrenaline and hormones, hurling their pleasure into the teeth of mortality and cultural oppression.  They share frantic embraces, or dark humor, or whatever it takes to get them through the night, and through the war.  Tender or raw, harsh or healing, always intense, the sex is as integral to each story as any other component, including the historical settings. 

While the characters and some of the events are fictional, these settings are essentially authentic. There could be endless such stories told, beginning even before what we think of as recorded history. What might Artemis the Huntress with her bow or Athena Promachos with her spear and armor (both traditionally virgins, however that might be interpreted,) or the legends of Amazons, tell us about the unrecorded cultural roles of even earlier generations of women? And what about discoveries of ancient graves where some women were buried along with weapons of war in the same way as men? But for this book we chose to focus our attention on more recent history, from about 1860 to 1970, a span of only 110 years, but years of tremendous change, upheaval, and influence on the world we know now.

We begin, of course, with the American Civil War. Recent research has shown that more than six hundred women—probably many more—passed as men to fight in this war, and that’s not counting the nurses and spies. We can only speculate as to how many of them may have been lesbians (a term not then in use,) but among women with the daring and strength to flout cultural norms and put their lives on the line, the percentage was most likely higher than in the population as a whole. There certainly were some. The boyish Confederate soldier of Pascal Scott’s “War of the Rebellion,” endearingly awkward in a first adventure with both a girl and a mail-order “manhood,” is entirely plausible, and so is the strong minded runaway slave serving with a Union regiment in Victoria Janssen’s “Found”.

Set more than three decades later, with a shift in mood and atmosphere, we have the story of an uprising far away in China, The Boxer Rebellion of 1900. In J.B. Hickok’s “Forbidden Love” an anti-Western-Imperialism mob (backed by the Empress Dowager) forces Europeans and Chinese Christians to barricade themselves in the Legation Quarter of Beijing, and a British army nurse caught up in the furor becomes entangled in political upheaval within the Forbidden City as she tries to heal a desperately ill Royal Concubine.    

A decade and a half later, in World War I (The Great War, aka The War to End Wars,) women served as ambulance drivers as well as nurses. In Victoria Janssen’s “Delivery” a British woman whose company manufactures field telephones gets unexpected transport in an ambulance, and a transformative connection with an Arizona cowgirl volunteering as a driver.  In Jessica Taylor’s “Eagle of Death, Raven of War,”” set at about the same time in Russia, a young recruit with Maria Bochkareva’s Women’s Battalion of Death finds her smoldering hero worship flaring into much more as they brace to charge the German trenches.

Not all conflicts pitted nation against nation. Soon after WWI, in 1921, the United States saw its largest armed rebellion since the Civil War, when miners fighting to unionize in West Virginia bravely faced local, state, and even U.S. Army forces and bombings by U.S. Government planes.  Some strong women worked in those mines, alongside what men were left after WWI, and in “The Battle of Blair Mountain” Dena Hankins shows us two unforgettable characters, mountain-wise and gun-savvy, taking what scant cover they can find from the bombing, and what fierce distraction they can find with each other.
Then another two decades, and, inevitably, another conflict, World War II, spreads across continents and seas. Cara Patterson, in “The Girl in the Window,” shows a Russian woman sniper on duty in the ever-shifting rubble of Stalingrad, and an eerily attractive girl who has her own personal ways of killing enemies. In stark contrast, on the other side of the world, Jove Belle’s American WACs in the South Pacific are stuck against their wills on an island well behind the front lines, where boredom might kill them if they didn’t have each other to explore in “Moments of Peace.”

Another decade. Another war. Nurses in a MASH unit in Korea have no time for boredom, or for anything beyond using all their skill and energy treating massive wounds and eluding enemy shelling, but in “Watching,” by CB Potts, lust finds a way, between emergency surgery and loading patients on helicopters and puling up stakes to move the camp.

Yet another decade, and…well, you know the drill by now. Vietnam. My own story “Danger” takes a somewhat difference tack, with flashbacks to the still-raging war in Vietnam, but also with hints of the lingering effects of war on those who’ve returned. An Army nurse rotated back to duty at Walter Reed Hospital and an AWOL ambulance driver meet in the turmoil of a new kind of battle, in Greenwich Village, New York City, on June 28th, 1969. You’ve heard of the Stonewall Inn? This piece felt strange to write, because I knew the times and the territory myself. I wasn’t there on that day, or days, but I’d been there before, and was there many times afterward. It’s unsettling to think of one’s own life as history. History, though, is endless, as far as our minds can comprehend, and all our stories, all our lives, are ongoing parts of it, whether recorded or not.

Nothing I’ve told you here does justice to the full sweep and complexity of the stories in this book, or the talents of the writers. There are many more stories from this period equally worth telling. Try researching the Dahomey Amazons fighting the French in Africa in the 1890s, for instance, or women working undercover for Irish Independence in the 1920s, or the Russian Night Witches of WWII flying bombers—clumsy biplanes left over from that Great War that didn’t end war after all—to harry the German Army, or Israeli women with the Haganah organization fighting for statehood for decades. The list goes on and on.
If history interests you as much as it does me, you probably know all this already, and if you don’t, exploring any of these would be well worth your while. Unless you have the great good fortune to come across some especially revealing memoirs or letters, though—and please let me know if you do!—you’ll need to rely on your own imagination for the sex behind the warfare. I hope you’re as glad as I am that the writers of the stories told here have already done that for you, and done it so scorchingly well.

Sacchi Green

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sneak Peek at Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year (2016): Twentieth Anniversary Edition

BLE 16 is all firmed up, and I'm fired up! Here's the official list of stories and authors, and my introduction, to give you a sense of what's coming out next February for your bedtime reading delight (or stealthy commuter train pleasure.)

Readings are planned for New York City, a pre-publication event on December 17th in Kathleen Warnock's spoken-word series Drunken, Careening Writers at the KGB Bar, and a post-publication celebration on February 26th at Bluestockings Books, both in the East Village. More readings are in the planning stage.

I'll post a cover image as soon as I have an official one.

Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, Vol. 1 (2016) Twentieth Anniversary Edition  


Introduction  Sacchi Green

Dust  Rose de Fer
Ascension  Louise Blaydon
Tomato Bondage  Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Royalty Underground  Megan McFerren
Reunion Tour  Harper Bliss
Hot Blood  D. L. King
Make Them Shine  Sossity Chiricuzio
Tears from Heaven  Jean Roberta
Luscious and Wild  Sinclair Sexsmith
Smorgasbord  R. G. Emanuelle
A Professional  Rose P. Lethe
Easy  Anna Watson
Grind House  Valerie Alexander
Give and Take  Annabeth Leong
Mirror, Mirror  Frankie Grayson
The Road to Hell  Cheyenne Blue
The Further Adventures of Miss Scarlet  Emily L. Byrne

About the Authors
About the Editor


The Best Lesbian Erotica series has a special place in my heart. Twenty years ago, in 1996, Tristan Taormino and Cleis Press published the first volume of Best Lesbian Erotica, and in 1999, to my amazement, my own very first erotica story made it into that year's anthology. When Tristan Taormino called and said that she loved my piece because it was so different, I was hooked on the series and the entire genre for good. (Tristan also very kindly pointed out the many improvements I needed to make, of course; I had a lot to learn.) Seven more of my stories made it into further editions of Best Lesbian Erotica, although I got a bit distracted in recent years with editing ten themed anthologies of lesbian erotica myself, eight of them for Cleis Press. Editing this one feels like the greatest honor of all.

Back in 1996 there were far fewer markets for well-written lesbian erotica than there are now, but there were many majorly talented writers with the courage and the burning desire to tell the stories demanding to be told, stories that can still stir your senses and linger in your mind. There have been some changes in erotica over the years, largely in how far we dare to go and how much we think we can get away with, but I still remember stories from those earlier years as challenging as any written today.

The main difference these days is in the quantity of lesbian erotica available, and the numbers of people writing it well. For this 2016 edition (the title, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, has changed just a bit, but it’s still the same series) there was a superabundance of excellent work, and choosing was a harrowing as well as stimulating experience. Tastes differ, of course, especially when it comes to erotic preferences, so not every story will push every reader’s buttons, but for me the writers here make this edition outstandingly worthy of Best Lesbian Erotica’s long tradition of sexy excellence.
In the limited space of a single anthology, “best” has to take into account factors beyond any single measurement of quality. An apples and oranges comparison just won’t cut it; envision instead, say, peaches…smooth, rosy, rounded peaches…and pears…and maybe the occasional heavy melon… But don’t worry. No actual fruit metaphors are abused in this book.

Like Tristan way back then, the idea of “best” for me includes “different,” whether it’s a brand-new treatment of a familiar theme, a way with language that makes the words dance to an inspired beat, or a plot I’ve never seen before. Beyond those, each story has to contribute to a balance in the work as a whole, which should include a variety of themes, settings, voices, tone, and diversity of ages, ethnicities and physical attributes. Above all, “best” should mean original ideas, vividly drawn settings, creative imagery, fully developed, believable characters (even if occasionally that requires readers to suspend disbelief for the sake of arousal), and, of course, plenty of steamy sex, with intensely erotic scenes that flow naturally from the story as a whole, ranging from vanilla to BDSM to edgy frontiers that defy classification.

Originality takes many forms. D. L. King melds the familiar tropes of werewolves and lesbian auto mechanics into a character as likable as she is sexy. Megan McFerren’s characters take refuge in a London bomb shelter during WWII. Emily L. Byrne’s brilliant incarnation of Miss Scarlet seduces a police detective in the NYC subway system. Louise Blaydon’s “nice girl” and “bad girl” strike sparks together forming a band on the gritty side of Liverpool in 1961. There are stories with touches of humor, or moments of tenderness, or immersions in the no-holds-barred depths of bondage and the keen pleasures of pain—and now and then all three at once.

What you get, in this anthology, is a seemingly infinite variety of lesbian erotic desires, in all the heat, beauty and power of both our darkness and our light. I’m immeasurably grateful to all these writers who crafted their stories as only each one of them could, and offered them to be included here.
From me, from the writers, and, I hope, from many of you readers; Happy Twentieth Birthday, Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year! Birthday spankings may be in order, but be gentle with your paperbacks. With e-books—well, maybe you’d better find a surrogate spankee. Just read a few of these stories with her to warm things up.

Sacchi Green
Amherst, MA

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year (2016)

Three weeks ago I turned in the manuscript of Best Lesbian Erotica 2016--now with the title changed by the publisher to Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year, Volume 1--and it's scheduled to come out in February. It will be a while before I hear about final approval of each story, but in my opinion (obviously) they're all terrific. It's been a bit of an adventure editing this, since I'm working with new publishing staff with the new owners of Cleis Press, Start/Midnight Publications, and I don't know how their tastes may differ from those I've been accustomed to, but I'm sure the anthology will be worthy of the fantastic series that will be in its twentieth year in 2016. I got my own start in erotica in BLE 99, with quite a few more appearances along the line, so this book has a specula place in my heart.

I've responded to all submissions, as far as I know, so if anyone submitted but didn't get a final response, please let me know.

For folks in the NYC area, it looks like we'll be doing a preview reading there in December; I'll keep you posted.

Here's the link for pre-ordering (yes, I know the cover still has the photo stock markings, but I'm sure that will be dealt with in good time.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Vampire Erotica to Help Nepal

Vampire erotica, and helping Doctors Without Borders with their work in Nepal? Who could resist?

Lisabet Sarai blog's today about her anthology Coming Together: In Vein. All proceeds from sales of the book will go to DWB, and to give you a taste, she's posted snippets from four of the stories, including my post-Civil-War western "Jessebel," featuring a transgender Civil War veteran whose lover, after dying  in his arms in the war, reappears years later as a stunning dance-hall girl in a Western saloon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Best Lesbian Erotica '16 Call for Submissions

Best Lesbian Erotica 2016
Editor: Sacchi Green
Publisher: Cleis Press
Deadline: June 1, 2015 (earlier encouraged)
Payment: $100 and 2 copies of the book within 90 days of publication

Rights: non-exclusive right to publish the story in this anthology in print, ebook and audiobook form. Authors will retain copyright to their stories. Standard Cleis Press contributor contract.

The Best Lesbian Erotica series has a special place in my heart. My first erotica publication was in BLE, many years ago, and I’ve had stories in eight volumes altogether, so I want to make this next edition worthy of the long tradition of sexy excellence. Only you writers can make this happen.
Give me your best work. Is there a story inside you burning to be written, or one already published that makes you especially proud--and extremely hot? I’ll consider up to two submissions per author, between 2000-4000 words preferred length. No simultaneous submissions. I’ll consider reprints, preferably published between June 2014 and June 2015, but hope to be seeing more new, unpublished work.

I want a variety of themes, voices, and tone. Diversity in ages, ethnicities, cultures, and physical attributes and abilities is welcome. The central figures must be lesbian, believable, fully developed characters. Give me vividly drawn settings, and plots or story arcs that grip the reader and don’t let go. Originality is especially welcome; write the story that only you can write. And, of course, I want intense sex scenes that flow naturally from the story as a whole. All flavors of sensuality are welcome, from vanilla to BDSM to edgy frontiers that surprise and startle the reader. A few stories with a speculative fiction bent, science fiction or fantasy, will be considered.

Send your submission as an attachment in .doc, .docx. or .rtf format, double spaced, Times New Roman black font, with story title, legal name, pseudonym (if applicable,) and mailing and e-mail addresses on the first page, to Queries are welcome.

 Writers, start your engines!