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To Love and To Cherish – for Everyone

February 6, 2010

One of the Twitter trends I follow regularly is #marriageequality. I popped over there last weekend to see what was new and found this link to an article at Stltoday.com. Quoting from the article, “When [Missouri] Highway Patrol Cpl. Dennis Engelhard was killed in a Christmas Day traffic accident near Eureka, the agency described him as single with no children.” The article continues, “Engelhard, hit by a car that lost control in the snow, was gay. He left behind a partner of nearly 15 years who was not mentioned in his obituary or official information released by the Highway Patrol, although members of the agency knew about his sexual orientation.”

Our son has been partnered for nearly a decade in a state that does not sanction marriage equality. If something happened to either him or his partner, neither would be entitled to any death benefits. In fact, civil marriage carries a total of 1138 federal benefits and responsibilities that are not available to same-sex couples, even if they live in a state that recognizes their marriage. You can find a summary of these rights at Marriage Equality USA.

Why do the two halves of Adriana write what we write? Of course, we write because we love erotic fiction, and we love reading and writing loving relationships and hot sex across a range of gender combinations and polyamorous groupings. But also, as lifelong activists, we write to lift up the right of all persons to freedom of sexual expression – in short, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We hope you’ll enjoy some of the fruits of our labor. Together with fellow authors from Sapphic Planet, we’re part of an anthology of lesbian love stories being published this month by LoveYouDivine Alterotica. Entitled To Love and To Cherish, the fourteen stories will be released over the first two weeks of February, first as a series of three e-books, and in print as a single volume on Valentine’s Day. All profits from this collection will go to benefit Marriage Equality USA.

 

Our story, “Embracing the Fire,” is in volume three, Lives and Wives, releasing as an e-book on Friday Fbruary 12. Here’s a blurb and an excerpt to whet your appetite – come join me at Midnight Seductions Yahoo Group  Saturday February 13 for a chance to win an autographed print copy of the entire collection!

And be sure to check out Lara Zielinsky’s radio show “Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women’s Fiction” for a 2 hour launch special for the complete anthology, in print, on February 14, 2010. Both halves of Adriana will be there, and I’ll be reading an excerpt from “Embracing the Fire!”

BLURB

The deep chill of a Vermont winter will require lots of firewood, so canoe and wilderness guide Brandy Latham welcomes the help of her best friend, Stephanie Watkins. Together they saw, split and stack as they’ve done for many years – but what will happen when new fires ignite between them? 

EXCERPT 

Bending over in the shower, Brandy welcomed the shards of water slicing across her lower back and buttocks. Although she guided fishing parties on area lakes, even the work required to set up and break up camp and paddle canoes against the wind didn’t compare to the strenuous exercise of sawing, splitting, and stacking wood. 

She turned and soaped her breasts. If she was aching, how must Stephanie be feeling? Stephanie seldom guided anymore. Since she’d had to support her loser of a husband she’d taken on the job of assistant manager at the grocery store-a job with stress, but not as physically demanding as guiding or sawing wood. 

Brandy shuttered her eyes and let the steaming water have its way. Would Stephanie welcome a massage? It had been on the tip of her tongue to invite her to share a shower, but that would’ve been too much, too quick. 

Not that she hadn’t waited for years to follow up on that one night of bliss they’d shared after their high school graduation. Well, at least it had been bliss for her. It might not have been quite that for Stephanie. She had hooked up with Jerry as soon as he’d gotten back from his Guard weekend. Then they’d gotten serious. 

Cringing, Brandy still hated remembering having to stand beside Stephanie at the wedding. That had been pure hell, but Stephanie never noticed. She thought she was entering heaven. The bastard even tried to hit on Brandy a couple times. After the first time she said something to Stephanie, but she was beyond listening. From that point on Brandy bided her time trying to be supportive but doing nothing to sour the friendship she and Stephanie had shared from the time either one of them could remember. 

Stepping out of the shower and grabbing a towel, Brandy worked on her hair and tried to keep her pulse steady. She would never do anything to sever their relationship, but she had to know if there wasn’t more possible for them. She knew her own heart, but she wasn’t certain Stephanie had a clue. 

She thought she’d caught Stephanie eying her differently a few times over the last couple months. Her divorce had been final for three months now. As far as she knew, Stephanie wasn’t dating. And she’d certainly know if she was. She doubted there was a secret between them-except for her desire to love Stephanie wholly and completely.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2010 7:06 am

    Excellent point, Adriana! And I loved working with your story “Embracing the Fire” for the To Love and To Cherish collection. Volume 2: With This Ring came out yesterday. And Volume 1: On Bended Knee came out back on January 29. As Adriana mentioned, the print edition, and the third volume both come out next weekend. So stay tuned to the authors of SapphicPlanet for the latest news.

    Drawing:
    In an email to contest@lzfiction.net let me know of one other story or book title by either Adriana or Kissa and you’ll be entered in a drawing for one free e-copy of Volume 2: With This Ring. Deadline for all entries is 11:59:59 pm, Eastern U.S. time, on Sunday, February 7, 2010.

    Lara Zielinsky
    co-editor, To Love and To Cherish
    loveyoudivine Alterotica

    • adrianakraft permalink*
      February 6, 2010 8:42 am

      Thanks so much, Lara – I loved working with you and Beth Wylde as editors and creators of this project. Sapphic planet has been a terrific place to hang out and meet other authors who are dedicated to equal treatment for lgbt romance, who lift up the beauty and excitement of love in all its manifestations, and who are excellent writers in addition. I am so pumped for this project!!

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  1. TWELVE DAYS OF LOVE – DAY 8 « Adriana Kraft

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