Spotlight & Excerpt: Viking Quest + Author Interview

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Viking Quest Cover

Title – Viking Quest
Author’s name – Edale Lane
Genre: Historical fantasy adventure/lesbian romance
Publisher: Past and Prologue Press
Cover Artist: Enggar Adirasa
Release Date June 28, 2021
page count 229

When secrets and lies threaten the throne, can a fierce champion tame her passion in time to stop a cruel enemy’s ruthless march?

Jutland, Early 11th Century. Viking Warrior Princess Lena craves revenge. Hunting a killer after her husband is brutally slain, she discovers a shadowy traitor is at play behind the scenes, working to disrupt the balance of power. But she places her need for vengeance on hold when the king falls gravely ill, and sails out along with the pretty slave she rescued to locate a fabled healer.

Gunnar is loyal to the core. But when his lord orders him to sabotage the princess’s royal mission, he’s plagued by an unfamiliar sense of doubt. And after he witnesses the courageous woman and her crew save his life in a vicious storm, he’s no longer certain he’s fighting for the right side.

Beset by foul weather and an uncharted island of trolls, Lena fears she’ll never avenge her husband’s death… even as her heart softens towards the lovely Celt girl she longs to embrace. And now Gunnar must decide where his fealty rests as the tides turn to war.

Can Lena and Gunnar survive a bloody grab for power and find a true home for their hearts?

Viking Quest is a breathtaking historical fantasy novel. If you like principled characters, battles of conscience, and tender F/F romance, then you’ll love Edale Lane’s action-packed epic.

Content Warnings: Battle violence, mention of off-scene rape, ff kissing with assumption of off-scene sex

Buy Viking Quest to destroy a fearsome foe today!

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Wide eyed, Caitlin shuddered at the thought of his intention. It was always worse when he was drunk, when he would hit her and degrade her as he forced himself upon her. After being whisked away from her homeland across the waters, bought and sold by others, she had been only a few weeks in this man’s possession and her will to resist and escape had not yet been broken. But now, as he presented her with his sharpened knife, she was more frightened than before of being cut or killed. If he did pass out, she could use the blade to sever her bindings and run; if not, her prospects just became bleaker.
Suddenly, the door flew open before an avenging angel. Caitlin was struck with a thrill of exhilaration as the Viking warrior woman stormed through, exuding power from every inch of her strikingly beautiful body. She was tall, with chestnut hair and fiery brown eyes that matched the stance of her toned figure. “You,” she commanded with a stony stare at Caitlin’s captor. “Take your sword and face me like a man instead of the snake you are, for I am not accustomed to murder, as are you.”
Startled by this interruption, the man spun his head and torso toward the door. He seemed to recognize the shield maiden for his face paled, his eyes widened, and his mouth fell agape. He scrambled off the bed, almost falling flat on his face. “Wo, woman, what do you want?” he stuttered as he tried to gain his bearings.
“Justice; that is all,” seethed her icy reply.
The man glanced about the room, spotting his sword several feet away. The Viking advanced and drew her weapon without ever taking her eyes off him. “You must have made a mistake,” he said, trying to stall as he reached for his sword. Caitlin scooted back in the bed against the wall behind her, pulling the covers up, mesmerized by the liberator who was certainly the answer to her prayers come to save her. She is everything I wish I could be! If I had her confidence and skill, I need ne’er be afraid. No one would ever own me again!
“No, you are the one who made the mistake,” the enigmatic woman stated.
The dirty little man grabbed his sword, held it in front of him, and shuffled along the wall until he had passed the bed. “I am not who you seek,” he said.
The Viking answered with her blade, the hard steel drawing sparks as it struck his. “Oh, yes, you are,” she spat with venom. “I want to see the look on your face when I run you through the way you did to Gilivar.” She lunged at him with her sword and he could barely deflect the strike. He held up his weapon, waving it about in a feeble attempt to save his life. Backing away from her stronger blows, the man overturned a chair in her path and then the table.
“You pathetic worm!” she derided, kicking the furniture aside. “Why would a swine such as you dare to kill a prince? Who paid you?”
“You wanna know?” He grinned, trying to mask his fear, no doubt, for his hands still shook. “Perhaps you should know, but I cannot tell you if I’m dead.”
“Speak while you still have breath then,” she retorted as she delivered a powerful blow which knocked the weasel’s sword across the room.
“You must promise to let me live,” he insisted.
“I only promise to kill you if you do not.”
“It was,” he stammered in a shaky voice. His glazed eyes darted about and Caitlin supposed he was trying to fabricate some excuse to offer. Her heart raced at the thought of the fate that awaited her tormentor. She didn’t wish him dead, but neither would she mourn him.
“Uh, what I’m tryin’ to tell you… the German baron, Rhinestein. He wants Pomerania for his own holdings and, and an alliance with king Svein would mean his defeat. So you see, he wanted to start a war between your countries. Then when the fighting was done, he’d move in and take over.” He waited breathless, glossy eyes still wide, as the Viking woman pondered his story. Then a stony expression came over her.
“You lie.” She jabbed her sword deep into his abdomen and pulled it out with a jerk. In a cry of pain, he crumpled to the floor, grabbing his wound and staring up at her in horror. “Baron Rhinestein died last week; he was an old man of seventy-five and hadn’t walked for years. You should have told the truth.”
The little man squirmed with a twisted mouth as he tried to hold back the river of blood that flowed from his belly. “You can’t win,” he gasped. Then he motioned for her to come closer. She knelt near him, but was clearly still alert, sword in hand. “The enemy within,” he began, then stopped to swallow and breathe, his eyes closing for a moment. “Is greater,” he continued, forcing his heavy eyelids open. “Than the enemy without.” With that, he exhaled, convulsed, and eked a shallow last breath.
The Viking rose, wiped the blood from her sword on the hem of his robe, and replaced it in its sheath. Taking a deep breath, she stepped over the corpse, heading for the door. “Wait!” Caitlin cried out. She was free, but that was only the beginning. Surely her avenging angel had seen her and would not leave her alone in her predicament.

Lena stopped and turned in the direction of the plea, noticing the girl with sun-kissed hair. Although her senses had taken in her presence, the singleness of her purpose had blocked the girl out; her mission now accomplished, she came back to herself. The woman was young, frightened, and alone. “What? He killed my husband; I’m sorry, but he deserved no less.”
“Sorry? I thank ye—ye’ve saved me!” she gushed with emotion overwhelming the foreign lilt in her voice.
Lena noticed that the girl’s hands were tied, so she took a moment to draw the small dagger from her gauntlet and cut her bonds. “There you go. All free now.”
“Please take me with you,” she implored with hopeful verdant eyes.
“I can’t.”
“Listen.” She vacated the bed and stood before Lena. “My name is Caitlin and I am Gaelic. Raiders took me from me home in Eire and sold me as a slave. This man,” she said pointing, “treated me cruelly. I don’t know anyone in this town; I have no one and nowhere ta go. I ask only you let me serve ye ‘til I can get back to me home.” Lena studied the young woman, her bruises, her youthful innocence. She could be a beautiful girl, and obviously needed help, but Lena had things to do and could not waste precious time. “Please,” Caitlin repeated, touching her hand to Lena’s arm, her eyes lipid pools of green. “Don’t leave me.”
Lena stopped everything at Caitlin’s touch. She stopped calculating, stopped hating, and even stopped grieving. A peculiar sensation enveloped her, one she could not interpret. Mayhap it was the desperation in the girl’s lilting voice, or the hope that shone on her face. Lena did not know where the surge of compassion came from that flooded her soul, but she could not turn young Caitlin away. It was inconvenient and had all the potential for disaster, distracting her from her mission. Nevertheless, she could not bring herself to refuse her request. Lena’s features softened as she let out a sigh. “Very well, but I must make haste and cannot have you slowing me down.”
“I won’t, and that’s a promise!” Caitlin beamed excitedly.
“Dress with haste; we will be riding,” Lena instructed. At once, Caitlin gathered a peasant blouse, full skirt, shoes, and a wrap and went about frantically changing into them.
“Ye’re a Dane warrior, aren’t ye?” she inquired admiringly. “A real shield maiden?” Lena nodded in response. “How excitin’! The good Lord sent ye ta rescue me, I know He did.”
Lena let out a little chuckle at the youth’s hero worship. “I’m Lena, and I came here to kill the man who murdered my husband, not to rescue anyone. But, here we are. Are you ready?”
Caitlin’s bright eyes shined at Lena, and her head bobbed in an exuberant nod. “Aye; let’s be off,” she proclaimed as she stepped around the dead man’s body. Then she added in quiet sorrow, “I’m sorry for yer loss, truly.” She spared one glance down at the blood-soaked corpse. “He was a horrid wee man.”

Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
I wrote this story twenty-four years ago but never published it. I wanted to cast a powerful woman in the lead role of a Viking adventure because who doesn’t love a sword wielding woman warrior? It was the only book I ever wrote that my mother had the opportunity to read as she passed in 2000. This spring I took it off the shelf and totally reworked it to bring it to date and recast Caitlin as Lena’s love interest rather than mere friend.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
Though I have a master’s degree in history, Scandinavia was not my area of specialty, so I learned more about the Danes, the Irish at that time period, and details about Leif Erikson that were omitted from general history texts.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
That I finished! Twenty plus years ago, that was a rarity. Also it surprised me that the rewrite went so quickly, but with five other novels under my belt by now, I am getting faster.

4. What does the title mean?
The working title was “Lena the Viking”, but that was really lame. She leads an expedition on a quest, so Viking Quest sounded much cooler!

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
Leif Erikson was an actual person, and though a minor character in this novel, I did much research to portray him properly. There was a King Cnute who ruled both Jutland and England during this time period (between the action in this book and the invasion of William the Conqueror, 1066) so one may use his/her imagination whether or not his mother was a fierce warrior-princess.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Naturally! There’s the whole good v. evil thing going, but also compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, and the process of making difficult decisions that require putting duty above preference. One character in particular, Gunnar, is placed in a moral dilemma in which he must choose between his oath of fealty to a murderous lord and his sense of honor and indebtedness to the young man who saved his life.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
My mother’s favorite part was the visit to the troll village on an uncharted island north of Britannia; therefore, it is also my favorite. Once again, my aim was to be creative, entertaining, and still reflect on human behavior in a way that is relevant today.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
The most complex character to create was Gunnar, as he faced the tug-of-war moral decision. But Caitlin was challenging because I wanted to make her “Irishness” stand out in an authentic way. I enlisted the aid of a cousin in Northern Ireland for dialect then had to tone it down so the general reader could understand what she says.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
I am almost finished writing the fourth installment of my Night Flyer Series, Missing in Milan, and then the grueling editing process begins! Hoping to have it released before the end of August.

Author information

Edale Lane is an award-winning author (Rainbow Awards, Imaginarium Awards, Lesfic Bard Awards) who also drives a truck. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication regarding research. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. When not driving around North America, she resides with her partner in beautiful Chilliwack, B.C. Canada.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: House of Agnes + Giveaway

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House of Agnes
by Fiona Zedde
Genre: LGBTQ Lesbian Romance


A lesbian romance filled with intrigue and sizzling sexual tension as enemies discover that the other side of hatred…is desire.

Agnes Noble is private, mysterious, and untouchable. She rules House of Agnes, the most exclusive escort agency on the East Coast, with a diamond fist. Crossing her is a mistake no one makes twice.

Investigative reporter Lola Osbourne is not afraid. She’s gunning for the House and its so-called queen. She’ll make sure no other innocent gets dragged into Agnes’s alluring web, to be used and discarded the way Lola’s sister was.

But her plan to get close to the elusive madam shatters the moment her eyes meet the Queen’s. One look and everything’s different. More complicated. Dangerous.

Now, Lola’s not just fighting to topple a queen from her throne, she’s also scrambling to escape their explosive collision with her suddenly vulnerable heart intact.

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house of agnes teaser 1

houseofagnes - excerpt
“You know, all work and no play makes Queen Agnes a very dull girl.”
Agnes saved the spreadsheet on her computer and looked up, masking her irritation at being interrupted. A glimmer of light fell over the bare shoulders of the woman walking into her office unannounced, the emerald minidress a complement to her slim but curvaceous figure. The woman’s high heels teased the marble floor, and her smile said she wanted a lot more than a talk.
“It’s a good thing I’m not a girl then.” She sat back in her leather executive chair, giving Rox the attention she obviously wanted. “The evening went well?” Although if it hadn’t, one of Agnes’s security people would’ve let her know long before now.
“Just as expected.” Rox gave her trademark smile, the one that regularly had men and women offering up thousands of dollars to spend a few hours with her.
She pulled a small stack of bills from her cleavage, all hundreds and all miraculously dry, and laid it on Agnes’s desk. “It went very well, actually. And I kept the tip.” Her cheek dimpled and her red mouth glistened in the soft golden glow from the Tiffany desk lamp. “Care to help me celebrate?”
Before Agnes could accept or refuse the offer, Rox shrugged off her dress. It slithered from her body and pooled around her feet in a puddle of green satin.
Agnes drew in a breath. The lamplight played over Rox’s curves, showing off her high breasts with nipples stiff from the arctic air-conditioning. Her belly was tight with muscle and her hips rounded and smooth. The V at the joining of her thighs was completely bare of hair.
Bald vaginas had never been Agnes’s thing.
She sat back in her chair and rolled her favorite pen between her fingers, leisurely appreciating all the ways Rox had taken care of her body.
The woman was beautiful. Truly. From the loose waves of hair around her fashion model face to her long legs and every worthwhile stop in between. But Agnes didn’t fuck any of the women who worked for her. Never had, never would.
They all knew that and, Agnes was well aware, still tried to make a game of seducing her. She’d seen plenty of naked women before though, had touched enough of them, had made them come. There was nothing special she could have by drinking from that particular well.
“I’ve already had my dinner for the night,” she said with slightly pursed lips, finally smiling when Rox huffed out a sigh of frustration and picked up her dress.
They’d done this dance too many times before for Agnes’s refusal to come as a surprise.
“Look at you,” Rox went on. “With your gorgeous face, all that flawless skin, those tits and legs any girl here would kill for, you’re perfect. But you might as well be a statue for all the use you make of what some of us go under the knife to get. It’s a waste.”
Even for Rox, this was a little far. She usually only took it as far as a little flirtation, flashing bare breasts or sending suggestive texts. However, her attempt at cruelty was nothing compared to what Agnes had suffered on a daily basis at the hands of the man who’d raised her.
“Are you quite finished?” Agnes didn’t hide her amusement at the pathetic stab.
It made her glad, these flashes of meaningless challenge she saw in Rox and some of the others. Before, with her father, they’d been too terrified to do more than breathe around him. Now, they felt safe.
Rox made that frustrated sound again. “Fine, but you can’t sit here untouched in your glass tower forever. One day, you’ll have to let someone in, let them touch you, and feel what it’s like to be a real woman instead of a queen of air and broken dreams.” Rox draped the three-thousand-dollar dress around her neck like a scarf and turned on her stilettos, her nude body again shimmering faintly in the light. “Good night, Queen Agnes.”
“Good night, Rox.”
Agnes went back to what she’d been working on before the interruption, paying scant attention to the petulant stab of high heels into marble as Rox walked away. She barely glanced at the stack of hundreds, content enough to know it was there.
“Oh, God, I’m so sorry!” Her assistant, Clare, rushed in, slight color in her cheeks despite the level tone of her voice. “I tried to stop her from interrupting you, but that woman who keeps trying to see you called again.” She swept up the cash Rox left and sat down on the nearby leather sofa to count it.
“Next time our persistent mystery woman calls, just put her through to Whit.” Whit was Agnes’s personal security. “As for Rox,” she said with a faint quirk of her mouth. “I can handle a woman trying to seduce me.”
Clare acknowledged the order about the mystery woman with a nod. “Was that a seduction? It looked like an ambush to me.”
“To certain wildcats and other prey animals, it’s the same thing.”
Clare snorted and tapped the neat stack of hundreds she’d just counted. “It’s all here. Five thousand.” She made a note on the iPad she always carried and put the money in the floor safe hidden underneath a waist-high bronze statue of Oshun. “By the way, Rox requested the next week off.”
Agnes mentally consulted the schedule. “Of course. She’s earned it. Give her two weeks if she needs more.”
“You know she won’t.” Sitting once again on the sofa, Clare started doing something on her iPad that involved lots of fast but silent typing. “She’d want to get back to work as soon as whatever is keeping her away gets sorted.”
The “whatever” was probably a woman, maybe even someone Rox met on one of her recent assignments. Incredible. Sometimes Agnes was surprised at the stamina Rox had for someone her age. Agnes liked sex as much as most, but she couldn’t understand doing it for work then running off and doing it for fun too. Which was probably why she wasn’t having any sex at all.
“I just sent her the approval of the next week off and your offer for the one after that.” Clare interrupted Agnes’s useless musings on her sex life. She darkened the iPad’s screen and put the device face down on her lap.
“Perfect.” Agnes tapped the mouse to wake up her own screen. A reminder to herself that she still had work to do even if a part of her wanted to step out and breathe different air. “Thank you. You can head home now. I know it’s late.”
“I don’t mind staying.” Clare gave her quick smile, hands tucked in her lap. A trick she used to seem vulnerable and compliant when she was anything but. It also was a trick she didn’t need to use with Agnes. But habits were hard to break, especially ones painfully learned.
“I know, but you need to go home so I can have a clear conscience.” Agnes made a shooing motion toward the door. It was already half past five on a Friday afternoon. Although Clare’s cat wouldn’t be calling the cops to find out where her human went, Clare still needed some time away from The House. Even if she didn’t want to admit it.
“I’ll go, but only if you do too.”
Agnes raised an eyebrow, giving her assistant a single glance.
“Fine. I’ll stay out of your affairs.” Clare stood up, smoothing down her skirt. “You should leave, though. I’m sure there’s someone out there who wants your company.”
Agnes smiled at that not-so-subtle way of trying to find out what was going on in her life. They’d worked together for over five years now, the entire time this current version of The House had been in existence. Despite that, Clare—and most of The House’s employees—knew nearly nothing about Agnes’s personal life, and she preferred it that way.
She’d made The House of Agnes from the ashes of what it had been and created an image for herself—deliberately remote yet fair, untouchable, and just a little bit dangerous—so their competitors didn’t get any foolish ideas. That cultivated persona wasn’t easily worn, but she kept it up in all areas of the business. She didn’t become or stay Queen Agnes by allowing everyone to know intimate details about her, such as whether or not she had a family and, if so, where they lived. Not that many people even knew where she lived.
Her business details, though, were more public. It was common enough knowledge that the top three floors of this twenty-story building housed her offices plus a pair of penthouse apartments for her exclusive company use. H Holdings, the name The House of Agnes did business under, quietly owned the whole building and rented the rest of it out to other businesses.
“Thank you, Clare. I’ll only be here another hour or so anyway.”
“All right. I’ll keep my cell phone close if you need me.” Then, with another apologetic smile, her assistant was gone.
Agnes waited until she heard Clare’s footsteps disappear down the hallway toward the elevator before she stood. Her bones hurt. She stretched her long body and sighed at the sensation of moving muscles held too long in one place. The outer glass walls of her office, tinted and bulletproof, reflected her figure against a background of the night’s darkness. High heels, matching gray skirt suit, white blouse with the high collar held closed by a diamond brooch. Cool. Professional.
Clare was right, though. It had been a long day, and this suit she wore, both the face and the outfit, were pulling tight now over her skin. She ached to get rid of them.
So, she did.
She slipped out of her suit, the matte heels, her boring blouse. Unpinned the stern updo. Her reflection this time was very different from the one everyone saw. Her nearly six-foot body, nude except for the plain black bra and G-string, straightened hair loose around her face and brushing the AC-hardened tips of her breasts. As Rox had so charmingly stated, not bad for thirty-six.
The freedom of being nearly naked and away from the scrutiny of others made her close her eyes for precious seconds. Then she shook herself. It wasn’t as if she had all night.
In the closet, she chose pink. A knee-length pencil dress with three- quarter sleeves and a high neck. It looked good, softened her usually remote-looking features, and hinted at an innocence she no longer had. She stepped back into the matte heels. An attempted smile in the mirror looked more like a snarl, but that was all right too.
After setting an alarm on her phone, she took her private elevator down to the garage. There, she climbed into one of her anonymous-looking cars and drove toward her private club, where she usually ended up at least once a month. It was a routine Whit repeatedly warned her to break.
But she didn’t want to.

Fiona Zedde is a Jamaican-born novelist and short-story writer who currently lives and writes and Tampa, Florida.

She is the author of six novellas – “Pure Pleasure,” “Going Wild” and “Sexual Attraction” appear in the collections, Satisfy Me, Satisfy Me Again, and Satisfy Me One More Time, respectively.

Her novels include Bliss, A Taste of Sin, Every Dark Desire, Hungry for It, Kisses after Midnight, and Dangerous Pleasures. To find out more about her, log onto her website at

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Crystal’s House of Queers + Giveaway

crystal's house of queers


Book Title: Crystal’s House of Queers

Author:  Brooke Skipstone

Publisher:  Skipstone Publishing

Cover Artist: Cherie Chapman @ccbookdesign

Release Date: May 24, 2021

Genres: LGBTQ Fiction, Lesbian Fiction/Suspense, Lesbian Romance, Coming of age

Tropes:  Friends to lovers, found family, power femme

Themes: Forgiveness, no secrets, overcoming past abuse, fight because we love

Heat Rating: 3 – 3.5 flames

Length: 93 000 words/ 330 pages

It is a standalone story.

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June 26 – July 2

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crystal's house of queers

Three senior girls in rural Alaska escape their abusive pasts by raising their dyke flag for themselves and their community.



Crystal Rose woke up at three in the morning today, drenched in sweat and breathless after another sex dream with Haley Carson. Later at school in the tiny town of Clear, Alaska, Crystal saves Haley from an assault by her abusive boyfriend.

The two girls renew a love started years ago that had to stay hidden until now. But with Crystal’s grandparents in the hospital with Covid and the possibility of her drug addict parents returning from a 14-year absence, Crystal needs Haley as much as she needs Crystal.

They connect with Payton Reed, a gun-toting artist who helps them feel proud to be gay and willing to stand up to anyone. Together they struggle to make Crystal’s house safe for those who are hated for their love.



Crystal’s room is small with drawings and photos stuck randomly all over the walls—closeups of  leaves, flowers, and berries; intricate natural designs created by Labrador tea, spider webs, and lichen; every local animal, including a grizzly sow and two cubs digging through trashcans from this past June; sunrises and sunsets plus northern lights; and, of course, line drawings of her house and family, along with pages of self-portraits. Crystal’s entire world greets her every morning and evening. Nothing is ever removed or covered, just added to, now up one corner of the ceiling. A large white board on one wall displays a self-portrait drawing of Crystal sitting.


Haley stands in the doorway, open-mouthed, trying to absorb it all. “Damn, Crystal, you are something. I love this.”

Crystal smiles. “I’m glad. So do I.” She opens her closet to show Haley her clothing options, including a never-worn pair of stretch jeans Crystal bought at Value Village in Fairbanks—a size too big for her, but a size too small for Haley.

“I’m not sure my butt can fit into these,” says Haley, holding the pair waist high. “You’ll have fun watching me put these on.”

“Oooh, do I get to watch?”

“Certainly.” Haley raises a brow and half smiles as she pulls off her sweatshirt.

Crystal’s breath catches in her chest as her mouth gapes open.

“Oops! I forgot to pick out a shirt. Can I use your robe until I find something suitable?”

Crystal’s face reddens. “Sure.” She removes her robe and tosses it to Haley, who then tosses it on the bed. “Now we can stare at each other.”

Crystal licks her lips. “You are so evil.”

“I’m just getting started.” She tilts her head and cocks a brow. “Do you like evil?”

“So far.” Though she’s afraid her heart will burst, it’s beating so fast.

“Great.” Haley moves toward Crystal until their chests touch. “I love your drawing on the white board. Would you do another of me? Maybe one of us kissing?” Haley touches her lips to Crystal’s.

“Yes.” She struggles trying to pull her phone out of her pocket while Haley rubs her tongue tip over Crystal’s bottom lip. Gasping for air, Crystal asks, “Do you want me to take a pic or not?” Haley smiles and steps back a little. Crystal props her phone against the mirror on her dresser and sets the timer. “We have five seconds.”

Haley moves her hand to Crystal’s neck as they kiss. The camera takes the picture, but they don’t separate.

 After a few more seconds, Haley pulls back just enough to speak. “You are the best kisser. Even in fifth grade I liked kissing you. Think of all that time I wasted.”

“We have plenty of time now.” She grabs her phone and shows Haley the photo. “I like that. I can draw it now, if you want.”

“Yes, please.”

“Hold it for me.” Crystal takes her drawing pad and pen from her desk and sits in her chair.

Haley holds the phone against her cleavage, her boobs hanging over her arms. “Is that good?”

Crystal stares and shakes her head. “Evil. Pure evil!”

“Just focus on the photo, Crystal.” Haley slowly sways her torso, making her boobs jiggle close to Crystal’s face. “Can’t you focus?” Her voice drips with seduction.

Crystal clears her throat and closes her eyes. “I think I can. I think I can.” She takes a deep breath, opens her eyes, and places her pen on the paper. Haley sways faster. Crystal starts a line then runs it off the page. “Can you please stop moving?” she pleads, unable to turn away from Haley’s breasts. “Just for a few minutes?” She rips off the page and readies another.

Her voice coy, sweet, and sultry—“As you wish. I’ll stand perfectly still.” She holds the camera away from her body, partially covering her breasts.

Crystal starts a line under her chin, sweeps down to make hair, then her face and lips before moving to Haley’s lips, hair, and then ending with her hand. She stares at the drawing for a few seconds then turns it around. “What do you think?”

 “Oh, my god! I love it. We look good together.” She gives Crystal a kiss. “Thank you. Thank you.”


About the Author 

Brooke Skipstone is a multi-award-winning author who lives in Alaska where she watches the mountains change colors with the seasons from her balcony. Where she feels the constant rush toward winter as the sunlight wanes for six months of the year, seven minutes each day, bringing crushing cold that lingers even as the sun climbs again. Where the burst of life during summer is urgent under twenty-four-hour daylight, lush and decadent. Where fish swim hundreds of miles up rivers past bear claws and nets and wheels and lines of rubber-clad combat fishers, arriving humped and ragged, dying as they spawn. Where danger from the land and its animals exhilarates the senses, forcing her to appreciate the difference between life and death. Where the edge between is sometimes too alluring.

Crystal’s House of Queers is her third novel. 

Visit her website for information about her first two novels, Some Laneys Died and Someone To Kiss My Scars.


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