Lysistrata Cove has launched

Now for attaining escape velocity!

I’m getting feedback already, some of which is exciting, some of which is absolutely thrilling.

Sally Bend reviewed Lysistrata Cove on her review blog Bending the Bookshelf, and she pinpointed some things I’m truly proud of.

First, who wouldn’t love seeing this:

Honestly, this is one of the most remarkable erotic romances I have had the luxury to enjoy in quite some time. There is a lot going on, both on an emotional and an intellectual level, but it all meshes together in a queer, kinky, seamless fashion.

Second, I was worried that this part wouldn’t translate, so this got a full fist-pump:

…what Eve is after is a really fascinating idea, and one that is sure to make readers think about creative freedoms, copyright laws, and piracy.

Yes!

Lysistrata Cove is also mentioned in The Pleasure Lab podcast #22. It’s about a third of the way through and is more about my lifestyle (sailory, not sexuality) that my writing, though I get good props there too.

All right, Lysistrata Cove – go, be free! Fly into many many hands!

WIP Wednesday

I’ve recently found the Facebook phenomenon called Binders.  The Binders Full of Women Writers and the spin-off groups for subcategories like romance, travel, and “rainbow” writers are active, vibrant communities of women sharing their successes and spreading word of opportunities.

The romance binder has organized a Work in Progress (WIP) Wednesday.  I imagine the intent was less transparent than this post, but being new to the binders makes me want to show some appreciation for these women and their willingness to support one another.  I’ve gotten new Twitter followers from the binders already, and now I’m hoping to see some new traffic on this site.

With that background established, I’ll move on to the actual purpose of the post.  Heart of the Lilikoi comes out October 13th and I’ll debut it at the Provincetown Women’s Week in Massachusetts.  It is still my work in progress, though I’ve sent it to my Bold Strokes Books editor and my Hawaiian-language editor.

Romantic suspense is a new subgenre for me and I found it both fun and tough to write.  Fun in that I was able to explore human motivation in all its aspects, not just the romantic.  Tough in that I have a hard time getting into the heads of characters I don’t like.  Living with these people for such a long time, living in Hawaii with them and shaping their reality with my words, tested my determination.  I move often and easily, but I stuck with these folks to the end of the first draft and through subsequent rewrites.  Now that I’ve reached the point where my world is getting outside visitors, I’m looking forward to jumping back in and seeing how I like the place I spent so much time.

Here’s a taste of the beginning.

Kerala circled the plot of land, striding from the black beach cliff to the rough lump of exposed pāhoehoe lava that marked the far edge of the construction site. Salt glistened in the bright, tropical sunlight wherever waves had crashed ashore. The Kona side of the Island of Hawai’i didn’t get enough rain to wash it away.

She mounted the hill and turned to look back at the marker flags and check their positions. The litany of what’s-next flowed inexorably in her thoughts, but her eyes focused on the job at hand. She took a step to the left.

The hill disintegrated under her boots.

Surfing the lava-rock wave, Kerala dropped ten feet in an instant and thought, oh, shit.

Near the bottom, her feet scraped against the flattening slope and she crumpled, curling and dropping a shoulder faster than thought. She and the rubble hit the bottom of the grade and she rolled until she cleared the falling debris.

Momentum spent, she lay on her side and kept her arms around her head for a moment, listening to the ground. Adrenaline sharpened her senses. Tender, tough greenery lay smashed under her. Its freshness complicated the smells of saltwater, dirt, and sun-heated lava rock. She listened closely, tensed to move, but only small spills continued from the top of the new slope. When she confirmed she wouldn’t be buried under another rock fall, she rolled onto her back and stretched out flat. She opened her eyes gingerly and blinked into the tropical sun, feeling along her bones and muscles from the inside. No real injury.

A burst of fury propelled her to her feet.

Shouts and commotion from the top of the hill cascaded toward her as several men slid-fell to where she stood. By the time they reached her, she had checked the newly exposed rock for clues on why the grade had given way. She would hurt like a bitch later, but she’d use the adrenaline high while it lasted.

When the crew supervisor, Jack Zelinski, stepped forward, he did so with all the care of a handler feeding a tiger.

“Quite Inventive Sexually” ALA Reviews Blue Water Dreams

I always go for the sexual references.  Not that this is news to me or anyone who’s been friends with/followed/slept with me over the years.

The American Library Association has a sub-group called the GLBT Round Table, which has published a review of Blue Water Dreams.  Its tone reminds me strongly of the librarian in Moses Lake, where I went to high school.  She took her job seriously and gauged each book almost dispassionately.  The same tone is clear in the review, even with multiple references to sexy-times.

The reviewer finds it “refreshing to read a love story where there is no jealous triangle” and notes that Lania and Oly are both “fairly free of hang-ups” (which made me smile).

The wrap-up has the tone that I referenced above.  It’s so wonderfully librarianish that I’m going to quote the whole last paragraph.

Blue Water Dreams falls well within the expectations of the romance genre, albeit with an atypical male lead. It may appeal to romance readers who are willing to try something a little different. It may also find a readership among trans men for the ways it affirms their sexuality and desirability.

Heart of the Lilikoi Scheduled for Oct 13 Release

Hot news in the cold.  Bold Strokes Books has contracted my next book, Heart of the Lilikoi, and scheduled it for release on October 13th – right at the beginning of Provincetown Women’s Week.

Heart of the Lilikoi is romantic suspense, with plenty of the usual Dena Hankins flavor.  Gender, social justice, steamy sex, colonialism, and the concept of home get a thorough exploration against a background of passion and regret, love and hope.

The book has been listed on GoodReads and Amazon which is the first step (I learned from Blue Water Dreams) down the road toward realization of this manuscript I’ve been working on for years.

Heart of the Lilikoi contrasts with Blue Water Dreams in almost as many ways as it is similar.  The main characters are older, more mature, and far more sure of what they want.  The suspense creates a darker tone, and it’s harder to see how these amazing people are going to end up together.

Here’s the blurb for the back of the book:

Human remains tangled in lilikoi roots bring the authorities to Kerala’s construction site. Native Hawaiians say the passion fruit vine marks an ancient burial ground protected by guardian spirits, the ’aumakua. But these aren’t ancestral bones. The fractured skull points to murder.

Secrets, sabotage, and indigenous sovereignty campaigns hinder the project Kerala leads: building an eco-dream vacation home for Ravi, CEO of a solar power company. Proud to be a tough dyke in the trades, Kerala can’t believe she’s so hot for the masculine genderqueer scientist. Their sexual connection is volcanic, but Ravi’s craving for love and family aggravates burn scars from Kerala’s past. As the lovers pursue justice for Hawaii and its people, Ravi turns his gift for harnessing the sun’s strength toward cultivating his own power, and Kerala wonders if building deep, lasting love could be even more satisfying than constructing a home to last the ages.

 

Out in Print Best of 2014 features Blue Water Dreams

Out in Print has done it again!  They had great things to say about Blue Water Dreams in their review last week, and they were impressed enough to put the book on their Best of 2014 list.

One of ten books chosen, it seems to be the only romance on the list and one of three published by Bold Strokes Books.

How cute is this?  “In fact, it has some extremely hot sex–something I neglected to mention in the original review because I was so blown away by how well-drawn its characters are and how naturally they interact.”

What a thrill!

Book Tour Video: Flying to Seattle

And off I go!  Today, I’m going to walk to the train, train to the shuttle, shuttle to the Boston-Logan, fly to SeaTac, and bus to Tacoma, where I will be picked up by the lovely and gracious Victoria, who is putting me up for my first book tour event.

In the meantime, I made a video from the boat.  It’s both a taste of me reading from my book and some chat.  Not least, it’s a reminder to buy the book!  Here you go – I’ll make it simple.  Click here to go to the BoldStrokesBooks.com page for Blue Water Dreams.

And with no further ado, I give you…me!

San Francisco welcomes book tour at Good Vibrations

Dena Hankins will be at Good Vibrations, in the Antique Vibrator Museum, for a group reading September 29th and an erotica reading workshop September 30th.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

Publishers Weekly says this about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

Good Vibrations Polk, 1620 Polk St, San Francisco, CA
http://www.goodvibes.com/content.jhtml?id=New-Polk-Good-Vibes-Events

9/29/14, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Queer Prism: Readings by Eric Andrews-Katz, Dale Chase, Dena Hankins, Clifford Henderson, Kathleen Knowles, and Felice Picano
Smut, humor, memoir, romance, intrigue, and outlaws—queer fiction runs the gamut.  This tasting menu of characters will make you laugh, cry, and squirm in the most delicious ways.

9/30/14, 6:30pm-8:30pm
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/845246
Open Windows: Look Inside with Erotica—Fantasy or exactly what you did last night, words add power and excitement to sex. Erotica and romance writer Dena Hankins will ask which words turn you on, and whether you want to try what you just read about. Let’s talk hot language, exploring new ideas, and sharing stories with your lovers.

Good Vibrations has been creating a buzz since 1977.  They’ve been trusted for over three decades to provide high quality products, education, and information that promotes sexual health, pleasure, and empowerment. Having invented the concept of the clean, well-lighted vibrator store, they’re proud to provide a safe and welcoming environment where customers can shop for sex toys, books, movies, and attend workshops.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League and Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, and the In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Portland, OR, stop for book tour at In Other Words Feminist Community Center

Dena Hankins will lead a workshop on reading erotica at the In Other Words Feminist Community Center on September 23rd, 2014.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 23, 2014, 6pm-8pm
In Other Words Feminist Community Center, 14 NE Killingsworth Street, Portland, OR
http://inotherwords.org/events
https://www.facebook.com/events/710153919056947

Open Windows: Look Inside with Erotica—Fantasy or exactly what you did last night, words add power and excitement to sex. Erotica and romance writer Dena Hankins will ask which words turn you on, and whether you want to try what you just read about. Let’s talk hot language, exploring new ideas, and sharing stories with your lovers.

In Other Words is a non-profit, volunteer-run, feminist community center in Portland, Oregon. Their mission is to support, enrich, and empower the feminist community through literature, art, and educational and cultural events. They have a storefront that serves as a book store, a lending library, and a venue for feminist events.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League and Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up in Seattle, WA, Orca Books in Olympia, WA, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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Olympia, WA, Stop for Book Tour – Orca Books

Dena Hankins will visit Orca Books for a reading with Eric Andrews-Katz, David Holly, and Jeffrey Ricker.  She is touring the Pacific Northwest to promote her queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, published by Bold Strokes Books and available through major distributors.  The tour mixes readings, discussions, erotica reading workshops, and visits to groups for transgender people and their allies.

Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams:  “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”

September 21, 2014, 3pm-5pm
Orca Books, 509 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA
http://www.orcabooks.com/event/bold-strokes-lgbtq-fiction
https://www.facebook.com/events/448702635270216

Orca Books is the largest independent bookstore in Olympia, Washington, located in the heart of downtown’s vibrant shopping district. They stock new and used books, cards, and journals, and are proud to carry many locally-produced items by Olympia artists and craftspeople. They also offer coffee and tea from Olympia Roasting Company.

Other stops in the tour include the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in Tacoma, WA, The Art of Loving in Vancouver, BC, the Gender Justice League and Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up in Seattle, WA, In Other Words Feminist Community Center in Portland, OR, and two events at Good Vibrations in San Francisco, CA, at their Polk Street location.

“I love these people,” says Dena.  “The characters in this queer/trans* romance are fierce, passionate folks struggling to balance magnetism and self-sufficiency, trying to love all the way to the core without losing themselves in the process.  You will be rooting for them to get it on and fall for each other.  I hope you read the book and fall for them too.”

Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it.  After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams.  Read more: www.denahankins.net.

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