Dena Hankins - Author

My Summer of Boi

by , on
June 21, 2016

My hair’s growing out a little, getting thick and wavy. My warm winter layers have been washed and stowed in the compartment under the forepeak berth.

As my body comes out from hiding from the cold, I go through a metamorphosis. My female marked body begins to lead me toward sexy, fitted clothing that makes me look like the people I’m attracted to, while my agender core bucks against letting people think they know me by my tits and ass.

The result? This year, it seems, will be the summer of boi.

Tank tops over sports bras. Hairy legs under swimming trunks. Messy hair, sweat, and sunscreen.

Some of it is queer signaling (hello? do you see me?), but mostly I realize what I’ve done after the fact, with reflection from the people around me and the swiftly moving reflections in shop windows.

And the timing is perfect. My story, Teamwork, in Sacchi Green’s excellent book, Me and My Boi, features college sailors, prepping for the racing season. Their genders are touch-and-feel, want-and-wonder, see-and-be-seen.

Here’s hoping you find them as endearing as I do now, several years after I wrote them.

Sun baked the concrete pier and heat seeped into the boat shed, abandoned and echoing on Labor Day.  Tilly shifted the wide straps of her sports bra.  They cut into the muscle she’d put on for the racing season.

“Come on, Tilly, don’t just stand there.”  Spin stood next to her, legs spread.

“Yeah, yeah.  Hold your horses.  We’re supposed to stretch between sets.”

“You weren’t stretching.  You were playing with your bra.”  Spin nudged Tilly with a sweaty elbow.

Tilly rolled her eyes and set up for the two-person rope pull.  She leaned back against Spin’s pull, letting the rope out slowly, and watched Spin’s triceps flex at each push backward.  She increased the resistance to make Spin work harder and sighed at the shifting muscles in Spin’s arms.  Envy and desire, and nothing to do about either one.

When Tilly reached the end of the rope, they switched jobs.  Tilly pulled against Spin’s resistance and her upper lip rose in a sneer of effort.  The forward arm had the easy job.  It was the push backward that fucked her up every time.  Sweated ran down her temples and her shirt clung to her back.  Her stroke shortened and Spin barked, “All the way back.”  Tilly pushed harder and her sneer turned into grunts of effort.  After ten sets each, with a different arm forward each time, Spin pulled the rope free with a flourish.  She walked to the ceiling beam with as much swagger as ever, but Tilly was gratified to see that her shirt was soaked in sweat.

Tilly hooked her fingers on the pillar and stretched out her chest, watching Spin toss the line over the ceiling beam and pull into her own stretch.  Arms flung wide and eyes closed, Spin leaned forward, pulling both arms back.  Tilly’s mouth went dry at the sight of her bunched shoulders, lean arms, and the slight curve under the front of her shirt.  When Spin twisted her hips to stretch her back and sides and belly, Tilly’s mouth was the only dry part of her body.

Here’s the list of links to all the posts in this Blog Tour, and details on how to enter the drawing for a free copy of the book.

Me and My Boi Blog Tour Links

June 12—Sacchi Green—

June 13—Annabeth Leong–

June 14—Anna Watson—

June 15—Sinclair Sexsmith–

June 16—Jove Belle–

June 17—Tamsin Flowers–

June 18—Victoria Villasenor—

June 19—J, Caladine— 

June 20—Victoria Janssen–

June 21—Dena Hankins–

June 22—D. Orchid—

June 23—Pavini Moray–

June 24—Melissa Mayhew—

June 25—Jen Cross—

June 26—Kyle Jones–

June 27—Gigi Frost–

June 28—Aimee Hermann—

June 29—Sommer Marsden—

June 30—Axa Lee—

July 1— Kathleen Bradean— 


Anyone who comments on any of the posts will be entered in a drawing for one free copy of the anthology. You can comment on more than one post and be entered more than once. The winner will be announced and notified by July 5, if not sooner.

Heart of the Lilikoi Scheduled for Oct 13 Release

by , on
February 4, 2015

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.