HEART 2 HEART ANTHOLOGY
May Archer * Charlie Cochet * Alison Hendricks * Sloane Kennedy *Lucy Lennox * Ruthie Luhnow * Lily Morton * Chris Owen *Poppy Dennison * Hailey Turner * A.E. Wasp
RELEASE DATE: 02.07.18
COVER DESIGN: AngstyG/www.angstyg.com
ANTHOLOGY EDITOR: Leslie Copeland
BUY LINK: http://getBook.at/Heart2Heart
Once upon a time, a bunch of authors wondered… What if a dating app that guaranteed you a love match broke down just in time for Valentine’s Day? What if you found yourself on a blind date with a random guy who might be your opposite in every single way? It could be a disaster. Or… When the code breaks down, fate just might take over.
Eleven of your favorite gay romance authors have joined forces to light up your Valentine’s Day with a collection of sweet, sexy, silly, and hot short stories, featuring a wacky cast of characters chosen from your reader suggestions! Morticians and magicians, superheroes and spies, lawyers and lobstermen, will all learn that love has nothing to do with algorithms… and sometimes you find it in the least-likely places.
And the best part? All proceeds from this collection will go to the authors’ favorite LGBTQ charities, to ensure that love in all its incarnations will be celebrated and protected every single day of the year!
It will only be available for 90 days, so Tuesday, May 8th will be the last time you can purchase this anthology.
Over 162k words total, contemporary MM romance
The Criminal and The Sommelier
Can you tell us a little bit about your characters?
The Criminal, Angel, is around thirty and has a reputation with law enforcement and his fan base for committing daring and lucrative thefts. Phillipe, the Sommelier, is a prissy fellow who discovers that the idea of adventure and daring, far removed from his real life, is as heady as any wine.
Was writing this story easy for you to do? Or was it a little bit outside of your normal writing zone?
I really got into this story for two reasons — I got to research wine (and found sommelier classes near my home!), and I got to let my imagination spin out threads of fantasy that were more in line with White Collar and James Bond. The world of classy crime is too often neglected. 😀
The characters you had to choose from were readers’ submissions, correct? Were there any other characters you considered writing about before you chose this couple?
There were so many! Tattoers! Assassins! Lawyers! Florists! There was just about every job imaginable among the selections, and the mad-lib style of getting the submissions immediately spoke to my imagination.
What were some of the reader submissions that stood out to you, and why?
Well, the two I chose, for obvious reasons. I was also drawn to the assassin, the cop, the lawyer, and I think there was a spy. I left those for the more general ‘criminal’ because I’m already working on a series involving assassins and spies, and didn’t want to overlap too much. But it’s clear that my heart is leaning toward angst and adventure!
How did you come to be involved in the Heart2Heart Anthology?
I got a wonderful email from Leslie, inviting me to take part. I was immediately in love with the premise — what could be more fun than opposites attracting?
Since the anthology is only available for a limited time, (90 days) do you have any plans for your story after that?
At this point I think I’ll likely offer it for free on my website, although I’ve already heard that a few readers would like more from Angel and Phillipe!
Have you ever been involved in a group project like this before? What were some of the challenges you had to face?
I‘ve had stories in anthologies before, and I’ve done stories for charity, but never like this. This project was completely immersive for all of us, from day one. We were never on our own — we had to work together to nail down points (day of the week, what happens in a year or two??), and we had to confer if anything was set to overlap with another story. It was an amazing experience — and so fast! I think it was three months from proposal to release!
I typed ‘Angelo Ramos’ into the Google search bar and let things unwind into… complete blandness. He wasn’t there, as far as I could tell. No social media that popped up with embarrassing photos of nights out in college, or a collection of photos of his children. Or, rather, there were far too many Angelo Ramoses out there to find the correct one.
I tried various alternates — Angel Ramos, Angelo Ramos Broker, Angelo Ramos Art Broker, Angelo Ramos Finder. Nothing showed up. I got a glass of water and stared at the screen. I wasn’t a novice at internet searches. Granted, I was almost always searching for wine, but it couldn’t be that much different. Rare vintages and single bottles were almost impossible to find. A man can’t be that much harder, especially since he seemed to have had involvement with the law.
I typed in ‘Angelo Ramos thief’ and clicked on the link for News.
He was the fifth link, a news story that was three years old. Ramos Decision Delayed, Victim Changes Tune. Well. That was an eye-catching headline. I read on and discovered that Angel had allegedly relieved a woman of her pesky thirteenth century vase that was cluttering up her vault, and the FBI had pursued him across multiple state lines. When he was finally apprehended he was without the vase but with a pile of cash. Thus caught, he was charged and incarcerated awaiting trial for all of nineteen hours before posting bail. He was good enough to follow the rules and presented himself in court on the appointed date, whereupon the plaintiff promptly withdrew the charges. Something about getting the vase back and how it had all been a mistake worthy of an Abbot and Costello script.
I scrolled lower in the list of links that the search engine had spit out. He was there, but the news story wasn’t about him; he was just in a photo taken at a gallery opening. And further down from there was an arrest for stealing a necklace in Los Angeles. Later, his name appeared in an article about the glamorous life of high end thefts — and that one had a link to a forum and message board.
Apparently there really are fans and devotees of almost everything. In this case, there was an active message board about art theft, with separate boards for paintings, jewelry, pottery, books, antiquities, spirits, gold, sunken ship treasures, coins, and stamps. I found fans of Angel’s in several of the forums, and four hours after I started looking for him online I found a link to a message group completely devoted to him.
The sun came up before I’d gotten to the end of all the posts. To some of the writers he appeared to be a hero. He’d taken objects (allegedly) from some of the biggest bastards in the business world, simply because he could — according to the writers. I had an idea that Angel probably got paid by someone else. Assuming, of course, that the tales were true in the first place). To others he was an adventurer on par with the Three Musketeers, or Jason Bourne, doing all kinds of daring deeds in order to meet his objective. He scaled walls, he infiltrated security teams, he defied all the laser beams that technology could create. If he couldn’t break into a safe, he walked off with the safe. He danced with beautiful women in public and dazzled them so much that it was days later that they realized he’d waltzed off with their diamonds and pearls.
I made myself a cup of coffee, my tie undone and still draped around my neck. The top two buttons of my shirt were undone, and I hadn’t slept in almost 24 hours.
Did you really swim through a lake to take a tiara from Mrs. Bradshaw? I didn’t think he’d reply to my text, but the idea of that particular story was so unlikely that I simply had to ask. Oddly, I could totally picture him climbing the walls of an Italian estate in order to get his hands on a painting in the dark of night.
Twenty minutes later my coffee was gone, and I was undressing to take a shower before I went to bed for a few hours’ sleep.
It was not a lake so much as it was a creek, and I waded. Ruined a perfectly good suit. I couldn’t find trousers to match the jacket, later.
I found myself laughing as I stepped into the hot water. It figured.
We are pleased to be donating 100% of our proceeds to 3 wonderful charities:
The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Bisexual Resource Centre: http://biresource.org/
One n Ten: http://onenten.org/
We encourage all readers to learn more about these groups and consider making a donation of your own. Every little bit helps.
What began as a random idea quickly turned into a collaborative and completely voluntary effort from 11 authors, more than 130 readers, cover designer, 2 proofreaders, and one cat herder to keep it all together.
Readers were asked to submit ideas for characters, both typical and off-the-wall, and from that list, each author picked 2 seemingly mismatched guys and helped them find love.
May Archer – The Baker and the SEAL
Charlie Cochet – The Assassin and the Dog Walker
Poppy Dennison – The Electrician and the Event Planner
Alison Hendricks – The Professional Gamer and the Paranormal Photographer
Sloane Kennedy – The Florist and the Lawyer
Lucy Lennox – The Uber Drive and the Phone Sex Operator
Ruthie Luhnow – The Lawyer and the Lobsterman
Lily Morton – The Tattoo Artist and the Writer
Chris Owen – The Criminal and the Sommelier
Hailey Turner – The Superhero and the NSA Agent
AE Wasp – The Magician and the Mortician