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 Professional Gamer and the Paranormal Photographer
Can you tell us a little bit about your characters?
Sure! The characters I chose are Lawrence and Allen. Lawrence is an out and proud professional gaymer who competes in tournaments and makes his living entertaining viewers on Twitch. Allen is a freelance photographer who’s absolutely enamored with the Victorian era and the ghost photography taken (and fabricated) during that time.
In addition to their very different professions and interests, Lawrence is more of a skeptic, and Allen really isn’t sure about the whole “playing games as a career” thing.
But deep down they’re both sweet guys who are extremely passionate about the things (and people) they love.
Was writing this story easy for you to do? Or was it a little bit outside of your normal writing zone?
I chose this prompt because I knew at least half of it would be easy. I’m a lifelong gamer. The NES was my very first console, and I’ve been playing games ever since. They have helped me through some of the toughest times in my life, and there are so many games that provide such a unique, moving experience. I wanted some of that passion to come out in Lawrence.
When it comes to Allen, though… I’m not a skeptic, per se, but looking at all of those old photographs, my gut reaction was that they were faked. I had to do a lot of research for his character, and I found some images that truly blew me away with how haunting they were;. I can easily see how someone would gravitate toward that hobby.
What were some of the reader submissions that stood out to you, and why?
I’ve written a lot of sports romance, so careers like rugby player, hockey player, MMA fighter definitely stood out to me. There was also a lion tamer and an anthropologist pairing that I think would’ve been just hilarious to write!
Since the anthology is only available for a limited time, (90 days) do you have any plans for your story after that?
I will probably offer the story to my newsletter subscribers. Beyond that, Lawrence and Allen may inspire more characters in future novels. I may even have them make a cameo somewhere.
What do you think of the line-up of authors? How does it feel to be in such great company?
I’m truly honored to work with every author who’s a part of this anthology. Some of them are old friends, some are new to me, but they all put in such an awesome effort and their stories are fantastic.
Other than your own, do you have a favorite story (or two) in the anthology?
Definitely Lucy Lennox’s story about a phone sex operator and an uber driver. It blends her signature brand of humor with a sweet and sexy story that is a fantastic read from start to finish.
Have you ever been set up on a blind date? If yes, how did it turn out?
Thankfully, no! I have been on a very, very bad date though, during which it was obvious we were not the least bit compatible. He spent the whole time bad-mouthing exes and talking about a *very* specific future he wanted, and it never went beyond that first date.
If Heart2Heart were to match you with someone, who do you think you’d get paired with?
Oh gosh. If the code was faulty again? Probably someone who loves going out and being social all the time. That is so not me. My introverted self-cringes at the thought.
“And this one is from later on, after Lawrence and Allen are beginning to realize they’re not nearly as different as they thought.
“Do you want to try one?”
“I might screw it up.”
“That’s why negatives exist, “he says with a reassuring smile.
So I agree to it, and I let him guide me through the process. Allen is a calm and patient teacher, and his voice is soothing in my ear. There’s something soothing and almost romantic about working in the dark like this, and I can see how someone might be able to spend hours doing this
As the image starts to form on the photo paper, though, I see something weird. The spot right by my camera setup is blurry, almost like it’s out of focus. But nothing else in the photograph is like that, and as I squint harder I can see a white smudge right behind the camera itself.
The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, and I look to Allen with wide eyes.
His gaze is riveted to the picture.
“This can’t be…”
There has to be some kind of explanation. A speck of dust on the negative. A malfunctioning of the camera. Some other perfectly reasonable thing that must have happened when he took these shots.
I can’t believe I’m staring at some kind of… apparition.
“It could just be nothing,” Allen says, and I let out the breath I’d held, “but it looks promising.”
Promising? As in there might be some kind of spirit haunting my house promising?
For a second I play with the idea that Allen is just punking me. He could have set all of this up, arranged the whole thing just to mess with me. But when I look over at him again, his face has taken on a boyish sort of wonder. His full lips are parted, his eyes practically dance with excitement, and he’s just radiating this warmth and energy that makes me want to be a part of it.
I look at the photo again, and I just start laughing. Not a mean, dismissive laugh. Not even an incredulous one. Just a laugh that matches the vibes Allen is putting off perfectly.
He joins in, his eyes crinkling at the corners. And then we both stop, still smiling, just looking at each other in this quiet, almost surreal moment.
Something passes between us through this shared experience, and I swear I can almost feel an invisible force pulling me closer to him. Allen must feel the same, because he steps into me, until our bodies are inches away from each other.
I lean down, keeping my eyes open to see him, to make sure this is something he wants. But his eyes are already closed as he meets my lips, both of us getting swept up in the moment.
His mouth is soft and sweet, and I can feel some part of me just melt when I kiss him. It’s that warm, tingly feeling I haven’t felt since I was a teenager–a sensation that starts at my lips and goes all the way to the tips of my toes, making them curl in my shoes.
Neither of us try to make more of it than it is. My tongue sweeps over his bottom lip, but that’s as far as it goes. There’s no rush, no push to do anything other than enjoy the moment.
I draw back, smiling like an idiot with my sideways ball cap, my lips still tingling from his kiss. “So what does this mean?”
I’m not sure if I’m asking about the photo or the kiss. Maybe both.
“It means there could be something here.”
Again I don’t know if this is about the photo, the kiss, or both, but I know what I’m hoping for.
“Yeah,” I say, a little breathless. “I think there is.”
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 he 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