Friday, February 15, 2008

Dreams & Desires Vol. 2 authors!

Michele L., you are the winner of a signed copy of Dreams & Deires Vol. 1! Email your mailing address to me and I'll get your book out to you ASAP! gemmahalliday at gmail dot com.

I am uber excited today to have some of the fabulous authors from the Dreams & Desires Vol. 2 anthology here to chat with us today! As I may have mentioned a time or two, all proceeds from this anthology are going to a shelter for victims of domestic violence. A really great cause and an awesome read! To celebrate the release of this second volume, I’ve asked a few of the lovely ladies to tell us a little about their contributions and why they’ve donated. They’ve also agreed to hang out and take questions, so feel free to chat, comment, and ask away!

I'll be giving away a signed copy of Dreams & Desires Vol. 1 to one lucky reader. All you have to do to win is post here between now and Monday!

Ladies, take it away...


I was so pleased to be invited to be a part of Dreams & Desires volumes 1 and 2. Not only are we benefiting a wonderful cause, but the stories in these books are fantastic.

My story in D&D2 is called “Evening in Paris.” It’s a romance about a young woman who may have found her perfect guy, but she’s scared to trust her heart. There’s a voice in her head that’s always criticizing her, making her doubt herself. Over the course of a dinner with her guy, they work out where that voice came from, and . . . well, I won’t spoil the ending!

The inspiration for the story came from a very special childhood memory. My mom had a lovely case of tiny vials of perfume, each with a colored bead at the tip. The vials were color-coded and – yes, you guessed it – one was Evening in Paris. When she and my dad went out somewhere special, I’d watch her get ready, doing all those special, grown-up, feminine things.

And then, to put it my heroine Leslie’s words, “The very last thing was the perfume. We’d debate the choices then she’d let me break off the bright glass bead. She’d put her finger to the end of the vial then touch her pulse points, even the backs of her knees – isn’t that sexy? Then she’d dab a little on my wrists and behind my ears. I’d be sitting on the end of my parents’ bed in my flannelette jammies, with my stubby nails painted, smelling like a sophisticated woman.”

It was a special time for me, with a special woman. And that sense of “special” formed the foundation of my story.

Susan Lyons


Ever think what you’d wish for if someone handed you a magic lantern and a genie popped out? I have.

Wish No. 1 -- To Rule the World.
If I ruled the world, there would be no hate, no wars, no poverty, no violence or crime of any kind. But the chances of me getting elected Queen of the Universe are pretty slim.

Wish No. 2 -- To Have Lots of Money.
Bill Gates or Warren Buffet type money. Not because I want a yacht or lots of bling or a penthouse in Manhattan (okay, being a diehard city girl, I’d really like a penthouse in Manhattan but there’s no way that’s ever going to happen, given the price of NY real estate!) No, I want lots of money so I can give it away to people in need. Unfortunately, very few of us authors make enough money to quit our day jobs, let alone have discretionary income to donate anything substantial to worthy causes.

Wish No. 3 -- To Make a Difference.
Which brings me to the reason for this blog. When I come across something I can do that doesn’t involve writing a check so small my contribution seems meaningless, I jump at the chance. Which is why I contributed to last year’s Dreams & Desires: A Collection of Romance and Erotic Tales and why I’m honored to have been asked to contribute to this year’s Dreams & Desires: A Collection of Romance Tales, Volume 2.
By doing something I do all the time -- writing -- I MADE A DIFFERENCE. Wish No. 3 came true. Maybe the money raised only helped one person break the cycle of abuse, but that’s one less abused person, and that’s a huge achievement. And now maybe another person’s life will be changed for the better because caring people purchase Dreams & Desires: A Collection of Romance Tales, Volume 2.

I am thrilled that Freya’s Bower has given me the opportunity to help people in this way. The story I’ve contributed is called Portrait of Love. Here’s a blurb:
In a last ditch effort to stave off foreclosure of her home, Amelia Gordon puts all her hope -- not to mention most of her dwindling funds -- into a plan that relies on the kindness of one particular stranger. However, Rick “Colesteen” Hewitt is no knight in shining armor. Or is he?

I hope you’ll purchase a copy of Dreams & Desires: A Collection of Romance Tales, Volume 2 and help change someone’s life for the better.

Lois Winston


In "Ashes to Ashes", a widower finds new value and hope in protecting a stand of old growth forest--with a little unwanted help from his rabidly green sister, a green-tinged workmate, and a jar of unknown ashes.

This story deals with a local issue, yet its ramifications are worldwide. Tasmania (where I live) has some of the oldest forests on earth, and the world’s tallest flowering plant, the Mountain Ash. These magnificent trees are constantly under threat from the clear-felling slash and burn. While I accept our need for timber, I fear we’ll only regret our current practices too late to save these ancients. It’s time for us to care on a personal level, and in doing so we’ll mend our own hearts.
Why does an Australian writer get involved in Dreams and Desires 2008 anthology when all money raised goes to an American battered women’s shelter? Because the treatment of women is also a global issue and I’ve always believed in the power of group action. Women everywhere deserve the right to be safe and whole. We are our sister’s keeper, or in this case liberator, and it warms my heart to support the extended hand of help. I hope you will dig deep and get behind this worthy project.

Babe King


“Maze Bright” is a short gay romance story about two graduate students
with very different personalities. Shy Jerome is attracted to Ben but
never thought he could truly have the man of his dreams. This story is
about the limitations we can place on ourselves by not daring to follow
our desires.

I enjoyed being part of Dreams and Desires I and suspect I gained more
from the experience of taking part in this anthology with all these
great authors than I would from any royalties.

Emily veinglory


“Dancing Cheek to Cheek”

Kelley grew up watching 1940s Hollywood musicals, so it's not surprising she teaches ballroom dance lessons. Unfortunately, most of the guys in her dance world are either gay or in their seventies, so her dreams of being swept off her feet on the dance floor are fading fast.

Amanda Brice


What a great collection, huh? And these are only a few of the 19 different stories - from sweet to hot, historical to contemporary, paranormal to suspense, and everything in between - that are in the Dreams & Desires Vol. 2 anthology. If you haven't picked one up yet, I highly recommend it. And if you have, well, what did you think? Got a review for us? ;)

~Trigger Happy Halliday


Jenny Gardiner said...

Hi Ladies! Gemma, thanks for hosting everyone on Killer Fiction today! Meant to post mine but had computer issues and lost my huge list of reminders when I had to reboot my computer so I forgot! Oops!
Anyhow, I too, was thrilled to be asked to contribute to this collection, as it's wonderful to be able to help out such a worthy cause. My story is about a woman trying to overcome the prejudices of her own family about how she "should" look, as opposed to how she does look, and she finds an unlikely ally in her brother's best friend (and childhood crush) at a most uncomfortable family gathering.
Hope you all enjoy these wonderful stories that such a terrific line-up of authors has contributed to!

Rhonda Helms said...

Nice--this was a great post about some of my fellow anthology authors!! And it's a fantastic cause, too!

Christie Craig said...

Wow. These stories sound really wonderful. Congrats girls on the book and all for a great cause. You girls, rock.

Crime Scene Christie

Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks for stopping by, ladies! I've already blabbed all about my story here, so I'll just say I was thrilled to be asked to participate in such a worthy cause. We raised a wonderful amount of money for the shelter with last year's anthology, and I hope we can raise even more this year!


Susan Lyons said...

Our comments about following dreams reminds me of an email I got from a fan in Germany. She wrote it in German, which I can't read, but I was so curious that I found a kind friend of a kind friend who translated it.

After saying complimentary things about my book, she went on to say that she so admired writers. She'd wanted to write herself but her husband had been so negative that she gave up on the dream.

I wanted to say all sorts of rude things about her husband - but I don't know them and maybe he's a wonderful guy, and perhaps he even had good reasons for discouraging her. What I did say was that I hoped she didn't let anyone discourage her from following her dreams.

And that's what I wish for all of us. In our day to day lives we get so caught up in the immediate chores and responsibilities, we're so practical in our focus, it can be easy to lose sight of our dreams. And it can be easy to let things and people discourage us. But we do all need dreams to pursue, to put those day-to-day tasks into perspective and remind us there's a bigger picture.

So, let's all take a few minutes today to focus on our dreams and reaffirm their importance in our lives.

Anonymous said...

Great post and I agree, it sounds like this is a great book...for a wonderful cause, too.

Susa, I love the story of your fan letter, and on your advice to never give up on our dreams. My favorite saying is from Galaxy Quest - Never give up. Never surrender.

Words to live by.


Gemma Halliday said...

Faye - I love that quote, too!


Unknown said...

Hello Ladies, Great post. This book sounds like a great read. Sounds like a great collection of authors and their stories. I love reading books like that. I will start looking for the book.

Anonymous said...

Susan- My grandmother had some of those vials of perfume and they fascinated me too. Several came in one box and you could vary your scent day to day provided you didn't nick yourself on the jagged glass! Oh the memories...

Estella said...

Good post. This book sounds like a great read!

Susan Lyons said...

Beth, that's so cool. How nice to run into someone else who shares a similar memory.

And yes, Faye, never surrender!

Unknown said...

Each year I am proud to be a part of something produced by women for women. It's fabulous to see, even if I wish there wasn't a need for such an anthology.

It's also great when I get to meet the other authors at conferences. I know we already have more in common than just being between the same cover. It's a passion for us all.

Michele L. said...

Hello to all the fantastic authors who gave up their time to contribute to this fantastic anthology for a wonderful cause!

I must say the compilation from all these talented authors is a winning combination! This is definitely a must read!

Susan Lyons couldn't have said it more perfect. We all must hold onto our dreams, for to dream we aspire to greatness. Who knows what tomorrow brings? Your dreams can make a big difference in the lives around you and in you. So hold fast to your dreams!

Michele L.

Unknown said...

love anthologys, i get to meet new authors sometimes, and when want to read a book, but not really get into a long 500 page book, anthologys is GREAT

Gemma Halliday said...

I agree! I love that when I have a just few minutes, I can read an entire story in this book!


Michele L. said...

Woohoo! Thank you so much! This is a fantastic book!

Michele L.