My latest release is a short-story ‘Hot Air’  in the Coming Together anthology of lesbian erotia ‘Girl on Girl’ edited by award winning author Leigh Ellwood.  I’m thrilled to be included in this book.  It also feels a little strange being the one male author in the anthology.  I know most authors in the erotic genre are female, and it’s not the first occasion this has happened, but it’s doubly strange with it being a collection of stories with a lesbian theme.  I guess I have to be satisfied I pulled off that writing challenge!

It’s also nice that all authors for ‘Coming Together: Girl on Girl’ have waived any royalties and all proceeds of the anthology go to the (US) National Center for Lesbian Rights.



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 Story synopsis

When Sally Sparrow-hawk, the renowned Edwardian lady parachutist comes to a Gala in her home town Kitty is so excited.  She will do anything to meet her heroine so she climbs into the balloon before its ascent.  When she emerges from under a piece of tarpaulin and makes herself known, her horizons are widened in more ways than one!

The Pickering Gala of 1911

My own contribution to Coming Together: Girl on Girl is a lesbian encounter in a hot air balloon set at Pickering Gala in 1911 when balloon ascents and parachuting were a big attraction at such events.  For non-UK readers Pickering is a market town in Yorkshire in the north of England.

The idea for my story came from seeing some Edwardian photographs of the Gala.  My wicked imagination added the lesbian twist! I’m not going to talk about the remarkable real life story of the lady parachutist Dolly Shepherd, which inspired the story, as I wrote a blog about her last year.  But whilst I was writing the story I did do a little bit of research about Edwardian Galas and their attractions.  This included a visit to the fascinating Belle Isle Museum in Pickering, which has a small panel about the 1911 Gala and Dolly Shepherd’s visit to the town.  It was also very lucky that a local photographer was there and took several photos of the event.

These events of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras were the HD tv and 3D cinematic blockbusters of their day.  They must have brought real colour and excitement into people’s lives.  They were big attractions that attracted thousands of people in an era when the working classes were just beginning to get some real leisure time.    In a rural market town like Pickering they were a combination of country show and fairground attractions.  At the 1911 Gala the balloon ascent got top billing but there was also a pageant, an athletic display, a dog show, Skaife’s Prize Band, a ball and a firework display as the finale.

The balloon ascent


The crowds at Pickering Gala