Raise your rainbow umbrellas high and celebrate!
Enjoy this enchanting, entertaining and thought-provoking collection, a heartfelt expression of what it means to be queer in Britain, past and present. All these stories reflect the iconic sights and national character of the British Isles: a taste of our idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, but also an unashamed representation of the love, loyalty and laughter of our people.
Including a wide range of style and subject, this is the perfect way to sample different authors and to find both existing and new favourites. Follow the British way of life from historic villages to modern cities, from the countryside to the sea, through history and with a fantasy twist, in gardens, churches, campus and the familiar, much-loved local pub.
The stories cover universal themes of romance, desire, remembrance and reconciliation. The authors range from multi-published to up-and-coming, and they all share a passion for their characters, whether through great drama, erotic excitement, humour — or a combination of all three!
Contributors include: Alex Beecroft, Jennie Caldwell, Stevie Carroll, Charlie Cochrane, Lucy Felthouse, Elin Gregory, Mara Ismine, Clare London, Anna Marie May, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, Zahra Owens, Jay Rookwood, Chris Smith, Stevie Woods, Lisa Worrall, and Serena Yates. Edited by: UK MAT (UK Meet Acquisitions Team).
This anthology is a souvenir of the 2011 UK Meet, an occasion for GLBTQ supporters to get together in a relaxed setting to celebrate and chat about the fiction community they love. Funds from the sale of this anthology will go towards future UK Meets, to which all are welcome. Please visit the website for details, or contact UK MAT through the publisher.
Beside the Seaside
I was so engrossed in staring at the designs in the window of the tattoo parlour that I almost jumped out of my skin when the door was pulled open and a girl stepped out onto the pavement beside me.
My face must have expressed my shock because she looked at me, smiling, and said “Are you OK?”
“I’m fine,” I replied, noting immediately how cute she was. “You just startled me, that’s all. I was miles away.”
She motioned towards the window. “You thinking of getting one?”
I shrugged. “Yeah, maybe. I’ve been toying with the idea for a while, but I’ve just never gotten round to it. Did you just get one?”
“Not this time, no. I was just popping in to let Steve know how pleased I was with my piercing. It’s all healed up great.”
“Your piercing?” My eyebrows raised of their own accord as I studied her and saw none, bar the ones in her ears, which looked like they’d been there for some time.
Grinning wickedly, she then stuck out her tongue. With her short dark hair and cheeky dimples, the expression made her look like a mischievous pixie. A hot mischievous pixie.
“Oh, wow!” I said, trying not to think about how sexy the piercing looked on her. “That’s so cool. And you’re so brave. I’d never have the guts to get that done.”
“Why not?” she asked. “You’re obviously not that scared of pain if you’re considering a tattoo.”
“I know but I’d worry that something would go wrong with it. And don’t you have to stay off solid food for a while afterwards?” I was horrified at the thought of not being able to eat my favourite foods for weeks on end. I’d waste away.
“You do. But I have the all clear now, so I can eat what I damn well want. Which is why I’m about to treat myself to some fish and chips.” She looked me up and down, as if assessing my suitability. “Wanna come?”
“Sure,” I found myself saying, “sounds great.”
I turned and followed her as she headed towards the sea front. I frowned. It wasn’t like me to start chatting to random strangers, let alone to go off with them. I told myself it wasn’t just because I found her attractive, but I couldn’t convince even my own brain. She didn’t look like a serial killer or a psycho, so I was sure I’d be okay. Plus, she was smaller than me. I could probably take her, anyway.
I laughed aloud as another thought occurred to me.
“What’s tickled your funny bone?” she said, turning to me, a smile quirking the corners of her mouth.
“I just realised we’re going off for lunch together, but I don’t even know your name!”
She slapped her forehead theatrically.
“Sorry, babe,” she said, holding her hand out formally. “I’m Candy.”
Shaking her hand, I replied, “I’m Ella. Nice to meet you.”
“Okay,” she said, dropping her hand back to her side, “now that’s out of the way, let’s get something to eat. I’m fucking starving.”
Candy picked up her pace, marching purposefully towards the nearest fish and chip stand. I presumed she’d chosen it for its proximity, because the shop with the best reputation was up on the High Street. Mind you, it was always packed full of tourists, so maybe she was avoiding it on purpose. I didn’t care either way. Soon after Candy had mentioned food, I’d remembered that I hadn’t eaten yet, and my stomach had quickly emphasised that fact, grumbling away as we walked.
Scurrying after her, I took the time to appreciate Candy’s rear view. She was wearing jeans that hung low on her hips and a little T-shirt, and I could see that she was tattooed as well as pierced. A design adorned her lower back, all swirls and loops, and I thought about how nice it would be to trace the pattern with my tongue. I’d love to tease her until she writhed beneath me.
“Whether I was enjoying a story written by one of my reliable favorites or discovering, for the first time, the work of an author I’d not yet had the pleasure of encountering, all the contributors to Tea and Crumpet shined brightly, entertained in equal measure, and left me hungry for more.” 5 out of 5, Top 2 Bottom Reviews
“The entire collection is worth the read, particularly if you yearn for a gay story that doesn’t adhere completely to the HEA/HFN model.” 4.5 out of 5, Dark Divas Reviews
“This is an anthology meant for everyone with a love for the GLBT genre. I adore these authors, and these short stories are wonderful teasers by some really great writers. It is not often you will get a mix as good as this, so please take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. A little sexy, but mostly a lot of fun is to be found within each of these pages.” 4 out of 5, Coffee Time Romance