May Archer * Charlie Cochet * Allison 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
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 Assassin and the Dog Walker
Can you tell us a little bit about your characters?
Lymond is a gruff, broody assassin who’s just trying to have somewhat of a normal life, though his hope has been slowly dwindling until he’s signed up for a blind date through the Heart2Heart app by his younger brother Jerrott. Daniel is a professional dog walker who’s always surrounded by furry friends. He’s sweet, snarky, and looking to be swept off his feet by Mr. Right
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?
That’s write. Well, when I saw assassin, how could I not, right? As I went through the list, there were so many fabulous characters to choose from, but I needed someone who would be perfectly opposite my broody assassin, and when I saw sassy dog walker, I knew I had my couple.
How did you come to be involved in the Heart2Heart Anthology?
I was approached by Leslie Copland who did an amazing job bringing us all together. When she told me the premise, and some of the authors she would be asking to be involved, I was all over it. The chance to write a story for an anthology with a group of authors whose books I love? Yes, please!
Have you ever been involved in a group project like this before? What were some of the challenges you had to face?
I was part of the Charmed and Dangerous Anthology. That one was a little more challenging because it was a paranormal anthology with a group of fabulous authors who all had very different voices and styles of writing. The Heart2Heart anthology was focused on romance, Valentine’s Day, and the a premise of the Heart2Heart app that tied all the stories together. They were both such a great experience, and I’m so very glad I took part.
Is this something you’d like to be a part of again in the future?
I would certainly work with these authors again. Schedules can sometimes make things tricky, and I tend to take part in things like this when I personally know the people involved. Many of these authors I consider friends, so there really was no question.
You’re donating the entire proceeds to charity – can you tell us more about where the money is going?
The proceeds of the anthology is going to three charities: The Trevor Project, The Bisexual Resource Center, and One-N-Ten.
Have you ever set someone else up on a blind date? If yes, how did it turn out?
Oh goodness no! I think if I knew two people who I thought should meet, I would just introduce them to each other, and let them work out the rest. LOL
If Heart2Heart were to match you with someone, who do you think you’d get paired with?
If the app were looking for my opposite, probably the Math professor-who’d be thoroughly horrified by the C’s I got on the subject at school, and by the blank stare on my face when they tried to explain some math formula to me. I had straight A’s and a few B+’s in everything else, but Math? Nope.
““I’m going to kill you!”
“I hope you mean that figuratively,” Jerrott murmured before taking a sip of his latte, amusement sparkling in his eyes. “Taking out your brother would be in such bad taste.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose, and closed my eyes, forcing myself to count down from ten. I will not kill my brother. I will not kill my brother. Our family would surely notice Jerrott’s absence at Christmas dinner if he failed to show up. Damn it.
“You should be thanking me. You might actually get laid, and relieve some of the tension you carry around on those massive shoulders of yours. When’s the last time you had a date? I’m pretty sure Myspace was all the rage back then.”
“Fuck you,” I growled. “It hasn’t been that long. I’ve told you before. I don’t date.” I leaned in, and quietly hissed at my pain in the ass little brother. “Have you forgotten what I do for a living?”
Jerrott rolled his eyes. He actually rolled his eyes at me. The little shit! Screw him. Screw his annoying Armani suit. And screw his pretentious Skinny-Chai-whatever-the-fuck.
“Rather difficult to forget,” Jerrott murmured before taking another sip of his drink. “You haven’t dated since you-know-who. It’s time to get back out there.”
I wasn’t about to comment on the first statement, or the clusterfuck that had been my relationship with that psycho, so I focused on his second statement. “A dating app? Seriously, Jer?” The thought alone had me cringing. A dating app? A fucking dating app. “Next thing I know you’re going to sign me up to be a contender for The Bachelor.” Jerrott smiled knowingly, and I cleared my throat. “Not that I watch that shit.”
“Mhm. I’ll have you know this is the hottest dating app on the scene right now.” Jerrott was far too excited for his own good, which was a feat in and of itself considering ‘unimpressed’ was his default emotional setting. “The Heart2Heart app matches you up with the perfect partner.”
“And you didn’t sign yourself up for this why?”
Jerrott scoffed. “Don’t be ridiculous. I’ve never had any trouble finding a date. Think of it this way. At least you get a free meal out of it.”
I glared at him.
“It’s Valentine’s Day.”
I glared at him harder.
“Are you really going to stand up some poor guy on Valentine’s Day? I know it means shit to you, but what about that poor man? Maybe he’s shy and sweet, and it’s taken him all his life to muster the courage to do something like this, and in one night you’re going to shatter him and his precious little heart.”
I rolled my eyes so hard I was pretty sure I saw the back of my head. ”
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.
As a rule, I am not a big fan of shorts or novellas. I like to dive into a meaty book with lots of words and pages. But I really, really liked this anthology.
The book begins with the first half of one story. But that sets up the rest of the stories. In it, Bailey is a programmer getting a new matchmaking app “Heart2Heart” up and running. Until a super hot window washer tempts him to leave work to go out on a date.
All of the stories that follow are a direct result of the apps algorithms being wrong and matching up complete opposites. I loved just about every story. Many were similar- one of the guys was mad because a friend or family member signed him up on the app, many had coincidentally met shortly before their blind date, etc etc. But they were still really fun to read. I had a favorite and a least favorite, but they were all fun to read.
The book wraps up with the second half of the first story- and an epilogue that was satisfying.
A fun read that is easy to pick up and put down- and the proceeds are for a great cause.
4 pieces of eye candy
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