May 052016
 

So, for those of you that don’t know, the 12th of May is quite an important day. For starters, it comes after “Twilight Zone Day” on the 11th and before “Blame Someone Else Day”, would you believe, on the 13th.

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It is not only “Limerick Day” and the beginning of the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, but also happens to be the birthdate of Florence Nightingale.

To most of us, in the Western World at least, Florence and her amazing impact on health care is quite well known, perhaps not as well known as the Queen, but nevertheless. We mostly understand why she is so important and why there would be a number of statues, hospitals, stained glass windows and other laudations in her honour scattered around London, Derby and the rest of the UK, including seeing her face on a £10 bank note for a few years.

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Through the number of films, theatre productions, and our standard education we may know that she came to prominence while “serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to wounded soldiers” and that she “gave nursing a highly favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture”, especially as ‘The Lady with the Lamp‘ while making rounds to tend to wounded soldiers at night.

She has even been heralded as a pioneer in the concept of medical tourism as a result of her 1856 letters describing spas in the Ottoman Empire. She detailed the health conditions, physical descriptions, dietary information, and other vital details of patients whom she directed there due to the treatment there being significantly less expensive than in Switzerland.

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Even though we mostly associate sanitary reform in the UK with Edwin Chadwick, a few of us know that Florence Nightingale was instrumental in getting the Public Health Acts of 1874 and 1875 passed that required owners of existing properties to pay for connection to mains drainage. She also combined with Edwin Chadwick to persuade Stansfeld, the minister responsible for the Public Health Bill, to devolve powers to enforce the law to Local Authorities, eliminating central control by medical technocrats.

We might even know her as a trail blazing statistician and that she was elected the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and later became an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.

Even though we might disagree on whether she was a positive or a negative force for early feminism, we can all agree she was not insignificant in the history thereof and that “Cassandra”, the best known essay of an 829-page, three-volume work, which Nightingale had printed privately in 1860, which until recently was never published in its entirety, is regarded as a major text of English feminism.

According to more modern metrics, in 2002, Florence Nightingale was ranked #52 in the BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.

However, what very few of us do know, is that from the age of 37 until she died at 90 years of age, she suffered from chronic depression and potential PTSD. She also spent long periods of time completely bedridden as a result of potential undiagnosed brucellosis and associated spondylitis thought to have been contracted by ingesting unpasteurised milk or undercooked meat during the Crimean War.

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And then there is the question of her personal and private life. What little we know has been presented to us through the filter of a repressed and conservative male dominated heterosexual world—presenting views that we only very recently have dared to question.

“Some scholars of Nightingale’s life believe that she remained chaste for her entire life, perhaps because she felt a religious calling to her career.” Does this not perhaps sound like a suffocated interpretation of a potentially very different reality. A reality society could not speak of then. Could it be possible that her “several important and long-lasting friendships with women” were of a more significant and perhaps less chaste nature? Could Mary Clare Moore or Mary Clarke have been her life long loves or even her lovers?

Could her seemingly damning judgement of women: “I have never found one woman who has altered her life by one iota for me or my opinions,” not be seen as slightly too dramatic for a rational assessment but more likely her emotional response to a woman’s scorn?

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Could the fact that she often referred to herself in the masculine, as “a man of action” and “a man of business” potentially suggest that she regarded herself on the spectrum of transgender or as “non-binary” at the very least?

Even if we will never know the truth, the prospect that any of these are possibilities exist, as well as her formidable achievements in her life and her vast legacy is what has made her such an interesting character to me. This is why I chose to pay tribute to her in my latest novel, Simulation (Simulation: The Dawn of a Lesbian Superhero).

One of the main characters in the novel is a very intelligent highly successful medical scientist, Dr Victoria Henderson, who was partly modelled on Florence and the archetype she represents.

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The obvious comparisons in intellect, field of work and achievement is only the beginning.

Like Nightingale, Henderson is “a man of action” – A pragmatic, over achieving, seemingly slightly repressed, woman with a “masculine” mind, who keeps the company of men because they only engage her mentally and analytically which helps her to avoid needing to face the demons straining within.

Additionally, I also loved the imagery and symbolism embodied in the idea of “The lady with the lamp”, the person with holds the knowledge and the key to…. salvation? (substitute your own aspiration here) In fact, I found the dynamism of this theme so compelling that I allowed it to develop from a single lantern into the the formidable lamp of the lighthouse and even its extreme incarnation as a blazing fire–too much knowledge can burn?

 

If you would like to read my book you can get your copy here:

Simulation: The Dawn of a Lesbian Superhero (Novel)

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The Lighthouse Chronicles: Book 1

A lesbian superhero romance.

Set in a dystopian future when, after a decade of war, the United Kingdom is on it’s knees, ruled by strict martial law and where any ‘deviant’ behaviour like homosexuality or lesbianism is punishable in a manner worse than death–the perpetrators are forcefully ‘reset’. Samantha Fielding, an emotionally scarred war hero, struggles to adapt to ‘normal’ life so she enlists in a top secret scientific research program. Here, not only is she pushed way beyond her physical and emotional limits in order to unleash powerful and potentially lethal dormant human abilities, she also finds herself dangerously falling for the principal scientist, Dr Victoria Henderson – risking everything.

 

Sam Skyborne

 


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Introduction to Sam

Sam Skyborne (pen name of Wollie Boehm) is a storyteller – both an award winning writer and a filmmaker. She has an English degree, a masters in Artificial Intelligence and currently lives and loves in London.

Sam’s first novel, Simulation: The Dawn of a Superhero (2016), is a dystopian adventure/romance set in the not too distant future on the Coast of Cornwall and won the NYC Big Book Award in 2018. RISK: Three Crime-fighting Women Risk All for Love, Lust and Justice, (2017) is a sexy detective coming out story and won the National Indie Excellence Award – Finalist award and the NYC Big Book Award – Distinguished Finalist award in 2018. Alice: A Woman’s Flight for Freedom (2018), is a gripping psychological adventure set in Cape Town, South Africa and also won the NYC Big Book Award – Distinguished Finalist award in 2018.

To connect with Sam and find out more about her writing adventures (receive news and updates on special promotions, new releases and author events): Click here!

Please follow Sam on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamSkyborne
Twitter: @SamSkyborne
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/SamSkyborne/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/SamSkyborne/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/15141866.Sam_Skyborne
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk9v10RX9f8ZAP7udcqk-qw

 

A personal note from Sam:

If you have read any of my books and enjoyed them, please tell your friends and kindly write me a little review on Amazon by selecting the relevant book on my Author Page. It really helps us indie authors a lot!

 


Novels

Alice: A Woman's Flight for Freedom - Novel

Alice: A Woman’s Flight for Freedom

aka Alice: A Woman’s Flight for Freedom
A Lesbian Psychological Drama
All reaLity Is subjeCtivE

 

*** 2018 – NYC Big Book Award – Distinguished Favourite Award Winner ***

2018 NYC Big Book Award - Distinguished Favorite

World Literature

LGBTQ Fiction

 

“Another fantastic, page-turner, featuring P.I. Toni Mendez on a case searching for Alice in South Africa.”

“A gripping and clever psychological drama about freedom and self-discovery that shows.”

Alice, a young British woman, accompanies her husband, Dr Magnus McCroy, on a business trip to Camps Bay, South Africa, as the full time carer for his elderly mother. What starts out as an exciting visit to one of the most beautiful locations in the world soon spirals into a life-changing crisis, in which Alice leaves Magnus and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and quest for freedom.

From the start, Alice’s adventures in this unknown and perilous land prove most challenging. Repeatedly faced with unexpected situations and unforeseen hurdles, it is not always clear who is friend and who is foe.

Meanwhile, P.I. Toni Mendez is struggling at her own personal crossroads. So, when presented with an opportunity for some distance from her dilemma, she agrees to take on a new case — to find Alice in Cape Town and bring her home safely and as discreetly as possible, to the United Kingdom, to Dr McCroy and the ominous powers that support him.

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“A fantastic read!” – Shelly
“Great adventure! – and what a surprise” – Robby
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“I loved it. About time we have a novel like this set in SA” – Heather
“SA is now on my bucket list!” – Sylvia
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“I fell in love with Lisa!!” – Ricky
“I could not put it down!” – Naomi

More Reader Reviews

Note: If you too enjoyed the book, please let me know!! And join my VIP mailing list to be notified about any new releases, events or promotions.

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Food for thought!

“Wow. I love books like this. It bends reality and really makes you think.” – Joanna

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Lovely characters that live on in your head.

“I liked the plot and the story, but for me it was the characters. They are so different and unique. I can well imagine a world where they live on” – Louise

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Fantastic

“Sometimes I want to lose myself like Alice. What an adventure! I wish I was brave enough.” – Emily

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Definitely recommend it.

“It is a great, refereshing read with fully formed characters and an interesting escalating plot which keeps you hooked right until the end.” – Claire

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Another awesome read from Sam Skyborne

“I came across Sam skyborne at an author reading in London where I bought her two earlier novels, Simulation and RISK. As soon as I heard she had a new one out I got a copy off Amazon. Once again I was thrilled! I couldn’t put it down! It is a brilliant read. This one is a fast moving clever drama. Can’t wait for the next one, please!” – Eddie

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I want to go to Camps Bay

“I really enjoyed this book. It kept me engrosed all the way through and I loved the story. But the twist at the end was an extra special bonus and I had to read it all over again.” – AvidReader

As indie authors we need you to help spread the word, please! So, please help by telling others whom you think might be interested in this story about it.

 

 


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RISK

Three Crime-fighting Women RISK All for Love, Lust and Justice

A Lesbian Crime Thriller & Romance!

 

*** 2018 – NYC Big Book Award – Distinguished Favourite Award Winner ***

2018 NYC Big Book Award - Distinguished Favorite

Romantic Suspense

LGBTQ Fiction

Hot new crime thriller – A gripping, racy page-turner, starring three strong, sexy female protagonists on the hunt for a psychotic killer.

“In the dark domains of crime, lust and love – innocence and guilt mix like blood and water. Will Toni RISK it all to catch the psychotic killer?”

Toni Mendez, an ex-cop turned private investigator in London, takes on a case to find the truth behind the violent murder of the young wife of a successful entrepreneur, Lucille Ransom-Evans. Little did she know that this case would bring to her door Maxine Bennett, a feisty, opinionated, American detective, on the hunt for a serial killer.

Maxine not only infiltrates Toni’s working life presenting a sore reminder of a profession she once loved, she also invades her private life by seducing her best friend, Lizbeth Du Cannon. As the investigation continues, Toni is immersed more and more, both professionally and privately, into a subculture she knew only from a distance – the LGBTQ+ world. She is forced to reassess everything she thought she knew about herself and the foundations of her long-term friendship with Lizbeth.

Large Print Copy of RISK

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“A complete thrill!” – Melonie
“Don’t read on the Tube! – TOO HOT” – Rosie
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“A gripping and sexy page turner” – Patty
“Great sex!” – Jane
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“A new depiction of our world. I like it!” – Jake
“I like the combination of crime and sizzler!” – Pepe

 

Read a Sample?

More Reader Reviews

Note: If you too enjoyed the book, please let me know!! And join my VIP mailing list to be notified about any new releases.

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Loved it!

“It is 2am. I’ve just finished this book. I picked it up last night at 9 thinking I’d read a few pages. Now I am buzzing! 😉 Loved it. Loved the fact that it was sexy and also engaged my brain in a good story.” – Jacky

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A really good read

“I really enjoyed everything about this book. The characters are excellent & you really feel you get to know them and can relate to them. There are lots of twists & turns along the way which you don’t see coming & which keep you turning pages. RISK cleverly combines crime, romance, and some brilliantly written sex-scenes, and is a great read from start to finish. I really appreciate the fact this book has a real story line and plot, and that the additional romance within its pages just happens to be between women. Definitely recommended.” – Lily

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A thoroughly enjoyable read

“Risk is a fast – paced, exciting book with a host of interesting and relatable characters and a lot of hot intimate scenes! I read the whole book in one sitting and was kept guessing right up until the end. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates good crime writing and strong female characters!” – Elly

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Stimulating Page turner

“Not your usual detective novel, yes it has a crime, intrigue but this book offers more, much more.
The sexual tension between the detectives is well,…. Very tense.
This is a gripping page turner in every sense of the word, both for plot and characterisation.
Yes it deals with lesbian relationships which are often fraught. But it is not your usual shallow lesbian novel, this spreads it’s wings further, it captures your imagination and draws you in.
This book is definitely a Risk worth taking”
– Gery

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FIVE STARS for another great read from Sam Skyborne

“Bought this from the author at #LFest and I couldn’t put it down!!! It’s a brilliant read – I’ve been waiting for another story from Sam Skyborne and RISK doesn’t disappoint. It’s a real page-turner: a great story, fast moving with lots to it as well as three strong – and sexy – female leads. Now all we need is a follow up, please!” – Ally

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Fun Sexy Read!

“I really enjoyed this book. I hate to sound cliche but….I had a hard time putting it down. The crime aspect is well thought out and kept me engrossed and to be blunt…it is sexy as hell (and that really kept me engrossed). The squirming sexual “awakening” of Toni was fun to follow. I don’t like reviews that give away the entire plot so suffice to say….I really enjoyed it, it was a fun read, and I recommend it!” – Musiclover

As indie authors we need you to help spread the word, please! So, please help by telling others whom you think might be interested in this story about it.

 


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Simulation

The Dawn of a Superhero.

A Lesbian Sci-Fi/dystopian Romance!

 

*** 2018 – NYC Big Book Award – WINNER ***

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Hot sci-fi thriller – A gripping, page-turner.

“In the not too distant future – a shell shocked war vet has to find her way back to normal life. The result is anything but normal.”

Set in a dystopian future when, after a decade of war, the United Kingdom is on it’s knees, ruled by strict martial law and where any ‘deviant’ behaviour like homosexuality or lesbianism is punishable in a manner worse than death–the perpetrators are forcefully ‘reset’. Samantha Fielding, an emotionally scarred war hero, struggles to adapt to ‘normal’ life so she enlists in a top secret scientific research programme. Here, not only is she pushed way beyond her physical and emotional limits in order to unleash powerful and potentially lethal dormant human abilities, she also finds herself dangerously falling for the principal scientist, Dr Victoria Henderson – risking everything.

Large Print Copy of Sim

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“An Absolutely Wonderful Book” – Amanda
“A real page-turner!” – Miss E. Mumford
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“Wow! What a mesmerizing page turner” – Geraldine Robertson-Brown
“Kick-ass and definitely someone I’d like to meet” – A Frick
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“This is a very atmospheric and compelling read…” – Anny
“This is a great read, full of tension, a good plot.” – Wayne

 

More Reader Reviews

Note: If you too enjoyed the book, please let me know!! And join my VIP mailing list to be notified about any new releases.

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Loved it!

“Wow just finished your novel-brilliant. Never read anything like it… Really got drawn into the characters and intrigue of the plot – can’t wait to read the next installment. I’m off to Cornwall soon too! A lighthouse will never look the same again.” – A Reader

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Good pacing, interesting storyline

Although I found the start a little slow and I wasn’t quite sure where it was going, it soon took off and ripped along at a good pace. I warmed to Sam once she and Victoria met and the real crux of the story came through, and I thought the ending was really good, especially as it hinted at more to come from these characters. A good debut. – Angela

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Buy this book!

This is a great read – a real page turner with believable and engaging characters and a gripping storyline, set in an all too possible uncomfortable future. I loved it and can’t wait for the next book in the trilogy. Sam’s my kind of hero! A great debut. I’ll definitely be looking out for more from this author. – Amazon Customer.

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kick-ass and definitely someone I’d like to meet

A gripping futuristic story.. Sam is my new hero. She’s hot, kick-ass and definitely someone I’d like to meet. Can’t wait for the next instalment! – Ana.

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I loved this, couldn’t put it down once I started …

I loved this, couldn’t put it down once I started it. Beautifully written, intriguing plot and very real characters. Looking forward to finding out what happens next! – Lily.

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Wow! What a mesmerizing page turner

Superbly well written, a real page turner… I vow you’ll not be able to put it down until finished. Truly believable characters and ones you warm too. Don’t let its category of Lesbian Fiction, put you off, its all subtle and tastefully executed. Hopefully like me you’ll end up wanting more… Definitely a sequel waiting to be written….. Even better a film. – Gerry Bell.

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A real page-turner!

I read this book from start to finish in one sitting – I couldn’t put it down! The plot is truly original, particularly in the genre of lesbian fiction, and is full of unexpected twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. The characters are well drawn and compelling and the relationships are very believable. A really great read! – Ms E Mumford.

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The very graphic prologue sets up the backstory brilliantly, and the contrast of locations from rural Cornwall …

This is a very atmospheric and compelling read with a wide range of characters from the very loveable to the very scary indeed. The very graphic prologue sets up the backstory brilliantly, and the contrast of locations from rural Cornwall to the intimidating futuristic research laboratory creates a world that is simultaneously now and not now, here and not here. The narrative whips along at a furious pace and keeps you guessing, the characters are complex, and when the book ends I was wondering what happens next? I’m really looking forward to reading the next part of the trilogy. – Anny.

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If you’re a fan of sci-fi, superheroes, science or lesbian novels then you should go read this book

The character of Sam is very well written and at times I felt like I was right there with Sam, seeing what she was seeing, hearing what she was hearing and feeling what she was feeling. I loved the little twist at the end, I really wasn’t expecting it but I was glad that it happened.

Overall a very well written story with two fantastic characters that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. If you’re a fan of sci-fi, superheroes, science or lesbian novels then you should go read this book, even if you’re not you should read it. – Planet Nation.

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A great read with a mixture of angst and happiness

Whether or not we are living in a simulation right now .who knows..but this was an exciting read with an easy ability to identify with and warm to the main characters.I hope this will be followed with another story extending the futuristic journey of Sam and Victoria 🙂 For I believe the basis of this book may well run parallel with our true world. – Amazon Customer.

As indie authors it is very hard to spread the word about the books we have spent time and toil creating for our readers. Please help us by telling others whom you think might be interested in RISK about it.

 


Novellas and Short Stories

 

Queer Shorts Collection

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Milton – Queer Shorts Collection – I

*** OUT NOW ***

An older physically disabled lesbian grandmother, Milton, finds love in a very unlikely place and how that almost miraculously turns her life around.

First in the Collection

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“A delightful story of love in the mature years of our lives.” – Elsie Boyd
“Nice to read something that reflects us ‘women of a certain age’.” – Laurel Burke
“A lovely this story. It gives us all hope.” – Kelly J
“An unusual touching tale of love in the twilight years.​ I like it.” – Sohie Cole

 
 


Erotic Short Film/Story Combos

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Cat Sitting – L.E.S COMBO I

(A Sexy Story about Loss, Lust and Love)

Sometime after a messy breakup, Alex finally agreed to do the cat sitting for her ex-lover, Teresa. She knew her first visit back to what she used to call ‘home’ would not be easy. However, she could never have imagined such an unexpected turn of events! =)

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“Don’t we just know it!” – Sarah Edwards
“Great little story.” – Corie Denham
“These are my friends.” – Amazon Customer
“Yeah, been there.” – Anon 🙂

 

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Saying Sorry – L.E.S COMBO II

Paperback Edition

(A Sexy Lesbian story about Love, Anger and Forgiveness)

Having screwed up again, Jo finds there is no easy way to say sorry. Repentance and forgiveness is a two way interaction and the journey is not always easy, nor predictable. Each person needs to find their own way to the same end.

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“Wow! What a journey!” – Eddie Byrne
“Phew! Hot! Complex!” – Corie Denham
“The story gives a great new twist!” – Elly Cross
“Hard, raw while sweet and tender. Great!” – Sasha

 

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Saying Sorry – L.E.S COMBO II

Ebook Edition

(A Sexy Lesbian story about Love, Anger and Forgiveness)

Having screwed up again, Jo finds there is no easy way to say sorry. Repentance and forgiveness is a two way interaction and the journey is not always easy, nor predictable. Each person needs to find their own way to the same end.

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“Wow! What a journey!” – Eddie Byrne
“Phew! Hot! Complex!” – Corie Denham
“The story gives a great new twist!” – Elly Cross
“Hard, raw while sweet and tender. Great!” – Sasha

 

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Buttons – L.E.S COMBO III

(A *** HOT HOT HOT *** dark fantasy Film)

Have you ever experienced a dream or fantasy where the line between what was real and what was fantastical seems scarily non existent? While waiting at the tailor’s, Emma is gripped by a dark thrilling fantasy.

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COMING SOON!

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“Fantastic and imaginative!” – Sally Edwards
“Really, quite hot!” – Danny Gordan
“Hypnotic!” – Festival Audience
“Sizzling! On the verge of mad.” – Anon 🙂