Mary Rainbow Me

Wine. Detroit. Hm.

Like wine? In Detroit? (No, it's not an oxymoron.) Check out Motor City Wine. I was going to drop my nephew a note about how Stacia's picked up the wine he introduced her to at his wedding several times since, and ended up reading about his wine venture at Wine Enthusiast. Sounds like he and his friend are gettin' noticed. Very cool!  
Gonna Stake You

Things that drive me crazy

I was watching some episodes of American Horror Story before going to sleep tonight (lovely little show for those who haven't seen it; for those who have, I'll let you develop your own theories about it being appropriate bedtime fodder) and I ran right into one of the many things that drive me to drink (or want to) in today's world: The misconceptions of the Immaculate Conception. I'm really tempted to run a quiz to see how many people can correctly identify the person born as a result of the Immaculate Conception. 

In an episode of American Horror Story, someone asked what happens if a spirit and a living person get together, do the horizontal mambo, and have a child together. The reply is that it'd be the end of the world. That the Holy Spirit only had to whisper in Mary's ear for the Immaculate Conception (according to the show) and the devil wants a lot more bang for his buck—meaning, one would surmise, that if a spirit impregnated a mortal woman, that woman would then give birth to the Antichrist.

The problem is that the Immaculate Conception DOES NOT REFER TO THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. It refers to the birth of the Virgin Mary. It goes like this: The Virgin Mary, who was born to a human man and woman (usually known as Saint Joachim and Saint Anne), had to be born free from original sin in order to be worthy of bearing the Christ child herself. Christ was virginally conceived.

Please try to keep these things straight (so to speak) if you're going to preach about them or use them in a storyline in some way. It's a lot less creepy and terrifying when you get these things wrong.
Mary Rainbow Me

Barbara Grier, Lesbian Icon Dead at 79

I was going to post some of my favourite Barbara Grier quotes, including a few bits of wisdom I gleaned from her phone calls, but I realized it'd be nearly impossible to read because of all the asterisks "...and you'll do this unless you left your f***ing brain under the g*****ned pillow this morning..." The first time I spoke with her as a potential author, she used more four-letter words in our conversation than I even knew—and that was at 6 in the morning. (And yet she assigned me to one editor because she was fearful that I would scandalize Lila, Naiad's other main editor, since she was a bit older. Of course, when I ended up working with Lila on a later book, Lila introduced me to a number of things, including the Mr. Softie.)

The amazing Victoria Brownworth wrote this lovely obit for LLF:

Happy Snoopy Dance

Nottingham: Searching for Robin Hood?

We’ve finished with the book event and are still with Ruth in Nottingham. As always, she is a lovely host, even when I keep soaking her bathroom floor (as happens when there’s no actual shower door). She’s been known to worry about having guests barge into her home before, but there’s nothing more we could ask for. ☺

We’ll be heading up to Scotland tomorrow. Alas, Glasgow’s having a heat wave so it’s in the 70s, but I’m hopeful for temps in the 50s soon. {dance dance dance} (Hey, where we’re from we’ve had like 40 days over 100 already this year.)

I’ve never been to Scotland before so am very excited about this. It’s nifty to go to a new place, it’s amazing to finally go some place you’ve read and heard about—AND that’s been a setting for a great many books you’ve read, and it’s so wonderful to be visiting places over here that are so steeped in history.

We’re just VERY glad to have missed Splendour, this mobbed outdoor music festival that happened yesterday about three or four miles outside of town. LOTS of people and we weren’t there. Yay! (Well, okay, Stacia’s a bit bummed that we missed Blondie, but Ruth and I just keep looking at the crowd pictures and being glad that we weren’t there.)
Mary Rainbow Me

Hilton is HORRIBLE

What sort of hotel tells you that they're serving breakfast the next day until noon then stops before 11? Hilton, that's who.

Apparently, instead of just letting us know their real hours, they thought it would be funny to make up different hours and keep them a secret.

When I went down to eat at 11.05, there was NOTHING except other people enjoying a supposedly delicious breakfast. We went up to the front counter and were told, "To accommodate a group that didn't know we didn't serve lunch today, we ended breakfast early." The clerk just kept repeating that line—I point out that I'm a guest, so what about my accommodations? "To accommodate a group that didn't know we didn't serve lunch today, we ended breakfast early." We're in the middle of nowhere, where are we supposed to eat? "To accommodate a group that didn't know we didn't serve lunch today, we ended breakfast early."

You get the picture. 

You would think that in these hard economic times they'd want to please their customers, but no. They couldn't tell us the night before, when we checked in, even though they had to have known since they would've needed to schedule people differently the night before, since we didn't check in until 6 pm. Or they could've put a note with the bill under the door. Or a note on our room service tray when we got dinner the night before, but no. I guess they thought it was funnier this way.

Then the front desk clerk wouldn't give me her name. I had to ask for the manager's business card, which they kept out of sight behind the counter.

I remember when customer service used to be important. I worked in restaurants, hotels and other places during high school and college and man, this sort of stuff didn't fly. And I can just imagine if we treated donors with this level of disregard during my nonprofit years. 


Mary Rainbow Me

When the Dancing Stops RERELEASED (I LOVE Bella!)

 The other day there was a knocking on the door and so I got up and answered it. Because of our work, both Stacia and I frequently get boxes shipped to us.

That day I first assumed it was a manuscript for me to typeset, since it was in the same sort of box that I usually get those in. But then, much to my surprised, I opened it and found the most beautiful things: Newly printed editions of When the Dancing Stops, my very first ever book! Bella Books has reprinted it (and is also releasing it in ebook form) with a new and very much cooler and way more striking and appropriate cover (THANK YOU Sandy Knowles, cover designer extraordinaire!)
I always get excited when I get my author copies of any new book but this was my first chance to see that yes, indeed, reprints can be just as exciting—especially when they look this amazing!

Picture of the author copies of the new edition of When the Dancing Stops
Make sure to get your very own copy of the first Brett Higgins mystery soon!

Books Brett Shawn Anthologies

New Call for Submissions!

Bella Books and I just agreed on a new erotic anthology I'll be editing for them (it'll be the sixth Bella Books anthology I've edited).

Here is the call for submissions—feel free to pass it along and share it with your friends!

Bella Books Call for Submissions

Dormitory Heat: Hot Lesbian Tales of Campus Lust

Edited by Therese Szymanski

Submission deadline: July 1, 2011 (to be published in 2012)

Ah, to be young, hot, and hopelessly in lust while surrounded by nubile babes at one of the many great institutions of higher learning that help to mold the future leaders of this country.

Therese Szymanski is seeking hot stories about women on campus—horny sorority sisters, feisty women’s studies students, queer drama dykes, we want them all:
• From the sexy new sorority sister being initiated into the ways of her newfound sisterhood…

• To the wide-eyed freshman theatre major learning all about trust exercises in her freshman acting lab…

• The sexy geek learning all about extra credit in her latest women’s studies class…

• The feisty track star getting hot and sweaty in the locker room with her teammates…

• The beautiful Japanese student exploring women’s culture in the states…

• And more—your imagination’s the limit! I want them all, so long as they’re hot stories my readers will want to read one-handed in the bathtub, bring ‘em on!

Use your imagination and your very best words to craft hot stories with great ideas, real characters and interesting situations while leaving your reader hot, wet and wanting more. Put your all into it, but as you’re bringing onyou’re your best sleaze, remember that story reigns supreme—humor and twist endings are fun, but the stories must also be hot and sexy. Bring on your very best and realize that typos, punctuation, grammar, odd/incorrect POVs, and other things DO count against you.


1) Stories should be between 2,000 and 7,000 words in length.

2) Please submit a typed, double-spaced hard copy in at least 12-point type with one-inch margins. Preferably in a nice, readable serif font like Times New Roman. Documents should be formatted with US standards of 8½”x11” paper, etc.

3) Characterization, plot, and story are key. (Really. I want a good, hot story, with a believable plot and real characters!) but punctuation, grammar and POV are important.

4) Stories must be erotic, lesbian and on topic.

5) Name, address, phone number, word count, and email address should all appear on the first page. (If accepted, final manuscript must be submitted electronically.)

6) Include a 50-word bio with your submission.

7) Only previously unpublished stories—or stories that have appeared on the Internet (and can be pulled)—will be considered. (Please include information on where and when the story was posted in your cover letter.)

8) Please include a brief cover letter with your submission.

9) Only three submissions per person please.

10) Include an SASE with sufficient postage to return the manuscript if you would like it returned, or, if manuscript is disposable, please state so in your cover letter.

11) Handy hint: If you don’t necessarily need/want the manuscript back, but would like to know if you’ve been rejected, please include a #10 SASE (that is, Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope) so we can let you know if we’re unable to use your story with a simple form letter (no feedback can be given).

12) Email Reese at dormitoryheat at with any questions.

Contributors will be paid upon publication and will receive two copies of the anthology. No final decisions about stories to be included in this anthology will be made before 1/1/2012.

Send all manuscripts to:

Therese Szymanski
3571 Far West Blvd. #122
Austin, TX 78731

Please do not send manuscripts in any way that requires a signature upon delivery. If you enclose a self-addressed stamped postcard with your story, Szymanski will be happy to drop it in the mail upon receipt.

Therese (Reese) Szymanski, the bestselling, award-winning author and playwright of nine mystery/thrillers, four novellas, six controversial plays and several dozen short stories, essays, articles, columns, reviews and feature stories, is a marketing guru whose every fiction-editing turn has been shortlisted for or won an award. She’s edited Back to Basics: A Butch/Femme Anthology, Call of the Dark: Erotic Lesbian Tales of the Supernatural, A Perfect Valentine: Erotic Valentine’s Day Lesbian Love, Wild Nights: Mostly True Stories of Women Loving Women and Fantasy: Untrue Stories of Lesbian Passion. You can find out more about Reese and her work at