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I've been hard at work finishing up The Inheritor, Book Six of The Marketplace series, so I can be ready to go to International Ms Leather April 24-27.  The event will be held in San Jose this year, and the new producers have bribed me with the smell of leather and hot wax, so I've agreed to be one of the judges for the bootblack contest.

While I'm on the West Coast, I'll also be co-teaching Passionate Bondswith Midori. This weekend intensive is designed for people who enjoy authentic power dynamics and D/s, who want to consciously create quality relationships that suit their personal hungers and needs in the context of the real world.

You can spend your money on a new pair of leather pants, or your time at a weekend conference watching dungeon play or fetish fashion. Or, you can make an investment in your relationships and values. If you are passionate about why you do this and want to know how to make your fantasy into reality, then this weekend is for you. Still not sure?  Listen to a podcast about the weekend here.

And of course, April also brings us the holiday of Passover, which begins the evening of April 14th. Over a decade ago, my wife and I wrote our own haggadah, the book used for the telling of the Passover story. Our Passover haggadah is called Avadim Hayeinu, a phrase from the Passover ritual that means “Once We Were Slaves.” Our haggadah focuses elements of the traditional Passover story through the lens of the leather power dynamics in our community.

For those of you looking for a new way to look at Passover, or interested in rituals that reflect slavery, power, and freedom, please take a look at our haggadah. If you would like a copy, you can download it, or email me at Laura (at) Lantoniou (dot) com, and I’ll send you a copy. Chag Sameach!

I have a Lambda Nomination!

I am thrilled to announce that "The Killer Wore Leather" has earned me my first-ever Lambda Literary Award Nomination! The book is one of 11 in the category of "lesbian fiction." As a long-time queer writer, this nomination means a tremendous amount to me, as the Lambda Literary Foundation is the world's premier LGBT literary organization.

The 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards – or the “Lammys,” as they are affectionately known–received a record 746 submissions (up from 687 last year) from 352 publishers (up from 332 last year). Submissions came from major mainstream publishers and from academic presses, from both long-established and new LGBT publishers, as well as from emerging publish-on-demand technologies.

"Killer" also received a nomination from the "Audies," in the Erotica Category. This is the first year that The Audies added an erotica category, and I'm thrilled to join fellow Cleis Press author, Molly Weatherfield, author of Carrie's Story, to be considered for this award.

Last year, I was honored to receive the 2013 Rainbow Book Award in four different categories: Best B/T & LGBT Contemporary Fiction, Mystery / Thriller, and Contemporary & Historical Romance. The Rainbow Awards enthusiastically praised the writing, saying "My absolute favorite and one of the best books I read this year. This book has everything I love: wit, a world of characters, each of them unique, a great setting. While I was reading, I felt like I was at the movies, the words creating images before my eyes and I, a spectator full of wonder. It conquered me."

The Lambda Literary Award winners will be announced in June. Wish me luck!

I am honored to be chosen by Cleis Press to edit the 2015 edition of Best Lesbian Erotica. This annual "best of" series has been around since 1996, and is a steamy collection that regularly features some of the best known names in the field, and newcomers to watch out for. If you are a writer of dyke smut, steamy lesbian romance, sizzling women-on-woman sex, or passionate lady-lovin', I want to hear from you by April 1, 2014!

Submission Guidelines:

  • Fiction only.  Short stories or self-contained novel excerpts. No essays, memoirs, poetry. Unpublished and published material may be considered, so long as the author has the rights to sell the work to an anthology.

  • Erotica only. That means make it sizzle. Passionate. Sexy. Powerful. Dynamic. Romantic. Frightening.

  • Lesbian only. Women for women. Femmes, butches, tops, bottoms, partners, strangers, new women, older women, first-timers, rakes and scoundrels. Stout women, athletic women, studly women and seductive women, women with toys and women with words. Get the drift?

Don't: Under 18, incest, non-consent, beasts. Just don't.
Do: Surprise me. Make me feel. Go solo, or more than two. Push the boundaries. Include those usually unseen.

The Nitty Gritty

Please use standard manuscript formatting. This is a Best Of anthology, you should know the drill.

Each submission should be a maximum of 5,500 words . Micro-fiction of 1000 words or less may be considered at a lower remuneration. This collection will be acquiring the non-exclusive right to publish stories in print, e-book, audio and other subsidiary formats as part of an anthology.

  • Submit via e-mail to BLE(dot)Editor(at)gmail(dot)com before April 1, 2014

  • The e-mail text and a cover sheet for the file must contain: Author’s Name, Pen Name (if applicable) Title of Submission, Word count, Address, Phone, and Email Address, and a 50 -100 word bio. If your work has been published elsewhere, please note complete publishing history on your cover sheet.

  • Files must be .doc or .rtf   Do not send PDFs unless requested. One submission per document, although you may send up to two documents attached to your e-mail. Name your fileStoryTitle_AuthorLastname

Please spread the word! Share this announcement with your writing friends, and get down to writing something yourself! I look forward to reading and putting this amazing anthology together.

2013 In Review

This year has been a prolific one for me, filled with books, travel, and new reading audiences. But first and foremost, it's been full of fans who have supported me, bought my books, recommended them to friends, and kept my name on lists of "authors to read."  I especially appreciate the number of podcasts, interviews, recorded readings, book reviews, and the other social media outlets that included me. For a look (or listen!), please check myReadings and Interviews page.

20th Anniversary of The Marketplace

Yes, 2013 marked the 20th anniversary of the publication of "The Marketplace," a series that I originally conceptualized as a trilogy, and is now looking at Book Six being published in 2014, with plenty more to come. And while my avid readers are awaiting the publication of "The Inheritor" (Book Six in the series), I was able to get all five of the Marketplace series available at the same time, provide my first-ever anthology of Marketplace fan fiction, "No Safewords," and offer a collection of the Marketplace short stories that have appeared in various editions and in other anthologies, "Scenes From The Marketplace."

New Territory In 2013

2013 also found me publishing my first-ever "mainstream" book, "The Killer Wore Leather." Boy, have you showed it some love!  I went on a six-month tour that took me to four countries, three continents, and more US cities than I've ever visited in a single year.  And what a great response from readers for this crossover novel!  Thus far, "The Killer Wore Leather" has received the 2013 Rainbow Book Award in four different categories and rumors are that it'll be nominated for a few other awards in 2014.

But Wait, There's More!

Yes, indeed! Over the past year, I also submitted stories to other people's collections, starting with 50 Writers on 50 Shades of Grey, edited by Lori Perkins. (You can hear me reading the first part of my submission, "50 Shades of Holy Crap!" on my Readings and Interviews Page. My friends and fellow authors DL King and Rachel Kramer Bussel published anthologies that included stories by me - you can find them in Under Her Thumb: Erotic Stories of Female Domination, and Baby Got Back: Anal Erotica edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.  I also wrote the forward to a fun anthology of kinky fairy tales, entitled Leather Ever After, edited by Sassafras Lowrey, and to Best Bondage Erotica 2014, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel.

Coming Up in 2014

I'm slowing my tour schedule in 2014 to concentrate on writing. The long-awaited sixth book in the Marketplace series, "The Inheritor," will be completed in 2014, as will Menage a Murder, the next book in my newly launched mystery series, featuring the intrepid detective Rachel Feldblum, her handsome partner, Dominick DaCosta, and Rachel's kinky girlfriend, Trudy. I also have a few other projects that have been bubbling in my brain that may see the light of day in 2014. As always, I'll keep you posted.

I want to thank my fans for giving me such a wonderful 2013. May we continue our relationship through 2014, and into the future.

My instructions were simple. Pull up, do some jolly laughing, receive the bag of presents they’d already gathered, sit in the bootblack chair and listen to some Santa wishes. Take pictures. Hand each boy a present. Then ho fucking ho my way out. In return I would get everlasting love and devotion, blah, blah, blah.

And sure enough, the boy was right outside the bar, big red velvet bag in hand when I pulled up. I had enough time to fasten on the beard, slip on my reading glasses and shove the hat over my naturally white hair before the bar door opened and some of the clubmembers piled out to welcome me.

That begins one of my two holiday-themed stories, about an indulgent Daddy who dresses up as Santa for her boy’s leather club holiday party.  I'm letting you read it for free at the Circlet Press site, along with other naughty tales of holiday cheer. If you like more holiday erotica, the story is also part of a fun collection called "Jingle Balls," available for just $2.99 at the Circlet.com website.

For additional gift-giving on the cheap, I have a 99 cent story I wrote last year. It’s my most sentimental tale, and it takes place during the World War One, during the Christmas Truce of 1914. During this truce, the soldiers on both sides put down their weapons, and shared in food, drink, and caroling (true story! The photo to the left was taken during the Truce). My story suggests that one or two soldiers might have also shared a bit more. You can purchase Christmas Truce for your e-book reader here.

If you are still looking for gifts to give, I encourage you to stop by my online store and pick up some trinkets for Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, and whatever holidays you celebrate this time of year. I also have a Cafe Press store, with clothing and other items with Marketplace-themed sayings, and of course, my "Middle-Aged Guard" logo.

'Tis the season for well-wishing, gift-giving, and looking forward to a New Year. I want to thank my readers and fans for making 2013 such a wonderful year, and I hope to be offering you many new gifts - including a brand new Marketplace novel - in 2014.

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

This year, Hanukkah is the earliest it's been in over a century!

So consider yourself warned: If you're Jewish, NOW is the time to buy those gifts for eight nights of celebration. If you're not Jewish, it's time NOW to impress your Jewish friends with your grasp of the Jewish calendar, and surprise them with a gift in the first week of December, instead of waiting for that"other" holiday.

What to get?  I have just the thing(s) for you:

From My Store, you can purchase:

    • Brand new editions from the Luster imprint of renowned erotica publisher Circlet Press!

    • Rare and out-of-print books, including first editions & printings!

    • "Middle-Aged Guard" run pins

    • Special promotional items created with readers & fans in mind

Do you prefer buying e-books? Wish you could get an e-book signed? You can! VisitAuthorgraph and get a personalized inscription sent to your e-book - or get an inscription for a friend!

If you like the "Middle-Aged Guard" logo, but wish you could get it on a tee-shirt or coffee mug - you can! Along with a bunch of other fun quotes, straight from the author's mouth.  Stop by my Cafe Press store,for a "Proud Member of the Middle-Aged Guard" shirt.

And for those relatives who have told you they bought that 50 Shades trilogy, why not purchase a set of my books, and put them in my "Christian Grey is Chris Parker's B**ch" book bag? It's available at Cafe Press.

Back from Israel, and Back to Writing

I had a wonderful visit in Israel, and a chance to read to local fans there - bringing my "Killer Wore Leather" international tour to a THIRD continent this year! I was also tickled to see a new review from the GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association: The plot is fast-paced, the characters engagingly realized, and the book deftly spiced with dry humor that makes the reader both laugh and think for a moment about the point being made.  The accurate information provided on the standards of behavior and the consensual nature of kink/BDSM for both gay and heterosexual practitioners make this novel a distinctive addition to any LGBT collection.

But now I'm back home, and back to working on Book Six: The Inheritor.  I do have some appearances between now and the end of the year:

Long Island, NY

New York, NY

  • You’ll find me at LSM (the Lesbian Sex Mafia) on November 15th with my Daddy, teaching “Unscheduled Maintenance.”

Asbury Park, NJ

  • I’m returning to one of my favorite local events, Brimstone, over the Thanksgivukkah weekend.

Dallas, TX

  • I’m returning to Dallas to present Passionate Bonds” with Midori, our weekend intensive on developing a personal protocol for your dominant/submissive relationships. Registration is open - click here.

If you don't have a chance to see me in person for a signed copy of "The Killer Wore Leather" or the Marketplace series, visit my online store for those and more!

The Reunion is Now Available!

After waiting longer than we anticipated, The Reunion is finally available, both as an e-book (with a bonus short story), and in a two-volume, print edition. Why two volumes? Ask my fans who have the original, Mystic Rose edition - the font size was so tiny, it was extremely difficult to read. For those who did manage it, however - the reviews were sterling!

Debra Hyde: “I can’t say enough good things about The Renuion. Laura Antoniou’s plotting only improves with age; . . . [h]er eye for detail, both subtle and broad, remain remarkable, and her erotic writing still provides exciting interludes. If anything, the hot vacation sex at the novel’s midpoint is one hell of a clever reward for her dedicated fans.

“Yes, the potent combination that made The Slave such the most popular volume in the original trilogy fires up again, and while I refuse to say whether the unrequited desire of every reader who ever latched onto Chris and Robin is finally answered, I can say this reunion is immensely satisfying.”

That's right, The Reunion brings back two of the most popular characters in the The Marketplace series. Robin, recently released from her contract, meets her old trainer Chris Parker on a trip to Ireland where they will join dozens of other slaves for a week at a centuries-old Castle (now 4-star hotel), at a Marketplace-sponsored Reunion.

For Robin, now a veteran slave, the week at Kaleigh Castle will give her time to consider whether she is ready to return to the auction block. During the Reunion, she will meet slaves from all walks of life, as well as their spouses, significant others, and even children. Some of her new friends are also struggling with their own futures, whether they are still in the Marketplace, retired, or returning to service.

As for Chris, it will be a trip back in time to a place where he learned many of the skills that made him so valuable to the Marketplace. But never completely on holiday, he hopes to meet with a handsome young Earl and his millionaire American bride, whose talents for slave-training have gained them special attention. . . including the attention of a nosy tabloid reporter, who is hoping for the biggest story of his career -- a real-life international slave trading ring.

What is a Reunion? I'll let Winifred, a member of the Marketplace bureaucracy answer that for me:

"It's not just a vacation," Winifred said firmly. "It's a Reunion. Slaves from all walks of life, from all over the world go to Reunion events. Some will be taking their scheduled breaks, and others, who are retired, will be there for the camaraderie and the shared history. But many attend when they are in transition." Winifred looked at Carol meaningfully, and Carol grasped at the word.

"If they're between contracts, thinking of expanding their skills, considering retiring, or, like you, wondering about returning, the Reunions are wonderful opportunities to network and gather information from other slaves. It's a chance to meet pleasure slaves from the Middle East, butlers from Great Britain, executives from the corporate owners - Reunions are the place to find them all together. And, they're a perfect place to be able to safely talk about your experiences and dreams with people who will understand you."

Once again, the cover art is brought to you by my friend and cover artist Lochai Stine, and I have added a new short story to the e-book edition of the novel. "Kaleigh Lad" is a look into the life of Chris Parker at 19 years of age, in training at Kaleigh, and struggling with issues of sex and sexuality, identity and belonging, friendship and loyalty, obedience and spirit. Readers will finally meet Harry "Stan" Piggot, and will get a glimpse of three of Chris's role models. Read an excerpt here.

Please share the news with your friends, link to this webpage, and promote the news - the re-release of The Reunion is here!

Reading in Israel

I am thrilled to be returning to Israel, and to be doing a reading at Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, a leading organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and their allies in the heart of Jerusalem.

I'm reading from The Killer Wore Leather on Tuesday, October 29th at JOH, which marks my third continent this year on my international book tour.

Read Chapter One of The Killer Wore Leather here.
Visit the Mr. and Ms. Global Leather (and bootblack) contest website here.

About The Killer Wore Leather: Mr. Global Leather has been murdered!

In the Grand Sterling Hotel of Midtown Manhattan, home of the huge annual leather/BDSM/fetish ball and contest, Mr. & Ms. Global Leather, last year's male winner lies dead on the floor of his suite, wearing only very frilly, bright yellow panties. Cormac "Mack" Steel made a lot of enemies in his year wearing the studded leather sash, not the least being his co-winner Mistress Ravenfyre. But she is not alone – there are over three thousand attendees at this year's fetish-festooned event from all over the world, some of whom might have had some very personal issues with the corpse.

Enter Detective Rebecca Feldblum of the Midtown East Precinct. Assigned to this doozy of a case because, as one of NYC's only out lesbian detectives, her Lieutenant seems to believe these are "her people." Shocked, amazed and alternately puzzled and amused, Detective Feldblum must navigate a world of doms and subs, masters and mistresses, pups and trainers, leather, latex and lingerie, and discover who murdered the late Mack Steel – and hopefully do it before the weekend is over and everyone goes home. In the process, she will discover more about the sexual underworld than she ever really wanted to know, and more about her own past than she could have ever imagined. Written in the classic spirit of Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun,The Killer Wore Leather is both an engaging mystery and a humorous glimpse into the world of modern, pansexual international leather/BDSM contests and conferences.

Publisher’s Weekly: “Erotica fans will best appreciate Antoniou’s mystery set at a Manhattan convention devoted to BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, masochism). When Cormac “Mack” Steel, the previous year’s winner of the title of Mr. Global Leather, is found in his hotel room stabbed to death with an unusual three-bladed weapon, NYPD Det. Rebecca Feldblum takes on the high-profile case. Personal complications arise after the investigation brings the detective back in touch with a former lover, Trudy, who ended the relationship because Feldblum chose to join “a fascist, patriarchal system of oppression,” i.e., the police. Tongue-in-cheek humor—two organizations have the acronyms PISS and ASS (the Pansexual Institute for Sexual Studies and the American Sexuality Society)—compensates only in part for routine police work.”

The Gay and Lesbian Review: A good-humored farce, combined with a whodunit . . . .At over four hundred pages, this novel does not include a single wasted word. As a good-humored farce combined with a whodunit, it can only be compared to the raunchy mysteries of James Lear, who praises the book in a cover blurb. It seems likely to be popular for years to come.

You can find out more about "The Killer Wore Leather" on my "Books and Reviews" page.

Scenes from the Marketplace Now Available!

Now available from Circlet Press, and from your favorite e-book sellers - "Scenes from the Marketplace," a collection of all of my Marketplace-themed short stories.

For every novel I've written, there are hundreds of pages of resource documents, ranging from actual research to background details of characters who might only appear for a chapter or three. I have a timeline for the Marketplace that starts in 1894 and ends in 2003 - and of course, it's incomplete. Because I haven't even begin to full in the years only in my imagination so far. But that will come soon.

The first time I wrote a short story for The Marketplace, the universe didn't actually exist. I created a quintessential leatherman named Ron who tops two twinks in a short story in my first book, The Catalyst. I liked Ron; I always knew there was more to his story as well, and he turned up in a few gay porn stories I wrote over the years under different names. But when I was sketching out the character backgrounds for my Marketplace novels, I decided that Chris Parker, the main character, had an older brother. A gay older brother, macho and handsome and...oh. It was Ron, from the story Boys Will Be Boys - of course!

The second Marketplace short story I wrote was Mandarin Style. I was invited to read at a LGBT Center event celebrating sexy stories featuring characters of color. Well, I certainly HAD such characters - Mistress Madeleine, Ali Cruz, Gordon Reynolds and of course, fan favorite Ken Mandarin. But what I didn't have were any lengthy scenes *featuring* them. Everything seemed so short when I reread the books looking for an excerpt to read. So I did what anyone else would and wrote a new story starring the Eurasian spotter.

Then, I was asked to send a story to Switch Hitters, an anthology featuring gay men writing about lesbians and vice versa. And while I could have just picked one of dozens of gay stories I'd written for various magazines under a variety of pseudonyms, I decided to write a Marketplace story, Brian on the Farm.

By the time I was ready to start book four of the series, The Academy, I had it in mind to do an anthology - I would invite other writers to create their own stories, and tie them together with some loose plot. Well, that didn't work. My "loose plot" grew into something huge - a complete novel in itself. But seeded through the novel were these stories the characters told to each other - and some were written by friends and fellow writers, and some were mine, including, finally, a place to put Mandarin Style. But at the climax of the novel was a lengthy story showing a pivotal time in the life of a very young Chris Parker - Clocking. That one almost turned into a novella - I cut it down dramatically and filed away part two for some other, future book.

By the time The Academy was finished, though, I had changed publishers. My new publisher, Mystic Rose, issued new editions of my past books, with lovely, restrained grey covers. I felt guilty. What if my older, loyal readers decided they wanted the spiffy new editions? To make buying them a little special, I wrote a bonus short story for The Marketplace (A Leash Has Two Ends), and book two, The Slave (A Familiar Ring.) These two stories answered the question my young self was always bothering my mother and teachers with - what happened NEXT? (For book three, The Trainer, I wrote the equivalent of three new chapters and did not include a short story.)

In the way of genre books, I found myself with a third publisher - the on who produced the collection you're holding now, Circlet Press. This time, I was going to have e-books. Well. Naturally, people who owned older paperback copies might want the e-book as well, so...

More bonus stories! For Want of a Nail, That's Harsh, (winner of the National Leather Association's John Preston award for short stories) California Dreamin', Inside Straight and Kaleigh Lad were all written specifically for the e-book editions of the series, and eventually individually released as 99 cent downloads just in case paperback owners just wanted the new story. These stories all have a theme - "Life's a Party!" I rarely show my characters at parties, and decided it would be fun to write a series of stories all with one uniting element.

And as I was writing all of those stories, I also wrote for Take Me There, a collection about best trans* erotica,The Man With the Phoenix Tattoo, the first story about Chris Parker outside a Marketplace book. That story also won the NLA's John Preston award. Oh, and Zoom In, a story about one of the most disliked characters in the series, the nosy photojournalist, Nigel Pepper, appeared in Voyeur Eyes Only, a collection raising funds for the Erotica Writer's Conference. It was easy to write that one, since the collection is all about voyeurism.

So here they all are, collected in one place at last. You would have had to be a dedicated Marketplace reader to have all of these, encompassing three publishers and a few anthologies you won't find stacked near the door at any brick and mortar bookstore or high on a search at MegaOnlineStore.com. If you are one of those people and you got this anyway - thank you so much. Without you and readers like you, I would be long forgotten. If you had some of these and not the rest, then you may relax and know you now have the complete set.