Please welcome the lovely Jennifer Denys to my blog today with her new anthology Men for Hire
Men for Hire … when you hire a man, you might get more than you ask for
This is the teasing line on the front of the Men for Hire anthology published by Luminosity Publishing. They are a relatively new organisation with whom I have two other books published and are a terrific publisher, open to ideas from authors. For instance, when I asked if I could have a map in the front of my last novel, BDSM Weekend, as it was set on an estate of an English country mansion, they were more than happy to include it.
So when I approached them asking if they would be interested in publishing an anthology called Men for Hire, based on a story concept I’d had some time back which I thought would make a great basis for a collection of short stories, they were more than happy to run with my idea. This was set around a firm run by Jennifer Archer, based in London, who hired out men to do any job… and being a good erotic romance, in the course of the job they naturally fell in love with their employers (and had fabulous sex, naturally!).
Then I asked if it was possible for me to be the acquisitions editor on the anthology. Bearing in mind I had absolutely no experience of this role, but felt it would be a useful skill to acquire, I was surprised they agreed. (Luminosity is a wonderful publishing house, who are keen to be innovative and open to all ideas from their authors).
And so Men for Hire was born… or at least, announced to all my fellow writer friends online or at conferences.
It was extremely exciting when I received my first submission Got Muscle?, from Tina Donahue. Thankfully it was an excellent story - lighthearted, yet hot (involving a great scene where the heroine is tied to the home gym the hero is putting together) - and I felt we were on the right track. I wanted to rush out and say ‘yes’ immediately. But this was when I realised I had to wait to see the manner of the other stories submitted so I could pick and choose (in discussions with Luminosity we agreed to have 4-5 stories for this anthology).
The next story came from Michelle Roth, Calculated Risk, and it fitted very nicely with Tina’s, involving a man to do some house repairs and the woman of the house manages to repair his broken heart persuading him to mix business with pleasure. So I had half an anthology. My only issue was that she had included a raccoon in her story. I had to explain (admittedly with a laugh) that we didn’t get raccoons in England. She changed it to a cat!
When Bella Settarra submitted a ménage story, Ménage at Mealtime, involving two hunky guys needed to sweep a chimney for an aspiring writer, I was delighted. It was different enough from the others (I didn’t want lots of stories of guys doing house repairs, for instance) and at the same time steaming!
I only needed one more story at this point and it was one that I had come up with myself while waiting for submissions to come in. Entitled, Marital Duties, it is the story of the owner of the Men for Hire firm and how she was frustrated that several of her employees were falling for the women they were working for and she couldn’t even get sex from her own husband. She fills out one of her own job request forms not meaning for him to get it. When he realises what happened, he decides to play her at her own game and do lots of marital duties for her… just not the one she wants. At least, not at first.
And so we had an anthology. Yippee!.
There were several other submissions I had to reject because they didn’t fit or they were too similar to the others. One was more sci-fi and it was accepted by Luminosity as an individual title. Another was an MM story which we are hoping to include in a second Men for Hire anthology which involves just men. The deadline is coming fast for that with the intention to publish it in the New Year. Watch this space….