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Agony / Ecstasy Collection: Authors Revealed

So here is the announcement of all the authors in the upcoming Agony/Ecstasy Anthology that will be published by Berkley Heat in November 2011.   Some of these authors are names you will recognize and some are brand new authors.   I’ve linked to a website of the author, if one exists.   Some have backlist titles if you want to check them out.   I’ll do more in depth previews of each short (or as in depth as I can get without giving away the entire short) each month up to the release date in 2011.

  • A.L. Simonds – knitting, sk8ers, and some fierce girl on girl action
  • Anne Calhoun – Anne is authoring two stories about the same couple.   One from his point of view and one from her point of view.
  • Bettie Sharpe – Retelling a fairy tale of the Little Mermaid
  • Cameron Belle – An m/m futuristic gladiator story between a med technician and fighter.   Word is that Belle is working on more stories in this universe.
  • Christine D’Abo – A man in control finds a release in pain.
  • Delphine Dryden – Friends to lovers, one of my favorite tropes!
  • Dionne Galace – A lost soul finds succor under the tattoo needle.
  • Edie Harris – What if you were in woman in a terrible marriage in a society where you were considered nothing without a man?
  • HelenKay Dimon – A different kind of boss and secretary story
  • Lily Daniels   – Survivor’s guilt following the Titanic, with a little revenge for spice.
  • Jean Johnson – A femdom story set in a fantasyland where the most powerful warrior in the land lays down his sword for one woman.
  • Jill Myles – A bachelorette’s last fling.
  • JK Coi – A   painful love story where, in the dark, nothing and everything has changed.
  • Margaret Rowe – One virginal but scheming bride plus one Viscount who believes he’s had the decency beaten out of him = a very wicked wedding night.
  • Meljean Brook – Hot, the Meljean Brook way.
  • Sara Thorn – Getting to the bottom of the “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse leads one woman to discover what it is that really makes her boyfriend tick.
  • Sarabeth Scott – Sometimes being proper all the time can be a pain in and of itself.
  • Shoshanna Evers – Natalie is looking for something to replace cutting   which she knows isn’t healthy for her.   Something turns out to be someone.
  • Sunny Moraine – “ I was free-drifting the night Kim neuroburned me.”   Different, unique, fresh is what I thought when I read this short.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Elyssa Papa
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 10:43:13

    Such a fantastic line-up of authors! I was lucky to beta read and cp three of these shorts. So glad that those three made it in, too. I lol’d at the description for Meljean Brook. And Jill Myles’s short sounds just like
    my type of thing. I’m actually excited about all of the shorts.

    And I bet the cover for this is super sexy. :)

  2. shuzluva
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 10:54:10

    Damn you Berkley, for making me wait 11 months for this. I guess it will be a 2011 Hanukkah present!

  3. Jan Springer
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 10:55:22

    Congratulations to all the authors! I look forward to reading the anthology. :-)


  4. Agony/Ecstasy update «
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    […] Jane has the list of contributors for the Agony/Ecstasy anthology up over at Dear Author, plus short blurbs about each story. She has some very nice things to say about my story […]

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  7. Janine/Lily Daniels
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 11:25:23

    DA readers should know that I have a story in this anthology (It’s the Lily Daniels), as at this point at least, I plan to continue to review Berkley/Ace books.

    I’m using a different name from Janine Ballard mainly because the story is more explicit than my novel WIP, which I hope to publish as Janine Ballard.

    I’m excited about the line-up of authors too — I did some wooting when I first saw it. Also, I’ve read the Bettie Sharpe story and it rocks. Can’t wait to read the whole anthology.

  8. Anne Calhoun
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 11:36:15

    I am so excited to be included in this anthology and can’t wait to read the rest of the stories. Congrats to all!

  9. Jill Sorenson
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 12:00:48

    What a great lineup! Fantastic talent and very intriguing descriptions. And there’s an f/f story? Squee!!

  10. Angela
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 12:01:48

    Congratulations to all the authors! Sounds great and I definitely am looking forward to reading it!!

  11. Jaclyn
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 12:20:43

    But…but…that’s in a year! ::sob:: I’ve only read four of the authors listed so I’ll use the intervening eleven months to go read stuff by the many new-to-me authors listed here.

    Congratulations to all the authors included!

  12. Vi
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 12:47:42

    Looks like a great mix of stories. Can’t wait to read the book. Congrats to Jane and all of the authors.

  13. Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:05:11

    I want to thank Jane and Berkley for this fantastic opportunity. My Margaret side had a blast writing this, and got me kick-started for another project. Can’t wait to see the cover and read the rest of the stories!

  14. bam
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:06:55

    I am so stoked to be in anthology with MOTHERF*CKING Meljean Brook, Helenkay Dimon, AND Bettie Sharpe. Frickin’ awesome.

  15. joanne
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:11:54

    @Janine: Congratulations Janine, I love the setting for your story!

    I read the first line of your reply and the rest was blow the screen

    (I'm Lily

    so for a moment there I was so afraid you were saying you’re using the pen name Lily White. *grin*

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  17. Janine/Lily Daniels
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:21:44

    @joanne: LOL! (I just changed the comment a little to get rid of the white space).

    And thanks! I had such fun writing in that setting (England 1912).

    I forgot to extend my congrats to everyone in the anthology. I can’t wait to read the rest of it. The wait for this collection to come out is going to be too long.

  18. Sunita
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:48:39

    Oh, this sounds like so much fun! Congratulations to all the authors!

  19. bettie
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 13:55:33

    I’m so excited about this anthology, and not just because I have a story in it. First, it will introduce readers to Janine/Lily Daniels — her story is excellent. Second, squee! This anthology has some of my favorite authors in it. I can’t wait to read the other stories.

  20. Janine/Lily Daniels
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 14:02:26


    ::blushing:: Thanks!

    Lots of excitement on Twitter today about your story! I was just telling Shiloh Walker & Elyssa Papa how much I loved it.

  21. MaryK
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 14:16:49

    Wow, this is going to be a cool anthology! I’ve a feeling I might have to read some of them gingerly because I’m a wimp. ;)

    I’m really interested in how you chose the stories. Did you pick your personal favorites or the best written and best fit for the anthology? Did you have to turn away some that you liked but couldn’t use? Editorial process kinds of things. It sounds like a fun project and I’m curious. :)

  22. Jane
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 14:23:06

    @MaryK: There were at least three stories I really agonized over. One was more emotionally painful and I thought maybe it was slightly too talky for the short but I really liked the feel for it. I told the author that I would probably regret not including it.

    But I tried to go for variety as well as personal taste because I know that my personal taste isn’t the same as everyone else and I was hoping to create a very diverse collection. To that I tried to choose the stories that I thought had the best writing while filling in a variety of storylines, settings, and tropes.

    One storyline I wished I could have included was menage, but I didn’t find one in the submitted stories that fit into the collection.

    Some of the submissions contained slang and lingo from deeper into certain lifestyles and I didn’t feel those had enough mainstream appeal and some didn’t have the strong emotional connection I was looking for. To me, good sex or hot sex doesn’t work without a strong emotional storyline.

    I was pretty amazed at what people did in the short space that they were allotted though.

    I suspect that there will be some stories that resonate and some that don’t. I really look forward to the reviews!

  23. claudia
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 14:27:01

    @Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe:
    i am glad they had the good sense to include you.

  24. Fia
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 14:46:40

    Whoa. Congrats, all! I look forward to reading the anthology.

    I was really surprised to see the inclusion of DA Janine/Lily Daniels, considering the relationship.

    You’re a co-publisher of DA where Janine is a main reviewer and now you’re an editor of an anthology that includes a story by Janine.

    Were you aware who Lily Daniels was when you received a submission? If you knew who were Lily, were you concerned about how others may react to your decision to publish Janine’s submission?

    For what it’s worth, I have no problem with this because I know you wouldn’t put your hard-earned credibility at risk if the story wasn’t that good. I just love to know how you dealt with the dilemma or how you came to the decision. Thank you!

  25. Jane
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 14:50:34

    @Fia: I asked Janine to be in the anthology when I was first offered the deal because I didn’t know that anyone would be interested in writing for it and I figured I would have to twist the arm of 20 people to write a short for me.

    I wrote a tiny bit about that in June.

    I had no idea people would be interested in submitting until I announced the deal on DearAuthor and on Twitter.

  26. MaryK
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 15:08:34

    @Jane: Interesting. It’d be really tempting to fill an anthology with favorite stories, but I can see how that would limit the audience. Realllly glad you went with strong emotional connection! For me, no emotional connection equals no reader connection.

  27. Moriah Jovan
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 15:21:22

    OMG Bettie!!! *squee* I would give my left foot to write like she does.

  28. Kate Pearce
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 16:17:06

    It sounds awesome!! Many authors here that I love to read already and a chance to find some new faves.
    I wish I’d had the time to even submit something to it-I had a great idea, and it was a menage, LOL but no time :( Maybe next year!

  29. HelenKay Dimon
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 16:40:28

    I’m so excited to be in this anthology with such great authors and some new-to-me names. What fun! I absolutely loved writing the short and am thrilled Jane created the opportunity. Thank you, Jane!

  30. Edie Harris
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 16:50:28

    So many thanks to Jane/Dear Author and Berkley for this opportunity; I am incredibly excited to be included in this anthology-‘especially as a debut author in such awesome company!

    Today is definitely a good day. :)

  31. Elyssa Papa
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 16:58:07

    What I love is the variety of stories offered. Bettie, Janine has talked up your short and I am a big fan of your writing–I can’t wait to read yours. I’m really excited to read Janine/Lily’s too–the setting is so cool.

    Jane, I’m sadface that there aren’t any gingerbread men shorts… lol

  32. Sunny
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 17:02:33

    It’s great to see this fantastic lineup. I’m really thrilled to be a contributor and I can’t wait to read the other stories. :D

  33. JK Coi
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 17:51:04

    This is such a fantastic line-up! I’m very excited to be included in the anthology and look forward to reading all the other great stories! Thanks again Jane and Berkley for this amazing opportunity!

  34. Keishon
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 18:23:11

    That is a good line-up. Congrats to all.

  35. Jennie
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 18:54:27

    I am super, super excited for this anthology. Cannot wait!

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  38. Cameron Belle
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 11:57:30

    What an awesome lineup! I’m so excited to be a part of this anthology, and I can’t wait to read everyone else’s stories. They all look interesting, and I’m particularly curious about the Sunny Moraine, HelenKay Dimon and Margaret Rowe offerings.

  39. orannia
    Dec 08, 2010 @ 15:39:06

    Congrats to the authors. There are definitely some shorts listed that have me intrigued :)

  40. Meljean
    Dec 09, 2010 @ 20:18:06

    Awesome! I’m so glad to see authors that I’m familiar with and already enjoy (I just discovered Anne Calhoun a few months ago, and loved loved both one of her short stories and a longer work) as well as some new faces. I can’t wait to read the contributions!

    And, ahem, to my dear @bam: I do not f*ck my mother. Not in all caps, at least.

  41. Sherry Thomas
    Dec 10, 2010 @ 11:33:52

    I’ve read both Janine’s and Bettie’s stories, and they rock. It should be interesting to see the whole anthology.

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