I’m so excited to announce that today is release day for the Summer Rain anthology!
One hundred percent of author proceeds from this volume will go to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), which is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States.
If you’re ready to buy it right now, go for it! But then come back. There’s more good stuff below…
Purchase Summer Rain
Okay, are you with me? Yay!
I talk a bit about my own contribution to Summer Rain — a short story called Redemption — in today’s newsletter (read it here, and subscribe if you haven’t).
Today, I’m pleased to be interviewing author Cecilia Tan about her story, Sacrifice, which is excellent and well worth checking out. I think a lot of you will become new fans of Cecilia’s work after reading it.
Here’s the blurb—
When a tenth-century trader from the Orient sells his daughter to a Macedonian, he doesn’t ask why the man needs a virgin, little knowing she is intended to fulfill an ancient pact with a demigod who can end the crushing drought. But this demigod has sworn off his father’s rapacious ways. With the influence of the ancient pantheon waning, only love can heal them all.
About Summer Rain
What happens when love gets caught in the rain?
In this romance anthology, RITA-Award winning author Molly O’Keefe shows us the power of a city thunderstorm from the top of a skyscraper, while Amy Jo Cousins soaks us in a rain in Spain. New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox’s heroine is devastated by a winter storm, while a summer thunderstorm grants Alexandra Haughton’s hero and heroine a second chance at love. Rain sparks self-awareness in the robot in Charlotte Stein’s story and allows Mary Ann Rivers’s heroine to fall in love with her hero and her own art. Rain causes romance between the college students in Audra North’s and Shari Slade’s stories, while romance causes rain in Cecilia Tan’s myth-inspired tale of a sacrifice to a demi-god. Nine romance novelettes, edited by Sarah Frantz.
Sounds wonderful, right? It is! Without further ado, my questions for Cecilia:
1. Tell me why you decided to participate in the Summer Rain collection.
When Audra approached me about it I just jumped in without hesitation. My Twitter feed every day is filled with women who have been abused, raped, or exploited. Some of them are news stories from faraway places, but so often it’ll be someone I know, a writer who fled her abusive marriage with nothing but her nightgown and bedroom slippers, the one who called the police when he wasn’t home and they came and found a gun he had hidden in her house, the one who was stalked at a writers convention. There’s only so much I can do to help. So I jumped at the chance to do what I do best–write fiction!–to help the cause and RAINN.
2. What made you want to tell this story? Were there particular elements that drove the writing process along for you?
My work almost always deals with boundaries and consent, and especially since this was a RAINN anthology, I knew I would especially want to play with that. I like challenges. I thought to myself, what would be the toughest situation I could put the characters in, with the most barriers to communication and the least amount of female agency, and still come up with a satisfying story of female empowerment and making a choice for love? The biggest power imbalance I could come up with: he’s literally a demigod with the power of lightning and thunder, and she’s been sold by her own father in a country where she doesn’t speak the language.
Also, I have a thing about lightning and thunder. I have no idea why. it comes up in a lot of my books!
3. Was this an easy or hard story to write?
It was a hard one because I made it hard! There were points where I thought to myself, scrap this one and write another where the characters can actually TALK to each other! But I kept at it, trying to find those emotional beads that when they’re strung together make a whole necklace.
4. Your story packs so much that is evocative of a different time/place/world into a compressed space. It reads in many ways like an erotic fable, hinting at lessons for the reader. What did you hope your readers would take from the story?
I wanted that fable sort of feel because I wanted to have both the ancient milieu but modern relevance. We’re still struggling with abuse of power and exploitation and disenfranchisement today. Everything from human trafficking to domestic violence plague our societies and our lives. We have to change that. We have to be the generation that changes that. I feel that fiction has the power to change the world. A story can affect our minds in a powerful and positive way, and that’s always my hope for my stories, that they help someone find strength, or see the world or their relationships in a way that makes positive change.
Thank you so much, Cecilia!
Cecilia Tan won the RT Reviewers Choice Award for Erotic Romance in 2013 for her novel Slow Surrender. She writes passionate fiction, erotica, romance, and fantasy. She lives in the Boston area with her partner of 23 years and three cats.
If you want to learn more about Cecilia Tan, you can find her here:
Twitter: @ceciliatan https://twitter.com/ceciliatan
And here are those links again…
Purchase Summer Rain