“Love @ First Site” in DREAMS & DESIRES

When my first published piece, a short story eBook called SHE’S GOT LEGS, came out last July from Freya’s Bower, I realized that it was difficult to promote an eBook from a company that very few people had ever heard of. FB had only opened its doors a few months earlier, and while it was slowly building a reputation for quality, there had been such an explosion of e-publishers in the last couple of years that it was difficult to stand out from the crowd.

I was chatting with the editor-in-chief and managing editor and tossed out the idea about how wouldn’t it be great to do something really big, like an anthology where we invited some bigger names and all proceeds went to charity. The idea just literally burst out of my mouth before I’d had a chance to even really think about it, but once I did, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Fortunately, Marci Baun and Faith Bicknell-Brown, the editor-in-chief and managing editor respectively, were both intrigued by the idea, as well.

Within a few days, not only did we have a plan, but we also had a charity. Two Freya’s Bower editors are domestic violence survivors, so helping women was an obvious choice. Through Marci’s research, we selected a shelter in Florida (safety and privacy concerns for the residents preclude us from publicly disclosing the name or exact location) to become the recipient of the funds.

We agreed that nobody involved with the project (authors, editors, publisher, cover artist) would receive any compensation whatsoever, and that we would rely mostly upon word of mouth for advertising, so that we wouldn’t cut into the profit for the shelter. Once the contracts were drawn up, the fun began—recruiting authors.

We sent out the first invitations a week before RWA Nationals and approached some authors in Atlanta, as well. I must admit that I felt like a little kid in a candy store, having the opportunity to choose anyone I wanted, and inviting some of my favorite authors to contribute. Fortunately, the cause was so strong that most authors readily agreed.

To be honest, when I conceived of this plan, it never occurred to me that I might get to contribute a story. But about a month before the first draft deadline, Marci asked if I had a story to tell.

My contribution is entitled “Love @ First Site” and it’s the story of Julie Antonelli, a DC lawyer who has trouble meeting guys she’d like to take home to her mom, so she enrolls in an Internet dating site. I’m married, but most of my girlfriends here in DC are single and doing the eHarmony or Match.com thing. I took some of the stories they’ve told me and played “what if.”

I hope you enjoy what I came up with, and I hope you enjoy all the stories in the collection. And know that with every purchase of DREAMS & DESIRES, you support women who need an extra helping hand to allow their own dreams and desires to come true.
~ Amanda Brice