Today I am so pleased to welcome Brigham Vaughn to Joyfully Jay. Brigham has come to talk to us about her book, A Brighter Palette. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Three years ago, I attended my first Pride event. Not as a spectator, but as an author. I joined some fellow Michigan LGBTQ romance authors and went to Pride in Ferndale, Michigan.
My introverted nature and dislike of hot weather made for a long, tiring day. Torrential rains closed the event early. And yet, the next weekend when I went to Motor City Pride in Detroit, I was eager to do it. Not just because it was an opportunity to sell my books and chat with friends, but because there was something special about connecting with the people there.
Since then, I’ve thought a lot about why I go to Pride every year. It’s expensive to rent a booth, order print books, and buy swag. It’s long and tiring. It’s hot. Keeping books out of the rain is always stressful. None of that has changed.
But I eagerly look forward to it anyway. Because there is nothing like seeing readers’ eyes light up when they discover you’re selling books. That you wrote those books. And that you’re telling stories about people like them.
It’s that moment of connection when someone smiles shyly and comments on the nails I’ve painted pink, purple, and blue. Or the Bi Pride pin. It’s when I notice a T-shirt with a funny bi joke. Or when someone’s eyes shine after I tell them I’ve written lots of books with bi characters.
Those connections are brief but so filled with joy.
And some of those people I see year after year. Some of them follow me on social media or send me an email or Facebook message. Some of those people become friends.
I go to Pride for many reasons. To sell books. To promote the LGBTQ romance genre as a whole. To create those connections. To do my little part to spread visibility about bisexuality.
I go because I am proud to be a part of the LGBTQ community.
“Leaving without saying goodbye?” Siobhán’s voice was husky. They’d left the curtains partially open and a stripe of sunlight illuminated her breasts and gave her face a warm glow. Her hair was dark against the white pillowcase. The duvet was white too, with bright streaks of color from flowers that looked almost hand-painted. She was so beautiful it hurt to look at her. Like a woman painted by Titian or Botticelli in a sea of impressionist flowers.
Annie gestured to the nightstand. “I left a note. I didn’t want to wake you, but I did tell you I hoped to see you again and left my number.”
Siobhán dragged a hand through her hair, then wiped under her eyes where her eyeliner was smudged. “Ugh. I must look a mess.”
Annie stared at her for a long moment, then shook her head. “You look beautiful. God, I don’t want to leave,” she blurted out.
“So don’t.” Siobhán gracefully shifted so she was on her hands and knees. She crawled toward Annie, her gaze never leaving Annie’s face. “Stay in bed with me.”
Annie laughed faintly. “All day?”
Siobhán straightened until she was kneeling on the bed and slid warm hands under Annie’s blouse. She leaned in and nibbled Annie’s neck. “All day. All night. Until we’re starving and have to venture out. Until I’ve given you so many orgasms you’re too weak for another. Until we’ve had our fill.”
“What if I have somewhere to be?” Annie said weakly, but she tangled her hands in Siobhán’s thick hair and guided her mouth to the spot that always made her knees go wobbly.
“Do you?” Siobhán flicked her tongue against it, and sure enough, Annie’s knees sagged. Siobhán used the opportunity to pull Annie down onto the white sheets. She went willingly.
“Do I what?” Annie gasped. Siobhán had made short work of her blouse and somehow her bra was unhooked, and then, oh God, her warm hands toyed with Annie’s nipples.
“Have somewhere to be?”
Siobhán looked her in the eye, and Annie thought of the errands she should run and the blog post that was due and the laundry piling up. The only words that came out of her mouth were, “Here. In your bed.”
Annie Slocum is a bisexual woman struggling to make a living as a freelance writer. Stuck in a rut, she feels bored with her career, her relationships—her life. A chance meeting with Siobhán at a gallery adds a bright spark to her dull life.
Siobhán Murray is a lesbian Irish painter living in Boston. She loves her career, loves her life, but she’s missing the one piece that will make her life complete—a partner. She falls hard for Annie and is delighted to realize Annie inspires her work. But a string of failed relationships has left her wary of bisexual women and wondering if she can trust that Annie won’t leave her.
When Siobhán’s past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to decide if the new relationship is something that will burn bright and end quickly or if it’s meant to last.
Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.