My pal Harper Bliss is giving away her sexy e-book Younger Than Yesterday for FREE!
Here’s the blurb:
Rose’s husband died seven years ago, but when she welcomes an unexpected guest in her Tuscan holiday home, she’s forced to remember what instant desire feels like. Desire for a younger woman no less.
Download it for zero bucks from Amazon US or Amazon UK!

My pal Harper Bliss is giving away her sexy e-book Younger Than Yesterday for FREE!

Here’s the blurb:

Rose’s husband died seven years ago, but when she welcomes an unexpected guest in her Tuscan holiday home, she’s forced to remember what instant desire feels like. Desire for a younger woman no less.

Download it for zero bucks from Amazon US or Amazon UK!

cougarcrush:

I’m not feeling very ‘Fuck You’ at the moment, but when you see Dolly Parton flipping the flamingo, you reblog that shit. It’s compulsory.

cougarcrush:

I’m not feeling very ‘Fuck You’ at the moment, but when you see Dolly Parton flipping the flamingo, you reblog that shit. It’s compulsory.

(via elphabadger)

Dirty Pleasure

Dirty Pleasure

Dirty Pleasure, a short story prequel to Come and Go, is available for FREE from Amazon and Smashwords. During a decadent weekend in Hong Kong, Lee and her best friend Charlie encounter a slew of interesting characters. One of them is Stevie, a girl who ignites a spark in Lee. Can Stevie restore Lee’s hope that Hong Kong is not totally void of lesbians? This short story is set before the novel ‘Come and Go’ starts and has some of the same settings and characters (mainly lesbros). Enjoy (it’s FREE!)

visual-poetry:

“life is to blame for everything” by jeremy deller

visual-poetry:

“life is to blame for everything” by jeremy deller

Press for ‘Come and Go’

Hong Kong doesn’t have very many openly lesbian authors that are willing to come out with a fictional story about a lesbian character, so Arbyn is stepping into unclear waters, while at the same time taking an inspirational step for other lesbian authors in the city. “I don’t know if I’m necessarily setting out to make an impact, but I would like someone who is closeted to know that they’re not alone.”
Interview with Time Out Hong Kong

+++

With all the adventures we’ve had racing about Hong Kong at night, it’s high time someone wrote about ‘the other city that never sleeps’. Set in & around the (gay) bars & clubs of Hong Kong, Come and Go is Hong Kong resident Hannelore Arbyn’s racy and hilarious debut novel.
Interview with Dim Sum Magazine

+++

Come and Go, released this month, follows Lee Harlem Robinson through a promiscuous couple of months after heartbreak in Hong Kong, presenting an image of an alcohol-dependent and incestuous gay scene there.
Interview with Gay Star News

Book launch party pics

Chapter 4 of ‘Come and Go’

CHAPTER FOUR

Friday, 2 September 2011

She told me on a Friday night. It had been drizzling all week, and Stella wanted to see a movie. Watching blockbusters was her hobby. She preferred her entertainment as brainless as possible. She claimed to use up all her focus at work—I’m sure that changed once CJ arrived. I had been waiting outside the movie theatre for half an hour when she finally showed up. I was annoyed, but by the time she kissed me I was so happy to see her, I camouflaged it behind a smile. I could tell she came straight from work because she wore her light grey pencil skirt, a navy blouse firmly tucked in. When she kissed me she tasted of raspberries and honey. She apologised profusely for the delay, and we both agreed it was too late for the movie. We hated it when people ventured into the theatre even five minutes after lights-out. I invited her for dinner at my place instead, which meant I called my favourite Thai restaurant before we got into a cab.

After dinner I was so turned on by the sight of her blouse clinging to her waist, not an inch of space between them, I wanted to rip it off her. Instead of slowing me down and making me wait for it, like she usually did, it was as if she wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. Her lips felt raw against mine, her touch brutal. We didn’t even make it to the bedroom. I straddled her as she lay on her back in my couch and stared down into her eyes.
“Was this brainless enough for you?”
She didn’t reply. She just blinked and swallowed hard. That’s when I realised something was wrong. Not before, when she was late and didn’t even text me. Not half an hour ago, when she nearly bit me instead of kissing me. Not two days earlier, when she called to say she had to work late and couldn’t make it to my place like we had agreed. Not a week before, when she cleverly disinvited me from a junk trip we were supposed to go on together, claiming I would only be bored.
We sat up in the couch, the only sound the hum of the AC. She turned her face away from me and looked out of the window even though it was dark and all she could see was her own reflection.
“I’ve met someone else, Lee. I’m so sorry.”
We were both still naked. She got up and started to get dressed, but I pulled her hands away from her clothes. Her panties fell on the rug. She still couldn’t face me.
“Who?”
“Someone at work, someone new.”
I fell back into the sofa and watched her get dressed. I couldn’t be bothered to put my clothes back on. If she was going to hurt me she might as well do it while I was at my weakest, naked, stripped bare.
“Are you breaking up with me?” I pulled my knees up to my chin. “If you are, please do me the courtesy of looking at me while you do.”
She sat down next to me. I wanted to touch her. I wanted to make the moment go away, rewind.
“I—”
“Have you been fucking her behind my back? Is that why you can’t look me in the eye?”
“I never meant for this—”
“I can’t believe this. How long?” I knew. Suddenly I was certain she had been double-crossing me.
“Not long. Let’s not make this harder than it has to be.”
“Harder for whom?”
Silence again.
“What’s her name?”
“CJ. She’s an intern in my division. She started working for me two months ago.”
“And you’re leaving me for her?”
“I’m sorry.”
“Just say it. Say that you’re breaking up with me for a girl named CJ. How old is she anyway, if she’s only an intern?”
“I know this hurts. I wish I didn’t have to put you through this. I really do.” She fiddled with her fingers. Why should it be easy for her?
“Then don’t. Forget about CJ.” She started to say something, then thought better of it. Then it hit me.
“Are you in love with her?”
Slowly, she moved her head up and down.
“You should go.”
“I’ll go but I want you to know that—”
“That what, Stella? That it’s not my fault you fell for someone else? That I shouldn’t blame myself? Just leave.”
She grabbed her stuff. She left her bracelet on the table, but I didn’t tell her. Before she shut the door she turned around one more time. “It’s my fault, Lee. I know that. I’m so very sorry.”
The door fell in the lock with a bang, the signal for the tears to start streaming. Still naked, I picked up Stella’s bracelet and put it on, twirled it around my wrist a couple of times. Then I ripped it off and threw it on the floor. I had been in Hong Kong for more than a year, and love had not been an easy find—Stella had been my first here. And now she was gone.

* * *

Unable to face a sleepless night at home with only re-runs of Law & Order SVU on TV to console me, I had joined the boys on their habitual inebriated Friday night odyssey. I traipsed behind Toby, Ryan and Oliver, my brothers in arms and times of defeat, from Psychic Jack to T:me to Zoo, and my lesbian gaydar remained alarmingly silent. I had tried calling Charlie, but it had gone straight to voice-mail every time—he was probably off on a hot date with Daniel.
“Where are the bloody lesbians in this town?” I said for the twelfth time, my words beginning to slur. “Boys, come on, find me one. Fetch your queen a lesbian.” We were at Zoo, a loud crowded mini-club where no one danced and I had no idea what I was doing there. The boys feasted their eyes on tank-topped locals, their mouths watering at the prospect of all that tasty meat that could be theirs with only a simple exchange of glances and a few well-aimed words—top or bottom?
“Don’t worry, darling,” Ryan said, “we’ll find you one before the night ends. I promise.”
“I’ll go home with you tonight, sweetie,” Ollie said. “You shouldn’t be alone.”
“Let’s go outside for a smoke.” Toby hooked his arm in mine. “It’s too busy in here.”

“Hey, is that Charlie?” Ollie almost shouted. His enthusiasm once again betraying his emotions. Charlie looked up from across the road, his crazy friend Robin in tow.
We waved them over, and I thought, the day Charlie has a drink at Zoo will be the day I forget all about Stella Morales.
“We were just on our way to this new club down the road,” Charlie said.
“Have a drink with us?” Ollie pleaded, ignoring the fact that Charlie and Daniel had been dating for five months.
“Where have you been, anyway?” I asked. “I’ve been trying to call you all night.”
“Why? Did you miss me that much?”
“Stella—” I tried to say the words, but they froze in my throat. I averted my gaze and forced the tears away.
“What happened?” Charlie put his arm around me, his eyes darting across my face in search of an explanation.
“She dumped me for her intern.”
“She what?”
I couldn’t stick around any longer. I freed myself from Charlie’s one-armed embrace and wriggled my way to the bathroom through throngs of boys who were mostly my height—I do a lot less looking up to people here. I spotted Robin at the bar, her hair frazzled and her eyes wild, gesticulating at the barman—as if she could still taste what he put in her cocktail. The queue to the ladies’ room was non-existent, one perk of being the only lesbian in the club.
I sank down on the loo, and my head started spinning. I got up and splashed some water in my face. The reflection I caught in the mirror could easily rival Robin’s look of drunken insanity. Watery red-rimmed eyes pushed back by black circles, gloom oozing from my pale skin, my nose still pinkish from my last stint at the beach with Stella. I felt the rage build inside me. I wanted to go out into the night, into every bar in Soho and find Stella. I wanted to go to her apartment and rip CJ off her. A loud bang on the door snapped me out of my state of self-pity.
“Lee, are you in there?” I recognised Robin’s voice, loud and brash, and very drunk. “Hurry up, I need to pee.”
I pulled the door ajar, slivers of pulsing lights and droning bass filtering through, but she forced it wide open and pushed herself past me in the tight space. She smelled like liquor and sweat. Without qualms she peeled her pants off and sat down on the toilet. “Do you want to go dancing?”
“No. I’m not in—”
“The boys told me you and Stella broke up. Are you all right?” Robin was never sensitive like that. Wherever some attention lay around she sucked it towards her and planted the spotlight firmly on herself. In all the times I’d seen her, always with Charlie, she’d never even asked me a direct question. She was always too busy being the life of the party—even if there wasn’t one going on.
“Do I look okay to you?” Despite the booze, which was supposed to help with my bravado, I couldn’t hide the tremble in my voice.
She got up and, without washing her hands, took me in her arms. Tenderness and Robin had always been two opposite entities in my world, and her hug struck me right in the stomach, in that weak spot where it always starts hurting first. I let go of my restraint and cried on her shoulder, in the bathroom at Zoo.
“It’s all right. We’ll take care of you. We’ll get you through this.”
My brain was so muddled I mistook her kindness for something else. My body reacted instantly to the abundance of flesh and skin Robin piled on me. My lips were only an inch away from her neck and I moved my head forward a little bit until they touched her skin. It tasted salty and stale after a night of hard drinking. I trailed my mouth along her neck, up to her chin. Our eyes locked for a split second, and I thought I saw something akin to lust—I was too far gone to correct myself. I leaned in again and kissed her full on the lips. Soon we were lost in a moment of oblivious, intoxicated passion, and I felt the rhythm of my breath quicken. I reached for the button of her jeans, which was still open. I just craved a connection of flesh, I wanted to get lost in someone’s arms and forget—it didn’t matter who. The touch of my fingers on her belly startled her, and I felt her retreat as my hand pressed firmer against it. Then she pulled back completely.
“Hey, what the hell are we doing?” She quickly buttoned up her pants and pulled her fingers through her hair.
“Shit, I’m so sorry.” I fell back against the door and took in Robin’s swaying gestures as she dabbed smudged lipstick from her lips.
“Chin up, Lee. You’ll get over her.” She winked and kissed me on the cheek as if nothing had happened. I stepped away from the door and let her out.
“But what if I don’t?” I asked. “What if I don’t get over her?”

Thanks for reading! If you’d like more, please visit comeandgothenovel.com to buy ‘Come and Go’ as e-book (2.99USD) or paperback (12.99USD)

Chapter 3 of ‘Come and Go’

CHAPTER THREE

Sunday, 2 October 2011

I walk into Shelley’s Yard at one thirty, stake a table at the large open window and order a white wine spritzer. I hardly slept after Stella’s message. I shouldn’t drink in this agitated, wrecked state but I need to feel the heat of the alcohol, even if it’s watered down, glow in my throat, my insides and my blood. All night I pictured Stella lying in her king-sized bed in her fancy apartment on The Peak, sleeping soundly above all the mortals—like she has no idea what she does to us, to me. I got up at ten, took a cab to Bowen Road and ran my heart out. October still has some hot and humid days; my t-shirt was completely drenched, the drying drops of sweat making me shiver in the cold conditioned taxi air on the way back. In the shower my legs shook, and I had to steady myself. In the harsh morning light I almost hated Stella. I could have stood her up, but I feared it wouldn’t even dent her soul.

I watch the people on the escalator as they glide by and are then spat out at the top. Soon one of these people will be Stella. This is why I arrived early. I want to see her slide by, on her way to meet me. I want her eyes to look for me when she enters the restaurant, recognise me, smile. She will kiss me on each cheek, but I will have anticipated the shudder it will send through my skin and my bones—I will have steeled myself. That’s what the spritzer is for. It’s almost two, and I order another.
A flash of white announces Stella’s arrival. She slowly breezes past, her bright top bringing out her mocha skin. She has dressed to impress—me at least. I feel it in my tummy now. I brace myself for the touch of her lips on my cheeks, first the left one and then the right one. This is my time to be brave.
“Hi Lee.” She doesn’t just peck me on the cheeks, she hugs me, a long soft embrace and, as she lets go, runs her fingers through my hair. If this is her plan of battle, she has already won. “I hope I haven’t kept you waiting?” She nods at the two empty wine glasses. What is it with these waitresses anyway? I know it’s busy but don’t they pick up glasses anymore? “Another one?”
“Waiting for you is my favourite hobby, Stella. You know that.”
She smiles. She looks surprisingly good, not at all like the woman who stumbled out of Veto last night. I hope she and CJ haven’t made up. Surely they couldn’t have had time for that? “I was expecting sunglasses and shaky hands from you today.”
“I’m quite sturdy for my age.”
“I guess that’s what hanging with a young crowd does to people. You’re only as young as the people you feel, right? Which makes you—”
“Before you continue, I came here to apologise. I just want to make that clear.”
“Apologise for what exactly? I mean, if it’s for breaking my heart, you’re a little late.”
She looks directly at me, her eyes pleading, like she wants to say something but doesn’t know exactly what, or where to begin. “Can we start this conversation again, please?”
Maybe two spritzers on an empty stomach was a bit much, even for me. I look away. Suddenly all the people on the escalator seem to be happy couples, not a thing on their mind but to enjoy a glorious blue-skied Sunday together. You just wait, I think, till some bitch comes along and stabs you in the heart. I take a deep breath and try to remember the speech I came up with during my run earlier in the day. I draw a blank.
“If only it were that easy.” I wanted it to sound cynical, instead the words come out all mousy and hurt, like I’m about to cry. Am I? Oh no, this is not the plan. No more tears for Stella Morales. I swallow slowly. Where’s that wine? And where are my eggs benedict? “The service in this place—” I feel Stella’s hand on my arm. The words stop. A tear crashes down, leaving a stain on the napkin in my lap.
“Would you like to go somewhere else? Somewhere more private?”
What is wrong with me anyway? I never used to be like this. “God no, I’m fine, really.” Stella’s hand is burning the skin off my arm. I’m sure it will leave a five-fingered black mark once she removes it. I need for it to stay there a little while longer. The waitress brings my wine and Stella’s coffee. I tap the glass and say, “I should go a bit easier on those, right?”
Stella smiles, baring a thin sliver of perfectly white teeth. Her lips are brimming with lip gloss again. I wonder if it’s the raspberry one—the one she wore the day she broke up with me. I can still taste it sometimes, at night, when I lie in bed on my own, replaying the events. I wonder if she still loves me, or if she ever did.
Stella retracts her hand and sips from her coffee. Her eyes glare at me over the rim of the cup. The food arrives, and we eat in silence for a while. There is so much I want to say, but really, what’s the point? We’ll finish our meal, she’ll apologise for last night, maybe we’ll have one more drink and then she’ll be off again, out of my life, and it will hurt like hell to see her walk away—again.
“Do you want to go see a movie this afternoon?”
Is she talking to me? Is this a date now? “Oh Stella, I wouldn’t want you to sacrifice your Sunday just because I shed a little tear earlier.”
“You don’t have to act tough with me.”
“Of course I do. You hurt me the most.”
“I know and I’m sorry. Just give me a chance to make things right.”
“Why? So we can be friends now that your girlfriend is leaving you? It feels like shit, doesn’t it?”
“As a matter of fact, it does. Which makes me all the more sorry for what I did.”
“When is she leaving?”
“In a month.”
“What’s going to happen in that month?”
“What do you mean?”
“Will you be together until she leaves or are you breaking up?”
“God, I have no idea. She only told me yesterday.”
“Aren’t you her boss? Why didn’t you know?”
“Because she applied for a job with another bank behind my back.”
“So if she wanted, she could stay in Hong Kong.”
“That’s correct.”
“But she doesn’t.”
“Nope. Serves me right, don’t you think?”
“Well, I guess so. Really, what else can I say?”
“Nothing.”
“Is that why you want to go to the movies this afternoon? To forget?”
“Yes.” She pinned her eyes on me, but I couldn’t meet her gaze. “And to spend some time with you.”
“I’m not going to the movies with you, Stella. I’m sorry.”
I wanted nothing more than to sit next to her in a dark theatre, feel her arm touch mine, close my eyes and smell her perfume, hear her breathe. We could go for a cocktail afterwards, maybe even dinner. I could have said I found that bracelet she lost, it was under the couch and my cleaning lady finally found it—I always suspected her of not cleaning under there. She would come home with me, kiss me with her raspberry lips and cheat on CJ, with me. I wanted it but I couldn’t do that to myself. I have some self-respect. Not a lot, but enough not to let Stella Morales ruin my life twice in one month.

http://www.comeandgothenovel.com/

Chapter 2 of ‘Come and Go’

CHAPTER TWO

Sunday, 1 May 2011

I met Stella on the first of May at RED. Charlie wanted to introduce me to his new boyfriend, Daniel. When I arrived it was just the three of us, but in usual Hong Kong fashion, as the night progressed, we were joined by friends and friends of friends. Stella was Daniel’s colleague and she had just been on a gruesome date. I was more than pleasantly surprised when she referred to her date as “she.” She bought beers for everyone, including herself. It had been quite busy and we’d been standing all night. When I spotted a table freeing up, I immediately claimed it, and Stella sat down next to me, our fingers twirling sweating bottles around.
“I love this place,” she said. “It’s my favourite bar in Hong Kong.”
“Yeah. At least there’s a breeze here.”
Through a well-practised Q&A of the standard questions I discovered she was from Florida, worked at Goldman Sachs, lived on The Peak and had been in Hong Kong for four and a half years with no immediate plans of leaving.
“So what do you make of Charlie and Daniel?” I asked.
“Charlie’s very handsome and Daniel’s filthy rich. They should make a good pair.”
“Is that why your date was so awful? She wasn’t pretty or rich enough?”
“Neither actually.” Stella laughed. “Did I offend you just now?”
“I’ve been here long enough not to be so easily offended anymore. But, well, Charlie is my friend.”
“And Daniel is mine.”
“Where did you meet her?”
“Who?”
“Your date.”
“Why do you want to know?”
“I’m just curious. Lesbians seem so hard to find in this city.”
“I met her on the internet.”
“Really?”
“Why so surprised?”
“You don’t really strike me as the type to look for love on a dating website.”
“As you just said, good women are hard to find in Hong Kong.” She looked me straight in the eyes. “Where do you get yours?”
“I don’t. That’s the problem.”
“Maybe tonight’s your lucky night.”
Stella seduced me in five minutes. I was defenceless against her cool charm, her Miami wit, her effortless elegance and the way her tan skin contrasted with the light beige blouse she wore. Later, we shared a cab to her apartment on The Peak. The ride uphill was silent. I glanced at her from the corner of my eye. She stared out of the window as the cab flung itself up the steep streets. I felt slightly intimidated by this woman, this stranger I met mere hours ago. She had the waistline of a sixteen year old, but the small wrinkles creasing around her eyes when she smiled betrayed her real age. I wanted to spur our driver on to go faster, but he was already racing at an insane speed. At the same time, I wanted to stay in the car forever and live in perpetual anticipation.

“You were quiet in the cab. You’re not having second thoughts, are you?” Stella asked in the elevator.
“What? Oh no. No no no,” I stammered.
Once inside, without asking, she poured us both a glass of scotch. I don’t drink scotch, but I didn’t say anything. I walked to the window to enjoy the amazing view she had over the city. Towers full of light spreading out below me, puncturing the sky. It was nothing compared to the inside of her apartment. The living room was the size of my entire flat, which, by Hong Kong standards, wasn’t even that small. The walls were filled with expensive-looking modern paintings, and every possible surface, from cabinets to floor corners, was covered with funky statues, oddly-shaped vases and peculiar shiny objects. This place was obviously meant for showing off, and, at least with me, it worked. I nearly had to sip from the scotch to hide my bewilderment.
I faced the window again and in the reflection I saw her approach. She had kicked off her heels upon entering, and I could barely hear her footsteps, even though I must have been in one of the most quiet spots in the city. She put her glass on the window sill in front of me and lay her hands on my shoulders, gently stroking them. Without shoes, she was maybe one inch taller than me, but it felt like at least ten. Her hands travelled from my shoulders to my neck, where she touched my naked skin for the first time. I still had my back to her when she unbuttoned my shirt, the window mirroring our movements. Her hands slowly escorted my shirt off my upper body. I tried to turn around, but she wouldn’t let me, not yet. Her red nails trailed over my skin, downward, where she unzipped my jeans. I felt her lips on my back while her right hand made its way into my pants. That was when I fell in love with Stella Morales, and she hadn’t even kissed me yet.