Bollocks as a word is a little naughty. It’s a little cheeky. It’s a little rude.
And it’s the tongue-in-cheek theme for this collection of short stories celebrating all things English.
You'll discover a bonk is not a typo for somewhere to keep your money.
A shag isn’t something thick and plush under your feet to keep them warm, though it is guaranteed to heat you up!
And as for a snog, the boys of Bollocks! can assure you it’s worth finding out what that Brit term means.The stories will make you laugh. They’ll make you snort.They’ll make you blush.Sigh—they’ll probably make you shake your head.
They may even make you want to catch the next flight to England to find something a little British of your own! It's not just cricket, or jolly hockey sticks, it's more… it’s the very British, Bollocks!
Healing by Tabitha McGowan
Sheep’s Clothing by Elin Gregory
No Worries Mate by E.S. Skipper
It Could Be You by Anyta Sunday
Just Like Pulling Teeth by L.J. Harris
DIY Delights by Taylin Clavelli
In the Blue Moonlight by H. Lewis-Foster
It’s Written in the Stars by Lily Velden
TABITHA MCGOWAN is a writer of dark romantic fiction. She lives in the north east of England with a long-suffering husband and a surprisingly tolerant teenage daughter, as well as a small menagerie that currently includes three dogs, four cats, two ferrets, a rabbit, and a small hamster called Bouffy the Kibble Slayer. She has written professionally since graduating from university with a degree in Theatre Studies, and has worked as a scriptwriter for a theatre company , a writer-in-residence for the National Railway Museum and a copywriter. She’s also a qualified teacher, and sings in a folk/ acoustic band when not hunched, cursing loudly, over her laptop keyboard with a quadruple gin and tonic at her side. Her hobbies include fire-breathing (yes, really...), and being a feminazi intent on destroying civilisation as we know it. She can regularly be found on Facebook and Twitter, usually procrastinating wildly and providing links to cats doing amusing things, and blogs about her writing on Goodreads.
ELIN GREGORY lives in South Wales and works in a museum in a castle built on the edge of a Roman fort! She reckons that’s a pretty cool job. It certainly provides more than enough inspiration for her writing. The button from a military jacket found in an orchard, a 16th century Venetian coin found between the cobbles of a Welsh street, a carnelian from a Roman signet ring; one can’t handle them without wondering who lost them, how much they regretted it and what kind of disaster was sparked off by the loss. Although Elin usually writes on historical subjects, she has also written contemporary and historical paranormals, science fiction, crime and a Western, none of which have, as yet, been published. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow. Elin’s first published stories appeared in the British Flash and Tea and Crumpet anthologies produced by the UK Meet team. Her historical novella, Alike As Two Bees, was published in March 2012 and her first novel, On A Lee Shore, in December of the same year. Since then Elin has been juggling work and family commitments to try and keep the works in progress growing. She is currently finishing a novel about the British Secret Service between the two World Wars, is halfway through one based on a piece of epic Welsh poetry of the 7th century AD, and is planning another based in 1st century Rome and Britannia. Sometimes she wishes she could stick to one time period but any excuse to buy more books!
Encouraged by a friend to try his hand at writing, E. S. SKIPPER began on Fanfiction.net in 2013. A few months later, having found an amazing beta, who encouraged him to expand his horizons and develop his writing, he wrote his first submission for publication. Being gay, M/ M fiction was the natural choice of genre, and E. S. Skipper is a firm believer that no matter who you love, romance is romance. Humor is a part of E.S. Skipper’s personality and influences his writing, but he also has a serious underlying message that runs through many of his stories. Beautiful New Zealand, Land of the Long White Cloud, is E. S. Skipper’s homeland and inspiration, often providing the backdrop to his stories. He is happily married, with three dogs. His interests include running, and, of course, playing and watching rugby . Creating glass art is his true passion, but due to an injury to one of his hands, he’s had to put that on hold. He dreams of seeing his books, and those of other M/ M authors, in print and sitting on the shelves in bookstores alongside famous mainstream authors. He feels strongly that reading gay fiction should not be a dirty little secret, but something that needs to be promoted and encouraged.
A born and raised New Zealander, ANYTA SUNDAY has been exploring the literary world since she start reading Roald Dahl as a kid. Inspired, stories have been piling up in her head ever since. Fast forward to her mid-twenties and jump a few countries (Germany, America, and back again), and she started putting pen to paper. When she’s not writing or chasing her kid around, she’s reading, hiking, watching Joss Whedon series, attempting pilates, or curling up with her two cats. Updates on her projects can be found on her website.
L.J. HARRIS is a mother of teenage twin boys who she loves with all her heart. Her family is her life, her soul, and the very reason she gets out of bed every day. Coming a close second to her family is her writing. She only just discovered a passion for writing in the past five or so years. She’d always written little poems in birthday cards for family members , but that was as far as her writing aspirations went... until she decided to write poems and give them to family members as homemade gifts. It was then a spark was lit, and ever since, she hasn’t been unable to switch off the urge to write. After a close family member fell ill, she began questioning what she wanted and searching for answers. Unable to sleep one night, she sat up and typed out her feelings on the laptop. Her husband read what she’d written and encouraged her to write more. It was then she knew she wanted to share her thoughts with others. She began with writing what she knew— her life story, but couldn’t get into it. Instead, she decided to write about something not based on fact, but fiction, and wrote a dream sequence which she showed to her family. They encouraged her to expand on it, and she hasn’t stopped since. L.J. Harris discovered that as much as enduring pain, loss, betrayal, or any other negative thing in our lives can be devastating , if she hadn’t experienced them for herself, she not only wouldn’t have found some lifelong friends, she doubts she would have been able to write the feelings of anguish and loss that some of her characters have had to endure. L.J. has been previously published and has shared several online stories, and looks forward to continuing to share her work.
TAYLIN CLAVELLI lives in the United Kingdom, about 15 miles south of Birmingham, and a short journey from the world famous Cadbury’s Chocolate factory. She’s married with children and loves her family with all her heart. Her love of books has been a long standing affair, with Taylin liking nothing better than to lose herself in an imaginary world. Until she met Lily Velden, she never considered trying her hand at writing. However, after talking ideas, Lily encouraged her to put pen to paper— or rather, fingers to keyboard. Since then, with a few virtual kicks in the right place, she hasn’t stopped. Her confidence eventually led to her writing an original work for submission. Now she absolutely adores immersing herself into the characters she creates, and transferring the pictures in her brain to paper, finding it liberating, therapeutic and wonderful. Outside of writing, her interests include: martial arts (she’s a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do), horse-riding, and movies, all of which facilitates her love of a wide variety of movies . Her action heroes include Jet Li and Tony Jaa— finding the dedication these men have for their art combined with their skill both amazing and a privilege to watch. If pressed, she’ll admit to thinking that the screen entrance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean —Curse of the Black Pearl , and Shadowfax in LOTR, to be the greatest screen entrances ever. Her all-time favorite movies are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. The simple things in life that make her day, putting a smile on her face are: Laughter— especially that of her children. The smell of lasagna cooking— it makes her mouth salivate. The dawn chorus— no symphony ever written can beat the waking greetings of the birds.
H. LEWIS-FOSTER has worked with books, in one form or another, since leaving university. As a keen reader of gay fiction, she decided to try writing herself, and is now the proud author of several short stories and her debut novel. H. has lived in various parts of the UK and currently lives in the north of England. She enjoys city life, especially the theatres and cinemas, and also likes visiting the beautiful villages in the surrounding countryside. In her spare time, H. loves cooking and discovering the many fabulous local food shops. She was also delighted to see her first play performed earlier in 2014.
LILY VELDEN lives on the east coast of Australia, her family having emigrated from Holland when she was a child. She’s both a left and right brain person, holding qualifications in both Finance and Fine Arts. She tells her friends that her way with numbers will make her a profitable artist and writer... one day. Lily has always had a love of language and a beautifully crafted sentence, and admits to having a fetish for collecting quotes, poems and song lyrics. What she won’t admit to is how many notebooks she’s filled with those quotes. Her fascination carries on into her artworks where she often incorporates text. When a shoulder injury slowed down her art practice, she decided to explore her love of the written word more fully and began writing. “I’ll paint my pictures with words.” Not that she’s abandoned artmaking in its entirety— Lily collaborates on the designs for all her book covers. There are many things Lily loves, here are just a few of the PG rated ones: a good laugh (all the better if caused by a naughty joke), the smell of freshly baked goods and mown grass, a smile from a stranger, rainbows after the rain, and witnessing a promise kept.
H Lewis Foster