Like the legendary bird, the heroines of Phoenix Rising rise up from defeat, rebuilding their lives, and their loves, one night at a time.
Fallen Angel -- Lena Austin
Angie's an exotic dancer with a secret that could ruin her entire family. There's a fanatic with a gun about to erase all her options but one -- the mysterious biker known as Tree...
Draggin' In Phoenix -- Belinda McBride
Alan's no stranger to the cross-dressing scene, but when he spots the new face on the stage for the Coming Out pageant, it's like a kick to his gut. Then again, Alan's heard imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Things really heat up when "Jesse" and "Lana" go Draggin' in Phoenix!
Fertility Rites -- Anne Kane
Beltane begins at sundown, and tradition dictates Rhys choose his life-mate from the single females who will dance for him. Tamara's determined to win his heart -- but she's not alone.
What Doesn't Kill -- Tuesday Richards
Rebecca's determined to start a new life with Rick. But her past still haunts her -- despite the restraining orders. This time her ex may have pushed her just a little too far...
The Phoenix Rising anthology's royalties go entirely to Save the Quiet Kitty, a fund organized to help our fellow writers with unexpected medical expenses and disaster relief.
Phoenix Rising Excerpt from "Fallen Angel"
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2009 Lena Austin
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Tree still waited for Angie by the bar, where she collected her tray and gave him a blown kiss before running around to her assigned tables.
The wait had never been so long until closing. Nancy's athletic pole dance and Bambi's inspired routine with giant rubber bands got the usual applause, but time crawled until all but Tree staggered out the door.
He'd been drinking virgin sodas for the past two hours, so Angie knew he was safe to drive his prized '72 Harley Sportster safely home. Tree crooked his finger at Angie when the closing bell sounded.
Curious, Angie picked up her leaden feet and acted like she could care less if she made the walk back to the bathroom to change into decent warm clothes for the long walk home. She cast one quick glance at the door with relief, knowing her ex-boyfriend would not be there to harass her if he hadn't arrived by now.
Tree spotted her nervous eyeing of the door and smiled. "Chill, Red. Your ex won't be there. Some of the guys -- and I won't name names -- found out what Bob had been doing to the most ladylike of the dancers in their cherished bar." He cleared his throat and winked. "They had a little chat with ol' Bobby Boy. He's a little occupied keeping breathing, I understand."
"Oh." Angie bit her lip to keep from grinning back at Tree. She felt a little sorry for Bob and hoped his bruises would ache as long as hers had until she'd left him. "Thank you."
Tree drank the remains of his cola in one gulp. "Enlightened self-interest, Angel Face. We don't want to lose our ladies to turds like him." He put his glass on the counter so Sue could wash up. "Need a ride home? I've seen you walking down San Juan."
Angie nodded slowly. Did she trust him so much? She surprised herself by answering with a yes. Would he expect a sexual favor in return? What if he did? Would she? Oh, hell yes, she would. She wasn't a virgin by a long shot. Decision made, then. "I'd love a ride home, especially on your Harley. Got a spare helmet?"
Tree swallowed, and he looked away for a moment. "Yeah. I came here for the express purpose of... seeing to your safety, Angel Face."
She licked her lips with the tip of her tongue. Maybe he did like her and sex wouldn't be a mercy fuck, after all. She was used to being the ugly stepsister and best pal to the more lovely of her friends. Maybe for once she'd found a man who could see beyond her curves. "I appreciate the ride. Did you like my dance, then?"
His jaw tightened and his hand clamped down on her wrist. He guided her hand until she caressed a thick hardness in his jeans. "Yeah."