BOOKS

GretelonHerOwn-f
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GRETEL ON HER OWN


Once upon a time, a brother and sister were led away into the depths of the forest. It was only to protect them, their mother explained and the brother concurred; yet he insisted on pebbles, bread crumbs. He insisted on looking back for cats and pigeons and whatnots, brightened by the touch of the sun.


Twenty years later, Gretel Kindermann is on her own: her father has taken himself off to Dortmund, her mother is a fixture at the local mental healthcare institution, and her brother Hänsel, oh—


At the heart of the matter, like a thorny-rooted weed, is Frau Heckscher, the purveyor of all things sweet in the little village at the lip of the forest. And now, perhaps, also a niece that no one has heard of before, lately arrived from Vienna to wreak havoc on poor Gretel’s nerves and heart.


In Gretel on Her Own, Elna Holst offers a contemporary sapphic twist to your favourite Germanic fairy tale of homicidal arsonists and houses built out of baked goods, trickster witches, and parenting skills that leave a lot to be desired.


  • "Elna Holst is a word genius ... each new book is a promise, a brain roller coaster, a rush of endorphins that will go straight to your head." — Jude @ Les Rêveur
  • "Freaky, creepy and amazing. Everything a fairy tale should be, and more!" — AMofOz @ Amazon
  • "The prose was more captivating than a house of gingerbread is to two hungry children." — Liliyana @ Amazon
  • "This is an excellent bedtime story for adults, with some twists and turns and a very sweet and alluring fairytale romance." — Pipsqueakreviews @ Bookstagram
Pyotra and the Wolf
Prologue
Chapter One

PYOTRA AND THE WOLF


For the space of a breath or two, that wolf had entranced her, mesmerised her, made her believe—the impossible. And that was all it took.

Nothing about this wolf was as it should be.

 

Pyotra Nikolayevna Kulakova lives in a small Russian settlement in the northern Siberian taiga, where the polar night lasts for a good month out of the year and the temperature rarely reaches above freezing point. Pyotra’s days, too, seem congealed and unchanging, laden with grief, until her baby brother’s close encounter with a tundra wolf upends the lives of the three members of the Kulakov family in one fell swoop.

 

Pyotra and the Wolf is a queer retelling of Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonic fairy tale, structurally influenced by matryoshka dolls and memory castles. This is a story of darkness and light, love and loss, beast and human. Whichever way the spinning kopek falls.


  • "This is a perfect winter read." — KD Rye @ The Lesbian 52
  • "Who would have thought dual personalities, human and wolf coexisting, could be so sexy?" — Jude @ Les Rêveur
  • "Elna Holst’s retelling of Prokofiev’s classic tale takes the good old trope of enemies to lovers to new heights... where the lines between woman and beast first blurs and then blends until the reader is no longer sure where one entity ends and the other begins." — Prin @ Princess and Pages
  • "Pyotra and the Wolf is a book that made me so very happy with all of the choices that were made! It is a queer retelling of the Russian fairytale ‘Peter & the Wolf’ except very sapphic, and very sexy." — Audrey S @ Goodreads
  • "I felt the Siberian chill in this atmospheric LGBTQ+ retelling of Peter and the Wolf... I highly recommend this for people who enjoy WLW romance, retellings, and mystery." — RJ Sorrento @ Amazon
Lucas
Letter 1
Lucas

LUCAS


I thought ease would come, here, tucked away in the safe uneventfulness of Hunsford. It would seem I was mistaken.


In 1813, upon her marriage to Mr Collins, the rector of Hunsford Parsonage, Charlotte Collins née Lucas left her childhood home in Hertfordshire for Kent, where she is set to live out her life as the parson’s wife, in an endless procession of dinners at Rosings Park, household chores, correspondence, and minding her poultry. But Mrs Collins carries with her a secret, a peculiar preference, which is destined to turn all her carefully laid plans on their head.


Lucas is a queer romance, a mock-epistolary novel, and a retelling and continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, teeming with Regency references and Sturm und Drang. It is an homage to English literature—and a brazen, revisionist fan fiction. But, first and foremost, it is a love story. Read it as you will.


  • "There was an excellent balance of romance, passion, drama, and humor. It was engaging from start to finish and I completely fell in love with the book and will re-read it many times." — Corrie @ lezreviewbooks.com
  • "This is a wonderful book (with plenty of steaminess) written with exceptional art and craft." — BestLesficReviews.com
  • "The writing is strictly phenomenal... If you are a fan of historical fiction, Pride and Prejudice, or just a good love story, then Lucas will not disappoint you." — KD Rye @ The Lesbian 52
  • "I was on the edge of my seat for a good 50% of the book." — Kissing Backwards: Lesbian Literature Reviews
In the Palm
I am drunk and about to chop my hand off

IN THE PALM


Stranded on a tropical island, Dr No-Name has no mobile phone, no wallet, no passport, no keys. No left hand, no shoes and no memory. What she does have is a blister pack of nicotine gums, two minibar-sized bottles of whisky (consumed), and what appears to be an endless supply of coconuts. She can't possibly get into any worse trouble, can she?


Loosely based off Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, In the Palm gives a sapphic twist to the stranded-on-a-desert-island trope.


  • "This story got me in the palm of its hand..." — Gaby @ lezreviewbooks.com
  • "Castaway with a companion and better ending." — Carrie @ Goodreads
  • "Who doesn't like a book that makes you laugh out loud one moment and then burst into tears the next?" — Alexis @ Goodreads
  • "I loved how dark the beginning of the book was, how vivid and painful the imagery got, how intense the MC's situation is." — Medina Gustavsson @ amazon.com
And Then They Were Four
ATTWF
Wild Bells
Linda Ling was all that
Little x
She had managed to get a stain on herself, first thing
Candlelight Kisses
There wasn't even any snow yet

A TINSEL AND SPRUCE NEEDLES ROMANCE


This series of standalone but interlinked seasonal-themed novelettes takes place in Malmö/Lund, Sweden between the years of 1994 and 2000.


In Candlelight Kisses a feminist activist clashes with a blast-from-the-past in the form of one of the contestants in the Malmö Lucia contest.


In Little x a dyslectic bus driver meets with a handsome stranger, the instant attraction leading her to question everything she's taken for granted.


In Wild Bells a sharp, sensational-looking lawyer-to-be gets caught in the spin of wheels that have been set in motion by an unexpected source.


In And Then They Were Four the crew from the previous instalments come together for one final hurrah, as they make their way through Advent 2000.


  • "Getting ahold of a new Elna Holst has us as giddily excited as a tween catching sight of their SecretNotSoSecret crush." — BestLesficReviews.com
  • "I really like the queer holiday mood of the whole story. It's all about finding your family during Christmas in unexpected places—be it another country or a crowded gay bar. It skips most of the angst LGBT people may feel during the holiday and goes right for the warm fuzzies." — Jess @ Love Bytes: LGBTQ Book Reviews
  • "I adored the diversity and representation. There were multiple ethnicities, different body types, non-binary people, poly relationships, and a wheelchair-using woman. It’s easy to find a festive story with one diverse character, but there was so much representation here that it no longer read as inclusion for the sake of ticking a box." — Samantha @ The Lesbian Review
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Into the Mystic, vol. 2
The moss underfoot was soft enough to sleep on
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ANTHOLOGIES

 

Elna Holst's short stories have appeared and are forthcoming in a number of anthologies, published by NineStar Press, Cleis Press, SinCyr Publishing, Queer Pack and Bold Strokes Books, among others. Holst has a passion for shorts, ranking these bite-sized delectables among the finest she has to offer. Sensuous, surprising, off-centre and experimental, this collection of sexy trinkets is steadily growing, allowing her to get out and play with fellow authors whenever she's stayed cooped up with novel-writing for too long.


For a full listing of the anthologies Elna's stories have been included in, please visit her author page on Goodreads.

 

  • "There is a lot of great representation in this anthology – including lesbian, bisexual and demisexual characters – so if you're looking for beautifully diverse women loving women and sex positive F/F relationships then you're in the right place." — on Into the Mystic, vol. 2 by Lily @ Goodreads
  • "Standouts include...Elna Holst’s 'Leather-Bound,' featuring a gay bibliophile celebrating her 40th birthday with sex in a library." — on Best Bondage Erotica of the Year, Vol. 2, in Publishers Weekly
  • "This is a lovely collection of short stories covering a wide range of genres, from sci-fi to romance to historical fiction. The different characters are wonderfully diverse and represent people from right across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, who are facing up to their struggles with a huge amount of hope. Highly recommended!" — on Queers Who Don't Quit, by Ellie @ Goodreads