Monday, 30 March 2015

Special Guest - Kinky Brits

Well, we have the Kinky Brits here today - a quartet of tea drinking kinksters with impeccable manners (naturally...) they're here to talk labels with us...

I want to talk about labels, labels for books, labels for people and more particularly labels for characters.
Charlie Forrest
When it comes to selling a book, particularly a piece of erotica, there's relatively little opportunity to communicate to the buyer what is available. For this reason a lot of erotica pieces tend to have quite simple titles, often with a sub-title that's little more than a list of kinks (We know that we're occasionally guilty of this).
If you're lucky someone might be interested enough to then have a look at the blurb for the book, a hundred words or so giving a basic set-up and an idea of what's inside. Again this tends to be to the point where if one is so inclined a brief list of the activities contained within may be included.
Anna Sky
It goes without saying that using labels in this way over-simplifies things massively and any reasonably well drawn character will defy any pigeon hole you try to put them into. That's part of what makes them compelling and gives them a chance to evolve as the story progresses. This is why I try very firmly to only use labels for the specific acts (spanking, rope bondage, etc) that a story contains. Why? Because that's usually what the buyer wants to know.
Bawdy Bloke
If you did try to label your characters you'd end up with a mini paragraph on each
"Sort of submissive, but only in a playful, 'I want to really, but want to be persuaded' sort of a way, who also will take charge of events and isn't averse to exploring new ideas."
Why? Because they're not cardboard cut-outs, we just don't write that way. Yes sometimes peripheral characters might be a bit 2D but, guess what, they're not the ones at the heart of things having earth-shattering sex!
Tilly Hunter
Where this gets tricky is when the labels one wants to add are considered 'adult' or worse 'unacceptable' by publishing platforms (Amazon's adult filter it's a minefield!). This often leads to situations where you can't be open and honest about what's in the book and have to cloak it in mysterious terms like "taboo" which could mean pretty  much anything.
Labels, they can be a powerful tool for finding what you want, but in the wrong hands can be used to do the exact opposite.

What do you think? Join the debate below! Do you want to know what's in you're books? Or do you love a saucy surprise? Thanks for hanging out with the Brit Babes today Kinky Brits! x x x

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Grab Sexy Just Got Rich- QUICK!!!!

The clock is ticking on your chance to pick up our latest anthology at the BARGAIN price of only 99p or 99c!!!

Don't miss out!!

Billionaires have it all but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to work hard to get what their hearts desire. In this anthology of erotic BDSM stories the Brit Babes offer heroes and heroines who aren’t shy about taking what they want. From farmyards to luxury penthouses, wealth is all about sating needs, connecting souls and taking pleasure to new highs. Whether you’re looking for a coffee break read or something longer to curl up in bed with, you’ll find something to suit your needs in Sexy Just Got Rich.

Just check out these amazing 5 star reviews!!

"This is such an amazing book, it has such a wide variety of short stories with all different kinds of incredibly hot scenes of various kinds of sex and kinks. It has something for everyone! Although I loved them all!! Every story is different and so well written. A definite MUST buy to have for your collection!!"

"...Brit Babes triumph again!! This anthology is absolutely amazing. I enjoyed each and every story immensely. There are 2 types of story in this collection - ones that can be read in a coffee break and ones that can be read in a  bit longer lunch break. Be warned though, these are not to be read in delicate surroundings! They will have you squirming, eyebrow raising and making noises that should only be made in the right company!! I adore every writer in this collection..."

" does Erotica/Smut like these ladies! The Brit Babes have taken the now popular 'billionaire' stories and given them the once or twice over..."

"...Someone please bring me a bucket of ice so I can cool off. These women know how to write a deliciously steamy story. Each one just got hotter and hotter...."

"This is a great anthology from a group of very talented writers. The Brit Babes have mixed it up a bit this time by including short stories and flash fiction (approx 1000 words). I really liked this, the contents page is clear (title / author / length / short synopsis of stories) so you can flick to whichever story you have time or want to read... these stories felt different. The relationships are integral to the stories and the sex is hot and steamy. There's plenty of BDSM in this anthology, an interesting use of champagne, a femdom and an obsession with the Marquis de Sade's words just to name a few things. I loved the variety, each author has their own distinctive voice and if you've never read anything by them before this is a really good way to explore their styles. I've read a lot of their stuff, they've written a massive amount of books between them, which is awesome if you want to dip into their back catalogues. Highly recommended read."

So what are you waiting for???  Go grab your copy QUICK!!!
Love The Brit Babes xxx

Monday, 23 March 2015

Special Guest - F. Leonora Solomon

Hello to you all! It is my special delight to welcome back the gorgeous and talented F.Leonora Solomon
Not only does she put together wonderful anthologies, she writes beautiful erotic tales and posts the most luscious art (all pictures have been borrowed from her Pinterest!) - always inspiring and endlessly enthusiastic, passionate and generous, please say hello to Brit Babes' friend, Ms Solomon...

This is my second guest spot on The Brit Babes, and I could not be happier to be here or in a better place personally. I could talk endlessly about my upcoming anthology TIE ME UP, or my short story that is going to be featured in Jilly Boyd's upcoming anthology, SPY GAMES. But you can look follow my Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or blog for that!

Instead in this space, I want to honor the space that I am in as I write this post. I feel really happy, because I am doing what I always wanted to do. I always wanted to edit and write erotica. I did not realize how much I wanted to edit until my current publisher asked me if I wanted to edit for her, the writing part I always wanted but I was not as proactive about it as I should have been. I have no regrets about it either. I think we are all exactly where we need to be at the time we are there. I am terribly fatalistic, I believe the entire of my life led me to be right here doing what I love now. I do not know if I would have been in the same place to do it before, or if I will be in the same space later and as appreciative. I think I will be! But I am terribly thankful to be here. Now.

The most important lesson I have learned, is we get to wherever we want to be by doing. Ideas in our heads that have not manifested are nothing. No words on a page or screen for me are nothing. I have to write, I have to edit, I have to do! The process is not always easy, but I have to practice what I preach, and do what I say I do. Write. Edit. I do not fill my head with why I can'ts, I just think about when. I do not dwell on the process, I just say now and work.

The time is always now! Nothing is promised, especially not time. It really isn't, and if you think you have the luxury of time, I do not envy you. While you are waiting I am doing. I feel such immense joy when I write, when I edit. I love every element of my craft, and the social aspect of it. Interacting with authors, editors and the huge community I am a part of. Everything I do, every product, every tweet is a product of love. I love what I do. Ironically, I am not sure I have the vocabulary to completely convey all of the love in my heart, and all of the happiness that I feel in this moment, except to say there is nothing better than now for me!

Thanks for coming over Ms S!
Follow F.leonora! She's like this all the time - I'm telling you - ray of sunshine :D

love Tabitha x x

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Cultivating a Story for the Brit Babes SEXY JUST GOT RICH Part 1

Break out the popcorn and the chocolate! It’s a double feature today! I’m celebrating the Brit Babes fabulous new
anthology, Sexy Just Got Rich with a double dose of vintage K D Grace. Sometimes older stories are the inspiration for newer ones, and sometimes a romp back through memory lane gives us writers a chance to see how we’ve grown. That has happened with Cultivation, which is actually one of the very first stories I ever had published, therefore one that I can easily use as a mile-marker in my growth as a writer, but one that I loved enough and, in which I found enough inspiration, to use as a jumping-off point for my contribution to the Sexy Just Got Rich anthology – Buying the Farm.

Today I want to give you a look at how an old vintage story can inspire a new one, a more complete one by giving you THE WHOLE THING! I said a double feature, and I meant it. While the first half of Cultivation is here on the Brit Babes’ blog, the rest of it is over on my own A Hopeful Romantic blog, so grab the popcorn, settle in for the first half, and then follow the link right on over to mine for the climax. Ooooh! Did you see what I did there???

Afterwards check out the buy links and the blurb for the totally delicious Brit Babes’ anthology, Sexy Just Got Rich to see what Cultivation inspired, and to read totally sizzling stories by all eight of the Brit Babes. In the meantime, enjoy the read! 

And don't forget to support our Thunderclap! 

Cultivation Part One

Cassie braced herself, tightening her legs around Deke’s thrusting hips. He was holding his breath so it wouldn’t be long now. And sure enough, “I’m coming,” he gasped between gritted teeth. A couple of extra hard thrusts, a grunt or two and he collapsed on top of her, sucking oxygen.          

“Did you come?” he asked, when he finally caught his breath and rolled off her.

Stupid question, Cassie thought, so she ignored it, blinking hard to hold back tears. God, she hated that. When she was angry she cried. But the situation wasn’t going to get sorted tonight. Deke would be snoring in two minutes.

“I have to go.” She sat on the edge of his bed and gathered her clothes.

“Just as well,” he replied, sounding like he was already asleep. “I have to be in the fields early. We’ll talk about this later.”

She slid into her skirt and blouse and stuffed her underwear into her bag. Just as she predicted, the light buzz of a snore echoed from his open mouth and a thin thread of drool already formed a small dark spot on the pillow.

After four wonderful years at the university, after watching the world open up to her like some exotic flower, this wasn’t much of a homecoming. If it was like this before they got married, what would it be like after? And now he had reneged on his promise about where they would live.

She swallowed tears again, and reminded herself that her father wasn’t well, and she couldn’t run the farm alone. For him, she’d do what she had to. The Spivey place was adjacent to her father’s. She and Deke had played together as children. The marriage made sense.

Deke, three years her senior, had gone straight to work on his father’s farm, having neither the grades nor the interest in anything else. He wanted to marry Cassie right away. But Merrill Fielding insisted that his daughter attend university first. “You’ll have a lot of years to let this pile of dirt make you old, Cassie,” he said. “You’ve got the grades. Your mother would have wanted it. Deke ain’t going nowhere.”

Her father had got that right! She drove home slowly along the farm road where her dad had taught her to drive. It wasn’t that she didn’t love the farm. She had exciting plans for it, but she needed help. Deke was a good man, she reminded herself. She would just have to make him see the value of what she’d learned in college, and both their farms would benefit.  

The gravel driveway crackled under her tires as she drove into the darkened farmyard. Her father still hadn’t fixed the pole light in the back, but tonight the whole world was bright with a heavy dusting of moonlight.

She got out of the car and lifted her face to a full moon that seemed too heavy to stay afloat in the velveteen sky. An ache spread from her breastbone down her chest to rest low and grasping in her belly. She had wanted Deke to make love to her under the moonlight, but he said there were chiggers, and the pollen messed up his sinuses.

She let the tears slide down her cheeks. How could she live with a man who wanted nothing more than to climb on her, thrust a few times, and shoot his wad? Is that how their children would be conceived? He was too embarrassed to even name out loud her places of pleasure, let alone kiss them or caress them. Would she forever be quietly masturbating in the aftermath while he snored away next to her?

A warm breeze teased her braless nipples against the cotton of her blouse, and as she headed toward the house, the caress of her vulva by her inner thighs reminded her that her pussy was bare under the short denim skirt, bare and unsatisfied. She turned away from the house and headed toward the cabin, down to the porch swing. From the time she was a little girl, the porch swing was her private place, and she needed a private place tonight. She certainly wasn’t ready for bed yet, and by God she would make love in the moonlight if she had to do it by herself!

By the time she rounded the hill near the barn, and the cabin came into view, she already had her blouse unbuttoned and the fact that there was nothing between her engorged nipples and the moonlight but the caress of a warm spring night made the friction between her thighs even more delicious.

She was anticipating the motion of the swing rocking beneath her bare bottom while she fingered her pussy in the moonlight. But as the path curved between the two oak trees her great grandfather had planted, and the front of the cabin came into view, she stopped short, swallowing a yelp before it gave her away.

There in the porch swing, sat a stranger. Cassie quickly stepped back into the shadows before he could see her. Still she stood close enough that she could make out the rise and fall of his bare chest beneath dark erect nipples set high on tightly puckered areole. She knew her father had hired someone to help with the chores during the summer. Not only had he kept it secret how they could afford such a luxury, but he also hadn’t bothered to tell her that the hired hand was none other than Apollo himself. And tonight, Apollo was naked! He sat with his legs open, one hand caressing an impressive erection, the other kneading weighty balls. His eyes were closed, face raised to the moonlight. The shifting of his hips gave the swing just that perfect motion that Cassie had taken advantage of ever since she discovered what her pussy could do.

She blinked hard. Surely she was dreaming. But her hand had already found its way up under her skirt. It was all she could do to stifle the moan of pleasure as she wriggled two fingers in between her heavy labia, dipping and probing until they were slippery enough to tweak and circle her anxious clit.

Apollo’s efforts became more energetic as he thrust his cock faster in the fisted grip of his hand, lifting his sculpted ass off the seat with each thrust. His other hand now braced against the back of the swing to keep him from catapulting out with his pleasurings. His balls bounced enthusiastically between his thighs with each shifting of his hips. My God, he was about to come!

Cassie had pinched and kneaded her tits until her nipples were swollen to taut erections of their own, and the twitchy sensation between pleasure and pain migrated all the way to her cunt. She shoved her skirt up over her hips and braced herself against the trunk of one of the oaks, feeling the rough bark abrading her back as she thrust a third finger into her dilated pussy, imagining what it would feel like to have Apollo’s fullness inside her. She spat on her other hand and began to tweak and tease her clit. She couldn’t remember it ever feeling quite this good. Cassie rode the edge so close that she forced herself to slow her efforts. She had never come with a man. There had never been anyone but Deke, and he wasn’t exactly Casanova. But tonight, she wanted to come with Apollo, even if he didn’t know it.

She didn’t have long to wait. The man suddenly grunted and inhaled as though he had been under water too long. Then his beautiful penis jerked with a life of its own and a viscous spurt of semen arched across the porch like quick silver in the moonlight, then another and another, each followed by a deep resonant groan of satisfaction.

She could hold back no longer as her own orgasm trembled up through her pussy, over her spine and buzzed in her head until she felt like her very skull had opened to take in the silver dance of moonlight.

Licking the taste of herself from her fingers, Cassie watched as he picked up a pair of boxer shorts from where he’d kicked them off and carefully wiped the last pearlescent drops of come from his cock. Then, like a good hired hand, he mopped up every last dribble of semen from the floorboard of the porch. When he was sure he had cleaned up after himself, he took one last look around, then turned and walked back into the cabin, giving her an exquisite view of his shapely ass before closing the door quietly behind him.

She dreamed of Apollo that night. In her dreams, like in the story from her high school mythology book, Apollo chased Daphne across a verdant woodland. And Cassie wished desperately that he would catch her, that she would not be turned into a tree to protect her innocence, as she had been in the myth. She wished instead, that he would take her with such passion as only the god of wisdom and poetry could, that he would teach her things she could never have imagined in her innocence.

“Simon Dennis, that’s his name.” Joanie scrubbed at the window above the sink as though it had offended her somehow. “Rumor has it he’s from Chicago, had some high finance job there. Whatever it was,” she inspected her reflection in the glass. “He doesn’t need the money. Your father told me he said he’d work for room and board. ‘Course your father’d never allow that. He insisted on paying.” The housekeeper went back to scrubbing. “He’s a looker, I’ll say that for him, and polite. Don’t imagine Deke’ll want him around after you two are married, not a looker like that.”

“I don’t care what Deke wants. It’s my farm.” The words were out before Cassie could stop herself. Joanie had kept their house since Cassie’s mother died. She was always there when Cassie needed a woman’s touch, but Cassie could hide nothing from her.  

“Trouble in paradise?”

Cassie gulped the last of her iced tea and headed for the door. “Gotta run. The garden won’t weed itself. Thanks for the tea,” she called over her shoulder, feeling a sense of relief at escaping Joanie’s scrutiny.

The garden was more weeds than vegetables, and the peas needed picking. Cassie’s father was in no condition to maintain a vegetable patch this size, and yet every year he insisted on putting one in. Joanie did what she could to help, but the woman had precious little spare time what with keeping their house and working night shift at the nursing home.

Cassie ripped a handful of bindweed from between two young tomato plants as though it had done her personal injury. This was her home, and this was her garden. She would not let Deke move her in with his folks. He would have to see reason.

“Looking good, Cassie Girl.”

She smiled to herself at the sound of her father’s voice as he came through the garden gate. “If you’re growing weeds it does.” She wiped sweat from her brow and turned to greet him, nearly running into Apollo, who was standing right behind her dressed in a well-sweated tee shirt and jeans and carrying a hoe.

Her father laughed as she yelped ungracefully and nearly fell backwards into the cauliflower. “Cassie, this is Simon. He’s here to help us out for awhile.”

Simon offered her his hand, oblivious to the garden grime on her palm and beneath her nails. The firmness of his grip made her think of how good it must have felt wrapped around his cock last night. “Pleased to meet you,” she croaked, trying not to think about places on her own body where his hand would feel good.

He offered her a warm smile, then nodded to the hoe. “We finished in the south forty, so your father says I should help you with the weed bed.”

“Good. You can start with the brasicas.”

“That’s college talk for cabbages and cauliflowers and such,” her father said. “She studied agriculture in college. Now she knows what to pull up and what to leave.”

“I studied Environmental science, Dad.”

“I know, I know, you can make the farm more green, but what I wonder is can you figure out a way to put more green in my pocketbook.” He heaved a sigh. “I’m off to the house to make sure Joanie’s not watching soaps and eatin’ all my chocolate.”
They watched her father leave, then both turned silently to their respective rows. Cassie could feel the sun scorching her bare shoulders as she worked. The buzz of insects filled the air. Somewhere far off, she could hear a tractor in a field. Sweat dripped down her armpits and trickled along her spine. Her hands ached from efforts to which she was no longer accustomed. There would be blisters. Somehow she always managed to forget to wear gloves that first time, the time when the skin was still sensitive and tender to the hard handle of the hoe.

For awhile, she worked in that great mindless space that eased the uncertainty of what was yet to come, along with her anger at Deke. Hard physical labor, her father had always said, was good for mind and body.

Then Simon stepped back, faster with his hoe than she was, and suddenly they were working shoulder to shoulder. The mindless space vanished, and she was completely focused on the warmth of his body, the movement of powerful muscles in her peripheral vision, the way his dark hair fell over his eyes. The scent of sweaty maleness and moist fertile loam blended with the piquant smell of new growth bursting with bud and made her own roots feel deeper somehow, and her own needs feel as ancient as the planting and the harvesting and the beginning all over again.

Their breathing was heavy and humid like the Missouri spring, and in unison, like the parallel rows they hoed. With a start, she realized the sound was not unlike the sound of their arousal last night, and she felt the same ache she had felt in the moonlight, the same ache she had felt in her dream. She wondered if he felt it, but peripheral vision could give her no more than a sketchy glimpse of his crotch, obscured by his arms and the movement of the hoe.

Suddenly, what she felt was more than an ache. The blister on her palm burst sending sharp, salty pain through her hand. “Ouch!” She dropped the hoe and gave her hand a hard shake.

Simon was instantly at her side, examining the wounded appendage. “It’s a blood blister.” He offered her a crooked smile, and she noticed how blue his eyes were.  “You must have had quite a death grip on that hoe.”

“I should have worn gloves.” She hoped he couldn’t hear her heart pounding in her words.

“Let’s get it cleaned up so it won’t get infected.” He left the hoes by the gate and led Cassie to the cabin.

Inside, he motioned her to sit down on the bed. “Wait here. I’ll get the first aid kit.” He disappeared into the bathroom.

The bed she sat upon was neatly made. On the night stand was a dog-eared copy of Thoreau’s Walden. Her heart skipped a beat as she recalled staying up all night reading Walden. Her father had given it to her for her twelfth birthday. It was Thoreau who had started her love affair with Fielding Farm, a love affair that she now understood was family tradition.

The room itself was clean and cheerful. The only clutter was the tumble of books and magazines across the card table, which had served as the make-shift desk where she did her homework as a child. Before she could check out the titles, Simon returned with a wash cloth and the first aid kit. He knelt in front of her and began to clean the blister with an easy hand.

“Joanie says you worked in high finance in Chicago.”

He smiled without looking up. “Did. Don’t anymore. This is better.” He squeezed a generous dollop of antibiotic ointment on the wound before putting a Band-Aid across it. “There. All clean.”

Find the rest Cultivation over on A Hopeful Romantic blog!

Sexy Just Got Rich: The Brit Babes Do Billionaires:

Billionaires have it all but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to work hard to get what their hearts desire. In this anthology of erotic BDSM stories the Brit Babes offer heroes and heroines who aren’t shy about taking what they want. From farmyards to luxury penthouses, wealth is all about sating needs, connecting souls and taking pleasure to new highs. Whether you’re looking for a coffee break read or something longer to curl up in bed with, you’ll find something to suit your needs in Sexy Just Got Rich. 

Buy Sexy Just Got Rich Here

Monday, 16 March 2015

Special Guest Elizabeth Lapthorne

Please welcome the adorable Elizabeth Lapthorne to the Brit Babes blog today...

 The World of Bond…James Bond
By Elizabeth Lapthorne.  
My grandfather was a classic Bond fan. He owned all of Ian Flemming’s books and had read them multiple times. I can recall him saying that a thrilling story about greed, espionage and a suave, lonesome hero would never go out of style. More than 50 years later he’s proven so far to be completely right – Ian Flemming’s Bond is still as popular as ever.

Grandpa passed that love of Bond on to my mum, who in turn passed it down to my brother and I. Nothing could ever get in the way of our sharing the new Bond movie together, no matter what else is going on in our lives at the time. Whether we’re applauding something huge blowing up, or perhaps those times I daydream about being a slinky Bond-girl myself (equally likely to be the bad girl turning on Bond or the good girl assisting him to save the world), Bond’s world is somewhere I’m very familiar with.

So I really shouldn’t be too surprised that Bond was what instantly sprang to mind over and over when I tried to think about a series to write based in London.  Parliament House is stunningly beautiful, inner London is an exceptional location for an action novel, and the assortment of characters I’ve discovered within The Agency really lend itself to the conspiracy-packed plots I’ve so thoroughly enjoyed writing about.

Heart Shot, my upcoming Agency story, is not-surprisingly about an assassin, and the dangerous, fluctuating world she lives in. Emily is an assassin, and is used to a solitary life. Her world is filled with shifting alliances and paranoia. Such a life only becomes more complicated when she stumbles upon Finlay, an Agent. A dedicated a good guy who is determined to help her uncover a conspiracy. Love only adds to the mix and makes the passion—and danger—that much stronger.

But tell me, are you a Bond fan? Who is your favourite Bond actor? Or what would your Bond-girl name be?

Elizabeth x


Thursday, 12 March 2015


Please consider supporting the Brit Babes Thunderclap campaign to promote our anthology Sexy Just Got Rich. Click here to spread the word around the world - thank you!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Special guest Charlie Forrest

It's my real pleasure today to welcome Charlie Forrest, a British gentleman and author who is debating a subject that most erotic writers have pondered during their career. I'd love to hear your views at the end - take it away Charlie...

Reading between the lines.
I spent a full morning recently updating my entire back catalogue. The reason for doing so was that I wanted to insert a little two-line disclaimer into the front matter:
" Author's note:

The events depicted in this story are fantasy. In real life practice safer sex."
My approach to the inclusion of contraceptives in erotica is very much that it is a matter of individual preference. I certainly won't ever object to another writer including it, but I won't necessarily include it in my own writing. Currently I am working on the idea that the use of condoms can, all else aside, act as an interesting literary tool. The use and conversations around safer sex (or the lack thereof) can give a very useful window into the psyche of the characters.
I chose to include the above disclaimer mainly on the principle of "it can't hurt." However, even this is somewhat divisive.

The general principle goes that the writer usually assumes a certain level of self awareness and accountability on the part of the reader. Classic examples trotted out are for other genres. There are no disclaimers on Ian Rankin's books saying not to murder people, or that police work should be left to the proper authorities. So why is there a pressure on erotica writers to model good practice?
I would argue that a big part of the problem is that erotica, somewhat like porn, is a large part of many people's exposure to the world of sex, and that the reason this pressure is placed on erotica is simply that the education given in schools on this matter is woefully inadequate.
Let me expound a little from my own experience. It has been a number of years since I went through sex education at school so I'm aware that this information is out of date, however I understand that the general emphasis of sex education hasn't changed much.
My abiding memory of sex education at school, aside from the basic biology, was an emphasis on the use of condoms. Hours were dedicated to showing us horrifying images of the consequences of some STIs and hammering home that the barrier methods were the best method of protecting oneself. This was all well and good and probably operated on the principle of, "if you take away just one thing..."
What is worrying, is all the things that are absent. My sex education was a blunt instrument, designed to educate to a certain extent, and ram home a safe course of action through fear. For example, at no point was it ever even suggested that HIV was anything other than an automatic death sentence as opposed to its current status as a difficult, chronic but manageable illness on which there has been and continues to be tremendous progress.
Of particular relevance to erotica, however, is the lack of context for media. There was no discussion of erotica, porn, or other media representations of sex. Neither was there discussion of emotional and physical abuse or the importance of consent. Instead we were sent off into the world with the assumption that we'd pick up the rest as we went along.
And so the baton falls to the producers of porn of whatever format to provide the forms of education that were missed out at school.
So where does this leave me? Caught in the middle of a pincer movement calling for porn to be a surrogate sex education, while at the same time being snooted, sneered and censored.
I'd like to think my modification to my back catalogue might make some kind of difference, that it would thread the impossible needle of expectation.

However, the contents of this paragraph are a fantasy; in reality... it's more complicated.

Thanks Charlie - what do you think? Should erotic authors remind readers to practice safe sex? Please join the debate in the comments below or tweet us! @8britbabes
You can find Charlie at
and on Twitter

Monday, 2 March 2015

Totally Bound Publishing

Totally Bound Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Douglas and Senior Editor, Sarah Smeaton are here today to give us the insider scoop on what it's like to be on the editorial team for the Home of Erotic on for the gossip and do leave questions and comments - they'll love that! And if you missed their first visit to the Brit Babes blog, click here.

Welcome, Totally Bound!

What is your favourite part about being a Totally Bound editor?

Sarah: I think it’s when you get that submission in that just screams, ‘take me!’ that makes it so worthwhile. It’s when you have a submission that is so instantly amazing you know from the very first few lines that it’s right for Totally Bound and is going to be a big hit with the readers. That’s when I get excited. So yes, I love getting fresh and different submissions in, but I also really appreciate seeing them through right up to when the versions are made, and thinking how much enjoyment people will have reading them. The whole editing process is massive, so when it’s finally out there it’s a great feeling knowing the manuscript is as shiny as it can be—and when it’s for a lovely author who really cares about their writing it’s all the better.

What are the most common mistakes made by new authors?

Rebecca: What frustrates me most about new submissions are the little errors that could have been avoided with one read through–mixing up digits and numbers, using ampersands instead of writing out ‘and’ in sentences, changing the character’s name halfway through. It immediately means that the plot and narrative voice need to be above par as I’ve already been put off by what I see as lack of care.

I’d say the most common mistakes, though, are changing POVs too frequently, or without clear indication to the reader that the POV has changed, meaning it’s very difficult to engage in the plot or with the characters. Another one that crops up a lot is a mix in tenses. Obviously we’re editors for a reason, and we can help with grammar and past perfect and misuse of apostrophes (pet peeve!) but if the manuscript switches from present tense to past, it’s really tricky to stay with the plot. I’m also frustrated by info-dumping, or too much ‘telling’. There are ways to show readers your characters without reciting their vital statistics and their family history. The same applies in scenes–if the character is making a cup of tea, we can assume that he boiled the kettle, fetched a mug, the tea bag, the spoon, the milk, closed the refrigerator… If it’s not there for a reason, take it out. It’s boring. J

If you could choose a new genre, what story would you personally like to see from aspiring authors?

Sarah: I would love the next big genre to be one that really encourages each and every story to throw something new at the reader. MF BDSM stories are great, and I know that in this genre there are some of the most popular stories in Erotic Romance, but I think it can sometimes be all too easy to slip into the tried and tested storylines. A genre that really encourages diversity would make me one even happier editor lady. Something like superheroes I think is so current and really has so many different avenues that you can take it down that the reader can’t help but get sucked in. And who doesn’t love a superhero with the chance to escape to a whole different world?

What is your favourite genre to edit within erotic romance?

Rebecca: I can say that I’ve probably edited every sub-genre of Erotic Romance that Totally Bound offer, and with my current group of authors I edit a lot of MM Wereshifter, MF BDSM and multicultural stories. It’s difficult to choose a favourite, as there are books I’ve absolutely loved across the genres, and enjoying the genre doesn’t necessarily mean that the book will be a winner! It’s more the voice that I’m drawn to, but I don’t think you can go wrong with a little bit of a shifter J

How do you think Fifty Shades of Grey has affected the erotic romance industry?

Sarah: Fifty Shades, in my opinion, has made Erotic Romance ‘acceptable’ in the main public eye. I think beforehand, no matter how good the story, how complex the characters or how in-depth the plot, unfortunately Erotic Romance fiction was just branded as being on the wrong side of ‘dirty’. The stigma with this has definitely been shaken, and I think that’s really encouraged the everyday woman, the working mums, the students, the full-time career ladies, just about anyone to pick up the pen and submit books. Nobody is out of reach now, and I think that’s great as it’s meant a diverse range of people have given authorship a shot, creating a huge assorted range of submissions.

Have you seen a change in the genre of submissions lately?

Rebecca: There’s been a steady mix of MF and MM submissions, and contemporary romance, BDSM, and paranormal are always popular. We’ve started to see more trans books coming through, and I think this could become very popular, and also more historical titles.

What do you have pipped for the next big thing in erotic romance?

Sarah: Well now, it’s so difficult to tell where things will go. I think the tried and tested genres of Shifters, BDSM and Cowboys are definitely going to be sticking around for some time yet. If you ask me, I think the pushing of boundaries and merging of different genres is going to become ever more important and popular. BDSM is great and I think will always draw in a big crowd, but the shock factor for the everyday reader has subsided, so something else is needed to amp it up a little. The emergence of genre combination, for example BDSM and Biker stories or Shifter and Crime/Thrillers are definitely going to become more prevalent in my opinion. This really does make the opportunities endless, and I think that is what is going to be so appealing to readers and authors alike.

Does TB have any big submission calls coming soon?

Rebecca: We send out regular submission calls and are still accepting submissions to our What’s his Passion?, What’s her Secret? and Totally Five Star imprints. I’m particularly excited about our codebreaker/spy call, and am hopeful we’ll get some hot superhero stories to satisfy everyone’s inner fangirl (or boy!) You can find some of our submission calls below, and check out our publisher site for new calls:

Thank you so much Sarah and Rebecca for taking time out of your busy editing schedule to drop by and share your thoughts. Four Brit Babes know you well, Emmy Ellis - who is not only a Totally Bound author but also their Art Director - Lucy Felthouse, Victoria Blisse and Lily Harlem.