Thursday, 26 November 2015

Writing What I Love by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #erotica #romance

Hi all,

The title of this post is "writing what I love", as you can see. But I'm not just talking romance, or erotic romance here. Today, I'm being a lot more specific.



I have lots of hobbies and interests, and one of them is spending time out walking in the countryside with my other half and my dog, Scamp. I'm lucky to live fairly close to Derbyshire's Peak District. I say fairly close because although I can be on its southern fringes in less than an hour, the furthest reaches are about two and a half hours away.



Anyway, we head up there pretty regularly, mainly staying in the bottom half of the area, occasionally straying further in the summer when there are more hours of daylight. Sometimes we revisit places, do walks we've already done. Other times we'll go somewhere new. Either way, it never gets old. The landscape is utterly amazing - in a single walk you can see valley bottoms, dramatic gritstone edges, farmland, rolling hills, stone circles... the list goes on. And time of year and weather conditions can make even the same places you've seen before look different. Or you'll notice something you never noticed last time. Or nature will go and provide something amazing for you to look at. I'm constantly fascinated, and I love it, which is why we head up there so often. It also helps that there are some great pubs, many of which allow Scamp to go in, too. He's got his favourites - mainly the ones where the owners/staff make a fuss of him ;)





One of my life's ambitions is to live somewhere in the Peak District, in an amazing house with beautiful views, somewhere I can watch the sunset. Naturally I'm going to need either a hugely bestselling book (hint, hint) or a lottery win, so in the meantime I content myself with daydreams, and with writing the Peak District into some of my books.





The latest book of mine to include this stunning place is Love Through a Lens, a M/F erotic romance novella, which is included in the Sweet Sensations boxed set, which released on Tuesday. I don't remember how the story idea came into my head, but once it did, it wouldn't let go. And so I ended up doing some research for the setting and the plot, and let the characters and their love story build up around that. I had great fun with it, and was completely enthused throughout - writing about places I'd been to, places I haven't yet visited but have seen in photos, myths and legends I've read about, heard about... it was a real labour of love for me. The heat level is pretty low for my work, so I was nervous to send it to my beta readers, but fortunately, they really loved the story. I hope others will too, and that my love affair with the Peak District shines through and encourages those who can to go visit it. If you do, you'll soon get my obsession ;)

Happy Reading!
Lucy x


*****

Blurb:

Billionaires, an Armed Forces officer, an heiress, and more, these eight contemporary stories offer the sugar and the spice of romance in one beautifully edited boxed set. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll fall in love as you read this collection by multi-published authors.

LOVE THROUGH A LENS, by Lucy Felthouse
On location shooting film together, new graduate, Celene, is drawn to Edward, a British actor 30 years her senior… Can the inevitable romance between them blossom into love?

Buy exclusively from Amazon, or read as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription: http://getbook.at/sweetsensations

*****

Author Bio:


Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 140 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women's Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Monday, 23 November 2015

Special Guest - Ria Restrepo

I'm very excited to introduce our guest today - Ria Restrepo - there's two anthologies coming up in the near future where we share the pages! Please check out her work - take it away Ria!
​​

Strong Women Who Desire Stronger Men

I'd like to thank the lovely Brit Babes for having me on their blog. I greatly admire this talented group of female writers and their body of work, so I was thrilled when Tabitha Rayne invited me.

Since I believe it reflects similar themes in some of the Brit Babe's work I've read, I thought I should discuss the mission statement on my website and blog: stories about strong women who desire stronger men.

When I started writing, my work was a bit all over the place. My main goal was to be published, so I took a shotgun approach and submitted lots of things in various genres -- from literary fiction to political humor. I had some minor successes here and there under my given name and a pen name. I'd settled into writing erotica and romance when life happened and writing had to take a backseat for a while.

Last fall, I decided to recommit to my writing. Because I wanted a fresh start, I chose a new pen name that better reflected my ethnicity, created a new website and blog, then signed up for every social media site I'd heard about. I'd noticed that some writers had a phrase as a subtitle on their websites that described their work. I really liked the idea of a mission statement, so I came up with the one above.

Perhaps my meaning is clear. But if you're scratching your head and don't have a clue what "strong women who desire stronger men" means, I'll explain. Although, it does allude to my preference for dominant male/submissive female relationships, I don't anticipate that all my stories will have some element of BDSM. Most of them have, though, so far.

One of the things I want to show in my writing is that being a strong, independent woman and a submissive are not mutually exclusive. Despite what many may think, submissives aren't weak. It takes great strength, self-possession, and self-awareness to relinquish control and willingly submit to another.

It also takes a worthy dominant to inspire submission. Hence, the "stronger" wording. I think there needs to be something about the dominant -- his experience, knowledge, age, understanding of the submissive's needs, etc. -- that engenders a submissive's trust and admiration. That doesn't mean all Doms must have powerful jobs​, make a lot of money, or be superior to their submissives in all ways. So far, I've intentionally tried to avoid that in my writing.

In "Undercover Desires," which was published earlier this year in Spy Games: Thrilling Spy Erotica, the Dom is a librarian. It's not an occupation I've ever seen used for a dominant male character. And even more unusual, the submissive is an FBI agent working undercover as a dominatrix.

Even though the FBI agent, Marissa, is in a position of authority and most would think she'd like being in charge and whipping a naughty criminal, she really doesn't. It isn't until Nick, the librarian, gives her a good, hard spanking that she realizes she might enjoy being the one in handcuffs.

Wanting to challenge some preconceived notions, I purposely did the opposite of what I thought readers would expect. Not only did that give me the opportunity to explore a different type of dominant-submissive relationship, it also helped with the suspense/thriller aspect of the story.

Similarly, in "Restitution," which will be published early next year in Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Vol. 1, the submissive is a pop star who makes much more money than the dominant cop who arrests her for shoplifting. There's a surprise twist to this story, so I don't want to give too much away, but all isn't as it may appear. The submissive is definitely a take-charge kind of girl when it comes to her career.

As I stated earlier, not all my stories revolve around BDSM. This is true for the story I wrote for Oleander Plume's Pick-a-Prompt contest, which will be published soon in an anthology called Prompted, featuring the contest entries, edited by Plume and F. Leonora Solomon. [Ria actually won the contest with this story - but she didn't mention that! I'm so looking forward to this book!  - Tabitha]

"Rickshawing with Rick and Shawn" is about a petite college coed, Gia, on a Spring Break trip to Thailand with her two hulking roommates, Rick and Shawn. Given the differences in size, and that it's two against one, you might think Gia would be easily dominated. However, her personality is much larger than her physical size and she can easily handle the two men. Rick does show some dominant tendencies, but he's more of what I like to call "an alpha male with a sensitive side." Ultimately, Gia does give both guys exactly what they want, but not because they bully her into it -- because she enjoys the hell out of it.


"Stories about strong women who desire stronger men" are generally what I write, but I am trying to push the envelope a bit. As with "Rickshawing with Rick and Shawn," you may see some stories from me other than monogamous male-female pairings in the very near future.

But first, I have to get back to my NaNoWriMo novel about a submissive bounty hunter chasing down the brother of her first Dom. Hmm, that could get messy, very messy!


Author Bio:

Ria Restrepo has written in many genres, from literary fiction to political humor, under various names. Now she's focused on writing what she loves to read -- romance, erotica, and all the shades in between. She's spent most of her life in South Florida and continues to live in the Sunshine State, because she still has nightmares about standing in feet of snow, waiting for the school bus in rural Pennsylvania. Her work has recently appeared in Spy Games: Thrilling Spy Erotica and in the upcoming Prompted and Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Vol. 1.


Links:
my website: http://www.riarestrepo,com
my blog: http://

Spy Games buy page: http://goo.gl/vmgHa3
Best Women's Erotica:​ http://goo.gl/9XuNJg

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Penetration: A Story from Rome



Rome is one of my very favourite places on the planet, a place that lives and breathes inspiration and, for me, no place is more inspiring than the Forum and the Paletine. This trip, my lovely husband was occupied with a conference, but invited me along to play, so I had the opportunity to explore those fabulous ruins on my own with a writer’s eye for story possibilities. Caught up in the history and myth of the place and the erotic twists and turns of my own imagination the experience was magical and, as is almost always the case, I came away with a story. This is another Scribe Story. They happen often when I travel. I hope you enjoy it. 


PENETRATION

I’d watched him watching me all day as I explored the Forum and the Paletine while the South American band on the sidewalk beyond the gates, its members all dressed like Santa Clause, played an endless mindless brassy version of Jingle Bells -- several weeks premature, in my opinion. But even their brassy, slightly out of tune, homage to the season became background noise in the quiet of the Forum and the Paletine. I could have been on a different planet, in a different time, as I plugged this mystery man into a half a dozen story scenarios unfolding in my fertile imagination, all involving filthy sex in the ancient site.

He was younger than I. God, wasn’t everyone these days, and I was always more aware of the march of time at the end of the year with my next birthday looming in the wings. Still, I wasn’t so old that I didn’t recognize lust when I saw it. I gave a quick glance over my shoulder expecting to see the object of that lusty look in his eyes standing just behind me; someone young and beautiful, someone for whom the birthday looming in the wings meant only lovely, expensive gifts from secret admirers, someone more used to receiving that look, but the little nod and the Mona-Lisa-on-porn smile he gave me assured me that yes, I was the one. The look belonged to me! 

I don’t know why I wasn’t afraid. I probably should have been. Sitting here now on the plane back to London and thinking about it, all I can say is there was something extraordinary about him, and I couldn’t help feeling that he was as much a stranger to Rome as I was, or perhaps it was more that Rome, at least the way it is now, was a stranger to him.

You see, there was something about him that made him stand out in the crowd, as though he were somehow more luminous, as though there was, perhaps, another dimension to him. And yet no one seemed to notice as he moved among the scuttle and press of tourist jostling no one, drawing no attention, not even the surreptitious glances of the young women hoping for a whirlwind Roman romance on their holiday to titillate their friends with upon their return home. He carried nothing. He wore no jacket, only a dark green sweater and jeans, warm enough for the late November sunshine.

Wherever I went, he was always there, a few steps behind me, a few steps in front, always lingering when I did, hurrying on when I did, taking in the views when I did. In the Hall of the Vestal Virgins, I couldn’t keep from admiring his height and his dark good looks mimicked against the blue of the sky in the reflecting pool. In the shadows of the senate building, I could just catch the crook of his smile in a sliver of light filtering in through the open door. On the wall overlooking the Circus Maximus, he left me a perfect red rose, his shoulder just brushing mine as he slid past me in the push of a group of Chinese tourists. I might have given a startled little gasp at the warmth of him, the electric brush of flesh against flesh separated only by a few millimeters of cloth. His breath against my ear was the dry sky and earth scent of cedar and rosemary, and I instinctually opened my mouth to take it in with my own breath. And then he passed and was gone, and I looked down with a start to find that I had pricked my finger on one of the thorns, and found the physicality of sucking the bright droplet of my blood from my finger somehow arousing. 

All day it was like that, and I had lingered far longer than I intended, enjoying our little game of cat and mouse, of hide and seek, of furtive glances, of half shy smiles. Before I realized it, the shadows were long; the docents would be herding everyone out of the Forum and Paletine for the night soon. It was in the now deserted underground passage near the House of Livia that he approached me at last. Consent was unspoken, but it was there as surely as if I had worn a big red YES across my forehead. That big red YES had had all day to evolve from consent to a desperate plea as he took my face in his hands and kissed me. For a second the world tilted around me and then shimmered like a mirage. The kiss deepened, his tongue caressing mine, his lips bruising; mine bruising back, his teeth nipping, and me opening to the bite of him clinging to him, fists curled in dark, soft hair, breasts pressed against hard muscles that rose and fell reflecting my own struggle for breath. 

“If I take you here like this, in this place, you’ll belong to me,” he said, pulling away to slide his hand up under my blouse and cup my breasts in turn. “And when I call you, you’ll come back to me, no matter where in the world you are. You know this?”

“I know.” I replied already shamelessly fumbling with his fly. And I did know. It occurred to me that I had known from the moment I saw him and, heaven help me, I was completely okay with that. 

He shoved my hand away and I heard the scrape of his zipper as he maneuvered himself free, as he shoved up my skirt
and slid my panties aside with slight of hand that exposed me, open and begging like a nestling waiting to be fed. Perhaps I whimpered at his touch, or perhaps it was the sound of the last sparrows settling into the cypress trees to roost as the day drew to a close. It didn’t matter which it was, all that mattered was that he was going to relieve a need I only just now realized had been aching inside me for a very long time.  I felt the heat of him hard and smooth and searching against the inside of my thigh, and I struggled to get him where I needed him, but he held me there, calming me, speaking softly to me. 

“It won’t take long,” he said, opening me with two fingers, finding me more than ready. He held my gaze with urgency, with focus, with secrets about to be revealed, fingering me until I squirmed and shivered and ached. “It won’t take long,” he repeated, “but I promise you, it will last an eternity.” Before I could question his meaning, he lifted me, hands cupping my bottom, until my back was pressed hard against the ancient brick wall and, with a quick thrust of his hips, buried himself deep, holding still for a moment, holding me still for a moment, sighing against my neck, catching his breath as though he were inhaling me. And when I began to thrash, desperate for relief, he held me tighter and whispered against my ear. “Make it last. Soon enough you’ll wish we could have lingered.” And then he began to thrust and undulate and move deeper inside me. 

At some point he bared my breasts, managing the bra with the same slight of hand he had my panties. He suckled from me as though from my breasts he could drink from the fountain of life itself. My nipples, wet with his saliva, chilled in the dry Mediterranean evening, peaked beyond painful, existed only for his mouth. My body was slick with the need of him, gripping and grasping and urging him deeper into me over and over until I dissolved around him, falling to pieces, crumbling to dust, disappearing on the breath of a breeze as had all those who had lived in this place before me. And at the very point at which there was nothing left but an essence almost as old as the very bedrock of the Paletine, he filled me. Again and again he filled me until he had replaced the very blood in my veins with his lust, with his passion, with himself. And when he was finished, when we were both finished and the world settled back into place and time began to move again, I came back to myself in little spasms and gasps, receding shudders and softening heartbeats leaning against the wall, trembling breathing in the scent of cedar and rosemary and sex. 

“Are you all right, Signora?” I started at the voice of the docent standing at the end of the passage. “I am sorry but the Forum is closed now. You must leave.”

I nodded, still not trusting myself to speak, and followed her on unsteady legs out of the passage, down the steps past the House of Livia and to the exit gate where the South American Santas were still playing Jingle Bells and the traffic of the Eternal City still buzzed and honked its way down the busy thoroughfares as the sky darkened to midnight blue with evening’s approach. But there was no further sign of him. I hadn’t expected there to be. We writers live in our imaginations so much of the time that sometimes our imaginations are alive within us. We’re used to it. We expect it. It was only after I got back to the St. Regis Hotel and settled in to reflect on the events of the day over a nice glass of primitive that I found the remains of a crushed red rose in my jacket pocket and the prick on the tip of my finger stung with muscle memory.

I never sleep on planes, especially not on a flight as short as one from Rome to Heathrow. But today I did, or I thought I did. But maybe I wasn’t really asleep, and I certainly wasn’t on a flight heading back to London either. I was in the House of the Vestal Virgins lying on the grass looking up at the night sky. There were people moving around me, but not close enough that their presence mattered. I could hear the chatter of women’s voices, and strange music wafted on the night air. Everything felt different, smelled different. Nothing was ruined. Everything was made new and yet still old enough that history was lost in myth. 

He came to me in a toga. It was white and so was he, bathed in moonlight as he was. He knelt in front of me and lifted his
robe, his eyes locked on mine as though he could convey to me what he wanted, what he needed, what he was offering. In response I rucked up my own strange robes and lifted my hips, showing him my own wants and needs that went so much deeper than the physical need for penetration. With a slight nod and a lowering of dark lashes, I knew that he understood what I wanted, what I always wanted, what I always knew penetration really meant. He entered me with a grunt and an oath in a language I didn’t understand, and then he lowered himself until his weight rested on his elbows and he still held my gaze. “Don’t you know there’s no place you can’t go, no time you can’t visit, no thing you can’t hold in the grasp of your mind?” Then he began to thrust, slowly, deliciously, as though we had all eternity. 
            
“You’re mine now,” he whispered when he came, “and time and circumstances no longer matter. You’re mine and,” he bent his dark head to lay a kiss on the place between my breasts where my heart hammered the rhythm of my own release, “and I have always, always been yours.”

I woke up with a little jerk in the World Traveler Plus section of the flight bound for Heathrow. Only a few moments had passed, but I had not been present for those few moments. I’d been back in Rome, back with him. For a moment I sat disoriented, astounded at how clearly I’d heard his call and how quickly and easily I had gone to him. It had taken no time, no space, no effort. I had been penetrated deeper than flesh, and it’s for me like it is with all writers. When that happens, the story that comes has to be written.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Special Guest Emmanuelle DeMaupassant


It's my very big pleasure to introduce our special guest today - a true connoisseur of the erotic genre - the delightful Ms Emmanuelle DeMaupassant...

Sex and horror: dark pleasures of fear and desire

By Emmanuelle de Maupassant

Horror is seductive.
It’s like the promise of sex, inviting us in.
It pulls at your guts and prickles your skin, and works icy fingers through your blood.
It demands a visceral reaction.

How delicious is the sensation of fear, an echo of carnal pleasure. Like sexual desire, it titillates not only the mind but the senses. As we know, a good ‘scare’ is a wonderful aphrodisiac.

‘Horror’, as a genre, has a great deal of the erotic about it. It crooks its finger to entice you.

Here is the most intimate of relations between author and reader. You bring yourself to the page not only mentally, but physically. ‘Come closer,’ whispers the writer, ‘let me crawl inside you’. In reading erotica, you beg ‘seduce me’. With horror, it’s ‘frighten me’: there can be little to choose between them.

And anticipation is all. You lick your lips, waiting for the ‘forbidden’, or to be ‘devoured’. You keep running, but you know you want to be caught.

Reading tales of horror is a masochistic act. It’s hard to say where pain ends and pleasure begins in those dangerous undercurrents, on the razor edge between light and dark.

The pursuit of sex, on the page and screen, is regularly equated with danger: be careful of where you go, and who with: they could be a ‘monster’ in disguise. It’s a recurring theme in horror films: the werewolf teen in ‘Ginger Snaps’ (2000); the alien creature in ‘The Faculty’ (1998); and the hairy beast within, as seen in ‘The Company of Wolves’ (1984) and ‘Red Riding Hood’ (2011). Appearances aren’t to be trusted.

Harking back to 19th century Gothic fiction, ghosts, family curses, vampyres, demons and superstitions dominated. An atmosphere of brooding unease was vital: one of mystery, pushing the reader towards their own state of ‘madness’.metaphorical, but a reality we confront consta

The most famous example is Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’: darkly malevolent and laced with eroticism. Think of Jonathan Harker’s non-consensual ‘blood rape’ at the hands of the three vampyre women in the Count’s prison-castle.

He recalls, with shame and fascination, his temptation to submit: ‘There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed to fasten on my throat. I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the supersensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there. I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited - waited with beating heart.’

There is the sensual portrayal of Lucy, most acutely rendered in her ‘undead’ state, and the slow seduction of Mina by the Count: a domineering, unfathomable stranger. The story is filled with references (veiled or explicit) to eyes blazing with desire, to blood, to submission, to death, to longing, to violence, to the devouring of flesh, and of course, to biting and sucking!

What other story, before or since, has so perfectly combined the luxurious pleasure of horror with eroticism?

For some, it is Sheridan le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ (written in 1872). It boasts similarly sensual passages, which hint at more than is explicitly written. Laura describes perturbing (rather orgasmic) sensations in the night, which we link to the presence of female vampyre Carmilla, coming to her room:  ‘My heart beat faster and faster, my breathing rose and fell rapidly and… [it] turned into a dreadful convulsion, in which my senses left me, and I became unconscious.

Carmilla opens a door to young Laura, awakening her to awareness of her sexuality. Once open, the door cannot be shut. Even when Carmilla has been staked and dispatched, Laura is haunted by memories.

In both stories, female sexuality is equated with ‘vampyric-bloodlust’: wanton, uncontrollable, and beyond civilised norms. It is as if, in succumbing to such a woman (or women in Harker’s case), we forfeit our very life-force.

In keeping with the age in which the tales were written, sexual pleasure is to be feared and resisted rather than welcomed. However, what danger can be more alluring than that of casting aside propriety and embracing abandoned, illicit sexual appetite? It’s little wonder that Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and all its descendants have enjoyed so many decades of popularity.

The stories can be viewed as more than horror. They explore awakening: awareness of self as a sexual being; and understanding of elements previously hidden. Within the velvet embrace of sexual arousal and heightened sensation, a cloak of ‘propriety’ is lifted, allowing us a glimpse of self-knowledge.

As Jonathan Harker admits, afraid of what awaits him at the hands of the trio of vampyre-seductresses: ‘I doubt; I fear; I think strange things, which I dare not confess to my own soul.’  The same words could easily be later given to Mina, as she struggles with her attraction to the Count: her inner fear of opening herself to desire.

In reading erotic fiction, we accept the apple of sexual self-knowledge. In biting its flesh, we may discover that which we wish to refute: dark fantasies of pleasure and pain, of voluptuous abandon, of wild promiscuity, of being ‘taken’ against our will. Between the pages, there are no bounds on sexuality, all is rendered ‘permissible’ by the veil of fiction.

The monsters and supernatural seducers of ‘horror’ cannot be resisted; we are forced to succumb. Here, if nowhere else, we may embrace dual-edged fantasies.

As Stoker’s Dracula urges, inviting us further into the pages, and into the realm of the forbidden: ‘Enter freely and of your own free will!’



Author Bio
Emmanuelle de Maupassant is the author of ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’: an erotic novella set in Victorian London, exploring the darker elements of desire.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
View her website for more fiction and articles. 


Bibliography
Sheridan Le Fanu: ‘Carmilla’ – a short story from ‘In a Glass Darkly’ (1872)
Bram Stoker: ‘Dracula’ (1897)


Thank you for being our guest today - what a richly seductive post...
x x x

Monday, 9 November 2015

Make It Real, Make It Funny by Special Guest Raven ShadowHawk

I’ve been doing this writing thing for a while now. Two years in fact (give or take a week or two). What I’ve found above all other things, is that I cannot write anything without injecting a bit of humour. My humour.

Those of you who know me, understand that there are three versions of me. There’s me, as you see me here, there’s DSB and there’s Ileandra Young. Whatever name I happen to be using at the time, there will be a hint of humour in the writing.

‘But,’ I hear you cry, ‘you write erotica. Surely sex isn’t funny?’

Wanna bet?

Real sex—and I mean real world sex, not the stuff you see in movies, or read about in some books—is hysterical. Think about the noises we make, the faces we make, the hair in the mouths, awkward cramps and misfire of certain fluids. At the time, I’ll grant you, it’s mortifying, but if the human race didn’t rely on on sex to keep going I doubt we’d do much of it: we’d be too busy laughing to get down and dirty.

Now . . . don’t misunderstand me; I don’t write my books this way. My characters,when the time is right, do get to strip off (or not) and have a good time. But at the back of my mind, there’s always the voice saying ‘How can I make this more real?’ ‘How can I really make this stick out in the mind of my readers, rather than making it just another sex scene?’ My answer, usually, is to inject some humour. Yes, even into the BDSM stories.

Take Sugar Dust; a drama following an established D/s couple Daniel Scotney and Karen Owusu. I open the story with the pair in the middle of a scene, Dan ordering Karen to service him while she kneels in a metal play cage heavily bound. Before the first 1,000 words are up, we discover that Dan has no only lost the keys required release Karen from the cage, but that he also has to collect his conservative and rather nosy parents from the train station as a result of their sudden decision to make a surprise visit. Dan’s solution to this is to phone his best friend (who, fortunately for him, happens to be a handyman) to free Karen from the cage while he drives off to collect his parents.

Madness ensues.

The humour from this situation and the scene itself, comes not from what has happened (though losing the key is kinda funny), but from what the characters do in response. Dan’s unconcious decision is to panic and call his friend, rather than take a breath and think rationally. Karen’s response is to cuss and scream and promise pain the moment she is freed. I find humour stems from personality, looking at a character and saying ‘Well that was a daft way to handle this situation.’ Not only is this a grand device to control the ebb and flow of tension, but it allows my readers to get a look into my character’s heads that they might not otherwise get.

A trick I intend to keep using over and over. ;-)



*/*\*

Sugar Dust:
Dan loves submissive women and longs to build a harem of willing females to fill what he lovingly calls his ‘Slave Library.’ He shares his plans for sexual bliss with Karen, the first of his submissives in his mind and his heart. But when an unexpected visit from his mother leads to uncomfortable questions about his ex, Dan realizes that past mistakes are catching up to him, faster than he can run.

The first D/s relationship to blend comfortably with her vanilla life is the one Karen shares with Dan. She treasures the freedom in the act of submission and wants nothing more than to share it with her Master for as long as possible. Why then, does he insist on bringing other women into their bed? And why can’t he say he loves her?

As Dan battles his inner demons, Karen hopes a sexy mini break at the exclusive fetish club, Sugar Dust will allow them time to relax and reconnect. There she meets Beth, personification of Dan’s past storming in to demolish her present. Can she show Dan that their relationship is strong enough to break the chains of his past, before Beth drives an immoveable wedge between them with her tales of what once was?

*/*\*

About The Author:
Raven ShadowHawk is one face of the author who writes fantasy and horror under a second pseudonym. She is, according to most . . . okay, according to herself, the fun one of the pair.

Living in Leicester, UK with her partner (the Funk Master) and twin sons (known as Sprog1 and Sprog2), Raven writes erotica ranging from sensual and romantic to graphic and totally PWP.

Her interests include badly produced porn, chocolate, dressing up (particularly in matching underwear) and shouting at women who wear ‘stupid shoes’ and/or skinny jeans.


Monday, 2 November 2015

Head Hopping Through a Series by Deanna Dee

Romance is all about groups of people. There are the brothers, the girl band, the sports teams, etc. Books in a series focus on each of the members of these groups finding their HEA. It’s great to meet a bunch of people in book one and, by the final book, know everyone inside out. Talk about becoming part of a literary family. Suddenly, you find yourself at the center of friend or family drama that isn’t even yours. It can be a difficult thing to manage, but it can also be a lot of fun.

So what’s fun about it from the author’s perspective? Many things. One is that we get to realize the difference in our characters’ relationships. For example, in my Games of Love series, Craig (the leading man of Critical Hit-On) always calls and thinks of his best friend Lydia as “Lyd.” No one else in the group calls her by a nickname. It was awesome to learn this and a little difficult to remember when writing in Molly (Craig’s girlfriend’s) point of view. It was even more interesting when I got to Lydia’s book, and “Lyd” only popped up in dialogue the entire story. But “Lyd” is a great addition to the books because it shows a certain relationship between Craig and Lydia.

Now, what’s difficult? There’s a lot, but I’ll focus on point of view. When I write a series all from the same character(s) perspective, I have the luxury of becoming comfortable. I learn thought processes and can keep using them. I go deeper and deeper into a few people’s heads until I know more about them than I’d ever want to. More importantly, though, I know how my character(s) feel about people, places, things, events, and other stuff. If these things change, it’s from my own doing. I bring elements into the story that initiate transformation and then make the necessary changes in my character(s).

Switching characters every book is a very different experience. Essentially, it’s like starting over. I needed to find a new voice and a new set of mannerisms and a new outlook on events that readers have already heard about or seen. In short, it can be very difficult to bring a fresh take to an old story. For example, Lydia isn’t a fan of clubbing, but she’ll go to a club when sufficiently motivated. In One Fling to Rule Them All, Sonya gives Lydia a hard time for going to a club. In Finish Him, I had to take Sonya’s friendly concern and turn it into club phobia and outright hatred. It was a big step, and it took me a while to identify Sonya’s exact feelings and then translate those feelings to written words. In the end, I got a great character trait and learned a lot about my leading lady, but man was the process interesting.

So next time you read a romance (or any other genre) series with many perspectives, really pay attention. Play a hypothetical game of Eye Spy. See if you can find the little things that make each character’s relationship to the world different. And when you finish the series, tip your hat to the author for keeping all those details straight from not just one or two, but many different points of view.

*****

Excerpt:

I check the clock on my phone for the tenth time in the last five minutes. Jaxon must really want to apologize for what happened at Fantasmic’s. There’s no other reason for him to choose Kransten’s, an actual sit-down restaurant, for this lunch. I’m not complaining. This is an ideal atmosphere for the informal interrogation I spent the better part of yesterday preparing. I suffered for my obsession by having homework to do until almost midnight, but it was worth it. As a bonus, I got to hide in my room and avoid my family.

A black car pulls into the lot. It parks facing me one spot over, and Jaxon gets out. He’s wearing a black jacket, black jeans, and black boots.

My brain raises the red warning flag, and my insides dance a little. The all-black get-up is understandable in his line of work, but he’s wearing it outside the club. He’s a bad boy. I shouldn’t be here alone with him. I plug my key back into the ignition but can’t bring myself to turn it. Dawn dresses in all black, and she’s one of my best friends. Clothing choice is no reason to blow Jaxon off. Besides, his outfit doesn’t change how much I need information. I put my keys away and get out of my car. The late fall air hits my skin and works its calming magic. I’m in a public place. If Jaxon tries anything, there are security cameras and restaurant employees. Everything will be fine.

“Hey.” Jaxon stops beside me and meets my gaze with sparkling eyes.

My internal stone shield cracks the tiniest bit. Bad people’s eyes don’t glitter with the joy of life. 

“Hey.” I scuff my sneaker against the blacktop. Maybe he’s not a dangerous psychopath. Never mind he’s given no signs of such. “Nice eating choice.”

“Thanks.” He gestures to the restaurant. “Shall we? I’m starved.”

I nod, and we meander toward the building with an arm’s length between us. Jaxon doesn’t try to get close to me or act in any way threatening. He maintains his distance, and the sparkle stays in his eyes. In other words, he’s a gentleman.

At the restaurant, he holds the door. So more than the clothes follow him from the workplace. I thank him and get the next door. Jaxon doesn’t object with some lame chauvinistic argument. He goes in and stops beside the host desk.

I follow. The place hasn’t changed since my last visit a few months ago. Kransten’s is American. There is no other word for it. The décor is of either sports teams or rock bands. The tables are simple wood. There’s a bar with a TV, and the floor is tile. The lighting is recessed, giving the place a dark feel despite all the windows. As I noted earlier, it’s an ideal place for an informal interrogation.

A hostess comes over and asks if we want a booth or table. Jaxon defers to me, and my snap bad-boy judgement sinks farther into the corner of my mind. He’s not controlling or dominating. I opt for a booth, and the hostess leads us to one, sets down menus, and tells us our server will be right over.

*****

Blurb:


Sonya Black never expected a petty sibling quarrel could lead to her sister being drugged. Overcome with guilt, Sonya vows to bring the jerk to justice. When she dives into her own investigation, she lands belly up in the company of Jaxon Nyles, the security guard who may have all the answers.

But being a detective isn’t as easy as Sonya thinks. On top of that, Jaxon always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Is he a suspect, or is he falling for her? More important, is she falling for him?

The round has begun. Who will flirt? Who will win? Will hearts break in the process?

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*****

Author Bio and links 

Deanna Dee is strictly human and does not, to her knowledge, own a hyena. She lives by the sea, which she takes full advantage of in the summer time. People, reading, and pop culture make up the shameless downtime of her life. The rest of it is writing, and she’s okay with that.