Friday, January 31, 2014

Call for Submissions: More Smut for Chocoholics



Kev "Mitnik" Blisse asked me to share this call for submissions with you guys. I wrote for Smut for Chocoholics, and that book turned out to be one of the things I was most proud to be in last year. Why not try your hand at chocolate-themed writing, too?

Here's Kev:

Chocoholic needs your unctuous chocolate themed stories!


Do you love Chocolate?

Do you write Erotica?

Did you know you could combine the two into a decadent delight?

Last year lots of wonderful Erotic Writers did just that to bring you “Smut for Chocoholics

This year we want lots more of the same with “More Smut for Chocoholics” (you know one chunk is just never enough!) so we want your chocolate themed erotica, it can be from any genre even fantasy, sci-fi, historical or futuristic as long as it has an erotic twist and features chocolate somehow. We are looking for stories between 3,000 – 6,000 words. So have a few sticks of your choccy of choice and get inspired!
The rest of the information about the call for subs can be found here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Alison Tyler's Delicious Torment



Alison Tyler's Dark Secret Love had a happy ending. After a long search, the main character Samantha had found the dom who could truly satisfy her desires. But Tyler knows that an ending like that is actually a beginning, and so we are lucky to have The Delicious Torment, which follows Samantha and Jack's relationship as it develops and matures.

Falling in love is one thing. That's a story about a character saying, "I think this person might be who I'm looking for," and then concluding that the possibility is worth a leap of faith. Staying in love is something else. That's about figuring out what to do when the object of affection does stuff that makes you fear you've made a terrible mistake. It's about discovering unexpected truths and adapting to them. It's about never forgetting why you're in that bed with that person in the first place.

The Delicious Torment is that second story, and the title is apt in more ways than one. Of course, Jack finds many thrilling, sexy, and mind-bending ways to cause Samantha pain, but the characters also experience the delicious torment of learning how to live with each other.

This book reads as fresh and hot as the first. Samantha's reactions never dull. Humiliation still burns bright and clear across her cheeks (face and ass). Jack is unrelenting in his sexy menace, always throwing her off balance and keeping her guessing. Samantha is just as wild and exciting. Pain is sweet and constant. Samantha is monogamous at heart, but there are quite a few scenes that include additional players.

Like Dark Secret Love, however, The Delicious Torment is much more than a string of hot scenes. To properly explain why I loved and fed on this book, I'm going to have to talk about something I do not love, which is the concept of the True Submissive. The True Submissive was born to be enslaved, created to be taken by whichever dom comes along first. She never questions her Master. Once he finds her, she becomes the lowercase letter to his capital, disappearing sweetly into his controlling embrace. In the books that feature her, she is often discovered amid a chorus of awestruck whispers. "She's a True Submissive," someone says of a woman who has been "broken" in about five lazy minutes.

I have so many problems with this, it's not even funny. For one thing, I don't think this "True Submissive" is very realistic. For another, the things she's supposed to be—unquestioning, docile, and broken—don't line up with what I think BDSM is about.

Now I'm back to The Delicious Torment. At first blush, Jack and Samantha may appear to have this sort of relationship. He demands extreme obedience, and he expects to receive this devotion 24/7. I would argue, however, that Samantha is the refreshing antithesis to the myth of the True Submissive, and that the last thing Jack wants is a woman who is broken.

Samantha may obey Jack, but it's always crystal clear that it's her choice and for her pleasure. There may not be many explicit boundaries in their relationship, but she draws and defends them where necessary. In Dark Secret Love, she specified that her writing was her own, but The Delicious Torment largely concerns the exploration and drawing of other boundaries. What is the proper role of third parties in the bedroom? How should Samantha deal with signs that Jack doesn't trust her? And so on.

One of my favorite scenes in the book occurs when Jack asks Samantha to call another dominant "Sir."

"He's not—" I started. God, how to put this into words? "He's not you. He's not the same as you." Almost sobbing. "He's not your equal. I don't want to call him Sir."

Jack smiled at me, startling me. "Yet you're disobeying an order."

I didn't know what to say to that. I had no response.

"You'll say, 'Thank you, Sir,' after each blow."

"No."

...

I'm a stubborn animal when I want to be. I wouldn't say Sir. And Jack, after regarding me for a moment, seemed to realize that. His eyes took on a glow.

"Ten extra for disobedience."

I grimaced but nodded as Jack let Alex back into the room.

What I love about this scene is that the characters show each other ultimate respect and maintain their own power while never breaking out of their BDSM roles. Jack obviously loves that Samantha won't roll over to him, and yet he doesn't make any exceptions to the rules.

This is a view into a real, empowered submissive. Samantha submits. She craves pain. And yet she makes real, constant choices about her submission.

I also love a scene in which Samantha refuses to take an extreme action that Jack wants.
He didn't even hesitate. He simply said thank you to the employees and led me down the stairs. There was no anger in his face, no pressure to 'do it for him.'

This view of submission is desperately needed. There is so much misinformation out there, so much pressure to prove oneself a "true submissive." I once wrote a piece about my own BDSM relationship, and found myself criticized online for "all the complaining" I did (which was how certain people described my efforts to give my dom information about how I was feeling). I have heard too many stories about subs getting hurt because they get caught up in the moment and don't remember that they can speak up. Alison Tyler's Samantha gets caught up in the heady sensation of the whole experience, but she never loses herself, and I love that about her.

Jack and Samantha explore the boundaries and dynamics of obedience and rebellion, but another major theme is how they deal with Alex, an employee of Jack's who has developed a complicated relationship with his boss. I loved that this involved trying out kinks outside of Samantha's comfort zone.

Tyler writes, "See? You can be dead sure that you are into one thing, focused on that concept solely, and then be demolished when something else turns you on."

As before, I'm so happy to read Tyler's experienced and energetic voice and to be guided through Samantha's relationship as it progresses. This is a wise and fascinating story. As I get deeper into the series, it's ever clearer to me that Jack would not be the right dom for me, but the thing about an honest voice is that it elicits an honest response. On more than one occasion while reading the book, I trotted out of the bedroom to find my partner, my collar in my teeth, dying to practice our own version of this drama—the one that's right for me. Ultimately, that's what this series is about in my view: Samantha is on a journey to find the most honest way to live out her sexual desires. That's the journey I want to be on, too. It won't end in precisely the same place, but how could it?

My only complaint is that the next book isn't out yet. If you'd like to see my review of Dark Secret Love, it's here.

***

I was offered a review copy of The Delicious Torment, but insisted on buying my own because I'm weird that way. I'm honored to be part of the blog tour for The Delicious Torment. You can see all the stops here.

This is the official blurb:

Alison Tyler has been hailed as the best BDSM fiction writer of today. But wait a minute—is her work really purely fictional? Blurring lines between memoir and meta in The Delicious Torment, Tyler dares to expose in prose that pulsates off the page. Raising all bets that began in the critically acclaimed Dark Secret Love, this coming-of-age story sees Samantha entwined with an older man, a bondage connoisseur and her equal in every way, as she explores the deepest recesses of her master’s desires and her heart.
A Story of O meets 9 1/2 Weeks, The Delicious Torment is fueled by lust, longing and need.

And Alison Tyler's bio:

ALISON TYLER has made being naughty a full-time job. Her sultry short stories appear in more than 100 anthologies, and she is a prolific editor of bestselling erotic anthologies like The Big Book of Bondage, Sudden Sex, and Down and Dirty. In all things important, she remains faithful to her husband of 15 years, but she still can’t choose just one perfume. Find her at alisontyler.com and alisontyler.blogspot.com

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Devout

I've signed a new contract with the fabulous Storm Moon Press, this time for a story that will come out in Devout, an anthology they're putting out centered on m/m priest stories. My story, "Never Not a Priest," explores what happens in a diocese grappling with new marriage-equality laws. Fr. Paul Lyman, a gay Anglican priest who has maintained a secret five-year relationship with a local adjunct professor, finds himself prompted by his conscience to give up his shadow existence and bring his lover into his real life in the parish. Many more details to come.

Odd side note: I seem to be developing a personal "religious erotica" subgenre. I've got several stories now where I include sincerely religious characters who are also sexual beings (and, as is my own experience of being a religious and sexual person, they're not very good at abstinence and have various feelings about whether they should try to be). If this interests you, Run for Your Love and One Flesh are out already. "Never Not a Priest" and "The Miracles of Dorothea of Andrine" are on the way.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Heated Leather Lover



This is the cover for my next Ellora's Cave release, Heated Leather Lover, which is due out in early June!

When Tam Bouie rides into town on her motorcycle, she finds the welcoming committee of her dreams, the beautiful femme Yasmin Miller who seems to have been waiting for a leather-clad butch to come and sweep her off her feet.

The two waste no time acting on their passion, but when Yasmin discovers that Tam isn’t just passing through, she panics. Yasmin fears that Tam’s new hometown will prove far too small for comfort if their love affair goes sour. Her resolutions to stay away from Tam won’t mean a thing, however, if she can’t manage to keep them.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

On Worries and Fetishes

It's my day to post at Oh Get A Grip! Our current topic is worries, and I decided to talk about how the obsessive attention devoted to worries reminds me of the obsessive attention devoted to fetishes.

Here's a snippet:

The ones that do it for me really do it. They work every time. They have distinctive language and imagery that roll through my brain on a predictable and effective path, making me weak in the knees, getting me wound up. I can recognize the people who share them because they use certain key words or phrases. We can spot each other across a crowded room. It takes only a shiver at the right moment or a certain knowing look in the eye.

You can read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jo Thomas on Setting the Scene for The Oyster Catcher



I'm pleased to host Jo Thomas today as part of her tour for her full-length romance novel, The Oyster Catcher. I asked Jo to talk about a significant scene in the book and how it came about, and she's come through with a discussion of the all-important opening scene. With no further ado, I'll turn this over to Jo!

***

Moving to a new area can be very scary. Everything can be so different from what you’re used to, as I found out when I first moved to Ireland. I was in awe of its beauty, amazed by how much it could rain and totally at sea when it came to reading the road signs in the Gaeltacht, the Irish-speaking region of Ireland. This is how my book begins.

This is the very first scene in the book. We’re in Galway and my heroine Fi is coming to terms with her new situation. The reason why it’s significant is that the book didn’t initially start here. Then a very experienced writer read the start of my book and told me I needed to get straight into the action of the story. And so, you’ve heard the expression ‘murdering your darlings’, I cut and binned the first 10,000 words and started here instead...

Chapter One

The sea air hits me like mouthwash for the head. It’s clean, fresh, and smells of salt. I’m standing on the steps of the Garda station; or Portakabin really. The wind blows my hair and I hold my face up to it, letting any tears that may have escaped mingle with the damp air. With my eyes shut and my face held up to the wind I realise two things. One, I’m in a place called Dooleybridge and two; I am absolutely stranded wearing the only dress I have – the one I’d got married in.

I open my eyes, shiver and walk back towards the harbour wall where the camper van had been. There are some scuff marks on the wall and a headlight that had fallen off, but other than that there’s no real trace that it was ever there at all. I bend down and pick up the light. Oh, that’s the other thing I realised while being cautioned. There’s absolutely no way I can go home, no way at all.

I turn round and walk back towards the road; when I say walk, it’s more a hobble. My shoes are killing me and are splashing water up the back of my feet and calves. But then it isn’t really gold mule weather. It’s cold and wet and I couldn’t feel any more miserable than I already do. I head back up the hill and cross the road just below the Garda station and step down into a tiled doorway. I take a deep breath that hurts my chest and makes me cough. I have no other choice. I put my head down. I touch the cold brass panel on the door and with all the determination I can muster, push it open.

The door crashes against the wall as I fall in, making me and everyone else jump. As I land I realise it’s not so much the throng I was expecting but a handful of people. All eyes are on me. A hot rash travels up my chest and into my cheeks making them burn and inside I cringe. I feel like I’ve walked on to the set of a spaghetti western and the piano player has stopped playing. ‘Sorry,’ I mouth and shut the door very gently behind me. My stomach’s churning like a washing machine on spin cycle. I look round the open-plan pub. At one end is a small fireplace and despite it supposedly being summer there’s a fire in the grate giving out a brave, cheery, orange glow against the chilly atmosphere. There’s an unfamiliar smell in the air, earthy yet sweet. In the grate there are lumps of what look like earth burning on the fire. Back home I’d just flick on the central heating but home is a very long way away right now. There’s wood panelling all across the front of the bar, above it, below it and round the walls. When I say wood panelling, it’s tongue and groove pine that’s been stained dark. It’s the sort of place you’d expect to be full of cigarette smoke but isn’t. In the corner by the fire there’s a small group of people, all of them as old as Betty from Betty’s Buns. Or as it’s now known The Coffee House. Betty’s my employer, or should that be ex-employer?

Blurb

According to a champion shell shucker, in order to open an oyster you first have to understand what’s keeping it closed.

When runaway bride Fiona Clutterbuck crashes the honeymoon camper van, she doesn’t know what to do or where to go. Embarrassed and humiliated Fiona knows one thing for sure, she can’t go home. Being thrown a life line, a job on an oyster farm seems to be the answer to her prayers. But nothing could prepare her for the choppy ride ahead or her new boss the wild and unpredictable Sean Thornton.

Will Fiona ever be able to come out of her shell and find love again?

As the oyster season approaches, will there be love amongst the oyster beds of Galway bay? Or will the circling sharks finally close in?

Buying links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Accent Press

Bio for Jo Thomas – The Oyster Catcher.


Jo Thomas started her broadcasting career as a reporter and co-presenter with Rob Brydon on BBC Radio 5, reported for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and went on to produce at BBC Radio 2 working on The Steve Wright Show. She now lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her writer and producer husband, three children, three cats and a black lab Murray. She writes light hearted romances about food, family, friendships and love; and believes every story should have a happy ending.
http://jothomaswrites.blogspot.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/JoThomasAuthor
Twitter: @jo_thomas01





Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Various Updates

I've been collecting a bunch of things that I want to mention, so I'm going to gather them together into one news post.

Best Bondage Erotica 2014



It's out, and it's got my story "Eel" in it. I haven't gotten my contributor copies yet, but I'm looking forward to reading this, and am sure it's hot as always (and early reviews indicate it is). Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel has been collecting mini-interviews from the contributors, and you can find them here. I talked about the inspiration behind "Eel" here. And, because this came up on Twitter, we're not talking about eels as in the creatures here—the story is about a woman who likes to escape from ties, much to the consternation of her various tops.

The Conqueror Womb: Lusty Tales of Shub-Niggurath



Do I have to tell you how much I love it when I get a chance to dirty up the Mythos? My story, "Our Child," is slated for inclusion in this forthcoming book from Martian Migraine Press, edited by Justine Geoffrey and S R Jones, and oh my elder gods I had fun writing it. It's got the distinction of being my first Lovecraftian milking fetish erotica (because Shub-Niggurath is a fertility goddess, you know). And that's not all it's got. If I do say so myself, it also has a serious literary point.

As a side note, I attended a conference last year on Lovecraft and all things Lovecraftian, and I have to say I was very disappointed by the negative attitude toward erotica that I picked up from the panels there. Even if Lovecraft himself would have blushed with horror to know what I like to do to the Mythos, I think it's always been ripe for the ministrations of people in my field. I found it a bit rich to see writers of weird, pulpy horror prepared to dismiss another genre as schlock. My dears, we writers of weird, pulpy things should stick together, all innuendo intended.

I was so annoyed by the negative bias that when I got home I threatened half-seriously to go ahead and write "Booty Calls of Cthulhu" just to show you what pulp can be. Unfortunately, something very close to that title already exists on Amazon, so I'll have to come up with a different clever revenge.

When The Conqueror Womb comes out (I believe around Valentine's Day), let us all go out and buy many copies of it. I like to celebrate my weird erotica.

The Fugitive's Sexy Brother



My kinky suspense novel, The Fugitive's Sexy Brother, came out in paperback at the end of December! You can get it at Amazon as well.

Here's the blurb:

Emily Boysen is sick of low-level bounty hunting jobs that don’t pay her rent, and sick to death of her ex-boyfriend taking credit for her work. Ready to claim her due, she takes on the quarry of a lifetime, the notorious Fernando Bonavita. But instead of the fugitive, she captures his sexy younger brother, Javier.

Javier Bonavita never wanted to know the truth about his older brother’s activities, instead protecting him out of loyalty. When he uses his hacking skills to pose as Fernando, he never expects to uncover crimes he can’t stomach. Beautiful Emily has no idea how glad he is to be in her custody—as long as he’s her prisoner, he doesn’t have to face his brother.

Passion flares between Emily and Javier, and soon he’s putting the handcuffs on her. Suspicion grows along with their feelings, though. A sinister plot centers around Fernando, and untangling it will test their loyalties to the limit.

Oh Get a Grip!

I have joined the amazing group blog, Oh Get a Grip! Read the list of who else writes this thing and you'll see why I was so flattered to be asked to write with them. My first post was about my most treasured erotic books, and I will be posting there every second Thursday. Check it out (and be sure to read what my fellow contributors have got to say—this is a very talented group of erotica writers).

New Year


Hey, did you notice that 2014 started? Many people posted their 2013 word counts, goals, and such. I'll be honest—I planned to do the same. But as the days have slipped by, it's occurred to me that I'm happy I didn't. One of the main things I'd like to do this year is slow my obsession with counting. I have effectively tortured myself that way for many years. I would like to free myself of the tyranny of deciding whether not I'm a good person based on whether or not I crossed an arbitrarily selected threshold of words produced. So, let's leave my count for 2013 a mystery, shall we? I worked hard and wrote tons, and I plan to do the same this year.

That's all for now, though I hope I will have much more news to share in the coming weeks and months!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Music Mondays: "Do I Wanna Know?" by Arctic Monkeys

"There's this tune I found that makes me think of you somehow and I play it on repeat until I fall asleep." -- Arctic Monkeys



Very clever lyrics to this one, and the sort of dirty blues sound that always works on me.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Out Today: Through the Storm



Look what's here, my dears!

Through the Storm
is now available, proceeds going to benefit Mercy Corps. Here's the beginning of my story, Sinkhole:

"Those clouds came out of nowhere," Nadine said. She stopped and gazed upward. The sky had been flat, blue, and limitless when we left my mother's house to go for a sanity-preserving walk, but now ominous gray and black lines made it look like stained, wrinkled fabric.

"Florida does that sometimes," I said. "It can change all of a sudden."

She leaned forward to adjust her shoe. As usual, it was made of glittery scraps of uncomfortable plastic and impractically high heels. "I think I'm getting a blister. I don't know if I can make it back to your mom's before the rain hits."

I sighed. It had been a tense trip. Much as I'd tried to prepare my mother for the experience of meeting my girlfriend, the reality of Nadine was apparently even more disturbing to my socially conservative mother than the idea of her had been. Nadine had responded to the stress by transcending her usual standards of femme perfection, achieving a cold, brittle, architectural beauty that required perfect hair, clothes, and makeup and meant I was rarely allowed to touch or kiss her. I had responded by getting horny. That combination meant that when I wasn't fielding hissed comments from my mother in the family kitchen, Nadine and I were mixing it up in our hotel room by arguing, not fucking.

I was tired and unhappy, and I didn't have a whole lot of patience left for Nadine's shoes. "Can you take them off, baby? It's only a few blocks back to the house."

She pouted. "The sidewalk would rip my stockings."

Hope springs eternal, I guess, because I couldn't resist a pointed look up and down the length of her shapely dark legs. "You could take those off, too," I pointed out. The mere thought of the bare skin of her thigh made my clit pulse.

You can find it from various vendors here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Out Today: Three's Company



Here's the blurb for my story, "The Orgasm Contest":

Jody and Celeste have finally let Brent in on the hot thing they have going with each other and whichever guy manages to strike their fancy. Determined to hold onto his privileged position at all costs, Brent knows he needs to offer more than the average guy in order to keep their interest. In pursuit of his goal, he shows up one evening with industrial-strength vibrators and a plan to find out which of them can come the most.

Also includes stories by Nicole Gestalt, Ralph Greco Jr, Naomi Bellina, and Maxine Hooper.

You can pick up a copy here.