Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Conqueror Womb

Any friend of mine could guess the moment I decided to write a story for Conqueror Womb: Lusty Tales of Shub-Niggurath—the moment I heard of it. Now, this monstrous book is finished and ready for release on February 10. In the meantime, you can preorder it from Martian Migraine Press.

Here's what the publisher has to say:

Pulsing with some of the best writers working today in Lovecraftian horror (Wilum Pugmire, Molly Tanzer, Brian M. Sammons to name a few!) and mind-bending erotica (Shon Richards, Annabeth Leong, Jacqueline Sweet to name a few more!), plus a host of fresh talent! (Feel quite free to bow before the ToC, too, we won’t mind…)

Praise & Abundance! - introduction by editors Justine Geoffrey & Scott R Jones
This Human Form – Lyndsey Holder
That Hideous Thing – Ran Cartwright
Unsatisfied – Brian M. Sammons
Mater Annelida – Victoria Dalpe
The Potboiler Sigil – Luke R. J. Maynard
All This For the Greater Glory of the 7th and 329th Children of the Black Goat of the Woods – Molly Tanzer
Babymama – Kenton Hall
Our Child – Annabeth Leong
Boy – Don Webb
Pieces (2) for String Octet – Copper Sloane Levy
The Whisperer in the Vagina – Shon Richards
Obsidian Capre Aegagrus – Christopher Slatsky
Dirtymag – Jonas Moth
With Honey Dripping – Christine Morgan
In the Down Deep Down – Jacqueline Sweet
The Scarlet Scripture – Ambrosius Grimes
Within Your Unholy Pit of Shoggoths – Wilum H. Pugmire
Blossom – Rose Banks
The Conqueror Womb: Parsing Shub-Niggurath (essay) – Scott R Jones

I'm really proud of my story in this book. As is proper for weird erotica, I plumbed the depths of my personal nightmares for your disturbing pleasure. And, as a Valentine's Day release, this provides lovely balance for some of my sweeter work. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sex and Romance in a Limited Time

Thirteen years ago, I spent two weeks in Hong Kong, and I've never forgotten the monasteries I visited while I was there. Whenever I've traveled, I've always most enjoyed religious sites, and this is partly because there's a wordless sense of communion in these places. Locals mingle with tourists and tourists from all parts of the world mingle with each other. Some people are there because the guidebooks told them to be, and others because they have sincere religious feeling, but I've never felt that these different purposes take away from the experience.

When I saw the call for Kristina Wright's XOXO: Sweet and Sexy Romance, which asked for very short pieces of erotic romance, I thought of travel right away. In so many fantasies, vacations unite these three elements—limited space and time, eroticism, and romance. As I began to ponder what sort of vacation would do the trick, vivid memories of Hong Kong came to mind.

I was 19 when I visited there, and I remember meeting a man who lived in the same state I did. We had a twenty minute conversation about how exciting it was to be "from the same place," and it struck me as funny. I knew I didn't feel general affection for every fellow resident of my fair state when I was at home. Traveling, however, changes definitions of same and different. The inherent time limit imposed by plane tickets also won't allow would-be lovers to dawdle or build up a slow burn.

I didn't take a new lover in Hong Kong—I had traveled there with my lover at the time, but I've hooked up while on vacation, and I recall the urgency and romance of it. I have always had the knowledge in the back of my mind that I can't afford to be foolish and lose sight of the fast-approaching end. When the vacation is over, I have never wanted to walk away with a broken heart. But my story in XOXO indulges the fantasy that this time it's different.

I didn't think the fantasy was enough on its own, though. I wanted to show why these two people were right for each other—why they needed to stay together beyond the vacation, when they would return to the everyday definition of common ground. I wanted the reader to believe it would be worth the five-hour drives required for them to hold onto what they found in Hong Kong.

First, I showed them traveling to a couple of the places I loved most.

The "Big Buddha" is near the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau island. (The picture here was taken by Mimihitam and posted under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license). It's a very touristy site, and what I remember most was the long, terrifying bus ride required to get there. My characters meet on this bus, and this is where they first feel a connection—a sense of joy and freedom that might be the vacation, but just might be the result of being together.

Once they've established that connection, they decide to continue traveling together, and they visit the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin. (The picture here was taken by CPJoseph and posted under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license). This is the most incredible place I've ever been. As you can see from the picture, the statues go on forever, and as far as I could see each is different. Each has its own lesson and story. I remember climbing the stairs to the monastery already aching at the knowledge that I would forget much of what I was seeing.

As far as the story, I wanted the idea of unified difference to come through for the characters. And this is the location where they have their first kiss.

Soon, Amy, my heroine, knows she is falling for the hero, and begins to struggle with wanting more but knowing how naive it is to believe that this relationship can last beyond the trip. This is where I bring out the erotic aspect of the story. Together, these characters aren't just passionate, they're sweet and playful. Part of what I love about writing erotica is that I believe sex offers some of the best possible opportunities for characterization. It's my hope that seeing the way these two are in bed with each other helps the reader believe in them.

Often, writing involves taking fragments of my experience and remixing them in ways that seem surprising and mysterious when I consider what I've decided to throw together. "When the Vacation Is Over" is a good example of that process. Each part of the story, however, comes from something in my heart that's vivid and cherished. I'm so pleased to have been included in XOXO (this is my first time appearing in an anthology edited by Kristina Wright, and I'm stoked to be part of one of her excellent books).


This is part of the Won't You Be Our Valentine? blog tour for XOXO: Sweet and Sexy Romance.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Universe Where Katie Lived

Like A Trip Through the Mirror: Lesbian Love in Alternate Realities
, edited by Kathleen Tudor, was recently released by Circlet Press, and I'm happy to tell you that it includes my story, "The Universe Where Katie Lived."

In this story, Genevieve has discovered that reality "slips" whenever she has an orgasm. Over the years, she has learned various ways of regulating herself to avoid losing Katie, the woman she loves. For some time now, she's been insulated from her fears because a spinal injury in her current reality has made it impossible for her to come the way she always did. Genevieve's determined avoidance of orgasm, however, is causing tension between the lovers, and Katie presses for the chance to please Genevieve, unaware of the potential consequences. Here's a snip:

Katie answered with a kiss that deepened into a wild, full-on grope session. For the first time in years, Katie slid her hand down to Genevieve’s waist. Genevieve twitched. This was the transition point between where she had feeling and where she didn’t, and the gentle stroking of Katie’s fingers burned and scratched one moment, then faded to a ghostly breath the next. She sucked her breath in between her teeth and clamped her eyes shut.

“Sshh,” Katie soothed, kissing all over Genevieve’s face and down the side of her neck. “Let me touch you.”

Genevieve focused on relaxing her breathing, and slowly the raw, quivering sensations around her waist made her upper body writhe. An ache she hadn’t known existed began in the interior of her belly. Her hand moved toward her clit in a long-forgotten instinct.

“Good,” Katie said. “Can I lift you into your chair and take you to the shower?”

“Why?” Genevieve moaned, frantic and confused.

“I thought hot water would feel good. Besides, I want to clean you up real good to get you ready for all the dirty things I’m going to do to you.”

“OK,” Genevieve said again.

But once they reached the shower, Katie had more surprises. She pulled off her dress to reveal a lace bikini, through which Genevieve could see her erect nipples. She turned the water on and washed Genevieve with painstaking care and sensuality, covering every part so thoroughly that Genevieve was panting by the time it was through, just from thinking about Katie’s fingers gently working her over from forehead to asshole to feet and back.

Cleaning accomplished, Katie rubbed her body all over Genevieve’s, and imagination or not, Genevieve was sure she felt flashes of the rough stroking of Katie’s lace-covered breasts rubbing her thighs, and maybe even a few moments of the stabbing pleasure of Katie’s tongue across her clit.

“You’re wet,” Katie breathed, in a tone of wonder.

“I’d have come seven times by now if I could,” Genevieve said helplessly.

“People say they can still come, even if they don’t have sensation,” Katie said between licks, reaching her fingers up to tug at Genevieve’s lips and probe into her mouth. Genevieve opened for them and gasped when she tasted her own arousal slick and tangy on Katie’s hand. Katie continued, working her fingers in and out of Genevieve’s mouth. “People say it’s different, but it’s still an orgasm.”

A finger of doubt rippled up Genevieve’s confused spinal cord. She didn’t want to stop anything or fake anything. Would it be safe to let Katie continue? If she came only in her mind, would that count, as far as the universe was concerned?

I did a lot of research when I was writing this story, and hope I've done justice to the sexual experience of people with spinal injuries. There's not nearly enough information on this subject. Most of what I found was about fertility, not pleasure, and I found many accounts written by people frustrated that sexual pleasure was such a difficult topic to bring up with many health professionals.

I hope you enjoy the story. You can pick up the full collection here.