Friday, May 30, 2008

Stripped


by Lauren Dane

We'll start with the book video made by Anya Bast, who is one of the authors in the anthology (and a really fabulous author who can write some steamy sexin!)

So on May 1 - my novella, Stripped, came out in the What Happens in Vegas... anthology from Harlequin Spice.

Here's the blurb: Dahlia Baker had a reputation in her hometown. It was one of the things a woman with a body like hers had to contend with. As if large breasts and legs for miles made her a dumb bimbo. But it wasn’t like anyone cared that she had a 4.0 and a free ride to UNLV and so she grabbed opportunity with both hands and headed for the sunny heat of Las Vegas.

Still, she has bills to pay and if she wants to keep herself in books and a roof over her head, she has to get a job. And that’s where The Dollhouse came in where she worked as a burlesque dancer.

She’s got a plan for her future. But into her life strolls Nash, the brother of the man who owned the Dollhouse and a reputed player. Nash was literally the hottest man she’d ever clapped eyes on.

And he wants her.

Despite her reservations, they enter into a fiery affair and soon Dahlia’s heart is involved.

Nash knows Dahlia is skittish and over time, he begins to understand why. He may be a playboy, but he knows what he wants and he wants forever with Dahlia. It’s just going to take a very skillful combination of extremely hot sex and unconditional love to get her to see it too.


WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS: STRIPPED BY LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2008, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Harlequin Enterprises


Dahlia moved to the windows, amazed at the view. The mountains stood in the distance but most of the Strip lay below and to the east.

She felt him approach and leaned into his body when he wrapped his arms around her, melting at his touch. “Dinner will arrive in a few minutes. Is Indian all right?”

“Yes, wonderful. This is some view.”

“It is, isn’t it? Wait until it’s full dark. The lights are so beautiful.” His hands slid up under the hem of her shirt, palms smoothing over her bare skin. “You’re so warm.”

“Mmmm.”

“Sweatshirt off. Hands on the window. Spread your feet.”

Her eyes slid closed for a moment as she obeyed, the glass cool against her palms.
One handed, he peeled the cups of her bra back, baring her breasts to his touch, rolling and tugging her nipples. Dahlia opened her eyes to catch the mirrored view in the window of his hand moving down her stomach and beneath the waistband of her yoga pants. She’d considered changing into something fancier but she was glad she hadn’t as clever fingers burrowed into her panties and delved into her pussy.

“You’re so beautiful reflected there, Dahlia.”

Her eyes flicked up, catching his gaze in the window.

What a picture she made! Leaned back into him, one of his hands doing naughty things to her nipple, the other in her pants. No one had ever made her look or feel the way he did. She wasn’t afraid of her sexuality with him. He made her love that side of herself.

“I’m going to make you come. Just a quick one before dinner. And then we’ll take our time. Give it to me, Dahlia.”

“Work for it, Nash,” she gasped as his rhythm against her clit sped up.

A dark chuckle was her reward, hot against her ear and neck. “Tough talk for a woman standing in front of my living room windows with my hand down her pants. Your pussy is hot and juicy in my palm. Do you wonder who can see you?”

Her eyes moved from his to the city below. As her orgasm built, she did indeed wonder. Was there a man in his hotel room with binoculars? Did he see how wanton she was, writhing, rolling her hips against Nash’s hand?

“Dahlia Baker has a kink in her laces.” His voice was teasing and she wanted to laugh but instead gasped as she began to come, fingers pressing against the glass, eyes locked with his again.

Some moments later he put her bra back in place and pulled his hand out of her pants. Reaching up, he drew a fingertip over her bottom lip and spun her, kissing her mouth.

Her taste mixed with his, dizzying her. As always, the dark edge of his sexuality turned her on. Her entire being sparked with electricity. Nash Emery made her feel so alive.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Portia!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Black Latex with Lauren Wissot

Comment today to WIN a signed copyby Olivia Knight

Black Lace writers may be scarlet harlots to Barbara Cartland, but our big bad brother makes us look sweet-sixteen at times. Nexus is also erotica and also an imprint of Virgin Publishing. If we’re Black Lace, though, they’re Black Latex with a strap-on and a whip. Lauren Wissot has emerged from the basement to give us the low-down on writing for Nexus, S&M, and her book Under My Master’s Wing.

Lauren on... the difference between a Black Lace novel with spanking and a Nexus novel
This strikes me as a difference in semantics, in marketing strategy, packaging, as opposed to actual content. Black Lace is "written for women by women," whereas Nexus primarily targets the (hetero) male audience. But I've been around kinky people long enough to know that such distinctions are usually meaningless. Take for example the whole CFNM ("clothed female naked male") fetish, which I just recently discovered. Both a straight client of mine at Pandora's Box, the house of domination where I work part-time, and one of my best gay buddies jerk off to the same CFNM sites! To separate sexuality into male/female, gay/straight binaries seem simple-minded at best.

Lauren on... Nexus guidelines
Black Lace writers are encouraged to have happy endings, not start with bathing women, and apparently - ensure that everyone having sex has a human head. Pity the editor who has to add that stipulation! It has to be the most fabulous guideline I've ever read! (And it goes a long way to explaining why Monty Python originated in the U.K. Save the queen indeed!) Nexus doesn't have any guidelines – at least none that I followed (wink, wink). My wonderful editor Adam Nevill always coaxed me to push the envelope, not to color within any lines. I guess the "guidelines" would be geared more towards word count and keeping within the BDSM genre. (Technically, Nexus Enthusiast is the strand devoted to one specific fetish. My book is considered "female submission," though that's not really a fetish in the sense that ass, leg and foot worship are fetishes. I think Adam is open to fudging strict definitions if he likes a story enough – which I'm very grateful for.)

Lauren on... writing from experience
Most Black Lace writers say they don't do everything they write (unsurprising given all the elves and dragons around lately). As my book's an erotic memoir, I'm the exact reverse. Seriously, I've got a lazy imagination. I'm constantly stealing from real life. In all honesty, I'm not truly an erotica author – I'm a sex journalist. I go into the kinky trenches then come back and report my findings. I don't make anything up, ever. That said, as any documentary filmmaker worth his DV camera will tell you, there is no such thing as "truth." I don't pretend that anything I write is objective or "real" because it's always told through my own subjective eyes. (I've always said that if David, the master in Under My Master's Wings, had written it, it would look nothing like my book.)

Lauren on... S&M and feminism
I know S&M often gets a mixed response on Lust Bites, between the joy of a good spanking and people's anxiety about the potentially abusive roles, BUT: I am nearly evangelical about S&M (and fellow film-producing proselytizers should contact me at laurenvile@yahoo.com!) Anyone who's ever been in the scene knows that it's very much like a religion (with its own rituals and rules like most religions. Ever wonder why so many good Catholic schoolboys are into caning?) There's a spirituality involved in communing with another through power-play. At the same time, I'm also fully aware that S&M, like religion, can mask abuse. I'm not embarrassed to admit that my relationship with my master ended at the time I began to feel like an emotional punching bag – nor that I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I learned so much as a slave, experienced that exhilarating freedom inherent in giving oneself completely over to another, and grew both mentally and emotionally by leaps and bounds, that even the hardest times were worth it. That feminism should even be concerned with BDSM in the year 2008 seems a bit antiquated since S&M transcends both gender and sexuality – it's all about tops and bottoms, dominants and submissives. The categories of male, female, gay and straight don't even exist in this world. (My relationship with my master was homosexual, if anything. It was the first time in my life my male sexuality was able to express itself through my female form.) Yes, some people are harmed by BDSM. Some people are harmed by Judaism, by the Catholic Church. That's the nature of worship – and why you can't do it blindly.

Lauren on... Under my Master's Wings
Under My Master's Wings is my erotic memoir about my time spent as the personal slave to a gay-for-pay stripper (and would be gay porn star). It details the first year of our long-distance relationship (David is French-Canadian, I'm a New Yorker). We were together for six years, so I still have five more books waiting to be published!

Lauren on... her favourite scene from the book
My favorite scene (yes, I'm forever thinking like a screenwriter) was the longest night of my life. After defiantly agreeing to a threesome with David and his wife (she being told I was an escort he'd ordered for them) at their hotel, I cleansed myself of sexual remorse by going to the Gaiety strip club, picking up a hot dancer and his friend, and ending the evening in a second ménage a trois – two floors above where my master and his wife slept. It's my favorite scene because one of the worst nights of my life was also one of the funniest in retrospect, proving that that which does not destroy you can make you laugh.


Picture credits: 1. Tomb Raider models Lucy Clarkson, Lara Weller, Jill de Jong, Nell McAndrew, and current Tomb Raider girl Karima Adebibe at their 2007 London Photoshoot. 2. Lauren Wissot 3. Postcard from PostSecret 4. Cover of Under My Master's Wings.


Comment to win a copy of Lauren's book! Lauren will also dip in during the day to answer any questions.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lust at First Sight

GEMINI HEAT & GOTHIC HEAT - Portia Da Costa


This is just a quickie to say... Wahey, both GEMINI HEAT and GOTHIC HEAT are published in America today! They're the two books that span my fourteen years as a Black Lace author and I'm thrilled to bits that they're available together like this... :)

To celebrate this auspicious day, here are two brief clips, one from each book, each containing the heroine's first impressions of the hero... and in each case, as the title of this post says, it's lust at first sight!

First, from Gemini Heat... Deana turns around and finds exotic Jake de Guile at her side...

'Chatted who up?'

The voice from beside her was soft and light with an insidiously husky catch. Pure sex, filtered through human vocal chords, and Deana knew exactly who it belonged to. Slowly, almost reluctantly, she turned around.

Her moments-only impression hadn't done him justice. She'd formed a sketch in her mind but what stood before her was a masterpiece, a living composition more fine and sensual than anything in this mad bad collection.

'Who were you going to chat up?' her vision in black persisted, but for several seconds all Deana could do was stare at his smiling lips, his large dark eyes; his hands, his body, his crotch. His narrow black eyebrows lifted in enquiry and amusement, and after a century she recovered her voice.

'You,' she said sharply, making a split second decision to be her usual unflinching self. He was raw eroticism on two legs, but she wasn't frightened of him. She wanted him, yes - instantly and unequivocally - but she didn't fear him. Although a small voice inside her said ought to.

'Yes,' she went on as she faced him. Panicking creatively, she said the first thing that came into her head. 'Although "chat up" is purely a figure of speech. You seem to be one of the few people here genuinely interested in the exhibits... so I thought it would be nice to "chat you up" and get your opinions. I'm an artist myself and I wanted to compare... compare my reactions with someone else's,' she paused, flustered, realizing that she was rabbiting on and that he was still smiling his slow, indulgent smile, 'You are interested, aren't you?'

'Of course. It's my specialty.' He accompanied this cryptic utterance with a elegant flip of his fingers. Deana noted the slenderness of his hands and how beautifully kept they were, and suddenly she imagined them slipping knowledgably over her body, seeking out the most sensitive places and stroking her to climax after climax. She could almost see her own shine on his narrow toffee-coloured fingertips.

'Is that a fact?' she answered pertly, feeling the blush rise again, then fall as it had done before, to the place that now yearned for this strange dark man, 'Are you an artist yourself? Do you paint? Or draw?'

'No, sadly I have no talent. I merely observe beauty,' he replied, his eyes roving almost crudely across her body. As his gaze returned to meet hers, Deana met dark, electric-blue fire and was shocked. Not just by the blatant desire there, but by the fact that with his colouring she'd been expecting brown eyes, or grey.

The shape of his eyes was unusual too. In a Caucasian face, they were slanted, oriental, almost catlike. Wide-set and with thick, sooty lashes, they had a slight over-folding of the lids at the inner corners. Mr Mystery here had the east not too far back in his heritage, and his eyes bore the epicanthus to prove it.

His hair was also eastern. Steel-black and straight as water, it was smoothed back closely against his head and caught at the nape of his neck in a ponytail. Its hard, unruffled shine reminded Deana of a seal's coat, but almost instantly, she revised her assessment. Seals were cuddly and playful, and this man just wasn't. He was a shark or a king cobra, hovering to strike or kill, smiling and deadly. Suddenly, she knew she should fear him.

'Me too,' she said, responding belately. He must think I'm a complete ninny, she thought, annoyed by her own inability to impress. 'Why don't we get together?'



And now, in Gothic Heat, Paula has an 'across a crowded room' moment when she spots Rafe Hathaway in a grotty, insalubrious nightclub....

The man by the dance floor was still there, and the sight of him still made her catch her breath and wonder. Now he seemed to look entirely different.

What she’d seen before must have been an hallucination.

Raven Club man didn’t have the aristocratic glamour of ‘Count André’ and he didn’t even have the long, exotic locks. His dark hair was cropped quite short, and it made him look earthy and dangerous. He had the aura of a conscious outsider about him, a rebel, and a bit of stud maybe, but in a raw, maverick way. In contrast the boring but colourful designer outlet finery around him, he was wearing a battered black leather biker jacket, narrow black jeans and some kind of heavy, buckled work boots.

A pair of dark, narrowed eyes scanned the room just as hers had, their hooded lids predatory and jaded-looking. His mouth was rather hard, and thinned a little, as if the club inspired just the same sense of distaste and disappointment in him that it did in her.

Yeah, I know, it’s a dingy old sump, isn’t it? thought Paula. So what the hell are we doing here? We should be elsewhere. Together.

She watched his hands. They moved quickly and edgily, even though his large body was still and poised. First he tapped his fingertips against the smudged railing in time to the music, and then went through the motions of patting his pockets, reaching into them, digging about. Only to be snatched smartly back out again.

Ah hah! A smoker - or an ex smoker - searching for his ciggies. Having done hard time giving up herself, Paula recognised the tell-tales. Maybe the tall, hard-looking, and vaguely biker-ish man wasn’t quite as calm and self assured as he looked? The urge to smoke was a natural reflex when ill at ease.

The large hands appeared again, and suddenly he cracked his knuckles. The sound of it shouldn’t have been audible over the cacophony of the music, but even so it echoed across the room as if they were the only two people in it.

Hands still clasped, the tall stranger looked straight up at Paula.

Connection hit her like a thump in the solar plexus. Lines of force zipped between the two of them, and the man down below cocked his head as if listening to their hum.

A powerful urge to run gripped Paula, but then died again.

Connection hit her like a thump in the solar plexus. Lines of force zipped between the two of them, and the man down below cocked his head as if listening to their hum.

A powerful urge to run gripped Paula, but then died again.

Take him, he’s yours, the voice of Isidora purred beneath her skin. And Paula’s eyes and limbs obeyed it. Holding the tall man’s gaze, she glanced towards the club’s emergency exit, and then, not looking back, she began to walk quickly towards the steps to the lower level.


So... two guys, two naughty books... hope you enjoy both of them equally! Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of a book from my back list.

love

Portia
Still labouring at the Black Lace coal face to bring you sexy and romantic treats!

Monday, May 26, 2008

"The Mummy's Girl": guest spot

Have you ever been tempted to self-publish? Lust Bites friend t'Sade gives us the low-down on what it's like.


Naked, as all slaves were required to be, the woman was not uncomfortable with her nudity. Plastered against her back, her sweat-soaked hair clung to her skin as she strained with the effort not to move. Held above her head, her wrists twisted inside golden chains, trying to break free. They were just tight enough to place a strain on her back, but not enough to hold her off the cold stone ground. Spread out beneath her, her legs quivered slightly with the effort to keep her sweat-soaked knees from sliding on the stone. Between, the naked mound of her womanhood glistened with sweat and fear, and more than a little excitement.

Above is the first paragraph of my novel, The Mummy's Girl, which I had published in December of 2003. You know what? I love that beginning, it represents so much to me, both in a novel I created, but also the first time I held a book in my hand and was able to say "I did this" and have it not mean something I just printed up on a laser printer at work.



This novel came to being while I was watching the movie The Mummy endlessly for two of my Hollywood boyfriends (i.e. men I'd like to meet and... do other things to). In the first meeting between Imhotep and Evelyn ("Evie"), where they are just inches away from each other, there is the dramatic rescue. However, my dirty little mind thought about other What If? scenarios instead. What if he wasn't as... crawling with bugs, didn't have juicy chest wounds, or missing important parts? What if she felt a longing inside him, a hunger that she couldn't explain? What if instead of being rescued, he actually kissed her? What if... what if they just fucked right then and there, gasping and thrusting, like two lovers split apart by death and centuries?


The mummy closed the door she had left open and walked heavily over to Nikki. Kneeling down, he brushed her hair off her face to gaze at her. Nikki stirred and moaned. One eye opened briefly and closed. Her hands clenched against the blanket and he watched her shiver for a moment. A whimper of pain escaped her throat as she drifted back into unconsciousness. He stayed next to her, guarding her with a surprising vigilance. When she began to stir, he was waiting.
Nikki opened her eye again, then the other. The clear brown depths stopped Anuset's heart for a moment as memories slammed into him. He remembered those eyes, from so many centuries ago.

"Binis." His voice was almost a reverent rasp as he felt his body grow cold from shock.

A slow smile crossed her face as Nikki spoke in a torn voice. "It's you."


That is the story I wanted to hear about. So, I sat down on my daily train ride and began to write a story. When I finished, I was happy since I wrote what I set out to write, a story that I liked. Yeah, it was a bit fan-fictiony but it was still inspired by that one specific scene. Naturally, I told my friends all about it, naughty bits and all.

"That wouldn't happen. Bast and Set would never do that. And, you have it-"

Okay, telling a know-it-all about an Egyptian love story isn't a good way to get enthusiasm. So, I found myself staring at a story that I loved, but it was "wrong". The type of wrong that wasn't really wrong, but it sent a few gears in motion. So, I did what first came to my mind. I didn't want to get rid of the romance and love; and I needed the gods to be what they were because they were part of the story just as the mummy was. Instead of scrapping it, I recast the novel as a fantasy, set down in a world I've used for years in my role-playing games and short stories, and found another, deeper story underneath it. It became something more than just a long fiction. It turned into a story of sex and love, of reincarnated love, redemption, and submission.

And completely my creation.
I also found that master/slave relationships turns me on—hard. Didn't know that when I started, but it was pretty obvious by the time I finished.



"If I... please you?"

A ripple of chuckles filtered through the watching soldiers and they danced from foot to foot. The commander grinned and looked around. "Well, we won't stop you, now will we?"

Noises of disagreement filled the air, but there were more than a few smiles on their faces. Sylia found a smile on her own lips as she looked around again, seeing the tent in a new light. She found herself almost thanking Anuset for sparing her and giving her to the soldiers with the strange honor.

"All of you?"

Another ripple of laughter as one of the guards, a thinner man with scars covering his face and arms, spoke up. "Well, most of us share everything anyways. They don't pay us that much and sometimes we need to... combine our pay to get a better deal."

She looked at him and then at his large hands and the obvious bulge beneath his chain. "You even share women?"
He nodded purposely and she felt a blush grow on her cheeks. Her heartbeats quickened as she stared at the men. She noticed that more than a few were staring at her body with rapt attention while they fidgeted slightly. She brought her eyes back to the commander as she felt a flush of her own.


After I finished, I figured I had the hard part done and it would be fairly simple to get published, maybe a month at the most.
...
...
... okay, I'm done laughing.
That hurt.

So, I thought it would be easy to get published. Didn't even pay attention to the guidelines for sending submissions, just sent out random email queries to various publishers looking for a home. First one came back: "lovely writing but we don't do erotic brutality." Fair enough, the next day, I sent out my second: "send us other stuff, but no whipping." Bah, that isn't a good sign. Three days later, I sent out my third query. Got a response an hour later: "Sure, sounds good, send it."

Yeah, read that one a few times. A year later, I had to read the book contract a few times to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Half a year after that, I had to keep flipping through the book to remind myself I still wasn't dreaming. I kept going to Amazon to look at the page, excited that I got so far. If it sounds really good, a week to get started, it was. Kind of on the order of being too good to be true. But, I got my goal, I was published.

Then, everything stopped. No more responses from emails or letters, nothing. Found out at the end of 2006 that the publishing company went out of business and didn't tell me, didn't tell anyone actually. I felt... violated in a lot of ways, mainly because I tried so hard to succeed and something outside of my control ripped my book from the shelf before it could really get to be known. Also the realization that I probably burned all my luck getting that first publication only to lose it. Last year, I decided that I didn't want to go gently into that good night. So, I decided to self-republish The Mummy's Girl and get it back out there. I don't like to give up, can you tell?

Jennifer moaned loudly, as she felt the man pulling at her skirt, rotating it until he found the tie that wrapped it around her waist. With a grin, he worked at the knot until she felt it pull away. There was a soft rustle as the fabric crumbled to the ground and she blushed with the sensation of being bare to Robert and Melinda's hungry gazes.

Melinda's mouth began to nibble down her right shoulder as her fingers continued to gently tease Jennifer's hard nipples. The soft whimpers of pleasure escaped her throat as the woman leaned back against Melinda. All three of their breaths grew faster as Robert gently lowered himself in front of her, looking up at the beautiful body in front of him.

His lips caught her right next to her knee and she jumped at the surprising sensation. Melinda's hands stroked down, teasing her nerves against her sides as large hands gently parted her thighs. Panting, the blond woman looked down to watch as Robert gently eased her legs apart and began to kiss and stroke up her thighs. He moved up a little, then down, gently massaging her in a way that gradually brought his touching up closer to her soaked sex. She opened her mouth to say something, but the intense sensations of lips pressed against her womanhood dissolved any resistance. A tongue darted out to brush against her inner lips and she felt her body shaking from the sensations.

One of Robert's hands slid around her thigh to cup her buttock, while the other brought a single finger to gently brush against the tight mound of her labia. Jennifer moaned again, a soft exhalation that seemed to hover in the clearing. She leaned back, resting her head on Melinda's shoulder as the red-haired woman moved up to suck on her earlobe. She paused for a second to whisper in Jennifer's ear.

"We going to get that bad taste out of you, and then replace it with something very nice."

(Of course I'm not using snippets to keep you interested in what I'm saying. Couldn't imagine why you'd consider that.)

Self-publishing is, and should be, a difficult choice. There is definitely a stigma of self-publishing, at least in the publishing world. It is, in many ways, an easy way to get printed since it only takes a few hours to pound out some drivel, package it up in a PDF, and send it out to a vanity press or print-on-demand (POD). They don't check it to see if it is garbage. They don't even check to see if you put actual words on the page instead of just slamming your hands on the keys for twenty minutes. They don't even try to see if you used complete sentences or grammar higher than a child of ten. In short, a POD (or vanity press, but I used a POD) doesn't really care what you print, as long as they get their percentage of the money you might make.

The stigma comes from how easy it is to get published that way. When you get published through an established house, like... say... Black Lace, your little written baby has to survive the slush pile (unless you are lucky, of course) and then turn on a few hundred kilos worth of readers, editors, and managers before they accept your book. You also have to fit the genre, market requirements, and minimum English skill (assuming it is an English book, of course). That effort is a lot more than just sending a PDF and getting it in print a week later. When you get accepted by some place like Black Lace, you have truly accomplished something.

And it shows. When you pick up a Black Lace book, you probably have a good idea of the quality before you even crack open the book. You know roughly what you are getting, but you also probably know that the book won't be crap (okay, I'm biased, I like all the Black Lace books I have). When you pick up something from a self-published, you don't really know what you are going to be reading. Unless you know the author or seen parts of it, there are so many unknowns. Yeah, there could be some true diamonds just as there are in any published book, but there is by far a lot more rubbish out there. No minimums, very few requirements.

Despite that, I decided to self-publish anyways. I have a lot of reasons for doing it, many of them were made in the light of the stain that self-publishing would give me. But, in the end, I felt that The Mummy's Girl was best self-published.
The first reason is not giving up. The Mummy's Girl was pretty much sold for less than a year before things went wrong. I didn't want to just give up there, so reprinting it is a second chance for the book. I don't think it will ever show up on the top of the romance lists... okay, I know it will never show up there, but I refuse to give up on something on I worked so hard at... and succeeded.
The second reason is a lot more selfish: I hated the cover of the first printing. I mean, more than just disliking it, closer to nearly bursting into tears when I saw it and then loathing it every time I saw it type of hate. It's selfish, but the original cover was an Egyptian statue of Ra. Which is fine, except for: there is no deserts in my book, the only statue is of a wolf-bear, no one has that beard, it is set in a jungle-like setting, and the culture is entirely wrong. In other words, the cover had nothing to do with the book. It looked like something closer to a nonfiction or National Geographic book than a proper erotic story that it is.

Binis shivered in fear and forced her brown eyes to lock onto Anuset's. "Yes, master... anything for you."

"For Akumet, Binis Ki."

Binis nodded but didn't say anything. For a moment, Anuset frowned at her silence, wondering if there was anything to it. A merest moment passed before his smile returned to his face. A growing need asserted itself and he looked down at his manhood, already pushing up the loincloth with its desire.

Binis' eyes followed his, watching the shaft as it twitched and pulsed toward its full hardness. Anuset spoke softly, moving his gaze to the breasts that strained under her deep breathing.

"Because you will not feel my hand nor whip in a year, I'll... allow you to choose your position. For your final night."

The slave looked up with a fierce burning in her eyes, of love and lust, and said, "Master."

Anuset nodded and the slave reached up with one hand. A sly smile of pleasure crossed her face as she gently, almost tenderly, lifted Anuset's hand from the edge of his chair and pulled it to her breast. He watched, feeling his cock grow hard against the fabric of his loincloth, and enjoyed the sensation her smooth breast gave beneath his palm.

Binis curled his fingers around the soft swell and brought her nipple between two of his fingers. Anuset pinched the hardness softly, rolling it between his finger and thumb.
She moaned softly and spoke in a bare whisper: "Harder, please... master."

Anuset increased the pressure, twisting and squeezing the pink nub until she whimpered in pleasure and pain. As one of her hands held his, encouraging him to hurt her, her other hand reached over the armrest of the chair and stroked his shaft beneath his loincloth.

The soft caress of her fingers sent a surge of lust through his length and he tightened his fingers as he twisted harder. Binis leaned against the pinching fingers on her nipple as she wrapped her fingers around the thickness of his shaft and pushed up.

The cloth rippled over her hand until she pushed it aside, revealing Anuset's cock in its full glory. Her eyes shone as she admired his length--longer than three of her hands. A few thick veins bulged out from the surface as the massive cock twitched with fast heartbeats. The head was slightly thicker than the rest, with a narrow ridge before it led into a fat, spongy wedge, already dripping with a clear, slick fluid. The entire length was turning from red to a deep purple with his excitement as his balls, two massive plums, dangled from beneath the huge shaft.

She gasped, as if seeing it for the first time. "Master!"


Self-publishing is actually fairly easy to do it badly. At minimum, you have to produce a PDF in the right size with the right margins. The place I used, Lulu, has everything on two pages, one for books to be sold on their site and one for books that can be sold through Amazon or a brick-and-mortar bookstore. If you can follow directions, you probably can figure them out.

Like most things, it takes time and effort to do it right. I don't want The Mummy's Girl to be drivel or something I threw together in a few hours. I found a font I loved to set the book. I asked a friendly artist, Mamabliss, to create a cover for the book that matched the contents. Also, because I thought it felt right, I also had them create pictures for every chapter. The black and white images here are from the chapters in the book. You'll also probably notice that the artwork is sketched instead of a photograph; that comes down to my own sense of ascetics. I prefer that style of artwork over photographs, there is a sense of something fantastic that line drawings give me that pictures don't. It also stands out because it is so different, which fits both me as a personality and also because I think it fits the theme much better.

Needless to say, this wasn't cheap. I didn't have the resources that a full publishing company has to making their covers, so I had to come up with the resources for both the author (editing) and the publishing (ISBN, cover and interior artwork) side of writing. To do anything else is to not go far enough, and I want to make sure that this printing is the best one I could possibly do.
The other thing that I, personally, have to come up with is advertising. With Black Lace, you get announcements on the blog and chat. You get to use the channels, connections, and relationships they have to make sure your book shows up in the proper reviews, on the shelves in bookstores, and those little things. I, doing it myself, have to do that all on my own.

Advertising isn't cheap. At least if you go the full page ad in the New York Times. Trust me, I won't do that. But, I can advertise relatively cheaply. Obviously, the first is my signature block on forums. If you can't guess, I'm rather chatty in general because I like to interact with people, so putting in the occasional plug or just making it a signature is a little thing. I just have to honor requests to shut up and not put it in every damn post I make. "You know, I like the methodologies of the Fermilab particle accelerator, but in my book, The Mummy's Girl, where Binis is being double-penetrated while stretched out in a giant ring, that is a lot like how the tension of the magnets interacts with the protons."

Of course, there are other things I can do. I can run random contests, such as the one I had on my forum and the free book to a random commenter of this post within the next week (hah, you thought I would say that at the bottom).

There is also Google Adwords, banner ads on random sites I enjoy, and the basically postings that hopefully will slowly grow the awareness of my book. This is a drawback of self-publishing. With a publisher, you have their entire marketing engines, reader base, and places like their forum or this blog that help bring awareness to stuff. There are also the writing contacts they have, the relationships they forged over the years. Editors, reviewers, and bookstore owners that gets their books out on the shelves faster than I could ever do. I have none of that, so it means I have to do it the hard way.

And the reviews. I'll have to start forging those contacts with reviewing sites to send the book, so they can trash it, I can cry my eyes out, then move on. But, it has to be done, part of publishing yourself and expanding your reader base.

I'll also sign books and send them out. Sounds minor, but I love sending books out in the mail. And, if I can charge roughly the same price as the book, and you get a signature or little saying, and I make a bit more, then I say everyone wins.

Which leads into the next one: money. Writing isn't exactly a bread-winning career with one book. For the first printing, I made $0.32 per book sold. At Lulu.com, I'll make $0.34 per book sold, unless you buy it directly from Lulu.com, then for the same amount, I get a dollar more. One of those things you have to be aware of. It becomes really important when Amazon decides to give it 10% off, you have to decide if you want to use the lowered price of Amazon for higher sales or more percentage by selling directly from Lulu.com. Of course, until Amazon or somewhere else lowers it, its a moot point. One of those things you have to pay attention to, when you are self-publishing.

Unless I seriously get famous, I'm not expecting to break more than even on this. Which is fine, because I'm writing for the future, for the books that I will write and the ones I keep on working with. I'm building up a name for myself, which is why I'm not too worried about the money at this point. Needless to say, I didn't quit my day job.


As the leather strap slid down the leg of the statue, the elf was already working on his trousers. Her tiny fingers quickly unbuttoned the opening and snaked inside to wrap around the damp hardness. A soft purr of pleasure vibrated through her throat as she continued to kiss him passionately.

Her fingertips brushed against his soaked tip. She rubbed it between her hands, playing with the slickness as her lips hungered for his. Miguel snapped her belt apart, casting apart the last of her clothing and leaving her naked. She moaned softly, using her hands to push his trousers off his hips, letting them slip to the ground
.


There was one other reason I decided to self-publish. I have two other novels, one completed and one in first draft. Unlike The Mummy's Girl both aren't really publishable in the current climate. One is erotic horror and the other was "published" on a website already so it isn't new enough. Both are good stories, I feel, but getting The Mummy's Girl is setting the path for these two; I want to see them in print because I think they compliment my writing and they are good stories to a lot of people. And, I'm kind of setting myself up as a "publisher of one" for my writing. Some day, people will want to pick up books by me because it is by me.
For those who have managed to find my site, you'll know that I write in a very wide variety of different topics, fetishes, and genres. For every type of story that would be acceptable to a classic publisher, there are two more than push the boundaries just a bit further than many people are comfortable with. That is one reason I tag my stories so much, because I don't stick with just pure romance or softer stories.
If you took the entire range of everything you could write about, you could draw a line and make a mark in the middle. Call it gay werewolves if you will. Everything to the left is softer stuff, the type you expect to pick up in a bookstore, find in a Black Lace book, or find somewhere in relative public. On the right, you have the harder stuff, the type you find in adult stores or hidden a box in the bottom of someone's closet. My writing is pretty much balanced on my gay werewolves, for every story I have on left, I have another on the right.

I want to see all of my novels published. My horror novel is a right-side book since it is a proper horror story, while the other is pretty solidly a left-side (or soft or "mild") book, except for it already being available on the Internet. Because of that, The Mummy's Girl is basically paving the way to create a "publisher of one" of my books. And, like other publishers, I'm hoping that some day, people will know my style and pick up the book because I wrote it, just like I pick up Black Lace books because I know I'll like them.
There are some advantages of being a self-publisher. I'm creating a niche market of my writing and that means I don't have to conform to a specific market ideal. Since I'm aiming for representing myself as myself, I can let my vampires be messy fuckers. And there is nothing wrong with my werebears changing shape during sex, not before. And, because I'm poly, I don't have to worry about the girl get the bad boy, the good boy, and her girlfriend in the end.

In the The Mummy's Girl, I wrote a romance. Not Romance, but just a romance between two souls who are parted by death and brought together through reincarnation and a couple gods playing divine games. It is a story of love with a fair amount of sex. However, because of my style, the mummy's doesn't turn into some hot bald guy before kissing the girl. He's a mummy and stays a mummy, and she loves him because of what he is, not because of what he turns into.



And there is a market out there for this type of story. True, it is consider on the edge for many people and I won't see it at Walmart or in the shelves at Barnes and Nobel, but I know there are people who want to read it. It just isn't a large market, as a single book goes. But, if I can write enough of them, then I'm hoping to start appealing to the people who have fetishes for what I write, but represent a relatively insignificant portion of the entire erotic readership base. I know that if I sell a hundred copies, its a hundred copies I didn't have sold before. If I do that enough times, I'll build up a "brand" of t'Sade and people will start buying because I wrote it, knowing what I can do.

Needless to say, self-publishing isn't an easy route. It starts off easy, just send a PDF and get published, but to do it right, like everything else, it takes time and money and effort. I'll be pushing The Mummy's Girl probably for the next twenty years, along with everything else. I won't give up on it, I can't give up on it.

Is it worth it?

Yes, for me it is. It isn't for everyone. It requires taking a path less traveled, one that requires a great deal of time, energy, and money to succeed. But, sometimes, just sometimes, to do justice to your love, it takes a few generations (printings) to do it right.

Will I make millions?

Um, probably not. I write because I love writing. Eventually, I might make a bit, but that isn't why I'm doing this. I just want that second chance, and I'm willing to earn it.

With blood, sweat, and the occasional orgasm.

You can find The Mummy's Girl on Lulu.com. In a few months, it will also be on Amazon.com and other sites. You can buy a PDF of the book for $4.95 or a hard-copy for $16.95. Lulu will print you a fresh copy and send it directly to you, or just send it for the PDF. Or, you can request a signed copy for $19.95 (which includes shipping) by sending me an email to contact@tsade.com and put "The Mummy's Girl" in the subject.

You can also read the first 10 pages from Lulu.com or the entire second chapter.

And don't forget to comment for a chance to win a copy! - Janine

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Coming Attractions

by Janine Ashbless


This gratuitous picture of Sean Bean as Boromir is dedicated to Teresa!

This week on Lust Bites:

On Monday we have a guest post from our friend t'Sade, who will be telling us all about the novel The Mummy's Girl, and what it's like to have a go at self-publishing a book that doesn't fit into the normal erotica niches.

On Tuesday Portia Da Costa will be marking the release of Gemini Heat and Gothic Heat in the US.

On Wednesday Olivia will be bringing us a guest post from hot femsub Nexus author Lauren Wissot.

And Friday is our monthly Smut Slot - featuring a scorching excerpt from one of our books. This month Lauren Dane will be steaming us up with a piece from her novella Stripped.

See you there!

xxx
Janine

Friday, May 23, 2008

Would you like a condom with that?



by Kate Pearce

Condoms-who needs them? Especially in fiction. It's an interesting question much debated in the romance community. There are some people who hate reading about condoms because they introduce the boring reality of life into what is, in essence, escapist erotic fantasy. Others won't finish a contemporary novel if the hero doesn't even suggest using a condom.

Can a talented writer slip a condom into a scene, (or an orifice) without taking the reader out of the story? Can a condom tell us something about the characters and how they feel about their partners? My critic partner and I had a very interesting discussion the other day about how what a man does with a used condom is very indicative of character. Does he leave it hanging, drop it in the sheets or your shoe or is he the conscientious type who puts it in the trash?

I asked some of my fellow Lusties to show you just how well a writer can deal with the whole issue. First up, keeping it short and sweet is Madeline Moore from her book Wild Card :

'I would wear a condom and I would not hurt you.'

'It's not possible to do it without hurting me,' she protested.

'Of course it is. I simply take my time. So? May I?'

He began kissing her tailbone.'


So sexy, so simple, so appropriate.

And then we have the very talented Madelynne Ellis from Dark Designs with an excerpt where the little details enhance the mundane and make putting on a condom an amazingly sexy and hot experience.

Dolores gave him a lip-gloss smile, and led him by the tail to the wooden stile. ‘Let’s get you dressed. I’ve brought some wet-weather
gear.’

She rolled the condom down his shaft as if she was arranging one of her turtleneck sweaters. Dolores, he decided, would have enjoyed the days when sheaths had to be tied on with ribbons. She’d have fussed until everything was straight and neat.

‘Mmm, you’re so beautiful,’ she purred in her fake cut-glass accent. ‘All ready to come inside.’




Last but not least, in a contemporary setting we have the lovely Portia Da Costa who brings her own unique talents to the condom issue in her story In Too Deep



Give me that!’ I grab the condom and wrench open the packet. The contraceptive inside is slick and silky, but nowhere near as silky as the head of Daniel’s cock. Clear, silver fluid is seeping from the little eye there, his arousal just as eager and revealing as mine.

It’s a while since I put a condom on a man, but it’s one of those skills you never forget. Because it comes with the perk of handling a man’s delicious stiffness in the process. I manage to achieve our goal without fumbling, but the heat in his mighty flesh is unnerving. As is the agonised beauty of his face as I enrobe him.

Finally, he’s ready. Clad in rubber and even harder and higher than before, if that’s possible. My pussy throbs and purrs in anticipation.


What I like about all these excerpts is that each author makes the whole rubbery messy process into something special, somehow part of the foreplay and the thrill of having sex. So yes, it can be done. In the right hands, condoms are art.


And what about historical novels where characters happily fuck away and nobody gets a sexually transmitted disease or gets pregnant?



I did a bit of research about the history of condoms which I thought I'd share. Apparently, all my historical novels are obsessed with the idea of fertility and contraception. I didn't notice this until one of my critique partners helpfully pointed it out. Perhaps it's the result of being brought up as a Catholic and having four kids.

Here's a short excerpt from my book Antonia's Bargain, which deals with my heroine's fear of getting pregnant:

“If I’d had more time with you, I intended to introduce you to this method of ensuring a man doesn’t pick up the French pox.”
Antonia studied the thin envelope which seemed to be made of some kind of filmy animal skin. “Is it snake skin?”
Gideon opened the envelope and withdrew another piece of the thin parchment-like material. This longer narrower piece had ribbons around the open end and was sewn shut at the bottom. He carefully slid one finger inside and held it up.
“It’s pig intestine. The same thing used to make sausage skin.”
She glanced down at his groin before she could stop herself. “It goes over your cock?”
“That is correct. Not only does it prevent disease, but it means that a man’s seed remains trapped inside it after he comes which seems to prevent pregnancy.”
Antonia touched the wrinkled cream skin with her fingertip. She imagined it might feel as if you wore a glove.
“Do you use these?”
“Of course I do.”
“Did you use them with your wife?”
A muscle twitched in his cheek. “My wife refused to allow me to use them, which is why I eventually refused to have sex with her.”


Anyone brought up in the UK probably watched a children's show called 'Blue Peter' which was kind of a junior chat show, educational, sometimes funny and not to be missed. They were very keen on diy projects such as make your Mother an xmas gift using an old can, sticky back plastic and a tube of glitter, kind of thing-but I digress. Here is my very own diy project for those of you willing to make a considerable effort.

How to make a sheep gut condom (1824)

Soak a sheep's intestine caeca in water for a number of hours, then turn inside out, and macerate them again in weak alkaline, changed every 12 hours. Scrape them carefully to remove the mucous membrane, leaving the peritoneal and muscular coats, and expose them to the vapour of burning brimstone. Then wash them in soap and water, inflate them, dry them and cut to a length of seven to eight inches. Finally, border the open end with a ribbon to tie round the base of the penis, and before use soak the condom in water to make it supple.


(See? it's easy when you know how!)

Apparently, the two most famous London condom sellers in the mid nineteenth century were Mrs Phillips and Mrs Perkins, who produced competing pamphlets to promote their shops. Mrs Phillips also had a wholesale company on Half Moon Street off the Strand. For those who could not afford the services of Mrs Phillips and Mrs Perkins, Miss Jenny did a roaring trade in washed, second-hand condoms.

Oh Miss Jenny, how could you?

And just to prove that even in the future my characters still worry about the whole condom problem, here's a bit from my upcoming book Secured Mail, which is all about Sven an intergalactic viking trying to understand the strange sexual rituals of Earth women.

“What is that? Another toy?”
Thea held out the can. “It’s for your cock.”
Sven glanced at the gaudy can and then down at his erection. “I do not understand.”
Thea shook the can. “This stuff coats your cock and stops you impregnating me.”
“Why would you wish me to use that?”
“Because I don’t want a baby?”
He sat down on the edge of the bed, one hand wrapped around the base of his cock. “Ah, my queen told me about this. It is a form of contraception, yes?”

“That’s right. It’s much better than the old-fashioned sheaths which basically tried to stop your semen getting inside me, not always successfully.” She pointed at the can. “This stuff allows you to ejaculate normally but sterilizes your sperm as they pass through the coating. One spray works all night.”

Sven still looked dubious. ‘It is difficult for me to understand this, my lady. On my planet, every woman is desperate to conceive.”

Thea allowed the can to fall on the rumpled bed. “On this planet it happens to be the direct opposite. If you can’t accept that, then we can’t make love.” She held her breath, aware of a strange feeling of hurt inside her. Was she only desirable if she could become pregnant? He met her gaze, his brown eyes open and direct.

“I would consider myself a lucky man if you allowed me to impregnate you.”

She tried to laugh but the sound stuck in her throat as she registered his sincerity. “Thank you, I think, but I’m not changing my mind. No Sperm Be-Gone, no sex.”


So you tell me-how do you feel about condoms and contraceptives in erotic fiction?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Crush Wednesday: Fantasies about Fantasy

by Teresa Noelle Roberts

Long before puberty, I was enamoured with the brave men and fierce women who inhabit the worlds depicted in fantasy novels and movies. Brawny barbarians, elegant sorceresses, wily wizards, valiant knights, sardonic swordsmen and warrior women who quipped in the face of death? Elves, dwarves, hobbits, and other fascinating non-humans? I reveled in it all as an escape from life as a shy, bookish kid without a valiant bone in her clumsy body.

After puberty, my thoughts about my favorite fantasy heroes and heroines changed a bit. I didn’t just want to share their adventures. In some cases, I wanted to have adventures with them, if you know what I mean.

Take the Lord of the Rings series. Tolkien’s Eówyn was my first girl-crush, although I didn’t have words for it until many years after I first read the books. Miranda Otto’s beauty and gravitas reawakened that crush in the movies, and now I have words for it. And very explicit mental images.

Aragorn, with his heroism, his fateful destiny, and his seemingly doomed cross-species love, also got under my teenage skin. Why couldn’t he love a nice human girl, like Eówyn, or better yet, me? Thinking “Why not both of us, and I could take the middle? And Arwen could come play sometime when she wasn’t too busy being all otherworldly” was a little advanced for my teenage years, but once again the movie versions of the book reawakened old literary crushes in much more grown-up ways. Sandwiched between Viggo and Miranda—yum!

Oh, heck, bring on most of the Fellowship! Between the ones whose characters I love (Sam might be on the short and round side, but I have a feeling he’d be fun, even with that service-oriented d/s thing he has going with Frodo) and the ones who are pure sex on a stick (Boromir didn’t seem like crush material until I saw him played by Sean Bean, but for Sean, I’ll forgive a few tragic flaws. And consider Legolas—body of a buff college student, two thousand years of experience!) it could be quite a party.

Gratuitous Sean Bean as Boromir picture!

But I don’t confine my fantasy-fantasies to the Lord of the Rings. One of my early crushes was Robin Hood, and once I grew up a bit, I got all sorts of interesting ideas about “Merry Men”—some hotly homoerotic, some about what a lucky, lucky girl Marian was, alone in Sherwood Forest with all those men in tights. Leaving aside smutty thoughts (yes, I can do that sometimes), I love the Robin Hood legend to this day. I’ve enjoyed all the film incarnations I’ve seen, from Errol Flynn to Michael Praed, who was, in my opinion, the hottest Robin Hood ever. (And his Robin of Sherwood had Herne the Hunter in it, which moves it from historical fantasy into mythology, which is interesting even to me.) And the somewhat obscure 1991 Robin Hood featured the ever-intriguing Uma Thurman as a butt-kicking and fun Marian. (I haven’t seen the most recent BBC series yet, though. Netflix time!)

Heck, I even loved Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves because it’s Robin Hood, even though it was silly and Kevin Costner, while not unattractive, was entirely wrong for the part.

Of course, that might have had something to do with Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham. Yummy, campy evil with a voice like silk: He can take me captive and do terrible things to me any time.

The Arthurian legends? Who hasn’t daydreamed at some point about being swept away to Camelot and all the hunks of the Round Table? As a young woman, I wept buckets—and fantasized copioiusly—about the tragic love triangle at the center of the legends. Lucky Guinevere to have two such amazing men as Arthur and Lancelot in her life, even if it ended horridly! Now, I get annoyed, thinking that before they tore a kingdom apart when they obviously all loved one another, they should have tried poly. Less tragic, and much sexier.

Barbarians? Those who’ve read Lady Sun Has Risen know one of my guilty pleasures is the dominant, underclad, totally politically incorrect barbarian hero. You wouldn’t want one around full-time, but the women they kidnap always end up looking bonelessly happy. It’s the sword-wielding and the alpha quality that gets to me, not the big muscles—Arnold Schwarzenagger didn’t appeal to me in any other roles, but as Conan? Whew! I have a huge weakness for barbarian movies, from The Scorpion King to the Conan epics to the really cheesy ones like Kull the Conqueror (both Kevin Sorbo and Tia Carrere are lovely creatures, whether they can act or not) and The Barbarians. I saw the latter with my gay best friend, both of us laughing our butts off and still getting kind of hot and bothered. It was in Spanish with no subtitles and you know what? It made absolutely no difference. The whole point was brawny, heroic alpha males wearing very little.

And finally, I’m putting in a picture just for Dayle. I never saw the TV fantasy spoof Wizards and Warriors, which came and went while I was in college in a place where TV reception was non-existent. Dayle has fond memories of the evil Prince Dirk Blackpool, though, and just because I love her…here’s a picture! Hey, he’s pretty sexy. Between him and several shady characters played by Alan Rickman, maybe we need to revisit the theme of Hot Evil…

Note: The Arthurian illustration is by Howard David Johnson and can be found here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Titilating Tuesday

Welcome to the very first Titilating Tuesday here at Lust Bites. I thought perhaps it would be a nice way to spice up the space between Monday and Wednesday. I'll be talking about all things sexy and titilating as we go along. If you've got any suggestions, please feel free to make requests. A disclaimer: As always, what is sexy and titilating lies in the eye of the beholder. This is about my eye but there's no one true way. What I like you may not or vice versa. So if I hit on something that pushes your buttons in all the wrong ways, there's always next Titilating Tuesday (remember I said I took requests).

As I lean in and put on the next record to play, relax and come along.

To start with - What is Sexy?


I was reading something earlier and it went into my “sigh, so not sexy” file. Filled with a zillion fucking scenes but not a one made me even the slightest bit tingly. It was all random body parts thrusting and rearing, twitching and *this is Lauren, scowling* lots of random buttsecks. And whatever, okay, buttsecks can be totally hot in the right erm, hands. It’s taboo, it has cultural baggage - it’s forbidden and naughty and it takes trust to give and receive. When the right author harnesses those things it’s whew, hot, guh! But it’s like any other scene in the wrong hands and I’m left sneering and rolling my eyes and sort of scared of rearing penises. So when it's thrown into a book to be edgy for edgy sake, it's just sort of random. Like throwing in a race car or a tumbler of good scotch. Both sexy things in context. But out of context, well they're just random and they don't fit.

Erotic isn't just about wall-to-wall sex scenes with everything but the kitchen sink thrown in or screwed, it's about context. It can be a married couple, it can be strangers, it can be the first time, the fifth or ten thousandth. It can be foreplay or full-on fucking - what is key is drawing the reader in by conveying what it is that draws them together.

While I’m a very visual person, sexy to me is more often than not about the stroking of my brain. It’s why porn is okay for like five minutes (ten if it's good porn) but after that I find myself bored, amused or horrified. It’s why I like authors who realize it’s not in the quantity of sex scenes in an erotic romance but in how the scenes are utilized.

Don’t get me wrong - a scene with a super-dominant dirty-talking man is hotter than the sun if it’s done right and in context. Really, really hot (eyeballs roll to the back of my head hot). But a man who takes his time to lick the back of a knee or who leans in to breathe in the scent at her neck? HAWT!

So today what in particular strikes me as sexy? So many things, necks, thighs, ears, lips - but to narrow it down for the sake of, say, a blog entry? Emphasis on the every-day, something we might even think of as mundane, can take something normal and make it incredibly erotic.

A while back I was giving my husband a massage - yes a real massage, not a euphemism - and I just became entranced by the way his back felt under my hands. The flex and play of his muscles as I worked, the way his ass felt against me as I straddled him, the scent of his warm skin as I pressed my fingertips into it. The act of ministering to him, of caring for him and easing his stress, became a huge aphrodisiac to me. Also, the fact that he was there, relenting to my control but still like a great big tiger who could pounce at any moment - shiver.

He told me about his day, just little bits and pieces and his voice echoed through his ribs. His hair, once deep black and now salted with gray, was soft against my fingers as I massaged his scalp.

What was the most sexy was the intimacy of the moment. He told me about his day, I told him about my new story idea, we laughed about the kids and normal stuff and it was good between us.

The outcome is something I’ll save for a book, heh, but there is sexy in every day things that aren’t overtly sexual in nature. There is sexy in connection.

So, what about you? What do you think is sexy? Today, anyway...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Love and Lust


I have always been an avid reader. I’m sure that most writers must be because in my estimation you have to love books in order to want to write. I vividly remember reading my first romantic novel when I was in about my second or third year of senior school. I started reading Gone With the Wind on the bus on the way home from school on the Friday evening and read it all weekend until I finished it, whereupon I returned, rather bleary eyed, to my classroom on the Monday morning. It is a long book and even though I am a fast reader it was quite a tome to read in such a short space of time, but I just couldn’t put it down because between those pages I’d discovered romance and sexual desire. Scarlett, in my estimation, was stupid in her infatuation for the insipid Ashley and even more stupid for failing to understand that the incredibly sexy Rhett Butler was in love with her. I loved the book, but I was so disappointed because when Rhett swept Scarlett into his arms and carried her up the stairs we never learnt what went on behind that bedroom door. I wanted more, so much more.

He saw concern in her blue eyes for a moment before she managed to conceal it and he knew that she feared he might perish in battle. Life as a knight could be dangerous and death was always a possibility. He could not in good conscious lead her to believe otherwise. He would go to Richard and beg permission to marry her right now if he could but, despite the fact that she had loathed Hugh, she still had to maintain the necessary period of mourning before she took a new husband.

As Stephen looking lovingly at Edwina he was reminded of the last time she had been in his bed; her lips swollen with kisses, her blue eyes languorous with desire, those luscious breast and sweet, cherry coloured nipples. Lust and love entwined like the strands of a rope, binding her even more securely to him than a wedding ring ever could. Just thinking of her, remembering the last night they had spent together and the passion they had shared, had turned his cock rock hard. He could feel it pressing against the heavy constriction of his chain mail leggings.

Of course I was innocent enough to be unaware that pornographic literature (as it was then called) existed at this time, so I continued to read avidly, always secretly hoping that I would find a book that would open that bedroom door and let me creep inside. I read Jane Austin, great but even a kiss was barely mentioned let alone lustful desire, although I’ve no doubt that Miss Austin might well have dreamed of slipping between the sheet one dark night with her handsome Mr Darcy, especially if in her imagination he looked like Colin Firth dressed in that wet, white lawn shirt.

I devoured the Dennis Wheatley novel, which gave me an interesting glimpse into the world of the occult and a fascinating ride through the entire French revolution but still, frustratingly, barely any sex. Then I found Forever Amber and Angelique, where there were heroines who used men, satisfied their sexual desires and slept with whoever they wanted. Yet, now that I was older and knew more about lust and desire, the bedroom scenes seemed overly cautious and rather insipid to me.

Then a multitude of bodice rippers appeared on the bookshelves. They were historical novels, which I’d always loved, with wild heroines, lusty heroes and people who actually sated their sexual desires between the pages. To an extent this did satisfied my need for sensual encounters, because we were allowed through the bedroom door but the sex were short with few very descriptive passage and, as often as not, left the reader panting for more. I didn’t want to be greedy but why did they spent ages building up to the sensual encounter then glossing over it the blink of an eye?

By then of course attitudes had changed somewhat and Lady Chatterley was freely available but that wasn’t a turn on at all in my opinion. While the Story of O, didn’t really excite me that much either, mainly because I couldn’t understand a heroine who enjoyed being dominated and humiliated. I must admit here that many might enjoy it but it just wasn’t my taste so it didn’t turn me on.

What a blessed relief it was when Black Lace books appeared on the scene. At last I found the books I wanted to read. The first one I ever purchased was The Captive Flesh by Cleo Cordell and I loved it so much I read it in one sitting. It was the story of two young women who are captured and imprisoned in a harem ruled over by a handsome dissolute man, Kassim. There was sex, bondage, even homoerotic encounters - the book had it all and after that I was desperate to read more Black Lace. I read a fair number of them – some with a romance at the heart of the story, others just stories with a string of titillating erotic encounters.

‘Let me feel you inside me,’ she begged, knowing that Taranis was right and that every moment they spent together increased the danger they were in.

He covered her body and slid into her soft moist core. Tension and excitement surged through her as he started to sensuously move his hips, all the while staring at her face, as if he could somehow fix her features in his mind forever. Sirona’s hands reached for his shoulders, her fingers digging into the hard muscles. She pulled him towards her, wanting to feel the entire weight of him pressing down on her as he thrust harder, knowing that never in a myriad of lifetimes could any man ever replace Taranis in her heart.

Taranis fucked her with smooth hard strokes, angling his body so that his shaft stimulated her clit at the same time. As she felt the weight of him powering against her pelvis, an intense erotic pleasure welled up inside her, becoming so strong she thought she might expire with bliss. The Elysian Fields moved closer and closer as she heard his breath coming in short urgent gasps.

The sun had set at last and darkness began to descend as the moon appeared in the sky. Its soft silvery light bathed their bodies in an eerie almost magical light as their pleasure peaked. As Sirona climaxed she heard Taranis whisper fevered words of love in her ear as he too came.

I began to understand that, for me, I didn’t really enjoy the books that didn’t have a romance at the heart of the story. Sex purely for the sake of lustful desire wasn’t quite satisfying enough for me and after a time it became plain boring if there wasn’t some kind of emotion involved. I freely admit that I’m a romantic at heart and of course many readers might not feel as I do. This world would be an uninteresting place if everyone was the same.

For me lust was good but love and lust together were far more exciting, so I decided to pick up a pen and write my own Black Lace with everything I wanted to read included between those, hopefully steamy, pages. I was fortunate enough to have my first proposal accepted and Savage Surrender was born. A story of a young woman, Rianna, who is forced into an unwanted marriage with a man she has never laid eyes on but falls in love with Tarn, a young man who has rebelled against her husband, Sarin, and is now his slave. She loves Tarn but she also finds herself sexually attracted to her husband and soon she is seduced by the sexual depravity of Sarin’s court. I loved these characters so much that I wrote a sequel, Wild Kingdom continuing the story of Rianna and Tarn.

‘How I’ve longed for this moment,’ he said softly, his voice taut with passion as he lifted her, tipping her buttocks away from him so that he could slide into her with one smooth stroke. He jerked her back against his rigid stomach, filling her with the hot hardness of his flesh as he held his hand across the soft swell of her lower belly. The pressure of his fingers further increased the sensation of fullness she experienced as he began to roll his hips and thrust at the same time. A low moan escaped Rianna’s lips as he compounded the assault on her senses by lightly tugging at her clit, rolling the swollen flesh between finger and thumb.

The water eddied and swirled around them, splashing over the sides of the tub in a steady stream as Tarn’s movements became harder and more vigorous. All Rianna’s attention was focused on her relentlessly rising pleasure as she felt his body power harder and deeper. She had no wish for this to end, yet all too soon her stomach contracted as the sensations erupted in an orgasm so sweetly profound that she felt faint from its power as it ripped through her flesh.

More books followed but probably without even being fully aware of it at the time, there was always a passionate romance at the heart of my story. Even though my novels were always classed as erotica, I always felt that wasn’t quite what I wanted and so I was relieved when Virgin reclassified them as ‘Erotic romance’. Now quite often they are available on the romance shelves, which makes them more freely available to the book buying public and why not? Sex in books is not considered all that risqué any more, in fact it is much more acceptable these days, thank goodness.

Now we know all that goes on behind the bedroom door, on the kitchen table, outside under the trees or anywhere else we care to think of. Readers now have a choice – love, lust or maybe just a mixture of both. It is up to you, so go ahead and enjoy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Coming attractions

by Olivia Knight

The week ahead is all about fantasy - which is, obviously, why we have John Barrowman almost naked, again. One day he'll put us all out of our misery and get completely naked, but until then we have to make do.

On Monday, Deanna explores love versus lust, the idea commonly being that love comes with familiarity (like contempt) - for lust, see exhibit A: the picture on the right. You can decide for yourself which one the video below is, but my bet's on both.

On Tuesday, Lauren Dane kicks off the first of her Titillating Tuesdays - a new semi-regular feature from the queen of sassy heroines.

On Wednesday, Teresa looks at fantasy men and women (like Captain Jack - mmm... Or is he sci-fi? Never mind. He's hot. Mmm...)

On Friday, Kate gets prophylactic on us: do we need condoms in our book? And what about fantasy and historical stories - bring on the sheeps' intestines or dismiss such petty concerns as pregnancy and disease?

Meanwhile, I bring you more John Barrowman. For the benefit of those who don't live in the UK, and those like me who just can't get enough, here's Captain Jack and his faithful employee, Ianto...


And just in case you think I'm alone in my obsessive Barrowman-worship, here's one of the funniest chats I think I've ever read, from the blog Memo to myself. bad-goth and entropy-comix are, understandably, discussing Mr Barrowman's charms:

bad-goth: basically i just want to see john barrowman doing stuff
entropy-comix: yeah
bad-goth: NOW PRESENTING...JOHN BARROWMAN EATING A SANDWICH!
bad-goth: READING THE NEWSPAPER!
bad-goth: WAITING IN LINE AT THE BANK!
bad-goth: *WILD APPLAUSE*
entropy-comix: A++
entropy-comix: FIVE STARS
entropy-comix: TWO THUMBS WAY, WAY UP
bad-goth: RAVE REVIEWS
bad-goth: WOULD SEE AGAIN
bad-goth: JOHN BARROWMAN EATS LUNCH 2: THE SEQUEL
bad-goth: WILL HE HAVE LEFTOVER CHINESE OR ORDER ITALIAN
bad-goth: NO ONE KNOWS
entropy-comix: JOHN BARROWMAN WALKS HIS ELDERLY DOGS
bad-goth: THE STROLLER HAS A SQUEAKY WHEEL
bad-goth: WHAT WILL HE DO
entropy-comix: I WILL GET HIM A NEW ONE
bad-goth: OH MAN JOHN BARROWMAN SOLVES ANOTHER PROBLEM
bad-goth: WITH HIS MAGIC P33N
entropy-comix: MAGIC!
bad-goth: LATER HE MIGHT GO TO THE PUB
bad-goth: OR IDK THE GROCERY STORE
bad-goth: AND CHARM SOMEONE WITH HIS TEETH
bad-goth: AND THEY WILL GIVE HIM FREE STUFF
bad-goth: BECAUSE HE'S JOHN BARROWMAN
entropy-comix: AND HE IS SO CHARMING
entropy-comix: I WOULD GIVE HIM FREE STUFF
bad-goth: OH SHIT MAN I WOULD LET HIM FUCKING LOOT WHEREVER I WORKED
entropy-comix: IF I WORKED SOMEWHERE THAT HAD STUFF HE MIGHT WANT
entropy-comix: TAKE EVERYTHING
bad-goth: AND I WOULD HELP HIM CARRY THE STUFF HOME
entropy-comix: EMPTY THE CASH REGISTER
entropy-comix: CAN I HAVE YOUR AUTOGRAPH
bad-goth: HERE LET ME OPEN THE SAFE FOR YOU
bad-goth: CAN I TOUCH YOUR SHIRT