Looking…and Finding…a Whole ‘Lotta Trouble: an Interview With Victoria Dahl

28 Jul

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

We’re thrilled to have contemporary romance writer, Victoria Dahl, join us today at Lady Smut. She’s had a few busy recent weeks with the release of her novella Fanning the Flames at the start of July and the new release of her full-length novel Looking for Trouble tomorrow. I caught up with her just before she heads off to explore Alaska (I KNOW!) and asked her about the differences between erotica and sexy contemporaries, Girl’s Nights Out, and all that tumblr pron.

Be sure to read all the way to the end for a prize!

KHK: Thank you so much for joining us today on Lady Smut. Do you think it’s fair to say you’re the Jennifer Crusie of erotic romance? Do you consider yourself to be a writer of erotic romance or one who writes sexy contemporary romance? Do you see a difference in the distinctions?

I’m not the Jennifer Crusie of anything! Ha! But I do consider my work to be sexy contemporary romance. Verrrrrry sexy, maybe. I see a distinction between sexy romance and erotic romance, although the lines are certainly more blurry than they used to be. For me, the question is whether the plot and story can stand without the sex. To be clear, my books wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without the sex, but there’s usually a story going on that *surrounds* the sex scenes as opposed to be woven into them.

dahl headshot

I have written one erotic romance, a novella called The Wicked West. That story was entirely driven by the sexual relationship between the hero and heroine and the conflict that arose from their attraction.

KHK: They say that pioneers get slaughtered and settlers prosper. Are you one of the first authors to successfully use a lighthearted tone and oodles of humor in writing contemporary erotic romance? (If not, who came before you?)

Ms. Dahl: You know, I think I was one of the first to write funny books that also included intense, no-holds-barred sex scenes. Not the first, I’m sure. I hope your readers will chime in with names. And there are so many great women writing that way now. I love it.

The only problem I encountered is that my publisher wasn’t sure whether to go with covers that conveyed the humor or the sex. My covers have been pretty light in tone because of that, but the new Jackson series has a redesigned, much sexier look, and I am so excited about that.

KHK: It’s thought that a character in an HQN novel may own a vibrator and wave it around, but you’ll never see her actually using it. Indeed, one of your heroines does exactly that. Does HQN limit you when it comes to what goes on in a sex scene?

Ms. Dahl: No way! My heroines always use their vibrators! In both Talk Me Down and Too Hot to Handle there are comical moments with a vibrator, but both heroines were using them at the time. ;-) And in Real Men Will, the heroine uses several sex toys on-screen, one at the urging of the hero. Nobody has ever told me not to write those scenes, I’m happy to say! Because girls love vibrators. Or at least my heroines do.

KHK: You’re damn funny on Twitter and your Tumblr pron is the stuff of romance legends. Do you spend much social media time anywhere else or is it important to just stick to what works and forget the rest?

Ms. Dahl: Thank you! I am so happy I found Twitter. SO HAPPY. It totally fits my personality and my slight tendency to get distracted by shiny, sparkly things. Oh, and then Tumblr came along!!! That fits my tendency to be distracted by masculine, hairy things.

I absolutely believe that writers have to find the social media platform that feels like fun instead of work. Your followers can tell. For example, I’m sure my hardscrabble group of fans on Facebook have noticed I only sign in twice a year. I’m sorry Facebook folk! That place scares me and every time I go in it looks different. It’s a castle of constantly shifting horrors.

KHK: Before your mad rush of contemporary titles with HQN, you wrote a few historical romances. Do you intend to ever return to the historical genre? What made you switch genres? What do you find attracts you more to contemporaries than to writing historicals? Is your “voice” more comfortable in contemporaries?

Ms. Dahl: I wrote quite a few historical romances and even a lonely little paranormal romance, and I love those genres. I love the potential for so much drama and angst. And dirty, secret sex. For a couple of years, I was writing both historical and contemporary, and I really enjoyed that, but my sales were much better in contemporary. I suppose that means my voice is a more natural fit there, but I have long-term plans to write more historical. If I can only find the time.

KHK: Romance is all about hurdles the hero and heroine must overcome to be together to have their HEA or HFN. Are those internal conflicts hard to create in an age where a woman can drop her panties and get her groove on anytime, anywhere?

Ms. Dahl: I find believable conflicts much harder to make realistic in contemporaries. I mean, just tell him the truth or move to a new town or tell your parents to sod off already. Be strong and take control! There are so many situations that would work in a historical that wouldn’t work in a contemporary.

I can’t remember who gave me this advice–maybe my brilliant critique partner, Jennifer Echols–but a good starting point in contemporary is to take two people with totally opposite goals and throw them together. I don’t always pull it off, but if you’ve come up with one character you love, it’s a great place to start brainstorming. Who would throw a wrench into this person’s life?

KHK: Your characters have real-world jobs—barely a doctor or cop among them—in a genre where employment is often a short-term character sketch, particularly for the hero. From where do you mine those somewhat uncommon professions and character traits, like Alex’s groundwater engineering in Looking for Trouble or Walker’s learning disability and Charlie’s financial contretemps in So Tough to Tame?

Ms. Dahl: From using the technique above!!! LOL! I have written cops before. In fact, I’m writing a U.S. marshal right now. I usually write a law enforcement character when the other person in the story has a lot to hide. They usually have opposite goals.

I made Alex a groundwater engineer because I needed a good job for him that would let him travel to adventurous places, because Sophie’s issue is that she can’t leave Jackson and she really, really wants to travel. His life was an immediate draw for her. And Walker’s learning disability played into his fear that he wasn’t good enough for Charlie, but it also helped to make him really good with people and very charming. Voila! Instant conflict!

KHK: Your heroines are frank and mouthy, particularly about sex and their desire for it. In the past, they’ve spurred strong, polarizing responses from readers and reviewers. Do you still receive blow back? Have you ever received similar objection to your often equally raunchy heroes?

Ms. Dahl: No, people never complain about my heroes being bitchy or too strong or sexual. But I’ve heard so many times that my heroines aren’t good enough for my heroes. It makes me angry, especially when the issue is sex. After all, the hero is participating in the exact same sex acts as the heroine, but she’s the easy one? Nuh uh, sister. I don’t play that way. And my heroes are damn happy with their mouthy, raunchy heroines. What’s not to love, after all? ;-)

KHK: Here at Lady Smut, I reviewed (and j’adored!) your new novella, Fanning the Flames, which features a couple in their 40s getting in on and on…and on. What made you decide to feature a middle-aged couple? Did you receive any blow back from your publisher about it? What has been the reader reaction? Do you think a middle-aged couple would be acceptable in a full-length romance novel or do they need to be limited to a novella quickie to enjoy readers’ leniency?

Click on picture to purchase!

Click on picture to purchase!

Ms. Dahl: What inspired me was turning 40. I’m 42 now and I love being this age. I feel much more confident than I did when I was younger, and I think a lot of my friends feel that way, too. I wanted to write a romance about a woman who was at that same point of being sure of who she was and what she wanted. Well, this heroine isn’t exactly sure what she wants, but she’s ready to find out!

The reader reaction has been amazing. I’m honored by the women who’ve told me that they also wanted to read about heroines who were more like them. As for a full-length novel…I’m sure it will happen. As soon as I finished this short story, I started my 2015 release, Flirting With Disaster, and I wanted to make that heroine 40 also, but my editor wasn’t sure I should jump immediately into that. So I made her 36. And very sure of who she is.

KHK: Let’s talk Looking for Trouble, your new full-length novel that releases tomorrow, Tuesday, July 29th. Can you tell us a little about what inspired this book about a sexy librarian with a secret and the prodigal biker who returns to the home he hates for his father’s funeral?

Ms. Dahl: I can tell you exactly what inspired it. My family was on a road trip and we drove through a small town. On the corner was a local government building that housed both the town library and the fire department. Ohmygod. The librarians and the firemen all under one roof? I was fucking enchanted. All that fantasizing about what kind of naughty librarians might work there led directly to Sophie in Looking for Trouble. And of course, to Jake and Lauren’s story in Fanning the Flames.

As for Alex… Well, I’m not great at seeing the obvious sometimes. When I wrote Shane’s story in Too Hot to Handle, Alex was just a bit of characterization. When several readers asked when he was getting his story, I figured out that he needed to be a hero. And soon.

KHK: Looking for Trouble is the first book in the Girl’s Night Out (GNO) trilogy. Your personal GNOs are so infamous, you’ve made them a biddable item in Brenda Novack’s Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research. Has anything from those real-life GNOs make it into the books?

Click on picture to purchase!

Click on picture to purchase!

Ms. Dahl: All the girl talk!!! All of it! My favorite part of girls’ night out is when someone new joins in and she hears the kinds of things we talk about…there’s a sort of scandalized delight. Like, “We can really talk about these things?” Yes!!! We can talk about anything! It’s GNO!

KHK: What made you create the World of Dahl in Jackson Hole, Wyoming? Did you throw darts at a map or were there firm reasons why Jackson Hole was chosen as a setting for your ongoing series.

Ms. Dahl: I live in Park City, Utah, a town that is very similar to Jackson, Wyoming, which is why Jackson feels so familiar to me. It’s a ski town populated with a lot of rich people and tourists, but it’s really a small town at its core. Most of the full-time residents of both Jackson and Park City are hard-working, middle-class folks or people working in the service industry. The towns are also a fascinating mix of tourism and agricultural work. Honestly, I could drop almost any character into a town like Jackson and it would work.

KHK: Having read nearly all of your oeuvre, I can safely say this is probably one of, if not the most, explicit book you’ve ever written. In fact, I found myself put in mind of some of the images you’ve posted on your tumblr in recent months, no doubt some writing inspiration. Does your editor ever tell you to tone it down? Do you think you’ll ever reach a place where HQN finally says “enough” or “We need a new sub-genre just for Dahl”?

Ms. Dahl: Hehehehe. You’re totally onto me and Tumblr. Yes, I use it for a lot of inspiration. It’ll be interesting to see if I go too far for HQN. When I first started with them, I wanted to insert (Heh) a little anal play into one scene and my editor thought it might be too much. But a few books later, she told me to go ahead and do whatever I wanted. I wore her down!

But I’d love it if they came up with a sub-genre just for me!!! Think about it, HQN.

Fast and Dirty Round:

What is your favorite curse word? Fuck.

What is your favorite alcoholic drink? A greyhound. That’s (good) grapefruit juice and vodka.

What is your Starbucks order? Skim-milk latte. A skinny Frappuccino if I’m feeling frisky.

What do you think is the sexiest piece of lingerie? Hmm. Little black panties?

What is your favorite physical feature on a man? There are so many! Eyes. Forearms. And the most obvious.

What is your favorite physical feature on a woman? Way too many to name. Women are so pretty! I have a crush on Zoe Archer’s eyebrows, though.

What is your favorite cheat food? Cake.

Which is your favorite pair of shoes? My red patent pumps which are actually COMFORTABLE. Relatively speaking.

Where is your favorite place on earth? This is a tough one. I’ll say… Floating on the ocean.

What is your favorite sexual situation…to write? Ha! Good girl getting very bad.

Ms. Dahl: Thank you so much for having me. This was a very fun interview.

KHK: Well, we do our best. Thank you, Ms. Dahl, for being such a wonderful and game interviewee!

Find out more about Victoria Dahl and her books at victoriadahl.com and follow her on Twitter @victoriadahl for some saucy fun.

But wait! There’s more!

We have not one, but TWO copies of Looking for Trouble for a pair of lucky Lady Smut readers. Leave us a comment on what you love about Victoria Dahl’s books–or the lady herself!–and one randomly chosen winner will receive a digital edition of Looking for Trouble. Limited to U.S. and Canada readers only.

Follow Lady Smut.

Special thanks to Madeline Iva for question contributions.

I Do Need Feminism and Hope I Always Will

27 Jul
No idea where feminism is headed, but I'm glad it's been where it's been.

No idea where feminism is headed, but I’m glad it’s been where it’s been.

By Alexa Day

So last week, I was introduced to this hashtag: #WomenAgainstFeminism. I checked out this gallery to figure out what they’re all about, and I have to say I was a little disturbed by it.

The gallery features 15 young women holding up little handwritten signs describing all the various reasons for their animosity against feminism. They like chivalry. They don’t want their sex lives politicized. Most disappointing, they seem to think that one cannot enjoy sex and be feminist.

I think everyone in the gallery is at best a little confused about what feminism is.

Listen, I get it. When I was a college student, just half a lifetime ago, I was somewhat dismayed by feminism. Not only did it seem joyless and more than a little angry, there was a strong thread of weight room know-it-all running through it. You know what I mean. While you’re going merrily about your business, someone comes along and says, “You’re doing it wrong.”

Thankfully, I have learned a thing or two about feminism since then. And thankfully, feminism is not static. My mom’s feminism is different from mine. Her mom’s was different from both of ours. My niece’s feminism will hopefully be different, too.

I don’t want to be the know-it-all in the weight room, but this is what feminism has done for my family.

My grandmother needed a harder, angrier feminism to climb the professional ladder in New York’s fashion industry and bring her daughters to America. My mom’s all-or-nothing feminism, I think, was designed to keep the momentum up. Her mother had kids and a career, she had kids and two careers, and by God, her daughter was going to have it all, too. After trying to drink from that particular firehose long enough to get through law school, I turned to a new feminism, one where you can have as much of “it all” as you want, when you want it.

As far as I’m concerned, you can have sex, enjoy chivalry, cook for your boyfriend (or your girlfriend or whoever else) and still be a feminist. You can swear off sex, shun chivalry, never cook anything, and still be a feminist. You can be a man and still be a feminist. There’s always going to be someone out there to say otherwise. Sometimes, that person’s a woman. Feminism says other people — male or female — don’t get to tell me how to be a woman. It says that I get to handle my own business. It encourages me to help other women handle theirs. I do my part by writing “slutcelebratory” erotic romance and telling people what law school did to me, in the hope that my choices help inform theirs. They’ll do what I did or they won’t, but thanks to the feminists who came before me, both options are available, and we can all investigate them more thoroughly.

Because of the tremendous (and ongoing) efforts of a great many feminists, both male and female, we’re able to live up to that promise so many of us heard as little girls. We can do anything we set our minds to. And we don’t have to do it alone.

That includes participation in tumblr blogs insisting that feminism is now unnecessary.

So I’m not going to tell anyone they can’t be an anti-feminist. It’s my job to protect choice, and that’s a choice. I will tell the world that I think we need to examine what feminism is and what it has been and what it might one day be.

If my niece’s generation is going to abandon feminism, they should at the very least know what they’re missing.

Choose Lady Smut today. Feminism’s never been so much fun.

Sexy Saturday Round-Up

26 Jul

By Liz Everly and the Lady Smut Bloggers

lady-smut-sexy-saturday-green

Hello, Sexy! Check it out–it’s Sat-ur-day, are you ready for some good reading? We’ve scanned the Internets for you. So read on!

From Liz:

Writing romances is a feminist act.

Gamers: No sex? Puh-lease!

Are my boobs a threat, too?

From Alexa:

The end (almost) of an era: Bop is gone.

For those curious, here’s what it’s like inside an orgy. Still no idea how to get invited to one.

The story’s old; the debate is evergreen. Tristan Taormino talks feminist porn.

From Elizabeth:

Coming on camera. Beautiful Agony, the website where you can watch people’s O faces and the stores behind why they’ll let you do it.

This is just sad. Under 25-year-olds becoming obsessed with having designer vagina plastic surgery.

Here’s a workout I can get on board with: 6 moves for better sex.

8 tips for getting your best bikini wax.

From Madeline:

Aw! Longest celebrity marriages.

Pole dancing is not a sport? Oh yeah? This video will prove it *is*.

“I can’t believe you’re still single!” said no man ever to this Hello Kitty fanatic.

Rough Sex? Ask Men offers gentle solutions to getting started.

Popular Romance Tropes — can you spot your favorites?

Cameron Diaz talks about the ever important butt to butt crack ratios on Chelsea Lately.

Do you ‘play high’ or ‘play low’ when you present yourself? This video talks about women, body language, & power.

 

 

 

 

 

Win One Night in Rome

25 Jul
Hot-hot-hot! Click on image to buy.

Hot-hot-hot! Click on image to buy.

by C. Margery Kempe

Okay before you get too excited, I should clarify that I can only afford to offer you a copy of my novella One Night in Rome, not an actual night in the eternal city. Hey, I would if I could but my publisher says I haven’t earned it yet.

You can help me earn it by buying more of my books ;-)

In the mean time, let me give away a copy of the ebook to someone lucky. Here’s the skinny on the story which I should add, is scorching hot so not for the faint of heart or genteel:

After a lifetime of wishing, at last Celia’s in Rome! But exploring the timeless art and ancient monuments on her own wasn’t part of the plan. Will the magic of the Eternal City provide some romance before her holiday ends?

Heart of Fiction says:

One Night in Rome scores high on many levels. In classic Kempe style, C. Margery pulls the reader in from page one with a scene which sets the stage for the remainder of the story. We meet Celia right away and quickly become endeared to her character. Once in Rome, the city comes alive through Celia’s eyes, and we can’t help but fall for Lorenzo right along with Celia. One Night in Rome is not just another fabulous Kempe erotic romance, it’s also another wonderful addition to the City Night Series from Tirgearr Publishing.

Check out all the City Nights series, including Lucy Felthouse’s One Night in Paris and Troy Lambert’s One Night in Boise.

To win tell me what you would do if you won a magical night in the city of your choice. Which city would it be?

Don’t forget to follow Lady Smut: you wouldn’t want to miss a thing here or on Facebook.

Carry Me: One Night In Seoul

24 Jul

By Madeline Iva

If he's not gorgeous and crying, it's not Korean drama.

If he’s not gorgeous and crying, it’s not Korean drama.

Beautiful men who cry perfect tears. People who cut up their food with scissors. A society with seven forms of address—including one for animals. No, I’m not talking about a sci-fi world– I’m talking about Korea.

How is it possible that I’ve never posted about Korean Drama before? I love it—At times I’ve been obsessed by it.  But then again, so is all of Asia.  These one season TV dramas rock my world–not only with their unique cultural differences but with their strong sense of romance.

Because this week we’re celebrating C. Margery Kempe’s publication One Night in Rome (City Nights Series, book 3), I’m going to take you through One Night In Seoul, Korea.   We’ll survey the night—not Gangnam Style, because that’s a whole other Korean thing. Instead we’ll go out on the town Korean Drama style.

At any rate–let’s get our evening started. Our hero is so much better looking than us–he’s probably the most handsome man on the face of the planet, or at least top five.  Accepting that we’re out of our league is a given.  It also builds humility–a must-have trait for all Korean heroines.

A great sense of humility and very pouty lips--the Korean heroine.

A great sense of humility and very pouty lips–the Korean heroine.

We go out to eat – but nothing fancy. Let’s face it, in Korea it’s all about food.  Yes, we can eat at a restaurant where we sit on a mat without shoes and boil our own meat in a pot of oil at our table. Or sit at a table that comes with inset boxes of kim-chi. Every now and then the waitress comes by and cuts up the kim-chi with scissors for us. What are we, five? Now she’s cutting up our seafood omlete.  Well, if it makes her happy.

As the evening progresses, aside from walking around exchanging witty remarks and reveling in the silky evening weather, we’ll eventually get hungry again.  It’s late and the restaurants are closed, but that’s okay, because the best food in Korea is on the street. We through the plastic sheeting of a cheap tent on a city street (it’s a little rainy outside).  Inside we sit on a stool next to homeless people and businessmen, and eat skewers of who-knows-what.  Yum-ola.  Very egalitarian.  No dessert–only more booze.

Because our evening involves drinking—lots and lots of drinking. At some point in the late evening–not sure when–we do a round of raucous karaoke in a private room.  Oh, did I mention our hero happens to be a pop star in real life? Don’t get self-conscious about singing or thrashing around doing demented air-guitar.  Being crazy bad at karaoke is a right in Korea. Besides you’re too drunk to care.

Yup, you’re wasted.  Beer, saki, wine, the hard stuff? I don’t even know what all we drink, but at some point in the evening everything gets blurry and we are so drunk that the hero must needs carry us home on his back.

48WHAT??? I can feel you cringing, and as a tall strapping woman, I know. I know. But apparently there is a deep psychological need for this carrying stuff. It brings up all kinds of cultural metaphors—how strong he is, how he will carry you through the hard times (like now, when you’re occasionally spewing kim-chi in the gutters) Meanwhile, it’s a total sensual experience. Being carried, feeling how strong his back is, how sexy it feels pressing your breasts up against that strong back. You feel safe.

Besides, as the average Korean woman, you’re only about four foot nine and probably weigh a hundred pounds dripping wet.

So off we go.  He carries us up hill and down hill and then home. His home, our home–doesn’t really matter.  We spend the night together. Probably on a futon—we each have our own–on a wooden floor so spotless we could lick with the same confidence we’d lick a plate straight from the dishwasher.

A futon for you, a futon for me.

A futon for you, a futon for me.

I know what you’re asking. Do we um, you know? Yes. Yes we DO knock boots. But not right now.  We wait. The tension all around it is smoking hot, however.

See, Korean drama is all about romantic hot vs. erotic hot.  The only thing is…it takes a long time to happen. It probably takes on average sixteen episodes for us to kiss. This is because the roots of romance go deep deep deep in Korean Drama. These people take it slow, and by the time we kiss we really know each other—I mean KNOW each other.

It takes on average twenty episodes to do the deed. In Korean Drama you gotta wait for it if it’s going to be everlasting. So no nookie on THIS date—though having been fed well, having been drunk and happy while carried through the hilly streets of Seoul on a gorgeous man’s back–we’re feeling pretty awesome. Looking at his arresting face, we fall asleep and all is right in the world.

Hot-hot-hot! Click on image to buy.

Hot-hot-hot! Click on image to buy.

Check out some more about Korean Drama HERE at my website, and check out ONE NIGHT IN ROME by our very own C.Margery Kempe HERE.

Meanwhile, follow our blog. We’ll carry you through a whole year of sexy romance for free.

Getting Naked And Eating Pizza – One Night in Marseille

23 Jul

Marseille streetBy Elizabeth Shore

This week at Lady Smut we’re celebrating our fellow blogger C. Margery Kempe’s new release One Night in Rome by each of us picking a different city where we’d love to spend a night. I considered a couple different options of cities I know well – including Helsinki, San Diego, and Madison, Wisconsin. But then a friend suggested Marseille and he was absolutely right. Why Marseille? Because it’s exactly the kind of place that wouldn’t first come to mind, which is exactly why it’s perfect for a day and night of unexpected decadence.

The image that first comes to some people’s mind about Marseille is that it’s dirty. It’s grungy. It’s crime-infested and unsafe. It’s got a bad rep, perhaps deservedly so. But the good folks of Marseille have made definite strides toward cleaning up the city – figuratively and literally – and according to the French travel blog Why Go France, Marseille now has a reputation as being an artistic and funky place. My kinda town.

So OK. I arrive in mid July and it’s summertime. Temps are soaring. It’s hot and sticky and I’m in need of some freshening up. What’s an intrepid but sweaty gal to do? Why, head for the beach, naturally. No, I mean really naturally, as in “getting back to nature.” I’m in France after all, where clothing on beaches is optional. So I’m going in. I’ve never sunbathed in the nude before but I’m sure as heck doing it here.

I’m settled in my beach chair and glowing like a bronzed goddess (actually, this part would never happen because I don’t get tan, but it’s myMarseille port
fantasy so I’m sticking to it). Right. So bronzed goddess. As I’m lying there and sipping pastis I notice a rather very attractive waiter approaching my lounge chair. He wants to know if I need anything. Hmmm. Well, a little more suntan lotion never  hurts. Le Hunk gets down to business while I gaze out at the sparkling Mediterranean and the picturesque boats bobbing in the port.

Marseille is a very old city and, like any respectably aging gal, she can’t help but show her age now and then. She’s crumbling and dirty and there are lots of back streets where you may or may not wish to go. But I’m feeling adventurous and Le Hunk has agreed to accompany me, so we go exploring the winding narrow streets, getting lost along the way. Suddenly I realize I’m getting hungry and have pizza on the brain. Say what? Pizza in France? Mais oui.

Marseille has apparently had long ties with Naples and thus has benefitted by being able to offer an incredibly authentic Italian pizza in several places around the city. Le Hunk and I hunker down for some grub. The pizza is hot and cheesy with deliciously charred crust edges straight from the wood burning ovens. We eat like ravenous dogs, lick sauce from each other’s fingers, and get the sensual juices humming. I’m thinking about the bed in my hotel room, but non non non. Not yet. Nothing fuels desire like prolonging the inevitable. Yeah, we’ll get there, but hold on for a minute. First, we shop.

Comprised of a series of narrow side streets, Marché des Capucins offers a wide assortment of mainly north African goods, including foods, fabrics, spices, and more, plenty to see and experience as I stroll hand in hand with Le Hunk while we appraise the vast array of offerings. I make several purchases to remember my Marseille experience before moving on.

Basilique Notre Dame de la GardeTo get an overall panoramic view of the city, head up to the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde. It sits on Marseille’s highest point and is quite a climb to get to the top, but by all accounts the view is well worth it. I’m game for it, so up Le Hunk and I go, climbing steep-hilled streets to reach the pinnacle. From here we can get another view of the crystal blue sea and appreciate the offerings Marseille shares if you take the time to look.

It’s getting dark and I’m thinking about dinner. Marseille’s a port city, so fresh fish is on the menu. There are several good restaurants serving up local fare. After a delicious dinner, Le Hunk and I head out to Café de la Plage to dance the night away. It’s open until dawn, after all, so no danger of getting booted out too early. Only thing is, though, that the more pastis I drink the better and better Le Hunk is looking. Methinks it’s time to head back to the hotel for a little ton of good ol’ fashioned oooh la la! ;-)

Tell us where you’d go if you only had one night, and be sure to check out C.M. Kemps’ titillating new read, One Night in Rome. Oh, and click on that little follow button to the right. Here at Lady Smut we’ll never lead you astray.

 

 

 

 

 

One Night in Brooklyn

22 Jul

By Liz Everly

This week we are celebrating C.M. Kempe’s release of ONE NIGHT IN ROME by writing about our fantasy-adventures in cities.

You know you want to click me. Just do it. Do it right now.

Here is my story which, of course, starts off with food. Grin.

I wrapped my mouth around the most exquisite pizza I’ve ever eaten. Not just New York pizza, but Brooklyn pizza, the best of the best, a perfect melding freshest ingredients— cheese, spices, sauce on thin crust. And I was sitting across from an equally delicious man.

He was a stranger to me. We had only meet a few hours ago and yet it was as if we’d known each other our wholes lives. I was just in the New York City for a few days–and he had come to my rescue while I tried to get a cab on Fifth Ave., during rush hour.

He was my knight in shining armor. Well, not in armor exactly. He was wearing a Peter Pan shirt and hat and driving a pedicab. He pulled up along the curb.

“You need a ride?” He said with a Brooklyn accent that set me on edge. Was it a hint of danger I felt?

“No, I don’t think so,” I said, looking at the flimsy carriage he was pulling. I couldn’t imagine climbing in it and maintaining any sense of dignity. There was that and then there was that accent, which hinted at danger and sex.

“C’mon,” he said, with a lopsided dimpled grin and warmth exuding from his dark eyes. I wasn’t sure he was exactly what I’d call handsome, but sex oozed from him in a kind of forbidden bad boy way.

I took one more look around. Didn’t look like I had many options. I swore that my feet were probably bleeding–they hurt that bad.

I shrugged. “Okay,” I said.

Something happened to me during that ride. I felt each bump in the streets, with the city air kissing my skin, and every detail in the city was in my view. So unlike a cab ride with a huge door and window between you and the city.

New York City is a magic place, pulsing with life. You can’t see it from inside of a cab.

Somewhere between climbing into the pedicab and climbing out of it, I also fell in a kind of love with the cabbie. He was conversational, asked me about myself, and we found we had a lot in common. There was also this: The view from where I sat was exquisite. Biking around the city was good for a man’s backside, not to mention thighs. Muscled and plenty to grab onto.

I was not the kind of woman to act on thoughts like these, but then again, I was not the kind of woman who’d climb in a pedicab with a hot man from Brooklyn biking me through the city.

When he helped me exit the cab and his hands touched mine, sparks flew. My eyes traveled from his hands to his eyes. He cocked an eyebrow, signaling that he felt those sparks, too.

“I’m taking one more run. Would you like to get together, after?” He said.

I just looked at him.

“I mean, you know,” he said, shrugging. “We could grab a bite.”

I had to admit that my stomach churned at the mention of food, but other parts of me were more than alert.

And now, here I sat with a full stomach, and couple of glasses of wine later, across from Brooklyn-Italian Peter Pan. I liked Brooklyn from the moment I arrived. Yeah, sure it wasn’t as slick, clean, and shiny as Manhattan, but it felt more real to me. And something about Peter Pan made me trust him enough to go to his place to enjoy the pizza. I was longing for respite away from the hubbub of the city. I squelched the little voice in my head warning me of being so adventurous.

We sat with a table between us and I suppressed the urge to climb on his lap. It was almost as if he read my mind. He stood and held out his hand to me. I hesitated, then reached out to take his hand. A working man’s hands. At home, at work, I was surrounded by men with soft hands. He pulled me in to him, where I felt the hot length of him pressing into me. It was the kind of a kiss that made parts of me sink and other parts rise. He sent my mind swirling in a mass of confusion, but my body seemed to know exactly what it wanted.

He led me to his bed. My legs were as wobbly as jell-o. I hadn’t felt this rush of heat, that longing for submission in a long time. I wanted to open myself up and reveal myself to him. He touched me in ways that made me feel safe and wild at the same time.

I sort of melted on to his bed.

“This is up to you. It’s okay if you decide not to,” he said. So sweet. Yet hunger poured from him. He was steaming. I admired his control and loved that he was so concerned about my feelings. “What do you think?”

Was now the time for soul searching? I think not dear reader, but I never kiss (or not) and tell.

In any case, my night in Brooklyn was one I will never forget.

Speaking of sexy nights in sexy places, I have a new installment out of EIGHT LAYS AROUND THE WORLD: FRANCE (A SEXY TRAVELOGUE). The place is Saint Tropez and the night concerns one woman and two men. And it’s free until Thursday.Francecover1*

One Night in New Orleans

21 Jul bourbon-street-in-new-orleans-on-mississippi-river-cruise

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

This week at Lady Smut, we’re celebrating blogger C. Margery Kempe’s new release One Night in Rome by picking a different city each day where we’d love to spend one night…and what we do there. At first, I thought for sure if I had one night to spend anywhere in the world, I’d spend it in a European venue, Paris or Prague, Capri or London. but the more I thought about it, the more I realized New Orleans is the place I’d choose to be.

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It has the best of both worlds–Old-World charm in the New World. New Orleans is an experienced lady who has weathered wars and floods, crime and neglect but who always comes out singing. The city seethes with personality, from the vibrant colors donning every block to the exuberant street performers on every corner to the music that oozes out the doorways. Laissez le bon temp rouler is more than just a slogan–in New Orleans, it’s a way of life.

Same-cemetery-that-Interview-With-the-Vampire-was-filmed-in-New-Orleans

There’s a mystique about New Orleans one romanticized by writers and musicians. A world where men fight illegal duels over remarkable women, a polyglot of languages pepper each sentence, and charm and smooth-talking is coded into the DNA. But scratch the surface and the glamour rots into nasty horror.

moon over bourbon street

The supernatural took root in New Orleans and flourished almost from its founding. Be it the influx of Haitian and other French colonized Caribbean islanders who brought with them the vodoun religion or merely the old-world mystique seeping over the ocean with the French, the Spanish, and Jean Lafitte and his pirates. This is a world where vampires and demons may lurk in any shadow ready to steal your soul. And yet we’re pulled under that spell all too easily, compelled by the lure of that which cannot be properly comprehended within the firm borders of our tangible world.

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People are continually drawn to the city, seduced by the promise of decadence without accountability, excess without retribution, sex without consequence. New Orleans is an alluring lady, one who teases with respectable wrought-iron trellises draped in the hot-house flowers of the south while the thick, humid air taunts the unwary toward delights unknown. Years ago, I told a friend I wanted to go to New Orleans and do all the wicked things my soul would cringe to remember. Sex shamelessly marches down Bourbon Street calling the world to come to order. Me, I prefer the tawdry sheen of eroticism, not the cheap insult of casual lewdness, but both thrive in the streets and behind the dark doors that pepper New Orleans.

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For me, one of the biggest draws of the city is the music. It weaves around the streets as the city’s natural soundtrack, jazz and zydeco dancing around the buildings on the air. My one night in New Orleans would include a jazz club where the trumpets are  hot and the string bass holds such a deep beat it thrums through my blood to keep time in my pulse. I love to dance and would spend my one night in New Orleans grooving up against my partner of choice…and a lady always leaves the dance with the man who brought her.

new_orleans

There’s sadness in the music too, loss and pain that only music can give voice to, the lone brass player on the street corner wailing out a tune. The city’s fraught history holds much blood and misery, emotions to which only music can give justice as even the most evocative words can never truly be enough.

And let’s not forget the food. Cajun, French, Southern…the variety of options is a gourmand’s holy grail. My one night in New Orleans would be a gastronomic gluttony. It would start with beignets in powered sugar, coast over mid-day alligator po’boys, and finish with an evening crowed by a perfectly prepared steak, all washed down with a variety of wine and booze.

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Music, dancing, food, booze and decadent, erotic romance. My one night in New Orleans would be a night to live in infamy.

 

 

 

One Night in Rome by C Margery Kempe - 200

Be sure to check out Lady Smut blogger C. Margery Kempe’s new release this week, One Night in Rome.

Follow Lady Smut. We last far longer than just one night.

One Night in Vegas: A Little Pool Party

20 Jul
Poker

Now that the chips are down, let’s see about those pants.

By Alexa Day

Get ready to do some traveling this week. We’re celebrating C. Margery Kempe’s new release, ONE NIGHT IN ROME, with a series of posts, each celebrating a single night in a different destination. I’m delighted to kick things off with a single night in one of my very favorite places: Las Vegas.

Spending just one night in Vegas is actually not that hard to manage. I don’t have to pack much, and it’s only far away in my mind. The challenge is trying to take in as much as possible, as efficiently as possible. Ordinarily, I’d need at least four nights to really do Vegas properly. But if I were to handle everything Vegas has to offer in a single night, this is how I’d do it.

One night in Vegas, I’ll get dressed in my hotel suite after a long, restful bath. The plane ride from reality always takes a lot out of me, and while the limo ride from McCarran helps with the transition, only a luxuriant bath will wash off all that normal.

Then, while all those zillions of lights start to dance on the Strip outside, I’ll put on the dress I can’t wear anywhere else. You know, the one with the sequins. The one with the tiny straps. The short one. The tight one.

That one.

I’ll put on the shoes I can’t wear anywhere else, mostly because they only go with this dress. I’m not expected anywhere for a while, so I’m going to go downstairs for a few minutes. The casino’s busy, as it always is, but I’m headed around the corner, just past the restaurant, to a narrow doorway, where the club is. While I’m having a drink in my favorite little booth, I’ll probably run into a good friend or two. They’re here for the same reason I am, so when the time comes, we all head for the elevator together.

The elevator won’t take you where we’re going without the right key card, and it’s a long ride up. When the doors slide open, we’re in a hallway with a door on each end. We want the one on the left. That’s where the music is coming from.

My host gives me a nice, tight hug when he sees me. He has to yell into my ear over the music and the merriment, but I don’t have to hear him to know he’s glad to see me (heyo!).

Now that I’ve been polite to my host, it’s time to cruise the party. I start with a top-shelf drink at the bar, where two fine-looking mixologists are working up a sweat to keep up with us. (Because when in Vegas, one drinks with gusto.) Then I grab a bite to eat. My host shares my fondness for sushi and the human form, so he’s arranged for nyotaimori and nantaimori, along with the other heavy hors d’ouvres. I see a lively game of strip poker near the pool, but I’m keeping away from it. These guys don’t count shoes and jewelry, and I don’t have an awful lot on.

Instead, I’m going to hang out on the balcony with some of my fellow guests, people whose names you’d recognize if I were allowed to drop names. Vegas parties only have a couple of rules, really. You’ve got to know how to keep a secret, and you’ve got to leave your everyday world at the door. No shop talk. No passing around pictures of kids and grandkids. Nothing but the right here and right now … and watching that poker game. Hey, if they didn’t want me to watch, they’d take it into one of the bedrooms.

Dawn is threatening as the partygoers start to pair off and head for the door. All those zillions of lights are giving way to the sunrise. A handful of intimates are all that’s left, scrounging for Bloody Mary ingredients behind the bar or making plans for a red-eyed breakfast downstairs. Before long, everyone’s gone, and it’s just me with my host, sitting on the side of the pool with our legs in the water.

I tell him he always throws an awesome party, and he thanks me. I also tell him how cool it is that he has a pool in this suite all the way up here.

You know you want to click me. Just do it. Do it right now.

You know you want to click me. Just do it. Do it right now.

“You know what else is cool?” He leans over toward me, so close that I can feel one of those slightly oversized sideburns against my face. “The bed rotates.”

“Like all the way around in a circle?” A night of yelling over music has left me sounding a little hoarse.

“No amount of talking about it will do it justice,” he says. He gets out of the pool and helps me to my feet. And then he shows me around the suite like a good host, making sure that our tour ends with the rotating bed.

I’d love to tell you what happens after that. I have no real problem with the whole kiss-and-tell. But I do want to go to another of those parties, so that story has to stay in Vegas. You know the tune.

What happens on Lady Smut is a different story, though. Stuff that goes on here, goes everywhere. So follow us and check out ONE NIGHT IN ROME!

Sexy Saturday Round-Up

19 Jul

By Liz Everly and the Lady Smut Bloggers

lady-smut-sexy-saturday-green

Hello, Sexy! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Check out Lady smut’s weekly round-up of sexy fun!

From Liz:

Sex with a Puppet?

What it’s really like being a dominatrix.

The Bollywood Revolution.

From Madeline Iva:

3-D vagina artist

Where to look for a third nipple–Hollywood.

Esquire SUCKS! Deigns to acknowledge that women under 42 are ‘still attractive’.

Revenge porn now illegal.

Have you ever checked out Romance Beat? Here’s their post on 10 Reasons To Still Watch True Blood Even Though It’s Jumped The Shark. 

The Madness of Crushes.

From Elizabeth:

Is he a potential love match or just lusting after your body? Researcher say the eyes tell the truth.

Striking a chord the world over. Three brothers make a two minute film on the miseries of living in a Facebook age.

WTF? Employees at a Chicago water company disciplined if they use the bathroom for more than six minutes a day.

What your sexual fantasy says about you.

From Alexa:

Sex sells? Well … every rule has exceptions.

This stripper’s love affair with her thighs will make you reconsider your relationship with yours.

Embrace the Jade Egg, but not with your arms.

This quiz purports to guess when you lost your virginity (almost nailed it for me — heyo!).

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