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.

new-orleans-square_thumb

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.

TheLaLaurieHouse

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.

vintage_new_orleans_sign

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!).

Out Tuesday: One Night in Rome

18 Jul

One Night in Rome by C Margery Kempe - 500by C. Margery Kempe

I’m off in Yorkshire for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, but I wanted to let you know that One Night in Rome will be out on Tuesday. As it’s part of Tirgearr’s City Nights series, my LADY SMUT colleagues will be musing on their favourite sexy cities next week, so you don’t want to miss that.

My novella is dedicated to my friends Alessandra and John (who are also writers themselves) and share a unique love story that also involves Rome — but that’s their story, so I leave it to them to tell what they will :-)

But Alessandra was also my guide to Rome and there is nothing like being introduced to the eternal city by a true Roman. There’s a part of the story where Celia tastes Roman artichokes for the first time and is completely overwhelmed by the simple wonder of the taste.

That’s real. That’s me remembering again that amazing flavour. Oh! If nothing else, that would get me back to Rome. I love sauces and complex meals, but I have to say the tastes I often long for are simple ones like those artichokes.

Of course the history and the art are a huge draw as well. There’s so much to see! Alessandra expertly arranged our days so we saw so much — including the Caravaggios in little churches, the ones that don’t travel like the museum-owned ones. I love Caravaggio’s dark, sensual paintings full of life and passion. To see them in the places they were made for adds such an extra dimension of wonder.

New discoveries buoyed me, too: I had sort of been aware of Bernini’s sculptures from photos in books, but to see so many of them at once in close quarters — I was completely seduced. In particular, I was captivated by the same  one Celia goes to visit in the Villa Borghese: Apollo and Daphne.

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Be seduced by Lady Smut: follow us here and on Facebook, so you don’t miss a thing. Dark Desires are brewing. They’ll be here before you know it –

 

Pleasuring The Fair: Q&A with Historical Romance Author Sue London

17 Jul

Scandalousby Madeline Iva

At a masque ball, a mysterious foreigner’s kiss ignites Elisa in ways that nothing else has, but he refuses her pleas to elope. Has she lost her heart to a man who doesn’t exist?

SUE LONDON: Thanks so much for having me on Lady Smut! My latest release is a novella called LORD LUCIFER’S DISCIPLE, which is included in the Scandalous Summer Nights collection. (Currently sale for .99 cents–click on this link to buy: Scandalous Summer Nights: A Sexy Historical Romance Box Set (A Collection of Series Starters Book 1)It kicks off my new Haberdashers Nights line of short, sexy stories.

MADELINE IVA: How did you come up with the idea of the Lucifer book for your novella?

SUE LONDON: Lord Lucifer is something of a running joke in the Haberdashers series. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone who hasn’t read the first book, but suffice to say it is someone’s nickname. Someone who has apparently decided to write down all of his “knowledge.” Or has he? There are multiple theories on who actually penned Lord Lucifer’s Guide.

MADELINE IVA: I always find shy guys a challenge and I like nothing better than embracing that challenge.  But I thought I was just weird that way! What’s the appeal to most women of a shy hero?

Trials

Click to buy: Trials of Artemis: Haberdashers Book One (The Haberdashers 1)

SUE LONDON: I was surprised as anyone that John Howards volunteered to be the hero of the first Haberdasher’s Nights novella, especially as it was clear that it was going to be a racy/sexy read. He was a minor character in the third Haberdashers novel and is of the *painfully* shy variety. Then I started writing his story and found out that he collects sex manuals. Interesting hobby.

To me as a writer, the appeal of a shy hero is that you have a built in ‘man vs. self’ conflict. Will he or won’t he be able to overcome his shyness to do what he needs to do? In John’s case, his social awkwardness happened to be hiding a wicked wit that he finally displayed in defense of his beloved.

As a reader, I like shy heroes because I can relate to them. People can hardly believe it now, but I was one of the shyest kids you could ever meet. I call myself a “recovering shy person.”

MADELINE IVA: I have to confess, knowing you as you are now, it’s hard to believe. Why is your series called the Habadasher’s series?

SUE LONDON: The Haberdashers is the name of the club that the girls formed when they were eight years old. Sabre (the leader) thought it sounded, well, dashing. Jack figured out what it meant and tried to convince the other two to change it, but Sabre insisted on keeping it. Now it’s just sort of their “thing.”

Ordeal

Click on book cover to buy Athena’s Ordeal: Haberdashers Book Two (The Haberdashers 2)

The series description is: In 1805 three little girls decided to create a “boys club” because boys have more fun. Their childhood was filled with sword fighting, horse racing, and archery. Now in 1815 they are all grown up and expected to join Society. Who will marry such independent and deadly misses?

MADELINE IVA: What’s the appeal of writing novellas?

SUE LONDON: I love writing novellas. The Haberdashers Tales are sweet little love stories. The new Haberdashers Nights series novellas are sexy. The really funny part? Both novella series average even better scores from reviewers than the actual Haberdashers series. Try the novellas! You’ll like them!!

All of the novellas explore character and place, but aren’t required reading to understand the overall story arc of the twelve book series of novels.

MADELINE IVA: Where do you hang out most on social media? What do you like about that platform best?

SUE LONDON: Hang out the most? Definitely twitter (@cmdrsue). I’m naturally pithy and snarky, so it suits me well. I’ve built my inner circle out of writers, geeks, and humorists… maybe not in that order. I also hang out on Facebook (especially facebook.com/bysuelondon),  my website (bysuelondon.com), G+, and hit my old blogs from time to time (like bysuelondon.blogspot.com). If you don’t trip over me on the internet you’re just not trying.

Fates

Click on cover to buy Fates for Apate: Haberdashers Book Three (The Haberdashers 3)

MADELINE IVA: I love to geek out about history, but know that if romance writers really stick to the historical script they’d be way too confined.  What’s your philosophy when it comes to historical research or bringing that historical mojo to a romance novel?

SUE LONDON: I make no bones about the fact that what I’m doing is “historical fantasy.” I’m not out to write a 100% historically accurate anything. (Not that you could without a time machine, because there are gaps and conflicting theories and purposefully misleading information and DON’T GET ME STARTED.)

Then there are times that I insert my characters a little more into the events of the day. A great example is in the third Haberdashers novel where I put the hero and heroine in the midst of intelligence gathering at the Congress of Vienna and essentially “blame” them for something that really happened. Because it’s fun messing with history.

MADELINE IVA: As a self-published author, you don’t need an agent — and clearly you’re doing so well that you don’t need an audience–you already have one.  What does the self published author need? Does she need to improve her craft?

SUE LONDON: Uhhh, I definitely need an editor. In fact, I have two. Even though I have a pretty good business background, if I needed to sign anything serious (ex. film rights) I would either get an agent or a literary attorney. I love my audience (over 100,000 books sold! thank you Haberdasher fans!), but it’s all about building as broad an audience as possible. I want to write for a long, long time. I want write exclusively and be able to leave the day job at some point. I need a few hundred thousand more readers.

I like meeting and talking to other authors for all the normal reasons – to exchange info on things like marketing, craft, and the best place to get chocolate. We all face a lot of the same problems, regardless of how we’ve been published. (Maybe this is a great time to mention that http://www.gearhartschocolates.com/ is a great place to get chocolate, so we can at least solve that problem.

MADELINE IVA: Why did you end up writing historicals vs. the ever-popular paranormal? Do you think paranormals are going to get old any time soon — OR — like historicals do they present an ever-needed obstacle so that the romance works?

SUE LONDON: Why write historical romance? I read a LOT of it. I’ve read some paranormal (note that my ‘some’ might count as others’ LOTS, because I read tons), but it does not make up the bulk of my reading. Or writing. An example of my take on the supernatural is this little vignette:  http://bysuelondon.blogspot.com/2010/08/do-you-ever.html

But as for paranormal getting old? Heck, maybe the current version of it, but this stuff has been around forever. We will always be intrigued by the dark and tempting. Someone will just reinvent the way we look at it again.

werechaun

American Werechaun in Dublin — yes, Werechaun. Click on cover to buy.

MADELINE IVA: Uh, Werechaun? Is this book a poke at paranormal?

SUE LONDON: To understand Werechaun you have to understand my background. Growing up, I read pretty much everything else (especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery) before I started reading romance. And my very, very favorite thing in the world is humor. Werechaun started as a joke between two Twitter buddies (Andy Click and myself) and very quickly became a short fantasy novel.

Even though Fi and Kyle got a little “shippy,” it never occurred to us to make it a romance. We were just writing the story that we came up with – about turning into Leprechauns on the full moon. So no, not at all a poke at anything having to do with romance or paranormal. We call it an “Urban Fairytale,” i.e., an Urban Fantasy with fairy tale elements. I love, love, love that little book.

MADELINE IVA: Thanks Sue! Readers you can click on the links below to buy Sue’s books.

American Werechaun in Dublin 

Trials of Artemis: Haberdashers Book One (The Haberdashers 1)

Athena’s Ordeal: Haberdashers Book Two (The Haberdashers 2)

Fates for Apate: Haberdashers Book Three (The Haberdashers 3)

and

Scandalous Summer Nights: A Sexy Historical Romance Box Set (A Collection of Series Starters Book 1)

SUE LONDON: Thanks again for having me!

Meanwhile, please follow us at LadySmut.  We’ll pleasure you with our blog posts seven days a week. 

Suffering In Silence – The Hell Of Unrequited Love

16 Jul

Lonely man looking out windowBy Elizabeth Shore

There’s a curious thing about unrequited love that I’ve never really understood. Why in the world is it considered so romantic? Untold poems and novels have been written about it, countless movies have made us shed sympathetic tears. But if you think about it, the admirer, the one whose heart is filled with love for another who doesn’t feel the same, is in a f**k ton of pain. Deep, intense, debilitating pain. The kind that robs you of the ability to sleep, or eat, or sometimes even breathe. Anyone who’s suffered the hell of a broken heart can sympathize. So again I wonder, why for time immemorial has unrequited love been considered romantic?

I think back to the first time I read Wuthering Heights. Poor, unappreciated Heathcliff. Low social standing, uneducated, and dark-skinned “like a gypsy.” He loves the beautiful Catherine but she’s unattainable. Their class differences are far too disparate to allow them to be together. I guess technically Wuthering Heights isn’t wholly unrequited love in the classic sense because to some degree I think Catherine does love Heathcliff. Nonetheless, they can’t be together, yet his heart is completely and utterly hers.  He’s tormented over it, in absolute agony and seething with jealousy when she married Edgar Linton. Perhaps I’m just overly sensitive to broken hearts, but when I think about Heathcliff suffering in silence over the desire he has for Catherine that can never be returned, I feel genuine sorrow. I’m not caught up in the romance of it, I’m just reaching for the tissue box, very happy that my name isn’t Heathcliff.

Perhaps the appeal is the idea of someone loving us so deeply and so completely; an all-consuming attachment to just one person. The pursuer is relentless, devoting endless time and effort toward the object of his affection. The ideal of utter devotion being directed toward us could certainly be flattering. Think about someone obsessing over little ol’ you! Except here’s the thing: for me romance is and always will be a two-way street. You love me, I love you. It’s gotta go both ways. And sure, there are obstacles and conflict and challenges along the way. If there weren’t we romance authors would have butkus to write about. Smooth sailing doesn’t make for a compelling read. But to have someone possess intense feelings of love toward someone else, and for that love to be unreturned or even shunned … well, that’s just sad.

An interesting article in the New York Times talked about the fact that the admirer in a one-way love situation isn’t the only one who suffers. Findings by researchers published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed that the rejector sometimes feels as deep or even more emotional pain than the admirer. Curious, right? Apparently, after a period of initial flattery, the rejector feels bewilderment, guilt, and eventually anger at the relentless efforts of the admirer.

My other issue with unrequited love – beyond sympathy for the pain of the pursuer – is that it can turn toward dark and bad places. Desire overtakes reason and turns into obsession. The admirer becomes a stalker. There just isn’t any good that’s going to come out of that. Ian McEwan’s incredible novel Enduring Love deals with this issue by bringing two men together in an unforeseen circumstance that leads to one of them developing a blinding, all-consuming obsession with the other. And the outcome of it? Not good, my friends. Not good at all.

So there we have it: emotional pain, heartache, misery, bewilderment, guilt, all feelings associated with “romantic” unrequited love. I say, no thanks. I’m more than OK with a romance where initially one person has affection and desire toward another who isn’t quite there yet, but to make me heave a romantic sigh I need to see the one being pursued gradually feel stirrings of emotion in her breast that evolves into the giddy, euphoric ride of burgeoning love.

Let us know your thoughts below and be sure to follow us on Lady Smut, where our talk about love is never a one-way street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Your Fantasy—In More Than One Way

15 Jul
follow-your-fantasy

Click on the cover to purchase from Amazon.

By Liz Everly

Nicola Jane and I connected on Twitter. She asked if I’d like to read her book and I said SURE! What a pleasant, interesting surprise for me. Not only was it well-written, but it was great fun to play with. “Follow Your Fantasy”  (Harper Impulse) is an interactive erotic book that leads the reader along by giving them several choices at the end of a chapter. I made one set of choices when I went through the first time—then I went back and made a different set of choices. You see what I mean about great fun? So Nicola Jane and I chatted a bit about her book—she is currently working on her second.

Liz:  How did you come  to write this form of “interactive” story?

Nicola: As you might expect with the inspiration for Erotica, the idea for Follow Your Fantasy came to me in bed.

A hot, steamy and unexpected encounter that had me breathless with excitement and frantically flinging back the covers in a bid to release the forces surging inside me.

It was exactly like that only I was in bed alone, living out a miserable, virtually friendless existence as a sort of governess to a rich German family. The hot encounter was with the flash of inspiration itself and the covers were flung off while I scrabbled for a pen and scrawled the plan for the book.

The kernel of the idea was Choose Your Own Adventure – books I’d loved as a child – plus my mind’s random connection with Erotica which is often published in anthologies of short stories. I don’t know why I was thinking about those two!

That was in November 2011, pre Fifty Shades of Grey,  and Erotica wasn’t the mega phenomenon it is now, although I might have started seeing articles about how ereaders were driving a surge in self published Erotica. I wasn’t even reading Erotica at the time and was sure someone, somewhere must have had the idea already.

However, a Google search didn’t turn up much more than a couple of websites that were having a half hearted go at Choose Your Own for adults and seemed to be aimed at men e.g. You’re getting wasted in a bar – do you have another beer or ring your dealer? I figured an erotic narrative with multiple endings would function like a series of interconnected short stories and the Reader could just dip in and out whenever they felt like it.

Liz: Great idea! What were the specific challenges in writing this kind of story?

Nicola: One was keeping track of things like bra on or off when the narrative branched off but I had a system of index cards to keep track of the events. The main challenge was writing what was essentially over 25 sex scenes and making them different. Not different in terms of the events – my imagination was in overdrive there! – but in the actual description of touch, feelings…orgasms. Some books are so repetitive and I tried really hard not to be. I eventually worked out a way of writing with varying sentence lengths and using simile and metaphor instead of just the acts themselves which helped as, really, there are only so many words for genitalia, so listing what goes where is not enough on its own.

Liz: What other kinds of writing have you done?

Nicola: All sorts! I used to write restaurant reviews and food related travel articles for Time Out Istanbul and now I write educational material and fiction for learners of English as a Foreign Language. I just won an award for one story actually! It’s a LOT more conservative thanFollow Your Fantasy! I also write articles about dating, sex and relationships for anyone that will have me and a couple of non erotica novels underway. I’ve got three blogs too and for me, it’s about the ideas and the writing more than it is about writing any one kind of thing specifically.

Liz:  When I was at Book Expo America last year, Xcite Press was there and they actually has an App that is interactive. It presents several scenes and you make choices and so on.

The App from Xcite Press.

The App from ExCite Press.

Are these interactive stories like yours and App like Xcite offers the wave of the future–or do you think it’s a trend that will fade?

Nicola: In my education writing there has been a resurgence in interactive fiction and I think it’s because people in their thirties , who are in writing and publishing today, were the original kids reading them and so it’s ripe for a bit of nostalgia. We’re also seeing it in video gaming too as the technology lends itself to that and now Kindles can support interactive books. Children’s books are set to incorporate videos, and all sorts of things that transform the linear reading experience, so I can only see growth for it. With Follow Your Fantasy, it could be incredible to have points where you could spring off and watch sometimes or other times just use your imagination. The thing is that this type of erotica is less plot driven and  more about just getting into sex for sex’s sake and so readers who are expecting that are going to have a lot more fun than those who might be expecting romance. In that way, Follow Your Fantasy is more like a hot one night encounter than a romantic date that leads to marriage and kids. It doesn’t have to be the same as what you might be looking for in real life. That’s the point – it’s fantasy!

Liz: What can we look forward to that’s coming from you next? You mentioned working on another book and second book syndrome. I know that well. It’s a tough hurdle to overcome. (You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want to.)

Nicola: It certainly is tough! The first book I wrote for myself, just for fun. Now there is a contract and an editor waiting for me to finish and the pressure is no small thing. I set myself daily writing targets that are low enough to achieve without being to formidable and the plot itself was mostly mapped out from the beginning so it helps to know there is a framework there. I have summer to finish which is my busiest time of year so I am being very strict! After this one, I have an idea for a third in the Choose Your Own Erotica line but with a totally different theme and setting to the other two and then I am going to get back to a novel I started a few years ago about a woman who sets up a group to help people get over their exes but who can’t let go of her own crumbling relationship herself.

Thanks so much for stopping by Lady Smut, Nicola!

Nicola Jane’s blog Nicolajane.org

Twitter @NicolaJaneWrite

Buy Follow your Fantasy from Amazon here.

 

Liz Everly is the author of the SAFFRON NIGHTS series for e-Kensington, the latest install of which is LIKE HONEY. She also writes a serial published on Amazon, EIGHT LAYS AROUND THE WORLD. Follow her on Twitter @Lizeverly1 and Facebook. Her website is http://www.lizeverly.com and she blogs weekly on Lady Smut.

 

Fanning the Flames With Victoria Dahl…and Her Books

14 Jul

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I was going to write a right proper review of Victoria Dahl’s new novella Fanning the Flames, the prequel to her upcoming Girl’s Night Out (GNO) trilogy, something more than OH MAH GAWD, IT’S SO GOOD. GO FORTH AND READ IT RIGHT NOW.

But that just wouldn’t be my style.

Then, after re-reading it (again) because it’s fantastic, and musing over the conversations I’ve had and/or seen in the last week since it dropped to a promotional price point of “free”, I realized words alone just won’t do it (or its author) justice.

When I first heard there was a new Victoria Dahl series coming soon, I was all

john stewart glee

Then, having bought and downloaded the book before the “free” promo price (I’m just that dedicated a fan), when I read the sexy librarian heroine was 43 and the hero a 46-year-old firefighter captain, I was all:

minions cheer

Yay for middle-aged romance characters! This was quickly followed by the bracing realization that, being less than a month away from turning 42, I am of age with this sexy, 43-year-old, horny, ballsy heroine.  I don’t feel 40-something–I swear my 30s went by on warped speed–which is a good thing as I believe age really is more a mind-set than a year. But as a reader, I usually associate myself with a novel’s heroine/female protagonist regardless of age because (and this is particularly the case with romance novels) it’s mostly through her perspective that I relate to the rest of the narrative.

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Courtesy of victoriadahl.tumblr.com.

In fact, a character’s age has virtually no impression on me beyond giving a demographic in which to place her. But with Fanning the Flames, I am the bloody demographic and, apparently, being a 40-something-year-old woman aggressively looking to shamelessly kick-start a deliciously dirty affair is as rare and shocking as finding a unicorn at play.

i am a fucking unicornAnd then came the tweets from Ms. Dahl that told me many other women readers were having a similar response to her fantastic novella.

I have to agree with Jill Sorenson here, I usually prefer full-length novels to novellas–more bang for the buck. In Ms. Dahl’s case, this is literal. But then, I’d pretty much buy a leaflet if she wrote it, which is arguably the definition of a tumblr post. More a sexy leaflet in the case of Ms. Dahl’s tumblr.

I’ve been a fan of Victoria Dahl’s sexy contemporary books for many years. I don’t like every one but I always love her unique voice. And don’t get me started on her tendency for bearded heroes. Strewth. Ms. Dahl is no shirking violet and neither are any of her heroines. But above all, Ms. Dahl’s heroines own their own agency especially when it comes to their sexuality and Lauren in Fanning the Flames is no exception.

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Courtesy of victoriadahl.tumblr.com.

Victoria Dahl’s heroines know who they are and take pride in that. They don’t have it all together and they often have significant screw ups in their pasts, which spur the conflict with the men and within the relationships that form the core conflicts of the novels. But they have zero conflict over their sexual desires and they make no bones about that. And in a society that seems bound and determined to return to the 50s (if not the 1850s!) and where a woman’s sexuality is contained and restrained by a culture that slut shames any woman who dares to step out of the conservatively contrived concept of “morality”, having bestselling novels that celebrate a woman not only shamelessly but proudly taking command of her sexuality (and at middle age too!) like Victoria Dahl’s heroines do isn’t just fulfilling entertainment– it’s borderline social revolution. Which drove this conversation:

Fanning the Flames tells the story of Lauren and Jake, both in their 40s, both Empty Nesters, and both out of their first marriages, though by different means, and trying to figure out the shape and direction of their individual romantic futures…which then become linked. It’s bawdy, sweet, charming, poignant, and hilarious.

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Courtesy of victoriadahl.tumblr.com.

Come July 29th, the first full-length novel in the Girl’s Night Out series, Looking for Trouble, about sexy librarian Sophie Heyer and biker Alex Bishop, hits the metaphoric shelves. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and pour a glass of wine, settle back, and have a quickie with Fanning the Flames. You won’t regret it.

Click on picture to purchase!

Click on picture to purchase!

Click on picture to purchase!

Click on picture to purchase!

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