BDSM Cruises, Anyone? Check out Pandora's Box!


By Liz Everly

If you’ve been a follower of Lady Smut, you know we have some regular commenters. Skye Michaels is one of them. She’s another erotic romance writer—in fact, she’s been writing a long time and has a list of published books to her credit. So I read one of her books, Pandora’s Box, and asked her some questions about it.

First, feast your eyes on these fantastic cover:

sm-gd-pandorasbox-full

 

After reading Pandora’s Box, I’m definitely going to check out the books in her first series that have lead up to this book. “The Le Club “ series takes one couples story in each book. And the couples continue to make appearances in this series (Golden Dolphin). Sometimes writer’s just can’t get enough of  certain characters.

Pandora’s Box focuses on a young photographer, Pandora Wescott, avenging her sister’s suicide, after finding a note saying she couldn’t live without  her “Master.” She also finds troubling photos—showing that her sister had been in an extreme BDSM lifestyle.
Here’s some of our chat:

Liz: I thought your set up was interesting–the way Pandora is exploring her sister’s lifestyle because she wants answers about her death. She is very much a newbie and uncomfortable at times. What kind of research did you do? (I had to ask this, right? )

Skye: I have done a lot of reading about BDSM and find the relationship dynamics fascinating myself. Every relationship is different. Each couple works out what is comfortable (or uncomfortable LOL) for them.    One excellent resource for those who are interested is Mike Makai’s book, Domination & Submission (available on Amazon). Mike also has a Facebook page. Would I try BDSM? I don’t know for sure. Maybe in the right circumstances—but that goes for everyone. It would have to be the right circumstances. We all have our fantasies, and sometimes it’s fun to explore new ones.

When I’m writing, I put myself in my heroine’s place. How would I feel if confronted with the inexplicable death of a beloved older sister who seemed to have it all, was my mentor, and then killed herself? Pandora is confronted with some new and uncomfortable lifestyle changes and haunted by her sister’s death while falling in love with the mysterious neurosurgeon, John Grayson.

Liz: The aspect of the book really sucked me in was that Pandora really didn’t know much about her  sister. I think about this kind of thing a lot: how much do we know about our neighbors, our friends, our family? You skillfully weave Pandora’s discoveries about her sister into a clever plot. She finds out about a cruise her sister had taken with her Master—a luxury yacht providing the venue for BDSM. She signs up and learns all abut the lifestyle. Are there BDSM cruises???? I know the one in the book was a privately owned cruise–but it set my imagination wandering…
Skye: I have no idea if there are actually BDSM cruises—sounds like a good idea to me! There certainly are BDSM clubs. My daughter came up with the idea of using cruises as a background for the stories when I had come to the logical end of the Le Club Series which was set in glamorous Ocala, Florida and the horse world and consisted of six books. Once I had explored the Kentucky Derby (Madison’s Choice) and the Triple Crown (Belinda’s Crown), it seemed like a good time to spin off to a new local.   Now we can go anywhere. Since the yacht was purchased by one of my Le Club characters (Jamie Devereau from Anne’s Courage), I can occasionally bring some of my favorite couples back for a cruise on the Golden Dolphin. Three of the original couples made the Alaskan cruise, and it was fun to see them again. When you love your characters, it’s hard to let them go. I got a little depressed when Le Club was done and I thought I would have to say a permanent good-bye.
Liz: So these couples on the cruise were in your other series. Tell us a bit about that series.
Skye: Many people may not be familiar with the small central Florida city of Ocala. It is just plain gorgeous. It has rolling green hills, millions of trees (not even a close to accurate count), and hundreds of thoroughbred farms. You drive down the winding two-lane roads and see pastures with frolicking foals or pregnant mares playing under live oak trees draped with Spanish moss.  Most of the bigger farms have their own full-size practice race tracks, and if you get up really early, you can see the horses running on the tracks in the early morning mist. The Ocala thoroughbred industry rivals Kentucky. Cigar and Foolish Pleasure were both born not too far from my weekend home there.Each book centers around a new couple, and the couples in the series are all different types of people. The women are professional and talented but have some issues. Not all are perfect Victoria’s Secret models. The men are rich and handsome (this is erotic romance after all) and have some issues of their own.   The friendships, relationships and rivalries between the characters flow through all the books.These stories are all set against a BDSM background, but first and foremost, they are hot and spicy love stories.
Liz: I loved your descriptions of Alaska–have you been? I noticed that a lot of your writing is set in exotic places. Any reason?

Skye: The exotic locations give me a chance to take myself and my readers to fun, exotic places. I have been to some of them but not all.   Alaska is on my bucket list to be sure. Fortunately, my best friend and her husband went on an Alaskan cruise while I was writing Pandora’s Box, and they brought me tons of material that they had collected on their trip.

The next book in the Golden Dolphin Series, Hannalore’s Treasure, picks up after the Alaska cruise and goes from San Francisco down the West Coast to Guatemala where our H/h have an adventure in a Mayan cenote or sacrificial sink hole in the jungle. I enjoyed the research for the historical scenes about Mayan ritual sacrifice. That book is coming out in May on Bookstrand.com (and then to Amazon.com etc. after six weeks).

Liz: Tell us more about what’s next for you.

Skye: I have started a new series, The Black Iris Club series set in South Florida, my own stomping grounds. We all take our own home areas for granted. I know people will enjoy visiting Fort Lauderdale and environs. Book 1, Kaylin’s Pursuit, and Book 2, Chloe’s Rescue, are coming out in May and June respectively on Bookstrand.com and following later on Amazon.com etc.   Kaylin is a Broward County Sheriff’s Office homicide detective, and Chloe is a vice detective. Both stories are exciting and set against a police work background.

A lot of people say they would love to write a romance novel.   All I can say to that is—do it.   It was my dream for years. If nothing else, you will have fun and can say you are writing a romance novel!   Start with character sketches and ideas for locations. Get something on paper or in the computer.   Write your fantasies down and go from there. I’m working on number fifteen and I’m having a ball. I hope you will all visit my fan page on Facebook, Skye Michaels Books, for first chapters and covers and a leave a like.   Thanks to Liz Everly and Lady Smut for this opportunity to meet you all!

Liz: Pleasure having you! Thanks so much Skye!

My final word on Pandora’s Box:

The classroom scenes were some of the most interesting in the book. One the one hand, the teachers are very professional and clinical in what they are teaching. On the other hand, sometimes the students are naked. And the couples break off to learn these BDSM methods.  Pandora, at first, is a little embarrassed, but catches on quickly and begins to fall for John Grayson— the Master Dom on board. Many complications arise and, while I don’t want to give away too much in the book—I will say he is as determined to make it work as she is. But their obstacles seem daunting and are serious.

For people interested in the BDSM scene, this book provides another glimpse into it. The characters are thoughtfully drawn, plot moves right along, and the sex scenes are fascinating. On the one level, there is this BDSM play through the book, but it doesn’t feel kinky to me because the characters felt very real. They have kids, they work on their relationships—it’s not all about the sex. Michaels has worked very hard, I think, to let us glimpse the everyday aspect of BDSM. At it’s heart, this book is a very romantic—albeit HAWT— love story.

A personal note: This week, I’m on tour promoting LIKE HONEY. Check out my schedule here and follow along to enter to win a $30 gift card from Amazon or B & N.

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5 Comments

  • Barbara Mikula
    April 8, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Thanks for the interview, Liz! It was fun.

    • Liz Everly
      April 8, 2014 at 7:11 am

      It sure was! Thank for answering my questions. 😉

    • Madeline Iva
      April 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      I remember that a ‘classroom’ scene was in the first book I’d ever read in Erotic Romance. I’m always torn between wanting to titter and wanting to fan myself with those kinds of scenes. Hee-hee. So glad you are on the blog today, Skye! That cover is kind of glam-retro. Cool.

      • Barbara Mikula
        April 9, 2014 at 7:42 am

        It was fun to write because you get to explore how the different participants feel about the whole thing. Not all of my heroines are gung ho about BDSM. Many have to be convinced! LOL – Skye

  • Liz Everly
    April 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Liz Everly and commented:

    BDSM Cruises and a HAWT read!

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