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You Talk Too Much, Mother: Skip Hemlock Grove

22 Jun

F*ck it! At least I was good in the show.

by Madeline Iva

“You talk too much, Mother.” This is the big culminating moment of the first season for Hemlock grove. Roman kills his mother by ripping out her tongue.  Oh, you want a spoiler alert? Here’s my spoiler alert: Hemlock Grove is misogynistic as f*ck.

Skip Hemlock Grove–here’s a few good reasons why:

1) TELLING WOMEN THEY TALK TOO MUCH

Man, that culminating moment did not sit well with me.  Don’t get me wrong: Roman’s mother is evil.  But she’s 3-D evil, and has a lot of interesting stuff going on with her.  But you see, Roman is evil too.  We’re ultimately rooting more for him, because we’ve seen more of his humanity, but we’ve seen a bit of her humanity as well.  Given the fact that they practically cancel each other out, can we really triumph in someone telling his mother to shut up, then killing her? Hmmmmmm.

It’s just the whole way it was done–like we were supposed to rejoice that she’s being ‘put in her place’.  No.  Having pretty much gulped the first season in three swallows, I was left to assess the damage of my cough ridden days spent binging on the sofa.

2) I sat through, like, FOUR WOMEN BEING CHEWED UP BY A WEREWOLF–VAGINA FIRST. 

3) I sat through Roman RAPING A GIRL AND THEN TELLING HER TO FORGET IT HAPPENED. (He has that power.)

4) THE DEAD GIRL BODY COUNT: 12 named female characters on the show.  Seven high school girls and five women.

SO! Who’s left at the end to be in season two? It’s a blood bath people. By the end one is left in town. (The one who was raped.) One has left town.  Ten are dead. (We think.)

There are 11 named male characters on the show.  All of the authority figures are male.  Who’s left at the end? Well, one moves away by the end of Season one.  One has his face scratched–but it will heal.  And one is dead.  The homeless guy.(Suicide.)

Ten women dead by the end of season one and one homeless guy.

5) VIRGIN/WHORE TROPES — WITHOUT IRONY. Slut shaming is so 1980’s, people.

The show has a good mother and an evil mother. The good mother gets far less on-air time, and doesn’t actually DO anything. You have a somewhat clueless virgin and a lot of ‘popular girl’ werewolf bait. The sluttiness is played down a bit, and not really judged—but we know how this goes.  The cheerleader, the slut, the mean girls. They all wind up screaming and then the blood splatters…it’s just so old. SO OLD.

I was the interesting weird girl. I could have been a leading character. You could have done so much with me to redeem yourselves! And you didn’t! Agggggh!

I wrestle with the fact that I love gothic-suspense-y twisted and perverted stuff. And this is suspense.  This is twisted and perverted stuff. But wait.  Usually the point of all this gothic mayhem is that we see it from the point of view of a young female character.  What’s revealed to her is the unfair twisted horrors that she never suspected lay beneath the place that at first did not appear all that bad.

But wait! This is exactly the experience I had with this show!  Yet I don’t *think* that’s the experience the show creators wanted to convey.  The world is a sinister, creepy place where ten women die (and two get raped) for every one male death. Gah! I already knew this, but thought we’d seriously left this crap behind us.

6) WE WANT NEW SKOOL GOTH NOT OLD SKOOL MISOGYNY: There’s so many other twisted, perverted, and gothic stuff that can involve getting out of the old school male trenches. Gay people doing twisty stuff. Men getting raped instead of women. (but not the gay men, please.) Monsters (the physical kind) having love affairs. Gorgeous a-sexuals. Disabled heroes. Jewish heroines. (The place is near Pittsburgh, for god’s sake.)

On this show women are 99% grotesque, evil, or werewolf bait/victims while the very few who aren’t spend most of their time on the sidelines, are passive, unless, you know, they’re being supportive–of the men. What is this? 1955?

There’s one fairly important character on the show who is a person of color.  And that’s it.  She winds up flayed, and suffocated.  So she’s dead. (We think.) One person who is disabled.  Shot twice with a shotgun–dead. (We think.) Nobody included in the show at all who is over the age of 50–except–wait for it–a Hispanic maid.

At this point, I should just KNOW when I see some guys sucking on cigars that whatever it is, it isn’t for me. I’d be far more interested if they were sucking each other’s dicks.

7) WOMEN ARE THE ‘OTHER’ REALLY? REALLY?? I’m scratching my head thinking “Who wrote this?” Young Hollywood guys or old school white writer guys? Or some mix of both? Bleh. Because by the end I’m convinced that these writers/producers/directors don’t find women very interesting or multi-dimensional.  Okay, so maybe all these women aren’t *really* dead.  Like dead for good. But the way women are treated in general–I don’t even want to know what they have to go through in season two.

I give the old guys a pass assuming they grew up in the Mad Men era or took the 80’s to heart and haven’t evolved with the times. They’re dinosaurs. So be it. However, I have a hard time not making all sorts of disturbing assumptions about younger men writing this stuff. Like maybe they’re bro-culture rape-y types. I could see them saying “Hey! We included lots of women in the show.” Yeah, like you deserve a medal.  That’s not the point.  How can you be in your twenties, thirties, or forties in America and not have a clue about women? How can you still see women – who are all around you, no matter where you are – as the “other”. Still????? Something must be wrong with you.

So as hot as poor Roman is – that’s it for Hemlock Grove for me.  The show moves on–and one hopes, learns from its earlier mistakes.  But I’m not alone–obviously.  For more excellent Hemlock Grove hating check out Yo Heart Frijole’s astute blog post.

And follow us at Lady Smut.  Where we’re upbeat and positive–unless you’re being a total asshat and get us really angry.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

 

THE RED: Sexy Sunday Snippet by Tiffany Reisz

18 Jun

THE RED is a stand alone Erotic Fantasy Novel by Tiffany Reisz coming out on July 11th.  If you like this excerpt you may want to check out RADISH where the story is being serialized right now.

You want to know more, don’t you?  Read the excerpt below…

WARNING: This excerpt is *very* naughty.  Contains consent play & BDSM

It was near midnight when Mona returned to the gallery. She was eager to see Malcolm again, and even more eager to see what artwork she’d earn from his collection. At least she told herself all she cared about was earning the art, earning money to save The Red Gallery from foreclosure. That she enjoyed earning the money was beside the point. And yet, her step was quick and she’d spent half the day checking the clock.

It was time.

She went to the red door that led to the back room, took a steadying breath, and pushed it open. At once she was seized by rough male hands and dragged into the room. The door slammed behind her and she was pushed against it, her back to it. She tried to scream but a hand covered her mouth.

“Quiet, girl.”

The words came from Malcolm, though he did not look as he did when she’d last seen him. He’d grown a short beard and mustache, which made him look older, even slightly sinister. He held a rope in one hand. So it was to be role play? Very well. She’d given him carte blanche. Anything meant anything. She shouldn’t be shocked or afraid. But she was afraid. She was.

Because they weren’t alone.

With Malcolm’s hand over her mouth she glanced around the room wildly in her panic. Four men in suits stood waiting by a wooden box in the center of the room. All four men wore masquerade masks—one black, one gray, one red, one gold. They were cyphers in their masks, anonymous. Only Malcolm was unmasked.

“Is there a problem with the girl?” one of the men called out, the one in the red mask. His tone was imperious.

“Not at all,” Malcolm said. “I’ve got her.”

“Let’s see her then,” the man in the black mask said. He sounded bored, impatient. “We haven’t got all night.”

Who were these men? She couldn’t ask because Malcolm had ordered her into silence and his hand still covered her mouth.

“Coming,” Malcolm said. “You won’t be disappointed.”

He spun her without warning, turning her back to him. He put his mouth at her ear and whispered, “Do not fight me, girl. Put on a good show. I want a high price for you.”

A good show… He’d told her last time she existed to entertain him. So be it. She nodded and said nothing, though her heart still raced with terror. Would he let all these men fuck her? No. She knew he wouldn’t.

Or did she?

He took her by the arms and pulled her away from the door. He walked behind her, steering her to the center of the room where the four masked men waited. She tried to study their faces but only one lamp was lit, and they were all in shadows. Only the colors of their masks could be clearly seen. She looked at the floor instead.

“On the box,” Malcolm ordered and she stepped up onto the low wooden platform. Malcolm bent and pulled her shoes from her feet, tossing them into the shadows. He stood and mounted the platform behind her.

“Let’s have a look,” the man in the gold mask said and the other masked men nodded their heads in agreement.

Behind her, Malcolm dragged the straps of her purple summer dress down her arms. She wore no bra and she had to force herself not to fight him as he pushed her dress down and let it pool at her feet. In an instant he had a small sharp knife out and he used the blade to cut her panties off her hips and those he tossed into the shadows with her shoes.

She was naked, completely naked, and standing in front of four strange men. Malcolm produced a rope from his jacket pocket and used it to tie her hands in front of her. Then he reached high and she looked up. He’d hung a metal hook from a ceiling beam. With a swift and easy motion that showed he’d done this sort of thing a thousand times before, Malcolm hoisted her hands over her head and secured the ropes on her wrists to the hook.

There was no escape.

Mona wiggled her hands and the men chuckled at the sight of her struggles.

“Here we are, gentlemen,” Malcolm said. “Tonight’s best lot. Take your time. Bid high. She’s worth it.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” the man in the red mask said as he stepped up onto the wooden platform. Malcolm stood behind her, holding her hair in his hand. Mona panted in fear and anticipation. The red-masked man placed his hand on her quivering stomach and stroked her side and hips.

“Very smooth skin,” he said.

“The smoothest you’ll find on the market,” Malcolm said.

The red-masked man took a hard handful of her thigh and gripped it, slapped it. The men watching laughed again.

“The breasts are particularly fine,” Malcolm said. “As you see.”

“I see,” the red-masked man said.

“I don’t,” said another man.

“Then come see for yourself,” Malcolm ordered.

The man in the red mask stepped off the platform and the man in the gold mask stepped on. Without hesitation he groped her right breast with a large strong hand. Mona cried out more in shock than pain. With her hands tied so high, her breasts were exposed and she couldn’t cover them in any way. It was stunning to be touched so intimately by a stranger. He lifted the breast as if to weigh it in his palm, then he pulled the nipple, twisting it a little, teasing and testing it.

“Very nice,” the gold-masked man said, nodding. He shifted to the side and did the same to her left breast. He groped it firmly, squeezed it, lifted and weighed it, before pinching the nipple again, tugging it, and letting it go. “How’s the ass?”

“See for yourself.” Malcolm turned her so that her back was to the gold-masked man. She felt a hand on her backside, rubbing her from her hip to her upper thigh.

“A full ass,” the man said, pleased, as he rubbed. “Soft but not too soft.” He slapped it once and Mona gasped, gasped again when he gripped it in both hands and squeezed it, then pinched it. “Young firm flesh. My favorite.”

“I told you she was worth the money,” Malcolm said.

It was unbearable, being treated like this, treated like chattel. She burned hot with shame and humiliation. Tears stung her eyes. Her breathing was labored and her arms ached. She wanted to cover herself so badly.

“We have to see the cunt first,” another man said. “You know that.”

“Of course,” Malcolm said, laughing. “Of course you have to see the cunt.”

“Let’s see it then.”

Mona groaned as Malcolm turned her to face the four men again. Two of them stepped onto the platform, the man in the black mask and the man in the red mask. Each of them took one of her legs in his hands and hoisted her off her feet. They held her thighs open, her feet dangling helplessly in mid-air, her sex open and exposed. The man in the gray mask stepped forward. He didn’t stand on the platform. He was at eye level with her vulva.

She shivered and moaned as the man in the gray mask extended his hand and lightly touched her pubic lips.

“Exquisite,” he said. “Well-formed.”

“Tight too,” Malcolm said. “But she can take anything you want to give her.”

She saw the hint of a smile on the gray mask’s lips. With his thumb and forefinger, he opened the inner folds of her vulva, revealing the hole, the entrance to her body. He slipped one finger into it.

“And wet. Very wet,” the man in the gray mask said. It was true. Humiliating but true. For all her shame and fear, she was undeniably aroused as well. The man inserted a second finger into her and spread the two fingers wide in a V. She felt herself opening. It was a violation of the sanctity of her body. Why did she relish it?

“What have we here…” the man said as he pushed his fingertip into a deep hollow inside her, near the pubic bone. He pushed hard into the hollow, poked the hollow, prodded at it, teased the delicate dancing nerves. “I can feel her pulse right here. Very rapid.”

“Let me feel it,” the man in the gold mask said. She was empty again but only for a moment, as the gold-masked man put his finger into her and found that same little hollow along the back wall. Her head fell back onto Malcolm’s shoulder as the man in the gold man fingered and fondled her while she hung in the air, spread out and on display. The man in the gold mask examined her clitoris as well, kneeling in front of her and pulling up the tiny hood of flesh to see the organ. It was swollen and she hated herself for that. She hated it all, hated being held, being opened, being examined and displayed…

Oh, but she loved it too.

As the man in the gold mask continued to spread out and probe her sex, the man in the black mask turned his attention to her mouth. She struggled against Malcolm’s shoulder as the man pried her lips apart.

“Don’t bite,” he chided as he stuck a finger into her mouth. She felt it against her teeth. He was counting them, she could tell. But when he was done, he left his finger pressed lightly against her tongue. Now they’d made her mute. A hand that belonged to someone, she didn’t know which man, grasped her breast again and cupped it roughly. A hot mouth latched onto her other nipple and sucked it hard. The fingers worked inside her sex, stroking and rubbing and opening her up wider and wider. She heard the sounds of her own intense wetness. Her labia were pulled and tugged like her nipples, lightly slapped before he, whoever it was this time, pushed his fingers into her again. Three fingers this time, or was it four? She couldn’t tell anymore. She was dripping with need. Five men and their mouths and their hands were all together touching her, fondling her, sucking her and penetrating her mouth and her sex as she writhed and moaned softly, unable to protest or cry out or beg for mercy or—even worse and far more likely—begged them to fuck her. She craved their cocks, all five of them. Before, she’d feared Malcolm would let them fuck her. Now she feared he wouldn’t. But these were mad thoughts. She couldn’t let that happen. She struggled in the iron grasp of the five men, but it did no good, only harm, as the writhing brought her even closer to climax.

Then they all let her go.

It happened so fast, she would have fallen to the floor if the rope hadn’t held her wrists. They released her and stepped off the platform as if someone had given a command she hadn’t heard. She shivered, suddenly cold. Only Malcolm still stood close. She wanted to press her body into his, but he had her by the waist, holding her in place.

“Well, gentlemen, any other requests?” Malcolm asked. “Are we ready to start the bidding yet?”

She braced herself for the haggling. What were they buying? The right to fuck her? Or was it still part of the game?

“Bend her over,” one of the men said. “Let’s see all her holes.”

“If you insist,” Malcolm said.

“I want to know exactly what I’m getting,” the man in the red mask said. “If it’s no trouble.”

“I admire a savvy buyer. And no,” Malcolm said. “No trouble at all. I’ll put her on the pedestal.”

“Very good,” the red-masked man said. The other three men murmured their assent.

Pedestal? What sort of pedestal? Malcolm dragged her off the wooden platform and into the shadows. The light followed as one of the men lifted the floor candle and carried it over to the far corner of the room where Malcolm was taking her. She saw something there, something waist high and covered with a large velvet cloth. Malcolm pulled off the cloth and dropped it to the floor. It was a black leather stool of sorts, but wide enough for her to kneel upon easily. Jutting up from the center of the seat was a large thick phallus, smooth black leather and terrifyingly long—a foot long at least. She shrank from the sight of it, but Malcolm didn’t allow her to flee. He lifted her off her feet and placed her on the top of the pedestal. He took her hips and angled them so that the tip of the phallus kissed the entrance of her hole.

“Take it,” he said, an order she couldn’t refuse. Her body wouldn’t let her. She went down onto her hands and knees and sank onto the phallus, sliding her knees apart and taking as much of it into her as she could. As wet as she was, the massive object went into her easily and she rocked on it a little to take even more. She felt the muscles giving way to the phallus, accepting it, engulfing it. Malcolm had her pinned like a moth under glass. Pinned and put on display.

“Gentlemen, have a look,” Malcolm said. “I have oil here if you need it.”

The consummate salesman.

Mona hung her head, hiding her face behind her hair as the first man whose face she couldn’t see in this position came behind her and spread her buttocks apart. He made a pleased sound like he liked what he saw. He touched her with a finger and she gasped and shuddered. The fingertip was wet, covered in some sort of thick oil or lubricant. He slicked it all over the little hole, all around it. She tingled at the unusual sensation. It wasn’t unpleasant being caressed there on that sensitive opening, wasn’t unpleasant when the man slid a single finger into her as far as his finger could go. He held the finger in her, not moving it for a long time. She heard the men talking among themselves, saying things like “Very nice” and “Well done.” Inside her she felt the man moving his finger, not in and out, but around in a circle, opening her ever more and more.

“You have a plug?” the man asked Malcolm.

“Of course,” Malcolm said.

The finger left her but she soon felt something cold against her, cold and smooth like another phallus but far narrower than the one inside her sex. The man wielding it pushed the tip into her, paused, then pushed it in a few inches more as Mona let out a tense hiss between her teeth. Never before had a lover put anything into her ass—not a finger, not a phallus, not a cock. Yet here it was, going in as if it was made for her body. The man slid it in to the hilt and stopped. The base of the plug would let it go no deeper. Soft moans escaped her lips as Mona’s body adjusted itself to being doubly penetrated on the pedestal. She rocked back and forth, fucking herself with the phallus inside her vagina as the four prospective “buyers” walked around her. One stroked her hair, lifted it and sniffed it. Another stood by her face and took her nipples between his fingers and lightly pulled them. His fingers were cold and sent currents of electricity through her breasts and back. Another man played with her clitoris. His fingertip was wet with the oil as he stroked her. The last man rubbed her buttocks, caressing them lightly but over and over again. Sometimes he would pause to touch the plug or the phallus between caresses.

“Now, gentlemen,” Malcolm began, “let’s start the bidding, shall we?”

“I’ll take her for a hundred,” the man in the red mask said. A hundred dollars? A hundred thousand? A hundred days?

“Anyone wish to counter-offer?” Malcolm asked.

“Too rich for my blood,” the man in the gold mask said. He pinched her nipples again and she flinched as her sex contracted around the phallus.

“Mine too, I’m afraid,” said another man. He slapped her thigh lightly as if saying goodbye to prize horseflesh.

“I’d love to take her,” the last man said. “But I promised myself I wouldn’t spend more than eighty.”

“Then I think we have a deal, my good sir,” Malcolm said. The man in the red mask had been the one fondling her clitoris. Through the veil of her hair she saw him and Malcolm shaking hands. They moved out of her eye line, stood behind her. “Shall I take her off the pedestal for you?”

“No,” the man in the red mask said. “Leave her there. I’ll handle it.”

She heard footsteps, the door opening and closing, but she was certain the man in the red mask hadn’t left her because she felt his finger on her clitoris again. And then on her labia split wide by the huge phallus penetrating her.

“Magnificent,” he said. “Worth every penny.”

He took her hips in his hands and pushed her down, forcing her to take more of the phallus. Her head came up and she moaned with need. She could barely see. Everything was red. The blood behind her eyes, the blaze of her desire, the engorged flesh of her sex, all red, red everything everywhere, red as the man’s mask, the man who owned her. He lifted her up and off the pedestal and put her on her feet. He’d opened his black suit pants and his cock was out, erect and glistening with fluid at the engorged red tip. She had to have it inside her. She had to. She reached for it but he caught her hands, pushed her back into the wall and held her wrists over her head. Desperate, she thrust her hips forward to rub against him. Every move she made sent wild tremors through her body. The plug was deep in her ass still and she wanted it there. But she needed his cock inside her too. Needed it more than anything.

He guided the tip to graze her painfully swollen clitoris and she cried out. With one quick pump of his hips, he pushed the tip through the folds of her labia. With one more pump he penetrated her and with a final pump he entered her entirely. She came off her feet as he lifted her with his hips and pinned her again, this time against the wall. Her breasts bounced as his thrusts lifted her and lifted her. She was nearly screaming in her ecstasy, out of her mind with her pleasure. It felt like she had a rod of iron inside her, as thick, as hot, and as hard as anything could be. She didn’t know this man at all but he owned her. He’d bought her body and now he owned her. She was his slave, his possession, chattel, an object, his to do with as he willed. And what he willed was to fuck her against the wall, ram himself deep into her, pound her and pound her until she came with an unholy moan. Her head fell back against the wall and the man in the red mask kissed her neck, sucking the skin there until she felt it break against his teeth. She didn’t care. The pain spiked the pleasure. The plug in her ass and the cock in her pussy magnified the orgasm a hundred times. His thrusts were relentless. The man in the mask rammed her once more, twice more, a third time and then she felt the burning seed explode inside her so deep she could swear she could taste it on her tongue.

Mona went limp, but she was still impaled on the man’s penis, her feet twined around his thighs, her back pressed to the wall. She rested her head on his shoulder and breathed. Who was this man who’d bought her? What would he do with her? What had she given herself over to? It was wrong, all wrong. She shouldn’t be having sex with this stranger, this cypher, this ghost. She put her hands on his chest to push him away.

“Put me down,” she said.

“Not yet.”

“No, now,” she said though he remained inside her, still hard.

“Carte blanche,” the man in the red mask said.

“That’s for Malcolm, not—”

The man took off his mask. It was Malcolm.

“I told you I liked to play games sometimes,” he said with that smile he stole from the devil. “Didn’t I?”

“Malcolm…” She stared at him in shock and in horror, still pinned to the wall. “You had a beard.”

“Did I?” he asked, lifting his eyebrow.

“You did. Was it…It had to be a fake. You fooled me. I was so sure…” The four men were likely friends of his and when they’d haggled behind her back, Malcolm had taken off his false beard and put on the red mask to trick her. And she’d been tricked, thoroughly tricked.

“You saw what I wanted you to see,” he said. “The oldest magician’s trick.”

“Is this a trick too?” She struggled to free herself from the organ that penetrated her and his body that trapped her against the wall.

“Oh no, this is real,” he said. “This is the only thing that’s real to me.”

“Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?

15 Jun

by Madeline Iva

I do.  I do feel lucky.  I’ve got two new TV actor obsessions this summer.  AND WE’RE CELEBRATING Elizabeth Sa Fleur’s new book release LUCKY. (See more below.)

Todays post is about two weird punks, among other things. Thankfully people rarely toss around the term ‘punk’ anymore.  Some older man or jock would toss around the term as a way of picking on or at least intimidating one of those non-alpha males hanging out in the high school halls, usually minding his own business. My two latest TV actor obsessions would fit that outdated term. They’re lurkers. They’re the guys the jocks are dying to pick on.  Let’s herald the fact that TV has come such a long way that the ‘weird’ guys are now our heroes.

Isabelle Drake has already talked about her fascination with RIVERDALE.  I couldn’t agree more; it’s a more wholesome, more CW teen drama version of Twin Peaks.  The only thing that kept me from gagging on all the wholesome was –as Isabelle rightly points out — the scandals, secrets, and subversions.  Meanwhile, the show is narrated by one Jughead.

ALL HAIL JUGHEAD!

He’s the “weird one” on the show–the writer, and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Sensitive and not into sports, cars, bands, or anything at all guy-like.  He just wants to hide in a corner and write about it all from a loner-safe distance. Just the kind of guy I would have fallen for in high school.

THE SHY WRITER GUY ROCKS MY WORLD

Betty draws him out of his corner to get on the school newspaper where she’s the editor and then he and Betty sleuth together. YES.

And he has a tortured relationship with his father who is (gasp!) Skeet Ulrich, still looking pretty damn good, I must say, and working that tempting bad boy vibe.  I totally crushed out on him in SCREAM and man, I don’t quite get why the girls in Riverdale aren’t crawling onto his face — that he doesn’t have a love interest is just wrong wrong wrong.

But I digress.

Another face slap moment while watching RIVERDALE is that Cole Sprouse who plays Jughead was, like, Ben – BEN!!! Ross’s son from Friends era.  So very very wrong.  Also it seems wrong that a child we’ve basically watched grow up on TV (don’t forget The Suite Life of Zach and Cody) is so cool and has got it together.  That said, for all the twin-cest stuff they play with on Riverdale it should be noted that Cole himself is an identical twin (the happy twin).

YAY JUGHEAD THE A-SEXUAL!

Okay – it’s so old, but I wonder if you heard about the controversy with Jughead’s sexuality? Well, the deal-i-o is this: Archie comics were already revamping their image and making themselves relevant for the modern age. Looking from today’s perspective at Jughead who remained free of all relationship entanglements and who loved to eat – we have here a classic a-sexual kind of character. Great! The comic ran with it –but they got into trouble when it came to the TV show on the CW.

Parents don’t want their kids having sex – but neither do they want their kid being asexual it seems. Cole Sprouse fought for it, but too bad, Jughead gets his romance on with one of the other Riverdale characters. I’m on the fence with this one. I liked the romance–a LOT–but I also like the idea of a (young and hot) asexual character. I want to have my cake and eat it too (a very asexual joke, btw.)

Anyway, I liked the character and I liked Cole all the more for him fighting for asexual Jughead. Without him there would have been no one relatable for me in the Riverdale reboot at all… not even creepy twincestuous Cheryl Blossom…

Many people were excited that all these actors from the 80’s and 90’s shows up as parents in the show, but I was rolling my eyes (except for SKEET!)

Damn, Skeet!

And Jughead is not really weird.  He’s what passes for the school’s intellectual.  He’s a teen who wants to avoid other teen’s penchants for drama and mess.  (Yes!) But eventually, Riverdale really focusses on Jughead’s own attempt–despite himself–to transcend his trailer park background and become one of the Riverdale scooby gang.  Forces pull him back, but Betty rallies everyone to pull him forward, and I just can’t tell you how happy I was to have his character — the writer, the outsider — become the heart of the show.

Final hot mention for Riverdale goes to Rob Roco who plays a hot GAY biker dude. (Swoon!)

HOW MANY HOT SWEDISH SKARSGARDS ARE THERE ANYWAY???

Anyway, moving on to the *real* “weird” dude in high school type –

He’s got to be the tallest guy on the show and, like, 27, but who CARES? Billy Skarsgard is the creepy high school rich boy Roman in Hemlock Grove.

Billy Skarsguard (brother of Alexander, son of Stellan) plays Roman in Hemlock Grove. The rich kid (and devil’s spawn????) –hey I don’t know, cause I just started watching the show—-in the town, Roman seems born to sin. He smokes, he drinks, gets high, and pops pills all the live long day and this is perfectly okay with his mother. (Because that’s what a devil’s spawn needs????)

Disturbed–in the *best* possible way!

But he’s got a good heart – in his own a way. In a very weird way. He’s interested in the neighbor teen boy who lives in a trailer. He’s interested in a cheerleader who was killed.  There’s a sense of pathos about him.  He takes his female cousin out for a good time. He’s definitely a good brother, and likes his sister’s freakish qualities.  He seems to indulge his we-think-she’s-evil mother with a fair amount of politeness.

He also boinks all the girls and THEN some. There is this one scene – ooh, it’s gonna squidge you out, but okay.  Roman is into blood. Like licking it. So when this girl in his class has a tampon sticking out of her purse and needs to go to the bathroom, he’s right behind her. Next scene – you can hear in the bathroom they’re having sex.

NO – WAIT – it gets gorier than that. Flash to the bathroom and you can tell behind the bathroom door that he’s going down on her like CRAZY. And she’s groaning and having an amazing time of it.

YES–it’s that kind of show.

My ultimate stance on this scene is….I love it. She’s having a VERY good time, he seemed to be too. That’s the definition of good sex in my book. Teens of America–take note.

(Side bar: Where are we going in our culture with period sex? It doesn’t seem to be really changing much—we regularly get these mentions dropped into the culture. It’s just the mentions seem to be getting bigger and more public. I remember finding this book by Erica Jong on the shelves while babysitting—not Fear of Flying, but maybe her second or third book? The character takes a younger lover, and she’s having the Red Sea of all periods but that doesn’t stop him. He just goes to town on her, triumphantly pulling the tampon out with his teeth and maybe even chewing on it, before getting back to bizness. (!!!) Of course, that’s the only scene I remember from the book at this point and I think it scarred me for life in some way I’m not sure of. Then there was Endless Love. Skip ten years. That thing in the pilot of Entourage where when Eric says to his friends that his he didn’t have sex with his girlfriend cause she said she was on her period. The guys are like, “She’s cheating on you.” And indeed she was. When is a period just a period anymore? IDK. There was that scene in 50 Shades when he visits her during her vacation home and she’s on her period. And finally, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend had that scene that hinted at a song called “Period Sex“.  The YouTube video Period Sex is even MORE out there.  I guess we’ll know it’s a real thing when it becomes a romance subgenre.)

WHO DOESN’T OBSESS OVER THE TORTURED HOT WEIRD GUY TEETERING ON THE EDGE?

Back to Roman: I have a feeling this is one of those roles that breaks our hearts. He’s a character teetering morally back and forth – like Jughead, only the stakes are far higher.  He could so easily go evil on us. But he’s not there yet. (I’m about maybe four episodes in.)  So of course you/I want him to not go over to that horrible side. But I think we can see from the gif below that he does. I’m just suspecting…it’s gonna be creeeeeeepy!

Okay, enough of the weird and grotesque today.  We’re especially happy that Elizabeth Sa Fleur’s latest LUCKY is out in time to take to the beach for that ultimate sweep-you-away summer read.  Here’s a blurb and some links.  Buy it! Buy it NOW!

LUCKY is Book #4 of the Elite Doms of Washington series

Entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright and dancer Samantha Rose are unprepared for their mutual attraction to one another, especially since she wants a baby and he wants … anything but.

Billionaire, entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright and dance studio owner Samantha Rose are unprepared for their mutual attraction to one another. Family doesn’t match Derek’s sophisticated life of private jets, vacations in the Caribbean and his BDSM activities. Yet a magnetic passion draws them closer—at least until their past mistakes arise and threaten all hope of a real future.

 

 

 

 

What’s Your Name, Princess?

8 Jun

 

WICKED APPRENTICE – Your perfect summer fantasy read.  Only .99 cents.

ONE LINK TO RULE THEM ALL: https://books2read.com/u/4DAgNd

“What’s your name?” She asked, nervous. She had to get his name and go. She was in over his head.

“But you haven’t even told me yours, Princess,” he said in his quiet voice. She gave a little curtsey in response.

“I know not. Hulgetta has taken it from me.”

Her name and her tears were the fee Hulgetta demanded in exchange for learning magic—and a bargain at twice the price.

“Hulgetta? her magic is cruel then.”

He looked at her as if dazzled. The way he said the world cruel and the look he gave her, it was as if he was really saying that she was the cruel one, not Hulgetta.

She smoothed the front of her dress, feeling all feminine and cruel. She wished she’d laced her bodice tighter. He lay there enticing, helpless, and yet a corner of her mind still pricked with the need for caution.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Red As Blood: Women & Gothic Romance

1 Jun

Lovely readers — I attended a panel at #WisCon that made me cry out with perverse desire.  It was called Red As Blood — a panel on women and the Gothic genre.  Loosely organized, it revolved around the interesting desires and situations that comprise Gothic joy and perversity.

“A young woman meets an interesting, mysterious man in a giant, lonely house.  It turns out he may have bad intentions.  Sometimes she wants him to have bad intentions.”–Emily Cataneo.

What I liked about this panel was that everyone on the panel–authors and fans alike, really obsessed over what I obsessed over, and had exactly the same attitudes that I had. Everyone on the panel was raving over Crimson Peak–especially Tom Hiddleston, especially the house and clothes — AND

Spoiler Alert!

…especially the end where two women fight it out with knives in bloody nightgowns.

Everyone didn’t care if there was no logical reasoning behind certain events in their favorite Gothic novels or movies.  Our love of Gothic is not about reason.

Then what is it about? It’s about a feeling of creeping doom, of impending horror.  But no ACTUAL horror, mind you.  If horror is that moment of curdling screams and blood splatter on the wall, then the gothic genre is about hearing that scream from a far distance and discovering the blood splatter on the wall by prying open a secret passage.  (Preferably 5 to 20 years after it got there.)

The gothic genre is about secrets.  About dread.  About creeping horror — yes! But it’s a psychological horror.

Notorious is supremely logical–but the sense of oppression is still intense.

Now let’s talk romance in these novels.  For my joys I hit the Goodreads best Gothic romances page. There you will find not only the old classic authors like Anne Radcliffe and Victoria Holt but also Gay Gothic Romances, and Gothic romances with witches!!!!

Now, when we turn to Gothic film, the problem is that they are often horror films and take things just a leeeetle too far for my taste. Sigh.  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about gothic romantic films:

The Gothic romance film is a Gothic film with feminine appeal. Diane Waldman wrote in Cinema Journal that Gothic films in general “permitted the articulation of feminine fear, anger, and distrust of the patriarchal order” and that such films during World War II and afterward “place an unusual emphasis on the affirmation of feminine perception, interpretation, and lived experience”. Between 1940 and 1948, the Gothic romance film was prevalent in Hollywood, being produced by well-known directors and actors. The best-known films of the era were Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), and Gaslight (1944). Less well-known films were Undercurrent (1946) and Sleep, My Love (1948). Waldman describes these films’ Gothic rubric: “A young inexperienced woman meets a handsome older man to whom she is alternately attracted and repelled.”[1] Other films from the decade include The Enchanted Cottage (1945) and The Heiress (1949).[2]

The Gothic romance films from the 1940s often contain the “Bluebeard motif”, meaning that in the typical setting of the house, a certain part is either forbidden to be used or even closed off entirely.[3] In the films, the forbidden room is a metaphor for the heroine’s repressed experience, and opening the room is a cathartic moment in the film.[4] In addition, the layout of the house in such films (as well as Gothic novels) creates “spatial disorientation [that] causes fear and an uncanny restlessness”.[5]

In 2015, director Guillermo del Toro released the Gothic romance film Crimson Peak. He said past films had been “brilliantly written by women and then rendered into films by male directors who reduce the potency of the female characters”. For Crimson Peak, he sought to reverse this cinematic trope.[6]

And did he EVER! If you adored Crimson Peak then here are some treats for you.  Here’s my fun review of Crimson Peak for one, along with some other movie recommendations below.  First of all, I highly recommend Suspicion–a Cinderella story in which we and the heroine are gradually brought to realize that a) she’s no Cinderella and b) this is not a happily ever after.

But if you want to get your gothic horror movie on–here’s a list from Indiewire to check out.  Some of them are fabulous.  Rosemary’s Baby is excellent.  Picnic at Hanging Rock is really mysterious. It’s like the missing girls floated off into some alternative realm after enough feminine corset squeezing and hair braiding to last a lifetime.  Gaslight is excellent.  As I mentioned above, Suspicion is one of my all time favorites.  The Shining is fabulous — but something I’d put on while doing another task so I could walk away as needed…(I’d put the premise of The Shining this way: What’s the scariest monster of the 70’s? The absent dad figure suddenly returned to be a ‘part of the family’.  Shiver. Ugggggggh!) Les Diaboliques was good, Notorius is sublime.  This list also made me want to see The Haunted with Kate Beckinsale as well as The Tomb of Ligeia…

THE GOTHIC ANTI-HERO OF ALL TIME? It’s gotta be Micheal Fassbender.  As I’ve commented before, Fassy seems to be all alone in his films.  That alone-ness is exactly what we want in a gothic anything. In the latest-greatest remake of Jane Eyre, he is utterly riveting.  At once flesh and blood with his long mutton chop whiskers, he seems like a Victorian that doesn’t wash everyday, that sweats, that chews his food. There is something very real and authentic about him–especially when it comes to his presence around women. Nevertheless, for all that he still seems like a very quietly haunted man who will NEVER be happy.  What I realized watching his performance is that Jane Eyre is a tale of warning: don’t fall for the man you work for.  Don’t let him seduce you.  Don’t succumb to the temptations he leads you towards breadcrumb of attention by breadcrumb of attention.  He has bad intentions and nothing good for you will result.  Fassy’s breathtaking performance is a seduction: rather slow and tender, but also deliberate enough to make one realize how wrong it all is.  His inscrutable mind is clicking behind the command of his words, looks, and touches the entire time.

Tom Hiddleston is an incredibly close second for my all time fav goth anti-hero.  His charismatic flavor however, connotes the possibility of a happier ending. If Fassy is the haunted man in his giant spooky house at the beginning of the movie, then Hiddles represents that peek of sunshine, that thin slice of spring — expressed only by a few blades of grass and one lone daffodil at the end of the movie.  There is something a little softer and more pliant about Hiddles the lover. He represents hope and escape from psychological hell into some sunnier, more mild and quietly happy place.  Tom seems like a man who needs an other to pair with him.  While Fassy, a more coporeal lover in the moment of temptation, perhaps–seems to stand alone in his blank emptiness to the bitter end.

I see Tom as more of an HEA guy–even if the HEA is with his sister.

What do you think, readers? Sound out below in the comments section — and I’m all ears for good contemporary gothic romance reading rec’s.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It : Sexy Sunday Snippet

27 May

Hey folks! Here’s a snippet of C.M. Moore’s latest 1:05.A.M. And check out the interview I did with him about his ex-soldier past here.

Blurb:

In a dystopian future, an assassin must choose to fulfill a final contract or keep the love of her life alive.

Yearning for a normal life, assassin Karmen-Marie has had enough of of the post-apocalyptic world. Forced to take one last assassin’s job, Karma sets out across the frozen landscape of Earth.

Rea MacBain’s job is to ensure the safety of Earth’s precious few water purification plants. He believes his abusive past must stay buried under the snow that encases his domain.

Ice cold assassin’s blood drives the woman sent to kill him, yet it ignites the fire which thaws Rea’s heart.

Karma rolled out of bed and landed lightly on her feet. She grabbed one of Rea’s button-up shirts out of the plastic drawers and slipped the garment over her head. Without making a sound, she crept into the bathroom and used the facility before returning to the bedroom again.

She came out to check on Rea, who was snoring. He looked handsome even while he slept. A lock of red hair covered one eye. His face seemed serene, and worry was no longer evident. She resisted the urge to crawl back in bed and wake him in a very naughty way. He looked so calm she didn’t have the heart to wake him, even if it would be fun. It made sense why he was sleeping so hard. They had both been up most of the night. Not that she was complaining.

Last night, she’d been awakened by him twice, and both times were everything she had missed about him.

The first time he woke her, he was sweet and loving. He carefully pulled her to him and touched every inch of her as if trying to memorize her skin. She could tell by his murmurs of approval that he missed her screams of pleasure and her declarations of love.

The second time was when she’d stroked him until out of pure frustration, he flipped her over and took her from behind. She thought she should be more tired after a night like that, but for some reason, she was refreshed.

Instead of getting back into bed she meandered over to the computer and clicked on a few of the buttons that showed different areas of the water bases. Strange, but snooping around the computer seemed natural. Nothing looked familiar on the screen like she’d hoped, so she roamed into the kitchen space. She figured she could make Rea food, and she ambled past the dark wood cabinets and tan counter. She opened some broken drawers and the fridge, but she didn’t know what he would want to eat.

Frustration flooded her that she couldn’t remember even the most basic item of what he ate for breakfast. Giving up on food, she glanced at the clock on the microwave in the kitchen. The time blinked 7:11. Her body had summoned her awake fairly early. She thought about that. She was restless and fidgety. Did she normally get up this early? She used to love to sleep in and snuggle all day in bed with Rea.

As she glanced around the room, a few other thoughts struck her as well. From what she gathered, this was an entirely different water base than the one they grew up on. If that was the case, everything looked exactly like she remembered. The broken plastic drawers that held his clothes were in the corner. The blanket on his bed was the same thin rag with the blue diamond pattern. The few plates and cups in the cabinets were adorned with the same green flowers, and even the bathroom layout was identical to what she remembered. If she and Rea were so much older, why was their home the same? Why had the two of them not cleaned his room and decorated together? Did Rea’s father still hate her? She remembered how bad life got right after Rea’s mom died. Was he still being beaten? Too many unanswered questions nagged at her, and she resolved to get some answers today. When Rea awoke, she’d ask him then.

Karma started to head back to the computer, not bothering to turn on any of the lights since her eyes had adjusted to the dark perfectly. As she moved silently, so as to not wake Rea, she passed by the kitchen table. When she reached one of the pushed-in chairs, her ears picked up the sound of footsteps outside the door. She moved around the table and checked to see if Rea had awoken.

Curious about who’d be here this early, she opened the door. Gears was standing just outside the door with his fist raised in a position ready to knock. A look of surprise was written on his face when she appeared. He cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“Good morning,” she whispered with a slight nod.

She didn’t know why, but around the doctor she was edgy, like there was a secret he wasn’t telling her. Gears looked at her with apparent distrust, and she considered all the actions she could’ve done to warrant that look.

“Good morning, Karma.” Gears gave a solemn smile. He looked around the hall nervously. He then tried to lean past the doorframe. “Is Rea here?”

“He’s sleeping,” Karma answered. She kept her voice low so as to not wake Rea. Why did everyone keep asking stupid questions? Of course, Rea was here, where else would he be? She waited for Gears to say more. Did he regularly show up this early? That seemed odd to her also.

“He’s sleeping, really?” Gears’ eyes went wide with astonishment, but Karma couldn’t think of what could possibly be so shocking about that. People had to sleep, didn’t they?

As a snore cut into the brief pause in the conversation, Gears began looking her up and down. She could tell he was assessing her and drawing conclusions as to what they’d been doing during the night. She tugged at the bottom of Rea’s shirt and wished the fabric was longer. She also awkwardly brushed some of her wild hair so the tendrils didn’t look like she had just been rolling around in bed.

“He had intercourse with you?” Gears voice went high on the last word. He cleared his throat and pushed his glasses up his nose in an almost nervous gesture. Karma thought she was either getting used to that particular move, or his action was familiar.

“We’re grown adults. I don’t think you should be concerned. People do sleep, and they have sex, and they eat too. It’s all really boring, actually. I thought you were a doctor.”

There was something about how Gears reacted to her that bothered her. She had the impression that when she was talking to him, he was silently interrogating her. Maybe she had caused some type of rift between Rea and Gears. It was also possible Rea’s father could favor the doctor over Rea. There was a chance Gears worked for Rea’s dad and was reporting back. If they’d just tell her what was wrong, she was sure she could make amends.

Gears seemed to recover and collect his reaction. She noticed a tiny smile play on his lips.

“That came out all wrong. You’re right. I’m a doctor. I was making sure you were healing. I didn’t want you to engage in any activity that might not be good for your health. I know you’re an adult. I was concerned as your doctor only. Just keep your wounds clean. That’s important. I always say cleanliness is next to godliness.” Gears paused awkwardly, like he wasn’t sure what he should say next. “I brought you some clothes my girlfriend left at my place. I thought you might need them.”

Karma looked down at the pile of fabric in his arms and relaxed. Maybe she’d gotten Gears all wrong. She offered him a small smile. She shouldn’t be so quick to judge him. He was the doctor here, and she should give him the benefit of the doubt.

“Thanks for the clothes. I didn’t know I didn’t have any here. Where are my clothes normally?”

Gears looked uneasy and glanced past her again. Was he hoping Rea would answer her question? Another awkward silence filled the air between them.

“Maybe you should wake Rea and tell him what time it is. You can ask him your questions. This is a friendly doctor’s suggestion.” With that curious sentence, the doctor quickly departed.

Karma was left standing in the doorway, and as Gears left she mulled over what to do next.

She supposed the first thing she should do is get dressed. She closed the door and went into the bathroom to try on the clothes he’d brought.

One by one, she tried them on, only to find nothing fitted properly. If this clothing was Gears’ girlfriend’s, then the other girl was a lot shorter than she was, Karma concluded.

Finally, she discovered a pair of black stretchy pants that had enough fabric to cover her legs down to her knees. She then chose the largest shirt she could find. The shirt was royal blue, and the garment covered her breasts but clung to her like a second skin. Since she couldn’t find anything else that looked like it might fit, she dressed. She then brushed out her hair with a hairbrush she found on a shelf.

As soon as she got back into the bedroom, she decided it was probably a good idea to take Gears’ advice and wake Rea. A part of her didn’t want to wake him, but if he had somewhere to be, she’d hate if he slept all day and missed his appointments.

From what she gathered, Rea was somewhat of a busy man. If his father were still around, he wouldn’t be happy if Rea wasn’t doing whatever he was supposed to be doing. The idea of meeting an irate Rea’s father was a frightening thought. She remembered how he used to bust into Rea’s room. She hoped he didn’t still do that.

Karma lay down on her side and cushioned her head next to Rea’s face. She softly kissed him and waited to see if he’d wake up. He mumbled incoherent words in his sleep and moved closer to her, as if seeking her out. When his hand found her breast, he brushed his fingers over her shirt and then gave a lazy smile. She loved when he did that, and she scooted closer so he could wrap his arm all the way around her.

“Hey, handsome,” Karma purred as his eyes leisurely lifted open.

“What’s going on, Kitten?” he mumbled sleepily, still caressing her.

“It’s past seven, so I thought maybe I should wake you. We could have breakfast or…”

The word “seven” brought out the strangest reaction in Rea. One moment he was snuggled next to her making lazy circles on her back, and the next second he’d thrown himself out of bed like he’d been laying on razor blades.

“After seven? Shit!”

Karma scooted to the edge of the bed as Rea started to wildly throw on clothes. She was amazed at the speed with which he could get fully clothed. When he was dressed, he shoved his feet into boots that lay next to the bed.

“What’s wrong with seven?”

“I’m late for training. I haven’t been late since—” Rea looked like he was going to say more, but he stopped himself and ran his hand through his rumpled hair.

Frowning, he crossed to the door of the bathroom and disappeared. Karma sat on the side of the bed and waited for him to come back. How was she supposed to know what time he had training? She didn’t even know where her clothes were.

Rea rushed out of the bathroom and headed straight for the exit. He paused at the door with his hand on the knob. For a moment, she thought he was going to exit without saying anything more to her. He spun around and looked at her like he’d completely forgotten she was there. Karma was mildly annoyed.

“Damn it. What am I supposed to do with you?” He swore two more times and then swiveled his head back to the door.

Karma stood up and went to stand next to him. She could tell he was worried, and she could see the war within him starting.

Ignoring his frantic state, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and brought his mouth down to hers. She kissed him with barely leashed passion, not letting him go for a second. She swept her tongue inside his mouth to taste the toothpaste he used. She clutched at his muscled upper arms. She didn’t let go until he wrapped his arms around her body and crushed her to him. When he finally surfaced from the kiss, he looked at her with a bemused expression on his face.

“What was that for?”

“I wanted to say good morning before you left, and tell you I had a great time last night. I can wait here for you. I can sit around and try to get my memory back while you’re out. You don’t need to worry about me.”

Rea’s expression turned grim. He ran his hands through his hair again. Her words had the opposite effect on him than what she’d intended. He looked more worried now than before.

“No, you can’t stay here alone. Your boots are over by the chair. Put them on and come with me.”

“You want me to go with you… to training?” Karma was truly astounded.

Once she’d snuck in to watch his training with his dad. After his father had humiliated him in front of everyone, he then pitted Rea against two men who were better trained.

Karma remembered keenly watching Rea get slammed into the mud repetitively. When Rea found out she’d seen it, he had made her promise to never come to training again. She’d honored his request because she couldn’t watch his sadistic father in action ever again. Watching the love of her life get crushed had been a hell like none other.

“Hurry up.” He pulled a pair of socks from a drawer and tossed them at her.

Karma was still stunned he invited her. She fumbled with the socks as she put them on. She grabbed the soft black leather boots he pointed to and sat in a chair by the table. They felt like they were made for her, and she zipped them up over her calf. These boots gave her a measure of comfort because out of everything, these were familiar. A memory of her zipping up these boots popped into her head, and the thought was comforting.

Rea didn’t spare her another glance as they hurried out into the hallway. As Karma trotted along after Rea, she glanced at the empty rooms to the right and left. The plain cement walls were smooth on either side of the large walkway. Bright round lights hung every few feet above them. Each room they passed had the door open, and empty beds and sparse furniture came into view.

“Why are all the rooms around here empty? Are we antisocial?”

“It’s ‘coz once I leave to build a new base my room and all the rooms in this area go to the scientists and their families. Once the men are trained, they’ll be the police and the safety of this water base. Scientists, women, and children can’t move onto the base until it is safe. It’s my father’s rule.”

“I didn’t know this was a new base. Thank you for bringing me along while you build it. I heard you’re not supposed to do that.” Karma mulled what they’d been discussing. Was having no one around him hard, or did he want it that way? Maybe he liked that his life was just her, him, and his dad. Karma shuddered at the thought of Rea’s father. She was glad she hadn’t run into him so far.

After a few seconds of silence while they walked, she started to wonder if they were going to stay on this base or if they were going to move on to build another one.

“After this base is fully operational and people move in, will a family or a couple live in your room? After the scientists and workers move here and this base is safe, where do we go?”

They turned a sharp corner and headed down similar hallways of cold cement with large fat columns. The walls were sterile, like they were waiting for someone to decorate them. She thought that adding finishing touches to a base might be fun.

“My room and the others around me are for single people and sometimes for couples. Down further, there are rooms for larger families. This way is past the greenhouses that grow some of the food. Spouses and children are responsible for the underground farms that get added after I leave.” Rea sounded resigned to this, like he was a tour guide educating her. “All the best shit gets added after I leave.”

Rea hurried Karma along over the rock flooring, past the different areas of the water base. They rushed past large equipment rooms where the scientists would clean water from the surface and put it into huge tanks. They passed barracks for the single men and an enormous empty cafeteria.

Something about the greenhouses was familiar to her. The time 1:05 a.m. leaped into her mind. As soon as she tried to catch the memory, it was gone again.

“Until the families get here, who takes care of the greenhouses?” she asked to chase away the perturbed feeling seeping into her. She was practically running to keep up, and she was irked she had no memories.

“All the men have to spend time in the greenhouses. It’s partly ‘coz we have to grow our food, but mostly it’s mandatory that we all have to be under the sun lamps. Gears gets after us if our vitamin D drops too low. He checks our health once a month.”

“That makes sense, but you didn’t really answer my other question. Where do we go after this water base is built? What do we do when we don’t have Gears with us? Does he come with us, or is there another doctor?”

“We?” Rea gave her a quick side glance and kept up his jog.

“Yes, we. Are we going to a new base to train others, or are we going back to an already established base? Do we stay here? Where does your father go? Does he come with us? Does Gears move with us? I thought he was a close friend of yours.”

Rea abruptly stopped. They came to a large metal door and paused. His hand reached out and grasped a long metal handle.

“That’s a lot of questions, Kitten. We’re going to work it out.” He spoke meticulously. He stopped and turned around to look at her. A fierce frown wrinkled his brow as his eyes slashed over her. “What are you wearing?” he added after studying her.

“Clothes.”

“That’s not clothes. That’s a second skin, only in color.”

Karma looked down at herself and shrugged. The boots came up to where the black stretch pants left off, and the blue shirt covered her torso even though the top was snug. The clothes did fit, but he was right about the fabric not hiding much. It seemed tight, but she could move easily.

“Gears gave the clothes to me this morning.” She smoothed her hand over the bottom of her shirt. “He also told me to wake you. I think he was surprised you slept in.”

“I bet he was,” Rea grumbled. He then mumbled under his breath a few more words about how Gears was trying to make his life miserable. With a frown now permanently plastered on his face, he put his hand on the doorknob and swung the door wide. The entrance was a large double door, but the opposite one stayed firmly shut.

“I would’ve worn my clothes if you’d told me where they are,” Karma commented to his back. What did he expect her to do, run around the base naked? This was better than nothing.

“We can work that out too,” he grumbled, preoccupied.

It was apparent he was now dismissing her from his thoughts.

Rea’s stride was swift. He entered the room with head held high and back straight. Karma followed him, and she recognized the huge training room. The massive room had only a mud floor, but the ceiling was cement and at least twelve feet high.

She looked up at the columns, which held up the giant chamber, and she let her eyes pass over the different things going on around her. On her left side, near where they entered, two shirtless men were fighting with jagged looking knives. On the opposite side, a large group of men was practicing with some type of club and shield. The center of the room was only a big ring, which wasn’t occupied, but all the way around the circle, men were standing as if waiting for someone to enter it. The ring in the center was familiar. She remembered Rea in the center, being beaten to the floor while everyone stood by watching. A part of her knew this wasn’t the exact same ring, but the area was so recognizable a feeling of helplessness swamped her.

To banish the raw memory, she looked at all the different sizes and shapes of the men around her. Every male was fit, but they were as different as light and dark. Some were black, some Hispanic, and some maybe Asian or Indian. Tall, short, and medium, the room was a collage of sturdy warriors, and all of them were intimidating and well built.

“I want you to stay close to me. Don’t talk or draw attention to yourself. You already look too damn sexy. These men haven’t been around a woman for a few months. Dad says women are a distraction and shouldn’t be around during training. Especially, not a hot woman like you.”

“You think I’m sexy?” she purred.

“I said don’t talk,” Rea groused, but Karma couldn’t help but smile anyway.

“If women aren’t allowed on the base because they’re not safe, then why did you let me come?”

Karma knew she shouldn’t ask, but she couldn’t help herself. She hated that she still didn’t have the ability to recall even the simplest information.

“We’ll talk about it later.”

He was brushing her off again. Karma wanted to be offended, but she wasn’t. She could tell Rea wasn’t happy about bringing her near a bunch of men while they were in training mode. If Rea hated doing this so much, he must have an excellent reason to have asked her along. He wasn’t the kind of man to jeopardize her safety or cause problems for his men.

Even though he told her not to say a word, it didn’t matter. Her presence caused enough of a stir that she might’ve shouted at all of them instead of meekly walking behind Rea.

“Boss-Mac got a piece of ass?” someone in the back called out.

“I thought he was gay!” Another man remarked loudly.

“I heard that, Essie,” Rea yelled over his shoulder as he kept striding forward.

A few other men gave out hoots and whistles behind her.

“Now we know why he slept in.” A man to her left gave out a sharp bark of laughter at his own comment.

“Did you bring us a prize to fight for? I heard your dad used to do that. If we get to do her when we win, then I’m first up to fight.” A large Asian man to her right spoke, as his eyes raked her body like she wasn’t wearing a stitch of clothing.

He adjusted the small pistol on his belt so he could grab his balls and wink at her.

The vulgar way he looked at her made Karma’s blood run cold with rage she didn’t even know she had inside of her. She thought she wasn’t a violent person, but the idea of grabbing his gun off of his belt and beating him over the head with it filled her head.

“I’m up for fighting this morning if she’s the prize,” a shorter blond with a big nose called out from the back of the crowd. “Hell, I’d even marry her.”

Karma felt like a piece of meat thrown to dogs. She quickly assessed what other weapons were around the room and which ones would be easiest to steal.

“Hey, Boss-Mac,” a brawny brunet man standing next to her side spoke up. “You said if we’re late for training then we have to be in the ring first thing to fight you, so who do you fight if you’re late?”

Karma studied Rea. His face looked like it could’ve been carved in granite. He seemed like he didn’t care if anyone had sex with her or if he had to fight in the ring with all of them. He took bored to a whole new level. Karma couldn’t believe this was the man she’d had sex with last night. When he was with her, he was so expressive and caring. Now he looked like an icy stranger.

“First off, I’m the Water Base Boss. I get the women around here. If you guys want to get laid, then become better fighters. Learn the rules to make this base secure. After it’s safe, you can chase as much trim as you want. You can also bring your girlfriends and wives here once this is fully operational.

“Second, as boss, I can be late. However, to honor the rule, I’ll step into the pit. Who is first up for me to beat?”

Rea strolled into the center of the ring without even looking back at her. Karma found her hands going up to her hair. She began swiftly pulling the strands into a tight ponytail. She didn’t know why she was doing it, but the action was as if it was ingrained in her to have her hair out of the way right at this time.

From behind her, she heard some of the men grumbling about fighting Rea. She could tell from his overpowering confidence he wasn’t worried about sparring with any of them. She recalled a bandage near his rib cage that she’d seen last night. She couldn’t believe he’d fight with an injury. He didn’t appear concerned about any of it, injury or men.

As he stood casually in the center of the mud, he waited like he had all the time in the world. His body was hard and muscular, with strength radiating off of him. Karma’s body felt like her insides were winding up. As if someone was twisting her internal organs. She could feel the heat of the men around her pressing in, and a deeply rooted battle cry was trapped in her throat. She wanted to fight all these men. She wanted to defend Rea even though he was standing so mighty before her. She didn’t want him to stand alone.

“I’ll take you on, Boss-Mac,” a Hispanic-looking man, with a thick accent, called from behind her.

Karma turned slightly to look at the tall, husky, curly-haired man casually striding toward the ring. He stopped when he came to her, and something about him seemed recognizable. He smiled at her, but the flash of teeth wasn’t friendly.

“How about you watch a real fighter?” Curly spoke as he walked up to her. He was talking loudly enough for Rea to hear from where he was standing.

She glanced to Rea to gauge what he wanted her to do. Once Curly had Rea’s attention, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her to him.

“Playing a damsel in distress, Karma?” he whispered to her before he nuzzled her neck. No one seemed to hear what he said, and she had no idea what that meant.

Disgust filled her at his smell and touch. She tugged away from him. He only laughed at her squirming, but he let her go and slapped her ass. She restrained herself from striking him, but her muscles tensed to do so.

The slap seemed loud in the space. Although it only took seconds for him to touch her, it was as if time had slowed down. She saw Rea’s eyes darken only slightly, but he kept his face as an unreadable mask.

“Quit fucking around,” Rea barked out.

When Curly entered the ring, Karma could tell he was slightly shorter than Rea but just as fit. The two of them looked evenly matched. Karma’s heart dropped to her stomach. Curly was a good fighter. He was dangerous. She didn’t know how she knew that, but she did, and she trusted her knowledge.

As soon as the two men faced each other, Rea’s eyes narrowed. Karma started to study Curly as if she was going to enter the bout with him herself.

“Who are you?” Rea asked as they eyed each other.

“My name’s Nash,” Nash spoke with a slow drawl. “I’m new.”

“I don’t remember seeing your name on the roster.” Rea’s voice was flat.

“I transferred here from another base. I showed up yesterday, around the time you kicked out Charlie and Josh. I heard about what went down. Guess I can’t blame you. If I were fucking an ass as fine as that bitch, I wouldn’t be sharing either.”

Rea’s anger swelled noticeably. He threw the first punch.

Nash blocked Rea’s fist. He landed his elbow straight into Rea’s gut. Rea bent over with the hit. The crowd of men cheered. The room filled with noise all the way up to the ceiling. Rea got back up quickly, and his eyes flashed with rage. He threw his entire body at Nash, wrapping his arms around the other man’s waist. They wrestled to the floor. More cheering followed.

Karma moved closer to the ring. Rea’s eyes caught hers for a moment. She shifted slightly through the men, who were now captivated by the spectacle before them. They cheered and shouted. None of them even noticed her any longer.

As Karma moved through the crowd, she had the urge to call out the command for Rea to focus on what he was doing. He needed to stop looking for her.

Biting her tongue, she moved until she was standing on the opposite side of the ring. She was following Nash’s movements. She didn’t know why. As she moved, the two men exchanged hit after hit. Nash was pounding at Rea’s injured side. Blood could be seen smearing across his shirt.

She thought she should be appalled at the blood, which splattered on the dirt, or at the crack of bone hitting bone, but she found the fighting dull. She was resigned, bored even. An odd jaded feeling was filling her. She shifted her weight to the balls of her feet. She was waiting for something. Even though she was waiting, she didn’t know what she was looking for.

The air crackled with unexplained discord. What was she expecting to happen? It was the way Nash moved, the way he glanced at her. His actions were speaking silently to her. She trusted her instincts.

Everything happened so fast Karma wasn’t sure why she did what she did.

As she saw Nash pull a sleek steel dagger from the side of his boot, she turned and grabbed a handle-heavy throwing knife off the belt of the man shoved next to her. For some reason, she wasn’t happy with his knife selection, but that idea came like a quick bolt of lightning. She balanced the rusted blade on her palm. The action was as if she’d done this a thousand times.

With ease, she threw the cumbersome knife with practiced grace. The throwing knife lodged in Nash’s hand. Swiftly, she moved again between two more men. Nash hollered with pain and surprise. His eyes shot to her for a second. Her actions startled the man next to her, but she slinked away from him around the circle. None of the men moved quickly enough to stop her.

Stepping to the edge of the circle, Karma assessed what other weapons were within arm’s reach. The dagger Nash had held now lay on the ground, forgotten. The knife was stained with mud and splattered blood. The blade had never reached its intended destination.

Nash swore at her in fury.

Rea stumbled backward. Shock etched into his features as he rotated his head toward her.

Nash brought his hand, with her knife stuck between the bones, down to his middle. With a concentrated effort, he pulled the oxidized blade from his skin. Dark, rich blood spurted in all directions.

Now that he had the old throwing knife clutched in his good hand, Nash turned to her. His eyes were ablaze in outrage.

“Fuck you, Karma. I knew you switched sides, you sneaky bitch.”

The entire room stilled collectively as if they were holding their breath.

Nash charged her. In a flash, she felt the swipe of the knife at her belly. Karma jumped back before the next swing of Nash’s weapon. Warm blood and ripped cloth fell to the ground. Her body reacted even as her mind went blank.

Karma crouched low, sweeping her leg under Nash. She knocked him backward to the dirt. As her hand reached for the gun hung on the belt of the man behind her, her mind rejected her actions. She fought to focus on what was happening. This was starting to feel like a dream… or a nightmare.

Rea threw his body over Nash. He kept him pinned to the ground. They grappled for the knife Nash still held. Rea’s hands forced Nash to stab himself in the neck.

The sound of a single shot being fired reverberated around the room. Scared, she glanced around to see who’d fired a gun.

Finally, there was only an eerie silence in the training room.

Blood flowed freely from the huge gash that had been cut into Nash’s throat. As the dirt around him turned red, she spun away. She was lightheaded and trying valiantly to not vomit. What had she done? She looked around the room. The weight of every man’s eyes was on her. This time, they weren’t assessing her figure; they were afraid of her. Every man, including Rea, looked tense and alert.

Rea stood unsteadily. He stepped between her and the lifeless body. He didn’t speak but merely stared at her like all the other men. Her eyes jumped to him. She wanted to beg him to hold her, to chase away what had happened. She wanted Rea to comfort her, to tell her he was there for her.

“Karma?” Rea said her name slowly.

His voice wasn’t more than a whisper of sound, but she felt it in her heart. She could feel the persistent connection that said he’d be there, no matter what. Rea would be there for her. He loved her.

“Kitten?” Again he spoke slowly, like he was trying to soothe a wild animal.

He took one tiny step forward, then another, until he was only a few inches from her. Carefully, with his hands steady, he reached out to her.

Karma looked down at her hands when he reached for them. She realized she was tightly gripping a gun. Where had she gotten it? When?

Wildly, she spun around. She let her eyes return to the dead man on the floor. A perfect bullet hole was in the center of his forehead. What had she done? Tears welled up at the corners of her eyes, but she couldn’t seem to let them fall. Everyone was waiting for her to give up the weapon she still clutched. This was evident without the words being spoken. She didn’t want to let the gun go. That idea frightened her more than anything that had happened so far.

She released the small pistol into Rea’s hand and waited to see what would happen. She had killed a man who worked for Rea. What would Rea’s father say when he found out? What would Rea do?

“Gears,” Rea called to the doctor, who appeared at his side. Karma was stunned to see him. She didn’t even know he’d shown up in the training room. “Take Karma back to my room and check her injuries. Check her memories.” Rea linked his fingers through hers. They rushed through the men who moved out of their way like they were an avalanche.

They got to the far side of the room with Gears following them. Rea opened the door. The hallway looked like a welcoming sanctuary that would let her escape this madness. She turned to Gears, who was now standing next to her. Gears and Rea exchanged a look. The men were silent, which made the training room seem abnormal.

“Gears, I’ll stay here and handle the body. I have to speak to Ken. Take Karma home. I’ll be there soon.” Rea pressed the gun she’d had moments ago into Gears’ hand. Gears looked at the weapon and wagged his head back and forth.

“Back to your room again? Really? Don’t you think you should reconsider that?” Gears pushed the weapon back at Rea. Rea pushed it back again.

“Take her to my room. Do what you have to do to look after her. I’ll tell Ken what happened and have him handle it. I’ll be there soon.”

“I don’t think so.” Gears shoved the gun back again into Rea’s hand. “What if this triggers all her memories? Does Ken know what’s going on? Maybe I should talk to him instead. You go with Karma. I’ll stay.”

Gears’ hands were shaking. He looked like he was scared of going with her. She hated that. He took a step away from her and moved closer to the training room door.

Rea was not to be swayed. He stepped in front of Gears, handing the gun to him one final time.

“I’ll only be a minute. Ken will help me remove the body and talk to the men. He’s efficient.” Rea started to push him out into the hallway. Karma meekly followed, feeling dejected.

“What if she…” Gears trailed off.

“She’ll be fine,” Rea insisted.

Rea returned to the crowd of men around the body. At this point, she didn’t believe him. She thought she’d never be fine again.

Want more? Buy it, bitches! Available on AMAZON  or KOBO.

 

 

 

 

Blown Up & Ice Bound: Q & A with Male Romance Author C.M.Moore

25 May

Click to buy…

by Madeline Iva

MADELINE IVA: You’re really one-half of a whole.  Who’s your other half?
 
C.M. MOORE: I do rely on my wife Monica. She is my editor, my muse, my battle buddy, and my best friend. She tells me when something isn’t “sexy” and she is my brain when my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) gets the better of me. I will be the first to say that without her none of my books would be possible.
 
MADELINE IVA: You’re a former soldier, right? Tell us about that — how long were you soldiering? Where were you stationed? And you saw action — what happened? I get the feeling you were blown up.
 

C.M. MOORE: Yes, I am. I joined the military just out of high school. I spent my first seven years as a 13 Foxtrot, Fire Support Specialist. An FO’s (forward observer) job is to aim indirect fire and air support. I deployed twice under that occupation. After my second tour, in Iraq, I decided to reclass my career choice. I went with the craziest job imaginable. I joined the ranks of 12 Bravos, the Combat Engineers.       When I was pitched the idea of engineer work I was told: “You will breach obstacles by the use of explosive force”. That sounded awesome! What they didn’t tell me was I wouldn’t be placing explosive, but finding what is hidden along the road. Yuck. My first two tours were a cake walk, but the third one damn near killed me, ten times. I was the lead security gun truck commander. I have been mortared, shot at, and blown up nine times. The ninth I.E.D. (improvise explosive device) awarded me the Purple Heart. I retired from my military career not long after. I sustained a compressed spine, six bulging discs, left shoulder and right knee are shot, and a traumatic brain injury. Which all lead to my writing career.

Connor Moore

 

MADELINE IVA: How’d a nice guy like you come to hang out with a bunch of romance women like us?
 
C.M. MOORE: My wife loves to read. We both own a little bookstore in the middle of nowhere Minnesota. I’m a fan of authors like Robert Ludlum, and their stories of espionage. I have fancied the idea of writing my own series under the same genre. Monica came to me one day and told me she ran out of books to read. Seriously? We own a bookstore.  How do you run out of things to read for fun? With this new found information I told my wife, Monica, I wanted to write a story. When I was about page two into it, my wife pitched to me adding a love story. She pulled on my heart strings to accommodate her. Surprisingly, I had a great time merging the two stories. I haven’t looked back ever since. 
 
MADELINE IVA: Your first book 1:05 a.m. is a (Fill in the blank here.) Hint: I’m looking for a genre…
 
C.M. MOORE: 1:05 a.m. is a futuristic romance. Set after the fall of the U.S. government and the dawn of a new ice era. 
 
MADELINE IVA: What’s the heat level of 1:05 a.m.?
 
C.M. MOORE: I would say a 3.5 out of a 5. It does have some hot sex, but it has some story too.

In a dystopian future, an assassin must choose to fulfill a final contract or keep the love of her life alive.

Yearning for a normal life, assassin Karmen-Marie has had enough of of the post-apocalyptic world. Forced to take one last assassin’s job, Karma sets out across the frozen landscape of Earth.

Rea MacBain’s job is to ensure the safety of Earth’s precious few water purification plants. He believes his abusive past must stay buried under the snow that encases his domain.

Ice cold assassin’s blood drives the woman sent to kill him, yet it ignites the fire which thaws Rea’s heart.

MADELINE IVA: What I really really really really want to ask is this: So many women’s jaws fall open when it comes to military men in romances.  Are we doing something really screwed up when we objectify military men as sex objects?
 
C.M. MOORE: I don’t have a problem with romance novels objectifying and glamorizing men in uniform… what I don’t like is when the story doesn’t properly review what happens to those men after they come home.
 
No one is the same after they return from a deployment and as long as a writer shows a character’s real struggle and their growth, I’m happy to see them writing about the men (or women) who fight for our country. 
 
Look, in the end, I understand that this is a fantasy… that’s okay and what’s more, it’s fun. Read for fun! Read hot sexy firefighters, and cops, and soldiers with muscles, who can bench press you into the bed. (For the record, I used to be able to do that. You can ask Monica if you don’t believe me.)
 
MADELINE IVA: Then what the hell? Why aren’t you writing military romances, Connor?
 
C.M. MOORE: I find writing contemporary romances not as entertaining for me as writing the future in the way I envision it. However, there is a definite military feel in my books that does come from my background. I hope no one holds that against me. ; >
 
MADELINE IVA: And Monica! We can’t forget Monica. She was a soldier too — can you answer #2 for her as well?
 
C.M. MOORE: Monica wants to answer that for herself, so… perspective change. 
 
MONICA: I joined the service after high school. I was in the service for eight years, most of that time as a 38A (Civil Affairs Specialist). I deployed to Afganistan as a Civil Affairs Specialist. CA was an interesting job. I had an officer who liked to say that they hand out “hugs and lollipops” to foreign countries to get them to like the United States a little better. I did things like help build wells, taught English classes at an orphanage, and helped build schools and hospitals.
MADELINE IVA: So, like, did you guys meet in uniform? If you DID then you know I’m totally expecting you to twist/distort the story, however, necessary to make it — pick one: romantic/sweet/hot/fraught with romantic tension.
 
C.M. MOORE: Monica and I did not meet in uniform. I am sorry to disappoint! Actually, as the story goes, It was my senior year of high school and I had a friend named John who claimed he had met this “hot” girl in the next town over and was dating her. I didn’t believe him, so one night I drove to said “hot” girl’s house and knocked. Monica appeared and I was tongue tied. She was about to slam the door in my face, but she recognized another friend (Richard)  who’d tagged along. I told her why I was there (to prove she didn’t exist) and she didn’t take that too well. So to help my poor pounding heart and sweat soaked shirt, I invited her to a party at my house. 
 
At the party (I threw together), I thought I would show off and I challenged a tiny elf-sized woman to a drinking game. What I didn’t know at the time was she wasn’t a light weight. I could bearly keep up with her and before long I was blitzed. While stumbling around I noticed that Monica was leaving with Rich so I thought I would ride along and make my move. I wanted to sing her sonnets and maybe pet her hair while I fed her grapes, but honestly, I could bearly sit up straight. 
 
I had claimed a seat next to her in the backseat of Rich’s car when my friend made a vicious u-turn at the end of the street. My hand flew to my mouth to stop the alcohol that had decided to exit my stomach, but it was no use. I threw up all over Monica, part of the backseat, and finally, I got the door open and colored the pavement.
 
So yeah, after I vomited all over Monica she became mine forever! We’ve been together 17 years and married for fifteen. Monica is strong, smart, kind, and most of all… forgiving. Any woman you can throw up and stays with you is a keeper.
 
MADELINE IVA: Let’s go back to talking about your experiences in the army when it comes to gender. What’s the proportion of men to women in the units you served in?
 
C.M. MOORE: I served mostly in male-dominated units. Only a few headquarter units I was assigned to had females. Monica was in more blended units.
 
MADELINE IVA: How does having women around affect things–if you have any insight into that?
 
C.M. MOORE: In my experience, I know the female perspective is needed on and off the battlefield. Women soldiers bring certain aspects to the table that men don’t think about. For example, compassion. Compassion for the civilians caught in a war-stricken country. 
 
MADELINE IVA: How does being in the middle of soldiering affect the way men think of women?
 
C.M. MOORE: Speaking for just myself, and what I saw, I know that the men had no problem if the female pulled her own weight in her duties. I also noticed women who pushed and sustained themselves to the male standards were held in higher regard.
 
MADELINE IVA: What do we need to know about the whole world building in your novel — it’s post-apocalyptic.  So what are the fundamental big issue they face? Water? Cold?
 
C.M. MOORE: A meteor has struck the pacific, causing massive climate change. Earth begins another ice era. After the U.S. lost the Oil Wars, the remnants of the population are either migrating to the Equator for warmth or burrowing deeper into the Earth’s crust. However, the cold brings its own issues. Issues that create a new rare precious commodity. 
 
MADELINE IVA: Why are the titles certain times of the day?
 
C.M. MOORE: The title starts with Karma and her story in 1:05 A.M. She is tasked with completing her mission by 1:05 A.M. I didn’t want the cover to blend in with all the hot half naked dudes on the cover. Plus, I am a little jealous of their abs.
 
MADELINE IVA: You know I have to ask the next question—so what comes after 1:05 A.M.? 1:10A.M.? ; >
 

C.M. MOORE:  My fans fell in love with a secondary character nicknamed Gears. So, naturally,  Gears got his own Novella. It’s called “Grinding My Gears, An Off the Rails Ice Era Chronicle “. That will be released next month. It will be free for my newsletter subscribers. You can sign up at www.authorcmmoore.com

Click and subscribe to C.M. Moore’s newsletter, and get this free story…

 
In August/September 2:05 A.M. will be released. We will follow Gears’ daughter on her own romance adventure.  
 
MADELINE IVA: Thanks so much for being with us today, Connor! Ladies (and gents?) if you want more of Connor, you can find him cracking wise on facebook here:
 
Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Sexy Saturday Round Up

20 May

Say goodbye to spring–say hello to summer! The weather is heating up but Lady Smut is already full of sexy hot goodness.  Here’s more titillating news about love, sex, romance, & gender from your Lady Smut gal-pals.

From Madeline:

SUMMER IS HERE! TIME FOR SEX ON THE BEACH. And no, we’re not talking about the drink.

Two Nerdy History Girls discuss the past time of Nude Male Races in the 1800’s.

Rectifying fashion injustice: The Bro-Romper.  Yup.

Advice to men (well, everyone) on how to support women who run for office/aim for promotion.

Hate those sexual onsies? (Real life examples I’ve seen: Ladies, I have arrived. I don’t always drink milk, but when I do I prefer Dos Boobies. Stud muffin. I love boobies.) Here are some feminist onsies for your wee knee biter.

She put him in a dress & then they fell in love.

Throw down that tiara and kiss a commoner! Japanese princess gives up her crown to marry average joe.

The emancipation of the MILF.

Sexy Saturday Round Up

13 May

LAST WEEK WAS THE ROMANTIC TIMES CONVENTION: We came, we saw, we revealed some very, very naughty secrets about ourselves.  And now–we’re back.  Ready to collapse into a heap after a long week? So are we. Here’s your very own Sexy Saturday Round Up to snuggle up with through Mother’s Day Weekend. Where’s my mimosa?

From Madeline:

Nominate your favorite sex toy for an award.

Porn stars teach moms and dads advanced sex positions.

Our very own Rachel Kramer Bussel talks with Rolling Stone about how erotica writers are taking on Trump.

Tina, Amy, and the Female F*ck-Up: A filmography.

Meanwhile, BROAD CITY is a fearless priceless ode to female friendships.

The adulterers website Ashley Madison is expecting a massive 500 percent spike in sign-ups from women on the day after Mother’s Day.

From Elizabeth SaFleur:

It’s Lady Gaga’s bad romance meets Remax Realty: The home showcase video that’s more like soft porn.

From Elizabeth Shore:

Well, this seems fun. A slideshow of 41 steamy sex games.

Get off your a**. For real. Here’s what too much sitting does to your body – and it’s not good.

Looking for an awesome read? Check out the latest book people are obsessing over.

Weird new sex trends. Marinate, anyone?

Turns out not a lot of people are humpin’ on Hump Day.

Something fun and unique to do for Mother’s Day – interview your mom.

 

 

Sexy Sunday Snippet

7 May

Morning ladies—We reallllly like Afton Locke, and she’s got a new serial romance for us to savor. DRUNK ON MEN is an interracial romance set in the roaring 20’s.  After reading the excerpt below, go to her website for the first THREE INSTALLMENTS and get addicted!

When three African-American women meet at a resort on the Jersey Shore in the 1920s, they say goodbye to their old lives. Finding men as intoxicating as bootleg liquor, they pin their futures on happily ever after. But love can be worse than a hangover when the men’s flaws threaten to destroy them.

Hannah knows it’s time to replace her fiancé who died in the war, but the abrupt white man who rescues her from rough surf hardly fits the bill. Belle longs to ditch her latest meal ticket, but is the rich African-European owner of an upscale hotel out of her league? And while Edie struggles to face her upcoming arranged marriage, a rugged Hispanic-white fisherman decides to stake his own claim on her.

This 8-volume serial is a heady romance cocktail stirred with addiction, abuse, betrayal, and scandal. These women aren’t perfect and neither are their men. If you think you can handle it, read on and watch three steamy interracial relationships explode across the pages.

You may think it’s sloe fizz gin

But honey we’re sober, just drunk on men

“You’re a bootlegger,” she stated.

He sighed and made a rude gesture with his hand and chin. “What did you think, Belle? The booze simply drops out of the sky into my bar? I am performing a necessary service for the town of Ocean Promenade.”

Excitement rippled down Belle’s arms and legs. Tonight’s joyride was the most thrilling thing she’d ever done.

“How much booze does this town drink, anyway? The Sands is the only place I see that’s even wet. I have a hard time believing you could buy a car like this on that speck of business.”

“I see you are shrewd businesswoman.” He leaned between the front seats and shot her an admiring glance. “I am much impressed. Since you ask, the product also gets shipped to Washington, Philadelphia, and New York City.”

“So, what happens next?” she asked. “Where’s the booze?”

He slid his jacket sleeve upward with two fingers and glanced at his watch. “It’s coming. Please join me in the front seat where I can see you.”

“Not with the gun lying there. A girl could get her cha chas blown off with a thing like that. Besides, how do I know you’re not planning to bump me off for knowing too much?”

“You are too beautiful to kill,” he crooned as he moved the monstrous weapon to rest against his door. “However, you have become heavily involved. I wanted to protect you from this.”

“It’s okay,” she said, shrugging as she scrambled to the front passenger seat. “I’m a big girl. I’ll survive.”

He reached over and grabbed her chin, forcing her to face him. Adrenaline flooded her body. Without thinking, she smacked him across the face.

He reared back in his seat. “What was that for?”

“Don’t manhandle me,” she said coldly. “I don’t care for it.”

She hadn’t pegged him as abusive, but she wasn’t about to take any chances. Especially in this abandoned place. She’d do a lot for money, but she refused to tolerate violence.

Please tell me you’re not one of them, Raoul. I don’t want to have to give you up.

“Bella, please. You shocked me, and I think you broke my jaw.” He stuck out his bottom lip like a little boy and dazzled her with another smile.

She couldn’t help laughing. “Oh, you’re all wet. I did not.”

“I’m only trying to make you understand something.” He leaned closer but without touching her this time. “You will see things and people who don’t want to be recognized. If you do not keep your pretty kisser shut, you could endanger your life and mine.”

Belle took a shaky breath. “Understood.”

“And it means you are my lady. You cannot walk away from me. Not after tonight.”

As if she wanted to. They sat in silence for a moment. He caressed her hand and then the thigh it lay on through the thin hem of her dress, making her breath draw in with a hiss.

“I want to show you my hotel room soon,” he said, lazily stroking. “I have a circular tub with flowing water. It is like the ocean, yes?”

“Sounds divine,” she whispered.

“We don’t have much time, and I need you to show me your loyalty.” 

Loyalty?

Belle watched, fascinated, as he reclined his seat until it lay almost horizontal.

His voice dropped very low. Very soft. “Come here, Bella.”

25954402 – art deco vintage frames and design elements

Afton Locke is a USA Today Bestselling Author who prefers romantic fantasies to everyday reality. Fantasies take her to different times, races, places, and beyond. She lives with her husband, several unnamed dust bunnies, and a black cat that can be scary or cuddly, depending on the current book. When she’s not writing, Afton enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and watching retro T.V.

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