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Decent Acting, Gorgeous People, And BDSM! So Why Didn’t Anyone Watch Submission?

10 May

By Elizabeth Shore

A few days ago I found myself without anything to do. Well, technically, there’s always s**t to do, but nothing I felt like tackling. The solution? Cruise my way down couch jockey street, flipping channels until I landed on some mind-numbing goodness for a few hours of escape. Drink in one hand, remote in the other, I found Submission, a 6-episode series that aired last year on Showtime. Wait…last year?! Why hadn’t I heard of it? Admittedly, I’m not always hip to the latest on TV, but still. This show was right up my erotic romance alley and yet until recently had gone undiscovered.

Naturally, I binge-watched all six episodes. Not terribly impressive since they were each like 28 minutes long. Yet once I finished watching I really was perplexed about why no one’s been talking about this show. Let’s run down the list of attractions: beautiful actors (standard fare for TV shows, but still); not bad plotline, decent writing, money from Showtime. Oh, and sex. Lots and lots and lots of sex! BDSM, F/F, regular M/F, even ménage. And it was hot, too. A scene between one of the series’ main characters and an impromptu meet-up in the ladies’ room had me coming back ’round for a second viewing. De-lish!

It’s not surprising that the sex scenes are a major focus of the series. Its two creators, Jacky St. James and Paul Fishbein, have well-established creds in the adult video world. Fishbein, in fact, is the former CEO of Adult Video News and creator of the AVN awards show. So on paper it seems like this series would work. It’s even got parallels to 50 Shades. But I don’t know a single person who’s seen it and the show’s outlook for a season 2 is shaky, to put it mildly.

Here’s the plot: sexually frustrated Ashley ditches her boring boyfriend and decides to roommate with an old friend, Jules. Jules has an additional roomie, Dylan, who’s night and day different from Ashley. Dylan’s a sexually open, do-it-with-anyone kinda gal. She’s also a submissive. When Ashley meets Dylan’s master, Elliott, and becomes the object of his desire, giving Dylan the boot, things get interesting indeed. Nothing like a pissed-off subbie out for revenge. Dylan, as it turns out, knows something about Elliott that he’d rather keep secret. So unless Ashley does exactly what Dylan wants, Elliott’s in a heap o’ trouble. And naturally, adding fuel to Elliott’s fire, by this time he and Ashley are in love. Conflict abounds! Late-night smutty TV at its best. Oh, and then there’s the sex. Did I mention that?

I looked up deets on the show on IMDB and wasn’t exactly shocked to learn that the character of Dylan is played by former adult video star, Raylin Joy, whose stage name is Skin Diamond. Her character is the most sexually daring of the bunch. But here’s the interesting thing about the actress. She was born in the U.S. but lived most of her adolescent life in the U.K. She studied Dramatic Arts and her favorite subjects were ancient Greek theater and Shakespeare. For her acting final exam she played Antigone in the Sophocles play. With a theater geek background, why porn? She’s quoted as saying, “as an independent and highly sexual woman, taking charge of my own personal sexual growth in this manner was immensely empowering.”

Certainly comparisons can be drawn between Ms. Joy’s statement about her acting and why some of us choose to read and write erotic romance. There is indeed something personally empowering in creating sexually open characters and having them delve into all kinds of hot wickedness, wherever our naughty little minds choose to take them.

I personally think Showtime dropped the ball by not advertising the dang series. No one’s gonna watch if they don’t know the show exists, amiright?! Who knows if Submission will go beyond a single season, but if you want to see it for yourself, it’s streaming on demand. So if you’re sitting around with nothing to do, now you’ve got some options. 😉

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

The end of an awful marriage might be the beginning of something smoking hot. Click to buy.

 

 

 

 

 

Sexy Saturday Round Up

6 May

Helllllllo my fellow vaginas! We’re still recovering from our fun-o-rama time at RT on Wednesday.  (Speaking of which–check out our games below–there’s still time to play, there’s still time to win. ; > )

Now that it’s the weekend–at last!–it’s time to settle in and relax with all our fabu links to news and articles about gender, sex, women, and lurv from around the web.

From Madeline:

The Great New England Vampire Panic

May is Masturbation month! Pledge to masturbate this month and better the world!!!! 

How much money can you net from your celebrity sex tape? Not as much as you’d think.

Mexico outraged over a woman blamed for her own murder.

Mirror mirror on the wall: Ask Men suggests 4 ways to use mirrors during sex.

The average wait time people take to have sex in a new relationship.

Meanwhile, let’s contemplate what we can get out of the rando hookup

Yes to the Polygamous throuple’s wedding dress!

Luxuriating in the good life or wallowing in your own filth? Manrepeller weighs in on taking a bath.

8 lies about sex.

Why he chose you and why he dumped you: The Romantic Narcissist

From Elizabeth Shore:

Like it or loathe it, the underboob trend is here to stay. For now, anyway.

A slideshow to get you squirmy – hot naked guys reading in bed.

Your kinky new best friend – spreader bars.

When you absolutely have nothing better in the entire universe to do, take a doughnut quiz.

 

Guess the Lady Smut TBR Stack–Win $10 Amazon Gift Card!

4 May

Hi RT Orphans! Does your TBR pile have some of the same titles as ours? Let us know–leave us a comment below. 🙂 Want to buy the book on our TBR list? Click the link.  Meanwhile, here’s another fun game you can play at home.

FIRST Read the TBR lists. THEN guess which list belongs to which blogger. Your blogger choices are below & we’ve abbreviated the longer names for you. We also provided some hints.  THE FINAL STEP IS TO email us at LadySmutBlog@gmail.com with your guesses. The first reader to email us the most correct answers wins a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

CONTEST ENDS FRIDAY MAY 5th AT 12PM PST!!!!!

OUR BLOGGERS:

Elizabeth Shore

G.G. Andrew

Kiersten Hallie Krum (KHK)

Alexa Day

Rachel Kramer Bussel (RKB)

Elizabeth SaFleur (ESF)

Isabelle Drake

Thien-Kim Lam (TKL)

Madeline Iva

Ready to play? Here we go——

Lady Smut TBR List #1

Hint: This blogger is a foodie who loves diverse romances & sex toys

  1. Alpha by Jasinda Wilder
  2. Nine Kinds of Naughty by Jeanette Grey
  3. The Muse by Anne Calhoun
  4. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
  5. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

Lady Smut TBR List #2

Hint: This blogger likes to share all after a few dirty dates. ; > 
  1. The Pawn by Skye Warren
  2. Trophy Wife by Alessandra Torre
  3. The Truth About Love and Dukes by Laura Lee Guhrke
  4. An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole
  5. The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

Lady Smut TBR List #3

Hint: This blogger is a big fan of New Adult romances, secrets, and other crazy, sexy topics.

  1. Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia
  2. Radio Silence by Alyssa Cole
  3. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  4. Deadly Testimony by Piper Drake
  5. Ghostland: An American History of Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

Lady Smut TBR List #4

Hint: This erotica author loves blogging about TWD, kidnapping & a few other illicit topics.

  1. Truly Helpless by Joey W. Hill
  2. All the Lies We Tell by Megan Hart
  3. Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Chorderlos de Laclos
  4. Slow Surrender by Cecilia Tan
  5. The Infamous Miss Rodriguez by Lydia San Andres

Lady Smut TBR List #5

Hint: This blogger is wild about reviewing her fav authors.

  1. Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai
  2. The List by Tawna Fenske
  3. Madly by Ruthie Knox
  4. Beyond Doubt by Kit Rocha
  5. Edge of Ruin (set of 3 Viking Dystopian Novellas) by Megan Crane

Lady Smut TBR List #6

Hint: This author blogs about edgy topics of desire including: swallowing, tattooing, cross-dressing–even Jewish Swingers. 

  1. Purity by Jonathan Franzen
  2. The Fireman by Joe Hill
  3. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
  4. The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose
  5. Beyond Ruin by Kit Rocha

Lady Smut TBR List #7

Hint: When this author wasn’t all tied up, she’s blogged about CW’s Riverdale.

  1. Lilith’s Brood by Octavia E. Butler
  2. The Vegetarian by Han Kang
  3. DC Comics Bombshells: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett & Marguerite Sauvage
  4. Initiates of the Blood by Cecilia Tan
  5. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Lady Smut TBR List #8

Hint: This blogger is a capital BDSM Erom author

  1. Bombshell by CD Reiss
  2. Truly Helpless by Joey W. Hill
  3. Royally Matched by Emma Chase
  4. The Chosen by J.R. Ward
  5. The List by Anne Calhoun

Lady Smut TBR List #9

Hint: This author loves blogging about wicked villains & paranormal television shows.

  1. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  2. The Unlikeable Demon Hunter by Deborah Wilde
  3. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
  4. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
  5. A Darker Shade of Magic V.E. Schwab
Send off those answers and follow us at Lady Smut. If you want to know the about the latest fun when it comes to sex, romance books, and pop culture–we won’t leave you guessing.
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.

Never Have WE Ever Ever! Lady Smut Bloggers Reveal All…

3 May

You shared your fun, sexy secrets  — Now we’re sharing ours!

We just finished our game of NEVER HAVE YOU EVER EVER at Romantic Times and it was a blast!  Not to fear, RT orphans!–it’s your turn to play. Match our bloggers to their sexy/funny confessions below and you could win a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

THE RULES: Read the questions & answers below.  All the bloggers answered all the questions in the same order every time. Match the answer color to the author.

Answer colors: Pink, Red, Blue, Light Green, Lavender, Orange, Dark Green, Red-Violet, Black.   Bloggers: Madeline Iva, Elizabeth Shore, Kiersten Hallie Krum (KHK), Isabelle Drake, Elizabeth SaFleur (ESF),  Alexa Day, Rachel Kramer Bussel (RKB), G.G. Andrew, Thien-Kim Lam (TKL).

Sample email: “Hi Lady Smut, here are my answers:  Pink is Isabelle Drake,  Red is KHK, Blue is Alexa Day…” Email us your answers at ladysmutblog@gmail.com.  The first person who guesses the blogger order correctly wins!

CONTEST CLOSES SATURDAY NIGHT, (MAY 6th) at 12pm PST!!!

1) Have you ever used a sex toy?

  • Yes, indeed, lots of them!

  • Possibly… though most of the toys around here are the kind that I trip over on the floor in the middle of the night. It’s true what they say: there’s nothing worse than stepping on a Lego at 2 a.m.

  • Does the earth rotate around the sun? That would be a yes.

  • Which ones *haven’t* I tried?

  • I had this nasty-ass clog in my bathroom sink. Couldn’t get even a drop of water to go through. So I grabbed my biggest, longest, whopper of a dildo – and I used that sex toy to pummel that drain into submission. Pounded hard–slap slap. Had that baby unclogged in seconds.

  • I’ve been single for a looooong time. You’re damn right I have. And my best friend knows exactly what to do about my “special box” in the event of my death…before my father finds it. She’s my equivalent of the Coupling pron buddy.

  • I am a sex toy virgin. Saliva is my go to sexual aide.

  • Yep. But I’m not going to tell you about that. I’m going to tell you about the time I was asked to review a set of sex toys. The box was sent to me; I took it to the office where I do my writing. There were so many, I wasn’t sure where to start. Maybe to some people five isn’t all that many, but for me it was a little intimidating. I laid them out on the table beneath a big window, so I could look them over to get inspired. You know what I mean. A couple days later, the maintenance guy lets me know the blinds he ordered for the big window had come it, and that he was going to install them that day. Nope. I didn’t remember ‘the display’ spread out right beneath the window. That’s not completely true. I didn’t remember it –later. When I got home. Now,I remember it every single time I see him.

  • Yes, but only after he agrees to being used.

2) Have you ever had sex outside the bedroom — where?

  • On an airplane.

  • Maybe, but it’s a skill I could stand to work on. I’m very into multi-tasking and those lines at the DMV can get pretty long, amiright?

  • How much time do you have? Outside, hot tub, pool, beach, on a (stationary) motorcycle (for real), at a music festival, in a tent, against a tree, in the woods….

  • Bedroom, kitchen, living room, tennis court, but who’s counting?

  • Once I did it in my apartment’s second bedroom. So technically it was outside THE bedroom.

  • In college. Outside up against the wall of the chapel (no judging!).

  • In a pottery studio. Yes, a la the movie GHOST. So cheesy. Sigh. But the sex was smoking hawt.

  • On the beach, of course! You want to know the others? Read my stuff and guess.

  • Everywhere but the bathroom. I mean, no judgment, but the thought of actual sex in a bathroom is not for me.

3) Have you ever had a threesome?

  • Yes and they’ve been some of the best sexual experiences of my life, especially with a couple who were clearly in love.

  • Naw, too much work/people to think about/elbows to nudge me in the face.

  • In my dreams, yes. In reality—no.

  • I can neither confirm nor deny this.

  • Well, sometimes the cat looks on with the stink eye when I and partner have the naughty in full bloom. That’s three, right??

  • A very, very, very long time ago, when I was too young and inexperienced to understand a lot of things…or enjoy them for that matter.

  • No, but I enjoy living vicariously through my friends.

  • Nope.

  • I can’t get anyone to agree to my terms, so sadly, the answer is no.

4) Have you ever gotten sexual with a woman? –to what extent?

  • Yes, I’ve had one-night stands with women as well as relationships.

  • Nope. I’m neurotic enough by myself.

  • Yes. We’ll just leave it at that.

  • There was a reason the other wing on the floor of my college dorm was called Lesbian Lane.

  • The saleswoman at Victoria’s Secret once helped me pick out some new bras. We talked about panties, too. Low-rise hiphuggers versus cheekys. It was intense!

  • Nope. Strictly dickly.

  • Had to kiss a few women while “acting”. It felt strange kissing someone shorter and smaller…but…interesting.

  • Define sexual. Because I think the answer is going to be yes.

  • I have not. I think I am the elusive Kinsey Zero.

5) Have you ever done something where you’ve slapped your hand to your forehead later and said–“I can’t believe I did that!” Some deets pls.

  • Definitely. If I told you, I’d have to kill you though. Just kidding. Short version: Gone out with a stranger because I was impressed with their 15 minutes of fame, then kept the date going into the bedroom even though they turned out to be really weird (they brought their assistant on our date, for one thing).

  • Many, many times, but almost none of them sexual.

  • Yes. I had sex with a married man believing he was single. The bastard.

  • All the time. You mean with sex? There was the one time I fell off the bed right in the middle of my horizontal polka.

  • OK, so. I had this incredible craving for grapes one time. The red kind, cause I find the green ones a little too tart. Know what I mean? So I’m in my car and I’m really close to Whole Foods, like a few blocks away close. Shop Rite, where I should be going, was considerably farther. I was like some grape addicted junkie needing my fix, so I just said “f**k it, I’m going to Whole Foods.  I bought the grapes, but they were like $7.99 a pound versus 2.99 a pound at Shop Rite. The cashier told me I owed almost $25 for all the bleepin’ grapes I just bought, and I smacked my forehead and said, I can’t believe I just did that!

  • There’s stuff I’ve done from decades ago that still makes me cringe…and some from last week. But nothing sexual.

  • That time we were messing around and I got sperm in my eye. Swear I felt wiggling. It really stung. Like, for an hour at least.

  • Are we still talking about sexual stuff? There was a time I attempted to sit on a bar stool and fell…and another time I got a job at ‘being” the Easter Bunny at the mall.

  • I don’t know if you mean this in a good or bad way. This happened to me in a good way. I still can’t believe this happened. Some time ago, I met a trio of military folk from the Army Officer Training School, which is not far from home. One of them sat down next to me at a bar. Turns out he was celebrating his thirtieth birthday. At the time, I could still see thirty in the rearview mirror, but it was very small and receding quickly. The officers and I went dancing, and I eventually went home with the birthday boy. This is not the shocking part of the story. The birthday boy invited me to a party. A pool party. A pool party with lots and lots of hot, shirtless, young, newly minted Army officers. I kept expecting to wake up. We played a couple of drinking games (my first time playing Flip Cup). It was apparently some sort of tradition for guests to be carried to the pool by their hot, shirtless hosts and tossed in, even if those guests are wearing short, filmy sundresses. You know, the sort of thing that sticks to you after you’ve been tossed into a pool. Important lesson: Study the social traditions of one’s hosts before attending their party. Fortunately I was able to borrow some clothes for the long drive home. I wrote an epic poem about this party. Sometimes I still don’t quite believe it actually happened, but I still have the borrowed clothes to remind me. Good times, good times.

6) Have you ever gotten kinky — was it enjoyable?

  • Yes. I’ve been tied up in a dungeon with someone else and gotten spanked in front of a roomful of people.

  • I’m not sure what “kinky” even means anymore. One woman’s kink can be another’s Saturday Night Special.

  • Yes. See earth reference.

  • I’ll try (almost) anything. Twice.

  • One time I fed my cats and I had no clothes on. Not even a stich!

  • Kink is in the eye of the beholder. But generally, no. I’m adventurous, but overall, mostly the usual. Especially compared to the Lady Smut crew.

  • Yes we get kinky, and f*** yeah,…it’s awesome!

  • The answers are yes and yes. If it wasn’t a good time I wouldn’t have done it. What’s that? You want details? I wish I could offer some but I’m not the get kinky and tell sort of girl.

  • Possibly the kinkiest thing I’ve ever done (and yes, I am reframing the question) is to be hooked up to a TENS unit. This was at another kind of party. The sensation is really intriguing. Kind of like having one’s muscles gently twisted this way and that beneath the skin. A strange, fluid feeling. Very pleasant. All things considered, the TENS unit isn’t all that kinky. My host hooked the TENS unit up to my shoulder, under my dress. But a lot of people are all about being hooked up in other places, if you know what I mean. If you get the picture.

7) Have you ever done “something”–wink wink, nudge nudge–with more than one person on the same day (but you know, NOT at the same time.)

  • I have but I actually wound up feeling really guilty about it because it wasn’t planned.

  • I gotta be honest: this question kind of exhausts me.

  • Yes. Yes, and yes again.

  • I’d tell you, but I’d have to kill you.

  • Yeah. Next question please.

  • A lady leaves the dance with the man who brought her.

  • Three dates with three separate guys in one day. Even **I** can’t believe that happened.

  • Do the characters in my books count?

  • I have not. Usually, if I’m with one person, it doesn’t leave enough time for ‘something’ with another person on the same day. I am, however, a huge proponent of dating more than one man at a time, each on his own night, until one of them starts looking like a really good idea.

8) Have you ever read someone else’s blog post on Lady Smut and thought: “Hoo boy! That was hot/interesting/made me feel squidgy inside.” — Which blog post was it?

  • This one: Cum On Are You Gonna Swallow That 

  • I’m not sure about squidgy, but the sex robot posts are always interesting! As are the posts about hot villain characters. Hot villain characters are what makes American great.

  • Yes. A lot of the spanking posts in the spanking category do it for me.

  • Hoo boy! That was hot/interesting/made me feel squidgy inside –That’s not one of the Lady Smut posts!

  • Now that would be telling… So many. Hard to choose.

  • I’m into posts on men. Bald men, sexy older men, and the occasional post-apocalyptic Viking.

  • I have to say Alexa’s post on Sharing Sexy Secrets just about killed me when I read it yesterday…Lexi and Elizabeth Shore get really edgy, and I lurv it! 

  • Oh geez. Lots of them. Learning about, thinking about, new stuff always gets me stirred up. Not just the steamy things, but anything “thinky” gets my attention. Comfort and stability are great, but mixing things up in conversation, and other places, matters to me.

  • You guys are fantastic, and all your posts are fascinating. But I’ve never been tingly.

9) Imagine someone is holding a gun to your head and you now have to choose a sexual activity you’ve never quite gotten up the nerve to try before. What would it be? The upside: you get to pick the hot sex partner.

  • A threesome with two guys.

  • I’d be too nervous to say–there’s a gun to my head!

  • A three-some with Jason Momoa and David Gandy and they can do *anything* they want to me.

  • The fantasy of two men is real but I’d never feel safe enough to do it. I’m totally boring as I don’t fantasize about hot celebrities. Though I never turn away eye candy, champagne, and ropes.

  • Hot partner of choice would be Dwayne Johnson. But that’s not gonna happen. The Rock doesn’t fear no stinkin’ imaginary gun!

  • Hugh Jackman circa 2007 is my reward for all the unbelievable crap I endured in early aughts and beyond. In a hot tub. The rest would be organic evolution from there.

  • After watching the Man From U.N.C.L.E I thought long and hard about several m/m/f scenarios in which I was the filling in a Henry Cavill/Armie Hammer sandwich. But who didn’t? ; > 

  • If I was feeling sassy, I might suggest doing it with a robot. If I was feeling risky, I might suggest a werewolf. Rugged? A cowboy. You get the idea, its going to depend on my mood.

  • It’s a better use of that imaginary gun to put it to his head. I suspect he’ll need to get up his nerves more than I do.

10) What is the most shocking sexual thing you’ve ever done–that you’re willing to tell us?

  • This is a tough one! The very first sex party I ever attended I lay on a kitchen counter while a metal sex toy that had been in the freezer was used on me. That probably counts.

  • I’m willing to tell you–for a price. I accept PayPal.

  • Sex at a NYC play party with 200 people around, some within inches of us.

  • First I’ll need a pitcher of margaritas.

  • That I’m willing to tell? See above re Victoria’s Secret.

  • All the shocking sexual things I do are done in my head and in my books…for now.

  • My Sweetie and I spent a lot of time naked in our bed post-sex with the covers on.  For some reason, our apartment mates often came into our room and hung out while we were in this state. This is back when we shared an apartment with a revolving cast of characters. Why was our room so popular? Why didn’t we just get out of bed and get dressed once in awhile? IDK.

  • See answer to number 6.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever been shocked by any sexual thing I’ve ever done.

Thanks for playing, folks! One caveat–what happens on the blog stays on the blog.  We reserve the right to deny everything in person. ; > Let us know what you enjoy about sharing sexy secrets below in the comments section. Follow us at Lady Smut! Subscribe to our saucy monthly newsletter!  And thanks so much for bringing joy and friendship to our blog. We luvs you, readers.  🙂

The Erotic Thriller Everyone Hates

26 Apr

The Great Divider. Bestselling erotic thriller Maestra.

By Elizabeth Shore

Last Christmas I was in the Helsinki airport awaiting a return flight to New York when I realized I didn’t have enough to read. Panic ensued. Facing an 8+ hour flight without backup material wasn’t in my deck of cards. No siree. With only minutes to spare, I made a beeline for the English-language section of the airport bookstore. I scanned the thriller section faster than a Google search and landed on Maestra by L.S. Hilton. I’d not heard of either the author or the book, but “The International Phenomenon” and “Gripping Thriller” blurbs on the front were enough for me. Book in hand, I boarded my flight.

As it turns out, I never did start the book then. Who knows why. Maybe I had more left of my book in progress than I remembered. Or maybe I actually fell asleep on the flight. Whatever the case, I finally read Maestra a couple of weeks ago. And once I’d started, I was hooked.

To begin with, author L.S. Hilton is a heck of a good writer. “Sharp and extremely well written,” says The Daily Mail. “Hilton can both actually write and plot,” exclaims the BBC. But it was the story itself with its unpredictable heroine Judith Rashleigh that made Maestra un-put-downable. This book took me on a fun sexy wild ride, one I absolutely did not see coming. Heroine Judith did a 180 on me, turning out to be very different from how she first appears. And my oh my did the sex scenes ever sizzle. Huh, thought I. Why have I not heard of this book? And who’s this L.S. Hilton?

Turns out, Ms. Hilton comes with seriously respectable creds. She’s a historian and biographer, graduating from Oxford with a degree in English before studying art history in both France and Italy. She’s written gobs of books on royal monarchs, her latest being The Stolen Queen, set in medieval Europe. Scores of respected magazines have published articles by her, including The Daily Telegraph, The Evening Standard, Vogue, Elle, The Royal Academy Magazine, and a British cultural and political affairs magazine called Standpoint. So what’s up with the foray into the world of erotic thrillers? Hilton says blame it on her agent. He’s the one who planted the idea.

Apparently that agent gives good advice. Maestra is the first in a planned trilogy. Hilton has received tons of rave reviews from around the globe. She got a huge movie deal. The second book of the series, Domina, just came out this month (in the U.K., although Americans have to wait until July). But everything’s not all roses and sunshine. If you check out the reviews on Amazon they’re more mixed across the board than I’ve ever seen for a single book. Lots of people love it. Lots of people despise it. The way it has divided both critics and readers makes Trump look like a dilettante. As Lisa Hilton herself stated in a Guardian interview, “Everyone hated my book. My agent hated it, and my publisher hated it, and pretty much everyone I showed it to hated it. Even now that Maestra has been sold in 42 countries and garnered a film deal, it still seems to make a lot of readers furious.”

Author L.S. Hilton

Before her book became the bestselling erotic thriller everyone hates, it had to get published. Hilton shopped it to scores of publishers, all of whom passed. It was rejected so many times she started considering self-publishing. She applied for a teaching position. Then the magic happened. She finally got signed, not just for one book but three. One day in the morning, Hilton received a letter that she wasn’t even going to be granted an interview for the teaching position she’d applied for. That same afternoon, she received word that film rights for Maestra had sold for seven figures. Hilton say in an interview in The Telegraph that when she heard the news, “I was so stunned I thew up.”

The critical reviews are by and large nothing short of raving. Readers are less impressed. The Washington Post review may have said it best: “Maestra will be one of this year’s most talked-about novels.” People are talking, all right, though not in the way the Post envisioned. While Publishers’ Weekly gives it a starred review and Booklist raves that it’s “edgy, decadent, erotic, and irresistible,” the latest reader reviewer on Amazon calls Maestra “one of the biggest literary disappointments I have ever had.” Ouch.

Books are so much like music or food or art or anything else on the planet where subjectivity is the name of the game. I personally thought Maestra was a good-time romp in the world of erotic thrillers, and Domina is immediately added to my TBR pile. One can’t help but draw comparisons between this book and Fifty Shades. Both authors even use two initials for their first name! But for all the naysayers who scoff at this book, plenty of writers would be more than happy to take a bath in negative reviews in exchange for an L.S. Hilton moment in the sun.

Going to RT? So are we! Join LadySmut bloggers at the RT Booklovers Convention May 3-7, especially at our super special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever. Win crowns, fetish toys, books and more! Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30.

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

 

 

 

No Swinging, Please, We’re Jewish

19 Apr

By Elizabeth Shore

It’s pretty damn fun to be decadently naughty, isn’t it? To luxuriate in clandestine fantasies and hedonistic playtime that might make your friends utter a collective gasp if they knew you did such things. To have a secret, bad-girl self can be heady indeed, which of course is all part of the draw.

But what if indulging in your fantasies could result in total banishment from the life you know if you were ever discovered? What if you could lose your children, your emotional and financial support system, your house, your friends, your job, your family. Would you still risk all to do what you want to do? Be who you want to be? Such is the question that “Monica” and “James,” members of the Ultra-Orthodox Satmar Jewish sect, had to answer for themselves. ‘Cause the thing is, Monica and James are die-hard swingers.

An article in the New York Post last month profiled their story. By all outward appearances, they’re a conservative, late 30’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish couple living rule-abiding lives and raising rule-abiding children in strict accordance with their faith. But when the lights go down the wigs and yarmulkes come off. James and Monica might have a delicious little ménage planned, or they might each have dates and sexy time with other people. Doesn’t matter to them. They love to swing and swing they do – keeping it all as top secret as Area 51.

Their clandestine lifestyle is not without risk. As they admit in the article, the consequences of discovery would be dire, including total banishment from their religion and community. Yet not only do they embrace their open-marriage, swinging lifestyle, but they took the risk a step further in order to share their story with the New York Post. As it turns out, Monica and James are skeptics about their faith. Outwardly, they maintain appearances to hold on to their network of friends and family. Privately, they have doubts and they want other Hasidic couples who may be struggling in the same way to know they’re not alone.

Looking at Monica and James’ situation from the outside, one might wonder why they don’t just ditch their religious lifestyle. They no longer believe in the faith, they’re hideously restricted by rules, they lead double lives and have to lie to friends, family, and their kids in order to do what they want. Why not bid it all a big fat sayonara and move on? Well, as one can obviously guess, it’s not that easy. Within the confines of a strict religious sect comes a loss of individuality. One’s choices are based on teachings and rules versus free will, and how life operates outside of the sect isn’t necessarily familiar. An interesting article in The Guardian about defectors who leave those strict communities details their struggles to adjust.

For the Monicas and James’s in this world, leaving what they know isn’t an option, so they accept the fact that they have to slink around like teenagers breaking curfew. For them the risk is worth it, not only for the sexual freedom but the emotional fulfillment as well. Monica has to develop some sort of emotional connection before taking on a prospective lover, which is A-OK by James. As he says, “It’s been beautiful to watch Monica fall in love with someone else.”

It seems to me that exploring a situation like this would be a hell of a great romance. It’s got all the ingredients of a page-turning best seller: cloak-and-dagger double life, big risk, possible disastrous consequences, and of course, steaming hot sex. Yum-o! I see book plots galore! Jewish heros and heroines are practically non-existent in romance. Hey…does anyone hear knocking? I think opportunity might be at the door.

And speaking of opportunity…Join LadySmut bloggers at the RT Booklovers Convention May 3-7, especially at our super special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever. Win crowns, fetish toys, books and more! Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30.

 

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

 

 

 

Cross-Dressing Dudes Getting In Touch With Their Feminine Side

29 Mar

By Elizabeth Shore

Let’s say you’re a guy, perfectly comfortable in your guyhood. You rock a pair of jeans and a t-shirt with the best of them, you love a good bicep and pec workout, and Mr. Johnson definitely pays attention to a beautiful woman. But in addition to your typical male tendencies, you also have a hankering to paint your toenails pink, strap on a pair of 4-inch stilettos and slink around in a pretty dress. What’s a cross-dressing guy to do? How can he learn to walk in heels, properly apply make-up and embrace his feminine self? Fear not – help is available. Introducing Miss Vera.

“We live in a time where gender is an option.” So says Veronica Vera, a.k.a. “Miss Vera,” founder and dean of Miss Vera’s Finishing School For Boys Who Want To Be Girls. Founded 25 years ago in New York City, Miss Vera and her fellow “deans” – each of whom has a particular specialty – are an oasis of help for cross-dressing men. Becoming a student at this modern-day finishing school means a guy can learn how to moderate his voice to achieve a more feminine pitch, properly style his hair and/or wig, strut his stuff no matter how high the heel, and apply make-up to transform and bring out his inner diva.

Miss Vera’s ultimate goal, according to a video on her website, is to “increase the awareness of your options as a human.” In other words, we’re not relegated to living strictly as our biological birth would dictate. Instead, we can be ourselves with whatever gender we identify. “Average Joe” during the day, “fabulous Joanne” after hours. No need to struggle over how to make it happen. Miss Vera’s academy will show you the way.

Aside from achieving the desired physical look, the finishing school also offers courses that bring the closeted cross-dresser to the streets. How to shop, dine, even feel comfortable using the ladies’ room are all in the offering. It’s not just about looking and acting the part. Miss Vera’s teaches her eager students how to “be” a lady.

When musing on being a crossdresser, one straight, cross-dressing guy wrote in a blog post on cracked.com, “What most of us want more than anything is validation of our femininity.” Miss Vera’s Finishing School seems to understand that well, as their motto is “cherchez la femme,” or “look for the woman.” The goal, as stated on the website, is to “allow your femmeself to open you up to the world, not isolate you from it.”

All this gender acceptance is cool, but what if you’re the spouse or significant other of a cross-dressing guy and are struggling to understand and be supportive? Working with couples is more common than ever before at Miss Vera’s. Being the partner of a cross-dresser herself has helped her develop deeper insights into the psychological and emotional challenges of similarly situated couples. In consultation with them, she’s discussed topics such as role-playing, communication, children, and bisexuality.

It’s interesting to note that the straight guy in the cracked.com article made sure to point out that his interest in cross-dressing isn’t at all a sex-based need. As he says, “It’s a look, not a fetish. … It also took quite awhile to come to an understanding that dressing to feel sexy didn’t make dressing sexual.”  He’s not bisexual; it’s not a kink thing. The dude just wants to bring out his sexy side by looking and dressing like a gal.

Despite today’s broader proclivity toward identity acceptance, finding out your guy fancies wearing lacy panties can be a couple crusher for many. Certainly within our romance book world, gender benders are primarily women dressing as men, and usually in historicals where a woman is trying to do something available only to the guys. To be sure, a romance with a bad boy alpha male, the leader of a motorcycle gang, for example, would be a hard sell if the reader learns that the dude likes wearing fishnets beneath his jeans.

But perhaps that’s an assumption. What do you think? Does a cross-dressing straight guy a believable hero make? Sound off in the comments. And if you’ve got a good cross-dressing romance to recommend, let us know that, too. Here at Lady Smut, we’re never at cross purposes in talking about romance.

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

 

 

Sexy Saturday Round Up

25 Mar

Kiss me, I’m Irish.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Weekend! We’re here to nurse that greenish complexion back to a rosy hue with some soothing links all about scintillating deeds being done in the name of lurv.  So slip some of that Irish Creme in your coffee and enjoy!

From Madeline:

Buffy is 20!

Amy Poehler has a supreme vagina–‘the Angelina Jolie of vaginas

Fictional Literary Texts

5 best literary sex scenes to bone up on

Sleeping naked supposedly has good effects on yer bod.

Romance author Brenda Jackson shares how she worked with her one true love to grow her romance empire out of POC romance.

You’re not just peeing—you’re improving your sex life!

Adorable historical slang for intercourse

What would the bookstore look like with only women authors? One book store tries it for a day…

Tell the men: her orgasm is not about you.

From Elizabeth Shore

Your signs are made, you’re ready to protest – but what to eat? Fuel your activist fire with the “she persisted” energy bar.

What the future of porn and sex technology means for women.

Threesomes can be awesome – but you’ve gotta plan them well.

It’s here all in one convenient place! The Nerve’s official glossary of sex terms.

8 weird looking things to plug up your butt that feel divine.

Is your man craving some wicked big guns? Here are the seven best exercises that’ll give him amazing arms.

Everything you need to know about ball gags.

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch thinks it’s just fine to ask female employees if they plan on having kids.

Weird claymation video makes people feel either comforted or totally creeped out.

From Thien-Kim

Everyone has fantasies. Here’s 43 secret sexual ones.

Pairing sex toys with sexy reads? Count me in.

How long does an average sex session last? You might be surprised–or not.

Can Ikea ruin your marriage?

Apparently having more sex is good for your career. Let’s get cracking.

Looking for some new super sexy reads? Here are some free books for your ereader.

 

 

 

 

 

“Exploited” Bikini Babes Serving Coffee?

22 Mar

By Elizabeth Shore

If you ever find yourself in Kent, Washington and are hankering for a cuppa joe, you could head over to the local Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee. They’re as tried and true as the day is long. Coffee and a pastry and you’re good to go. But what if the same ol same ol isn’t your style? What if, for example, you like cleavage with your coffee? Some pasties with your pastries? Well, fear not, friends. There’s a place for that, too. Introducing Bikini Beans Espresso. As their logo states, “Coffee’s never been this HOT!”

Bikini Beans, as you’ll see from their Instagram page, is far from a normal coffee shop. To start, even the name is a bit of a misnomer. Bikinis? Not entirely. Pasties are the preferred form of “on top” adornment for the servers, with bikinis strictly relegated to the nether lands. Male baristas? Fuhgeddaboudit! Babes only, please. And those babes include owner, Carlie Jo, who isn’t shy about splashing pics of herself all over social media.

In addition to promoting the shop, Carlie Jo stated in an article in The Sun that being a Bikini Beans barista is empowering. “We have the right to work with grace, confidence and dignity,” she states, “regardless if it’s in a business suit, scrubs, or a bikini.” Right on, Carlie Jo. Not everyone, however, shares her views. A councilman in Spokane, Washington has been trying to push forward legislation around limits at bikini coffee stands popping up around the state. Just what exactly those “limits” are isn’t clear, but one can surmise they’re related to puttin’ on some more clothes. Some moms in the area, as shown in this ABC news report, share the councilman’s views.

The councilman states that his proposed legislation is “for the children,” as well as trying to curb the exploitation of women. However, a female barista at Bare Beans Espresso, another bikini coffee stand in the Spokane area, states emphatically that she feels neither demeaned nor exploited. In a YouTube video about the controversy surrounding these risqué coffee stands, store manager and barista Allison seems to share Carlie Jo’s views in feeling “empowered” by working in little more than pasties and a string bikini bottom. And she adds, “No one is forcing me to work here. I choose to.”

That, perhaps, is the rub. By definition, exploitation occurs when someone uses or takes advantage of another person without regard for that person’s interests. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it this way: “to use someone unfairly for your own advantage.” In that vein, can it accurately be said that women working at the bikini coffee shops are victims of exploitation? How about waitresses at Hooters? Beautiful women on magazine covers? The unifying feature is that they’re willing participants. Making the argument that someone is being exploited becomes problematic when the person wants and chooses to do what he or she is doing.

The other primary concern around the coffee bikini shops is from some who feel it’s inappropriate for kids to see scantily dressed baristas. Yet I wonder if those same concerned parents keep their kids safely hidden from the beach? The community pool? Lots of skin in those places. Is this protecting kids, or is it reinforcing the same tired message that the human body is shameful and best covered up.

For the record, there was a male-staffed bikini coffee stand in Washington called Banana Hammock. Hot beefcake dudes either shirtless or clad only in suspenders were serving up hot brews and awesome views to what appeared to be a primarily female clientele. Did the male baristas feel exploited? Demeaned? Apparently, we’ll never know. Yelp is reporting that the Banana Hammock went bust. Same with another place called Hot Cup of Joe. Women went there, according to the posted reviews, but not enough of them. Hot Cup of Joe has been rebranded Whip It A-Latte and is now staffed with…you guessed it…bikini-clad female baristas.

So prevalent are the bikini barista coffee shops in Washington and surrounding area that there’s even an online guide so you know where to go for sizzle with your steamed milk. But if cleavage and coffee isn’t your thing, there’s always Starbucks.

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spank Me! Pull My Hair! But He Says, “No.”

15 Mar

By Elizabeth Shore

In Madison, Wisconsin there’s a great hard rock radio station, WJJO, which, thanks to the internet, I can still listen to despite no longer living in the midwest. What I like about JJO, apart from the music, are the morning DJs.

Johnny, Greg, and Biatch (hey, I didn’t make it up) are unapologetically raunchy and laugh-out-loud funny. Their morning show includes everything from topical commentary on whatever’s in the news to the daily “fake at 8,” in which a woman calls in to fake an orgasm and win concert tickets if her “performance” gets a thumbs up from listeners. Every Monday morning, Mr. Skin gives his update on nude celebrities in TV and film, and every Tuesday and Thursday morning is the “Sex Fix.” A listener calls in to discuss a sexual conundrum he or she is dealing with and the morning crew lends their best advice.

Last week a female listener called in because she’s stressing over a compatibility issue with her boyfriend. His definition of “rough sex,” which is what she wants, is to land a few polite slaps on her bum and increase his pace. Her definition is to be choked, have her hair pulled, her ass smacked, and even, she said, “maybe draw a little blood” from biting. Just a little bit different.

The morning crew’s advice was for her to ease him into her kinky world by taking the bull by the horns and doing to him what she wants done to her. Start out slowly, they advised. Maybe tie him up and gently tease him with a flogger before venturing into the more intense territory she really wants. That said, they did caution that if he just doesn’t get turned on by her BDSM ways she may have to decide whether the relationship will ultimately work. A conundrum indeed.

If you do a web search on “sexual incompatibility” there are, as with most searches, an endless amount of information on the topic – good, bad, or nothin’ but fake news. Plenty of therapists offer their advice, but one of the best articles I’ve come across was one from a few years ago from dating advisor/coach and blogger Dr. NerdLove, who – as he clearly states – isn’t a real doctor. However, if you don’t know him, check out his blog. His sound advice is sprinkled with compassion and he’s amassed quite a following.

In a post he wrote back in 2014 about sexual compatibility he raised some excellent points, beginning with the culture that shapes our sexual views in the first place.

Even in the 21st century, we live in a profoundly sex-negative culture – just one that likes to think that it’s progressive. Our sexual education system is at best a glorified anatomy lesson; at worst, it’s a collection of lies and deliberate misinformation designed to (theoretically) keep children from having sex ever. We tell women to be sexy but not sexual – to be desirable but to not feel desire – while men are told that their worth depends upon as much sex as possible, setting men and women up for an inevitable conflict. Even the concept of making sure everybody is an eager participant is a new and radical concept.

…When we complain about being dissatisfied with our sex-lives then you risk plunging head-first into a wall of razor-sharp judgment from just about everyone around you. If the sexual dissatisfaction doesn’t conform to a very specific narrative… well, you’re really being selfish at best and a perv at worst.

Faced with the potential of harsh judgment, many couples choose to stay silent. Who wants to risk being viewed as a perv by one’s spouse if said perviness is deemed an undesireable trait? Better just to STFU, be thankful for what you do have and suffer in silence. Right?

Wrong. As NerdLove points out, “sex is a part of the relationship. It’s not something that can be excised when it’s inconvenient.” Having your needs in the bedroom unfulfilled will affect the relationship as a whole. Sexual incompatibility is one of the most common reasons why relationships end. No surprise that it’s an issue rarely tackled in romance novels. Who wants to read about that icky reality? Better to have your H&H happily f**king like bunnies whenever and wherever the mood (mutually) strikes.

But in the real world, as Dr. NerdLove reminds us, compromise is key. No one’s going to be a perfect sexual match. You may differ on drive, desire, or even views on fidelity and monogamy. Working out how to deal with those differences is what’ll get you to that mutual happy place.

And speaking of happy places, join LadySmut bloggers at the RT Booklovers Convention May 3-7, especially at our super special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever. Win crowns, toys, books and more. Goodybags to first 100 people in line! A raffle will be held for a big basket of books for all. Event: Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. Link: https://www.rtconvention.com/ event/never-have-you-ever- ever-ever

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

 

 

 

 

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