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Real Life Christian Grey Talks BDSM & Fifty Shades

15 Feb

Hello readers!  We have a guest post for you today from A.C. Rose–an interview republished TheThreeTomatoes.com. Find out more about A.C. Rose’s writing and her book about 50 Shades at her website. Check out her facebook group 50 Shades of Grey Fans.unnamed

Shades of Al Daltrey: Talking About BDSM with a Real Life Christian Grey

As “Fifty Shades Darker” plays in theaters around the world women are once again thinking of Christian Grey, BDSM and sexually dominant males. I felt it my journalistic duty to bring you an interview with a man who knows about it all, first hand.

Al Daltrey is a real life Dom who lives the lifestyle and also writes strong BDSM erotica. His books come with a warning label and are not traditional erotic romances, yet he has gained a following of female fans that appreciate his unapologetic peek into the world of BDSM. You might even say it brings some of them to their knees.

By day, Daltrey dons a suit and tie, and works in marketing. In 2014 he opened his laptop and somewhat accidentally launched a second career as an erotica author, penning his first book, Testing the Submissive. He admits it is “more extreme” than anything he would ever consider doing with a real life submissive, yet readers say the story makes them tingle in all the right places.

There is a line in that book that, to my mind, sums up why women love to read about powerful Alphas. “Experienced and mature dominants always have an understated confidence,” he writes. “There is no need to flaunt their power.” There is something very sexy about men, real and fictional, who own their power.

His second novel, A Condo With Two Views, is written from the point-of-view of both the Dom and the Sub. His most recent books are, Pain, Pleasure, and Purpose: Pleasure (Book One) Pleasure) and Pleasure, Pain or Purpose: Pain (Book Two).They tell the story of three best friends who help each other navigate life, loss and love…and lots of kinky sex. “I poured everything I had into this story,” says the author.

It’s not often you get to pull up a chair and talk to a real life, happily married, sexually dominant male, so we appreciate Al taking the time to answer some of our burning questions.

AC ROSE: What exactly is a male dominant?

AL DALTREY: First, let me say: definitions are not always universal.  Ask 25 people the difference between a liberal and a conservative and you will get 25 different answers. All my answers in this interview are my personal opinion based on my personal experiences. Others in the BDSM lifestyle may disagree, and that is fair.  For this question, I assume you mean a sexual dominant. The simple definition is: a person, male or female, who takes control during consensual sex. The submissive of course, relinquishes that control.

And what is exactly vanilla sex?

Vanilla sex is simply regular, normal, healthy non-BDSM sex.  Or, even more simply…non-kinky sex. It is a term that became popular within the BDSM lifestyle to describe sex between those who are not in the lifestyle.

So from your perspective, can a sexually dominant male enjoy both?

Absolutely.  Personally, I have always loved great vanilla sex. I may practice BDSM, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy vanilla sex too. BDSM became the icing on the cake.  In a good healthy sexual relationship, there are nights where a couple wants the lovemaking to be soft, tender and romantic.  Another night, for kinky fun, they might employ bondage and spanking.  The point is, it’s not all or none. There is room for both.

How did you find yourself on this path, personally? And are you currently in a power exchange relationship?

I was born with it. I know that for a fact. Growing up, the fantasies and inclinations were there. That said, for me, consent is key. I do not believe in force, and do not find force arousing in any way.  Today I am very happily married to my beautiful wife.

Female sexual submission is a controversial topic. Some see female submission as a weakness yet many women find role play satisfying and they obviously like reading about it too.

During my lifetime I’ve been lucky enough to meet my fair share of submissive women. And don’t for a minute think these women were weak. Outside the bedroom they were confident, opinionated, gregarious and self-assured. In fact, many of them were successful executives or professionals. At the workplace, they kicked butt. However, inside the bedroom (so to speak) they wanted to feel the strong firm hand of a dominant man taking complete control.

What got you started writing erotic books?

I started writing because of an interest in BDSM, not because of an interest in writing. One day, I flipped open my laptop and starting writing a kinky BDSM story, not really thinking about where it would lead. Soon I had 20 pages, then 40, then 60 and I knew I was on my way to my first novel.  I heard about self-publishing, so cleaned it up and uploaded it onto Amazon. The reaction seemed positive, and soon I had a Street Team on Facebook helping me promote the book.

Erotic romance is a huge now. Do you find as many readers who just want to read about kinky sex for arousal?

In my view, the market for erotic romance novels is far bigger than the “kinky sex for arousal” market.  The latter market scours the internet for sites such as Literotica to get their fix.  There are exceptions of course.  Some novels do well.  But generally, I believe the kinky sex market is remarkably small.

Since you are writing as a sexually dominant male, what do think women hope to learn from your books, and from you?

I worry about that. My books are not intended to “teach” anything about the BDSM lifestyle. They are intended simply as fiction. A story. I worry when people read my books hoping for a glimpse into the real BDSM lifestyle.  My books have a lot of stuff that I don’t condone.  Just like action movies are exaggerated, so are BDSM novels.  People should read my books for fun, not for education.

Is the sex in your novels rough because that is what your readers want?

It’s not that I’m trying to cater to what the reader wants but in storytelling almost everything is exaggerated for dramatic effect. In a cop story we see these wildly spectacular car chases where 10 Police cars chase a car through crowded streets at speeds of 200 mph. In a medical drama the Doctor heroically saves countless lives.  In a sports movie the athlete scores the winning goal with two seconds left.  Think of every single Hollywood movie you know. So, with a BDSM novel, the same applies. The tasks that the submissive must perform are exaggerated for dramatic effect. It’s fantasy. So, in my books, the sex scenes are intensified as is the case in every other genre.

Your reading audience is primarily women. Some would like to turn their vanilla mates into dominant males, or at least get them to experiment. Any advice on getting guys to try new things?

To answer a question like that would take pages, and even then, it varies by person/couple.  I’m not sure I can provide a succinct answer.  There is some information on my blog.  As I say in my blog: not all men are born with a dominant gene. With those men, I’m not sure that there’s any hope.  Those men who have the underlying qualities – at least there’s hope. Someone could probably write an entire book on this, lol.

Do people call you master?

As mentioned, I am happily married and have been for some time. My wife does not call me “Master” no. Nor do we discuss our personal lives in any kind of detail. I can tell you that I have been called “Master,” and it’s actually a lovely feeling. Obviously it is commonly used in a scene, but also it can be a nice endearment among two people who live the lifestyle.  He might say, “Sleep well my little pet,” and she might say, “Goodnight Master.”  Like anything, if terms of endearment are overused they become goofy.  We’ve all been around couples who make us gag because they are so lovey-dovey.  But used properly “Master” can be a great word. I’m not sure if your question was poking fun at the term…but I hold it in high regard.

Learn more about Al Daltrey.

Find Al Daltrey books.

Visit Al Daltrey’s Erotica BDSM virtual community.

A.C. Rose is a love, romance, and entertainment columnist and author of steamy romance books. Her Latest book is AROUSAL

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Only .99. Click to buy.

 

Allison Monroe just got kissed on an elevator.

But she has no time to be distracted by this gorgeous man, with his panty-melting glances and sexy accent. She’s headed to the most important event of her career—a launch party for the new “My Fantasy e-Reader” at Club Kismet, high atop a Manhattan Skyscraper.

She’s determined to forget about the amatory elevator ride.

But Nicolai Petre has other ideas. That kiss confirmed what his grandmother’s vision had already told him—that Allison is his destiny.

He’s determined win her love but has only six days to prove they are meant to be. So he must keep her in a state of… AROUSAL.

Insta-Attraction in Romance … and Life: Guest Post by Rebecca Brooks

4 Oct
Rebecca says her heroines *always* get what they want. Click if you're down with that!

Rebecca says her heroines *always* get what they want. Click if you’re down with that!

By Rebecca Brooks

I still remember the moment I laid eyes on my now-husband over eight years ago.

It was in a meeting that was totally unremarkable except for the man sitting across from me. I can picture what he was wearing, the bag he was carrying, the way he held his pen. Most of all, I remember his smile, bright and genuine, the way he lit up when he talked about teaching, research, and writing—the things he cares about most.

If my life were a romance novel, he’d be a billionaire vampire fated to protect clumsy, unassuming little me and we’d have immediately left the meeting to bang against the glass window of a penthouse conference room—as soon as he had me sign a contract dictating when and where I was allowed to come per his commands.

Alas, dear reader, we met for tea. Then beers. Falafel. Shared our favorite chocolate shops. At some point six months later it dawned on me that our marathon hang-out sessions at bookstores and bars were different than the time I spent with friends. I never wanted them to end.

But when I’m reading a romance novel, I don’t want to read about those first six months between spark and follow-through, months in which everyone is busy with work and life and sometimes forgets to text back and who has time for dating, anyway?

I want to read about the moment when the heroine locks eyes with the hero and her mouth goes dry. Her pulse kicks up. She can feel her heart racing, feel the world around her slow. It may not be a good idea. Scratch that—it’s definitely a bad one. But she knows what she wants. And my heroines always get what they want.

I want the hero to think, This is the one. Not the one for forever—it’s way too soon in the story for that. But the one for a night. And then another. As these improbable instances string together, we start to see a relationship grow.

I know some readers don’t like insta-attraction because they think it’s unrealistic. But people meet at clubs, find each other on Tinder, hook up in all sorts of situations that start with a glance, a touch, a moment that can’t be explained. Note that I’m not talking about insta-love, but the sizzling hot attraction characters experience right off the bat. Love, as romance novels teach us, is something different altogether.

Think of Lacey and Hunter in Liberating Lacey (Anne Calhoun). Olivia and Jamie in Bad Boys Do (Victoria Dahl). Katie and Cameron in Instant Attraction (Jill Shalvis). I just watched episode 1 of Luke Cage on Netflix last night and he and Misty Knight make all the eye contact at a bar—and then go home to have all. the. sex. And this is after Luke has turned down another woman, making clear he doesn’t want to take just anyone home. Was I complaining about the unrealistic timeline as Massive Hot Man unzipped her slinky blue dress? No, I most certainly was not.

Austin, the hero in MAKE ME STAY, is an Olympic skier and racing coach. Have you seen those ass-tight racing skins that skiers wear? As the heroine Sam says of herself when she first spies him on the slopes, she’s a red-blooded woman. She’s not falling in love with him on sight alone. But she’s definitely checking him out.

Sam doesn’t expect anything to happen. In fact, it would be a whole lot better for her billion-dollar company if it didn’t. Only that initial attraction leads to more. Flirting. Banter. A kiss in the falling snow. A surprise detour to a shelter on the mountain where things get hot and heavy. The realization that one very delightful afternoon together isn’t going to be enough, and everything both Sam and Austin thought they knew is changing.

That build-up from first glance to full-on romance never fails to make me giddy. It’s why I’m a sucker for insta-attraction, the catalyst that sets the whole story in motion. It sets up a promise I get to spend the whole book looking forward to: when the hero and heroine get their hard-earned HEA.

But first, they have to feel the spark.

Hey, it’s Alexa. Ready to hit the slopes? Me too. Check out the details and grab your copy!

Blurb:

She’s his…for now.

Samantha Kane is about to solidify her father’s legacy by developing sleepy Gold Mountain into the most profitable ski resort in the country. There’s one man standing in her way though. One very sexy, rugged man. When she shows up to convince Austin Reede to sell, she has no intention of hiding her identity. But with a body like his, she’ll take a few risks to get closer.

Austin was the fastest skier on the U.S. Olympic team, until he shattered his knee. Gold Mountain became his refuge—and now Kane Enterprises is threatening that home. When he meets Sam, he has no idea she’s the one to blame, he just knows the attraction between them is one he hasn’t felt in years. A scorching hot one-night stand is just what he needs. Little does he guess that it will change everything…

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Make-Stay-Men-Gold-Mountain-ebook/dp/B01LWI5U6W

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/make-me-stay-rebecca-brooks/1124588844

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/make-me-stay-5

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/make-me-stay/id1153572279

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30169610-make-me-stay

Read the first chapter: http://entangledpublishing.com/make-me-stay/

Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind in order to try something new—and find the passion, excitement, and purpose they didn’t even know they’d been missing.

Find out more at rebeccabrooksromance.com.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebeccabrooksromance

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/beccabooks

 

Would You Like Me To Ravage You?

23 Sep
Click to buy.

Click to buy.

by Madeline Iva

She’s baaaaaaack! You liked her Madame X post so much that we’ve asked Thien-Kim Lam to come back for another guest post.  Happy Friday!

A couple of months ago, my husband interrupted my animated retelling of the sex scenes in Tessa Dare’s Any Duchess Will Do. (The scenes are quite creative, and the power dynamics between the main characters heighten every movement.)

“It sounds like a fun book. Can we read it together?”

I was shocked. He had never expressed interest in reading any of my romance books.

We’ve read books together before, in audiobook form. Most of the books we’ve listened to have been thrillers: Girl on the Train, The Girl with All the Gifts, and The 500. Books with action and adventure that move quickly. Books that mirror his favorite kind of movies. Coincidentally, those three books are being made into movies.

For the past year or so, we’ve been listening to the same audiobook in tandem. Even though I listen at faster speeds, we try to stay within a chapter of each other. He has more time during his commute and work day to listen so I’m usually the one playing catch-up. After the kids go to bed, we talk about what’s happened so far in the book. It’s become our couples book club.

Reading together has given us something to talk about that isn’t related to work or our children. Our television habits are different, save for handful of shows. We didn’t use to read the same books. I read widely across genres, while he gravitated towards graphic novels, his magazines, and Neil Labute plays.

After my shock wore off, we agreed to read Dare’s first Spindle Cove book A Night to Surrender since I was almost done listening to Any Duchess Will Do. I still couldn’t believe he wanted to read a historical romance book with me!

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

I was nervous the first day we started A Night to Surrender. Outside of the a couple of scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey that I read aloud to him, he’s a newbie to romance and erotica. Would he like it or hate it? What would I do if he hated one of my favorite sub genres?

Earbuds in hand, he kissed me goodbye and left for work. Time to queue up the audiobook. As I listened to the first chapters, I analyzed each scene. Would my husband think the main characters’ meet cute too contrived? Would he understand the nuances of clothing in this period? How could he react to the arrogant alpha male hero?

As soon as my husband stepped through the door that evening, I attacked him. No, not that way. I asked him what he thought about Tessa Dare’s book. “It’s cute. I like it.” He was actually grinning! I was relieved.

Over dinner we discussed the attraction between feisty, independent Susanna and arrogant but adorably clueless Lord Rycliff. He compared the novel to the romantic comedy movies we love to watch. Over the next several nights we discussed the comedy of errors of the couple’s first kiss and the first time super sexytimes. He even quoted seductive lines from the book–partly in jest, but partly to try get in my pants. Try keeping a straight face when your husband gives you a seductive look and says in a British accent, “Would you like me to ravage you?”

Ladies, my husband has still got it. And he’s all mine.

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Since then, we’ve listened to other romance books, most recently Maya Banks’ Forged in Steele. Her KGI series contains everything we like: suspense, action, explosions with plenty of romance and sex. Forged in Steele’s high drama and cheesy dirty talk has elicited a flurry of texts between us throughout the day. Mostly us cracking up over the dirty talk.

After fourteen years of marriage, I’m glad that we can find new mutual interests. I should not have assumed that he wouldn’t be interested in reading romances. The past year I’ve forced him to listen to me as I debate on which sex toy I should pair with certain erotic romances when I curate my Bawdy Bookworm Boxes. I guess I finally made him curious enough to jump into the romance world.

Now we need to pick our next romance audiobooks. Please share your recommendations!

Do you read romances with your partner?

Thien-Kim Lam cut her teeth on historical romances and they will always have a special place in her heart. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check 5 Steamy Book & Sex Toy Pairings for Your Pleasure Chest for buzzy recommendations.

 

 

From Naughty to Nice: Following My Muse Across Genres. A Guest Post From Jackson D’Lynne

12 Sep

There seems to be a misconception among romance readers; once an author has written in a specific genre, they are locked into the genre, and therefore spice level, until they give up ghost.

What a load of shit.

Guest author Jackson D'Lynne

Guest author Jackson D’Lynne

Most authors are driven by their passion, their muse, and the money they make from writing, which means that while one genre birthed their careers, they are in no way shackled to it. The market dictates what is popular and therefore what readers are buying.

Lots of authors change up their genres to fit the market, and I’m all for that as long as you can do it while still staying true to your muse.

I began writing fiction in elementary school, and I have been writing bits and pieces here and there over the years. But I didn’t begin writing books until 2012. I published my first book in March of that year, and guess what? It was a book of Christian poetry and short stories.

How then did I end up on this website, you ask?

Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

Well, in 2014, I switched it up and wrote and published a deliciously smutty time travel paranormal novel, The Diva and the Duke, the first book in my The Three Goddesses Series. While I am a born-again Christian, not every story idea my muse conjures up is SFC (safe for church), and the idea for that particular book series plagued me until I gave in and wrote it.

I officially switched up genres, in a big way.

The Diva and the Duke was so unlike what I’d written before that my mother-in-law refused to read it. Her right, her loss. While my MIL didn’t like it, someone did because it reached the Amazon Bestseller’s List twice.

In 2015, I wrote and published my second smutfest, The Rancher and the Renegade—it was full of smexiness, filthy language, and an utterly deviant villain. It was longer and naughtier than the first book, and therefore even further from the squeaky clean book I’d written in 2012.

Now, were in 2016 and my muse is no longer happy with just writing paranormal romance. She wants adventure, she wants dark tales, she wants clean, sweet romantic tales that would make fans of Little House on the Prairie sell their last pail of milk to own it.

Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

My muse, who I lovingly call “Ellari, Sorceress of the Pen”, is now conjuring up story ideas for several YA Sci-Fis and thrillers, a sweet fantasy standalone, a bloody and suspenseful adult thriller, a time-travel pirate trilogy, a dark medieval fantasy, a series of erotic novellas set in space, and the book series I am currently writing for Dragonblade Publishing: Dry Bayou Brides.

As someone who lives and dies by her muse, I’ve never been one to tell her no, and so I’ve decided to give her the lead. She’s told me to write a brand new sweet western romance series, and so I am. The first book in my new Dry Bayou Brides series is The Shepherd’s Daughter (set for release September 27, 2016), and it is so far from what I’ve written before that I am petrified at what fans of my naughty books will think.

Will they like it? Do they expect me to sneak sexy bits in between the pages? Will they think I’ve turned my back on spicy books?

Coming September 27, 2016!

Coming September 27, 2016!

As an author, readers are my bread and butter, and without them I am left with lots of words to write and no one reading them. But because writing is my passion, and my muse and I are a team, I am taking a chance at writing outside the box in which my career began.

I’m taking a chance on my new genre, will you?

Jackson D’Lynne is one of the pseudonyms of a hardworking mother of four trapped in rural Pennsylvania. When she isn’t writing naughty paranormal romance, she is writing sweet historical romance as Lynn Winchester. When she isn’t writing at all, she is reading, playing Diablo III, having long conversations with her cat, Nix, or watching Netflix and chilling with her husband of 12 years.

You can catch up with Jackson on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Lady Smut–we’ll be super nice to all your naughty.

Madame X & My Book Hangover: Guest Post by Thien-Kim Lam

2 Sep
Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Hello Dear Readers! Madeline here.  I am exceptionally excited to have Thien-Kim Lam guest post on our blog today. 🙂  Alexa Day was bemoaning declawed alpha males earlier this week, but I think Thien-Kim has found a ringer here—check it out, Alexa!

When I first pick up a romance, it’s the heroine I fall in love with first.

It doesn’t matter who she is, I root for her. Sometimes she’s funny or ambitious (or both!). She doesn’t need a man in her life, but she’ll glad take him for a hard ride. (Maybe more than once.) I love her because she chooses her own path and expects to be treated equal to others. I adore that romance authors give my (our?) heroines agency in their lives.

Agency is what makes all romance heroines feminists.

Then I met X. That’s Madame X to you.

In opening pages of Jasinda Wilder’s Madame X, our heroine is calculating and demanding. Her confident tone would be heralded if she had a penis between her legs. Despite her expertise, the recipient of her reprimand refuses to accept her instructions. She’s unwavering in her demands and he eventually accepts his reality: Madame X won’t take shit from her man-child client.

I loved Madame X mere paragraphs into the novel.

Who is Madame X? It might be easier to define who she is not. She’s not a prostitute. Nor is she a dominatrix. She teaches spoiled, affluent clients how to exude confidence and control inside the boardroom and out. She uses great skill to force these young men into (psychological) submission. Madame X always succeeds. Thus, her services are in high demand.

She is one badass woman who’s not afraid to take control. I want a friend like X. Someone I could drink some 12-year-old single malt scotch with and talk about everything: men, work, sex, and definitely orgasms.

My heart stopped when Caleb entered X’s apartment. Suddenly her personality changed. Around him she spoke softly, acted demurely, and instantly responded to his command to strip. He takes what he needs from her: her mouth, her breasts, her sex. She feels she has no choice but to give Caleb what he demands. He saved her when she had no one else to take care of her. He’s given every material thing she touches and every memory she has. Even if her heart and mind tries to stand up to him,her body responds to his touch. 7e7bd95b7d149c15b55241f1f5d75dd3She never fails to reach her peak under his hands.

Madame X submits to Caleb’s dark eyes and roving hands while wishing for the freedom to choose what she wants. A freedom that Jasinda Wilder’s opening pages led me to believe that X had. A freedom that I wish for X as badly as she wishes for herself.

As a reader, I expect an emotional roller coaster ride, but Jasinda’s novel was more like Space Mountain than the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. I had no idea where she would take me but I blindly–and happily–hung on for dear life. She had me hooked. I was determined to keep my eyes open during the thrill ride, even if I could only see tiny little lights ahead.

It’s been almost a month since I finished Madame X and I cannot stop thinking about this book.

Did she fit into my idea of a feminist heroine? Her lack of freedom, the options available to her, and the choices she made said no. More confounding to me was the desire she had for Caleb. How could a strong woman like X need approval and affection from cold, calculating Caleb?

I relive X’s journey in my head over and over. Why did she make the choices she did? Caleb held the key to her gilded cage, but surely she could have stood up to him the way she stood up to her clients. Maybe he wouldn’t give her complete freedom. Maybe she could ask him to let her decide when and if she would submit to his sexual demands. Why didn’t she just ask?

Then it hit me. I’m projecting what *I* would do onto Madame X.

c666b4943fc8ee0ee370f1b4b6a93198X makes the best decision based on the information she has. Even though the novel is written in first-person, I–the reader–feel omniscient. I see how Caleb is gaslighting X. I see the cyclical signs of emotional and verbal abuse followed by remorse. X’s circumstances have not given her the knowledge bank to realize Caleb may not have her best interests at heart.My knowledge and background are different from hers so my choices are different from hers.

Madame X may not be the feminist heroine that I envisioned when I first met her, but I never got the impression that she was weak. I had to have faith that Madame X would choose what she felt was best for herself even if I didn’t like her decision.

I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, but it fits for this dark romance. Just like my personal journey, X’s intense emotional journey can’t be told in just one book. I’ve fallen in love with X, and I want her to be happy. I’m not ready to let her go. Madame X caught me tightly in its web. I’m ready to take deep breaths and buckle in for the next two books in the series.

If you haven’t read Madame X yet, be forewarned that you’ll have the biggest book hangover ever.

Just make sure you’re buckled in for the Jasinda Wilder roller coaster ride.

Thien-Kim Lam is a feminist who loves erotica and romance. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries are always included. Check 5 Steamy Book & Sex Toy Pairings for Your Pleasure Chest for buzzy recommendations.

Fantasies and the Married Woman: A Guest Post by Karen Booth

22 Aug

by Karen Booth

Note from Kiersten: It’s theme week here at Lady Smut as we celebrate the release of Lady Smut blogger Elizabeth Sa Fleur’s novel Perfect, the newest installment in her Elite Doms of Washington series.

Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

Isabella Santos married the wrong man. After her husband’s death, fate gives her a second chance to connect with her perfect Master—Mark Santos, the brother of her late husband.

To herald the arrival of Perfect, we’ll be talking this week about second chances, committed relationships, venturing into new (sexual) experiences, and lots of other tasty treats served up Lady Smut style. Author Karen Booth was game to join us this week and delve into the fantasies of married woman–because they’re married, not blind or dead. Welcome Karen!

If you read and believe Cosmo magazine, even we married women spend our day sitting around, mulling over our sexual fantasies, and then when nighttime comes, we just say, “Hey, honey. You know what I’ve always wanted to do?” And our partner says, “Hell yes. Let’s do THAT. Now.” And he takes off his clothes and has perfect abs and we do it in the front yard in front of the neighbors and start a sexual revolution in the suburbs.

Except I know for a fact that it doesn’t work like that.

A few years ago, I wrote an erotic novella called Love Plus One. It’s about a couple that decides to start pushing boundaries in the bedroom after nearly a decade of marriage. Olivia, the heroine, is frustrated as hell. Between kids and career and the house, sex has taken a back seat. Being a sex kitten, a wife, and a mom is hard—I don’t know that men realize what a difficult mental shift that can be. A little help, please. Sex with her husband, Brian, used to curl her toes. Now he’s hardly mussing up her hair.

I wrote the book in part, because I have lived this frustration. Lots of people have. Let me just put KIDS in all-caps because that’s where things really started to go south for me, as much as I love the (now not-so little) buggers. It’s next to impossible to feel sexy when you’re exhausted. The only thing you want happening in bed is sleep. Your body is mushy in new places. Your spouse has seen your body do amazing, impossibly unsexy, things. Things like breasts, which used to be strictly for fun, become utilitarian.

Making things new and exciting after that is not easy. We want to connect with our partner. Walls have been torn down. We have a new closeness. I know how to fix this! Talking! Now is the time to really tell the other person what you want, quite possibly the thing you’ve always wanted but never had the guts to admit. You love each other. You care about each other. This will totally work.

Yeah. Not so easy. Especially if you’re like me—shy.

But Karen, you write sexy books.

Yep, yep. I know. Still shy.

Unless I’m writing a book or over-sharing with my girlfriends after one too many cocktails, being verbal about sex does not come naturally to me at all. I’m a writer. Show, don’t tell. Show me what you want. I’m not talking. Much. Dems da rules.

I know for a fact that I’m not alone. And it’s not just women who have a hard time asking.

Which led me to the second reason I wrote this book. Brian has a fantasy he’s never shared, something he has kept locked up in his handsome head for years. He might never have shared it, but Olivia has forced the issue. That’s what we do, right? She wants him back in charge and she told him so. She wants to know what he wants. The answer? He wants to watch Olivia with another man.

Now, I wouldn’t describe Brian as shy, but there’s a real reason why he never brought it up and I think it’s one that a lot of us can relate to. What happens if you divulge your deepest, darkest fantasy and your spouse or partner is abhorred? Disgusted? And you have to look at them every morning over coffee for the rest of your life?

The other part of the equation is that he doesn’t quite understand why he has this fantasy. Luckily, Olivia has reached the point where she just wants to tear down walls left and right. You can only push a woman so far. They talk about it, and he eventually sorts out what it is about this scenario that is such a turn-on, and it’s not what Olivia thought.

Fantasies are like snowflakes. Most of us don’t know why we’re turned on by certain scenarios or situations, we only know that we are. It’s one thing to acknowledge these fantasies in the first place. Oh wait, I do want to do it with four guys at once. For example. It’s quite another thing to be vocal about it.

It’s tough to admit a fantasy, especially in the context of a relationship. At what point is it okay to bring it up? At the beginning, when you really like someone, you’re worried about looking bad or bringing about the end of your time with this amazing person you found. You know what she wanted? She wanted to do it with four guys. For example.

As things get more serious, well, they get more serious. There’s more on the line. You’re terrified you’re going to mess up. And then there’s just the practical side of things—after ten years, you’re telling me you want to try THAT? Where did you even learn about that? Have you been thinking about this the whole time we’ve been together?

It’s a Catch-22 unlike any other. The closer you get, the more time you spend together, the more you trust and (hopefully) love each other. It should get easier to share your deepest, darkest desires. But at that point, you love this person more than anything, and it feels risky. What if this is the one thing that crosses the line for them?

It’s scary stuff. And if it’s not scary for you, and you are the Sir Edmund Hillary of sexual exploration, that’s awesome. The rest of us are still figuring this out. The point is, the person we love most might not be as open as we need them to be. Or…they might be. So, maybe it’s best to take the leap, hope to hell that love gets us through it, and try to get what we want. The rewards might be pretty spectacular.

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Karen Booth is a Midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ‘80s music, Judy Blume, and the films of John Hughes. She writes sexy contemporary big-city romance. Love Plus One is one of three erotic romances included in her new erotic bundle (not a euphemism), Hot Nights, Big City. Learn more at her website http://www.karenbooth.net and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you, Karen, for joining our theme week here at Lady Smut! Be sure to check out Karen’s new novella Love Plus One in the erotic romance novel bundle Hot Nights, Big City.

Love Plus One
Eager to reclaim a passionate past, Brian Saunders whisks his wife, Olivia, off to Manhattan to pursue the fantasy he’s never revealed—he wants another man to pleasure her while he watches. Olivia never imagined her husband was concocting this scenario in his handsome head, nor did she imagine he’d choose Michael, their mutual, smoking hot friend, to help him out. Venturing into uncharted waters, Brian must contend with a heady mix of envy and arousal while Olivia surrenders to a man who’s fired up to have his chance with her. When three becomes two again, Brian’s only desire is to reclaim his stake on his wife and Olivia can’t wait to give him everything that’s his.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll give you all the fantasies you can think of…and some you never would.

 

 

Favorite Trends in Romance: A Guest Post by Michele Mannon

15 Aug

by Michele Mannon

The Romance Writers of America conference this summer held a discussion about hot trends within the romance genre. For this post, I decided to address this topic and share five trends I think are both prevalent in many new releases as well as trends I gravitate toward as a reader.

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Guest Poster Michele Mannon

Bikers, Mobsters, Criminals, and Hit Men

I’ll be the first to admit, I love a bad boy hero. I love reading them. I love featuring them in my books. These mega Alpha heroes typically run against the grain of society, are often defiant, violent and like to be in control. Ever since Kristen Ashley released Motorcycle Man, with a surly bad ass biker hero named Kane “Tack” Allen, I’ve been hooked. Another book I recently read is Dark Mafia Prince by Annika Martin. The hero is a mobster…a hot as sin Russian bratva, and man is he naughty.

Tattoos

What began as bad boy heroes with tribal tattoos seems to have morphed into an entire subgenre within contemporary romance. Laura Kaye has a great series, The Hard Ink Novels, which are set in a tattoo parlor. And authors are getting creative with what their hero’s and heroine’s tats say and where they’re located. The best example of this is in Molly Joseph’s Diva. Sorry I can’t give it away but let’s just say you’ll feel like you’ve been struck by lightening after the author so expertly reveal it.

Dirty, Filthy Sex

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Remember when in almost every romance you’d have to wait until page 100 for the characters to get it on? Just like the pacing in stories is changing—becoming much more like television, fast and always moving forward—sex within romances is happening a lot sooner, and with much more yummy, explicit detail. Spankings, rough, dirty-talking heroes, and a whole lot of intense foreplay seem to be the norm right now. And I really love a good, dirty sex scene. Yet crafting one where love sex that drips off the pages and that has the right balance of angst, love and sexual tension is hard work. I recently had a reviewer comment about my new release, Rogue, the first book in The Deadliest Lies Series: “Mannon really knows how to craft a love scene-scintillating and yet tender.” A comment I love, of course. The truth is I write scenes I want to read. And hopefully, you do too! (BTW, I featured an excerpt below. Warning: heat level high.)

Crossing the Border

Scenes, and stories, set outside of small town America seems to be an “up-and-coming” trend. In The Professional, Kresley Cole took us on an amazing, and highly erotic, journey to Russia. There’s a great scene inside a banya that I love. In case you’re wondering, a banya is an outdoor sauna the Russians favor. Inside, visitors escape the cold and partake in the custom of smacking each other across the body with bound twigs and leafy branches dipped in cold water. See, there’s something new to be learned in these globe-trotting stories.
And characters are also taking on more of an international flavor. Ilsa Madden-Mills, Dirty English, features a British street fighter. In my book Hit Man (coming 11/16), Diego is Mexican/Danish…with a filthy, Spanish-speaking potty mouth. 

Mercenary Promo Image

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Man Buns

Okay, I haven’t read a single romance with a hero with a man bun. And I’m talking about the curled up ponytail kind, not buns of steel. But I’m giving everyone an official heads up. If you read The Deadliest Lies series, the ruthless CEO of this group of hit men has a man bun. You’ll see it described through the main characters eyes in every book. But I promise you, when Hayden’s story is revealed, great things are going to happen to that man bun.

So what are trends you’re reading in romance? Which ones do you like? Are there any driving you crazy? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

Blurb for ROGUE

My lover is dead.

And they think I killed him.

I’m running rogue. Hell bent on both revenge and redemption. Whatever it takes, I’m going to finish a job that began nine months ago. An unauthorized assignment that turned horribly, devastatingly wrong.

My miscalculation.

My fault.

My heart left shattered into incomplete pieces which will never wholly fit back together again.

But first I have to outsmart my former organization and the hired killer they’ve sent after me; a ghost from my past who knows my every move, who’s been inside my head, my heart, my dreams and memories: Jaxson.

I’m the traitor, Kylie. The rogue mercenary, Jaxson’s newest assignment.

And this is our love story.

Rogue Promo collage

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Excerpt from ROGUE: Warning ~ Spice Level HOT

Kylie and Jaxson are on the run and things get a bit wild.

Terrific. He’s going to flirt with me and tease me to death.

“You up for a challenge?”

“It depends on what it is.”

“Smart girl. How about I give you a play by play? Then you can either tell me to fuck off or to go for it.”

“What if I tell you to fuck off right now?” I sweetly ask.

He chuckles. “It’s your dime, fireball. Your call.”

I arch my eyebrows. He’s got this naughty, devilish look in his eyes and, God knows, not only should I resist him but I should roll myself out of our hiding place and run as fast as my legs will carry me into the woods.

“If this will help me survive Hell Camp, I’m up for a challenge,” I hear myself say.

“Believe me, it’s going to be a lesson in restraint for me as well. So here’s the deal. I wanna tease that sweet pussy of yours. Fuck you with my fingers. See how quiet you can be, how still you can be, how in control you can be when all hell is breaking loose around you. A shame I can’t lick you like I want. We’ll save that for a better time.

What do you say?”

What do I say? I open, close then open my mouth. Nothing comes out. Not “Yes, make me come beneath this decomposing tree while Hayden’s hellions run amuck around us.” Not “No, how about courting me with a few flowers first? Or at the very least, getting me tipsy on a bottle of good wine?”

I swallow hard. “I say this is you being unpredictable. Go figure.”

His hand slides downward and across my belly.

“Don’t you dare,” I whisper.

“Oh, I dare. But . . . do you?”

“Seriously?”

“I’ve been thinking about this for days. Fuck, since you sank that knife into my thigh.”

I squeeze my eyes shut. Hating that memory.

Jesus. He’s lost his freaking mind right along with me losing mine.

“Listen. You think I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been eye-fucking me? Damn, I love the way you bite then lick your lip while you think I don’t know that you’re watching me.” His hand moves across my lower abdomen, the tips of his fingers sliding beneath the waistband of my sweatpants and my panties.

“Jaxson who?” I reply. Yeah, right. I’ve had eye-gasms over him for weeks.

This is crazy. Beyond crazy . . . insane. My whole experience at Hell Camp, the fights, the knives, is surreal. One adventure after another. Nothing prepared me for him. The pad of his pointer finger flickers over my nub, tempting me. I think, Why not give into this wild need to go a little nuts? Besides, I’m with the right man to push me over the edge—literally. Just looking at him . . . oh my . . .

He’s curled a finger inside my folds.

The bony part of his palm rubs across my sensitive hood.

And I’m wet, and growing wetter with each subtle caress.

“Bend your leg and put it up on my outer thigh.”

I stare at him like he’s talking gibberish.

“I need this as much as you do.” He grins like a madman, a daredevil, a man who can steal your breath away then have you begging he steal more of it. And just like that, I’m a goner.

I bend, lift my leg, and anchor it on top of his thigh. “Stop . . . talking. Or they’ll hear you,” I whisper, my tone hoarse with excitement.

Naughty. Oh so naughty, and I want it.

“Fireball,” he murmurs, “I’m going to be struggling right along with you not to give our hiding spot away. I promise you that.”

“Misery loves company,” I add, then moan as he thrusts a digit into my slick channel.

“The best kind of misery.”

Slowly, so very slowly, he slides his finger in and out, and I’m in heaven. I feel his thumb pressing into my nub as his finger drags along the walls of my channel.

“You’re wet but tight,” he breathes into my ear, “I’m going to work another finger inside. Nod if that’s okay.”

“Do it,” I demand.

As promised, he pushes a second in alongside the first. Slowly at first, then quickening the pace. I can’t help but tilt my hips along with each stroke. It’s not long before I feel the climax building up inside me.

I moan.

“Coming,” he whispers so quietly, I barely catch his question.

“Almost. Sweet Mary . . .”

“No. They’re coming. Footsteps.” He winks at me, rolling his thumb once again over my sensitive hood while his fingers plunge into me and withdraw. Once. Twice. Three times. Until my body is shaking with need.

I jerk at the sound of a voice close by. “The trail Jaxson left behind was goddamn amateurish. Like he wants us to find him. He’s around here somewhere.”

My eyebrows lift high enough to touch the tree overhead.

His smirk is full of mischief.

And, holy sweet Mary, if his tongue is anything like his fingers . . . I clamp my lips shut, holding back my moan. Yes, oh yes.

“Check around.”

No, oh no.

“Over here,” someone shouts at the same time I arch my hips toward Jaxson and pray that the mewing sound going off in my head doesn’t work its way out of my mouth.

I struggle to keep quiet, to still my movements, to not give us away. And I curse Jaxson for putting me in this situation, for masterfully bringing me to the edge, to make me want to shout out my climax, only to have to dig deep not to do so.

My eyes meet his, and without my making a sound, I crest. My pleasure clear as day in what has to be the most blissful expression known to womankind. Which, I silently gasp, is reflected in the hottest look known to mankind that crosses over his face.

Sweet mother of God. This man is going to be the death of me.

“That was fucking beautiful.”

I blush. “Shhh. They’ll hear you.”

“They’re gone, off on a wild-goose chase. I ran ahead and planted a few less-than-subtle trail marks. Still, we better head back.” He removes his hand from beneath my sweatpants, shifts my leg off his thigh, and rolls out from beneath the tree. I squeeze my eyes shut, briefly, disbelieving what I’ve just done, then slide out after him.

He offers me a hand up.

“You’re insane,” I mumble.

“And you’re beautiful.” 

ROGUE is now available to buy from all major ebook retailers (click image above for direct link).

Follow Lady Smut for more great guest posts!

Michele Mannon creates characters who are far from perfect; who are likely to be knee-deep in trouble, heart-first in love and at wits’ end when life unexpectedly, unequivocally turns to hell. Her debut series, Worth the Fight, received two Romantic Times Magazine Top Picks. Her new sexy romantic suspense series with St. Martin’s Press, Deadliest Lies, releases in August 2016, beginning with ROGUE, a story about what happens when your own organization sends a hit man after you mistakenly, heart-wrenchingly kill your lover. Michele lives in Pennsylvania but likes traveling to exotic places, including the NJ shore. She’s fond of skinny cinnamon dolce lattes, quick-witted, Irish-accented men, a good story, and lots and lots of laughter.

For more information about Michele, please visit her website: http://www.michelemannon.com.

 

 

 

 

Finding Your Tribe–A Guest Post From Jessica Scott

8 Aug

Note from Kiersten: In keeping with my unofficial military theme these past weeks, I invited military romance writer Jessica Scott to guest post at Lady Smut today. I first became aware of Jessica when she was serving in Iraq and Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books put together a book drive to send romance novels over to Jessica in an effort to ease the strain of war. Since then, Jessica has become a personal pal and a huge inspiration. I admire her greatly for her service, her writing, her many academics accomplishments (she currently teaches at West Point Academy while pursuing a PhD), and her emotional books that take a frank and often decidedly unromantic view of soldiers returning from war–and all they may bring back with them. I’m delighted to have Lady Smut host her perceptive reflection on the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference and the concept of “tribe”–a watchword I heard a LOT at the conference–today.

Welcome Jessica!

At RWA this year, I noticed a pretty big shift in the conference. Well, there were several, but a couple really stood out to me.

Jessica Scott

We made room at the table. The Romance Writers of America has been struggling to find its voice when it comes to welcoming all members–authors of color have been remarking for years that there have been deep, systemic problems at the conference. But recently, the RWA board has started listening. This year, there weren’t just panels on diversity–diverse authors were mainstream, even featured at both the Keynote luncheon and the Librarian Day luncheon. Authors like Beverly Jenkins who started her speech by discussing slave narratives that had informed her writing. It was an amazing, powerful speech and what’s better is that she didn’t change anything because her audience was largely white women. Sherry Thomas talked about her journey from China to America and how she learned English through reading romance novels. But more, she spoke about her struggles with postpartum depression–a struggle many of us went through in shame and secrecy because what could possibly be so wrong with us that welcoming our child into the world wasn’t the joyous commercial break we saw on TV?

These authors spoke about the things that connect us. In our case, it was our collective love of romance. Each of us came to our place in the romance world through different means. I started writing when I was in officer candidate school, when I was away from my kids for the first time. I kept writing through my deployment in Iraq and through what were arguably the roughest years of my life as I transitioned back to being a mom after only being a soldier.

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I distinctly remember an author posting a blog years ago when I was first starting out about how a woman wrote to her about the impact her books have had on her life. See, she was going through genital reconstruction after have been subjected to female genital mutilation. And this author’s books made her realize that there was hope, that maybe she could find pleasure one day.

Each of our romance journeys are different. Each of us comes to the table from a different place. But the thing about RWA this year that made me tear up several times was that we demonstrated there was room at the table for all of our stories. Writing and publishing is not a zero sum game. Sure, there are finite number of readers out there, but that’s not what I get out of the RWA national conference.

I get to reach out and connect with part of my tribe. I get to reconnect with women who get what it’s like to try and write when you’ve got kids in the house. I get to connect with fellow readers and gush about books we’re supposed to be ashamed of but aren’t. Because these are our stories. They come from a place within us that is very personal to each and every one of us. Our stories connect us with readers–men and women–out in the world.

Before I Fall

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That’s what was so important about the RWA national conference this year. We opened the hidden door and talked about our struggles. We acknowledged that depression is real and it’s dark and it’s scary–but that you are not alone. We made room at the table for diverse voices and learned that ours are not muted because we add to them, rather that we are all lifted up when our voices are combined.

I left RWA this year feeling re-energized in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. I needed this reconnection with my tribe. To sit around with other moms who were enjoying time away from mom duty and laugh about the crazy things our kids did. To be around other writers who were struggling. To be the voice in someone else’s head when they need someone to drown out their own because their own is toxic at the moment.

I hope the changes we saw at this  RWA conference stick. I want us to continue to lift each other up. To stop pretending that life is the five minutes of perfection we see on Facebook and to connect with the real people out there in the world. To reconnect with our tribe. Who lifts us up.

Jessica Scott is the USA Today bestselling author of novels set in the heart of America’s Army. She is an active duty army officer, a veteran of the Iraq war, is the mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, and wife to a retired NCO. She and her family are currently wherever the army has sent her. She has written for the New York Times At War blog, War on the Rocks, PBS Point of View Women and War and has been featured in Esquire Magazine as an American of the Year in 2012. She has published 11 novels and novellas about soldiers returning from war and has hit the USA Today Bestseller list twice. She has compiled two nonfiction projects about her time in Iraq and the return home. She has recently completed a Master’s degree in sociology from Duke, a Master’s degree in Telecom Management from University of Maryland University College, and a BA in Cultural Studies from State University of New York. She is currently pursuing a PhD in sociology. Learn more at http://www.jessicascott.net

What Happens to Sex When the World…Ends? A Guest Post by Megan Crane

25 Jul

by Megan Crane

A while back—after rashly agreeing to write a series of dystopian romances centered around futuristic Vikings because sure, that sounded like fun—I had to ask myself a very serious question: what would sex be like after the world ended?

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Today’s guest poster, Megan Crane

In my Edge series, the world is ravaged by high seas and decades of terrible storms. It’s a long time after any of the civilizations we know have disappeared, leaving only remnants and faded memories. There are greedy men in power who do as they like and sets of harsher rules for everyone else, especially women.

Same old, same old.

But the more I thought about it, the more I figured people were likely to just go ahead and be people no matter the state of the world. The truth is that everything around sex can be political and often is. The way we think about it. The way we discuss it. The words we use and who uses them, and when and how and why. In the Edge word, there are institutions in place to monitor sex, supposedly because everyone’s focus needs to be on repopulating the drowned earth—but maybe also because certain kinds of men like to control women’s sexuality whenever possible and certainly to advance their own interests and scratch their own dirty little itches. The trouble is, while it’s easy to sit around, fully-clothed, debating what’s good for humanity and how sexual acts might contribute to that good, the act itself strips these things away. Sex is private (unless it’s enthusiastically not, but that’s a different discussion). It’s not always controlled, focused, and for the greater good—or any good, for that matter. Desire, hunger, and unconquerable passion are what rule truly naked encounters, no matter where or how or between whom.

In other words, the world might end, but sex is still pretty much sex. In all its raw glory.

Edge of Temptation

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One of the best things about writing erotic romance—especially in a dystopian future world I got to make up in my head—is getting to play around not only with fantasies as wild and as out there as I could manage, but to follow them to logical conclusions in ways I couldn’t do if I was tethered to the contemporary world as we know it. In my futuristic world, dark fantasies create the landscape and my characters live and breathe and drive each other wild within the architecture of sexual desire, need and hunger and carnal greed writ large.

A society that piously demands that sex be performed a certain way and for reasons, after all, can be certain that there are a whole lot of people doing pretty much the exact opposite of what they’ve been told to do. Especially women, whose resistance often involves their bodies in intimate spaces.

Edge of Obsession

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What happens if you have the hots for the big, hot, kind of scary Viking-ish dude who kidnapped you and holds your life in his hands? Especially when his version of sex is nothing like the tame, sanctioned, good for humanity sex you’ve had before? Is it Stockholm Syndrome if he’s actually the man you’ve been dreaming of all your life?

Or what about if you’re a submissive who’s kept her truest, deepest surrender locked away inside her—only to find her true master in the terrifying man who wants to sacrifice her? Would you quibble about the sacrifice part or would you do what you could to experience your deepest desires while you could?

And what if you’re one of the few women in a starkly male dominated world who’s fought hard to be an equal to the hard ass warriors around you, and succeeded—but you only find what you really want and who you really are while you’re undercover pretending to be the sort of supposedly weak woman you always thought you hated? With the only man who’s ever made you feel like certain kinds of weaknesses might be strengths after all?

I’ve never written futuristic, dystopian stories before, but I’ve loved writing this series. Not just because of the many ways imagined futuristic sexual politics infuse any reimagining of sexual boundaries, though that’s a lot of fun.  But because writing about what happens after the world ends, in all its harsh splendor, feels like the best kind of second chance. For all of us. Because the thing about humans is that we keep keeping on.  Loving, fighting, living. No matter what.

And oh yeah. There’s hot alpha male futuristic Viking craziness and smoking hot sex, too. If that’s more your jam.

USA Today bestselling, RITA-nominated, and critically-acclaimed author Megan Crane has written more than fifty books since her debut in 2004. She has been published by a variety of publishers, including each of New York’s Big Five. She’s won fans with her women’s fiction, chick lit, and work-for-hire young adult novels as well as with the Harlequin Presents she writes as Caitlin Crews. These days her focus is on contemporary romance from small town to international glamor, cowboys to bikers, and beyond. She sometimes teaches creative writing classes both online at mediabistro.com and at UCLA Extension’s prestigious Writers’ Program, where she finally utilizes the MA and PhD in English Literature she received from the University of York in York, England. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with a husband who draws comics and animation storyboards and their menagerie of ridiculous animals. Find out more about her and her books at http://www.megancrane.com.

Hello Lady Smutters! This is Kiersten Hallie Krum, back from my Californication and the Romance Writers of America national conference. As you may have guest, here at Lady Smut, we’re big fans of Megan Crane and her sexy books. Check out all the hot action in the following posts:

Edge of Control

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Be sure to check out the latest release in the EDGE series, Edge of Control, available now.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll bring you to the edge of everything you’ve got.

Modern Lust: A Lady Smut Guest Post With Cara McKenna

11 Jul

 by Cara McKenna

cara mckenna head shot

Today’s guest poster, erotic romance author Cara McKenna

“Nobody really dates anymore. You just fuck a load of randos you meet on the internet until eventually you wake up married to whichever one bothered to make you breakfast.”

This wisdom from the heroine’s roommate in Downtown Devil. But let’s back up a moment.

I met my husband on the internet, back in 2007.

I was twenty-eight and an online dating veteran by then, and I have nothing bad to say about the practice (nothing that couldn’t also be said for analog dating, anyhow.) I met some friends, some boyfriends, some fond flash-in-the-pan* lovers, and of course, a spouse. I had dinner or drinks or played darts with a few duds and a few flakes, but no true creepers, and nothing bad happened to me, apart from a couple squandered evenings.**

A lot’s changed in the past nine years, right alongside technology. I mean, the iPhone was released the same year I met my husband. At the time, most of us were still texting on flip-phones by hitting the 2 key three times to type a C, and any photos the technologically advanced were able to take and send were as big as a postage stamp and as blurry as a frosted shower door and probably cost the object of your affections 40¢ to receive.

I won’t lie. If my husband dematerialized tomorrow and—after an appropriate mourning period—I was to jump back into the online dating pool, I think I’d be terrified. Even me, a former varsity-level participant.

Is sexting now compulsory, I wonder? If I joined Tindr and refused to send guys pictures of my knockers, would I even be able to compete? If my greatest strength had always been my ability to craft a charming introductory email, is that skill all but obsolete, now? Are we all just a profile picture and a witty tagline these days? Is it really true that there’s a lot of dudes holding fish in their photos?

I hope I never need find out the answers to these scaly questions.

Then again, maybe this is all just internalized anxiety from some hand-wringy New York Times article I’ve forgotten I read.

downton devil

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The closest I come these days to wading out into the choppy and largely pixelated dating waters is through my characters, and most of them still meet in a fictionalized version of real life. Even in my latest book, Downtown Devil, Clare meets Mica at the coffee shop where he’s employed as the world’s hottest barista. But from there, I strapped in and joined her on a journey I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to undertake, myself—dating in 2016.

In some ways, Mica is a dream come true. He’s charismatic, sexy, fearless, exciting, and forward—helpful when you’re not the type to make the first move. But he’s also my personal worst nightmare in this make-believe reality in which I’d be dating in the present day. He’s a flake and a player, and only texts or calls poor Clare when he’s DTF (eds by Kiersten: aka “Down to Fuck”). But the sex is so bonkers, she’s powerless to say no. Plus she doesn’t think she’s after anything serious, so what’s the harm?

I’d like to think I’d be liberated enough to enjoy Mica for what he is, but I dunno. Punctuality is REALLY sexy, in my opinion.

Before you panic—Downtown Devil is a ménage, and the second man, Vaughn, is as chivalrous and reliable and considerate as Mica is self-serving. I had fun wedging Clare (often literally) between the old-school gentleman and the modern-day man-whore.

I won’t tell you what happens—whether she comes to her senses and finally cuts flaky-hot*** Mica loose, or if she manages to reform him, or if all three of them ride off into the sunset together. But it was really interesting to put myself in her shoes and navigate this modern dating landscape, where plans are made last-minute via text; where you know the guy you’re into could easily be scrolling Tindr an hour after you’ve left his place; where a date can feel so incendiary, so hot and chemical and right, and then…crickets. Nothing from the guy for days and days on end. Do you break down and text him first? If so, what do you say? How casual do you spin it? And how long do you wait before you DO break down, and…? And? AND?

God bless you kids currently finding your way in this brave new world. I’ve been off the market for nine years, and I guess I’m an old lady now, because it sounds exhausting. I mean, the excitement of all that variety in the palm of your hand would probably be a thrill for a few days or weeks, but all the same, just thinking about it makes me want to stay in with a bottle of wine and a Silicon Valley marathon.

Nonetheless, I’ll continue to giddily explore it all from my lofty author perch. In fact, in the final Sins in the City series installment, Midtown Masters, the three lovers do indeed meet online. In FACT, the second man solicits the other two protagonists to do web-camming for him. So never let it be said that I’m afraid to play tourist in the land of digital debauchery. Not from the safety of my keyboard, anyhow.

*As a public service I Googled the origin of the term “flash in the pan,” realizing I had no clue what its literal meaning is. It doesn’t even have to do with gold glinting in a prospector’s pan, which apparently many people assume it does—people more clever than me, even if they’re wrong. Turns out, “Flintlock muskets used to have small pans to hold charges of gunpowder. An attempt to fire the musket in which the gunpowder flared up without a bullet being fired was a ‘flash in the pan’.” You’re welcome!

**My least enjoyable entanglement involved a nymphomaniac with a glass eye. How this has not made it into an erotic romance is a mystery for the ages.

crosstown crush

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*** like a biscuit, only with a wang.

Don’t miss the first book in the Sins in the City series, Crosstown Crush!

Cara McKenna writes award-winning contemporary romance and smart erotica, sometimes under the name Meg Maguire, and has sold more than thirty-five novels and novellas to Penguin, Harlequin, Samhain, and Signet Eclipse. She’s known for writing no-nonsense, working-class heroes with capable hands and lousy grammar. She is a 2015 RITA Award finalist, a 2014 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award winner, a 2013 and 2011 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee, and a 2010 Golden Heart finalist. Cara writes full-time and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her own bearded hero.

Hey Folks, don’t forget to follow Lady Smut, and if you lurv Cara McKenna like we do, you might want to check out these other LadySmut links that are all about her books and our mad girl crush over them — Madeline Iva

Cara McKenna, Rocking My World

Why This Short Read by Cara McKenna Is So Awesome

Cara McKenna has written one of those Books We Can’t Stop Thinking About

Talking About Watching People Do It & Cara McKenna’s Book Crosstown Crush

Cara McKenna’s No Holds Barred Sexy Fighter

Stuff Your Holiday Stocking With This Read by Cara McKenna

More on Cara McKenna’s Crosstown Crush & The Problem of Cheaters Cheating

Talking about Cara McKenna’s book Hard Time & Love Letters

 

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