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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. ūüôā 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 Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Reasons To Bang The Bad Guy, Pt. 1

13 Apr

by Madeline Iva

Saranna DeWylde got me thinking yesterday about why we‚Äôre so attracted to awesome villains like Loki. Because we are. I am. ¬†Before I unleash my perverse romantic side, let us be clear: I’d never go near an evil dude in real life. ¬†(I can’t help thinking of this guy who said to me in college: Women only like assholes, never the good guys. ¬†No, David, most of us like the good guys.) That said…here’s the break-down on why we are simply fascinated with depictions of excellent villains and their equally hot cousin, the anti-hero.

(What is an anti-hero but a villain who was so damn attractive he was morphed by popular demand into Super-Duper Flawed Guy. ¬†Examples: Damon on Vampire Diaries, Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sawyer on Lost — I could go on and on and on…)

From a romance perspective, a great, charismatic villain provides hideous temptation to fantasize.Their are specific qualities that particularly tempt us. ¬†Let’s explore them, shall we?

THE VILLAIN AS A FANTASY OBJECT OF REDEMPTION:

  1. We especially like a villain with teeny bit of good in him:¬†Romance readers are always willing¬†take a small nugget of goodness and blow it up into something mate-worthy–even heroically substantial. Readers¬†feel this especially for good looking men. ¬†Would that we were as kind to women*** Anyway, Jamie Dornan playing Paul Spector in THE FALL is a serial killer, but also a loving dad to his daughter–therefore, it hurts when¬†his world is falling down around him at the end and he has to explain to his daughter that he’s not going to raise her anymore and probably not see her again. There’s not the usual feeling of satisfaction that he’d been caught for his evil deeds and is going away for forever. ¬†(I think the point originally was to show the audience that¬†he’s victimized his daughter as well–but there was such an intense depth of¬†emotion to the scene that it¬†mutated into something more complicated, intriguing, and relatable.)
  2. Villain as misunderstood‚Äď underneath his/her reprehensible actions, there‚Äôs a world of hurt in that villain. ¬†The villain needs someone to kiss the boo-boos and make it better. Frankenstein‚Äôs monster just wants to give the little girl a flower. Is it his fault she passes out from fear and people mis-construe the way he carried¬†her off? He‚Äôs just MISUNDERSTOOD PEOPLE!
  3. Villain as a fish out of water – Loki fits this — he‚Äôs a fish out of water in Valhalla. ¬†He’s intelligent and incredibly powerful, but despite his talents he‚Äôs not the leader–he’s not even one of them. Despite his¬†strong call to lead, he’ll never get the chance because he’s a cuckoo in the nest. He‚Äôs all twisted up from the git go cause of the lies and things that were hidden from him ‚Äď none of which is his fault. And frankly, NO ONE CARES to make it right with him. All paranormal monsters are always a fish out of water when it comes to normality–even when normality is being an immortal god in a giant hall at the end of a rainbow.
  4. Villains as victims/victims of betrayal: ¬†Sebastian Stan was cat nip as THE WINTER SOLDIER in the movie of the same name. ¬†Inside that weird bromance-core was an understanding of Stan’s plight: He can‚Äôt HELP IT ‚Äď it‚Äôs not his fault‚ÄĒhe‚Äôs been brainwashed!!!! ¬†And those lips, yi. ¬†Meanwhile,¬†James Franco in Spider-man loved his father, and was blinded to the truth by his father, because his best friend and father both lied¬†to him. The ending of the first Spider Man is drenched in¬†irony through Franco¬†not realizing that his virtues (his loyalty to his father) means his best friend becomes his worst enemy. I remember watching the first movie long ago and liking Franco in his proto-villain phase far more than anyone else in the movie even before Franco became a big deal.

    James we hardly knew ye as Harry Osborn.

  5. Villain as vulnerable: we relate to flaws A LOT. A top-notch villain can is as much a prisoner of his past and deep psychological needs as anyone else.

    Kylo Ren is angsty, unstable–ready to crack open and bleed pain. Yum!

  6. For some villains, happiness is just so close–yet so far away!¬†Show me a villain who has the chance to change and I’ll show you a riveted romance audience. ¬†The best villains often have¬†pain they cling to that goads them towards doing evil–and when there’s a chance the villain might back off from this emotional sticky point¬†before the point of no return oh, we are in our happy place! That’s how you know romance audiences–we want happy endings for anyone we find interesting.

NEXT WEEK: VILLAINS & OUR FORBIDDEN DESIRES

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

***Women on the whole are a lot more unforgiving towards other women than they are towards men. I think with a romantic perspective and therefore believe that my readers view worthy, hot men as objects of romantic conquest/relationship projects. At the same time I believe almost all women are still socialized to be harshly judgmental when it comes to other women–especially those depicted in romance novels.

Is that statement upsetting? I would never want to accuse someone unjustly of sexism, but even I fall down when taking the quiz below–see how you do:

  • Name three women you know personally who sleep around a lot, but¬†you DON‚ÄôT think are sluts
  • Name 3 woman you know who doesn‚Äôt prioritize their kids but¬†you don’t¬†judge them as neglectful moms
  • Name three women you know who have some kind of authority over you or someone very close to you that you don’t¬†think of as busybodies or annoying bitches.
  • If you read a romance novel about an unmarried woman, who is intensely focussed on her career, and doesn’t want kids, or to take care of the people around her–would you see her as a role model? Or would you think she’s too selfish and unlikeable for a romance heroine? Now if the character was switched to a romance hero, would you also think he was selfish and unlikeable?

 

 

Bang-able Villains

12 Apr

Hello Lovely Readers! Elizabeth Shore is away today. Instead, we have a happily edgy post from the amazing and kick-ass Saranna DeWylde here.  I asked Saranna to do a guest post after I saw this exchange on facebook:

Yes! Exactly!

So I asked Saranna to talk to us about why we women are sometimes (often?) a bit more interested in a really good villain than they are the hero.

I absolutely love a well-constructed villain. I don’t mean an anti-hero, I like them, but this post is all about the E-ville. Is that a misspelling? Not at all. Say it out loud, roll it around in your mouth. You’re not a good villain unless you have the mustache-twirling pronunciation. Maybe even a bit of goatee stroking. You know what I mean?

No, I didn’t.¬†

When I first think about favorite villains, Hannibal Lecter comes to mind, but he’s not really a villain anymore, is he? In the television show, he’s more of an anti-hero.

 

Is he??? I haven’t seen this show, but I’ve heard so much about it…Check out the preview above.

What especially interests me about villains and their bangability is societal reaction and what we deem acceptably attractive in people. No one thinks anything about me saying I’d like give Darth Vader a run for his money except to say that maybe his parts don’t work in that suit. I maintain he could probably give really great orgasms with The Force. A little breath play, and pretty much whatever else he wanted you to feel. (Is it getting hot in here, or is just me?)

Old Darth does it for Saranna, Kylo Ren is all tortured and interesting to a new generation.

If I say I thought Paul Spector was hot from The Fall, I’d be one of those twisted girls into serial killers. But I know real serial killers. I was a prison guard. I hung out with them for eight hours a day, sometimes sixteen. None of them look like Jamie Dornan. And none of them were ever the least bit attractive to me.

Which is not to suggest that because someone is physically handsome in real life he’s NOT a serial killer….Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha

(Incidentally, I didn’t crush on Jamie Dornan until The Fall.)

Fictional evil is attractive. There’s a nod to everything that’s not the ideal. That’s not a princess. That’s not perfect. And part of us wants them to win because that means we can too. A charismatic villain makes so much easier to acknowledge our own sins, see our own dark places, and we can empathize with him in fiction, because we don’t have to own our massive flaws for real.

I find when a hero holds up his virtues it’s much harder for me to say, yes…that’s me too. The writers of Luther posited through show dialogue that women specifically were attracted to evil men because we were able to claim some of their power for our own. There might be something to that.

While we’re at it, I kind of have a type. The Devil. Almost anyone can play The Devil, and that’s an insta-girl boner. Hell, this could probably comprise most of my list. Apologies to Tom Ellis in Lucifer, though. He’s hot, but he started out an antihero so he doesn’t make my list. So pretty, though.

Tom Ellis as Lucifer

With that said, let’s open our Slam Books to

Top Eleven Villains I’d Bang.

Not ten, because I’m being contrary in honor of our villains. (After, you better share yours, too, or I’m not going to share my slap bracelets.)

In no particular order:

Darth Vader– As I said before, he could do some crazy shit with The Force. I just keep thinking about that choke hold. Amirite?

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), American PsychoРThat might actually be bad sex. I’m not so much down for the coat hanger and he’s so arrogant, he’s probably terrible in bed. I think I really just want to pet his shoulders and his hair after we eat at Dorsia.

Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), The FallРWell, I mean. C’mon.

Paul Spector in The Fall, aka Jamie Dornan

Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), From Dusk Till DawnРEveryone wants to let her bite them. Everyone. She’s single-minded in her approach to food and any other pleasures. I support this wholeheartedly.

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), The Wolf of Wall StreetРI’m not sure if it’s the part where he says, “the book, motherfucker) or if it’s because he’s unrepentant about what a piece of shit he is, and I don’t know if I’d think the real JB was attractive, because he did actually hurt people. But his characterization? Yeah, I’d hit that.

Lizzie Borden (Christian Ricci) Lizzie Borden seriesРHere’s a woman who isn’t taking shit from anyone. She knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to take it. Whatever the cost.

Viggo Mortenson, The Prophecy– His portrayal of the Big D is one of the best ever. He‚Äôs not meant to be attractive, yet, somehow still is. He‚Äôs horrible, and awful and I love every second of it. ‚ÄúLittle Tommy Daggett. How I loved listening to your sweet prayers every night. And then you would jump into bed, so afraid that I was under there.¬†And I was!‚ÄĚ Really, do you promise? Please?

Gabriel Byrne, End of DaysРGimme. (I also dug him as the priest in Stigmata, but he was sort of a hero there. Kinda. It doesn’t count.)

Mark Pellegrino, SupernaturalРHe’s almost an anti-hero. But not quite. Just enough… I love his character so much.

Sam Neil, The Omen Part 6400-I don’t know. I just can’t help myself.

Bradley James, The Omen TV series-He doesn’t want to be bad, he just is. And when he finally owns it? Boo yeah. Bring it, handsome!

Anyway, those are my eleven for the moment. My list is ever-changing, but I’d love to know which villains you’d like to lock in your bedroom. Tell me in the comments below.

Want more Saranna? Check her out on facebook, or sign up for her newsletter at her website.¬†Tomorrow I’m responding more to Saranna’s post — check it out!

And follow us at Lady Smut where we’ll happily explore your dark side all night long.

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

Buffy, But More Bawdy: Deborah Wilde’s The Unlikeable Demon Hunter and Crazyhead

31 Mar

by G.G. Andrew

I miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A lot of us do, especially with the recent release of the cast photo for¬†the 20th year reunion of the popular Joss Whedon show about a chosen one and her friends battling supernatural baddies. Along with its stellar cast, the show had wit, romance, and demons–what’s not to miss about that trio of goodness?

But as it turns out, Buffy is back. She’s just a bit raunchier.

This November I discovered the show Crazyhead on Netflix (via Madeline Iva; thank you, Madeline!). A British show, it’s the story of two women who form a friendship because they can both see, and thus fight, demons. If you haven’t already, check out Madeline’s post on all the reasons the show is fantastic. Like Madeline, I read many reviews on the show comparing it to Buffy, and while I can see that it’s a direct descendant in many ways, it’s very much its own animal. I think it owes as much to the rise in female comedy in recent years as it does to Whedon. Because Crazyhead is not only funny, but pretty dirty.¬†In an early episode, one of the women pees on her friend to exorcise the demon that’s inside her. There’s also foul language and awkward sexual encounters¬†aplenty.

April marks the debut of urban fantasy author Deborah Wilde‘s Unlikeable Demon Hunter series. I’m reading an advanced copy of the first book right now, and it’s also filling that sweet spot that was vacated by Buffy, but adding its own hilariously adult humor to the mix, much like Crazyhead does. To see what I mean, check out the beginning of the book’s blurb:

The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare‚Äďa purpose…

Deborah Wilde describes her books as “Bridesmaids meets Buffy,” which is the perfect way to capture this awesome thing I see happening here: supernatural stories with kick-ass heroines¬†who push the envelope humor-wise.

Nava Katz, the heroine of The Unlikeable Demon Hunter, is a party girl who’s taking a walk of shame back home after a hookup when she crashes her twin brother’s initiation into a demon-hunting brotherhood by trying to get herself a little hair of the dog–which turns out to be wine intended for the ceremony. Then she’s got another surprise coming: she appears to be chosen instead of her twin. The brotherhood, which is a Jewish organization tracing back to King David and a boys-only club, is not somewhere where Nava thinks she fits. She wears “trollop togs,” has a¬†“collage of speeding tickets spelling out vroom” in her room, and feels more loyalty to her bras than her hookups. She sometimes ends up in bed with demons, like you do. And when she sees hot barkeeps, she tends to think thoughts like these: “Ladytown flooded like it was time to start collecting two of every animal.”

Basically, Nava’s like the fun-loving, dirty-talking, drink-tossing best friend you’d want to take to the bar. But you’d also want her around, because, you know, demons.

Buffy will always have a special place in my heart, but nowadays when I often spend my days doing too much adulting, there’s nothing better than¬†ending the day with the naughty laughs I get from Nava Katz or the girls in Crazyhead. I’m hoping these saucy supernatural stories are here to stay, because I’ll keep devouring them.

The Unlikeable Demon Hunter releases April 18, but you can snag it for .99 as a preorder right now.

What have you been filling the Buffy-shaped hole in your life with? Let us know here or on our Facebook page!

~

Subscribe to the Lady Smut newsletter to learn more about our authors and books, plus get free stories all year long!

Also: Coming to the RT Booklovers Convention? Join the Ladysmut.com bloggers for a very special reader event ‚Äď Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever — and win crowns, fetish toys, books and more. (Ooo, and we‚Äôll have brownies‚Ķ.) Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. Go here to find out more!

G.G. Andrew writes quirky romantic comedy. Her latest is the short story Girl Meets Grammarian in the geek romance anthology Covalent Bonds. It involves a sexy sentence diagramming scene or two, because YES.

“Up On the Hog Babe, Let’s Go For a Ride”: The Hot Men & Sexy Voices of Male Audio Narrators

27 Mar

HOT MEN, SEXY VOICES:¬†Last Saturday was #VALoveFest at Virginia Festival of the Book 2017. ¬†Among the excellent panels during the day by far the most popular was THE MEN OF ROMANCE panel where audio narrators shared their experiences about the work, a bit about their backgrounds, and their appreciation for the romance genre. ¬†Below is a video that you must watch/listen to if–like me– you¬†twitch involuntarily at any real man who is into romance.

Andi Arndt was the fabulous moderator. She spoke with¬†David Brenin, Luke Daniels, Will Damron, Derek Perkins and Aiden Snow.¬†Jennifer Dodde Conner captured this video of the event. (Caution! It looks like the video goes sideways for a second–but it’s just for a moment and then gets righted again.)

Details of note:

Luke Daniels has done audio for Heather Graham and Sylvia Day among many, many, others.

When Will Damron does the really sexy stuff he uses the name Jeremy York.

Aiden Snow mostly does military romances, but he likes romances that play out deep gender and relational dynamics. ¬†Most of the time, however, he said “it’s like: ‘Up on the hog babe, let’s go for a ride.'” And all the women in the room about fainted.

Speaking of Aiden Snow — ¬†I saw him¬†walking across the lobby at the festival — and having been converted by my friend Adriana Anders to beardy hot goodness, I said to myself ‘Damn, who is *that* guy?’ (Shoulda stopped him and gotten a picture. ¬†I’m just kicking myself now. Oh well!)

Derek Perkins is British and does a mean Scottish Accent.

I, for one, find a man’s voice at the top of the list for the sexiness factor. ¬†I think that romances often neglect the serious ear appeal of the right voice. ¬†There are men who I find reasonably attractive, but when they speak and their voice is like low thunder, I’m suddenly riveted by their whole being. ¬†I want to chitter like a cat at the window watching birds fluttering around outside.

Perhaps it’s because there is something fundamentally right and reassuring to me about a relaxed, warm male voice. ¬†It’s a verbal embrace, a reassuring caress in my ears that everything is going to be all right.

I’m so curious to find out if any of you listen to audio books and if you do listen to audio books,¬†are you aware of who the audio narrator is? I know Richard Armitage narrated two Georgette Heyer book, but do you actively seek certain narrators?

Are you like me? Does the right male voice send you?

If¬†you want to listen to¬†more of the panels from Love Fest, including HEROINES OF DESTINY — which is the panel that I moderated–go here on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1905127766399699/permalink/1909010616011414/

Kiersten Hallie Krum will be back next week — and I’ll be blogging more on Thursday about other fascinating & fun parts of Love Fest.

Meanwhile, get on the hog, babe, and follow us at Lady Smut. ; >

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroines of Destiny!

23 Mar

You could go to college and get married — or you could be a brown fairy with wings instead! Choices, choices, choices.

by Madeline Iva

Go to college, have a career, get married, have children. ¬†Is this the modern woman’s destiny? What if you don’t tick one of those boxes? I’m moderating a panel called HEROINES OF DESTINY on Saturday, 10AM at Virginia Festival of the Book, so I’ve been questioning the concept of destiny lately, especially for women who swim against the strong current of societal expectations.

The ancient Greeks thought of destiny as inescapable–your fate would find you no matter what. ¬†Struggle as hard as you could against your destiny, the outcome would still be the same. ¬†Cassandra is the ultimate heroine of destiny¬†— Her inescapable fate was signed the moment she rejected Apollo’s advances, and that was that. ¬†He cursed her with the gift of¬†prophesy; no matter how often or how much she warned people of their fate, she was never believed. Yet¬†she kept trying to over and over to change the outcome, only to watch events play out the way she foretold–even her own death.

Moving forward a thousand years or so, our¬†panelists (including Pintip Dunn, NYTimes bestselling YA author) will discuss how their book’s heroines are fighting¬†a certain destiny — whether it’s to marry and have children, to accept the loss of¬†a lover, or to remain locked up in prison for a crime that hasn’t been committed yet.

I love the idea of a heroine who changes the course of her life because she’s fallen in love. ¬†I see these works as feminist because the¬†women go against the grain of their lives according to society’s expectations yet¬†it all works out in the end. ¬†Here are some¬†of my fav fantasy examples:

THE LITTLE MERMAID: having fins while your loved one has legs is a pretty big romantic obstacle to overcome. ¬†The Little Mermaid was very bold and plucky when it came to pursuing the object of her love–right down to changing her fundamental physical being–even though she had to pay a very large price. ¬†Let all those considering plastic surgery and other gendered forms of modern torture beware.

STARTDUST: Yvaine is a star, who’s destiny is to twinkle in the sky and watch the doings of men from afar. ¬†Yet she decides to abandon her place, and come down to the world of men to explore their hearts, as well as experience their joys and suffering. ¬†I have some serious issues with parts of this novel/movie, but I appreciate the idea of a great and powerful star forging a new destiny for herself–with the man she loves.

Yvaine is a star who rocketed to earth and met her one true love.

Another way to think of HEROINES OF DESTINY is to think of powerful women who shape the lives and change the future of those around them.

THE FORGOTTEN BEASTS OF ELD: Sybel is content with her own solitude and magical menagerie far from the world of men until fate brings her a baby and a flame haired hero. ¬†Then she is drawn¬†into the snarled paths of men’s destiny. ¬†I love how McKillip shows Sybel, using her various powers to shape and thrust aside the male forces around her rather than become their pawn. ¬†Sybel takes her time and sounds her own heart in her decisions about how to forge the future. ¬†Though the world of men shakes and angers her, ultimately, she finds a way to shed¬†their petty resentments, fear, and bitterness. She finds her way to true love by the end, yes, but more importantly she discovers the path back to the calm stillness of her heart that makes her¬†serene and content.

Sooooo good!

And finally — by far and away my favorite:

MALEFICENT: A fairy creature (Maleficent) and a boy become¬†friends–the first way in which Maleficent goes in a different direction from the other creatures in fairy land. ¬†At one point Maleficent (now grown) is betrayed and loses her wings–a kind of symbolic fairy tale rape. ¬†What happens after that is partly shaped by Maleficent’s determination to avenge herself, and partly shaped by her wounded heart. ¬†The movie offers an unexpected twist at one point — wherein Maleficent, now the wise protector and leader of her land in times of crisi, can shed her identity as victim once and for all. ¬†I LOVED THIS FILM SO HARD. ¬†It really made me want to cheer. ¬†Though it is not in a typical m/f ¬†love story or romance, it provides that same kind of deep¬†joy and overcoming of obstacles that make us romance peeps so very happy.

In my novel WICKED APPRENTICE, Zephyr averts disaster for the people and the land all around her once she becomes a powerful sorceress. ¬†Meanwhile, her desires and magic work upon the hero until¬†he goes from being a tortured, reclusive wizard into a¬†magnificent hero who is the only one that can end a decades long war. She is most definitely a Heroine of Destiny — and if you haven’t read the book yet you should– it’s only .99!

Are you the heroine of your own destiny? What great heroines do you love –and how do they shape the the lives of¬†those around them?

And follow us at Lady Smut–we’re fated to be together.

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

I Was Enjoying DARK MATTER ‘Til They ****ing Killed My Favorite Character

23 Feb

by Madeline Iva

***Yeah, this post is chock full of spoilers. ¬†You’ve been warned.***¬†Dark Matter is a successful comic book made into a Canadian television show that you can binge watch on Netflix–which is what I did. ¬†The gloomy ship, the tough characters and the cloudy mystery about their identity sucked me right in until I was devouring episodes left and right.

One. He's the good guy on a ship of tough criminals. So how did he wind up with them?

One. He’s the good guy on a ship of tough criminals. So how did he wind up with them?

WHY I LOOOOOOOOVED DARK MATTER SO MUCH:

The premise is pretty brilliant. ¬†Six people wake up in sleep pods on a dark ship in space. ¬†Their memories have been wiped. ¬†In addition to that, the android that sort of runs the ship wakes up and starts attacking them, so they knock her out and end up injuring her. ¬†To get her back up requires a memory wipe, so she too doesn’t know what happened to them all. ¬†It’s science-fiction, but it’s also mystery. ¬†Who are they? Who did this to them? Why?¬†

darkmattertwo

Two. She’s hot.

They give themselves numbers and I knew that they’d eventually run into their pasts and get names, but it made¬†me extraordinarily satisfied¬†that they call each other by numbers. ¬†It becomes an alternative identity. ¬†Later on Three learns his name is Marcus–but if the others still call¬†him Three, it’s like they’re¬†disavowing his messed up Marcus past and saying that he can go back to being their three–i.e. annoying, but not a completely¬†heartless dick.

I like¬†One best. ¬†He is a good looking guy–but I mean, they’re all good looking, so really, it isn’t only that. However, in a ship full of tough people, he’s the good guy. ¬†Which is a little scary, because the rest (Five excepted) so obviously are¬†not. I usually don’t like the super good guys. ¬†I like the maybe-villains. ¬†But One is played by a very talented¬†actor, who via subtle expressions and delivery squeezes a three-dimensional performance out of a two dimensional character.

Three is all walking id, questioning every decision that isn’t based on pure selfishness–so of course, he is fun to watch and a bit of a wild card. Later on, we see Three has¬†a real soft spot for women. At one point we think Two has been executed and Three’s face is really something to see in that moment. ¬†Three, also, is one of the best actors on the show–at certain moments.

THREE

THREE. Also the show’s id character. Also kinda hot. Sometimes. Also a good actor.

Two is the toughest character in the beginning. ¬†Played by an asian female with some extraordinary thighs, she takes command of the ship with her¬†bad-ass attitude. ¬†One is quickly drawn to her, but when she wants to scratch her bootie itch and¬†have a little meaningless sex, it’s Three she calls upon, not One. Which makes One smart. ¬†So there are tensions between One and Two because: love triangle! ¬†Not to mention that One and Three are diametrically opposed in terms of morality.

Yet pretty soon, it turns out that One discovers he’s got a BIG secret to keep and Three is right there when this secret is revealed to One. ¬†So the two are¬†connected in that way for a while and it’s massively uncomfortable for One. Which is great! (Although I hope you can follow what I’m saying, because it’s starting to sound like weird SFF algebra.)

Probably the most handsome guy on the show. But....meh.

Four is probably the most handsome guy on the show. But….meh. He adds the most in ensemble moments.

The show delivers¬†Big Secrets every so often and they are mostly yummy. ¬†The show is at it’s best when it returns to its gloomy mystery origins: you just don’t know who you can trust. ¬†Goodie!

It’s often young Five who circles us around to these gripping plot reversals. I think I liked her¬†at first simply because I associated her with these moments. But I also delight in Five being a¬†Young Adult character–a main character and a girl–in a sci-fi television show. ¬†I’m trying to think of another major adult SFF show where that’s the case, and I can’t.

Five aka "The Kid."

Five aka “The Kid.”

I enjoyed watching the Android–though you and I know her as Lauren ¬†from LOST GIRL. ¬†She gets dinged up from the git go and starts to go “off program”. For instance, she starts seeking approval from the humans. ¬†The “right” thing to do would be to wipe her system and reboot–a kind of android seppuku. At one point there’s the potential to “upgrade her system” to make¬†her feel and seem more like a human and a ‘rouge android’ element is introduced. ¬†The program upgrade makes the Android seem like a whole other character. ¬†The actress performs this well, but…ugh! (more later below).

So there was something here for everyone–I thought a lot of the ideas in the show were fabulous.

WHAT WENT WRONG…

I’m not saying this show was perfect. ¬†One¬†problem I had with five is¬†that she’s so obviously an older actress playing a younger character. ¬†She and Two are equally short, and she has far larger breasts, so buying that she was a teen was a challenge (She’s was¬†twenty-two when they filmed). ¬†I had to keep squinting to suspend disbelief about her. ¬†I mean, it’s not just that they all decide she’s a young teen when she looks anywhere from sixteen to twenty-three, it’s that they keep saying things like: “She’s just a KID!” like she’s only twelve or something…But that’s not saying anything against the actress, who is quite good. Another thing is that she keeps having new clothes to wear when a) she was a stowaway, presumably on the ship without luggage, and b) everyone else on the show seems to be in the same-o, same-old clothes.

Android fail. Every few episodes she's getting zapped and it's lights out.

Android fail. Every few episodes she’s getting zapped and it’s lights out.

I had problems with the android ‘upgrade program’, although it was more like an epiphany. The plot of this particular episode struck my robot-romance fixated nerve. ¬†It made me realize that the ‘upgrade’ shortcut¬†would never work for a successful robot/human romance. ¬†What do we love about idea of a cyborg/AI/robot/android romance if it’s not that the android represents the most difficult challenge of all? Huge boundaries (impossible boundaries some would say) exist in terms of getting a cold and emotionless being to develop attraction, love, and passion. That’s a HUGE obstacle.¬†A quick upgrade to the system???? That’s just cheating. )

I delighted in watching Six waiting in a doctor’s office for a very long time where they continuously ran ads about adventuring off world via clone proxies. ¬†Your body and mind are scanned in a pod, and your look-a-like clone wakes up on some other world. ¬†Your clone enjoys your vacay and then all the memories from your clone are downloaded back into your memory while you’re in the pod. ¬†You wake up and come out of the scanner remembering the events and sensations of your vacation. ¬†Meanwhile, the cyborg that looks like you and is walking around as you, is taken somewhere, has a memory wipe and is put into a vat for recycling…

Six

Six. Nobody trusts nobody–not even the android.

I thought the show was creating an ironic situation in which¬†Six was ignoring a bit of information crucial (and funny) in terms of unravelling the core mystery. ¬† My hope was that someone had wanted a bad guy dream team to go do bad deeds across the universe. ¬†So they made clones of the original criminals and when those deeds were done, wiped the clone memories–but for some reason the clones weren’t put in the vat. ¬†Instead they ended up in the sleep pods on the ship — To me this TOTALLY explained the mystery of how they wound up on the ship together and why they had no memories…

Six wakes up as a clone from the pod...

Six wakes up as a clone from the pod…

Alas, that was not the actual solution to the mystery.  This was the writer in me, weaving together my own plot soup based on ingredients provided by the show.

My sweetie hated the clone device. ¬†He hated it because real clones (one day) are/will be¬†real people. This show perpetuates the idea of clones as objects to purchase¬†and discard. ¬†The clone thing is used as a plot device later on in other ways, but the clones¬†when badly hurt tend to simply disintegrate a la Buffy stabbing the vampires and making them go poof. Why would a clone do that, he asked?¬†It’s stupid. A clone–because it’s an actual human body–would go splat, not poof. It would not disintegrate into a cloud of clumpy dust.

Yeah, so that was kind of a regrettable choice. ¬†Meanwhile, I loved my idea of the crew being memory-wiped clones. ¬†The show has them on the ship starting from square one in a state of distrust, but circumstances make them pull together. ¬†We know they were probably very bad in their former lives,¬†but rallied by the influence of Five, aka ‘The Kid’, they have a chance to become new, better people. (Insert here your own philosophical discussion with a friend over¬†the role of memory in personhood and if one can change merely by starting over. This is the good kind of sci-fi.) ¬†As they slowly pull together to become a unit they build loyalty to each other and we know that many of the forms their enemy will take are elements of their past coming to haunt them. Everyone knows karma is a bitch–but it’s very¬†enjoyable to watch.

One finds out that there is indeed a very bad guy out there with One’s¬†face. (See! One is a clone!) Unfortunately, however, for my pet theory, the bad guy Derek Moss says something like “I’d think you were a clone, but someone would have had to scan my body to do that, and no one did.”

Booooooooo!

dark-matter-season-2-coverHowever, I was still delighted that One had this evil Doppleganger out in the world that could cause him no end of trouble.

But here’s the big problem. ¬†They f**king killed One. ¬†Whyyyyyyy? It seemed gratuitous and unnecessary given that they never really followed the conspiracy plot path the killing seemed based upon. ¬†You eventually find out where the crew’s memories are stored and I knew that Evil One aka Derek Moss was still out there. ¬†So my FTL plotting muscles realized ‘the gang’ was going to kidnap Evil Derek and stick One’s memories into him. ¬†But that didn’t happen either. ūüė¶

But! When Derek reappeared, I was like: Yay! Evil Derek is better than no One at all.  Alas, in that very episode the show killed off Evil Derek.

Oh people. ¬†I was so disgruntled. ¬†One was the¬†glue that kept my interest in the show at super-high levels. Yeah, I liked all these ideas about the others and sometimes their interactions were okaaaaaay, but for me,¬†One was the secret sauce. ¬†Yes, the whole prison break thing was good. Yes, finding out Two’s backstory was pretty cool.

Frankly, since One/Derek’s death,¬†I’ve only made it through about four more episodes while mostly folding laundry and checking email. ¬†I just don’t care anymore–Maybe other audience members, more familiar with the comic books than I am, are looking forward to what’s around the corner. ¬†Maybe they know stuff that I don’t. ¬†Apparently DARK MATTER ¬†has a very loyal following. ¬†But I, good people, am done.

If you know the Dark Matter comics, tell me — is there reason to hope? Should I give the show another chance?

Have you ever suffered torment from the¬†character you were rooting for being killed off? (I’m looking at you SLEEPY HOLLOW fans.) Did you slog onward or just give up? ¬†I’ve resorted to writing DARK MATTER fan fic as a way of detoxing. ¬†Sigh. ¬†It’s premised on my rogue clone idea…Maybe it’ll become its own thing one day.

Follow us at Lady Smut where we make the darkness matter.  And subscribe to our newsletter if you want fabulous free reads. ; >

Meanwhile, here’s something to pluck up your spirits — we ran a giveaway from Lux Aromatica last week, and to say thank you to our readers Lux¬†made a coupon just for you. ¬†2017-02-ladysmut-flash-sale

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_low_res_500x750

One Hot Zombie Husband, Please!–And Other Lustful Zombie Stuff

2 Feb
santaclaritadiet

Let that repressed manic side out, Timothy Olyphant.

by Madeline Iva

On¬†Friday night I’m watching a new show called THE SANTA CLARITA DIET on Netflix. Why? Two words: Timothy Olyphant. The guy has a kind of restrained mayhem vibe that makes women purr. He’s good when he’s a bad boy, and I like it when he does the humor thing, but really underplays it. Let’s hope he gets to do both in¬†this new TV show.

What’s unusual is for Olyphant¬†to be part of a duo, for he often plays the lone wolf. ¬†Yet he’s a¬†supportive husband (awwww) as his wife‚Äôs body goes undead and her twisted feral id coming to life. (Peeps, this could be my own marriage we’re talking about‚ÄĒesp. when I‚Äôm on deadline.)

As for the rest of the show–we shall see. ¬†I lurv Drew Barrymore and early reviews say the¬†supporting cast is¬†excellent. ¬†The creator is Victor Fresco who did the short lived but great (!) show BETTER OFF TED, which walked the line of absurdism and also had a supportive, understanding, and munch-a-licious lead.

But hey, let me be your zombie pimp and recommend some other zombie joy you may have overlooked. My preference is for zombie comedy/satire. Take R in WARM BODIES.  So cute and so protective in his own teenage, shuffling, groan-y way.

Click to buy the DVD

Click to buy the DVD

 

There’s also a wonderful funny little book call BREATHERS. ¬†Subversive and¬†with a sexy element that I quite enjoyed.

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Have you seen the movie SEAN OF THE DEAD? It’s a bit like The Office meets zombies. Quite surprisingly daffy and satiric¬†all the way through.

Imagine The Office as a zombie flick. Click to buy the DVD...

Imagine The Office as a zombie flick. Click to buy the DVD…

Meanwhile, let us not forget some serious Zombie smut, like what you’ll find with our own Isabelle Drake’s SERVANT OF THE UNDEAD along with Daisy Harris’ mix of not-quite-human stuff. ¬†I lurved Hariss’ “Steins” and sex bots.¬† In BUILT FOR IT Harris discovered M/M erotic romance and never looked back. (Can you even get these books anymore Daisy?)

 

557e4e368babb5e201b7f2d2b531d8cbOnce upon a time, Lexi waxed philosophical on the ethics of sex with an undead body. I, dear readers, completely understand. ¬†Who really wants to kiss¬†decaying flesh? ¬†On the other hand, a zombie is nothing if not a metaphor. ¬†Give me your metaphors–satiric, comedic or full of pathos and killed by societal excess and ennui. ¬†Sometimes we all seem a little rotten to the core. ¬†Zombies get to wear their decay on the outside where it’s all embarrassing and visible. ¬†Ultimately, they’re monsters and I¬†dearly love a monster-hero, even¬†if his heart is dead and cold.

That’s not to say that one can’t enjoy zombie horror. ¬†Lexi has traced the path of an end-of-the-world romance on the Walking Dead that I’ve followed probably with more enjoyment that I took in watching the actual show. ¬†Check out her posts:

LIFE AMONG THE DEAD: IS MICHONNE READY TO LOVE AGAIN?

THE DEAD DELIVER: IS THIS THE SEASON FOR RICHONNE? 

DEAD ON! REJOICING FOR RICHONNE

If you do like your zombies with a lot of blood splatter, there’s a movie coming out called THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.

You'll slurp it up if you like post-apocalyptic action/adventure. Click to buy.

You’ll slurp it up if you like post-apocalyptic action/adventure. Click to buy.

The book was gripping–I stayed up all night reading it. ¬†I’m sure the movie will be excellent too, but check out the book first. It’s post apocalyptic, British, and I liked how the balance of characters in the book were female. ¬†They seemed to have deliberately switched around the race of the characters in the movie. ¬†Hmmmmmm.

There’s also World War Z — not your typical zombie genre book. ¬†It’s totally different and only about a thousand times better than the movie. (Sorry Brad Pitt.)

Another book I've read in one sitting. Click to buy.

Another book I’ve read in one sitting. Click to buy.

Well, time for me to do some groaning and shuffling myself as I sign off to go jog, shower, and write. Follow us at Lady Smut.  We give you reasons to live.

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_high_res_1800x2700Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

A Wicked Little Excerpt: Our Simply Sinful Giveaway Event Continues

25 Nov

by Madeline Iva

Like booze, books, and bath bombs? Then you’re in luck! ¬†This weekend is our Lady Smut Simply Sinful Black Friday Event. Here’s an excerpt for your reading pleasure. (Don’t forget to comment on this or any other post from today to be entered in our giveaway. See details below.)

This snippet is from Wicked Apprentice. (Book one in the Wicked Magic Series).

BLURB: Zephyr, apprentice of magical arts, is having a really bad day. Under orders to capture an uncanny creature for her mistress‚Äôs latest spell, she chains up a tall, gorgeous elf in a decaying castle only to find out he’s really a wizard with potent powers over human women. Uh-oh.

Theo has suffered heartbreak and betrayal more than once. He’s got a plan to escape, and when he does, he’s taking the curvy little apprentice with him. He‚Äôs vowed never to unleash his powers of enchantment upon a human woman‚ÄĒyet while she kisses and teases him, longing for an elf romance, his fae side is slipping out of control.

Got sexy elves?

Got sexy elves?

~~~~~Excerpt~~~~~

He whispered. ‚ÄúWill you help me?‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúYes,‚ÄĚ she whispered back. There. She had said it. She had committed herself. The walls of her loyalty to Hulgetta toppled. All that was left was a¬†healthy fear of her mistress and a strong sense of self-preservation. But she was obsessed with the elf man before her. ¬†It didn‚Äôt feel right. To promise him anything. ¬†To be two-faced with her mistress. In some measure she felt she owed the sorceress. The woman had taught her magic, given her room and board. It was a debt.

A thought suddenly occurred to her.  What if to get the elf-man free from that manacle she had to cut off his hand? Her stomach turned over and her fingers turned to ice. She pressed them into his.

His eyes changed. He looked down into her face and down at her mouth. Those eyes were black. She could see her own face in them. Oh, what was this? A thick syrup of languorousness poured over her head. Her skin and lips wanted to whisper to him.  Her mind was strangely hushed.

‚ÄúThe book. Bring it to me.‚ÄĚ His voice held a compelling tone.

‚ÄúYes.‚ÄĚ

His eyes. They could suck in galaxies. Under their gaze all her worry leached away, like a puddle dried up in the sun. At the same time her loins were licked by that mouth and the steady hammer of his gaze bent towards hers.

Like dark, slow treacle dumped upon her head, a sense of bonding with him enfolded her. Thick and full, it poured down her throat, trickled across her breasts, and down the center of her core. She stood under his gaze, but really she was swallowed whole in it.

He bent to kiss her, their mouths opening slowly, eyes closing, his chain clanking as she yielded softly and fully to him. He pulled her up by her bodice, his hands high around her waist, one hand coming round to pull her hair aside, letting his lips rove across her neck. She felt an involuntary clenching deep down and pulled his hands lower, towards her hips.

He pulled her up against him. She was falling into a thick featherbed of need. His long fingers held her face upwards, as she basked in his touch. Yet there was a touch of despair in his desire. She drank it in, ready to defy it, her soul suddenly brave. She’d die saving him if that’s what it took.

#

His head hanging above her own, he watched her clear eyes grow heavy. He watched as her irises shot wide, becoming vulnerable, her expression filling with a delicious resignation. He held her arms, letting one slender inch between his body and hers.

‚ÄúBring the book to me. You‚Äôll return it quickly. Hulgetta will never know,‚ÄĚ he said, the gold cuff rattling against the bar, holding it to the wall.

‚ÄúShe‚Äôll know if you escape.‚ÄĚ She spoke like a woman asleep, like someone resigned to her fate.

He let her go. In theory, her will was not entirely her own. He had never deliberately tried to enthrall anyone before. Was it working? He had no idea.

Among his mother’s people he’d be put to death for even trying. The mindless instinct to survive had acted before he could stop it. Now it was done.

She was staring at his naked chest, and the elf in him wanted it that way. Crave me. He relished the challenge she presented. She was under his thrall. He loved the feel of their agony mixing with desire. He wanted to feel his powers wrapped about around her, protecting her. He wanted her to struggle, try to resist, and discover all her will to resist was gone.

Stop. He forced himself to look away. He held onto her shoulders and, with a hard inner twist on himself, gave up the thrall. His eyes ceased to throb. He was back, the world hollow and dim, a pale shadow of what he felt in his elfin state.

‚ÄúIf she discovers I‚Äôve taken a book from her lair‚ÄĒ‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúShe won‚Äôt. You‚Äôre too clever.‚ÄĚ His eyes dragged across hers. He felt the slender skein of magical connection. “You’ll be careful.” She left the cell.

He fought the urge to call her back. He was the one she should fear the most. He was cursed, unlucky‚ÄĒa betrayer with dark secrets she couldn‚Äôt even guess. Then she was gone.

He let his vision darken, felt the fae-half pulsing inside and this time he did not fight it.

He stalked back and forth the short three paces his leash allowed. Every bit of the elf inside him wanted to fight. If it could not fight Hulgetta, then his fae side wanted to take that pretty little maid apart inch by inch until she died from the tormented pleasure he’d give her.

Want to read more? Find Wicked Apprentice at major, online retailers for just 99 cents. Includes one hot elf, one magic geek heroine, and a lot of sexy magical mayhem.

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

 
15135890_1228426473898292_8779656534610873350_n
Here’s how you win the giveaway: Leave a comment below–or on any post published today, November 25 and you’re entered for the Simply Sinful basket of book goodness.

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Giveaway closes at midnight (Eastern), November 25, 2016.

Next up in the LadySmut Simply Sinful Reader Event is Alexa Day at 3 p.m.

 

I’ve Got a Plan & It’s Just Not That Complicated

17 Nov

by Madeline Iva

Sometimes you need to retreat, huddle up, hunker down, and regroup. ¬†For introverts like me, this is actually our natural state of being. ¬†The thing is–you gotta have a plan.

I love the part in¬†BOURNE LEGACY, where Jeremy Renner (yum!) needs some information from Rachel Weisz who is¬†sputtering over¬†her suddenly-everyone-wants-to-kill-me reality. ¬†Jeremy Renner cuts through her confusion and says, “Now I’ve got a plan, and it’s just not that complicated. ¬†What I’m going to do is wait for the next person to come and kill you. ¬†Maybe they can help me.” ¬†Well, I’ve got a plan, Lady Smut readers, and it’s just not that complicated.

  1. There’s a romance plot spinning in my brain.
  2. I’m going to binge write all weekend long and get as much of it¬†out of my head and splatted onto the page as I can.

That’s the good kind of binge, of course.

westworld

I’m going to try HBO NOW to watch Westworld. This is their new streaming subscription. (Like Netflix only all HBO.) First month is free…

Then there are the other kinds of binging. ¬†Hey, let’s face it, I’m a binge-y kind of woman. ¬†If a little is good, a lot is better. ¬†My favorite types of binges: TV, movies, food, and romance novels. ¬†But first, I will be productive. ¬†I will lay down five thousand words a day (eek!) ¬†and only then will I reach out to find other forms of comfort.

TV Series to Binge:

  • Westworld
  • The Crown
  • Luke Cage

    Dr. Who? Who knew Matt Smith could play the perfect consort?

    Dr. Who? Who knew Matt Smith could play the perfect consort?

At the movie theatre:

  • DR. STRANGE
  • ARRIVAL
  • FANTASTIC BEASTS
  • MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN

    Hey look--it's Jeremy Renner again!

    Hey look–it’s Jeremy Renner again!

Meanwhile,¬†Thanksgiving is next week. ¬†We’re making two pies: cherry and sour-cream apple pie. Well, it’s vegan sour cream apple pie, but it’s still completely awesome.

Along with the usual suspects: garlic green beans with toasted almonds, mashed potatoes, and homemade stuffing, (though my grandmother always called it ‘dressing’) we’re in the midst of¬†deciding what the main dish will be. ¬†You might think as vegans we’d be terribly limited for options. ¬†Not so, my friends. ¬†Here are the candidates:

  • chickpea crepes with cauliflower & shiitake mushroom filling
  • panko crusted sweet potato cakes with mushroom ragout
  • black bean & acorn squash empanadas
  • pumpkin gnocchi
  • three-sisters savory pie–with corn, beans, and pumpkin
Add yummy mushroom sauce and devour! I have it out for T-day dinners that are only shades of tan. Get some color on that plate, people!

Add yummy mushroom sauce and devour! I have a grudge against T-day feasts that are only shades of tan. Get some color on that plate, people!

Finally, I’ve been reading Patrick Rothfuss’s NAME OF THE WIND, (so good!) but I’m almost done. ¬†There’s a whole world of ¬†fantasy goodness by new authors on my kindle just waiting for me to dive on in and check them out.

I ***LOVE*** this cover!

I ***LOVE*** this cover!

And an advanced copy of Cara McKenna’s¬†BRUTAL GAME is in there as well — Think¬†of it as a kind of sexy, contemporary palate cleanser for all the fantasy.

Click to buy

Click to buy–.99 cents!

So that’s the plan. ¬†This afternoon,¬†I’m piling on the sweaters and slippers over the pj’s and sinking into the primordial stew of my creative subconscious.

When I emerge after the holiday, the¬†anxious stew in my brain will be¬†quiet. ¬†I will be ready to be fed–both literally and metaphorically. ¬†At that point, I think I’ll be fit to rejoin the world again.

See you on the other side.

–Madeline

 

 

 

 

 

 

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