Tag Archives: Erotic Romance

Erotic romance excerpt from The Discipline by Jade A. Waters

19 Mar

by Jade A. Waters

Today’s excerpt is from BDSM erotic romance The Discipline by Jade A. Waters, the second in her Lessons in Control series from Carina Press, following The Assignment. Also be sure to check out our Lady Smut Q&A with Jade.

Here’s the official blurb for The Discipline:

How far would you go to fulfill a fantasy?

Maya Clery has taken risks before. Her relationship with Dean Sova started out as a risk—a series of sexual assignments, each hotter, wilder, more intense than the last. Exploring her submissive side with a powerful, trustworthy Dominant has been everything she hoped for, everything she needed.  

Dean pushes Maya to her limits—it’s one of the things she loves most about him. But as they push the boundaries outside their sex life, meeting friends and family members, Maya realizes there’s still much she doesn’t know about the man with whom she’s sharing her bed.

And when a fantasy simmering between them becomes their latest challenge, past secrets begin to reveal weaknesses in their relationship that neither is ready to face.

Excerpt from The Discipline by Jade A. Waters:

A chill blared through me having left the bathwater. It was almost as sharp as the curiosity tripping from my head to my toes. I stepped out and padded across the carpet to the bed, where I spun to face Dean. I made a show of leisurely slipping the towel off my body and tossing it to the floor, but he stayed unfazed and motionless in the water.

Fine, tough guy.

But who was I kidding?

I loved this.

Eager for the game to commence, I lay back on the bed, my toes barely touching the floor and an uncanny ripple of excitement shooting through my limbs. At Dean’s rise from the tub, I saw how hard he’d grown. The bulbous head of his cock stuck out from his pelvis, those beautiful dark veins running from root to tip. He dried off, the view forming a heavy cloud in my lungs, and I lifted my hands to my stomach to spread them over my goose bumped flesh.

How the hell had the mere act of walking over here and seeing him watch me get me this aroused?

Dean discarded his towel. He bent to dig his fingers into the pile of my robe on the floor, and I tried to make out what he was doing. It wasn’t until he stood upright and held the tie in his hand that I clenched my knees together. He curled the fabric around both his palms and walked in my direction at an excruciating pace, then stood against my knees, naked and hard before me. He smelled of the lavender salt we’d sprinkled in the tub, and him. Sexy, masculine him.

“Give me your hands,” he said.

I stretched them out. Dean wound the fabric around my wrists, close to my skin but not too tight. My groin flexed at the scent of his body and the swell of his cock not quite reaching my needy flesh. 

After he tied a loose knot, he gave my wrists a shove to indicate I should lay them above my head. “Spread your legs.”

I did. Dean stared down at my sex, his eyes glazed. His mouth formed that O I adored, and I couldn’t believe how much I was shaking, how fucking riled I’d gotten before he started stroking my slit. I could hear how wet I was in the gentle slicks of his finger. “Oh, fuck.”

“You’re so excited. Wetter than I imagined. I love how our conversation has done this to you.” 

I closed my eyes at the slide of his fingers inside my entrance, pulsing in and out to tease the rim of my pussy. Once I rocked my hips up for more, Dean withdrew his touch, resting one hand above each of my knees.

My eyelids popped open and I pouted, tortured by his naked body between my legs and his faint touch across my thighs.

“Are you ready to hear your test?” That devil of a grin played on his face when he pitched forward to lick one of my nipples, and every fiber of my being screamed for satisfaction.

“Yes. Please.”

“If we’re going to live that fantasy,” Dean said, inching one finger along the inside of my thigh in a dare, “then we’ll need it to be perfect. Safe. I need you to tell me what you want from it. How you want it to happen. What you want to happen.” His finger returned to my cunt, but his stroke was there and gone before he held back. “And if you tell me well, I’ll touch you more.”

Oh, yes.

I tongued my lip. “Why are you such a tease?”

Dean slipped his finger inside enough to make me whimper, then he took it away. “Because you crave it.” He sucked his finger into his mouth, and I groaned before he dropped it back to my thigh with a smack. I gasped and jerked on the bed. “Start talking, sexy.”

“Okay,” I said. He didn’t move, the outside of his thighs against the inside of mine, his cock fucking hard and tempting. I was going to lose my mind. “We start in a room after we’ve made sure all are on board.” To this, Dean curved both hands around my thighs and held them in place. My pulse hammered as I tried to envision how it might go. I rolled my head against my arm, keeping my wrists high above my head. “But we’ll be at a hotel, because it has to be neutral ground.”

Dean slid his hands higher and stopped. “What are you wearing?”

“Something sexy. Dressy. We both are.”

Dean shifted higher. “I know you like dressing up. Feeling sexy, though you always are.” He shifted higher still, his fingers almost reaching the creases between my sex and my thighs. “But get to the good parts.”

I giggled. “Fine. You’ll overwhelm me. He’ll overwhelm me.”

“That’s all you have to say?” He took another swat of my thigh. “No, no. Be explicit.”

I shivered as his thumbs resumed their sway across my skin. “You’ll strip me down for him. I’m yours, but you’re letting him in…” The grip of Dean’s hands crept up. “I’m not sure of everything that will happen.” Dean shook his head, dissatisfied and smacking the inside of my other thigh. My eyelids fluttered and I spoke swiftly. “There will be kissing. Touching.”

“And? What do you really desire with us? You’ll have two men. What is it about the idea that truly revs you up? How do you want us to overpower you?” He ticked his fingers back and forth, his use of my word making me blush. When Dean crouched to the floor and breathed hot air over my sex, I jumped. “What’s in that head of yours that’s got you glistening right now? Because you are…” He shoved my legs farther apart and leaned closer until I gasped.

Opening my mouth, I tasted the words, and when I spoke, I nearly purred. “I want to kiss him while you watch. But while you touch me.” Speaking it amplified the crash of my pulse and shot a bolt of arousal out to my toes. The image alone had me wet, but saying it to the promise of Dean’s fingers? Yes.

“There we go,” he said, strumming me with his fingers, parting my pussy lips with his thumbs. I moaned, and he tongued my hole for one enticing moment. “You taste delicious. Keep talking, naughty girl.”  

The Discipline is available for purchase for KindleNookGoogle PlayiBooks and Kobo.

BDSM Newbies and Erotic Romance: Q&A with The Discipline author Jade A. Waters

17 Mar

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Author Jade A. Waters has made a name for herself with her sexy approach to erotica writing. I have published her work in several of my anthologies and have always been impressed with the way it draws the reader in, whether she’s writing about a flogger (in The Big Book of Orgasms) or Shakespeare and theater and love (in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1).

After publishing numerous short stories, the San Francisco Bay Area-based author landed a three-book deal with Carina Press for her Lessons in Control trilogy, which follows Maya and Dean, both relative newcomers to the world of BDSM, on an exciting erotic journey. The series started with The Assignment, which featured the pair starting to date, with Dean giving Maya a series of increasingly risqué assignments, involving everything from public sex to bondage to sex clubs. Now, it continues with newly published The Discipline, as they take their sexual fantasies to a new level,  and the third book in the series, The Reward, will be published on June 12.

What especially drew me to her series is that while many kinky erotic novels are set in the world of dungeons with confirmed Masters and submissives, everyone fully aware of their BDSM identities from the start, both Maya and Dean are navigating those exciting but often confusing paths together. She has to figure out how much she can share with him about her past, which includes an abusive ex, and he has to figure out how far he can go with his kinky fantasies, especially as they ease into becoming reality. In Maya, Waters has created a heroine who is starting to tiptoe out from the shadow of her troubling history and into a future where she can crave roughness and tenderness from the same person. In our interview, I asked her about her writing career, choosing ebooks over print, BDSM and consent and what we can expect from this exciting literary love affair.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: How and why did you get started writing erotica and erotic romance?

Well, I’ve been writing fiction and poetry since I was a young girl, but I was also on the precocious side growing up…which eventually translated into a thing for provocatively reading synonyms from a thesaurus to my high school sweetheart over the phone. (For some reason, me reading the word “smoldering” often resulted in his squeaky voiced “Can you come over, maybe?”) Around the same time I discovered Anaïs Nin and The Best American Erotica 1993, and I realized I wanted to give sexy fiction a try. My first attempt was a story about a Russian princess trapped in a tower; her king father was attempting to marry her off to a bunch of disappointing courters, and she was supposed to be saved by a seductive stranger…but I never did finish that story. After that, I penned the occasional ditty every few years. The truth is that I fought the idea of writing erotica for a long time for too many reasons, but once I finally decided to up and go for it, it was on. I wrote two stories that I tried to submit to a small call (one of which ended up appearing later in Coming Together: Among the Stars), and then when I decided I was really serious in early 2013, I submitted “The Flogger” to you. That ended up being my first publication in The Big Book of Orgasms later that year!

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: When did you first get the idea for the romance between Maya and Dean, and was there a specific inspiration for it? Did you always plan for it to be three books?

JADE A. WATERS: Maya and Dean’s story was one part my own experience, and about three parts “what if?” The initial idea was sparked because I had a short-lived relationship with a man who playfully gave me an assignment on date one. I thought it was fun (my turn-ons are “playing” and “trying things”), but it wasn’t my thing in the long run, nor would we have ever worked out in a serious way. Pair with that my own history of having been in an abusive relationship in college, and the “what if” arose as I toyed with the idea of how the assignments and power dynamic would play out long term for someone who liked the submission, but who had only experienced it in a negative context. Maya’s independence is a mix of sass and survival—safety and control are imperative to her daily life, so I wanted to explore how that would work if she desired something considerably contrary. When I started book 1 I had some faint ideas of what could happen as they explored and their relationship continued to develop—so I imagined it could be a series, but I didn’t have much beyond an overall arc when I wrote The Assignment.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: There are some very vivid descriptions of things like sex clubs and rope bondage. Did you do any research for the books?

JADE A. WATERS: I do like to do my research. 🙂 It was a mix of memories of a few trips to sex clubs in the past, knowledge from a friend who studied shibari, and a lot of scouring the internet for alternate ideas. Also, reading is key. You pick up a lot from other stories and supplement with research as needed.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Can you tell me about your writing process? For the trilogy, did you write at a set time every day? Did you outline?

JADE A. WATERS: My “process” has morphed like crazy throughout this series. Book 1 was a breeze; it just popped right out. Book 2 had a lot of life and health issues throwing everything off, and required significant time and rewrites. Book 3 happened pretty quickly but needed a solid tweak between the manuscript turned in and what readers will see. The one thing that definitely held true throughout was that I’m a morning writer. It’s my most creative, calm time. I get up at 4 most days to get an hour or so of work in before I go to my day job. Weekends, I’ll start at 6 or so and go until the lunch hour.

I’m pretty simple when it comes to the how—it’s just me and a Word doc—but I like my coconut milk lattes and water in hand and to just go at it. Editing I seem to be able to do later into the day, which is helpful—but any big overhauls need morning light. As for outlining, that’s a big yes for novels. I use a combination of the Hero’s Journey, a 9-step outline process I picked up at a conference a while back, and then a method posted by Glen C. Strathy that I love. I merge these three styles together in a giant document that I print and keep on hand complete with character sketches and floor plans of characters’ houses as I work.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: How did you decide on e-publisher Carina Press, an imprint of Harlequin, as the publisher for your series?

JADE A. WATERS: My agent, Jessica Alvarez, and I shopped The Assignment around for a few months. Some publishers weren’t sure on a series. When the offer came in, we had two—one was for print for a single book, and the other was for the whole series with Carina. While I loved the idea of print, I’ve been fortunate to have been in print in several anthologies and I knew there was time for a print novel later. Carina was enthusiastic about the whole series, which excited me! So, after talking it around with Jessica, it was an easy yes.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Both Maya and Dean are intrigued by BDSM, but are both new at exploring it. Why did you decide to have them both be inexperienced? What was it like to write about a dom who has to act in control but is also, at times, unsure of what he’s doing when it comes to their power dynamics?

JADE A. WATERS: Ultimately, everyone has to be new at BDSM before they’re into BDSM. The desires can be part instinct, but we don’t just wake up one day knowing we like to be spanked or whatever without giving it a whirl. There are a bounty of books out there right now with a super experienced dom and inexperienced (and oft virginal) sub, and it drives me nuts. I wanted to explore two people who had a little exposure and interest in trying more, so that they could develop and cater to their own needs, but together. I find that exploration concept really sexy, which is why it was such an integral part of Maya and Dean’s relationship. However, it definitely posed some challenges in portraying Dean. He had to be in control, and yet he had to make rookie mistakes (he does in The Assignment, after all). It’s maddening to read and watch, but life is all about learning, and that’s what they do. Maya and Dean’s flubs allow them to figure out how to communicate and negotiate their boundaries—something I don’t think ever stops, in reality, in BDSM or any relationship. So they continue navigating that throughout the series.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Maya is intrigued by BDSM and submitting to Dean, but very wary based on abuse in a past relationship that had included some elements of BDSM, and she is also works with abused women at her job, which complicates her perspective. Was it challenging to incorporate the subject of domestic violence into a book of kinky erotic romance?

JADE A. WATERS: In some ways, yes, but not completely. I remember that when I told a non-erotica writer pal about Maya’s background early on, as well as some of what happens in the book, she’d said, “Wait, you’re basically giving her PTSD and having her trigger in an erotic romance book?” I’d found the question rather curious. I think we as a society have a tendency to gloss over the fact that real people have real histories and that can impact one’s choices and experiences. Maya is a fictional character, sure, but I like my characters to be real people. As someone who actually lives with PTSD—which does flare for most PTSD sufferers randomly throughout life—and yet someone who is also extremely sexual, I didn’t find the combination all that strange; I know what that feels like. It doesn’t saturate every moment but there are periods when it’s active. In the same way, making sure that past experience didn’t oversaturate the relationship was a challenge I enjoyed. To me, Maya’s story is about finally coming to terms with her past throughout the course of the series while she finds not only love and lust but herself in her relationship with Dean.

 One of the biggest themes of The Assignment is safety, which is what allows Maya to indulge the side of her that wants to have sexual adventures ranging from bondage to public sex to visiting a sex club. What about Dean makes her feel safe, and what, if anything, about Dean makes her feel unsafe?

JADE A. WATERS: Dean is naturally dominant, but he’s also a playful, compassionate guy. Maya is playful too, which is why they respond so well to one another. His openness allows her to feel safe, as does all his checking in—he may be giving assignments, but they really cater their dynamic together, and flesh it out through the series. We learn more about Dean in The Discipline, and some of his experiences have given him his own reticence that he [foolishly] tries to cover up. But as their relationship grows, it’s got to come out. I’m really into the pieces unfolding in time with people much like peeling back an onion, and yet, that lends to the challenges these two face. Maya’s questioning of safety comes from her background, pure and simple. It’s hard for her to place her trust entirely in someone else’s hands, but she wants to with Dean. Later, when she’s found her confidence in submission, she’s able to use that to call Dean out when he’s holding back. I wouldn’t say she feels unsafe then; in fact she feels safe enough to make the call and draw him out to meet her, too.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: If Maya had not met Dean, do you think she would have found other ways to explore her interest in BDSM?

JADE A. WATERS: Maybe? Frankly, I think she was too busy avoiding. If—and I mean if—she did find it later, I think it would have taken her a long time, because she was mighty happy with her fancy free love and sex life. There’s something about Dean that pushes that button for her in the perfect combo of dominant, charming, and sweet.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: The San Francisco Bay Area, the setting for the series and your home, is very prominent in the series. What’s so sexy about the area? Do you think people are more open to exploring BDSM there than in other parts of the United States?

JADE A. WATERS: I didn’t realize how into the area I was until I started writing erotica, honestly. Someone pointed out that I had a water motif and I had to pause before I realized, um, hello, I’ve been writing watery motifs for a while. I lived in Nevada until I was a teen, and from there I was in Sonoma, Marin, all over the East Bay…this place is just so incredibly lovely. (A 12-year-old me protested becoming a California girl and I now proudly tote that badge.) There’s water everywhere, be it moderate rains or on the coast. And waves…they’re so sexy to me. It’s that soothing but rhythmic one-two punch. I’d read a few erotica books set in other highly populated areas and none seemed to be here, so I felt like it was high time the Bay Area got some quality love! As for BDSM here…San Francisco is such a far cry from many places in our country. There’s a lot of open-mindedness (never mind several BDSM and sex club options), so, if there aren’t more people exploring it here there are at least more aware of and open to it here, I think. 

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Was your focus on safety and consent a response to the perceptions in popular culture of BDSM? Were you trying to address any cultural myths about kinky relationships?

JADE A. WATERS: YES!!! (Sorry, was I shouting?) I have read and heard about far too many misconceptions that BDSM is actually abuse. This is dead wrong. A consensual BDSM relationship is a beautiful thing. A nonconsensual relationship of any type is abuse. But BDSM is not a synonym for abuse, and many people still believe this is the case because unfortunately in real life and in fiction some do treat it as an excuse to abuse. That’s a no-no. Also, I think consent is an extremely important topic. I need to preface this with the fact that I under no circumstances believe it is a fiction writer’s job to educate the public on consent or to only write consensual scenes—and it drives me crazy that people say otherwise. However, if one is writing a BDSM story and they don’t intend for the dom to be an abusive character, then one does have to be a responsible writer and make sure the consent, communication, and negation is there in a healthy way. For Maya and Dean’s story, consent and safety was imperative, both because I wanted them to have a real and healthy BDSM relationship, and because Maya’s backstory requires safety in her relationships. Period.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: What were your favorite and least favorite parts of writing this trilogy?

JADE A. WATERS: This is strangely the hardest question you’ve given me, Rachel! 🙂 Favorite…man, all of it? The way the story morphed over time, and at the same time challenged me and exorcised some of my own demons. I really loved Maya’s growth throughout the series (just you wait until book 3), and it felt good to watch her develop. Same for Dean. Hardest? Mmmm…my life, like, completely blew up at the start of drafting book 2. So I think it would be cool to try writing a series not under so much life stress! (You hear that, Universe? Eh-hm.) Part of that was the pace, and part was just all that was going on. But, I think it worked out all right!

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Can you give us a hint at what happens in The Discipline, which was just published, and the third book, The Reward?

Jade A. Waters: Happy to! The Discipline sees Maya and Dean learning the discipline of having a serious relationship while also exploring more sexual discipline, which means more play, and several really hot fantasies that will definitely challenge them. A. Lot. By The Reward, they’re not only more stable but stronger…however, some past challenges will confront them, hard. We will see tremendous growth in both characters…as well as in their relationship. It’s a mighty reward!

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: What have the responses been like from readers to the series?

JADE A. WATERS: Fairly positive, I think! Some people seemed to really like their dynamic and the story, which is amazing to hear. Some wanted more Dean in book 1, which I knew would show up in book 2 because The Assignment was more about Maya’s growth…so I’m hoping they find what they’re seeking when they read on. I try not to read reviews too closely and when I do I just figure to each her own, but so far it seems people are enjoying, which is such a compliment.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Anything else to add?

JADE A. WATERS: Yes…a giant thank you for having me over!!

Click here to read a sexy free excerpt from The Discipline, which is available for purchase for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo.

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Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 and 2, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com.

NEVER SWEETER: The Sweet Darkness in Charlotte Stein’s Dark Obsessions Trilogy

9 Mar

This one is going into my “special” kindle folder. ; >

by Madeline Iva

We posted a fun excerpt from Charlotte Stein’s story NEVER BETTER last Sunday.  NEVER BETTER is the final book in her Dark Obsession trilogy, so of course, I read it first, and then worked my way backwards, cause I’m perverse like that. I gobbled down NEVER BETTER like a chocolate chip cookie and advise you to do the same.  Now I’d like to take you on a journey through the open-mouthed, kindle-clutching, eye-squeezing moments I had while reading NEVER SWEETER, the first book in the series.  How to do so without delivering any spoilers is gonna be hard, but here I go…

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE GOES TO THE DARK SIDE

What really keeps a man and a woman apart these days if they want to be together? Not much. After plundering the treasure chest of meet-cutes and other fabulously quirky ways to bring two people together and then keep them apart for two hundred odd pages, contemporary romance has gone to the dark side.

I personally blame paranormal romance.  Let’s face it–paranormal romance is just so much easier.  Look at the obstacles a heroine faces—Example: “He’s a vampire who’s killed THOUSANDS of people and he’s hundreds of years older than me.  How could we ever be together?” it’s a really messed up situation.

CRAZY-WRONG “I’D HAVE TO BE INSANE TO BE WITH SOMEONE AS EVIL AS YOU” SITUATION= STRONG ROMANTIC ROAD BLOCKS = LOTS OF ROMANCE FEELS & GREAT TENSION

After all, 50 Shades was based on a paranormal romance, wasn’t it?  E.L. James just fished around for a modern day ‘real’ equivalent for a evil-but-not-really, self-loathing, brooding hero.  She came up with a billionaire sadist, around the same time other authors were also plonking down flags into anti-hero territory. Do we want to blame 50 Shades for all the motorcycle clubs, hit-men, crime families, and other anti-hero-ish trappings that are so popular these days? No, but I think the E.L. James phenomenon illustrates a sweeping trend, and Charlotte Stein has taken some steps down the same path.

BUT CHARLOTTE STEIN ISN’T LIKE THAT! SHE’S SO SWEETLY DIRTY…

But maybe sometimes she isn’t. INTRUSION and some of her other works have strayed from abused heroines into more plum-colored territory. Which brings us to NEVER SWEETER.  Let’s look at the blurb:

Letty Carmichael can’t believe her eyes when she catches a glimpse of her high school tormenter, wrestling champ Tate Sullivan, on campus. College was supposed to be her escape from Tate’s constant ridicule. Now he’s in her classes again, just waiting for his chance to make her life hell.

skipping, skipping, skipping…

Loving him is impossible. Craving him is beyond all reason. So why can’t she stop?

Falling in love with your high school bully is messed up, peopleKids, don’t try this at home.

However, line by line Stein just sucks you in.  Great dialogue, great side-kick friend, very specific descriptions of torments she endured and then Tate — a classic Stein-i-an hero, just takes over.

What do we like about Tate? We like that he’s open, agreeable, and fast on his feet.  We like that he’s hotness plus, and can read people–especially the heroine–quickly.  We like that he’s a sexual beast wrapped up in a Nice Boy package–but is he really trustworthy?  It’s that last part that keeps readers furiously turning the pages and riding all the highs and shocking lows.

Why was he such a monumental dick? This is the big answer we need to know. Stein gives you answers, and then sweeps on by.  Do we believe these answers–ah! This is where she’s brilliant, because doubts may  linger, and she plays upon these same doubts later.

I just went through such a roller coaster of emotions with this book.  It really was so incredibly sweet at points–which is what I do look for from Stein–and so sweetly filthy at others–which is what I relish about Stein–and at other times it was kinda like a horror movie.  There’s a Carrie reference and it’s seriously well earned.

I think at one point I shouted “No!” in shock.  At another point I kinda cried, almost.  The whole time I felt as guilty as the heroine for being so sucked into a kind of situation that I would NEVER EVER EVER!!!! endorse in a million years in ‘real life’.

So go buy it already.

Meanwhile, I got the skinny from Charlotte Stein about RAW HEAT — her so good it hurts post-apocalyptic romance that’s out of print right now. Talk about bullying! It’s really unfair clobbering my friends and even total strangers over the head for not having read RAW HEAT if it’s not even in print. Stein has said she’s going to re-pub it in a collection with some of her other post-apocalyptic/paranormal stuff.  So happy about that. Soon none of you will have any excuse.

Okay, I’ve started going into Charlotte Stein withdrawal, so I’ll sign off for now.

Follow us at Lady Smut–if you want to.  It’s your own choice.  Really. We’d never bully you about it.

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

 

Edge of Power by Megan Crane: A Review

6 Mar

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

The highly anticipated, third installment of Megan Crane’s EDGE series, EDGE OF POWER, is finally here. Okay, technically, it releases tomorrow. Allow me the dramatic flourish.

This is Wulf’s book, the charismatic, fear-inspiring, panties-melting, ruthless leader of the raider brotherhood. Fans of the EDGE series have been greatly anticipating his book since he first appeared sprawled on a beach with lazy deception in EDGE OF OBSESSION and all readers sat up and said “hel-lo!”

Look! A blurb!

The ultimate Viking warrior meets outlaw biker: Wulf, the Raider King. He rules a future, destroyed world with the force of his will alone. Now he will meet the one woman who will change…everything.

Wulf is king of his clan and the ruthless head of the raider brotherhood.

Every foe in his path surrenders to his will. But when his mortal enemy’s beguiling daughter gets under his skin the way no one else ever has, a whole new intensity from the Raider King is unleashed…the fiery strength of dark passion and hard-hitting lust.

Kathlyn is no fan of the life she’s been forced to live under her savage father’s unforgiving rule. But the bold and powerful barbarian who steals her innocence—and her heart—is a dangerous bet. There’s nothing safe about a man who wants to destroy everything she knows and burn it to the ground. Except if Wulf can set her free, maybe safety is overrated…

Will the overwhelming heat of her warrior-king lead to something more powerful than either of them can imagine?

Strewth!

EDGE OF POWER has a lot going on betwixt it pages. But for all that, it is a slower book than the three that precede it. Let me qualify: it doesn’t read slow and the pace doesn’t drag. You’ll be hooked and unable to set it down without finishing first. I read it in one big gulp. It bulges with Crane’s signature sexy scenes and ribald, earthy language, and creative descriptions. Her world building continues to be imaginative and engaging, with increasingly more than a touch of prescience. I’m constantly struck by the relevance of this world’s structure and politics, and it, I think not accidentally, regularly calls to mind The Handmaid’s Tale. In EDGE OF POWER, a noble woman’s sexual status is noted by the color she wears. Kathlyn can only wear gold, which not only marks her publicly as a virgin princess, “but the particular property of the king.” Her virginity is considered her father’s to own and dispel as he sees fit. Kathlyn’s worth, like most women in this world, is solely equated with her sexual status. Beyond that, she has no value to her father or her world at large. Given our current political climate, a large part of which is unduly concerned with policing the sexual and reproductive rights of women, this seems like a particularly uncomfortable insight to our possible future. With or without Viking raiders.

Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

EDGE OF POWER is a long burn of a story. Despite being action man, take-what-he-wants, never apologize, battle loving, Viking raider clan leader, for most of this book, Wulf is forced to bridle his instincts and usual modus operendi for a long wait and the messy, bloody dance of politics with his enemy. It’s totally against his nature. He wants to main and pillage and plunder and exact righteous revenge for the sins and insults the king has waged against Wulf’s clan before Wulf and the brotherhood were even aware of his existence. This juxtaposition simmers through the entire narrative, building a tension along the way that is almost gleeful in its release, once all things align and Wulf is finally set free of his self-imposed restraint.

This is a book about patience, not a prized virtue among the brotherhood. Wulf has to be patient and resist his instincts to rip his enemies apart and just get the job done. He knows if he makes the wrong move, all of his people will be at mortal risk. He has to taper his usual methods and play the long game, consorting with known enemies, weaklings and fools to his eyes, in order to gain the advantage and have his plan come to fruition. Kathlyn is one woman, a woman who is not under his protection. He cannot risk his clan for the daughter of his greatest enemy, a woman whose loyalties and ambitions are still a mystery. Yet, as the story goes on, his instinct and need expands to include Kathlyn. Wulf struggles to make decisions he knows will benefit his clan and his detailed, complex plan, but these are choices he also knows for which Kathlyn will, and does, suffer. He wrestles with that dual edge of being the leader when the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the king.

But Kathlyn has been at this game far longer than Wulf can initially imagine. Her patience is epic and her ability to survive the most heinous of circumstances is far beyond Wulf’s expectations. “I’m a princess, not a raider,” she tells Wulf in their first encounter. “If I launched myself into battle every time someone insulted me, I would’ve been dead long ago.”

Since the brutal death of her mother at the hand of her sociopath, psycho father, King Athenian, Kathlyn has existed in a living hell, staying as quiet and unobtrusive as she can manage, enduring unfathomable humiliations and dangers just by being the yet virginal daughter of the king, a commodity her father plans to auction off to the highest bidder at his convenience. It’s a carrot he’s dangled before the nobles for so long that Kathlyn herself is seriously tired of the wait. She wants to wear anything other than the gold dresses that define her, and not only because she’s desperate for a wardrobe change. At her level of nobility, the deflowering of a noble virgin is a public ceremony, done on a large bed in the great hall before all the world. Nothing like performance anxiety, yeah? Kathlyn wants to control at least this one thing in a world where being a princess is more of a prison than the lowliest offender has ever seen.

This is a world, remember, that had deemed sex only necessary for procreation to repopulate the world. People here enter into winter marriages where, if a child is conceived, they may stay together for a year until that child is born. If there is no child, both parties go their own ways. Pleasure doesn’t come into the matter at all. No foreplay, no fun. Just copulation for procreation.

Or, at least, for the women. The men indulge in sex for pleasure all they want (naturally). Kathlyn knows all too well how rampant this hypocrisy is among the men of the court. Finally deeming her virginity a burden she can no longer bear, she decides to offer it to the Raider King, a barbarian she’s sure won’t quibble over defiling his “host,” the king’s, daughter. Doing the deed puts Kathlyn’s life at enormous risk, but she’s reached the end of that long stretch of patience that’s kept her alive this long. Whomever she’s bargained off to in the end, she wants first to be able to make one choice for herself, especially about so intimate an event. Because, for the first time in a lifetime of restraint, of not allowing herself to want or need anything only to see it wrenched away, of living a quiet half-life always aware that her father could kill her in the next moment, Kathlyn wants. Wulf awakens in her a pulsing need, not just for sex, but for the wild freedom he represents to her. The crazy idea of choice and desire, of a life spent living and not enduring.

Here again, though, Wulf must resist his urges and instincts as he knows screwing Kathlyn will put both her life and his mission in danger. Obviously, since this is a romance, that resistance doesn’t last, but there is genuine, uncharacteristic struggle in Wulf about what he does to and with Kathlyn. He takes time with her, not only sexually, protecting her in his limited way and when he can’t, working to at least make their sins worthy of her punishments. They also take great risks to be together, and eventually, this leads to their (temporary) downfall. Even when forced into humiliating situations together, designed to denigrate and demean Kathlyn especially, Wulf does what he can to protect her, always keeping in mind what risk it may or may not pose to his mission. He strains against the inability to shield her from her father’s unreasonable and unpredictable wrath. Wulf’s burden of failure grows as he and Kathlyn’s situation becomes more and more perilous. Ultimately, he has to choose between his clan and his woman, perversely giving Kathlyn the life he thinks she wants by taking away the man she’s discovered she needs. Heavy hangs the head of the king.

Author Megan Crane

Author Megan Crane

Yet Wulf has the advantage of knowing how this game ends, or at least how he expects it to end, given his faith in the superiority of his brotherhood and confidence in the soundness of their strategy. Kathlyn takes these risks with him fully expecting to pay the ultimate price. She is so weary of her life, so tired of being afraid, so done with being victimized by her savage, sociopath of a father, even death is a relief, death on her terms, making her own choices, and, for once, feeling bliss with a barbarian who turns out to be the only man in her life to ever give a damn about her. Her strength of spirit in mind-boggling. She not only endures, she triumphs in her resolution. Kathlyn may bend and submit as she needs to in order to survive, but she is far from beaten and defeated, even when physically, she is both. Crane sketches her with such deft and layered strokes that Kathlyn resonates with the emotional authenticity of real-life abuse victims.

EDGE OF POWER is richly drawn with a fascinating dystopian world that is not so far out of our reality. Wulf and Kathlyn’s slow burn of a relationship amidst the perils and pitfalls of a ruthless, unforgiving, brutal court and king is a careful tap dance of sexy subterfuge beneath which lies the delicate waltz of conflict between duty and desire, where a woman with no hope who is accustomed to being betrayed by those closest to her falls for a man whose stalwart faith in his brotherhood and his own purpose cannot be shaken. EDGE OF POWER is sexy and sensual, fierce and touching. A fitting fulfillment of the Raider King’s story.

EDGE OF POWER is available for pre-order and will be on sale March 7, 2017.

A copy of this book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher via NetGalley. You can see more Lady Smut reviews of this series, along with a guest post from Megan Crane about the EDGE series, here.

P.S. If you join Megan Crane’s Clan Facebook page and/or check out her website, you’ll see the absolutely stunning map that her animator (as opposed to animated) husband drafted. As a visually oriented person, having the colorful, detailed map definitely helps me to picture this new, greatly changed world.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, is now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

It’s the End of the World and They Know It: Kit Rocha’s Beyond Surrender

5 Dec

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

This is it. Beyond Surrender is the ninth and final installment in the erotic romance, dystopian Beyond series from Kit Rocha. The end of the world as they know it.

And everyone does not feel fine.

(For all of the Lady Smut reviews on Kit Rocha’s Beyond series, click here.)

Look! A blurb!

The final book in the bestselling, award-winning series…

She’s the heart of O’Kane liquor.

He’s the brains of the revolution.

They’re facing a war that could end their world. Again.

On December 13th, the Beyond series comes to its climactic conclusion with Nessa and Ryder’s story–and the final battle between the sectors and Eden.

Well, that didn’t say much, did it?

Beyond Surrender is structured around the final romantic match up of Ryder and Nessa. Nessa is the O’Kane princess, the one who brews the liquor that the O’Kanes bootleg out to other sectors and Eden–the booze that keeps the money coming in. Since he was a young man, Ryder has been raised by Jim Jernigan, the once-mighty, now dead leader of Sector Eight, with the sole purpose of someday being the blunt instrument of the inevitable revolution.

That day has come.

beyond-surrender

Click on image to buy!

After the rash of assassinations in game-changing Beyond Ruin (Book #7) that wiped out whole sectors and their leaders, Ryder is the heir to Sector Eight and the leader of Sector Five after years spent undercover for Jernigan as a lieutenant to the execrable Mac Fleming. Now that war has come to the sectors, he’s teaming up with Dallas O’Kane, leader of the revolution, to marry years of Jernigan’s precise preparation with Dallas’ ruthless ambition for freedom. Ryder has spent his entire life in the service of someone else’s ambition. As the conclusion to his life’s work finally plays out, he realizes he has no idea what life to lead when it’s over–providing he survives.

Nessa has known Dallas O’Kane her entire life. She arrived in Sector Four barely a girl and has been the kid sister of the O’Kane gang ever since. She’s been sheltered in Sector Four; though not ignorant, she’s spends most of her time with her casks, brewing and stewing about the next batch. She’s removed from the day-to-day struggles of life in Sector Four, removed and protected, rarely even needing to leave the safety of the compound, especially when the apocalypse is knocking. Although, when you have a gang full of growling, grouchy older brothers and murderously protective older sisters, getting laid becomes can be more than problematic, but finding a real relationship in the slums of paradise is near impossible. Nessa’s watched from the sidelines as members of her extended family have found their mates of the soul and body, sure she’ll never find a man with whom to share that deep connection. Enter Ryder, who never looks at her or treats her as anything less than who she is–a complicated, intriguing, sexy woman.

But this is Sector Four, so of course, it’s not that easy. Nessa keenly feels the responsibility that’s been on her shoulders all her life, that of keeping the O’Kanes in business and money. One mistake could wipe out their livelihood and plunge them back into the madness and need that heralded the early years after the solar flares. To make matters worse, everyone she’s ever known and loved is now in acute danger. She fears seeing who will and who won’t survive The War now that it is upon them. Drawn to Ryder for a number of complex reasons, she decides to cling to the pleasure and comfort he offers for as long as they have it–and the time in which to enjoy it. If it’s the end of the world as they know it, best go out with a spectacular bang. It’s the O’Kane way.

Ryder’s entire life has been planned for him, by his mother and by Jim Jernigan who made Ryder the tip of the paranoia sword for the war Jernigan saw coming decades ago. He aligns himself with Sector Four and the notorious Dallas O’Kane to keep on the front lines of the war; leading a sector was never his goal nor his training. Nessa is an unexpected if welcomed surprise, but as they cling together in the days before the final battle, living whatever moments they have left to the fullest, Ryder finds himself worrying what happens next. Any future he sees after the war is hazy: a cabin in the woods far from the complications of whatever is left over when the battle haze clears. Slowly he begins to realize this too was never his dream, merely a fixation to honor his dead father’s dreams. But when all his lifelong plans and strategies are no longer required, when the world he knows is no longer the world he lives in, how will he live in a future he never expected to see–and where might Nessa fit there?

For a while now, for me, the Beyond books have been less about the romantic relationships and more about the exceptionally drawn and deeply believable world in which they’re taking place. Rocha’s Eden and sectors with its complicated loyalties, interwoven alliances, and fierce allegiances has offered more layered and complex intrigue for me than who’s banging whom. Interestingly, in a series that’s featured enthusiastic orgies and polyamorous relationships, this final couple seems to be the sweetest–the most innocent of the O’Kanes (not an easy thing to find in Sector Four) falling for the most noble of spies. Ryder’s shown up in a number of previous books, most notably in Beyond Addiction (one of my faves) and the question of his true purpose and loyalties has been teased for a while. Nessa has floated on the fringes since the beginning, with her wild nail polish and multi-colored hair, and it’s fitting that this last book should be hers.

Beyond Surrender is a deeply satisfying conclusion to this series. I have great respect for an author who can put an end date on a popular series rather than drawing it out ad infinitum to keep the credits rolling. It’s hard to let go of something this all-encompassing and, even though there is more on the horizon for this world, leaving Sector Four and all its denizens can be no easy task and no easy decision to make. Which is why it’s extra sweet to see all the favorites return, some more briefly than others, in Beyond Surrender to take their curtain calls while two people, whose lives were planned for them one way or another, decide to fall for one another literally as the end of their world approaches, and it’s that hope, that gentle push of burgeoning love, that gives them the courage to plan for a future.

I *highly* recommend re-reading the Beyond books and novellas from the beginning as a refresher course in who’s who, who’s where, and who’s doing what to whom. It’d do a body good to refresh yourself before diving into Beyond Surrender. This series has a lot of players and they all show up for the final reckoning. And there is loss; seems like an apocalyptic requirement. Plus, Gideon’s Riders, the heroes of the upcoming eponymous series, make an appearance, including the couple of the first book of that series as Ashwin, that twisted, superior killing machine takes another step toward possessing or destroying Doctor Kora.

With Beyond Surrender, Kit Rocha ends this best-selling series with all the fucked up madness and fun and sexy times that define the world of the O’Kanes. It may be the end of the series as we know it, but you’ll feel more than fine.

O’Kane for life.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll mark you for life.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities strait is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Simply Sinful Excerpt: Lovely, a BDSM Erotic Romance

25 Nov

by Elizabeth SaFleur

We hope you’re enjoying the LadySmut Simply Sinful Black Friday Reader Event. Below is yet another 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 Lovely, Book #1 in the Elite Doms of Washington series. (All books are stand-alone stories, no cliffhangers.)

Blurb: When nineteen year old Christiana Snow is lured into a summer of sexual submission with charismatic Congressman Jonathan Brond, the relationship promises the adventure she’s been craving and the life he’s been missing. But in unforgiving Washington, D.C. the threat of scandal and gossip always looms.

Lovely_cover

~~~~~Excerpt~~~~~

Jonathan led Christiana outside to his idling black sedan. Mark held open the passenger door as she slipped into the back seat. Jonathan folded himself next to her.

“You said your driver was going to take me home.” Her eyes registered alarm.

“He is. He’s taking me home, too. To my home.”

“My Dad . . . .”

Her words evaporated when he patted her hand. Nothing she could say could possibly make up for her father’s conduct. Peter Snow’s boorish behavior wasn’t her cross to bear though, by the look on her face, she’d likely had a lot of practice.

“Don’t worry,” he said.

Shane popped his head into the still open door. “Congressman, you wanted to see me?”

“Make sure Mr. Snow makes it home safely after the reception, and go over some possible subjects with him for our interview later in the week, would you?”

“Yes, sir.” Shane slipped from sight, and Mark closed the door. The partition rose between Mark and the back seat. Finally some privacy. Christiana slid across the leather closer to him as the car smoothly U-turned in the street.

“I didn’t know Mark was your driver,” she said.

“Among other roles.” He took her hand. “Christiana.”

“Yes?” Her rosy lips parted on an involuntary sigh, and his imagination got the better of his intellect. It took every ounce of control to not crush her to the seat with his body and take her right then and there.

“I shouldn’t have . . . .” He had no right to her. She had not given herself to him. He had yet to even ask, and he shouldn’t. Washington was unforgiving in many matters and getting involved with a nineteen year-old would prove fatal. He already tested the boundaries with his sexual proclivities.

“No, please. Do it again.”

Okay, so he hadn’t scared her off completely with his kiss. He laughed and then tamped down the ferocious protectiveness filling his insides. “I shouldn’t have been so impulsive with you.” He touched her face. She pushed her cheek into his palm, like a kitten might arch into an outstretched hand.

No mistaking, she would test his control. “You really are exquisite.” He dropped his hand and leaned back into his seat.

“Thank you.” Her cheeks turned a beautiful shade of pink, like the inside of a seashell. But just as quickly, all color drained, and her lips pursed. Her hand went to her temple, and she massaged a small circle next to her scar.

“Are you feeling alright?” he asked. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“No, you didn’t. Just a little headache.”

“Give me your hand.” He tugged her even closer to him across the leather seat. Her bare thigh rested alongside his leg. She didn’t pull back at the connection. He pulled one of her slender, warm hands to his lap, palm up. He pressed his finger into the soft fleshy pad below her thumb.

“Acupressure,” he said.

He’d learned how to stave off headaches arising during meetings and hearings. Popping a pill in front of colleagues would be a sign of weakness and used against him.

He stroked her delicate palm and then pulled on each finger. Delicate tendons stretched under his larger fingers. He tried to be gentle.

She leaned her head back and closed her eyes.

He massaged her whole hand, kneading and rubbing until her fingers fell open, splayed out wide, fully receiving his touch.

After pulling her other hand across his leg, her blue eyes opened. He held her gaze with his own as his hands engulfed both her wrists. The tightness around her mouth released. His eyes fell to his lap, where his index fingers and thumbs grasped her pale wrists. His thumbs rubbed across the sensitive thin skin, and she shuddered. She likes having her hands held captive.

“I’d like to take you to dinner. This weekend.”

Her head rose from the headrest and she blinked. “You want to take me to dinner.” Her voice held astonishment.

“A gentleman never asks a beautiful woman for a Saturday and expects her to be free,” he said. “But, you’ll find out, I’m not much of a gentleman.” He released her hands. “I know a little place about an hour outside of Washington. The drive will give us a chance to talk. And I promise not to keep you out too late.”

“No, I—”

“No?”

“No, I mean, don’t worry about being late.”

He smiled. “I have an offer I’d like to discuss.”

Though he had sufficient discipline to pass on this woman if need be, he believed in helping people. He could at least show an interest in her life and help her better navigate the obviously overwhelming situation with her father and the brat socialite. Like a mentor, a voice whispered in his brain. The brain in his pants responded, yeah, right. Who are you kidding?

The car slowed as it pulled up outside her house.

“Feel better?”

“Yes, thank you.”

The color had returned to her cheeks. How pink he could turn other parts of her anatomy… His groin ached.

Mark opened the door and offered his hand to help Christiana from the car.

“I’ve got this, Mark,” he said. The momentary blow of jealousy caused by the thought of Mark touching her startled him.

He eased himself from the car and placed his hand on the small of her back to guide her over the cracked and uneven concrete.

After laying a chaste kiss on the back of her hand, he backed up. “Saturday night. I’ll pick you up at six.” He waited for her to unlock the front door and step inside before walking back to his car.

He slipped into the back seat and took a few deep breaths. Mark eased the car away from the curb, and the privacy screen lowered in a muffled whine.

“Where to, sir?”

“Home. The Oak’s not a good idea tonight.”

“Very good, sir.” The screen rose to separate them.

As they entered the parkway, the traffic sounds quieted. His daydreams took advantage of the renewed silence. Christiana proved irresistible, a delicious smorgasbord of opportunities for pleasure.

So why am I fighting this? She’s of legal age, a girl on the cusp of womanhood. How could I resist her? She’s catnip in a den of lions.

At the reception, he’d seen how the men gawked at her. There were a few in particular he definitely didn’t trust. Her response to his kiss showed how ripe she was for surrender to a Dominant will. If he was right about her submissive nature—and he hadn’t been wrong yet—he’d ensure it was his will.

~~~~~

Want to read more? Find Lovely at all major, online retailers for just 99 cents. Lovely is also available in audio book, narrated by the talented Anastasia Whatley. Warnings: family secrets, liberal abuse of Washington, DC society, dominance/submission, bondage, gags, paddling … you get the picture.

Comment below–or on any post published today, November 25–and be entered to win a Simply Sinful basket of book goodness.

Books! Wine! Bath bombs and soaps! Scones! What more could you need?

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

Next up in the LadySmut Simply Sinful Reader Event is Kiersten Halle Krum at 7 p.m.

~~~~~

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get a little graphic about it  — “it” being the sex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington. Join her Sexy, Saucy, Sometimes Naughty exclusive reader’s group or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Cuckold Beach 1: Pink Bow – Simply Sinful Basket Gveaway

25 Nov

By Isabelle Drake

Yes! You are taking a break from deal hunting, cleaning, or driving. Welcome to Lady Smut’s Simply Sinful Giveaway.

I’m here to heat things up with a trip to a sizzling stretch of California beach, where devoted husbands are dedicated to satisfying their wives’ deepest desires. They’ll do whatever it takes to bring intimacy and ecstasy to the women they love…even if it means giving their wives to other men…while they watch.

Be sure to remember to comment on any (or all) of the excerpts today in order to be eligible to win our dangerously sinful Black Friday “Basket of Sin” giveaway basket. Check back in tomorrow (that’s Saturday, in case you have shopping blackout and lose track of the days) when we announce the winner!

Cuckold Beach 1: Pink Bow 

cb-1pink-bow-final-coverTroy and I got married six months ago, so it won’t surprise you to know we have a lot of sex. But there’s one night each week that’s extra-special—every Thursday we play Scrabble first.

I know when I say it like that it sounds really boring, but trust me—it isn’t. Troy’s dick is always hard throughout the game and he really knows how to make me beg for what I already want. I’ll be sitting across the board from him, watching his long fingers put tiles in place, wondering how he’s going to make me come later. By the time the game is over, I’m on fire with anticipation.

But that Thursday night, about three months ago, instead of pulling the Scrabble board out from under the bed, he led me to the closet and told me to put on my shortest skirt and highest heels and left the room. I made a joke out it and put on a pair of stripper heels a friend had given me. Then I slipped into the tiny slip-on skirt I bought on clearance but never wore. No top. No panties.

He didn’t laugh when I marched out into our small living room, jiggled my boobs and then spun around to show him my bare ass. He looked me up and down and said, totally straight-faced, “The no-panties idea is perfect, but you better go ahead and put a shirt on or I’m going to fuck you myself, right now.” Then he looked away and added, “Hurry up so we can get going.”

“Where’re we going?”

He didn’t look at me.

“Should I wear t-shirt? Or a nice blouse?” I asked, stepping backward toward our bedroom.

“Wear the sluttiest top you can come up with.”

That got my attention. Not him using the word “sluttiest”. I’m used to that because he calls me “slut” all the time. And for good reason—I can’t get enough. However and whenever he wants to fuck me, I’m ready. Sometimes I think I’ll never, ever get enough sex. Before Troy and I got married, I was pretty wild. There isn’t much I haven’t tried. But I was doing a good job of keeping my unusually intense sex drive a secret from my husband. Or at least I thought I was. It was on that Thursday night that I learned he’d known the truth about me for a while.

Not only did he know the truth. He planned to exploit it for his own pleasure.

Right before we left our condo, he made me stand in front of him and stick out my chest.

“Take your bra off.”

“I can’t go out like that! What if someone sees me?”

“They will see you. That’s the idea. I want everyone to be able to see your hard nipples.”

I tried to slip past him to get to the door but he blocked me. “Take it off and hand it to me. Or I’ll rip it off myself.”

I know it sounds terrible, but I love it when he talks that way. I know if I asked him to stop using that tone with me, he would. Instantly. But I never do because his rough commands make my pussy so hot and wet, I wouldn’t even consider telling him to stop.

So, I did what I always do—exactly what he wants. I slipped my sparkly pink t-shirt over my head and handed it to him. Then I took off my bra and handed him that. He reached out and pinched each of my nipples, and then sucked on them until they were both tight and incredibly stiff.

“I expect you to keep them hard all night. If you don’t, I’ll lift your shirt up and take care of it myself. I won’t care who sees me sucking on your tits.”

A shiver went down my back and settled in my pussy. The kind of shiver that doesn’t go away until it’s good and ready. Or until Troy fucks it out of me. I put my shirt back on and looked down. Sure enough, the hard points of my nipples were clearly showing.
Troy nodded with a sharp tip of his head. “Turn around,” he barked.

I did, pivoting on my strappy platform sandals. Once my back was to him, he lifted my tiny black skirt. “No panties. Good girl.” Then he smacked my bare ass several times, keeping at it until my ass stung. Then he walked out.

Damn him for getting me so turned on and then leaving! I rushed after him, walking as fast as I could in the stripper heels and doing my best to ignore the bouncing of my tits. Outside, a couple of our neighbors were chatting near their cars but were too far away to get a clear look at me. Troy was already getting into his car.

The sun had just set when we pulled out of the parking lot but the air was still really hot. The kind of weather you expect in Southern California in August. Steamy and sensual. As we drove, the crowded city faded into the distance and the traffic thinned. After a while, Troy turned off the freeway and headed down one of the smaller roads that run up and down the coast. When we got close to the ocean, I unrolled my window and breathed in the thick, salty air.

Troy didn’t say anything as we passed through the towns along the water. It wasn’t the kind of quiet when he’s upset, but the kind when he’s excited or anxious or just considering something important. So I didn’t worry about him not talking. I looked out the window and tried not to think about the fact that only a tiny layer of fabric separated my bare pussy from Troy’s view.

As we went farther down the coastline, the buildings became smaller and closer together but it was obvious that everyone who lived along the coast was loaded. The yards were landscaped with flowers, beach grasses and fan palms, and lit with soft spotlights. Many of the houses were tall and narrow, with parking garages on the ground level and living spaces above. It was a neighborhood way out of our price range, that was for sure.

Another thing I was sure of—we didn’t know anyone who lived here. Or maybe it was just me who didn’t know anyone, otherwise why would Troy bring us here?

After a long while, Troy turned off the main road and started checking the map on his phone. My curiosity was making me so jittery, each minute dragged, but finally he parked. Once he cut the engine, he turned to me and put his hand on my leg. “You know how much I love you, right?”

“More than the moon loves the stars,” I said, repeating our special phrase.

“That’s right. And I always will.” He slid his hand up my leg. “I know about the porn.”

My mind went blank.

Was that what he’d been thinking about during the drive? Heavy silence settled between us until I broke it with words, even though I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to say. I explained abo43164221245ed4ea5d9fea384dcd9f53ut a girl at work telling me to check out a particular site and how the site made me curious, so I kept looking… And I kept babbling, telling most but not all of the truth, until he cut me off.

“It’s okay. I love you, Abby. And I know what you need—so I’m going to make sure you get it.”

I started to talk again, telling him how much I loved him and that he always satisfied me, but he cut me off a second time by kissing me firmly on the mouth. His hard kiss stirred up all that lust that had brewing since he’d told me to change clothes. Within a minute, I was panting and reaching for his belt. He guided my hands away with a smile and laugh.

“No, no. Tonight is going to be different. For one thing, you aren’t in charge.”

“What else?” I asked, eager to know.

He shook his head and climbed out of the car. “Follow me and find out.”

I jogged after him, this time glancing around to see if anyone might spot me and guess who, or what, I was—a horny wife with no panties who liked to get bossed around by her husband so much, she lets him call her a slut and make her go out in public looking like a hooker.

Here’s the truth—I hadn’t been so turned on in weeks. Months. Maybe years. Maybe ever. My pussy was so slick, my juices were dripping onto my thighs.

Even though there were many homes, we were the only people on the street. The air was salty and the ocean rumbled in the distance. The house he led me to had a long flight of stairs up to the small front porch, and low, bass-filled dance music thumped from behind the door, which opened before we’d even knocked.

We stepped inside and were greeted by a man standing in a large foyer that had a pair of doors on one side, a table and hanging mirror on the other. With his clean-shaven head, black goatee and giant shoulders, he looked like a bouncer, which I guess is what he was. Troy handed him his driver’s license and the guy checked a list on a clipboard and nodded.

The man gave Troy his license back and then set the clipboard on the table. He looked me up and down, his gaze gliding over my body with care and interest. “Nice choice, sir. She’ll be a welcome addition here.”

A lot of girls might start asking questions at this point, but I trust my husband completely. He would never put me in danger or take me somewhere I didn’t want to go. One thing I was sure of—this night had something to do with sex, so I was all in.

“Thanks. She’s my wife.” Pride deepened Troy’s voice. By this point I wasn’t quite my usual self and the compliment really got to me. I shimmied a bit, making my breasts wiggle beneath the sparkly shirt.

The man’s white teeth flashed brightly when he smiled. Then he took something from a basket on the floor and handed it to Troy. It was a long, bright-pink sash with a bow tied in the middle.

“Put this around your waist,” Troy said, holding it out to me.

The fabric was smooth against my palm. “Don’t you get one?” I asked, hoping to get a smile from him.

“No. I don’t.”

I fastened the ribbon using the tiny silver buckle attached. The other man stepped over and adjusted the bow so it rested on the curve of my ass.

All of a sudden I understood. I was a walking present—but for who?

The man patted my butt and then gave me a gentle push. “Enjoy yourselves.”

Troy put his arm around me as we walked down the hall. He stopped at the end and looked at my face, his gaze serious. He kissed me on the mouth, letting his warm lips linger above mine just a second longer than I expected before lifting his head and taking my hand.

Three steps later I was in the living room—and instantly took two steps back.

Troy caught my retreat and guided me forward by wrapping his arm firmly behind my back. I continued to move forward with him as my gaze roamed the room.

Get started at the beach with Cuckold Beach 1: Pink Bow

Professor and multi-genre author Isabelle Drake doesn’t shy away from a writing challenge. She’ll create a charming, reserved, young adult heroine, then turn around and give life a wall-climbing zombie who acquires men to service her dark sexual needs. During her early writing days, Isabelle drove an ice cream truck, had a couple gigs as the mall Easter Bunny, and spent too much time reading classic Betty & Veronica comics. Now that she gets to spend more time writing, she’s given up the quirky jobs…but not the vintage comics. Find her all around social media as IsabelleDrake or stop by her website www.isabelledrake.com

Remember, comment below–or on any post published today, November 25–and be entered to win a Simply Sinful basket of book goodness. Giveaway closes at midnight (Eastern), November 25, 2016.

Next up in the Lady Smut Simply Sinful Reader Event is Madeline Iva at 1 P.M. EST

Untouchable, An Erotic Billionaire BDSM Free Read

13 Nov

By Elizabeth SaFleur

Continuing our series of Sexy Sunday Snippets, below is a free excerpt from Untouchable, a billionaire BDSM erotic romance. Wealthy, D.C. corporate attorney Carson Drake is the master of the romantic pre-emptive strike—until he meets London, the woman who tests every assumption he’s ever had about love.

~~~~~

The woman pushed off the railing and made her way to the circular staircase on the far side of the balcony.

Carson left his drink on a side table and proceeded toward the intriguing figure. Why the hell not? Rarely did he approach someone so early in the evening, but she piqued his interest. Perhaps she sought what he did—pleasure with no complications.

That’s why he liked Club Accendos. No hidden agenda. Defined roles. Clear deadlines—usually the end of the night. No one gets hurt. He laughed to himself. Well, not unless they want the pain.

As soon as the woman’s foot hit the second step down, her familiarity clicked into place. Holy hell. London.

In his peripheral vision, he watched another man join his progression toward her. He plowed through the crowd to reach the staircase first. He cut off the other Dominant with a flick of his eye. I’ll fight for this one. The man understood the warning. He walked by, unbothered by the nanosecond exchange.

As soon as London had descended halfway down the stairs, she froze. Her petulant chin lifted as she recognized him. Within seconds, she resumed her descent, her eyes full of her usual bravado.

When London reached the final step, he held out his hand to help her down. “Hello, sugar.”

She ignored his offer and tried to scoot by him. He captured her arm, lightly. He didn’t want to frighten her, merely get her attention. Her eyes flamed with annoyance and blood rushed to his cock.

She raised her chin. “Excuse me, but we haven’t been introduced.” Of course her voice contained her signature, throaty impudence.

He raised his eyebrow. Playing games? Fine. “I’m Carson Drake. Sit and talk?” He leveled his voice to the business tone she’d recognize, less of a Dominant and more of a diplomat.

Her shoulders relaxed a little but her eyes held debate.

He took her hesitation as a “yes.” He circled her waist and led her away from the crowd toward one of the side doors. As a Tribunal Council member, he had a private room—far from any potential interruptions.

London stopped short. “Where are we going?”

“Someplace more quiet.”

“What if I don’t want to?”

“Then you don’t have to.” He dropped his hold on her waist.

“Just talking?”

“Yes. Witnesses saw us leave. You’re safe.”

She let him pull her through a gothic arched door. A bodyguard closed it behind them.

untouchable_cover7

He moved them down an expansive hallway lined with closed doors. Only after ushering her inside the last door at the end did he let go of her elbow. She immediately crossed her arms.

“It’s okay, sugar. I’m not going to hurt you.”

“I’m meeting someone.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, so I can’t stay long.” She worked her bottom lip and shuffled her weight from foot to foot. Her eyes also darted to the bed in the corner. Perhaps she thought he’d take her right away? She knew his identity. She should know he was committed to due diligence. And he had to know why she was here—the last place on earth he’d expect London Chantelle.

He sat in one of two cushioned chairs set before a lit fireplace. He appreciated her luscious curves, beautifully illuminated by the amber glow of the low fire.

“Sit.” He beckoned her to join him.

“I like standing.”

“Sit.” The commanding tones of a Dom brought the expected result. As she lowered herself into the chair, her ponytail licked one shoulder. “Your hair is beautiful in this light,” he said. “More golden brown than I noticed before.”

She swallowed. “Thank you, um . . . I go by Tatiana.”

“It doesn’t suit you. Why not go with, say . . . London?”

Her mouth dropped to an “O” in alarm, and she leapt from her seat.

“Sit. Down.” He pointed to the chair.

“Please.” Her hazel eyes implored lenience, and her tone of voice surprised him. He liked the beseeching quality. It was quite a departure from her customary, unadulterated demand.

“Please what? You thought a simple mask and change of clothing meant I wouldn’t recognize you?”

“I hoped . . . maybe . . . I can’t do this.”

Before she could complete two steps, he’d risen from his chair and laid his hand on her shoulder. She stopped. He pressed his torso against her back, sending her firm ass into his crotch. He decided to like her stiletto boots. He was a tall man and they made her the perfect height. He waited to see if she’d object, at which point he’d back off. She didn’t move.

He pulled off the elastic holding her hair captive. A curtain of gold-laced chestnut silk cascaded free. He brushed her mane to one side and bared her shoulder. “That’s better.”

Her breathing sped up. “You said just talking.”

“Still, sweetness.” He inhaled her scent of Ivory soap and cinnamon Christmas cookies before stepping backward. “We are talking.”

She twisted to face him. “Carson, please . . .”

He liked how her emotions turned in an instant. She’d test his abilities to direct her psychology in a scene. He nearly laughed at himself. How quickly I have her bound and pleasured in my mind. “There. Now that’s a start. I rather like you begging me.”

“I don’t beg.”

And there goes that chin. “We’ll see.” He took another step back. His instincts told him she wouldn’t bolt.

“Take a seat, London.” He returned to his chair. “When you do, hands in your lap. After you listen to me you can decide if you wish to leave. It will be your choice.”

She hesitated, then nestled her behind onto the chair opposite him. She placed her hands in her lap. The thumb of one hand worked the palm of the other.

“Take off your mask. Show me your pretty face.”

She took a deep breath as her elegant fingers slipped off her disguise, pulling the fastening ribbon through her perfect hair. He wanted to capture her cheeks in his hands. He’d rub off the mask indents and erase the worry imprinted on her forehead.

“How long have you been without a master?” he asked.

“I-I’m not . . .” Her jawline hardened. “It’s none of your business.”

“That’s a shame. I’m good at business.” His mouth broke into a smile at the thought of bending her over her desk, papers sticking to her bared breasts, pens falling to the floor. He’d smack her ass with that leather portfolio she carried around like a shield. He wouldn’t stop until her engraved initials imprinted her skin.

“Why did you bring me here?” she whispered.

“You’re looking for a Dom. I’m a Dom looking for a sub.”

She flinched at his final word. “What do you want, Carson?”

What I want. Did it matter? He’d given up what he wanted long ago—a spirited submissive who matched his desires. Someone who might actually stick with him and not drop him the minute a better offer came through. He didn’t allow himself to think finding such a woman was possible anymore.

“Time. Willingness. Pleasure.” He folded his hands and laid his chin on his knuckles. “Now, I want to know what you want.”

“No, you don’t.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Toying with me will not get you anywhere, sweetness.”

“Isn’t that what you are doing with me?”

“Hardly.” He let silence take over the space.

“Then what?” she whispered after long minutes.

“Patience will be your first lesson tonight. Then I’ll consider you.”

Consider me?” She gave him a hardened, fuck-off look.

“Yes. Last time. What do you want?”

He let a few seconds tick by. Then he stood. “If you won’t tell me why you’re here, what you seek, then I can’t help.”

“I-I didn’t mean . . . it isn’t easy . . .”

“You must answer my questions when I ask them. No delay. It’s for your safety and mine.”

Her lips pursed, her signal she realized she was losing. Her sassiness had its usual alluring appeal—futile, but adorable. She licked her bottom lip, the subtle move urging him forward.

“Stand,” he said.

She stood cautiously.

“What is your safeword?” he asked.

“Excuse me? A-a scene. With you? You’re a client. If anything ever got back—”

“Then we would both lose. And I don’t lose.”

“No, You take what you want and damn the consequences.”

“London.” He walked toward her and she backed around the chair. “What are you afraid of? Afraid you might get what you want? Experience what you’ve longed for?”

She let out a huff, but continued to retreat as he advanced. He sent her in a backward circle until she closed in on the canopied bed. Yes, most definitely submissive. The urge to discover how deep her desires ran raged through him like a brushfire.

“How would you know what I long for?” Her haughty chin jutted out.

“I want to know, London. Tell me.”

“Why?” She’d backed up until she connected with the bedpost.

“Fair question. And one I’ll answer. Given you and I dance well together at the boardroom table, why wouldn’t we here? Had I known your proclivities I might have offered. Why didn’t you come to me before?” How had he missed her signs?

“B-but you hate me.”

Now he was puzzled. “No, I don’t. You sometimes . . . irritate, but I could never hate you. Surely you noticed my tendencies.”

“Being a bully in a boardroom does not make you a Dominant I’d be interested in.”

“Ouch, London. That hurt.” He slapped his chest above his heart but kept his face stony.

“I didn’t think you could feel pain.”

“Everyone feels pain.” Her lips parted when he closed the last inch of distance between them. His thighs touched hers, and he softened his voice. “It pleases me you’re here. There’s no use in fighting this chemistry.” He hooked a thumb on his waistband. “One weekend.”

“With you?”

“Yes.”

“What will you do with your harem?”

He unbuckled his belt. “Your second lesson. Don’t force discipline with a smart mouth.”

“I don’t have that kind of time.” She raised her impertinent jawline—again.

Lesson three: discipline your haughty chin.

“Not enough time to learn discipline or not enough time, in general?” The loud rasp of leather yanked through his belt loops sent her attention to his torso.

“What are you doing?” Her panicked gaze shot to his face.

“I don’t have a collar on me.”

“I am wholly disinterested in being collared.”

“One weekend, London.” He grasped one of her hips with his free hand. “If you’re disappointed at any time, you can walk. I’ll never speak of it again. Our work together will go unaffected. No one—and I mean no one—but us will know.”

“Would you put that in writing?” Her eyes filled with mischief.

Priceless. London lured him toward a lightning storm. He could play. Hell, nothing appealed in the moment more than a weekend playing with her. Yes, this is what he wanted. Now he needed to know if she was willing.

“I’ll do one better.” He snaked the belt around her waist until the leather rested against her hips.

“I’m not a notch on a belt.”

“You could never be a notch, London Chantelle. You’re the whole belt, sugar.”

Her face softened, and the playfulness in her eyes died. He recognized the deliberation behind them, the wonder if she’d be safe, here and at work. She needn’t have worried. She might get scared, but mutual satisfaction was the only way his brand of sexual fulfillment worked.

“Say yes or no.” He pressed his torso to her corseted body, the last space between her body and his obliterated. “But say yes.”

“What will happen if I say yes?”

“What you want.  What you’ve probably always wanted.”

Her eyes misted with a surprising vulnerability. “Yes.”

~~~~~

 

What’s next? Read more in Untouchable, an Elite Doms of Washington novel.

Until then follow Lady Smut and get what you’ve always wanted, too.

~~~~~

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get a little graphic about it  — “it” being the sex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington.

Ghosts Making Booty Calls

28 Oct

by Elizabeth SaFleur

It’s a wild wicked week at LadySmut. Not only is our very own Madeline Iva coming out with her latest, Wicked Apprentice, but we’re tackling all the Halloween myths, legends, costume angst and deep, dark truths lurking around this favorite holiday.

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_high_res_1800x2700

Let’s talk ghost sex. As in, how they do it. You’ve wondered this, too? Well, good. Because I’ve lost some sleep over figuring out how do ghosts get it on. I mean, they’re transparent. How does “that” get into “this.” (Picture the hand gestures being made right now.) Wouldn’t it just, ahem, slide right through? And not in a good way. In a completely ineffectual way.

An answer must be found. It simply must. Because apparently fifteen perfect — FIFTEEN PERCENT! — of real, live, breathing people are getting it on with a non corporeal being. Even the Travel Channel did a documentary called Ghost Lovers (now officially in my Netflix cue. Oy, the things I endure for research.).

Consent isn’t such a thing in ghostland, either. Some people who’ve been the recipient of such a spiritual encounter did not make the booty call. The horny apparitions just appeared and started groping like Donald Trump. Oh, the horrors.

ghostbusters-ghost-blowjob-o

According to experts, however, just a fraction of the world’s ghost sex is non-consensual. Well, whew. But wait a minute. This means some of them DID ask for it? Yeppers. In fact, a whole community has cropped up around ghost fetishism. You just have to be open to such an encounter, say the people with spectrophilia, the official name for a fetish or condition where people display a strong sexual attraction to ghosts and spirits. So, settle in, relax your mind and bring on the invisible ding dongs? Even if you could request ghost sex, the original question stands.

HOW does it work?

ghost-movie

I turned to my favorite kind of research: buying and reading erotic romance books (as if the incentive was required). The amount of available ghost erotica is impressive. Succubus, demons and Casper-like beings are all getting it on between the pages. Carolyn Crane, Beth Kery, and our very own Alexa Day have written ghosts tales.

Check out Alexa’s short story, Three, After Midnight, in Mysteries of the Macabre: a Halloween Anthology. So. Much. Hawtness.

So, how do they do it? you are shouting  right now. The answer is simple my friends, thanks to Carolyn Crane’s Old Salt, a delightful short about a disenchanted tour guide in a small town whose claim to fame is the nightly hauntings from a drowned sea captain called “Old Salt.” Turns out “Old Salt” is really “Young Hot Guy.”

****SPOILER ALERT****

She dies. But all is not lost. He teaches the tour guide how to become corporeal for short periods of time. Guess what they do during these times? They concentrate really, really hard and bam! Bam-bam-bam-bam!

ghost-kiss

He-he-he-he. So there you go. Who knew the answer was so easy? You just gotta want it. Like anything in life, I guess.

Follow LadySmut. We’re easy. We won’t make you have sex with invisible critters for fun. Just pick up one of our books, like Madeline Iva’s latest, Wicked Apprentice, for all the salacious fun and fantasy you can handle.

About Wicked Apprentice

Zephyr, apprentice of magical arts, is having a really bad day. Under orders to capture an uncanny creature for her mistress’s 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. Her seductive curiosity about all things elvish makes his heart race, driving him into a sexual frenzy. He’s vowed never to unleash his powers of enchantment upon a human woman—yet while she kisses and teases him, longing for an elf romance, his fae side is slipping out of control.

Their world overturns when Zephyr unleashes a curse involving two magic rings. Under its spell, she becomes a mighty sorceress while the elf-wizard who loves her becomes her apprentice. As Zephyr works to turn the brooding, mistrustful elf into the hero the people need, Theo must find a way to contain Zephyr’s new powers before her wild magic destroys them all.

Madeline Iva’s high fantasy romance will enchant readers who love all things elvish, brooding heroes and bold heroines.

*****

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get a little graphic about it  — “it” being the smex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington.

How to get published in anthologies

16 Sep

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

First let me start by saying this is not a definitive guide to how to get published in anthologies, but a highly subjective guide based on my editing over 60 anthologies, and now being the Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series editor for Cleis Press, and having my own work published in over 100 of them. Why am I sharing this on Lady Smut? Because writing erotic short stories for anthologies is how I got my start, and how many in the erotica and erotic romance genre have broken in. It’s not for everybody, especially if you think only in novel length plots, but what anthology writing credits can do is give your work visibility and gain you new readers, boost morale, connect you with other writers (and editors and agents, who may be reading and looking for their next big author) and earn you a little extra cash. My anthologies are on bookstore shelves across the country and a few around the world; several have been translated into German. That means that your short story may be read by someone far, far away who, if they like it enough, may start following you online, eager to read every word that follows the end of your anthology tale.

Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 1

Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1

Numerous erotica and romance novelists have gotten their start by publishing shorter fiction in anthologies. Delilah Night, whose work I published in my erotic romance anthology Irresistible, put out her first solo novel, Capturing the Moment, this year. She described getting her first acceptance letter for an anthology this way: “I actually found out that my story had been accepted into Irresistible because I was following Rachel Kramer Bussel on Twitter. She said that she had three stories with Jewish characters, and I thought *hmmmm.* An hour later I got the email. I screamed, grabbed my husband, and may have cried.” Jade A. Waters, whose novel The Assignment, the first in her erotic romance trilogy Lessons in Control, will be published in December by Carina Press, got her first byline in the genre in my anthology The Big Book of Orgasms. There are countless paths toward book deals, but having previous writing credits bolsters your visibility and can be impressive to publishers because they know your work is already “out there” and being read.

Jade A. Waters' first novel, The Assignment

Jade A. Waters’ first novel, The Assignment

I also organize readings at bookstores, like our upcoming Best Women’s Erotica of the Year reading January 31, 2017 at Skylight Books in Los Angeles, for my anthologies, giving authors the opportunity to read their words aloud to a live audience, which I find an invaluable experience for finding out what truly connects with readers. Often, local bookstore patrons will attend, who may have never heard erotica read aloud before. You never know who will show up to a reading, and often your words will stick with audiences long after they’ve heard them.

Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2

Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2

Plus, it can often be easier and faster to get a short story published than a longer work. Generally, it takes about a year to a year and a half from submission to publication. It’s also exciting. I too cried when my first short story, “Monica and Me,” got published, and the thrill of seeing my name in a book has never gotten old. It’s also been a stepping stone to a career as an anthology editor I never imagined when I sat down to pen that first story.

So, with the caveat that short stories aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, for those who are interested, I’m sharing my top five pieces of advice on how to better your chances of getting published in an anthology. Please keep in mind that an anthology editor may be inundated with hundreds of submissions and only able to select a very small percentage of them. This means that, simply based on the numbers, not everyone is going to get accepted. Don’t take it personally; if your story gets rejected, send it back out, or polish it and see if you can tweak or extend it. Whatever you do, don’t give up on it because you don’t know all the variables at play that went into an editor’s decision.

Right now, I’m aiming to get 500 submissions to my call for Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 (December 1 deadline), even though I only have room for between 20 and 30 stories, depending on length. Why? Because I want to publish as many authors I’ve never worked with as I can from around the world, and want to offer my readers as much novelty, variety and creativity as possible. The best way for me to do that is to draw from a wide pool. Please don’t let that discourage you, though; in the past, if I had too many wonderful stories that simply wouldn’t fit within my allotted work count for an anthology, I’ve taken the surplus and fashioned some of them into a new anthology idea based around a theme that’s cropped up. I’m also editing the flash fiction BDSM anthology The Big Book of Submission, Volume 2 (January 10 deadline), which will contain 69 stories, three times the usual number I have room for. You can find many more calls for submissions at the Erotica Readers & Writers Association Author Resources section, and also follow publisher Sexy Little Pages for their calls.

Onto my writing advice:

Read the guidelines fully

This rule should go without saying, but with every single anthology I edit, I receive submissions outside the stated word count, not focused on the theme or otherwise outside the rules I’ve set down in the call. My calls tend to be very long (most by other editors are shorter), but that’s because over the twelve years I’ve been editing anthologies, I’ve honed in on the exact what I’m looking for (except for plot and content; with those, I want to be surprised!). What I try to do with my very detailed calls for submissions is save both authors and myself time. Will I read your story even if you submit it single spaced when I require it to be double spaced? Yes, but for every small adjustment I have to make to submissions, that’s time taken away from reading them. One major point: only submit your story once. Don’t consider your submission a rough draft, a suggestion or in any way unfinished. Yes, an editor will be editing it if it’s accepted, but it looks bad and is insulting to an editor’s time and professionalism to submit a piece, have it accepted and edited, then completely rewrite it and expect them to the do all that work over again. Submit the final, polished, amazing, proofread (see last item) story you’d want to see published with the byline you want to use. Following the guidelines shows you want to be taken seriously.

Make your writing stand out

Considering what I stated above, that editors may be facing hundreds of submissions, think about how to make yours stand out. For instance, when I edited Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, I received many more excellent submissions than I could include in the book. Since the theme was sex toys, I read many stories that focused on the same type of sex toy used in a similar way. That’s not to say those stories were bad, but simply that I couldn’t include more than one lest my readers get bored. Some of the stories that stood out as unique were ones like “A Tale of Two Toys” by Chris Komodo, about dueling remote control vibrators, “My Life as a Vibrator” by Livia Ellis, told from the point of view of a vibrator, from factory shelf to being used by lusty women, as well as stories that employed household objects as erotic aids, such as “Icy Bed” by J. Crichton. Obviously, you can’t know in advance what kinds of stories will be your competition, but you can think outside the box. Now, I’m not saying that you should set your story on Mars or some fictional planet if you hate sci fi just for the sake of standing out. I’m saying that if you have a brainstorm that’s off the beaten path, or know about a subculture that not many people do, use that to your advantage. For instance, I used my many years playing in chess tournaments as fodder for my story “Check, Mate” in Alison Tyler’s erotica anthology G Is for Games.

Grab the reader’s attention, but don’t give away too much immediately

When I’m reading story submissions for my anthologies, I especially look for stories that pull me in with an amazing first line and keep me frantically reading to find out what happens next. That’s not to say each story needs to have a fast pace; in fact, in addition to variety in terms of sex acts, sexual orientation, setting, tense, and age and race of characters, I look for stories with varying paces so readers get a wide range of types of stories. But I tend to prefer stories that keep me guessing just a little, not necessarily with a plot twist, but that are full of enough drama to make me keep reading. Sometimes people assume that “erotica” simply means “sex story,” and that’s not the case. A short story, erotic or not, still has to have a beginning, middle and end (no matter the chronology), and the ones I tend to select are intriguing from the start and stay intriguing.

Have fun with the theme

Not all anthologies have themes, but when they do, go ahead and mix things up a little. One of my favorite examples of this is from my anthology Flying High: Sexy Stories from the Mile High Club (originally titled The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories), where Cheyenne Blue took the sex on an airplane theme and ran with it (or rather, walked) with “Wing Walker.” In this case, I truly didn’t want every story to be about seat mates getting it on in the air, and she made sure her story spun in a direction I could never have imagined when I wrote the call for submissions. I’ve channeled my fear of driving and cars into a BDSM erotica story about a woman “forced” by her partner to drive as part of their kinky relationship. Once again, if you have insider details about a certain location or fetish or hobby, taking that and eroticizing it is a way to impress an editor, gloss on the theme and stand out from the pack.

Proofread and read your work out loud before submitting

This goes along with my first rule. We all make typos and other mistakes, and I’d say almost everyone will find something to tweak once they read their work aloud. It simply sounds different when you speak the words rather than read them on the page or screen, especially if you’ve already read them numerous times. This is an excellent way to give your work a final proofing before submitting it.

Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com.

 

 

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