Tag Archives: Erotica

How to write erotic flash fiction and turn readers on in a few pages

17 Feb

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

I’m a sucker for a good short story. I always have been, which is perhaps why I’ve made a career out of editing short story anthologies, but I’ve come to appreciate the genre anew by compiling three books of erotic flash fiction: Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex, The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories and The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales. Yes, the number 69 is a cheeky reference, but also rounds out these collections in a beautiful way, allowing room for plenty of variety.

Before I delve into why I love these super short tales so much, I want to let all you writers out there now that I’m looking for the last few ultra hot, creative and brilliant BDSM erotica stories to include in The Big Book of Submission, Volume 2, to be published in 2018 by Cleis Press. Get all the details in the call for submissions and send your stories in by February 28, 2017. Yes, I know that’s around the corner, but at only 1,200 words or less, writing one can be done in a day.

The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales

The Big Book of Submission: 69 Kinky Tales

So what do I love about these books? As an editor, I selfishly love that I get to say yes to 69 authors, since sending rejections is the part of the job I hate the most. As a reader, I relish seeing just how playful writers can be with such a limited word count. And as a person with ADD, I love that I can read one of these stories in just a few minutes, making them perfect for our often overbooked and overly busy culture.

Some people might see the words “1,200 words or less” and think, That’s nothing more than a sex scene. Au contraire! What’s been extraordinary to me is seeing just how much passion, heart and soul these authors have imbued into their relatively small amount of words. They’ve created stories that are rich with gorgeous imagery and eroticism, the kinds of stories I reread often. One of my favorites is “Housebroken” by Laila Blake, from The Big Book of Submission, about a special kind of roleplay. Here’s a snippet:

The tiny bell on her kitten-collar chimed whenever she moved her head a little this way or that, sparkling like her pink lips with their ubiquitous honey-scented gloss. All of her seemed to glow as she lay there ivory-pink, her knees pulled up in a shallow angle, leaning against each other, her toes wriggling a little. She never did lie completely still—for that she needed ropes and cuffs, commands and punishments. For the moment, though, Imani allowed it, smiling at her kitten’s antics and the way, in her apartment, her kitten could let go completely, with no care in the world but Imani’s pleasure and her own, attaining the purest sense of freedom humans could find.

Yes, in her limited space, Blake takes readers inside an intimate, loving lesbian BDSM relationship and helps bring their roleplaying to life.

The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories

The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories

One of my favorite stories I’ve ever published is the humorous yet thought-provoking gender changing tale “Remote Control” by Logan Zachary in The Big Book of Orgasms. Using the hilarious premise that the title device can change everything from the weather to one’s genitals, Zachary presents a couple who transform themselves inside and out, with fascinating results. You can listen to the whole story on The Kiss Me Quick’s Podcast—I dare you to do so and not wonder what you yourself would do with such a remote in the palm of your hand! Not only is this story sexy and funny, it also manages to slyly comment on gender and sexual orientation.

What the writers who are successful at these sexy flash fiction stories know is that economy of language can indeed be hot, because it forces you to truly say what you mean and imbue every single word with as much power as possible. You can focus on the heart of what makes a relationship or sex act or scene so arousing, cutting out all extraneous distractions. Honing in on what’s vital can help authors see what makes the story tick and force them to value each thought, each touch, each movement as it builds to something greater than the sum of its parts. For the reader, the payoff is that they can get completely sucked into a story, knowing they can fully savor it in the time it takes to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex

Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex

These tales capture the complexity of trying something new in bed, and instead of jumping straight into the screwing, they still take the time to make imbue realism into the equation. In “Anal-yzed” by Donna George Storey from Gotta Have It, she tackles the negotiation between a couple about exploring anal sex, covering a woman’s doubts, fears and uncertainties while still maintaining the heat level:

“Interesting. I have another theory, though.” As he said this, his finger dipped between my asscheeks to stroke my tender pink valley.

I shivered and arched up into his touch. “Theory?”

“Yes, that anal sex is an unnatural act, so it makes you feel like a dirty slut to do it.”

My muscles down there—belly, cunt, asshole—immediately went into spasm, prickles of shame mixed with sweet twinges of pleasure. He was right. It was a turn-on to be a naughty girl who let boys in the back door. But I suddenly realized something else too. Having him talk about fucking my ass—actually analyze it like this—was making me incredibly hot.

Yes, within the confines of her 1,200 word maximum, Storey takes a common sexual fantasy, deconstructs it and does it justice as the narrator and her partner find out just how they can make this fantasy come true. She doesn’t waste any words, but she doesn’t rush the action either.

For those who prefer watching a sex scene unfold, here’s me reading my face slapping erotica story “Manners” from Gotta Have It several years ago at erotic shop Coco De Mer in West Hollywood, a topic I enjoyed distilling into a few racy pages:

To play devil’s advocate, I know that for those who solely read and write novels, the idea of even attempting to narrow down a short story into the confines of flash fiction is anathema. The biggest complaint I get from readers is that these stories are too short, that just as they get started, they’re over. On that point, I agree; however, I see their shortness as their strength, their beauty, their brilliance, and if they leave you wanting to know more about these characters, I consider that a win. So if you’re pressed for time, have a limited attention span like me, or simply want a huge amount of variety in the palm of your hands, check out these flash fiction books, and perhaps they’ll even inspire you to write one of your own.

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.

How to talk about sex in public

20 Jan

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

I’m in the midst of getting ready for my upcoming Best Women’s Erotica of the Year book tour, which will take me to four cities: Los Angeles on January 31, Baltimore on February 9, New York on February 11 and Jersey City on February 13.

Join us on the Best Women's Erotica of the Year book tour!

Joining me will be contributors to Volumes 1 and 2 in the series. As these dates inch closer, the two words I’m hearing most often from seem of the authors reading are: “I’m nervous.”

My response, which sometimes feels like a dirty little secret, is always, “Me too.” Because despite the fact that I believe readings are a vital career tool for authors, and that I’ve been organizing and participating in them since 2000, I still dread having to read my dirty words out loud. It’s gotten a little easier over the years, but it still makes my heart pound wildly every time I look out over a crowd and realize I will have to navigate language like “cock” and “pussy” and “orgasm” and, the one that always causes me the most anxiety, “cunt.” I never know whether I should pronouncing with a loud, proud, hard “t” at the end, or let the four-letter word almost trail off with a soft “t,” as if that will lessen its impact.

So despite this post’s title, I don’t have the secret to getting over your fear of public speaking, especially when it comes to speaking about sex, but I do have a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way after seemingly countless readings in bars, bookstores, community centers and other locales. When I read my work, I often feel like I’m reading it to myself anew as well, because once I put the final edits on an erotica short story and it goes to print, my mind tends to move on to the next thing. I don’t always grasp how odd it might seem to read about, say, an oral sex restaurant, such as the one in my story “Secret Service,” until I’m actually doing it. Here’s a peek at me reading that one at my old reading series In The Flesh, nervous tics and all:

Here are some tools that have helped me get over that fear and nervousness, and push through it when it strikes during a reading. For one thing, I think you want to remember what compelled you to write the piece in the first place. On one of my favorite podcasts, Bad With Money, host Gaby Dunn discussed the topic of self-promotion with Real Artists Have Day Jobs author Sara Benincasa, and Sara said something I’ve always believed: that you have to believe in yourself 100% and not be shy about letting others know about your work (I’m paraphrasing, but I promise the episode is worth a listen). Tap in to your motivation for telling this particular story, and channel that as you give voice to that tale.

I believe readings are the epitome of that practice of putting your work out there, because even though you can, of course, do some last minute editing on the fly, you don’t have the time to agonize and overthink and cut and paste and edit and delete and hem and haw that you do with writing (yes, I do this with almost all my writing). You are there, live, raw, and showing that you are showing up for your words and ready to share them in this personal format. The words are already there, and your job is to do them justice and bring your own personal spin to them.

Most likely, you’ll find that as you read, even if you start out nervous, at some point, you will get lost in the story, and find that it becomes a separate entity to what’s on the page. It’s only when I read my work out loud that I often get its nuances. I don’t tend to think of myself as a funny writer, especially of erotica, but during readings is where I start to notice the humor in my pieces. Sometimes, I gravitate toward those aspects, selecting passages that play up the funnier angles. Since you’re usually only reading a small selection of your words out loud, you can shape and frame them, tantalizing the audience with a teaser of your work, and encouraging them to read the rest on their own.

I also think it’s important to remember that even if you’re nervous, audiences don’t mind. In fact, they appreciate you all the more when you reveal your humanity and let them know that you’re nervous. In all my years of doing erotica readings, I’ve never had anyone criticize me when I’ve faltered over a phrase, or skipped over a line, or couldn’t stop my voice or hands from shaking. We are all human, and we all know that talking about sex can be challenging, but I think that at a time when the arts are under attack, it’s vital that we meet that challenge and show that we don’t see anything wrong with writing explicitly erotic material.

It also helps me to think less about the individuals I’m reading to, who in the past have included friends, family members and current and former lovers, and instead focus on the story. I do try to look up and make eye contact, but at the same time, in my mind’s eye, I’m picturing the action of the story, and trying to do it justice.

Another way to lessen your nerves is to give audiences a little peek into your writing process. Whether you do this before you read, after you read, or with small asides as you go, this gives them additional insight they won’t find on the page. Bring a prop if it’s relevant to your story, as D.R. Slaten plans to do at our reading at Sugar in Baltimore. Tell us something personal about yourself; this doesn’t have to mean your sexual history (though it could), but something that makes readers appreciate having taken the time to leave their homes when they could be curled up under a blanket watching Netflix. Give them a juicy detail, tell them how you came up with your story idea, offer a tidbit of writing inspiration, or anything that will add to the words you’ve already crafted on the page.

Bring your personality with you when you read. Remember that you don’t have to be an A list quality actor in order to bring your words to life; you just have to be yourself. Here’s a wonderful example of a reading by a woman who inspired me to get into the genre, Susie Bright. Watch her reading from her story “The Best She Ever Had” in her gorgeously crafted anthology X: The Erotic Treasury, back in 2009 at In The Flesh, for an example of a master of how to talk about sex in public:

The awful/wonderful thing about readings is that anything can happen. I recognize that for women, especially, it can be unnerving to talk so frankly about sex in public, lest we be greeted by flirtatious, inappropriate or downright creepy comments in return (I’ve experienced all three), with the assumption being that because we aren’t ashamed about sex, we want to sleep with anyone who happens to be around. At the same time, I think staying silent about sex adds to our cultural confusion around it. Exploring it, whether in fiction or nonfiction, is a way to break some of the taboos, and in a culture when so many of us, myself included, live our lives behind a computer screen, saying those dirty words, giving them context and meaning and emotion and weight, is all the more valuable.

The awful/wonderful thing about readings is that you can’t predict how they will go. The audience may listen avidly, or twiddle with their phones. They may laugh or gasp where you don’t expect them to, and your favorite jokes may fall flat. Someone may catch something in your work you’ve never thought about before.

Lastly, remember that readings don’t last forever. They may loom large when they’re on the horizon, but the time really does fly by when you’re up there speaking into the microphone. I can’t tell you the number of times an author who’s seemed nervous beforehand has trouble sticking to their allotted time, because once they get started, they get swept away.

I hope you’ll join me on this book tour, and if you’re not in any of these cities, I would love it if you’d pass on the details to someone who is. I’ve organized it in part to promote my books, but also to stand up for erotica, to ensure that it’s not relegated to some bottom shelf or back corner of a bookstore, only ferreted out by the truly dedicated. Plus, on a personal level, it’s another way for me to help conquer that fear, to leap into the unknown and find out what happens. I want to see erotica front and center, next to the latest mystery and romance and fiction titles. Here’s where to find us – all our events are free and will be followed by Q&As and book signings.

January 31, 7:30 pm, Skylight Books, 1818 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles

bwev2-la-reading-promo-1

February 9, 6:30 pm, Sugar, 1001 W. 36th Street, Baltimore (Hamden)

baltimore-reading

February 11, 7 pm, Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York City

bluestockings-edit-2017

February 13, 7:30 pm, WORD, 123 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey

word-reading-image-2017

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.

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

On creating inclusive, multicultural erotica in the age of Trump

18 Nov

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

In the nine days since I woke up and learned that Donald Trump had been elected president, I must admit that everything I do with my life has seemed largely pointless, from sex journalism to erotica editing to even blogging. How could it not be n the face of public discussions in 2016 in favor of a registry for Muslims and praising Japanese internment camps? The question that made my 41st birthday on the tenth and the rest of the ensuing days pass by in a blur of bingo and the blahs has been, What am I doing to make this world a better place? Because I had already been in somewhat of a creative lull and mental haze, the answer I kept coming back to was: nothing.

It felt ridiculous to be talking with the social media manager I had been so proud of myself for hiring about what quotes and images to use to promote my books, like I was ignoring the very real problems that have exploded into our world with a vengeance since last week’s news, despite not being able to take my eyes away from my increasingly scary Facebook feed for more than a half hour at a time.

And then copies of my new anthology, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2, arrived, all 200 that I had purchased in a burst of optimism and eagerness. There’s always something thrilling about seeing a book with my name on the cover for the first time, knowing that it went from a mere concept in my head into an actual paperback that will soon be on the shelves of bookstores and sex toy stores in all its shiny glory. I savored that moment, realizing that the book was bigger than me, and that I had authors who were excited to be published, many of them for the very first time, and that by helping them share their work, I might also be encouraging future authors to get writing. So I stopped feeling despondent for a little while and got to work packaging up those books and mailing out contributor copies to my 21 authors from around the world. I actually think my trips to the post office are my favorite part of the anthology editing process, even more than opening those boxes, because I get to be the one to deliver something that’s so much more than the sum of its individual parts to the people who helped create it, without whom the book wouldn’t exist.

Hot off the press Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2

Hot off the press Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2

Holding those books in my hands made me realize that while I don’t consider myself an activist, what I can do in my own small way, is continue on with my vision for inclusive erotica. When I took over editing the series (which used to include calendar years in its title; my editing started with Volume 1), I decided to make some changes. One biggie was that authors who’d been published in one of my volumes before wouldn’t be able to submit again, in order to make room for more voices. While I’m only contracted through Volume 4, my dream is to get to edit 10 volumes, and in the process, publish writing by over 200 amazing authors, while also boosting their profiles and helping them gain a dedicated readership. I also started doing more outreach to writers who might not consider themselves “erotica writers” but who might want to contribute, because I believe there are so many people with brilliant untold stories that speak to their deepest desires, even when times are hard, even when other things may seem and actually be far more urgent than plain old s-e-x.

Now, I vow to do even more of that, because while I only have 65,000 words to do so, within that space, I want to publish the types of authors who may not be heard in mainstream erotica, yet whose perspectives are vital and urgent and powerful and lively and fierce and tender, who find eroticism within circumstances that may seem unlikely or unusual, whose fetishes defy categorization, whose desires continue unabated no matter how many hurdles, internal and external, they have to jump through to act on them. I want to continue to seek out women from small towns and big cities, from atheists to dedicated believers, from brand new adults to those many, many decades their senior, to contribute and make this a more varied, diverse series and share aspects of sexuality that help us understand each other better. This may be my Polyanna side showing, but I hope that in illuminating how sex and lust and love play a role in the lives of the kinds of women readers may or may not know in real life, these stories bring us all a little closer together.

So here is what I will ask you: please think about women and gender nonconforming/nonbinary people you know who might have a fascinating erotic story to tell, and pass on my call for submissions for Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3. The deadline, December 1, is soon, but for those with stories to tell, I hope this call inspires them (and I will be editing Volume 4 next year, so stay tuned). Authors whose stories are accepted for publication will receive $150 and 2 copies of the book (plus as much social media promotion and support as I can possibly provide).

While I intend these volumes to be timeless and, hopefully, still in existence twenty, thirty, fifty years from now, I also want them to grapple with what it’s like to live and love and lust now, in such a chaotic political climate, not just in the United States but all over. I want them to run the gamut of human experience and look at how sex and religion, sex and age, sex and race, sex and disability, sex and gender, sex and anger and sadness intersect. I don’t want cardboard cutout characters or agendas, but humanity in all its messy imperfection. I want characters who break the rules (their own and society’s), who try something new, who surprise readers and themselves by following the path their desire takes them, even if it’s not “smart” or “rational” (perhaps especially if it’s not). I want them to defy stereotypes and slut shaming and the notion of being “good girls.” I want characters who deserve (and maybe even get, or have gotten) their own novels to truly see thir journeys to their fullest course. No, these aren’t essays, and their primary purpose still needs to be to arouse readers, and perhaps offer them an escape from the real world, but I don’t think that’s antithetical to also giving those consuming those words something lasting to think about.

On a personal level, I also am grateful that I’ve already got a mini book tour in the works, because I’m sure if I had the option of planning one now, I’d chose instead to stay home, to savor the small comforts of my little corner of suburbia, where people from different cultures do actually live together in harmony, rather than going out into the big wide world where it seems like we are becoming more and more divided and the worst of humanity is on full, loud, public, scary display.

Will anyone want to hear erotica read to them after the inauguration? I have no idea, but one of the things that has sustained me through editing anthologies over the last 12 years is taking an often lonely process that happens solely in my home and channeling it into something that brings real, live people together in a room. I also believe we need our independent bookstores and sex toy shops more than ever to be community spaces, places where we can find new ideas and entertainment, and I’m proud and honored that they want to work with me and my authors.

I don’t know what the future holds, for my country or my career. But right now, I know that this is my path, and I intend to use it to help other writers get published, get paid and help spread their words as far and wide as I can. It may be a drop in the ocean in terms of making the world a more understanding, less hateful place, but it’s the drop I can offer.

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.

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.

Servant of the Undead, erotic zombie horror free read

25 Sep

Isabelle Drake’s Servant of the Undead

If you’re new to this serial, you can start with Part 1, “Do it.” 

This is the final Lady Smut installment. If you’re wanting more after this, come over to the Servant of the Undead Wattpad http://my.w.tt/UiNb/hDmLKaGPnw page. Unfamiliar with Wattpad? It’s an online community for readers and writers. Its filled with free fiction of all kinds. It’s easy to log in and get started; you can use your Facebook account.

Part 20: “Remember, I warned you.”

Hayden opened his eyes and watched his breath come out in frigid puffs. Beyond the car’s windshield, moonlight blended into a narrow line of snow-covered trees, stretching across the horizon. The sky was clear, the night still, the air bitter with an icy scent.

Beside him, a woman groaned.

Rachelle, wrapped in her fur coat.

She opened her eyes. “Oh, hey.”

He nodded, fighting a wave of dizziness.

“Guess I feel asleep.” She rubbed her cheeks with her mittened hands. “Where are we?”

“Not sure.”

Outside, Mattie lingered, her booted feet deep down in the snow, the wind pushing her skirt against her thighs.

Rachelle dropped her hands. “You drove us here.”

servantHayden glanced at the backseat. His backpack with his notebook, camera and tablet was there, the bag of food they’d brought and the thermos. The last thing he remembered—Mattie giving him directions while they were all drinking tea. He patted his chest pocket. His phone was gone. He reached back, checking his back pocket, checking for his wallet and noticed his belt was undone, hanging down the back of his pants.

“What’s wrong?” Rachelle asked.

“Nothing. Let’s get out.” He shoved open the car door and climbed out, fixing his belt as he stood. A wave of dizziness found him and he grabbed the top of the door.

Mattie trudged over. “It’ll wear off once you start moving.”

“Seems I’ve already been doing some moving.”

“You did a little. I did more.”

Rachelle, who’d moved away from the car, spun in a circle, her arms wide and her face toward the sky. “Where are we, anyway?”

Mattie lifted the map and pointed to the top right corner. “We’ll walk up the river, through these trees where the snow isn’t as deep.”

Hayden propped his foot on the bumper. “Just leave the car here?”

“We won’t be gone long.” Rachelle spun again, moving so fast that her scarf flew out, waving through the frigid air like a banner.

Mattie opened the car door, grabbed Hayden’s bag then held it out for him. “You’ll want this.”

Hayden took it and dropped the strap across his shoulder. Mattie grabbed the thermos and tucked it under her arm.

Rachelle rounded the back of the car. “You really think we’re going to see something out there?”

“My friend must’ve seen something or else he wouldn’t have made this map. Right?” Mattie rolled the brown paper up, tucked it into the inside pocket of her leather and started walking toward the trees.

Rachelle followed, her shorter legs working harder to get through the snow. “It’s not anything dangerous, is it? I mean, nothing bad can happen to us, right?”

Mattie waited for Rachelle to catch up then bumped her shoulder. “Only bad stuff we want to happen.” She glanced over her shoulder and caught Hayden’s gaze. “Right, Hayden?” Then she unscrewed the top of the thermos, passed it to Rachelle. She drank. When she offered it to him, he took it and drank too.

***

The dizziness of coming to was more intense this time. Hayden opened his eyes and stretched his arms, sliding them to his sides. A chain rattled. He tried to lift himself. Again, the sound. Fighting a thickness in his mind, he pushed harder to get himself upright. The reward was a sharp snap to his neck and a shooting pain down his back. He reached up, his fingers curled around a ring circling his neck. He tugged, rough steel cut into his palms and there was more rattling.

“Rachelle?” He crawled backwards to create slack, sat upright then yelled again, searching the small cabin room as he called her name.

“She’s fine. Probably having the best time she’s had in a while.” Mattie moved into the room from a corner, her eyes glowing green. “Except for last night, I mean. That was exceptional, wasn’t it?”

She sat on the edge of the bed, lantern light casting shadows on her face, and threw back the brown blanket, exposing him. He was naked, his cock partially erect. “Your girlfriend is both curious and enthusiastic. Very nice.” She ran her cool fingers up his shaft. The muscles of his thighs twitched and more blood flooded to his dick.

She looked up. “You’re enthusiastic too.”

Hayden gritted his teeth against the want curling through him, heating his cock and guy w bottlereminding him how it felt to thrust into Mattie’s icy body. He turned away. Beyond the edge of the bed, fire brightened a squat wood stove. Two cast iron pots hung from ceiling hooks. About three feet from the stove was a square table with two wooden chairs. The window was above the table, but there was nothing visible except blackness—a never-ending night. Mattie continued staring at him, her eyes flickering, mouth softer than usual. And her scent. It was there too, coating Hayden’s skin like a fine mist.

“You know.” She smiled, moving her gaze back to his eyes. “I think I forgot to thank you. I told you to make it good, give me something worth watching, and you did. She stroked his balls, causing a shiver to rip upward from his crotch. “I appreciated your effort.”

“I didn’t do it for you.”

She continued caressing him. “I was part of it, though. Wasn’t I?”

Hot flames of fierce hunger flared deep. There was no point in denying what she already knew to be true, so he nodded. She squeezed his shaft then jerked her hand up and down as she bent to lick the tip, her hair brushing his thigh as she worked to make him harder. Hayden stiffened his spine, fighting the stab of piercing pleasure as every nerve in his body simmered, ready to be ignited.

She licked, taking her time, sliding her tongue around his tight skin. “Lay down. I’m going to suck the cum out of your cock.”

He wanted to resist but her hand was curved around his shaft, gliding up and down.

“I need it.” She paused. “You can either settle back and give it to me, or I’ll shove you back and take it.” Then she stroked him again, the coolness of her hand now familiar on his skin. “I really do like you.” Looking up at him with her green gaze, she added, “Much better than my last one.”

The links of the chain rattled as Hayden lay back and stared at the rough wood timbers running across the ceiling. “What happened to him?”

She paused. “Do you want to meet him?”

“He’s here?” His reply came out as a groan.

Instead of answering, she took in all of him. His tip bumped the back of her throat. His hips jerked. The chain shifted and the collar cut into his skin. Pain radiated to his shoulders as she continued drawing him in and out of her mouth. When he bucked, thrusting himself deeper into her mouth, she pulled away.

“What you really want to know–if he’s one of us.” She caressed him with her cool fingertips. “The answer is yes. But not all my others wanted to be turned.”

His dick twitched from the need for release but he managed to ignore it long enough to ask, “You give them a choice?”

“Of course. We all had the choice.” She slid her hand down to the base of his shaft, squeezed. “That’s enough talking, Hayden. Shut up while I make you come.”

img_6474-1She took him into her mouth, swallowing him deeply. The tension in his groin increased, circled tighter, stole the air from his lungs. He bucked against her mouth, thrusting deeper into her throat. The metal ring around his neck cut the flow air, making him gasp, as the first waves of his dense pleasure rippled through him. The rings of pleasure were cruel, circling his cock, spiraling upward and out, seeping through his body in a mad rush.  Mattie continued working to get what she needed while Hayden, lost in the spiteful bliss, braced himself for the inevitable. The orgasm came in as black smog. Mattie continued to move her mouth over him, sucking more after each jerk of his cock. She pulled every last drop from him then she moved away, still swallowing his cum as she got to her feet. She swiped the back of her hand across her glistening lips and spoke as if none of that had just happened.“I suppose you want to see Rachelle.”

Hayden, still waiting for his heart to settle, moved the chain off his shoulder and nodded.

She got off the bed, went to the stove and kicked it. Sparks flared. She kicked it again. Sparks flashed higher behind the glass. “You really need to start thinking bigger, she said. “Try to see what you aren’t even bothering to look at. You’re a thinker. Think.” She crossed to the dresser beside the bed. “I’ll take you to her. But remember, I warned you.”

***

Want more? The next part will be here next Sunday. Or, you can come over to the Servant of the Undead Wattpad page. Unfamiliar with Wattpad? It’s an online community for readers and writers. Its filled with free fiction of all kinds. It’s easy to log in and get started; you can use your Facebook account.

Until next time, follow Lady Smut, we’re always here to inform, entertain, and keep you up to date.

***

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Best Friends Never, her newest release is the first in the Cherry Grove dark YA series.

Servant of the Undead, erotic zombie horror free read

18 Sep

Isabelle Drake’s Servant of the Undead

If you’re new to this serial, you can start with Part 1, “Do it.” 

Part 19: “That’s more like it library boy.”

“What happens when we’re done? To me?” Hayden spoke over the bits of Rachelle’s conversation that drifted into the kitchen from the other room.

Mattie continued moving her fingertips across her breasts, playing with her nipples. “If I were you, I guess I’d want to know that too.”

“So tell me,” he asked, trying to ignore the truth that his cock was already hard.

She leaned forward and whispered, “Well, you see, it kind of depends.”

servant“On what?”

A bright flash of green passed through in her eyes. Hayden winced from the pain of his own excitement.

“You know I’m not wearing any panties, right?” She smirked, then leaned back and crossed her arms right underneath her breasts, shoved them up, her tight nipples straining against the fabric. One quick tug and those breasts would be in full view.

“On what?” he asked again.

A hard smile pulled on her mouth then she mouthed, no panties.

Of course, she wasn’t going to answer his question. Bitch.

Hayden did his best to ignore her comment, but the image of her bare pussy wouldn’t leave. “Fine.” He shrugged. “Let’s go. Follow your fucking map.” Hayden pulled his gaze away from Mattie’s body as he called into the other room. “Rachelle, you sure you want to do this?”

There was a pause in her phone conversation, then, she called back. “What, are you kidding? Of course.”

Mattie pulled her coat closed then moved to the hall. “Do you have some boots, Rachelle? A heavy coat? It’s going to be really cold and we’ll probably have to walk through some woods.”

76427d56da919410f7f4837af61bd7dfRachelle’s reply, Good idea, I’ll be back in a few was followed more pieces of her phone conversation and the thud of her feet across the wood floors.

As soon as the door slammed shut, Mattie’s coat was on the floor, and she was on him, grabbing his belt. When her fingers tangled, he unbuckled it. With one motion, she shoved his pants and briefs down. She grabbed his dick, caressed it, gently running her cold fingers up and down his warm skin. “If you hurry, she won’t have to walk in on us.”

The kettle’s shrill scream sounded.  Hayden scrambled to shut off the flame. “Turn around.”

Pivoting on the toes of her boots, she looked over her shoulder. “That’s more like it, library boy.”

“Don’t call me that.” He lifted her skirt and positioned his cock between her ass cheeks. “Hold on to the counter.”

Without worrying about whether or not he hurt her, he impaled her with a single sharp drive. She was tight, but her body accepted his full, hard length. He backed out and plunged in again. She bucked, encouraging him to pound into her and he did. Flickers of the constant sexual fire that she’d lit in him flamed and tore through his limbs in a fierce and angry blaze. He pumped his dick into her pussy with quick, remorseless thrusts, grabbing her hips, digging his fingers into her cool flesh. His cock got bigger, his sac tight, and she grunted as he ground into her.

Tremors rolled over her body, and he felt the walls of her vagina squeeze, starting to pull the cum from his dick. The last few thrusts were vicious and fierce, almost to the point of pain, but he couldn’t control himself, didn’t really want to, and he fell into the dark bliss of the mind-numbing physical release. The pleasure died as quickly as it begun.

He withdrew, pulled down her skirt then adjusted his own clothes.

Mattie looked him up and down as she adjusted the bindings covering her breasts. “Well done, researcher.”

“Why do you keep calling me that?” he asked, getting past her.

She picked up her jacket and followed him into the living room. “That’s what you do, isn’t it? Research.”

“I write for a tabloid newspaper. That’s not research.”

She kicked the back of his calf, and he stumbled until he grabbed the edge of the couch.

IMG_3723“You’re so smart, Hayden,” she said after a husky laugh. “I can’t believe you haven’t figured it out.”

He looked over his shoulder at her.

“What I want from you,” she said.

He pointed to his dick then moved as far from her as possible, stopping beside the picture window that looked out onto the street.

She zipped up her coat and folded her arms across her chest, a sold wall of stealth and wickedness. “A man like you, with so much to offer a woman and you think fucking is all I want?”

He looked out at the night. Rows of white lights blinked back at him. Snow lay heaped in corners, heavy and dense, turning into shadows as the sun set on the slow-moving city. “I don’t care what you want,” he said, watching yet another plow shove its way down the street.

“You ought to.”

Rachelle swung into the room, the giant fur wrapped around her body, Bean boots swinging beneath the hem. “You guys aren’t ready?” She glanced between them.

Mattie swept over and shoved Hayden toward the hall. “Get ready, Hayden.” She wrapped her arm around Rachelle’s shoulders, kissed her on top of the head, then took her hand to lead her to the kitchen. “I’ll make us some tea and make sure everything is taken care of out here.”

The sight of the two of them, hand in hand, narrowed Hayden’s focus to only two things. Getting what he wanted—something fresh to give Bob so he could get that something in return—and what he needed—a way to erase Mattie from of his and Rachelle’s life.

***

Want more? The next part will be here next Sunday. Or, you can come over to the Servant of the Undead Wattpad page and read more for free right now. Unfamiliar with Wattpad? It’s an online community for readers and writers. Its filled with free fiction of all kinds. It’s easy to log in and get started; you can use your Facebook account.

Until next time, follow Lady Smut, we’re always here to inform, entertain, and keep you up to date.

***

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Best Friends Never, her newest release is the first in the Cherry Grove dark YA series.

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.

 

 

Servant of the Undead, erotic zombie horror free read

11 Sep

Isabelle Drake’s Servant of the Undead

If you’re new to this serial, you can start with Part 1, “Do it.”

Part 18: “We’re done when I say we’re done.”

She interrupted him with bye now and clicked off. He slipped his phone into his pocket. Overheard, the sun slid behind a cloud and the street dimmed. Off to the west, a new bank of clouds hung in the sky, the edges an ashy gray, the centers dark. More snow. A lot more. A blue pickup passed, its tires making a hushed rumble as it turned away and headed toward the river. A yellow Brookline Cab Company van sat at the corner, its light on, a stream of exhaust chugging out the back. The thin trail of the cabbie’s cigarette dangling out the open driver’s side window spiraled up toward the darkening sky. The cabbie turned, catching Hayden’s gaze as he took a long draw. The man didn’t look away as he flicked the butt out onto the street. The window went up and the van rumbled off.

servantHayden pushed away from the wall. When he reached his place, he scanned the rooftops and checked under the eaves. Empty. He jogged up the steps, swung open the door. Nothing. He wasn’t dumb enough to think she wasn’t around. He could sense her, feel her deep inside his body, thrumming in his blood. She would show up and there was nothing he could do to stop it. The best he could hope for was to be ready, brace himself for her effect on him and, most of all, keep Rachelle away.

Once he reached the top landing, he paused to slide his feet out of his snow-covered boots and set them by the wall. He dug out his keys and reached forward to put the key in the lock, but the door swung open slightly, enough for him to see the outline of Rachelle’s body. No fur coat this time. She was wearing a ratty Boston College sweatshirt, jeans and red wool socks.

She swung the door open, grabbed his arm and pulled him in. He stumbled, his stocking feet sliding on the wood floors. “Surprise, your friend from work was looking for you.”

“Hey there, Hayden.”

Mattie. On his couch, smug as ever. Everything about her was the same, except for the addition of a black leather jacket, zipped up high, completely covering her breasts.

“Wipe that look off your face.” She leaned back, arching her back as she crossed her bare legs. “I didn’t break in or anything. Your girlfriend found me sitting on the steps. She’s a sweetie, so she let me in. If it weren’t for her, I might be hiding under an eave, you know, just trying to keep warm.” She slid a smile over at Rachelle. “Your girl and I have been getting acquainted and I’ve been filling her in on everything.”

Hayden pulled in a breath and the scent—icy, metallic, unavoidable—rippled through him, nearly knocking him off balance.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were going to keep working on the zombie stuff?” Rachelle swept around the room to stand next to the couch, two feet from Mattie. “It sounds awesome.”

“I—I—”

Mattie cocked her head and ran her palm down her leg. “Did Bob tell you to keep it a secret?”

Hayden turned away from them, using the time it took to set down his book bag and take off his coat to get himself together.

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell Rachelle anything at all about our research,” Mattie said.

Our research?”

Rachelle came around to Hayden’s side. “Mattie told me some about it, it’s, it’s—”

“Sexy,” Mattie cut in, stretching out the word with a low husky growl.

Rachelle pulled on the hem of her sweatshirt as she glanced at Mattie. “That too, for sure. I was going to say, kind of creepy.” She glanced at Mattie. “But in a fun way.”

Hayden dropped into the chair across from the couch. “Creepy but fun?”

Mattie pointed a pale finger at Hayden. “I found one of those zombie tribes you were telling me about. Well, actually, I didn’t find it, so I haven’t seen it yet, but someone I know—and trust—told me about it. He saw it.” She dug into her coat pocket and pulled out a wadded-up sheet of brown paper that looked like a piece of a brown grocery bag. She flattened it against her knees. “A guy named Matthew gave this to me. We should go check it out.”

img_6474-1Hayden’s stomach clenched as Mattie pushed the map into Rachelle’s hand. Rachelle lifted the brown paper, her eyebrows twisting as she looked over the scribbled lines drawn with black and blue marker. She flattened it across her legs and leaned closer. “How far away is it?”

“About forty minutes,” Mattie replied.

“Rachelle? Do you actually think there’s a tribe of zombies camped out near here?” Hayden inflected his voice with disbelief. “That’s ridiculous.”

“It sounds fun, Hayden. Let’s go check it out.” She ran her fingertips along the paper’s edge. “What else do we have to do?”

“You want to go look for zombies? Seriously?”

Mattie unzipped her jacket, exposing the highest of the red wool straps binding her breasts. “If you don’t want to go, Hayden, the three of us could stay here. I’m sure we could find something to do.”

A wave of feral lust so intense it made him nauseous rolled through him.

Rachelle’s attention stayed riveted to the paper in her hands. “I know there’s no such thing as zombies, but the map looks amazing.” She waved it at Hayden. “Maybe it’s a bunch of people pretending to be zombies, that’d be great for you. You could take more pictures. Ask them questions. Bob would love that, right?”

Yes, he would.

But Hayden did not want Rachelle pulled in any deeper. This was his problem. Not hers. “The roads are too bad to drive.”

“They’re fine. I got here, didn’t I?” Mattie unzipped her jacket another inch. The swells of her breasts showed above the zipper.  “Or would you rather stay in?”

Rachelle flopped back into the cushions. “I don’t want to stay here. I want to see it. Whatever it is.” She rolled off the couch, stood. “We’ll take your car, Hayden. That’s why you have four-wheel drive, to do this sort of investigative journalism. Right?” Her phone started to buzz, so she dug into her purse and pulled it out. “It’s Daddy,” she said, turning away to answer it.

Hayden stood. “I need a drink.”

“Put a kettle on,” Mattie called after him. “We can take some tea on the drive.”

Hayden walked to the kitchen, heading straight for his bourbon. He didn’t bother with a glass. Three swallows later, Mattie came up beside him, surrounding him with her ice-cold scent. “You know we’re going.” She slipped over to the stove, picked up the kettle, shook it, then moved to the sink to fill it.

Hayden took another swig then put the bottle away.

She set the kettle on to boil then leaned on the counter, staring at him, green glimmer fogging her eyes. She unzipped her coat the rest of the way, pushed it open. She ran her fingertips across her nipples, making them peak beneath the red wool. When Hayden looked up from her breasts, her gaze was on his crotch.

“Like I said before,” she murmured, “we’re done when I say we’re done.”

***

Want more? The next part will be here next Sunday. Or, you can come over to the Servant of the Undead Wattpad page and read more for free right now. Unfamiliar with Wattpad? It’s an online community for readers and writers. Its filled with free fiction of all kinds. It’s easy to log in and get started; you can use your Facebook account.

Until next time, follow Lady Smut, we’re always here to inform, entertain, and keep you up to date.

***

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Best Friends Never, her newest release is the first in the Cherry Grove dark YA series.

Servant of the Undead, erotic zombie horror free read

4 Sep

Isabelle Drake’s Servant of the Undead

If you’re new to this serial, you can start with Part 1, “Do it.”

Part 17: “You’ve had enough when I say you’ve had enough.”

Hayden grabbed a towel from the rack and set it in the sink. Hot water splashed across it, soaking it quickly. Once it was completely wet, he turned off the water, wrung it out, then wrapped it into another towel and carried them both to the bedroom. Rachelle was under the covers, only her face visible above the quilt. The sexual haze was gone from her eyes, and she was smiling.

Weighed down by the guilt over what he’d gotten her in to, Hayden climbed onto the bed and pulled the covers from her body. She was still naked, and the shadowy light coming in through the now vacant window outlined her body.

img_7582“See something you like?” she asked.

Hayden took the hot, wet towel from inside the dry one. “I like it so much I want to take good care of it.”

“I thought you already did.”

Hayden turned away and pressed the corner of the steaming, damp towel to the top arch of her foot. “Is it too warm?”

She stretched her legs and placed her feet side by side. “You may proceed.”

He took his time, working gradually up the insides of her thighs, then circling around her pelvis. By the time he wiped the moisture off with the dry towel, she’d fallen asleep. He tossed both towels across his laundry basket and climbed in beside her. Outside, the wind-filled snow continued and the wind howled. Icy flakes brushed the windowpane.

Hayden rolled over and tried to concentrate on the curves of Rachelle’s shoulders and the sexy slope of her neck. He set his hand on her throat and felt the light, steady beat of her pulse.

He couldn’t do that again. He had to get rid of Mattie.

He rolled over, trying not to think about what she’d done to him in the bathroom—lifting him up, setting him on the edge of the sink. Owning him with her emotionless caress. His cock responding to her touch—even when he didn’t want it to. A shiver worked up from the soles of his feet, the rousing tremor, a mixture of fear and sexual need. It wasn’t right to feel this way. It wasn’t human and there wasn’t anyone alive who could help him.

Unless someone else had been where he’d been and knew what he needed to know.

He wasn’t Mattie’s first. He did his best to quell the roll in his stomach as he accepted what he’d become. A toy. A necessary pet. A sexual servant.

What had become of the others who filled the role before him?

Killed? Did they become like her, a creature that preyed on others?

If she hadn’t come in through the library window when she had, interrupting the research he’d been doing for the newspaper, maybe he’d have the answers. He’d know what to do to protect himself or at least how to keep Rachelle safe. Hayden tossed again, turning away from the storm and the thing that lurked in it.

No, not thing.

Things.

***

“It’s fantastic stuff. You’re going to get more of it, kid.”

Hayden cringed at the word kid. Holding the phone to his ear, he hopped off the curb and leapt over a snow bank, offering his reply as he stomped across the nearly empty street. “This whole zombie thing is going to blow over. The snow will melt, the comic convention will end, and everyone will get back to their life and forget about zombie tribes and life-or-death sex.”

“Life-or-death sex. I love it! Write that down, use it for the next headline.”

Hayden reached the corner and jumped over another pile of snow. “There doesn’t have to be another headline.”

“What’s your problem, college boy? You too good for zombies?”

f78a5a21bc7dc87a17582a3ae3b7a389Not by a long shot, apparently.

“This is the best angle we’ve had in months and you know it. Get your ass back over to the library right now, or wherever you dug that stuff up, and write me something about that life-or-death sex. And more pictures. I want more of those.”

Images of the previous night slashed through Hayden’s mind as Bob continued. “You do this for me, I’ll do something for you.”

Hayden halted in the middle of the sidewalk. He’d never heard that, or anything close to it, come out of Keeler’s mouth. “I’ll look into it tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I’m all the way over in Cambridge,” he lied then continued with the truth.  “I spent hours talking to that widow you set me up with. I got some useable stuff. Papers that prove she’s the long-lost daughter of Punchy McLaughlin.”

“All right. Fine. That does sound choice. But I want you back on the zombie sex stuff first thing in the morning. Don’t even come in to the office. Just get your ass out of bed then get me something hot. And fresh. You know I want it fresh.”

“Yeah. I know.” After Bob grunted a goodbye, Hayden ended the call but didn’t slide his phone into his pocket.

He started walking again, making a list of things he wanted from Keeler. Money. A better desk. Most of all, he wanted access to the man’s connections. Even though he ran a tabloid, Keeler knew people at the Globe and a few at The Times–people who could offer him a better job. A real job. An introduction to a couple of them, that’s what he wanted most.

The streets were amazingly clear and the snow had stopped that morning, but the going was still slow and his legs ached from stepping over uneven heaps all day. Once he was on Commonwealth, a block from his apartment, he stopped, leaned on a low wall sheltering some steps and hit Rachelle’s number.

She answered on the first ring. Her greeting was the usual, but the tone in her voice made the hair on the back of his neck rise.

“You okay?” he asked. “Something going on?”

“Going on?” She laughed, then added, “What would be going on?”

He scanned the nearby rooftops and checked under the eaves. “You sound…different.”

Her laugh lowered, the sound making a shiver roll down his back. “I have you to thank for that.”

More images from the night before tumbled through his mind. Some good. Most not. “So everything’s okay?”

“Stop with that already. When will you be home?”

“Soon.” He watched a van from Cindy’s Market drive past, another lie forming as he started to speak. “Hey, I’m expecting a package. You didn’t happen to see a delivery person hanging around out front, or anyone looking for me, or knocking on the door, anything like that, did you?”

“No. Hurry up and get home.”

Hayden kicked a clump of snow. It rolled a few inches then hit another. There was so much snow. It was everywhere, piled high and stacked in corners. And the wind, constant and biting. There was no escaping. “I am on the way, but I have to write up an interview and do…some other stuff when I get there.”

“Other stuff, huh?” She laughed tightly, the sound rolled through him, making his muscles twitch.

Rachelle ignored both his comment and the silence. “Come over to my place as soon as you get home.”

“I—”

***

Want more? The next part will be here next Sunday. Or, you can come over to the Servant of the Undead Wattpad page and read more for free right now. Unfamiliar with Wattpad? It’s an online community for readers and writers. Its filled with free fiction of all kinds. It’s easy to log in and get started; you can use your Facebook account.

Until next time, follow Lady Smut, we’re always here to inform, entertain, and keep you up to date.

***

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Best Friends Never, her newest release is the first in the Cherry Grove dark YA series.

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