Tag Archives: short stories

Welcome to On Fire Week at Lady Smut!

17 Jul

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Welcome to On Fire week, where we’re celebrating the release of my new Cleis Press anthology On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories, which comes out as an ebook tomorrow, and a print book on August 8th. And stay tuned for the audiobook, which will be narrated by the fabulous author and podcaster Rose Caraway.

I’ll be sharing more later in the week, including a very sexy excerpt from the book, but I wanted to give you a little glimpse into this sexy book, which features couples having all sorts of erotic adventures, from exploring a stocking fetish to planning an orgy to diving into cherished BDSM rituals.

This is the official blurb:

In On Fire, today’s top erotic authors take us inside the passions of couples who go above and beyond in pursuit of sexual and romantic satisfaction, from kink to fantasies to outrageous, stimulating adventures. You’ll treasure the stocking fetish in “Sensitive to the Touch” and travel to “A Place as Beautiful as This.” You’ll go “Beyond the Blindfold,” find out what lurks in the “Art of Darkness,” delight in discovering “The Sweetest Thing,” and observe a feisty femdom couple in “Dreams Made Flesh.” These steamy stories by Kristina Wright, Delilah Devlin, Giselle Renarde, Kay Jaybee, Victoria Blisse, Jade A. Waters and others are perfect bedtime reads for your lover or for your own pleasure.

Here’s my introduction to the book, and keep reading Lady Smut all week for all our fiery posts!

Introduction: Fired Up

What does it mean to be On Fire? The characters in these stories know! It means to burn with need for your partner, to be willing to do anything for them, to take risks because you know they’ll be there to catch you. In this collection of erotic romance stories, you’ll read about all kinds of ways that desire plays out between couples. They know each other inside and out, know what makes the other tick, and use that to their advantage. When the narrator of Jacqueline Applebee’s “Approaching Hardcore” reveals, “I’m a filthy girl. My husband, Dan, always says so,” we know that we’re in for a treat as we find out just how filthy she can be.

Yet these stories are both tender and dirty, sometimes within the span of the same page. That is the beauty of these erotic storytellers—they don’t skimp on love or lust, instead entwining them in tales that will make your pulse pound, your heart race and your breath sigh. Some of these are about new lovers, like the one who helps Deb get over her ex in “Just Knowing.” Some are about long-term relationships where a new revelation leads to the type of intimacy neither partner had imagined, such as in “Every Second of It,” by Lynn Townsend, in which she writes, “Twenty-three years of marriage, and if he knew that she masturbated, he had never mentioned it. Until now. ”On the opposite end of the spectrum are couples who know each other so well, they know exactly how a command like “No underwear” will go over when given from a Dom to his submissive in “My Wife, My Sub, My Love,” by Victoria Blisse.

The couples here also learn how to understand and embrace each other over time, using the power of love and trust to further their sexual and emotional closeness, as is the case in the fun “Sensitive to the Touch,” by Donna George Storey, about a stocking fetish fulfilled. These are transformative, powerful moments that I hope will move you as much as they did me.

Sometimes the most wondrous thing is for lovers to watch their partners with someone else, with their full approval and consent—the couple made all the stronger for their extracurricular passions. This is the case in the paranormal “Masquerade,” by Angela R. Sargenti, and with the swingers in my own “The Dance.”

However these couplings happen, whatever fire warms them from the inside out, transferring from one person to another, all of these tales are ones that are daring, taking risks of the body and soul, in order to reach a new height of pleasure.

Rachel Kramer Bussel

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Intrigued? You can buy On Fire for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks or 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. You can follow Rachel on BookBub to get notified about new releases and ebook sales.

Free read: Excerpt from Roadhouse Blues by Malin James

7 Jul

Today’s sexy free read comes from Roadhouse Blues by Malin James, to be published by Go Deeper Press on July 11, 2017. The excerpt below is from the first short story in the collection, “Flash, Pop!” Here’s what this short story collection is about:

Welcome to Styx—a blue-collar, American town where people can do whatever they like, so long as they don’t advertise. From a 1950s diner to the back of a rocking Camaro, the stories in Roadhouse Blues reveal sex that is by turns romantic, raw, triumphant, and desperate. Meet two women grieving the same man, a bartender looking for anything but love, and a hot, brash newlywed who knows she married a cheat. The local garage is run by a kick-ass woman who gives as fierce as she gets, and the strip club is a place full of whiskey and smoke, where memories are exposed as easily as skin.

“In the end,” writes author Malin James*, “sex is about people, and people have motivations, and sometimes those motivations surprise them.”

This is Roadhouse Blues. Surprise is just the beginning.

*Malin James quoted by LN Bey at lnbey.com.

Roadhouse Blues by Malin James

Excerpt from “Flash, Pop!” in Roadhouse Blues:

Debi has always dreamed of being photographed by the tabloids. This excerpt opens in the magazine section of the supermarket.

“Hey, baby,” Deke had said one day, looking like James Dean if James Dean had a paunch. “Why’re you reading that trash?”

“It’s not trash,” Debi replied all sassy-like. “It’s culture.”

“Culture, huh? That what they’re callin’ Dolly Parton’s tits?”

Debi shrugged. “Whatever you call ‘em, they’re on the front page.”

“That’s nothing,” he’d said, palming a cantaloupe. “You’re way prettier than Dolly’s tits.”

“Yeah, well,” Debi said, flipping her hair so he wouldn’t see her blush. “Pretty ain’t landed me on no newsstand.”

“That what you want? To be a star?”

“Maybe.”

“Well, you look like a star to me,” he’d said, fondling a melon while looking

deep into her eyes. “What’s your name, gorgeous?”

Debi rested her hip against the watermelon bin. She could smell his cologne—some cheap drugstore brand, but she liked it. She liked it a lot.

“Deborah,” she said, making the last part stick, “but you can call me Debi. You?”

“Deke, baby. My name’s Deke.”

“Deke? Who the fuck has a name like Deke?”

“A man,” he drawled, “such as myself.”

He’d grinned, big as trouble on Friday night. Debi smiled back—not enough to look desperate. Just enough to show off her dimples. She might not have said it, but the name fit him just fine, from his devil-dark eyes to his broke-down boots. Over the next six months, she’d come to appreciate those eyes, those boots, and every filthy inch in between.

 

One night a week, Debi’s mama watched the kids so Debi could have some “me time”—something she got very little of since Jack, her fucker of an ex, left her for a stripper like the cliché he was. More than a year later, she was still pretty wound up about it. She thought of Deke as therapy. “Me time,” so far as her mama knew, meant dinner at the Elk’s Lodge with her non-existent girlfriends. In reality, “me time” meant meeting Deke at the Pak ‘n Buy so he could fuck her in his Camaro.

She looked forward to “me time” every week.

One night, a few months into her thing with Deke, (because it was a “thing,” not a relationship, no matter how many times he talked about getting hitched), Debi got a text.

Hey, baby. Get on over here. I want to see your pretty cunt.

Debi rolled her eyes. I’ll see what I can do.

Debi liked to think that she held the reins with Deke—she had kids, after all—but cool as she’d played it, her pretty cunt was soaked. Debi dialed her mom.

By the time she got to the Pak ‘n Buy thirty minutes later, she was so hot to trot she’d run two lights. Deke was waiting for her with an unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth like a canary feather.

“Hey, baby,” he said, grabbing her for a kiss. Debi pretended to shove him away. She liked to make him work.

“Watch it, Deke,” she said. “I just did my hair. Like it?”

“Yeah, baby. You look good. Real good. Like a wild woman with all those curls.”

It was bullshit, but she loved it anyway so she gave him a kiss for his trouble. Then she gave him a bigger kiss, angling so the bulge in his jeans fit right between her thighs. Goddamn if she didn’t love that …. She pressed herself against him, cunt bare and slick without a scrap to soak her up. Deke ran his hands over her ass.

“You bare under that pretty white dress?”
“How ‘bout you find out,” she purred.

Deke gave her his best Paul Newman smile. Then he picked her up and threw her over his shoulder.

“Watch it, Deke!” she squealed. “I’m flashing half the Pak ‘n Buy!”

“Shoulda thought of that before you went bare, dirty girl. C’mon. I got you a surprise.”

Debi’s face burned as he carried her into the parking lot, but despite her kicking and hollering, only part of her was pissed—the rest was so horny she just didn’t care. Then she saw the flash. “Deke?”

Deke pat her ass and kept walking. More flashes. Flashes and pops, like a dirty, tabloid dream. Someone had a camera and they were using the hell out of it.

“Deke!? What the fuck?” Debi started kicking for real, but the more she kicked, the more her dress hiked up. She thought of her mama and squirmed ‘til her dress was up around her waist.

Deke gave her ass a playful smack. “Keep kicking, baby! Show ‘em what you got!”

Debi shrieked. “Deke, you bastard! Put me down! They can see everything!”

“Sure can! Smile, baby!” Despite the lazy drawl, Deke picked up the pace as he carried her through the popping lights. By the time they got to his car, she was a mess from trying and failing to kick his ass. He tucked her in the backseat and looked at her with stars in his fucking eyes. “Look at you, baby. You are fucking gorge—”

Debi slapped him so hard her hand went numb. Then she grabbed him by the belt and yanked him down. She should’ve been pissed but she wasn’t, not really, not given the hell she’d catch if her mama found out she was bare-assed in a parking lot instead of “helping a friend.” That didn’t matter, though—not right then. Someone had just photographed her, like she was a person worth photographing. She was horny as fuck in the back of a Camaro, and the look on Deke’s face was her favorite kind of foreplay.

Deke shoved down his jeans. “Come here, baby.”

Debi spread her legs. Then his big cock was deep in her, and she was scratching up his back. To hell with her Gel Tips.

She didn’t expect to come. She almost never did, not from straight-up fucking, but that was okay. Coming almost cluttered the experience. She wanted to soak up as much sweat and salt as she could. She wanted to hear every panting, slick, sloppy squish and bang as they fucked, and she couldn’t do that when she was screaming like a porn star. Except, Debi realized, she kinda was screaming like a porn star. Then Deke’s phone buzzed and he stopped.

“You’re fucking kidding me,” she whined.

Deke checked his phone. What he saw made him grin. “Don’t worry, baby. It’s just your surprise.”

Deke gave her the phone and started thrusting, sweet and slow, while she scrolled. There she was, peeking through her wild-woman curls…there was Deke’s hand, big and strong against her pretty, dimpled ass…and there was her cunt, glistening like candy in that bright, tabloid light. Her face burned as she stared at her body, exposed like a stranger’s, lush and ready to fuck. It was the sexiest fucking thing and it hit her like rum and Coke. Debi started to come. “Fuck. Oh, fuck! Deke!”

Deke grunted and nailed her as hard as he could while she wailed and shrieked and clutched the phone. She squeezed her eyes shut and felt those flashing lights, saw herself through that big, sexy lens.

About the author:

Malin James is an essayist, blogger, and short story writer. Her work has appeared in Electric Literature, Bust, MUTHA, Queen Mob’s Tea House and Medium, as well as in podcasts and anthologies for Cleis Press, Sweetmeats Press and Stupid Fish Productions.

Roadhouse Blues will be available for purchase on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, via Go Deeper Press.

Sign up for a free copy of On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories

5 Jun

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Who’s excited for summer? Hopefully, all of us! I am looking forward to vacations by the beach, attending my first bachelorette party and, of course, beach reads, including my July Cleis Press anthology On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories.

If the title and/or steamy cover (isn’t it HOT?) sound intriguing, I’ve got a great deal for you: Through June 18, 2017, one month before the ebook release (the print version pubs on August 8), I’m offering a free e-copy to interested readers in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. To sign up, fill out this form with your name and email address by June 18th. Your contact information will only be seen by me, and only used to send you the review copy. I’ll send you a copy, then you can post your review any time on Goodreads, and starting July 18th on Amazon. I just ask that you include the phrase “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review” with your review when you post it. It’s that easy!

Here’s the book’s blurb:

In On Fire, today’s top erotic romance authors don’t skimp on love or lust—they are entwined in tales that will make pulses pound and hearts race. Bestselling editor Rachel Kramer Bussel takes us inside the passions of couples who go above and beyond in their pursuit of sexual and romantic satisfaction, exploring the racy to the outrageous during their many arousing adventures. You’ll treasure the sex toy exploration in “Every Second of It,” find paranormal pleasure in “Masquerade,” and be transported to “A Place As Beautiful As This.” You’ll go “Beyond the Blindfold,” find out what lurks in the “Art of Darkness,” and delight in discovering “The Sweetest Thing.” These steamy stories by Kristina Wright, Delilah Devlin, Giselle Renarde, Kay Jaybee, Victoria Blisse, Jade A. Waters and others are perfect intimate reads to enjoy with your lover or for your own pleasure.

Want to know more On Fire? Visit the official Tumblr to read my introduction and the table of contents. And if you want to get a free copy for review, use this form by June 18, 2017 and check your inbox!

And stay tuned for our Lady Smut week celebrating all things On Fire and Fiery starting July 17th!

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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. You can follow Rachel on BookBub to get notified about new releases and ebook sales.

Sexy Sunday Short: Phở for Two by Thien-Kim Lam

12 Mar Big bowl of pho. Photo by Thien-Kim Lam

by Thien-Kim Lam

As if food isn’t sensual enough, what happens when two Vietnamese lovers get busy in the kitchen?

Today’s Sexy Sunday Snippet is actually a short story. I’m obsessed with food: cooking it, eating it, and creating new recipes. I also love sex and sex toys. It’s no surprise that both subjects play heavily in my erotic and romance writing. I hope you enjoy my short story.

Phở for Two

The cold hard metal chair would not stay warm, no matter how often she wiggled her bare ass. Wiggling was all she could manage. Her hands were tied behind the back of her chair while red rope coils kept her legs parallel to the chair’s legs. The red anklets spread her knees wide while her thighs beckoned.

Her lover puttered in the kitchen behind her, out of sight but never out of mind. Scents of cinnamon, star anise, and clove from his cooking assaulted her nose but she barely noticed them, though her mouth watered in response. Her thoughts were focused lower. Much lower. A small vibrator was taped to her chair. Its pulsing tip focused right on her clit. All she could do was wiggle forward and backwards. Her hard nipples pointed upwards as her back arched against her restraints. Just a little bit more and she could feel the full force of the stupid thing. Unfortunately, her lover was skilled with knots.

“Are you hungry, babe?” Her lover set down a large bowl of noodles topped with rare, thinly sliced beef and scallions. Slowly, he poured the cinnamon and star anise infused broth over the noodles. The broth cooked the slices of beef until it was the same flushed pink as her wet pussy.

Big bowl of pho. Photo by Thien-Kim Lam

Photo credit: Thien-Kim Lam

“Looks about right, don’t you think?” as he peered between her thighs to compare. She was nowhere close to well-done.

“Mmmmfffppph,” she managed to respond behind the gag in her mouth. The bowl of pho sitting between them made her stomach growl. She was hungry. She wasn’t sure what she wanted more: hot noodles or that damned vibrator to move closer.

“No?” Her lover grinned. “More for me, I guess.” He moved his chair–his had a cushion– to sit beside her.

She sighed through her nose. She had brought this onto herself.

Two weeks ago, she’d made fun of his cooking. There was no way his phở would even compare to her mother’s recipe, which had been honed and perfected throughout her childhood. Every Sunday, after her family returned from their church’s service, they broke fast together with large, steaming bowls of phở. Sunday brunch was their weekly family reunion as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins slurped hot noodles and dipped their tender slices of medium-rare beef into small saucers of hoisin. Younger cousins chased each other around the tables while the adults caught up on gossip.

Now she realized that it was the memories of her weekly phở bowl that couldn’t compare to her lover’s noodles and broth. It was too late to take back her words, even if her mouth wasn’t filled with the red ball gag. She secretly ordered it from the internet late one night after an unsuccessful masturbatory attempt. She’d forgotten about it until a nondescript brown box arrived a few days later. Embarrassed that some random website knew her secret yearning, she hid it in the back of the closet unopened.

A loud squirt brought her back to her present predicament. Her breasts were covered with cold hoisin sauce.

“Oops! Sorry about the misfire. Here, let me clean you up.” Her lover deftly picked up a slippery white noodle with his chopsticks. With the deft moves of his chopsticks, he created a nest of noodles on her right nipple. The hot noodles shocked her cold skin, making her nipple grow even harder, making it ache from pleasure. Using just the two melamine chopsticks, he circle her nipples with the noodle until it was coated in hoisin sauce. Her eyes were glued to those thin sticks. This was new territory for her. She wasn’t brave enough to tell him her deepest desires, yet somehow he knew. The box in the back of her closet confirmed it for him.

Chopsticks and dried noodles. Photo by Thien-Kim Lam

Photo credit: Thien-Kim Lam

She wanted more than those noodles sliding on her breast. She wanted his mouth, his hands, his–she wanted him to devour her until she could only gasp for air. Between his noodle swirling and the pesky vibration between her thighs, she couldn’t complete any of her thoughts. Her growls of frustration made him smirk.

“Should I give you what you want? Even though you insulted my cooking?”

She nodded furiously. Languidly, his tongue reached out and slurped the warm noodle off her nipple. He sipped some of the sweet broth from his bowl and took her nipple into his now hot mouth. Even the gag couldn’t hold back her moans as her body betrayed her. Her back arched and her thighs shook. He took his time licking the sticky sweet sauce off her breasts, taking a break only to warm his mouth with more broth. Her moans grew as her wetness pooled on her chair.

She tried to lean forward and push her nipples deeper into his hot mouth but the ropes around her arms and body wouldn’t allow it. Her moans of pleasure turned to whimpers.. She was right on the edge and needed just push to reach her peak. Yet, she had no control over her orgasm; her lover would decide when she could reach her pinnacle. Her clit pulsed rapidly at this realization. This was what she had fantasized about but afraid to say out loud. He could withhold her release. No matter how her pussy ached to be filled, she was his. She moaned into her red gag as she grew wetter.

Pho noodles on chopsticks

Photo credit: Thien-Kim Lam

Suddenly, he pulled away.

” All this cleaning is making me hungry. We don’t want my phở to get cold, do we?”

He turned his attention to the still steaming bowl. She shook her head, her eyes pleading him to return to his prior activities. He reached between her glistening thighs. She nodded vigorously. Finally, he would give her release. Instead, he turned the vibrator up a little higher, but no closer to her swollen clit than it was before. She cried into her gag, but her body betrayed her. Her back arched as she desperately tried to press herself closer to the vibrator.

As she worked herself into a frenzy that offered no sweet release, she heard her lover slurping his noodles.

She would never see a bowl of phở in the same way again.

Craving phở ? Here’s my recipe for easy chicken phở.

Thien-Kim Lam is currently writing romances about Asian American women who have mega hot sex. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader

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.

 

 

Why Short, Hot Reads are Awesome

4 Mar

by G.G. Andrew

story

A novella with an erotica writer/bookstore owner, a billionaire, & lots of sexytimes.

I’ve noticed this past year that several book bargain and review sites expressly state that they don’t feature novellas, those 20,000-40,000-word stories that fall under novel length.

I understand that some readers like to sink into a long, involved novel, but I feel like the novella is underappreciated. Of course, I’m biased; several of us here at Lady Smut, myself included, have published novellas. But in addition to liking to write novellas, I also love to read them. (It’s one of the reasons “a short, hot novella you read in one sitting” is one of the items on our #ReadHotter book challenge.)

Want to know why you should be reading these short, hot reads, if you aren’t already? Read on for the ways they’re awesome, with recommendations of novellas that I’ve read or are sitting at the tip-top of my TBR.

I read Cara McKenna's Brazen in just an hour. Okay, I read it twice. (It's really hot.)

I once read Brazen in an hour. Okay, I read it twice.

*You can read novellas in one sitting.
After a long, hard day at the salt mines (or wherever your place of work or earthly toil), there’s just something great about coming home, pouring a glass of wine, and reading an entire story in one sitting. Of course, some of you speed-readers can read an entire novel at once, too–but I can’t, and I’m willing to bet there are many others like me. Reading a whole story in a night feels complete, and productive, and allows you to tell someone the next morning, “I read a book last night.” Because you totally did.
Recommendations: The hot reads Brazen by Cara McKenna or Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker

 

*They’re a quick way to sample new authors or genres.
If you’re like us, you probably have a staggering pile of books you want to read, but it’s hard to know where to start–which authors or genres are really going to be your thing. Reading a novella gives you a chance to sample an author you’ve been wanting to try, or see if science fiction romance is right for you, without the commitment of a big book. Of course, you can sample the first few pages from a longer novel, but that’s not like reading a story to, er, completion. It’s helpful to know if an author not only begins a story well, but ends well, or if a subgenre delivers what you expect.
Recommendations: The paranormal romances Hot as Hades by Alisha Rai or Three Wishes by Paula Millhouse

*You can read more subgenres, historical time periods, and authors over time.

Sweet, sexy, geeky--and short!

Sweet, sexy, geeky–and short!

Similar to above, if you insert more novellas into your reading life now, you’ll probably be exposed to more writers and types of stories by the year’s end. Paranormal romance, early twentieth-century love stories, m/m–if you haven’t tried them out by now, read some shorter stories and see what you think.
Recommendations: Waiting for Clark by Annabeth Albert (m/m), or the 1960s romance Strawberry and Sage by Amanda Gale

*You can get introduced to a story world or characters.
In addition to short reads allowing you to sample authors and genres, they also allow you to meet characters and decide if you want to spend another novella or even a whole novel with them. It’s like that first, brief date over coffee to decide whether you like someone enough to have dinner with them.
Recommendations: The bookstore owner and the billionaire in Tamara Lush’s Tell Me a Story or the workaholic and forest ranger in Tina Ellery’s White Pine

 

And last but certainly not least:

Intro to a series about astronauts.

Intro to a 20th century astronaut romance series.

*Novellas are cheap, and often free.
Since novellas are shorter, and often used to introduce readers to a world or cast of characters, they’re often .99 or under, and increasingly are free. (Check your favorite authors; some may have free reads, too.) And, really, right up there with free coffee and free love, free books are really the best thing ever.
Recommendations: Cath Yardley’s Level Up or A Midnight Clear by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner are both free now. (Craving Flight and Waiting for Clark from above are currently free on Amazon, too.)

 

Want more recommendations? Check out the novellas and short stories the Lady Smut authors have written. They’re short and hot, we promise. And follow us here for more on books, the short and long and everything in-between.

 

G.G. Andrew writes quirky romantic comedy–stories about people who fall in love with the most unlikely person, and stumble through some awkward conversations, mistaken identities, and ill-advised kisses along the way. Her latest book is GRAFFITI IN LOVE, a romance between an infamous British graffiti artist and the American woman who hates him.

How to have an orgasm from being spanked

15 Jan

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Spanking is one of my favorite things to read about, both because I enjoy getting and giving spankings, but even more, because how a person reacts to a spanking can tell us so much about them. The eyes may be the window to the soul, but for spankophiles, a spanking can be a window into equally powerful revelations.

Erotica authors can make spankings playful, painful, punishment, reward, ritual, initiation; the possibilities are endless. They can be purely physical, or they can tap something deep inside, bringing out raw emotion, longing, desire, unlocking secrets that can’t be unearthed in any other way. But there’s no one-size-fits-all spanking. What’s sexy to one person may be abhorrent to another. Some have very precise and specific ingredients that go into the perfect spanking; for others, it’s on a case-by-case basis. You can’t simply magically intuit what type of spanker or spankee someone will be without some clues to guide you.

If you stumbled across a spanking taking place, even if you watched closely, you might not know exactly which category it fell into; is it being enjoyed or endured? Is the spankee getting turned on or simply waiting it out until they get to whatever happens next? Is the spanking a sexual act, or something else? Writers have the power to get inside the heads of those on the receiving or giving end of those firm, hard smacks and let us find out what exactly makes this something characters crave (or cringe over)? When I am right there with a character who’s having the time of his or her life because of a spanking, I’m in reading heaven.

Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 1

Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1

It’s no surprise, then, that in my new anthology, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, spanking makes a few appearances. One of the most intriguing to me is “Restitution” by Ria Restrepo, about a famous pop star, Ella Lopez, who’s caught shoplifting and is being interrogated by a police officer under the watchful eye of whoever’s observing and monitoring their every move through a two-way mirror, helping to negotiate what her punishment will be. She’s told that she’ll be let off the hook for the shoplifting if she takes 20 bare assed spankings from Officer Hernandez. Heart pounding, she agrees. Here’s part of what happens:

“I want you to sing for me, little diva. Call out the numbers.”

“Yes, sir,” I said, my voice raspy and unfamiliar.

He shifted away from me and I held my breath, awaiting the first blow. When it came, it was hard, punishing, brutal—everything I thought it would be. My body lurched forward, jostling the table enough to knock the water bottle onto the floor.

“One,” I cried out on a pent-up gust of air.

Then came the next smack on the opposite cheek, and I called that one out too. There was a mean sting on my skin when his large hand first made contact, followed by a deep ache in my flesh as it absorbed the full force of the strike. He spread the slaps around, alternating sides, occasionally landing near the juncture between my thighs—those were the best ones. 

Each time, pain roared through my body, making my nipples throb and my cunt clench in sympathy. But it was a delicious torture that built with the burn until I was on fire. I could feel my juices sliding past my cunt lips and onto my thighs. I couldn’t believe it; I was going to come, just from him spanking me.

I asked Ria Restrepo to share a little behind the scenes insights into just how this story plays out, including what factors went into Ella being able to orgasm from being spanked. While this may not work for everyone (nor is that everyone’s goal), knowing what it took for Ella might set the stage for it happening for you.

Here’s what she told me: “Ella ultimately gets off from the combination of physical, emotional, and mental stimuli she experiences. She finds pleasure in pain, so the sensation of a firm hand smacking her tender flesh is highly arousing. But being dominated by a man she’s attracted to, knowing her spanking is being watched, and the taboo nature of a police officer abusing his authority in such a way all heighten Ella’s arousal. It’s often said that the brain is the greatest sexual organ and that’s definitely true in ‘Restitution.’ Ella is very aroused before Officer Hernandez ever lays a hand on her.” This buildup was another thing that made me want to publish her story. Ella’s body is primed, and the reader’s mind is also primed to be fully appreciate every aspect of her spanking—and what comes after it.

Something I especially think Lady Smut readers will appreciate is that Restrepo’s tagline for her BDSM erotica is “strong women who desire stronger men.” In other words, kink for her isn’t about submissies being truly degraded or seen as somehow lesser, but about owning up to—and sometimes asking for—the kind of treatment they want from a dominant. Sometimes what seems like “suffering” is actually delight; in Ella’s case, she’s being punished, but it’s clear that she is getting off, literally, on the harsh blows being delivered straight to her bottom, from a man who’s strong in more ways than one.

I asked her how her tagline plays out in “Restitution” and she said: “The best dominants aren’t intimidated by strong, independent women. They value a woman’s willing submission and work hard to earn her respect, admiration, and trust. Having a strong woman, who can stand on her own two feet, kneel before them in supplication is a cherished gift.”

She went on: “In ‘Restitution,’ Officer Hernandez may have authority over Ella by virtue of his position as the police officer who arrested her, but his dominant nature goes deeper than that. There is an ineffable quality truly dominant men possess—it’s in their demeanor, the way they stand, the way the walk, the glint in their eye. They exude confidence in their ability to understand what a submissive needs and give her exactly what she desires. Therein lies Officer Hernandez’s true power over Ella and makes him ‘stronger.’”

I love Restrepo’s concept of submission and that she makes sure to link women who submit with women who are independent. In this conception, dominant and submissive are yin and yang, each valuing what the other brings to the dance of BDSM. Her story would have been something else entirely if I felt like Ella was truly being manipulated into doing something she didn’t want to do, if the “punishment” only worked one way—to get the spanker off. Because it’s so clear, as you read in the passage above, that her body is singing with each strike of his hand, the power play works perfectly.

I also appreciated the detail Restrepo used in the short but powerful spankings scene. She didn’t belabor the story, but gave the reader just enough to perfectly capture exactly how Ella was being spanked, and where, and to let us know that the man delivering those blows knows precisely what he’s doing. While of course her story is pure fiction and not an actual instruction manual, I do believe that readers interested in pursuing spankings of their own could glean a thing or two about the art and joy of taking a spanking from Ella.

Want to find out what happens after that spanking? Read “Restitution” in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, out now in print and ebook form. You can also hear me and other contributors read from the book this Tuesday, January 19 at 6:30 p.m., at Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk Street, San Francisco.

Have a sexy story you want to get published? I’m accepting short story submissions by women authors from around the world through April 1 for Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2, and the guidelines can be found at bweoftheyear.com.

Sign up for my monthly newsletter to find out about my latest writings and events.

Short and Sexy: A Touch of Fun with the Erotic Short Story

12 Jul
The Halloween shopping season is about to start. Are you ready?

The Halloween shopping season is about to start. Are you ready?

By Alexa Day

Halloween is only 111 days away. Are you ready?

No, I’m not kidding. I’m already working on a costume for this year’s festivities. There’s nothing worse than having to dress like everyone else on a holiday that celebrates your big chance to escape reality for one night.

But I’ve gotten an extra Halloween treat already: my short story, “Three, After Midnight,” will be released in an upcoming Halloween-themed anthology! You won’t even have to wait until Halloween to get hold of the scary, sexy goods. I’m looking forward to a September release date. That way, haunt-happy readers will have a chance to thoroughly investigate the stories and maybe make arrangements to try things at home.

You know, if that’s your thing.

“Three, After Midnight” is basically a story of a woman who lost her husband one Halloween night but has a chance to get him back — at least for a little while — once a year. It clocks in at just under 10,000 words, so there’s not much space for dithering. But the opportunity to squeeze a lot of story into a tiny number of pages presents an interesting challenge. It’s a bit like packing everything you need for a week-long vacation into a carry-on bag.

Writing the hot short story means making tough choices. I know I love delving into character introspection. But when there’s not a lot of space to get everyone comfortable and then get everyone down to business, well, let’s just say I need characters to be thinking and fucking at the same time. That’s loads of fun, at least for me. Inner conflict! Outer sexiness! Inner sexiness! Outer conflict! Round and round we go, right?

Keeping it short and sexy also means relying on double-duty details. Using the occasional detail to reveal character, unveil setting, and build sexual tension simultaneously makes for a delightful challenge. It’s literary freebasing, and if it’s done the right way, it produces a high that keeps a reader coming back for another hit.

So where can you go to see the job done right? Well, Lady Smut is a great place to start. Head on over to the Shop and you’ll see that most of us have worked in the short form and loved it. We have The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires for your perusal, and our contributors Isabelle Drake and Rachel Kramer Bussel definitely have the short story mastered (in the sexiest possible way).

Be sure to follow Lady Smut. We keep it hot at any length!

A Solstice Gift for You

19 Dec

My wee erotic romance sampler FourPlay will be free over the weekend. Four short super-steamy stories for free (and regularly only 99¢/77p so it’s not breaking the bank at full price). If you’ve wanted to give a new author a try, here’s a great way to give me a read without any risk.

Let us celebrate the return of the light and with it hope for the coming spring!

How To Guide: World Domination

18 Apr
Buy CMK's book!

Buy CMK’s book!

by C. Margery Kempe

Some people use the holiday to give gifts, bond with families and eat too much. These people will never control the globe.

Lots of people have a good string of days off this time of year when they are free of the mundane tasks required to make a living scraping by in a moderately successful job. Most will spend their time imbibing festive drinks and visiting other locales. The more ambitious, however, will put this freedom to better use by formulating a plan to dominate the world.

While reading Manisha Thakor’s piece on how women seldom ask for raises, instead hoping their hard work will be noticed and rewarded (it won’t), I was struck again by the failure of so many women to risk not being seen as nice. ‘Nice’ will not conquer worlds: look at Dick Cheney. I’m sure Alexander the Great did not remember his co-worker’s birthdays. And if Stalin ever brought cookies to the office, they were probably poisoned. If you want to rule the world, keep a few of these things in mind:

Have talent

It’s not essential, of course. Look at any number of talent-free celebrities. But it makes it a lot easier. For all the outrageous fashion choices and outlandish theatrics, the heart of the Lady Gaga empire is damn catchy music and a fabulous voice. Actual talent makes it easier to navigate through the inevitable bubbles of backlash that strike anyone who achieves an inordinate amount of success.

Have a brand

When you hear the words Stephen King or Oprah Winfrey you have a picture in your head, not to mention the sound of screaming, for somewhat different reasons (usually). Your mission must be clear: world domination on its own can be perceived as nakedly aggressive. Try to come up with some thing more friendly and beneficial. Ideally, your brand statement should fit within a tweet and look good in an appropriate font. Theme songs help, too. Defining your brand identity can help you clarify what your goals are and when you drift from them. Focus is key to success.

Have a plan

Most attempts at world domination fall down on the details. Conquerors tend to be people with vision rather than clerical skills. This can lead to problems if you try to expand your empire too quickly. Unless you’re the Russian mafia or Thomas Kinkade, you’ll probably benefit from staying on the right side of the law. Given that women and children make up the vast majority of those living in poverty, this cannot be emphasized enough. It’s no good dominating the world if you end up broke, jailed and despised (e.g. Thomas Kinkade).

Oh, sure—world domination may not be on your agenda, but a more focused and conscious approach to your career, whatever it may be, will give you benefits beyond the immediate future. Things are tough out there and we all need to be smarter about our paths and clear about our goals. The good news is romance writers tend to be better at this than other kinds of folk.

It’s better than stuffing your face with all those chocolate bunnies anyway. Happy Easter! And hop down the bunny trail with the Lady Smut crew if you want to keep up with what’s sexy.

 

 

[Original version of this diatribe appeared at Bitch Buzz; forthcoming in The Triumph of the Carpet Beetle]

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