25 Feb 2014
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24 Feb 2014
First taste of Out of Control, out April 22.
“Do you need a hand with anything? More coffee maybe? Or should I leave you alone to unpack?” Drake stood in the doorway, and Jen couldn’t tell if he wanted her to ask him to stay or dismiss him. He was wearing his serious, professorial face, but there was something in his eyes, something in the way he watched her, something in the way he leaned on the doorframe, lazy as a cat, but like a cat sometimes was, active in his laziness, that suggested his thoughts might be more serious than fun. Naughty, even.
“I can think of a few things I could use a hand with.” She stifled laughter. She honestly hadn’t meant it to sound suggestive, but it came out that way.
“I imagine.” Drake came closer and suddenly the room seemed very warm. Or maybe that was just her panties. “What can I do for you?” The words could just refer to all the million things involved with getting settled in a new place, and on one level, probably did.
But Drake felt that tension too. She could hear it in his voice, see it in the way he carried himself. He was studying her like she was prey, or maybe an opponent in some kind of contest, trying to figure out his next move. Funny thing was, he probably thought he was being subtle, but he was obviously trying to decide whether he should jump in where they’d left off or pretend it had never happened and start their acquaintance fresh.
Still, he wasn’t as awkward as a lot of guys might be. He wasn’t slobbering like a puppy who thought she had a treat in her pocket, but wasn’t ignoring her either. More like he was waiting for a clear signal.
What the hell. She decided to give him one, an opening he could take in several ways. Otherwise, she’d never get anything done, and that would be bad, right?
She’d never been the type to wait demurely for a guy to make up his mind. That was like waiting for everything to fall into place so you could quit your horrible nine-to-five job and commit to art—a great way to be old and gray and still waiting. You had to make things fall into place, whether you were talking about work or relationships. Create opportunities. The worst that would happen in either case was you’d fall on your face. And then you got up, brushed yourself off and tried something different.
She stood up from the floor, where she’d been sorting through a box. “How about welcoming me to the house properly,” she said, her voice slipping to a sultry whisper almost despite herself, and held out her hand.
Drake took her hand, shook it in a friendly but businesslike way. “Glad to have you here.” God, his hands were big.
He stepped closer, not letting go of her hand, close enough she could feel the heat of his body. A shudder ran through her, made up of equal parts desire and confusion. She felt paralyzed. Jen’s normal impulse would be to kiss this man, who seemed like he wanted desperately to kiss her but was holding back. At least pull him into a hug, make it clear she was interested. Yet she couldn’t move, trapped by his serious gray eyes, the heat of his touch, the set of his mouth under that tidy beard.
“You confound me,” he said, his voice harsh, dark. “Jen, Jen, Jen, what am I going to do with you?”
“I have a few ideas.”
“So do I. Problem is, while we’d both enjoy these ideas, I’m not sure they’re smart.” Jen froze, unable even to breathe. At least they were on the same page about wanting each other. She wanted to ask him if he truly cared if it was a bad idea, to make it clear she was all about the good-bad ideas, say she even had a clue what those ideas might entail, but she couldn’t speak.
“The hell with it. Smart is overrated.” Drake’s voice came out as a growl, nothing Jen could imagine in a civilized Cornell classroom but could definitely imagine in a bedroom. He reeled her in, pulled her against his hard body.
She felt small and soft. Normally that would make her want to demonstrate her strength—which, thanks to her active life, was surprising for someone who looked more like the petite-flower type. But she liked feeling small and soft in Drake’s arms, with Drake’s mouth crashing down onto hers.
He lifted her up effortlessly, not breaking the kiss, and carried her toward the unmade bed. My God, what did this man do for a workout? This mathematician had muscles like a cowboy. Holding her with one arm, he swept piles and bags of clothes off the bed onto the floor. She saw a wince cross his face as he did it, as if it offended the sense of order she’d seen reflected in his side of the house. “Don’t worry,” she joked, “my clothes are used to spending time on the floor.”
“Not for much longer,” she thought he said. She would have puzzled at the words, except Drake distracted her by pulling her T-shirt off with one decisive motion. She had accidentally packed all her bras last night. At the moment, this seemed like the best accident ever. Drake studied her bared curves, running his big hands along her sides. She purred and arched up. His hands moved to her nipples, began caressing in a gentle, exploratory way, not what she would have expected from his earlier fierceness. Lovely but too light for her taste, it teased and tickled as much as it aroused. She squealed and tried to squirm away at the same time she arched her hips up to meet his, turned on and tormented at same time. The pleasure was almost painful, in the same paradoxical way pain, in the right circumstances and with the right person, could be pleasurable.
“Too little. I like it rougher.” Not something she’d admit to most guys this soon, for fear they’d take it too far, but Avi’s words inspired confidence. The woman wrote about safe BDSM practices for a living, after all, and she’d said Drake was all right.
Drake chuckled. “Good.” Her brain was whirling like cotton candy in one of those machines at the county fair and felt just about as pink and fluffy, but his tone registered. Evil glee, definitely. She was in trouble, but it was the kind of trouble she loved. With one hand, he began pinching first one nipple, then the other, tugging and kneading. Delicious pleasure and equally delicious pain seared through her. “Good girl. Put your arms over your head.”
She obeyed. She couldn’t help herself. She didn’t want to help herself. Why wouldn’t she play along? This was the best thing that had happened to her in a long, long, long time that didn’t involve making art.
He grabbed her wrists with his other hand, his grip viselike, unbreakable. Heat pooled in her belly, and she couldn’t help whimpering.
“Do you enjoy restraint, Jen?”
She nodded. “Oh yeah.” She felt like she should say something more, something about their mutual friend, even, but the time for intelligent dialogue was either past or yet to come, at least on her end. Drake was talking just fine, but maybe it took longer for hormones to shut down his extra-smart brain.
“Would you enjoy a lot of restraint? Rope bondage, maybe?”
She nodded again, unable to speak. Her eyes felt like they were as wide as a cartoon character’s, taking up her whole face. Avi had experimented on her with rope back in college—just practicing a few ties on her, nothing more—and she’d gotten a kick out of it. With Drake in charge, and actual sex involved, it would be heaven.
“Excellent.” Drake chuckled, and it was the kind of chuckle you’d expect from a supervillain whose evil plan was coming together.
Maybe she was in a bit over her head.
Hurray! Over your head was fun.
And she had it on good authority that he was an ethical perv, not an ax murderer.
“Right now,” he said, “I think we’re both feeling too impatient for rope. Which means we should do it anyway, once we’ve gotten a few things out of our system. You need to learn patience and order. Luckily, I’m here to help you.”
Jen’s head spun. She knew how to sprinkle kink into sex, like a touch of brilliant color to set off clear glass. Still, beyond playful spanking and casual bandana-and-stocking bondage, beyond flipping a coin to see who’d take tongue-in-cheek charge in bed on a particular night, she hadn’t explored very far since rooming with Avi in college. She’d looked at Web sites, especially ones Avi had recommended on her own site, and she’d listened to a few erotica audiobooks, but she was definitely a beginner.
Drake wasn’t. Even if she wasn’t already clued in, she could guess. It was in the way he’d been touching her ever since she’d told him she liked a firmer touch, but more than that, it was in his voice. In his eyes.
She strove for words, tried to say the words that hovered on her lips: You’re a dom. Not just a guy who liked to dabble in kink once in a while, but a serious dom. But she couldn’t make the words come out.
Out of Control buy links:
16 Feb 2014
We had a pretty good winter storm last night, severe enough that my writer’s group meeting was canceled. However, it stopped snowing overnight and by early afternoon, even the secondary roads were clear. Since I had an unanticipated afternoon off, I (predictably) headed for the woods. The nearby state park was full of families sledding and people enjoying the rare opportunity to cross-country ski and snowshoe in our own backyard instead of driving to northern New England.
Of course I wandered away from the crowds as best I could. Today’s paraphrased quote: “I took the road less traveled. Maybe there was a reason it was less traveled.” Yes, that’s a trail behind that rock! The woods trails were challenging, but not too bad, but when I ended up crossing an open field, where not too many people had gone before, I almost lost my boot a few times to the deep snow.
Luckily, every time I started to flag, I saw something beautiful to keep me going.
The light, at that moment, made me think of a scene in Cougar’s Courage. So I leave you with a little excerpt that relates to trekking through the snow.
The world surged. Auras flashed into bright precision. Becky’s earthy one, her own rainbowed with many neon colors and streaks of mourning darkness, even the trees by the side of the road haloed in deep green. The road to Couguar-Caché opened up, a clear path to those with eyes to see it. She was sure the snow would still be there for her to slog through, but now she felt truly invited and welcomed.
She gave Becky a quick, impulsive hug. “Do you see that?”
“I see a lot of awesome snow.” The girl smiled. “This is going to be great!”
“I see the way home.” Cara swung her feet out of the truck, strapped on her snowshoes and grabbed her pack.
As she waved good-bye to Becky, she felt a surge of grief. Somehow, she knew she wasn’t going to see the girl or her brother again. Wasn’t going back to Toronto.
Phil’s face hovered between the trees, his lips whispering something she couldn’t make out. Her old life was dead anyway, dead with Phil. It didn’t much matter if she made it back to Toronto or not. She willed herself not to cry until she was in a house in Couguar-Caché. Out here, the tears would freeze to her cheeks.
Then a glowing golden path opened under her feet. She opened to the energy of the forest around her. Her doubts fell away, replaced by crazy excitement. She was on her way to Couguar-Caché and a new adventure. And after all she’d been through in the past few months, that might be just what she needed.
About a kilometer in, snow whipped out of what, until a few moments earlier, had been a clear sky. The effort of snowshoeing kept her warm, but her face was freezing, and the wind cut through her knit wool hat, earflaps and all. She thought wistfully of that comfortable 4×4 parked at the edge of the main road, and of warm motels and the lonely but cozy condo in Toronto, currently sublet to a friend of Goulding’s.
She might end up crazy, but at least she’d be warm while she lost her mind.
Or maybe thoughts like that are the crazies starting in earnest. I can’t turn back now. The person who can help is somewhere ahead of me, in Couguar-Caché.
Or closer, she thought as she caught a glimpse of someone through the trees. When she’d come as a child with Mom, her grandparents had always been the ones to greet them, Gramps’s magic tamped down so he was just an older guy in a faded Bugs Bunny T-shirt. She’d heard tales, though, of other visitors who’d been greeted in various unexpected, magical ways: Grand-mère seeming to materialize from thin air, or a big, dangerous-looking animal—cougar, wolf, bear, moose—appearing to serve as a wordless guide.
The figure that appeared on the path before her was no wizened, cock-eyed elder in shamanic regalia (which, judging from her grandfather, sometimes involved Looney Toons boxer shorts worn on the outside of the clothes) and no animal that might or might not be a sentient being silently laughing at her.
It was the man from her dreams.
10 Feb 2014
On Monday my friend Laura and I went for a snowy owl search at Duxbury Beach. This winter has seen a profusion of snowy owls finding their way to New England. Many of them have ended up at Boston’s Logan Airport–not the ideal place for an owl!–and they’ve been moved to other suitable locations in the area, fairly remote beaches with salt marshes and dunes. Laura had heard there were owls in Duxbury, so we decided to make our way there.
The day started out with a minor snafu that proved to be a blessing. I got lost driving through Duxbury and, drawing on vague memories of a previous visit years ago, made my way to the ocean by a different route than I’d planned to follow. The Duxbury reservation is a barrier beach, which means you had to cross a bridge to get to it. And this particular bridge was a single-lane wooden-railed bridge that looked more like a boardwalk. It hadn’t been cleared after recent storms, so it was a mass of rutted snow and ice. I grew up in the snowy Finger Lakes, so snow-rutted roads hold no terror. But a snow-rutted bridge? That’s alarming. My valiant little Hyundai Accent was up to the challenge and I made it across with white knuckles, but no actual issues.
Only to find that the beach road was limited use seasonal access, unplowed, barely paved, and recommended for four-wheel drive vehicles only. (See Hyundai Accent.) Laura, who’d been coming from Boston, had taken a different bridge to the beach. I could see her distinctive orange SUV in the distance, but we were separated by a blocked-off section of road marked by a huge “CAUTION: SAND TRAP” sign. She had no parking where she was. I couldn’t get to where she was. Luckily, she had four-wheel drive and was able to circumvent the sand traps and get to me.
It was ridiculously cold with an icy wind blowing off the Atlantic, but so beautiful. Snow-covered dunes, the sound of surf, and all sorts of birds. The sky was glorious. The waves were wild. (And my camera ran out of batteries before I could get wave pictures, alas!)
We saw some waterfowl we need to identity, the bird in the picture below, and, we’re pretty sure, some snow buntings, another unusual visitor to the area, but no owls.
We walked for about two hours, huddled in a warm car to eat a quick lunch, then discussed whether to continue looking. Since L had four-wheel drive, we decided to drive down the icy, rutted excuse for a road. Here we saw glorious views, more birds, more glimpses of waves, men hand-digging clams in the estuary, and, at the end of the road, a lighthouse and a surprising find: a gated community, all but abandoned for the season and splendid in its wintry isolation. But no owls.
So with a heavy heart we headed back toward my car and the bridge. Actually, that’s a lie. Our hearts weren’t heavy. We’d see interesting things, taken some good pictures, had a chance to catch up for the first time in months. But we’d really hoped to see an owl.
We were most of the way back to the parking area when we saw what we thought was a white stump or rock protruding from the dunes. There was a convenient place to pull over, so we checked it out with binoculars.
And found ourselves gazing into huge, solemn golden eyes.
I knew snowy owls were large, but this seemed unreal. Huge, magnificent, surely a messenger from some wilder world. This picture doesn’t do it justice. But it gives a sense of the size and majesty of the bird. Another birder chatted with us while we watched her–he confirmed it was female–and when she flew off on her great, silent white wings, he told us a story. He was a contractor who’d been working over the winter on a house in the gated community we’d seen. And in the course of that time, he’d taken over a hundred pictures of snowy owls–including some through the window of the house he was restoring. He shoots old-school, on film, with a thirty-year-old Canon and a long, long lens. He showed us some of the pictures. Magical!
Laura and I are talking about heading on another owl hunt if we have a chance, or going to watch for migrating hawks in the spring. And Duxbury Beach definitely merits another visit…although next time I may meet Laura and her SUV somewhere and leave the Hyundai for actual roads.
5 Feb 2014
My eighty-year-old mother is an avid reader and extremely proud of her author daughter. Despite her age, she’s not what you’d call narrow-minded. Far from it. In the 1950s, she was more a Beatnik than a Donna Reed type. She first talked to me about homophobia when I was about seven. When she found my erotica stash when I was studying in France in college, it didn’t lead to a lecture. It led to a twenty-minute conversation about the differences in how men and women write about sex. On the phone. Long-distance to France. Before Skype. (Did I mention she used to be an English teacher, and that she’s probably the reason I’m such a huge geek? I love my mom!)
We’ve offered to buy her a computer and/or an ereader, but she’s not too keen on technology. I make sure to get her copies of my print books. She’s read Lions’ Pride, a paranormal menage, and is really looking forward to the other books in the Duals and Donovans series coming out in print. She enjoyed Cat Scratch Fever, an erotic mystery published under the Sophie Mouette pseudonym. Still, I was nervous when I sent her a print copy of Knowing the Ropes. Sexy is one thing. But this book is more than a little kinky. How would she handle floggings, canings, butt plugs, and other fun things that one doesn’t usually think about in association with elderly retired school-teachers?
I should have known. Mom didn’t like it as much as Lions’ Pride, but that wasn’t because the sex was too kinky or there was too much of it. In fact, she said the sex was well-written and that there was obviously a lot of thought about what makes a healthy relationship behind the book. (She did say she probably would have found all the sexy bits more interesting “even five years ago, but at my age it’s just not as interesting as it used to be.”)
Mom didn’t mind the kinky sex at all. She only minded the book lacked a paranormal or mystery element! I’d forgotten that, unlike me, she was never big on straight-up contemporary romances.Mom, as it turns out, likes a good love story, even a wildly sexy one…but only if she also gets magic, shapeshifters, or larceny along with it.
Maybe I should have dedicated a Duals and Donovans book to her, not Out of Control, my next kinky title.
Knowing the Ropes is out in print and available today from Samhain and all the usual bookseller suspects. You can even get it at your local independent bookstore, though it might have to be special-ordered.
2 Feb 2014
The article I referenced makes Brigid sound rather cuddly. She is also the goddess of poets and smiths and a healing goddess–one of my patrons as a writer and “maker.” I’m a pagan, but I’m not one for complicated rituals. I honor this day by getting out into nature to search for signs of the coming spring in what is often the depths of winter, and by writing poetry. I’d actually never heard about the ritual housecleaning that article mentioned, but it’s not a bad idea over the next few days. I like the idea of making room for the goddess and the new season. Besides, I must have tracked in about four pounds of mud between yesterday’s hikie and today’s!
Today was unseasonably warm, but that warmth led to some challenges on the trail. Snow and frozen earth are not bad to negotiate. Mud, rotten ice, and streams where the trail used to be are a bit challenging. But the air smelled of mud and promise, the preserve was tapping its maples–a sure sign that the days are warming, that spring will come, though there is much winter left–and the woods were full of life.
And while slipping and sliding down a muddy, icy trail, I composed a poem. It’s still rough around the edges, but in this case, I think the roughness makes it full of life.
Hiking through mud and snowmelt
On Brigid’s day, slipping on rotten
Ice and struggling to keep my feet
I sang praises with my panting breath
To the cantankerous goddess we honor
At the halfway point between the lights and festivities
Of Yule and spring’s green arrival. Patron
Of smiths and poets, sister
To the fierce Morrigan, Brigid offers tough love.
She heals, but you must do your part. She warms,
But you must tend her sacred fire.
At Imbolc she brings lambs, but birth comes
In blood and mud amid treacherous weather.
If she is a mother goddess, she is the kind of mother
Who tells it like it is, who doesn’t always catch you
When you fall, though she’ll reach out a strong hand
To help you up again. She knows shit turns to compost
In time, and we blossom from struggle. Her libation
Burns like whiskey, but its taste lingers sweet on the palate. Her day
Brings the promise of spring and the knowledge
You are strong enough to slog
Through the rest of winter to get to it.
27 Jan 2014
Meet Out of the Frying Pan, a spicy romantic comedy with a little extra spice.
Take one chef displaced in the wacky world of Hollywood,
Add one hunky pool boy who isn’t what he seems,
Mix with a heavy dash of spicy sex.
Then fold in a self-absorbed starlet who’s on a different diet every night,
Blend with her action-hero boyfriend (secret ingredient: closet cross-dresser).
Order paperback from Bank of Books
Order from Powell’s (forthcoming)
Order from Barnes & Noble (forthcoming)
26 Jan 2014
Today I’m welcoming a very special visitor to this site: Alison Tyler, the original “Trollop with a Laptop.” She’s not only one of my favorite editors, but one of my favorite writers as well. And she’s here today to talk a little about her new work, The Delicious Torment: A Story of Submission. The follow-up to her well-received Dark Secret Love (the title’s from 18th-century poet William Blake), it’s already received a rave review from RT Book Reviews.
So without further ado, here’s Alison!
Alison Tyler has been called a “prolific legend” by Violet Blue. Her work has appeared in more than 100 anthologies, and she is the editor of 50 titles for Cleis Press. Visit her at alisontyler.blogspot.com or follow her on twitter.com/alisontyler.
20 Jan 2014
It’s January, so it’s bondage season. Granted, for some of us it’s always bondage season, but this month I get to announce the arrival of two lovely bondage-themed anthologies featuring my stories.
Twisted: Bondage with an Edge is edited by Alison Tyler, delightfully known as a “trollop with a laptop.” She and I share affinities for red lipstick and sexy restraint, and I’m proud to say that my story “Rope Drought” is featured in the book. Often kink is depicted in art as something sleek and urban, but wholesome organic farmers can be pretty twisted in good ways too, and they get their kink on in a delightful natural setting, using recycled household objects.
Best Bondage Erotica 2014, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, adds to a now-classic series. My offering for 2014–I’ve been in several previous editions–is “Roping the Cowboy.” Yes, I had a rural theme going with my bondage stories, maybe because I’m a country girl at heart. And in this case, maybe because I’ve always thought those swaggering American icons, cowboys, need to be taken down a peg…in a fun, consensual way, of course.
And apparently I forgot to announce one more short story. Hey, I was all tied up and I forgot! “Birthday Butch” was reprinted in Best Lesbian Erotica 2014, edited by Kathleen Warnock. And there is not one bit of bondage in this particular story. Spanking and D/s, sure, but no bondage. Isn’t this a classy cover?
12 Jan 2014
I’ve received the cover for my upcoming BDSM romance, Out of Control (coming April 22 from Samhain–just on time for my birthday!) We had to go through a few versions, mostly because I didn’t do a good job explaining my vision to the cover artist–and, as it turned out, my vision was pretty much unattainable unless Rembrandt came back from the dead and wanted to use his hitherto unknown kinky side to create book covers for erotic romance. But I like what I ended up getting. The hero actually looks like my hero!
(Dom + sub) x unbridled passion = irrational pleasure.
Glass artist Jen Kessler has hit the jackpot—a cheap apartment in a charming Victorian house, complete with a sexy, intense, buttoned-down landlord…who may or may not have a riding crop in his bedroom.
She’s not looking for a lover, but when her innocent, impulsive hug sparks kisses as hot a molten glass, it leads to bondage, spankings, and more naughtiness that, up to now, she had only tasted.
His new tenant may have wild, dyed hair and an unconventional job, but Cornell math professor Drake Matthews admires the work ethic that got her out of debt. Then he’s stunned at how quickly she destroys decades of his carefully cultivated self control.
Soon their sexual and emotional passions push them to the edge—and beyond. But it’s not all good, dirty fun. As Drake takes more and more control of Jen in the bedroom, her deeply ingrained independent streak pushes back. And it’ll take more than a shared penchant for ropes, paddling, and coffee to overcome pasts that could unravel their relationship before it begins.
Warning: Contains kinky sex, molten glass, geeky higher mathematics, family secrets, and irresponsible consumption of coffee.
11 Jan 2014
10 Jan 2014
Just before 2013 shifted to 2014, I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend at Kripalu doing a yoga retreat. My best friend from junior high, back in the Land of Apples, is turning fifty at the end of this month. I’m turning fifty in April. We needed to do something to…not celebrate so much as wrap our heads around this momentous date with someone else who remembered our twelve-year-old selves, brave and full of possibilities. We figured our options, in the depths of a New England winter, were a yoga retreat or finding a B&B known for astonishingly good breakfast pastries, with a really good Italian restaurant around the corner and a bookstore across the street. While the latter sounds like a potentially stellar long weekend, one thing we’ve both been fighting is a sense of creeping age and creeping lard-ass, due in large part to desk jobs, so we went for the healthier option. Thankfully, my BFF is a well-compensated sys-admin, not a starving artist, and she was willing to kick in extra so I could go. (Thank you, babe! No names since I’m not sure your bosses would appreciate a public shout-out to you sandwiched between erotica excerpts.)
Reconnecting with my friend was the highlight of the trip. In many ways, we don’t have a lot in common anymore. She’s a sys-admin at a large corporation, as previously mentioned. I write naughty novels. She has dogs. I have cats. We both have husbands we adore–yeah!–but our husbands couldn’t be more different and aren’t especially friendly. They don’t dislike each other, but they don’t really connect either. We’re both romance readers, but though we love talking books, we don’t adore a lot of the same authors. (She doesn’t mind some explicit sex, but she’s not a fan of outright erotic romance, let alone BDSM or menage. She likes upright military heroes. I like bad boys.) And yet when we get together, none of that matters. Our long history and shared background in the hills and lakes and small towns of central New York matter, and our wonderful moms who are very much part of our lives, and the bright, sharp edge of adolescent dreams.
The sharp edge of dreams, I think, was why one class, of all the classes I took at Kripalu, stands out. The meditation and dance and physical yoga classes were wonderful. The focus on healthy, plant-based eating helped me get my weight-loss efforts off to a good start. But the “Yoga of Yes” class is the one that changed me.
The instructor had been in theater before she became a yoga instructor–maybe still is–and the focus of the class was a connection between yogic principles and the principles of making art. She offered five points to remember, which were things she learned in rehearsals but she believes applies to yoga practice and life in general.
- Everything you do is brilliant and correct. (She stressed this doesn’t mean everything you do is finished or pretty or ready for public consumption, but the worst hot messes are the most full of prana–life energy–and are part of the process.)
- Just say YES to possibility. (She used the example of the Fool card in Tarot. You won’t move forward unless you step into the unknown. Sometimes you’ll fall, but that’s all right.)
- Listen, listen, listen.
- Create intimacy.
- Commit–if only to learn you’re going the wrong way.
- Be here now.
I realized, listening to her, that I’ve been caught in the energy of NO. I’ve been closing myself to possibilities for all sorts of seemingly good reasons. I’m too old or have too many old injuries to try that physical activity. I get overwhelmed by the energy of crowds so I don’t go out. I can’t risk self-publishing on my own (I’ve been doing it as Sophie Mouette, but that’s only because Dayle already knows what she’s doing and is holding my hand and saying “there, there” a lot) because it involves spending money and what if it doesn’t work? I’m aging and not nearly as cool as I think I am, so I should wear middle-aged clothes and not try to look vibrant and sexy.
Since the Kripalu trip, I’ve bought a cover for my first self-published book and set a schedule for getting it out. I’ve tried a more challenging yoga class, and loved it despite my trepidation, and I’ve started dancing again, though so far only around the living room. I’ve recalibrated my mental shields and found myself invigorated the last few times I went out in a crowd rather than exhausted. (For those of you not so much into the metaphysical, think of it as changing my attitude so I’m focusing on happy, positive experiences, not on the inevitable cranky or unhappy people one encounters who annoy me and waste my energy.) I’m reaching out to old friends and making social plans. Thanks to exercising and eating better, I’ve lost four pounds so far, and I’m embarrassed to say how much that’s helping me feel better about myself. Color me shallow, but after years of being a serious dancer with a firm hourglass figure, I was finding the middle-aged spread depressing, or maybe it was the lack of movement. I’m never going to be a gym rat–that sound boring- but dancing, hiking, and yoga help keep me sane and I need to say yes to them.
I need to say yes to life, and to my own possibilities, which is why I’m declaring 2014 to be
THE YEAR OF YES.
Want to celebrate with me?
5 Jan 2014
Much as I adore my Kindle, I’m still a sucker for print books: their heft, their smell, their ineffable comfort. There are pictures of me as an infant cuddling books like other babies hug stuffed animals, so apparently I’ve always had an attachment to books as objects as well as books as stories. Not surprisingly, print releases have a special place in my heart.
And Knowing the Ropes comes out as a print book on February 4. Soon, I’ll have a lovely picture with a stack of print books, to prove to you it’s real. But it’s on its way. In print. Solid, beautiful, and perfect for gift-giving. Heck, I’m sending one to my mom. Mind you, I don’t recommend that unless you know your mom’s pretty open-minded, since it is a book about BDSM and bondage. My mom’s a theater person from way back and is basically unshockable, but I’ve warned her not to let the housekeeper see this one, since that good lady’s Christian, salt-of-the-earth heart might give out.
On the other hand, wouldn’t it make a nice Valentine’s Day present? Shared read-alouds are such a lovely way to spend a winter night or six….
9 Dec 2013
Last night, I went to my first holiday party of the 2013 season. My friend A. has an annual holiday tea and each year features a different theme cuisine. This year was French.
So so when we got to the “tea,” we found A. pouring champagne. Win! Oh, we got to tea eventually. Lavender Earl Grey is amazing and I need to buy about fifty pounds of it. And there were sandwiches on baguettes, and savory palmiers, and pots de creme (chocolate pudding for grown ups), and tarte tatin with caramelized apples and buttery pastry. And friends I hadn’t seen in far too long. And did I mention champagne?
It snowed overnight, just a dusting, and between that and the party, I’m now in the holiday spirit. Our tree isn’t up yet–the picture on the left is from last year–but I’m listening to holiday music as I work. I’m far from “ready”. I haven’t started shopping yet, except for my mother, and I need to get her gifts wrapped and mailed. (Good times at the Post Office–not!) We haven’t decided what we’re eating on Christmas, though we have Yule pretty much set. (We celebrate both holidays. Any excuse to celebrate at this dark time of year.) But I’m mentally ready, which I wasn’t before.
And in that spirit, I’m offering a naughty excerpt from one of my few holiday-themed books, A Satyr for Midwinter, below:
When Laeca ever so delicately licked his horn with a tentative tongue, Kallios knew, though, that it was all a dream.
No, he’d died at Laeca’s feet in the courtyard at Thermanae and joined Agapios in the afterlife. But since his last earthly sight had been Laeca’s beautiful face, he was imagining her in place of whatever amorous dead lady was welcoming the two of them to paradise.
As he thought that, Laeca stopped what she was doing. “I’m no spirit, although I’m honored you think I’m too good to be real. This is me, Laeca. Don’t forget it.”
She’d read his thoughts! But most humans couldn’t do that…
“I can’t either.” She grinned. “But Agapios can. And he snitched.”
Then she delicately swirled her tongue around his horn.
“It’s not like a cock,” he managed say between pleasured gasps. “The tip…feels wonderful…but the base is most sensitive.”
She grinned and complied, licking down to where the stubby horn met his forehead.
The sensations her tongue caused were at least as erotic as her mouth on his cock would be. Maybe more so. Satyrs often enjoyed physical pleasure lightly. A blowjob was always delicious fun, but it might mean no more than sharing a flask of wine with a friend or splashing in a pond together on a hot day. Horn-play was intimate, though, something you shared only with those you really trusted and cared for.
His erection, already strong, turned to something forged from iron.
He moaned and pressed against her, seeking entrance to her sex. Nothing could be better than being inside a woman while she licked around your horns–unless, of course, it was having someone inside you while he licked your horns.
“No, the only better situation is enjoying both. I think I can still fuck you, beloved. At least I can make us both feel like I am. Would you like that while you enter your beautiful human?”
Would he ever! They’d played that way many times over the years, as often as they could get a female friend or adventurous human to join them, and it had always been great sport. But now it would be far more–a beginning and, sadly, an end, because it wasn’t right for a ghost to linger too long in the land of the living and sooner rather than later, he’d need to find the courage to say goodbye to Agapios.
And if you’d prefer something less fantastical for your holiday warming read, check out Sexy in Your Stocking.
5 Dec 2013
One of the best parts of writing The Exhibition was the wonderful contrast between scenes set in the city and scenes set in the wilderness of the Northwest and the chance to mix the two all up. Stacie Emerson owns a successful gallery in New York City. She’s opening a second one in Portland, Oregon. The woman has all the big city polish and panache to rub shoulders with the movers and shakers in the art world and make money doing it. She also has a secret darker than any of her friends could ever imagine.
Harris Walker is a brilliant wildlife photographer, and our opening shots find him up in a tree photographing great horned owls in the wee hours. Harris is also the editor of Wilderness Vanguard, an environmental watchdog magazine that exposes companies and businesses with bad environmental records. In addition to taking world class photos of wildlife and nature, Harris also photographs the resulting desolation of the misuse of the natural world — oil slicks, clear cuts, landfills. The man is the best at what he does. Could two people be more polar opposite? To add to the total opposition, Harris doesn’t like Stacie. He blames her for nearly breaking up the relationship between his best friend, Dee Henning, and powerful, eco-conscious CEO, Ellison Thorne. Never mind that she was actually trying to play match-maker.
It’s only when Stacie finally convinces Harris to exhibit his work in the grand opening of her west coast gallery that he begins to suspect, he doesn’t know this woman at all. It’s not his pretty pictures she wants to exhibit. But why is Stacie so interested in Harris’s ‘Armageddon photos?’ And why is she tromping around in secret, taking pictures of the worst clear-cut in the history of the Northwest?
Stacie believes art is the conscience of a culture, and Harris very soon discovers that Stacie is willing to act on those beliefs, no matter what the personal cost.
From a gala art auction in New York, to tracking mountain lions along the Crooked River in Central Oregon; from a clandestine meeting in a Portland café with views of Raymond Kaskey’ colossal sculpture, Portlandia to treading the eroded desolation of a clear-cut in the Cascade Mountains, The Exhibition is a novel full of contrasts. Like the first novel, An Executive Decision, The Exhibition is a battle to save what’s worth saving and preserve the natural world for generations to come. But this time the battle is personal, far more personal than Harris could have ever imagined from a city girl.
Successful NYC gallery owner, Stacie Emerson, is ex-fiancée to one Thorne brother and ex-wife to the other. Though the three have made peace, Ellison Thorne’s friend, wildlife photographer, Harris Walker, still doesn’t like her. When Stacie convinces Harris to exhibit his work for the opening of her new gallery she never intended to include him in her other more hazardous plans. But when those plans draw the attention of dangerous business tycoon, Terrance Jamison, Harris comes to her aid. In the shadow of a threat only Stacie understands, can she dare let Harris into her life and make room for love?
Excerpt The Exhibition:
He tossed between the covers, shoving and punching at the pillow. Thinking about the clear-cut and the danger in which Stacie had put herself definitely took the edge off his arousal. It was chilling to think what could have happened. And that was only what he knew nature could have thrown at her. Add to that whatever Stacie was afraid of, and he shuddered to think. The room felt stuffy and close. Because Harris seldom spent time inside when he could be out, he kept as many of the windows and doors open as he could when he was home. He’d only closed his bedroom window to keep the deluge from blowing in. He shoved back the blankets and crawled out of bed, nearly tripping over his discarded jeans. He bit back a curse then moved to open the window and let some real air in. The sky was clear and the stars now reflected off the obsidian surface of the water. The sliver of the waxing moon looked as though it were floating suspended there. He threw open the window, and for a second he stood just breathing in the cool, rain-washed air. He was about to grab the camera he kept handy to take a few night shots, then the hard-on was back with a vengeance.
Below him on the dock, wrapped in a blanket, stood Stacie, looking out over the water. And in spite of his body’s overwhelming desire for her, he felt something other than lust stirring, something that had been easing its way into his brain ever since he’d made such a fool of himself the other night at Ellis’s place. It was respect. This woman was completely at home in New York City. No one could deny that Stacie Emerson was polished to a cosmopolitan sheen. And yet the passing of a storm would draw her outside to see the world without city lights, to listen to the quiet, all the layers of quiet that were practically their own symphony outside on Harris’s lake.
Almost before he knew what he was doing, he slipped into his jeans and moved quickly on silent feet down the stairs and through the darkened house to where the French doors led to the decked balcony and then down to the dock. But just before he reached her, she dropped the blanket, and he was afforded an exquisite, if all-too brief view of her long legs, rounded buttocks and the slender curve of her back, rendered porcelain-pale in the diminished light. Then she stepped off the dock into the lapping water.
Once again, he reacted without thinking, quickly stepping out of the jeans and leaping off the end of the dock with a splash, which resulted in a squeal of surprise and a mad swirling of the water from Stacie.
‘It’s me,’ he manages before swallowing a good-sized mouthful of the lake as he lunged to touch her arm reassuringly. But her panicked flailing dragged them both beneath the surface. For a second he felt his own panic rising as he desperately tread water, one of his shins brushing the mooring of the dock. Then they both surfaced coughing and sputtering. ‘Stacie! Stacie, it’s me,’ he said. She clung to him, shivering and sputtering water. ‘Are you alright?’ He slipped his arms around her hips for support.
He could feel more than see her nodded response. ‘Sorry,’ she gasped. ‘I didn’t mean to drown you. I woke and the storm was finished and the stars were beautiful over the lake. I couldn’t resist. Sorry I disturbed you.’
His embarrassed laugh forced his belly and other parts of him into her delicious, totally naked, personal space. ‘You didn’t disturb me. I think if anything it’s the other way around. I interrupted your communing with nature, which is almost an unforgiveable sin in my world.’
He felt her breasts pressed hard-nippled against his chest in the little laugh of her own. ‘It isn’t necessarily a given that I wouldn’t welcome your interruption, that I wouldn’t want to share the pleasure with someone who appreciates it as much as I do.’ In her efforts to tread water, she kicked him in the thigh, but before she could apologise, he kissed her and felt her breath catch as he trapped her leg and slid it around his waist.
‘Harris,’ she breathed his name. ‘We can’t — ’ But he stopped her words with another kiss and lifted the other leg so that both her thighs gripped him around his waist, his hands supporting her bottom, his legs treading to keep them both afloat.
‘Sh! Stacie,’ he whispered against her throat. ‘Sh.’
‘But we talked about a clean slate, and we said we’d –’
‘Maybe I don’t want a clean slate.’ He kissed her harder and to his delight, she responded in kind, curling her fingers in his hair and eating at his mouth. ‘Maybe I like our slate just the way it is. What do you think of that?’ And then he heaved her up onto the floating dock, causing her to gasp and mumble a protest that ended in a little whimper as he pulled her close to the edge, pushing and shoving her legs open until his mouth could find the warm wet depth of her, open and inviting.
Buy The Exhibition Here:
About K D Grace/ Grace Marshall:
K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
K D has erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available. She was nominated for ETO’s Best Erotic Author 2013.
Find K D Here:
30 Nov 2013
From the naughty minds of three of today’s top erotica authors—Andrea Dale, Sophie Mouette, & Teresa Noelle Roberts—comes a collection filled with winter holiday delights!
The Queen of Christmas
On the Twelfth Day
Let It Snow
Santa Claus is Comin’
Mrs. Claus and the Naughty Elf
Running Away From Christmas
A Bird in the Hand
Bringing Back the Light
So curl up in front of a roaring fire, sip some eggnog, and tell Santa that on Christmas morning, you want to find something…Sexy in Your Stocking!
Order from Amazon
Order from Powell’s (coming soon!)
Order from Barnes & Noble (coming soon!)
Also available in ebook format (perfect for keeping stealthily amused during the family holiday festivities):
20 Nov 2013
With the help of my husband and a red fedora, I’ve selected the winner of the Cougar’s Courage book giveaway. Please note my husband is in law enforcement and was actually in uniform when he picked the name from the red fedora, so it’s all aboveboard. Unfortunately, no pictures of either the uniformed man or the red fedora are available, even though my ginger cat was helping him select a winner from the hat and it was crazy cute. What a time for my camera to start flashing weird error messages!
Congratulations to the reader known as BN100, who’ll receive copies of Cougar’s Courage and Lions’ Pride. I hope you enjoy the books. If you do, please tell your friends! Post a review on Amazon or B&N or GoodReads! Share the love! Word of mouth is the best marketing tool we authors have.
19 Nov 2013
Just a quick update here: I’m thrilled to report that my story “Suffer for Me”, an unusual-for-me fem-domme story, will appear in The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 12, edited by Maxim Jakubowski. The book is currently available through Amazon UK. It won’t be released in the US until January 2014, but is available for pre-order from Amazon.com.
Life is crazy for me. I just started working part-time as a virtual administrative assistant. I’m revising Witches’ Waves (or whatever the latest Duals and Donovans will end up being called. What do you think of Otter’s Orgasm?) Dayle is even now putting the finishing touches on a collection of holiday erotica featuring works by Andrea Dale, me, and Sophie Mouette, a.k.a. Dayle and me alone and together. We’re wrapping up a couple of Sophie Mouette novels. I have a proof to review for the print edition of Cougar’s Courage. You think that would be easy, since it’s out as an e-book already, but a few things always either slip through or get screwed up in conversion. I have a short story due 12/1, and several guest blog posts to turn in this week. And we’re going to visit my mom in the Land of Apples Thursday-Sunday for an early Thanksgiving, so we can also share Thanksgiving with our friends A&D in Providence. So I’m signing off now to get to work. More later!
9 Nov 2013
How do you seduce your latest crush, the smoldering sexy chorale member with a voice like an angel and legs that would lead any woman into temptation? Offer to dye her hair, give her a scalp massage that leaves her purring, and then work your way down….
28 Oct 2013
that’s vaguely related to Cougar’s Courage.
Cougar’s Courage features a number of Warner Brothers/Looney Toons references, since shamanic magic, in the Duals and Donovans world, has a certain cartoonish quality: no fatalities, but a lot of instructive–and funny–mayhem.
And Coyote, as in the Trickster figure, is a prominent character in the book. He likes watching his hapless cartoon namesake. And he’s a dirty old man who flirts without regard to species or gender. Or even being alive in the usual sense of the word:
To Cara’s surprise, Gramps leaned forward and patted Grand-mère’s arm. “Love makes everyone stupid. One time Coyote fell in love with a rock with a hole in it.” Coyote covered his snout with his paws in what looked like genuine embarrassment.
That got Cara’s curiosity going. “Please tell me it was a magic rock?”
Gramps laughed wheezily. “Nope. Just an ordinary piece of granite.”
I think he’d approve this cartoon.