Woo-hoo! New Covers! Excerpts! Sale News!

It’s Cover Reveal Day! OK, it’s only EIGHT MINUTES into cover reveal day, but I have been itching to share these with you since Wicked Book Covers created them for me. As an extra Reveal Day treat, you get excerpts from the books as well!

SwitchItOn-ebook-WEB-USE

“Fuck. A tear slipped out, despite my stringent attempt to ignore or deny it. Jase must have felt it soak into his shirt, because he coaxed me to look at him again, one big hand cupping the side of my face like it was made of china.

“Aw, none of that,” he said, leaning down and kissing the tear away. I took a shaky breath. Love is a drug, and its side effects were sometimes hard to cope with. The overpowering lust that possessed me anytime Jase was nearby was only one of them. Overwhelmed, I could think of only one way to handle it.

“Don’t even switch off the lights. Bedroom. Now.”

I grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him behind me across the living room, leaving the dinner mess scattered all over the bar. Leaving my tumultuous thoughts behind, I listened to my body, and all of its parts were screaming in unison to fuck.”

SwitchItUp-ebook-WEB-USE

“Let’s see the slut-wear,” Jase said, yanking my dress off over my head. My hands trembled, wanting to clutch at it, I felt so vulnerable. I didn’t, though, knowing how silly it was. Joe had seen me in my stage gear many times, and was about to see me in much less, I guessed. I awaited instruction, tits tingling, cunt clenching.

I knew how Red Riding Hood must have felt when she was sure the wolf was going to eat her. Here I was, skimpy bra, little hipster panties, stockings and shoes, before them, both still fully dressed. I felt more naked than I actually was. Joe made an appreciative noise.

“Spin,” Jase made a twirling gesture with one hand. I turned around slowly twice, and looked to him to see if I should stop. He nodded. Joe whistled.

“That is one fine piece of ass you own, brother.”

“What’s mine is yours tonight.”

If it was possible to get any wetter, I did. My whole body was nothing but neglected nerve endings, buzzing as they could reach out and reel in some touch, any touch. My thighs pressed together unconsciously, seeking to relieve the ache that was growing at their junction. That never worked, just drew attention to my state.

“Get those legs apart,” Jase growled. I bit my lips and complied.”

Switch It ON will be FREE on May 30th and 31st!

Switch It UP will be ONLY $0.99 June 1st- 3rd!

New Cover Reveal!

So, a kind patron bought me some new covers. Don’t ask me what I did for him. Ha ha. Seriously, they are beautiful, and I cannot wait to show them to you! The kind folks at Wicked Book Covers really went above and beyond to create an entirely new expression of the emotion involved in The Switch Stories. Stick around, as they will be revealed on Memorial Day, 2015!

As to Switch It OFF, I am busily working on it! I am hopeful to have it to you by the fall.
Cover Tease ON

Nothing much, Twitter. What’s happening with YOU?

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The literary world lost an incalculable wealth of talent on March 12, 2015, when Sir Terry Pratchett left this plane of existence, although certainly he is not gone from the hearts of his fans. It may or may not surprise you to learn that erotica is not my only interest in life. Ha-ha.

According to Sir Terry, this is what I ought to have been doing. “…he had heard that writers spent all day in their dressing gowns drinking champagne. (This is, of course, absolutely true.)” That might have been a halfway decent excuse for my long absence from this blog.

Facebook asks me “What’s going on?” and Twitter wants to know “What’s happening?” Y’all would be well within your rights to go “WTF? Where HAVE you been?” I started this blog to communicate with readers, fans, and followers, and I have not held up my end. This particular blog post, while no excuse, is an attempt at explanation. I often share with you my pithy observations about the writing process, so it seemed apropos.

Some changes have occurred in my circumstances, foremost a change of day job. This has led to more free time, rather than less, although if you do the math, that’s a little worrying in regards to the future. I picked up some freelance work, which turned out to be tedious and time consuming. I think I have never wanted to write my own things as badly as when I was stuck writing according to someone else’s ideas.

But even more so, I have noticed in myself a lassitude when I sit down to write. I’m not one hundred percent certain where it comes from. I may have slipped into a little depression. Perhaps it’s the new schedule, to which I am still adjusting. I think a good portion comes from the fact that I was writing ALL THE TIME. The last thing I wanted to do when I was done was write some more.

I’ve never stopped plotting, however. In the shower, walking the dog, washing the dishes, all the places that many people fill with music to entertain themselves, I turn to Switch It OFF in my head, and sort of let the characters go. I tell the story to myself, just as I have done in some version in the quiet moments since I was a very small girl.

There is a pressure and a fear that go along with the plot, however. Pressure that I get this done and out to you? Fear that I won’t do my characters justice, that I won’t hear or understand them properly? Fear of failure, causing pressure to succeed?

Writers are all crazy, we are told. I’ve even read a theory, crackpot at best, stating that the DESIRE to create itself is slightly insane. If true, that’s fine. I have the equipment, illness and plenty of angsty bullshit.

Just lately, I’ve been itching to work. The story wants to be told. I want to tell it. I hope when it’s done, you’ll enjoy reading it. Now there’s just the small matter of writing it.

In Which a Blog About Consent Turns into a Book Review!

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Last year, something terrible happened in Tennessee. I didn’t hear anything about it until some days later, researching on FetLife as I do. Someone, quite possibly the author herself–this was a year ago, so I can’t recall—posted an amazing blog on the subject. It was the first I’d read about it. A submissive named Shirley Beck was killed by those she trusted. Few fitting words do justice to what she went through. Kate Kinsey found those words, in her brilliant piece “The Last Four Hours of Shirley Beck’s Life“. I’m not sure anyone could have said it better.

Of course, I wanted to respond, as a member of the Kink Community, as an author of BDSM erotica, and as a freaking human being. I was so upset, I forgot how to word. Incoherent moans and sobbing seemed more appropriate. I cried, a lot.

In the end, I wrote another piece entirely, due to a censorship situation in which I knew the players, and it did speak on consent, but only peripherally. I was petrified to allow my brain to stray near the original subject. I kept meaning to come back to it, but publishing Switch It ON, and writing and publishing Switch It UP consumed my life. Well, and three trips to visit The Muse, who restoreth my soul, so to speak.

Finally, the work was done, and when I contemplated a real blog post for y’all, neither sharing nor selling, consent seemed the obvious choice. Although this incident had opened a conversation, we just reheated the same stale meal: There is no such thing as “rape culture”, and even if there was, WE don’t participate. Consent is built into our guidelines, after all. None of us would ever violate anyone’s boundaries! The safe-word is sacred!

Obviously, this is no more true for us than it is for the vanilla community. In fact, WIITWD leaves abusers with even more excuses! Consent needs to be addressed, and readdressed, and then sent to the P. O. Box and readdressed again, until the vanilla world truly believes that “no” means “NO!”, and until everyone in the fetish community will stop at “red” (or pistachio, or whatever y’all agree on. I don’t judge that either.)

In the immortal words of Arlo Guthrie, “That’s not what I came here to tell you about.” When I began preparing for this entry, I wanted to read the original piece that inspired it, that I have linked above. I did so, and cried and failed again. However, whenever I read something particularly brilliant, I like to go and see what else that person is doing.

This has led to something I haven’t done on this blog, a book review! (Cue announcer voice and dramatic music!)

Red, in the author’s own words is: “Truly, madly. . .deadly

Detective Tom Hanson has a string of grotesquely mutilated bodies on his hands and no answers–aside from the fact that the victims were members of an underground sex club catering to singular erotic tastes. Tastes the long, lean detective has sampled himself in the arms of his former lover, a fiery redhead who offered the most erotic, irresistible sex he’d ever encountered. Until the night she’d begged for the one thing he couldn’t give, and he lost her forever.

Gina Larsen is the only one who can guide Hanson through the fringe world of dark fantasy and desire that lies hidden deep beneath the Bible Belt. Lured into her lair by a quest for justice, Hanson discovers his hunger for Gina has only grown stronger and deeper. . .beyond the edge of control. Soon he’s shedding his last inhibitions in the search for answers, but the more she draws him into her erotic web, the less he can distinguish between passion and duty, pleasure and pain. . .good and evil.”

I know, right? How could I possibly resist? Before the Muse inspired me to embark upon this journey, thrillers were the mainstay of my library, and here, it seemed, all my best beloved worlds would collide. Red is that brilliant explosion.

Authenticity is only where we begin. Ms. Kinsey tells all, with honesty and love, that anyone might want to know about BDSM; more, in fact, than might be comfortable for some. She unflinchingly shines the light into some of the darker areas of the scene.

Her probing glow also invades the psychology of Kink, and of people in general, allowing her to create some vivid and memorable characters. Her use of language is expert, her descriptive powers evoking erotic images and horrific crime scenes with equal skill. With all this, she includes the twists and surprises thrillers need to thrill.

As book reviews haven’t really been my thing, I have no rating system here. Whatever it would be, Red would get the highest honors, 5 stars, 2 thumbs up, and a standing ovation.

Can you believe there’s something harder than actually WRITING the book?

I would never have believed it. I loved writing Switch It UP, but it was the hardest thing I had ever done. Some moments were so wonderful, I felt like a smutty Shakespeare. Other times, the Muse wouldn’t speak to me, or told me something I did not want to hear. Falling in love with my characters and then watching them fight, making them fight, in fact, was downright devastating. Sometimes the “romance” part of my romance made me want to run and hide. How could anything be more difficult than that yearlong rollercoaster ride?

Until I had to try and figure out what in the hell to do next. I’m not talking about writing Switch It OFF. That’s simmering away on a backburner in the furnace of my brain. What do I do with the book that’s finished?

Advice is everywhere. Many, many people aspire to become authors these days, and those who have gone before are often glad to share their experience. How do I write a blurb? Eighty-five people can tell me. How do I promote? There’s blogs galore on the subject. And as I sift through it all, a process that remains ongoing, I realize that much of it contradicts itself, or applies to a time in self-publishing that has passed. Like everything in the computer age, self-publishing evolves at the speed of light, and what “worked” yesterday may be old news today.

I was paralyzed by a feeling of helplessness, and not in that fun, spank-y kind of way. And I have remained in that state. If ever Switch It UP is to see the light of day, however, I have to release myself from its grip. So, I’m moving forward. Almost any plan would be better than none.

So, despite my trepidations, I plan to have Switch It UP available from Amazon on December 19th. It’s a damn good story, and I think y’all will enjoy it.

Switch it up teaser

Are YOU Afraid of the Dark?

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Safe, sane and consensual. In the Kink world outside of book fantasies, this is how we are supposed to play. What about within the confines of our fiction? Here, after all, we explore the insides of our heads, and those are not always safe or sane. Our Erotica doesn’t have to be. Or does it?

There’s been some trouble lately with certain subjects in Erotica, self-published with a certain company, although this may be occurring to some degree with other companies as well. I’m not going to name the company, because I publish with them. I’m not going to name the authors, because I haven’t asked their permission. I don’t think I need to do either to make my point.

Nonconsensual sex is a sanitized phrase for rape. We haven’t touched on this subject, for many reasons. Previously, none of them would have been ‘fear of censorship’. Rape is a scary word for a scarier concept, but we have freedom of speech in this country, and freedom of the press. Go ahead and laugh, I realize both of these have been severely abused of late. Get it all out. I’ll wait.

I’ve been reading a good deal within my genre for research, and through other incarnations of myself have become acquainted with a few of the authors I’ve been reading. Therein lies our tale, and my concern.

In a recently published anthology was a story that I felt crossed the line of safety and sanity. It eroticized rape, and broke boundaries like I’d break a nail. Granted. Would I censor it? Hell, no. Maybe a trigger warning should be included, maybe. But this is inside our heads, harming no one.

Rape fantasies are common, aren’t they? According to Psychology Today, forty to sixty percent of women have such fantasies. I maintain that the vast majority of these fantasies have more to do with submission than any desire to be raped. The recent popularity of BDSM themed Erotica would seem to bear me out.

Regardless, it was a story, perhaps not to my taste, but then I am more in touch with my inner submissive than many women. If you’ve read Switch It ON, you know my inner submissive will talk your damn ear off. Many, many stories don’t appeal to me, in and out of the steamier section of the e-bookstore. I’m certain their authors are traumatized. Ha ha.

The troubling part is that the retailer censored it, and seems now to be subjecting all of the authors who published in the “offending” book to heightened scrutiny, even to the point of making their work unavailable. While it appears that this has been sorted out, it concerns me.

There are some dark themes in BDSM literature. During my research, I’ve read stories that upset me. I’ve read about relationships that appear to me to be the result of Stockholm Syndrome. I’ve seen photos that made me cry. I, like Mistress Madeline, have more issues than the New York Times, and like her, cry easily. I am not, however, afraid of the dark. A good portion of my soul lives there still, and is perfectly at home.

Switch It UP has travelled down some of the darker paths through the woods. We’ll meet some wolves that really need a comeuppance from the Woodcutter. I address child sexual abuse, violation of consent, and, yes, rape. All of these appear off-screen, and none of them are romanticized or eroticized in any way. However, the recent censorship gives me grave concerns. Will my work be blackballed because of its honesty, as happened to an author among those referenced whom I hold in high regard because of her failure to sugarcoat, her commitment to truth and authenticity?

Those rape fantasies seem to imply that the truth might be different from what anyone supposes. Authors leave readers free to explore those areas that ring true to them. Publishers and retailers seem to feel readers need protecting. What do you think? Do you need Grandma to hold your hand, or do you want to walk through the dark woods, and let the wolves beware?

Review: Switch it ON by J. H. Craig

An absolutely lovely review, by a blogger to watch!

Knows What She Wants

Full disclosure: I received this story in exchange for an honest review.

The Switch Stories by J. H. Craig follow Miss Madeline, a professional dom. But as the title suggests, there’s more to her sexuality than dominance. To my delight, there’s also more to her character. The way she acts around Jason is different from how she acts with Trey, with clients, with Ian, or with anyone else, in the most realistic way possible. She can be soft and withdrawn, strong and nurturing, or impressively badass, depending on what the situation calls for. Between her different roles and the different facets of her personality, I found her to be a truly three-dimensional character—and a likable one, at that. This gets major points in my book, because characters make or break erotica for me. When they’re as intriguing and dynamic as Miss Madeline, it’s easy to get invested in their stories.

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