My First Kindle Countdown Sale is Underway!

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Switch It UP is on SALE now, for only $0.99! Ah, such a deal!

You know I generally don’t do that kind of thing. I consider this blog to be a place where we can chat with one another, where I can share whatever weird writer junk is going through my brain. But having this going on made me think about being a business person, which I certainly never imagined being. Of course, indie authors must also be about the business, and this has certainly been emphasized to me. I just never though of The Switch Stories as a product. So that’s new for me. Whether I can be a success at marketing remains to be seen, but that doesn’t change the pride I have in this novel, or the hope that, should you read it, you’ll enjoy it!

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It’s time to Switch It UP!

Switch It UP is available now!  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RNHYFBS

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Warning! This is an erotic romance, so contained herein are graphic descriptions of sex, bondage, discipline, dominance, and submission. You’ll find group sex, voyeurism, Daddy-daughter play, and mud fetishism. Mental illness, self-harm, and consent violation are some of the difficult issues addressed. Somehow, there’s still room for art, ironic humor, and love.  

Last week, I only thought I had problems. How I wish for last week!

It’s a Dom problem. My sleazy boss at the dungeon is ripping me off and harassing my sweet, gorgeous assistant, Trey, who is too submissive for his own safety.

It’s a sub problem. Usually my lover Jase is my rock, always there to take care of me, whether I need feeding or spanking. Now something from Jase’s past is pulling him away from me. He grows more distant every day.

It’s a poly problem. Beautiful Trey is ready to explore with my gorgeous new pet, Hunter, and wants me along for the ride. And Jase’s buddy Joe has been casting filthy glances my way, along with his Dirty South grin.

Sometimes I don’t know what the question is, but I’m pretty sure sex is the answer. Time to SWITCH IT UP.

Do newbies even HAVE a “Writing Process?”

I’ve been writing fiction since nearly the moment I could hold a pencil, but I never considered myself an author until fairly recently. Even after I had joined authors’ groups on Facebook, and created a page there, I didn’t know. Even after I’d added “author” to my e-mail address, and created this blog, I wasn’t sure. It wasn’t until I’d run around my day job with a pencil, looking for a quick scrap of paper to make a note, because I’d just had an epiphany that illuminated a dark spot in my current work like a divine floodlight straight from Heaven itself. I ended up writing this eureka moment down on a piece of brown industrial paper towel, because I couldn’t let it get away. That’s when I knew.

The agonies of creation are sometimes aptly named, especially when the words are right there, and the time to put them down is not. When the time is there, but life somehow prevents it. Worse is when the words won’t come, time or not. Agony can become ecstasy when all of a sudden a phrase sounds so brilliant in the mind’s ear it should be sung rather than spoken. This amusement park ride is not restricted to the folks who write highbrow, capital L “literature”. If you just have to get it down, get it out, get it on the page or the screen, you’re an author, no matter what the snobs might say.

Whether you’re a good author remains to be seen. Some days, I’m convinced I’m amazing, others, I’m certain it should all be deleted before anyone sees it. I assume someday you’re sure, but then, I always thought a day would come when I’d feel like an adult, and though I’m squarely into “middle age”, that day has not arrived. So maybe even the big boys and girls have doubts, though of course they’ll never tell.

I never once considered my “process”. I wrote as it came, having little luck at forcing it, although I followed the advice of keeping to a schedule. With the day job, that meant cutting back on sleep. I never realized how hollowed out I’d feel when I was done, when that hour could be spent playing Candy Crush, or reading articles on how to sell myself like a cheap whore on the internet. Hey, whore is a term of endearment in my vocabulary! I learned that she (or he) who writes this way is known as a “pants-er” as in flying by the seat of one’s pants.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while will recall that I flew way off course doing that, and my book stalled out and threatened to crash. Luckily my dear friend and writing guru prevented that, and helped me get going again in a better direction. I learned a lot, and continued researching my subject and genre while I did so. I visited the Muse twice, certainly inspirational, and discovered the story as I went.

I thought it might be better to be a plotter, those logical lads and lassies who outline, and create character descriptions that rival many biographies. How can you fly off course, after all, if you’ve got a map? Mine just said “Here be sex scenes” instead of dragons or sea monsters. I’m not sure that I can change my “process” any more than I can my height, or my sexuality.

I’ve had an inspiration for the opening scene of Switch It OFF, you see. And I think what will become the second one. After that, my map gets all misty. Even my destination is only vaguely visible at this point. I’ve attempted to outline, and all I get is a headache. I may be destined to chisel out my story like a sculptor brings life gradually to a block of stone, and feeling much like the stone is in my brain when my chisel gets dull.

As the sprint towards publication of Switch It UP—and it had better be a sprint, let me tell you—begins, I may have a small space in which I don’t have this concern. But the Muse is whispering in my ear, and he’s a dirty boy, as usual. I may have to take off without a map, or even a compass.

Move along, folks, nothing to see here.

Move along, folks, nothing to see here.

The Rise of the Alpha: Fiction Vs. Reality

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A quick search through the Erotic Romance genre would lead one to believe that the “Alpha Male” is the living embodiment of all women’s fantasies. So much copy is devoted to this concept, authors and readers know what they are talking about, right? As an author devoted to realism within her fictional world, I simply must protest.

The Urban Dictionary defines Alpha Male in several different ways, but the one that seemed closest to the concept I think authors are attempting to convey with this title was: 1) the dominant member of a pack of wolves, and 2) any person with a dominating personality, causing the assertion of or struggle for leadership in almost any situation. I did leave the first definition in on purpose. Younger women may not understand what is meant when a man is called a wolf, but to anyone of a certain age it connects beautifully back to the Alpha concept. In pre-Feminist days, men were indeed seen as predators, but this was confusingly backhanded praise. Your wolf assumedly would protect you from all of the other wolves. This was an age, understand, where a wolf-whistle (See how the concept pervaded the culture!) or a smack on the ass was considered a high compliment.

Then, the Rise of Feminism! We could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never, never let him forget he’s a man! Uh-huh. This was a concept that was terrifying and confusing to the male of the species. A good male friend of mine tells me that being needed is extremely important to men. As a woman who had been called needy as an insult, I was confused to say the least. I think the confusion comes from this cultural collision. We as a species had gender roles so proscribed that they appeared to be instinct, until suddenly it was proven they were not. I could recount the reasons for the change for you, but I will let you research Rosie the Riveter and her impact on our culture. I wouldn’t want to take that journey of discovery away from you, if it’s not a familiar story. However, if we assume that my friend is correct, and men need to be needed, what did the Feminist need from her man?

Many angry men would quote “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” and use that as his excuse for douche-bag behavior until the end of time. You’ve all met men like this. They want to appear to be “Alpha” because they are secretly certain they are not. They have no concept of their place in the order of things, but they know what they wish was their place. The true feminist just wanted to be treated like a human being, and not a life support system for a vagina, or a baby factory. The sort of man who viewed us exactly that way became the one who lashed out at any sensible discussion of equality, and that was the beginning of the conflict.

On the other hand, we got Sensitive Man. He was amazing in our minds. He knew just what we needed, gave us all the emotional support of our women friends, and made love tenderly, just how we liked it. Unfortunately, men did not get an instruction manual on this. Add to this the fact that many women have no idea what they really want, and have never tried to explain it to anyone. I was recently asked this exact question, and was flummoxed by my inability to answer. Words failing me? Perish the thought.

So, should we assume that, as some have asserted, we as women covertly want to head back to those days, the days when home discipline was any husband’s prerogative? I suggest that we only want that in our fiction, where it’s safe. Many of the ladies who read about “Alphas” and are thrilled right down to their damp panties have never, ever met one, much less sat at his feet and attempted to serve him.

An Alpha in the truest sense is a transformative influence in the lives of those around him. People crave his approval. They don’t know why, and this is not just women, mind you. They seek to please him. This isn’t fiction. It’s an actual phenomenon. It’s scary to be caught up in it, especially when one has no idea what’s happening. An Alpha in fiction is like a dog we can domesticate. An Alpha in the real world is like a wolf. He may mate for life, or he may EAT your ass.

I do my best to bring you real people, but my perfect man is no Alpha. You meet one, in Switch It ON, but he is not my main male character. Jason Merrin would never claim to be an Alpha, although in many social situations he would appear to be. His buddy Joe is the Alpha, and you’ll learn much more about him in Switch It UP. Mad’s beloved Jase is a chameleon, a true Switch, someone who gives her what she needs rather than what she thinks she wants, whether that’s chicken casserole for dinner or a thorough hand spanking over the knees. Joe doesn’t require service, and doesn’t need to. He is, as the Alphas I have actually met, simply a leader. He warps the universe around him. Modern gals might be titillated reading about him, but they assume that by topping from the bottom, they’d have control of the situation. For most women, the Alpha should remain ensconced in fiction, lest the wolf devour them.