Spinning my wheels

I do love a good fairy tale. But they’ve cleaned most of them up to get rid of all the really good parts, in order to make them acceptable to parents of today’s much more sheltered children. (Pretty sure the old medieval storytellers had fewer qualms… of course, when you only live to be 25, childhood is forcibly much shorter anyway!)

For this erotic fairy tale, I took something fundamentally unsexy — a brutish king obsessed with gold, a pitiful girl doomed to die, and a tricky dwarf who only helps her in return for promises of increasing value — and plopped in right into the middle of pre-Colonial India. So there! Fixed it! Have I mentioned that I think saris are the most physically flattering traditional clothes? Something about the modesty of a veil, with the flash of midriff, and an elegant pleated skirt, just really spells seduction. I enjoyed using that beautiful garment to great effect in Little Big Man & The Rani.

Honestly, this one was purely for the fun of it. And you’ll have fun, too, if you grab it on pre-order today! It will be delivered to you, freshly e-printed, on June 30th. Just in time for summer reading season!

rani cover

Foam on the Sea

I’m on a fairy tale kick lately. It has long been my goal to reimagine some of my favorite old stories in new (and sexier) ways, and to that end I’ve got lots of ideas scribbled down. Two of those ideas actually evolved into complete stories — available for pre-order now, to be released on June 30th.

The first one I want to share is a blending of Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ (yes, the depressing version, where after her deal with the witch the poor mermaid’s every step feels like a thousand knives, the prince dumps her, and her dead body disintegrates into foam on the sea… Scandinavians aren’t known for their happy endings!) and the Celtic legend of selkies, or seal-people.

I really got sucked into this story. It was a fun challenge to imagine this kind of magical creature, all woman on the outside, but somehow animal within. Selkies had the reputation of being excellent wives and mothers, but they always long for the sea. If they find the hiding place of their stolen sealskin, the selkie will not hesitate to snatch it back and return to the waves from whence she came. It’s such a sad and beautiful legend… the perfect match for our Little Mermaid of sea-foam fame.

If you’re curious, pre-order today! I think you won’t regret it. ūüôā

selkie cover DONE

Summer is Coming!

Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, it stays light out until 9 o’clock… yes, summer is almost here! And as usual, I’ll be doing some big giveaways to celebrate my vacation. (Hope you get a summertime break, too!)

Also, for the first time, I’ve decided to release three short stories at the same time. Another first for me is making them available for pre-order. I know, so many firsts, it’s crazy! All three stories will be released on June 30th. But you know you want to be the first to read them, right? So pre-order right now!

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The first story I want to highlight is an intensely personal one. I’ve mentioned this only briefly, but I lived in Senegal, West Africa for two years in the mid-2000’s. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in a very small village with all the usual amenities: a mud hut, a grass roof, a well, and a dirt road. And peanuts. Lots of peanuts. It was an incredible (and incredibly challenging) experience. This story is loosely based, not on actual Peace Corps service, but on something I observed during a short – but very informative – trip to the beach.

Senegal has a long Atlantic coastline – no surprise the national dish is fish stew over rice! It has charming coastal villages, brightly painted pirogues, and broad, white-sand beaches. Basically a tourist’s dream… especially if said tourists are also interested in sex. I am hardly an expert, but I saw with my own eyes that it’s the thing to do: both women and men engaging in casual vacation sex with gorgeous beachside companions.

As a young observer, I was disturbed by this. Especially given my background knowledge of poverty in Senegal, and the many dreams of foreign wealth I heard about daily. ¬†Of course I understood and sympathized with the young Senegalese – they were taking advantage of a rare opportunity to make some money. What I did not understand was the many¬†European tourists who came down, not just for the sun, but for the sex. It disturbed me for the simple reason that those White tourists, by the simple fact that their currency is worth more, had huge economic power. Yet they carelessly reinforced a backward kind of modern colonialism. Taking what they wanted from an ‘exotic’ country, and not bothering to truly understand it. Money flying everywhere, all to create the version of Senegal that suited them – a version that includes beautiful, available, anonymous, and cheap (currency exchange, again!) sexual partners.

I’m all for sex work. Legalize everything! But only if sex workers are truly treated fairly, as equals providing a service to other equals. Sex tourism – at least as I observed it – is based fundamentally on the economic superiority of one person, and relative vulnerability of the other. Sad stuff, guys.

And not sexy. Yet, I wanted to explore it, shed some light on it. And also, you know, write a good story. What I accomplished, I think, is some of my best work yet. It sheds some light on this small sliver of Senegal, while also (I hope!) crafting what turned out to be a heartfelt, and sexy, love story.

I hope you enjoy! And remember to pre-order, y’all!

senegal beach cover

Sources for further reading about sex tourism in Senegal:

https://www.pri.org/stories/2010-04-29/senegal-draws-tourists-sun-sea-and-sex

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maya-lau/senegalese-sex-tourism_b_952640.html

http://www.nswp.org/timeline/event/sex-work-legalised-senegal

 

Lookin’ Fresh!

One of the fun parts of writing erotica is giving rein to all sorts of raunchy, taboo, impossible sexual fantasies. Like most fiction authors, ideas for my stories primarily come from my imagination. And I have a seriously dirty mind.

Not everyone gets off on the same thing, and that’s why erotica is so wonderful, because it offers a chance to explore your interests — and their limits — in a fun, safe, and relatively inexpensive way. (All you need is a vivid imagination! And that comes free.) As a result of this marvelous diversity, all of us will come across stories that just aren’t our thing. Some stories push our envelope a little too much, or cross a line we discover to be, for us, inviolable.

I’ve written one story like that: Her Birthday Breeding. I am proud to say that it is my one and only story dirty enough to be relegated to Amazon’s infamous “adult dungeon,” and therefore unsearchable. You’re welcome, world.

As a result of the spicy subject matter, this is not everyone’s cup of tea. (Or herbdaybreedingcoverrather, coupe de champagne!) Frequent comments are “I wasn’t comfortable with the concept,” or “it only makes sense if the husband was sterile.” (Surely, it¬†couldn’t just be for the fun of it!) Evolutionarily speaking, few things should be more exciting to a man than being in direct genetic competition with another male; or to a woman than to be the joyful participant in said competition. (Don’t believe me? Do some reading!) If that sounds like fun to you, then this is your kind of story.

Also, my cover skills have dramatically improved since I made the original. This hot little fantasy needed a makeover. Inspired by the SNL classic “Dick in a Box” (thank you, Justin Timberlake!) — and please tell me you’ve seen that! (original video is funnier, but this one will do) — I’ve make my own naked-man-holding-a-box design. We all know what’s in there. It’s what I want for my birthday every year! (And Christmas, and Valentine’s Day, and Saturday…)

If you’d like a fun little romp between the sheets with an adventurous married couple and a stud-for-hire, hop on in and enjoy!

Her Birthday Breeding — on Amazon¬†or Smashwords.

A well-needed makeover… Ancient Greece style! (+giveaways!)

So as most of you fair readers know, my first – and, up till now, only – full-length erotic romance is An Amazon’s Equal. It’s been published, for sale, out there in the world for a while now, with my original cover art at the helm. As you also know, my first visionamazon cover jpg 2 for the cover was, alas, censored, due to artistic nudity. (Here’s a little reminder of how fabulous it was! Sigh… I did love that vision. But, art must bow to business sometimes, I suppose…)

Anyway, it became clear to me that An Amazon’s Equal needed a makeover. I still take pride in my art, both written and visual, so I knew I wanted to do the cover image by hand as usual. But it needed something more; it needed flair. (Also, clothes…)

That’s when I called on my friend¬†The Book Khaleesi. She took my artwork and my vision, and put it all together into a fabulous new cover. Are you ready? Here it comes:

Amazons Equal ebook Cover

It looks amazing, right? Exactly as I’d hoped – but way better than my meager cover design skills could produce alone. So grateful for the fast, professional service! Now I can feel proud of my work, from the inside out.

Now I like celebrating milestones – like my first professionally-designed cover – and I decided to do it with a couple giveaways.

First: a fabulous Goodreads giveaway for six print editions of An Amazon’s Equal.¬†¬†Now you know my feelings about paper; I love it. (Read more about my transition to eBook reading here! I still prefer to hold a real paperback in my hands, caress its pages, heft its weight, give it all my attention in a way Kindle will never replace… but I do like my eReader for the bus.)

Second: for the next three days – Yes! Count ’em! THREE! – you can grab a Kindle edition of An Amazon’s Equal for FREE on Amazon. That’s right, free April 10, 11, 12, for your immediate reading pleasure.

Please share the news with your friends, erotica-loving acquaintances, dirty-minded bosses, kinky grandmas, or whoever else needs a good dose of New Adult erotic romance in their life.

Enjoy!

Sexy enough to censure….? It seems so!

I had my first experience with censorship last week – lucky me! Astonishingly, it wasn’t about the content of my writing¬†(as an author of erotica for sophisticated readers, I tend towards the kind of¬†story that your average hot grandma would appreciate! Then again, maybe that’s not true; each lady has her tastes, after all, and I don’t want to throw anyone’s granny into my basket! In any case, nothing to concern those who seek to limit the really kinky stuff; got to write what I like and what I fantasize about, and in truth, I’m more of a vanilla sundae kind of lady). No, it was related to my cover art.

Now I consider myself to be a rather sophisticated person when it comes to art. Vain, I know, but I do love the classical stuff: plump nude Venuses reclining on silken coverlets, virile Greek soldiers posing without a stitch of armor on, and the like. More modern work appeals to me, too; particularly¬†the stunningly sensual sculptures of Rodin (don’t know him? You should! Check some of it out here, at the Musee Rodin). While I hardly lump myself in with such exceptional artists, it suffices to say that I am an admirer of the human body, male and female, in all its beauty and diversity. To me, a naked person can be sexually exciting, of course – especially when it happens to be of the male and muscular type – but mostly, it’s just art.

Leading me to the censorship. I designed a cover I really liked for my latest published work, The Girl with the Golden Eye. If you read the story, you’ll understand the context for it, but basically she is naked, in profile, with one breast visible. And, being a breast, it includes a nipple. Now here’s what bothers me: men and women both have nipples; it’s one of the many delightful body parts we have in common. Men’s and women’s nipples both vary in size, shape, and color, and both can be either soft or hard, depending on the temperature and/or level of arousal. However, men’s nipples – whatever their state of the moment – have been designated by the powers-that-be to be an acceptable body part for public display (which, I learned, includes erotica covers). Whereas women’s nipples – though they are in every way the same as a man’s – are Big Bad Sexually Explicit territory. Why? Why should a woman’s nipples¬†be considered “inappropriate,” when a man’s aren’t? Do we really get more turned on by a nice pair of female breasts than a hard, toned, deliciously muscular male chest (with just a sprinkling of hair, for my taste, and that beautiful line of muscle leading down… but now I’m getting distracted).?

In a more personal vein, I’ve made one cover showing a naked man with everything on display – only protected from indecency by a strategically places champagne bottle – and censorship didn’t¬†make a peep. Now, with an artistic female nude in profile, they’re freaking out – because of her nipple.

I mulled it over, and as much as it bothers me, I’ve caved in to societal pressure and redesigned the cover to be more acceptable to the majority of easily excited viewers. However, this grates on me, as an artist and as a woman. Until our bodies are seen as normal,¬†correct, and neither more nor less erotic than a man’s, we have a long way yet to go.

And because my blog is not censored by the authorities (at least, not yet!) I will take a stand here to show you my two mostly-nude covers, side by side. What do you think? Which one is really more suggestive? To you, dear readers, to decide:

goldeneye     Her BDay Brding