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

 

Chocolate is a Girl’s Best Friend

I know lately I’ve been offering free books like they’re going out of style, but I couldn’t resist getting my new release out there into the world with a great big giveaway! The Chocolatier, free on Amazon today through 3/2/17. This one is a super shorty, 4,000-ish words of sweet, succulent, drippy, melty chocolate. And sex, of course.

I’m fortunate to be married to a Frenchman, so we go to Paris a lot. It truly is a city like no other. One of my favorite things is going into little shops so specialized, only artisans could staff them. The Fromagier – cheese shop, stocked wth hundreds of varieties, each more pungent than te last; the Boulanger/Patissier, where your mouth will water at the sight of delectable sweets and crusty, hearty breads; the Bucher, with all kinds of fresh meats, cured sausages, and all sorts of fatty things; and the Chocolatier, a specialist of my most favorite culinary indulgence: chocolates, truffles, and candies.

Who wouldn’t want to visit the back room of a chocolate shop? Especially if the artist in question is a maestro of cocoa, cream, and erotic touches…

Please grab your free copy today! It’ll only be $0 until March 2nd, at which point you’ll have to pay up if you want a literary trip to Paris. Enjoy!chocolatier-cover-final

An Evening in Pearls

Those of you who are my avid blog readers know that my husband and I did something fun for Christmas: a sexy advent calendar. Needless to say, it made the December countdown much hotter! Among the goodies to be found in those little numbered boxes was a pearl thong.

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Mine is very much like this little number, only en noir!

There are many variations of this sexy little item. Mine happens to be black stretch lace, with small, faceted jet beads going all the way up and down, front to back. Naturally, I was curious to try it! So I arranged a night out with my husband, slipped into my beaded lingerie, and took copious mental notes. Here’s my hour-by-minute review:

 

6:00 – I put it on. It’s comfortable; the beads are snug, but not too tight. The string rubs pleasantly against my clitoris. I’m thinking this should be a fun night out…

6:20 – In the car. It feels fantastic to walk in the thong — the beads roll and glide, turning me on with every step. My underwear is pretty much taking care of the foreplay element.

6:30 – Getting out of the car, I realize that things have gotten stuck up in my undercarriage. Uncomfortable stuck. It takes a discreet pull and wriggle to pull the beaded string out of where it shouldn’t have been!

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Perhaps larger pearls are the way to go?

6:50 – We sit down in the restaurant booth, and I can feel those beads wedged up in there again. I readjust when the waiter turns around after taking drink orders. Damn, those beads can pinch! (Luckily my husband is a typical man, and is completely oblivious to my underwear interventions.)

 

7:00-7:50 – So long as I don’t move, everything feels okay. No longer exciting, but not painful either, except for the occasional poke when I shift in my seat. (The food was delicious, by the way.)

8:00 – Walking back to the car, I can hardly stand it. The string is driving me nuts! Beads are all up in my business, and it hurts! (Yeah, not in a good way.) I have to stop and pull the lace down, in an attempt to get the string loose. My husband finally notices. He thinks it’s hilarious.

8:20 – We get home and the first thing I do is run upstairs and get out of that damn thong. It pinches my skin in several places, where the beads rolled close to one another and trapped my between. It looks so innocent, now that it’s off! I toss it aside, disgusted.

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I wonder if a double strand of pearls would be better, or worse…

9:00 – Having recovered, I wonder if perhaps I wasn’t too harsh in my assessment. It did feel good at the beginning, right? And the package suggested it could be worn during sex…

 

9:10 – I slip it back on. Once again, my clit ignites upon contact with the beads. Foreplay re-initiated! Feeling sexy again, I saunter down to get my husband.

9:20 – The pearl thong feels great when he has his hand over it, stroking and rubbing. At this point, I’m a believer again. The hard, smooth texture of the beads is a delicious contrast to my husband’s warm skin. However, I’m not sure I’m brave enough to keep it on the whole time…

So we don’t. Once we get down to business, that thong is back on the floor where it belongs!

 

pearlthong
Next time, I might go for the best of both worlds: a sexy thong, with just enough beading to excite, but not enough to agonize! 

In summary: For me, the pearl thong was great for foreplay and adding a little excitement, but NOT for wearing out on the town! I’ve rarely been to wretchedly uncomfortable. In retrospect, I should have ditched it in the ladies’ room before the appetizer course. However, was it fun to wear? Sure! And it looked great. I say add one to your lingerie collection, but don’t plan to wear it for more than half an hour at a time! (And if your man is anything like mine, most items of clothing don’t stay on that long, anyway.)

 

 

 

Seven times the fun!

In honor of Flowers for the Ancients’ “book birthday,” I’m doing another round of free giveaways! This time, through Amazon, admittedly the most convenient retailer around. (Ah, I remember when they were still the underdogs, a little online bookshop tapping on the behemoth of Barnes & Noble and company… how the mighty fall! How the hungry rise!)

Anyway, this time I thought I’d start off with the biggest of the bangs, if you will: A Bride for Seven Brothers. My imaginary adventure into ancient Tibet, and subsequent exploration of a polyandrous family, resulted (somewhat by accident) in a seriously kickass female character. I love this lady — she is the kind of woman on which dynasties are built, communities are founded, and empires rise.

By which I mean, she’s a housewife.

The most underestimated of all careers, and the most important. Who holds the family together? The wife. Who manages the household? The wife. Who keeps the kids and husbands happy? Yeah, you get it. While writing this story, I began to get a feeling for how much responsibility was involved in home-keeping. First of all due to the rugged, isolated, and rural nature of a Tibetan highland farm, but especially if multiple husbands are involved. A housewife who could do all that — and do it well — is pretty much a superwoman.

Want more sexy Tibetan history? Read the original blog post: Ever heard of polyandry? Didn’t think so.

And don’t forget to grab your copy of A Bride for Seven Brothers — free on Amazon January 8-11!

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.

Sex for Christmas!

Being married is pretty great. Now, if I cook dinner, somebody else gets to do the dishes! Not to mention the inarguable benefit of having two paychecks as opposed to one. And a partner for walking the dog. Someone to shower with; saves water.

By far, though, the greatest benefit of marriage is the sex. It should come as no surprise to anyone that sex is one of my favorite things. Although I was no slouch in my wild-and-single days, it’s the simple truth that sex while married is a) more frequent and b) better. Especially if you marry a Frenchman, as I did. I highly recommend it!

Having a French husband comes with its own set of rewards and challenges; like any relationship, except we can mostly chalk down our disagreements to cultural habits and translation errors. He still stays connected to what’s happening across the pond. And this year he found an absolute treasure: the erotic advent calendar!

This little gem works just like a traditional advent calendar. You know; the little windows numbered for each day of December, from the 1st to the 24th. In my childhood, we knew a delicious candy waited behind each of those windows, and the best was always Christmas Eve. Later, it was cute little pictures of candles, or carolers, or wreathes, or bells, and a Nativity scene for the last day. The erotic advent calendar is SO much better! Instead of candy, you get a sexy surprise every day.

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Hohoho indeed!

Sweet little sex toys, lubricants, and all kinds of naughty suggestions — in French, English, and German, no less — await the adventurous couple! Needless to say, our advent season is going to be way more fun. I haven’t looked forward to Christmas this much since I was a kid.

Interested? The good news is you can get on the Amorelie mailing list, so you can be sure to order your sexy calendar for next year. The bad news? It’s currently only available to ship in Europe. (We had my brother-in-law mail it to us; it’s good to have French connections!)

calendrier-de-lavent-erotique-3
Thank God the Europeans keep coming up with the best sexy ideas. All that paid vacation time must be good for something!

That means — HELLO American purveyors of sex toys and other goodies! — there’s a serious marketable opportunity here! My husband did his best to find a comparable product in the States, and no luck.  smell a business op! Who’s feeling entrepreneurial? I’m telling you, best countdown to Christmas ever.

Why I don’t write children’s books

I recently did a spotlight interview on the ASPA blog on children’s literature. It was wonderful to hear about authors’ various experiences with writing and reading children’s books. This is an admirable genre, and a source of some of the finest stories in history. (Was ever a story of friendship more moving, or more real, than Charlotte’s Web?) Now, I myself am an admirer of kids’ books. I read them every day at work, in fact. Books for children deal with real issues, big questions, and tough history, and they do it with incredible grace and skill.

(Take a look at: Spotlight on Children’s Literature)

However, I will never write children’s books.

The reason is that, for many years now, I have been hyper-aware of my sexuality. Sex is everywhere I look; always just a thought away, and my brain keeps picking up on those signals – intentional or not – that scatter the world. No longer can I look at my environment with the innocent eyes of a child. My dirty mind is too busy figuring out what’s sexiest about it.

For example, if looking at a dining room table, my first thought might be: “Oh, I like the wood of this!” and my next thought, right at its heels, would add, “And it’s just the right height to bend over on top of… or sit on, and he’d have the perfect angle.” (By the way, never purchase a table unless it is the perfect height for standing sex! You’ll thank me later 🙂 )

Walking around, I cannot help checking out guys I pass. Doesn’t matter how good looking they are, really (although, I admit, I avert my eyes from absolute toads). I’ll do the quick eye-sweep — you know the one — and make sure I get a good (yet discreet!) glance at his package. Just let myself wonder what he might be like in bed, if he’d be dominating or lazy, how he would kiss. Sure makes a trip to the grocery store more interesting if I get to check out the cute ass of the guy in front of me.

Same thing for women: if she has a striking figure, or some other standout feature, she will always catch my eye. I notice the curve of a hip or jiggle of a breast, and think about how erotic that is, how sensual a woman’s body can be. Great fodder for my stories, to say the least.

In short, you won’t see me writing books for children anytime soon. However much I may admire them, I can no longer separate my sexual being from my storytelling, or my worldview.

Elizabeth Bennet Syndrome

So I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels lately – what a surprise! And something struck me. Not for the first time, but for some reason I felt the need to define it, and respond to it. I call it: The Elizabeth Bennet Syndrome.

Here’s what it is (and you’ll surely recognize this plot point right away): that typical – almost expected – part of a romance novel, when the two main characters are just getting to know each other. And instead of hitting it off, they actually start out disliking the other. Sometimes mere annoyance or discomfort due to unfulfilled sexual tension, but often full-on “I can’t stand you” confrontations. Yes, just like Lizzie Bennet and her hate/love relationship with the inimitable Mr. Darcy, of Pride & Prejudice fame.

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The smoldering eyes, the sexual tension, the money… Of course, it takes several dramatic hours before the actually smile at one another!  (And before you speak, there IS no other version than the BBC one. Don’t mention that recent movie they made – not a candle to it!)

When Jane Austen does this, it works beautifully because (as we learn throughout the course of the story), Lizzie and Darcy really are a great match for each other, but this only comes about through communication, gradual understanding, and seeing Darcy in a clingy white shirt after a hot&sexy swim in his (huge, rich) mansion’s pond. However, honestly, even when reading the original Pride & Prejudice, Darcy & Elizabeth’s relationship is not my favorite. No, I’m a fan of Bingley and Jane.

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So good together!

In stark contrast to her sister, Jane Bennet falls for Mr. Bingley, the all-around nice guy. (Not as rich as his friend, incidentally, but sufficiently well off for a practical Regency gal). Jane and Bingley are instantly attracted to one another, not merely physically, but also because they have similar, complimentary personalities and worldviews. Basically, they are a perfect match.

So why do we swoon for the Darcy’s of the world, and not the Bingley’s? Why do so many romance novels have characters who dislike each other in the beginning, and then fall in love? Why not fall for the nice guy first?

Part of it, I think, is the idea that the more “tension” you have in your relationship, the more passionate it is. Darcy and Lizzie argue, which leads us to envision bedroom delights of the tie-up-throw-down variety. (You know, the fun kind!) Whereas happy, easygoing Jane & Bingley don’t demonstrate that outward confrontation. Sex is a game and a battle; who’s on top, who’s setting the rhythm; who climaxes first; who yells and who thrashes. It’s all about control and submission, just like an argument, really.

The problem I have is how this translates to expectations, in literature and in the real world. As authors, we are taught that stories must have conflict. So when writing romance, naturally it is tempting to pit the protagonists against one another, only to bring them together in a blaze of exploding hormones later on. I get it; tension is hot, it gets the pulse going, it keeps you turning the pages, wondering how they will end up together. The less they like one another in the beginning, the more dramatic their eventual relationship seems on the page.

But life is not really like that. From personal experience, I can tell you that usually, the guy you don’t like at first is actually a guy you will not like, ever. Probably, he’s a jerk. Maybe controlling, maybe just has personal issues, or someone you don’t click with for whatever reason. That does not make the sex better. (The opposite is often true, in fact; those guys can be selfish in bed, and I don’t care how much erotic tension there is between you, if he’s crap in the sack, he’s not worth your time!) On the other side of the coin, couples who just seem to get along and be cool together can have awesome, passionate, kinky sex lives. True relationships are built on respect and communication. So is great sex. (We don’t read about it, but I bet sweet Mr. Bingley has some unexpected tricks up his perfectly tailored sleeves… lucky Jane!)

We need to see more of that represented in literature and film. Not only because it’s true – and I like to seek truth in fiction – but also because it’s way more interesting than retelling Elizabeth Bennet’s story. That’s been done over and over again. And seriously folks, Jane Austen already did it best.

First Sexy Books – remembering your literary first time

If you don’t already follow SexScribbler on WordPress, you should! Not only is she an amazing writer, she also reveals these bits and pieces that remind me we are never alone. Not now, in our over-connected world, and not ever. Who doesn’t remember the first time they discovered sex in a book? I certainly do… it’s one of those memories that will stay with me forever.

Mine was a surprise. I was a huge horse girl – one of those who preferred horses to boys all through puberty (and with good reason, considering the quality of the boys at the time… men, like wine, are better aged). Anyway, I volunteered at the school library, and as it was a K-12 school there were books at all levels. As I was reshelving some high schooler’s novel, I came across the evocatively-titled The Valley of Horses, by Jean M. Auel. Of course I grabbed it, and therein discovered not only a fabulously feminist version of prehistory, but also enough smoldering sex scenes to blow my little thirteen-year-old mind. Needless to say, I eagerly read through the rest of the series, and the rest is history.

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My first experiences of sex were in the pages of books. I was an avid reader growing up and one day it dawned on me that not only could I find adventure and romance in books but there was sex too! …

Source: First Sexy Books

Your New Sex & The City Fix!

So while avoiding actually sitting down and writing – a common occurrence lately; creativity languishes when real-life pressures start compounding (the cure for which is plenty of TV shows, I have found) – I came across this treasure. Actually, it was highlighted on NPR (see this article) and I just had to give it a try. Yes, it is a newer, sparklier, just-as-hot and equally-as-much-fun, version of Sex & The City!

In Accra, Ghana.

And it’s fabulous!

All the quirky girlfriends are there, each one a personality condensed into essential character traits, yet still relatable as a person. Yes, just like our old friends Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte. They are modern women who want it all. Sophisticated women, educated in the USA and England, coming home to Ghana and its dubious relationship offerings. (Great business ops, though!)

In short, it’s everything Sex & The City was, and just as good now as when I used to do marathons with my own girlfriends in college. I love that some truths stay the same no matter when they come about – money troubles, annoying family, and hilariously bad dates certainly included! I love that it’s set in West Africa, where I spent some vivid years of my own. I love that the experience of participating in these romantic ups and downs of life is making the rounds of the world. It’s feminist, it’s fun, and it’s about time!

If you’re even vaguely curious, you must absolutely check it out. An African City – all on Youtube. Here’s the link to the first episode. Enjoy!

An African City – episode 1