Friday, July 30, 2010
Mid-March I pulled out an older manuscript to edit so I could submit to Carina Press (which I just contracted with them so yay on that!). After that I dove back into this story until the end of the month. I was picking up serious momentum when right about the beginning of April I got an R&R from my editor at Ellora’s Cave. She liked a story I’d submitted not long before but wanted some changes before she offered a contract. So…more edits (which she thankfully ended up approving). Once that was done I tried to get back into Alpha, but something wasn’t clicking. Another (older) manuscript called my name with frightening intensity so that’s right, I tore that thing apart and got some serious editing done. Right after I sent that baby off to my agent is when I went through the ‘big move’. I didn’t write for a week or so b/c of packing, moving, settling in, etc. But, as soon as I settled in I started right back on Alpha. It was calling my name again! I only got to work on it for two freaking days. That’s it. I got a call from my agent that she liked the story I’d recently sent but wanted some edits (more than I’d imagined…some plot issues) before she submitted it. Ahh, more edits. I swear, this has been my life this year. In the midst of those edits I did sneak in a little bit of new writing on Alpha and even started on the fourth book in my Miami Scorcher series (b/c obviously I wasn’t distracted enough). Finally at the beginning of July I ‘finished’ Alpha.
If you’re like me just because you’ve reached ‘the end’ doesn’t mean it’s truly the end. I know a lot of people don’t but I edit as I go, then once I’m done I read through it a couple more times for some more editing. But, I like to put a story down for a couple weeks before that final read through so my eyes truly are fresh. So, last Friday I picked it up again and I’ve added about 5K of emotions, more use of the five senses, etc. and basically gotten rid of the extraneous crap. As of late Wednesday night I finally typed ‘the end’. For real this time.
So how did I celebrate? By cleaning! I don’t care if it’s lame but yesterday I cleaned my house from top to bottom and even got in some extra exercise time. The man can always tell when I’ve completed a story because when he comes home there’s no dust lining the bookshelves, the wood floors shine beautifully, the laundry and dishes are put up and I’ve usually bought a pricier than normal bottle of wine.
What do you do to celebrate little victories or accomplishments in life? Doesn’t have to be writing related!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
by Cara McKenna
Oh lookie, it's my number one fan!
This post is actually about technology, and how we as writers embrace it, exploit it, abhor it, or generally put up with it, all in the name of Being Somebody, out here in the digital wilds of the interwebs. But I'd like to open with the story of me and my stalker.
I built my personal website last winter shortly after I sold my first novella, and I update it at least three or four times a week, adding new releases or covers or just tweaking the design or wording. I also monitor its traffic using Google Analytics each morning. Back in the spring I was bopping along, checking my visitor stats each day, and I began to notice that someone from Saugus, Massachusetts (several towns away from where I live) was visiting my site an awful lot. I imagined at first they were a well-intentioned soul from my New England writers' group, spurred by support or nosiness, or perhaps it was a friend who'd sleuthed out my pen name and was curious about what kind of sex-peddler I'd become. I figured they'd get bored soon enough and my traffic would go back down to normal levels.
But no! They still visited, nearly every day, sometimes five times or more, viewing my handful of pages over and over again. I began to really wonder who this person was… I checked a list of addresses for people in my writers' group and found that no members seemed to live in Saugus. I began to imagine perhaps it was a mildly nutty person, someone who'd developed a weird penchant for checking my site for updates. Whatever the details were, I had a stalker! A boring stalker, but a stalker nonetheless.
Eventually, largely because my stalker did not see fit to mail me blurry pictures of their genitals or boxes of dead animals, I stopped fretting. I'd pop in to check my Analytics and wave a mental hello to my mystery superfan from Saugus, scratch my head and wonder why they kept checking my site so damn much. I wished they would stop, since it was throwing off my stats and making me seem more popular in graph format than I really was. But still, I let it go.
Then I noticed something peculiar while I was visiting my parents in Maine for the July 4th weekend. I checked my Analytics after a few days away, and my stalker had vanished! My stalker didn't reappear until the next week, once I was back from vacation. Do you see where this is going? After a second trip to Maine with the same results, the mallet of realization clonked me on the head. Whenever I'm away, my stalker takes a break from visiting my website. And it's not because they're busily camped out on my parents' porch, leering through the window at me with a hand shoved down the front of their pants.
I was my own stalker. I was the one obsessively checking my own website, making sure updates looked the way I wanted, copying and pasting blurbs and checking for typos after I posted news.
I went to my web developer husband and said, "Why does the internet think I'm in Saugus? I've been thinking I was my own stalker for months now!"
The tech-savvy husband calmly explained to me that there are hubs all over the world, towns where a bunch of different IP addresses all converge en route to the greater internet (or something—he explained it properly, whereas I am surely not).
"But I made an Analytics filter that excluded our home IP address from the tracking!"
[Husband opens my settings and frowns.] "You did, but you didn't apply it to the site after you switched URLs."
I nibbled my lip and assigned the filter to the correct website. My secret admirer from Saugus has not visited me since. Another nebulous, not-quite-HEA ending from Cara McKenna.
Now let me say, accidentally stalking myself aside, I love Analytics. If you have a website and you don't use it, it's a dead-handy piece of software, free from Google Labs. You get your website(s) set up on it and it supplies you with a bit of code that you (or your webmistress) inserts into all the pages whose traffic you want tracked. Then each day you get an updated report (for the day, the week, the month, the past five years) on who's visiting your site. I check the previous day's traffic every morning while I drink my coffee, and it's fun to see where in the world people are and how they found me, what pages are the most popular and how long people linger. Also, if you have any ads or guest blog posts or reviews on the web, you can track how many visits they're bringing in. Analytics tracks a zillion other things too (actually, now that I think about it, I don't recommend Analytics if you're an obsessive type), such as what languages you're being read in, what browsers visitor use, and all the keywords people enter to find you via Google. Some make sense… "Cara McKenna, erotica" is a common Google search for me, as are my book titles. I've also been found via such spurious queries as "Cara dirty talk" and "Cara takes it up the ass". Um, I beg to differ. But that's the internet for you.
During a Twitter Q&A I was following recently, an editor was asked what the most effective self-promotion methods are for writers. She said pick two or three you enjoy and ignore the rest. Sage advice.
For someone of my generation (I'm thirty-one) I've been a bit of a late adopter, technology-wise. I nearly flunked out of design school because I insisted on executing my assignments in gouache and pen even after my classmates had all sensibly moved on to Quark Xpress. It took until I was the sole roommate willing to pay for a pricey landline in my apartment for me to get a cell phone, a good two or three years after most of my peers. It took me until well after I graduated college and had a magazine design job to begin exploring web design on my own time, but as with all those other things, I loved it once I got over the growing pains stage. I'm still a curmudgeon about certain technological crazes, however. I continue to resist Facebook, both personally and professionally, even long after all my sixty-something aunts have climbed on board (I think the aversion may be related to whatever bit of my DNA prevents me from LOLing). I love my stick-shift. I hate microwaves, and not because I fear cancer beams—I just think they're lazy. I don't own a TV but I suspect I'd die without Hulu and Instant Watcher. I pick and chose, basically, and I'm wildly inconsistent and self-contradicting.
Getting back to author self-promo outlets, one thing I did choose to adopt is Twitter. I resisted it for a long time, not understanding the point of it. Let me also admit I did the same thing with blogging—I rolled my eyes for years, thinking it was self-indulgent and egomaniacal, like leaving your diary lying around in the hopes that someone will read it and find you fascinating. Clearly, I was the egomaniacal Luddite, and I eventually got over myself when I began seriously pursuing writing, and needed to get on board with the whole promotions shtick.
In taking the Twitter plunge and watching others do the same behind me, I've discovered that most people require roughly forty-eight hours of psychological adjustment to get in to using it (you need to spend at least a day floundering and screaming "What is the POINT of this stupid thing?!" and cursing the world for not providing you with enough friends or an understanding of what the heck RT means) but once you're acclimated, it's great. It requires very little maintenance—you can post a hundred times a day or once a month, follow six people or six thousand, read each and every tweet that comes in or just the few you happen to catch while the window is open, and no one complains if you disappear for two weeks. No one asks you to visit their farm or comment on their stuff, or disclose your relationship status. It's very laissez-faire. It's also been an amazing tool for me to find like-minded authors. Plus myself and countless others have hooked up with editors and agents on Twitter.
So promo-wise, I maintain a very up-to-date website, I tweet, and blog here every other week, and those are my aforeprescribed 2–3 activities. I enjoy them all, for the most part. As some of you may have noticed (and if you made it even this far, bless you) my blog posts go on forever, and blogging more frequently would simply devour the daily time I reserve for actual fiction writing. I have no interest in doing a personal newsletter or a Yahoo Group, or getting any deeper into Goodreads than I already am. I try to comment regularly on blogs I admire, such as Smart Bitches, Trashy Books…at least if I have something informed to say about the day's topic. I also post an ad with SBTB every few months, as Analytics tells me the visitors it draws spend way more time exploring my site than the average visitor, plus it's the audience I most want to attract. When I have the time I like to make video book trailers for my upcoming stories, but not because I think it generates much in the way of sales, in relation to the time I invest. I just enjoy doing it.
Anyhow, that's my thoroughly unpatented approach to author self-promotion in the digital age. Nothing ground-breaking, I'm sure, but if anyone has questions about Twitter or Analytics or anything my design background might be useful in answering, go ahead. I'm away at RWA National this week so my response times will be slow, but I shall reply as cocktail parties allow. Oh and if you like me, send me some good energy on Saturday night, when I'll be up for a Golden Heart award. If you don't like me, please send that energy along to the other seven finalists in the Contemporary Series category.
Oh again! If anyone's interested, my second website just went live—my recently contracted romances for Harlequin Blaze and Samhain are going to be published under the name Meg Maguire, and so my new identical genre twin needed her own site. You can check it out at www.MegMaguire.com. And if you tweet, she's also on Twitter as @megguire.
Thanks for reading, everyone!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Where did the time go? Several SPICE books, blogs, videos, Tweets and Facebook friends later (especially the fab bloggers here at Naughty Author Chicks!) I've been thinking about all the wonderful things RWA offers its members.
Especially the annual conference. It's always an exciting time with the RITA awards and the Golden Heart Contest, Here at NAC, we're all rooting for fellow NAC blogger, Cara McKenna, a 2010 Golden Heart finalist.
Here's the official information about this year's conference:
"RWA is proud to host its 30th Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, July 28 - 31, 2010.
"Be sure to join us to enhance your writing and knowledge of the ins and outs of publishing at more than 100 workshops; get the inside track at panels and round-tables featuring publishing professionals; schedule a one-on-one pitch meeting with an acquiring editor or literary agent; attend parties and network with the stars of romance fiction; and be a part of RWA's massive, 500-author strong "Readers for Life" charity book signing. And let's not forget the 2010 RITA and Golden Heart Awards." For more information go to the RWA website.
To everyone who is in Orlando at the conference, have a great time! The RWA conference begins today with the Literacy Signing. I'll never forget my first RWA conference. (What girl ever forgets her first?)
So here is a video I made taking you back to July 2006 and the Romance Writers of America Conference in Atlanta.
From the Literacy Signing to the Spice Books workshop to the Harlequin party and the RITA Awards, re-live the conference in this fun video podcast.
Hard to believe that since then, The Blonde Geisha has been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish and recently came out in the Czech Republic as "The Geisha with the Emerald Eyes."
So sit back and relax and come with me as we go back to the RWA Conference in Atlanta in 2006!
Next week: Jina's Venice Videos: Fashion Boutiques
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Well the world isn't on pause, I don't have a whirling globe and I'm not being denounced by the Catholic church i.e. Madonna's Like A Prayer...but I am debuting my new book trailer for Love and Protect, my upcoming release with Ellora's Cave! MTV wanted the exclusive rights, a whole 1-hour special, yada yada. But I had to decline because I wanted it to premiere on Naughty Author Chicks first...seriously...why are you snickering?
The music drew her into the room like a helpless child following the pied piper. The pure melody of the guitar was at once aggressive and sensual. And so beautiful. Simply…beautiful.
Erin took in a deep breath, her eyes closing. Not until several moments after she’d released it did she identify the elusive feeling that had settled over her. Peace. That ever present beast that possessed a tenacious grip on her psyche retracted its claws, leaving heavenly quiet in its wake. Only her music—the soothing, pure sounds of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven—had ever calmed her savage beast. Never something like U2’s With or Without You. Musical snob, yes, but even she knew the classic rock song. Her lashes lifted, fluttering open. She skimmed up the black sleeved arm to the shoulder hunched over the body of the instrument. The column of a lightly tanned throat and strong, shadowed jaw followed. Dark strands of hair swayed against a lean cheek as the guitarist nodded in time to the music.
Her hands curled into tight fists at her thigh. Even though she’d seen images of him over the years, her mind persisted in picturing him as she’d last seen him. An angry, handcuffed seventeen-year-old youth being hauled out the front door of their foster home. Now the man who the media branded the “brooding, sexy member” of Odyssey warred with that fifteen year image. She hadn’t been prepared to see him again. Hadn’t been prepared for the impact of the man…
The pictures hadn’t done justice to the sexy mouth with its full bottom lip or the high cheekbones hinting at an exotic Asian ancestor. They hadn’t captured the rich thickness of the dark hair drawn away from his face by a black rubber band or the thick, black fan of lashes resting on those sharp warrior bones.
Erin couldn’t control the shiver that shuddered down her spine. As a child he had been her protector—and she’d loved him as a big brother, the only security and safety in a world thrown into chaos. But now, staring at the long, slim fingers strumming the guitar strings, coaxing the lovely sound from the instrument, it wasn’t affection that hummed through her veins or vibrated over her skin. Lust. Want. She swallowed. Would those long fingers play across skin as they did the strings of the guitar, eliciting devastating pleasure? Would they be as clever…as knowing?
His head lifted, drawing her attention. Black, ridiculously long lashes parted, revealing a storm gray gaze, blurred and unfocused. As she stared, the haze dissipated and his eyes sharpened on her face. The melody never changed, his skilled fingers never faltered. Neither did his intense scrutiny. She imagined she could feel the bold touch of his eyes across her brow, down the slope of her nose, over her mouth. Before she could stop herself, Erin moistened her lips with the tip of her tongue and watched his eyes narrow on the nervous gesture. His gaze flicked back to her eyes and he watched her with narrow-eyed speculation. For a panicked moment she feared he recognized her. The urge to finger her cheek almost overpowered her. Gritting her teeth, she fisted that same hand to keep it down to her side. The scar is gone, she reminded herself, so calm down.
She shoved the flash of anxiety down. Besides, why would he recognize her? Sean was familiar with Elise Grayson, a disfigured, weak, vulnerable child. Before him stood Erin Montgomery, a smooth-cheeked ex-DEA agent.
She wanted to look away. Her mind screamed, evade! Evade, dammit! But her body refused to obey. For the first time she experienced being the hunted instead of the hunter. Something dark and sexual entered his stare. A primal part of her she hadn’t known existed responded with a sudden pulsing between her thighs. Blood rushed to the folds of her sex and she fought the urge to squeeze her thighs together to alleviate the ache. Her nipples tightened against the lace of her bra. She willed her hands to remain at her side. Sent a mental order not to palm the sensitive mounds and won the battle…barely.
Erin inhaled a deep breath, the exhalation slow and deliberate. Though it cost her, she schooled her features into maintaining a mask of indifference.
If anybody understood how important domination was Sean Ledger would. She’d researched the guitarist past the magazines and fan sites. She’d read the blogs that revealed what the polite celebrity rags didn’t. Sean had a reputation.
Rumors abounded of a hedonist who knew a woman’s desires better than the woman herself did. Women gossiped about an intense sexuality that pushed his partners to explore and press beyond their boundaries. Erin suppressed a flinch. The thought of someone possessing such complete power over her body horrified her.
As if able to peer into her mind and read her thoughts, Sean’s gaze darkened, the promises—or threats—of just how he could make her lose absolute control shadowing his eyes.
A heartbeat of silence passed between them.
“Hello.” The chocolate timbre of his voice glided over her skin and transported her to shadowed rooms, candles and writhing bodies. Oh. Shit. And she was in waist deep.
Hope you enjoyed both the trailer and the excerpt!
Hope you enjoyed both the trailer and the excerpt!
Monday, July 26, 2010
So the end is finally here. I'm posting below the last installment of my serial short, Slave to the Circus, the futuristic BDSM menage set at, you guessed it, a circus. If you want to catch up on my last segment of the story click here to read part V.
Before I jump in, I'll throw up some shameless self-promo and mention that Magician's Chains, my last release from Ellora's Cave, received a five lips review at TwoLips Reviews. Tina, the reviewer, called it one of the hottest BDSM stories she'd read in a long time. You can't see me, but I'm blushing with the compliment. Take a peek at her entire review by clicking here.
Now, on to the grand finale. Guess I'll have to think about something else to say next time I blog.
Part Six, final segment of SLAVE TO THE CIRCUS by Michelle Polaris:
The haze still followed him, Raven and Vivi's words and temptations floating into his ears like ghosts of sound. The mirrors stretched.
He'd turn a bend, stumble as the images of them in the mirror would twirl. Vivi would stop, land a teasing, deep kiss on Raven, and skip on. In turn Raven would reach out, pinch her buttocks and rumble his appreciation. But they kept on the move. Delivering a tease of a show but staying out of Duncan's reach.
Duncan moved too. Almost running. Trying to find them. Stumbling and slamming his hand against a passing mirror with the frustration. Fucking desperation. It boiled through his system. His need was a tidal wave and he only wanted to reach the damn shore with it so he could break apart.
"Catch us, pet," Vivi's voice floated from ahead.
He stumbled again. And when he looked up at the mirrors the two of them were gone. What the fuck? Had they hit a blind spot?
Another ghost of sound came from his right.
And two bodies jumped out at him from either side.
Pressed between them. Hot, smooth skin, the smell of arousal. Theirs. His.
He struggled long moments, not able to help it, but he let it go when he could.
"Love you, pet," Vivi purred, running hands over his chest, up to stroke his neck and shoulder blades, digging in nails from moment to moment before moving on.
"Ours tonight, cat man," Raven promised low and deep and primal. His fist had grabbed Duncan's cock, squeezed hard.
They used teeth and licks of tongue to kiss and fondle him. Both at once. Vivi bit his nipple hard and he jerked with the pain. But Raven kept him still, his iron grip moving to capture Duncan's pecs and hold him. A small corner of him understood he was flying in sub space, a kind of spiritual bliss, so deep into this. Amazing. Everything. Their dance of power had brought him there.
Vivi moved to his back, pressing full breasts and erect nipples along his spine. At the same time Raven changed places, moved to Duncan's front. His Mistress grabbed his wrists, holding them tight and pulling back on his arms to the point of discomfort. Raven growled his own possession and tightened a grip on Duncan's balls.
"I'm going to give you a reward now," Raven said. "One of many for the night. So beg me when you can't hold back anymore, cat man. Although I expect you to hold on. Please us, Duncan. Make it last until you want to pass out from it."
The harlequin's fingers encased his cock, the clown's other hand reaching farther between Duncan's legs to rub over his perineum, inch back to tease at the opening of his anus. The nerve endings there, so sensitive even on the outside tissue, had him jumping while the hard pressure over his penis kept on relentlessly.
Lightning ricocheted down his spine, through his balls, which pulled tighter still. His hips moved back and forth, unable to stop the torture that was so fucking out of control and arousing. He needed to trust. To come. Lose it. He was there anyway.
Raven continued as Vivi licked the skin of his back, grabbed on with teeth and bit in to keep the tension high with the edge of pain. Her nails dug into his wrists where she held him. And she pressed her pussy against his back and ass, over Raven's playing fingers at his hole, pushing against him.
On and on it went. Denial.
Hell and torment and nirvana. Universe help him. Lost.
"Coming," he moaned. "Please. Permission?"
Didn't care who he begged. But got no answer. Long moments passed. Holding on.
Finally, "Come, pet," Vivi commanded. "Spurt over your stomach for us. We want to see your cum covering your belly, reminding us how much you pleased us. My pussy is dripping with how much you've done so."
Almost at her first word his ejaculate boiled through his testicles, burning up and out of his cock. Spurting hard and long, endlessly, as he shook and remained standing only through their hold on him. Pleasure beyond imagining.
Finally, the last pulses left his balls empty, turned inside out after finishing. He leaned into her.
Then Vivi was lightly kissing his back, telling him how wonderful he was. "So deserving," she said. "So will you? Marry me? Promise me love, devotion, and to follow all my commands that honor that love? Because I promise the same. All except following commands that is."
"That was my thinking time?" he laughed with his exhaustion.
She waited him out.
But he knew. "I always wanted to get engaged in a Fun House. Yes. Of course. Yours forever, Vivi."
Her smile lit his world.
She turned to Raven. "And you promise to work him hard for me?"
"With great devotion, Mistress."
Duncan's cock lurched again despite its emptied state. Gods, Raven fired his body.
Yet even with the stirring interest in his organ, the tiredness caught up with Duncan. And Raven was catching him around the waist as he slumped after Vivi released his wrists. Then the harlequin somehow had a cloth, was wiping his stomach, chuckling with amusement.
"What's so fucking funny?" Duncan managed to rasp out, half-dead with the mind-blowing bliss of the orgasm and the emotional tumult.
"Just thinking of the symmetry."
"Symmetry? Of what?"
"Of the beginning and the end. Of this." And Raven dipped his shoulders, threw Duncan over them and started walking through the last of the Fun House mirrors to the exit. Vivi strolled behind them, a pleased, wicked grin on her lips.
"I'm not an invalid," Duncan complained. "I just ejaculated, not donated a kidney."
Raven slammed him on the ass. "Shut up, cat man. I'm enjoying the idea of carrying the animal trainer."
Duncan panicked once he realized the harlequin was bringing him outside among the crowds, visible to all and sundry, staff and visitors. His cheeks heated which he hated almost as much. "Put me the fuck down."
"I'll put you down where I want you, Duncan."
"I'd listen to the man," Vivi said to Duncan from behind. "He looks quite determined." She smiled wide.
They kept walking until they hit Vivi's private carney wagon residence. Raven keyed open the door with her code instructions, entered the rooms and marched over to Vivi's wide bed. He folded Duncan down onto the mattress, gentler than expected. Now that the outrage over the public exposure died down in Duncan, the post-coital lethargy returned, crawled over him and tried to pull him into slumber.
"What do you expect?" Duncan asked, eyes heavy but fighting to keep them open. To understand what had happened between them this evening.
Vivi and Raven were climbing onto the bed on either side. Bracketing him, pulling off his clothes, pulling off their own.
Vivi was in front of him, beautiful face leaning close. "We expect you to let us care for you, love. My pet. Rest for now. Then you let Raven help me keep you balanced. We all deserve it."
Raven's chuckle feathered over the back of his neck. "Yes, get all the rest you can, cat man. Because when you wake up, I promise you'll be serving well. And long. And hard." He pressed a firm length of cock against Duncan's ass, a promise that had him shuddering.
"Damn clowns," Duncan muttered. Although he wanted Raven there at his back. Liked the dangerous promise of him. Two blades both threatening and caring from either side. Enough to make him crazy. Perfect. He let his eyes drift closed as they pressed in farther to his body. He gave up the worry, gave up the edgy dissatisfaction, and relaxed.
He slept deep.
Until they woke him later.
And let the games begin....
So, I hoped you liked SLAVE TO THE CIRCUS. If you have any comments or questions about the story, feel free to leave them here. When I get my butt in gear I'll transfer the entire story to my website (http://www.michellepolaris.com/) and maybe blogsite (http://www.michellepolarisblog.wordpress.com/)
Stay well my naughty readers.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Here's the blurb!
When Tabitha Buckley gets a chance to go to the hottest Halloween costume party in LA, she can’t turn it down, especially since the coworker she’s been lusting after is going to be there. And since she knows he’ll be dressed as the phantom of Venice, he should be easy to find. What Tabitha doesn’t know is that this isn’t the average costume party, but a spanking party. Having gotten spanked by a few boyfriends before, that doesn’t bother her as much as the fact that there’s more than one phantom of Venice on the guest list. Not to be deterred, she decides the best way to figure out which masked hunk is her coworker is to let each phantom spank her until she finds the man she’s looking for. And when she finds him, the night is going to end exactly like she’s always fantasized!
For a sneak peek at DEAD SEXY, my other upcoming release from Ellora's Cave, visit my website at http://www.paigetylertheauthor.com/ and click on "Coming Soon!"
"Stories so hot, they'll make your cheeks blush!"
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Since my last name is “Bacarr” I couldn’t resist checking it out. Come with me as I take you inside not one but two restaurants named Bacaro and show you around.
Then it’s off to the Promenade near the Piazza San Marco and wait until you see the wonderful flow of people, tourists and Venetians alike, enjoying this summer day.
And the flowers in the marketplace...
And these gorgeous red carnations in front of this restaurant on the Venice Promenade.
And the souvenirs! I bought T-shirts, fans, masks and an umbrella imprinted with Italian landmarks (I live in sunny SoCal, but it does rain once in awhile).
Here are my favorite scarves that I found displayed in souvenir stalls in Venice.
What I call Michaelangelo's "dueling" Davids. Which is your favorite?
DAVID # 1:
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Today the Naughty Chicks welcome a guest blogger, romantic suspense author Terry Odell. Not only is she a talented writer, but she hosts an awesome blog for writers and readers.
I'd like to thank Wynter for inviting me to blog today. I've known Wynter since before she was "born" and we've covered a lot of writing territory together. Before I left Orlando for the remote Colorado mountains, Wynter said I was welcome to post here. The only thing that stopped me, in my mind, is that I don't write erotica or erotic romance, and I wasn't sure I'd fit in.
Now, that's not to say I don't write sex scenes. I definitely do, and it's all on the page. However, I think there's a major difference in the vocabulary choices used in 'romance' versus 'erotica'. Everyone has their comfort level, and sometimes it's just the connotations of a particular word. What's innocuous to one reader might hit the 'ick' factor of another simply because of the word associations.
And being here, I can discuss a few of those factors, something I'm reluctant to do at my own blog, which has a different set of reader expectations.
For a non-sexual example: Some readers are highly offended by the F*bomb, yet that one doesn't bother me at all. I write characters who would be expected to use that kind of language in certain situations, and they do. Linda Howard said she had to sit at her computer and fill the screen with F*bombs to get used to seeing it and getting her fingers comfortable typing it. I never had an issue with that.
However, one of my turn-off words in sexual content is the word "pussy." It simply brings forth nothing sensuous. I thought about it once, and decided it was probably because as an avid mystery and romantic suspense reader, I'm most used to seeing the word used in a totally different situation. To me, it's two sleaze-buckets sitting at a bar, saying, "Hey, let's go find us some pussy." Totally demeaning.
With some erotica vocabulary, I'm more inclined to feel like I'm getting an anatomy lesson than reading something sensual. Romance and mystery author Rhonda Pollero said she hated writing sex scenes because, "odds are pretty good your readers have had sex, and they know what's going on. They're likely to get bored or just skip it."
While those who read erotica aren't in her reader demographic, that's still something to consider.
And, for whatever reason, my gut response to using specifics for female genitalia isn't the same as for male anatomical references. It might be because I've heard a lot more men using words like penis, dick and cock than I have females talking about their own anatomies. I asked my husband (who also happens to be a biologist and is very familiar with all the words) what he thought of in reference to all my 'below the waist' parts. He shrugged. "Crotch, maybe?" (Besides, at that point, are guys really thinking?)
(Side note-sometimes vocabulary is determined by the publisher. One of mine nixes the use of the word 'penis.' Since that's not one of my problem words, I have to go back and change things around a bit for manuscripts I submit to them.)
At any rate, a typical paragraph from a sex scene for me would be this, from "NOWHERE TO HIDE."
He reached between her thighs, cupped her through the fabric of her panties, now damp and hot. Her hands rode faster up and down his back. She reached for him, tried to pull him onto the couch atop her.
“Wait,” he said. Her eagerness was stretching his control to the limit. “There’s no hurry. You concentrate on you.” He increased the pressure at her crotch, squeezing, rubbing.
She groaned in response, and he moved his hand inside her panties to tease those soft curls between her thighs. She shifted to take him, and he slid his finger into that hot, wet, silky place. Fondled the spot that made her hips move to meet his strokes. Slowly at first, then faster, and she moved with him, went where he took her.
I don't need to be told the anatomical names of all the parts. I know what they are, and I think my readers do too. I do, however, draw the line at purple prose and flowery euphemisms.
But beyond the specifics of vocabulary, I think I make my characters work harder and wait longer before I give them that moment (or many moments) of sexual intimacy than they'd have to wait in an erotic novel. At any rate, a recent review for my newest release, NOWHERE TO HIDE, got me thinking. You see, the review came from an erotic review site, "Got Erotic Romance." Not only that, but it received a "spicy" rating and very high marks (4 ½ diamonds out of a possible 5) plus I got a personal follow-up from the reviewer telling me how much she enjoyed the book.
This is what her review said:
The plot is an interesting twist on a police procedural, giving the reader an insider’s view of the workings of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. But the main appeal of the book is the characters. They are layered and complex—real people with real emotions. The author has taken care to show Colleen and Graham’s developing love affair as much more than just sex. As a result, when they do make love it’s the culmination of an emotional journey from pain to joy.
The entire review is here: http://goteroticromance.blogspot.com/2010/07/nowhere-to-hide-by-terry-odell.html
For the record, that first fully consummated sex scene between Graham and Colleen, excerpted above, begins in chapter 24 and ends in chapter 26.
And I think that sums it up. Regardless of the language, or the frequency of sexual encounters, there has to be that underlying emotional connection. Characters can't be hanging in the bar wanting nothing more than nameless pussy.
Terry Odell writes romantic suspense for Cerridwen Press, The Wild Rose Press, and Five Star Expressions. To learn more about her and her books, visit her website at http://www.terryodell.com. She'd also love for you to visit her blog, Terry's Place, at http://terryodell.blogspot.com
Monday, July 19, 2010
Widow Macy Halstead learned of her much older husband’s voracious appetite for cheating shortly before his death. Now it’s too late to get back at him. When she meets his bi-racial illegitimate son at the funeral, a mutual attraction flares. She leaves with him and the two share a night of hot passion.
Alex Jackson set out to get back at the father who treated him like dirt. Bedding his old man’s widow fit the bill—until he forgets his reasons and realizes he really likes Macy. But after a steamy fling, she seems to have second thoughts. Can they overcome their initial agendas and explore the possibility of a relationship?
And in case you want to read that paragraph and a little of what came after, you can find an excerpt here.
Best thing about a Quickie - awesome price, only $2.49. To celebrate the release, I will give one commenter a copy -- but don't expect it until Friday.
On another note, I just signed a contract on my 6th book for Ellora's Cave, Rude, Nude and Socially Unacceptable. Gotta love the title! But more details on that another time.
Update: Winner of my book giveaway is Sherry! Please email me. Wynter @ WynterDaniels.com.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Is there a point to this post? I promise there is. I totally love this song and always sing along (with no shame I might add) and when the man started singing the lyrics to the second part of the song that starts with: “Somebody take me back to the days, before this was a job, before I got paid, before it ever mattered what I had in my bank” he suddenly looked at me and was like ‘Do you ever wish you could go back?’ At first I had no clue what he was talking about but he explained. He wanted to know if I ever wished I could go back to being pre-published and not worry about promoting, deadlines or if my editor was going to like this manuscript or if my agent would be able to sell that one. I’d been bitching about promoting and the constant ‘waiting’ a few minutes earlier so I think that’s where the question came from. I didn’t even have to think about it. Hell no.
Some days I like to think it’d be cool to go back, but I know better. If things never changed we’d grow bored and stagnant. And if we didn’t have to face rejection—no matter how much it sucks—or put ourselves out there, we wouldn’t grow stronger.
So in that vein, I would like to mention that I do have a release today (ah, dreaded promotion, lol). Power Unleashed, the third book in my Miami Scorcher series releases from Ellora’s Cave. Worth the Risk, the second in the series has been called ‘Raw, gritty and very very sexy’ by Romance Junkies so hopefully this book will be just as well received. If you want a chance to win a copy of the first book in the series, check out Desert Island Keepers today or The Book Binge Monday.
Have a fabulous weekend everyone! I’m having lunch with a fellow writer today so that’s how I’m enjoying release day!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I received two hunks of news on Monday, both totally unexpected, both sock-rockingly awesome.
Item One: apparently I have a new anthology!
I'll be attending the RWA National conference in Orlando in a couple weeks and I knew the lovely crew at Ellora's Cave was printing a bunch of paperback copies of Off Limits, an anthology of my first three erotic novellas for me to sign at the literacy book fair. I got an e-mail on Monday morning that I assumed was just a confirmation of the book fair copies, maybe instructions about picking them up at the conference, maybe a glimpse at the cover. Then I read the message and just about asploded with excitement. Not only do I get copies for the signing, but the paperbacks are for sale on the EC website! Wait, so…I have a print book out? Like, right now? Whoa! Frantic clicking ensued. Also, the cover is totally sextasticals. Anyhow, if anyone hasn't read any of my current releases, they're now available in one handy, beach-safe, paper package—and currently on sale for three dollars off. If you're interested, you can check it out here.
★ Actually, if you're interested in scoring a free copy, go ahead and say so in a comment and I'll choose someone to receive one (once I get my author copies). I'll pick someone on Sunday at 6pm EST and announce the winner in the comments. ★
Item Two: I am now a Harlequin author!
This news hunk arrived on Monday at 2:40pm (trust me, I made note of the exact time). Actually the first call came a few minutes before while I was washing dishes, unable to hear my phone. I got back to my desk and recognized the Toronto number in my missed calls log. I knew this number because I'd been living in worshipful fear of it ever since early June, when one of the editors from Harlequin Blaze called to request revisions on a romance I'd submitted to them over a year earlier. It's true what they say—you really do have to be patient in this business.
I'd subbed the story so long ago and received no response, and I'd gone on living in quiet disappointment, assuming they'd read it, puked, burned it, blacklisted me, and moved on. Apparently not. They liked it but needed to see some changes before they could decide if was a good fit for Blaze. For example, way less swearing. Oh, Cara, you and your adorable sailor's mouth. I managed to not faint while I spoke to the editor, said I'd be pleased as punch to hand over a kidney—I mean implement the revisions. I then went about heartily de-clunkifying that story (thankfully I learned a lot about writing in that year-long interim) and making their requested revisions. Two weeks later I resubbed it amid tearful prayers to my ambiguous and oft-neglected higher power.
So anyhow, flash forward to Monday. I finished the dishes, spotted the missed call, listened with shaking limbs to a friendly but uninformative message from my editor contact. I called her back. She did not answer. Her automated voicemail message made it sound as if she was gone for the second half of the day. NOOOO!!!! I could not have survived the not-knowing for another hour, let alone a whole day. Just as I was lamenting this predicament to my manfriend, my phone rang. I sprinted across the condo to hide in my office, and hit Talk. And would you believe it? They made an offer. I'm ecstatic, to say the least. Harlequin Blaze was the first publisher and line I actively courted when I started writing two years ago—I love writing explicit love scenes as well as shorter novels (Blaze stories are 55 to 60,000 words) so I'd always hoped my voice might be a good fit. Apparently it is.
I wish I had more details to share but the title, release date (likely 2012) and the name I'll be published under are all unfinalized. However, I can share the two-line hook that snagged me the invitation to submit the full manuscript in the first place:
A hotshot TV survival show host and his no-nonsense production assistant get stranded during a snowstorm. As they make their way back to civilization, she'll teach him a thing or two about staying warm in the woods, and the cameras will be rolling.
Well, that's it for now! If you're interested in scoring a copy of my brand-spanking-new Off Limits paperback anthology, please say so in a comment. Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Or does your nails at the local salon.
Who knew James Bond moved to the suburbs and had a wife?
The Russian version of Bond, that is.
Welcome to the world of “Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs.” The news is filled this month with the story of Russian spies recently deported back to the Motherland and how they lived among us as regular folks.
It seems that being a “spy” is cool again. Especially with a new USA series about the world of spies debuting Tuesday, July 13th, on the USA Network. “Covert Operations” is about a CIA officer who, according to her official USA Network bio, is “…new to the government's most secretive branch, but 28-year-old Annie Walker (Piper Perabo) has the uncanny instincts, tenacity and persistence that could make this girl-next-door a lethal weapon. ….”
And let’s not forget that “SALT” hits movie theaters on Friday, July 23rd. According to the official Sony site: “Angelina Jolie stars in SALT, an action espionage thriller about a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian spy and becomes a target…”
So here is my erotic version of a female spy. Her name is Breezy Malone and, like Annie Walker, she’s a single woman with a double life.
She’s a sex agent for the FBI.
Here is the blurb:
Breezy Malone has left her cautious archaeologist's life behind, only to be poured into a leather corset and demand that bad guys ask—no, beg—for mercy in her new gig as a covert agent for the FBI. A covert sex agent, to be exact.
Not that she's given much choice. The FBI is dangling the ultimate carrot—if she can use her seduction skills to trace an ancient, stolen artifact, it'll lead her to Sharif, the terrorist who framed her for a murder that landed her in a Middle East prison. Now she's prepared to break any rule to make sure Sharif pays.
But a mysterious and alluring agent called One-Eyed Jack is on her tail, and Breezy's not sure if he's friend, foe or something even more dangerous…a sensual distraction aimed at throwing her off her guard. She'll show him who's in control.…
And if you’re wondering about our Russian spy, Natasha--she’s not what she seems.
She’s a mannequin. The perfect spy.
Her lips are sealed.
"Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs" Spy Thriller from Jina on Vimeo.
Here is an excerpt from my Spice novel: “Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs”
Two years later
I lean over and tighten my sagging black satin bra strap before gravity takes over and my left breast pops out. Not easy to do when I'm running through the trash-strewn cobblestone alley smelling like dead cats and urine in thigh-high, black-leather embroidered boots with stiletto heels and a beaded Cleopatra wig, heading for the Central Plaza Hotel to hook up with my Russian informant, and I'm late. He insisted on meeting me at the piano bar in the hotel situated on the riverfront, a favorite of his, where the ex-KGB agent downed shots of vodka during the Cold War.
Not a good sign. His turf, his rules. I hope today's mark if I liked to sleep in a T-shirt or lingerie. Nothing at all, I said, then before he could take me down, I took him out with my Glock 22. After all, this is a job. And I've learned to do it well. The name on my U.S. passport identifies me as Breezy Malone, a twenty-nine-year-old female; place of birth, Philadelphia. I'm taller than average with sun-streaked, white-blond hair and green eyes. Since my recruitment as a special agent for Theta Agency, I've become proficient in adapting disguises, served as a provocateur to entrap extremists and participated in numerous black ops, including major "wet" operations.
Contrary to popular imaginings, the latter has nothing to do with ejaculation but with rolling up political insurgents in Europe and the Middle East. No thumbscrews for torture or blunt objects for persuasion for me. I use vaginal wizardry to entice the target. I go where other government agents can't, taking down sophisticated men in gray tweed as well as terrorists who view the world with a piercing gaze and an AK-47.
As an Arab-speaking agent, I use my language skills as well as my personal attributes, often obtaining more intel by keeping out of the subject's arms. If a man is only physically attracted to me, he will lose interest once he has had sex with me. But if he comes to rely upon me more for companionship and sympathy than merely for sex, the operation has a better chance of success. From supine and supple positions to tease and torture, I can execute any sexual task required of me. Using erotic techniques I learned at the TA training camp near Prague, I snare my target in a black-leather web of intrigue and lust.
My curvy body is the ultimate honey trap.
I check my weapon hidden in my bondage belt along with my prepaid cell phone and wad of cash tucked away in my corset. I'm not fond of the black-leather armor and skimpy red thong I'm wearing, but it's part of the job. Fit in with the locals. Everyone on the streets is wearing crazy outfits. Guys with silver-painted bodies and sporting frizzy purple wigs, girls wearing lacy bras and bare-bottom cowboy chaps. I see latex and sequins everywhere, f lower pasties, even pink-feathered boas. The Love Parade attracts big crowds in the Swiss capital for a weekend of love and beer, though it's more about sex than love.
The perfect place to exchange cash for trash. Bureau-speak for useless intel. According to recent chatter picked up on the street, the Russian knows more than he's selling about terrorist activities in Western Europe. We can't afford any more intelligence failures. Everybody knows the game has changed. No longer are attacks planned and executed by a single al-Qaeda mastermind. Fueled by an ever-increasing well of recruits bound together by motives and causes, it's up to me to find out what the Russian knows and who he's working for.
Unlike military interrogators who push emotional buttons to get the intel, I've taken on the persona of a dominatrix to whip the informant into shape with my sexual tricks. With my sharp black nails f lashing from the tips of my fingers to my mouth glossed with Sinfully Red lipstick, I've been sent to f lush out this ex-KGB agent by my handler, Rork, Special Agent in Charge.
Unlike authorized FBI counterintelligence agents, TA special agents need a handler, an agent who can provide technical support in the form of service weapons, operating funds, clandestine communications gear, spy cameras and other specialized equipment.
A sudden stab of adrenaline strikes me, hitting me in my gut. I've also got personal reasons for working this case. I've waited a long time for this day since I went over the prison wall in Syria. If the Russian is involved with a certain Chechen-based renegade, as I suspect, then we've got business of another kind to settle. Every target I take down brings me one step closer to finding Sharif and bringing him to justice.
I'm about to round a corner when I sense someone sniffing me out like an animal in heat. Nothing new to me. Since I received government-issued breast implants, I'm used to being stared at wherever I go. But this is one pussycat who hasn't got time for primal games.
I slow down, walk purposefully down the alley. I'm a TA special agent who knows her job, wants to get it done and get back into my slinky, formfitting catsuit. Black. I disappear in black, my chin-length sugarcane hair turned up in a perfect f lip.
I wipe off the back of my neck with my hand. The damn wig is hot and sweat is dripping down my bare back. I inhale the smell of my own body heat and a familiar desire to relieve the gnawing ache between my legs hits me. Good. I can use my own need to keep the mark off balance, make the Russian forget he's a card-carrying member of an elite terrorist group.
Out of the corner of my eye I see movement to my right.
The answer to this blonde's wet dream spills out of a doorway, weapon drawn. I stare at him, narrowing my eyes, then peek at him through my false eyelashes. Uneasy but not shaken, I hold my breath. The tattooed bodybuilder stud with the spiked, black-crow haircut and patch over one eye is pushing the cold barrel of the rif le against my neck. I've stared down the barrel of a T.A.R. 21 Tavor assault rif le a few times in my terrorist-fighting career. That doesn't mean I'm used to it. My throat tightens and my nerves become taut, the icy metal against my f lesh signaling a sense of impending danger loud and clear.
Where did he come from? Who is he?
He wasn't on my radar a minute ago.
"Want to have some fun, Fräulein?" he says in German. I bet he cuts a notch in his rif le butt for every girl who says ja. Not me. Every move I make is under surveillance. It goes with the job.
"I don't understand you," I toss back at him in English, relaxing my stance, trying to appear insouciant. No doubt he's a raver out for extra action and he chose this alleyway to frisk the first piece of tail to stroll his way. Why not? No cars allowed on the street during the parade. No cabbies. And the street revelers aren't within earshot but carousing up and down Bahnhofstrasse, eating, drinking and ogling the free show.
"Give me what I want," he says in English with a slight accent, "or I'll—"
"You'll do what? Spank me?"
Play dumb. Get rid of him.
I put my hands on my hips, teasing this one-eyed Jack with my sexy attitude while he checks me out with a questioning look on his face. As if he's not sure what to do next. I'm counting the seconds. I haven't got time for his pickup line. I must get the intel from the Russian before he vanishes back into the black pit of insurgents plying their trade on the open market. He's my only link to Sharif.
I slide my hand down my rib cage. Without missing a beat, the one-eyed Jack points the gun at my head. I hear him cock the trigger. I breathe out, slowly. Damn, I can't pull out my Glock without getting my head blown off.
He, on the other hand, is breathing easily, not even breaking a sweat. I squint. Can he see out of that sexy black eye patch? He must like what he sees. He's grinning. Why shouldn't he? My low-cut black basque hugs my breasts and I'm wearing a wraparound pink skirt slit up one side.
I wiggle my butt and my skirt slips open to reveal my leather garters holding up black fishnet and purple stockings peeking up over my thigh-high boots. I tap my boots, clicking my military-style half soles and steel-toe caps against the cobblestones. The handcuffs hanging from my femdom utility-style belt clink out a tinny tune, drawing his eye. He glances at the hemp rope wound up in a circle on my bondage belt and starts to reach for it, then changes his mind. He doesn't look like the tie-me-up-and-do-it-to-me type, but you never know.
I don't dare make another move, seeing how he's got the drop on me. The pulse on the side of my neck races. I'm stuck like a video-game character lost in a maze. I'm stressing. What if my Russian goes sideways? Disappears? I can't screw up. I've logged more miles in the past two years manning the intel-gathering trenches in the European Russian agent, getting him right where I want him. Even the Cold War is over, it's not unusual for Russians to their knowledge of U.S. intelligence to our enemies we get it from them first. My mission as a member of elite sex squad is to retrieve a guidance chip that in the hands could compromise the antiaircraft defense of a major Western power. That involves softening him and catering to his specific tastes, whether it's showing off prowess in bed with two blondes or playing master-and-with the tender backside of a pretty redhead. I avoid the
I prefer role-playing a dominatrix. I like being the top. When I saw the prelim coded messages from the Russian,
begged Rork for this assignment. Then he mentioned I was suppose he had no choice, considering TA agents must follow different procedures than regular agents. Until the investigation was over, I was assigned to work undercover in a Glasgow company as a file clerk and photocopy documents. Still, I answered all the shrink's questions with a smile on my lips and my legs crossed and got the assignment.
Frustrated, I dig my nails into my palms. I'm not letting this stud mess up my plans.
"Why don't you take your toy," I say, my eyes scanning this dude in tight French jeans, crunchy black leather vest, no shirt, backpack slung over his shoulder, "and go play somewhere else."
"I like big tits, Fräulein," says the one-eyed Jack, ignoring my suggestion. He lowers his rif le, though he doesn't take his finger off the trigger. "Take off your bra."
Gets right to the point, doesn't he? "So you can cop a feel? No way."
"I'm not used to having my orders disobeyed."
"There's always a first time."
"I said, strip. Now."
Taking my time, I give him a second look, my eyes moving up and down his body with an appreciative gaze. I notice a scar along his jawline. He needs a shave. I imagine without his scraggly beard he'd be considered good-looking. Is he a street thug? A local with a hard-on? Or a nerdy tech guy with a plastic gun?
Whoever he is, I'm not immune to admiring a pair of bulging biceps that sets my libido tap-dancing. I lick my glossed red lips. Too bad he's not my mark. I'd like to take a ride on his pony, but I have no time for silly games. I have a mission to complete.
"Take if off yourself," I say, challenging him. "If you can." I'm stalling, figuring out how I can get the drop on him when he pulls down my bra straps with his free hand and exposes my breasts. That's not enough for him. He twirls me around and points his weapon at my rear, then smiles. I shiver, chills running down my back, then I send my emotions packing. No way am I going to let him inhale the faintly musty perfume of my pussy drifting up to entice him, making him want to taste my desire. A desire too long unstirred by real emotions. I don't have the luxury of enjoying sex. It's a job to me. Nothing more.
Perspiration pops out all over my face while I plan my next move. The thug pressing the rif le in my throat interprets my sweat as fear.
"You sweat. Gut. I enjoy watching you squirm." He doesn't move the rif le. Not an inch. Flush against my throat.
"I'd rather watch you squirm," I say, trying to knock him off course, make him back off. He won't budge.
"Do you know how a pigeon kills its prey, Fräulein?"
"It shits on its victim?" I grin, but I'm gritting my teeth at the same time. It's not only the mental torture he's putting me through that sets my teeth on edge, but the white heat vibrating in my sweet spot that disturbs me. What is it about this one-eyed Jack that's eating away at my emo-core?
He laughs. "Pigeons kill their kind simply for fun," he says. "Slowly, to prolong the pleasure." He pushes his knee between my legs and jams me against the rough brick wall so I can't disarm him. Worse yet, it's a turn-on I never saw coming, sending delicious vibes down to my clit. I hate him for making me dream about him putting his face between my thighs. I take my job seriously, though I didn't ask for it.
"Is that so?" I can barely utter the words. I'm breathing hard. Damn him. If I fail to connect with the Russian because of him, I'll hunt him down and make him wish he'd kept out of my business.
"I'd hate to see your f lesh picked apart." He runs his hand over my neck. He's got to stop this game. I'm losing. "You should be caressed and pleasured, my hands exploring the curve of your body and the smoothness of your skin until I fill you up with my cock."
I take a deep breath, blow off the heat rising in me. This has gone far enough. I've been known to use any means to gather intel, from stripping in a window rigged with cameras and reading the lips of the men ogling me, to posing nude for amateur photographers who have military secrets to sell, but I'm a professional. I don't fool around on the job for my own pleasure. More than likely, a long-range telescope is trained on me right now, a field agent from the bureau watching my every move. It's their way of keeping me in line and not allowing my hormones to take over and compromise my mission.
"I have to go," I mutter. "I've got a date—"
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
My mother offered to give my house a thorough cleaning since she's off for the summer. And well, since I'm domestically-challenged and she enjoys the domestic arts, who am I to deprive her of such joys? It would be callous and cruel. So she tackled my bedroom first. The hubby and I made strategic moves of certain toys--and I ain't talking Mr. Potato Head!--before she started. A week later, voila! The room looks great! Like something out of Better Homes and Gardens! Everything is frighteningly organized down to the socks. This morning I dive in my color-coordinated jewelry box searching for a bracelet and my fingers close around a pink, stretchy bauble...wait...gasp! That's not a bracelet it's the pink cock ring vibrator that somehow slipped our pre-cleaning shakedown. And that my mother apparently thought was jewelry and hung next to the red, glass charm bracelet I got for Christmas.
A certain woman--and it's not my cousin because I told her I would not reveal her identity--is a connoisseur of sexual toys. She keeps a separate drawer for such rubber delights. One day, while passing her daughter's room she looked in on her and the conversation went something like this:
Daughter: Hi, Mommy!
Mother: (Coming into the room, arms outstretched) Oh, sweetie, hi. Where'd you get that? That's mommy's.
Daughter: (glances down) No, Mommy. They're getting married.
Mother: (nervous, wobbly smile) No, sweetie. That's mommy's doll.
Daughter: (hugging large rubber penis and bride barbie to chest): Noooo, mommy! They're getting married!
So. Has a mother, father, child found your stash? If so, how did you play it off? Or did you? You can share! I won't tell or have Savannah post you as Freak of the Week! Hee-hee!
Monday, July 12, 2010
This picture has absolutely nothing to do with today's installment of Slave to the Circus, other than reflecting the slavish side of BDSM dress for a man. I just felt like putting it up, so live with it.
So today is part five of Slave to the Circus, my futuristic menage BDSM short story. After today there's just one part left. Sorry for the post so late in the day. Life got in the way. You know how it is.
For the previous installment of the story click here to get to the earlier post on Naughty Author Chicks.
So here goes part five of Slave to the Circus by Michelle Polaris:
Duncan jumped over the last of the sliding boards of the bridge. Blood pumped hard through his body. He focused to drain away the charge that slung tight along his sinew and he found his center with a slow inhale, prepared for battle if need be.
He waded past the ropes and the tunnel of wind, and spun to the left as the lurid silicone and electronic monsters dove at him from hidden corners. He crouched low as cushioned impact bags swung down from heights, leaving him leaping up after each fell down to shove it aside. Until he hit the next, cleared that in turn. Body in machine mode with one goal. Find her.
He kept going.
He was past the bags at last. The noise of the power source died away to a quiet he liked far less.
Duncan pulled up short from his jog as he faced the fractured reflections surrounding him. Hundreds of them twisting forward along a snakelike path.
And in each Vivi and Raven. Together. The harlequin had her arms pinned to the mirror spread above her head, nuzzling her neck, licking the strong, proud column of throat.
"Duncan," her reflection called, lips moving and sound bouncing from farther down the corridor.
He froze. Noticed his too pale face in the mirror joining theirs.
Raven lifted his head, also noticed the addition, and smiled. "Ah, you join us finally cat man."
"Get off her."
"I'm nowhere she doesn't want me."
"Vivi, are you okay?" He began to edge forward cautiously to the first bend of the passageway. Slower now because she genuinely seemed to be lacking distress.
The angles must be situated to bounce reflections from other mirrors down the line. A few of the glasses hung shattered on their walls, splintering Vivi's body and face in a strange pattern and mixing her pieces with the clown's.
In the unbroken glass her eyes appeared trained straight at Duncan. The illusion from the legion of reflections spun his head along with the strange look of peace on her expression while held in Raven's arms.
Her command froze his tracks again, his whole self quivering like some pathetic hunt dog from ancient Earth times. This was the voice she used when her power filled her and she was about to take him over. The call for surrender.
He shook his head to clear his immediate reaction. "Just tell me if you are okay. Give me that, Vivi."
"I am fine, pet. But you need to listen."
The edginess crept up again. He'd lost his center of purpose now that he'd found her here, yet had no sense what she planned.
"You're worried, Duncan. And thinking too much about this. Maybe you have reason, but now I'm telling you all you need to do is listen and do as I say. Can you do that, love?"
Raven had turned again to her, was even now back at her throat, trailing kisses down as he lowered to his knees, unpinning her arms. His mouth dragged between her breasts, down her abdomen.
Duncan wanted to tear him in two. But instead he kept looking at her. She was asking something of him and dammit if he'd refuse if she really wanted it. "I'll listen."
"Good love. I want you to watch us. Answer Raven when he asks you a question. Follow his orders as well as mine. Address him as Master for now and stand still until I or he tells you."
Duncan managed a jerked nod despite the skewers through his heart. Was she giving him to Raven? Finally tired of him? The tension settled in his spine, his hips and thighs, as he became hyper aware of his feet gripping the floor even through his shoes.
He watched Vivi spread her stance, and the harlequin's mouth go lower from her belly to her pelvis and the smooth hairless region of groin and cleft. Although she applied the paint coverage there for her show, he saw even now how Raven's touch had rubbed off some of the application, pink delicious and skin shining through.
Duncan's cock hardened painfully as the other man laved out his tongue and tasted her clit. Her eyes closed in reaction, she gave a sexy moan, and Raven repeated the licking contact. His hand circled in from her hip and his thumb rubbed her folds, spreading them out, lazily tracing from the front of her lips to the back of her nearer her ass. He removed his mouth, pressed a cheek against her pelvic bone so that his gaze faced Duncan in the mirrors. Vivi's eyes darkened with lust, her lips parting with a pant as Raven kept working her pussy and clit with his fingers as he spoke.
"She's beautiful, your Mistress. Yes?"
"Yes," Duncan hissed out. Then remembered, "Master."
"Is it so terrible, cat man, to watch me please her? She deserves pleasure, don't you think? She works terribly hard."
"She deserves everything."
Vivi's lids narrowed at him.
"Master," he added. Fuck this!
"Good. Because I intend to please her. While you get that cock out of your pants and start touching yourself."
"Duncan," Vivi warned. "Get going pet. Don't push my patience."
"Don't worry, dear," Raven answered her, fingers never stopping their motion. "I know how to handle posturing cock. Familiar territory." He leaned in to tongue her cleft and leave a tiny bite at the inside of her thigh, causing her a gasp. "Now take out that overreaching dick of yours, Duncan, and find the grace to please your Mistress."
Duncan swallowed his additional obscenities and unzipped himself, everything inside his soul frothing, not sure what the hell was going on. Not sure if everything was crashing down and his luck with her was finally up.
His mind hazy, and a tingling electric charge in his balls, he struggled to focus beyond the picture of his lover being fondled by the painted man.
Quit trying to figure it out. You know better. His service had never been based on his fears, but instead the opposite. Letting them go, or at least surrendering despite them. He only wished he was better at it. Well, he could be now.
Duncan got his pants just beyond his groin to his upper thighs when the harlequin interrupted.
"Stop. Far enough. Now kneel and start shafting yourself."
Dropping to his knees was awkward. Hesitating a moment longer, he grabbed himself and started to squeeze, to slide his fist up and down the tightening skin to hit his helmet and return again to his base. Again and again, twisting his cock in between the strokes with drops of liquid trailing down into his hand from the leaking slit of his cockhead. Shit, he'd already hardened fully.
Vivi's eyes were closed, her head back, her hips undulating forward into Raven's touch. Her own fingers pinched the elongated tips of her breasts. Nipples darkening as she squeezed and molded them. The images of the sex play from both of them bounced at Duncan in multiple.
"She's trained you well, cat man," Raven continued to him. "You know not to come unless allowed I presume?"
Duncan felt the teeth-clenched grimace stretch his lips as he nodded. Where were they down the hall of mirrors? How far down until he could touch... Touch what or who? But the denial and his Mistress's orders made the strain fucking arousing. Gods, he did not want to be doing this with Raven. It meant another set of eyes on him, too many eyes watching him too closely. But if she wanted it...
"Continue, cat man. And we'll settle down to a story as you keep that dick hard for us." Raven bent in to nuzzle Vivi's navel. To place a light kiss incongruous to her straining reaction as her body built closer to orgasm. Duncan knew the look. Relished it when he serviced her.
"She'll send you to me, cat man. The nights she's too busy to kiss or whip you to sleep herself. Do you want to know what I'll do to you those evenings?"
Duncan's balls pulled higher, his self-control fracturing big time. But he couldn't find an answer.
"You'd strip for me. Or maybe I'd cut off your clothing with one of your Mistress's knives. Then down you go on your knees like you are now, my hand fisting in your hair hard enough to make you grunt. Your wrists locked behind your back in my cuffs. I'd tow you close to me and unzip myself. Pull your mouth to my cock and shove it in. Fuck that scowling opening of yours. You'd service me, cat man, until I came nice and hard and you swallowed every drop."
Duncan hated that his lips had parted with the image, almost readying themselves for the intrusion. Fucked up. But he was honest enough to recognize his attraction to the harlequin. That whatever life force was so enticing in Vivi, Raven held something similar.
"Then the fun really begins," Raven continued. He stood without warning and pressed Vivi back into the mirror, kissing her, eating her mouth with teeth and tongue.
He pulled back enough from her for Duncan to see her grin, watch her snake her hand down to the harlequin's groin and grab, squeeze. He rumbled a response, and stepped back while she surprised him and spun them around. Now Raven's back was to the mirror. His widened eyes quickly morphed to slitted expectation.
Now it was Vivi who slid to the floor on her knees, biting and nipping down the harlequin's body through his tight clothes. Down to his groin where she used hands to peel off his pants and pull them down to a position paralleling Duncan's.
Raven's gaze still bore down on Duncan even as Vivi found the harlequin's cock and began her talented suction. He let out a feral groan and rested his hands atop her head.
"When I take you over Duncan," he said, "you'll have my full attention."
Raven's control must be amazing to be able to speak coherently during that.
Duncan shifted on his knees, sweat beading down his back underneath his shirt to drip down to his ass, slide between his cheeks. His buttocks had started clenching as he worked himself, cock aching and more moisture from his slit wetting his fist. Gods and galaxies, he needed to hold on. Couldn't come because she didn't give permission. He didn't give permission. Fuck!
Raven continued. "I see every inch of you, Duncan. And I like what I see. That cock for instance. Red, straining.
Raven's words intruded deep. Duncan wanted to squirm like a fucking kid.
With his eyes on the clown, Duncan couldn't help but catch his own reflection. He'd started hating the mirrors, the desperation he saw on his face in them. He'd gotten used to this reaction with Vivi. But with another...
Vivi was deep-throating the harlequin, his dark eyes turning almost black in the dim light from her wet, warm mouth.
He panted lightly. "I'm going to take your passion, cat man. The dedication to what you do and the attention you lavish on those animals. And require you pay the same to me. You work as hard for me as Master and you'll be rewarded well. I'll get that cock so worked up, when I allow it release it will be like shooting a fucking interstellar transport from you."
Vivi stopped her work and joined his examination of Duncan's progress. Universe, she was gorgeous, her wet lips glistening. "So good, pet. You're following well. I love you."
Everything kept mixing inside him. Words spewed up before he caught them. "You leaving me, Vivi? Giving me to him? Don't. I need you, Mistress."
"Gods no, love," she answered. "You please me beyond all else. This is about giving you a gift, adding to our lives, not taking anything away."
"I want to marry you, Duncan. Raven is one of my wedding gifts."
The harlequin jolted, sought her with his eyes as she knelt. After a moment of shock, a sly smile expanded over his face.
"A man's strength is different than a woman's," Vivi continued. "You're strong Duncan. I want you to feel what I do every time we're together, the powerful body of a male. You and Raven are different sides of the same coin, but the power is similar.
"As both a wife and Mistress, I take double responsibility to care for you. If I've been neglectful I apologize. But no more. Now tell us what you want right now. Not the answer to my proposal, that you need to think over, but what you want to happen to you. To your body while inside the walls of this Fun House. The truth. I always require the truth between us."
Her voice swam over him. Drowning him in the idea that he pleased her. Marriage? Did he believe her? Gods, he needed her happy. Even as he struggled with how exposed she left him, both to her and now to Raven. He wanted that forever home she offered. So bad he tasted it on his tongue. Salty sweet ambrosia.
"Need...to touch you."
A pause stretched.
"To be touched by you. Be with you." He swallowed hard past the blockage. "Both of you." He hated this admission, but it was truth.
"Oh, pet. So perfect," her voice thrummed. "Now tell me what you want Raven to do to you. Imagine me sitting in the corner of our rooms, watching. So hot because you serve to please me. I'm wet with it. Picture it. Let it flow out. I want to hear it all."
Duncan stroked faster. Couldn't stop himself as he watched the play of muscle at Raven's jaw. How he reached down to Vivi's rich dark hair and brushed her scalp absently. Even as she languidly ran fingertips over his rigid organ, almost without thought as she waited on her knees to hear out Duncan, the picture of a strong woman even taking this subservient pose.
In a stark rush of need he saw it. Saw the picture of them in her rooms, playing, although it had always been much more than play between them. A healing, he thought of it. His imagination deep-spaced him with the scenario.
It hurt to force out the words she demanded. But he let them wrench from him. Why not? What was left of him anyway?
So he began.
"Raven has me blindfolded," his voice croaked.
"Speak to him, pet," she admonished.
His mind stuttered again, but his eyes shifted back to the painted man whose heated regard cut deeper into Duncan.
He tried again. "You've put a blindfold on me. Plugged my ears. Sensory deprivation. Before you had tied me down and pierced my nipples with tiny barbells, still stinging and heavy." His brown nubs ached with the idea. As if they wanted that attention. His voice shook. "My ass is stuffed with your plug and I've been on the verge of coming for hours now. But you won't let me. I'm fucking out of my mind and you've wrapped my cock tight with a length of chain. The heavy collar at my neck has points along the inside, digging into my neck each time I move. And I desperately want to see you, to see Vivi where she's somewhere farther back in the room.
"Each time you fucking touch me I struggle, even though I don't want to. But I do." He gasped and fought back his explosion as his fist kept sliding up and down his dick. "I'm sweating, dripping. You lock me down and use your whip. The pain hazes me. So big. I lose it more, but I'm flying in sub space." He had to stop, suck in another breath. "I want more. Gods, I want more. And your arm is strong enough."
He couldn't hold longer. "Please. Fuck it! I"m coming. Let me stop." Lost, so deep in it. Crazy deep. He only wanted to give it up to them. Both of them.
"No, Duncan. But I promise I'll give you all you want from that image,"Raven said.
"My turn to talk again, cat man. Because you need to hear my promise to you as much as your Mistress's commitment." The laughing man had grown serious and fierce. "You're making me rigid, like damn Endorvian metal. And I'd want to fuck you hard. But I'd start with gentle. So gentle you'll hate it. You want my whip, my punishment. And you'll get that too. But that's not the measure of you, Duncan. You really please me if you understand how valuable you are. How damn gorgeous. I can't turn my eyes away from you. And I want you out of your mind wanting to be fucked in turn by me and Vivi. Your Mistress is a lucky woman."
Duncan groaned, the low noises leaking from him continually now. He couldn't help it.
"So find us, cat man. Get off your knees now, find us in the hall, and I'll make you happy. We both will."
The meaning buzzed through him, leaving him shaky. But he stopped the shafting, sucked in the relief from escaping the disaster of coming without permission, and leveraged himself up so quickly he almost toppled.
He blinked and his mind reeled registering new motion in the mirrors. Raven pulling up his pants, grabbing Vivi and rushing farther into the hall, jagged movements. Duncan unbalanced with the suddenly shifting images. He fumbled up his own trousers, panting in his eagerness.
And did the only thing he could. Ran after them.
TO BE CONCLUDED IN TWO WEEKS TIME. SAME BAT TIME. SAME BAT CHANNEL.