New Release: Girls in Love

There is something liberating in writing erotica about only women. I always hesitate to call it lesbian fiction because more often than not at least one of my protagonists is bi, questioning or curious, and I like to feature that for what it is. But no worries, I won’t go all “bi-visibility” on you, no matter how to true it is that most of the time we are in a committed relationship with a person of any gender, we end up being labeled accordingly :) .

I like how liberating it is, though. When I write m/f erotica, in the back of my mind there is always a GirlsInLove_mediumwhole catalogue of gender roles and expectations, which I don’t want to succumb to completely but still have to pay attention to because it’s hard to make a complete role reversal sexy to the mainstream erotic reader. Then there’s my penchant for power exchange stories and with a male dominant, I always take extra, special care not to give him the slightest whiff of an abuser. And I’m not saying that there’s no abuse between women, there is. But it’s less of a genre cliche and the freedom to explore the person behind the expectations exists in a way that hard to access in straight erotica.

With girls, with women, I get to choose and play with the expectations. It’s not so different in the nitty gritty, but it feels like there are more options, more ways to go. More creative options, a lot of fun to write.

Harper Bliss of Ladylit Publishing has been giving me the opportunity for that a lot lately, not just in a series of small anthologies (Sweat, A Christmas to Remember, Bossy and Cougars) but also my publishing my Breaking in Waves series. And of course when she offered to put some of my stories together in a small anthology of my own, I jumped at the chance!

Here is the blurb for Girls in Love
Childhood friends turn lovers in a snowy cabin, a student seduces her teacher in her own class room, and together two women overcome the prejudice of her family once and for all. These five lesbian erotica stories by Laila Blake are about laughter, kink and above all: about Girls in Love.

Table of contents
Bird of the Summer
House-Broken
Midnight Clear
Doll-faced Demons
The Corner Chair

And it’s available from these retailers
Direct from Ladylit
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Amazon AUS
All Romance
Smashwords
Kobo
iTunes US
iTunes UK

You can add Girls in Love to your Goodreads shelf here >>

Is it the Times that Change, or is it us?

Gilmore Girls inspired insights into our life and times

I have never been a fan of old movies. Those timeless classics everybody should have watched at least once. It’s different with classic books, but — with a small and notable number of exceptions, like The Breakfast Club – I never seem to get into movies made before I was born.

it-happened-2It took me a while to figure out why. I admit I like color, and a clear picture. I also modern acting, where the old-timey kind often feels surreal and artificial. And most of all, I like the kind of stories it takes guts to tell, and that changes. Something that took guts 50 years ago, in today’s world comes across as somewhat conservative, after all.

It doesn’t seem like that with classic novels. Look at anything from Shakespeare to Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre, to Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary, on to Of Human Bondage, Oscar Wilde, To Kill a Mockingbird1984 and Slaughterhouse Five. All of those are still brave, even if some of them were written centuries ago, they still pack this undeniable punch that’s hard to ignore.

I don’t get that with movies. I have a friend, a cineaste, who tries to change my mind on this constantly. From time to time, I give in and watch whatever he makes me watch. Most recently It Happened One Night (1934), which was supposed to be sweet and romantic and full of understated sexiness… and all I could find was sexism and an icky guy with a mustache. Sounds similar, but it kills every buzz before before I can say “Oh, hi there!”

I’ve always felt vaguely bad for this. Not too terribly, because I get classic novels, and so clearly fill at least one quota of sophistication, but still – it’s a bit hard to admit that you’d rather watch Love Actually, or The Incredibles or, more likely, Parks & Recreation or Community or Game of Thrones for the umpteenth time, than to try out Casablanca or whatever it is. I’m that girl who prefers the 2005 Keira Knightly Pride & Prejudice over the 1995 Colin Firth one. I tell you, they’re not pretty, the looks I get.

Now, Netflix finally came to Germany a few weeks ago (hello beautiful addiction), and now my queue is full of old Gilmore Girls episodes. Now, you have to understand… I LOVED Gilmore Girls when I was a teenager. Loved it. Everything about it. It was my #1 addiction show. Not Buffy (that came later, I still blame the German dubbing), not Charmed (close second lol), always Gilmore Girls. I even had all the seasons on DVD, and then left them at my Ex’s place before we broke up and never saw them again (lesson learned)! So naturally, this whole Gilmore Girls coming to Netflix this October business left me very, very excited.

Then I started watching.

And suddenly, Gilmore Girls is an old movie to me. Or well on its way, anyway, and it made me realize what it is about the media of the past that aggravates me so much. I had the same problem trying to watch That 70′s Show a while ago, but I thought it just wasn’t my thing (with the constant cutsiefiction of sexual harassment as a thing sweet, adorable lonely guys do).

Gilmore Girls is supposed to be about free spirits and dorky outsiders, girl-power and emancipation, liberal girls who don’t give a damn about tradition and do their own thing, and do it well: in short an extremely awesome, feminist show. At least, that’s what it felt like to me when I was that age. Yes, I still love their quippy play-by-play, but now I wish it had more substance.

And now I don’t know whether I changed, or whether we just grew as a society. I just feel like a series trying for the same idea today would be so different (see the early cancelled Bunheads, for example, a more recent product of Amy Sherman-Palladino with a lot of the same cast). Or maybe a show I would like today would have to be. Maybe more like Lauren Graham and Mae Whitman’s mother-daughter relationship in NBC’s Parenthood.

The point is… movies and TV series are informed by the times in which they were made, and I suppose I just discovered I have zero nostalgia for the past. I LIKE diversity in my series (and I mean more than one Korean best friend and using the word “gay” as a joke/punch-line/insult). I LIKE honesty in the stories we tell, rather than glossing over the hard bits, and tv series are the perfect outlet for that. Much better than movies, with their fixed and limited time-span, can be.

In the end, I think today, Gilmore Girls feels conservative, chaste and weak in its message. It’s disappointing and not nearly as much fun to watch as I thought it would be.

I am keeping this running tally of disappointing moments, like when Lorelai uses gay as an insult, or Rory is disgusted at the idea of nursing a baby in public, or the constant slut shaming and fat phobia (especially galling considering they eat exactly like people like them imagine fat people eat). Or the crazy stereotypical sexist representation of Rory’s friends in Chilton (the ultra competitive bitchy one — and I know Paris ends up more fleshed out but it takes almost two whole seasons to get there, the boy-crazy “slutty” one and the dumb, nice one). But what gets me most are those overarching themes.

The basic premise that Lorelai’s parents have a right to be disappointed she didn’t turn out their carbon copy is never actually questioned. Lorelai apologizes, she even says she’s some kind of special freak, but the idea that parents get to be this actively disappointed for 15 long years because their child chose a different path is taken for granted. No mention that children have a sense of autonomy, that they are individuals, or that parents shouldn’t even try to brainwash them into becoming just like them.

And then there is Lorelai’s insistence not to get any help from her parents. And it makes sense with her character, but in today’s world where a single income is rarely enough to support a family, it sets an impossible standard for single-parent mothers. And the whole self-made person, never-ask-for-help-from-anyone bit could have come right out of some conservative politician’s mouth (who also was born to wealthy parents, giving them an extra boost in the world not just in money, but in the expectation that it’s possible to be that self-starter, and having room to fail). What is so wrong in helping each other? Why is that such a terrible thing?

And don’t get me started on the men and boys in their lives.

Dean is presented as the “good guy” compared to Jess, but Dean has crazy anger management issues. He may not get into fights, but he threatens violence, he yells, and treats Rory like a possession no other man is allowed to look at (see Tristan, Jess). There are several points in the story where Rory looks actively afraid of him, and with good reason. He’s clingy and manipulative and abusive, but no, he’s the golden boy. The nice one, and Rory is the bad girl for falling for someone less crazy, someone who intellectually challenges her and actually makes her laugh.

Can we also talk about the fact that through the whole of the first season, it’s sooo scandalous and worrisome that a 16-year-old girl has a boyfriend? And everybody makes claims about how boys that age only think of one thing, and can’t be trusted and omg the drama. And then in the show, Rory actually doesn’t have sex until she goes to college (and even then it’s one big drama), even though she was practically never without a boyfriend all through high school, perpetuating this idea that girls are supposed to virtuous and not want it anyway or that sex isn’t a good, happy thing between two people who love each other? Aren’t we as a society ready now for women and girls who have desires and fun, and don’t have to choose between being smart/intellectual and enjoying sex?

And then there’s Lorelai. I never got the much-hyped “chemistry” between her and Luke. I always loved Max, and I still do. But I see what everybody means now. It’s exactly that “chemistry” that leads so many women who’ve read too many romance novels or see n too many romantic comedies to believe that when a guy is grumpy and quiet, that makes him mysterious or someone to save and she ends up miserable, when she could have been with a good, caring man who knows how to communicate and use his words, who actually shares her interest and matches her intellect so she doesn’t have to play dumb, or alter herself to flirt with him.

But the writers were very insistent to write out any man who actually fits with Lorelai: Max went suddenly marriage crazy, and we didn’t even get a resolution are any kind of goodbye. Christopher, who I then rooted for, gets a phone call that his ex is pregnant… and so there’s always grumpy old Luke to turn to. That’s not fate, or chemistry, that’s cruel writers ;) . And I get that, I’m a writer: torturing your characters is part of the deal, I just don’t buy the overarching love story she and Luke are supposed to have.

Sorry for the rant, I suppose I needed to get that off my chest.  And really, it’s not all bad, it’s still just as sweet and witty as it always was. It’s just not that crazy happy perfect show anymore that it was when I was young.
What I’m trying to say, though, is that no matter how bad it seems sometimes… I really like the times we live in.

We may have sexist assholes stealing naked pictures of famous women and spreading them over the internet, but we also have Jennifer Lawrence, who refuses to apologize for having made the pictures in the first place – who refuses to apologise, in short, for being a full human being with emotions and sexuality, and calls this “leak” by what it is: a sex-crime.

We may have internet trolls harassing, threatening and virtually beating up women who dare to speak out on women’s issues – but at least we’re talking about them.

And I’m not saying that all tv shows are better now, that no sexist or racist or homophobic stuff happens in movies. But I think it’s easier to find shows who go a different way, and not only am I grateful for that as a viewer, I also think it says something about us as a society. Namely, that it doesn’t always get worse at all.

Forbidden Fruit: Blog Tour and Interview

Among all the happy release news this month, this is probably the most exciting. I have been in more anthologies with Cheyenne Blue than I can name off the top of my head, and I have always adored her stories, her style and her approach to erotica. So now, not only did she chose one of mine for her fabulous anthology, as luck would have it, I also get to interview her on my blog today.

Settle in comfortably, you’re inffcb for a treat. First you get to know the awesome person that is Cheyenne Blue, you also get a glimpse at her story Out for the Count, published in her fabulous new Ladylit anthology Forbidden Fruit: Stories of Unwise Lesbian Desire.

 

Cheyenne, you’ve just made the jump from writer to editor – is this a truly new field for you? What drew you to editing an anthology?

Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire is the first erotica anthology I’ve edited, but it’s not my first editing experience, nor my first anthology.  I’ve edited for a now defunct epublisher, as well as freelance editing, both fiction and non-fiction.  A few years ago, when I was living in Ireland, I put together an anthology of local writing that was sponsored by the local Arts Council.  That was a great experience that whetted my appetite for more.  And what’s more obvious than the genre in which I’ve written and contributed to anthologies for over ten years? When the opportunity arose at Ladylit (www.ladylit.com), I jumped at it.

Forbidden Fruit has been a wonderful editing experience, and that’s due in a large part to the seventeen wonderful contributors and the lovely people at Ladylit.

What was the hardest thing about the selection process?

The rejections.  I’ve had loads of them over my erotica career and so I know firsthand that they’re not a nice thing to receive.  They’re not nice to send either.  I received many good submissions that I had to reject either because they were not the right fit for Forbidden Fruit, or because they were too thematically similar to another story.  For example, I received three stories in which the forbidden fruit was a partner’s or ex-partner’s mother. All excellent stories, and I was very sorry to reject two of them.

I’ve always really enjoyed your writing – do you have a special approach to erotica?

Thank you! *beams*

I don’t have a special approach to erotica.  As with any fiction I write, erotica has to be firstly a story, and then a story with sex in it.  If sex isn’t an integral part of the tale, then it doesn’t belong there.  I have a folder full of unfinished stories, snippets, and ideas (it’s huge) as a result.

Where do you tend to draw your inspiration from?

Most of my stories start from a somewhere.  That is, I have to have a setting in my head before I start writing.  Even if I’m writing a story set in a generic bar, in my head it will be a bar I know on Colfax in Denver, in Brunswick Street in Melbourne, or a backcountry bar in Arizona.  It has to be a real somewhere for me to write about it, even if that “somewhere” is not a noticeable part of the story.  Then the characters can spring from someone I saw somewhere, or whose conversation I overheard in a coffee shop.  Things get extrapolated from these basic starting points.

 

Can you tell my readers a bit more about your story in the collection: Out for the Count?

My story, Out for the Count, is about Linn, a casino security guard, who befriends a card counter in order to identify her and bar her from returning to the casino.

I have a relative who very successfully supplements his pension by card counting.  His tales of big wins are matched by his stories of being escorted from the premises by casino security.  I’ve always thought that scenario offers great potential for a story, and it seemed like a good match for Forbidden Fruit.  Plus I took advantage of having my very own technical advisor on hand (for the casino aspects, not the sex!)

 

Here’s an excerpt:

The keys she saw in Francesca’s purse do indeed fit a Lexus. A silver late-model one. Linn sinks into the leather seat, fakes a wide-eyed look around. “Lovely car,” she says, and leans forward to twiddle the radio dial.

Francesca slaps her hand away, and as Linn feigns hurt, Francesca picks up her hand and presses it to her lips, kissing away the red mark.

This time, Linn’s gasp is not feigned. The touch of Francesca’s mouth on the back of her hand sends a jolt of silver desire along her arm. One touch from the red lipsticked mouth pressing a kiss to her flesh, and she’s molten. Wide-eyed she stares at Francesca.

Francesca withdraws. “Did I read you wrong, darling? If I did, it’s a first. I thought you knew what you were getting into. You don’t want poker tips any more than I want to give them.” One side of her mouth lifts in a half smile, and she seems amused.

Caught off balance by the directness, Linn stammers an apology, but Francesca leans across the gearshift and presses her lips to Linn’s. She kisses her hard, her mouth firm and assured. Her hand rests on Linn’s thighs, pressed protectively together. A shaft of desire pierces Linn’s belly. She knows the parking garage is covered by CCTV, she knows that Raoul may be watching this, but right now, she doesn’t care. She wants Francesca with a fierceness, an immediateness that equals Francesca’s own post win high. It’s doubtless going to be a euphoric fuck for Francesca, but Linn is there with her, and if Raoul is watching—well, she will make her excuses to him later.

So she kisses Francesca back, pushing her tongue into Francesca’s mouth, and tasting the lust that leaks from her. But she keeps her thighs together; Francesca is probably so high she would fuck here in the parking garage, uncaring of security cameras. But Linn won’t go that far. Indeed, she thinks, she will stop this soon. But not just yet.

She breaks the kiss. “Your hotel.”

Francesca starts the Lexus. Linn lets her hand settle on Francesca’s thigh as they follow the ramps to the exit.

Outside it’s dusk, and away from the casino there are only the quiet streets of a town which reeks of desperation. Linn’s fingers explore higher, up to the juncture of Francesca’s thighs, over her skirt. And then, when that isn’t enough, she reverses direction, lets her fingers crawl down to her knee and repeats the process underneath the skirt. Francesca’s bare skin is smooth and warm. When Linn’s fingers touch the edge of her panties, they are damp.

******

 

The next stop on the Forbidden Fruit blog tour is Allison Wonderland http://aisforallison.blogspot.com  who is interviewing Ava-Ann Holland.

Leave a comment on any post in the Forbidden Fruit blog tour to be entered into a random draw to win one of these great prizes.  Prizes include a paperback copy of Girls Who Score, lesbian sports erotica edited by Ily Goyanes, Best Lesbian Romance 2011 edited by Radclyffe, Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories edited by Sacchi Green, an ebook of Ladylit’s first lesbian anthology Anything She Wants, and a bundle of three mini-anthologies from Ladylit: Sweat, A Christmas to Remember and Bossy.  All of these titles contain some stories written by the fabulous contributors to Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire. You must include an email address in your comment to be entered into the draw.

 

Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire is available directly from the publisher, Ladylit or from Amazon, Smashwords, and other good retailers of ebooks.  Check out http://www.ladylit.com/books/forbidden-fruit/ for all purchasing information.

Thoughts too long for Twitter: Street Harassment

Because apparently, I can’t sit down an concentrate on anything before getting this off my chest, here’s what happened on the bus today. It’s not unusual, it’s not new, it happens all the time to me and all the other women around. And I’m still gonna write about it.

I get into the bus, and a guy gestures me to go first on the ticket machine. Afterwards, he goes:

Man: *mumbles so that I have to lean in*
Me: (in German) Excuse me?
Man: *still mumbling* Do you speak English?
Me: Yeah. Yes, I do. Do you need help with anything?

He points to the ticket machine and we have a conversation about the different rates and distances and where he has to go, until I tell him which ticket to get. After this, I walk away to find a less busy place to stand. So far so good.
He follows me and starts asking me questions.

- What’s your name?
- Do you live around here?
- Where are you going?
- Do you take this bus a lot?
- Do you have children?
- Do you have a boyfriend?

At this point, I lie and say I do, already figuring he isn’t the type to just respect my lack of desire to date him. My answers grow more and more taciturn and at the next station a few people get off the bus so I walk away again to find a place to sit.
He follows me again, standing way too close so that my face is at the height of his stomach/crotch.

Man: Hey, give me your number.
Me: No, thank you.
Man: Come on, give me your number. Your boyfriend doesn’t have to know. It’s just as friends. Just as friends, come on. It’s just a phone number. It’s totally normal.
Me: *shaking my head throughout his speech.* No thank you. Very flattering, but no.
Man: It’s just a phone number. Come on, just as friends. Everybody can use friends, right? It’s no big deal, just give me your number, come on.
Me: *Shakes head and turns away*
Man: Come on, you’re not scared of me, are you?
Me: No, I’m not scared of you. *turns away again*
Man: Here, why don’t you come sit with me. There’s plenty of room here.
Me: *ignores him*
Man: Hey, you don’t have to be scared of me. Just sit with me.
Me: I’m good here, thanks.
Man: Yeah I knew it. You’re scared of me, this is so typical…

Now, at this point I was pretty mad. Not just because I actually do have an anxiety disorder and when it gets bad it is exactly situations like that which make it really scary for me to use the bus or even leave my house. But also because he was African, and I suddenly felt like he was calling me racist for that old cliche of having to be afraid of black men. And again, I wasn’t afraid of him at all, I was just pissed off.

Me: Okay, seriously? I helped you, I was nice. I don’t want to go out with you or give you my number. Leave me alone.
Man: *stares* It’s just a damn number…

At this point I just resolutely stared out of the window until my stop came. Of course at this point, he still had the gall to ask me where his stop was and how many more stops to go. And I got off feeling like crap.

Why do these people do this? Like… I just don’t get it.

Exclusive Excerpt: After Life Lessons – The Interlude

Have you read After Life Lessons yet? If so, I have a treat for you! A few weeks ago, L.C. Spoering and I released a little bonus collection of short stories called After Life Lessons – The Interlude. It’s just a bit of fun to tie us over between books, and to go into some details that we couldn’t fit into the tight structure of a novel.

And the best thing, newsletter subscribers can get it for free! Or you can buy on Amazon or Kobo. :)

 

Blurb

At long last, Emily, Aaron and Song have found a home on the small farm in Kentucky where Annika took them in. Knowing nothing of the trials and journeys that lie ahead of them, they can allow themselves to heal – in mind and body – as they become farmers and gatherers, as they become a family.

After Life Lessons – The Interlude offers nine snapshots of their lives from the perspectives of the different characters. It paints their present and digs up their past, and leads the reader through two years of rest, until Aaron, Emily and Song are ready for their next adventure in After Life Lessons – Book Two.

After Life Lessons – The Interlude contains scenes of graphic adult content.

 

Excerpt: After Life Lessons — The Interlude

Aaron.

The barn at the edge of the property is still in view of the house, looming large in front of what must have been a field years back and now sprouts weeds and wild flowers.

Annika doesn’t know if it’s sound, or if anything has been kept in it for decades. Inside, the light filters down through cracks and rotted holes in the roof; old birds’ nests perch feathered in the eaves. The whole building rattles with the wind, but my unprofessional inspections show it sturdy, termites unaware of its existence, just like the rest of the world.

We tied the horses up outside. The weather has mostly held recently, but we built a tent anyway, with a tarp unearthed from the cellar. The horses seem amused by this, as much as Song and Lani, who duck in and out to offer handfuls of grass to the horses in the heat of the sun.

They’re back at the house, now, for lunch and for school– Annika’s damned strict about school. I’ve been in the barn all morning, working on the roof, in the loft where it joins the wall. I’m not confident enough to climb up on the outside, and it doesn’t seem to need as much work as I feared.

Emily is worried about the floor, says it’s supposed to be softer for the horses’ delicate hoofs, but I figure we can worry about that once we have them secure. I don’t like thinking about them out there, tied up in the dark, presented like a buffet. We take turns watching them, unknotting their ropes, feeding them. It’s not a permanent solution.

In the long run, we’ll need a fence, too, a place for them to graze. There’s enough meadow behind the barn, but it’ll take some planning and a lot of wood, and some skills I’m not totally sure I possess. I think we’re all trying not to think about it. One step after the other.

From up here on the ladder, I can see her– Emily, heaving a can of water around the garden. It’s so heavy it seems to dislodge her hip as she leans away from its heft. She’s gained weight herself, and muscle, and, as she moves, her face arranges itself in that determined grimace I’ve grown to know.  It makes me smile, and I stop affixing patches to the holes in the roof. I am mostly hidden from view, so I indulge myself: she’s kind of impossibly cute like that.

She’s wearing jean shorts and a flannel shirt, red and way too big for her, so she’s knotted it around her stomach and in the crook of her arms. The rubber boots make her feet look unnaturally large as she trudges through the soft earth.

She likes the garden, keeps adding almost every day. Either she digs up new patches of earth, or tries to rally enthusiasm to find more crops in the neighboring properties. She’s good at it, too: she has that smile and the determination of a mother.

She eventually catches me watching her, and waves, and I wave back, only a little sheepish. I’ve tried to reason with myself, but mostly have given up– I’m allowed a few weeks, months, years, right? My arm’s barely healed, after all. A guy who faces death gets to moon over his pretty girl and act like an idiot for a fair amount of time after that.

When she moves my way, I climb carefully down the ladder. She’s got the bucket, still, and I assume she intends to water the horses, but I enjoy pretending she’s coming to see me anyway.

“You know it doesn’t have to be perfect, right?” she asks, that cheeky grin on her face, even as she peers up at the roof. “We just have to make room in there, give them a proper place.”

Her accent makes words sound like she’s gone and dug up a dictionary, even if I know they’re not special, or even unusual. Proper, from her mouth, sounds Shakespearean.

“Might as well do it right the first time,” I say, my own accent as jarring as ever next to hers, and I instinctively try to flatten it out, the way she tells me not to– it’s just something I do, out of habit.

She ducks under the stallion’s neck without letting go of the halter she took hold of. It brings her so close, I can smell her hair.

“Are you okay working up there?” she asks, her small hand sneaking up my shirt.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” I’m instantly distracted, and the mare whinnies behind me, like she can tell. We still haven’t given them names; Song and Lani can’t decide. It’s the first thing they’ve ever fought over.

“You know…” Emily pulls her shoulders up like a kitten. She looks sad, and then winces when the stallion tries to make a sudden grab for the water, biting mare and little one out of the way, and yanking at Emily’s arm.

“Are you worried about me?” I can’t help the sing-song my voice takes on, and she makes a face at me. I’m grinning again, as wide and dumb as ever. She pokes her tongue out, that cute pink thing, and I want to pull her close, get her away from those animals.

“Just… protective,” she smiles, but she’s distracted, restraining that damned horse. The barn can’t be finished soon enough where I’m concerned.

“Wanna come see how it’s going?” It’s transparent, very much so, and she snorts, and then laughs, looking over at the little horse.

“You need an inspection?” she asks, raising her eyebrows.

I look up towards the main house. Everything looks quiet; the kids are likely busy with their math and reading for another hour at least. It can’t be selfish, I reason; it makes sense in my head.

“Come on.” I take her hand. When she smiles the way she does, I wonder how in the world I got this lucky.

[...]

New Release: The Big Book of Submission

Today, I have the honor introducing you to another new anthology I have the pleasure of being a part of. The amazing Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor, wonderful writer, blogger and all around bad ass, has done it again and brought together a real gem of short erotic fiction, especially for those of us who like a little spice in our life. 

The Big Book of Submission comprises 69 short stories, glimpses into the world of bdsm and submission. And that’s exactly its strongest point. I am a huge fan of brevity — and not because of my generations infamously short attention span. A novel, even a regular short story takes you on a journey, from beginning to end. But these stories just spirit you away for a few minutes and leave your mind all fired up, ready to imagine a whole world. They inspire the reader. They quicken the pulse and leave you wanting, and that’s exactly what makes them so delicious.

Laila-after-the-Dentist holding copy of The Big Book of Submission.

Laila-after-the-Dentist holding copy of The Big Book of Submission.

Isn’t that what we are looking for in erotic fiction? Something that gets our own imagination going?

I highly recommend this collection, especially if you’re on the look-out for something a little different, for a whirlwind of different fantasies to immerse yourself into. Besides, check out this amazing line-up of writers (complete with snippets from every single story!). Oh, and if you don’t want to take just my word for it – here is a whole list of people endorsing it on their beautiful blogs!

For my own story, Housebroken, I was inspired by a photograph of a young woman, lying in a patch of sunlight on dark hardwood floors. Dust particles made the air shimmer, and there was this stunning contrast between her soft, light skin and the hard, dark floor-boards beneath her.
She was like a kitten, enjoying the sun on her belly. I wanted to write about this kitten girl and her mistress, and their loving and kinky life that allowed her to be so uninhibited, as to lay naked in a patch of sun.

IMG_3405

Available from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk!

 

L.C. Spoering talks about her latest release!

Today, I have a little treat for you. My friend and publishing partner L.C. Spoering is releasing a brilliant new YA novel, and I interviewed her so you can learn more about her work!

So, Lorrie, obviously, I know you really well – we write novels together, we geek out on skype together and support each other. That’s why I want the people who read my blog to get to know you, too. You’re such a great writer and such a generous person and they should all know that! You have book coming out, called At the Edge of the World. I’ve read it in more than one stage of development and was always a great fan of the detail and the atmosphere you created.

What drew you to write about a street kid on Venice Beach?

One of the first rules of writing thrown around is “write what you know.” Outside the obviously problematic nature of such a recommendation, I simply like to write things that require me to research, and really dig deep into character and setting. Given I’ve never lived on the street, and, in fact, have never lived in Venice Beach, either, the fascination was easy, and large. I like the lore of Venice, and the notion of an outside/insider moving within it.

YA is really big right now. How you do account for its success and where do you think YA should go as a genre?

I think people are interested in youth and, in particular, the youth they didn’t or don’t have. There’s definitely something fascinating about, say, a teenager dying of cancer, or one thrown into a death match. Few (if any, in the case of a death match) live this kind of life. Putting kids and teenagers into these situations is relatable because, hey, we’ve all been teenagers.

I’d like if YA allowed for more nuance, and more subtly of both story and emotion. I was once told my work was “too lit fic” for YA, which confused (and amused!) me: what’s too lit fic for teens? They care about emotions, and the smaller stories, too. It seems strange to decree a genre unable to process human complexity.

I know you have more ongoing YA projects and plans for the future – how would you define your style in this area?

As I said above, I’m “lit fic” in almost everything I do: I like a close character study, as well as a sort of particular structure to the story, so that the way it’s told is as important as the story itself. I’m totally unable to be completely straight-forward: I like to have to work in a story, and have people think.

Do your children influence your writing, especially when you write for an age group they are just now growing into?

Yes and no. My kids have interests that are WILDLY different from my own, and so I’m not totally capable of writing what they might like. I do, however, ponder themes a lot, in relation to things I would approve of, and endorse, them reading – I want both of them to see a variety of characters, male and female, in all the ways people appear in the world. I want them to have feminist books to reach for, and ones that contain a diversity they see in their lives.

Who you do you think is your core audience? Who will enjoy At the Edge of the World?

I tried to write a book I would have enjoyed reading at 16 years old, but one that also would interest my 70 year old mother. It’s not that drastic a goal, I’ve found: most people, despite their more focused interests, can come together over a story with compelling characters.

I think those who enjoy an element of fantasy to their grit, sweet love in the rough, and a bit of mystery to a story, will enjoy At the Edge of the World.

At the Edge of the World will be on August 26th, and you should definitely check it out!

Goodreads | Lilt Literary | Pinterest Board

Blurb:

Lost in the chaos of Venice Beach, among the homegrown freaks and weirdos, the tourists and life’s forgotten people, one runaway is just another face in the crowd—and this is just how Shane likes it. Torn between the home he left behind and lure of the ocean he ran to, something has tied his fates to the beach, and he is not the only one.

She is a famous mystery: the Venice Skater Chick. Shane has loved her since his first night on the beach. Others are watching her, too—and at least one wants her dead.

A mystery unfolds between the famed boardwalk, a dusty record store, a cramped apartment and a hidden cave. Under the gathering storms, Shane makes a desperate attempt to protect the girl he loves, and the life waiting for him on the other side.