Saturday, April 18, 2015

Body and Spirit

By Ashe Barker (Guest Blogger)

Thank you so much for inviting me over to Beyond Romance today to give a shout out about Spirit, my latest release.

Much of the story takes place against the backdrop of Le Grand Départ, the start of the Tour de France cycle race which in the summer of 2014 took place in Yorkshire in the North of England. Maybe took place is the wrong description, took over is closer to the mark. It was a massive international occasion, and I suspect the sheer scale of the event, and the audience it attracted, took most of us by surprise. Roads were closed, Yorkshire was a no-go area, unless you were on two wheels. Or two feet.

Somewhere between 2.5million and 3.5 million people turned out to watch. It’s impossible to know the number for sure as no one had to buy a ticket. They just turned up, often hiking across miles of moorland, and lined the route, local communities and international visitors alike. Ice cream sellers reported a whole year’s trade in two days! The audience on television was 3.5 billion, a truly spectacular showcase for this little bit of England.

The whole thing was fabulous, a wonderful atmosphere and it was a weekend we won’t forget. One of the features I most enjoyed though was the way bits of artwork popped up all over the moorland landscape as the race got nearer. Farmers decorated their fields, and their sheep, in the race colours. The route was decorated with bunting, spotted jerseys, and the iconic yellow bicycles. We saw specially designed crop circles, painted cows, and of course some fabulous sculptures. All of these bits of public art were free to be enjoyed by the billions watching. Most of these pieces were transient and have now gone, though a few remain. One of these more permanent sculptures is featured in Spirit, and gave me the title of the book.

Spirit is first and foremost a sexy romance, but with some serious issues underpinning it. It’s a story about one young woman’s route to homelessness, and about childhood abuse. For all that though it isn’t really a dark tale. This is a book about kindness, generosity, and moving on.
Spirit has its lighter side too, with some endearing minor characters of the human and non-human variety. Look out for Ethel, the exuberant little Westie dog, and rather bad-tempered macaw. Ethel is modelled on my own little dog. I just had to put her in a book somewhere and this seemed like a good home for her. George the macaw is inspired by my husband’s grumpy cockatiel. There are other creatures in our menagerie too, so I probably need to find places in my future books for a couple of tortoises, and some rabbits.

Enough of the Noah’s Ark, here’s the back cover stuff for Spirit…



When Matthew Logan offers a homeless young woman a bed for a few nights, he expects the girl to eat, sleep, recover from the flu, and then move on. Instead, in no time at all eighteen-year-old Beth Harte has captured his affections completely. Though Matt wants only to protect her and has no intention of sleeping with her, Beth has other ideas, and she proves to be very persuasive.

But after Beth is attacked by a friend of Matt’s and subsequently learns for the first time that Matt is an experienced dominant, she is unable to separate the man she is growing to care about from her hateful memories of previous exploitation. Confused and frightened, she runs away.

Almost six years pass before Matt sees Beth again, and in that time his vulnerable little waif has reinvented herself as an artist. Now she has a stunning proposition for him and his environmental engineering company: to collaborate on a project fusing art and science to promote one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. But when Matt demands to know what went wrong before, she tells him the truth, both about her childhood and about his friend’s actions.

Matt is determined to make Beth’s abusers pay for their crimes, but he’s also not about to let her run away from him again. Can Beth bring herself to trust Matt despite her fears and give him the chance to love her and show her the pleasures of being his submissive, or will the wounds of her past keep her from trusting anyone ever again?

Publisher’s Note: Spirit is an erotic romance novel that includes spankings, sexual scenes, anal play, BDSM content, and more. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

And of course a sexy excerpt from Spirit, to whet your appetite.

* * * * 
"Will you fuck me now?"

"Mmm, that's the plan, though I'm considering spanking you first."

"Why?"

"For fun, and to get it out of the way. A girl's first spanking is a big event, I'm thinking you might be nervous about it. Having another wobble maybe."

"Maybe, but..."

"But?"

"But I'm sort of excited too. I want it to hurt."

"I see. I can manage that I reckon."

"But I want you to fuck me as well. At the same time. Could you do that?

"Oh yes."

"I hoped you'd say that."

"Get on all fours then. And spread your legs wide."

I scramble into position as Matt reaches for his bedside drawer. There's a snap of foil, then the head of his cock is at my entrance. He waits, poised, and I quiver with anticipation.

He doesn't move, just holds that pose. I wriggle, roll my hips and try to shuffle backwards. I'm rewarded by a resounding whack, and a sharp pain resonates through my right buttock.

"Too impatient, girl. Keep still."

"Oh, oh Matt.."

"I think you mean Sir. I've been lax until now, but you need to start obeying the rules."

"Sir, sir, sir!"

"Don't overdo it. And if you move again, you'll get another slap. Harder next time."

"Yes Sir....oh, oh my God!" Matt drives his cock deep into me, right to the balls. My body offers no resistance, so well prepared and utterly ready am I, but he holds still as I stretch around him and I'm glad of the moment's respite to gather my wits.

He withdraws, then sinks his erection into me again, long and slow. I grasp the duvet under me and cling on tight. My pussy squeezes around him, and he slaps my bum again, this time on the left side.

"I told you to keep still. That means on the inside too."

"I couldn't help it. I...oh, oh!!

Two more hard slaps land, the sound harsh in the otherwise silent room. My pussy convulses again, and I tense, expecting more punishment.

It doesn't happen. I turn my head to look at Matt behind me.

"I don't understand, why didn't you spank me? I squeezed."

"Have I unleashed your inner pain slut? How interesting. But I spank when I choose to. And right now, I choose to fuck."

He pulls back, almost out of me, then drives his cock forward again, pounding into my cunt. Several more swift strokes and I lurch forward, my face buried in the mattress and my bum held up high for him. He manages to find that perfect angle to hit my G-spot with each hard thrust. My cunt is spasming, my inner muscles well beyond any conscious control of mine. I want him to spank me, and I'm afraid of it too, Afraid of wanting it.

Matt drops several more swift slaps onto my buttocks, each one making me squeal and writhe under him. The conflicting sensations are a heady cocktail, confusing signals scrambling my ability to think straight. In this moment though reason seems over-rated. I relinquish any residual hold on sanity and allow myself to sink into a submissive fog where all that matters, all that counts, is what Matt wants, what he chooses to do.

The slaps continue, each one sharp, stinging, the pain beautiful in its purity. My clit is quivering, swollen beyond belief. I want to feel his touch there, but don't know if or how to tell him. But I need, I need so badly.

"Sir? I, may I..."

"Do it."

The curt command answers my unspoken question. I reach down to caress my clit, then slide my fingers further back to feel the fast motion of his cock plunging into me, the lips of my pussy splayed wide to receive him. I let out a groan as I return to caressing my swollen bud, rubbing harder as he picks up a pounding rhythm. He slaps my bottom again, really hard now, and I scream, the perfect blend of agony and ecstasy so intense it fills my consciousness. Suddenly I'm spinning, weightless, my body collapsing into helpless spasming as my orgasm washes over and through me, reaching every corner, every nerve and muscle and melting my bones.

You can grab a copy of Spirit from wherever you like to buy your ebooks.

Spirit Buy Links


More about Ashe Barker

I’ve been writing seriously for about two years but I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, erotic and other genres. I love reading historical and contemporary romances in all pairings – the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.

My stories are often set in the north of England where I live but I draw inspiration from all over. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea. But ultimately my tales of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of my own lurid and smutty imagination.

On the rare occasions I’m not writing my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises. And most recently a very grumpy cockatiel. I’m a rural parish councillor too.

My other titles are many and varied, and include the ‘Black Combe’ trilogies, The Dark Side, Sure Mastery, The Hardest Word and A Richness of Swallows, all set in the atmospheric moorland of West Yorkshire or Cumbria and with a strong BDSM theme. My stand alone novels are The Three Rs, Chameleon, Red Skye at Night, and Faith but this list grows all the time. The Widow Is Mine is a full length medieval erotic romance which I wrote for The Conquered Brides collection. I’ve also written several short stories, including Re-Awakening, a raunchy pirate tale, Right of Salvage, and a MM story, Bodywork, which was included in the Amazon best-selling collection Brit Boys on Boys. You can find all my stories on my author page on Amazon.

I have a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keep thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from me.

I love to hear from readers. You can find me on my blog, and I’m on Facebook, and twitter too. And more recently on Tsu

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lesbian romance doesn’t sell, so why write it?

By Berengaria Brown (Guest Blogger)

People say that lesbian romance doesn’t sell, that it’s stupid to waste my time writing it when my male-male and ménage stories will earn me more money. But every now and then I write another lesbian romance. All my lesbian erotic romances are based on the idea of women overcoming difficulties to achieve their happy endings. Because all women deserve to find their happy endings.

I’ve always loved reading stories about strong women from history. In a time when women had almost no rights at all, every now and then a woman overcame every obstacle to guide her people. One of those was Queen Elizabeth I of England. Other women who come to mind are:

Marie Curie, Queen Victoria, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Mother Theresa, Eleanor of Aquitane, Aspasia of Miletus, Boadicea, Catherine the Great, Sappho, Florence Nightingale, and in our own day, Aung San Suu Kyi. Of course, you will all have your own lists.

My only female cousin was thirteen years older than me, so by the time I was old enough to know she was my cousin, she already seemed completely grown up to my little girl self. One by one my cousins got married but Bron didn’t. I longed for her to tell me she was engaged because I planned to ask to be her flower girl, but all that happened was that she took a job in a state a long way from where we lived. I was much older before I understood that she and her female best friend were closer than that. And it as even longer before I understood that where she and her lover had chosen to live was a state that accepted lesbians.

It was Bron who opened my eyes to the obstacles that two women face in finding their own happy ever after even today. I’m so glad she and Nancy found theirs in the end.

And, just to prove everyone wrong, two of my lesbian romances went on to become best sellers. So once again I have a new lesbian book out. 

 

Lesbian Lovers: Three Short Stories in one book!

Three lesbian couples. Three very different situations. Three fulfilling journeys to happiness.

Fist Me”: Maeve nearly fell off her barstool when Taryn, the sexiest woman she’d ever known, asked her to fist her. But is it the right thing to do? Taryn’s not lesbian, and has just broken up from Mr. Perfect. Is she taking advantage of her? Or is this the ideal opportunity for them to begin a relationship?

Lady Caroline’s Reward”: Lady Caroline Eversley needs a chaperone so hires Miss Dinah Watkin, a distant relative. Dinah and Caroline fall in love and Dinah teaches Caroline all about sex, but the problem of Caroline’s suitable chaperonage refuses to go away. Can they find a solution and have their own happy ending?

Stubborn Attraction”: Laid off for ramming her knee into a co-worker’s balls after he tries to feel her up, lesbian Jaelle heads to her father’s cabin in the mountains. There, she takes the form of a mountain goat and climbs, free and uninhibited. So, what happens when she finds a very attractive interloper on her favorite rock ledge?

Previously published as individual stories by Torquere Press.

PG13 Excerpt

Later that evening, the women sat by the fire in the book room, their fingers moving diligently as they sewed. Hugh, Thomas and John were all upstairs with Caroline’s father. His suite of rooms was always heated warmly and he was never left unattended even for a moment.

Dinah gazed at Caroline. She really did look lovely in the firelight, her pale cheeks slightly flushed by the warmth of the fire, the long hair coiled neatly on her neck and gleaming with reddish highlights, her slender fingers busily employed mending one of her father’s shirts.

Dinah’s heart lurched. She could fall in love with this woman. Not only was Caroline beautiful, but she was also highly intelligent and courageous in the way she was facing the adversity of her father’s, and therefore her own, situation.

Have you ever been kissed?” Dinah asked suddenly.

Well, just a few quick pecks by boys who shouldn’t have when I was younger. At family gatherings and such. And one or two of the suitors have tried. That’s why I made sure Hugh Howel was always with me. They totally ignored the fact my maid Betty was in the room!”

Would you like to be kissed? Properly kissed?”

But who— What? You—”

Yes, me. May I kiss you?” Dinah put her needlework down on the side table and slid along the sofa to the end where Caroline sat.

Caroline’s hands dropped to the sofa. With no objection forthcoming, very gently, Dinah turned Caroline’s head toward her and kissed those ripe pink lips. Softly, gently, sweetly, but with enough heat and passion to warm their lips. Very soon, Caroline responded, one hand reaching up to rest on Dinah’s arm.
Caroline’s lips softened under Dinah’s caress, and Dinah licked along the seam, urging her to open her mouth. Caroline did, and Dinah’s tongue slipped inside, very gently running along Caroline’s teeth and all around the warm wet cavern.

Dinah’s hands firmed on Caroline’s head, tilting it slightly as her tongue thrust into the younger woman’s mouth.

Caroline groaned and responded more passionately, kissing back with enthusiasm.

Dinah increased the heat by sucking a little on Caroline’s tongue pulsing in and out before retreating again.

Caroline melted into Dinah, leaning against the older woman and holding both her shoulders as she returned the kisses very passionately now.

Deliberately, Dinah took one hand off Caroline’s head and placed her palm against Caroline’s breast, smoothing it up and over the nipple. A nipple that was standing up, a hard, excited little peak.

Caroline’s tongue delved into Dinah’s mouth, exploring the roof, the sides, the teeth. Dinah responded by sucking on it as her hand slid down inside the bodice of Caroline’s gown, hot on her flesh, to rub the globe of her breast and tweak the nipple between her fingers.

I... Oh... More,” gasped Caroline, then returned to kissing Dinah, her arms now grasping the older woman firmly.


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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review Tuesday: The Bachelor Machine

The Bachelor Machine
By M. Christian

[Note: This review was originally written in 2009. I'm reposting it because there's a new edition of this wonderful book. ~ Lisabet]

Sex is all in the mind. This is what a medtech tells the young soldier whose lower half has been blasted away in "Skin-Effect", one of the nineteen stories in M.Christian's new collection of erotic science fiction, The Bachelor Machine. In the worlds of these tales, where bodies are augmented, re-engineered or just plain replaced, and mental experience includes fully immersive virtual realities and globally-networked vicarious orgies, the definition of "mind" and "body" becomes as slippery as arousal itself.

True to his reputation, M. Christian delivers an abundance of sweet, steamy, well-lubricated sex in these stories, plenty of succulent pussies, achingly hard cocks and explosive orgasms. In nearly every case, though, the true stimulus is not physical but rather an idea, a fantasy or a situation. In "State", for instance, a wonderfully ironic reversal of cyberpunk conventions, the protagonist, Fields, is turned on by the challenge of impersonating a sex robot: a blue-skinned, manga-eyed, perfectly proportioned Mitsui Class B Automaton. When a client asks for the house "specialty", for Field's it is not just a trick. It's a performance; it's Art. Christian skillfully leads the reader to wonder whether Fields would enjoy sex as a human nearly as much.

In the stunning "Everything but the Smell of Lilies", the author dares to speculate on the arousing aspects of necrophiliac fantasy – from the perspective of the corpse. The narrator of "Technophile" gets off imagining penetration by his lover's magnificently engineering artificial penis -- which in reality is non-functional due to low batteries. "Hackwork" is an original treatment of a BDSM threesome where the dom exercises his will over the submissive via telepresence, using the body and senses of a confused but vicariously aroused human "taxi" as an intermediary. In "Bluebelle", a futuristic cop melds with his smart, death-dealing aerial assault ship, imagining her as a big-bosomed blonde bombshell who rewards hims sexually for successful arrests. And the slyly playful "Butterflies$" offersa vivid account of virtual ravishment by a horde of Tinkerbelle's nasty cousins, from which the narrator awakens with joints aching, clit deliciously sore, and bank account empty.

The stories in The Bachelor Machine are emotionally ambiguous, like the future itself. Relatively few offer an unqualified happy ending. The two stories "Winged Memory" and "Eulogy" struck me as particularly poignant. In the former, a young drifter sells his memories, one by one, in order to spend time with the whore he loves. "Eulogy" chronicles the physical and emotional complexities of a romantic triangle after one of its members has died. M. Christian's self consciously ironic voice rings especially clearly in this story:

"Julie was never a big girl. She had this ... well, narrow presence. Lithe, like a sudden whisper in the middle of a conversation. There, I couldn't have been that upset. 'Sudden whisper in the middle of a conversation', that was more like the real Jeff Hook. Worldnet journalist, unsuccessful on-line novelist, and dweller in a scummy part of town."

Christian has a fondness for extended descriptions that spill out onto the page, phrase after phrase, studded with technojargon: microfilaments and nanotech receptors, biolights and polyplastics. This technique works better in some cases than in others. "The Bachelor Machine", the final tale in the collection, is one of his notable successes. His images of a worn-out, discarded sex robot, smelling of "mildew and fried circuits", her movements hesitant and out-of-synch due to misfiring motors and flakey circuits, rings heartbreakingly true, evoking both horror and pity. Pity, for a machine!

Then every now and then, the author will come out with a brief image that is almost a poem:

"It is drizzling, like static." (Everything but the Smell of Lilies)

My one complaint about The Bachelor Machine is that too many of the stories are set in the basically the same dystopic cyperpunk future: a world of ravaged cityscapes and rusting factories, poisoned air and capsule apartments, where everyone is desperate and everything is for sale, where advanced technology (usually from Japan, often illicit) can augment or erase your humanity. This is by now familiar territory, explored by William Gibson, Pat Cadigan and many others. A possible future, yes, but surely not the only future.

Perhaps this is M.Christian's personal vision. In The Bachelor Machine, though, it is a bit overwhelming. For that reason, I found the story "Sight", which focuses on the aesthetics of an alien species, very refreshing. "Sight" provides a different and more positive futurescape. (I also enjoyed its lustily romantic resolution.)

M. Christian is audacious. He is not afraid to speculate (what would it be like for two cyborgs to fuck?) or to push boundaries (is it child pornography if the subject is a mature woman with a synthetic body, engineered to look like a prepubescent girl?). His stories suggest that the sex drive is universal, independent of gender, race, species, or even the existence of a body. Where there is intelligence, there is the potential for arousal. Or, to quote the (patently female) cyborg in "Skin-Effect":

"Remember now... It's not the socket -- it's the software."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Snog #169: Truce of Trust

My snog today comes from my ménage tale Truce of Trust. This story actually has its roots in my own experience. At one point in my life I was involved with two very different lovers, each of whom wanted me for himself. Ultimately, I did make a choicebut I’ve always fantasized about another solution where I didn’t have to.

Not that the men in this story really resemble my two lovers. Well, maybe a bit...

When you’re done with my Sunday kiss, head over to Victoria’s for more lusty lip locks.

Truce of Trust Blurb

Some women might think Leah's existence heavenly. She shares her home with two sexy men who both adore her. Ten years married to lusty, artistic Daniel, she still enjoys the discipline and release offered by Greg. But her lovers' jealousy and possessiveness have made Leah's life a hell. Unable to bear the continuous conflict, she flees to an idyllic seaside resort to ponder her future. Gradually she realises that she cannot live without either of her lovers. If the two men can't settle their differences, though, then how can she bear to live with them?



The house was dark and quiet. She wondered where Daniel was.

She worried about the two of them, alone by themselves. She knew they wouldn’t physically harm each other, of course. That wasn’t either of their styles. Would they continue to argue, when she was not around to be influenced? Would they simply hunker down and ignore each other?

She couldn’t afford the luxury of concern right now. They were adults. They could do as they pleased.

She threw her bag in the back seat of the Corolla, climbed into the front, and paused for a moment. She breathed deeply, trying to calm herself.

Leah.”

Daniel’s face was at the open car window, mottled with shadows. She smelled alcohol and sweat. He reached for her arm. She let his hand rest on her bare skin for a few moments before gently extricating herself from his grasp.

Let me go, Daniel.”

Please, Leah, don’t leave. I’m sorry that I let him get to me. I should know his tactics by now.” His speech was slightly slurred. “I should think with my brain, not with my cock.”

I have to get away for a while.”

Let me come with you, then. We could go down to that B&B in Newport, the one on the cliff. The one with the champagne...”

Leah couldn’t help but smile, remembering that naughty, romantic evening. “No, Daniel. I need a rest. From both of you.”

You’re not going to meet him somewhere, are you?” His suspicion cut her to the quick.

No, of course not. Don’t you trust me?”

Well, yes, but...” There was quaver in his voice. Great, now she had made both her lovers cry.

I’ll be back as soon as I figure things out. Meanwhile, maybe you and Greg should think about the future. The present arrangements don’t seem to be working very well.”

Her desperation must have been audible. Daniel sounded frightened. “You’re not leaving us permanently, are you?” Her desperation must have been audible. Daniel sounded frightened.

I don’t think so. I don’t know, Daniel, I don’t know anything. I don’t know what to do, about you, about us, about any of it.”

He was silent for a moment, deep in thought. Then he opened the car door and took her in his arms. “Kiss me goodbye, at least,” he murmured. It was a languid, endless kiss that turned her body weightless. She was floating on some cloud, laced with lightning.

When he released her, she almost pulled him back into another embrace. An ironic smile shaped his handsome mouth. “Have a good time,” he said. “And don’t worry about us. We’ll manage.”

He watched in the driveway as she pulled away, his lithe, loose-limbed figure painted red by the tail lights. The lonely image glowed in her mind as she headed north.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

La Vie Chez Lisabet

[Normally I have authors as guests on Saturdays, but this Saturday seems to be free. So I invited a very special celebrity to post...]


By Simone de Belle Chat (Guest Blogger)

Bonjour, mes amis,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Simone de Belle Chat, the dominant feline in the household of acclaimed erotica author Lisabet Sarai. Of course, I am using a nom de plume in order to protect my anonymity and Lisabet's. I do not want assorted furry riffraff mobbing my Facebook page and pleading to be my friends.

Lisabet asked me if I would be willing to offer my views to her readers of  on the topic of living with a writer. I was only too happy to oblige. It is fairly rare that I get the opportunity to expound on the pivotal role I play in Lisabet's writing. Only one of her books mentions me in the dedication, but she could not have reached her current pinnacle of success without my support and guidance.

To begin with, I assist her in maintaining the requisite level of organization on her desk. I insist that she reserve sufficient space, available at all times, for me to sit and supervise her efforts. When I decide that the pile of folders and notebooks on the corner of the desk has grown too tall, I take decisive action to encourage her to deal with the problem Papers scattered all over the floor simply cry out to be filed in the proper places. She pretends to be angry, but I know that, deep down, she appreciates my efforts.



I also insure that she keeps her screen and keyboard clean, by the simple expedient of scattering them with fur on a regular basis. In the old days, before she began using a laptop, she had to disassemble her keyboard every few months and vacuum out the interior to prevent the keys from sticking due to the tufts of cat hair blocking the switches. That has not been necessary thus far with the ThinkPad, but I know that she recalls the possibility every time I flick my tail across her fingers as she types.

One critical responsibility that I take very seriously is helping Lisabet to relax. When she is working against a deadline, she may sit and write for hours at a time, her shoulders hunched and her brow knitted in thought. I know that she will be sorry later if she does not get up and stretch. I keep a sharp eye on the clock, and when I decide that she needs a break, I will reach out a well-aimed paw and send her pen flying off into the middle of the room. My precision strike never fails to make her smile, and of course, she has to stand up in order to retrieve the pen. Then she will pet me for a while, exclaiming at the beauty of my velvety fur and my bright topaz eyes. When she returns to her computer, she is relaxed and rejuvenated, thus corroborating the abundant research that indicates cats reduce stress.

Do I influence the content of Lisabet's stories? Not as strongly as I would like. There is a cat in her novel Necessary Madness, a tuxedo tom who is a witch's familiar, and another in (a rather scruffy and mischievous tiger) in Incognito. Her most recent release The Eyes of Bast finally features a male cat shifter hero, but Lisabet has yet to create a story with a feline heroine. I suppose I do have to make allowances for the fact that most of her readers are human. In any case, it is not uncommon that she describes a character as having “feline grace”. In fact one might quibble that she uses that phrase too often, but it is, after all, supremely appropriate, n'est ce pas?

The eroticism in Lisabet's writing does not disturb me in the least. Even the most elegant and refined cat (such as I am) is randy enough to make human lust seem tame by comparison. It pleases me when she uses animal metaphors to describe humans in the throes of passion. I only wish that I could communicate to her the exquisite sensation of having a tom grip the ruff of your neck while battering your upraised haunches. One of the nice things about being feline that we are naturally polyamorous. Vive l'amour, I always say.

I have been focusing on the benefits that Lisabet derives from having me in her life. To be honest, I must admit that the situation is favorable from my perspective as well. Since she spends significant periods of time at home at her computer, I am rarely lonely. (When she is away, I do have Mr. Toes, the other cat in the family, for company, but he is far less articulate than Lisabet.) She always makes me feel welcome when I jump up onto her desk and curl up against her warm laptop. She personally feeds me and changes my litter, recognizing that a fastidious cat such as I requires the ultimate in hygiene. Once a year she brings me to the vet for my annual checkup and immunizations. Although I complain bitterly, I am grateful for her dedication to keeping me healthy.

Our apartment has a balcony and our potted plants attract quite an assortment of tasty looking birds. When I am weary of serving as Lisabet's muse, I can sit for hours watching the show.

All things considered, Lisabet and I have an excellent arrangement. If there are any cats out there in cyberspace who are considering entering into a relationship with a writer, I highly recommend it.

Avec les plus chaleureuses salutations,

Simone


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Deciding on a Character’s Profession

By Morticia Knight (Guest Blogger)

I write a lot of men in uniform stories. I also write historical, sci-fi and BDSM, but a significant amount of my books involve those alpha heroes we love to fantasize about. Justice Prevails (Sin City Uniforms 3) just came out last Friday and that makes it the tenth book I’ve written with at least one of the men in a profession that is typically associated with uniforms. I’ll confess that Beau, the homicide detective who was featured in book 2 (Copping an Attitude), doesn’t necessarily wear a uniform, but everyone wanted Beau’s story, so here we are.

My next step was to find to find Beau a man who would lead him to his HEA. Sometimes I feel like a matchmaking service as I put my two men together, searching for their perfect match in terms of temperament, things in common, chemistry and all the varying attributes that bring a couple together in real life. One of the more significant aspects of a character, in my opinion, is what it is that fictional person does for a living. Our careers define a big part of who we are. Even the lack of a career or one we’re only in temporarily speaks to what our personality and interests are. Another important part of the career choice is that it can be how our characters meet.

In Sin City 1, All Fired Up, foot patrol officer, Shawn, meets fireman, Trent, during a failed rescue attempt. Shawn jumps into the freezing waters of the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas to save a drunk who’s drowning, but soon gets dragged under by the struggling man. Strong alpha Trent saves Shawn, and their story goes on from there. They don’t work together, but they still meet for the first time due to circumstances that are specific to their chosen careers.

In Copping an Attitude, Officer Parker meets prostitute Slade during a routine arrest. Slade gets away, but the pimp wars on the strip and the presumption that Slade is in danger causes Parker to seek him out, if only to get him into a program. Circumstances arise that throw them into close proximity, and they begin a romantic relationship. I’ll confess, building a romance between a cop and a rent boy to was a challenging!

For Justice Prevails, I already had Beau. But who would be a good match for him? What type of interests would they share or not share that would shout to them that they were meant to be? What type of career would Beau’s love interest have, and would that be how they met? I imagined that Beau would want someone who understood the type of pressures a homicide detective faced. He would want someone smart and fun who could take him away from the grim reality he sometimes faces. Part of Beau’s personality though, is that he doesn’t know that those traits are exactly what he needs. It isn’t until he meets Investigative Technician II, Austin, that it becomes clear.

You’re probably wondering what the hell an IT II is, unless you’ve ever worked for the District Attorney’s office. While I was still in the process of figuring out everything for Justice Prevails, I was having lunch with a friend who was describing to me the job she used to do for the District Attorney’s office in Riverside, California. She would serve the subpoenas to reluctant witnesses for cases the D.A. was taking to trial, deliver evidence files from the police station to the D.A.’s office, and in some cases, sit in on internet chat rooms under an alias looking for pedophiles or wanted felons.

I’d never heard of such a profession. I understood that there was someone out there performing those tasks, but I’d never heard it named and I had no idea this individual worked directly for the D.A. Since I’m always looking for less run-of-the-mill professions for my characters, I asked her to share with me some of her experiences. More than once she had to have police protection when she served a gang member a subpoena to snitch on another gang member. Some of her stories were frightening, others were funny. The first time she hid on the floor of her car as gunfire erupted around her however, she was done. Her tales inspired me to make Austin Kent, Beau’s love interest in Justice Prevails, an IT II. The opening scene in Justice is loosely based on an incident she described to me.




Excerpt

You wanna fuck later?”

Jesus, Romeo. How can I resist when you put it like that?”

Austin Kent wiped the sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief before stuffing it back in his jeans pocket. The Las Vegas heat sucked ass in June. It had its moments the rest of the year too. Picking up his binoculars, he then peered through them at what, to anyone else, would appear to be an abandoned trailer. He ignored Kyle’s offer. Austin was currently more interested in the police officer’s protection than his dick.

Don’t see why I can’t carry a piece on the job.

Apparently, Investigative Technicians weren’t considered to be the bad-asses of the justice system in Vegas.

Was that a yes?”

He decided it wouldn’t be a good idea to punch Kyle, since it would give away their location. Other than that, it was an awesome idea.

That was a vehement ‘no’. I never know what I’m getting into with you.”

I thought you enjoyed last time.”

I shot a load. That part I enjoyed. The rest I could’ve done without.”

I wanted to surprise you.”

Oh, I was surprised all right.”

You know, a lot of guys like it when—”

Shh. Here comes Daniel now.”

Kyle grabbed the binoculars. “Shit. In the nick of time too. Our boy’s on the move.”

Hey. Do you mind?” Austin yanked the glasses back. “Goddammit.”

It looked as if his witness was going to evade being served yet again. It was ironic since Austin had originally thought it would be quick and simple. He’d met Vinnie at the first annual Powwow on the Paiute Indian Reservation when they were both only ten years old. Austin’s stepdad was almost full-blooded and had taken him so he could experience the culture. He’d explained that even though Austin didn’t have enough Paiute blood in him to be considered an official tribe member, he should still learn about that part of his heritage. Ever since then, he and Vinnie had been close friends—even if things had eroded somewhat in recent years. It sucked to be the one who had to serve him.

He missed his stepdad The guy had treated him pretty good. Ben had always told him to live his life the way he wanted, that when he got older, people would try to change him—tell him how he should be. Austin had always wondered if Ben had known all along that Austin was gay. Not too long after that first Powwow, the Gulf War had begun and Ben was a part of Operation Desert Shield. He never came back.

Hey guys, we had a scuffle at the golf course. I got here as soon as I could.” Their backup, Daniel Ochoa—Kyle’s fellow officer of Paiute law enforcement—kept his voice low as he approached.

Austin snorted. “I guess those old white guys can get vicious on the green.”

You have no idea.”

Austin and Kyle were hidden behind a large boulder. Daniel crouched next to them and Austin noted that the Paiute officer had parked his vehicle down the incline and out of sight. He’d driven in on the same back desert road that he and Kyle had used to avoid detection. Kyle elbowed him in the ribs.

Ow. Fuck.”

Look, look, look. He wasn’t leaving. Vinnie’s just sitting out there smoking.” Kyle had the binoculars pressed to his face. “This is better, man. We can see everything around him.”

Except for who’s in the trailer, dickwad.”

Daniel nodded his head. “Austin’s right, Kyle. There’s no telling who might be in there. We approach Vinnie now and we could get picked off in an instant. One of Marquez’ guys could be in there cooking. We should secure the residence before Austin tries to serve him.”

Kyle frowned, seemingly butt hurt over Daniel not taking his side. “There’s never been any intel to indicate Vinnie’s trailer was being used to manufacture meth.”

Right.” Daniel swatted at a small bug flitting around his sweat-soaked face. “But there hasn’t been any indicator that he wasnt cooking in his home either.”

Home was too kind a word. Vinnie’s abode wasn’t in any danger of being featured in Architectural Digest, or anywhere, ever. It was lucky to still be upright. The dented, rusted mess was a blight, set way back on his mom’s property, a mockery to her beautiful recently built house. He’d told Austin a few years back that as long as he didn’t have to see her face or hear her shit, he didn’t care what he lived in.

Austin sighed, too stressed out from the whole cockstorm that had been his day to dwell on all that had gone wrong with the life of one of his longest and closest friends. There was a job to do and he was the fucker who got to serve a witness subpoena to someone who would view it as an act of utter betrayal.

Okay then. What’s the plan?”

Austin directed his question to Daniel. Kyle had gone on Austin’s ‘you’re brain dead to me now’ list after the ‘you wanna fuck’ remark in the middle of their stakeout.

I’m gonna sneak around the back. I can make it without detection if I keep low behind the sage brush over there.” He gestured toward the area he meant. “When I radio that the trailer is clear, I want you both to advance on him.” Daniel turned to Kyle. “Don’t draw on him, but be ready. We don’t want to come in aggressive, get him worked up. Hopefully, when he sees Austin, he’ll be cool.”

Austin prayed Daniel was right. Since Vinnie had been off his meds, no one knew what to expect from him anymore. Iraq hadn’t been kind to anyone close to Austin. Not only had he lost his stepdad in the Gulf War, he’d in essence lost his closest friend to the Iraq War. Whatever it was that had happened to Vinnie when he’d served had forever broken him.

Be ready.” Daniel turned toward his destination, but whispered over his shoulder before taking off. “Kyle, make sure your radio is on low and listen for my all clear.”

Kyle grunted after Daniel was out of earshot. “Can you believe that shit? He always treats me like I’m an idiot.”

Even though Kyle had walked right into that one, Austin was too cranky and heat exhausted to run with it. He bit at his lip and futilely tried to get his bristly dark hair to stay off his face. He typically kept it short—it would get too frizzy otherwise. But he was a busy guy, and other than staying in reasonably good physical shape, he didn’t give too much thought to his appearance.

There was a small crackle from Kyle’s radio then he whispered into it. He nodded at Austin to go ahead. Austin’s joints complained at being in the unforgiving position for so long as he rose to his feet. He was only thirty-five years old, but his body was constantly being abused on the job in one way or another. It didn’t help that he could be a bit klutzy at times either. A nice soak in the hot tub at his condo later would be a welcome treat. The first rush of pebbles and dirt down the incline once they’d gotten close to their target caused Vinnie to twist around. His eyes widened in shock then quickly narrowed in anger as he glared at Austin. He threw his cigarette to the ground.

Come on, guy. Its me. Just doinmy job.

Hey, Vinster. How goes it?”

Fuck you. Don’t even be acting like you’re my friend. Fucking traitors—both of you!”

Look, Vinnie, this sucks for me too.”

He guffawed and waved his arms around. “Oh! Oh, really? Sucks for you? You?”

Vinnie lurched toward them and Kyle pulled his weapon, pointing it at Vinnie, bracing the hand that held his Glock 17 with the other. “Stay right where you are!”

Austin held up both hands as if in surrender. “Hey now. Everyone chill. All I wanna do is give you this piece of paper then we’ll all be on our way.”

Then he might as well shoot me. Cause my life ain’t gonna be worth shit if I testify against the Marquez brothers. You know it, he knows it and they know it.”

Austin noted Daniel coming up from the rear on the other side of the trailer. He had his weapon drawn, but was approaching slowly, carefully. All of Vinnie’s attention was on Austin and Kyle, his frantic gaze flitting back and forth between them. He was obviously unaware that Daniel was behind him.

It’s gonna be okay, Vinnie.” Austin was desperate to get his friend to hear him, to believe him. “I’ll make sure you’re protected. Please, man. Let’s not do this.”

A drop of sweat left a long trail in its wake as it worked its way down from Austin’s hairline, into his brow then onto his eyelid. As soon as he blinked, the salty water momentarily blurred his vision, stinging his eyes. He squeezed them shut. The loud bang of two firearms going off almost simultaneously jolted him, his eyes flying open in time to see Vinnie hit the ground.

No!”

He rushed to his friend who was lying face down in the dirt, his legs and arms splayed in crazy angles away from his torso. The gun he must’ve had hidden on him was a few feet from his right hand. Austin dropped to his knees then rolled Vinnie over, cradling him by his shoulders. His half-lidded stare confirmed what Austin had already guessed when he’d seen the copious amount of blood soaking his shirt right where his heart would be.

Fuck, Vinnie.” He spoke softly, his words not meant for anyone else. It was all so senseless. They’d been so excited after their respective graduations, anxious to begin their lives. “Why can’t we go back, man? Why can’t it be like it was when the world was still new to us?”

Daniel’s agitated voice brought him back to the present. He turned his head toward the sound. The officer was in a similar position holding Kyle, who had obviously been hit too. He was anxiously speaking into the radio mic attached to his shoulder. Austin’s gut clenched. Goofy Kyle couldn’t be gone too. It would be the thing that pushed him closer than ever to becoming as broken as Vinnie had been. Austin never saw the glitter of Vegas. He only saw the ugliness.

Once Daniel had finished calling it in, Austin gently laid Vinnie back down then rose. He looked away, not able to bear seeing him like that anymore and dreading the conversation he felt it was his duty to have with Vinnie’s mother. Austin hurried over to where Daniel tended to Kyle. He had a bandana pressed to Kyle’s abdomen. Kyle appeared unconscious—at least he prayed that’s what it was.

Is he…?”

Daniel shook his head. “No. But I hope the ambulance doesn’t take too long.”

Austin nodded grimly. A woman’s shrill scream broke out and he twisted in the direction of the sound.

Vinnie’s mom.

After taking a deep breath, he jogged toward her, anxious to stop her before she could see her son’s bloodied body lying in the dirt. When he finally reached her, his expression must have told her all she needed to know. She collapsed in his arms, weeping uncontrollably. He consoled her the only way he knew how, by holding her and letting her cry. There was nothing to say.

As she poured out her grief, he surveyed the surrounding desert of the reservation. The Spring Mountains were a peaceful backdrop on the east side of the Paiute land and Austin wondered why no one had ever been able to save Vinnie. Maybe there was something more Austin could’ve done when Vinnie had decided dealing drugs was a better way to go than getting his rightful salary as a member of the Paiute Tribe.

Maybe it’s because we all have to save ourselves.

Justice Prevails is available now at these links:







About Morticia Knight

M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys hot stories of men loving men forever after. They can be men in uniform, Doms and subs, rock stars or bikers - but they're all searching for the one (or two!) who was meant only for them.

When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on more installments of Sin City Uniforms and The Hampton Road Club, as well as the follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey's story from Rockin' the Alternative.