Friday, November 30, 2012

Today only! 25% discount on BDSM!


Today only, November 30th, Total-E-Bound is offering a special 25% discount on all BDSM-themed ebooks.

That means that you can pick up my books Raw Silk, Mastering Maya, The Understudy, Getaway Girl and Crossed Hearts - cheap!

For all the details, visit

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Thanksgiving tends to make me nostalgic. This year found me digging out one of my old journals, from more than thirty years ago, an extremely critical period in my life. This was the era I might call my sexual awakening, when I first discovered my interest in dominance and submission. In fact, my first BDSM experience occurred on Thanksgiving - hence some of the nostalgia!

I was also making up for lost time as something of a shy wall flower. Over the course of about two years, I had multiple concurrent relationships as well as a number of more casual sexual encounters.

I guess my hormones were really raging.

I hadn't looked at these diaries in quite a while. In some ways, it's like reading the confessions of a stranger. It's hard to recall exactly how I felt back then. On the other hand, I'm impressed by how articulate this young woman seems to be, and also how concerned she is with the deeper meaning of things. The two primary topics in the journal are God and sex. The two get about equal time, and indeed are closely linked. I felt a strong connection between sex and spirituality, that my lovers were teaching me not only about myself but also about the nature of reality and the divine.

I'm still convinced of the existence of that link. That much at least is a constant. However, I have to smile at young Lisabet's intensity (and stamina!)  She asks so many questions. How can I stop judging myself and others? How can I be truly creative? Is it really possible for me to love, in a sexual or romantic sense, more than person? Is my interest in submission something to fear or to celebrate? How can I be in the world and walk a spiritual path? How can I capture these peak, transformative experiences in words?

Re-reading my ruminations (along with the interspersed poems full of crossed-out words, the quotes from books I was reading, the description of my dreams), I'm struck by two revelations. First, I was writing erotica even then. I've always considered that the fantasies I penned in the nineties were my first forays into erotic authorship, but this diary contains quite a few accounts of my sexual adventures, more than a decade earlier. Second, even then I was much more interested in the emotional and psychic aspects of sex than the physical. I rarely write about what I and my lovers did together. Instead I wrote at length about how I - how we - felt together, what was running through my mind, the sense of communion I sometimes managed to achieve, or occasionally, the sense of alienation.

This remains characteristic of my erotic writing. Anyone who has read my work knows that although I can be graphic, I tend to focus on what is going on in my characters' heads and hearts. It's a bit funny for me to recognize this continuity with the soulful, horny young woman who wrote these journals. Perhaps I haven't changed as much as I thought.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Discovering New Authors in Anthologies

By Kristina Wright (Guest Blogger)

I’m thrilled to be a guest at Beyond Romance. “Beyond romance” is what I’ve always written. Even when I envisioned myself to be a horror writer, I somehow managed to romanticize my stories. (Why, yes, she did kill and dismember him, but she still loved him!) I’m a romantic at heart—I really do believe in true love and soul mates—but what is romance without the passion? Even when I wrote my first romance novel for Harlequin, I managed to put too much sex in it and was asked (told) to edit out three love (sex) scenes. Oh, those were the days!

Romance comes in an abundance flavors now, many of them erotic. In the past three years, I have had the privilege and pleasure of editing a number of erotic romance anthologies for Cleis Press. In that time, I’ve been introduced to a wide variety of phenomenal authors who are going beyond romance into the erotic, whether it’s writing fairy tale erotica for books like Fairy Tale Lust and Lustfully Ever After, or paranormal erotica for Dream Lover or steampunk erotica for Steamlust. Blending genres, going “beyond romance” to deliver hot, sexy stories, is what erotic romance is all about.

Thanks to this amazing job I have of editing anthologies, I’ve discovered authors like Delilah Devlin, Saskia Walker, Shanna Germain, Charlotte Stein, Lucy Felthouse and Michelle Augello-Page. Authors whose writing styles are vastly different, yet each capture my imagination with their erotically charged fiction. People often ask me why they should read anthologies—why read several short stories when you can read a novel? And my answer is this: a novel is a main course, you need to have the appetite for it in order to be able to finish it. We all have our favorite novelists, the “automatic buys” that we make without reservation. And we save those books for when we have time to read them, enjoy them, savor them. I may write and edit short fiction, but I do adore novels!

On the other hand, an anthology of short fiction is like a buffet of small plates. Appetizers meant to tease and tantalize, each story a delicious morsel to enjoy. You may know the author and devour this bit of her work, or it may be someone new you’ve never tried before—and you will discover a favorite new treat. On the other hand, there is always the chance you might come across something not to your liking and in that case, you still have quite a variety of other tidbits to choose from. And should you find a new favorite author among the offerings of an anthology, there is always the joy of discovering a backlist (as so many short story authors are also quite prolific) of which you can make an entire three course meal!

There is room for both novels and short fiction, and times when each may be more suitable to your frame of mind (and attention span). And so I continue to take great pleasure in discovering new authors and reading wonderful stories. My latest release, Duty and Desire: Military Erotic Romance is a collection of short fiction centered around the theme of military personnel. It was a particularly challenging collection to curate, but the end result is a book of which I’m quite proud. The stories in this anthology include different branches of the U.S. military, as well as several international militaries, and a variety of foreign, and even historic, settings. It is a book with a range of authors—from those who have never written a military-themed story before to those who have actually served in the military. I am hoping readers will be as intrigued by the stories in this book as I was when I selected them.


The only thing stronger than the call of duty is the call of desire! This anthology of military erotic romance serves up a team of hot-blooded men (and women) from every branch of the military who serve their country and follow their hearts wherever they might be stationed. When the mission is done, the unit is recalled or the ship pulls into port, they set their sights on a new target—the pursuit of passion and love. In and out of uniform, stateside and abroad, these military warriors meet passion and danger head on. All’s fair in love and war—in and out of uniform. Edited by Kristina Wright, wife of a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, Duty and Desire includes stories of soldiers, sailors, aviators, Marines, Special Forces, and many more. Uniforms have never been sexier!

With contributed stories by Delilah Devlin, Connie Wilkins, Shanna Germain, Craig J. Sorensen, Ericka Hiatt, Kelly Maher, Lucy Felthouse, Catherine Paulssen, Anya Richards, Sacchi Green, Elizabeth L. Brooks, J.K. Coi, Charlotte Stein, Christine D’Abo, Mercy Loomis, Lynn Townsend, Michelle Augello-Page, and Kristina Wright.

Editor Bio

Kristina Wright ( had no idea what to expect from military life when she married an enlisted Navy sailor after a whirlwind long distance courtship just three months before the first Gulf War. She can say it may not be for everyone, but it’s been one hell of a ride. Kristina received the Golden Heart Award for Romantic Suspense for her first novel from Romance Writers of America and she has edited the Cleis Press anthologies Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for WomenDream Lover: Paranormal Tales of Erotic RomanceSteamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance,  Lustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic Romance and the Best Erotic Romance series. She holds degrees in English and Humanities and has taught Composition and World Mythology at the college level.  She currently lives with her husband and two little boys in Hampton Roads, Virginia, home to the legendary SEAL Team Six and the largest naval base in the world.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Prophecy of the Undead

[My sneak peak today is a Mayan vampire romance by Fiona McGier, entitled Prophecy of the Undead. Enjoy! ~ Lisabet]


Keisha is a neurobiology researcher determined to discover the secret to intelligence to save humanity from itself. What she learns leads her to realize a bigger threat comes from beyond the stars. Yuri is a Russian vampire whose long-dead feelings respond to the scientist whose brain he admires but whose curves he can't resist. Will his love reach the places in her heart that she has ignored for so long? And can they defeat the prophecy of the undead to find happiness sharing eternity?

Available in print soon!


Keisha wakes up to find herself tied up in the trunk of a car, and futilely tries to escape while the men had to walk to a gas station when they ran out of gas. They've returned:

The trunk opened and Keisha closed her eyes, hoping that if she appeared to be still unconscious, they would leave her alone.

She felt the tip of a gun against her cheek as it stroked her face.

“Aw, she’s still out cold. That’s no fun.”

“Just feel her up then let’s get out of here. I’m getting a weird feeling that we’re being watched...”

“By who? There’s no one else out in this God-forsaken...what the fuck?”

Keisha heard a swooshing sound and opened her eyes to see a blur of movement. There was a snarling growl, combined with the yells of real fear, coming from her two tormentors.

“Kill the bitch!.”

She felt the gun stuck into her ribs and held her breath, waiting for death. The gun fired. The bullet tore its way through her skin and chest muscles, burned through her lung, and severed arteries as it lodged in her heart. She found it difficult to let out the breath or to breathe in any more air.

There was the awful sound of breaking bones...then silence.

Someone leaned over into the trunk and lifted her gently out as if she was as light as a child. She felt herself being laid on the ground and fought to breathe as her blood pulsed out of her through the chest wound, soaking her clothes and making them stick to her. Her rescuer tore through the knots that she was unable to budge. She tried to thank him with her last gasps of air.

“Tha...thanks.” She choked on her own blood and her head swam.

“Keisha, look at me,” he commanded in a voice that sounded vaguely familiar, but very distant, as if she was moving far away from him.

She tried to focus her gaze but merely saw the outlines of a man’s torso, with a face barely visible, topped with white hair that shone in the dim moonlight.

“I had hoped to spare you this but I have no other choice now. I can’t lose you...I won’t. You must choose right now, before it’s too late. Do you want to live?”

In her mind she giggled but all that came out of her mouth was a gargling sound.

“Um, yeah...don’t think...option anymore...”

“Yes, it is. But if I do this thing, you will be changed. You will be alive, yet not alive. Are you sure you want me to do this?”

Her head nodded up and down as darkness descended, her vision clouded by the blood that was everywhere now. She drifted off and idly wondered if she was going anywhere or if she was just going to lose consciousness and that would be the end of thought.

Suddenly her mind was invaded by a tall, blond man with an intense look in his eyes that shone with a black fire in their depths.

What are you doing here? I’m busy dying...who are you?

“You are dying but not in the way you expect. What I’m doing is ensuring that you will wake up again tomorrow night. What images would you like me to entertain you with as your body dies?”

She tried to shrug but was unable to move any part of her body.
She felt herself being held by strong arms, with the tiny hairs on her neck standing at full attention while the lips on her neck created a drowsy drugged feeling in her mind.

“How about something erotic?”


She was suddenly on a downy-soft bed, naked, with a man’s head between her thighs. His tongue was driving her mad with desire as he alternated between licking her from front to back, and nibbling on her clit gently. When his fingers pulled the hood back and his teeth grazed her clit, she screamed with pleasure as the orgasm crashed through her with the force of a tsunami. She rose up off of the bed with the tightening of her muscles. Then the man loomed before her, spread her thighs uncomfortably wide and his hips surged forward. The pleasure she had just felt multiplied as his massive organ pushed its way into her, stretching her almost beyond comfort. He filled her, then withdrew only to slam into her again and again. It was almost more than she could bear. She screamed as he came, the force of his orgasm making her spasm with an intensity to match his own.

He growled like a wild animal as he pulsated inside of her. Her muscles clenched around him. Her orgasms were like a roller coaster of pleasure, pushing her up a hill then crashing her down on the other side.

The last thing she remembered was his voice telling her, "Drink. Drink deeply. Take as much as you can hold. I have emptied you; now, fill yourself with me."

I’m already filled with you. Her thoughts were her own but inexplicably she felt his chest move as he chuckled. Everything went black and she drifted off into nothingness.

Bio: Fiona has always had stories in her head, with characters telling her about their lives. Often she wakes up with entire story arcs that she has to feverishly write down before starting her day. Now that her four children are erudite young adults, she hides from everyone for hours, bringing the stories to life. She hopes that you enjoy your short trip into her mind as you meet some of the heroines and heroes who live there, and now on these pages also. If you want to read more, she has a series of six contemporary romance books about the members of a large Hispanic family, The Reyes Family Romances. She also wrote two books about female spies who work for a top-secret international agency, as well as two stand-alone contemporary romances. Visit her at:, where the first page is her blog.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A F/F Snog from Nasty Business

Books We Love has just released Nasty Business, a BDSM erotic novel with something for everyone...!

The book includes M/f, F/m and F/f scenes - even a little bit of M/M. It also offers several romantic relationships, though it doesn't fit the classic romance mold because there's too much action involving secondary characters.

Anyway, I've decided to pull this week's snog from the new book. Furthermore, I'm giving away a free copy to one lucky person who comments! Don't forget to leave your email address.

Oh, and you can read another snog from the book - M/F - here!

Once you've read and commented, slide over to Victoria Blisse's page and sample the other snogs from this week's authors!


All's fair in lust and business

Ruby Maxwell Chen, lovely and ruthless CEO of a huge British business empire, is used to getting her way. When she encounters the strangely charismatic American entrepreneur Rick Martell, though, she wonders if she hasn't finally met her match.

From the trendy clubs of London to the Hollywood Hills, Ruby and Rick compete for ownership of a strategic factory in Malaysia. Neither has any qualms about using sexual wiles to smooth the path to success. Neither anticipates that their mutual attraction will turn into something far more intense and difficult to control.

As their struggle for dominance escalates, they draw their employees and associates into their outrageous power games. The stakes could scarcely be higher, as Ruby and Rick play for the ultimate prize: a night of total physical surrender.

The sun bakes my skin. I can feel the rays tracing paths of heat across my shoulders, my buttocks, my calves. It is soothing, soporific. I find myself drifting, my thoughts comfortably vague, my body washed in appealing sensation. I'm half-dreaming, remembering Liu's caresses, hearing his suggestive whispers.

A sharp floral scent teases me awake. I turn toward Luna. She lies on her side, chin propped on her hand, watching me with an intensity that sends electricity up my spine. I trace the sinuous line of her body with my eyes, admiring the way her hips flow away from her waist and then recede into the gentler curves of her thighs. Her arms and legs are fleeced with golden down that stirs slightly in the moving air. One platinum tress hangs over her shoulder and dangles between her breasts.

My chest is tight with nervousness, yet there is a dream-like inevitability about all of this. Luna lets her hand trail over her body, brushing her nipples on the way down to the cleft between her thighs and sending a bolt of lightning to my sex. Her pubic hair is so fair that her mound almost seems naked. Her coral-hued lips are clearly visible, even before she parts them with her fingers.  Her gaze holds mine as her hand travels upward again, smearing her juices over her belly, pinching the swollen buds of her nipples. It is I who moans when she inserts one sticky finger into her mouth and sucks upon it.

"You're so beautiful, Margaret," she murmurs, dipping once again into the well of honey between her legs. "I want you so much. Don't you want me?" She holds her hand out to me, appealing, almost waif-like. Without thinking, I take her proffered fingers into my mouth.

Her taste is simultaneously strange and familiar. Pungent, salty, rich, wild, embarrassing and forbidden. My own juices spill over in response. She sees the evidence of my excitement and smiles at my silent answer.  Lightly, she gathers a droplet from my thighs and licks it off her finger. Her eyes close as she savors me, and I am reminded of some flaxen-haired medieval angel, consumed by mystic ecstasy. 
Sudden, fierce lust shatters my dreamy composure. I want her, want to take her, use her, devour her.

Slipping off my chaise, I kneel at her side and take her face in my hands. Then I suck her into a long, violent kiss that leaves us both breathless. With one hand I am twisting her nipple, while the other probes her drenched pussy. I've never done anything like this before, and yet I know what I am doing, know from touching myself how to touch her.

Luna whimpers under my assault, arches her body and tries to force my fingers deeper insider her. "Oh, yes, please, yes…"

"You like this, Luna?" She can't answer, she's too far gone, but I know that I am giving her what she wants. I've found the slippery nub of her clit. I roll it between my thumb and forefinger, kneading and twisting, pulling until her hips rise right off the chaise trying to follow. I am not gentle; she does not want gentleness.

I release her clit, giving her a moment's respite, then press my palm against her mound and push all four fingers into her cunt. She screams and I feel the shudders gathering in her flesh. I remove my hand completely. She whimpers in frustration, then sighs as I slip my index finger back into her folds and wiggle it playfully.

Her depths are lined with slick velvet. As I explore her, she shivers and moans. "More, please! More!" I lean down and take a cherry nipple between my lips, marveling at the nubby texture of the swollen flesh against my tongue. So sweet, so juicy, I cannot help biting down on that lush morsel. Luna yells and writhes against my hand. She grabs it by the wrist and tries to force all my fingers into her soaked cunt.

"Nasty girl," I say, pulling away from her. Her nipples pout insolently. On a whim, I slap one breast with an open palm. My own skin stings as I watch hers redden. Her eyes are closed, her lips half-open. As an experiment, I lay stinging blow on the opposite breast. Her pelvis jerks and grinds in response.

 She wants it hard, wants it rough. I see this with sudden clarity. And I want to give it to her.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Performance Season

By J.E. Taylor (Guest Blogger)

Now that November is almost to an end, between the frantic bouts of holiday shopping and the craziness that accompanies year-end, it’s time to reflect on 2012 and set goals for 2013.

In the work place, we complete performance assessments this time of year, so I’m used to doing a catalog of accomplishments for the day job and as much as I hate that exercise, the visual of the accomplished list always leaves me astonished.  However, that rosy feeling dies a quick death when I have to categorize them into neat little buckets representing the company’s core values. 

This is the first time I’ve taken stock of what I achieved this year on the publishing front, so bear with me…

I surpassed 11,000 paid sales as of the end of September and overall downloads (sales and freebies) topped over 200,000 since January of 2011. I did a summer free run of Vengeance and it hit the number one spot in free suspense novels for a couple days, but more important, it remained in the top 100 free suspense novels for its entire free run.

In 2012, I released 4 new books, which brings my total novel count to 15, including 2 short story anthologies and 2 e-book box sets released this year in addition to the 4 new novels. I also took a good look at some of the negative feedback themes surrounding the first two books in the Steve Williams series and re-released new editions of both Dark Reckoning and Vengeance to address some of the more “offensive” scenes.  

With releases comes promotions, and with the help of many wonderful bloggers, I was able to have guest spots and interviews on over fifty blogs this year. This requires writing a fair amount of interesting posts about writing, family life, and the like or answering numerous questions in new and fresh ways so folks won’t get bored reading my ramblings.  

On the “giving back” front, I continue to hold a role as Senior Editor over at Allegory E-zine and as such, read over 125 Allegory submissions, helping the managing editor whittle down those finalists as well as the slush pile.  I also enjoy judging contests for Romance Writers Association and managed to fit some 26 contest entries in this year.  There are an awful lot of talented writers out there and I love being a part of their discovery.

Which leads me to our publishing company, Novel Concept Publishing, LLC.

As co-owner of this small e-press, I act as acquisitions editor, content editor, formatter, and review coordinator.  My partner does the business end and keeps our website going and is much more prolific with his writing than I am with mine.  We were blessed with four new releases this year and another coming up in December. We also have two on tap for early 2013. This means I’ve also waded through a good many submissions for NCP along with at least a dozen full submissions.  

As I look back over this accounting for the year, it leaves me breathless, and when you couple it with a full time job, two kids, one that went to college this fall and the other is still in middle school with activities galore, even I think I’m insane.  Most of the time I’m running around like a crazy woman.

Imagine what I could accomplish if I drank coffee… ;-)

One of my author’s calls me superwoman and it makes me chuckle.  Nah, I’m just good at time management and my family has taken up a great deal of the slack while I’ve run this marathon. 

I know I’ve said it before, but what I need to find is a balance between work and play time.  So, for 2013, my personal publishing goals are a bit more manageable.  Two books – the second in my son’s Death Chronicles Series and a novel called Fallen that takes the reader through Ty Ryan’s downfall.

As far as the Steve Williams Series, well, Saving Face was meant to be the end of that saga, however, the characters are still making a bit of a racket, so perhaps there may be another book on the horizon, but that isn’t on the list until late 2013 or early 2014.  In the meantime, if you haven’t had a chance, check out Saving Face…here’s the book description and an excerpt to whet your whistle…
The Windwalker serial killer stalks the inlets of southern Maine for the next beauty to advance his collection and Special Agent Steve Williams is frustrated with always being a breath behind the slippery psychopath. Escalating the pressure, Steve’s adopted sons, CJ and Tom Ryan, take teenage rebellion to an entirely new level, leaving Steve in an explosive situation.

When the Windwalker slaughters Tom’s ex-girlfriend, taking her face as a macabre trinket, Tom is found on the scene covered in her blood, with her scalped body draped across his lap.  Damning evidence against him is unearthed, his father's secret identity is about to be exposed, and he's charged with Tanya’s traumatic murder.

To prove his innocence, their only hope is the worst-case scenario; for the Windwalker to harvest a new face.

Saving Face on Amazon
Saving Face on Barnes & Noble
Saving Face on Smashwords
Saving Face on Kobo books



 “You are ruining my life!” C. J. Ryan bellowed.

Steve Williams crossed his arms and stood his ground. “I don’t care. You snuck out of the house after I said you couldn’t go to that party. You knew damn well I’d find out, and now both you and your brother are grounded until graduation.” His gaze traveled to CJ’s mute brother, Tom. “And you, what were you thinking, stealing that car?”

Tom thrust his hands in his pockets and stared at the ground.

Steve clenched his teeth together and glanced out the observation window at the Brooksfield police department pit.

“You can’t ground me. You’re not my father.”

His gaze snapped back to CJ and he tilted his head, narrowing his eyes. “I may not be your biological father, but don’t ever doubt my authority here.”

“It’s your fault my parents are dead.”

The mental shove made Steve stumble back a step and he caught himself. In two strides, he stood toe to toe with CJ, his gaze blazing into the azure blue of the seventeen-year-old’s equally furious eyes.

“You really want to play that game with me?” he asked, his voice low, almost a growl, but the kid struck a chord. His father had been caught in the cross fire of one of his FBI investigations and his mother, his mother was a completely different story. He had led her right into the belly of the beast.

CJ dropped his gaze, his eyes traveling to Tom’s before he gave a slight shake of his head.

“Why’d you let him steal a car?”

CJ sighed and shrugged, all the hellfire burned out of him for the moment.

“Why?” Steve asked and stepped back, addressing Tom.

I wanted to see my dad. Tom thought, meeting his questioning stare.

“Bullshit.” Steve shook his head. You see him all the time. You probably can see him pacing the room behind me. Can’t you?

Tom’s gaze moved from Steve’s to the angry angel pacing the room behind him. Wings fluttered and a wealth of curses dropped from his lips, his iridescent blue eyes glaring at the two boys. Tom nodded. I wanted to talk with him.
“You could have asked me to bring you here.” Steve softened. It had been a couple months since they visited Paradise Cove. The magical portal where their father could speak to them, to see them, and where Tom had a ghost tongue along with the miraculous recovery of speech. It was the only place on earth that he could articulate his thoughts since the psycho in Georgia had cut his tongue out.

But neither boy had the same mental bond Steve had with their father. Their father was now his guardian angel, a constant presence intruding on his every thought. Steve could hear Ty Ryan any time of day or night, even times when he’d rather not have the voice of reason on his shoulder. Sometimes he wished for the blessed silence he knew before he met the Ryan family. The absolute cluelessness to the thoughts around him, to the ghost haunting his every waking minute, and to the powers he inherited when Ty died. Reading minds came in handy as an FBI agent, but the constant din in his head was maddening.

“You’ve been too wrapped up in that case to take us,” CJ answered.

That case. He almost laughed at the venom in CJ’s voice. That case shrouded his life, leaving time for nothing else and he missed more football games and nights of homework and family time his wife set aside, because of that stinking case.

Another killer was loose. The Windwalker eluded the police, eluded the FBI, and eluded him like he was made of smoke. They had gotten to the last victim minutes after she died. With her body still warm, they scoured the woods for clues, but the tracks disappeared at the bank of the river, just like every other dead, skinned body they found. Stealth, like fog rolling from the snow during strawberry spring, in and out quickly before the victim really knew what happened, and it burned him. Becoming a mission. An obsession.

CJ knew how frustrated he was and to bring it up here was just his attempt to get a rise out of him, to skirt the real issue.

He ignored the dig. “So you sneak out of the house, crash that party, have a few beers and decide it would be a great idea to steal a car?” Exasperated, he traded glances with the boys. “You crossed state lines. Do you have any idea how serious this is?”

CJ started to speak then closed his mouth. He sank into the chair, fidgeting with his parent’s wedding bands, which he wore on the chain around his neck. Tom followed suit taking the seat next to his brother.

I’m sorry. It was my idea, not CJ’s.

“Grand theft auto is serious and you two are close enough to eighteen for the courts to look at this as an opportunity to teach a hard lesson.” He slid into the chair on the other side of the table and leaned forward. “I had to pull a lot of strings to make this disappear, but this is the last time I will bail you out. You hear me?” He pounded his index finger on the table, punctuating his words. “The last time!”


Thanks for having me on your blog today!

Until next time,



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Unexpected Blessings

I have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. Both my husband and I are relatively healthy, especially for our ages. We have great jobs that provide intellectual stimulation and the rewards of doing something socially worthwhile, while producing a relatively low level of stress. Our apartment, though old and a bit battered around the edges,  is roomy, comfortable and very affordable. We don't need a car; our place is located in the heart of the city, where we can walk to public transit. For many services, we don't even need to do that - they're just a short stroll away.

Ten years ago, we were jobless and in debt. Today we don't owe anybody anything - and we've even got a some savings.

I've got friends around the world, and a family with whom I'm very close, even though we're separated by a lot of physical distance. I just Skyped with my brother and sister this morning. To me it's a kind of miracle that I can talk to both of them, as long as I want, for free... once we figure out the time zone differences, that is!

I've always been an optimist, so in some sense I'm not surprised that my life has turned out well. I figured I'd have a rewarding career. I thought it likely that I'd have a series of companions, rather than a single long-term spouse, but I always assumed I'd be in a romantic relationship. I'm one of those fortunate souls who grew up loved and carried that into adulthood.

Reflecting on all my blessings today, though, I realize that there's at least one set I never expected. I didn't plan to become an author. It just sort of happened. Unlike some authors, I never considered writing as anything more than a delightful diversion from my "real" work. I created and submitted my first novel on a whim. I was astonished when it was accepted. Being a professional writer really wasn't part of the plan for my life.

Today, I have seven novels to my credit (with another in progress) and so many shorter works that I've lost count. This blog Beyond Romance will be three years old next week. During that time I've published nearly 750 posts and received almost 95,000 page views. Writing, editing, blogging and hanging out with my readers and my writer friends has become a huge part of my world - and one that I deeply cherish. Who would have guessed?

It's incredible to look back upon all the breaks I've gotten, all the lucky little twists of fate that brought Lisabet Sarai into being and have allowed her come as far as she has. I have indeed been blessed, and this Thanksgiving, I'm especially grateful for this wonderful, unexpected gift, the ability to write, publish, and touch people's hearts.

May you all be as blessed as I have been!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Secret Romance Habit

By Annabeth Leong (Guest Blogger)

Thanks so much to Lisabet for kindly hosting me again on Beyond Romance. The last time I was here, I was promoting a dark tale of stranger sex. And now for something completely different...


I came to romance as an act of rebellion. About three years ago, I forced myself to buy several category romance books from a physical bookstore. My heart has never pounded so hard, not even the first time I went collared to a fetish event. I then continued my personal dare by making myself read them in public, proudly, covers visible.

By that point, I'd been reading and enjoying romance for years online. Even as a punked-out literary teenager, I sneakily read romances in the bookstore where I worked, but you wouldn't have caught me dead with one on my bookshelf.

As an adult, I came to romance through the back door of erotica. Reading and writing erotica opened my eyes to sexual experiences portrayed in a wide variety of modes — romantic, ecstatic, dark, hopeful. Erotic romance introduced me to the idea of the HEA or HFN, the exact sort of genre convention that I'd always thought precluded tackling serious subjects. Except that, as I experimented with reading in the genre, I found plenty of books that I liked, and eventually edged into reading and loving the romance books I couldn't let myself enjoy when I was younger. Plenty of them tackled heavy subjects — it's just that they worked around to a solution by the time the ending came around.

It's hard to describe how I feel when I pull out a romance in public now. For me, it's a way to play with my own comfort, to let myself inhabit an image of femininity that I've always had trouble with. I'd have an easier time sitting on a crowded train with Best Bondage Erotica 2013 prominently displayed than I would sitting there with a paperback with the traditional beefcake cover. To my mind, the erotica collection says I'm worldly, sexy, edgy. The beefcake says I'm romantic, vulnerable, and naive.

It's very hard for me to be vulnerable, and what opens a person up more than admitting to the desire for committed love?

My latest release, Not His Territory, is the most unabashed romance I've written. There's explicit sex, but for me the part of the writing process that made me feel really exposed was the belief in love, the idea that the hero and heroine can really get away with trying to heal each other. It was hard to write a story where the decision to run off together could be a happy ending, not a stupid decision.

I can't seem to resist heavy subjects, and they're not absent from this story. At the beginning, the heroine is being stalked by her ex-husband. The hero works for an organization that doesn't care about people, and that never improves.

I've experienced some hard times in life, and they make me want to toughen up with cynicism. I've seen people who believe in happy endings and get hurt over and over. But I wouldn't be an honest writer if I claimed I only get bad outcomes. In my life, as a reader, and as a writer, there's a place for happy endings even if they scare the hell out of me.

If you look through my list of published work, you'll find some dark stuff. I'm glad to get the chance to share my darker work with readers — happy endings can be a sort of tyranny if they're forced. On the other hand, a darker ending isn't automatically the smarter one.

Writing Not His Territory challenged me, and gave me a chance to stretch my writing in a new direction. Love can feel like two against the world, ready to stand together and fight and overcome. Sometimes, that feeling is right, and I'm glad there's a genre devoted to exploring that.

By the way, I'm giving away a copy of Not His Territory to one lucky person who comments. Don't forget to include your email address in the text of your comment!



After a devastating encounter with an illegally shifted werewolf, a wounded Raul Silva slumps on Chandra Williams’s doorstep, begging for refuge. As an investigator for the legalistic Werewolf Council, Raul’s been sent to look into instability in the local pack. Chandra’s presence makes him want to succeed at his mission for personal — not professional — reasons.

The Werewolf Council disapproves. Chandra is strictly off-limits for Raul according to both the traditions and laws of the werewolves. But after a life devoted to upholding principles, Raul’s instincts and desires are boiling to the surface. Can Raul resist Chandra, or will he break with everything he stands for to pursue a woman who is not his territory?



"Can I take off his marking? I'm glad it kept you safe, but I'm not his territory. It's not his house. I pay for it."

Raul's eyes took on a strange weight. Chandra shivered, too aware of his body. "I wish it were that simple."

"Why isn't it? I can buy spray paint and cover up his mark."

"A territory dispute must be resolved on the full moon in the ancient way."

"The ancient way?"

"A challenge. A battle for control. It's done in fully shifted form."

"Well, I'm not a werewolf. What am I supposed to do?"

"We're set up to be self-policing. Your ex shouldn't be behaving the way he is. Marriages to humans are somewhat frowned upon and are supposed to be done with full knowledge and consent on the part of the human. This obviously wasn't how he did it with you, since you know nothing of our customs. A human has good reason to be wary of marrying one of us, though. Werewolf law often resorts to the ancient way for final arbitration. A human is at a disadvantage in any dispute with one of us. It's much easier when we keep to ourselves." Both of Raul's hands gripped the tablecloth now. Chandra wondered what part of this upset him so much.

"So you're saying he shouldn't have married me."

"Not if he planned to treat you this way." Raul's voice came out as a snarl.

"I mean, because it breaks werewolf law."

"It's not that a werewolf can't be with a human," Raul said. His emphasis on the words "be with" sent a chill down her inner thighs. "It just needs to be done properly." Now Chandra grabbed her own handful of tablecloth. She needed to figure out how to get free of her ex, not become distracted wondering what Raul would consider the "proper" way to be with a human.

"Okay, well." Chandra's voice shook. She forced herself to look at a spot on the wall beyond Raul. If she looked directly at the man, she'd be off on another fantasy before she knew what hit her. "Since that's water under the bridge at this point, isn't there any way to dispute his claim on my house?"

Raul's hand brushed hers. Chandra jumped. "Another werewolf could dispute on your behalf. I could do that for you. If you wanted. I owe you my life as it is."

Chandra waited for him to move his hand away. He did not. She went on speaking anyway, despite the bolts of arousal shooting through her lower belly. "And what then? Am I—I mean, my house—is my house your territory if you win?" Her arms trembled. The idea of being his territory sounded medieval to her brain, but her body loved it. Enough that she involuntarily crossed her legs and squeezed them together, further igniting the heat between her thighs.

"In theory," Raul said slowly. "I suppose so. In practice, only if you want it to be." He smiled. "I'm a werewolf, not a caveman."

Available from:



Annabeth Leong has written romance and erotica of many flavors -- dark, kinky, vanilla, straight, lesbian, bi, and menage. In addition to Not His Territory, Breathless Press published her werewolf story, “The Arcadian Cure,” in its Ravaged anthology. For a complete list of her published work, visit her blog. She particularly enjoys playing off myth, legend, fairy tales, and fantastic history. She believes passionately in freedom of speech, rights for people of all sexual orientations, and freedom of religion. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island, blogs at, and tweets @AnnabethLeong

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Cover!

I just got my cover from Books We Love for my upcoming release Nasty Business. Definitely captures the some of the book's outrageousness!

Notice the guy in handcuffs in the background?

The book should be available in a week or so. Don't worry - I'll definitely do a giveaway!

Oh, and while I've got your attention - check out the five star review that Whipped Cream gave to the Switch anthology!

We're up for book of the month!

Monday, November 19, 2012

How the World Has Changed

Last weekend we finally managed to get out to see the recently released James Bond movie, "Skyfall". I have to admit that nobody will ever replace Sean Connery for me, but overall the film was pretty entertaining.

As you probably know, this year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first James Bond film. The new movie is very conscious of its history and deliberately plays with the Bond traditions. It's almost like going to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show - you just sit there waiting for the "Bond - James Bond" to pass those coldly smiling lips. At the same time, muddling old gadget engineer "Q" has been replaced by a twenty-something nerd, and Miss Moneypenny is no longer a fair English rose. Shanghai has superseded Moscow and encrypted hard drives are the new microfilm.

There are, of course, lots of fancy modern technology in Skyfall (possibly a bit more realistic than in some films), fiery explosions, gorgeous women, luxurious and exotic settings, well-tailored suits, and martinis shaken not stirred. Some things never change. One scene, though, made it very apparent that we're not in 1962 any more. This is the scene in which Bond receives a sexual proposition from the villain (played with manic finesse by Javier Bardem) - and suggests that he's had homosexual experiences in the past.

The interchange is brief, but for me at least, amazingly encouraging. James Bond is the ultimate male icon. The notion that he can talk calmly (if perhaps ironically) about feeling same-sex attraction in a PG movie is almost unbelievable. Clearly it doesn't make him less masculine or less of a hero, in the eyes of today's viewers.

I wanted to get up and dance around. Because I had the feeling that nobody really noticed all that much. Nobody booed, or left the theater, horrified.

As for me, I thought the scene was pretty hot, as Bardem strokes Bond's bare, scarred chest and makes veiled but unmistakable suggestions.  But that's neither here nor there - everyone knows about my diverse erotic tastes.

What's important is that the world has changed. People have become more accepting of homoeroticism, less threatened. That's a step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned.

Perhaps sometime soon, we'll even see a gay or bisexual secret agent, battling against the forces of evil. Maybe there will be "Bond guys" as well as "Bond girls". Who knows what the future holds?

Happy Anniversary, 007. Looks like you're growing up.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Snog: Getaway Girl

My snog today comes from Getaway Girl, an early flirtation with British and light bondage themes.

All that Peg wants is a break, a bit of adventure, a relief from her mundane existence in the buccolic but boring Yorkshire hamlet of Kirkby Malzeard. When dashing, sophisticated journalist Lionel Hayes saunters into the pub where she's tending bar, Peg suspects that he was just the sort of man to fulfill her fantasies of escape.

The seductive Lionel, however, is not what he seems. Before she knows it, Peg is a hostage, roped and gagged, speeding away from the scene of a daring crime. Lionel is armed and dangerous, but somehow Peg still wants him - regardless of the consequences. 

After enjoying my snog, head on over to Victoria's for links to many more delicious kisses!

Jack slumped down on the couch. Within sixty seconds he was unconscious, snoring loudly. Lionel stuffed the gun into his waist and leaned down to shake his accomplice. “Jack! Wake up, Jack!” The growl of Jack’s snores didn’t alter. 
Peg began to edge backwards. Lionel grabbed her shoulders, his fingers biting into her flesh. “What did you do to him?”

Me? I didn’t do anything.”

The thief slid his hands down and gripped her wrists, trapping them. “You minx! Don’t lie to me.” Holding her wrists behind her with his right hand, he leaned over and picked up Jack’s glass. A white sludge coated the bottom. He held it up in front of her face.

Okay, okay. I dumped the remains of my gran’s sleeping pills into the whisky. It won’t hurt him. Meanwhile, while he’s asleep, I thought that you and I might talk.” Peg pressed her body up against Lionel’s, trying to be provocative while controlling her own arousal. “Perhaps I can convince you to let me go.” His grip on her wrists tightened ominously.

His heat penetrated the light fabric of her blouse. She rubbed her breasts against his blazer, wishing despite her best intentions that the two of them were naked. She could feel two hard lumps poking into her abdomen, the unyielding steel of the gun, and lower down, the equally rigid bulk of his erection. A shiver ran through her. She knew that she was playing a dangerous game.

You’re not going anywhere, Margaret. For the time being, I plan to keep you right here.” Before she knew what was happening, Lionel had picked her up and thrown her over his shoulder again. She yelped in protest. His arm clamped down across the backs of her thighs.

Put me down, you—imposter!” Peg tried to kick, but her legs were effectively immobilised. She beat on his back with her fists, but he ignored her assault as he carried her up the twisty, narrow stairs to the bedroom under the eaves.

Despite her anger and fear, she found herself amazed by his strength. She was nearly ten stone, yet he lifted her as easily as if she’d been a child.

Lionel tossed her body onto the bed. She sank into the old mattress, raising a cloud of dust that made her sneeze. Her captor turned the key in the lock, then returned to face her, grinning that outrageous, irresistible grin.

We don’t want to wake poor old Jack, do we?” He held up the hank of twine from the bar. “I plan to make completely sure that you don’t escape.”

Peg was suddenly dizzy with desire. She fought for rationality.

You don’t have to tie me up. I won’t try to get away.” But he was already removing her shoes and fastening her left ankle to the iron bedstead.

He paused and searched her face for a moment, then bent and ran his tongue slowly over her bare instep. The wet heat swept over her extremities, rose to her belly, turned her whole body to liquid. Peg writhed on the old bed, unable to hide her reactions.

By the time she had recovered, her thighs were spread and both feet were bound. Lionel leaned over her, once more grasping both her wrists in his large hand. He raised them over her head, looped the twine around them, then fastened it to the metal pipes that made up the headboard.

You don’t understand, Margaret dear. I want to tie you up.” He fastened his lips on hers, those lush, soft lips of his that held such promise. Now those lips were demanding, urgent, stealing her breath, consuming her, claiming her. The kiss went on forever, yet ended too soon. Lionel nibbled at her earlobe, whispered in her ear.

That’s what you want, too.”

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

By L.M. Somerton (Guest Blogger)

I recently read an article by Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black, about what makes a good ghost story. It made me wonder if the same principles would apply to an erotic ghost story. How do you create the atmosphere needed when the core of the tale is an MM romance?
It’s one thing to sit around a campfire spinning spooky yarns and controlling your audience with the drama of the moment. Unfortunately it’s not possible to rely on readers to create the appropriate atmosphere for themselves or to issue instructions in the preamble to the book:
  1. 1. Do not read unless you are situated in an appropriately spooky setting. E.g. graveyard, abandoned asylum, haunted house.
  2. 2. Weather must be atmospheric – fog, heavy rain, thunder and lightening are all acceptable.
  3. 3. Watch a really good horror film to get yourself in the right state of mind i.e. ready to jump out of your skin at the least provocation.
  4. 4. Switch off all lights and read with a torch.
I have to confess that when I wrote The Portrait I wasn’t consciously considering which elements would work when it came shivers of fear. I was more worried about shivers of desire between the two main characters. In either case there is a fine line between giving your readers a thrill and sending them into fits of laughter. How do you avoid the traps and pitfalls of stereotypes but still give your readers what they need to really feel the atmosphere you are trying to create? In this day and age we are exposed to every imaginable take on the supernatural. Films and computer games bring our worst fears to life at the touch of a button. Is it even possible to create that kind of atmosphere any more or are readers immune to anything that isn’t in 3D?
I think the same thing that makes a story erotic can make it scary. Imagination. It’s the author’s job to put the pieces in place, to lay the foundations for the reader to then build their own picture – to really see, hear and feel what the characters do.

By happy accident, many of the ‘required elements’ of a ghost story snuck their way into The Portrait, so all those 18th century gothic novels I’ve read must have been lurking in my sub-conscious. Hints of a spectral presence, unexplained noises and shadows, an old house where the memories of past horrors linger – they are all there, aided by the natural atmosphere provided by the wonderfully gloomy British weather.

It only takes the smallest hints and suggestions to capture an intelligent reader’s imagination and I think that works so much better than launching into a full-blown terror-ride from the first line. Shakespeare put it well in the Scottish play:

 By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

My characters, Garrick and Tristan, know that something evil objects to them being together. Finding out why and working out what to do about it is intertwined with the story of their developing relationship. I wanted my characters to tingle in all the right places; the fear and anticipation of what might happen adds something unpredictable to their romance and turns the heat up just a little bit higher!

So if you like your erotica with a hint of the supernatural, I think you’ll enjoy The Portrait – here’s the blurb to tell you a bit more:

When Tristan Lindsay takes a job cataloguing the library at Faversham Park, home of rock star Marcus Balen, he also accepts a role as companion to Balen’s artist son Garrick.
Garrick is beautiful and talented, he’s also demanding and infuriating. He uses Tristan as an unwilling model, shamelessly manipulating the shy boy’s emotions to draw out his submissive tendencies.

Drawn in to the enigmatic artist’s world, Tristan discovers a side of himself that he didn’t realise existed. Afraid of his own feelings, he learns to trust Garrick and falls deeply in love.

But Garrick has a secret that could tear them apart. A ghostly rival objects to Tristan’s presence in Garrick’s life. As the spectre’s malevolence increases, the young lovers must search for clues to the haunting and find a way to exorcise the jealous ghost. What they find leads them down a path that challenges the dynamics of their relationship. Will their love be strong enough to overcome its supernatural opposition or will there be no happily ever after?

And a short excerpt to tempt you:

Garrick was bent over a large drawing board, skimming over creamy paper with a soft-leaded pencil. His strokes were confident and he was utterly focused on what he was doing. Suddenly he looked up, his breath steaming in the unnaturally cold air. He cringed and swiped at his neck, rubbing away the sensation of clammy fingers exploring his skin.

Leave me alone.” His voice was tight with a tension that was mirrored in the set of his jaw. After just a few seconds, the temperature reverted to its normal level and Garrick relaxed with a sigh.

He sat back and took a critical look at the drawing in front of him. A perfect likeness of Tristan stared back and Garrick licked his lips. The image captured the expression that appeared on Tristan’s face every time Garrick looked at him—a cross between fear and desire. A calculating smile curled Garrick’s lips as he pinned the picture to the wall. “You’re mine, Tristan Lindsay. You just don’t know it yet.”

Order your copy of The Portrait by L. M. Somerton here:

Bio: Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

You can read more about L.M. Somerton at her blog or write to her at lmsomertom - at -

Friday, November 16, 2012

Don't Fight Your Nature

After years of struggle, I've finally learned that lesson.

I always envied the girls with long, straight hair. Alas, that just isn't me. I am fortunate (I know now) to have thick, curly, sometimes frizzy, hair that just doesn't want to be tamed. I spent my high school years ironing my locks (yes, that isn't just an urban myth), though my mom drew the line at chemical straighteners (thank goodness). It didn't help much. Somehow my hair always grew sideways as much as down!

But what about my head shot?  Looks pretty straight there, doesn't it? Part of that is due to air brushing. (That picture was taken long before Photoshop existed!) Part was due to the fact that I was still recovering from anorexia, which caused a lot of my hair to fall out. So for a few years my hair wasn't quite as bushy.

Pretty soon, though, I was back to normal...

Anyway, in the last decade or so, I've run up the white flag. I now have my hair cut shoulder length or shorter, using techniques that enhance the curl. When I first come home from the salon, my head is a mass of ringlets. And I love it. It's easy to care for - I just wash it and let it air dry, and the curl reappears all on its own. I've finally found a hair style that's compatible with my natural endowment.

I think a lot of writers increase their stress level because they try to fight their natural tendencies. Some of my colleagues struggle to write explicit sex scenes because they believe that's what the market wants - but they really hate the process. They're not comfortable, but they force themselves, and lose the joy of the writing in the process. Then there are the authors who decide they must write BDSM, because that's what's hot, post-Fifty-Shades. Doesn't matter that they've never been spanked or bound, and never wanted to be - they feel compelled to write in that genre, usually with less than stellar results. I think this is misguided. Some people are naturally vanilla, I believe. There are plenty of readers who fall into that category too.

Then there's me. I'm polymorphous perverse, interested in sexuality in all its forms - gay, lesbian, menage, male dominant, female dominant, fetish, and lots of other niche interests that might shock you if I were to enumerate them.  And I like to mix it all up in the same story, when I can.

But readers have told me they don't want M/F interaction in a M/M story. I've gotten some feedback that the majority of romance fans, at least, find F/F interactions "icky". If they find that icky - good Lord, how would they react to some of my more extreme fantasies?

Lately, though, I've decided that I'm not going to fight my nature. I'm going to give myself permission to follow the dictates of my imagination. If I turn some readers off - well, they'd probably be lukewarm about my more restrained pieces as well. My best stories are the ones where I explore what I find intriguing and arousing. And that's pretty varied.

So I've given myself permission to include some F/F interaction in my current WIP, even though it's intended for a romance audience and is primarily a M/F/M menage. After more than a dozen years writing and publishing, it's time for me to follow my natural inclinations.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November Newsletter

Mastering Maya Cover

New and Upcoming Releases

I'm sorry to have deserted you last month! I was away for much of October, so I figured I would just defer my next newsletter until November.

Mastering Maya is available now as a stand-alone title at Total-E-Bound. It will be at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all your other favorite booksellers next Monday, November 19th. But if you buy it this week, as a VIP pre-release title, you get 10% off the list price!

Meanwhile, the Switch anthology, which includes "Mastering Maya" as well as great stories from Desiree Holt, Elizabeth Coldwell, Wendy Zwaduk, Amy Valenti and Lauren Gallagher, is out in print. Want to win an autographed copy? Enter my monthly contest!

I've been working on edits for Coming Together: In Vein, my charity vampire anthology scheduled for December release. It is - if I may humbly say so - a sensational book, and will support one of my favorite causes, Doctors Without Borders. Did you know that DWB are running clinics for victims of Hurricane Sandy? For more information about their critically important work, click here. Are there any fans of the undead on your holiday gift list? This volume may be just the thing!

And for zombie fans... Check out the latest Coming Together collection Coming Together: Hungry for Love, edited by Sommer Marsden. I don't have a story in the book, but it features some of my favorite authors and benefits a wonderful cause - the American Diabetes Association.

Other News

My last free read was M/M, so this month I'm sharing a sizzling snippet of lesbian erotica called entitled Architecture of Desire - a classic case of opposites attracting. I also have an addition to the poetry section, a bittersweet erotic haiku cycle entitled Boston Rendezvous.

To thank my readers, I'm also giving away a free PDF of my M/M/F ménage story Something Borrowed, complete with a cover designed by me. All you have to do is ask! Send me email at contest - at - with the subject line "Free Story", from the email where you want the PDF sent. It's as easy as that!

At the Erotica Readers & Writers Association this month, I'm talking about mobile computing and what it means to authors in the latest column in my Erotogeek series, "App-y Together: Straight Talk about Mobile Madness". If you've ever wondered exactly how an app works, I explain this (and more) in simple terms.

My major work in progress, Rajasthani Moon, is starting to look like it will be novel length. I'm having a fabulous time penning the adventures of Cecily Harrowsmith, secret agent for Her Majesty Queen Victoria - Amir, the Rajah of Rajasthan - and Pratan, his shape-shifting half brother. In Rajasthan, anything can happen!
I've also got a couple of shorter works simmering on the back burner. Given how long it takes me to finish a novel, I may try to bang those out first.


Congratulations to Kaylyn and Anne, the two winners of my September "Buying Books" contest. And thanks to all of you who shared their book-buying preferences. The answers were quite varied. I was pleased to read that some of you still actually visit brick and mortar bookstores! (For a glimpse of one of my favorite bookstores, read my recent blog post.)

Since November is the traditional time for gratitude, I'm running a contest with that theme. The prize? An autographed print copy of Switch (first prize) and a PDF copy of Mastering Maya (second prize). All you have to do is send me an email at contest - at -, using the subject line "Gratitude". In the email, tell me the top three three things you're thankful for this November. That's all there is to it!
I'll tell you my list (although I have so many blessings, it's a bit difficult to choose):
  1. My health
  2. My husband
  3. My readers

Lisabet's Pick of the Month

My pick of the month for November is Erzabet Bishop's review blog Erzabet's Enchantments. Looking for something sexy to read? Erzabet's blog is a great place to browse, particularly if you're partial to BDSM and related themes. In fact, as I was wandering around, starry-eyed, I discovered that the site had reviewed the Switch anthology - and gave it 5 out of 5!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Discovering Sex and Self in a Foreign Land

By Donna George Storey (Guest Blogger)

Thanks so much for hosting me at your blog, Lisabet. It’s an especially fitting place to celebrate the ebook release of my novel, Amorous Woman, because your first novel, Raw Silk, a mesmerizing erotic tale of Thailand, was a great inspiration for me to write about my own experiences living in Japan.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that both of our novels follow a time-honored master narrative—a woman’s journey of erotic discovery. And in both Raw Silk and Amorous Woman, the heroine’s relationship with her lovers is mirrored by her growing intimacy with a new and fascinating culture. I’ll confess I also lifted another model for my first book-length project: the plot of a 17th century Japanese erotic classic called The Life of An Amorous Woman by Ihara Saikaku. With a sharp eye for the humor in Japanese society, Saikaku allowed his lusty protagonist to experience every role open to women of her time from a court lady to a streetwalker. (Perhaps the perennial appeal of the female experience earned this book more sales and critical acclaim than his The Life of an Amorous Man). I translated this story into an exploration of a foreigner’s experience in Japan in the late twentieth century. My protagonist, Lydia Evans Yoshikawa, starts off as an English teacher, marries a Japanese businessman, becomes a bar hostess, the mistress of a rich man, and finally a call girl. Her desire to get closer to Japan is sometimes frustrated, sometimes delightfully fulfilled. I’m gratified to say that fellow gaijin (the Japanese word for “foreigner”) almost always tell me I got it just right.

While I thoroughly enjoyed bringing to life my sensual memories from the three years I lived in Japan—the delicious and beautifully arranged meals, the scent of fresh straw floor mats and the cool glide of a silk kimono on my skin—I found as I wrote Amorous Woman that I was gaining a valuable perspective on my own sexual odyssey. Society gives us so many messages about what sex should be. The appeal of the story of a woman’s erotic education may indeed be that we all—male or female--must discovery for ourselves what sex and pleasure mean for us personally.

In that spirit, I wanted to share a scene from the novel that illustrates a critical moment of discovery for Lydia while she is still in America, but one that will resonate throughout the novel. She’s always been an “A” student and a “good girl,” still a virgin at eighteen. Her worldly cousin Caroline throws a party with plenty of handsome college boys so that Lydia can choose the man to deflower her. She also gives Lydia a lesson on how to give a good blow job to develop her confidence when she’s alone with her first lover. At the party, Lydia picks out the lucky guy and proceeds to seduce him by being light-heartedly honest about her intention to have sex with him that very night.

From Amorous Woman:

Are you sure it’s okay if we use your cousin’s bed?” Mike said, frowning at the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob, which I ignored.

Oh, yes, she knows we’re going to have sex. She reserved it especially for us.”

He shook his head and laughed again.

And then, well, I don’t remember exactly how we got naked, or who pushed whom down on the bed, or when exactly we stopped kissing and started doing other things, but there were more than a few firsts that night.

It was the first time a guy kissed my breasts so softly and slowly, I learned that lips tugging gently on my nipple could make me wet between my legs.

It was the first time I tried Marybeth’s lesson on a real penis—thank you Marybeth for a gift that keeps on giving. It was bigger than a thumb, but far more interesting. I loved the way it twitched when I stroked it, the way it grew even harder in my mouth, the way Mike moaned softly as he watched me do it, eyes glowing.

It was the first time I heard my favorite sound on earth—his sweet groan of homecoming as he slid inside my cunt.

And then, somehow, it wasn’t new any more. It’s as if I’d always known this: his warm weight pressing me down, his musky boy's smell, his soft lips and slick, snaky tongue, his satin-tipped hard-on and the taut curve of his ass. Then of course, that moment when he bucked and groaned and went crazy because of me just being there, just being.

I didn’t come that night--that first would happen thanks to the persistence and skill of the justly famed cunnilinguist Doug--but I was happy enough to take my ecstasy once-removed. Mike, bless him, didn’t ask too many questions.

I was the one who decided to confess as we lay together afterwards, just like on TV, with my head resting against his shoulder and his arm around me like we were a real couple. “That was the first time I’ve ever been with a guy, you know.”

Lydia, you can stop kidding around now,” he said, but gently. Did he notice that of course, all my “jokes” turned out to be true?

Why do you think I’m kidding?”

He frowned. “First of all, you give great head. There’s no way that was your first time. You’re a pro. Well, I didn’t mean it that way, you know, just that you knew exactly what to do.” He laughed, embarrassed, and stroked my hair. “And then, well, you were really into it.”

I do like to joke around. It’s an old habit.” It wasn’t exactly a lie.

You know what? You’re fun. It’s easy to be with you.” He pulled me on top of him. “Wanna do it again?”

I nodded. Back in my high school, a million years and a billion miles away from where I was now, naked and straddling Mike’s hard belly, it was a bad thing for a girl to be “easy.” Now I knew the secret.

It was good.


That, I believe, is the secret of writing erotica as well!

Donna George Storey’s adults-only tales have appeared in over 150 journals and anthologies including Penthouse, Best Women’s Erotica, The Mammoth Book of Erotica Presents the Best of Donna George Storey, and Best Erotic Romance. Her novel, Amorous Woman, will change your image of Japan—and erotica—forever.

 Amorous Woman is available at: 

Donna George Storey’s Website