Monday, July 22, 2013

Shades of ... Purple?

By L.M. Somerton (Guest Blogger)

As a relative newbie to the publishing world and the wise comments of my editor, I’ve got accustomed to her references to IBPs, zombies and distracting rhymes - too many references to the ‘tube of lube’ are apparently not advisable. However, I have never been accused of the dreaded purple prose… until recently, when one of my phrases was singled out as being ‘tinged with purple – suggest reword’.

I browsed the web and found loads of blog posts talking about the topic, some of them with brilliant, hysterical examples. I’m never going to forget the line “Lash me to yer throbbing purple yardarm, Hop’n jack me, Whip the pony, butter the biscuits, take me if you must, grease me with deck-wax, pin me flat and ravish me on your thick commanding masthead.” (See Redlines andDeadlines for more!) It’s reassuring to know that I am not the only writer who has strayed towards the melodramatic. But couldn’t one person's purple prose be another’s vivid description?

It's subjective – a colourful debate between editor and writer. But do erotic story writers ‘get away with it’ more? Sex scenes are hard to make original. I write MM and it’s difficult to avoid making descriptions too clinical or too crude. So, whilst waving the rainbow flag, must indigo and violet be avoided at all costs? Personally, I think my readers would laugh themselves silly if I started talking about ripe globes and straining manhood. Fortunately BDSM doesn’t lend itself to prosaic self-indulgence, but just occasionally I might see if I can’t sneak something colourful past my beady-eyed editor. Surely a delicate shade of lilac is better than grey?

Check out the lack of purple prose in my latest release, Reaching the Edge.


Joe Dexter leads a complicated life. In one world he is a consultant criminal psychologist; in another he runs The Edge, a successful corporate training company. He’s also an active Dom in the London BDSM scene.

A social call to The Underground, a club owned by an old friend, turns into much more when Joe is introduced to a prospective sub. Falling hard for the boy’s tumbling blonde curls, huge blue eyes and desperate need for protection Joe carefully coaxes him out of his shell. By the end of an intense weekend, unbreakable bonds have been forged and Joe is well on the way to becoming Olly’s master.

Joe knows that there is trauma in Olly’s past, but it is not until his professional and private lives collide that Joe discovers the truth. He knows he shouldn’t have let Olly out of his sight but it’s too late – Olly’s old master is back on the scene and he’s not in the mood to forgive and forget.

With Olly’s life on the line, Joe risks everything to save him. Has Joe found his perfect submissive only to lose him in a horrible twist of fate, or will love win the day? They’ve reached the edge and there’s no avoiding a leap of faith.


Angel was slim, his body smooth and firm. The short leather kilt he wore sat low on his hips and emphasised the gentle curve of his arse. Joe judged that he must be around five feet ten. Apart from his spectacular eyes, his hair was his most remarkable feature—a tangle of unruly, loose golden curls that cascaded onto his neck and around his face. No wonder his nickname was Angel.

Joe knew that he must look intimidating and tried to move slowly. He reached out and tackled the buckle that held Angel’s kilt closed. Angel didn’t move, but there was obvious tension in his stance.

It’s all right, I’m not going to hurt you.”

With the buckle undone, Joe allowed the scanty strip of leather to slip to the floor. The tiny net thong that held Angel’s dick was doing a very poor job of containing his burgeoning erection. Joe allowed himself one more circuit, drinking in the sight of a perfect arse, before he headed across to the cupboard and pulled out a big, fluffy robe.

He wanted to test Angel’s willingness to be naked in front of him, so he ordered him to remove the thong. There was no hesitation, but as Angel clasped his hands behind his back again Joe could detect the trembling he was trying to control. Angel’s cock bounced just a little, then settled into position, jutting firmly from his body. His chest was completely smooth and hairless, his cock and balls in perfect proportion to his body, nesting in delicate golden curls.

Beautiful.” Joe handed over the robe with some regret. “Put this on, Angel, and take a seat.”

Angel looked at the robe in his hands as if it were a totally unfamiliar object. “I don’t understand, Sir.”

It was a simple instruction. Do as you’re told.”

The firmness in Joe’s voice did the trick. Angel looked almost relieved at the tone of command. He slipped the robe on and wrapped it around himself, then took a seat on the sofa as far away from Joe as he could get, tucking his bare feet beneath him in an attempt to make himself as small as possible.

Relax, Angel. You haven’t done anything wrong.”

Big blue eyes glistened with tears. “Do I displease you, Sir?” His voice shook.

Joe gave a small smile. “Quite the opposite, I can assure you.”

Buy links:

You can buy Reaching the Edge today from Total-E-Bound at:

It’s also available on general release at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Café etc. just search for the title.


L M Somerton 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.



Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, L.M.,

Welcome back to Beyond Romance, and thanks for being my guest.

I sometimes find that a bit of lavender is what is required. It depends on the story. For instance, I just finished a paranormal where I found myself getting a bit more flowery, or at least metaphorical, than usual, because I was trying to describe experiences that went beyond the physical.

The Edge series sounds hot! Best of luck with it.

amyvalenti said...

I laughed out loud at the 'butter the biscuits' bit! :D Too funny.

I also love how you mention the zombies when 99% of people reading this will have no idea why. ;)

authorjenwright said...

I agree that it's hard to make a sex scene truly original - well, except for the bdsm crowd. I think I read and excerpt about a plunger (or something like that) once... Ya don't normally see that!
And I can't wait to read this! :)

Congrats on the new release!


aureliatevans said...

I've always been a little tongue-in-cheek melodramatic. It's my way, and I view it with great fondness. I'm just not sure the tongue-in-cheek translates through prose, which is a shame.

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