Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Review Tuesday: The Russia House - #ReviewTuesday #literaryfiction #genrefiction

The Russia House cover

The Russia House by John le Carré
Alfred A. Knopf Limited, 1989

Whenever I read a novel by John le Carré, I am reminded that the distinction between genre and literary fiction is totally artificial. Le Carré is renowned for his long career as an author of “spy fiction”. However, every one of his books bears the marks of serious literature: fluid, precise and evocative prose; vivid, complex characterization; innovative narrative structures; and perhaps most important, attention to serious themes. Few authors explore the moral ambiguities of politics and society as acutely as le Carré. Furthermore, he demonstrates how these thorny issues ultimately arise from individuals, their choices and their behavior, though always in the context of the institutions to which those people are bound.

The Russia House was written and published during the years of perestroika, when the Berlin wall was crumbling and the Cold War appeared to be in a state of thaw. I expect that its insights and its irony seemed particularly cogent at that time, but even now, the novel retains its impact. In fact, in this era of polarization, fake news and manipulated identities, it seems almost prescient.

The story centers on British publisher Scott Blair, aka “Barley”, who in mid-life is a brilliant, charming, well-educated failure. Barley’s long history of drunkenness, indebtedness, broken marriages and broken promises has led him to flee England and take refuge with his latest lady-friend in Lisbon.

Kept on a short rein by the aunts who bankroll his publishing company, Barley has been a frequent visitor to Russia. The West is eager to strike deals there, in the new spirit of cooperation and openness, translating Russian gems as well as pushing previously unavailable English books. On one of his Russian jaunts, at a vodka-soaked gathering of authors and intelligentsia, Barley has a lengthy, late night conversation with a remarkable man calling himself Goethe. Although Goethe’s intellect and passion deeply impress him, Barley more or less forgets the encounter until the British spy agency ferrets him out and forces him into service.

It appears that Goethe is actually a top Russian scientist, who has written a critical book exposing the incompetence and fraud in the Soviet nuclear missile program. But in spycraft, nothing is ever as “it appears”. The explosive revelations and technical detail in Goethe’s book could fundamentally change the balance of power—increasing the chances of peace, or of war, depending on whom you talk to. The government and its minions need to know whether the material is genuine or a hoax designed to undermine the readiness of the West. Goethe trusts only Barley—he directed his manuscript to Barley, urging him to publish it, and it’s only by accident that the book ends up in the hands of the authorities. Hence Barley, mercurial, shiftless, tortured by inner demons, must be trained in espionage and sent to meet the reticent author.

This skeleton of the plot omits many complexities and a number of important characters, all of whom le Carré sketches with a deft, sure hand. In particular, there’s the shadowy figure of Palfrey, legal advisor to the British spooks, who acts as the almost invisible narrator for the novel. Palfrey sees himself mirrored in Barley; he’s the silent, conflicted observer who always takes the easy way out. Unlike Barley, he does not achieve redemption.

Then there’s Katya, Goethe’s one-time lover, who is serves as the conduit to the reclusive scientist. I will allow readers to discover her on their own.

I was struck, as I often am in reading le Carré, by the absence of rapid action, violent confrontations and feats of derring-do so prominent in modern spy thrillers. As Palfrey notes, “spying is waiting”, and spycraft is far more of an intellectual than a physical exercise. There’s violence in this book, but it’s hidden in overtly civil conversations. In particular, a scene in which the American CIA (who seize control of the operation from the more civilized Brits) administers a polygraph test to Barley made me shudder. (I am certain that was the author’s intention.)

One of the delights in this book is the author’s rich portrayal of Russia and the Russian people. As they deal with shortages, crumbling infrastructure, corruption and fear of State repression, they remain resourceful, brave, warm-hearted and sociable—even idealistic. It’s clear that le Carré has deep knowledge of, and abiding love for, Russia. The British characters fare more poorly, and the Americans worst of all.

I greatly enjoyed this book. It also filled me with new admiration for its author. It’s far more than just a throwaway piece of genre fiction.

I would really love to see John le Carré get the respect he deserves.

Monday, July 30, 2018

A scandalous, naked rendezvous! #HistoricalRomance #BlogTour @BarbaraMonajem

The Redemption of the Shrew cover

Barbara has some wonderful prizes to give away during the tour. Please be sure to enter with the Rafflecopter below. Be sure to enter every day for your chance to win. You may find all the blog tour locations here.

About The Redemption of the Shrew

Nothing is more painful than rejection—particularly when completely naked!

Gloriana Warren doesn’t want to wait for marriage. Beneath her shrewish exterior is a kindhearted woman who uses her fortune for good. It doesn’t matter that the man she’s set her sights on claims impoverishment. She’s in love and determined to marry him. But her attempt at a moonlight seduction ends in disaster.

French marquis Philippe de Bellechasse has had it up to his gorgeous dark eyes with being pursued by lusty ladies. His escape to England from the violence of the French Revolution took a toll on his finances as well. Gloriana may be gloriously naked, but he’s just not ready to submit to her seduction.

But when a precious family artifact is stolen, Philippe must convince Gloriana he’s not the guilty party. He’ll steal it back for her, but on his terms. Gloriana, believing he despises her, has plans of her own. Working at odds is dangerous, but working together can be more so. Is Philippe willing to risk his heart again for a deliciously tempting shrew?


A clandestine meeting, particularly where nakedness is involved, is best arranged for a moonless night.

Or so Gloriana Warren told herself, for her mother would never have uttered such a scandalous dictum. Unfortunately, it was tonight or never. Tomorrow, the man she had sworn to love forever would leave Lancashire and return to London—without her. They wouldn’t be able to marry for years because of his stupid scruples about money.

Men and their tedious pride! She and the Marquis de Bellechasse loved one another. They shared the same lofty ideals. She had a substantial dowry. Marrying now made sense. Not only that, her mother would die happy.

So Gloriana was taking matters into her own hands. She had planned the upcoming encounter in glorious detail—every word, every gesture. As she emerged from the summerhouse to greet him, he would stand and stare at her, transfixed by her beauty.

Darling Philippe,” she would say, reaching for him, offering herself without reserve. “Love is eternal. It cannot, must not be denied!”

Ah, ma belle,” he would respond, his hand on his heart, his voice throbbing with desire. “I adore you. What a fool I was to think we could wait for years. Even another minute is too long. Tonight, I shall make you mine!”

She would fling herself into his waiting arms, swept away on the tide of his passion.
She wasn’t sure exactly how it would go after that, apart from plenty of kissing, but judging by her previous experience of Philippe’s kisses, it would be the most thrilling experience of her life.

She sneaked out the French doors, arms full of blankets, and glanced back up at Garrison House. Not a glimmer of candlelight showed in the windows. She hurried through the rose garden and skirted the lawn, keeping to the bushes and out of the moonlight. In the secret room under the summerhouse, she and her darling Philippe would be safe. Tomorrow they would announce their engagement to Mama. They would send for a special license and be married within a week.

Ten minutes later, she had set up a makeshift bed under the summerhouse and removed all her clothes. Shivering more from excitement than from the chilly night
air, she waited for Philippe to arrive.

Tonight would be the most perfect night of her life.


The Marquis de Bellechasse left his horse in a convenient copse and made his careful way forward, pausing at the edge of the trees. Garrison House was reassuringly dark, but moonlight reflected off the ripples on the lake. The summerhouse gleamed white on its little knoll, exposed on all sides. He paused, listening. No sound disturbed the darkness except a nightjar complaining from a nearby oak. He hoped and prayed no one else was up and about tonight. He couldn’t afford to get caught with Gloriana Warren, but nor could he bring himself to ignore her passionate plea to see him once more before they parted.

He loved her—to the point of folly, judging by his current behavior. He had already said farewell, and yet here he was, trespassing on her brother’s estate at midnight to say it again. He dreaded her inevitable tears.

The door to the summerhouse stood wide open, which meant Gloriana was here already. Fine. Best to get it over with now. He took a deep breath and set out across the lawn.

He had almost reached the doorway when she came into view, rising from out of nowhere, her face pale, her hair loose around her bare shoulders. He halted, staring, his heart thundering. She continued to rise, her breasts round and luscious in the light of the moon. His eyes slid helplessly down the curve of her hips to the darker patch at the apex of her thighs . . .

Mordieu. He shook his head and began to back away. “No, chérie. We must not do this.”

She set her feet on the floor—she must have emerged from a trapdoor—and beckoned with those sweet arms, smiled with those lush lips. “Philippe, my darling, please come to me. I love you so much.”

No, ma belle, I cannot.”

But love—” She faltered, then continued toward him, arms wide. “Love is eternal. It must not be denied.”

Sacrebleu, she was declaiming like a shoddy actress on the stage. The thought revolted him. Surely his idealistic Gloriana could not cheapen herself so. Anguished, he put up his hands to fend her off. “It is not possible, Gloriana. Not yet. It would not be right.”

She hurried forward, her breasts jiggling enticingly. “Truly, we mustn’t delay. My mother may not have long to live, and seeing me married well is her dearest wish.”

He didn’t care in the least about old Lady Garrison, who was the worst sort of snob. He shook his head. “No. To wait is best.”

Philippe, I cannot wait. I need you now.” She reached for him, her nakedness inches away.

He gritted his teeth and took another step backwards. His imbecile cock was reacting to her, but he had long ago gained control over its demands. “I am sorry, but I must go.” He turned away.

She wailed, a sharp, keening sound, and immediately a shout came from nearby. Her brother? No, he was in London. A gamekeeper?

Whoever the man might be, he was lurking here on purpose. So much for love, Philippe thought. Gloriana was just another lust-crazed woman trying to trap him into marriage. He turned and ran. Pursued by shouts and then shots, he reached his horse and galloped away.

About the Author

Winner of the Holt Medallion, Maggie, Daphne du Maurier, Reviewer’s Choice and Epic awards, Barbara Monajem wrote her first story at eight years old about apple tree gnomes. She published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young, then moved on to paranormal mysteries and Regency romances with intrepid heroines and long-suffering heroes (or vice versa).

Barbara loves to cook, especially soups. She used to have two items on her bucket list: to make asparagus pudding and succeed at knitting socks. Asparagus pudding proved to be pretty horrible, and she is too fumble-fingered to make socks. Now she just sticks with writing books. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

Social Links

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter Barbara's drawing. 

Increase your odds of winning by visiting her other tour stops:  https://reviewsbycacb.blogspot.com/p/blog-tour-barbara-monajem.html

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sizzling Sunday: Damned If You Do - #BDSM #Paranormal #SizzlingSunday #Audio

Sizzling Sunday banner

Since I mentioned Damned If You Do in my post yesterday, I thought I should feature it today. When I went back to Amazon to check on the link, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had a number of new, very positive reviews for this sexy BDSM novella!


Sometimes romance can be hell

Wendy Dennison is tired of being a starving author. The royalties from her critically acclaimed romance novels barely pay her bills. Her devoted agent Daniel Rochester may be smart and sexy, but he can't get her the sales she needs. Then a charismatic stranger appears at her coffee shop table, promising her fame and commercial success, as well as the chance to live out her dreams of erotic submission. But at what cost?

Nothing you can't afford to lose, my dear.

Seduced by the enigmatic Mister B, she signs his infernal contract. He becomes both her Master and her coach, managing her suddenly flourishing career as well as encouraging her lusts. Under her mentor’s nefarious influence, she surrenders to temptation and has sex with Daniel. The casual encounter turns serious when she discovers her mild mannered agent has a dominant side. As the clock ticks down to her blockbuster release and Mister B prepares to claim her soul, Wendy must choose either celebrity and wealth, or obscurity and true love.


The smoke-tinted windows created a perpetual twilight within the vehicle. An equally dark barrier separated the spacious back seat from the driver in front. No one could see the lewd manner in which Mister B dragged her shirt up to her armpits and her bra down to her waist, exposing her ample breasts. When he twisted her nipple with impeccably manicured fingers, lust poured through her, as though he’d opened a spigot. Her pussy overflowed to further drench her already-sodden panties. She squirmed on the slick seat, hungry for stimulation.

Without releasing her breast, he rubbed two fingers along the damp seam of her jeans. Wendy couldn’t suppress a desperate moan. He chuckled as he sniffed his fingertips. “Your fragrance is exquisite, my dear.” Cupping her pubis, he ground the heel of his hand against her clit while his fingers beat out a frustrating rhythm against the tightly stretched denim between her thighs.

She hadn’t been this turned on in months—no, years. The substantial bulge at his fly told her he was also aroused, but somehow she didn’t dare touch him. Though he had yet to give her any orders, he had made it clear she had to obey him if she wanted to reap the benefits of this strange arrangement.

Meanwhile, an odd passivity had taken her over. He’d told her not to think, but only to feel. Her rational self, the part that screamed warnings about engaging in sexual trysts with total strangers, had retreated to some distant corner of her mind, leaving only a hunger to be touched, a craving to be filled, a shameful desire to be used and even abused.

I know what you want, Gwen. What you truly need. I’ve read all your stories of implacable masters and eager slaves. But you never go all the way in your tales, do you? You don’t dare show the world the true depths of your depravity.”

His words inflamed her almost as much as his actions.
I—oh!” He ripped open her fly and forced his hand down the front of her jeans, under the elastic of her underwear, into her soaked and swollen cunt. His fingers were like tongues of flame as they probed her cleft and teased her clit. “Oh, please…I can’t bear it…”

As quickly as they’d arrived, his fingers were gone, leaving her empty and aching. She gazed at him in a state of horny disbelief as he used a monogrammed hankie from his breast pocket to clean her juices from his elegant hands. “I shall decide what you must bear, my sweet little slave. Now I believe we’ve arrived at your abode, where we can explore this question further. You should fix your clothing.”

Get your copy of Damned If You Do today!


Audio - Narrated by Audrey Lusk

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saturday Spanks: More Brides in Vegas - #SaturdaySpanks #RolePlaying #Discount

Saturday Spanks banner

I haven’t written much BDSM lately. My last book in that sub-genre was Damned If You Do. However, my most recent release, More Brides in Vegas, does include a bit of playful dominance and submission, including a couple of spanking scenes.

In this excerpt, Laura has just admitted to her husband Steve that she has been fantasizing about the bride’s brother Rod. Without really planning it, they fall into a hot role playing scene.

Sliding off the bed, he went to sit in the chair near the balcony door. His sudden movement alarmed her.

Where are you going? I’m sorry, Steve. Please, please forgive me…” Tears streaked her cheeks now, her carefully applied make-up a total loss.

I’ll forgive you, slut. After I punish you.”


Come here, my slut.” He hoped the possessive would reassure her. “Lie across my lap.”

Though she followed his orders, he sensed her tension in the awkwardness of her limbs.

Relax, girl.” He stroked her bare bottom. He was going to enjoy this.

But, Steve, I’ve never—”

Rod,” he said. “My name is Rod.”

Laura released an inarticulate moan.

First I am going to spank you,” he told her. “Then I’m going to fuck you within an inch of your life!”

He raised his palm above her lovely white buttocks, then brought it down hard on the left cheek.


A pink patch glowed where his skin had made contact. He slapped her again, this time on the right.

Oh! Oh, God!”

Are you all right, slut?”

Um—yes. Yes, Rod.” He could practically hear the lust vibrating in her voice. He dabbled a finger in her pussy. It came out soaking wet.

If you can’t bear it, say the word ‘Cut’. Understand?”

Yes, yes…” She sucked a breath into her lungs, then settled herself more comfortably on his lap. “Now won’t you get on with it?”

Steve grinned. He landed another few swats, alternating sides, putting more force into each swing. Laura twitched and moaned, but didn’t stop him. Her ass turned a uniform rosy hue. When he paused to stroke it, the flesh felt as though she’d been lying under a sun lamp.

His cock grew harder and more painful each time his palm connected with her butt. He’d never thought about spanking her before. Now he wondered why not. It was one of the hottest things they’d ever done together.

Finally he couldn’t wait any longer.

That’s enough punishment for now,” he gasped. “Now for the fucking.”

More Brides in Vegas is available at all your favorite bookstores. You can get a copy for 50% off at Smashwords, between now and July 31st. Just use the coupon code YW29P at checkout!

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Accidental Series - #series #inspiration #VegasBabes @Archer_Larry

Stack of books

Conventional wisdom and statistics suggest that books in a series tend to sell better than standalone titles. This makes sense; once an author gets readers hooked on a fictional world or a set of characters, they’ll buy new series volumes because they want more of what they enjoyed before. You only have to convince a reader once, rather than woo them anew for every book.

Nevertheless, until recently, I haven’t had much success writing a series or even a sequel. I’ve tried. I’ve left some plot points unresolved. I’ve pondered my secondary characters. I’ve even outlined a series or two. I found I just couldn’t do it.

Somehow, when I’d finally typed “The End”, I felt that I didn’t have more to say. My characters had achieved their HEA, the conflicts had mostly been resolved, it was time to move on to something different.

Indeed, my tendency to experiment with a variety of sub-genres has been one force pushing me away from a series. I don’t like to be bored. Plus I enjoy the challenge of tackling something completely different from my previous work. Hence my catalog includes contemporary, science fiction, historical, steampunk, paranormal, fantasy, gay, lesbian, menage, BDSM, romance, humor and dark erotica. This diversity conflicts with the whole concept of a series, which might focus on different characters in each book, but requires a consistent genre and world view.

The relatively slow pace of my publishing also makes a series difficult. My writing time is scarce. I do a lot of business traveling. Typically it takes me many months to finish a book. A successful series depends on regularly feeding the readers’ habit, which is tough for me to guarantee.

Last year, as something of a lark (and egged on by my colleague Larry Archer), I decided to try writing stroke erotica. I wrote Hot Brides in Vegas in record time (for me...). To my great surprise, almost as soon as the book came out, I had ideas for a sequel. The characters in Hot Brides wanted more time to play. Plus I had so enjoyed the no-holds-barred, over-the-top fun of writing the first book, I wanted to do it again. 


Last month I brought out the second book in what I’ve decided to called the Vegas Babes series, More Brides in Vegas. More Brides takes place about six months after Hot Brides. There’s an overlap in characters and setting with the first book. More important, it’s equally outrageous in its actionif not more so! That’s one problem with a series. You’ve got to maintain the intensity, to hold the reader’s attention. To be honest, I think I managed quite well in this regard.

And guess what? I’ve already started Vegas Babes 3, Sin City Sweethearts. Once again, the book follows the previous one in time and reprises some of the same characters (including some cameo appearances from Book 1). I’m working hard to ensure that this new book is as wild, as hot and as funny as the first two.

I hope I’m up to it!

And how many Vegas Babes volumes will there be? I have no idea. I’m just following my muse, who seems to have decided that it’s time for to write a series after all. 

Actually, I have to thank Larry, too. I doubt I would have stayed around to play in Vegas if not for his encouragement. We've been trying to match our releases - though his books are more than twice as long as mine! His most recent is Crashing the Swinger's Pajama Party. And it's half price over at Smashwords, until the end of July.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

An arousing look into the future - Hard Drive by @MChristianZobop #scifi #erotica #anthology

Hard Drive cover

When I heard about the release of Hard Drive, M. Christian’s newly released collection of science fiction erotica, I offered to put up a post for him on my blog. However, I soon realized it would be disingenuous to pretend that he was just another author, that this was just another bit of social media promotion. I’ve known M.Christian for a long time—at least fifteen years—and I’ve always been a fan of his erotic fiction.

No, scratch that. I’m not a “fan”. That implies slavish adoration. I am a discerning and appreciative reader. He’s one of the most imaginative and versatile authors I’ve encountered. He writes everything from horror to romance, scifi to stroke. He can create believably erotic scenarios involving characters who are straight, gay, lesbian, and completely unlabeled. Even after all these years, he can still surprise me.

We’ve read and reviewed each other’s work over the decades. He has edited my stories for his collections; I’ve done the same for him, including his single author altruistic erotica volume Coming Together Presents: M. Christian, which supports Planned Parenthood


So I can’t really claim to be objective when it comes to M. Christian. He’s not only a valued colleague, but a friend.

Still, you should believe me when I tell you this book is a treat. Hard Drive collects the best of his speculative erotica tales, a genre that’s one of both his favorites and my own, published over his long career.

Here’s the blurb—a bit breathless, but accurate never the less:

With The Bachelor Machine, M.Christian set the gold standard for erotic science fiction: stories that pushed the absolute limits of both outrageous sex and fantastic technology.

His follow-up collection, Skin Effect, raised it even further: a book that Publisher’s Weekly praised as “Future technology’s ability to alter the very nature of our humanity—and the ways those changes interact with sex—shapes this solid collection of futuristic stories from erotica author M.Christian.”

Now M.Christian has personally selected his favorite stories from The Bachelor Machine, Skin Effect, and his other erotica collections to create the ultimate celebration of sexually-explicit cyberpunk science fiction: Hard Drive.

With a special introduction by science fiction legend Arthur Byron Cover, Hard Drive is a book that will take you to the outer reaches of BDSM, gay, lesbian, and straight sexuality in the near and far future: worlds of brilliant imagination, relentless passion, and supernova heat!

And here’s an excerpt from “State”, possibly the best piece of sci-fi erotica I've ever read. The main character is a human woman impersonating an expensive humanoid sex robot. In the world of this tale, robotic sex is a more valuable commodity than flesh-on-flesh. The protagonist finds her masquerade a personally arousing challenge.

The streets, and common knowledge, said that Autos took a while to power up, boot up their software, get their circuits warm and ready, though never really willing: the perfect love-doll. The perfect toy. The real fact was that it took Fields time to get completely into her Act.

Her friendly gray robe went first ... into the hidden closet behind the false wall of phony, blinking telltales and dummy flat-screens playing loops of technical gibberish, with the rest of her reality, hung on a hook next to her vid discs, street clothes, wigs, pills, towels, creams, sprays, and plain-faced bottles of special dye.

Very special dye; an incredibly durable, bonding polymer that she applied each morning; but she was always careful to examine every inch of herself in a roll-up plastic mirror, lathering on the thick blueness at the faintest signs of her real pinkness, before the light over the door flashed green. Her hair, every brown strand, was months gone and kept at an imperceptible level by a chilling spray of tailored enzymes. Sure, she could wear any of her wigs, and sometimes did for those who just couldn't deal with a too-inhuman Automaton, but for the most part, she liked going smooth and streamlined: you paid for a machine.

The little yellow hexagon pills still had about another two hours to go – her skin texture and temperature would be just that different. Not quite human, almost machine-synthetic. Anyone, of course, who knew the real Mitsui would know the reality of pink skin-and-blood Fields under the blue, behind the contacts, beyond the re-engineered body. But then the Autos were very rare, their legends and rumors huge … and who would know the real thing after all, in the dim shadows of big, sprawling, bad Kyushu?

Fields's body was a gift from Mama. Really, an investment: those long days, two years ago with the Osaka Scalpers, had taken what nature had lucked her with and shaped her into an almost perfect Auto Class B – still one of Mitsui's most popular models. Strong shoulders; round face with high, almost too-wide-for-nature cheekbones; tiny, pert, full lips; huge, crystal-blue eyes; high, wide, and moderate tits, huge against her small actual frame, with aggressively large nipples. Some of it was really hers, some was machine-made for her machine Act. Her looks, real or made, would be good and profitable as long as the real unit was state-of-the-art ... and the rumors of how good, and how hot, kept flying.

Fields's cortical jack was a gift from Sammi, now long gone. His gift of matched wet dreams through cheap Kobe scalp implants was also gone. One quick brain-trip with the tall and lean New Tokyo hustler had been enough for the preteen Fields (spasms of her riding him, his impression of "nothing-but-sex nothing-but-sex" and her always on fucking top, running/stomping all over her images of that one time – that one good time – at that Osaka shrimp stick stand when he had just smiled at her oh so special); the jack was the one and only thing that really remained of him. It was important to the Act, so she kept it polished and in good repair. The clients knew (if they knew anything) that no one had shrunk the hardware for the Autos enough for them to be self-supporting. They expected and got her – Regulation Blue, hairless, eyes also blue but also no irises, just slightly cool, perfect little ass, perfection tits, and trailing her braid of cables: a love-doll lifted from a Japanese collective consciousness, a manga sex-toy – all eyes and ass and tits and mouth and cunt. Pure fantasy, rolled off the assembly line to a male libido's factory specs. Her body was flesh, tricked by drugs and chemicals – the jack on the crown of her head was real, the line was dead, but she was still State: the perfect whore, the perfect trick, perfect in her Act.

And, god knew, she liked it. Liked it a lot...

Hard Drive: The Best Sci-Fi Erotica of M.Christian
is available on Kindle from Sizzler Editions (free on Kindle Unlimited).

A print edition is coming soon.

About the Author

Calling M.Christian versatile is a tremendous understatement. Extensively published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even nonfiction, it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name.

M.Christian's short fiction has been collected in many bestselling books in a wide variety of genres, including the Lambda Award finalist Dirty Words and other queer collections like Filthy Boys and BodyWork. He also has published collections of nonfiction (Welcome to Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How to Write and Sell Erotica); science fiction, fantasy, and horror (Love Without Gun Control); and erotic science fiction including Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Better Than the Real Thing, the acclaimed The Bachelor Machine, and its follow-up, Skin Effect.
As a novelist, M.Christian has shown his monumental versatility with books such as the queer vamp novels Running Dry and The Very Bloody Marys; the erotic romance Brushes; the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll; and the rather controversial gay horror/thrillers Finger's Breadth and Me2.

M.Christian has also become a celebrated sexual futurist, both through his novels and short stories as well as being a Senior Columnist for Future Of Sex (https://futureofsex.net), which provides "insights into the fascinating topic of the future of human sex and sexuality."

M.Christian’s site: www.mchristian.com

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

MFRW Book Hooks: The Understudy - #MFRWHooks #BDSMEroticRomance #SummerTheater

The Understudy cover

Welcome to today’s Book Hooks blog hop!

My excerpt today comes from my BDSM erotic romance The Understudy. Appropriately, this story has a summertime setting. It also features one of my favorite plays, A Streetcar Named Desire.


Is there a future in playing stand-in to a slave?

Sarah Gladstone was thrilled to be offered her first real acting job at the Berks Summer Playhouse. She never expected to be working with theatre legend Geoffrey Hart. The charismatic actor quickly brings her under his spell, not to mention his control, as he initiates her into the dark delights of BDSM. He offers her far more than physical pleasure; they share a level of intimacy and trust beyond anything Sarah could have imagined.

According to the rumors, though, Geoff's heart is taken. Renowned actress Anne Merrill, his long time partner and submissive lover, has severed their relationship and Hart has escaped to the Berkshires to lick his emotional wounds. With her youth, inexperience, and girl-next-door persona, Sarah knows that she can't compete with the glamorous theatre veteran. She fears that she's just a substitute for the real object of Geoff's affections. As he draws her deeper into his intoxicating games of dominance and submission, Sarah wonders if she's willing to settle for the role of understudy in this perverse passion play.

The Hook

It’s him!” Adele tugged at my shirt, almost hard enough to tear it. “Look, Sarah!” She pointed to the shiny black Lincoln cruising around the corner. “I still can’t believe it! We’re really going to have a chance to work with Geoffrey Hart!” The wooden porch shook as my friend literally jumped up and down with excitement. Adele’s temperament matched her fiery hair.

Of course my own heart beat faster than normal as the town car approached the inn at a sedate pace. Geoffrey Hart was a legend in American theatre. Since his first appearance off-Broadway ten years earlier, he had won every award in the world of drama. He’d played every prestigious role from Oedipus to Willy Loman. One summer in Central Park I’d seen him as both Hamlet and King Lear. He was astonishing, equally convincing as the callow, indecisive university student and the bitter, world-weary old man. His magical voice, full of nuance and music, reached the back row without amplification. His body language was eloquent with emotion. In both plays, he’d made me cry. His performances were an inspiration, one of the things that finally made me settle on drama—much to my parent’s chagrin.

I’d been thrilled when the Berk Hills Playhouse offered me a place for the summer. I never in a million years expected that I’d meet the man who had been such a role model.

But why on earth was he coming here, to a little summer stock theatre in the rural hills of western Massachusetts? The last news I saw, he was lead actor and part owner of the Gotham Repertory Company. What could possibly have induced him to abandon the city for the sticks?

I heard that he broke up with Anne Merrill,” said Adele, sotto voce, as if she’d read my mind. “She dumped him. He’s come out here to the country to lick his wounds.”

What? Who told you that?” I recalled the actor’s handsome face and imposing presence. It was hard to believe someone would dump him—he seemed like the type to do the dumping.

I can’t reveal my sources.” Adele’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “But the word is that his heart is broken.”

Oh come on!” I just couldn’t imagine someone like Hart moping about a woman. “Seriously?”

I wouldn’t lie to you, would I?” She put her arm around my shoulders and gave me a quick hug. “And that’s not all. There are rumours about their relationship—that it was, well, kinky, if you know what I mean. According to the grapevine, she wasn’t just his girlfriend. She was also his slave.”

Please! You shouldn’t believe every bit of gossip you hear.”

I’m just saying…”

Shush! They’re here.”

The town car slid to a silent stop in front of the steps. The uniformed driver opened the back door, then stood back to let his passenger alight. For a long moment nothing happened—like the suspense before the curtain rises. I realised I was holding my breath.

~ ~ ~ ~

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