Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Do you want something? – #MFRWHooks #NewRelease #EroticRomance

Rajasthani Moon banner

For today’s MFRW Book Hooks hop, I’ve got another excerpt from my new multi-genre release Rajasthani Moon. This book has it all ;^) – steampunk, paranormal, ménage, kink, multicultural, espionage, all served up with a Bollywood setting. And of course, romance!

On Monday I featured a steampunk snippet. (You can still enter mybookstore GC giveaway if you hurry...!) Today I’m focusing on romance. Here’s a quick scene between my heroine Cecily, secret agent for Queen Victoria, and Prince Pratan, half-brother to the ruler of Rajasthan and the victim of a terrible curse. The scene takes place the morning after an intense, four-way scene in the Rajah’s dungeon.

By the way, this excerpt is rated R, but the book is definitely five-plus flames.

The Hook

You asked me to take you.” His black eyes flashed. “That at least you can’t deny.”

You’re quite right.” Cecily shook her head wearily. “The flesh is weak, as we all know. It shan’t happen again.”

Pratan was on his feet in an instant. He dragged her out of her chair and pulled her to his chest. “I hope that’s not true,” he murmured, nuzzling her ear. “Because I most certainly would like a repeat engagement.” His strength, his now-familiar scent—Cecily fought her instinctive reaction, her urge to melt into his arms and offer him her body. She might have succeeded, had he not fastened his mouth on hers in a firm but unexpectedly chaste kiss.

This morning he tasted of oranges and black tea. She opened, almost automatically, silently inviting his tongue to enter. When he did not respond, she ran her own tongue along the seam of his closed lips, seeking access. Her nipples peaked under the sheet and her inner muscles clenched. He broke the kiss to lick her earlobe. She squirmed as though he’d flicked his tongue across her taut clit.

His breath was hot against her neck. “Do you want something, Miss Harrowsmith?” He gave her full bottom a brief squeeze. “All you have to do is ask. But if you don’t ask…” He released her, allowing her to sink back into her chair. His mocking smile made her fume.

With a Herculean effort, Cecily subdued her burgeoning lust.

Actually, sir, I’d like some clothing and some breakfast.”

Pratan chuckled. “I think we can manage that.”

And then I’d like more time in the library.” She hadn’t planned this request, but as soon as the words were out of her mouth, she understood the benefits of this approach. She’d told them she’d made progress towards finding a way to reverse the curse. Of course she’d want to return, to search further. She could buy time, choosing the right moment to reveal her discovery from the previous day. Meanwhile, it occurred to her that the library might answer some of her questions—Her Majesty’s questions—about Rajasthan’s mysterious source of energy and its surprisingly advanced technology.

Do you think you’ll find it—the way to undo the curse?” Pratan looked stricken at the reminder.

I don’t know. I can only try. Yesterday I found what I believe are the Rani’s spell books. I can read them, at least to some extent. Magical language tends to be obscure, however, replete with metaphor and symbolism. It will take me some time to work my way through the old tomes, to see if there’s any mention of wolves or shape-shifting.”

How much time?” Pratan was on his feet again, looming over her—almost threatening.

How can I tell? I’d like at least another day or two. Perhaps as much as a week.”

The moon will be full in less than two weeks.” His obvious distress kindled her sympathy, despite her determination to resist him. “And I’ve changed twice already. Probably I should return to my cave and lock myself up in my cage every night.”

Cecily laid a hand on his sleeve, trying to ignore the hot, hard muscles shifting underneath the fabric. “Wait a few days, Pratan-ji. Let’s see what I can discover during that time.” She didn’t want him to go away. For one thing, that would leave her entirely in the Rajah’s fiendish hands. Pratan appeared to be somewhat more civilised in his sentiments, despite his rough demeanour.

Ganesh’s tusks! I hate this!” He shook her off. “The waiting. The uncertainty. All I want is to be fully human.”

I understand completely. I really do want to help you. I’m not your enemy, regardless of what your brother thinks.”

He gazed down at her with those fierce eyes of his—the eyes of a hungry wolf. Despite her determination to remain aloof, affection welled up in her breast. His gaze softened, and for a moment Cecily thought he’d kiss her again. Instead he made an abrupt turn and headed for the door. 



Buy Links

Kinky Literature - https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/363-rajasthani-moon-steampunk-shifter-bdsm-romance/

Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09DBMLQQG

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09DBMLQQG

Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1100493

Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rajasthani-moon-lisabet-sarai/1140045684?ean=2940165000041

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/rajasthani-moon-steampunk-shifter-bdsm-romance

Add on Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58835067-rajasthani-moon

Be sure to visit the other authors participating in today’s Book Hooks hop!

Monday, August 30, 2021

Is the game afoot? #SherlockHolmes #ReviewTuesday #Giveaway


The game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall as WWI ends. From his rural cottage, Holmes no longer provokes Scotland Yard’s envy or his landlady’s impatience, but neither is he content with the study of bees. August 1920 finds him filling out entry papers at a nearly defunct psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. England’s new Dangerous Drugs Act declares his cocaine use illegal and he aims to quit entirely. Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” Holmes hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. His scribbled response, “no more solutions, but one true resolution,” seems more a vow than a goal to his psychiatrist, Pierre Joubert. The doctor is right. Like a tiny explosion unaccountably shifting a far-reaching landscape, the simple words churn desperate action and interlocking mystery into the lives of Holmes’ friends and enemies both.


Holmes speaks, Watson answers:

It’s clear, Watson, that you have come to trust this man, never mind your fancy knot work.” He let a hand rest briefly on Joubert’s shoulder, and then snatched it away. “The charade you two gentleman have just now performed causes me to question myself. You are evidently in collusion.”

I said, “We were that obvious?”

I’m afraid so,” Holmes said. “In fact, when I have time, I will publish a monograph on what I will call ‘body language.’ Today’s performance will serve as a prime example. I watched you usher this Frenchman across the cottage—your hesitation, your caution lest you cause him the least pain, was evident. Your care was exactly as you would grant a lifelong patient going through a complicated procedure. You watched his every backward step, lest he trip. I noted the commiserating tilt of your head—and the lines of concern on your brow. Without a single word, you managed to signal your sympathy. To sum up, between the gun and the man you pointed it at, I detected at least a hundred yards worth of high-grade Watsonian scruple.

Holmes glared down at the top of Joubert’s head. “No doubt the entire Punch and Judy was your conception, Pierre, but you could not hide your concern for Watson, how you sought to assure him that it was all for a worthy purpose. Indeed, I saw you shudder and sweat, but you were in no fear for your life—in no dread of John Watson, at least. I submit to you both, that what I have witnessed just now was more a dance than an arrest.”

Review by Lisabet Sarai

When the impossible has been eliminated, then whatever remains, however improbable, is the truth.” ~ Sherlock Holmes

As a teenager, I was as avid a fan of Sherlock Holmes as any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s contemporary readers – those pesky fans who refused to allow the author to kill off his fictional detective even after Doyle had become thoroughly tired of him. Indeed, Sherlock Holmes still lives on in twenty-first century culture. When I do a web search, one question that Google pops up is “Was Sherlock Holmes a real person?” I wonder how many twenty-somethings believe he was. In any case, more than one hundred years after the setting of Doyle’s last Holmes story (1914), the insightful, moody, irascible forensic genius retains a enduring grip on our imagination.

Susanne M. Dutton’s novel is a meticulously constructed and engagingly presented homage to the Holmes myth. It takes place in 1920, well past the Victorian era I so strongly associate with the series. Holmes and Dr. John Watson, his faithful friend, assistant and the chronicler of many of his adventures, are both in their sixties. Holmes has retired to a rural cottage in Sussex where he reportedly occupies himself with his violin and with bee-keeping. Watson is one of the few people who know that he is actually a patient at a psychiatric hospital in Normandy, seeking a cure for his long-time addiction to cocaine. Thus the good doctor is quite surprised (though pleased) to receive a telegram, ostensibly from his old friend, with the traditional summons: “The game’s afoot.”

All is not as it seems, of course, as Watson discovers when he arrives at the cottage. I don’t want to spoil your enjoyment by detailing the twists and turns of the plot, or previewing the characters who turn up to play a role in the tale. If you’re a Holmes aficionado, you’ll recognize some of them, while others are clever re-imaginings from the original stories. (I particularly liked the nineteen-twenties version of the Baker Street Irregulars.)

The language and overall style are convincingly antique, similar enough to Doyle’s prose to pull the reader back into the Holmes world. At the same time, there are delightful modern touches. The author shows us that Holmes is a celebrity at the level of Kim Kardashian or Brad Pitt. The detective is disgustingly famous. His escapades are well known, and when it seems he may have a new case, all sorts of people are eager to get involved, just for the excitement and the glory. All that’s lacking is a Sherlock Holmes Twitter or Instagram account.

Like Conan Doyle, Ms. Dutton also does a great job illustrating Holmes’ somewhat precarious grip on sanity. Genius is definitely kin to madness.

The actual facts of the “case” did not impress me as much as the overall atmosphere and the attention to the details of Holmesiana. There’s a long, dramatic dream/hypnosis sequence that really made no sense to me in the context of the plot. Also I was disappointed by the ending, which stretched my credulity beyond the limit of the improbable. Nevertheless, I had fun reading the book.

If you’re not familiar with the Holmes cannon, the novel will likely be quite hard to follow. However, anyone who has spent significant time with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s world will find Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable a well-crafted, entertaining diversion.

About the Author

Susanne Dutton is the one who hid during high school gym, produced an alternative newspaper and exchanged notes in Tolkien’s Elfish language with her few friends. While earning her B.A. in English, she drove a shabby Ford Falcon with a changing array of homemade bumper strips: Art for Art’s Sake, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Free Bosie from the Scorn of History. Later, her interests in myth and depth psychology led to graduate and postgraduate degrees in counseling.

Nowadays, having outlived her mortgage and her professional counseling life, she aims herself at her desk most days; where she tangles with whatever story she can’t get out of her head. Those stories tend to seat readers within pinching distance of her characters, who, like most of us, slide at times from real life to fantasy and back. A man with Alzheimer’s sets out alone for his childhood home. A girl realizes she’s happier throwing away her meals than eating them. A woman burgles her neighbors in order to stay in the neighborhood.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Susanne grew up in the SF Bay Area, has two grown children, and lives with her husband in an old Philadelphia house, built of the stones dug from the ground where it sits.

Blog https://www.inside221b.com

Facebook https://www.facebook/noguessing (Improbable Holmes)

Publisher bookstore link to book:


Susanne M. Dutton will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Celebrating my new release! #Steampunk #Shifter #BDSM #Giveaway

Rajasthani Moon cover

Today is release day for my multi-genre erotic romance novel Rajasthani Moon!

I’ve got an exclusive excerpt for you, not available anywhere else. Furthermore, I’m giving away a $5 bookstore gift certificate to one randomly chosen person who leaves me a comment!


Neither kink nor curse can stop a woman on a mission.

A bandit prince cursed into beast form under the full moon.

A brilliant but sadistic Rajah whose robotic sex toys mingle torture and delight.

A voluptuous spy on a mission from Her Majesty, tasked with discovering Rajasthan’s secrets.

She has never faced such a challenge.

When Rajasthan refuses to remit its taxes, the Queen calls on her most lethal and seductive secret agent, Cecily Harrowsmith. Cecily expects to have little difficulty persuading the rebellious Rajah to submit once more to the Empire. Instead, she is the one forced to submit – to endure unprecedented extremes of pleasure and pain.

Kidnapped by the ruler's half-brother Pratan and delivered into the hands of the handsome but depraved Rajah Amir, she soon finds herself fighting against her own lascivious nature as much as the schemes of her captors. Her sympathy for the moon-cursed wolf-man Pratan only complicates her situation. Cecily has never failed to complete an assignment, but now she risks betrayal by both her body and her heart.


Sarita marched her into an adjoining room to dress. As Cecily donned the peacock blue sari laid out for her, and the matching crystal-studded kid slippers, she wondered again at the apparent prosperity of the Rajasthani realm. Everything she’d seen of the palace—the carved and gilded pillars supporting the ceiling, the intricate mosaics on the floor, the glow globes fashioned of precious metals and inlaid with gems—spoke of wealth and ample resources. Cut off from a supply of viridium, the lifeblood of the modern world economy, Rajasthan should have been desperate and impoverished, or at the very least relying on the most basic and primitive power sources—human and animal. On the contrary, it appeared that Amir and his people possessed some technologies even Her Majesty lacked.

She had to discover how Rajasthan had managed to survive the embargo in such a handy fashion. Perhaps her apparent status as the Rajah’s prisoner might actually make that easier than it would have been had she managed to maintain her cover story.

The dressing room did not feature a mirror. However, Cecily could tell from Sarita’s sour expression that the opulent costume suited her. The silver-embroidered silk clung to her full hips then fell in graceful folds to her trim ankles. The under blouse, a contrasting pale green, hugged her breasts. Her protruding nipples would have been easily visible if not for the loose end of the sari, which draped across her chest and trailed down her back. The gossamer fabric hid them from a casual glance—though perhaps not from someone determined to survey all her charms.

Sarita thrust a carved cinnabar box into her hands. “My Lord Amir bade me give you these,” she said, her tone making it clear how reluctantly she obeyed. Inside Cecily discovered exquisite eardrops of lapis and silver filigree, and matching bangles.

Does the Rajah treat all his prisoners so generously?” she asked, inserting the wires into her pierced lobes. It was difficult not to sound smug.

You represent the spoils of war, Miss Harrowsmith. He decorates you to make you appear more valuable—and for his own amusement. Do not become too attached to this finery,” she added, a cruel light flashing in her eyes. “He’ll have you naked and begging for mercy soon enough, I expect.”

Cecily shivered slightly. Given what she knew of women, Sarita might be a more formidable enemy than her master.

Oh, there’s one more thing we have for you.” The Rajasthani beauty held out what looked like a silvery necklace. Unlike the earrings and bracelets, it was smooth and plain.

That’s pretty,” Cecily commented, reaching for the gleaming circlet.

Sarita snatched it away. “Perhaps. But practical, too. This collar will keep you here where you belong.”


Watch.” Sarita unfastened the shutters and held the collar up to the waning light. “Within the palace walls, a simple ornament. But venture even a few inches outside…”She extended her arm through the open window, the collar in her hand. Cecily heard a snick, as though some mechanism had triggered. When Sarita showed her the silver circle again, four vicious-looking metal spines poked from the rim into the interior. Some sort of liquid dripped from the needle-like points onto the floor. “Had you been wearing the collar, poison would already be pouring into your veins through the puncture wounds. You’d be dead in minutes.”

A shudder ran through Cecily’s frame, but her horror was not unmixed with admiration. What a fiendishly clever device! Z would sell his right arm to plumb its secrets.

Sarita manipulated the collar in some way Cecily couldn’t discern. The spikes retracted. After wiping the thing off with a cloth, she beckoned to Cecily. The collar came apart into two half-rings. Sarita approached, clearly intending to encircle Cecily’s neck.

Something like panic seized the secret agent. Once the collar was installed, her chances of escape would dramatically diminish. Sarita was no more than a few inches away, close enough that her jasmine perfume filled Cecily’s nostrils. A knee in the belly, a blow to the carotid, and she’d be immobilised…

Don’t try anything stupid, Cecily,” the other woman purred, her fingertips soft against Cecily’s throat. “Bhuni is watching your every move. And I can activate the collar with a single touch.” The endpoints of each half-circle sealed together with a click. Cecily’s heart plummeted.

Sarita stood back, pretending to admire her companion. “There. I think you’re finally ready to be escorted into the presence of the Rajah and his royal brother.” She nodded to Bhuni, who clamped down on Cecily’s arm like some automaton and led her towards the door.

It will be amusing to see how long you manage to survive.”

Buy Links

Kinky Literature - https://www.kinkyliterature.com/book/363-rajasthani-moon-steampunk-shifter-bdsm-romance/

Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09DBMLQQG

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09DBMLQQG

Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1100493

Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rajasthani-moon-lisabet-sarai/1140045684?ean=2940165000041

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/rajasthani-moon-steampunk-shifter-bdsm-romance

Add on Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58835067-rajasthani-moon

Don’t forget to comment and enter my giveaway!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Saving lives regardless of what side you're on ... #MSF #CharitySunday #MedicalEthics

Charity Sunday bannr

Welcome to this month’s Charity Sunday blog hop. In case this is your first visit, on Charity Sunday we authors try to combine altruism and marketing. Each of the writers listed below is highlighting a cause important to her or him, and committing to donate a certain anount to that cause for each comment received.

Then we give you a bit of entertainment – an excerpt from one of our books!

I am dedicating today’s post to one of my favorite organizations, Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). MSF volunteers -- skilled doctors, nurses and other medical professionals -- provide critical health care in conflict zones, refugee camps, and regions suffering from natural disasters. Right now, as you might imagine, they are busy providing life-saving assistance to the sick and wounded in Afghanistan (as well as 87 other countries). 

I particularly admire MSF because of their non-political, non-partisan principles. They do not discriminate with regards to whom they treat. I recently read this article about their current situation vis a vis the Taliban.


In my view, this demonstrates a level of ethical consciousness that the world sorely needs. Even in war, we all share a fundamental humanity. MSF recognizes this.

Anyway, I will donate $2 to MSF for every comment I receive on this post. Meanwhile, I have a medical-themed excerpt from my paranormal erotic romance Serpent’s Kiss.



She’s in love with a myth come to life

From the first, Dr. Elena Navarro senses that the mortally wounded man she discovers outside her rural clinic is no ordinary mortal. With his chest ripped open, Jorge Pélikal nevertheless demonstrates unnatural strength and power.

Elena is irresistibly attracted to Jorge, although he warns her their coupling could throw open the gates of chaos. As they grow closer, she comes to understand Jorge is a supernatural player in a cosmic drama that will determine the fate of the earth and of mankind – and that even if he triumphs in his apocalyptic struggle with his nemesis, she may lose him forever.

Reader Advisory: This book is not recommended for readers with a snake phobia.


When she opened the gates at seven a.m., several patients were already waiting to see her. Maria Arévalo’s four year old had severe diarrhoea. Old Humberto needed another cortisone injection for his swollen knees. Probably he should have surgery, but who in the poor village of La Merced could afford that? Two farmers came from Santa Colina, nearly twenty kilometres away, to get her opinion on an ugly rash that covered their chests and bellies. Three different people came by with chest congestion and serious coughs. Elena groaned inwardly as she administered expectorants and aspirin, wondering whether the whole community would soon be at her door suffering from the latest virus.

She didn’t even have time to breath until about noon. Consuela, her young assistant, tapped her on the shoulder as she was recording the details of the latest case in her notebook.

Señora Doctora, you should eat,” Consuela said with a grin. “You can’t help your patients if you faint from hunger.”

Elena realised she hadn’t eaten for nearly twenty-four hours. “Heavens, you’re right! I think I still have some empanadas left from yesterday.”

Consuela held out a covered earthenware pot. “Luiz Garcia brought this over from his wife. Caldos con pollo. He wanted to thank you for your help with that his problem last month.

Luiz had come to her, shy and embarrassed, complaining of impotence. She diagnosed a urinary infection and given him antibiotics which, fortunately, had quickly cleared up the problem. If only all her interventions were so successful. She thought about Lupé Rebora, the thirty-year-old teacher in La Merced’s one-room school. She was dying of ovarian cancer. There was nothing Elena could offer except pain-killers and emotional support.

Consuela raised the lid; the mouth-watering smell of stewed chicken and vegetables made Elena’s stomach clench. “Let’s eat out in the garden.” She led the way to the fenced clearing in the back of the building, where a rattan table and stools sat in the shade of a tall xate palm. Elena breathed deeply, enjoying the scent of growing things that suffused the peaceful enclave. Insects buzzed in the sunshine, outside the circle of shadow. Birds screeched and chattered, hidden in the forest canopy. A flash of red and green zipped from one treetop to another. Elena smiled at the beauty that surrounded her. Despite its isolation and its poverty, La Merced had become her home.

Her assistant returned with a plate of tortillas and a pitcher of purified water. They ate quickly, without much conversation, savouring the hearty casserole but aware that the afternoon’s patients probably waited outside the door.

In fact, the afternoon load was light. Mirador Temar came for her eight-month prenatal check-up, her bulk perched precariously on the back of her husband’s rusty motorbike. Two kids that Elena didn’t recognise arrived with their younger brother, who had fallen out of a tree. The toddler had scrapes and bruises, but otherwise was unharmed. She sent him home painted with iodine and dotted with plasters.

By three p.m., the waiting room was empty. Elena thought she’d take advantage of the lull to catch up on paperwork. The clinic didn’t receive any funds from the government, but she was still required to make monthly reports to the Ministry of Public Health—number of patients treated, by age and gender; diagnoses; type of treatment, and so on. She wondered if anyone in the city ever read them.

Anger simmered in her heart as she filled in the forms, frequently consulting her log book. It didn’t matter how hard she worked. Her efforts made only the most minute difference in the lives of the poor peasants that she served. She had devoted all her resources to the clinic, desperate to make amends for her father’s atrocities, but the people of La Merced still died a decade earlier, on average, than folk in the cities. The government claimed to rule for the benefit of all Guatemalans. In truth, they were barely aware that places like La Merced existed.

She was sitting at her desk in the infirmary when the bell hanging above the front door jangled. What will it be this time? she thought. Measles? A broken arm?

The man standing in the waiting room definitely did not look ill. She hadn’t seen anyone so sleek and well-fed in months.

Yes? Can I help you?”

Buenas tardes, Dr. Navarro. I hope that you can assist me. I’m looking for a man, a man who is seriously wounded. I thought that he might have shown up here at your clinic.”

Jorge? Elena surveyed her visitor, wondering how she should handle this.

The man was fair, with sandy hair and an aquiline nose that spoke of Spanish ancestors. His clothing was casual but expensive. Elena noticed the designer logo on his jeans and the gold watch on his wrist.

I deal with dozens of patients every day. What does this man look like? What is his name?” Something about this character made her suspicious. Why would a rich man trek all the way out to La Merced looking for an impoverished farmer?

He’s about thirty-five, tall for a native, but with typical Mayan features. He wears his hair long. He probably would have given you a false name. But you’d know him by his wound. His chest was slashed open, from his left breast almost to his navel.”

That sounds terrible. I’d certainly remember if I’d treated someone with that sort of injury. Fortunately, I haven’t.”

The man’s eyes narrowed. They were so cold they made Elena shiver, but his voice was solicitous. “You’re sure? You haven’t seen him?” He smiled encouragingly, displaying sharp, perfectly white teeth.

I told you, I don’t know anything about him. Who are you, if I may ask? Why are you so interested in this person?”

The intruder made another attempt at charm. “Ah, forgive me, Dr. Navarro.” He pulled an embossed business card from his shirt pocket. “Allow me to introduce myself. Teodoro Raphael Remorros at your service.” The address, as Elena had expected, was in Guatemala City. “Jorge—the man I’m looking for—is my younger brother. Well, my half-brother. I received some information indicating that he had been wounded in a brawl, not far from here. I want to take him back to the city to get the medical attention that he needs.

Jorge is a bit hot-headed, I’m afraid. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble.” The well-dressed stranger sighed. “I’ve tried to guide him, to show him a better path, but he refuses to listen to me.”

Despite her misgivings, Elena thought there might be a grain of truth in his statement. Still, she didn’t really trust him.. She tried to return the card. The man waved her hand away. “Keep it, please, Doctor. If you hear anything about Jorge, I do hope that you will call me.”

We don’t have telephone service in La Merced, Señor Remorros. All we’ve got is the emergency radio.”

Well…perhaps I’ll come by again tomorrow. Just to find out if you’ve heard anything.”

I don’t recommend that you do.” Elena put all the authority she could muster in her voice. “You’ll just be wasting your time.” The door bell tinkled; a young woman entered, dressed in a stretched T-shirt and dirty shorts, carrying an equally ragged child. “Now if you’ll excuse me, Señor, I must attend to my patients.”

Buy Links

Totally Bound - https://www.totallybound.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=461

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003VPX0XA/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003VPX0XA/

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/serpents-kiss-lisabet-sarai/1017488008?ean=9781906811655

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/serpent-s-kiss-16

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7303723-serpent-s-kiss

Don’t forget to comment! Even the briefest hello means two dollars to support MSF. And please do visit the other authors participating in today’s blog hop.

Thank you!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Insta-Culture and the Demise of Desire -- #Marketing #Erotica #Culture

The face of desire

Image by lounis production from Pixabay

You’re probably familiar with the old joke about humor in the penitentiary. The convicts are taking their daily exercise in the prison yard under the watchful eye of the warden, when someone shouts out “Twenty two”. Everyone convulses with laughter. A few minutes later, another guy calls “Sixteen”. More hilarity ensues. Someone else counters with “Thirty seven”. Guffaws and catcalls ring out through the yard.

The punch line doesn’t matter. The point is that everyone is so familiar with all the funny stories, it’s not even necessary to spell them out anymore. Just the number, the label, is enough.

Erotica these days reminds me of that joke. Cuckold. Hot-wife. M-preg. MILF. First-timers. Hu-cow. Futa. Swinging. Femdom. Reverse harem. Billionaire. Breeding. Wolf-shifter. Bear-shifter. Polar-bear shifter. (Just saw one of those today...) Everything’s explicitly labeled. Titles leave nothing to the imagination, and just in case there’s some ambiguity about exactly the box in which a book belongs, there’s the always the subtitle to make things crystal clear.

Tell me the label, and I can predict what you’ll find in the story. Indeed, that’s the purpose of all these kink and genre categories. Given that thousands of erotica titles are published daily, people want a fast way to find the reads that will push their particular buttons. In today’s world of instant communication and information overload, it seems that readers don’t have the time or the patience to browse or to experiment. They think they already know what they want. Labels and keywords are intended to make sure they get it. In fact I know from painful personal experience that if a book doesn’t fulfill the expectations associated with its labels, readers will voice their displeasure.

Erotica has become predictable, compartmentalized and homogenized. Today’s insta-culture tags on-line stories with phrases like “10 minute read”, as well as the inevitable keywords. Erotica is something to consume, like gossip or popcorn. (See my post last month about serialized fiction for more about this.) And orgasms are absolutely required. A story in which the characters have some sexual interactions but don’t climax violates the requirements of today’s readers.

Most erotica I encounter now barely revs my engines. It’s too obvious, too stereotyped, too manufactured. I like my sex veiled in a bit of mystery. I appreciate a tale that keeps me in suspense. The build-up of erotic tension can be as pleasurable as its release, and an unexpected twist can be deeply satisfying, even when that tension is unresolved by orgasm.

When I started writing and publishing erotica, more than twenty years ago, things were very different. Variety was given far more emphasis. A single erotic novel could include all sorts of sexual scenarios: ménage, BDSM, exhibitionism, cross-dressing, same-sex interactions, toys and taboos. You couldn’t sum it up in a couple of keywords. Cleis published themed anthologies, but within the flexible boundaries of the theme, the challenge was to write the most original, surprising and arousing tale one could manage.

If you’d like a glimpse of the amazing richness available in erotica ten to fifteen years ago, grab one of the volumes from Maxim Jakubowski’s Mammoth Book of Best Erotica series. Or take a look at Cream (https://www.amazon.com/Cream-Erotica-Readers-Writers-Association/dp/1560259256), the anthology of ERWA authors I edited in 2006. (The reviews of this book on Amazon show a lot of disparity; the more recent the review, the lower the rating!) Or if you’re looking for arousing novels, consider K.D. Grace’s The Initiation of Ms Holly (2011) or Portia da Costa’s Gemini Heat (1995/2008).

It seems that thematic complexity, narrative sophistication and sexual creativity have gone out of style. I mourn their loss. I miss the stories that inspired me to tell my own, full of yearning, dripping with desire.

At the same time, I try to adapt to the current market of meticulously enumerated genres and key phrases. Every book I’ve published recently has a sub-title. What else can I do, if I want anyone to read my lascivious imaginings?

I’m not very good at it, though. I keep wanting to tear down the walls, shatter the boxes, break the rules. I long for the sensuousness and subtlety of two decades ago. Which is probably why my stories don’t sell nearly as well as Hot Erotica Short Stories - 32 Explicit and Forbidden Erotic Taboo Hot Sex Stories Naughty Adult Women: Filthy Milfs, First Time Lesbian, Dirty Talking Position for Couples, Horny Bisexual Threesomes (Amazon rank 11 in erotica anthologies today) or Erotic Sex-Story: Daddy Dom, Menage Explicit Adult Couple: Wife Ganged Bi-Strangers Hard Husband Forced Watching Gay (Amazon rank 237 in bisexual erotica) or even my friend Larry Archer’s House Party 4: Swingers Swap More Than Their Partners at Hot Erotica Sex Parties with cuckolds and Hotwives.

No surprises here. But I guess that’s what today’s readers want.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Sign up for Charity Sunday on August 29th! #CharitySundaySignup #Altruism #BlogHop

Peace at Sunset

Image by 99mimimi from Pixabay

This coming Sunday, the 29th of August, is Charity Sunday.

Charity Sunday is a meme designed to give authors and bloggers a chance to give back to the world—as well as, hopefully, attract new readers.

How does it work? Each participant selects a favorite charity. Before Charity Sunday, you should prepare a blog post that: 1) talks about the charity and why you support it; 2) provides a link to the charity; 3) includes an excerpt from one of your books; 4) includes the code to show links to other participating blogs.

It’s fun if you can make the excerpt relate somehow to your chosen charity, but this isn’t required.

For every comment left on your post, you commit to giving some amount to the relevant charity. The specific charity and the amount to donate are up to you. You can set an upper limit to your donation if you want.

If you’d like to participate in the next Charity Sunday, just sign up using the Linky List below. Please be sure that the link you enter will lead directly to your Charity Sunday post, not just to the home page of your blog.

For more detailed instructions, go here:


You can get my Charity Sunday banner here.

For an example, check out
my last Charity Sunday post


Monday, August 23, 2021

Review Tuesday: For the Love of His Life by Fiona McGier -- #ReviewTuesday #MFEroticRomance #Minnesota

For the Love of His Life cover

For the Love of His Life by Fiona McGier

Smashwords, 2020

Hollywood darling Raul Roderick lives life in the fast lane. When he’s not working on a film, he’s out partying, drinking, doing drugs and engaging in entertaining but meaningless sex with adoring women who’ll do anything to bed him. He’s not really happy – for one thing, he tends to get type-cast based on his stellar good looks, not his acting ability – but he doesn’t know how to get off the treadmill of Los Angeles stardom. Underneath his charming and irreverent exterior, he’s lonely and insecure, marked by his difficult childhood as the illegitimate son of a Vegas show girl.

Veronica “Ronnie” Sorrenson loves her simple, active, independent life in northern Minnesota, near the gateway to the Boundary Waters Wilderness area. She helps her grandmother run their lake-side family resort, works as an accountant to support herself, and spends her free time running in the woods or canoeing in the pristine waters. In the past, she’s had some relationships with men, none of which panned out. Now she’s content to live by herself, bake the pies for which the Sorrenson’s Family Resort is famous, and enjoy the wonders of nature around her.

It’s hard to imagine two more different souls, but their paths intersect when Ronnie’s cousin Jared, a renowned director, asks Ronnie’s grandmother Marie to house Raul at the resort for a while so that he can sober up and get ready for the role of his dreams – playing Ronnie’s heroic great grandfather Hank Maynard, who founded the settlement of Grand Marais. Jared is convinced that Raul has the talent and emotional depth required for the wilderness-themed biopic, but the star needs to clean up his personal act as well as get in condition for the physically-demanding part.

Raul, of course, notices the tall, shapely Valkyrie running the trails and swimming in the frigid lake, but his usual moves don’t work on her. Ronnie is not the sort to put up with any superficial nonsense. Still, they’re drawn to one another. He agrees to use her as his trainer. Together they run, swim, climb, canoe and fish, building the muscles and the skills Raul will need for the movie. And of course, gradually their mutual attraction turns to respect, then something deeper. When they make love for the first time, their mutual passion is a revelation for them both.

Trust does not come easily, though. Raul and Ronnie must weather several crises before they find their happily ever after. The gaps between their experiences and their expectations are not easily bridged.

I deeply enjoyed this book. For one thing, I can’t think of any romance author who does a better job writing wholesome lust than Fiona McGier. She expertly captures the joy as well as the pleasure of intimacy with someone who’s “right” for you. Her love scenes are simultaneously hot and sweet, explicit yet innocent. There’s rarely any angst. When two people belong together, in Ms. McGier’s world, their bodies and souls connect in a special way that erases doubt – at least while they’re physically together.

Another plus for me was the distinctive setting. Although I’ve never visited the Boundary Waters area, I could vividly imagine the environment, especially the resort. I could picture myself sitting on the porch, gazing out at the lake, the way Raul does – eating, no doubt, a piece of some creatively gooey pie!

Ms. McGier’s secondary characters also add depth and interest to her stories. In particular, I loved Gram-Marie, with her passion for her family, her feisty disdain for “modern” films and her suspicions about Raul.

In general, I’m not a huge fan of vanilla romance. I often finds it lacks erotic heat as well as being too predictable. With a Fiona McGier romance, one can’t complain about the former. Meanwhile, although as a reader you know that Raul and Ronnie will overcome their differences to build a life together, their reactions to the inevitable conflicts are sufficiently genuine that you feel their agony.

In short, I can recommend this book highly to romance fans. And I’m looking forward to tackling the next story in her Minnesota romance series.