The Merry Month Of May

(Yes, I know I’ve been a bit quiet. It has been a mayhemic Springtime, between the demands of the day job and actually getting Cock Robin out…)

I love May Day and the Mayday Weekend anyway, and have done for years – ever since I got into Morris dancing. This year, as is often the case, I went to Jack In The Green  with friends and fellow dancers. It’s usually a weekend of dancing, drinking and debauchery (if you’re lucky) but this time I had an extra level of pleasure. I took  a bag of books with me, having arranged a little signing session, and damn near sold out.

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Next weekend is Chippenham Folk Festival and I am definitely going to take the remaining books along. Having known for quite some time that the folk world is full of fabulously naughty people, I’m having a lot of fun proving it.

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I’ll think of it as a mixtape, shall I?

Younger readers are, of course, excused for not knowing what the old bat’s on about this time.  Thing is, I do have one particular clear memory from nearly 40 years ago, of sitting in the garden of a hotel somewhere in Wales with pen and paper, absolutely labouring over the order in which I was going to record the various songs I was currently obsessed with onto a C60 cassette when the holiday was over. I gave all my compilation tapes titles, and drew cover illustrations for them, and all sorts.

Cassette

It’s on my mind a bit just now as I am similarly labouring, and obsessed, about the order in which to place the stories in the Who Thrilled Cock Robin anthology. I have eight fabulous stories, all inspired by or based on different folk songs.  (Well, to be brutally honest, I have seven and a half as I have not finished my own – or at least my Other Self’s – contribution yet). They are gloriously diverse in theme, pairings and tone and I am desperately trying to get the order just right, like any band struggling over the tracklisting of their latest album. Even though I am fairly well aware that many a reader will look at the contents page and and decide to read the contribution of his/her favourite author first, no matter whereabouts it comes in the sequence. I’m trying not to find that prospect as infuriating as I suspect bands do when their sweated-over sequence is randomly overruled by the shuffle function on someone’s iPod. I am now on about the 40th arrangement of story titles and therefore not fully responsible for my actions.

Actually, perhaps the way to make the final selection is to play all the songs the authors picked, and structure the contents page as though it were the cardboard sleeve of a mixtape…

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Tomorrow is Erotic World Book Day – who’s coming?

Given how many writers spend most of their time staring out of the window and/or crying as the deadlines approach (no, it’s NOT just me, OK?), it’s utterly amazing and wonderful how quickly Emily Dubberly, Rebecca Black and Cara Sutra pulled this together.

By way of celebrating the wonderful world of erotic fiction, there’s going to be an online party tomorrow night, with masses of prizes to be won, an anthology of erotica to be launched, and hopefully lots of money to be raised for sexual health charity Brook.

So don’t miss out, come and play with us all tomorrow night from 7pm (UK time).

Oh, and most importantly (to me, anyway) one of the prizes is a signed copy of Spring In My Step – to win it, you have to be there.

SPringstepCover

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50 Shades of Meh!

I’ve not read more than a few pages of the books. I have tried, from time to time: whenever I spot one in a charity shop I tend to pick it up and scan a paragraph and think to myself, well maybe I ought to… But then my eye is usually drawn to the rest of the bargain bookshelf and I pick up something else: a  thriller, a ghost story, maybe something by one of the half-dozen chicklit authors whose work I enjoy, and I leave EL James well alone.

It’s not that I’m desperately bothered by ropey prose stylings: I’ve found several atrociously-written books have stayed with me over the years and merited re-reading despite the clunky language or unconvincing characters. I’m not even that outraged by the concept of a very unhealthy relationship being presented as romantic rather than dangerous in all the wrong ways (it’s hardly anything radically new.)

The biggest reason I refuse to give up any chunks of my life to reading the 50 Shades trilogy is because I know it won’t do anything for me. None of the tropes in that book are going to get me excited.

First of all, I don’t identify with dimwit ingenues. I’ve had my share of weird and kinky sex and I like being someone who actually knows what to do with a whip and a length of rope, so a protagonist who’s completely ignorant is one I will find annoying. Nor have I any great interest in the type of Mary-Sue wish-fulfillment where being plain, thick and adrift from everything makes you desirable because you’re  ‘different’ (from anyone with a life or a personality).

More importantly, a berk in a suit, no matter how wealthy or well-hung, is never going to turn me on. My fantasy men tend to have long hair, tattoos, ripped jeans or leather trousers and at least a touch of guyliner. And while I have no objection to being taken out for a nice dinner (or indeed taking someone I fancy out for a nice dinner if I’m feeling flush) I’m not all that fussed by the 20-Ferraris-and-a-helicopter type of man.

And finally, when it comes to erotic fiction, I want a story. I want a plausible source of conflict and tension, not something that reads like a textbook case of sexual harassment without even a redeeming twist. So while I’m happy that a crap book and a (by the sound of it) crap film have got people talking about sex and specifically female sexuality, I hope the next wave of  filth-for-women will be a bit more diverse both in character and subject matter.

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Happy New Year: Reasons To Be Cheerful?

It’s taken me till now to recover from the New Year party I went to, OK?

Very few people are immune to the idea of a new year’s new start; self-improvement; change and all the rest of it. I have no fondness for self-denial, so chose, decades ago, never to indulge in resolutions that involve giving stuff up and boring on about my new purity. The sort of good intentions I prefer are ones that are going to be enjoyable, such as writing loads more and getting it all out there. Whether or not I go back and dream up further adventures for my mucky Morris dancers remains to be seen, but the next major project is going be an anthology of stories, mostly by other people, with a folk-music theme.

Cover

Naturally, all those of you reading this are more than welcome to check out the submission guidelines and send me something.

I’m also hoping to do bigger and better things with Dirty Sexy Words: the next one will be happening at the end of February (yes, just after That Film comes out.) Whether the film release will boost the erotic fiction market the way the book did remains to be seen. Times are hard all round, in the world of erotica as much as anywhere else, but perhaps another resurgence is on the way.

And let’s not forget that this summer might actually see us collectively getting rid of the dish-faced loon and his gang of public school psychos, which should bring about a few more improvements.

Happy New Year.

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Recommended Reading: KD Grace – To Rome With Lust

tourbutton_toromewithlust

I’m very happy to have KD Grace visiting me on her tour and massively looking forward to reading To Rome With Lust, having heard her read an extract from it at Smut Manchester. See what she’s got to say about decorating the body, read an extract and scroll right down to the bottom for your chance to win something lovely… Over to you KD!

To Rome with Lust

Decorating with Lust

Thanks so much for having me over, Sallyanne. It’s such a pleasure to be celebrating the launch of To Rome with Lust, book three of The Mount series. Since a lot of celebrations involved decorating for the occasion, I thought I’d talk a little bit about decorating and the original tabula rasa on which we humans practice our decorating skills – our bodies.

Body decoration is as old as humans are, and I’d venture possible even older. We live in the techno age of elaborate body art now, which is both fun, and a little bit extreme. Tattoos are a fine example. Even if you’re like me, too cowardly to get one even if I could decide on a design and, with so many beautifully tattooed bodies strutting their art, how can you not want to look? Drawing the attention of lookers is at least a part of the point of decorating the body, isn’t it?

If you like something a little less permanent, there’s body piercing, hair colouring, cutting and styling, and manicures and pedicures have evolved into whole new art form. A few hours at a salon and you can emerge a brand new person. Then there are shoes and handbags, clothes and make-up. Practical or not, we humans love to decorate our bodies.

But for those of us who write erotica, body decoration takes on a whole new dimension, and becomes a whole lot more personal when our characters get physical in the bed or in the dungeon or even on the grass in the back garden. I’m talking love bites, red marks from spanking, rope burns, a little bit of rug burn on the knees and elbows, lovely red welts across a bare bottom. And let’s not forget those stylish little bruises left by fingertips when they grasp at and curl around tender flesh in the throes of passion.

To Rome with Lust is basically an olfactory romp, and of course, scent is our body’s own built-in decoration. But the acts of passion change and enhance scent, and the physical act of marking the body of a lover enhances that scent even more. It’s not the scent I’m talking about today, but the physical marking. There are several dungeon scenes and spanking scenes in To Rome with lust, and the possessive undertones of those spankings can’t be overstated.

Though some body decoration is not meant for public viewing, very little body art is more evocative, very little body art makes the wearer, nor the creator, prouder than the physical marking that happens during sex. The body art of passion implies possession. It’s a physical way of saying you belong to me, and I’ve left my mark on you. And even if no one else knows or sees, you’ll know. You’ll know from the tenderness, you’ll know every time you sit down, you’ll know every time you get dressed or get undressed. Those marks will remind you of passion and wild abandon; they’ll remind you of the act of physically coming together, and you’ll be sorry to see those lovely body decorations fade, while at the same time you’ll be looking forward to the next ones.

Even in a non-exclusive relationship, even in a situation where the act is spontaneous and one-off, the marks left are, at the very least the bold and brazen statement that I was here; I left my mark. It’s graffiti for the body, with that extra tactile twinge of tenderness to make the experience more three-dimensional.

Those lovely decorations are a symbol of possessing and being possessed and, for humans, the need to belong to someone to possess someone is at least as old as the need to decorate our bodies.

Blurb To Rome with Lust:

The adventure that Rita Holly began in The Mount in London and Nick Chase took up in Vegas continues when a sizzling encounter on a flight to Rome has journalist, Liza Calendar, and perfumer, Paulo ‘The Nose’ Delacour, in sexy olfactory heaven. The heir apparent of Martelli Fragrance, Paulo wants Liza’s magnificently sensitive nose to help develop Martelli’s controversial new line. Paulo has a secret weapon; Martelli Fragrance is the front for the original Mount, an ancient sex cult of which he is a part, and Paulo plans to use the scent of sex to enhance Martelli’s Innuendo line. As Liza and Paulo sniff out the scent of seduction, they become their own best lab rats. But when someone steals the perfume formulas and lays the blame at Liza’s feet, she and Paulo must sniff out the culprit and prove Liza’s innocence before more is exposed than just secret formulas.

Buy links: http://kdgrace.co.uk/books/the-mount-trilogy-book-3-to-rome-with-lust/

Excerpt To Rome with Lust:

Feeling somehow outside herself, Liza turned her attention to Angelo and spoke with lowered eyes. ‘I’m sorry that I trespassed in your dungeon. I humbly accept my punishment.’ She was surprised to find that her action sharpened the hot rock, heat-lightening scent of his arousal. But she had little time to think about it before she found herself enveloped in Paulo’s lush thickening scent as he slid out of his jacket and handed it to Alessandro, then placed his arm around her and led her away from the chair, undoing his tie as he went. ‘This is going to get really intimate really fast, let me know now if you want to back out.’

She sucked in a deep breath and shook her head just enough that only he saw. His own breath came out harsh and tight, and he spoke between barely parted lips. ‘Helluva a way to research the new line.’ He was still speaking when he looped his tie over a pipe that ran the length of the room. Then he caught her wrists in one large hand and bound them. She offered a gasp of surprise as he secured, hoisted and tightened until she stood with her arms stretched over her head, not on her toes, but without her heels she would be. Her heart raced and for a second she fought back a surge of burnt-coffee anger, forcing herself to remember that she had given him permission for this.

With both hands, he grabbed the bodice of her dress where it covered her breasts, and with a swift, efficient move, ripped it all the way down until it hung like an open bathrobe exposing the red lace thong. Her pulse raced in a wave of cold metal fear that accompanied the hiss of tearing silk and the collective catch of breath by the audience that now filled the dungeon. She wore no bra. She felt a wave of shame wash over her like stagnant water. Her face burned, and she closed her eyes, but only long enough to take in the smorgasbord of scent. Then she opened them again and focused on Paulo.

For a long moment he stood inspecting her, his gaze moving over her body in a caress that made her skin goose-flesh, then warm, as though it were heated just below the surface. He turned her slightly so that her audience could view the red welts on her bottom, almost as though he were demonstrating why he chose the method of punishment he had. From the implements hanging on the wall, he selected a crop not unlike the one Fidelia had used. Then with the flat of his hand he slid her legs apart as far as he could and still allow her to keep her balance. He ran the pliant tip of the crop around each of her nipples until they jutted like pebbles in front of her. His gaze on her was neutral, distant as though she were an experiment that interested him. An experiment that interested both of them, she thought. But his scent gave him away. He was smoldering ash and summer storm agitated. He was cinnamon and anise seed, he was dark, rich earth, deep, dangerous and wanting … wanting her. She moaned involuntarily as he brought the tip of the crop up between her legs, up the valley between her labia, circling it around the nudge of her clit, and her own scent was a riptide lapping at his. How the hell could no one else smell what was going on?

With a move that startled her in its swiftness, he brought the crop up with a tap that was more of a shock that it was pain against her clit. She tensed, her belly goose-fleshed and her pussy gripped at its own juices. Holding her gaze, he moved forward and slid the flat of his hand into the front of her thong and down until his middle and index finger could scissor into the wet trough of her and his thumb could press against clit. He gave her a knowing smile when her eyelids fluttered and she bit her lip. Heat flashed up over her breasts and climbed her neck.

Then without warning he dropped his mouth to her nipples, suckling first one and then the other to hard tips that chilled in the dry air from the saliva he’d left on each. And when they were hard and tight and so sensitive that it was all she could do not to whimper each time he suckled, he pulled back and brought the force of the crop down with a sharp snap against first one engorged nipple and then another. She bit her tongue and held her breath to keep from crying out, but the tears that forced their way out of the corner of her eyes she could do nothing about. Then he cupped each breast in turn and brought the crop snap-snap-snapping up against the underside of each while he tweaked her nipples between thumb and forefingers. ‘That’s a girl.’ His breath was hot against her sternum, ‘That’s my girl. Take your punishment, just like you deserve, then afterwards I’ll make you feel better.’

She was wet with thoughts of him making her better, and his eyes widened and his nostrils flared. She knew he smelled it, her desire, her need for him, the strange pleasure she felt in the pain he dished out to her so lovingly. Once again he slipped fingers into her thong and felt her, all swollen and wet. A murmur from the audience suddenly made her aware of the fact that they had something to do with what she was feeling. Their presence made the experience and the scent different, more intense somehow. But there was little time to dwell on her audience. Paulo hooked his fingers in the sides of her thong and hauled them down her legs, squatting in front of her as he did so, moving so that his breath brushed her tightly trimmed pubic curls before he slid the thong off one foot and then the other, steadying her with one hand on her hip. For a moment he knelt there, breathing her in. Then he cupped her arse cheeks gently enough not to hurt, but firmly enough to remind her that she had been punished before. H drew her to his face and placed a kiss against her mons, then moved low enough that his tongue flicked over the hard node of her clit, and this time she moaned out loud. Before he stood, he ran his tongue down the inside of her left leg and lifted it until he cupped the heal of her shoe, which he then slipped off and tossed aside. For a long, delicious moment, he bathed her foot with his tongue and his lips, pausing to suckle her toes until she writhed against her bonds. Then he repeated his efforts with her other foot, if anything, lingering even longer. It was only when he settled her weight back onto her feet that she realized what he had done. He had forced her onto the balls of her feet by taking away he heels. The acrid smell of her discomfort filled her sinuses.

Again he took up the crop and whisked it back and forth between her thighs to make sure her legs were as far apart as they could be. And just when she had regained balance and had convinced herself not to think about the burn she could already feel in her calves and in her arms bound over her head, he ran a spayed hand along her throat, over her sternum and down her belly to curl his fingers against her mons. His mouth clamped on hers in a possessive kiss. Just when he pulled away leaving her breathless, he brought the crop down with a sharp snap against the upper front of her right thigh and she swallowed back a curse, breathing hard through her nose at the harsh sting of it. Before she could breath through the pain, he brought the crop down on the other thigh and the room around her blurred out of focus in front of her watering eyes. One hand snaked up the back of her neck and pulled pins from her hair with a calm efficiency she could scarcely believe, as he took her mouth again and ran the threat of the crop up the backs of her thighs. The kiss was deep and leisurely, with his tongue trailing like velvet against hers, against her hard pallet, against the backs of her teeth. Once her hair was free, he ran his hand through it, loosening it, fluffing it, spreading it over her shoulders. Then the crop came down again hard and fast against the fronts of her thighs until there was the beginning of a lattice of red marks. Then without warning, he repeated his efforts against just the tips of her nipples until they stung and, once again, he took them into his mouth and suckled until she felt the effects down deep in her core. ‘You won’t disturb Angelo in his dungeon again, will you, Ms. Calendar?’ His voice was harsh, his words cut through with his efforts to breath.

‘No, Mr. Delacour. I won’t,’ she replied, her own voice nearly as breathless. A half a dozen more stinging smacks across her thighs and he dropped the crop to the floor. Then with a single slip of a knot, he loosened the tie until her arms fell free, and he guided the dead weight of them around his neck before she could stumble.

Holding her gaze, he undid his fly, then lifted her into his arms. ‘I’m going to fuck you now Ms. Calendar, because you’ve made me horny.’ Somewhere a long way off Liza could hear the murmurs of the council and she could smell the intense wave of arousal rolling off all of them. But when Paulo lifted her onto him with a single thrust and wrapped her legs around him, her focus was completely and totally on the man in her arms. It didn’t take long for either of them to come, and then what happened afterward seemed vague to her.

About K D Grace/Grace Marshall

Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?

When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.

KD has erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Sweetmeats Press and others.

K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.

K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition are all available.

Find KD Here:

Websites: http://kdgrace.co.uk/

http://gracemarshallromance.co.uk/

http://www.thebritbabes.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KDGraceAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KD_Grace

             http://twitter.com/GM_Romance

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kdgraceauthor/

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Actually, not everyone can write a novel.

I have a certain amount of sympathy for Zoe Sugg, to be honest. Like a lot of people, she didn’t so much want to write a book as to have written one, and I expect the publishers waved a very large cheque at her to lend her name to yet another YA romance with an entirely generic plot. The kicking she got online when it emerged that most of the actual writing of her novel was done by someone else was probably far more spiteful and personal than necessary (because being pretty, famous for famousness, and most of all being female is all you need to get a facefull of horrific abuse on Twitter the minute you do anything to upset anyone).

It still irritates me that publishers do this, though. I thought the crap idea of marketing actual novels written by people who can’t write and have no interest in writing was one that died after Naomi Campbell’s Swan proved such an embarrassment.

But no, people who get their names known for reasons more to do with random luck than talent (such as any X-Factor winner or disgraced politician) still seem to want to call themselves writers, and having their memoirs published, or even putting together a how-to book on cookery or the history of stamp collecting doesn’t fill them with thrills in the way becoming a novelist appears to do.

I don’t see why Zoe Sugg couldn’t have put out a book of make up tips, given that make up expertise seems to be her skillset. Or, if she really did want to write a book, why didn’t she get on and actually write one? Her own efforts probably wouldn’t have been much worse than a fair percentage of non-famous but published authors. Getting a competent unknown to produce 80 000 words and then slapping some pretty kid’s ‘personal branding’ all over it just seems such a devaluing of the real skill, time, effort and energy that proper fiction writers (ie those of us who sit down and write books) expend, often for very little reward.

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