CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Kristina!

Everyone, Kristina is here, hot on the heels of Snoggy Sunday. She's going to tell us about the style of her new release, Undone, which I thought worked perfectly, and allows her to lead us around by the nose as she likes (at least, that was my experience). Don't you love this cover? Unf.



Undone: writing about writing
Undone is told from Lana Greenwood’s perspective in the format of a diary or journal narrative. I tend to write female characters given to introspection and analysis, and this choice of narrative allowed me to foreground that without, I hope, detracting from the hot, sexy action.

Lana starts committing her thoughts to paper after a man is found dead following a threesome with herself and guy she’s recently met, Sol Miller. Eager to protect their privacy, Lana and Sol agree to keep the kinky encounter secret from the police. soon, Lana suspects sol may be implicated in the death but even so, she can’t tear herself away from their developing relationship. Her journal is a bid to retain control as her emotions threaten her stability, and to keep a record of events to help if she’s called in for questioning.
In one sense, Lana’s writings form a diary: entries are dated and the point is to note the day’s events. but they are partly a journal too because the point is not merely to record events but also feelings.

Using this format presented some interesting challenges and opportunities for me as a writer. Relating events via diary entries meant I didn’t need to close off or continue scenes as I might do with a more conventional chapter structure. I could have small sections focusing on Lana’s troubled mind along with diary entries which resembled more typical scenes. Diary entries sometimes stop or start with Lana fretting about the past or the future, or about Sol or her own behavior.  The content of the entries doesn’t always correspond to the date of the entry, as Lana struggles to find time to keep track. At times I remind readers this is a diary they’re reading while at others, I hope the story takes over and its method of presentation recedes into the background.

I used a similar framing device in my third novel, Split, told from the point of view of Kate Carter. The whole novel is effectively Kate explaining to her boyfriend, via a journal, why she’s fled their life in London to take up a job in a remote puppet museum on the Yorkshire moors. For the most part, the story takes precedence and readers soon forget Kate’s initial motivations for relaying her tale. By contrast, in Undone, Idon’t allow my readers to forget for too long that Lana is writing her story. The dated diary entry format helps but also, Lana, particularly in the early part of the novel, is quite conscious of the act of writing and story-telling.
Below is a snip where one entry ends and another begins. The action here starts with Lana, having detailed the intense, troubling sex she had with sol in the woods on the morning the body is discovered, recalls their post-coital tranquility.
“We edged together and he wrapped his arm behind me, pulling me close. I lay sideways, my head on his chest, and draped a leg across his. he twisted a finger in my hair. I listened to his heartbeat pumping in his ribcage. The filtered sunlight was strengthening, dabbing my skin with warmth. Leaves stirred around us while birdsong fluted and fluttered. After a few minutes, sol’s breathing slowed. His legs twitched as he drifted towards sleep. He stopped toying with my hair. We dozed for twenty minutes or so. I slipped in and out of consciousness, tired but too uncomfortable to relax fully.

I’m remembering the scene as I write this, and it’s as if I’m gazing down on a couple of time-travellers who’ve pitched up in another era, naked and lost. The woodland looks so restful, the sleepers so at peace. She’s pale, blonde and slender. He’s dark, broad and powerful, holding her close, even while he sleeps.
The woman lying there seems a different person to the woman writing this journal. It’s late. I need to stop and try to get some sleep. I swam thirty-six lengths today. It doesn’t seem to have tired me as much as I’d hoped.
Friday 4th July
I’ve made some good decisions in recent years. Today, I feel the need to remind myself of these as self-recriminations pile up in the wake of too many bad decisions. I swear I can feel Sol on me after Wednesday, still holding me down. It’s been two days since he visited me. He’s become a constant presence in my psyche. Everything I do, even this now, writing my journal in an empty bar, feels like an act of resistance against him, a fight to be free.

I do not want to be consumed by a man, to be lost in the chaos of lust and love. And yet the pull to abandon myself to such disruption is enormous and terrifying.”
If you’d like to know more, please hop over to my blog for an excerpt from Undone, and check out the other stops on my sexy September blog tour.


Kristina Lloyd writes erotic fiction about sexually submissive women who like it on the dark, dirty and dangerous side. her novels are published by black lace and her short stories have appeared in dozens of anthologies, including several ‘best of’ collection, in both the UK and US. she lives in Brighton, England.

About Undone
When Lana Greenwood attends a glamorous house party she finds herself tempted into a ménage à trois. But the morning after brings more than just regrets over fulfilling a fantasy one night stand. One of the men she's spent the night with is discovered dead in the swimming pool. Accident, suicide or murder, no one is sure and Lana doesn't know where to turn. Can she trust Sol, the other man, an ex-New Yorker with a dirty smile and a deep desire to continue their kinky game? 



I'm just going to add one little thing to this, a song that goes awfully, awfully well :) Vida xx


Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Snog For Sommer

Hello, smooch fans. Welcome to Suffused with Heat and thanks for coming. This lovely little fundraiser has made me question whether there is much kissing in my stories, and wonder why the hell not, seeing as I think kissing might just be the best part of all of it. Of it all.



I was out in the most remarkable evening this evening, and a delightful thought for a flash for you came to me. So here it is, just for you, just for Sommer.


He was such a sweetie, Mattie, with his silky black hair and wide, laughing mouth always smiling hello, happy to see me. His owner was pretty cute too, young, bearded, dark blond hair falling onto his shoulders. He was as sweet as his dog, always friendly when our paths crossed, ready for a chat. Mattie's happy bark tended to lift my day when I heard it echo across the grass as he raced to meet my shaggy little mutt Dexter. They would race and roll and yip and tumble and Shane and I would laugh at their antics and look on fondly like proud parents at the playground. 

It took me a while to remember his name - For some reason, I can remember the dogs' names more easily than their humans'. I'm not sure what that says about me. But after a few meetings when our walkies schedules had seemed to have aligned, those chance meetings fast became something I looked forward to. 

Last week I went out on a Saturday evening. Oh, it was beautiful. We walk on a hillside above the sea, along a grassy path. In the Spring the gorse scents the air and the whitethorn bushes are in full flower; now it's Autumn and there are ripening berries all around, little wild, white lilies peeping from thick foliage and evening mist that lies thick in the bowl between the mountains that lead down to the bay. Tonight the mist spread out to sea, blurring the horizon and holding the colours of the sunset above it - the sky was fluffy with purple clouds and streaks of pink over the mountains. Mist lay all around, the air was thick with it, fragrant and completely still. Everything glowed, the moisture in the air caught the light of the sun as it slid behind the mountains. The trees seemed to be giving up their secrets into that still, damp air. 

As I walked in this magic evening I was glad of the solitude, the silence of this evening. It felt altogether fairy tale like, part of a fantasy adventure. There is such pleasure in being out of doors, somewhere beautiful - nowhere does it feel more like being in your own narrative. But when Shane rounded a corner, and Mattie leapt through the long grass towards Dexter with a joyful woof, I felt my heart jump happily too. We approached, and smiled  greetings, and exchanged mutual opinions on the magic of the night that was in it. The sunlight was waning, dusk threatened. And then some spell of the green scented, purple misted evening settled around us, and when Shane leaned in to pull a bug from my hair. His fingers lingered on the strands, I reached up to touch his arm, holding him there. 
  'Oh,' he said, bending his head to me. 'Oh, it would just be perfect if...' 

And I stroked my fingers over his soft lips, drew them over his cheek and the short, rough hair there. He closed the distance between our mouths, brushed my lips with his. I tasted his breath and reached up closer to catch his full lower lip, to tease another beautiful, endless second before turning the moment into a real kiss. A point of no return, where nothing could be claimed as accidental, intentional kiss. His hand rested firm at the base of my back and pulled me closer and his tongue touched mine. As soon as it did, the mist filled my head, that perfect dizziness enveloped me while my blood rushed south to throb in my abdomen and leave me wanting so much more. I swayed and pulled back, to touch my lips to his again, once, twice. To bite at his jaw so gently.
 It was nearly dark, I realised, as I opened my eyes. The dogs were sitting quietly, staring at us in confusion. It was time to go. We walked towards the gate as we had done so often before, but this time Shane reached down without a word, and took my hand. 



If you go to this site, you can see 50 plus other writers' exerpts and donate whatever you like towards helping Sommer worry about one less thing and showing her we care about what she and her family are going through. I'd donate a book, but given that I live in Ireland, I'd rather just send the postage straight to her - but if you leave a comment, I'd be happy to draw a name to send a story to on file. Just comment and leave your address, or send it to me at vidabailey@gmail.com and I'll send the lucky winner a choice of Torn, my F/m story from Love at First Sting,  Girls' Night Out from Morning Noon and Night or The Sweetshop Owner's Daughter from Sommer's own Dirtyville anthology. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Diamond - guest post by Justine Elyot

Without further ado (or rather, further lateness on my part), here is the inimitable Justine Elyot, to talk to you lovely people about her shiny new  book, Diamond, a novel packed full of heroism, satisfying villainy, and romance. 


Diamond

Are trilogies still the in thing? They certainly were when I was asked to write this one by the gang at Black Lace, and I hope they will continue to prosper while the Diamond Trilogy plays out.




My original inspiration for this story was the idea of a kind of modern Lady Chatterley's Lover, with Lady Chatterley as a working-class girl made good rather than an aristocratic wife, and Mellors as a fugitive hiding out in her attic.

My Lady Chatterley is Jenna Myatt Diamond, who has made a fortune as a talent-spotter in the Simon Cowell vein after promoting her rocker boyfriend to stardom when they were both teenagers. She is not an ignorant, innocent flower but the pressures of her life have meant that she has put her old ideals of what love and sex should be on the back-burner while her career took over. Meanwhile, her rock star husband turned his attentions elsewhere…

One nasty LA divorce later, and Jenna is taking a year off in her home town, the former Nottinghamshire mining community of Bledburn. (Not so far from Eastwood, where D H Lawrence grew up…)

She has decided to spend that year renovating the crumbling old home of the locally hated Harville family. Little does she know that the crumbling attic of the crumbling home contains a surprise…

Here's an excerpt:

In many ways the place hadn't changed. Not in every way – the high rises were gone, replaced with nests of tiny newbuilds. The pit head was a museum now, and there was a ring road encircling the town, keeping it in, separate from the old coal mining landscape that had been its life blood - as if to say 'This isn't part of you any more'.
The signs of modernity were calculated to comfort, but they didn't do much for Jenna's mood and she found herself in uncertain spirits as she parked the car and wandered down the lone pedestrianised street that made up the 'town centre'.
Perhaps this had been a mistake, she thought, looking into the shop windows  - those that weren't boarded up. The only businesses that seemed to be flourishing on this wet Wednesday afternoon were the bookmakers, the pound shops and the glorified pawnbrokers that had sprung up on every corner.
A big chain pub with a happy hour that lasted until teatime was full and bright, as if its façade of good cheer had sucked everyone off the street and left it empty. She thought about going in and getting a nip of something to keep the shivers off, but there was no guarantee she wouldn’t be recognised, and conversation was the last thing she was after.
The high street drifted into nothingness, the old covered market abandoned now, just a shed earmarked for demolition. She stepped under its dark old awning and tried to remember it the way it was: the smells of overripe fruit and veg, meat and fish all competing to hit the back of her throat the hardest. The little stalls full of knitting wools or costume jewellery or model making kits. The slow crowds of old ladies in five layers of clothing and kids in tracksuits. And at the centre of it all, Smash Records, where she had spent every Saturday afternoon. Where she had met Deano.
She made a sharp about-turn and walked swiftly to the end of the street and into the residential area beyond, her umbrella charging before her like a weapon. Densely-packed terraces gave way to more spacious environs within a ten minute walk and soon she saw the church tower that confirmed she had taken the right route and was near her destination.
She decided to walk through the churchyard rather than keep on the straight path – something about churchyards in pouring rain encouraged contemplative peace, and she was in need of it. Among the lichened stones bearing names of people who had breathed their last centuries before, she stopped and looked up at the sky. Its grey threat was not the best omen for a day on which her life would change.
But she didn't believe in things like that. She believed in making your own luck. She had made hers, and now she could afford to buy the house that had fascinated her since childhood. And if she didn't get a shove on, she'd be late to pick up the keys.
There it stood, just the other side of the churchyard, mostly hidden behind a high yew hedge. The grounds of Harville Hall had been the scene of many a childhood exploration, ever since the family had abandoned it during the miners' strike, when she was five. She and the other kids from the estate had used its ever-more-overgrown gardens and woodland for innumerable games of A-Team and Robin Hood. She had never managed to get inside the house, though, because the walls had bristled with alarms and those new cameras that filmed you. The big red spray painted 'TRAITOR' on the side gable hadn't been washed off for years.
Of course, it would be long gone now.
She went to stand by the padlocked front gate, looking up and down the street for signs of the keybearer. The house had been lived in again since its abandonment, but little had been done to it in the way of renovation. Although structurally sound, it had a blank, neglected look.
Within half a minute, the door of a shiny red sports car parked up the road had opened and a man in a very smart dark blue peacoat stepped out and strode towards her. Having no umbrella, he held a leather satchel over his head to keep off the rain and he grimaced at her as he drew level. The grimace did nothing to disguise his handsomeness, though. Jenna was pleasantly impressed and couldn't help giving him one of her brightest beams back.
'Hi,' she said. 'Jenna Myatt.'
'Thank God for that,' he said, holding out the hand that wasn't occupied with the satchel. 'Lawrence Harville. What a day. Shall we step inside? Or I could hand over the keys in my car, if you prefer?'


The book is available right now from Amazon


Saturday, September 6, 2014

oh for feck's sake

So... people keep inventing devices to make birth easier. Never mind that a woman might be happy on all fours on the floor, or squatting, or pulling on a rope, or leaning on her bed or her partner, or floating freely in a pool of warm, analgesic water...

No, we must have machines and gadgets and devices. There's been a version of a birth stool around for thousands of years, as you can see if you google image it. A simple device that supports a woman and lets her baby come out. But in Ohio, they've come up with the startling idea of the 'birth machine' chair, also termed the 'Relaxbirth' -



Mmm, comfy? Except, wait, I have to say, it reminds me of an orange juicer.

Or even:


Seriously, doesn't this woman look like she's about to be juiced?




Here's another thing that anyone who knows about birth might notice - see how she's sitting right on her coccyx? Well, not to preach, but in pregnancy, women's joints and ligaments soften so that their coccyx can move right back and out in order to make space for the baby to pass. If you've lain on your back during labour, you'll know how horribly fucking painful it is, compared to say, leaning forward, as the baby scrapes along all your nerves and the bumps of your spine. Pushing a baby over a coccyx that's stuck curving in is difficult, painful, and dangerous. That's why birthing lying on your back was such a god awful idea. Doctors like it for access, but it has bad results. This picture seems to me to be all about access for the practitioner, not about helping the mother let the baby out the easiest way possible. She's sitting on her coccyx. Nooo, Relaxbirth, NOOOO!

Someone once told me she thought the idea of giving birth on all fours was 'undignified'. Such brainwashing has gone on. A leading and influential obstetritian here has stated that gravity is irrelevant in delivering babies. Really? Really? The world went mad a long time ago, strap yourself into the Relaxbirth and do what you're told.

Anyway, why am I posting this little rant here, instead of other places where I usually rant about stupid and destructive anti-woman and anti-baby birth practices? Eh? Well, it's because I wanted to post this photo as a final association, and I didn't want to upset anyone's tender sensibilities, because it is quite disgusting... but I couldn't help thinking of it.



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Feather beds


I just saw this on a groupon offer, and I have to confess, it gave me a twinge of arousal.



Lookit. It's a goosefeather and down mattress topper. That would be so fucking comfortable. Like the shed full of feathers in Jemima Puddleduck. Comfort!


Warmth! Cuddliness! The sleepy bliss of snuggling into that... my daughter keeps telling me of the women she's read about who've fallen in love with (and married) edifices - the Berlin Wall, the Eiffel Tower (thrusting, eh?). I can imagine myself developing quite the relationship with my bed. It may be happening already, especially since I got a body pillow. Mmmm, boyfriend pillow. An ecstacy of comfiness.

Unfortunately, I've come to realise that my lifelong love affair with feather duvets and pillows isn't an acceptable one. I'm a vegetarian, I don't like the idea of animals suffering torture for my comfort, and the reality of the first picture is a bloody one.



Live plucking is fucking disgusting. They do it to Angora rabbits too :(  At least the fox killed the birds before he plucked them, presumably. But as a vegetarian, even that doesn't sit too well with me. Battery farming... hmm. 

I've harshed my own buzz here. I do love sleeping in feathers. That bed turns me on. The words 'feather bed' fill me with bliss. You would think in our modern world we could invent a synthetic feather substitute that isn't petrochemical or otherwise nasty, that felt the same without ripping something bloody and tipping it back out into a barn, possibly to die of shock before the next time... c'mon! 



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I don't really know what to do with the stuff any more

I read this post on 'to pube or not to pube' by Cara Sutra, and started writing this in the comments, 'til I realised it was one of those comments-that-are-blog-posts.

 I agree that it's very hard to say what our 'natural' preference would be, away from the pressures of fashion.

I remember being horrified by my first few pubic hairs, and cutting them off, in a sort of, oh god, what the hell are these, they're not meant to be here! sort of way. Maybe if I'd seen my mother naked more I wouldn't have felt like that? They would have just felt like ... mine?

As a teenager in Ireland in the early 90s, I just 'had' pubic hair. It wasn't the kind you couldn't hid under a swim suit or knickers, so that made it easier to accept. The boyfriend I had from 17 and who I married also had pubes, it was just what people had. I'd never come across anyone who shaved or waxed. He liked it. He didn't really like the idea of bareness (which I'm a bit sorry about now, as I think that might have been fun, here and there...). We just got on with it, it was what people had.

It's only more recently in my 30s I've been more aware that people do stuff about it now as a routine thing. Can I be arsed, as someone who's single and not dating? Well, speaking of arses, it WAS easier to ignore before my 30s. Why must we grow crack-hair, why, why? Funny, I remember being 17 and getting a ticket signed by Gail from Belly who wrote 'Always keep your butt-crack shaved!' And I remember thinking, 'what does that mean?' Now I know... sigh.

The expense... the pain... the ingrown hairs and razor burn. I dunno. They need to design something better, preferably a device that allows me to tell my body exactly what to do, including my puffy thick angles, broken veins, fat distribution, boob direction, etc. etc. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Master of the House

Stories of gentry and kinky sex - who better to write them that Justine Elyot?

I started reading this under the slightly confused impression that it was another in the His House of Submission series. It isn't! So, don't look for Jasper, as instead we have Joss, her old flame, who's introduced to us through a series of flashbacks. There's a masterful sense of the sinister around Lucy's memories of their childhood and teenage relationships - it's hard to tell what happened, and the suspense is  very effective.

Lucy is a strong and sympathetic character and the details of her life and reactions are quite real. She's not perfect and has plenty of concerns and insecurities.

The story ends with a slightly fantastical twist, that is actually just fun, if a little unbelievable. The choices the characters end up making are conversely far more rooted in everyday reality. Again, there's a bit of a Jilly Cooper roundup in the ultimate chapter, but after a story of summer byways and Lords and their country piles and pints in the pub by the river, it fits remarkably well, and ends with a laugh. There's everything to enjoy in this story.