Friday, January 18, 2019

Other Lives


My author bio states that I am an occasional pole dancer. Now, I have to confess, this may be something of an exaggeration. I do go along, occasionally, to a pole fitness studio near to where I live and I dangle precariously from the equipment then stagger off home feeling as though I’ve been run over by a truck. Pole dancing is Hard Work and not for the faint of heart!

But there are others who go along who are much better at it than I am. I daresay the instructor, Nadine, offers up thanks on a daily basis for these hardy souls.  One such person, we shall call her Jane, had managed to master a new pose known as the pretzel, so called because it involves somehow curling your body around the pole in a most improbable and gravity-defying manner. It looks pretty impressive and had taken Jane a lot of practice, sweat and unladylike grunting, but she got there. Then, as is the usual tradition on such occasions, Nadine took her photo on Jane’s mobile phone so that Jane could show the evidence to all her friends.

Being rightly proud of her achievement, Jane uploaded the prized picture onto her Facebook profile, only to find herself suddenly engulfed in a shit-storm of outrage and pious fury. The reason? As well as being a pole dancer, and , incidentally, a skilled physicist at the university, Jane also volunteers as a part-time scout leader. Hanging half naked from a pole, was, in the view of the great and the good of the scouting fraternity, behaviour unbecoming for a scout leader. She had a choice. it seemed. Remove the picture or stop volunteering with the scouts.

Jane duly took the picture down, but amid much grumbling and complaining. Apart from the fact that there was nothing even remotely half-naked about the image – she would wear less to take the scouts swimming – what did it have to do with the Scout folk anyway?

A good question, but not the main point of this post.

I think the object lesson here is that as soon as you put anything ‘out there’ on social media there’s no getting it back. Time was when we could compartmentalise our lives, and some of us still try, but social media has a way of outing you.

We authors experience this a lot as many of us write under pen names and have multiple personas out there in Facebookland and the Twittersphere. I am no exception. I do have a Facebook account in my real name, but I can’t remember when I last logged onto it. I’m always on line as Ashe Barker, and for me Ashe is every bit as real as my other, legal identity.

I know the difference. I’m perfectly clear that Ashe Barker can’t sign legal documents, for example publishing contracts. Nor can she hold a bank account or a passport. Ashe Barker is a badge, my brand, you might say. But I answer to Ashe in conversations and every time I send an email I have to think which name to sign it as. Ashe is very real to me.

All of this was perhaps vaguely interesting but didn’t matter too much until fairly recently when I started increasingly using Ashe’s Facebook presence for ‘real world’ things, just because Ashe is always there, active and current. It felt easier than jumping between identities would be. But I keep having to explain who and what Ashe is, and although I’ve never felt a need to conceal the nature of my writing, I do get some funny looks down at parish council meetings when I try to explain why the deputy mayor has a public profile which uses this strange alter ego and rather dodgy imagery.

Even  more recently I started volunteering at the community library in my village. It’s nice work, involves messing about with books, stamping them when people borrow them, and of course taking in the returns when readers have finished a book. One or two of my titles are in the library because the Council bought them (local interest and all that), and as luck would have it one of them, Darkening, came back while I was on the desk.

“Did you enjoy it,” I asked.

The elderly lady handed me her library card, shuffled a bit and flushed  bright pink. “It was a good story, but too much swearing for my taste. Some bits were just filthy, I had to skip those…”

“Did you finish it?”

“Oh, yes. And there’s a sequel, I think. I’ll probably take that next.”

I directed her to the right shelf and opted not to further burden her with the knowledge that she was talking to the author.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Sometimes romance can be hell - #paranormal #BDSM #romanceauthor #anonymity

Damned if you do cover

By Lisabet Sarai

In the comments associated with my post about anonymity, I mentioned Damned If You Do, where the heroine is an author of erotic romance. She’s not exactly anonymous, though she writes under a pseudonym, but nobody knows the true depths of her depravity until her demon master posts a graphic video of them on the Internet.

Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate to share a bit from that book. Just for fun, I’m using the description of the video.

Blurb

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.

Excerpt

Wendy emerged from the bathroom to find Dan on the phone.

Yes. Very well…I understand… That’s pretty hypocritical of them, I must say…”

Who is it?” she whispered. He waved her into silence.

We have to consult our own lawyers about this.”

Lawyers?” she mouthed. Dan scowled.

We will be in touch. Yes, you can send the documents to me at my office. Good bye.”

She climbed back onto the bed and sat cross-legged facing him. “So?”

It’s started. The unraveling of your success, I mean. That was one of Harbison Frost’s lawyers. They’re canceling your contract.”

What? On what grounds.”

The obscenity clause.”

You’re kidding me!”

Nope. They’re halting the second print run and they want their advance back.”

No way!”

Every book contract Wendy had ever signed included boilerplate certifying that the work was not libelous or obscene. She’d always felt that was pretty ridiculous, given the sort of content that appeared in erotic romance these days, but she never objected. She understood this was just paranoia on the part of publishers. “Every book I’ve written would be labeled ‘obscene’ by some people. Nobody has every objected. Quite the opposite. Publishers keep pushing me to ramp up the heat.”

He shook his head with a sigh. “It’s not just the book, though. I gather there’s some sort of sex tape that’s appeared on the Internet, purporting to show Gwen Diamante engaged in activities with which Harbison Frost doesn’t want to be associated.”

I never made any kind of sex tape…” she began, before realizing that Bub might have recorded every one of their interludes. She would never have known. Hell, she’d been so deep in subspace most of the time, she wouldn’t have noticed an actual camera crew, let alone a hidden webcam. She flung herself off the bed. “Let’s start your computer and take a look.”

The video wasn’t difficult to find. When she opened the search engine and typed “Gwen Diamante video”, the screen listed all her trailers, including the recent one for Cherished Chains, plus a clip entitled “Gwen Diamante Demon Sex”.

The bastard,” she muttered as she clicked the link.

The screen went dark, then brightened to show what was unquestionably her bedroom. Everything was illuminated in red, as if the video had been shot in a photographer’s dark room.

A woman sprawled on the bed, her face hidden in her arms and her raised ass toward the camera, in a vivid close-up. Even with the dim lighting, the bloody welts decorating her buttocks showed clearly, near-black against her pale skin. A whip whistled through the air then landed with a snap on the woman’s butt. She groaned, her voice strained and hoarse. A new streak of darkness appeared on her ass. The knotted leather bit deep. The camera showed clearly the paths it carved in her jiggling flesh.

A huge, gnarled hand appeared from outside the frame and raked a curved claw along the crevice between her bruised butt cheeks. The woman screamed and convulsed in a violent orgasm, fluids streaming out of her onto the bed.

Damn, that’s raw.” Dan’s face was white and drawn, but he didn’t look away. “Is it you?”

Bile rose in Wendy’s throat. “I don’t know. It could be.”

The being wielding the whip continued to alternate between lashing the woman’s ass and teasing her into climaxes that looked more like torture than pleasure. At one point, a long forked tongue slithered into the picture and flicked its way over the woman’s bloody buttocks, before worming into her anus. It could well have been artificial, simulated via computer graphics, but it looked disgustingly real.

Whoever had made the film had a sense of timing. Before the whipping grew boring, the camera pulled back. The hidden torturer stepped into view. Wendy and Daniel both gasped.

The creature was so tall that its bald head almost grazed the ceiling. Leathery-looking scales covered its back, while its ropey limbs were sickly pale. A barbed tail emerged from between its prominent buttocks. The tail lashed back and forth like a cat’s as the thing drew closer to the motionless figure on the bed. Its face was still not visible, but there was no missing the enormous phallus that jutted from its skinny loins.

With a growl, the creature reached for the woman and flipped her over. Her face still lay in shadow. Once again, Wendy was reminded of a cat playing with a mouse. Sinking its claws into her already bloodied thighs, it yanked her open and drove that impossible cock into her dripping cunt.

The woman yelled. The demon roared. The camera zoomed in on the shaft—easily five to six inches in diameter—pounding into the impossibly stretched aperture of her sex.

The screen went blank for an instant. The next shot showed a woman’s head, her face turned to the side. That unearthly, taloned hand appeared again from the side. Almost gently, it turned her to face the camera.

The woman’s eyes were shut tight. She looked drained, totally depleted, yet somehow satisfied. Drool hung from one corner of her mouth. Thick gobs of what had to be cum spattered her cheeks and matted her hair.

Despite the mess, there was no mistaking her features.

The clip ended.
****

Wendy shuddered. She wanted to vomit. “I had no idea,” she murmured, her face in her hands. “I didn’t know…” Sobs wracked her. “I’m so sorry…”

Dan gathered her to his chest. “Never mind. You’re safe now. He’ll never touch you again.”

But the video—how horrible! No wonder they want to dump me… How could I have been so stupid?” Rising panic swept through her. She clung to his body. “Oh, Dan! What do I do now?”

He ran his fingers through her hair and kissed her forehead. “First thing we do is contact the video sharing site with a take-down order.” He was already clicking and typing. “Then we issue a public statement branding the video as a hoax.”

Nobody’s going to believe us.”

Oh, come on! You think people are going to believe you were fucked by a demon? In this world of fake news, everyone knows how easy it is to make something artificial look real.” He glanced up from the keyboard. “Heck, it might even be good for your sales.”

Buy Links (Ebook)









Buy Links (Audio)
Narrated by Audrey Lusk




Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Between the Worlds

by Jean Roberta

In 2010, I was interviewed in the media (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) because an antique set of laws controlling the sex trade had just been struck down as unconstitutional, and sex workers were being asked for their opinions. At that point, I had not turned a trick in many years. I was Ye Olde Harlot, but because I was willing to admit publicly that I had worked for two escort agencies in the 1980s, I was apparently considered eligible to speak for Scarlet Women in general.

It became even clearer to me in 2010 than it was in the early 1980s that out-of-touch laws arose from out-of-touch attitudes to sex. The interviewers seemed amazed that I could interact sexually with total strangers in shady hotel rooms, then go back to my Master’s thesis, a work in progress, and discuss it with my faculty advisor. According to them, I had been living an unheard-of double life.

What the mainstream media has never heard of could fill a library. Why does no one interview women who somehow manage to hold down paid jobs, then rush home to cook meals for their families, do laundry and tend children? Couldn’t this hectic lifestyle be considered a double or a triple life? From what I’ve seen, graduate students in general have to function in several other roles as well, since they usually can’t complete a thesis while living entirely on student loans, scholarships or modest honoraria for providing teaching or research assistance to tenured faculty. Sex work could be considered a part-time service job, and it can be made to fit a grad-student’s schedule.

We live in a culture and an age in which adult women, in particular, are expected to switch from one role to another with ease. If I was living a double life, who hasn’t?

On the subject of double lives, let’s consider notorious men who juggle two or more wives and sets of children without holding down a job (other than manipulating other people out of money), and never admit anything to anyone – until it all comes crashing down. Let’s also consider the world of espionage, and especially double agents who collect information for two very different governments while maintaining at least two cover stories. This is the kind of double life I’m sure I couldn’t handle. At some point, I would drop all the balls.

Writers, scholars and other nerds (such as devoted fans of television or movie series, or on-line role-playing games) live double lives which don’t require dishonesty. Erotic writers are only a sub-category of writers in general, and all of us live in the world of our imaginations whenever we can, even though reality (in the form of dirty dishes and Significant Others) often hauls us rudely away from there.

Over the holidays, I finished reading a three-novel series by my colleague Jes Battis, writing under a different pen name, Bailey Cunningham. In his “parallel parks” fantasy saga, four graduate students at the local university discover a portal to a different world in the large local park, which actually exists. In the novels, the very believable characters make regular visits to a version of ancient Rome, a city named Anfractus, which exists in a parallel dimension. It is clearly inspired by role-playing games, and the real-life characters have different names and different roles in the other world. For example, a sensitive young man named Andrew becomes “Roldan” in Anfractus, and he acquires useful information as an “Auditor,” one who can hear the voices of the lares, elemental spirits who coexist with humans in the city. A young man who lives in a cheap apartment over a sex shop in the real world (and I’ve often seen it in downtown Regina) becomes an enchanting musician named “Babieca” in the imaginary city. Shelby, a young woman of First Nations descent, becomes, Morgan, a “Sagittarius” (archer) in Anfractus.

The characters, who are all supposed to meet regularly with their faculty advisors to discuss their academic progress, are understandably distracted by the parallel lives they lead in the alternative world after dark. At first, they strenuously try to avoid even talking about their lives in Anfractus when getting together for real-life activities such as grading student assignments, but conflicts in the other world threaten to spill over into this one.

I thought about the double and triple lives that are described in the novel. Graduate students as a group are in a kind of limbo between the school life of teenagers and the working life of adults. To earn degrees, they must spend much of their time in the alternative dimensions of fiction or history or theoretical systems. Yet as human beings living in real bodies (which are usually young and healthy), they must live in the real world too, which means constantly adjusting to current circumstances.

In the novel, a female character (an education student in real life, a knife-wielding gladiator named “Fel” in the other world) becomes pregnant by a male “meretrix” (courtesan) in Anfractus, and gives birth to her son in the real world. She decides to raise him, with much help from her loyal brother, and must eventually decide how much to tell her precocious child about where he came from. On some level of his mind, he seems to know.

I could relate to this. In some sense, all children exist as fantasies or abstract concepts before they materialize in the flesh. Those of us who read, write and have offspring could be considered creators in several different ways.

Thinking of double lives, I wonder who actually lives only one.
-----------------------------------

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Superheroine Sex

Sacchi Green



Hey, it’s my first promo day in our new schedule! And I’m going to cheat already by presenting a book that is not classed as erotica, Shadow Hand. I’m not sure how to class it, in fact, since it was supposed to be a superheroine novel to fit into a series by Ylva Publishing, and now, as far as I can tell, fans of superhero fiction don’t like it at all, while some other folks not so much into that genre like it very much.  Yeah, I know, don’t read the reviews, but I’m not that strong-minded.

However, there are some definitely erotic scenes, so I’ll share one of those here. First, the general set-up. Here’s the back-cover blurb:

“A mysterious stone figure of the goddess Ishtar, long-buried in the desert, bestows on US Army Lieutenant Ashton the power to move objects by her mind alone. Ash must learn to control this impressive power, before it controls her. She turns to her tough, steadfast lover Cleo, with talents of her own, to help Ash in her struggle to stay firmly rooted in her humanity.

The women seek a cause worthy of their skills, refusing to allow the destructive side of Ash’s ability to be used by any outside forces—military or mythical. A hazardous rescue mission hurtles them back to the desert they’d left far behind, links their past and present, and just may be what Ishtar had in mind after all.”

Should I add, as a trigger warning, that the battle against sex-trafficking is a major theme in this book, first in the USA (Boston in particular) and eventually back in the mid-east helping women soldiers from the Kurdlsh Peshmerga forces free hundreds of women captured by enemies to sell as sex slaves?

Let’s just move on to a scene where some of the benefits of superpowers turn out to give some interesting twists to sex, until natural forces take over.
____________

From Shadow Hand, by Sacchi Green:

Ash balanced at the very edge of the bed, leaning forward with her hands on her thighs as though about to spring up. “So that’s it? Without being high or anything? You expect me to believe you
challenged Ishtar, and she told you where I was?” Cleo shifted uneasily, her bravado faltering. “I can’t swear it wasn’t just my imagination. And a whole lot of wishful thinking.
But here I am, and here you are.” The tense expression on Ash’s face was unreadable. Cleo had
always been able to sense her moods before, but not this time. She forged on. “Look, if she didn’t tell me, nobody did. Not the major, not anybody, if that’s what you’re thinking. As far as I know nobody
else knows where you—we—are. Maybe it was just a lucky guess.” Ash’s tension visibly eased. “You were right about the plane. What I saw out the window.” She leaned back, arms braced behind
her, and worked her modified cowboy boots off her feet. Then she swung her long legs onto the bed and stretched them out. Those legs in baggy camouflage fatigues had made Cleo’s pulse pound. In snug blue jeans they made her crotch damp, too.
A smile flickered at the corner of Ash’s mouth. “I was experimenting with moving the clouds apart so I could see below, and wishing you could watch me doing it.”
“Wow!” Cleo was appropriately awestruck. “Do you think you could make the clouds give rain?”
“Always one step ahead of me! But there are too many factors involved in that besides movement. Besides, there’s the whole unintended consequences thing. What if I couldn’t make it stop?”
 “I dunno, you’ve always been so good at making things not stop.” Cleo wriggled in the chair again, this time with clear erotic intent. “I was kind of wondering, if it was a lucky guess that let me find you, just how lucky can I get?”
“I’ll have to think about that.” Ash looked intently at the dusty Army boots Cleo still wore. Slowly and sensuously, the laces untied themselves. Cleo would never have believed bootlaces could be sexy,
but they sure were now. She kicked off the boots.
“You say you stripped for the goddess?” Ash was still five feet away.
“Just my shirt and—ah!” Buttons rapidly unbuttoned themselves. Cleo felt, actually felt, Ash’s hand slide beneath her sports bra and cup her breast. She was still trying to process that sensation when
her belt buckle unclasped and the zipper on her jeans slid down. She gasped as the invisible hand pushed its way under her boxers. “Ah! Uh, been getting a lot of practice, have you?”
“Not like this,” Ash said, “except in dreams.”
“Dreams? When? I had a dream…it was so real…” But “when” didn’t matter. “Now” was everything. Cleo stood, shrugged off her shirt and bra, wriggled out of jeans and boxers, and made it to the bed and onto Ash in one leap. They rolled together, laughing and gasping, until Cleo paused on top. “I like to do things the old-fashioned way.” Her fingers got Ash’s shirt unbuttoned almost as fast as hers had been, made quick work of the rest, and then her skin moved against every inch of Ash she could manage while her mouth ranged from lips to throat to breast and back again.
“So nice to have a bed,” she murmured against Ash’s ear.
“Nicer than in Paris?” Ash flipped Cleo over and started nibbling down from her breasts to her belly.
“Nothing could be nicer than Paris, but wherever we are now is always the best,” Cleo said, then yipped at a nip in a tender place. “Nothing could be better than now,” she went on between gasps,
“even twisting around like pretzels in the…in the jeep when that was the only place we had… Oh!” She arched her hips into the pressure of Ash’s tongue, infuriatingly fleeting. Ash lifted her head and swung their bodies crossways on the mattress.
“And the bed is wide enough for this,” Ash panted, rolling them together from its head to its foot and back again, over and over. The frantic pressure of body on body, hollow on curve on skin slippery
with sweat and arousal, felt so good that it was hard to stop, until the hunger for even more intensity where it was needed most grew, and swelled, and couldn’t be denied.
“Let me…” Cleo managed to raise up enough to press her face down into Ash’s belly, then moved up to her full breasts and went back and forth from one to the other, worshipping them with lips,
tongue, even gentle teeth, feeding on the tantalizing swelling of their tips, until Ash moaned and thrashed and tugged Cleo’s head down between her thighs.
Hands, tongue, lips, Cleo burrowed her whole face into that demanding heat, where every slick, sensitive inch pulsed with hunger for more, harder, harder, more, please! No drawing the pleasure out, as they used to do in the jeep, in the desert; it had been too long now to wait. Ash arched her hips, moving them to a demanding rhythm, and with Cleo’s fingers inside her and Cleo’s mouth impelling her clit to a frantic hardness, she screamed out her wordless triumph.
Cleo stroked Ash with increasing gentleness as she floated down from that peak, her kisses light on Ash’s skin, keeping the brakes on her own need. But when Ash recovered enough for her breathing to
slow, she flipped over and devoted herself to Cleo’s pleasure.
The small breasts, so easily concealed, could tighten and swell and fill a lover’s mouth as enticingly as any other woman’s. Her taut buttocks were a perfect fit for Ash’s hands. She raised Cleo’s hips, ran
her own still-rigid breasts one by one along Cleo’s glistening folds, teasing as long as she dared, then responded to her lover’s desperate pleas with firm strokes of tongue and fingers and an even tighter
hold on her buttocks. Cleo erupted in cries increasingly shrill, all control abandoned in ways she would never have allowed anyone but Ash to hear.
“Shall I stop now, or not?” Ash said when Cleo could focus again.
 “Just…just hold me now.”
So they held each other, breathing each other’s essence, until sweat and the lubrication of their pleasure cooled and they burrowed under the blankets. Cleo could feel the bond they’d had renewed,
and strengthened. She could even sense what Ash was thinking while they were this close together, but some things still needed to be spoken out loud.
“Cleo,” Ash murmured, “nothing is worth giving you up. Nothing. I was a fool. You, being with you, is the only thing that feels like home. Like being me.”
“I know,” Cleo said sleepily. In a few minutes she roused, though, and said, “So what have you been up to? Saved any of the world yet?”
____________

So there you go. Oh, I should also mention that there's some blood-and-guts action in the ultimate battle to rescue hundreds of Kurdish and Yazidi captives from an ancient fortress in the desert  reinforced by the enemy with surrounding mine fields, but there's also some major use of superpowers, as well as outstanding heroism of the non-supernatural kind.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Going Underground

What is it about tunnels and caves and mines that fascinates us so much? I for one, have loved going through tunnels and into caves since I was a little girl. And yet the thought of caving, going into tight, dark places terrifies me. I can’t sleep in a totally dark room. I have to have enough light so that I know I’m not trapped in a broom closet or a coffin. Though not precisely intentional, bandoned tunnels and scary dark spaces are a recurring theme in my writing. Perhaps it is because I can put my characters into the places that terrify me and enjoy that frisson of fear without actually putting myself at risk. One of the best things about reading fiction, after all, is that ability it gives us to live vicariously.

I’ve been in caves and mines in Colorado, Japan, Poland, the Lake District. I’ve even been in a few that I probably shouldn’t have been in, and that little touch of fear that raises my pulse rate and makes my stomach flutter is always there. Then there was the time I was stranded on a malfunctioning train in the Eurostar tunnel beneath the English Chanel … that experience inspired my first novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly. Yes, I’m sure sex in dark, forbidden places must figure into my unconscious on some level as well. It certainly seemed to resonate with readers. Truth is, that while I may keep myself out of places that are too scary, my characters, well, I give them the full frontal, sex in the haunted mine, down deep and dark scare-the-bajezus-out-of-me treatment.

It’s amazing to me just how often the dark and dangerous, tight and forbidden places underground figure into my own writing. That secret world where no one goes is full of magic and fraught with danger. And yes I have had enough psychology to realize I’m probably writing about my own unconscious every time I take a character into the scary underground. Can we just call it therapy? That being the case, Freud and Jung would have a field day with my Medusa’s Consortium stories, full of crypts in deconsecrated chapels, slate quarries, abandoned subway tunnels and storm tunnels. Dark places, vampires gotta have ‘em, demon’s love ‘em and nightmare’s are populated with them.  

Morlocks, Mole people, monsters – that place underneath is the place for more than a few of my nightmares. If it’s dark and deserted and underground, it’s a fiction writer’s wet dream. Remember the Horta from The Devil in the Dark episode of original Star Trekseries. If you’re too young to remember, check it out. While the effects may seem hokey in the age of green screens and CGI, and the plot a little corny, it was scary shit when I was a little girl, and definitely some serious psychological parallels in the telling. My favorite scary abandoned underground place has to be The Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings. But you get the idea. Digging too deep -- DO NOT DO IT! 

Fun Fact: Fleetwith Pike in the Lake District is actually a hollow mountain. It’s true. The inside is riddled with slate mines from the extraction of the gorgeous green Honister slate. The whole Fleetwith and Honister Pass area figures prominently in my Lakeland Witches series because of those mines and quarries and the tales attached to them. I have done a bit of exploring there myself. Slate quaries, the Mines of Moria, even Indiana Jones. These are all tales of taking treasure from forbidden places, and the consequences thereof. While it’s usually a no-no in fiction, a cautionary tale of sorts, in my own fraught unconscious, the treasure is mine for the taking IF I’m brave enough to endure the dark to get to it. And that’s a damn bit if.

How many horror movies have subway tunnels in them? Abandon New York City tunnels and stations are a favorite. They figure prominently into the Medusa novels. Fun fact: Did you know the oldest subway tunnel in NYC is the Cobble Hill tunnel, which runs nearly the entire length of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue? It was built in 1844, but abandoned in 1861 – mostly due to some corrupt politics. Can you imagine such a thing? 

Buried Pleasures, book three of Medusa’s Consortium, was inspired by the storm tunnels under Las Vegas, which have become the default shelter for Sin City’s homeless, along with the hang-out for a good bit of the population of scorpions. Oh, and of course it’s been the hide-out for a dangerous criminal or two. It’s serious fodder for urban legends, and it figured strongly in my jet-lagged dreams the last time I was in Vegas.

The storm tunnels in Vegas were constructed as flood control in the seventies. Vegas is built on bedrock in the center of a huge basin surrounded by mountains. A flash flood would funnel all of that
water right into the Strip, the financial heart of the city. The original plan was for a thousand miles of tunnels beneath the city all draining into Lake Mead thirty miles away. The project was never finished, but there are roughly six hundred miles of channels and tunnels in the Las Vegas Valley, with several of the tunnels running right beneath the strip. While an estimated three to four hundred people live in these tunnels, they were built for flood prevention. In heavy rains the tunnels can fill up at a foot per minute with currents of up to twenty-five to thirty miles per hour. Home can be washed away any time.

Most of the horrors in these really fascinating underground places are fictional. While they inspire the imagination of writers the world over, they resonate with me because in my sleep, in my dreams, in my deepest neurotic self, the monsters in the dark are real. The only escape is to wake up. The worst fear of all is not being able to. Having said that, I carry those terrifying underground places and what lurks inside with me everywhere I go, in the underneath of my unconscious. They’re never more than a breath away from giving me goose bumps and disturbing the light-filled, heavily populated open spaces of my waking world. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Beware the Other Woman


By Tim Smith


Today I’m promoting my recently released book, “The Other Woman” (Vic Fallon Book Four) from Extasy Books. This is a romantic mystery featuring an old-school private eye in a contemporary setting. It has all the classic elements—action, humor, quirky characters, witty dialogue, unexpected plot twists, and steamy sex. What more could you ask for?


“Former cop Vic Fallon only wanted to get home to Sandusky, Ohio in time for Christmas after completing his latest private eye assignment. A chance meeting in the Atlanta airport with a U. S. Senator from his hometown thrusts Vic into a murder investigation when the man turns up dead shortly after they speak. The unwanted case produces more questions than answers. Why did the Senator ask Vic to deliver a Christmas card for him rather than mailing it himself, and why does the recipient react with hostility when she finds out who it’s from? Why is the FBI looking at Vic up close and personal when he wasn’t involved in the killing? And why does a police detective from Atlanta show up in Sandusky, asking questions that have little to do with the murder investigation? Vic’s life becomes more complicated when the woman he delivered the card to is arrested after an accidental shooting, and he feels a responsibility to prove her innocence. Add the strain that the case places on Vic’s current romantic relationship, and it results in the holiday from Hell. Can Vic solve the multi-pronged mystery he’s found himself in the middle of and repair the damage to his love life? Or will the other woman cause a permanent rift?”

Fallon is a former police detective who lives on the Lake Erie shore in northern Ohio. He took a disability separation after being shot in the line of duty and now takes on cases when he’s intrigued, bored, or broke. The idea for this book was the result of a personal experience. Several years ago, I was flying home from the Florida Keys and had a long layover at the Atlanta airport. At one of the departure gates, I recognized the Ohio Attorney General, and we spoke for a few minutes. When I was plotting this story, I did my usual “What if Vic runs into a politician from his hometown and the man gets killed shortly after they speak?”

As with all good gumshoe stories, there’s a hot and heavy romance with a sassy, sexy femme fatale. This time, I did something different by giving my hero a steady girlfriend, rather than the one-night stands of the previous books. Here’s one of their encounters, hot enough to melt the ice covering Lake Erie in January:



Vic and Michelle reclined on the floor in front of the gas fireplace and the Christmas tree. The candle on the table filled the room with the aroma of pine, and the lights were turned off. Their lips were locked in a passionate kiss and Vic rubbed Michelle’s neck under her long mane of hair. She lightly massaged his shoulders and draped her leg over his.

She pulled back and peered into his eyes while gently stroking his cheek. “Are you sure you want me to stay over?”

“If you really want to.”

She pulled him in for a deep kiss. “I want to.” She stood but held his hand. “Be right back.”

While she disappeared into the bedroom, Vic refreshed their glasses of wine, then adjusted the volume on the stereo. He had chosen a CD of jazz piano Christmas music courtesy of Dave Brubeck, light enough for the mood without the distraction of vocals. He reclined on the floor and stared at the orange and blue flames dancing along the faux logs.

His view was blocked by Michelle standing between him and the fireplace, wearing the elf costume she had picked out at the boutique. Vic’s eyes slowly traveled upward, starting with her tan calf-high leather boots, to her firm thighs, past the short green skirt and continuing to her torso encased in a low-cut top outlined with white fur that showed off her cleavage. Michelle’s hair cascaded carelessly to her shoulders. She grinned slyly. The fire produced an erotic silhouette.

“Have you been a good little boy this year?” she teased.

“Little?”

She chuckled, low and husky. “Poor choice of words.”

Vic stood, pulled her close, then kissed her deeply, running his hands along her back. Michelle’s fingers raked through his hair, then she massaged the back of his neck, her tongue dueling with his. Vic’s palm slid down her back to fondle her firm ass. He murmured appreciatively when he discovered she wasn’t wearing panties. He felt his cock coming to life, pressing against his shorts. Michelle rubbed her groin against his, teasing him into full arousal.

She dropped to her knees, unzipped his pants and let his dick leap free. She grasped it and gently stroked, getting him fully erect, then planting gentle kisses on it from tip to base and back again. She took Vic into her mouth and lovingly sucked him, humming softly, taking more of him into her mouth with each bob of her head.

“Look what I found under the tree,” she teased while lightly fingering him. “It’s just what I asked for. I hope it fits.”

“You didn’t say what size, so I got you an extra-large,” Vic quipped.



If you like the old-style private eye adventures of Phillip Marlowe, Peter Gunn, Mannix and Jim Rockford, you’ll enjoy “The Other Woman.” It’s available in digital and print at Amazon, Extasy Books, B & N, and Smashwords. Happy reading!



Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic mystery/thrillers and contemporary erotic romance. His website is www.timsmithauthor.com.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Coming Out as a Writer of Smut


When I first started erotic writing years ago, I kept everything on the down-low.

I did tell my mom that I was embarking on some erotic romance writing and that I wouldn’t divulge my pen name or any details. The only person who knew anything more than that was my husband (then-boyfriend), as we do nearly everything as a team. It didn’t take long before I divulged this to our writing group, but for years, word of what I wrote didn’t spread beyond that select group of people.

Part of it was due to embarrassment of writing erotic fiction and part of it was due to not wanting to be out as gay to everyone. (Oh, I should mention, it’s gay erotic romance and erotica I write.)

For example, at the time my day job was accounts payable and receivable at a battery warehouse. The boss was rather forward thinking, I think, but my co-workers and the delivery drivers were all very, hmm, redneck. I didn’t want any of them know I like dick, so that meant never telling them about what I write (not that I had anything close to a conversation with 95% of them).

When I moved onto my next job, a desk job at an office, I soon went on a trip to a writing convention in Calgary (just a few hours’ flight from here) where I had agreed to do a few author-type things, like a public reading of a smut scene. I told my boss what I was up to — my workplace is very gay, so liking dick is normal — but asked him to keep it secret.

In Calgary, I did that public reading of a smut scene. I was more comfortable there than I was back in my home city because I knew almost no one there. It was also a genre-focussed convention, so smut was fairly common there. I read the opening scene of Autumn Fire to a room full of middle-age and senior women. The opening scene is an anonymous bathroom blowjob. I was so uncomfortable. Afterward, a kindly older woman came up to me and gave me suggestions on how to make the scene even sexier, to really root the reader in the blowjob.

I managed to put aside the awkwardness for the rest of the weekend. I made some conference friends there — you know, the kind you hang out with for the weekend and never see again after that. A couple of them read my book over the weekend and told me they loved it.

Also at the conference was a female friend and her ex-boyfriend, and the ex fell in love with my bathroom blowjob scene and literally followed me around for the whole weekend. It was during that weekend that my friend found out her ex was bi and had kissed guys before. He was cute.

I was starting to get used to the idea that the world wasn’t going to end if people knew I wrote sexy fiction.

Still, though, I was happy to leave it all in Calgary.

However, when I returned to work the following Monday, a co-worker came up to me and asked me how my weekend in Calgary was. He wasn’t discreet. From his body language, I could tell he was trying to draw a secret out of me — a secret he already knew.

On the one day of work that I was absent — the Friday — apparently the whole staff had found out what I write. While some co-workers had that awkward “I’m uncomfortable that you write about sex” attitude that can be expected, the rest of my co-workers were surprisingly cool with it, to the point that they seemed almost proud of me.

Over the years since then, it’s been an interesting journey. Some folks are still of the “I’m uncomfortable that you write about sex” category and they try to cover it up by making jokes about sex writing that don’t really hide their discomfort. The rest, though, continue to think it’s very cool, especially the business aspect as I start up and grow a publisher, expand into podcasts, and somehow continue to write.

Since then, I’ve been slowly coming out to friends and family about what I do. A handful of those friends have gone on to read some of my books — which is a whole new level of awkwardness for me as a writer — and loved them.

Recently, I think I passed the final level of smut-writing awkwardness and exposing my smutty self. I published my latest novel, New York Heat, through my publishing company and needed it proofread. I had recently taken on a couple family members as proofreaders at the publisher to help us get through a glut of work and there was only one proofreader available and able to read my mammoth smut book (186K words, with 27 filthy gay sex scenes)… my mom.

She took it on with little hesitation, powered through it, and told me she loved it. She’s not eager to read another smut book by me right away — but she’s up for reading more if they appear in the production queue.

It’s kind of odd.

Six and a half years ago, I ventured into smut writing as a mental break from the crushing workload of my masters degree and the epic sci-fi trilogy I was trying to perfect. I landed a publisher for the first smut book and a year later that book was out, along with my first self-published short story.

I entered into a world of secrecy, not unlike a steamy and dimly-lit bathhouse. Little encounters happen here and there, names are not exchanged, and secrets are kept.

And over the five and a half years since that first publication, my confidence in who I am and what I do has grown. Shame and stigma have been cast aside. As I let people in on my secrets — sometimes not of my own choosing — I found that I didn’t face the rejection or ridicule that I had expected.

It’s like emerging from that dark and claustrophobic bathhouse and walking into the middle of a pride parade. Honestly, coming out as an author of erotic fiction was as hard, if not harder, then coming out as gay.

When I figured out what was going on with me — that I was gay — it took less than a year to come out. I wasn’t ready to fully admit it to myself until that fateful day I met the man who would become my husband. After meeting him, I came out a week later.

Coming out as an erotic author? Man, that took years.

But I’m glad I did. Just like being gay, I found being a closeted erotic author to be stifling, restrictive. And to be out about it was freeing, thrilling.

My name is Cameron D. James and I write erotic fiction — and I’m proud of it.




Cameron D. James is a writer of gay smut. His most recent publication is New York Heat.