Saturday, October 4, 2008

Guest Blogger: Author Renee DeMarcus

The Grip Crew would like to welcome author Renee DeMarcus. Please leave Renee a note to let her know how much we appreciate her stopping by!

This isn't an excerpt, but a piece written for this blog. Enjoy!

“I think I’m in love.” Stella said breathlessly as she climbed onto a barstool and took a seat.

“Oh my God, I so knew Michael was right for you.” Leah had set the pair up on a blind date three weeks earlier and she had been on pins and needles waiting to dish the juicy details with her friend.

“He is so different from any guy I’ve ever been with, for real.” She plopped her shiny black purse on the bar with a heavy thud and started scanning for the bartender. As Stella absently reached for a bowl of nuts, Leah noticed a ring of angry looking red marks on her wrist. “I swear to God, he could be the one.” Her other hand reached for a small menu and Leah’s eyes widened when she spotted matching red marks on the other wrist.

“Stella, don’t tell me you let him tie you up.”

Stella giggled. “Yep, last night. It was so hot.”

Leah’s mouth dropped open. She was open-minded and had no problem with silk scarves binding her to the bedposts or even the occasional lusty round of naughty-girl-in-need-of-a-spanking. But staring at the injuries visible on her friend’s pale skin left her feeling cold and uncomfortable. “But, Stella… he must have tied you up pretty tight. I mean, you still have marks.”

“These are nothing. You should see the ones on my ass.” There was a definite satisfied tone to her voice.

“Did you ask him to loosen the restraints?”

“No. You can’t talk when a ball gag is in your mouth, Leah. Duh.” She popped a few nuts in her mouth and started chewing, waving the waiter over by waving her reddened wrist in the air like a flag. “Michael is so amazing—he really gets me.”

“Gets you? Yeah, like, gets you in need of medical attention.” Leah took a swift drink of her Margarita, wishing she’d ordered something stronger. This bar always served watered down drinks, if it wasn’t on her block she’d never come again. “I had no idea Michael was so twisted—he’s always seemed so normal at work.”

Stella sighed. “Oh, he is twisted alright. I think he is twisting right around my heart.”

“This is not normal, Stella. Man, I should have set you up with Bill—he’s a therapist.”

“Relax, Leah, it’s normal for me.”

* * * *

Like Leah, many of us consider ourselves pretty open minded when it comes to sexuality. Even if we’re more traditional in our sexual practices, many feel wickedly adventurous by dabbling in an occasional session of what we think is BDSM with our partner. But is it? Probably not.

Wanting to enrich one of my stories with a flavor of BDSM, I recently endeavored to take an online workshop on BDSM given by a couple living the Lifestyle—erotic romance author Sascha Illyvich ( and his Domme. I found the lessons and the instructors utterly fascinating and realized I possessed little understanding of the psyche involved in the BDSM Lifestyle.

BDSM (Bondage/Submission/Sadism/Masochism) is so much more than the cliché Domme in black leather sporting a whip and looming over a submissive man on a leash. Does BDSM encompass the stereotypical tools such as whips, chains, collars, ball gags, and even unusual fetishes? Yes, however, BDSM practitioners also follow a lesser known code of ethics known as SSC—safe, sane, and consensual.

Most surprising was learning most BDSM couples engage in their sexual play from a loving place. I know, it sounds contradictory to believe any sort of violence is loving—it’s tough concept to wrap one’s mind around.

One current theory suggests BDSM practitioners associated violence with sexual arousal at a critical point in early development, creating a spark of interest that grew as they developed to maturity, resulting in the expression of BDSM in their adult lives.


Others theorize BDSM is a perversion resulting from abuse or trauma.

Again, maybe.

What I found over the course of my research was that individuals engaged in the Lifestyle believe they are expressing their true selves, feeding an inner psychological or emotional need in a healthy way.

This new knowledge has inspired my writing and I have gained a broader understanding and acceptance of those engaging in alternative lifestyles. My recently completed novella, BLACK AND BLUE, possesses shades of BDSM and I am certain future books will as well.

So what do you think? Do you believe one can work out emotional issues sexually with a lover, one who is aware of those problems and actively attempting to help their partner grow in a positive way, even if the methods involve BDSM?

Renee DeMarcus

And now for a look at Renee's latest book:
by Renee DeMarcus
available from Resplendence Publishing
(Click on the cover for more information)

Blurb: Introverted biomedical research assistant Taylor Anderson has given up on finding sexual satisfaction, let alone a man, until her pushy best friend, Tyanna, insists she meet her boss, Brian Jackson.

Brian is an African-American man with a playboy past, one which nearly derailed his fledgling career. He is determined to tame his bad-boy image, focus on his law practice and philanthropic endeavors.

Brian and Taylor’s awkward first date leads to a second and a sexual journey in which Taylor overcomes her sexual insecurities and Brian finds the one woman he believes he can truly commit to.

But when meddling Tyanna lets it slip that she all but resorted to blackmail to get Brian to agree to a meaningless sex-date, Taylor is humiliated. She retreats to her lab work, intent upon denying the stirrings of love within her heart. Taylor decides Brian simply played her, adding her to a long list of sexual conquests.

Can Brian convince Taylor he is more than his past, that their connection holds the promise of more than a meaningless sexual tryst?


  1. Welcome to the Grip, Renee. Thanks for sharing what looks to be an awesome book!

  2. Hi Cindy!

    Thanks so much for having me. Actually, the scene written in the blog is not from Taylor's Tryst, it's from another story I'm working on.

    But I'm so glad you liked it!

  3. Is the excerpt from the new book you mentioned? You hooked me right away!

  4. Hi Becke!

    The scene in the blog is from a new story I'm working on. Good to hear it hooked you right away!

    What do you think about BDSM in romance?

  5. That was certainly an interesting excerpt! Taylor's Tryst also sounds very good!

    Thank you for guesting with us this week!

  6. I found that truly interesting. As a prodominantly historical romance author, I have yet to delve into the realm of erotica, but you definitely have a refreshing perspective on it, Renee. I don't know if I'd ever be able to quell the blushing long enough to write one myself, but I did find it very interesting. Write on! ;)

    Tracy Preston

  7. Anyone truly involved in the lifestyle would tell you that there is a level of trust you have with your parter that is immeasurable and untouchable when compared to most vanilla relationships. I say most because that is merely my humble opinion and not absolute. But because of the nature of what one partner is handing the other - utter and complete control - and what the other partner is willing to take on - complete protection, care and responsibility of the other's mind, body and soul - you have to have that bond, that connection and that again, trust.

    Now, as to your question - it would of course depend on the nature of the emotional issues, as the person would have to be in a healthy place mentally to be involved in any relationship. But I would say most definitely yes. *smiles*

    Best of luck with the book! It sounds delicious.

  8. Hi Anny!

    Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it.

    Do you read BDSM romances?

  9. Hey Tracy!

    Blushing, huh? Hmm... maybe you could stifle the blushing long enough for a good read though, huh?

    And as far as writing historical, I say we need a little more historical erotica!


  10. Hi Meagan!

    Well I had a perfectly lovely response to your post and blogger here decided to eat it. ERRR. You may get two version of this, but I'll try again...
    What a terrific comment, thank you so much for your insight! Yes, I agree totally that there is a high level of trust within bdsm couples, one I was unaware of prior to my research. Given the nature of their intimate activities, trust is paramount.
    You mentioned complete protection and care of the mind, body, and soul. Perhaps those are the elements that draw readers to bdsm stories. What do you think?

  11. Renee,

    Don't you just hate it when blogger get's hungry? lol!

    For me, there is nothing sexier than a strong, confident man who is willing to be and fulfill his partners every fantasy. To do that, he has to know and care for her, be intune with her, recognize her non-verbal cues, use every sense he owns to stay focused - not be selfish with his wants and desires so he knows when she's reached a limit or being pushed too far, too fast, or perhaps when she can go just that smidgen further. *grins* Makes me melt everytime and yes, most definitely has me buying books! lol!

  12. Great blog, Renee. I enjoyed hearing about your research and reading your insightful thoughts on the issues at play in a BDSM relationship. It seems to me that the entire genre of romance is pretty much built around the idea that people can work out their emotional issues sexually. I imagine that's why BDSM has captured a lot of writers' and readers' imaginations - because it offers such fascinating new possibilities for how characters work through their conflicts to find happiness.

  13. Hi Lindsey!

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Great comment, and you're right, bdsm has certainly captured many writer's and reader's imaginations and created interesting new possibilities for characters.
    What do you think? Do you think people can work out emotional issues through their sexuality? Do you enjoy reading bdsm stories?

  14. Great insight into this area of erotic romance writing. I enjoy writing a bit of BDSM into my stories because it lends itself to developing some very interesting characters. Incorporating this into a story almost forces us to delve into the inner psyches of characters, learn what motivates them, and perhaps why they adopt such a lifestyle. It certainly prevents in some ways writing the stereotypical romance hero/heroine by bringing in a few dark elements.

    Collette Thomas

  15. Hi Collette!

    I completely agree, a writer must delve into the inner psyche of characters engaged in bdsm, even on the lighter side. I recently finished a novella, Black and Blue, in which I incorporated bdsm in the form of a light bondage scene. I found as a writer it created some really fascinating avenues to explore with my characters. Control, forgiveness,trust, acceptance, so many deep issues wrapped up into a scene.
    And you're right, bdsm in romance certainly facilitates the development of non-traditional characters.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your opinion!

  16. Okay, I'll say it. I like BDSM books. There. I don't know why, maybe it's the naughtiness. I have never been into the lifestyle myself, but I think it's fun to read about and I must not be alone because there are alot of books out there to choose from.
    I liked your scene and your books sounds great.

  17. Renee

    Great blog. I got to read Taylor's Tryst in a contest and I loved what I read. Can't wait to read the rest of the book!


  18. Hi Sarah!
    You're right, you are not alone! BDSM books are very popular. And I'd say naughtiness is definitely a factor. Isn't it wonderful that the genre of romance provides us with such a great outlet for our fantasies and curiosities? Do you have a favorite bdsm book?

  19. Meagan,

    Nothing sexier than a strong, confident man who is willing to fulfill his partners every fantasy? Um, yeah, you pretty much summed up my ideal man there! So well said.
    And in the case of bdsm, a man being so in tune with his partner that he knows just how far to push, when to back off and when to go a bit further. Yes, very alluring in a romance hero. Absolutely.
    Thanks so much for your keen insight!

  20. Sindee,

    Oooh, thank you so much for your kind words about Taylor's Tryst! It was released this week and I'm super excited about it. I'm just finishing the second book in that series, Tyanna's Turnaround, and I'm pretty psyched about that too.

  21. Great blog. I think bdsm is fun to read about. Your book looks deilghtful!

  22. Hi Deanna!

    I agree, BDSM is fun to read about. Do you have any favorite BDSM books?

  23. Hi Renee, thanks for guesting on the blog! I read the blurb for Taylor's Tryst and it sounds great. I also appreciated what you had to say about BDSM. Good points.

  24. Brynn-
    Thanks so much for having me!

  25. Hello, Renee,

    I've written a lot of BDSM, and experienced some, though I'm not in "the lifestyle" at the moment. For me, the thrill is not the "naughtiness". Rather, it is the intense connection between the dominant and the submissive. Furthermore, the pain and the evil instruments used to inflict it are secondary issues. The core of a serious (as opposed to recreational) BDSM relationship is the sub's sincere desire to surrender to his/her master/mistress, and the dominant's acceptance of that gift and the associated responsibility.

    I personally think that the myths about childhood trauma inducing an interest in dominance or submission are hokum. I had a normal, loving family, no abuse either physical or psychological, and I turned out pretty kinky! I met the right person at the right time, someone who intuited my submissive tendencies and knew how to satisfy them.

  26. The beauty is that Renee asked a good questions in my seminar and I'm glad she learned a LOT :) The LIfestyle is a complexity that no one fully understands, though an interestnig one :)

    Glad to have had Renee involved!

    Sascha Illyvich
    (Btw, check out my latest blog post on how being kinky helps the economy -

  27. Also I noticed a LOT of great people commenting here :)


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