Monthly Archives: June 2012

Adam’s Obsession by Sabrina York 

 http://www.amazon.com/Adams-Obsession-ebook/dp/B007RXA1CU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341101348&sr=1-1&keywords=adam%27s+obsession 

ASIN B007RXA1CU 

Story rating: 3 out of 5 paddles

Sting factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Review:

Interoffice romances are verboten for a reason.  When it ends, it rarely ends well.  Katherine Hart learned this lesson the hard way.  Her last job ended poorly through a broken affair which painted her as a slut.  Determined to remain professional in her new job, she becomes the resident ice queen among IT geeks. Why she thinks this will keep the guys away I do not know.  I work with IT guys and this just makes Katherine the star of their own private porno shows at night.  Still, Kat uses her ice queen façade as armour for two long years while she lusts after Adam Trillo, one of the company’s founders.  The only time she releases her wildness is via an on-line chat room under the handle – WILDKAT.  Her on-line hottie is SAVAGE. 

Yes, the handles are rather cheesy.  The on-line chatting on the other hand is pretty realistic.  I must confess my chats are a bit more risqué than Kat and her chat buddy.  As expected, we find out the person she’s been sharing her dirty secrets is Adam.  I enjoy these kinds of stories where the boss and subordinate heat up the sheets.  Adam is hot and dominating.  At work, he’s all professional until we glimpse underneath his cool exterior.  My favourite parts are when Adam orders Kat around.  Each time he does something to turn himself on at work; he inadvertently gives the guys in the office a peep show.  I’ve witness this type of naughty behaviour at work and find it amusing.

The underlying smexy tone in this book is a turn on.  The little games of dominance from Adam commanding Kat kept my interest.  The SugarKink sensual scene when Adam ties Kat up hit my sweet spot.  The storyline moved at a decent pace with believable conflicts.  I do have to admit I was a puzzled a few times.  Adam is a computer guy, how could not easily trace WILDKAT’s IP address to figure out that it really was Kat?  After working with a person for two years, how can Kat and Adam not recognize each other’s voice on the phone?  These little details bothered me but didn’t take away from my enjoyment. 

Both Adam and Kat are likeable.  Their interactions are flirty and fun.  The secondary characters caught my interest too.  I hope the next book is about Adam’s brother Tristan and Kat’s good friend, Sara.  I suspect Tristan is going to be the more intense of the two brothers.  If the red vest Sara lent Kat is truly from the store the horny IT geeks seem to think, then it will be an interesting read.  Perhaps Ms. York will turn up the kink factor.  The one secondary character who annoyed me to no end is Jack.  I know Jack’s type all too well.  If Ms. York does decide to have a book for Jack, I’d like to recommend it as a femdom book with Jack receiving pegging after much begging.  Adam’s Obsession was a fun read which I recommend to kinky readers who love the interoffice romance with a happily ever after.

 Reviewed by Book Addict

* Do you use a pen name? If yes (or no), why?
 
Yes. I worry about my professional life, of course, and about my potential future children and husband. I don’t want a man to have to be out of the closet in order to date me, and I don’t want my kids to have to put up with too much crap because of their mom’s work. On the other hand, I spend a lot of time thinking about how relaxing it would be if I didn’t have to worry about it ….
 
* When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre?
 
I’ve written professionally in a few genres, but I’ve also received accolades for my writing since childhood. I’m one of those people for whom S&M goes bone-deep, almost like a sexual orientation — and I had S&M feelings from a very early age. But I went through a period of strong repression in my teens, where I concluded that my fantasies were so horrible that I mustn’t think about them. Ever. I had written some material before that, which I now recognize was very S&M-ish, but I threw it all away.
 
In my early twenties, I came back into S&M as a kind of crisis; it surprised and appalled me, but I knew that I needed it. I began writing in order to work out my pain and anxiety, and to examine some of the fascinating questions about sex, gender, and culture that can emerge through S&M. I paid special attention to the intersections of S&M and feminism, because that carried a lot of tension for me. Here’s my coming-out story: http://clarissethorn.com/blog/2010/06/30/love-bites-an-sm-coming-out-story-mirror/
 
My coming-out story was also published in my recent collection, THE S&M FEMINIST: BEST OF CLARISSE THORN.
 
* Are you actively involved in BDSM? If so how do you identify yourself? Dom(me)/sub? Top/bottom? Switch?
 
I’m a switch, though I incline more towards bottoming. But these categories can bleed into each other somewhat, I think. Here’s a piece I wrote about that strange binary earlier this year: http://clarissethorn.com/blog/2012/02/10/storytime-the-strange-binary-of-dominance-and-submission/
 
* Is there one area of BDSM that you tend to write about more? Why do you think that area creeps into your writing more than some others?
 
Communication, especially sexual communication, fascinates me. It’s the primary theme through all my work, including the S&M writing. I recently spent a long time researching “pickup artists,” also known as the “seduction community,” which is a group of guys who trade tips and tactics about seducing and manipulating women. This year I released a book about them (the title is CONFESSIONS OF A PICKUP ARTIST CHASER). But I see that as a book about S&M too, because I write about the pickup artists and their fascination with sexual dynamics — and their communication tactics! — in order to frame my own experiences. And of course, my experiences involve lots of S&M. So maybe the reality is that I write about communication, but S&M comes up all the time, because I love it so much!
 
* What’s the most surprising piece of feedback you’ve ever received from a fan of your writing?
 
I got a really cool message the other day from a lady who wrote, “I came across your book about pickup artists by accident — I don’t think I have ever recommended a book that frequently to anyone before, and I work in publishing.” I never stop being surprised by compliments like that; I can’t get over how meaningful my work can be for others. I know this is such a corny thing to say, but it’s an honor.
 
* If someone new to your work is going to start with a story, which one would you recommend they read first?
 
Hmm, I already linked to my coming-out story …. For the crowd of people reading this site, they’d probably like my piece on predicament bondage: http://clarissethorn.com/blog/2011/01/07/storytime-predicament-bondage/
 
That piece is in THE S&M FEMINIST, too.
 
* Who is your favorite BDSM/kinky movie?
 
I love most films by the European art filmmaker Peter Greenaway, especially THE PILLOW BOOK. I guess his films aren’t really S&M; on the surface, some of them might not appear to be very sexual. But there’s this deep sexuality that runs through all of them, sometimes violent, and sometimes extremely … puzzling. His films are hard to describe because every single one creates its own alternate reality, full of patterns and color-shifts and sets that are both beautiful and unsettling. His characters’ communication is almost like another dialect, it’s so strange how they use words. And every film has a fetishistic theme; it’s just that the fetishes are really outside-the-box. The main character in THE PILLOW BOOK is a gorgeous, emotionally repressed, vengeful girl with fetish for calligraphy.
 
* What is your favorite flavor ice cream? And since this interview is for BDSM Book Reviews, vanilla is not an option!
 
Haha. Well, I’m actually vegan, and I love that Coconut Bliss stuff. The chocolate flavor makes me swoon. I also enjoy cardamom-flavored anything … how’s that for obscure?
 
* Website, links info:
 
 

 

When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre?

I first started writing for Blace Lace books, which was certainly an erotica imprint (and not, for example, romance) and encouraged BDSM/kink stuff. But I’ve been getting more hardcore as I’ve gone on, and as I’ve developed confidence. My current fairytale novel, Named and Shamed, would never have been accepted by the old Black Lace. Mind you, it is the dirtiest, kinkiest thing I have ever written – I let myself go wild on this one!

With the exception of some short stories for anthologies, my erotica has fantasy or paranormal settings. It allows me to explore themes that would actually be too disturbing if they were set in the real world.

I have written in some other genres – straight ghost/horror stories, and an Arabian nights adventure-romance, Heart of Flame, that was published by Samhain last year. But erotica, kinky or vanilla, is what keeps calling me back.

Are you actively involved in BDSM? If so how do you identify yourself? Dom(me)/sub? Top/bottom? Switch?

Not really – like many many writers I’m just too much of an introvert to enjoy getting involved in any formal scene. My sexuality includes BDSM but it’s not by any means the major part of it. I’d describe myself as a switch, if anything.

 Is there one area of BDSM that you tend to write about more? Why do you think that area creeps into your writing more than some others?

I go through phases where I’m interested in certain themes, but I’d have to say I’m very interested in power relationships. Recently I’ve been writing a lot about one submissive woman with several men; rough sex; public disgrace; and scenes that push the boundaries of consent. The main kink of Tansy, the heroine in Named and Shamed, is a propensity for being displayed and used sexually in a humiliating manner in public – hence the “shamed” part of the title.

On an imaginative level (not a personal one) there are strong connections in my mind between arousal and fear. So I often write stories in which the protagonists are in stressful, threatening or dangerous situations. But also, on a deeper level, I touch on topics that trouble and disturb me – rape troubles me, so I write dub-con. My sadistic feelings trouble me, so I write about that. Breastfeeding happens to squik me out (Yes, I know, I’m sorry . . . ) so I wrote it into Named and Shamed as a way of trying to get a mental grip on it. If I can make something sexy (and enjoyable for the characters), it stops worrying me as much, I suppose.

Do you write BDSM/kink erotica based on what you find interesting or sexy, or do you write more for your audience?

Oh no – I ALWAYS write scenes I find sexy. I have to be turned on. This sort of slows me down admittedly – the ol’ one-handed-typing routine ;-) 

 What have you written in the past that you think your BDSM/kink fans might find interesting?

Check out some of my short stories in my collections Cruel Enchantment (2000) and Dark Enchantment (2009).  My vampire mosaic e-novel (i.e. a novel told in short-story form) Red Grow the Roses was published earlier this year by HarperCollins: it’s all about fairly brutal power-relationships and includes whipping scenes, formal and informal BDSM, bloodletting etc. My vamps do not sparkle, I promise.

What’s the most surprising piece of feedback you’ve ever received from a fan of your writing?

I was once emailed by a fan who adored Cruel Enchantment and wanted to know if more of my stuff was available as audio recordings because he liked to listen on long car journeys. Delighted though I was by his enthusiasm, I was all “Noooooooo! Don’t! You’ll crash!”

If someone new to your work is going to start with a story, which one would you recommend they read first?

Um . . . Start with short story “Cold Hands, Warm Heart” in Dark Enchantment - it’s got a bit of all my trademark themes: a supernatural setting (it’s an M R James pastiche), some edgy M/f/M kink, strong streaks of both horror and pathos, and an unreliable narrator.  Kristina Lloyd (author of Asking for Trouble) described it as “an astonishing piece of fiction. Just perfect,” which is high praise!

What is your favorite flavor ice cream? And since this interview is for BDSM Book Reviews, vanilla is not an option!

Ginger :-)

 

Website, links info:

www.janineashbless.blogspot.com

http://sweetmeatspress.com/erotic_stories/illustrated_erotic_stories_named_shamed.html

  Erotica e-books:

http://1eroticaebooks.com/erotica/named-and-shamed/prod_2896.html

 Place for Romance:

http://1placeforromance.com/erotica/named-and-shamed/prod_7834.html

These e-versions include 19 interior illustrations by John LaChatte, as does the paperback:

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Named-Shamed-Janine-Ashbless/dp/0957003781/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337623893&sr=1-3

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Named-Shamed-Janine-Ashbless/dp/0957003781/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337623953&sr=1-1

Named and Shamed is also available on Kindle (via Amazon sites), but without interior illustrations.                                                                       

 Named and Shamed cover blurb:

“Once upon a time . . .  a naughty girl called Tansy stole a very precious manuscript from a kindly antiquarian. But all of the world’s ancient and powerful magic, lost for centuries, has returned – and now there is much more at stake than a few sheets of parchment.

Thus begins a rude and rugged fairytale the likes of which you NEVER read when you were little! Poor Tansy is led though the most pleasurable trials and the most shameful tribulations as her quest unfolds before her. Orgasmic joy and abject humiliation are laid upon Tansy in equal measure as she straddles the two worlds of magic and man.

From debauched dryads to oversexed ogres, fantasy and BDSM slither together to make Named & Shamed the consummate adult fable – all lusciously illustrated by John LaChatte. Immerse yourself in this dark and depraved fairy tale, and may all your endings be happy ever after!”

 

 

Out of My League (Safe Word Oasis) by Michele Zurlo

http://www.amazon.com/Out-League-Safe-Word-ebook/dp/B007ETN160/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340976105&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=Safeword+Oasis+Michele+Zurlo 

ASIN B007ETN160

Story rating: 3 out of 5 paddles

Sting factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Do you fantasize about the hot guy in the class you teach?  Does he make you stutter and lose all thoughts?  For Mia, Kaelen is this guy.  She’s finishing her last semester as a teaching assistant to a much loathed professor.  Kaelen is one of the older students; he is tall, hot and charming.  She can just tell women flock to him.  His flirty attitude with her flusters her every time.

To get Kaelen out of her system, Mia decides to buy a fantasy package from Oasis.  The company grants fantasies at a price.  The lengthy survey allows her to specify the kind of man she wants and what she wants him to do with her.  Kaelen is the model for the man she wants.  And a spanking is what she is going to hopefully receive.

This story was sweet and predictable.  It was predictable in the sense that the reader knew Kaelen would turn out to be the mystery stranger showing up at Oasis.  Since I’m starting in on book three and haven’t read the previous two books, I’m not sure if there is more about this mysterious fantasy fulfilling company.  What I do know is, I love the concept.  Oasis would be fun to work for as well as use for a fun filled vacation.  I’m leaning more towards working for since I already married the man of my dreams. 

Ms. Zurlo’s writing style is smooth and flows.  There are no abrupt endings to leap into a new scene.  Her transition into and out of a sex scene were well done. None of the sex scenes felt as though they were thrown in just to give the story some spice.  The sex scenes were smexy and tasty.  The kinky role playing is definitely spark worthy.  The addition of toys and the inventive ways Kaelen used them sparked my interest.  I still categorized this as SugarKink sweet.  Yes, there were BDSM undertones, but there was very little BD, no D/s and no SM.  I still enjoyed the kinky treat.  I recommend this book to SugarKink lovers who like the teacher/student combination.

Reviewed by Book Addict

Karen’s Happy Birthday by George Boxlicker

http://www.amazon.com/Karens-Happy-Birthday-ebook/dp/B004SC1NFW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340953200&sr=1-1&keywords=Karen%27s+Happy+Birthday+by+George+Boxlicker 

ASIN B004SC1NFW

Story rating: 1 out of 5 paddles

Sting factor (kink): 1 out of 5

(Note: Though I would classify this book as erotica it has very mild BDSM elements—honestly, there aren’t enough to really even justify putting it in with that sub-genre of erotica.)

Blurb:

George Boxlicker enjoys a great deal of popularity among the woman in the city where he lives, mainly because of his knowledge of their sexual wants and needs and his willingness to fulfill all their desires in bringing them and himself to peaks of sexual ecstasy. One of his favorite “ladyfriends” is Karen, a beautiful, sensual divorcee and, to celebrate her birthday, he takes her to a bed and breakfast inn located on the coast 100 miles north of the city where they live. George and Karen provide tremendous sexual joy to each other as they cavort in and out of bed, besides having fun by fooling their fellow guests and the rather stuffy management of the inn. On their last night there, George introduces Karen to a different kind of sex, one which has always intrigued her, but which she has always been too shy to ask him or anybody else about. Their carnal escapades in bed that night result in some of the most memorable orgasms either of them has ever experienced. This is a graphically detailed story of romantic love between a man and a woman.

 Review:

Oh, where to begin…?

Well, I suppose we should begin our journey with something positive. This book had a very thorough line editor. It was free of both spelling and grammatical errors and that is always refreshing. Second of all, the presentation of the book was quite lovely. The content is arranged on nice frilly paper and the font was large and easy to read.

Can we already see where this review is headed…? I thought so. Well, I suppose I should just get on with it then, shouldn’t I?  I have to be honest with both the author and the readers hoping to gain some insight by reading this review: this book was awful. And not only was it awful, it was awful for the strangest of reasons. Usually when I encounter this brand of terrible it is because the book seems to have been penned by an adolescent teenage boy with too much access to pornography, no respect for grammar rules related to the use of the comma or the dreaded use of so many colorful adjectives one can’t tell just what was inserted where.

This novel had no such problems. It revolves around a romantic weekend between a mature couple. No, really. That’s it. As I said before, the writing was clear. The sentence structure varied. And technically the sex had all of its parts, i.e. emotion, naughty bits, and moderated use of those colorful adjectives I mentioned before. Unfortunately, what the story did have was absolutely no pull. When I mean no pull, I mean I have read obituaries with more texture and zeal. And I don’t think it was a lack of effort on the author’s part. I honestly don’t think the author meant for the story to come out as it did. To be frank, I felt like I was reading a memoir that aspired to be a movie script. For example, the story read a little bit like this: ‘I see Jane run. I run. We run.’

There were large blocks of the author just listing what the narrator–as it is written in first person—and Karen did. I bet you I could have separated each sentence with bullets and it would’ve made quite the handy dandy little instruction manual for a romantic weekend at a Bed and Breakfast. This is mainly due to the fact that there was absolutely no conflict. And because there was no conflict, there was no plot. There didn’t seem to be any personal conflicts the narrator was experiencing. Karen had all the conflict of Barbie after she divorced Ken. It was all very “we went to Candy Land, stayed at a hotel there and had lots of sex.” And I’m afraid Candy Land loses its appeal after page 8…

Now, I don’t believe in saying things such as I have without offering any constructive criticism for the author. Why, that’s like pointing out someone has a ‘kick me’ note stuck on their back without helping the poor bugger take it off. Unacceptable, I say.

 This bit doesn’t isn’t much for the readers but for the author in particular, so readers may just want to skip ahead to the ending paragraph.

Constructive Criticism: Oh, George…I’m not sure where to begin. First of all, I would suggest you decide before you start writing a novel whether you would like the novel to be character driven or plot driven. If you decide you want your erotica story to be driven by the characters—which almost all really good erotica is—you’re going to have to figure out right from the get go both characters biggest flaws. I don’t mean flaws someone could scratch off with a penny. I mean real flaws. Take myself for instance; I have a great deal of pride. I would rather starve to death then ask anyone for a hand out. Can you imagine what receiving my first rejection did to me?

Once you figure out those flaws or Achilles heels for your characters, you must find a way to work them into your story as conflict. Perhaps, Karen should have been less “I’m free and perfect” and more “I’m free and I don’t know what to do with myself so I’m spiraling out of control…too much sex…too many lollypops…oh, when will the spinning stop!” Now, you don’t have to be as dramatic, but your characters were two dimensional and therefore, they were not engaging at all.  Don’t be discouraged, I do look forward to reading more work from you as an author because frankly, you’ve got the technical side all kinds of covered. Yes, dear, the grammar was quite lovely. Do keep trying. ::End Constructive Criticism::

All in all, I’m afraid I would not recommend this book to anyone just yet. Perhaps, after the author has had the chance to go back and develop his characters we will finally see if something wonderfully sinister is brewing in Candy Land. Until then, take your entertainment needs elsewhere my candy stripers.

Reviewed by Julia Kanno

With the fourth book in my Rescue Me series—Nobody’s Perfect (soon to be released, but exact date still not set)—I had to dig deep into all kinds of emotional topics most Romance novels (erotic or otherwise) wouldn’t touch. My heroine, Savi Baker (Savannah Gentry in Masters at Arms), is an incest survivor who then spent a year being pimped out by her father to his business clients until she escaped from him at nineteen. She had been sexually used and abused since she was eight.

With this book, I not only wanted to address the aftermath of severe sexual abuse, but also to show that sexual healing and recovery are a lifelong, ongoing process—not something that happens in 23 or however many chapters before the Happily Ever After in a Romance novel. As my readers should have figured out by now, though (or they certainly will with this book!), I don’t believe HEA is the end in a relationship, but just the beginning. And I like to write Romance in a more realistic way, rather than as fantasy. So my characters always come back in later books to deal with continuing serious issues in their relationships. (For instance, Marc and Angelina still haven’t resolved the issue of “the lie” in Nobody’s Angel—and probably won’t until a later book, after what is revealed to Marc in Perfect.)

Fortunately, the series is written like a serial (plots and subplots carry over into subsequent books, so skipping around will drive readers nuts and they’ll miss out on the many layers of the story). I know that Savi and Damián, her man, are going to have plenty of opportunities to continue to grow and develop their relationship journey in the Rescue Me series books to come. (There are eight books planned in the series to date.) And I know that Savi won’t be “healed” by the end of this story, but she will have found someone who also is wounded, albeit from combat, and together they will heal each other. As Khriste Close, one of my beta readers, wrote to me recently:

“…(A)fter BETA reading for you, I am so very much in love with these two people and, well, all the others. I can definitely see from both points of view about how each one is trying to help the other cope. I am totally drained and mentally exhausted after reading what I have read, but also so much in love with Damián (and Savi) for how they are written as true emotional real people with major flaws, instead of picture-perfect annoyances.

“Those who do not like, understand, or “get” the book, storyline, or the emotional impact these two people have with each other and the reader will probably never get it, but then that is their loss. This is a beautifully written story about how two people are trying to get past the horrors of their pasts to try and get to where the future with each other can be something beautiful and not full of constant heartache and nightmares.

“I stand up and applaud the fact that you delved into a world that people always want to gloss over and not discuss—or even want to know exists, whether it is regarding the horrors of battle or the horrors of a childhood that never was the way a childhood should be. Going through life ‘numb’ is never a good thing.”

In Nobody’s Perfect, it becomes clear (for those still uncertain) that Damián isn’t a born sadist. Readers know from Masters at Arms that he turned to BDSM and sadism as a coping mechanism and a means to regain control of himself and his life after PTSD and depression over becoming an amputee left him emotionally wounded, as well. For him, an SM scene is like going on a mission.

And it becomes his mission, once Savi agrees to have him Top her, to use his sadomasochism skills to help her to reconnect with her body, her feelings—and to redirect some of the negative messages that have kept her paralyzed with fear and unable to connect with anyone but a few people.

While I was able to draw on some of the emotions of being an incest survivor myself, I had no experience with using SM as a “therapeutic” source of healing. (I chose the more traditional route with a decade of therapy.) But this being a BDSM Romance series, I wanted to delve into how sadomasochism and other BDSM practices can help a survivor reclaim her body, redirect the negative messages in her head, and begin the journey toward being a sexual being in a healthy relationship. (NOTE: I usually use feminine pronouns, but please note abused males also find SM helpful in dealing with their own past traumas. I’ll deal with one in Nobody’s Home, book six in the series.)

To portray these characters in a realistic way, I talked with people who are members of this community (some for decades) and who have used BDSM techniques to work through their triggers and sexual “hangups”—or are Dominants who have worked with others struggling with these issues.

A word of caution before I go any further—this type of edge play can be dangerous in the wrong hands. If you want to explore this type of play for sexual healing, first and foremost, find an experienced Dominant who is extremely patient and understanding and knows what s/he is doing. I have heard horror stories from those who went from childhood abuse only to grow up and choose partners who just continued to abuse them, only this time called it BDSM. We’re NOT going to be talking about those types of relationships here. The people I write about and who provide expertise for my characterizations always are in consensual, healthy relationships.

Let’s start with John Bacon (“Toymaker” on Fetlife), one of the Doms who has been very helpful to me in describing scenes and getting into the headspace of a Dom. His submissive, corie (“eirocawakening” on Fetlife) became a fan of my books while I was writing Nobody’s Hero, and she put me in touch with him via a Facebook group we’re both members of. In the course of twenty years in the lifestyle, John has worked with a number of abused subs to help them process their feelings, redirect negative messages, and, in the case of corie, establish an ongoing relationship.

Not everyone who has been abused is a good candidate for this kind of practice. Once I commented that Savi’s was an extreme case and John told me about a woman he knew who had been through so much worse. She wouldn’t feel safe unless she had locked herself in a cage while he was gone. Her issues were so severe that, after four months, he was forced to track down her family and get her checked into a mental health facility for treatment. John also said that if a submissive he was working with turned out to be an active cutter (self-inflicted cuts that aren’t life-threatening, but used to give the person an endorphin rush—which can be very addictive), he would patch her up and take her to a hospital with psychiatric treatment facilities, as well. But a cutter would come to use the SM pain as yet another addiction, and might even push the Dom to go further than is healthy. So, SM would not be a good choice for them.

Another of the subject experts I consulted with on my books (most especially with this one) is “Jennifer,” a clinical psychologist. When one of my beta readers wrote saying she just didn’t understand how a healthy sub who was abused would want to have someone inflict such pain on her, I thought I’d ask Jennifer if she could explain it from a psychological perspective. She replied:

“You’ve done good jobs at portraying [how] sometimes people are so numb it’s the only thing they can feel, or it grounds them back into their bodies when emotions are too intense; sometimes they need physical pain to express or ‘stand in’ for the emotional pain they experience or to open up the gates for them to express emotional pain…

“Sometimes people who aren’t wired that way just won’t get it because it’s such a visceral thing.”

Kellie Hunter, a submissive who also beta reads for me, helped me a lot in trying to understand the inability to cry unless her Dom puts her through a severe impact session in order to get her to break down and release the tears, stress, and emotion. (I cry at everything. Happy—cry.  Sad—cry. So I really didn’t understand how it can be so hard to cry—but Savi has fought to close off emotions like anger, sadness, frustration. All of these emotions turned inward can lead to depression and stress, so it’s good to be able to release them. Kellie explained it as such:

“For me never crying started out as never giving my [abuser] the satisfaction of knowing that she hurt me. Then it became such a part of what I was made of, I just can’t cry without help now… So for me, [SM and impact play] is a way to let go, to be able to cry and get what I need to release emotions I don’t usually know how to release. For me, it is almost like a therapy, to get rid of the stress and tears that I hold inside.”

After reading one of the scenes where Savi is fighting back the tears, only to release them after a session with Damián, Kellie wrote: “You got the whole crying thing down perfect. It is exactly what I do, too—blink really fast so I don’t cry. And when I do [cry], it is like I can’t stop. It was like you were in my head.”

This isn’t going to be a light read—and readers will have to go well into the story before there is a breakthrough for Savi. I want to try to convey how hard it is to change those negative messages from childhood abuse—and could have used time transitions to move the story along to a positive resolution much faster, but I don’t think that is fair to all of my readers who also are survivors and know how extremely long and hard this journey to sexual healing can be.

 Excerpt from Nobody’s Perfect

For a glimpse at the story, here’s a small part of the scene at the Masters at Arms Club where Adam (the uber-Dom there) is explaining to Savi why Damián is about to use a cat-o-nine tails on Patti, one of the club member’s subs. (Patti is the previously unidentified petite blonde we saw Damián whipping in the opening chapter of Nobody’s Angel.) Victor, Patti’s Dom, is unable to deliver that kind of pain. We’re in Savi’s head:

 

Damián’s swing grew harder and the smile vanished from her face. Patti’s back looked as if it would be scarred, yet there wasn’t a drop of blood, unlike what Savi had done to her arm in the past with a razor blade. Apparently, the woman had been whipped like this before, but Savi didn’t recall seeing scars on her back before the beating began. Maybe Damián really did know the limits he could go to with her without marring her flesh for life.

A gentle sadist? No, Adam had called him a sensual sadist.

Other than those few comments a few minutes ago, Victor stayed out of the scene now. This was between Damián and Patti. Savi looked around the room and saw that every gaze was glued on what was happening at the center post.

“He’s continuously gauging where she is and how much more she needs to get where she needs to be.”

Welts began to form on the woman’s backside. “How can anyone let themselves be whipped like that?”

“Patti’s a masochist. She doesn’t process pain the same way a non-masochist would.”

“Pain is pain.”

“Actually, no, it’s not. You probably learned in physiology, or was it anatomy?—I didn’t get that far in school. Anyway, I’ve read a lot about it. The body actually only feels temperature and pressure. It’s the brain that then interprets those sensations as pain or pleasure. That’s what makes pain so subjective—why one person is said to have a high tolerance for pain while another is debilitated with seemingly minor hurts.”

Savi had a high tolerance for pain, but she’d developed techniques to help her tamp down the pain out of necessity.

“Patti’s learned to embrace the energy the whip or cat delivers, rather than resist it, which actually will lead to her interpreting the lashes as pain eventually. Right now, Damián’s trying to get her to focus on the present rather than hide within herself where she doesn’t feel anything. He’s trying to get her to express the emotions she’s feeling that she can’t let out otherwise. It takes an extreme level of pressure from the whips to get through the defenses she’s built to cope over the years.”

He watched in silence as several more blows there delivered across Patti’s already red butt. “Patti’s coping mechanism of making herself numb has worked for her for a long time, but until Victor and Damián, she hadn’t really been living—merely existing.”

Adam could have been describing Savi. Her skin usually felt anesthetized, as if she had been injected with Novacaine from the top of her head to the soles of her feet. That inability to feel was normal for her now. She’d become accustomed to it. But that hadn’t always been the case, not in the years where she was perfecting the coping mechanism. She hated when Mari hugged or kissed her and Savi had been unable to feel. She wanted so desperately to feel her baby’s arms around her, but…nothing. Of course, she would go through the motions and return the affection, but had always been left to wonder what it would feel like to—well, feel.

Is that what Damián was helping this woman to do?

[end of excerpt]

Kally here again. For interviews with John Bacon, corie, Kellie, and others who helped me bring the story of Savi and Damian to life, please follow my Perfect Blog Tour, an 11-stop tour that began June 20 and will go until June 30. (There are $10 online bookseller gift card giveaways each day—and on July 1 we will have a drawing for a $200 online bookseller gift card.)

Link to main blog tour schedule:

http://www.kallypsomasters.blogspot.com/2012/06/my-perfect-book-tour.html

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/kallypsomasters

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/KallypsoMastersAuthorPage

Website: http://www.kallypsomasters.com

Blog: http://www.kallypsomasters.blogspot.com

Safeword: Matte by Candace Blevins

http://www.amazon.com/Safeword-Matte-ebook/dp/B007GDU1OE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340829143&sr=1-1&keywords=safeword+matte 

ASIN B007GDU1OE

Story rating: 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Sam meets Ethan at a Mixed Martial Arts fight.  Even though she is attracted to him, she has decided that she will not date anyone not involved in the BDSM scene. 

I enjoyed reading this book.  I think the author showed valid reasons for someone to only date within the lifestyle, as there are a lot of misunderstandings that can arise when one party is vanilla and not open to experimentation. 

The author showed a lot of the safety nets that should be followed once someone that you don’t know very well has indicated interest:  safe words, references from people you trust in the lifestyle, and attending munches.  I enjoyed the give and take between Sam and Ethan.  Both are very strong characters and it was fun reading about them as they found their way together.

 Reviewed by Iron Mistress

 

Red Lust by Sindra van Yssel

 http://www.amazon.com/Red-Lust-ebook/dp/B0078YVIPM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340809250&sr=1-1&keywords=red+lust 

ASIN B0078YVIPM

Story rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Blurb:

Stella likes to get a flogging now and then at a local BDSM club, and she knows how to play the game of submission well enough to make sure the tops give her what she wants. She keeps her professional life as a physical therapist carefully separate from her life of kink until the arrival of Evan, a hot and skilled Master with a whipping arm that needs her professional care.

But Evan wants more than a doctor and a willing target, and he sees through the role Stella plays to a woman who hasn’t met the right master– until now. While he’s happy to indulge her penchant for floggers, he has his own set of sensual games he’d like to teach her that will leave the curvy redhead hot with lust — and maybe love.

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and elements (which may include scenes of bondage, spanking, and other elements practiced within a BDSM lifestyle.

Review:

I really enjoyed Red Lust. The characters are well developed and it shows a nice progression for a woman who just likes a flogging.  Sindra van Yssel does a wonderful job of evoking emotions within the reader and letting them connect with the characters.

I loved Stella and even thought I have never limited myself to one sensation within BDSM, I understood her feelings and anxieties very well.  She came to life for m e and it made me want to help her through the story. When she meets Evan, things start to change in her head and it is such a natural progression that it is easy for the readers becomes very wrapped up in their life.

If you are looking for an erotic BDSM story that is well written with a bit of spanking, flogging, bondage, and a few other sensations,I highly recommend Red Lust.  It’s not hardcore, but it is an education journey that has a lot of heat.  I found Red Lust to be arousing on top of it all and shared bits of it with my Master. I think Red Lust is good for people curious about the BDSM lifestyle as well as those with  lots of experience and everyone in between.

Reviewed by Star

 Infidelities, a Collection of Seven Short Fictions byKat Quickly

http://www.amazon.com/Infidelities-Collection-seven-fictions-ebook/dp/B005GQU2QA/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340771631&sr=1-2&keywords=Infidelities+A+Collection+of+7 

ASIN B005GQU2QA

Story rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting factor (kink):  2 out of 5(Yes, I know that’s low—read the review to figure out why I think you should read it anyways.)

Note: Though I would classify this book as erotica it has very mild BDSM elements—honestly, there aren’t enough to really even justify putting it in with that sub-genre of erotica.

Blurb:

Infidelities is a collection of 7 short stories about relationships. The spotlight is on love, lust and sex, but mostly desire. What happens when you look outside your main relationship? Do you just look or do you act, unable to remove dangerous illicit thoughts from your mind? Should you give into your desires, ignoring the consequences of your actions, for you and for those you claim to love? Can a marriage survive infidelity? Read the 7 stories herein and see what happens when seemingly respectable women, those with children and good jobs, living quietly in their lovely houses give into their desires. It’s not only the heat of the tropical settings, it is the heat of their passions that will inflame your own senses.

Review:

First off before I start the actual review of the content of the book, I’d like to warn everyone NOT to judge this book by its hideous and inappropriate cover. For writing as deep and utterly enveloping as what the author has managed with these short stories, the cover is probably one of the reasons more people won’t take a chance and might miss out on a really talented author. And that, ladies and gentlemen, pisses me off. I understand most authors don’t have a lot of say over what their covers look like—unless they’re self-published—but I strongly recommend this author see about having this cover changed. A half-naked woman in a bathing suit (who is wet for no readily apparent reason) does not say: “Read me. I have substance.” Just say’n.

Speaking of substance, this collection of short stories has so much freaking substance I started to wonder just what the hell I’ve been reading all this time because it wasn’t anything nearly as enveloping. The short stories are not connected by any real means other than the fact that they all revolve around (in some way, shape or form) the conventional definition of infidelity, i.e. sexual relations outside of a committed monogamous relationship. And no, they’re not handled like one would expect from the dripping whelp on the cover. The characters, their circumstances and reasoning is all written so well, with so much genuine emotion that I actually read the entire collection in one sitting. I couldn’t get enough of the author’s sheer eloquence. Ms Quickly tackled an enormously and most definite “taboo” concept and did it with such grace.

She has a lovely command of the written word and it truly felt as if she wrote about the various couples without judgment or even the slightest bit of worry about whether the characters would be likable enough to really get under the reader’s skin. Bloody hell, who cares if the characters are “likable?” I sure as hell didn’t. I was most astounded by how much I—someone who has never been unfaithful…well, as of yet (spare me, the world’s an imperfect place) could honestly relate to on multiple levels.

Now, I’ve spent a good deal of time and word count raving about this book. Please allow me lay out why this book would only suit a certain type of reader. First of all, the sex was described in detail, but not incredibly graphic detail. Most erotica I’ve come across—and yes, it does shame me to say that now that I’ve read this book—is very, VERY, graphic. This is not for the reader who’s looking for lots of slippery girl-bits and pulsing boy bits. The sexual description is present, it is conducive to the story, but it is also very eloquent. Some might even call it a little bit of purple prose. Think a conversation with Betty White. There’s a certain amount of cheeky raciness, but the woman isn’t afraid to toss out the clinical term for a man’s nether regions either.
Lastly, the descriptive paragraphs are long ones. This author, dear that she is, must have written the guide on how to pack some many descriptors into a sentence that you’re entirely sure why or how it makes sense—but, it most certainly does.

Therefore, I recommend this book for someone who is interested in traipsing over to the more literary spectrum of erotica. The stories are like a shot of scotch: perhaps an acquired taste, a dull burn going down, but what you’re left with is a warm tummy and lots of fuel for thought.

Reviewed by Julia Kanno

Sindra van Yssel writes BDSM romance for Loose Id and Ellora’s Cave. Her latest book is Blonde and Owner, and her next book, coming out soon, is the fourth book in the Bondage Ranch Series: His Little Tart. ( Leave a comment and be entered to win an ebook from her backlist. How kick ass is that? Thanks Sindra! Hugs, Lucretia)

When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre? Twenty years ago I thought I was going to write science fiction, and got some very kind notes from editors but that was about it. I tried my hand at fantasies and mysteries as well before writing kinky stuff, although I was still writing the occasional kinky short story for my own amusement on the side. I’ve written a little vanilla erotica, but not much.

Is there an area that is BDSM/kink-related that you haven’t written about yet that you’re interested in? Corsetry. Actually I’m fascinated by the crafts that go into BDSM, like making floggers and so forth, so corsets are another aspect of that. I’m not a very crafty person myself, and I have a lot of respect for people who take the time to perfect a highly specialized skill like corset making or whip making. Brett, who is a supporting character in Purple Passion and in Red Lust, my Valentine’s day release from Loose Id, is a corset maker and I look forward to telling his story someday.

Do you write BDSM/kink erotica based on what you find interesting or sexy, or do you write more for your audience? There’s a little of both, but if I don’t find it interesting or sexy, there’s just no way that I’m going to be able to make it sound good to the reader. Fortunately I have pretty broad tastes. I don’t want to deliver the same book over and over, so I follow my muse and hope readers will be intrigued, too. Dom and Domme, for instance, is about two dominants in love with each other. I really love that book, and it’s a bit different than your usual BDSM romance. In the Middle is about a switch who finds a Dom and a sub that suit her.

What have you written in the past that you think your BDSM/kink fans might find interesting? Everything I’ve published is at least somewhat kinky. But I’d point to Roped In, the first Bondage Ranch book and the first book I published, as something that I think still holds up, or Recipe for Submission, which combines BDSM with my love of food. I still smile when I think about the couple from that story.

At this point in your career, do you think you’ll write more BDSM/kinky erotica? Oh, definitely. As long as I can come up with a new set of characters that can have kinky fun together, I’ll keep writing BDSM romance.

What’s the most surprising piece of feedback you’ve ever received from a fan of your writing? There was one scene in Pushing Limits that I wasn’t sure about, and my editor wasn’t sure about, but I got it in after a little revision. Two weeks after the story was published, I got a letter from a fan telling me how she loved that scene, and it was the best thing in the book for her. I think that has a lot to do with an earlier question about writing for the reader. A lot of times if you worry too much about your audience, you get afraid to take risks, and then you miss out on a chance to really touch someone.

Who is your favorite BDSM/kinky author? Emma Holly. Not all her books are especially kinky, but when she is, she really knows how to turn up the heat, and it doesn’t feel like there’s any formula to her books, so I always want to find out how they’re going to turn out.

What is your favorite flavor ice cream? And since this interview is for BDSM Book Reviews, vanilla is not an option! I like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Website, links info: www.sindravanyssel.com, http://www.amazon.com/Sindra-van-Yssel/e/B0038Q5HI8/ref=sr_tc_2_rm?qid=1325724388&sr=1-2-ent