Work hard, play hard, love hard
Publisher: Red Moon Romance
Editor: Cori Vidae
Deadline: July 31, 2015
Payment: Pro-rata share of 40% net profit on anthology sales (see below for details)
Nothing is sexier than a man how knows what he wants and has the confidence go after it. I’m looking for hot romances featuring those kinds of rough-around-the-edges alpha males in the (North) American West. I want stories about the kind of men who ride horses during the day and their partners at night, who speak few words but mean every one of them and who would never break their own personal code of honor. I’m talking about cowboys.
There is plenty of room in this anthology for BDSM or risk-aware consensual kink (leather and spurs and ropes, oh my!) but I’m also completely open to vanilla romance as well.
Submission details at:
Saturday, February 28, 2015
I know she loves it when I tell her how much I lover her and need her, it gets her all riled up and she will do anything "You're so ready Ana. I love it when you're so ready for me." I slide two fingers into her as my thumb strikes her clitoris and I can see her building. "Not yet Ana. Not yet." She moans and I can't help but let out a little giggle "be patient. Not long now." I move my fingers in a rotating motion to build her up even more and she arches her back to push her breast in to my hand and lets out a cry "oh. Please Christian. I. Need. You!"
Thursday, February 26, 2015
by Jean Roberta
Erotica, fantasy and historical fiction seem to overlap in all sorts of delicious ways. If there is a fairy tale left in any of the traditional collections that has not yet been rewritten in a sexually-explicit version – or several – it must be fairly obscure. Greek and Roman mythology have also been heavily mined for modern-day erotic plots, and so have famous works of fantasy by known authors. The calls-for-submissions on this site usually include at least one that calls for stories about sex in the land of Faerie or on Mount Olympus.
So far, so good. However, much of the sex that occurred in Western culture in the actual past was necessarily forced or forbidden due to Christian laws. Any couplings that did not involve a husband and a wife had to be hidden, and were likely to result in drastic punishment for at least one partner if discovered. Marital sex was based on a husband’s legal ownership of his wife, who had no recognized right to refuse sex or pregnancy.
In short, what we know about traditional attitudes toward sex in the past few centuries is quite a bummer. (And on that note, laws against anal sex were widespread.)
Of course, fantasy literature doesn’t have to be based on historical reality. Authors and their characters can grow wings and fly away from anything that kills the buzz. But what if a certain authentic flavor is called for?
Ancient Greek and Roman myths and legends involve quite a bit of sex, even as written by contemporary Greek and Roman authors (Homer, Aristophanes, Ovid). However, the “affairs” of male gods, especially Zeus, tend to involve the capture and rape of mortal maidens, followed by further abuse by other deities (e.g. Zeus’s wife Hera) or mortal relatives. Attraction that is really mutual is likely to be illicit and therefore doomed.
Traditional British and European ballads, as recorded in a literate era (1700s-1900s), tend to be more violent than I remembered from having studied this material in the 1970s. I recently skimmed through one of my old textbooks, The Ballad Book, for inspiration, and found plots dealing with incest, with illegitimate, murdered babies, with the murders of women by the men who had seduced them, and of husbands by their wives, as well as a few lighthearted accounts of rape as a joke and abduction as a plot device. At one time, ballads were like tabloid newspapers for the common folk who couldn’t read or write. And as they say, no news is good news.
Then there are early written versions of older stories such as the Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory of the 1400s, about King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. I recently skimmed through my old copy of this book after reading a call-for-submissions for “Arthurian” erotica.
The story of Arthur’s mother is intriguing in Mallory’s very brief version as well as in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s doorstop of an “Arthurian” novel, The Mists of Avalon. Igraine, before she becomes Arthur’s mother, is married to the Duke of Cornwall. He and the King of England, Uther Pendragon, wage war. Uther, aided by his court magician, Merlin, appears to Igraine disguised as her husband, “lies” with her, gets her pregnant, and then marries her after it is revealed that her husband was killed by the King’s forces before the crucial act in which Arthur was conceived. In due course, Arthur is able to establish his legitimacy as the rightful heir to King Uther.
Igraine’s feelings about all this are not recorded by Mallory. Does she ever love her husband, the Duke of Cornwall? If so, how does she feel after discovering that she has been deceived? Does she welcome her child by the imposter? (In Mallory’s version, Igraine has borne at least one earlier child, Arthur’s half-sister.)
In my version of the story, young Igraine is married to the much older Duke of Cornwall for diplomatic reasons, but King Uther has the “right of the first night” with the new bride. She finds him attractive, but she is still taken aback to discover that she is not to be deflowered by the man she has just wed. And then there is the siege in which the two men in Igraine’s life square off. Whatever the outcome, it will be bad news for at least one of them. Then there is the scene in which the King appears under a “glamor,” shouting a medieval version of “Honey, I’m home!” Does Igraine believe this man is really the Duke, her husband, or does something about him seem off? How does she react?
I sent my first version of this story to an editor, who responded by saying gracious things about my writing style, which she found suitable to the period. However, as she pointed out, the sex was not sexy enough. I saw the editor’s point. The problem seemed to be Igraine’s ambivalence. She needed to be more enthusiastic in the sex scenes with at least one of the men in her life. She couldn’t just be shown submitting to the inevitable.
Mutual orgasms – fireworks of the flesh – were required.
I did a substantial rewrite after getting the editor’s permission to ignore the original maximum word-count. I tried to show more ecstasy in the scenes of Igraine with the King, who is much more of a dream lover than one might expect because he is under a curse: a witch has ensured that if he ever ravishes an unwilling woman, he will die. To live long enough to beget an heir, he must become an accomplished seducer, and he must stop the moment his partner is really turned off. He has come to enjoy the challenge that this curse presents, and therefore he is in no hurry to be released from it.
Since the witch has placed her curse on King Uther’s whole army, an Age of Chivalry is born. Is this detail suitable to the historical period? Not on your life.
Like the inhabitant of a castle under siege, I am waiting for news about whether my story is now fit to survive the editor's weeding-out process. I can only hope that the fantasy elements – specifically the female-centered sexual pleasure – don’t cancel out the period flavor.
Writing about Days of Yore appeals to me, but some aspects of the past simply don’t mesh with modern concepts of equality and consent. A touch of glamor seems necessary.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Update for Explicit Books Anthology
Note that Explicit Books is combining reprints and original short stories into one anthology. Details at:
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
So, to recap, there was a book that many people enjoyed reading and many people enjoyed critiquing that was made into a movie that many people saw this weekend. It had strong sexual content. The wimmenz were the main audience. How can this be? *clutches pearls* *sinks onto fainting couch* *uncaps the smelling salts* Has the world gone mad?
No. It isn't possible. I refuse to believe that any woman could make the personal decision to enjoy such a thing. Ever.
Western culture teaches us that women don't enjoy, much less think about, sex. Unless they're bad. Oh so very bad. *delighted shiver* And we all know that Western culture never gets anything wrong about the way women think and feel, ever, because it was written by manly men and some women who know stuff. They said so, so they must be experts. I mean, you couldn't take each women's word for what she thinks because women are notorious liars about their sexuality and need to be told what they think about such matters. Not to mention that they don't have a clue in their pink, fluffy little brains about how women are. Completely clueless.
But why else would they be reading this book? It's perplexing, isn't it?
Oh that's right. For the romance angle. It's perfectly okay for women to like romance because that's what they're into. Whew! Here these women were, innocently picking up a book recommended by their friends, thinking that they were about to read a sweet romance, when Boom! They're ambushed by sex! Surely they all flipped quickly past those pages and got back to the loooove, instead of lingering over the sex scenes and getting all moist down in their girly bits. No, they couldn't have possibly done that. Of course they were repulsed if they happened to read part of the sex scenes by mistake. They didn't go out and maybe buy a little something to try in the bedroom with their
lovers husbands, because women never initiate sex, and they never, ever think of it as fun.
And even if they did find themselves *whisper* aroused by it, surely it's because they lack the capacity to distinguish between fantasy and reality. If they enjoy this story, they're immediately going to search for a billionaire lover and do all the things in the book exactly as they are portrayed. Because, you know, wimminz.
This must be a vast conspiracy to fool us into thinking women actually have inner sexual lives and are capable of independent thought. We know this simply isn't so. An expert told me.
All kidding aside, I have no problem with people criticizing a book. Erotica deserves to be well written. So go ahead and critique FSOG. Lament its shortcomings. Weep that it darkens the name of erotica, and sneer at how poorly it portrays BDSM. Write parodies of it. Trash it in blogs, Laugh at it. Use it to sell your own work. It's open season; do as you will- with the book.
However, I have a huge issue with judging the readers who liked it. There is a disturbing tone that creeps into those conversations, with hints that fans of FSOG are somehow less sophisticated, stupid, sexually repressed, frumpy, middle aged, or simply lower class than the "real" fans of erotica. They get scolded from everyone for liking it, and I'm tired of it. So here's my guide to surviving what remains of the FSOG madness:
1) it's just a book. A fucking book. That's all.
2) if your panties get in a bunch thinking about women getting wet over the idea of an emotionally abusive asshole who malpractices BDSM, or any fantasy you disapprove of, then just stop thinking about it. Just. Stop. Problem solved.
Posted by Kathleen Bradean at 12:30 AM
Monday, February 23, 2015
Ahh... the dreaded sucknopsis. Otherwise known as the synopsis. I'm sure many of the writers reading this post are already groaning or resembling the man in the photo at the mere mention of the word, and I don't blame them.
A necessary evil, the synopsis is basically one big fat spoiler of your work. Describing your tale from beginning to end, including any plot twists, surprises and things to make your readers gasp. I hate writing them. There are several reasons for this. One, because of the spoiler aspect. I know that a synopsis is not something ever intended for a reader to see - otherwise what would be the point of them reading your book? They already know what's going to happen. No, these are aimed at publishers who may potentially publish your work - they want to know that your work has a plot, a point, a beginning, a middle and an end, and so on. And they're absolutely right. They don't want to end up contracting something that's crap. But it feels so wrong to me to write something down that's saying what's going to happen, especially since, for the most part, a synopsis is written before the actual story.
And, following on from that, often with my work I don't know exactly what's going to happen until I start writing. Even if I've done character profiles, chapter by chapter planning, etc, my creative brain often throws things in at the last minute, literally flowing from brain to fingers to keyboard, which may alter what happens next, throwing me off the line of the synopsis. Mostly, it's a change for the better, too, so it makes sense to go along with it.
Also, writing a synopsis for something, especially if you haven't written the book yet can make you lose all enthusiasm for the work. You've written four pages on exactly what's going to happen, ending and all, and now you're bleurgh about writing the thing. Hence the term sucknopsis - which I didn't coin, by the way. It's been around for a long time, and it's easy to see why ;)
So, how do you feel about writing a synopsis? We're all different, so maybe there are some of you out there that actually like writing them. Speak up!
Me... nah! Give me a blurb any day. Let me tease you, taunt you, and, above all, not give the plot and any surprises away! I want to make you gasp... in the best possible way ;)