Better BDSM

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You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, and I’ve been watching this phenomenon with great interest.  It seems to appeal to a group of women who are perhaps new to erotica, and BDSM in particular. And boy, are they atwitter!

Now I’ve been reading erotica with BDSM elements for a long time, and I’m puzzled by all the buzz. I’m not going criticize the quality of the writing, or the fact that the book originated as fan fic (a lot has been said already on those subjects). What troubles me is how the book treats BDSM as a pathology (it’s suggested the Dominant’s inclinations stem from his abuse as a child). It seems to miss the point that BDSM can be an incredibly erotic, empowering, consensual part of a relationship. It’s something that some women enjoy and, I suspect, many fantasize about. You can be a feminist and still enjoy a little spanking, really!

One of our recent Carina Press titles treats this subject in a very healthy, sexy way: Jodie Griffin’s Forbidden Fantasies. The heroine is a married woman who can’t stop thinking about the hot new world she’s recently discovered in the pages of erotic romance novels. When she musters up the courage to share her fantasies with her husband, she’s pleasantly surprised by his reaction. This is a book that manages to be hot and sweet at the same time, and in no way offends the feminist in me.

If you’re looking for more “better BDSM” may I also suggest these titles:

A Shot in the Dark by Christine d’Abo

Sapphire by Jeffe Kennedy

Touch Me by Callie Croix

Enjoy. That’s an order!

Do you read BDSM? Please share your favorite titles in the comments.

Curious? Explore Harlequin’s  “Curious Reader’s Guide to Erotic Romance”

The Joys of an Overactive Imagination

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So you know those fools you see running out of a haunted house, screaming their heads off as a madman with a chainsaw chases after them? You know the people I’m talking about. We’ve all seen them. The people who can’t grasp that there isn’t a chain on the end of that saw and it’s not a madman truly chasing them.

What’s wrong with these people?

Hi. I’m Esmerelda Bishop and I’m one of these fools.

The answer to the question is simple: an overactive imagination. You see, I do grasp it’s not real. But there’s a little portion of my brain that takes me completely into the moment and I forget reality. All I hear is the menacing sound of a chainsaw revving, all I see is the bloodied corridor I’m trapped in, and all I think is “Holy hell, I’ve got to get out of here.”

I love this part of my psyche. It makes me the writer I am. I’m not ashamed of my overactive imagination. I’m not embarrassed about it—even though it sure gives my friends some stories to tell. I embrace it and allow my imagination free rein.

Writers are special breed. I’m not saying all writers run screaming out of haunted houses, or sacrifices a friend to the chainsaw wielding madman by pushing her toward the raving lunatic then running—that’s just me. But the one thing we do have in common is a vivid imagination and the ability to bring it to life on paper. Although, for me, the latter took a lot longer to achieve than the former.

I started writing The Panther’s Lair a few years ago and shelved it after about 4,000 words. The story wasn’t working. About a year ago, I needed a break from a current WIP and started going through my “shelved” files. Honestly, I’d forgotten I’d even started this story and the stuff I was reading was utter crap, but it had potential. Lots of potential. It needed a major makeover, but the most important thing was the characters were actually talking to me.

So I went with it. Boy, am I glad I did. There are many milestones a writer aims to reach throughout their journey to publication: writing “The End” for the first time, putting your baby out there for the world to judge, getting the first rejection letter, and then your first sale. Although Carina Press was not my first sale, being offered a contract to be part of this wonderful publishing house was a huge milestone for me. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be among such talented authors and work with such a fantastic editor. Yes, Kym Hinton, I’m talking about you. So here is a huge Thank You to Carina Press for taking a chance on The Panther’s Lair. I’ve enjoyed every minute of this journey with you.

Stay tuned for a blog about The Panther’s Lair. My cover is scrumptious!

**reminder: Commenting on an author’s blog entry/entries for the day will enter you to win a digital copy of their Carina Press title. One winner daily. Commenting on any of the Countdown entries will enter you into the big giveaway for a Carina Press promo prize pack. One winner at end of Countdown.**

What If…

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Like all of the authors lucky enough to be a part of Carina’s launch, I am thrilled to be here with my sci-fi erotic romance novella, Alien Revealed!

Have you ever played “What if…”? Author’s do it all the time. We say ‘What if that girl was really a ghost?’ or ‘What if cousin Carson isn’t human?’. I was playing this game one night (admittedly I play this alone as I have found my family does not understand, except for my two young daughters, for some unknown reason) with a show on TV and the idea for a sci-fi erotic romance series grew out of nothing. It went ‘What if the girl didn’t die?’ and then ‘What if the hero fell for her when he wasn’t sure she was innocent?’ and then ‘What if this was in space?’ and then ‘What if she wasn’t human?’ and so forth until you would never know what inspired the story. I really can’t understand why my mom and sister won’t play this game with me, or why they look at me like I am from outer space. ;) Could be their logical minds—they are wonderful math teachers though, so I’ll pretend I don’t notice the lack of imagination. The ten year old and the seven year old get me. And so the Confederacy Treaty Series was born.

Here’s the blurb of The Confederacy Treaty: Alien Revealed, releasing June 14th, 2010 from Carina Press!

Inarrii agent Alinna Gaerrii was tasked with observing the Starforce base on Earth. Crash landing her observation pod onto the base was not part of her mission briefing. Neither was making m’ittar—mind contact—with Major David Brown, the human who discovered her amongst the wreckage.

David thinks she’s a psychologist sent to evaluate his Special Forces team, and Alinna goes along with his misconception, seizing the opportunity to observe humans up close. But their daily contact has unexpected side effects, and Alinna soon invades David’s dreams. Through their intimate mental connection she allows him to express his forbidden physical desires.

Alinna delights in the sensory exploration and grows excited by the prospect of a treaty with the humans and a potential life mate in David. But an attack from an unknown ship sends the base into chaos, and Alinna may be forced to reveal her lie, erasing all hope of a successful treaty, and driving David away forever…

I really loved writing Alien Revealed – I swear the story just leapt from my brain to the keyboard, unlike my other works which required month of careful plotting, writing and editing, LOL. I tried to place myself in the mind of a very lonely person, far from home in a culture not their own and imagine how Alinna would react to David. She quickly became very real to me. Her emotions were strong, and her sensuality was a pleasure to explore.

I’ll be on later in the day with a post that talks a little more about me and my writing methods, but feel free to pop over to my website or check me out and say hi on Twitter or Facebook! In the mean time, tell me, do you ever play the ‘What If’ game?


**reminder: Commenting on an author’s blog entry/entries for the day will enter you to win a digital copy of their Carina Press title. One winner daily. Commenting on any of the Countdown entries will enter you into the big giveaway for a Carina Press promo prize pack. One winner at end of Countdown.**