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Siobhan Muir ~ Guest Author

We’re thrilled to welcome Siobhan Muir back to our pages today, to celebrate her newest release, The Navy’s Ghost.

SEX

Do I have your attention now? Heh, it seems to be a word folks naturally gravitate to, but also fear. Sex brings up images and memories and sensations, some of which aren’t always good. I want to focus on the good ones. Sex abuse is another matter entirely, and not something for today’s blog.

As I tell my kids, focus on the good things.

Sex comes in all shapes and flavors, and like the number of people there are out there, the styles of sexual gratification and pleasure vary just as greatly. Some prefer individual attention like masturbation. Others prefer having a partner, or more than one at a time. Some folks like to trade partners. For myself I have one partner who I like to pleasure as much as possible (time and children permitting) and prefer only having one person to focus on.

The “hows” of gratification are also varied and there is no wrong answer as long as the partners are consenting adults. Do you need ropes and chains? Impact play or something more intense like knife or fire play? Perhaps role-playing takes a larger portion of the attraction. Whatever your personal interest and flavor, the key to sexual gratification is understanding yourself and your partner(s). Understanding comes from paying attention and recognizing your needs. And making your own decisions about those needs, despite what someone else might tell you.

In my new release, The Navy’s Ghost, Ensign Christiana Brickman gets the opportunity to really come to grips with the kind of sexual gratification she wants, but she has to convince the men that to her, sharing is okay. One of her chosen partners, Chief Warrant Officer Todd “Magic” Hunter had never considering sharing, but finds the idea arousing. However, her other partner, Lt. Jim “Retro” Waters, has been taught sharing is “wrong”, “perverted”, “depraved”, etc., even though it was his chosen form of sexual pleasure since he’d reached his teens. Chris has just dangled an illicit carrot in front of him and Jim starts fighting his instinct to reach for it.

EXCERPT

Silence stretched once more and the sounds of the coffee shop filled the space. Jim’s thoughts churned in his eyes, but his face showed nothing and Todd hoped the lieutenant wouldn’t shut down. Chris’s confession rocked the strict, militarily precise world they’d lived in, and Todd found he liked the upset. Hell yeah. He hoped she wanted them both in bed, too. Probably. She doesn’t do half-measures.

“You ever considered sharing a woman?” Jim asked at last.

“Before Chris said anything? No.”

“You really love her?”

“More than life, man.”

“Yeah, me too.” Jim grimaced as if his coffee had soured.

“How long?”

“Since SERE. The damn Kookaburra song sucked me right in.”

Todd chuckled and sipped his coffee, thinking back to their time at SERE training. “Yeah, that was damn funny. I sang the song in my head for weeks after.”

Retro snorted, a little more humor in his expression, but he sobered quickly. “The thing is I’ve never met anyone like Chris. The only women I went for were soft, feminine, cuddly. You know, like a kitten or a puppy.” He scraped a blunt nail on the tabletop. “But Chris blew it right out of the water. She’s kick-ass and strong and so damn beautiful, I get hard just thinking of her taking down the enemy, slamming the butt of her rifle in their faces, and still managing to extract the targets.” He met Todd’s gaze. “She kept up with us in training. Hell, she led us through a lot of it. I figured she’d slow us down, make us worry over her welfare and abilities. Boy, did she kick the shit out of that idea.”

Jim’s hands encircled his coffee cup, but he didn’t pick it up. He seemed to be picking his words instead. “She won me over at SERE and only backed up my respect and admiration over the years we’ve worked with her. It just about killed me when she went down in that miserable dump. If you hadn’t been there…” He swallowed hard.

“God, she looked so small and so beaten then. It was all I could do to keep from beating the contact into a bloody pulp. I just labeled it as further training in torture and made sure we got out safe. I’ve never been so scared in my life.”

He paused and turned his gaze to the window. “Until now.”

Todd agreed. Chris had terrified him when he’d clamped her femoral artery closed, grateful to whichever God watching out for her he’d been able to grab it before she bled out. He’d definitely earned his nickname. But she’d survived and he renewed his gratitude every day. As for her confession of loving both him and their classmate Retro, it didn’t frighten Todd so much as shock him. A whole new set of parameters had risen up for him to consider.

He could hear Chris’s voice egging him on. Are you man enough to take it, boys?

“You’re freaked out?” Todd focused in keeping his voice carefully bland.

“Well, yeah. I mean, aren’t you?” Jim’s jaw tightened. “Happily-ever-after always meant the guy gets the girl of his dreams and they hook up. Done. I never heard it included another guy, much less one of his best friends. And I’m straight, man. Straighter than a flagpole. I have no interest in ‘entering at rear’.” He shuddered dramatically.

“Not even anal sex with a woman? You’ve never even thought about it?”

Jim shut up and stared at Todd, his eyes suspicious.

“Are you really considering what she proposed?”

“Was it a proposal? I figure she just told us what she felt.”

Retro growled. “Same difference. Are you really okay with the idea of sharing her?”

Magic dropped his head and rubbed his fingers across the surface of the table, brushing away crumbs left from a previous customer. Am I okay with sharing the woman I love with Jim?

The thing was he loved Retro, too, loved him as a brother and a friend. But he wasn’t gay. Like Retro, he held no interest in sucking cock or getting rammed by a guy’s rod. But making love to Chris with Jim there, sharing in their love and the physical expression of it—Hell yeah, it turned Todd on more than just fucking Chris alone. They’d always been stronger as a team, including their private, intimate lives. Todd had never considered sharing before, but now the idea of fucking Chris with Jim intrigued him.

“Yeah, I am.”

BUY LINKS

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~ ~ ~ ~

Too bad Retro has to find his own understanding before he can accept his sexual tastes. It wreaks all kind of havoc…but it makes a great story! 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy reading.

Siobhan Muir Paranormal Romance Author of the Cloudburst, Colorado Series
The Weird, the Wild, and the Wicked.

Kick-ass adventure with hot sex.

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Guest Author Emerald: What’s in a Label?

What’s in a Label?
Subjectivity in Art and Life
by Emerald

I’ve never considered myself a romance author (even an erotic romance author)—probably, admittedly, because as in life, the word “romantic” seems foreign and perplexing to me. I’ve never felt particularly romantically oriented in real life, and I sense my inclinations in writing have tended to reflect that. Though I have written—sometimes deliberately—stories that would likely be perceived and have indeed been published as erotic romance, in an underlying, foundational way, I still experience sex as the foremost focus. The sexual urge, connection, and/or action is how I am perceiving and conveying what is occurring between the characters. Genre-wise, I identify as an erotica rather than a romance author.

Thus, a few weeks ago when I had the utter joy and privilege to attend the inaugural Hot Mojave Knights (HMK) Romance Reader Event in Las Vegas as a featured author (at the very flattering and appreciated invitation from co-organizer Siobhan Muir), I felt some concern that I would seem out of place. I took care to emphasize my more romantic work there, but I was awash in a very new crowd of people who were far more familiar with and oriented toward the featured genre of the convention than I was.

I’ll get back to that.

The Cougar BookOne of my favorite things about HMK (and I’m not just saying this because it’s their blog—seriously!) was meeting the couple that writes as Adriana Kraft. Because we were in The Cougar Book (edited by Jolie du Pre and published by Logical-Lust) together back in 2010, I would have found this cool anyway. But I was blown away by how delightful and extraordinary I found talking to both of them regardless of our mutual publication. Conversing with them (especially when we got to sit beside each other for Sunday’s book signing) was one of the most glorious things about HMK for me.

Adriana Kraft and I also got to be on the erotica panel together, along with Marla Monroe (at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, woo-hoo!). I anticipated and enjoyed speaking about our perceptions of the distinctions between romance and erotica. Then someone asked the panelists about our perspective around the difference(s) between erotica and porn.

While this is a question I’ve appreciated answering, for some reason it took me by surprise in this context. I was nonetheless delighted to receive it and that someone had thought to ask it.

The first thing I said is also the first thing I’ll reiterate here, which is that I have observed some of my highly esteemed colleagues offer compelling and articulate responses to this that diverge from my own, and I want to offer space for that. I haven’t experienced this conversation as antagonistic; we just disagree. The perspective I offer, obviously, is how I see it, but I don’t feel disturbed that others see it differently.

I profess no difference between erotica and porn. For one thing, I find any proposed distinctions deeply subjective in nature, which contributes to my not feeling strongly about somehow “defining” either as opposed to the other or attempting to draw some hard line between them. But probably the bigger reason is that it has often seemed to me that the word “porn” has a negative connotation in much of society, and for me it simply doesn’t. I do not experience any embarrassment or resistance to being associated with porn and don’t feel it’s a label from which I need to exert effort to separate my work.

The first two listed definitions of pornography in the online version of Merriam-Webster are 1) “the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement” and 2) “material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement.”

Works for me.

In a larger context, I feel our society experiences and exhibits so much repression and shame around sexuality that areas of labor that overtly relate to it have tended to be denigrated, undermined, and/or underrated (to put it lightly). The idea that pornography, a vehicle intended to sexually arouse, is an inherently negative thing not only does not resonate with me but simply makes no sense to me. Thus, I feel no need to dissociate my own work from it by emphasizing a difference between it and erotica. If pornography fundamentally refers to works intending to sexually arouse, it seems hard to me to make a case that my writing is not at least sometimes that. And I see no reason to argue with it.

To return to my own concern about appearing out of place amidst a conglomerate of romance authors and readers, it later occurred to me that perhaps, like some other labels, the distinctions between erotica and erotic romance may be perceived more subjectively than I have tended to see them. To be sure, there are requirements that writing labeled romance must fulfill in order to take on that label. And my work sometimes doesn’t. For one thing, rather than the happily-ever-after ending imperative in romance, many of my stories do end up with happy characters, but it has much more to do with sex that just occurred than with any purported ongoing relationship between them. In some stories, the ending might even seem more ambiguous than happy. But I have also written stories that seem to fit the general erotic romance delineation, and perhaps my own wariness about whether I’m doing that “right” is less significant than how readers experience it.

As a lovely incidental affirmation, the week after I arrived home, I received a contract for the story I submitted for consideration for Best Erotic Romance 2014, edited by Kristina Wright and forthcoming from Cleis Press. I am thrilled that my story “Rules” will be included in it when it releases early next year. 🙂

All labels aside, as it turned out, the concerns I felt about my place at HMK seemed not only unfounded but to actually reflect one of the most rewarding aspects of my experience there. I’ve been to conferences where I know most of the attendees and presenters. I have found these extraordinary, of course, just as I did this one, but there was an unmistakably different flavor being among so many unfamiliar names and faces. It didn’t take long for me to discover that more than anything else, the true gift of being at Hot Mojave Knights was the opportunity to be exposed to and meet so many new people—in this particular case, new, extraordinary, fabulous people. That there are all these authors out there of whom I was unaware and that I simultaneously got to meet and spend time with in person was a breathtaking delight.

Even though I was excited about going and prepared for it in various ways for months, I still found myself astonished by how magnificent a time I had at HMK 2013. It was a truly splendid event, and it was an honor beyond words for me to be a featured author there—all genres aside.

Emerald is an erotic fiction author and general advocate for human sexuality as informed by her deep appreciation of the beauty, value, and intrinsic nature of sexuality and its holistic relation to life. Her work has been featured in anthologies published by Cleis Press, Mischief, and Logical-Lust, and she serves as an assistant newsletter editor and Facebook group moderator for Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW). She supports reproductive choice, sex worker rights, and sexual freedom and has been known to blog about these and other subjects at her website, The Green Light District.

Find Emerald on:

Twitter (@Emerald_theGLD)
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon

 

Guest Blogger ~ Shiloh Saddler

Today we’re thrilled to welcome to our pages debut author Shiloh Saddler, here to tell us about her new historical release. Leave a comment to enter for her giveaway!

An Unusual Couple

Today it isn’t unusual in the United States for a woman to be married to another woman, or for a woman to be with another woman as a life partner. Gay rights have come a long way, and yes there is still a long way to go.

My debut novel The Virgin Madam takes place in Bitterroot Flats, California in 1879. During this time it was definitely considered sinful to have intimate relations with the same sex and there were many laws on the books making it a crime.

Laura Rutherford inherits her papa’s brothel after he is murdered. Becoming the madam makes controlling her urges for the working women even more difficult. She fights these thoughts and thinks she is a freak until she meets Josephine “Joe” Bascum who shares her desire to share her life with another woman.

Josephine, dressed as a cowboy, walks into the brothel looking for a room to stay the night. She’s lived her life for many years as a man. I’ve read many historicals where one of the ladies has a boyish frame and parades around town as a man. I know based on research that some women actually did do this. It is the only safe way Joe can be with a woman and it fit her tomboy personality well. From their first meeting she realizes the woman she wants is Laura.

Excerpt:

“You’ll run into the furniture if you don’t watch where you’re going.”

I opened my eyes, my head naturally snapping toward the voice. Sitting emerged in the tub was Mr. Bascum—or rather Miss Bascum. I blinked at her small exposed bosom. “You’re, you’re a she.”

She laughed, the pleasant noise reverberating through the room. “Name’s Josephine, but don’t go spreading it around.”

“Why are you dressed as a man?”

Josephine let out a deep sigh. “That is a long story. The short answer is I’m safer as a man, and society frowns on a woman riding horses astride and handling a gun.”

“I see.” And now I knew why I was attracted to this stranger—she was a beautiful woman with blue eyes I could easily lose myself in.

I looked at the sudsy water in the tub, hiding the lower half of her body. It had been a long time since I had taken a bath. Papa let the working ladies bathe before me. They brought in money; I didn’t.

“You may share the bath with me,” Josephine said, “water being scarce and all.” She spoke casually as if it was a commonplace occurrence.

I averted my gaze immediately. I’m not sure why. Fire spread across my skin from my cheeks to my ears to my neck. Suddenly seeing Josephine naked as the day she was born seemed wrong. I had seen plenty of naked girls growing up in the brothel. I had seen even more since I took over running the place. But Josephine wasn’t just another naked girl; I wanted her, which made her proposition dangerous. I was afraid my sinful lust would show. Sharing a bath with this beautiful woman might be too much temptation.

Josephine smiled playfully and beckoned me over with a finger. “Nothing improper,” she said, “unless you want.”

I gulped air. How far would improper go? A teasing touch or something more?

Blurb:

After a vicious outlaw murders her father, Laura Rutherford sees no future beyond running the family brothel and kowtowing to the local gang. Not even marriage offers escape. No man can compete with the beautiful women who dance the can-can for her each night…at least not until a gentle stranger sweeps in and opens her eyes to desires too long denied.

Joe Bascum stumbles into Bitterroot Flats looking for a place to hide from a gunman out for blood. When the innocent Madame from the local brothel offers a bed and bath, Joe accepts hoping to show the buttoned-up beauty just how right forbidden desire can feel.

When danger escalates, can Laura help Joe defeat the famous Fletcher gang, or is she destined to live a lonely life as the virgin madam?

Buy Links:

Amazon UK    Amazon    All Romance    Decadent

Author Bio:

Shiloh Saddler likes to do research for her steamy romances first hand. She has invented a time machine and travels back to the 19th century on a regular basis. There are experimental settings on her time machine which could propel her into the future and even other worlds. She believes love and a good book makes anything possible.

Social Media Links:

History in the Hot Lane Blog: http://shilohsaddler.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShilohSaddler

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shiloh.saddler?fref=ts

Giveaway:

Comment with your email addy and you could win a copy of The Virgin Madam. The winner will get a copy in any e-book format they wish. Can’t think of anything to say? I don’t mind if you just say hi. Good luck!

Click on the graphic below to link to other stops on the tour – the more you comment, the greater your chances to win!

 
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