Category Archives: erotica

New Release: Polar Shift (a lesbian novellette)

Polarshift

After a series of collaborative anthologies (like Anything She Wants, Sweat, A Christmas to Remember, Cougars, Bossy, Forbidden Fruit and Opposites Attract), my latest work for the wonderful ladies at Ladylit Publishing is all my own. A 15.000 word/ 50 page novellette about a woman who discovers her attraction to a very unlikely partner.

Polar Shift is about overcoming prejudice and finding unexpected treasures, it’s about tenderness and gender identity, orientation and all that goodness. And yes, it’s a little bit about bdsm, too.

Blurb:

Kaylah Shaw is everything Megan never wanted: impatient and abrasive, too tall and groomed to an unnatural perfection. One encounter is enough to last the failed photographer a lifetime. When she moves into Megan’s apartment building, however, Kaylah shows up at her door, with her smooth, long legs and a compelling smile, and surprises her with the request for a photoshoot. Finding some undeniable quality at the bottom of her dark eyes, Megan agrees, never expecting that Kaylah would take control of the shoot, with gentle but unerring dominance, and open her up to a world never explored before.

 

Polarshiftsmaller

 

Price: $2.99

Available from
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Amazon AUS

[More to come]

Add it to your Goodreads shelf >>

The post New Release: Polar Shift (a lesbian novellette) appeared first on Laila Blake.

Forbidden Fruit Blog Tour and Interview

I’ve had the exciting honor of being included in Forbidden Fruit: Stories of Unwise Lesbian Desire and, today, the equally exciting pleasure of welcoming Axa Lee, author of “The Clinton County Horse Thief Society,” also included in this fantastic anthology. Enjoy!

ffcb1) What started you writing erotica?

I’ve always written—my grandma’s favorite story is once I learned to write the alphabet I told her that I wanted to write a story, if she would spell the words for me. At one point, when I was still in elementary school, my aunt said I should write smut books and make lots of money. Well part of her advice stuck I guess, because when I started seriously writing during the time while my offspring was an infant and we were much stuck at home together, erotica was the genre I felt most comfortable writing.

2) Besides erotica, what other genres do you enjoy writing?

Aside from writing undergrad papers and job applications, I’ve dabbled in literary fiction, attempted contemporary, and have a god-awful draft of an urban fantasy novel somewhere. I swore I’d never write time travel, but after reading The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggerand Synchronic edited by David Gatewood, (and watching way too much Dr. Who during the Offspring’s first year of life) I’ve started messing around with time and the nature of memory and grief. I also enjoy westerns, leaning more toward Molly Gloss and Annie Proulx than Louis L’Amour. Historical-fiction has long been a passion of mine.

3) When you’re not writing, what are you doing? 

Oh I manage to keep myself busy. We have a family farm with 30+ head of cow/calf pairs and I have an off-farm job as well. I review books for a couple places, preserve food, sketch badly, do Insanity workouts, and spend a lot of time herding a precocious toddler. (Aren’t toddlers all precocious by definition?). The Spousal-Type Creature and I spend time together whenever we can. And adult beverages usually make an appearance somewhere late in the day. ;-)

4) What is your most outlandish, ridiculous fantasy (erotic/romantic/sexual/otherwise)?

One that involves my Spousal-Type Creature, Shakira, and Kati Parry.
Or else a nap lol.

5) What was the inspiration behind your story?

Happy accident really, I’d been reviewing a book on horse-thief societies then saw the call for submissions and got this vivid image of this girl peering up at me from under her broad-brimmed hat. So I had to know more about her. Also I’ve read almost all of Molly Gloss’s fiction, so some of her heroines stuck in my head. Only she can somehow manage to keep her characters’ clothes on. I kind of admire that. There seems to be no lack of naked people in my imagination (laughs).

Excerpt of The Clinton County Horse Thief Society:

The call comes in by the post rider. Inside, my stomach flutters and tightens. I work to control my breathing. I keep my face blank, hidden beneath the brim of my hat until I can look up at him and nod once in acknowledgement. It might not be her, I reason. It might be someone else. But as I swallow past the urgent lump in my throat, I admit to myself that there’s really no one else that it could be.

I set down my hoe, stand and stretch my back. The kinks pop as I  straighten. I whistle Little Joe, the black pinto, up out of the lower pasture, and trudge up to the house for a change of clothes, some water and victuals, and my pistols.

I tell Momma I’ll be back when I can.

“How long this time?”

I shrug, toying with a button on my sleeve, not meeting her gaze.

“No way to be sure.”

“I wish you wouldn’t go.”

But since Pa died, the only one to go is me.

“Take care of your ma,” he said. “Take care of the horses.” Like him, I don’t much like thievery, especially of a man’s horses. That’s why, when these calls come, there’s the conflict in my belly, like two cats sparring in a sack.

***

The next stop on the Forbidden Fruit blog tour is Lisabet Sarai at http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/ who is interviewing Harper Bliss. Check out all the interviews on the tour at http://forbiddenfruitbook.wordpress.com.

Leave a comment on any post in the Forbidden Fruit blog tour to be entered into a random draw to win one of these great prizes.  Prizes include a paperback copy of Girls Who Score, lesbian sports erotica edited by Ily Goyanes, Best Lesbian Romance 2011 edited by Radclyffe, an ebook of Ladylit’s first lesbian anthology Anything She Wants, and a bundle of three mini-anthologies from Ladylit:Sweat, A Christmas to Remember and Bossy.  All of these titles contain some stories written by the fabulous contributors to Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire. You must include an email address in  your comment to be entered into the draw.

LAUNCH SPECIAL PRICE ONLY FROM AMAZON: for one week only, 5 – 11 September 2014, purchase Forbidden Fruit:stories of unwise lesbian desire for the super-special price of 0.99c.

Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire is available direct from the publisher, Ladylit (http://www.ladylit.com/books/forbidden-fruit/) or from Amazon, Smashwords, and other good retailers of ebooks.  Check out http://www.ladylit.com/books/forbidden-fruit/ for all purchasing information.


New Release: The Big Book of Submission

Today, I have the honor introducing you to another new anthology I have the pleasure of being a part of. The amazing Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor, wonderful writer, blogger and all around bad ass, has done it again and brought together a real gem of short erotic fiction, especially for those of us who like a little spice in our life. 

The Big Book of Submission comprises 69 short stories, glimpses into the world of bdsm and submission. And that’s exactly its strongest point. I am a huge fan of brevity — and not because of my generations infamously short attention span. A novel, even a regular short story takes you on a journey, from beginning to end. But these stories just spirit you away for a few minutes and leave your mind all fired up, ready to imagine a whole world. They inspire the reader. They quicken the pulse and leave you wanting, and that’s exactly what makes them so delicious.

Laila-after-the-Dentist holding copy of The Big Book of Submission.

Laila-after-the-Dentist holding copy of The Big Book of Submission.

Isn’t that what we are looking for in erotic fiction? Something that gets our own imagination going?

I highly recommend this collection, especially if you’re on the look-out for something a little different, for a whirlwind of different fantasies to immerse yourself into. Besides, check out this amazing line-up of writers (complete with snippets from every single story!). Oh, and if you don’t want to take just my word for it – here is a whole list of people endorsing it on their beautiful blogs!

For my own story, Housebroken, I was inspired by a photograph of a young woman, lying in a patch of sunlight on dark hardwood floors. Dust particles made the air shimmer, and there was this stunning contrast between her soft, light skin and the hard, dark floor-boards beneath her.
She was like a kitten, enjoying the sun on her belly. I wanted to write about this kitten girl and her mistress, and their loving and kinky life that allowed her to be so uninhibited, as to lay naked in a patch of sun.

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Available from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk!

 

Virtual Book Tour – The Big Book of Submission

I’m excited to host this stop for this blog tour because I’M IN THIS BOOK. Let’s face it: ultimately I’m all kinds of selfish, and getting to do a blog tour almost for myself? MAGICAL.

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In all seriousness, The Big Book of Submission is a book I would host even if I’d not had the pleasure of being included. Rachel Kramer Bussel is one of those editors with the golden touch: she has an unapproachable ability to select not just great stories, but a variety, too, even within a theme, so that no one leaves the pages unsatisfied. To be a part of that mixture is a little like winning an erotica writer prize: I’M IN A RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL COLLECTION.

My favorite part of the book, though, is how short all the stories are. The love is multi-faceted: I’m an economical writer and, as such, hate word minimums; I love the challenge of shorter stories; and, in this case, you get more bang for your buck.

Writing my story, Brunch, was a challenge because of this. I had to construct a cohesive story, with a beginning, middle and end, in the space of 1100 words – and make it hot as hell. In writing erotica, I’ve found the biggest difficulty to be characterization: I like three dimensional, interesting people, in mainstream and erotic fiction, and I often struggle to balance the smut with that. Give me even less space and the effort doubles – in great fun, though, which may come as a surprise. It’s a bit like, maybe, a mathematician being given an especially difficult equation: half the fun is in the effort, and in the challenge you face.

The Big Book of Submission is chock full of writers who stepped up to the plate and swung a home run (I’m big on metaphors this morning, aren’t I?). Not every story will be your thing, but every one is well-written, sexy, and super fun. 

tbboscover

Purchase your copy of The Big Book of Submission here!

Want to read more from some of the other featured authors? Follow the rest of the blog tour!


New Release: Trading Tides

Remember a few months ago, when I talked about writing this a lot? Well, Trading Tides is finally out now. And in order to celebrate the release, we have a new series edition cover for Driftwood Deeds as well! :D

Detail of female hands tied up

Remember Driftwood Deeds? Because you should definitely get a copy and read it, if I may say so myself, hehe – if just so that you can check out Trading Tides!

DriftwoodDeedssmallDriftwood Deeds
(Breaking in Waves #1)

Release Date: 9th December 2013

When journalist Iris Ellis visits a sleepy seaside town to interview recluse screenwriter Paul Archer, he offers her insights into never acted upon fantasies of dominance and submission. Too curious to deny herself a taste of them, Iris gives herself up to Paul’s gentle guidance, but when she realizes that a taste can never be enough, she must find the courage to ask for what she needs or risk losing it all.

Called a “gem for fans of BDSM romance and the perfect starting point for readers new to the genre” by RT Book Reviews, Driftwood Deeds is a novella of sexual awakening as well as consent and communication in bdsm.

Publisher: A Hotter State

Amazon.com \\ Amazon.co.uk \\ Amazon.de
B&N \\ Kobo \\ ARe Romance \\ Smashwords \\ Goodreads
Or set the mood on the
Driftwood Deeds Pinterest Board and Playlist

DriftwoodDeedssmallTrading Tides
(Breaking in Waves #2)

Release Date: 17th July 2013

Love, they say, is magnified by absence.
After the dream-like quality of Iris’ visit at Paul’s sea-side home, she is back in the routine and drudgery of her city life. Struggling to put a label on what they have together, they phone and write letters, trying to sustain the flame, until they can make time to be in each other’s arms again. But once they are, how do you pull back into proportions a love so magnified it burns?

Publisher: A Hotter State

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Amazon.com \\ Amazon.co.uk \\ Amazon.de
B&N \\ Kobo \\ ARe Romance \\ Smashwords \\ Goodreads
Or set the mood on the
Trading Tides Pinterest Board and Playlist

 

Let’s talk about love. Insta-love.

Almost all my characters suffer from what I understand is a fatal flaw in romance novels.

Almost all my characters have a tragic slant towards insta-love.

Now, I don’t actually write romance, as far as I would define it, although Driftwood Deeds
comes pretty close. I think, I write novels with love stories in their side or main plots, usually some kind of genre cross-over, because that’s what makes me happy. But there is still that romantic connection, the nod to everybody who does like to read about love. Like me, like you – like almost everybody it seems, considering that even very male-oriented staples usually feature some kind of love story, love interest or love-related motivation. And why wouldn’t it?
medium_2834306912After (and often enough before) the basic necessities for survival are satisfied, love seems to be one of the forces in our lives that creates the most change, the most flux, drama, happiness, anxiety and contentment, all at once. It’s a literary gold mine. What would 1984 be without the strange, crooked love story between Winston and Juliet? Or even Fight Club, without Marla Singer? It surprised me at the time when I read that Chuck Palahniuk categorized his novel as a love story. It made a crazy amount of sense, when I read it again.

So this insta-love business. I understand why it’s a somewhat hated trope. It smacks a little bit of neglect, of giving your characters something good too easily. And maybe that’s true. Sometimes. But avoiding insta-love completely, would also remove my personal experience of love from my writing. And I don’t want to do that. I want my writing to be real, and honest. Not so personal that you can read some of my stories and feel like I just put my life’s story on your shoulders, but personal enough to transport truth.
For me, love was always quick. And it takes a while to understand that my personal experience is not everybody else’s. So for a long time, the idea of insta-love baffled me. Do we really need reasons for falling in love? Do we need conflict and emotional back and forth? It’s never been that way for me – the reasons and the drama came later.

I’ve read a lot about introverts and emphatic and sensitive people recently, ostensibly in order to put a nicer spin on a lot of my character traits, redefining them for myself as assets. But I came across something interesting, which was that highly sensitive people often report falling in love really fast and head-over-heels intensely. Maybe because there is something about our nervous systems that is easy overwhelmed in general (loud parties, a problem, that news report about the suffering after an earthquake) and of course love can be the most overwhelming of all.

Maybe it’s the romance novel expectation: when the plot is the love story, why throw the prize away a few pages after they meet? I understand that rationally, but in every other way I find that hugely problematic.
For one thing, why is that the prize? Surely the prize is actually being with that person, and realizing you can actually make it work.

It also bothers me, when (usually) the girl doesn’t like him at first, thinks he’s a bit brutish or arrogant or stupid or whatever, and then we spend a novel reading about how she was wrong and he got her anyway. Why do we insist on telling women not to trust their instincts? Instincts are good! We should foster them, try to divide them from our prejudices, hone them and allow them to influence our decisions.
Another way love is oven deferred in books, is due to pride. And again, I understand about not giving away the prize and all, but I actually like reading about people who are open and generous about their feelings. Who don’t hold onto them like little old misers with their pennies. Who are open to falling in love, even if it hurts; who laugh, even at slightly stupid jokes; who cry when something is sad rather than refusing to feel. Why do we so often look down on people who feel.

So you fall for someone and the worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work out, you get rejected, you find out he isn’t really that great… yeah, that stuff hurts. And we can learn to deal with that. Especially when we are open about that pain, too.

BTLOTM -- color240x360In By the Light of the Moon, Moira and Owain, once they find a connection, fall in love hard and fast. And I never considered that this might be insta-love. Especially because she is a 19-year-old who’s never been in love before. Isn’t that how we fall in love for the first time? Hard and fast, without reason or pride, absolutely at the mercy of this avalanche of hormones and joy and panic that spreads through our bodies at the sight of his smile, at the feel of his first touch?

I still fall in love like that.

I’m a grown-up now, so I know not to say it. I know that I can only say I am in love with someone when I am ready to make a commitment and, better yet, when they have said it first so I know they are ready for a commitment – but all that is just my head talking, my cultural programming, the knowledge of acceptable word usage. So I use different words, but the feeling is still there.
The truth is there isn’t one way to love, or one definition. Love can be all sort of things, and go through all sorts of phases – but that first flutter, the overwhelming feeling that this person could be someone incredible, why is that so underrated anymore?

Of course it’s not as stable, it’s not a promise, it’s not a guarantee, but isn’t that beauty in it? Isn’t that something that can grow? And isn’t the growth an interesting story, too?
I love Pride & Prejudice, but I still want to shake Lizzie and Darcy because they are wasting so much precious time, so many moments together. They even manage to almost destroy the sweet insta-love between Jane and Bingly with their pride and rationality. And I want to shake them for that, too.

And yeah, I hate insta-love too when it’s about superficial stuff. When love comes from the way someone wears their hair, or the cocky smile on his face. But that’s not all we perceive. I think after even evening together, we can see so much in a person. In their opinions, their jokes, their reactions, the little nuances in their voice, especially in their voice.
I think we should pat ourselves and our characters on the back and trust a little more, give some weight to first impressions and instincts, to sudden rushes of feeling.

Sure, they’ll lead us astray sometimes. But that’s no reason to stop feeling.

photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren and mohammadali via photopin cc

Ms. Writinglove or: How I learned to stop procrastinating and just write dammit

I write this with a sore wrist and a body rather severely lacking sleep. I am not sure where the former came from, but the latter seems to be my condition the older I get. It’s genetic, to a degree, but also the inability of my brain to just shut the F up and let me sleep already.

Being as it is the end of the year, sore wrist and sleepiness aside, I thought it appropriate to do a bit of a recap of the last year – or, at the very least, a bit of waxing on months past. I have a rather poor memory, so I may rely heavily on poetic license. I promise I’ll try to avoid claiming a close friendship with Beyonce.

I wrote a lot this year. Given the current status of my publication career (read: very small), I know it is difficult for people to see, let alone understand, the sheer amount of writing I’ve done this year. It’s a little frustrating to know the number (that’s right, I went and totaled it*) and have people still need to ask “Where have you been published?”

The truth is: this is my reality. I’m not going to claim that it hasn’t been a hard slog this year. I did not have the kind of success I would have liked (and maybe, in my wilder “interviewing myself while showering” fantasies) once I really buckled down and made an effort in my writing career. Submitting my work had mixed results, most negative. I have, for the first time in my life, earned some version of an income from my writing, as small as it is. I have seen my work in print, and had readers give me good reviews.

Still, it’s hard. This year alone, I’ve gotten around 50 rejections, most of them form, and completely unhelpful. The few times I (and often in conjunction with Laila) received a rejection that strayed even slightly from form, it was rarely anything concretely constructive – for the same manuscript, different reasons for rejection were given, and none of them were something necessarily fixable, like style, like setting. There is a sort of burning that comes with multiple rejections. You start to chafe a bit.

Still, I wrote. I had a spate, here and there, where I would double down, hide out, and refuse to write, like a child who thinks refusing to do homework will punish her teacher. I contemplated giving up, finding a career that involved leaving the house – or just moving to the mountains and becoming a goat herd. I pouted, I tantrumed, I berated myself.

I went back to writing. I say that it’s the only thing I’m good at, but it’s also the only thing I like doing. Writing is a joy, and writing is my job. It’s difficult to escape either, or give them up easily.

This year, I wrote collaboratively with Laila and, together, we wrote one novella, and three full-length manuscripts, including one that we are furiously editing as we speak, in order to release through independent press means next year. On my own, I wrote two full-length adult fiction novels, one young adult magical realism story, and nearly two dozen short stories, both mainstream and erotic: one, “Steps,” appeared in Anything She Wants; “Invincible” was included in The Dying Goose Fall edition. In the next year, I will be appearing in (among others not currently listed): Best Bondage Erotica 2014, Book Lovers: Sexy Stories from Under the Covers, and A Princess Bound: Naughty Fairy Tales for Women.

I suppose the biggest, most important lesson 2013 taught me was the thing I’ve been saying all along: write. You have to write. There is a success in writing despite all odds, and there is a success in believing in what you are doing, despite any concrete, sharable outcome.

And, really, when you do finally have that outcome, it is all the sweeter.

2014 is already setting up to present new challenges and opportunities alike. I’m excited, even as my more negative side already wants to hide under the desk. I’m setting myself some new goals, and looking forward to the many plans I’ve made.

I hope your last year was as bizarrely enriching as mine was. Or, at least, that you got to drink a lot during it. Peace out. I’ll see you next year.

*In totaling my word count for the year, I only included finished pieces. This excluded a half-finished novella, the start of two different sequels, an abandoned novel, and at least 6 unfinished short stories. Taking that hit into account, my finished work, this year, totaled 465,455 words. BOOYAH.


Explanations

We’re so sorry we’ve not posted a new podcast in nearly a month! With the holidays upon us, our fair Laila landed in the hospital and only now just got out! Pour one for her missing gallbladder, or toast her recovery by buying your very own copy of her new novella, Driftwood Deeds! We’ll be back as soon as we’re able with more chats, rants, and all around interesting (we hope) fun. Stay tuned!


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