Saturday, October 26, 2013

What is domination?


It is a word that I see more and more often in the romance genre, but rarely do I see it actually illustrated or taken to its logical end.

Do not mistake me. I am not objecting to the concept. I fully understand the appeal. The ultra-masculine “alpha” qualities possessed by “Dom” heroes are attractive ones, from the supreme confidence to the protectiveness to the possessiveness, and due to the growing popularity of the BDSM sub-genre, it is clear that I am not the only one to find the domination appealing.

But they always pull their punches.

This is not to say that there are not graphic depictions of all sorts and levels of Dom/sub relationships, but I have never read any that actually portrays the final step, the ultimate in domination. There are all sorts of stories about collaring, about sadomasochism, about spanking, even about Total Power Exchange (which is where the Dom assumes all authority over the sub). But never the ultimate.

And what is that? Impregnation.

Those artists and their fanciful renditions!

Oh, there are stories where the heroine gets pregnant, even stories where she gets pregnant accidentally, it not having been planned but by the failure/forgetting of some sort of birth prevention. But I have never read any story wherein the hero simply chose to impregnate the heroine and did so, without asking and/or begging her first.

How manly...where can I get one?

But “her body, her choice”! But “feminism”! But – but nothing. The whole point of the Dom/sub relationship is that the sub's body belongs to the Dom. He is the one who chooses what sorts of pleasure she receives and when. Often the Dom will even forbid the sub to wear clothing (in private) because he wants to see that body, which is his. 

So why does this boundary not get crossed, not even in a sub-genre devoted to pushing and crossing boundaries?

It is ingrained now in the modern psyche that the decision to have a child is entirely the woman's, with the man having no say. This is due both to the ubiquity of contraception, both male and female, and to the existence of legalized abortion. Even if a man managed to impregnate a woman, despite her contraceptive use, she could simply abort the child. Pregnancy is the woman's decision to make, and even a Dom, it seems, cannot get past that. A Dom can call his sub “pet”, can put a collar around her neck and call her his property, can choose what clothing she wears – or even if she wears any at all. He can physically discipline her. But he cannot impregnate her?

Yeah, good luck finding that picture.


I do not have a Dom/sub relationship with my husband. It's too much trouble, and I'm not into pain. But, to be honest, he is a dominating sort of man. And in my world, the world of a devout Catholic, neither abortion nor contraception shows up. At all.

What can I say? He got me pregnant – again. He has taken that step of ultimate domination, has shown his authority over my body by forcing me to bear his seed. So Baby #7 is on the way! And, by the way, I am delighted. I enjoy my husband's masculinity, his authority, his power, and the fact that he has these things does not in any way diminish me. I rejoice in his Kingship, and it makes me a Queen.

Can I please read a Dom/sub story wherein the hero shows this ultimate dominion? I would love to read one.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Gods above and below...please don't let me be weak!!

I am a woman. I do not usually like to draw attention to this fact on my blog, as it rarely seems pertinent to what I am discussing. This time, however, though it oughtn't to make a difference, it does.

I am beginning to wonder if many women now are … stupid. Why would I write something like this? And why would my own sex matter?

To answer the second question first, my sex matters because if I were a male, my words would be dismissed as those of a misogynist – and that without taking into consideration if I might have a point. Were I a man, my words would be dismissed unheard because of my sex. Ironic?

You have facial hair. Your argument is invalid.

As for why I would write this, it is because after one “maverick” heroine too many, I burst out in this diatribe. The heroines I see in fiction today are what make me suspect the stupidity of women. Not because the heroines themselves are stupid – they never are – but because of the attitudes held not only by the characters but presumably also by the readers who continue to purchase the books.

These heroines are always supposedly both “strong” and “independent”, needing no one's approval and doing exactly as they please. This is, also supposedly, what makes them “strong”. However, there is always one thing that the heroines seem to dread above all others: being perceived as weak. Surely that is all right, though?

Not exactly. Fearing being thought weak is … weak. If I care whether or not I am thought “weak”, if I adjust my behavior to avoid being thought weak by others, then I am weak, altering my actions to take account of others' opinions.

You're welcome.

This is without taking account of the definition of “strong” as “doing what I please”. Really? It's strong to do what I feel like doing? To seek my own desire ahead of anything else? Is that not the default of humans? Being selfish is not the same as being strong, and oftentimes the more difficult action, the one that would require more strength, is the sacrificial one, the one that places another ahead of oneself. But because selflessness has been accounted, rightly or wrongly, a feminine quality, it is now equally dismissed as “weak”. (This opens another whole issue, that of why feminine=weak in the minds of women, but that is a blog for another day.)

I cannot get away from the fact that fearing others' opinions, even if the opinion one fears is that of being considered weak, is weak. How is that the women reading these stories do not see this? What quality in their minds prevents them from seeing what is otherwise so evident?

However, in fairness, I must acknowledge that I don't know if men notice this, either. I dread the conclusions I must draw if no one can actually see an inherent contradiction.

“Just as one generation could prevent the very existence of the next generation, by all entering a monastery or jumping into the sea, so one set of thinkers can in some degree prevent further thinking by teaching the next generation that there is no validity in any human thought.” – G.K. Chesterton

Have we gone so far as this?


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sakura and No Future

We live in Japan, and we have six children. These two facts are unusual for two reasons: (1) we're not Japanese, and (2) six children in one family is unheard of here.

When people see us out and about with all the kids, people actually come up to us and ask if they're all ours. "No, we picked this one up in the supermarket parking lot, and this one just followed us home one day," we sometimes joke. But the old ladies asking us just blink. I guess it's an American joke, as the natives call it.

But the fact that Japanese--who are not given to talking to strangers, especially foreigners--stop to talk to us about our children is a pretty strong indicator that we're doing something rather strange. That is, having children. Lots of them.

I know that birth rates are declining all over the world in industrialized countries, but in Japan, it takes on a whole new quality. After all, the Japanese have no desire to open their borders to massive immigration, but they are also equally averse to having more children.

So they're kind of stuck. And they're not sure what to do about it. One thing the government does is try to entice its citizenry to have more babies by doling out a child-welfare allowance every four months. It's great for my family -- we collect quite a bit over the course of a year, but it's not really meant for us, is it? And the Japanese aren't taking the bait.

I asked my students what they think should be done about the population crisis looming. They said they didn't know. From where I sit, there are only two solutions: have more babies (iyada), or allow for massive immigration (iyada). Iyada means "no" or "I hate that idea" in Japanese. They can't both be iyada; you have to solve the problem somehow.

And that's when my students let me know what they really think: babies are expensive and troublesome, so the government should do more to help us take care of them. More free money etc etc. I laughed nervously, assuming they were joking, but when no one shared my mirth, my heart sank. They were serious.

The sakura might be the most beautiful thing about Japan. I love going out with family and friends in the spring, sitting in the park, and looking up at the blossoms spreading on black branches across the clear sky. I go twice: the first time when the sakura have just bloomed and the second time when they've begun to fall. I sit on a mat and let the pink rain flutter down around me. Listening to the squealing of children as they chase the blossoms, trying to catch them. 

Children. Fewer of them every year.

They are the sakura. Or, rather, Japan is. When the trees are in bloom, they are the most beautiful sight -- breathtaking even from a crowded commuter train as you look out over the city. For two weeks, Tokyo is transformed. And then the sakura fall, and the long month of May stretches before you with no cherries in sight.

The trees have been designed that way -- non-fruit bearing cherry trees. Then they're not really cherry trees, are they? You could argue that they indeed are, but the sakura certainly have no future. They die, and all too soon.

The natural fruit of a marriage is children, and without them, a marriage, though valid and strong and good, is not what it could be. This is why we pity the childless, why we go to such lengths to help women conceive when they can't. The fertility rate of the Japanese female is 1.1, the lowest in the world. And it's not because the women have trouble conceiving; it's because they're either just not or they're toddling down to the clinic to remove the unwanted inconvenience growing inside them.

I'm not here to preach about abortion or contraception; I'm just pointing out the facts. Japan is running out of people.

Fruitless marriages, and the nation now faces a crisis.

2012 saw the biggest population plunge on record: 284,000. There were only a million babies born in Japan in 2012 (and that stat includes foreigners'). With no children, Japan just keeps getting older. The elderly now outnumber children aged 14 and under.

No fruit. No future.

Our branches grow barer each year, and soon the tree will stand unflowering.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's All Right -- He's a Wolf!

Werewolves. They are everywhere. Vampires are still around, of course, but it seems like werewolves and the other were-creatures are ubiquitous. I edit more “shifter” (werewolf or weretiger or were-something) romances than probably any other single sub-genre, and they show no sign of slowing down.

I am not complaining. I like paranormals, and I have no quarrel with the concept. What I have found curious is why such stories are so common. Authors continue to write them because readers continue to read them. What is it about this particular take on the romance genre that has taken such a deep hold?

Because we're awesome?

I got my first hint when I read a review of one particular non-werewolf story wherein the reviewer complained of the hero's possessiveness and dominating nature. To paraphrase, the reviewer stated that it wasn't as if the hero were a werewolf or something to make his claiming of the heroine palatable. 

That put me on the track, and I have, I am convinced, found the source and fountainhead of the appeal of the shifter story (and a lot of these things apply to the vampires, too). 

A werewolf, or whatever type of shifter, is expected to have several qualities, and, across the board, they do. 

They are physically strong. This is not that remarkable, as this is common to romance heroes, but their physical strength far surpasses that of the heroine – and the heroine does not mind. Furthermore, the hero has a protective streak, which does not, somehow, irk the heroine. 

They are dominating and demanding. They want the heroine to belong to them only. “You are mine” is a common refrain among shifter heroes. They want to claim the heroine as their one-and-only “mate”. This does not bother the heroines, either. It is part of the werewolf's natural “mating” instinct. He scents his mate, and he claims her for his own. There are no ifs, ands, or buts, and though the heroine is often given a chance to refuse the hero, he gives this chance with the inner caveat that he has no intention of giving her up. If she refuses him, he will simply pursue her further.

Yes, yes. You can get away with it, too.
But you are from a backward, barbarian culture.

They are perfectly loyal. They tell the heroines that they will love her and her alone, for their whole lives long, that there is no other woman for them. And the heroines believe them. 

None of these things would fly if the heroes were just ordinary men. Physically stronger than the heroine might be permitted, but it would certainly not be allowed to come to the fore. It cannot be emphasized too heavily. In shifter stories, the hero's superiority in physical strength is not glossed over. It is reveled in. All this strength does not threaten her, though it can give her a pleasurable frisson during lovemaking. No, because the hero is a werewolf, his strength does not diminish hers. Furthermore, his desire to protect is accepted as one would accept an animal's perceived need to protect its mate. It does not say to the heroine that he considers her weak; it says to her that he considers her precious. This is not permitted to an “ordinary” hero. 

As for dominating and demanding – outside of BDSM, these things are straight up not allowed. (And BDSM is an interesting comparison to shifters to be explored later in this blog.) A hero who is demanding, who requires that the heroine “belong” to him, that she be his and his only in so many words, is not acceptable. The hackles on the readers would rise, and the book would be panned.

The loyalty of a werewolf hero is never in question. He is bonded to his mate, with some sort of natural and/or mystical attachment that nothing can break. Human heroes have to go through a lot to prove that they are loyal, that they can be trusted, because the default mode for the heroines is to assume that men are untrustworthy.

All of these qualities are, obviously, ones that the readers find attractive, or else they would not read the books. But these same qualities raise feminist alarms if they appear in men. In paranormal beings, these qualities are acceptable because by acknowledging the strength of a paranormal hero, the heroine does not lessen herself.

Do whatever you want to, baby! You're paranormal!

Apparently, by acknowledging such strength in an “ordinary” hero, she does. 

This brings us to the BDSM sub-genre.* I see a lot of this genre, too, and I find it curious that many of the same qualities as belong to the shifter heroes appear in the “Dom” heroes, but again, because this passes as part of an established sexual practice, it is all right. Over and over, “the sub has all the real power in the relationship” is pounded into the reader. In other words, the reader is assured that the heroine is not becoming weak by becoming a sub. 

It seems that there is in most modern readers a feminist streak that will leap on anything that might possibly be construed as making the hero the heroine's superior in any way, even the most superficial physical ways, or that will lash out at the slightest hint of control from the hero. But equally, it seems that these dominating, ultra-masculine qualities do appeal to these same readers. It is what they seem to want their men to be, but cannot admit this without the paranormal veneer. The competition between the sexes is too tense. 

This concerns me, societally speaking. What good is a feminism that will not allow a woman to admit to what she actually wants? 

*I am not addressing actual BDSM practices, as genuine BDSM is quite rare in romances. What you find instead is a layman's guess about what it is like, and the image is all that matters for the story. This pseudo-BDSM, where spanking and wearing a collar are the primary characteristics of the relationship, is what is common.


Friday, June 28, 2013

No Sympathy: The Abuse of Men

Since we have left Facebook, we are making an effort to blog more often, and that includes me. So now when a subject that weighs on me comes up, I am to blog about it. 

Which brings me to today's topic. I am an editor for Evernight Publishing, an awesome romance publisher, and one I am quite proud to work for. But one thing that I am seeing in more manuscripts that cross my desk – and from what I have seen from various other publishers as well – is male abuse. No, not the abuse of women by men. The abuse of men by women. 

Let me give you an example. (And, no, of course this is not taken from any manuscript I edited! It is merely an example, similar to many I see.)

Terry was furious. How dare Chris hide out here, trying to get Terry to take time off work just to come out? Didn't Chris care that the whole business deal could fall through if they weren't both present for the signing? 

“Terry!” Chris opened the door with a brilliant smile. “I was hoping you would come!” 

“You brat!” Terry, well-trained in martial arts and full of a boiling temper, gave a single, well-placed punch to Chris' jaw. 

The light in Chris' eyes flickered, but the smile stayed pasted on. “Come on in.” 

Terry swept in, ignoring the swelling bruise on Chris' jaw. After all, she deserved it.

This is terrible, and we should speak up about this horrible abuse.

Horrible, isn't it? The abuse victim, with her terror and her easy acceptance of the blame her abuser dishes out. I have never seen an incident like the one above, where a man hits a woman. I have seen, and more than once, incidents where the woman hits a man, like this: 

Terry was furious. How dare Chris hide out here, trying to get Terry to take time off work just to come out? Didn't Chris care that the whole business deal could fall through if they weren't both present for the signing? 

“Terry!” Chris opened the door with a brilliant smile. “I was hoping you would come!” 

“You brat!” Terry, well-trained in martial arts and full of a boiling temper, gave a single, well-placed punch to Chris' jaw. 

The light in Chris' eyes flickered, but the smile stayed pasted on. “Come on in.” 

Terry swept in, ignoring the swelling bruise on Chris' jaw. After all, he deserved it.

LOL! Aww, it's just a cute lovers' spat!

Doesn't that change the tenor of the whole passage, making it a light, funny piece, suitable for a romance novel? Doesn't that make it just a funny exchange between a pair of bickering lovers? Apparently, everyone seems to think so. But, for the life of me, I cannot see why. Why is abuse of men by women amusing? Why is it not taken seriously? In the past, this same horrible disparity still held true, as, for instance, in France in the 18th century if a husband was found to be battered, he “was made to wear an outlandish outfit and ride backwards around the village on a donkey” (Steinmetz & Lucca 1988). This fits with the still-prevalent modern idea that women are always the passive victims, men the horrible aggressors. Who would dare have suggested, even in 18th century France, that a battered wife have ridicule added to her burden of abuse? 

Did you know that in 1990, the then-governor of Ohio, Richard Celeste, granted clemency to 25 women who were in prison for assault or murder, based on the “Battered Woman Syndrome” for defense. Clearly, no man could claim “Battered Woman Syndrome” as his defense. (See the NY Times for the report on the clemency.)

Furthermore, does no one see that this makes spousal abuse a capital crime, one in which the victim is allowed to serve as executioner? These women had already been found guilty by a court of law and were serving out sentences for assault or even murder. 

In the UK, recent data from the Home Office and the British Crime Survey show that 40% of domestic violence victims are men. Many groups claim that men are not believed when they report abuse, which is actually not as often as it occurs. Though that claim could be hard to substantiate, what is easy to prove is that there are 7,500 refuges for battered women in the UK. There are 60 for men. And, no, the men don't get to use the women's shelters. 

And there is anger about this issue, you know, anger that anyone would dare to suggest it exists. In 1986, Strauss & Gelles conducted a study on abuse of husbands by wives, and they were actually “criticized for presenting statistics on violence by wives” (Strauss & Gelles, 1986). Can you imagine the outcry if a study were criticized for presenting statistics on violence by husbands? Why is it all right for a woman to hit a man?

Duh?! (oh, and it should be "man", not "men")

I have tried to reason with the authors of the pieces in which I find this violence, and unfortunately, the response I receive is one of incredulity and disbelief. The authors contend that they don't view this as abuse, and they maintain that their readers will not, either.

Am I alone in thinking that when one partner hits another, causing bruises and swelling, then later knocks the same partner flat on the ground, threatens further violence, and when the injured party adjusts all behavior to take account of the physical violence likely to come as a result, that we have a case of classic domestic abuse? Why does this become all right when the violent party is the female, the abused party the male?

What would happen if a man hit back? He would be considered a bully and a brute. How dare he hit a girl? But what is he supposed to do then? Leave? Telling a battered wife to leave is easy; her actually doing it, not so much. The position of an abused male partner is even more dire. Remember the statistic above about shelters? If an abused wife can manage to, after the cycle of abuse is established, get away, there are many places to send her, and there is counseling and sympathy available. That is good; that is as it should be. But why is there not such a thing for a man? A man who manages to break away from an abuser is on his own and out of luck. If he were to tell anyone about his reasons for leaving, he would be mocked and ridiculed.

You got beat up by a woman? LOL! You suck!

My own husband is, of course, not a battered spouse. <3 I defy any woman on earth to love her husband more than I love mine. But just because my husband is safe, does not mean that other women's husbands are. So, for the sake of those who dare not speak up on their own behalf, I want to speak. (mrs)

Steinmetz, Suzanne K. and Lucca, Joseph S. "Husband Battering" in Handbook of Family Violence Van Hasselt, Vincent B. et al. editors, Plenum Press, New York 1988, p. 233-246

Straus, M.A. & Gelles, R.J. "Societal change and change in family violence from 1975 to 1985 as revealed by two national surveys" Journal of Marriage and the Family 48, po. 465-479, 1986

Thursday, June 6, 2013

When You're Married to a Genius...

What do you do when you're just some ordinary chump married to a genius? I've heard that people can get quite defensive or try to play a game of one-upmanship, as if your relationship were some kind of competition. You might feel a bit -- or a lot -- intimidated by so much genius settling down on her pillow next to you every night.

So I've been asking myself over the last few months: why am I not intimidated by my wife's genius? Why have I never been locked in that all-too-common struggle to prove my own worth? I still don't have a good answer, but I think it has to do with our complementary relationship. She tells me I bring things to the table that she doesn't have, and through me she sees and experiences the world in a new way. And she, of course, completes me in ways that only she could.

My trip-partner at work.

I look at my wife and marvel. She teaches 10th, 8th, 6th, and 1st grades to our daughters, so she's juggling chemistry, reflexive pronouns, least common multiples, and phonics. She can explain passages in the Aeneid to one kid and then turn around and cheerfully read Go, Dog, Go! to another. She edits for Evernight, writes some of the most interesting and hottest fiction out there right now, and can help me with my university research of Visual Syntactic Text Formatting.

It's as if she's a dual-wielding battle goddess, with edits in one hand and her own fiction in the other. No, no. Wait. It's mama-duties in one hand and wifely-loving in the other. No, no. It's teaching in one and academic research in the other. Actually, I think she just has six hands. I'll have to look her over later...

Anyway, I get confused after a while and can't keep up. I've stopped trying. It's never been a competition. It's about love. I love her in the best way I know how, and she loves me better than any woman has ever loved a man. Ever. I guess that comes with the big brain. They say the brain is the biggest sex organ, so smart girls do it better.

You can't see me, but I'm nodding vigorously right now.

"Getting lucky" doesn't do justice to what she does with me. But here's the question I have for all the ladies. My wife likes it rough. She loves the domination, the way I play with her like a lion. She's my kitten, helpless in my hands. Is this because she's super smart, so she needs to be able to lose control? She needs to be conquered?  Is this common among intelligent women, or is it a peculiarity of my wife's personality?

Smart girls do it better, and as my wife is the smartest woman I know, I've never seen a better wife, lover, mother, teacher, researcher, writer, or editor.

Sometimes I need a day alone with her among the flowers
to remind her how much I love her.

Did I mention that her baking is to die for and that she speaks Japanese and Italian in addition to her native English? What can I say?

She does it best. Everything.
(mr ad)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Under Orders

Doris O'Connor is one of the best writers whose manuscripts pass my editor's desk, so I'm thrilled to have her back on my blog today! Take it away, Doris! (ad)

Thanks so much for having me here today.

My newest release is an office based romance that started as flash on my blog. I find pictures incredibly inspiring and a number of my flashes have now morphed into longer stories. You can find the original Flash here.

It's a hot pic, which really got my muse going, and the story kept niggling at me, until I sat down to write it.

As per usual with me the story took a different slant to the one I was originally envisaging, when my hero revealed that he was in fact a vampire. A new breed of living, breathing vampire, who is Under Orders as much as Anna is in this story. Add to that the fact that Anna is the daughter of a slayer, and things get truly interesting, and very, very naughty, because these two cannot keep their hands of each other.

Well, let's face it, my characters never do, do they?


I had great fun writing this little tale, and I hope readers will enjoy it too.

Who ever heard of being ordered to wear vibrating panties to a business meeting? The visiting CEO may be sex-on-legs-gorgeous, but Anna knows a sexual harassment case when she sees it. No one is going to order her to entertain Jonathan Symmonds—no one but her own body it seems.

Jonathan proves a hard man to resist. When he reveals his secret identity, this daughter of a slayer ought to be running for the hills not play submissive to his dark side.

Will passion and a shared past be enough to keep them together, or is their bond doomed to end at the stake?

Be Warned: bondage, public exhibition


Clearly it had been way too long since Anna had last gotten laid if her body could respond to a complete stranger in this fashion of reckless abandonment.

He turned his attention back to the room, and Anna released the breath she’d been holding. Brian glared at her, and that uneasy feeling in her stomach returned. She squared her shoulders and stared him down, before Jonathan’s hand on her thigh pulled her attention back to him.

“I would like to thank Anna for her diligent attention to detail in drawing up these reports.” He shifted his hand higher during those few words, until he reached the top of her stocking. Digging one finger underneath he caressed the soft skin of her inner thigh, and Anna forced herself not to squirm and give the game away. “She has been most thorough, and the results will show once and for all who is responsible for this current … mishap.”

He smiled briefly, and looked toward Brian. The older man shrank in his seat. His Adam’s apple bobbed wildly as though he could barely hold onto his saliva. Beads of sweat broke out on his ruddy complexion, and Anna was half expecting the pencil he clutched to splinter under the strain of his white knuckled grip.

“I also feel the need to make it clear that Anna acted under direct orders from myself and her immediate superior.” He nodded toward Anna’s boss, and Leonard Peterson shifted to stand behind Brian, his expression as grave as she’d ever seen it.

“No one here should have any reason to hold the findings of this report against Anna.” Again he paused, and his penetrating gaze swept around the room until he seemed satisfied that he had everyone’s undivided attention. At the same time he shifted his hand higher up the inside of her thigh, until his knuckles brushed against the damp fabric covering her slit. Anna bit her lip to stop herself from moaning. The feather light touch seared her core, and her internal muscles clenched in need. The fabric grew wetter, and he was bound to notice. She risked a peek at his profile, and the slight elevation to his bottom lip told her that he knew exactly how turned on she was.

He took a deep breath and brushed his forefinger against her clit, pressing down just enough to make the little nubbin tingle in anticipation. That smirk of his deepened, when she couldn’t help her involuntary jump in response.

“Likewise no one in this room has anything to fear from these findings, unless they have not been acting in the company’s best interests. If you have indeed been mishandling funds then now would be a prudent time to own up to this fact.”

Again he paused, and Anna held her breath. He looked every inch the ruthless and dangerous business man he was reported to be. His harsh features had drawn tight, his high cheek bones accentuated under the artificial lighting that filled the room, despite the blaring sun outside the windows overlooking London’s skyline. He held himself perfectly still, the muscles bulging in tension under the light summer suit he wore. Only his finger moved in slow, measured circles, designed to drive Anna to the brink of insanity. She grasped hold of her armrests again, and coughed to hide her moan as that finger slipped under the elastic of her underwear and teased her entrance.

“I-I—” Brian shot out of his chair and looked as though he would have made a run for it, had Leonard not grabbed him by the suit lapels and pinned him against the wall. The door burst open, and two burly security guards took over and dragged Brian from the room. Anna was barely aware of the ensuing commotion, because Jonathan chose that moment to thrust two fingers knuckle deep inside her channel. Her pussy walls tightened around the digits, and Anna shut her eyes against the rising sensation deep within. There was something so deliciously naughty about the CEO finger-fucking her under the table.

The barely functioning rational side of her brain urged her to scream, to do something. He was taking liberties with her body that he had no right to take, but the other horny as hell part of her told that side to shut the fuck up, even as Jonathan added his thumb to her clit, pushing her closer and closer to release.

“Leonard, get Anna a glass of water. She is looking a little flushed.”

Her eyes flew open at the amused words, and she knew her cheeks must be as red as the roses in the vase across the room, when her boss stepped close enough to her to see exactly what was happening under the table. Jonathan did not release her. If anything he stepped up his assault, curling his fingers in such a way that he massaged her sweet spot deep inside.

Leonard cleared his throat repeatedly, and the water splashed over the side of the glass he was pouring for Anna, masking the wet sounds of Jonathan’s fingers thrusting in and out of her sopping cunt. She would leave a visible stain on her skirt and chair at this rate, but Anna could no more stop herself from climbing towards bliss than she could stop breathing. She dug her fingers into the arms of her chair and bit her lip so hard she drew blood, as her orgasm hit her with the full force of a speeding train. Irrespective of where she was, or perhaps because of it, waves of pleasure crashed over her, as her body shook in delicious aftershocks. Jonathan did not withdraw his fingers until the last of her shudders stopped, and when she opened her eyes it was to find the room empty, bar the three of them.

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Glutton for punishment would be a good description for Doris... at least that's what she hears on an almost daily basis when people find out that she has a brood of nine children, ranging from adult to toddler and lives happily in a far too small house, cluttered with children, pets, dust bunnies, and one very understanding and supportive husband. Domestic goddess she is not. 

There is always something better to do after all, like working on the latest manuscript and trying not to scare the locals even more than usual by talking out loud to the voices in her head. Her characters tend to be pretty insistent to get their stories told, and you will find Doris burning the midnight oil on a regular basis. Only time to get any peace and quiet and besides, sleep is for wimps.

She likes to spin sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, BDSM to F/F, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.


Website Blog Twitter Facebook Pinterest Evernight Publishing

Amazon All Romance E-Books BookStrand Barnes&Noble

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sweet Sixteen

It is a grey day today, overcast and not quite as warm as one would expect for the thirtieth of May. Sixteen years ago, on Friday, 30 May, 1997, the weather in Gambier, Ohio, was just the same. I had spent the night in a hotel room with two other girls, Heather and Nancy. We had nothing to eat, of course, so I slipped out to the nearest store, a convenience store attached to a gas station. I got a bag of tiny, white, powdered donuts. The overcast sky did not dampen my mood, nor did the few drops of rain that landed on my hair. I had been waiting for this day my whole life, and it had finally arrived. A downpour would not have put me out of spirits.

This isn't the day of the wedding!

Heather drove us to the chapel at Kenyon College. I had just graduated university that Monday, but not from Kenyon. I had actually attended university one town over, but I went to church at Harcourt Parish, in the chapel on Kenyon's campus. That is where we were going that morning. 
We were joined at the chapel by my parents, who had flown in from Japan for my graduation, my sisters, my uncles and aunts, my grandparents, and some of my oldest friends. Several friends had already left after graduating, but some had stayed; and some had come in from other states to see me. 

To see us. My darling and I were getting married, and I could hardly contain my delight. I wore a beautiful gown, white and satin and tulle, designed like a ball gown, the dream-dress of any little girl. I had a lovely veil, which hung to my finger-tips, and white satin high heels. I was dressed and ready well before the ceremony. The church had a large basement for Sunday School lessons, and I sat in one with my five bridesmaids. It seemed to be taking far too long for the ceremony to begin. I could not wait! But I could not move around much, due to the petticoats under my dress, nor could I sit down without wrinkling my dress. So I put a tiny child's chair under my petticoat and sat down on it, letting my dress puff up around me—and played solitaire on my dress. I was, of course, not nervous. My five bridesmaids—my two sisters, my darling's two sisters, and a good friend from college—were all there, all ready and waiting to encourage me, should I need it. But I did not. How could I? My darling awaited.

Nervous bride? I think not!

The ceremony went smoothly, except for one groomsman who fainted in the midst of it all. His girlfriend soon had him put to rights, and we went on. My darling and I knit our souls together, mating ourselves for life. 

When the ceremony was over, we practically ran down the aisle and out of the church. We were both excited, both eager to begin our new life together.

It has been sixteen years since that day, and I would not change it at all. I rejoice to belong to my darling. As Solomon wrote, “I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine.”
All right, so I would change it. If I had it to do over, I would have married my darling the day we met. 

Now I look forward to our future anniversaries, especially the twenty-third, as that will mark the day when I will have been married longer than not.

Not a moment too soon.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Without Facebook

I quit Facebook the other day, and I'm not going to put the blame anywhere but on myself. I see all kinds of stuff out there about how Facebook is bad for you, how it's bad for relationships, how it's evil, etc.

I was starting to think of things in real life as "like" and "dislike". Not healthy.

Maybe. I'm not going to get into that, because I'm not everyone. I'm just me, so I'll just say what Facebook was doing to me.

It was turning me into a monster. I'm not blaming Facebook for this. I'm just saying that SNS doesn't mesh well with my personality or my character shortcomings. Facebook was bad for me, and it was making me a bad person, worse every day.

Actually I find it rather ironic that I used FB as a platform for shouting my love from the rooftops.

I liked to use Facebook to stay in contact with real peeps I know in real life, support and share with my fellow authors, and to reach out to my (very few) fans. And those are all great things! I also loved posting about love -- just little tidbits, little bites of pure gold, of my love life with my wonderful, beautiful wife. But all this was outweighed by what Facebook was doing to me.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I no longer saw people as people. All I saw were avatars and handles, random picks in the News Feed which Facebook deemed worthy to show me. I'd like something and move on, never really taking the time to connect. I just had too many people on my friends' list.

But it was worse than that. I would argue with people and be more unkind to them than I'd ever be if I sat down face to face and talked to them in real life. I became something I refuse to be: uncharitable. It was easy, because, after all, Facebook users aren't real people, anymore than forum members.

That kind of thinking had to go!

That was my pitfall, and, again, the blame is all on me. I should be able to conduct myself online with the same dignity I live my life. But I can't. SNS dehumanizes (not to mean it degrades, but rather it takes the human user behind the computer on the other end out of the equation). I wasn't interacting with people but rather a collection of photo updates about the cool burrito shop down the street or invites to the latest book-signing event. My head was a whirl.

I also felt like I could never say what I really think about hot-button topics, and the few times I did, I got into nasty arguments. This would've never happened in real life. And so I've quit, for my own good.

I refuse to play that game; I refuse to be weak. And I refuse to stand on pride. I know my weaknesses and my faults, and I'll be the first to admit them.

Besides, Facebook was quickly becoming an addiction. It was time to kick the habit!

It's just the way I am: when I'm into something, I'm all in.

Stick around here, though, and you'll see more from us! We're not gone, just off Facebook. Thanks for all your support, friends and family! We love you all!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

You're Fat and Ugly -- Get Used To It

I rarely blog. I mean, sure we update this blog from time to time, and I used to write a weekly grammar blog. But I don't write anything about myself or about what I think. (Partially, of course, this is due to the fact that if most people knew how I really felt about things, I would have no friends -- or readers -- left.) Today is going to be an exception. These ideas have been weighing on me for some time, and I want to share them.
Lately, I have seen many articles, posts, and even "Facebook images" about how "Bigger is better", how the awkwardly-named "plus-size" women are actually even more beautiful than their thinner counterparts. I understand the sentiment; I appreciate the motivation. I do not think that those making the statements believe them. All of these posts and articles, or at least the ones I have seen, remind me of Queen Gertrude's words: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." 

Women want to be beautiful. It is a natural desire, a longing to be thought attractive ... by men. (Lesbians want to be thought attractive by other women, but this seems to be only because their potential mate pool is women. It's not that they want their friends to find them attractive.) Women want to be found beautiful, and this continues to hold true even after they find mates.
This desire does not appear to be connected to a general desire to please other people or to care about what other people might, in general, think. A woman who prides herself on her maverick tendencies, on her wild opinions and unconventional attitudes, still wants to be beautiful. When praising a woman, saying that she is "beautiful" means more than saying that a man is "handsome". Though women at various times in history (now being one of them) have ogled men and made known their preferences about men's appearance, men do not seem to care so much. 

Part of this is because women do not care as much about men's appearance when it comes to finding a permanent partner. Yes, this is a cliché. Yes, you probably know a woman or two who seem shallow enough to make looks the priority in a mate. But really, by far most women -- and they would agree if you asked -- find other things more important, things such as conversation, kindness, personality, intelligence, and the ever-popular sense-of-humor. When years have passed, a woman is less likely to leave her mate over his looks. (Not less likely to leave in general, mind. I am aware that, for instance, in the USA over 70% of divorces are filed by women.) But a woman loves, or doesn't, based primarily on other criteria than looks. Men place a higher value on looks. Shakespeare pointed that out centuries ago and phrased it better than I could.

"For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women's are."

Here we have a man admitting to a friend (ironically, a woman in disguise) that men's affections are less stable than women's. The friend is, understandably, saddened to hear this. Where does that leave women in the long run? They want something that will inevitably disappear--beauty according to the standards of their culture. 

But why does it seem that this ordinary preoccupation has ballooned out of all proportion? Why are women trying, through "Bigger is Better" posts and campaigns, to convince themselves that they are attractive? If they truly thought so, they would not bother posting. Men don't. 

There is a combination of factors that, I think, has brought the female body both into a sharper focus and into a more restrictive ideal. 

Up until recently, sociologically speaking, in most Western cultures, women were thought attractive when they had more meat on their bones. There were actually "weight gain" advertisements, encouraging women to gain weight to be thought beautiful. Though some of this weight, of course, was desired to be in the breasts, overall women were considered more attractive when their bones were not in any way visible. This was a boon to women, despite the fact that this larger size was attractive because weight was a symbol of wealth. As a woman ages, her body collects fat deposits, particularly around the waist and hips. This meant that an older woman was still able to compete physically with younger women, despite the disadvantages of age. Furthermore, due to the much lower rate of partner-change, the competition was much milder. Though a woman naturally wants to continue to be thought beautiful, in the past she was able to embrace the different beauties of her age.

This has changed. Partially, this is due to the shift in what symbolizes wealth. Now thin=wealthy, as the cheap foods are now the ones high in empty calories. Even more this is due to the ubiquity of a single type of beauty.
What do I mean by this? I mean that, due to television, movies, and magazines all promoting the same style of beauty, that same body type is considered beautiful everywhere by everyone. In the past, there could be more local variants of beauty. Though the attractions of a Southern belle and of a Yankee heiress were somewhat similiar--Godey's Lady's Book, anyone?--they did not have to be the same. Now the same movie will portray the same actress across the world. 

And this particular type of beauty is a more fleeting one than most. The flat hips and belly of a teenage girl are not something that a grown woman, even the thinnest, can naturally hope to retain. This "thin" obsession (usually partnered with a "youth" obsession for double the detriment) is everywhere.
If you are reading this, you are no doubt familiar with the Marilyn Monroe pictures, the ones that show one of the sexiest women of all time, and point out that she would be considered, by today's standards, fat. Though this is not quite true, as can be evidenced by looking at her clothes, she was certainly larger than would be considered "beautiful" or "sexy" now. Looking at the "sex symbols" of previous eras can show us how far this "thin" obsession has gone. Even Elizabeth Taylor is large in some of her films, and she was incredibly beautiful and sexy. 

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to illustrate this is to look at the two Uhuras. Nichelle Nichols was not, by any stretch of the imagination, fat. She was not plump. She was thin, athletic, voluptuous, and the most gorgeous woman they ever had on Star Trek. But the new Uhura was played by Zoe Saldana. She is pretty, yes, but she is much thinner than Nichelle Nichols was. 

And what is the point of all this meandering? What does it matter that Hollywood chooses unnaturally thin women to hold up as the ideal of beauty? What does it matter that airbrushed and Photoshopped pictures are plastered everywhere? What effect does that have on you or me? 

Women are now held--and hold themselves--to a standard of beauty that is more fleeting than most, for after her teens a woman will be forever fighting her body's shape, and this standard is both more inflexible and more ubiquitous than it has been in the past.
I have seen the effects of this in my personal life, and the frustration of it is much of what prompted this post. To explain, I will have to give a bit of background about myself. I am a US citizen, and I am Caucasian. I did not, however, grow up in the US. I grew up in various places around the world, but by my early teens my parents had settled in Japan. 

In Japan, the same standards of beauty are present as in the West, but they are even more stringent. The natural size of a Japanese female is smaller than that of a Caucasian female, thinner overall, and with smaller, flatter breasts, hips, and waist. Given the current standards of beauty, that is, unnaturally slim and with undeveloped hips, any Caucasian woman will be hugely disadvantaged. I have never known a Caucasian woman living in Japan to escape unscathed. Inevitably, she will grow to consider herself fat. I saw it in my family and myself. My two younger sisters both developed eating disorders, one anorexia and one bulimia. I myself did not bother with eating disorders. I simply accepted that it was my lot in life to be fat and unattractive. 

My sisters recovered, though I have no doubt that spending some time back in the West, where their size 3 figures were obviously slim, helped.
True confession time. I consider myself fat. I look in the mirror, and I see a fat woman looking back at me. I am, however, reasonable enough to admit that, were I to see another woman of my height and weight, that I would not consider her fat. I can still wear my wedding gown from 16 years ago. Nearly 40 and having had half a dozen children, I can still wear the dress I wore to my wedding reception. I “look good for my age”. 

And to say, “You look good for your age” is practically an insult to a woman. Why? Because women are not allowed to be their age. The competition for a woman is not other women her own age and stage of life. No, it is young teenage girls in the first blush of womanhood and women surgically altered to match teenagers. 

I once heard a man dear to me say, “Women can still be thin and beautiful in middle age.” He then proceeded to list off several Hollywood actresses as examples. Hollywood actresses, who have personal trainers and plastic surgeons, not to mention airbrushed photographs, to contribute to their beauty. How is that supposed to to say to me, an ordinary woman without a personal trainer or the money for plastic surgery, that I can be thin and beautiful? No, what it says to me is that I will always fail, always fall short. 

And what can we do? Reposting Facebook pictures of “Bigger is beautiful” does not help. The bitter and distressing answer is … nothing. There is nothing that any one person can do. The ideal of feminine beauty is now decided on a global scale, and we are left to dislike ourselves in the wake of it.
My husband has been, with varying degrees of success, trying to teach me that I am not ugly. I am a slow learner, but I have taken enough of his instruction to heart to write this. 
(mrs ad)


Just wanting to add my two cents: pornography is largely to blame, and as long as it is deemed acceptable and undamaging, this will continue to get worse. We have generations of men wanking to fantasies and ignoring the real women around them. Men are no longer men; we have become at best puerile boys and at worst ape-like beasts more content with our hands than with women. Real women cannot compete with this.
(mr ad)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Billionaire's Unwanted Virgin

(Yay, Doris is back! What a great author she is, a woman who really understands what love is...)

I am incredibly excited to be back here at Boundless as the Sea with my newest release The Billionaire's Unwanted Virgin

The media seems to be awash with stories lately of virgins selling their virginity. I was quite surprised when I did a recent Google search, because this idea first came to me back in October last year, when the first story hit the newsstands. It caused quite a stir here in the UK with everyone and their dog having an opinion on this young lady. I noticed not many wondered as to what sort of man would purchase such a virgin.

My muse, however, did wonder, and she pondered this for some time.

What sort of man would spend that amount of money for one night of sex? He had to have more money than sense, really. Or did he?

What if it wasn't him who did the purchasing, but his recently deceased and flighty younger brother? And what if said man was intensely private, couldn't afford any scandal to attach to his name, and needed to get married?

Well, my yummy, tortured half Sioux billionaire, Lakota is all of the above, and when he realizes that he has been gifted Alice—a young woman unlike any he's encountered before—all the bets are off. Locking her into marriage will remedy his need for a wife and slay his lust, for surely that's all he's feeling for his little Alice, right?


Yes, well—you know those Alphas—hot as hell and forever denying their feelings….

I had great fun writing Alice and Lakota's story. I laughed, I cried, and I may have needed to jump my own hubby a few times, after writing their scorching sex scenes.


I leave you with the blurb and excerpt.


Lay back and think of England, she could do this. It was only sex, after all. Auctioning off her virginity was the easy part—going through with it not so easy. When Alice realizes who has acquired her, keeping her emotions out of the deal seems an impossible task.

Self-made billionaire Lakota, Lance Kemnay has no time for women, let alone one, who would sell her virginity to the highest bidder. Ever practical, however, he sees in Alice a solution to his immediate need for a wife. The emotions she stirs in him are just lust, and lust can be dealt with. As they connect emotionally and physically, his resolve to keep his heart aloof is tested beyond limits.

Can he trust his tender feelings, or has he been taken for a fool by the one woman he thought he could trust?


He'd bound her to him with the ridiculous terms of their arrangement, and he had no idea how she really felt about him. That her body desired him, of that there was no doubt. Could there ever be more between them? Was the trust she exhibited in her submission to him enough to build a relationship on?

Would she want to stay with him once the arranged time was over? His little Alice was a romantic. Would she settle for a life with what little he had to offer, knowing full well that he was incapable of ever saying the words every woman wanted to hear?

"Lakota?" Her uncertain whisper shook him out his maudlin thoughts. This was here, and this was now. He would live in the moment and worry about all that later. Right now he had his woman where he wanted her.

"I'm here, my sweet. Relax."

She drew in a breath and another, in a visible effort to calm her nerves, and he bent down and kissed her again.

"Remember those candles you admired on that stall in Colombo, my sweet?"

She stilled completely and her breaths grew choppier, and he smiled.

"I see that you do… Now, feel their kiss, and fly for me."

He'd gone hard as nails in the middle of the crowded market at her innocent reaction to his whispered comment that these were far more than scented candles. He'd bought them on impulse, waiting for the right moment to introduce them. He knew her well enough by now to know how far he could push her, and he wanted to give her the pleasure this play brought.

She flinched at the first drop of wax hit her just below the collarbone, and he swiped the drop away, watching her closely for her reaction. Again and again he repeated the process, until she arched into the touch of the wax on her skin.

He drew patterns around her breasts, leaving the wax to settle, and letting the flame burn a little hotter each time. Her breathing changed to the slow, deep state of relaxed awareness he wanted her to be in as he scribed what was in his heart on her quivering tummy.

By the time he was done his dick was just about ready to explode, and Alice was so wet, the covers were stained under her ass. He smiled to himself at the face of housekeeping in the morning and poured one last heavy drop of wax over her hugely distended clit at the same time as he thrust his cock into the tight clasp of her body, with a growled, "Come for me, baby."


Alice came so hard and so fast she could barely catch her breath. The sensation of the hot wax dripping over her most sensitive flesh coupled with the feel of him sliding deep into her core, his weight pinning her in place proved too much.

She was dimly aware of Lakota reaching his own pinnacle in record time, and then she was free. Released from her bonds and held securely in his arms, she blinked to get her eyes to focus.

Her body was covered in multi-colored patters of wax, and he'd traced a word into her lower abdomen—Mine.

Alice bit back her tears, and Lakota's hands settled over her fingers tracing the word. She looked at him, and she held her breath at the emotion she glimpsed in his eyes, before he masked it.

"I will run you a bath, and you can soak it off. I'm not going near that beautiful skin of yours with a knife."

"Do we have to take it off?"

He grew very still at her husky question, and his voice was hoarse when he finally answered.

"I don't want you getting sore. This is your first time. We don't know how your skin will react."

Alice smiled at the protectiveness and concern behind those words.

"I seem to be having a lot of firsts around you, Mr. Kemnay."



Author Bio:

Glutton for punishment would be a good description for Doris... at least that's what she hears on an almost daily basis when people find out that she has a brood of nine children, ranging from adult to toddler and lives happily in a far too small house, cluttered with children, pets, dust bunnies, and one very understanding and supportive husband. Domestic goddess she is not.

There is always something better to do after all, like working on the latest manuscript and trying not to scare the locals even more than usual by talking out loud to the voices in her head. Her characters tend to be pretty insistent to get their stories told, and you will find Doris burning the midnight oil on a regular basis. Only time to get any peace and quiet and besides, sleep is for wimps.

She likes to spin sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, BDSM to F/F, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.


Website Blog Twitter Facebook Pinterest Evernight Publishing

Amazon All Romance E-Books BookStrand Barnes&Noble

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Double Treat and Giveaway from Iyana Jenna

A Granted Wish
Glowing Dim as an Ember
by Iyana Jenna 

This is a part of my blogging in ‘A Granted Wish’ Blog Tour (that now will also feature another story with the title of ‘Glowing Dim as an Ember’) and I’d like to extend my gratitude to Adonis for the opportunity to guest blog on her site. Now here are my stories.

A Granted Wish 

Genre: M/M Young Adult
Word count: 1,600
Summary: Being told over and over that he is too young to have a girlfriend, or a boyfriend as the case may be, 15-year-old Cody sends a wish to whoever up there willing to grant it.
This story was inspired by the movie Blue Lagoon and I playfully dubbed it Blue Lagoon 2. It has silliness of a boy that is entangled in a case of ‘be careful what you wish for.’ 


Kyle inches slowly, creeps in, and, stealing a quick glance towards the boy sitting next to him, he smiles. He looks down; can feel their fingers entwined together underneath their school bags. He loves seeing the blush on the other boy's face, feel the slight tremor running through his hand–though from excitement or fear he knows not. They are inside the school bus after all.

He swallows his disappointment when Aiden pulls his hand back. Right. He tries not to show his feeling, looks up and sees the boy’s shy smile toward him, making him feel warm all over.

That's exactly what he feels every time Aiden is around. In the classroom, at PE sessions, during breaks. He can’t wait. Can’t wait to see him again once he loses sight of him.

“Kyle? What are you doing out there? Get inside and change. Dinner’s ready.”

Startled, Kyle whirls around to find his dad standing at the doorway. He doesn’t realize he’s been standing at the gate, watching the bus that carries Aiden vanish round the corner at the end of the street.


Glowing Dim as an Ember

Genre: Young Adult
Word count: 2,700
Summary: 14 year-old Etienne keeps getting flashes of someone else's memories. Dancing bears and painted wings are not exactly the things he meets every day especially since he is just a homeless boy living on the cold streets of Paris.

This story was inspired by a song Once Upon a December and the story of Anastasia, the lost princess from Russia. But it’s by no means a story of her as this one is a tale of the boy Etienne and another named Eric in the year of 1840 and before.


At first he thought he heard it from afar, the roar of a gun blaring, a voice screaming. Or perhaps it was a dream.

But someone was pounding at the door, and he leaped out of bed. Feet entangled in the blankets, he nearly toppled face first onto the floor when a pair of hands caught him and he gasped, panicked.

“You have to go. You have to go!”


His mother grabbed his boots and pulled them onto his feet, then snatched up his coat and put it on him; she pushed him urgently toward the window.


His room was on the second story and though the snow outside was thick and soft to cushion his fall, it was pitch black and he really didn't want to stumble around, cold and with probably a sprained ankle as well.

"Go!" His mother was getting hysterical. “Anna is waiting outside. You will be safe.”


A Granted Wish will be out on April 28, 2013, and Glowing Dim as an Ember on May 5, 2013.

Buy here!

To find out more about me, please go to:
Live Journal

Or email me!

And a giveaway! Please comment, and you’ll be entered in a draw for one of the stories. ^___^

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Open Letter to My Wife

My Lovely One,

There's that old, rather bad poem about footprints in the sand. You know, the one where Jesus carries you when your life gets rough? Actually, I like the variation I saw on Facebook the other day: when there was only one set of footprints, it's because the Sand People travel single file to hide their numbers.

I want to tell you something about my love for you, and I promise no Star Wars references. I know you have burdens, worries, concerns, and all that, just like any normal person does. There are nights you lay your head on your pillow, and though you say nothing, I can almost hear the struggle going on inside you. We all have our demons, the ghosts in our head that wish us dead, and we all wrestle with ourselves in our own ways.

There are times when I see your mouth working, as if you're either debating whether to tell me something or not, or you're just trying to find the words.

I'm here for you. Turn to me.

I am your lion. You are my kitten. I'll take care of you.

The easiest thing for me to do is love you, and I know my love is all you want. See how wonderful love is? So don't be afraid to wrestle your demons, because I'm right there beside you.

More than that. I've got you. When burdens crush you down, tell me about them. I'll pick you up and carry you until you can walk again. See, you feel the weight of your worries, but once I lift you up, the burden eases. But as I hold you, I feel only you, not your burden. That's the beauty of our love! I love you, so together there's nothing we can't do. I could go on right now and quote cheesy song lyrics, but I'll stop while I'm ahead.

Remember that my arms are open at all times. Fall into them, as you did last night. Fall into me with perfect confidence, and know that I remain forever

Your husband, your brother-soul, your lover, your friend.

Our first and last kiss, for each kiss is just a continuation of the last

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Evernight's Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

Welcome to Evernight's
Book Boyfriend Blog Hop!

Book Boyfriends...

They can be strong and sexy, dark and dangerous, rebellious and reckless or cute and quirky. We love to fall in love with these irresistible heroes and Evernight Publishing has them all!
The authors of Evernight invite you to a Speed Date challenge. Their cowboys, Doms, detectives, millionaires, royalty, vampires, soldiers, shifters, even steam-powered heroes are waiting to meet you on each author website. 50 heroes in 7 days! Are you up for the challenge? 

Pull up a chair and get to know every single one. I’d love to introduce you to my hero...

What is the ideal man? The ideal lover? The ideal … book boyfriend? 

Tall, dark, and handsome? Alpha? Rich? Powerful? Well-endowed? How about a battle-scarred warrior with a secret heartache and a tendency to dominate?

Lord Kamen Itenu certainly qualifies. Tall? Yes. Well over six feet. Dark? Coffee-colored, with eyes like pools of pitch and long, soft dreadlocks that hang halfway down his back. Handsome? Heart-breakingly so, with the lithe grace of a hunting cat and the easy gait of a sailor. Rich, powerful? The richest nobleman of the oldest kingdom in the world and the Regent for the boy-king to boot. When Kamen says jump, kings ask how high. Well-endowed? Maybe we shouldn't go there, but … yes. Oh very yes.
Kamen, though, despite his innumerable desirable qualities, is a man with a secret, a wound in his heart that has been there for six years, a sorrow that has left him alone and lonely, despite his wealth, despite his influence, despite his beauty. He loved the one person he could not have, and six years were not long enough to wipe out the image of his lost love – his former commanding officer. 

But if the image of that lost love could be wiped out, Kamen's heart would be well worth the winning. When he falls in love, his lover will know that she (or he, as Kamen is bisexual!) is the only one in his world, that all his attentions are focused on her, that, despite his indomitable will and inner strength, he needs his beloved, needs her devotion, needs her heart. And if said beloved should get saucy, well, Kamen has been known to take a lover over his knee and paddle her – and that is just for starters. 

Lord Kamen Itenu is definitely a book boyfriend to break your heart over! 

We'll also be choosing one winner to give a prize to (besides the grand prize drawing) -- the entire Lotus Trilogy!


What’s up for grabs?

• One lucky hopper will win a KINDLE PAPERWHITE eREADER sponsored by Evernight Publishing.

• Every book blogger/reviewer site is giving away one free eBook from Evernight (winner’s choice of any eBook from Evernight Publishing’s website).

• Plus, each author offers their own unique prize! So visit each blog hop stop for a host of fabulous prizes to win.

How to enter? 
Which of Kamen's characteristics do you find most appealing, and why? Be sure you leave the answer and your email address in the comments below to be eligible to win a prize. 

Keep hopping to the next author or blogger. After you’ve met each hero click here to vote for your favorite book boyfriend. You’ll earn an extra grand prize entry!
You’re one step closer to meeting your next Book Boyfriend...

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Time to Take a Few Steps Back and Evaluate

I like writing. Really, I do! I just don't write every day. I can't, because I just don't feel like it. I write write write through a whole manuscript, then take a few weeks off to recharge and remember what's important in my life. I teach at a university, so I have long breaks. Right now I'm in the middle of one of my long breaks, and since I work so hard during the semesters and write at the same time, I figured it'd be nice to take some time off from writing at the same time I have no classes.

We've got a full-length novel manuscript out right now to beta-readers, and we've already gotten some valuable feedback. Right now another novel plot is brewing in our minds, but I'm not in any rush. Besides, it's Lent, a time to slow down and reflect on my own life, to put things into perspective, to make sure priorities remain priorities.

I just wanted to say "hi" to all our friends and fans, since we've not had an online presence for a few weeks now. We'll be back from April, so keep reading and writing, everyone, and have a good time! In the meantime, I'll...

be braiding hair,

teaching her how to cradle her brown baby,

taking pictures of her whenever she poses,

enjoying her desserts,

fighting off zombies and dragons with her,

remembering my Mama,

teaching my daughters to pray,

and admiring the most beautiful face I've ever seen.

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