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WORDS! A Complete Story by F. Leonora Solomon

Oooh! I feel all Muse-y today, and in a very delicious way. I am very honoured to have the fabulously Bernini Hades and Persephone close uptumblr_lg4h59T3z31qe2nvuo1_500talented and naturally naughty F. Leonora Solomon with me today sharing a wonderful story that has its roots in one of those shared writerly conversations that inspires. This one happened this year at Eroticon. It’s SO true, we can’t do it alone, and from hat sharing comes amazing things. And F. Leonora, you can rub me like a genie any time! Thank you SO much for sharing you story with us! 


So I think KD Grace is brilliant, I have had the pleasure of meeting her at all three Eroticons that I attended, and she is BRILLIANT. We were walking out of a session at the last con, and I was basically rubbing her like a genie (semi-figuratively), for inspiration because I was feeling stuck. Somehow the idea for this story came about organically, and she invited me to be a guest on her blog. It took me a little bit…but now I have this to share with her—and you…


Writers cannot do it on their own, we need to be inspired. I am grateful that so many of my writer friends inspire me. Thank you KD! xxx


by F. Leonora Solomon

IMG_0333He was not the love of her life by any means. They had only gone out a couple of times—in some cases he just filled the space just so that she would not be alone. After a few drinks—they did not even have dinner—she wanted more than his conversation.

Lying on her side now, the night after, she could still feel the scruff of his stubble all over her body. She liked the chafed feeling of where his mouth had been on her. His mouth was the ultimate turn-on for her. Not so much the feeling of it, but what he said.

You like it rough don’t you, you like it raw right?

The timbre of his voice had moved right along her labia. She pressed her legs together, and then parted them.

You felt that right between your legs, didn’t you? You’re already wet, aren’t you?

Kitt nodded in memory against her pillow, its soft cotton for a moment fooled her into feeling like his stubble. She caressed the divide between her breasts, in her loose-fitting nightgown. Without any effort, her breasts slipped out of it.

She caressed their softness, and her hypersensitivity made her feel more aroused that she should have. She was in bed alone, but thinking about having him in her bed the night before…thinking about what they had done, how he touched her was sexier than having done it with him.

You’re so wet, can you hear how wet you are? You are making so much noise, because you are so wet. You’re a squirter aren’t you?

Kitt had panted so heavily, moving with him at that point. She had wanted to answer him that she had never squirted, but her words were unintelligible.

She did not squirt, but she did come. Not one of her best orgasms, but she did come with him.

Oh next time, I am going to make you squirt. I am going to make you flood this bed…

Writing pen and birds 1_xl_20156020She now stopped caressing her breasts. Her nightgown was up over her hips, and both of her hands were between her legs.

You like that don’t you, you like that so much you filthy girl. You like it better when I say it, and tell you how filthy you are too. I know you do…

Kitt was tangled in her sheets after, hair in her mouth and her clenched fists damp with her own come. Between her legs tremored with the memory of things that he had said into the nape of her neck the night before.

Untangling herself from her sheets, she went to the bathroom. A stream of pleasure moved through her body, as she sat on the toilet. Kitt’s eyes were damp with post-orgasm tears, but her breathing had slowed.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her phone flash. She should not have kept it near her bed, but she knew who it was.

america-artist-art-paintings-prints-note-cards-by-howard-chandler-christy-nude-women-reading-approximate-original-size-18x16Can I come…over?

She nodded at his words, even before she typed her reply.

Yes you can come over me…

Kitt giggled meaning that typo, knowing he knew it.

You can come over to* me, I meant…

She was sure he would have a lot of words for her…when he came…


everything about F. Leonora Solomon is at:




Smut Manchester: Community Inspiring Creativity

IMG_3808If I had to describe Smut Manchester 2015 in three words, those words would be community inspiring creativity. Whether it was the laid back, cozy atmosphere of The Bangkok Bar and Restaurant or the delight of spending time with Brit Babe Street Team members – some of them we were meeting for the first time. Whether it was the open Dungeon and watching the lovely Cara Sutra spank Janine Ashbless or the joy of brainstorming with, listening to, and encouraging other writers; whether it was the workshops or the readings; whether it was the opportunity to make our own floggers with Kink Craft or the delightful evening at Dr. Sketchy’s drawing the lovely performers, who posed for us, I feel as though I have been totally immersed in creativity for the past thirty hours, and I’m still buzzing from it. It’ll be days before I can actually absorb all that happened this weekend, and the really stunning thing about Smut Manchester is that technically it began at 11:00 Saturday morning and was over by 8:30 Saturday IMG_3713night. How such a short time can be so crammed full of creativity, community, random acts of kindness, inspiration and shenanigans totally boggles.

Victoria and Kevin Blisse continue to astound me with their gentle, contagious, enthusiasm completely underpinned by more hard work and passion than a small army could muster. It’s a total delight to have been a part of Smut from the very first Smut event in Scarborough three years ago and to have watched it grow and evolve to the majorly exciting force for erotica and all things smutty. I would like to offer a huge and very heart-felt thank you to these two lovely, fearless people. Victoria, Kev, you are my heroes!

This Saturday has convinced me that we writers need to get out more! IMG_3698I know! I know! We’d all rather be holed up in our ivory towers tap tapping away on our laptops. BUT the pump has to be primed and sometimes we find the Muse in the strangest places; very often we find her in community. Sometimes she’s waiting with a pencil and a sketch pad, or with a mad attempt at a group selfie that ends is hysterical giggles, or the quiet chatting together crafting one’s very own, very beautiful flogger, or the incredibly thoughtful gift of a pumpkin pie totally made from scratch. Thank you Ian Haynes! Your name is spoken in hushed and reverent tones at Grace Manor! And yes, I did, indeed, practice delayed gratification and got said pie home to share with Hubby.

IMG_3677But, I digress. My point is that sometimes the things that inspire most have absolutely nothing to do with writing, and yet everything to do with story. Julia Cameron in her book, The Artists Way, suggests that creativity can be cultivated by having what she calls ‘Artist’s Dates’ on a weekly basis. These are little snippets of time in which we creative folks treat ourselves to a wander through a museum, to a play, to a movie, to a dance class, to a walk, to something, anything that will get us out of our usual headspace and cause us to see things differently. A writer’s date seems completely frivolous and a waste of precious writing time, BUT, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s neither a reward, nor a holiday, but an essential part of keeping ‘creatively fit.’ With that in mind, what can I say but that Smut Manchester was one big gigantic artist’s date. And, while we all know, few things can put IMG_3878you farther outside your comfort zone than a date, sometimes a date can be life-changing.

I spent a good deal of Saturday comfortably outside my comfort zone, in the company of other creative folks who were equally comfortably outside their comfort zone, with all of us encouraging each other. From being put on the spot by Kay Jaybee about what I would do with a tin of pears in heavy syrup out through the back door of the Sainsbury, to making my own flogger, to my very awkward attempts at drawing at Dr. Sketchy’s in the evening, I was always a little uncomfortable and always delighted by the Mr Sketchy winend results. Being outside my comfort zone inspired story ideas that I would have otherwise never managed. It’s not just the inspiration, but being gently forced outside my comfort zone seems to have left me feeling as though my whole creative self has had a relaxing, rejuvenating weekend at The Creativity Spa.

I won’t give you a blow by blow of the days events (though I do promise LOTS of piccies on Face Book over the next week or so) because even as I live them over in my own head and delight in them, I realize I would sound like an excited child telling her parents what she did on her first slumber party. What I do want to share with you, though, is what I took away — not in my head, but in those deeper, more visceral places where writers transform events into meaning and then into story.

I’m still reeling from the fact that I actually won one of the prizes at Dr Sketchy’s! (pretty sure it was a IMG_3861sympathy win. I was totally out of my element) I am now the very proud owner of a lovely pen and pencil artist kit that is so exquisite, I’m almost afraid to touch it. At the end of the allotted sketch time, with each awkward sketch I did, I scribbled a quick sentence underneath it of the story idea the sketch inspired. And while I sat making my flogger and IMG_3633watching other people make theirs, my mind was buzzing with a story. As for Kay Jaybee’s tin of pears in heavy syrup, well I reckon you’ll be seeing that in a story in the near future. Thanks, Kay!

The thing is, while most of our creative effort takes place in solitude, while we shape and refine our stories in isolation, what happens in community is a vibrant, fiery, mash-up that comes to us unexpectedly and out of nowhere from the shared experience. Sketching with a group of people, most of whom are no more comfortable with drawing than I am is commonality, and I can relax and let what happens happen because I’m not doing it alone. Doing crafty things with hands that are more comfortable on the keyboard of a laptop, while chatting and laughing and sharing the IMG_3775experience opens the creative floodgates in a very different way. It’s a much more gentle way, a way that doesn’t require the discipline and the focus that our day-in-day-out crafting of story does. Our encounters with the Muse in such circumstances are more playful, more laid back, and we toy with story and ideas in a way that we never can when we’re facing deadlines, when we have our heads down, still doing what we love, but so tunnel-visioned that we don’t look up to be inspired in the same way.

Smut Manchester was a beautiful chance to be inspired in playful easy ways. By being comfortably outside our comfort zone, we didn’t take ourselves so seriously and we were reminded in exquisite ways that creativity is a playful thing, and it often comes when we’re not looking for it. It often comes when we’re not looking for anything at all, actually.


My Life is in My Dropbox!

Writing imageThursday my life flashed before my eyes. It was the first time it had ever happened, and I hope like hell it’s the last. The first thing that struck me was that it was nothing like I’d thought it would be. There were no memories of my childhood, no memories of getting married or moving off on my own to Croatia. There were no memories of falling in love or of my favorite trips, nor the major milestones in my life. It still gives me cold chills thinking about it. It was intimations of my worst nightmare. I never thought it would be like it was. Though now, looking back, I can’t imagine how I would have expected it to be otherwise.

Due to complications installing a new operating system on my computer, which I won’t go into, I ended up having every file in my Dropbox deleted. Now, before you tell me not to worry, there are ways to get it all back, let me just say that I know that now. I knew that even as it was happening. BUT all of those ways of recovering data are only theories until you put them to the test, and then you have to be in a calm logical state of mind in order to be able to do that. I was neither calm nor logical as I prepared to continue with my WIP and opened a completely empty Dropbox. I back up everything – EVERYTHING in the whole universe, I back up! I’m fanatical about back ups. And where do I back it all up? On the f*cking Dropbox!!! AND NOWHERE ELSE!!!!! You see where I’m going with this? Panic sets in when the 135,000 word manuscript you’ve just completed disappears along with every picture you’ve ever taken, Drop box image imagesevery word you’ve ever written of any sort. ANY sort, for the past five years.

To give you a bit of perspective, I wrote The Initiation of Ms Holly in 2010. Since then I’ve written literally millions of words – some of them novels, some of them blog posts that I’m rather fond of, some
of them short stories, poems, novellas, even the odd navel gaze. There are stories and story ideas that have never lived anywhere outside cyberspace, but I hope they will someday. There are pictures of holidays, of veg gardens we’ve planted, of long walks we’d taken on the Downs in every season at every time of day. Words! There are literally millions of words that I’ve written, and suddenly they were all gone!

Recovery happened, as the tiny part of me that wasn’t vacillating somewhere between total panic and growing despair, knew that it would and, at the end of the day, all was well. I’d lost nothing. I was even able to recover the efforts of that morning. The point is that the fear that I might have lost all my words was an eye-opening experience for me. It was a huge insight into how I define myself and how I judge the value of my life.

For good or for ill, I define myself by the words and the pictures in my Dropbox. That’s what it boils Writing pen and birds 1_xl_20156020down to; that’s me stripped to the bare bones. And for a terrifying few minutes I was no one.

No one …

When I think about it now with all my words back safely where they belong, I can’t quite get my head around what I felt. There are words in the Bible meant to describe Christ. Most of you know that I came from a conservative Christian background about a hundred years ago, but these two passages transcend my faith or lack thereof and speak to the heart of the writer on a much deeper level than they might to anyone else.


For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to
the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12


And the word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

John 1:14


Words are more than just a collections of sounds that allow us to communicate. Words have power, like a sword, like a scalpel, to discern thoughts and intents. And words, in the hands of a writer become flesh and dwell among us. For a writer – certainly for me, they become my flesh, and they become the flesh of the characters with which I people my stories. They dwell in me as surely as if they were alive, and they do often discern the thoughts and intents of my heart, without me even realizing that’s what they’re Scribe computer keyboardMG_0777doing. Words are my companions, my guides, my friends; words are the mirror through which I view myself. For my whole life it’s always felt like the more words I write, the more clear the reflection of self in that mirror becomes. Navel gazing much???

Even as I write this, I’m well aware of just how neurotic it sounds to define myself by my words, and a
part of what happened in that short time without my words was an internal battle for points of reference, for other ways to define myself, which at that moment, I couldn’t even imagine existed. The point is the value of words – my words – to me can’t be overstated. I live with them close and personal every day of my life, and most days I bring home a few more to live with me. Losing my words, even for just that short amount of time before logic could kick in, before I could regain enough equilibrium to know that wasn’t going to happen, was like losing myself. How can I define myself without my Dropbox full of words? Who am I without those points of reference? Of course it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, had I lost all my words, but I promise you as sure as I’m sitting here, it would have felt like it.


The 1003rd Post!


The 1000th post on A Hopeful Romantic completely took me by surprise, so I’m celebrating 1003 posts as an after-thought. I’d planned to rent a big hall in London, hell I’d even thought I might rent one in New York and Los Angeles as well. I’d planned to have a band, Champaign fountains, fireworks, dancing. Oh I had a really huge soirée in mind.

I’d planned to wear a midnight blue off the shoulder number made of shimmery, silky fabric, that if it didn’t make me exactly look like a fairy princess, certainly would have made me look like a very wicked witch with some very naughty magic in mind. And Raymond, well I’d planned for him to wear a kilt for the occasion and some serious bad-boy boots. He would have looked SO scary-hot.

It would have been the party of the century, I’m sure. But instead the 1000th post sneaked up on me and bit me in the butt when I wasn’t looking.

Since I’m too late to throw a big party, I thought I’d hit the highlights in pictures instead.

The Initiation of Ms Holly Started it all almost exactly five years ago. I was bursting with pride at the success of my lovely First Born.




The lovely Lucy Felthouse advised me that if I had a book, I should have a website and a blog for pimping
purposes and well, just so I could make myself known to the great big world of readers and writers out there. She designed my website and blog and helped me figure out just what the hell I was doing. And here she is, looking lovely and lusty at the launch of The Initiation of Ms Holly in Sh! Women’s Store! Thanks EP!





There were launch parties and readings and events in London and Las Vegas and Scarborough and Cardiff, to name just a few.



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Soon Holly wasn’t alone. Her family grew and grew to include 11 novels, 6 novellas and countless short stories.




I got to be on telly!


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I decided I’d have twice the fun, twice the Romance and Grace Marshall was born and so were the Executive Decision novels.


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I wrote about walking





I wrote about gardening.


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I shared my travels.

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CL Sissy me


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I won ETO’s Best Erotic Author Award 2014!





I posted about writing and the creative process and my experiences as a writer.


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I became a Brit Babe.


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I made fabulous friends and had some amazing people on my blog.




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After 1st read-thru 1 July 2013


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Renee spanking post






I shared the experience of collaborating with the lovely Moorita Encantada writing Medusa: The Eye of the Beholder a burlesque play.







I wrote my first ever M/M and my first ever vampire story for the fabulous box set, Brit Boys on Boys


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I explored the online serial, first with Demon Interrupted, a Lakeland Witches novella.


Demon Interrupted Cover


Now with something totally different in my ongoing online series In The Flesh.



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For 1003 blog posts I’ve been sharing my writing adventure and inviting other writers and artists and interesting people to do likewise. For 1003 posts I’ve been celebrating the written word, which is and always has been the passion of my life. For every picture, every memory shared, there are a thousand that I wish I could. It’s been an amazing 1003 posts! I can hardly wait to see what the next 1003 bring.

Thanks to all of the lovely people who have been my guests throughout those 1003 blogs and to all the lovely people who read and follow A Hopeful Romantic and especially to those who follow my blog because they enjoy my books. You’re all fabulous, and I hope to see you at the BIG soiree when I celebrate the 2003rd post. (If somebody would just, please, remind me at about post 1950 so I can hire the band and the fireworks blokes :-))



Small Flashlight, Big Darkness

I’m sharing a little something from the Archives with you today, because I’ve been truly In The Zone the past few coming up from the depths
days and when I’m not writing like a mad woman, I’m thinking about characters, about plot, about why what’s happening needs to happen. That all brings me back to the intense, sometimes frightening, position we writers all face  on a regular basis — shining a small flashlight into our big 
darkness. (This post first appeared, with modifications, on the ERWA blog October 2012)

Today’s post is a hard one for me to settle into because it could so easily devolve into navel gazing, and one of the promises I made to myself and to my readers back when I wrote my very first ever blog post was that I would keep the navel gazing to a minimum. There must be a gazillion writer and write-hopefuls blogging, and each one is convinced that their journey to writing success is totally unique and must be shared. Well maybe not each one, maybe I’m only speaking for myself, in which case, I blush heartily and apologise.

My point is that all of the energy, angst, fear, adrenaline, exploration of dark places, exploration of forbidden places that used to go into the pages and pages of that gargantuan navel-gaze that was my journal now go through that strange internal filtering process that takes all my many neuroses and insecurities, all my deep-seated fears, all my misplaced teenage angst and magically transforms them into story.

That was sort of my little secret — that I alone, in all the world, suffered uniquely and exquisitely for my art. I took all the flawed and wounded parts of myself, parts I wasn’t comfortable facing, examined them reflected through the medium of story and found a place where I could view them and not run away screaming.

Where is all this borderline navel-gazing leading? There was a BBC article some time ago asking the question, is creativity ‘closely entwined with mental illness?’ I shared it on Facebook and Twitter to find that lots of other writers had shared it as well and the general response was simply that it sounded about right. There were some very moving conversations that came out of those sharings of that article along with the realization — something I’ve long suspected — that I am not all alone out there in my vibrant unique neurotic bubble. And really, it comes as no surprise that one has to be at least a little neurotic to be ballsy enough to try to bring, in one form or another, what lives in our imagination into the real world and to attempt to put it out there for everyone to see. Or secret exhibitionist is alive and well.

As the article was shared around and the responses mounted, I found myself thinking of C.G. Jung’s archetype of the Wounded Healer. The healer can only ever heal in others what she herself is suffering from. The archetype of the storyteller is alive and well. And I believe writers live out the archetype of the wounded healer on a daily basis. Empathy goes much deeper than sympathy. The human capacity for story is as old as we are. Before the written word, story was the community archive. It was our memory of who we are, our history, our continuity, our triumphs, trials, sufferings, joys, all memorised, filed away, and kept safely in the mind of the story teller. That had to do something to your head, knowing that you were the keeper of the story of your people! How could storytellers be anything other than neurotic?

It’s a lot more personal now that we have the written word. No one has to dedicate their lives to memorising the story of their people. It’s just as well because that story has become way too expansive for one person to ever manage in many lifetimes. Now we tell our own story, the story of the internal battles that wound us, the story of those wounds
transformed. We all tell our stories in our own personal code. What may well start out as a navel gaze into the deep dark wilderness of Self can be transformed into powerful, vibrant story, and we’re healed! At least temporarily, or at Writing imageleast we’re comforted. And hopefully so are those with whom we share our stories. When I journalled my navel-gazes, I wasn’t interested in anyone else seeing what was on those pages. It was a one-sided attempt at a neurotic house-cleaning. Sharing the story is a part of the healing; sharing the story is a part of the journey. The Storyteller had no purpose if she didn’t share the story with her people.

Most of the time I write my stories because I can’t NOT do it, and it’s a lot of fun. That’s the truth of it. I seldom consciously dig deep to find those wounded, neurotic places. Really, who would want to do that deliberately? But the wounded places find me, and they end up finding their way into the story. And what surfaces is never quite what I expected, always more somehow, even if started out to be nothing more than a little ménage in a veg patch.

© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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