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‘The Pet Shop’ Hot and Steamy Early Debut!

One thing you have to learn about Pets is that they are unpredictable and sometimes in the very nicest ways. If you leave them alone too long, they might get into trouble. In this case, I sent them off to Xcite, and before I know it, they show up on Amazon Kindle!

There’s a lot of excitement at Pet Shop HQ today because my fabulously unpredictable Pets got launched early! The Pet Shop is now available on eBook, pdf and Kindle! The link is great, and the excerpt on Xcite is scorching hot!

Unpredictability aside, the timing couldn’t be more perfect, since I’ll be giving the first ever readings from The Pet Shop tomorrow evening at the Hoxton Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium.  A bit nervous, actually, as Pets can be so unpredictable in public. You never really know what they might do, and Tino is especially mischievous when he thinks he can get away with it. Fortunately there are plenty of spankers and riding crops available at Sh! if discipline is needed. And I’ll be there with the BDSM Queen Extraordinaire, Kay Jaybee, who definitely knows a bit about discipline.

The fun is just beginning, actually. There’ll be more celebrating when The Pet Shop comes out in paperback in October. I’ll keep you posted.

To help celebrate, here’s just a little teaser from The Pet Shop.

‘You are Tino, aren’t you?’

He picked up the pace. ‘Tino’s not here.’ With his arm around her waist, he guided her away from her car to a waiting limo.’

She didn’t protest as he opened the door and helped her inside, sliding in next to her. Then he knocked on the privacy window and the driver took off.

‘Seems a strange vehicle to bring to a nature reserve,’ she said.

‘You really think so? My dad made the big bucks in shipping, you know, and the Port of Portland has a reputation for murder and all kinds of intrigue so rich men can have what they want. So of course I have a limo.’ He leaned close and nipped her ear. ‘And you just hopped right in with me, didn’t you? You know what they say about accepting rides from strangers. Are you scared?’

She held his gaze. ‘You’re not a stranger.’

He chuckled softly and returned her gaze as though he were the king of stare-downs, then he released his breath slowly. ‘Anyway, I didn’t bring the limo, but you can’t go back in what I came in dressed like that.’

‘Then you have to be Tino, or you wouldn’t have –’

He covered her mouth in an insistent kiss. ‘What?’ He spoke against her lips ‘You think I wouldn’t notice the sexy English bird distracting me from the all the other birds.’ He teased her lips apart, sparring with her tongue, making her insides feel like warm toffee. She was relieved to hear no anger in his voice.

She came up for breath. ‘But how else would you — ’

He nipped and tugged on her lip. ‘Tino’s not here,’ he whispered against her mouth, slurring his words with the flick of his tongue. ‘There’s just Vincent.’

‘What are you, schizo then?’ she let out a little gasp as he nibbled her earlobe then the hollow of her throat.

‘Didn’t you take psychology 101? We all have more than one person living inside us, Stella.’

‘Where are we going?’ She asked, feeling suddenly disoriented as the driver turned onto the main road and picked up speed.

‘Portland.’

‘But my car. It’s a hire, and my bags –’

He kissed her again, and his hand moved up the inside of her thigh. ‘Don’t worry. My people will take care of everything.’

‘But I thought –’ With a sharp little gasp, she suddenly forgot how to speak, as his fingers slid aside her thong.

‘Did you wear these for Tino, hoping he’d take them off with his teeth? … Because I won’t bother. I’m not here for your entertainment.’

‘I never thought that you were,’ she said, giving him an ineffective shove with the flat of her hand. But he took her mouth again, and the way his tongue invaded and withdrew and invaded again, the way his fingers teased and retreated and teased again made her stop thinking about… well everything, really.

He pulled away at last and held her gaze. ‘We have until we get to Portland, Stella. You can waste time trying to find out about Tino or you can spend that time with Vincent. It can be such a pleasant drive to Portland.’

 

Masturbation and Creativity

May is National Masturbation Month, and as one who is proud to be a frequent masturbator, I wanted to honour the occasion on my site. At first, I was just going to put together a list of fun facts and interesting ideas, of which there are many where masturbation is concerned, but then I came across a fabulous article by Eric Francis over on Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross’s Sex Information Online site. And it got me thinking.

 In his post, ‘What Exactly is Masturbation Month,’ Eric Francis wonders why most sites by and for singles, to promote and validate the single lifestyle don’t discuss masturbation. The surprising answer seems to be that masturbation is a subject even happily single people just aren’t comfortable discussing. But what intrigued me most was Eric’s speculation as to why that might be:

 ‘I would propose that masturbation is about a lot more than masturbation — and that’s the reason it’s still considered so taboo by many people, and in many places. First, I would say that masturbation holds the key to all sexuality. It’s a kind of proto-sexuality, the core of the matter of what it means to be sexual. I mean this in an existential sense. Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body. Whatever we experience when we go there is what we bring into our sexual encounters with others — whether we recognize it or not. Many factors contribute to obscuring this simple fact.’

I read this through several times, savored it, and read it again. The ancient Egyptians believed masturbation was a creative act in its own right. In the Heliopolis creation myth, the god Amen rises from the primeval ocean, Nun, and masturbates the divine son and daughter into existence, and they populate the world. Even if I look at the Judeo/Christian myth in the first two chapters of Genesis, where God speaks the world into existence, I am still looking at a solo act.

I love Eric’s line, ‘Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body.

Awareness and Body. What a fabulous combination! Eric even goes on to say that whatever we bring from that proto experience of masturbation, we bring into our other relationships as well. In other words, it’s formative, that solo act, that original creative force. It brings awareness and body together. Isn’t that what it’s all about? The discovery of who we are in relation to ourselves is key if we are to be able to properly enter into discovery of ‘The Other.’ Doesn’t the act of creation, metaphorical or otherwise, begin with taking an inventory of what we’ve got to work with and learning how best to work with what we have to bring forth what we hope to create?

Every February, my husband and I get out the vegetable seed we’ve stored over the winter to see what we need for the veg patch in the spring. We spread everything out on the floor in front of us, and I get out my cunning plan, the mock-up drawing of what I want in our beds and where I want it. Then, we take inventory. It’s not just that we have three packets of peas and a packet of beefsteak tomatoes, but it’s reminiscing about how yummy those tomatoes were last year and how we didn’t have nearly as many peas as we’d have liked. It’s planning and scheming how we can have more, and discussing which is the best kind of sweet corn to plant, and making sure we have enough yellow courgette seed. Though it’s usually done with lots of wine or coffee for refreshment, depending on the time of day, the whole exercise is really all about how we’ll create this lovely veg garden we see in our minds’ eye now that we’ve inventoried what we have to work with.

Awareness and a body. Masturbating the world into existence. It happens all the time. At the risk of offering too much information, my understanding of sex, my deepest understanding of my own sexuality, comes from awareness and my own body. That’s what I have to work with. My understanding of writing, my deepest understanding of the creative forces in me also comes from awareness and my own self.

I’m astounded that in a world where solitude and the meditative tradition is a part of almost every religious discipline, we shy away from the very concept that could have well given birth to it, awareness and Body. Can there really even BE awareness without a body? And how can we possibly understand the boundaries and the limits of either without the two rubbing up against each other. Our act of one-ness, our proto-sexuality, as Eric Francis calls to it, I suggest is by its boundary-exploring nature, also our proto-creativity.

National Masturbation Month honours awareness and body and the discovering of our own boundaries, that which separates us from everything else. And beautifully, amazingly, astoundingly, it is discovery and exploration of our own boundaries that eases and enhances our journey into connectedness.

NEWS UPDATES

I just found out today that The Pet Shop will be released on May 12 on PDF and eBook through Xcite Books! Excited, who? Moi? I’ve just been over to the Xcite cite to check it out, and there it is complete with a really steamy excerpt. Go on, tak a peek… As soon as I know more I’ll be crowing all over the place about it, so stay tuned. The release date for the paperback and the launch party at Sh!, which may very well spill out into the streets in a froth of happy pink fizz bubbles will be in October.  Oh yes! The fun is just beginning!

Coffee Time Romance started out the month of May with a Book Brew With Coffee Crew event entitled ‘love conquers all.’ Along with a group of other romance writers, I was interviewed by the fabulous crew and given the chance to talk about The Initiation of Ms Holly and what obstacles my characters had to overcome in order for love to conquer all. It was a fabulous start to the month, and I’d like to thank everyone at CTR who made it such a fun event.

Friday night, all the fun will be at Sh! Hoxton while I get to read just a few of the juicy bits of The Pet Shop as a sneak-view, and the totally yummy Kay Jaybee wil be reading from her hard-hitting, temperatur raising novel, The Perfect Submissive, as well as her new story collection, Yes Ma’am. We’ll be joined by the very talented Mayo, who will be exhibiting her gorgeous erotic art. Pink fizz, cupcakes and fun all around.

Then it’s home for two days and off, once again, for some fun, fell walking, and more research for Lakeland Heatwave in the gorgeous Lake District. Sigh. How I suffer for my art.

Still to come… poetry, music, more on the proper care and keeping of Pets, fabulous guests and lots more.  Here’s wishing you a fabulous May!

 

Spring Heat Wave at Sh! Hoxton May 6th

Everyone is talking about the hot spring we’re having here in the UK,  and I’m happy to announce that it’s about to get a whole lot hotter. Friday night, 6th May Sh! Women’s Store Hoxton will be the hottest place in town.

 After a fabulous debut at Sh! Portobello, the sexy art of Mayo will now be on display at the Hoxton Sh! Store, and the artist herself will be joining the fun to tell us all about her steamy creations.

 The very delicious Kay Jaybee will be reading from her sizzling new novel, The Perfect Submissive, and I hear there may also be more fab BDSM excerpts from her hot collection, Yes Ma’am,

 And yours truly will be giving a sneak-preview from my new novel, The Pet Shop. Even as I write this, I’m giving the proofs one final read-through before Xcite Books gets Pets ready for the big debut. Oh yes, I’m excited!

 If you’re on this side of the pond, come join us for pink fizz, cupcakes, fabulously sexy art and steamy reading that will leave you needing a fan, or some serious personal air conditioning – or more fizz:)

 RSVP at Sh! Hoxton. And gents, be sure to have an escort of the female persuasion.

OTHER NEWS

The Initiation of Ms Holly just had another five-star review from Miz Love Loves Books. It came at a time when I was feeling a little under the weather, and was just the pick-me-up I needed. 

“A thoroughly enjoyable erotic read which ticks all the boxes and leaves the reader feeling satisfied with their choice of fiction… I can’t wait to see what this talented author comes up with next.” Miz Love Love Books

The Hopeful Romantic Site is opening up to guest bloggers very soon. Keep watching for more information on new and exciting guests and topics that will always be sizzling whether the summer is or not.

 Since it’s the time of year to get out and enjoy the bluebells and walk in the lovely British countryside, I shared my experience of walking the story with the amazing Rebecca J Clark over at her fabulous Once Written Twice Shy site, along with some great photos of walking the beginning of The Initiation of Ms Holly. Thanks, Rebecca, I had a blast!

 Most of you know, I now have the final proofs back from The Pet Shop for one last look-see before I give custody over completely to Xcite. It’s lovely to have a little more time with Tino and all his rough and tumble friends.

 And, the nest never stays empty for long. Lakeland Heat Wave is well under way and promising to be challenging is more ways that I could have anticipated. The fun is just beginning. I’ll be off to the Lakes as of May 8th  for some heavy-duty fell walking. I’m looking forward to soaking up more ambiance and finding out a bit more about Mountain Rescue and raising sheep. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter! One of my characters is a farmer. :^)

 

 

Adventures in Luton at Sextoys HQ

I got off the train in the wasteland that is the Luton Station, and in the heat and dust, hailed the only taxi left in the taxi rank. I gave him the address.

 ‘What’s the name of the business, luv,’ he asked politely.

 Not sure why he needed that information, I said very quietly, ‘Sextoys,’ Yes, that’s right, the pervy chick who’d just gotten into his taxi wanted him to take her off to fondle sex toys and talk about writing erotica, but couldn’t we do this discreetly?

 ‘Pardon,’ he said.

 ‘Sex Toys dot co dot uk,’ I enunciated a little more clearly and a little louder. Alright, he asked. I’d tell him.

 He screwed up his face with that, ‘didn’t quite catch it, luv,’ look and reached out his hand for the print-out with the address on it. Then he smiled knowingly. ‘Ah, 1-on-1. You want 1-on-1.’

 I nodded red-faced, as he handed me back the page with the words 1-on-1 printed clearly above the street address. Then he headed off to our destination whistling happily as he drove.

 In all fairness, when the lovely Cara Sutra asked if I would do the interview, I really didn’t know what to expect. I only knew Sextoys.co.uk as the mysterious company that sells all those fabulous toys, costumes and other cool stuff on the Xcite Book site — often in conjunction with really hot books – some that included stories by yours truly.

 The taxi ride was about ten minutes to a nice business park that seemed quite upscale in comparison to the train station. I paid the driver and pressed the buzzer of a suite that had a bright, yet understated 1-on-1 sign above the door. Within seconds, Cara Sutra herself welcomed me into what could have passed as any other bright, comfy reception area for any of the myriad businesses in the complex… Except for the colourful displays of dildos, hand cuffs, lingerie, love balls, muff dye and lots of interesting gadgets I didn’t recognize. I’m such an innocent. This was the show room, Cara told me. She apologized for her bare feet, her way of dealing with the spring heat wave. Cara calls herself the ‘Jill of all trades’ at Sextoys HQ, and if her enthusiasm is any indication, I’d say she enjoys her work.

 She introduced me to Rach Starr, who offered me a 14-karat smile and a warm handshake. Rach was the presenter who interviewed me. I was then introduced to the video director and graphic designer in residence, Ellie Douglas, also bare-footed in honour of the weather, and Dean Sturgess, who ran the camera and added a few good questions of his own as the interview progressed. I found out later that Dean is also head of accounts.   

 Perched on a comfy red sofa in front of a huge One-on-One logo, Rach dazzled me with her smile and made me feel right at home while I nattered on and on about two of my favourite subjects; sex and writing – with a bit of walking and gardening thrown in for good measure. God, I’m so predictable.

 Shamelessly I plugged The Initiation of Ms Holly and The Pet Shop, with a hint of things to come in Lakeland Heatwave. I plugged all things Xcite and all of my erotic favourites. And when I paused for breath, Rach brought out her copy of Sex at Work and asked me to sign it. I felt like a celebrity! It was Rach’s last day with Sextoys. She’s an actress now taking a bold step out on her own. Good luck to you, Rach!

 At some point Dean asked if there was anything I would love to write but didn’t because I knew it couldn’t be published, which led to a discussion of the standard guidelines for most published erotica, and of course the differences between porn and erotica. Oh yes, lots of naughty folks at Sextoys HQ. And, wait for it, yes Ellie is a gardener – a veg gardener! Truly a woman after my own heart. The conversation wasn’t complete before we compared the size of our tomato plants.

 Then Ellie whisked me off for a tour of Sextoys HQ. The first stop was the enormous warehouse. Oh my, my! An erotica writer’s paradise. I’ve seen dildos and vibes and strap-ons before, but there were multiples… large multiples of everything! The colourful metal stock shelves rose from floor to ceiling full of every imaginable sex toy, gizmo or gadget, and some things I really couldn’t have imagined. In the spring heat, the huge sliding stock door was open to the fresh air.  Music played on the radio, and the place was a hive of activity. There were people filling orders, people stocking shelves, people rearranging shelves, and there were smiles and greetings all around. I was introduced to everyone in a whirlwind, so all I really remember are smiling faces and joking banter.

 Then Ellie took me up to the centre of the operation, a bright open-plan office with huge plate glass windows letting in the light on three sides. If I’d been a cat I would have staked out a place on the carpet in the sun and had a snooze. But this place wasn’t about snoozing. Keyboards clicked and copy-machines copied. Ellie introduced me to customer service, IT, and other office personnel, again all offering happy smiles and greetings, though that could have possibly been because Kirspy Kreme donuts were the order of the day – probably for Rach’s send-off.

 My favourite place had to be the catwalk out over the warehouse. I think it’s a hopeful sight, seeing floor to ceiling shelf after shelf of sex toys and other sex goodies with the sun streaming in behind the swirl of activity below. It was lovely to be in such a sex-positive place and to be with other people who think sex is worth celebrating.

 By three I was on the fast train from Luton back to St Pancras, but not before I was invited to The Manor to see Ellie’s tomatoes and her chickens – another adventure for another time. I left Luton with the good feeling that comes from meeting new friends who share a common passion. As the train pulled away, I felt as though I were leaving a part of me behind. Then it came to me, I’d left my jacket in the studio, my own sacrifice to the spring heat.   

 Cara tells me the interview will be on Sextoys.co.uk’s Vibe TV page, and will also be on attached to the product page of my books. I’ll pass the word when that happens.

 

In the Company of Women

I’ve gone through long swaths of my life with men among my closest friends. And I’m a lucky woman in that my very best friend is my husband. But one of the fantastic fringe benefits that has come with writing erotica is the fabulous company of women. Whether online or up close and personal, time spent with Real Women, sexy, lusty, smart, empathetic, lovely women is NEVER time wasted.

I get lots of chances to think about my vibrant relationships with women these days. Saturday night’s fabulous smut fest at Sh! Portobello was a perfect example. I love reading my stories in front of an audience, but I love listening to other women read theirs just as much. And the warm fuzzy feeling is only enhanced by a little pink fizz in a place as sex positive and pro-chick as the Sh! Stores are.

Saturday night was a triple celebration of Women Together. The fabulous artist Mayo’s lovely work graced the walls of the Sh! Portobello gallery/event room. All of those lovely charcoals and pastels illustrated some of my dear friend and great erotica writer, Kay Jaybee’s stories. The art work most definitely set the mood. Kay Jaybee read from her hard-pounding, sexy novel, The Perfect Submissive, which I’d already read and loved. But I have to admit, hearing Kay read from it out loud, sat there on the posh pink throne all booted and swathed in black and red, was a much more visceral experience… in the hottest sort of way. Kay also gave us a teaser from her new e-anthology, Yes Ma’am, with hot and sweaty squaddies in the midst of delicious nastiness in ‘lying in Wait’. Kay and Mayo would have enough to send me back home on the train to Surrey totally blissed out. But too much of a good thing is even better!

To add to the lovely girlie naughtiness of the evening, the luscious Lucy Felthouse was there, reading about a steamy champagne-soaked encounter with a hot waiter in ‘Just Couldn’t Wait.’ The remarkable Rebecca Bond, in her lovely mauve heels, delved into crime and punishment in her gritty hot story, ‘Sin City.’ And the yummy Victoria Blisse cleaned up with her story of a very naughty, very hot cleaning lady caught in the act in ‘Dirty Deeds.’ These three lovelies were at Sh! for the aural debut of the critically acclaimed anthology, Uniform Behaviour, edited by Lucy. Uniform Behaviour is a great anthology by any standards, but even more remarkable as Lucy’s first effort, though most thankfully it won’t be her last.

If the setting provided by the lovely Sh! Ladiez wasn’t enough, with wonderful art work, colourful displays of tempting sex toys and hot readings, the audience itself was awash in a bevy of sultry writer chix. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the fabulous Lily Harlam, whose sizzling fairy tale novella, The Mother of All Hen Nights, still heats me up when I think about it. Lexie Bay was there. Lexie is another one of the fabulous Uniform Behaviour chix, who opted not to read…this time, though her fabulous story, ‘In Love and War,’ like all the other stories in the anthology, shines.  Also there was the lovely Lavinia Lewis, whose novel, Luke’s Surprise, has things boiling over at Total-E Bound.

The evening was stirred to perfection by the  Sh! Ladiez, Always on hand to make sure the pink fizz flowed and no one suffered from want of a cupcake. And even more important, they were always ready to tell everyone about all the great toys and books and corsets and other sexy items in the store. Ladiez, you’re the best!

I certainly wouldn’t want to short-change the men behind the pink throne. Where ever sex-positive, imaginative, steamy women go, the blokes won’t be far behind. And it’s no surprise at all to find the highest calibre of men in attendance – sometimes a little shell-shocked by the sea of pink and the tables of sex toys, but quietly, charmingly taking it all in, and often playing the very important role of photographer.

Yes, I’m often in the company of women these days, whether it’s just a quick text to one of my close erotica friends or whether it’s plotting and scheming as we mooch around the London Book Fair, as I was lucky enough to do yesterday with Lucy Felthouse and Rebecca Bond. I’ve always enjoyed my male friends, and still do very much. And I would be the first to admit there are some fabulous men writing erotica now, but I appreciate the company of women because we all know what the journey is like for a woman to embrace her wild side, embrace her vibrant, gritty, dangerous, tender sexy self and step forth with enough confidence to write it down as something to be valued and shared and celebrated… often with pink fizz and cupcakes.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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