London Slutwalk — Hopeful Solidarity

What to wear to Slutwalk? That has been my dilemma for weeks now. But when the big day dawned yesterday, I dressed in jeans and a top that showed just a peek of cleavage, and the thought of walking on hard pavement for several hours made me opt for my old reliable Hedgehogs rather than f**k-me shoes. If there’s ever a ‘tomboy walk’ I’m so in! Raymond dressed like Raymond always dresses, no dilemma for him. I admire that so much. Of course the answer is that it doesn’t matter what one wears to Slutwalk, as the oft repeated chant says, ‘Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no.’
For those of you who might have been on holiday on another planet recently, Slutwalks began as a protest movement when a Canadian policeman advised students to ‘avoid dressing like sluts’ in order to avoid being attacked. Since his unfortunate remark, thousands of people around the world have marched in protest of a culture in which the victim, rather than the abuser, gets the blame.
We arrived for at Hyde Park Corner for Slutwalk London amid a gathering crowd and a forest of waving placards and banners. Though there were the expected men in drag and women in mini skirts and bras, and I could only see a small bit of the crowd (BBC estimated five thousand people marched) a majority of the people who marched could have passed for people just out for a Saturday stroll in London, or even people heading off for work. My Hedgehogs and jeans were not the least big out of place, and my man dressed like himself was in good company.

We were all in good company, actually. Placards ranged from angry, ‘Blame the c*nt who rapes and not the c*nt he raped’ to ‘My clothes are not my consent,’ There were lots of  ‘No Means No.’ placards, but the one that moved me most was a hand held message written on a piece of cardboard. It simply said. ‘I was wearing jeans and a jumper.’ There in the colourful, festive atmosphere a simple piece of cardboard said it all, why we were all there, and why what we were doing was so important.

The march got officially started at two, and Raymond and I found ourselves marching in front of Zoe Margolis, ‘the girl with the one-track mind.’ I’d met Zoe before at a reading she did at Sh! a little over a year ago. She is an avid supporter of Slutwalk.We marched along talking and laughing and sharing the excitement with the others marching around us, men in drag hobbling in heels, women in corsets and suspenders, men and women in dressed in T-shirts, all mixed together. The age range was fabulous. There were mothers marching with their daughters, there were pensioners of both sexes, there were students and professionals and every one in between.

Every once in a while to the beat of drums and tambourines, a spontaneous chant would arise, ‘Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no.’ The day had turned warm and a woman marching several people in front of us had written a plea for sunscreen on the back of her placard. There was an outpouring of support from the crowded open-topped tour-buses that passed by the march with waves and whistles and shouts of solidarity.

The feeling of excitement and the chanting and cheering got louder as we rounded Piccadilly Circus and headed down Haymarket toward Trafalgar Square. At Trafalgar Square the march ended with a barrage of amazing speakers, most with messages of what the average person can do to make a difference. The official website, Slut Means Speak Out has more on that.

Afterward in The Chandos Pub, I spoke with a group of young women who had come up from Brighton for the march. It was their first ever. They had read about it on Facebook and felt it was important. We all laughed and chatted and had a pint together.

It’s hard for me to take it all in, even now. It was my first march too, and it was sensory and emotional overload. But I took away two very important things from the London Slutwalk that will stay with me. First of all I felt  a renewed sense of hope and excitement for the future of women in general. The organizer of the London Slutwalk was 17-year-old 6th-former, Anastasia Richardson. The London Slutwalk made it clear young women are neither apathetic nor silent when it comes to changing the world they live in for the better.

Secondly, I went away wondering what all the controversy was about? The message was clear, the marchers were all united. Rape is never acceptable. The division between ‘good girls’ and ‘bad girls’ is a false dichotomy that must be done away with if we are to create a world where justice really is for everyone, and everyone can walk the streets in safety. And the feeling of expectation that permeated the whole walk was the sense that something was about to change.

I’m usually a pessimist, I’m usually a firm believer that if things seem too good to be true, then they probably are. But this time I’m hopeful, and I seem to be in excellent company.

 

Gale Stanley Gives Us the Story Behind Her Hot New Release, ‘One Night In Bangkok’

 

For the second installment of ‘The Story Behind the Story,’ I’m very excited to welcome the amazing Gale Stanley to Hopeful Romantic to tell us what inspired her fab new novel, One Night In Bangkok. While she’s here, Gale is giving  away a free copy to one lucky commenter.  Welcome, Gale! It’s a pleasure to have you. Can’t wait to hear more about One Night in Bangkok.

 

When KD told me she was planning a series of post from authors talking about the idea behind the book, I thought wow, what a great idea! Then I sat down and tried to remember where some of my ideas came from and it wasn’t all that easy. Sometimes a light bulb goes off when I read something in the newspaper or a magazine and I run with it. Sometimes it’s just an idea for a scene and the story grows as I write.

But I can actually trace the idea for my new release, One Night in Bangkok, back to the eighties. It all started with the theater production of Chess, a musical about a romantic triangle. Two top players, an American and a Russian are in an international chess championship. The woman, who manages one, falls in love with the other.
Part of the setting is in Bangkok, Thailand. First, let me say, I never actually saw the show, it ran in England for a few years, but it only lasted a few months on Broadway. But I do own the soundtrack and I’ve played it hundreds of times.

Now jump to 2010. A good friend traveled to Thailand and loved it. Green with envy, I looked at her photos, and started getting an idea for a MM romance in the exotic setting. I went home, and started writing–and doing lots of research. Of course, I played the soundtrack, which helped put me in the mood. The more I read, the more I fell in love. Bangkok is a city of contrasts. You can visit temples where monks are meditating, or take a water taxi and admire the coconut plantations. You can get lost in the largest outdoor market in the world or shop in air-conditioned comfort in the city. Bangkok is hot, and chaotic, but it’s also a magical place. I just saw the movie, Hangover II, which filmed in Bangkok, and I’m more determined than ever to get my butt out of the armchair and stop being a virtual traveler. And when I come back, maybe I’ll write a sequel.

 

One Night in Bangkok
Bangkok is a hedonist’s paradise and sex is big business, but Philadelphia lawyer, David Elliot isn’t interested in the sinful pleasures Bangkok has to offer. His only concerns are real estate and conglomerates. His personal life might be shit but his professional life is on track and that’s all he cares about. On his first night in town he spots a young Thai man in the hotel bar and there’s an immediate connection between them. Kai brings a joie de vivre into David’s life that’s long been missing, but after a few blissful weeks Kai disappears. David is hurt, but he knows it was never meant to be anything more than a pleasant diversion. He returns to the states but he can’t help feeling he’s left something very important behind.

Kai was rescued from a life on the streets only to become a virtual sex slave to a wealthy expatriate who deals in sex and drugs. When Rick finds out Kai has been seeing David he locks him in the house. Kai is in love with David but resigned to a life with Rick. There was never a future for him and the American, and knowing what Rick is capable of, he fears for David’s life.

 

 

Excerpt:

The office door opened and David Elliot looked up with a frown, ready to chew out the intruder who’d managed to get past his secretary. His scowl disappeared when Bernard Markham walked in. Mr Perfect from his artfully cut hair to his designer shoes, the head of the Markham & Dunn LLP international law firm, exuded class. Worldly, wealthy, and all mine. How did I get lucky enough to snag the boss? David flashed his biggest, sexiest smile.
Bernie didn’t return it. He looked down his perfect aquiline nose, a well-executed rhinoplasty, in that way of his that imparted you were a lesser mortal.
Uh oh. What did I forget? David ran through every detail in his head and couldn’t come up with a damned thing. Ever since he found out he’d be going back to Bangkok to negotiate the acquisition of commercial real estate for Bernie, he’d worked long hours trying to tie up any loose ends. Reviewing documents and preparing contracts was tedious, time-consuming grunt work, usually relegated to junior attorneys, but David insisted on personally reviewing his own documents. He’d already gone through most of his files, and this was the last of it. Every problem had been anticipated, and his clients would be left in good hands while he was away.
The lower lid of Bernie’s left eye twitched, a sure sign he was stressed, and right then David knew this wasn’t about business. A cold knot settled in his stomach.
“We need to talk,” Bernie announced.
“Have a seat.”
“I’d rather stand.”
This was bad. David knew all Bernie’s shtick and looking down at someone was his way of taking charge, lecturing more than conversing.
“We need some time apart.”
The words came straight out of left field, totally unexpected. They hadn’t slept together in the past week, David’s fault really, but his lover hadn’t complained. They both believed in business before pleasure. “I know I’ve been distant lately, but we can fix this.”
“It’s not that.” Bernie shook his head impatiently. “It’s me.”
Fuck! He’d heard that before. It’s not you, it’s me. The worst kiss-off ever, and a low blow to bring their personal affairs into the office. David got to his feet. If this was personal, he wasn’t about to let Bernie talk down to him. “Is there someone else?”
“No, nothing like that. I just think we need a little breather. Too much time together will kill a relationship. We don’t live together, but I feel like we do. This past week, when you slept at your own place, I started to realize how much I needed some breathing room.”
“You’re bored.” David couldn’t keep the injured tone out of his voice.
“No. Yes.” He admitted. “A break will be good for both of us.”
“Don’t tell me what I need or want.” David raised his voice for the first time. “Your timing sucks. I leave for Bangkok tomorrow. We don’t even have time to sit down and talk this out.”
“Why keep rehashing it?” Bernie threw his hands in the air. “Go to Bangkok, take care of my business like you always do, and take some time for yourself. You’ll be in Sin City! Enjoy it on me; you have an unlimited expense account.” He turned away.
So the timing of this trip was intentional. Bernie hated messy scenes and this was his way of avoiding an awkward situation. He didn’t want him anymore, but didn’t have the guts to finalize it. “And what will you be enjoying while I’m gone?” David asked acidly.
Bernie walked out and didn’t answer him.

One Night in Bangkok is now available from Silver Publishing
http://silverpublishing.info/index/book_authors_id/48/typefilter/book_authors

 

Has a trip ever turned out to be a new beginning for you? Have you ever travelled somewhere and came home with a totally different outlook, perhaps even your world view changes by someone or something? Tell us about it or comment, and you may win a free copy of Gale’s fabulously hot novel, One Night In Bangkok

You can find Gale Stanley at:

http://galestanley.net/

And on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/gale.stanley.author

 

Making the World a Better Place — One Sex Toy at a Time

Most of you already know that The Initiation of Ms Holly is Lovehoney’s book of the month for June. I’ve been crowing about it since the month started. There’s a really nice interview with me on the Lovehoney website being interviewed by one of my favourite erotica writers and really cool person, Lucy Felthouse. It was loads of fun. BUT, here’s the coolest part of Holly’s Lovehoney experience; Lovehoney are offering a great incentive to buy Holly and to check out all their cool sex toys. If you buy Holly, you get a free vibe! Who could resist?

My husband, Raymond, and I were discussing what a great incentive it was to team up sexy novels with ‘special equipment’ that might enhance the reading experience and encourage further purchases. Raymond is an engineer, a born problem solver, always trying to figure ways to make systems more efficient. As we were looking over the Lovehoney site together, he commented that this was great for print books, but what about eBooks? In true engineer fashion, he came up with the perfect solution, Kindles with ‘attachments!’

We had a good laugh about it, but that got us thinking how many things could be improved with the extra-added incentive of a sex toy. Even a subtle little bullet vibe discretely packaged and slipped into the bags of fast-food take-out meals would improve sales and vastly improve the quality of the meal. This could be the adult version of a Happy Meal. It would be a way to burn off those high-cal lunches and have a yummy ‘dessert’ that’s totally calorie-free and releases more endorphins than even better chocolate.

And fast food meals would be just the beginning. Imagine bullet vibs and cock rings instead of wafer thin mints at restaurants. Maybe each restaurant could have its name and info printed on the side, sort of like a calling card that won’t get tossed in the bottom of the bag and forgotten about. It would be a subtle little reminder that good food and good sex go together.

Sex toy incentives in hotel rooms would be even more beneficial – especially on those long, lonely business trips. Forget the ink pen and pad on the night stand, forget the choccies on the pillow. A little vibe’ll do ya, or a Tenga Egg strategically placed, maybe a vibrating cock ring? Yes, I know a lot of hotels offer discrete access to steamy films, but you have to pay for those. It just seems to me that a little something extra on the night table or on the pillow would be such a nice way of saying, ‘we appreciate your business. Please come again.’

Restaurants and hotel rooms would only be the beginning of the sex-toys incentive program. Once people saw the benefit, I could see it becoming a way to promote better habits in the work place – efficiency being rewarded by a little personal time in the loo with the sex toy of the week. Sounds like the perfect carrot on the end of the stick to me.

From the work place, the sky’s the limits. I think sex toys would be fabulous incentive for negotiating treaties and trade-agreements. Win-win deals would be rewarded by vibes, cock rings and Tenga eggs all around, then everyone would be off back to the hotel for a nice celebratory wank.

Now I can already imagine people complaining that sex for one would make a partner superfluous. My response to that is what’s fun for one is twice as much fun for two. And after spending time at the fabulous Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporiums in London drinking pink fizz, listening to steamy stories while totally surrounded by sex toys, I can say that a party with sex toys and fizz would not go unappreciated. I can’t think of a friendlier way to wrap up negotiations.

Sex toy incentives might even be a way to get rid of guns on the streets, you know, a trade-in program – a revolver for a Rabbit – for the chix, an automatic for a Fleshlight for the blokes. Everyone would be happier if what was being shot was something other than a gun.

From sexy novels with vibes to Kindles with attachments to Tenga treaties Fleshlight financing, I think it’s an exciting vision for the future, a happier, more satisfied future all around. I can easily envision these pleasurable incentives as a way to make the world a better place, one sex toy at a time.

 

The Story Behind The Story: Lucy Felthouse

The Story Behind The Story

When K D asked me to do a “story behind the story” blog post, I already knew she had a story of mine in mind. As a fellow outdoorsy type, K D was very interested when I posted some photos online of a visit I’d made to a moorland pool in the Peak District. So naturally I’d like to appease K D’s curiosity and give you all a little insight into this particular tale.

I’ve always been a bit of a history buff, in particular local history. Although I live in Derbyshire, the nearest border of the Peak District is about 40 minutes away from me, so I’m going with local-ish, OK?

The Peak District itself is steeped in legend and folklore, with everything from haunted mines and bridges to black dogs and mermaids.

Blake MereI can hear you thinking: mermaids, you say? In the Peak District? But isn’t that in the middle of the country and nowhere near the sea?

You’re absolutely right, and this is why a particular legend fascinated me so much. It tells the tale of a pool high up in the Peak District which is reputed to be haunted by a mermaid. The legend varies dependent on what you’re reading or who you’re listening to, but the general idea is that the mermaid is a malevolent creature that drags victims into the murky depths of the pool. When I heard this, I simply had to go and see this place for myself. Its proper name is Blake Mere, and is situated on the Morridge Moors, not too far from the main Leek to Buxton road, if you’re familiar with the area.

The Mermaid PoolI’ve been two or three times now but it wasn’t until my upcoming anthology project was born that I thought of using the place and its legend in a story. The anthology (which is likely going to be entitled Seducing the Myth) is an erotic mythology book and when I thought about what I’d like to write for it, this seemed like the obvious option. Granted, there are myths that go thousands of years back in time and span the globe, but I liked the thought of doing something local. And so Down by the Pool came to fruition.

Bench by the poolWithout giving too much away, the story is about a male journalist who hears about a series of disappearances which are linked to Blake Mere and its mythical inhabitant. He sets out to find out more about the legend and to write an article disproving it. However, on visiting the pool for himself, he has an experience which he can definitely not publish in the local newspaper.

I had great fun researching the area and the legend, as well as writing the story. The thing is, I think I’ve now caught the bug. You may be seeing more stories from me in future with unusual settings or backgrounds 🙂

Keep an eye on my website for details of the upcoming anthology!

*****

During Lucy’s first year studying Creative Writing at the University of Derby, she was dared to write an erotic story. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance and Xcite Books. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Thanks for sharing the story behind the story of Down By The Pool with us, Lucy! I can hardly wait to get my hot little hands on your anthology, Seducing the Myth.  Hints on when??? Waiting with bated breath.

As always, lovely to have you!

 

 

Pssst! Wanna Know Why They Wrote That?


Summer’s coming on fast and everyone is looking forward to holidays and adventures in the sun. My husband and I have our walking adventures planned for the summer, which I hope to be sharing on Hopeful Romantic from time to time. And there are new adventures planned for this blog as well.

There will be guests! Lots of fabulous sexy, intriguing guests, beginning Wednesday with the incredible Lucy Felthouse. She’ll be sharing what inspired her sexy mermaid story, Down By The Pool,  which will be in her upcoming anthology, Seducing the Myth. Lucy’s sneak peek behind the scenes of this hot, and totally unique story is the first in what I hope will be an on-going series called, The Story Behind the Story. It’s a chance for my guest authors to share what inspired the sexiest, most dramatic, favourite bits of their novels and stories.

I’ve always been fascinated with what inspires writers to write, and specifically what inspires certain scenes and certain stories. I love to hear about what experiences the writer had that sent them scurrying for pen and paper or keyboard, what eureka moments got their creative juices flowing, how did the Muse whisper the good stuff in their ear. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wonders these things because I get ask often what inspired The Initiation of Ms Holly and The Pet Shop. I’m always more than happy to share the story, and I’m very pleased to say, so are most authors, including the yummy ones I’ve invited to give us the skinny behind their gripping, sexy, romantic, fun stuff.

Every Wednesday starting in June, I will have a fabulous guest blogger on my site, and a good few of them will be sharing what inspired their favourite bits of their novels and stories. I can hardly wait! I’ll be continuing with my regular posts also, so there will be lots of fun and excitement, Plus something really special coming up in August. Stay tuned for more information on that.

LATEST NEWS

The first reviews are in on The Pet Shop, and I’m thrilled to say, people like misbehaving Pets!

Manic Readers gives The Pet Shop five stars.

‘KD Grace has crafted something mesmerizing.’… ‘I loved The Pet Shop. It was so well done that I could hardly wait to turn each page. Of course the sex was delicious, but the background story, the premise of The Pet Shop, and the magic between the various characters was much more than just delicious sex. Great job bringing me something completely different to read.’

 

Author and founder of Erotica For All, Lucy Felthouse, say:

‘ The sex is smoking hot, the storyline intriguing, and the whole thing is so brilliantly written that you’ll emerge from the end gasping for breath. This book is a whirlwind of fun and naughtiness perfect for erotica fans.’

The Pet Shop is now available in eBook formats, but will be available in print in October, at which time there will be much pink fizz and dancing.

In the meantime, I’m hard at work on book one of the Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising. Xcite and I have been planning and scheming covers. I can hardly wait to see the end results.

Be sure to check in Wednesday for Lucy Felthouse talking about the strange phenomenon of mermaids in the Peak District in the very first Story Behind The Story. It’ll be so much fun!

 

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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