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Disturbing Orgasms

Hi my lovelies! I’m still on holiday in Croatia, but I’ve not forgotten you. This post is from the archives and a post I did for the Brit Babes blog a while back. Disturbing orgasms, in fiction, are quite often the most exciting to read about. So I thought I’d share with you my ideas as to why that might be. Enjoy!

 

I’ve been thinking about the written climax. I did a mental inventory of the most memorable fictional “cum shots” I’ve penned and discovered that many of the ones that topped my list were disturbing. They were disturbing in that the sex leading up to them was not exactly hearts and flowers and chocolate truffles. It was never my plan that the orgasms resulting from disturbing sex should be among the most sizzling, but that they were made me stop and wonder why those scenes were so often the ones that made me twitch in my knickers.

 

That we’re aroused by things that disturb us is … well, it’s rather disturbing, actually. Why aren’t we happy with filthy hearts, and flowers and smutty sweetness and light? Why is it that often the more uncomfortable the fictional sex makes us, the more aroused we get. I got groped by a stranger once on a bus in rural Croatia. As upsetting as the experience was, it didn’t stop me from revisiting it in my fantasies a million times and wondering what would have happened if I’d been bold enough to let the whole scenario play itself out. The incident has inspired my fiction more times than I can count.

 

Let’s face it, there’s something about sex that’s frightening. There’s something about sex from which we’re never quite sure we’ll recover. Don’t believe me? Just look at how desperate conventional religion is to control sex; just look at how highly regulated erotica is compared to any other genres; just look at how disturbed the general public is by the sex act – even the sex act between two consenting adults. There’s absolutely nothing else that disturbs us quite like sex does – not even graphic violence. And if the sex is of dubious consent or transgressive in nature, then often our dark unconscious finds it even hotter still.

 

I personally think sex disturbs precisely because it arouses us. It elicits an animal response in us that nothing else does. That response is no more a choice than is our stomach grumbling when we’re hungry. That it exerts that much control over us, that we can so easily and so completely abandon ourselves to it without any certainty of what the end result might be, frightens us. What exactly is it we fear? If I had allowed myself to enjoy the fact that I was aroused on that bus, it wouldn’t have turned me into a “slut.” It wouldn’t have turned me into anything that I’m not already. It certainly wouldn’t have made me a bad person. When I’m being honest, I have to admit that there’s something seriously hot about being disturbed, and just maybe what makes it so hot is that it forces me to face desires I’d prefer to deny.

 

Sometimes the sex is disturbing because it’s with the wrong person. Who doesn’t want a seriously good villain to f*ck their brains out first, then they can count the cost later? Who doesn’t fantasize about a good shagging by a stranger whose face they never see, whose name they never know? Who doesn’t fantasize about rough sex, inappropriate sex, sex they have no control over? Perhaps this is why we’re so in love with shifters and vampires and other supernatural beings – they are a safe receptacle for forbidden sex, for disturbing orgasms.

 

Erotica writers dare to take disturbing sex, sex that comes from our deepest fantasies and write it. Anything written is suddenly far more real than it is when it’s safely tucked away in our unconscious. And when someone brings it up into the realm of conscious consideration by fictionalizing it, giving it a name, then we’re suddenly confronted with the fact that, yes, we are aroused by it, even as we’re disturbed by it. We then have to ask ourselves what that fact says about us as people?

 

To horribly paraphrase Carl Jung, what we admit and bring into conscious thought is far less likely to kick us in the arse when we least expect it while sailing naively down the river of denial. So much of becoming whole and well-rounded people is accepting who we, all of who we are, the light along with the dark. Often what disturbs us most is what we most need to embrace in order for that to happen.

 

Is that my psychological analysis? Hell no! That’s just my long-winded way of saying that reading about other people’s disturbing sex can be a real panty scorcher.

 

Here’s a disturbing little snippet from my latest release, Landscapes. I hope you find it as hot to read as I did to write.

 

Landscapes Blurb:

 

Vampire, Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’ life?

 

 

Landscapes Excerpt:

 

It was nearing dawn when Talia returned to our accommodations smelling of sex, as I knew she would if she were to obtain for me what I wanted. By then my blood burned in my veins, and my body felt too close to me, as though the flesh that I dwelt in suddenly conspired to crush me with its demands. And though I knew that Reese Chambers could not have refused her even if she had come to him as a toothless, foul-smelling hag, I hated her that he had poured himself into her body while I had been left with only my fantasies kindling my lust to an inferno.

 

Though my need was such that my flesh was fevered and my cock an insistent throb, until she returned, I held myself contained within skin that felt too thin. When she saw the state that I was in, she pulled the heavy drapes with an efficient tug, then with a nod of her head, motioned me to follow her down into the basement room that had been prepared for me. When she turned to me at the foot of the bed, before she could opened her kiss-bruised lips to speak, I took her mouth, starving for the first taste of him, the taste of his saliva, the taste of his blood, mixed with hers. She’d bitten him; he’d bitten her back. He was rough, and he liked to be treated rough, but he kept that to himself. He was embarrassed by it. His lips were slightly chapped from so much time in the sun and wind, and they’d slid against hers, suckling and stroking and pressing until her mouth opened to his. With ravenous laps of my tongue, I tasted him in her mouth, and she held back the moan of response, so I could hear the echoes of his groans, heavy with need he’d not satisfied in awhile, and I felt kinship in my own unsatisfied needs. Images of him flashed through my head. Christ, his eyes were green, dark green like the evergreen forests of the north, and he kept them open when he kissed her, taking her in with his eyes.

 

I shoved aside the silk of her low bodice exposing her breasts, breasts that his hands had cupped. My nipples peeked to sharp aching points at the feel of his calloused thumbs raking, pressing and releasing. I breathed in his scent on her breasts, burying my face in her cleavage, licking the taste of salty, slightly picante maleness, sniffing and tasting until I could stand it no more. In one violent jerk, I tore the dress all the way down and shoved it off her shoulders, away from the flesh he had licked and kissed and mounted. I cried out at the feel of him, weight on one elbow, knee spreading her thighs, fingers opening her heaviness, anxious to penetrate, anxious to relieve his need. And then, with Talia free of clothing, Reese Chambers’ essence filled the room. Talia’s panties were still wet with his semen mixed with her humid desire, and I tore them from her and forced her onto her stomach, onto her hands and knees, so that it was not her face I saw, but his that I imagined. With hands on her hips, I raised her bottom in the air and spread her still swollen, still slippery folds with fingers made awkward by my arousal, letting the scent of his hot bread and honey release intoxicate me. Then I buried my face in her snatch and, as I ate his lust from her, I knew him.

 

He was Cumbrian born and bred, and his accent was the soft lilting sound of the fells. He was a landscaper and a gardener by trade. His hands held the magic of the earth and his mind conceived ideas for beautiful outdoor spaces; those he liked best were patterned after Renaissance and medieval gardens. He was homesick and heartsick. He’d gone to Surrey to work with his father because the money was good. But his father had died recently and he had returned home to Cumbria. He didn’t care if he had to work in a pub or muck stables. He wanted to be home. He missed the people and he missed the fells. He missed the simpler, more honest rhythms of life. He was shy, even a bit reclusive. He read voraciously and widely, he liked astronomy and he was afraid of snakes, though it embarrassed him to admit it. He hadn’t had sex in a long time, and found it better to have a wank session than a meaningless encounter. The facts of him, the details of his life raced at me in a flood I consumed ravenously with each lap of my tongue.

 

As I ate Talia I felt the shape of his face, the curve of his chin, the rise and fall of his chest as he had done the same. I felt the soft tuft of bronze curls nestled between the hard rise of his pecs and the courser, deeper curls that caressed his testicles and his cock when it was at rest, but it hadn’t been at rest. How many times had he taken her? He was thick enough to fill her and the friction of him inside was delicious and maddening. The shape of him – I wanted to caress the shape of him, with my hands, with my mouth, and the taking of his essence from Talia was an act of ripping away something that should have been mine. As I bruised her arse with kneading fingers and, as I licked the last of his release from her, she managed a breathless moan. ‘Take the rest. God, Alonso, take the rest, and release me.’

 

Wow! You Don’t Look Like an Erotica Writer

A summer post from the archives

I don’t look like someone who writes erotica. I get that all the time, and I have to smile. It’s a bit like being told, ‘funny, Scribe-computer-keyboardMG_07771-225x300you don’t look like you’re not wearing any knickers. You don’t look like you just had extra cream in your coffee. You don’t look like you’ve been reading Cosmo in the ladies room.’

 

Contrary to popular belief, most erotica writers actually do look exactly like eritoca writers. In fact I look exactly like an erotica writer. Problem is most people don’t know what erotica writers look like. And, fair enough, I have to admit we’re a very difficult lot to recognize, so I’m going to give a very short crash course in how to spot an erotica writer. Not that it’ll help much. We’re masters of disguise. But perhaps it will give you some idea of what you’re actually up against so you won’t feel so bad next time you discover that the woman checking you out at the pharmacy, or the bloke tapping away on his laptop at Starbucks, or the chick picking up her kids after school is an erotica writer.

 

First, you need to know what NOT to look for in an erotica writer. Unless said writer is doing a reading at a book store and is trying to look like people expect an erotica writer to look, the person least likely to be an erotica writer is the one dressed in fishnet stockings and nose-bleed stilettos. Likewise don’t expect her to be the one with peek-a-boo cleavage and a leather mini, or the one with ‘please f*ck me now’ make-up.

 

In fact, the most outstanding thing about an erotica writer is that she doesn’t stand out. In fact it behoves her not to stand out. She’ll be the one in the coffee shop in the corner in the back. She’ll be wearing jeans and a jumper because minis and tiny tops are just too damn cold and uncomfortable to sit around and write in, and erotica writers are endlessly practical. She probably won’t be wearing any make-up because the time it takes to put on a face is time that could be spent getting down the fab hot story idea that came to her while she was cleaning her teeth this morning.

 

Yep, chances are very good you won’t notice her at all, but she’ll notice you. She’ll notice everyone and everything around her, and she’ll filter it all through an imagination filled with possibilities, sexy possibilities, stories to be woven, and heat to be generated on the written page. She’ll have her head down, writing like a madwoman. And if she has a quirky little smile half plastered across her face, you’ll know she’s found the hot idea she’s been looking for.

 

Some erotica writers don’t stand out because hey they didn’t even make it to the coffee shop. They’re still curled up at home in their pajamas with a cuppa writing a story sparked off by a dream they had. They may be in their most comfy track suit, hair pulled back in a ponytail, feet snuggled in fuzzy slippers while they tap away on the laptop at the kitchen Writing pen and birds 1_xl_20156020
table. They may be scribbling away in a little purple notebook during their lunch break at the office.

 

It’s hard to say where they’ll turn up, or how they’ll disguise themselves, or what occupation they might take up in their every-day, non-erotica-writing life. But it’s a pretty good bet that when they do decide to reveal themselves, you’ll still be picking your jaw up off the floor saying, ‘Wow, you sure don’t LOOK like someone who writes erotica.’

 

A Picture Really IS Worth a Thousand Words

(From the Archives 1st written for ERWA a year ago)

 

2015-08-19 16.25.54A picture is worth a thousand words and, for a writer, sometimes a picture is worth a whole story – even a whole novel.

As internet connections, wifi and smart phones have gotten better, I’ve gone from totally forgetting to take photos – even on the most amazing holidays and events – to being a shutter-snapping fiend. I take hundreds and hundreds of photos when I go away on a holiday, and if there’s something that interests me, even at home, I take a gazillion shots of it. Of course the instant gratification of sharing a trip or an event with everyone one through Face Book or Twitter and enjoying their responses is added incentive. I admit having shamelessly sent piccies of everything from my fish and chips in Lyme Regis to the scars on my knees after surgery, from the courgettes I grew in my garden to the blisters on my hands from kettle bells. Dearie me! I have become the monster I most feared.

 

The thing about an image is that it evokes senses other than just sight. It also stimulates memory and emotion and, for a writer, it stimulates imagination. I think that, more than anything else, that fact is responsible for my increase in photo snapping. The image doesn’t have to be beautiful any longer as it did in my earlier shutter-snapping days. The 2015-08-19 16.32.42image needs to be evocative. That’s the key for me. I played around on Pinterest quite a bit at one point. Some of you
may recall I wrote a post about my Pinterest experience, but evocative images happen wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, and an iPhone guarantees that if I want to capture that image for later use, I can do it without a second thought.

 

Here are some examples of what I mean. These shots were taken in the men and women’s loos in a pub in Inverness Scotland. Hubby took the men’s room shots for me after I told him what I saw in the ladies. The hair straightener in the ladies room at a pound a pop got me thinking about Rapunzel sneaking out from her tower prison for a little fun with her girlfriends. After wild dancing at the ceilidh, she notices her do is gone all frizzy, but since she’s Rapunzel, she has so much hair that she runs out of pound coins and has to offer sexual favors to the woman who spends money on a variety of sex toys from the vending machine, which she uses on Rapulzel.2015-08-26 13.44.06

 

Meanwhile Prince Charming, who finds her missing from the tower pursues her to the pub. Feeling frustrated, he treats himself to a portable pussy and some whisky flavoured condoms just in case he finds her. Well you get where I’m going with this.

 

Here is a shot of a deserted phone booth on the Isle of Sky near our cottage. With no wifi and no phone signal it’s easy
to imagine a hiker getting lost and ending up on a small farmstead. In desperation, she tries the phone booth, but when the phone doesn’t work, she elicits the help of the farmer who lives there — a bit of a twist on the ole farmer’s daughter stories and jokes. Of course the farmer could be a woman…

2015-08-26 18.54.55

Or perhaps you’d like a biker story with a twist? I’ve got inspirational images for that too. How about instead of a biker bar, we set our little tale in a biker bakery. In our little bakery the chef makes the most delectable bake goods of all time. She is enticed into providing all the bread, biscuits and buns for the local biker
gang. What kind of deal would the head of the biker gang make with the curvy head baker/pastry chef to get a bargain on her delectable buns?

 

I love the great outdoors, so for me every great-outdoorsy shot is an inspiration for a little garden porn or fun Al fresco, I’ve written whole series inspired by outdoor images of mountains lost in the midst and caves visited by demons and witches. But the truth is that sometimes a beautiful image is just a beautiful image, and being just back from the Highlands, as I am, and being a captive audience, as you are, I’ll leave you with this lovely image from the Isle of Sky.

2015-08-24 20.42.10

 

Dry Canyon Dreams

airport9I’m once again somewhere in the air over the Atlantic as you read this, so the next episode of The Psychology of Dreams will be postponed until next weekend, but I won’t leave you bereft of jet-lagged travel entertainment. I’m sharing a story I wrote in last year’s High Desert visit with my sister. Central Oregon is always an inspiring place. I’ve always loved mountain lions, though never seen one in the wild, and when I heard that there were sometimes sightings in the dry canyon and along the walking trail, near where my sister lives, well there just had to be a story. I hope you enjoy.

 

Dry Canyon Dreams

The night of that first encounter I was restless, and my imagination had been running wild ever since I’d landed in the States two nights before. I had been having dreams, crazy dreams, lust-filled sexy dreams that had driven me from sleep to find myself in sweat soaked sheets aching and wanting and needing … something. ‘Be present,’ I kept telling myself. I needed be present. I needed to learn to be in the moment. That’s a part of what this holiday was all about. Being in the moment was something of a struggle for me with one tight deadline bleeding into another and then another. The insane pace had been going on for over four years and now, for the first time in a long time I had given myself space between projects, space to breathe, space to rest, space to regroup. The problem was; now that I had the time and the space, I didn’t know what the hell to do with it. I’m a writer. That’s not just my job, it’s my vocation, and my identity is tied up in it – very possibly more so than I had imagined.

It had been the dreams that had driven me to the dry canyon in the middle of the night. In my dreams someone I never saw, someone holding me in a close, sensual embrace, someone nuzzling and cupping and caressing, kept whispering in my ear that I needed to write the story, that I needed to get it all down, but they would never tell me what story I was to write, and when I burst into wakefulness restless and uncomfortable in my own skin, the feeling of being stretched and expanded and then shoved back into myself was overlaid with a shimmering patina of arousal. Feeling like I’d suffocate if I didn’t get some air, I’d dressed quickly and left the house, leaving a note on the kitchen table for my sister just in case she should wake and find me missing.

In ten minutes I was in the dry canyon alone in the middle of the night wondering why I wasn’t at least a little bit nervous about my choice of how to spend my time in the wee hours. My sister said that in spite of the fact that the canyon ran through the center of the town with five miles of paved walking path from one end to the other as well as other footpaths meandering along the canyon’s edges, in spite of the fact that the canyon was almost never deserted, occasionally there was a mountain lion spotting, occasionally warnings were posted. There had never been an attack, never been even a threat, but it wasn’t all that uncommon in areas where human habitat encroached on puma territory for the two to come in contact with each other. But not now, I told myself. In my visits to my sister’s I’d seen deer in the canyon, myriad birds, rock chucks and other wildlife, but never a mountain lion. And if I were being completely honest, I found the shiver up my spine at the thought of seeing one of the beautiful cats at least as exciting as it was frightening. The full moon hung heavily just over my head, almost like I could reach out and touch it. It gave off enough silver light that I could see in exquisite monochrome layers, juniper and sage and the rise of the steep volcanic cliffs of the canyon walls.

IMG_5578The dry canyon splits the town of Redmond, Oregon right down the middle and until recently the only way to get around it was to drive to the end. Now there’s a huge bridge that spans it joining the two sides, the architects and builders having taken particular care that the bridge should blend in with the canyon and the high desert’s natural beauty. The bridge glistened pale in the moonlight, giant concrete arches rising like the bones of some graceful prehistoric monster whose death throes had spanned the canyon in rib-boned arches. It’s the landmark I always walk toward. And that night, when I got there, I drank deeply from the water fountain placed strategically in the shade for passing bikers, runners and walkers. There’s even a fountain for dogs next to it. Then I settled on the lone picnic table beneath the bridge, lie down on my back and look up at the shadowed underbelly of sinuous concrete.

I heard the runner before I saw him. I heard his heavy breathing, I heard the scuff, scuff of his feet against the ground, and I stayed still, listening, not wanting to startle him. I knew I should make good my getaway, or at least make my presence known, but I didn’t. For some reason I just lay there and watched as he drew near. The moonlight glistened on his bare chest, and I didn’t even pretend not to look. He was light footed, slender of build, long and well muscled. His hair was tawny pale and unkempt, clinging in wet curls around his ears and onto his shoulders. At the fountain, he drank long and deep, then tossed several cupped handfuls of water onto his head, down the back of his neck and onto his face. His nipples beaded, and goose flesh bloomed and spread across the rise and fall of his pecs where the water dripped onto his chest and over his taut belly. It was then that his gaze lit on me and the little breath of his surprise sounded like a soft growl in the muted night.

‘Strange dreams,’ I said in response to his unasked question as to my presence. I made no attempt not to stare at him, which didn’t seem too impolite, since he stared right back at me. ‘I needed some fresh air.’ Frankly I was surprised I could speak at all, let alone that I can be so brazen about it.

He bent for another drink, and I noticed he was barefoot. My insides quivered at just how little clothing the man really had on. The running shorts were thin and rode low on his hips revealing his navel and the slender path of soft hair disappearing into his waistband, a path I found myself wanting to follow with the stroke of a palm.

I was surprised when he moved to the table next to me, and settled a large hand in my hair, fisting it and stoking it until I sighed softly and moved against his palm. I was even more surprised when he stepped back, stretched his arms high above his head, yawned deeply, and then lay down beside me, settling himself around me in a spoon position. The dry desert air had dried the sweat from his flesh almost entirely. He was surprisingly warm and he smelled of desert heat, juniper and sagebrush. For a second I panicked as his strong arm snaked around my waist and pulled me back tight against him. Then I felt his mouth on the back of my neck, first parted lips, then tongue, then a slight nip of teeth. I found myself inexplicably calming under his touch, calming to the low rumble of satisfaction deep in his chest, to the steady hard pumping of his heart as he pressed his chest tight against me.

Once he was certain I wouldn’t run, his hold on me relaxed and his palm, flat against my belly, slid beneath my tank top and up to cup my breasts. I caught my breath in a startled moan as he thumbed my nipples alternately until they rose stiff and sensitive against calloused skin. I’d not bothered with a bra when I left my sister’s house. I never expected to meet anyone in the canyon. Easy access for anyone’s hands other than my own had not been my plan. While he cupped and kneaded and pinched, his mouth went back to work on my neck. He raised himself on one elbow to tongue and nip the hollow of my throat and I could feel the shape of him, hard and urgent, beneath the thin fabric of his shorts.

I barely had time to think about the hard rub and shift of him pressing against the back of my sweat bottoms before his hand migrated back down my belly and eased under my waistband with me shifting forward into the cup of his palm as he fingered and worked his way down. My legs parted and shifted and moved of their own volition to allow him access, and the shiver down my spine was not from the cool of the night as he stroked and fondled, all the while nipping and tonguing the back of my neck and the lobe of my ear, an effort leaving me weak and trembling with need that felt bone deep.

I don’t know how his hands could be everywhere, but they were. He slid my sweats down over my hips and, for a split second, I felt the cool night air against my bare bottom. Then I felt him bare and hard and anxious against me. The biting of my neck became more urgent and, God, I wanted him to bite me hard, I wanted to bite him back. I was only half conscious of the sounds he was making, animal grunts and groans, growls deep in his chest, sighs that I felt hot and moist against my skin. Then the nipping and the suckling and the caressing migrated down the length of my spine, and strong arms lifted me onto my hands and knees until my bottom was raised high in the moonlight and, before I could even think to protest, he continued his explorations, spreading me and kneading me with strong hands until his tongue found what he was looking for — me wet and restless and needing. I don’t remember much beyond that point except intense desperate pleasure, except his breath hot and fast against the swell of me, except him tasting me in hungry, lapping mouthfuls. And when I was boneless and weak from his efforts he pulled away, rose up and bit me on the shoulder, bit me hard enough to make me cry out, then he plunged into me, crushing me to him, holding my hips tight against his body, wrapping his arms around my waist, burying his face in my neck. I remember rearing back against him with each thrust, matching him growl for growl, holding my breath, bracing for impact, anticipating the breaking and shattering and falling apart as we came together and collapsed in desperate gasps back onto the table. Then he curled around me and we slept.

I remember waking alone on the picnic with the moon setting and dawn just beginning to gray the rim of the canyon, or at least I think I remember. I was barely aware of the walk back to my sister’s house, and the stripping off of my clothes and the falling into bed and into unconsciousness. In fact when I woke later in the morning snuggled down in the bed with the cool desert breeze blowing the curtains at the open window next to my bed, I figured I’d probably dreamed the whole experience. I mean the whole experience of dressing and walking in a dark canyon in the middle of the night alone, of sharing my body with a man I didn’t know, a man who never spoke, it wasn’t me at all. Surely it wasn’t the kind of thing I’d do. It was my imagination, I was sure. Jet lag often makes for powerful dreams, though it was strange the way my body felt that morning, I woke to the achy tenderness that follows rough sex, that follows a ravenous encounter too wild to really be just fucking, and yet just tame enough not to scare me into running away in fear of being completely devoured.

After breakfast my sister and I walked the canyon – her anticipating a good bit of morning exercise and me wanting to see if just maybe something would jog my memory, if just maybe something would bring the vividness of the encounter back to me. The dry canyon has been one of my favorite parts of where my sister lives for a long time. Walking it together has been a major part of our visits. We’d just descended the side road into the canyon and I was admiring how the bridge shown in the morning sun, thinking about my dream encounter, when my sister drew my attention to a sign on the notice board.

mountain_lion_petroglyph_photo_print-r1c1d777189c04e63a2426808aab6f0e1_wyy_8byvr_512Caution: Mountain Lion Sighting.

 

The breeze that had been warm felt suddenly chilled and the hairs on my arms rose.

‘There hasn’t been one in awhile,’ she was saying when I finally managed to turn my attention back to her. ‘Usually people see them at dawn or at dusk, people out for a late or an early run. They’re nocturnal, you know?’

‘Yes, I know.’ I said, remembering with a shiver low in my belly the nip of teeth on the back of my neck and the rough push and shove of flesh against flesh.

 

Making Sense

Holly cover FINAL9781907761270_FC(Archives: Parts of this post appeared on the British Romance Fiction Blog in 2012)

Sometimes in the summer months, I like to showcase some of my backlist — sort of my walk down memory lane, if you will. Today I’d like to talk about my first-Born, The Initiation of Ms Hollywhich later became the first book of The Mount Series, along with Fulfilling the Contract and To Rome with Lust are now available as a box set. The Initiation of Ms Holly led readers into a world in which the main character, Rita Holly, a good bit of the novel blindfolded.

I gleaned a lot of inspiration for my erotic romance, The Initiation of Ms Holly, from being stuck in the Eurostar Tunnel in the dark on a malfunctioning train; at least that was the catalyst. But the idea of being forced to use our other senses as a replacement for the over-developed sense of sight has always intrigued me and has played a role in several of my short stories. I wanted to create a world in which my hero and heroine would be forced to rely on other senses.

Often in novels, we literally see the world through the eyes of the author, and our eyes are constantly at the forefront of our Panoply of the Senses, with television, films, internet, even books. We get a visual glut of input with not nearly enough attention paid to the other senses. As writers, it’s not unusual for us to view our heroine or hero up close and personal in our mind’s eye. In many cases we may even have already picked out the perfect actor or actress to portray them in the inevitable movie that will surely follow.

A good bit of the first three chapters of The Initiation of Ms Holly takes place in the dark or with Rita Holly blindfolded. But the novel goes way beyond a few chapters in a blindfold. Rita is not permitted to see the face of her lover, Edward, until she completes, to the High Council’s satisfaction, the initiation ritual into the secret society, of which Edward is apart — The Mount. Neither is she allowed to have sex with him until she is a full-fledged member.

Holly Final Cover ImageWhat I wanted to do was create a world in which our most common method of being attracted to each other – sight, and our most common response to falling in love – sex, are taken away. Rita and Edward are left with only their other senses and with their wits to overcome the obstacles set before them, that is IF they care enough about each other to endure the challenge. And Vivienne, the sexy, but vicious head of the High Council of The Mount, has no intention of making it easy.

It’s an archetypal story — not being able to experience one’s lover through the sense of sight. In Greek mythology, Psyche is not allowed to see the face of her lover, but he is so tender, so engaging so charming. And since he visits her in the dark of night, it’s a fair assumption that he’s good in bed too! Whatever he does, he does it well, caring for her in ways that inspire love. But of course it’s not enough. Psyche needs to SEE the man she loves to reassure herself he’s as wonderful as she believes him to be and not the monster her sisters tell her he is. Of course he’s neither man nor monster. He’s Eros, the god of love, himself, and she has broken his only command – not to look upon his face. Let the fun begin! The tale of their love and Psyche’s abandonment and reunion with Eros is one of my very favourite myths. The Initiation of Ms Holly is a modern retelling of that story, all dressed up and turned about and set in London.

Which brings me back to the other senses. Can we truly trust what we can’t see with our own eyes? Most mammals trust their noses far more than their sense of sight, and there have been studies done that suggest we humans still have those latent mammalian olfactory abilities. We just don’t use them anymore. Barn Owls can hunt quite effectively in total darkness by using only their amazing sense of hearing. Could we actually recognize true love with our sense of smell, could we recognize the heartbeat of our lover, or the shape of his face against our fingertips? Could we rely on the sense receptor in our skin to define for us what we can’t see? How much of what is unseen could we perceive with our ears or with our sense of taste? Edward tests some of Rita’s other senses in the beginning chapters of The Initiation of Ms Holly, with some very yummy results. ‘I don’t have to see you to appreciate you,’ he tells her upon their initial meeting in the pitch black of the train.

Mount 3 book bundleFor me, toying with the senses and how they affect our desires and feelings for other people, how they affect our perception of intimacy, provides one of the most fascinating angles to any story. If we can’t see our lover, can we trust our other senses to tell us if we’re living with a monster or with a god? And even if we do see our lover, do we trust what we see with our own eyes to be the whole truth?

Rita and Edward’s journey is fraught with sensual twists and turns as well as the usual emotional mine fields that litter the path to love – jealousy, doubt, lack of trust, fear of loss, and all sorts of other tantalizing goodies. Emotions and senses – put the two together and watch the fireworks. Sometimes what we see with our own eyes is not to be trusted. And sometimes we CAN smell a rat. So the journey of a thousand miles, the journey to love, begins with a kiss in a dark train – at least for Rita and Edward. That and some very expensive chocolate.

 

The Initiation of Ms Holly Blurb:

Book One in The Mount trilogy (Click here for: Book Two | Book Three)

Journalist, Rita Holly, never dreamed sex with the mysterious Edward in the dark of a malfunctioning train would lead to a blindfolded, champagne-drenched tango, a spanking by a butch waitress, and an offer of initiation into the exclusive mysteries of The Mount. Desperate to save her threatened job, she agrees, scheming secretly to write an inside exposé on the club that will make her career. But as she delves deeper into the intrigue of The Mount and the lives of its members, she soon discovers that her heart may have other plans.

 The Initiation of Ms Holly Excerpt:

 

He practically fell on top of Rita, his hand grazing her left breast in the complete darkness. She yelped and grabbed him to keep from losing her balance.

‘God, I’m sorry!’ He gasped. ‘Bloody nuisance, this, isn’t it?’ His voice was warm, melodious, by far the most pleasant thing that had happened to Rita since she left Paris. ‘Oh dear. You’re trembling. Are you all right?’

‘I’m claustrophobic’ her words were thin and shaky, as though she didn’t fully trust herself to let them out. ‘It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t know where we are.’ For an embarrassing moment, she realized she was still clinging to him, but the embarrassment passed, and suddenly she didn’t care. If they were going to die trapped in a train in the Eurostar tunnel, buried beneath a gazillion gallons of water, she’d just as soon not do it alone.

He either understood, or was too polite to leave her in such distress. He wrapped his arms around her engulfing her in a muscular embrace, the scent of which was maleness barely masked by deodorant and some spicy cologne, both fading at the end of a day much longer than either of them had anticipated. ‘Don’t worry.’ In the darkness, he misjudged the distance between them and his lips brushed her earlobe. ‘It’s just an electrical malfunction. Anyway we’re better off down here than in the snowstorm up above. Sounds like all of London is shut down. Who’d have expected snow this late in the spring? Never mind that, where else do you get the chance to cuddle strangers in the dark?’

He pressed a little closer to her, and she was relieved to find other thoughts, thoughts more welcome than those of their predicament, pushing their way into her head. He felt good, broad-shouldered and tall, easy to lean on.

‘Why are you huddled here in the corner rather than hunkered down in your seat?’

She concentrated on his warm breath pressing against the top of her ear. ‘I was on my way back from the loo when the lights went out and…’

‘And this is as far as you got.’

She nodded against his chest, homing in on the reassuring sound of his heartbeat.

‘Shall I help you back to your seat then?’

The train lurched forward, and she yelped again, tightening her grip around his neck. ‘No, please. It’s better if I just don’t move.’

There was a long pause. ‘Do you want me to stay with you?’

She realized the poor man had little choice clenched in her strangle hold, as he was. ‘I don’t want to be any trouble,’ she lied.

He readjusted his stance and tightened his embrace. ‘No trouble at all. I can’t think of a better way to pass the time than in the arms of a beautiful woman. You are beautiful, aren’t you?’

In spite of the stress she felt, she forced a laugh. ‘Gorgeous, actually. Too bad you can’t see for yourself.’

He ran a hand down the contour of her spine to rest low on the small of her back. ‘I don’t have to see you to admire you.’

theinitiationsofmsholly_front_jpegThe thought that the man was rather cheeky barely crossed her mind before he lifted her fingers to his lips and planted a warm kiss across the back of her knuckles. ‘I’m Edward. I’m from London. Clearly you’re not.’

‘Rita,’ she replied. ‘I’m from Seattle, but I live in London now.’

‘Well Rita, from Seattle, we’ve established that you’re an exotic beauty. Perhaps you’d like to return the favour.’ He lifted her hand to his face and guided it gently over the slight stubble of his cheek. As her hand cupped his well-formed chin, he pulled her middle finger into his mouth and nibbled it, teasing the pad of it with his tongue. Suddenly her struggle to breathe had nothing to do with being claustrophobic.

‘Well?’ He asked pulling her hand away to massage her fingers. ‘What do you think? Am I acceptable?’

If he was cheeky, she was downright brazen. She stopped his words with her mouth, amazed at how easily she had found the mark in total darkness. Perhaps it was the darkness that made her so bold, but whatever it was, he didn’t disappoint. His mouth was warm, opening eagerly to the probing of her tongue, responding in kind, caressing her hard pallet, nipping at the fullness of her lower lip before pulling away just enough to speak.

‘There, you see? It’s not so bad being in the dark, is it? The other senses are too often overlooked, which is very sad, since they offer such exquisite delights.’ His hand moved up to cup her cheek, and he raked a thumb across her still parted lips. ‘Taste, for example. Few pleasures exceed that of the tongue.’

She heard him fumbling in the darkness, then she heard the rattling of foil. ‘Open your mouth,’ he whispered. ‘I have something that’ll make you feel better, guaranteed. Oh don’t worry, it’s nothing illegal.’

Reluctantly she opened her mouth, which he primed with a wet kiss, then slipped a chocolate truffle between her lips. It was covered liberally in cocoa and warmed exquisitely almost, but not quite to the steamy melting point of his body temperature, which only enhanced the sharp, edgy flavor that separates expensive chocolate from the cheap stuff.

She gasped her surprise, then moaned softly at the intensity of the taste.

‘Don’t bite,’ he kissed her jaw, then her throat. ‘Savour it, roll it around in your mouth. There are places on the tongue that taste only sweet and places that taste only bitter or salt, or sour. Chocolate can have all those flavors. Caress it in your mouth like you’re making love to it, and you’ll be amazed at what you taste.’

She cheeked the truffle, slurring her words as she spoke. ‘I thought I was tasting you.’

He chuckled softly. ‘Everything tastes better with chocolate.’ Without another word, he took her mouth, plunging his tongue deep against the melting truffle, whirling it, lapping at it, sighing with the pleasure of it. The more liquid and heated the truffle became, the more liquid and heated Rita became.

*****

Holly_teaserThey were still gobbling hungrily at each other’s mouths when the conductor’s voice came over the intercom. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, a train has just arrived to tow us into Ashford. Upon our arrival, another train will be waiting for those of you who wish to continue on to London St. Pancras. For those of you who would prefer, arrangements have been made to put you up at a hotel in Ashford for the night and get you safely on your way in the morning. Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience.’

The car erupted in a buzz of conversation as people discussed their options and their relief that at least something was finally happening.

‘What will you do?’ He asked.

‘I’ll stay,’ she said, almost wishing the conductor had kept his mouth shut long enough for round two. ‘With all the snow, I can’t get home even if I do get to London. You?’

‘I have to go. Business. It would have been lovely to continue the fun in a hotel room. But I can’t. Not this time. Come on. Let me help you back to your seat.’

When they arrived in her car, by the light of his mobile, she found her place much more quickly than she would have liked. ‘Give me your phone,’ he said once she was seated.

She did as he asked. He keyed in something and handed it back. ‘Now you have my number. Text me.’ Then he gave her a brain searing kiss and left as the train lurched forward and gathered speed. She hadn’t even seen his face.

The Romance Review“Skillfully written to provide a provocative blend of kinky sex with subtle mystery. Simply put, this book is a page-turner for the erotic reader.” The Romance Reviews

 

*****

Coffee Time Romance“The Initiation of Ms. Holly is so hot I am still tingling a day after I finished reading this novel. This spicy number will heat you up and keep you fully charged for days to come.” – Coffee Time Romance

*****

“This story had an exciting plot with some twists and turns, a cast of very colorful characters, some angst, a plethora of amazing and erotic sex and lastly a beautiful love story. Rita and Edward went through all kinds of kinky hell to get where they wanted to be….and I loved being on this journey with them! A great first read for me by K.D. Grace. Can not wait to get my hands on the next book in The Mount series, Fulfilling the Contract.” Violet Blue

*****

Miz Love Loves Books“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 Loves Books

*****

“Oh.My.God. The Initiation of Ms. Holly is simply to die for. The Initiation of Ms. Holly is one of the best erotic stories I’ve ever read.  If you want hot, steamy, and kinky with a great story, this should be at the very top of the list.  Buy this book!” Grade: A+ BookingIt

*****

“The Initiation of Ms Holly is erotic fantasy at its best. The sexual scenarios are wonderfully varied and imaginative, and unfailingly arousing. I flew through the book, devouring one luscious sex scene after another, as eager as Rita herself for the next trial.” Erotica Revealed

*****

“A wonderfully hot book, which will have you running down your vibrator batteries in no time… the best erotic novel I have read for a very long time.” Kay Jaybee, author of The Collector

*****

“A book that grabs you from the very beginning… full of wild and steamy encounters. It’s definitely worth keeping your head as you follow the book through to its climactic ending and unearth the deepest, darkest secrets of The Mount and its members.” Lucy Felthouse, editor of Uniform Behaviour

*****

“This is a wild fast paced compulsive read… you can’t help but get swept along by this incredible storyline and page after page of excellently written sex scenes, where we feel real emotion between the individual characters involved. I have to say the girl on girl scenes were written with an incredible sensuality, delicacy and beauty as well as being super hot.” Midnight Boudoir

*****

“All in all, there was a nice balance of reality and passion/imagination that kept this story flowing nicely. I hope that you guys get a chance to pick this book up – it’s a nice twist on a story that’s not necessarily original, but had a very original spin on it.” Eager Reader

*****

“Holy Hell this book was hot! Like melt your e-reader hot! This book is totally worth the 4.5 stars I’m giving it, the plot flowed nicely and wasn’t predictable… the sexy wasn’t just hot it was HAWT. If you are looking for a fantastic erotic read, look no further!” 4.5 out of 5, Swoon Worthy Books

*****

“The first thing I realized about this book was it is extremely erotic. Like off the charts erotic… this story had an exciting plot with some twists and turns, a cast of very colorful characters, some angst, a plethora of amazing and erotic sex and lastly a beautiful love story. A great first read for me by K.D. Grace.” The Sub Club Books

*****

 

 
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The Romance Reviews

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