Small Flashlight, Big Darkness

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

As a neurotic living among other neurotics, I doubt that there’s anything we’re more neurotic about as a people than sexuality. I don’t think it’s any real surprise that there’s suddenly a huge market for erotica. Last night I sat on a panel of erotica authors, editors and publishers at the Guildford Book Fair – something that would have never happened before Fifty Shades of Grey, and even at 9:00 in the evening, we played to a full house. Each of us had a story of how we came to write erotica. We shared our stories with a roomful of people, who then took those stories away with them to possibly be shared with others. The archetype of the storyteller is alive and well. And I believe writers live out the archetype of the wounded healer on a daily basis.

 

Most of the time I write my stories because it’s just too much fun not to. That’s the truth of it. I seldom consciously dig deep to find those wounded, neurotic places. Really, who would want to do that deliberately? But the wounded places find me, and they end up finding their way into the story. And what surfaces is never quite what I expected, always more somehow, even if starts out to be nothing more than a passing dream I can’t get out of my head.

 

Out Now—The Voyeur by Kay Jaybee (@kay_jaybee) #bdsm #erotica

(Second edition, published by Sinful Press, 2018)

The world of Mark Parker is steeped in sexual fantasy and hidden away in a small notebook…

“…This is, simply put, Kay Jaybee’s best work to date. It’s imaginative, kinky, sexy and keeps you guessing throughout. So if you’re looking for a well-written, BDSM packed novel with lots of straight and lesbian sex, then you should definitely check out The Voyeur.’ Blog Critics

“…The Voyeur is the pitch black to E.L. James’ shades. A richly dark erotic thriller which keeps you gripped from its sexually charged start and through its twists and turns along the way….  as the girls sexual challenges get packed with more eroticism you start to question whether you want the girls to succeed or not …without knowing the full details and implications….” Amazon

“…if you kink kinky then this is for, you otherwise be warned … this is not Fifty or even Gideon Cross – Mark Parker is in a world of his own…
An excellent story that had me up most the night to get it finished – I HAD to know what was going to happen.” Goodreads.

Blurb

Wealthy businessman and committed voyeur, Mark Parker, has a list of thirteen fantasies he is intent on turning into reality. Travelling between his London flat, his plush Oxfordshire mansion, and Discreet, his favourite S&M club; Mark is helped to realise his imaginatively dark erotic desires by two loyal members of his staff. His Personal Assistant, Anya Grant, and his Housekeeper, Clara Hooper.

Upon the backs of his willing slaves, Mark has written out his fantasy list in thick red pen. Only Fantasy 12 awaits the tick of completion against their flesh before Mark’s ultimate fantasy – Fantasy 13- can take place.

But have the girls performed well enough to succeed in the final challenge? And what hold does the Bridge’s Gentleman’s Club, Anya’s previous employer, have over Mark? A place Anya was only too delighted to escape from.

In order to find out, Mark’s girls are going to have to face some of the fantasies they thought they’d left behind them all over again; and while they do, Mark will watch…

Buy Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Voyeur-Kay-Jaybee-ebook/dp/B07F78THVG/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Voyeur-Kay-Jaybee-ebook/dp/B07F78THVG/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Voyeur-Kay-Jaybee-ebook/dp/B07F78THVG/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Voyeur-Kay-Jaybee-ebook/dp/B07F78THVG/
Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-voyeur-kay-jaybee/1112404307?ean=9781910908310
iBooks UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-voyeur/id1404272376?mt=11
iBooks US: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-voyeur/id1404272376?mt=11
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-voyeur-24

Extract

Mark took a step closer to his PA. “Tonight,” he said, pulling off Anya’s shirt and bra, exposing her luscious chest to the cool of the room, “you will both face a combination of experiences that together make up Fantasy 12. Won’t it be lovely to be able to tick another task off our list, girls?”

They didn’t answer; experience had taught them that nine times out of ten their employer’s questions were rhetorical.

Mark twisted the women round; removing Clara’s top as he did so, so he could see both his employees’ bare backs. There, in neat script, a permanent pen had been used to write ‘Fantasy 1’, ‘Fantasy 2’ and so on, all the way down–the numbers following the length of their spines, finishing with the words ‘Fantasy 13’. The first eleven rows of black lettering had bright red ticks next to them.

“Only two more tasks left to go.”

This time the girls risked a fleeting glance at each other; exchanging a look of mutual blood-hammering exhilaration twinned with an erotic anticipation it would have been hypocritical to deny.

Mark, during his brief periods of leisure, had painstakingly detailed many lust-driven scenarios he wished to both direct and bring to life. He often wrote notes, accompanied by intricate diagrams of erotic, slightly disturbing, but ultimately satisfying fantasies, in a leather-bound journal that only he was allowed to read.

Anya and Clara knew that the final fantasy, when it came, would be more difficult and different to anything they’d ever previous experienced. They feared it.

They also longed for it.

Mark was a clever man, for as each new task unfolded he pushed his faithful staff along with him, darkening their desires and needs. Changing them so they slowly became closer to his own. Making his girls as keen as he was to see how far they could go. To see how much they could physically take as they accompanied him on his journey of extreme sexual sightseeing.

A cold, clammy sheen of perspiration broke out on Anya’s face, arms, and breasts as Mark danced a finger across her skin. “You will both go to your room and change into the clothes I’ve placed upon your beds. You will remain there until I call you.” Mark pointed to the door, and his employees headed to their small, twin-bedded room without a sound.

As Anya considered some of the things she and Clara had been required to do over the last six months, she privately reassured herself that the trepidation shooting down her spine was understandable and acceptable. It was also irrational, for she knew that Fantasy 12 would not only be tolerable, but enjoyable; and that just because the end of the list was in sight, it didn’t mean the night ahead would involve anything worse than Mark had asked of them before. She could handle this. They both could–no problem.

Then Anya saw her outfit.

Her bed supported nothing but a leather dog collar.

Staring at the total lack of clothing, Anya almost conveyed her horror to Clara, but her lover stopped her with an urgent shake of the head. There was no privacy here, and they never knew if the webcams positioned in every room were switched on or not…

Bio

Kay Jaybee was named Best Erotica Writer of 2015 by the ETO

Kay received an honouree mention at the NLA Awards 2015 for excellence in BDSM writing.

Kay Jaybee has over 180 erotica publications including, The Voyeur, 2nd edition (Sinful Press, 2018), Knowing Her Place-Book 3 : The Perfect Submissive Trilogy (KJBooks, 2018), The Retreat- Book2: The Perfect Submissive Trilogy (KJBooks, 2018), Making Him Wait, 2nd edition (Sinful Press, 2018), The Fifth Floor- Book1;The Perfect Submissive Trilogy (KJBooks, 2017), Wednesday on Thursday, (KDP, 2017), The Collector (KDP, 2016), A Sticky Situation (Xcite, 2013), Digging Deep, (Xcite 2013), Take Control, (1001 NightsPress, 2014), and Not Her Type (1001 NightsPress), 2013.

Details of all her short stories and other publications can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

You can follow Kay on –

Twitter- https://twitter.com/kay_jaybee

Facebook –http://www.facebook.com/KayJaybeeAuthor

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3541958-kay-jaybee

Brit Babes Site- http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk/p/kay-jaybee.html

Kay also writes contemporary romance and children’s picture books as Jenny Kane www.jennykane.co.uk  and historical fiction as Jennifer Ash www.jenniferash.co.uk

 

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Lip Service

(From the Archives)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel like it’s a proper sex scene, or even a proper PG love scene, unless there’s some serious lip action. Here are a few fun factoids about the lip lock that I discovered while I was writing my post for my Sunday Snog. They are from Psychology Today, How Stuff Worksand Random Facts:

 

  • The science of kissing is called philematology.
  • Lips are 100 times more sensitive than the tips of the fingers. They’re even more sensitive that the genitals!
  • The most important muscle in kissing is the orbicularis oris, whichallows the lips to “pucker.”
  • French kissing involves 34 muscles in the face, while a pucker kiss involves just two.
  • A nice romantic kiss burns 2-3 calories, while a hot sizzler can burn off five or even more.
  • The mucus membranes inside the mouth are permeable to hormones. Through open-mouth kissing, men introduced testosterone into a woman’s mouth, the absorption of which increases arousal and the likelihood of rumpy pumpy.
  • Apparently men like it wet and sloppy while women like it long and lingering.
  • While we Western folk do lip service, some cultures do nose service, smelling for that romantic, sexual connection. Very mammalian, if you ask me, and who doesn’t love a good dose of pheromonal yumminess?
  • Then there’s good old fashion bonding. It’s no secret that kissing someone you like increases closeness.

 

While all that’s interesting to know, what really intrigues me about kisses is how something seemingly so fragile can become so mind-blowingly powerful when lips, tongue, a whisp of breath, perhaps a nip of teeth are applied in the right proportion at the right time on the right part of the anatomy. And with the size of the human body in proportion to the mouth, the possibilities for a delicious outcome are only as limited as the imagination.

 

One theory is that kissing evolved from the act of mothers premasticating food for their infants, back in the pre-baby food days, and then literally kissing it into their mouths. Birds still do that. The sharing of food mouth to mouth is also a courtship ritual, and birds aren’t the only critters who do that. Even with no food involved the tasting, touching and sniffing of mouths of possible mates, or even as an act of submission, is very much a part of the animal kingdom.

 

The sharing of food is one of the most basic functions, the function that kept us all alive when we were too small to care for ourselves. The mouth is that magical place where something from the outside world is ingested and becomes a part of our inside world, giving us energy and strength. Not only is the mouth the receptacle for food, it’s the passage for oxygen. Pretty much all that has to pass into the body to sustain life passes through the mouth. I find it fascinating that the kiss, one of the most basic elements in Western mating ritual and romance, should involve such a live-giving part of our anatomy.

 

But the mouth does more than just allow for the intake of the sustenance we need. The mouth allows us voice. I doubt there are many people who appreciate that quite as much as we writers, who love words and the power they give us. And how can I think about the power of words without thinking about the power of words in song and poetry? Our mouths connect us in language, in thought, in the courtship of words that allow us to know and understand each other before those mouths take us to that intimate place of the kiss. And when that kiss becomes a part of our sexual experience, it’s that mouth, that tongue, those lips that allow us to say what we like and how we like it; that allow us to talk dirty; that allow us to vocalize our arousal; that allow us to laugh or tease our way to deeper intimacy.

 

The fact that the mouth offers all those wonderful, life-giving, life enhancing things, AND can kiss, makes it one of my very favourite parts of the body

 

“If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

Romeo and Juliet Act 1 Scene 5

William Shakespeare

 

Reading to Each Other

While I was in Oregon at my sisters on holiday, I rediscovered the joy of reading to
each other. I’ve been recommending Naomi Novik’sfantastic alternate history, Temeraireseries, to her for ages. It’s my favorite series of all time. While I was there and we were fighting the hundred degree plus heat and trying to stay cool, she downloaded the first novel, and one evening while sitting on her deck catching what little breeze there was, I asked her if she’d like me to read to her, knowing that if I could only read a little bit, she’d be totally hooked. To my surprised she said, “oh, I love to be read to.” That was all it took. I was off.

 

I LOVE the Temeraire series with a passion, and I never miss a chance to recommend it. Confession of a fan girl here: I’ve read the entire nine book three times and am reading them again. But I’ve never read any of them out loud before. Wow! Have I been missing out! First let me say that the series is set during the Napoleonic War, and the main character of the novels is a dragon. If that doesn’t hook you, I don’t know what will.

 

Secondly, you all know I love to do readings from my novels for an audience, and a huge part of the fun is making whatever I read, even if it’s only five minutes worth, almost like a small radio play. You see, like all writers, I want people to love my novels and the stories I tell as much as I do. I want my characters to be as alive to them as they are to me. I want them to be as much gripped by the plot as I was when I wrote it. I discovered, as I sat on the deck breathing in the lovely high desert air, that I absolutely loved being able to bring Temeraire and Lawrence to life for my sister’s entertainment. And, as I totally expected, she was gripped.

 

For the next week, we giggled about sneaking some quality time with the dragon. When we weren’t reading, we often discussed the plot as it unfolded and I gave her little teasers about what was to come. Our afternoon coffee time quickly became afternoon reading time, and I discovered I was just as enthralled with the novel as I had been when I first read it. If anything, knowing what was coming, as I did, only excited me more – especially when I couldn’t wait to see my sister’s response to the plot as it unfolded. By day three, she got bold enough to take her turn at reading to me. We were halfway through the second novel before I left.

 

The pleasure of reading out loud to each other shouldn’t come as any real surprise to me. My husband and I used to do it all the time when we were first married. We just got out of the habit. We’ll have to change that for sure. Even more than that, I never send anything off to a publisher that hasn’t been read out loud repeatedly. I always know a passage is right when I enjoy reading it out loud.

 

For centuries people who could read read out loud. Up until the 17thcentury, reading was not the introverted occupation it is since reading silently has become the norm. While I’m the first to say I could curl up with a good book and never leave my cave, I’m also the first to say that I have loved being read to since I was a child. The art of reading to others came much later for me when I began doing readings from my books for an audience. You see, even I can be social when I have to.

 

What I had forgotten that I knew as a child and that I knew when Raymond and I read to each other, is how delightful reading to each other on a more intimate scale is. I’ve been home for two weeks now, and my sister and I are still emailing about missing our time together with the dragon. It does make me wonder how much of the meat of the story, the true life of the story, we miss by reading silently, by not sharing
a story with someone else. Plus, I have to say, it was a total delight to take on the
character of the dragon and of the people and other dragons who were a part of his story. I felt transported in a very different way than I do when I read silently. A part of that, I’m sure, was seeing the novel fresh through my sister’s eyes. Through her enjoyment, I got to enjoy the story twice-over.

 

Hubby is enthusiastic about adding reading to each other back into our free time. In fact, he’s enthusiastic enough to suggest we tackle Roger Zelazny’sentire Chronicles of Amber. I’m up for the challenge.

 

Out Now—Mia’s Choice (The Heiress’s Harem Book Three) by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #reverseharem #whychoose

Blurb:

But what happens after the wedding?

The last few months of Mia Harrington’s life have been tumultuous, to say the least. Losing her father, the bombshell in his will, followed by her multiple whirlwind romances and subsequent marriage—it’s little wonder she’s so thrilled to be spending three weeks in a tropical paradise with her four men. Rest, relaxation and a hefty dose of fun is precisely what they all need.

But the unconventional honeymoon isn’t all sea, sun, sand, and scorching sex. Back home in England, they have careers, responsibilities, other things that take up their time. Being in each other’s pockets on a tiny island is a challenge—but is it one they can rise to? Will this make or break their relationships? And when being away from it all gives them time to think, what impact will that have on the decisions they make about their futures?

Buy now (or read in Kindle Unlimited):
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BZPF7LF/
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BZPF7LF/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07BZPF7LF/
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07BZPF7LF/

*****

Excerpt:

Mia Harrington sighed contentedly and tipped her head back to allow the sun’s rays to bathe her face. Her blonde hair swished gently behind her in the sea breeze. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been so thoroughly relaxed. Sitting on the wooden deck of her bungalow with her bare feet dangling over the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean was exactly what the doctor ordered.

She snorted. Her surgeon boyfriend, Alex Cartwright, hadn’t even organised this trip, though she was sure he’d had some input. No, this supremely unconventional yet utterly perfect honeymoon was all the doing of her brand-new husband, Elias. It wasn’t the location that was unconventional—honeymooners probably flocked to these secluded islands in their droves to celebrate their nuptials. No, it was the fact Mia and her husband had three tagalongs—Alex, Thomas Walker, and Arjun Chaudary—each of whom she was in a romantic relationship with. And everyone involved was perfectly okay with it.

Elias had even had the foresight to book five separate over-water bungalows—money was no object for her investment banker husband, after all—giving each of them the opportunity for their own space. Yes, the picturesque thatched huts were all in a row with a wooden walkway connecting them, but if any of the group wanted some alone time, they could easily get it. Essential, really, when five adults were living in each other’s pockets for three weeks on a tiny island, no matter how stunningly beautiful it was.

They’d been on honeymoon for three days, and so far, it was working out well. Being together—or at least within shouting distance of one another—twenty-four seven was a little weird, and not even close to how things would be when they got back to England, but Mia figured it would be a good test of the strength of their relationships. If there were any cracks, they would definitely be showing by the end of the trip. But if they all got along, then it was a good sign for their quirky future as a fivesome.

Quirky hardly covered it, if Mia was honest with herself. Her life had been nuts since the death of her father almost eight months previously. As an only child, and with her mother already dead, Mia stood to inherit her father’s estate—which included her beloved childhood home, a considerable fortune, the land and wider estate on which the house stood, and more besides.

But, to her shock and dismay, her father had put a caveat in his will, requiring Mia to marry what he deemed to be a suitable husband in order to inherit. A husband who would be willing to not only take her last name, ensuring any offspring they had would continue the Harrington line, but to sign a prenuptial agreement stating that he wouldn’t get a penny if they divorced.

Mia didn’t care about the money, but she did care deeply about her home, and the estate, which provided jobs for so many in the area—herself included. Added to that, if she didn’t marry, her worthless, money-grabbing cousin, Quinn, would get his hands on everything. Knowing perfectly well he wouldn’t give the house, the tenants, or the employees a second thought, Mia had resolved to find herself a husband—no matter how unimpressed she was about the idea. It was the only way to keep her home, protect the livelihoods of the estate workers, and prevent Quinn from squandering it all away.

It had all happened a great deal faster than she’d been expecting, however, and with a bunch more variables thrown in. Which was how she’d ended up on honeymoon with her new husband and three other men—all of whom she adored, and who adored her right back.

It was truly idyllic. Not just the location, but the situation. The company. She was with her four gorgeous guys on a private island with no prying eyes, no one to see or care what they were up to. The members of staff who kept things clean and tidy for them and provided their food packages were incredibly efficient and discreet, so she wasn’t worried about them gossiping. It was more than their jobs were worth, after all, and in this part of the world she imagined jobs were few and far between. Although part of her felt guilty they were having such a lazy, luxurious time while the locals worked so hard and probably earned very little for their efforts, another part of her was glad they were injecting money into the area. It likely relied on tourism to keep things going.

Mia and her men had surrendered their phones and tablets on arrival, and the resultant lack of contact with the outside world meant none of their jobs or other responsibilities would encroach on their time in this island paradise—though they could be contacted in an absolute emergency. Even better, there were no interruptions, diary clashes, or physical distances between them. They could be themselves, spend quality time together, relax, have fun, and do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted to.

Up until now, they hadn’t done very much at all since they were getting over the long journey and the time zone change. Alex seemed to have recovered quickest—probably since he was used to working different shifts and insane hours at the hospital back home. He’d grown used to snatching hours or even minutes of sleep as and when he could. For Mia, Thomas, Elias, and Arjun, who all worked more regular hours, it had taken longer, but everyone finally seemed to be back on an even keel.

The deck creaked: someone was coming. Mia didn’t turn; the staff had disappeared after clearing away their breakfast things, so it could only be one of her men, and she honestly didn’t mind which. Half the fun of having them all in the same place at the same time was not knowing what was going to happen next, or with whom. Her new life was unpredictable, but in a safe way, a status quo which suited Mia’s personality perfectly—she liked adventure and excitement, but not too much. If controlled chaos was a thing, that was what she was aiming for.

A moment later she sensed a person right behind her, felt their body heat, and then gentle hands covered her eyes. A whiff of cologne reached her nostrils, telling her exactly who it was, but she kept quiet—she didn’t want to ruin the game.

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 
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The Romance Reviews

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