I had the very big pleasure of being interviewed, along with Hazel Cushion, Managing Director, and Dominatrix of Xcite Books, (As Phil has dubbed her) by Phil Rickman for his popular Phil the Shelf programme on BBC Radio Wales. Phil Rickman is the author of the best selling Merrily Watkins mysteries, the John Dee series and several paranormal novels. Though I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting the man face to face, I was ushered into the studios of the BBC Radio facility on the Surrey University Campus several weeks ago, and there, alone in the small cubicle, Phil’s ethereal voice filtered into my ear via the magic of techy stuff. The interview lasted about twenty minutes, covering everything from Fifty Shades of Greymummy porn to interesting uses for truffles in The Initiation of Ms Holly.
Grace Marshall is very happy to announce that An Executive Decision is now officially available for Kindle in the US and the UK! And you’ll be able to hold the print version in your hot little hand November 1st.
For a project that began its life eight years ago as an erotic short story I wrote just for fun, AED has had a circuitous journey to publication. In its first incarnation, it was called Learning the Business. From there it expanded into an erotic novel, then grew into a romance novel that was too big for its britches, and too hot for anyone to touch at the time, and wearing the brazen title, The Executive Sex Clause. An Executive Decision has finally grown up and come into its own as the first steamy romance novel in The Executive Decision Trilogy.
Radio or Not, Here I Come!
I had the very big pleasure of being interviewed, along with Hazel Cushion, Managing Director of Xcite Books, by Phil Rickman for his popular Phil the Shelf programme on BBC Radio Wales. Phil Rickman is the author of the best selling Merrily Watkins mysteries, the John Dee series and several paranormal novels. Though I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting the man face to face, I was ushered into the studios of the BBC Radio facility on the Surrey University Campus several weeks ago, and there, alone in the small cubicle, Phil’s ethereal voice filtered into my ear via the magic of techy stuff. The interview lasted about twenty minutes, covering everything from Fifty Shades of Greymummy porn to interesting uses for truffles in The Initiation of Ms Holly.
As you might expect, I excitedly alerted all of my friends that I was going to be on Phil Rickman’s show, and we all gathered round the ‘radio,’ just like in the old days, tweeting and Facebooking over our glasses of wine, not so much like the old days, only to discover that BBC Wales was running a cricket match instead. No warning, nothing. Just suddenly cricket. None of us knows what happened, and no doubt there will be a pod cast at some point. In fact, I just got a text from Hazel saying she heard it. However, in the wilds beyond the mysterious offices of Xcite Books and Accent Press, we’ve heard nothing. Even Phil has heard nothing, and he’s threatening murder on his end. But he has promised to let me know when the pod cast is up, and I’ll be sure to pass on the word.
Just after tweeting and facebooking my excitement about An Executive Decision’s swift release on Kindle, I was off to Wales to the Kidwelly eBook Festival Friday afternoon. I had the pleasure of being on a panel of erotic writers for ‘Sex at Noon.’ and it was lovely to be included with the fabulous Toni Sands and to make the acquaintance of Gillian Brightmore. Hazel was chairing the group. The discussion was lively and the interaction with the small but enthusiastic audience was loads of fun. It’s very heartening to see the growing interest in erotica.
As much as I enjoyed the panel and the short bit of the festival I was there for, the best part of the two days was having face time with Hazel and getting to meet her lovely family. There was much talk of writing and publishing, as you can imagine, and I had a fabulous time watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics with the entire Cushion family.
I’m working flat-out at the moment to finish the final rewrite of Riding the Ether, the second book of the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy. If anything I’m even more excited about it than I was Body Temperature and Rising, which was amazing fun to write.
There’ll be more exciting K D Grace and Grace Marshall news coming up in the month of August, so be sure to keep an eye out on this site and on both K D and Grace’s face book and twitter pages. In the meantime, hope you have a hot August in the very best sense of the word. I’ll leave you off with a little taste of An Executive Decision.
Ellison Thorne’s business partner, Beverly, and his brother, Garrett, create the Executive Sex Clause as a joke speculating that no-strings, stress-free sex in certain employee contracts would raise productivity and act as a cure for Ellis’s lacking love life.
Enter Dee Henning, the queen of no-time-for-sex. Young, hungry, gifted. When negotiations on a major project break down, Dee and Ellis realise the Executive Sex Clause could be the ultimate secret weapon for success. But secrets seldom remain secret, and Dee and Ellis soon learn there’s no such thing as no-strings where the heart is concerned.
By the end of the third day negotiations were at a deadlock, and the Paris heat was beginning to take its toll in more ways than one.
Ellis slammed the door to the hotel suite behind them and yanked off his tie. ‘I know the woman doesn’t like Americans, but the only one she’s hurting by not accepting our offer is Trouvères. She has to see this is the only way to move things forward.’
‘It’s got to be some sort of bluff.’ Dee threw her jacket across the couch and rotated her aching shoulders.
‘Can’t you talk to Daniels? Surely he can make her see reason.’
‘I have talked to him. He’s at his wits end as to why she’s behaving like this. Besides, he works for her, remember?’
‘True, but it’s pretty clear it’s you he’s concerned about pleasing.’
She slammed her computer bag down on the couch. ‘I told you there’s nothing between Jason and me, and we’re both too professional to let –’
Ellis interrupted. ‘Look, I said up front that this deal was a long shot. Pulling it off may take a lot more time than either of us expected. Anyway, I should have known better than to get caught up in the excitement. Don’t take it personally. I’m only saying you may have bitten off more than you can chew this time. You’re not exactly working drive-through at McDonalds these days, you know?’
The pain returned to her shoulders with a vengeance. ‘At first it was a real shock, Ellis, but I figured that one out fairly early in the game.’ Dee bit back her sarcasm, remembering his comments about no one making him angry until she came along. She was about to excuse herself for a much-needed shower and time to cool her temper when the phone rang. Ellis answered it.
He dropped the receiver back into its cradle. ‘That was Yvette Rousseau’s secretary. Tomorrow’s meetings are cancelled. Apparently Yvette sees no reason for further negotiations.’
‘Shit.’ Dee turned on her heels and headed for her room. Maybe she’d have a good cry while she was in the shower. It certainly wouldn’t be her first since she’d started working at Pneuma Inc.
But Ellis grabbed her by the arm. ‘Where are you going? We have a disaster here, Dee. We need to regroup and figure out what to do about it. Your pouting can wait.’
Anger joined frustration and became a seething boil. She jerked her arm away, certain a shower would no longer be enough to cool her down. ‘I’m not pouting.’
He shrugged. ‘What else am I supposed to think when at the first sign of trouble you run off to your room. We have a mess here, we need to fix it.’
It was then that she snapped. She stood facing him nose to nose in a glare-down, no longer caring if she made him angry. ‘Fine, goddamn it, let’s stop the bullshit and fix it then. I’m sick and tired of your snide remarks about Jason and me, and your condescension about my lack of experience. Guess what, Ellis, I know I lack experience, and you knew it when you hired me, so tell me something I don’t know!’
His eyes flashed white hot, and the line of his jaw hardened. The intake of his breath was harsh against the soft hum of the air conditioning. It came as a total surprise when he grabbed her, and for one frightening second, she thought he was actually going to shake her. But before the thought was completely formed, he pulled her to him so hard that she feared whiplash, then he did the unthinkable. He kissed her. He kissed her hard. His mouth was bruising and tyrannical against hers, swallowing her breath even as she fought to swallow his. At first she pushed him, pushed him as hard as she could. But he only yielded enough to step back, pulling her with him, kissing her harder, holding her tighter, tight enough to crush her breasts against his chest. It took a second for her brain to register she was pushing him back toward the sofa, and he was letting her. She bit and nipped at him like an angry wolf, yanking and shoving his jacket off over his shoulders as she pushed.
There was ripping and tearing. She wasn’t sure whose. She didn’t care. At least one button went flying.
With one hand he tugged and yanked her skirt up over her hips, with the other he shoved down the straps of her bra and kneaded and cupped.
It soon became clear they weren’t going to make it to the sofa. She’d just managed to force Ellis’s trousers down over his hips when he plopped onto the chair at the computer desk, pulling her on top of him as he figured out how to release the front catch on her bra.
‘Oh my god!’ she cried out as the chair went over backwards landing them in a heap on the soft carpet …
Prologue (How a simple photo essay evolved into a tome in just a day and a half!)
Breakfast at the Ritz-ette-ish, well you get the idea!
I started what was supposed to be an easy little photo essay on the blurry-eyed morning of Day Three of Erotica with Raymond wandering around in our enormous kitchen making very much-needed coffee. I had planned to blog every day, and my Friday blog had gone out without a hitch and relatively little cursing on my part –
Where all the action is. The Xcite stand.
relatively little, so I was expecting happy trails. Well, there were a few technical hitches along the way, and a bit of name-calling (me to the computer) so you get the end result the day after, much expanded, quickly written, and not at all like I’d intended, but it’s an adventure! And so it was!
Saturday: Erotica, Day Two.
Day two began with a wait for the special tube train that delivers people to the Olympia Convention Centre at
Victoria Blisse, Lucy Felthouse, and yours truly showing off our babies at the Xcite stand
regular intervals. It was great to be stood in the brisk morning chill among the folks clad in PVC and leather, gorgeous burlesquish style costumes, leashes, collars, thigh-high boots! It was a people watcher’s paradise, and one in which the people were actually happy to BE watched.
When we arrived, Raymond and I had a quick wander about amid the dungeon furnishings, fake mammaries, corsets, leather, riding crops and scantily clad women piled in a bathtub. (I’ll get back to them later, because we certainly did get back to them later!) Then there was the gentleman who kept asking if he could polish my boots…
The fabulous Sarah Berry doing...er... lip service...
After a wander about and a quick visit to the Xcite Stand, we were off to the first Xcite event of the day, the Reading Slam, MC’ed by the fabulous Liz Coldwell. Besides yours truly, readers included Victoria Blisse,Lucy Felthouse, Kay Jaybee, blogger, Georgia McCrae and for the first time ever, in front of a live audience, Lexie Bay, who acquitted herself very well, indeed! Each of the readings lasted only five minutes, but that made for an hour of sizzling heat. I think it was probably a very good thing that the
Reading a slopy, naughty breakfast with Tino
room was cold when we arrived. And the chairs must have been really uncomfortable because there was a lot of shifting around in them as the readings progressed. I certainly found the room seemed hotter and hotter as the hour progressed.
There were lots of photo ops, and we advantage! Of course there had to be the traditional photo in front of the Erotica Wall. I am sure that will become a tradition. Kay Jaybee and I had our picture taken a year ago standing there together at our first ever Erotica, and now we were back. What a difference a year makes! Now our circle of fab writing friends had expanded, so we took our photo op in front of the wall, Lucy Felthouse, Lexie Bay, Rebecca Bond, Kay Jaybee and me. There are lots of others we wish could have joined us there. But next year’s coming!
Up against the Wall. Lucy Felthouse, Lexie Bay, Rebecca Bond, Victoria Blisse, K D Grace, Kay Jaybee
We managed a quick lunch in the food court, With the Blisses, the Bays, Lucy Felthouse and her lovely Ian, Kay Jaybee and the lovely Rebecca Bond. I’m not sure what I ate. I was too busy watching. PVC was in abundance as were well displayed breasts, males in very tiny underwear only, people on leashes and even a few people in diapers. Oh yes, Erotica is a people watching paradise. It’s nice to be able to blatantly stare and have people only look at you and smile — sometimes politely, sometimes wolfishly. But all in good fun.
Kay Jaybee and me
Surrounded by smutters, as I was, I could almost hear the wheels of creativity turning in their lovely heads, as they were in my own. I have no doubt there will be stories.
After a nibble and a good look-see, we headed off to the panel, chaired by Jane Wenham-Jones. The panel included Kay Jaybee, Lucy Felthouse, Victoria Bliss and Kitti Bernetti, all Xcite writers extraordinaire. Jane asked fantastic questions about what it’s like to be an erotic author, and there was good participation from the audience as well – many of whom followed us over to the Xcite stand afterward where lots of books were sold and signed by the authors.
By seven, the crowd was beginning to dissipate from
On the Xcite stand busy selling books
around the stand, and it came to the part I hate most, saying good-bye to all of my smutter friends who I only get to see on occasions like Erotica. I adore Facebook, Twitter and email mostly because it keeps me in touch with these fabulous, talented ladies and their wonderfully supportive other halfs (halves??).
When all the good-byes were said and the Xcite stand was shut up for the night, Hazel Cushion, Xcite’s fearless leader, invited Raymond and me to join her, the adorable Matt Peterson, who does internet marketing for Xcite, Peter Newsom, Accent Press’s amazing sales director and his lovely wife, Sheilah and the fabulous Jane Wenham-Jones for dinner. It didn’t seem at all strange sitting in Pizza Express putting away masses of wine, pizza and nibbles, talking about sex, erotica and writing erotica and… well sex… when the people at the neighbouring tables were dressed in cat suits, devil tails and horns and crotch-high boots. Fabulously interesting company we keep! The folks at our table might have all looked rather ordinary, but that just goes to show looks can be deceiving.
Afterwards, back in our tiny mansion, we did manage to get pictures downloaded before total collapse into sleep-deprived oblivion.
Sunday: Erotica, Day 3
Madame Grumpy Bear got a whole lot happier after long-suffering hubby brought her a second cup of coffee. Techno-problems
Couldn't resist the tail shot. No! NOT an Xcite author!
brought on by lack of sleep a sudden, but not unusual outbreak of techno-duncism meant that my grandiose plans of a blog post every day of Erotica wasn’t going to happen. A little pout, a hot shower, a bit of slap (that’s slang for make-up… not spanking…) and the scary beast became tame enough to take out into public. Raymond is good with scary beasts.
The panel. Liz Coldwell, Maxim Jakubowski, Jane Wenham-Jones, Toni Sands, K D Grace
The day started out a little quieter. No doubt everyone was having a Sunday lie-in before donning the nosebleed stilettos and corsets and heading on over to Erotica. It gave Raymond and me a chance to look around before the panel started. We caught a performance by the Dream Boys in the gallery, and browsed through some of the fabulous erotic art, which was also displayed in the gallery.
Then it was time for the panel. Today was my day. I was on the panel with Liz Coldwell, Toni Sands and Maxim Jakubowski. Again, the vivacious Jane Wenham-Jones chaired the panel, and there was a lively
The Dream Boys play with fire
discussion, albeit a smaller audience than the day before, about the quality of internet erotica as opposed to print erotica, what made good erotica and what inspired us to write. Afterwards we all went back at the stand to sign books and answer questions.
Looking down from the Gallery
There were more readings in the afternoon, and when we were finished it was back to the stand for more signings and chats with customers. This was prime time. The books were practically flying out of the spinners. It was exciting to sign books and even on the odd occasion, have the person buying Holly or Pets – sometime both, want a photo op with the author. Good for the ego? You betcha!
When there was a bit of a lull in the book selling action, we slipped across to the main stage to watch Dance Seduction, and all I can say is wow! Sex on the dance floor. Exquisitely beautiful and hotter than hot, especially the fabulous, heart-stopping m/m dance next to the finale. It was not only hot, sexy and gorgeous, but deeply moving as well.
And there were other fabulous stars out and about too. I think one of the highlights of my evening was when
Kittens prrrrrfrrrr 'The Pet Shop'
Delores Deluxe stopped by the stand, saw Pets on the spinner and said to Dave, the Cub (more about the fabulous Dave in a bit) who was with her, ‘Oh I know her.’ Raymond happened to overhear and grabbed me. OMG! Delores Deluxe, burlesque goddess extraordinaire remembered mio! She and Dave invited us the LGBT stage in the gallery – the first year for an LGBT stage at Erotica, actually, but it definitely won’t be the last – for the performance, in which we get to see Dave’s arse. Well, I’m not one to turn down a chance to look at a great arse, am I? It was the last performance of the evening on the LGBT stage, and we were not about to miss it.
Dave, the Cub, in the chair that doesn't have Raymond in it;)
We had a bit of time before the performance, so we decided to go back and check out the hot chicks romping in the bathtub that I’d mentioned earlier. We’d only just made the connection that these lovelies and the whole exquisite set-up were a part of The House of Burlesque (we’re a little slow at times) I’m absolutely sure the highlight of Raymond’s evening was meeting the burlesque beauties, who very kindly did the honours of allowing us to photograph them reading ‘The Pet Shop,’ in and around their lovely claw foot bathtub. It was… well, best you just check out the piccies!
If the highlight of Raymond’s evening was photographing the lovelies from the House of Burlesque, the highlight of mine had to be when mid-song and dance, the very well-built, very delicious, scantily clad Dave the Cub came and sat right down on Raymond’s lap while belting it out. Sadly it all happened way too fast for me to get a photo, but it definitely is permanently stamped in my memory. The look on Raymond’s face — priceless! The show on the LGBT stage was one of the most fun parts of the weekend for us. The amazing combo of burlesque, bearlesque, and bawdy, yummy performances by Fancy Chance and Tranny Shack was high energy, outrageous and just flat out fun, all MCed by the fabulous Tempest Rose. We definitely returned to the Xcite stand with smiles on our faces.
By that time most of the people had gone; things were winding down. We said our good-byes to the Xcite folks, happy to see
Blatant self-promotion? You betcha! (with the help of the lovelies from The House of Burlesque)
very few copies of Holly or Pets remaining behind. Hazel assured us that she had already booked the spot for next year and planning and scheming was in the works. Then we caught the tube back to Waterloo and the train on home.
It was only when I got home, as is appropriate, that I got the cherry on the delicious Erotica cake, and it was in the form of this fabulous interview of Hazel by the folks at Erotica.The muchly appreciated shout-out for me starts at about 3:45. My feet haven’t touched the ground since.
I feel like I’ve come away from this weekend having reconnected with old friends and celebrating with them their successes, while sharing and scheming our future projects and sharing what erotica is to us and what writing the story is to us. I feel that I’ve also come away from this weekend having made new friends and new connections, which is always an expansive, heady experience. As I think back to last year when Kay Jaybee and I spent a few happy hours at Erotica on a Saturday afternoon, I have to say it again. What a difference a year makes!
My Pets, misbehavin in very delicious company! (Thank you, House of Burlesque lovelies)
The 'kitchen' is behind the door next to the closet.
I’m writing this blog from our tiny closet of a hotel room, which is posing as an apartment, and since I’m planning to keep you all abreast of the fabulous fun in London Erotica this weekend, the best way I could think of is photo updates. Easy for me and hopefully fun for you. Upon my arrival in London, I dropped of my bag at our palatial apartment/hotel room, and I know how much we all like to take a peek at where everyone is staying, so here’s the grand tour…. …That’s about it.
Erotica in the Afternoon
After I familiarized myself with my digs it was off to Erotica and to the Xcite Stand, where the books were leaping off the shelf, and I had
Hazel Cushion and Peter Newsom, the Super Woman and Wonder Man of the Xcite team
my trusty signing pens handy, along with my camera. Met some fabulous new folks and some old friends as well.
The Pets and me
Even thought Santa(Known to some as Peter Birch, and other pseudonyms) knows I'm a naughty girl, he still read me a story.
The Xcite team The two Peters on the outside, the indominable Hazel and Matt the Techno Wizard. All smiling as the books keep on selling!
Sh! In the Evening
After signing and Santa and fun at Erotica with the Xcite folks, I hopped the District Line at Rush Hour and made my way across to Sh! in Hoxton for the fantastic Victoria Blisse launch Of her book, Tempting Rendezvous, along with Lucy Felthouse reading titillating smut from the ever-growing Felthouse collection.
The path forked, the left turning being the one which would lead me down by the water. I took it. The closer I drew to the mere, the more another part of me wished I wasn’t alone. The quiet was uncanny, as was the absence of any wildlife. You’d normally expect to find midges, dragonflies, and the birds that ate them around most bodies of water. There was nothing, which was strange enough. Stranger still was that despite its exposed location and the slight breeze in the air, the pool’s surface remained undisturbed. I wish I could have said the same for my state of mind.
“Yeah, she is. She’s staying overnight and will be home tomorrow.”
“I bet you miss her.”
“Yes and no,” I reply as I slip my arm into the crook of his as his hand is buried deep in his pocket. I shiver as I think about our bodies joining and get a very vivid flash of our naked bodies thrusting against each other, our lips locked, our arms entangled. I shake my head and continue, “I miss her but it is nice to have some time to myself for a change you know?”
“Well, I can leave if you like,” He huffs with fake affront and I slap his arm playfully.
“Oh, hush, you know what I mean. It will be good to be by myself with you. That’s not very good English is it?”
“No but then I ain’t one to pick up on grammar and such. I get picked up on my Americanisms so often, I give others a break.”
“You can’t help that you speak funny,” I reply with a twinkle in my eye, “they all do over there.”
“Y’all speak a completely different language to me that’s for sure,” he chuckles, the rumble running through his body and into mine, making me vibrate pleasurably.
I love walking like this, so close to him. I love the way he rubs against me, the way I can feel his body heat. I love the feel of his arm as I grasp it and again I think of grasping hold of Joe and bracing myself as he plunges inside me with that throbbing cock.
Damn, I’m horny, so fucking horny I want to just push him up against the door and fuck him here on my doorstep.
The fabulous Sh! Muses! We love you, Ladiez!
Sh! is becoming a mecca of erotic literary readings and happenings in London. I asked Sh! manager, Renee Denyer how did this come about, and how does sh think the readings, as well as the lovely selection of erotic books Sh! has available benefits Sh! customers and benefits healthy sexuality in general.
Renee: Well, we like to think we have the finest selection of erotica for women in the whole of UK; and bearing in mind that the UK also has some of the finest authors of erotica, it’s easy to see how it all came about. It started with Rachel Kramer Bussel, the US Doyenne of Hot Erotica. She stopped by our Hoxton shop one rainy afternoon about 3 years ago, and asked if she could do a reading next time she was in London. Being a huge fan of hers, I said *yes*! Then I just had to look into how an erotic book reading happens, as I had never been to one… *blush*. It took off from there, and we now host regular readings and erotica book launches, and our customers love it. They get to meet the authors, have their books signed, and hear the stories read out in the authors own voice, which is damn hot! It’s very empowering, I think; it allows women to feel that it’s ok to have fantasies, and to enjoy them.
The lovely Victoria Blisse and Lucy Felthouse with their fabulous books!
It was fun at Sh!, as always, and at the end of the night, after dinner with the Blisses, and Lucy and Ian, it was back to the palatial apartments for a good rest before we all descent on Erotica for Saturday’s readings, panel and my Xcite’s launch for Pets.
More as it happens today, and throughout the weekend. And I’ll add more links when I’m not rushing out the door.