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Posts Tagged ‘Sh! Women’s Store’


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Previews of Autumn Heat

Inspiration in Blog-sized Doses

My feet have nearly recovered from the 192 mile walk across England, and I’ve blogged my way through the whole fabulous Coast to Coast. I can’t begin to say how inspiring the experience was for me, nor how much it stretched me and forced me to move beyond my comfort zone – always something I struggle with. The walk has convinced me to add a new Inspiration page to my website. It’s been in the back of my mind for awhile, and will now be a regular part of my blogging. In it you will find my Coast to Coast blog posts all together for easy reading for those of you who may have missed out on it.

I plan to use this new section of my blog to share those experiences that stir my imagination and inspire me to write. My hope is that whether you’re a writer, a reader or a house painter, you’ll maybe find inspiration in those experiences as well. And let’s face it, we all love to share the things that inspire us.

What Happens in Vegas

While what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas most of the time, I plan to tell you every yummy detail when I head to Sin City for the Erotic Authors Association Conference at the fabulous Flamingo Hotel on September 9th and 10th. I’ll be doing some readings, visiting the Erotic Heritage museum and participating in an erotic romance panel. Plus I’ll be taking advantage of all the other great talks and events that are happening throughout the weekend. And best of all, I’ll get the chance to meet some of my fabulous American erotica writing friends who, until now, I’ve only known through social media.

Vincent’s Oregon

From Las Vegas, I’ll fly back to Portland, Oregon to meet my sister, with whom I’ll spend the next ten days tromping around the exquisite Oregon countryside visiting some of Vincent’s favourite haunts from The Pet Shop.  I’m very excited to be photographing and blogging about the Oregon Vincent loves so much because I’ll be getting in the spirit of things for the party to end all parties, The Pet Shop launch in London!

The Pet Shop Launch

Between the walking and the polishing of the first book of the Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, I’ve had plenty to keep me focused as I’ve waited impatiently for the print release of The Pet Shop. Most of you know, The Pet Shop is already out in eBook formats and has been getting fab reviews, but October 14th is the date I’ve been waiting for with bated breath.

And, as you may have guessed, the big launch bash for the print premier of Pets will be at one of my favourite places on the planet, Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium  Hoxton!  There’ll be pink fizz, yummy delectables, readings, book signings and the whole titillating two floors of the Sh! store to explore and shop through. If that’s not enough to make for a hot party, some of the hottest names in erotica are going to be there to help me celebrate. And the celebration will be two-fold because the 14th is also the delicious Mr Grace’s birthday, so we’ll slap a candle in his cupcake and all party together. If you’ll be in the neighbourhood 14th of October, be sure to put it on your calendar and stop in for the fun. I’ll be giving more details as time gets closer. Needless to say, I’m very excited, and looking forward to turning my misbehaving Pets loose on London and the rest of the UK — in print. Once they’ve done their misbehaving best in the UK, they’ll arrive in the States in print in January just in time to celebrate the New Year.

Lakeland Heatwave on the Way

Most of you know I came home from the Coast to Coast walk and went right to work on the final polishing of Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising. I had the chance to pick Brian and Von Spencer’s wonderful brains for more Lakeland and Mountain Rescue information while I was on the Lake District leg of the Coast to Coast walk. As always, their help has been invaluable in making sure I get the details right. Once back home, getting the final draft ready to go out the door was priority one, and inspiration from the walk and from Brian and Vron’s helpful observations made it a pleasure rather than a chore.

Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising is the first novel of my paranormal erotic romance trilogy set in the Lake District, and will be published in February 2012. It’s intense, dark and hotter than hot. I’ll be working on the second novel by the New Year, if not before.

A Hopeful Romantic in Autumn

Besides the new Inspiration page on A Hopeful Romantic, there will be intriguing new additions of The Story Behind the Story and there will be some fabulous guests and interviews and field trips coming up as 2011winds down, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, what happens in Vegas will NOT be staying in Vegas, as my next update on all the latest will be coming to you straight from The Erotica Authors Association Conference in Sin City.

 

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Rachel Kramer Bussel Showcases Smut for All Occasions At Sh! Hoxton

I pile out of the over-heated tube at Old Street Station with my rucksack strapped to my back and my trusty google print-out of the directions to the Thistle City Barbican Hotel, the place I was lucky enough to find on lastminute.com just before desperation set in when every place else was full. The hotel is only the intermediate stop to my true destination, Sh! Women’s Emporium, Hoxton and the smut-reading highlight of the summer.

Yep, another fabulous reading! I’ve been looking forward to this one for ages. Aside from the obvious, that the reading is at Sh!, and I never miss a chance to visit Sh! there are several other reasons why this reading is special. Rachel Kramer Bussel is going to be at this reading, and she’s bringing cupcakes and reading smut! Even better than cupcakes, I get to read with her! Not only do I get to read with her, but I also get to read with some of my heros in the erotica firmament – Kay Jaybee, Jacqueline Applebee, Janine Ashbless, Justine Elyot, and Carmel Lockyer. So you can understand why I’m excited.

Like a woman with a mission, I manage to find the hotel without even one false turn, and I don’t even let the very large, rather disgruntled hen party in queue to check in ahead of me dampen my sweaty spirits. Once I’ve change, freshened up, and put on a bit of slap, I meet up with Kay Jaybee, who is in the same hotel, and we head off to say hi at Sh!, then to the Bluu Bar, which has become the meet-up place of choice for smutters before a read. Kay and I barely get settled in before Jacqueline Applebee arrives smiling and glowing from marching with Pride, earlier in the day. She’s traded in her Doc Martins for cool sandals and a summer dress, and that little twist of a smile she offers tells us we’re in for a treat tonight – nothing less than we would expect.

We’ve just commandeered a very large booth when we’re joined by the Lovely Lexie Bay, and the charming Mr. Bay, followed immediately by the fabulous Victoria Blisse down from Manchester, and this time she doesn’t have to take the last coach home! We’ve all just settled in when we’re joined by a yummy woman in black, who introduces herself as Justine Elyot, whose outrageously hot writing as well as online wit and charm we’re all familiar with, but until tonight we’ve never been able to put a face to a name. Tonight we even get to meet Mr Elyot.

I’m in smutter heaven chatting and laughing, talking writing and sex surrounded by so many great writers. And just when I think the company can’t get any better, a lovely redhead, dressed in green, and looking a bit like a wood nymph, stops at our table. ‘Excuse me,’ she says, ‘but you wouldn’t happen to be writers would you? I’m Janine Ashbless.’ And I’m over the moon!

Though I’m the odd one out with my American accent, we pretty much have England covered, with representatives from Devon, Doset, London, Yorkshire, Manchester, and Brighton, then there’s me representing Surrey by way of Oregon and Texas. Such an international world, the world of erotica!

At last we head over to Sh! where Renee greets us with a glass of fizz and Jo, looking angelic in white is busy putting out cupcakes. Downstairs Sh! is a hot pink Smutter’s Paradise, a place many of us have fond memories of previous readings on previous festive evenings. And for those who have never had the pleasure of a Sh! reading before, we know what a treat they’re in for. The exquisitely wicked Lucy Felthouse is not only there ahead of us, but she’s let her hair down for the occasion. She’s in the company of smutter extraordinaire, Rebecca Bond and the delicious Parv Roopray, who can always be relied upon for fab photos of the fun. They’re chatting with the one and only Ruby Jones, living up to her name in a hot red frock.

While Parv snaps photos with tenacious focus the rest of us sip fizz and eat cupcakes, catch up on the latest and wait for Rachel. I’m happy that Rebecca and Parv are both Smart Phone Divas, especially tonight since Raymond couldn’t be there, and I’m certain these two lovelies have already sent a quick photo or two off to Facebook for him to see from Louisiana.

While I’m slipping into my ‘make love to me naughtily’ shoes – made for reading, not walking, I meet the final author of the panoply, the stunning Carmel Lockyer, and the sly, knowing look on her face already tells me that she has a very hot read to share with us.

There’s a stirring in the crowd as a half a dozen people straight from Pride with face paint and sparkles join in the party, and the feeling is electric, as we wait. Suraya  Sidhu Singh, editor of the terrific magazine, Filament, is among the crowd, as is fantastic erotica writer and my very good friend, Scarlett French. And just when it’s beginning to feel like if one more person crowds into the luscious Sh! pinkness, the place will burst at the seams in a colourful explosion of collars and whips and knickers and lube, and naughty books, suddenly, there she is, Rachel Kramer Bussel! And wow, she is a fabulous mix of sparkle-goddess and little girl excitement, in a totally approachable package that instantly puts us all at ease, and makes us feel like SHE is actually there especially to meet US!

After Renee makes introductions, Rachel opens with an edgy story called ‘Belted,’ from her anthology, Orgasmic. It’s a story that’s hot and squirmy in an owchie sort of way.

I get to read second, following belts with mirrors and weight rooms and a little girl on girl fun from the Smooth anthology and my story, ‘Muscle Bound.’ From the Gotta Have It anthology, Jacqueline Applebee delights us with ‘Not a Bang, but a Whisper,’ a threesome story that has an outrageously yummy twist. Kay Jaybee regails us with ‘The Advantage of Working From Home,’ and Carmel Lockyer entertains us with the hottest fitting for a bridesmaid dress ever in ‘Crushed Satin Organza.’ She reads it while standing up because she says that’s how she wrote it. Both Kay and Carmel’s stories are also from the Gotta Have It anthology.

After a break for more fizz and cupcakes and mingling among smutters and audience and whips and lingerie, we get to be the first group ever to hear the phenomenal Justine Elyot read from her hot story, ‘The London O’ in Rachel’s Surrender anthology. I certainly hope it won’t be the last time we hear her read, because her delicious story about vibrating, remote control knickers had us all squirming in our seats.

Then Janine Ashbless took us for a little historic bondage romp with a hotter than hot coming-of-age twist in ‘The Ingénue’ from Best Bondage Erotica 2011. Oh my! And finally Rachel closed with another Gotta Have It offering by Heather Linn, called ‘Seven-letter Word.’

After the reading was done, Rachel opened up the floor for questions. One question asked was what Rachel found inspiring, to which she answered that she was inspired by ordinary things. I could see all the erotica writers nodding in agreement. What makes a good erotic story is finding the erotic in the ordinary because that is the place where it’s the most unexpected, which makes it the place where it’s the hottest.

Though Rachel was unable to join us, the party continued at Pizza Express at the table which has, by default become the smutter’s table over the months of reading and attending readings at Sh! I’ve never been too proud to elbow my way in at a seat closet to the middle of the table where I can talk with as many of the group as possible, and there were ten of us. The talk was all on the topics that never get old, the topics we keep coming back to over and over again: writing, sex, creativity, the process that consumes us and makes our lives, as erotica writers, such an interesting dance.

For the most part, we write in delicious isolation, creating a space to work in the midst of real life that takes up the lion share of our time. Though we’re now all connected to each other via the magic of technology, it’s the pleasure of meeting, in the flesh, other people who are also writing stories about connecting on the most basic, most human level that adds to the party atmosphere. That flesh and blood contact makes us feel connected in ways technology just can’t manage, makes us realize that though we may work in sweet isolation, we’re a part of something much bigger, something much more powerful.  And for the few hours we’re together we bask in the energy of it all.

When the night’s over and we return to our real lives, when we seek out our little bits of isolation and the stories that have to be written, we take some of that energy with us and translate it into hot, steamy, vibrant, sometimes dark and gritty stories. But at least for a few hours, we understand that we’re a part of a collective, and it’s an amazing vibrant creative hothouse of a collective that makes our isolation all the more delicious.

 

 

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London Slutwalk — Hopeful Solidarity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Hot Under the Collar: Reading at Sh! Raises Temperature in Hoxton Area

I’ve been looking forward to last night’s reading at Sh! Hoxton from the moment I was asked. A reading at Sh! never fails to be fun and hot. And it was especially fun for me this time because it was the debut reading from my new novel, The Pet Shop. I hadn’t expected for my Pets to make their debut on eBook and Kindle quite so quickly, but they definitely got a warm welcome in the packed-out Sh! basement. And if you’re a person who loves the feel of real paper and a real book, The Pet Shop will be out in paperback in October, and there will be more celebrating. I love celebrating, don’t you?

 I shared the coveted pink setae with the luscious Queen of BDSM, and my dear friend, Kay Jaybee, who read temperature-rising excerpts from her hot novel, The Perfect Submissive, and her scorching new collection, Yes Ma’am.

 With Pets and submissives and discipline being the order of the night, Mistress Kay, always prepared for any occasion, lent me a lovely black leather collar to wear to help me get into the spirit of Pets. The woman always knows just how to set the mood.

 The Sh! Shop was all decked out for the occasion in the steamy erotic art of the lovely and very talented Dutch artist, Mayo. If you’re in the Hoxton area and haven’t yet seen Mayo’s lovely art, do stop in and check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

 I love reading, and I love to listen while others read. Last night I had the best of both worlds. And I have to admit, I was very proud to be able to do the first two readings ever from The Pet Shop. Though Tino was as rude as I expected him to be, even with me wearing Mistress Kay’s collar. I also had the opportunity to read one of my favourite scenes from The Initiation of Ms Holly as well. I was definitely in smut heaven.

 As always, a literotic reading at Sh! brings out the stars in the firmament of erotica and sexy stuff. The fabulous Rebecca Bond was there, snapping pics and tweeting blow-by-blow action to one of my favourite erotica writers, Charlotte Stein, who couldn’t be there. The amazing mag editor, sex writer, and founder of the women’s group, Fannying Around, Sarah Berry was there. It was also a treat for me to meet Kojo Black, author of the outrageously nasty anthology, The Candy Box. The totally fabulous author, journalist and broadcaster, Tania Glyde was there, along with poetess extraordinaire, Mel Jones. Sigh! And lots of other cool folks. The place was chock-a-block with people laughing and talking, fondling sex toys, listening to smut and sipping pink bubbly.

 As always, the Sh! Ladiez were the best hostesses in the world, opening their doors to smut, fun and fizz and making us all feel welcome.

 The evening ended with those of us who just couldn’t get enough of a good thing shambling off to Pizza Express to continue discussions of book covers and hooking readers on the first page while sharing the photos taken of the evening on iPhones and BlackBerries.

 I’d probably still be there if Raymond and I hadn’t had to catch the last train back to home, but we get to experience the fun all over again with photos shared over Facebook and email

 Back home again I’m making plans for more research in the Lake District for my next novel, Lakeland Heatwave. We’re off on holiday there on Monday. And I’m already looking forward to reading at the Portobello Sh! on July second when the goddess of erotica herself, Rachel Kramer Bussel, will be there promoting several of the anthologies she has edited. I can’t wait to meet her in person and I feel very honoured to be included among a list of writers so hot that if you wrote their names on the same sheet of paper, the paper would undoubtedly burst into flames. Oh yes, it’s gonna be a hot summer.

 

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© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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