Writer & Reader Expectations and Some Ramblings About Romance

It’s funny, when I set out to write Exposed I was worried about a few things. One, that I would weird people out by using a great Welsh word as a safeword. Two, that my usual readers would find it too lighthearted, compared to my usual stuff. Three, that Emyr calling Greg “Daddy” would bother people. That’s what I expected…. and then the unexpected happened: it never once occurred to me that I’d be reading reviews with the words “BDSM”, “Dom”, or “sub” in them. What’s up with that? Did I market the book wrong? I never tagged it as BDSM, never mentioned any kind of D/s relationship, said that it was a little kinky, and told folks it was just a cute love story. What happened?

Just reader expectations, I believe, and ones that I couldn’t predict because I don’t know what they are. I was just saying to a friend that I have a distinct disadvantage when it comes to writing books that readers include in a genre I didn’t even know existed until after I published my first book.

The B/l (or Daddy/lg or Daddy/lb) relationships I’ve witnessed in my life were just sweet, loving, and devoted… really nurturing things (with some really silly play …and, yes, occasional spanking thrown in for good measure) and I set out to capture that lovely fondness I’ve admired so much. (And I often mentally hug Greg and Emyr for really getting there!)

But, there were reader expectations with the words “Daddy kink”, (something I tagged it for just as a warning) that I did not know about. And… now I know (and knowing is half the battle! GI Joe... ahem sorry, I’m on cold meds)

So, anyway, next book I write, I’ll see if I can word the blurb a little more clearly to reflect what the book is actually about (or maybe not about?)

Which brings me to Romance in general…

Folks reading Caged keep saying “this isn’t really a Romance” to which I sit there, scratching my head, wondering where they got the idea that it was a Romance. It has romantic elements, for sure. Life does in general, doesn’t it? But Caged? A Romance? Max? A Romance? I don’t even know if Exposed is a Romance. I keep squinting at definitions and wondering what this whole Romance thing is about (disclaimer: I’m aromantic1). It feels far more nebulous a genre than what I read: Has robots? Sci-fi. Has dragons? Fantasy. Has robot dragons? Sci-fi/fantasy. thumbs up

With Romance, well… the requirements seem to depend on who you talk to.

I did read two books that are considered Romance when I was younger. One was called Sea Star: Private Life of Anne Bonny which was pretty rapey if I recall, and the other one was about um… the wild west? I think? Maybe about a doomed love triangle? Also rapey. So, my young adolescent self drew the conclusion that “Romance Novels” equated “rapey”. However, another thing they both had in common was a lot more plot circling around love and sex than I had ever previously read before.

Hey, all my books have plots that focus primarily on the relationship between the protagonists. So… Romance?

And… Novelist Walter Scott defined the literary fiction form of romance as “a fictitious narrative in prose or verse; the interest of which turns upon marvellous and uncommon incidents.” 2

My characters certainly encounter uncommon incidents. So… Romance?

Also from Wikipedia:

According to the Romance Writers of America, the main plot of a romance novel must revolve about the two people as they develop romantic love for each other and work to build a relationship. Both the conflict and the climax of the novel should be directly related to that core theme of developing a romantic relationship, although the novel can also contain subplots that do not specifically relate to the main characters’ romantic love.

Furthermore, a romance novel must have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.” Some romance novel authors and readers believe the genre has additional restrictions, from plot considerations (such as the protagonists’ meeting early on in the story), to avoiding themes (such as adultery). Other disagreements have centered on the firm requirement for a happy ending; some readers admit stories without a happy ending, if the focus of the story is on the romantic love between the two main characters (e.g., Romeo and Juliet). While the majority of romance novels meet the stricter criteria, there are also many books widely considered to be romance novels that deviate from these rules. Therefore, the general definition, as embraced by the RWA and publishers, includes only the focus on a developing romantic relationship and an optimistic ending.

All of my books, including Devil (if you look at it the way I do), focus on the relationships of the MCs and have HFN/HEAs…. So… Romance?

I think, maybe, in the end, that my books are Romance books, but only to folks who don’t have too rigid expectations. When it comes to meeting more stringent do’s/don’ts and customary story development… I will definitely fall short, because I just don’t know what those expectations are. But that’s a-ok! Despite the fact that I write and will continue to write entirely for myself, plenty of other people do enjoy my books, and that is absolutely amazing.

And… for those of you who have actually made it this far in my ramblings, you get a special something because I’m in a great mood today :)


1I’m the kind of aromantic who’d actually like to feel deeply about someone, hence my exploration of love in my books. Heh, it’s like I’m finding love through writing :)

2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_novel

Bottom of My Heart

Je t’aime.”
“What does that mean?”
It means I love you.”
“No… No, you don’t.”
I do.”
“You’re just upset because he’s seeing someone else. Call me when you start thinking with your dick again.”
God… you’re an asshole.”
“See, that’s better. Yes. I am an asshole. Now go peddle your love somewhere else… I don’t want it.”
Christ.”
“You’re crying? That’s it…”
Don’t hang up! Please? Ok? Ok? I’ve stopped.”
“I don’t need this.”
But… Listen… I thought you and I were—”
“No.”
But I thought—”
“No.”
Do you enjoy hurting me?”
“I don’t care one way or the other.”
Jesus… Why do you have to say that? Don’t you know what it feels like to have your heart crapped all over?
“Actually… I don’t. No one’s been able to find mine.”
Oh.”
There was a long pause where he could hear sniffling and hitched breathing on the other end. Closing his eyes, he let out a sigh and rubbed his forehead.
“Ok. Listen… Stop fucking crying. Get some sleep. Take a day to get your head on straight. Then we’ll talk.”
Can I come over?”
“Maybe tomorrow.”
Tonight?”
“What the fuck did I just say?”
Ok. Ok. I’m sorry.”
“I don’t want you to be sorry. I want you to stop crying and pay attention to my words so I don’t have to repeat myself.”
I will. I promise.”
“Now go to bed like a good boy.”
I will. Then we’ll talk tomorrow?”
“Then we’ll talk, yes… But, if you ever want your dick anywhere near my ass again, leave the ‘I love you’ crap out of it.”
Ok. I promise.”
“Good.”
He hung up, lit another cigarette, and ducked out the window to the fire escape. The night breeze was cool on his bare chest and he smiled as he stood watching the twinkling city lights below.

UnCommonly on Sale – 99¢

Heads up! UnCommon Bodies is on sale until 2/7 for 99¢ at Amazon.
Get your copy today :)

Murphy approved! Look at that face... how can you say no to a copy? :)
Murphy approved! Look at that face… how can you say no to a copy? :)

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List of Stories Included:

Don’t Touch Me by Bey Deckard: Fighting is what Beau does best, because the very thing he dreads is exactly what lends him the extraordinary strength to defeat even the worst odds. And he does it all with the help of his angel, the woman he longs desperately to hold… but can’t.

We is We By Michael Harris Cohen: We is we follows a day in Mary and Millie’s life, traveling sideshow freaks who’ve lost touch with the outside world.

Undead Cyborg Girl by Kim Wells: When she wakes up undead after receiving a cyborg assassin upgrade surgical procedure, Undead Girl’s life is forever changed. Is it for the better? She has all the skills, but she needs a job, she needs some friends, and she needs to remember who she is. Part 1 of the Cyborg Story trilogy.

Skin By Brent Meske: After constant bullying in high school, Patricia vows to change her name and her entire being. When she gains the ability to mold and sculpt flesh, that vow very quickly becomes a terrifying reality.

Scars: First Session by Jordanne Fuller: After a life of abuse, Abigail made the decision to cover her scars with tattoos. What she didn’t expect was to confront her emotional scars in the process.

Mermaids By Robert Pope: Recently graduated from college, with no work prospects, Aqua-boy—so called because of the webbing between his toes—watches and listens to a group of musicians at a bar/restaurant when he notices the woman playing a diminutive red accordion has six fingers.

In Her Image By Vasil Tuchkov: An English PHD student arrives at the scenic but haunting countryside of Matera, Italy, looking for answers. His translator introduces him to a crippled local painter who claims to have depicted the impossible. As the three men converse near the ancient settlement’s caverns, a mystery unravels.

Three Poems By Deanne Charlton: It Runs in the Family, Brenga’s Body, Eternity in a One-night Stand

Reserved by SM Johnson writes: It’s been five years since the accident that killed Pete Spencer’s younger lover and left him grieving, bitter, and broken. He’s tired of his lonely world, but the kind of young men he’s attracted to dismiss him the moment their eyes land on his cane. Pete’s learned to hide behind the safety of his reserve, but he’s never met anyone like Rory.

UnTamed by Laxmi Hariharan: Wolf girl Leana Iyeroy, the first half breed in her family, only ever wanted to be 100% human. An unexpected encounter with the Hugging Saint of Bombay, forces Leana to face the wolf inside her.

Ruby and Deidre by Robb Grindstaff Writer-Editor: A shorter than average man admires a taller than average woman from afar.

All The Devils by @Keira Michelle Telford: It’s 1889, and women are being killed in the East End of London. They’ve become the targets of a deranged sexual killer, but why? Because they’re prostitutes? Sapphists? Or something else entirely?

Ruby By Bob Williams: It’s nineteen thirty-six and the town of Ransom, Oklahoma is barely functioning after the “Dust Bowl” storm of the year before. Michael Wootten sits upon the porch of his dilapidated house and watches a caravan of trucks pull into town. Melvin Mitchell Presents: Ruby and her Amazing FreakShow Friends. Maybe this is just the thing to pump a little spirit into the near-dead town. But everything comes at a price, and Ms. Ruby always takes her cut.

Phantom Pain By Philip Harris: Phantom Pain follows amputee, Mariana Jacobs, as she visits a man who claims to have information she needs. But that information comes at a cost.

Daedalus’ Daughter By PK Tyler: After her father’s death, Isha begins sprouting feathers.

The Zealot By Chris Godsoe: Six months ago, Tobin Maldovan was in charge of a manhunt for an enigmatic hacker named ATLAS. He lost his man near the Canadian border after a high speed chase, but not before ATLAS pulled strings to transfer the woman he Tobin loves across the country, hampering any chance at reconciliation. With ATLAS having escaped his jurisdiction, Tobin had nothing left but to follow his wife to California, seeking reassignment at the West Coast cyberterrorism field office. His reputation preceeds him, and he has drawn the case pursuing a man the media has taken to calling “The Zealot.” As usual, Tobin pours himself into his work, but the work becomes personal in ways that he never would have imagined.

Made for This By Sessha Batto: On the heels of unimaginable loss comes reinvention. Sometimes the gain is worth going through hell.

Unbreakable Heart By Rebecca Poole: A cyborg must escape her creators in order to survive.

Saltwater Assassin By Samantha Warren: Syren has spent her life as a sideshow freak, caged in a tank of saltwater and gawked at by hundreds of normal humans. She has a secret, though. At night, when the lights are finally off and the fair goers leave, she turns into a human–a mermaid assassin.

The Well-Rounded Head By Sally Basmajian: A woman is smitten with her husband’s big, entirely round head. One day she notices that his temples appear to be slightly indented, so that his head is no longer a perfect sphere. This revolts her, and she moves into their guest room in order to avoid him. When he breaks in, she kills him, in a most bizarre way.

 

Rice is Nice

David reached for the old black switch with the cracked faceplate and flipped it up. The fluorescent lights below flickered on with a soft hum, but over that he thought he could hear the sounds of breathing. Descending the worn wooden steps slowly, David took his time, savouring the anticipation.

The little pied-à-terre he had rented was more expensive than he liked, but there was something about it that had made him choose it above the rest. The house was built on the foundations of a church, and the rough-hewn stone basement, with its stocky pillars and archways, was centuries old. It was perfect.

As David stood on the last step, he looked at what hung in the centre of the basement and smiled. Suspended from a big iron hook set in the ceiling, the naked young man lifted his head and looked over his shoulder to appraise David in the cold, flickering light. He was bound chest down, trussed tightly with elaborate knots and loops of rope so that his knees were wide apart with his ankles tied to wrists. The only shame was the light; David thought then of the antique, wrought-iron candelabra he had spotted hanging in the little shop near the market. He would try to pass again that way soon and ask about it. After shrugging out of his suit jacket, he hung it carefully on the banister, and walked towards the lit scene.

As he approached, the young man let out a soft moan through the cloth gag, and David watched his sphincter contract with the effort. He sighed happily; it was a gorgeous sight.

David saw that the floor was still wet from when he had hosed it down earlier, and stepped lightly, careful not to splash water from his handmade Italian shoes onto his pale-grey suit pants. The young man swayed slightly with his struggles, his shadow stroking the uneven stones.

David slid his zipper down and pulled his cock from the slippery-soft embrace of his silk shorts. He’d been thinking about this for over an hour, so he was well on his way to stiff before he even started to fondle himself. He reached out to pat the left cheek of the slim ass spread before him, and the young man let his head fall back forward with a long moan.

David chuckled.

He reached into his pocket for the coin-sized, clear packet of lubricant, twisted the top off, then slicked up his cock quickly. Holding the young man steady by the ropes binding him, David positioned himself and slid deep in one hard thrust. He ignored the sharp cry. There wasn’t much resistance—the young man was well-used, after all—but his hot little hole still hugged David’s cock gloriously as he started to fuck him with long, hard strokes.

Each time he slammed himself into the young man’s body, it was accompanied by a muffled whimper. David loved the noises he could pull out of him. He watched his wet shaft push into the young man, its thickness made almost obscene by the narrowness of the ass taking it, and let out a strangled sound of his own. Picking up his pace, David cried out again when he felt the sweet little burst deep in his balls. It heralded the throbbing, exquisite, dizzying force that roared through him a beat later as he filled the young man’s hole with a load of hot, slippery cum.

David panted. Another quick tremor went through him, and he laughed, pulling out of the young man. He watched the young man sway in the cold light, his head hung low and eyes closed. With a grin, David pulled his handkerchief out of his breast pocket and gave his dick a once-over before pushing it back into his shorts. A thick drop of cum slid from the young man’s messy asshole and dripped from his balls to the puddle of water on the stone floor.

Plik

David zipped up his suit pants and walked around the young man. Reaching down, he cradled the bound man’s jaw in one hand and brought his head up. David brushed the pale blond hair out of the way. Deep-brown eyes met his own.

Plik

David smiled.

“I’m making some Chettinad-style chicken for supper. I was wondering if I should make that rice pilaf with it like last time?” David said, pulling the gag away from the younger man’s mouth. “I know it’s a little fusion-y for your taste, but I thought it went well.”

The younger man’s brow furrowed.

“No… that’s fine. You’re right. The rice went nice,” he replied.

“Ok. I’ll put that on and then run out for some German beer. Sound good?”

The young man nodded.

“Sounds great, David.”

“Excellent,” David said and leaned forward to kiss the young man’s soft lips. “Love you, Matt.”

Matt smiled.

“Love you too.”

David tugged the gag back into place and patted Matt’s shoulder before he turned to go. He retrieved his jacket and folded it over his forearm before mounting the stairs. He took another long look at the young man below and breathed quickly at the wonderful, almost painful swell in his chest.

Plik

Plik

David flipped the switch down, plunging the basement into total darkness, and closed the door quietly behind him.

Sex sex sexy sex sex sex

In starting this blog, I’ve been worried (ok, maybe not worried… I don’t worry about a lot) about oversharing.

It’s one thing to read about about fucking. It’s another thing to read about an author fucking. Right?

See, there’s a difference between fiction and reality, and I never know where that line is in terms of what folks want to hear from me. Notice how when people write reviews of really hardcore erotica books, they rarely ever mention the sex except to say whether it was hot or not? You don’t generally get something like “omg, I almost came when Leo started fisting Guiseppe” etc.  At least not that I’ve seen.

All this is on my mind because in trying to come up with things to say on my blog, I keep coming back to sex. I have a lot to write about when it comes to sex, and it’s not explicit or anything. It’s just fun stuff… but do you want to hear it?

If you don’t… just skip this entry.

If you do, by all means, come right in.

Continue reading “Sex sex sexy sex sex sex”