Bad, Bad, Bad Boys

When I was younger and first started writing fanfiction, I wanted bad boys. Not the smoking, swearing, won’t bring them home to mother types.

The Warlord's ConcubineNo, I wanted bad boys. Boys that might just murder you and cannibalize you. Boys that raped and hurt their damsel, for no other reason than they could. Because they were big, and they were strong, and they were fucking bat shit insane.

And when I began publishing, I pulled back from that. Not just because my feminism made my kinks a little less desirable, not just because the topics made my partner uncomfortable at times, not just because they made ME uncomfortable at times.

I pulled back because I didn’t think anyone out there could be so fucked up as me, and that they said they wanted bad boys but what they meant was they wanted dominant men who could read the damsel’s mind and give her what she secretly wanted. They wanted white collar criminals, not rapists and murderers as love interests.

So I pulled down some stories I was really excited for because they made me uncomfortable to write and even more uncomfortable to publish.

But now, with so many big dark erotica stories coming out and becoming huge hits, I know I’ve been so utterly, hopelessly wrong. I tried to predict what people wanted, and I failed, as I often do when I try to predict a trend or a fad or what will be best.

My instincts are broken, my womanly senses are vanished, and I just have to give it up and write what feels right. Even if it does make my stomach coil in disgust and my sex throb in protest. It’s sick and wrong but it’s what gets me off, and I can’t control that. I can’t suppress that, no matter how much I want to. No matter how much I try.

It doesn’t go away or conveniently disappear. It just shows itself at the worst possible times, reminding me just how horny threats and violence and rape gets me (in fiction).

So I’ve been fucking readers out of amazing, brutal, unflinching stories and fucking myself out of having amazing, kinky and utterly debauched sex.

Fuck that!

Michelle Keep is back, bitches, and she’s going to be writing what she wants!

[Make sure to sign up for J.E. & M. Keep's mailing list. We have a bunch of great new things coming out in the next couple of months and would hate for you to miss out <3]

Religious Sexcapades

I know- I’m getting this up in the nick of time.  I’ve been spring cleaning all day and preparing for Easter – people are coming over and I’m COOKING!

So – I’ve basically nothing for you.  Sex and religion is a sketchy thingy.  I am still totally in love with my novel Jude’s Whore but the bible-ies have lambasted the book on Goodreads and so I don’t usually even bother trying to promote it anymore.  Yes, the character is called Mia and I did that because fucking Jesus has always been a fantasy of mine.  She is so me that whenever I read it I hear myself loud and clear.

Okay, I might as well throw myself to the wolves once more.  I know who I am and I’m not afraid.  That dude died for me as much as anybody.  Here is the excerpt – before the sex so it is totally nearly G – for your Easter eve pleasure.  Think Emma Stone and Jared Leto…

He looked at her and smiled faintly.  Mia thought that perhaps he preferred the solitude to her interruption of it.  He seemed familiar to her, as though his image had always been in her heart, this thin young man with shoulder-length wavy hair and a hint of a beard, his green eyes startling.  He moved to get up and greet her.

“No, please,” she said.  “Don’t get up on my account.  I don’t want to be a bother.”

“There’s gratitude in friendship, and respect,” he said as he resumed his position.  “And I welcome the company.”

She said, “I know you.”  She meant, do I know you? but it came out wrong.

“Are you a traveler?” he asked.

Yes, Mia thought, that’s right.

“Through time and space,” she said, unsure as to why.

“An angel from heaven,” he said.  “My mother had made mention of such a glorious gift.  Perhaps you’d like to occupy my space for a time?  Sit.  Put your feet in the warm water of the lake.  They must be weary in such high slippers.”

“They’re Choos.”

“Bless you.”

She laughed.  “You’re funny,” she said.

“Is it what you expected?” he asked.

Mia’s mind raced.  This moment; she’d dreamt of it many times.  It was as if she was experiencing clarity while enveloped in a profound love.  Emotion raced through her, which she chose to quell as she always did, because it seemed so irrational.  Was it déjà-vu?  Was she…dead?  Why wasn’t she more afraid?

“Of course,” she replied.  And she didn’t know why.  But, she thought, of course, I’ll sit with you and of course, you’ll protect me and of course, we are meant to be together. She bent to place her now filthy Gucci on the ground beside him.  When she rose, that dizziness returned.

“How is it that you’ve come to be here?” he asked.

Mia remembered that she had been with someone else only moments before.  It was late at night in a room…somewhere else.

She said, “I…I was meeting a man, another man.  For a drink.  And then I said….  Well, I don’t remember what I said.”

He held a wooden cup in his hands.  He reached down and filled it with the lake water.

“Would you like a drink?” he asked.  “I can ferment the water, you know; if it is wine you prefer.”

“Magical powers?”

“Some say.”

“That’s okay,” Mia replied.  “I’m fine. I’m not thirsty.”

He was so kind, and light-hearted.  She liked the way he smiled, as if the world’s problems could vanish with a smile.  Mia sat down next to him.  She removed her sandals and dangled her feet into the water to mirror his position.  The water felt glorious on her tired feet, warm as he’d said, like a bath, but much cleaner as though the effects of global warming hadn’t polluted it yet.  She liked this place.  He drank from the cup then lowered it into the water again, took another drink from it and put it down.

Mia took his hand in hers and a surge of love washed her core, like an emotional X-ray.  Her emotions threatened to embarrass her because this time there was no quelling, no holding back.  Love and sadness, tenderness and relief manifesting in an onslaught of tears.  They spilled from her eyes, arriving so suddenly and that had never happened to her before.  He wiped them with his other hand and she felt his touch absolve her sins.  It was such a profound feeling, as if he could solve her problems with the slightest of gestures, and rescue her from her deepest darkest fears.

“I am your friend,” he said.  “Do not be afraid.”

Mia smiled and felt the extreme emotion fade to calm.

She said, “My name is Mia, by the way.  Mi- well it’s Mirianna Mandolin.  I’m from Ft. Lauderdale.  That’s in Florida, in the US.  I was born in New York though.”

“US?  I am not familiar with it.”

She thought what planet did he live on?

“Yes.  It’s on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, or Pacific, I mean, whichever is closer,” she added, thinking she must be very far away from home.

“I see,” he said.  “This is why your lyrical voice speaks in a strange tongue.”

“Strange?  You’re speaking it too.”

He shrugged.

“Miri,” he continued, “that is my mother’s name.  Mary, actually.  You’re very beautiful, Mirianna Mandolin.  I can see the heavens in your blue eyes.”  He caressed her face with his thumbs, erasing the memory of her tears.  “I hope you will stay a while.”

His relaxed demeanor kept Mia at ease.  He seemed in no hurry to dismiss her and since she had nowhere else to be, she wanted to stay and get to know him.  She liked sharing space with him.  He was so attractive in a Bohemian sort of way with his hippie-chic white linen tunic and that leather cord tied around his head to keep his hair out of his face.  Maybe this was a spa…or was it…?    She began to piece together her memories.  There was a man, yes.  Jude Remington, and they’d fallen from the balcony and she’d screamed. Was she dead?  No, she was breathing, and she could feel her heart beating.

She said, “Maybe you’ve heard of the Carpathian Mountains?  In Europe.  My ancestors are from there.  My grandfather used to tell me stories about how the apostles came and it didn’t take long to turn all the shepherds into Christians.”  She didn’t know why she’d said it, blathering as though all of her memories had returned in an instant and revealing things she would never have said to a…client.  Suddenly Mia turned to her companion.  Was it Him? Oh my god.

Sex and Chocolate…And More Chocolate and More Sex!

Hi,

It’s Good Friday and while I make no claims to being particularly religious, I do enjoy Easter. Could that possibly have something to do with chocolate? And it’s distinctly un-religious association with sex? Mmmm…

But it’s true-sex and chocolate go together like fish and chips, cheese and pickle or-well-sex and chocolate! Have a bit of one and you’ll probably wind up fancying a bit of the other! And having them both together is practically ecstasy guaranteed.

But why do they go so well together?356492_s

Mmm…research is called for. (No, not that sort of research, dirty-minded readers!) A bit of digging around on the internet should suffice-the practical research can wait until later.

Feel free to eat some chocolate while I’m gone. Or indulge in a little something else…

I’m back-and here are some of the things I discovered about the association between sex and chocolate:

  • One out five women would rather give up sex than chocolate! So four of my five readers prefer sex. From a professional point of view, that’s a good thing.
  • An Italian university study found that eating chocolate resulted in increased levels of desire and satisfaction. Yes. Well done-we could have told you that without the study!
  • Chocolate contains PEA-not the small round green vegetable but phenylethylamine-which releases endorphins in the body, the same feel good chemical which causes attraction between individuals. This might explain the attachment I feel for a certain golden chocolate rabbit!
  • Mayan tribes used to drink cocoa to increase fertility-in place of champagne at weddings.
  • I found one website suggesting that chocolate knickers would be super sexy but I can’t help worrying about how impractical they’d be on the tube on a hot day…eugh!
  • The more chocolate you eat, the greater your level of sexual satisfaction can be-and it’s thought that eating chocolate can boost a limp libido.
  • Chocolate will never tell you your bum looks big. And it’s high in antioxidants.
  • Tryptophan in chocolate leads to feelings of ecstasy. Turkey also contains high levels of tryptophan-but I know which one I’d rather eat!
  • Chocolate also contains anandamide. The name means ‘internal bliss’ and apparently it has a similar effect on the body as cannabis. So now we know why chocolate’s so addictive…
  • The melting point of chocolate is at just a fraction below body temperature, which is why it quite literally melts in the mouth…

 

Enough! I can’t write any more about it-I must go and find some! In the meantime, I’m going to leave you with an excerpt of a story I wrote that featured sex and chocolate in a big way. It’s called Her First Taste-it’s science fiction, set in a future of space piracy and chocolate wars! It was published in the Smut for Chocoholics anthology.

Have a fabulous Easter and don’t over-indulge. Actually, on second thoughts, do!

Tamsin

By 3013, human beings have colonised space, with outposts on a myriad of earth-like planets in our own galaxy and beyond.  Minerals and precious metals have become commonplace now that man can plunder the universe – but one substance remains rare and valued. Chocolate is the new gold and cocoa beans the currency of choice for trading across the solar systems.  So valuable is the rich brown substance that few people alive in the 30th century have ever tasted it – it would be, quite simply, the equivalent of eating diamonds. But for those who have, the taste is addictive.

Colonel Coco Murgatroyd’s spaceship has been captured by the fearsome space pirate, Titus Bonaparte, for her cargo of cocoa beans – and now he is determined to make her taste some forbidden pleasures…

Bonaparte had inched forward a little, moving closer to where Coco now stood with her back against the counter.  In an instant, he had the gun out of her hand and in his own huge fist.  A second later, it was flying across the kitchen on an arc that took it right to the other end of the room.

He towered above her with a menacing stare.

‘Now, back to where we were,’ he said through gritted teeth.

He reached across to one of the white china bowls that Bizet had left further along the counter.  Coco tried to push past him, to get away, but he easily held her still with his other hand.  And then, as the smell of fresh chocolate assaulted her nostrils, she felt a tremble pass through her, shattering her will to fight Bonaparte off.

He pushed her roughly back so she was lying on the steel counter and it took him only moments to divest her of her uniform.  A growl of appreciation rumbled in his throat as she lay on the cold metal wearing just her black lace bra and panties.

Fear melded with excitement deep within Coco, making her shiver, but when she stared up into the pirate’s piercing blue eyes above her, all she could think about was kissing him.  A needy whimper escaped her lips, even as she silently cursed her body for being a traitor.  Titus ran a warm hand smoothly along the length of her torso as if he was calming a frightened animal and, indeed, it had just that effect on her.  She stopped trembling and lay silently waiting for what he would do next.

But if her body had become pliant, her mind was anything but.  Deep behind her half-closed eyes, Coco was trying to hatch a plan.  Sex was the only weapon she had left and she was an expert.  Let him think he was seducing her as, technically, he was; but once his guard was down she would make her move.  They were in the best equipped kitchen on the ship and that meant the sharpest knives.  Inside her mind, she replayed the layout of the room, trying to remember where she might have seen a knife block.

Bonaparte’s hand stroked her cheek.

‘You are incredibly beautiful, Colonel Murgatroyd,’ he murmured softly.  ‘What would it take for you to leave the Command Fleet and become mine?’

‘It’ll never happen,’ hissed Coco.  ‘Even in your dreams.’

‘How can you be so sure?’

Bonaparte grabbed her wrists and in one easy move had them pinned down above her head.  Coco’s eyes snapped open as his mouth met hers and she was nearly dazzled by the sharp icy blue of his eyes.  His tongue forced her lips apart and then she felt something hard and dry being pushed into her mouth.  Her saliva flowed and the hard object yielded up its taste and its smell…  Oh my god.  Coco would have gasped but the pirate’s tongue stopped any noise escaping and he worked the soft disc of chocolate across her tongue.  The smell, the taste, it was nothing like anything she’d ever experienced.  It reminded her strongly of sex but had a flavour all of its own and as it liquefied on her tongue she had to swallow, carrying it deeper still, allowing the overpowering aroma to flood her nasal passages.

Bonaparte raised his mouth from hers.

‘You like?’

His voice had a rasp to it and with his free hand he pushed down the cup on one side of her bra to release her breast.  Rough fingers chafed her nipple making it pucker and stand proud.

Coco lay still, simply looking up at him.  She felt limp and weak but at the same time powerfully sexually charged.   Swallowing the last of the chocolate in her mouth, she bit her lower lip with a moan.  Titus freed her other breast and his mouth alighted on it softly, his tongue sweeping circles round her nipple until it too stood erect and straining.  Coco sighed, still overwhelmed by the sensation in her mouth.

‘More,’ she whispered, grasping a handful of his shaggy blond hair to pull his face up to hers.

‘Close your eyes,’ he said.

 

Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

 

This bad boy romance changed how I write…

I’ve been a bit quiet recently on the publishing front.

Sometimes these lulls are carefully planned: let’s put a bit of a gap between publications, allow time for teasers and for anticipation to build. Other times, it’s just how things go, and that’s been the case with me.

A series of events too dull to go into here intruded from real life to slow me down in the first part of this year, and then, after discussion with my publishers, I decided to change strategies.

In the past, I’ve pushed stories out as quickly as possible after they’ve been written and edited. This time, though, I decided to write a complete series before publishing, allowing me to go back and tweak the early parts in the light of what happens later on – stories always change as they’re written, after all. It also means that we’ll be publishing the entire serial close together.

So here we are: a new bad boy erotic romance thriller series. Part one, Trading Down, came out yesterday at the bargain price of 99 cents. Part two will be out next week, and the final part will be out a few days after that.

I really enjoyed writing this one, and I think it’s benefited hugely from the change in approach. Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see if readers agree…

 

Trading Down by PJ Adams

Trading Down (Winner Takes All 1) by PJ AdamsWhen a guy in a tux walks into a bar in the middle of nowhere, dripping wet from the storm, and pulls out a sodden roll of hundred dollar bills, you just know he’s going to be trouble.

Denny McGowan has lost his girl, his best friend and millions of dollars. All he has are the clothes on his back, the money in his pocket and an easy, wise-cracking charm that could melt the hardest of hearts. And two gangsters on his tail and out for revenge.

Cassandra Dane is a waitress in an out-of-town bar. Pierced and tattooed, she’s probably the last girl you’d expect to hook up with someone as hot and exciting as Denny – and she knows it. But things are not always what they seem and sometimes you’re just on the tail-end of a string of bad luck and worse decisions.

A night of intense seduction and passion on the dangerous journey from riches to rags and maybe back again.

Trading Down: the steamy new bad boy romance from the author of bestselling romantic thriller The Object of His Desire.

§

Excerpt

It was just a normal night until the stranger in the tux turned up at Pappy’s Lobster Bar.

Old Bub was in his corner, in his checkered shirt and suspenders that hitched his pants almost up into his armpits, and that woolen cap on the crown of his head like a kippah. He’d been cradling that Bud for at least an hour, just like any other night. Finn was by the jukebox, feeding it enough coins for a steady stream of Billy Joel.

Cassie stood behind the bar, her elbows leaning on its scuffed surface. She could recite the words from anything from 52nd Street thanks to Finn and his musical OCD.

Cassie was slim and honey blonde, a silver stud in her nose, half a dozen rings and studs lined up around each ear lobe, and an oriental script tattoo on one exposed shoulder. She’d worked at Pappy’s for two seasons now, and by anybody’s reckoning that was probably a season too long for anyone who had an alternative.

Over by the window a young couple in disposable plastic bibs wrestled with plates loaded with lobster. On a good day you could see across to Holbrook Island from where they sat but on a teeming night like tonight there was just a splattering of golfball-sized raindrops on the glass and the flickering lights of the trailer park, heading down to the bay.

That rain was something. It was good Fall Maine kind of rain: giant drops hurled horizontal by the wind coming in off the bay. That was the kind of wind that made the glass rattle in the window-frames like either wood or glass would give way at any moment, the kind of wind that made trees grow leaning over flat as if they wanted to hug the ground.

A week more and Pappy’s would be closed down for the winter. Not that the locals didn’t have a call for beer and good food in the winter months, but this was the kind of place where sensible folk put things by for winter rather than heading out. True, it was the kind of place where Finn and Old Bub would wrap up warm and trek through snow and ice to get here for the jukebox and beer, if the owner Lou was fool enough to stay open, but the delivery guys, well they were made of something far softer these days.

So the place closed down for winter, and Lou and his family headed south to their Daytona Beach trailer home. That left the likes of Cassie to do whatever they could to get through a few fallow months.

But closing down for a Maine winter was still a week away, and right now it was just the two grizzled regulars and a young couple who for some reason had thought late Fall in Maine was a good idea.

It was not the kind of a night, or the kind of a place, where you would expect to find Denny McGowan.

§

“Hey, Bub. You going to drink that beer or shall I wrap it so you can take it home?” Same old line, same old grunt of a response. Old Bub would be there till ten, down the rest of his Bud in a single swallow, and then head out into the night.

Cassie glanced across towards the window table. The young couple didn’t need anything yet. Back to her nails, hooker red and chipped. That kind of summed up how she felt right then. Cheap and worn. She liked it here at Pappy’s, but was she really going to be back in March to open up again? Was this her life now that she’d lasted more than a solitary season?

She took a cloth and gave the bar a spray and a wipe, even though it already had enough shine that she could do her face in it.

All this cleaning, it was wrecking her hands. The skin was dry. It made her feel old when she wasn’t even 25 until January. She hated this time of year, hated this sinking feeling, the Fall blues. She needed change. She needed something new.

She needed this not to be it.

Just then, with perfect timing, the door burst open, slamming against the wall as the gale took it. Standing there, framed in the doorway, was the guy Cassie would come to know as Denny McGowan.

In that tailored tux he looked like he should be someplace else entirely, but yet… it looked like he had walked here. On a night like this! His patent leather shoes were scuffed and dirty, there was mud around the cuffs of his pants; his shirt was untucked, his undone bow tie hanging loose. His jacket hung heavy with the rain, and his black hair was plastered to his skull. Maybe there had been an accident, or his car had broken down back on the highway.

Then, with a cheeky grin that cracked his face and put a sparkle in his eyes, he reached into his pocket, produced a fat roll of hundred dollar bills, and casually thumbed one free of the sodden mass of paper.

“So tell me, what does a guy have to do to get a drink around here?” he asked in an accent somewhere between Boston and genuine Irish, and then he stepped inside, pulling the door shut behind him and shutting the wild storm out.

(continues…)

Trading Down is available from:

Victorian? More Like DICKtorian, Amirite? – Historical (In)Accuracy in Erotica

It’s in the “Victorian” category on Amazon, but personally, I’ve taken to describing my latest title as “Corsets & Cocks” erotica.

noblewomanHistorical accuracy was not at the front of my mind as I was writing it. Nor were the actual sexual mores of Victorian England, although I like to imagine that some people really did get up to things as naughty as the characters in “A Noblewoman’s Fall” seem to manage.

(In fact, I’m quite sure some people did. Pick any time in history and there are going to be a few brave souls getting themselves off as their passions dictate. But probably not quite as shamelessly or as consequence-free as fiction allows.)

It’s a far cry from “A Noblewoman’s Fall” to anything like real life in Victorian Britain, let’s put it that way. Cocks and corsets, yes; situations Her Majesty could have expected to find in the drawing rooms of her nobility, definitely not.

And I’m all right with that. I like to think of settings in erotica as loosely akin to costumes in filmed pornography: exaggerated parodies more than historical re-creations.

Lady cops don’t actually wear miniskirts and thigh boots; Victorian noblewomen couldn’t actually be had just by pushing them up against the nearest wall and lifting their skirts. Such are the disbeliefs we suspend for the sake of a good wank.

(Although I will say — I’ve taken a bustle off in a hurry before, and while it’s not the easiest thing in the world, it’s probably also not as hard as you’re thinking.)

A little anachronisity is a good thing. If we strove for historical accuracy, “Victorian erotica” would have less to do with naughty noblewomen and their step-brothers, and more to do with teenage brides dying in childbirth. There’s a market for those stories, but it ain’t a pretty one.

~

“A Noblewoman’s Fall” is a full-length erotic novel with no pretense at historical accuracy, but with lots of corsets and cocks! It’s available on Amazon.com for $2.99 this week only — regular price $4.99 starts Monday, 21 April 2014. 

 

Happy Get Fucked Day

This post is similar to my last one, Happy Fuck With People Day, only different. Funny how I got both April Fool’s Day and Tax Day- on April Fool’s you fuck with people and on tax day you get fucked by people. To me, neither day is any fun.

So I’m saying fuck that to both days, and am going to write about fucking yourself. So much more fun.

Some erotica readers share with others, reading with or to someone else, hopefully resulting in a fucking good time. Wow, there is a lot of the word fuck in this post.

But some erotica readers keep their stories to themselves, for a quick, alone, personal read that hopefully, if the author has done their job correctly, leads to the reader reading one-handed. As a writer of such one-handed reads, I definitely want to encourage the practice, so today I am writing about the pros and cons of fucking yourself.

For the men- frequent sessions flush out your pipes, so to speak. It is rumored to help prevent prostate issues, including cancer. So for the health of all men, ’cause we love you guys- flush early and flush often. If your significant other catches ya, just say it’s better for you than flossing, and you are keeping yourself up as a well oiled machine for years of future stress free maintenance.

Actually that goes for everyone- the old adage holds true, use it or lose it. Keep the machinery well maintained and in proper working order. Your muscles, your fluids, all moving and non moving parts need to be maintained. Consider it preventative maintenance- like an oil change, but fun.

Practice makes perfect. How do you get good at anything? Try it. And try again. Especially the women out there. Orgasms feel different with fingers than with toys. They feel different depending on the toy. Or riding in the car with a tight jean seam vibrating just right. Or riding the, umm, arm of the couch. What? I don’t know what you’re talking about, I didn’t say that! Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but ahem, I can speak for myself. So try, see if the same holds true for you. Or prove me wrong, either way. Only one way to find out :)

Orgasms release feel-good hormones, making you healthier. And making you, well…feel good.

Can’t get pregnant or STD’s either, it relieves stress and can help you sleep better. It’s been known to help with menstrual cramps and sometimes if you have a headache, it helps with that too. Except migraines. Nothing helps those bitches.

No waking up the next morning thinking “Oh my God, who are you?” No beer goggle effect, and hey- with masturbation hopefully you like the one you’re with.

And damn it, it’s just fun.

Cons- there aren’t any!

Well except my personal cons, you can pull something. Just see my earlier masturbation injury post. Or not, that’s just embarrassing. And every damn once in a while, it actually gives headaches. So treat it like exercise- don’t hold your breath, maybe do a few stretches first? Warm things up a bit before trying multiple toys in multiple places while hanging from the ceiling? Not that I’ve tried that one, alone. Just saying.

So when tax day gets you all stressed and sleepless… Or when someone tells you to go fuck yourself…Go ahead! And thank them for the suggestion, that will really freak them out.

Any other benefits you can think of? Or masturbation horror stories? I love horror stories!

Oh, to those who like the taboo PI stuff, sampling new authors, great deals and lots of sex really, really cheap-

There is a new box set out you should totally check out. Shameless plug, ’cause it is also the first multi-author set that I’ve personally had the honor to be a part of. But, it is only the first of many, we have another in the works for next month, too.

Twelve authors writing hot, cheap taboo shorts. Find it here:

Clicking should take you to it's Amazon page.

Clicking should take you to it’s Amazon page.

Finishing, Writers Block and Success

I have read many blog posts on writers block recently, probably because I have been looking for them. Because at the moment I am dealing with my own particular block. Which is that I am having problems finishing my stories. I have plots and ideas for characters and situations coming out of my ears. I could sit down and write the start of half a dozen stories between now and lunch time. But what I can not do is write the final sex scene in my story “Face Splash”.

And yes I recognize the irony of an erotica writer not being able to write sex scenes.

However reading all these blog posts on writers block has shown me that there are as many forms of writers block as there are writers. So my hopes of finding a universal cure have been well and truly dashed. Or rather I should say that I have rediscovered that every writer’s process is different.(Because I already knew this.) And so we all our own individual struggles against our own internal demons.

I do not know the specific reason why I do not want to finish. There are a whole host of possible reasons ranging from fear of success to fear of failure. Of course while my story is in development then there will be no judgement as to its success or failure. But, a Si keep having to remind myself, success and failure are illusions. Someone might read my story and not like it while another person will be so touched and moved by it that they will become a true fan. Of course in my perverted writer’s mind both results are equally scary :)

Another element of my writing routine that I have to work on is that I need to develop a writing routine. I have written previously about changing my mind to consider writing work as apposed to the daydreaming fantasy that it has been for the past thirty seven years. (I am forty seven years old and have been writing stories since I was ten.)

So these are things that I have to work on and I do not know if I should be writing about them here on the One Handed Writers Blog. But then I do not really think that these sorts of through are appropriate for even filling up my own much neglected blog. But on the other hand talking about these problems, which I know are not unique to me, and offering up the processes that I use to overcome them might be of help to mother writers who are facing similar problems.

Remember writer’s block is all in the mind – as I am fond of saying.

Also while I am currently struggling to revitalize my career I should point out that while Lance Greencastle is a new writer I (the real me, Declan) have been writing for thirty seven years. Now at the start I was just writing just for fun, though there was always some part of me that thought it would be cool to be a full time writer. As I got older and had “real jobs” the writing career seemed more attractive. Until that is I realized back in the early 1990′s that most of my favorite authors had day jobs to pay the bills as the number of writers who could make a full time living from writing was very small.

Now days, in the middle of the ebook revolution, there is much more opportunity for a writer to make a living writing fiction. Though I think that most people who try it will still not make a full time living from their writing. But that is the same for many artistic careers. How many musicians, or painters, or sculptors, etc. make a full time middle class income from their art, never mind how many become filthy rich.

What I do know at this stage in my life that I can write. Three of the four reviews of my free story “Face Splash” mention that it is well written. In the past ten years I have published five novels, three posted for free on various blogs and websites and two self-published for sale. I got great feed back for my free stuff and sold moderately well for a unknown self-published writer with my ebooks. Plus the fifteen short stories that I have published as Lance Greencastle sell quite well. (That is a handful of sales a month, which is pair for the course for short stories.)

My goal is such a long term one. I do not expect to make serious money from my writing for many years. My writing is my pension plan. Because I have not other pension plan in place, and no money to invest in any. So I am relying on my time and my imagination to support myself in my old age.

Stephen Pressfield calls it “Resistance” in his book “Do the Work”. Resistance is fear, self-doubt, procrastination, addiction, distraction, timidity, ego and narcissism, self-loathing, perfectionism, etc. All the internal demons that writers( and artists of all types) have always had to battle. I suffer form all these. I am a master at procrastination and distraction in particular. And I am beginning to realize that I will probably have to battle them everyday for the rest of my writing career. It is like some internal arms race. As soon as I vanquish one particular form of predestination, I discover myself indulging in another form of distraction.

And so the latest mastication of my own Resistance demon is not finishing stories. I started ten stories in the last three months of last year. And have had to stop myself from writing any more new stories until I finish at least some of those that I have started. Which has lead to another unique form of block. But I have to remind myself that I am just pretending to be productive if all I do is start new stories without every finishing any. Only finished stories count.

But I know that this is just another step on my writing path. And who knows, in my next blog post I might very well be telling you about the ten short stories that I have finished in the past two weeks :)

Little Morsels of Sinspiration

Ever get those moments where something just jumps out at you as incredibly sexy, even though it’s simple, or mundane? Maybe it’s just a picture, a not particularly scandalous or racy picture even. Maybe there’s not even nudity. Partial nudity even.

It’s a quirk of the lips, a hand positioned in just the right place on a thigh. Or a look between two people that hints at something more.

Sometimes it’s the rhythm of a song. Others it’s the turn of phrase to a sentence.

Some minor little thing that triggers a thought, that snowballs into an idea, that becomes a story in time.

Of course, not everything becomes a story. If I turned all my ideas into stories I’d be working at it for the rest of my life and never finish it. Sometimes they become fuel for other stories, a new addition to an ongoing plot. Other times they just become private little shivers of delight for myself, or whispered dirty words between Michelle and I.

Though sometimes they become dirty little snippets of stories that never were, and I post them to the internet along with what inspired them. That’s what I use the Erotica tag for on my tumblr account, in case you’re interested. Little story snippets paired with the thing that inspired them. Usually a picture, or short movie.

I have to strike a compromise; not everything can be turned into a novel like the Warlord’s Concubine or Magic Academy. I simply don’t have enough time, sad as that may be.

Reasons to Love

There are a lot of reasons to love something. Probably more than anyone can count, to be honest.

When I was growing up, one thing that I was taught at one point was the concept of love, but in a slightly different way compared to most. My grandfather was Greek to the United States with my great-grandfather and great-grandmother when he was a young teenager, so some of what my childhood involved was a sort of amalgamation of Greek habits combined with American ones. I can’t really say that my grandfather was especially Greek in his ways, especially considering he also served in the US Air Force and was fairly “Americanized” by the time I was born, but I think some ideas stick with us forever.

Anyways! This is one I’ll probably always remember, and it’s something I’m fond of. I had to look this up before I started, because I didn’t remember the exact words, so I’m sorry if I butcher some of the technicalities here, but it’s really the whole idea that’s important.

There are 7 Greek words for love, each of them with slightly different connotations. They are all types of love, though. That’s how I think of it, at least. It’s not a degree of “liking” but just a different type of loving, each with their own power and meaning.

Agape is love with nothing in return. Sort of an unconditional love, but not strictly applied to the thoughts of family. I think a lot of people seem to think that unconditional love is relegated only to family for some reason, but I don’t think it has to. Unconditional love can be a romantic sort of love, too. It can be whatever you make of it, honestly. I don’t think any of these have a specific “rating” but this is a pure sort of love. Just love for love’s sake, you know? No more reason or definition behind it than that.

Philos is more of a friendship type of love. I like this one because it’s still a love, not just a “like” and isn’t downplayed because of that. Sometimes people think that romantic love is somehow more important or more powerful than friendship, but I don’t really know why. It’s certainly different, but they both have their own strengths and should be acknowledged as that.

Eunoia is a kind sort of love. I think of this one as just a charitable sort of love. It’s the freedom to love even when others say you aren’t supposed to love something so soon. It’s not like you’re being irresponsible in your love. If you are kind to someone and help them out of a sense of love for helping them, that’s kind of what I think this is. It’s hard for me to explain, to be honest. As a random example, there are some feral cats that live in my neighborhood. They’re nice and friendly cats, they’ve just been abandoned and found homes nearby. I won’t get into that situation, but it’s not necessarily a bad one. The local animal shelter knows they’re here (they neutered/spayed them at one point, then brought them back), but no one in the neighborhood minds them being here and everyone feeds them, so it’s all a bit weird, but they’re nice cats.

Anyways! Everyone takes care of the cats, gives them food and water, and is kind to them. They’re basically friendly outdoor cats without an owner, but a bit more skittish. There’s a kindness sort of situation there, where maybe it’s not a conventional love, but we can love the cats anyways and show it through our acts of kindness. You can do special things for people that you don’t know that well just because you want to, you know? It’s still a nice kind of love.

Eros is the sexual sort of love. This could be a romantic sort of love, but I don’t believe it has to be. It’s just a close, physically intimate sort of love. Because, honestly, who is to say that maybe you can’t combine different types of love? I think the closest comparison to a “regular” love that people think of is probably eros and agape together, but having one or the other is still love. Plenty of people can mix and match their love in whatever way that works for them, too. Everyone is different.

Hetairos is kind of a fraternity/sorority sort of love. The brotherhood/sisterhood angle, I think. A group love, in a way, but um… maybe not like you’re thinking! Mind out of the gutter! Just a love by association. Readers love books, and so there’s a companionship there, you know? If you love being a reader, and someone else loves being a reader, you share a type of love with one another that’s different and special from all the other sorts of love out there.

Aphrodisios is more like the Goddess Aphrodite instead of any actual love. I don’t really know a lot about this one, but I guess maybe it’s a combination of loves? Sometimes I think it’s good to make whatever meaning out of things that you want to make from them, because then it can be a little more personally special to you, so let’s leave that one for that. What do you think this type of love is? Do you agree with me about the combination idea?

Storgy is the last one, and this is kind of a student/teacher sort of love. Sometimes more like a motherly love, too. I think in some ways both of those are the same, though. It’s the sort of love you have for those that are dependent on you for learning and growing and experiencing life so that they can become their future selves. This one could be a lot of different things, too. It could be unconditional, or it could be love out of a sense of kindness. It could also be eros, with a sort of BDSM twist, with a dominant/submissive angle (even a light, flirty fun one, the “dominant” is still a teacher of sorts, you know?).

So… that’s what I learned about love when I was younger! I mean, I didn’t learn all of that exactly, but I was told that love is love, and there’s all sorts of love, and no specific kind of love is better or worse than another sort of love, you know? We can find happiness in a variety of different loving ways, and none is right or wrong, they’re just what they are.

To go on a sort of side angle with this at the end, I wanted to mention this because I’m currently involved in a romance boxed set called Top 100 Reasons to Love. The name came from something else, with each of these stories being in the Top 100 on Amazon at one point or another. I like the name because it reminds me of all the different ways we can love, though. There’s no good or bad way, and the books in this boxed set portray that somewhat, too. They’re all different, all dealing with different sorts of love stories, but at their core they are all about love in its myriad forms, and I think that’s really special. I think celebrating different types of love like that is important. Celebrating the same types of love all together can be powerful, too, but diversely acknowledging love in different forms has a strength of its own.

(I’m just going to link these quick, because I don’t want to ruin the message of what I was saying, but I think a lot of you would be interested in checking these out, so I wanted to share. Hetairos and eunoia combined!)

We’re doing a pre-release giveaway
But also a bigger release week giveaway
Next week we’ll be having a fun Facebook party with a bunch of neat events!
And if you’d like to check out the boxed set, you can find it here.

So… what are your reasons to love? Do you relate to any of the types of love more strongly than another, or do you think they’re all powerful and deep for you in their own ways? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

We interrupt this program …

Writer’s block is a bitch. At times, it has hit me for years on end. I can sit down in front of a keyboard, and something in me just refuses to type a word. Literally. I’ll open an empty sheet, or even a partially completed story, and just stare. Just stare. I’ll say to myself, “Just type one word, just one, and it will be okay.” I won’t. I might sit there for five minutes, ten, an hour. But my hands will not go to the keyboard. I may read what I’ve already written once, twice, several times, just to get into the swing. My swing doesn’t.

Other times, however, the words start, and then they keep on coming. A year ago that happened, and I wrote the first draft of five ‘Sliding Into The Abyss’ novellas in two months. Didn’t write again (except for editing on the above 5) for the rest of the year. This year it has begun again. I’m writing at a rate I’ve never written at before – however, not erotica. I’m excited. I’m about to finish the first draft of a novel I’ve had in my mind for quite some time and which I’ve been working on (and off again) since the start of this year. 30k words in the last 9 days. 60k in the last 40. So, writing this blog post is an interruption I don’t need at this time. I don’t want to get sidelined. Once I finish this novel, I can get on to Sliding Into The Abyss 6. At the rate I’m writing, it’ll only take another few days to finish the first draft of that. If. If I don’t slow down. And then on to other ideas.

Ideas. I have a lot of them. Took a trip earlier this year. Picked the wrong day to leave. Got caught at a connection airport when my destination airport decided to close on account of the weather. What to do? Tired (I’d been awake almost 24 hrs – can’t sleep on planes), I began having crazy thoughts. I’ll just camp out in the airport until my re-booked flight leaves in … 22 hrs. Save myself the cost of a hotel stay.

I wandered about the airport for about 90 minutes before I realized that I wasn’t thinking clearly. So, I got a hotel room – a nearby hotel had a few spaces left. I slept, I ate, I wrote a few sentences of a story. In other words, nothing exciting.

However, as I’ve mentioned elsewhen in this forum: Writers LIE. It’s what you pay us to do. The better we lie, the better you like it. In the reasonably near future, a character may face the same problem I faced. Except she – or he – will get to the desk of the hotel at the very same time as another traveller of the opposite – or same – sex. Both tired, both utterly weary, both not thinking straight. And they’ll agree to share that last available room. Yes, the one with only a single bed. Yeah, that room.

Our lives are incredible resources upon which to draw. All we have to do is change a little detail there, make a little adjustment here, call into play a ‘what if’, and away we go. Earlier this year I started work on an idea that had burbled around in my mind for a lot of years. Even more years before that, I had taken a train trip, where I booked a little ‘roomette’, which had barely enough space in it to lower the bed. If one possessed a large behind or bosom – or both – one would have to step into the passageway in order to lower it. If one had undressed first … well, I’ll let your imaginations take over.

Oh, the heck with your imaginations. My imagination did just that, and I wrote the story where a young woman running away from an ex-lover takes just that train, books just that sort of room – and then finds company. It’s a good story – I think. But, it’s a short story and I think it deserves at least novella treatment, so it’s on the back burner as well. As it’s more a romance than erotica, I might even take a new pen-name to put it out. It certainly isn’t an Echo Chambers BDSM book. And Delta, well, at the very least Delta needs a last name if books published under that name are to become visible.

Nonetheless, the most ordinary event can become a story in the hands of someone willing to look for something out-of-the-ordinary within that ordinary. The other summer, I walked to the store and brought home a carton of ice cream. Off in the distance, I heard children playing. What if … What if it were a children’s birthday party? What if the parent(s) had forgotten to buy ice cream, and the little monsters were begging for it? What if my character happened to be walking by the fence just when it seemed that the party would be ruined for lack of ice cream, and just happened to have a gallon or so of it in his or her shopping bag. See where I’m going? Grateful parent. Kids outside licking ice cream cones, woman inside licking … Well, you get the picture. I got the picture, too, and walking the last block home became … um … uncomfortable. Once there (insert yet another ellipsis)

Ideas, they are everywhere. “What if?”

And, what if I returned from this commercial break and finished that damn novel so I could move on to the novella?

I think I’ll move that one out of fantasy and into reality.

Live the Joy,

Delta. (who also writes as Echo Chambers)

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Echo Chambers’ books

Delta’s Books