Sexy Stuff

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I put sex in my stories.  I addressed some of it in a podcast before the release of Red August – but I thought I would blog about it, to explore it a bit further.  If you want to listen to the podcast you can hop on over to Raven Heights Radio and listen to that episode HERE.

To state the obvious, some people aren’t bothered by sexual scenes in a story, and some people even seek out books with sexual passages.  Then, there are readers who don’t like sex in a story, and regardless of my reasons for including sexual scenes, it’s not going to really make them like it.  So, for those who are curious, here are some thoughts about about those sexy bits of Red August  and also, why you will find sexy bits in my second book in the series, Red Archer, as well.

When I first conceived of writing a fairy tale, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at an erotic short.  I had listened to a podcast from an erotica author who cranked out many erotic shorts a month and makes a good living at it.  I was at a bit of crossroads in my career life and wanted to switch from focusing on art and photography to writing.  Naturally, I wanted to write something that would be financially supporting.  So, I figured I would try out this model mentioned in the erotica writer’s podcast.  I’d write something under 10k words and I would self-publish it for 99 cents and move on to the next fairy tale.  However, once I got to writing the character of August Archer and her budding age-gap relationship with werewolf Faolan Conall, I couldn’t just stick to the erotic stuff – I wanted more story.  Eventually, there wasn’t a lot of sex in the story left, but what was there was pretty hot.  So, what could I do now but finish the story?

I had believed writing erotica might be a good route for me because my first ever paycheck as a writer was back in the late 90s and it was a short erotic story for Playgirl.  I figured I could channel that part of myself and write something short and steamy – but I failed.  I just wanted to know more about the characters.  I wanted to know where they would end up and all of the adventures they might get up to as their relationships developed.  So, I decided instead to write a modern fairy tale adaptation and put sex in where it felt right to me.  That’s how Red August was born.

I am a sensualist.  I immerse myself in the clicks of a keyboard and the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the sweet and rich melting of chocolate on my tongue, the tickle of the hair on the back of my neck and the warm pressing of my lover’s lips to my cheek – all while just sitting here at my desk.  These things cannot be sorted out from each other.  They are interwoven.  Eggs, flour, milk, sugar, all baked together – touching and creating a full experience.

Sex, passion, lust and hormones are a huge foundation of our motivations as humans, even if we don’t want to admit it, despite the reality of it being all around us.  I realize for some people, they’ve got that part of themselves pretty locked down.  They keep it private.  They don’t like it intruding on their stories about adventure or danger.  But, for me, there is a message in that:  sex intrudes, whether we want it to or not.  If people want to read it just to enjoy the idea that there is this horny teen girl who has an interesting paranormal back-story – I am totally fine with that.  The book belongs to the readers once you put it out there.  The author’s intent sometimes isn’t clear, or the person reading it might not have an experience or perspective that lets the message in.  There is nothing wrong with any of that.  If sexy writing isn’t for you, I’m not trying to convince you otherwise.  I’m just saying that I can’t help but include it.

The messages I got when I was younger, compared to those that I claimed for myself later, helped me come to a place where I recognize that sex is embraceable as a whole part of yourself and not something to try and put in a box.  There are so many contradictions in our society about sex.  We require consent, but don’t always prosecute rapists.  Or we get consent, then are accused of breaching a boundary we didn’t know was there.  We say girls are too young to dress in a sexy outfit or buy dolls that push sex, then we sell everything with sex.  There is a calamity about young girls wearing sexualized make-up and clothing, then we deny that clothing or appearance can be sexualized (feminist perspective).  It’s confusing as hell.  And there is no way for me as one human to un-confuse it.  But what I can do is write about a girl who is in touch with her sex drive.  I can also make an attempt to not romanticize things that are unhealthy.  I will write about things that are not healthy happening in a relationship, but I make great effort to not romanticize or objectify in my story.

I wrote about August’s desires and private actions because that is part of who she is.  Her body is doing things that are invisible to those around her, but hormones and chemicals rage on inside of her nonstop.

For me, I think part of the problem is that too often, women aren’t portrayed as whole individuals.   When we get explicit sex in a story some feel it defines the story, putting it into a specific slot (I know), saying “oh, this book is about sex.”  There’s nothing wrong with reading it on that level.  But that’s not what I’m trying to create – a story that’s primary objective is titillation.  My objective is simple – to show a whole girl, with her desires, menstrual cycles, awkwardness and cleverness–all the good and the bad–and sex is part of that story.

Take all of the above and add onto it the fact that August is not just a human girl.  She has hormones of something other than human coursing thorough her veins.  Her blood is rich and heavy with longing and the drive to procreate to a point she doesn’t understand it.  Furthermore, because as a general rule, people don’t talk much about sex to each other, she’s confused by it.  And if teenagers do talk about those things, particularly before the information age (my book is set in the 1980s), they can be misinformed.  They don’t know how normal it is to be having these aches and desires.  It’s an aspect of our animal side that is going on in our brains as we go on with all of the activities of our day.

There is a well-loved episode of the original Star Trek series in which this subject is the main theme.  Pon Farr highlights the power of hormones and instinctual drive.  You won’t get to see any steamy sex scenes with Spock, but I would have liked to.  I also wouldn’t be a bit surprised if there isn’t some fan fiction out there taking that episode much further than shirtless fight scenes on Vulcan.

Hormones and bonding chemicals, like oxytocin, are fascinating and still a bit mysterious.  I’ve learned a lot about bonding chemicals in the past four or five years. They are addictive and  powerful and can affect you like other drugs – clouding your judgment, making you feel euphoric, or numb.   When people have affairs, they can get the sense that they don’t love their earlier partner any longer because of the bonding chemicals that take over their brains with the new person.  This isn’t a mystery and it isn’t new, but it’s overwhelming and sometimes ruinous.  I like exploring the way these bonding chemicals can make us hold on to relationships that were cut short, or idealize people who aren’t good for us.

I attempt to write sex in my stories sensually rather than what somebody might consider raunchy.  But, if you like your sex tucked away, as an aside mention, or avoided like tip-toeing through a garden, then the Red August series probably isn’t for you.

Red August Instagram Giveaway

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If you are an Instagrammer and a book lover, particularly fairy tales, you might want to participate in the Red August  mystery box giveaway.   Along with a box of fairy tale and Red August related goodies for book lovers, you will receive two lovely books purchased from Daedalus Books (@daedalusbooks on IG), mystery items from Gypsy Siren Studio (@gypsysirenart on IG) and  a gift certificate for a free bottle of Pastela (@pastelahair on IG) boutique dry shampoo for hair of any color, including all those great pinks, greens, purples and blues out there.

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#RedAugustFandom #MysteryBox #Giveaway for Instagram

The box will contain Red August related goodies – you’ll understand when you get them!

Hints About Other Items
– Two beautiful fairy tale themed books purchased from @daedalusbooks
– A couple of mystery items from @gypsysirenart
– A gift certificate for a free bottle of Pastela dry shampoo from @pastelahair – for hair of any color, including all those great pinks, greens, purples and blues out there.
*Contiguous United States Only Please
*Contest ends August 31, 2015 @ 11:59pm

#books #bookish #booklover #bookworm #reads #reader #bibliophile #booknerd #newadult #romance #paranormalromance #werewolves #celtic #archery #redridinghood #fairytale #folklore #sexyromance #fiction #fantasy #fantasyfic #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookgiveaway #bookishgiveaway

A Little Behind

I have to giggle like a third grader at the title of this post.

Anyway, I’ve been out of town finishing some fashion and accessories work and shooting photos.  That’s something I do when I’m not writing.  Which I want to constantly be doing, but it’s not practical.

I went down to Virginia Beach for Mother’s Day week and visited my daughter who modeled my creations.  She had a friend come over, too, and she did some modeling as well.  It was nice to have a visit.  I’m happy to be back at my writing desk, but adventures are good.  Don’t you think?  In any event, it’s put me behind here at home – but only a little.  I’m catching up today and I have to say, it’s going a-okay.

I’ve had so many ideas flowing through me for additional books in the Red August series that I just can’t wait to get down to it.  I have to clear some of this boutique stuff off of my plate first though.  But I do want to say that I try to enjoy everything while I’m doing it.  I don’t always want to be looking to the next thing as what is going to be the best and most happy thing.  I am happy making jewelry and shooting photos.  I am extremely happy writing.  I hope that the joy that I get from doing these things are imbued on the objects I send out into the world and the projects I sell to support myself.  I want them to be as wonderful to receive as they are to create.

“Red August” continues to be on schedule for the August launch date.

Thanks to everybody who supports my work!

Here is a sample from the photo shoot.  You can find my designs at GypsySiren.com.

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Sensual Sunday – Sunshine

We lie in a puddle of light.  The earth on my back.  Dirt, grass, dandelions, crushed under my weight.   And your weight pressing down, again and again.  I look up, your hair like a halo of sunshine.  Your chin is high, too far from my mouth to kiss.  So, I follow, with my eyes, the contour from your chin, along your jawline, to earlobe, to collarbone.  Pale, almost as the bone beneath the flesh.  I lift my head to fasten my lips over the protrusion on your landscape.  I then press my tongue into the hollow near your throat and you moan.  I close my eyes and lay back.  Rays warm my face and nothing else exists but you and me and this union in the sun.

Sensual Sunday – Candy Apple Kisses

Sensual Sunday is a weekly sensual observation or short story.


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He bought me a candy apple.  The kind with the hard glossy coating and I smiled coyly as he presented it to me.  It was fancy, for a carnival apple, wrapped elegantly with a bow closing it at the top.  I stuck my finger inside one of the red and white gingham loops and traced it with my finger.  I twirled one of the loose ends and tugged, popping the ribbon free.  He held his hand out and I dropped it into his palm, as though it were a pair of my panties.  As he watched, I peeled the sticking wrapper away from the treat, enjoying the crinkle of the genuine cellophane.  My smile was toothy and joyful now, as I felt my teasing kitten routine falter for a moment.  As soon as I put tongue to the apple’s sweet coating, I turned my eyes up at him.  He smiled, proud he’d pleased me.  I thought about kneeling right there on the pavement and unzipping his jeans.  Pulling him out and putting candy apple kisses all over it.  My tender knees on the bumpy biting asphalt.  People stopping to stare.  Couples getting turned on and rushing home to fuck each others’ brains out.  I ran my lips across the damp sticky lollipop surface and stepped in to kiss him.  We stood there, the smell of popcorn and cotton candy, the lights and whirling sounds and chatter of people all around us.  He pressed against me so hard I thought I would fall over.  I could feel him hard, right through his jeans, and I was aching to touch him there.  We held each other tightly as he licked the sticky cherry flavoring from my lips.  He’s usually a shy boy, so he pulled away when he noticed people stopping, furrowing their brows and giving us disapproving looks.  Not much later that evening we would sneak into my basement rec-room while my parents slept innocently two floors above us.