Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rock Stars And the Readers Who Love Them

I’m an unabashed music fan, and have been since I was first aware. My father and I created a lot of music memories. He took me to my first concert at age four, and I met my first famous musicians then. At home, I was surrounded by music as well. My uncle was a drummer who recorded a couple of singles with his band.

After an amazing time working (and playing) with musicians in the ‘90s, I tried to write some rock star romances around the turn of the century. I loved them, my friends loved them, but there didn’t seem to be a market for them.

I’m so thrilled that rock star romances are popular. It doesn’t really surprise me. After all, rock stars are sexy personified. This isn’t limited to just younger rock stars; I have friends who swoon over Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, and Paul McCartney. There’s something special about seeing an artist on stage and the synergistic bond between audience and artist. There is little more exhilarating than that moment when artist and audience are sharing that experience, feeding off one another’s energy.

Plus, let’s face it. What woman hasn’t had at least a fleeting crush on a rock star? Whether a tattooed hard rocker, or someone more pop oriented, there’s something for everyone.

I went to a couple of shows from my favorite band last weekend, and since I know their set fairly well, I took a few moments to observe the audience, not just the people around me, but the folks spread across the amphitheater. The sheer joy on the audience members’ faces was a sight to behold. It was reflected back from the musicians on stage, who played their hearts out despite the heat.

I love writing about rock stars, though I’m not as drawn to the younger bad boy musicians as I am guys in their late twenties and up. While I haven’t seen as many of these older heroes, I think there is a huge market for them, and I expect I’ll be writing them for ages.

In fact, I have a couple of rock star romances. Get Away, in Naughty Escapes, features a former boy band singer and an A-list actor. Kell broke away from the boy band atmosphere to stretch his musical wings, but he and the rest of his band have maintained tight ties throughout the years. In fact, Kell plays a special private concert for a couple of fans who met at one of his shows, and brings along one of his former bandmates.

In Homeward Bound, releasing in Naughty Reunions, Bry and Kell’s story continues There’s even a brief meeting with another former bandmate.

And yes, I know the question you’re asking. These two sexy musicians will be getting their own stories sometime in the future.

What are some of your favorite rock star romances? What appeals to you about rock star romances? Who are some of your rock star crushes?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Inspiration by Charlotte Boyett~Compo

Like most kids, I hated school. Mathematics was the bane of my existence...and still is. I don't have the right-sided brain for math. I especially began to hate it when my math teacher Mrs. Doris Hockersmith decided it would be a really cool idea to have math races on the blackboard. Ever engage in that particular blood sport?  It is a grueling, humiliating battle waged by two contestants who stand side by side at the chalkboard with chalk in hand. On the dark green surface of the newly-clean chalkboard are two identical rows of numbers. Those number could be addition or subtraction or division or....WORSE YET!...a combination of all three.  Contestants stand braced to go at it. Teacher yells GO and you race to see who will get to the end of the numbers...correctly...before the other hapless, meandering student.  I never won and when I had to race against the reigning champion Zella Griffin, I was especially humiliated by the contest. She'd be at the end before I got 1/4 of the way through my row of numbers. I really did not like Zella Griffin or her sister Cupie.

Have I said just how much I hate math?

As much as I hated math, I loved English. That was my favorite...well, until I had to diagram sentences and that was a chore I loathed. But creative writing?  Reading books? Learning poetry?  Now that was the highlight of my day.  I may not remember what a gerund is or what it does but I remember the poem Little Boy Blue made me cry. I may not remember what other strange-sounding parts of grammar are but I its entirety...the Alfred E. Noyes poem The Highwayman. (I once won a talent contest by dramatically reciting the poem while dressed as Bess, the landlord's black-eyed daughter.)

The Highwayman poem captured my imagination as nothing ever had before. I had no idea at the ripe old age of twelve what a romance novel was. I'd never read one and my mother only read westerns and Romance magazine.  My father wasn't a reader at all...not even the newspaper. The books I had discovered were science fiction and horror and that was what I devoured until that poem began to haunt my dreams.  I fantasized about the mysterious highwayman and his lady Bess. The tale intrigued me...even if I had no idea what that word meant back then.  It just wouldn't leave me be. It stuck in my mind like a melted gummy bear and I couldn't shake it loose. I do believe the poem was what made me want to put my own tales to paper...which I began to do a few months after becoming fascinated by the highwayman.

There have been a couple of really dismal movies based on the poem that were made back in the last century. Nothing to write home about, trust me. A few books were based loosely on the poem. When e-books began to get a toehold, some ladies wrote their version of the tale but none of them really struck a chord with me.  So I decided to write my own. 

One day.

When I finally got around to it...simply because of two actors who bear a remarkable resemblance to one another...I didn't really see it as an entire book. I wrote it as a dream sequence after the heroine in my novel UNDER THE MAYHAW TREE 'saw' a movie version of the poem starring Colin Farrell and since the hero in the book looked a lot like Colin, she began calling him Highwayman. My editor very gently told me that she would LOVE to see an entire book written from that dream sequence. She all but demanded it. She liked the name I gave my hero...Declan...and she liked that there were two women vying for the heart of the notorious thief. She encouraged me to write the book and I did. It turned out to be one of those books that writes itself. My fingers couldn't fly fast enough over the keyboard and I fell in love even more with the Highwayman. When I gave it some very unusual twists, I could hear my editor squeeing all the way from California.

"YES! YES! YES!" she shouted at me over the phone. "I LOVE IT!"

What's kinda funny about the book, though, was that once the reviews started coming in last month, I was amazed that the reviewers thought it was a historical romance. I hadn't planned it to be that way. It is actually set in an alternate universe...where most of my books are placed...but I guess there were enough similarities to European 18th century dress and props that it does come off as historical erotic fiction. 

If you were as big a fan of the poem as I was back in the day, I hope you'll give MOONLIGHT RIDER a try. If you've never read the poem, look it up. Romance fans will see why I loved the poem so dearly.  If you're curious to know who I saw as Declan, it is Newfoundland actor Allan Hawco (who does look a heck of a lot like Colin Farrell).  Kerry Washington is Bess and Scarlet Johansson is Lady Althea.  Tymothy Olliphant is Jack, Declan's hilarious best friend.

Read the synopsis, an excerpt and the reviews at

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Few Words About Writing Erotica by Suz deMello (#iamwriting #erotica #writingcraft #MFRWAuthor)

Writing erotic fiction is much like writing other fiction, but unfortunately it isn’t always viewed that way, possibly due to what we could call the Playboy/Penthouse effect. In these magazines, we rarely find quality erotic fiction, but instead are subjected to snippets of empty, dull sexual encounters that might, like a one-night stand, satisfy us for the moment but do little to feed our hearts or minds.

image USN via Wikimedia Commons
Most people need love, not just sex, and find that sex plus love is much more satisfying than just sex. Erotica minus romance is porn. Erotica minus the essentials of good storytelling is boring garbage unworthy of anyone’s time, especially since so many quality entertainment options are available these days.

So neglecting the essentials of good writing might get an aspiring author a sale to Penthouse Variations letters but never a book contract or even an indie-published novel with decent sales—unless you offer it for free. A freebie here and there may stimulate sales of your other books, and that’s good, but eventually a writer must gain the skills s/he needs to garner paid sales, if s/he aspires to be a professional.

What are the essentials of good erotica? They’re the same as the essentials of any good story. In brief: likable characters who resolve interesting conflicts in a setting that heightens the emotional content of the story.

Let’s look at an example: Anne Rice’s Exit to Eden. Set in a BDSM-focused resort, Lisa, the Dominatrix manager, finds herself attracted to and then falling in love with Elliott, who has come to the resort to experience true submission. Lisa and Elliott are undeniably likable, relatable characters even though their desires may be foreign to many readers.

But their conflicts aren’t. In her twenties, Lisa has it all: a cushy job at an island resort where everyone bows to her will, plus wealth and beauty. Nevertheless, she feels separated from reality and can’t understand why she’s drawn to vanilla sex and normalcy. Thrill-seeking photojournalist Elliott desires to explore his darkest sexual self for the undeniable danger enslavement presents.

Exit to Eden is a BDSM-laced, sexy, sensual read that no one would ever call porn due to its excellent craftsmanship. I’ve written in my writing primer,
Plotting and Planning, that the writer must know his or her characters down to their souls. It’s clear that Rice knows Lisa and Elliott, and by the end of the book, we know them almost as deeply.

However, erotic writing must include sex, and a lot of it. How can we get a lot of sex into our writing without it being gratuitous, as sex is in porn?

Step one is creating likable characters with interesting conflicts. Those conflicts have to be the sort that doesn’t keep them apart physically, so they’re less romantic or external conflicts than they are internal conflicts. Let’s look at Lisa again. Her conflict isn’t with Elliott—it’s with herself. She has everything but can’t understand her discontent. This conflict pops up frequently in modern literature. As our lives have become more comfortable, fewer external conflicts, such as getting our next meal, are the subject of books. When writers examine modern life, they often analyze our dissatisfaction in the midst of plenty. In fact, one of Freud’s most famous works is Civilization and its Discontents.

Step two is getting your likable but conflicted characters naked as soon as possible and as frequently as possible within the limits of the story. In Exit to Eden, Rice does this via the setting as well as the characters. The setting allows Lisa to choose and use Elliott as her personal sex slave. This takes place early in the book and is preceded by several sensual scenes, including the unloading of the new batch of naked slaves delivered to the resort she runs. And it’s followed by many erotic scenes as the characters’ pasts are shown to the reader and the course of their romance is related.

So, in order to load erotica with a lot of sex, start with a sexy premise, which will lead naturally to a lot of sex-filled scenes, without the lovemaking seeming forced or the sex shoehorned into the book just to give the reader a chance to get off or, worse, to increase the word count.

Another tactic is to begin a story in the midst of a relationship. Here’s the beginning of one of my short stories, Gypsy Witch:

Ben propped himself up on his elbows to better see the naked woman beneath him. Sheened with sweat, Elena’s lush curves glowed in the reddish half-light of her bedroom, curtained in exotically patterned swaths of gauze and silk. A curl of smoke from a lit incense stick scented the air with sandalwood. Otherworldly New Age music flowed out of a boombox in the corner, irritating the hell out of him.

Not only did I start off the story with a bang (pun intended) but there’s quite a bit of characterization and even a little conflict—and this is only the first paragraph. We see that Ben is very “feet-on-the-ground” while Elena, his lover, is exotic and New-Agey. So character is described, setting is related and the romantic conflict is shown.

Step three is developing the plot so that the characters’ romantic relationship grows along with their sex life. Sex may be an everyday occurrence, and even mundane to many, but if you’re a character in a book, having sex will change your relationship. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t belong in the book. Nothing belongs in your story except events that move the tale along. The entire purpose of a romance—which is usually the fiction genre that erotica falls into—is to show growth and change in the characters as they grapple with their conflicts and gain their happily-ever-after, or at least, happy-for -right-now love. If you’re at all tuned into the basics of plot, you’ll place those life-changing events right where they should be—at turning points in the story or perhaps at the midpoint.

There’s more, of course...  Enjoy the journey!

Here’s where you can find the books I wrote that are referenced in this blog:

Plotting and Planning, included in About Writing: 

About the Author:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.


A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

Check out Suzie's site:

And her blog:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Pasties Can Inspire a Lusty Encounter by Marianne Stephens

Pasties...not the kind you eat (although I'm sure there are edible ones out there and if I search hard enough I could find them!) but the kind women put over their nipples for all kinds of reasons having to do with being more sexy. Exotic dancers will use these to further entice the audience as they bump and grind or pole-dance.

History: Pasties first appeared in 1930 and included a variety of colors, diameters, and shapes. Tassels were the brainchild of Burlesque performer Carrie Finnell, who probably thought she needed "something extra" to arouse her audience. Tassels are connected to the center of the pasties.

In my book "Sexy Games" by April Ash, the heroine, Stacy, dons a pair for her role-playing game as a stripper/lap dancer. She diligently practices before the game to make sure she can get the tassels to "swing" and twirl...much to delight of hero, Sloane.

Pasties come in all sizes and some are very creative as these samples will prove!
What do you think? Would they make the wearer feel more "frisky" and playful? Give that added something to heighten sexual urges? Create a more lustful session of lovemaking?
Want to learn how to make your own pasties?
If you make some, would you let me know? I'd love to do another blog about pasties and will show your finished products...and you don't need to wear them!

Photos:,, and

Monday, August 10, 2015

Heroines...all shapes and sizes

When I first started reading romances, all heroines were gorgeous and thin...they possessed the requisite slender waist and perky bosom.. Now, for you ladies that fit that mold, I'm happy for you but I never looked like that. Reading those romances often reinforced the feeling I had as a young woman that only thin and pretty girls got the guy.

I read those books when I was in my twenties and loved them. They inspired me to hope I might one day write books and I have no bones with the authors who wrote the stories I loved back then. Still I wondered, "where is a heroine like me?" Where are the heroines with wide hips, full busts, and legs that aren't long and lean or dainty and slender?

As I grew older and my thoughts turned to writing, I didn't immediately decide to "break the mold" with my heroines. I tried to write about thin heroines. Women with waists whom a man's hands could span. Heroines with legs that didn't rub together. Alas...I had major trouble. Why? The last time anyone could span my waist with his hands or my legs didn't rub together, I think I was about...three? Five? Probably around five. I've been fat all my life. Yo-yo weight for better living through yo-yo dieting, but I was usually fatter than thinner. As much as I loved the stories and the sexy heroes I had trouble relating to the thinner heroines.

One thing writers hear when they are getting started is: "write what you know." Well, I don't know thin. I have thin friends, but I've fought my weight all my life to be thin. I never was thin. At best, I was pleasingly plump. That translated to paper, because when I tried to write thin heroines they didn't feel authentic. Probably because I've never inhabited a small body and didn't know how that felt.

So what's a writer to do? Write fat.

Yup, I decided I would write plus-size heroines and even if no one read the stories but me, at least I would recognize the women I wrote about. My heroines are big girls. Some have issues with their weight and believe they aren't beautiful, so they work through those issues. Others know they are fine and expect everyone around them to acknowledge it too. It's fun to explore those issues. Especially now. Why?

The times they are a-changing. Thirty some years ago the acronym BBW entered the lexicon because of a lifestyle and fashion magazine for plus-size women that did very well. It was considered revolutionary because in the 1960s the fashion industry made Twiggy the image of the perfect girl. In the 70s, they moved on to Farrah and so on... It may have taken awhile but change is coming to the fashion industry. Recently, Dove soap created their revolutionary ad which features women of all shapes and colors as beautiful. America's Next Top Model actually crowned it's first plus-size winner, Whitney.

And now a model agency actually signed a Plus size model (sized 22) named Tess Holliday. She is awesome. She even created a brand of sorts called: Eff Your Beauty Standards. I love her attitude. She's loud, proud and big. That's totally cool!

How does that make it easier for me to write my BBW heroines? I'm happy to say that many publishers recognize that heroines come in all shapes and sizes, too. When I was in my twenties (many years ago), it was unusual to find a big girl as a heroine. And if she started out big, she had to lose weight to get the boy. Now, that's just not the way.

It's wonderful that as writers we are given the freedom to make our heroines exactly who they are...fat, thin, or somewhere in between. It's a good thing.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

WAIT! I’m writing a book!

I’m sure you’ve read about writer’s block and how authors try to get around it before. But sometimes trouble comes unexpectedly.

As most readers will have worked out from my books, I love summer, the hot weather, the beach, and walking through national parks. For some years I’ve enjoyed swimming at a local, large Aquatic Center. One day as I was swimming up and down in my lane (the slow lane sadly, not the fast lane, or even the medium lane), I started thinking that an Aquatic Center would be a mighty fine place to meet Mr. Right. After all, there are plenty of brawny, naked chests, quite a lot of young, good-looking, ultra-fit life guards, and lots of sweaty, delicious muscles in the gym. The only surprising part of my decision was that I hadn’t thought of doing it long ago.

So I started writing the “Wet and Willing” series right there and then (in my head) as I swam. I expected it to be a paranormal series, as I’d been writing a lot of paranormal stories at that time, but the characters stayed firmly fixed in the here and now, showing no unusual abilities, remaining stolidly contemporary. Hey, that’s okay. Half the time I just take dictation from demanding characters anyway.

But then the unthinkable happened. The management of the Aquatic Center announced it was closing so they could undertake a major upgrade, and all the members had to find somewhere else to exercise for the eighteen months construction would take.

WAIT!! Just wait a minute. You can’t close the Aquatic Center! I’m in the middle of writing a series of books!!! Eighteen months! The readers would kill me if I took eighteen months off in the middle of a book!

Fortunately for my peace of mind, we were given passes to another Aquatic Center, a little farther away, but just as big and exciting. So the series, “Wet and Willing” was written.

Each of these books is a complete story in itself, but previous characters return for cameo appearances in later books.

And I’m still there every week, slowly making my way up and down the slow lane, getting inspiration from hunky life guards, and fit exercising men.

The “Wet and Willing” series is MMF ménage and available from

“Jewel’s Ménage Christmas” is another one of my MMF menage stories. It’s in the “Naughty List" boxed set.

Jewel, Donovan, and Oscar live together but the excitement has gone out of their relationship. She makes holiday plans to spice things up. Jewel's thought of everything, but will Donovan and Oscar rise to the challenge?

PG excerpt: “Jewel’s Menage Christmas”:
Jewel never thought she'd have to say it, but frankly, her ménage relationship with Donovan and Oscar had become boring, predictable, and stale. The three of them acted more like old married fifty-somethings than three trendy, young, ménage-sharing twenty-somethings.
They should be eager to jump into bed together or fuck up against the wall, filled with raw passion for each other. Instead, Oscar was so tired after work he fell asleep on the sofa in front of the television, while Donovan sat at the table surrounded by a mountain of paperwork he'd brought home from the office. At night, in their apartment, instead of screams of passion, there were soft snores from Oscar, and groans of frustration from Donovan as he hunted for missing pieces of data.
"We're all still young. We should be in bed having sex," she said aloud in the living room.
Neither man paid any attention to her.
She had the feeling that even if she stripped off, Oscar wouldn't wake up, and Donovan wouldn't notice unless she started dancing on the table between him and his spreadsheets.
"You're not listening, are you? I may as well be invisible!"
No response.
The way Jewel saw it, she had two options -- find herself a new relationship or kick the men into action and reignite some passion in their existing threesome. Jewel slitted her eyes and gazed critically at the men. Donovan had short, blond hair, deep blue eyes, was a fraction over six feet tall, and looked like a muscular Viking. Under that boring, plain, navy blue sweater, he had the most intricate tribal tattoo across his right upper arm. He also had a large cock that he knew how to use to hit her just right to bring her to a screaming orgasm. Not that they'd done that too often lately.
Oscar slumped on the sofa, his red head thrown back against the top of it. He had the very fair skin and pale blue-gray eyes common to redheads. He also had a lean, lithe, runner's build, making him appear taller than his six-foot-even height. His cock was a mighty fine piece of equipment, too. Oscar and Donovan were both bisexual, comfortable with fucking each other, or fucking her, or fucking as a threesome.
It wouldn't even be so bad if the men were fucking like bunnies. At least I could watch them. But lately, no one here is getting any!

Buy link:

Berengaria Brown

Thursday, August 6, 2015


A few months ago I pulled all but one of my novels from Ellora’s Cave. It was a bittersweet move for me. They weren’t my first publisher, but at first they were one of the best of several I’ve dealt with.

Sometime back in 2000, I was invited to submit to this very new epublisher. An author friend had just signed with them, so I asked about her experience with them. She told me about a small, friendly publisher that was open to a variety of stories, but mostly interested in erotic romance. That worked well for me, so I sent them a novel I’d been working on for a while. To my shock, I got a positive response just twelve hours later.

Over the next twelve to fourteen years, I published eight novels, eight novellas, and three shorter pieces with Ellora’s Cave. It was good for both the company and myself.

But times change, and the publishing world changes even faster. Authors who want to continue to thrive have to be prepared to adapt.

So with some sadness and more than a little trepidation, I decided it was time to take my books back and venture out on my own. Over the next few months, I’ll start re-releasing some of my older books, re-edited and in some cases re-written, with new covers and blurbs.

But in the meantime, I’m also doing these wonderful anthologies with the Naughty Literati group and it’s being great fun!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Inspiration: A Naked Guy in Zurich by Regina Kammer

In my story "Window Display" in Naughty Escapes, the heroine, Laurie, an American Ph.D. student, trots off to Zurich to finish up her dissertation. Instead of the hoped-for peace and quiet, she finds distraction in a totally hot neighbor who doesn’t bother closing the curtains when he’s naked at home.

Many of my Naughty Literati co-authors chose rather exotic locations for their Naughty Vacation Getaway stories. Zurich is generally not considered an "exotic" or even "sexy" location in which to set a romance! Exotic or not, sexy or not, the story is based on a real-life event. Not my life, though. Inspiration came from an unlikely place.

I’ll go back to the beginning.

I became a National Novel Writing Month groupie in 2006 after I did my first NaNoWriMo that November. Writing a novel changed my life. Quite literally, really. I wanted to give back. At the time I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area — NaNoWriMo headquarters — so offered to volunteer for the organization. They probably thought of me as that crazy older lady who is rather awkward around strangers, but whatever. They were (and are) a great bunch and I met a lot of fun, interesting people.

One such person was Lindsey Grant. Lindsey is the sweetest, most gracious young woman I have ever met. She has said this is due to her Southern upbringing, but I think it’s her nature rather than nurture. I would see Lindsey at official NaNoWriMo events, then later at purely social events, and she would blush at the fact I wrote sexy stories.

Lindsey’s husband Pat works for a large tech company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. About three years ago, Pat transferred to the Zurich office of the company. Now Lindsey, like pretty much everyone who worked at NaNoWriMo, is a writer. Once she moved to Switzerland — a country she knew not much about, where they spoke a language she knew even less about — she began to blog about her move and transitioning to life in a foreign country.

I’ve lived abroad before, so I followed Lindsey’s blog about settling in and navigating a foreign country because it was part connecting with a friend and part connecting with my own memories. Lindsey confronted the basics of everyday life including finding housing with the help of a "relocation specialist". The specialist found Lindsey and Pat an apartment with a view. I’ll let Lindsey tell the rest of the story:
There is a window across the street from us, directly opposite our dining table, of all places, that happens to be paned with frosted glass. Alas, this frosted glass is not very frosty. Months ago, when I was getting pleasantly tipsy with our relocation specialist post walk-through, she had her back to this very window while we chatted. At a certain point, I was distracted from what she was saying by a very clear view of a naked man in the apartment opposite. He seemed to be vigorously styling his hair.
"That’s a naked man!" I blurted.
"Oh my god, it is! That’s his shower." She turned and walked straight to the window, while I went the opposite direction, toward my own bathroom, blushing furiously.
"You Americans are so prude!" she laughed. "Look, he’s washing his willy. At least he’s clean."
I was dying inside.
Since then, as if by clockwork, Pat and I sit down to eat and the bathroom light comes on, the shower commences, and we get what we now affectionately refer to as, "the show." Poor guy. Poor us! And he’s not the only one on display. Across from our balcony is yet another building with a poorly frosted window through which we saw another neighbor nakedly doing her laundry. I suppose it can’t be helped. They may very well know that their windows, like the emperor's clothing, are doing little to protect their privacy. But I still feel like Rear Window goes Euro. And I just can’t stop blushing.
Anyone who has ever lived in a dense urban setting knows this sort of naked sighting happens all the time. But usually the sighting is not when the naked person is taking a shower. (This makes Zurich sound a lot sexier, doesn't it?)

The second I read that blog post I wrote up some notes for a short story. I even asked Lindsey for permission to use the premise for a sexy story, because Lindsey writes creative non-fiction, not romance (and definitely not erotic stuff).

So all that was two years ago. Then earlier this year, 2015, the Naughty Literati came up with a vacation-themed anthology. I had a great vacation story already written and submitted to another publisher long ago, but had never heard back from the editor. So I contacted the editor and discovered my (really awesome, I have to admit!) story was accepted but publication was delayed until 2016. Which meant I had to write another story.

Luckily, I keep all my notes and snippets of inspiration in a folder on my computer. That’s when the document called "Zurich" jumped out at me, and thus "Window Display" was born!

There’s a whole other plot line in my story, centered around my heroine Laurie and her academic research. Laurie's dissertation is about the Roman empress Sabina who was the wife of Hadrian (emperor 117-138 CE). I chose that subject purposely. During my research for my historical erotic romance novel Hadrian and Sabina: A Love Story, I discovered there was not much known about Sabina. (The reasons for this are spelled out in "Window Display" so I won’t go into it here.) Which meant I had a perfectly good never-before-done dissertation topic for my heroine. Plus, I got to add a touch of history to my contemporary story, which, for a historical romance writer, is always welcome.

My excerpt on the Naughty Literati website is my version of the first glimpse of the neighbor nakedly bathing.

Naughty Escapes is now available in ebook (only 99 cents!) and print. There are 11 wonderful stories from which to choose!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Now Available - Trip My Switch

Trip My Switch by Nicole Austin, available now

Blurb: My ex-lover introduced me to the seductive world of BDSM and unleashed a hunger which gnaws at my soul. He insisted I was submissive, but unable to master my raging desires, he left me hanging on the edge.

Submission, dominance—I love it all, but I'm not too sure where I fit in. And what on earth was I thinking when I applied for the position of sex slave for a night?

The sexual extremities got me searching my soul and yearning for extra time with my anonymous Doms. Too bad I signed a contract limiting the wild fun and games to one night. I crave so much more—restraints, blindfolds, inventive toys. Bring it on!

Warning: Reader Beware – this smoking hot ménage features scintillating male/male sexual interaction and is likely to cause spontaneous reader combustion!

*This previously published title has been revised and re-edited*

Copyright © Nicole Austin, 2015

Standing before the unremarkable yet forbidding industrial building, a carbon copy of every other white cinder-block structure on the street; I once again studied the details of an ad from a local BDSM circular. The sun beat down on me, relentless heat and humidity making the heavy air difficult to breathe. Rivulets of sweat trickled over my body, causing the cotton shirt to stick to my skin.

I felt as if I were standing on the edge of a high cliff preparing to leap into the abyss. Rationally, I understood the sex-slave position was for only one night. But this knowledge did not stop the conflicting emotions tearing me up. And facts couldn’t alter the desires that had driven me to this precarious point.

Chris, my last lover, had unleashed a hunger within me that still gnawed at my soul. He restrained me, took away all control and responsibility, and beat my willing flesh. When he insisted my true nature was that of a submissive, I balked. No way was he right! I denied the possibility with fervor, refused to listen or believe. Yet somehow he still managed to break my will, my resistance never lasting long before I began to beg, agreeing with anything he said.

I’ve always been independent and in command of myself. Well, until Chris came along, but there were confusing times when I wanted to take the dominant role. Times when I longed to be the one commanding his body. To make Chris sweat, squirm and beg for my every touch. But he wasn’t able to accommodate my conflicting desires. It made me feel like freakin’ Sybil with two vastly different personalities trapped deep inside. The dichotomy frightened me at a soul deep level. I imagine it terrified Chris.

As I glanced back at the paper in my hand, a sense of desperation settled over me. The ad didn’t provide much detail, but it sounded ideal since I hadn’t had sex in longer than I cared to contemplate. I knew that in reality it was just a job, even if they couldn’t come right out and say so. I’d heard of people who’d lucked into similar gigs and were highly compensated for one night of “work”. One night that would provide cash I desperately needed, along with another opportunity to try and determine my place in the D/s scene.

God, how I wanted to find my niche, bringing an end to the constant tug-of-war weighing heavily on my heart and mind.

My primary disharmony—Chris ignited a firestorm within me by introducing me to BDSM. One he wasn’t able to master, and my unquenchable need and desire to explore the limits of this newfound world had, in the end, come between us. I’d spun into a crisis of identity, not even knowing the person I’d become. Since then, I’d made several attempts to reach sexual satisfaction. All had fallen short. Nothing could compare to being with Chris. And I still had no idea who I really was beneath the superficial flesh and bone.

Dominant. Submissive. Or something else entirely.

With a heavy sigh, I checked the address one more time, rang the bell, and tried not to fidget as I waited for the mystery to be revealed. I waited…

And waited…

And waited!

What the hell? Had the ad been some kind of sick joke? Was there a total jerk-off inside getting his jollies laughing at the moron who’d shown up to stand around outside?

The now common indecisiveness waged a battle in my head. Ring the bell again? Wait a little longer? Walk away and forget the whole thing? It wasn’t as if a night of serving as a sex slave for a bunch of rich yahoos would resolve my inner conflict, right. Hell, nothing else I’d tried had worked so why would this be any different?

“Fuck it!” There was no sense hanging around any longer and making an even bigger fool of myself. I gritted my teeth. Curious or not, I wasn’t going to keep standing there, sweating under the hot midday sun, waiting for some practical joker to answer the fucking door.

Mind made up, I turned to leave. Poised to take the first step and walk away, I cringed at the sound of the door creaking open behind me.


The childish tactics pissed me off, but my intense curiosity demanded satisfaction. Clenching my fists, striving to remain calm and at least moderately submissive, I turned around if for no other reason than to satisfy my interest.

Nondescript is the only way to describe the man who stood in the open doorway. Medium height and build. Brown hair and eyes. Average shirt and trousers. Bland and forgettable. He stood silently, one eyebrow lifted in question.

Choosing to adopt a similar attitude, I held out the paper with the ad boldly circled in black permanent marker.

Average Joe didn’t speak and didn’t reach for the circular. He barely glanced at it and instead stared at me for an excruciatingly long moment, gave a firm nod then stepped back allowing me to enter the building.

Once inside, I glanced around the empty, cavernous warehouse. The windows set high in the walls didn’t let in much light through their dirty panes. Grayish paint peeled from the drab walls and the concrete slab floor was covered in grime.

“Follow me,” Average Joe said.

Well hell. What did I have to lose?

Nothing, a snide voice inside my head pointedly reminded.

“Shut up, you bastard,” I muttered under my breath.

Average Joe walked me to the center of the room. Looking down, I saw a black X made from duct tape beneath my feet. Before me—one of those two-way mirrors like cops use for interrogations. The whole thing made me feel like a bug under a magnifying glass.

“Umm…what’s the deal? This cloak and dagger shit is starting to wear on my nerves.”

“Wait here.”

That was all Average Joe said. He turned and walked away, disappearing through a door along the far wall.

Wait here, I sing-songed in my head. What a crock!

I stared at myself in the mirror, worrying about how I appeared to whoever was back there. Since it was technically a job interview, I’d worn my best pair of Dockers and a button-down shirt. The pants cuffs were a bit tattered and the shirt needed ironing, but it didn’t matter. This was as good as they were going to get.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, a disembodied voice came from a wall-mounted speaker.

“Take off your shirt.”

My first instinct was to tell Mr. Microphone to fuck off.

Well, shit. I was at an interview of sorts to be a submissive slave for the night. Not the time to get defiant. Not when I was being tested to see if I could give up control and follow orders. I needed the damn job, wanted the experience, and would play the stupid game—even if it killed me.

Averting my gaze from the mirror, as would be expected, I popped the buttons and shrugged the material from my shoulders, letting it fall to the concrete. Again I waited, struggling not to shuffle my feet.

My overactive imagination stirred an innate enthusiasm for exhibitionism. I pictured dark eyes scrutinizing the thick, corded muscles on display and flexed a bit to make them ripple. I tried to see myself through someone else’s eyes. Standing tall, I let them get a good look at all six feet, from my close-cropped light-brown hair to big, booted feet.

I’ve been told that I’m handsome. Not model striking but raw and rugged. Closing my eyes, I could almost see myself as if looking in the mirror. Warm green eyes framed by laugh lines. Soft hair lining my pecs, narrowing to a thin trail over my abdomen and disappearing beneath the waistband of my pants.

A sensual thrill zinged through my veins. At thirty years of age, I was proud of the defined body developed from hard, honest work and hoped whoever watched appreciated what they saw.

“Now the pants.”

Fuck yeah, totally on display.

To follow the orders, I had to first remove my boots. My knees popped when I squatted down to work the laces free. After kicking the heavy footwear aside, it was back to the assigned task. I saw no sense in drawing it out. Kind of hard to seduce someone you can’t see. Without fanfare, I popped the button, lowered the fly and pulled off my pants, adding them to the growing pile on the floor. It felt strange and exciting to be standing there in white athletic socks and briefs, but the predicament didn’t last long.

“The underwear too.”

You better be enjoying this. My gaze shot to the mirror as I gritted my teeth. Knowing it was not possible to see the person behind the glass, I still latched on to the idea of detecting a dark shadow.

“Are you a submissive?”