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Feminism and Erotica

I’ve been reading a bunch of erotica lately. I’m on a kick. Sometimes I read tons and tons of paranormal romance/urban fantasy. Sometimes I read a shit ton historical romance, one after the other. And yes, “shit ton” is a technical term. And others, I read nothing but classics for stretches. Right now, I’m stuck in erotica playland. And before you even guess, it’s not Fifty Shades of Grey. I read the first paragraph and decided…NOPE. I couldn’t get beyond the writing. There is better erotica out there! I promise.

Anyway, I’ve read some Maya Banks’ Surrender Trilogy and the Breathless Trilogy, as well as Kresley Cole’s Game Maker series over the last two weeks (when I should instead be writing…but I digress). And I have to say that Kresley Cole’s didn’t infuriate me in the same way that the Maya Banks’ books did.

I understand that there is a whole movement for dominance and BDSM. I even understand the appeal. What someone likes in their own bedroom is their own business. I won’t judge you, I swear. You can be a very powerful woman and want nothing more than to come home and have your partner take control. It’s appealing. I wouldn’t call anyone’s feminism into question for that desire. Your kinks are your own. We all have them. My problem with some of these is the emotional corruption that feels almost slimy. There were too many woman in these books with “Daddy Issues” looking for an alpha male to dominate them. In one instance, the woman was homeless and for me, the entire book I questioned whether she really wanted what was happening to her or if she just wanted to eat on a regular basis.

Maybe I’m reading too much into these books and plot lines. However, it seems to me that by framing the situation in the way that some of these books were – it does a disservice to that life style. Because each of the heroines caught up participating in dominance relationships had some type of failure in the male role model category, it makes it appear that a person who did not have these same circumstances wouldn’t choose to play dominance games. That’s not true. Just once, I would like to see a woman who has 0 emotional scars, who is confident in herself and her self-worth, live this type of lifestyle in erotica. That’s why the Kresley Cole books were so much better. I felt like, yes – these women were in dire circumstances but they came from loving homes and the shit that had happened to them happened while in adulthood and they were more capable of dealing with the consequences. I understand that there has to be some conflict in novels or else there’s nothing to drive the plot. I’m a writer, I get that. I also understand that it’s not the author’s job to be an advocate for a particular lifestyle choice. All I’m saying is that we can make the heroines not so emotionally damaged so that it doesn’t feel as skeezy.

What do you think???

Emerald Fire Teaser

I know I missed last week. I’m sorry. I was on vacation that day, getting the nursery together and taking a nap. It was a very full day. To make up for it, I’m posting a teaser for the upcoming Blushing Death #7 release this summer – Emerald Fire.

Enjoy!

Sitting with a drink in his hand, legs crossed at the knee, and a bored expression lighting his gaze, the man from the club a few nights ago watched us. His shoulder length black hair was swept back and tucked behind one ear. His dark suit was pressed and unmarred by the events of the evening. He sat there, staring at us without a speck of dust on him. With a smirk as we approached, he evaluated us and something in the pit of my stomach tightened.

“Be careful,” Alex breathed a warning as we closed the distance across the dance floor. We sauntered side by side to the bar. “Isidro,” Alex said with forced cordiality. Her entire being stiffened as she bent at the waist, bowing to the other vampire.

“Alejandra,” he nodded to Alex and then turned to me. “You, my little flower, we haven’t been formally introduced.” His voice was deep, smooth, and inviting. He forced his power out through his voice in a way that suggested he thought he could mesmerize me. I guess the joke was on him. Meeting his gaze without a flinch of hesitation, I smirked at his surprised expression.

“Do we need to be?” I snorted.

“It’s only proper. I’m a good man to know.”

“Leave her be Isi,” Alex chided, finally frustrated with the banter.

“So protective, Alejandra. One would think the Blushing Death couldn’t take care of herself,” he taunted. Sliding a slick glance my way, he sipped the dark liquor in the glass. His eyes roamed over me in a way that made my stomach twist. He had a familiarity in his gaze that made me feel like he knew exactly how my blood would taste on his tongue.

“I’m not protecting her, Isi. I’m protecting you,” she sneered.

“She wouldn’t kill me. Not here in public with the police watching,” he said with a wave of his hand toward the door. I turned at the sure, thundering steps of hard-soled shoes on the dance floor.

Derek crossed the now empty club with long sure strides. His grey suit shone with the reflected light of the disco mirrored icicles dangling from the ceiling. The club was called Ice, what kind of décor would it be if there weren’t icicles dangling from the ceiling.

Glancing back to the vampire at the bar, I said, “Why not?” I gave him my best malicious grin, letting my monster peek through.

Baby Basics 101 = Holy Shitballs! We’re Sooooo Not Ready.

Monday night, Ross and I went to the Baby Basics class which is supposed to show you how to handle a newborn. This entire experiment just proved our inadequacies which I was expecting but it didn’t make me feel any better. First, they talked about some of the classes we’d already been to (aka birthing, breastfeeding, etc). Then they got into the actual, you have an infant in your house, what the hell do you do now?

Swaddling

I felt like I had this covered. I’d done this when I was little with my cabbage patch dolls, it couldn’t be that different. I would surely remember how to do this. WRONG!

1. Ross picked the biggest baby doll they had. This thing was the size of a toddler and was built differently than every other doll in the room which had static plastic arms and legs. Ours was all squishy and pliable (like a real infant) which made me feel like everyone else was cheating and didn’t know it.

2. They gave us a blanket in the shape of a fucking rhombus when the thing is supposed to be in a square. So I spend 5 minutes trying to manipulate this thing into the shape of a square so that it will fold right but that was a futile effort. In addition, this thing is made of felt so it sticks together making the job harder.

3. We manage to get this thing to some semblance of a workable swaddle shaped blanket, folding a “corner” down for the head to rest on. Then we wrap it. Well, because this thing is a clusterfuck it doesn’t really fold right and I’m sorry, but that nurse never said to keep the arm out and fold the blanket under the arm. So, she comes around to each and every table to check their work and we’re the only ones that she has to re-swaddle completely. Awesome!

Bathing

This doesn’t seem so hard so I refused to pretend that I was bathing this gigantic doll with pretend water and a dry wash cloth. Done!

Diaper Changing

Again, I’ve seen this done a thousand times on TV and in movies. It can’t be that hard. Then again, they’re not trying to diaper a toddler with newborn size diapers which are EVER so tiny. I manage to squeeze the doll into this diaper the size of a thank you note and get my tab down. Ross, much like me, has never held a baby nor changed a diaper. He didn’t quite understand the flap mechanism to attach the two ends together. After a few tries trying to stick the diaper together without unlatching the flap, he figured it out. This made him very happy.

After the aspirator instruction, the class was pretty much over. Then this conversation happened on the way back to my car…

Ross: “Sometimes I worry about you being a parent.”

Me: “What?!?”

Ross: “Well, you’re a little rough around the edges but I know there’s going to be one area where you are really going to be great!”

Me: “Oh, yeah? You mean discipline?”

Ross: “No. This kid’s whole first year is paperwork and scheduling. When does it eat? How much? How many diapers? You’ll be great at that!”

Me: “You mean the bureaucracy of parenthood?

Ross: “Yeah!”

Me: “Ghee Whiz, Thanks.”

What kind of Parents will we be?

Ross and I had a conversation the other day about how spoiled our child is going to be. My husband seems to think that it won’t be a problem but let me tell you a little story that happened just last night to prove my point.

We were at Target to kill some time before our maternity ward tour and we wandered into the toy aisles to look around. The conversation went as follows:

Me – “Oh, look they have a Grumpy Bear! I love Grumpy Bear. He’s sooooo, grumpy and cute.”

I put the bear back down. Ross follows behind me and picks it back up and tucks it under his arm.

Me – “What are you doing?”

Ross – “Buying you the Grumpy Care Bear.”

Me – “Why?”

Ross – “Because you want it.”

Me – “I’m 36 years old, I don’t need a Grumpy Bear. It’s $20.”

Ross – “So.”

Me – “You know this is going to get slobbered on by our daughter…”

Ross – “No, I bought this for you. It needs to go in the attic with the other Care Bears.”

We walked out with a Grumpy Bear and nothing else.

After this exchange, all I have to say is…Yeah right! Our daughter isn’t going to be spoiled.  Good luck world. Here she comes.

Gestational Diabetes

So, I’m sitting in the waiting room for my three hour test for glucose tolerance and I’m already pissed off. First, I couldn’t eat or drink anything for 12 hours before the first blood draw. Yes, I said first. There will be 3 more. Which for a pregnant woman is a long f’ing time not to eat or drink anything. I wake up thirsty and hungry. Also, if I don’t eat, I get HANGRY. SERIOUSLY HANGRY. No one wants that. Those that know me personally can imagine. It’s like a raving bitch on steroids.

Then, once the initial blood draw was done, I had to chug a drink that is so full of sugar there’s a warning on the label that it may make me sick and yak. JOY! On a good day, when this concoction is cold it tastes like a flat orange crush with the acidic after bite of a coke. It’s unpleasant. The worst part is that it makes you more thirsty than you were before and I still can’t drink anything.  My teeth feel like they’ve been coated in a pixie stick which is disgusting in and of itself. And because there was so much sugar in that thing, she won’t stop jumping around which doesn’t help the nausea.

So, here I sit, waiting for blood draws number 2, 3, and 4. Did I mention that I hate needles? No? Well, I do. Loathe actually. So, as days go, this is not one of my favorites.

New Year Resolutions

Okay, so today is the official start of 2015. Happy New Year everyone! The tradition is to make resolutions in order to…I don’t know…make your life better or something like that. In the last few years, I haven’t made any resolutions because – well – I don’t stick to them. I’m horrible at keeping them and quite frankly, I make them way to impossible to stick to in the first place. I have to believe that most people do this too. The worst was always the resolution to lose weight. First of all, this is never going to happen because:

1. I’m lazy. I hate working out (which you’ll probably find funny later). I hate sweating and I would much rather be at home with a good book.

2. I have portion control issues. I don’t understand that I shouldn’t eat everything on my plate. This is probably a product of being told my entire adolescence to clean my plate. But I also know that it will never be as good as it is right at that moment. And it’s soooooo gooooood. I don’t particularly have a sweet tooth, but I love bread, pasta and anything with a carb base. \

3. I hate to cook. I love going out to restaurants and having my food prepared for me. It’s not that I can’t cook. I just don’t like it.

So, what I propose this year is a set of resolutions that are both achievable and not CRAZY. This would involve something that has a routine and happens on a regular basis. So, here we go.

My New Year’s Resolutions…

1. WRITE A BLOG EVERY WEEK

As anyone who follows this blog knows, I’m HORRIBLE at this. First, I don’t feel like I’m that interesting to have something to say every week and second, like I said…LAZY. This is my first blog of the year and I will write a blog each week if it kills me DAMMIT!

2. I WILL COOK AT HOME AT LEAST 5 DAYS A WEEK

Now, this is going to become more important come March when I give birth and there is an infant screaming it’s head off in this house. I have the feeling that we will no longer have the disposable income to eat out on a regular basis. Plus, I imagine that toting a newborn around to restaurants is both annoying to other customers and a pain in the ass. So, cooking at home and meal planning will become more imperative. UGH, this one makes me a little sad.

3. I WILL WORK OUT 4 DAYS A WEEK

I know, I know. I said I hate to workout, sweat, and basically everything involved with exercise. It’s completely true. However, I know I feel better when I do workout whether that’s yoga, cardio, weight training, or simply walking. The problem is going to be finding the time and making myself do it.

4. I WILL WRITE 3 DAYS A WEEK

There are people out there that will tell you “you have to write every day”. That’s fine if you’re writing contemporary romance, historical romance, or something light like that. The problem is that I write graphic, gruesome shit. If I was in that headspace everyday, I would slit my wrists with a plastic knife. There’s only so much blood, death, and violence one person can take…even me. Three days a week of quality time would be awesome.

 

So, there are my New Year’s Resolutions. Any more than that and I know I wouldn’t complete them. I’d love to know what you think and what you’re resolutions are for 2015.

Mark of the Demon Preliminary Excerpt

This is a work in progress and has not been edited. 

Flames licked the clouds as the orange sky blazed overhead. Stepping out of the sedan, I already missed the conditioned air that made it easier to breathe. The onyx building towering before me was as sturdy and solid as a fortress but just as deadly as any prison. As I strode inside, the smell of sulfur burned my nose and I rolled my shoulders to wipe the distaste from my expression.

The guard at the door eyed me. Like every other despicable, demon lowlife in this dimension, his beady, red gaze skimmed up my body with a lecherous twitch of his lips. I ignored him and moved on.

As the elevator pinged and the doors slid open, rage and hurt churned in my gut. I ground my teeth and hardened my expression as the elevator rose. With each floor up, heat made the air thick; burning my lungs as I climbed closer to the fire in the atmosphere.

I remember blue skies, oceans that didn’t boil but were blue and cool. I remember waking in the green grass and the soft blades sinking between my toes, not this rocky, dusty wasteland. I remember my mother before we were taken from our home and brought to this place of black towers and burning skies. I remember her smiling, laughing. Reaching up to the soft gold ring dangling from my neck, I clutched it in my grasp. It was the last piece of her I had. The feel of her soft skin as she brushed my hair, her scent – spicy and feminine was like a knife to my heart each time I thought of her. How much I missed her and how angry at her I was that she’d left me alone. With them.

Dropping the chain, I buried the images of my mother from my mind. Thinking of her or our home wouldn’t do me any good. Any sign of emotion would demonstrate to Ardal that I was weak and any mention of my mother would anger him.

The elevator pinged and I shoved everything away as the steel doors slid open. Squaring my shoulders and raising my chin high in the air, I stepped out into an office I knew all too well.

“Maddox, I’ve been waiting for you,” the demon behind the desk barked. “You’re late.”

“Yes,” I swallowed, “Master.” The word tasted like acid as it rolled off my tongue. Bowing my head, I hid the venom flashing in my gaze from him. I was human, a slave, and expendable. Although I had more freedom than most, I still belonged to Ardal. The brand on my shoulder blade told the world I belonged to him and his family. Balling my hands into tight fists at my sides, I raised my gaze to my master and waited for his orders.