Sunday, August 23, 2015

THE SUBS CLUB is Available for Pre-order!



So I took 2015 to experiment in some other genres that I like besides kinky romance. I had a blast exploring spec fic with Minotaur and The Grand Ballast, mystery in the Playing the Fool trilogy with Lisa Henry, and coming of age in Take the Long Way Home.

But I’m also really happy to be getting back to kink with The Subs Club series. And I mean back with a vengeance. We're talking domestic discipline, knife play, cross-dressing, rough body play, sex that ruins the kitchen, S/M, M/s, pony play, a fuckton of enemas, body worship, sexual and domestic servitude, all the rimming, impact play, watersports, and more. The four book series is currently available for pre-order at a discounted price from Riptide Publishing. You can read more about each individual book on Riptide's site, but the series blurb goes like this:

After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.
From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.
My goal for this series was to take an authentic look at sex, kink, and relationships--including the ugly/messy parts--but also tell a larger story about friendship. This is also my X-rated tribute to all the "club" series I loved growing up. Baby-sitters Club, Saddle Club, Pony Club...if it involved a diverse group of kids starting a club and helping one another through the ups and downs of growing up, I read it.

The SC books can be read as standalones, but there are some narrative benefits to reading all four. Stay tuned for more information on the four MCs and their stories, and for reveals of the awesome covers by Kanaxa!

Release Dates:

The Subs Club: December 7, 2015
Pain Slut: February 1, 2016
Manties in a Twist: April 4, 2016
24/7: June 6, 2016 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Euro-Tour 2015. Or: That Time Lisa and I Got Lost in a Maze That Really Wasn't That Hard.

I kept telling myself it was fine that I was still too lazy to blog about EuroPride Con a month after it happened. But then Lisa Henry upped the game by blogging, and I am nothing if not competitive with my archnemesis.

All right, I'm too lazy to be competitive. But occasionally I shake my fist in her general direction and give her an "I'll get you next time, Gadget. Next time..."



I don't have great pictures to share like Lisa, because mostly I let Lisa take all the pictures and then I stole them from her Facebook and pretended to my family that I took them. More and more, I'm starting to sound like the deadweight in this relationship.

But I can tell you that we had a great time at the con. We talked co-writing on a panel with L.A. Witt and Aleksander Voinov. We made Tim Tam S'mores, courtesy of L.A. Witt's brilliant idea to use a restaurant candle to toast our marshmallows. We met lots of awesome people, and saw some old friends. And we got lost on the subway system. More times than seems proper.

From Munich, the world was our oyster. And by "the world," I mean a small section of Europe. We toured the Salzburg fortress. We drank wine IN THE STREET in Prague, because you're allowed to do that there. We saw baby Lipizzaners at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. We got lost in a hedge maze for an inordinately long time at Schonbrunn Palace, and I refused to let Lisa leave the maze until we solved it, even though we were both dehydrated and wanted chocolate. 

See, I'm not too lazy to compete with hedge mazes, and I think a lot of that has to do with becoming obsessed years ago with completing this puzzle:


EVERY PIECE FITS TOGETHER AND THERE'S NO PICTURE ON THE BACK OF THE BOX SO YOU HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING IF YOU'VE DONE IT CORRECTLY UNLESS YOU SOLVE THE MAZE. BONUS, THOUGH: IT'S FULL OF UNICORNS. 

Anyway, the Vienna hedge maze was like the real-life version of that, minus unicorns. 

We ate a lot of chocolate, drank a lot of wine, bought a puppet for my mom even though she specifically begged me not to bring home any creepy dolls. And we plotted a lot of books.

All in all, it was a successful trip. And I feel like we have to go back next year, because I miss it already.

Stole it from Lisa.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The MINOTAUR cover is uncloaked!

Okay, I have been bursting for months to share the cover for MINOTAUR, my upcoming queer fantasy/horror novel. AND NOW I CAN!! Night Owl Reviews has done an exclusive reveal of the cover by Imaliea. I cannot say enough good things about this artwork. You can see it here, and learn a little bit more about MINOTAUR, which was one of my absolute favorite books to write.

I'm not sure what to say about it genre-wise. It's more on the literary side of things, and is actually fairly grounded in reality, except for a few fantasy elements. Like the, uh, Minotaur. Kind of an alternate history/dreamscape type story about a group of orphan punks who become fascinated by the legend of a beast that once terrorized their town. There is a love story, but it's not the focus.

MINOTAUR is available for preorder at Riptide (with some discounts offered), and will be released October 19th. 

Know this: I am not a warrior. I am a disease.
When I was six, my parents died.
When I was sixteen, I was locked away in Rock Point Girls’ Home. Nobody wants to deal with a liar. An addict. A thief.
Nobody except Alle. She is pure, and she’s my friend in spite of all the rotten things I am. 
There was once another girl like me—long ago. A cast-off daughter. A lying little beast who left a red stain across the land with her terrible magic. She’s imprisoned now in a maze high up on the cliffs. They say she’s half woman, half bull. They say she dines on human tributes and guards a vast treasure. They say she was born wicked.
But I know her better than the history books or stories do. She and I dream together. Our destinies are twisted up like vines.
Except I’m not going to turn out wicked like she is. I can save myself by destroying her. I’m going to break out of this place, and I’m going to enter the labyrinth and take her heart.
And once I’m redeemed, maybe Alle will love me.

Monday, June 29, 2015

THE GRAND BALLAST is here!

THE GRAND BALLAST is out now, and is available at AmazonSmashwordsARe, KoboB&N, and in paperback!

I'll be around the Internet giving away books these next few days, and I hope you'll join me for excerpts, prizes, and some behind-the-scenes glimpses of TGB. How did Kilroy get his name? Was it fun writing such a crazy fucker? What happens when a pantser attempts a book with dual timelines? These are some of the questions I'll be trying to answer on the blog tour. 





In a future where live sex shows abound to keep a jaded population entertained, dancer Bode Martin falls for the brilliant and unstable Kilroy Ballast, who molds Bode into the star attraction of his erotic circus, the Grand Ballast. Drugged beyond any real feeling, Bode trades freedom and his once considerable pride for an illusion of tenderness—until he inadvertently rescues a young man from a rival show, and together they flee to an eccentric town in the west where love still means something.

Valen’s not an easy man to know, and Bode shed his romantic notions under Kilroy’s brutal employ. Yet their growing bond becomes a strange and dangerous salvation as they attempt to overthrow the shadows of their pasts and wade together through a world of regret, uncertainty, beauty, and terror.

But Kilroy won't let Bode go so easily. Long ago, Bode was responsible for the loss of something Kilroy held dear, and he still owes Kilroy a debt. As the three men battle toward a tangled destiny, Bode must decide if his love for Valen is worth fighting for—or if he was and always will be a pawn in the story Kilroy Ballast will never stop telling.

Monday, June 22, 2015

THE GRAND BALLAST excerpt

One week till THE GRAND BALLAST releases! I'm very excited to share this with you guys. If you'd like to join me on my blog tour to win things and learn what it was like as a writer to spend so much time with a character as, um, mercurial as Kilroy Ballast, here are the stops:

June 29 - Joyfully Jay
June 30 - The Novel Approach
July 1 - Love Bytes Reviews
July 2 - Boys in Our Books
July 2 - Prism Book Alliance

And in the meantime, here is chapter one:



THE THIRD SHOW

The night the snake charmer broke his wrist, Bode stopped taking his pills.

The show was sloppy—an unexpected performance Kilroy had added after the first two sold out. Kayak, the contortionist, couldn’t get his own cock into his mouth. Roulette and Sibyata nearly missed a catch on the trapeze. The snake charmer toppled from the bench while playing his pungi and landed wrong on his arm. He screamed. Members of the audience clapped weakly, unsure whether the tragedy had been staged for their benefit, while the mechanical snake slithered toward the exit, rattling its steel tail.

Bode had to breathe deeply and concentrate on cotton candy during his act, because his mind kept breaking through the Haze. His nerves rose and bloomed suddenly, and he started to choke on Long John’s dick. That hadn’t happened in…months? Years? In what little memory Bode retained.

After the show. After the show, if there’s time, I’ll get some fucking cotton candy.

Calliope music filled the big top tent in swells and stretches. The tent flap whiffled in the breeze, revealing the littered ground outside and the ticket-taker’s jaunty purple shoes. Backstage, he could still hear the snake charmer moaning. With each moan, LJ’s hand tightened in Bode’s hair.

The others took their nightly dose of the Haze in the dressing room immediately after the show. But Bode left his pills in the small plastic medicine cup and started to remove his makeup.

“Pack it in, pack it out; you wanna see this?” Sibyata pulled down her leotard to show her scarred and bony chest—small, dented breasts like bruised oranges. Pulled it down further to reveal a small crater, about two inches in diameter and one inch deep, in the flesh under her ribs. “Thass what Kilroy had the doctor put in. So Rou could fuck me sideways.” She chuckled, a horrible guzzling sound. Then the leotard was off and kicked to the side, and she was throwing on a loose T-shirt. “Ay-ah-ay-ah. Nobody’ll look at a dead girl. That’s what I am, huh? Nobody wants to drizzle this clam. Bode, what’s wrong with my pussy? All these years, and still tighter than a mouse’s ear.” She slapped his shoulder. “I bet it’s tighter ’n your ass.”

Most nights she was easy to ignore, but tonight Bode turned to her. “Shut up.”

“You had a regular fuck pyramid tonight, didn’tchoo? LJ plowing your mouth while Kilroy stabbed your chute? Then the rest of us piled on.” She walked behind him and pulled his hair, then leaned down in his face and flicked her tongue repeatedly against the inside of her cheek. “Cocksuckeerrrrr,” she murmured.

He spun in the chair and punched her thigh.

“Yow. Ass!”

He reared back again and punched her between the legs.

“Oh, fuck!” She gripped her crotch and, with her other hand, raked her nails across his forehead. Blood trickled over his eyebrow and into his eye. Sibyata retreated to the corner, grabbed her hairspray and blasted half the can in his direction before she stormed out. He coughed, bewildered by the strength of his own anger.

The others didn’t appear to notice the fight. They exchanged their costumes for loose sleep clothes and headed outside to the coffin car, gravel crunching under their feet.

Bode lingered in front of the mirror with its frame of broken bulbs and removed his makeup slowly. He stared into the glass until his lips curled upward, seemingly of their own accord. “Hello, stranger,” he murmured. The plastic cup in front of him held two pills, bright blue and iridescent like dyed pearls. Bode thought about throwing them away but didn’t.

Nearly half an hour later he was starting to appreciate the absence of the Haze. He felt alert and attuned to the slightest sound, like an animal hunting on a cold night, waiting for a message from the wind. The world unaltered and defogged was a sorry place, but it was sharp and surprising, and he drew some satisfaction from how quickly things moved here—moments, molecules, his own reflection.

“’ello, Gov’nah,” he said to himself in an over-the-top British accent. “’eyyyy…” He squinted one eye and pointed at the mirror. “Don’t Oi know yaoouuu from somewhe’s?”

He pushed his chair back. “Oh, fuck.” He looked into the mirror again and laughed, stifling the sound immediately with one hand. He spread his fingers so that his lips stuck out of the gap. “Fuck. Fuuuuu—” He scissored his fingers, clamping his lips together and turning the word into a mumble. Slowly brought his hand down. “You didn’t used to say ‘fuck,’” he whispered to his reflection.

He was staring with his head tilted and his eyes wide, pretending to be a doll, a creepy doll, when the curtain over the door parted and Kilroy walked in. Kilroy wore his shabby red and black tailcoat and his riding boots, but not his hat. His fine blond hair was plastered to his head, whorled in sweat-darkened patches. He carried the ring stick—a thick, tough stem, blanched as bone and covered in thorns.

“Bodeee.” He spoke as though Bode were an old friend he hadn’t seen in some time. He twirled the ring stick once. Bode tried not to flinch.

Kilroy would have made a better creepy doll than Bode. He had light blue eyes and full lips and skin so pale it seemed to give off a glow like a winter halo. He wasn’t beautiful—he looked too clever, too fast for the stillness beauty required. But Bode had once thought him very appealing. The memory of that time, which the Haze would have buried any other day, pricked him in a dozen places and drew strings of blood.

Kilroy spotted the unemptied pill cup. “Oh.” He used the stick to tilt the cup toward him and peered inside. “Ohhh.” He glanced at Bode. “Take your medicine.”

Bode laughed. “I’m not taking those anymore, you fuckin’ hideous old man.”
Kilroy smiled. His mouth often moved languorously in private moments, though in the ring the grin blazed across his face. “How old do you think you are, Bode?”

Bode didn’t answer.

“Because I’m quite young,” Kilroy said.

“I’m younger.” Bode was sure of that much. The Haze had made it hard to keep track.
Kilroy stirred the cup with the end of the ring stick. The tips of the stick’s thorns were burnt-looking. “I thought we had a deal.”

Bode hunched. “I don’t know anymore.”

“Part of the deal is you don’t have to know. You just have to do.”

Bode leaned back, making the chair creak. A jewelry chain was draped over one of the broken bulbs to the left of the mirror. In some towns, they weren’t given dressing rooms—they got ready in the equipment car of the train. But some towns were pleased to host them. Some gave them broken bulbs. “I don’t want to do it anymore. I hate you. Fucker.”

Kilroy was quiet. He tipped the cup over and the blue pills skittered across the table.

You didn’t used to say fuck.

Bode watched from the corner of his eye as Kilroy drew the ring stick back to his side. “You’ve paid your debt, then?”

Bode stared at the mirror. A small stream of sweat trickled down from one armpit. His throat went tight and his eyes blurred. He should have been ready for this. Without the Haze, ghosts had enormous power over him, and Kilroy knew that.

Kilroy tapped the ring stick lightly against Bode’s shoulder. The sharpness of the thorns forced Bode to focus. He sat straight and twitched, wanting to shrug off the stick but knowing better than to try.

“I’ll still work for you.” Bode’s gaze traced a streak on the mirror. “But I don’t want the Haze.”

Kilroy dragged the thorns in a slow, sweeping zigzag down his back. Bode let out an uneven breath. He glanced down at the table’s edge, his cock hardening. Each night, in the ring, he could have pleasure if he chose. A cloud of it, made dull by its own abundance. The Haze gave him an artificial ecstasy, steroidal orgasms that brought no joy and left no memory. This was different.

The sensation was smaller, concentrated, but it was real. And it brought with it the recollection of a thousand times he’d felt like this around Kilroy Ballast: feverish and squally with rebellion and youth and a skin of love with no meat to it. So strange, what he’d once mistaken for love—like an untrained dog asked to find someone buried in snow, uncovering rags and stones and creatures’ dens without understanding there was a larger goal, a prize beyond these small, dubious treasures.

Now Kilroy’s hands were on him, the ring stick set aside—and good, because of all the indignities Bode had suffered over the last however many years, the ring stick was the worst. Heat dipped into him like an oar, vanished as Kilroy pulled him from his chair, then returned as Kilroy spun him and kissed him.

They shared their hunger until Kilroy made the feast one-sided, stilled Bode with his aggression. Bode’s lips hurt. His scalp too—Kilroy was pulling his hair. Kilroy pressed his lips to the crook of Bode’s shoulder and whispered, “All right. But I need to know you can still perform without it.”

Their limbs were gold in the light from the bulbs. Undrugged, Bode could see more, understand more—and yet the newness was so overwhelming he didn’t feel sure of anything except the roar in his bones, the hot dash of blood from his heart through the whole of him. He bit Kilroy during their next kiss, and Kilroy chuckled, clapping him between the shoulders.

“You’re my star attraction.” Kilroy held him tightly, rocking him. “I can’t lose you.”

Bode turned to nuzzle Kilroy’s cheek, and Kilroy’s hand slid to his cock. Kilroy gripped hard, too hard, and the dance was familiar, though he and Kilroy had both become unrecognizable since the day they’d first taken hands and stepped out onto the floor.

Bode wished for the strength to hate Kilroy, but his mind recycled stars, calliope music, the glittering oddity of a circus in a silent town full of empty people. An hour ago, he’d been someone else, sleepwalking his way through a performance his muscles knew better than his mind. Now he was awake and ready to lash the world like rain.

He went to his knees in front of Kilroy, his fingers working the brass button of Kilroy’s fly. Kilroy grasped and released handful after handful of his hair. The calliope music in Bode’s mind was his guarded secret, like a sinister plot against the quiet room.

“It will be hard without the Haze.” Kilroy ran his fingers lightly over the crown of Bode’s head. Cotton candy, Bode remembered suddenly. Should’ve gotten cotton candy. “The world is cruel.”

“I know it is,” Bode whispered, and began to perform.


___________________________

You can view the book trailer (which, okay, fine, is more like a movie preview)  here.
You can also, from now until the 25th, enter to win a paperback copy on goodreads


In a future where live sex shows abound to keep a jaded population entertained, dancer Bode Martin falls for the brilliant and unstable Kilroy Ballast, who molds Bode into the star attraction of his erotic circus, the Grand Ballast. Drugged beyond any real feeling, Bode trades freedom and his once considerable pride for an illusion of tenderness—until he inadvertently rescues a young man from a rival show, and together they flee to an eccentric town in the west where love still means something.

Valen’s not an easy man to know, and Bode shed his romantic notions under Kilroy’s brutal employ. Yet their growing bond becomes a strange and dangerous salvation as they attempt to overthrow the shadows of their pasts and wade together through a world of regret, uncertainty, beauty, and terror.

But Kilroy won't let Bode go so easily. Long ago, Bode was responsible for the loss of something Kilroy held dear, and he still owes Kilroy a debt. As the three men battle toward a tangled destiny, Bode must decide if his love for Valen is worth fighting for—or if he was and always will be a pawn in the story Kilroy Ballast will never stop telling.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

THE GRAND BALLAST Book Trailer

So I made my first book trailer--for THE GRAND BALLAST, a queer spec novel that explores the power of love and art in a world where everything has become so derivative that people barely feel anything anymore. I mean, it's also about a sex circus. But mostly the first thing.


It was super fun to make! THE GRAND BALLAST comes out June 29th. Stay tuned for excerpts and info on giveaways in the coming weeks.

Cover by MC Blackman

In a future where live sex shows abound to keep a jaded population entertained, dancer Bode Martin falls for the brilliant and unstable Kilroy Ballast, who molds Bode into the star attraction of his erotic circus, the Grand Ballast. Drugged beyond any real feeling, Bode trades freedom and his once considerable pride for an illusion of tenderness—until he inadvertently rescues a young man from a rival show, and together they flee to an eccentric town in the west where love still means something.

Valen’s not an easy man to know, and Bode shed his romantic notions under Kilroy’s brutal employ. Yet their growing bond becomes a strange and dangerous salvation as they attempt to overthrow the shadows of their pasts and wade together through a world of regret, uncertainty, beauty, and terror.

But Kilroy won't let Bode go so easily. Long ago, Bode was responsible for the loss of something Kilroy held dear, and he still owes Kilroy a debt. As the three men battle toward a tangled destiny, Bode must decide if his love for Valen is worth fighting for—or if he was and always will be a pawn in the story Kilroy Ballast will never stop telling.






Thursday, May 21, 2015

Katey Hawthorne Talks THE PLAYHOUSE!


I am so happy to have the endlessly awesome Katey Hawthorne on my blog today to talk about two of my favorite subjects: theater and queer girls. Her newest release is a F/F romance in the Superpowered Love series called THE PLAYHOUSE, and I can’t even describe how excited I am to read it. Let us welcome her!

So, Katey. Theater people are a unique bunch. You and I have both been involved in theater and have written theater-themed romances. What was important for you to capture about theater and/or the people involved?

The drive to do it, I think. There’s a foundational love of theater that’s involved, but then the rest kinda varies depending on the theaters. Even between Calling the Show and The Playhouse, you can see it. The academic interest and perfectionism (which, okay, a lot of the latter is just Jesse being Jesse but to be fair people at that level are way more perfectionistic about it!) in the former can spring from the amateur love affair in the latter, yeah. But I think the former is more interested in making everything work for the audience (or should be…) and the latter is more about a bunch of people entertaining themselves as much as the audience in some ways? Maybe?

Yes! THE PLAYHOUSE features both an actor and a techie. Was one job harder to write than the other? Do you think one side of things is harder than the other IRL?


I don’t think one side is harder than the other IRL. I like tech stuff better, personally, but I had fun being on stage, too. I don’t know, what do you think?


I was terrible at tech stuff. The scene in CALLING THE SHOW where Sim causes a blackout onstage was based on a mistake I made that I still feel guilty about to this day. So to me tech seems harder. I love acting, which is challenging in its own way, but I can get away with being my disorganized self.


… that’s hilarious. I mean not that you feel guilty but--oh you know what I mean!


Anyhow, I feel the same way about writing them as I do actually doing them, I think. I wanted to show that neither of them are altogether those stereotypes you get of techies and actors but… that stuff does come from somewhere, right?


For sure. And there really is such a thing as “theater people.” Like, you can pick them out of a crowd.


SO much. They are like glaring beacons of weirdness and I love it.


You did two techies in yours, was that weird, or easier?


I had to do research. I’d been involved in theater for a huge part of my life, and yet there was tons I didn’t know about the backstage side of things. I actually went into a control booth and stared at the lighting board and made peace with my past. Very cathartic.


If you had a flawless singing voice and mad dance moves (and I’m not saying you don’t) what musical would you most want to star in?


I DO.


Okay, no, I don’t. At all.


Honestly I’d go for Pippin. I don’t know, I just think the music is fun to sing. I’d want the part I gave Genny, Catherine. Or maybe Pippin, if I could sing the part. That’d be fun.


Pippin would be awesome. I always wanted to sing the dude roles in every musical. I know he’s the worst person ever (especially in the London version), but I totally want to play Freddie in Chess.


Oh my god, yes. Those are the BEST parts to play. Not the dude roles (well, yes, the dude roles, but that’s a WHOLE other conversation… AS WE BOTH KNOW), but the horrible ones.


With Pippin, I was also thinking I could bust some Bob Fosse moves. Who doesn’t want to bust some Bob Fosse moves?


I want to bust all the Bob Fosse moves.


Someday we’ll do a Bob Fosse flash mob.


Okay no but. It was a dream.


Or was it?





So we both have our first F/F books out this year. You know how much I don’t want to be the person who asks if there was anything “special” about your approach to writing F/F as opposed to M/M. But I do think it could be worth noting that there are potential differences in terms of audience, marketing, and even the gender politics of the story. Were there any challenges or joys you faced that seemed unique to writing a F/F relationship?


Yeah no, there are a lot of differences and we both know it, it’s true. And I did a weird thing in that I made mine part of a series that has so far only had m/m pairings--one of the m’s in there is genderqueer but he goes by ‘he’ and ‘him’, you know?


I love that Superpowered Love has variety. Including bi characters who don’t end up in a menage, for which I will be forever grateful to you.


THANK YOU. Poly is awesome but =/= bi amiright? What even.


I reckon some people prrrrrobably think WTF with me suddenly coming out with this f/f in the series but… it was always intended to be LGBTQA+, I just didn’t get around to it until now.


Marketing is a bit weird, because there’s less of an audience/less sales in general. I’ve heard a lot of theories about that but I don’t think we have any actual data. I just figure, I’m trying to convince people to give it a shot. What else can you do? Girls kissing is so good, I need to SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD.


Yessss. I just want to read and write about girls doing it. But because I don’t have a day job, the sales thing does matter somewhat. But then, the more authors write F/F, the better the chances are of it finding wider audiences.


The gender politics are notoriously dangerous, too, yeah. I mean, it’s a well-known fact that people will unknowingly shit on a female character for doing or saying things they’ll praise a male character for--there actually is data for that. On the one hand, an audience who’s going to read a book about two women is less likely to go there, but it’s still in the front of my mind when I’m writing. Do you think about that?


YEP. I think about it a lot with F/F BDSM, which is the direction I’m slowly moving. In my real life kinkxperience, the women I’ve met have often been more adventurous and have WAY higher pain thresholds than men. So it stands to reason that the filthy-kink potential in F/F is off the charts.


Right?! I mean, I’m not super kinkxperienced (!!!) but just in terms of openness in partners, women have historically been so much more all about it.


And yet, I’ve seen some resistance to the idea of two fictional women getting into REALLY kinky shit. Like, the guys in my books do all kinds of things with bodily fluids and name calling and marking each other and whatever (and I still haven’t even scratched the surface of hardcore BDSM in my M/M books). But when you get into women loving to consensually beat the crap out of each other, or get physically dirty, or use derogatory terms, there can be that knee-jerk reaction of “Ooh, that’s not pretty. Women are supposed to be pretty and nice!” Plus there’s SO MUCH in human history with women being non-consensually denigrated. So even though BDSM is absolutely not abuse, the parallels our minds draw can be complicated.


Completely. There’s a weird reaction to women owning our bodies, experiences, and words that I totally understand… but also want to shatter with a sledgehammer. A fictional sledgehammer.


Yes! And I’m not criticizing that reaction, because I feel it too. I just try to keep calling myself out on it. Like, “J.A., you’ve SEEN the way kinky women are in real life. You ARE a kinky woman in real life. Stop being afraid to portray that on-page.”


Also with gender politics, it’s interesting to navigate how the male characters are treated. Because the truth of being a woman is that as often as they’re not, men are shitty to you and don’t even realize it, because that’s the definition of privilege. Or they think they’re being less shitty than they are. And sometimes other men back them up on that--sometimes women back them up on that and it feels like this horrid betrayal, right?


Absolutely. And I know it’s been pointed out many a time that it’s sexist to suggest women have some special obligation to support other women. To an extent, I can see that. But also...yes, it does feel like a betrayal. Unfair as that might be.


Yyyyeah I mean. Reverse sexism is also a whole other conversation that would take up your entire blog if we got rolling (because I know us). So I’ll just say that obviously if a woman is shady and terrible there’s no special obligation, but when she’s actively being oppressed and marginalized, whole other thing.


So it’s weird because when you put that in a book and call it out as bullshit, sometimes you get people who are shocked. It’s the first book I had to brace myself for impact on because of stuff like that. Normally nothing gets to me, but since it’s something I’ve been through personally, repeatedly, I had to be extra Zen, going into the release.


I can imagine.


And I mean, we gotta talk about the obvious thing. This is obviously not exclusive to f/f books, but mine does happen to contain two cis women with vaginas. Which are like--there are a lot of words people don’t wanna hear or see, when it comes to vaginas.


Haha, yes! I have so much trouble with vagina terminology. Apparently I’m in the minority with hating the word “pussy” with a FIERY PASSION. Give me cunt any day. (If there are pussies in THE PLAYHOUSE, that’s fine. This is strictly a personal thing that I am capable of working through.)


There may be, like, a pussy or two? I like it okay, but it requires special care and framing, since it’s used as a word for ‘weakness’ in relation to femininity historically. I mean, I can be conscious of that and kinda use it? I guess? SORT OF?


I mean, the best thing we can do is imbue it with positive connotations.


It is not my favorite, either way!


I just think it’s a gross sounding word. It makes me think of pus. But also cats. This is upsetting on so many levels.  


But yeah, MINOTAUR, my upcoming F/F horror novel, was tricky, because it takes place in a time before the reclamation-of-cunt movement. And since I hate euphemisms, I was like, how am I going to talk about their vaginas? Because no way am I doing the gardening metaphors. Like, these girls don’t have delicate buds or secret flowers. But also they definitely can’t say cunt and have it mean anything good.


Right?! Man I love those Song of Sappho short, erotic f/f novellas--they’re all Victorian era though so there’s a lot of flower imagery happening and I’m like. It’s so period appropriate but it just makes me laugh.


Yes, there’s historically been a lot of fruit and flowers involved in fictional ladysex. It’s like the sexual equivalent of manufacturing pink handguns. SO YOU KNOW IT’S 4 GIRLZZ. How can you tell this literary sex scene involves lesbians? Because one woman compares the other to an exploding peach or something.


I do love the word ‘cunt’, too, but I mean, when it’s been used to denigrate women for so long it’s just hard sometimes. I can totally get why there’s a kneejerk reaction against it, and that would interrupt any hotness building. SIGH. Why must they injure our word, J.A.? WHY?

I don’t knowwww. I used to have a huge problem with cunt. Didn’t like to see it or hear it. But now I think it’s all kinds of hot when used positively. Next time you’re on the blog, can we invent a new sexy word for vagina?

THE PLAYHOUSE is now available from Loose Id, Amazon, and ARe!


Summer has been Lily McBride’s favorite time of year since she was a kid, because that’s when the Brookesville Playhouse opens its doors. Now that she’s an adult and works as their tech director, Lily wants more for her beloved Playhouse: a larger audience, a longer season, and exciting shows to draw new patrons.

This year, though, she also wants Genevieve Mason, a pretty starlet-in-the-making from the local university, recruited for the season’s tech crew. Genny throws her heart and soul into the place too, adding her own dreams of representation to the ‘must-have’ list, and using her sweet voice and surprising flare for pyrotechnics to draw the crowds in droves. They work so well together, it’s not long before their summer crush blossoms into a steamy affair.

Lily’s falling hard, but always feels like Genny’s holding something back. And then there’s the dreaded Brookesville Arts Council—supposed to be a support system for all things cultural, instead dragging the Playhouse down with their old-fashioned stubbornness. There are a lot of hurdles to jump and egos to deflate before they can get what they want, both for the theater and from each other.

Check out the rest of the SUPERPOWERED LOVE series on Katey's website!