Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Five Spanking Books I'd Love To See On The Big Screen

Fifty Shades of Grey: The Motion Picture will be coming to cinemas everywhere next year. As I mentioned in my blog post the other day, I don't think it's the worst bit of erotic fiction ever written. It is, though, very far from being the best.

You know what spanking fiction book would make a better movie than Fifty Shades of Grey? Well any of the five books I've listed below for a start. Each one of them is better written, more erotic and a good deal more fun than The Adventures of Ana and Christian,

As well as speculating about what the resulting films would look like, I've included casting suggestions for the books' heroes and heroines and thrown in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it celebrity cameo for good measure. (Think Cate Blanchett in Hot Fuzz or Vanilla Ice in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.)

You may, of course, violently disagree with my interpretations. Particularly if you actually wrote the book in question. In which case, feel free to shout "STOP READING MY BOOKS ALL WRONG YOU IDIOT!" at me in the comments.

This is a bit of a tricky one. Obviously if one was going to turn all Renee Rose's books into movies (and frankly one should), it would make more sense to start with the first of the Westerfield books - The Westerfield Affair. But if I am going to select just one, then I want it to be the third book in the series, The Darlington Incident.

The blend of spy story and romance with its concealed identities, secret plots and poisoning attempts would be fantastic on the big screen. You can just imagine the trailer - impressive stately home, doors being masterfully flung open, close-ups of leather boots striding purposefully across ballroom floors, big swishy coat, even swishier riding crop and then our first proper view of Lord Darlington as he turns to the raven haired, birthmarked beauty at his side and says "You lied to protect a man you believe to be a thief? Someone ought to take you over his knee."

Hero (Lord Darlington) - Richard Armitage
Heroine (Miss Eliza Hunt) - Megan Fox
Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It-Celebrity-Cameo - Julia McKenzie (the current Miss Marple) as Lady Winters, fellow guest at the ball.

The Darlington Incident - Renee Rose

There's a ton of wonderfully evoked atmosphere in Cursed Waters - oppressive heat gives way to violent hurricanes and the sense that bad things are a-happening in  the beautiful holiday resort of Ocean Pointe on the Jersey Shore. All the while our heroes are busy reigniting an old love affair with sexy spankings and spanky sex. 

The sense of menace builds slowly as the shambling figures in the torrential rain begin to reveal themselves for what they really are. Until finally we reach a crescendo of full-on Zombie attacks being repelled by carefully aimed breadboards, squirt guns full of lemon juice and some super-powerful long-suppressed voodoo magic powers. 

Music would be crucial in this movie I reckon. We need an awesome and varied soundtrack to enhance the atmosphere with everything from Jersey Shore rockers like John Eddie and Bruce Springsteen to some Haitin Voudou drumming and, hey, let's throw in some of Casey's favourite New Orleans Bounce while we're about it. 

Hero (Trevor) - Chris Pine
Heroine (Roxy) - Cristin Milioti (the mother from "How I met your Mother")
Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It-Celebrity-Cameo - All of 'One Direction', unrecognisable underneath several inches of zombie make-up

Cursed Waters - Casey McKay

Clearly I think zombies are Box Office gold because the they turn up in the next book on my list as well. It's quite impressive that there are two noteworthy examples of novels with both both zombies and spankings as it is, quite frankly, a criminally neglected genre crossover. Paige Tyler's take on the subject matter is somewhat different from Casey McKay's in that the hero of the story, Drake, is himself  a part-time zombie. He is the victim of a curse that he had put on him when he was a sexy, sexist, Wall Street arsehole although happily, he doesn't seem to lose any cognitive function when he gets all zombiefied. The guy might look like he's been dead a week but at least he's not all "brains... brains..." and stumbling over furniture.

To be honest, this book is pretty light on spankings but I'm prepared to overlook that given the cute Beauty and the Beast-esque tale of redemption, the sexiness of two heroes, the scariness of the bad zombies who turn up later in the book and the amazing plot twist which I totally did not see coming and which flipped my whole understanding of the earlier part of the book on its head. It's the sort of pull-the-rug-out-from-under-you moment that you'd get in a M Night Shyamalan movie.

In fact, M Night, if you're reading this (and I see no earthly reason why you wouldn't be), you should totally consider directing the Dead Sexy movie. Everyone would be all like "Hey M Night Shyamalan has totally got his groove back, This is like the good films he used to make like the one where Bruce Willis turns out to be a [spoiler alert!] ghost and not like the rubbish ones he makes now like that one with Mark Wahlberg in it where [spoiler alert!] everything is stupid and makes no sense.

Hero (Drake) - James Franco
Heroine (Simone) - Eva Green
Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It-Celebrity-Cameo - Richard Dawkins as a spiritual healer during the Drake-tries-to-get-help-from-alternative-therapists montage

Dead Sexy - Paige Tyler

When I wrote my Amazon review for this book I said "Sidney Swann has great turn of phrase and the knack of writing scenes that you can visualise as though you were there, even when it's something as simple as a book being hurled across a room. In fact, this book would make a great movie. Someone should get on that right now!"

That was almost three months ago. And has anybody made a movie of Sidney Swann's wittily inventive steampunk romance yet? No they bloody well haven't. Come on Hollywood producers, pull your finger out. What on earth are you doing with your time if it's not going through my Amazon reviews looking for opportunities to fulfill my every whim?

This fabulous bit of steampunky sexiness is just made for the big screen. I want nineteenth century robot cats. I want steam-powered submersibles. I want a sexy half-human, half-robot man to take a beautiful, brilliant, young female scientist over his knee and give her a damn good thrashing, Is that too much to ask? Is it?

Hero (Dr Sebastian Cromwell) - Daniel Craig
Heroine (Dr Gladys DeWalt) - Mila Kunis
Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It-Celebrity-Cameo - Alan Rickman as the voice of Simeon the robot

Dangerous Science - Sidney Swann

Maren Smith - Kaylee's Keeper

Kaylee's Keeper is all about colours. Not just about colours, obviously. It's also about spankings and submissives and bullwhips and group sex and violet wands and people generally getting their every kinky whim catered for at a world-class sex resort. Even the kinky whims they weren't even sure they had. Especially those in fact.

Colours are fundamental throughout the story, though. They are flagged on the wristbands that all of the Castle's participants wear - pink for schoolgirls, yellow for maids, green for ponies, blue for the nursery and so on. Kaylee's Keeper on the big screen could take these colours and really have fun with them If you have ever seen Peter Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, you'll remember the rooms in that were all colour themed - the green kitchen, the red dining room. You could do a similar thing here: take the predefined colours and lavishly apply them to the set dressing and the lighting of each area of The Castle. The pinks of the classroom giving way to the greens of the stables as Kaylee moves between the spheres trying to find her true spiritual home in the Castle's geography.

The eye-popping visuals should be rendered in as high a resolution as technology will allow. Hell, while we're at it, let's make it 3D as well. I think the world is totally ready for a mainstream 3D BDSM sex film.

The outfits of the castle's particiants should likewise match the colour scheme with one important exception. The Master of the Castle himself wears a fine nineteenth century black three-piece suit with an elegant white shirt. His outfit should remain the same wherever he is in the castle. Master Marshall should be the one unchanging constant in Kaylee's kinky wonderland.

Hero (Master Marshall) -Alex Pettyfer
Heroine (Kaylee) -Jennifer Lawrence
Blink-And-You'll-Miss-It-Celebrity-Cameo - Tom Cruise wearing his carnival mask from Eyes Wide Shut being fellated by some guy in the Rainbow Room

Kaylee's Keeper - Maren Smith

So there you go, movie makers, five fantastic book just perfect for anyone looking to jump on the post-Fifty Shades bandwagon. Audiences will be crying out for sexy spanky plotlines, you mark my words. Strike while the BDSM iron is hot.

Hell, if the professionals don't take it on, maybe I should take it to Kickstarter and try to raise the money myself. That guy got $53,000 just to make some potato salad. How hard can it be to raise a few tens of millions to make a the best big-budget Hollywood blockbuster with spankings ever made?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer - Good, Bad or Ugly?

The Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Trailer is out. We may have another seven months to prepare ourselves for the actual film but at least we get a sneak preview of Dakota Johnson looking winsome and Jamie Dornan standing outside a helicopter.

For any of us working in the sexy-book-writing business, it is impossible to ignore either the Fifty Shades of Grey books or the forthcoming movie adaption. It's the sexy book that even the people who aren't interested in that sort of thing know about. It's like in the 1990s when everybody had heard of the Spice Girls. Even your Granddad who stopped listening to Popular Music when the Glenn Miller Orchestra stopped playing in the 1940s.

And because everybody has heard of it, everyone has an opinion. The thing is, it's like Twilight.Well, obviously, it's like Twilight, it's rehashed Twilight fanfiction but the other way it's like Twilight is that it's neither as Amazingly Fantastic or as Irredeemably Terrible as 90% of people writing about it on the web say it is.

This meme will literally make the internet implode in on itself
Fifty Shades of Grey is not that bad really. I've paid money for worse erotica. I've certainly read a good deal that's better. So in the interests of defending something that is not that bad really (and go on E L James, you can put that I said that on the cover on the next release, if you like), here is what I think will be good and bad about Fifty Shades of Grey: The Motion Picture.

The Good
  • Look, this is a film that is more than likely going to have some spanking in it. There aren't nearly enough of those. Sure, Chross might list several hundred films on its Spanking in the Movies page but seriously, I've gone through all of those and most of them don't even count. Some of them are films I'd already seen and hadn't register any kind of spanking action in. (The Descendants, really?) Basically anyone who wants a movie with more than a passing nod towards spanking and BDSM has got Secretary and that's about it. So, any film where there's a good chance of seeing a girl spanked on the arse and enjoying it is cause to break out the champagne as far as I'm concerned.

  • The books- and now the movie - get people talking about domination and submission in the bedroom. People who thought they were weird, find out they're not so weird.They have a convenient shorthand to discuss introducing kinky stuff to their relationships. They don't have to feel like perverts any more - 100 million readers can't all be perverts! Lots of people found out that they enjoyed reading about bondage and spanking and anal penetration and learnt to really appreciate that a Kindle can comfortably be read one-handed. And you know what? Those people go on to find other books that they can read/mastubate to (I feel like there should be a portmanteau word for that. Rwank? Masturead? Choking the Chekhov? I'll get back to you.) So they go and check out or and that's good for readers and writers of erotica everywhere.
  • For all it's many faults (and it has plenty), Fifty Shades of Grey is not what a lot of people say it is. It is not a Rapist's Manual. It's not a Paedophile Con. It's not the worst thing to happen to the BDSM community since the beginning of ever. It's just a not particularly well written book that includes every romantic cliche in the world ever plus some spanking and bondage. Which is OK. Also, as far as I'm concerned, if something can upset an organisation as prissy sounding as 'Morality In Media', they're probably doing something right.
Much like the 'Passion of St Tibulus' in Father Ted.
"Is it a type of nudey thing, Father?"

The Bad

  • Oh, it's going to be terrible isn't it? Two hours of clunky dialogue, meaningful looks and 'tastefully' shot sex scenes. At least we won't get all Anastasia's drivelly dialogue though. Unless they decide to stick a voiceover on it peppered with 'Oh My's and 'Holy Cow's and making a million bloody references to her Inner Fucking Goddess. Maybe they'll make her Inner Goddess an actual character like Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio.

  • They're not even doing the decent thing and smooshing all three books together and making just one film so we can just get it over and done with. They're going to do all the books separately and I'll probably have to go and see them all because I can't remember which of the books has the scene with the snooker table. (There's something about a girl getting bent over a snooker table and spanked with a ruler that rather appeals to me, you see.) In fact they'll probably make more than three films. They'll split the last one into two because, what with Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games, that's apparently what happens these days.
  • Once the film gets released, the waves of hand-wringing and soap-box thumping will start again in earnest. We'll be told that no good feminist could possibly approve of submission in a relationship, that any desire to mix pain and pleasure just indicates some kind of mental issues and - repeatedly - that anyone who has any desire to read (let alone write) erotic fiction is some kind of drooling imbecile. Which is bollocks, obviously because loads of us are lovely.

The Ugly?

This is the first shot we see in the trailer of Mr Christian Grey:

Hmm. According to the book, he is broad-shouldered, with dark copper-colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes. "He is not merely good looking - he is the epitome of male beauty, breathtaking."

That bloke up there? If he worked in the accounts department of your office, you wouldn't even really register him. You'd be like 'I think I know who you mean. Is he the one who's sort of non-descript?'

Not that I'd normally judge a guy on his appearance, but we already know that Christian Grey has a terrible personality.

So, how do you feel about the forthcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie? Excited? Disgusted? Or are you just doing a sort of insouciant shrug while you repanel your much cooler sex dungeon and put the finishing touches to your far superior spanking movie manuscript?

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Saturday Spankings - Finishing off with a hand spanking

Happy weekend! I hope you are all as excited about the weekend as I am! Lots of spanky fun for everyone!

Sorry if I have been neglecting the blog a bit lately but rest assured, it's because I have been concentrating on writing book stuff rather than blog stuff so it'll work out OK in the end.

We return to Lady Westbrook's Discovery and the spanking that Felix Oliver is giving the woman he has just proposed to over her own writing desk. He's just applied ten swats with a ruler to her covered bottom (because he is a gentleman and they are not even engaged yet). He's not yet finished spanking her just yet, though.

Having laid down the ruler, Mr Oliver now resumed spanking Margaret using his hand. The swats were hard but not extraordinarily so.
He was clearly not using his full force, nor did he lift his arm as high in the air as he had when delivering the blows with the ruler. Rather, he spanked her bottom quickly and thoroughly, covering every square inch of her backside. Margaret found that the pain in her bottom was being diffused. 
Each blow from his hand caused a shudder of pain as it connected with her already marked bottom but the pain itself had changed. It was no longer concentrated on separate stripes and instead her entire bottom was suffused with a warm – if very achy – glow.

Go on. Buy Lady Westbrook's Discovery.
It'll be the best thing you ever purchased, I promise you.
(Provided you've purchased relatively few things in your life and you've been disappointed with most of them.)

Check out the other Saturday Spankers on the linky list below.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Corbin's Bend Blitz - A Simple Misunderstanding

No Saturday Spankings this week because I am part of the madcap excitement which is the Corbin's Bend blitz!

As I may have mentioned before I am a big fan of Corbin's Bend, which is why I pestered them into letting me join the gang. I loved the first six books and am currently getting stuck into Kathryn R Blake's A Simple Misunderstanding. So far, it looks like we're going to be seven for seven.

Check out the book excerpt below and Kathryn's great guest blog post on why DD and BDSM should not be considered abuse.

Though Arthur and Eleanor Benson have been practicing domestic discipline for three months since their wedding, he insists moving to Corbin's Bend, where domestic discipline is the norm rather than the exception, will revitalize their marriage.  Elly has doubts, but since Arthur is the undisputed head of their household, they move.  However, once Arthur becomes immersed in a community where spanking is not only permitted, but encouraged, his personality undergoes a dramatic change.  Accusing his submissive wife of being lazy, disorganized and disobedient, he employs creative methods of pain and humiliation to mold Elly from the imperfect woman he married into the perfect woman he desires.  And Elly finds herself a virtual prisoner in her own home, accountable only to the man who rules her life with a cane.

In his years as a vet, Jerry Douglas has seen what abuse does to animals, and he recognizes those same signs in Elly Benson during her daily escape with her tiny poodle to the dog park.  Jerry steadfastly supports the tenets of domestic discipline and enjoys the freedom Corbin's Bend offers its residents, but he remains fiercely protective of anyone in need of a champion.  And when he witnesses evidence of harsh handling, his instinct is to rush in and rescue.  Problem is Elly Benson is a married and consenting adult who insists all her bruises and welts are nothing more than a simple misunderstanding between her and her husband, until the day Arthur Benson takes his authority and discipline one-step too far, endangering Elly's life.

Actions have consequences….
            "Is dinner ready?" he inquired, opening the armoire where they kept their coats.  Though they'd selected one of the most expensive units in Corbin's Bend, the place didn't have many closets or cupboards, so they made do with new furniture they'd purchased to serve their needs.  They still hadn't gotten around to buying the china cabinet Elly needed to store their fine dishes and delicate figurines she'd collected over the years.
            "Yes, it's waiting to be served.  Would you like me to place everything on the table now, or would you prefer to relax with your drink first?"
            He frowned at her.  Now what had she done? Then, he pulled a large leather jacket out of the closet.  Jerry's jacket.
            "To whom does this belong, Eleanor?"
            She took a deep breath.  She'd done nothing wrong.  "It's Dr. Douglas's jacket." His left eyebrow arched, which meant she'd provided him with insufficient information.  "He's the veterinarian I spoke about earlier."
            "I see.  And what, pray tell, is his jacket doing in our hall closet?"
            She drew her lower lip in her mouth and skimmed her teeth over it.  Arthur preferred exactness to vagueness, however, informing him their armoire could hardly be considered a closet would not be good for her health, so she focused instead on how to present her afternoon conversation with the vet without drawing attention to her own error in judgment.
            "He believed my sweater wasn't keeping me warm enough, so he lent me his jacket."
            Arthur ran his fingers over the material and examined the lining.  "Why weren't you wearing your coat?"
            "Muffin needed to go out, and I thought I'd be fine in a sweater and slacks."
            With a nod, he hung the jacket back in the armoire.  "It would appear you misjudged—again.  Colorado falls can be bitterly cold, Eleanor, and you need to dress appropriately."  Closing the door, he turned to regard her through wintry gray eyes.  "Must I start laying out your clothing as well in the mornings?"
            Not wanting him to see her growing resentment, Elly lowered her gaze.  "No, sir."
            "You're my wife, Eleanor.  Every decision you make reflects back on me, and I will not have you prancing about the neighborhood improperly dressed."
            She met his gaze only briefly, then returned her focus to the floor.  "I'm sorry, Arthur."
            "So, you say, but I believe you need another lesson.  I think wearing an anal plug and a diaper through dinner might serve to remind you your actions have consequences."

Why DD and BDSM should not be considered abuse.

According to A Domestic Discipline Society (ADDS), Domestic Discipline is defined as "the consensual practice of a subtle Dominant and submissive type of lifestyle, with the emphasis on the relationship first. Only then, (after the dynamics of the relationship are established) should spanking as a disciplinary action or any type of punitive ideas be discussed."  This means in domestic discipline, the intent behind any punishments should be to correct undesirable behavior, not cause injury.  However, even if there is a desire to hurt or cause pain, the motive is not to do harm.

So, what is the difference between hurt and harm?  And when should the desire to hurt another be considered acceptable?  For me, the difference lies in intent.  The reasons and goals behind the participants' interaction.

The desire to hurt another to the point of injury can border on harmful abuse, even if consent exists.  However, the concept of pain is relative.  What I consider hurtful or injurious may be a mere pleasure tickle for someone else.  So, if the participants' goal is to achieve pleasure through pain, the marks and bruising that remain as remnants of their activities are often displayed with pride as proof of submission.  Neither party views their interactions as abuse, since both parties gain a measure of satisfaction from their sessions, even if a casual observer might be horrified to witness the scene.  Therefore, the desire to leave welts or bruises exists behind a fine line that usually takes the participants beyond the realm of domestic discipline into BDSM.  BDSM is a practice or lifestyle based on the precept of achieving sexual and emotional gratification through the application of pain in a dominant and submissive relationship.  Its focus is on gratification.

That's not to say all individuals who spank for pleasure are practicing BDSM.  Some simply enjoy the pleasure involved in spanking, but prefer not to venture beyond into BDSM practices.  BDSM, on the other hand, allows individuals of similar interests and desires to give vent to their predilection through mutually satisfying means.  By its definition, BDSM is not abuse.  Abusive spouses wish to inspire fear in their partner, not sexual fulfillment.  Domestic Discipline participants, on the other hand, desire to establish a paradigm of mutual respect and accountability through a communicated set of rules that both are expected to follow.  The intent of a Domestic Discipline relationship is to establish or maintain respect through the administration of more traditional values.

In my Corbin's Bend novel, A Simple Misunderstanding, Pendergast, a surgeon at Denver Memorial Hospital, asks the heroine, Elly Benson, who is a victim of abuse, about the welts and bruises he's observed on her backside.

            "Legally, I must ask.  Did your husband cause your injuries?"
            Elly swallowed and glanced at Jerry.  "Would you explain Corbin's Bend to him?"
            Jerry wanted to object, since he suspected the activities of Corbin's Bend had little to do with the punishment Arthur had inflicted on his wife, but Elly gave him such a plaintive look, he relented.
            Careful to use non-judgmental words, he explained how Corbin's Bend was a community that catered to individuals who had an interest in domestic discipline.  When Pendergast blinked, Jerry added, "Couples who practice DD often employ corporal punishment, which can include spanking, caning and whipping, but it is not considered abuse."
            "What is it, if not abuse?" the doctor asked, clearly unfamiliar with the concept.
            "A way to preserve marital harmony through spousal discipline."

Jerry's answer is simplistic, but to the point.  The goal of Domestic Discipline is to preserve harmony, not cause injury.  Both partners have agreed in advance to follow the rules and guidelines they've established with the goal of strengthening their relationship.  And to my mind, that shouldn't be considered abuse.

Kathryn R. Blake
Has her fourth novel with Blushing Books, "A Simple Misunderstanding" released.  Part of the Corbin's Bend series, this book is her third spanking romance where domestic discipline is primary to the plot.  Although Kathryn is relatively new to the spanking romance market, she is not new to stories where the hero paddles the heroine.  In fact, most of her novels have some sort of spanking in them.  However, even though Kathryn's heroes firmly believe in using corporal discipline as a deterrent, they have no desire to cause the heroine injury.  Even if they find it difficult to carry out a given threat or promise, they never shirk their duty.

Professionally, Kathryn has been a member of RWA since the early 1980s and has joined several local and special interest chapters such as OVRWA, COFW, MARA, FF&P, ESPAN and HHRW.  All of which have been instrumental in helping Kathryn's career.

Though feverishly plotting out her seventh book, which involves domestic discipline as well, Kathryn loves to hear from readers.  If you wish to learn more about Kathryn, or her books, you can see watch she's up to at any of the following locations:

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Happy Birthday Emmeline Pankhurst!

I love Google Doodles. There you are just getting on with your day deciding to google 'Node.js libraries' or '1950s wizard spanking' or whatever (depending where you are at the time) and Google furnishes you with a cool little gift that didn't even ask for.

The doodles have all been a bit football-obsessed lately (but then hasn't everybody?) but now that's all done and dusted we could enjoy something a bit more historical and bit more votes-for-womeny - The 156th birthday of Emmeline Pankhurst, political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement.

So happy birthday Mrs Pankhurst! The road to female emancipation has been a long and convoluted one and, internationally, we aren't there yet, but thank you Emmeline Pankhurst you were a huge part of the process of obtaining universal suffrage.

The Suffragist Movement is something that crops up in my last book, Lady Westbrook's Discovery and in my current work in progress which is a sort of sequel. Both are set in the 1870s. The National Society for Women's Suffrage was created in 1868 long before Emmeline Pankhurst began campaigning. It's actually rather sad that for all her enthusiasm, my character Margaret won't be able to enjoy equal voting rights with men until she's 99 years old.

So let's celebrate Emmeline Pankhurst's birthday with a rousing chorus of 'Sister Suffragette' from Mary Poppins which incidentally was my friends and my drinking song of choice as teenagers.

Glynis Johns plays Winifred Banks - a lovely lady but terrible example to all right-thinking feminists everywhere. "Put these things away, you know how The Cause upsets Mr Banks."

And while we're singing, let's appreciate how far we've come and how delighted Mrs Pankhurst would be to see that to our daughters the idea of women having equal rights with men could be summed up with "Well duh! Of course" and to whom the idea of women being second class citizens is entirely laughable.

Yay Emmeline Pankhurst! Yay Equal Rights for Women! Yay Feminism! Yay us!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Spanking Romance reviews my book!

The delightful and (almost certainly) fragrant Katherine Deane has written such a lovely review of Lady Westbrook's Discovery on Spanking Romance Reviews that I have half a mind to print out a couple of dozen copies and post it through all my neighbour's letterboxes.

On the off-chance that (a) you don't live within 10 yards of my house and (b) I don't actually do that anyway, you should head immediately over to Spanking Romance Reviews and read it there.

And then - if you haven't already, you should buy the book itself. Because as Katherine says "This story was hilarious and sexy, and quite unique among the spanking romance stories I have read." And you better listen to her, she's a dude who knows what she's talking about.

Much like Rufus

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Saturday Spankings - "I haven't finished yet."

If you listen to BBC Radio 4's Today programme in the mornings, then you'll know that on Friday mornings David Dimbleby always drops by to mention who the guests are going to be on that evening's Any Questions. It always cheers me up when this happens. Not because I ever listen to Any Questions. Not because I get excited by the sound of Jonathan Dimbleby's voice. But because it's a confirmation that it is indeed Friday at last. That the weekend is very almost here.

Saturday Spankings now evokes a similar feeling in me. If I'm selecting eight spanky sentences, inserting that picture of the be-suited, very focused spanker and his permanently surprised spankee and writing these words to accompany them... then it must be the weekend! Hurrah!

I don't hate my job exactly. I just find it both boring and stressful. Often, I find myself making extra trips to the lavatory just to break my day up and offer a change of scenery. The dream would be to write full-time but that's not viable at the moment. Maybe now would be a good time to find some new employment.

In the meantime I shall enjoy the next two whole days to do exactly what I want to do - which includes a bit of house-buying stuff, working my way through the SatSpanks list,  a lot of work-in-progressing and, of course, attending Katherine Deane's Coach's Discipline Launch Party over on Facebook tomorrow.

And now those eight or so sentences of spanky goodness I promised you. Another snippet from Lady Westbrook's Discovery, this one follows directly on from last week. Lady Westbrook is bent over the desk in her writing room having just received ten swats with wooden ruler from her suitor, Mr Oliver. It's not over yet...

Mr Oliver laid down the ruler on the top of the desk and, thinking the punishment over, Margaret made to get up from her prone position. 
“Don’t move,” said Oliver quietly. “I haven’t finished yet.” He gently pushed her down over the desk, his hand on the small of her back. 
A wave of panic coursed through Margaret. There was more? Already her bottom throbbed with pain. She felt the sting of each of those ten spanks crisscrossing her backside. She didn't think she could take further punishment. 
 Nevertheless, she resolved to remain where she was and not to make any protest. It was at her request that this spanking was taking place after all; it wouldn't do to back out of the arrangement at this stage.

Lady Westbrook's Discovery. Buy it now!
Or, you know, in ten minutes time. Whatever works for you.

Lady Margaret Westbrook is a forty-one year old widow who has not given romance a second thought in the ten years since her husband passed away. When she meets Felix Oliver, a brilliant scientist fifteen years her junior, she is surprised by his determination to win her heart. Lady Westbrook discovers a passion within herself that she never knew existed. 
However, accepting Felix Oliver's proposal will mean relinquishing her title, lowering her social standing and risking both the gossip of polite society and the disapproval of her grown-up sons. Not only that but he has made it clear that he is a firm believer in corporal punishment for women and that consenting to be his wife will mean frequent trips across his lap for a sound spanking. How far is Lady Westbrook willing to go on this journey of discovery?
See the list below for all the amazing Saturday Spanking participants.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Get ready for Katherine Deane's launch party!

Dig out your best best frock - or quite possibly your favourite sweatpants and sports top - because tomorrow is Katherine Deane's Coach's Discipline Launch Party.

And you know what they say: "There ain't no party like a sports-themed spanking romance party!" Seriously, that's literally all anybody says round here. It's a massive relief to finally get to go to one.

The party kicks off at 10am Mountain Time (Mountain time! That's such a cool name for a time zone. It sounds like a kid's TV show).

Hey everybody! Get ready for Mountain Time!

Excitingly that means that I'll be able to participate from over here in this time zone without having to stay up until 3 in the morning like I would have done for the Sons of Johnny Hastings launch party. I get to hang out with the cool kids!

Katherine and Spanking Romance Reviews - who are hosting the party - will be giving away lots of cool prizes, one of which is the extremely cool Lady Westbrook's Discovery. You definitely want to try and win that. It's pretty damn awesome. There are also book prizes from Cara Bristol, Casey McKay, Renee Rose, Tara Finnegan, Natasha Knight and Patricia Green.

I'm really looking forward to reading Coach's Discipline. Even though sports are sooo not my thing, I like the idea of a sports coach as a hero in spanking romance. The line between personal trainer and dominant is already wafer thin. Those guys are all about pushing people to their limits. And inflicting pain obviously - although personally, I would happily take a spanking over a workout any day of the week.

Claire Jacobs always dreamed of making it to the Olympic Trials in the marathon. Unfortunately, she has a habit of getting in her own way. Enter Nick Fox, a no-nonsense coach, willing to use unconventional methods to bring her in line. Traumatized by her last coach and still recovering from self-destructive habits, Claire finds it hard to trust Nick’s authority about what she can and can’t handle on the trails. Still, her attraction for him deepens, even when she discovers he believes in good old-fashioned spanking as a method of correction.

As Nick spends more time with Claire, she enchants him with her drive and deep commitment to help her fellow runners. But when she gets into an argument with a teammate, he realizes he only has one option—to give the talented woman he cares about the first spanking of her life, a spanking that is not going to be fun for either of them.
Claire and Nick grow closer and she comes to crave Nick’s dominance and direction. Discovering the emotional healing and strength to succeed during training, she moves past her shyness and self-doubt to step into a leading role with the young women on the team. But when team politics, jealousy and misunderstandings create drama, will she revert back to her old pattern of running away? Or can she learn to trust in love and race toward her goals with an open heart?
See you there this Saturday!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Book Review - Master Of Two by Patricia Green and Karin Ito

Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.

I feel like this should be nominated for some kind of 'best lingerie on a book cover' award

Patricia Green and Karin Ito's new novel, Master of Two, introduces us to Kevin Watson and his two lovers, Renee and Amiko. Kevin is a dominant Master as well as being a wealthy businessman doing some kind of brokerage-type job.

He's also a Grade-A wanker.

Not because of the keeping-two-women-and-demanding-absolute-submission-from-them thing. I'm totally on board with that. But because of the way he believes that his money gives him the right to swagger around and bully every single person who crosses his path. He has no scruples about waving his contacts and connections in people's faces if it means he can get his own way.

At one point in the story he needs help from a police detective. Unhappy with the detective's proposed timescale he rings up the Governor in front of him and gets him to 'cut through the red tape'. Kevin finishes up his phone call by saying to the Governor "When's the next fundraiser by the way? I wouldn't want to miss it."

And that's the sort of horribly twattish behaviour than can make a reader scream "You pompous, unbearable knob jockey!" at the top of their lungs at their kindle. And you don't half get some funny looks on the train when you do that, I can tell you.

Clearly I have a bit of a problem with ostentatiously wealthy guys in fiction. Which is a bit unfortunate given that they're something of an archetype in the romance genre. There's loads of them out there including James LeBlanc in Normandie Alleman's Daddy Morebucks, Brayden James from Bella Bryce's Waldorf Manor series and, of course, Christian Grey. Grey is a prime example of a wealthy wanker presented as every girl's dream guy. I managed to convince myself after I read the second Fifty Shades of Grey book that the third one would see Christian Grey lose all his money somehow. The heroine, Ana, was always bleating on about how his money didn't mean anything to her and I thought that E L James might give the readers the chance to see that for ourselves. It would also do away with one of Grey's less attractive habits that of ostentatiously bestowing expensive but incredibly unimaginative gifts. But, no. That's not where the story was headed. Grey kept all his money and the pair lived happily and wealthily ever after.

I don't mind wealthy guys so much in historical fiction. In the same way that poverty looks so much more attractive when viewed from a century or more away - Victorian peasants look so much more picturesque than modern day benefit claimants - wealth looks offensive when it's happening in another era.

I'll happily stick wealthy Lords in my Victorian-based fiction. Although perhaps I just have less of a problem with people who inherit their wealth rather than make it themselves. Not that I'm particularly OK with the landed gentry but at least people who are born into money know they're lucky which makes them slightly less insufferable than the "I work hard for my money" 1%ers. You don't work 1000 times harder than a practice nurse. Fuck off.

All of which may be ever so slightly off the point.

Master of Two is an energetic story in which one of Kevin's two women, Amiko, is kidnapped leaving him and Renee, the other member of the trio, the task of tracking her down. They enlist the help of Ross Adler, an objectionable but effective Private Investigator and embark on a rescue mission across Europe as they follow Amiko's trail and try to find out who has taken her and why.

Meanwhile, Kevin's sister Lori is dangerously ill in hospital following a brain injury and Kevin needs to do everything he can to ensure her wellbeing.

Amidst all the fast-paced excitement, it's a wonder the authors manage to fit in any erotica at all but, don't worry, they totally do. With Amiko missing in action for most of the book, the majority of the sex scenes take place between Kevin and Renee who - quite believably, actually - temper their frustrations and anxieties over their lover's disappearance with a whole bunch of sexy spankings and stern domination. Kevin is frequently referred to as a 'sadist' but there's nothing unpleasant in his brutally rough play. Renee is more than receptive to his rules. There are a few nicely satisfying scenes with all three lovers which illustrate well how the One Master Two Slaves dynamic works for this little group.

So, despite my misgivings about Kevin, I really enjoyed this book. It is well plotted, engaging and frequently very hot indeed. Clearly Patricia Green and Karin Ito make a good writing partnership.

I have absolutely no idea how two people go about writing the same book. Do you split the books into chunks before you start, merging them back together at the end, checking that you haven't flatly contradicted one another in the process?

Or does the manuscript get passed back and forth between writers? Each crossing out and re-writing what the other has written beforehand, fighting over the story's direction until the whole thing deteriorates into a petty editing war with chunks of text being constantly deleted and re-added and sneaky aggressive comments like "Patricia sux" or "U r a loser, KI" being inserted into the narrative.

I don't think for a second that this is how Patricia Green and Karin Ito work, obviously. They are clearly professionals and have the excellently written book to prove it. I think I'm just worried that this is how things would turn out if I ever tried to write a book with someone else.

As far as star ratings go, there is a certain type of Amazon reviewer who will base their star rating on how much they liked the principal character. I don't hold with that school of thought at all. I don't much like Harry Flashman, Madame Bovary or the one who isn't Sam-I-Am in Green Eggs and Ham (and come to think of it Sam-I-Am is pretty annoying himself) but that doesn't stop their books being great.

Yeah, you. Mr "would not, could not with a goat".

Master of Two is a very good 4 star read whatever I might think of Kevin Watson as a guy. He's just lucky I'm not reviewing this on He'd be lucky to scrape a single star, the smug twat.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Is this painting too erotic to exhibit?

This picture - Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing by Leena McCall was removed from display at London's Mall Gallery after a number of complaints earlier this week. The artist said this is because it was deemed 'too pornographic and disgusting'.

In a weaselly-worded statement, the gallery said:

"As an educational arts charity, the federation has a responsibility to its trustees and to the children and vulnerable adults who use its galleries and learning centre. After a number of complaints regarding the depiction of the subject and taking account of its location en route for children to our learning centre, we requested the painting was removed."

There's no mention of the number of complaints received nor any explanation of why they couldn't move it a less child-focused area of the gallery.

Not that I think they should have done that either. Art galleries are the best place for children to see depictions of the human form, surely? Definitely the most middle-class way to introduce to child to the idea that the human body can be beautiful, anyway. Having your child talk about penises by way of Giambologna's 'Samson Slaying a Philistine' is the sort of thing that makes you fell like you;re doing parenting right.

My daughter and I used to visit The Victoria and Albert museum a lot when she was younger. If you enter the museum from the South Kensington pedestrian tunnel then you come in at the 'Ideal' Sculpture gallery which is basically marble tits and arses as far as the eye can see.

Despite all the nudity (and violence, come to think of it), it never struck me as an unsuitable place to bring a kid. It's like Rizzo and Gonzo say in Muppet Christmas Carol: "Should we be worried about the kids in the audience?" "No, it's all right. This is culture!"

News coverage seems to be suggesting the hairiness of Ms Ruby May's mound that is behind the complaints about the portrait. That the trimmed topiary being sported is naturally more offensive than, say,
the smooth minge shown in Bronzino's Allegory with Venus and Cupid which has managed to remain on display at London's National Gallery for decades without causing any kind of national outrage.

Pubic hair was once considered to be what distinguished pornography from erotica. When D H Lawrence had his exhibition  at Warren Street Gallery in London raided by police in 1929 on obscenity charges, the thirteen pictures taken were all those in which pubic hair was depicted. Odd to think that the reverse is almost certainly true these days with a shaven mons pubis being very much de rigeur for a lady working within the porn industry.

Ruby May's provocative stance might also explain some people's negative take on the picture. Pipe-smoking, tattoo-sporting Ruby stares out of the picture aggressively challenging the viewer to find her sexy. She's a million miles away from demure, reclining nudes like Titian's Danae with Eros.

Obviously, I don't think Leena McCalls's picture shouldn't be considered pornography. (That said, I'm not sure how useful it is to tie ourselves up in knots distinguishing erotica from pornography, anyway. Does it matter? But I suspect that's a discussion for a another day.)

I suppose there's an argument for there being a correct time and a place for displaying sexually charged pictures of a semi-clad ladies. Maybe the people who complained were less bothered by the picture itself than by where it was displayed.

Thing is, I can't think of anywhere more suitable than an art gallery to stick a painting of a half-naked woman. Artists have been depicting people in states of undress since before there even were states of dress. It's what they do.

They're, like totally naked.

Maybe the biggest shock is that a piece of art made in 2012 actually looks like a recognisable woman at all. There's probably all kind of naked ladies in Nicholas Hlobo or Chen Zhen's abstract work but I'm far too much of a pleb to see it.

Reg Butler's 'Woman'. I mean, she's probably naked.
There's no clothes as such.
This particular instance may just have been a case of a gallery responding over-zealously to a few parents' concerns. McCall started a twitter campaign with the hashtag #eroticcensorship in response to what she understandably sees as censorship of her work.

Hopefully, this is a one-off. Galleries need to remain a place where artists can operate outside the restrictions that hamper mainstream commercial ventures such as film and television which rely on large corporate approval. Long may art galleries remain a place where we can all appreciate the human form in all it's magnificent, awkward, innocent, sexy and terrifying glory.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Book Review - Diary of a Submissive by Sophie Morgan

Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.

The Diary of a Submissive is a subtitled "A real-life Fifty Shades of Grey" which is probably a strategic bit of marketing given that Fifty Shades probably didn't become until after Moragn had finished writing her memoir.

If I was going to be super-nitpicky I would point out that book isn't actually a diary. And, oh look, I just have so I guess I am. Instead, it is a fairly straightforward autobiography in which Morgan takes us through a pedestrian trot through her early life and dreams of becoming a journalist as well as sharing the sexual experiences that make up her identity as a sexual submissive.

'Jewellery by Coco de Mer', apparently
Sophie Morgan talks us through the three main relationships which informed her experience of being dominated. (Morgan is remarkably lucky in her sexual partners, it has to be said. She clearly has whatever the BDSM equivalent of gaydar is. She meets her men through the most prosaic ways - in a queue, through work etc and they all just happen to be quite enthusiastic and/or accomplished doms. Maybe it's not that weird. Maybe everyone's a kinky bastard, really, and we're all just too embarrassed to talk about it.)

The first boyfriend who helps her explore her masochistic side, is Ryan an international student she dates at uni. He takes her offer to 'use her hairbrush' in a slightly different way from how she intended and instead puts her across his lap for a spanking. The relationship doesn't get much of a chance to progress before Ryan has to return back to the States but the experience confirms the suspicions that Morgan has harboured about her sexuality ever since she was a young girl getting turned on by seeing Maid Marian bound and shackled in the Adventures of Robin Hood.

Couldn't find any pictures of Maid Marian tied up, unfortunately.
You'll just have to imagine the peril for yourselves.
The next relationship is with a guy call Tom. It isn't a relationship relationship. More of a friends with BDSM benefits sort of arrangement. It is with Tom that Morgan gets to explore the side of her who gets off on being humiliated. This isn't just about being tied up and spanked. Tom makes her do things that he knows she will hate like sucking his toes or humping his leg. Personally I do find the humiliation aspects a lot harder to get my head around than the pain stuff. As Morgan says, she hated it. "Not in a 'pretending to hate it but secretly quite liking it' way... It made me furious. Flashbacks-for-days-afterwards-and-I couldn't-think-clearly furious."

Tom introduces his friend Charlotte, a switch who is happy to play both sub and dom in the bedroom, to the dynamic and the three of them enjoy some fairly intense times together.

The main relationship of the book is with James, who, unlike Tom, Morgan develops real feelings for. Things get off to a promising start between the two of them when after their very first date, James sends a text to Morgan jokingly threatening her with a spanking for rushing off to catch a taxi. The two of them enjoy an inventive time in the bedroom employing handcuffs and riding crops and blindfolds and canes and memorably in one chapter, a long distance punishment involving some chopsticks and elastic bands.

I had literally no idea it was a thing.

This is Morgan's actual, real life - bar a few artistic flourishes and the occasional bit of confusion about what family details she has changed (her brother turns into a sister for a bit and then back again.) There are two impressive and articulate speeches she makes near the end of the book which I remain a little bit sceptical actually happened the way she said they did. There's a more than a whiff of l'esprit de l'escalier.

Morgan seems a very a very nice lady, fun and articulate and obviously interested in introducing people to the idea of BDSM. And knowing that this is someone's real life -  someone who has opened up and shared the most intimate details of their life - does make me feel a little bit mean for criticising it. But the problem is for all Morgan's honesty and frankness, the book ends up being, well, kind of dull.

It doesn't matter how wild 'n' crazy the sex life, if all you're doing is running through your love-life in a blow-by-blow fashion (so to speak), the result ends up a bit like a laundry list of BDSM practices. I'm not sure what I wanted Morgan to come up with instead. It's not like I was expecting her to fill the book with a bunch of car chases and comedy set pieces. Tellingly, at one point in the narrative, Morgan says of herself:  "I was one of the most boring people I knew" and I think she may have hit the nail on the head there. Apart from her willingness to be tied up, spanked, subjugated, humiliated and punished on a regular basis, she's not all that interesting.

Don't get me wrong, she's still honest and insightful and articulate and open. And kinky, of course. There are plenty of reasons to want to read this book. Not least to get a better idea of how someone juggles such a lifestyle with all their other commitments. I just found I wasn't as enthralled (or to be honest, as turned on) as I hoped I'd be.