Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Boyfriend’s New “Girlfriend” by Lee Clarkson

I have to admit, I was a little unsure about My Boyfriend’s New “Girlfriend” at first. "Girlfriend" in quotes? The "f/mm" and "gay" story tags? The early "Mia was in fact a he" reference? It all seemed so crass and insensitive, a story that threatened to fetishize the transgender condition. Had it been any other author, I likely would have passed, but I have had my eye on Lee Clarkson for a while now, so I kept on reading.

I am glad I did.

This was a surprisingly well-written story of a young man, his girlfriend, and her her best friend from work. Blaine and Linda have been playing with the idea of a threesome for some time now, and Mia may just be their perfect partner. Blaine has had a serious crush on her, and Linda is eager to see how he reacts to her secret.

The initial seduction and foreplay is hot, a sensual tease that gets all three parties in the mood. I loved the way Linda took control of the situation, guiding Blaine to precisely the move she wants. Mia is eager to play along, and her blend of innocence, sweetness, and uninhibited sexuality is delightful. The eventual reveal of her gender transition is actually tasteful and erotic, subtly done in such a way that it is entirely natural for Blaine to cross some erotic boundaries.

In the end, My Boyfriend’s New “Girlfriend” was precisely the story I had hoped it might be, dispelling those initial reservations. I am looking forward to more of Lee's work.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Discipline Factory by Kivutar Amy Koski (#bdsm #femdom)

Wow, this was intense. A little too heavy on the sadomasochism for my tastes, and it never quite went into the pegging I was hoping for, but it played very well to my latex/rubber fetish and my love of restraints.

The Discipline Factory is an old Victorian prison in the Scottish countryside, restored to its high security splendor, but modified to accommodate the unique needs of its paying prisoners. Run by an army of rubber-clad Dominatrices, it is a place where men pay ridiculous sums of money to be dominated, placed into chastity, and punished - repeatedly and often severely.

Kivutar Amy Koski's love for the material shines through, with a level of detail that is almost as sumptuous as its variety. You would think that all the whipping and caning would become repetitive at some point, but there is always a new detail or twist, both in the motivations of the women and the response of the men. It is a story that appears cruel and violent on the surface, but there is an emotional undercurrent that makes it clear all parties enjoy their time together. It takes a while for the punishments to drive the men into subspace, but having passed through the pain and into that magical realm myself, I can honestly say it rings true.

It is the secondary story line that really excited me, with a young woman discovering her inner Dominatrix and rubber fetishist as she gleefully pursues her revenge against the man who ended her career. Together, they really bring the story to life, making the intensity of the other guest/prisoners a little bit more accessible for less fetishistic readers.

In addition to the beatings, there are some glorious methods of restraint used in the story, with the vacuum bed and dildo mask particular favourites. It is a story that has no actual sex, no penetration, and no barely a glance of naked female flesh, but the oral worship and face-sitting scenes are as erotic as they come . . . or is should that be cum? The writing is superb, gorgeously detailed, with dialogue that is stern and sparse by necessity, but never stale or clichéd.

It is no accident I write the things I do: both my husband and I have a terrible weakness for BDSM, femdom and rubber (especially rubber). We have converted one of the haylofts into a fully-equipped punishment/play room, with a flogging horse, vacuum bed, milking stool and restraint spider to name but a few. I can assure you I have the best behaved husband it is possible to imagine! His face is a mixture of fear and desire when I tell him to fetch the key, unlock the playroom and await my pleasure. I write a good deal, it is hard work but I love it and there are those who say I have a talent. I write other more conventional historical romances (with a twist), under another name - it serves to keep the literary establishment at bay.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

TG Mall Book #5: The Young & Pretty by Courtney Captisa (#ageregression #transformation)

I do so love the concept of the TG Mall series, but I find they encourage reckless shopping on my part. Eventually, I hope to find the right mall, but until then I will have to settle for filling my closet.

The Young & Pretty is the fifth book in the series, but they are all standalone tales, so feel free to drop into the mall at any time. This time out, Courtney Captisa and Brittany Montgomery have invited Tyler and Jordan to stop by the sporting goods store for a little male-bonding. Where it all begins to go kinky is when they take an idle moment to fondle a hot pink pair of short workout shorts and admire the fabric.

As readers, we know something is up the moment they spot the poster of two guys in male rompers, with the caption “New trends in here,” but step into the story anyway to see if they sell shoes. Before long, they are both having their nails done, feeling their fingers get smaller and longer as they opt for bright colors, yet not really noticing the changes. The coworkers no sooner split up and Tyler is getting his ears pierced while Jordan finds himself with perfect teeth . . . and pink braces.

Transformation is, of course, the name of the game here and I love the details of how it occurs. The mental, emotional, and physical aspects are all detailed beautifully, with a wonderful balance between suspicious self-awareness and blissful ignorance. There is a certain magic to the TG Mall, and it keeps the story moving in fun, creative new ways. Without spoiling the way it all resolves, there is a reason the story is called The Young & Pretty.
Courtney Captisa has had a strong interest in transformation since childhood. In her early teens, she discovered several webpages such as Fictionmania. She enjoys writing clean stories.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Dalí by E.M. Hamill (#trans #bisexual #scifi)

Dalí is a deep, complex, multi-faceted bit of edgy science fiction from E.M. Hamill. It is a solid genre read, but it is also (and perhaps more importantly) a very exciting QUILTBAG read, a story that does some fantastic things with gender and sexuality.

The story itself starts out edgy and dark, and goes even deeper. There are themes of human trafficking here, corrupt governments, greedy corporations, and despicable villains.

Dalí themself is a member of the second-class, third-gender changeling who is genderfluid. Their natural state is a neuter gender, but they can shift to become fully male or female, and flow between the three genders. Dalí spends most the book in their female form, which (not surprisingly) appealed to me, but I loved that they had the freedom to be whomever they felt like, whenever they felt like it.

Fortunately, Dalí is more than just a gender novelty, they are a strong enough character to hold such a dark, multifaceted story together. They are a sad character, driven by grief to self-destruction, but with a big heart. The other characters are strong themselves, especially Lord Rhix - who, in any other book, would be the most memorable character. Having them together just elevates the story to a whole other level - emotionally, narratively, and erotically.

Although it is a very dark story, marked by violence and cruelty, there are some lighter moments. For instance, the book is rife with Princess Bride references, with character getting designations like Miracle Max, Buttercup, and Fezzik, and 'Inconceivable' being a favorite code phrase. Why? Well, apparently, one of the alien races are big fans.

Dalí was one of those books I took my time with, lingering over, rather than racing through - and that is precisely how it should be enjoyed.

E.M. (Elisabeth) Hamill writes adult science fiction and fantasy somewhere in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas. A nurse by day, wordsmith by night, she is happy to give her geeky imagination free reign and has sworn never to grow up and get boring. She lives in eastern Kansas with her family, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Freebie Fetish Friday - Putting the TG in TGIF!

Well, if it's Friday, then it must be time to bend our way into the weekend with Freebie Fetish Friday.

Every Friday I search through the weekend's free titles on Amazon, looking for those that might be of interest to readers, fans, and lovers of bending gender and sexuality. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can still download the titles through one of Amazon's free reading applications, and covert it (if need be) with Calibre. I can tell you I do most of my reading on my tablet, using Kindle for PC, and it works beautifully.

Please do be sure to check the price before downloading anything, though, as most freebies are limited time offers, and some are specific to certain regions.



Thursday, November 23, 2017

Working It edited by Harley Easton & CM Peters

If your idea of a workplace fling involves secretaries in short skirts, executives in power suits, and interns in the copy room, be prepared to have your horizons broadened. Working It may come with the tagline "Office meetings will never be the same," but it goes far beyond that. Harley Easton & CM Peters have collected sexy stories that are both blue collar and white, that span hotels, recording studios, restaurants, and (yes) office buildings.

While it is a solid collection, I would like to focus on those that are a tad different.

Overtime by Sonni de Soto tells the tale of a businesswoman (who writes erotica on the side), her husband (who is also her Dom), and her prudish boss (who has seen her boudoir photos). Sometimes love is the best revenge.

The Words We Share by Annabeth Leong is a powerful, deeply thoughtful tale of a veteran with PSD who connects with a Syrian immigrant. Here we have two women who bring back dark memories for one another, but who bond through that shared pain.

Nine Lives by Harley Easton is a story that I expected to be a lot edgier, relying as it does on a legacy of tattoos, but it was actually very sweet and passionate.

Best of Both Worlds by Terri Ley is, not surprisingly, my favorite story in the collection, with a cis-gender woman who does not realize just how close her perfect pre-op transsexual lover really is. It is a story that, in the wrong hands, could veer dangerously into fetishizing gender, but which works because of their already established friendship.

Sure Thing, Boss by James S. Davie was a delightful surprise, with a bisexual husband, a polyamorous marriage, and a clever wife who pushes him into the arms of the hot young man who works for him. It was fun, kinky, and so clever.

There is usually a few stories in these collections that do not work for me, but I genuinely enjoyed Working It from start to finish. Definitely recommended . . . and perfect (if NSFW) workplace reading.

Harley Easton is a Renaissance woman dabbling in everything life offers. She's worked at a major theme park, found expert witnesses for legal cases, been a guest lecturer at a well known national museum, and worked with medical students. Putting experience and insanity to good use, she's become an author specializing in fiction.
CM Peters would like to be ageless but hasn’t found the fountain of youth. She works in the communications field but her true passion is writing. She hails from Québec and has been back at writing regularly after a long break since college. An eclectic writer, CM is equally at home penning short erotica, quality fanfiction, and elaborate sci-fi and fantasy novels. Whatever genre she is working in, CM always centers her stories around complex, relatable characters. At the moment, she's hard at work on a new coming of age novel and a collaborative fantasy anthology.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

An Interview with Alex Milton (author of The Etiquette of Lying)

As we arrive at hump day of another week, I am delighted to introduce you to an author that I hope we will be seeing a lot of over the coming months. A new addition to the Wordwooze Publishing stable, I present to you Alex Milton!

♥ Thank you so much for taking the time to join us, Alex - we are so very delighted to have you! Can you give us a brief introduction?

Hi, Sally. It’s my pleasure. I’m Alex Milton, author of ‘The Etiquette of Lying’, and the “new kid on the block” looking to gate-crash the written erotica community.

I’m a British guy, so always do that self-deprecating thing when asked to talk about myself. However, a close friend describes me as: “Drinks like Oliver Reed, preens like Marie Antoinette, makes Christian Grey look like an amateur, dresses like James Bond.”

I think she calls me a lot of four-letter names as well…

♥ Alex, right? That is a 4-letter word. :)

You mentioned in your recent Goodreads blog post that you are working to re-acquire the rights to some old stories. How has publishing changed, and what attracted you to Wordwooze Publishing?

Social media has made it easier to get noticed, but with so many 21st Century distractions, keeping people’s attention is more difficult.

Many writers self-publish now, which is a good way of creating “a calling card” for your work. That said, a publishing company will have useful contacts within the industry, and often promote your work in ways you haven’t thought of. And what is it The Joker says in ‘Batman’?

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free…” That appeals to the mercenary in me!

Wordwooze came across as very professional, yet very open-minded on their website. They value quality writing as much as having a naughty imagination, which is refreshing. And their staff work like machines - I’m convinced they’ve perfected an elixir which enables them to function without sleep.

♥ The Etiquette of Lying deals with themes of polyamory and BDSM (among others). If it’s not too personal of a question, where does lifestyle experience end and vicarious fantasy begin within your fiction?

It’s not too personal, but this question’s always tricky, because a gentleman should never kiss-and-tell… I’m pretty adventurous. Close friends of mine are in a polyamorous relationship, so maybe ‘The Etiquette of Lying’ was a response to criticisms of their lifestyle.

Sorry, I’m being evasive, aren’t I? Let’s just say I wouldn’t have written a book on these sub-cultures unless I knew what I was talking about. The enthusiasts are protective of their “scene”, and rightly so. I hate criticising other authors, but I’ve lost count of the number of people I’ve met who felt ‘Fifty Shades’ neglected the basic rules of any BDSM relationship.

The bars, restaurants and tourist attractions in ‘The Etiquette of Lying’ are real locations. The novel’s partly a homage to Brighton and London – two cities I love.

♥ I like that - great answer! On a similar note (and just to get a little more personal), is there a personal fetish or a fantasy that you really want to explore in your fiction?

I’m keen to explore how BDSM strengthens trust in a relationship - it’s an aspect that often gets ignored. Having someone utterly in your power, yet choosing to focus solely on their pleasure… It’s an expression of selfless love on both sides.

There’s power dynamics everywhere: from bosses and their employees; authority figures and citizens; even how a friendship group selects its alphas. No wonder so many people are intrigued by BDSM… That might be a theme I look at.

It’s not a fantasy as such, but regarding polyamory, what happens when the thrill of multiple lovers wears off? I personally believe –as long as every partner is equal- those relationships can be just as intense and rewarding as monogamy. But can I (and my trusty laptop) convince the doubters through fiction?

♥ With a literary career in two parts, so to speak, what was it that prompted you to begin writing originally, and what is it that drew you back?

 My family gave me something invaluable: A love for written words. From weekly comics to handed-down copies of Shakespeare, they must have inspired me. As a kid I wanted to be a fighter pilot… a conservationist… Indiana Jones… I realised a writer can do all those things vicariously, and never have their expectations crushed by reality.

My first romance story was published when I was sixteen, which might have been a handicap – I thought this writing lark was easy. For ten years, placing my work was intermittent; to be honest, I was still learning my trade. This isn’t very sexy, but I also needed to focus on another career, to pay my mortgage!

The Etiquette of Lying’ started with a challenge. My friend is a fan of kink, and wanted to read: “A Fifty Shades that wasn’t about virgins and billionaires.”

Within two chapters, I was hooked. Some writers plot thoroughly; I give my characters personalities, then let them interact in front of me. I found giving Sean, Jen, David and Annabel real concerns didn’t make them less erotic at all – it just ramped up the tension. I needed to keep writing, to find out what happened to them.

♥ It is amazing when the characters just carry the story away, isn't it? Is there an author who inspires you, or a favourite author you turn to when you want to escape into someone else's imagination?

 There’s a hundred authors who inspire me! I’ll often re-read a favourite novel to recharge my creative batteries.

In terms of the classics, the intensity and darkness of ‘Wuthering Heights’ struck a chord in me, and ‘The Great Gatsby’ has been a major influence. A key theme in ‘The Etiquette of Lying’ is the determination of the characters to outgrow their pasts.

Contemporary writers all have their strengths. If you want to learn how to write dialogue, read Stephen King. For sheer beauty of language, try Iain M. Banks or Cormac McCarthy – ‘The Road’ took my breathe away.

I usually read books twice – once for enjoyment, then, second time round, I analyse the writer’s techniques. To my frustration, I haven’t got close to the exquisite bitter-sweetness of David Nicholl’s ‘One Day’ or the slow-developing horror of Lionel Shriver’s ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ yet.

♥ I have always been a huge King fan, and Banks is incredible. Great picks.

With reader reviews so crucial to generating exposure, what are some of the weirdest or most wonderful reactions you’ve had from readers?

 I’ll always value my readers – without them, I wouldn’t have a profession I love. “Word of mouth” is very powerful. Hopefully, people will enjoy your book then recommend it to their friends, who recommend it to their friends, and the effects ripple outwards.

I’ve had requests to write about fetishes which seem “weird” to me, but that’s only because I don’t share them. I rarely judge; life’s rich tapestry means we’re all into different things.

When a stranger’s kind about my work, of course that warms me – I’m only human. But I’m also pretty thick-skinned. I haven’t received a bad review (yet), but would accept it as long as there was a valid reason. I’m aware of my flaws, but think writers improve with each new project. It’s a great job; you earn royalties as you sleep and usually get better with age.

♥ Finally, with a new year already looming on the horizon, what can readers look forward to seeing from you next?

I managed to tie up all the loose ends in ‘The Etiquette of Lying’ (I hate cliffhangers!) but there’s still aspects of the characters I want to explore. Expect a sequel, and I plan to re-work those short stories you mentioned. A noir erotica and post-apocalyptic erotica would be interesting.

I’d like to write in every genre. Even within the field of erotica I’ll draft stories in all its sub-categories… The results I like will get published. Sex is one of the great human experiences, but even paradise can get boring day after day. That’s why we have so many different kinks.

♥ Post-apocalyptic erotica can be a lot of fun - I just played with that myself in my twinned Alpha stories. I look forward to seeing what you do with it. In the meantime, thanks again for taking the time to join us!