July 6, 2015
Hello everyone! This is Grace R. Duncan and today is the release of my new contemporary BDSM novel, Turning His Life Around.
I actually started Turning a long time ago. When I first started writing it, I was just beginning to understand all that BDSM was about and what it meant to me. Make no mistake, I’ve been kinky for almost as long as I’ve been sexual. But I didn’t really understand what it all was or how it worked.
Not all of my kinky experiences happened within a romantic relationship. In fact, many of them were with people who are just friends. Sometimes, play is just that—play. Two people have fun and enjoy something mutual. One thing to remember, here, is that BDSM doesn’t require sex. One of the best scenes I’ve ever had involved me getting my ass paddled (and spanked, among other things) but the guy spanking me never touched me sexually. Another time, I volunteered to let people learn fire play with me and though I was naked, there was nothing sexual about it. Sure, sex can be involved, but it doesn’t have to be.
But sometimes kinky relationships stem from existing romantic relationships. Couples—or more—who discover kink after being together for a long time. It’s often a natural progression to go from vanilla sex to experimenting with other things—tying someone up, blindfolding them, a swat here or there—all of which can lead to even more.
However, it’s not always that clear cut. Sometimes what seems so to be only friendship between two playing starts to feel like something more. BDSM—especially D/s and pain play—involves a lot of trust, on both sides of the relationship. For a submissive to be able to let go and simply experience, they have to be able to trust their Dom. Some level of trust is necessary if they’re going to go into that oft-coveted place: subspace.
It can mean that the lines between simple play between friends and that of a romantic relationship can be blurred. It’s even worse if those boundaries weren’t that clear to begin with. What happens when two best friends who’d been so all their lives start to realize there’s more between them then occasionally fucking or saying, “Yes, Sir?”
Turning explores that. Things have always been relatively simple for Kane. They were rough when he was little, but still fairly simple. He avoided his mom’s boyfriends. He spent his days with his best friend, Ian. As they got older and away from his mother, that didn’t change all that much. Now, he didn’t have to worry about the boyfriends, but he still simply hung out with his best friend and focusing on being a teenager like most others—except for being gay, of course.
But that friendship was always there and Kane never questioned that. Until his life turns upside down and he’s faced with a whole mess of change he never expected. And through it all, the one person he’d come to depend on is still there, still his rock.
They’re not just best friends, though. They’ve been happy to be fuck buddies when neither was dating anyone. And a few years before Kane’s life goes so crazy, they start exploring BDSM.
So when it does get more than a little crazy, those already-fuzzy lines get much blurrier. Kane is asked, on more than one occasion, what Ian is to him and he discovers he’s having a hard time explaining. Everyone seems determined to label Ian as Kane’s boyfriend or partner, but Kane keeps refusing… until he tries to list all the things Ian is… and isn’t quite sure where to stop.
A big portion of what pushes him further is when they start playing more often. Kane needs the grounding the scenes with Ian gives him, with all the changes in his life. And the more they play, the harder it is for him to find those lines once again.
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Have you had relationships where the lines blurred for you? Could you play with a friend? Tell me about these for a chance to win a copy of any of my backlist titles!
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Be sure to follow the tour for more opportunities to win and learn lots more about Kane and Ian! Check it out here!
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Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Find Grace here:
Turning His Life Around
May 20, 2015
Ich bedanke mich herzlich bei H.B. Pattskyn, die sich bereit erklärt hat, an diesem Interview teilzunehmen und euch Lesern Frage und Antwort zu stehen. Auch ein großes Dankeschön an euch Leser, denn ohne euch wäre dieses wunderbare Interview nicht zustande gekommen.
Zuallererst: Verrate etwas über dich, das deine Leser überraschen würde.
Vielen Dank für diese Gelegenheit! Hmmm … eine Sache, die Leute überraschen würde, wenn sie mich irgendwo treffen oder auf einer Convention sehen, wäre, dass ich extrem introvertiert bin. Aber ich bin nicht wirklich schüchtern. Das verwirrt die Leute. Eigentlich „mag“ ich es, mit Leuten zu reden. Aber nach einiger Zeit kann es ziemlich erschöpfend sein, auch wenn ich mit meinen Freunden oder meiner Familie zusammen bin. Ich muss dann irgendwann gehen und meine Batterien an einem stillen Ort wieder aufladen.
Was hat dich dazu gebracht, M/M Romanzen zu schreiben? Wie lange schreibst du schon und wie lange hat es gebraucht, bis du von einem Verlag publiziert wurdest?
Ich begann mit dem Schreiben in der zweiten Schulstufe. Wir hatten die Aufgabe, eine Geschichte zu schreiben, und dabei die bereits gelernten Wörter zu verwenden. Es machte so viel Spaß, dass ich weiterschrieb. Ich bin jetzt 46, ihr könnt euch also ausrechnen, wie lange das her ist. *grins
Ich begann Fanfiktions zu schreiben, als Reaktion auf die schreckliche-nein-das-haben-die-nicht-wirklich-getan dritte Staffel von Ron Koslows „Die Schöne und das Biest“ (Eine Menge Fans der Serie schrieben nach der dritten Staffel Fanfiktions). Nach ca. 20 Jahren fing ich mit Torchwood Fanfiktions an, weil ich neugierig war, was wohl zwischen den Episoden passieren könnte – und vor allem, weil ich mehr von Jack und Ianto, ein heißes M/M Pärchen der Serie, sehen wollte. Viele meiner Fans ermutigten mich dazu, Bücher zu schreiben und zu publizieren. Ich versuchte es und erhielt eine Menge Absagen (so läuft das nun mal), was mich dann etwas zögern ließ.
Dann hatte ich die Idee zu einer Story, die einfach nicht mehr verschwand. Als das Buch geschrieben war, musste ich einfach irgendwas damit tun, weshalb ich es bei Dreamspinner Press (mein absoluter Lieblingsverlag) einreichte. Ich erwartete natürlich eine Absage. Ich war gerade dabei, mir Gedanken darüber zu machen, wo ich es als Nächstes einreichen sollte, als ich eine E-Mail mit dem Betreff „Vertrag“ erhielt. Ich denke, ich starrte ca. 10 Minuten auf den Bildschirm, ehe ich die Mail öffnete, und hab mich wohl auch grün und blau gezwickt, weil ich es einfach nicht glauben konnte. *grins*
Ich hoffe, die Frage ist nicht zu privat, wenn ja, musst du natürlich nicht darauf antworten: Wie vereinst du deine Liebe zum Schreiben mit deinem Real Life (Familie, Freunden, dem Partner etc.), ohne dass einer dabei zu kurz kommt?
*kicher* Wenn ich die Lösung gefunden habe, lasse ich es euch wissen! Ständig kommt etwas zu kurz. Glücklicherweise habe ich einen wundervollen und unterstützenden Ehemann und richtig gute Freunde, die verständnisvoll sind, wenn ich sage, dass ich ein Treffen sausen lassen muss, weil die Musen in Höchstform sind. Aber es kann auch das Gegenteil der Fall sein. Letztes Jahr zogen wir in ein neues Haus (ein wunderschönes 100 Jahre altes Haus in Detroit), und deshalb konnte ich nur sehr wenig schreiben. All meine kreative Energie wurde gebraucht, um die alten Böden zu schleifen und neu zu lackieren (manche wurden mit Fliesen und Linoleum bedeckt), und Farbe von den wunderschönen Hartholzleisten abzukratzen.
Schreibst du an mehreren Büchern gleichzeitig oder konzentrierst du dich lieber nur auf eines?
Im Moment schreibe ich an mehreren Büchern gleichzeitig. Ich hoffe, das klappt weiterhin so gut, damit ich zwei Bücher in nächster Zeit beenden und einreichen kann!
Gibt es bestimmte Stärken und Schwächen, die du als Autor besitzt?
Unsicherheit ist meine größte Schwäche. Bei jeder Geschichte komme ich zu einem Punkt, wo ich davon überzeugt bin, dass alles schlecht ist und ich das Handtuch werfen sollte. Gerade dann hilft es, wenn man eine unterstützende Familie und ein helfendes Netzwerk von Schreibkollegen hat.
Eine meiner Stärken ist das Schreiben von Dialogen. Es ist eines der Dinge, wo ich am häufigsten positives Feedback erhalten habe, als ich noch Fanfiktions schrieb, und wo das Schreiben von Fanfiktions auch ziemlich geholfen hat. Ich schrieb über bereits bestehende Charaktere, deshalb war es wichtig, sie nicht zu verändern. Und gerade Dialoge sind ein großer Teil davon, eine Person in einer Geschichte einzigartig zu machen.
Hast du einen bestimmten Schreiballtag und wie lange schreibst du durchschnittlich an einer Geschichte?
Meine Tage sind zur Zeit noch recht unbeständig. Mein Mann und ich teilen uns ein Auto (es ist der einzige Weg, dass es finanziell klappt, dass ich als Vollzeitautorin arbeiten kann), und meine Tochter hat einen Job, bei dem sie um Mitternacht anfängt zu arbeiten. Mein neuer Tag besteht als darin, sie um 23 Uhr zur Arbeit zu bringen, heimzukommen, ins Bett zu gehen, mit meinem Mann um 4 Uhr aufzustehen, ihn zur Arbeit zu fahren, meine Tochter um 7 Uhr abzuholen (versuchen, dazwischen ein wenig zu schreiben), mehr zu schreiben – oder dumme Computerspiele zu spielen, je nachdem wie müde ich bin! Irgendwann versuche ich ein Nickerchen zu machen und / oder ein wenig Hausarbeit oder Gartenarbeit zu erledigen. Dann hole ich meinen Mann um 14 Uhr ab. Zur Zeit bin ich am Morgen am kreativsten, aber ich versuche mich auf meinen neuen Zeitplan einzustellen und bin damit zufrieden, wenn ich mal 1000 Wörter hier und 1000 Wörter da schaffe. Mein Ziel ist es, 3000 Wörter an einem Tag zu schaffen, aber manchmal klappt das eben nicht.
Zwei Tage die Woche arbeite ich ehrenamtlich für die AIDS Partnership Michigan.
Was für eine Szene war die am schwersten zu schreibende?
Eines meiner derzeitigen Projekte ist die Fortsetzung von „Das graue Halsband“. Es geht aber nicht um Jason und Henry, obwohl sie natürlich vorkommen werden, sondern um Derrik. Der Typ, mit dem er am Ende zusammenkommen wird, lebt am Anfang in einer missbrauchenden, gewalttätigen D/s Beziehung. Es ist ein sehr sensibles und berührendes Thema, und es fällt mir schwer, es zu schreiben, weil ich nicht daran denken möchte, dass D/s Beziehungen etwas anderes als liebevoll und einvernehmlich sein können. Obwohl ich in meiner vorherigen Ehe mit einem Mann verheiratet war, der das Konzept ganz und gar nicht verstanden hatte. Es wurde nie gewalttätig, missbrauchend (ich konnte mich sozusagen von ihm lösen, ehe es zu diesem Punkt kommen konnte) aber das Potenzial war da. Es fällt mir schwer, einen Dom zu schreiben, der so sehr meinem Exmann ähnelt. Es gab nämlich ein paar Situationen, wo er mich wirklich verängstigt hatte.
Du hast zeitgenössische und eine paranormale Geschichte geschrieben. Welchen Stil bevorzugst du und warum?
Ich denke, paranormale Geschichten, weil sie dir viel Spielraum und Freiheiten lassen, um kreativ zu sein und Spaß zu haben – aber in letzter Zeit waren meine Ideen eher den zeitgenössischen Geschichten zugehörig, deshalb schreibe ich mehr Bücher in diesem Genre. Genauer gesagt, ich schreibe all das, was meine Musen mir diktieren. *grins*
Gehörst du auch zu den Autoren, die von der Muse ständig Arschtritte bekommen, vor allem, wenn sie etwas will, das dir aktuell so gar nicht in den Zeitplan passt?
Auf jeden Fall!
Hast du schon einmal abfällige / beleidigende Bemerkungen zu deinen Büchern erhalten? Wenn ja, wie hast du darauf reagiert?
Möglicherweise war die abfälligste Bemerkung, der Satz: „Oh, du schreibst homoerotische Romanzen? Wo veröffentlichst du deine Geschichten online?“ Es war sehr frustrierend, dass er gleich dachte, dass ich mit Geschichten dieses Genres, bei keinem Verlag veröffentlichen kann oder für meine Arbeit bezahlt werde.
Als Antwort auf seine Frage sagte ich lächelnd, dass er meine Bücher ja gerne auf der Seite meines Verlages oder auf Amazon nachschlagen könnte.
Jemand anderes dachte, ich würde selbst veröffentlichen. Ich habe überhaupt nichts dagegen, wenn Autoren ihre Bücher selbst veröffentlichen – mich irritierte nur die Annahme, dass er dachte, dass wohl kein Verlag M/M Romanzen veröffentlichen würde. Ich habe ihn höflich korrigiert, und wieder auf Dreamspinner verwiesen – ebenso wie auf all die anderen tollen M/M Verlage.
Hast du vor, irgendwann die Länder zu besuchen, in deren Sprachen deine Bücher übersetzt wurden?
Ich möchte unbedingt mal nach Deutschland! Und auch einige andere europäische Länder besuchen.
Letzte Woche veröffentliche DSP die deutsche Übersetzung von deinem Buch Das graue Halsband (Bound: Forget Me Knot). Hat dir die Muse eines Tages die Idee (auch das Thema BDSM) zugeflüstert oder inspirierte dich etwas anderes?
*grins* Ich stand beim Tisch eines Händlers bei einer lokalen Science Fiction Convention (nicht die, wo sich Henry und Jason trafen, aber sie war der Convention sehr ähnlich) und gegenüber von mir erblickte ich diesen umwerfenden, jungen (19 oder 20 Jahre alt) Kerl, gekleidet in einem Netzshirt, seine Nippelpiercings waren deutlich zu sehen. Schräg gegenüber war ein Lederwaren Händler (mehr Steampunk als BDSM Zeug, aber es gab auch ein paar Halsbänder und Handschellen). Ich konnte nicht anders, als die beiden in meinen Gedanken zusammenzubringen.
Wird es eine Fortsetzung geben? Oder sind andere Bücher geplant, die das Thema BDSM beinhalten?
Neben Derriks Geschichte (die Fortsetzung von „Das graue Halsband“) arbeite ich an einer weiteren BDSM Geschichte, die Visceral heißt, und die ich sehr liebe. Mittlerweile habe ich ungefähr 70 000 Wörter geschrieben, also wird sie bald fertig sein.
Kannst du ein bisschen über dein Buch Hanging by the Moment erzählen? War der Plot geplant oder entwickelte es sich während des Schreibens?
Ich hatte nicht geplant, ein Buch über HIV zu schreiben, als ich mit der Geschichte von Daniel und Pasha begann. Ich hatte gerade erst „Das graue Halsband“ beendet, und wollte daher etwas leichtes und schmerzloses schreiben. Aber leicht und schmerzlos ist in meinem Wortschatz wohl nicht vorhanden. Ich hatte ungefähr 10 000 Wörter geschrieben und wollte mich gerade etwas hinlegen, um eine Pause zu machen, als mich Daniel darüber informierte (und zwar in der Art und Weise wie Charaktere manchmal die Autoren vor vollendete Tatsachen stellen), dass er HIV-positiv sei.
Niemals. Das war nicht das Buch, das ich schreiben wollte.
Aber es war das Buch, das geschrieben werden musste.
Wegen der Recherche zu dem Thema endete ich als ehrenamtliche Mitarbeiterin bei der AIDS Partnership Michigan. Es bricht mir mein Herz, dass noch immer so viele falsche Informationen im Internet über HIV und AIDS zu finden sind. Es ist kein Todesurteil. Es ist keine Krankheit, die jemand haben möchte, aber man kann sich damit arrangieren und leben.
Ich weiß, eine Menge Leser mieden „Hanging by the Moment“, wegen dieses Themas, aber es ist keine depressive, traurige Geschichte. Es ist eine Geschichte über einen Mann, der sich in einen anderen Mann verliebt, der HIV-positiv ist.
Zu guter Letzt. Woran arbeitest du zur Zeit?
Neben Derriks Geschichte und Visceral, arbeite ich an dem Buch A Place to Belong, das mich ziemlich mitgenommen hat. Es ist eine weitere Geschichte mit einem schwierigen Plot, der Selbstverletzung, Straßenprostitution und eine Beziehung mit einem erheblichen Altersunterschied beinhaltet. Es ist einer der Fälle, wo ich, egal was ich schreibe, denke, dass es Mist ist (obwohl mir vier Beta Leser gesagt haben, dass sie es lieben, und das sind Leute, die ich sehr respektiere). Ich denke, wenn ich Visceral beendet habe, werde ich mich wieder auf diese Story stürzen (Ich begann mit Visceral, weil ich eine Pause brauchte – und weil ich an der Reihe war, etwas in einer Kritikergruppe zu schreiben, und ich wollte nichts von A Place to Belong posten, weil die Geschichte gerade bei einem Beta Reader war, und ich zu der Zeit nur deren Meinungen hören wollte).
May 20, 2015
A big thank you to H.B. Pattskyn, who agreed to do this interview and answer the questions of her readers. I also want to thank you, the readers, who came up with the questions and thus made this interview possible.
First of all, name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
Thank you so much for the opportunity! Hmmm….one thing that surprises most people when they meet me somewhere like a conference or a convention is that I’m an extreme introvert, I just happen to not be a very shy one. That confuses people. I actually *like* talking to people, it’s just that after a while, it can be very draining, even when I’m around friends and family. I need to go and recharge my batteries some place quiet after a long day of interacting with people.
What made you start writing M/M novels? How long have you been writing, and was it a long process to become a published author?
I started writing in the second grade. We had an assignment to write a story using our spelling words and it was so much fun, I started writing more stories. I’m 46 now, so you can do the math on how long ago that was *grin* !
I started writing fanficiton in response to the horrible-it-didn’t-really-happen third season of Ron Koslow’s Beauty and the Beast. (A lot of fans of the show wrote fanfiction after the third season aired, in the late 1980’s.) Fast forward about twenty years and I found myself writing Torchwood fanfiction, because I wanted to see what happened in between episodes—and mostly because I wanted more Jack and Ianto, a cannon M/M couple. A bunch of my fans encouraged me to write and publish original fiction. I’d tried that previously and collected a stack of rejection letters (that’s just the nature of the business) so I was reluctant.
Then I had an idea for a story that wouldn’t go away. Once the novel was written, I had to do something with it, so I submitted it to Dreamspinner Press (my absolute favorite publisher, from a customer-perspective) , fully expecting to get another rejection letter. I’d even settled on where I was going to submit it next when the inevitable happened. But instead of the anticipated rejection letter, I got an email with Contract in the subject line. I think I stared at it for ten minutes before opening it and probably pinched my arm black and blue to make sure I wasn’t dreaming *grin* !
I hope this question is not too personal; if yes you of course don’t have to answer it. How do you unite your writing with your private life (family, friends, partner, etc.) without neglecting anyone or anything?
*snicker* When I figure that one out, I’ll let you know! Invariably, something gets neglected along the way. Fortunately, I have a wonderful and supportive husband and really awesome friends who understand it when I say I have to bail on a social engagement because the Muses are dancing and I’m working hard. Sometimes it works the opposite way, too. Last year, we were very busy moving to a new house (a lovely 100 year old home in Detroit) and as a consequence, I got very little writing done. All my creative energy went to sanding and refinishing old floors (some of which were covered by layes of tile and linoleum), and scraping peeling paint off of the most beautiful hardwood crown molding.
Do you work at several books at the same time or do you rather focus on one?
Lately, I’ve been working on multiple books at once. I’m hoping that works out to see two books finished and submitted very soon!
What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses as an author?
Insecurity is my biggest weakness. There comes a point in every story where I’m convinced it totally sucks and I should just throw in the towel. Those moments are where having a supportive family and network of writer-friends really helps.
I think one of my strongest suits as a writer is writing dialogue. It’s one the things I got the most positive feedback on when I was writing fanfiction, and one of the places where fanfiction really helped. I was writing pre-made characters, so keeping them in character was really super important. It became engrained me that dialogue is a huge part of what makes a person seem unique on the page.
Do you have a writing routine and how long does it take you on average to write a story?
My days are in flux right now; my husband and I share a car (pretty much the only way we can make it work financially for me to be a fulltime writer), and my daughter just got a job working midnights. So my new day is to take her to work at 11pm, come home, go to bed, get up with my husband at 4am, drive him to work, pick my daughter up at 7am (trying to get some writing done in between), do some more writing—or play stupid computer games, depending on how tired I am! Somewhere in there I catch a nap and/or attempt to do some housework or work in the garden. Then I pick my husband up at 2. My best creative times are in the morning, but I’m adapting to the new schedule and trying to be content to get in a thousand words here and a thousand words there. My goal is 3000 words a day, but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
Two days a week, I volunteer for AIDS Partnership Michigan.
What is the hardest scene you ever had to write?
One of my current projects is the followup to Bound:Forget Me Knot. It’s not a sequel, although Jason and Henry will be in it—but really the new book is Derrik’s story. The guy he ends up with starts out the story in an abusive D/s relationship. It’s a really touchy subject all the way around and hard to write because I don’t want to think of D/s as being anything but loving and consensual, even though my previous marriage was to a man who totally didn’t get the concept of that at all. It never got abusive (I got out before it could go there) but the potential existed. It’s hard for me to write a Dom who is so much like my ex; there were a few times he really scared me.
You’ve written contemporaries and you’ve written a paranormal novel. Which do you prefer and why?
I think paranormal, because paranormal gives a lot of leeway and freedom to really explore and be creative and have fun—but lately my ideas have mostly been contemporary, so that’s what I’m writing more of. Pretty much I write whatever the Muses dictate *smile*
Are you one of the authors that get kicked by their muse all of the time, especially when she wants something that doesn’t really fit into your writing timetable in that situation?
Have you ever got insulted because of your books? Or have your books ever got insulted? If yes, how did you react to it?
Probably the most insulting thing anyone has ever said was along the lines, „Oh, you write gay male romance? Where do you post your stories online?“ It was really frustrating that he thought that because of what I write, I couldn’t possibly have a publisher or get paid for my work.
In response to that question, I smiled and said that if he wanted to look me up, he could try my publisher’s website or track me down on Amazon.
I had someone else who assumed I was self published. I have nothing against self publishing—it was just the assumption that irritated me, like somehow no one publishes M/M romance. I politely corrected the misconception and once again suggested the other person check out Dreampsinner—and all of the other wonderful M/M publishers out there.
Do you want to travel to the countries where the languages your books were translated into are spoken?
I would love to come to Germany some day! And most of Europe, for that matter.
Last week DSP published the German translation of Bound: Forget Me Knot. It’s the first book of you which was translated into another language. What inspired you to write this novel?
*grin* I was sitting at a dealer’s table at a local science fiction convention (not the one where Jason and Henry meet, but they’re fairly similar) and across the room, I spoted this adorable little (19 or 20 years old) guy in a fishnet shirt, his nipple rings clearly visible. Just kitty corner to my table was a leather dealer (more Steampunk stuff than BDSM gear, but there were a few collars and cuffs discretely on display as well.) I couldn’t help putting those two things together.
Are you planning to write a sequel or more books dealing with BDSM?
In addition to Derrik’s story (the follow up for Bound), I’m hard at work on a BDSM story called Visceral that I’m really in love with. It’s at about the 70,000 word mark, so it’s almost done.
Can you tell us a little about Hanging by the Moment? Did you plan the plot before you start writing or did you let things just develop themselves?
I so did not set out to write a book about HIV when I stared Daniel and Pasha’s story! I’d just finished Bound and I wanted to write something light and easy. Light and easy is apparently not in my vocabulary. I was about 10,000 words in and laying down to take a little break when Daniel informes me (in that way that characters sometimes inform authors of things the poor author had no prior knowledge of) that he’s HIV positive.
No way. That was not the book I wanted to write.
But it was the book that needed to be written.
Because of the research I did, I ended up as a volunteer at AIDS Partnership Michigan—it completely breaks my heart that there is still so much misinformation circulating around the Internet about HIV and AIDS. It’s not a death sentence. It’s not a disease anyone wants, but it can be managed and lived with.
I know a lot of people have steered clear of Hanging by the Moment because of the subject matter, but it’s not a depressing story. It’s a story about a guy who falls in love with a guy who happens to be living with HIV.
Last but not least: What are you currently working?
In addition to Derrik’s story and Visceral, I’m working on book called A Place to Belong that’s been causing me great consternation for the better part of a year. It’s another story with a difficult plot line that involves self-injury, street level sex work, and a relationship with a significant age gap. It’s been one of those cases where no matter what I write, I think it sucks (even though I’ve had no less than 4 beta readers tell me they love and they’re all people I respect tremendously!) I think once I finish Visceral, I’ll get back to it (I started Visceral because I needed a break—and because it was my turn to submit something to my critique group and I didn’t want to submit any of A Place to Belong; it was in the hands of a beta reader and his were the only other opinions I wanted on it.)
January 6, 2015
Do any of your characters haunt you and if so, why?
I really don’t think any of my characters haunt me. Sean’s predicament in Learning to Love: Final Exam, now, that’s another matter. I cried writing those scenes. Even now when I read the scene before he goes in for surgery, I tear up. What comes across is how scared he is – and how much he loves his husband Michael.
Please give us the inside scoop on your upcoming release, A Bond of Three.
This was one of my first ideas for a book, back in 2012, only it wouldn’t leave me alone. Having said that, the novel changed direction when I got to the chapter introducing Prince Sorran. He was….different. And when I got my head around that, I suddenly had a very different plan for the story.
I met with author Chris Quinton in the summer of 2012, when she came to visit the Isle of Wight where I live. I outlined the story for her. She listened intently, and when I’d finished, she looked me in the eye and said, “you have to write that book.” Whoa.
I admit to being a little nervous. So far I’ve written either contemporary or BDSM. This was A, an MMM story, B, a fantasy and C with an added dash of paranormal for good measure – yeah, nothing liked anything I’d written to date. When I first started sending chapters to my betas, I was getting the same response….
“I don’t like fantasy.”
“I don’t like ménage.”
“Hell, woman, give me MORE!!!!”
I sent an advance copy to a friend who doesn’t normally ‘do’ ménage – three guesses what her response was? LOL
So yes, I am awaiting the response from my readers with mixed feelings.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
HA! My close friends would say, “But she’s always writing!!!!” Er, I read, I love watching movies, I knit, I used to paint, but writing is far more satisfying. But there’s always my notebook not far away – I’ve learnt by now to keep it close. Ideas come ALL the time! But yes, it’s true that if I were writing more, I’d be a happy bunny.
What’s one of your guilty pleasure?
OOOH….Snuggling up with a good book, usually one that I know really well – the Deviations series by Chris Owen, ANY of the Jarhead series by Sean Michael, the Jock Dorm series by Bobby Michaels, (One of the first MM series I ever read and I still love them)
Then there’s my other guilty pleasure… and nope, you’re hearing NOTHING about that one!
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.
K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
November 21, 2013
I know I said I’d put numbers into a generator to choose my winners, but as the comments came in, I realized that would include a lot of counting. Numbers don’t like me and I barely tolerate them, so I did it another way!
After each individual comment I jotted the name onto a slip of paper and tossed it into a glass. It was fun watching those little guys multiply!
Here are today’s winners:
the ebook copy of Curious Sustenance goes to Andrea M.;
the chapstick cozy will be in Carolyn’s bag (or purse, or wherever she wants it);
and Maneki-neko will soon be hanging in there on Helen’s phone!
Please send me an e-mail at c.descoteauxwritesATgmail.com and let me know where to send your prize!
Thanks so much to everyone who visited, commented, or just lurked! You-all made the party!
November 21, 2013
We have some amazing bloggers in the Male-Male Romance genre, and a few of them have graciously agreed to host me! It’s still a little surreal that I’m going to be a guest at these amazing places and not just lurking and commenting!
The tour for Curious Sustenance will go on through the rest of November, and I’ve planned giveaways at every stop! So if you don’t win today there are plenty more chances.
I also have a story in this year’s Advent Calendar. “Toy Run” is the story of Ian Bowen, his charitable nature leads him to a bike run and maybe a surprise or two. I’ll be running around the internet giving away motorcycle-themed surprises in December. Stay tuned for more details as they become finalized.
“A Little Side of Kink” Blog Tour:
November 15………………………………………………….. The Novel Approach
November 20…………………………………………. Guys Like Romance Too!
November 21………………………………………………………………. Cup O’ Porn
November 21……………….. Release Party on the Dreamspinner Blog!
November 24: 1-3 PST/4-7 EST………………… Goodreads Chat Event
November 26………………………………………………………………. Joyfully Jay
November 29……………………………………………………………………. Sid Love
November 30……………………………………………………… It’s Raining Men!
Thanks so much for coming to my release party, it’s been a blast! I’ll be back in about an hour with the winners, so if you’ve been holding out on me now’s the time to comment!
I’ll be hanging around for a while to answer any questions and just to chew the fat if anyone’s game. I’ve been asking you guys questions all day, now’s your chance to put me on the spot!
Rattle my cages anytime—I’d love to hear from you!
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/CharleyDescoteauxAuthor
Dreamspinner Author Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=879
November 21, 2013
Hello Dreamers! I’m back to share another taste of my new novella, Curious Sustenance.
In my first post I mentioned a dish that appears in the story and now I’m back to share the recipe. No, sorry, it’s not the triple layer cake with chocolate-bourbon filling. I haven’t made a decadent cake like that for years—but I’ve been tempted!
Ross’s story is as much about self-image as it is about boundaries—in the first scene he’s just become a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers after an eight-month struggle to lose 98 pounds. He never thought he had a bad self-image but it improved drastically during that time, and gets stronger throughout the story. So instead of the cake, I’m going to share a recipe I learned during my own Weight Watchers journey: Taco Soup.
The full name of the recipe is “Zero Point Taco Soup”—but depending on which ingredients you choose to include it may or may not live up to that name. This became one of my favorite cool-weather recipes because it’s so versatile, and because it’s comfort food (especially when I add refried beans).
Those of you familiar with Camp Stew will see a lot of similarities.
Get a big pasta pot (6 quart is large enough for a household or lots of leftovers!), if you want to you can sauté some onions, peppers, celery, garlic…clear out that crisper! I’ve even used leftover shredded carrots. Go ahead and do that first, until everything’s nice and limp—or caramelized if that’s your thing.
Now it gets fun! Add the following ingredients, or substitute what you have in the cupboard—this is a very forgiving recipe.
- 4 cups/cans of fat free stock (chicken, beef, veggie—or use your own!)
- 2 large cans tomatoes (12 oz., or whatever you have; whole, stewed, chopped, doesn’t matter)
- Corn: 1 can or what’s left in a bag of the frozen kind
- 1-4 cans of any kind of beans (but not green): garbanzo, kidney, pinto, black, refried—go nuts!
- Seasoning: add salsa or pre-mixed taco seasoning, or you can toss in a ½ teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder (or more if you like it spicy, just keep the proportions the same) and salt & pepper to taste.
- I like it with a bay leaf, when I have one.
It sounds strange, but adding a can of fat-free refried beans almost gives it the texture of a cream-style soup.
After it’s simmered for a good hour or so and warmed-up your entire home, ladle into bowls, add toppings of your choice, and voila! It’s soup.
- Chopped cilantro
- green onions
- chopped tomatoes
- sliced or chopped black olives
- fat free sour cream
- baked tortilla chips (it’s a great way to use the broken chips at the bottom of a bag!)
- shredded cheese
This is a great way to feed a crowd too—the toppings are colorful laid-out buffet-style, and everyone can choose what they want.
Now here’s your part. I can’t make this every week or my daughter will stage a protest, so tell me your favorite cold-weather dish that’s comforting and won’t add to our padding (not too much, anyway ). Every comment is in the running for all three of my prizes: an ebook copy of Curious Sustenance, the penis chapstick cozy, and the Maneki-neko cell phone charm!
I wasn’t sure which excerpt to include here. A triple chocolate cake doesn’t have any calories if you’re only reading about it—but that part is on the DsP book page, and so is the Taco Soup mention. So here’s another bit featuring Ross’s brother and a quick mention of food. Food and family—can’t go wrong there, right?
It was a huge relief to get off the train at the Rose Garden and follow the burly security guard back to his brother’s dressing room. He grinned when he saw the sign on the door with his name in what Rune called a druidic script, surrounded by actual runes that he said symbolized power and destiny. Ross knew his brother didn’t really believe all that, but it sure looked cool on the door and on his website. The security guard knocked, and Janet grabbed Ross’ arm and squeezed a moment when they heard Rune’s, “Come in.”
“Sally!” Ross shouted.
Rune sped across the room with an easy grace Ross had always been a little jealous of and grabbed him in a hug. “Big brother.”
Ross laughed, barely ten months separated them, but Ross had more than six inches on him, and Ross was barely six-one. Okay, six feet and one quarter inch. Still, Rune had always been baby brother, even while he lifted Ross off the ground.
“Missed you at Christmas.” Ross made a choking sound as he was squeezed around the waist.
“Yeah, I missed it too. Couldn’t be helped, though. Dude in Toronto needed another tick in his loss column, and you know Mom can’t stand to watch me not eat.” Rune squeezed him again and then released him and stood back, smiling as he looked him over. He nodded his appreciation. The last time they were in the same room, Ross still had fifteen pounds to go.
Ross had had enough focused attention for the moment and was surprised he had to look around for Janet. She stood almost behind him. He pulled her forward and kept an arm around her shoulders so she couldn’t bolt, which for some strange reason she seemed about to do. Ross introduced them, and she murmured a hello as they shook.
“Wow, big brother, you never said she was beautiful.”
Ross squeezed her shoulder and told her, “That’s a lie.”
“Yeah, it is,” Rune grinned. “He says it all the time. Don’t let him hide behind you while I win tonight.”
Ross watched them flirt and had to smile at the chemistry. He couldn’t stifle a short laugh when Rune winked and her ears turned red. Shortly after that, he waved them out of his dressing room. Ross kept his arm draped around Janet’s shoulders as they made their way out into the arena, already trying to hide behind her.
“He looks taller on TV.”
Ross pulled her closer, and Janet rested her head against his shoulder.
“He’s almost five-six, but with muscles like that, it’s hard to tell.”
“Bleach his hair and you could be twins.”
Ross let that go. Growing up, he’d either heard they could be twins or looked nothing alike. That Janet was a twin person boded well for Rune. And for Janet.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back in about an hour with a schedule for my “A Little Side of Kink” Blog Tour, and then the winners of today’s prizes! Still plenty of time to enter, please help me figure out what to cook for dinner tonight! *lol*
November 21, 2013
Okay, I admit it, I’m a cat lady and a Japanophile. I’m not ashamed!
It tickles me when two of my favorite things come together (yeah, I’m easily amused—not ashamed of that either ). When I started thinking of ideas on what to give away—because who doesn’t love party favors?—I had no idea what to do. Thanks to the artists at Aka Tako I found just the thing. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better way to celebrate the release of my Shibari Romance than with Maneki-neko in a rope cage! As soon as I saw this cutie, I had to have one.
Maneki-neko is the luckiest cat in Japan, and is sometimes known elsewhere as welcoming cat, lucky cat, money cat, or fortune cat. In Japan, shop owners display maneki-neko near their cash registers, or the front door to beckon customers inside. The paw that’s raised is the Japanese version of Neo’s come-hither-so-I-can-kick-your-butt hand wave.
Traditionally, maneki-neko would be wearing a collar, maybe with a bell on it, and holding a coin of some kind. I see why this artist didn’t go that route, the simplicity of the rope cage is adorable—and it’s teensy!
We’re all here because we love stories, so I’ll share one about maneki-neko. This lucky cat has appeared in Japanese folktales since the 17th Century (or the 16th, depending on who you’re talking to), and that’s time for a lot of stories!
One of the most common origin stories is about a poor shop owner who sees a hungry and neglected cat. The shop owner invites the cat in and gives him a loving home. The cat is grateful for his new home and sits in front of the shop, beckoning the people passing by to come inside. The cat changes the owner’s luck, rewarding his kindness with prosperity. Ever after, the symbol of a beckoning cat has been a good-luck talisman for merchants.
As someone whose animal friends have all been rescues, maybe it’s no surprise I like this story best.
So, if displaying maneki-neko is lucky—I think giving one away must be lucky too. Everyone who comments during my party today has a chance to win the cell phone charm pictured above. I’ll even send it internationally—as long as you live somewhere served by the US Postal Service.
Do you have a lucky talisman? Maybe a ritual for a sports team or something you do every birthday or New Year’s Day? Tell me about it for a chance to win one of my three prizes: the cute cell phone charm, penis chapstick cozy, or an ebook copy of Curious Sustenance!
Here’s an excerpt featuring Ross’s brother. He snuck up on me and became more important to the story than I thought at first—which was lucky for him because I almost wrote him out entirely. The opening dialogue belongs to him.
“Ross. You’re coming. Bring your friend, but you’re coming. I’ll make sure you’re a couple rows back so you won’t have to worry about seeing too much of the other guy’s blood.”
Then the line went silent.
Ross looked at his phone and spoke to it as though his brother could still hear him. “Very mature.”
Janet chose that time to come in and dropped an armload of packages on the closest chair. “You know those phones aren’t that smart, right?”
Ross stuck his tongue out at her, and she laughed.
“I was talking to my brother.”
“Oooh, the little hot one?”
“I only have one brother.”
Janet plopped down on the couch beside Ross and shamelessly read the e-mail that was still up on his screen.
“He even uses his stage name in e-mails to you?”
“It’s not a stage name. And when you meet him, remember he’s not a performer, he’s an athlete.”
She stared at Ross for a whole minute while he considered telling her something had flown into her mouth.
“Your parents named your brother Rune? Seriously?”
“Seriously. I told you, Mom’s an old hippie. Or something. They had some kind of deal about naming us—Dad’s mother, Mom’s father, and then she could go nuts on any more kids. Just so happened she got a nut to go nuts on.”
Janet bounced against the back of the couch, kicked off her shoes and put her feet up on the coffee table.
“So he’s coming to town?”
“Yes.” Rune fought out of Seattle and spent most of the year traveling around the US and Canada pummeling other scantily clad muscle-bound men for a living. Just thinking about it made Ross shudder. “His fight’s on Friday night, and you have to come so I can hide behind you when things get messy.”
“Your only brother’s coming to town. Why do you sound so bummed?”
Ross shrugged and closed the e-mail window on his way up to get something to drink. When he came back from the kitchen, Janet grinned up at him.
“The club’s not only open on Fridays. We can go tonight if you want to.”
He tried to shrug and return to his seat with an air of nonchalance but only made Janet giggle.
“Okay, since you didn’t say no, that means we’re going. Lucky I’d already planned on it.” Janet winked and then scooped up her packages. “I’m going to use all the hot water, but you’ll have time for a bath too if you want one.”
Thanks for reading!
Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance at my party favors!
If you don’t have a ritual, I’ll bet you have an animal story. Did you rescue a kitten, return a puppy to its owner? Make me cry, dudes!
Maneki-neko source material: Daruma Magazine
November 21, 2013
Hello again! This is Charley, back to tell you a little more about my new release Curious Sustenance! I’d like to introduce you to my idea of a Portland-style sex club. Or, just a Charley-style sex club.
Portland, Oregon has a reputation for being a little weird (do people still say “granola”?). Queer, progressive, and artsy people flock here with the hope of finding acceptance—or at least a cheap little mill house where they can hunker down and create their passion. In some ways, The Rose City lives up to the hype—but many of her charms take a little work to find, they don’t walk up to you on the street and introduce themselves. That’s one of the things I love about this city—you can live here over twenty years and still find something unexpected around the next corner.
I never found a cozy little sex club like the one in my book, but it’s the one I’d create if I could. It’s private, only members and their guests will be there on any given night—not like Ron Jeremy’s Portland club where anyone with $100 and the right wardrobe could be there—and membership is by invitation only. No dress code to live up to, so everyone can be themselves (or who they’d like to be for that night), and the furniture is all from Elvira’s last garage sale—comfortable and a little dramatic. Basically, I wanted a place that felt like my favorite neighborhood tavern but with free love, jewel-toned velvet, and fringe. Lots of fringe.
By free, I mean anyone is free to invite you to do anything at any time—and nobody judges if you say no. Ross barely had time to look around before he got the invitation of a lifetime.
What would a sex club you designed look like? Answer in the comments and you could win a copy of Curious Sustenance.
This excerpt takes place right after the last one, and is a little hotter still!
“Do you like pain?”
Ross gasped softly and shook his head.
“I will do nothing meant to cause pain. What is your safe word?”
The question woke Ross up enough to speak. He felt as though he’d stepped into a movie—the atmosphere, this gorgeous man’s extremely careful speech pattern, and his own shocking desire.
“My….” was all he could get out, but it was something.
Shaggy held his eyes for a long moment. The man was an excellent showman; he had the mysterious magician-vibe down. Ross felt himself falling into those dark eyes.
“We will use the traffic signal colors.” Slowly but without hesitation, the man’s fingers began to unbutton Ross’ shirt. “If you feel any discomfort, use them. Yellow and I will slow down. Red and I stop immediately and cut the ropes. Do you understand?”
Ross nodded, and his shirt was unbuttoned. It wasn’t cold in the room, but he shivered as Shaggy’s fingers touched the bare skin of his chest. He walked around behind Ross and spoke in his ear as he drew the soft shirt away from his shoulders and down his arms.
“I want to hear you say the words.”
“Yellow is slow down. Red is stop.”
The man, who Ross found impossible to call Shaggy even in his head, smiled, and Ross worried he wouldn’t be able to remain standing much longer. Nobody had ever looked at him like that, as though he were beautiful and special, and quite possibly delicious. The man draped his shirt over a small velvet chair and turned back to him.
“Yes,” he said, softly so only Ross could hear. He ran his palm slowly across Ross’ chest, from his left shoulder to just below his right nipple. “This will be beautiful.”
Ross barely noticed when Shaggy began working on his belt, his silky voice commanded Ross’ attention as he told him what to expect, talking of gentle pressure and artistry until he whispered a simple sentence and then waited.
“Please step away from your trousers.”
Ross took one step to his left and knew he should’ve been shocked he hadn’t noticed his boots coming off, but it was much nicer to watch as Shaggy folded his slacks and laid them on the chair. He bent over and dipped his hand into a bag the same color as the border of the Oriental rug they stood on, and Ross sighed at the view. The man had a beautiful, almost heart-shaped ass, and his slacks were tight enough to show it off amazingly well.
Shaggy showed him a shiny object, not quite a pair of scissors, and told him, “If you say red, this will cut the ropes. You will be free in moments.” He placed it on the floor near a little round stool on wheels, directly in the light.
It looked macabre sitting there gleaming while Ross stood on a fancy rug in only his gray boxer-briefs. For a moment, Ross considered what was happening and that there were at least a half-dozen other people in the room, but then Shaggy turned back around and fixed him with those dark eyes again. If it were physically possible, he’d be a puddle on the floor at his feet.
Thanks for reading. My next post will be a little different—and I’ll bring the third prize with me!
November 21, 2013
Hey again! It’s Charley, back again to get a little naughty with wool.
Knitting! I mean knitting.
In Curious Sustenance my hero Ross’s mother is a knitter. When I started this story I thought she’d have a larger role. It turned out Ross wasn’t comfortable thinking about his mother during this phase of his life, so she faded into the background. She’s always there, though. His family is a source of strength, even if he’d rather not live with them after he and Brad break up. Early in the story, he takes comfort by cuddling-up with a blanket she knitted for him. It looks something like this:
I love cables and lace and all the fancy stitches—even the ones that give me fits and make my hands sore. It’s fun, and also a great stress-buster, to follow a pattern and end up with something beautiful. Or just something cute and naughty.
I said I’d give away more than an ebook today, and here’s the second prize up for grabs—a penis chapstick cozy! Because all that cold weather will really dry out your lips, and why not have a little fun while protecting them!
So that’s what I do to relax—knit penises! Well, I knit a lot of other things too. In fact, the great folks who donated their hand knit goodies at GRL inspired me so since August I’ve been knitting hats and mitts to donate locally. I’m planning to take them to Outside In—they do good work there.
Okay, now you know what I do to relax—what about you? Or, if that’s too personal—do you donate to any charities over the holidays?
All comments on every post today will be in the running for all of my prizes, so don’t be shy! I’ll put the total number of comments into the generator at Random.org & let it choose the winners—anyone living in a place served by the U.S. Postal Service is eligible.
This excerpt picks up right where the last one left off—Ross is about to learn things he’d never considered, about himself and his best friend.
Janet linked her arm through Ross’s and led him beyond the far wall of curtains. She waved to a couple sitting in a conversation pit to their left, and Ross heard a moan to his right. Across the room, right outside an alcove in the corner, a nude man sat tied to a chair while a leather-clad woman teased him with a riding crop.
“This is a sex club.” Ross hissed into Janet’s ear. “You brought me to a sex club?”
She pulled him the last few steps to the bar and found them two empty stools. The stools were freestanding and a few didn’t match. It was like being in someone’s living room while they were having a theme party. Before Janet had time to answer, his eyes grew wide and he leaned in even closer.
“You’re in a sex club?”
“You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, sweetness. Not even watch, okay? I wasn’t about to leave you home alone tonight. Do you want a drink?”
Ross politely declined, ordered a sparkling water, and scanned the room using only the mirror behind the bar. Janet introduced him to a few people who all seemed very nice and very, very straight. He wasn’t sure how to manage it, but he wanted to leave ASAP. When he realized he thought of ASAP as a word, like Brad would say, he shuddered and turned his attention to the tall woman Janet was talking with. She had deep-purple spiked hair and wore a tight black leather dress, despite her full figure. Her tall leather boots were like Janet’s only purple.
“Come with me,” Janet patted Ross’s thigh and smiled. “We’re going to Amethyst’s private rooms. Again, you don’t have to do anything unless you want to.”
Ross let her pull him halfway across the floor and stopped her at the door. “Are you going to do anything?”
“Probably not, but I love to watch Ami’s scenes. She’s very imaginative.” Janet winked and went through the door, and Ross felt he had no choice but to follow.
The room looked like anyone’s living room. Anyone like Elvira or maybe Bela Lugosi. The couches and chairs were all covered in dark velvet that may’ve been purple, and the muted lighting made the candlesticks grouped in the corners gleam like old silver. Janet’s friend turned a dimmer switch and some of the candles brightened. She was speaking, but Ross couldn’t hear. His mind stopped processing everything except the man striding in his direction. He had to be six three, and when he got closer, Ross thought he probably had a Japanese grandfather. He was gorgeous, with his long black hair, simple black suit, and smoky gaze.
“May I have a word?”
The man’s voice was even smokier than his gaze, and Ross already felt as though he were a heartbeat away from bursting into flame. He nodded, and a firm hand on his lower back guided him off to the side of the room. The man stopped in the center of an ornate oriental rug and looked Ross over appreciatively.
“I practice Shibari. You have heard of it?”
Ross nodded. He’d seen pictures of pretty young men bound with intricate knots on the internet but hadn’t been tempted to approach Brad to try it.
“I am called Shaggy, and I would like to work with you.” The man palmed his shoulder, and his whole body warmed to the touch. “You are Scarlett’s friend?”
Ross nodded again, trying but failing to speak with his mind so full of the hand resting on his shoulder.
“Do you like pain?”
Ross gasped softly and shook his head.
“I will do nothing meant to cause pain. What is your safe word?”
The question woke Ross up enough to speak. He felt as though he’d stepped into a movie—the atmosphere, this gorgeous man’s extremely careful speech pattern, and his own shocking desire. “My….” was all he could get out, but it was something.
Shaggy held his eyes for a long moment. The man was an excellent showman; he had the mysterious magician-vibe down. Ross felt himself falling into those dark eyes.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back in a little while with more about the unconventional sex club in Curious Sustenance.