Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ROMANTICON 2014

Here's a pictorial of some of the events from Ellora's Cave's Romanticon 2014. It was a smaller crowd than last year, but that made it easier to meet and greet, and I made some great new friends. Please note: all these photos are Copyright 2014 by Cris Anson. Please don't reproduce them without permission.

Larger-than-life photos of our Cavemen in the grand hallway leading to the ballroom.
 
Registration desk with volunteer Diane, EC authors Erin Simone and Kathy Kulig, and of course, Mr. Kathy (Joe).
Juliane Keller with Caveman CJ standing at his poster, and Laura Topaz in her skull-print corset.

Caveman Taylor leading an early-morning lesson in line dancing.
Dalton Diaz practicing her lap-dancing skills, as taught by Cleveland Exotic Dance. 
 
Cris Anson doing likewise with Dee Brice as the unfortunate client. Dee is doing fine now, but those shiners are the result of a tumble she took even before the conference started. Her DH, Bud, hovered over her most of the weekend to be sure she didn't have a concussion. (Obviously she had one when she sat still for my shenanigan!)
Our intrepid photographer, Eric David Battershell, photographed us all weekend long. Wonder how many shots he took! I'd love to have a camera like that.
Fun at the Open Photo Shoot with our choice of Cavemen. All these guys were terrific sports. Reader Jessica was enamored of Kelii's and DeAngelo's tattoos. Who can blame her? BTW, for anyone who didn't know, DeAngelo was 2014's reigning Alpha Caveman until the Saturday Awards Banquet.
I'm trying out my Dominatrix mode here. Think I nailed it? Thanks to Caveman Cisco for allowing me to practice on him. What a terrific dancer he turned out to be! Burned up the dance floor later. But then, all the Cavemen have the dance gene.
Conference guru and EC author Tara Nina with volunteer Jennifer whoop it up with Cavemen Cisco, Axl and DeAngelo (standing), with Kimo and Taylor kneeling in front.
Sat in on many fun workshops. Especially enlightening was "Women's Path to Pleasure" by Cleveland Exotic Dance guru Ms. Roxi, starting with a clinical description of our natural sexual apparatus and taking us through various sex toys and lubes and more. Caveman Kelii sat in and marveled at how much he had learned.

Here's a photo of a laugh-filled workshop that applied Mad Libs to excerpts from paranormal romances by (left to right) Lisa Carlisle, Lisa Fox, Cait Miller and Kathy Kulig.
And, of course, party time! Some images from the dance floor. Left: Mr. Kathy. Center: Those are tattoos, not stockings! Right: Reader Tina with Caveman Cisco.
Sitting between two new friends, readers Dawnmarie and Linda. Loved schmoozing with them!
Some of the authors signing at the Book Fair.
Lynne Barron and Trinity Blacio
Kathy Kulig and Cait Miller
Axl Goode and Dalton Diaz
Last but certainly not least, our newly crowned Alpha Caveman Taylor Cole...
     

...and Caveman Axl Goode. These two men gave us a most spectacular display of grace, athleticism and daredevilry on silks. It was a jaw-dropping performance which rightfully garnered a standing ovation. We all hope and pray that they remain safe after they had the misfortune of sitting next to the nurse who tested positive for Ebola after they made their way back to Dallas. If you haven't done so yet, you can donate to the GoFundMe site to help keep them solvent while they wait out their 21-day quarantine without a paycheck.

~~ Cris Anson, who owns the copyright to all the above photos


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

SPEAKING MY PIECE - ROMANTICON 2014




Rumors. Innuendos. Half-truths. Mud-slinging. Over the past months, too much of that type of thing has been bandied about over the Internet, and it has been repeated, embellished and chortled over. I feel it’s time for me to speak, having just returned from four wonderful days in Canton, Ohio, celebrating my publisher’s sixth annual conference and fourteenth year as a leading publisher of erotic romance.

The principals (and principles) of Ellora’s Cave have been vilified and smeared and their business has been reported as near bankruptcy. On Thursday, the first evening of Romanticon™, the majority of participants had already arrived and the She-E-O of Ellora’s Cave, Patricia Marks, addressed a jam-packed room of authors to set the record straight.

What I saw was a Chief Executive Officer who, like many other CEOs running companies in the United States of America, is using good business practices during an economic downturn to keep her company afloat. Yes, Ms. Marks admitted that EC has downsized. No, bankruptcy was never considered as an option. Yes, they are cutting back their expenses. Having survived three downsizings and been a casualty of a fourth during my 40 years in the business world, I can attest to downsizing as a viable strategy. It’s business, folks! 

I don’t feel it’s my place to report on other comments during an extraordinary ninety-minute Q&A with the CEO (I took copious notes, if anyone wants to ask me privately). But I will say this. Ms. Marks answered all our weighty questions without hesitation, with no waffling, no script and no prompting. I have complete faith in Ellora’s Cave and I will continue to allow this company to handle my intellectual properties. I believe they will emerge from this downtick, as they did a few years ago as regards Borders, leaner and meaner and eager to kick ass again.

When I wrote this I was going to finish by saying, “Here are some photos from Romanticon,” but I think what I’m saying is too important to divert attention. Stay tuned for a forthcoming blog on the conference itself.

~~ Cris Anson, Proud Ellora’s Cave Author

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

AARON'S JEWEL SHINES THIS FRIDAY


How could I not respond when Ellora’s Cave put out a call for their “VaVa Boomers” series? They wanted mature heroines and heroes who have the benefit of life experience “because love, like women and fine wine, gets better with age.”

AARON’S JEWEL, which will be available this Friday, September 26, showcases two people who have real-life problems, including bumpy career paths, grown children, childish parents and yes, bodies that sag and are sometimes slow to respond. As a woman of "a certain age" myself, I can assure you that sex and love are still possible at any age!

Here's a sample of what Aaron and Julia experience as they search for their Happy Ever After.

Excerpt from AARON’S JEWEL
©2014 by Cris Anson

She melted into him, encircled him with her arms, rested her cheek on his shoulder. “I can’t believe I’m doing these things.”

“Believe it. I’ll take you as high as you want to go. Do you want to go higher?”

Still not quite able to look him in the eye when she was being so honest, she whispered against his skin, “Yes.”

“Then you shall.” He withdrew his arms from around her. “Close your eyes.”

She did and felt something against her face. A blindfold, lined with soft fur. When it was tightly in place she was truly at his mercy.

“Jewel, do you trust me?”

“Yes.”

“Good.” He took her right hand and with a click she was cuffed to someone. Not Aaron. Aaron had both hands on her hips, stroking her skin while nuzzling her nape.

“Now go.”

A tug on her cuffed arm and she had no choice but to begin walking. The pace was slow, her guide careful not to touch her, so she still had no inkling of his or her identity. Still, she trusted Aaron so she followed quietly.

They stopped when Julia’s thighs touched a soft yet firm surface, probably a padded massage table. Gloved hands—whose surface felt like sandpaper—turned her so she faced outward then with nudging and pressure made her understand she was being asked to hoist herself onto the table and lie down.

She was released from her guide’s cuff and both her arms were raised above her and tethered. One leg was secured to the table. Ropes were wound around the other thigh and calf then bound together, the rope pulled back and anchored so her knee almost touched her chest and her heel rested on the back of her thigh. She had no trouble visualizing that her slit now lay exposed but for the flimsy crotch strip of her thong.

Then it began. Questing fingers, roving hands, more than one, yes, two participants, because one set of fingers was soft with long fingernails, the other raspy and blunt-nailed. Touching, stroking, insinuating themselves between her legs, the fingers drawing lines of pleasure up and down her thong. Now a mouth sucking one nipple, fingers tweaking the other. The wheel—she recognized the bite of its teeth. An ice cube running across her mouth, circling a breast. A jolt of electricity—violet wand? The electric touch running up and down her outstretched leg, around her hip. A vibrator pressed against her clit.

Oh god, too much to absorb, too soon after her orgasm when sandwiched between Aaron and Judge, too many sensations bombarding her every which way, making her jump and twitch, arousing her unbearably, the mind fuck of not knowing who was doing what, whether Aaron was participating or even watching. She yanked on her chains, not knowing whether she wanted to get closer or avoid the next touch. Higher and higher, the sounds and smells of sex and sweat and more, she wanted more and wanted Aaron and wanted to climb the next peak and wanted more sensation, please please please—

*** Here’s the blurb ***

Finding a position as corporate legal counsel in one’s middle-50s after being downsized sucks, so Aaron haunts his local dungeon to soothe his frustration. Feeling squeezed by work and family obligations, ghost writer Julia turns up at the same dungeon to do “research” for her current assignment.

The moment they meet, the dominant in Aaron recognizes the submissive in Julia.

He peels away the layers of her shyness along with her clothes. He gets her—his Jewel—naked and writhing against the cross and over the spanking bench. And she revels in his dominance and tutelage, discovering her wanton self whether tied to a bed in private or blindfolded and the target of many hands in public.

But real life isn’t all adult fun and games. Not when grown children, parents, careers and aging bodies conspire to challenge their burgeoning relationship.

*****

I hope you enjoy the full story. You can find it at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon and Barnes &Noble. Soon it will also be available at other online booksellers as well.

~~ Cris Anson

Friday, September 12, 2014

EROTIC LITERARY SALON - A Philadelphia Gem



There’s a place in Center City Philadelphia, up narrow one-way Sansom Street, up a wide flight of stairs atop the Bohemian Absinthe Lounge, where like-minded folks can bare their souls and share their erotic stories and musings and poems and jokes and memoirs in five-minute segments. Where acceptance of kinks and weirdness and raunchy thoughts is a given. Where the group’s resident nonagenarian, Frances (age 97), occasionally reads her own erotica.

Where, next Tuesday, September 16, I will discuss how my career morphed from writing erotic romance to stories centered on BDSM, and offer some personal experiences while doing hands-on research. I will also read excerpts showing how these experiences translated into scenes from my books.

The Erotic Literary Salon is the brainchild of Dr. Susana Mayer, a Sexologist who is a Consultant, Educator, and Relationship Mentor. She has a Master’s in Public Health in Human Sexuality and a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. According to her website, Dr. Mayer specializes in the libido – human sexual desire and arousal, enhancement of intimacy and joy through the creation of a personal eroticism. In her practice and seminars she champions ‘Ageless Sex,’ educating her audience on typical lifespan sexuality changes and challenges.


Each month, in addition to a featured speaker, about 20 guests participate as writers, readers, storytellers, spoken word performers of original works/words of others; the rest just come to listen, enjoy and applaud.

The mission of the Erotic Literary Salon is to provide a supportive and non-judgmental arena for sharing erotica, writing tips, encouraging writers, offering sex news with a positive spin, and discussions on various related topics. The Salon has an online presence with frequent blogs and links to various sites and select products. It has established an ebook publishing company, The SenSexual Press.

Here’s the info regarding the meetings, direct from their site:  

Salons gather the 3rd Tuesday of every month at TIME (The Bohemian Absinthe Lounge), 1315 Sansom Street, Center City, Philadelphia. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (limited seating), for cocktails, food and conversation. Talk and Q&A between 7:00-7:30, readings begin at 8:00. Admission is $10, discounted for students and seniors to $8. Salon attendees must be 21.

If you’re in the Greater Philadelphia area, please stop by on September 16! There’s a parking garage directly across the street. Enjoyable evening guaranteed upstairs at the Erotic Literary Salon.

~~ Cris Anson