Friday, January 30, 2015

NO EXPIRATION DATE: TEN YEARS AND COUNTING



It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years. On January 30, 2005, my first erotic romance was published.

Original 2005 cover
Ellora’s Cave was the 800-pound elephant in those days, the upstart little publisher who showed New York that erotic romance was a force to be reckoned with. DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS sold like wildfire and I was thrilled that after 15 years of trying, I was an overnight success.

I still remember the tears that filled my eyes when I first beheld my cover. Black and white torso wrapped in a diaphanous veil, with the stark red of the title. Pow, what an impact it had on me. Ten years later, its cover updated by EC’s fabulous art department, it still has brisk sales.

It’s a coming-of-age story of a 39-year-old divorcee who finally realizes she is a sexual being. The words fell out of me because I was able to let my mind run rampant without reining in the vivid, no-holds-barred writing, the flinging wide of bedroom doors, the four-letter words that New York editors had frowned on.

In fact, Ellora’s Cave gave it an award for the best first sentence of any book they’d published that year. It starts out:

“…and remember, if you see a naked man handcuffed to the ring in the ceiling, it’s because he wants to be there.”

So I thought it might be fun to revisit Lyssa and see how she started out so timidly to discover her own sexuality. In this excerpt, her best friend, Kat, has taken her to a sex club masquerade.

Current cover
~~ ** ~~
Excerpt from DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS ©Cris Anson

“Okay,” Lyssa said softly. “Let’s go.”

She reached out, but before her slightly trembling fingers touched the brass knocker, the solid oak door swung open and a tuxedo-clad giant bowed them inside.

Bouncer, was Lyssa’s first thought. It somehow eased her mind. All the members of this club had been rigorously screened, Kat promised, for physical, financial, and emotional health. Guests had to be approved in advance by a screening committee. Lyssa hadn’t even known Kat belonged to such an exclusive club until she’d been invited to tonight’s soiree. But, she supposed, with Kat’s fine arts gallery situated on upscale Lancaster Avenue in nearby Bryn Mawr, she came in contact with many wealthy clients and browsers.

A never-married free spirit with a long string of lovers, Kat turned heads with her flippant attitude, flamboyant auburn hair, whiskey-colored eyes and funky wardrobe. Lyssa herself leaned toward the look of understated elegance she’d grown up watching her mother wear.

Not that any of it mattered tonight, Lyssa thought wryly. Her own scanty costume, that Kat had autocratically said she would supply, couldn’t be worn on the streets of downtown Philadelphia. 

The giant relieved them of their black capes and gestured to a room beyond an exquisitely carved archway reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct. The drawing room was softly lit by wall sconces and dozens of candles clustered on the massive marble mantel, imparting a rosy hue to everyone’s skin.

The seven veils of her costume swirled sensuously around her, stroking her bare legs, as Lyssa slipped into the room. She was conscious of the slight swaying of her unfettered breasts beneath the nearly translucent silk. Kat had already disappeared into the darker recesses of the room. She was on her own.

On one of the sofas, she noticed a man settling down on his back. He wore only a loincloth and bear-tooth necklace. Red ochre stripes decorated the exposed part of his face. Another Indian, this one in full feathered headdress and a long, shapeless leather smock laced up from neckline to hips, pulled the reclining man’s arms over his head, tied his wrists with rawhide strips, then fastened them to a table leg.

As Lyssa watched, transfixed, the Indian chief began unlacing the smock, then slid it slowly off his—no, she realized—her shoulders and down to her feet. Unabashedly naked, with a feather tattoo on the outer curve of her right breast, she pulled one, then two feathers from her headdress and began to stroke the bound brave’s skin. Slowly up, down, up, down his tanned body, from neck to ankles and back again, until Lyssa could see him grit his teeth in a grimace of arousal that could not be assuaged. The squaw leaned forward, large breasts hovering tantalizingly above his face. A distinctive lump lifted the loincloth, growing larger with each languid stroke of the feathers.

Lyssa gulped. She could feel her breath coming more heavily. What would it be like to be so totally dominated by someone arousing you, teasing you, being captive but knowing that you wouldn’t be hurt, someone bringing you to the brink but not knowing when release would come?

She shivered deliciously and turned away.

And bumped into a red-haired, red-bearded man wearing nothing but a kilt. The wiry hair on his wide chest brushed against her bare arms and she shivered again. That must be how the feathers felt, she thought, surprising herself. She looked up into the shadowy depths of his eyes behind the mask, deep blue like a loch on a clear day. And saw unmistakable desire flare through them.

“Ah, lassie, may I touch you?” he asked with a hint of a Scottish burr.

“You can,” she breathed. Where had that quick acquiescence come from? He’s a stranger!
 
Slowly he raised his hands to her shoulders and with a butterfly touch stroked her arms down to her wrists, then back up again. The sensations rocking through Lyssa astounded her. Here she was, in a roomful of strangers, allowing a nearly naked stranger to fondle her, and she didn’t want to move!

~~ ** ~~

I hope you enjoyed this little look back. You can purchase DANCE OF THE SEVEN VEILS and all my books at Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers.

~~ Cris Anson

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kinky Friends Need Love Too

Readers of my blog know that at my first BDSM Writers Workshop Weekend in 2012, I learned about Fetlife—the Facebook for kinky folks. I searched for local events and discovered the Bucks County Power Exchange.

That group changed my writing, as my four most recent books are all about BDSM.

BFFs in kinky costume
It changed my life as well. Soon I became the Secretary to this group. The Director of BCPE, spikedheels, or slave wendie as she is also known, is my best friend in the kink world. She introduced me to her vast array of friends and acquaintances, whose collective brains I picked, to learn motivation and character and to get plot ideas.

We shared a room at kinky weekend events such as The Floating World and Once Upon a Time. I shared her joy when she was collared by her Master. She stood by me at dungeons, pointing out people and explaining things I should know. She even watched as I had my first public orgasm from being flogged.

Wendie has been diagnosed with Stage III thyroid cancer, complicated by a lesion on the brain.

Her troubles began in September 2014 with loss of vision, vertigo and severe migraines. Because of a history of mini-strokes and ocular migraines, she was ordered to the hospital, where a lesion was discovered on the left side of her brain.

After a spinal tap and an MRI from the cranium down, several suspicious nodules were discovered on her thyroid. Biopsies confirmed they were cancerous. In December, surgeons at University of Pennsylvania Hospital performed a total thyroidectomy and removed a number of lymph nodes, several of which were also cancerous.

Thyroid Cancer Awareness ribbon
She’s been in and out of the hospital for 19 days so far, already using up all her sick leave. She needs to go cold-turkey off the thyroid medicines 3 to 5 weeks prior to radiation treatment. Being off these meds will knock her out, leaving her lethargic and pretty much unable to move, let alone work. A week of radiation treatments will follow at which time she’ll be radioactive and confined to home. And, of course, a long convalescence and probably more surgery.

Last week her sister approached me for help in reaching out to the kinky community. She is spearheading a Beef N Beer Fundraiser and Silent Auction to be held on Friday, March 13, at the VFW Hall in Willow Grove PA. Concomitant with that, I’m coordinating a Kinky Auction on Fetlife.

If you can help in any way, here are some suggestions:

1.  If you’re in the Philadelphia area, come to the March 13 Beef N Beer between 7:00-11:00pm. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Among the items in the Silent Auction that night are a Coach bag, acupuncture treatment, hypnotist, $350 photo shoot, and basket filled with my erotic romance DANCE series.

2.  If you’re on Fetlife (a link won’t work unless you have a profile there), go to the Auction4Spike page and see (and maybe bid on) items such as floggers, canes, crops, spanking implements, graphic art made to order, and more. The site is updated daily as new kinky items are donated. The kinky auction will end at noon Eastern time on Thursday, March 12.

3.  To make a contribution or buy tickets via Paypal, contact Wendie’s sister at dees510@aol.com for more information.

Thank you for helping my best friend.

~~ Cris Anson
 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

BDSM COVER FOR BDSM BOOK


Hoo-eeee, am I excited! Look at this brand-new cover that Ellora's Cave's artists just sent me for WHAT SHE NEEDS! This novella was released a few years ago with, okay, I'll admit, a so-so cover. The female model happens to be me, and it was a real kick for me to pose with the late, sorely missed Angelo, but it didn't truly convey the feel of the book.

New Cover!
This new cover kicks ass!

Here are some reviews WHAT SHE NEEDS garnered when it was first released.

Happily Ever After Reviews
5 Tea Cups and Recommended Read
“It packs a powerful punch. The sex scenes are sizzling hot, and offer a variety of BDSM, Ménage, and tender lovin’ scenes. The main characters are brilliant and the chemistry between Delia and Kurt sizzles from the beginning…I couldn’t put it down.”

Fallen Angel Reviews
5 Angels and Recommended Read
“The chemistry between this pair is off the charts, and the maturity they display when facing obstacles is admirable. I will admit to being brought to tears when these two had to come to grips with their pasts.”

Black Raven’s Reviews
5 Angels and Recommended Read
“My heart caught in my throat several times as I watched their relationship grow from a casual meeting at a bar to Kurt’s home and a hotter than hell ménage and finally into a relationship that most would envy.”

Romance Junkies Reviews
5 Blue Ribbons, Recommended Read
“Cris Anson really impressed me with WHAT SHE NEEDS. This is one of those stories that gets your heart racing and other body parts tingling – and that’s just the physical reaction…a truly beautiful story with just the right amount of heat, light hearted fun, and emotional angst to deserve a place of honor on your e-reading bookshelf.”

In case you missed it the first time around, here's the blurb for WHAT SHE NEEDS:

Older widow Delia Barnes is sporting a black eye when she greets fellow authors before an erotic romance convention, which she explains away by joking “I didn’t say ‘Yes Master’ quick enough.” Sitting at the bar, burned-out ad executive and former Dom Kurt Reinhardt overhears the remark—and interrupts to suggest maybe she needs “a new Master”.



Urged by her friends to accept the younger man’s invitation to learn some D/s basics—hey, an author needs to do her research, right?—Delia joins him to get first-hand experience at being submissive, starting with removing her panties in a corner booth. Later, she learns more than she bargained for when she spends a weekend at Kurt’s home…with his eager business partner added to the mix.



But an innocent misstep brings Delia’s world crashing down around her. Can she trust Kurt with her heart…and her life?

Now really, doesn’t the new cover convey Delia’s excitement at getting this up-close-and-personal training?

Old Cover
If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you’ll give WHAT SHE NEEDS a try. Ellora’s Cave already has the new cover up. You can buy it here.         

Or you can find it at other online bookstores (possibly with the old cover - it takes a few weeks for them to change things -  but it’s still the same great story):  Amazon    Barnes & Noble     All Romance eBooks 

Happy New Year to all!

~~ Cris Anson