Tag Archive | Cleis Press

On Life and The Fast Lane

And just like that, it’s been four and a half months since I’ve blogged.

I could follow that up with the usual. How I’ve been busy, in pain, depressed, etc. but the fact remains…it’s been four and a half months since I’ve blogged.

I remain amazed and in awe that during my period of silence here and barely tweeting, “Can’t Get Enough” continues to do well, people continue to follow me on Twitter and Instagram and I still have some faithful followers of this tired, old blog.

To detail the happenings of these past months would take a long, drawn out post that I don’t want to write and I’m sure you don’t want to read. But, to be as brief as possible, I started an intense weight-loss and work-out regimine that required all of my attention (apparently) and as a result I lost nearly 50 pounds.

transformation

I also went blonde.I re-entered the work force, temping at a warehouse for a couple of months before the contract ended, and now I’m basically back where I started. Except, I now have the first draft of a novel thanks to NaNoWriMo. Yes, I participated in and completed National Novel Writing Month. I began rewrites on my WIP, but quickly became…unmotivated. So, there’s that.

Otherwise, I’m existing and trying to find ways to be more present, both here, and in life. My birthday is approaching, so it’s getting pretty dark over here.

The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica: One Delighted Reader’s Review

rosebook
I have a special and specific love for libraries. I always have. Maybe it was because I grew up in a town where the only book store we had sold how-to manuals and office supplies, and the only chance I had at getting my hands on the newest piece of fiction was to travel three towns over and buy it from the mall or, at my age with no money and no car, visit my local library.

Now, well into adulthood, I spend most of my time surrounded by books. I am always, at some point or another, reading one, reviewing one, adding one to my already overflowing collection, and never, not once, has anyone ever heard me complain about it.

To say that I’m a bookworm would be of course, cliché, but I urge you pick up your dictionary, flip the page to bookworm and look at the definition. Then, yes, there slightly to the right, see that picture? Why yes, that is me with my black framed spectacles holding my current book of choice.

In fact, in the case of my untimely demise I have just one request, I’d like to die the way I live, buried in books, and if I must be specific, make them sexy books, and I have to be more specific than that, bury me right there smack dab in the middle of Rose Caraway’s The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica, which I happened to have had the pleasure of being snuggled up with for the better part of the week.

For me, the bigger the book, the better, so this book appealed to me before I even turned back the cover. The twenty-two stories are not only perfectly lengthy and equally meaty, but are preceded by Bix Warden’s clever foreward and Ms. Caraway’s own spot on introduction.

Bookended with stories by well known sex writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel and the Ms. Caraway herself, this anthology offers up shelf after shelf of goodness, so much so that as I was reading, highlighting and taking notes (because I do that) I realized that it would be difficult to point out my favorites.

While I enjoyed them all, yes, every last one, I was particularly fond of Bussel’s Book Swap, where book lover Brianna swaps books mid flight with a her seatmate, who happens to be a sexy young Dom. Embarrassed at first by his discovery of her choice of reading, she is pleasantly surprised at what fantasies, pleasure and punishments he has in store for her upon landing.

The story immediately following, Lillian Douglas’s Sensate Silicone, appealed to the gadget geek in me. A self proclaimed porn star and sexpert who not only enjoys but endorses dildos, is introduced to the ultimate sex toy, and she pleasures herself in a way she never imagined she could.

Fans of mythology will enjoy Janine Ashbless’s Three Legs In The Morning, a smart, incredibly well told fairy tale type story that highlights bits of voyeurism, mystery and intrigue.

But oh, the cherry on my southern ice cream sundae was Salome Wilde’s Moonshine Ballad. Lyrical and literary, this story was as satisfying as apple pie, and as fulfilling as forty-five minutes on the dirt floor of your grandfather’s barn.

I can never turn a blind eye to exhibitionism, so Full-Frontal Neighbor by Lynn Townsend tickled my fancy as well and if you’re hungry for oral, hotel sex and a wee bit of cuckolding, then by all means, follow the arrows to Sommer Marsden’s Appetizer where Jamie indulges his wife’s fantasy as a surprise, letting the eager Oliver whet her appetite before he took over to fill her up.

As I mentioned, I’m a story whore, and in this collection I could absolutely dote on every one, but I always prefer show over tell. So, by all means let me show you the way to Rose Caraway’s The Sexy Librarian’s Big Book of Erotica, and you thumb through the pages and bookmark some favorites of your own.

Accountability

When I sort of accidentally began this journey, accountability was a big thing for me. I talked about it. Owned it. Showed it. Through daily full body Instagram photos, I am holding myself accountable to myself and to (I’d like to think) the world for my fitness and health, whether I do or don’t meet my goals for that day, week or whatever.

Just recently, I’ve begun adding food pics to the mix, which I had been doing from time to time before, but that’s when I was flaky about it all and could easily have had a salad for lunch and fried chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner. You’d see the pretty picture of the salad, but you wouldn’t see and I wouldn’t speak of the fried chicken.

I guess it’s like the proverbial tree in the forest. If I eat it and no one’s around to witness it, does that mean it didn’t happen? Well, I knew that couldn’t last because even if I didn’t post pictures of every meal, I repeat, I post full body shots of myself every single day, so you would know something went awry, somewhere. I wouldn’t be telling the truth. I wouldn’t be telling my truth. And there are many parts to my truth.

The truth is, if this were five days ago, I’d have either a vodka cranberry or a glass of wine in my hand. And if I’m going to tell the truth, five days ago, I DID have a vodka cranberry in my hand, and followed it up with several more. And let’s just throw a couple of shots of tequila in there for sport, because that happened, too.

Also, a hangover happened, and though I’ve posted a vicious hangover selfie on Instagram, I made sure I got myself together before I posted my daily shot, and I still went walking/jogging.

I haven’t had a drink since Sunday and that’s in part because I’ve been thinking a lot about this accountability thing and also because a friend challenged me to a strict seven day fitness thingy that doesn’t allow for alcohol.

It’s been easy. Unbelievably easy until today, when my day wasn’t so good, when my relationship isn’t glowing that perfect glow, when I’m so annoyed/pissed/mad/sad that I just want to numb myself with a vodka neat or a whole bottle of wine. And yes, I can take down a whole bottle…and a half.

So, far I’m resisting. Sipping iced water and channeling this negative energy into new words and promoting Can’t Get Enough. And I think I’m able to resist mostly out of stubbornness and a small part of me thinks it may be an around about attempt at sabotage because my husband of course lives with me, knows my habits, my weaknesses and unfortunately, my triggers.

It’s good to get that off my chest. I’ll let  you know how it turns out tomorrow. Honestly.

Easy like…

vodka

…feel free to take it from there, but let me tell you, nothing about this Sunday is easy, not for me anyway. I knew it had been a few days since I updated here, but a whole week?! Wow, I had no idea. And in the meantime, so many readers, blogger and reviewers were happily participating in the Can’t Get Enough blog tour, including the Trollop With A Laptop herself, Alison Tyler, who posted this colorful interview with me on her blog yesterday, while I was busy shuttling the twin to the sitter, driving to a book signing…

booksa

…signing one (tee hee) book and driving back, picking up twins, picking up dinner then coming home where it began storming and the power went out.

And that was just yesterday. Today I planned to stay in bed all day and rest because I was bold, no foolish enough to wear heels yesterday, and apparently I must atone for that today. However, instead of resting and recovering peacefully, I’m having to deal with the difficult tenant I’ve been avoiding mentioning to much over the past year (because I’m such a fucking lady) because after avoiding being served with a notice of eviction, she finally got served, then tells me that she needs more than ten days. Not because she doesn’t have anywhere to go, mind you, but because she doesn’t feel like moving her stuff.

Really, she doesn’t feel like it? Well, you know what I don’t feel like? Paying mortgage on a home that I’m not living in and not being reimbursed for it and having it torn all to hell to boot. So, yeah, that’s going on right now, but I’m trying to put my energy elsewhere.

Like this creative spurt I’m going through right now. While the power was out yesterday evening, I entertained my husband by reading him the beginnings of some things I’m working on. One story is a comedy in addition to being erotic, and the first paragraph made him laugh out loud. That was cool.

But speaking of Alison Tyler, one of several things I did on Friday (indcluding having tires changed, ugh!) was visit the Atlanta bookstore Charis Books where I spotted her Dark Secret Love on display on the shelf. I couldn’t resist snapping this picture and tweeting and tagging her.

darksecret

She wrote about it on her blog today.

I know this is a super long post, but I had a lot of catching up to do. I haven’t even mentioned that Rose Caraway announced the winners of her give away on Friday! And she did it in such a unique and clever way!

Thanks, Rose, thank everyone, and thanks if you made it through this post!

On Being Considered An African American Study

lafyette

First of all let me say, that it is an honor to even have made this category, no matter how Can’t Get Enough landed there. Not only is it there, it is in the top 50 ranked in paid Kindle books. And not only is it in the top 50, it is actually ranked #24. Right next to Alex Haley’s Roots is Tenille Brown’s Can’t Get Enough.

I know this because I stalk the Amazon rankings, which I know is an authorly no, no, but being so fresh out, I just can’t help myself. I check daily, multiple times a day. Which is how I also found out that the book is ranked #37 in African American Erotica. Needless to say, I’m floored, in awe, everything I’ve probably said a million times since the book came out.

A part of my Amazon stalking madness is due to the fact that I want so badly for the book to do well so that I can have the opportunity to edit other books, even publish a novel or two or ten. So, it matters. It’s do or die. It’s (insert appropriate cliche here).

But, all that aside…the blog tour continues. Today there is a guest post from me at Erzabet Bishop’s place (whose juicy, dirty, and kinky story, Waiting, is included in the book). There i’m talking about the selection of kinky stories and how they got there. She also excerpts Waiting. Check it out.

Ali’s Addiction, Alison’s Wrap-Up and Acworth, GA

I got an early start this morning (read-I didn’t go back to sleep after the hubs went to work). I stayed up and finished answering some interview questions for something so exciting that I wish I could tell you all about, but I can’t yet, and sent them in. Speaking of which, the three hour time difference between my publishers and I really works in my favor. I have emails for them three or four hours before they’re scheduled to be at work, so it makes me feel super productive and shit.

Moving right along, today’s stop on the Can’t Get Enough blog tour is at Ali’s Addiction. She excerpts from Beatrix Ellroy’s Before They Burn, a delightful (and hot) little baking story, and she gives you the opportunity to win a copy of my book. Now, why wouldn’t you stop on by?

Also happening is my second Books-A-Million signing, this time in Acworth, GA. So, if you’re in or around the area tomorrow afternoon, I would love it if you would come to:

Books-A-Million #106
3372 North Cobb Parkway
Acworth, GA 30101
2-4 p.m.

Yesterday, Alison Tyler included my in her Wrap-Up blog, where she mentioned the recent release of Summer Loving (an anthology created specifically for and all proceeds going to the wonderful Sommer Marsden and her family) in which my story, An Oven On Broil is included.

summer

She also spoke about Open, the book on which my name first appeared on a cover! Thanks much, Alison!

open

Busy, busy today. More interview questions to answer and blog posts to write, but if I’m at the keyboard, that’s the best kind of busy of all!

The Story That Made Everyone L.O.L.

Here I am again, playing catch up. Always a day behind. Forgetting something or someone. But, here I am at the writing table, wrapping up guest blogs, an article and an exciting questionnaire that I hope to be able to share details about really soon.

Yesterday’s stop on the Can’t Get Enough blog tour (see, how I so casually stopped counting the days? That’s because I’ve lost count!) was at Tamsin Flowers’ place where she posted a steaming hot excerpt from her contribution to the book, Those Damned Cobbles.

I’m so glad Tamsin chose to excerpt her story, because as I may have mentioned, hers was one of the stories that I read from at Charis Books in Atlanta last Thursday, and there were two women in the audience that whispered how much they could relate, and let me tell you, the last two sentences of her story provoked a huge LOL and a confession from one or two women in the crowd about bike riding.

Read her lovely summary of the collection and her hot excerpt here.

Today’s scheduled stop is at Rose Caraway’s place and I’ll be sure to edit this post with links as soon as it goes live.

Also, I joined Facebook again.

I’ll just give you a minute to let that sink in.