Category Archives: blog tour

To Have…Guest Blogger Malin James Talk About Roadhouse Blues!!!

Malin James is a special friend, and as far as I am concerned (and as I tweeted yesterday), she is the gold standard as a writer, and more importantly as a human. I am honored to have her as my guest today, with a decadent post after my own heart to promote her new collection, Roadhouse Blues, with Go Deeper Press!!!

Thank you so much for having me, Ms. F! It’s a privilege and honor to be here! 

My collection of linked short stories, Roadhouse Blues, came out this week with Go Deeper Press, but I didn’t want to do a standard Please Buy My Book!!! promo post, (though if you’re at all inclined to by my book, please do – you won’t hear me complain). Don’t get me wrong, I’m damn proud of the collection, but I wanted to talk about it in a different way—one that taps into some of the aesthetics Ms. F and I share. So. Let’s talk about noir.

I love noir and classic films. I always wanted to include a noir story in Roadhouse Blues, but I wasn’t quite sure how or where a story like that would fit. Roadhouse Blues is set in Styx, a blue-collar, truck stop town in the middle of nowhere. It’s dusty and oppressive and the most glamorous thing around is the tabloid rack at the local Pak ‘n Buy. It’s about as far from a gritty urban jungle full of hard-nosed men and glossy, sinister dames as you can get.

I was about ten stories into drafting the collection and had pretty much decided to save the smoky, Sam Spade feeling for a different collection, when I started writing what would become the title story, “Roadhouse Blues.”

Roadhouse Blues” is one of a handful of stories set in Rowdy’s Roadhouse, the only strip club for miles. Mick, the protagonist, tends bar and keeps a general eye on things. At the start of the story, he’s getting over a messy divorce and has pretty much vowed never to get involved with anyone ever again, but that doesn’t mean he can’t text (and maybe sext) with a woman named Jett, whom he met on a classic film forum online. But when Jett comes to the roadhouse late one night, she upends Mick’s lonely intentions.

Jett is sultry and sassy and damn, can she crack wise. The woman walks around like she was filmed in black and white, but under the Lauren Bacall glamour, she needs to get away from a life that isn’t working, so she runs to the middle of nowhere, straight into Mick.

As soon as Mick saw her standing in the doorway, I knew I had my film noir story. A beautiful woman with a mysterious past, a good man worn down by life…. So, I stayed with it until it became clear that the whole point of the story was to get Mick from “of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” to “here’s looking at you kid”. It just took a little rough sex to get him there.

While there are no crimes or gangsters or dead bodies in an alley, there’s a lot going on in “Roadhouse Blues” that directly references or pays homage to noir and classic film—the damaged characters with difficult pasts, the spikey chemistry, and yes, rough sex. More than anything, the rough sex. 

In a lot of noir and classic film, sex is a fade to black thing, but there are plenty of women getting slapped or dragged around in an implied sexual context. In the film and fiction from the ‘30’s, ‘40’s and 50’s, casual violence towards women is a window into the attitudes of the early 20th century. It’s an interesting historical snapshot, but not something I wanted to sexualize or glamorize in an erotic story in the 21st. Which is why I wrote the sex scene in “Roadhouse Blues” the way I did. As opposed to the standard trope of the femme fatale getting punished by a dominant man, Mick and Jett unequivocal equals—equals who just happen to want to slap each other around.

I like rough sex. I like it a lot, but only with the right partner. The chemistry has to be right for that kind of dynamic to work. Happily, the chemistry between Mick and Jett was right. I wanted to let consensual violence play out between two strong people, but if I was going to do that, it was important to establish the fact that they were meeting on equal ground. Mick spanks Jett, Jett decks Mick, but they do it in a way that is actively consensual, which let me dig into the dynamic to find the sweetness in the rough. I wanted to give the reader the sense that the night they spend together is full of joy for them.

Mick and Jett have a rare kind of chemistry. They naturally communicate through short hand, like the dialogue in To Have and Have Not or Double Indemnity. Because the connection they have is instinctual and highly tuned, they are able to do things that, with a different partner, would be off the table. Jett holds her own, and Mick trusts her to voice her boundaries. Jett, in turn, trusts Mick to respect them, which he instantly does. It’s an ideal version of how a dynamic like this could play out with two well-paired equals.

Unlike in noir films, when a man slaps a woman and sends her sprawling before a fade to black, Jett gives as good as she gets, and Mick falls for her because of it. I wanted to see how their dynamic would play out, especially with the ghost of black and white film underpinning the story. I wanted to see what would happen if Bogart and Bacall got a little rough with each other while they were falling in love. I didn’t think I’d have a chance to do that in this collection, but Mick and Jett surprised me, and I’m glad they did.


To read an excerpt from the story, “Roadhouse Blues” click here.

Are you swooning like me? Want more Malin? I am so happy to be part of her blog tour–here are the links to the rest of it!

The Go Deeper Press Launch Post

Interview with Xan West

Interview with Emmanuelle de Maupassant 

Review by Ella Dawson

Interview with Jade A. Waters

Review by Jo Henny Wolf





Guest Blogger Delilah Night Blurs the Lines Between Fiction and Reality — and a Contest!!!

It is with so much pleasure that I host Delilah Night! Delilah is a writer’s writer, every time  I read something of hers I am moved, and want to run my fingers over her words. She is also such a cornerstone of the community, she engages with everyone and I am honored to consider her a friend. Read below to be blown away by her like I have been–and a chance to win her latest!!!

I’m so excited to be on your blog today, Leonora! I’ve gotten to know Leonora on my blog and in the Twitterverse, and she is a delightful friend. I always look forward to seeing you in my feed! If you’re not following her photography 365 blog, you should be! I hope your readers will enjoy my post, and stick around for the contest!

For my guest posts this week (check out Malin James’s blog on Thursday!) I thought it would be fun to talk about how much of myself and my husband can be found in the characters of Meg and RJ.


Ways in which Meg and I are similar

  1. Meg is a teacher, and I also used to teach sixth grade math. There’s an anecdote that Meg shares during breakfast that I lifted from my own experiences.
  2. Meg is a photographer, and I’m a photographer. Almost every photo that Meg takes can be found on my hard drive. The photo above the excerpt is one of mine, and you can see how I worked it into the story. Alas, I did not have a naked photoshoot in Preah Khan—those are fictional photos.
  3. Meg is really frightened of being hurt, emotionally, again. When I first began dating my husband of ten years, I told him I wanted to be “just friends” after our first date because I was so frightened of being that vulnerable again.

Ways in which Meg and I are nothing alike.

  1. She’s a natural red head. I remember watching The Little Mermaid and desperately have wanted red hair since. I have spent many a pretty penny on attempts to get red hair, but you can’t get that natural red shade out of a bottle. Sad face.
  2. I don’t have an ex who haunts me in the way that RJ haunts Megan. My exes are—at best—fodder for bad boyfriends in fiction. I’m looking at you guy who helped me move to NYC and then, while giving my college roommate who had also come down to help me move a ride back to Boston, asked her out before we had even broken up. Among others.
  3. Meg has an awesome sister (Rachel is one of my favorite characters, ever). I am an only child, although I dreamed of having a brother or sister.


*Exclusive Excerpt*

Angkor Wat was such a massive temple complex that, even with hundreds of other tourists on site, Meg and RJ were often alone as they explored. Rather than enter the main temple through the front entrance, they walked along the left outer wall. Their footsteps echoed as they wandered along a covered gallery. The wall on their left was covered in a bas relief carving depicting a battle scene. Lines of marching soldiers looked as though they might step out of the stone at any moment. Generals directed them from the backs of elephants. Meg stroked the trunk of an elephant, her finger following a gleaming path made by countless fingers before hers. Small, sporadic chunks of the image were missing, leaving only scarred stone where art had once thrived. The right side of the gallery was open to the elements, supported by a series of columns, allowing a cooling breeze to provide a brief respite from the intense heat outside.

“The holes?” RJ asked, his voice barely above a murmur.

“Thieves. My guidebook said the missing pieces had inscriptions that people thought held magical powers. It’s also why there are so many missing or headless statues, too. At least they couldn’t steal all of the wall carvings.”

The geometry of the empty hallway they’d just walked down with its repeating doorways, dark stone carvings on one side, and the light filtering in between the columns opposite, called to her.

Click. Chiaroscuro.

“Show me?”

Tilting the camera so they could both see the screen, Meg pressed a button to bring the picture back up.

“I just saw doorways. How did you see that, Meg?” RJ asked.

“That’s because you glance and I watch,” she answered.

“So you’re saying I should take more time to see what’s right in front of me before I move on too quickly?”

Meg switched her camera back to shooting mode. “I was talking about photography.”

“So was I.” His expression was neutral.

Sure you were.


You never forget your first love…

Meg and RJ were passionately in love. But that was six years and a broken engagement ago.

Meg has only one day in Siem Reap, Cambodia, before she must leave for her sister’s wedding in Bali. She fulfills her dream of taking a photograph of the sun rising behind Angkor Wat, one of the oldest temples in the world. But her joy is short-lived when she turns around to see RJ standing behind her.

RJ threw himself into work after Meg ended their relationship. He’s built a successful business, but it’s a hollow victory. He’s come to Siem Reap to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving. But first he has to convince her to spend the day with him.

Meg is as physically attracted to RJ as she ever was. Maybe the secret to finally getting over him is a one day only, no strings attached fling.

Can RJ win Meg back, or will she love him and leave him?

Capturing the Moment is on sale everywhere!


After 30 years of snowy New England winters, Delilah Night moved to steamy Southeast Asia. While she doesn’t miss shoveling snow, she does miss shopping for bargains at Target.

In 2014, Delilah visited Cambodia for the first time and fell in love with Siem Reap. Many of her misadventures from that vacation (including the one with the monkey) made their way into this story.

Connect with Delilah on her blogTwitter, or Facebook

Contest—Win a free copy of Capturing the Moment!

Which fictional character do you most identify with? Leave a comment, and I’ll pick a winner on Monday, May 9, 2016.

Lisabet Sarai Gets Subversive and Sexy with The Gazillionaire and the Virgin!!!

I am so happy to be the Valentine’s Day leg of The Gazillionaire and the Virgin tour for The Gazillionaire and the Virgin!!! With this novel, Lisabet turns everything you imagine on its head. This story has so much more to it than meets the eye, as I will let her explain. As well, there is a decadent excerpt–hello suit fetish!!!–and a contest! Lisabet will take over from here…


I only pretend to be a good girl.

On the surface, I do everything required to satisfy people’s expectations. I pay my taxes. I meet my deadlines. I stop at red lights. I say “please” and “excuse me”, even to the most boorish people. I write thank you notes when I receive a gift. I want people to consider me a useful, productive, conformist member of society.

It’s all an act. In fact, I revel in subversion.

What good girl would pen filthy books like mine? Even writing erotic romance, I’m always pushing the envelope. I make my editors squirm. Superficially I follow the rules, but I’ll bend them so far they come close to breaking. Tell me a particular genre doesn’t allow certain content and I’ll try like the devil to slip it in. I’m not even aware of this, much of the time. The imp of the perverse has a powerful hold on my subconscious.

My new novel The Gazillionaire and the Virgin may be the most subversive tale I’ve created. On the surface, it follows all the rules of romance. It focuses on the development of a serious love relationship between the main characters. As is common in romance, they irritate one another during their initial meeting, but are still inexplicably attracted. They end up having sex, without really planning to do so, then gradually fall in love. Obstacles appear, both internal and external, and they break up.  The conflict is resolved and they live happily ever after.

Think you’ve read this book a million times before? Think again.

The hero isn’t a strong, self-confident, muscled hunk who can make a woman come twelve times without even entering her. Instead, he’s a brilliant but socially awkward agoraphobic with a touch of OCD, inclined to anxiety attacks. Oh, and he’s a twenty-nine year old virgin. He’s not the gazillionaire, either—it’s the heroine who has all the cash. She’s bossy and ambitious, unfashionably curvy, with curly red hair that’s always a mess. Despite her assertiveness, she’s sexually submissive, though no one in her life knows this.

The hero’s a Dom—a virgin Dom at the start of the book, but with a lot of porn and internet research to draw on, not to mention his vivid fantasies. The heroine thinks she’s too busy for more than casual sex. As you might expect (I don’t want to totally trash every expectation)  the hero changes her mind.


Silicon Valley entrepreneur Rachel Zelinsky is not a woman who lets pleasure interfere with business, but when she meets reclusive genius Theo Moore, she can’t resist his geeky appeal. Though Theo’s knowledge about sex derives from extensive research and a stash of kinky porn rather than real-world experience, he is Rachel’s first true Master—and the first man to truly touch her heart.

“I’ve always been a fan—Lisabet Sarai’s erotic fiction is certain to captivate, dominate, and leave readers begging for more.” ~ Alison Tyler, best-selling author of erotic BDSM memoirs Dark Secret Love and Even Deeper.


I decide to drive myself, and choose the BMW for its aura of unobtrusive luxury. One look at my red Lamborghini, I suspect, and Theo Moore would run away screaming. Cruising up to his attractive but unremarkable building at exactly six, I pull into one of the parking spots labeled “Visitors”. My pulse, I’m annoyed to notice, is elevated, and my cheeks feel hot. Do I look as flustered as I feel?

A quick check in the rear-view mirror reassures me. My understated make-up enlarges my eyes and shrinks my rather prominent nose. Gold-plated combs sweep my unruly curls away from my temples into a semi-elegant cascade. Matching gold earrings dangle from my earlobes almost to my bare shoulders. My strapless gown of teal satin hugs my bust and hips like it was made for me—which of course it was. I practice a confident but non-threatening smile. Good evening, Theo. I’m so glad you decided to come.

The minutes tick by, but there’s no sign of him. Should I climb up to his door and ring? Or wait for him to work up the courage to come out by himself? Does he realize I’ve arrived? Is he watching out his window?  Or cowering in his room?

I get more annoyed by the second. I am considering honking the horn, which I know will embarrass him, when he appears on the second floor landing. I recognize him by his height and bulk. Otherwise, he’s transformed.

In the custom tailored tuxedo, he’s distinguished and elegant. The sleek black trousers cling to what are obviously powerful, muscular legs. The jacket highlights his broad shoulders and trim waist. Not fat, oh no! He moves with unexpected grace, as if the formal clothing bestowed a sort of gravitas to subdue his usual gawkiness. With his dark hair slicked back from his forehead, he looks like some international man of mystery. The spectacles just heighten the impression of intelligence and sophistication.

Holding the rail of the gallery that runs along the second floor, he scans the parking area.

“Over here, Theo,” I call out of the open window.

He jumps at the sound of my voice. I think he’s about to bolt, to flee back into his condo and slam the door. I can practically see the struggle going on in his body. I hold my breath, waiting for the outcome. Finally he raises his hand in a feeble wave, and fumbles his way down the stairs. The strong, self-assured man of a few moments earlier has vanished. But I remember him. That’s the Theo Moore I need to cultivate.

He makes it to the car. I press the auto-release and the door swings open. “Hi, Theo. Come on, get in. We’re running somewhat late.”

He ducks his head, folds his long limbs and maneuvers his massive body onto the leather upholstery. After fastening his seat belt, he focuses his attention on the blinking, teak-inlaid instrument panel. He neither greets me nor apologizes.

With a shrug, I trigger the ignition and back out onto the road. “You look fantastic, by the way.”

“I feel ridiculous. Like some performer in a circus. Or maybe a trained seal.”

“I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable.” I swing the car out of his complex onto El Camino Real. “In a way, I guess this is a kind of performance. The tux really looks great on you, though. You’re going to impress the donors. And that’s what’s important, isn’t it?”

“I suppose so.”  He slumps into the bucket seat, sulking.

With a sigh, I address myself to the task of driving. It’s not far from Palo Alto to Mountain View, but the Saturday evening traffic is insane. Is it any wonder I prefer Santa Cruz?  If Theo doesn’t feel like making conversation, that’s fine. I won’t be distracted.

A traffic light turns red just as I’m about to slide through. “Oh, damn!” I glance over at my passenger, embarrassed by my lack of patience. “Sorry. But I wanted to get there early enough to greet the first guests.”

I’m surprised to discover that Theo’s staring at me.

“You look beautiful,” he says, his voice low and earnest.

“Um—what?” I gun the engine as the light flashes green, bolting ahead of the other vehicles.

“Your hair. Your dress. The color suits you. It makes your skin look like polished ivory.”

Huh? “Ah—thank you, Theo. I guess we’ll make an attractive couple. Never hurts when you’re pitching to the beautiful people, right?” I force out a chuckle.

He does not respond. Theo Moore really doesn’t really understand the dynamics of polite conversation.

***Lisabet has a full short story about Theo and Rachel over at her blog, to celebrate the day of love. Comments on that post count as entries in the blog tour, too!


In short, if you like your romances predictable and similar to one another, you’ll hate this book. On the other hand, if you’re in the mood for something different, something original and irreverent, something—well, subversive—go get yourself a copy of The Gazillionaire and the Virgin!

Ebook Buy Links (Print coming soon!)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

All Romance



This post is part of my Gazillionaire and Virgin blog tour, running from February 1st to 15th. Leave me a comment on this post, including your email address, and I’ll enter you to win a $50 bookstore gift certificate (first prize) or a print copy of the new book (second prize). Visit all the stops for more chances to win. You’ll find the full list here:

About Lisabet

Lisabet Sarai occasionally tackles other genres, but BDSM will always be her first love. Every one of her nine novels includes some element of power exchange, while her D/s short stories range from mildly kinky to intensely perverse.

You’ll find information and excerpts from all Lisabet’s books on her website, along with more than fifty free stories and lots more. At her blog Beyond Romance, she shares her philosophy and her news and hosts lots of other great authors. She’s also on Goodreads and finally, on Twitter.

The Cover Him With Darkness Tour Stops Here Today!

Cover me with darkness–I cannot even begin to tell you how decadent this book is! I already knew that Janine Ashbless was brilliant as a writer, and eagerly signed up for her blog tour because it was Janine Ashbless! Cover Him With Darkness did not disappoint, it exceeded everything I could have wanted. Reading the novel, was like being consumed. I am not exaggerating, there were times I lifted my head from it and I was gasping for air. It is that intense. Not wanting to give any spoilers, there is a lot of sexiness from the time Azazel is introduced to us, he’s a great character and I could have been seduced by him…but it was Egan who became my crush while I was reading the book. He was always with Milja, and reminded me of a character in Louisa May Alcott’s A Long Fatal Love Chase. He is nothing like that character, but they do share something in common that again, I do not want to create any spoilers. I asked Janine–as any girl with a crush would do–to tell me EVERYTHING about Egan. And she more than satisfied my curiousity, so here is Janine with everything you need to know about Egan!

Egan … oh Egan. I’m so glad you asked about him! Many of the readers of Cover Him with Darkness are so busy watching Azazel (“Fallen angel! Big scary sexy jerk! OMG what’s he doing?!”) that they seem to overlook the other hot guy in Milja’s life.
Not that I can reveal too much – Sorry! There are more books to come after Cover Him, and Egan will be back. He hasn’t abandoned all hope of saving Milja, or of defeating Azazel. He’s still bound by duty. And by the end of that first book you should have picked up some idea where that duty lies.
Egan works for a group called Vidimus: “We Have Seen” in Latin – and what they have seen is something they dare not tell the rest of the world. He comes into Milja’s life innocently enough – or so it appears – he drops everything when she begs for his help, and calls in favors to save her neck and get her away from her family and the church that is hunting her down. He’s the perfect White Knight.
Milja adores that. She’s spent her life longing for a wounded and helpless angel. The real thing has turned out to be not as sweet as she imagined, and though she’s still obsessed with Azazel, Egan’s goodness is massively appealing to her.
But no one’s perfect.
In an early chapter Egan lets slip, while they are talking about dumb things they both did as teenagers, that he had a habit of falling head-over-heels for unattainable women who already had bigger sexier boyfriends. Oh dear. Old habits are hard to break! The white knight falls for the maiden he rescues. Her vulnerability – and the fact that Azazel could kill him stone dead for a single wrong move – make her an irresistible match. So he spends the rest of the novel being more and more torn between what he must do and what he wants.
When I was developing the characters and writing, I wanted to find contrasts between my two main men. Azazel is dominant, powerful, arrogant, narcissistic … and honest. He does not lie to Milja. He’s almost too simple to lie. He doesn’t understand the value of manipulation. Egan is respectful, clever, self-sacrificing, and he staunchly refuses to take sexual advantage of Milja, even as he becomes ever more attracted to her. He’s undoubtedly a Good Guy. But Egan is hiding so much stuff. There’s a medieval doctrine called ‘mental reservation’ that holds that while it’s a mortal sin to lie outright, anything that is not directly a lie is allowable – even if you know and intend it to be misleading. So for example Milja notices how surprisingly effective and brutal he is in a fight, and when she asks him about that, he tells her that he grew up playing hurling, which is a really rough Irish sport. Which is true as far as it goes; he just omits to tell her about his specialist military background…
All three of my main characters are damaged by their pasts. In later volumes we’re going to find out what it is that has broken Egan.
Egan’s not just in the book because love-triangles are hot (though they are) and to mess with Milja’s head (though he does). He’s the light contrasted with Azazel’s dark. And just as there is light in Azazel, when you look beneath the surface, there is darkness in Egan too.
Like there is in all of us, of course.

Darkness is a theme in Cover Him With Darkness, but there is a lot of light as well. I more than recommend you read it, because nothing goes the way you would expect. Janine brings you into Milja’s world, and you are there and you will get involved emotionally and physically in everything that happens. Cover Him With Darkness is published by Cleis Press and is available on Amazon. Take my word and Kate Douglas’s, as blurbed on the cover of the book: Janine Ashbless has created magic!

The Sex and Cupcakes by Rachel Kramer Bussel Blog Tour Stops Here!

I have very explicit memories of Rachel Kramer Bussel, and by no means do I mean in a sexual way. Rachel is a tour de force that even if she were not the prolific writer snd editor that she is, she would be dominant in whatever she chose as a career. The fact that she writes about sex and cupcakes is lovely for me, because they are things that are near and dear to my heart. I wanted to do her blog tour to support her and her new book of essays Sex and Cupcakes, because she is so smart and interesting I wanted to see what she had to say in a non-fiction context.
Sex and Cupcakes is a quick and informative read. If you are looking for a salacious detailing of her sexual exploits in this book, think again. The title essay discusses the pressure that comes from being a “sex writer.” The assumptions that people make about her, and the things they expect from her. What was most appealing about the essays was the vulnerability that she displayed from one to the other. Rachel is a storyteller, and an intuitive one at that. Reading the essays, is like talking to your smart friend who always knows the right things to say. The friend who makes you feel good, because they let you see them for who they really are and you love them all the more for it.
Being a sex writer/editor is a loaded position. I remember sitting with an acquaintance over lunch when one of my anthologies came out, and she was giving me that you-write-dirty-stories smirk I am accustomed to. She said to me that I did not “look” like I did that sort of thing. That day I was wearing a vintage-like polka dot dress and a cameo, and she knew that I had gone to Catholic School, so that was all she needed to know.
Yes, I edit and write erotica. It honestly was probably the thing that I wanted to do when I grew up in some form, and now I do it in many forms. And people always look at me like they are startled or give me the infamous smirk. When I said that I went to an erotica conference, I might as well have said I went to an orgy for the looks I got. I hate to disappoint, but fiction is fiction no matter what it is about. Erotica is a preferred topic of mine, but it is not all I am about. It is not all Rachel is about either, and she beautifully illustrates that in Sex and Cupcakes. Each essay is like a delicious cupcake with a filling you were not expecting. I learned a lot more about Rachel, but there is still so much more to uncover and I hope that she puts out another book of essays to pick up from where this one left off!
But for now, we luckily have Sex and Cupcakes available on Amazon and iTunes, and if you haven’t you must! And don’t forget her fiction! I just added her new erotica anthology, I Want You Bad: Obsessed Erotic Romance for Women to my want to read list on Goodreads!

Coming Undone With Kristina Lloyd!

I am really trying my best not to go all fan girl here, but I am a HUGE fan of Kristina Lloyd! I enjoyed Asking For Trouble followed by Darker Than Love so much, I trolled bookstores looking for her latest offerings. She is a superior writer, and writes the type of dark erotica I adore. Ironically enough, she is going to explore that dark decadence as part of her blog tour here. I am delighted to be a leg on her tour, in support of Undone…so without further ado, let’s come undone with Kristina!

Undone and dark erotica

The word “dark” is often applied to my erotica, both by others and myself. I like it, but sometimes I wonder what it means. Does it refer to boundary-pushing sex? Politically or morally problematic desires? Characters who are damaged? Troubled? In danger?

I’ve never written a character whose predilection for BDSM is a consequence of past abuses, and if I ever do, please revoke my writing privileges. Nor do I write about genuine trauma of the sort where Social Services should intervene. My characters however are frequently troubled by the relationship they’re developing, or the kind of sex they’re having. They’re anxious, conflicted, and they’re going to continue along the same dangerous path because they’re in the grip of an erotic compulsion.

“Dark” in the context of erotica suggests, I think, a book which allows readers to luxuriate in a story they might not want to fully experience in real life. To me, dark has a velvety quality. Interpretations are always going to be subjective and my second book, Asking for Trouble, is the one most likely to be rejected as “too dark” by some people. My third book, Split, is set in a puppet museum on the Yorkshire moors. I describe it as “Wuthering Heights with bondage”, and an eerie Gothicism informs the darkness in that book. The setting isn’t the most obvious choice for an erotic novel but I loved creating that disquieting, off-kilter atmosphere.

My fifth book, Undone, hits the shelves tomorrow, 11th September, and opens with the discovery of a body in a swimming pool. The dead man is Misha Morozov, one of two men my protagonist, Lana Greenwood, has just spent the night with. Lana owns a cocktail bar, The Blue Bar, and I had a great time building this bar in my imagination. Last week, I wrote about the inspiration behind Lana’s bar, and how I took the history of a small building in my town, Brighton, and gave it to my fictional bar. The building which inspired me was, I discovered, a funeral parlour in the nineteenth century. I couldn’t leave such a detail out, especially in a narrative where my central character is haunted by a man’s death.

Here’s a short excerpt:

My vision for The Blue Bar came together when I learned the building had been a funeral parlour in the nineteenth century. Inspired by that fact, I chose a Victorian Gothic aesthetic with a muted, background colour scheme of black, silver and cream. I wanted the room to look like a fucked-up fairy tale, an antechamber in a palace of seductive dangers forever under threat of forest vines encroaching from outside. I think I achieved my goal.

The walls are cream satin with a faint shimmer of fleur-de-lys, and a sleek, stuffed crow in a tall, glass dome watches over events with black, unseeing eyes. A row of booths opposite the bar in dark oak and upholstered black leather are customised church pews, now reminiscent of open compartments on a macabre pleasure train. I like to imagine they once carried satanic day trippers to and fro along the blasted wastelands of an apocalyptic beach.

I don’t make a big deal of the fact the bar is housed in a former chapel of rest. Sometimes, however, people enquire about the architectural features. Paradoxically, perhaps, given its potential for historic morbidity, the chapel’s stained-glass windows provide a sense of respite and tranquility. They were my starting point when I conceived of the bar’s design. The main windows, at the head of an alcove with a wooden, barrel-vault ceiling, are actually casement doors opening onto a small ironwork balcony. Directly above the two wings of the glass door is a matching stained-glass semi-circle, and the combined effect is of a saintly arch. The glass is formed of small leaded panes, a tiling of coloured squares. Daylight shines through the delicate blues, lilacs and the pale sea-greens, creating a hazy island of beatific calm that would have once fallen onto a gleaming casket or pasty-faced corpse.

That pool of soft, subaquatic light inspired the actual bar, a cubed LED counter inset with blue luminosity. The combination of enchanted gothic and industrial minimalism could have clashed horribly. Instead, the counter seems to hover like an uncertain mirage, echoing the stained-glass balcony doors and complementing the weird magic of the place.

I’d hoped to create a sense of the bar being a hub leading to other worlds. My table tops are clear glass while the chairs are reproduction Rococo in black velour and silver. I have an oval vintage mirror framed in cream and fixed at a wonky angle. It’s a looking glass Snow White might have peered into after one gin gimlet too many. ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the drunkest of them all?


If you’d like to know more about Undone, please hop over to my blog for an excerpt, and check out the other stops on my Sexy September blog tour.

Kristina Lloyd writes erotic fiction about sexually submissive women who like it on the dark, dirty and dangerous side. Her novels are published by Black Lace and her short stories have appeared in dozens of anthologies, including several ‘best of’ collection, in both the UK and US. She lives in Brighton, England.

About Undone

When Lana Greenwood attends a glamorous house party she finds herself tempted into a ménage à trois. But the morning after brings more than just regrets over fulfilling a fantasy one night stand. One of the men she’s spent the night with is discovered dead in the swimming pool. Accident, suicide or murder, no one is sure and Lana doesn’t know where to turn. Can she trust Sol, the other man, an ex-New Yorker with a dirty smile and a deep desire to continue their kinky game?

Amazon UK paperback :: Amazon UK Kindle :: Amazon US Kindle :: Amazon CA paperback :: Amazon CA Kindle

Amaretto Sour

This cocktail story is one of many cocktail stories, you can find more here. We are all raising our glass in honor of the upcoming release of Kristina Lloyd’s latest novel Undone. It’s an all-day celebration kicking off a blog tour that will be stopping here as well.
I am so excited about this book! Kristina is a master of the genre. Her books have all the elements I love: they are sexy, dark and psychologically rich. I am constantly gifting her novels to friends…
And now my cocktail story, Kristina helped me to decide which cocktail I would go with…and I might raise an amaretto sour to Kristina later today…

“That is too sweet,” he said after she ordered her cocktail.
Kit pursed her lips, and swiveled around on her bar stool.
Too sweet was what she was going for: hair pulled up in a bun, pink vintage dress circa 1940 and a decadent cameo that grazed her impressive cleavage. When her amaretto sour was placed in front of her, she leaned toward the bartender.
“Extra cherries please,” she smiled softly, making eye contact so he would not be stingy.
He smiled back and dropped in two extra cherries, when his equally vintage-suited up and suspendered colleague dropped even more cherries into the drink.
“There you go honey,” she smiled, adjusting her bowtie. “They match your outfit!”
Kit smiled, and turned back to her date.
“You can’t be serious,” he said, his eyes moving below her cameo.
Taking a sip of her amaretto sour, she dipped her finger in the glass to pull out a cocktail-soaked cherry.
“Are you?”
He scoffed.
“You want the same thing I want. You want me to fuck the sweetness out of you…”
Kit wanted to slap him, but she did not want to create a scene in Prohibition. She figured she would have a nice drink with Thom, who she had been chatting with online and who was as into the retro lifestyle as she was. But from the moment he judged her drink, she was done.
He continued to talk about the filthy things she wanted him to do to her. She was not turned on in the least, discreetly ogling the gorgeous bartender who had put two more cherries in her drink. Jackson was on his nametag. She also smiled as Josephine’s nametag came into view, while she plucked at the cherries she had saved for last at the bottom of her drink.
“Would you like another honey?” Josephine asked.
Thom answered before Kit could.
“No, she wants a real drink this time. Give her a–”
“Yes, I would like another amaretto sour,” Kit added. “with extra cherries.”
“Are you serious? I have kind of had it with the sweet and innocent act Kitty–”
The second she heard Kitty, she snapped. Schoolgirl taunts about Hello Kitty were ressurected.
She got up.
“Where are you going Kitty?”
Thom’s voice grew distant as she walked into the bathroom, and sat in one of the plush pink lounge chairs. The door opened behind her, and she was afraid he had followed her in.
“Are you okay Kitty?”
Kit looked at Josephine who had followed her.
“It’s Kit. No one calls me Kitty.”
Josephine nodded and walked out. She returned holding an amaretto sour with a pyramid of cherries inside, presented on a Prohibition branded lace doily.
“He’s still out there, chatting up tonight’s hopeful conquest.”
Kit sipped the very sweet amaretto sour, letting her tongue swirl around the cherry pyramid.
“You are way too pretty for him anyway!”
Kit laughed, caressing her cotton candy pink stockinged leg.
“Thank you, it’s nice when us girls stick together!”
“Yeah, it is!”
Josephine was sexy in suspenders, a buttoned-up shirt, tailored pants and bowtie.
“How late are you working tonight?” she asked Josephine looking in the mirror to see her reflection.
“Why are you gonna wait for me?”
Kit blushed, which made her even pinker in her outfit.
Josephine stood up,
“Another amaretto sour doll? Extra cherries?”
“Do you want anything else doll?”
Kit stood up, she and Josephine were eye to eye in the bubble gum pink lounge.
“What did you have in mind?”
Josephine’s lips tasted like maraschino cherries, and her curves underneath Kit’s hands were equally as round and sweet. Pressed to the cushioned wall, Kit was sloppy wet between her legs. When Josephine pulled away, she chewed on her lower lip. Kit swooned from the amaretto sour and Josephine’s lips.
“Was that what you had in mind Kit?”
Kit grinned and pulled her close, running her hands over Josephine’s sinfully curvy behind.
“I have a show tonight otherwise I would have gone home with you.” Josephine whispered.
The two women exchanged numbers, and Josephine walked out of the ladies’ room. Kit had one final lingering look at Josephine’s backside until she reached the bar.
“There you are!”
It was Jackson the bartender. She walked over to the bar with a smile, confident her lipstick was not smudged.
“I needed to make this for you.” Kit looked at the champagne glass filled with cotton candy, that dissolved as Jackson poured champagne over it. “On the house for the pretty pink lady…”
She didn’t need another drink, but he had made it for her and she had wanted to have face time with him all night.
“Thank you,” she smiled, raising her glass.
“That guy you were with was really lame. With a girl looking as sweet as you do.”
“You’re making me all red.”
“No, I could but I haven’t. I am being the gentleman that creep was not. He left with another girl, and if it had not been her it would have been anyone.”
“He did not seem that way online, but in person…lame.”
“That cocktail sweet enough?”
“More than enough. Can I have extra cotton candy on the side?”
“You always want extra!” Jackson laughed handing her a ream of cotton candy.
She did not know how to eat it delicately, so sticky threads stuck to her cheeks. Jackson caressed her cheek softly.
“You are making it really hard for me to not make you turn red Kitty.”
“My friends call me Kit.”
“Does anyone call you Katherine?”
“You do.”
She stayed with him until the bar closed, eating lots more cotton candy.
His loosened tie and suspenders hanging over his hips while counting money was the sexiest thing through her cotton candy vision. Jackson closed the pouch with money, and turned to see her looking at him.
“Will you come see me again?” he stood in front of her, as she arched back against the counter.
“If you want me to.”
“I want..”
He licked cotton candy from around her mouth, and on her lips. Kit grabbed his suspenders to pull herself closer to him. He barely moved his lips from hers. Every time she thought they were done, another sweet kiss.
They exchanged numbers, as he walked her outside for a taxi. The Prohibtion taxis were pink, she crawled into one with leftover pink roses from the bar, cotton candy and a wet kiss from Jackson.
She closed the door on the tip of her cotton candy. Plucking that piece off, she realized it was the sweetest date night ever…