COMING TO TERMS
An anthology of short stories written by some of your favorite authors!
FROM Lazy Day Publishing
Publication: May 2013
Blurb for COMING TO TERMS
Summer means more than fun and sun, rest and relaxation. For the couples in Coming to Terms, vacation presents a chance to connect, and work through important issues in their domestic discipline relationships. From endeavoring to define DD to missing a DD partner to balancing erotic spanking and disciplinary spanking, these stand-alone stories penned by seven authors of spanking fiction cover a broad spectrum of issues commonly encountered in loving DD relationships. Will the obstacles prove too difficult to overcome? Or will each couple emerge from vacation with their relationships revitalized and stronger than ever?
OUR WONDERFUL CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS:
I AM HONORED to be part of this wonderful anthology published by Lazy Day! My short story, titled Days With You, begins with Diana Kenyon-Rios, from The Point of it All, arriving in Chile for the Christmas holidays--her first after losing Val. As she prepares to celebrate the holidays in Val's home country, she reminisces on her short but wonderful relationship and marriage to Val, and how she tried to come to terms with his...way. Not exactly a DD lifestyle in the truest sense, but let's face it--Val liked to spank an ass. Why? And why did Diana allow it? Did she benefit? Did he? Did it define their life, or did it take up a small, but not insignificant part of their relationship?
And as Diana attempts to reconcile his death with the life she must lead now, something keeps her from fully accepting that he is gone. She feels him in her bones so deeply, it is as if he is still alive Through intimate talks with friends and reminiscences, she finds a way to hold on to the greatest love she will ever know.
But will her dreams be enough?
“Val, I have to check my schedule. I’ll come if I can.” She holds the back of her hand against his smooth face. His hair has been freshly cut in a style she loves on him. The cream-colored sweater he wears over faded blue jeans is one of her favorite looks on him—casual, yet elegantly understated. His blue eyes pierce her with longing. God, how she loves this man. He is everything she ever dreamed she wanted. She smiles to herself at the notion of loving him this way, this much, a year ago when she was in Mexico and he’d been hired to rescue her. She didn’t care much for his macho, highhanded ways back then, but she has learned to appreciate most of his ways now. He is sexy and romantic and no-nonsense, and he loves her beyond reason, and she knows it. He had been hard on her during their short time together in Mexico, then after, as they settled into a life together. That has not changed much. She has had to reconcile herself to life with a man who sees nothing wrong with putting her over his knee for a spanking when he feels she needs it—and since their reconciliation in San Diego, at Basil and Genoveva’s wedding, he apparently feels she needs it often. Most of the time it is playful and sexy, but a couple of times the sessions have been anything but. He is protective and very clear about safety issues, given what he did for a living, and as his wife, as he so chauvinistically put it, she would place her safety and health at the top of her priorities, or she would suffer the consequences. She does not test him on safety issues, but she has defied him and played the shrew enough times to know what those actions cost.
OK, so I finally did it. I read 50 Shades of Grey.
I began the book expecting not to like it, based on only what I heard, and nothing more. I felt that if I was going to comment on it, at least I should read it.
50 Shades reminds me of a song that starts just above or below pitch, and the singer never quite finds his/her way. Beautiful moments in between make you forget momentarily that something is...not right, but the overall feeling at the end is a letdown. I liked the story more than I thought I would, but big problems with the theme and the writing somewhat overshadowed what, with some major editing, could have been a very good romance.
I want to begin with the idea that this is erotica and that, thanks to this book, the genre has been given new life, and that Minnie in the Midwest will soon be picking up Alta, Maren, Alison, Carolyn, et al. Uh...no. 50 Shades of Grey is not erotica. I write erotica, and to write it well, you need variety. The sex is the same every time, and it is quite vanilla. She runs her fingers through his hair--every time. He pulls her hair back so she can look at him--every time. The coupling is the same--every time. To write erotica well you need visuals, you need feelings, you need to make your reader tingle and tighten right along with her, or him. The reader of 50 Shades learns that when turned on, those tingles reached Ana all the way ‘down there’ (italics are the author’s, not mine). For some reason, the author felt that having Ana’s ‘inner goddess’ and her ‘subconscious’ rear their clueless heads throughout the book in lieu of learning Ana’s true feelings was the best route. In fact, I believe the author was hiding behind these props because the idea of writing pussy, clit, cunt and cock was undoable for her. And, I’m sorry. In erotica, this language is essential—otherwise, it’s romance.
Sadly, the reader is not treated to what Ana is feeling during all the generic-same-sex, during which she climaxes every time (congratulations) in the exact same way. The author did not feel obligated in any way to switch things up, make each scene a bit different, maybe introduce some oral sex, some anal play—something else besides inserting tab A into slot B. From the kink standpoint, the scenes in the Red Room of Pain (silly) were too quick and, frankly, very dull and generic for those familiar with BDSM. The author breezed through the scenes (only 3) so quickly that the reader doesn't have time to get into the scene. It all just got glossed over somehow, in favor of the romance and the psychological twist that is Christian Grey. The book would have been so much better if we could have seen how twisted Christian was, instead of being told.
Christian as a true Dominant becomes a hard sell once he threatens to spank her and then does not follow through. For fans of erotica, BDSM and spanking in particular, this was incredibly unsatisfying. For me, from that first error in judgment, the book becomes a formulaic romance with (gasp) a troubled, tortured hero and the seemingly normal woman who tries to save him. Nothing unique here. The author's unfamiliarity and obvious discomfort with a subject matter like BDSM was evident in so many ways; the most glaring to me was the heroine, Ana's, reference to a spanking Christian gave her as 'hitting'. A Dom would immediately correct her on that, pointing out the cavernous difference between hitting and spanking, yet Christian used the term 'hitting' himself toward the end when he punished her for some transgression. For a Dom to say, 'I am going to hit you...' is so wrong, that the only conclusion I could come to is that the author did not do her research—or she did, and it made her uncomfortable. So, then don’t write BDSM erotica. Write romance. But, for God’s sake (and ours), get it right.
Now I’ll move on to the biggest disappointment about 50 Shades, and that is the writing. The author has not met an adverb or an adjective she doesn’t love, and so as not to play favorites, she uses them all with equal vigor, which takes the reader immediately out of the story. ‘Greatly relieved’ (is there any other kind?), ‘blond woman smiles pleasantly…’ (is there ever a smile that is unpleasant?) These are juvenile mistakes that I hope the good editors at Vintage will correct. The other habit the author must be broken of under threat of a good 'hitting', is her references to her ‘inner goddess’ and her ‘subconscious’. It’s irritating by the third reference, and downright cringe-worthy by the 333rd. The author also filled a lot of page space by the innumerable ‘oh my’s, ‘holy cow’s, and the constant reminder to the reader that Christian was good-looking and that Ana was into him. Take all the above out and you have a novella, but a good one. Oh, and it’s OK to be British in Seattle. Both characters are so obviously British; so introduce them as British. To NOT acknowledge that, yet pepper the book with so much Brit-speak, AGAIN, takes the reader out of the story.
I could go on and on, but what’s the point? This book now has over 1,000 reviews, and I’m saying the same things many others are saying. That this is the book that is getting wives back into bed with their husbands is wonderful, but somewhat surprising, given the very generic subject matter and the immature writing style. I have to say that I would re-read after Vintage gets hold of it, just to see what changes they make. It will be interesting to see what the motivation was for Vintage to pick this book up. Was it to produce a better book and promote a somewhat promising author, or was it to ride on the back of a horse that has already crossed the finish line? We shall see.
Judith Krantz is the kind of writer you just don't see anymore. When I first read I'll Take Manhattan in the 80's, I read it as a reader. It took me away to places I'd never been before: Monte Carlo, New York, a drafty castle in Scotland. It immersed me in a life I knew nothing about: publishing, extreme wealth, bitter siblings who would stop at nothing to destroy others. Exciting stuff.
This time around, I read ITM as a writer. Judith write with a flair rarely seen in romances anymore. She can, and does, go on for pages and pages about how someone is feeling, in eclectic prose that belie the character's truth. I saw a different Maxi this time around. I saw a different Rocco. Lily was not the woman I remember from 20 years ago. I saw situations that seemed so outrageous that, if written today, would have quite possibly been slashed to bits by any editor with even a fool's concept of what sells.
Yet, somehow, Judith Krantz still remains belle of the ball in this genre. Maybe it's because, when all is said and done, we read romance to escape. It doesn't have to be real, doesn't have to ring entirely true to be entertaining. Sometimes real is...well, TOO real, and sometimes we need a break from it. Sometimes reading about the heroine who has been raped and abused and unable to love again, and the hero who follows her around for 365 pages trying to change her mind, can be trying at best--no matter how good the writing, no matter how wonderful the characters. That's when we return to Judith, who takes us on journeys to foreign lands with spoiled, rich women who trudge through their trials, get burned, get up and dust themselves off, and realize in the end what is truly important--love. The alphas, the brutes, the rakes and the swindlers she tosses in just for fun are the icing on an already very rich cake.
I'll take Judith Krantz. Any day.
Jade Cary writes Romantica and Romantic Suspense, on the rocks with a twist. Bottoms up!
SITES I DIG
A FADED ROMANTIC
ALTA HENSLEY, ROMANCE AUTHOR
ART OF AUTHORITY
BASIA ROSE, AUTHOR
BLACK VELVET SEDUCTIONS
BOTTOMS UP BOOK REVIEWS
CARA BRISTOL, AUTHOR
CDD FOR LIFE/PATTY DEVLIN
CELESTE JONES, AUTHOR
THE DISCIPLINED FEMINIST
EMMA K. GARDNER, AUTHOR
FREDDY AND EDDY - A WEBSITE OF ALL COUPLES
THE HAND OF LOVE
HEART AND SOUL
THE IMPROVED CHAUVINIST
KARLA DOYLE, AUTHOR
KOREY MAE JOHNSON, AUTHOR
LAZY DAY PUBLISHING
MY BOTTOM SMARTS
RENEE ROSE, AUTHOR
SADEY QUINN, AUTHOR
SARADORA'S SPANKING FICTION
SUE LYNDON, AUTHOR
TROLLOP WITH A LAPTOP