Hi! 🙂 Is it too early to ask you about your new book, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year Vol. 4? Could you tell us a bit about your story?
Next month, my 20th anniversary with my husband is coming up. As my kids like to remind us (frequently, with the judgement only teenagers muster over their parent’s life choices), we have a little age gap. All things considered, a seven-year difference isn’t the world and hardly even counts as a contender in the age-gap romance category. But given my barely legal age of 18 when we married, I get why my kids find it gross. I would blow a gasket if one of them started seeing an older person at their current age. Continue Reading
When I discovered this gem, I wasn’t even looking for dark romance but for retellings of the Hades and Persephone myth. (Seems counter-intuitive, but I’ll go into that another time.)
A genderbent F/F dark romance retelling of Hades and Persephone? YES, PLEASE. I preordered Lianyu Tan’s debut novel, and friends, I was not disappointed!
Today, my answer to the question above would be different, but during my formative years, this little tale left a considerable impression. The baby kinkster in me was probably drawn to the powerful theme of punishment underlying it. Continue Reading
Alyssa Cole’s A Prince on Paper is the third full length novel in her Reluctant Royals series. I loved A Princess in Theory. I loved, loved, loved A Duke by Default. And I couldn’t wait for A Prince on Paper to come out. I preordered it the minute I finished A Duke by Default. Continue Reading
Without knowing, they had a vital influence on each other’s life, pushing them to pursue their passions, without ever even seeing each other. That’s the beauty of the internet right there! Without fandom and the friends I made through it, I wouldn’t be here writing either. Continue Reading
The Handmaiden transports the plot of Fingersmith from Victorian England to Korea in the 1930s under Japanese occupation. Despite this change in location and time, the movie follows the book’s plot closely — until it doesn’t. When reading, I wasn’t prepared for the big plot twist at the end of the first part of the book. The movie kept the three-act-structure of the book, and I knew what was coming. And yet, director Park took the twist and twisted it again so cleverly that I was as surprised as with the book.
I couldn’t think of anything at first. Probably the first sign that I’m pretty happy with my lot, broken and damaged as it might be. I asked my ogre: If you had three sexual wishes, what would you want?
His answer: “I have everything. What more could I want for? My wife already does everything I could come up with.” (Yup, that’s me.)
It’s the same for me.
So either we’re the most boring, unimaginative people this side of Eden, or we really are this happy. In which case: Yawn.
Yet, the truth is different. Yes, I can’t think of anything I could wish for (except to come for once, but I’m okay as is, too). But also: I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to find a genie with the power to grant me sexual wishes. I don’t want to, because I don’t dare to think about it. Let’s be real: I would want everything. Continue Reading
One of the things you should do if you have PCOS and want to live a little healthier: Cut the booze. Now, I’ve never been a frequent or heavy drinker. Still, this rule in my new health regimen fills me with a twinge of melancholy.
It’s not that I feel a bone-deep yearning to drink. In my bar, hardly touched bottles of alcoholic beverages linger. Whiskey, homemade quince liqueur, Tequila that traveled all the way from Mexico. Sweet wine from the vineyards hugging the sunny hills of the Emperor’s Seat at the foot of which I live. It’s Germany’s best area for wine, after all.
All that booze is there, and I never touch it. But there’s a difference between choosing not to touch it and not being allowed to. As long as there’s an option to self-medicate with a drink, there’s a reassurance in it. I could take a drink when the voices grow too loud. Depression has a way with words, and it’s vicious.
Sometimes the voice inside me insists that I’m an utter failure. That the words coming from my fingertips suck. That I write too little and will never get anywhere with it. The temptation to drown those thoughts grows stronger then, roaring. Just a little drink, a thimble full of Whiskey or Tequila, to get a buzz going and lower those pesky inhibitions. Those frothing doubts. Those that snarl Don’t even try it’s not worth it – you’re not worth it at me. One drink can’t hurt, right? Continue Reading
I have a lot of things on my mind lately concerning the struggle with my PCOS and Hashimoto’s, and I want 2019 to be the year I finally get better. My hope is that getting physically better will also help me to get better mentally and kick depression’s ass. However, I’m expecting a long and hard journey, and I’m only just at the beginning. Baby steps is what I’m telling myself.
What does this have to do with the Erotic Journal Challenge? Well, since striving for health is the most prominent thing in my life right now, it’s going to color my perspective of everything else. While I’m reminiscing about the past, my thoughts will inevitably bounce back to the present. This week’s prompt is Sex Ed, and there are some things I really wish I’d known earlier.
Maybe I wouldn’t be at this lowest point in my life health-wise if I had paid more attention in biology class in school. I was 18 when my gyn warned me about hormonal irregularities in my body for the first time. She wanted me to see an endocrinologist to check it out further. My menstrual cycle has always been irregular, which prompted her to take a closer look. But I, 18 and stupid, shrugged it off. I had other things on my mind. If I had been diagnosed with PCOS earlier, maybe I would have taken better care of my health. I got pregnant at age 20, and again at 21, with maybe 3 (irregular) periods in between, and I forgot all about hormonal imbalances amidst diapers and stubborn infants.
I should have paid more attention. But my “Sex Ed” came mostly from romance novels and concentrated more on the pleasure side than the functional side of things. At least, what was considered pleasure in 90s romance novels. The very first novel I bought myself, a Historical Gold Extra serial, contained a (in hindsight horrifying) rape scene. The heroine thinks she’s starting a position as a governess and the “hero” thinks she’s a sex worker sent to “teach” him sex. And when the heroine refuses him and “acts” like an inexperienced virgin, he takes it as an act meant to please him and proceeds regardless. Again and again. As you see, that scene left quite the impression, and I can still recall it vividly over 20 years later.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s been formative for my sexual fantasies as a pubescent girl or even till today, or if that was inside of me even before. Maybe it just gave me a nudge. Once, I had to ask my grandmother to open a belt I had fastened too tightly because I liked the pressure of it around me. I was hardly six. Ropes and games where someone would be tied up (preferably to a tree after having been caught in a round of Robber and Gendarme) fascinated me even before I could read. (It’s still a recurring theme in my writing today – just take a look at The Hunting Game. Go on, it’s free).
Sure, going to school in Germany, I knew the bolts and nuts of sex. Sex Ed is a recurring thing in school here, starting in elementary school. Plus, being a teen in the 90s, I had the BRAVO, a pop music magazine aimed at teens that also contained educational content about sexuality. Every German Millennial knows Dr. Sommer and their column in the BRAVO. However, they, too, concentrated more on the nuts and bolts and the importance of using condoms, waiting till you’re ready, making sure your partner really wants what you’re doing enthusiastically.
Maybe I had taken that first warning of my gyn more seriously if I had known more about the fundamental importance of our hormones. But I skipped the last, most in-depth Sex Ed unit in school. It coincided with a time when anything remotely sexual triggered me following an incident of sexual violence. I didn’t want to see naked bodies. I didn’t want to learn anything about those instruments of attack. I stayed away from biology class.
Ultimately, I don’t know if things would be any different today had I attended that class. I don’t know if I had learned what I should have known to realize the consequences of a little hormonal imbalance. Maybe I just should have listened more closely to my gyn. Maybe I was just young and brash and stupid, period. Still, whenever I think of the Sex Ed back in school, I think of that one phone call I made from the coin telephone underneath the stairs in the school’s auditorium, when I called off my appointment with the endocrinologist. And I wonder if my life would be different now.
Hi! Not too early at all! BWE 4 is coming out December 11 – that’s in four weeks! AAAaaaah I’m so excited!!!!
For a number of reasons, my story “Aftershock” is a very personal story, even though Tessa, the heroine, is quite different from myself (apart from the fact that we’re both German). Tessa is in a long distance relationship with Hector, a Mexican doctor, and arrives in Mexico for a visit just as the earthquake hits Mexico City in September 2017. Her flight is redirected, leaving her stranded far away from her lover in a country she doesn’t know and of which she doesn’t speak the language, and with no possibility to reach him. So what is she going to do? Take a flight home, like the airline offers, or embark on a risky journey to find Hector?
I’ve never been in a long distance relationship, and I don’t know what I would have done in Tessa’s situation. I’m too scared to board an airplane to begin with. So, why is this story so personal if pretty much everything is so different from my own life?
While I was writing Tessa’s story, my sister was living with me. She’s the most important person in my life, my person, to put it in Christina Yang’s words. She’s also a German woman married to a Mexican man, who just had her first baby in a long distance relationship. She lived with my family for three months, waiting to return to Mexico City with my baby niece. Tessa’s story was born one morning when we sat in the kitchen, remembering the fear and impotence we (both, but she more than I, of course) felt when the 2017 earthquake hit while she was an ocean away from her husband. And we laughed when she told me that he had slept through it, because his apartment building is built on different substrate and barely shook at all.
It’s weird to have personal stakes in a catastrophe happening on the other side of the world, and being unable to do ANYTHING – besides feeling guilty for also being glad you (and your person) weren’t there when it happened. But we wondered: what would my sister have done, had she arrived for the first time just as it happened? Mexico City Airport was closed and evacuated, flights were redirected. And when my sister visited her then boyfriend for the first time, she had nothing but a mobile number – and there was no cellular network directly after the earthquake, so how would she have reached him? And how would I reach my sister if another strong earthquake were to happen now, while she’s there? I hope I would be like Tessa, who finds the strength to go on a quest in search of her lover.
Tessa’s story is one of romantic love, but it’s not that different from the deep, absolute love I have for my sister. In the end, it’s love that offers us the strength to cross into the unknown, to take risks and get out to help the people who need us, and save the ones we can. “Aftershock” is such a personal story because I, too, would move heaven and earth to find my sister.
You can preorder Best Women’s Erotica of the Year Vol. 4 here:
https://www.bweoftheyear.com/bwe-of-the-year-4 (Universal buy links)
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