September 26th, 2014

If… Then Is Here!!

I am thrilled beyond description to present my first solo book, If… Then: a collection of erotic romance stories, published by 1001 Nights Press.

IfThensite

When I first submitted the manuscript to the publisher, Sharazade, who is the founder of 1001 Nights Press, recommended splitting it into two books. While I was at first taken aback by the idea, having carefully written and compiled the collection as a whole, I quickly understood the reasoning behind her suggestion as I interpreted it. Thus, If… Then was born, a compilation of ten stories that comprised almost half of the original manuscript (I actually got to add back in a few previously published stories I had removed from the complete manuscript due to length). Eight of the stories in If… Then are previously published, including the two title stories, “If…” and “…Then,” a pair of sequel stories that respectively open and close the book.

The complete table of contents is as follows:

If… Then: a collection of erotic romance stories by Emerald

If…
Soft and Gray
Honey Changes Everything
The Plant on the Mantel
Relative Anonymity
Shattered Angels
Apple Blossoms
Rain Check
No Such Thing
…Then

The two original stories in the collection are “Soft and Gray” and “Shattered Angels.” I worked on “Shattered Angels” during a portion of the solo writing trip to Niagara Falls I took early last year. When the ever-lovely KD Grace invited me to be a guest on her blog last year, I talked about that trip and offered an excerpt of the (then unpublished) “Shattered Angels.” If you would like to read said post, please find it on KD’s blog here.

If… Then is available in both print and electronic forms, and I really don’t know if I could feel more excited about it. :) A huge shout-out of appreciation to my publisher, 1001 Nights Press, for publishing this collection and especially for working so hard to get the book out so in time for me to have it (in both print and e-book form) this weekend for Hot Mojave Knights in Las Vegas this weekend.

IfTheninprint

And for those keeping count, this does mean that yes, I will have another collection coming out soon with 1001 Nights Press. :) The dividing line for the manuscript was roughly into erotic romance and erotica stories: If… Then is the erotic romance compilation. The erotica one will be released later this year. More about that when the time comes!

For now, If… Then is on sale at the following retailers:

Amazon US (e-book and paperback)
Amazon UK (e-book and paperback)
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
iBooks
Kobo
Scribd

Thank you so much to everyone who has ever read, supported, and/or appreciated my work. I love you. :)

Love,
Emerald

EXCERPT:
I brushed my lips against his cheek as I stepped back.

“There, I’ll kiss you instead,” I said.

Hayden’s chuckle was barely audible. “That wasn’t a kiss.”

He moved forward, and his lips touched mine so lightly it was possible those behind him wouldn’t even know what was happening in the shadowy dusk around us. He backed up with the same silence with which he had stepped toward me.

My breath had seemed to disappear into the growing darkness.
-from “If…”

September 24th, 2014

Recommended Reading #216: Animals



      “9/11 Ground Zero search dog still lends a helping paw” by Laura T. Coffey (Non-Sex-Related, Humanity and Inspiration, 9/11, Dogs) 9/11/14

I cried pretty much all the way through this, finding it intensely, indescribably beautiful and moving.

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      “Losing My Healer & Protector Max” by Dr. Diane Poole Heller (Non-Sex-Related, Memoir, Dogs) 9/4/14

I found this a beautiful and heartbreaking tribute to a dog I once saw on DVD helping a client as Diane describes when I was attending one of Diane’s workshops a few years ago. Beautiful journey and all love to you, Max.

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      “Who Rescued Whom? Shelter Dogs and Prison Inmates Give Each Other a New ‘Leash’ on Life” by Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald (Non-Sex-Related, Dogs, Humanity and Inspiration) 9/3/14

Beautiful in so many ways.

***

Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

September 17th, 2014

Recommended Reading #215: Shifting Perpectives, Pt. V



      “Why The Questions We’re Asking About Sex Work Are Wrong” by Kate D’Adamo (Sex Work, Psychology, Labor, Sex and Culture) 9/9/14

I really appreciate Kate’s (appropriately and realistically, as I see it) nuanced and pragmatic approach in this piece. While I myself have tended to perceive more ideologically than pragmatically in general, in this context I certainly recognize great value in the pragmatism I interpret in this piece.

***

      “Iowa’s Family Values” by Steven W. Thrasher (Memoir, Marriage, LGBTQ Rights) 4/8/09

I don’t doubt I would find this a lovely piece anyway, but that it was about my home state made it particularly moving to me. I am aware of some political fallout in the state following this that was executed in a way I find appalling (as I understand it, basically the very conservative candidate that lost in the primary race for governor shortly thereafter then leveraged his campaign momentum and resources solely to oust the state Supreme Court judges whose votes had overturned the gay marriage ban…and succeeded :( ), but the state still did indeed overturn a ban on gay marriage, which is currently legally permissible in Iowa.

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      “Spanking Is Great for Sex” by Jillian Keenan (Youth, Sociology, Parenting) 9/17/14

I understand how very controversial this will undoubtedly seem. I also, however, agree with it. UPDATE: After I posted this, my attention was brought (through a series of tweets from the truly magnificent Alana Noel Voth to the author) to this response. Please consider it a Recommended Reading addendum!

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

September 14th, 2014

Kissing for Good—The Snog for Sommer Blog Tour

It is my privilege to participate in the Snog for Sommer blog tour event to help support author colleague Sommer Marsden and her family as Sommer’s husband battles cancer. The blog tour features more than 50 authors who have posted snippets of their work featuring kissing in order to encourage financial support for Sommer’s family in the midst of this immensely challenging time.

asnogforsommer-button

You may recall a few weeks ago when I posted about Summer Loving, the anthology created to financially benefit Sommer and her family. If you missed it, feel free to take a look at my post that explains in a bit more detail why so many of us in the erotica and erotic romance author communities are aspiring to help Sommer and her family at this time. (The post also includes buy links, so feel free to pick up your copy of Summer Loving both to benefit Sommer and to read some lovely flash erotica.)

To participate in the Snog for Sommer blog tour, authors are asked to post a kissing-related excerpt on their blogs today. As I announced yesterday (see post below!!) my first single-author short story collection, If…Then, should be coming out later this month. (I don’t have an exact release date and will be sure to update when I do!) As it happens, there are a few kissing scenes in it. I’ve chosen to excerpt one from one of the two stories in If…Then that are original to the collection/not previously published. The following excerpt is from “Soft and Gray”:

Fighting the urge to turn around and reenter that which was familiar to him, Aaron turned left and set off across the foyer, bypassing the sweeping staircase for the hallway that ran behind it. He had no idea where Kate would be. Most of his visits to the Buchanans’ house had been formal, without much wandering of the countless rooms of the mansion. But the chances were just as good he would run into Kate as either of her parents, and he could always excuse himself if the latter happened. Finding her was more important than politeness.

He quickened his pace, then stopped as he heard a noise. He crept forward, passing a full-length mirror on his right before he came upon the open doorway to the billiard room. Kate was there, quietly pulling a bottle from the wet bar. The glass clinked as the bottle brushed one of its neighbors.

She looked up as he entered. He couldn’t see her eyes. Minus the backlight of the bar, there were no lights on in the room. He couldn’t tell whether she felt anger at his parading around the house trying to find her or relief that he had done exactly that.

He stopped just inside the doorway. Before he realized what he was doing, his hand reached behind him and pushed the door closed. Kate’s shadow didn’t move. When he heard the faint latch, he slowly took a step forward and moved around the pool table toward her. She set her drink down. As he got closer, the smoothness of her skin took on a glow in the faint backlight.

Bethany’s piano playing started up again. Aaron continued forward and slipped his arm around Kate’s waist before he could see her gray eyes clearly. If they looked as they had the last time he’d seen them, he knew he wouldn’t have the nerve to touch her.

To Aaron it felt as if her body tried to stiffen but was receiving mixed signals somewhere inside. He pushed his mouth to hers, suddenly breathless with wanting her. Grabbing her with both arms, he twirled her around and lifted her in one movement to the pool table where she sat with her legs wrapped around his waist as he kissed her with a desperation he couldn’t remember ever feeling. It didn’t have to do with her body, with fucking her. It was just her. Or him. Or both, he couldn’t tell. He just knew that the very act of touching her was like an orgasm. Their clothes were all on, his hands touching only her waist, and he felt like he was coming—like something was climaxing in him that wasn’t sexual but felt just as powerful, as though he couldn’t bear to stop touching her.

Kate’s lips were kissing him back, but it felt like a moment out of time, like something beyond their actual lives that he couldn’t necessarily count on to mean what he wanted it to when it was over. He had seen her body overtake her before, when it was as though it borrowed time from her mind.

It didn’t mean it wouldn’t have to be paid back.

-from “Soft and Gray,” a story in If…Then, forthcoming from 1001 Nights Press

Thank you so much for coming by today, and please visit the Snog for Sommer blog tour page to find links to all the other participants, as well as a link at which to donate if you feel so moved. Namaste, and be well!

Love,
Emerald

“Maybe you’re losing pieces of your heart, you have a world but it stopped turning…spare your heart, save your soul…and hey, now, let’s recover your soul…”
-Elton John “Recover Your Soul”

September 13th, 2014

I’m Going to Have a Book of My Own!!

I have been honored and unspeakably excited over the last several years (good lord, almost ten now) to have a number of short stories published in various editors’ anthologies and at online magazines. I have not, however, ever published a book of my own.

That will change at the end of this month. In literally one of the most exciting things I have experienced in this lifetime, my single-author erotic romance short story collection, titled If…Then, will be published by 1001 Nights Press in late September—ideally just in time for Hot Mojave Knights!

AND THIS is the cover. I don’t know that I could have even conceived of one more beautiful or with which I would be more thrilled.

ITsite

I feel so much appreciation right now for the myriad ways so many people (so very many) have helped and supported me in the context of writing and multiple other ways. Thank you to Rachel Kramer Bussel, Alison Tyler, Violet Blue, Jolie du Pre, and Kristina Wright for choosing my work for your anthologies. Thank you to Cleis Press, Logical-Lust, Sensorotika, Mischief, Ravenous Romance, Excessica, and Sweetmeats Press (that one’s forthcoming!) for publishing those and other anthologies in which I appeared. Thank you to The Erotic Woman, the Good Vibrations blog, Erotica for All, and the now-defunct Oysters & Chocolate erotic and Ruthie’s Club for publishing my work online and to Susana Mayer and Monica Day for inviting me to be featured readers at their events. Thank you enormously to 1001 Nights Press for publishing my collected work in a book that has my name on the cover :) , and thank you to Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) for teaching me so much about marketing and offering access to so many resources I will now be needing to use (haha). And a heartfelt thanks definitely goes out to the many, many dear colleagues and friends (often the same thing) I have met in the erotica-writing community over the last near-decade. I appreciate you all so much.

I don’t have an exact release date and will post updates, undoubtedly, for…well, the indefinite future! ;)

Love,
Emerald

“‘Cause everybody has a dream, something they can barely see, and though my heart will break, there’s more that I could take, I could never let it be…”
-Weezer “Photograph”