May 11th, 2021

Power, the Ocean, and “Changing Tides” #MFRWsteam

Welcome to the MFRW Steam Hop! While this is somehow my first time participating in it, the Steam Hop was conceived and initiated last year for MFRW (Marketing for Romance Writers) authors promoting fiction that tends to be rated, say, hard “R” and above. Since I write erotica, that definitely includes me! (Please note: That also means the below excerpt will be sexually explicit. Proceed—or not—as desired.) Led by Lisabet Sarai, the Steam Hop takes place on the second Tuesday of each month. Please check the list below to visit all the other authors participating this time around!

I’ve been recalling the ocean quite a bit lately, in part because it’s close to the time of year I’ve historically traveled with my family to southern Florida. Coronavirus precautions kept us from gathering this year, and I’ve missed getting to visit the ocean. “Changing Tides,” which is one of the four original stories from my latest collection Initiative: Tales of Erotic Boldness, was inspired by these annual seaside trips. Told from the point of view of Ray, an ambitious but recently disillusioned businessperson on the cusp of his fortieth birthday, “Changing Tides” details his introduction to Sabrina, a mysterious fifty-something widow, as he visits coastal Florida with his dog Jameison.

Here’s an excerpt:


“What scares you about the ocean?” Ray asked. He had a feeling he wouldn’t have asked during the day. The darkness seemed to lend itself to a lowering of inhibitions; the fact that they could barely see each other made the boldness of the question fall more easily off his tongue.

He sensed her hesitate. He had the feeling she didn’t hesitate often.

“Its power,” she finally said, barely loud enough for him to hear.

The words silenced him somehow. Turning, the three of them made their way back to the dark lanai. Sabrina had left the light off after dinner so they could look out at the stars without interruption. When they stepped back in, Jameison pranced through the open sliding door and made himself comfortable on the brown dog bed. Ray watched the dog settle and turned back to his host.

She had not sat back down but was leaning against the beam along the center of the screen wall, studying him with an expression both impassive and slightly more intense than she had offered up to that point. Like her answer on the beach, the look left him inexplicably speechless, as well as at a loss as to what it meant.

He was wondering whether he should speak when she reached up, her gaze never leaving his, and untied the halter straps behind her neck. Her sundress fell forward, exposing her bare breasts, which Ray’s eyes involuntarily dropped to. He couldn’t seem to make himself move as his gaze locked on the flesh he hadn’t, seconds before, experienced a wisp of an expectation of seeing.

When he tore his eyes away and raised them to hers, he was astonished by the stoicism they still displayed. It wasn’t that she hadn’t shown utter composure during the entire short time he had known her, but there had to be some place, some point, where the seamless neutrality of her movements was abandoned, didn’t there? Even in a moment of supposed passion, everything about her was inscrutable. It unnerved him slightly, the same way it had when he’d first introduced himself to her.

With minimal movement, Sabrina pushed the dress now gathered at her waist down over her hips. Ray’s mouth fell open a bit. She was naked underneath.

Despite his stupefaction, Ray was aware that his dick was as hard as he could ever remember its being, and arousal and self-consciousness collided inside him with an intensity that made him fumble like a teenager when Sabrina stepped forward and pulled his shirt off with rapid aplomb. Finally gathering the wherewithal to yank his shorts open, he was almost embarrassed by the obviousness of his arousal in the face of her collectedness.

Would she want to use a condom? He certainly didn’t have one. As if he had spoken out loud, Sabrina walked to a small shelf in the corner and opened a drawer. From it she extracted a small box of condoms.

“Do you generally keep condoms out on your lanai?” he couldn’t keep from asking.

“No. I picked them up today,” she said with the same matter-of-factness with which she’d first told him her name.

For some reason his cock surged at that. He’d had no idea she’d been interested. “And what made you put them out here?” he asked, curiosity getting the better of him again.

She shrugged in the darkness. “Just a feeling.”

They could have been talking about the weather. Ray’s cock was throbbing almost painfully, and her disconnectedness was almost distracting him away from it—but not quite. Despite the vulnerability their disproportionate need presented, he wanted her nonetheless.

The wanting made him move toward her, though his movements and even intentions were not premeditated. He didn’t know until he was doing it that he would drop to his knees in front of her, and he sensed rather than heard the intake of breath that indicated the movement had surprised her as much as it had him. Before she could collect herself, he moved forward and kissed the skin just above her labia. Her breathing seemed to suspend, and his own sped up. He shifted down and touched his tongue gently to her clit, and she fell back a little to lean against the large glass table.


Initiative: Tales of Erotic Boldness

From audacious proposals to first-time exploits to newfound inner confidence, taking initiative delves into the risqué in these thirteen smoldering tales. An accidental catalyst invokes a bold move in “Fulfillment,” while the brassiness in “Shift Change” belongs entirely to narrator Stacey. “Who’s on Top?” sees a meeting between fans of rival baseball teams turn into a game of chance and wits, and “The Beast Within” offers a present-day “Beauty and the Beast” rendition that puts a twist on ugliness, beauty, pain, and pleasure—and the surprising ways they can intertwine.

Sometimes brazen, sometimes subtle, the initiatives between these pages always showcase the erotic and how it can both inspire and evoke our most emboldened selves.

Thank you so much for visiting, and please do check out all the other steamy excerpts from my fellow Steam Hop authors via the list below!


5 Responses “Power, the Ocean, and “Changing Tides” #MFRWsteam”

  1. Hello, Emerald,

    Thanks for joining the Steam Hop!

    This is fascinating, mysterious and definitely erotic. One can’t help wondering what’s motivating her.

    Hope you’ll make the Steam Hop a regular ritual.

  2. Sadira Stone says:

    Glad to see you here! Very steamy indeed.

  3. Daryl Devore says:

    The first paragraph – about the darkness lowering inhibitions – so true.
    Wonderful excerpt.

  4. Great tease. I loved the build-up and his thoughts. As for her nonchalance, bravo. It really had him out of control!

  5. Emerald says:

    Thank you all for coming by and for your comments! It was lovely to be part of the Steam Hop this month.

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