Where the Happily Ever Afters Are Always In Color

51vcMGTsdxL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Happy Monday! I am so pleased that Xan asked my wee little blog to be a stop on this amazing blog tour.

Show Yourself to Me: Queer Kink Erotica is a new anthology out now. Check out Xan’s fanastic thoughts on kink, consent and the power of finding your words. Then run out and get this anthology!

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The Spaces Between Desire and Action

By Xan West

I firmly believe that it is important to articulate desire. That there is value in naming, in speaking. Especially desire that has been silenced. To name is to create space to consider. To name is to share of yourself, to create intimacy. To name is to be more wholly you. And in naming you find potential comrades in desire, you find possibilities for action, you find out more about your desire.

We may choose not to act on our desires. Even if they are mutual. Even if the practical considerations can be resolved. Even if we are up for the potential impact and risks involved. We can choose something
else. There is a choice point here. Saying you yearn for something is not a commitment, is not saying you will do it, is not choosing to do it.

There are spaces between desire and action, between yearning and commitment, between naming what you wish for and deciding to go for it, between sharing a desire with someone and committing to act on it with them, between saying you want to do something and offering to do it.

Naming is an action. It’s not the same action as doing the thing or as committing to do it, or choosing to do it, but it is doing something. Naming desire for someone, for some action, for some possible future, is real. It is doing something, and it is powerful. Being witnessed in your desire is powerful. Sharing what you desire is powerful. Being told that someone desires you, or a particular thing with you, is powerful. Dreaming together about a potential future is powerful. Being met and seen in your desire with an expression of matching mutual desire is powerful.

Choosing to share that you desire something, someone, is an action that has substantial risk. It will likely transform the relationship. It is often a game changing choice—just to say it does something. And once said, it cannot be unsaid. So it has responsibility, and risk. It needs deep clarity. It needs care.

Saying it has movement in it, it is a vital and powerful step to the edge of the pathway. It is easy to not notice the choice point, or not believe there is one. To move from desire to action feels fluid. And naming desire, having that desire met with mutual matched desire, is a whole intense experience in and of itself, that can get you high and elide the choice altogether.

There is that moment, when you decide to explore mutual desire, to negotiate a BDSM scene, perhaps, when the negotiation is done, and you have mapped the places where desire is mutual and shared, named the boundaries of that, before you choose to act, before you are committed. It is a delicate thing to withdraw from, difficult and fraught, but I have done it. Have said, not now, not here, not up for that.

This is some of the hard stuff about consent. The layers and levels of it. The ways that taking steps toward something has momentum, and can rush you past the choice, so you are in it before you consciously choose it. And people may perceive that they are in it at different moments. For some, finding mutual matched desire means that you are going to act on it. For some, naming that you want something means you are choosing it. For some, articulating why something will not work is an invitation to solve those problems with it.

Because there are many that believe that saying you want it means you have chosen. That saying you

wish something could happen is asking for it. That there are no spaces, no choice points, between articulating desire and acting on it. So there is potential for people to assume you would not name unless you were choosing. There is potential for tremendous miscommunication here.

That is why I have written erotica stories that hold their breath at those choice points, let the reader sit in a moment of choice, and hold it. Sit in the choice to articulate desire. Sit in the moments of yes that get you that far. So that by the time you are in the visceral intensity of the edges these characters are riding, it feels deeply chosen. So that the reader notices the different moments of choice along the way, the ways that yes can be continual and part of the play. So that the reader has witnessed these characters pausing in various moments of choice, holding onto the spaces between desire and action.

Consent isn’t simple, and part of how I write about sex and desire and BDSM is to think about what consent looks like for these people, in this moment. How you find your yeses in the context of ongoing D/s relationship, and with a stranger, and in a new setting, and with new people now included. How you might sit in the moments of choice and take your time with them, even as desire is present. How holding the spaces between desire and action might serve the story, in so many ways. How reading stories that sit in those spaces might make just a little bit more room for your readers to hold onto their choices in their own moments.


 Xan West is the nom de plume of Corey Alexander, a recent transplant to Oakland from Brooklyn, who has been doing community kink education for over ten years. Xan has been published in over 35 erotica anthologies, including the Best S/M Erotica seriesthe Best Gay Erotica series, and the Best Lesbian Erotica series. Xan’s story “First Time Since,” won honorable mention for the 2008 National Leather Association John Preston Short Fiction Award. Xan’s work has been described by reviewers as “offering the erotica equivalent of happy ever after” and as “some of the best transgressive erotic fiction to come along in recent years.”

 

Xan refuses pronouns, twists barbed wire together with yearning, and tilts pain in many directions to catch the light. Xan adores vulnerable tops; strong, supportive bottoms; red meat; long winding conversations about power, privilege, and community; showtunes; and cool, dark, quiet rooms with comfortable beds. Find Xan’s thoughts about the praxis of sex, kink, queerness, power, and writing at xanwest.wordpress.com.

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 SO SWEET IS HERE!!!

09.29.2015

So sweet2OMG Dudes, it’s September 29 and SO SWEET has landed! PICK IT UP!!!!

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1P3YyH3

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1QJGYq4

iTunes and Nook are being butts so I suspect SO SWEET will be available on those platforms by the end of the week. Reviews are already going up and I can’t express how excited I was to wake up this morning to see how many people were already gobbling up Kayla and Michael’s story!

FullSizeRender(1)If you want to know what happens for them next, hit that SUBSCRIBE box on the right for updates from lil old me. I’m going to try to stay awake for the next few hours and then it’s time to pen the next adventure. XOXO!

 

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It’s Day 7! I can’t believe how fast this last week went by. SO SWEET hits shelves tomorrow and I thought I would share the playlist I created, the sweet sweet jams that fit perfectly with Kayla and Michael’s time together.  Have a listen!

SO SWEET PLAYLIST

Not Gon Cry – Mary J. Blige

Reflection – Fifth Harmony

Here – Alessia Cara

Excuse Me Miss – Jay-Z

Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

Sharp – Mack 10

Powerful – Major Lazer

Body Party – Ciara

When I Think Of You – Janet Jackson

Roni – Bobby Brown

Treasure – Bruno Mars

Cater To U – Destiny’s Child

If U Seek Amy – Britney Spears

Dance On Me – GoldLink

Gorillas – Bruno Mars

Misery Business – Paramore

Runaway With Me – Carly Rae Jepsen

And here’s a link to this handy list on Youtube for your listening pleasure. :)

Thank you for playing with me this week. Again, SO SWEET hits shelves tomorrow (Sept 29), but there’s still plenty of time to enter the mega SO SWEET giveaway over at EverAfter Romance. Get your buns over there and get you a book. For updates on SO RIGHT, the next chapter in Kayla and Michael’s love story, subscribe to my updates in the handy SUBSCRIBE box there on the right. —->

Later loves!

ps. Jon Hamm seemed to be the overwhelming favorite in the Pick-A-Michael. I like Hamm, but Clive… <3

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It’s Day 6! We’re in the home stretch. There is still time to get in on the mega giveaway of SO SWEET over at EverAfter Romance. When you’re done here, head on over and enter to win.

Today I’m talking about the big girls. I am a big girl. There are a lot of us big girls, so many that you’d think there would be more romance novels featuring big girls. I can’t seem to stop writing them At Her Feet, Blacker Than Blue, FIT and So Sweet all center around big girl heroines. Here are some more romance that show us big girls some much needed love. Some of these are also part of a series. :)

 

51FTvvRuE9L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Such A Pretty Face by Gabrielle Goldsby

When a girl gets dumped, she can cry…or get even.  Mia Sanchez is rocked when her partner of four years, Brenda Montalba, informs her that she has fallen out of love with her and plans to leave town for several months to give them time to “think about their future together.”

Mia hadn’t thought words could be more painful until Brenda followed up hers with, “You’ve really let yourself go over the last few years.” Alone, hurt, and embarrassed, Mia decides to take the advice of friend Mathew “Goody” Good, the self crowned Queen of Getting Dumped when he tells her, “The best way to get over them is to get even.”

A sexy, sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, contemporary romance that exposes the importance of looking beneath the surface for what truly matters.

 

512KFvhnkRL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_Taste For Temptation by Phyllis Bourne

No one dumps Brandi Collins! After being left at the altar, the Nashville high school teacher plans to get back at her ex by undergoing a major transformation. But how is she supposed to shed those extra pounds with that intoxicating aroma wafting into her condo? And the tempting smell of mouthwatering chocolate has nothing on the handsome hunk who’s creating the irresistible confections.

Adam Ellison has given up everything for his dream of winning the International Chocolate Pastry Competition. His voluptuous new neighbor knocking on his door at three in the morning is a distraction he doesn’t need! Now only one thing will satisfy Adam’s craving for Brandi. But what happens when she discovers her struggling pastry chef is really the heir to a multimillion-dollar corporate empire? Will Brandi still be there intoxicating him with her kisses…or will Adam lose his chance for a lifetime of love?

 

51k1WBAGzlL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_Dangerous Curves Ahead by Sugar Jamison

Ellis Garrett is dumping her critical boyfriend, opening a plus-size clothing store, and starting a blog–all to spread the word that fashion shouldn’t require a size-two body, and happiness should allow for the occasional cupcake. Or two. But is indulging fantasies about her sister’s long-ago ex, the still-hunky Michael Edwards, biting off more than she can chew?

Mike must be losing his detective’s touch. He doesn’t recognize Ellis when he bumps into her at Size Me Up, and he certainly doesn’t remember his ex-girlfriend’s outspoken sister being so irresistible. Her curves are indeed dangerous–and so is her wit. Could it be that Ellis is his Perfect Fit? One thing’s for sure: Mike will make it his sworn duty to find out…

 

51fjhbN1z2L._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_The Big Girl’s Guide To Buying Lingerie by Amie Stuart (Preorder)

“Redneck Casanova”
After a disastrous marital near-miss Jade Ballard retreats to San Antonio, cutting herself off from the world in general and more specifically her family’s country club lifestyle, which she no longer wants any part of. She takes comfort in food and eventually, the safety of an internet love affair.“Miss Snooty Pants”
Rowdy Yates is a semi-reformed womanizer who’s leery of long-term entanglements. Until Jade, he never seriously considered anything beyond a “Wife-For-A-Night.” After months of flirting on the internet the couple meets, only to discover they already know one another. Rowdy has always mistaken Jade’s shy reserved nature for snobbishness, and Jade has always viewed the woman-loving Rowdy as a Redneck Casanova.

But the months they spent getting to know one another formed an attraction neither can fight.​

Warning: This book contains cookie consumption, shopping, rants about bras, lost bras, stolen bras, a fake engagement, hawt sexy times, and a snooty plus-sized chick who falls hard for her Redneck Casanova.

 

51eBM8QbvLL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Hansel’s Bear by Yvette Hines

Hansel has always been a loner. A were-bear with a dark history he can’t shake. Evil men claimed his youth, ravaging it mercilessly. Now he can’t consider or think about a future until he rights every wrong.

Greta has worked hard at hiding a horrible memory behind her sweet smile. However, the day a male, she always tried to think of as a brother, comes blazing into Den County, he turns her life upside down and makes her face the past. When a mutual enemy returns, will it tear them apart once again?

Soon the time will come when Greta has to decide if she’s Were enough to be Hansel’s Bear.

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Hey party people! It’s Day 5. We’re almost there. It’ll be September 29th in no time. If you can’t wait that long I thought I’d recommend some other awesome romances that feature ultra-rich love interests. I’m new to the billionaire game as I’ve mentioned. These titles have given me the strength to know that I’ve done the right thing by breathing life into Michael Bradbury :) All of these books are parts of series or have character overlap with other stand-alones. You want these books. Get theses books.

 

TradeMeCoverTrade Me by Courtney Milan (Cyclone Series: Book 1)

Description: Tina Chen just wants a degree and a job, so her parents never have to worry about making rent again. She has no time for Blake Reynolds, the sexy billionaire who stands to inherit Cyclone Systems. But when he makes an offhand comment about what it means to be poor, she loses her cool and tells him he couldn’t last a month living her life.

To her shock, Blake offers her a trade: She’ll get his income, his house, his car. In exchange, he’ll work her hours and send money home to her family. No expectations; no future obligations.

But before long, they’re trading not just lives, but secrets, kisses, and heated nights together. No expectations might break Tina’s heart…but Blake’s secrets could ruin her life.

Trade Me is the first book in the Cyclone series.

 

4149lH66KeL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_THE BOSS by Abigail Barnette (The Boss: Book 1)

Sophie Scaife almost ran away once, trading her ticket to college for a ticket to Tokyo. But a delayed flight and a hot one-night stand with a stranger changed her mind, putting her firmly on track to a coveted position at a New York fashion magazine.

When the irresistible stranger from that one incredible night turns out to be her new boss – billionaire and publishing magnate Neil Elwood – Sophie can’t resist the chance to rekindle the spark between them… and the opportunity to explore her submissive side with the most Dominant man she’s ever known.

Neil is the only man who has ever understood Sophie’s need to submit in the bedroom, and the only man who has ever satisfied those desires. When their scorching, no-strings-attached sexual relationship becomes something more, Sophie must choose between her career and heart… or risk losing them both.

 

51sV5EshOmL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_A Gentleman In the Streets by Alisha Rai

Shameless. That’s what she was. Billionaire businesswoman Akira Mori can get anything and anyone her heart desires. Anyone, that is, except for a certain aloof author who has been dominating her dreams for over a decade. Accustomed to Jacob Campbell’s stern disapproval, Akira has turned provocation into an art, using every trick in her arsenal to keep the man from guessing the depth of her filthy fantasies. Shameless. That’s what she made him. Since the moment the sexy, sultry socialite sidled up to him years ago, there hasn’t been a time when Jacob didn’t crave Akira.

But as guardian to his younger siblings, responsibility has controlled his life. Confining his darkest desires to secret, stolen moments maintains his carefully disciplined world…but a cold bed is the price he pays. A single touch is all it takes for their simmering need to explode. As secrets and fears are stripped away one by one, shame becomes a thing of the past. They find themselves becoming addicted to each other, in bed and out—a frightening prospect for a man just learning to live…and a woman who thinks she doesn’t know how to love.

 

51lIuxMiKkL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_TANK by M. Malone (Blue-Collar Billionaires #1)

Tank Marshall has anger issues.  Years ago he swore off fighting but everything in his life lately is out of control. His mom’s cancer is back and the deadbeat dad he hasn’t seen in years is offering an inheritance in exchange for redemption. So he prowls the streets at night, looking for an outlet for the rage.

There’s only one person that keeps him anchored in the midst of the chaos. One person untouched by violence and money and lies. Emma Shaw.

But the one thing that Tank hasn’t learned yet is that when billions are at stake, there’s no such thing as innocent. Because the only woman he trusts is the last woman he should.  Money. Changes. Everything.

 

51QdBvtDfEL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_The Art of Catching A Greek Billionaire by Marian Tee (Greek Billionaire Romance Book 1)Once upon a time, there was an ordinary girl who grew up listening to bedtime stories where there were no knights in shining armor or Prince Charming. Instead, it had Greek billionaires and this little girl dreamt she’d one day have Her Own Greek Billionaire to live happily ever after with.

When this little girl grew up, she did what she could to make her dream come true. This is my story. I mean your story. I mean, Mairi Tanner’s story.

NOTE: Marian Tee also has a Dutch Billionaire series. Just read all of her billionaires.

 

There you have ‘em, 5 books to add to your pleasure reading pile. I’ll be back tomorrow with more :) . In the meantime, don’t forget to head over to EverAfter Romance to enter to win a copy of SO SWEET!

 

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This has been some week so far, let me tell you. I’m excited for you guys to get your hands on SO SWEET. Really excited. So excited I’m a little embarrassed, but not that much.

If you’re just joining us now on our sweet, sweet adventure be sure to check out the previous posts, including the mega giveaway going on over at EverAfter Romance.

Day 1: MEGA GIVEAWAY w/ EVERAFTER ROMANCE

Day 2: Apparently I Take Requests

Day 3: Meet Kayla!

Its Day 4. Let’s talk about Michael. Ugh, Michael.

Full Name: Michael Stephen Bradbury

Age: 49

Occupation: Internet Billionaire/Sugar Daddy

Current Residence: Malibu, CA

Home State: Michigan

Signature Features: Long flowing hair/Salt & Pepper Beard/Rocking Bod

I like Michael a whole lot. A LOT. If you’ve read the Fit Trilogy* I like to think of Michael as a mix between Grant and Daniel with a splash of Armando, with a little something extra. He’s more serious than my previous heroes and heroines, but that’s just who he is. I was reluctant to write a billionaire. I’m weird about wealth and where is comes from, but Michael’s a made man who earned his money though the Internets so we’re cool. Michael also wanted to be a complete pain in my ass and appear in my head as about 5 different people. I’ll give you the walking tour of what Michael, probably looks like. Please tell me in the comments which Michael you like best.

But first let this be a lesson to you authors out there. Hot buff guys with long hair AND beards are a bitch to find on stock image sites.

He started as beardo’d Jon Hamm, but TL was a little meh on that.

769db69452b62e3e4f8184d8c5a3de0eThen Joe Manganiello came out with this real hot GQ spread so I was thinking Joe, but TL was even more meh on that.

Joe Manganiello GQ UK 01

And then I was thinking of Clive Standen from Vikings cause I mean hot bod, beard and look at that hair.

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And then I found this dude. I don’t know who he is, but who cares.

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And then I found model Lasse Larsen like 5 minutes before I started typing this post.

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I think Lasse might actually be our winner. Either way now I think you all have enough imagination material to form your own interpretation of Michael, my serious sweetie pie. Again, I’d love to hear which Michael is your favorite.

*If you haven’t read the FIT Trilogy I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. :)

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Hey guys! If you’re just joining us now on Day 3, be sure to check out the previous posts.

Day 1: MEGA GIVEAWAY w/ EVERAFTER ROMANCE

Day 2: Apparently I Take Requests

Today I wanted to introduce you guys to Kayla Davis, my leading lady.

Danielle-Brooks-Real-Life

Full Name: Kayla Renee Davis

Age: 24

Occupation: Unemployed/Nearly Broke/Sugar Baby-in-Training

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Home State: North Carolina

Signature Features: To Die-For Dimples and That Ass

TL and I were talking and we knew right away that Kayla had to be a gorgeous black girl, because DUH! And I am always for more plus-size heroines. Immediately Danielle Brooks of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK fame came to mind. They do a great job of dressing down the ladies of Litchfield, but even from episode one Danielle’s dimples and smile were pretty hard to ignore. I MEAN LOOK AT HER!

MV5BMTQ0ODc3NjQ3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODIxODIwMTE@._V1_UY317_CR146,0,214,317_AL_And on top of all this Danielle can sing. In real life she’s only a year old than Kayla, but a Southern girl as well and just too cute to boot. Tomorrow you’ll get a chance to meet Michael, the man who makes her heart go pit-pat. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

 

 

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SoSweetBannerHey Ya’ll! It’s Day 2 of this So Sweetness. If you missed Day 1, head on over to EverAfter Romance and enter to win 1 of 7 copies of SO SWEET.

Okay, so I have confession to make. SO SWEET was never meant to be. I know, shocking. I’m shocked too. I never planned to write this little novella and I certainly never planned for it to give birth to at least 3 more books in the same universe. But it happened and I’ll never take it back. Let me tell you how it all went down.

I finished up SOUL TO KEEP then skipped off to RWANationals.2015 for some fun in the big city. When I got back I planned to write a full length novel to woo some agents with. It’s time for me to do some agent wooing you see. I like to pretend I have a writing schedule I stick to, but I don’t. Typically I finish a book, binge watching like five shows on Netflix and Hulu then figure out what I’m going to write next.

But one night I was talking to my cover artist, TL. We were joking about the usually things; our significant others, the kind of fart jokes only ladies tell, how to get away with neon hair in the workplace. I had a Christmas story in mind down the road and a few other things that came up in our conversation too.

Then T asked me oh so sweetly if I could write a May-December romance for her. Friends have gotten me started on my writing path plenty of times before. The Fling started off as a silly conversation between me, my bestie and her trainer. And then you really have to think about how TL blessed me with those ab-o-licious covers for the FIT Trilogy. Writing a little something for her seemed like a no brainer and then my imagination took over. Of course the older man had to be a sugar daddy and of course the younger girl had to be too cute for words, and plus-size cause that’s how I do. Next thing I know, Kayla and Michael aren’t done with each other after one story, noooooo they need two more. And they’re gonna get them.

That’s my confession. I’d never planned for this. TL asked for it and then she gave me this amazing cover because she’s amazing and she knows a thing or two about covers. Come back tomorrow and I’ll give you a properly introduce you my leading lady, Kayla Davis. :D

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It’s Tuesday!

It’s Sept 22!

It’s day 1 of 7 Days of So Sweet!

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What does this all mean you ask? It means for the next 7 days, leading up to the Sept 29 release of the first Sugar Baby Novella, SO SWEET, I’ll be giveaway books, sharing little tidbits of trivia and maybe even the best book-related playlist you’ve ever heard.

So what’s first? Well, head on over to EVERAFTER ROMANCE where 7, THAT’S RIGHT, SEVEN copies of So Sweet are up for grabs. Tell your mama. Tell your friends. :D

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SoSweetBannerI HOPE YOU GUYS ARE READY!

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