I have a question, but you’ll have to read down a ways to reach it. If I weren’t long-winded, all of my novels would be memos.
I love to read and write about specific places. To me, setting–when done correctly–is a major story element. I’ve written two historical romances for Echelon Press set in Louisiana that couldn’t have been set anywhere else (Just Kiss Me and Bayou Rhapsody). Something about living with the humidity, mosquitoes, and marsh gives people a different sense of humor. Ah, wait…perhaps it’s the effect setting has on characters that makes it interesting, or maybe it’s the kind of characters you find in certain places that does it. In Carve in Stone, the fact that Lizabeth grew up in the South defines her every move, and makes Jeremy initially despise her. Of course, he finally comes around, if you'll pardon the pun.
Another aspect of writing on the Gulf Coast is the hurricanes. Having lived through a few, I can't help but write about them. The fear and excitement tends to draw people together.
I’m currently reading the first Guido Brunetti mystery by Donna Leon, and enjoying the descriptions of Venice. But it’s more than just description. The author inserts the flavor of Venice into her writing. Without Venetian society and government, Guido’s life would be too easy and probably boring. Instead, we share his frustrations and revel in his joys. And speaking of Louisiana (we were, remember?), if you haven’t read any of James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux books, you’re missing the most amazingly accurate portrayal of southeast Louisiana ever written. He even gets the dialect right, him. (Sorry– that’s my Cajun heritage sneaking out.)
I promised a question, and I have one (or two). Do you have a favorite setting? Or do you like variety when you read? Are you sold on small town life with all its ups and downs, or is it the big city for you? Is there one setting you’d love to read about that you never have? I’d appreciate your feedback. I don’t know where my next book will be set. Well, except that one story will be on another planet–I’ve never done that before. I’m hoping someone will give me a new place to consider so I can start planning a vacation.
Happy reading to you all! I hope your summer is off to an extraordinarily spicy start.
It was bitter cold that November night, and honestly, I was hesitant. Toy parties? I was a little skeptical. Not that I didn't love toys…whether single or in a relationship, I'd always found them fun and interesting and a healthy part of one's sexuality. The thing was, I was used to shopping for them alone or with my partner. The idea of being with other people—strangers, no less—for such a party was a little embarrassing. So when I pulled into the driveway of an acquaintance's house and saw a few of my friends already mixing with some ladies I hadn't met yet, I took a deep breath and sat in the car for a minute before heading inside.
Typical of ladies who entertain, there was plenty of wine, tea, and fancy little snacks on dainty china platters. We introduced ourselves and began to get to get to know each other in the dining room before our hostess ushered us into the living room for the presentation. Products were out, displayed in much the same fashion as the merchandise I'd seen displayed at other parties that sold plastic dishes or stone baking pans. But this, my friends, was anything but typical.
We were all nervous at first, I think. And that might have actually helped us get over any bits of shyness, knowing most of us felt the same way. Nervous giggling was about all we heard as our presenter talked for the first ten minutes. Then, products began to get passed around. We got to taste things, try things, and touch all the goodies as they got went around the room. Soon, we'd all loosened up and were like old friends, joking and laughing…because hey, if you can't joke around when you have a vibrator in your hand in a room full of people, then when CAN you joke around?
I think what I'll always remember about the night, besides the one discussion that was deliciously scientific about pheromones, is how it was ok to just be myself there. To feel comfortable not only with the friends I came with but with strangers who were just like me: remarkably average and just a little bit unsure. To know that other folks in my very small town had private lives and were brave enough to celebrate them with a group of like-minded women. Even better, being able to have these kinds of conversations with the friends I went with opened up a course of dialogue that we are still able to continue today. And strengthening friendships, no matter where, is always worth it.
When I was first told that my blog topic this week was "Toys", I actually laughed in delight. My mind started churning with possibilities -where do I go with this? And then I hit the wall. Where DO I go with this? How rhapsodic can I wax about a vibrating dildo that hasn't already been, well, done? I'm not keen on flavored oils (they give me a stomach ache) and even though I find them intriguing, my husband and favorite research partner would not bother with candy pants unless they were made of chocolate actually molded onto me. Ahem.
When in doubt, do research. I have pored over toy catalogs, checking out glossy pictures of everything from toy whips to stimulating gels, masks to exotic costumes, and while I giggled over some of the displays, they really didn't get me all tingly. Well, not enough to make a difference!
That's about when I realized I'm actually a pretty basic person. I don't need hot wax or costumes. I don't need thirty candles blazing away in front of the mirror. I'm a simple gal - I like silk neckties. (For more on the feel of a good silk necktie, check out my story School Ties at Erotique Press http://www.erotiquepress.com/direct/buy-erp-al-st.htm
I also really like whipped cream. Mmmm. Are you beginning to catch my drift?
So maybe actual toys aren't my cup of tea. Or path to passion. As a writer, though, I will admit a weakness for books. Books with titles like The Joy of Sex, How to Please a Man/Woman, 101 Nights of Pleasure. Nothing like a little light reading to get the juices flowing.
And lately I've been noticing the advent of board games. Kind of like Monopoly for the bedroom. Some of the little squares you can land on -oooooh. Suggestions to nibble this, or stroke that, massage a little, or squeeze and tweak a lot. What a delightful thought! Throw a couple of neckties and a dollop of whipped cream into the mix, and I'm a happy camper!
Um, speaking of camping... Have you ever considered what you can do with bungee cords and four tent stakes?
My newest story, Bedroom Tiger, will be available at Erotique Press! Can I say, Coming Soon???
I had to ask myself whatever do I know that I could relate to you about "Sex Toys?" Well certainly by and away the very best one I know of - is the picture above. There can be no better stimulation than a man with a body that knows how to use it. (well, in my case anyway, not accounting for other partner preferences)
That doesn't make me right and you wrong if you chose otherwise - while I realize some may not have a partner at all for whatever reason, there are plenty of diversions that you may purchase at any store with adult toys. Some quite amusing, others interesting and probably worth exploring. There always are the parties (similar to tupperware parties) you may be familiar with that are simply for purchasing toys to suit everyone's tastes)
The essence of passion is what your mind wraps around whatever toy you prefer. For instance, would you believe that cooking spaghetti sauce could influence your passion and bring life to your romance? Your passion? Rush over to Erotique Press and grab a copy of Valentine Express and you may think differently.
If you want to delve into the realm of Sex Toys - check out Dark Knight - where Cricket takes you on a tour of the many ways to enjoy, experiment and crank up and experience your passion renewed.
I have begun a new story - how creating a meal that can cook up a passion surpassed by anything else you do - You may see excerpts of Christmas Cioppino in earlier posts on this blog - keep your eyes open for it - guaranteed it will wet your appetite for more than good Seafood.
Twitter has become a part of our daily routine here at Erotique Press, and through this wonderful social networking tool, we get to meet all sorts of fun, interesting folks. One of my favorite Twitter people to follow is Bill Turner, Research Analyst for sextoys.com. His posts are witty, and I love the links he posts to the company blog, which is both sexy and educational. So as our blog begins a week-long discussion about toys, I thought Bill would be a great person to interview to kick off the fun! Here's what he had to say.
Erotique Press: How would you summarize your company philosophy?
Sextoys.com: Sextoys.com is committed to promoting sexual health and well being through the addition of sex toys to people's sexual repertoires. In simpler English, we want people to enjoy healthy, fun sensual time with toys that can improve the fun that they have. We spend time researching toys and aspects of sexual health to pass along information people can use to improve their experience.
A big part of what we do is dedicated to education. We provide helpful information on our blog, in Google Knowledge and in other forums around the internet. We are currently working on bringing a complete Guide to Sex Toys to our main website, with question and answer options for users. We believe that providing information to consumers is central to what we do, and are committed to giving people all information, good and bad.
EP: How do you cater to female clients? Male clients? New clients who may not have much experience purchasing items?
STC: In many cases, we don't make distinctions. For instance, a toy designed for anal play can be used by either gender. A vibrator that stimulates a clitoris could just as easily be used for perineum massages. That said, we try to separate some products using sex toys for men and sex toys for women categories. We also have a category for couples, highlighting products that would be great for partnered play time.
We try to be balanced in our information as well. We present information relevant to women, men and couples. In fact, one of our most read blog posts relates to improving male orgasm, without the use of chemical supplements. Our research staff, experts team and blog team are diverse and specialized. We all work to find information that is useful to the widest range of people.
We do love beginners. Beginners are the people who can have the MOST fun with the right information. Many people grew up in a world where sex toys were relegated to shops in the parts of town that were considered taboo. Now, you can buy a vibrator at a local drug store in many cases. Society has come a long way toward understanding that these products aren't about porn, but sexual health.
We have an entire category set up for beginners, and we provide an Ask An Expert link on our site, which allows people to anonymously ask anything they want to know. This allows people to ask questions they may think "sound dumb," but we find that many questions are absolutely cogent and are the types of questions that save people from making bad mistakes. In the near future, we'll have our 24/7 telephone support group live, so users can pick up the phone and ask a question on the spot.
Our goal is to have every customer, regardless of gender or experience level, completely comfortable with their toy selection and equipped with the information to get the most from their play.
EP: What is your best selling item?
STC: That's actually a hard one. We have a best seller list that reflects best sellers over the last year, but as new items get hot, those become temporary best sellers. In terms of sheer volume, the Waterproof Jack Rabbit is the best. Because we sell it in 3 different styles, they all land in the top 5. If you add their numbers together, they are far and away the highest selling toy on our site.
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Sex and the City…
EP: What would you recommend as a "starter" novelty?
STC: I strongly recommend a finger, a hand, or a partner's finger, hand or tongue. People laugh when I say that, but the fact is that knowing what sensation stimulates you, and where, is nine tenths of the work in choosing the right sex toy. It is useless to buy a clitoral stimulator, if you feel the most intense pleasure from G-spot stimulation and vice versa. And I could go on with examples demonstrating this, but I think the point is clear.
We carry a complete line of toys for beginners, and we also have many vibrators and dildos that are great for beginners. I always suggest starting with a simple toy, learning what feels great and working from there. And if any beginners are reading this, I strongly urge you to get into the habit of purchasing and using silicone, glass and hard plastic toys. These are the most hygienic, easy to clean and safest toys on the market. They are also usually the highest quality, so while you may pay more in the beginning, you'll spend a great deal less replacing broken or worn out toys.
EP: What was the most interesting/funny experience you've had related to your job?
STC: For funny, you can read all about my toy testing adventures in the blog. I once accidentally shot a masturbator quite a distance. Interesting would have to be the research. I am constantly learning new information. And applying the information to an educational context is challenging and fun. I work hard to get the details a consumer would want, and then pass them along to help people with their decision making.
EP: Please discuss the Sunday Sex Toy Review on your blog.
STC: Well, I wouldn't call it a religious experience, but some might! The Sunday Sex Toy Review is a sex positive, variety features collection of posts. We've interviewed Metis Black of Tantus, Shaye Saldana of LELO, Desiree Duffie of Topco Sales and Keith Caggiano of Screaming O, Ginger Leigh does her Sunday Wishes (and on April 12, she announced her $1,000 Sex toy wish list giveaway), and we feature useful information on toys, sexuality and news.
We have fun with the Review and readers give us great feedback on it. If it continues to grow, it might eventually become its own entity, separate from the blog. We have great interviews upcoming with sex toy experts and sexologists, so check it out each Sunday. You never know what you'll learn or who you'll discover.
Part 3 Bonita turned on the television to relieve her seeming obsession with sex. What was with her today? Bradley certainly had satisfied her last night, and yet it only made her hunger for more.
The news broadcaster was adding background voice to the picture on the screen. A capsized fishing boat, Coast Guard life boats and crews battling waves to reach swimmers bobbing like buoys on the frigid dark, ominous water illuminated only by floodlights from the Coast Guard and the television news crews.
Bonita’s heart sank as she became wrapped in the adventure unfolding on the screen. “This was the scene two hours ago as the Coast Guard received a nine one one call. Pirates had once again…”
Bonita’s mind went blank as a piece of wreckage floated into view. The camera drew in, a close up of the letters on the fragmented, bobbing piece of ship—the camera panned closer "mas … Cio…." The crisp red letters she had helped Bradley paint on the bow of their boat floated across the screen.
Her heart sank to the pit of her stomach, her stomach squeezed a knot. She couldn't believe her eyes, she wouldn't believe what she thought she was seeing...
Something changed. Maybe it's my new perfume. Maybe it's the way I curl my hair. Or maybe, just maybe, it's my attitude. I can't seem to put my finger on it. It's just that I seemed to wake up a few weeks ago, and suddenly, the men asking me out were younger. Twentysomethings. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
The last time I went out with someone who was in their mid-20s was when I was in my early 20s…which seems like just a few days ago. But in the last month or so, I've gotten more requests for "hanging out" from men in this age bracket than in the last ten years combined. Not that I accept many of these offers, but it is quite flattering, none the less.
Now, normally, I love the ruggedness of an older man, love how they are often careful and quick-witted and are already on the path they want their life to take. But there is a certain charm to the younger man that makes them hard to resist. When I was a younger woman, guys that age paid me little mind, and honestly, their charm made me nervous. Now, seated perfectly in the middle of my 30s, it amuses me. So, in honor of the 20somethings who entertain and delight me, I've composed a list with a few of my friends that highlight the best things about men from ages 24-29.
5. Their language. I'm a word geek, as you all have figured out by now. And sometimes, I heard words and phrases that crack me up. And other times, I hear things that I have to go look up to understand. For example, I heard the word "puma" when discussing older woman/younger man relationships with a 20something man. When asked what this meant, he sent me a link to a definition that read, "a hot girl between the age of 25-35, 35-45 is a cougar, 45 and above is a saber tooth." I learned something new, which also just happened to make me laugh.
4. They want to know what you have to say. My one girlfriend said that the younger man she dated asked her opinion on lots of things and looked for her guidance. But she's a smarty, anyway…and I think they were wise to look to her.
3. Less baggage. They have been in fewer relationships, which means fewer FAILED relationships. They haven't yet started carrying that with them, and it is nice to not have to tote ashes of ex-girlfriends on your dates.
2. Things are still new to them. There are foods they haven't tasted, places they haven't been, and experiences they haven't yet had. That is exciting. And to be the woman who introduces those things to them is special.
1. They get the you out of your comfort zone. Ok. So admit it. There are times when you feel stuck in a rut. But date a younger guy—one who is impulsive and high energy—and who knows where your evening could head? You could end up dropping everything to hit a club or take a road trip. And even if you did this stuff when you were in your 20s, there is something delicious about trying those spontaneous things again.
You will notice, of course, that I left out an obvious benefit most women stated when asked about dating a man in his 20s, but I'm sure you can figure it out if you use your imagination a little bit. An entire blog could be written about that alone. Or so I've heard.
So, until Mr. Right-for-Me sweeps me off my feet, I think I'm going to just relax and enjoy these men who make me laugh and make me crazy, regardless of their age. And if they just happen to be a 24-year-old with perfect skin who doesn't understand when I am being sarcastic, then so be it. Checking my sarcasm at the door might be a good thing. At least for a few dates, anyway.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt So dream large, dream often, and put into action those things you desire. Dare to be romantic, dare to love - DREAM! Cricket http://www.cricket-sawyer.com Follow me on Twitter
Erotiqué Press is the place to find erotic fiction. Our goal? To offer our readers all the sensual delights they can experience in the realm of sexual satisfaction and emotional attachment.
As a company, we share a common goal with the industry. We want to touch readers in a way that makes them feel extreme sensations and emotions. Each of our authors is hand selected, and each of them shares our vision that sex and erotica should be smart; fun; and a positive, healthy part of the human experience.
Formed on December 1, 2004, we have set a course for success, and we invite you to join the ride. Each month, we bring titillating tales of desire, passion, and of love…some based on the reality of sensuality while others sizzle with the most delicious of fantasies.
Thank you for your interest in Erotiqué Press. We look forward to pleasing you!