Rebellion in Black and White

black and white

This is the day.

It’s not fitting weather for losing one’s identity. Non-descript. It wouldn’t be featured on a postcard showcasing sandy beaches adorned with red and yellow umbrellas. The sky is a baby-powder white. It’s a blanket of bland. Black clouds have threatened to roll over but I haven’t seen them yet.

It suits my purpose. Today is my rebellion.

Most rebellions are born in flashes of scarlet red and golden yellows. Bras enflamed, effigies burning. The raging fire silencing the loudest roars of a frenzied crowd. Yet here I am in ivory white. Still, silent and ready to take the most important step in my life.

This is my freedom. Black and white with nothing in between.

******

“Do you know how much shame you’ve brought on me? Do you have any idea what people are saying about us? Why are you running away?” mum screeches, throwing her arms to the ceiling. The peacock blue of her dress shimmers as sun streams through the window. The magenta scarf cascading down from her shoulders reminds me of the market in Marrakesh she dragged me around when I was supposed to be finishing my last year of primary school.

Quiet fills my heart. I’m not angry or upset by the past. I am at peace.

“Why aren’t you saying anything, River? You need to tell me why you’re doing this. Why me?” she rants. Our ginger cat, Nivana, runs from the room, his nails scratching the surface of the beech flooring because the tattered violet mat doesn’t reach the edges.

But my rebellion is in silence. It’s not the roar of armies, led by an auburn-haired warrior, charging down mountains. There is no crimson blood splattering faces or silver glinting off daggers that pierce pink flesh.

“You can’t leave me,” she wails.

It’s not the emerald greens dripping from her bohemian lifestyle that catch my eye as she howls in anguish. No, I am drawn to the white of the china plate smashing against the wall, thrown in her fury. My grandma left the plate in her will. I’m surprised we still have it. It doesn’t fit the décor.

Still I say nothing. I don’t need to explain my rebellion.

*****

The buzz of the clippers fills the room. I kneel to ease my elder’s aching limbs. Am I scared? No. When I’d struggled to sleep, caught in a tangle with my mulberry sheets, I’d wept at the prospect of losing my hair.

But as the raven clumps drop beside my knees stress flows from my body. Relief fills my heart.

Is this what coming home feels like?

*****

“They’re going to chop off your hair? Are you kidding me? You’re going to be bald by choice?” Chantelle, my best friend, asks. Every aspect of my future leads to a lecture I have no hope of escaping.

The alabaster white gum rolling around her mouth has turned into the colour of old lace.

This is exactly the conversation I expected during my leaving party.

Bright orange, cerise and evergreen balloons surround me. The tablecloth reminds me of the night I drank my first alcoholic drink. My vomit, expelled on the floor of the club Chantelle had illegally dragged me into after we finished our GCSEs, was the same turquoise.

Something else grabs my attention. It’s the whites of my father’s teeth as he gnashes them in my direction, they glint in the candlelight. They’re framed by his lips curling around them. He grinds as he glowers.

This isn’t what he wanted from his only daughter. I’ve overhead him say it to mum. He refuses to talk to me anymore. He thinks his rejection will force me to stay.

“You’re running away from your problems. Why are you running away from life?” Chantelle continues. But as my gaze drops from my father’s eyes, I’m transfixed by her white patent stilettoes, shining as they catch the light.

****

I’m not giving up on life, or anything else.

As I make my vows and release control over my spirit I meditate on all I am gaining; security, resilience and peace. It’s eluded me from the day I was born when my mum dragged me into her world and forced me to confront it. On bended knees I gulp in the air. Gratitude flows through my limbs. I’m being given an opportunity that was stolen from me at birth.

But there is one chink in my joyous experience. It repeats like bad tasting bloody meat.

****

“You’re leaving? I won’t see you for at least another year?” my little brother asks. The whites of his sunken eyes stare me down.

“It will be okay,” I tell him. “I’ll write you letters.”

“You can’t call or text? What about email?” The pinpricks of his pupils remind me of opals.

I shake my head. “No emails. Only letters are allowed once I live there.”

He clasps my hands tightly. His knuckles turn white as snow. “I won’t let you go. You’ve never been religious. You can’t leave me.”

That’s when the tears start. They flow from his face before staining his crisp white school shirt. He looks like a boy in the baggy black blazer and trousers. He will become a man while I’m gone.

But I can’t explain myself to him. I drop my head. They warned me rebellion would involve sacrifice.

****

“You’re one of us now,” the abbess tells me before I take the silent walk to my dormitory.

I’m not River, the bohemian mistake, anymore.

I have no identity.

I am free.

Best Women’s Erotica

It’s just a mixture of black letters on white paper, how could I be that excited?

 

best women's eroticaAnd yet when I ripped open the package, which I suspected was another of my random eBay purchases, and found two copies of an anthology in which I’d had a story accepted I was bouncing. I thrust the book in front of my boyfriend’s face while simultaneously messaging a photo to my sisters. Why was this one anthology so special? I’ve been in other brilliant anthologies after all. But this was the first time I’d had a paperback that had my name in it. Gripping it tightly in my hand I realised it was a beautiful moment.

In recent months I haven’t written anything, not even a tweet. My day job has taken over my heart and my creativity. The doubt that has dogged my last couple of months destroyed my imagination and my focus.  I need to be bored if I’m going to come up with a story or something creative.  I’m the weirdo who was excited about an MRI a couple of years ago because I was looking forward to uninterrupted time with the heroines and dramas that I was developing. Holding a book that included a story I wrote was a nugget of joy.

But what is my story about? The theme of the anthology is outsiders and risk takers and my story, The Jump, is about the ultimate risk and the hornyness that comes from taking control.

It‘s about a sky dive. I did one several years ago. I’ve included a photo!

sexy skydive erotica Mine didn’t end like the one in my story. There was the same feeling of combatting fears and taking control though. Maybe you’ll see something of your story, as a risk taker or an outsider, when you read The Jump.

But, this anthology isn’t all about me. There are some hot, sexy and fascinating stories in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year (Best Women’s Erotica Series Book 4), which has been  brilliantly gathered and edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Here are the buy links and an excerpt from my story. I hope to be tweeting over the rest of this month my thoughts on each story and what I love most about each one. I can’t wait!

You can buy the ebook here, the paperback here or find more links via the Best Women’s Erotica site here.

The ebook and USA paperback are released 12th December 2018, the British paperback February 2019.

Excerpt from The Jump – Best Women’s Erotica

Poppy’s knuckles ached from the clench of her fists, her nails stabbing into her skin.

Steve took her hands in his, his touch enough to soften her grip and ease her hands open. “That’s one of the best motivations I’ve heard. But I’m going to need you to relax.” His fingers drew circles against her palms, sending shivers up her arms. “You’re angry, I get that. But you’re terrified too.”

Poppy opened her mouth to argue but he preempted her fight. “It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but save the anger for when you get to the edge of the plane door. It will crush the terror.”

The reminder had her quaking.

Steve’s hands rubbed up and down her arms. “Do you trust me, Poppy?”

She hesitated. “Sure. What have I got to lose?”

“Your life.”

Her face fell.

“Sorry, I can be an ass. Let’s check your equipment.”

Steve helped her into her harness, checking the clips. The intensity of his brown eyes raised her heart rate further. Maybe the increasing adrenaline was pulling her arousal with it, but she basked in the attention he gave her, enjoying the straps rubbing against her crotch when he grabbed them roughly at her shoulders to check they were tight. Once again, his proximity excited her, his scent no longer reminding her of James but associating itself with the hottest guy she’d chatted with in a long time. It might be a blip, created as a reaction to the terror, but she indulged it. Gently, he popped the little hat on her head, his fingers stroking the nape of her neck when he helped her tuck her hair underneath.

To show he’d finished, he gave her butt a quick pat. “For luck. Let’s go. Everyone will be waiting.”

“I’m not going to die,” she whispered, conscious of his gloved hand tightening around hers.

Steve led her to the plane, her body shaking with every step.

“The tap of the butt helped,” she whispered in his ear.

“I hoped it might.”

“Just so you know, you have my permission to do whatever it takes to get me out of the plane.”

Dreams can come true

This week I achieved one of my dreams. It’s one I’ve had since I was 6 years old.

When I was younger there was a national four day farming type show near where we lived. Every year they would attempt to send up hot air balloons. If we were lucky, and the wind was blowing the right way, we’d see the balloons, sometimes they’d even go over our house. I would wait for hours outside my house each night in case I got the chance to see these balloons.

Being young and not so full of wisdom I thought these trips would only be for professionals and that normal people would never go in a hot air balloon. Although I hoped it might be different at the time I never imagined that one day I might have the opportunity to go in one myself.

hot air balloon burnerBut dreams can and do come true.

And this week they did.

As the basket lifted and drifted into the sky I confess I got quite teary. But they were happy tears. Yes, you have strangers chatting and the burner going occasionally but if you can ignore that then you are in your own world in the blue of the sky. No one can get to you, no work calls or social media madness getting to you. It is only you and the world around you.

The experience was one worth waiting for. It was not only mesmerising, it gave me the opportunity to reflect on how beautiful and calming it is when you’re up in the skies. It was what I’ve always wanted.

balloon shadowAs we were heading to the skies lots of children waved us off. They jumped around excitedly, wearing their school uniforms. I’d like to think that as they watched us go they were having their own dreams and thinking of what their lives may be like in the future.

You may have your own dreams. Writing is another dream of mine. I confess I was thinking about characters who could have a balloon ride in one of their stories. Have you found yourself doing an activity and during it have attempted to remember what all your senses are experiencing so that you can use it in your writing?

For me all these things help my writing; whether it’s sitting in a coffee shop, going to a sports event or having a night in a club. I’ve written about all these things. Don’t underestimate the power of living as a writer rather than focusing everything on getting those words down.

Don’t forget to dream either; whether it’s about writing or other things in your life.

I’m going to go and whisper in the ear of six year old me now and tell her that it’s okay to dream big because 30-something Rebecca is making sure they come true. She’s going to be so happy.

dreams hot air balloon

 

Tell me your dreams too, either here or via my Facebook page or Twitter page.

Camp Nano Winner 2018 – Things I Learnt

I did it! I completed Camp Nanowrimo, I’m officially a winner.

You can find out more about Camp Nanowrimo here. Reaching my goal, i.e. writing 50k words in one month, was one of the most difficult things I’ve taken part in as a writer.

Camp Nanowrimo learnt

Let me tell you why:
  • I haven’t written more than 10,000 words on one project for nearly two years.
  • I chose to write a YA genre novel – I’ve never written a YA piece before
  • I had a ridiculously busy month in my day job, launching a project I’ve been leading on for 6 months
  • 6 months ago (i.e. when the day job changed) I lost my creativity

 

Why am I telling you this? Because I’ve learnt some things from my first camp experience, things that may help you too:

I can’t write every day

That’s not to say I didn’t but I found it difficult, nearly pushing myself to illness to make sure I was writing my set amount. I’ve read on twitter about how writers should write every day as it helps you create something. It doesn’t help me! I need time to think out the next section I’m going to write. By constantly writing I can’t find the space to think, tease out and then solve the problems. Which brings me to another point.

I need more than writing in my life

Shock, horror, did I say that out loud? I like to formulate plot, work out points, meet up with friends and discuss writing but I also like having a life that isn’t about writing. That’s not to say writing doesn’t filter through to the other parts of my day but the last month I ditched a lot of things to get the novel written; exercise, socialising, sleep. I’ll be spending the next month trying to lose the weight I gained during the month!

I can write more than I thought I could

I asked my boyfriend for his thoughts on what I might have learnt and this was his contribution. It’s easy for me to see the negatives but he’s right. After the first week I didn’t believe I could achieve the 50k goal, after the second week I didn’t believe I could achieve it, even up until a couple of days before I finished I knew it was touch and go. As a writer you might get negative reviews and lack of interest from publishers but ultimately for me no one brings my writing down like I do and I need to remind myself of my strengths and what I’ve achieved instead of what I haven’t.

Never underestimate the importance of chatting with other writers

There was one particular moment when I was sitting on a train, knowing that was my best time to write and yet the motivation had disappeared. I chatted with another writer on twitter, Anne Pyle, about needing to write and she gave me the energy and focus I needed. Within 10 minutes I was back on it. I wrote another 2,000 words that day. I don’t think I would have written another word if it hadn’t been for her.

I love writing

In the last year when my creativity left me I was unsure whether I should focus on my day job rather than writing. But this month reminded me that I do adore writing, even when it’s a struggle to get pen to paper. I love channelling things I see and imagine into writing. It’s a great place to work through my frustrations too.

And a last thing I want to share. The day after I finished my 50k novel an email popped into my inbox. A short story I wrote last year has been accepted into an anthology.  What a way to end the month!

What did you learn from either this or a previous Nanowrimo? Leave your comments here or on my Facebook page or Twitter page.

I’m Back aka What Happened to my Creativity?

creativity

I’m doing my first Camp Nanowrimo and I’m loving it… when I’m managing to find the time to fit it in and not get stressed!

For those of you wondering what I’m talking about nanowrimo refers to national writing month, although people from all over the world do it. Read more here.

The aim is to focus on a writing/editing project. You set your own target and get on with it. You also bunk with other virtual cabin mates and spur each other on. I’m in a cabin with lots of amazing people including Jolie Vines , (who I love tweeting with and has great book recommendations), Zoe Ashwood and ElleThorpe. But there are other fantastic people in

the bunk too

I didn’t join until a week before because I wasn’t sure I could fit it in and for another reason.

Over the last six months my creativity and ability to write has been as dead as a dodo. I’ve thought about writing, talked about writing, tweeted about writing but nothing has been written. And it has terrified me. How can I call myself a writer if I can’t write?

Dreams

Things started to change about a month ago. I started to dream again.

dreams

By this I don’t mean I developed goals and aims. At night I started to have dreams. I’ve always dreamed and remembered my dreams but for the last six months nothing. But then one night I had a vivid dream and then, a couple of nights later, another. The dreams started to come. Some were terrifying and sickening but yet brought a lot of happiness because that meant my creativity was coming back! It’s had some similarities to a tortoise but hopefully that means I will reach my writing goals too as we know the tortoise won in the end, even with his slow pace.

I’ll tell you more about what I’m writing in my next blog post but for now I wanted to share my fears from the last six months and say that things can change with time. If you’re struggling with writing or your creativity leave me your comments here or on my Facebook or Twitter page.

I always thought writer’s block meant not having ideas, which I’ve still had in the last six months. For me writer’s block was an inability to put words to page and develop an idea. Let’s hope that lull is gone for good. “I’m back, Baby”.

To read more of my writing blogs click on the Blogging category on the right of the page or read one entry here.

Don’t Speak

The First Message

You’ve been waiting to see if you’ll match that person you like. Finally you do. What do you say in that first message?

Here’s a blog post about some of the worst first messages I’ve had.

sexting messageDon’t do this, just don’t.

“Hey, is it wrong to want to physically pick you up and abuse you? X”

(Who puts a kiss on the end of a message like that?)

 

Fetish Reveal So Early?

Him: Hi x

Me: Hello

Him: How are you? What size shoe are you? x

(He went on to reveal his foot fetish, I stepped away. Don’t give away your personal fetish so quickly.)

Know Your Audience

Him: Are you as innocent as you look?

Me: Yes

(Well they don’t need to know the truth yet do they?)

Keep it in Your Pants

Potential: What undies are you wearing sexy? x

(Not even a “Hello. Are you having a nice day?” How rude.)

desk messageDesk fetish?

Him: I’m thinking about having over a desk so I can tease you with my mouth and cock before grabbing you and fucking you senseless.

(Firstly, what the fuck? But then I start to wonder, did he miss the word me out of the sentence, i.e. is he thinking about having me over a desk? That would make more sense unless he’s thinking about “having over a desk”. Like is he going to invite the desk over for a date too? Maybe you can find online dating for those who want to romance desks.)

Why do I Bother?

Him: I know what you like.

Me: What is that?

Him: You like to be pushed over a table and fucked hard and dirty from behind.

(I was shocked by how quickly that escalated. I was hoping he was going to say lemon drizzle and ask for me out for cake.)

Some don’t know what they’re letting themselves in for?

Him: Cute and feisty, eh? Sounds good. Kinky also? 😉

Me: Sadly not, surprisingly normal.

Him: I’ve been normal all my life, but part of me wants to try new things. Not like proper crazy stuff, just stuff that’s a bit more naughty, you know?

Me: You’re going to have to give me an example…

(My curiosity really is a cross to bear.)

Him: In my Google-based research, the most popular things to try out seem to be toys, spanking, strap-ons, golden showers, threesomes. So I’d guess I’d start with some of them.

(He then went on to tell me that he was pretty horny to which my unhelpful response was…)

Me: Ah you’ve got the Saturday horn! Fair enough. Although strange that it’s suddenly made you want to have a woman wee on you before she puts a strap on and does you up the arse.

(The conversation ended not long after that, it turns out he just wanted a threesome)

This Guy

Him: Hey how are you? Fancy a chat?

Me: Hello. I’m good thanks. How are you?

Him: I’m ok thanks. Do women purposely wait for blokes to send the first message?

(Apparently by chat he meant using me as the oracle for all women)

Me: I have to admit that I do, sorry. Have you had a good week?

Him: You must be on here to meet someone so you have to put effort into it

(Berating a woman so quickly into chatting isn’t the best way to seduce her.)

Me: I see your point

Him: This dating malarkey is rubbish

(Why am I still talking to him? And yet I continue.)

Me: Well yeah but how else are you going to find what you want? What brought you to this site?

Him: To find someone but there’s too much competition and it’s hard to get a look in with the women you fancy.

(I’m not surprised if you talk to them like this, unless he’s only talking to me because the ones he likes won’t give him time)

Me: Maybe you need to be creative with the things you say to them or just funny and honest.

Him: You can’t be yourself over text women must be stupid if they think you can

(Yep, he just called me and a lot of other women stupid.)

Me: I guess I’m one of the stupid ones then.

(He proceeded to carry on with his rant. I won’t bore you with it. My recommendation was that he took some time out from dating)

 

flirt dateSorry

But then I’m no one to judge. Some of my first messages have been cringe! And for that I apologise to any guy I messaged first. It didn’t end well.

What have been the worst first messages you’ve sent or received. Go on, get it off your chest, you know you want to. Don’t forget to add them here or on my Facebook page or Twitter page.

Did you know I write erotic romance? You can find my stories either by going to the books page on this site or by clicking here.

Corrupted – A New Erotic Anthology

Do you want to get corrupted?

I love submitting to anthologies. The call to write something different is a test of my imagination and the Corrupted call was no different.

What has liberated you? Has society suggested it corrupted you instead?

Online dating is a topic close to my heart, as you may have guessed from by blog. We hear society telling us that it’s caused people to sleep around more. In 2015 it was reported that the dating apps and sites were to blame for an increase in STIs. But these sites and apps have been liberating too. It’s easy to think of it as a danger or a distraction but to be a faceless person behind a computer screen or an app means we can be ourselves too. Instead of being judged by our looks or outward appearance, which is common when in a pub or a club,  the first impression we make includes our personalities!

That was my inspiration.

But there was more too. Before I continue let me share a little about the Corrupted anthology.

Corrupted coverCorrupted

Since the beginning of time, everything that has promised to liberate women has also been accused of corrupting them: suffrage, trousers, the pill, and learning to drive, and that’s just to start with.

In this erotica collection, women reclaim or recognise their power in myriad ways, and it’s not always pretty. From femdom dynamics to BDSM, boardrooms, and benchwarmers, Corrupted comprises a startling cross-section of stories defining what it means to be a woman in the modern world.

Edited by, and featuring, Charlie Powell. Corrupted contains contains ten powerful stories by Vanessa de Sade, Rebecca Chase, Annabeth Leong, Sonni de Soto, Robin Juliet, Kiki DeLovely, Byron Cane, Erin Horáková and Zak Jane Keir. It’s published by Sexy Little Pages.

Her Gateway

Before the submission call came through I remember reading an article about sex for the disabled. Is sex different for those who have less limbs, who can’t walk, who have no physical feelings below their waist?

While I will never know what it is like for someone with those disabilities I do know what online dating did for me when it came to sex. I found it liberating to be judged by my flirting techniques and ability to make someone laugh rather than how my body looked. For the first time I could chat to guys without my insecurities eating away at me. For me online dating had major moments of liberation, read my blog post about Mr Fumble here to find out more about my inspiration for this story.

Something else inspired me too. I was also fed up of reading stories about the same heroines. Where were the stories about people who didn’t fit the typical erotic romance stereotype?

rebecca chase corrupted her gateway

Her Gateway was born from all of the above and more.

Tessa has been in a wheelchair since she was young. Her disability has infiltrated every area of her life but so has her resilience. However, there’s one thing missing. She doesn’t know what sex is like. Being desired and feeling sexy are foreign concepts to her.

Online dating has changed everything. With the apps she can swipe to her heart’s content, searching for the guy that she might trust enough to give her the sexual experience she’s dreamed of.

Not only has she found him but as the story begins he’s waiting at her front door. The next 24 hours will change her life forever. What sort of change will it be and has it been worth longing for all this time? Could Mike be the man to make all her fantasies come true?

To understand what liberation can mean in this setting you’ll have to read the story, which you can buy here.

But before you go here is a teaser.

An Excerpt from Her Gateway

“I was wondering…” She tried not to smirk when she saw him raise his eyebrows at her long drawn out words and seductive tone. “If you’d tell me one of those fantasies. You know, what have you thought about doing with me and exactly where was your hand when you imagined it?” With a smirk, she looked at his crotch and gave him a wink.

Mike chuckled his amusement, stepping back with an exaggerated sigh. “Exactly where you think it was. Okay, now which fantasy shall I share first? How about the one where I hold you up against the wall. I’m stronger than I look and you’re no fragile doll. I think you might enjoy some different positions and locations.”

She nearly spluttered at his words. Mike had offered her more than she’d realised could be available. Once more she took in his features. His sexiness didn’t just come from his looks. He exuded it like most people sweated. A nonchalant air surrounded him but it wasn’t because he didn’t care what happened. Tessa got a sense that he’d been through a lot in his thirty years, most he’d probably not share, even though she’d poured out her heart and insecurities to him. But now he seemed to be in a comfortable place. They’d only been chatting for a couple of months and yet she could see many aspects to him; his past was a telling blemish on his skin.

That was her hope too, that one day she would be fully comfortable in her own skin. A sexual being who men desired and even if they didn’t, the knowledge of that wouldn’t lessen her. But there was a goal she had to reach first.

The thoughts of conquering this barrier were what might have caused her to clear her throat and announce her idea louder than necessary. “Maybe we should talk in bed.”

The heat from her cheeks blazed when he rose his eyebrows, especially when he added an amused smile.

Beckoning him closer, she placed her hand in his, noticing that clasping him tightly made it more difficult to tremble. He squeezed her hand gently before letting it go so that she could lead him towards her bedroom.

Ask Me To Stay

Love pagerLet me set the scene…

It’s nearly twenty years ago, a nineties pop ballad, that you’ve only heard in “remember when” radio shows (I mean you, B*witched), is playing as I sit in my bootcut trousers and strappy top. People are still recreating the famous Rose and Jack scene whenever they get near the bow of a boat and people relied on pagers on a night out.

More importantly than this my life is on the cusp of something new.

Two people, and by people I mean fictional TV characters, are about to come into my life and change it forever.

One will teach me about empowerment, kicking butt and that females can be and are hilarious. And not because they’re airhead bimbos who are the joke but because they’re fucking awesome. They can even be the protagonist in major television shows, books and life. Buffy Summers burst onto my television and changed everything.

But this post is about another nineties character. He taught me that I like bad boys – not the ones who set fire to things or damage lives – but the ones who underneath all the bravado have a heart. They make us laugh, they hurt when awful things happen, they struggle through the crap life throws at them and can be a bit useless. BUT they love with all they have and when the situation calls for it they step up and kiss the girl.

Step forward Pacey Witter

A man who has been number 1 on my list of guys I want to be with for nearly 20 years.

Pacey Love ninetiesLike Joey I didn’t appreciate him at first. I thought he was an idiot who’d had an affair with his teacher. It wasn’t until series 3 that I fell for him and I’ve never looked back.

When I write stories I can see that there’s a little bit of Pacey popping up all over the place. He comes through my writing in the humour, the cheeky glances and the teasing nature of many of my protagonists. Sometimes his character is revealed through the broken nature of those I write about, especially when they slowly redeem themselves and become whole, with little mistakes along the way.

I’m not ashamed of the impact the show had on my life; it taught me through it’s beautiful scenery and unnecessarily adult language about unrequited love, betrayal, death, prejudice, suffering and how the first kiss can be terrifying no matter who you are. This is something both myself and my characters can testify to.

This weekend one of my best friends, A, is getting married. She was my “rival” for Pacey’s love – I know how ridiculous that sounds but I was a teenager! At least I wasn’t weeping about my love for Brian Harvey from East 17… I know someone who did though.

The contest between myself and A brought us closer and I look forward to being able to share her special day with her. Also, it means Pacey is all mine now too!

So I owe a debt of gratitude to Dawson’s Creek, its creators and especially Joey and Pacey, for teaching me about love and giving me a best friend for life. Joey and Pacey got their happy ever after and in doing so let me see why romance is a key part of everything I write.

Happy 20 year anniversary to their first episode!

Don’t forget to tell me about your first TV love via my Facebook page or Twitter page. They don’t have to be from the nineties but they have to have been significant.

Rules and Suggestions

These are my rules for me

But they might work for you too. Over the years of dating I learnt things that kept me safe. In part 2 I’ll tell you a story from a friend that reinforces, to me, that rules and instincts are crucial.

You might read my rules and think I’m overzealous. In some ways I would agree with you and there have been dates where I went with my instincts and didn’t follow my “rules” religiously. But they’ve also kept me safe in more dangerous situations.

General “Rules”

  • dating rulesDon’t take nude or semi-nude photos of yourself to send to someone that include your face.  See why in my dick pic blog post here
  • Don’t give out too much personal information. That includes your address, exactly where you work or information about your family. I avoided LinkedIn for that reason. I didn’t want someone to find me with just two clicks of a mouse and turning up at my work.
  • Don’t become Facebook friends early on and make sure you have full privacy settings on your social media so that they can’t work out enough things to find you.

Before you go on the date

  • Get their surname. Although keep in mind that anyone reluctant to give out their surname may have a completely reasonable explanation, don’t immediately assume the worse.
  • Swap up to date selfies. It gives a helpful idea of who you’ll be seeing and prepares you for any uncontrollable reactions you may have on first meeting.
  • Find out a bit about the job they do (it doesn’t need to be the organisation/company). It will give you something to talk about too.
  • Find out if they’re after casual sex or longer term. Does that match with what you want?
  • Think about what questions you might ask or subjects you might focus on in case there’s a conversation lull. Silence on a first date can be awkward and uncomfortable and while it’s not a job interview sometimes a bit of preparation helps.
  • Speak on the phone, even for just a short time. It can help calm the nerves too.
  • I don’t do this but one friend recommended doing a google search, just in case they’re a wanted murderer!
  • Find out what town they live in. It might be that the app or the website has messed up and they’re 200 miles away rather than the 2 you thought.

stranger danger datingRemember that you’ve never met this person and while they may appear lovely and charming it doesn’t mean you know them.

It’s suddenly date night, what dos and don’ts should you be considering?

  • Do plan your own transport, whether it’s train, bus or driving. A quick escape might be necessary and you don’t want to be requesting change from them while trying to make a swift emergency exit. Don’t get into their car, if you do then you’re completely at their mercy. In all seriousness I’ve heard a story of someone who was attacked by a man on her first date in his car. It’s not worth putting yourself in a situation like this.
  • Don’t get drunk. I’m not saying stay stone cold sober, after all you may feel you need to settle your nerves. But too much alcohol can lead to decisions that you normally wouldn’t make and as a result put you in a vulnerable position. Even worse, our douchebag side might come out of its hidden depths. I’ve been on a date with a guy who, in his drunkenness, ended up telling me all sorts of secrets and stories, including exes he’d cheated on.
  • Don’t reveal where you live. If the potential is in any way unhinged you’re welcoming a stalker into your life.
  • Don’t go back to theirs. Also, ideally don’t invite them back to yours either. Obviously if the aim is to hook up then some of these rules won’t work for you.
  • Don’t leave your phone alone with them at any point, who knows what they’ll do with it?
  • Do meet somewhere public. Safety is important at all times. This also gives you some control in a situation that can put you at risk.
  • Do encourage physical contact if you want it. If you’re shy or taking it slow then the occasional brush of the leg and touching hands over the table can make a massive difference. I’m not saying maul them, unless you’re both up for that, but there’s also no harm in holding a little back either if you prefer to do that.
  • Do tell someone where you’re going, who with, what time you’re meeting them and when you should be home by. I had a friend that had a time to call me if I haven’t called them first.
  • Do make sure the other person is safe getting home but don’t force your presence on them if they’d rather be alone.

date night safetyOther things like where and when you meet up and who pays is best left to the people involved and the decisions aren’t anyone else’s business.

So you’ve read my “rules” and you’re left in shock and horror – I must be the most conservative woman in the world. Well… not really. I’ve gone against all my rules at one time or another. But this is what worked for me and I’ll tell you in my next post one reason why.

I have one more “do”. You may find this a little extreme but it made me feel safe. On my phone I had the “find my IPhone” app and I gave the password to my sister. They knew to check it if I didn’t contact them after a certain number of hours. It also meant if I ended up on a date with a murderer they’d know what skip to find my phone in… joking, hopefully.

Now it’s your turn to tell me what your dating rules are. Let me know in the comments section or via my Facebook page or Twitter page.

Working It – A New Erotic Anthology

A New Erotic Anthology

working it anthologyI have a new story featured in an anthology. Working It is a collection of sixteen stories that explore sex in the working world. Everybody’s working it, grinding away at the nine to five, when all we really want to do is escape to take a hot tumble on the boss’s desk. Let this sexy collection whisk you away from the office. Will you succumb to the casual charm of your new client, tip over the edge for your warehouse trainee, or get a long-thought of revenge on the supervisor making your life hell? White collar. Blue collar. It doesn’t matter what collar you’re wearing once the shirts come off. Leave the office behind with Working It.

Published by SinCyr Publishing, edited and launched by Harley Easton and CM Peters.

I’ve worked in a variety of places, some dull and some full of rumours about who is doing who on what desk. I’m fascinated by the dynamics of the boss/subordinate relationships and the gossip that surrounded the little flirty advances in the workplace. The first day after the debauched Christmas party was always a fun one!

Power Play

My story for this anthology is called Power Play. It taps into the excitement that can occur in the office at night.

What would you do if you had no supervision and a need to work out your sexual needs?

ghosted eroticPower Play focuses around an established married couple who can’t find the time to enjoy each other the way they want to. We’ve all heard people joke that couples with kids don’t have sex, which I know isn’t true but having children means you might have different constraints to your sex life than you had before. Most of the stories I’ve read online that feature couples are usually about affairs or break-ups.

I wanted to tell a different side.

So we have a married couple and an office at night. What could go wrong? I couldn’t write a story about the office without including a hideous boss. Most of us have had a boss we didn’t like, for whatever reason. The boss in Power Play may not be exactly like one you’ve had but some aspects may be familiar. The ones in my life sometimes got their comeuppance but I can’t promise the same for the one in this story.

To find out more about Power Play you’ll have to read it. You can buy it here.

But before you go here is a little treat.

An excerpt from Power Play

Picking up the phone, she returned the sentiment with a wave as the only voice that could turn her grimace into a smile trickled into her ears. “Hey, honey.”

They weren’t always a passionate couple; sometimes the way Simon picked at his fingers made her want to tie his hands together while she pushed him out of bed. But no one could reach inside her stomach and drop it from the highest height with a few whispered words like he could. It made her change of plans more difficult to share. She fluffed the paper of her notebook unsure how to start.

“I hope those are the sounds of you packing up. The table is booked for 7.30pm and I can’t wait to watch you get ready. You know that’s one of my favorite parts of a night out with you. It never fails to remind me how lucky I am to be your husband.”

She smiled at the sweetness of his words but the smile quickly turned into a sad squeeze of her lips. “I love that too,” she replied wistfully.

“What’s wrong?” Simon asked but she knew he’d know. It was the same thing that was always wrong these days. “What’s the witch done now?”

“I can’t go out tonight. She’s given me the end of quarter figures to complete. I’m not going to be home for at least another four hours,” she replied, absentmindedly thumbing the stack of papers in front of her.

“Then I’ll bring dinner to you. The kids are at your sister’s, we might as well spend the evening together, even if I have to come back into work.”

“But with you here, I won’t get anything done. Have a night to yourself, you don’t get one often. Enjoy the opportunity to chill out.” The sighing response made her despondency acuter.

“I had plans for you tonight,” his voice had dropped to nearly a growl. It was his tell-tale sexual timbre. It was for the best he wasn’t coming anywhere near the office; she wouldn’t be able to resist him. “I could still fulfill those plans with you at the office.”

A flush slowly crept up her body. It filled her limbs, even the tips of her fingers felt the first sparks of arousal. How could the suggestion of office fun be such an instant aphrodisiac?

Other Stories

To take a look at my other books please go to the Books section of my website here. It includes a short story that was inspired by one of my previous workplaces. Check out Work for Me for another office based encounter. It begins with a sexy young carpenter one alcohol fuelled night.