Friday, January 31, 2014

Gearing up for Saturday Spankings....

I am so pleased to be taking part in my first Saturday Spankings Blog Hop! Per the rules, I'm keeping it short - just a picture and a quote from my upcoming erotic Steampunk adventure novel, Dangerous Science, to be published February 12 by Blushing Books.

Dr. Sebastian Cromwell. Scientist. Automaton.

“But if I may be so bold, I’d argue that part of what has allowed Dr. DeWalt to hoodwink us all is her charm. She has a way of putting one at ease with her sweet manner. It’s easy to believe her. Is this by calculated design on her part? Perhaps she’s known all along that she was incapable of the mission she accepted, but we – being human – were too blind to see her flaws and deal with them ... Dr. Cromwell won’t have that problem. He’s not fully human.”  
--John Reubens, member of the Council of Scholars, upon recommending that Dr. Gladys DeWalt be placed in the custody of her former professor Sebastian Cromwell.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I was going to post yesterday, but an ice/snow storm (I refuse to call it a "Weather Event") instead had me busy walking the fields behind my home pulling a happy kid on a sled whilst being trailed by an even happier dog. Then it was back inside to unthaw fingers and toes over cups of tea and hot chocolate.

Today I was thinking about an arctic setting for a Steampunk story, since steampunk stories can take place anywhere. And in my search I came across this delightful picture from a wonderful artist whose work is posted on DeviantArt.

It's a clockwork arctic fox, and now that you've seen it, I'll have to hint at a spoiler from "Dangerous Science" if you are to know why this and the artist's creations overwhelm me with Happy. So let me just say that everyone should have a clockwork pet, especially one that purrs.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Naughty, naughty: The steamy underside of Victorian society

Things are not always as they seem...

 She cried, “Laura,” up the garden,
“Did you miss me?
Come and kiss me.
Never mind my bruises,
Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices
Squeez’d from goblin fruits for you,
Goblin pulp and goblin dew.
Eat me, drink me, love me;
Laura, make much of me;
For your sake I have braved the glen
And had to do with goblin merchant men.”
 --- From "The Goblin Market" by Christina Rosetti

It's not just what one sees in Victorian Society that captivates. It's what one does not see.

On the outside, things seemed perfectly restrained by a strict moral code that functioned much like a too tight corset. However, behind the closed doors of brothels, secret clubs and some homes, that uptight morality was being unlaced by men and women who valued the appearance of propriety over propriety itself.

In short, the Victorians were wildly and beautifully freakish.

The above poem is an example. The Victorian-era writer, Christina Rosetti, maintained that the poetic tale of two sisters lured away by goblins was written for children. But it was rife enough with sexual imagery to raise doubts. All the elements of an eroticism were there - the consumption of forbidden fruit, burning lust and, finally, an orgiastic sapphic frenzy.

Even when Victorians like Rosetti tried to be good, they were sometimes naughty. And the ones who tried to be naughty could be downright hedonistic. Brothels were legal, oddly enough, but men were expected to be discreet. Somehow, though, this wasn't enough. There were scores of secret societies for those who wanted to get their fuck on, and these clubs catered to a number of particular bents. There was the Flagellant's Club, for spanking was BIG in Victorian times (another reason to love the era). And there was the Mollies club, for gay men.

Pornography was wildly popular, much of it featuring men and women at the end of bundles of switches. Victorian parlors were, apparently, great places to get birched. Girl on girl nudie pics were in big demand. The proper lady who met her friends for tea may later masturbate to a contraband copy of "Lady Pokingham" or bend over while her patrician husband spanked her willing bum.

What is it they say? A lady in the streets but a freak between the sheets?

Perhaps it the chameleon in me that loves the duality of Victorian society. Where some people are excited by gratuitous displays of bare skin and raw sexuality, nothing excites me more than the unknown Freak Potential of a reserved man in a three-piece suit, especially if he is polite. As he holds the door for me, I nod appreciatively and wonder if, perhaps, he has a cane at home. And if he does, is he wondering whether I'd bend for it? One can hope.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The fantasy of techno-Victorianism

Ask me to name one of the most beautiful, fascinating women who ever lived and I won't hesitate. her name was Tasha Tudor, and here's her picture:

Tasha passed away in 2008 after living her 94 years exactly as she wanted to. She was an author/illustrator who often said she'd been born in the wrong era. But rather than long for what she could not have, Tasha Tudor created her own little reality. On her picturesque farm in Vermont, she existed as one would in Victorian times. Tucked away in an idyllic world untouched by modern influences, she wore period dress, lived without electricity and in her contentment she created wrote and illustrated beautiful books like Corgiville Fair, Pumpkin Moonshine, The Doll's Christmas and Around the Year. 

I don't just admire Tasha Tudor. I strive to be Tasha Tudor. Like her, I'm drawn to the Victorian era. I love tea sets and flowing dresses and formal dinners. I love having a dashing man offer me his umbrella in the rain, even when I have my own. But unlike Tasha Tudor, I love my technology. Show me a gadget and watch me light up. Usher me into a pretty parlor full of books and tech toys and you risk losing me entirely.

So what's a modern girl to do when she loves both the rituals of the past and the latest inventions? She embraces Steampunk.

What is Steampunk? It's hard to describe. The simplest definition is that steampunk is a sci-fi genre
set in the past, where everything is powered by steam. Steampunk is Victorian futurism where the worlds of tradition and stuffy customs collide with fantastical steam-powered inventions that never existed, and never will. Imagine a world with massive dirigibles and submersibles, automatons and mad scientists, dashing men and gutsy women - adventurers all. And then there are the monsters, from leviathans to robots, and villains armed with whatever weapons exist in your mental arsenal.

The action can take place in Victorian London or the American West or the East Indes or even distant planets. Those of us who are more traditional are happiest setting our stories in London, especially those of us who think we were not only born in the wrong time, but the wrong place.

I love the idea of mixing traditions of the past with an imaginary technology that surpasses even what we can do today. I love mixing corsetry with sidearms. I love the idea of charting unexplored lands and returning to a cozy parlor overlooking the Thames. I just love everything about it.

I love Steampunk. I love it so much that after years of writing for my own personal pleasure I decided to share my love of this fantastical realm with others. So I wrote a book.

It's my first, and I'm quite proud of it. I do not yet know how it will be received. It's not typical of other books I've read. This one has more sex - enough, in fact that it's been picked up by Blushing Books, which publishes some very sexy reads. And the book contains some spanking. That may not be everyone's cup of tea but again that's the beauty. In Steampunk you create your own world and in mine there are sexy scientists, intrigue, animal attraction and some discipline.

The release date is February 12, and I was advised to start this blog by some more experienced writers who were kind enough to advise me that the best way to market one's book is to market one's book. A blog is, apparently, a good tool for the marketing type. So here we are.

I'll be writing on topics other than my book, but for today this is enough. If you are interested in this book, or have any questions or comments there's a place for them below. I look forward to hearing from you.