And this book is off to 2 BRs- I still have space for a BR who's particularly interested in social justice work; would that be you? I hope to figure out editing (affording one that is) and moving on to ARCs as soon as possible.
I moved a little further in the early part of the book; this is still before Mearr decides on Vala for her new name. Ailee is helping Mearr take a bath.
"You know, one of the reasons I started doing drugs in the first place was just to feel normal in my own body. But I found I couldn't feel normal without them." Mearr sat in a folding metal chair beside the bathtub while Ailee pulled back part of the curtain. She leaned over her right leg and began to loosen the laces and buckles of her combat boots. "I can't remember the last time I took these things off," she murmured thoughtfully, easing a boot off. "Hell, I can't even remember the last time I got to do more than wash up in a public bath."
"Aw, would you accept my phone number? I'd rather you give me a ring than have you doing the public bathroom thing."
Mearr smiled at Ailee. "Thanks, but--"
"I don't expect anything in return, just like The Queen. Can't someone just be a good person and help?"
After pulling off her right boot, Mearr set to work on the left. "Not too many people do that in my experience."
"I'm sorry to hear that."
The Queen chuckled and added, "I am a firm believer in a bubble bath every day."
"Bubble bath?" She laughed. "I wouldn't picture you being into that. Little too soft."
Ailee leaned close and whispered, "He loves spoiling his submissives and partners."
Mearr peeled off her socks and stood. "Oh does that ever feel good."
"That's how I feel about heels. I only wear them for shoots." Ailee checked on the temperature of the bath water.
Mearr grabbed the bottom of her tank top and yanked it off. Sucking in a deep breath and with careful movements she undid the button on the top of her leather pants and pulled the zipper down. Hands on the waist of her jeans, she glanced at Ailee.
"You'll be disgusted." Mearr stuck out her bottom lip.
"No. Do you think I'll judge you because I'm a model and you aren't?" Ailee countered.
"Never. I maintain this body with constant working out, more than I expect most would want to."
Leaning close to Ailee to whisper, Mearr said, "I have a lot of scars."
"It's okay. I'll still be dreaming on calling my domme and begging for the chance to enjoy cuddling with you, if you'll even allow that."
"Why wouldn't I? You're beautiful!"
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Oh the dance of genre, sub-genre. "Straight contemporary romance," "spanking fiction," "erotica," "erotic romance," "f/f," "m/f," "m/m," "LGBTQ lit," "BDSM erotica," "historical," "fantasy," "menage," "sci-fi," "Regency." I've seen these words and phrases, sometimes alone, sometimes together, describing some book. Whether they actually fit the book is always debatable to me.
Now many of the words come with assumptions, such as appropriate cover art, words used to describe body parts... The list goes on.
In the process of self-publishing "Out of the Night: Book One," I've pondered these things, probably overmuch. Like my friend Ana, I have a book, I believe in, enjoyed writing, still enjoy reading, but it defies many conventions of "erotic romance," regardless of which sub-genre I consider- it can fit into quite a few. Well "Night" and the other 8 books of "Vala's Story" do.
I do not have a "couple," of whatever mix of genders. I don't even fit in the menage category; one Master and nineteen switches, of varying degrees makes for the occasional couple or menage under my fanciful poly, leather family.
And "fantasy." That's another on. I admit, the scale is immense in The Queen's world. However, my goal has long been to have the scale immense, while keeping the sex and BDSM activities real. The Queen has multiple store rooms, closets for his "toys"; most of my Master's toys are kept in a duffel bag at the bottom of His closet.
Oh, but the best argument is "romance" versus "erotica," with the newer (I don't know how new) contender of "erotic romance." There’s two problems as I see it. I describe graphic sex acts while having characters in romantic (if unorthodox) relationships. I really do think "erotic romance" works best for "Vala's Story," but beyond that, things get tricky. At Loose ID, they have a polyamorous category; I am sure after I've brought out "Vala's Story," I’ll look at submitting something to them. I wonder if books like Vala's would happily belong in both poly and BDSM categories? Because that's where Vala belongs.