Camelot in Publishing…the End of an Era?

Or just the beginning? Remember Camelot and the men on powerful steeds wielding swords that protected the world? Remember damsels in distress and the concept of good versus evil? A fairy tale in the making and with all good fairy tales, there must be an end.

I’ve stood by silently watching what’s been happening in the publishing world and not really being a part of the madness now for months. While I have various personal reasons given my day life, the truth is the disillusionment robbed me of creativity for a long time – which isn’t like me as anyone who knows me realizes. Ibooktrope-logo-slide-600w write because stories pour out of me. I was the girl who kept a notebook beside my bed every night. Even though I’m blind as a bat, when an idea came in a dream (and so many did) I would furiously write down at least key words. Often these ideas did indeed turn into stories. I’ve written since I was five. The ability allowed me to escape a rather abusive home life. I managed to keep writing, finally pushing hard about five years ago and lucky enough to be published dozens of times.

What happened during the fall and winter was in a failing of myself. Why did I fall into a pit of quicksand? One part was the constant battering of naysayers that I’ve talked about in previous blogs, but what I’m writing today has nothing to do with that. Over a year ago I was contacted by Booktrope to work with them, given a recommendation by a fellow author I knew fairly well. After several conversations, I signed on as Imprint Director for two up and coming Imprints – Entice and Edge. I went in like a bulldozer with ideas for marketing, selling, helping the teams work together and generally promoting in a new and creative fashion.

In addition, I was wooed to bring all – and I do say ALL of my books over to them. What I was told was that my huge volume (nearing two hundred that I could bring over) was something their investors would look favorably on. Let me tell you, this was a tremendous task to pull them either from another publisher or take them down after I’d self-pubbed. However, the concept of rebranding, exciting covers, new concepts, and new critical eyes editing was too much to resist. And so they were all pulled and delivered up to an innovative grid allowing every team member to see exactly where the creative process was at all times. Good in concept. Teams. Working together to create a masterpiece. Well…

With all good things come trying times. The grid was a pain in the ass to work with but the technical gurus did indeed tweak and answer questions. Then there was the team concept. What does this mean? This means the author gets to select from a pool of editors, designers, proofreaders and what was called Book Managers to build a team. Again, this was another good process in thought. I’ll never forget the day I had to tell a publisher and very good friend of mine that I was removing all my books from her press. Now, she wasn’t in the business of selling erotic any longer so there were no hard feelings. She wished me well and said that the team concept had been tried many years before – even before the explosion of the e-book market. Then she stated it had failed miserably. I could hear the glitch in her voice. I should have paid more attention.

Taking on the Manager Director role was quite honestly daunting and time consuming, but I had energy and drive and so I charged in. Keep in mind that I wasn’t paid. Booktrope didn’t put me on the staff. I was to get a percentage from books sold just like the teams. Still, not bad in thought. My mind was thinking – thousands of books out and I continue to get a percentage. Pretty nifty, huh? I think I made somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 in the months I worked with them. Maybe. And my books? Well, managing two imprints as well as trying to work with teams was like herding cattle. Yes, I met some incredible people and loved so much of what I did, but when the team members starting dropping off like flies, I couldn’t tell the players from the dead weight.

I should have jumped ship at the first series of red flags, but I didn’t. I started bringing marketing ideas of all kinds to the powers that be. I secured contacts and prices for magazines and even talked movie deals. I presented methods Booktrope itself could market their entire line, not just my imprints. What was I told? They had a limited amount of money and they honestly weren’t going to spend any on marketing. I was further told this was the responsibility of the teams. Hmmm… I scratched my head and argued many a time but forged on. Then more team members fell off and I was beginning to pull my hair out. The numbers weren’t good and no matter how much rallying around the troops I did, people were exhausted from trying. What a shame given so many authors had the excitement I once felt in publishing a book.

If you’re an author, do you remember the first time you heard the words ‘we want to publish your book’? Exciting and for a few minutes you see your name in lights, whether at Barnes and Noble at a book signing or on Amazon as a best selling author. There’s nothing wrong with the hunger and the hope. We all have to have hope.

I have such fond memories and can tell you the exact date, the weather, what I was wearing and the fact I received a dozen roses from my DH and a set of handcuffs when I first heard. No laughing. I was telling a romantic BDSM style book. Poignant, huh? After publishing 200, I’m lucky if I get ‘that’s nice dear’. And guess what? I’m not a millionaire. I don’t have illusions of grandeur any longer. I know the work to push past the flooded market of so many authors who shouldn’t write a grocery list let alone a book is daunting. BUT… Dear God their enthusiasm is something I continue to smile about. Too bad the likes of publishers who fold in a manner that’s unbecoming to the industry leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

There are plenty of blogs popping up that go into detail about the demise of Booktrope. After Booktrope announced on Facebook – with zero advance knowledge or respect to me – that they were dropping Imprint Managers, I sat back and watched their behavior. I finally made the decision to pull the majority of books. The teams weren’t working. There was little training for Book Managers and no, a video call for 45 minutes doesn’t cut it to send people forth in today’s marketplace. Editors were disgruntled given the little dollars they received and cover designers wanted the old method of payment – at time of delivery – back in full force. I could see the writing on the wall.

Yes, let me just say there were quite a few behind the scenes conversations and I was pushed 0n several levels. My contract was clear as to who the responsibility fell on and it’s not what I am reading on great Facebook. My disillusionment moved into hatred for the industry and the worst thing that happened? No writing or minimal at best. In other words, they’d gotten the better of me. Booktrope ceremoniously did what the entire bullshit hadn’t been able to before – stop the creative process.

Let’s move onto the big announcement made this past Friday. Of course they regret they are closing, but did they honestly have a choice? I’ll leave that to your imagination, but I have my viewpoint. Honestly, I’m saddened by the news even if I could see that writing in blood red months ago. The concept was indeed amazing for a little while – just like Camelot – the fairy tale was too good to be true.

And it was…

Are fairy tales real? I’m here to tell you that YOU need to grab onto your personal fairy tale right now. What am I reading on the great social media forums is far more disturbing than the announcement of Booktrope closing. Various team members are starting to cannibalize each other. When I read an editor comment that she had a PhD and in truth deserved in the neighborhood of $4k to edit a story I choked. Really? Right… Oh, and there’s a lot more statements like this out there. Granted, there are positive comments too – nice to see.

I have one piece of advice for everyone – keep on doing what you love. If it’s too painful and you can’t then don’t, but take your time deciding. The industry has weathered many an ugly storm and I anticipate it will morph over and over again until a balance is finally found. From publishers stealing from authors, plagiarism that seems rampant, Amazon who has become Big Brother, sites stealing work from authors for free downloads and the difficulty marketing given the flood of new authors, the road seems like a battle no one can fight. Only you can with our imagination and love for writing, editing or creating covers. Only you can push aside the bullshit and go on. I am. I’m finally writing for the reason I did when I was a small child – to get away from the every day strife of living, moving into a fantasy world where I can control what happens.

Stop the madness now and move on. Tomorrow is a new day and guess what, readers don’t care about the crap we’re going through. They only want to read a wonderful story to take them out of the horrors or constant difficulties they endure every day. Did you forget that? Did you forget about the first moments when you hit ‘the end’ and celebrated? Seems like so many have. Write because you have to. Create because you can’t go another minute without doing so. Don’t fall prey to the anger and backstabbing. Don’t.

Hmmm… There are fairy tales left to be told. Don’t you think? I challenge you as I did myself. Thoughts for a rainy Sunday.

Cassandre

Posted in Booktrope, EDGE, Entice | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Women Submitting to Men…Bullshit or Something Else?

Yep. I’ve had the concept called bullshit and recently too. The statement around this was that women don’t need to be submissive to men to keep one. At that moment I choked. Really? As in have to? Not in my world of heroines or in my personal relationship either. Of course everyone has an opinion and I value my readers, especially ones who take the time to offer their thoughts. However, I have to disagree. There are several types of relationships in the world. That’s what makes living a joy – at least the majority of the time. I’ve written many a blog regarding theAnother collar differences between a typical Americanized vanilla relationship, in which the couple is completely equal in all things. I’ve compared this to a D/s or DD (Domination/submission and Domestic Discipline) several times as well. Honestly, they are truly different in the concept of who has the reins or the power. In D/s or DD households, people are looking to live and enjoy life with family and friends, pay their bills, take their kids to soccer practice etc. just like any other relationship. Remember too given there are so many sex relationships, you can’t label D/s or DD with a gender either.

So what’s the fuss about women needing to bow down to a man in order to keep them? Let me think about this. First of all, I’m a VERY strong and some say powerful woman. I have men of all types gravitate toward me. It’s not because I’m Barbie perfect or the next great catch, or a millionaire or… It’s simply that I exude an inner strength and refuse to allow any human (notice human not man) to overpower me in my day to day life. However, you know my view on D/s and DD type commitments.

I’d had very amazing relationships with what would be considered powerful men, thoughtful men, idealistic men, emotional men, timid men, unsure men, intellectual men, geeky men, sexy men and… Did I miss any type? I’m sure I did. Were they satisfying? You bet in their own way. Am I writing the million dollar selling book pointing the direct path to the relationship gilded in gold? Well, I wouldn’t be writing this blog if I was or had. Right?

Nothing and no one is perfect, no lifestyle or aspect of what you have and don’t have together. I wish… However, what I can tell u in talking with so many strong and influential women, the ones who long to give up control and submit to a man, is that they are the most powerful of them all. Why? Because they peel away that tightly woven mask, unearthing the truth under the actual bullshit society forces us to believe. You know the crap that’s doled out. You’ve heard, read, seen it in movies and television programs and listened to our not so stellar politicians slap us in the face with the ‘we have to be this way’ as humans. Slide under another rock, Trump.

Submission is a choice and one not made lightly. The women who finally break free of their personal barriers or demons to ask for what they want seem far happier. You know the women around you who are wallowing in self-pity, self doubt, anger, hatred, blah blah blah. You just do. They have pinched faces and nasty demeanors. They make fun of everything and everyone around them. Maybe if they accepted who and what they needed they’d be happier. Now, I’m stereotyping of course on purpose. Not always true, but I’ve seen plenty of down trodden women who could really use a strong man or a hard spanking. Well, I’m off my soap box now except to say – to each their own. Don’t condemn unless you yank off that mask you’ve been wearing.

I came up with an idea for a book in the middle of the night a few months ago. I wrote a little along on this fun, campy, sexy, yet romantic book thinking if I finished, okay. If not, okay too. Then the piece begged to be completed and submitted to Blushing Books – the leader in spanking/domestic discipline stories. I have a single story in a collection with them and I can tell you, great folks to work with. After being burned in the industry and by naysayers, I’m finally pushing all that aside and killing it with words.

So this piece is all about a women desperately in need of a strong man and discipline in her life, but she refuses to be hurt again. Her ex was… Well, you know the type. You’ll have to read the book to find out. She became determined to obtain what she needed, no matter how much she paid for the service. No connections. No emotion. No bullshit. Interesting premise eh? Here’s a little taste of a more romantic section of…

1-888-SPANKSX

His eyes twinkled as he shook his head. “You just hold onto me and I’ll show you some of the prettiest country in the world.” He was up and on the saddle in a second, holding out his hand. “Come on. Bruce won’t hurt you.”

“Bruce?” Cheyenne didn’t want to appear afraid but the simple truth was that she was terrified.

“Yup. I ran out of names. Seemed fitting. You know. A little Bruce Willis in him I think. Feisty. Kinda like you. Come on over and say hello.”

She wasn’t entirely certain she liked the hidden meaning. Shrugging, she walked closer. “Hello Bruce. Please don’t kill me today. I almost like it here.”

He raised his eyebrows. “When we’re through with the ride, you’re going to love your decision to move to the finest location on this planet.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” she mused under her breath. She hiked up her skirt and gave him her hand. The second they touched she shuddered. This wasn’t the same touch of a man who’d spanked her. They were attracted to each other and she was mortified. This couldn’t happen. She pushed the context aside as he eased her over the back of the horse without a single hitch.

cowboy love 3Bruce whinnied when she was settled.

“He already likes you.” Master Joseph grabbed the reins. “Now wrap your arms around me, little lady and let me know you something extraordinary.”

She bit her tongue as Master Joseph took off, maneuvering out of the barn with flare. While he didn’t quite race Bruce out of the stable, the gallop was enough to make her hang onto the man with a firm grip. After a few minutes she relaxed, enjoying the scenery as well as the ride.
“Gorgeous.”

“You haven’t seen anything yet.”

During the next thirty minutes, Cheyenne was taken to streams and patches of flowers, the base of the snow capped mountain and areas where the view was spectacular. Along the way she took dozens of pictures and was eager to see them all together. This was indeed God’s country. She now understood completely why the Dawson contract was important to Dillon. What she would remain confused about was why he couldn’t show any emotion regarding his home and a way of life.

Master Joseph ended the ride in front of the door to his cabin. He slid off the horse, helping her down and tying off Bruce. “Did you get what you needed?”

“More than enough. Thank you so much. You have no idea how helpful this has been.” She patted Bruce before placing her head against his nose. The scent of the massive creature and the warmth of his muzzle were intoxicating. “And you, Sir Bruce, are wonderful.”

Bruce snorted and stomped a single hoof.

“He really does like you. In fact, I think you’ve stolen his heart. I fear he’s going to want to come home with you.”

“Ha. I live in a condo. I don’t think my landlord would approve.”

“You might just be surprised.” Master Joseph took a step back, tipping his hat as he flashed a grin. “And he doesn’t eat much.”

He’s gorgeous. Sexy. I could see… An awkward moment settled between them. She took several backwards steps toward her car. “I should be going.”

“Yes, I suppose you should. I know you’re a very busy woman. Saturday, Ms. Preswood? I do believe you continue to be out of sorts.”

“Saturday.” You have no idea.

“Excellent. Don’t be late.”

Why was she tingling all over? She studied his eyes briefly before looking away. “Thank you again.” She turned and walked with purpose toward her car. Her heart raced and the second she placed her hand on the door handle she groaned.

“Is something wrong?”

“Wrong?” Cheyenne fisted her other hand. She heard him walking closer, couldcowboy smell his intense exotic cologne mingled with what could only be described as All American male.

“What is it?”

“I…” Groaning she turned around but was unable to look him in the eye. “I was wondering and of course you’re under no obligation, but I was wondering…” The words died off in her throat. She was going to jump into her car and race away as if this entire moment hadn’t occurred.

Master Joseph placed his hand on her shoulder. He stood over her, the sun coming from behind his shoulders gave him a commanding presence.

Cheyenne rubbed her hands down the sides of her thighs.

“You need a round of discipline sooner than Saturday. You’re terrified of this presentation you’re so obviously going to have to give and you’re hoping a hard spanking will help give you courage. Am I close to being correct?”

She sagged against the car. “That obvious?”

“I could read that the moment I opened the door. I know my students.”

Students. The single word made everything very clinical. He was simply a man offering her his services. He was being kind to her by showing her the ranch. There was no alternative motive like love and romance or even sex. “Yes, you are very good at reading people.”

“We can certainly handle a round of punishment here. I don’t mind. We will have utter privacy at least.”

“Your home. I don’t mean to sound impetuous. It can wait.”

Master Joseph squeezed her shoulder. “Nonsense. I’m here to help you. Remember? Let’s go. By you asking me for discipline means you’re ready for a harsher punishment. You’re learning about your needs and requirements. I’m very proud of you.”

She exhaled and closed her eyes, falling into the role of student and submissive. “Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir.”

“Come with me.”

Just a little taste. There’s plenty of angst and sexiness from two cowboys – brothers I might add. Mmm…

Kisses and spanks…

Cassandre

Posted in Domestic Discipline, Domination and submission, Spanking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Art of Control

Control. What do you imagine when you think of the word and the meaning? What do you long for? Have you always wanted to take full control or succumb to letting go? Everyone is different. Intrinsic personal needs are something we often refuse to acknowledge and why? Fear. We are terrified others will realize we’re not the polished creature we portray in our everyday lives. Allowing another inside our trueDownfall persona takes guts. Bullies take control. Weak minded souls give up control. Is there anything in between? Of course. The rest of us…

The word resonates in my mind in several ways, especially as of late. There are various concepts regarding the act including giving up control, self control, gaining control, relinquishing control – the word and the meaning is power. We all crave and hunger for a taste of it, no matter what profession we have, the amount of money in our bank account or if we’re considered influential amongst our peers. If we control we own, we are superior and we thrive.

I’ve learned a lot about self-control lately, including attempting to be healthier in all aspects of my life. We forget sometimes that we aren’t machines, but living and breathing tissue. We use and abuse our bodies given time constraints and pressure, stress and longing to get ahead. When we come crashing down, often the results can be debilitating. We should all learn a bit of self-control now and again.

What about control with others? Do you play a game to see who’s top dog at work? Do you snicker when a colleague fails? Do you every once in awhile stab someone in the back, just to get ahead? Tell no lies. We all do. Whether we’re vying for a promotion or one upping the guy you just can’t stand in the next office, power is intoxicating. Human nature is all about fighting our way to the top of the food chain. That’s how mankind has survived. Often this leads to the state of the world we’re in – chaos. It’s a shame to see how mankind has delved into the pit of depravity. The subject is a little too deep for this early in the morning.

Relationships are taught to be on equal footing. Correct? Mama told you that when you grew up you were going to meet a nice boy or girl, fall in love, raise a family and share in the good and bad times. That’s not always the actuality of course, but the notion has been there for decades – at least since the 1960’s. Why do I pick that particular timeframe? Because up until some time in the hippy era, man was indeed the head of household and considered the breadwinner. I’ve posted many a blog on this before, but I continue to laugh given the fact so many people I talk to either forget or refuse to acknowledge that relationships were quite a bit different barely seventy years ago.

Submissives SentimentsI’m just finishing up two books. While both involve aspects of control – giving and taking – one is utter horror and a raw highlight at the darkness furrowed in all of us. The monster in the story won’t give up until he’s slaughtered everyone who turned his life into a living hell. Is he longing to take the reins or simply embroiled in his own madness? You’ll have to purchase the book to find out of course. The other is a light-hearted look at a woman coming into her own, all while giving up power to a man, one of course she happens to be in love with and all nestled in cowboy country. (Women and cowboys are hot you know). The contrast in switching back and forth has been slightly daunting considering I don’t have as much time to write as I used to.

I usually move between three or so stories, just to keep them fresh. Two is enough today, given my word load and when they are utterly on the opposite end of the spectrum, well… While I’m switching my writing to the thriller and horror bent, I still have a few outstanding stories that were in mid production or simply need to be told. Yes, the majority of these involve some aspects of D/s or the darker side of kink. With the invasion of SO MANY BOOKS in the genre, everything it seems is mainstream. There’s little ion the way of sex or control that seems out of the ordinary. Perhaps that’s why I’m moving back to my roots in writing.

What I have learned in the four years or so that I’ve written stories regarding D/s, M/s or the basic BDSM lifestyle is that folks involved are every day people living their lives, paying bills, visiting friends and family. They eat, sleep, purchase houses, go on vacation, and deal with death and hatred just like the rest of us. I’m so grateful for their stories, the fact they opened up to me, allowing their thoughts to be shared. What I continue personally to find so fascinating are the reasons those submit or hunger for control. There are many explanations and they’re all very personal. Some believe they were born with the need and until they embraced the fact with they had to be dominating in a relationship or submissive, their lives weren’t fulfilled. Others grew into the taste, the desire through aspects of society – or so they say. Many find their distinct tastes during playtime. There are some who find their worlds complete by being sadists. Everyone is different.

The joy of talking with submissives, and especially powerful women in their every day life, has been eye opening. Why do you think women who are CEO’s, bread winners, have influence in their cities, hold a high stakes political office or who have secured wealth long to let go of control? That’s been a question that’s come up throughout my years of research and subsequent stories. My books on D/s tend to focus around such women. The one aspect of their lives they utterly have zero control over is their functionality in any type of relationship.

Why do I use such clinical words? Because D/s and the various forms isn’t always Subtleabout love. Love, sex, power, control, domination, submission can be interwoven. The emotions are strong, the longing deep and the needs consuming. Every relationship is intricate and special. Only when you can truly let go, being the person you now inside can you succeed in any type of commitment, whether vanilla or one based in some form of D/s.

Powerful women tend to shy away from their needs, terrified someone will see behind their mask, one that’s often self-deprecating. Think about it. They’ve spent years building the wall around us brick by brick. We refuse to settle for anything but the best, in cars, food, clothes and you bet, men. Yet we long for something else. Close your eyes and think for just a minute. What if you found the perfect soul to give up control to? Would you? More importantly, would you allow the person to rip off your mask? This is a question we can delve into in later blogs.

You may ask, what are the two stories? Submissive for Hire and 1-800-Spanksx. I’ll allow your mind to wrap around the tasty treats either might bring.

Books allow us to delve into worlds we might never experience. We can be the person we crave for just a few hours. Writers provide escapism into the unknown and the damning. As you read a book over the next few days, ask yourself why you chose the one you did? Are you perhaps hiding from yourself? A little thought for the day.

Kisses and spanks…

Cassandre

Posted in BDSM, Domination and submission | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Submission to a Madman

I mentioned I’d give you a little taste of just one of the pieces I’m working on. As we all know, you can hire anyone to do anything your heart desires – as long as you have money. What keeps those who are dark souls from acting on this practice as well? If you’re sexy, good looking, wealthy and savvy, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. What if you’re a monster in disguise? What if there’s only one person in the world who can break the chain of violence, hunt the hunter? What if SHE is lured into his den of extreme kink, submitting to the one man who could end her life? Yes, what if…

Coming soon…

SUBMISSIVE FOR HIRE

Destiny heard the insistent tone. Swallowing hard, she blinked several times before easing 1Power Exchangeback in her chair. After a few seconds the fog slipped away. She scanned the perimeter of the room. There was no mysterious man invading her privacy or controlling her actions. Dear God, I’m losing my mind. His face, the man she hungered to find, remained in the forefront. She shook her head and glanced down at her skirt. The rumbled material had crawled up to her mid thighs. She stifled a gasp. Her panties were missing. No. This is insane.

“Doctor? Are you alright?”

I will taste you. I will own you and when I do, you’ll understand pure ecstasy…

Seconds later, she shut down the fantasy. She was a strong person, capable of protecting the woman buried deep inside. She’d been damn good at doing so for almost thirty years.

Tick. Tock.

Glancing at the oversized, old-fashioned clock, she grimaced, unable to remember the majority of the conversation. A patient. She was a doctor. She was…

He cleared his throat. Only this time, the sound was no apparition, no formidable monster, hungry to chain her in his basement, performing unspeakable acts. The man seated in front of her was desperate for help, lost in a system she claimed to understand. Go away!

A strand of dark hair fell to his lips. He was a patient. Still, she continued to read her fantasy man’s lurid thoughts, sensing his required possession of her. Why? Why was she so special to him?

A blip coming from her phone brought her up from the foggy haze. Panting, she fingered her iPhone. Two messages. Okay. Break free of this. He’s not real. Sadly, no man was coming to claim her.

She forced a smile and pushed a file across her desk, breaking the psychic connection. “I’m sorry and of course I’m just fine. What were you saying?” She wasn’t certain she’d asked the question loudly enough. As she centered her gaze past her desk, her thoughts cleared.

The chair was planted in the middle of the room. Her client was only comfortable if he was surrounded by air and nothing else. The poor man had fallen into an abyss. For a few seconds she thought about ending the session, but his imploring eyes and slacking mouth reminded her that she was his only hope. He was a loner. Then again, so was she. Concentrate. Her patient needed her expertise to pull them back to reality. Hell, they all did. Lately she’d felt like nothing but a farce, a woman incapable of helping anyone. Michael. You have to help Michael.

Michael’s expression was pensive. He tapped his foot as he wrung his hands. “Okay. Okay. SlaveI just thought…”

A full minute ticked by. Destiny glanced at the clock as she pressed down her skirt. She wiggled and slipped her fingers inside her waistband. Where the fuck had her panties gone? Had she actually taken them off at some point? She patted her hand on the desk and plastered on a smile.

“Michael, we have just a few more minutes in our session. Is there anything else you can remember about your dream?” Her professional training made certain her expression was comforting. Her patient was even more of a nervous wreck then he normally was during their typical hour-long sessions.

Michael’s eyes shifted, his gaze unfocused. He picked lint off the sleeve of his dress shirt and hummed. The heel of his foot continually tapped against the tile floor. Every body movement exuded raw emotion, complete discomfort, yet he’d only offered four full sentences during the last fifty minutes. She adjusted her suit jacket.

Even from where she was seated, she could easily see the sweat beading across his forehead. He reeked. His body odor was a putrid combination of garlic, stale cigarettes, urine and vomit. She’d never seen him this anxious in the nearly two years she’d been treating him. “Michael. Stay with me. What’s going on? Why are you so distraught? Did something happen at work?” Back on track, she breathed a sigh of relief.

He shook his head and leaned forward in his chair, clasping his hands. “No.” There was zero inflection in his tone.

“With your lovely girlfriend? Did you guys have a fight?”

He’s lying and you know this. A demon lives inside of him. He’s being eaten alive as he should be.

The voice filtered inside her brain. Go away. Go the fuck away. She heard him laugh. His scent remained and the combination of the two men was nauseating. She shifted again.

Laughing, Michael shot her a quick look. “Do you really think a model is going to stay with a beast like me?”

“What?”

“You heard me, doc. I’m a puss sucking slug.”

The demon rises…

Destiny exhaled and stole another glance around the room. Her legs shaking, she rose to her feet, moving slowly to the other side of the desk. Michael certainly had his insecurities, but he’d never spoken this way. Confidence bordering to the point of pure arrogance had Masking herbeen a downfall his entire life. This was…unexpected. “You’re not a beast. You’re a professional with an excellent career in a well-known accounting firm. You have a better than average salary, a house in your name and a brand new sports car.” The majority of people would be jealous of the amazing attributes Michael had obtained in his life. She wanted to hate him for his pompous bullshit, but she couldn’t. She’d seen inside the man, straight to the dark side.

We all have a dark side, especially you darling Destiny, my good little slut. Soon you’ll learn your power, understanding my command. Listen and learn…

Fuck you! Hissing, she willed her midnight lover back into the trenches.

As Michael snorted he shoved both hands through his hair. “No woman will stay with me because of who and what I am. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch!” Enraged, he shoved back in his chair with enough force the metal legs slammed against the edge of the glass coffee table.

Did I mention I have a dark and evil mind? Lick…

Cassandre

Posted in BDSM, creatures of the night, Domination and submission, Dubious Consent, horror, serial killer | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring Our Darker Needs

We all have a dark side. I’ve been reminded of this during the last few weeks. We desire sex and passion. We long to be thrilled by movies that give us nightmares. We long for… You fill in the blank.

When I first met John Patrick, he mentioned right up front that he knew he had an extremely dark side, one that kept his thoughts and desires locked away. I certainly knowI am totally His him better than anyone else and why? I’ve talked about this before. We live in a very vanilla society. This precludes sharing aspects of our deep hungers. I’m not just talking about sex either. Kink is often seen as deviant or loathsome. We criticize what we don’t understand. We snicker when sex is mentioned at the office then spend time on our computers enjoying porn or websites catering to servicing absolute pleasures. Of course we don’t tell anyone, do we? The mask is tightly woven around us. The majority of humans are followers, preferring to hide in their own shadows, no matter how monstrous. Yes, I used the word.

Why? Because during the course of the last few weeks, I’ve tried to push aside my own thoughts for various reasons. Of course I know why. I attempted to shove the real girl into a box. I haven’t been able to write more than a few thousand words. I haven’t allowed myself to blog for fear of… Well, the answer disgusts me. Months ago I chastised JP because he told me that entering into the darkness (in his case being a Dominant and longing for the D/s lifestyle) was nothing more than a choice. He not only pushed his darkness into a big, black box, but also locked it with a double chain and padlock.

This frustrated the hell out of me. I talked to him, cajoled him more than once then finally I realized that he needed to accept if he’d be able to embrace the truth and the man inside. After months of talking about everything under the sun except the lifestyle, he finally broke free. The frank and rather heartfelt discussion one beautiful December afternoon was eye opening for both of us. He told me he’d come to understand what I’d been telling him for almost two years. The darkness isn’t a choice. Unbridled, intense hungers are something every man and woman has. Whether our desires center around sex, love, helping our fellow man or in some cases, violence, if you search your soul, you’ll understand. Embracing and allowing is the choice.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m in no way suggesting that if you have a penchant for murder that you should act on your vile thoughts. However, if you’re an author, you can certainly explore various methods, utilizing creative implements. That doesn’t make any of us a murderer. Penning stories where you have heroes and heroines who maim and kill is nothing more than using explosive imagination. Sometimes this is a delicious exercise. Writers challenge themselves and that’s how we’re able pen better books.

Just followSex and the draw of submission or domination are no different. For JP, he told me that he finally accepted the fact he must share this aspect with someone he can trust. At this point he has no one else he can talk to or trust with his yearning but me. I feel honored. He’s no different in real life than the rest of us. He goes to work, pays his bills, purchases groceries and enjoys football on Sunday afternoons. He enjoys music and books and we talk about every concept that intrigues him you can imagine. BUT…there are days he simply enjoys being able to discuss frankly his need to own a submissive. This is a powerful draw for him and as I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, not something he invented when we first talked. This has been with him his entire life. He simply had no idea what his dark needs meant or how to express them.

On this sunny day a few weeks ago, he opened up. He understands he’ll never be able to fully live the life that makes him happy, but at least he can enjoy aspects with me. We talk about his bag of implements. We talk about his desire for polyamory. He has no fear I’ll feel jealous or threatened. Why? Because I totally understand him in every way.

I feel the same about him. There is nothing he doesn’t know about me – good or bad. His full admission forced me to think. I’ve been pushing so hard against my own demons that I allowed outside distractions to keep me from the love of writing and the joy of sharing. That’s just wrong. I’ve never been one to be lured into a closet, tossing away the inner girl and her emotions. This has been my strength my entire life. I realize many don’t understand me, even through the vision of my stories. I can understand now how others feel. Fear. Blinding terror of the unknown.

What now given my newfound realization? I write again. I mentioned weeks ago that I was bored to death writing sex. That statement certainly rings true, however in certain stories and books, sex is a way of telling at least a portion of the story. There’s nothing wrong with a steamy moment in the shower, sharing passion during a picnic or in some cases, savoring a hard spanking. For me, this just needs to be tempered. I started writing science fiction, then moved to horror stories and finally romance/erotic. My true love is all about thrillers and the last pieces I was working on center around a combination of horror, thriller and some aspects of kink.

For two years or so, I haven’t watched television (other than The Walking Dead) or read a book. Over the course of the last three months I’ve watched movies, some extremely bloody and violent. I have friends who tease me because they know I have books about how to create the perfect kill. I do indeed. These fabulous creations are books for authors, allowing us to write real methods of using firearms and knives, poison and gas. Some might say this is a perfect setting for real life killers. Oh come on. The Internet is a fabulous tool, even for psychotics. There’s no need to read a book any longer. You simply pull up a Google page and viola, you’re an expert on injecting pesticides into the body or purchasing the correct knife for cutting through the carotid artery.

With regard to sex, the same thing applies. You can learn about the art of using rope to tie Bad Thingsan individual. You can read about every implement used for a hard spanking, when and where. I do ask though, are our imaginative minds enough to re-create the moment a knife is thrust into someone’s neck, or the way a leather belt feels slapping against a naked ass? Interesting questions, don’t you think?

The best authors can bridge this gap by watching movies, reading books and imaging the event. We learn the craft by talking to others, exploring ideas and continuing to write on a daily basis. I know when I’ve hit the mark. I’ve cried reading my own work. Then I know the love scene or the darkness of death is damn good. I’ve shuddered when I go back over a gruesome murder and the way I’ve embodied the spirit and ugly soul of a monster. I also laugh when I imagine the bantering scene two women have when discussing the hot guy in the restaurant they’re at. This is when writing is at its best.

Thankfully the writing is freer now. I don’t have nearly as much time but I’m writing again. I’m finishing up some very creative pieces regarding D/s and I just couldn’t let them go. I always finish stories and I plan on doing so. What’s helped unlocked my personal dungeon? John Patrick. His bravery at being able to accept the man inside has given me perhaps courage again. That sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? Think about the notion. When was the last time you had a heart to heart with a friend or family member in which you were allowed to truly open up? When was the last time you were able to be yourself without fear of retribution? A long time? Then it’s about time.

The joy of writing is paramount in my life. The need to speak my mind, both in books and in real life, is a part of me that I can’t and won’t deny. Sex and kink. Bad words? Oh come on. Violence and murder? We all race to the latest gruesome horror flick with a candy box in hand, salivating at the extreme amounts of blood and gore. Mmm… Now I’m ready to write.

I’ll share a couple of rather gritty and sexy pieces over the next couple of days. I think you might like where my rather warped mind is taking me. We shall see what creative images I have during the next few months. Ready for more?

Kisses and spanks…

Cassandre

Posted in BDSM, creatures of the night, Domestic Discipline, Domination and submission, horror, murder mystery, serial killer, Spanking, thriller | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reflections on an Interesting Year

As so many of us do, New Year’s Eve is a time for reflections of the past year. I can tell you that it certainly didn’t end how I anticipated, nor am I in the same place as I was this time last year. In truth and for the most part, I’m glad. I’m also very grateful so many things have changed for the positive. However along with good portions of any aspect of our lives, there are negative ones. I’m not going to bemoan but so much but there are a few things to be said.

Writing

Writing books and stories over the last six years have been a Godsend for me, allowing me to push away the often difficult portions of my life. Most authors will tell you that escaping through the pages of a book is fulfilling and peaceful. No matter our demons nestledwoamn-with-champagne-small inside, the ones fighting to breach the surface, we find solace in our writing. Unfortunately the business of writing has taken an ugly turn over the last few years.

From publishing companies who suddenly refused to accept their responsibilities and pay their authors to others who made promises they couldn’t keep, the industry has far too many black marks. Then there are authors who bash others, as well as their groupies who revel in doing so, in order to achieve more success. Really? What goes around comes around folks. How about reviewers, who have no business reviewing anything period giving bad reviews based on the fact they hate the genre? The new trend to try and inflict their grammatical style to a book and words they consider errors (which often is colloquial language) and in doing so give one star reviews. This doesn’t just obtain a ‘really’ but a how dare you? Can you ever simply enjoy a book and the plot?

Authors put themselves out in their books. We use imagination, often waking up in the middle of the night, to try and entertain. Let’s face it, there’s a hell of a lot of bad shit in this world including human monsters. Books, like movies, are escapism. To have naysayers constantly nagging and biting, spewing words of hatred because of our imaginations or our words is debilitating. I’ve certainly experienced a lot of this kind of feeling this year. In fact, for the first time in years, I stopped writing for a time. You bet there are people to blame but sadly, I have to look in the mirror first. I allowed lies and deceit, assholes challenging what I write and those who simply have nothing better to do than to try and drag authors down to do just that. For a while.

No longer. I’m tired of writing for the commercialism of writing. I’m through with listening to lies and bullshit. I’m also done with working with those who are nothing better than cynics. Writers work hard. So, 2016 will bring about perhaps a different style of writing for me. That’s my choice – not based on the crap I’ve had to go through. Erotic I’ve done to death. There are few other sex scenes in any combination that I can do. D/s is still intriguing but who cares any longer? Fifty Shades might have jump-started the genre, but indianajones3the books and the movie also gave it a silent death. Everything about the stories is so wrong, but people believe everything they read, right?

I’m bored, however it’s a legitimate genre that deserves all the kudos any slick little romance or bloody horror book does. There is an art to all styles of writing. Try it folks before you quash the spirit of another author. There’s also the misnomer that writers experience everything they write about. Right. I kill people in books – you bet I do, but really folks, you think I’m out there at night, conjuring up creative methods of actually killing people? Leave that to the monsters walking our streets.

I’m award winning and best selling – whoopdy do and a Scooby treat too. Making money is something else entirely. I go back to the advice I’ve given other authors for years – write for the love of writing. Don’t listen to the critics who have nothing better to do than to bash you or your writing style. Learn your craft and enjoy the process. Whether or not lightning strikes is unknown.

I was listening to Disturbed and their song “The Light”. The line “sometimes the darkness can show you the light” is so appropriate. When you go through what you think are your darkest hours, remember there are others suffering much more than you are. All you have to do is turn on the news. It’s a sad state of our humanity right now.

People

People and our relationships can be wonderful or they can drive us into madness. I’ve had a bit of that too this year. I enjoy being alone much more than I did, but I still have confidence in the good of some people. Some. I also believe that there are relationships that can withstand the test of time and various difficulties. I believe strongly in a couple that I’ve developed over the last two years. Even when shadows cross over our paths, I know what’s really there, what could happen in the future. The future is a mystery, right? Enjoy the path along the way for you never know what might happen.

Bullies seem to have emerged and are the way of the world right now. If you don’t like something, bully your way to the top and you’ll eventually get what you want. People don’t like challenge and they especially don’t like confrontation. So many people are followers in this world. That’s why we have copycat killers. That’s also why so many jump on the bandwagon when there’s a lifestyle or career that goes against the grain. Let’s gang up together and make fun, see the poor soul suffer more. Sounds great, doesn’t it? That’s human nature. How sad. What did your mother actually teach you? I shudder at the thought.

What happened to caring for others, helping those in need? Yes, of course there are still incredible stories, but they are blocked out by the disgusting path some humans have chosen to take. I hope we can learn to change.

Well, enough of the soapbox. I’m not going to reflect on the negativity in the new year. In fact, I’m very much looking forward to the future. I have so many things to be thankful for including my healthy five year old Golden Retriever, MacGyver and my new little fur ball, Indiana Jones. They look at the world with only love and compassion. Every day they are Champagne and raspberrymy constant companions, showering me with unconditional love. In return, I’ve been reminded that love, friendship and kindness are the true methods to happiness, not money or clout or powerful positions.

I’ve lost a couple of amazing friends to death and despair and these incidents are additional reminders that life is too short and too precious. So on this last day of the year, I’m celebrating life and love, good friends and my little family. I’ll drink a toast or two, share some good food and listen to incredible music. I’m also writing because I am an author. No one can take that away from me. Ever.

I wish all of you the best in 2016. I’m forever changed by the adversities as well as the amazing times. I’m certain all of you are as well. Take a step back and remember those around you who make this life worth living. My wish for you all…

Cass

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

And So the World of Indiana Jones Begins…

No, not the infamous character or movie I so loved as a young adult. I’m talking about the new Golden puppy arriving in our house tomorrow. The timing is quite honestly heartbreaking given my beloved Goldie Hawn left us on Saturday. Of course we had no idea we’d lose her so soon. She was only twelve. We simply knew that we were ready to have a furry little third, one who could continue to delight Mac and his youthful years while giving Goldie a motherly role. Things often work out differently than you often think.

Indy is a true little special breed with a gorgeous face and I can tell, a willful spirit. I hope he’ll dry the tears and give Mac a reason to keep on being the adorable dog he’s grown into being. We pick Indy up tomorrow, right after attending a funeral of a good Indy 4 plus weeksfriend and one who helped DH through his cancer – even convincing him to go to a doctor at the time. Life can be very cathartic. Don’t you think?

The picture here is of Indy at only four and a half weeks. I haven’t seen a picture since and he’ll be almost eight weeks tomorrow. I have a mommy dog’s instinct that he’ll be very wild and HUGE. I don’t mind a challenge and my guess is that he’ll rummage through the Christmas presents like a little trooper. During our sadness last night, we had to begin dog proofing the house. You know – electrical cords and making sure there are no low ornaments on the Christmas tree. There was continued sadness as we performed the task. Still, we need to protect him just like we did when Goldie and Mac arrived.

I’m quite disillusioned lately on everything from life to the world of writing. The publishing industry certainly has taken a dark turn. Writing has become more of a chore than anything and I’ve grown bored with the normal books I write – no matter how many genres I currently write in. DH suggested I write about Indy and his entrance into our lives. Perhaps penning funny and crazy little bits about him and the way he adopts his ‘rents’ will help soothe another pain. We shall see but I can tell you that I have over 4k in words written about waiting for him to come into our lives.

I never would have thought I’d have to include a death. Life like people can be very cruel. But a mommy dog I will be to the little fur ball. As far as any other writing – we’ll see. I have lots to do in real life and I’ve learned what’s important. It’s not about making money or pleasing the world. What is so vital is enjoying every day with family and friends. Maybe I’m more melancholy given the time of year. Maybe my heart is really broken. Maybe I just need a break.

I’m reminded of the first time I read the book, Marley and Me. DH actually read many of the chapters as we were cuddling Goldie – ironically enough. I laughed and cried, wished the movie would have been a little better, and genuinely experienced the story. I hope to bring Indy’s (and Mac’s story) to life and I’ll post some of the passages along with pictures as the months continue. For now I’ll just say I long to hold Indy but wish more I could bring him home to love and enjoy a bigger family – one complete with Goldie Hawn.

It’s a magical time of year. I hope you remember to be kind to those around you and if you have furry babies, take an extra dollar or five and buy a special gift. They give unconditional love without condemning or questioning your motives. They simply want to lick away your tears, give you reason to laugh and to move forward in this crazy concept of life. Indy will be another special baby, but there are many out there who need good homes. If you have it in your heart, adopt for this holiday season. You certainly won’t regret and you might find the kinder and softer side of yourself along the process.

To Indy, I raise a glass and hope for a long and healthy life. To Mac, I wish for a wonderful companion to call his friend. To all of you, I wish you Merry Christmas.

The tears continue to flow…

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments