Thursday, 29 August 2013

Nananana Hey Hey Goodbye

Are you singing that song yet? No? Do you want me to hum a few bars for you? Fine Mia, I will get on to the point of this blog. Yes, I know I suffer from blogger ADD. Today’s blog is about moving on from friendships.  At the best of times, it is bad and, if you are having personal problems, it is devastating. I have had both.

What causes you to lose your best friends vary. But, for the most part, it is the simple fact that you’ve grown apart. I know it sounds cheesy, but it is true in some cases, others not so much. So I am going to yammer on about things that I have had happen to me and some are from friends that I have spoken to about this subject. So no, these are not about any of you….. Well, maybe, they are.

 Some people are lucky enough to meet their best friends when they are young but most have several best-friends throughout their life. The hardest part of life to me is losing the friendships that have helped you through life. I mean how do you just let go of a friend who was there through the death of family, a divorce, or was your maid of honor at your wedding? These people are some of the most important people in your life. To me, this might be one of the hardest things a person ever goes through and some go through it several times.

I have never really had a best friend that I have told everything to (they always know that I am way too private for that). But I have had some great friends that I have had to let go of. My first close friend was one I made in grade school. She was a couple of years behind me, but we were from the same neighborhood. So she and I had some of the same life experiences. We went all through school together. But when I entered high school, she was still in seventh grade, and we kind of grew apart. When she became a freshman, we hooked back up again and then as what often happens, I graduated and she was still in school. For a few years, I moved away and when I came back, she had moved on. But we tried to rekindle our closeness. It just never really happened. I still think about her, but it is usually just when I am feeling kind of homesick for my small town.

I really haven’t lost another close friend, but I have lost a friend just because. We used to talk every day, but we found other things more important to us than our friendship. Another was a friend who lives in England. We lost touch when her computer died, and we (again) just kind of let the friendship go. I still see her on Facebook but the closeness is gone. See, most of mine are growing apart, but I do know of some that there was a reason for the split.

Sometimes there are lots and lots of drama involved and, to me, that’s the worst thing that could happen. Most of the drama is about hurt feelings or outside forces getting involved because, to me, a close friend already knows your secrets and loves you anyway. So it would be hard for them to just walk away. I am not saying this never happens but, to me, it would be a rare occurrence. I have had friends tell me that a friend violated a confidence or, what is worse, showed a lack of loyalty to not only them but also their friendship. If this happened to me, there is a good chance I would be hiding a body.

Now, how do you let a friend go? That is the big question. Sometimes it is talked to death because no one wants to just walk away. So there are endless phone calls and meetings and emails. This to me is just dragging out the inevitable. I would rather tell them or walk away and never see them again. Some say this is harsh and that the other person deserves to be heard. My friends know that I have a strict moral code and that there are consequences to betraying me. If they make a mistake, that is one thing. But when they do something that I feel has crossed the line then I will just walk away and cut them loose. I will wait in the tall grass and destroy them when they least expect it. Yes, I am a bit vindictive that way. I know it is not a nice thing, but I have never claimed to be nice.

I have held the hand of friends who have went through the long and drawn out break ups and there is a point that I have wanted to smack them and say, “Walk away. All you are doing is hurting yourself and the other person.” As my Adam would say, “Man up and let it go”.

I know. Easier said than done, right? But you have to decide what is better for you in the end and remember that you may never have another bestie like the one you are breaking up with. In the end, though, how good a friend were they if you are causing each other this much pain?

So, are you like me and want to just cut your losses early or do you do the drama route?

Sinfully Sarcastic,


Monday, 26 August 2013

Effective Use Of Children For Marketing Erotic Books

Curious, aren’t you? What do children and the types of books often featured on The Righteous Perverts have in common? Admittedly, not much.

In 2008 my first book, Her Dark Master, is published by Red Sage Publishing. It’s official! I’m a published author! There is much rejoicing. I get a great cover (albeit one with a slight historical inaccuracy) and make a pretty cool trailer. At this point, I’d like to point out I’m a halfway intelligent human being AND a pretty good mom. You’d think I’d know better, but really, I think I was too darn excited about the book to think about what I was saying when my son, Dr. Kidlet, and friends wandered into my office and asked what I was doing. I told them I’d made a trailer for my book but they weren’t allowed to watch it. Really?! REALLY? Tell tweens not to do something? Good grief.

They come back a few minutes later and say “Nice trailer, mom, but what do whips have to do with romance?”

“They ride a lot of horses.”

They totally bought this for the next two years.

Right after the release of Her Dark Master, Dr. Kidlet started high school.

Cue Meet the Teachers night. I walk into the school ready to find out how I can help Dr. Kidlet (and his friends) succeed and transition to college. Instead…

Dr. Kidlet’s English Teacher:  “Dr. Kidlet and Friend A told me you’re a romance writer and you have a book out.” Long wink and (honestly!) a nudge with the elbow. “I can’t wait to read it. He gave me this bookmark with the cover and buy info.”

Dr. Kidlet’s Theatre Teacher:  “So, Dr. Kidlet says you’re a published author! Congratulations. I can’t wait to read it. Great bookmark, too!”

Friend B’s Algebra Teacher: “Ms. August, Friend B gave me this bookmark for your novel. Looks saucy. Is it?”

School Librarian: “I can’t order your book for the school, but I did buy it for my Kindle.”

And on and on and on. This was just the tip of the iceberg. During the course of the year, the teens pilfered my bookmark and postcard stashes and passed them out with programs at football games, band events, and other schools. I had no idea this was going on at the time.

Ah, how quickly they grow up. Remember when they believed whips in book trailers meant riding a lot of horses? Yeah, well, in sophomore year of high school, the newly-educated kids coined a term for my writing: Chick Porn.


The first time they called it that, I about peed my pants. I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry, or pay someone for coming up with the term.

As the high school years went by and I had more books out, I had more swag to give away and they delighted in brainstorming ways to guerilla market for me. They had some really awesome ideas. Their brains hadn’t yet been tainted with the “No, you can’t do that” kind of mantra we often have as adults.

They left my literature in every city they visited, in public restrooms, in textbooks they turned back in at the end of the school year, even in yearbooks as they were handed out at the beginning of the next year. When our local grocery stores started carrying and aggressively marketing books by Sylvia Day and Maya Banks and Shayla Black, Friends A & C (who worked at said stores) slid my postcards into the middle of all the copies on the shelves (I’ll admit that was my idea, that time). I received several emails and sales because of this.

The last day of meeting with teachers came and I was a bit overwhelmed by the positive comments I received from them regarding my work. Most were supportive and had read some of my books (AWKWARD!) and all wished me luck with my career.

My favorite part, though, was when his English Teacher and the chair of the National Technical Honor Society, asked me for my autograph and a stack of bookmarks and postcards because she was going to a NTHS conference in New York later that summer. She wanted to hand them out for me. Wow.

Dr. Kidlet chose to go to a university to study medicine (hence his nickname) which has a huge Christian mindset. The entire summer before he left, I cautioned him over and over again about not mentioning what I do. By now I’d segued into ménage as well as bondage. I’m thinking a conservative Christian school and its students are not going to appreciate my swag.

The first time I visited him during college, I was instructed to bring swag, books, and a sharpie for signing autographs. I was shocked, to say the least. I even sold books to his professors. Holy crap.

Turns out, Dr. Kidlet completely ignored me, swiped some of my postcards and brochures and passed them out (judiciously, thank heavens) to people after he’d made some connections and assessments. My brochure, which has some pretty racy info and covers, hung in his dorm’s public study room for the entire year. A whiteboard beneath it had all the titles of my books that weren’t in the brochure, along with where-to-buy links.

I dropped him off last week for his sophomore year. I packed an entire box of swag for him to market me down there. He told me this weekend he’s already had texts and emails from friends asking what’s come out since last semester.  They are especially excited about Bound by His Blood, which comes out in October. He said the moment he told them they were “Vampire Bondage” books, there was much excitement.

So, there’s the saga of how my child and his friends helped market me, my books, and my swag for the last five years with pretty good success. He’s going to be a doctor, so I have at least ten more years to look forward to this. I’d better get to writing!

Jennifer August                                         

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A Week With Mia

As many of you know I spent a few days with Mia Ashlinn before we went to Savannah for the Authors After Dark convention. It started out with me getting up before the crack of dark and heading to St. Louis to catch my flight. I hired a car to take me to the airport so I didn’t have to leave my car. I am just saying the guy was a bit strange, not scary, just a bit different. Anyway, because my flight was at 8 am, I had to be there at 6. Some of you may know that I am not a regular flyer so I have never checked luggage and I had no idea how to do it. It was so easy. I just walked up and the really nice guys at Southwest had me checked in and with my boarding pass in hand so fast. 15 minutes later, I was through security and sitting all alone at my gate. Not a single person within talking distance. I was at the last gate in the Southwest terminal so I just kind of wandered around and was able to watch all the planes taking off. It was a bit funny to me that my plane was already at the gate. We were just waiting for our take off time.

I tried to read to deal with my boredom, but even Shelly Laurenston could not quell my excitement. I was a bit bouncy—to say the least. As I was sitting there, I received a text from a slightly frazzled Mia. They had overslept and so they may be late picking me up. I told her it was fine and tried to read again. Instead I amused myself by looking at pictures of my Mitchell. Don’t judge me, Mia. It helped for a little while but then I ended up calling Mia to relieve my crazy. Alas, that didn’t work because she was driving. Yep, her hubby had had her drive because she was taking me back all by herself.  She’d never driven to Nashville from her backwoods home, but I am sure it was an adventure for her.

By the time I was loaded on my mostly empty flight, I was ready to be in Nashville already, and I was coming down off my bouncy high. I had picked up a couple of magazines (at some ridiculous price) to flip through on the flight. It was only an hour flight, but it seemed like it flew by (excuse the pun). Now I have barely spoken to Mia’s hubby or child so I was quite nervous. Yes, me nervous? I know you are shocked, but I am a bit hard to take for some people. Okay, most people. I knew I would have to behave and be nice, and we all know how hard that is for me.

Mia called me and told me they were almost there so I picked up my two suitcases and my laptop bag and headed out the door. I found a bench and copped a squat and waited. Mia called me back, and I told her where I was and she said she saw me waving at her. She parked and her awesomely geeky (see I got it right this time, Mia) hubby jumped out and helped me put my bags in the trunk. Mia even hopped out, and I gave her a hug (we all know how much she loves that). The Geek hopped in the back seat with the Spawn so I could sit up front with Mia and yap away.

I was very happy that Mia didn’t get us lost—not once on the way back to her home. We did have to stop once for gas and the Geek was so sweet he climbed out and pumped the gas for Mia (I would have made her do it).  We got closer to her house and decided that we were going to eat out and so they took me to one of their favorite places. It was funny listening to them try and decide. (I would have been happy with McDonalds. )
We had a good time at dinner and Mia was brave enough to leave me with the Geek while she took the Spawn to the restroom. We didn’t even talk bad about her. I am now going to admit something that is very painful. Mia was right. Her hubby is so laid back and sweet he made me relax in just minutes. Mia got lucky with her hubby. He is truly a perfect fit for her brand of crazy. Now the Spawn is just like Mia. I call her Tigger. She bounces around and never walks when she can run or hop. She was a very sweet girl, though if exhausting. I do not know how she has that much energy.

After that, we headed back on the road where the Geek took over driving and got us safely through the traffic to their very cute house set back in the woods. I am just going to say that I think my bags had dinner too because they seemed heavier when we carried them into the house. We settled down for a few minutes and rested before we were on the go again. The Spawn spends some weekends with her grandparents so the Geek got her stuff together and headed out the door.
Mia couldn’t wait to show off the mountains she drives through so we jumped back in the car and off we went. She has every reason to be proud of where she comes from because it was beautiful—even though it was raining the entire time.

While on the road she calls the Geek, and he is such a sweetie that he went back to the house and set up projector and laptop so that when we got back home, we could watch our porn. We walked in and all we had to do was pick our movie and hit play. Yes, we will be writing that blog later, and I do have pictures.
After the porn, we just sat there talking like we hadn’t chatted in years. When the Geek returned we were still chatting away like magpies with no end in sight, but we did eventually call it a night and headed off to bed.

Sunday dawned with more rain, and Mia and I headed out to the store to get stuff so I could make the Geek a nice German dinner like what I grew up on. I am just saying that people looked at us strange because we are not quiet to say the least, and I have no qualms about talking about anything.  Anyway, we get home and head into the kitchen. Cooking with Mia is fun. She had never fried bacon before and I freaked her out a bit with using scissors when I cut the bacon up. Mia was an excellent sous chef, and she can cut up taters like no one’s business.  She was a bit skeptical of the granny smith apples in the cabbage but she rolled with it. Now most of you know, I try not to cook whenever possible, but I actually know how. But I was nervous because I had never cooked for anyone who wasn’t family. I was just happy I didn’t destroy the meal or burn anything. The Geek seemed to like it and even Mia loved the German potato salad. We sat around watching Sherlock and talking while eating and then we headed off to get some sleep.

This blog is way long so I will leave it there and you will have to wait on the next installment of ‘A Week With Mia.’

Sinfully Sarcastic,

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Difference In Customs

Hello my fellow RP'ers. I know I have been awol for a while and I am sorry for all that we have missed. The ladies and I have been on the road doing shows almost continuously for the last 30 days but are back for a few. So, I thought I would go a slightly different route with my blog this time and step away from the mechanics of specific BDSM play and instead share with you a recent learning experience the ladies and I have encountered. Now as many of you know, we live several alternative lifestyles, those being BDSM, Polyamory and Power Exchange. Each of these relationship dynamics has its own set of customs and expected forms of behavior. Having spent the last seven years exploring these communities as well as my past experiences with the vanilla (this is a term used to describe non-kinky people and is not meant in any kind of negative connotation) world and all of the shows we have done with the LGBT communities led me to believe I understood the way all alternative communities worked.

As it turns out, I was wrong. This past week we were in Las Vegas at the Vegas Exchange show which is a fairly large swinger’s convention. Now depending on whom you ask will get you different answers but in general it is accepted that poly and swinging are different but distantly related versions of a similar relationship dynamic. Each has a different end goal in mind, a different set of rules (as we learned) and in general a different way of looking at life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Please understand that I am not saying one is right and the other is wrong, I am not. I am just pointing out that the participants of each of these dynamics have their own flavor and views.

Anyway, this was the first swinger event that we have worked and I will share with you my experience with it and how it differed from what I was used to. I share this with you in hopes that it will help with your reading or writing of these different lifestyles to understand some of the thoughts and behaviors of each.

I had always been lead to believe that the swinger community was comprised primarily of the "beautiful people", that everyone was young, in shape and drop dead gorgeous. From my own experiences in both the BDSM and poly communities I have seen that there are all types of people involved and suspected that would be closer to the truth for the swing community than the urban myth of the beautiful people and I was right.

Don't get me wrong, there were a lot more people in the swinger community in their late 20's to late 30's than in their late 40's and over which is common in most of the BDSM and poly communities I have seen. The BDSM and Poly communities in my experience have tended to frequently (but certainly not all by any means) be in their 40's and up, slightly out of shape and ready to try a different lifestyle than their parents had.  The swing community from my limited observations seemed to be slightly younger, slightly in better shape and just as willing if not more so to live life to its fullest.

All of these communities have a mix of all ages, body types and willingness to explore life but each has, again in my opinion and only my opinion, these characteristics. I found it interesting just how secure many in the swing community were in their relationships. In the kink community, there often seems to be a lot of relationship drama just like in the vanilla world. People obsessed with jealousy issues and insecurities about their partners and their place in their relationships. In the swing community, they have these same issues but at least from an outsider’s perspective, they didn't seem to have the same teeth they do in other parts of life. They seemed to be able to separate love from sex and enjoy both with whomever they chose to. They seemed to do so without the fear of losing their partner or damaging their relationship that so many of us are hung up on. It was very refreshing to see people willing to live life and enjoy themselves knowing they would return to normal life on Monday with new stories to tell and none of the emotional crap that many of us would battle after such a weekend.

As I mentioned each community has their own set of rules that differ from community to community. One of the most obvious ways this point was made to me was in trying our chainmail clothing on people. When we do vanilla or kink shows I always ask the person wanting to try on a piece if it is ok if I help them with it and then ask their partner, Master, Dominant whatever the same question. I do this since there is a minimal amount of touching involved, I keep it very professional but as a courtesy always ask and it seems to be appreciated by most. In the swing community, almost every time I asked the partner that question I received a look like I was brain damaged and often was told "Dude, its a swing convention". Apparently that means I didn't need to ask permission before touching someone else’s partner.

Now, it was refreshing to find a community so free and open that I didn't need to ask permission but it made me a bit uncomfortable since my three ladies were with me and I didn't want just anyone groping them without consent. In our communities consent is huge so this was a concern to me. But as we discovered, at least in the vending hall, no one acted inappropriately or touched without consent of the person being touched. We didn't get to go to the parties (the registration for the event to get to do the fun stuff was quite expensive) so I can't comment on how they operate but in the vending area it was safe and comfortable.

The closest we came to anything unusual, at least for us, was when someone we have met previously stopped by the booth and explained that his partner was on a date for three hours and so he was alone and asked if he could borrow one or more of my girls. I tend to be very over protective of my loves but knowing it was meant as a compliment to their loveliness (which I couldn't agree more, I have three of the most desirable women I have ever met, not bragging just my opinion, love you ladies!!!) and not an insult I politely thanked him for the offer but declined. He was very respectful of the rejection and we all parted on friendly terms. It was a new experience though and one that really made me think about the differences in codes of conduct between different relationship dynamics.

I don't know if any of this was as interesting to you as it is to me but I find it fascinating how people define and live their lives. Our travels allow us to mix and minge with so many different forms of relationship dynamics that we get to learn lots of different ways to live life. This lets us mine the nuggets that work for us and to appreciate how others make things work. I hope this helps you to think about the customs and behaviors of other dynamics when you read or write your stories. If I can answer any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Have a great day!

Reggie Alexander

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

My Dirty Little Secret

You all are insane if you think I am going to share my deepest darkest secrets with you. Nope, this is a secret that a lot of women keep. I know because I used to be one of those women. This blog is about (drum roll please)………….reading romance books.

I have been reading romance since…it seems like forever, but I never told anyone. I was always embarrassed. I never used to buy my books at the store where I worked because I didn’t want anyone to know. That is pretty damn sad and, looking back, I am ashamed that I ever felt like that. I will explain why I was embarrassed by buying them. We can start with the most superficial—the covers. I read a lot of historicals, which meant lots of bare-chested men and boobs falling out women on the front of every book. We are talking a lot of years ago and, if you go back and look, you will see I am right. Yep, Fabio was on the cover of a lot of those books (although I never thought he was hot).

As a young woman who was shy, I blushed anytime I bought them.  I know it sounds silly, but you know that most of you were like me—mortified that someone thought you were reading trash. I used to always buy my romances at the same time as I bought my Tom Clancy books or, at least magazines, so maybe the clerk wouldn’t notice what I was buying.  I am so glad that now covers are so much better.

Most people think that romance books are just pieces of fluff with no value at all. They have never read one, but they still like to make fun of or just shake their heads as if to say “What a waste of time. Don’t you have something better to do than read crap?”  This is one of the reasons I kept my secret for years. When someone would ask what I did over the weekend, I would just say nothing much. When in fact, I was sailing the ocean with pirates, fighting for Scottish independence, or just living a normal life all while falling in love with a hero. What most people do not realize is how much research is put into these books. I have picked up so much information from romances it is no wonder I am really good at playing trivia games.

So individuals, whom we will call book snobs (as opposed to just calling them assholes), believe that the authors of romance books are hacks. Oh, they respect the classics. But give them a Melissa Schroeder (not that I like her or anything) or any number of other author’s books and they are all “she writes romance so she can’t have any talent”. What a crock of shite!!! I have read a variety of books from the so-called classics to the worst books imaginable, and I have found that these are some of the most talented and imaginative writers in the world today. I don’t think the ‘Snobs’ understand how hard it is to convey the feelings of love, lust and romance to a reader. One of the most difficult things for a writer is to make the reader care about the characters and the connection between them.  Most of the books I have read have, at the very least, made me care about the characters while I am reading, even if it is over as soon as I close the book. Some have made me cry and some have made me roll with laughter and is that not truly the purpose of a book? I am not saying that there aren’t some truly terrible writers out there. But there are also some amazingly talented ones writing romance as well.

One of the biggest complaints that I have heard about romance is that it is nothing but sex. There are books that are nothing but sex. But don’t we all just want to read some down and dirty sex once in a while? These are not my favorite books by any means but, sometimes, a little smut is good for you (not to mention your sex life). To me, a good romance book is if you removed all the sex, is it still a compelling story? Is the author still able to make you care about the characters and the hardships of finding and keeping love? Most of the time the answer is yes, if the answer is no then you are not reading a good romance book and I suggest you try again.

Now, am I alone in wanting to take the stick out of the ‘Snobs’ asses and beating them with it??

Sinfully Sarcastic,

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Language of Love - Bianca Sarble

The Language of Love

At first, I thought I'd write this blog post about how the online world of erotic romance allows people who would have otherwise never met, to become the best of friends. How it's so lovely to have a group of friends that are just as kinky, if not more so, than me.

While that’s true, there are times when the language differences provide many a WTF moment! For example, if you told someone "get your thong out of your fanny" in Australia, you'd get more than a strange look and possibly a black eye.

Being an Aussie who writes stories set in America, my car parks become parking lots, boots become trunks and arse became ass. The cultural differences don’t end there. But, that’s one of the reasons I love my online groups who can explain that stubbie holders are also known as coozies (apparently not pronounced like cooties LOL!) and how peanut butter and chocolate apparently tastes delicious!

The flip side is, of course, we get to scare the non-natives with our cute and cuddly wildlife and giggle at the looks of horror at our humble spiders. Another benefit is the fact that when I do get to travel one day I have lots of couches to camp on and locals to show me all the pervy places.

What do you think? Have something you need translated into Aussie? I’d love to hear what you come up with and have a crack!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Once upon a time, in a land called Australia, there lived a delightful young girl named Bianca who loved to read. As she grew older, her sarcastic tendencies and warped sense of humor became evident, as did her preference for raunchy romances. Now, as well as reigning over their 1/4 acre kingdom with the handsome Prince that stole her heart and feeding their ever-growing children, she not only reads everything she can, but pens her own deliciously sexy stories.