A Place For Everything?
First of all I want to thank the fabulous Lily Harlem for inviting me over to her blog. It’s wonderful to be here, chatting about my latest book and the parallels with my own life. Or not.
My current series, A Richness of Swallows, is about a woman who is compulsively tidy. It’s about other things too, but Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a core theme running through Summer’s story. As I sit here now surveying the chaotic mess I like to think of as my office/workspace, I can’t help but be struck by the irony of that. There may well be a place for everything, but I sure as hell can’t find it.
My husband complains from time to time as he rummages through the clutter on the kitchen table looking for his keys, but in truth he’s not much better as our garage can bear witness. I find this an excellent excuse to stay out of there. Similarly, whilst I do on rare occasions open the door to my daughter’s bedroom, one peep inside is quite enough. I slam the door shut and head off in search of a stiff drink. Better not to venture in there, it would offend even my low standards. I seem to recall that her carpet is pink, but it’s not seen the light of day in so long I’m not entirely sure any more. I’m convinced this slovenliness is congenital. My mother’s home is even more cluttered than mine. She’s untidy and a hoarder too – a fatal combination. Between us all we have many fine qualities – but being tidy is not among them.
Every so often I have a blitz, as often as not triggered by some impending visit. My cluttered worktops and untidy desk might be something I’m happy to live with, but I don’t necessarily want to show them off to all and sundry. On these occasions I get ruthless, chucking anything combustible into the log burner and ramming the rest into the bin. In extreme circumstances I’ll even load up the car and head for the tip.
My blitzed environment does not remain pristine for long. It’s a constant source of amazement for me the speed at which junk can accumulate if three messy people put their collective minds to it. School books and folders piled on the kitchen table, half-eaten bags of sweets in the fruit bowl (not guilty, Yer Honour, I’m diabetic), pens, notepads, empty coffee cups, the paraphernalia of an authorly life. The visitors who inspired such commendable efforts don’t get further than the bottom of the drive before we’re slithering back into our old slovenly ways.
With Summer Jones in A Richness of Swallows this process works in reverse. She becomes progressively less tidy as her relationship with Daniel Riche becomes hotter, more compelling. I suppose it’s safe to say he takes her mind off the trivialities as she struggles to respond to the challenges he offers, at the same time becoming more comfortable in her own skin. Her horizons are broadened by some hard spanking, and even harder sex. Maybe there’s a lesson for us all in there.
Here’s the series blurb for A Richness of Swallows:
An act of random kindness can set off an intriguing chain of events. Summer Jones’ offer to help a vulnerable teenager lays the foundations for a friendship which will put her on a collision course with the one man she most fears and had hoped never to encounter again.
In just one night Daniel Riche introduced her to a brand of pain which left her yearning for more, if she could but overcome the legacy of fear from her chaotic childhood.
A Richness of Swallows charts the turbulent relationship of Summer and Dan, from their explosive first encounter in Cumbria to the wild moors of West Yorkshire.
Can Dan win Summer’s trust, and accept her as she is, or will the shadows of her past haunt her forever?
The first two books in the series, Rich Tapestry and Rich Pickings are already on general release. The final book, Rich Promise, is available now for early download, and will be on general release from 31 October.
Until 2010 I was a director of a regeneration company in Leeds, in the UK, before becoming convinced there must be more to life. So I left, and at last I’ve been able to realise my dream of writing erotic romance. I’ve been an avid reader of fiction for many years, erotic and other genres, and I still love reading historical and contemporary romances – the hotter the better. But now I have a good excuse for my guilty pleasure – research.
In my own writing I tend to draw on settings and anecdotes from my own experience to lend colour, detail and realism to my plots and characters. An incident here, a chance remark there, a bizarre event or quirky character, any of these can spark a story idea. But ultimately my tales of love, challenge, resilience and compassion are the conjurings of my own lurid and smutty imagination.
When not writing – which is not very often these days - my time is divided between my role as resident taxi driver for my teenage daughter, and caring for a menagerie of dogs, rabbits, tortoises. And most recently a very grumpy cockatiel. I’m a rural parish councillor, and I’m passionate about evolving rural traditions and values to suit twenty first century lifestyles.
I have fifteen (at the last count) titles on general release, with several more in the pipeline. A Richness of Swallows is my fourth trilogy in the Black Combe ‘family’. It’s fine to read it as a stand-alone, but even better if you read The Dark Side, Sure Mastery and The Hardest Word as well. I also have a ‘May to September’ style novella out, a short story in Totally Bound’s Paramour collection, a raunchy pirate tale in their Jolly Rogered collection, as well as a stand-alone novel in the ‘What’s Her secret?’ imprint.
I have a pile of story ideas still to work through, and keep thinking of new ones at the most unlikely moments, so you can expect to see a lot more from me.
Here’s a sizzling excerpt from Book 2, Rich Pickings:
“Open your eyes, my little slut.”
“I can’t,” I murmur my protest, sure that even lifting one eyelid is quite beyond me.
He responds by slipping the head of his cock into my pussy, stretching my entrance but not pressing home. That gets my attention and my eyes shoot open. He is poised above me, his soft smile both sexy and caring. How can he manage to combine rampant lust with aching tenderness? I can’t fathom it, but he does, and in a way which is uniquely him.
I smile back. It seems appropriate. He shifts, and plunges forward to plant his cock deep inside me.
My head is thrown back in silent appreciation, and he takes the opportunity to sink deep, open-mouthed kisses into my neck. He reaches up to cover my still bound hands in his, lacing his fingers through mine. As he draws his hands and mine back down the bed I realise that I’m free, and in a sudden and unexpected burst of energetic enthusiasm I push against him. He takes the hint immediately and rolls onto his back, pulling me on top. For once I have the opportunity to be the aggressor, to be active, to take the lead. I relish my unaccustomed freedom, straddling him and bracing my knees on the bed in order to pump my hips up and down. My erratic motion lacks Dan’s practiced ease, but is effective even so. I squeeze my pussy around him, loving the feeling of fullness each time I sink down on his shaft, the sense that I am stretched and somehow re-formed around him. Re-made to fit him exactly. In every way.
Heady stuff, and my mind is reeling almost as much as my body as I gyrate my hips and thrust ever more frantically. Dan reaches down, takes the finger grip of the butt plug in his hand again and shakes it sharply. It feels incredible, rammed up hard and tight against his huge cock, just a slender and sweetly sensitive piece of my body separating the two. I can feel him, everywhere, in every way.
I use my hands to press against his chest and push myself upright. I glance down at him through half-closed eyelids, my breasts now jiggling prettily in front of his face. That fact seems not to be lost on him as he leans forward to lick each of my nipples in turn. He lies back, his grin pure sensuality now. His right hand continues to swirl the butt plug inside me as his left slides between us to caress my clit again. And I lose it. I’m flying, in orbit, shaking, convulsing, spasming around his cock as my orgasm ricochets through me again. I might be screaming. Someone is. The sound continues, lowering to a deep, contented moan as the sensations subside to just a delicious, satisfying flutter of nerve endings re-aligning themselves.
As my climax fades I’m aware of Dan’s low moan, more a growl perhaps. His hands are on my hips, holding me in place as he thrusts upwards. His movements are sharp, driving fully into me. His cock twitches hard, the guttural sounds deep in his throat a clear indication that he is also close. I squeeze my muscles around him, roll my hips in a slowly, deliberate motion, instinctively seeking to offer whatever will enhance his pleasure. He clasps me around the waist, holding me close against him as he lurches his upper body up to press his chest against my breasts. One final spearing movement and his cock is buried in me to the hilt. He goes still, holding me motionless as his hot semen fills my pussy.
When he relaxes his grip and sinks back onto the mattress I fall forward, my breasts pressed against Dan’s chest. He takes that opportunity to give the butt plug a sharp tug, and I gasp once more as it pops out. Dan tosses it onto the floor before wrapping his arms around me.
“It’s your job to clean that. Later.”
I snuggle against him, loving the feel of his cock still buried deep inside me. It’s an intimate moment, deeply personal. Maybe Dan feels it too as he doesn’t rush to disengage, just allows me to sag against him and drink in the contented bliss of an exquisite experience shared.
All good things must end, though, and at last he places his hands on my hips to gently lift me from him. I murmur my discontent, but he ignores me. He quickly removes the condom and drops that next to the butt plug—another of my jobs perhaps? Then he somehow shifts us both to free the duvet from underneath us. He pulls me back on top of him to hold me close again, dragging the quilt over us.
And that’s all I remember.
I wake up early the next morning, pleasantly stiff, to find Dan Riche snuggled up close to my back. He’s warm, hard and solid, his arm slung loosely across my ribs anchoring me in place. I wriggle backwards, easing closer to him, and his arm tightens. His fingers brush my breast, the caress sensual even in sleep. I lie in blissful remembering, reliving each moment of last night’s encounter. The soaring heights and the more challenging bits. With the distance of a few hours’ sleep, and when set next to the unbelievable intensity of the orgasms he gave me, even the humiliation of having the butt plug inserted seems trivial now. He couldn’t have taken me to those heights, I suspect, had he not previously scared me, jarred my senses. Mastered my resistance.
I’m beginning to understand, maybe a little, what submission means. What this lifestyle offers. What it was that Freya found, and once discovered wouldn’t let go no matter what the disappointments along the way. It’s a powerful discovery, liberating even. I lie on my side, listening to Dan’s quiet breathing behind me. I’m content to be still, to just wait, and…
I catch sight of the discarded butt plug and condom still lying on the floor alongside the bed. I stare at them, remembering Dan’s words from yesterday. ‘Your job’. I was supposed to tidy things up. I didn’t. Nothing so remarkable there perhaps. I was tired after all. With good reason. And comfortable, content to just drift off to sleep. So I left them.
I left them there. Me, I left the mess there, just forgot about it and went to sleep. Me, the compulsive tidyer. Me, the sad person who packs her bag with meticulous care and only yesterday morning spent ten minutes straightening the toiletries in Dan’s bathroom cabinet while he waited for me in his bedroom. I just fell asleep. As if none of it mattered, as if it could all wait till morning.
Which of course it could, if you were anyone but me. Everyone else would do just as I did and think nothing of it. But that’s not me, I know something is different. Something’s changing. My values, my habits, my beliefs. My priorities.
Lily - Ashe thank you so much for being my guest and for bringing such a wonderful series over to share with us, I can't wait to get reading!