Thanks so much to Avril and the other Wickedly Sexy Writers for having me today!
This has been a whirlwind two weeks for me celebrating the release of Bound with Pearls! This time last year I was actually beginning the editing process for that book and doing some substantial expansions to the plot. It’s very cool from the author side of things to see a book come to life, the way it grows and changes into something I didn’t even know it would be when I started with a blank page. Now all I can do is hope people like it!
The writing of Bound with Pearls pushed some of my limits, which I think is a good thing for me as an author, and for my readers. While I was comfortable writing erotic romance, the BDSM elements were something I’d never written about. It was exciting, uncharted territory.
We all have limits of things we’d never do, stuff we could be convinced to do and things no one can hold us back from doing. For example, I’d go shark diving in a second, but youcouldn’t pay me to go cliff jumping. Up until a few weeks ago I though I’d never get a pedicure willingly, but now I think I can be talked into one. The pretty toenails have seduced me into it. So long as they don’t scrub my legs witht hat sea salt stuff our punch my calves. I was not a fan of that.
The point is that there are definitive limits in our lives, for whatever reason, they exist. It’s natural and acceptable to not want to do some things. Like, say, jump off a cliff into a river full of gators. Not a good idea.
But still yet,there are limits that exist to be pushed. It’s part of growing as people. I’m a super picky eater. There are loads of things I just do not want to eat, but I regularly try to eat things out of my comfort zone because I know it’s a good idea and also to prove myself wrong. I used to not eat fish, now, I love a good Tilapa filet, and I’m learning to appreciate other fish.
In BDSM there are generally two kinds, soft limits and hard limits. I say general because there is no hard set rulebook to BDSM, so take what I’m saying with a grain of salt. There’s room for all views under this umbrella.
Soft limits are things that are a, “No,” but for a lot of individuals, with the right person, they could reconsider that. For example, a person can have a soft limit of no gags. Gags prevent a person from speaking and saying a safe word or ending play unless another, non-verbal signal is agreed upon beforehand. This individual could refuse to engage in play that included gags until they reached a certain familiarity with a new partner.
Hard limits, however, are the things that we would never consider doing. Ever. For anyone. No matter how hot they are, how much you love them or if there’s a water ballon about to fall on you when you’re wearing white. I’m sure we can all think of some very extreme things we would never allow another person to do. Some of the most common hard limits are things that do with human excrement, blood, restricting breathing or cutting the skin. However, there can be other, not so “scary” hard limits. I hate, hate, hate being tickled, for example. Someone else might refuse to do anything that involved a whip because of their personal take on that item. There’s no right or wrong answer for why something is a hard limit, it just is.
I knew that I wanted to explore a few limits in this book. The characters have vastly different comfort levels when it comes to some activities, so it was natural for them to challenge each other. I think as human beings we naturally push one another into bettering and furthering outselves, either from encouraging or simple competition.
What’s something you’ve been talked into doing that you thought you would never, ever do? Come on, there has to be at least one story out there!
It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.
The last thing Christine wants to do is another favor for her sister, but Lucy always gets what she wants. This time it’s Chris playing sub to a demanding Dom. Their relationship begins with a power exchange and progresses to time spent between the sheets. Now emotions are getting complicated and the Dom isn’t just a hunky guy in black.
Daniel’s expectations are turned upside down when he meets Chris. She’s more than a well-trained submissive. She’s a woman with a body he wants to memorize. He’s willing to spend as much time as it takes to learn her, because she might be his match and his muse. He’ll make her come so hard he’s imprinted on every inch, and then he’ll offer her the most precious thing he can, himself.
Christine’s mouth closed with a snap. Her jaw hurt from clenching. Her hands ached from gripping her wrists. Blinking rapidly, she looked at the Dom’s broad back. He was getting ready to leave.
She’d failed, completely blown it, and he was right. Her attitude sucked. This wasn’t like her. She’d hit a low point and didn’t know how to dig herself out of this one.
Pinpricks of pain stabbing the backs of her eyes heralded tears. Screwing things up seemed to be her specialty today, from the reports at work to forgetting her entry fee for the charity race, and now it was going to cost her. Lucy wouldn’t give her the pearls when she found out the Dom had left, rightfully disgusted with her.
The muscles in her chest constricted until she was panting for breath. Her vision blurred with tears she had to dash away.
“Wait,” she said, her voice sounding strained and too high to her own ears.
The Dom glanced over his shoulder, unmoved. It shouldn’t get her off, but the idea of a man with such control was a turn-on. She’d been ready for someone big and scary or maybe on the scrawny side with a penchant for pain. Finding him a fairly normal guy unsettled her.
Fairly normal was an understatement. Sure, most women might not notice him. He had nondescript brown hair and his features were handsome enough. It was something else about him that drew her.
“Why should I?”
She took a deep breath to calm herself. “You’re right. My attitude sucks.” Another deep breath. She couldn’t think of a good reason to give him, except the truth. Her shoulders slumped. She hated airing the dirty laundry between Lucy and her. Sisters should be close, they should have a bond. All she and Lucy shared was a last name and some DNA.
“I’m not involved with Nate. Lucy’s my sister and she—she’s afraid of you, so she probably whined to Nathan until he suggested trading me for her.” She could feel her cheeks burning. “I wasn’t going to do it. I-I don’t know you, I’m not entirely comfortable with this, and Lucy knew that. When I said no, and I meant it, she—”
Her throat constricted around her words, cutting them off. Squeezing her eyes shut, she balled her hands into fists and let the wave of emotion wash over her. She was angry and upset, hurt that her sister cared so little, but it was no different than any other time Lucy had conned her. The only person she could blame for this situation was herself. She drew in another slow, deep breath. “She told me if I’d come here, she’d give me our mother’s pearls. She’s dead, and they’re one of the only things we have left of hers.”
Her gaze locked on the floor. She knew she should stop talking. This man was as disgusted with her as she was, but her mouth kept working. “I loved them. I wore them to prom and graduation. I’d borrowed them for luck every now and then. Lucy never wanted them. They didn’t sparkle enough, they weren’t flashy. But when I wore them to her funeral, Lucy started yelling and crying about how I got everything. I gave them to her to shut her up and I’ve never seen them since.”
She hiccupped around her words. No doubt her face was red and splotchy. She didn’t cry delicately. No, when Christine cried her nose turned red, her eyes got big and puffy and she turned into a fountain. She hated crying and dumping ugly family business on a stranger. She couldn’t wait for him to leave. She could curl up on the bed, cry herself out and slink home where she could camp out on the couch with a pint of ice cream.
Hands gripped her shoulders from behind. Her stomach dropped right before the ground disappeared from under her. The Dom picked her up effortlessly.
“What are you doing?” She gripped his shoulders, expecting to land on her ass any second.
He crossed to the chaise and sat down with her cradled in his lap. She tried to slip onto the bench, but his hand clamped on her thigh. It was natural to obey the unspoken command. This close she could see the deep blue of his eyes, the strength of his jaw and feel the power of him. There was no doubt under the black t-shirt and jeans he was every bit as strong as he looked.
“I’m the one who gets to ask the questions here.” His voice was stern, but unlike his reprimand from before there was a warm quality.
She relaxed against the curved arm of the chaise, comforted by his commanding nature. Let someone else call the shots for now, she was too tired of it all.
“Here.” He handed her tissues from an unknown source and she snatched them up.
Bowing her head to let her curls fall over her face was as much privacy as she could get to clean herself up. The Dom didn’t touch her except where their bodies nestled together, which was one small relief.
She hated crying, but she was better for getting it out. It felt good to be honest, even if the recipient of her words didn’t care what she said.
Tossing her head back, Christine met his gaze. Her breathing was shaky and her eyes and nose raw.
“Feel better?” His voice was the deep, rumbling kind that spoke directly to her pussy. The whole situation would have been easier to write off as one huge mistake if he hadn’t been attractive. Now it was salt to a wound.
He quirked a brow and her blush became more intense.
“Yes Sir,” she mumbled. How could she already be blushing on command for the man?
“You agreed to take your sister’s place because she has something of sentimental value you want, correct?” He looped his arms around her waist, settling his hands at her hip and thigh.
“I’m going to be frank with you. Would you prefer I wasn’t?”
“No Sir. I’d prefer the truth.” She braced herself for a pat on the head and a goodbye.
“I don’t care for your sister. She’s spoiled. I was, and still am, a little apprehensive you’re too much like her—”
“I’m nothing like my sister.” Memories of cold Thanksgiving meals and waiting for Lucy to show up at Christmas with their father stabbed her. All the times when Lucy should have been there but never was. Their father made excuse after excuse for her—she was busy, being young and carefree. Christine knew better.
The Dom quirked a brow at her again. Her blush felt as bad as a sunburn, stretching across her cheeks, down her neck and gripping her chest.
“Sorry, Sir.” The urge to lean into him and kiss his jaw in supplication was strong.
“I don’t think you’re sorry about that admission.”
She shook her head. “No Sir, I’m sorry for interrupting you.”
“That, I believe.” The hand at her hip swept down to her knee, treating her to the first sensual skin-to-skin contact.
“Sir?” Christine bit her lip and focused on the collar of his shirt.
“I don’t know your name. I just—”
He squeezed her thigh and she shut her mouth. Another unspoken command she read perfectly.
“Daniel,” he growled. “Christ, she didn’t even tell you?”
She shook her head, curls sweeping over her shoulders. His anger didn’t scare her, though she would be lying to herself if she said some part of her wasn’t pleased someone recognized her sister for who she truly was.
Daniel. Dom, Master, Sir Daniel. It fit him—understated and powerful.
He swept her hair over her shoulder and pressed a kiss to her neck, not quite in the sweet spot, but close enough to make her shiver.
He wound a stubborn curl around his finger and leaned back against the cushions, pulling her against him. She wasn’t accustomed to being handled, but in comparison to him she was small, which didn’t happen often.
“So how did your sister and you get involved in the scene?” The hand at her knee stroked up her thigh and back down, distracting her from his question.
She had to marvel at how well he managed her. She probably wasn’t what he’d expected, and still he pulled pertinent information from her. Something about him put her at ease, which, considering his size and what she wanted him to do to her, was a questionable assessment.
“Um, I had a boyfriend in college who, who liked to tie me up. It was fun.” She lifted a shoulder. “After we broke up I did some research and decided I would try to meet someone new who could—could teach me.”
“How does your sister fit in?”
She wrinkled her nose, wishing he would drop that particular line of conversation. She looked down at his tanned arm. The muscles and veins she could trace with her fingers made such a stark contrast to her pale skin.
“Lucy has always done what I do. Same schools, degrees, even where I used to work. She has to do what I did and try to do it better. When she found out I was into BDSM, she got into it.”
“Did you mentor her?”
Her gaze leveled with his. “Have you met my sister? She showed up one night in a slutty cocktail dress, whined her way through the orientation meeting and attached herself to my Dom.”
“What did he do?”
“Brandon and I were not in an emotional relationship, so he was free to do whatever he wanted. He tried to help her for about a week before he washed his hands of her.” It had been one small victory following many losses. “Lucy attached herself to someone new, and here she is today.”
Nodding, he continued to stroke her leg, his fingers edging higher, disappearing below the hemline of the romper.
“So what happened to you? I’ve never seen you here before.”
She took a deep breath and fought the urge to open her legs and push his hand against her pussy. Any man could be attractive but it took a special man to dominate a woman with a look.
“I’ve been busy between work and our father, and it hasn’t been worth it to compete with her here. I know how people look at me when they know I’m her sister.”
“Are you seeing someone?” His question was casual but his hold on her knee was not.
“Of course not. I wouldn’t be here if I was.”
His hand continued its lazy caress of her leg. Her stomach fluttered. How could she be embarrassed and turned-on at the same time?
“Relax,” he said, jostling her with his legs.
“What did you say?”
“Uh, that—that I was—um,” she continued to sputter, her mind going blank.
He sighed, his hand rubbing against her knee in a circle. “I’m going to have to punish you for that. I’ve been generous, but I’m not your therapist. Stand up, take off your—” He pinched the hem of the romper. “Take this off and lie over my lap.”
Heat flooded her body, emanating from her pussy. She loved her figure, but baring all in front of a man she’d met fifteen minutes ago wasn’t normal for her. But he wasn’t sending her away. She’d willingly take whatever punishment he wanted to give her.