Monday Morning Fika: Aleatha Romig: A Vanilla Author’s Thoughts on Spanking

Good morning and welcome to Monday Morning Fika!  Today we will chat with Aleatha Romig, author of the psychological thriller Consequences and its two sequels.  The heroine, Claire, is kidnapped, raped, and beaten while held captive in luxury.  Tony, her captor, vacillates between abusing and showing tenderness to her.

The novel contains no spanking scenes (see Aleatha’s comments below), but in discussing this book with Jade Cary we said to each other, “Tony is horrible.  But if he had *spanked* Claire instead of hitting her, we could get behind this.”  Jade said, “Why not contact the author?  She has made many appearances to chat with readers.”

So I sent a tentative email to Aleatha including multiple warnings that I write *gasp* spanking fiction and that appearing on Fika would mean possibly becoming associated with *gasp* spanking.  Guess what?  She not only agreed to come, but she even read a few spanking stories in preparation for our Fika.  What a trooper!

Thank you for appearing today, Aleatha, and thank you for talking with us kinksters.

(Please note that, due to professional obligations, Aleatha will not be able to respond to comments until noon EST and then again after 5:30 PM EST.)

What was Tony thinking???  Discipline/ Abuse? Would/ Did Claire accept it?

Hi, I’m Aleatha Romig, author of Consequences, Truth and Convicted.  Thank you for inviting me to Fika!  I must admit — I feel a little out of my comfort zone.  That isn’t bad.  It is – wonderfully challenging!

I received this surprising invitation to appear on Monday morning Fika over a month ago and I must admit, ever since, off and on, I’ve been thinking about “Spanking”.

Admittedly in real life, I’m seriously vanilla. I mean, French Vanilla is a stretch!  Of course, when it comes to my reading… I’ve enjoyed some exotic flavors. Nonetheless, I haven’t branched into writing explicitly outside the lines.  That doesn’t mean I’m opposed, more trepidatious.  Let me tell you why….

As a child, I enjoyed watching I LOVE LUCY.  Do you remember Ricky spanking Lucy when she did something he felt unacceptable?  For some reason, I have vivid memories of a discussion with my mother regarding Ricky’s “discipline”.  She told me it was unacceptable!  Under NO circumstances should I ever allow a man to “hit” me.

Fast forward… my first BDSM read.  Admittedly, it was rather “light”… Vischous from LOVER UNBOUND from J.R.Ward’s The Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  I must say I was smitten, okay, more than smitten – totally enthralled.  I couldn’t get Vichous and Jane’s story out of my head… I LOVED it! Yet, I felt conflicted.  So, I decided to read more BDSM… because, everyone knows, if you’re unsure about something, research is vitally important!  (FYI, this was before 50 Shades! I read the real stuff) Again, I couldn’t stop reading… however; in the back of my mind I continually heard my mother’s words… striking of any form was UNACCEPTABLE.

Fast forward again, (this is 2013… do we still fast forward or do we go to the next scene? either works, anyway….)   I wrote CONSEQUENCES.  I’m so incredibly thankful that my story has been embraced by romance and BDSM fans alike! Originally, I wrote Consequences as a psychological thriller.  As such, I refrained from too explicit descriptions.  I did my best to imply.

When Anastasia first talked to me about Fika, she asked, “What if Tony had spanked Claire instead of abusing her?”

I’ve thought about that.  As an author I used “fade to black”… we don’t know what Tony and Claire decided to accept as their norm.  I did provide a few hints:

From Consequences, after the barbeque at Brent and Courtney’s:  Tony said, “Actions have consequences. I have been thinking quite a bit about an appropriate punishment.”

Claire decided she had nothing to lose. There was punishment coming, so she might as well push her luck. “Tony, if you would please let me speak. I know your decision is set, but allow me to talk.” Impressed by her strength, he nodded and told her to make it quick…”

Next hint – near the end of Consequences: “Time passed. The sun started to fade and dusk loomed on the horizon. The loss of sunlight produced a similar effect on Claire’s mind. Her lightheadedness dissolved into reality. She knew without a doubt she needed to turn around. Tony would be upset and there would be a punishment, a consequence for this action. But, she couldn’t keep going. First, she needed cash. Second, what would the press say? Tony wouldn’t be happy if her leaving became public. Trepidation filled every ounce of her being as she watched for a place to turn around. According to the sign, there was another exit two miles ahead.

Suddenly, questions swirled through her mind. Was there enough gas to get home? What will Tony do? Whatever punishment he chose, she decided, she deserved. She’d been impulsive and broken his rules. The small break was exhilarating, but it was time to face the consequences. There wasn’t another choice. If she had her cell phone, she would call and tell him she was on her way home. She planned to beg for his forgiveness and plead temporary impulsive stupidity.”

Yes, I understand how many think of DD, Domestic Discipline, as abuse; however, it seems through these passages, we see that even Claire accepted Tony’s ability to deliver discipline as he felt fit.  Though I didn’t provide detailed examples – I would venture to guess, in Consequences, Tony and Claire had a healthy (some would disagree) DD relationship.

Is this kind of relationship wrong — NO! IF — this is the important part)

IF… both partners go into the relationship willingly.  Unfortunately, Claire didn’t enter the relationship in Consequences of her own accord; therefore, her acceptances of Tony’s verdicts reek of Stockholm syndrome.

Let’s fast forward one more time… TRUTH.

Without the constraints of kidnapping, isolation and intimidation, will Claire willingly go back to the world of Anthony Rawlings?  If she does, is she accepting his rules and his power to impose discipline/ punishment?  Or, with a different paradigm, will she set her own rules?  Will Claire’s rules allow Tony the power and domination he held in Consequences?

I find this fascinating… no matter mine, Tony’s or Claire’s answers… some will find it unacceptable. I think — I like that! I like bordering on the edge of conventionality!

I believe in the power of each reader’s imagination… use it!  If you do, I’ll bet you’d find some DD in Consequences.  Maybe, just maybe, there was something about Ricky and Lucy that even as a child I found “exciting”… just don’t tell my mother.  Truthfully, I’m not even sure I want my husband to know.  We’ll keep it our secret!

Thank you for having me on Monday morning FIKA.  I’ve enjoyed pushing my limits… who knows where this may lead in the future! I hope you’ll check out Consequences and Truth.  Also, please don’t forget Convicted – the final installment of the Consequences Series  which is due out in late 2013 — early 2014. Add it to your TBR list.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to find some I LOVE LUCY reruns!

Aleatha Romig

Besieged by memories of a brutal abduction, Claire Nichols wakes in an unfamiliar bedroom, within a luxurious mansion. Her recollections have one common denominator, the man she just met, Anthony Rawlings. Unbeknownst to Claire, for a very long time, she has been within Anthony’s sights. Many of the pivotal events in her life occurred, due to his sinister manipulation. Every action has a consequence, and his actions result in their chance meeting. More than a psychological thriller, Consequences is a vivid story of one woman’s struggle to survive incomprehensible circumstances. Every aspect of her being suddenly depends upon the tall, wealthy, dark haired, dark eyed businessman. Anthony Rawlings is known to the world as prosperous, benevolent, and kind. Claire quickly learns that he can also be a menacing controlling captor. With few options but concession, Claire attempts to earn her freedom, while enduring a hellish existence that truly appears perfect. Persevering tests and trials, she struggles to retain her pure Midwest values and beliefs. Encouraged by memories of a loving upbringing, she gains strength in the simplest of joys: solitude in nature and good in the face of evil. His goal in sight, Anthony’s calculated agenda encounters an unforeseen detour. He becomes captivated by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination. The interaction of these two compelling characters instigates strong emotions: fear, anger, love, and lust. Claire and Anthony’s tumultuous journey flows into uncharted waters of intrigue and passion. Utilizing vivid detail, this 167,000-word novel unfolds like a movie, before the eyes of its readers. From the opening criminal abduction, through twists and turns, to the unlikely romantic thrills, the suspense climaxes as Anthony’s motivation becomes evident. Anthony and Claire must decide if they will stay true to one another, or allow preceding actions to result in justifiable Consequences.

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18 thoughts on “Monday Morning Fika: Aleatha Romig: A Vanilla Author’s Thoughts on Spanking

  1. Joseph McNamara says:

    I liked the re-write exercise here very much. A unique entrance into perhaps taking a look at that “french vanilla” that has been festering and maybe, just maybe a venture towards a new way of acceptance to the quandary of your emotions … Now, what favorite vanilla book can I re-write in my mind…

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  2. minelle says:

    I enjoyed your rewrite as a spanking author! I love reading about human nature. Sometimes I may not like the ending or even the main characters and their actions. However when I read I have many purposes. If I want romance with a happy ending I go there. If I desire formula spanking stories, I go there. Often we read a story that inspires conversation and thought that blurs the lines of what we ‘believe.’
    Thanks Aleatha for joining us for Fika with Ana.

    As always Ms. Ana thanks for the conversation.

    Like

  3. Sue Lyndon says:

    Hi, Althea! I was so excited to wake up and discover you were Ana’s guest for Fika today. I enjoyed Consequences and Truth very much, and I did find myself thinking as I was reading, “what if Anthony spanked Claire instead?” Of course, I have these thoughts about many books I read…

    Thanks, Ana, for another wonderful Fika post! Althea, I’m looking forward to Convicted:)

    Like

  4. Cara Bristol says:

    I have not read Consequences, but from the blurb, it strikes me as a compelling thriller. DD, even when it is nonconsensual is still basically consensual because the woman has the power to walk away (in most instances).

    Like

  5. reneeroseauthor says:

    The rewrite sounded dee-licious (see, Ana, I can use words other than “yummy”!). I’m cracking up that Lover Unbound interested you in BDSM. I adore JR Ward, but definitely don’t think she really gets D/s. ::)

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  6. Aleatha Romig says:

    Hi Everyone! Thank you for being so welcoming! I love your comments… yes, if you haven’t read Consequences and the sequel Truth… please do! The final installment of the trilogy will be Convicted and is due to be released late 2013 early 2014.

    I think it’s funny you mention a “spanking rewrite”… the above passages are exactly as they appear in my books — with emphasis on certain words. Who knows? Perhaps Tony and Claire are less vanilla than I?

    I’d love to answer any questions you have for me. Hmmmm …. maybe not “Any” question, but I’ll give it my best or just blush! Let me know. If I don’t answer right away, I promise I’ll be back! Thank you again for having me on Monday Morning FICA!

    Like

    • Ana says:

      I was a bit confused about the “rewrite” comments, too. I think it may just be that you pointed out places where the spanking could have happened.

      Great to have you here today!

      Like

  7. jadecary says:

    Sorry to come in on this so late. We were out of town. I’ve been excited for this ever since Ana told me you agreed to come do a FIKA, Aleatha.

    Yes, I was going to correct everyone. No rewrite. Those scenes were directly from the book. First of all, welcome, Aleatha! AS you know, I LOVED LOVED LOVED Consequences. When a book affects me as deeply as this one did, I want to shout from the rooftops, and sing the author’s praises. I actually developed back problems after I finished reading, and I was discussing this with a spiritual friend. I told her that this book had me tied in knots, and she said that yes, we can take on emotional turmoil that we read or hear, and it can actually affect us physically. That the book affected me so much says a lot for your skills as a writer and a storyteller. People, let nothing deter you from reading this book. Lord love a duck, woman, what were you thinking????? LOL!

    Let’s not beat around the bush. This is not a love story–at least in the beginning, and maybe perhaps not even until book two (TRUTH). It’s Stockholm Syndrome at its finest. Based on the earlier scenes between Tony and Claire I in no way believed for a minute that spanking was on Tony’s mind. He never threatened and his previous actions, while fade-to-black (thank you, my good woman, for that) didn’t indicate anything so tame.

    You have a chance to redeem yourself, dear Aleatha, in your final installment. Even in TRUTH, he could have gotten away with spanking Claire, and perhaps she would have accepted it in a way she could never accept the other ‘accidents’. He has yet to completely redeem himself in my mind, so I expect some changes in behavior in the man in book 3.

    Aleatha, congratulations. You have done what so many fail to do: provide a read that terrifies, excites, angers, saddens and redeems the reader. A total mindf@#k, and I love you for that. I am a huge HUGE fan, and I wish you continued success.

    Muaaah!

    And to you, Ms. V, for having Aleatha. Double muaaah.

    Like

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