Today’s Fika guest, Jade Cary, should be a familiar name to anyone who participated in the Advent Calendar, saw the amazing post she wrote for me, or read about her naughty elf antics (Part One and Two). You’ll get a chance to read a sneak peek of her newest release as part of Love Spanks, and she’s also going to be part of our amazing Coming to Terms all-spanking anthology with Lazy Day. She is also, trust me, one sassy lady who delights in calling out “naughtiness” where none actually exists. She is passionate, hard-headed, a formidable opponent–and she is someone I am honored to call a friend.
Please welcome Jade Cary, and do me a favor. Don’t let her near the wooden spoons.
CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET VANILLA
WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH JADE?
I grew up slowly by the tides and marshes of Colleton.
No. That’s not right. That wasn’t me. It was Tom Wingo, one of my favorite fictional characters. He narrates the brilliant Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. It’s a great second line. The first?
My wound is geography.
God, I wish I’d written that.
Truth is, I grew up quickly to a pair of older parents, one on his second marriage, and the other coming to it later in life. An only child, I’d like to say I grew up a sweet, naïve Mormon girl, but that wouldn’t be accurate. In fact, I was a holy terror. I don’t know why it is that some babies come out sweet and submissive, and others come out swinging, but I was the latter. I wanted what I wanted, and saw no reason why I shouldn’t have it. That I was denied anything at all, ever, stunned me into silence, but that didn’t last long. Other parents hated me. My teachers generally felt the same. My parents thought I was great, though, and sort of made up the rules as they went along. I got spanked, sure…when I’d pushed them beyond their limits. I hated it. HATED. It made me angry, and so I’d go out and hit other kids. Yeah. Apparently what the PC parenting mags say now about spanking is true—in some cases. Kids aren’t all the same; I’m the one they looked at to prove their point, is all.
My dad grew up during the Depression. He had his own issues. My mother was footloose and fancy free, and very much her own woman. My father turned his paycheck over to her every week and was content with the money she doled out to him for lunch and minor essentials. Do not mistake me here: my father was all man, in that Gregory Peck sort of way—even looked like him. No, my dad saw the advantages of letting my mom run that particular show. He wanted nothing to do with keeping the books. He tended toward the quiet side, and gave in to bouts of brooding, especially when he drank. Most of all, he wanted what he wanted, and saw no reason why he shouldn’t have it.
I grew up wandering around cocktail parties, the kind where men wore ties, and the women wore dresses. Most drank martinis and Manhattans, and when the champagne flowed, it did so in those round, shallow stems you see on Mad Men; no flutes in the 60s. Record albums were stacked on a contraption that dropped the round, black disks one at a time, then the arm would come over and land just at the right spot on the record, a small needle stuck in the arm finding just the right grove. Then the magic happened. When the stack was finished, you turned the whole pile over and the magic happened all over again. I had one of those myself until I went off to college in 1979. I loved The Osmonds and didn’t smoke pot until I went off to college. I got my first job at fourteen, and was never without one until I gave birth to my first son 18 years ago. You can count my lovers on one hand. I married at 24. Normal. Average. Vanilla.
Good afternoon. I’m Jade, and I’m a spanko.
I looked up words like SPANK, PADDLE, SLAP, WHIP, AND BOTTOM in the dictionary. If I came across a scene in a book, it became dog-eared fast. And while I hated getting my tush tanned, I seemed to enjoy watching others get a dose of the hand…or whatever. Scenes on TV or in the movies became tattooed on my brain instantly, and I’d conjure up the scene in my head again and again. My dad drank too much and he yelled; yet he wouldn’t go out to the mailbox without kissing my mother goodbye. He patted her ass quite often. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other, and they couldn’t get along.
I believe they call it foreplay.
A boy I detested in the 7th grade slapped me on the butt during a ‘free park’ day, then asked me to the dance. He was my boyfriend all through junior high.
A boy in high school slung me over his shoulder and whacked my jean-encased derrière in the Senior Quad in front of just anyone walking by because I sassed him…or something.
My boyfriend in college pulled the car over, took me out, turned me over his knee, and spanked me on the front lawn in front of my dorm because I opened the car door for myself when he asked me not to.
My boyfriends after college all took their turns, believing for some reason, that I needed shaping-up.
Was I giving off some sort of scent, for the love of Pete? Did I have a sign pinned to my back unbeknownst? What, exactly, was going on?
At the time, of course, I asked no such question—of myself or of the men-folk. I just sort of let it ride, in that no-big-deal sort of way my mother taught me, and I was none the worse for wear. Then I caught a bug. It was awful. This particular bug caused an uncontrollable urge to sit at the computer and write.
After two children it came upon me like a sudden love for Mexican food after a heart transplant. I sat one day and I started typing away. It was a vanilla cop story using characters not my own. No, my pen name is NOT EL James. I got to chapter bumpity-bump and all of a sudden the heroine was over the hero’s knee.
What. The. Hell.
Who are you, and what have you done with Jade? We don’t write these things, I told her/me. We don’t even talk about THIS THING WE DO amongst ourselves.
Lord, I loved writing that scene.
And then guess what happened. The more I wrote of the forbidden fruit, the more (Gasp!) comfortable I became with it all.
And THEN guess what happened.
I told my love. And then I told him, you know, I…uh, might want to…uh, try it.
“You do NOT want me to spank you, Jade. Trust me on that, honey.”
Uh. OK. Be careful what you wish for. I live by this now.
So, I wrote. And occasionally I’d let my love read one or two scenes. And the more I wrote, the more I talked. And I told him about the bottom, specifically a woman’s bottom. I told him it was an erogenous zone. I told him a lot of things—mostly that it wasn’t weird, and I wasn’t alone. And suddenly, his daily slaps to my backside became more…meaningful somehow. And he started to become more, um…himself. And suddenly I, this holy terror who wanted what she wanted when she wanted it, started to embrace a different side of herself. I started to grow more comfortable with myself, and then I became more open with my lover. And the odd outcome of that was that I realized I was cherished. And it was what I’d wanted…no, needed…all along.
Cherished. It was the missing link in all the other men who liked to take a turn at my backside whenever the spirit moved them.
That was a revelation.
I’m not alone, and all of this is OK (despite some reviews that say it isn’t). So, I write the spank interwoven with tales of mystery, suspense, and romance. And I make sure the lady is cherished and the fella has a decent spanking hand and a very loving heart. And I’m having more fun than I ever dreamed. If I never sold another book, I’d still do it for the love of a good story and a fascination with the written word.
“You write what?” a friend, who knows me as another kind of writer, said a while back.
I feel like I’ve awoken from a long sleep.
“Like 50 Shade of Grey?” she queried.
No. Not even close.
“I’ve got to read your stuff.”
Hmmm. I’d better explain.
“I get it,” the other friend said. She caught my eye and held it with a knowing that I understood at once. “I totally get it.”
Yeah. Me, too.
Diana Kenyon is a beautiful, successful doctor with her own practice and her own life. But the occasional work she does for the DC-based Stanton Group thrusts her into the dark world of political refugees, kidnapping and torture. Her boss, and godfather, Jack Stanton, runs an organization that rehabilitates victims of political torture, giving them new faces, thanks to Dr. Kenyon, and new lives, thanks to The Stanton Group. When Jack thinks Diana might be at risk herself, he forces her to attend a seminar that will hopefully give her the skills she needs to keep herself safe.
As the company owner of VRS Securities, Valerio Rios knows his subject well, and his seminars are well-attended by top executives from top companies who do not want to pay huge ransoms for their executives’ safe return. Val has seen firsthand what these victims go through. When Diana turns up missing, Val is hired to find her and bring her home safely. But rescuing the beautiful doctor is not the end of Val’s work. Someone is after her, and Val is determined to keep the independent and strong-willed lady safe. As he tries to find out who is after her, and why a successful doctor was taken in the first place, lies, deceit and mistrust hinder his efforts. Val Rios is a no-nonsense man, and Diana Kenyon is stubborn, willful and independent. Sparks fly as Val grows more determined to see her safe, and in his bed where she belongs.