#SatSpanks, #8Sunday, and #SnipSun: Bastia: The Early Years

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Rainbow Snippets, Weekend Writing Warriors, and Snippet Sunday!

Find more spanky fiction at Saturday Spankings!

What if heterophobia were real? What if, instead of religious leaders denouncing love between people of the same gender, a state theocracy decreed, “Our god commands women to marry women.”

What if loving the wrong gender could get you ostracized, imprisoned, and re-educated? In fact, you were turned over to “parents” tasked with re-programming you to live according to their definition of normal?

Yes, we are talking about conversion therapy.

That is, an attempt to “cure” a person of his or her sexual orientation, often (but not always) conducted under religious auspices.

Yes, it really does happen in our world, but it’s the opposite way around. LGBT people are told their identity is wrong, sinful, and an abomination. A perversion, a one-way ticket to damnation, and a morally wrong “choice” to be corrected with persuasion–if persecution can be classified as such.

In Becoming Clissine, I asked what would happen in a world where religious persecution of sexuality was the norm, but the roles were reversed. What if being LGBT were normal, and being heterosexual was not?

As I’ve revisited this world in more recent years, I’ve pondered how this alternate reality came to be. Why would a society choose to disenfranchise a significant portion of its population?

And then I found myself with the story of Altrea, the foremother of Bastia. Years before Bastia (as we know it in Becoming Clissine) came about, a young woman named Altrea lost her freedom and virginity to a man chosen by her father. The consequences of this one decision rippled down for generations and affected another young woman named Clissa.

This weekend’s snippet continues with the story of Terris from last week. Terris has an impressive story of her naming and birth, but near the end of her life she wonders whether the glory was worth it.

(For an audio recording of the entire second chapter, please check out this free post on my Patreon site.)

Bastia: The Early Years – Now available!

 

He told me other countries followed a star in the north, but I couldn’t believe it. How could anyone follow a northern star? We looked to the East, where Mother Sun welcomed us each morning before beginning her journey across the sky. North meant foreigners who worshipped strange gods and women who had no more rights than a child. If a wife displeased her husband, he could divorce her with a single word. If a man slept with half the tribe and fathered an army of illegitimate children, other men slapped him on the back for his “good seed.”

A wife, if she entered into the discussion, would be chided for failing to do her duty.

av-bastia-tey-200x300

What if heterosexuality were a crime?

In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?

In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.

In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?

Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.

Why is love a crime?

Order now!

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#SatSpanks, #8Sunday, and #SnipSun: Bastia: The Early Years

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Rainbow Snippets, Weekend Writing Warriors, and Snippet Sunday!

Find more spanky fiction at Saturday Spankings!

What if heterophobia were real? What if, instead of religious leaders denouncing love between people of the same gender, a state theocracy decreed, “Our god commands women to marry women.”

What if loving the wrong gender could get you ostracized, imprisoned, and re-educated? In fact, you were turned over to “parents” tasked with re-programming you to live according to their definition of normal?

Yes, we are talking about conversion therapy.

That is, an attempt to “cure” a person of his or her sexual orientation, often (but not always) conducted under religious auspices.

Yes, it really does happen in our world, but it’s the opposite way around. LGBT people are told their identity is wrong, sinful, and an abomination. A perversion, a one-way ticket to damnation, and a morally wrong “choice” to be corrected with persuasion–if persecution can be classified as such.

In Becoming Clissine, I asked what would happen in a world where religious persecution of sexuality was the norm, but the roles were reversed. What if being LGBT were normal, and being heterosexual was not?

As I’ve revisited this world in more recent years, I’ve pondered how this alternate reality came to be. Why would a society choose to disenfranchise a significant portion of its population?

And then I found myself with the story of Altrea, the foremother of Bastia. Years before Bastia (as we know it in Becoming Clissine) came about, a young woman named Altrea lost her freedom and virginity to a man chosen by her father. The consequences of this one decision rippled down for generations and affected another young woman named Clissa.

This weekend’s snippet continues with the story of Terris from last week. Terris has an impressive story of her naming and birth, but near the end of her life she wonders whether the glory was worth it.

My elder brothers and sisters were named after aunts and uncles, grandparents, and esteemed ancestors.

The midwives touched their foreheads. A curse. Some women, crazed with the pain of birthing, lost their minds and delivered curses from another realm. Others feared passing madness from mother to child, and any early signs warranted an elaborate cleansing ritual from our shamans.

When Father heard the story, however, he declared I had been marked by the gods. Terris, the eastern star, shone brightly enough to guide the entire world.

(For an audio recording of the entire second chapter, please check out this free post on my Patreon site.)

Bastia: The Early Years – Now available!

av-bastia-tey-200x300

What if heterosexuality were a crime?

In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?

In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.

In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?

Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.

Why is love a crime?

Order now!

Save

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#SatSpanks, #8Sunday, and #SnipSun: Bastia: The Early Years

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Rainbow Snippets, Weekend Writing Warriors, and Snippet Sunday!

Find more spanky fiction at Saturday Spankings!

What if heterophobia were real? What if, instead of religious leaders denouncing love between people of the same gender, a state theocracy decreed, “Our god commands women to marry women.”

What if loving the wrong gender could get you ostracized, imprisoned, and re-educated? In fact, you were turned over to “parents” tasked with re-programming you to live according to their definition of normal?

Yes, we are talking about conversion therapy.

That is, an attempt to “cure” a person of his or her sexual orientation, often (but not always) conducted under religious auspices.

Yes, it really does happen in our world, but it’s the opposite way around. LGBT people are told their identity is wrong, sinful, and an abomination. A perversion, a one-way ticket to damnation, and a morally wrong “choice” to be corrected with persuasion–if persecution can be classified as such.

In Becoming Clissine, I asked what would happen in a world where religious persecution of sexuality was the norm, but the roles were reversed. What if being LGBT were normal, and being heterosexual was not?

As I’ve revisited this world in more recent years, I’ve pondered how this alternate reality came to be. Why would a society choose to disenfranchise a significant portion of its population?

And then I found myself with the story of Altrea, the foremother of Bastia. Years before Bastia (as we know it in Becoming Clissine) came about, a young woman named Altrea lost her freedom and virginity to a man chosen by her father. The consequences of this one decision rippled down for generations and affected another young woman named Clissa.

This weekend’s snippet is from the second short story in “The Wives of Jakal” (last week’s snippet was from the first story). Terris is the second wife of Jakal, and she narrates how she came to him.

(For an audio recording of the entire second chapter, please check out this free post on my Patreon site.)

 

 In my country, Terris means star. It’s an odd name to give to the youngest daughter of a non-inheriting second princess, but my mother insisted. Strange, because she never insisted on anything.

“She will be a star,” Mother told the midwives while she labored to bring me forth. After easy births for all of her earlier children, she groaned and wept for seventeen hours. My tiny feet protruded from between her legs, and screams ripped us apart. “Fiery, all-consuming, and aloft in her own place in this world.”

Later, when the midwives bathed Mother’s forehead and laid me at her breast, she couldn’t remember her words. “Terris? We have no Terrises in our family.”

Bastia: The Early Years – Now available for pre-order!

 

av-bastia-tey-200x300

What if heterosexuality were a crime?

In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?

In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.

In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?

Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.

Why is love a crime?

Pre-order now!

Save

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#SatSpanks, #8Sunday, and #SnipSun: Bastia: The Early Years

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Rainbow Snippets, Weekend Writing Warriors, and Snippet Sunday!

Find more spanky fiction at Saturday Spankings!

What if heterophobia were real? What if, instead of religious leaders denouncing love between people of the same gender, a state theocracy decreed, “Our god commands women to marry women.”

What if loving the wrong gender could get you ostracized, imprisoned, and re-educated? In fact, you were turned over to “parents” tasked with re-programming you to live according to their definition of normal?

Yes, we are talking about conversion therapy.

That is, an attempt to “cure” a person of his or her sexual orientation, often (but not always) conducted under religious auspices.

Yes, it really does happen in our world, but it’s the opposite way around. LGBT people are told their identity is wrong, sinful, and an abomination. A perversion, a one-way ticket to damnation, and a morally wrong “choice” to be corrected with persuasion–if persecution can be classified as such.

In Becoming Clissine, I asked what would happen in a world where religious persecution of sexuality was the norm, but the roles were reversed. What if being LGBT were normal, and being heterosexual was not?

As I’ve revisited this world in more recent years, I’ve pondered how this alternate reality came to be. Why would a society choose to disenfranchise a significant portion of its population?

And then I found myself with the story of Altrea, the foremother of Bastia. Years before Bastia (as we know it in Becoming Clissine) came about, a young woman named Altrea lost her freedom and virginity to a man chosen by her father. The consequences of this one decision rippled down for generations and affected another young woman named Clissa.

This weekend’s snippet follows last week’s introduction.

So when Jakal, a handsome newcomer, appeared and offered a herd of cattle as my bride price, Father grew thoughtful. I, the daughter of an ordinary clerk, could bring in a bride price commensurate with the daughter of a king? What fool would turn down economic security for his old age?

Father said yes.

Mother said no.

Father wouldn’t have beaten her just for saying no. Mother disagreed with anything Father said, on principle. But her “no” had no weight, either. Without his agreement, all of Mother’s marriage negotiations disappeared like dust scattered into the wind.

No, Father beat Mother for threatening to kill herself and me before she’d let “that heathen” touch me.

 Bastia: The Early Years – Coming October 20!

 

av-bastia-tey-200x300

What if heterosexuality were a crime?

In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?

In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.

In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?

Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.

Why is love a crime?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

#SatSpanks, #8Sunday, and #SnipSun: Bastia: The Early Years

WEEKEND WRITING WARRIORS

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Rainbow Snippets, Weekend Writing Warriors, and Snippet Sunday!

Find more spanky fiction at Saturday Spankings!

 

What if heterophobia were real? What if, instead of religious leaders denouncing love between people of the same gender, a state theocracy decreed, “Our god commands women to marry women.”

What if loving the wrong gender could get you ostracized, imprisoned, and re-educated? In fact, you were turned over to “parents” tasked with re-programming you to live according to their definition of normal?

Yes, we are talking about conversion therapy.

That is, an attempt to “cure” a person of his or her sexual orientation, often (but not always) conducted under religious auspices.

Yes, it really does happen in our world, but it’s the opposite way around. LGBT people are told their identity is wrong, sinful, and an abomination. A perversion, a one-way ticket to damnation, and a morally wrong “choice” to be corrected with persuasion–if persecution can be classified as such.

In Becoming Clissine, I asked what would happen in a world where religious persecution of sexuality was the norm, but the roles were reversed. What if being LGBT were normal, and being heterosexual was not?

As I’ve revisited this world in more recent years, I’ve pondered how this alternate reality came to be. Why would a society choose to disenfranchise a significant portion of its population?

And then I found myself with the story of Altrea, the foremother of Bastia. Years before Bastia (as we know it in Becoming Clissine) came about, a young woman named Altrea lost her freedom and virginity to a man chosen by her father. The consequences of this one decision rippled down for generations and affected another young woman named Clissa.

Here, we meet Altrea and begin her journey.

The first time I saw my father beat my mother, I ran away. Not because he hurt her—all husbands beat their wives—but because of what he said to me.

“Basti have mercy on the poor fool who wants to marry you.”

That was the reason for the beating, you see. Mother had chosen a nephew of her neighbor as my husband-to-be. Farget was the quiet and civil sort of man who would land an advisorship to our king within ten years’ time. Mother wanted me, her only child, to live well.

For the honor of marrying into the priestly clan, Father would have to provide a dowry worth several years of his income. He had no sons requiring an inheritance, but he also had no sons to provide for his old age. There would be no arrangement with Farget.

 Bastia: The Early Years – Coming October 20!

bastia

What if heterosexuality were a crime?

In the world of Bastia, like must marry like. Basti, the supreme deity, has decreed so. Any deviation results in sanctions, imprisonment, torture, or even death. But how did this society come to be? How can a religion be based on hatred?

In these early chronicles of Bastia, we discover good intentions behind the benevolent theocracy gone wrong. Meet the founder of modern day Bastia, Altrea. Placed in a polygamous marriage to enrich her father, she finds love with one of her sister wives. Their husband’s reaction is swift and brutal. As Altrea struggles to make sense of the violence, she dreams of a world in which one woman can love another.

In this new perfect society called Bastia, justice reigns supreme. No one is above the law. The state will provide for all equally. But as Altrea quickly finds out, nothing is simple. Basti is love. Bastia is founded on love. So what went wrong? How did a land of idyllic happiness turn into the dystopian regime that persecutes a young woman for loving a boy?

Come and meet Karielle and Soris before they reeducate the criminal who dared to love the wrong gender, and ask yourself one question.

Why is love a crime?

Save

Save

Save

Save

J is for Judgment

Connections

J is for Judgment

Because today’s excerpt is much longer than usual, I will skip most of the introduction. Simply put, the heterosexual citizens of Bastia are put on public trial for the sin–and crime–of loving the opposite gender. Clissa, a young adult poised for marriage and entrance into high-society living in Bastia, instead throws it all away to kiss a boy she loves.

After all, she was born that way.

“Clissa, daughter of Lystel,” Altrea commanded. “You are young, and this is your first offense. If you confess your sins to us, your punishment will be light. If you obstruct justice, we will teach you a terrible lesson about what it means to violate the Commandments of Basti.”

Love, the principal Commandment Clissa had recited every year of religious instruction. Or did love not apply to people who had broken the law? Hadn’t Basti taught the first principle, love for all?

“Did you commit the sin of fornication?”
Another cry rose from the crowd, and two more ushers escorted a limp man from the room. Clissa raised her chin. She did not want to answer, but she did not want to be beaten until she fell onto the floor. The dignity of remaining standing mattered more than small, useless acts of resistance. “No,” she declared before either guard could raise a baton. “I did not.”

Altrea frowned at her. “Basti punishes all liars,” she chastised.

“I did not,” Clissa repeated, “fornicate.” She paused before emphasizing the clinical, distasteful word Altrea used to describe what had been beautiful. The guard on her left whacked the back of Clissa’s head so hard her ears rang. She lurched forward, heaving, and gave thanks because she had no food in her stomach.

“Show some respect!” he hissed.
“Did you commit the sin of sodomy?” Altrea demanded.
Clissa hesitated. Truth be told, she didn’t know what “sodomy” meant, except it represented the root of evil and Basti had proclaimed it unforgivable. “No,” she said, but her voice wavered in a way it had not the first time.

“Did you commit the sin of vaginal penetration?”

The lurid, titillating detail sent several Assembly members into a whispering frenzy. Clissa threw her head back, refusing to let Altrea and the Bastil intimidate her. Altrea preached love every Sunday. Didn’t she see the hypocrisy? Where was the love in the eyes of the Assembly who had gathered today to judge her? They wanted to turn what happened with Destral into something ugly? She would show them ugly.

“I did not commit the sin of vaginal penetration. Since Destral has no vagina, unlike you, he had nothing for me to penetrate.”

Clissa fell to the ground from the blows of her guards’ batons, and she passed into darkness as the shrieks rose to a fever pitch. She did not hear Altrea’s decree after the crowd had been brought back to silence.

“We, the Bastil, are appalled at your crimes as well as your lack of remorse. Although we intended to show you leniency as a first-time offender and the daughter of the House of Lys, we have no choice but to save your soul. You will finish the remainder of your prison sentence and be sent for reeducation.”

 

Becoming-Clissine-Cover

 

Becoming Clissine (Bastia, Book 1)

What if heterosexuality were a crime?

Betrothed at birth to the daughter of one of the most prominent Houses in the totalitarian theocracy of Bastia, soon-to-be-college-graduate Clissa isn’t sure whether she is ready to undergo the Mar. Once she becomes the Nur, or the submissive partner, to her betrothed she will have to submit all major decisions of her life to the beautiful Helaine, whom she has met once. She must marry a woman, according to the decrees of Bastian law.

Caught between a desire to “get along” and the growing awareness he is “het” and is attracted to Clissa, her childhood friend, Destral, kisses her one day as they study in their college library. Shocked at the feelings the kiss awakens, Clissa begins to question everything she has been taught. Did Basti, their deity, condemn relationships between a man and a woman? Will her growing feelings for Destral cost her everything her parents have worked hard to give her?

After a mad attempt to subvert Bastian authority, Clissa is assigned to new parents for “reeducation” in the doctrine of Bastia. Her new parents are given one mandate: bring her back to rightness with Basti.

Clissa, lost in a system threatened by her very identity, must make her choice. Will Bastian authority break her, or will she find a way to break free? Can true love overcome a harsh regime?

*Warning: Contains scenes with corporal punishment.*

Two new story snippets!

Kat has a new story snippet on her blog.

Also, here is a 250-word snippet with Karielle (technically, she’s off-screen) and Soris from Becoming Clissine. Before marriage, their courtship (if you can call it that!) appears in the short story, “The First Submission” in MilestonesAt that time, they are known by their adolescent names, Karie and Sori.

How does a girl in Bastia learn how to become a Dis? This flash fiction from Thursday Threads gives a peek.

Bred from birth to obey, Sori held the whip even though she wanted to throw it onto the ground. Trentha, her “Dis,” raised Sori’s wrist.

 

“Hold steady. One sharp flick and lift.”

 

“Why should I?” Sori bit her tongue, too late. “I know,” she said before her Dis could speak. “It’s my duty.”

 

“To become a good Dis.” Trentha took the whip. “Karie will never submit unless you make her.” An expert crack followed.

 

“I’m not ready to marry,” Sori muttered.

 

Trentha brought the whip down in crescent arc. “You will lay the whip across Karie’s back, and you will teach her to fear you. Here.”

 

Sori flailed the whip, scowling. Give her a case to study and she could excel. This silly charade of dominance, however, made no sense.

 

“Use your wrist,” Trentha chided.

 

Sori flicked without success. “Why can’t I make Karie obey me another way? Why do I have to hurt her?”

 

Trentha made Sori bend over the punishment bench and raised the whip. “Basti created us as Dis and Nur, one to rule and one to obey.”

 

Sori’s body jerked at the cut of the leather. “Ow!”

 

“Do you understand your duty?”

 

Pain flooded Sori’s consciousness, crowding out every thought.

 

“You will do anything to make this stop, won’t you?”

 

Sori nodded, struggling for breath. Trentha took a step closer, brushing Sori’s hair with unexpected tenderness. “In Bastia, all must obey. Disobey at your own peril.”

 

Sori wept as she gave herself to Basti’s divine will.

 

 

 

Thursday’s Thankfulness, 3 days early (or 4 days late): Stunning reviews for Mira’s Miracle!

edca_mirasmiracle

Today, you can read the second half of my interview with Maren Smith on her blog! Don’t forget that you need to comment on both part one AND two in order to enter the contest for the cinnamon oil.

Find out more about Bill Emerson, Miranda Hardwick, and how Maren managed to push all of my F/F desire buttons at once. During an interview when I was trying to be professional, too. MAREN! 😀 Plus, learn more about Trinity and the role of a Nurse within the Castle.

As well, please read this stunning review by Erzabet’s Enchantments:

I fell in love with Ana’s book Desire in Any Language and was thrilled to see what came next in Mira’s adventures. Hana was still a bit of mystery at the end of the last book- I admit I was pretty transfixed on Mira’s fascination with her tutor myself.  Finding out more about Hana and Mira’s relationship was very exciting. Going to the Castle on vacation was even more so. All the possibilities-especially in a shared universe like this one. When Mira gets to the Castle, she finds out that the luxury vacation she thought she was getting is very different from the reality that awaits her. Each step took me deeper and deeper and I didn’t want it to end.

Thinking about how this book made me feel left me with twisting emotions indeed. I loved it completely. It explored age play and that is something I have discovered is a trigger point in most cases. So…I identified with Mira’s terror at being touched by the male teacher in the school. When something bad happens to you like what she experienced, it leaves scars. I will be the first to admit it-I still have them and they pop up and the damnedest times. Journeying with Mira at the Castle, I felt like I was there with her as she was dressed in in children’s clothes and made to behave as if she were a child. It was hard for her and for more than one reason.

Full review continues here. It’s worth the visit to read! Wow. When I labor over a book never to hear responses afterward, it can be disappointing. Then Mira’s Miracle came out and the response was wonderful! Here’s crossing my fingers that it will continue. I bet even Cat will like ageplay more than she thinks, and Irishey, too. 😀 I’ve promised Irishey that I will accept her challenge: She said I could write about the dynamics between bubble gum and concrete and still keep my readers interested. Later this week, I will write a very short (100-300 words) piece about bubble gum and concrete. You can all be the judge whether I’ve fulfilled Irishey’s mandate. 😀

Plus another 5-star review from Kristin Elyon:

5 STARS PLUS!! This book was d*mn near perfect for me! I looooooved it!!!! If you LOVE The Master of the Castle series by Maren Smith, like I do then this story is just an added bonus! Ana’s amazing characters visit that castle! All the characters, the interwoven storylines, the drama, the love, the passion, the angst, the fear, the doubt, the sheer happiness – it was all so good!! I know I really like a book when I start reading it really slow, taking in all the details, because I simply don’t want it to end! That’s how this one was for me! One of the best books I’ve read and it’s f/f!!

Kristin Elyon also wrote this wonderful review of the first book, Desire in Any Language:

Well, I am thoroughly de-virginized now. My Anastasia Vitsky f/f cherry has been popped and I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve heard so much about this wonderful author I just had to take advantage and read her story!

It was a perfect mix of sweet seduction, spanking, wicked activities and loads of emotional connection. For the first half of the book I devoured each page, turning and turning without taking a breath. I can’t wait to read the second book and read more of Mira and see her new adventures!

I am definitely putting Anastasia Vitsky on my must read list and hope to happily devour more of her books in the near future.

Oh, I nearly forgot! Roz posted this amazing review of Editorial Board. Wow! Thank you so much, Roz!

I was thrilled and excited to win a copy of Editorial Board by our very own Anastasia Vitsky in Ana’s individual blog competition over at Governing Ana as part of the 2013 Spank or Treat blog hop.  It has taken me a while to get the chance to sit down and read this and therefore to write this review.  Ana I apologise 🙂  I have to say though, it was well worth the wait!

Ana offered me a number of titles to chose from and I decided upon Editorial Board.  I chose this book because I liked its premise and the main character, Spring Meadows (yes, you read right.  She also has   sister’s Autumn and Summer) sounded appealing to me.  She sounded as though she could be rather Scrappy and that I would therefore relate well to her 🙂

Please visit Roz’s blog to read the rest of the review. Worth the visit, again! I loved Roz’s review so much that I actually took out Editorial Board and re-read it start to finish last night. Now I’m plotting sequels. I’d love to see more dynamics between Rachel and Spring. Maybe Spring drops some bubble gum on the sidewalk…

Giggle.

Thank you to everyone who has read my books, reviewed them on your blog/Amazon/Goodreads/Facebook, told a friend about them, bought one as a gift for a friend, or in other ways shared the word. THANK you! Thank you so much. I’ve just gotten word that Becoming Clissine will receive a 5-star review, too. Wow! For ages I go without a single review or feedback, and then it all happens in a day or two. Is today my lucky day? Sure feels like it.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the contest for cinnamon oil! SH, you are NOT excused! No trying to cheat. 😀

Love you all. Thank you, each one of you, for giving me such a wonderful response. Bless you.

By the way, I had to giggle at re-reading Cat Victoria in Editorial Board. Probably one of my favorite characters and definitely my favorite non-human character of my books. The image of Kayley trying to walk Victoria on a “leash” made of her belt…is it wrong to admit that my own words made me giggle?

Ah, well. Cats will be cats, and we love ’em anyway.

Dickens Quote

A spanking story mashup: how Ana Vitsky’s characters visited Maren Smith’s Castle

edca_mirasmiracle

Today, we welcome Maren Smith for a two-part interview! Please comment on both today’s post and Monday’s post to enter a drawing for a very special surprise…a bottle of cinnamon oil. Cinnamon oil, you ask? Read more about it on Minelle’s blog.

Anastasia Vitsky: Hello Maren, and thank you so much for joining us at Governing Ana! We’re doing a two-part series to celebrate the latest release from your Castle series, Mira’s Miracle. Today I’ll host you on my blog, and on Monday you’ll host me on your blog.

Maren Smith: Thank you for having me, Ana. I don’t do this very often, so it’s always such a thrill when I get to visit with others.

Anastasia Vitsky: I’ve always admired your work, from way back before I knew you personally. I’ve said this a few times before, but I love your Pets series. I admire how you can create an entirely new world, challenge your readers, change how we think, and still give a rip-roaring story chock-full with spankings and all things delightfully kinky.

Maren Smith: Thank you, but that’s what we all do, isn’t it? From Becoming Clissine, to Cara’s Breeder, to Pets. That’s our job. But more than that, I don’t think we can help it. It’s too much who we are as authors.

Anastasia Vitsky: Speaking of Becoming Clissine, that marked the beginning of our collaboration, didn’t it? I wrote to you, nervous about writing my first honest-to-goodness story with ageplay, and pestered you with questions and requests for advice.

Maren Smith: Yes, it did! But I wouldn’t call it pestering. 🙂 You had an awesome story idea, a world that spoke volumes to both the kink of spanking and ageplay, and the emotional impact that really made that story. It was a pleasure to work with you in that regard and it led to our collaborating in the Castle series, which has been a delight right from the start.

Anastasia Vitsky: When you and I first talked during the creation of Becoming Clissine, I found your thoughts both helpful and challenging. Then when I read what would later become Kaylee’s Keeper (while basking in the sun at an IKEA cafeteria, if you truly want to know!), I became consumed with the world you had created. Right from the first page, you captured my imagination. The setup was pure genius–Kaylee, a novice, makes every rookie mistake and opens the story for those new to the kink lifestyle. Yet she enters a world full of respectable professionals in the Castle, and there is enough “serious business” to keep longtime players interested. I remember writing to you, “I’m so jealous you thought of this setting first!”

Maren Smith: My idea for the Castle was two part. I wanted to come out of the fantasy a little and introduce something meaningful and real from the aspect of someone who lives the lifestyle. Everyone knows about 50 Shades. Although these kinds of stories have been around for years, it wasn’t until 50 Shades that the door really opened for us and brought in the kind of audience that legitimizes this genre. But, 50 Shades is not an accurate reflection of this kink, real Doms or real submissives. There’s nothing really accurate about that story, in that it doesn’t reflect real people or emotions. I wanted to show what I’ve seen over and over again. Novices who come in not knowing what they want or how to get what they need. I wanted to show that it was okay to not know everything. I also wanted to show that there is more to BDSM than spanking. There are so many different aspects of TTWD, that are every bit as beautiful and fascinating and worthwhile, apart from my main literary focus which has always been the spanking.

Anastasia Vitsky: That’s the beauty of Kaylee’s Keeper and Kaylee herself, that she makes all the worst mistakes (no spoilers!) and places herself into bad situations, but she still finds her happily ever after. (She’s similar to Mira in that way, as a matter of fact.) Master Marshall then leads her through all of the various kinks available at the Castle.

Except, and anyone who knows me will anticipate this objection, I was disappointed to find that the Castle was a M/F world. I adored Kaylee, I adored her experience, and I adored your writing (as always). Yet when Master Marshall introduced her to kinks ranging from violet wands to ageplay to pony play, we did not see any F/F couples. In fact, the intake forms mentioned M/F. In addition, the reference to the “Rainbow Room,” the central gathering place where people could interact out of character, specifically mentioned it was not in reference to LBGT. I wrote to you, with a great deal of trepidation, mentioning that I loved the story but had trouble with those points. Imagine my surprise when you not only took my words seriously, but you made the changes and invited me to write a F/F installment to your Castle series! I nearly fell to the floor in shock. I’ve had many experiences as a F/F writer in the oddly M/F-centric world of kink, but the kind of instant acceptance and understanding you showed me was unprecedented. For that, you will always have my respect and gratitude.

Maren Smith: But that’s what I had always seen and wanted for the Castle. I had always imagined it to be a world where anyone could find their specific niche. That it would be met with acceptance. That we are all of us united by this thing we do, whether we like to get our bottoms spanked or dress up as Littles or put on tails and paws and kitten ears and crawl around being petted by a room full of strangers. I write predominantly M/F because that’s who I’ve always been, but that’s not what I wanted the Castle to be. I wanted to show M/m, F/m, F/f. I wanted it to be that reflection of reality in which we are not all carbon-copy people. We have variances and subtle and not-so-subtle differences. And yet, it wasn’t until you pointed out where I had fallen short of my vision that I realized I couldn’t write all those different nuances myself. I don’t live them. I don’t feel them. I would not be able to do them justice. But you could, at least in regards to F/f. I’ve read your work before. You have a very clear, concise voice in regards to what you’re passionate about. You have skill and vision and I knew if I could get you to come into my world, you would do it justice. You’d take it seriously and write one hell of a good story, and I was right.

Anastasia Vitsky: The world of authoring is both fraught and competitive, and despite the surface happy-happy-joy-joy many of us struggle (established authors, too!) trying to make ourselves heard and to push our own books forward. I respect and appreciate your generosity in saying, “Here, Ana. Here’s my sandbox. Come in, make yourself comfortable, and do everything that I couldn’t.” Rather than falling short of your goal, I felt that you were both honest and straightforward. None of us can write an entire world by ourselves, and none of us can represent all of the different perspectives. The genius of the Castle is that your storyverse begs us to fill in our own postage stamp of space. If it had been a world I created, I might have felt uneasy letting someone else into it–and yet you gave me keys to the kingdom and complete trust. Didn’t you have any qualms or concerns before letting me run around in your Castle?

Maren Smith: Yes, actually. Which was why I asked you to follow a few rules. My biggest concern wasn’t that you’d do something outlandish in my world or alter my vision for how it might work. It was that you’d write me into a corner with one of my own characters. lol, I was a little leery of giving up total control, which was why it worked so well that you didn’t come in and just take over. You kept me in the loop. You asked tons of questions about what I wanted to do in this regards or that, or in other aspects of the world. And you brought with you some really awesome ideas in areas I hadn’t yet thought of. That rocking chair in the Castle Nursery was pure genius. So were the kittens. I could see that happening.

Anastasia Vitsky: Because this was my first straight-up ageplay, rather than a story containing ageplay elements (Becoming Clissine does contain ageplay, but it’s within a socio-political context rather than the pleasure of ageplay in its own right), I had to negotiate a balance between respecting ageplay versus not alienating my readers who are not comfortable with ageplay. I am a sucker for kittens, as I think many people are, and the thought of holding and getting to name a newborn kitten brought out all of the childlike delight in me. One thing I’ve learned as a writer: if I love what I write, readers will, too. Your addition to the kittens idea (I won’t say in order not to spoil the story) was pure genius, as well. For me, that was the best part of writing this story. Mira and Hana were my own creation, already existing in their own world from Desire in Any Language, but within your world I got to see them grow and interact in new and interesting ways. I loved going to you each step of the way and saying, “Maren, who would be your school teacher? Who’s in charge of the Nursery?” It felt as if we needed a tourist map and a visitor’s brochure!

Maren Smith: I’ve had people who’ve sent emails saying that, too. They want this to be a real Castle so they can pay to visit.

Anastasia Vitsky: Me, too!!

Look for part two on Maren’s blog on Monday! Find out more about Mira and Hana’s visit, as well as behind-the-scenes discussion of how the story came to be. In the meantime, look for Mira’s Miracle to go on sale at Blushing Books tonight! I’ll showcase eight sentences for the weekend snippets, and next week we’ll talk more about cinnamon oil as well as the process of reviewing published books.

Enjoy your visit to the Castle, whether it’s your first or fourth!

Desire in Any Language (Book one in the Mira series)
Mira thought she wanted a spanking.  What she got was love.

On her own for the first time, Mira is studying abroad for her translator’s certificate.  Unfortunately, the heady excitement of dance clubs, late-night parties, and endless shopping quickly distracts her from her educational goals.  Mira’s advisor offers her private tutoring, but the combined pressures of culture and language difference threaten Mira’s progress at school.  She is unable to get her act together until she makes a discovery that horrifies and tantalizes her: in her new country, corporal punishment is a way of life.  The secret to her academic success just might also fulfill her wildest, unspoken dreams.

Sexy. Seductive. Dangerous. A poignant and compelling read.

Mira’s Miracle (with Maren Smith, book two in the Mira series)

Whisked away to the fairytale Castle for a dream vacation, Mira confronts her darkest fears.

 

Vacationing at Master Marshall’s world-renowned Castle should have spelled Fantasy Land, but for Mira the trip means paying a debt. She promised to work hard at her translator’s certificate course while her advisor went on maternity leave, but distraction arrives in the form of her first love. Diplomat Hana Takahashi, from Desire in Any Language, captures Mira’s total attention. Between Hana’s stringent embassy security and Mira’s draconian school dormitory curfew, their stolen kisses drive Mira wild with desire. Hana makes a bet with Mira: keep up with her schoolwork or take a trip of Hana’s choice, according to Hana’s rules. No veto power.

When Mira presents her inadequate end-of-term report, Hana books a dream vacation—of Hana’s dreams. Safe within the Castle, the elaborate role playing kink haven, Hana turns Mira into her little girl. Complete with a private nurse, playroom with its nanny in charge, and a schoolroom filled with naughty pupils and a stern teacher, the Castle’s ageplay wing reduces Mira to a child from the moment of her arrival. Hana’s word is law, and all of the Castle employees carry out her orders for Mira.

However, Mira’s natural resistance leads to tantrums, defiance, and spankings from every adult who assists with her care. When she encounters a tutor who triggers her deepest fears, she must face her residual trauma over the duplicitous “Mistress Susan.” Is Mira ready for the maternal nurturing offered by Hana, or will her unhealed wounds drive everyone away? Can she become Hana’s little girl, or will she safeword out of the Castle to return to everyday life…without Hana? Will there be a miracle for Mira?

Warning: contains ageplay, mouth-soaping, spankings, and sex scenes

Dickens Quote

Remember–you need to comment on part two on Maren’s blog on Monday in order to enter the drawing for the cinnamon oil!

Tuesdays with Ana: Loving our neighbor (Advent Calendar, Day 17)

(Warning: soapbox ahead.)

Daughter of Discipline

Daughter of Discipline is finally available for sale on Blushing books!

(Disclaimer: I use the term “loving our neighbor” because this is a phrase commonly understood by many people. I am not preaching any religious agenda, and this is not an attempt to blindside you with religion. The words are a shortcut, if you will, to explain my message today. We can call it empathy, compassion, tolerance, opening our minds…any number of ways, but “loving our neighbor” was what worked for me today.)

Already it’s been over two weeks, and we’re nearing the finishing line of Ana’s Advent Calendar. I am a little sad and relieved at the same time. This is a lot of time and effort (thank you, helper elves Tara, Emily, Kathryn, Penny, and Kate!) and I will need to get back to focusing on my writing, editing, and other work…but I will miss the daily interaction. *sniff* I hope you’ll stick around after it’s over and join in on Tuesdays with Ana, weekend snippets, and other posts.

Silly Ana, thinking about endings long before they arrive, but what we’ve created here together is special. The sing-a-long was hilarious, wasn’t it? So many neat new songs and videos to enjoy (even if they did make the page blastedly slow to load). A neat story from Sunny, a fun write-along activity from Kate, and some thoughts from Renee about finding Christmas spirit. Plus, of course our lively debate on DD and its merits/shortcomings.

I love Leah’s comment that this is a blog where we talk about spotty knickers on Friday, spanking implements on Sunday, and Fred Rogers on Tuesday. 🙂 That, in a nutshell, is the spirit of Governing Ana.

I had many topics I wanted to discuss today, but each one felt not quite right. Christmas without the commercialism? The joy of grandchildren? How to create Christmas magic as adults, even single adults and/or without small children?

Maybe we will have time for those topics at a later date, but for today I want to talk about this: loving our neighbor.

We’ve already talked about compassion, making a difference, and helping out someone in need. That’s not what I’m talking about today. (Yes, you should still do it!)

Today, I don’t want you to think about the tangible, the material, the monetary, or the physical. I don’t want you to toss a few coins into a donation bucket and write off your good deed for the day (although of course you shouldn’t purposely refrain from doing so!).

I want you to do something harder.

What if it were you?

What if you struggled to raise three small children, your husband left you, you didn’t have a college diploma, and your landlord evicted you for not paying rent?

What if you discovered something about yourself that you would have to either hide for the rest of your life or be expelled from your community, or even face jail time?

What if everything you held dear, everything you knew to be true, everything you thought you’d believed in…turned out to be wrong?

What if you worked your entire life to uphold certain ideals and principles, only to love someone who made you question everything you thought you knew?

When I began my Bastia series with Becoming Clissine, I wrote as a labor of love and my tiny effort at social change.

You see, Clissa is a heterosexual girl raised in a gay world.

Let me hasten to reassure you. This is not a sexual politics post; nor is it preaching a certain agenda.

Instead, I want you to understand and experience, on a visceral level, what it would be like to live in a society where everyone you trusted said you were wrong.

In Bastia, heterosexuals are imprisoned, beaten, stripped of legal status, and thrown to “breeder” camps. Their existence is a shame to their family and country. Their very identity is a crime against humanity.

It’s the story of Clissa, a girl who falls in love with a boy, but it’s also the story of Karielle, the woman charged with breaking down Clissa’s defenses. Clissa is legally severed from her original family and placed with new parents, forbidden to speak of her old family, and treated like a child in an effort to re-program her according to the values of Bastia.

Part of my inspiration for Becoming Clissine came from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and George Orwell’s 1984 (both stories of dystopian regimes in which a society breaks its citizens one by one), but it also came from modern, real-life tales of adults inflicting such re-programming onto children.

Mercy Mercy is a documentary (Examiner article here and Danish Film Institute article here) of an Ethiopian child whose HIV-positive parents are told they have fewer than five years to live. Distraught, they agree for their beloved youngest daughter, Masho, to be adopted to a Danish couple. The two sets of parents meet, agree to continue contact, and then Masho and her younger brother are whisked away never to be seen or heard from again. Masho’s parents outlive their five-year prognosis, and in their unexpected health they move heaven and earth to regain contact with their lost daughter. From the first day, Masho’s new parents break down any attempt to express grief, distress, or even an ordinary childhood idiosyncrasy such as a tic.

Will you please watch this scene where Masho is sent away, hungry, from the dinner table? Watch how her new parents interact with her. At this point, Masho has already been denied multiple meals.

(If you understand Danish or Amharic, or you would like to watch even without knowing the languages, here is the first of six parts available on youtube.)

In the end, her new parents abandon her to the Danish equivalent of an orphanage, without ever contacting Masho’s Ethiopian parents who have fought Herculean battles to find out whether their child is all right.

After I had planned Bastia for an entire year, I watched this documentary just before writing. I was sickened at the kind of brainwashing adults feel appropriate to impose on children taken from other countries and families, all in the name of “rescuing” them.

And so when I wrote Becoming Clissine, I wanted my readers to understand, through a child’s eyes, what it feels like to grow up knowing your entire identity is an affront to everyone you love and everything you hold dear.

Am I talking about adoption? Sexual orientation/identification? Race? Class? Privilege? Xenophobia? Imperialism? Global inequities at a socio-political and economic level? All of these, and none of these.

At the risk of giving a spoiler, let me say this:

Karielle lives every day of her life trying to follow the values of Bastia, but she is not a blind robot. She draws the shattered Clissa close to her, pouring out all of her love and wisdom.

In the process, both are changed.

Karielle (and her partner, Soris) is one of the favorite characters I’ve written. (So much so that their stand-alone short story prequel will be featured in Milestones, a DD anthology with Alta Hensley, Sue Lyndon, Renee Rose, Cara Bristol, Jade Cary, and Celeste Jones.) She struggles to live a life grounded in moral and ethical principles. She does, not just what her society says is right, but what she feels is right.

When she comes to love Clissa as her own daughter, her thoughts about right and wrong change.

Yet the irony is that Karielle grows, learns, and changes because she has committed herself fully to living an ethical, moral life. As we grow, our concepts of “what is right” also changes.

Today, I ask you to open your hearts. Sit with yourself, examining your heart and mind. In what way could you find compassion, tolerance, and understanding for someone you might have judged?

In what way can you show love to someone you have dismissed as not like you?

In what way can you place yourself in the position of someone who must face daily opposition simply to live an authentic life?

Today, I won’t ask you a specific question. This is an intense and personal post, and your response may or may not feel safe to share in a public setting. Instead, I’d like to open up discussion to anything you’d like to say in response. There’s no need to list your good deeds or say that you are a good person, just an invitation to share what might feel comfortable for you.

For me, today I will take to heart the words of Paul who has shared his story. Instead of being bitter that he had a difficult childhood in a foster home and children’s home, he created magical Christmases for his younger sister and nieces and nephews. Next week, I’ll tell you the story of my Christmas at an orphanage and how fiercely I wish for all children to have equal rights. I struggle when I watch children, especially those in my extended family, who are spoiled rather than taught to be good citizens. But for now, I’ll only say that Paul’s message has reminded me to open my heart with gratitude for what I have. To not silently decide someone is undeserving because he or she has more than I had, but to give freely of my love, understanding, and care. We are all deserving.

How about you?