On bullying, domestic violence, homophobia, and fear #HAHAT #IDAHOT

(Please click on the above image for a list of participants in this year’s hop.)

I learned fear the year I turned fourteen.

When I came out of the bathroom at school, a boy would knock my purse just hard enough to empty its contents. When I approached a classroom, another boy would ambush me with a homemade rubber band gun.

“She flinched!” he would crow, chortling with laughter until my so-called friends joined in.

“Did you flinch?”

It became a game to see how far they could push without getting caught. I carried all of my possessions with me so I wouldn’t have to stop by a locker. I mastered changing into and out of my gym uniform fast enough to prevent salacious comments or ransacking of my bag while my back was turned. I learned to remain as still as stone, never giving away my feelings.

Who am I kidding? My feelings were easy to read as the tears escaped. Gym class and bus rides were the worst. I counted each day as I went to bed. One week. Two months. Four months. I knew I would be told to “ignore” or that I was making a big deal out of nothing, so I told no one.

I became labeled a “c*nt,” and I was too naive to know it was an insult until someone told me.

At the end of the day, however, it’s not the boys I remember. I remember my so-called friends, laughing as they joined in. I remember my father asking, “What did you do to provoke them?” I remember my mother saying, “It’s your fault for not telling anyone.” Boys would be boys, and girls were to blame for fighting back or not fighting back.

Bullying. It’s a popular word these days, as parents, teachers, and officials scramble to find a solution to a complicated problem. What is bullying, what does it look like, and what can we do to help? Specifically, what does bullying mean for the LGBT community?

Welcome to the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)! I’m thrilled to join the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia (HAHAT), a collective effort from authors, publishers, reviewers, cover artists, and others involved in LGBT fiction. IDAHOT has been supported by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as many, many others. The aim of IDAHOT is to encourage local efforts, and as an author of F/F fiction I’m grateful for the chance to participate.

We talk a great deal about homophobia, transphobia, and other fears about those deemed “different.” Too often, the response is a dismissive comment such as, “I’m not scared of anyone; I think homosexuality is wrong. I have the right to think that without anyone shoving a gay agenda down my throat.”

Today, I’d like to make a proposition:

Homophobia, domestic violence, and bullying all stem from the same fear.

What fear might that be?

Fear of the unknown. Fear of the “different.” Fear, coupled with a desire to control others.

But mostly, fear of ourselves.

That’s right, ourselves. When we are secure in our own identity, confident and happy to be who we are, we have no need to knock anyone else down (physically or emotionally). The comments people have given me about F/F fiction reveal much about their insecurities and nothing about the love between two women.

What happens to a woman caught between multiple forms of this fear? She might face homophobia at work and domestic violence from her partner at home. But if that partner is a woman, resources may not be available to her that are available to a heterosexual woman. Consider these findings from the Lesbian Partner Violence Fact Sheet :

  • Domestic violence in lesbian relationships is as common or more common (1 in 4 or 1 in 3) as domestic violence in heterosexual relationships.
  • Women in same-sex relationships may not be allowed to request a court-ordered protective order
  • A homophobic environment allows a woman to threaten her partner with forced outing (to family, work, etc.). This also means a woman who is abused cannot seek help from the police.

According to a study by Little and Terrance (2010), gender stereotypes make it difficult for lesbian women to “prove” that they were the victim of domestic violence. Men tend to dismiss all violence perpetrated by a female to a female, and women tend to blame a female victim if she did not conform with stereotypically feminine traits.

Perhaps most shocking of all, many domestic violence shelters refuse to take lesbian women. That’s right. For the 16% of lesbian domestic violence victims who seek official help, they are then re-victimized with denial of legal protection and shelter.

(For more information: Domestic Violence in the LGBT community and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s New Data on Domestic and Sexual Violence

Special thanks to Myra Swintz for providing informative links.)

Do we hear about this in the LGBT news? Nope. We hear about people outraged that someone won’t make them a wedding cake.

I understand that discrimination of any type is wrong, but what is more important? A wedding cake or protecting lives?

As the anti-homophobia movement is gaining momentum, I would like to add this plea:

Let’s focus our energies on where it matters, not on trivial issues.

How do I focus my energies? I write stories of women who love women, and I use opposite worlds to help people understand what it would be like to live in a society that blames us for our identity.

Becoming-Clissine-Cover

Click here for the Becoming Clissine book trailer

Becoming Clissine (Bastia, Book One)

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 only met once. She must marry a woman, according to the decrees of Bastian law.

Caught between his desire to “get along” and the growing awareness that he is “het” and is attracted to Clissa, 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, really decree that it was sinful for a man to be with a woman? Will her growing feelings for Destral cost her everything that her parents have worked hard to give her?

In a mad attempt to subvert Bastian authority, Clissa and Destral run away to find the Het Pride, a group that preaches tolerance, equality, and peace. Z, their leader, promises that one day hets will achieve equality and freedom. When the Bastian police capture or kills most of the Het Pride, however, 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 that is threatened by her very identity, must make her choice. Will she be broken by Bastian authority, or will she find a way to break free? Can true love overcome a harsh regime?

—-

For this hop, I will offer three prizes:

How to enter: Leave your name and a working email address in the comments. Respond to one or more of the following prompts:

  • What about this post surprised you or was new to you?
  • Please share any personal experience and/or wisdom to share regarding any of the points made in this article.
  • How could we make more resources available for lesbian women who have experienced bullying and/or domestic violence?

Winners will be announced on May 25th here on the blog (governingana.wordpress.com), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/anastasiapvitsky), and Twitter (@AnastasiaVitsky). Winners must claim their prizes within 24 hours, or I will re-draw for a new winner.

Extra prize entries! If you leave a new review on Amazon and/or Blushing Books for any of my F/F books (The Way Home, Lighting the Way, Editorial Board, Simple Gifts, Desire in Any Language, Mira’s Miracle, and Becoming Clissine), you will receive an extra prize entry for each book you review! All of my books are available on Amazon and Blushing, and you will receive a prize entry for every review (two per book, if you post both on Amazon and Blushing). Please leave a note in the comments telling me which book you reviewed and where.

Best of luck, and happy International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia!

Tuesdays with Ana: When writing makes a writer cry

Have you ever had a day when you struggle for hours to pound out 748 words, and you know you’ll be lucky to keep half of them? It’s hard to write a first draft after struggling to polish a final draft of my previous manuscript. I have to remind myself, every time I start over with a new book, that it’s okay to write fill-in words for the first draft. I’m feeling my way with new characters, getting a sense for the plot, and testing what will be possible.

Still, it’s a constant battle to quiet the snob inside my head who spits back every word of every negative review I’ve received. I convince myself that praise only comes from biased friends who soothe my fragile ego, and I scoff at my foolish hope that I can create stunning works of fiction that will change hearts for the better.

I finally wrote down a list of projects I’ve promised to various people, some with deadlines and others “when I can.”

  • Short story that builds on the flash fiction I wrote last Thursday
  • Twisted (and I mean twisted!) reinterpretation of a fairy tale that includes the Virgin Mary–seriously!
  • Corbin’s Bend novella, details to be announced later (will involve California, a professor, and some unashamed kink)
  • Sequel to Editorial Board, this time with some happy action between Spring and Rachel
  • Short story with a new twist on Korea
  • Short story that involves quilting grannies (more about this later)
  • Ana Adored, a book that Maren Smith originally promised to write for me and later asked me to co-write. I can’t wait to work on this with her!
  • A brand-new F/F book for the Castle series, also with ageplay. No, not Mira. 🙂

And, of course, I’d love to eventually write the third books of Kat and Natalie as well as Mira and Hana. Oh, and I’m working on a M/F story as well.

Plus one or two super secret projects that can’t be named yet.

Oh, and Sci Spanks next month! June 25-29 we’ll have a sampling of science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, and speculative fiction. I’m debating between writing a sneak peek of Tay of Tre, book two in the Bastia series, and a sneak peek of an upcoming urban fantasy/magic realism short story. The second one might not have spanking. :-O

I joked earlier today that I’d follow a “debt management” approach to writing by starting with my smallest project and working my way up. When I have too many projects due at once, I tend to work a little at everything and accomplish nothing. I’m still floundering a bit after submitting Freiya’s Stand, which will now be a stand-alone book rather than part of the Corbin’s Bend series (the story became much deeper than I’d intended, and it made more sense to release the book on its own). To date, it is the book I am proudest of writing. While forgiveness is a theme in many of my stories, the forgiveness between Freiya and her partner, Sabrina, struck a chord in a way I hadn’t expected. I hope you enjoy the story. 🙂

Reading through what I’ve just written, I’m realizing why I’ve been so distracted lately! It never seems like that much until I see it written down.

One distraction has been a negative (but well-written and intelligent) review for Editorial Board. It’s given me a lot to think about. Editorial Board has always been a love or hate book for readers (similar to Desire in Any Language), and the recent review has made me re-think my audience. I’ve always prided myself on writing the kind of spanking fiction someone could enjoy even without enjoying spanking, but perhaps that’s not the case. As I’ve become more involved in the F/F (or, as I’m learning to call it despite personal misgivings about the word, lesbian) community, I’m finding a different set of expectations from readers and fellow authors. I’ve even…gasp…considered writing a story without spanking.

We can’t write for everyone, and usually we write best when we focus on a tiny postage stamp of territory. I enjoy a passionate love story to someone’s chipped front tooth much more than a generic ode to loving everyone all the time. I might not care two cents about that chipped front tooth, but the author’s conviction and concreteness of detail will draw me in.

All of these thoughts swirl in my head as I try to craft a new story, and sometimes it makes me want to cry. So many competing demands, and so many conflicting opinions! I look at my old stories and cringe at clunky prose or amateurish plot twists. Before I published my first book, I heard advice to enjoy myself. Authors write their first books for themselves, and they never again get that luxury. I didn’t understand that sixteen months ago when my first book came out. I was impatient to begin my journey as a professional author.

I say two things to every aspiring author I encounter:

1. Respect your rejection letters. An honest, clear-cut rejection is far more ethical and professional than a half-hearted acceptance. Getting published by a house that can’t support your work does you no favors.

2. Don’t be in a rush to publish. (Been there, done that.) Before you publish your first book, your world is filled with possibilities. After you’ve launched yourself into the publishing world, your labors of love transform into professional obligations. I still love (most of) what I do, but I miss those days of writing as fast as I could because the story begged to be told. I had no fear, no worry, and no deadline. Instead, I wrote for the pure joy of writing.

Today, I hold my aching head in my hands because I can write a 1000-word blog post in half an hour but can’t write more than 800 words all day. I want to tell this story, dang it, but it’s exhausting work.

I’ll go back to writing my amateurish first draft, but I hope you’ll take this through your day today:

If our lives are works in progress, how can we expect our first drafts to be masterpieces?

P.S. If you haven’t already, check out Kat and Natalie’s new story. It’s a Mother’s Day tradition. 🙂

P.P.S. Kat’s birthday is next month! 😀

Editing purgatory, or why we love to hate editing

Few people adore editing. I should qualify that. Few sane people adore editing. Have I lost any of you? 🙂

Some books roll smoothly from beginning to end. The ideas flow, the characters breathe life onto the page, and motifs combine into a meaningful conclusion. I get to the end, re-read, and whistle to myself. I wrote that? Wow! Of course I have to polish, proof-read, tighten, etc., but the essence of the story shines.

Then there are other books. My poster child for difficult books is Lighting the Way. I wrote that book in two frenetic weeks, staying up all night. The minute I’d lie down to sleep, another idea made me get up and return to the computer. I felt as if I were living with Kat and Natalie.

The revisions of Lighting the Way took eight months. Eight long, torturous, painful months. I deleted several chapters, wrote new ones, deleted the new chapters, and went back and forth with beta readers. I am proud of the finished product, but sheesh. I could have gestated a baby in that time. 🙂

The most difficult part about revising is the gap between my vision for the book and the words on the page. I know what I want, but it’s tough work forcing my written words to comply. There never seems to be a shortcut to the process. First comes elation when I see the possibility. Then feverish working around the clock, trying to make it happen. Then fatigue and downright hopelessness as the task seems overwhelming, despite my efforts. Then, ever so slightly, the tipping point at which all the hard work begins to pay off.

I’ve reached the tipping point and feel hopeful, but it’s still hard work. The neat part, though, is when an editor reaches out to you. “I know you can do better,” the editor says, and then I hunker down to prove that faith true.

The upside to living in editing purgatory is that I’m getting great ideas for Editorial Board‘s sequel. I’ve promised it for a long time (Yes, Roz, it will actually happen!), but I hope to work on it next month. Now that Spring and Rachel have decided to work together, they find themselves repeatedly butting heads. Rachel knows Spring can write better, and Spring hates being made to work. Gosh, I can’t imagine what might happen next. Can you? 😀

I hate editing, but I hate it the way a runner hates the first minutes of a run. I hate editing the way a musician hates practicing etudes. I hate editing the way an architect hates reworking sketches.

If it doesn’t hurt, it means we’re not working hard enough. If we don’t have at least some tiny loathing for the process, we’re not taking it seriously. If we jump for glee at editing, we haven’t committed ourselves to the mind-numbing, soul-crushing work of ripping up our beloved newborn.

Then, when it’s over, we rejoice.

See that manuscript? Took me eight months to beat it into shape.

And we walk away, holding our heads high because we took ourselves and our craft seriously enough to make the book our best.

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

In which Ana admires tiny blue cornflowers

“Anastasia!”

Now what?”

“Watch that tone, miss, or do I need to put you back over my knee?”

“P-p-please, Mrs. Claus, not where everyone can hear. I’m the Head Elf!”

“Not for long if you keep up these shenanigans.”

“Yesssss Mrs. Claus, I’m sorry Mrs. Claus. What did you want, ma’am?”

“Your winner list for today. Four winners? Again?”

“But it’s not my fault. See, Leigh Smith aka Sunny Girl chose the 33rd commenter to win a copy of her book. That’s Merna. I didn’t have anything to do with that decision.”

“Fine. What about Bella Bryce?”

“Well, I decided yesterday the last commenter to qualify would win a prize. So that’s Bella, and she wins Editorial Board by Anastasia Vitsky.”

“Anastasia who?”

“Never mind, ma’am, just an author with a naughty name. Not like me.”

“Hm. Fine, but then why Sherilyn, too? You said the last commenter, and Sherilyn was 18 minutes late.”

“But Mrs. Claus, she was celebrating her granddaughter’s birthday! Can’t I give her Catching Death by Virginia Nelson? Please?”

“Dare I even ask why you’ve added Blondie’s name to the list to win a holiday card donated by Rogue?”

“Because…because…because I want to, that’s why! And you can’t stop me!”

“Anastasia Peppermint-Twist…”

“Ow! Ow, ow, ow! My ear! Not the corner, please! I hate all these tiny blue cornflowers. Put Michael in the corner. He likes it! Serves him right for his ‘spankenfreude’..OUCH! Mrs. Claaauuuuuuuus!”

“Mrs. Claus? Are you still there?”

“Mrs. Claus, c’mon, let me out. I’ll be good, I swear.”

“Santa? Anybody? Did everyone leave? Fiiiiiiine. John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith, his name was my name toooooo….”

 

Introduction posts for today’s winners:

Merna

1. Yes, I have read and understood the information pages.

2. No I didn’t know about Ana’s Advent Calendar last year. It sounds fun, and I’m looking forward to it.

3. I heard about the Advent Calendar from the Blushing Books website.

4. I hope to be here every day, but real life may intrude. I don’t know if I will have the time.

5. Any of the prizes will be fun.

6. I saw an ad for the calendar on Blushing Books and looked up what it is all about. It sounds like fun, so I am giving it a try.

7. I hadn’t heard of Governing Ana before, but hopefully will be able to find some time to explore. I am married with 3 children, 22, 17, and 15. Work part time teaching preschool, and the rest of the time driving kids around and homemaking. Husband knows I want to be spanked and sometimes obliges me.

8. Hello to Irishey. I hope I have time to play around here, but already I am behind in my work because of getting signed up here. If only my husband was serious about Dd…, sigh. At least he will play a little.

Bella Bryce

1) Yes, Ma’am!
2) No, I wasn’t an author then and didn’t know this community existed!
3) I’m part of the SNP/Blushing writer community and heard about it from the great Ana banana herself
4) Obviously, a well behaved girl like me shows up on time although my sash might be undone and my hair ribbons askew :p
5) A gold iPhone 5S. Oh wait, no one donated one? Okay, how about a good ‘S’ story then!
6) What brings me to the Advent Calendar this year is donating a book as a prize but wanting to be part of the fun!
7) I’m Bella Bryce, the newest writer to Blushing Books. I write clean age-play and spanking fiction. I stay home and write fultime and have done since late September 2013. I read GA weekly because I’m a friend of Ana banana.

Hi Merna! Welcome to the Advent Calendar! I hope you can play often and win a great story to snuggle up with in the New Year.

Sherilyn

Hi, I think I missed the deadline–I had a hard time signing into WordPress for some reason..Answers anyway:
1. Yes, ma’am, I did.
2. No, I didn’t participate last year, more’s the pity!
3. I heard about it from the #SatSpanks crowd, including you!
4. I think I blew perfect attendance, but I’ll probably poke my head in everyday.
5. The Kindle! But I’ll be happy if I just meet a bunch of new, fun friends.
6. I love this time of year and having new friends with, ahem, similar interests certainly makes more fun.
7. I’m here because I finally owned up to my kinkiness and decided I might like to try writing a kinky romance (I’m a retired technical writer–this has to be more fun than software). First, of course, I have to read a lot! We’ll see if the writing ever gets out of the bedroom.
8. Hi, Patty! I hope you have a great holiday season!

Blondie

1.Have you read and understood all four information pages? (There is only one correct answer to this question!) Yes

2.Did you participate in Ana’s Advent Calendar last year? No

3.How did you hear about the Advent Calendar this year?
Ana’s blog and Blushing Books and a lot of other blogs.

4.Do you plan to drop by now and then, or is your eye on a Perfect Attendance prize? I plan on being the big Perfect Attendance Winner

5.Which prize(s) are you hoping to win?
Any prize except the one from our store. I have enough paddles!

6.What brings you to the Advent Calendar this year? Why do you want to play?
This is so fun and now that I am aware of all the fun things and contests in blogland, I intend on playing more and more.

7.Who are you? Are you new to Governing Ana, or have you been here before? Tell us about yourself.
I am Blondie and I am blonde-Lol). I am a blogger and a paddle shop owner of Blondies on Etsy.I have been around and I have been a frequent visitor and lurker and participant. And I get spanked for many reasons…..

8.Say hello and respond to the person who has commented before you. (If you are the first commenter, you can respond to me.)
Hello, hello Mona Lisa !

Have you signed up for Ana’s Advent Calendar 2013 yet?

  1. Sign up sheet
  2. FAQ
  3. Code of Conduct
  4. Main page
  5. Prize Donor Contact List

DAILY POSTS

The Editor: #Satspanks, #SnippetSunday, #SeductiveSnS, and #Wewriwa

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Seductive Studs and Sirens, Snippet Sunday, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

The Guilty Indulgence bloghop post is here.

Today, I’ll show you another snippet of Editorial Board while we are on a temporary hiatus from Becoming Clissine (Bastia, Book One). Bastia snippets will resume a little closer to the release date of October 20th. 🙂

In case you’re new to Editorial Board, here are a few snippets plus a character post from earlier. The setup? Prima donna author ticks off firm but wise editor. I’m sure none of us can identify with either character in this scenario. 😀 In this week’s snippet, Spring’s sassy mouth gets her in trouble.

Meet Spring

Finding the title

Spring’s thankfulness

Meeting Edie

Before the words fully left my mouth, I pressed my eyes shut so I wouldn’t have to watch the dull red flood her cheeks. The audible intake of breath was enough. Then again, I wasn’t entirely sure if the gasp were hers.

“I’m sorry,” I offered, but at a crash my eyes flew open.

“I should put you over my lap and spank the brattiness out of you right now.”

I would have laughed if she hadn’t stood up. I would have laughed if she hadn’t put a hand on my shoulder and the nether regions of my stomach hadn’t executed a twisting, turning thirty-foot dive worthy of an Olympic gold medal. I would have laughed if the clatter of her jewel-toned bracelets hadn’t made all the more clear that yet again her touch had rendered me immobile.

Ediecover

Award-winning author Spring Meadows and newspaper-turned-literary editor Rachel Templeton have one thing in common: they can’t stand each other.  Spring is sure that her bestselling talents single-handedly keep her publishing company afloat, while Rachel would like nothing better than to take this smart-mouthed, button-pushing prima donna down a peg or two.  When Spring makes the fatal mistake of accusing Rachel of sexual misconduct, Rachel decides to teach her a lesson.

“What is an author to an editor?” Spring asks herself.  If only she had been prepared for Rachel’s answer…

Choose the next Anastasia Vitsky book for the #Ndulgenthop!

Are you a fan of Guilty Indulgences? I am! To celebrate the three-year anniversary of their book review site, Guilty Indulgences is hosting a blog hop. Prizes include a large box of books plus author and book swag. Check out the link for more information about other authors and books.

Guilty Indulgences was kind enough to give a “five chocolate-dipped strawberries” rating, the ultimate guilty indulgence, to The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus.

The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus is a silly, laugh aloud Christmas tale like none other you’ve ever read. I giggled- yes, actual giggles – during some scenes. As the narrator and the main character argue about who should tell the tale, the author creates a relationship between the two women that seems genuine. This relationship adds depth to Claire, the main character, who is quirky and most definitely bratty. Without giving anything away, let’s just say that this book is a whole new take on what becoming an adult for Christmas means… which includes some perfectly naughty spankings.

In some countries, turning 21 means gaining the right to vote and drink alcoholic beverages. For Claire Labraun, the Christmas after her 21st birthday would be beyond her wildest imagination.

Minelle and Matthew Labraun believed in a traditional marriage. Matthew was head of their household, and Minelle was his helpmeet.  When it came to raising their headstrong 21-year-old daughter, however, they found themselves at a loss.  Minelle had always taught Claire to do the right thing for right’s sake. Claire, however, had different ideas.  She rebelled against their rules, flaunted authority, and connived to get things she wanted.  She had never been spanked in her life; Matthew and Minelle kept that adult privilege strictly between themselves. But this year, a visit from Santa plus Claire’s newly adult status would change her idea of Christmas forever.

For my post for today, I’m hosting a poll. Of all the books and stories I have published so far, which next installment or sequel would you like to see most? Why? Choices include:

1. Kat and Natalie (The Way Home, “Tomorrow” in Coming to Terms, and Lighting the Way)

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Natalie always wanted a little sister.  Kat didn’t know she was allowed to want anything…or anyone.

Kat, a shy farmgirl, arrives at her freshman dorm with a backpack, a suitcase, and her mother’s wish for Kat to attend college “at least until you get married”. Her roommate Natalie, a confident and fun-loving social butterfly, decides sight unseen that Kat will become her best friend for life. Natalie teaches Kat about college life, academics, and friendship by taking Kat under her wing…and over her knee.

Then their lives fall apart one fateful night on campus, and for the rest of the decade Kat and Natalie struggle to find their way back to each other. Their way home.

Lighting-the-Way

College roommates, best friends, and family. Can Kat and Natalie find a way to stay together…without killing each other?

Kat Astra knows one thing: everything is her fault. A dead-end job. A fear of confrontation. An inability to speak up when necessary. Desertion of her best friend in her time of need.

Natalie Mestecom knows one thing too: everything Kat does is Natalie’s fault. The relationship rule is simple; Kat has problems, and Natalie fixes them. But what worked in adolescence becomes more complicated with adulthood, and new developments in their relationship challenge these roles. Kat is no longer sure whether she is willing to be disciplined according to Natalie’s rules, and Natalie is no longer sure whether she is worthy of Kat’s trust.

Can Natalie allow herself to be vulnerable? Can Kat believe in her own strength? Can Natalie believe in Kat’s strength? How will they, each in their own way, learn to move beyond guilt and blame in order to forge a new relationship together? In order to make peace with themselves and each other, Kat and Natalie reconnect with family, re-visit memories of their past, and make plans for taking steps forward in the future. To light their way home.

2. Mira and Hana (Desire in Any Language)

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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.

3. Matthew and Minelle/Claire and Daniel (The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus)

See above

4. Spring and Rachel (Editorial Board)

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Award-winning author Spring Meadows and newspaper-turned-literary editor Rachel Templeton have one thing in common: they can’t stand each other.  Spring is sure that her bestselling talents single-handedly keep her publishing company afloat, while Rachel would like nothing better than to take this smart-mouthed, button-pushing prima donna down a peg or two.  When Spring makes the fatal mistake of accusing Rachel of sexual misconduct, Rachel decides to teach her a lesson.

“What is an author to an editor?” Spring asks herself.  If only she had been prepared for Rachel’s answer…

5. Leila and Carene (Simple Gifts)

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Music.  Without the love of her life, how can Leila learn to live again?

Professional violinist Leila Feran is accustomed to fame as the youngest and first female concertmaster of the Philharmonic Symphony.  Driven to achieve ever-increasing heights, she injures her wrist so badly that she may no longer be able to play.  While she recovers, she moves in with her childhood best friend, a pianist and beloved orchestra teacher in a small town.

Carene welcomes Leila with open arms and only one condition: no divas allowed.  And if Leila can’t follow the house rules, she might find herself over Carene’s knee…or worse. In between arguments over physical therapy and house rules, Carene’s zero-tolerance policy regarding divas results in some old-fashioned discipline that changes into something more.

Will Leila and Carene’s new feelings for each other blossom into something wonderful? Or will Leila lose not just a potential soul mate, but also her friend?

(Please note the two soon-to-be published works, Becoming Clissine (Bastia, Book One) and “Complicated Gifts,” the short story follow-up to Simple Gifts that will be published in early October.)

To enter my contest, please choose only one couple to vote for a next book or story. Tell me which couple you’d like to see in a future story and why! The best answer will be chosen to be a beta reader for your chosen sequel.

Thanks for joining the hop! Be sure to visit all of the other authors in this great event.

Finding that darn title: #Satspanks, #SnippetSunday, #SeductiveSnS, and #Wewriwa

Welcome to Saturday Spankings, Seductive Studs and Sirens, Snippet Sunday, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

 

Today I’m reaching into my backlist to show a snippet from Editorial Board, one of my favorite stories. It’s a light, fun read about a badly behaved author and the editor who brings her back in line. There is plenty of spanking action, but today’s snippet is a more serious one. Spring, our heroine, wrote an instant bestseller for her debut book, and she is now crippled with fear, anxiety, and writer’s block while trying to write her second book. The following snippet takes us into her headspace as she struggles with a title for this book and reflects on the various events in her life that have brought her to this point. One of my regrets about writing Editorial Board is that Shadow Memories does not (yet) exist. I’d love to have read Spring’s first book. 🙂

Spring has an edge of bitterness that hides her inner fears, fears that we all know as writers. As badly as she behaves, I have a soft spot for her in my heart.

(I chose this book for today partly because Becoming Clissine has been pushed back one month for publication. The new release date is October 22nd. I’m very sorry, but it must be perfect before it becomes public. I just hope you all like it…)

 

There must be a special place in hell for someone who has made as many students miserable as I did in my short and tortured career as a teacher (or recovering English teacher, as I liked to call it). I wasn’t sure who needed the recovery more, my students or I.

Title…I tapped the keys hesitantly. Shadow Memories had simply come to me out of nowhere. My grandfather had told us kids all of our lives about the grandmother we had never known. High school sweethearts, they had married right after graduation. Ma grew up as the youngest of a brood of kids with an oldest sister who was too frazzled to be a substitute mother. Sometimes it felt as if Ma had been the one to live in the shadow of memories, not Grandpa Seth.

 

Ediecover

Award-winning author Spring Meadows and newspaper-turned-literary editor Rachel Templeton have one thing in common: they can’t stand each other.  Spring is sure that her bestselling talents single-handedly keep her publishing company afloat, while Rachel would like nothing better than to take this smart-mouthed, button-pushing prima donna down a peg or two.  When Spring makes the fatal mistake of accusing Rachel of sexual misconduct, Rachel decides to teach her a lesson.

 

“What is an author to an editor?” Spring asks herself.  If only she had been prepared for Rachel’s answer…

#Freebook of your choice! Fundraiser for Corinne’s family

Corinne Alexander, also known as Sassy Chassy, is a name most authors of spanking fiction will know. She reads our books, reviews them, and opens her heart to the stories we want to tell. I count myself lucky when I receive a note from Corinne about my latest book. She always connects with my characters and story in a way I hadn’t anticipated, and it makes me see them in a new light.

I am not the only one. When I mentioned her on a Goodreads group, the response was immediate. “Oh, yes! She’s a loyal reader. Such an active participant.” Authors and readers agree that she is wonderful to have in our community.

In the past few weeks, Corinne’s mom has been undergoing therapy to recover from a stroke. She is unable to work and without medical insurance, and she needs some financial assistance until she is able to get back to work. As anyone knows, dealing with financial stress makes recovery all the more difficult. We want Corinne’s mom back on her feet!

If you are able to contribute financially, her family has set up a fundraiser at this site. Even a small amount will help a great deal. Please note that you can remain anonymous and/or hide the amount you contribute. It will be confidential.

If you are not able to contribute financially, Corinne says that prayers are the best support possible. Our community rallied together for Bas, for Emily, and for Christina’s fundraiser. If you haven’t been touched by Corinne yet, I hope you will get a chance. She is truly a gem.

Whatever you are able to contribute will be appreciated with utmost sincerity. And because I know that a small incentive can sometimes encourage people, I’d like to offer a free copy of any book on my backlist (The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, Desire in Any Language, Editorial Board, The Way Home, Lighting the Way, or Simple Gifts) to anyone who donates to this fund. You can either leave a comment below or email me privately to let me know you’ve donated–not the amount, but just that you have done so. Also tell me which book you want to receive.

Let’s put together our love and help out one of our own, shall we? I know we can do it.

Tuesdays with Ana: Thoughts for a newbie considering publishing

One of the best parts about being a published author is reading letters from readers. Because I was part of the blogging community before I became a published author, I’ve tried to keep one foot in each world. I try to do enough marketing/advertising to make people aware of my books, but I also try to stay connected with blogging friends who may never have the desire to purchase a single book. I’m not here only as a blogging advertisement; I’m also here as Ana the person who enjoys talking with people. So when these two worlds converge and reader/friends ask me about publishing and authoring, it’s a special joy.

I’ve been asked these questions, in various formulations, over the past few weeks and months:

How did you get published?

Could I get published, too?

How do you know if a manuscript is good enough to submit?

Where do I start?

I wrote something for fun. I’d like to publish it, but I don’t know if it’s an impossible dream.

Good news! With all of the smaller epublishers operating, there are publication opportunities for more and more types of fiction. Gone are the days when publishing, especially publishing something other than the mainstream types of fiction, was a pipe dream. Several people have gotten contracts to publish lately: PK for her first Cassie book and Sunny Girl for her collection of short stories. Others may not be new to publishing, but this is their first time using a publisher for a full-length book: Celeste and Thianna. Other have had success with self-publishing (when you don’t use a publisher but do all of the work on your own or hire someone to do it for you).

Instead of writing out new answers to the questions, let me first point you to a wealth of information available on previous Fika posts (as always, you’ll want to read the comments because information is also in the discussion):

For some thoughts on what kind of books readers want to read, read this Fika by Minelle on a reader’s perspective.

You may be especially interested in Maria Coltman’s Fika with Kate discussing her aspirations to publish a manuscript.

Don’t forget previous Tuesdays with Ana posts, either! One you might find relevant is on creating an author identity. Also this post on digging down to find emotional honesty in your writing.

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Phew! Is that a big enough list of links to keep you busy for a while? 🙂

Deciding whether you want to publish is a big step. No one can tell you if you or your writing is ready, but one of the best things you can do is practice your writing. Be brave. Share a story with a friend, or even send a story to PK for Fantasy Friday. She’ll post stories from anyone, even if it’s your first time trying to write. Try visiting author blogs to see snippets of their work. Of course, there are other similar options if you want to publish fiction without spanking. (Fiction without spanking? It exists? Oh, the horror! 🙂 )

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Finally, you may want to finish by revisiting this piece: Everything I need to know I learned writing spanking fiction. If you’d like a one-stop shop to understanding my thoughts on writing and how writing changes us as people, here you go. 🙂

(And although I really don’t want to turn this into a book-promoting feature, Editorial Board–for all its silliness–actually contains much of my philosophy on writing.)

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Does that help? Did I miss an important part of your question? Join the discussion by leaving a comment below! If you’re a published author, I encourage you to add your advice/wisdom to the mix. If you’re an aspiring author, please add questions. If you’re a happy-to-never-publish reader, do you have any input as a reader of fiction?

Thanks for joining Tuesdays with Ana!