Mistress on Her Knees is FREE today!

Are you eagerly awaiting Mistress’s Release, coming out next Thursday, June 16th?

Have you pre-ordered from Amazon, or have you picked up an early bird copy at All Romance Books?

What to do in the meantime? Check back here at governingana.wordpress.com EVERY DAY until next Thursday to find surprises, incentives, and special offers.

Today, you can pick up a FREE COPY of Mistress on Her Knees, book one in the Mistress series! Find out how Graciela and Trinity met, and prepare for their climactic story in Mistress’s Release.

Mistress on Her Knees-Amazon

Thou shalt not covet thy host’s submissive.

When a Domme loves a Domme, strange things can happen. When a Domme loves a Domme who is her former submissive and cheated with her best friend, all of the usual fun with handcuffs turns into something darker.

Graciela struggles to control her attraction to the headstrong, beautiful woman who broke her heart ten years ago. She offers temporary shelter to a fellow human in crisis, nothing more. But when Trinity buckles under Graciela’s righteous anger and begs for forgiveness, Graciela’s resolve wavers. Can she ever trust again? Does Trinity deserve a second chance, or is this yet another manipulation?

Get it free on Amazon today!

B is for Buttons

Connections

 

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(Photo credit: Bonnie Bracken. Necklace was a gift I made for readers as part of the release for Mistress on Her Knees.)

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(Photo credit: Chickie)

B is for Buttons

“Do you, Graciela Fairbanks, pledge to protect, guide, cherish, and chastise your submissive, honoring her submission and devotion?” Jessie, usually so irreverent about this side of me she doesn’t understand, stumbles over the last few words. Something changes in her tone, and she gazes at Trinity who trembles in anticipation.

“I do.” I reach for the small linen envelope Jessie placed in front of the first candle, as I instructed. Accepting the lighter, I set the wick ablaze. The wax warms, and soft vanilla scent rises from the light.

“And what do you give to your submissive as a sign of your love and dominance?” Jessie waits with the red velvet pouch as I take Trinity’s right hand in both of mine.

Opening her hand, I slide the card of pearl buttons and set it in her palm. She gives a tiny gasp, looking upward despite my orders not to. Before she remembers and glances back down at the floor, her tear-filled eyes communicate an entire speech in one glance. You remembered. You promised, no matter how difficult life became, you would button me back up. It was my first gift, the day I asked her to become officially mine.

Breaking script, I duck down to kiss her sweet-scented hair. This girl I have come to love offers me her entire self, and I will never forget the value of her gift.

Mistress on Her Knees (FREE with Kindle Unlimited!)

Thou shalt not covet thy host’s submissive

When a Domme loves a Domme, strange things can happen. When a Domme loves a Domme who is her former submissive and cheated with her best friend, all of the usual fun with handcuffs turns into something darker.

Graciela struggles to control her attraction to the headstrong, beautiful woman who broke her heart ten years ago. She offers temporary shelter to a fellow human in crisis, nothing more. But when Trinity buckles under Graciela’s righteous anger and begs for forgiveness, Graciela’s resolve wavers. Can she ever trust again? Does Trinity deserve a second chance, or is this yet another manipulation?

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(Photo credit: Tina Simas)
P.S. Shell Flowers wins yesterday’s random drawing for a copy of Taliasman! Today’s commenters will be entered in a similar contest for a copy of Mistress on Her Knees (in exchange for an honest review).

Camellia book review: A sensuous tale of F/F spanking

  • Title: Camellia
  • Authors: Cari Z. and Caitlin Ricci
  • Print length: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Less Than Three Press
  • Publication date: May 7, 2014
  • Rating:
  • 4 gingersnaps (out of 5 gingersnaps) for content(1)
  • 4 gingersnaps for craft(2)
  • 5 gingersnaps for its handling of kink themes(3)
  • Comprehensive score: 4 gingersnaps (recommended)

Review copy provided by Less Than Three Press

Although I rarely write book reviews of my peers, Camellia by Cari Z. and Caitlin Ricci caught my eye during KT Grant’s Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event this year. I thoroughly enjoyed the teaser posts and looked forward to the book’s publication. F/F spanking…what could I not like?

The periphery details:

Formatting is well-done, the pdf file automatically comes in a size optimized for reading, and the chapter links worked on my Kindle. I would have liked a table of contents with links on my pdf copy, but that’s a small complaint. There were a few errors in the manuscript, but overall it was cleanly edited.

The book:

Danny Breaker lives at home with her rowdy brothers and parents while working as a model. She auditions for a job at a kink convention, meeting the elegant Lucy Culpepper. Lucy teaches tea appreciation classes at her store, and she also enjoys demonstrating her expertise while modeling clothes her friend designs. After screwing up the first interview in a hilarious bit of comedic writing reminiscent of I Love Lucy, Danny manages to earn a second chance to impress Lucy. While working together at the convention, Danny learns more about Lucy, the world of kink, and her budding desires.

The positive:

Camellia’s best point, hands down, is its characterization of the two women who dominate–pun intended–the pages and readers’ hearts. While Lucy’s family backstory is drawn along skimpy and perhaps unnecessary lines (it read too much as a crib sheet to understanding Lucy in a few short sentences), the brief glimpse into Danny’s family life was drawn with perfect comedic timing and understatement. We are struck, as Danny is struck, by Lucy who conducts her life with grace, graciousness, and good taste. The growing fascination of Danny for Lucy is written with exquisite sensuality and longing. We respect Lucy, as Danny does, because she attends to Danny’s needs and slowly, cautiously introduces her to the joys of kink. It’s not easy to write a dominant woman who comes across as both caring and powerful, but Lucy is a joy to behold. She is the perfect foil for Danny, who is impetuous, innocent, and at times crass.

Camellia’s second-best point is its sensuous, loving descriptions of Lucy and Danny negotiating their new relationship within a professional and kink setting. One description of Danny transforming a crawl into an act of seduction was particularly well done. Another is the pitch-perfect response of Lucy to Danny’s insecurities.

The background descriptions of the costumes for the convention, the friendship with secondary characters Natasha and Lillian, and the attention to detail in setting each scene pay off for the reader. At times, the book reaches an atmospheric, almost fairytale quality.

The not-so-positive:

While the writing technique was overall quite good, some sentences read a bit awkwardly. An odd misstep was the description of one costume as “Asian-inspired.” To put this in perspective, it would be analogous to describing a dress as “Caucasian-inspired.” In the context of the detailed notes regarding Japanese teas, the odd reference jolted me out of the story.

I won’t mention details to avoid giving spoilers, but a few plot twists concerning the tea ceremony made me raise my eyebrows. Yes, they worked well dramatically and highlighted Danny’s growing trust of Lucy. However, given the cost of quality tea and Lucy’s profession as a tea expert, the episodes did not ring true. But since writers have taken artistic license from the beginning of time, this is only a small point.

My main complaint about this story, however, is the gratuitous sex. While the book is labeled as containing “some explicit content” and I understand such scenes help with marketing books for sale, I found the first sex scene disappointing. It did not further the plot, it was not necessary, and it broke the atmosphere so exquisitely created by the first chapter. Z. and Ricci demonstrate talent to evoke nearly limitless sexuality in their understated, subtle, intelligent prose. Danny’s first scene meeting Lucy conveys sexual appeal to far greater effect than the first sex scene. In effect, the first sex scene cheapens the narrative and brings it down to a voyeuristic level. The uncomfortable tension between the graphic sex scene and subtle sexuality detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Were Camellia an average erotic novel, the reader might expect such a scene. When Camellia begins by setting the bar high on class and intelligence, however, the first sex scene feels like pandering to a different type of reader than it woos with its other chapters.

Conclusion: Camellia enchants with its characters who walk off the page and into readers’ hearts. While the narrative stumbles in playing too hard to the “sex sells” market, its happily-ever-after ending is sure to charm those looking for a love story with explicit themes.

  1. Content refers to the themes and structure of the book. For fiction, this includes macro elements such as the book’s premise, character arcs, and how well the conflict and resolution fulfill the promise of the book. For non-fiction, this refers to the information that is conveyed.
  2. Craft refers to the level of writing technique, ranging from clarity of text to carefully edited prose.
    .
    Additional note: The combined score generally is a mathematical average of the three ratings, unless an individual rating is especially low or high.

Monday Morning Fika with Natasha Knight: The “S” word

Please welcome the lovely Natasha Knight who will chat with us today about the “S” word. No, not that word. The *other* “S” word. (Protect your children’s ears, please.) You may remember Natasha from the Advent Calendar when she posted about keeping American Christmas customs in the Netherlands. She is also the official translator when we need to give Bas a hard time. 🙂

Natasha’s book, Naia and the Professor, has received a great deal of attention recently. She’s also recently published another book, but I’ll let her tell you about that at the end of the post.

My daughter crept into my bed last night. She wasn’t feeling well and I’d already fallen asleep so I only realized it when her little hand found mine sometime in the night.  As much as I love it when my kids sleep in my bed, I end up not getting a whole lot of sleep myself because I just lay there watching them, listening to their little breath, kissing their soft, warm faces. It’s heaven.

 

As I was lying there holding her hand, I kept thinking how much bigger it had gotten. How much bigger she had gotten. It got me thinking about time and how quickly it truly does pass and where I am now compared to where I was when she was a baby.

 

When we just had our first child, my husband and I were at a ski resort and I was sitting in the café with my daughter on my lap. She was about one and a half years old then, old enough to know she wanted to explore and not be on mommy’s lap! I met a woman there who made a comment I’ll never forget. She said ‘the days are endless but the years fly by.’

 

At that point, I could only focus on the ‘days are endless’ part because it was a lot of work. Actually, being a mom was (and is) the hardest work I’d ever done. But the second part of her sentence kind of took up a little space in my brain and just sat there, waiting for me to hear it.

 

I write erotic romance. I categorize it as Casual BDSM with a lot of spankings. I’ve been writing this genre for about seven, eight months now. I’ve written about my beginnings before and I don’t want to do that now. Instead, I want to talk about how this work has helped me not only find but also free my voice in real life.

 

I’ve known my husband for a long time, We’ve been married for ten years and dated for five before that. About two, three months ago, I got up enough courage to tell him what I wanted, truly. He’d read just a little of my writing by then and I’d always say ‘hey, just because I write it, doesn’t mean I want it.’ And every time those words would leave my mouth, I’d be kicking myself inside because heck, I did want it! Well, I got the courage to say it – finally. I told him in a very straightforward manner that I like BDSM play. I like being dominated. Submission turns me on…etc… That was hard. But what I did next was harder: I actually said the ‘s’ word. Out loud. No, more than that. I asked him to spank me.

 

Let me back up for a moment and tell you a little bit about him. I’ll call him B. B is a loving, kind man whom I still find sexy and on top of that, he’s an amazing dad. Why it took this many years for me to tell him what I told him was because it took me that long to figure out for myself that there’s nothing wrong with me for wanting that. I suppose in the months prior to this ‘coming out’, I came to terms with it myself. Maybe felt less shame.

 

A plague on that word…

 

That moment when I had the conversation with B was the moment I found – or more accurately, freed my voice. It was me speaking something from somewhere very private, very deep inside me. I turned 41 this year and between that and my writing, things were shifting. There’s a quote I like – I think it was Carl Sandburg but here it is: ‘Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let others spend it for you.’ I guess I was fed up of fear spending my damned coin!

 

All that said, coming out has been very powerful for me. It’s changed so many things. I find myself to be more open about this side of things to the point where I have to be careful what I say because I am not ready to let my neighbors or the parents of my kids’ friends know that I live a double life as Natasha Knight. But I am also no longer ashamed of my desires. My relationship with my husband has changed. It wasn’t bad to begin with. He’s always sort of known how to manage me or handle me. He’s always indulged me I suppose and although my revelation came as a surprise to him (I’m very good at keeping secrets) and it took him (and maybe is still taking him) time to wrap his brain around the idea, he also has made more than a singular effort. Hey, he even made me a flogger. Yep, home made. Sweet, huh?

 

I love the feeling I have toward him the days after a session. I feel so close and cherished? Is that the word? And I think he is finding something similar because there’s just a little, subtle layer of intimacy between us that wasn’t there before. Trust is an interesting thing. I mention above that submission is a turn on, and trust plays such a huge role in that – in this whole thing. The dominant partner must earn that submission and that can only be earned through trust.

 

Someone asked me once how long I thought I could keep writing erotic romance or if there wasn’t something else I wanted to write. At this moment, and especially when I look back over the years and how far I’ve come, I can’t imagine not writing it. I love it, I learn so much in the process of writing a story. Hey, it helped me free my voice and maybe it will help someone else do just that in their own life.

 

Thanks for having me here today Ana. This has been really a very good thing for me to write.

Natasha Knight’s blog

 

 

Throughout her life Gabrielle has wanted a strong man to take her in hand, and two years ago her growing need for something her husband could not provide led her to make a terrible mistake which ended her marriage. After his wife cheated on him years ago, Julian learned all about the pain caused by infidelity. When he sees that same crushing guilt in the eyes of a beautiful woman at the B&B where he is spending a quiet vacation, he is compelled to help her. Gabrielle is drawn to Julian from the moment she first sees him. His easy, direct manner forces her to face her guilt and when he suggests that she take the punishment she’s needed for so long, she can’t help but say yes. It soon becomes clear to them both, however, that it will take more than just a bare-bottom spanking to allow Gabrielle to finally let go of her guilt—she will have to be very thoroughly chastised. But to fully satiate her need, she longs to experience more than just punishment from Julian—she needs to be completely dominated by him, to be made to kneel and ask him to take her in any way he pleases, and to blush bright red with embarrassment even as she begs for more. But is it all just a fling, or will what began as a chance meeting change both their lives forever?