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

Monday Morning Fika: Reviewing frenzy with La Crimson Femme

Have you ever read glowing book reviews and thought, “Pshaw, that sounds like the author’s granny wrote it?” All praise and no substance? Or have you ever read a critical review of your book and wanted to throw something at the wall because the person only said, “Stupid story” without any reasons?

Let me introduce to you La Crimson Femme of Goodreads and BDSM Book Reviews fame! Not only does she make getting a 2-star review from her seem like an accomplishment, but she also offers a wealth of reasons why she critiques the books she reads.

A warning: Today’s content is quite different from the usual Fika material. There is reference to decidedly “adult” practices and even some on-stage demonstration. If you are faint-hearted, you may wish to read a nice, innocent story instead. If you are naughty *coughlikeSueLyndonandReneeRose* you will be on the edge of your seat.

Welcome to Fika!

Strolls in with a fresh bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese. Is this where the bacon lovers are gathering today? This is currently my favourite bacon dish and I thought I’d bring it along to share.

bacon

My name is La Crimson Femme. On Goodreads I’m also known as BA, short for BookAddict. I’m a kinky switch who is passionate about reading books. I’m known for reading all sorts of kinky books and moderating the BDSM group on Goodreads. Ana kindly requested me to guest post on her blog. Here I am! * Sets the dish down on a table. Hops a step, hands fisted on my hips. *

La Crimson Femme: Psst, Ana, where is everyone?

Anastasia Vitsky: BookAddict, this is a virtual interview. There is no audience. It’s just you and me. By the way, why do you have two names? It’s confusing.

La Crimson Femme: Well, there are kind of two of us. BookAddict is the one who is a book slut. She reads basically anything. I have to keep her reined in. She becomes overwhelmed by all the books she sees and just wants to read them all. I tie her down and makes sure she follows a schedule. If I weren’t around, she’d end up spending all her time on Goodreads when we should be reading and reviewing. You may address me as La Crimson Femme. I’m the Domme; she’s the sub.

Anastasia Vitsky: So…there are two of you? *blinks*

La Crimson Femme: Shh, don’t say it too loud. She doesn’t understand that she’s not exactly alone. *Looks over my shoulder at the raven black haired girl sitting in a chair, engrossed in a book.*

Anastasia Vitsky: Okkaaay…Moving on, tell us about your reviewing habits and how it started. *slowly steps back away*

La Crimson Femme: Right! Thanks, Ana. Back to the point. I started out writing notes for myself. This way, when friends asked about books, I could send them my short opinion. Before book review sites for erotica was popular, I’d have a hard time finding erotic books to read. Some of the books I read, I wish someone wrote a review which was more than just, “this book is awesome!” I found a couple of early erotic review sites which provided strict rules stating all reviews must be complimentary because the books were donated by the authors. For me, this defeats the purpose of reading a review. I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly.

BookAddict: *Head pops up, stands up from the chair in the corner and pushes La Crimson Femme aside* I LOVE the bad and ugly! The more depraved the better! Will there be torment?

La Crimson Femme: *Glares at BookAddict. Grabs BookAddict by her long tresses and drags her back to the chair. Quickly whips out some rope and ties BookAddict to the chair, tightly. Dusts hands and walks back to Ana. *

Where were we before we were rudely interrupted? Oh yes. My style of review varies a bit based on the review site requirements and how the book impacted me. For example, some review sites require I provide a short summary of the book before I review it. It shouldn’t be the same as the book blurb. I thought this was an odd request until the review coordinator explained not everyone reads the book blurb and not all reviewers actually read the entire book.

What I’d like authors to know about my reviews – is the rating systems mean very little to me. My reviews tend to provide more value than the number of stars or paddles. This is because I’ve always been a better essay writer than a multiple choice taker. But seriously, my reviews explains why I enjoyed the book or what didn’t work for me. I also explain what I’d recommend for any of the points which didn’t work for me. I try to use specific examples which are measurable and quantifiable. This way, both authors and readers alike can decide if this would be sticking point for them. I fully understand and appreciate what I like will be different than what others prefer. Without ruining the book through spoilers, I provide just enough information for my fellow readers to decide if this book will be a good fit for them. Because ultimately, my goal now, is to match the book to the right reader. No one wants to spend money on a bad time.

BookAddict: Oh, is a bad time when a big bad Dom forces us to do things we love but don’t like to admit we enjoy? *Big brown eyes widen with excitement* Do we get to be flogged? Will there be anal? I like anal.

La Crimson Femme: *Purses lips, reaches down into a bag and rummages through it.* Ah hah! I have just the things. Sorry Ana, give me a few minutes and let me take care of this brat. She needs to be distracted so we can continue our conversation.

Anastasia Vitsky: *One eyebrow raised, lips slightly ajar, nods her head slowly as she moves her chair a bit further away from the two women and closer to the door. She continues to stare at the two items in La Crimson Femme’s hands.*

La Crimson Femme: *whispers* How many times have I told you not to interrupt when I’m speaking to others? If you can’t sit quietly, I’ll give you something to focus on. Not another word. *Tilts the chair seat back and unties BookAddict’s legs. Forcing the tanned thighs wide up and pushing up the short red skirt, it’s clear, BookAddict is wearing no panties as ordered. * Open your loud mouth and wet the plug.

*BookAddict presses her lips tightly together and turns her head away.*

Are you sure you want to do that? That’s all the lube I’m giving you.

*BookAddict quickly turns her head back and stares as me wide eyed. Her mouth pops open with her short pink tongue wiggling in a come hither.*

That’s what I thought. *After wetting the plug, I shove it hard into BookAddict’s tight little hole. It’s awkward, but with BookAddict’s legs spread wide and thrown over the chair legs, it’s possible. I tie her legs to the chair arms to ensure she doesn’t move. I wrap the rope a few times around her crotch to keep the minx from ejecting the plug from her ass. Finally, I turn anal plug to medium vibration. *

BookAddict: *whines* Oh God! How long are you going to leave me here?

La Crimson Femme: When I’m done with the interview. Perhaps this will keep you from interrupting. *Shows BookAddict the vibrating nipple clamps.* Don’t make me use them. *Walks back to my seat and focuses at Ana.*

*Ana focuses on the nipple clamps and leans further away.*

*I wink at Ana. Slips clamps into my pocket.*

If you ask nicely, I might treat you to a bit of play. Back to reviewing and ratings. I’ve been told I’m a hard rater. Since almost fifty percent of books I’ve read earn a three out of five star from me, this could be true. I prefer to think of it as a bell curve. To be at a three star is not bad. It means I enjoyed the book. This is good. Even a two star doesn’t mean bad for me. It merely denotes a book which was okay. I could even argue an one star isn’t necessary bad either. Just because I hated the book, doesn’t mean it isn’t a well written book and that others won’t like it. I recently read a book which was very well written but I hated it. It was one of the more difficult reviews to write because it takes longer for me to list all the good point and then explain why I still rated it an one star.

Anastasia Vitsky: How does an author get a four or five star rating then?

La Crimson Femme: There is no exact formula for earning a four or five star. What I can share is that each of these books had a profound effect on me. The book must emotionally move me. If the characters are engaging and designed in a way that I can feel what they feel, I will generally rate the book higher. The greater emotion it generates, usually the higher the rating. In a way, I prefer angst. The angst needs to be creative and catch me off guard. If the storyline is well written with hidden meanings, this also does well for me. I thrive on books which makes me think. Just because I love books with sex in it, doesn’t mean it can’t contain ideas which make me want to discuss it with others. As a side note, if the book is going to have sex in it, I lean heavily towards the kinky side. The hotter and kinkier the sex, generally the higher the score too.

Anastasia Vitsky: Any advice for new erotic authors?

BookAddict: SEX! More sex! And if we can have more non con, medical kink and some hot forced F/f would be great! The domestic discipline is awesome. Can we have more strict…

La Crimson Femme: *Big sigh. Reaches into the bag again and pulls out a ball gag. Strides over to BookAddict. * I warned you. Don’t say I don’t enforce my rules. Open up.

BookAddict: *Pouts and shakes her head.*

La Crimson Femme: *Sets the ball gag on the chair between BookAddict’s legs. Reaches down and turns the anal plug up to high. Quickly unbuttons BookAddict’s white shirt and unclasps her front clasps bra. Pulls out the nipple clamps and attaches them onto brown perky nipples. *

BookAddict: GAH!

La Crimson Femme: *Quickly grabs the ball gag and shoves it into BookAddic’ts open mouth. Forces her head down and buckles the straps together behind her head.* That should keep her quiet until we are done.

Anastasia Vitsky: *nervously giggles* You were going to mention the things to avoid for new erotic writers?

La Crimson Femme: Ah yes. Here are my personal top ten things to avoid.

Top ten things to avoid

  1. Using too stupid to live main characters
  2. Throwing in a requisite 4.5 sex scenes
  3. Writing in first person
  4. Using dialog overrun with superlatives
  5. Using a rich, handsome man falling for a poor plain girl
  6. Creating conflict through “Three’s Company” type miscommunication
  7. Avoiding research because it’s fiction
  8. Including tangent stories involving secondary characters with no closure
  9. Using ex deus machina as a plot device
  10. Changing points of views between main characters frequently and also changing to secondary characters

La Crimson Femme: Thank you Ana for the lovely time. *Exits while pushing a rolling chair with a tied up and gagged BookAddict in it.*

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Learn more about La Crimson Femme at her blog!

5-star review for Mira! Plus Simple Gifts, A Sneak Peek

I enjoyed the texture of the writing, the smooth descriptions of the lessons in a language that is beautiful and ornate and how the main character strove to meet her teachers’ demands. The gradual realization as to what she (Mira) needs is an awakening and in some ways a birth by fire. Passion runs hot in this short novel and I found myself pondering about its nuances even when I wasn’t reading it at that moment. If a book makes you think, that is one of the highest compliments you can give it.

I enjoyed the texture of the writing, the smooth descriptions of the lessons in a language that is beautiful and ornate and how the main character strove to meet her teachers’ demands. The gradual realization as to what she (Mira) needs is an awakening and in some ways a birth by fire. Passion runs hot in this short novel and I found myself pondering about its nuances even when I wasn’t reading it at that moment. If a book makes you think, that is one of the highest compliments you can give it.

Look what Mira brought home!! Go read the entire review here. Oh, joy and glory! Thank you to everyone who has written to me saying how much you enjoy Desire in Any Language.

(Computer is slowly drying out, and it’s still a tossup whether it will still be usable. This old computer has such stiff keys that it is hard on my wrists. Speaking of hard on wrists, today I will let you see a sneak peek–and more than six sentences–of my April release, Simple Gifts. Leila, a professional violinist, is recovering from a case of tendonitis so severe that she has has to take leave from her symphony. She stays with Carene, her best friend from childhood who teaches orchestra in a small town. Carene trained to be a concert pianist but decided that she preferred to teach. Because Leila is out of a job, Carene sets her up with students for private violin lessons. The problem is that Leila is only used to teaching the best of the best. The other problem is that Carene has one unbreakable rule: No divas. Leila is about to find out just what that means…)

*                *                   *

Simple Gifts (publication date: April 2013 by Lazy Day)

“No, no, NO!”  Leila jumped out of her chair and snatched the violin out of Brittany’s hands. At the piano, Carene frowned but stopped playing. They had agreed to respect each other’s methods in front of the students.

Leila tucked the violin, so oddly heavy and clunky compared to her own, and drew the bow across the strings. Instead of every beat played with dreary sameness, the notes danced off her fingers with a toe-tapping whirl. Instead of Brittany’s stolid and semi-correctly placed fingers, Leila’s scurried up and down the fingerboard. An accent here and a crescendo there with an infectious, lilting buildup to a climax followed by a tripping, bubbly skip of the notes downward.

Brittany’s eyes grew wide. She looked at her violin in awe, as if wondering how the same instrument could sound completely different in her teacher’s hands.

“That’s how it’s supposed to sound! Vivaldi wrote this concerto for his students!” Leila raged, thrusting the violin back toward Brittany. “For his beginning students who were too stupid to do anything serious. And you limp through the music every single week without improving a single bit. Do you even look at your violin in between lessons?”

“It’s hard,” Brittany mumbled, glancing over at Carene for help. “I practiced, honest I did, every day for two hours like you said.”

“Good God, do you mean you could be even worse? I was playing this when I was seven! And you’re what, fourteen now?”  Leila flipped the music book back to the beginning page.

[. . .]

“Bye, Ms. Moraghan! Thank you! I’ll do better next time, I promise!”  She waved as she headed toward the door.

“Not too much! Don’t neglect your schoolwork!”  Carene waved back and closed the door behind Brittany. Then she sighed. Walked back to the music room, crossed the hall, and opened Leila’s door. As she’d expected, Leila was smoldering like a volcano just before eruption. At Carene’s entrance, Leila turned  guiltily.

“I can’t help it that she got upset,” she muttered. “It was an easy entrance. And it was the second time she muffed it. You know she’ll never get into any orchestra if she’s not any better than that.”

Carene closed the door behind her.  Her clipped, abrupt words held none of the kindly comfort she had given Brittany. “Give me one good reason I shouldn’t put you over my knee and paddle the daylights out of you.”

(c) Anastasia Vitsky and Lazy Day Publishing, 2013