Tuesdays with Ana: An introduction to reading and writing book reviews, Part One

Most of us have experienced book reviews, whether it’s reading or writing them. If we are looking for a good book, we might scan other readers’ reviews to decide if the book is worth buying. If we write reviews, we might worry about offending the author or experience negative responses for writing a critical review. If we are an author, we might feel frustrated when a reviewer posts comments that are harsh or unfair. If we are a new or aspiring author, we might feel confused trying to decide which criticism to take and which to ignore.

It’s complicated! Let’s talk about a few of these items, starting with the types of reviews and their purposes. I’ll share two examples of reviews, one positive and one negative. Later, I’ll share some responses from quite a few reviewers I’ve interviewed. I’ll also open discussion for questions and advice about reading and writing book reviews. Let’s get started! I’ll post some introductory thoughts today, and later I’ll post interviews with eight reviewers.

First, let’s begin with who I am: I am an author, and for that reason writing book reviews often means writing about my colleagues. Awkward, you say? Sometimes. 🙂 Writing reviews for other authors is a great service, but it can become problematic unless I write glowing comments. I write very few reviews, but that’s because I come from a different tradition of writing reviews. I believe that a detailed, intelligent critique is a compliment to the author. I also recognize that many authors want glowing reviews to help sell their books. Let’s be honest: I love getting glowing reviews that will help sell my books. Who doesn’t? 🙂 I’ll talk more about the different kinds of reviews and critiques later, but for now let me point out that different kinds of people write reviews for different purposes.

Here is an example of a review I wrote for Spanking Romance Reviews:

By Anastasia Vitsky

The first time I read Switch (The Trainer)Kate Richard’s newest book, I was incensed. The plot developments were unfair to the main character! How could he… how could she… it was an injustice!  Then I stepped back to evaluate my reaction. Emotional investment in characters is a sign of good writing, and this book made me care about its characters. For that accomplishment alone, Richards is to be commended. Switch brings readers into a world of sympathetic characters, believable conflict, and satisfying resolution. Along the way, we also enjoy some delightful spankings and sizzling sexual action.

The premise for Switch will resonate with many practitioners of DD (domestic discipline). The marriage flounders, communication fails, and both partners have become trapped by inflexible relationship patterns. In this case, Rick’s irresponsibility fuels Esme’s disappointment and lack of trust. They seek help from a character known as the “Trainer,” a DD consultant. As the Trainer teaches Rick how to spank Esme, the couple re-discovers the foundation of their marriage: love, a commitment to each other, and a scorching sexual chemistry.

Yet, rebuilding their marriage is not as easy as applying a chosen implement to the correct portion of Esme’s body. Rick and Esme rush into DD without considering its limitations. Their conflict and struggles are both poignant and real, recognizable to nearly every new practitioner of DD. Herein lies the secret strength of Switch: Richards helps us understand our own real-life relationships in a better way, and she packages everything in a shiny happily-ever-after. Life lessons with a finishing touch of sweetness.

Professional book reviews are often short, as in 250 words or shorter. (This review is 260 words.) A typical professional review contains a few main elements:

  • Introduction to the book’s context. Is the book paranormal, a romance, young adult fiction, or a thriller?
    From this review of Switch, the reader learns that the book is a romance, contains sexual content, has a happily-ever-after ending, and is about domestic discipline.
  • Introduction to the major characters and conflict of the book.
    Rick and Esme are a couple struggling with their marriage, and they use domestic discipline to try to solve it.
  • A personal response to the book.
    This book made me furious! However, I still recommend the book because it contains good writing and makes me care about the characters.
  • A take-away message for the reader, or the “So what?” element. Why should we care about the book? (Unless the review pans the book, and in that case we should see still see a take-away message.)
    We should care about this book because it helps us understand our own relationships.

A good review makes a claim about a book, and then the reviewer gives reasons to support that claim.

What if a reviewer hates the book? He or she still needs to support the claim, and in fact has a greater obligation to do so. Take this example written by Jade Cary:

Sir Thomas Aldley, the Queen’s ambassador to Portugal, believes such a savage place is not fit for his budding 17-yr old daughter, Lady Catherine. God help us if she happens to fall in love with a rakish Spaniard, or something. Well, Lady C would have been better off, and the ol’ man should have left well enough alone. He sets her to sail for his sister’s place in England so she can enjoy the season and marry well. The sailing vessel is apparently ripe to be plucked for its rich booty by cutthroat pirates, and it is indeed taken over by Captain Jonathan Hale and his band of merry men. He releases the hostages, except for Cathy, whom he berates, spanks and then rapes, not once but over and over again. Despite all of that, Cathy seems…smitten.

Eye-roll and Sigh.

The alleged hero, Jon Hale, is absolutely horrible–probably the vilest ‘hero’ I have ever seen in romantic fiction. The whole kidnap-rape-Stockholm Syndrome thing has been done over and over again in modern fiction, so I was surprised to see this theme in what can only be described as a bodice ripper that should have us all swooning. Instead, this character has not one redeemable feature, and the author doesn’t see the need to scrounge one up for him. Through most of the book he’s busy in a rage, calling her slut/whore/trollop, and then treating her like one, all the while justifying his actions. My favorite moments in the book were the many times he said to her, ‘Have I beat you, or hurt you in any way?’

No, sweetie. You were great.

By the middle of the book I started hating Cathy, too. She luuuurves him. Jeepers, really? REALLY? He seems to blame her for something or other and won’t listen to reason. The man spends so much time sulking, calling her names and raping her that he comes across like a spoiled, horny teenager whose frontal lobe hasn’t fully reformed. We are told, ad nauseum, via the author, via Cathy, how masculine, how ‘all man’ he is. Not so much–more like a malformed brat. And as far as getting to the point of his ‘rage’ (rage isn’t all that sexy), not much happens to get him to the Ah Ha! moment, so when we get there, it’s like, duuuuh. You can see the light bulb go on over his head (I imagined such things so I didn’t start screaming at my poor Kindle Paperwhite) Anticlimactic just doesn’t describe it.

When, toward the end of the book, Jon tears off her clothes, verbally humiliates, and then rapes Cathy (Really? Again??)–now his wife and mother to his newborn son–in the back of a carriage, and then declares them ‘even’ after she slaps his face, I almost threw Professor Paperwhite across the room. I am at a loss as to how, and why, the author thought this man was sexy, how she thought this horror show of a man would bring tingles to female readers, and how she could have written such a weak character as the dim-witted Cathy. Instead of swatting him over the noggin with her favorite cast iron pan, she continues to pine after this a-hole, and in the end they get their HEA. Sadly, I didn’t buy it. Even for the time period in which the book was written, and the year in which the author wrote it, this dude is over-the-top horrid. We all adore the lovable cad who has his odd moments (and a tiny bit of rage, which IS sexy), yet his love for our heroine is clearly at the forefront, and we can find forgiveness for him in the end. That’s how it’s done. Robards missed this one by a sea mile. What was she thinking?

Really. Bad.

Is anyone uncertain whether Jade liked the book? LOL! Jade’s style is different from mine, and she uses more personal phrasing than I did. However, Jade still follows the same basic principles of a book review.

  • Introduction to the book’s context. Is the book paranormal, a romance, young adult fiction, or a thriller?
    This is a historical romance that contains pirates, action, and adult themes. It is not suitable for younger readers.
  • Introduction to the major characters and conflict of the book.
    Cathy loves Jon, and the kidnapping and rape make her fall in love with him.
  • A personal response to the book.
    This book made Jade furious, but not in a good way. She objects to a weak female character and feels the rapes are not a believable form of courtship.
  • A take-away message for the reader, or the “So what?” element. Why should we care about the book? (Unless the review pans the book, and in that case we should see still see a take-away message.)
    This could have been a great book, but it failed.

Readers, that is ordinary readers who are not also authors or who write for review sites, write “customer service” types of reviews. “This is what I liked and what I didn’t like. I’d recommend it or not recommend it to others because…” These are often the most persuasive kinds of reviews because readers have no personal investment in the product (the book). If I want to buy a new computer, I’m more likely to listen to personal stories of people who bought a computer and liked it. Readers purchase the book on their own, or they may receive the book as a gift or a prize. Reader reviews can range from “It sucked!” to a more thought-out review such as Roz’s wonderful review of Editorial Board.

Reviewers, that is people who write a review for a reviewing site (whether their own blog or someone else’s site), usually receive a complimentary copy (an advance review copy, shortened as an “ARC”) to write a review. They may receive these books individually if their book review site is their own. Review sites with more than one reviewer will typically ask for a book blurb, buy link, and basic information about the author. This information is passed on to the site’s reviewers. If someone wants to review, the site owner will obtain an ARC and pass it on to the reviewer. These types of reviews, while still a personal response, tend to be more formal. Some review sites have a policy of only publishing positive reviews. Other sites want a balance of positive and negative reviews. These kinds of review sites often specialize in certain types of fiction. Lipstick Lesbian Reviews, for example, only accepts books that contain (surprise!) F/F themes. The review policy reads:

Lipstick Lesbian Reviews focuses on the underrepresented genres of lesbian, F/F, and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) literature and fiction. I am interested in reading and reviewing:

  • Contemporary and Realistic fiction
  • Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy
  • Erotica and Dark Romance
  • Young Adult and/or New Adult

Books do not necessarily need to have lesbian characters but it is preferred to have some aspect of female lovin’.

If you are interested in submitting your book for an honest review please send an email to lipsticklesreviews@gmail.com
Please include in the email:

  • Title and Author
  • Sub-genre
  • Blurb
  • Desired time frame

While I may not be able to review EVERY book I will do my best 🙂

Other sites may only accept M/F stories, or only YA, or refuse to accept books with certain themes. Reviewers are not aligned with certain authors (although they may be authors themselves), do not receive financial compensation for their reviews (other than receiving the book free), and work hard to give honest reviews that will help readers choose a book to read.

Author reviews are often given as a form of mutual support. (Bless you and thank you to all of my fellow authors who have done so!) These typically focus on the positive elements and serve as an endorsement of the book.

Where are book reviews posted? Amazon, Goodreads, the publisher’s website, if they take reviews (my publishers, Blushing and LazyDay, both take reviews on their sites), and your blog are all great options. You can also post links to your review on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media sites.

What a book review (of any type) should never do:

  • Insult the author personally or speak disrespectfully about the book.
    Example: “I wanted to bash this person’s head in.” (True story. No kidding.)
    Better: I don’t like these kinds of characters because…
  • Give away major plot points of the story (aka “spoilers”)
    Example: What a stupid book. In the end (major character) (major plot point spoiler).
    Better: I objected to the ending of this book. Without giving away any spoilers, let me say that the author did not set up the ending, and the plot twist came across as gimmicky rather than realistic.
  • Criticize the book without taking into account its genre and context.
    Example: Mira’s Miracle sucked because it was all F/F action. There should have been a hot guy. Also, spanking is abuse. (Um…read the blurb, shall we?)
    Better: The male characters in Mira’s Miracle did not get enough attention. I liked the strong female characters, but I would have liked to see Mira interact positively with a male disciplinarian figure.

Here’s a real-life example of an appropriate criticism:

Unfortunately this one almost became a DNF to me because I struggled with the age play content.  This is the first time I have encountered age play in a novel and it personally makes me uncomfortable.  However, reading is an experience and now from experience  I know that this type of content is now a hard limit for me.  Regardless, I enjoyed the core of the story and will pick up the next in the series.(Read the full review of Becoming Clissine here)

It’s a fair criticism. Becoming Clissine is advertised as a sci-fi/fantasy socio-political spanking story, not an ageplay. There are no warnings about ageplay, although the blurb does describe Clissa’s re-education being treated as a child.

Phew, this is the longest Tuesdays with Ana to date! And yet we’ve barely scratched the surface. Good thing this is only Part One, and good thing eight talented reviewers have agreed to post interviews about their thoughts as reviewers.

Would you like to try writing your first book review, but you don’t know how to get started? Ask Roz! She’s the newest pro. 🙂 Do you write book reviews for a site and feel frustrated by inappropriate author behavior? Are you an author and frustrated by inappropriate conduct by reviewers?
Do you have advice for new book reviewers, new authors, or any aspects of book reviews?

Oh, and if you leave a book review for Mira’s Miracle on Amazon, Blushing, and/or Goodreads, I will bless your name forever. 🙂

Come back tomorrow for a very exciting announcement! Something amazing will happen in the world of F/F fiction, instigated by yours truly!!

Milestones cover reveal!

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy a follow-up to Coming to Terms. Jade Cary, Cara Bristol, Alta Hensley, Sue Lyndon, Renee Rose, Celeste Jones, and I will bring to you seven new DD stories in a brand-new anthology from LazyDay.

Milestones-Final

 

From making it a year cancer-free to adjusting to a spouse home from a tour of duty, seven domestic discipline couples grapple with life’s milestones.

WARNING: This book contains scenes with spanking, Domestic Discipline, and graphic sex.

The First Submission by Anastasia Vitsky
Bred to uphold duty and tradition from the cradle, rising legal scholar Sori shrinks from marriage and assuming the role of disciplinarian. Temper pot Karie longs for freedom as a First Responder and scorns the fusty Sori. In this prequel to Becoming Clissine, Karie and Sori must choose their own happiness. Can they find love in an arranged marriage?
October Something by Jade Cary
As their tenth wedding anniversary approaches, Kate and Jack Barrington are signing divorce papers instead of exchanging tin. Desperate to save their marriage, Jack holds Kate hostage at their mountain retreat, where happiness once reigned supreme. Can they move through the bad times and find love once again?

Major Changes by Cara Bristol
Before her military husband left forAfghanistan, Cadence Simmons depended on Rahm’s love, guidance, and protection. But his service to his country forced her to become more independent and make decisions for herself. He’s home for good now and eager to resume where they left off. But Cadence isn’t quite sure she wants things exactly as they were before. Can a little domestic discipline help this loving couple through some major changes?

The Barn by Alta Hensley
Determined to convert an old barn into the home of her dreams, Paige Holland returns to her small town after twelve years. She finds herself face to face with the man she never forgot. The same man who shattered her heart in a million pieces. The same man she never wanted to see again, yet also the same man she so desperately missed. Connor McNeil…her first true love.

Making It ‘Write’ by Celeste Jones
Jill Carpenter is thrilled when her first spanking fiction novel is accepted for publication and a whole new life as a professional writer opens up for her. The only catch? Complying with her husband’s rules regarding absolute secrecy and privacy.

A Time to Heal by Sue Lyndon
Stephie’s cancer went into remission a year ago, but her husband, Marcus, still treats her like she’s breakable. They resume practicing domestic discipline, but Marcus has a hard time following through with punishments, leaving Stephie frustrated that it’s not the same as before her illness. Can they move past the fears that have built up between them to find the intimacy they lost?

Unmet Desire by Renee Rose

Watching his wife unravel as she faces infertility is as heartbreaking for Luis as it is for Claire, but the more he compassion he shows, the more she drifts away. Deciding to take a firm hand, he whisks her away to their mountain condo for a weekend boot camp to reaffirm their roles and reignite their passion for one another.

 

Stay tuned for a post later today on reading and writing reviews for Tuesdays with Ana!

A peek at “Tomorrow” from Coming to Terms:A birthday party for Kat!

Coming-to-Terms.Ad

Coming to Terms is now available for sale! Hooray!

In order to celebrate release day, the other authors and I are offering sneak peeks at our stories in this domestic discipline anthology. My story, “Tomorrow”, serves as a mini-sequel to The Way Home and a prequel to Lighting the Way, which will be available on June 6th.

June 6th also happens to be Kat’s birthday, and we will celebrate her special day in style! To get ready for her big day, “Tomorrow” tells about Kat’s first birthday celebration. Ever. She has refused to have a party for as long as Natalie has known her, but this time Natalie talks her into doing something special. Little does Kat know that Natalie makes big plans!

What are those big plans? I’ll give you a hint. “Sarsi World” is in Florida, is popular with children and families, and involves both shows and amusement rides.

Here is a sneak preview:

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“When I was eight,” Natalie begins, and I settle into a more comfortable position. Is it the feel of Natalie’s hands in my hair that calms me, or is it Natalie’s voice? I thought I was comforting her. Leave it to Natalie to turn things around yet again. Despite, or perhaps because of, the change in subject, her voice deepens and slows to sound more like the resonant Natalie voice of old. “I wanted to become a ballerina. You saw my recital pictures, didn’t you?”

I nod wistfully. The perfect pictures of Natalie dressed in a sparkly, fluffy pink tutu looking as scrumptious as cotton candy, her hands forming a circle over her head. No 4-H for Natalie. It was ballet classes, piano recitals, and Girl Scouts.

“So Mom gave me a ballet birthday party. The invitations were pink, we had pink streamers everywhere, and she had my party a week late so we could all go to the Nutcracker at the local theater. My best friend Alice gave me a Ballet Barbie doll, and it was my favorite for years.”

By this time I have slipped lower and lower until my head is resting on Natalie’s lap. To her this might be a childhood memory, but to me it is a fairy tale. I half-expect a godmother to appear and grant her three wishes.

“I had lots of neat parties, but that was my favorite one. What was your favorite birthday party?”

I blink hard. I pull away, stand up, and walk back into the kitchen.

*    *    *

“Katya.”

I look up uncertainly.

“Tell me why it upset you to think about your birthday parties. Is it missing your mom?”

None of your damn business, I want to say, but then I realize that I do not. Not really.

“No. My mom…”

Natalie waits.

“There were so many of us kids, and the boys were so much older and didn’t care about that stuff, and the farm never did well enough for us to have much money, and we lived so far away from everyone else, and in June everyone was going away for vacation anyway…”

She strokes my hair. Damn it, I might as well be Pavlov’s dog. “So you never had a birthday party?”

She carefully keeps any trace of pity out of her voice, and I nod.

“It’s okay,” I start to say, but Natalie interrupts.

“Is that why you never let me throw a birthday party for you?”

“Well, other than not having any friends…”

Swat!

I jump and rub before I realize what she has done, and I stare at her, speechless. Yet she does not look regretful, or surprised, or even ruffled. She looks more like a bossy, infuriating, control freak.

Like Natalie. I gulp, surprised at how relieved that I am to have her back.

“Care to change your answer?”

I hop up and down in tiny jumps, more from the shock than pain. I thought we were in the special no-combat zone where my bottom was safe. Is it a good thing that she has given me a spank, or is it bad? I am furious, but at the same time I am secretly pleased. I do matter to her, after all.

“Ouch, Natty!”

“Answer the question, please.”

“Maybe. Kinda.” So the rules have changed again? Are there rules?

She waits until I meet her gaze. “What if I say you’re going to have a birthday party this year whether you like it or not?”

I make a face. “I’m too old…”

Swat!

“Ouch! Natalie, stop it!” Once was enough! More than enough! Again, a curious mixture of pleasure and indignation ripples through my stomach.

Natalie gives a sigh and speaks with immense patience. “Fine. May I please do something special for your birthday this year?”

I shrug in confusion. “But why do you care?”

“Memories,” Natalie says, and I gape at her. “Creating memories.”

I shake my head again, and she speaks as patiently as if I am a rather dim-witted child. “It’s your birthday soon. Dr. Mitchell wanted us to do something fun, now, and happy that would let us create new memories. Remember? Let’s use your birthday. Please, Katty? I want to do this for you. For us.”

I adjust the collar on my bathrobe and sweep off the towel that has come untucked, and I give her my best smile.

“Okay,” I say. “So, like a cake or something?”

*     *     *

The moment that the plane jerks with the wheels unfolding from underneath its belly, I awake with a start.

“Natty!” I cry softly, hunkering over the oval window. “Palm trees! Ocean! Sun!”

“Hmm?” Natalie opens one eye, moans, and closes it again.

“We’re here!” I bounce in my seat before remembering with a wince that it is not a good idea. “Look!”

Lazily, she stretches. “Not thirsty,” she murmurs before tucking her head in the crook between her headrest and my chair. I give up on waking her and instead watch, fascinated, as the greens and blues and yellows become more and more distinct. It is only my second time on an airplane and my first time in the Sunshine State, and I want to remember every moment. Open-mouthed, I peer at the houses that lay in doll-like smallness. Tiny blue rectangles, ovals, circles, and kidney beans dot the spaces next to nearly every house. Does everyone own a pool in Florida?

“Natty!” I hiss before remembering that she has gone back to sleep. “We should get a pool!”

Natalie, if she were awake, would remind me that I am the one who refuses to spend money. I slip my hand into her limp one and cuddle next to her.

“Wake up!” I whisper. “We’re here!”

Her eyes snap open, and as comprehension fills her eyes she smiles.

“Sorry you threatened not to come?”

I huff in indignation, but she strokes my cheek. “It’s a joke, Katya.”

I make a face, and she taps the tip of my nose. “I can’t wait to see you in a Sarsi hat.” She smiles, her eyes sparkling.

“I’m not going to wear a Sarsi hat…”

“Pink with sparkles and a little filmy veil, just like Princess Sarsi. And we have to get your picture taken with her, and get you a Sarsi balloon, ooh and the character breakfast on the paddleboat…”

“If I wear one, so will you,” I grumble.

“Nuh-uh,” Natalie grins. “You’re the birthday girl.”

She proceeds to tell everyone that it is my birthday, even the bus driver from the resort who picks us up, and I am offered a “Happy Birthday” sticker then and there. Natalie attaches it to my polo shirt, and I wrinkle my nose at her.

“You don’t have to make such a big deal about it,” I say, but she shakes her head.

“We have more than thirty birthdays to catch up on at once,” she answers.

And despite the hot flush in my cheeks every time someone nods and smiles at my childish sticker, I take her hand.

Then I have a thought so unsettling that I stop in my tracks. Natalie nudges me to continue sliding into my seat. I wish I could roll the window down. If I am not the one driving or at least in the front seat, I tend to get a little carsick.

It is not the carsickness that makes my stomach flip-flop, though.

What if she thinks that having more than thirty birthdays to catch up on means also catching up on the birthday spankings?

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Also check out excerpts from my six co-authors!

Cara Bristol, Jade Cary, Alta Hensley, Celeste JonesRenee Rose, and Sue Lyndon

Coming to Terms is available on…

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon DE
Barnes and Noble (coming soon)
All Romance (coming soon)

Monday Morning Fika: Behind the Scenes with Coming to Terms

Coming-to-Terms.Ad

This Wednesday, May 15th, Coming to Terms will finally be available for sale! Rumor is that the book *may* be on Amazon by late-night Tuesday. Maybe. Don’t quote me.

When Staci Taylor of LazyDay Publishing visited Fika last year, I asked whether she would do a multi-author spanking anthology. She said that she had never done one, but she would be interested. Of course, an idea is only an idea once it’s carried out! After talking with fellow spanking authors Jade Cary, Sue Lyndon, Celeste Jones, and Alta Hensley, I pitched the idea to Staci. Hundreds of emails later, the six of us had a plan for our anthology (Cara Bristol and Renee Rose received invitations to join us later). We called ourselves the “Dream Team” and discussed endless arrays of possible scenarios.

In the end, we came up with a theme of couples coming to terms with what DD means in their life. In my story, “Tomorrow,” Kat and Natalie struggle to get past the darkness of The Way Home and come to terms with the negative effects that DD has had on their lives. Spanking is not the answer to all problems, but their relationship is so fragile that it is threatened by any attempts to talk or change. After getting some relationship advice, Natalie books a vacation to “Sarsi World” (LazyDay legal team informed me that I couldn’t use “Disney”) for the two of them to have some time to create new, positive memories to replace the old, hurtful ones.

The rest of the stories are amazing, but I’ll let their authors tell you more about them. On Wednesday, each of us will share a snippet from our story.

For today, here’s a peek behind the scenes at some of the negotiations that went on while we were putting Coming to Terms together. We had a few..ah…differences of opinion. I wanted Disney. The others wanted sex. Guess who won?

——

SEX

I know we’ve talked about this, but I want to confirm. I know that Ana & Celeste’s stories don’t have sex scenes. But what about the rest of you?

In my story I can go either way. The story works with or without a sex scene. If no one has one, I’ll omit it. If the rest of you have sex in your stories, I’ll keep it in to spice it up.

Cara

I meant to have one, but it just didn’t seem to work with what was going on. Renee’s has hot sex, but you probably expected that anyway.

Celeste

Cara, quick answer: Staci’s request is that if you are known for writing sexy scenes (as you are), that you feel free to include it in the story. 🙂 If you want to put it in, do so. If not, no problem.
Ana

yes, Celeste is right, I have hot sex.  I have two to three separate scenes, or two and a half, I guess.  Oral, finger-f**ing and full on.  Ana would’ve known that, but she just skimmed that part.  : )

Renee

HEY!!  lol…

Someday I’m going to have the hottest scene that makes everyone blush. 😛

Ana 

I have sex! 2 scenes is how it is working out (I think). It might be 2 and a half. Cara, please write the sex, I don’t want to be the only naughty. 😉
Although my sex scenes are more on the romantic side. I stayed away from both ‘C’ words.

Alta

I may do fade to black, I may do subtle. No hard core in mine–romance language. As you can tell, i am not as far along as the rest of you lovelies.

Jade

WORKING OUT THE DETAILS

I’m currently considering “Wish Away Home,” “Wishing For Home,” and “Princess Katya.”  I thought that “A Mickey Mouse Spanking” might not be viewed with extreme enthusiasm by everyone else.  Even if that will be our cover art.  😉

Sue, did you stay up plotting your story or plotting to corrupt me and take over the world?
Ana

For heat level – I know Ana doesn’t do sex scenes (although it’s my goal in life to corrupt her, muhaha), and I think that’s fine.  Not every story needs to have sex.  It’s more about the emotional connection anyway.  My characters will have probably have sex, but they won’t be having wild crazy orgies, and I will be focusing more on the DD aspect of their relationship. So…does that mean PG-13?

Sue

My vote is no Disney! I write the spicy…although I can tone it down a bit if that’s what you gals want. So sex and Mickey just seems – Icky! 🙂

Alta

I think another layer to our collection is going to be what stage couples are at in their relationship with DD.  We have those who are brand-new or exploring (Sue’s couple and Jade’s daughter character), Kat and Natalie who have been at it for 10 years but not in a sexual/marital way, and the Alta/Celeste’s couples who do DD in a sexual/marital way and are partway into it.  Alta’s couple does DD in the context of a group of other couples who practice openly, while (so far) Celeste’s couple practices discreetly.

That’s another range–the openness that characters have to sharing DD outside of their relationship.  Jade’s character and mine would probably not tell others.  Alta’s characters have a built-in support system and can be open with them.

Ana

Who’s writing the blurb? 1,2,3..not me! J
Alta

 

So I’ll ask the question. How many spanking scenes are you having? It’s a short story, so what should the count be? I mean, are you basically typing:

Once upon a time – spank, spank, spank.

Conflict – spank, spank, spank

Sex scene – spank, spank, spank

Happily ever after.

The End.

Epilogue – spank, spank, spank

??? I’m not sure what to do. 🙂

Alta

SEX, AGAIN

I personally would like to see at least some level of sex from Alta,Jade and Sue. Because their fans will expect it, and it is more marketable.

Staci

So sex it is. My dirty little mind is set FREE! 🙂

Alta

We can put Ana’s story in the middle. Like sex intermission. Sex-ermission.

Celeste

Sex-ermission!! I almost peed myself. 🙂

Alta

Woot woot! Sex-ermission! so is Alta writing a full synopsis for THE BOOK, featuring all of us? sorry…brain fart.

Jade

Hahaha!  Sex-ermission.  I can’t stop laughing:)

Oh…is someone else doing a cabin vacation?  Because I can change my location if so.  So many emails…LOL…I can’t keep track:)

Thank you, Alta, for taking care of the synopsis to send to Staci.  Am I still writing a blurb of some kind?  I’m confused.  This was a bad week to cut back on caffeine.

Sue

THE MICKEY MOUSE DISAGREEMENT

We still need an official blurb for the book description, but that can wait.

Celeste…lol!!  Though it makes it sound as if Kat and Natalie’s mission is to have sex.

Thank you for doing the synopsis, Alta!

So….can we have Mickey Mouse for the cover art?

Just kidding!

Ana

 I think I volunteered to work on the official blurb…I’d better get to that!

Thank you, Alta, for sending Staci the synopsis!  Woo-hoo, we have contracts in our inbox now!  Guess I better figure out the title of my story so I can return it:)

Sue

P.S.  Ana is not allowed anywhere near the cover art form when it comes time to fill it out!  🙂

Ana you stay clear of the cover! Disney ears…it’s about time we all corrupt your mind. We need to add some dirty to your purity. 😉

Alta

Dear Staci,

Pretty please will you feature Mickey Mouse and Cinderella’s Castle for the anthology cover?  I will send you homemade cookies if you do.

Ana

Dear Staci,
Feel free to spank Ana…hard.
Love,
ALL OF US

Jade

ON SITTING AT THE COOL KIDS’ TABLE

Suggesting that our stories might have cameos:

Oooh I’d have Alta Hensley show up! We could all be famous…in our own book. Ha ha.

Alta

I have to say, that you all have quite the collection of authors. You should change the book title to – Star Power. I have no doubt this book will be outstanding. You all are taking the spanking community by storm!

Staci

This is going to be awesome. I can’t believe I get to sit at the cool kids’ table.

Celeste

AND, FINALLY WE SEE SOME F/F

I’ve heard from everybody. Alta, Sue and Renee and I are having sex (but not together). Celeste and Ana are cut off.

Cara

That’s about the size of it.

Celeste 

If there’s some F/F action going on here, there is no way I’m going to be cut off.

Ana

Coming to Terms will be available for purchase THIS Wednesday, May 15th!