Mira’s Miracle sneak peek #1

As promised, today I’ll show you a sneak peek of Mira’s Miracle. For those of you who haven’t read Desire in Any Language, here’s a quick synopsis: Girl studies abroad, discovers that corporal punishment is used in the schools, and immediately begins a flight of fantasizing that focuses on her tutor. Mira’s Miracle, the sequel, tells the story of Mira’s new crush, a diplomat named Hana.

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

 

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

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

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

One of the most fun parts of writing Mira’s Miracle was creating a link between Maren Smith’s Castle world and Mira’s world in South Korea. We plotted and planned until I hit on an idea–Hana’s aunt, Atsuko, has connections to the Castle! In fact, she is the childhood/lifelong best friend of Miranda Hardwick, one of the founders of the Castle.

Today I’ll show you Atsuko’s letter to Miranda arranging Hana’s trip to the Castle with Mira. Tomorrow, I’ll show you Miranda’s reply letter. For the weekend snippet, I’ll show you eight sentences from a spicy scene with Hana and Mira.

For those of you who were unsettled by Becoming Clissine and wished for a happily ever after, Mira’s Miracle is the story for you. Heart, soul, love, and a fairy godmother in the form of an aunt who gives Mira the vacation of her dreams.

—————————————

 

My dear Miranda,

 

I hope this letter finds you well and enjoying your work, as always.

 

I apologize for my absence next month. I dearly wish I could get away for some rest and relaxation at your magnificent Castle, but my presence has been requested at the international summit I’ve been dreading. I would much rather enjoy myself teaching your staff the delights of a new shibari technique I’ve invented. By using Yakitsu’s new midori rope, I have combined three of my favorite designs. You have quite a promising future shibari student. I would love to give her a private lesson the next time I visit.

 

I must confess I need to make an imposition on you. Since I won’t be taking up my usual residence next month, could you possibly allow my niece, Hana, to visit in my stead? She trained under me as best as she could at a distance, but she has never shown interest before. A pity, when she shows real talent both in physical skill and emotional control. If only I could interest her in more than a small, playful act here and there! Still, she has found herself a nice submissive girl and wants to introduce her to the lifestyle. Nothing could be better than a visit to your lavish playground of the mind. It’s time to see whether the girls can handle the Takahashi discipline. Hana is long past time to come into her own. I’ve worried about her for years, but just a few months ago she wrote to me of her new relationship. Nieces! With nothing better to do than worry their poor Obas.

 

How has your search been for your own submissive? Do be careful online. It’s so easy for people to pretend to be something they are not. Don’t sell yourself short. You deserve the best and shall get it, if I have anything to say.

 

With much love,

 

Atsuko Takahashi

Let’s play book tag! (Advent Calendar, Day 22)

Good morning (or afternoon/evening), lovely Advent Calendar players! It’s been a hectic week, hasn’t it? We’ve had five guest posts and even a day of guest replies. I’m still impressed with all the story endings from Kate’s post last Sunday. Zee’s tropical December barbecue sounds delicious, as does Michael’s Italian-American celebration. Many of us are keeping the memory alive of a loved one, the way Renee described. And who doesn’t want a new toy for Christmas, even if it’s not Siobhan’s shoes? Thank you to Joanne for her loving replies to my call to action for compassion in loving our neighbor.

I’ve been scarce the past few days because I’ve been burning the midnight oil (literally! 25 hours in a row) editing and proofreading Mira’s Miracle, the sequel to Desire in Any Language. I don’t have cover art to show you yet, but the blurb is below. Mira and Hana visit a BDSM/kink resort created by Maren Smith in her new Castle series that includes (so far) Kaylee’s Keeper, Holding Hannah, and Saving Sara.

Mira’s Miracle 

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

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

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

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

Mira is one of my favorite characters, a young woman on the cusp of adulthood. With Desire in Any Language, several readers expressed disappointment not to learn more about Mira’s adoption or her relationship with Hana. Your wish is my command, and this story will give plenty of details about Hana. Including a phone sex call. Oops, did I say that out loud? I’m a good girl, really. 😀 At any rate, on Thursday and Friday I will post sneak peeks of the book leading up to (what I hope will be!) the Saturday night release for publication on the Blushing website.

Special thanks to Maren for allowing me to play in her Castle sandbox. Also thank you to Cat, who enlightened me about a special kind of oil. Shh, Cat! Don’t ruin the surprise. 😀 Also thank you to my wonderful friends who gratified me with squeals, shock, and disbelief as I teased them about every juicy detail. Did I say juicy? I meant splurting.

Grin.

Never fear, though. The Ana repression (thank you, Emily!) remains intact, and all scenes are tastefully done. I hope. 😀

At any rate, I realized we have not yet talked much about books. *gasp* What a terrible oversight! Plus, we haven’t had chaos for an entire week, and surely it’s time for some more? *grin* I propose that we play book tag. Remember the game we used to play as children? You’d run and tap someone who then had to tap someone else?

List a book, author, or sub-genre/fantasy you enjoy. If someone has already listed the book, author, or sub-genre/fantasy, reply to the post with more information.

Example A:

Ana: Maren Smith

Renee Meyer: Kaylee’s Keeper.

Chickie: I love that book! The only thing that would have made it better would have been a turkey.

JC: Saving Sara. But Kaylee’s Keeper was my favorite. I wish I could visit the Castle!

Ana: No more turkeys! I also like Maren’s Pets series.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t such a good example. 😀

Example B:

Ana: I LOVE F/F! F/F FTW!!

Emily: Are we allowed to use chatspeak here?

Ana: Shh, Emily. WOOT WOOT!!!

Emily: Aren’t you supposed to give an example?

Ana: Oh, come on, Emily. Hairbrush. F/F. OTK. Rocking horse. Professor.

Emily: WOOT WOOT!!!

Ami: Good thing *I* know how to behave, at least. Kat and Natalie were my first F/F, so The Way Home.

Holla: I’m confused.

Irishey: (some hilarious comment that I can’t imitate because she’s too funny)

Ahem. Another bad example? Let’s try one last time.

Example C:

Ana: The Switch, by Kate Richards

TL: I haven’t read that book. What’s it about?

Katie: A husband and wife try out DD, but the husband isn’t responsible.

Sassy Twatter: Ana, I logged in with the wrong name! Can you delete it? I’m texting while driving.

Ana: SASSY TWATTER!

Sassy Twatter: Don’t get so upset, sheesh.

Minelle: What was that sound?

PT: If anyone’s going to spank around here, it would be me!

*sigh*

*giggle*

Let’s just have a free-for-all. That’s how it will turn out in the end, right? 😀 List your favorite books, authors, sub-genres, fantasies, whatever.

My favorite (obviously!): F/F. WOOT WOOT! Oh, wait, what was I supposed to say? Right. F/F. WOOT!

*clearing throat*

I love stories that are semi-consensual or consensual non-consent. I don’t like stories of brutality (such as, “I’m a man so will make you submit because you’re a woman”), but I do like stories where the main character struggles with wanting and not wanting a spanking, and especially when the main character is in an environment where spanking/corporal punishment is part of the societal structure.

One book I love, even though I’m uncomfortable with the “women preparing girls for a man who will own them” trope, is Childebride Island by Alice Liddell. It’s harsh and includes kidnapping, but the writing is wonderful and the F/F sublime. (Not family friendly, folks, but not much here is…despite Mister Rogers. 😀 )

Tag! You’re it! What book, author, or sub-genre/fantasy do you like? Come back to add to others’ responses!

P.S. WordPress flags comments with multiple links as spam. It’s a good practice, but on days like today it can be really annoying! If you want to list multiple books/give multiple links, please put each one as a separate comment. Sorry, but that way your comments won’t disappear into the spam junkyard. I’ve already had to rescue a few. 🙂

What is domestic discipline (DD)? (Advent Calendar, Day 13)

Today, I am joining forces with Spanking Romance Reviews to present my part of the roundtable discussion. Each month, anyone can sign up to present his or her views on a topic related to spanking. Next month, on January 17, I’ll host a roundtable discussion on fantasy versus reality. This month, the discussion topic is one many people here know, practice, or have begun practicing. We even have a brand-new DD-er amongst our Advent Calendar players, don’t we? 🙂

What domestic discipline?

A committed relationship in which one person guides, supports, and gives correction to another.

Yep.

That’s it, folks. It’s really that simple.

You may find other descriptions elsewhere that emphasize corporal punishment, sexual intimacy, or gender roles (“A husband spanks his wife”), but these are all extraneous. Domestic discipline is a connection between two people. That connection means one person takes responsibility for guiding, supporting and correcting. The other person takes responsibility for submitting, learning, and growing.

“Mentorship” with extra motivation

“Spanky life coach”

“Old-fashioned relationship in which one person takes charge and protects the other”

All of these descriptions can be true.

Do two people have to be married for the relationship to count as domestic discipline?

Nope.

Does DD involve sexual intimacy?

It can, but it doesn’t have to.

Can DD only be practiced by a husband and wife, or a man and a woman?

Absolutely not. In fact, all of my books except Editorial Board contain DD (yes, even Becoming Clissine) and all but one feature F/F relationships. DD is a connection between two people, not two sets of genitals.

Do the two people have to live in the same home?

Nope.

Does DD involve spanking?

Probably. Most likely, in fact. Does every interaction involve spanking? Not necessarily. Discipline within “domestic discipline” may include non-spanking actions such as setting limits or giving guidance.

How is DD different from BDSM?

Sue Lyndon posted this great article on the differences between BDSM and spanking/DD fiction, so I won’t try to repeat what she has said so well. But I will say that BDSM more often (but not always) happens with multiple partners, is negotiated carefully within boundaries of consent, and often (but not always) includes spanking, flogging, or other similar acts for the inherent pleasure of doing so, rather than correction. DD is more likely to be monogamous, intertwined with daily life, and focused on building a long-term relationship that will extend outside of the context of DD.

What does DD look like in practice?

Look around you, read blogs, talk to others who practice DD, and read some stories. Discipline and Desire as well as Bethany’s Woodshed are great sources of a variety of spanking stories. Much of what you read will be unrealistic, but not all.

But in ordinary life, DD also looks very ordinary. It may be a “clearing of the slate,” a spanking to deal with issues such as neglecting self care, needing help working through an emotionally difficult time, disrespecting mutual agreements, or violating boundaries.

Isn’t that childish?

Possibly. Some couples include sexual intimacy in the mix, but sex does not prove something is not childish. (Think ageplay, for example.)

What DD gives is a clear road map for how to handle conflict, how to address and prevent potential conflicts, and how to establish clear communication. One of my favorite books about DD is Kate Richard’s The Switch. She describes a couple who want to save their troubled marriage and turn to DD. Of course, they go overboard before learning how to deal with their situation realistically. The spankings and contracts drawn up may seem childish on the surface, but good communication is never childish.

Let me repeat that. Good communication is never childish.

Period.

Why would someone want to be in a DD relationship?

There are as many reasons as couples. Kat, the heroine (fictional, Michael!) of my Kat and Natalie series, grew up shy and lonely and young for her age. Spring, another heroine (a bratty writer), is a loose cannon and unable to control herself. She makes herself miserable in the process. Leila submits to her partner and best friend because they balance each other.

Why would I want to be in a DD relationship?

Because I want help becoming a better person.

That sounds neat, but painful! Why would anyone want to be spanked?

Ahem. You do realize this blog is about spanking, right? I understand if the recent post about Fred Rogers confused you. 😀

But in all seriousness, here is a beginner guide on how to try spanking that won’t hurt as much. You can adjust spanking in ways that will fit for you. If your partner is sensitive and easily hurt, sometimes a verbal reminder is all that’s necessary to correct behavior. If he or she is stubborn or refuses to listen, conversely you may need to both step away from the dynamic to figure out why it’s not working. Spanking is not a cure-all; nor is DD. Some couples come to DD after serious relationship difficulties. DD is a tool to improve communication, but only a tool. How well it works or doesn’t work depends on how hard you work.

That all sounds far too serious? Why can’t DD be fun?

Ask Susie of Her Mischief Managed whether DD can be fun. She has a story about Saturday sockings… 😉

Fun spankings, playful interactions, and humor can all be part of a DD relationship.

And just to show you that DD and fun can be synonymous, here’s a word from Maren Smith:

The irrepressible Maren Smith brings us these twelve tried-and-true ways to earn yourself a spanking. Word on the street is that Maren hasn’t been able to sit down for the past five years, so she would certainly know!

12 Fool-Proof Sayings to Get You Spanked (I know because…well, they worked for me. And remember, often the difference between getting spanked and getting divorced comes down to two little things: delivery and a smile.)

1.)   “Yeah, I saw the Christmas budget, but then I thought, ‘Budget? We don’t need no stinkin’ budget.’”

2.)   Who put you in charge, and was it because they ran all out of monkeys?

3.)   Yeah, I heard you. I didn’t say anything because I thought it’d be more fun to ignore you.

4.)   I’m getting kinda hungry too. Tell you what, man slave, here’s a map to the fridge. How about you go fix us something?

5.)   Man slave doesn’t work for you, I see. Would you prefer “house bitch”?

6.)   I know we’re supposed to consult one another before making big purchases, but…wanna see my new back tattoo?

7.)   Lying is a skill like any other. If you want to maintain a level of excellence, you must practice constantly. (This is a Star Trek quote—Deep Space Nine, Garek, I am such a nerd. Unfortunately, my non-Trekkie hubby took it as a personal failing on my part, and one which required immediate correcting.)

8.)   I don’t have to if I don’t want to.

9.)   You’re not the boss of me!

10.)         (Called his work) Hi, can you put Grumpy on the phone for me please?

11.)         What would you do if I just said…oh, I don’t know…no?

12.)         You call this a spanking? Pfft! Wake me up when you wanna get serious about it.

If you are an Advent Calendar player and have signed up here (Yes, you can still sign up now! It’s not too late!), please choose one or more of the following options:

  1. When did you first hear about DD? How would you define it?
  2. Have you read stories about or tried it in real life? If yes, how and was it successful? If no, why not?
  3. If you practice other types of spanking besides DD, how are they similar or different?

Monday Morning Fika: Maren Smith on writing Pets

Maren Smith, also known as Darla Phelps, is a familiar name in the spanking fiction world. In fact, I received quite a bit of enthusiasm when I let people know that she would visit us for Fika today.

While many people know Darla Phelps for her ageplay, it is actually an old sci-fi story that remains my favorite. Now known as “Bach’s story” because Maren has written a companion story from Pani’s viewpoint, Pets is one of the most creative stories I have ever read in the spanking genre. It’s romance, kink, sci-fi, ageplay, edgy play, and non-con all in one! I have read many spanking stories over the years, but this one stands out most clearly in my mind. I asked Maren to talk to us about writing this story and how she came up with the idea. I thought it would be better than letting her describe feeding her family bugs and brains. Ask her yourself. If you dare.

I had no idea when I first wrote Pets that it was going to become the most popular story I’ve yet done. Invariably, the first question I’m always asked is: Where did you get the idea? The answer is really very boring: I bought a parrot.
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Solly is a green-wing macaw. She is smart, has a sense of humor, a sense of self, a sense of play—and I was totally unprepared for just how smart she really is. I was trying to describe some of what she does to a non-parrot owner, who listened indulgently while I tried to explain how she likes to amuse herself when she’s playing in her cage, and then he said, “They’re not really smart, you know. It’s just mimicry.”
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That seems to be the human answer for a lot of things. Elephants are smart, so are dolphins, so are apes, but they’re just elephants, dolphins and apes. They aren’t people; they’re animals. Never mind the fact that Koko the gorilla cried when her kitten, All Ball, was hit by a car and killed. Never mind that elephants will mourn their dead and comfort one another when they are grieving. Never mind that dolphins can recognize the emotional states of human beings and react to them accordingly. Never mind the fact that all three—dolphins, elephants and apes—show evidence of being self-aware, intelligent, capable of feeling a wide range of emotions, capable of being artistically inclined. But they’re just animals. That’s just mimicry, taught behavior, wishful thinking.
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Where did the idea of Pets come from? It came from a single thought: What if the situation were reversed? What if humans were ‘animals’ and the people of that world lived firmly in the belief that we could never be anything but? What if, in spite of all the ways we demonstrate our individuality, they still treated us the way we treat our pets? This was the foundation of my story. It occurred to me while I was on a plane speeding across the ocean from the U.S. to England, and over the course of my nine-day vacation there, I wrote the first Pets story. I did it entirely from Bach’s point of view deliberately because to switch back and forth within the same book would have robbed the story of a lot of its impact. I caught some flak for not making the alien culture ‘alien enough’, but I did this deliberately. I wanted my readers to see themselves or someone they knew in Bach and his people. I wanted my readers to be forever unable to look at their dog or cat the same way again without first seeing Pani.
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Do I think this is a book capable of changing the world? No, I’m not that arrogant. But maybe those who do read it will look at their own pets differently, and hands and voices will subconsciously gentle, even during those daily moments of stress and aggravation when we’re all inclined to snap. Maybe someone will take the time to pick up an extra sandwich when they buy their groceries to feed the stray that lives in the parking lot, because someone abandoned him there to starve or get hit by a car. Maybe someone will even take him home. And maybe, just maybe, a new parent’s knee-jerk reaction when they bring their precious infant home won’t be to take their dog or cat to the pound because cats steal a baby’s breath or scratch and dogs can be rambunctious or bite.
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For the woman who put her 2-year-old Irish setter to sleep because she redecorated her living room and he no longer went with the new color scheme, I don’t think any amount of reading could help. But in the very back of my mind, even knowing this series is entirely fictional (hell, I wrote it, for crying out loud!) a part of me kinda wishes there were an alien race out there, one inclined to take humans as exotic household pets, and in that dark, unflattering, vindictive part of my mind, I’m still holding out hope that that woman gets abducted next.

Pets_Kindle

Pets: Bach’s Story

Bach never gave much thought to owning a pet until he lost his wife and children. He goes to Exotics, Inc., and buys a human, the latest fad in the pet-trade. Pani is everything he ever hoped for: smart, mischievous, both looking and acting so much like a real child that Bach can almost forget she’s only a pet. At least until her actions begin to go beyond the limits of the subspecies’ intelligence scientifically accredited to the human animal. She speaks, she writes. When she draws a picture of Earth’s solar system, Bach must face the realization that perhaps humans are more than just small, adorable, child-like animals. They might actually be a race of people in their own right.