It was while working with my editor's corrections and suggestions for "Gates of the Garden: Book Two" that this subject for the book's blog tour came to me. Now first things first, my editor is writer too, but she writes in a very different genre from mine- in fact, she's currently working on a Victorian horror story. So I had my beta reader on an IM program as I was going over the edits and I'd say to her [even though my BR doesn't write erotic fiction either, I trusted her to give a nuanced opinion], "Is she saying this because she doesn't understand BDSM erotica?" Some things, like penis size for one, I disagreed with my editor on and my BR supported my disagreement.
Talking about setting was a more subtle thing though. In "Out of the Night: Book One," we have a Manhattan coffeehouse and The Queen's Manhattan loft, before we move to his mansion out in the Catskill Mountain region of New York. The reader gets to enjoy things like the big circular bed in the loft that grabs a reaction from Vala, a description of the mansion as Vala looks on it as they pull up the driveway.
Yes, I'll admit it- I have floor plans of the mansion that I've never planned to put in a published book, probably not even in a blog post. They help me keep track of what room is beside which other room etc- The Queen does have a mansion with two-storied wings, three of them, a servants' wing, and tons of other stuff. The thing was however, my editor wanted details like carpet colors. Now as Vala is crawling after The Queen to cross the great room to get to the play wing, how likely do you think it is that she's going to notice the carpet color? As you walk through your living room on the way to your bedroom, how much attention do you pay to the color of your drapes?
I'm working in book four now- "The Beginning of Knowledge: Book Four"- and I'm debating the formal dining room chairs. There's no sex, no active BDSM, but would you ponder if I mentioned a specific type of chair? :D
But here's two snippets of Vala crossing the great room from "Gates of the Garden: Book Two":
A scene interrupted and The Queen hurries his girls to a formal dinner- that he ordered.
The gonging of the grandfather clock in the great room rang through the first floor seven times.
"Oops. I guess I lost track of time. Let us go to dinner. The three of you are obviously excused from punishment for lateness." The Queen turned towards the great room. "The three of you will crawl behind me."
Prisca, Adan, and Vala moved to follow The Queen. The four of them crossed the great room; he strolled, throwing a smile over his shoulder as the girls struggled to keep up with him.
The Queen strode into the dining room. "Please excuse my lateness."
With Vala speaking first, this snippet shows Adan and Vala responding to The Queen's order to Adan- "Take Vala to Iona [in her room]."
At the landing, she sat back on her heels and asked, "So I'm wondering, how much house will we be crossing or is that a question you shouldn't answer?"
"I don't think there's any reason I shouldn't." Adan sighed as Vala got back on all fours. "Let's hurry."
The girls hurried across dark brown carpet.
Adan said, "We just crossed the main playroom. Next we'll cross the great room, with all that furniture for you to crawl around. Finally we'll cross The Queen's bedroom to the stairs that'll take us up to slave quarters."
Vala giggled. "The slave quarters?"
"Well, that's what we all tend to call our rooms. They're much more than just bedrooms." Adan put her hand on top of Vala's head. "Remember that the furniture gets moved around in here. You always want to be careful if possible, figure out how to still talk to those around you while being mindful of your surroundings."
"Thanks." Vala crawled left around the armchair. "But are we really going to cross The Queen's bedroom?"
Adan laughed. "You may not have noticed, but going through his room is the only way to get to the slave quarters."
Vala is very comfortable in her new life, her new name. She's hopelessly in love, with The Queen, with Iona, with life. She's learning about BDSM and knows The Queen has many surprises, lessons planned for her. She's looking forward to ceremony day...
The Queen considers, stresses, ponders. Sometimes he goes to Simon for help, especially since Tommy messed up so bad. He's considering things in the long term as he watches Vala blossom into what he wants her to be...
Things are settling down and they aren't for the rest of the stable. Tommy did so mess things up, but at least there's Vala's training to entertain, to occupy the stable as The Queen uses them in the ways he needs. Abrecan, Orlee, and Gaelan struggle to come to terms with what one decision did to their lives in the stable...
Please come along with Joelle on this journey, shared with the readers in serial fashion. A multitude of "Happily-ever-afters" are waiting with the completion of book 9.
Author's Note: This novel is meant for open-minded adults. Activities described include a wide range of BDSM and sexual activities, some of which are male/male, male/female, group sex, consensual slavery, oral/anal/vaginal intercourse, bondage. The story also covers some sensitive topics in characters' back stories, such as drug abuse, childhood abuse, religious abuse.
print edition: still to come
Smashwords- multiple formats- https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/417778 . First 20% available as a free sample.
Barnes and Noble/Nook edition