Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Love is what makes us human

One of the wonderful things about people is our capacity for love. 31 Flavors is story that explores the depths and heights of where love can lead us. Sometimes love is unconventional; sometimes though we love our partners, life throws us a curve ball and that is when the relationship is truly put to the test. How far would your partner go if you asked them to tie you up and spank you?

31 Flavors is heavily based on a true story but it is fiction. The ending is a little more manufactured than happened in real life. The angst and the agonies happened, but more as a series of heart-to-heart talks between Sid and Nick. Talking is so important when you want to introduce BDSM to a relationship. Sid did fear that Nick would leave her if she asked too much.

But when two people have stuck with each other for five years, and are still in love despite their sex life being scraped from the bottom of the Pit of Doom, the only way left…is up.

We have a website devoted to 31 Flavors if you want to explore some of the hows and whys of our writing process. Leia Shaw was a wonderful writing partner, and even if we both like throwing insults, we’re also pretty darn silly.


Sid forgot to take notes on the sex scenes :) However many of them are based on reality - the ‘shibari’, the big ‘O’, the ‘icy nipples’ scene, the first time they tried BDSM, and so on.

Some early heart-felt reader comments:

Trish Dechant from Goodreads.

“31 Flavors is a short, funny, sexy read that I absolutely adored. The fact that Sidney and Nick have problems, struggle through them, and have fun during sex is just the cherry on top of my sundae. It also shows the reader that no one else has the right to label your sex life, tell you that you're 'doing it wrong', or that you aren't a true Dom/sub. It is how you and your lover define it--the rest doesn't matter.”


"I just finished 31 flavors and I just wanted to say that I loved it. In a way it was kind of hard for me to read because it so closely mirrors what the last year of my life has been like. I cried my eyes out when she was drunk and said she was sorry that she was so broken. I can't tell you how many times I have felt like that. The anxiety, tears, and struggle in the book was balanced with wonderful humor and such love. It was fabulous! Thank you both for writing such a great story. :)"

There are sample chapters of 31 Flavors on both my and Leia’s website as well as on the 31 Flavors weebly site, mentioned above.

31 Flavors:

There are some things in life you have to try before you know how they will affect you.

After 5 years of awful sex, I was ready. Bondage and spanking had always featured in my fantasies, and one day, I convinced my husband to try them. That day was a turning point.

Ice cream comes in many flavors and that’s us too -- not vanilla, maybe not Rocky Road either. We can be a combination or make up our own and no one has the right to judge us.

But there will always be one question that tears at my soul: Will my husband, Nick, ever be happy with what I crave?

The Beginning - Excerpt 1

“Come here.”

His voice, low and full of authority, slides through me like a cold shiver. My breath hitches as I glide silently over our office carpet.

“On your knees.”

I immediately drop. Acutely conscious of my nudity, I sit with my ass resting on my heels and my hands on the curve of my upper thighs.

“Do you know why you are being punished?”

A lump of anticipation lodges in my throat. I keep my eyes downcast and nod.

“Good. Now, I’m going to tie you to the desk, spank you and stuff you with the vibrator. And you’re not to come without my permission, do you understand?”

My stomach lurches and I’m soaked with arousal. I can’t trust my voice so I nod again.

“Answer me.”

I clear my throat and croak a shaky, “Y-yes, sir.”

“Stand up and bend over the desk.”

My knees tremble. I can barely hold my weight as I walk to the desk. A thin rope dangles from his hands. I dare to look in his eyes. They remain impassive, foreboding. I’m a prisoner in the shadow of my executioner. Can I do this?

His brows raise a fraction of an inch. “Go on.”

I steel myself and bend over the desk. The glass top is like ice on my naked breasts. My breath quickens as he coolly and effectively ties my ankles to the desk legs, then my wrists behind my back. I twist my hands, checking the tightness. No give, at all. Suddenly I feel vulnerable. Too open, too exposed.

I notice the wooden paddle on the desk only when he reaches for it. I gasp. From fear or anticipation, I’m not sure. He moves away so I can no longer see him.

From behind me, I hear, “Count, Sidney.”

I squeeze my eyes shut, and the paddle whistles through the air –

Beep. Beep. Beep.

I wake with a start, flushed and wet. A dream. I exhale a deep breath then slam my hand on the snooze button. Nick stirs beside me, his body heating me through the blankets. My dream comes back full force, an assault on my already over-eager libido.

Nick. His eyes stern, his lips turned down in a disapproving frown. The rope, the paddle… oh. I can’t stop a sharp inhalation.

The idea is laughable. Nick wielding a paddle? He’s more likely to cross-dress and pierce his nipples than mercilessly paddle my ass. Nick is the nicest man I’ve ever met. It’s why I married him.

I sigh in frustration and push my fantasies away. The dog jumps at the door. Nick rolls over. His voice is groggy. “Honey. The dog wants to go out.”

“I know.”

Welcome to real life.

Striptease Excerpt 2

Sid has just asked Nick if he has any fantasies.

“Well, maybe you could seduce me?”

I blink. “Me?”

“Yeah, like a little lap dance or a strip tease.”

Fucking A. Of course the pain in the ass would pick something completely out of my comfort zone. A strip tease and a lap dance? I’ve never had a single dance lesson. I’m awkward and clumsy and not the least bit sexy.

Don’t be a taker, I scold myself. He tied me up. He spanked me. He stepped out of his comfort zone, I can too.

Steeling myself for humiliation, I rise from the bed. As seductively as I can manage, I raise the hem of my blouse. “Like this?” I purr.

Nick puts his arms behind his head and his gaze rakes me over. A big grin stretches across his face. He likes it. Okay, I can do this. I pull my shirt up higher, exposing my bra.

“Yeah!” Nick praises from the bed.

I give him a flirty smile then start to pull the blouse over my head. It’s a little tight and I tug harder. Buttons. The damn shirt has buttons, dummy. I bring my arms down to undo the top button, but something yanks on my ear.

Ow! Ow, ow, ow. I freeze, my arms over head, my shirt covering my face. The top button is stuck on the stupid hoop earrings I insisted on wearing to work today. I was trying to look sexy. Not so sexy now, am I?

“Honey? Are you okay?”

He doesn’t need to see my face to know I’m blushing. I’m sure it covers my entire body. But I can recover. I can still pull this off. Somehow, I will make this sexy.

“Um.” My voice is muffled in my shirt. I go for a casual tone. “I’m fine. I’m just…going slow. So you can, you know, savor it.” I move my hips side to side in a seductive sway while simultaneously trying to untangle my earring.

The arm opposite the stuck earring is halfway in my shirt sleeve so I jerk my upper body to the side, trying to get it over to help. But it won’t quite reach where I need it. I’m panting with excursion and getting a bit frantic that it won’t come loose. I wriggle my arms furiously trying to get them out of the sleeves. Every few seconds I stop and shake my hips toward Nick. Or somewhere. I’m not really sure which direction I’m facing anymore.

I hear a strangled snort from behind me. I spin around and freeze. Is he laughing at me? Except for the crinkling of the shirt over my ears, the room is silent.

My arms ache and my ear hurts. I blow out a breath of air.

Nick clears his throat. “Do you need help?” The end of the sentence is choked off with a covered chuckle.

“Yes,” I say, defeated.

I hear him rise from the bed. Then his fingers are on me, unbuttoning my blouse.

“Careful,” I tell him. “My earring is stuck.”

“I got it.”

His fingers work deftly, freeing my face and arms, and just the blouse is dangling from my earring. He works on getting that loose too. I look up at him. Maybe it’s the lack of oxygen from being stuck in my shirt, but he’s never looked so handsome.

“Hi,” I say sheepishly.

He smirks. “Hi.” His breath touches my lips and lingers.

Suddenly, I want to kiss him. Need to kiss him. I lean forward. “Ow!” Something tugs my earring.

“Stay still,” he orders softly. His arm wraps around my waist and pulls me against his body. Goose bumps rise along the skin on my belly and back. Am I getting turned on? I exhale a laugh.

Nick just rescued me from an utterly unsexy and quite possibly life threatening strip tease. I probably looked like one those moles with the red tendril thingys on its head, clawing its way out of the ground. I should be digging a hole into the ground and hiding in humiliation.

Finally, the blouse falls to the floor and my ear is free. I pull both hoops out and place them on the dresser. Nick steps back and looks me over. His mouth is tight with a restrained grin.

I point a finger at him. “Don’t. Laugh.”

He covers his mouth with his hand and his shoulders shake. My eyes narrow and I launch myself at him, toppling him onto the bed. I straddle his hips as his hysterical laughter fills the room.

“Shut up.” I try to cover his mouth with my hand but he blocks me.

“That was cute, Lex,” he says between roars of laughter. “It was like a sea cucumber giving birth to an anemone.”

I gasp and try to smack him but he dodges my hand.

“A sexy sea cucumber,” he adds.

This time, I go for the jugular. He catches my wrists and holds them captive. “So violent. I may be new at this, but I’m pretty sure beating up your Dom is bad form. Should I punish you now?”

“No! I’m too mad.” I pout, pulling my wrists from his hands. “I won’t fulfill anymore of your fantasies if you make fun of me.”

He smiles. “Honey, you fulfill my fantasies every day just by being you.”

I chuckle nervously. “Sure.” But I’m touched, whether it’s true or not.

We stare at each other silently for a moment, giddy smiles plastered on our faces. In a bold move I get my retribution by snaking my hand up his chest and pinching his nipple.

“Ow!” He grasps my hand to free his nipple. “You’re not a very good sub,” he teases.

“Maybe you’re not a good Dom,” I counter with a saucy grin.

“Probably.” Evil glittering in his eyes, he folds his arms around me, then yanks me down for a kiss. Our lips meet and he holds the back of my head as the kiss deepens. Not that I’m planning on leaving. The play of lips on lips, softness and hard, tongue and teeth, is a dance Nick has always done well. I snuggle closer, catch my breath when I can. My eyelids drift lower as I give in to the sensations. I sneak my hand onto his chest, palm flattened, and play with the hair above his shirt neckline. When he stops kissing me I’m breathing hard and very conscious of his body beneath mine.

His gaze is locked with mine. “So let’s just be us.”

I smile. Us. Nick and Sid. Not vanilla. Not Rocky Road. Any kind of thirty-one flavors we want to be. I bite my lip and nod.

With both hands, he grasps my ass and squeezes. “Now let me tie you up so we can fuck and feel better.”


Buy 31 Flavors on Amazon

31 Flavors site

Leia’s website

Leia’s blog

Cari’s website

Cari’s blog


  1. Oh man, this sounds hot! I've got it waiting on my Kindle. Now if only RL wouldn't intrude...

  2. Cassandra it's hot but our readers are also telling us how much they love the humor and the wonderful romance. Happy reading!

  3. You two wrote an amazing story, and I wish you all the success possible.

    I'm also here to tell everyone they must read this book. It really is that good, that real and raw, emotional and funny. It pulls the reader in and won't let go.

    Congratulations on writing such a great book.