Showing posts with label Loose Id. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Loose Id. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I believe I've been insulted...

I went to a branch of our local library system the other day with my daughter, and decided to ask what the process was for getting my paperbacks into their catalog. I'd gladly donate a copy of each of my paperbacks (that's $75 total - eek! - when did I get so many paperbacks?) to the library system. They have something like 65 libraries, but hey, at least they'd be there if someone searched for them. I do have readers in this area. I know I do - they've contacted me. :-P
This one would be okay, since it's non-erotic.
But wait, he's shirtless & you can see his undies.
Abort! Abort!

But I digress.

Things were going swimmingly and I was encouraged that maybe my books could be part of my local library system. Then I asked about the raciness aspect. The library director put her hand down on the counter and said, "At one end of the spectrum we have those Harlequins your grandmother would read, and at the other end of the spectrum we have Fifty Shades of Grey," and moved her hand to the other side of the counter.

My head exploded. Here was my thought process as I tried to recover. "Oh my God, she thinks FSOG is at the END of the spectrum? And she's a library director?!?"

The blow job scene w/in the first 10
pages would've caused a swoon, I'm sure.
I managed to tell her I had books from about the middle of the road (I do publish some non-erotic titles) to the Fifty Shades side. I chose not to mention just how far past the FSOG line some of my work was. Here's how she responded. She pursed her lips - I don't think I've ever seen someone actually do that, and wrinkled her nose like she'd smelled something bad. Then she said, "Oh, I don't allow books with THAT KIND OF CONTENT."

Seriously? Who made you judge and jury about what types of work readers should have access to? I thought this was 2013. We can't handle a little sex with our love stories?

Apparently not. Censorship is alive and well.

But I know when to fight the battle and when to retreat, so I retreated. I'm going to contact the central library acquisition department to see if their policy reflects the archaic attitude of that library director. I hope not. I can't say I have much confidence, though.

-- Cassandra
To see more about me and my books with THAT KIND OF CONTENT, check out my website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Yes, my books are educational. What of it?

Recently and in the past reviewers have remarked about how some of my BDSM books seem sort of educational. It's not that the scenes aren't hot, but they feel like I over-explain things a little. And you know what? That's just fine with me.

Why?

Because there's a lot to BDSM, including a whole lot of safety issues. And I would feel terrible if someone read one of my books and then hurt themselves because I put something unsafe in it or didn't talk about the things you should do to make sure you're playing safely.

As a "for instance", I have a wax play scene in my recent release, Master Class. As the Dom and sub are talking about the scene beforehand, the sub mentions there are special candles (the Dom is new and the sub is experienced) that you use for wax play. I did that because I read a BDSM book within the past year (meaning it's not an old release) where the Dom used regular household candles. Ow.

I know a lot of authors don't think it's their responsibility to educate about BDSM in their books, and that's okay, but I don't agree. I would rather have readers and reviewers alike mention the detail I go into about safety and education than the alternative.

What do you think the responsibility for both readers and authors alike is when it comes to BDSM? I'm totally open to hearing differing opinions. That's what makes the world go 'round. Tell me your thoughts in the comments section.

Oh, and before I let you go, I have two BDSM releases- Master Class and Unexpected Top. Here are the blurbs for both. More info is on my website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com.

Master Class:

Ryan Tomasi feels like a failure. His marriage is officially over; the ink dried on the divorce decree. His friend Jack introduces him to BDSM and he agrees to attend a Halloween party at a club. A submissive approaches him, offering herself, and how can he refuse the kneeling beauty? They do a whirlwind scene and Ryan is addicted—both to dominance and to her.

Lisette Rinaldo is returning to the BDSM club for the first time since ending a bad relationship with her former master. She spots Ryan and is taken by the combination of self-assurance and nervousness the man displays as he takes in his surroundings. And after he gives her an incredible re-introduction to the lifestyle, she knows she needs to see the man again.

Ryan and Lisette explore each other and the lifestyle, but what started out as playtime quickly evolves into something more. The problem? Ryan isn’t ready to get serious again and Lisette doesn’t want to fall in love with a guy who can’t give all of himself to her. Both of them are going to have to break out of the bonds holding them back from happiness.

Unexpected Top:
Sometimes a wife has to go to extreme measures to save her marriage. When Cissy Holden doesn't feel appreciated, she takes matters into her own hands--literally--and introduces her wayward husband Len to the concept of a Female-Led Relationship (FLR). Will Len be on board with FLR, or has Cissy just made the biggest mistake of her life?

-- Cassandra

Monday, December 10, 2012

The tricks and treats of changing titles

Today, my book Master Class released. I'm really excited about it, but I thought you guys might like to a little behind-the-scenes look at some of the things that go on before a book is published.

Loose Id put out their holiday submissions call in August (they have to do it that far in advance to have the books ready by December) and I decided to write another story for it. Last year I wrote Caught, which was successful beyond my wildest dreams, and I wanted to try my hand at BDSM again.

I sent in a proposal, and Loose Id contracted the book. *whoa* That was the first time I'd ever had a book accepted on proposal. Very cool, but also very pressure-filled. So then, in ten days I wrote the 45k first draft. It was crazy. This book was literally pulled out of me. That had never happened before either.

As I was writing, I knew one of the major themes of the book was how Ryan discovers BDSM and how much he enjoys it. The title "Awakening" came to me and I thought it was perfect. In late August I turned Awakening in at around 47k.

My editor emailed me a few weeks later and said, "We're all set, but we need to change the title." Uh-oh. I've had titles changed a few times - every author has, but what to change it to? I loved Awakening! But another Loose Id book about a year ago had a similar title, so I had to give it up.

I turned to my critique partners, and between Annabeth Albert and I, we came up with Master Class. Ryan is a college professor, so "class" seemed appropriate, and of course he's a new Dom. His sub doesn't call him Master, but Sir Class doesn't quite have the same ring. Plus, there's an actual thing in college called a Master Class, so that fit too. We suggested it to Loose Id, they loved it, and Master Class was born!

Here's the blurb and an excerpt from Master Class:


Ryan Tomasi feels like a failure. His marriage is officially over; the ink dried on the divorce decree. His friend Jack introduces him to BDSM and he agrees to attend a Halloween party at a club. A submissive approaches him, offering herself, and how can he refuse the kneeling beauty? They do a whirlwind scene and Ryan is addicted—both to dominance and to her.

Lisette Rinaldo is returning to the BDSM club for the first time since ending a bad relationship with her former master. She spots Ryan and is taken by the combination of self-assurance and nervousness the man displays as he takes in his surroundings. And after he gives her an incredible re-introduction to the lifestyle, she knows she needs to see the man again.

Ryan and Lisette explore each other and the lifestyle, but what started out as playtime quickly evolves into something more. The problem? Ryan isn’t ready to get serious again and Lisette doesn’t want to fall in love with a guy who can’t give all of himself to her. Both of them are going to have to break out of the bonds holding them back from happiness.

EXCERPT:
“What the fuck is an acceptable costume to wear to a Halloween party at a BDSM club?” Ryan Tomasi muttered aloud to himself. He did that a lot these days, since he lived alone after his recent divorce. “Sheesh.”
From his Internet research, he knew people who practiced BDSM—the term “practice” cracked him up every time—already dressed in some pretty outrageous outfits. Between the leather daddies and the pony play, as well as the other strange getups he’d seen online, Ryan wasn’t sure what to think. Full-body latex encasement? He shuddered.
But one thing was clear. He couldn’t keep fucking random women and feel good about it or himself. The whole mess had started after Ryan’s now ex-wife had blindsided him with divorce papers about a year ago, saying she didn’t love him anymore. The fact he’d loved her and had wanted to work on the marriage apparently wasn’t good enough, and Ryan found himself living in a rented house with nothing but his recliner and a futon to sleep on. Over the past year, he’d done what he could to rebuild his life, and now it was time to take the next step.
Ryan needed to find someone for more than a one-night stand and, it seemed, someone who wanted to submit to him, since he’d found he really liked some of this BDSM stuff, especially the dominating side. He felt like a fool on the bar scene, and he really wasn’t a one-night-stand kind of guy, though that had been his MO lately. He’d never even known there was a whole formal “thing” like BDSM until his friend Jack, a fellow professor at the college where Ryan taught English literature, had asked one day, while Ryan was lamenting his pathetic sex life, if he’d ever engaged in any BDSM activities. Ryan had been taken aback, to say the least. He’d thought that kind of thing was limited to porn. Real people didn’t get kinky like that, did they? Hell, he’d gotten married at twenty-two and had been with his ex-wife for almost fifteen years. It appeared he didn’t know shit about sex—kinky sex scene in particular.
Ryan had been shocked when Jack offered to let Ryan see what his submissive, Callie, and Jack did in some of their “scenes” so that Ryan could get a feel for what domination was all about. Jack didn’t allow any actual intercourse or other sexual contact between him and Callie when they got together, which Ryan totally understood, so there was a little bit missing from what he wanted to experience after reading how great the sex could be.
But just watching the way Jack dealt with Callie, and then having the opportunity to try a bunch of things out himself during subsequent play sessions with the two of them, had given Ryan a light at the end of what had been a very dark tunnel since the ex had walked out on him. He believed he’d finally found what he was looking for; what he’d been missing his entire life. The high from a woman submitting to him was the most natural, yet most powerful thing he’d ever felt, and Callie wasn’t even his submissive. What would that feel like?
Shaking out of his reverie, Ryan decided reinforcements were in order and called Jack. “Hey, man.”
“What’s up?”
“Am I interrupting anything?” He was almost afraid to ask.
Jack laughed. “If you’re asking me if Callie is tied up somewhere waiting for me to fuck her six ways to Sunday, no, you’re not interrupting anything. That’s later.”
“TMI, dude, TMI. Anyway, I need help.”
“You need a lot more than help.”
“Yeah, yeah. Seriously, I need to know what a Dom should wear to this Halloween party.”
“Uh, clothes? Usually only the submissives are naked.”
“Are you going to help or not? You’re the one who said I should go to this.” Ryan knew Jack was just messing with him, but as this Halloween party was his “coming out” of sorts as a Dom, he didn’t want to make a fool of himself.
“All right. I’ll take pity on you. What types of costumes are you looking at? What will make you feel comfortable?”
Ryan snorted. “Not sure anything can do that. I’m nervous as hell.”
“Remember, a Dom needs to portray an air of confidence. If you don’t, no sub is going to trust you enough to play with you.”
“I know. And by the time I get there, I’m sure I’ll be a lot calmer. I’ve been pretty good when I’ve played with Callie, haven’t I?”
Ryan could practically see the smirk on Jack’s face.
“Yeah, but I was there too. She knows better than to disobey me and that I would keep the play safe. Goes back to that trust issue. Plus, you didn’t have any sexual contact or anything that might’ve freaked you out. Speaking of that, you got your medical test results, right?”
“Yeah. Sent them to the club the other day.”
“Good. They won’t let you in unless you can prove you’re clean. Now, back to the costume. How about something easy like a police officer or a soldier? Some take-charge type of thing would be fitting.”
“Oh, I like the idea of a soldier.” Soldiers were powerful, respected—everything Ryan thought a Dom should project. It was the perfect costume to convey the image he wanted during his first public play. Ryan quickly typed that into the search engine of the costume store. “Awesome. They have a pretty cool one.”
“See how simple it is, once you’re not freaking out? I know this is all new and a little scary for you, but remember, kinksters are people too.”
“Yeah, yeah. You guys are going to be there, right?”
“Of course. I wouldn’t let you go into the big, bad world of BDSM all by yourself. Also, I’m your sponsor, so you can’t get in without me anyway this first time.”
“Okay, cool. See you then. And thanks for talking me off the ledge.”
“Anytime.”
Jack hung up, and Ryan looked over the costume specs. It had a camouflage shirt and pants, along with a set of dog tags. He had black boots already for when he did stuff around the house. Though he wasn’t imposing by any means at five-nine and one-eighty, he wasn’t tiny either. Hopefully the costume would make him look like a bit of a badass. He flexed his bicep. Maybe allow him to show off the muscles he was just starting to develop with regular workouts at the gym over the past several months.
* * * *
On Halloween night Ryan dressed in his costume and drove to the club. Jack and Callie were waiting just inside the doors, and when Jack saw him approach, he spoke to the bouncer, who waved Ryan through without a word. Jack was clad as Zorro, and Callie’s dress, if you could call it that, was liberally scored with slashes. It looked more like a bunch of black bandages than anything else, and Ryan wondered how long Jack would allow her to remain clothed. If he knew Jack—and he felt he did after playing with him several times and spending hours talking to him about BDSM and a whole host of other topics—not long.
He wasn’t sure what was appropriate to say to Callie, so he forced his gaze away from her and greeted Jack, who grinned.
“You can tell her she looks hot. It’s not like you’ve never seen her naked.”
Ryan smiled, relaxing. He pivoted back to her. “You look hot, Callie.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Shall we?”
Jack gestured toward the door at the end of the short hall, and Ryan could hear a bass beat pounding from the other side. He nodded, swallowing thickly. Ryan needn’t have worried, though. As soon as he stepped into the room and looked around, his nerves settled.
I’m home.
The people around him were engaged in all manner of things, but even a cursory glance at the various scenes playing out before him made him finally feel like he was normal. He wasn’t a freak for wanting sex and control like this, despite what his ex-wife had said when he’d suggested some pretty mild stuff to spice up their sex life.
“What do you think?” his friend shouted over the music.
“It’s fucking perfect.” Ryan couldn’t have kept that note of awe out of his voice even if he’d tried.
Jack laughed. “I figured you’d say that. I’ll give you a tour, but we need to do one thing first.”
“What’s that?”
“Lose the shirt. You’ll look way more Dom-ish without it.”
“Dom-ish?” Callie repeated with a chuckle.
“You behave before I decide to leash you,” Jack threatened. “Or maybe we can give Ryan here some more practice with that paddle you hate so much.”
She looked down. “Whatever would please you, Master.”
“Seeing your beautiful ass bright red and ready to be fucked would please me greatly, but we need to babysit Ryan for a bit longer before we can play.”
Ryan pulled off his shirt and stuffed it into his brand-new toy bag. Who would’ve thought a duffel bag he got at an academic conference would come in handy to hold the instruments of pain and pleasure he’d spent a small fortune on?
He followed Jack through the club as the other man pointed out the public play area, the theme rooms, and the staircase to the private rooms upstairs. Then they all went to the bar, which served no alcohol so as to keep the clubgoers sober for play, as Jack explained in answer to Ryan’s puzzled question. They procured soft drinks—drinks were included in the price of the membership—and found a comfy couch that was close enough to the public play area that Ryan had a good view of several scenes taking place. Jack and Ryan sat, and Callie settled on a cushion in front of her Dom.
“That girl,” Jack said, pointing to a submissive tied to a St. Andrew’s cross as a man whipped her from thighs to shoulders, “is a hard-core masochist. As you can see, she’s not wearing a collar, so she’s not owned, but stay away from her. Until you get more comfortable with impact play, all you’ll do is frustrate both of you.”
Ryan nodded, forcing himself not to wince as the man laid another welt on her ass.
“That one,” his friend continued with a jerk of his head at another submissive, “is a horrible topper-from-the-bottom. She’s definitely not a good fit for you as a beginner. I’m not really sure why any Dom would play with her. It would drive me batty to have a sub questioning my every order.”
Jack dismissed a few more for one reason or another as they sipped their beverages. There weren’t a ton of subs running around without collars, and Ryan was beginning to believe none of them would pass Jack’s muster.
“She’s a pretty one,” Jack remarked, and Ryan followed his gaze. He nearly swallowed his can of soda pop whole. Pretty didn’t begin to describe the woman. She was a few inches shorter than him, from what he could tell in his current position, and had enough meat on her bones to be curvy. If he was going to be tying a woman up and fucking the hell out of her, he wanted to be sure her ribs wouldn’t crack at the slightest provocation.
Her long brown hair was piled on top of her head, leaving the slim column of her neck exposed. Ryan loved to nibble on women’s necks, and if he had this one restrained, he’d happily spend hours torturing her in that spot. She was wearing what looked like a harem girl outfit, with a jeweled bra and flouncy, gauzy pants. From the looks of things, Ryan was pretty sure she was naked underneath them.
Jack had been speaking with Callie but straightened up. “Callie said her name is Lisette, and she’s an experienced submissive who hasn’t been to the club as far as Callie knows since her split with her Dom a while back. She’s not owned, as you can see from the fact she’s not collared. The lack of a collar doesn’t always mean a sub is not owned, but at open parties like this, all owned submissives must be collared. As you know,” he continued with a grin in Callie’s direction, “some of us can be possessive bastards, and it cuts down on potential problems.”
“Makes sense,” Ryan murmured. His friend’s eyes suddenly widened a little in anticipation, and Ryan turned in the direction of his gaze.
“Hey, do you mind if we go take advantage of that spanking bench? At these parties, equipment doesn’t stay empty long.”
“No, go ahead.”
Jack helped Callie up and landed a hard swat on her ass. “Go get it for us, pet. I’ll be right over.” He turned to Ryan. “Feel free to watch us or anyone else. We should be back within a half hour or so. Callie’s been naughty lately and needs a good dose of the belt.”
Winking, he walked away, and Ryan laughed. Before Jack had agreed to bring Ryan here for public play, he’d insisted on several private sessions at the house he and Callie shared, so Ryan knew Callie’s favorite implement was the belt. He doubted she would be too upset if Jack used it tonight.
A completely naked woman, save for a collar, came by and took their empty soda cans. Ryan gave her a small smile but kept his attention focused on the scenes unfolding around him. Jack was busy tying Callie to the spanking bench, and the masochistic woman was still being whipped—Ryan couldn’t hold back his wince this time at a particularly hard strike—and a male submissive was going to town on his Mistress’s pussy like he was mining for gold. Turning away from them, he saw a female submissive strapped to what Jack had called a bondage table with cane marks decorating her ass in perfectly spaced lines and her Dom’s dick in her mouth. He’d never tried caning, but it looked interesting, if a little scary. Hell, almost everything looked interesting right now.
Ryan continued to watch as Jack bared Callie’s ass and started out lightly flicking the belt across it. He’d explained to Ryan how important it was to warm the bottom up by bringing the blood to the surface to prevent bruising, and Ryan had spent long hours in the past couple of weeks practicing with a pillow and the strap he’d ordered along with the other stuff Jack had said he’d need to be able to play. The club had a nice selection of implements lined up on the walls of the public play area, but Jack had recommended he get used to his own so he didn’t make a mistake and hurt a submissive.
He was just about to rise and make his way back to the bar when he caught movement out of the corner of his eye. The submissive Callie had called Lisette knelt directly in front of him, a bottle of water laid on her upturned palms. Ryan raised an eyebrow.

Copyright 2012, Cassandra Carr

Buy link: http://www.loose-id.com/master-class.html

My links:
Website: http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cassandra_carr


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

31 Flavors has been contracted to Loose Id



31 Flavors, the book about a real life couple's journey along the almightily potholed road through BDSM land has been contracted to Loose Id. Being a curious book which has stirred some readers to jumping up and down on our heads telling us how wonderful it is, we really want to get it promoted in the best way.

It doesn't quite fit with my normal niche (BDSM in fantasy settings) or Leia's (semi-erotic PNR) so we're going with a publisher with a good name in erotic romances. Because that's what 31 Flavors is -- a wonderful erotic romance that happens to have sexy bits and BDSM in the story.

The title may change a little so that it's not the Baskin Robbins slogan, and the cover may change also. We hope to keep Flavors in there somewhere. The release date is yet to be decided.

The contract is printed and signed to send to Leia but I can't post it. The roads are so dangerous here in Queensland due to exceptional rains that I'm stuck. Tomorrow may be better. I only have a widdle car -- a Japanese toy thing which hits anything that's higher than an ant's ass above the road surface.

But soon we'll be putting our book to bed and tucking it in for a few months until the re-release.