Milk and Cookies and Handcuffs by Erzabet Bishop, Alex Whitehall, Verity Blackthorn, Kathleen Tudor, Erik Moore and SL Armstrong


Title: Milk and Cookies and Handcuffs
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 115
Characters: Multi-Characters
POV: 3rd, 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Holidays, Paranormals, Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Gay, Lesbian, M/F
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

Ah, the holidays. Gifts and songs. Tinsel and lights. Whips and chains? That’s right. This holiday anthology is all about BDSM, filled with characters who know that sometimes it’s Nice to be Naughty. This collection of five stories includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, and straight couples (and moresomes) that share a common desire for the kinkier side of sex: sensual bondage, sexual domination, and genuine, loving submission. And what better time to explore this dynamic of giving and receiving than the holidays? ‘Tis the season, after all!

In Holidays in Hell, Jonas is an incubus searching for one final soul to finish out his contract, but as a self-styled connoisseur, it has to be the right one. But when he finds the beautiful Holly Pendleton, Jonas is struck by her innocence and puts his own eternal comfort in jeopardy to protect her. Then, shapeshifting Ellis learns from his new master William about the traditions and true meaning of First Day, stories kept from him by his spiteful former master. The day of celebration becomes even sweeter when Ellis opens his presents and receives the Gift of the Familiar — and then has William try it out on him!

For New Year’s Eve, Ebet is afraid she’s Pushing the Line by bringing her girlfriend Meg home to meet her family for the first time. Meg is confident things will go fine, but Ebet is a mess, so Meg steals them away and proceeds to give Ebet something else to focus her energy on — her. Next, all that submissive Jeffrey wants from his mistress Athena is the Gift of Self, for Athena to recognize Jeffrey’s true identity as Jessie, a self-described “woman with a penis”. Athena is scared and confused at first; she loves her slave-boy, but isn’t sure that she can accept this a change this big. Finally, in The Sub’s Gift, the submissive Kyle gets an early Christmas present from Ryan and Amber, his Master and Mistress. But when that present turns out to be a sister-slave, Kyle wonders about his place in this new dynamic.

Review:

Holiday in Hell by Erzabet Bishop

Jonas is a starving lust demon who made a bad deal to collect souls with another demon named Baal. He is one soul short of being released from his contract, but Baal keeps interfering. Then Jonas meets Holly, a Christmas shop clerk, who stirs Jonas’s passion like never before. Can he devour her soul while having her pleasures?

A demon who loves the holidays? Who knew. Jonas is a surprisingly complex character for such a short story and for being an incubus. Holly is a widow and still holds much sorrow in her heart, but Jonas awakens dormant desires within her. But when the truth comes out about who he is and what he wants, she has to make a choice—to run for her life or to face the possibility that for Jonas it isn’t about harvesting a soul. This is a good story, with intriguing and sympathetic characters, a world of soul collecting monsters, an actual plot—though one that we don’t get into all that much—and some sexy dominance and submission under the Christmas tree. Not bad at all.

Gift of the Familiar by Alex Whitehall

Ellis is a snow leopard shapeshifter and a familiar to his magical master, William. Ellis’s former master was cruel, but William is loving and true. A celebration of First Day to honor the creation of the world and the bond between magical men and familiars is about to show Ellis that he can trust William in every way—including some sexy submission in bed.

The passion between Ellis and William is undeniable, tender, and oh so sweet. I liked these two a lot. Ellis is in for a learning curve, and William is prepared to show him everything he could ever desire. Unused to being given love, let alone gifts, Ellis wants to please his new master, and William provides the means. The holiday is a fascinating mythical setting, and there could definitely be more stories set in this fantastic world. And there’s a whopping amount of sex here for such a short tale. I liked this story.

Pushing the Line by Verity Blackthorn

Ebet is taking her girlfriend Meg back home to mountain country to meet her family for the first time. These people are racist, sexist, thorough jerks all around, but they’re family. Ebet is rattled to the extreme, so Meg gives her a whole bout of sex to distract her. And as a Dominatrix, Meg is not one to take things lying down, anyway.

Ebet is a frantic personality, and only submitting to Meg’s heavy hand of pain-pleasure keeps her calm and centered. There’s some interesting snow play here. Meg is a strong, fierce personality who is able to take what others throw at her, and still keep a smile on her face. I liked her a lot. There’s some cuddling and fingering by a bonfire, and then Meg really lets loose and describes in lurid detail of erotic imagery what she plans to with Ebet when they return home. That makes up for Ebet’s family being so judgmental. Not a bad story.

Gift of Self by Kathleen Tudor

Jeffrey is Athena’s loving submissive of many years—but then a personal revelation shakes Jeffrey to the core: He is a woman with a penis, a woman inside the body of a man. That explains why he has always loved cock-and-ball torture. The realization is painful, but he confesses to his Dominatrix, wishing to be called Jessie and to be a woman at home and treated as such. Athena’s confused reaction hurts Jeffrey a lot, and he foresees the end to their relationship if she can’t deal with this new “him”.

For a short story, this had amazing psychological depth. Jeffrey’s inner turmoil and shift toward a new self is shown in painstaking detail. With born again parents, he never really got the chance to explore who he is as everything was forcibly repressed. Only with Athena can he be himself. But now that he wishes to be a she instead, at least on the inside and in terms of what to wear, Jeffrey fears losing the only woman he loves. Athena is finely attuned to Jeffrey and appears as a loving partner. Having to come to terms with her sub having gender issues, Athena manages to show us what she’s made of. By far, this was the best, strongest story of the bunch. Highly recommended!

The Sub’s Gift by S.L. Armstrong & Erik Moore

Kyle has been the beloved submissive of Amber and Ryan for years. Though they have played with other subs in the past, only Kyle has remained. He’s had bad Dom experiences in the past, so when Amber and Ryan bring home for the holidays a gift for him—Kimber, a sister-slave—Kyle doesn’t know what to think. Is he being ousted by the new arrival?

Kyle has his insecurities, but Kimber is sweet, kind, and sexy. Amber and Ryan know Kyle intimately and have found him the perfect sister to complete their foursome relationship. I liked that all four people have distinct characters despite us getting the story only from Kyle’s perspective. Having been rejected before, Kyle is an insecure sub. Amber and Ryan are a couple, Amber a strong personality and Ryan the militaristic Dom. With her little girl behavior, Kimber pairs up with Kyle, showing him how wonderful their faux brother-sister bond can be. It’s Christmas and it’s also time for an orgy, and the presents are plentiful. I liked this story a lot. This is a wonderful conclusion to the anthology.

Reviewed By: Susan

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Separated only by Pseudonyms – Kathleen Tudor/D.K. Jernigan

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There’s a lot of “theys” out there, and “they” have a lot to say about writing erotic fiction. Only write what you know, don’t try to write from the POV of the opposite gender, stick to things you’ve experienced… but should we listen? The truth of erotica, and especially of romance, is that the parts are only a small fraction of what I, as a writer, need to convey. Erotic romance isn’t just about how two bodies slot together biologically. It’s about the meeting of two hearts, and that is something that transcends gender.

That said, there’s something a little confusing about picking up a book by an author and having literally no idea what you’re going to get. I’ve written it all, from straight sex to lesbian love to gay guys getting it on. (I’m also a master of alliteration!) So how do you know, when you see my name on the cover, what you’re going to get on the inside?

The short answer is, you don’t; turn it over and read the back! And this is always good advice, even if you know what orientation you’re about to devour, because the story matters, too! But there’s one thing I’ve heard from “them” over and over again, and that is that nothing irritates the readers of gay erotic fiction more than finding… girl parts!… in their stories. I don’t personally know what the hang up is, but I also like girl parts, so perhaps that explains some things. Should I really use the same name to write straight fiction, say, that I do to write gay?

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There are a lot of reasons for choosing a pen name, from shame to a need for privacy to branding to having an utterly unpronounceable real name, so let’s cover a few of them! My real name is difficult to spell and to pronounce, which would make it hard for readers to locate me in bookstores or on the web, and I am all about being easy for my readers. For that reason, I wanted to choose something simple: Tudor. It’s my favorite era in history, and I was on a historical kick when I surprised myself by selling my first piece, so there you have it.

(I also have a grandmother who has become enamored with the magic of Google, and while I am not ashamed of what I write, I won’t tell her unless she asks, and she never has, so my pen names also spare granny the shock of finding out that I wrote trans* CBT erotica.)

But once I’ve got a single, perfectly functional pen name, why would I need another? Well, that has to do with “them” again. Don’t confuse your m/m readers! Never force them to even consider a book that has lady love! I have heard this enough times, loudly enough, from enough different corners, that when I sold my first piece of male-on-male erotic goodness, I decided to do something a little different. I used a brand new pseudonym. When you read something by D.K. Jernigan, you will know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are going to be hot male scenes, and absolutely no women in the bedrooms. Kathleen Tudor, on the other hand, is the name I use for everything else. Is this normal? Well, it depends. I know some writers who write anything and don’t care, and others who have a separate pen name for every orientation they write.

Can it get confusing? Yes! Would I do it the same way again? Honestly, I’m not sure. There are so many factors, and one of them was simply that at the time I chose those names and made those decisions, I was a totally new author listening to a lot of shouting (metaphorically speaking) about how things are done in this industry and in my genre. Maybe if I had it to do all over again, I’d choose a sexier pseudonym, or a gender ambiguous one, and leave it there, male, female, trans*, or any other way I chose to express myself.

But imposing artificial limits on the kinds of characters that I write and the kinds of relationships they can have with each other is the one thing that, as an author, I never want to do. And I don’t want to hide, either. My two names offer two different flavors of “me”, but I’ve never hid the fact that they are linked. So whether you are reading the urban fantasy thriller Hearts of the Hunted and sighing as the two heroines find healing in one another, or enjoying a little brotherly love in War and Peace and Brotherhood, set in the same world—whether you like girl parts in your romance or not—you’ll know exactly what and how Tudor/Jernigan will deliver. Give or take a little spice.

Welcome, Kathleen Tudor

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Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let’s start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it’s been in here a few weeks) and soda. What would you like?

Oh, hot tea, please! It’s my favorite drink to write with—unless I’m sleep deprived; then we go with some sugary coffee drink.

tea

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I could, but then I’d have to kill you… No, actually, I’m pretty boring. I’m a lesbian woman happily married to my husband of 8 years (it confuses me, too), have the good fortune to work from home, and have pretty much always been a writer. I was that girl who wrote the ten page essay an hour before it was due and got an A without doing any research. It’s okay, you can hate me for it, I won’t cry. I actually started my career writing non-fiction for magazines, but it was more fun and less stressful to write fiction, and I dropped the magazine jobs in late 2011.

I’m also very proud to be an editor, including for Storm Moon. I have an eye for detail and I’m picky as hell, but I feel like it makes me easier to work with as a writer since I sit in both seats and I don’t take edits personally.

When you received news that your manuscript had been accepted by Storm Moon Press, what were the first words that fell from your mouth?

My first sale was to an anthology, so it was probably just “Cool!”, because even though every sale is awesome, I do it a lot. Storm Moon also published the first novella I ever wrote, however, and when I sold Hearts of the Hunted, I believe there may have been some alleged happy dancing.

What forces brought you over to the GLBT Genre? Do you focus on one part of the QUILTBAG or do you write various identities, expressions, or orientations? What made you want to write what you do?

I love this question. Is it weird if I say that sex comes naturally to me? Writing about it, I mean. I’m interested in the diversity of human reactions, which means that I adore exploring new points of view and situations. I have written gay, lesbian, ménage, bi, straight, and trans* stories. So far, I haven’t written any trans males, but I think I’ve written (AND SOLD!) everything else at least once. I have firsthand experience with both sets of natural parts (okay, fine, cock and pussy!), and the rest is just the human heart.

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins and a package of mystery ones. We have cake too. Your choice.

Only if they’re homemade. If that’s the case, pass the plate!

cookies

How many hours a day do you spending writing?

It depends; I don’t have a very set schedule, but usually no more than four hours a day because that means that A) If I haven’t hit my goal and I’ve been trying for four hours, I need to quit before I kill myself, or B) If I’ve been productive for four hours, I’m probably over or near my max word goal, and if I go too much longer I will burn out. I aim for words, instead. 3000 a day before I started homeschooling my son, and 1400 now that my attention is divided all day every day.

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

Mostly I write through, but I will backspace to correct typos and whatnot. I know some writers who believe that it kills the flow or something, but if I know there is an error, I won’t be able to stop focusing on it.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

Haha! Planning! Hilarious! My stories generally start with a rough version of the back cover copy or the elevator pitch, which is really weird, apparently, but I’ll own it. That means I have an on-so-rough mental image of the character, the primary conflict, and the resolution. From there it’s seat-of-the-pants.

Of your characters, do you have a favorite and why?

I had a favorite to write, and that was Jessie from “The Gift of Self”, which was published in Milk & Cookies & Handcuffs. She’s a trans woman who starts the story in a heterosexual relationship with a Domme, and realizes over the course of the story that her “missing piece” is actually her womanhood. She was a terrifying character to write. How do you write about a trans woman who loves to be subjected to CBT (that’s cock and ball torture) without making her seem like a caricature of self-loathing or, worse, come across as mocking trans* people? I’ve been told I did a good job walking that line, and I stayed true to the character and her feelings, too.

Writers often go on about writer’s block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

Short answer, no. I have reached spots in my writing where I didn’t know where the plot was going next, and I deal with that by sitting in the sun for a few minutes to brainstorm or going for a short walk. If I’m really stuck, I might switch to another project, but I think one of the hallmarks of a professional writer is that you don’t think about writing, you sit down and do your job, even when it’s hard.

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)

It’s terrible, really. I bought a tiny laptop so that I could sit at the kitchen table across from my five year old (where he can’t see the screen), and write while simultaneously homeschooling him. Don’t worry, he’s been trained from birth to hear “mommy’s writing” and instantly lose interest in the screen.

When you’re in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?

I wish! I actually do okay with distractions, and love to write in public, like at Starbucks. Anyone reading over my shoulder gets what they deserve, and I get a good laugh.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

Nosy people reading gay ménage scenes over my shoulder in public places? I have a dry, deadpan wit that some people mistake for me being serious and rude, so I have to be careful employing it. My favorite comedians are George Carlin (bless him), John Stewart, and Gabriel Iglesias.

What question is your most frequently asked as an author?

Mostly it’s family and friends wanting to know if I’m going to start writing in a “real” genre. I just smile, and sometimes let them know that I just got another $100 check for two hours of work, so… no. I’m good.

I also get asked how to break in. The answer is write, write, write, and then show people. If they’re not mean, show other people. Grow a thick skin, learn to love the red pen, and open yourself up to criticism. I have nothing but respect for those writers who take a rough edit with a smile and a thank you (and serious intent to take my advice seriously), and as an editor, those are the ones I want to work with, even if their stories need a little more work sometimes.

What are you working on now?

I have a few things in the works:

  • A novel about a sadist who thinks he’s nothing but a monster, and the savvy sub who introduces him to the world of kinky pleasures.
  • A short for Storm Moon Press about a “God’s bride” sacrifice and the especial compatibility she finds with her diety.
  • A ménage story for one of my own anthologies. Still rough on the details.

I’m also considering writing a fairy tale erotic piece for an editor friend, but I’m holding off on plotting until she knows what holes she might need plugged.

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Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your lifestyle as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive, both in your work and out of it?

I read a ton, in just about every genre. I abuse both my local used book store and the Take One Leave One bookshelf at my Starbucks, and have downloaded more Kindle freebies than three people could probably ever read. I review books for several magazines under a different name, which often pushes me to read books that I wouldn’t necessarily pick for myself, and I edit professionally, which also exposes me to writing and ideas that I wouldn’t necessarily choose. I can barely look around myself without a dozen ideas threatening to spark.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the GLBT Genre?

I love lots of things, but my first real genre love was sci fi and fantasy (I love both and I refuse to pick!) I also love historical novels from the Tudor era and a century or two before and after, but not generally historical romance, and, I’m sorry, I hate Regency romances.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer.

Astronaut, because she would have to be smart as heck, brave, ambitious, and physically fit. You did mean pick which one I want to take home, right?

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Editing makes me weirdly happy. I get to take something that’s pretty good already, and then I get to make it shine. It’s good for the author, it’s great for the readers, and it’s good for my soul. I also read, of course, and I knit, which is both tactile and creative. And since my hobbies all seem to involve sitting on my ass, I’ve taken up running. I actually hate the act of running, but once I’ve stopped and the pain is done with, I love the high I get.

Any special projects from you at Storm Moon Press that came out recently or will be coming out soon we should watch for?

I would love for anyone interested in lesbian love to check out Hearts of the Hunted!

All Camille wants is to continue the mission of the new Underground Railroad, to get Transformed—those who have developed superhuman abilities—out of the embattled Midwest and into Canada where they can live free. But that’s before she’s saddled with Hannah, who was raped and Transformed by a rogue criminal that the police refuse to acknowledge even exists. The women have no alternative but to team up to stop the menace, each for their own reasons. Through danger and fear, Camille and Hannah play a high stakes game to bring their adversary to justice. And they find themselves growing closer than either imagined possible, in the process. Now each must face her greatest fears in order to bring a serial rapist to justice, protect the Transformed community, and get back to their lives. Or maybe, chart a new path, together.

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?

Oh, please visit me at KathleenTudor.com. I’m also PolyKathleen on both Facebook and Twitter, and KathleenTudor on Pinterest! I also love email. Email me! PolyKathleen@gmail.com.

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you’re doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!!

I’ll wash, you dry?

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