The theme for this year's Charity Sip Blitz is "leather." This was chosen because it's Torquere's ninth anniversary, which is the leather anniversary. Of course BDSM came to mind when we writers were informed, but we were assured we could explore anything to do with leather in our stories.
I, however, saw leather, thought BDSM, and wrote BDSM. Readers who are used to my Notice series are going to think, "Wow." But if you remember all the way back to my first Torquere story, The Glass Man, readers are going to think, "Oh, yeah." On the Torquere heat scale of Bell Pepper, Chile Pepper, Jalapeno, and Habanero, this is a Habanero. I'm not sure what got into me, but it sure was fun!
There were two covers designed for the Charity Sips this year. One has certain -- ahem -- equipment shown, and the other does not. When my editor sent me my copy of the story a little while ago, it had the "equipment" cover. I might have blushed. Just a little.
Here's the official blurb:
In the hills above the castle are caves where, rumor has it, "things" are done to men that leave common soldiers glazed with pleasure. A good king should not even think about such things. If he was caught in the caves, he could lose his crown, if not his life. But to deny forever what he is could cost him his sanity. The night the king visits the caves will either be a night of ecstasy, or a night of doom. It might also be the night he finds the other half of his soul.
Here's the official excerpt:
In his power, I waited for whatever he would do next.
His fingers pressed my eyelids closed. "Lie still now," he said. "Close your eyes and listen to my voice. Let it surround you. Let it be all that you hear. All that you think. All that you know."
I felt myself going boneless. His fingers stroked a lock of my hair back behind my ear. It felt strange, almost as though I'd done it myself, and yet it had been his hand, not mine. No one had ever touched me like that before. Men knelt to me, kissed my hand, but never touched me. Even my servants who helped me dress meticulously avoided contact. To them, my crown was sacred. I was sacred. And the concept that I had wants, feelings, needs, was an impossible notion to grasp.
I should have been expecting his touch on the leather bag again. But it came so unexpectedly and so roughly that I bucked on the table, screaming around my gag. Again, he triggered such a deep response that I struggled until exhaustion brought me back down. His voice went on and on, caressing me, soothing me like sun on a summer day, like gentle wind swirling across a sandy beach. I gave in to him, and he washed through me like the tides that bathed the shores of my country.
And here's my cover:
I hope people enjoy my venture into the world of Habanero. I sure did!