Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm On Another Blog Today

I was very nicely asked to join a group of ladies on their blog, Kinky Ever After.

The subject matter is -- you guessed it -- focused on Kink and BDSM, since that's what all of us write.

Please come check out my inaugural post today. Leave a comment if you'd like.


Have a great day!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Peek at My Prize for Spring Fling Web Hunt


I promised to share another excerpt from one of the books I've contributed to the Night Owl Reviews Spring Fling Web Hunt.

This is one of my personal favorites, which is understandable since I've been carrying it around in my head and my files for over thirty years. Mattie Lawrence and Bryce Halsey were introduced in my first published novel, Santa's Elf.

I hope you enjoy it.
Qwillia
(PS-- word of warning this excerpt is Rated NC-17!!)
*****************



“After the binding comes the toys. Not just because I like using them on my lovers, but it'll be necessary.” One hand slipped away from the soft stroking of her nipple to cup first one butt cheek, then the other. “Although you've read the books” -- his grin was wry -- “I'm not seeing you let one of your boyfriends drill your ass, so I'm sure your tight little rose will need a bit of stretching.”

Involuntarily, the muscles in her backside tightened, and Bryce's chuckle grew throaty and raw as he pressed a finger into the crease, rubbing against the strap of her thong, with the soft silk of her dress the only barrier between her flesh and his hand.

“You like that idea, don't you?”

Mattie didn't know how to respond. Yes, she had to admit to liking the sting of the small plug she'd purchased for herself a few years earlier, but to actually allow him to enter her body there…her fingers became difficult to control. She clenched them into fists to keep from reaching for him.

“Then you'll enjoy the next step. After I've stretched you and spent some time enjoying your new territory, Richard will join us on occasion.”

Swallowing, Mattie forced away the new images bombarding her. “You act as if I've agreed to these things already.”

His hand stroked over her bottom before slipping under her skirt to slide over her wet underwear. “Your body seems to find the idea arousing.”

“That I won't deny, but what my mind and my body decide are often two different things.” She wasn't sure she could make herself step away from Bryce, so she was relieved when he chose to do it himself. The temptation to groan at the loss of his touch was stifled, barely.

“If you aren't interested in submission, then why bring it up?” He didn't sound annoyed or angry at her halting of his teasing -- more curious than anything.

“Because I need to know if I can take on the role of a submissive.” She stopped herself from adding, and if you can accept me as one.

Arms crossed over his chest, Bryce watched her. “I assure you, our marriage won't suffer if I don't indulge in the lifestyle.”

Mattie matched his stance. “And I think it would. It's hard enough when two people love each other and they marry. We're going into this without that connection. If we have to spend the next few years together, we should at least agree that keeping each other content will go a long way toward making sure the marriage lasts.” With a shrug, she added, “And it'll go a long way in convincing the board that you have settled.”

“So what are you suggesting?”

“To give you two weeks to show me what it would be like to be your sub.”

“And then what?” His hands settled on his hips.

“We can begin making the wedding plans.”

The light of battle darkened his green eyes to emerald. Ignoring the unnerving flutters building in her lower belly, she waited for his response.

It wasn't long in coming. “Too long. Dad's retirement party is in just over a month. I want to be married by that time. Giving you two weeks would delay things, and I don't trust the board not to act, especially once the Makepeaces learn we're engaged.”

“Twelve days, then.”

“Three.”

Again, Mattie shook her head. “You've implied that you won't have any problem doing without the BDSM lifestyle, but you've had years to understand it. Three days doesn't give me enough time to figure out what it could represent in our marriage, let alone the rest of my life. What about ten days?”

It was Bryce's turn to shake his head. “Still too long. Five days.”

“Let's split the difference and make it a week,” Mattie offered.

Bryce thought about it and began to nod, but Mattie continued, knowing her next words would either piss him off or amuse him. “And no sex.”

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Can You Learn Too Much?

I spent eight years gaining both a Bachelors Degree of Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Technology, so you can safely assume I am a true advocate of educating one's self. In my nearly eight years as a teacher I have repeatedly stressed to my students that knowing as much as possible about various subjects is a good thing. That immersing themselves in knowledge can improve their lifelong success, and better prepare them to identify potential obstacles and the means by which to eliminate them.

In this vein, I have practiced what I preached. I allowed my curiosity to guide my investigations into any number of areas from neurology, brain chemistry, Feng Shui, and cooking, to those elements related to writing and publishing. Numerous books, blogs, classes, and discussions have been used by me to figure out how to improve my writing; to increase my promotional efficacy; to build a website; to identify the agents, editors, and publishers with whom I'd like to work. I admit this information afforded me insight into both myself, my writing, and the path I want to carve out for myself in this industry.

With increased knowledge, a person is able to do so much more in his/her life. Teachers who develop new methods of reaching their students and accommodating the individual needs within the classroom, utilize their newfound techniques to achieve success as soon as possible. Educational research suggests it takes a minimum of eight repetitions for a new technique/method to be assimilated by a student. With this in mind, practicing new writing techniques will allow writers to add more tools to their toolbox in order to create their stories; to sculpt characters that seem to leap off the page.

I believe that this is true -- for some writers. But not all.

Case in point -- me.

As much as I love to learn new things, I've begun to realize that, for me, it is possible to learn too much. All this new knowledge I've gained has been both boon and bane for me. It has allowed me to see the things I do well and the things I need to improve. Unfortunately, it has also created a barrier between myself and my creativity. It has built a wall blocking me from the stories waiting to be released. It has established, within me, doubt in my natural ability to develop compelling characters with intricate tales. It has made me hesitate, often to the point of shutting down, when new ideas come to mind. With each stumble, I pull away from my natural inclinations to apply my newfound skills, mistrusting myself more and more, doubting the voice within me that tries to inspire my stories.

This in turn makes the voice within me grow ever more reluctant to talk, to offer suggestions, to open the lines of communication between my characters and my conscious. Which has left me floundering about trying to figure out what is wrong. If I have all these newly acquired skills, it would suggest that my writing should flourish, bloom, expand into the venues I'm aiming for with my career, right?

Wrong.

So, now I'm not back to Square One, but Square Negative One Hundred (in my estimation). I am stuck trying to climb out of the pit all my learning has dug for me, and re-establish a level of trust with my intuition and creativity. All those wonderful new tricks will eventually be used, but not until I've assured myself, my voice, and my characters that I trust them to communicate their stories without my attempting to shut them down because they don't "fit" with my new tools.

Here is my caution to anyone out there working on learning the craft of writing: Be careful how much you take as "gospel" and how you apply it.

Qwillia
**This was also published on my Quintessentially Qwillia blog on Savvy Authors**

Friday, April 15, 2011

Night Owl Reviews Web Hunt Prize Peek!


As part of my contribution to the Night Owl Reviews Spring Fling Web Hunt, I put up a print copy of An Invitation: Ariel's Pet and Diablo Blanco Club: Unfair Advantage.

Then I got to thinking, if you've never read my books before, why would you even want to win them, so.... I decided I'd post a short excerpt from Ariel's Pet today, and another short excerpt Unfair Advantage on Monday, April 18th.

Oh, and keep your eyes out -- May 13th is my birthday and I'm thinking I'll be giving away a prize or two on my blog...more details later, after I get them all ironed out. (This year is extra special to me since my b-day falls on a Friday!!)

So, here you go, a quick look at Ariel Valerian and Dane Reese, my heroine and hero of An Invitation: Ariel's Pet.

Enjoy!
Qwillia
****************************

Ariel's body went stiff, her chin came up, and her arms folded over her chest. Every particle of her being seemed to vibrate with displeasure. She looked up at him, bright blue eyebrows arched. “Who's the chef around here?”

“You are, I'm—”

“Just because you wormed your way into handling some of my sister's duties, don't get ideas about horning in on my territory,” she warned as she fidgeted, shifted her feet, and settled her hands on her hips.

I knew it wouldn't last. Dane resisted the temptation to roll his eyes at her pugnacious attitude. “I'm not. I merely thought sea-salt-and-black-pepper chips would add an extra kick to that sauce you made,” he suggested and kept his tone cool and reasonable.

“As long as you remember who's in charge here.”

“In the kitchen, yes.” He crowded closer to her. There didn't appear to be any rationale behind her animosity. It could be her determination to avoid any kind of change. It could stem from the resentment he knew she carried because he was the one to coax her sister away from the café for a month. No matter what the cause of her anger, he'd be damned if he would back down now.

Her gaze narrowed. “And out of it.”

Dane shook his head. “Sorry, doll, but only in the kitchen. I run the rest of this place until your sister gets back.” The fire that flared in her eyes probably matched the one in his gaze.

“You are not in charge.”

“If you have any complaints, talk to your sister,” Dane offered, his arms crossed over his chest. “I have no doubt she'll side with me when it comes to who should run the financial side of your café.”

“Why do you think that? Because you've played on her interest in sexual submission?” The flash of varied emotions in her gaze disappeared, replaced by icy disdain. “And I would contact her, but you seem to have forgotten the rule about no communication with the outside.”

“Ah, so Alayna did discuss the rules with you.”

“Rules?” Ariel scoffed. “Prison sentence is more like it. Thirty days trapped at your mansion with no way to contact anyone.”

Dane shook his head, marveled at Ariel's dogged misinterpretation of the facts. “Not trapped or without a way to contact anyone. Alayna chose to accept the rules for her training, as a submissive is expected to do—”

“Without the right to think for herself, without being allowed to—”

“Again you show your ignorance of the D/s life.” The deepened pitch of his voice silenced Ariel. “Negotiation is key between a Dominant and a submissive. Nothing happens until both parties agree and expectations, limitations, and safe words are in place. You have this fanciful notion that Alayna languishes under a whip, bound and helpless beneath the control of some faceless, nameless man.” Dane leaned forward, and his tone dropped to a whisper as he held her gaze. “Maybe because that's a particular fantasy of yours? Fostered by a lover who tempted you to push the boundaries you desperately cling to?”

Resolved to make the little shrew see the errors in her thinking, he continued. “There is a difference between BDSM and D/s, Ariel. Dominance and submission do not require bondage and discipline practices. They are an exercise in trust and control. Leather, whips, ropes to tie a partner up—those can be part of the play, but at its core, a D/s relationship is about an equal exchange of power.”

Dane was sure Ariel didn't realize her expression was a mixture of disappointment and envy. He knew she would heatedly deny any desire to be in her sister's place, to experience the training Alayna was undergoing, but her gaze and the tone of her voice betrayed her curiosity about it all. Or perhaps his increased interest in controlling her was coloring his analysis. “What has you so angry, Ariel? That your sister asked me for help to navigate a new world? Or that she's doing something for herself for the first time in ten years but didn't include you?”

She blanched at the observation, and Dane cursed his impulsive comment. Retracting it would be useless; he watched the cool mask Ariel consistently adopted around him slip into place. It reflected her refusal to listen to reason. At least from him. This only seemed to exacerbate the fact that his ability to maintain a professional attitude toward Ariel was a facade. One that crumbled easily when she pushed him.

“You have some sauce on your face.” She pointed toward his chin.

He reached up to wipe away the gooey spread, wary of the keen look she gave him. It made him wonder what form of retribution she might concoct.

His suspicions grew when she stepped in close and gripped the tie he'd loosened earlier. “You may have my sister thinking you're needed here, Master Reese”—she tugged his face closer to hers—“but we both know it isn't true.”
Taking her time, she smoothed the tip of her tongue along his chin and licked away the smear of sauce before swiping upward to his cheek.

The damp track of her mouth removed any of the spread. “Be careful who you try to push. I'm not Al. And I have no intention of ever calling you my master.”

And that's where his problem lay, Dane admitted as he watched Ariel scoop up one of the covered containers on the prep station and carry it to the walk-in cooler. In that moment he realized those were the words he wanted to hear. My master. His imagination readily conjured images of Ariel kneeling before him, her bright green eyes ablaze with desire, her naked body dewed with sweat as she trembled at the cusp of orgasm, requiring only his touch, his words, to slip over the edge.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Night Owl Reviews Spring Fling Web Hunt Is About To Start!!

From April 1st through May 15th you can gather the clues and enter to win some of the over 100 prizes up for grabs, 
including autographed copies of two of my books: Diablo Blanco Club: Unfair Advantage  and 
An Invitation: Ariel's Pet

Click on Web Hunts for rules and how to enter.

Come join the Spring Fling!!