This week the Ladies of Love, Lust, and Laptops have stored the purple velvet couch and broken out the black leather one for our very special guest, Cherise Sinclair, best-selling author of BDSM romance. She also happens to be one of my very favorite authors.
Welcome, Cherise, and thanks for being our guest today.
What a sweet compliment. Thank you. And, ooooo, love the couch! *snuggles down into a corner, stroking the leather*
Inquiring minds want to know what originally got you interested in writing BDSM erotic romance? And how long have you been writing?
Hmm, let’s take those in reverse order. I’ve been story-telling since I learned how fun it was to terrify my little sisters with ghost stories. (Alas, they’re not so gullible now). My first published book was a western historical with a traditional publisher…and then the historical romance market completely died and I couldn’t sell another. (For you writers out there—this is a typical example of the highs and lows of a writing career. LOL)
So I switched to paranormals. But while I was writing one, I became ill for a far too long of a time. And I was miserable, feeling unfeminine and unsexy. So, purely for my own therapy, I started a new story…one vaguely related to the tales of: It was a dark and stormy night. However, rather than a woman finding she’s in a haunted house, my story has the woman taking refuge in a very exclusive BDSM club. I was shocked (and almost appalled) when a publisher wanted the book.
Your books resonate with realistic details of how the Doms and subs transition between their everyday lives to the world of BDSM. Have you ever been involved in the BDSM subculture? If so, how have your experiences influenced your books?
Let’s see…first, I’m not allowed to talk about ‘stuff’ (my husband knows me well). He says, “You may tell them that there’s a reason that our bedroom door has a keypad lock on it, and leave it at that.” I know! What’s the fun in that? *pout*
My experience influencing my books? Hmm. First, I’m submissive if/when/and to whom I want, not all the time. Giving up power to someone is an act of will and of trust. If I haven’t handed over control, then…well, there’s probably a reason that my daughter’s boyfriends were always more afraid of me than of her dad. LOL
So, my books are written from that point of view: submissives are not doormats. And that human sexuality takes place on a wide, wide continuum. Each person has to find the place which fills her needs, from dominance to submission; to giving or receiving pain; to enjoying various kinds of kink. Or if you’re not into statistics, just think of sexuality as a giant buffet. Maybe your friend likes mashed potatoes, but there’s nothing wrong with you choosing a loaded baked potato.
Which of your books would you recommend to readers just getting into BDSM erotic romance?
Club Shadowlands or Master of the Mountain seem to be where most people start.
Your Doms are very sexy and protective of their subs – so, how do I meet a Dom like Nolan from the Shadowlands or Alex from The Dom’s Dungeon? Or are these characters a composite of several Doms you might have met?
Well, sweetie, first you get a divorce or permission from your husband, since an honorable Dom won’t take on a sub who belongs to another. But if you’re free to play… 😉
You’re right—the Doms in my stories are composites of the men, Doms, and Masters I know. Are there real-life Doms who are sexy and protective and caring? Definitely! Are you going to find Masters like the ones in my books filling the clubs? Not so much. The heroes in my books are called “Masters” because they are the most experienced, powerful Doms in the club. The title has to be earned.
But if you want to check out the lifestyle, I’d suggest first reading about BDSM, then attending local BDSM classes and/or a “munch” which is a meeting given by a local group, held in a public restaurant, so newcomers can ask questions. Do your homework so you can keep yourself safe, okay?
For the writers in our audience, how would you recommend a vanilla erotic romance author add BDSM elements into his/her writing? I guess what I am asking is – what kind of resources would you recommend in the area of BDSM for them to use as research?
I love assigning homework!
I have a list of BDSM links on my website that could give you a place to begin. Pick up some reference books like Screw the Roses; Send me the Thorns.
Visit the clubs, the munches, the groups and see what they’re actually like.
There are D/s and M/s people who blog. I belong to Fetlife.com and enjoy the interaction there–they have a large submissive group. On occasion, I’ll drag a friend to a BDSM club in a city (I live in a small town–and my DH won’t set foot in a club. LOL ) and talk to people and enjoy the scenes. Find some friendly lifestylers who will answer questions. In other words, use anything and everything you can get your little hands on. <g> As you meet people, online or otherwise, you’ll collect your own varied group of sources.
Your next Shadowlands book comes out this week and it features Sam, a sadistic Master at the club, and Linda, the masochistic submissive rescued from the sex traffickers by Raoul, Kim, and Sam in To Command and Collar. How do you make a true sadist like Sam sexy?
I hope Master Sam comes across right—because he is sexy. I think if you can get deep into what makes someone tick, what their needs are, and even more, how much they enjoy something, then a reader will get lured into going along.
Even more, S/M and D/s is a kind of dance between two people, giving and receiving, back and forth. There’s nothing sexier than the dance.
Here’s a snippet from This Is What I Am, which might show a bit of what I mean:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When he paused, she looked down to see thin red lines on her pale skin. Despite the wheel’s cutting sensation, she saw no blood. Her gaze lifted to the toy, to his hand, to his face…to his eyes. He was watching her intently, studying her responses.
A tremor started from her toes, working upward to her scalp. How could his single-minded attention be more arousing than the pain?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When is Sally, the brat trainee from the Shadowlands, going to get her Dom or will it be Doms?
I said “just one hero” and the FBI agents said, “We both want Sally. Write it that way.” Sigh. The problem with having voices talking inside your head is that earplugs just don’t work. So, yes, I’m going to end up with a menage in my Shadowlands series. And I’d guess Sally’s story will be out this fall.
Quick vanilla questions:
Favorite movie? Lord of the Rings
Favorite beverage? Diet Coke…which my doctor says I shouldn’t drink since it, apparently, can contribute to thinning of the bones. I need to find a new vice.
Favorite vacation retreat? Whatever place I haven’t been to yet.
Some quick non-vanilla questions:
Crop or cane? Huh, I’m more of a paddle/flogger sort of girl. Neither?
St. Andrews Cross or spanking bench? Well, now, that just depends. For flogging, I prefer a cross. Spanking—the bench. And I’ve always thought benches are shiver-inducing sexy.
Tweezer nipple clamps or Japanese clover clamps? Ow ow ow. I’m not a masochist—tweezers!
Flogger or single tail? Flogger—the thuddy ones can give an awesome massage…or knock the breath right out of you.
Barehanded spanking or leather paddle? Barehanded is far more intimate.
Thanks for answering my nosy questions. Where can your fans reach you?
Do you have a blurb and an excerpt you would like to share with the readers?
Of course! The following is from This Is Who I Am which comes out from Loose Id on May 28, 2013. I’m so excited!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When trying to save a woman from slavers, Sam screwed up. Royally. Now Linda wants nothing to do with him. Or with BDSM. She won’t even admit she’s a masochist. As a dominant and sadist, he can give her what she needs, and when an opportunity arises, he slips into her life, intending to make amends. She’s everything he knew she would be…except for her bullheaded determination to be ‘normal’.
Now the horrible time is past, Linda just wants to return to her small conservative town, pick up her quiet life, and be normal. But how can someone who likes pain be ‘normal’? To her dismay, when someone spray-paints her home with obscenities, Sam shows up to rescue her. Again. Doesn’t he understand that the last thing she needs in her life is a sadist? He’s amused by her objections. But his dry sense of humor can’t disguise that he’s tough as nails and dominant and stubborn. He’s not going to let her drive him off this time. Soon she realizes she wants him to stay.
When he takes her to the Shadowlands, she feels as if she’s found a home…until she hears a voice from out of her nightmares.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Masters of the Shadowlands 7: This Is Who I Am
Flanked by Raoul and Kim, Linda walked into the exclusive BDSM club known as the Shadowlands. Light from wrought-iron sconces flickered ominously over the dungeon equipment lining the walls. The overwhelming scents of leather, sweat, and sex slapped into her and stole her breath. The sounds of pain were like a kick to her stomach. Even the music held a savage bite.
At least no one would see her reactions—or who she was. The black mask she wore concealed her face, leaving only her lips and eyes revealed. Now, if she could only get her feet to move. The little voice inside her screaming get me out of here grew louder.
When Raoul put his hand on her shoulder, she jumped. “Chiquita.” His dark brown eyes were worried. “You would be safe in the Shadowlands, no matter what. But you’re also with me.”
“Thank you.” Considering the man had more muscles than the beach had sand, he was a reassuring presence.
“Linda, let’s go home,” Kim said. “We don’t have to stay.” Her blue corset matched her eyes, and her black collar held a silver engraving: Master Raoul’s gatita. Of all the women in captivity, Kim had seemed the least likely to want to be a slave. But the love between her and Raoul was so strong it almost shimmered. Somehow, Kim had moved on and found happiness.
Linda hadn’t. Even worse, she was unraveling as emotions ripped through her. She cringed at the sound of a paddle against flesh. A woman’s screams made her hands turn cold and numb. As the trembling in her belly worked outward, her knees started to shake. She couldn’t escape the memories of horrors. This was the stupidest thing she’d ever done.
“Raoul.” A gray-eyed man blocked their way, and his gaze swept over her face, her shoulders, her hands. “What are you doing? She’s terrified.”
Well, sheesh. She could have sworn she’d hidden her fear fairly well.
“She wanted to come,” Kim protested, then closed her mouth when Raoul tugged her collar.
The stranger was lean and graceful, wearing all black as a Dom would—only he had no need to wear black to establish his authority. Power surrounded him like the scent of aftershave. “You must be Linda. Little one, you should go home.”
Raoul squeezed her shoulder. “Linda, this is Master Z. He agreed to give you a temporary membership, and he’s the reason you are safe here.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Master Z.” So this was the infamous Master Z who owned the Shadowlands. She swallowed. Kim hadn’t come close to describing how intimidating the man was. “Kim’s right. I wanted to come.”
He lifted an eyebrow in an unspoken command to continue. In just one night at that other club, she’d discovered how a Dom in full command mode could turn her spine into jelly.
“I wanted…” Why had it been easier to explain to Raoul, even if she hadn’t explained everything? “Wanted to remind myself that people do this for fun. Consensually.”
“You want to replace the images in your head with better ones,” he said gently.
“That’s it.” And maybe find someone to hurt me. God, that sounded so sick.
He held his hand out, and her fingers were in his grip before she realized she’d moved. He studied her for a minute, then nodded. “All right, Linda. I think you have the strength, but don’t push yourself into a panic attack.” He arched a brow at Kim. “Your companions are quite familiar with the symptoms.”
Kim actually giggled. The beautiful sound showed that healing could happen, even after horrors.
“I’ll be careful,” Linda said.
“Very good.” He released her hand and moved off with the lethal grace of a big cat.
Linda blew out a breath and glanced at Kim. “Well. You tried to warn me.” If nothing else, Master Z had broken into her nightmare and got her moving again.
Kim grinned. “And you didn’t believe me.”
Linda laughed and looked around. The place was certainly different from the one she’d gone to before. True, her single visit to a BDSM club hardly made her an authority, but she’d spent hours there before doing anything. This place was more expensive. The equipment was padded with leather, the burnished hardwood floors reflected the flickering of the wrought-iron sconces. The general populace was older and quieter, although—she enjoyed the spectacle of a woman in a full catsuit followed by a naked submissive—the costumes were just as outrageous.
“Do you want to wander around or settle somewhere?” Kim glanced over Linda’s shoulder, and her eyes widened. “Uh, let’s just go to the bar.”
Linda turned. The nearest scene was a man on a St. Andrew’s cross with a Mistress putting clamps on his nipples. The spiderweb next to it held a restrained submissive struggling to evade the flick of a crop. Then a spanking scene. Then several people watching a Dom with a flogger.
When the Dom turned slightly, Linda’s lungs felt as if they were being pinched in wickedly tight clamps. Sam. Sam was here. She’d forgotten the dangerous vibe he gave off in dominant mode. Almost half a foot taller than her five-seven, he wore black jeans, black boots, a black belt, and a black flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up. His silvery hair didn’t make him look old—just really, really experienced.
He was using a full-sized, heavy flogger with brown leather strands. No fancy colors for him. The woman on the cross was in tears, her back reddened. As Sam flogged the blonde with a smooth rhythm, Linda wanted to hate him for inflicting such pain.
Yet, as the woman went up on tiptoes, she pushed her bottom back to get more. Her face gleamed with sweat and tears, but her half-agonized, half-blissful expression was that of a masochist getting what she wanted.
I want it too. Linda felt like a shaken soda with the cap screwed on too tightly to let out the increasing pressure. Pain might give her a way to open up and spew everything out. I need that.
Not with Sam though. No no no. And yet… She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself over her silky shirt. Watching him with a woman made her feel odd. Wanting and angry and unsettled. After a minute, she forced herself to turn away. Thank heavens she’d worn a mask.
Raoul was watching her, his dark eyes narrowed. “Shall I find you a Dom to play with?”
How had Kim found someone so sweetly protective? But she wouldn’t—couldn’t—have another person make those choices for her again. “Thank you, but I’d rather choose my own if I decide to…do anything.”
And she’d be very careful. She’d pick a sadist, but not one who was also a Dominant. During her night at the club, the Dom she’d spoken to had told her she was submissive as well as a masochist. As if one perversion wasn’t enough, I’ve got two.
But it had been Sam who had showed her how a powerful Dom could push her limits—could go past her limits. At the auction, she could have handled being whipped, but he’d done…more. Damn him.
“As you wish. Then let us have something to drink while you decide.” After pulling Kim to his side, Raoul guided them to the bar.
Linda glanced longingly at the bottles of tequila, scotch, and rum.
Raoul shook his head. “You may have water or a soda.” He turned to Kim and settled her on a bar stool, kissing her hair lightly.
But I want a drink. Linda sighed but had to admit he was right. Alcohol, in this place, might do as much harm as good. She needed to stay on top of things. In control.
The bartender’s assistant came over to get their orders. As Kim talked with her, Linda looked over her shoulder at Sam. Again.
He’d finished the scene. The blonde with spiky hair who might have looked tough at one time was trying to bury herself in his chest. When he rubbed her undoubtedly tender back and she cried harder, he grinned. Definitely a sadist. But a caring one. And strong. She remembered the steel-like feeling of his arms. He might be in his fifties, but he was all bone and muscle.
A shiver ran up Linda’s spine.
Cherise has offered to give-away one free download from her back list to one lucky fan. Make a comment on this blog to enter for the chance to win.
The winner is Leeanne!! I’ve sent Leanne an e-mail congratulating her and also let Cherise know. Thanks to everyone that visited and commented — and not much longer to Master Sam’s story! Yay!