That's a weird word for me. "Fan". Even "Loyal Reader" bothers me. They sound somehow condescending, or arrogant. Which is never, ever, ever my intent. I value my 'fans' more than I could ever put to words -- and putting things to words is my job :) Maybe instead of fans I should call them 'frans'. You know, friends/fans? No? Well, I'm still working on it. I will find a suitable word. Someday.
While I allow my subconscious mind to work on that problem, I'd like to go back to the subject of the chat last night. There were some great questions. Unfortunately, because of the format being a live chat, I had to keep my answers pretty short. I'd like to elaborate on one of them here...then I'll share another spicy excerpt from The Duchess.
Q: What is your favorite part about being published? Your least favorite part?
My favorite part about being published is having people read my story and tell me they enjoy it. I can honestly say that for me honest feedback means more to me than any royalty cheque. It's not all about ego either, I enjoy constructive feedback that helps me improve a story almost as much as fan mail that tells me how much someone loved it. Almost :)
My least favorite part about being published is that the book is done. I wrote The Duchess three years ago and it's a great book, but my writing style has developed and improved since then, as everyone's does, so in some ways it hurts me to know the novel is finished. There is no more room for me to revise it. No, I really can't move a comma if I want to, it's done.
Check back tomorrow to find out why Halloween is my favorite holiday and to get a special Halloween gift from me!
For now, I'll leave you with another excerpt from The Duchess. Again, this is not an explicit excerpt, but it's quite steamy and very suggestive. When a peasant doesn't show the duchess the respect she deserves, he has to face the consequences -- across her knee.
"Please, milady," he pleaded, as close to begging as he'd ever been in his adult life. "Please, I'm sorry."
"Oh, you will be." She chuckled, reaching behind him to pat his bottom playfully. When she spoke next, however, her words seemed cold as ice and brooked no discussion nor debate. "Now do as you are told and lay across my lap."
Moving stiffly, like an automaton, he knelt at her side and then, after one last long pleading look at her, leaned over so that her lap supported his upper body, making his bottom easily accessible to her right hand.
"Mmm...good boy," the duchess purred. She let one hand drift down the line of his back and over the curve of his buttocks in much the same way that one might stroke a cat. "Good boy..."
Gabriel stiffened beneath her touch and mentally bristled at the way she spoke to him, but did not move nor speak, choosing instead to shut his eyes and wish for this to be over as soon as possible.
Over and over again, her gloved hand caressed his back and draped itself over his ass. It alternated between being as soft as a feather and a heavier, yet still gentle touch. Over and over again she petted him, and slowly he felt his muscles relax.
It started in his shoulders; the knots began to loosen as the tension to left them. Then it spread, sweeping down into his upper back and then his lower. Finally it moved down into his butt, and further, into his legs. After a few minutes, he found himself quite relaxed and at ease as he knelt with his bottom up, waiting to be spanked. Still, she stroked him. Gabriel found that he had begun to feel quite sleepy—most of his anger was slowly worn away by the rhythmic, soothing sensation of her gloved hand moving down the length of his body again and again. Then, just as he'd begun to forget how much he resented being put in this position and had almost determined to let go of his anger, she did it.
She stroked him once more, from the top of his head, her fingers tangling gently in his long hair and massaging his scalp as she trailed her hand through it, over his shoulders and down the length of his back. He let out a soft sigh of contentment, and she struck. Reaching his bottom, she lifted her hand from him for the first time and brought it down again hard on the fullest part of his ass.
Gabriel felt the shock all the way through his body. His eyes snapped open and his mouth gaped. She'd actually hit him! The bitch was giving him a spanking!