Saturday, February 25, 2012

Isn't That What You People Eat?

I’ve been vegan for almost three years, and before that, I was vegetarian for seven.

Few of my characters are vegan or vegetarian. The ones who are usually are peripheral, like Kim in By His Rules, and are often ridiculed for their silly, fleshless diets. I mostly write omnivores.

I have a strange fear that I’m going to be found out as someone who doesn’t really “know” meat. Every book I write features at least one scene where characters eat, and I inevitably panic about what to have them eat. It needs to be something people can relate to, something fairly uncomplicated. Something not tempeh.

So I turn to my old standby, the turkey sandwich.

All of my characters love turkey sandwiches. Sometimes they eat them for multiple meals. (See: By His Rules. Aiden orders a turkey club in the cafĂ© (so does Keaton), then has a turkey sub delivered later in the book. There is also a scene where Keaton makes sandwiches. It’s never specified what kind, but I mean, they’re turkey.) It just sounds to me like what an all-American omnivore would eat.

My brother is the most normal eater I know, and he eats turkey sandwiches. They’re simple, portable, fast. You can eat them at a restaurant or at home. They have meat, but they also have vegetables and bread, so it doesn’t look like I’m trying too hard, the way I worry it would if my characters ate steak, or a rotisserie chicken. I also remember the taste of deli turkey better than other meats. I used to get it on my Subway subs. It was reasonably delicious in my childhood, though now it makes me a little sickish to think about. 

I don’t know why I worry so much about the authenticity of my characters’ meat-based meals. It seems like there are other, more pressing gaps in my knowledge and life experience. Sometimes I’ll start to have my characters eat something like beef stroganoff then I’ll raise an eyebrow at myself and say, “Do you even know what beef stroganoff is?”

The answer is no. I don’t know what beef stroganoff is. I can Google images, but it’s not the same as having tasted it.

I’m branching out in Wacky Wednesday, though. I don’t think either character eats a turkey sandwich on-page (though a TS is mentioned). At one point Jayk eats eggs. And Amon eats a Reuben. The real food-focus in WW is crab rangoon, which I have never had. My sister, also a very normal eater, loves crab rangoon. I had her describe it to me in detail one night while I was devouring fistfuls of sprouts.

I’m growing. I’m learning. I’m taking risks.

Maybe one day my characters will eat beef stroganoff.

Until then, who doesn’t love a turkey sandwich?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rules Reviews

Emma at Night Owl Reviews and Jenre at Well Read have both reviewed By His Rules. Emma gave it 4.75 stars, and it's listed as a NOR Top Pick! Jenre rated it "Very Good" and offered a thorough, insightful review.

Read Emma's Review here.

Read Jenre's review here.

BHR received a nice "review-ish" by Kati at Katidom as well (read here), and a lovely write-up at Kinky Book Reviews (here).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Next Book

Wackiness incoming!

Loose Id has just contracted my next book, a novella for-now titled Wacky Wednesday (yes, this is also the title of a Dr. Seuss book. And my Wacky Wednesday is loosely based on Mary Rodgers’s Freaky Friday. I have somehow managed to corrupt all of children’s literature with one spanky story.) WW is quite a bit lighter-hearted than By His Rules, but it too explores the joys and pitfalls of a committed DD relationship.

Jayk and Amon have maintained a loving domestic discipline partnership for two years, occasionally exploring erotic elements of BDSM as well. But now they’re in a rough patch. 

Jayk, a college dropout, recently returned to school and is struggling to balance his studies with his job and relationship. His solution to stress is to spend his nights out at bars and clubs, flouting his curfew and neglecting his schoolwork.

Amon, the HR director of a major financial firm, is working frantically to hire a new head of recruiting. He responds to the pressure at work by cracking down hard on Jayk at home. 

When Jayk and Amon wake one morning to discover they’ve switched bodies, each is determined to prove he can handle the other's life for a day. Everything, of course, goes awry as Jayk decides to use Amon’s position of power to get revenge on an enemy, and Amon tries to top his way through encounters with Jayk’s bickering friends, hard-nosed professors, and a bully of a supervisor.

And the madness doesn’t end there. A highly-anticipated BDSM party at which Amon and Jayk are booked to give a flogging demo forces them each to spend an evening at the other end of the whip. Can their renewed empathy for one another get them out of the dungeon in one piece?

Lessons are learned, crab rangoons are pilfered, and a rascally cat bats faces in this zany tale of spanktastic love. No release date yet, but I will keep updating.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Tea Table

Thanks a billion to Sarah S.G. Frantz for her recommendation of The Tea Table! I just had my first cup of Keemun Mao Feng and am so in love I can't even talk about it.