Sunday, April 17, 2011

What reading fiction has done for my life and my profession

As I gaze at my TBR pile, both on my reading table and in my electronic queue, I ponder what reading fiction has done for me--and as they say in the mystery world, whodunit.
I have a list.
Bet you do, too.
Here, for your dancing pleasure, is mine. Not that it is complete for my part. Not that it is comprehensive for your part, but then this space is limited and you do not wish me to be a gas bag!
Here we go.
1. Fiction has taught me, from an early age, too, that life is complex. Humans are intricate creatures full of inexplicable emotions and motivations.
I use this sense of wonder to build characters I can believe in.
I learned this while reading Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and the Brontes. Jane Eyre got her backbone in the most time-honored way: she damn well earned it by sticking up for herself and not simply--simperingly--enduring!
2. Most humans have elements of the heroic in them. Even the villians. Especially them. After all, said an editor of mine once long ago, villains are the heroes of their own stories. Look at Sherlocke Holmes, very complex creature. Dracula. Phillipa Gregory's "heroine" of Wildacre. (Chills me, still.) I try to find the emotional reason and the logical reason to my characters' motivations. Especially those in my mystery series (under another name, dear reader). Picking out those finite bits of their operating structure is the most difficult thing I have to do. And I love it, I do. I confess.
3. I learned that history is an assembly of facts about how people lived their lives. Such reading has taught me to be in awe of them that they survived, and to value my own life. Plumbing. Gasoline in autos. Electricity. Air travel (really!). Newspapers, paper types and on-line. But more than feeling the history in fictional accounts, I have learned to appreciate the accurate depiction of facts. About then. And most especially about happenings now.
Thanks to reading history in fiction, I have come to value fact more than opinion. Where the fact is stated baldly, I thank people for the information. Where it comes with opinion attached, I take that with my grain of salt...and usually, like Julia Child sensing too much for the palate, I throw it over my shoulder.
4. Reading fiction has inspired me to revisit the history of the civil rights movement (The Help by Karen Stockett), to want to return to Japan where we once lived for a few glorious years (The Tale of Genji), to re-read about nurses in World War I in Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. Reading fiction has also taught me a whole lot about forensics, how to kill people--all totally useful info if I wish to spend my life in jail OR writing mysteries. (I like the latter.)
5. I find too that all those years I went to the library, took my children there as well as to the bookstores, that they are now involved in writing in one form or another. Our daughter, who loves to read any ANY ANY fictional account of Anne Boleyn and Henry, now writes for a famous CEO. Our second son, aside from the day job, writes and produces his own films. (I am writing a script with him, too! MY first film script. urgle.) Our oldest son, who accidentally passed away over a year ago, was a published poet. This last of having literate, articulate children tickles me like none of the above even begin to.
Okay! Enuf said the walrus!
What has reading fiction done for you????
We need to know so that we can feel satisfied and damn pleased with ourselves for seeing what really matters here.
(And yes, that book cover is my latest. A Regency period erotic romance. It is not only what I do, but clearly who I am!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just Another Rainy Day

Tired of their ho-hum sex life, Jack decides to spice things up by planning a surprise for his wife. After sending the children off for an overnight with their aunt, Jack handcuffs Beth to their bed.
Beth awakes naked, blindfolded and at the mercy of her husband. The day starts off with being fed by Jack and quickly turns into hot and heavy sex. She soon learns that a slip of the tongue can lead to stinging ass cheeks.
This rainy day will be spent pushing their sexual limits. Whether in bed or out, Jack will leave Beth begging for more—until she says something unforgiveable.


Copyright © AMBER SKYZE, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Chapter One
“Rise and shine, sleepyhead.”
Beth opened her eyes to total darkness. She attempted to move, but found her arms were pulled above her head. Around her wrists was soft fur. She tugged and the rattling sound of chains filled her ears. She was restrained. Fear spread throughout her body and into her throat.
“Why am I handcuffed?” As she tried to sit up she realized she was also blindfolded. Never in their fifteen years of marriage had she woken to find herself trussed like a slave or prisoner.
The smell of bacon wafted closer, assaulting her nostrils.
“I’m going to fuck that pussy all day long.”
Beth moved her head to the left where Jack’s voice echoed through the room. She shivered. The thought of him fucking her all day sent chills down her spine, until reality came crashing back.
“What about the kids? Surely they’ll want Mom to cook them breakfast and drive them all over God’s creation.”
“All taken care of. I just sent them packing with Auntie. They’ll be home tomorrow bright and early.”
How long had she’d slept? She knew she was exhausted when she fell into bed the night before, but to sleep through the kids waking and Jack shackling her to the bed wasn’t like her.
“Did you spike my drink last night, Jack?”
A full belly laugh filled the room. “I’d hardly do something so sinister.”
He had a point. In all their marriage he’d never even spoken an ill word against her. Why should she accuse him of something so hideous?
“How did you manage to handcuff me to the bed?”
“You were snoring peacefully. I moved your arms without getting a peep out of you. You barely stirred.”
Beth racked her brains trying to remember any feeling of being moved around, but nothing came to mind.
“Clever, Jack, now uncuff me please.”
“No can do.”
“Huh? Please, Jack. My arms can only take so much of being stretched like this. I’d like you to release me, now.”
“Remember your prisoner fantasy?”
How could she forget? She’d told him about the fantasy eons ago. They’d been enjoying a glass of white wine on a cold winter’s night. They’d nestled all cozy in front of the fireplace. As they gazed into the glowing embers, she had shared her deepest darkest desires. Beth had told him how she wanted to feel as if she’d been kidnapped, taken away and tortured in every delicious way imaginable. Jack had listened quietly and nodded at the appropriate times. She’d explained that she pictured herself in the shower after a long day. A stranger would appear and pull her soaking wet from the streaming water. He’d carry her to her bedroom where he’d take what he wanted. He’d ignore her pleas for him to stop. He’d fuck her until they were both sated.
She’d thought he’d forgotten by now. Obviously he had been biding his time.
“Is this what is happening today? You’re living out my fantasy?” A slight shiver passed through her body. Jack had listened. He’d taken her seriously and decided to give her what she needed.
“We are and I’m in control. You will do as I say or suffer the consequences.”
Beth shook as a chill of delight filled her. Jack’s voice was deep and demanding. He was using his dominant tone.
“Got it.” A secret smile filled her soul.