Tag Archives: book

Flappers, Jazz and Valentino

The Sin in Syncopation - Flappers, Jazz and Valentino

♦ As you may already have heard if you follow me on Twitter, I’ve been published again! Hurrah! This marks the sixth time that’s happened, which I’m pretty certain makes me officially addicted.

The book in question is Flappers, Jazz and Valentino, edited by my friend Jillian Boyd who is amazing. It’s an anthology of erotica set in and inspired by the 1920s, which is one of my favourite decades. Here’s the blurb:

Step back in time to a decade full of glamour, glitz and decadent sin with this collection of erotica set in the Roaring Twenties. With twelve stories, in all shades from romantic and sensual to burning hot, this collection is the perfect appetizer for a night out at the speakeasy. A journalist gets a sexy introduction to the sinful syncopation of jazz music. A three-way tango performance becomes the steamiest ticket in town. The owners of a speakeasy set up a very special audition for their new trumpet boy. All this jazz and more in Flappers, Jazz and Valentino, edited by Jillian Boyd.

See that bit about the journalist getting an introduction to jazz? That’s me! That’s my story! Without giving too much away, The Sin in Syncopation is the story of a challenge between self-professed flapper Mae Porter and Calvin Locke, a journalist who has written an article decrying “immoral” jazz. I think I’ll give you a little snippet from it at the bottom of this post, but until then, why not hear more about the story and how and why I wrote it?

Whilst I’m by no means a massive history buff, I really like the Twenties. The music, the style, the intrigue of a decade whose mythology is filled with speakeasies, flappers and gangsters. Elegant women with androgynous hair and fringed dresses, handsome men in braces and shirt sleeves. All this made me want to write for Flappers, Jazz and Valentino. Besides which, I’d never written historical erotica before and so there was an element of adding another challenge to my publication history, like I had with my zombie tale and my micro-fiction.

It turned out to be quite tricky! Whilst I knew the era in broad brushstrokes, I had to do a lot of research for the story. At one point near the beginning of it, I could barely go a sentence without having to look something up! Did they say that phrase back then (the Internet often mashes 20s and 30s/40s slang together horribly)? Is that right for the time? I notably spent half an hour researching whether ladies’ clothes shops had changing rooms and then changed my mind and decided not to even use that bit. Sigh.

What inspired my story was actually an article I came across during the broad research and brainstorming of the era. I’d of course heard of the idea of jazz as the “devil’s music” and all of the protective, disapproving mumbling about it during the era, but I stumbled on a piece written in 1921 for the Ladies Home Journal entitled “Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation?”. Suddenly the idea for almost fictionalising that came to me. I’d write about a stuffy journalist who authored a similar article condemning jazz and about a willful young flapper who tried to change her mind through charm, knowledge and seduction.

Her mind? Indeed. I started out writing the tale as a lesbian love story with a female journalist, as in the real-world article. I love lesbian erotica, done right, best of all. But I quickly realised it wasn’t working out for me. Lilian “Lil” Locke didn’t fit under the skin of the character I’d created, but, for some reason, Calvin “Cal” Locke did. I try not to give all that much attention to gender, so that’s a weird one to explain to myself.

One of the questions Jillian asked in her little author questionnaire to promote the anthology was “Do you have a favourite jazz tune?” Well, though I love jazz, as well as its later swing and big band counterpart (I’m a big Glenn Miller fan), I have to say that it was one song in particular that was the soundtrack to The Sin in Syncopation. I wrote the entirety (yes, all of it) of the story to the sound of Duke Ellington’s East St. Louis Toodle-Oo.

I don’t work at all well in silence nor do I work well with anything too needy for my attention. What I need, as I mentioned in my blog post about my writing process, is either the fake sound of rain or one piece of instrumental music that isn’t too intrusive but which does fit the mood of what I’m trying to write. On repeat. Forever. East St. Louis Toodle-Oo was just upbeat enough to suit a speakeasy or a rent party, but didn’t have any musical equivalents of “sudden movements”, so it didn’t break my concentration. Plus, it’s a fantastic bit of music.

So, if you need an accompaniment to the following (finally!) extract, just hit play up above. After an evening of getting nothing but the cold shoulder from Cal, and a little straight-talking from a Harlem jazz singer friend, Mae finally snaps:

Elbowing my way through the throng, I strode towards Calvin Locke, face burning, fuming. No more futzing around.

I found a small gap in the crowd just in front of him and planted myself firmly, feet apart, right where he could see me. He looked either puzzled or intrigued, I couldn’t tell. His lips moved, but I couldn’t hear him over the blare of the trumpet. It didn’t matter.

Lunging, I took his collar in one hand and pulled, bringing his head down and levering myself up to almost his height. My other hand tangled in his hair at the neck and I brought my lips to bear on his, pressing into a kiss, giving him the best damn smooch I’m sure I ever managed.

He was stiff as a stone. I thought it was all over.

But then, before I had time to break away or even know what was happening, he melted. He softened. I found his lips starting to move against mine. I found his hands at my hips, nestling among the beads of my shift dress. I found a murmur of pleasure that I felt against my mouth more than heard, because all I could hear, still, was the wail of the band and the stomp of feet.

His hands brought my body in closer and now there was no mistaking what I was unsure of earlier: a stiffness below his belt prodded my belly. I purred into him and swayed my hips.

I’m sure if this had been the pictures – had a kiss like this even been allowed in the pictures – we’d have pulled apart to find an awed hush, an audience and a general fuss about our “licentious” behaviour. This being The Chapel at the top of the night, we separated at last to find, as expected, that no-one had even paid us any heed. The band played on, the dancers got hot and, all in all, the Twenties continued to roar all around us.

I exhaled and looked Cal in the eyes. Now they were finally meeting mine, I didn’t want to look anywhere else. He was grinning like a panther, though panthers didn’t usually wind up smeared with ruby lipstick.

“Come on,” he said. “I know somewhere we can go.”

If that tickled your fancy, or if the thought of oodles of jazz-era erotica does it for you in general, head over to get your copy of Flappers, Jazz and Valentino right now in eBook (US here) or in paperback (US here)!

Rushed Rhymes – NaPoWriMo

♦ Heck, most of these aren’t even rhyming. They’re haikus, otherwise known as the “Oh, God, I’m so behind!” of NaPoWriMo. But more on what these poems are all about in a moment, for now just enjoy (I hope) poems 15-20 of the month…

Fauves

Following the curves
The lips of the paper cunt
Ink flows from pen nib

Corset: Five Hours In

I never once thought
You’d hear me say, after hours
“Pull me in tighter”

Book!

“Can I draw again?”
A different erotic book
Passed into my hands

Confidence Crisis

In sight, in mind
Out of place, out of time
Show an interest, show my face
One day I will take my place
Read aloud what I’ve made
Hold my head up on the stage

You

You, here, below me
You, forever, here with me
You, now, inside me

Syllables

Oh, BDSM
So easy in the bedroom
Hard in a haiku

“Fauves” is a haiku about my little cunt colouring book that I so enjoy inking, whereas “Corset: Five Hours In” is about a true situation I found myself in recently: after five hours in a corset I was finding myself so comfortable that I actually wanted it cinched in tighter after all that time! I’m told this isn’t always usual for a corset novice.

“Book!” and “Confidence Crisis” are all about the Kinky World Book Night that I recently attended. I was given a free erotic book at the door, but it turned out to be one I had already, which got me praise! Confidence Crisis is a good deal more emotional. I was feeling nervous and out of place and awkward and didn’t think I’d be able to read my own work aloud. It’s about that feeling of lacking confidence and hating yourself for it. It’s about how one day you’ll get there. But then it turned out that I would have the opportunity to read aloud after all! So I did! And I “got there” about an hour or so after writing that! And it was amazing.

“You” is a little haiku about a lover, prompted by the word “below” and “Syllables” is a simple one about how hard it is to use “BDSM” in an erotic haiku given it’s a syllable per letter!

Hoepfully I’ll get a chance to write some more substantial ones soon! ♦

Wicked Wednesday

Cunt Colouring

Cunt Colouring

Click picture to embiggen.

♦ First things first. I didn’t draw this cunt, I just coloured it in. Yes, that’s right, today I spent a chunk of my afternoon colouring in in an actual colouring book as if I was eight all over again. And it was brilliant.

Because this colouring book isn’t fairies and dragons and swords (though I would totally still colour all those things). No, this the Cunt Colouring Book.

It’s a series of line drawings of real, actual vulvas of all sorts of shapes and sizes and idiosyncrasies that you can colour in at your leisure and it was originally designed for sex eduction back in the 1970s. The author and artist, Tee Corinne says:

“As adults many of us still need to learn about our external sexual anatomy. Colouring is a way for the child in each of us to revision and reclaim this portion of our bodies from which we have been estranged.”

I couldn’t agree more. I recently took Crush on a little tour of my vulva and vagina because, although he’s very used to touching me and making me feel good there, we realised he’d very little anatomical and technical knowledge of all the different names for all the different parts and so on.

So I sat down with a mirror to help me show him all the wonders of the pussyverse and noticed a startling thing. I didn’t really know that that’s what my own cunt looked like. I found myself drawn in by the wrinkles and folds and curves, the way it changed shape when I moved. Even I, someone very familiar tactilely with her cunt, was still in a way “estranged” from it.

I’d bought this book for a friend a few years back, but I decided I wanted one for myself and I’ve really enjoyed filling in the wriggly and flowing lines of the human vulva. So far, I’ve done a couple of “”outrageously” coloured cunts (a blue and yellow artsy one and a green-with-purple-pubes She Hulk one) as well as the more standard one shown above.

And I have to say I’m quite proud of my colouring here, with its delicate pinks and peaches that look almost like Raspberry Ripple. If I can find the appropriate pens and pencils, I want to do a nice, engorged, reddened one next and then experiment with skin tones different to my own. What’s strange is that I really do feel like I’m gaining a higher appreciation for the glorious cunt through this. I loved them before, of course, especially my own, but taking the care and attention to look at one with a careful eye is an enlightening experience which I wholly recommend.

If you’ve the inkling, try it and do show us all what you come up with. And if you’ve not, just settle for trying to absorb what this book teaches you: cunts are as varied as fingerprints and flowers, cunts are beautiful, powerful and far too glorious to be “perfect”, cunts are to be loved and looked after, cunts are not for shutting away and shaming, cunts are to be truly appreciated and to be proud of.

And, you know, if I’m feeling artistically brave in future, I may even try to draw my own to colour in! ♦

SinfulSunday

Feast Your Eyes – Pulp #2

♦ Another set of classic pulp craziness for you. I hope to post something more substantial soon, tales of my exploits with Fractal, when I can find a minute or two to do so. Seems silly to take too much time away from him just to write about spending time with him…

Anyway, this bunch of pulp pictures has a whip theme:

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The Wicked Lady

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Shame Market

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The Leather Girls

I absolutely love that last one. The passions of a lesbian! ♦