Come Again

Miranda Does Los Angeles

Y’all know all about my penchant for porn shops, so when I went to Los Angeles to visit my high school BFF we went sex toy shopping. We did other stuff too – great restaurants, Venice Beach, the Burbank farmers market, non-sex shopping in The Grove – but sex toy shopping was high on our must-list. After all, this friend and I bought each other black lace garter belts for our eighteenth birthdays. We felt so wicked!

I consulted Eden Bradley, another LA native/erotic romance author/BDSM practitioner/helpful person to see where we should go to get the most bang for our time. Here’s what she said: “I have two recommendations. First is The Pleasure Chest in West Hollywood. Amazing selection, especially if you want to see the kink supplies, but also an excellent selection of vibrators, lube, etc. The second is the Hustler store in Hollywood, where I’ve done a lot of In the Flesh readings. They also have a nice li’l cafe with yummy baked goodies and a really nice book selection. Both places are clean, have nice folks working there. Oh-and the Hustler store has an awesome selection of stripper shoes. :)”

Sounded good to me.

I love to go to sex shops with people who don’t usually frequent them. I’m afraid I’ve reached a point where I’ve tried a bunch of things and haves drawers full of inventive accoutrements. I don’t really NEED another vibrator when my favorite works so well. (Although I was rather smitten with a bumpy on one end, swirly on the other glass dildo…) But I can say to a friend, “Oh, I love this! Try this! Ever used one of these before?” Shop with me if you don’t want to go home empty handed! I am shameless about soliciting opinions from salespeople too. I’ve made more than one impulse purchase because it came highly recommended by a sex shop girl. In fact, the Come Again series was born in a sex shop in Toronto. My BFF walked out of The Pleasure Chest with the biggest bag they had. She let me hold it for this photo.

For the girls and the girls and the boys and the boys!

I will admit I bought a toy simply because it was called “Bottoms Up” and it looked well-made. I also couldn’t resist the sweetest-looking pink thong whip, although I have since discovered it isn’t as sweet as it looks…

My friend got the Lelo Ina vibrator, which is why they gave her the big bag. Worth every penny, she says. Reviewed in O Magazine, even. She sure can pick ’em! Her bag was crammed full of other stuff, too. I made her buy a single-use, sure to be a winner cock ring in honor of SoloPlay. She also bought a lube called Sliquid. She’s got sensitive parts, so if you do too, this might be the lube for you! It’s organic!

Another favorite moment from the trip – my henna tattoo. I covet tattoos, although I don’t have one myself yet. I’m old enough not to regret it, so it’s only a matter of time. What to get? Where to put it? When I know, I’m totally getting ink.

And a tan!

It was a marvelous trip – with unique souvenirs. My husband was really happy to see me, and my friend’s husband thinks I am a very good influence. I bet both of them will be willing to let us swan off to a swanky hotel for a weekend again in the future…

Almost the entire length of the continental US separates me from this friend of my heart. We met when we were fifteen, more than half our lives ago. She has been through every heartbreak with me. She was my first reader, the first one to believe I would publish my stories. We’ve stayed close despite the distance, the children, the husbands and our other great friends. I cried on the Flyaway bus to the airport. Before this visit, the last time I stood in her house was a decade ago. It won’t be another decade before we get the chance to spend unhurried time together. Life is too short. We will find time, make money, prioritize. Taking time away from my everyday reality brought things into focus for me and I want to keep that clarity now that I’m back home. So far, so good…

How about you? Is there something big that you are denying yourself that will bring clarity, value or positivity to your life? A trip with a friend, like me? Another degree? A job change? A baby? Can you make it happen? How?

Superhero Smut, Lust Soap and Smiley Potatoes

Once upon a time, Samhain Publishing put out a call for superhero novella submissions.

Even though I was up to my elbows in alligators and alter egos, there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to write something for that little piece of heaven. I had visions of being in an anthology with some badass hardcore superhero Samhain authors, but alas it didn’t make it in…

However, the anthology supereditor sent it on to my regular genius editor because it was good. It just wasn’t about superheroes. Well, not exactly. It started out awesome but when my husband read it (he’s a Marvel-ous lover) he said it wasn’t about superheroes. So I tried to make it about superheroes, forcing all kinds of conventions on my characters who just wanted to tell their story. Fortunately, my genius editor called me on it and said if I revised the story, she would buy it. So I did.

And she did!

It will likely be out in the fall, after Hook Up and my other piece of kick ass news: Bottoms Up and SoloPlay are going to be bundled in a print anthology. SHAZAM!

If you’d like a sneak peak of a Hook Up kiss, trundle on over to Lissa Matthews blog. I’m there today, talking about first kisses. I swear I spend more time on a first kiss scene than on the first hit-the-sheets-or-the-bondage-table scene. Leave a comment on Lissa’s site and I’ll put your name in the hat for a bar of Lush brand Lust soap and Romance Trading Cards for Bottoms Up and SoloPlay.

A wish for your month: May your March RAWR! XOXO!

Sometimes the universe speaks in potatoes. No kidding. He cut the potato, and there it was. Smiling. Winking. Delighting.

This Engine Can… And Did!

It’s always darkest before the dawn, the sun will come out tomorrow, just keep swimming – however you want to say it, I made my deadline. Of course, I forgot to include a subject heading when I sent the book to my editor, so it’s probably stuck in her spam filter but I DID IT! 😀

And I said no to Total Domination October – just couldn’t make the switch between being in control of Bondage Tapemy lil engine that could and depending on my husband to know when telling me to get on my knees would result in a Lorena Bobbit situation. However, we did celebrate in style.

Can I tell you a secret? As soon as I sent the book to my editor, I opened Crystal’s book, Book Three of the Come Again series, the book I was working on before my other editor told me I’d screwed the pooch on Book Two for her. I discovered something wonderful. I love Crystal’s book. It needs about 15K, maybe more, but I love it! Here’s a peek, unedited, uncontracted, blah, blah, blah:

“Ryan looked directly at her and his emotions blasted across the room, burning through her defenses. Desire. Resentment. Heat. Longing swept through her again, stealing her breath. His dark eyes absorbed the light in the room and reflected it back at her. Mahogany eyes, warm, like bittersweet chocolate. He was braced over her, waiting, holding her gaze with infinite tenderness. Her soul opened, enveloped him. Her consciousness spun out around them.

Crystal jerked back from the memory. Her feet felt rooted to the floor. Her heart pounded as Ryan and Alisa moved toward them.

Beside her, Mark chuckled. She turned to give him a cold glare.

“What?” he asked. “I figured turnabout was fair play. You introduced Alisa and me, after all.” His usually reserved blue eyes were full of fun.

Maybe he didn’t remember. Impossible. She reached out. Mischief. Memory. Satisfaction. It felt like a cosmic joke that Mark had finally remembered they’d gone to college together just in time to reintroduce her to the man who had ruined her life. Crystal was grateful for the anger that reminded her she was wasn’t vulnerable anymore.

Mark cocked his head to the side, looking down at her, eyes suddenly wary. “I thought you might enjoy a blast from the past.”

The irony made laughter bubble up in her throat, so she released it in a breathy chuckle. Laughter was excellent camouflage, better than leather, ink and the color black. She slid one arm around his waist and leaned up to whisper in his ear. “I’m positively thrilled, darling.” Mark didn’t know, no one did – and if she could hold it together through the wedding weekend from hell, no one ever would.”

It’s going to be splendid! Have a great week, one and all! Mwah!