Wednesday, May 07, 2014

BDSM WEEK: Consent in BDSM Fiction by Anna Martin plus the Pre-Release review of To Say I Love You (Another Way #3) & Giveaway

Anna Martin

Huge thanks to Anna Martin who is with us today here at SSBR as part of our BDSM week, with a very interesting article on Consent in BDSM Fiction. Anna is one of our Tina’s favourite authors and she was beside herself with excitement at the chance of getting her hands on a copy of Anna’s upcoming novel To Say I Love You due for release on 19th May. All I can say is, where have I been? …and why have I not picked up one of Anna’s books yet? This series is now at the top of my TBR list!

 

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Consent in BDSM Fiction

by Anna Martin

To start; an anecdote.

I recently attended Eroticon with the delightful Josephine Myles where we hosted a panel on GLBTQ fiction. Over the weekend I got to take part in a number of sessions around erotica, porn, fiction, sex blogging, and numerous other themes in this vein.

During one of the panels, another author was discussing how she wasn’t interested in writing ‘safe’ BDSM fiction. In her work, non-consent and consensual non-consent were part of the reading experience, designed to titillate as much as the sex.

How we go about writing consent into a BDSM story is often a tricky thing for writers. On one hand, the reader needs to know if they’re going to be getting themselves into something that’s dark and twisted and edgy – and it’s our responsibility to do this with tone and language and scene setting, rather than relying on a blurb to do it for us. On the other hand, no one wants to read a kinky BDSM story that turns out to be a dry how-to manual. How do we balance this?

Out of curiosity, I read a few non-consent erotic stories on Literotica to try and better understand their appeal. This category has over 15,500 stories in it, so it’s clearly a theme that readers are interested in. (For comparison: the BDSM category has over 24,500 stories, Gay Male has nearly 12,000, Incest has over 30,000 and Romance… less than 13,000. That in itself could be discussed for days!) The level of violence, intensity, sexuality and coercion ranged quite dramatically, and in some ways, I can see the appeal of the sexual temptress leading the young virgin astray, or a solid D/s relationship playing with the concept of non-consent. Even the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ stories can have some interesting twists. Rape stories though? Those make me feel quite sick. But they’re out there. And some people clearly want to read them.

Clearly there are layers and nuances to consider with any story that plays with the idea of consent. I think one of the reasons why the series format works really well for BDSM novels is because it can often take a long time to build the layers of trust between characters. I wouldn’t write a story where two characters jumped straight into blood play and fisting a week after meeting each other. The sort of intensity and trust edgier activities require to come across as “real” on the page really speaks to a more established relationship.

That being said, there are some fantastic stand-alone novels out there where a Dom/sub relationship is thoroughly explored in less than 100,000 words. I think the success of those stories is often the interaction between the characters, and fairly defined dominant and submissive roles. When it’s done well, a writer’s skill is very obviously showcased. It’s not an easy thing to do!

So, how do we write consent into stories? I think the key is acknowledging that consent is required for certain activities. Characters don’t need to have a long, drawn out conversation on the page which goes into painstaking detail: “Is it all right if I do this to you? Is it okay if I do that to you?”

In a situation where “Please don’t make me do it!” can actually mean “Oh my god I love it, give me more!” there has to be clear lines drawn between the characters so those interactions are read as intended. I think there can be something very hot about a sub begging for something to stop, when actually it feels so good he just wants it to go on forever. The words no, stop, don’t are instant triggers for most people to say that the activity at hand is dubious, but in BDSM fiction we twist that and make it exciting and primal. Begging “no” when you mean “yes” is where safewords come in to play.

There can be a fine line between erotic coercion and rape, and I applaud the authors who dance close to that line and write stories that are edgy and hot and powerful, yet still let us know that everyone involved is having a good time.

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To Say I Love You (Another Way #3) by Anna Martin

to say I love you cover

Title ~ To Say I Love You (Another Way #3)

Author ~ Anna Martin

Publisher Dreamspinner Press

Due for Release ~ 19th May 2014

Genre ~ M/M Romance, BDSM

Rating

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Synopsis

Sequel to Another Way
After six years of romance and kink, Jesse Ross and Will Anderson have had their ups and downs and come through them stronger and happier. But when Jesse’s mother dies unexpectedly, Jesse is forced to return to his childhood home in Georgia to help his family cope. Will transfers from Seattle to his company’s Atlanta office, but love their way is out of the question while they’re staying in Jesse’s parents’ home. So Will buys a small house for them to fix up and find some privacy.
When their lives start to settle back into something like normality, Will and Jesse resume their recently neglected BDSM relationship. Along with the security of Jesse’s submission comes trouble, as a local man tries to lure a lonely, grieving Jesse away from Will, and one of Will’s coworkers causes tension between them. Both men are forced to reassess what really matters, and where their romance is heading next.

 

Tina’s Review

I had heard, there was never going to be a third book in the Another Way series, so when Anna stopped by and asked me if I wanted the Galley ARC of THE third book, To Say I Love You, she made one girl very, very, happy! I have been a big fan of Will and Jesse from the very beginning… so, it was a honour to get the chance to read the book so early. Thanks again, Anna. :)

OMG… that cover! …when Anna posted it on Facebook, I was in heaven! Rumour has it that the amazing Photograph Dan Skinner had a finger in the pie… or more precisely on the shutter. :)

Getting back into the story was easier than expected, especially after nearly two years since the release of the previous book. To Say I Love You doesn’t pick up where Of Being Yours ends, it starts a few years into Jesse and Will’s relationship. They both left Seattle and moved into Jesse’s family home in Georgia, after the death of Jesse’s Mama, wanting to help support Jesse’s dad David,  and his sister Jennifer.

It comes to the point where the guys buy a house nearby, Jesse just doesn’t have the heart to leave his dad still mourning the death of his wife, to his own devices. And, as always, Will does everything in his power to support Jesse. If that means living for a while in hot and humid Georgia, well, he’s willing to endure it… somehow!

OMG… I loved this book, it’s so extremely sensual, I was just glued to the pages and couldn’t put it down. It made me smile, made my heart burst, and made me feel good about the love between those two guys.

Anna paints such a vivid picture in describing the details surrounding Jesse and Will that I felt like I was right there with them. I felt the love those two have for each other, how they care for each other… and especially the tender, emotional moments touched me deeply.

I absolutely love the chemistry between Jesse and Will, it’s palpable, it sizzles and there's no doubt that its these two have been together for a long time, they are so in tune with each other, it was wonderful to watch them interact. Will and Jesse have a loving, established relationship with BDSM elements. They don’t need to explore their submissive or dominant tendencies anymore, they know exactly where they stand and what they need from each other.

The places he took me to never failed to amaze me… It was intense for me, knowing I was his sub, knowing my purpose in serving him was to give him this. My body. My submission. His to take control of.

I would have been happy to stay there, bound and waiting until he was ready to set me loose…

The BDSM scenes are detailed, full on and kinky (especially when the guys play in public - and yes, they do!) …balanced by the cuddling and sigh worthy love scenes the guys share when they are just being a couple who are very much in love. I can honestly say I enjoyed every moment. These guys are so comfortable in their skins that you can’t help but smile and sigh with them throughout the book. Btw, Will in Dom mode is a sight to behold…. Just saying! :) He still wants Jesse more than he's ever wanted anyone, and he wants all of him, his mind, body, heart, and soul.

“Plugged, gagged, and tied up. My favorite way to keep my boy,” he said happily.

I loved how Jesse and Will have figured out how to make their relationship work. Being full time lovers and part time Dominant/submissive means hard work and adjusting the BDSM boundaries to their vanilla life. One of their rules is the open communication, they talk things through and change their rules when needed, they just make it work.

However, personally, I would have preferred a bit more drama and angst. A few things happened, and at times I expected, or rather anticipated an upcoming disaster but every time the guys did find a way to navigate their relationship strong and lovingly back into calm waters.

Jesse and Will are clear examples of how wonderful a loving relationship can be when both  partners are willing to talk things through, compromise and remain open to one another. They are just beautiful together.

The ending left me with a dreamy sigh and with the hope for a fourth book. We can’t leave the guys now, can we? I thoroughly enjoyed this story and know others who enjoy m/m romance will also love it. If you haven’t read the two books in the series, you’d better start reading them now!

DUE FOR RELEASE
19th May 2014

PRE-ORDER LINK

DreamspinnerPress

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About The Author

Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south-west of England and now lives in the slightly arty, slightly quirky city of Bristol. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theatre (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, baking weird and wonderful sweets, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.

2nd place winner of the 2012 Goodreads M/M Romance Member’s Choice Award "Best Musician/Rockstars" for Tattoos & Teacups.

Connect with the Author

 

home  FB  Tw  GR

 

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Series Reading Order

another way reading order

Book #1 ~ Another Way
TINA'S QUICK BITE ~  ~ AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON CA

Book #2 ~ Of Being Yours
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK

Book #3 ~ To Say I Love You
RELEASE DATE 19th MAY 2014

 

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Giveaway

Anna is gifting to one very lucky reader one paperback of To Say I Love You.

All you need is to enter the Rafflecopter draw below.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway

GAbannerSSBR

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a Kindle Fire HD…

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Conditions

  1. The Kindle Fire HD giveaway is international unless excluded.  If your country is not on the list that Amazon delivers to, you will not be eligible win this  prize.
  2. Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews is not responsible for damage to the Kindle in transit.  All issues regarding this must be addressed to Amazon.
  3. All accessories for the Kindle Fire HD must be purchased by the winner – the prize is the Kindle Fire HD only and does not include the power adaptor.
  4. Entrants must be 18 or over.

31 comments:

  1. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  2. The series sounds great. I have the first book waiting on my Kindle. :)

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  3. This series sounds wonderful! Thanks for the chance to win!!

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  4. I am going to have to check this series out. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

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  5. I loved the other books in this series and can't wait to read this one. Great covers too. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. I've got ANOTHER WAY ready to be read, and the whole series looks great!

    --Trix

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  7. Lori Jolly
    Sounds like a amazing read . I will have to take a look see into the other 2 reads in this series , Thanks for the giveaway .

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  8. Thanks girls :D And sorry but I can't chose, there are too many :P

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  9. This sounds awesome!! Thanks for the giveaway <3

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  10. Loved BDSM week. Great guest posts and awesome giveaways.

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  11. Really enjoyed the first two of the series and excited for #3.

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  12. Awesome review and great post Tina & Anna. So interesting, can't wait to start this one. :)
    Macky. Good luck everyone!

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  13. adding this series to my wish list...sounds awesome

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  14. Absolutely love following your post. I know where to go to get a good "oh so naughty" read :-) yeah, l love my naughty books.

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  15. This is an awesome series and I would love to win a signed copy of "To Say I Love You".

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  16. Those are some really eye catching covers =D They sound really good too

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  17. I see I have a new series to follow. This series sounds amazing. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of To Say I Love You.

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  18. My favorite BDSM book would have to "Fifty Shades of Grey". It was my first and I think it will always be my favorite.

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  19. This series sounds great. Count me in please.

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  20. I am getting this series. Thanks again for some amazing books.

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  21. Sounds good! Thanks for the chance!

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  22. This looks realllllly good!

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  23. I love the BDSM series Masters of Ménage series by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake and Masters of the Shadowlands Series by Cherise Sinclair!!!

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