To Menage or Not To Menage

I’ve been a terrible blogger lately, I know. November has been a killer month. Losing most of the first week for Disney, my son’s birthday, which involved two parties, my daughter getting sick, budget time at the day job and Thanksgiving really sucked up tons of time. Add to that my official participation in NaNoWriMo, and the month literally slipped through my hands at lightning speed.

It wasn’t a bad month, just busy, and I did finish the story for NaNoWriMo. Right now, the first draft comes in at about 52K words, and it is complete. It’s the shortest book I have ever written, though it will likely end up a little longer than that by the time the revision process is complete. But the plot changed a little bit from my first vision for this story.

During all the madness of the month, I managed to find myself some snippets of time in which to read. Trusty Sony Reader in hand, I took advantage of smoke breaks at work (and home), sitting in the car waiting to pick up kids, or in the doctor’s waiting room, etc. In typical fashion, I focused on a certain genre, glutting myself on it. It started a couple of months back, when I read Kari Gregg’s “Lovely Wicked” and HC Brown’s “My Purr-Fect Alphas.” Both of them featured ménage plotlines, and the emotional depth of both just blew me away. And they got me to thinking.

Now, I’ve read just about everything you can think of, and there is very little that bothers me, and a whole lot that just sucks me in and gets my mind going. For some time, I’d been toying with the idea of a ménage storyline, but haven’t really given it a go, because I honestly don’t feel I can do it justice. And there are variations, though I’ve mostly read m/f/m books. But it complicated how I wanted to go with it. Sometimes the men have a sexual relationship with each other, sometimes they don’t. I don’t have a preference as far as what I want to read, but again, don’t really think I have what it takes to write the m/m relationship the way it deserves.

But, inspired by the superb books I recently devoured, I did finally take the plunge and added some ménage scenes to the story I just completed. In this case, the third partner is actually the hero’s brother, and he’s invited to participate by the hero, who doesn’t have the best intentions. In fact, his intentions are pretty rotten. But the men do not have any sort of sexual contact, because incest is one of my personal squicks. The bottom line though, there was never any plan to have the three of them permanently together, and I wonder if I made the right choice including that part of the plot. Specifically, the way it came about – it will likely be viewed by some as occurring in a truly un-heroic way, to the point where the consent is dubious. Though, as my critique partners can attest, I like my heroes to be villainous in some ways.

I’d love to hear some opinions on this from those who read and write m/m or ménage books. I haven’t really looked at any stats, what’s popular? I realize there’s no right or wrong, but what seems to be the most common variations? I’ve noticed that everything I’ve read involves BDSM as well, and I wonder why that is? Is there such a thing as a vanilla ménage? I haven’t come across any yet, but would love to check some out.

And of course, I’ll take any and all reading recommendations! 😉

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Men In Uniform

Today I am in between trips to Orlando. I got back Wednesday from a business trip for my day job – it was a tradeshow for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. It was actually a really cool show – there were all kinds of things related to law enforcement, like guns, body armor, police cars with flashing lights (which got REAL annoying after a few days), SWAT vehicles and helicopters. Not to mention all the men in various uniforms – not only police officers, but military as well. and FBI and DEA agencies. It was quite enjoyable, all those men (and many women too) walking around, looking official and damn sexy! I do love men in uniform, not to mention a good many of them were carrying handcuffs! 😉 LOL!

One highlight was an exhibitor’s booth for a company that makes a license plate recognition system for things like remote ticketing. It so happens that we’ve been trying to sell our cameras into this company for some time, as we market the component cameras for many other companies with similar systems. This company though had a celebrity on hand to promote their products:

Anybody remember him? Yep, it’s Erik Estrada, the star of CHiPs, from the 1970’s. I think he looks pretty good, doesn’t he? I look like hell, long days on the floor and being a little nervous will do that to you. It was a delight to meet him, sadly, he ran out of pictures to autograph, so I grabbed the first thing I could find in my bag – the pad I had made with the cover of In The Devil’s Arms! He was quite interested in that, so we talked about it for a few minutes before I got my hug and picture. He really was quite charming. And I also left him with a page from the pad and urged him to buy the book! LOL! Definitely the highlight of the trip.

But now I am frantic, as I am heading back to Orlando, this time for a well-deserved Disney vacation. Traveling alone is much easier, I have one checked bag, my carry-on and my purse. This will be an interesting test of my organization skills. I think we’re in good shape, though I could use another day or so to prepare. The only other issue is I am losing the first three days of NaNoWritMo, so I’ll have to work extra hard next weekend to catch up.

(Too Many) Characters Welcome

So as I plan for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been tossing around a few ideas. I really wanted to work on my sci-fi themed story, but technically, I’m not supposed to as I have already started it. I only have 8K words so far, but I wouldn’t count them in my totals written for the month, if I went with this story.
One in particular keeps coming to the forefront as I jot down brief notes for characters I may want to write about (their names, their appearance and the like). These characters are part of my medieval family I created when I wrote The Heart of The Panther. My critique partners may remember Gillian and Royce, and Gillian’s brother Simon and his “from-another-time-but-really-from-his-time” woman, Caroline. I know, that was confusing. But years ago, I started a story involving Gillian and Royce’s daughter, Marisa. I got about seven chapters into that one and it kind of withered and died on the vine. The plot was illogical, as were some of Marisa’s actions. But I’ve got a new slant on her now, and her nemesis Iain, the Scottish warrior who wants vengeance against Marisa’s father. So I’m leaning toward writing that this month – I have an opening already in mind, and I think I can reasonably tie in a bunch of kink to really spice the story up. It should work well, considering that opening scene does place her in a captive role.
The catch? I have a really great (IMO) idea for Helene and Devlin’s daughter as well. Since the Marchand men are happily and proudly Dominants, I wondered what a Marchand woman would be like. I tend to prefer to write my stories with a male Dom and a female sub, though I do enjoy reading a good ménage where there are both female and male subs in the relationship. But I cannot get into the mindset of a female Domme, or a male sub to be able to do a story like that justice. I guess I’m wired to prefer a male Dom and female sub. But being that Regine Marchand is a headstrong, independent woman, it should follow, that as a Marchand, she would be natural in the Dominant role. But I couldn’t help thinking what if she was truly a submissive, and didn’t recognize the fact?  And I have just the guy to show her how to face the reality she isn’t a Domme. The setting for this book worked out pretty well, as I used my love of horses and riding and the equestrian world in general to make her a professional three-day eventer who gets caught up in a scandal. Who suspends her from competition? None other than the man who showed her what it means to accept submission at the hands of a strong yet loving Dom. And you know those equestrians, they have all sorts of gear that lends itself to a BDSM relationship.
Then I decide I’d like to travel back in time again and want to write Marisa and Iain. As usual, I can’t make up my mind – it’s like trying to decide between the Brownie Sundae cake and the Italian pastries for dessert. Can’t I have them all?
So the debate continues – I may just have to flip a coin. I’d love your opinions. What do you think? Which would you rather read?


NaNoWriMo

I’ve seen the talk increasing over the last few weeks, and think I might actually sign up for NaNoWriMo this year. I never “officially” join in, but the last two years, I did participate on my own. Last year, I wrote almost the entire story of Lily and Aidan (Healing the Mage), even if I did end up cutting a good third of it. The year before was a huge chunk of In The Devil’s Arms (won’t even mention how much of that got cut!).  I’ve been toying with which ideas to focus on this time around.


This year, I think I’m going to focus on my sci-fi-ish ms, Prince of the Universe ( a little Highlander influence showing up there!). I’m about 25 pages in with it, and the characters there are really calling to me. Since I’m losing a nice chunk of November this year (family Disney trip, little guy’s b-day, Thanksgiving, though I don’t host, thank God!, and very busy at work), I’ve decided that I will, for the first time ever, see if I can write something less than 100K words. Actually, I may shoot for half that with this story. I’m hopeful, even if my last “short story” ended up at 113K words! I figure the lack of available days may help in that goal.

So we’ll see how it goes with this, for the first time, I have a basic, relatively simple plot, though we’ll see how long that lasts. And, the hero in this story also has a brother, but he’s been patiently waiting for me to get to him. Good thing. He’s got plenty of time to hang out, as long as he doesn’t make a mess of the place, or get too demanding. Because otherwise, I’ll have to banish him to the dark corners of the basement until I’m ready to deal with him.

Authors, are you planning to participate this year? If so, what are your plans for the month?