I have gotten a lot of compliments on the cover art--no surprise, it's amazing!
The artist is Shobana Appavu (aka Bob) -- check out her website!
I have a release date!!! September 24. Yes, I'm totally stoked! I'm going through final edits now (mostly checking for formatting issues); I've listed Bound on Good Reads...and set up a Good Reads giveaway (it'll be up on the 1st of Sept.)
In the meantime, I'm on the Dreapspinner Press coming soon page!
Check it out:
It seems as if BDSM is getting a bit more popular, perhaps (in part) thanks to That Book. You know the one. And here's the irony, the original working title for Bound was Shades of Gray! Seriously. It was in reference to life being shades of gray as well as gray being hanky code for bondage. (And oh Good Lord, there's an APP for that!! That is truly frightening.)
But any rate, I'm so glad I changed the title--although chances are my publisher would have suggested as much if they'd gotten it with the working title. (And for the record, I started Bound long before I'd ever heard of those other books).
So anyway, it seems as if BDSM is getting a bit more popular in literature, which I count as a good thing... except that this particular sub genre is so poorly understood, not only by readers, but by some writers as well.
Now, here's where I start to feel as I'm moving into dangerous territory. I consider it bad form for an author to slam other authors and their books in a public forum (unless it's really warranted, which in a few cases, it is, because when abuse starts getting passed off as BDSM, that's just dangerous.)
And of course writing is about fantasy; I don't necessarily need to see my perfect fictional Dom running out for milk or changing the kitty litter, even though in real life, he might do just that. Still, is there anything wrong with injecting a little realism into the fantasy?
There is a great series out there that I enjoyed reading...but it's so hard to swallow the stupidly rich Dom with the incredible home dungeon who belongs to the perfect BDSM club. No bad seeds, no troublemakers, not even a stain on the carpet or a chip in the pain. Now, tight-knit communities do tend to police their own and weed out the bad seeds, but it isn't really always sunny in Philadelphia--or Letherville, either.
The two authors of non-fiction BDSM I mention in Bound are Jack Rinella and David Stein. They're writers whose books I've enjoyed and who have their heads screwed on straight. As much as I've benefited from the freedom that comes with digital printing (freedom that allows publishers to take chances on unknown writers like me!) it has come with a price: anybody with an idea can publish a book. There's a lot of crap out there folks. If you're even remotely interested in BDSM (or any combination of letters), be careful who you get involved with.
I didn't list Dan and Dawn Williams by name, but their book, Living D/s provided a great deal of inspiration for Bound.
Now, do let me set the record straight, I didn't just read books, I'm a kinky little girl in my own right. I just haven't ever had the desire to live it 24/7. There's a world of difference between living in a D/s or M/s relationship and doing it for a couple of hours in the bedroom. That said, all of the things that run through Jason's head when he starts to realize how much he loves submitting are things that ran through my head at one time. What kind of person wants to submit to someone else? Does it make me weak? Or am I just royally fucked up? The answer is no and no.
The advice Henry gives Jason (go out and meet other people in the community) was the best thing I ever could have done, myself. Seeing that submissives aren't doormats (just the opposite, in fact!) was pretty darned empowering. I'm also glad that my husband and I ended up (by sheer chance) in the right community--because there are (or were at the time) a couple of different BDSM communities in our neck of the woods. One actively practiced Safe, Sane, and Consensual.
The other, not so much. My ex ended up going to a couple of munches and grumbling, no doubt, about our many marital problems (of which my refusal to submit scenes I found uncomfortable and potentially dangerous was only the tip of the ice burg of our problems--but it did signal an end to intimacy. I did mention that subs weren't doormats, right?) At least one so-called Dom in this other group told my ex how wrong I was because "A sub always does what the Dom says".
Let's say it together class: BULLSHIT.
So, the lesson here: safe, sane, and consensual isn't just a tagline, it's a reality. If you're interested in BDSM, read, learn, TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE and listen to your gut. If somebody gives you a "bad feeling" or says something that doesn't quite jive, don't walk, RUN in the opposite direction. BDSM isn't the same thing as abuse--far from it, in fact.
|and you can believe we met couples who looked an awful|
lot like this when we started getting out into the community!
- http://mistress160.blogspot.com/?zx=1469acd7f4aec747 (she hasn't updated in a while, but this is one of my favorite blogs)
And oh yes, it IS Wednsday!
Not that these guys have anything to do with today's recipe... well... it IS "creamy" spinach pie....
Creamy Spinach Pie
- Food Processor (although you can substitute a fine chop by hand if you don't have one)
- Pastry brush (any brand new, clean, paint brush will work; we have two one is one inch, the other is three inches; I used the bigger one for this)
- 9x13 baking pan
- spoon, knife, cutting board, spatula
- big bowl
- 2 bags spinach (baby or not so baby; especially if you're using a food processor, it's fine to use "adult" spinach. All I did was pull out the biggest stems and pitch them). Either chop it really fine or food process it
- Garlic. Okay, I like garlic. I used a whole head (it was DINKY!) You might want less
- 1 medium-ish onion (we always cook with red onions)
- 1 1/2 15 oz tubs of ricotta (full fat, no fat, some of each, take your pick); I only used 1 15 oz. tub the first time around and it definitely needed more.
- 1 lb of feta (give or take)
- 1 Tablespoon parsley (okay, I confess, I just shake the stuff in)
- 1 Tablespoon dill (ditto) If you can get fresh dill and especially fresh parsley, GO FOR IT!
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 box of fillo/filo dough (I've seen both spellings on boxes)
- Olive oil (a couple of Tablespoons worth)
- Butter (or sub. olive oil); this is for the bottom of the baking dish. I just like a to add a little butter to the recipe.
Take one half of the filo/fillo out to thaw (it should come in two wrapped bags inside the box)
Chop and saute onions in a a tablespoon or so of olive oil until translucent; either dice or press the garlic, and add it to the pan to cook down as well.
While onions and garlic are cooking (covered and on very low heat), begin the job of food processing the spinach. You don't want it to look like baby food, but it should be pretty small. If you're working with fresh parsley and dill, throw that into the processor too; if you're working with flakes, those can go directly into the pan.
Once the onions have become translucent, add the spinach; if you're using dried parsley and dill, this is a good time to add it. Cover again and leave on very low heat.
Dump the ricotta and feta into your food processor and blend until creamy smooth. Add the egg yolks and give it another good spin.
Remove spinach from heat after about two minutes and dump it into the big bowl; set it aside to cool.
Grease bottom and sides of baking dish with butter. Carefully unroll the filo. Begin layering the filo into the pan. Work slowly and carefully; lay down one layer of dough (should just about fit your pan) and gently brush on a SMALL AMOUNT of olive oil. To much oil and you'll have a soggy mess. I like to put down six layers of filo on the bottom of the pan. Yummy, but not overkill.
By now, the the spinach should be fairly cool. Stir in the cheese mixture. Give the whole thing a good stir and pour it into the pan. Well. Gloop it into the pan. Use the spatula to gently smooth it into an even layer.
Add another 5 to 6 layers of filo to the top, using the same process as you used for the bottom. If there are "flaps" sticking out at the sides, I tuck them into the pan as best as I can. Make sure to add olive oil to the top of the top layer. Remember not to use too much.
Pop the pan into an a three hundred and fifty degree oven. (My 9x13 pan happens to be glass, so it has to go into a COLD oven, metal pans can go into preheated ovens). Cook for about 25 minutes. Switch to broil and give it five to ten more minutes (until top is beautiful golden brown).
Remove from oven. Serve and enjoy!
Now... you're going to have extra filo dough and extra ricotta... imagine if you will a sweet and creamy desert with a little sugar, vanilla, another egg yolk, and perhaps some almond extract stuffed into filo dough (smaller pan, same method as you used to make the pie).
Last but not least, here's some more exciting news
Ghosthunting Michigan comes out on September 11 and Clerisy Press has me scheduled to do quite a few book signings! Of course, if any of y'all are in any of the neighborhoods and want to drop in and say "howdy"......
I'll be giving an interview on the 9am segment of Fox Morning News (local channel 2/WJLB)
Books a Million in Monroe 12 noon
Barnes and Noble in West Bloomfield 12 noon
Just Imagine Books in Chelsea 2pm
Barnes and Noble in Troy 1pm
Crazy Wisdom in Ann Arbor 7pm
Book Connection in Livonia 6pm
Nicola's books in Ann Arbor 7pm
Grand Rapids Public Library 7pm