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Review: Beyond the Pale Motel by Francesca Lia Block

This ended up being less of a review and more of an essay on why I feel this book is a brilliant piece of modern literature that may go under-appreciated by critics.

I was lucky enough to get an advance reading copy of Francesca Lia Block’s new book Beyond the Pale Motel. Reading it turned me inside out. If you don’t want spoilers, the one thing I’ll tell you is that it’s by far the darkest of her books. It’s also heartrendingly, undeniably, a terrific work of fiction and one that lands smack in the middle of a moment in our culture when a lot of us find ourselves suddenly questioning the casual misogyny inbred in literature. This book stabs right at that Gordian knot with a bloody switchblade. Continue reading →

Daron’s Guitar Chronicles Re-Read: Join In Now on Wattpad!

dgc_1_wattpadVarious fans have told me recently that they wish they had started reading Daron’s Guitar Chronicles sooner. They feel like they kind of missed the boat on discussing the early chapters.

So here’s what we’re doing. I’m going to keep posting new chapters to the regular Daron’s Guitar Chronicles website, but starting TODAY we’re starting a re-read and re-launch from the very beginning on Wattpad!

Wattpad is a serial fiction site that has 25 million users, only 10% of whom are authors. Wattpad also has a social media aspect to it: you can vote for your favorite chapters and stories, become a “fan” so you’ll be notified when new chapters appear, etc.

A new chapter of Daron’s Guitar Chronicles will appear EVERY DAY on Wattpad until we’re synched up, after which I’ll just mirror the two new posts a week on the DGC site onto Wattpad, too.

So if you’ve been thinking about wanting to read my magnum opus about a gay guitar player trying to make it as a rock star in the 1980s, here’s a great chance to do so.

Making an account on Wattpad is free, and just like on the DGC site both I and Daron will answer comments addressed to us! So come and get started. To give people a running start, the first 30 posts are already live and we’ll start adding one a day from here on out! Jump in: http://www.wattpad.com/story/49160-daron%27s-guitar-chronicles

How The Line Between Fantasy and Reality Defines Consent

How The Line Between Fantasy and Reality Defines Consent: And Why It Matters
by Cecilia Tan

This blog post is prompted by two things that happened today. One, a male writer friend I respect a lot and who is clueful about many things including sexuality and feminism asked me: “Serious question: I’d love to hear your thoughts, as a kink-friendly feminist Asian woman, about racial fetishes. Blog post?”

The other is that right before reading his message, I had just gotten email from a reader who wrote: “Anything that makes violence abuse and torture seem more attractive, i.e. associating it with getting off sexually or glorifying in anyway, is keeping us from developing into a more enlightened society” and also “those feminists who think that rape portrayed in any format is okay are just shooting a cause in the foot.” This fan is someone that I met at a BDSM convention and their email to me says they’re okay with common consensual BDSM activities like bondage and flogging and spanking. What prompted their reaction was not the convention, but reading some of my fan fiction that featured “non-con” — non-consensual acts. (If you’re new to me: I’m a professional writer of erotica, romance, and sf/fantasy whose fiction often deals with BDSM. I also write fanfic for fun.)

You might think that someone who was okay with BDSM wouldn’t be able to make a statement like “Anything that makes violence abuse and torture seem more attractive, i.e. associating it with getting off sexually or glorifying in anyway, is keeping us from developing into a more enlightened society.” The point I’d like to make here is not that this particular fan is confused or a hypocrite, it’s to point out that this particular kind of hypocrisy is VERY COMMON. So common perhaps we should say it’s human nature, except then we’d have to accept it instead of trying to change it. And I’m trying to change it. My activism and my creative life for the past 23 years have been built on trying to change it, on the following basis: Continue reading →

Slow Satisfaction video chat with Cecilia Tan: archive

For those who missed the video chat I did last night to celebrate the launch of Slow Satisfaction, it’s now on YouTube! It’s one hour, includes me answering questions from readers, talking about my upcoming projects, talking about BDSM and romance, and at the very end I read a somewhat non-spoilery erotic snippet.

Slow Satisfaction Casting Call: who would play Karina or James?

Many people have asked me who I would cast in a dream movie version of the Struck by Lightning trilogy. When Slow Surrender first came out I had posted the following:

Well, my basis for my male main character is a young David Bowie, but he’s too old to play this role now by far! A contemporary actor who could pull it off… maybe Cilian Murphy if you lightened his hair?

The female main character, Karina, who narrates the story, is a little trickier. I don’t describe her in great detail since the book is from her point of view and I want the reader to be able to see herself in Karina’s shoes. I picture her as a small woman. A good fit would be Nora Zehetner (she played Eden on Heroes and Dr. Reed Adamson on Grey’s Anatomy).

Now that the final book in the trilogy is coming out (Slow Satisfaction) I figured it was time to put my Google-Fu to some use and look for more possible images.

Several readers have told me that in their minds, they’ve already cast Benedict Cumberbatch as James. He’s a versatile actor and I’m 100% sure he would excel in the role! I went hunting for an appropriate image.

The other actor I mentioned above is Cilian Murphy, who I just learned from Wikipedia was in a rock band before he turned to acting!

Cillian Murphy OIFF2012” by Odessa International Film Festival – http://oiff.com.ua/ru/2012-festival/photovideo/. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

You know who I think could pull off Karina’s cheeky personality really well, though? How about the now twenty-something Emma Watson?

Emma Watson: Look at that kinky little key on her necklace. Whose collar (or heart) do you suppose it unlocks?

Emma Watson: Look at that kinky little key on her necklace. Whose collar (or heart) do you suppose it unlocks?

Hm, especially since Emma is often seen in slightly kinky fashions, like the ankle chain high heels she was photographed wearing in New York City in 2012, in chain mail for the cover of Vogue, a barely-there black lace number, or the heavy chain necklace she wore in Marie Claire.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

A few readers have told me that in their minds they’ve cast Benedict Cumberbatch as James. Something tells me Mr. Cumberbatch would have a lot of fun with the role. There’s probably no part he can’t play, though! Quite a talented man, Mr. Cumberbatch.

Okay, but what about the supporting characters?

constance_wu_eastsidersFor Becky, Karina’s roommate, I’d cast Constance Wu, an actress i discovered in the web series Eastsiders by Kit Williamson. (It’s a fab gay web series, watch it online here: Episode 1. Kit, the writer and one of the main actors in it is now on Mad Men.) Constance has also been in Torchwood, CSI, and various other shows and movies.

Harder to cast is Ferrara Huntington, the former starlet turned media-mogul’s wife, who is the antagonist in this story. Really, Ferrara is like everyone else in the story: looking for love. But she’s looking in the wrong places. I cast Monica Bellucci here, but I think there are many actresses between age 35 and 40 who could pull off the slightly menacing sensuality that Ferrara exudes.

What about you? Who would you cast if you were directing a movie of the Struck by Lightning books?

Some thoughts on success (as a writer)

Some thoughts on success.

If you want a concrete measure of how different this year was from every other year of my career, here’s one:

This was the first time I went to cons and did not worry about how much a burger cost.

I did a lot of cons this year. I went to romance conventions, science fiction cons, writers conferences, BDSM events, and more. And not once did I balk at ordering that overpriced but oh-so-delicious burger from room service, the one that makes my poor introverted, battered soul feel whole again after a day of being “on.” Sometimes it came with fries. Sometimes with sweet potato tater tots. Sometimes with avocado and bacon. It was always, always satisfying. And in that sense it was worth every penny. Maybe food tastes better when it’s not tinged with worry that I can’t afford it. Continue reading →

Slow Satisfaction BDSM Book Hooks! #MFRWhooks

No, I don’t mean suspension hooks, I mean delicious snippets from the book SLOW SATISFACTION! My latest BDSM romance, the final installment in the Struck by Lightning Trilogy, came out yesterday! Every week a group of romance writers all post a bunch of “book hooks” so check out links to all of them at the bottom of the post.

Spankings and bondage don’t make a person fall in love any more than candlelight and roses do.

    1. “Negotiation is fun. Contracts are dull.” (Said James while running a cane over Karina’s buttocks)
    2. “Spanking is only for those I love, not those I loathe.” -James
    3. “Spankings and bondage don’t make a person fall in love any more than candlelight and roses do.”
    4. “Any penalty he exacted if I failed would be as much fun as any reward for success. BDSM was win-win that way.”
    5. Karina: “So our safeword is ‘no?’” James: “It’s a perfectly good word, isn’t it?”
    6. “Oh fuck,” I said, and I meant it.

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It’s launch day for SLOW SATISFACTION! BDSM blog tour stops today:

slow_satisfaction_150pxWhew! It’s Day One of the Slow Satisfaction Blog Tour and there are a LOT of places you can read about the book, me, and enter to win copies:

Two hot excerpts (warning: spoilers) along with giveaways for 10 sets of autographed books (all three in the series!) are at Katiebab’s Babbling About Books and at Smut and Bon Bons.

And then a third excerpt (warning: spoilers) is up on a plethora of blogs. Thanks to the Mixed Emotions Book Blog, My Book Filled Life, Deal Sharing Aunt, Sapphyria’s Steamy Reviews, Confessions of a Librarian in Training, Buttontapper Press, and Jersey Girl Sizzling Reviews for blitzing the excerpt on launch day!

Eager Reader posted the first review!
“Soooo thankful that I got my hands on this book a little bit early since this has become one of my favorite series to date. We have been taken on such a roller coaster and the games that they play are so intricate that I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been really excited to see where it goes… while i’m sad that the trilogy is over, I’m really happy with how it went!”

Read the full review here: Eager Reader.

And I wrote a guest blog for Rainy Day Reviews:

“I wanted to write a story about a kinky billionaire because I feel some of the books out there are, well, giving kinky billionaires a bad name.”

Read my guest blog on why I wrote Slow Satisfaction: BookjunkieMom’s Rainy Day Reviews.

Many more blogs, contests, and interviews are coming in the next 14 days!

Oh, also, did you see that the UK/Australia/NZ ebook editions of all three Struck by Lightning books launched today, too? From Piatkus Entice, an imprint of Little, Brown UK! Check it out: http://www.piatkusentice.co.uk/ebooks/slow-surrender/

SLOW SATISFACTION has finally arrived! BDSM romance trilogy wraps up.

Yes, I know you’ve been waiting a long time for this book! So have I! But release day is here! To celebrate, here’s a sample chapter, as well as easy handy links to where you can buy it online or find a local independent bookseller with it on hand!

Slow Satisfaction (#3 in the Struck by Lightning trilogy)

ISBN 9781455529285 • $10 paperback/$4.99 ebook

Click for high res

The conclusion of the saga of Karina and James! James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit–not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won’t give up on Karina and he will do whatever it takes to get her back. He’s ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them? When James is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, he must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina’s secret sex life… a sex life that keeps getting hotter! Will Karina and James’s love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way? More info: Hachette (publisher)

Buy SLOW SATISFACTION: Apple iBookstore | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | Indiebound | Amazon (pb and Kindle)

SAMPLE CHAPTER: (***Spoiler Warning!*** This sample is from partway through the book!) Continue reading →

Authors After Dark picspam! Costumes, authors, etc! #aadchar

Under the cut, what it says on the tin. Picspam of lots of authors and costumes (often authors IN costumes) as well as some random sunsets and stuff, from the 2014 Authors After Dark conference. (Note: next year will be in Atlanta. Tickets go on sale soon!)

Includes: Andrew Grey, Tilly Green, Kallypso Masters, TJ Michaels, Leanna Renee Hieber, Sasha White, Yvette Hines, Siobhan Muir, Annabel Joseph, Stella Price, and many more (including me, Cecilia Tan).

Continue reading →

Cecilia Tan's books on Goodreads
The Siren and the Sword The Siren and the Sword (Magic University, #1)
reviews: 16
ratings: 88 (avg rating 3.60)

Boys of the Bite: A Gay Vampire Anthology Boys of the Bite: A Gay Vampire Anthology
reviews: 9
ratings: 55 (avg rating 3.65)

The Velderet The Velderet
reviews: 11
ratings: 49 (avg rating 3.98)

The Prince's Boy: Volume One The Prince's Boy: Volume One (The Prince's Boy, #1)
reviews: 21
ratings: 49 (avg rating 3.88)