Thursday, August 29, 2013

Three Wishes For Three Lovers

Today I’m participating in the Three Wishes Blog Blitz, hosted by author Juliet Madison! From 2nd to 6th September you’ll have the chance to win some awesome prizes at all the blogs participating in the blitz, including mine. All you have to do is follow my instructions below for winning the prize I have on offer, and then you can click over to Juliet’s blog to enter her prize draw, and see the list of all other blogs taking part and enter their giveaways as well. How cool is that? Why is it called the Three Wishes Blog Blitz? Juliet’s new  romantic comedy release, I Dream of Johnny, is about three wishes, a high-tech genie in a lamp, and one very unfortunate typo that proves magic isn’t all it cracked up to be…

 Once upon a time in a land far, far away, lived an innocent young woman who believed that sex was not something good girls thought about and they certainly never talked or read about it. Her perceptions were so bland they didn't even qualify as vanilla. She never read Romance, only Crime and Sci-Fi.
Then one day, she walked past a store selling books at a discount. One of books  looked interesting...a blood covered knife and a shadowy couple embracing and the title "Kill and Tell" certainly said Crime.
And that was how I discovered LInda Howard and the Romantic Suspense genre and I have never looked back. Before long i was snapping up every Romance novel I could, in every sub-genre. And I discovered something about myself. I had fantasies, and they involved multiple partners.
I'd wanted to write for years, but never knew what sort of story I wanted to tell. Now I knew. I loved this genre, and those fantasies of mine could fuel my stories. My first foray into the genre was "Ghostly menage." I wrote it, throwing my whole heart( and a few other quite interested bits) into the story of kelsey and her three hot ghosts.
I sent it of to a publisher and had an acceptance before the day was out. You better believe that was my first wish come true.

After that I settled into a pattern of writing the occasional m/f romance, but time after time I returned to the Menage genre. I've written historical menage, paranormal menage and Sci-Fi menage. For me three wishes means something much more earthy than fairy dust and pumpkins at midnight.
In my historical menage The Gardener's Sins, Lady Mary Linden wishes for a more interesting education than is usual for girls of her era. The lessons Drake the gardener, and her cousin Harry give her take her to places she'd never dreamed existed.
 The next novel I have coming out is a sequel to Warrior's Apprentice, called Warriors and Lovers. The plot line is driven by Eora, a feisty Dvalinn woman who has one wish. To find out everything she can about Humans.  In her attempts to fulfil this wish she and her lover Nieko stumble across the human Elijah. Together the three of them must defeat a deadly enemy who has plotted to destroy the Dvalinn race. Only then can Eora, Nieko and Elijah  have the most common wish of live happily ever after.

I have three great giveaways to go with this blog tour. A key chain from Swagmasters designs featuring the cover of The Gardener's Sins: for Australian readers only, a print copy of Watching Amy, (mention in the comments that you are Australian): a PDF of another historical menage, All Romance ebooks best seller A Boudoir for Three. All you have to do is leave a comment, no matter how brief. Just hello will do!

Once you’ve entered my giveaway, visit Juliet’s blog & enter her giveaway too, and visit any or all of the other participating blogs to enter more prize draws. You could potentially win a whole heap of prizes! Good luck! Visit the official Blog Blitz post here: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 2, 2013

Two Charming Heroes--And One Lucky Woman

What happens when two heroes ditch the charm to fight over one woman?

Seasoned warrior Tybor has been selected to train rookie soldier Huon, to kill an enemy human.  Tybor discovers Huon is being sent on a suicide mission, and goes AWOL to protect him.
To infiltrate the enemy's headquarters in Venice, Huon has to seduce the chief weapons officer, an attractive woman called Judie. Tybor wants Huon to go home, and leave the mission to him, including the seduction of Judie, to him.
From Warrior's Apprentice.

Huon walked on, circling around the twisted streets of Venice, returning to the restaurant twice more before he finally found her. At the back, sitting alone at a table set for four, was Judie Scanlon. A waiter stood at the table, writing as she spoke, words Huon was too far away to hear distinctly but which seemed to be in fluent Italian. Huon steadied his breathing and sauntered inside. Some of the tension eased from his shoulders as he looked around. Every table had at least one occupant, giving him the excuse he needed. He stepped up to her table, rested his hand on top of the vacant chair and flashed what he hoped was a reassuring smile, not the nervous grimace it felt like.
“Do you speak English?”
She nodded, her expression distant, as if she looked past him.
“There are no vacant tables,” Huon said, gesturing around the restaurant with one hand. “Would you mind if I shared yours?”
Then Judie Scanlon looked at him and Huon gripped the back of the chair. A man could drown in the depths of those soft brown eyes. They glanced around the restaurant, sweeping over several empty chairs at other tables. Huon’s stomach clenched. She was going to say no.
Alysha Ellis
He smiled, opening his eyes wider, aiming for innocence. If he had to be slender and boy-like, he might as well make the most of it. “I’m glad you speak English. I would be very grateful if you could help me with the menu.” The smile he maintained made his cheeks ache but he had to break through the barrier of this first conversation. “I heard you speaking Italian to the waiter so I knew you had that part of it right.” A sudden burst of inspiration hit him and he added, “There are other tables with empty seats but I thought it would be nice to sit with you.” He held his breath, wondering if lines like that impressed women.
Nothing he’d ever said to any Dvalinn female had worked, but the human world seemed to be different, because her shoulders lowered and her stiff spine curved into a more relaxed posture and she said, “Sit down.”
He pulled out the chair and settled himself in, taking care not to lean toward her in a manner she might find aggressive or threatening, then picked up the menu and flashed the obviously winning smile again.
“I don’t speak any Italian.”
He figured the small lie wouldn’t count. All the Dvalinn spoke English and Tybor had tried to teach him Italian too, but it hadn’t taken as well as the rest of Tybor’s lessons.
“I don’t understand anything here. What do you recommend to eat?”
Judie Scanlon’s lips moved in a small, social smile and for the moment it was enough. At least she wasn’t ignoring him. She pointed to the menu.
“It depends if you want to embrace the Italian lifestyle and eat your main meal in the middle of the day or if, like me, you prefer to stick with a light lunch and eat more at night.” She pointed to a few items, naming and describing them.
Damn it. What would the kind of male women found attractive do? Show her that in spite of his slight build he had a man’s appetite by ordering everything from antipasto through to dessert? Yeah. That was what someone like Tybor would do, with his solid athletic build and bulky muscles. He raised his hand to summon the waiter but before he arrived, sound and sense belatedly wound their way into Huon’s overloaded brain, alerting him to the second part of Judie’s sentence—stick with a light lunch, like me. If he ordered a huge meal he’d be left on his own, eating. Judie’s light lunch would be over and she’d be gone, taking away his chance to walk with her and get to know her.
The waiter appeared at his side and Huon looked at him in confusion. “I’ll have... I’ll have...what she’s having.”
The waiter rolled his eyes and walked back toward the kitchen.
“Have you been in Venice long?” Judie asked.
“No, I just arrived,” he replied. The exchange seemed too banal to lead anywhere but who was he to judge how conversations that led to sexual encounters began?
The next question was a routine inquiry about his first impressions. Halfway through his answer, the waiter arrived carrying a plate that he set down at Judie’s place.
A rush of cold, nauseous saliva flooded Huon’s mouth and he swallowed it down before he gasped, “You’re not going to eat that.”
Judie’s head jerked up from her smiling contemplation of the meal in front of her. “Of course I am. It’s my favorite.”
“But...but, it’s black and stringy. How can you contemplate putting that, whatever it is, in your mouth?”
“It’s squids’ ink pasta and it’s a Venetian specialty. I thought you knew that,” a deep voice said from behind him.
Before Huon had the chance to turn around, Tybor pulled out one of the remaining two chairs at the table, smiled at Judie, said, “May I?” and, without waiting for an answer, sat down.
“What? What are you doing here?” Huon asked, teeth gritted, fists clenched beneath the cover of the table.
“Young Huon here and I are work colleagues,” Tybor said, grinning at Judie. Then he looked across at Huon. “I brought some extra equipment from head office.”
Anger churned in Huon’s guts. How dare Tybor pull this shit? Everything Tybor had asked him to do, every task, every aching, screaming muscle Huon had pushed to exhaustion, every target he had hit, every minute he had denied himself sleep meant nothing. The bastard was here, taking a seat at the table because he didn’t believe “young Huon here” was good enough to carry out this mission. Huon’s desire to reach out and slam his fist into Tybor’s face fought with the urge to walk out of the restaurant. But from somewhere deep inside he felt a frisson of pleasure because it was so good to see that toned body again.
The sense of duty Tybor had instilled into Huon’s very bones kept him seated at the table. Be damned if he would do anything to validate Tybor’s lack of faith in him.
Judie glanced from one man to the other, her eyes flicking uneasily between them. Whether her nervousness was caused by the tension sparking from him or a more natural unease at the presence at her table of two male strangers, Huon couldn’t tell, but he knew that if something didn’t change she was going to get up and leave. Once she did, the task of infiltrating Hopewood’s headquarters would go from difficult to almost impossible because any further contact with Judie Scanlon under those circumstances would set all her stalker alarms ringing.
The best way to allay her fears was to tackle them head-on. “When I sat down at your table, I didn’t intend to usurp it for a business meeting,” Huon said, forcing his lips into what he hoped was a reassuring smile. “I had no idea my colleague had come to Venice.” He hoped his expression didn’t reflect his feelings, because if it did, the smile would have morphed into a snarl.
“The last thing I want to do is upset a beautiful lady,” Tybor said, his smile wide and natural-looking. “If we’re bothering you by being here, we’ll move.”
Judie’s shoulders lowered again, her stiff posture loosened and the tight line of her mouth softened. “It’s routine to share tables at the height of the tourist season. I don’t mind,” she said.
“I’m glad,” Tybor replied. “The meal will be more enjoyable with such charming company.”
A warm, pink blush colored Judie’s cheeks and the pupils of her eyes widened before she dropped her lids, half concealing them. Shit. Tybor had taken over the job of seducing her. Did he think Huon couldn’t do anything? Okay, chances were Tybor had a lot more experience with women than he had—hell, any experience at all would put him ahead of Huon—but did he have to prove it right under his nose?
“What business are you in?”
Judie’s question was general, but Tybor answered it. “Personal security.”
“Bodyguards? I imagine you’d be good at that. You look very fit. You must work out a lot.”
Of course he did. Anyone with eyes could see the perfection of Tybor’s physique. Except Judie wasn’t looking at Tybor, she was looking at Huon and—holy crap!—her lips parted and her tongue slipped out to moisten them.
“Internet and financial security as well,” Tybor continued, nodding at Huon. “Our company covers a wide range of activities. Perhaps we could interest you—”
The reappearance of the waiter interrupted him. Without glancing at the menu, Tybor ordered. “Saltimbocca. Insalata. Valpolicella.” Then he uttered a few more phrases in rapid-fire Italian to the waiter, who hurried off.
Judie Scanlon looked at him and smiled. “You speak Italian very well, Mr...?” Her sentence ended on the uplifted pitch of a query.
“Ty, Ty Borland.” Tybor held out his hand and when Judie raised her own to meet it he lifted it to his lips.
She didn’t snatch it away but looked up at him through her eyelashes. “What a charmingly old-fashioned gesture.”
Tybor placed her hand back down on the table and covered it with his own. “But suited, I hope, to the timeless ambience of Venice.” He leaned forward in exactly the way Huon had decided would not be wise. “And I am an old-fashioned man.”
Huon snorted. Got that right! At least a thousand years old-fashioned.
As if Huon had said the words out loud, Tybor turned his gaze on him. “Did you say something?”
“Me? No. I haven’t had a chance to get a word in, have I?” he replied.
Tybor’s gaze dropped briefly and Huon knew he’d acknowledged the hit.
Tybor drew his hand back and rested it on Huon’s shoulder. “Has my...” there was the slightest hesitation, “colleague introduced himself?”
“Er, no. We hadn’t got around to exchanging names. I’m Judie Scanlon,” she said. 
Huon could feel Tybor’s charm heating the atmosphere until he was sure Judie was ready to eat out of Tybor’s hand, nasty black pasta and all. “May I introduce my colleague, Huon Green?”
Huon’s fists clenched but he kept a smile pasted on his face. Green. Tybor just couldn’t resist the urge to pick at him. Tybor’s presence underlined his lack of confidence in Huon’s ability to succeed on his own and the name Tybor had concocted insulted him but remained true at the same time. Compared to Tybor he was green, but he’d been chosen for this mission for good reasons. No one would ever suspect Huon of being what he was but Tybor, who knew more about women and fighting than Huon ever would, was the epitome of a Dvalinn warrior.
Huon sat at the table in the restaurant, Tybor’s hand on his shoulder, grateful for the polyglot crowd who talked and ate and moved past them to and from tables.
Grateful because if they had not been there, if it had been just himself and Tybor, Huon would not have known whether to hug him or hit him.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chance Encounter

Chance Encounter (A quick read)

Celia sat at the bar in the five star hotel and cursed herself silently. When her mother told her she’d set up a blind date for her,—“With my friend Tessa’s son. He’s a lovely boy. Such a sweet personality,” any normal woman would have reminded her that the last five dates she’d gone on to please her had been disasters. Celia loved her mother, but the woman was determined to see her daughter married. No matter how often Celia tried to tell her she didn’t need her help, her mother kept on trying. Stubborn didn’t begin to describe her. But Celia had had enough. This blind date was the last one she’d ever go on. No matter what her mother did, she’d just say no and keep on saying it.

She’d chosen a seat with a clear view across the lobby to the coffee shop where she was supposed to meet her blind date. If Johnson Bartholomew Winthrop was as pompous and stuffy as his name, she could make her escape without ever speaking to the man.
She ordered a large glass of wine and took a sip. The sip turned into a gulp when a man about thirty years old and thirty pounds overweight, dressed in dark conservative pants and a knit polo shirt that did nothing to hide his paunch, walked up to the coffee shop, cast a quick look around the lobby and scurried inside. Celia swallowed the rest of the wine and stood.
“You’re not leaving are you?”
She turned to see who’d spoken and her heart did a triple somersault. Beside her sat a vision of masculine perfection. Golden blond hair, clear blue eyes and a luscious mouth. His black t-shirt draped over a muscled chest. Blue jeans covered lean, powerful legs. His booted feet hooked over the rungs of the barstool. Her conservative, socialite mother would hate him.
Celia sat back down.
He shifted his stool closer to hers. “Buy you another drink?”
She nodded and her head swam a little. When the wine he ordered arrived, she sipped slowly.
“You staying at the hotel?” His voice had a husky rasp that made Celia’s toes curl.
“I just came to meet someone.”
His lips curled into a delicious smile. “I’m someone.”
Heat burned through Celia’s body. Just once she wanted to rebel, to do something wild and wanton, to show her family she was more than a pawn to be moved into the correct school, the correct college, the correct job and worst of all the correct relationship.
She got to her feet, swayed a little then stood firm. “Do you have a room?”
He straightened. “Honey, are you sure?” He cast a glance at the wine glass in front of her. “Maybe it’s the alcohol talking.”
She grabbed his hand. “I know what I’m doing. I want you. Now.”
He got to his feet, towering five or six inches above her own five foot nine. He put his hand on her shoulders and leaned in close. “If you’re certain this is what you want, I’d love to.”
He pulled her close and the rigid cylinder of his erection pushed against her hip. She clenched her hands to keep from grabbing it right there in the bar, and gasped out through her tight throat. “Come on.”
They shared the elevator with other people, but when they reached his room he pushed her inside, spun her around and body slammed her up against the door. He bent his head and covered her lips with his mouth.
His tongue thrust in and out and hips ground against hers. Moisture flooded her, warm and ready. She reached out and undid the snap of his jeans. The harsh rush of air in and out of fevered lungs drowned out rasp of the zip.  She shoved her hands inside and whimpered in delight.  He wore no underwear.
Her hands closed around his hot, smooth cock.
 He shoved his pants down to his ankles, pausing only to extract a foil packet from the front pocket, then he hiked her dress up to her waist, ripped her thong panties away, covered himself and thrust inside.  She opened her legs wide, aching to take him.
He angled his body and lifted so she sank down on his shaft. The deep penetration forced a gasp of pleasure from her. He gripped her hips and lifted her, then let her slide down until she pressed against the root of his cock. She writhed and twisted, wanting the unbearable tension to snap and push her over the edge and at the same time wanting more, more, more.
Her legs collapsed, but he held her upright, her back pressed against the wall—her hips slamming against it with each thrust.
He groaned and her muscles tensed. The tension coiled higher and higher. Just when she was certain she could take no more he reached down between them with two fingers and pulsed them hard and fast against her clit.
She screamed and her body dissolved into waves of orgasm. Through the roaring of blood in her ears she heard him groan, felt his cock pumping as he came.
After a moment he straightened and gently withdrew. Celia sank towards the floor. He caught her in his arms, carried her to the bed, settled her on top of the covers and kissed her forehead. “I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere.”
Celia heard the snick of the bathroom door open and closing but she lay there, too exhausted and far too satisfied to move.
When he returned, he’d removed the condom and his clothes. Celia couldn’t stop her appreciative grin. He looked just as good without clothes as he did with them. Better. His golden skin stretched across a firm body. She gasped.  On his hip, low and to the centre, he had a small tattoo of a dragon. Her tongue sneaked out to moisten her lips. She wanted to take a long, loving bite of that.
He sat on the side of the bed. “You gonna pull that dress back down and go?”
She lifted her head and looked down at the black material still bunched around her waist. “Do you want me to?”
His eyes grew heavy. “I want you to stay.”
She pulled the dress over her head and flung it aside. “I want that too.”
He lay down beside her. She ran her hands idly over his stomach. He grinned at her. “I’m glad I decided to go into the bar instead of doing what my mother wanted.”
Celia swallowed. “What your mother wanted?”
He shrugged. “She set me up with a blind date with the daughter of some friend of hers. I decided not to go through with it so I went to the bar instead.”
Celia grabbed his hand and held it tight. “What’s your name?”
“Call me J. B.” He looked sheepish. “Who’d want to answer to a name like Johnson Bartholomew Winthrop?”

Monday, December 31, 2012

Hot sun, hot sand and a hot, hot man. Who says an older woman can't have adventure?
Kitty Benson left her home in the UK to find the warmth of the sun 'Down Under'. She never expected the journey to include a life-threatening experience. A toned, tanned Adonis—Zakk—rescues Kitty from a dangerous rip current her first day at the beach. Alive and sunkissed by the Downunder Heat, when Kitty meets her rescuer again, the spark that piqued her interest turns to flames…

Kitty wasn’t a bad swimmer—at home she’d done laps in the pool to keep fit—but, no matter how strongly she stroked, she made no progress. Her arms felt heavy and her breath came in choppy gasps, salt water rasping into her throat as she breathed in. Panic sent her heart pounding and stiffened her muscles, and she sank below the waves. She struggled to reach the surface. From somewhere in her memory came the idea that she should raise her arms above her head to signal distress, but she couldn’t do that without sinking, and in any case she was too far out for anyone to see her.
She lifted her head, took a deep breath—trying to avoid inhaling water—and began to swim for shore again. She refused to drown on her first full day in Australia, on her first visit to the beach.
“I…am…not…drowning. I…am…not…drowning,” she said, her words keeping time with the lift, swing, dive and drag of her arms.
“Pleased to hear that,” a deep Australian male voice said. “But I’d like you to climb on board the surf ski anyway.”
She swung her head and there, right alongside her, was a man—a ridiculous red and yellow cap on his head, his legs astride a long narrow water craft.
He held out a hand to her. “Come on, get on here and we’ll get you out of this rip.”
He reached over and hauled her up out of the water and settled her in front of him on the bright yellow board. She flopped on her stomach, and he leaned across her, his chest against her bottom, his strong arms churning the water, propelling the board, not in towards the beach as she expected, but parallel to it.
“Why aren’t we going in?” she gasped when she got her breath back.
“You haven’t been to the beach much, have you?” he asked, the effort of paddling both of them through the water seeming to have no effect on his ability to hold a conversation.
“No,” she replied, “this is my first day in Australia.”
“Tourists.” Kitty could clearly hear the disdain in his voice. “They just want to hit the water. They never take the time to find out what the dangers are.”
“You mean like sharks and stuff? I thought there were alarms if there were sharks.”
“There would be,” he said. “But since you didn’t hear the whistles and the loud speaker telling you to stay between the flags, what makes you think you’d have heard the shark alarms?”
“There wasn’t any whist—” Kitty stopped what she had been about to say, remembering she had heard something, she just hadn’t thought it was relevant to her. Maybe he had a point.
“In any case,” he went on, “sharks are the least likely problem you’d encounter. Dangerous surf conditions are far more common. The flags are there for a reason. You stay between them so you don’t end up in a rip, like this one.”
As he spoke he turned the board and headed it towards the shore. The surf ski slid forward in a rapid glide that covered the distance in very little time. “Rips are areas where the water moves outwards quickly. People who don’t know what they’re doing get taken out with them. You can tell a rip because the waves are flattened so they look smoother. When you get caught in one, you don’t swim or paddle inwards. You go across it until you get out of it, then you head in, like we just did.”
They reached the sand, and he helped her to stand then grasped the handle of his board and held it to keep it from being washed away.
“Learn to recognise a rip when you see one, and stay between the flags,” he said sternly. “First rule. Don’t ignore it.” Then he smiled at her. “You probably should go to first aid and get checked out. Make sure you’re okay.” He turned and pushed his board back into the water.
Realisation crashed like a wave over Kitty’s head. The man had just saved her life and she hadn’t even thanked him.
“Wait,” she called. He turned around and Kitty gulped. He was gorgeous—long and lean, with powerful muscled thighs, a six pack, broad shoulders and those powerful arms that had lifted her from danger and paddled them both to shore. She swallowed, trying to get some moisture into her dry mouth. “I…” Her voice sounded croaky and she tried again, “I could never have made it back on my own. I would have died. I can never, ever thank you enough. I don’t have any money with me now, but if you tell me how to contact you—”
“I don’t want your money,” he said, taking a step backwards, his hand held up in front of him. “I’m a volunteer lifesaver. No one, not one of us, will take a reward for doing something like this.” He stood there like some tall, earth-bound god, his golden brown eyes warm in the sunlight. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Oldest Dance  Badlibs (A subversion)
Thanks to Lea Barrymire

            Damian stalked across the floor.  His formal tuxedo, clinging lovingly to hard muscle,  made Libby weak. His biceps bulged. His long, toned thighs made her tongue swell. He was so starkly elegant that he made her feel over-frilly in comparison. His dark eyes sparkled with energy.

            “Get over here, Libby. I want your body and can’t stop myself from going after you.” He swiveled his hips sexily, making her heart beat.

            “Oh, Damian. Be careful with me. I haven’t practiced these moves in so long.” Libby muttered.  Her eyes slid closed and her head fell back.

            His linen clad sleeve touched her mouth and drew a sigh from her lips. A calloused hand stroked her shoulder making her tight skin shiver. With three fingers, he entered the hollow at the base of her spine. She couldn’t stop the sigh from escaping her. 

            “Lie back, Libby. Let me take control.  I want you running like a well-oiled machine before I drive you up,” he whispered softly. 

            She smiled, nodding. She pushed her hips forward and growled deep in her throat. “Anything you want, Damian. I want to feel your moves so badly I can barely stand it.”

            A shiver skated underneath the silk of her clothing at the feel of his thigh  crushed against hers. Sensations like an earthquake moved up and down her spine. She could feel the building tremors start with the first rhythmic thrust.  She looked up into his face. His intense eyes glowed with passion.  His leg pressed deeply against her mons. She could feel his hard cock. His increased speed caused her to spin and whirl. A sound, like a purr vibrated in her chest. She knew she was going to come. All she needed was his abdomen rubbing  against her groin.

            With a final flourish she waltzed off into bliss. Her knees tensed, her calves  tightened and her eyes closed on the feeling of his final thrust sinking her into a quaking orgasm. God she loved dancing!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Put a lock on your computer and turn off your wi-fi! The internet is awash with porn and we are all doomed.
Heard any number of variations on this theme? Of course you have. Previously innocent men and women will turn into slavering monsters because they have been exposed to sexual imagery, although what is or is not offensive is open to debate. No one has managed to come up with a definitive classification system for pornography as opposed to eroticism. What is pornographic seems to be very much in the eye of the beholder. One thing most critics seem to agree on is that the spread of porn is due to the internet and it is the plague of the twenty first century!

 That’s wrong, of course.  Sexually explicit material, aimed at titillation and excitement has been around since...well as long as people have. Some cultures, like the Romans, made a virtue of their erotic art, using it to decorate the walls of their houses. In India you will see erotic carvings on temple walls. It wasn’t something to be hidden away or ashamed of. It was there, where men, women and children saw it, and still see it, every day. I haven't heard many people in the West at least protesting about that. Maybe because it is old enough to be excused as culture or history.

The past is more complex and more surprising than you might be aware.  Most of us only come into contact with History at school. By necessity a lot of the more controversial  material has been white-washed and only acceptable information is passed on. As a result we tend to think of the people of this time as bastions of morality and mannered behaviour, whose passions were restricted to war and occasionally trade.

That isn't strictly accurate. Let me give you an example. When I was at school I learned about Samuel Pepys. He was an observant and witty commentator on life in seventeenth century British society. I was never told that he devoted sections of his famous diary to the subject of his sexual activities, including random sexual encounters with wives of acquaintances and chance met women. He wonders whether it is right to continue his habit of masturbating in church if the daily sermon is not interesting. That’s right. Samuel Pepys whacked off IN CHURCH!

One of the things that got Samuel’s motor going was erotic literature...seventeenth century porn. The novel may eventually have become respectable, but the earliest and most popular forms were erotic novels—with illustrations. No wonder the clergy and members of the establishment despised the novel, and continued to do so long after it had become a respectable and popular medium.

Pepys himself apparently had a particular fondness for one of the first erotic novels, L’Ecole des Filles. Twentieth century works like The Story of O are part of a long tradition starting with books like  L’Ecole des Filles translated into English as School for Venus. It is “an illustrated sexual dialogue between two women.” Yes folks, even in the seventeenth century, guys liked girl on girl action. Pepys kept the book for a while for inspiration, then burnt it before his wife found it. And he recorded the whole thing in his diary, including the number of times he masturbated while reading it—wisely making the entries in a unique code made up of a combination of Italian and French and symbols he devised himself.   He records his interest in enacting some of the scenes if he could find another woman to participate.

Another French erotic novel available in England was Thérèse Philosophe, a massive best seller, not only in France but elsewhere including Britain, where pornographic works were the most popular publications of the time. Besides fairly graphic depictions of sex between Thérèse and a priest (There’s a long literary history of that --Heloise and Abelard for one and Chaucer mentions it) there is a chapter where Thérèse’s new protector places her in a room with a collection of erotic books, statues and paintings and bets her she cannot go two weeks without masturbating. She loses, of course and the description of her self-pleasuring while her soon to be lover watches is astonishingly hot: so much so that I used the incident for inspiration for a small scene in my story, a Boudoir for Three .

Historical novelists have long hinted at arcane societies that existed to indulge in sexual excesses. These groups certainly existed at this time. Most of the novels I have read cast members of these groups as the villains, in many cases, rightly so.  The class system meant that members of the upper classes, the aristocracy in particular, didn’t bother with the inconvenient issue of consent, especially if their chosen victim was of a substantially lower class.  The Marquis de Sade, who gave his name to sadism, took this to the extreme. His book, 120 Days of Sodom, has scenes of extreme cruelty and de Sade’s pleasure depends very much on the victims being unwilling. De Sade was jailed for his writings, even though there is some suggestion most of the scenes he claims to have participated in were imaginary. I find them so distasteful I cannot read more than the introduction of the work.

I don’t in any way defend any act that does not involve consenting adults, but there were other places where indulgence was entirely of a consenting nature. Many society marriages were based on economic and social considerations, there was a generally held belief that morality was a middle-class concept, and while young, unmarried girls were guarded closely to protect their reputations, once a married woman had provided her husband with an heir and a spare, provided she did it discreetly, she was free to indulge in whatever sexual dalliances she chose. 

Boredom and privilege left these people searching for anything to entertain them and sexual exploration offered a brief respite from ennui. Private balls were held where rooms were provided for quick sex. Masks provided the discretion required. Gatherings happened in private homes and occasionally in places dedicated to what we could only call sex clubs in rooms decorated with erotic paintings and statuary and furnished with couches where patrons could indulge in multiple partners, group sex, oral sex, voyeurism and more. Select members of the upper crust attended. Often the host also provided willing females (and occasionally young men) from lower orders. At these parties attractive young women who lived outside of society hoped to find a protector to make her his mistress. Paris was a popular location for these clubs. Georgette Heyer hints at it in her novel These Old Shades, where his Grace of Avon sends his page Leon away from one such gathering so that he might not be corrupted

Some of the more risqué adventures rumoured to have taken place, sometimes involving well known historical figures would shock anyone, even today. The Russian Empress, Catherine the Great, taking the idea of hung like a stallion way too literally, was reported to have rigged a lifting harness so she could have intercourse with a horse. Some accounts even said she died of a rupture caused by this.
Happily, it wasn’t true. She did have a great sexual appetite and had a string of lovers, but the horse rumour was put about by her enemies. I imagine this comes as a source of relief not only to Catherine’s descendents but also to the horse.

The erotic has been with us since humans first began to represent ideas in art and language. As with all human endeavour, some of it is good, some is poor and some pushes the boundaries of what we can tolerate. Tastes change, ideas change, but interest in sex is hard wired into us. Alongside humanity’s continued interest in the sexual, there has always been someone trying to tell us it is wrong. So far, they have failed dismally to convince us. And long may they continue to fail. Consensual sex is good, dirty fun and doesn’t hurt society at all...and we have history to back us up.