My Amazon reviewers are very special because they get my books pretty much before everyone else, save for me and the publisher; I get my editor copies shipped directly to me and the first thing I do is send them off to those of you who are kind enough to agree to review them on Amazon. I love that feeling of knowing my books are going to eager readers all across the country, and seeing your extremely thoughtful, detailed reviews helps remind me why I'm doing this, and, hopefully, encourages those who might be interested in checking out a certain book to give it a show. The reviews don't have to be long; a few sentences are fine, though many people go deeper than that, sometimes highlighting their favorite stories, or even every story. Whatever you want to say is fine; I do request that reviewers post within 6 weeks of receipt.
So with that said, I'm making a list of 20 people to send the very first hot off the press copies of Anything for You: Erotica for Kinky Couples in mid-July. It's a book with a wide mix of types of couples, types of kink, and ways of exploring BDSM, in the home and outside of it (my femdom story "Petting Zoo" takes place at a party). If you'd like to get one and have made a purchase at some point from Amazon.com and are in the U.S. and agree to review it within six weeks of receipt, please email anythingforyou at gmail.com with "Amazon" in the subject and your name and mailing address in the body. The first 20 of you will be added to my list and will get your autographed copies via media mail as soon as they arrive! (I'll update this post when I've reached 20 reviewers, though follow me @raquelita on Twitter because I sometimes post reviewing opportunities there too).
I'll be posting excerpts and more information about the book next month, but wanted to give you a heads up here in case you're interested. Anything for You: Erotica for Kinky Couples is edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel and will be published by Cleis Press. It is available for pre-order on Amazon (more purchasing links tk).
Introduction: As Kinky as They Want to Be
Like Riding a Bicycle Lisabet Sarai
Borrower Beware Heidi Champa
Anything She Wanted Neil Gavriel
Tails Deborah Castellano
Teppanyaki Janine Ashbless
Greasing the Wheels Madlyn March
Interview Talon Rihai and Salome Wilde
I Tend to Her Justine Elyot
Apple Blossoms Emerald
Big Night D. L. King
The Guest Star Sinclair Sexsmith
Exposure Elizabeth Coldwell
New Games on a Saturday Night Teresa Noelle Roberts
Notes from Her Master Kathleen Tudor
Lap It Up Kay Jaybee
What If Angela R. Sargenti
Petting Zoo Rachel Kramer Bussel
Normal Charlotte Stein
Everything She’d Always Wanted Ariel Graham
Introduction: As Kinky as They Want to Be
“My wife is on her knees.” That is how the first story in this book, “Like Riding a Bicycle,” by Lisabet Sarai, starts off, and in some ways, it’s why I don’t think I even need to introduce these stories, although I am about to. What I like most about this book is that its authors, in each of these nineteen titillating stories, assume that the reader is already aware of the world of BDSM. That’s not to say that if you’re a curious newcomer to the world of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism you shouldn’t keep turning the pages, but just to point out that there is an ease with which these couples embrace their love of kink, in its varied forms, even when they are uneasy about the particular acts they are about to engage in. That push/pull, love/hate relationship with what turns us on is part of the beauty of BDSM and is a recurring theme here. In the course of these erotic vignettes, you will indeed learn about why, say, someone would want to be “forced” onto her knees, or bent over a bed or used as a plaything.
In these stories, you will find pain, and pleasure. You will find service and devotion. You will find Masters and Mistresses and curious onlookers⎯and so much more. You will find a dinner party where food is used for foreplay, and learn what CNFM stands for (hint: Clothed Female, Naked Male). But more than any particular scene or setup you’ll read about⎯and they are quite dazzling in their ingenuity⎯what stays with me the most from these stories is the longevity of the couples, the way they can read each others’ moans and sighs and screams so well, discerning a lover’s desires based on years of practice.
One of my biggest pet peeves about BDSM erotica is when a story leaps too quickly into the “action” and doesn’t give enough insight into who the characters are, what makes them tick, what makes them want to be bound, gagged, stripped naked, exposed, ordered around⎯or be the one doing those things. In every one of these imaginative, racy stories, you will find out why each part of the couple is there, what they get out of their relationship, what pushes their buttons, what animates their kink. You’ll find anal penetration, asparagus sex, an interview with a Mistress and her most eager slave, role-playing, spanking, bondage, exhibitionism and much more. Fantasies are fulfilled, sometimes on command, sometimes in ways their creators never could have foreseen. Most of all, though, what comes through is the passion, caring, and commitment these couples have for one another, the love behind (and alongside) the lust, which is what enables them to do all the wild, wanton things they do.
In the closing story, “Everything She’d Always Wanted,” by Ariel Graham, you will see the word fear over and over; the protagonist, Gwen, also experiences her share of panic. Her journey deep into the world of a Dominant/submissive relationship is captured in expert prose. Graham writes, “She’d adapted quickly, something in her recognizing what she’d been searching for.” When I wrote earlier that there’s a comfort with the topic of BDSM, what I meant is precisely what is shown so dramatically and beautifully in that story. What happens in it is Gwen’s idea, as the title suggests, but she is still nervous, wary, uncertain if her biggest fantasy is actually one she is capable of going through with. It’s this very fear that drives her, that arouses her, that pushes her to keep going. The only thing you have to listen to is David, Gwen thinks to herself at one point. She has to take a leap of faith to get from here to there, and when she does, a whole new sexual world opens up for her.
The same could be said of the other characters, men and women, tops and bottoms, you’ll read about in these pages. In a sense they all have to take a leap of faith and trust their partners to guide them, whether it’s Dan in D. L. King’s “Big Night,” who gets a very special fortieth birthday party, or the narrator of Sinclair Sexsmith’s, “The Guest Star,” who watches as her girlfriend takes a new lover, or Jack in “New Games on a Saturday Night” by Teresa Noelle Roberts, who is used to girls who know their way around the business end of a paddle, but has what he thinks he knows turned on its head by a novice, Serena. For him, “the turn-on wasn’t so much giving the pain as being trusted to give just the right amount of pain.”
I hope these stories will move you as deeply as they’ve moved me. They are rich, varied and incredibly naughty. Many of them have made me wish I could slip inside the body and mind of a given character and act out his or her devilishly dirty delights. All of them have shown me just how powerful a force kink can be, how it can bring couples closer together and show them the true depths of trust and desire they can plumb.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City