Sunday, February 22, 2009

Welcome To Paradise

Actually tomorrow’s post should have come before this one. After you read about my experience on Alligator Alley Sunday (today as I’m writing this but two days ago as I’m posting these out of order) you’ll wonder WHY I call Florida paradise?

A great deal of Florida is still a paradise, but not Alligator Alley or the Sawgrass (Expressway).

Anyway, “Welcome To Paradise” is the name of my release today Monday February 23rd. It’s a short story in the “Night of the Senses” anthology published by Total-E-Bound.

Each story features BDSM and deals with one of the five senses. Hearing is the key sense in my story.

Originally the title was “Paradise Inc.” but my editor nixed that. “Paradise Inc.” is the name of the Florida resort the heroes (Evan and Chris) own on the west coast of Florida. It’s a tropical paradise, for them anyway. The heroine, Jordin, isn’t so sure at first. She’s come all the way from Alaska to find fun in the sun and mainly to find sexy available men who aren’t bundled up and hidden in parkas. She finds Evan and Chris, not exactly what she was looking for, but in the end, much better.

I went pretty far out on a limb in this story. I took a big chance I hope won’t backfire.

I expected my editor to hate it or at least nix it as it could be quite controversial and a certain religious group isn’t going to like it, but my editor liked it. So we’re going with it. Sometimes you have to take a chance if you want to achieve greatness.

The other stories in the anthology look awesome and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.

If you’ve read many of my books, you’ll have noticed that at least 98% are set in South Florida. The old adage is to write about what you know. Another school of thought suggests to write about exotic, interesting places and most people think Florida fits that bill.

There was a time I thought Florida was an exotic paradise. When I was 16, when I visited with my dad, I made a wish that I would live in Florida. Well, I got my wish and I can’t seem to make it go away. Now I think anything is exotic that’s different. Now that I live with endless summer, I’d love to go somewhere that has snow, where I can ice skate on outdoor ponds and snow ski and curl up to roaring fires in fire places.

Oh well. So I like to read stories set in snowy winter wonderlands. But I write about what I know and I know it will be exciting to people who don’t live here year round. It must be or we wouldn’t have so many tourists clogging our roads and making it impossible to find a parking spot within a mile of the beach. I hardly go to the beach because it’s so hard. One of these weekends I’m just going to rent a hotel room on the beach so I can park in the hotel parking lot without fear of being towed and whereby I can walk to the beach. I’d head over to the west coast where it’s not nearly so crowded, except Alligator Alley (again, check tomorrow’s post) is so treacherous.

Night of the Senses

An anthology of sensory delights, packed full of BDSM stories - one story for each sense: sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing, and extra-sensory!

Welcome to Paradise by Ashley Ladd

Determined to live life by her own rules, Jordan's more than ready to devour two yummy men, what her religious father thinks, be damned. Eager to escape the bitter cold of the frigid Northwest and especially her strict, overzealous religious father, Jordan seeks a new life in sunny Florida at a resort called Paradise. When she meets the proprietors, Evan and Chris, she's ready to try new, titillating things with the yummy pair, even blindfolded BDSM and especially ménage a trois. She reasons that if the men in her father's religion can have more than one wife, she certainly can have more than one husband.

Excerpt from: 'Welcome to Paradise' by Ashley Ladd

Jordin Marshall spread her toes in the warm Florida sand and let the heady warmth seep into her. This was a long-time dream, and she wondered again if it was a fantasy. Having lived in the snows of Alaska and Utah all her twenty-four years, she’d finally found paradise.

Stretching her bikini-clad body, she reached towards the sun’s warmth and light. Joyous laughter bubbled from her lips, and she hoped a merman would emerge from the depths of the blue gulf waves and claim her for his own. Well, not really. She just wanted a man. A man who wasn’t of her father’s choosing or the type he would choose: a return Mormon missionary, probably an exulted Brigham Young University or Rick’s College grad. No, she’d escaped her daddy’s clutches to find a man of her choosing. No return missionaries or religious nuts need apply. And no one was to know she was rich, either. She longed to find love on her own terms. To be loved for herself. That shouldn’t be too hard since she was staying at Paradise Inc., a cosy little hotel on the gorgeous Gulf Shore of west Florida. If she couldn’t find love in paradise, where could she?

Certainly not at Utah State even though she knew darned well her dad had sent her there to be as close to BYU as possible. If he’d had his way, she’d have attended BYU to get her MRS, but since she wasn’t a temple-card carrying member of the Latter-day Saints, she’d been rejected. Had her dad ever been mortified. And had she ever been relieved. Like her mother, she had serious doubts about the church her father prized.

A handsome, well-muscled blond caught her eye, and remembering the flirting advice she’d recently read on the internet, she returned his smile. It was so wide, she could almost feel the cleft in her chin deepening. Pretending to look for the small black shark’s teeth that were so abundant in the Gulf sands, she inched her way nearer to the hottie. But then a buxom, blonde female joined him and whisked him away, kicking sand in her wake and burying Jordin’s dreams under clumps of wet sand.

Jordin bit back a sigh and bagged her sharks’ teeth. Oh well, she consoled herself, there was sure to be an abundance of available men in Paradise. If not, looking on the bright side, at least she could make shark’s teeth necklaces for all her friends back home.

She spent her afternoon playing in the surf and sand and sunbathing, trying to take a bit of pallor off her lily-white flesh. Since she didn’t want to look like a cooked lobster, she reapplied her Bull Frog sunscreen every half hour and wore a visor and dark shades to protect her eyes that were more accustomed to light filtered through clouds than heavy doses of direct sun. Although she spied a lot of interesting men, she hadn’t gotten up the nerve to approach any. What was she supposed to say? Carry me away? Make love to me? Save me from daddy dearest?

Oh, yeah. That would really attract men.

Excerpt from: 'Spiced Vanilla' by Victoria Blisse

It had become a habit—a pleasant one, maybe the only one in my whole day. Around about two o’clock I would walk down the main street, past the supermarket, the café, the appliance shop and the carpet store, and I’d turn up a plain side street with no remarkable features. It was a short way up that street to the place I loved. Jacques.

Around six months ago, I had walked past that street and caught a delicious scent on the air. It combined almonds, vanilla, chocolate and a hint of spicy cinnamon, and as my stomach rumbled, I had to check it out. It seemed so comforting, that smell, it reminded me of happy times in the kitchen with my Mother as a child. Jacques was new then. It had opening offer posters in the window. The smell of new paint was an astringent undercurrent as I drew closer to the shiny black exterior of the shop.

At first, I thought Jacques was a cake shop, but it only took a moment looking at the artistic, architectural cakes to make me realise it was something much more. I remembered the word from my French GCSE lessons. Jacques was a Patisserie. Even back then, with the opening offers, I could not afford to try a cake. I wanted to. There were several that caught my attention.

There was a tart made with fanned-out layers of apple, a cheese cake so deep yellow it made my mouth water and a square chocolate cake with icing and the most delicate stars and sparkles decorating it. It wasn’t just that they looked good either. They smelled divine, too. With every opening and closing of the door, I’d get a waft of sweet, warm bakery and confection, and I would close my eyes and imagine the tastes. Custard, cream, chocolate, fluffy sponge and crunchy meringue. It quickly became my favourite place.

I wished I could go in and buy something, but the price tags were just too high for me. I could barely afford a cheap cake let alone an artistic, expensive one. But every day, I would treat myself to their visual beauty combined with their heavenly scent.

It was a late summer day with just the hint of the approaching autumn chill in the air when I made my usual trip down to Jacques. I set off from my home at two, and I was at the window of the patisserie by two-fifteen. It was a Friday, and I could see his stock was well-depleted. All the large cakes had been sold bar a carrot cake and a sponge, and many of the shelves in the window and by the counter were nearly empty.

I closed my eyes and inhaled as the door opened and the bell jangled. The subtle scents of light summer filled me—lemon and orange, the citrus tang mellowed with vanilla and strawberries, milky cream and the gentlest caress of chocolate and warm alcohol.

The screeching of brakes pulled me viciously from my summer daydream and transported me into my nightmare. It had happened in winter almost a year ago, and it haunted my every sleeping moment and often crept into the daydreams, too.

You'll also want to see what Amarinda Jones, Anika Hamilton, Anny Cook, Barbara Huffert, Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, Dakota Rebel, Kelly Kirch, Molly Daniels, Sandra Cox, Regina Carlysle, and Cindy Spencer Pape are up to, so make sure to visit them also. :)

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