Cover Reveal: Playing Knotty

It’s here! I’m pleased to show you the absolutely gorgeous cover for Playing Knotty, coming March 6th from Pocket Star.

Playing Knotty

A little bit about Playing Knotty:

Emma Green isn’t used to fitting in with the popular crowd: back in school, she was always a little too geeky, too chubby, too unfashionable, and now as an adult, she still feels inadequate next to her beautiful friends. When Ian Cooper, an old friend from high school, asks to rent the back room of her bookshop for a bondage workshop, she says yes because she needs the money.

Ian isn’t expecting Emma to participate in the workshop, but when his model comes down with the flu at the last minute, she’s willing to step in. They’re both surprised when she turns out to be a natural. Soon, Ian finds himself with a new bondage model… and a frequent partner in bed. Emma’s success as a bondage model means she must confront her own insecurities and her feelings for Ian, and Ian must decide if he’s willing to risk what he has for what he really wants.

Stay tuned for information about pre-ordering! In the meantime, swing by my Blog Tour starting next week. Can’t wait to see you all on the internets!

Categories: Cover Reveal, Playing Knotty | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Knot of the Day: Karada Rope Harness

In preparation for the Playing Knotty Cover Reveal on Monday, I bring you your third and final Knot of the Day! This is more than a knot, though: it’s a full harness.

Karada Rope Harness


I’ve added two videos here: the first has turned an image (found here and elsewhere) into a video, and the second walks you through the steps, but that was more complicated for me than just looking at the cartoon. Note: the first links to a website that I haven’t vetted and do not necessarily endorse.

The Karada is fun for wearing under clothing, as long as you’re wearing a turtleneck and nothing too snug. It’s wonderful for self-bondage, too. With a little dexterity, you can tie it yourself, and because it’s not binding your hands, you’re unlikely to get yourself into a “can’t get out” predicament like with other kinds of self bondage. Tie a few carefully-placed knots for added stimulation, and enjoy doing your household chores a lot more.

I’ll see you all back here tomorrow for the Playing Knotty Cover Reveal!

Categories: Bondage, Kink, Playing Knotty | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Knot of the Day: Cat’s Paw

In preparation for the Playing Knotty Cover Reveal on Monday, I bring you your second Knot of the Day!

Cat’s Paw

I love that I’m embedding a video from a channel called GunsKnivesSurvival. And yes, the Cat’s Paw is a great hitch for tying stuff to other stuff… and for tying people to stuff. When you watch this video, imagine the string is much bigger… a rope, for instance, and the allen wrench is actually a wrist. Or an ankle. This isn’t a tie you use to tie someone’s hands together; rather, you use this to tie a limb to a stationary object. The Cat’s Paw is lovely because it’s not really a knot – it’s just a bunch of twists. It’s easy to loosen or untie (if you’re not the one currently tied up!) and a great tie for some spread-eagle fun.

Go enjoy the Cat’s Paw, and I’ll see you all tomorrow!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Knot of the Day: Handcuff Knot

In preparation for the Playing Knotty Cover Reveal this Monday, I bring you your first Knot of the Day!

The Handcuff Knot:

Now, this knot may be used by firefighters, but that’s not what we’re here for. The Handcuff Knot is a simple, fun knot to use in light bondage. It’s one of my favorites for self-bondage, since it’s not hard to untie and it has all the sensation of being bound with minimal effort. You can accidentally tighten this too tight, but a little work with the teeth loosens it right up.

Remember, with self-bondage, safety first: stick with simple ties that you can get out of, always have scissors nearby for emergency rescues, and never obstruct your breathing in conjunction with your bondage.

Now go have fun with the Handcuff Knot!

Categories: Bondage, Kink, Playing Knotty | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Playing Knotty Cover Reveal on Monday 12/1

This Monday, I’ll be revealing the cover for my novel Playing Knotty!

To celebrate this cover reveal, each day between now and then, I’ll be releasing a new post about a bondage tie that you can use at home. That’s right, you’re getting the Knot of the Day. Have fun, be safe, and I’ll see you on Monday!

A little bit about Playing Knotty:

Emma Green isn’t used to fitting in with the popular crowd: back in school, she was always a little too geeky, too chubby, too unfashionable, and now as an adult, she still feels inadequate next to her beautiful friends. When Ian Cooper, an old friend from high school, asks to rent the back room of her bookshop for a bondage workshop, she says yes because she needs the money.

Ian isn’t expecting Emma to participate in the workshop, but when his model comes down with the flu at the last minute, she’s willing to step in. They’re both surprised when she turns out to be a natural. Soon, Ian finds himself with a new bondage model… and a frequent partner in bed. Emma’s success as a bondage model means she must confront her own insecurities and her feelings for Ian, and Ian must decide if he’s willing to risk what he has for what he really wants.

Playing Knotty comes out on March 6th, 2015 from Pocket Star eBooks, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Categories: Bondage, Cover Reveal, Playing Knotty | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

We’re going on a blog tour!

NBtM_PurelyProfessional_Banner

I’m excited to be going on a blog tour over the next few months. I’ll be posting each Monday starting on December 8th. You should follow me for a couple of reasons:

  • I’m hilarious and witty. Seriously, I’m a bucket of joy.
  • Mondays are crappy and my posts will make them better.
  • You can win stuff. I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a randomly selected winner during the tour.

Here is the master list of all my upcoming stops. Come by, say hello, and maybe win something. I can’t wait to meet you.

December 8: Long and Short Reviews
December 8: Coffee, Books and Art
December 15: Mia Downing
December 29: Aly’s Miscellany
December 29: Books and Other Spells
January 5: Archaeolibrarian – I dig good books!
January 12: Flirting with Romance
January 12: Erotica For All
January 19: Unabridged Andra’s
January 26: All I Want and More
February 2: Harlie’s Books
February 9: Bunny’s Review
February 16: Jen’s Reading Obsession
February 16: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock
February 23: Booklover Sue
March 2: Harps Romance Book Review
March 9: Dena Garson – Real… Hot… Romance
March 16: Underneath the Covers
March 23: A Book Addict’s Delight
March 30: We Love Kink

Categories: Appearances, Blog Tour, Purely Professional | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

NaNoWriMo and Trusting “Future You”

NaNoWriMo Begins!

Year 14 of National Novel Writing Month for me started yesterday. Well, NaNoWriMo started for everyone yesterday, but it’s year 14 for me. (Starting in 2001 should have made it easy to figure out, but I seem to forget every year which year it is for me.)

I’m part of a NaNoWriMo facebook group, and people have been asking questions about silencing one’s “inner editor,” and what to do when you can’t seem to stop deleting your work. Well, after many years of novel-in-a-month Novembers, and some Octobers, Aprils, and Julys (Julies?) as well, I’ve got some experience in that area. Here are my thoughts.

Ignoring your inner editor isn’t simply a matter of removing your delete key. It’s about changing your entire psychology around writing. All your life, you’ve probably had to do things well, if not the first time, then pretty soon after. Over time, you probably learned that if you didn’t do something well, you probably shouldn’t do it at all, and that other, talented people don’t have these same problems.

To put it briefly: that’s all a lie.

Anne Lamott put it more eloquently in her magnificent novel Bird by Bird, which you should go buy right now. (Go ahead. I’ll wait. You can even get it digitally and read it without ever leaving your couch.) The gist is that in order to create something beautiful, you have to first create something shitty. You can get beauty later, but shitty comes first.

In order to trust the process, you have to trust Future You. You may not know what you’re doing yet, but Future You will be able to figure it out and fix your problems. You cannot successfully edit a novel that isn’t finished yet. You have to create the entire arc, beginning to end, and write every terrible bit. Then and only then can you go back and make it beautiful. Well, beautiful eventually. First it will be decidedly mediocre, and then a little better, and someday wonderful.

As you write more and more novels, you’ll get better at trusting Future You. But the first time is all blind faith. So trust me. Leap and the net will appear, and all those platitudes. Just keep writing drivel, trust the process, and trust Future You.

Day one is done. Bring on the rest of November.

Categories: nanowrimo, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Another White Woman Talks About Fall

My name is Elia Winters, and I’m a cliché.

I love the shit out of Fall.

Tomorrow is the first day of October. The nights are cool, temperatures dropping easily into the 40s at night, and the Hilltowns have already experienced their first frost of the season. The leaves are changing, because it’s New England and that’s what they do, and there’s this one tree on my drive home that’s completely gorgeous, a gradient of orange, red, and even purple. Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks are selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes. It’s not just lattes, either: everything is pumpkin.

You cannot escape the pumpkin.

Pumpkin donuts, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin pie, these are normal. We expect these. But I just saw pumpkin spice marshmallows today, which I don’t even know how to process.

Pumpkin Spice Mallows

Do you toast them or eat them straight out of the bag?
You eat them straight out of the bag, right? That’s what I’d do.

And then there are Pumpkin Spice Oreos, which just don’t sound all that good. Why would you mess with Oreos? Aren’t they the perfect food already?

Do you dunk these in your Pumpkin Spice Latte?

There’s more, of course. Lip balm, body lotion, air fresheners, dog shampoo… Pumpkin Spice is something we do well here. It’s like the marketing department of every company just throws up their collective hands and says, “Fuck it! Just make everything pumpkin this month. Let’s all go get wasted.”

I want to be cynical about the whole thing, but I just can’t do it. I love Fall! I love the crisp mornings, the changing leaves, the pumpkin spice flavored everything. I love trading in my T-shirts for sweaters. I love buying and carving pumpkins and do not get me started on how much I love Halloween.

I guess I just have to accept that I’m a cliché.

I don’t own any yoga pants, though, so maybe there’s hope for me yet.

Categories: Reflections | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

On never growing up, or why you should do GISHWHES

I always assumed there would be some point in my life where I finally felt grown up. When I reached that age, I would no longer feel the need to jump in puddles, or giggle at fart jokes, or build pillow forts. I would read nothing but Serious Literature and I would know what kind of wine to drink with what kind of meat and I would dust my house on a regular basis.

Well, I’m 33 years old now, and I don’t think that point is ever going to come.

Frankly? I’m thrilled.

Oh, I’ve learned to manage my life now in a way that would have stymied 17-year-old me. I can get almost any stain out of clothes, I can manage a budget, and I can kill the spiders in the shower. (Seriously, spiders? I’ll rescue you if you’re in the house, but if you’re in the shower, I’m going to drown you without mercy. You cannot live in places where I am naked.) Nevertheless, I haven’t lost the childlike joy in simple pleasures, and I’m not above making a fool out of myself in the name of fun.

Enter GISHWHES.

gishwhes2014-full-logo

 

GISHWHES, which stands for “Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen,” is a world-record-breaking scavenger hunt hosted by Misha Collins. Teams “scavenge” items by photographing or videotaping scenarios on the 150+ item list, which is posted on the first day of the week-long hunt. Past items include the artistic (A portrait of Chris Hardwick from the Nerdist made entirely of dried fruit), the kind (You and a friend seated side-by-side, donating blood or platelets), the difficult (You, dressed as the Flash, in any actual, operational particle accelerator), and the absurd (Attend a ballet or “spinning” class in full SCUBA gear). The winning team of 15 is taken on some amazing trip – this year’s winners will fly to King’s Landing in Croatia for a pirate sailing adventure.

When I participated in GISHWHES last year, I wasn’t sure what the week would be like, but from the moment I heard about it, I knew I wanted in. I had the week off from work and went absolutely crazy – I put a tank top on a rooster, dressed up as a nun on a rope swing, made an American Flag out of Redvines, folded a paper crane in a rainstorm, and, yes, visited an actual particle accelerator dressed as The Flash, among several dozen other items. My team didn’t win, but I had more fun that week than I’ve ever had in any week, ever. (It narrowly beats out my honeymoon because I spent two days of that seasick. Sorry, husband.)

A rooster wearing a Gishwhes tank top. Snazzy.

A friend’s rooster wearing a Gishwhes tank top. Snazzy.

What really resonated with me was the childlike exuberance of GISHWHES. Here was an event that said it was okay to break the rules of normal, to try crazy things and make the world a better place. I asked ridiculous favors of friends – and complete strangers – and they obliged me! Better yet, they had fun doing it, and they thanked me for including them. It was truly a life-changing experience.

There are hundreds of testimonials on the GISHWHES website about how it helped participants overcome social anxiety and have an impact on their families and communities. For me, GISHWHES was a reminder that growing older doesn’t have to mean growing up. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, to forget that life is full of joyous possibilities. If you’ve lost your childlike exuberance and you want to get it back, then you should consider breaking out of that rut with GISHWHES.

At the time I post this, GISHWHES registration ends in less than 2 days. Go visit the website, watch the videos, read the details, and maybe – maybe - sign up for what could be the greatest week of your life. In the words of a tweet from last year’s GISHWHES Twitter feed, “You are not who you think you are. Act accordingly.”


 

Update: since this post was linked by Misha Collins, a ton of you have visited. Thanks for coming, and please leave comments! I love hearing from you. Tell me about your hopes for Gishwhes or why you also never want to grow up.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy “Why I’ll Always Get My Hopes Up” and “Why I Stopped Writing Bitches.” I also write saucy books if you like that sort of thing.

Categories: GISHWHES, Reflections | Tags: , | 14 Comments

I’m Writing This Post Instead of a Book Right Now

Sometimes writing is easy. On those days, even when you’re not writing, your mind is awash with book possibilities, and when you actually sit down to the keyboard, the words just flow like someone is dictating the story and you’re just writing it down. Days like that are amazing. It’s like being in a movie montage with a power anthem playing in the background.

Other days, though, the opposite is true. Everything that you type is atrocious. The descriptions are cliché, the dialogue sounds stilted, and (in the case of erotic romance) the sex arouses… no one. I have it on good authority that everyone goes through these horrible writing days, and even the best and most prolific writers sit down at their keyboards convinced they are never going to write anything ever again.

Octopus at a desk

We have all felt like this.

Since I started getting book contracts and, you know, started actively trying to make a living out of this, I’ve had to learn to push through these terrible days by just writing anyway. Yes, sometimes I need to rewrite everything from those bad days, but more often than not, it’s not nearly as bad as I remembered. I’m learning to write even when I don’t feel like writing. It isn’t always fun, but I keep telling myself it’s what separates amateurs from professionals, and I buckle back down again.

And then, thankfully, it eventually gets easy again.

There are parts of writing that I just love. Sometimes I start a scene without a clear idea of where it’s going to go, and I find myself wandering down some little path of description that suddenly reveals all this information about a character that I never thought of before. The scene might not make it through editing, but the information does. I love those moments! And sometimes I have no idea how it’s all going to wrap up, creating this generalized low-grade anxiety thrumming below my skin as I keep barrelling toward an uncertain conclusion, but then suddenly I’ll be typing a scene and bam! The resolution just hits me, and the anxiety dissipates. Well, until the next book.

I’m working on the sequel to Purely Professional right now. I’ve been away from Bridget and Max for a while, and I’m enjoying getting to know them again. I love them and want to do their story justice, but there are challenges for them to face on the way to their happy ending.

Speaking of which, I’ve been away from them long enough just typing this post. Cue the 80s power anthem.

Categories: Erotic Romance, Purely Professional, Reflections, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment