Saturday, February 28, 2015

A little visit with JL Mitchell

Today, I’m here with JL Mitchell, author of Diamonds Aren’t Forever, the first book in the Diamond series, and the second book in the series, Diamonds and Deceit. I've started reading the first book, haven't finished it yet, and she's already got another one! She works fast.

Pick up a copy on Amazon

So, JL, we met at the Indie Romance Convention last year. As I recall, we shared at table at the signing. You were a great table mate! So what have you been up to since then?

Deanndra, first let me thank you for having me on your blog. It was a joy to make new friends at IRC and your insight into helping me at my first convention was valuable. And, you too, were a great table mate.

Busy. I know that most writers tell you the same thing, but not only has my writing increased, so has my freelance editing business. I’ve begun working with a few companies so I am busier now than ever. I love every minute of it.

Sounds like you’ve been very busy! Tell us, what kind of books are Diamonds Aren’t Forever and Diamonds and Deceit? Are they for Sunday School teachers or the bad girls down at the bar?

Deanndra you know me too well. I write erotic romances with suspense added in. Some Sunday school teachers might enjoy them, though. I try to balance the erotic scenes to be a necessary part of the romance.

The Diamond Series is about four women, who as teens, hooked up with a small time criminal, Enrique aka Diamond Malloy, and took it big. You know us women don’t do anything by halves. After thirteen years, they’re out of the business, having walked away free and clear, living ordinary lives.

However . . .

In Diamonds Aren’t Forever, two brothers bring the past right to Peyton Gilbrad’s doorstep. Her ex-husband has a gambling problem. He owes the casino a lot of money, and Sebastian and Thierry plan to collect the debt and, from her ex’s babbling that she has millions hidden away in diamonds; they plan to take a few of them for themselves.

Diamonds Aren’t Forever is a ménage with a little BDSM thrown in. The suspense comes when Peyton’s ex calls and he’s been badly beaten telling her she’s being targeted for the diamonds. But, it’s not Sebastian and Thierry because they’re in bed with Peyton. (Oh my).

While the suspense is part of the series, which I will explain for book two, the romance is stand alone.

In Diamonds And Deceit, Shelbie Gilbrad, the foster sisters took the same last name years ago, takes a much needed vacation after Peyton’s wedding. Actually she’s running away from some disturbing visions of an unknown man. (Shelbie’s been plagued with visions since childhood).

In Savannah, she accidentally meets up with the man she’s been having lunch dates with for the last few months. A man she feels safe with. However, by the time Dagan’s arrived in Savannah, he not only knows her identity, he targets her for revenge for stealing his late wife’s diamond necklace.

Diamonds And Deceit is an erotic romance with some hot scenes. But, the book’s main premise is the suspense. Diamonds and Deceit brings back Peyton and her men. It also has Diamond and his wife Amalia in it (they’re seen in the first chapter in book one), and more importantly, Arabella, Amalia’s twin, and Ian; the main characters for book three have a slightly larger part.

I hate to say more since it would be too much of a spoiler alert.

I don’t think I’ll recommend them to my mom’s church friends, but most of the people I know would love them! So where did you get the ideas for the plots of your books? And are the characters patterned after anyone you know?

I totally agree, Deanndra. I got the idea from part of a story written two years ago. It was a ghost story. I grew up with reading ghost stories, and suspense is my favorite genre, so I wanted to try my hand at it. It worked for about forty pages. I took this story out of my files, dusted it off, changed a few things and on its own, it became a series.

The main female character was a thief. She was in the process of stealing when the dead wife appeared. Shelbie was the main female character and Sebastian the main male character. The setting was in Savannah and food and restaurants were involved. So you see how the stories have evolved.
However what fueled my imagination for these books was I had finished another Cinderella story; impoverished girl meets billionaire. It was free and I like keeping up with new novelists. It made me angry that the female character felt like she was lacking in every aspect of her life, i.e. not good enough because of her economic status, something was wrong with her because her last boyfriend told her she was frigid, and because of her all around physical appearance.

Of course, you’ll see that in my books, but I put my main characters on equal terms with one another in some ways. They don’t need a man’s money.  They’re very competent in their professional lives. They’re nice looking women, some quite beautiful, and in their own minds, they’re doing quite well without love.

I didn’t pattern the characters off of any one particular person or fictional character. However, as Shelbie, Diamonds And Deceit, evolved I began thinking of Scarlett O’Hara. Shelbie is a lot like her. She enjoys men, she loved the thrill of the game when they were thieves, yet she’s very cautious not to get too involved with any one man.

You’re an author; do you have any favorite authors of your own? Maybe from Tennessee? Maybe close to the beach instead?

I have several authors I enjoy all for different reasons.

I’ll begin with Lee Child. His characterization of Jack Reacher is one of the most notable. His writing style is fine, but Jack Reacher is larger than life. And I love that.

John Grisham is one of the best story tellers I’ve ever read.

Dean Koontz’s imagination thrills me.

Pat Conroy (he’s from Charleston, SC and has a home on Fripp Island. My dad’s from SC so it feels somewhat like home). His stories are gripping.

You see a pattern. I like male writers. But I won’t count women out. I read romances from Kathleen Woodiwiss as a young girl.

Because of Amazon and so many free books available, I enjoy stories from a variety of authors I’d probably never have read. Your books come to mind and many of the Indie authors out there like ourselves.   

And if you can't find something free that you like, you can always subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and have loads of books to choose from. Okay, now, think back. That won’t be as hard for you to do as it would be for me, but can you name the first book you ever remember reading? And was there a book somewhere along the line that really made an impression on you? If so, what was it?

I can’t remember the first book, but it was a romance and the author was by Victoria Holt. My parents both read romances. Laurie McBain and again, Kathleen Woodiwiss were most prevalent in our house.

The book that has influenced me the most was Gone With The Wind. I love the movie version, but in my twenties, I took that novel off my parents’ bookshelf and read it. It was so poignant about life; its hardships, heartaches, but also its triumphs and deep seated love. It was a book that had the characters taking a good look inside themselves and overcoming not only outward obstacles but inward struggles.

Gone with the Wind was my mother-in-law's favorite story. She watched the movie every Thanksgiving after they got a VCR, and was still doing that the Thanksgiving before she died. It's a wonderful Southern tale. So tell us, what kind of writing space do you have? And is there anything you do for yourself while you’re writing to get into the mood? A certain kind of music? Some kind of food? A pillow and a blanky?

I have a Stressless chair with a table for my laptop. I sit all day long, whether I’m writing, editing, or grading college essays. So, I need something that keeps my shoulders and neck comfortable. It’s facing a wall of windows so I can look out on the world. I don’t like to feel cooped in when writing.

I’m surrounded by a Kindle and Surface, and magazines or other books of interest for research. For instance, with Diamonds and Deceit, I kept a book on Savannah’s historic districts close by. I like to visualize. And when I wrote the scene where Dagan and Shelbie are driving through Atlanta, I used Google maps, street view. I saw everything around them.

I also have notebooks, pens, and pads around me. I may be working on one book and get an idea that goes into another story. I jot that down.

In the mornings, while making coffee, eating breakfast, etc., I flesh out in my head what I plan to write that day. Sometimes the characters cooperate and other times not. I roam around the house if the weather is warm I take a walk outside and talk to my characters.

But it doesn’t always go smoothly. When I’m really stuck, I clean especially the kitchen. I can get in there, get the dishes out of the way, wipe down the cabinets and sometimes plan a meal and the ideas pour out.

I make sure I have a piece of dark chocolate every afternoon. It’s not just for energy, but a decadent treat to reward myself and keep going.

Depending on the story I’m writing, I will either listen to alternative classical music like Lindsey Sterling and movie scores from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings or Rock and Roll, ranging from classic rock, Bob Seger and Foreigner to Within Temptation and Linkin Park.

I like the idea of that wall of windows. I'll have to talk to Sir about that. I’m assuming you have a goal with your writing – most of us do. What’s your particular goal?

This is particularly difficult to answer. I’m not out to write the Great American Novel like classical writers or even early nineteenth century writers like Poe and Faulkner and Hawthorne. Though, I like their works, their Gothic style. And I’m not writing because I want to sell hundreds of millions of copies, though I won’t balk if that happens. (Please buy my books. Lots and lots of them). LOL J

My one intent, since I was eleven was to be a writer. I wanted to make up people; put them in situations, build their lives, give them struggles, but always triumph in one way or another in such a way that would make the reader connect with them on every level. That the readers actually were living out the character’s dreams and heartaches.

What is my ultimate goal? Not positive. I have a couple of directions, but they do include stronger female characters. I’m going to include more family into the mix. Some romances don’t call for that, but I have such a strong family life, I want to show that to my readers. And no matter which direction, I want a more positive angle. For instance, Arabella and Ian in Diamond Series book three will have some pretty rough things to get over, but throughout the book, I’m going to push hope and positive aspects that will ultimately push back the negative in their lives.

Do you have any appearances planned this year? Gosh, I have like 15 to do, and I wouldn’t advise ANYONE do that (yeah, what the heck was I thinking?). If you’re going to be a few places, where and when?

Girl you’re going to wear yourself out. (Don't I know it!)

I plan to attend A Day with the Author’s Luncheon in April, in Nashville, TN.

I am thinking of returning to IRC, which is now in Lebanon, TN again in October.

But, I have a goal of three stories to finish, so my focus is on writing and publishing more this year.

That’s great! Keep writing and we’ll be looking for you. Before you leave, if you had just one wish, for anything in the world, what would it be?

For my mother to be alive, well, and cancer free. But she’s not hurting any longer, so that is quite selfish. But that would be it. She was my best friend.

Cancer is a sadistic mistress. As a cervical cancer survivor and having watched a family enmber suffer with it, I know exactly where you're coming from.Thanks so much for being here today, JL. I hope 2015 is happy, fun, and prosperous for you. Look for JL’s book on Amazon at (I’ll put the link in here). And be sure to visit her blog every Sunday and Wednesday at her Blogspot blog and Mondays at her Wordpress blog. Thanks again!

Diamonds and Deceit

Necessity made Shelbie Gilbrad a prostitute and thief, the thrill kept her in the business. But now she’s in trouble and doesn’t see it coming, which is odd because Shelbie’s been plagued by visions her entire life.

As a self-made billionaire bent on revenge, Dagan Hunter Caulfield has resigned himself of never recovering the rare green, teardrop diamond necklace. He’s moved on. His plan to surprise the woman he’s falling for, gets him the shock of his life. 

Shelbie and Dagan’s worlds collide and neither will ever be the same. Yet outside forces pit them against one another, putting their lives in danger. Can he forgive her past? Can she save the man she loves?


J. L. is a landlocked beach bum, living on a farm in a small, rural town near her hometown, Nashville, Tennessee. She loves taking road trips just as long as that road takes her to the beach.

By the age of eleven, she knew she wanted to be a writer. As a lefty, her mind is like a mirror, writing from right to left, transposing words, and turning letters backwards. She’s been told it’s some form of dyslexia, but she knows it’s just another aspect of who she is.

She’s a voracious reader with murder, mystery, and suspense as her favorites. She also enjoys Victorian literature, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. J.L. prefers noir films like Thin Man series, Maltese Falcon, andCasablanca; and her all-time favorite; Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 version of Rebecca.

J. L. can be found most days writing and editing. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her family.

Connect with me online

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A little visit with Liz Crowe

Now THIS is what I call dessert!

Today, we visit with Liz Crowe, author of some pretty amazing reads.  Wonder if I can tempt her with something sugary...

So, Liz, good to have you here! Let’s see, I’ve got some of Laura’s cookies and half of one of Raffaella’s Italian cream cakes. Have some! And let’s talk about the Love brothers. Tell me, when you wrote the books, did you have a particular set of brothers in mind? Maybe someone from TV or the movies? Who inspired you to write these guys?

Hi Deanndra! I’m gonna pass on the sweets, thanks. I’m not really into them — I save my bad calories for alcohol.

I was inspired to write the Love Brothers literally while waiting around in my local garage for my favorite mechanic to finish working on my car. There is a lot of virtual ink spent on books about men who “have it all” — money, power, cars, houses, women — emphasis on the “money.” While I realize a fair bit of books are written about “everyday heroes” (firemen, cops, paramedics, soldiers) I had this sudden, vivid image of a dude who owned a garage, who had a passel of brothers he was close to, but frustrated by at the same time.

I am intrigued by family dynamics, and so I concocted a challenging set up — a family made up of 4 brothers, 1 sister, with parents whose beginnings were romantic, yet very precarious. Italian heritage father, Anton, 3rd generation also with a pack of brothers you’ll meet in a 4th book takes over Halloran Farms stable management, meets the proverbial (very rich, Irish heritage) horse farmer’s daughter Lindsay. So we have a super feisty and frustrated “little lady” who’s more into her horses than any kind of a real relationship and is feeling a little…repressed by the social mores and expectations of her family in a time when the rest of the world has moved on (the 60s). Enter smoldering, hot, younger, earnest (and virginal) new stable manager. Yeah. She sort of … pounces. Chaos ensues. But that’s for a later book!

So the boys and girl that are the result of this somewhat chaotic beginning all work regular jobs. Not a billionaire, fireman, or President Business in sight! I even have one “failed author” brother for good measure. But they do love their family with a fierceness that I think comes through even when they are in conflict. And, they love their basketball. They are in Kentucky after all.

Our characters share that characteristic - they're definitely not all wealthy and, if any of them are, it's because they've worked for it. I just have to ask you this: In my Love Under Construction series, the Walters family home is in Shelbyville, and Laura’s dad is the sheriff in Taylorsville. What little Kentucky town inspired Lucasville, and why did you choose it?

I made Lucasville up out of whole cloth to be honest. I toyed with the concept of setting it in Crestwood, where my mother grew up when it was farm town. Now? It’s a sea of McMansions and upscale strip malls. I grew up in Southeast Kentucky (Williamsburg—closer to Tennessee than anything) but moved to Louisville for college, where I met my spouse, a born-and-raised Louisville boy. I spent enough time in the “city” (Lexington) before that to have a good sense of the two main Kentucky cities’ similarities and differences. I’m very familiar with both Shelbyville and Taylorsville but having set books in actual cities for so long, I wanted to just make one up.

I needed the characters to be able to get between Lex and Lousville fairly easily, to get the Love Brewing products there of course and later, for one of them to have access to both Churchill Downs and Keenelend / Horse park. I also needed it to be a town that only existed originally because of a couple of now-bankrupt horse farms (yes, a bit of a tip of the fictional hat to D. Wayne Lucas) but had morphed into its own little cozy “small town” only to be taken over when it became a bedroom community for Lexington (kind of like Georgetown did post-Toyota).

Viola! “Lucasville, Kentucky” is born.

I loved the way each of the guys had an Italian name and an Irish name. How long did it take you to come up with those combinations? Because I’ve got to say, I love ‘em.

As readers come to understand, the parents’ strong personalities drive a lot of things, up to and including their “compromise” on each of the boys’ names (Angelique’s too, of course but if she feels like an “afterthought” there is a good reason for that, stay tuned). One of the most fun things about conjuring these guys is contemplating and creating their distinct personalities and their combo names. I knew it would be a “ back and forth trade” on the names first, then I figured there had to be a sort of conflict built in, even within their names. Hence (in birth order): Antony Ian/Kieran Francesco/Dominic Sean/Aiden Leonardo. And the brothers use each others’ middle names a lot. Kieran is essentially “Francis” to his family by the time you meet him.

How I came up with them? Well, there is tool crutch thing called the internet and thank the Lord it contains sites like “traditional Italian/Irish names” which I used to come up with decent combinations!

Ah, the Internet. Where would we writers be without it? Kentucky has offered the world some incredible works by incredible writers like Irvin S. Cobb, Robert Penn Warren, and Harriette Simpson Arnow. Is there a Kentucky author who’s influenced your writing? If not, who has done so?

I’d have to say that among Kentucky authors, I really admire and respect Sena Jeter Naslund. She was (maybe still is) writer in residence at my alma mater the University of Louisville and wrote the most amazing novel: Ahab’s Wife. It’s “Moby Dick” from his wife’s perspective, among other things but that is her most famous one. My second favorite would be Barbara Kingsolver — The Poisonwood Bible is one of the most amazing works of fiction out there, from this “Kentucky preacher’s daughter’s” perspective. She no longer lives in God’s Country Kentucky, but was raised there.

I am a huge, gigantic fan of Margaret Atwood, Stephen King. (No one does deep, interior POV like him even though I don’t care for his horror novels — The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon about a little girl who literally gets lost in the woods and uses her photographic memory of baseball players and stats to get her through the trauma is a book I go back to again and again when I need a dose of “now this is how you write.)

I also love books by Lianne Moriarity, Anne Tyler, Roni Loren and Shayla Black. But non paranormal stuff — I do not do vampires or werewolves, full stop --- I don’t really “do” a lot of romance formula to be honest which I realize holds me back since I’m trying to write within a specific genre. But I write what I want to read and I think it will catch on eventually if I keep doing it and pay excellent editors to help me keep honing my craft.

I wasn't a fan of Ahab's Wife, but I did love Four Souls, so we share a love of Naslund's work. And I’d offer you some cheesecake, but I think my friend Layla made off with all of it. But I do have plenty of bourbon and moonshine. Speaking of which, with Kentucky being famous for its bourbon, why did you choose to make the Love family business a beer-making enterprise?

Nah, we’re good sans cheesecake but please pass me the Basil Haydon, it’s my go-to sipping bourbon. I’ll admit most of my characters are drinkers but picky ones since many of my books including The Love Brothers have a backdrop of craft brewing. I helped found a craft brewery in Ann Arbor a few years ago and love that business. The premise is that Anton Love (patriarch) made a bundle of dough on a horse race…once, but that’s part of another book….and opened “Love Brewing” with his brother, Leo, catching the leading edge of the “craft beer boom” about the same time as some of the currently big names in the business like “Dogfish Head” and “Bells.” He and Lindsay opened a pub downtown (which remains but the actual production brewery had to move offsite when they got big enough to need more tank space). Dominic is the only one of his sons who goes into the business with him but as you know, that does not always work out well.

Sir's favorite bourbon is Angel's Envy. It's always around the house. He's toyed with some home beermaking too. I know you’re into brewing. Can you tell us a little about how you came to be involved in that craft?

I’m not a brewer. I’m the “face,” as we say. I have worked in marketing and public relations my entire career, after getting my BA in English Lit at U of L. The list of things I’ve marketed is long but my most successful run financially speaking was as a realtor. I was asked a few years ago to apply my marketing skills and area connections to help start up a brewery. I knew exactly zero about how to brew but made it my business to find out, learning from the many craft breweries already in place and successful in Michigan. Once we hired a brewer and set up the equipment in an old appliance store warehouse, he taught me to brew. But at heart I’m a “taster,” an “appreciator,” and have a basic level “Cicerone” license which makes me kind of like a wine sommelier only for beer — I can help you pair the right one with your meal and can also distinguish problems with beer that has “off flavors.”

I love setting books in the beer biz — it’s unique, and I bring a back of the house to the front knowledge of it to my settings and characters, which some books set in the business I’ve read lately really don’t have.

And I have to ask – is the series finished, or will there be more?

I have a “companion novella” to Love Garage called SAFE LOVE coming out (ebook only) in March and Family Love, the aforementioned backstory of Lindsay and Anton (PLUS the reasons why Angelique the one daughter in the group and her mother never get along through the earlier books) should release in July this year. It already has a cover. I managed these covers start to finish — my choice of model, photographer and designer.

I’m working my way toward the Stewart Realty series, but I’m not there yet. I did, however, read Cheeky Blonde and, I have to say, I loved it. I especially liked the way you rid the story of a particular person. Very creative. For those who would like to start reading your catalog, which book would you recommend first and why?

Ha! Yeah, Cheeky Blonde is a ton of fun in a lot of ways — it introduces readers to the craft beer biz in a kind of  unique way — via the sexier sales end, by dropping them right in the middle of one of the bigger “beer fests.” I have books kind of across the spectrum of basic erotic and non-erotic romance tropes. If a reader likes m/m and m/m/f relationships, I’d go with Honey Red, another stand alone set in a brewing world. Essence of Time is one of the Stewart Realty stand alone novels (ostensibly book 4 of the series) and is also m/m/f but with a lot of background about the two men and how they ended up together. It’s a fan favorite/most hated novel. You’ll see why when you read it.

If readers like a series of books within an existing set of publisher parameters, I recommend The Turkish Delights series. The first 3 books adhere to the Decadent Publishing “1 Night Stand” set up which is pretty cool (imaginary dating service, insert your characters and plots herein). It’s got one with a bit of a “cougar love” storyline, an overt m/m one, and one with a very strong BDSM storyline (Turkish Delights/Blue Cruise/Tulip Princess). The other 2 are the “backstory” and the “aftermath” of the other 3. I love books with lots of supporting cast who also require their stories told. I lived in Istanbul for several years — I’d love to write an entire memoir about that and my time in Japan and England dragging my kids around in the wake of my auto exec spouse’s career someday.

Paradise Hops is a stand alone that is easily my most polarizing, thanks to how I resolve the love triangle. It’s my favorite stand alone (also set in a fictional brewery, this one in Ann Arbor).

Mutual Release, the 7th book of the Stewart Realty series is one of the 3 stand alone longer novels that has a very strong BDSM storyline but deals head on with how some men use that as an excuse to abuse, while others struggle with their seeming inability to get off without using it. To me, the concept of a “D/s” relationship based on all the reading and research I’ve done, including interviewing lots of people who practice it either daily or on the weekends when the kids are out of the house or whatever, is all about trust. And Mutual Release is about 2 grown ups who meet in their thirties who come to find out that trust has to run both ways in order for a relationship to work. I really like it as it has the “good” and the “bad” of that particular, very popular to talk about right now lifestyle/fetish.

But if you want to meet a compelling Alpha male who works his way through a series of 8.5 soon to be 9 books, you gotta pick up Floor Time. It’s free on all ebook retailers and will be your introduction to Jack Gordon, hands down my fans’ favorite funny, successful, Realtor/lawyer dude, deeply entrenched in and seemingly enjoying his bachelorhood even if he’s “given up” on finding the woman who’d “play” the way he wants. Of course, he meets her. Of course she’s perfect for him on many levels — but she’s a little bit too much like him which gave me the opportunity to craft a trilogy that is sexy as hell, and emotionally packed but has no “easy endings” for anyone. Warning: Jack is addictive.

Have a brownie. No, there’s nothing funny in them. Can you tell us what you’re working on next? Or is it a big secret?

I’m an open book as we say. And no thanks on the brownie — pass me the bourbon again instead.

I am working on Family Love (book 4 of The Love Brothers); Net Worth (fan demanded book 9 of Stewart Realty. I had to meet a self-designated sales number for Good Faith, book 8 in order for me to justify writing this and they helped me fly right past it in the last quarter of 2014. So they get their sequel.); a new book called Why Not Me? which at the moment is going without a genre designation until I get further into it; and Precious Vessel, a sexy thriller set in anti-dystopian, future Detroit that is my agent bait for 2015. I’m determined to convince someone to represent me and help me boost my career a bit higher up the ladder using that project. It’s finished, polished and gets submitted to 10-15 new agents every week. So far, I’m in the rejection collection stage but think someone will eventually find my voice, strong author platform and backlist unique and high quality enough to partner with me.

Oh, I’m also head writing (i.e. “outlining the way Liz outlines”) a chick lit thing called Lady Balls about an all-female sports network (like if ESPN only had women announcers and reporters) that is started in Detroit. Lots of male/female work politics, sports and a spunky main character gal who used to play sports, and hates being the “tits and ass” but realizes it’s her only way to stay working in the business she loves: sports — she moonlights as a stripper. Yeah.

Well, I can't believe you left me with all of the sweets to eat by myself, but I'm certainly not going to complain about that! I'm glad you stopped by, and I hope you've had as much fun as I have. Thanks for being here, Liz. Let’s visit again soon!

Thanks for having me!


Love Garage, Book One

Antony Love is the quintessential responsible oldest brother of a boisterous, Italian/Irish family, placed in charge at a young age by his parents who are busy running the family business. He manages his siblings with a fair but iron hand, until his life is shattered by personal tragedy leaving him the shell of the man he once was.

When outspoken matriarch Lindsay Halloran Love becomes ill, the youngest brother Aiden shows up at Antony's garage, having dropped out of school (again), needing work and a place to crash. Antony provides both, with three caveats: "Don't smoke in my truck, don't be late for work, and don't mess with my girlfriend."

But Aiden Love, budding novelist, gets one glimpse of Rosalee Norris, young widow of Antony's lifelong best friend and all bets are off.

Set in horse country near Lexington, Kentucky, The Love Brothers Series is a saga of family devotion that runs as wide and deep as the Ohio River--except on Sundays when brothers Antony, Kieran, Dominic and Aiden work out their frustrations on the basketball court, Love brother style.

Buy Love Garage

Coach Love, Book Two

The smoldering intensity of first love ~ the forbidden fantasy of temptation ~ the cold hard facts of real life.

When one man’s hopes are dashed apart in a split second after years spent chasing a dream, he returns home to Kentucky furious at the world and everyone around him.

Kieran Francesco is the middle son of the volatile, tight-knit Halloran-Love family. His role as peacemaker and the one true athlete is well established. He now faces life devoid of the sport he adores after a horrific, career-ending accident, which places him in a new and entirely uncomfortable position—that of the brother with no future.

Over the course of a few tumultuous months Kieran is plunged back into life at the center of the Love family, where he must cope with one self-destructive brother, one ill-timed reconnection to an old flame and a series of bad choices that land him in more trouble than he’d ever known existed.

COACH LOVE, book 2 of The Love Brothers, a family saga of sibling loyalty that runs as deep and wide as the Ohio River—at least until Sunday, when Antony, Kieran, Dominic and Aiden work out their frustrations at the weekly Love brother pick-up basketball game.

Buy Coach Love

Love Brewing, Book Three

Release Date: March 2, 2015

Every family has one—the black sheep, the problem child, the prodigal. But Dominic Sean Love could teach all of those guys a lesson or two. Stuck in the middle of a boisterous group of siblings, he’s given “acting out” a new meaning from day one. 
While he’s the one son who follows his strict father’s footsteps into the Love family business, he’s also the one who butts heads with him the hardest. Their epic clashes are the stuff of family legend. But they have made peace and work side by side to take Love Brewing to the next level of success.

Until Dominic does the one thing his father can never forgive.

Diana Brantley has been Dominic’s friend, girlfriend and ex-girlfriend so many times she’s lost count. When he shows up at the farm she’s slowly transforming into a wildly popular farm-to-table resource for restaurants all over the U.S. her first impulse is to shoot first and ask questions later. But she doesn’t. And their lives entwine once more, for good, bad and ugly.

Pre Order Love Brewing

Safe Love: A Love Brothers Companion Novella

Release Date: March 2, 2015
**This is a COMPANION, it is intended to be read in-between books 1 and 2 not before**

Antony Ian Love has a lot on his ample shoulders. He owns and runs a small business, is estranged from his teenaged daughter AliceLynn, his beloved mother is dying of cancer, and he's come face to face with his youngest brother Aiden's sudden reappearance into the Love family circle. 

Years of sublimating his true self in deep mourning for his long dead wife have hardened the surly, emotional shell he's nurtured, but one woman seems to have broken through. Rosalee Norris is the young widow of Antony's best friend Paul and their mutual sorrow and close friendship has slowly morphed into something more.

Family therapist and recent divorcee Margot Hamilton is dropped into the close-knit Love family by necessity but fate has a real design twist in mind. With her heart and mind closed to anything resembling an emotional connection, Margot is shocked to discover something about Antony the very first time they meet--something she tries, and fails, to resist.
SAFE LOVE, The Love Brothers novella is a tale of love's realistic complications within the saga of family devotion that runs as wide and deep as the Ohio River--except on Sundays when brothers Antony, Kieran, Dominic and Aiden work out their frustrations on the basketball court, Love brother style.

Get Safe Love For Free Until March 10, 2015

to find out how CLICK HERE to check out Liz’s website

Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.

Connect With Liz

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love, Friendship, BDSM, and Facebook

It’s Valentine’s Day, in case you hadn’t noticed. That day when there are hearts and flowers and candy and whips and cuffs and . . . oh, sorry. I kinda wandered off there for a minute. But yeah, it’s that day of the year when UPS issues a notification about extended pickup times and heavy volumes. It’s the holiday the US Postal Service dreads more than any other. A whole year of sentiment concentrated into one day is a logistics nightmare.

Thank you, Sir!
You know how much I love pretty spring flowers.
I got a huge bouquet of flowers yesterday. When I called Sir to thank him, he said they wanted to know if they could deliver it on Friday because Saturday was going to be so heavy. In our household, the holiday is whenever everyone can be together, so dates don’t hold a lot of importance, and he told them sure, deliver away. One extra day for me to enjoy them. How awful can that be?

But since last Valentine’s Day, and particularly in the last week, I’ve had some things happen that, quite frankly, have saddened me in a way I haven’t been sad in a while. Because, you see, despite all the flowers and candy and cards, there’s really only one thing Valentine’s Day is about: Relationships. Without them, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t mean a damn thing.

In the last year, some amazing things have happened to me. I’ve made it to the bestseller list. I’ve found a couple of people who have taken my hands and guided me through the minefield of promotions, and they’ve turned out to be not only a great help, but true friends. I’ve met some women who’ve encouraged me and helped me spread the word about my books, but, most importantly, become people I simply enjoy spending time with, albeit a virtual kind of time. They’re busy people who’ve taken time out of their lives to cultivate a relationship with me, and I, in turn, have done the same with them. No, we don’t talk every day. Sometimes we’re all busy. But when we do, we have fun and share and generally create a family where there wasn’t one before.

I’ve also made some friendships that have spilled over into the world of BDSM, a world in which I thought Sir and I were alone until I found this literary genre, its fans, and other people who practice the lifestyle. It was liberating to know we weren’t alone out there. Fetlife has been an eye-opener in itself, not always a good one, but still an eye-opener. I’ve fielded a lot of questions, asked a lot of my own, and generally found people with whom I’ve bonded because of our mutual love of kink. It may be about individual preference, but we’re sealed in solidarity against a world that refuses to understand. And that’s okay.

But I’ve had some dark days too. One day last year, I found someone I loved and with whom I’d been close for 15 years doing something quite illegal within one of my groups. And when confronted, instead of admitting (because they know I’m a very, very forgiving person – I’d forgiven them for hurting me over and over through the years), apologizing, and taking my advice to get help, they vehemently denied it, pretty much told me I was crazy and a liar, and have continued to this day to slander me and lie about me and about what happened. I was forced to go to the authorities. I didn’t enjoy that. You haven’t lived until you’ve sat in a sheriff’s detective’s office and cried. It’s been months and I’m still sad when I think of how much I miss this person. It was like a death for me; still is.

And just recently I’ve had people I thought were my friends either accuse me of some pretty terrible things, or just simply disappear. I’ve also had someone with whom I had been able to talk about pretty much anything, and she with me, just kind of cut off contact with me. Oh, we still comment on each other’s posts, say hi, that kind of thing, but she won’t answer my emails. She’s gone from someone who said she was glad to have me to talk to, to someone who won’t talk to me. And that’s pretty weird and painful.

I’ve made some friends with people because of the world of kink and, unfortunately, some have made contact with me because they see me as some kind of leader or trainer or guru or something. One even called me an “expert.” Folks, there is no such thing as a BDSM expert. Let me say that again: There is no such thing as a BDSM expert. All BDSM really is, is a simple thing: A relationship. Yes, it may only be for play, and it may be for only an hour or two, but it’s still a relationship. It involves trust and time, two of the greatest factors for a relationship, and, as such, is fluid. It’s different for every person and the person with whom they’re involved. I’m not an expert in ANYONE’S relationships except mine, and I’m not even much of an expert in my own sometimes, at least not as much of one as I think. There may be BDSM practitioners who have particular talents or skillsets in which they’re proficient, but they’re not experts by any means. If they tell you that they are, they’re pretty damn arrogant. But make no mistake: The people with whom I’ve made friends are still friends, even though I sometimes have to answer their questions with, “I don’t know.” At least I’m honest.

One of the positive things that has come of this last year is a deepening of my relationship with Sir. We’re closer than we’ve ever been, and he’s still my biggest fan and most ardent supporter. Sometimes I think he wants me to succeed even more than I do. That means more to me than anyone knows. Sure, we’re still separated a good deal of the time by circumstances we can’t control, but when we’re together, we’re really together. Twenty-four seven. And we love it. Because we’re no longer alone and actually have people to talk to about the lifestyle, we’ve been able to make some real strides in trust and skill, and our time together is even more meaningful and exciting. After thirty-three years, he’s still the one.

Another positive thing is the women who support me. A day doesn’t go by that one of them doesn’t contact me and say hello, or send me something in the mail, or just generally go out of their way to make me feel cared for. When you’re alone as much as I am, no one knows how much that means. I don’t watch TV unless there’s an imminent weather event, so some days go by without me ever hearing a human voice. It’s those times when those women, those amazing, busy, family-oriented, hearts-brimming-over-with-love women are precious to me. To them I send a big hug, kiss, and thanks for finding me and loving me.

I hate Facebook – I think I’ve said that before – but being here in this little corner of nowhere that’s so fucked up as to think it’s a big city, the book of face has become my lifeline. It’s easy for people to hide and be things they’re not, or pretend to care about you and not really give a shit. It’s easy for them to reach out and hurt you unnecessarily, or treat you poorly, or wound you casually, because they figure, hey, what the hell? They’ll never really meet you in person. You’re not a real person, right? You’re just a name on a computer screen.

That’s so wrong. Behind every one of those people is a real, breathing, beating-heart person, someone who laughs and cries and hurts and sings. Yeah, I know, some of them are scam artists. Guess what?  Scam artists have families too. They have friends, albeit probably not very good ones (because what person of any decent caliber wants to be friends with a scam artist, right?), but they still have friends. They scam us because no one loved them enough to teach them right from wrong, or that others are important. They’re to be pitied. Yes, they’re to be exposed and reported too, but pitied all the same. They’ve chosen a way of life that leaves them lesser creatures.

Yes, book pirates, I’m talking about you too, you rat bastards. You’re pathetic. I wish for you now that you’ll find someone who loves you enough to tell you that you’re rat bastards and that hurting others is wrong. But that’s unlikely. It’s hard to love a rat bastard too.

So today, I’m thankful for the people who do actually love me, and yes, there are a few. I’ll look at the cards and plaques and notes I’ve received, not a lot but still enough to change the topography of my thinking, and I’ll be glad. I’ll read the pretty card with the note in it again, I’ll look at the Christmas card with the pictures of the family, and I’ll think about those women, people I’ve never met in the flesh but feel a sisterhood with. I’ll think about the ones I have met, who’ve come to events, supported me, encouraged me, and created relationships with me. I’ll think about my fellow authors who’ve come to my aid, who chat with me and encourage me, who give me tips and ask me for my advice, which I freely give. I’ll think about my friends who’ve talked to me about bondage beds and floggers and wax play.

As I do, I’ll look at the pictures of my kids and think about how lucky I am to have them and their significant others in my life. And I’ll finger the charms on the collar around my neck and remember that I’m never really alone. Someone loves me.

And that makes me the luckiest woman in the world. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. May you feel the love today. Regardless who else sends it your way, you’re getting it from me.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kill the Drama

I’ve seen a trend, a disturbing trend. It was bad a couple of years ago, and it’s only getting worse.

I see so much drama everywhere. I was at a Dollar General one day and the cashier couldn’t check out the customers for her drama. I could hear her telling someone, “Yeah, that’s what happened. He bumped somebody else, and then they called him a name, and first thing you know, they’re down in the dirt fightin’ like dogs. And then he blowed a tar and everythin’ just fell apart. I tole my girl, Angel, I said, ‘I ain’t never seen nuthin’ like this. Ever Saturday night it’s the same damn thing.’ I swear, I’m gonna bust some asses if they keep this shit up.” It took me about three minutes to finally figure out that she was talking about the local dirt track races. You would’ve thought the whole thing hinged on her attendance, based on the way she was carrying on. What should’ve been a two-minute stop turned into ten because of her drama.

But I think the worst place on earth is Facebook. They fight and fuss. They call each other names. They spy on each other.

And the bullying. This one wants you to go to that one’s timeline and post some horrible shit accusing them of something or other. They argue and fight openly. Recently, because an author declined a person’s request for an interview, said person posted some pretty horrible shit. I saw it, something about kids’ heads being cut off, and it was pretty bad. Oh, and along with that was the conspiracy theory rants. Good god.

One of the things I hate the most on Facebook is the dirty laundry. Don’t do it, people. Keep that stuff to yourself. It’s one thing to talk about it within a little group; it’s another entirely to post it and share it and make it all crazy. It’ll come back to bite you in the ass later on. If you want to talk to your friends about whatever's going on, that's fine. But for the love of god, don't go to your blog and type out a three-page treatise on who, what, where, how many times, how deep, how hard, how fast or slow, how many spawn created, etc., etc., etc. And if you decide to do it anyway, don't bitch when other people make comments. You put it out there, so deal with it.

We’ve got several communities here where I live that are nothing but hotbeds for drama. One person I know who lives in one of these communities has it in her head that if you disagree with someone, you hate them. We can’t disagree without hating each other? How eighth-grade of her.

And if something that’s supposedly going on is actually confirmed? Oh my god. Then they really have reason for some drama.

So I’ve got a message for all you drama queens out there.

Cut it the fuck out and grow up.

Really, no one wants to hear all that shit. If they do, they’re part of the problem, not part of the solution. Drumming that stuff up will give you ulcers. It’ll make your hair fall out. You’ll miss out on potentially healthy relationships because those people who could be stable and positive in your life don’t want that shit either.

I’m like that. I don’t understand the need to be in the middle of a shit storm all the time. I like peace and quiet. Sure, I enjoy loud music sometimes. Of course, I like to get polluted and do some sexy dancing with Sir on occasion. Who doesn’t? (It was a hypothetical question, so shut up.) But for the most part, I like my surroundings serene and peaceful. If I want crazy and exciting, I just go to Walmart. You know what I’m talking about. I rest easy at night. I feel good when I get up in the morning. It’s healthy. But all that stuff? It’ll just make you sick and tired. And an insomniac.

And I know where all of that comes from too. So let me set you straight.

Little girls, there is nothing real about reality TV. I know you see all those women fighting and drinking and sleeping around, getting botox injections, falling off their stiletto heels, waiting for a guy to hand them a rose. It’s not real. Let me try that again – IT’S NOT REAL. Real people don’t live like that. If they’ve got brains, that is. It’s all pretend, all for the cameras, all designed to do what? To make you want to live that way so you’ll want to watch and see what they do next.

Do not give TV your life. Reality stars are not people to emulate; they’re people to pity. The money they get for what they do can’t possibly compensate them adequately for the humiliation they put themselves through, if indeed they’re smart enough to feel humiliated. The next time you’re tempted to start a literary screaming match on Facebook, or embark on your sixth rant for the day against your neighbor, think for a minute how much better it would be to go and sit down on your sofa with a glass of tea. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Peaceful. Calm. Smart. Because when you behave that way, you just look like an idiot.

Try reading. Or knitting. Not much of a crafter? Take a little trip to a nursing home to visit someone who has no family. Go play fetch with your dog for thirty minutes. Hell, read a book – that’s probably how you found me and my blog. There are so many things you could be doing, constructive things, while you’re plotting your next rant or engaging in your next drama court.

And while you’re at it, watch just one episode of the Duggars. You’ll never forget your birth control pills again. ‘Cause that shit’s real, girl. And you don’t want to be there. Oh, I’m sure some of it’s real, like somebody spitting nineteen kids out of their vajeen. But all the lovey-dovey, all-the-kids-help-out shit? All for the cameras.

Save yourself some miserable years. Just don’t play into all of that. Take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I’m better than that.” Because you are.

Or you will be if you’ll just turn that damn TV off.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Asshole Doms

Yeah, they’re out there, and they’re a dime a dozen. There are more asshole Doms out there than you can shake a stick at.

I was originally of the opinion that Fifty Shades of Grey helped to bring the kink community out of the closet and into the bedroom proper, but sometimes I think it did that same community a grave disservice. The biggest problem with FSOG, as I saw it, was that readers, for the most part, did not get the moral of the story: Victims of childhood sexual abuse can be very fucked up, and that Christian Grey was indeed a very fucked-up victim of childhood sexual abuse. But once he got his healing on, he no longer needed the kink he’d been dishing out. Most readers missed that altogether.

Because of this, many have fallen into a trap that makes me weary. For some reason, they think that being a submissive is all about being beaten. So let me enlighten you.

Kink takes many different forms. Some submissives do want to be spanked, flogged, clamped, scratched, burned, cut, and generally torn apart. And that’s fine. But there are all kinds of other fetishes too. Personally, I’m a bondage and restraint kinda girl. Some are really into needle play. 

Others like the foot fetish thing. Some like wax play, or fire play, or branding. Some really get into roleplaying. From that comes age play, daddy Doms, and furries. And don’t forget latex and rubber fetishes. Lactation is another big one. And there’s cock and ball torture, ball crush torture, all kinds of things that look extremely painful to me. Some are pretty awful. Don’t get me started on breath play – I’m not going there.

In other words, if you can think of it, it can become a fetish, like food eaten off the body. Some of these fetishes do not require a Dominant, but most do, or at least another participant. And that’s where things start to go awry.

Finding a Dominant can be a tricky thing, as I outlined a few weeks ago when I did a multi-part post on that subject. Sometimes people go out and they have no idea what they’re looking for, or they do but they don’t know where to look. And sometimes what they find is nothing at all like what they were looking for.

And sometimes it is.

Here’s my thing: I read a lot of erotic romance, erotica, and BDSM-themed work. And one of the pervading themes in a good deal of it is the asshole Dominant. Don’t know what I mean?

It’s that Dominant who believes that when he walks into a room, every woman is a submissive and they should all kneel before him. What’s even more infuriating is that he talks to them like they’re trash and treats them like they’re subhuman, and they lap it up and pant after him.

Problem is, that happens in real life too. And there are lots of submissives out there who believe Dominants are supposed to be like that. So let me give you a little wake-up call here.

If you meet a Dominant like that, well, he’s not a real Dominant.

I mean, there are a few out there, I suppose, and they sometimes find submissives who eat that shit up. Most of the time when you find a relationship like that flourishing, it’s actually a Master/slave relationship and the slave isn’t always willing, but rather either coerced or forced. So how do you weed these guys out?

That’s really not very hard. If you find a Dominant who’s not a member of the fetish community locally, that’s a pretty good indication that there’s a problem. If he’s a decent human being, he’ll probably want to be a part of the community, or at the very least be a member in good standing. He may not want to go to a potluck or exchange Dirty Santa gifts, but he won’t be someone who causes eyebrows to shoot up and noses to wrinkle at the sound of his name. But if, as in the case of someone I know, he’s been told that he cannot participate in community activities, then believe me, this isn’t a simple personality conflict. There’s something terribly wrong.

One of the first questions you should ask a potential Dominant is simple: How many other subs do you have? I know of one guy who only allows a submissive to ask a finite number of questions, like two per week. Once those are asked (and by the way, he reserves the right to not answer), that’s it – no more questions. After about two months of working with him, a submissive I know asked him how many submissives he had. His answer of, “Oh, just six,” pretty well sealed his fate with her. Frankly, I’m sorry, but when he told me I only got two questions per week, I would’ve told him that we obviously weren’t meant to work or play together because that’s just plain bullshit. Turned out that this guy not only had multiple subs he was working with, but he also had a wife at home who had no idea what he was up to. Not cool.

And there are lots of Doms out there who belittle their submissives. If that’s what the submissive has signed on for, that’s okay, I suppose. But if they only do it because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do, well, that’s not okay. If they do it because they get off on it and they don’t care how their submissive feels about it, that’s really not okay.

Oh, and here’s one: The Dominant who has a submissive because he can’t afford a housekeeper. He thinks that’s what a submissive does – she cooks and cleans and does his laundry. That’s her primary purpose in life, serving him. That’s not what submission is about. Any woman who lets herself be used that way, unless she’s signed on for it as a slave, is an idiot.

And there are idiots out there. There are women out there who think they want a Dominant so badly that they’ll do anything they’re told. Some of them will drive miles and miles to find a Dom, or someone who calls themself that. So ladies, here’s a little reality check.

If you talk to him on the phone and he wants to meet in person immediately, run. If he tells you what to wear the very first time you’re going to meet, tell him to go fuck himself. If you ask him a question and he tells you that he doesn’t have to answer because he’s the Dom, walk away because that’s bullshit. If you never hear a kind word from him, or he makes any reference to you being unattractive in any way, tell him to kiss your ass and refuse further contact. Are you hearing me?

A true Dominant may be just that, dominant, but he’s also respectful of his submissive. He’s genuinely interested in her wellbeing and her desires. His primary goal is to build up the submissive’s confidence and trust, and to always have her best interests at heart. And I’m not talking about a love relationship either; I’m talking about a person who is strong of character and moral fiber, and who desires to see everyone become the best they can be. He isn’t necessarily in love with his submissive, nor is he looking to find a submissive with whom he can fall in love, but he loves the submissive he works with as a person and desires to see her fulfilled and satisfied. Most true dominants are very community-oriented, very socially conscious, and very service driven. They’re practicing as a Dominant not to take, but to give. And in the process, they get their own needs met.

The poser Dom, on the other hand, is looking to get his own needs met and doesn’t really care how that happens. He sometimes even leads his submissive into risky practices, like sex without a condom, or in ways or places that could potentially cause them to run afoul of the law. He instructs them to expose themselves in public, or to wear clothing that would be considered inappropriate or cause them to be poorly thought of in settings where it could make a huge difference, as in their child’s school or in the workplace.

He also indulges in practices that are outside their comfort zone. Before you have some kind of fit, let me tell you that yes, it’s perfectly okay for a Dominant to require a submissive to do something they really don’t want to do. That’s part of Dominance. If you have a submissive who really doesn’t want to give you a blow job, it’s your responsibility to help them learn to at least tolerate that so your needs are met. It’s also your responsibility to teach them how to do that, and it’s your responsibility to honor their safeword if they just can’t seem to handle it. That’s when negotiations come into play and everyone has to find some kind of common ground. But any Dominant who insists on fellatio three times a day when they know their submissive absolutely hates it and is perfectly willing to meet their needs in another way?

He’s an asshole.

They’re just normal, average guys, maybe even someone you think you know, but they draw on those leathers and, BAM, they’re Super Dom. They strut around like they own everything and everyone, and they act like it too. It’s like Billy Badass meets Christian Grey.

They think the title of Dominant is a position of privilege. They don’t get that it’s actually a position of service.

And there you have it – the asshole Dom. If he says, “Yeah, sure, I’m a Dominant. I love to tie women up and whip them,” tell him to go crawl back under his rock because you’re looking for a real Dominant. If he gets all puffed up and starts telling you how you need to shut up and kneel in such-and-such position, he’s an asshole Dom. But if he starts laughing and tells you, “Would you like to have dinner sometime and talk?”

There's a really good chance that he’s a keeper.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Submissive ≠ Passive

I think it’s time we cleared up a common misconception. Look at the title of this blog post. Yep. That’s the one.

What made me want to write about this? Well, I was talking to a friend of mine one day at lunch and we were talking about my books. I brought up the subject of BDSM, and she instantly wrinkled her nose. She then commenced to spew some comments about women and how hard they’d fought to get out of the kitchen, about how she couldn’t imagine any self-respecting woman “letting” a man do that kind of thing to her, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseam.

I don’t think she’d ever noticed my collar.

I decided not to try to explain to her. There was nothing I could say that would make sense to her anyway. Unless you’re a person who enjoys restraints and gets off on the feel of the whip, you can’t understand. Or maybe you could, but you’re not about to admit it. There are a lot of those out there.

But one of the pervading ideas I’ve heard over and over is that submissives are the weaker of the pairing within a D/s relationship. And I’ve read more than a few BDSM romances, at least a couple of series too, in which the submissive is this fair, frail little flower who just bends to the will of her master. Oh, yeah, she’s bratty sometimes, but in the end, she just submits and leaves her self behind (yes, I meant that to be two words). She’s indecisive, or mousy, or just basically inert. Here’s the definition of passive from

Not reacting visibly to something that might be expected to produce manifestations of an emotion or feeling. Not participating readily or actively; inactive. Not involving visible reaction or active participation. To play a passive role. Inert or quiescent. Influenced, acted upon, or affected by some external force, cause, or agency; being the object of action rather than causing action (opposed to active ).

I tried to think of something that would be a good illustration, and then I remembered something I was told by a minister once. He was recollecting his seminary days, and he was talking about allowing their god to be in control. But he remembered a group of students there at the seminary who were so focused on this point of teaching that they would literally stop and pray to ask if they should go out to buy a tube of toothpaste. Without a direct confirmation of what they were supposed to do coming from their god, they’d just sit there without any toothpaste.

And just last week, I had the TV on and caught a commercial for The slogan was something like, “Sometimes we wait for god to make the next move, while god is saying, ‘It’s your time to act. The next move is yours.’” I instantly thought about how that translates into a Dominant and submissive relationship, and it really does.

So let’s look at the definition of submissive, again from

Inclined or ready to submit or yield to the authority of another; unresistingly or humbly obedient: submissive servants. Marked by or indicating submission or an instance of yielding to the authority of another.

There’s a huge, huge difference between the two. I know some of you still don’t see it. So let me try to help you out.

Let’s talk about dentists.

If you’re a submissive person and you have a toothache, you make an appointment with a dentist. When the time comes, you get dressed, brush your teeth (of course), and head out. When you get there, they call you to come back and sit in the chair. Then the dentist comes in. You don’t want to do this. It’s not fun. You’re pretty sure it’s going to hurt, and although you know it’ll be better in the end, this isn’t your idea of a fun way to spend an afternoon. But truth is, you know you need to do this. So you submit and let the dentist numb your mouth, do his worst, and send you home. And while you’re miserable for a little while, in a short time you’re glad you went because when the pain of his work is finally gone, so is the toothache.

But the passive person wouldn’t do that. They’d wait until they had a massive abscess, then it turned to sepsis, and they’d be unconscious before someone took them to the hospital and actually took care of the thing. They’re waiting for outside forces to work on them. They don’t initiate anything.

I know what you’re thinking: No one would do that. So let me ask you something. How do most submissives find a Dominant? Do you know? Well, I can tell you this: They don’t sit at home and wait for one to come by and knock on their door. They go out looking. They make their intentions clear. They find a way to get involved in a situation where they can meet a Dom or Domme who will fulfill their needs.

And here’s another characteristic of a submissive: They communicate. They talk about their needs and desires. They look for a Dominant who is compatible, someone who is able to deliver what it is that they crave.

Look at that definition again. Inclined or ready to submit or yield to the authority of another. Inclined. Ready. Yield.

So let me make this clear: These BDSM stories you read where the man walks into the room and the woman instantly knows she’s supposed to fall at his feet and obey him?


That’s right, I call bullshit. Any woman who was really like that would probably be dead in a few weeks because she’d walk right into the most abusive relationship that anyone could possibly imagine. Yes, there are men out there looking for women like that, and those women do exist. But I wouldn’t call them submissives.

I’d call them doormats.

A passive individual would go to a club and sit down, then just wait for someone to come along and ask them to scene. A submissive interacts, tries to meet people, wants to know what they’re about and if they’re someone who would make a good play partner or Dominant. In short, a true submissive takes responsibility for having their own needs met by interacting with people in the community until they find someone who’s willing to do what they need done.

If you’ve read anything at all in the BDSM realm, you’ve heard about safewords and how they’re used. And there’s nothing that makes a true Dominant sadder than a submissive who’ll refuse to use a safeword to the point that they’re injured. It’s a terrible burden for a Dominant to carry, and something that they all dread, at least if they’ve got a conscience. A true Dominant is looking for a submissive who’ll be in control of themselves, enough so to communicate what they want, how much is too much, and when they’ve had all they can take. The Dominant’s job is to then push them just a tiny little bit farther to challenge their boundaries, and then back off and give them the aftercare they need.

But that Dominant is depending on the submissive to do this. A passive person wouldn’t be able to. They’d let the Dominant do as they pleased and run great risk of being injured simply because they were waiting for someone or something to act on them, not being a participant in their own life.
Speaking from a personal aspect, as a submissive, my role is simple. Sir expects me to communicate what I want, and I don’t mean just in the bedroom. “Oh, nothing” is not an acceptable answer. Neither is “Never mind.” “I don’t care” won’t work either. We talk. It’s a give and take. That kind of interaction is why, when scening with a play partner, scenes are negotiated. Questions are asked, questions like, “If this is something you want, how many lashes are you accustomed to receiving?” Or, “Does this frighten you? Why? Is there a trigger here, something that might cause a past issue to come to the forefront in a negative way?” Dominants want to know these things. The encounter is supposed to be mutually satisfying.

In short, the D/s lifestyle was never intended to give the Dominant free rein over another person. Even in Master/slave arrangements, a real Master/Mistress wants to know what the slave is thinking, what their needs are, and how to meet those while having his or her own needs met. The lifestyle doesn’t work if only one person is being satisfied. Most Dominants are trying to find ways to drive their submissive higher and higher into subspace, not ways to control and oppress them. In return, they expect to have their own needs met, and a true submissive will gratefully pleasure their Dom/Domme because of the pleasure they’ve received from him/her.

A true submissive is far from passive and weak. In fact, there is something empowering and strengthening about being able to tell another person what you need, rather than just expecting them to read your mind. That mind reading thing? It’s the reason why so many sexual relationships are unsatisfactory. No one can read your mind. And it takes a very strong person to be able to submit their body to another and trust that they’re safe and will have their needs met.

I’m a submissive, and I’m far from passive. Just ask Sir. He’ll gladly tell you.