Will The Real Delilah Please Stand Up? (Wicked Wednesday)

This week Marie’s Wicked Wednesday promp is In the (erotic) blogging community people frequently hide their real identities. This week we want to hear your thoughts on this…


When I first began writing erotica, I was a public school teacher. Teachers are a profession where a career as an erotica author has the potential to create a lot of moral panic and outrage. I was literally scared of losing my job because someone discovered I’d written smut about wanting to fuck Wesley Crusher. I needed plausible deniability.

Today, the truth is that it’s not that hard to ferret out my real identity. I write an expat blog where I have promoted Capturing the Moment. Can you figure out my irl name? Yes, with minimal effort. I’m not a teacher anymore, so I’m not worried about getting fired. However, I find it useful to write non-fiction under my legal name while using Delilah Night for fiction.

(This post is super short because I’m still newly out of the hospital and high on painkillers–I find it really hard to focus.)

wicked wednesday

Sometimes there’s no such thing as a good choice


Greetings from a hospital in Singapore. This is my sixth or seventh time here in three years. With one exception, every hospitalization has been because of my bad-and-getting-worse-low-back.

Without getting into medical terminology, I first hurt my back when I was sixteen and because it wasn’t really properly cared for then (we didn’t have health insurance) it didn’t heal properly. Over the years it became progressively worse.

Ten years ago this October I had surgery on a herniated disc that was compressing the sciatic nerve root (which runs from your back down your leg into your toes) to the point where the nerve hurt so much I literally could not walk.

Three years ago this past March, I was putting my second daughter (who was just over a year old at the time) into her stroller from the car seat and the disc above the one from ’06 tore.

In the past three years I’ve gotten so many MRI’s I’ve lost count. I was excited that on my last two visits the hospital I go to can pipe music into the headphones they have you wear while getting the MRI from Spotify, so you can request your music. I can sleep during an MRI, but this last time I quietly sang along to Hamilton in my head for the hour or so it took to do my full spine.

We know that my back is a disaster as is my sciatic nerve, but we don’t know the full story. Scar tissue isn’t visible on any imaging system, and can compress nerves and create persistent pain with no easily diagnosed cause.

Six days ago I had eight injections at various levels of my spine to deal with four disc herniations (two in my back, two in my neck) and three surgeries (two for my low back discs and one to deaden the sciatic nerve).

Were any of these the right call? I have no idea.

I’ve been living in chronic pain for the past three years, but the past six months have been the worst. A “good day” became one where I had enough energy to drive to my daughter’s schools and pick them up. My daughters even know to avoid the right side of my body as even a casual hug at the wrong moment can lead to severe pain.

In doing one of the surgeries, my doctor confirmed that there is a lot of scar tissue, because he could barely force the needle into the disc to perform the nucleoplasty. (In layman’s terms, they burn out the center of the disc and the idea is that the disc will shrink back down).

I carry a lot of guilt that I’m not the mom I wish my kids had. I can’t get on the floor and play with them. I can’t run around outside. If I’m lucky I’ll be able to swim with them again (which given that we live near the equator is a year-round activity). My days of roller coasters and waterslides are behind me.

Six days into my hospital stay I’m asking myself if I made the right choice, but honestly–sometimes there is no such thing as a good choice.

wicked wednesday

Wicked Wednesday–Aspirations

Becoming a published author has been a life-long aspiration of mine, and I have several stories that prove it.

For example, here is my story “Bee Queen” from my third grade book, Animal Fairy Tales.


Bee Queen

by Delilah (age 8)

The bee queen was very upset. She cried ever since the bears had found their honey tree. My children are dying. They’ve nothing to eat for weeks. I’m going to go sting those bear good and proper and so will all the bumblebees, hornets, honeybees and yellow jackets.


We still teach them a lesson. As soon as Captain Stinger is ready, we’ll take care of those bears. And they did just that!

But my third grade magnum opus was “The Last Unicorn,” which I previously published. Read parts 1 and 2 if you want a good laugh.

wp-1453292076597.jpgThirty years later, Totally Bound published my first book, Capturing the Moment.

Does that mean all my aspirations have been fulfilled? Nope. Next up is a full length novel, and seeing my book in a bookstore, and not just on Amazon. Dreams and aspirations are what keep us moving forward.

Click below for more stories of aspirations.

wicked wednesday

Wicked Wednesday: Dream or Nightmare?


Why am I here?

Here was a seedy bar in get-me-the-fuck-out-of-here Maine. I’d hated all four years, but the advent of my tenth high school reunion had me returning to my small town like a swallow to Capistrano. There wasn’t enough Facebook stalking on the planet to feed my schadenfreude-fueled fantasies about how much better my life was than the hicks I’d left behind.

I certainly hadn’t come back to spend time with my mother. They say that the mother-daughter bond improves once the daughter ages out of being a difficult teenager, but we’d certainly done our best to disprove that theory.

Why am I here?

Right, because after another round of accusations thrown back and forth, I’d left the house and begun to drive aimlessly. Nothing else was open. And the allure of a glass of wine, even a piss-poor one, had been overpowering

Was avoiding my mother worth bleeding from my eardrums? Either way, more alcohol was going to be necessary.

This part of Maine is littered with dead zones. No scrolling on Twitter, no updating Facebook, no bitching on Whatsapp or Messenger. I tried to brace myself for misguided attempts at country, screaming rock lyrics, and unfortunate attempts at the current pop hits. I imagined they’d make a charming counterpoint to the various sounds made when one’s mouth is so close to a microphone that one might as well be fellating it.

I decided to ignore the impending cacophony and read a thriller I’d downloaded to my phone before beginning the trek north. It was topping the New York Times Bestseller List, not that anyone in this room had likely ever read the Gray Lady.

My head snapped up when I heard the opening notes of “The Impossible Dream,” from Man of LaMancha. Broadway? Here?

To dream the impossible dream/To fight the unbeatable foe/To bear with unbearable sorrow/To run where the brave dare not go…

The room didn’t appreciate the scene that was unfolding in front of them. A baritone with perfect pitch.

To right the unrightable wrong/ To love pure and chaste from afar/ To try when your arms are too weary/ To reach the unreachable star

He wore the same flannel and work boots as the other men. This was no fellow city slicker home for the holidays, or if he were, he was far better at blending than I.

The audience continued to talk amongst themselves. He sang on, unaffected by their disinterest.

This is my quest/ To follow that star/ No matter how hopeless/ No matter how far

Our eyes met, and held.

To fight for the right/ Without question or pause/ To be willing to march into Hell/ For a heavenly cause

I abandoned my drink, drifting closer to the chunk of floor with the masking tape denoting the “stage.”

And I know if I’ll only be true / To this glorious quest/ That my heart will lie peaceful and calm/ When I’m laid to my rest

I mouthed the words along with him.

And the world will be better for this/ That one man, scorned and covered with scars/ Still strove with his last ounce of courage/ To reach the unreachable star

At the key change, a shiver whispered over my skin.

This is my quest/ To follow that star/ No matter how hopeless/ No matter how far

He was singing to me now.

To fight for the right/ Without question or pause/ To be willing to march into Hell/ For a heavenly cause

The world shrank down to the two of us.

And I know if I’ll only be true / To this glorious quest/ That my heart will lie peaceful and calm/ When I’m laid to my rest

I yearned. Every note seared my soul.

And the world will be better for this/ That one man, scorned and covered with scars/ Still strove with his last ounce of courage

Beneath the music, he was propositioning me.

To reach the unreachable star

He belted the final note. I nodded my answer.

The anemic applause barely registered as he took my hand and led me through the bar and out into the chilly night. For once, I didn’t have a snarky comment to make about pick-up trucks.

The door clanked shut. He didn’t bother to turn on the engine.

I heard the zing of a zipper, and he yanked me to straddle his lap. Rough fingers reached under my skirt and tore my panties, the rip echoing in the cabin. With one thrust he entered me and I rode him like the cowgirl my family would’ve probably preferred to an MBA.

Our groans harmonized. My pleasure spiraled up into an operatic soprano note of joy. Several seconds later, his baritone fell into a long bass note as he came.

The seduction spell woven through song shattered when he spoke.

“I can’t believe I just fucked Wendy Adams.”

I never knew a nine-hour drive could double as the longest walk of shame of my life.  I still don’t know who he was. I swear upon the holiest of holies–the Louboutin boots upon which I blew my savings rather than therapy–I will never google my high school reunion, because I don’t want to know.

Maybe my mother was right after all. Stick your nose high enough in air and you’ll trip over your feet.

wicked wednesday

Wicked Wednesday: Milestones


 I enter college, terrified of failing. I will not go back to managing a sub shop or working at JC Pennys. I am not the first person in my family to take a college class, but I am determined to succeed. I balance a fulltime job, a fulltime courseload, and manage to pick up a boy by asking him if he’s taken his girlfriend to Titanic yet.


I am shaking as I board the very first plane I’ve ever flown on. I’m leaving Boston for the south of France for a study-abroad. The French professors have a bet as to whether I’ll get on the plane or not. I do. I have my wallet stolen in Arles, and learn how you report an atm credit card stolen. I hope they enjoyed my Tower Records video rental card and the five dollars in cash I had. I fall in love with a terrible boyfriend, and am dumped in favor of his ex-girlfriend right before New Year’s Eve. But we’ll still be friends. Sure. This is my first New Year’s Eve as a twenty-one year old, and I get plastered. I end up making out with a drunk Northeastern hockey player in a porta-potty (I know, I know) and take him home. This is also the year I start to come to terms with my queerness and seek therapy because I’ve bought into all the toxic stereotypes about bisexuals.


I call my “friend” who dumped me to ask how his New Year’s Eve went. He tells me he hung out with a friend, played video games and drank beer. He asks me what I did. I reply “A hockey player.” Mic drop. The porta-porty make-out was worth it.


I am a college senior, writing an honors thesis for the history degree I’ve realized qualifies me for exactly nothing. My boyfriend introduces me to Literotica and I start writing. I write the infamous Wesley Crusher fanfic. I am now hooked on writing erotica. I graduate from college and become the first person to do so in my family. I become a manager of a retail store because I have a degree in History.


I move to New York to pursue an MA/PhD in History. This is a terrible idea, and I flame out. New York is a cruel city and I have never been more alone and unhappy than I was there. But I saw a ton of Broadway, made new friends, and wrote like crazy. I have no regrets when I leave.


After realizing how much I hated the PhD program, I get a Master’s in Teaching and get my first classroom.


I meet my husband and after our first date, I tell him I want to be “just friends.” When I realize I’m an idiot several weeks later, he gives me a second chance.


We get married. I write the ceremony. The West Wing is mentioned. My husband slips a Babylon 5 reference into his vows. I herniate a disc in my back and spend several months high as hell and unable to walk properly until I get surgery. This is not the best start to a marriage, but my husband is awesome. Serious props to him.


I lose a baby in a miscarriage. I was only 10/11 weeks along but I am devastated. I do not move from my bed for almost a month.


My eldest is born, and we almost lose her at a week of age due to an infection. She spends a month in the hospital. When she gets out I suffer from intense post-partum depression. I consider suicide a lot.


My bipolar disorder is finally correctly diagnosed. I have a mild form that is often misdiagnosed as depression. I finally get useful mental health medication. My daughter, while highly medical, much to everyone’s surprise and joy does not have developmental delays or serious complications.


We move to Singapore. All I really knew about Singapore before we moved here was that gum was banned and they caned some American kid named Michael Fay when I was in high school. We visit and it is hot as hell. But what the heck–we always said we wanted to live abroad, so we jump in.


Kid number two is born and I sell my first story.


I go to Cambodia, alone. It is the first time I’ve been outside the US on my own. I am so proud that I have a wonderful vacation all on my own.


I write and sell my first novella. I nearly die from a kidney infection and deal with the medical and emotional fallout from that. Around a third of my hair falls out and I cope by dyeing it bright blue. Because why not.


We are still in Singapore, despite our initial assumptions that we’d be here only a few years. My children study Chinese as a second language. I am getting a baptism by fire as my eldest progresses through local schools. We are going to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. I just finished the first draft of my novel.

What’s Next?

wicked wednesday

Wicked Wednesday: Questions my daughter asks about my writing

This Wicked Wednesday’s theme is questions. It’s actually a timely prompt, because my oldest daughter, Ms. 7, has been asking a lot of questions about my writing.

Ms. 7 knows that I’m an author, and that when I say I’m writing the only reason she or her sister, Ms. 4, should bother me is if someone is bleeding. But now that she can read, my writing isn’t just scribbles on a computer screen. I have to be aware of where she is at all times to ensure that she doesn’t walk up behind me and read inappropriate content over my shoulder (which has happened a few times). She is a curious child who is also a bibliophile, and she has begun asking questions about my stories.

I want to talk about what I write in an age appropriate way, but also in a way that doesn’t imply shame over my stories.


When I got the email with my cover art for Capturing the Moment, I got really excited and called my husband over to see it. Ms. 7 was around and she came over, too. When she saw the cover, her comment was “Mommy, is that man naked?”

Yes, yes he is. “No, he’s just shirtless,” I responded, steeling myself in case she asked why.

She shrugged and said, “Okay.”

I confess I was relieved.

I was raised in a very sex negative home. As someone who has been a sex educator, and as an erotica author, I believe in having a positive approach to sexuality. That sex between consenting partners is a healthy part of life. That it’s totally normal to have various partners over the years. That sexuality is fluid.

Unfortunately, Singapore is a very conservative and sexist society. I am constantly battling against the heteronormative and traditionally gendered notions she is fed in school. I once said to a therapist that I thought it was irritating that girls have to wear dresses and don’t have the option of wearing shorts. I was told, effectively, that wearing shorts would turn them into lesbians. Friends tell me that girls at their high schools with “too short” hair were considered lesbians and punished accordingly–guilty regardless of identity and regardless of the fact that it’s just wrong. The reductive attitudes toward sexuality and gender roles makes me question my choice to bring up daughters here. (Not that the US is a utopia, but there’s a wider range of “normal” there.)

Ms. 7 and have had a few conversations about sex. She knows the proper names for the male and female body parts, including genitals. She’s learned about the fertilization of an egg, and how it can grow into a fetus (or not–I’ve been open about the fact that I had a miscarriage before my pregnancy with her). Ironically, I think we’ve talked more about abortion than we have sex. But that’s because she’s more interested in the concept of being pregnant or not being pregnant. She isn’t all that interested in what happens before pregnancy (or not getting pregnant).

We’ve talked about masturbation, sort of. That it’s healthy and normal to want to touch yourself, but that your bedroom is the right place to do that, as opposed to the middle of the living room.

lets talk about sex

I know that Ms. 7’s questions will change, and despite my preparation as a sex ed teacher and my desire to create a sex-positive home, I am nervous that I won’t get it right.

I want to teach her that sex is a good healthy thing. I want her to understand consent, and to feel comfortable saying “no!” when she doesn’t want to do something. I want her to know what a healthy relationship looks like. I want her to have access to birth control of all kinds. I’d rather that she have sex in her room in the house at sixteen than going down on her partner in the bathroom of a subshop because they have nowhere else to go. (True story–both I and my boyfriend worked at the sub shop, and the bathroom didn’t have cameras, so we’d fool around in there. That’s where I learned to cover my teeth when giving a blow job because I’d never given one before. And yes, ew.)

I want to help her advocate for a better tomorrow for women and their sexuality.

On the flip side, I need to teach her about rape culture. That she will get catcalled. As a biracial woman, she will need to fend off idiots who ask “what are you?” like she’s an exotic pet. I need to help her navigate the quicksand that is being a woman. That you will get criticized for being “too ambitious.” (Just look at the criticisms of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for a zillion examples of sexism leveled at ambitious women.)

With regards to my writing, I don’t want her to think that I’m ashamed about writing explicit sex. But she also needs to know that there is a boundary as to what I’m going to share, regardless of how old she gets. If she reads any of the anthologies I’m in when she’s older, I honestly don’t want to know. I was 11/12 ish when I started stealing my mom’s books and feeling tingles when I read the sex bits, although that freaks me out as a parent when I think about Ms. 7 and Ms. 4. I think she should read erotica when she’s old enough, but it squicks me out that she might read mine. If she wants to read anything by me, I have mainstream fiction she can read.

For now, my answer is “Mommy writes books that are meant for grown-ups. I’ve written a few stories that you can read when you’re a few years older. (meaning my mainstream fiction)”

I feel lucky that her response is, “Ok. Can you write a book just for me for my birthday, then?”

That sounds like a story I’d be proud to have her read.

wicked wednesday

Wicked Wednesday #199–The best “bad” book I’ve ever read

I am paralyzed by the idea of sharing my favorite book, because I am incapable of picking a favorite. So instead, I’m going to plagiarize a post I wrote for my book blog about Prom Dress by Lael Littke, one of the most epically, wonderfully, equisitely bad books I have ever read.

I had a vague memory of reading this book in late elementary/early middle school and procured a second hand copy because it is sadly not on Kindle. I was an addict of the uber melodramatic scary/cursed item/ghost story that was so ubiquitous in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I even wrote part of a short story called “The Curse of the Silver Teddy Bear Necklace” in high school. I’ve devastated that my story doesn’t seem to exist anymore. (I’m holding out hope I’ll randomly stumble over it in a box of papers one day).

prom dress

Prom Dress by Lael Littke

Originally Published 1989

Robin is too poor to buy a new dress for the prom.  Then she finds a perfect, beautiful dress in the attic of her mysterious employer’s house.  She “borrows” it to wear to the prom…and dances into her worst nightmare.

Then Felicia finds the dress.  The price she pays for wearing it is more than any girl should pay…

But Nicole is too smart to be caught by the dress.  Isn’t she?  Poor Nicole!

And then there’s Gabrielle, Robin’s little sister.  Did she find the dress?  Or did the dress find Gabrielle?

Can anyone stop the fatal attraction of the…Prom Dress?

OHMIGOD you guys—could this book BE any better?  Maybe, but only if it were longer.  I LOVED it.  So much love I can’t stop with the CAPSLOCK.!!!!111!!!!111!!!!1!!

I hope you guys were all fans of soap operas back in the day because this plot has a lot of convoluted plot points that only work if you’re willing to pretend we’re in Salem/Pine Valley/Port Charles. Strap in for caplock and run-on sentences like I’ve never capslocked or run-on before.

Robin is a new-to-town gold digging social climber dating the hottest/richest boy in school–Tyler.  Tyler drives a red Trans Am, which I think is supposed to compensate for him saying things like “Between your dancing and your working, I hardly get to see you.  Where do I rate on your list of priorities?”

Alas, Robin must work because Daddy’s dead and college tuition doesn’t grow on trees.  Apparently, though, new houses DO grow on trees.  Right around when Robin’s Dad died, her mother inherited a house from a family member who also died at the same time which is great because they couldn’t afford the mortage on the old house they’d lived in with her dad, and so they moved because this house was free and there are no inheritance or property taxes and who the hell knows—just go with it.  Dad died, they moved, they’re broke–but they live in a mansion next to an even bigger mansion.

prom dress gold diggerHe’s talking about you, Robin

How very lucky for all of us that Tyler ‘s girlfriend needn’t slum it at McDonalds.  In the mysterious mansion next door lives Miss Catherine.  She’s an elderly recluse with a scarred cheek from when her twin sister Rowena threw acid on Catherine’s face because Rowena was jealous of Catherine’s hot boyfriend Michael who never looked at Rowena even though Rowena lusted after his bod.  Robin is Miss Catherine’s lackey, and her job duties seem to consist of keeping Miss Catherine company and talking about how hot Miss Catherine used to be before “the accident.”

One day Miss Catherine and Robin get to talking about how Robin is going to be in some dance show doing the Charleston and there might be college scouts there to give out college scholarships.  She has to find her own costume–and Miss Catherine has the perfect dress.  All Robin has to do is go upstairs, find the secret closet, and take out the flapper dresses—being certain to NOT TOUCH the white prom dress that JUST HAPPENS to be the only other thing in that closet.  Don’t even LOOK at it, Robin.

Duh, of course Robin looks at it, and instantly wants it. She’s going to be Tyler’s prom date and if she shows up in anything less than the perfect dress, he’ll dump her because she won’t be worthy of being seen with him or something.

The dress was made of deep scallops of creamy lace.  It had long sleeves and a high lace collar.  Like the flame colored dress, it had a dropped waistline, but the two dresses were worlds apart.  While the red one called out blatantly for excitement and dancing the braying of horns, the lace one spoke softly of elegance and muted music and romance.

prom dress puffed sleevesWhat girl wouldn’t want to sport this while dancing to Milli Vanilla and New Kids on the block

Robin asks Miss Catherine if she can borrow the Prom Dress.  HELL NO, Miss Catherine says.  She got the scar on her cheek while wearing that dress–it’s BAD.    Robin decides that the ends will justify the means and when she borrows the flapper dress, she “borrows” the prom dress.  Did she see a shadow on her cheek when she took it?  Nah, it was just a trick of the light.

Apparently Robin looks smokin’ in the red flapper dress at the Charleston contest.  Tyler tells her that his dad thought Robin was so hot that he’s sending them to a top shelf restaurant before prom, and is going to throw a limo their way.  Robin says she could get used to this lifestyle, and I contemplate that she’s chasing the wrong man–it’s Tyler’s dad who controls the purse strings.

They go to Prom and are crowned Prom King and Queen after many more mentions of how the dress is so gorgeous that every girl there is jealous of it and that Robin is so bodacious in it.  But just as Robin is about to take her throne and accept the pinnacle of high school success, the stairs crumble and she falls.  The throne she was about to sit on falls too and lands on her legs and feet, crushing them.

No more dancing for Robin.

Robin is taken to a hospital, where her nurse is a woman named Felicia.  Felicia is a reformed slut who is now in love with a divinity student named Mark.  She wants to grow up and be Mrs. Mark, future minister’s wife.  The first major hurdle in reaching her goal is impressing Dean Goudy at a special dinner he throws for his divinity students.  Apparently the dean evaluates all potential spouses, and if the spouse doesn’t measure up the marriage isn’t going to happen and the student will be penalized for even thinking about dating such an unworthy candidate.  No pressure.

If only Felicia had the right dress…

It was to be a dress-up affair, and the only fancy dresses she owned were bare backed or off the shoulder or spaghetti-strapped.  What she needed was something sweet and demure.

Something like Robin Wilson’s dress.

prom dress slutty nunSadly, this little number will need to stay in Felicia’s closet.

Felicia asks Robin if she can borrow the dress.  Robin says no.  But during a drugged out dream, Robin’s eyes flicker open and she sees Felicia holding the dress up to herself.

Felicia is looking in the mirror–and thinks she sees a smudge on her cheek.  Gee–is it shadowing or FOREshadowing?  Felicia steals the dress.

Felicia goes to the dinner and is all demure and shit.  But the dress keeps feeling tighter and tighter.  So tight she can’t breathe.  But when she looks in the mirror, the dress looks just like it did–it’s not too tight at all.  But she can’t breathe.  Finally, she excuses herself and goes upstairs to the “bathroom.”  Felicia goes into the Dean’s bedroom and rips the dress off her body.

Oh noes!  Now she’s in her underwear and the dress HAS to get back to Robin tonight because otherwise she’d be a bad person or something.  So instead she steals some clothes from Mrs. Goudy to wear.  But why stop there?  She steals a bag to carry the dress back to Robin.  She tries to sneak out, but Mrs. Goudy shouts that someone is fleeing the house with her BLUE BAG!

Felicia runs for the bus stop and the RIGHT bus just HAPPENS by at the RIGHT MOMENT.  What luck!  She hops on the bus and feels so lost and upset.  Now what can she do?  Telling the truth is clearly out of the questions–it is a FAR better solution to change back into the dress, sneak back into the house, and go back downstairs saying that she had glimpsed a man running off with a blue bag.  NO!  NO!  What she should REALLY do is go to the hospital and return the dress and throw out the clothes and….I don’t know, say that God had taken her from the house to the hospital because she was more needed at the hospital?

Before she can get off the bus, Felicia needs her shoes.  She reaches into the bag for her shoes…and discovers a velvet bag with pearls in it.  I know I leave my expensive jewels in a random bag in my closet instead of a jewelry box or a safe.  Oh NOES!!!

People get onto the bus–and it’s Mark and another guy from the party.  Rather than confess and do penance or say some Hail Marys or whatever, she says

“Mark.  The man with the cap….  He took it.  He made me take the dress off at the house and he put it in a blue bag that he found in a closet….  He got off a few stops back.  ….  He made me come with him.  He said he’d hurt me if I didn’t come.  He threatened all sorts of awful things.  I didn’t dare call out or anything.  I just did what he said.  I’m sorry he got away.  But I was afraid.  See, I’m still shaking.”

Mark is incredibly dumb and believes her.  He escorts her from the bus, while she plays sad maiden.

The bag is left on the bus.

No more integrity for Felicia.

Nicole is a genius.  Her high school academic decathalon team is taking the exact same city bus to a rival high school for a major competition.  Her foot bumps something under the seat, and she finds THE BLUE BAG.  Inside is the dress and some gorgeous pearls.  It’s just what she needs for the dance that night.  Maybe then her teacher will notice her and become her boy toy and they’ll live happily ever after.

prom dress 394I will open to page 394 any day of the week, Professor Snape….

That night she goes to the dance, and she looks totally gnarly.  She thinks she sees a shadow on her cheek momentarily, and only the dullest reader can’t see what kind of karma is heading her way.

Mr. Waring asks her to dance and they flirt.

School would be out soon; that would end the student-teacher track they were stuck in right now, which of course would never allow dating.  Mr. Waring’s strong code of ethics would never allow it.  But, after graduation, they’d be free to date.  Nicole could help him get over the terrible pain of losing his wife and child, and they could be married.  She wondered if he’d mind if she went to college after their marriage.  Very likely he’d insist on it.  Maybe he’d go back for more graduate work.  Maybe they’d both go to college.

Nicole was thinking happily of a wedding gown very much like the dress she was wearing.

Just then, Nicole sees her frenemy talking to someone and pointing at her.  Proving she’s the “Girl Computer with the giant brain,” she makes the obvious intellectual leap that the cops must be here for her.  They must have figured out….somehow…that the dress and jewelery weren’t hers.  She runs away and bumps into a very tall pedestal.  The bust of Einstein falls off and smacks her in the head.

Poor Nicole, no more brains–it’s amnesia town for you.

Luckily for Felicia, Nicole is brought to her hospital.  She’s able to put the dress back into Robin’s closet.  She confesses everything to Mark and surrenders the jewelry back to Mrs. Goudy.  Mark dumps her lying ass.

Felicia and Robin have a heart to heart about the evil of the dress.  Felicia thinks they should destroy it–her first smart choice of the book.  Robin persists in being a moron and says it must go back to Miss Catherine.

Robin tells her little sister Gabrielle to take the dress back to Miss Catherine, which is clearly a great idea.

Did I mention that Gabrielle thinks that Tyler is totally choice?  Gabrielle loves to play piano and Tyler sometimes accompanies her when he’s waiting around for Robin.  So she jumps at the chance to get a ride home from him so she doesn’t have to take the dress on the bus, and asks him to come play piano with her.  They could even do a duet FOR ROBIN when she finally comes home.

prom dress boyI’m just saying if you really loved me you would share him…

Robin gets out of the hospital and it’s so sweet how Gabrielle and Tyler have clearly practiced playing together over and over and over and over.  In fact, they’ve gotten so used to playing together that they’re going get paid for playing together.  Playing PIANO—stop with your filthy minds.

Robin takes the garment bag with the dress inside it back to Miss Catherine and confesses.  Miss Catherine begins to laugh hysterically and confesses that it was her evil plan all along!  BWAHAHA–she’s not even Miss Catherine….she’s ROWENA.

“I cursed every stitch of that dress.  I started it for myself, you know.  I thought Michael was going to ask me to the prom.  But I had the birthmark, you see, and Catherine was the beauty.  That was the most important thing in the world to her, just as Michael was to me.  I saw them sneak around together, and when he asked her to the prom I finished up the dress for her, because I knew it was the last time she would ever be beautiful.”

Rowena jiggled up and down.  “When they came home, I threw acid on her face.  But not on the dress.  I didn’t want to ruin the dress.  She was wearing a cloak, so it didn’t get on the dress.  I didn’t want to hurt the dress.  I did it right there, in the foyer, on our little stage,” Rowena gave her a mirthless laugh.  “And after that she was even uglier than I was.”

And just look–there goes Gabrielle to her job, with Robin’s boyfriend….WEARING THE DRESS!!!  Rowena taunts Robin to just let her go, that the dress will punish her sister just as it did Rowena’s so long ago.

Robin suddenly develops a backbone and ethics and struggles to her feet, even though they’re both in casts and she’s supposed to be in a wheelchair, and even standing hurts with the fury of a thousand suns she struggles to the door, screaming even though Gabrielle and Tyler can’t hear her.  As she gets to the door, throws it open, and screams her sister’s name one last time just as Gabrielle is about to get into the Trans Am, and passes out from the sheer pain of it all.

She wakes up in the hospital—her fall stopped whatever tragedy was about to befall Gabrielle.

Rowena was taken away and the full story comes out.  After her stay in a mental hospital post-acid throwing, she was released into Catherine’s custody.  The two women went away and were recluses.  “Rowena” died in a fire, tragically.  “Catherine” came back to the hometown and the old house.  But “Catherine” was really “Rowena”–and the scar was from her gouging out her own birthmark so that it would scar and look like the acid burn.  She was the EVIL TWIN!


The book closes with an epilogue all in italics.  A woman buys the dresses for her second hand store.  A girl named Natalie goes shopping at said store, and sees the dress.  She’s an aspiring actress and it’s perfect for the upcoming audition.  But it costs too much.  So she slips it into her bag and steals it.

Tomorrow she would wear the dress!

The book ends, and I stand up and applaud.





Click the link below to see everyone else’s Wicked Wednesday contributions.  And speaking of books, Capturing the Moment is now on sale exclusively at Totally Bound for the next month, and is now available for pre-order from Google Books, Kobo, and iBooks (release date April 26). It is not yet available for pre-order on Amazon or Nook.

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Wicked Wednesday–Things Get Better With Age

I am thirty-seven years old, and will turn thirty-eight this fall. Despite the fact that my breasts are no longer perky, nor am I up for having sex twelve times in a weekend, I would argue that my sex life has improved dramatically with age.

I had sex for the first time at eighteen. My motivations were a mixture of fear of being left behind (I’m the last virgin in the world), being newly single, general horniness, and no small amount of let’s get this over with. My partner was someone I’d only gone out with once or twice, and when he invited me back to his parents’ house to “watch anime,” I was still naive enough to think he actually meant we would watch anime. When we started making out, it was fine. Then he wanted more, and I decided fuck it, why not. He got angry because I’d gotten blood on his sheets and his mom would be suspicious. He was in his twenties.

evangelionThanks for ruining anime for me, bro

I spent eighteen to twenty-five having a lot of sex with a lot of people. While not every choice was a smart one, nor was every experience a safe one, I ultimately have no regrets. Lots of indiscriminate sex allowed me to explore my sexuality. I came to terms with my bisexuality, although it wasn’t as simple as that statement might imply. Through AOL chat rooms (a/s/l?) I played around with identities and talked to people of all ages and kinks, which allowed me to explore things I never could have before the internet.

Although not universally true, the biggest theme of my first decade of sexual experience, though, was validation. I had experienced a lot of rejection growing up, and the appeal of acceptance–particularly from men, was a way to see myself as worthy. This was especially true after I graduated from college, and after my first attempt at grad school blew up in my face. I was no longer receiving grades for my academic scholarship, so I needed a new way to rate my own worthiness.

please clapSort of, but not as sad as Jeb!

Around the age of twenty-six, though, I hit a breaking point. I had spent so much time trying to mold myself into the person my boy/girlfriend of the moment wanted me to be that I was losing myself. Why did I pretend to like sports/cars/nature? Why did I hide my geeky side with some partners, and my girly side with others? Did I want to keep fucking partners indiscriminately (which is a totally a valid choice) or did I want something more long term and monogamous-y? I stayed single for about a year, which at that point felt like forever. In that time I began to come to terms with who I was and what I wanted out life.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that after that year(ish) I met Mr. Night. He was the first partner with whom I was truly myself, and with whom I didn’t play mind games. I said this is who I am and what I want, take it or leave it. To his credit, he was approaching our relationship the same way, which cut through all of the typical early relationship bullshit.

In short, we both came to our relationship with the same mindset.

im-getting-too-old-for-this-shit-quote-2You tell ’em, Detective Murtaugh

This is not to say that our relationship has been all rainbows and unicorn stickers. Marriage is hard, and adding kids to the mix is like inviting a nuclear explosion into your life. There have been times when we have more frequent sex, and we have also had droughts, sometimes long ones.

So what makes sex better at thirty-seven than eighteen? Not because my husband has the biggest penis or the tightest body of all the men I’ve been with, nor is he better at oral than most of the women I’ve been with. No, sex is better today because of confidence and self-knowledge.

I know what I like, what I want, and I’m direct in asking for it. I’m not going to expect my partner to be a mind reader, nor does he expect me to be one.  I don’t play I don’t fake orgasms.relationship games.

This isn’t just true inside the bedroom. I think I’m a happier person overall at thirty-seven because I’m just not interested in pretending to be something I’m not.

I am what I amLa Cage Aux Folles said it best

I’m looking forward to growing older. While I’m not excited about the hormonal insanity of menopause, I do look forward to the spike in sex drive and the loss of my fertility and period.

I’m looking forward to my daughters growing up and moving out.

I’m looking forward to retiring with my husband.

I’m looking forward to continuing to grow as a sexual person until the day I die. Preferably of a massive orgasm.

wicked wednesday

Wicked Wednesday–Keep the Shoes On

After a long day of teaching, all I want to do is collapse on our bed and take a nap. Yawning, I unlock the door to the house. I’m too tired to put anything where it belongs–my keys, purse, shoes, and bag full of the night’s grading land in a drunken pile at the bottom of the stairs.

I stumble up  to the bedroom and stop short.



Laid out in a silent order are a black lacy bra and panties, a white men’s dress shirt, and a pair of black stilettos I’d never seen before. On my bedside table is a tube of a lipstick far redder than anything I’d ever consider buying, and a note.

Put it on and send me pictures.

I contemplate taking a nap before following your command. I can always obey in an hour or two. I often stay late at the high school to grade, so it’s not like you’d know I’d been a bad girl. Your side of the bed is uncluttered. I shed my work clothes and stretch out on top of the white and green duvet.

I can’t fall asleep.

The gnawing guilt over ignoring an order from you is not unlike the sound of the Tell-Tale Heart from the Edgar Allen Poe story I dissected with my sixth period class a few hours before. I look at them and wonder if it’s possible for inanimate objects to glare back. My nap is never going to happen if I don’t put the damn things on and do what I’ve been told.

Grumpily, I dress, leaving the shoes for last. I’d worn flats all day, and my feet are already sore. Stilettos are a one-way-ticket to limping for the rest of the night. But I know better than to think they’re optional.

“Let’s get this the fuck over with,” I mutter and put on the clothes, leaving off the shoes for now.


I carry the instruments of torture, the lipstick, and my cellphone into our bathroom. I paint my lips, and am surprised by how much I like the color. I hold up my cell and snap a photo and immediately delete it–you won’t accept the sullen look on my face, that the shirt is hiding the bra and panties, or the lack of shoes. I undo all the buttons of the shirt, and admit that my reflection looks sexier. I take down my hair, and shake it out–better.

Time to step into the shoes. Despite all my whining, I have to admit that they change the entire look. The stilettos take me from girl next door cute to sultry siren. I lift my phone, and my expression is one of deep satisfaction. I send it to you and walk back to the bed. No, I don’t walk–I strut.

My phone beep with an incoming text.

You can do better than a bathroom selfie, Sarah.

You’re right, I can.

I’m not tired anymore. When I lay down on the bed, I have no thoughts of sleep. I sprawl on the bed and try to take a selfie, but I can only get sections of my body.  I lay on my stomach and hold the phone over my back, hoping to get the black lace of the panties peeking out from the bottom of the shirt, and my crossed legs. It’s not a success, either.

I decide to channel my inner forties pin-up girl. I lay on my back and scoot toward the head of the bed until my butt is almost against our headboard and my feet are up in the air, resting against the wall. I arrange my shirt artfully, and set up the photo. I’m confident you’ll like this one.


Despite my original intentions, all I want to do on this bed now is you. You have a case in the city today, so I’ll have to wait hours for your touch. Looking up at the fuck-me heels, I decide to pass the time in the most pleasurable way possible, and reach into my panties.

“That’s my girl.”

Startled, I turn my head. You were in the house the entire time.

You’re wearing a black mesh gown that leaves nothing to the imagination, and a pair of stilettos identical to mine, except in silver. My mouth waters in anticipation.

“I knew you’d be too tired to fuck me when you got home. But I also knew that once you put on those heels, it would be all you’d want to do,” you smirk.

“Come here,” I say, before adding “and keep the shoes on.”

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Wicked Wednesday:The challenge of writing a threesome

I’m a little late for Wicked Wednesday (it’s just after noon on Thursday here in Singapore, but it’s still Wednesday in many parts of the world), but I still want to talk about threesomes.

The first time I remember imagining a threesome, I was still a teenager. I was really into Nelson (the band with the twin brothers fronting it) years after they were a mainstream success. Much as teens today are #teamwhoever in a YA love triangle, I found myself struggling to figure out which of the twins I liked more, basing my opinion of the day on whatever teen magazine I read.

after the rain

It was the first time I thought “maybe I don’t have to choose,” and proceeded to make out with my pillow (as one does) pretending it was one and then the other or not caring which one I was kissing. I didn’t have the language to say I was fantasizing about a threesome because the pre-Internet world was a very different world.

With twenty-odd years of experience, I can see the evolution of my interest in threesomes as well as my understanding of all the various permutations of acts and bodies. However, I’ve yet to incorporate one into a story since making the shift to professional author, and that’s because it’s very hard to write a good threesome.


When you write an m/f sex scene you can use their names or the pronouns he/she to make it clear who is doing what at any given moment.

Things get a little more tricky when you’re writing a 2 person sex scene with people who identify as the same gender. Pronouns are much less useful–which s/he? Body parts become ambiguous–who’s dick is that? In writing Love is a Virus I learned that you end up using character names in same-sex erotica a lot more frequently than in m/f sex scenes.

Threesomes take the difficulty of writing a same-sex erotic scene and dial it up a notch. Either two or three of the participants will identify as the same gender. You now have three mouths, six hands, six nipples (and possibly some number of breasts) and three sets of genitalia. It is a delicate balancing act to ensure that the reader is keeping track of the participants, even if the characters themselves are not.

Is your threesome your character and their partner with a “guest star,” or are you writing a polyamorous relationship, or a triad? This affects the chemistry and the interaction each person has with the others.

Writing erotic romance with two characters is hard, but with three you have to contend with issues of jealousy, whether someone’s family can know about the relationship, the relationship dynamics of three people, and so forth.

One of the authors I’ve seen execute this well is Alisha Rai in Glutton for Pleasure (which also features male twins).

This is not to discourage you from writing threesomes–people enjoy them in life and in fantasy–but rather to get you thinking about how to write a threesome scene that works on all the levels.

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