Friday, September 10, 2010
Sneak Peak at Kabukicho
I'm never quite sure how much attention people pay to the sidebars, but perhaps one or two might have noticed the new additions over to the left. Yup, Enticement is out on 2nd November, but before that I have a short story coming out with Ai Press, about which I'm especially thrilled. Woe in Kabukicho is about one woman's trip to a Japanese Host Bar.
I'm particularly fond of this story. The ending gets me every time. More importantly I couldn't let go of the hero after writing it, and hence... Yup, he demanded a whole novel... erm... Enticement. That's right, my two forthcoming releases are linked by the hero, and give two different insights into the same character.
Here's the Woe in Kabukicho blurb:
She never sought a connection… but a chance -and deliciously erotic – encounter with a beautiful stranger in Tokyo’s pleasure ward grants her one heartfelt desire…
A visit to a host bar in Kabukicho while on a business trip to Japan results in a chance erotic and passionate encounter with Sky, an incredibly sexy man whose job it is to entertain lonely women. Mutual attraction leads to an immediate connection forming between them. When Sky then offers to take things way beyond the pouring of cocktails, she finds it impossible to refuse his illicit offer and they embark upon a night of erotic adventure together. However, what she gains is so much more than a fleeting sexual high—but the realisation of her heart’s desire.
And what the heck, a teeny sneak peek.
“What is this place?” I ask.
“A host bar. Go on. Choose. But not that one.” They rush past one glossy snap of a man with a beard. “That’s a woman. Definitely not your thing.”
My gaze blurs as my tender Western sensibilities struggle with the concept of picking a companion from a book, and my seemingly old-fashioned notions of gender. Where do onabe—women with beards fit in?
This all seems hideously taboo.
“It’s okay.” Taiko places a gentle hand upon my arm. “He’ll just talk and pour your drinks for you. It’s nothing illicit. It’s not crude.” She smiles, a coy girlish smile with her eyes lowered. Her dark hair frames her face. “They are not gigolos. There’s no exchange of money involved. We simply pay for the drinks.”
Her words reassure me a little, but there is still a part of me that fears what the evening ahead will bring. I’ve flown halfway around the world seeking space, not companionship. Ideally I think I’d like to drink alone. But my companions won’t hear of it. “Unwind. Live a little,” they insist. “Come on, choose.” Their girlish voices twitter around me offering insights into the men’s conversational skills and general cuteness as I flick through the pages. The images are mostly of young Japanese, boys in suits with a few rebels thrown in for variety. They are styled and perfect, all dark eyed and sultry.
The man I settle upon is called Sky. Taiko shakes her head, but my other companions delight in my choice almost as much as in their own. That is until the men arrive. Then their attention is drawn away by the litany of compliments. Drinks are poured and light-hearted conversations about clothes, shopping and films ensue.
Unlike the other hosts, Sky takes his time to appear. He’s different than they; I sense it as he slopes through the crowd with long easy strides. He bows before me, and I wave him into the seat at my side. I find that I like him sitting there. The grayscale picture doesn’t do him justice. He is graceful and tall. Far taller than most of the men I’ve seen today, and an outcast among them, but not due to his height. I don’t think he’s pure blooded Japanese, but rather of mixed heritage. There’s something about the shape of his eyes and angles of his jaw—heavier, sharper.
His hair is dark, ebony shot with glints of red, and when he smiles, his eyes light with a similar mahogany tone.