Please welcome my fantastically wonderful guest for today, Justine Elyot. Hi Justine, thanks for providing a sneak look at your new release and a heads up on the world of Smashwords.
Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Kink...
Is that not what Cliff said? Ah, my mistake. But it's what you might find in my brand new festive tale, Reindeer In Training, which is up at Smashwords now.
Yes, Smashwords! I have been bitten by the self-pub bug (a big leech-like thing that sucks the formatting out of you). At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never do the paragraph breaks the way it said in the style guide. But then I spent so many nights working under the tyranny of this symbol that I grew strong. And then I uploaded it.
Actually, self-publishing via Smashwords turned out to be much easier than I expected. They have an exhaustive style guide which is clear and takes everything step by step. My chapter headings are still all to cock, but I think I'll be able to sort that out once they have reviewed the story for Premium Listing approval (this enables it to be sold through Apple, Sony, Barnes & Noble etc.). Though of course, they may not approve it. They may, in fact, disapprove.
The most terrifying aspect of the whole rigmarole was designing a cover. As you can see, I still have rather a lot to learn when it comes to the visual arts. But hey, it's an experiment. Sophisticated artwork can come later. Probably much later.
In the meantime, here is a festive extract:
“So then.” Reuben turned around from the kitchen cupboard, having placed the last piece of breakfast crockery in its allotted space. “Training.”
Liv, a little nervous, wrapped her silk robe closer around her and contemplated biting a nail until she remembered that nailbiting was punishable by the painting of bitter aloe and two strokes of the strap on the palm of her hand.
“What do I have to do? Have a very shiny nose?”
“Shiny things are involved, Liv, but your nose isn’t one of them. The first thing we must do is visit a specialist shop. Get dressed into…hmm…no underwear, pleated kilt, loose blouse, I think. And those socks that go up to the middle of your thighs. I do like those.”
“Not required. Up to you.”
Liv loved how dressing for the day had become a sexy adventure since getting together with Reuben. What had once been a case of crawling sleepily over to her wardrobe and finding the least-creased, least-stained collection of garments was now an exotic activity, akin to getting oiled and perfumed ready for the Sultan’s pleasure. Like a harem girl, Liv sometimes wore chains of tiny silver bells between nipple clips, but today was not one of those days. Today was a no-underwear-in-public kind of day, and those were always the best. Liv slathered cocoa butter all over her body, knowing Reuben’s weakness for the rich, chocolatey scent and the softness it conferred to her skin. Then she pulled on the brief red and black plaid skirt, fastened it with the big silver safety pin and teamed it with a crisp white shirt, the cool cotton rubbing against her nipples and bringing them to hardened life. She left the top button undone, revealing the wide strip of black leather with its silver dog-tag that she had to wear around her neck at all times. The black stretch-wool socks, clinging to her thighs and leaving that tantalising band of pale flesh between them and the hem of her short skirt completed her adult-schoolgirl look to perfection. She posed in front of the full-length mirror, twirling her hair and pouting, then looking over her shoulder and flipping the skirt up to reveal her naked bottom, still marked from yesterday’s paddling. She piled and clipped her hair into the messy bedhead up do that made her feel like a sixties sex kitten, slicked on some lip gloss and clear mascara and presented herself to her masterful lover, ready for whatever his plans required.
“You look edible,” he told her, pulling her in to him and kissing her forehead before heading out to the hallway and grabbing his long wool coat. “Mary Janes and your blazer,” he ordered, and Liv scurried to the shoe rack, dressing the part, missing only the straw boater and satchel for the full St Trinians Miss outfit. Well, and the navy blue gym knickers.
The rest of the story can be found at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/31718
Thank you, Madelynne, for including me in your brilliant Advent Calendar of Pleasures. It's a privilege to be one of the treats behind the doors.
And thank you, Justine, for joining us.