by Elia Winters
Columnist Bridget Hartwell agrees to write about BDSM to impress her new executive editor at Sultry, the “sex-positive magazine for sex-positive women.” Unfortunately, it’s a topic she knows absolutely nothing about…but if she ever wants that promotion, she’ll need to learn the ropes, fast.
English professor Max Harlow is active in the Dom/sub scene, but only for casual play—he’s never found his ideal partner: a woman who is his equal, but sexually submissive. When he’s asked to explain the lifestyle to his cute but obviously inexperienced neighbor, Max is certain it’s best to approach it academically—to keep things purely professional.
Until Bridget’s first article is a huge hit, giving her the perfect excuse to delve deeper into the naturally submissive side of her sexuality. But as their encounters intensify and each of her boundaries is skillfully pushed, Bridget must decide what this all means… for her identity, her career, and, most importantly, her future with Max.
“What about your fantasies?”
“What? What is it?” Catching her hesitation, Max looked up from the Scrabble board.
“It’s just…” She paused and took a swig of beer. “I’ve had a lot of crushes on men in positions of power. My volleyball coach back in high school, my internship coordinator in college, a few professors…” Realizing he was grinning, she blushed, remembering he was a professor. “Right. Anyway, I never acted on any of them.”
“And yet you complain that you date weak men.” He swirled the beer around in his bottle and held it up to the light, his gaze thoughtful and distant.
“Well, I don’t want some guy to boss me around.” To hide the discomfort she suddenly felt, Bridget looked down at the board. She played reach off the H in hinder and fumbled as she chose four new tiles.
“I think we both know that’s a lie.“ Max said smoothly, and he drank his beer. “I’ll bet you’re just afraid of what kind of woman you would be if you gave in to those urges.” He rubbed a tile between a thumb and forefinger, then set it back on his shelf. “I’ve been doing this a long time, Bridget. You responded today like a natural submissive. You liked more than just the sex. You liked all of it.”
She set down her beer and looked at him. “All right.” She tried not to sound defensive. “So what does that mean?”
“It doesn’t have to mean anything.” Max shrugged. “Maybe this afternoon, I just want to play some Scrabble with you and order a pizza. But when we’re done with all this experimenting, you’re going to have a lot to write about.”
Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school where she runs too many extracurricular activities. She balances her love of the outdoors with a bottomless well of geekiness.
Elia dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. In high school, she kept her friends entertained with a steady stream of naughty stories and somehow never got caught passing them around. Her erotic fiction and poetry have been published online at Clean Sheets and Scarlet Letters under a different name. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets.
Elia’s virtual life is as busy as her real life. In addition to her website, http://eliawinters.com/, you can also find her on:
Thank you for stopping by We Love Kink! We’re so glad you decided to sit down and chat with us. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself in case the readers haven’t met you before?
Thanks for having me! You can sum me up in two words: geeky and kinky. Well, I’m much more than that, but those two words are pretty effective. When I’m not writing saucy romance novels, I teach high school English and work to keep those two halves of my life separate.
Please share some juicy details about your latest release.
I’m here about Purely Professional, but I hope you don’t mind me mentioning that I have a new book that just came out this month! Playing Knotty is a hot story of bondage meets bookworm. Emma Green is a bookstore owner with some body image issues, and she’s thrust into the world of bondage via an old friend, Ian Cooper. Ian rents the back room of her store for a bondage workshop, and when his model gets the flu, Emma volunteers to help. She doesn’t expect to develop feelings for Ian, and she certainly doesn’t expect to love bondage.
What draws you to erotic romance?
Sex is fantastic and a key part of most romantic relationships. I think it’s important to celebrate sex and love, and writing erotic romance lets me do both. Plus, I enjoy promoting other important issues to me, such as feminism and body-positivity, through my writing.
When did you realize you were a writer?
I’ve always seen myself as a writer. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, poems and short stories and even fanfiction. I wrote my first novel when I was 15, and that’s when I thought I’d like to make a living as a writer.
Where do you, as an author, draw the line on subject matter?
Sex needs to serve the story line, even in erotic romance. If you can remove the sex scene and have no change in the story, then the scene shouldn’t be present in the first place. Most of the time, I’m drawing the line in ways that have nothing to do with sex: I don’t write woman-against-woman hate, with the bitchy ex girlfriend or the backstabbing fake-friends.
What or who were your early influences?
My first romance-esque awakening came in the form of The Mammoth Hunters by Jean Auel, the third book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series. Having loved the first book and unable to find the second, I got my hands on the third and soon realized it was a league removed from anything my sheltered 7th-grade self had read before. When my mom caught wind of the content, she made me return the book, but I was hooked. From then on, I was sneaking my mother’s romance novels, becoming adept at leaving them exactly as I found them as I combed through looking for sex scenes. Not exactly a glorious beginning, but we all start somewhere.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
If it’s a first draft, I lower my standards and just write some drivel to move the scene forward. If I’m getting writer’s block on a revision, that usually means that I haven’t planned my revisions thoroughly enough. I take a step back and clarify my character arcs and themes.
What is the best part of being a writer? What is the most difficult part?
The best part of being a writer is seeing my books go from rough first drafts to finished novels. It’s so rewarding to get the final proof. That’s when the book feels real. The most difficult part of writing is the first revision. My first drafts usually need significant rewrites (mostly due to my “lower my standards” method of solving first-draft writer’s block), so the first revision is like cleaning out a storage locker full of a dead relative’s old stuff and searching for the valuable jewelry.
Who are a few of your favorite authors?
Margaret Atwood is a queen among writers. I love her poems and her novels. Barbara Kingsolver is also brilliant. I love Orson Scott Card’s writing but hate his politics. Frank Herbert’s Dune series makes me feel completely inadequate in wonderful ways.
What are three things that many people don’t know about you?
- I had a very conservative upbringing. I wasn’t even allowed to see movies rated R until I went off to college.
- Most people know I have an English degree, but many don’t know I also have a minor in astronomy.
- I’ve been trained as a whitewater raft guide.
Thank you so much for stopping by and talking to us! It has been a lot of fun. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we get to telling everyone about what they could win today?
Thanks for having me! Stay tuned to my website, because I have a Steampunk erotic romance called Combustion releasing on May 5th.