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Guest Opinion: The Power of the Male Submissive by Joey Hill

book review One book that I’ve read that has really challenged my own personal belief system is Natural Law by Joey Hill. It changed my perceptions about BDSM and won me as a reader for life for Joey Hill. She really has a gift of making a reader accept something that might be previously unacceptable. Her newest book, Mermaid’s Kiss, is due in bookstores on November 5, 2008. It’s a lighter book from Joey Hill (although that’s kind of a qualitative statement), still sexy, still different, and doesn’t have BDSM if that turns you off. But if you are curious, try out Natural Law. It might be an eye opener.

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The Power of the Male Submissive
"service’, not "servile’

Months ago, before I entered the submersible known as "Deadline Hell", Jane asked me to write an article on this topic. I was flattered to be asked. I assume she thought I’d have good insight because my Female Dominant/male submissive erotic romances have crossed the intersection and proven themselves appealing to female romance readers who traditionally prefer alpha males. In preparation for this article, I put the question to my readers, thinking they would give me some good tidbits to explain this. As a result, I’m going to credit most of this article to them, because I can’t improve on their own words. Proving, as always, the readers are the best source for why a story works (smile).

When I started writing erotic romance, I went with the point of view with which I most empathized – Male Dom/female sub (Daniel and Meg of Make Her Dreams Come True). Imagine my surprise when I started writing my second erotic romance and the muse threw me a curve. The book I assumed would have a female submissive heroine ended up having a Female Dominant, with her male hero being the submissive (Lauren and Josh of Holding the Cards). Even more surprising was the warm response from my readers and reviewers who had a preference for female submissive stories.

So then I thought, maybe past male submissive stories just hadn’t been targeted for female romance readers. Because as far as BDSM goes, I found the psychological issues just as involving and arousing, no matter which gender holds the Dominant or submissive mantle. So then came Natural Law, and the phenomenon of Mac Nighthorse, a pure alpha cop, who was also a sexual submissive to the petite Mistress Violet Siemanski. As Jennifer, one of my bloggers agreed: "Natural Law was the very first book I’d read with a male submissive I drooled over. The awesome thing for me was to be able to relate to his submissive nature and yet, love his resistance. Mac was BRILLIANT. When he finally gives in-.it’s shattering. I absolutely LOVED this submissive male (which shocked me)-"

Every romance, whether BDSM or not, whether Male Dom or Fem Dom, must follow the tenets of good romance. The female reader might be intrigued by a male who will perform as a submissive, but she is often turned off if he abandons his responsibility to protect and care for the heroine, because that’s part of being a male hero. Those who follow my work closely know that I’ve come up with a term for it: "the palace guard submissive". He serves his lady, obeys her will, but protects her with his life and cherishes her completely – which means sometimes they don’t see eye-to-eye on her protection. The "palace guard" submissive is a far cry from the caricature often depicted of a cringing guy running around on his knees trying to lick his Mistress’s heel while she treats him like an abused dog.

That said, the reality of BDSM is that there are all levels of practitioners, including a semblance of what I just described, and that’s totally okay – to each his/her own, as long as it’s consensual and keeps you functioning as a contributing member of society (chuckle). But in terms of what female romance fans want to read-I think the palace guard archetype wins out.

Gwen, another of my bloggers, pointed out: "To be honest, the appeal of a submissive male surprised the hell out of me. I found Jacob (Vampire Queen’s Servant) to be sexy and not at all what I expected. He’s totally alpha, but submissive. Messed with my head. In a good way." Caro then practically wrote my article for me (including the byline under the title), when she noted, "Virtually EVERY romance is about an alpha male who is brought to his knees by love. The reformed rakes, the knights in SA, the gazillionaire CEOs, etc- name the hero archetype and if he is in a romance, then by story’s end he pretty much will do anything for his love. This plot dynamic is a tweak away from a sexy submissive. At least part of what drives the subs and what makes them so very sexy is pleasing their Mistress. Of course none of these subs are weak or completely dominated – that would take them too far from the Alpha mold and be a turn off for most: pathetic isn’t sexy."

Quixotic stated, "I’m a big fan of alpha males, there’s just something – tasty – about them. However, I also enjoy the thought of a submissive male, not because he’s necessarily "weaker," but in some ways I think stronger. He’s sublimating his own desires and wants in order to please his Mistress/Master, but in doing so, experiencing more pleasure than if he’d just taken what he wanted in the first place. I started reading erotic romances because a) the sex is wayyyy better, b) the situations often break the mold, and c) there’s a lot more shifts in terms of sexual dominance/submission." She noted that my subs were written like "doms-in-waiting, which makes your men so exciting and breathtaking. You never know if they will break out of the role and dominate their woman -‘ they’re the bad boy betas we dream about."

To date, I’ve written a variety of BDSM stories – Male Dom/fem sub, Female Dom/male sub, and even a story about two Dominants coming together in love (Ice Queen and Mirror of My Soul). Then, more recently, I wrote my first male/male BDSM erotic romance (Rough Canvas, with Marcus, a side character from Holding the Cards, and his lover, Thomas). I’ve written paranormal, contemporary and even some non-BDSM romance. Because of that, I can only agree with Terry’s opinion, which sums it up best:

"As far as how a book with a male submissive can be appealing to female readers who prefer the "alpha male’ – for me, it’s all in the telling of the story. If I can feel the emotions, then I connect, then I care. With a male/female D/s story, I always connect more with the submissive character, even if it is a male character. While I understand the physical actions & reactions of the female better than the male, I understand and identify with the emotions of the submissive character, regardless of the gender. Love is love, and when it’s told right, it shines through above all else."

* Thanks to all my bloggers for their help on this posting.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

91 Comments

  1. Lynne Connolly
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 06:32:48

    Joey, you know how much I love your books, and I’m one of the people who doesn’t usually go for BDSM books. But with your books, and with Doreen Orsini’s, I make an exception. Because of you and Doreen, I have read others, but none of them do it for me likes yours do.
    And it’s exactly because of what you said – it’s the romance. It’s hard to get away from the alpha male, and to read a variation on the theme is sheer delight. You also show your characters getting through adversity and coping with their problems, by using the lifestyle. It takes strength to admit what you are and what you need, especially if it’s not the norm, and you show that too.
    Your people are real, and you make us care about them. That’s what I look for in a romance. I’m looking forward enormously to reading “A Mermaid’s Kiss.”

  2. Shiloh Walker
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 06:53:43

    But if you are curious, try out Natural Law. It might be an eye opener.

    I’ll second that.

    Natural Law is nothing like I’d expected and I mostly read it just to shut a friend up. She kept telling me, READ THIS BOOK and I’m so glad I did.

    Hey, Joey!!! :)

  3. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 08:33:08

    Lynne and Shi – good morning! GREAT to see you here (beaming). Thank you for those wonderful words. I’m overwhelmed. :> Lynne, you pinpointed what I think is most important in writing our stories – I’ve had people ask me “okay, what kind of research do you do, etc”, and while I think research is important, the characters guide the author better than anyone, and drag you deep into their romance, no matter how it’s manifested. And Shi, I was so flattered when you first emailed me about reading Natural Law, and I’ve continued to be delighted to receive comments from readers that start with “this is not my usual genre” or “I didn’t think I’d like this book”…and finish with “I loved it!” Music to an author’s ears, hmm?

    Thanks to you both…given that you are both outstanding authors, your praise means I’ll be blushing for an hour now… (grin) Yes, I do know how to blush! ;>

  4. vanessa jaye
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 08:46:16

    I really REALLY have a mental block re male submissives. Just not appealing to me in any way shape or form. Maybe the few I’ve mistakenly read (“mistakenly” meaning I didn’t know the male sub angle was in the book) just didn’t hit it right. On the other hand, I might give Natural Law a try since it sounds like it might be the book that could make me enjoy this match-up. Maybe. *g*

  5. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 09:03:25

    Vanessa, if it helps, there’s an excerpt on my site from chapter one, that might give you a feel for the story. You can link to the review page from there as well, and several of the reviewers spoke to the same issue. While I don’t think the book is for everyone, I think it did have a different approach to the Female Dominant/male submissive dynamic that many readers who usually prefer female submissives enjoyed. And I’m not sure I can claim any credit for it. Mac Nighthorse just rolled out onto the page like a dream, an exceptional blend of alpha cop and sexual submissive. I think I got really lucky and tapped directly into my muse’s brain that day (grin). If you do decide to take a chance on it, I’d welcome your reaction to it, good or bad!

  6. carolyn Jean
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 09:14:22

    This is SUCH an interesting analysis! Okay, you and Gwen and Quixotic have totally sold me on checking our your books. I’ve always loved that “Vampire Queen’s Servant” cover…maybe I’ll start with that!

  7. Dorthi
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 09:17:35

    Natural Law is my most favorite book in the world. It was the first BDSM book I ever read and it pulled me under so fast. Mac is my NUMBER 1 hero, and I still have erotic visions of him and he is by no means a simpering puppy. He’s all alpha just not in the bedroom. Thanks Joey you will always be my favorite.

  8. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 09:36:11

    Carolyn Jean – a great choice. One of my readers made the intriguing observation that Jacob, the hero from Vampire Queen’s Servant, was the culmination of the best qualities of my past male dominants AND submissives – Mac, Tyler, Josh, etc… For my part, I just fell in love with him, how devoted he was to Lyssa, even when she was NOT the easiet person to love. Gotta adore those men who are willing to cherish difficult women (grin). So I’ll look forward to your reaction to him.

    Dorthi – Thank you!! Wow…okay, what was I saying about music to an author’s ears (laughter)? That was a symphony! And you’re absolutely right about him not being a simpering puppy. What was it Violet said the first time she met him? “I don’t want a cocker spaniel – I want the pitbull that runs his yard.”

  9. Casee
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 09:57:56

    Natural Law wasn’t my first BDSM book, but it was the book that changed my opinion of BDSM. When I’d read that Mac was the submissive as well as an alpha male, I was skeptical. I really didn’t think that was possible. It was though and the book was so wonderfully written that I immediately went out and bought the rest of the series.

    Great blog topic, Joey! And thanks for writing BDSM in a way that is appealing to almost all readers.

  10. Lyda
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 10:31:09

    Hmmm interesting topic Jane/Joey. I am not a big fan of BDSM in books, but after reading/reviewing a Mermaid’s Kiss by Joey, I have a feeling I wouldn’t mind it with the way she rights. She makes the characters very real and personable.

  11. Amy Wolff Sorter
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 10:47:35

    Jane and Joey, thanks for the post.

    You bring up a very important point in your remarks, and that is the tendency toward literary stereotype. This came up recently in an online discussion with a gay writer I know, who brought up the issue that with more women entering the gay romance genre, there is also an increase in the stereotype of what that should be like. His point was that, rather than researching the reality of gay relationships, the writers simply took the easy way out and crafted characters ala “Will and Grace” because of assumptions that this is how all gays in relationships behave.

    The same thing holds true here — one could assume that “male submissive” automatically means “milquetoast” or “weak,” with the female being the guard or protector. But kudos to you; you have done just the opposite. You’ve done your research (and yes, there are many degress of BDSM — like life, there is no black or white). Male subs CAN be submissive while being sexy and powerful in their own right. :-). And female subs can be strong, sexy women as well.

    I’m working on a romance novel that deals with the romance between a female transsexual and her childhood friend (a man). In working on this, I delved deeply into the world of transgendered issues. Again, this is an issue that is easy to stereotype — one trans female asked me not to make the heroine a prostitute, stripper or junkie. I was a little surprised by the request because it never occurred to me to do that. But again there’s the stereotype, especially in the scant literature dealing with this topic.

    My ramblings are leading to a point, namely that as authors, we need to be very aware there is no such thing as “black and white” when it comes to romance issues. It is incumbent on us to ensure that shades of gray are included. And, as readers, we need to drop some of our assumptions when we see labels such as “BDSM” or “gay” (or “transsexual”) and keep an open mind. As Joey so aptly pointed out, we’ll all learn something valuable when we do so.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful post!

  12. Victoria Dahl
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 10:49:08

    I’m not interested in a male submissive story. I prefer my stories to lean the other way. But I kept HEARING about this book. This amazing book! So I went and read the description of Natural Law and passed on it. But every couple of weeks or so, I’d think of it. I’d run across another mention or review every few months. Then I read the description again. Then the excerpt.

    When I read this post this morning, I blinked a few times. I’ve just come out of a long, long deadline hell and I’m a bit fuzzy headed. “Oh, yes,” I thought, “I am finally going to read that book.” Then I thought, “Wait a minute… Did I already BUY IT?” Yep, there it is in my e-book folder.

    I haven’t read a book in months. And now I’m all filled with this tingly anticipation. I’ve been building up to this book for over a year now. Now I’m giddy. This weekend. Eeeeee! I can’t wait. I’m finally going to lose my male submissive cherry. *g* Wish me luck!

    Victoria, clapping her hands in excitement

  13. Joan/SarahF
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 11:14:15

    I’ve got to throw out a recommendation for Joey’s Rough Canvas, her first gay male romance. Even more heavily BDSM than Natural Law and the characters are just shining stars on the page (or the computer screen, seeing it’s an e-book). When people ask me for recommendations of BDSM romance, my list is Natural Law, Rough Canvas, and Anah Crow’s Uneven. All brilliantly written and so romantic, because they’re about the romance, the interaction between characters.

    Thank you, Joey! And keep writing.

  14. Helen Burgess
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 11:19:22

    I bought Natural Law some time back as an ebook and was not sure what to expect. I loved it, not the things the characters did to each other so much (in the dungeon) but the characters themselves are wonderful. I also bought it in paperback as I love my paper. Since then I have read everything by Joey that I can get my hands on, including the just issued story from Elloras cave (in paper that is)of Hot Chances, (I bought the ebook as well just to cover all bases).

  15. Treva Harte
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 11:20:08

    Natural Law is an excellent book. Enjoyed your latest vamp books as well. But I like male sub stories as a reader even though they are a hard sell for most LI readers.

  16. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 12:56:49

    Ack – I go off to do a couple hours on the print galley, and here you all are, making wonderful comments.

    Casee, thank you for your kind words (smile). And I admit, while I never write with a political agenda, if my work gives people a different perspective on what I find to be a very misrepresented sexual preference, I’m doubly pleased. Also, I thought your comment “thanks for writing BDSM in a way that is appealing to almost all readers”, dovetailed excellently into Amy’s thought-provoking post.

    Amy, you presented the issue of writing outside stereotype so well, I can’t really think of any way to improve on it, but I will add a caveat. There is reality, and there is romance. There is overlap, because truly wonderful romances must engage the empathy of the reader, while still allowing them to escape and go the places they want to go, whether or not those states of minds exist in reality. And I’m so glad Joan/SarahF mentioned Rough Canvas, my male/male BDSM, because it is a case in point. I did not write Rough Canvas for a male gay audience. I wrote it for a primarily female, heterosexual, romance-loving audience. As such, I suspect if a gay man read it, he might find it way too romantic for his tastes (because I’ve found most men, gay or straight, have the same attitudes toward romance – lol). On the same note, as I mentioned in my post, while submissives like Mac Nighthorse exist, submissives like the cringing stereotype exist as well – it’s just unfortunate, as Amy noted, that the stereotype becomes the only perception of a man who desires submission.

  17. Sheryl Nantus
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 13:02:05

    just ordered Natural Law and Ice Queen.

    I’m such a DA whore…

    :)

  18. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 13:05:44

    Lyda, thank you as well for that delightful comment – and if you try my BDSM work, I of course will want to hear your thoughts, good or bad. Yes, I sound like a broken record, but when you all compliment my work or express a desire to try a book you normally wouldn’t try, I can’t help but gush over each of you a bit (smile). And thanks tremendously for the great review on A Mermaid’s Kiss. While I actually wrote romantic fantasy before erotic contemporaries, getting back to it after all these years left me on pins and needles for those first reviews.

    And Victoria, I admit that I’m now quite nervous, after all that build up. I’ll also look forward to your thoughts about Natural Law, and um…good luck on the cherry thing (lol). No better one to take your virginity in that regard than Mac Nighthorse, I think. As I noted to Vanessa earlier, while I agree that the genre isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I think the tone and flow of the work appealed to a wider audience than most. Of course, much as I love the book, I still wince when I go back to it, because I see all those writing issues I’ve improved since then. Apparently, though, Mac and Violet were able to distract/compensate for my weaknesses (grin).

  19. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 13:15:33

    Helen, I’m delighted you did try it. And honestly, I had trouble letting go of these two. I even recently wrote a vignette about Mac and Violet’s baby shower that I sent out as an exclusive link to my guestbook and it was as much fun to write about them now as it was 5 years ago. And thanks so much for buying Hot Chances! I’m waiting for my author copies now and can’t wait to get my hands on them. :>

    Sheryl, absolutely nothing wrong with being a DA Whore. We don’t judge here (laughter). But warning – Ice Queen ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger – it was originally one large book and because of publisher requirements (it wasn’t my fault!), I had to break it into two books, so Tyler and Marguerite’s story continues in Mirror of My Soul. So I hope you’ll enjoy IQ enough to go after that next one (wink). That pairing actually has remained my favorite pair of characters.

  20. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 13:16:22

    SarahF, I will say Rough Canvas stayed with me long after I wrote it. That was truly a unique take on the male submissive, since it was Male Dom/male submissive. And as absolutely irresistible as Marcus (our Dom hero) was, it was Thomas’s character that entranced me – his struggle between his love for his Master and his love and obligation to his family…he captured my heart completely. I don’t blame Marcus a bit for doing everything possible to keep him. It’s wonderful to see you here, and thank you for that resounding praise! I’ll have to try Anah’s book.

  21. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 13:29:34

    Treva – hey girl! Yeah, if someone had told me eight years ago that I’d be writing so many FemDom/male sub stories, I’d have scoffed, since I started out as a devoted female submissive reader/writer. Then I found that it was the subject, not the roles, that drove the muse (smile). And because there are so many nuances to this interaction, sometimes I don’t even really think of it as one type versus another anymore. What drives the story is the needs and desires of the characters, above and beyond their sexual roles. Glad you enjoyed NL and tried Jacob and Lyssa’s story. :>

  22. Allison
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 14:00:32

    Hi Joey, thanks for such an interesting article. Your points and the quotes really resonated with me, and I have been trying to get hold of NL for a long time. The print copy is very HTF up here in Canada, and I’m trying to hold off on the e-copy as I love snuggling into my armchair with a great book to read. Don’t think I can make it much longer! Please keep up the great work :)

  23. Jessa Slade
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 14:49:14

    serves his lady, obeys her will, but protects her with his life and cherishes her completely

    How lovely. Like Sheryl, I’m happy to be a DA whore when there’s such excellent discourse :)

  24. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 15:21:51

    Allison, I always hate to hear any reader is having a problem with getting my books! I’m not well-versed in the obstacles of foreign orders, but I know you can order the book directly from the Ellora’s Cave print list, if that helps http://www.ellorascave.com, or direct link http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-3439-83-natural-law.aspx. Hope that helps and you’ll get the chance to snuggle up with Mac soon (grin).

    And Jessa, we’re glad to have you here as well – er, should I say the more DA whores the better? Somehow, that sounds a tad insulting (laughter). Seriously, delighted you’re joining in!

  25. Kerry D.
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 15:49:12

    I’ve been interested in your books for a while after reading reviews, but never taken the plunge and bought one. After reading this I popped over and bought Natural Law. Hooray for the ease of ebooks (I’m in New Zealand so getting print copies is a lot more difficult and expensive)!

  26. RStewie
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 15:55:39

    I have to say that the cover of The Vampire Queen’s Servant was what drew me in, along with the BDSM and male sub. I keep hoping you’re going to write a third and make it a trilogy?

    Please?

    Also, I’m going to have to pick up Natural Law, evidently. Thank you for the wonderful post, Joey.

  27. Cynnara
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 16:33:08

    Joey, you know I adore you and your writing. You’ve shown how alpha males can also submit to a woman and bring her most precious fantasies to life. For me, who is a Switch, that’s the most amazing thing. I like strong males, love those who know that it’s one thing to be alpha, yet willing to serve to someone because it fulfills their needs and fantasies. Which is why I bow at your feet on a regular basis! I’m still learning how to translate what I know into what I can write. LOL

    Fantastic article, and hopefully a bit of an eye-opener for those who haven’t tried a fantastic romance novel with female dominance and male submissiveness in the mix. For me, it’s potently erotic as anything!

  28. Abi
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 17:01:33

    Joey

    I think to me your writing is vibrant and intence and incredibly satisfying. I’ve been fortunate to read The Mermaids Kiss and review it for TRS and I have to say it’s awesome and really that is to tame a word. But its your previous books that had me wondering and grabbing a copy when it became available (I’ve not read your Vampire print series YET) your books are thought provoking and have an emotional impact in one way or another. The article above is excellent and I enjoyed reading it.

  29. Denise Rossetti
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 17:20:36

    Hi Joey!

    As you know, Natural Law was my introduction to your work – because people kept telling me I had to read this book! I read it once, very quickly, and then again, trying to work out how you did it. I still can’t quite fathom it, Mac’s a downright miracle. So I sent a fanmail, something I’d never done – and thus, a beautiful friendship was born. *smile*

    What I did learn from you, however, is that trust is the key, trust and courage. Taken together, they are beautiful emotions and they are at the heart of any romance that has a snowball’s chance in hell of actually working in the future. All too often, I close a book wondering about whether the characters will be together for the long haul. Not with yours, despite the alternative lifestyles.

    That’s why all your pairings work so beautifully, regardless of who’s on top. Love can be given, but genuine trust must be earned. The other reason, of course, is that you write like an angel. *sigh*

  30. shy
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 17:34:36

    I’ve started this post five times now – I’m finding it hard to put into words what I’m feeling. I think I’ll stick with ‘I’m intrigued…by both Natural Law and Rough Canvas’.

    Joey – do you per chance have excerpts for both books available at your website please?

  31. Abi
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 17:42:39

    Hi Shy

    http://www.storywitch.com/ thats the link to Joey’s website her excerpts and stuff about her books are there.

    Abi

  32. Cynnara
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 17:42:59

    For excerpts of Natural Law– http://storywitch.com/Books/Law/excerpt.htm

    For Rough Canvas– http://storywitch.com/Books/Canvas/excerpt.htm

    They’re fantastic- the entire Zone series– which deals with BDSM themes.

  33. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 17:55:29

    Kerry D, you have my thanks and a cyber hug (another good thing about e-communication – grin). And hello in New Zealand! Hope you enjoy NL. :>

    RStewie, I’m extremely pleased to tell you the third in the Vampire Queen series comes out in March, A Vampire’s Claim. If you’ve read Mark of the Vampire Queen, it’s the story of two of the secondary characters, Lady Daniela and Devlin – it goes back to how they met, in 1953, in Western Australia. And it has all those wonderful Female Dom, male sub qualities you enjoyed in the first two books, with an Aussie/Outback flare. Dev was a treat to write in Mark of the Vampire Claim, and writing a full book about him was a continuation of that pleasure.

    While Lyssa and Jacob are not the main characters in this book, we do get to see Lyssa again, only with her former servant, Thomas, so you can learn more about their relationship. There’s a free excerpt from the book on my site if you’d like to check it out – I loved writing their story, so particularly can’t wait to share this one with you all.

  34. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:03:12

    Cynnara, I bow at your feet as well! You all may not know this, but Cyn recently did an OUTSTANDING WORKSHOP on putting emotion into erotic BDSM romance. I would recommend anyone who likes reading BDSM, as well as writing it, to check this out for a fascinating look at the topic. Cyn, my problem is I can’t remember which site you honored with this great workshop, and I didn’t find a link to it on your site (though I certainly enjoyed cruising your site looking for it (smile)). Would you share that with us if it’s available for reading? Many of you know I’m very stingy with praise (not my intention, just not much impresses me, old jaded thing that I am – which is why I make a point to mention when something DOES impress me. This workshop did. And thanks for those wonderful compliments! :>

  35. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:08:20

    Abi, I’m delighted to have you here, and thank you for your wonderful review of A Mermaid’s Kiss, as well as your terrific compliments. Like most authors, I’m first and foremost pleased to delight you as a reader, but when you’re willing to not only read the book, but write a review, you have my humble gratitude. I hope you try the vampire series – Lyssa and Jacob are quite a journey. :>

    And I’m even more tickled that both you and Cyn jumped in with the excerpt links (lol). That’s wonderfully helpful, both of you – so, to be redundant, Shy – yes, I do have free excerpts for all my work on my site. And so glad to have you here today as well! You don’t have to be shy in this crowd – just blurt out whatever you’re thinking (grin).

  36. Cynnara
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:11:48

    You’re too nice to me, Joey. Actually, I loved doing the workshop. I did it for one of the publishers I’ve done work for Aspen Mountain Press Community group at Yahoo groups. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AMP_community/ I know all the posts are there and I’m hoping to be able to find a group interested in hosting the workshop to allow more people to not only understand the basics of BDSM but also how to incorporate elements into a romance story as well.

  37. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:16:10

    Denise, so well said. You must be a writer or something (wink). Of course, Denise is a brilliant writer, and her praise therefore always flatters the heck out of me as well. Also I remember that it was her Gift of the Goddess that inspired me to send HER an email (remember the thing about me being rarely impressed?), and she hasn’t been able to get rid of me since.

    In fact, you all have been so complimentary, someone needs to insult me or my head is going to get so big I won’t be able to write for days, and then what good will I be?

    Seriously, I like that Denise reiterated what I’ve seen in several of the comments today – whether BDSM, paranormal, contemporary, sweet, etc – the core relationship has to be there, the chemistry/connection, for everything else to work. And I agree that Mac was a miracle – I’m still not sure that some muse didn’t just possess my pen and give him to me as an undeserved gift. :>

  38. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:17:05

    Cyn, thanks so much for the link and the further detail!

  39. shy
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:17:36

    Thank you Abi, Cynnara and Joey for the links. I will definitely go and have a look tonight!

    Thank you Joey. I’ll try and blurt things out, but that’s what normally gets me into trouble, especially as the romance genre (and its myriad sub-genres) is relatively new to me. I feel like Sleeping Beauty….well, a sleeping something anyway :)

  40. Cynnara
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:25:37

    LOL if we have to insult to get you to write more– how about that we need another story from you ASAP. *grins* Otherwise, you might lose that touch of yours. *wiggles brows*

    One reason I love your stories, honestly is because of the depth of emotion attached to all parts of the romance- from the plot to the needs of the characters. Yes, I admit, the BDSM element is great because I’m within that atmosphere and it’s nice to read a story that’s well-done in the genre. But more than that, you give reason for everything- which is why I adore Violet and Mac- they truly hit my heart in ways that I had a hard time understanding. And as for Marguerite (if you’ve not read her 2 book story– you so need to!), it touched my core hard because she and I had a lot in common- especially about suppressing our other side and its needs.

    Thanks for the comment about my workshop, I have to admit, it is stories like yours, Lena Austin, and other great BDSM writers that got me writing it. I admit- I’m a greedy reader- I wanted more great quality emotional and physical romances that draw you in, so I created the workshop to help others who want to write BDSM romances to do so. And the funny thing, I found out that I needed to write them more because it’s in my core nature. So, thank you, Joey.

  41. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:26:06

    Shy, no worries. We all love to talk romance, and erotic romance has a particularly wider range of appropriate topics (laughter – or maybe that’s “inappropriate”, but the more inappropriate, the better!). Enjoy the excerpts! :>

  42. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:37:48

    “Otherwise you might lose that touch of yours”…Ouch, Cyn! Yep, no one knows an author’s insecure spots as well as another author (grin). It’s funny, you brought up an interesting point that applies to Natural Law. I had SUCH a hard time writing the next book after that one, because I got the “I’ll never write another book like this” terror. That’s when I learned an important truth about being an author – your biggest obstacle to writing the next book can be yourself, so you’ve got to be ready to slap yourself senseless on occasion to “snap out of it” (think Cher and Nicholas Cage here) and put pen to paper again. And oh, I’m so glad you mentioned Marguerite and Tyler. I do love their story. I still consider that one of the most emotional I ever wrote, and Marguerite haunted me for some time. She was such a tough lady, and I wasn’t sure Tyler could open her up, but of course he did in the end (smile).

    I also hope your workshop is successful in producing more great erotic romance authors – because I think you’re not alone in being as eager to read them as well as write them – I’d love to snuggle down with great examples of this genre on a cold winter night.

  43. Cynnara
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:54:28

    *grins* It’s my biggest fear too. When I wrote my last two books and after everything went to pot this year (my mom’s death and my sickness), I honestly, truthfully thought I can’t write any better. I’ve been really thinking on what I want, what I enjoy writing, and I discovered that I need to write what I know and love– so in one day I wrote 7k of a new story- a menage, BDSM, futuristic and honestly, I’m surprised at how much poured out of me. Will it be my best yet- I don’t know, but I do know this- you’re right, you have to keep writing, keep plugging.

    I admit, I wondered about your Vampire series, then I picked up the first book and fell in love. Jacob just…I handed the book to my male and told him- Read. This you must know. He had read Natural Law and loved the story, especially on how well you dealt with the male submissive. Now, now he knows more about me and in a way, he sees my writing as part of me- just like I do. Which means, he’s now into the “Let’s make plot” play. LOL

  44. RatherNotSay
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 18:57:46

    So does this mermaid story have issues of dominance/submission? The comments say it’s not BDSM, but you can have D/s without the bondage/pain, etc.

    I just can’t read D/s in any form.

  45. Cathy
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 19:06:55

    This was a really interesting piece. I haven’t read many BDSM-themed romances, since I’m generally not interested in bondage/S&M stories, but the strong recommendations for Natural Law have me quite intrigued. I just bought my e-copy and am looking forward to reading it this weekend.

  46. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 19:11:18

    Rather Not Say – A Mermaid’s kiss is a sensual paranormal, and does not have D/s, though there is the alpha undercurrent you see in many romances. Jonah is an all powerful angel, after all (grin). A Witch’s Beauty, the next book in the series, has a bit of a subtle D/s undercurrent due to the dark nature of the heroine, but I don’t think it would qualify as a D/s book – nothing stronger than what you’d see in an LKH Anita novel or Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series. Hope that helps!

  47. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 19:17:34

    Cathy, I hope you’ll have the pleasurable experience many of my non-BDSM readers have had with the book and this series. I think the issues the characters deal with are similar to almost all relationships – trust, understanding…etc. They’re just couched in a different environment. However, as I said earlier, romance readers are wonderfully diverse and we all know what we most prefer reading. I am delighted you’ll give one of mine a try, however (beaming).

    Cyn, after I read yours, I had to laugh. “Let’s make plot” play…chuckle. But seriously, upheaval in your personal life can undermine writing confidence, big time. However, as you pointed out, it can also send you in a different direction. I’m nodding vigorously, though, because you articulated it well – we have to write what we love, because when we do, it shows. Will it be our best? That’s up to the readers of course, but our job is to write what speaks to our heart and hope it speaks to other hearts as well. Excellent points. And I’m going to sound like a broken record, but that kind of compliment, telling me that my work enhanced someone’s relationship, is one of the ones I most love to hear!

  48. Abi
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 19:38:52

    Since I’ve read The Mermaids Kiss I’ll comment. It’s a powerful story with strong characters. The hero is a Warrior, he’s leader of men and is dominant but its part of his character. The heroine is strong in her own right, courageous and feminine.

    What you get with a book from Joey is an intense, emotional gratifying reading experience. Joey’s BDSM books are superb but its not the only sub genre she writes in the series that starts with The Mermaids Kiss is another side…but what you get is are stories not easily forgotten – they are not the kind of books you would “that was a good book” enjoy it but its forgotten quickly enough to read another straight off. With Joey’s for me and I suspect others that after reading one of her books it’s not easy to start another straight off – the stories are vivid the characters find their way inside of you and you remember them clearly for a long time after.

  49. Abi W
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 19:41:11

    To those that do not like to read D’s and the BDSM genre. Since I’ve read The Mermaids Kiss I’ll comment. It’s a powerful story with strong characters. The hero is a Warrior, he’s leader of men and is dominant but its part of his character. The heroine is strong in her own right, courageous and feminine.

    What you get with a book from Joey is an intense, emotional gratifying reading experience. Joey’s BDSM books are superb but its not the only sub genre she writes in the series that starts with The Mermaids Kiss is another side…but what you get is are stories not easily forgotten – they are not the kind of books you would say “that was a good book” enjoy it but its forgotten quickly enough to read another straight off. With Joey’s for me and I suspect others that after reading one of her books it’s not easy to start another straight off – the stories are vivid the characters find their way inside of you and you remember them clearly for a long time after.

  50. Jane
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 19:42:09

    Ms Hill – thanks so much for writing this article. I’ve always loved the description of a Queen and her loyal protectors when describing the female dom/ male sub. This trope is not one I would have ever thought I would like but Natural Law proved me wrong. I think I’m going to try Rough Canvas. I hadn’t thought about reading it before but now I am intrigued.

  51. Gracie
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 20:10:31

    I’ve always preferred the Fem Domme/male sub combination but before you, Joey, never found anyone to handle this combination, at least not well and without making the male sub a caricature of a male. Holding the Cards hooked me and Natural Law made me a fan–of the genre and your writing–for life :)

  52. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 20:13:19

    Okay, you guys really are overwhelming me tonight. I don’t know what to say to such incredible compliments. You’ll have me babbling like an idiot instead of saying something profound and intelligent, like I’m supposed to be doing (smile). And my brain was already low on active cells after two days of non-stop print galley reading (laughter).

    But thank you, Abi – I’m glad you jumped in and gave a reader/reviewer’s perspective to help RatherNotSay as well.

    And thank you, Jane, equally as much. Of course, as the author, I want you to read all my books ;>, but truly there was something special about Rough Canvas. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it.

  53. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 20:20:24

    Gracie, hello! And I second (third, fourth, fifth..etc) my thanks for that. I think I’m going to have to keep this series of comments to help keep me going whenever the business of writing or multitudinous edits drives me insane (lol). Okay, yeah, I’m an author, so I’m already insane, but MORE insane. The bad kind of insane, the kind that makes my husband nervous to sleep around me. ;>

    I’ll reiterate that no one was more surprised than me to find such a love of the FemDom/male sub dynamic in my muse, but I adore writing my “palace guard” type submissive males, and the strong but vulnerable women they serve. Sigh. Heck fire, I just love writing love stories, period. Spending time with folks like all of you, who also love romance, are a large part of why.

    Okay, I’m going to have to head to bed, but I’ll of course check back tomorrow to answer any further comments. Thanks so much to everyone for dropping in today and making it a pure pleasure to be here, as always. If I’ve missed any comments, or if anyone has any lingering questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  54. May B.
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 20:36:30

    Joey W. Hill opens my eye abut BDSM books. I read it before but they just did not click. I heard a lot of good things about Joey via internet and decide to try. Like Jane, I become Joey’s reader for life.

    The Vampire Queen duo are the books that stayed with me for a long time after I finished reading. They are powerful and emotional. I cry a river near the end of the second book.

    Thank you so much for a good story.

  55. Terry
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 21:00:36

    For me, it’s not the BDSM or the D/s that’s the main character in Joey’s work. Yes, it was what first brought her to my attention, but it’s the quality of her body of work, her characters and their stories that keeps me coming back for more, and she’s never disappointed yet.

    For anyone turned off when they hear BDSM or D/s, or think “wimp” when they hear “male submissive”, be prepared to change your way of thinking. I know I did. While personally I still prefer the Male Dom/female sub (think Tyler, Yum), ALL of Joey’s men are pure alpha, and all yummy (Yes, even Marcus & Thomas). *sigh*

  56. RatherNotSay
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 21:03:13

    Rather Not Say – A Mermaid's kiss is a sensual paranormal, and does not have D/s, though there is the alpha undercurrent you see in many romances.

    Thanks, Ms. Hill. I’ll keep this in mind. People recommend your books so strongly, I had hoped to find one that I might enjoy.

    What you get with a book from Joey is an intense, emotional gratifying reading experience.

    I’ve heard this kind of comment from so many people, I just had to try one of her books. It – and a couple others I tried – made it very clear to me that D/s and/or BDSM are not for me.

    But I am pleased that I have a chance here to experience her writing in a genre that’s a little “safer” for me. :wink:

  57. Collette
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 21:11:05

    I too was one of the people who kept hearing about Natural Law and thinking, naw, I’m not going to like a male submissive. But I kept hearing about it–It’s different, try it. I honestly cannot believe how much I love it. (Okay now I can since I’ve read all your other work and pretty much adore all of it too.) The “palace guard submissive” description really nails (no pun intended but hey–I’ll take it) what’s so amazing about Natural Law. Mac is everything we want a man to be, protective, strong, loving, a little dangerous and willing to work to please. How can you go wrong?

    For anyone who’s wavering on Rough Canvas, it might just be my favorite Joey W. Hill book and frankly, that’s saying a lot. I know that I’m going to have to set aside enough time to read one of your books in one sitting because even if I don’t have time, that’s what’ll happen anyway. I always know I’ll be moved, entranced, aroused and oh yeah, I’ll probably tear up a little. (Okay, truth–probably more than a little. I’m kind of a sap.) The emotional connections are really amazing. I really love your work. Thank you.

  58. Jennifer McKenzie
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 21:20:16

    You KNOW I love your stuff. I’ve been a fan girl ever since I read “Natural Law”. I love Jacob and Lissa. (And I’m not a vampire fan)
    YOu write that psychological aspect of the power exchange that makes BDSM relationships not only sexy, but absolutely emotionally devastating.
    I love the idea of the “Palace Guard”.
    Even if BDSM isn’t something you’re “into” the emotional connection is so powerful that it makes it all universal.

    Joey W. Hill is brilliant.

  59. MaryK
    Oct 21, 2008 @ 23:34:09

    This is good news! I love the idea of mer-characters, but don’t usually find them satisfactory in execution. Since it’s Joey Hill, I’m sure this series will be great. I am glad to hear it will be Joey Hill-lite, though. I think she’s amazingly talented, but unfortunately I can’t handle her hard stuff.

  60. shy
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 01:35:43

    I just went and read the excerpt for Rough Canvas….GULP….WOW! So much tension….I am so hooked and simply have to read it! Ms Hill – you are an incredible writer! I don’t think I’ve ever responded quite like this to a book….

    Ummm, am I right though? Is it only available as an eBook? If so, to say I am gutted is an understatement :( I haven’t got on the eBook wagon yet – it’s taken me 6 months to buy an answerphone (my OCD tendancies coming out) so I hate to think how long it will take me to research an eBook reader…. Although, considering how desperately I want to read Rough Canvas probably quickly….

    Off to read the Natural Law excerpt now :)

  61. Jana Oliver
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 08:07:30

    Well, I bit after all these positive comments and bought Natural Law. Holy cats! This is not a sub (no pun intended) genre I usually read, but I found the story very well done. The tension between the H/H was extraordinary. The “mating dance” taken to a new level, even with the D/s elements included. Solid mystery, solid chemistry. Wow.

    I have to admit I never thought I’d ever read a BDSM novel. I suspect I’ll not read many others, but at least I know I’ve read one of the best the first time around.

  62. Randi
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 09:46:07

    Joey, based on all the recommendations,I just bought Natual Law. I look forward to reading it. I’ve heard a lot about you over the last year, and I keep trying to buy The Vampire Queen’s Servant, but can never find it at my local B&N/Borders (why? whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?) and I’m currently not shopping at Amazon, so I’m SOL at the moment. But I look forward to reading you!

  63. Lleeo
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 12:44:17

    Ms. Hill, I am most certainly going to have to read your book Natural Law. I absolutely adore strong beta heroes who aren’t afraid to give up control to a woman or to really show their feelings. The sweet, strong, confident guys who are in touch and OPEN with their feelings get me every time. I think that’s why I love Suzanne Brockmann so much even though a lot of her male characters are still pretty alpha.

    I haven’t clicked on any of the links in the article yet but if you are an e-book writer, you may be the author who breaks me into the market. ;D

  64. Debra Date
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:05:05

    Sorry to post so late, but I can’t find any recommended reading order for Ms. Hills books. Is there a list anywhere online?

  65. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:23:28

    Debra, when you go to my website, http://www.storywitch.com, and click on the Books Available section, the Nature of Desire series covers are in their correct order at the top of the page. I only have two vampire books out right now, so those are easy – Vampire Queen’s Servant is first, followed by Mark of the Vampire Queen. The rest of my currently available books are not in series, so you can read them in any order (smile). My webmaster and wonderful husband will be working on series pages in November so that it will be easier to click on the different series and see this information.

    Now, all that said, the Nature of Desire series, with the exception of Ice Queen and Mirror of My Soul (because MOMS is a direct sequel/continuation of the story in Ice Queen), can be read out of order – you might get a couple spoilers on side-suspense plots, but otherwise they standalone quite well. And of course if any other readers disagree with me on that, I welcome you to jump in. You probably know better than I do!

    And you’re not too late at all – I just got done putting my print galley in the mail, so am looking forward to answering all the great comments that have accumulated since last night. If anything, I’m the late one! :>

  66. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:29:00

    RatherNotSay, regarding your comment “I have a chance here to experience her writing in a genre that's a little “safer” for me”, I’m pleased to provide that (beaming). As I told the early reviewers of the work (Abi, Lyda, etc), I love writing paranormal romance, but it’s been awhile since I’ve done a romance without the erotic, so discovering that they really liked A Mermaid’s Kiss has been a great relief. Comments like Terry’s also help me, because it reminds me my main focus is always the story, not the genre it “fits”. Anna and Jonah’s story did not call for an erotic edge – the vampire books did, so it was a natural progression for each of them. Smile – hope you enjoy A Mermaid’s Kiss when you get a chance to try it!

  67. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:31:44

    May B – I always cry at the end of Mark of the Vampire Queen as well. My husband of course finds it amusing, kind of similar to pinching yourself and saying “Ow”, but there it is (wink). Jacob’s devotion to Lyssa, the things he was willing to do to protect her and love her…I think he defined unconditional love in that book, because even I wanted to slap her a few times! And yes, this is obviously proof that an author is a schizophrenic. ;>

  68. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:40:55

    Collette and Jennifer – thank you!! Okay, where’s that pin to pop my head before it swells to bursting? lol

    Collette, I’m not sure if I coined the term “palace guard submissive”, but it’s an excellent way of conveying the idea to others in a quick-to-grasp way. Oh, and right there with you on Rough Canvas. Now, talk about tear-jerker, that one made me cry quite a bit, but I loved every minute with those boys. Can’t wait to have them come back as secondary characters in Julie’s story. I’ve even tied them in (very briefly, just a passing mention) with the Board Resolution boys in the upcoming Unlaced anthology (my story is Controlled Response).

    I know I’ve sat around with authors before and joked about all the “Queen of…” silliness that goes on in romance promotion, and I decided if I get the chance to be majestic, I want to be the Queen of Angst or Her Imperial Majesty of Kleenex, or some sort thing (grin).

  69. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:45:52

    Mary K, I completely understand about “the hard stuff”. While, as I said, I didn’t necessarily set out to write a new, non-erotic series, it naturally evolved that way, and I enjoyed the journey with Jonah and Anna very much. It was a complex book to write – anything involving angels, loss of faith, and a threat to end the world – throwing a mermaid into the mix – isn’t going to be simple, but I was really pleased with the result. Now it’s just a matter of seeing if the READERS are happy with it (grin). And I hope these books will provide a comfort zone for my readers who prefer a lighter touch.

    I’m not ever seeing my work being called “sweet”, but I can tone it down to sensual when it fits the story – wink.

  70. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:52:27

    Shy, oh how I wish I could tell you it was available in print now, but unfortunately, it’s one of the two remaining books I have only available in digital format (the other one is Mistress of Redemption). However, good news is that I’ve gotten some indication from the publisher that Rough Canvas may get on the print roster for 2009. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will be earlier than later. You can check back to my home page periodically – I always have a paragraph there about the latest print status on my remaining digital work – or you can go to the site and sign up for my monthly newsletter, where I’ll mention it as well. And of course then you can get all the news about my upcoming works, online appearances, etc – and the occasional exclusive early peek excerpt or free vignette/short story. Think I mentioned earlier that a couple months ago I sent out a vignette concerning Mac and Violet (of Natural Law) baby shower – it was a hoot to write, particularly when the attendees included a bevy of the girls from the other books in the series – Marguerite, Lauren, etc. And of course Mac made an appearance at the end (smile).

    Now as far as the e-reader wagon, I will have to tell you that at one time I felt that way – and then I got my ebookwise Reader, and I wish every book came out digitally – so much easier for my hands to hold, I can enlarge the print, and that backlight lets me read way into the night, after my husband has gone to sleep. In fact, I’m nursing it through its last days, because I know the newer ereaders don’t have the backlight, my favorite feature. :( Anyhow, not for everyone of course, but if you find someone who has an e-reader and will loan it to you to read a book on it, you might convert (grin). Or not! I do still buy an ebook in print after I read it if I love it enough to want it on my keeper shelf.

  71. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:53:57

    Jana – wow! What a fast reader you are (smile). So glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for sharing your reaction to it, as well as buying it! :>

  72. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 13:59:23

    Randi, thank you also for buying it. As far as why it’s hard to find Vampire Queen’s Servant: except for the big name authors, many of the franchise booksellers only maintain shelf space for romance books a month or two after release date. With VQS having been released in 2007, it had to make way for newer books. I suspect it might be hard to even find a copy of Mark of the Vampire Queen. Part of it is that publishers are producing more romance titles now as well, so shelf space turnover has increased. However, you can order online from Barnes & Noble as well, if you want to circumvent Amazon, and they can supply the book that way. And of course when I have a new release, it will be featured at the store! Hope that helps, and enjoy Natural Law!

  73. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 14:01:22

    Lleeo, I’m happy to report all of my work is available digitally, including the two vampire books. I believe Berkley now releases its books in print and digitally at the same time, so A Mermaid’s Kiss should be available as an ebook as well. And I enjoy Suzanne Brockman as well – a very talented author.

  74. shy
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 14:46:12

    Thank you so much Ms Hill! I do want to invest in an ebook reader (there are so many books that are popping up as ebooks that I want to read, plus the shipping time is minimal considering I live in the back end of beyond :) However, I need to investigate thoroughly (by read all the very thorough DA posts on ebook readers) – mostly because I hate to make the wrong decision. I do have a friend with a ebook reader and she is reading Natural Law at present but I don’t want to impose…. I did think about buying Rough Canvas and reading it on my computer….and then I realised with dial-up (yes, it’s antiquated but until I have time it’s all I have :) it would take years! LOL!

    In the meantime I will definitely be keeping an eye out (= haunting your website, but in a non-stalkerish way of course :) for Rough Canvas in print. I don’t know what it is – something about Rough Canvas had me intrigued…..OK, I’ll admit, perhaps completely hooked is more honest. It just…spoke to me (which I know sounds kind of silly).

    I did read the excerpt for Natural Law but…the dominance seemed to have a little more pain involved? Or did I interpret the excerpt incorrectly? My local library has your two vampire books so perhaps I should start with those? Or would starting with Natural Law be better? (Sorry, lots of questions from a obvious newbie.)

    Thank you again! I love finding a new author and finding a book that clicks, even if it wasn’t what I expected. I learn a lot about myself this way. Good luck with the release of A Mermaid’s Kiss!

  75. Randi
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 14:47:01

    Joey, I did indeed go to B&N and order The Vampire Queen’s Servant. So, now I have two, count them TWO, of your books on their way. woot!

  76. shy
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 14:59:03

    GULP! I just went to Amazon and read the reviews for Ice Queen and Mirror of my Soul. WOW! I really should read Natural Law first though, yes?

    Must work now :)

  77. Lynne Connolly
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 15:10:52

    I do want to invest in an ebook reader (there are so many books that are popping up as ebooks that I want to read, plus the shipping time is minimal considering I live in the back end of beyond :)

    If you want to try them, you might like to get a pda, one with a reasonably large screens. I prefer them to the ebook readers, because they have a backlight.
    But if you get one, and decide you don’t want to read on it, it’s multifunction, and you can use it as a GPS system, with an addon, or a Personal Information Device, with your calendar and notes on it.

  78. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 15:19:04

    Shy, fortunately you can read Rough Canvas or Natural Law first – though they’re part of the same series, they can stand alone. There is some involvement from other Nature of Desire series characters, but not Mac and Violet. Of course, if your preference is print, Natural Law is available in that format now (and hopefully RC will be in 2009! :>). I’ve been told that Natural Law is probably the best introduction to my work for non-BDSM readers who are willing to dip a toe into that literary water (grin).

    Now, as far as pain goes, my contemporary erotics, while still considered hardcore, may be a little easier than the vampires. That’s because the “rules” that apply in BDSM in the “real world” aren’t as applicable to the vampire world. In the Nature of Desire series, the physical torments are far more sexual than painful, if that helps, but I think in both series the psychological/emotional aspects are the most important thing.

    I welcome the other readers to comment if you have additional viewpoints on this – in some ways, it’s like the struggle of presenting an unbiased look at your own child – lol.

    With respect to Ice Queen/Mirror of My Soul, as far as a suspense spoiler, you may want to read Natural Law first, but I’d definitely recommend those two books as the follow ups. Marguerite remains one of my favorite characters, and their story is just wrenching (with a happy ending though, of course!). Again, pain issue is nowhere near as potent as the psychological ones.

    FInally, I agree – making a choice of ereader bears a lot of study, and if you can get your hands on a few first, that will really help you decide. I think my ebookwise is still sold at Fictionwise for about $150, though it may have gone down. But there are newer models that have all sorts of fancy options that allow it to be multipurposed – I just wanted a plain ebook reader, so that’s why I like mine so much (grin).

    Thank you so much for visiting my site and considering my books. I’m hoping you’ll fall in love with the characters, but as I always say – I welcome feedback, good or bad. ;>

  79. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 15:20:08

    Randi, hooray!! Glad you went that route, and hope you enjoy them!

    Lynne, thanks tremendously for jumping in with that. Because I’m so in love with mine, I tend to turn a gimlet eye on a lot of the others (snort).

  80. shy
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 16:01:46

    Thank you so much Ms Hill for your reply!

    In the Nature of Desire series, the physical torments are far more sexual than painful, if that helps, but I think in both series the psychological/emotional aspects are the most important thing.

    It’s the psychological/emotional aspects of the Rough Canvas excerpt that drew me in. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for it to appear in print….or I’ll get my A into G and get myself an ebookreader. And thank you Lynne for your insight into PDAs. I’ll add them to the list :)

    I've been told that Natural Law is probably the best introduction to my work for non-BDSM readers who are willing to dip a toe into that literary water (grin).

    I have an Amazon order pending, so I’m going to dip my toe in via Natural Law! It will take almost a month to get here, but *shrug* I’m sure it will be worth the wait :) If it is OK, I will send you an email when I have read it.

    Thank you so much for patiently answering all my questions – I’m very grateful!

  81. Jeanette
    Oct 22, 2008 @ 17:34:30

    Joey’s books are written to be felt by the reader.She has a knack for making you feel like you are in the story and you can feel the emotions of your favorite person!I had never read BDSM books until her’s and now own every books she has written and she is a big favorite of mine.I actually understood a little of my own self from reading her books. I was having some problems dealing with some things and by reading about the struggle Margurette was dealing with helped me understand a great deal about myself.I have read many BDSM books now but Joey’s books are my favorite because of the love and emotion that are in them. She is an exceptional writter and I now call her a friend even though I may never meet her in person.I haven’t read the mermaid book yet and plan to when I can get it. I’m sure as with all her books it will be a favorite of mine. Thanks so much Joey for your talent!

  82. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 08:13:41

    Shy, I would be delighted to get an email from you after you read it, to hear your reaction. And don’t worry – I have a hide like a rhinoceros – you can tell me honestly, good or bad! Thanks so much for being willing to give it a try. :> And I will keep you all posted on Rough Canvas’s print status on the website and through the monthly newsletter.

    Jeanette, here goes my broken record again, but thank you for that wonderful praise. As I’ve said before, that means so much to an author, to know that her work has moved a reader personally, in a positive way. (I add “positive”, because, as a reader, I have been “personally moved” to toss a book against a wall or consider shredding it so it won’t be inflicted on any other unsuspecting reader. While that is an emotional response to a book, it’s not exactly the kind an author wants to inspire!) And you brought up another nice point – in this day of the Internet and email, it’s made it much easier for readers and authors to interact and develop lasting friendships through mutual love of the written word. I’m so glad my work inspired you to email me the first time, and hope to enjoy that for many more books to come.

  83. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 09:49:19

    GREAT NEWS! Had to rush back here and post, since many of you asked about it. Somebody must have been hearing our collective thoughts – I was JUST notified that Rough Canvas is on EC’s Fall Print Plan, which means it will come out in print sometime in November or December! I’ll keep you posted on my website or through the newsletter, but had to share the joy!

  84. Jana Oliver
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 16:38:24

    Joey
    Thanks for luring me to the Dark SideTM. I’ve always enjoyed a good erotic story and it’s a delight to find one that’s well written and enjoyable to read. I mentioned my recent purchase to my significant other who raised an eyebrow, then asked if he could read it as well. GRIN.

  85. shy
    Oct 23, 2008 @ 17:50:24

    GREAT NEWS! Had to rush back here and post, since many of you asked about it. Somebody must have been hearing our collective thoughts – I was JUST notified that Rough Canvas is on EC's Fall Print Plan, which means it will come out in print sometime in November or December! I'll keep you posted on my website or through the newsletter, but had to share the joy!

    YAH! I have ordered Natural Law and am looking forward to reading it but Rough Canvas….YAH! I’ll sign up for your newsletter this weekend so I know when to race off and order it :) Thank you so much! That’s made my day :) And once I’ve read them I’ll definitely send you a letter/email Ms Hill. I was talking to someone yesterday about it, trying to work out my reaction to teh excerpts….hopefully by the time I’ve read them I’ll be a bit more articulate :)

  86. Joey W. Hill
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 06:56:25

    Jana, I always love hearing a significant other has gotten interested. I don’t have too many male readers, of course. In fact, when I do hear from a guy, it’s usually not because he’s read the book – he’s just thanking me for his wife’s reaction to it (wink). Which is all good, I think (lol).

    Shy, excellent! And don’t worry about being too articulate – half the time I’m running somewhere between a sugar crash and a post-draft haze of exhaustion and am surprised I can string words together into coherent sentences (grin).

    Just a heads up – I don’t expect we’ll have many more comments for the post at this point, but if you do post, I still have it on the RSS feed so I’ll see it in my inbox, but I will be traveling after today until November 2, so it may be a week before you hear from me again. However, again, I’ve really enjoyed being here – than you all for a great discussion and all the many wonderful compliments. It will keep me inspired to write furiously for months (beaming).

  87. Lleeo
    Oct 24, 2008 @ 20:25:05

    Thanks for your reply, Ms. Hill! I look forward to reading the book. ^_^

  88. Diosa
    Oct 29, 2008 @ 10:20:39

    I totally related to the Vampire Queens Servant and Mark of the Vampire Queen. I like alpha men that are sexually submissive in real life and in my reading. I enjoyed the books so much that I gave them to my mother to read. We share the same interest in books (Vamps, Weres, paranormal). I did give me mum a heads up about the sexual content. Hehehe…understatement.

    I haven’t read any of Joey’s other books as of yet. I’m playing catch-up on all my favorite authors including Joey. My fall and winter evenings will be filled with delicious reading and note-taking. I do enjoy the creativity in some of the books. Might as well apply some of it to real life. (wink)
    Cheers,
    GM

  89. Joey W. Hill
    Nov 03, 2008 @ 09:26:16

    Lleeo, you’re welcome and glad you came out to play! (smile)

    Diosa, thanks for those comments – I’ve about gotten over my surprise regarding how much I love exploring an alpha hero’s unique way of sexually submitting, but it’s still a pleasure, every time. That’s cool, how you can share reading tastes with your mom and then talk about them. My mom does read my books now, but we don’t talk about them too much (I’m just amazed she reads them, so I don’t want to push my luck by forcing a discussion – grin). Enjoy your catch up reading!

  90. brandy mckinnon
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 23:41:02

    Is there a story of Debra and Lord Brian. She obviously cares about him…loves him??? But he seems to care more about the science then notice her. Is there more to their story?

  91. Kegger
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 21:29:19

    I am so excited to start reading “Natural Law” I am alpha male discovering a over shelling desire to surrender to a intelligent dominant woman.

    I just order several books from Amazon and I will be waiting for delivery?

    Thanks,

    Kegger

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