Sunday, April 24, 2011

Suburban Crunch

Welcome to my new weekly feature that I know is a little off topic than my usual fare about my writing and books, but I thought my new life experiments would be fun to share with you. Look for Suburban Crunch every Sunday right here on the Bad Girl Writer's Block.

In 2008, my life partner lost his job. Like many who worked in a field related to the bloated housing market, he found himself jobless at a time that joblessness was rampant. Despite the panic we felt in those days, I can look back at what happened to us then and say: it was a blessing. Easy to do now that we've landed on our feet on the other side of what seemed to be an endless yawning chasm of change. But really that's all it was--change. Well, change and a giant learning curve that took a little time to catch up with. We learned that a family of four can survive--nay, thrive in a two bedroom condo. We learned that one car is inconvenient, but with some creative scheduling everything we needed to do could be accomplished. I learned how to cut hair, darn socks, reduce, reuse, and recycle just about everything AND I learned how to make some damn fine homemade bread.

Now that we have more disposable income than we're used to, I noticed our bottom line fattening up again--simply because it could. We'd done without for so long, we went a little nuts as the steady paychecks rolled in again for the first time in two and a half years. Noticing the trend, we had a chat and decided to keep our simpler lifestyle. Heck, maybe we could even improve upon it. We decided to go what I call Suburban Crunch. Since we live in a condo complex in a town near DC, we can't go totally hippie commune because things like growing our own produce aren't really practical (though I do grow my own herbs in a window box). We can however learn natural and less costly ways to cut the fat in areas ranging from fuel consumption to cosmetics.

So come along with me as I evolve from Suburban housewife and author into granola crunching hippie chick! My first experiment: going shampoo and conditioner free. Say what?! Yep, it's true. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Release Day to Lily Harlem--Shared Too!

Available today from Lily Harlem and Ellora's Cave!

Ten years on I’m still convinced I’m the luckiest woman on earth. Two devastatingly gorgeous husbands committed to my satisfaction—phew!—life doesn’t get much better or much sexier.

But as though the mere concept of a perfect existence was created to be shattered, one day Quinn turned to me and said, “Shared too. I want to be shared too.” Add in the monster that haunted my nightmares and I was struggling to keep a grip on my sanity.

I soon realized that the path Quinn wanted us to travel would stretch not only his experience of giving and taking but also mine and Liam’s. In a whirlwind of desperate emotions, dark desires and erotic fantasy, we were all so distant but also so sublimely close. Sharing had never been as sweet as it was bitter, or as depraved as it was heavenly.

Reader Advisory: Features the sharing of multiple bodies (F/F, M/F/M, F/M/F/M), bondage and other naughty sexual adventures!


By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: SHARED TOO
Copyright © LILY HARLEM, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
The next morning Liam was already locked in his office when I awoke. I showered, pulled on jeans and an old top and set about my morning jobs in the yard. After feeding the chickens, I spotted Quinn alone by the fence, dressed in his thick, brown fleece and black jeans. He was staring out over the paddock, his arms spread wide and his back slightly bowed as he gripped the top planks.
I walked over and stood against the fence, placing my hand right next to his. “Morning.”
“Hey.” He glanced at me.
“Are you all right? You look lost in thought.”
“Yeah, I’m okay.” He stared back out at the paddock.
I waited for him to elaborate. Quinn standing still, not doing something productive was an unusual sight. “So what are you thinking about?”
He sighed. “Stuff.”
“What stuff?”
He gave a sharp shrug. “Last night, with you, Liam. It was good.”
“Yes, it was.” I smiled. “But it always is when we’re together.” I slid my gaze over the horizon, at the swallows flying low and catching the last of the autumn midges before their long migration.
“How does it feel, Ariane?”
“To be with two people, have two men adoring you, making sure you get pleasure.” His voice lowered. “Making you come.”
I stared at the lush grass and a lingering buttercup, searching for the right words. They all came to me at once. “It feels intense, super-satisfying, amazing, so damn hot to be completely connected to you both.” I smiled. “Once upon a time you said I was going to be the most pampered, sexually satisfied woman in the world and you’ve lived up to your word…more than lived up to your word.”
His mouth tipped in a grin. “Yeah, I remember that conversation on the balcony. We were so worried we’d scared you off.”
We were quiet for a moment. A tractor pulling a plow chugged in the distance and a murder of crows squabbled in a nearby copse.
“Why are you asking me this?” I asked eventually, poking at a piece of moss on the fencepost.
“I’m just curious.”
“Are you thinking about Eve?”
He turned to me, his eyes searching my face as though examining me for signs of imminent hysteria.
“It’s okay if you are,” I said, willing my heart to stop its sudden thumping. “If you’re thinking about her I’d rather you told me.”
He sighed and looked away.
“You like her,” I said. “You’re attracted to her and you said you’d make sure the two of you weren’t ever in a position to let anything happen again.” I pulled in a breath. “But that doesn’t mean she’s disappeared from your thoughts.”
A muscle flexed in his jaw.
“Was she at Hanrahan’s the night you went there without me?”
He straightened, rolled back his shoulders and turned. His butt rested on the top rail of the fence and he stared across the yard with his arms folded across his chest.
“Yes, she was, she was there, okay?”
“And you thought about her after that night?” I kept my voice calm and controlled even though he’d snapped. I didn’t want to fight about this. I sensed it was too important to lose my cool.
“No, yes, well, I thought about her a little.”
“What did you think?”
“That her conversation about patient care and surgical time management was insightful, that the other members of the team respected her, listened to her.” He paused.
“And that her hair looked like silk, like a long, golden sheet of silk smoothing around her shoulders as she moved… I wondered what it would be like to touch it.”
I was quiet as I shoved my hands deeper into my pockets. There was a chill in the air that was penetrating more than my skin.
“How do you do it?” he asked, looking down at me with an expression of genuine confusion.
“Do what?”
“Love two men, be with two men. How do you do it so brilliantly?”
“I’m glad you think so.”
“You do, and you have done for so long. Not only that, you share your love and time and attention between our daughters too, and all the animals. I’m in awe of you.”
“Love is worthless until it’s given away,” I said with a smile and rested my fingers on the arm of his fleece, attempting to placate his fractious mood.
“How about attraction?” His eyes flashed. “Is that worthless?” He swallowed and I watched his Adam’s apple bob low then all the way back up again. His jaw tensed and a muscle in his cheek flexed beneath his stubble.
”We’re not talking about me anymore, are we?”
He gave a small shake of his head.
“I don’t know about attraction, Quinn. I’m in love with you and Liam—that’s what I understand, love.”
“But there is a difference between love and attraction. A big difference. I’m in love with you, so in love with you, you’re my wife, the mother of my children, I want to grow old with you, look back on my life and say I spent it with you.”
I felt a sting in my eyes. His words matched my feelings. My emotions were ballooning inside me and I dragged in a breath to keep them under control.
“But…” he said.
I tilted my brows and blinked away the moisture.
“But,” he went on. “Part of me wants her as well. Not to spend my life with her. I just…want her.”
“You said you’re not going to have an affair with her.”
He shook his head firmly. “No, of course I’m not going to have an affair with her.”
“Does…?” I hesitated. “Does that include you’re not going to sleep with her too?”
He shut his eyes for a long second, gnawed on the inside of his cheek.
“Quinn.” My voice was shaky but I managed to hide the wobble—just.
“No, I’m not going have sex with her, okay? Because that…” He uncrossed his arms and gripped the rail behind himself again so tight his knuckles paled. “Because that would hurt you.”
“Is that the only reason?” My voice was a little sharper. “Because you don’t want to hurt me?”
“Yes, Ariane, that’s the only reason.” He pushed away from the fence and took several quick strides across the yard.
“Wait.” I rushed to follow him. “You can’t say something like that and walk away.”
“But what else is there to say?” He spun around.
I halted in front of him, put my hands on his chest and willed my voice to stay even. “How about talking about the vows we made to one another in our commitment ceremony, how about that?”
“We never said ‘forsake all others’. Those vows tied us together, you and me, and allowed Liam to be part of our relationship the same way I’m allowed to be part of yours. Those vows make it okay to share.”
“Yes, you share me.”
“But you get us both, don’t you? You get both the people you’re attracted to.”
“Love, Quinn, I get both the men I love, and the whole threesome relationship was your idea, not mine. I had to get my head around it.”
He sighed and looked down at his feet. “Love, attraction, either way, you get it all and it doesn’t seem fair.”
My hands dropped from his chest. My breathing was hard and blew like smoke from my mouth into the cold air. “You want it fair?” I asked, my mind full of disbelief.
His gaze captured mine and his voice dropped low. “Yes.”
“But how would that work?”
“Fair would be me going to bed and being shared too.”