The Novel Approach welcomes author Morticia Knight today to talk about her new release The Fear of Surrender from Totally Bound, and to help celebrate the Countdown to Euro Pride Con 2015.
Morticia shares her thoughts on writing BDSM in a historical setting, has shared an excerpt from the book, and is also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win an e-title of choice from her Backlist.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
BDSM Prior to Safe, Sane and Consensual
Thank you for having me here today! I’ll be talking about my BDSM series, The Hampton Road Club and what it is that makes this series different from other BDSM and D/s stories. The main reason? The series is set in the 1920s. There was no such thing as safe, sane and consensual, no standard rules that applied to those in the lifestyle. Actually, it was never even referred to as the ‘lifestyle’. The acronyms of BDSM, D/s or terms such as ‘safe word’, sub, Dom, and such didn’t exist yet. I had to be very careful when crafting the stories of these men that I didn’t lapse into contemporary speak.
Since this series spun off of Book 5 of the Gin & Jazz series, Studio Orders, I had already done much of the research regarding BDSM history as it relates to a universal understanding between those who practice it. I had also completed seven books in the Gin & Jazz series (all set in the twenties as well) and was easily able to keep the time period accurate – including the cadence of speech. But once I decided to take the club that is only mentioned in Studio Orders and adapt it into an entire series revolving around BDSM during that era – therein lay the real challenge. However, it was also a wonderful opportunity for me to imagine what could’ve happened when the seeds of unifying the lifestyle into a more consistent and safe environment might have been planted.
This is where the joys of artistic license took over. I took everything that I knew to be historically accurate and everything I didn’t know at all then combined them together. I imagined what events might have taken place that would have led to a universal agreement of terminology and practices – how BDSM might have actually evolved to what it is today. The events that happen in each book take you through the steps that lead you from the development of one modern idea to the next.
What came out of that has been incredibly fun for me to write. There are the usual emotional and psychological elements of D/s that are encountered when two consenting adults enter into such an agreement – including the fact that there is an agreement at all. There are the typical BDSM interactions such as impact play (although, again, not a term in use at the time), but I also had to add in the scary parts that had nothing to do with what went on between the men. Homosexuality is not accepted at all in society – laws are in place against sodomy. While it’s still possible to be arrested for assault today from the practice of BDSM – it was assured back then. The double secrecy of writing about a gay BDSM club was an intense challenge to craft in order to maintain the believability.
Overall, The Hampton Road Club has become very special to me and the men who work so hard to find a lasting partner under such overwhelming obstacles and challenges I believe will stay with me a long time.
If you’re attending Euro Pride Con, I’ll be there with at least one or two installments of the series. I’m really looking forward to this Con, and if you haven’t signed up yet – make sure you check it out. One of the big reasons I wanted to go is perhaps the most obvious – I get to go to Germany! But there’s also much more to it than that. I do have a German and European readership who I might never have the opportunity to meet if I only ever attend cons in the US, or even in the UK. I’m also very interested in discovering the similarities and differences in the M/M romance scene. I can’t wait to go.
I’d like to share with you an excerpt from the third installment of The Hampton Road Club. This is from The Fear of Surrender, where we get the story of Master Thomas and the submissive Linus who was mistreated in a former book at the club by a disreputable Master. In this scene, Thomas is seeing Linus the first time since his abuse at the club and is trying to convince him to visit the man who in Book 2, The Rules of Love, had sacrificed his own safety to protect Linus.
Blurb: Master Thomas sees a submissive man aching for surrender. But can Linus be convinced not to fear The Hampton Road Club?
Linus never wants to return to Hampton Road after being attacked by a Master there. Even though he aches for the attention of Master Thomas—the one who he’d originally wanted—he isn’t sure he can ever trust another Master not to abuse him again.
Thomas is furious with himself for not protecting the beautiful young submissive whose company he’d enjoyed on a few occasions. He’s relieved that there have been some recent changes to help protect the men who offer themselves at the sadomasochism club. It’s about time to bring Hampton Road into the progressive age of the 1920s. Now that the new rules are in place, perhaps he can woo Linus into giving him a chance.
As Thomas goes out of his way to be kind to him, Linus wonders if he’s misjudged the Master. He’s still not sure if there’s a future for them. What if he never wants to surrender to another man? When he allows Thomas to teach him the joys of Dominance and submission, Linus discovers that he not only wants to surrender, he wants to be claimed permanently. If only Thomas’ old life doesn’t come back to haunt them and destroy their chance of being together forever.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of figging and piercing.
Publisher’s Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.
Early Download Available At Totally Bound Publishing
Sam re-entered the living area, holding onto Linus’ hand as the shy boy trailed behind him. He resisted the urge to frown—he was concerned it could be misinterpreted by the reticent young man. He mentally kicked himself again for not following through on his initial instinct to claim Linus. It would have saved both of them so much grief. Jet-black hair with bright blue eyes had stunned him from the first time Thomas had spied Linus at the club. His perfectly soft pale skin—a startling contrast to the color of his hair—had pinked beautifully when Thomas had spanked him. And there had been such a natural connection between them both. Why hadn’t he simply followed through?
Thomas rubbed his eyes and groaned. He needed to get a hold of himself. When he lowered his hands, he caught Linus staring at him before he quickly averted his gaze. His cheeks reddened.
Does he still have an affection for me?
If there was a small chance that Linus might give him the opportunity for them to be together again, it wasn’t the right moment to uncover the possibility. But Thomas filed the idea away for later.
“There’s nothing to worry about. Things went very well. Preston is gone—never coming back, I might add—and Kenneth will be staying with Saul from now on.”
“Kenneth is okay?” Linus’ small voice betrayed his nervousness, but he didn’t look away.
Thomas gave him what he hoped was a comforting smile. “Yes, he’s fine. But since he’s not going to be coming back here and Saul has to handle some business at the club before he takes Kenneth home with him, we need all of you to help.”
“How can we help?”
Francesco appeared excited over the possibility. He was grinning and bouncing even more enthusiastically on the balls of his feet. Sam still clutched Linus’ hand as he exchanged glances with him.
“We would like for you all to come with me to Hampton Road and keep Kenneth company for a while until he can go with Saul. As you can imagine, this has all been very upsetting and it would be nice for him to have some friends so that he’s not alone while he waits.”
“Then what are we all standing here for? Let’s go!” Francesco turned to his friends right as Linus pulled away from Sam, his eyes widened in apparent panic. “Oh. Well, we can go and Linus can stay here. Right?”
Frustration filled Thomas at Francesco’s words, in particular because Linus had visibly calmed because of them. His shoulders had relaxed and he’d let loose a sigh, as if in relief.
“Sam and Francesco, would you wait in the car please? I’ll be there shortly.”
For once, Francesco quietly did as he was told and they both left the house. Left him alone with Linus. Linus bowed his head and clasped his hands in front of him. Thomas was disappointed that his tension had reappeared. He didn’t have time to be coy with Linus, so he dove right in.
“Are you still afraid of going to Hampton Road?”
Linus shrugged. His response reminded Thomas of how he’d planned to work with Linus on expressing himself better before Preston had entered the picture.
Linus jerked his chin up, a hint of defiance in his gaze.
“I don’t see why I have to go back there. I, um, I already told Masters Aaron and Saul I wouldn’t return.” He visibly swallowed. “Even if Preston isn’t there anymore, it’s not as if there’s a reason to go back.” His cheeks reddened and he lowered his head again.
“Yes there is. Right now, Kenneth is your reason.” Thomas sucked in a breath. “Perhaps another time you’ll have a different one.”
Linus darted his eyes around the room and worried his hands. At last, he peered up at Thomas. “Is Kenneth very upset?”
Thomas couldn’t lie, even if wanted to convince Linus to go more than anything. He held the hope inside that if Linus returned, it might break the fear that being at the club had instilled in him.
“I honestly didn’t see him, Linus. I’m going by what Aaron told me, and I’ve always known him to be a truthful man. But if I were to make a wager, I think it would mean a lot to Kenneth to know that you’re all right too. He asked about you.”
“He did?” Linus’ eyes rounded and Thomas knew he’d found the one thing that could reach Linus.
“Yes, he did.” Thomas kept his voice soft. “Would you please come with us for Kenneth’s sake?” He took another deep breath. He had to let out the emotions that had plagued him ever since he’d learned of Linus’ abuse. “Please forgive me, Linus. I feel as if I let you down—that I should have protected you from…from that despicable cur.”
Linus blushed furiously and Thomas wished they were in different circumstances right then, that he could uncover the truth of what was going on inside the young man. He seemed to get control of himself enough to meet Thomas’ gaze again.
“It’s not your fault, Sir. I shouldn’t have gone with him. I only did it, um, because…” Linus shook his head, frowning. “Anyway, I don’t blame you, Sir.”
Thomas wouldn’t press him. He sensed that he’d made progress with the young man, so he didn’t want to scare him off. There still might be a chance for them.
“That’s very kind of you Linus. But I want you to understand that what happened to you wasn’t your fault either. You were the victim and he had no right. Don’t ever blame yourself for another person’s wrongs.” Thomas took a breath to calm himself. “Will you come with us now though? Just for this one night? I promise to watch out for you while you’re there. I won’t let anyone near the room where you’ll be visiting with Kenneth.”
Linus nodded then seemed to remember. “Okay. I’ll go.”
Thomas wanted to shout with joy. He surprised himself with how much Linus’ agreement had mattered.
“Thank you very much, Linus. I know it’ll make Kenneth happy.” Despite the ache to do so, Thomas didn’t dare touch him. He stepped to the side then gestured to the door. “Shall we?”
Linus regarded him with his deep-blue eyes that a man could drown in. Not reaching out for him was near impossible, but Thomas kept himself in check.
The way Linus said it, the way his words went to his core, told Thomas all that he needed to know. He wanted Linus more than he’d ever wanted a man before and he would do whatever he could to win him over.
Author Bio: M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys a good saucy tale – after all, who doesn’t? Since she loves several genres, you may find your heroes in a contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi setting. One of her passions is bringing people’s fantasies to life on the page, because life is too short for even one boring moment. Her stories are volcanic in heat, deep in emotion, and sprinkled with doses of humor.
When not indulging in her obsession for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. The Pacific Northwest is the ideal spot to enjoy both hiking and beachcombing. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She now resides on the northern coast of Oregon, where the constant rain and fog remind her of visits to family in England and Scotland when she was a child.
She is currently working on the Sin City Uniforms Series and a BDSM spin-off to the Gin & Jazz series entitled The Hampton Road Club. A follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey’s story in Rockin’ the Alternative will also be available in 2015 through Totally Bound Publishing.
Find Morticia at: Facebook personal page | Facebook Author page | Facebook super secret ninja fan group with photos of hot men and other cool stuff | Twitter | Website/Blog | Totally Bound author page