Reaching Out from a Mind as Dirty as All Outdoors
If you get lucky enough, I might post adult-only material from time to time, so be 18 or over, or please be elsewhere.
I'll be discussing erotica here, the writing of it and the people who write it, as well as what we've written. I find all these aspects stimulating, but if any of them bore you, feel free to skim. You never know what you might miss, though.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Blog Tour Post 7, Witches, Princesses and Women at Arms: Salome Wilde-“The Princess’s Princess”
Salome Wilde has published dozens of erotic stories across the orientation spectrum, in genres from hard-boiled/noir to kaiju exotica. She is editor of Shakespearotica: Queering the Bard and Desire Behind Bars: Lesbian Prison Erotica (Bella Books), with coauthor Talon Rihai. Find Wilde at www.salandtalerotica.com or on Twitter @salomewilde.
When I said in my introduction to the anthology that some of the stories had a subtle aura of fantasy, “The Princess’s Princess” was the one I was thinking of. It has a fairy tale feel, combined with believable characters, which turns out to make a delicious combination. Here’s an excerpt from near the beginning:
The Princess’s Princess
A few weeks into their stay, Queen Yiin formally presented my father with a vast, elaborate wall-hanging that depicted a map of her kingdom—which turned out to be thrice the size of my father’s. I fumed but had to attend the ceremony. As I gaped at the tapestry, I felt my earlier condescension with an inward cringe that I could only hope would not show outwardly as the radiant Jiin smiled into my eyes and said, as if we were continuing a conversation from our first meeting, “And these are this one’s humble walls.”
I muttered, “Humble indeed,” in response to her taunt in the guise of false modesty, and she murmured back, “That is just what this one was going to say.”
“Twit,” I snapped.
“Brat,” she hissed.
With that, we suddenly found we had everyone’s attention in the room. My father’s stern glare was mirrored in the eyes of my mother and Jiin’s. We were in trouble. But Jiin spoke up immediately: “Please forgive these childish games, Your Highnesses. The Princess and this one are just like sisters; and thus, like sisters, we squabble. The outburst was this one’s fault entirely.” And she made a pretty little bow that had my father and the two queens beaming.
My competitive streak had me wanting to outdo the princess in humility, of course, but I could not think of anything to say. I was too unhumble to fake it. So, I reached out and embraced her. At first she stood, stiff as a pike: not only had we never hugged, we had never so much as touched. But then she softened, wrapped her arms around me, and brought her lips to my cheek for a kiss. I felt a tingle and marveled at it. Before I could make more of the strange sensation, however, Jiin had moved her mouth to my ear and whispered, “You are no child to have such soft, lush lukshas.”
I was entirely shocked as she released me, but there was no question that lukshas meant my bosom, which she had pressed against so warmly. The tingle quickly became a flush down my throat and out to the tips of my heretofore-unnoticed breasts. They were only of average size and I had never thought them special, but to Jiin they were apparently worthy of comment. I relished the praise more than I could say and for a reason I could not name. In fact, I cannot remember anything else that was said as we hung the tapestry in the Great Hall that day, and I retreated to my chambers as swiftly as I could when dismissed. I think my mother quipped something about my looking chilled, but I could not remember ever feeling more overheated.
Back in my rooms, I began to rethink the matter in my barely-adult way. What did Jiin mean by her remarks? Was she simply taunting me, increasing the stakes in our ridiculous rivalry? That did not ring true, and I did not want it to be true. That Jiin’s voice had been a soft, lusty purr unlike any voice ever addressed to me only made me more confused. I decided the only way to resolve my feeling of discomfort was to confront her. I made my way down the long hallway to Jiin’s rooms, passing a chambermaid and a guard, both of whom I was sure could see the stirred fluster in my bearing, though neither did more than show the usual signs of deference to their Princess.
When I burst into Jiin’s room without so much as a pause to knock, she turned from her work with a gasp. She was painting a nude female, and her model, sitting on a small platform opposite her, seemed to be one of the palace chamber servants. The creature's red-gold cloud of hair was done up with the kind of decoration Jiin wore, and her plump pale arms sported bracelets like Jiin’s. The servant quickly reached for a cloth to cover herself. Worse, I could tell there had been some light merriment in conversation that I had interrupted. The woman lowered her eyes, and asked Jiin quietly if she should go.
“Forgive me for intruding, Princess,” I said, too loudly, feeling foolish and out of place. I turned to leave.
“Please, do not go,” Jiin hastily replied. “It is time that one gives a break to one’s companion from the dull work of modeling. Thank you, Dani.” She smiled warmly and the servant smiled back through lowered lashes and bowed.
I saw the friendship between them and was hotly envious. I would never have spoken with such affection to a servant, or even to others, like the Chamberlain, to whom I owed respect. And that Jiin even knew the creature’s name was mortifying. My father had taught me haughtiness—perhaps more than he meant to—and it had left me alone and standoffish. Yet, here was Princess Jiin, my equal in stature and my superior in maturity, gentility, beauty, and tact, and I had thrown away a chance at friendship with her. I flushed again and, again, felt my nipples tighten beneath my garments.
The servant slipped out the door at the back of the room, bowing as she went. I stood, waiting for Jiin to speak again. As she fiddled with her paints, I took in the room around me, a room that I had perhaps ventured into a time or two in my life but to which I had paid little attention, save to note its similarity to so many guest chambers in the palace. Jiin had transformed it. With sheer draperies, a musky incense that lent a smoky warmth to the room, and tapestries like the one her mother had given to my parents but featuring unfamiliar landscapes and unfamiliar birds of bright plumage, Jiin had made this cold, high-ceilinged chamber her own. I turned back to note more closely her work area in the corner, full of paints, brushes, and canvases.
“Would you like to model?” Jiin asked, bringing me out of my reverie, her voice low and playful.
“M-me?” I stammered, shocked but uncharacteristically tempted, lured by the delicious note of seduction in Jiin’s sweetly accented voice. “You want me to…let you paint me?” I could not say the final phrase—“without my clothes”—nor could I imagine she meant this. Though the servant Jiin had taken as her model was of low station, she was surprisingly lovely. Even as the idea that status did not determine beauty or grace flashed through my mind for the very first time, I felt Jiin’s eyes upon me and rankled at the restrictiveness of my heavy, royal garments.
Wouldn’t you like to read about what happens next? You could buy the book, of course, but you could enter a drawing to win a free copy by commenting on any of the posts in this blog Tour.
THE GIVEAWAY and LINKS
Anyone who comments on any of these blog posts will be entered in a drawing for a paperback copy (in North America) or an ebook (elsewhere) of Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms. Each blog you comment on gives you one more entry.
Here’s the lineup of blog posts—the links may be adjusted as we go along, so check back here every now and then.
June 14th: Sacchi Green-“Trollwise” (plus the Introduction)
June 15th: Cara Patterson-“Steel”
June 16th: Michael M. Jones-“The Miller’s Daughter”
June 19th: H.N. Janzen-“The Prize of the Willow”
June 20th: Annabeth Leong-“The Mark and the Caul”
June 21st: Brey Willows-“Penthouse 31”
June 22nd: Salome Wilde-“The Princess’s Princess”
June 23nd: Emily L. Byrne-“Toads, Diamonds and the Occasional Pearl”
June 26th: A.D.R. Forte-“Warrior’s Choice”
June 27th: M. Birds-“Woodwitch”
June 28th: Madeleine Shade-“Robber Girl”
June 29th: Lea Daley-“The Sorceress of Solisterre”
June 30th: Allison Wonderland-“SWF Seeks FGM”