MEETING KRISTINA WRIGHT
by Lady Cheeky
I met Kristina Wright in Washington DC last year when we were both reading stories at Rachel Kramer-Bussel’s special one-night only, In the Flesh Reading Series of erotica evening at CatalystCon East. We met in a common way one meets others at a convention … walking through the convention hall on the way to the elevator after a session. She looked familiar so I smiled, hoping I looked familiar too and she could remind me where we met. She smiled back, looked at my badge and said “Lady Cheeky? I follow you.” Ever since Twitter became a “thing” the phrase “I follow you” has become the modern version of complimentary social recognition. I looked at her badge and recognized her name, not as the prolific writer and anthologist that she is known as, but as someone which whom I had shared fun tweets in the past. I knew I liked her online and now meeting her in person, with her easy smile and warm poise, I liked her even more.
We struck up a conversation consisting mainly of repartee and conference chit-chat. I learned that she was a writer (“I’m a writer too!”) and that she was reading a story at Rachel Kramer Bussel’s In the Flesh Reading Series event that evening (“I’m reading at In the Flesh too!”) and I thanked the Goddesses above that I had someone cool to sit next to. Truth be told, I was terrified to be reading my story in front of people. I had impulsively volunteered to be a reader that day, intentionally too fast to let my fear dictate my decision. My story was true and still a little raw as I was supposed to meet the subject of my lust (and love) on this particular trip, but we had broken it off for the final time 3 days before. Now I was going to read an emotional, sexually explicit story to a roomful of erotic literary legends … not the least of which I had just unknowingly met in the elevator mentally assigning her as my “social anxiety buddy.” Poor Kristina didn’t know what she was in for.
That evening I entered the assigned ballroom and grabbed a seat. Kristina walked in shortly after and before I could commandeer her to sit next to me, she was already putting her jacket on the seat to my right. We chit-chatted and I told her a bit about my fears of reading, being a newbie in this sea of cultivated wonders, of hoping my voice didn’t shake or I didn’t profusely sweat, cry or vomit enough as to be distracting. She laughed with me and comforted me … acknowledged her own uneasiness with reading and convinced me I would be fine and more importantly, safe.
The evening began as Rachel Kramer Bussel (a literary giant in her own right) introduced the authors and highly respected sex educators; Reid Mihalko, Joan Price, Carol Queen, Emerald … and then Kristina Wright. When Rachel read Kristina’sbio I was stunned. Only then did I realize I was basically sitting next to the Joyce Carol Oates of erotica. Prolific, awarded, published in over 80 anthologies and the editor of countless others, it was clear Kristina was particularly respected and revered and as she read her story it was clear why. Kristina’s writing style is restrained enough to be classic and yet detailed enough to be captivating. For a writer of any genre, one needs to self edit, constantly making certain that every word earns its way in. This is a painstaking task and a part of writing that often discourages and separates the wheat from the chaff. This is especially true (in my humble opinion) of good erotica and romance writing as that category seems to sit at the children’s table of the literary world.
Erotica and romance writers need to be that much better, so as not to cement a stereotype of erotica as salacious pulp fiction. In erotic romance you not only have to be a good writer, adhering to all the rules of fiction writing standards for any genre, but you have to heighten it with explicit scenes of passion, desire, sensuality while keeping it real enough to relate to. Within this construct, a talented erotic romance writer must create dramatic concupiscent relationships that are at once believable AND thrilling AND hot. Kristina Wright does this in spades, weaving a story so simple, yet so occupied with genuine tactile emotion and texture, that even in a short story you come away with the unforgettable feeling you tangibly witnessed a personal moment in someone’s life.
Since that evening I have been a fan of Kristina Wright not only as a person but as a talent. And though we only spent that little time together and have since kept in touch on Facebook, I do consider her a friend. So it is with great pleasure that I participate in this blog tour for her latest anthology as editor, Bedded Bliss: A Couple’s Guide to Lust Ever After. Kristina has chosen riveting stories by talented authors with the surprising and refreshing theme of “hot monogamy.” Interwoven with tips and tricks to keep any partnership fresh and fevered, this is a unique compilation to say the least. I’m proud to be able to share with you an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from Bedded Bliss (below) by Anya Richards.
Made To Last
By Anya Richards
The year from Hell stretched to two, and everything thatcould go wrong did.
For my husband and me sex wasn’t the answer, but it sure went a long way toward
helping us reconnect,remember what’s important and release some of thepent-up stress.
With a reaffirmation of the bonds we share,we were once more ready to face the world, together.
It’s one o’clock in the morning, and I’m wide-awake. This isn’t anything new, unfortunately. Recently sleep has become an elusive, craved and yet frightening concept. It sometimes provides relief, sometimes makes things worse, as problems follow me into dreamland and continue their unrelenting torture.
Beside me, my husband sighs and rolls onto his side. From the tenor of his breathing I know he’s dead to the world, and annoyance flashes through me.How can he sleep so soundly, night after night, while I lie awake, my brain unable to shutdown long enough for me to nod off? But I know I’m not alone with my fears. All the signs of stress are there in him too. Just this evening I looked across the living room and caught him staring out the window, eyes unfocused, fingers tapping asharp, staccato rhythm on the arm of his chair. He’s usually calm, almost serene, just the type of man a high-voltage woman like me needs. He’s my anchor, the voice of reason when I’m tempted to go off the deep end. It hurts to see him obviously restless, with worry etching new lines into his beloved, beautiful face. Staring up into the darkness, I start cataloging our problems,the relentless cycle starting anew. Instantly the muscles in my neck tighten and my stomach knots. I try to think of something else—concentrate on the plot of my latest book—but within minutes I’ve somehow circled back to reality. Sometimes I think I’d feel better ifI could just cry, let it out, but that’s not my way. Tears have always been something to avoid, repress, fight. They’re a weakness I can’tallow myself. If I start I might not be able to stop, and that thought scares me more than any other. For me, that heralds the onset of madness.
As though sensing my terror, my husband moves closer, his arm settling across my stomach. That simple touch, the sensation of his warmth so close, brings a sob close to the surface and I’m forced to swallow it down. I don’t feel as though I deserve his affection right now. I have a sneaky suspicion the blame for our current problems rests squarely on my shoulders. Yet, it feels so good having him beside me. Instead of moving away I roll onto my side, facing away from him, and spoon closer.
READ THE REST (AND EVEN MORE HOT MONOGAMY EROTICA) IN
BEDDED BLISS: A COUPLE’S GUIDE TO LUST EVER AFTER
ABOUT BEDDED BLISS: A COUPLE’S GUIDE TO LUST EVER AFTER:
It’s fairly easy to fall in love (or lust), but keeping that passion hot and heavy after twenty years of marriage can get tricky. Kristina Wright has two toddlers and a red-hot marriage, and there’s no one better suited to helping other couples make lust last. Bedded Bliss: A Couple’s Guide to Lust Ever After pairs hands-on advice for long-term lovers with steamy tales to inspire couples to enact their own erotic adventures. Each chapter begins with “sensual suggestions” for keeping in touch—literally! Read real advice and stories from couples, who have a combined total of a whopping 235 years of long-term relationship experience, and find out what works for them to keep their fires burning steady and hot. Romance writer and editor Wright re-invents the sexuality genre, presenting a guide that simultaneously educates and entertains. Bedded Bliss is a treasure trove of resources for couples to ensure that monogamy will never again mean monotony.