We’re in for a treat today as author Cari Silverwood joins us to talk about a variety of things related (loosely and otherwise) to her recent release Iron Dominance. I started by asking Cari about the steampunk genre and our conversation continued from there. Please read on to see what we chatted about, then add your own questions and comments to the conversation in the comments after the post. Cari will be dropping in to chat wit us. You do not need to be registered or logged in to leave a comment but if you’re leaving your first comment EVER on this blog your comment will only post after it’s been moderated. If you’ve posted here before your comment should post immediately.
Thanks Cari for joining us today. I hope you’ll have a blast today and that you’ll come back and visit us again in April when your next book Rough Surrender releases.
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Iron Dominance was nominated for Best Steampunk Bookie Award by Author’s After Dark. The term “steampunk” is one that confuses a lot of authors and readers. Can you define steampunk…what is it? What do you like most about the sub-genre?
Steam punk is fairly loosely defined and has mutated quite a bit from the original idea. Nowadays you start off with airships, some steam, clockwork or electrical powered contraptions, and a hint of the Victorian age. For the rest…well take your pick — the world can be this one, or an alternate world with slightly different laws of physics, or even in the future after some apocalyptic disaster.
Being BDSM romance mine has fetish clothes and some steampunk inspired sex toys along with the usual goggles (got to have them!), gyrocopters, dastardly villains and daring heroes. Oh, and corsets. To my slight bemusement almost everyone who reads my book has been enthralled by the fetish corset and other clothes described. I have one reader who has even vowed to make the corset.
Why do I like steam punk? Because it has just enough ‘rules’ for me to set up a wonderful world. I love contraptions and adventure and yes, strange weaponry. And also because when done right steampunk is a gorgeously visual setting. The graphic novels out there are stunning. From feedback I’m getting, Iron Dominance, despite being ‘merely’ words, has just the right balance of steampunk, sex and sizzling action.
You have two books currently available Iron Dominance and Three Days of Dominance. Plus you have a new book out in early 2012…Rough Surrender…can you tell us about all three of these books? How are they similar? Different? Where did you get the ideas for each?
Being new to erotic romance and a dyed in the wool fantasy writer, I wasn’t sure what to write at first. So I’ve written what suited me and ended up with three very different novels. Ideas? Hah! They come from anywhere. A friend, Nerine Dorman, did help spawn my last two novels though. She feeds me idea seeds that sprout into adventures. Her self-aware Frankenstein idea gave me Iron Dominance and her Belle Époque notion gave me Rough Surrender. So much naughtiness went on in the early twentieth century! Paris, for example was a hotbed of spanking literature.
Three Days of Dominance is an urban fantasy with a new take on the fae. Heketoro, my fae hero, has been cursed for a hundred years to live in a lake in our world. To return to his own world he must convince a woman to submit to him and perform a sexual ritual so that he may break the curse.
Iron Dominance is about Claire, a human made of cloned parts, or a Frankenstruct, who is rescued from an airship crash by Theo, a deliciously rich nobleman and ex-Air Corp officer. Claire has been trained as an assassin from childhood and was on her first mission. As she falls more in love with Theo she has to struggle with whether to reveal her true identity and purpose. If she is honest she may lose the man she has grown to love. If she lies, she must forever fear her falsehood being exposed. Couple that with her first target being someone called Theo and the poor woman has a lot of angst to deal with. With Theo being a darling Dom this book was great fun to write and, best of all, I seem to have converted a lot of non-steampunk readers to erotic steampunk.
Rough Surrender, out on April 9th, 2012, from Lyrical Press, is set in Cairo. My heroine is Faith Evard, an aviatrix who has a passion for planes at a time when the Wright Brothers were a new phenomenon. I based her on a real woman — Baroness Raymond de Laroche who was at the same 1910 Cairo air meet (or Grand Semaine de L’aviation) I have Faith going to. When Faith arrives in Cairo, Leonhardt, my engineer and Dom is transfixed by this woman who dares to fly yet also falls at his feet in sexual surrender. Since he’s shunned BDSM after a tragedy and is unsure of his own reasons for craving to dominate a woman, her fascination with domination and submission becomes a revelation for them both.
This was a fabulous book to research. I learned so much about the history of Cairo and aviation and even used an old journal of Mark Twain’s travels to Africa as background material.
You write BDSM romance. Please talk about what makes a great submissive heroine?
Srories revolve around conflict. With a romance you know in the end the man and woman will fall in love. It is the journey that fascinates — how will they get to the end and attain their happily ever after? Make it easy and you bore your readers. Conflict is the key. BDSM romance is just a romance with BDSM in there as well. If the woman utterly submits to the Dom on the first page, you have no story. The journey, the problems and pitfalls, the things that push them away from each other are what make the story worth reading.
For this reason, for me, the best submissive heroine is a woman who resists falling in love and truly submitting to the Dom. I love making a strong submissive — a woman who knows her own mind, who often can conquer her part of the world with ease, yet inside she desires to submit to the right man…and always it has to be the right man. But it’s never ever simple.
If he doesn’t wish to have her as the focus of his world then he’s not worthy. Not only must he, by the end of the story, be a self-assured and strong man, but he must also have the key to his woman’s heart, her soul and her submission.
About Cari Silverwood
Though I’d much rather stay invisible and spin you all tales with my words, here’s a little snippet of my world.
I have a lovely family, with the prerequisite teenager who dwells in the dark bedroom catacombs…a husband who raises eyebrows when he catches glimpses of what I write, and a furry menagerie of other animals barking meowing, and swimming about the place.
Before writing the novel, Three Days of Dominance I had never dipped my little toes in the hot and lust-swirled sea of erotica. Now every time I turn around there’s someone begging me to write down their story in the most lurid way. I’m sure I don’t where my people learnt their morals. They’re quite adamant about teaching me creative new ways of making love. So I doubt I’ll run out of ideas anytime soon.
And, dammit, I can’t seem to stop reading other erotica authors either. I have come over to the dark side. Someone please find me a candle…and some rope. ‘Cause if Darth Vader’s here, I’m going to see if he’s up for some bondage and wax play.
My website, if you’re curious about my other evil pursuits: http://www.carisilverwood.net/
The Cover Blurb From Iron Dominance
Raised from childhood as an assassin, Claire finds her world knocked off kilter when Theo Kevonis, a rich, ex-Air Corp nobleman, rescues her from an airship crash. Being a soldier of a hostile nation she cannot reveal her identity, but Theo sinks his steely Dom fingers into her heart and soul, showing her the pleasures to be found in surrendering to his touch. Captivated, Claire cannot help but bind herself in lie after lie rather than risk losing the one man who’s ever loved her.
When her loathsome commander returns from the dead, her deceit is uncovered. Somehow, Claire must find a way to win back Theo’s trust and destroy the man who threatens them both.
An Adult Excerpt From Iron Dominance
The bedroom was enormous. Two standing voltaic lamps graced either side of a large four poster bed with posts of ebon and brass inlay. The red and black oriental quilt had been folded back in preparation for sleep. This was a man’s bedroom. No flimsy designs or pastels, no delicate ornaments, everything looked solid and perfectly capable of withstanding a rocket attack.
She stood there, unsure of where to go, as Theo went to a red lacquered suitcase sitting on a low table, clicked it open and rummaged inside.
To her right, golden curtains framed a curved window jutting out past the line of the outer wall like a cockpit on a gyrocopter. The glass was sectioned into four pieces by metal rods. She strolled over. Outside was the airship, a giant darkened balloon outlined in moonlight, anchored by ropes to the grass.
The lamps in the room extinguished. Glass and metal reflected moonlight; the room was a soft, silvered darkness. Measured footsteps came closer. Theo hugged her from behind, his chin beside her ear — surprising her a moment, until she remembered how much taller he was than her. Her eyelids lowered a little. Excitement stirred the hairs along her arms. What is he planning?
“Beautiful, isn’t she?” He ran his hand down her side, the satin softly hissing, then he tucked a finger into the pajamas’ waistband. “Almost as beautiful as you. I thought you might like to change into something more interesting.”
She caught his hand before he slipped it farther inside her pants. More interesting?
“You want me to stop?”
“I don’t know.”
“Let me show you. If you want me to stop, you know what to say. Yes?”
She swallowed. “Yes.”
He freed his hand, undid the tie. The pants fell to her ankles in a susurration of cloth. With his lips kissing her jaw line then the hollow of her neck, he crept his left hand down the opening of her shirt, popping the buttons one by one. Transfixed, she let him, only tilting back her head to offer her neck.
“I find…” he said, biting her and licking down the side of her neck. She shuddered, her pussy clenched, then sighed and moved her buttocks back against him, feeling that hardness again. What would it be like to have a man inside her? “…that your strength appeals to me.”
“My strength?”He shifted behind her, pulled her head onto his shoulder, and slowly kissed up to her cheekbone and across, then near each eye, making her shut them. She kept them that way. Without the distraction of sight, every touch seemed more potent. And he touched everywhere, as fleeting as a firefly, grazing his fingertips on breast and belly and thigh then below her nipples, close enough to arouse them to hard points. When he stepped away, she swayed, lost without his caresses.
“Yes. You’re strong, self-contained. Aren’t you, Claire?”
She shook her head. “Maybe.” Right now, she didn’t want to think.
“Except now, with me. Controlling you, like this, means so much more. Keep your eyes closed.”
She did, feeling the seconds ache with promise. That he liked her strength was somehow…intoxicating, because already, she liked the idea of surrendering. What will he do next?
“That’s my girl. It’s not that difficult, is it?” His voice teased her, amused yet filled with a fierce satisfaction.
“No.” She craved his touch.
Ah! Something…his finger, had touched her hip, and he circled her, with an unhurried thump-tap of heel and toe on the timber floor, as he ran that finger around her waist. The shirt, fully open, slipped from her shoulders. She felt the light brush as her underwear slid down to join the pants at her feet, then his hand, first at one ankle then the other, made her lift each leg in turn. The pants and underwear were whisked away. She could hear herself breathe.
“Stay there,” he said.
She could smell him.
She almost opened her eyes to say something, but instead balanced there. Why she obeyed him, she wasn’t sure but it satisfied something primal, something deeply sexual. And letting go like this, made her feel safe.
Anticipation strung her insides tight. She yearned for further caresses. Her cleft swelled.
“Here. Raise your feet.” An article of clothing, both silken cloth and something harder, slid with muffled clicks up each leg. Theo arranged it about her torso, cool beads shifting across her breasts until the garment fitted snugly on her body. Something narrow settled between her legs. She gasped at a throb of pleasure as his fingers played in her moisture. A few more adjustments and he led her off to one side. A light flared on. “There. Open your eyes.”
In a tall mirror, she saw herself, dressed in a black corset paneled with satin. Coming down from a halter, pearl ropes fanned out over each breast with her nipples peeking out between. A tiny skirt of chiffon, divided at the crotch, barely made it as far as her upper thighs. Lines of seed pearls undulated down the satin and a string of larger pearls dove deeply between her legs, emphasizing the split lips of her sex. She could feel it run up between the cheeks of her bottom at the back. Even as she looked, she felt a renewed throb, for every movement she made, from breath to heartbeat to shift of feet, moved the line of pearls and rubbed against her clit.
In the reflection, she saw Theo beyond her shoulder, bare-chested, the ringlets of his black hair stark against his forehead. He raised a satin and pearl choker and positioned it about her neck, clicking it into place. “And these,” he said, holding first one wrist and then the other to snick matching black satin bracelets on her wrists. “They suit you.” From the hardness, metal lurked beneath the black cloth.
Where the choker and bracelets rested on skin, her pulse rose, thumping, to the surface and reminded her of where she was, who she was with, and especially, how dangerous this could be. But…she trusted him.
To her surprise, her throat still worked, though the words seemed to stick to her tongue. “How did you know my size? Where did this come from?”
“Bought while I was away. I have a good memory, especially for someone as striking as you.”
Which meant, he’d planned her…seduction, while she’d been planning escape. She leaned back against him, fascinated by the allure of the woman in the mirror. The heat from his body soaked into her like a glass of wine. She lifted each wrist and examined the bracelets — identical, and each with tiny loops of steel projecting from them.
“That’s for a chain to pass through,” he whispered, mouthing the nape of her neck. “Does it bother you? Think, before you answer.”
“Yes…” she said slowly, fearful of being again restrained in cuffs.
“And yet?” He pressed a hand against her stomach, holding her against him, making her feel the rigid line of his cock. The pearls slid in her juices, pressing, rolling over her clit and anus. She let out a whimper. “Ahh. You feel them working on you.” He chuckled. “And yet?”
And yet the idea of it, of being restrained by Theo, held a strange and deadly fascination. She shied away from that thought, and shook her head. “And nothing.”
“Ah-h. I can see my first project will be to get you talking more.”
She stood there in silence. The fear she felt came intertwined with lust in almost everything that Theo did to her. Taking her by the shoulders, he moved her to face him, gray eyes inches away, then his mouth descended, covering hers, devouring her. She breathed in his breath, letting him do as he willed. One broad hand held the base of her neck, the other splayed over the curve of her buttocks. His fingers wrapped around the pearl rope running between her legs, tightening it. Desire ran rampant through her, surging higher with every tiny movement of his lips on hers, and the rub of the pearls on her pussy and nipples.
When she put her hands to the belt of his pants, he reached between their bodies, snared both her wrists and pulled them round to the small of her back where he held them with one hand. Again, the pearls shifted. She bit her lip, a moan escaping her as she arched.
Eyes shut, she heard a soft animal-like growl.
“Claire, if you’re not damn careful, I’ll eat you up.”
What? She opened her eyes a slit, still panting, to see that he’d stepped away a little, angling his stance so as to observe her.
His gaze brushed her, lingering on her breasts before he locked on her eyes. “Last chance. Do you want to stop? Are you too sore? It might cause me irreparable harm, but I can stop.” Then he eyed her darkly, as if he’d liked to do exactly what he’d threatened to — eat her up.
The pain of the bruise at her neck had faded to nothing in spite of the choker. With her whole being, she yearned for more of him. He inflamed her past bearing and knowing that he watched her, swept her excitement to another level.
She licked her lips, aware of her wrists still caught behind her and the display of her body. God, if he didn’t do more than this, she’d surely burst.
“No,” she said huskily. “Don’t stop.”
Ah, how he tormented her. “Please.”
“Over here then.” Still gripping her wrists he urged her toward the bed, to kneel by the side of it, and lie face down across the quilt with her bottom up. He spread her hands, palm down over each cheek of her buttocks.
“Don’t move,” he whispered in her ear. “And I won’t have to tie you.”
Tie me? She almost let go at that. Was this what she wanted? But he held his hands over hers a moment. She stayed there.
His fingers trailed over the backs of her hands, over the ends of her fingernails, and down her thighs. She quivered, sucking in air through the quilt bunched beneath her mouth.
“Spread your legs, Claire.”
She shifted them, feeling even more exposed, a breeze caressing her engorged labia. He traced down the line of pearls, reached her wet cleft and followed deeper where the pearls seemed to have sunk into her flesh. Slick and wet. The scent of her lust reached her. Slowly he went farther until he reached her clit. He circled it, teasing, making her shift her bottom to place the finger just right.
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