Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ethical Voyeurism

My first novel, Nature’s Pentacle, is now available at Loose Id! When witches use sexual energy in a rite to mend the shattered environment, the forces set in motion carry them into a vortex of loss, a sizzling ménage, and finally, to the love they never imagined they’d find.

Since it’s a scorching paranormal erotic romance, it comes with a warning label. Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, dominance, male/male sexual interaction, ménage (m/m/m/f), multiple partners, voyeurism.

Most of those warnings I not only expected, I suggested myself on the promotional forms the publisher hands out to authors. I don’t want anyone to pick up my book and feel uncomfortable, and warning people that the story contains controversial elements is the right thing to do. Plus, the “Publisher’s Note” lets readers who love scorching erotic romance know that Nature’s Pentacle is the book for them.

But one thing surprised me when I saw the warning today. Voyeurism? In my book? When I think of voyeurism, I think of a man tip-toeing outside a window as a couple has sex inside, or a teenager watching his sexy neighbor’s bedroom when she forgets to draw the curtains before undressing. Nope, that’s not my story.

But then I thought about it a while, and yes, my characters are involved in a ménage (first a threesome, and then a foursome), and they do watch each other--with great interest. They watch both in the context of the ménage, and also when twosomes pair up in crowded quarters. A cabin doesn’t allow for a lot of privacy.

And of course then there are the two forbidden sexual rites where five pairs of witches summon sexual magic to heal the shattered environment. Each time, three witches stand at center to channel the power--and yes, they can’t help but watch what’s going on around them. And they’re interested. Aroused.

So I’ve decided what I have in my story is some form of consensual voyeurism--“ethical voyeurism,” if you will. What’s important to me is that the person being watched is okay with what’s going on. In the end, the element of consent, or willingness to let someone watch, is what separates the common window peeper from adults involved in a complex, consensual sexual situation.

Here’s the point where I confess that my college dorms had huge, wall length windows. I can’t count the number of times I’d be walking home with a friend, only to spot a couple entangled in a passionate (read this naked) embrace. We’d laugh, blush, and hurry on. But nonetheless, those bits of accidental voyeurism were--interesting.

So what are your thoughts on watching? Ever been an accidental voyeur? Or a watcher of a more intentional ilk? Any favorite scenes from fiction that involve consensual voyeurism?

Happy reading!

Eden Rivers

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hot, hot, hot new cover!

Today I got my cover for Strange Sabbats, my novella that's coming soon from Loose Id, and I love it!

I dread the moment where you get the cover files, and your pulse speeds up, and your hand shakes as you move the mouse, and you think, "Please, please, please let it be okay!"

Becasue we've all seen nightmare covers. Wrong genre. Wrong mood. The hero looks like a space alien--and it's not science fiction. So when I opened the document and it was just great, I let out a huge sigh of relief!

Here's the blurb for Strange Sabbats: For Aileen, Bryan, and Sylvie, three witches related by blood and common circumstances, finding the men of their dreams is a supernatural ride through love, jealousy--and fierce, red hot witch sex.

The cover's of Aileen and Jon, the first couple introduced in the novella. Okay, now I have to get back to finishing my second edits, so my great cover has a story to go with.

Happy reading and writing!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Since I’ve got my first book, Nature's Pentacle, coming out on March 25 with Loose Id, I thought I’d write about romantic and erotic “firsts.”

Ever read a book where the hero and heroine spark so much heat, but just can’t seem to get into bed together, and by the time they have sex for the first time you’re panting right along with them? Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series comes to mind, since it takes several books for Anita to finally hook up with Jean-Claude, the Master of the City.

Or maybe the first erotic encounter comes fast and heavy, right at the outset of the plot, like when Lena and Matt are thrown together in a forbidden sexual rite on the first page of Nature’s Pentacle.

And what about the first kiss? Do you have any favorite first kiss scenes from movies or books? I love both the first kiss and first lovemaking in the mainstream novel What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day, by Pearl Cleage. The heroine is HIV positive, and her relationship with the hero is so beautiful, so healing, that the “firsts” pack even more power than usual.

What about your own memories? First crush? First kiss? First date? First relationship? And of course all those exciting erotic firsts. Any stories to share?

Believe it or not, my first crush was on a freckle-faced fifth grade boy who much, much later became my husband. We were in the same class, and I always hoped he’d choose me as a square dancing partner in gym. I had to wait a lot of years to dance with him, though. Finally got that dance when we went to the senior prom together. We hooked up again after seeing other people in college, so sometimes those firsts stick.

Firsts can be good or bad, sublime or just plain humorous, touching or painful. But one thing’s for certain, we tend to remember them. So come on, share a few of yours…