Welcome to my first [hopefully of many] monthly newsletter about writing. I started reading at a very young age, and by the time I was in middle-school, was reading at least three books daily. Like all youngsters, I devoured the classic young adult section. This was in the 1970’s, and many people thought the Golden Age of Literature lay in the misty distant nostalgic past. Some still do.
Without getting into a graduate level dissertation, that perspective has some merit. Some would argue that civilization peaked in Ancient Greece or India, and has gone downhill ever since. Certainly in term of great Sagas, there is nothing to match in modern times. The few tropes that humans can connect with leave us, thousands of years away, limited to more and more outrageous fiction.
But then again, can any fiction, of any genre, compare with reality? If you read non-fiction history, as I do, then following up with any fictional rendition of the events, will likely leave a flat disappointment behind. Yet, as the cliche goes [Too real for Hollywood], there is a place for fiction in our lives. I read because I want to be taken away to someplace new. To meet a person I’ll never know in real life. To be moved.
One of the first recommendations a budding author receives, is to ‘write what you know’. So? Do I know spanking? Compared to…? Yes, I’ve spanked and been spanked, but am I an expert? Hell no. Nor do I claim to be. In reality, my spanking fiction is more about setting the stage than in describing the physical act. I would rather write something atmospheric than blow-by-blow.
I first created the character of Sir Nachton MacRath —click his name to read the entire story at my other blog—for a short story prompt during Halloween 2016 called, The Bloody Merry Book Club.
“We need to shake things up this year!” The speaker was Joyce as she addressed the other nine members of the monthly Bloody Merry Book Club. The name was selected due to two factors: the love of alcohol and murder. “We’ve done the classics, the cooks, the cats – the many, many cats – the widows and the creatures. It’s Halloween girls! Do we really want to spend the night trick-or-treating again? Let our menfolk take the kids for once.”
“This ladies is the selection for the coming month. Rather than discuss last month’s novel I wanted to introduce a new author to us.” Joyce paused and raised her book so that embossed figure on the glossy paper glittered in the candle’s glow. “Lysander Stanopolis has created a character that thrives in the dark corners of twisted souls. Sir Nachton MacRath is a Scottish Highlander Vampire Steampunk Regency Pirate who solves the coldest of cases for the Crown.” All eyes were on Joyce as she continued dramatically, “Ladies of the Bloody Merry Book Club! It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you, the immortal Sir Nachton MacRath!”
Sir Nachton MacRath, a Scottish Highlander Vampire Steampunk Regency Pirate who solved the coldest of cases for the Crown was there to catch her before she landed on top of her now silent phone. “Do not fear, Lady Joyce. I always take care of my own.” The emergency exit slowly swung shut behind a tall sable figure with a limp female tenderly cradled in his arms.
If, on that fateful night of All Hallows’ Eve, around about midnight, as the revelers cheered the ticking clock into November, if you would have glanced out a window at the back lawn a strange apparition may have been spotted. There was a puff-puff of smoke and stately rose, running lanterns on, a steam powered airship piloted by Sir Nachton MacRath as he steered towards a vertical slit of orange light in the moonless night sky. A bright iridescent flare erupted as the airship parted the veil at the stroke of midnight and vanished from our world for all time.
This was intended to be a one-off spanking horror satire story with a grisly ending. Like many of my short stories under 3,000 words however, this touched a chord with certain readers, and they demanded that I write something further. So I did. The first decision I made, was to take The Bloody Merry Book Club and place it as the prologue of a new novel called, The Case of The Scarlet Paddle. Which by some strange cosmic coincidence is exactly the title of the book that Joyce selected for the club. Amazing!
Only problem, Joyce is from present day America. Sir Nachton MacRath takes her, all the books and his trusty sidekick back through the portal to Victorian England—Steampunk version—where the date is November 1st, 1865. The excerpt that follows is from the novel, the end of Chapter Two, about 9,000 words in, which is where the prologue converges with the main story line.
Just then, light flashed through the propped open basement door. They could hear the sounds of footsteps and women’s voices. “The game commences!” MacRath said as he stealthily hovered at the bottom step and waited for his cue. The detailed note had explained that Sir Nachton MacRath was an honored guest and would be reading an excerpt from his latest novel. The paddle was an incentive, Lady Joyce had written, and that she wanted a dramatic entrance in full costume. At last, he heard his name being announced. “Wait here, Duncan.” He donned a mask, yanked the door wide and vaulted inside. The door swung closed behind him.
Duncan sat, then got up and paced nervously. He could hear nothing from the basement, only the faint strains of mysterious music from somewhere inside the mansion proper. He checked his timepiece repeatedly: half three in the morning England time. He jumped when the door abruptly banged open and MacRath wafted up the steps cradling an unconscious female in an outlandishly risqué outfit.
“Ye knocked a strumpet out?”
“Calm yourself, Duncan. Lady Joyce swooned when I revealed my comely visage. Evidently the men of this time are hideous in appearance and she could not take the strain of my vivid features.”
“Aye, Yer Lordship, and I’ve got me a bridge over the Thames to sell ye for a fair price.”
“Now is the time for haste not mirth, Duncan. Inside on the tables are a number of books. Gather them all, there is a box to carry them and also fetch the paddle. Bring them quickly.” As Duncan hopped down the steps MacRath called out, “There is a mechanical speaking device that Lady Joyce dropped at the door. Bring that as well.”
They arrived back at the airship a little past four in the morning. Walker and Chief raised eyebrows at the sight of the woman but said nothing out loud. MacRath tucked Lady Joyce into the remaining empty chair and checked her vitals. He suspected she was awake but shamming sleep. When he clicked the belts around her shoulders and waist her eyes popped wide open with fright. MacRath placed a finger over her mouth. “Do not scream, Lady Joyce. I mean you no harm.” He focused his sight on her and said, “Sleep now. You are safe. Sleep now.”
Her eyelids drooped and her head lolled to one side. Satisfied he had enthralled her MacRath turned his back and went forward to direct the liftoff. Once back in England, presuming safe transit, he informed the crew they would set down back at the River Brue and load enough water to return to Oakdell Hall.
Airborne again, this time with running lights on, Walker steered a reciprocal heading as the paddle urgently flashed. At midnight, the orange rift appeared and MacRath took the Coventina through accompanied by a strident triumphant blast of song from the scarlet paddle. The crew knew instinctively they were back home in England and soon landed to refuel. The routine completed, they launched again as the sun began to rise over the eastern woods. There were quiet congratulations as the familiar landscape of Oakdell Hall hove into view. The sentry roused the ground crew and soon the airship was moored safely on the pad. MacRath relaxed at the mission accomplished. He would have been less sanguine had he realized Lady Joyce had watched through slitted eyes the entire flight.
I’ve written 21,000 words so far as a first draft. Setting the novel in an alternate history gives me latitude with characters and technology. Thankfully the internet has extensive archives of Victorian historical facts, so the research—both topical and geographical—has given me a sense of the times. I decided to place the novel in 1865 so that any research I do, can also be used for The Bumhampton Chronicles. [Minus the Steampunk, magic, vampires, airships and a few other minor details.]
I got sidetracked in November, 2016, when Ina Morata, a fellow erotica author and very good friend, wrangled me an invitation to join the Paranormal Erotic Romance group. After the initial shock [and after she talked me off the ledge—authors you know] I plunged headlong into writing a 24,000 word novella due for beta reading in one month!
Up until this point I had never written anything paranormal—not strictly true, since I self-published a novel under my complete real name in 2007. But that novel was not erotica, a paranormal romance, yes. However, since at present I am still keeping the spanking/erotica separate from my real life… Anyway—I read lots of werewolf and vampire stories, but this was for Valentine’s Day! What could I use? Well, all my stories are spanking themed: I have a vampire in Sir Nachton MacRath; he’s already spanked Lady Joyce… The novel wasn’t going to work because of the Erotic Romance part of the Paranormal. I’d already decided that the novel wasn’t going to be erotica, but a Steampunk Mystery/Thriller with spanking.
So I had to come up with a different concept. Enter, the ‘Prequel’! When in doubt, go backwards and write something completely different. The result of course, was Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine, part of the Lust in Lace Anthology, available on Amazon Kindle Unlimited for free. The following excerpt is part of the prologue that that can read in it’s entirety on my other blog.
For the first time in ten days, the steady thump-thump of the engines and the boiling splash of the magnificent side-mounted paddle wheels fell silent. The harbor pilot called down to the tug. Thus began the ancient and primal ballet of man versus water as seasoned hands strove to bring the steamer from America into safe mooring.
As it docked, heavy hemp hawsers and thick bollards were tossed over the side to waiting stevedores. The shrill triumphant shriek of the steam whistle echoed among the emigration sheds where the starving poor sought passage to a new life in the former colonies.
Vast clouds of slate gray and white gulls took flight as the noise reduced the raucous calls of workers to pantomime. The blast faded and the flocks swooped to await handouts from the new arrivals. A crowd had gathered to meet the arriving ship. Touts held up placards bearing names of lodging and dining establishments. Open steam carriages emblazoned with coats-of-arms and commercial enterprises chuffed impatiently quayside, chauffeurs chatting amiably with gloved hands held over barrels of flame.
A late arrival coasted silently to a stop along the quay. The pennants on the front bumper proudly waved the Three Lions of the House of Hanover. Eyebrows rose: no Royal had been listed on the telegraphed manifest.
Sir Nachton MacRath waited at the gangplank to debark, nose wrinkled in protest. The tide had reached slack, raw sewage and industrial offal collecting in rotted mats along the banks of the River Mersey.
After eighteen years away, on this fifteenth day of January, in the Year of Our Lord 1854, he prepared to once again set foot on his native soil. Well, to be precise, tarred oak planks covered with bird droppings and rubbish. Six months removed from San Francisco, he was glad to be finally back, although unsure of his welcome. He had run afoul of the Regent in late 1835, and despite repeated assurances from the Queen in the following decades, he had decided instead to tour the Near East and China.
As you may note, the date is January, 1854, eleven years prior to the events unfolding in The Case of The Scarlet Paddle, thus neatly side-stepping the whole time continuum bit. Clever trick, I must say. 🙂 The blurb that was chosen for Amazon is as follows:
In Byron Cane’s Sir MacRath Thrashes his Valentine, MacRath is a centuries-old vampire returning home after decades of absence. It is 1854 in steampunk London, and Her Majesty has appointed MacRath Her Chastiser of Loose Morals. Phoebe Hayward is a lady of good breeding, but quite a handful. Despite discovering the man ordered to discipline her is actually a vampire, she can’t help falling in love. MacRath will ensure she is well punished and dominated in all ways as befits his naughty Valentine.
One thing that I must mention, was that the Victorians were raving mad about Valentine’s Day, and sending elaborate cards. Thanks to the Penny Post, an entire industry sprang up to support the romantic holiday. Queen Victoria was not amused. The following excerpt is when MacRath first spanks and sexually touches Phoebe, even though he knows he shouldn’t.
MacRath opened the envelope and saw a confection of lace and hearts with a bright red bow wrapped around a chubby Cupid. The text read ‘Be my Valentine’. He glanced at her and saw her face was bright pink. “Would you want this of me?”
Phoebe murmured softly, “I’ve thought of little else since we collided.”
MacRath cupped her warm cheek in his cold palm. She made a squeaky noise akin to a surprised kitten and sagged into his hand.
He felt his instincts flare in warning. A simple touch of her skin, and he felt the need to dominate her overrule centuries of engrained caution.
“Yes, darling Phoebe, I will be your Valentine.” He felt her shiver. “But before pleasure comes pain. I would have you over my knee and exposed for my discipline. Will you submit to your Valentine in all ways?”
She didn’t speak, only nodded. He sensed she was probably too shy, too naïve, too nervous, but she allowed him to carefully draw her limp body down over his lap. She lifted up when commanded and he gathered the hem and folds of her gown and neatly folded the bunched fabric over her back. His hand roamed over her cotton drawers and slowly, very slowly, pulled them down until the cool draft from the window swirled over her bare bottom.
The room was cold. Vampires had no need of warmth, being creatures of the darkest haunts of nightmares. Fluids, on the other hand, flowed freely when warmed. MacRath fully intended to thoroughly warm his Valentine.
Backed by decades of frustrated exile and the power of suppressed lust, his arm moved in a metronomic blur, the sound of impact a sustained fusillade of loud cracks. The faint pink blush of punished flesh became a raging torrent as heated blood swiftly rushed to the surface of Phoebe’s globular bottom in response to the painful stimulus.
His fangs had dropped and saliva pooled by the time her feeble cries penetrated his hazed state. He rested his cool hand on the scorched skin. The shimmer of red glowed brightly in the dim light. His long pointed fingers dipped between her restless thighs.
Phoebe at first thought herself in a familiar position. The hard protuberance under her soft belly though, revealed a difference she’d never before experienced. She knew what ‘it’ was in the abstract, but to be surrounded by and under the firm control of such masculine power caused an interesting reaction in all sorts of unexpected places. Then the punishment began.
Phoebe wailed under the chastising onslaught. Any romantic thoughts of tender spanking quickly vanished when the pain overwhelmed the tentative stirrings of damp arousal.
The quilt was at first cool and dry under her turned cheek, but became hot and wet as the heat built in her backside. She cried out in wordless wonder and anguish. She felt her waist lifted higher, her body jackknifed in midair until only forehead and toes remained in contact with the bed. The very pinnacle of her existence, the essence of her being, was focused solely on the one square foot of flesh where a stern hand pounded a harsh lesson in obedience.
And then it was over. One single minute had changed Phoebe’s life forever. She poured out all her guilt in gasping sobs. Broken pleas for forgiveness, eyes unfocused as adrenaline coursed through her veins. Limbs trembled, held suspended in space and time. She felt nothing but the fiery burn of punishment. Then, like a lighthouse beckoning safe harbor, a sudden conflagration ignited.
She stilled as a cold touch whispered over her curls and swollen folds. Her mouth ceased its pants of pain and softened into moans of surprise. She heard from some distant shore a siren call of pleasure and, like be-spelled mariners of old, she ignored the safe guide-beam of propriety and steered her course deliberately to wreck upon the rocks of fallen souls.
“Phoebe, allow me to comfort you. Soothe your aches, tend to your womanly garden and pluck the thorns from your flesh.”
I’m quite pleased with my contribution to Lust in Lace. I was able to beta read the other authors in the anthology, working with my friend Ina, as well as Emma Jaye, plus the editor and self-publisher, Devi Ansevi, from whom I learned quite a bit about writing and editing.
Writing the novella revealed something that has occurred before every single time I write lengthy fiction. At some point in the process—it varies in each manuscript—the characters begin to take over the narrative. It never happens [so far] in anything less than 5,000 words, and sometimes it will be closer to 20,000 words before they get tired of my fumbling efforts to create, and start dictating instead. When that happens, invariably the characters get together in a room and start reading from scripts as if in a play or soap opera.
I’m not allowed in until they finish rehearsal.
Hey… I’m just the narrator, not the talent.
Hope you enjoyed this newsletter and see you next month here, or get your daily spanking, at Spank Me Hard… Please?.