Making Sense of It All
Giveaway: To celebrate the release of The Tutor, I’m giving away a $30/£20 Amazon gift voucher. Enter via the Rafflecopter for your chance to win!
Thank you so much, Kathy, for helping me celebrate the release of The Tutor! It’s a pleasure to guest on Book Reviews and More by Kathy.
Writers are always encouraged to use all the senses in their stories in order to make the reader feel she’s actually experiencing what’s happening. We’ve all read novels in which we could almost taste the chocolate, almost smell the sea, almost feel the rise of goose bumps at a lover’s touch. We’ve also read novels where the goose bumps are because of the darkness that’s so thick we can almost feel it, because of the sounds in the darkness that we want to run from, just like our protagonist. The point is that writing from the senses is what pulls us into the action and makes us want to stay – even if it also makes us want to run away screaming … if we could manage to put the book down long enough.
The use of the senses is like surround-sound Imax for readers, and it certainly makes writing more interesting too. We all experience the world through our five senses and most of us have one sense that’s honed a little sharper than the others. We writers tend to create our worlds most often using the sense of sight, because it’s our primary sense when we live in such a visual world. The visual aside, we have five senses, and we use them all without thinking, but as a writer, I’ve always been intrigued by what it would be like to live without one of those five – one that we use most often. If you’ve read my first novel, The Initiation of Ms. Holly, then you know the story hinges on not being able to see the face of a lover. For you Greek mythology fans, it’s the Psyche and Eros myth retold. In my novel, To Rome with Lust, I concentrated on bringing the sense of smell to the forefront to the point that it becomes nearly a curse for poor Liza. Anyone with an extra sensitive nose can empathize, myself included.
In The Tutor, I take away the one sense that we never lose, the one we most rely on in our everyday life. I take away the sense of touch. Oh I don’t take it completely away. I just take away the human touch. After a traumatic car accident, as a child, that takes the life of his mother and nearly kills him, sculptor, Alexander ‘Lex’ Valentine, is severely haphephobic. He remembers little of the accident other than the snippets from the nightmares that visit him regularly, but since the accident, Lex has been unable to touch anyone else, and unable to tolerate being touched. Both cause severe physical reactions. This means he’s lived the better part of his life without human touch.
Within that context, I wanted to explore intimacy and how it would develop – if it even could develop. I do this by bringing in struggling writer, Kelly Blake, who moonlights as a sex tutor to supplement her income, and she’s damn good at what she does. Her strictly hands-off policy is exactly what Lex needs. But if he’s expecting Dr. Ruth, he’s in for a huge surprise.
Of course one of the things Lex most wants to know, one of the first questions he asks Kelly when he realizes she just might be able to help him, is what it feels like – what does she feel like. Here’s a little snippet from that encounter.
When physical touch is impossible, intimacy may become a powerful work of art or a devastating nightmare—but, above all, it’s an act of trust.
Title: The Tutor by KD Grace
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Length: 240 pages/Word Count: 94,790
When physical touch is impossible, intimacy may become a powerful work of art or a devastating nightmare—but, above all, it’s an act of trust.
Struggling writer Kelly Blake has a secret life as a sex tutor—it pays the bills. Celebrated sculptor and recluse Alexander ‘Lex’ Valentine can’t stand to be touched. When he seeks out Kelly’s advice incognito for what he sees as his ‘self-abuse problem’, the results are too hot to handle.
Kelly terminates their sessions due to her unprofessional behavior, and Lex takes a huge risk, revealing his identity to her at a gala exhibition, his first ever public appearance. After Kelly helps the severely haphephobic Lex escape the grope of reporters and paparazzi, rumors fly that the two are engaged, rumors encouraged by well-meaning friends and colleagues.
The press feeding frenzy forces Kelly into hiding at Lex’s mansion, where he convinces her to be his private tutor. They discover quickly that touch is not the only road to sizzling, pulse-pounding intimacy. But intimacy must survive the secrets uncovered as their sessions become more and more personal.
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Explicit Excerpt (18+ and older)
What Does it Feel Like?
“Look I don’t expect you to deal with what a fucked up mess I am. I realized that what I really want to know is what it feels like, what you feel like, what any woman feels like when she’s with a man, or even when she touches herself, and I have no one I would feel comfortable asking without wondering the whole time if they thought that by my asking I had given them permission to try and fix me. Does that make any sense?”
She had little time to do more than nod before he continued. “Oh I’ve watched enough porn that I get that it feels really good. I’ve read enough erotica to get some picture of how it’s supposed to be, but my take on it’s always one-sided,” he raised his hand and wiggled his fingers as though to demonstrate. “I can’t know anything but my own touch, certainly I can’t feel anything else, so I want you to tell me. I want you to answer my questions. I want you to tell me what I would feel if I touched you, what you would feel if I touched you. As for what I would feel if you touched me, well,” he shrugged and offered her a smile that seemed slightly forced, “for that I’ll just have to use my imagination.”
She took a deep breath, as though she were about to dive under water. “Okay, well, I’ll start with my lips because lovers often start there. I would have made sure they were moist for you before you kissed them, but not so wet as to be off-putting, and you would have done the same. And your first kisses would be tentative, if you’re really good, almost like a feather lighting against my mouth softly and repeatedly until I’m breathless for the want of more; and then I would part my lips to give you more surface area so that we could feel each other better.” She chuckled softly as she realized they’d both raised their fingers to their mouths. “And then we would both press harder and rub harder. The more surface area we touched the more we’d want and, I think lips swell, not just from the pressure, but in an effort to create that surface area, and when they can swell no more, when I feel like I want to completely take my lover into my mouth, then I would open to him and there would be a whole new surface area, wet and slick and warm, there would be a whole new motion when our tongues discover each other. I think a kiss reflects what happens in penetrative sex. It’s sort of an intimation, if you will,” her gaze locked on him, and for the first time she noticed just how blue his eyes were, “a promise of things to come.”
“Yes,” he whispered. “I’ve thought of that in my art. I’ve thought of the interchange we make with mouths and cocks and vaginas.” He struggles with the last word
“It’s okay to call it a pussy or a cunt or whatever works for you.” She said.
He laughed softly. “How the hell would I know?”
“Well,” she stretched out on the countertop and rolled onto her side, resting her head on her hand. “you just have to try them out and see how they fit your mouth.”
This time they both laughed. “If they fit my mouth, I wouldn’t have to worry about what words I used, would I?”
“Good point,” she said.
“Not quite, but getting there fast, thank you.” Again, they both laughed, a strangely relaxed laugh under the bizarre circumstances.
“The thing is,” she said, rolling onto her back and staring up at the long rack of copper bottom pans above her head, “words are often as important in sex, and as erotic, as touch. I write in my other life, and I find that while some of my characters get turned on by waxing poetic between the sheets, others get hot by talking dirty.”
“How does your cunt feel when some fucker talks dirty to you,” he said, though not without a hearty blush.
“That would depend on the fucker and the circumstances and how badly I wanted to ride his cock.”
“And if it was a fucker whose cock you really wanted to ride, a fucker who was hard and heavy for you? What words would he use, and what response would he elicit?
“It wouldn’t hurt for him to observe out loud what he sees about my body’s state of arousal, and how he admires it.”
“You mean like how lovely your breasts are when your nipples are so taut that even your areola are visible through that shirt, which I imagine feels like a caress every time you inhale. You mean like the way your lips are parted and moist. You’ve not completely shut your mouth for the past five minutes, the way you rock your hips, almost but not quite secretly, and grind you bottom against the countertop. Is that what you mean?”
“Jesus! We shouldn’t be doing this.” She sat bolt upright on the surface and then froze as though someone had hit the pause button. “Alex?”
The man perched on the edge of the counter, just far enough away that she couldn’t easily touch him. He had kicked his shoes off and his own nipples peaked to bullet points through his white polo shirt. That would have been enough to hold her attention indefinitely had it not been for the heel of his hand stroking the very obvious, very anxious erection through his jeans.
It was all right. It was fine, she told herself. She’d had more than a few occasions where her job involved watching and coaching someone while they masturbated. This was just her job. That’s all.
“It’s more obvious with me what I feel,” he said, raking her body with a hooded gaze. “And your nipples, well you could just be cold. Please tell me what you feel when you see me like this, when we talk like this.”
She moved to the edge of the counter giving him space, then motioned him onto it and she opened her leg. “If I weren’t wearing trousers, if you could see my panties, you’d know that I’m wet.” She nodded to his erection. “You’d know that the thought of what you’re doing, the sight of how your body is responding to mine, is making me wetter.” She cupped her breasts in turn, through the white blouse. “Every part of me feels heavy, Alex. My breasts feel like my bra can no longer contain them. My nipples ache. And my lips,” she touched her mouth, and then, holding his gaze, moved her hand down to rest on the crotch of her trousers. “My lips are swollen, so swollen and slippery and ready to be penetrated.” She nodded first to his mouth and then to his erection. “Do I want the fucker to give it to me hard and deep in my cunt? What do you think?”
“Oh God,” he managed. Then he stopped talking altogether. His breath came in tight little grunts and gasps as he moved against his hand, holding her in his gaze as surely as if he held her in his embrace; and it was in that instant, the instant she slid her hand down the front of her trousers and into her panties an action he mirrored, that she knew neither of them would make it out of here intact. She wanted to run, but she didn’t. She wanted to take off her clothes and feel his gaze all over her body, but she didn’t. She wanted to demand that he strip for her, that he come just for her eyes, but she didn’t. She couldn’t. She could only cup and grope her breasts until they hurt. She could only stroke herself while she watched him do the same.
The space around them crackled with their energy, and their desperate efforts to breathe were the only sounds beyond the stroke of skin against fabric. In a hungry attempt at relief, they both rocked and bucked, mirror images of each other with one hand down the front of their trousers while the other groped and cupped and tweaked and pinched whatever part of their anatomy it came in contact with. Then breathing stopped, time stopped. Everything around them disappeared until they saw nothing but each other, locked in each other’s gaze, more physical than any embrace Kelly had ever felt, and it was enough. Heaven help them, it was enough. He came first by a split second, roaring like a wounded lion, arching back until she feared he’d either break his neck or fall off the counter. But the sight of him so vulnerable in his passion, the fact that even in his release, he kept his eyes on her was all she could handle, and she convulsed against her own hand, convulsed as though she would break apart, never taking her eyes off him, never breaking that connection.
Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
KD has erotica published with Totally Bound, SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, To Rome with Lust, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.
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