Monday, June 9, 2014

The sweeter side of Tilton: Her Doctor's Orders

One of the directions in which I've developed over the past year, as I started to write books outside my original comfort zone of, well, all anal all the time, is towards romance. Every one of my Emilies is a romantic, from Victorian to fantasy- to "real" to actual (if you're keeping score, "actual Emily" is the one who isn't actually a human rights lawyer and may not even really be named Emily). As girls (maybe even under-18 girls! Shhh!), when we weren't reading salacious things we found secreted in other people's drawers (the kind that slide open and closed, though often we wished we could search the other kind, too), we were reading Fitzgerald and Austen and, okay, a lot of sappy fantasy-novels with heroines who could wield a sword (or a dragon) but also knew the value of a sexy young wizard/knight/dragon-rider to guide them.

Anyway, the reason I didn't start out writing erotic romance and/or romantic erotica wasn't that I don't love it--it was that I was nearly positive I could write erotica, having done it in private for so long, but I didn't think I could compete with big girls like Renee Rose and Stevie MacFarlane. Also, frankly, erotica is easier for me because it feels like my libido acts as an unerring compass through the wilderness of a story, whereas my sense of romantic psychology is less secure.

So I'm incredibly proud of Her Doctor's Orders. I had a great deal of help from my editor, but I hope I can say that that help wasn't wasted either in the short-run or in the long-: I learned a lot, and I hope to show my sweeter side more and more as time goes on. Here's a sample:
Kendra mumbled something that sounded an awful lot like “fucking doctors…” but that wasn’t quite intelligible as he began to tilt the water so that a bit of it entered her mouth. 
She held the water in her mouth as though it was a foreign substance and stared up at him, her eyes mutinous, as he continued to hold her in a sitting position. 
“Swallow,” he instructed, a little surprised when she immediately did so. “Good girl.” 
He held the glass as he coaxed her to drink nearly all the water, but just as soon as he put the glass down onto the bedside table, she gave him the smile of someone who is about to be sick, and he grabbed the wastebasket just in time. 
As he held her hair back for her, he realized that although he was thirty, he had never actually rendered this iconic service for a vomiting girl before. Levi drank from time to time—wine, mostly, though he did enjoy Scotch and the occasional beer—but even in college he had never liked feeling out of control, and so hadn’t wound up in the kind of situation that led to such hair-holding. 
Kendra seemed to be sobering up a bit in the midst of being sick, because she began to say, in an oddly appealing way, “I’m so sorry,” between heaves. 
After a while, it seemed Kendra had pumped her stomach fairly effectively, and he wiped her mouth and lay her back down on her side while he fetched another glass of water. He made her drink that one too, and it seemed like she would hold it down. 
Her crying had stopped when she came through the door, but her eyes were red and her cheeks streaked with mascara. Still, when she gave him a shy smile and said, a little more clearly, “Thanks,” Levi thought, “Dangerous.” 
“Time to get some sleep,” he said. 
“Okay,” Kendra said, and lay down with her back to him. Then she turned back toward Levi and said, “I’m so sorry, Doctor. I really… I mean, you didn’t have to.” 
“I kind of did,” Levi said softly, “but you’re welcome, and it’s okay.” 
“Okay,” Kendra said, and turned back again toward the far wall. But a moment later she rolled back onto her other side and said, “I really am sorry.” The apologetic gratitude in her eyes, now less clouded by drunkenness, seemed even more charming now. 
“It’s okay,” Levi said, laughing softly. “Get some sleep.” 
“Okay,” said Kendra, and she turned obediently back to the wall. Her tanned shoulders began to rise and fall in a more gentle rhythm. 
Levi sat in a chair by the bed and watched Kendra until she was sleeping soundly enough that the danger of turning on her back had passed. As he watched, he made a mental plan for dealing with her truck and starting to get her pointed in the right direction, emotionally. When he finally fell into his own bed, he drifted off hoping that he could find a way to keep his promise about everything turning out okay.
 Here's the blurb--buy it here!
When her mother injures several people while driving drunk, eighteen-year-old Kendra Jackson rushes to the hospital. In the emergency room, Dr. Levi Hunter promises her that everything is going to be okay, but she cannot imagine how the handsome medic’s words could possibly be true, especially once her mother is sent to prison. 
Something about Kendra touches Levi, and try as he might, he cannot get her out of his head. Three years later, after another alcohol-induced crash—this time with Kendra behind the wheel—Levi pays her bail and brings her to his house to sober up. After examining her thoroughly—despite her protests and blushes—to make sure she’s not seriously injured, he offers to let her stay with him while she gets her life back on track. He warns her, though, that living under his roof means living with his rules… and breaking those rules will have consequences. 
Despite her shock at his promise to discipline her when her behavior warrants it, Kendra agrees to his conditions. She soon discovers that Levi is a man of his word, and when bad habits start to creep back into her new life, he takes her over his knee, bares her bottom, and spanks her soundly. When she continues to test his resolve, Levi shows Kendra that a punishment from a firm-handed doctor can leave a naughty girl’s face even redder than her well-spanked bottom. 
As their relationship blossoms into a passionate romance, Kendra is comforted by the fact that Levi’s discipline and love is something she can count on, and she begins to realize that no matter how many bad decisions she makes, he has no intention of ever giving up on her. But Kendra’s painful past still haunts her, and she cannot help but fear that what she has with Levi cannot last. Can she bring herself to obey her doctor’s orders and embrace her new life at his side?
And a little bonus, for those die-hard fans who have read to the end of this post and might even be concerned that I'm losing my edge: over the weekend I decided that fantasy-Emily is going to get an email from a cousin she didn't know she had, named Emily Redbottom. Emily R isn't as cerebral as f-Emily, but the erotica she writes is just as hot--if not hotter. F-Emily is going to help her edit it, and guide her through the self-publication process. Look for The Sunset Harbor School for Naughty Girls by Emily Redbottom some time this summer! 

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