Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ella's Bookshelf - His Lordship's Mate

If you have a case of the winter doldrums like I do, then you need something to warm you up and make you smile.  Take a suggestion from Ella and pull this "bodice ripper" off the bookshelf.  It should do the trick quite nicely.  In fact, by the time you get to the halfway point in the story, you may just need a fan.  It's hot!  Could also be a good idea to have your man on standby; his services might be required.

Title: His Lordship's Mate

Author: Jaye Peaches

Publisher: Stormy Night Publications

Number of Pages: 157

Themes: Obedience, Animal Instincts, Cinderella

Setting: the English countryside near the border with Wales.  I am  guessing it is set in the Regency Period but could not discern an exact date. 

Main Characters:
  • Ella Bailey - a beautiful young woman of 18 years who lives with her father and cares for him in the crumbling Edgton Manor.  She despairs of ever having a suitor because there is no dowry.
  •  Sir William Bailey - Ella's father, an alcoholic who has drunk away most of the family's wealth.  He is deeply in debt, and the family home is in serious disrepair.
  • Viscount Piers DeLancy - a young, wealthy, and arrogant landowner.
  • Lord Gethin Powell - the rather reclusive and well to do lord of Grendle Hall.  He travels extensively and manages thriving businesses.  Although he does not give much attention to noble society gatherings, his reputation is impeccable.
  •  Captain Felix Hughes - a close friend and confidante of Lord Gethin.
  • Sir Richard Crosby and his wife Matilda - a business partner of Gethin's and his insipid wife.

The story opens at Edgton Manor where we meet young Ella Bailey.  First, let me compliment Ms. Peaches on choosing such a splendid name for her heroine!  Ella is surprised and pleased to learn she has a gentleman caller.  She has not been courted because of her father's drinking.  He has squandered their fortunes, and so there is no dowry for Ella.  The caller is one Viscount Piers DeLancy; he is a young, handsome noble who lives nearby.  The author paints you a picture of the viscount when she describes him as, "dressed like a stunned peacock."  Ella is flattered but somewhat wary when DeLancy
suggests a walk with no proper chaperone.  Naive in so many ways, Ella thinks he is proposing marriage.  When he kisses her, she is curious about the stirrings she feels and later explores her own body for the first time.  This Ella's thoughts (those belonging to me) on the viscount - If it hisses and slithers, it's probably a snake. 

Poor Ella is a little like Cinder-Ella here.  She doesn't get invited to social functions because of her drunken father.  Although the viscount wrangles an invitation for her for his own purposes, Ella arrives in a shabby, old dress.  While others pity her, another guest,
Lord Gethin Powell, is so strongly drawn to her that he sees nothing else.  This huge and swarthy man with the Welsh name almost sees a relationship with Ella as his destiny.  This powerful and immediate attraction even leads him to fantasize his eventual domination of Ella.  He wants to "...take her to a secluded place and seek out her soul.  He'd shred her dress, expose her bare flesh, and explore every inch of her weak body until her resistance crumbled."

Later, DeLancy again cajoles Ella into another improper assignation in the forest.  This time her virginity is rescued at the last minute by a huge wolf who bursts out of nowhere!  No one believes her story, and DeLancy gets her branded a temptress to save face among his peers.  Ella is devastated, and she becomes an outcast with no hope of a good marriage.

Enter Lord Gethin Powell.  He sweeps in and instantly believes her story.  He knows for sure that the beautiful girl he covets is certainly not crying "Wolf."  Then he soon astounds Ella by proposing marriage.  She is intrigued and excited but unsure of his affection for her.  In his take-charge way, he rids her home of her father's creditors and asks for Ella's hand.  

Once he receives the besotted man's blessing, Gethin shows his feelings for his bride-to-be.  Ella is "all too aware of her slender form trapped between him and the wall.... and her hands pinned high above her head, he pressed his mouth against hers."  If you remember, it was just recently that one of my posts explained that in my opinion this is the sexiest way to kiss a woman!  Gethin had my vote right then.

Satisfied that her life is looking up, she ignores her lord's warning about obedience almost immediately.  Gethin does not hesitate to demonstrate the consequences of disregarding his orders, and Ella is spanked long and hard.  Oh my goodness, she surely regrets that.  This is a magnificently written spanking.  I read it twice.  Gethin is
not one to "spare the rod."  And that reminds me, speaking of the "rod", the subsequent deflowering of Ella is one full chapter!  Cannot tell you if the spanking or the sex was more delicious.  I can honestly warn you to remember to breathe, though.  It was that good.

I do, indeed, love historical fiction - spanking or not.  But I really got the feeling that the author did have a bit of an allegory angle in her head as she developed this plot.  Cinderella had some magic and His Lordship's Mate has some intriguing mythical leanings.  You can discover that as the story unfolds.  I hate book reviews that spoil all the surprises.

Lord Gethin is not your standard "Prince Charming," but he recognizes Ella's beauty and goodness even wearing a threadbare old dress.  He rescues her from both an indolent father and a devious viscount.  Although she does eventually have a closet full of lovely gowns, Ella really grows and transforms into a perfect mate and a princess, too, without a stitch of clothes on.  No glass slipper either.  Ella, herself, never doubts that Gethin loves her, but, "What she doubted was that Gethin was an ordinary man.  She suspected he was something very different..."  He teaches her obedience and to follow him and his animal instincts.

                "Ella."  His masterful voice penetrated her 
                  confused mind.  "Disobedience will bring you 
                                nought but discipline."

The Ella in this story gets her own "Ever After" but not at all in the way she expected.  She is rescued once again from the wicked viscount and all the mythical puzzles are revealed to her and to the reader.  It truly is her "perfect destiny."  The Ella writing this review sends a commendation to Ms. Peaches for an exciting story with just enough magic and a generous helping of OTK.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Long, Long Ago in a Marriage Far, Far Away

Long before ttwd, there were times when I would pull away from Sam.  We loved each other very much, but that wasn't always enough.  Sometimes it was because of a fight or disagreement.  More often, though, it was simply because of a perceived slight or careless words between us.  I would withdraw and become silent.  I was hurt, and I wanted to hurt him.  Neither of us would apologize, and neither of us would forgive.  It was amazing and stupid how long this could go on before we would come back together.

As the years went by, something else compounded this problem.  Along with the withdrawal, I started having bouts with depression.  Sometimes it seemed almost normal - the death of my father, for example.  Other times there really wasn't a reason.  Just pulling away from the people I loved or feeling dissatisfied with life could
bring on a  time of disturbing despondency.  The last significant episode even ended in a frightening health crisis.  When withdrawal
turned to depression, Sam got scared and would do everything he could to bring me back.  But once I fell into that sinkhole, it was really hard to pull me out.

Enter ttwd.  After I finally spilled my heart out to Sam about my need for spanking, there was a lengthy period of his finding his comfort zone.  He wasn't naturally dominant with me.  But as the connection grew between us, his confidence grew as well.  Both of us were amazed at the change in our marriage, and we never wanted to go back.  We also noticed that because we resolved small disagreements with a spanking, there weren't as many times I pulled away from him.

But even today, there are still occasions when it happens.  I disagree with a decision Sam makes or a situation out there in the real world gets me down.  And I pull away.  My bouncy, chatty self takes a nose dive, and I become as quiet as a mouse.  Now, Sam recognizes this change almost immediately.  And he doesn't let me sink or wring his hands over what to do. 

All day Sunday and Monday, there was something not quite right between us.  When I got home from work Monday night, Sam pulled me onto his lap and asked me what was wrong.  I slid off his lap and said I needed more time before I wanted to talk.  He just made a sound like "Mmmph" and told me to hurry up. 

There was no close spooning Monday night - a time where we both love the feeling of closeness and sweet talking before we fall asleep.  None of that.  Just this distance.

I am a morning person, and I get up early.  I mean early!  Like 3:45 am on work days.  I have lots I like to do before I even get in the shower.  The first thing is to catch up in my journals.  Let the dogs out and get them fed.  I get the house ship-shape and exercise, too.  There is usually some time to blog hop as well.

Well, Tuesday morning at exactly 4:00 am, Sam marched into the dining room with both a paddle and a leather strap in his hand.  He scared the hell out of me!  He never gets up 'til 6.  I had brewed the coffee but had not even had a cup yet.  He told me to get in there pronto and take off my pajama bottoms.  He pulled out a dining
room chair and told me to bend right over.  There was no lead-up; he just started in really hard with the paddle and told me I had better get my thoughts together quickly so that we could talk.  He said he does not like it when I get this way.  "I do not like silence.  We are not doing that ever again."  It was a serious spanking, and I could not help squirming since he was not holding me down.  He told me to stop it immediately and hold still.  Then when I was already hurting and the tears had started, he began with the leather strap.  Leather has a whole different feel and yikes!  He said we would be talking as soon as I got home that night.  Said that, "You had better get your act together," or we would repeat this later in the day. 

The message was clear.  I would not be allowed to pull away or drift into depression ever again.  Sam hugged me close and told me how much he loved me, but quickly.  Then it was all business.  He picked up the paddle and strap like he had just finished some chore and headed back down the hall to the bedroom.  He even went back to sleep! 

Once I got over the shock, I started to put all my thoughts in order as I did my morning tasks.  Some coffee helped, too!  By the time I got my sore ass  in the shower, the whole day looked brighter.  How in the world does a spanking do that for me?!  I am constantly amazed at that.  Gave Sam a really nice long kiss before I left for work, and he gave my bottom several gentle pats.

Yes, we talked as soon as I walked in the door Tuesday night.  Done and resolved in 10 minutes flat.  Back on his lap with lots of hugs and touching and laughing.  Absolutely no Prozac required. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

PK's One Word Meme


I think PK started this one back in November or December.  The "one word" twist on the meme is interesting and much harder than I anticipated.  Hope that adding a punctuation mark wasn't cheating.  There were a couple prompts that made me want to create a new word - Such as "bigasstruck" or "anybeeratall" or "wrinklefreeface" or "happyasapiginshit."  However, I played it all by the rules.

1.  Yourself:  discovering
2.  Your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse:  caring
3.  Your hair:  brown
4.  Your mother:  missed
5.  Your father:  missed!

6.  Your favorite item:  shoes
7.  Your dream last night:  travel
8.  Your favorite drink:  beer
9.  Your dream car:  truck
10. The room you are in:  cozy

11. Your ex:  none
12.  Your fear:  stroke
13.  What you want to be in 10 years:  loved
14.  Who you hung out with last night:  Sam
15.  What you're not:  patient

16.  Muffins:  English
17.  One of your wish list items: London
18.  Time:  history
19.  The last thing you did:  tidied
 20.  What you are wearing:  robe

21.  Your favorite weather: summer
22.  Your favorite book:  Shakespeare
23.  The last thing you ate:  clementine
24.  Your life:  happy
25.  Your mood:  anticipation


26.  Your best friend:  Sam!
27.  What are you thinking about right now?  writing
28.  Your car:  Honda
29.  What are you doing at the moment?  eating
30.  Your summer:  sunny

31.  Your relationship status:  married
32.  What is on your TV?  news
33.  What is the weather like?  frigid
34.  When is the last time you laughed?  today
35.  Your favorite color?  green

Thanks, PK.  It has been fun to read the responses from so many out in blogland.  Working on a Winter Meme.  TBA!!


I am adding one.  Least favorite season:  WINTER!  

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ella's Bookshelf - Loving His China Doll

My book review of this recent Leigh Smith novel is a bit tardy only because of the holiday craziness most of us embrace as part of the Christmas/New Year season.  Lovely fun, food, and family for the most part - but little time for books I enjoy reading and posts I enjoy writing.  Leigh is one of my favorite authors when it comes to cowboy spanking stories, so I was curious as to whether I would like Loving His China Doll since it was cowboy-free, so to speak.  Never fear, Sunny has again delivered a spanking good book.

Title:  Loving His China Doll

Author:  Leigh Smith

Number of Pages:  131

Themes:  Living Green, Overcoming Life's Challenges, 
                Loving and Letting Go

Setting:  Willamette Valley in Oregon

Main Characters:
  • Chyna Minton - a 26 year old woman who lives alone on her family's farm despite a unique handicap.
  •  Benji - her devoted St. Bernard and constant companion.  He may not be your run of the mill main character, but his presence is felt all through this unusual story.
  •  Jeff Kincaid - a young farmer in search of his own land and a place to plant his dream.
  • Paul and Sue Kincaid - Jeff's surly older brother and pregnant sister-in-law.
  • Blake and Marge Kincaid - Jeff's parents who have worked a large family farm since Jeff was a boy.
  • Ben Wilson - Chyna's lawyer and advocate.
  • Becky Taylor - a close friend of Chyna's.

When farmer, Jeff Kincaid, rolls into Scottsville, Oregon, he is only looking for some vacant farmland to lease.  He pulls into the drive of a pretty little farmhouse and meets Chyna Minton and her big St. Bernard, Benji.  The book is written with the alternating points of view of these 2 main characters, and that is very important to this plot.  The reader knows fairly quickly that Chyna suffers from a condition called "hysterical blindness" caused by a childhood trauma.  She also possesses a "second sight" that gives her an inkling that meeting Jeff that morning will become a turning point in both their lives.  This combination of handicap and giftedness is unique to this heroine.  Jeff discovers what we already know through keen observation.

For this review, I think it is important to discuss the role of Chyna's
dog, Benji.  This big, lovable, and protective animal is the cornerstone of Chyna's support system in the small town of Scottsville.  Yes, there are friends and neighbors who check on her and help in so many ways, but it is Benji who makes it possible for Chyna to live independently and feel happy and secure.

Once Jeff is cleared by Chyna's lawyer, they cut a deal to lease the empty fields, and he also moves into a small apartment at the back of the barn.  He is very motivated to get started on his plans for farming organic crops and selling to local buyers.  Back on Jeff's family farm, his brother, Paul, has always been domineering and negative about Jeff's dream.

Jeff is an interesting central figure for a spanking novel.  As you well know, I am quite partial to cowboys.  But I have to admit that Jeff being a farmer adds another layer of depth and complexity to his character.  His is also the vehicle through which a lot of the themes of ecology and an organic approach to farming and health
are developed.  Chyna, too, is very in tune with the earth, and the two complement each other in this "green" outlook on life.  After plowing one day, the author tells us about Jeff's satisfaction, "There was something about seeing the rows of tilled soil behind him that fed his soul."

Jeff and Chyna get to know each other better every day, and Jeff soon recognizes the blindness.  There is a mutual physical attraction between the two, as well, and Chyna is anxious for a romantic relationship - the first for her.  She also suspects that several of Jeff's comments indicate some "Christian Grey" leanings.

She is not displeased one bit, and the sex is everything for which she hoped.  Jeff is quickly becoming involved with her, and very protective, too.  He enjoys everything about her.  "He loved her laugh; it sounded like bells tinkling."  I noticed that the author has done an admirable job using descriptions that depend on other senses besides sight.  Considering Chyna's handicap, I thought this was quite effective.

When Jeff introduces Chyna to his mom and dad, the family dynamic is introduced.  Since Chyna has no family, she loves that Marge and Blake make her feel so welcome.  Very soon after this first meeting, Jeff is called home to be there during an emergency with his father's health, and here the plot really starts to tumble.  We see how Jeff's brother, Paul, was behind Jeff's plans to strike off on his own.  The two brothers come together just enough to work through some big changes on the family farm.

In the midst of this upheaval, Chyna reveals a crack in her acceptance of the blindness she has lived with since she was 11 years old.  Realizing how her relationship with Jeff is moving toward a serious and permanent status, she doubts her ability to be a real partner to Jeff and a contributing farmer's wife.  She pulls away from him completely.  Once Jeff sorts out things on his family's farm, he is back to Scottsville and Chyna like a shot.

Chyna's decision to seek professional help with her condition, has her exploring hypnotherapy.  Since this is a treatment that I am familiar with through my work at a medical facility, I was most interested to see how Sunny  used it in a fictional story.  She was spot on!  Purposely I have not given away any of the important mini-stories within this book, including the one that explains the title, Loving His China Doll.  Just let your fingers trot on over to LSF Publications or Amazon and download this book.  Then build a cozy fire, brew a pot of coffee, and dig right in.

As I said, this plot has a lot of threads, but Sunny pulls them all together for the reader at the end.  It is only natural that it is a great spanking that seems to be both the transformational ending of this story and the start of a new one for Jeff and Chyna. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Lie of Omission is Still a Lie


Right up front I want to tell you that I have been thinking about writing this post for quite a while.  Part of the reason it took so long could be blamed on the rush to finish up all the last minute holiday tasks - the cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating, yet another trip to the grocery store, wrapping, visiting neighbors, and an outing to see the light displays with family and friends.  Yeah, sure.  I was busy.  But the real truth of the matter as to why I was reluctant to put this in writing, is that I really messed up.  Not in just a little way.  In a big way.  It was hard to admit this to Sam, and it is hard to admit this to all of you.

For the last 2 years, Sam has helped me to reach a healthy weight and maintain it.  For those who may just be visiting my blog for the first time, let me reiterate that his attention to this as HOH was at my request only.  He could care less what I weigh.  It is me who cares.  I was a person who binged on certain foods, especially sweets.  Just pass me the M & Ms and no one will get hurt.
For years I struggled to lose weight and keep it off.  I would have a bit of success and then pile it all back on.  Spent a ton of money at Weight Watchers but never achieved the practical goals I set.  Spent a ton of time on self-loathing.  So Sam is my coach, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  I have managed to stay at my goal weight for 2 years now.  That has never happened before in my whole adult life.    

It is definitely easier for me now.  I make most of the decisions about what am eating with never consulting Sam at all.  I think ahead so that I keep to just a good, healthy eating plan for most of my week, but know that I am eating whatever I want for a dinner out with friends or a large piece of cake.  Still, Sam and I go over my food journal regularly, and I show him my weigh-in record once or twice a month.  If I feel myself starting to crave something when I am already full or because everyone else is digging in, we have a plan for me to talk to, text, email, or phone Sam so that it doesn't slip into mindless eating.  Some nights he will ask me why I am wandering back into the kitchen after dinner.  There have been times when I fall from grace.  Sam usually says, "Talk to me or talk to Mr. Paddle."  This is good for me, and I like myself the next morning on the scale.

So the last week at work was chock full of food and parties and pot lucks and gifts of the chocolate kind.  Smooth sailing - never fell off the wagon all week.  Everyone was looking forward to a 2 week holiday!  On the final day of work for 2015, my doctor gave me a present of a small box of chocolates - maybe 15 pieces and very fancy ones.  I put them on the counter at home, and Sam had one.  It is better for me not to even start on stuff like that because I do not stick to just one or two.

I was in a joyous "no more work for 2 full weeks" mood!  The first night I got into the candy, I really did think about talking to Sam.  Then I convinced myself that was silly.  I could certainly handle this on my own.  Just lifted 3 or 4 out of the container and sort of spread out the other ones.  But the next night, it happened again; I was in full binge mode.  Pretty quickly the box was empty.  "OMG," I said to myself, "this is the 'old' me."  The one I hated.

Right then and there, I should have 'fessed up.  I knew if I did, there would probably be a spanking.  Funny thing about ttwd.  Yes, I do want to be spanked, and no, I do not want to be spanked right now.  A Jekyll and Hyde conundrum.  I buried the candy box with all the little gold paper cups deep under the other trash.  Boy, was this the old me!

As Sam spooned me that night at bedtime, he asked if I had gotten into the candy.  There was a pause that was just a second too long.  It was dark, and he couldn't see my face.  "Maybe 3 or 4," I said evasively.  By this time I was digging the hole deeper and deeper.  I convinced myself this was not a lie; indeed, I had eaten 3 or 4 (or 10 or 12.)  

The next afternoon we were putting on coats to head outdoors.  He asked me where the candy was.  I managed to dodge this one, too.  "Hon, please grab that bin of glass, and we'll stop at the recycling center on our way."  He fell for it, and now I was sinking in quicksand up to my chin.  I was also feeling extremely guilty.  Just because I hadn't actually "lied," did this omission really mean I was "lily-white?"  It most certainly did not.

Back from errands and Sam just stopped me cold, "Go get the box of candy."  I couldn't even speak.  I just turned and walked to the bedroom.  I have never, ever asked for a spanking before, but I just returned with the paddle in my hand.  When he saw it, he had a confused look on his face that quickly became stunned when he realized what had happened.

"You lied to me about X@%&* candy?!?"  I honestly don't remember what expletive he used, but his face could now be described as just plain pissed off.  I felt awful.  I am always honest.  I tell Sam if I mess up on anything we consider a rule even if he would never find out.

He was right.  How could I have let something so dumb as chocolate lead me down a path that included lies?  Truly felt ashamed.  Like there was a scarlet letter on my chest.

The spanking that followed was one for the record books.  First, with real anger and disappointment in his voice, I was told to take off all my clothes.  This doesn't usually happen, and he knows I just hate it.  I did not hesitate, but there were tears starting to well up in my eyes.  Even though I could not help making some noise, I was
not in any way protesting the fairness of this consequence.  As the strokes fell, Sam blasted me verbally as well.  The candy wasn't the issue.  It was the lie and the lack of honesty.  He found it totally unacceptable.  "We have never been dishonest with one another.  Never," he said.  The tears fell, and I apologized over and over again.

When Sam finally lifted me up to hold me, he whispered in my ear how it was OK now and how much he loved me.  I hugged him very tightly and just didn't want to let go.  There is no typical, witty Ella conclusion to this post.  I just held on until I was sure the connection was back.  There will always be another time that candy gets the best of me.  There will never be another time I don't admit it.