Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Adventures in Storyland

...And now, for something different!

I have a special treat today to celebrate the fifth day of Inn on the Edge. A romantic holiday letter, from Angie to Josh (the main characters of the novel), six months after their breathless escape from the Inn on the Edge Hotel and from the sex demon who held them captive there. Enjoy!

My Dearest Josh,

I've been in my studio trying to paint all morning, but I couldn't get anything done because I kept thinking about you. I miss you so much! I know you had to go to this training conference for your new job - but it's crazy hard to have you gone for two weeks. 

How can they DO this to people, scheduling the conference just before Christmas? Don't they know we're newlyweds and that this is our first Christmas together? Are they heartless?

Anyway, I wanted to tell you what I was daydreaming about when I should have been painting.

It's the Storybuilder. You never got to experience the magic Storybuilder necklaces with me when we were still at the Inn on the Edge, which breaks my heart. I know you've been reluctant to use them, but Josh - it's been months and months since we escaped the demon. We're safe now. We took care of Mr. Abiba! He's gone! We can play with the Storybuilder now. I know we can!

Still need convincing? Then let me tell you about my daydream.

Close the door to your office, my dear. Lower the lights, sit back in your swivel chair and make yourself comfortable ... prepare yourself for adventure!

First, we'll undress each other. We put Storybuilder Pendants over one another's shoulders. You arrange mine so that it falls perfectly between my breasts, and then you lean over and kiss me. (Like it so far?)

We say the magic words and the Storybuilder turns on. Colorful speckles of light scatter over our faces, our bodies, looking for all the world like miniature Christmas lights. Admiring the effect the light show has on our nakedness, we nestle closer to each other. Before long I'm settled on your lap. We kiss again, even though kissing isn't part of the formal script that activates the magic. (Now I KNOW you're liking it!)

The sparkling lights die down, signaling that the magic is ready. It's time to take turns building our Storyland. Quivering with anticipation - this is so fun! - I choose the setting: we're in a castle, a deserted castle in the middle of a dense forest.

We watch, wide-eyed, as real world of our bedroom fades away and is replaced with magic. Rough stone walls materialize around us. The ceiling is made of wide, hand-hewed beams. The flagstone floor is covered with a hand-knotted carpet. Amazingly, impossibly, we're inside a drafty, cool castle. It even smells old. (Did you expect it to look so REAL, Josh? I didn't, the first time!)

I decide the place should be decorated for Christmas, and more things appear: a fifteen-foot Christmas tree in the corner of the room, fat aromatic candles burning in a wide circle around us, bunting draped from the ceiling and doorways, and, permeating the air, the smell of cloves and cinnamon and eggnog. (Yes, that'll do nicely.)

Now it's your turn, Josh. You get to choose the characters we'll portray in our own private Story Land. You think about it for a moment while I gaze at your handsome flushed face - see? You're getting into this! - and then you smile and tell me that you are the Lord of the Forest, a rich and powerful man, who has had this charming wilderness castle built for one purpose only - to share with his secret love...the parlor maid.

(So I'm to be a PARLOR MAID? You funny, funny man.)

We watch as we're magically draped in rich velvets and supple leather (for the Lord of the Forest), and in a thin, ill-fitting frock (for the parlor maid.)

(Thank you very much, Josh. Would it have been so bad to let me have a ball gown?)

Then it's my turn to add to the Story again. I declare that we need a banquet table heaped with the best food and drink, fresh and savory and ready to eat. Because we're going to get hungry, after all I have planned for us.

Arching your eyebrow, you quickly add an enormous four-poster bed, complete with satin sheets and comforters and plenty of pillows.

I add a mirror over the bed. Why not?

You add a box of sex toys. Again, why not?

And there you have it, Josh. The beginning of a Story. The rest will have to wait until you are here, until we're together again. Until then, I'll be thinking of nothing else.

With all my love,

Your Little Parlor Maid

Thursday, December 5, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop...and RELEASE DAY for Inn on the Edge!

Blog Hop: 12 Days of Christmas
Event Date: December 1 through December 12, 2013

~~~ Recipe ~~~

Mr. Abiba's Favorite Divinity Cookies

(from Inn on the Edge)

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 heaping cup shortening or butter (do not use margarine)
2 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix together confectioners' sugar and shortening. Add remaining ingredients and blend well using a mixer to form dough the consistency of stiff putty. Don’t over-blend. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 -inch balls and place on baking sheet about one inch apart. Flatten balls to about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with extra chopped pecans if desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or until sides become slightly golden. Do not brown.

Makes about 24 cookies.

Release day!

Now Available!

Inn on the Edge
Erotic Horror by Gail Bridges
     Angela and her brand-new husband Josh have just arrived at their honeymoon destination, a romantic bed-and-breakfast hotel on the breath-taking Washington coast—the Inn on the Edge.

     But everything isn’t as it seems. The lessons that come free with the room aren’t for painting the lovely coastal scenery—the lessons are for better sex. Angie and Josh, shocked and titillated, immerse themselves in every sensual offering.

     It doesn’t take long for things to go horribly wrong. They discover that the old man running the place is a sex demon, who has been stealing their sensual energy. Worse, he’s dangerously in love with Angie and he has plans for her—plans involving an heirloom wedding ring.

Inside Scoop:  This book contains scenes of unbridled demon-inspired passion—girls with girls, boys with boys, twosomes, threesomes and more! A Romantica erotic horror romance from Ellora’s Cave.

~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~  ~~~~

Grand Prize: $150 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
First Prize: One (1) eBook from Every Participating Author 

For more Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes & Giveaways - Hop along the 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop!

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop

Monday, December 2, 2013

You're Writing WHAT?

How I Came to Write Inn on the Edge,
an Erotic Horror Novel

     Not long ago, a friend asked about my new novel, Inn on the Edge. She wanted to know: Why erotic horror? Good question! It made me sit down and think about the genesis of my story, way back when the idea was nothing but wisps of unformed ideas, insubstantial yet demanding attention. My friend had good timing - this is a great time to talk about the very beginnings of the book, since the release date of December 6 is finally within shouting distance.

     It goes like this: 

     Just over a year ago, not long after my first erotic work was published, I had a conversation with Carrie Jackson, a lovely editor from Ellora's Cave, my publisher. I'd been lucky enough to meet her at the Emerald City Writer's Conference in Bellevue, Washington, and although she is not my own Ellora's Cave editor, she took the time to share with me what the publisher most wanted to see - at the top of the list: erotic horror.
     Apparently, erotic horror is devilishly difficult to write. Carrie told me that authors are daunted at the prospect. Ellora's Cave doesn't get nearly the submissions they would like in the genre. "How about you write one?" she said, leaning forward.

     Indeed. As if that would happen.

     But I couldn't stop thinking about what Carrie had told me. Erotic Horror? What a difficult, wonderful combination! How to combine  two such opposite-seeming things in the same story? In a romance story, no less? How could I create a scenario where the main characters are scared shitless, fearing for their lives ... and yet have plenty of time for hot, wild sex?  How could I write such a story and make it realistic?

     I had to try.

     First, I needed a great setting. It didn't take long to think of the wonderful old lodge on the Washington Coast where, long ago, I'd spent a romantic weekend. Such a place would be the ideal atmospheric setting for a horror novel.

Lake Quinault Lodge

The Perfect Place for a Long, Lazy Afternoon...or to be trapped by a Demon

     Once I had the setting, the story came together piece by piece. I'd populate the Lodge (re-cast as a Bed-and-Breakfast Inn) with eager, bright-eyed newlywed couples. My story would be rife with erotic, passionate undercurrents - who better to get things going than four couples gathering together just after their weddings?

     Next, I needed a bad guy. He'd be horrible and likable at the same time, a demon who would lure my unsuspecting main characters to his Inn and keep them captive. My antagonist slowly took form in my mind: he'd be a new kind of sex demon, scary, charming, charismatic, yet unable to touch his captives. But now I had a new problem - who was this demon who would play such a large part in my novel?

     It took a while to find my demon. My bad guy didn't take shape until about a month later when my husband, my grown daughter, and I were eating take-out Thai food. I mentioned my Demon-in-the-Inn idea.

     "Sounds interesting," said my daughter.

     "But I'm having a problem getting a handle on the demon character," I said around a mouthful of noodles.

     "What's his name?" asked my husband, "Start with a name."

     I just stared at him blankly.

     "It ought to be something foreign-sounding!" said my daughter.

     "Yeah - like this..." said my husband, shoving the Pad Thai container toward me.

     My daughter shook her head. "Pad Thai? Are you kidding?"

     "Okay, okay. Forget it." He thought for a moment, then grinned. "What was the name of that Ethiopian place we ate lunch at last week? That sounded foreign!"

     We looked it up. Adey Abeba.


     Adey Abeba. The words had such a nice ring to them. They rolled off the tongue in such a deliciously foreign way.  I'd found my demon's name - I knew immediately, no looking back. We went back to the restaurant the next day - how could we not? - and I asked the waitress what the words meant. 

     "Two things," she told us, looking like she thought it was the oddest question she'd ever heard in her life. "It is the name of the capitol of Ethiopia ... you know, Adis Abiba."

     "Oh," I said, nodding.

     "It is also ... this." She picked up a menu, and jabbed at a grainy image of charming yellow flowers. "This flower, it grows all over the hills near my city."


     I changed the spelling: Adi Abiba. He was now Mr. Adi Abiba, proprietor of the unique Bed-and-Breakfast destination Inn on the Edge. I could see my demon clearly, so very clearly! He was tall and imposing and he wore flowing robes. He had an infectious laugh and a gaze that could skewer you. It took only a moment for Mr. Abiba to became a fully-formed character.

     So there you have it. I was off to the races. I had everything I needed for my erotic horror novel. All I had to do was buckle down and write it.