Black Mountain, North Carolina

The day after Christmas, the spouse and I took a road trip to Black Mountain, North Carolina for research. I had been studying the area a bit online and through social media as a possible setting for the relocation of my (former) Black and White series of bear shifters. Y’all remember Gus and Bex, right? 😉

Before I made a decision though, I wanted to see the town and the mountains surrounding it. We got there and I FELL IN LOVE! FELL. IN. LOOOOOOOOVE! It was the most picture perfect small town at the base of the Black Mountain subrange which is part of the larger Appalachian Mountain Range. The Black Mountains contain the highest peak east of the Mississippi, Mount Mitchell.

I’ve added pictures here of the town of Black Mountain and the mountains themselves so you can get an idea of where I’ll be setting the series later this year. I’ll be rewriting it as there are many elements from the Southern Shifters series by Eliza Gayle that I’ll have to remove, including her character Luke. But I’ll go into more detail about all that later. For now, enjoy the pictures…

The town had a book nook, and 2 other bookstores. A tea and spice shop, a wine store, a kitchen store, outdoors and trading company stores, a museum and art gallery, ice cream and chocolate, lots of little restaurants and craft beer pubs, a handcrafted furniture store, and stores with home decor, a general store and a hardware store.
Those dots up in the mountain are cabins and houses.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Author Friday – Toys and Research

So, let’s take a silent poll. How many of you have ever wanted to try out something you’ve read about in a book? You know, those things that bind and buzz and fill and tease? It’s okay. You can raise your hand. I won’t tell a soul.

See, reading fires the imagination. It transplants us into the characters or the scene or even into short term belief that we belong inside that world.

But when you read a romance, more specifically an erotic romance, do you ever find yourself curious about what we writers have come up with for our characters to do and experience?  I know I do.

And just where do we get these ideas for specific funtime toys? Well, some of us have drawers, bags, trunks, closets full of them. Others of us go shopping, online or in a store.

My default, my first choice for…this kind of uh…research, is Adam and Eve. I have a store, brick and mortar down the street, but a larger selection can be found online at http://www.adameve.com/. I can, if I let myself, spend hours looking through vibrators, plugs, lingerie, wands, bondage tape, cuffs, and topicals like oils, lubes… Okay, ummm. Where was I?

In some of my earliest erotic romance reading, authors used real world items…food, strings of pearls, and other objects. Authors, including myself, still use these, but when I want something that uses batteries to heighten sensation, or scented/flavored oils to increase the heat, it’s time to aim the mouse over to a fun, adult toy store like Adam and Eve for some…research.

Several of my books contain toys of one sort or another. Sweet Caroline starts off in an adult store and she’s looking at clamps. There’s also the discussion of glass dildos. Cracklin’ Rosie has a heroine who loves cute bra and panty sets. In Twisted Up, Justin introduces Ella to the fun of rope and massage wands. And in more recent books, the use of pillow packets of lube are mentioned quite a lot.

One particular thing I was searching for in the last couple of weeks was…edible oils and lubricants, especially in cinnamon flavor.

I always find it fascinating how creative we try to be, how inventive, how much we seek to push the envelope of comfort zone with our readers when it comes to sex toys. I think they are fun and add a unique element to sex, while others do not. It’s a way of opening the mind, trying something new without being found out. Packaging is discreet. Payment is easy. After that, all it usually takes is some time and if you’ve been so inclined…batteries.

So, have you? Are you even the least bit tempted?

~lissa