Music for making love to ghosts

A Walt Whitman poem says, “And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.”

I’ve always misheard that as “To die is luckier than any of us know, and stranger.

Because how could it not be?

I don’t pretend to have any insight into what an actual afterlife might be like, but when I’m writing ghosts, I try to keep its potential strangeness in mind. Not in a bad way, necessarily; it could be a lucky and fortunate strangeness. But I’m pretty sure sex with ghosts would be something very different from sex with human beings. A matter of odd geometries and invisible contours, the texture and taste of a non-biological intimacy. It would have to be at least a little scary, and probably wistful too.

A song that perfectly captures this mixture of whimsy and weirdness–incidentally, the perfect soundtrack to Bodies of Ghosts, even though it wasn’t released until after I had completed and submitted the story to Mofo–is Seeming’s “Phantom Limb”:

 

Incidentally, Seeming also has a song called “Stranger” that makes the process of becoming different sound pretty lucky (though it’s much more about life than death). And at times weirdly, wonderfully erotic.

And if you’re looking for inspiration for Mofo’s current call, Apocalypse (how would you fuck if the world was ending?), you might want to check out “Goodnight London.”

 

Read Bodies of Ghosts free:

Mofo Website

Amazon

iBooks

Kobo

Nook

 

Get Haunted:

Mofo Website

Amazon

iBooks

Kobo

 

More About Hauntings

“Bodies of Ghosts” is one of the few cases where I set out to write a haunting deliberately. Most of the time, the literal or metaphorical ghosts show up…not by accident, but without me consciously willing it. Which is just like a ghost, really.

Suddenly, a story finds itself centered around loss or grief, or a hidden presence along the margins starts to creep into the center. Or an absence pulls itself further open in exposure.

It’s October. There’s a chill in the air, with a hint of forthcoming sweetness. At the end of the month several religions and cultures will celebrate the dead. Incidentally, today is the one-year anniversary of a particular funeral. None of my stories are “about” that funeral, and I doubt I’ll ever write one that is (for one thing, it wouldn’t be appropriate; nor would it be very dramatically interesting). But you can’t say something like that has no effect on you.

Anyway, that makes this the perfect time for a ghost story.

I wrote “Bodies of Ghosts” in part to play explicitly with some of the ideas that kept coming up implicitly in other stories like “The Bitterness of Flesh” (which I’d originally considered giving “Bodies”s title), “Phone Call 3 a.m.,” and “Likeness” (“My Body is a Haunted House” came later, and as the title shows it was a bit more self-conscious). Loss. Shock, grief, and anger. People’s thoughts and actions during and after a crisis.

Sex.

Not just because everything I write is about sex, but because sex and grief fit so well together.

Well, masturbating on the floor of my new apartment in broad daylight kind of lent itself to self-consciousness.

Yet my arousal didn’t feel perverse or completely unexpected. Grief excuses a lot of things. Probably because it drives a lot of things. It’s love without means of communication, helpless caring without anything to hope or fear for. It’s passion, it’s pain, it’s wanting without a chance of ever being satisfied. Without an outlet.

“Bodies” touches on another recurring idea, religion, or at least faith, because ghosts are also about afterlives and the immaterial. But even that is ultimately rooted in the material.

Sure, we can have faith, but true belief must come from the body. We must experience something to believe in it. I’d never experienced anything supernatural.

And now it came.

The last big theme of “Bodies” is right there in the title–imagining the physicality of something that’s barely physical (which I’ll post about more next week. Music will be included). This provided the chance to create a new kind of ghost, and revisit some old favorites.

One of my favorite ghosts is from Aeschylus’s Eumenides: Clytemnestra, slaughtered by her son, haunts the collective dream of the Erinyes—the so-called Kindly Ones—and spurs them to vengeance. The vengeance part is great stuff, but I especially like the idea of a ghost as a collective hallucination.

At first, I wished I had someone to share this haunting with. Even if we were both bloodthirsty monsters. Monsters don’t scare me—in fact, I’ve found more than my share of them attractive.

I wouldn’t call ghosts monsters, though. Monsters are dangerous and they’re ugly, goes conventional wisdom, and I think both those qualities require bodies. Ghosts are only traces. You can’t really fear an echo, no more than you can find one beguiling. You can’t make love to a dream.

Can’t you?

I met the ghost—you could even say I loved the ghost—at a time when I was thinking a lot about traces.

You can read “The Bodies of Ghosts” free at:

Mofo Website

Amazon

iBooks

Kobo

Nook

Weekend Reads

Lots of exciting things happening this past week. To summarize: 

Getting ItSinCyr’s Publishing’s feminist femdom anthology, is on sale for just 99 cents until Monday, October 9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Goodreads Giveaway of The Complete Lady Crayl also ends and randomly selects a winner on Monday, October 9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And “The Bodies of Ghosts” is FREE on all major ebook platforms. No deadline on this one, but if you like it, check out the anthology it’s a part of, Mofo Publishing’s Haunted, which is up for preorder before its October 26 release date.

Read Bodies of Ghosts free:

Mofo Website

Amazon

iBooks

Kobo

Nook

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, sci fi erotica fans: Circlet Press’s crowdfunding campaign has reached the goal for their 25th Anniversary “Best Erotic SciFi” Anthology, but they’re still funding for stretch goals including their 2018 slate of books. You can check out their forthcoming titles, and prizes including everything from ebooks, book bags, story critique, and book dedications, at Kickstarter.

Haunted: Free Fiction

Mofo Publishing’s fourth anthology is Haunted—a literary erotica anthology exploring the erotic charge of that which is persistently there. Tales of ghosts, memory, obsession.

A young man feels a peculiar hunger to be loved, one he can’t survive without sating in a series of vivid homoerotic dreams that blur the boundaries of fantasy and fact, desire and love.

A hesitant dominant struggling with a recent breakup and the loss of her grandmother, finds a mysterious man in her living room with her grandmother’s rosary and an appetite for submission.

Years after a summer romance with a young male model, a woman finds herself driven to search through online porn for photos and videos that might feature him.

A man is tormented by the erotic demands of his soulmate—with whom he shares an intimacy so deep they can literally hear one another’s thoughts.

A British soldier is haunted by memories of his lost lover and comrade in arms.

A grieving woman moves into a basement apartment, which she discovers already has a resident.

That last story is mine–and it’s available to read free, right now, as a MoFo erotic short.

Read Bodies of Ghosts free:

Mofo Website

Amazon

iBooks

Kobo

Nook

Become Haunted:

Mofo Website

Amazon

iBooks

Kobo

Nook

Last Days of the Lady Crayl Giveaway

If you’re looking for some historically-flavored kink between a dominant lady and her obedient knight, and  a somewhat different take on “chivalry,” there are still 5 days left to enter the Goodreads giveaway for The Complete Lady Crayl  before a winner is selected!

Best of luck, and may the best reader win. (Here you can imagine me offering a length of silk as a favor if you prefer.

Speaking of chivalrous femdom, I’m usually mixed on books where the women sit literally on the sidelines, but if you’re looking for a lady who makes the most of her position there and a knight who suffers through a tournament exquisitely for her sake–Laura Kinsale’s For My Lady’s Heart is a treat.)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lady Crayl by T.C. Mill

Lady Crayl

by T.C. Mill

Giveaway ends October 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

The complete Lady Crayl short stories are now gathered together in an omnibus for the first time ever! When Elise Caryl and her forces successfully take command of an enemy castle, she recognizes the defending commander: Adam Tynae, the knight she loved and lost long ago. Determined that nothing will come between them anymore, she seeks to prove it to the man she owns heart, body and soul-using whatever tools come to hand, from riding crops to knives to lengths of ribbon. Happily, Elise and Adam have a few more marks to make, and a few more bonds to writhe in. After Adam surrenders, Lady Crayl will reward him with a far more pleasant manner of submission. Content: These four short stories about a Dominant lady and her loving knight make up 28,000 words of tender romance and chivalry along with scorching erotic content, including knives, sensation play, and bondage. Adult readers only.

Go Get “Getting It”!

You can get SinCyr’s first anthology of sex-positive, consensual, and kinky female dominant erotica, Getting It , on your ereader in the next hot minute if you click the link ;D

To whet your appetite, you can read more about the stories in the anthologies on SinCyr Publishing’s blog. I’ve also shared longer excerpts from my stories, “Silver Bracelets” and “Fantasies,” on this site. Enjoy!

 

 

“Fantasies”

“Fantasies”

SinCyr’s first anthology of sex-positive, consensual, and kinky erotica, Getting It, comes out September 15. Along with all those good things, it’s also the BEST thing: 13 stories of complete femdom.

Frankly, my contributor’s copy can’t come fast enough.

In the days leading up to the release, I’m sharing excerpts from both my stories in Getting It. 

“Fantasies” is a story about negotiation, exploration, and confession (or maybe when we sadists do it it’s “bragging”). A content warning may be in order here: it is about rape fantasies. And yet another caveat is that it’s fairly abstract, or maybe the word is cerebral–fantasies taking place in people’s minds, after all–so if you’re looking for explicit dub-con or non-con (I firmly believe both can have a place in a vibrant fantasy life and in fiction, accompanied by honest content descriptions) this might not scratch that itch. Speaking of scratching and itches, there is a bit of teasing involved, too. …A lot of teasing, in different ways. Ultimately, it’s a story about trust, power, denial, and also giving in.

(In combination with “Deliver Us,” it also falls into my new specialty, which is apparently “submissive bisexual guys getting tied up by their girlfriends and having personal realizations in the process.”)

 

Fantasies

“You’re scaring me,” he said as her fingers scraped his collarbone, then started to circle his throat.

She didn’t stop; between them, that wasn’t a complaint. “I don’t often ask what you’re thinking, do I? While we’re doing this.”

“Not sure what I’d tell you.” He was starting to breathe faster, each sharp inhalation expanding against her hand. She didn’t constrict the passage of air, only felt it. Monitoring, of course, could also be a form of control.

Maybe that was why her question about his fantasies made him so nervous. He wasn’t sure he wanted all the contents of his head monitored, too.

But mostly, figuring out what he was thinking seemed like a lot of work.

She nudged, saying, “What has you so scared?”

“You could…”

Her eyes gleamed. Their deep brown took on a glow like red embers as she waited for him to answer.

“You could…do anything to me.” He wiggled one hand in its cuff of rope, the gesture as eloquent as he could be.

“I could. I have you at a considerable disadvantage.”

She shifted position, straddling one of his spread legs. Her knee brushed the front of his briefs.

“Silver Bracelets”

“Silver Bracelets”

SinCyr’s first anthology of sex-positive, consensual, and kinky erotica, Getting It, comes out September 15. Along with all those good things, it’s also the BEST thing: 13 stories of complete femdom.

Frankly, my contributor’s copy can’t come fast enough.

In the days leading up to the release, I’m sharing excerpts from both my stories in Getting It. 

“Silver Bracelets” is a cozy and domestic fantasy, because women can take erotic control in the most everyday scenarios. Although it’s not every day that you get handcuffs as a present. The heroine’s synesthesia heightens the sensuality of her welcome home to her boyfriend in this story about shiny new toys and loving something so much you can eat it up.

 

 

Silver Bracelets

She comes up to him and grabs his arms as soon as he has his jacket off. It crumples to the floor, and she kicks the bundled fabric away. A startle travels through him under her fingers. It’s like she can feel his pulse vibrating in his wrists—maybe she does, maybe that is what she senses moving through his body when she brushes against it. By stretching her fingers she can hold both his wrists in one hand.

He’s not frail, exactly, but delicate. Not fragile but vulnerable. That was part of what attracted her to him, looking past their union of opposites. He doesn’t have strength so much as vigorous energy, which turns his tall and skinny frame into a snarl of movement, a blur of excitement, a tempest that can meet hers in an embrace even more enthusiastic than it is awkward.

But in contrast to him, now she feels steady, slow, deliberate. She unbuttons his shirt cuffs, baring tender skin. He keeps his wrists crossed even when she lets go. Light hairs stand on end as her fingertips brush, turning his limbs when necessary to roll up his sleeves. She lets the cuffs dangle from her thumb, a balancing act that might turn to juggling at any moment. It’s a relief that he can’t see that. The spell being wound around him isn’t disturbed by her unfamiliarity with their new toy.

It doesn’t distract her much, either. Especially when she slips them on him.

They look so pretty as they lock around his wrists—like bracelets, bright and decorative. They have a little give, enough to slide half an inch or so along his forearms when he draws them apart as if checking his new limits. The silvered surface sends a dazzle of light over his skin and the back of his shirt, into her eyes.

“Oh my God,” she whispers. “This is beautiful.”

He turns his head but not the rest of himself, tossing a floppy lock of hair from over his ear to better hear her. She wonders if he can’t quite believe her words.

“Beautiful,” she repeats, tracing a blue vein to the first metal loop, then over the short chain connecting it to the second one. She keeps her hands trailing over his body as she walks around him. He’s warm under the close-fitting dress shirt; a fiery brightness beats off him into her palm and fingertips.

She follows his shoulder to his neck, takes him by the nape and pulls him down toward her. Almost thrown off balance, he spreads his feet to find it again. The motion brings his lips the last bit closer, and she takes them with hers. The kiss is pillowy, rich and gentle. Her fingers curve behind his ear, stroking his soft hair.

 

The Complete Lady Crayl: A Femdom Book Giveaway

Just one week from today (Sept 15, 2017), I have two stories coming out in SinCyr Publishing’s first anthology, Getting It. It’s 13 stories of dominant women of all kinds and their submissives.

Some of the range in this anthology is clear just from the pieces I have in it–one is a sweet story about a young woman and her boyfriend enjoying their first pair of handcuffs. The other is about a more experienced couple exploring their rape fantasies (SinCyr’s mission statement, though, is ““Shifting rape culture one sexy story at a time” so rest assured that it’s all consensual–I find the trust exercise involved especially sexy, to be honest.)

You can read a little more about my stories, “Silver Bracelets” and “Fantasies,” HERE.

But speaking of femdom–and when, honestly, am I ever not?–my short story collection Lady Crayl is up for giveaway on Goodreads from today through October 8.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Lady Crayl by T.C. Mill

Lady Crayl

by T.C. Mill

Giveaway ends October 08, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Lady Crayl is a historical fantasy about a Dominant lady, Elise Crayl, and her loving knight, Adam Tynae. The four stories show glimpses of their lives as they’re separated and find their way together.

When Elise Caryl and her forces successfully take command of an enemy castle, she recognizes the defending commander: Adam Tynae, the knight she loved and lost long ago. Determined that nothing will come between them anymore, she seeks to prove it to the man she owns heart, body and soul-using whatever tools come to hand, from riding crops to knives to lengths of ribbon. Happily, Elise and Adam have a few more marks to make, and a few more bonds to writhe in. After Adam surrenders, Lady Crayl will reward him with a far more pleasant manner of submission.

Content: These four short stories about a Dominant lady and her loving knight make up 28,000 words of tender romance and chivalry along with scorching erotic content, including knives, sensation play, and bondage. Adult readers only.

Sounds like something you’d like? Check out the Lady Crayl Giveaway here and enter before October 8!