Birthdays and older and being old and even though it isn’t my birthday yet I feel like I’m 100 and so tired and oh my gosh BIRTHDAY AND ALL THE STUFFS. Right? Right. On that note >.>, we have Sorcha Mowbray visiting today! I’m also leaving this as all I say because she even included the question and everything. Yay!
Birthday – the anniversary of the day on which a person was born or the anniversary of something starting or being founded.
It is interesting to look at the cultural norms and customs that are associated with birthdays. The expectations and rituals vary across countries, families, and companies/entities. There are rituals that come with every birthday and some that only come on specific birthdays. Mental Floss had an article about it that included things like “antiquing” the birthday boy/girl in Jamaica, or essentially dousing them in flour in an organized fashion or by ambush. Some Canadians grease the birthday boy’s/girl’s nose with butter, again another ambush moment. In Mexico a child gets a candy filled piñata, and in Vietnam they do not acknowledge the day of your birth. Instead, everyone turns a year older on the New Year known as tet–not sure how I’d feel about that one. LOL!
Families vary as well. Some do very little in celebration, maybe a simple dinner and a card. Whereas others have a party with food and drinks and likely a cake or sweet treat of some kind. Others celebrate for more than just the day, sometimes as long as a whole month! And some people choose to ignore their birthdays altogether, either because they don’t wish to acknowledge getting older or perhaps because they are uncomfortable with so much attention being paid them.
However you do it, the point is to celebrate the life of the person or entity (unless you are a non-celebrant). Companies and non-people do this as well. Companies will offer big sales for their anniversaries or they may have a big party with a cake for their employees and/or loyal customers.
In the writing world we have our own twist–because we’re writers and we are always have a twist–the book birthday. This is a beast all it’s own–a sparkly unicorn like beast if you’re trying to picture it. A book birthday only comes once in it’s lifetime, the day it releases. That is the day of the grand celebration for a writer because that is the day our most recent baby is birthed and shared with the world. Now, this book birthday can last anywhere from a day up to a month…maybe two for the truly dedicated. It comes with all the pomp and circumstance you might expect. There are parties and giveaways, maybe even champagne, but rarely is there cake or a piñata, or you know…nose greasing. LOL! But there is much celebrating.
This is of course of interest to me because I will soon (not sure of exact dates yet…but soon) have a new book birthday. I am particularly excited about this, because it is 1) a return to historical erotic romance for me, and 2) the first book of a series. The book, His Hand-Me-Down Countess launches the Lustful Lords series which will be about five books…possibly more. The really fun part of this is that it is a spinoff of my first historical romance series, The Market.
The Market is about a Victorian era brothel run by a madam. The brothel is unique in that it both provides girls to service the customers as well as makes arrangements between customers. It is more private sex club than public brothel. The Market series is a three book series of novellas focusing on three different couples. The first book, Love Revealed, tells the story of a widow whose secret sex life is ultimately uncovered by the man who wishes to claim her as his. The second book, Love Redeemed, is sort of a Pretty Woman take. A merchant falls for a pretty face on the street and soon discovers she is not all he thought. When the truth comes out they must decide if love can prevail. And the third book, Love Reclaimed, is a second chance romance between the Madam of the brothel and her childhood sweetheart. Determined to prove to him they would never suit, she pulls out all the sexual stops, but only finds that he has fallen in love with the woman she has become.
The Market is the same brothel where the Lustful Lords meet in the new series, and you will occasionally see some of the characters from The Market series pop up as well. I have had a lot of fun revisiting old characters so far, and expect more to come! So, to whet your palate, here is a scene from Love Revealed, The Market Book 1.
Katherine shivered and huddled deeper into her hooded cloak. A damp London mist hung heavy in the night air as the hackney bounced, jostling her with a comforting gentleness. A dull, achy throb built between her thighs, intensified by the ride. Another bump had her sucking in a breath. Sensation rippled through her, heightening her anticipation.
She was on her way to meet Sir. Submission to Sir was unlike any other encounter she had experienced at The Market.
His dominating presence was a natural extension of who he was. It flowed off him in overwhelming waves. When she was with him, nothing intruded on the pleasure he bestowed.
The hired coach jerked to a halt, swaying back and forth for a moment. She struggled to contain her need to escape the interior of the carriage. Alighting with practiced grace, she attained the sidewalk and floated through the rear entrance. One of the girls awaited her arrival to show her to a dressing room for the evening.
Once enclosed in the small space, the girl helped her shed the layers of cloak, gown, petticoats, and corset. Her short chemise and regular pantalets were all that remained. Deftly, she laced up the working style corset cinching it in front. A maid’s uniform was provided; though no maid of her experience had ever worn such a low cut bodice. It would not have been practical. Not when her breasts threatened to spill from the top if she bent over. The last touch to her toilette was her mask.
It covered the top half of her head, lacing in the back for a snug fit and offering a significant amount of anonymity. The Market maintained a strict standard of privacy, which included masks to protect its client’s identities. It would be uncomfortable in society if one looked across the ballroom and saw the man you’d flogged the night before as he approached dancing on the arm of a fresh-faced debutant.
The mask also allowed her to shed her prim exterior in exchange for her inner sensual self. Anonymity made it easy to keep the men at a distance, using them only for the pleasure they offered.
Kathleen took a quick look in the mirror and opened the door. She stopped and curtsied as she entered, keeping her eyes down like a maid.
“Sir, you rang for me?”
“Come here.” His rich velvety voice came from across the room.
Standing next to the fireplace, his face was cast in shadows. There was no need to look up to know his features were shrouded in a half mask similar to the one she wore. Without a word, she proceeded across the room to stand before his six-foot frame. He was athletic, well put together. Bulging muscles under bronze skin made it clear he had worked more than a day’s manual labor in his life. Despite his physique, he was refined. Not rough.
“Were you responsible for polishing the banister today?” His brow quirked up in question.
“Yes, Sir.” Kat kept her gaze focused on the shadows hiding his eyes. His finger traced the edge of her scooped bodice, dipped into her cleavage as it advanced along the landscape. Chill bumps rippled across her chest, her body reacting of its own accord.
“You shall need to try again tomorrow.” He frowned.
“Yes, Sir.” She waited in supplication for him to decide what would come next. Punishment or pleasure? To her relief, he pulled her into his arms. Firm masculine lips compressed hers as his tongue swept into her mouth. Invading. Claiming.
This was what kept her coming back to this place. To this man. The feeling of strong arms wrapped around her and a demanding, yet delicious, devouring of her person.
Now, I know what I like best about book birthdays, but I want to know what you like. What are some of your favorite things authors do to celebrate a new release? Post a response and you will be entered to win a copy of The Market Series.