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Guest Post, Giveaway, & Review: RUBY by Jeffe Kennedy

Update – Congratulations to Beth, the winner of RUBY by Jeffe!  Thank you to all who participated!

Happy Release day to Jeffe Kennedy for Ruby! Jeffe continues to amaze me with the creativity that goes into her Facets of Passion series. Ruby is the third book in the series and is quite different from her other two in my opinion. Jeffe is visiting us today to talk about why she writes BDSM and will also be giving away a digital copy to one lucky commenter.

About Ruby:

Official Summary:

Danielle Sosna has no problem denying herself in order to achieve her goals—after all, that attitude landed her a dream job at Vogue Paris. But in New Orleans for one last assignment before heading overseas, she’s faced with the most decadent of temptations. Seductive Cajun chef Bobby Prejean takes Dani’s strength of will as a challenge, and offers her a night of wild indulgence—if she will agree to obey his every command.

Dani can’t resist Prejean’s invitation to join him in a world of carnal desire, complete with fetish costumes and masks. Determined to keep her emotional distance, she gives Prejean everything but her name. A night becomes a week, as she spends Mardi Gras suspended in the delicious space where pleasure meets pain.

Too late, she realizes the cloak of anonymity has not protected her—and that chasing her dream might come at the expense of her heart.

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Guest Post:

I am really excited to have Jeffe join us to talk a little bit about how she started writing BDSM stories. Don’t you just love hearing about what inspires an author?

Why BDSM?

Guest Post by Jeffe Kennedy

I think there’s an impression out there that many of us writing BDSM do it because it’s hot. And I mean “hot” in the market sense, not in the sexy way.

A lot of BDSM writers fretted about this perception when Fifty Shades of Grey became such a big hit. It’s a funny phenomenon that, when one book achieves a high level of interest, all other books in the same genre end up in its shadow. Some of those authors complained that they were called copycats when they’d been writing BDSM for decades. An example of this outside the genre is a review that’s been passed around by a young man who read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and slammed it for being derivative of Harry Potter.

Alas.

Anyway, Amy asked me to talk about why I write BDSM and how I got started down this path.

For those who are uncertain, BDSM typically stands for Bondage/Domination/Sadism/Masochism. Some people substitute Discipline and Submission, but that’s kind of a taste thing. The BDSM acronym is a bit of an expansion on the original S&M, which people felt was needed because the whole pain thing is really only a subset of the practice. I used to tell people that if they didn’t know what it stood for, they wouldn’t like it, but I’ve changed my mind about that. A lot of us like at least some aspects of BDSM—we just don’t always have a name for it.

Dan Savage (if you don’t read his column, I highly recommend it http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=16701721) takes the view that what turns us on is part of our deep psychological make-up—that we discover these things early in our lives and may never know the “reason” that we feel that way. This is how it was for me.

When I was about seven, I found my mom’s copy of The Joy of Sex and read it cover to cover (in sneaky little episodes). In it, there was a line drawing of a woman tied to a bed with ropes while a man touched her between her legs.

It electrified me.

I didn’t understand it, but that one picture stayed with me. Along with it came a sense of dirtyness and shame, like it was wrong to find such a thing exciting.

Later, however, I discovered a few things. I read Pauline Réage’s The Story of O, which I found sexy and exciting, but also dark and upsetting. The story is a metaphor for her doomed, long-time affair with a married man and so carries that sense of despair. Then I found Anne Rice’s (writing as A.N. Roquelaure, which is a nod to Story of O) Sleeping Beauty trilogy. In those books (and in some of her others, like Exit to Eden), she creates a new world that follows its own rules, where these things are acceptable and beautiful, not wrong at all.

She rocked my world.

So, when I had an opportunity to write an erotic fairytale of my own, I went with Beauty and the Beast. That book, Petals and Thorns, explores how the classic meme could be seen as a BDSM story. To my surprise, readers gobbled it up. I went on to write the Facets of Passion stories: Sapphire, Platinum, Ruby—and now, ORO, coming this Christmas. I also have the Covenant of Thorns books, Rogue’s Pawn and Rogue’s Possession (coming in October) and the Blood Currency series (Feeding the Vampire and Hunting the Siren), which explore the same power dynamics of BDSM in a lighter way.

If I thought writing Petals and Thorns would purge the BDSM fascination from my system, I was oh-so-very wrong. With each book, I find more to explore in this powerful, intimate kind of sexuality.

My stories, however, are not the “descent into dark despair” that bothered me with other books I read. Instead, as it’s been for me, BDSM becomes a tool of liberation for my characters. Discovering—and enjoying—this side of their natures allows my heroines to more fully accept themselves for who they are. And then to open themselves up to even greater possibilities for expressing love, creativity and joy.

Not bad for a little kinky sex, huh?

* * * * *

So Many Reads Review of RUBY:

Jeffe Kennedy writes really good BDSM books that have a great story and a lot of respect between the characters. I never feel it is one sided with her hero and heroine. I was curious how Jeffe could write another book and make it different than the two others in the Facets of Passion series. I naturally assumed there would be some of the same stuff with just different characters. I was so happy to be proven wrong.

Danielle “Dani” Sosna  is in New Orleans for work.  She meets Bobby Prejean at his restaurant in quite the meet cute. He actually yells at her and throws her out of his restaurant, but she does put up quite a fight before she leaves. That interaction alone had me wondering how the two of them are ever going to make things work between them. That is the beauty of a story, though! Anything can happen.

Dani is a very independent woman who does not allow people to push her around. She prefers to call the shots and have the upper hand.  She is also a fun “whatever goes” type of gal which is refreshing. She has her own issues to overcome, but they don’t really get in the way of having fun.  Prejean can be a little intense with his obsessive compulsive issues (like washing every dish as soon as he is done using it) but is also pretty easy going at times. He too, has some issues he needs to work through, but if he didn’t, the story would be a little dull. Once Dani and Prejean meet again after the display at Prejean’s restaurant, they decide to have a little fun while Dani is in town. Let the games begin.

The word “sophisticated” kept coming to mind when I tried to come up with a term to describe Ruby. The characters, the city, the jobs of the characters, and the way they interact with one another.  It was all done on a more sophisticated scale. Jeffe does a fantastic job describing the setting and I felt like I had been to New Orleans after reading this book. I enjoyed the dialogue between Dani and Prejean. She had a way of making him laugh without meaning to, and it was great to see that from a man like him. She was worming her way into his heart and she had no idea. Of course, he was doing the same thing with her. I love it when characters don’t realize when they are falling in love.

The ending to the story came fast, and by that I mean I wanted the book to continue because I could not get enough of Dani and Prejean and not necessarily in the bedroom. I wanted to witness them exploring their new found feelings for one another especially since Dani’s life is turned a little upside down. But, all good books must come to an end sometime.  If you are looking for a well written BDSM book that has a great plot, well developed characters, and an awesome setting, I highly recommend Ruby by Jeffe Kennedy!

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Giveaway:

Jeffe is giving away a digital copy of Ruby to one lucky commenter!  To enter, simply reply below and let us know if you have ever read a BDSM book or if this would be your first one. Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm Central Time on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Winner will be notified via email and announced on website.

 

9 comments

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  1. Michele G H

    I, like many readers read the Fifty trilogy. But I read a few before it. Jeffe is a new author to me and I will be putting her books on my amazon and Goodreads wishlists.

    1. Jeffe Kennedy (@jeffekennedy)

      I love to hear that, Michele – I hope you enjoy!

    2. Amy

      I have not read Fifty Shades. You will like Jeffe’s though, because her writing is so good and her characters are fantastic. I never ever thought I would read erotic, much less BDSM. 🙂

      1. Jeffe Kennedy (@jeffekennedy)

        aw, shucks!

  2. Jeffe Kennedy (@jeffekennedy)

    Thanks for hosting me today, Amy! I love that you enjoyed them falling in love with each other without realizing it.

    1. Amy

      Thank YOU, Jeffe, for the giveaway and guest post. You know I am a sucker for love and all that mushy stuff. As much as I anticipated Prejean to be a meanie after his outburst, I quickly realized he is a big softie beneath that exterior. Love that.

      1. Jeffe Kennedy (@jeffekennedy)

        He is – just a big purring kitty cat. But he understands anger and ambition, which I like about him, too.

  3. Amy

    I have an email entry from Beth! She is off in Jamaica with her family reading but would like to be included in the giveaway.

    1. Jeffe Kennedy (@jeffekennedy)

      ~waves at Beth in Jamaica~

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