Friday, May 23, 2008

Guest blogger Eden Bradley

Our guest blogger today is Eden Bradley. I met Eden through the Passionate Ink RWA group message boards where her wit makes her one of my favorite posters. Eden’s work is sizzling hot but also deeply emotional. It’s rare to find erotica that is also romantic--Eden Bradley is that rare find. Due to the adult content of the covers and this blog I recommend discretion.

Eden Bradley: Books, tattoos, and the meandering mind of an erotica author.


I've been writing dark, edgy erotica and erotic romance for years, but it was only a few years ago that I realized I might actually be able to publish something. After 3 ½ years of writing with publication in mind, and a long detour into category romance, which didn't work out so well, I sold my first e-book in 2005, and have since published five more e-books. Two are still available, Breaking Skye and Heatwave, at www.Phaze.com.

In 2006, I made my first sale to Bantam. My first two novels, The Dark Garden and The Darker Side of Pleasure, are both BDSM fetish stories. I also participated in the Berkley Heat 'Exclusive' anthology with my erotic novella, Sanctuary, which is also BDSM-themed. Kink seems to be my specialty, although that's not all I write. I love to explore the psychological dynamics between people. What makes them who they are? How do they respond to sex, to falling in love? Those elements are even more interesting to me in any sort of extreme setting.

My last Bantam release, Exotica: Seven Days of Kama Sutra & Nine Days of Arabian Nights, is a contemporary erotic romance with almost no kink! I surprised even myself with this one, but I wanted to change it up a bit. I do love the exotic elements and even more, the two exotic men in this book! I explore the mysterious and sensual Kama Sutra in the first half, and there is a bit of power play in the second half--just enough to keep things exciting! This one is really more about women fulfilling their deepest fantasies, and finding love in the process.

I also love to write literary erotica--stories that are more personal journey, rather than being about a relationship, stories that push boundaries a little. My first story with Harlequin Spice Briefs, Soul Strangers, is available now, and I hope to write more for them! Meanwhile, my next erotic novel, Forbidden Fruit, will be out in October, a sensual book exploring food and sploshing fetishes. This book was fun to write--I ate tons of chocolate for inspiration!

But what I really want to talk about today is my latest release, which just came out on May 20th, and I'm very excited about it! My novella, The Art of Desire, appears in the Hot Nights, Dark Desires anthology, along with stories by Stephanie Tyler and Sydney Croft. This story is very near to my heart; it's about tattoo fetish--one I share with my heroine.

I got my first tattoo at eighteen--as soon as I legally could! I'd been fascinated with them since I was a kid and started listening to rock music and crushing on rock musicians. The artwork (a Pegasus) was poor, but I was happy to be tattooed and it was a positive experience. I had it touched up when I was twenty-one, and again, it didn't really hurt--I found the sensation interesting. But at that age I didn't understand that it was a flood of endorphins, the brain's natural opiates, that kept it from hurting, and in fact, even made it feel pretty good! And it was much later that I came to understand that my extreme fascination with body art went beyond the usual interest. I also learned that each tattoo should have some sort of lasting meaning--the design should be personal, and now, thanks to my recent cover work, all of mine are.

It was a long time before I had my next tattoo done, only a year and a half ago--Kanji symbols (Chinese writing) down the back of my neck. I love this tattoo-I think the back of the neck is a very sensual spot. And as a writer, the written word is something very powerful for me.

I knew I wanted more work done, and I also knew for years that the old Pegasus would need to be covered. It took a long time to find the perfect artist.

My friend, author Lillian Feisty, a tattoo aficionado herself, introduced me to her artist in San Francisco. I had my cover piece done, a large image of the Hindu goddess, the White Tara, in March of this year. The design is spectacular and exactly what I wanted! So far only the outline and a small portion of the color covering the old image is done. That was a four and a half hour session, which is about as much as even I can take. I was full of endorphins the whole time, trying not to giggle, and almost fell asleep a few times. I'm going back for a good five hours of color work in August, and I can't wait to see it finished!

Being tattooed is a sensual experience for me, and I tried to bring that idea into The Art of Desire, taking it to an extreme. Here's a blurb for the book:

New Orleans, a multifaceted city famous for its diverse art and people, reveals its offbeat charm and marvelous eccentricities through three stories celebrating the Big Easy and its funky culture and exotic atmosphere in an anthology from authors Eden Bradley, Sydney Croft and Stephanie Tyler. Seduce your senses… THE ART OF DESIRE, by Eden Bradley . . . silky skin, decadent sin, and decorative ink come together in a tapestry of eroticism set in the heart of steamy New Orleans' French Quarter. Sophie Fiore has always wanted to be a bad girl, but has never quite dared to take it all the way. Tristan Batiste is a tattoo artist, classic bad boy, and the image of Sophie's wildest fantasies come to life. Will she let Tristan charm her into getting the tattoo she's always yearned for--and if she does, will she become addicted to body art? Or to Tristan?

I always love to hear other people's tattoo stories, so I hope some of you will share! I'm also interested in what you find sexy about body art, and what your favorites are. Personally, I love to see a man with an armband, especially dark tribal work around the biceps. I think it's incredibly hot! So, tell me what you think--do you like tattoos on a man? On a woman? If you don't have any yourself, would you ever consider getting one?

Meanwhile, I'll hope you'll visit my website and my blog for news and updates about my books, signings and appearances, and of course, my tattoos!
www.edenbradley.com
www.edenbradley.blogspot.com
You can also find me on MySpace page: www.Myspace.com/EdenBradley

Thanks so much for having me, Anitra! (ooh, that sounded dirty…*G*)

23 comments:

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Well Eden, thanks for being had! *G*

I read that you were recently featured on Playboy radio--how did the interview go?

Mel Hiers said...

Welcome, Eden!

What beautiful artwork on the White Tara! Will you post pictures somewhere when it's finished?

Eden Bradley said...

I was recently on Playboy Radio for the third time, with adult superstars Christy Canyon and Vanessa Blue. Everyone there is SO incredibly nice! Christy has been there each time-it's her show-but the co-hosts have changed, so I've also met Ginger Lynne and Tera Patrick. My b/f always goes with me, which makes him a very happy boy-lol!
Interviewing there is an adventure-it's satellite radio so anything goes! Things get very down and dirty. The other day I read a masturbation scene on the air from THE ART OF DESIRE, and they've had me take calls and give sex advice before... Good clean fun! Okay, good, dirty fun! *G*

Eden Bradley said...

Yes mel-I'll definitely have pics on my blog when I have my White Tara done, which will be August 3rd. It's the last day of the RWA conference which handily is in San Francisco this year, where my artist is. Give me a few days to recover from the conference and I'll post pics!
I still have to figure out what colors I want to use. I'm thinking turquoise for the fabric, but my artist is leaning toward purple...

Savanna Kougar said...

Hi Eden, so glad to have you here with us! Turquoise or purple? Being a purple fanatic, yet also loving turquoise...I dunno, if it were my tattoo, I'm not sure which color I'd go for. Like I said before, I adore your White Tara. And if I ever got a tattoo, I'd like a swirly heart design on the back of my right shoulder, or a fairy on a pegusas on my leg, near my ankle, where I got brown spider bite, when I was thirteen. Actually, I really want a belly button ring.
Your neck tattoos are very sexy. In fact, I'm reminded of a woman I saw once who had one of the sexiest tattoo placements I ever saw. Her skin color was a beautiful deep olive, and she just had a symbol in black, on the back of her shoulder, close to the base of her neck. I've never forgotten how impressed I was.
'Sploshing'? There's my ignorance showing.
Eden, you are absolutely amazing in your writing and all you've accomplished, and what you are accomplishing.
And, better days ahead.
Again, thanks, for being with us.

Eden Bradley said...

Thanks for stopping by, Savanna!
My belly button is pierced, too. I love it-it makes me feel sexy! I did it for my 40th birthday. You should do it!
Sploshing is a fetish having to do with liquids. In the case of my hero in my upcoming book, FORBIDDEN FRUIT, he loves to see a woman in the shower wearing his wet T-shirt or her own lingerie. But it also sort of flows over into the heroine's food fetish-they're both into playing with things like honey, chocolate syrup...

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Since I have a morbid fear of needles (I literally faint when I see them) I've never had a tattoo but I find the tribal armbands very sexy on a man. I've used them in a few stories for my futuristic series and once read a story where people had tattoos like UPC symbols on products!

After your beautiful White Tara is complete are you planning on any other tattoos?

Savanna Kougar said...

Eden, thanks for the 'sploshing' explanation. That makes sense. I have to admit I would find it enjoyable to lick chocolate or honey or whipped cream off a man's body. Hey, just make him into a giant banana split -- okay, that didn't 'come' out right. Yeah, I'll go with the banana being a certain part of his anatomy -- which I wasn't thinking of -- 'cause I love banana splits.
Oh, well, if I go on, it will just get decidedly worse...or better from your point of view.
Anitra, I like those tribal armbands also. The primal throbbing juices take over...for sure!

Eden Bradley said...

Anitra-a tattoo needle isn't like a regular needle-think of it more as a ball point pen but sharper. It can only penetrate a few layers of skin, so it's not like getting a shot or anything. Feels more like your skin is being rubbed with sandpaper-just a little irritating-until the endorphins kick in. Then it just feels good...:)
I LOVE the tribal armbands on a man, too-sexy!
Savanna-LOL on your banana split comment!

Eden Bradley said...

Forgot to add...
after the White Tara I *may* consider a sprinkling of cherry blossoms around her-not sure yet. I'll have to see how it feels after I have her colored in.

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

I've seen the pens they use but I think it's the idea in my brain that it's a needle. Clearly, I have some weird issue from my past or my past lives! :)

I've also always liked the Celtic knot designs that some women have around their bellybutton or across their lower back.

But like you said, I think a tattoo should be personal and have meaning to the person being tattooed.

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Sav, LOL about the banana split comment! I'm not much for food play myself but there are a few men I'd love to turn into my own personal "banana split"!

This also makes me wonder about folks writing about other fetish items like rubber, leather, hot/cold (sensation fetish) or clothing fetishes.

I've used a few in some novels but I'm curious about what other people have written or what they like to read.

Savanna Kougar said...

Anitra, yeah, it's a wide, wide world of sexual fetishes out there. The most common one I first knew about, of course, was the foot fetish. Or the shoe fetish. I probably have some, but I don't know what they are. Or what actually qualifies. Certainly my heroines and heroes have their favorite lust turn ons.

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

This is a rather odd thing to confess but in high school I had a b/f that was obsessed with my feet. He loved to rub them and always asked what kind of shoes I was planing to wear on dates. Now, given that I'm a tall woman at 5'9 I thought he wanted me to wear flats so he would look taller . . . years later I realized he had a foot fetish. I wish he would have told me because I wouldn't have been upset or anything. He was so sweet I would have painted my toenails and worn peek-a-boo sandals just for him! Sadly, I just didn't know until I was much older and wiser. ;)

I've also dated a man who loved to wear women's clothing. No, he wasn't gay, just a cross dresser. When he told me the truth, I was totally okay with it since I often wear "man" style clothing (it was the Anne Hall era) so I didn't think it mattered in the least. Honestly I still don't. What he wanted to wear had nothing to do with who he was.

I often wish folks would be more honest about their kinks--they would be more likely to find a soul mate who understands or can at least accommodate their fantasy.

Well, let me now hop off my soap box. :)

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Oh, one last comment, if you think a cross dresser can't be sexy or manly you simply must read Suite Seventeen by Portia Da Costa.

Trust me, this novel will open your eyes about that particular fetish. ;)

Savanna Kougar said...

Anitra, So far, I've only read excerpts from Portia's novels. She has a lovely style of writing. It just flows like a stream or a river, with all the bends and rapids and smooth parts.
Honestly, I don't how I would I feel about a cross-dressing man because I've never known one. However, what I relate to is how in the past, there were eras where men dressed flamboyantely, more in the styles this culture would now consider feminine. I've always thought those definitions complete bunk and basically stupid. Come on, how sexy is a man in Rennaisance outfit, or Medieval like at the Ren Faires.
As far as revealing fetishes or sexual preferences, who do you trust? Really, since all of that can be used against you at some point in time. Generally, human relationships aren't stable enough, or mature enough, that there isn't some danger of being betrayed big time. Or in ways that could actually ruin your entire life.
It's totally sad. I wish there was a lot more trust and love. That's one reason I only write about heroines and heroes who are not petty in their behavior, and who are not emotionally immature.

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

I agree with you totally, Savanna. There is a maturity with accepting sexual needs/quirks/desires. I think we do the most damage to ourselves and our lovers when we throw up blocks. Accepting ourselves is always the first step. Accepting our lover is the next. Love and sex are inextricably intertwined. I'm often disappointed by people who can't/won't accept the wonderful rainbow of sexuality.

Censorship is always ugly. I'm discovering there are many in RWA who want to censor erotica where they would NEVER censor inspirational romance.

Savanna Kougar said...

Censorship. Yep, the nature of the beast side of humanity, IMO. Unfortunately, I think it's only going to become worse. And we need to find those of us who are of like mind, who we can trust and share with.

Eden Bradley said...

I love writing about fetishes-I've written BDSM/leather fetish, tattoo fetish, food fetish. I think this sort of complex issue makes for deep characters-and it's all fascinating to me!
Anitra-I have a long-time friend who is a cross-dresser. Totally straight, macho guy-very into football and camping. But he really gets off on wearing women's clothing. Floral dresses, to be specific. He also has a flower fetish, which I think is rather sweet. I actually used his story about how that came about in my upcoming food fetish book, FORBIDDEN FRUIT. (my heroine is a university socliology professor who teaches a class on alternative sexuality).
And I totally agree that people would be happier if they were honest about what their needs are-sexual and otherwise! But it's difficult to be that open without being judged. You and Savanna are so right that people need a certain level of maturity in order to handle knowing other people's truth.
BTW-I LOVE Portia's work! Her books are so raw, her characters so real.

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi Eden, thank you for joining us on Title Magic. Sorry to be late to the party: the story of my life!

I love the tribal armband tatoos on men. The sort you see on the young tanned surfers. And I saw a pic of a male porn star once with a tatoo of a sun on his belly--which was incredibly hot. It probably helped that he was naked and well endowed as well LOL.

I wouldn't have a tatoo myself. The reason: a combination of being a coward and the wrong generation. If I were going to do anything like that it would have been when I was younger. My daughter would like a tatoo, but she has a fear of needles--so it probably isn't going to happen!

Crystal Jordan said...

I love your tattoos, Eden! Can't wait to see your goddess colored in.

Savanna Kougar said...

Helen, too bad you don't have that pic of the man with the sun-tattooed loins! Hey, talk about an interesting addtion to the hero's physique.

Crystal, nice to see you over here, Ms. Hot Success author.

Lexie O'Neill said...

Eden,
Once again, I'm very late to the party! Thanks for blogging with us--I can only use the excuse...I gave a sleepover party for my 11 year old Friday night, making cakes, cleaning house, organizing games...somehow, I found it very hard to switch over to erotica and tattoos:)
Best of luck with your writing, and thanks for blogging,
Lexie