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!
You can also find me on MySpace page: www.Myspace.com/EdenBradley
Thanks so much for having me, Anitra! (ooh, that sounded dirty…*G*)