Thursday, September 4, 2014

Guest Post & Excerpt ~*~ The Black Door by Charlotte Howard

About a year ago, I was waiting for my second novel to be published and had an itch to get writing. I came up with the idea of an older heroine (thanks to a reader’s suggestion), having an affair with her boss and discovering the darker, more adventurous side to sex. The Black Door. It sounded like a great title, and the name of a fetish club! Ooh idea… Jot that down. She discovers a fetish club.

The problem is that I’ve never been to a fetish club. In fact the most adventurous I’ve been is walking into an Ann Summers shop and proudly walking down the street with a branded bag. Of course I have an idea what fetishes exist – I’ve seen those weird documentaries about living dolls **shivers**, I’ve also seen the “Real Life Fifty Shades” documentaries about doms and subs.

Realising that it was going to take a lot of research, I decided to let my characters take me where they wanted to go, and if I needed to go to Torture Garden with my friends, then I would. (We didn’t go, but we are still talking about it…) Of course my husband is more than willing to help out with the research side of any erotic novel that I’m writing. Men.

So, I put fingers to keyboard and started typing. A lot changed between the first draft and the final version of the novel. Originally it was going to be at least a duet, and there was a lot of hot sex in it! Unfortunately I came to realise that it was going down the same storyline as my previous novels. Written in first person, it was a love triangle. I didn’t want people to think I’d hashed an already used storyline, so I swapped and changed it about. This meant having to rethink the plot.

Names changed, relationship statuses were switched around, two people became one, several characters were cut altogether, and I centred the story heavily on Imogen and Cal. I wanted it to be an erotic romance – I like sex, and I like writing about it. But I also wanted it to be a contemporary romance. I didn’t want people to be hiding behind their e-Reader, ashamed that someone might see what it is that they’re reading.

You see, in the beginning, The Black Door had a more prominent place in the novel. Most of the story took place there, and like I said, there was a lot of sex, involving all manner of toys and stuff. By cutting it out I got down to the bones of the novel and found a love story, a story of self discovery as opposed to sex discovery, and I think it works. But I’ll leave you to be the judge of that.

Men. All the bloody same.

My mind traced back to the day I had given up on one-sided monogamous relationships.

The children were at school or work, and the sun was beating down. It was a glorious day, and I had decided to go home for lunch, rather than spend it in a stuffy office.

I pulled up outside the house and a fleeting thought passed through my mind when I saw Connor’s car sitting in the driveway. My husband of eighteen years had had the same idea.

I crept into the house, hoping to surprise him. But, it turned out that his idea had involved a slutty bottle-blonde.

I wanted to blame the events that followed on a red mist descending over me. The truth is that in the time it took for my mind to register that some tart was riding my husband in what I later found out was known as reverse cowgirl, my mind had calculated the necessary response.

The skank lost a good handful of bleached hair, roots and all. I allowed her to gather her clothes and watched as she tugged her pants on whilst running out of the house. If nothing else, the neighbours got a good show.

Connor yelled at me. But his words were drowned out by the blood pumping in my ears. I marched back up the stairs and into his little study. Opening the window, I saw Miss Slut stood in the middle of the road, screeching obscenities at me. I looked at the Ferrari in our driveway and smiled.

I think his Xbox enjoyed its first and final flying lesson as it sailed out of the window. The fact that it landed in the bonnet of his prized mid-life crisis proved that Karma does exist.

Connor. Holly.

I made a mental note of the two names at the top of my imaginary hit list.

I blinked and I was back in the boardroom.


Imogen Pearce is a single mum of four children and fast approaching 40, she works at Ryedale Incorporated where she has to battle a younger and smarter generation to get to where she wants to go. If that means taking on the account of Cherry and Sean Rubin’s adult shop, then she will. But what happens when Imogen discovers the private club that they run at the back? And what happens when she realizes she knows quite a few members?

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Author bio and links

British author Charlotte Howard, was born in Oman and spent much of the first part of her life flitting between Oman, Scotland, and England. Now settled in Somerset, Charlotte lives with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets.
Her career as a writer began at an early age, with a poem being featured in an anthology for the East Midlands. Since then Charlotte has written many short stories and poems, and finally wrote her first full-length piece of fiction in 2010.
During what little spare time she has, Charlotte enjoys reading and writing (of course), spending time with her family, and watching action movies whilst eating curry and drinking tea.
Charlotte is an active member of Yeovil Creative Writers.

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