Allison Temple Blog

Awkward and Thoroughly Kissable
Posts in writing
My Favourite Piece (slightly NSFW)

people-2598698_1920

What is your favourite thing you've written (and why)?

(this post is based on the Marketing for Romance Writers 52 Week Challenge)

Oh god, you're asking me this? That's like choosing between my children! Except it's worse, because I don't even have any children!! You want me to pick one of my word babies?!

The Pick Up will always have a special place in my heart, because it's my first and you never forget your first.

Really though, if I had to pick one, there's this short I wrote at a workshop a couple years ago. It was the first time I'd shared something sexy in a group. And they liked it, so much that I got invited to read it at an erotica night.

And sometimes, when I write, the words just flow like this giant out of body experience that means suddenly there's a whole person on the page who I've never met before. This was one of those times.

So here's my TED Talk...er...here's my favourite piece. I hope this preamble has made it clear that it's a little racy, but no one will ever know if you read it quietly at the office.


Old Gods

With him, it is fever and it is ice. With him, I burn and he leaves me frozen in place at the same time.  We come together with the pace of glaciers, and the force of oceans. It is everything I said I would never be, and everything I wanted to become. I am helpless to be anything but his, while my body and my blood scream to take back even the smallest amount of what I have given up.

This is entirely my doing; he has never asked for nor taken anything from me. He has been a benevolent guide, the north star in the night sky, who let me turn in his orbit until he had become so intrinsic to my universe that I couldn’t remember when and where we started. The vastness that surrounds us lets in no light, no sound from beyond the world that he has made. With no path behind me, there is no path forward and out. There is only the path that he chooses for us, and I have become a willing apostle to his teachings. I will sit at his feet, or at his right hand, keep myself close to catch even the smallest truth from his lips.

He gives only as it suits him and I am grateful because when he gives I am blinded with the intensity of it. His fingers play my ribs like strings on a harp, pulling notes from my lungs that sing hymns of ancient pleasure. His breath on my neck as he stands behind me makes tiny hairs dance with the exaltation of angels whose king has finally come.

Our sacrifices are few, and at bedtime, more often than not, I am left alone, a tangled mess of want in cold sheets. I can warm them on my own with little coaxing, clever fingers knowing how to tease small tremors from my thighs and quiet sighs from my lips. It is not enough, cannot ever fill the need that he has never named. The craving is a beast, trapped in a maze of desire with the only way free through him.

“What do you want?” he whispers into my mouth, as his long man’s fingers trace curves in search of what I will give him. The weight of him on me, the heat of skin on skin has melted my thoughts and I cannot say the thing I want most. I arch and he presses against me, holding me in place, but I feel him, his humanity betrayed, hard and already leaking, and this time I know it is real, really happening. He will bless me tonight and I will be grateful for every moment.

“What do you want?” he says again. His cheek rasps against my skin. His lips are on my nipple, sucking pleasure from pain and I would tell him what I want if I had not already given all my want to him. I want what he wants, whatever he will give or take, demand or offer. I want to see his control shatter and crash, a ship on the rocks, contrasting so much with the way I have offered myself up, crumb by crumb, leaving me naked and open with no voice but the one that moans his name as he touches needy heat.

“What do you want?” he asks as fingers stroke through my desire. My only possible answer is to roll my hips up and my head back, to show him where to touch when I have no way to tell him. I feel breath on my skin, puffed out over his low laugh as he continues to forge his own trail. He takes his pleasure in mine, and I lack the words to say that I am the same, that our pleasure is shared, although he seems so big, and I have made myself so small. We are the same animal, because he has made me that way. Carved me out and moulded me against him until my edges are soft again.

“What do you want?” he asks as tongue and fingers invade at the same time, pushing into me, searching for my response to fire his own. He rocks against me in the old dance, two partners spinning together and away, accompanied only by the music of our breath. He seeks entrance, but will not ask for it. He will wait until I am high and spent and then take it, because I gave him my silent permission so many ages before.

“What do you want?” His fingers leave me, empty, slide forward, find the spot. His voice purrs encouragement in my ear, a commanding litany, as I roll into him, helpless against the pull of his tide. Like a moon, he circles without getting nearer. If I had voice I would weep at the need that trembles low in my belly as his fingers stray from their course to brush closer. The trembling spreads as the tension creeps forward. I bite my lip to keep silent as he continues to work my pleasure up to meet his. Muscles tighten, try to curl in on themselves, even while stretching to reach for his warmth and weight at the same time.

“What do you want?” he asks one more time, knowing in his voice. He knows I am lost again, I have followed him down his path once more. I would tell him not to stop, but my teeth are fastened to his shoulder; they will leave a small mark to show my passing. When the trap springs inside me, even then I do not expect it, and the blaze that follows is a fire in the forest that consumes me. It leaves me stripped and bare for him to finally take and use as he wants, to build up again in his own image, which is all I have wanted from the very beginning.

 

 

My Mom Might See This

caleb-woods-182648 Last week there was much righteous angst and furor over Romance's 'feature' in the New York Time Book Review. Apparently it started out promising, with an entwined couple on the review's cover. The NYT promised readers a Roundup of the Season's Romances. Then things started to fall apart, the roundup written by someone who either has an axe to grind or couldn't be bothered to do anything like research.

By the time I heard about the sexist and patronizing drivel contained in said roundup, the editorials and angry rants had already started happening online. I mean, some of the books cited weren't even published this season, or even in this decade. What was the point of the title? And then the review's author rounded it all up with "Why shouldn't women dream?"

Thanks. I didn't need your permission. I'll dream on my own terms.

 When I got married, Jane Austen loomed large in speeches from family. My cousin played a guessing game of romantic quotes (she might have spiked the deck with a quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, just because she could). My mom referred to the ubiquitous accomplished woman, but pointed out that in the 21st century, we liked to snorkel, could rock a hard hat on a job site, and our extensive reading now included sparkling vampires (it was the height of the Twilight craze, don't judge).

I don't feel the need to defend my reading preferences, or my writing ones. I like what I like. There are so many moving and beautifully written romances out there. It's disheartening to see articles like the NYT that perpetuate the attitudes that romance novels are something that should be hidden under your mattress, and that the genre only includes heterosexual dukes, governesses, billionaires and pregnant virgins. I know that's not true and, if you're reading this, you probably know that's not true too. Those of us who write queer characters, or space pirates, or even Scottish lairds not in the Regency period, are all very disappointed to hear that we don't write 'real' romance.

My bio is up on the Riptide website. I showed it to my boss, who is white, male, and in his fifties. He poked around the website for a minute. "I'm noticing a trend in what they publish," he said. Nary a heterosexual duke or pregnant virgin to be seen. I just raised an eyebrow. He's an observant fellow, my boss.

I shared the bio link on every social media channel I have. Mid-day today, Facebook told me my mom had liked my author page. That made my heart skip a little. She's been very supportive my adventures in publishing, going so far as to scoop up a stack of my newly printed business cards to give to friends the last time she came to visit, but she hasn't hunted me down online until now. On my drive home, she proudly told me over the phone that she has added my blog to her Wordpress favourites (I didn't even know she knew how to do that). Cue another heart skip.

All this to say, my mom might see this post. I'm not stuffing my writing under the mattress. I started dreaming about this long before the New York Times told me it was okay. I'm lucky I have family who support this crazy publishing dream, when so many people, both strangers and others, are more than happy to roll their eyes and snicker at the inhabitants and creators Romancelandia.

My mom is going to see this post. Leave a comment to say hi, so she knows how cool we all are.