First I want to share two snippets of extra-novel fiction I wrote just for this post.
Mother grabbed Mearr by the upper arm, the skin turning white with the force. She screamed. "You aren't going to school dressed like that! You know pants and make up are against my rules, you slut."
"Your rules are absurd. No one else at my school has stupid rules like yours." Mearr glared at her mother. Why had she been cursed with such horrible parents?
"I don't care what those other children are allowed. Go fix yourself now!"
Mearr ran up the stairs to her bedroom and slammed the door behind her. She was within the school dress code; why was her mother such a bitch? She'd put on the skirt and just change at school again. Bitch would never know the difference.
The Queen held Vala with an intense stare. "The first and most important rule for my slaves is not to lie to me. I value truthfulness." He dragged his finger down her chest, stopping on her stomach. "However I do sometimes think the Christians have it right that confession is good for the soul. I may punish less if the truth is quickly told me. I might."
Vala licked her lips. "I can live with that rule, my Queen. After spending so much time lying to my mother for my father, I think I should enjoy the chance to always be truthful."
"I hope so." The Queen leaned in to kiss Vala. "Lies found out tend to earn the liars my harshest punishments."
So do you wanna argue with me that Mearr is a child being told a rule by her parent (she's a teen there BTW) and Vala years later is a young adult (about 19 years old) talking to The Queen as another adult? So the two aren't a correct comparison? I don't agree- with those who think that's the case. However the point between these two snippets is not about who is making and enforcing the rules, but about consent and negotiation. Can you imagine Mearr talking to her mother about the rules about dress? Nope, I can't either. But The Queen, who longs to be in a BDSM Master/slave relationship with Vala, is engaging her in conversation about his rules and gives her the space to say if she can live with that first and most important rule of his. The subject of rules and obedience actually takes the center stage of conversation during a lesson of Vala's in the second book in the serial, "Gates of the Garden: Book Two" (expected release date in the next month or so)
Now I want to move from the notion of rules to abuse. You might only see a teen and her mother disagreeing in that snippet above, but what Mearr and her mother have is an abusive relationship. She actually starts out her story living in a coffeehouse after having run away from her parents' abuse. Like I have joked that I'm not the poster child any movement would want, I think Vala would joke the same. Like the stereotype of a BDSM person, she does have abuse and rape in her personal history. But the difference with The Queen and his leather family is that there is consent, negotiation, and the ability to leave. If you search on the Internet "BDSM versus abuse," you'll find dozens of charts, graphs etc that compare the two. I recommend the exercise :D. It may look like (to the untrained eye, unfamiliar with BDSM) that Mearr has escaped the desperation of drug use, prostitution, and living on the street only to be beaten and told what to do, to people who understand and enjoy BDSM, the freedoms The Queen gives Vala are many. He helps her to get healthy, to rename herself with a name she prefers to her birth name, by exposing her widely to all sorts of sexual activity in controlled, safe environments, he helps her to find out more about her sexuality and what she enjoys.
Excerpt from "Out of the Night: Book One" Copyright Joelle Casteel 2007-2014
"You are incredibly beautiful and desirable. I want to help you to become even more so if you will let me mold you." His hand on her cheek, his gaze went down to her stomach to see a multitude of tiny, jagged scars on her stomach.
"Mold me?" A touch of hysteria crept into her voice as she struggled out of his arms. "My mother wanted to mold me into the 'perfect' Christian and she tried to beat and lecture me into the perfect mold. Are you gonna do that too? Beat me into whatever mold you want?"
"No, Mearr. That is not what I meant. I want to help you to become what you want to be."
"Why should I trust you?"
"You should only trust me if I prove to be trustworthy in your eyes." He knelt in front of her. "I want to help you. I want to take you in my arms and hold you until you feel safe, until you feel okay again." He looked up at her from his knees.
"Out of the Night: Book One" blurb
Restless and world-weary, Mearr isn't about to admit she needs anyone's help, even this gorgeous man who has taken her into his home. Well one of his homes and part of this huge family she's heard about but not met all of. She's young, looks young, and knows it but at least she's legal now so she can pick a new name to go with her new life...
The Queen knows he wants Mearr bad, ever since the first time he saw her in the window of the coffeehouse. He has his plan, but even a Dominant's plans don't always survive the unpredictability of the future. He struggles to figure out this temperamental woman he's brought home, how best to help her. Then he takes her to his mansion...
They wait patiently for The Queen to bring Mearr home. Well to the home they've been redecorating for Him and for the hopes that she'll become part of their family and be trained to please Him. Simon and Tommy have seen her, of course, being The Queen's right and left hands; they say she'll be a perfect addition...
Please come along with Joelle on this journey, shared with the readers in serial fashion. A multitude of "Happily-ever-afters" are waiting with the completion of book 9.
Author's Note: This novel is meant for open-minded adults. Activities described include a wide range of BDSM and sexual activities, some of which are male/male, male/female, consensual slavery, oral/anal/vaginal intercourse, bondage. The story also covers some sensitive topics in characters' backstories, such as drug abuse.
Buy it on-
As they become available, please check on the "My Books" page for links to buy on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Allromanceebooks.com, if you'd prefer not to buy at Smashwords.
Joelle Casteel has been writing for as long as she can remember. Explicit, graphic, her writing isn't for minors or the easily offended. Once upon a time, she preferred to write on a PC, sitting on a stool- there were those who told her she looked like Tori Amos playing the piano. She's still trying to get the hang of writing in an arm chair instead, normally with a heavy dog's head resting on her feet, whether she wants that or not. With BDSM gaining a broader audience with various books- which she will not name because she can't stand them- she feels it's past time to put out her impression of what BDSM can look like in reality.