Most spanking fiction centers around the domestic discipline relationship and focuses on the heroine being spanked by the hero for various infractions. While there may be a plot outside of the spanking, take away the spanking and there is no story. But from beginning to end, author Jade Cary has broken the mold in The Point of it All, a unique, realistic romantic thriller with a complex plot that also involves spanking. It’s a well written suspenseful story, but largely because of the spanking, The Point of it All has divided readers – they either love it or hate it.
Here the blurb:
Diana Kenyon is a beautiful, successful doctor with her own practice and her own life. But the occasional work she does for the DC-based Stanton Group thrusts her into the dark world of political refugees, kidnapping and torture. Her boss, and godfather, Jack Stanton, runs an organization that rehabilitates victims of political torture, giving them new faces, thanks to Dr. Kenyon, and new lives, thanks to The Stanton Group. When Jack thinks Diana might be at risk herself, he forces her to attend a seminar that will hopefully give her the skills she needs to keep herself safe.
As the company owner of VRS Securities, Valerio Rios knows his subject well, and his seminars are well-attended by top executives from top companies who do not want to pay huge ransoms for their executives’ safe return. Val has seen firsthand what these victims go through. When Diana turns up missing, Val is hired to find her and bring her home safely. But rescuing the beautiful doctor is not the end of Val’s work. Someone is after her, and Val is determined to keep the independent and strong-willed lady safe. As he tries to find out who is after her, and why a successful doctor was taken in the first place, lies, deceit and mistrust hinder his efforts. Val Rios is a no-nonsense man, and Diana Kenyon is stubborn, willful and independent. Sparks fly as Val grows more determined to see her safe, and in his bed where she belongs.
Cara Bristol: How much/what kind of research did you do for The Point of It All?
Jade Cary: I researched the smaller details, like the Gitanos people who kept Diana before Val found her. I needed a neutral party who kind of did their own thing; people Diana could get behind and feel safe with, and whom Val wouldn’t feel the need to fight unless he had to. I researched parts of Mexico that were arid vs tropical for the escape scenes; I got my geography straight.
Cara Bristol: What inspired the story? What came first, the story or the characters?
Jade Cary: The story came first, definitely. Years ago I followed a couple of stories in the news about businessmen being kidnapped and held for huge ransoms to be paid by their companies or their families. The subject matter was fascinating to me. And then I read about some people who had just been released from captivity, and the media was making this woman out to be a hero, until her fellow captors came out and said that she scored favors from her captors by outing other prisoners, even getting some of them killed. The psychology that plays out under these conditions really peaked my interest. I took it from there.
Cara Bristol: What you’ve done was different in the domestic discipline genre because you’ve combined a romantic suspense/thriller with domestic discipline. Can you speak to that?
Jade Cary: Back in the day, many romances contained at least one spanking scene, and most contained at least the threat. I miss those books, but with the publishing culture the way it is today, it’s a taboo subject. I have always preferred novels/stories that contained spanking rather than a spanking romance. I’m not terribly interested in writing about That Thing We Do as an advocate, or to have the entire book be about negotiating that kind of relationship. Others (you, Alta Hensley) do that very well, by the way. I am more interested in the mystery/suspense romance and, oh by the way, the hero spanks the unfortunate woman who loves him. All my books will fall along those lines, with the exception of To Love a Woman, which is a love story, period. The spanking is consensual, save for one scene, and the story is their story.
Cara Bristol: How would you answer detractors who object to a woman who’d been kidnapped and traumatized being spanked by her rescuer?
Jade Cary: I suppose to answer that you have to understand Val Rios. He has one job, and that is to bring Diana Kenyon back to her family. He’s being paid to do that; it’s the business he is in. Add to that a certain something he sees in Diana when they meet for the first time at the seminar. She got under his skin. At the Gitanos encampment, she refuses to go with him, and when he tells her he is there to take her home, and insists very reasonably that she must come with him, she disappears and comes out with a gun. At that point, he tells her what he will do to her if she does not put the gun down and come with him. He doesn’t fool around. This is life or death for him, too, as many victims can and will turn against their rescuers. He has no idea what to expect from her, and he believes she will comply. When she does not, he has no choice but to follow through on his threat. He figures a spanking is not the worst thing to happen to her, and he just needs to get her out of there while keeping both of them, and his men, alive. He is in no way like the people who kidnapped her. In that first scene, Diana’s restraints are somewhat internal, even though she is no longer being physically restrained. He gets that. They both go through some internal struggle and forgiveness after that incident, and they end up fine with each other the next day. I thought about how readers might interpret that scene. I struggled with the fairness of that scene a lot. I mean A LOT. I struggled with the whole book, to be honest. It’s the single hardest thing I have ever written. The Point of it All is not warm and fuzzy. And a man like Val isn’t always fair. Diana understands that eventually. She’s tough.
Cara Bristol: The Spanish tidbits are so well integrated into the story. Do you speak the language?
Jade Cary: A little. I love language, especially Spanish and Italian. I did a lot of research on phrases, how something like, ‘I’ll spank you” would be said by someone who speaks Spanish, and knows the person he’s speaking to does, too. In that first scene at the Gitanos encampment, I had Val give his warning to Diana in Spanish because it felt, to me, (with English being my first language) less threatening. I figured Diana would feel the same. You saw how that turned out.
Cara Bristol: Diana is brilliant and courageous, but she’s also quite spoiled, and on occasion, childish. Why did you choose to portray her in that manner?
Jade Cary: Because I think we all get that way sometimes, don’t we? Especially when we are in situations where we lack some control. I think we also do it to test, and Diana tested Val—often. I also wanted to show that after such a traumatic experience, a person doesn’t think clearly. You might be brilliant, but no one is perfect. By the time she ends up with Val at the safe house, she needs to know that she is safe, and that, no matter what she does, he’ll keep her safe—from herself and from others. He doesn’t baby her at all. He knows she has to stand on her own two feet and mend eventually. Lastly, it’s rare that a man spanks a reasonable woman.
Cara Bristol: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about The Point of it All?
Jade Cary: I think with The Point of it All, people take away from it what they will. What I am most proud of is that the book made readers laugh, it made them cry, it made them angry. I’ve done my job as a writer.
Cara Bristol: What else have you written?
Jade Cary: My latest is called To Love a Woman, and it is about a December-May relationship. I wanted to write about an older woman and a younger man, and to have the heroine NOT be the pursuer—the cougar, if you will.
Cara Bristol: What do you like about writing domestic discipline? Do you see yourself continuing with this or do you plan to write into other genres?
Jade Cary: I already do write in other genres. I’m a poet, I write crime fiction under another name, I write straight romance. I like the DD genre because it allows me to include a side of romance that is very real, yet quite taboo with mainstream publishers. It’s OK to write a romance where he ties her up, and he takes her to the dungeon for a whipping because it’s fantasy-based, and consensual. That kind of book will spend months on the bestsellers list, as we all know. With TTWD—at least the way I write it—it’s non-con most of the time. It’s real—or as real as I can make it without the scenes being over-the-top. There’s anger involved—and crying. I like to read it, and I like to write it without constraints (no pun intended).
Cara Bristol: Who are you when you’re not writing?
Jade Cary: Mom, wife, daughter, friend.
Cara Bristol: Quick five…
You can invite five famous people to a dinner party. Who are they: Well, three of them are dead, but here goes: George Clooney, Ellen Degeneres, Tupac Shakur, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz
Without looking, reach into your purse and pull out three items. What do you have: A wooden hairbrush, the Betsy Johnson pouch where I carry my essentials, a chapbook of poetry written by my good friend Adesh.
If you weren’t a writer, you would be a… Doctor
Your favorite spanking implement: Hand
A favorite book from childhood: Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates
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