Celeste Jones is known for the contemporary spanking romances and her online Spanking Stories Book Club. She is one of the co-authors of the Coming to Terms domestic discipline anthology, and will be penning another story for next collection, Milestones. Like many other spanking fiction authors I know, she is branching out. She has ventured into historical romance with Lady Katherine’s Comeuppance, her debut Regency spanking romance.
Celeste Jones: Regency is all about rules, expectations, proper behavior and reputation which provide a rich background for spanking and discipline. In addition, women’s roles were strictly defined and their options, particularly for a ‘lady’ were very limited. Marriage was a woman’s ultimate goal. A ‘good marriage’ was more likely to mean to a man with money or social status rather than romantic love. That’s another aspect of Regency which I think makes for good spanking romance: a couple who are married not because they are deeply in love but because it makes good sense. Will they learn to love each other or spend the rest of their lives going through the motions?
Cara Bristol: What are the challenges to writing a historical romance as compared to a contemporary one? Did you have to do much research?
Celeste Jones: More than I expected! I did some research before I started and felt ready to go, but it didn’t take long before I had to stop and look up things like Regency nightgowns or breakfast foods. The names and titles and Lady Firstname vs. Lady Lastname had my head spinning and I’m still not sure I got it right. Mostly I just tried not to get anything blatantly wrong.
One challenge is making sure the language isn’t too modern. I’m working on another Regency and the other day I wrote something like “he tore her clothes off like a hungry man unwrapping a sandwich” and then I thought: Did they have sandwiches then? If so, did they wrap them? But hey, it’s a first draft so I left it in.
Cara Bristol: *Nodding* As I reader I appreciate that attention to detail. I find it jarring when modernism intrudes into historical fiction. Tell us a little about Lady Katherine’s Comeuppance.
Celeste Jones: Lady Katherine’s Comeuppance takes place in 1813. Thomas Winchester, an American, arrives in London to assume the role of Earl of Winchester after the death of a distant cousin. Lady Katherine is the widow of the former earl. Because the estate is entailed upon the male line, she did not inherit her husband’s wealth, though she retained her position. So, what happens when a proper English lady is forced to deal with a brash, and sexy, American who is now the lord of the estate?
I don’t want to give away too much, but I think it’s fair to say that there are some spankings and hot sex.
Cara Bristol: I finished it the other night. I won’t give too much away, either, except to say that Lady Katherine is hot and sweet! I’ve noticed that your spanking fiction has become “sexier,” i.e. more sexually explicit since you first started writing? Can you speak to that? Was that a conscious decision or do you see it as a natural evolution?
Celeste Jones: That’s an interesting question. I think it was more of a natural evolution. When I first started I was writing 4,000 word short stories so I was more focused on having a plausible explanation for the spanking. It’s taken me a little while to realize that’s no longer the rule. Plus, I’ve been reading all the steamy spanking books out there and I think they’ve affected my brain. Hopefully, in a good way.
Cara Bristol: When you read spanking fiction, what do you like to see? What do you enjoy? What do you dislike?
Celeste Jones: I like a strong sexy hero who isn’t afraid to administer some discipline but who doesn’t go on a power trip. I prefer “I’m doing this because you need it” rather than “I’m doing this because I want to or because I can.”
Dislikes: Harsh punishments that are unreasonable for the offense. Bratty women that I wouldn’t want to be friends with because they are selfish or immature. An excessive amount of typos or bad writing will make me stop reading.
Cara Bristol: I think spanking fiction has always existed, but it seems lately that it has come out of the closet. There seems to be more of it and people are more open about admitting they read it. Do you agree or disagree?
Celeste Jones: I’d have to agree based upon the huge number of new books that come out each week and the fact that lots of people seem to be buying them. Whether people are more open about admitting it, I don’t know, since I haven’t really talked about it with anyone in real life. I also think that ereaders have made it easier to buy and read books that you wouldn’t want lying around the house for the kids or in-laws to find.
Cara Bristol: I think one can understand why a spanko would read spanking fiction, but what do you think it offers the vanilla reader?
Celeste Jones: I think spanking is on the vanilla end of the kink spectrum, so for a vanilla reader it offers a bit of taboo and titillation without really rocking their world too much.
Cara Bristol: What else would you like readers to know about Lady Katherine’s Comeuppance?
Celeste Jones: There are many firsts about this book: my first book with a publisher, my first book of this length, my first historical romance, so I am very excited about it and I really hope readers like it.
Cara Bristol: What is next for Celeste Jones?
Celeste Jones: I am working on another Regency spanking story which will be published in November. Next, I’ll work on a short contemporary story for Milestones, the anthology to follow up on Coming To Terms. After that, who knows? But, I’ll keep writing and blogging, that’s for sure. I’m having too much fun to stop now.
Cara Bristol: How open are you in your private/personal life that you write spanking romances? Do you see a stigma attached to writing about domestic discipline?
Celeste Jones: Until recently, only my husband and one friend knew. A couple weeks ago I told two more friends and they were thrilled for me, so that was great. I don’t plan to share much beyond those few people, though.
I think there is, maybe just for me, a stigma attached to writing about domestic discipline. If I were to tell any more people, I’d be more inclined to say “I write erotica” and leave it at that. Domestic discipline is a complicated concept to explain and it is also a hot button issue, even for those who are okay with other kinks. I’m not trying to convert anyone. I just want to write.
Cara Bristol: Let’s play “Quick Five:
If you could vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be: A beach house with a pool
If you could use only one spanking implement, what would it be: Hand, it’s always available
Favorite TV show: The Big Bang Theory
A favorite motivational quote: People find a way to do the things they really want to do.
What are you reading right now: Sheri Saville’s Bound for Disappointment
Lady Katherine’s Comeuppance Blurb
The House of Winchester is set on its ear when Thomas, a distant cousin of the recently deceased earl, arrives to assume his role as Lord Winchester. In addition to an elegant London home and a luxurious country estate, Thomas “inherits” Lady Katherine, the widow of the former earl. Lady Katherine, herself the daughter of an earl, is horrified that a barbaric American will not only be the new lord of the manor, but also responsible for her future support and livelihood. Lady Katherine is determined to maintain her position in society and equally determined to ignore the brash American. That is, until their passions override their good judgment.
When a scandal erupts and forces them to marry, Thomas uses both tenderness and discipline to prepare his wife to face society and regain her good name. Will this fine English Lady surrender to the American?
Excerpt from Lady Catherine’s Comeuppance
“Remember, I told you if you came to me, I would be your lord in every sense of the word. Your compliance and submission will heighten your pleasure… and mine.”
A tight flutter moved from her stomach to her throat and back again.
“If you are unsure,” he turned her and looked directly into her eyes, but he dropped his hands to his sides. She missed the warmth of his touch. He indicated the door which connected their two rooms. “You may reconsider your decision to enter this room. I believe now you have a clear idea of the plans I have for you. Of the delights which await you. But, there is a price to pay. You must give up control, absolute authority, to me.”
Her heart pounded, her lips grew dry, and her eyes went wide. The situation reeked of insanity. If she had any sense, she would run for the door and not stop until she was safely locked on the other side.
She lowered her head in supplication. “Teach me, my lord.”
He slipped his arms around her naked body and pressed his warm hands to the small of her back, capturing her body and her lips and claiming them as his. His tongue slid across her lips, forcing them to open in complete surrender. His hands slid down her backside and clasped her still tingling buttocks in a firm, owner-like, grip. Never had she realized her bottom could be such a source of erotic pleasure, though his continued probing caused her body to stiffen. Another firm swat on her ass caused her to break away from his kiss. His voice was a hot whisper in her ear, “Relax. You must trust me.” As he squeezed her bottom again, his fingers moved dangerously close to her very extra super private opening and she willed herself not to respond.
Thomas, undeterred, continued to squeeze and tease her bottom while simultaneously tantalizing the tender flesh of her throat with his teeth and tongue. She wanted to fret over his intimate exploration of her parts which should not be touched other than for hygienic purposes, but his slow journey down her throat had now moved to her décolletage and by this point, she knew resistance was futile. Like her forefathers at the Battle of Yorktown, she surrendered to the American.
Sensing her submission, Thomas moved his hands from her backside and slid them in a slow caress up the quivering flesh of her tummy to the underside of her ripe and swollen breasts. She strained toward him, aching for him to rasp his thumbs across the hardened tips of her nipples, to suck them into his mouth the way he had with her tongue.
Longing built within her and when she reached the verge of crying out for his touch, she found herself gently set away from him. Her eyes, which had closed long ago, flew open and she tried to adjust to the sudden change in circumstances. Before she fully understood what was happening, Thomas had pulled a straight backed chair from behind the desk and placed it in front of the full length mirror. He nodded to the piece of furniture and she sat down.
When he stepped aside she could see herself reflected in the mirror. Lips dark and swollen from his kisses, breasts flushed and nipples engorged, longing for his touch. Anticipation mingled with fear and nervousness. She could see her breath coming in short anxious gasps.
Thomas stood behind her, his hands stroking her hair as though he could never get enough of its silky essence. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back, enjoying the languid touch of his hands in her tresses. She marveled at his ability to take her to such dizzying heights and moments later have her in a state of such relaxation that sitting in front of a mirror wearing absolutely nothing felt completely comfortable to her.
“Open your legs,” he said, his voice as calm as if he had asked her to pass the marmalade at breakfast, mingled with an unmistakable undercurrent of command.
Her sense of repose disappeared. She would do no such thing. She was a lady. Of course, he had caught her with both hands plundering her own nether region, but it did not mean she wished to display her most private parts to him.
A firm tug on her hair got her attention and told her who was in charge. Curiosity took over. She had never dared examine herself in such a personal way. It was shameful enough to acknowledge she had resorted to pleasuring herself more often than she cared to admit since the death of her husband.
Another tug at her hair, this one more intense than the first, inspired her to act and she slid her thighs apart.
“More.” A third yank.
Katherine glided her legs across the smooth surface of the chair until her glistening sex sparkled in the looking glass
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Please join me the rest of this week for more historical fiction author interviews. Wednesday, Aug 21 will be Barbara Bettis with Silverhawk (medieval), Thursday, Aug. 22 will be Karla Tipton with Rings of Passage (medieval), and Friday will be Renee Rose, the jill-of-all-historical genres, with her soon-to-be-released Married to the Rake.