Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On Not Going Gentle...

I received a recent email from my friend Doreen deSalvo (romance writer and one of the founders of the erotic romance publisher Loose-Id Books -- that's their logo over on the left) with this parting quote embedded:

What do you have now, and what do you covet, that you would not gladly trade for, say, five extra years?

It's from the journalist Michael Kinsley (past and founding editor of, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a few years ago, and who wrote about life expectancy and other related issues in a wonderful piece called "Mine is Longer than Yours." Kinsley's condition is controlled right now, and he continues to write beautifully and with great urgency.

As one always ought to do, with the end in view.

Inspiring me to try and do likewise (at least qua the urgency) at the end of the life of this blog, while bidding my bloggies -- Jane, Celia, Kate, Lacy, Colette, and Sharon -- a tearful and grateful farewell.

We never really stated our common theme, and I don't know if we'd even agree on one -- not to speak of what any of us meant by "erotic historical."

But my guess is that there has been a consistent concern pumping through the heart of this blog (pumping, mind you, do let's give throbbing a well-deserved rest, okay?) And this constant concern has probably been something like "how do you write from the heart of your obsessions and keep yourself real and grounded at the same time?"

Starting with the obsession thing. I loved the fact that on this blog we wondered out loud what caused us to look deep within our fantasy lives and not blink at the surprising things we found there. Things no one told us were sexy (isn't it weird to live during a period where erotic taste is always being dictated, as though it were fashion or politics or morality...-- though who knows, maybe it does reflect aspects of them).

We brought words and objects back from the past, we ventured into the paranormal, and we weren't afraid of that other p-word, the pornographic. (Pausing for a brief message from the sponsor: you know I'm going to keep trying to understand where the boundaries of the erotic, the pornographic, and the romantic lie, and then do my best to confound them -- check my blog from time to time, and just about anything I'm likely ever to write for more wonkery on the subject).

While as for staying real and grounded: while we were testing boundaries, we were also trying to make deadlines, get kids to school, negotiate the erotic romance biz. We were distracted, exhausted, exasperated. Sometimes we were late to post.

We had fun -- well, I did anyway. But then, I've always believed that erotic writing is its own reward (which in the ups and downs of a career has to be a good thing), and that writing about erotic writing can be too.

And so now I'm tiptoeing away to turn off the lights.

And close the door. Because that's all there is (as they say in one of my all-time favorite children's books).

There isn't any more.

Good night, ladies.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sad Sad Day…

I have been thinking about what to post today for the past week. First, I thought I should do one more post on some historic bit of information. Then I thought I should just for fun ask everyone what their favorite sex word off of my website list was. Then I simply wanted to let you all know what how very much I have appreciated being apart of this blog and the readership that we have shared. The last one won out.

I want to thank you all Celia, Pam, Janet, Kate, Sharon, and Colette for allowing me a glimpse into all of your creativity, lives, and minds. You are all beautiful, wonderful, human beings and I was honored, humbled, and inspired to be included in a blog with you all. I shall miss each and every one of you.

Readers, Thank you for you comments, laughter, questions and support of all of our kinky creative minds! I shall miss you all.

Sniffle... Sniffle... Sniffle.

Oh, what the heck, just for the fun of it, what is your favorite word/phrase off my dirty words list?

Mine is bald headed hermit used for the prick of course. Grin.

Hugs and Kisses,

Friday, September 5, 2008

Reflections (on Spiced Tea and Strumpet Crumpets)

It’s funny that we’re saying goodbye to the Spiced Tea Party blog just as we’re also saying goodbye to summer (verrry sad up where I live, where the good weather doesn’t last long). School just began for my wee ones, with my son heading off for his very first year. He loves it, but I definitely had some teary eye moments as I watched him go.

I’m going to miss blogging here. It’s been a year of changes for me—some health issues in the extended family, the writing my first book for Bantam Dell (The Club), and then the revising :-). This week brought good news—author copies of Hot Silk (my next Aphrodisia) and coverflats for The Club. Much loving caressing of the embossed title on The Club's cover occurred. And also sadness, this week, as I chose my day to say good bye here.

One of the main things I’m going to miss, as Kate mentioned, is the chance to read the posts of my fellow strumpet crumpets—Celia, Colette, Jane, Kate Lacy, Pam. I loved having the chance to learn, to discover a new book (or an interesting invention of human sexuality) I’d never heard of before. I loved to mull over the posts for a few days after, then apply the thoughts they inspired to my books. When it was my turn, I’d sit down at the keyboard and wonder what I could share…

Kate and Celia did a wonderful job of pinpointing what was unique about we crumpets’ posts. And I appreciated the times I got to meet my fellow crumpets, and having the chance to form friendships.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a photo to top Jane’s photo of Prince Harry. (Honestly, I doubt I could ever find one!) But I wanted to post an excerpt from Hot Silk:


She had stood there and listened to the twaddle his bloody titled brother had fed her, but she ran away from him.

Devlin would not stand for it.

All he wanted to do was help her.

Heedless of the wet rock, he took the steps three at a time. Grace reached the small terraced plateau before he caught her.

Not there. He was not about to have a confrontation in this place—so he scooped her into his arms. She squealed and pushed against his biceps. "Don’t struggle, love. If I drop you here, you’ll roll down the steps."

God, she was a delicious weight in his arms. Her lush bottom rested against his forearm and his hand splayed over her shapely back. Instead of taking the path down, he took a narrow track away from the edge of the ridge and found his father’s folly. Bushes now obscured the path, but the branches were only budding and the white columns and oriental roof peeked through.

Slowly, Grace slid her hands up to his shoulders and held on as she twisted in his arms. "What is this?"

"Where I was conceived," he said with wry humor.

Pushing open the door with his boot, he gave a sigh. The daybed cushions bore stains and mildew, and dirt and dust coated everything. "Apparently my father hasn’t been trysting with the same regularity he used to."

"You are not taking me in there. It was bad enough that I went to the summerhouse at his lordship’s summons—I will not be carried in against my will."

Her breath brushed his face, warm and sweet.

"Is it against your will, Grace? Is that the truth?"

God, but her scent drove him mad. Rock hard, aroused to the point he could barely think, he refused to press his interests. He was not going to seduce her. He was not going to act like his damned brother.

"You thought I would be willing to become his mistress. After what he did. What he said. You think nothing of me—of course, you don’t—"

Putting her on her feet stopped her words. He touched his thumb to her lips in the doorway of the once sumptuous room where a hundred women had fallen in love with his randy father. Even through the leather of his glove, he caught his breath at the softness of her mouth, the sheer velvet perfection of those rose-pink lips. "I was afraid you felt forced to accept, love."

Her breath hitched—he heard it—and she brushed a soft kiss to his black gloved thumb. "I turned down your offer, Mr. Sharpe. I would never accept his."

From "Hot Silk" by Sharon Page ©2008. Coming October 2008 from Kensington Aphrodisia.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

And in the end...

I'm going to miss this blog. I LOVED reading everyone else's posts.
Jane made me laugh and snort tea on my keyboard on more than one occasion.
Lacy made me want to a) look like her and b) go to all those interesting places.
Colette inspired me with her rewriting of the classics.
Sharon's excerpts and thoughts on writing encouraged me to write better
Celia May Hart's dry wit and posts on her own writing challenges were inspirational.
And Pam? Pam's fascinating posts made me think-often for days until I could formulate a reply that made sense.

So thanks to everyone for inspiring me and thanks to our readers as well. Please come and find us at our other hang outs!

love Kate x

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Waving goodbye...

Well, not really. I'll be around like a loudmouthed bad penny here and there on the internet. You can catch me on Thursdays at Risky Regencies and occasionally at the Wet Noodle Posse, and dropping in at various places.

To be honest, sometimes I don't feel like an erotic romance writer. I'm not that interested in obscure sexual practices, because so many of them sound just weird. I'd be the person at the orgy wandering around asking if anyone wanted a cup of tea after they'd finished doing that. My characters don't have extensive collections of sex toys but they do drink a lot of tea.

I've loved being here, snarky or otherwise. I hope that what we've written about here has inspired, entertained, or educated you. And I've loved finding photos like this gem of Prince William waving goodbye and really meaning it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And now, the end is near....

A number of us crumpet strumpets caught up with each other at various points of the RWA National conference, and the subject came around: what can we do to keep this blog fun and bring readers to it?

We had plans, grand dreams, but alas, we also had deadlines, and were beginning to run out of ways to talk about historical sex (although who knew that could happen?). I’m going to miss Pam’s erudite posts, Janet’s snarky ones, Lacey writing from far destinations and always looking stunning, Kate's blurring the lines between erotic romance and erotica (with really neat historical pics), Collette's rewriting of the classics, and the "behind-the-scenes" of Sharon's writing process and her characters.

It’s been great forming friendships with my fellow crumpets, and I’ll miss them, but you’ll catch us around on various blog traps. And who knows? Maybe there’ll be a reunion somewhere down the line.

I’m not going to end on a sad note, or indeed, share my idea of who would be the sexiest man on legs (first, it varies, and currently, it’s Jeremy Irons), but on a note of hope.

Unleash Your Story: Make A Difference started yesterday. It’s a group of authors and readers with writing and reading goals for the month of September and raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The aim is to raise $10,000 during the month of September.

Leanne Shawler is one of the many authors who are writing and raising funds for this cause. (Wish I could, but this is my bit to help her out.) If you wish to make a donation to CFF as part of this event, go here.

We've decided to keep this blog online at least for the time being. Thank you everyone for reading and participating in this little corner of the bloggy world!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We're in San Francisco!

Back next week...we're at Romance Writers of America's national conference.

Look out for us at RWA's Readers for Life Literacy Autographing, Wednesday July 30, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the San Francisco Marriott. Open to the public--more info here.

See you later!