Tag Archives: Lessons in Control

New Release: The Reward (Book 3) by Jade A. Waters

Back in December, I had the happy honor of helping Jade A. Waters celebrate the release of the first book in her Lessons in Control series, The Assignment. Seven months later, I have the equally happy honor of helping her celebrate the release of the last book in the series, The Reward

It’s no secret that Jade and I are close – we both came up in erotica at around the same time and have supported each other every step of the way. That’s why I’m so, so thrilled about this release in particular – it marks the culmination of a massive undertaking, one that Jade slayed. That’s just a goddamn happy thing.

Jade is a meticulous writer and watching her work through the arc of this trilogy was nothing short of inspiring. I picked her brain about the process (and a ton of other things) in that post way back in December, so, rather than do the same thing again, I wanted to put the work itself front and center. So, here is a beautiful except from the third beautiful book in her beautiful series.

If haven’t read them yet, there are links below where you can find all three. And it you’ve already read Book 1 and Book 2, get after Book 3. Seriously. Do it. It’s the perfect hot summer read. 

Excerpt

I returned to the bottom of the stairwell, shivers racing along my arms both at the view of Dean still reading on the couch, and the rope I held in such a tight grip in my hand that the coils dug into my palm. The last week between us had been close, and Dean had been my rock—but with the almost two weeks he’d been gone before that, it’d been such a long time since we’d played the way we both loved. I’d been naked all over this house, but crossing the floor to him now, knowing what was to come, had me wet when I came to face him in the living room.

I stopped directly in front of Dean’s knees. He peeked over the top of his paper at me, his eyes raking from my face to the tops of my breasts and lowering when he tipped the paper down a few inches to clear his view. He was obviously doing his best to torture me, given the hint of a smirk he revealed before going right back to his reading, and standing naked in front of him while he remained clothed had the hairs on my arms standing up in anticipation.

Fortunately, I knew how to get his attention.

I dropped to my knees, then shuffled on the carpet until my breasts pressed flush to the rough texture of his jeans. After resting the rope on the seat of the couch beside him, I slid my palms up Dean’s thighs and straight to his pelvis, where I started to unfasten his jeans.

“What are you doing?”

“Getting what I need,” I said, slowing my words and using the sultriest voice I could muster.

Dean took his time folding the paper while I undid the button of his fly and half the length of his zipper. After he tossed the paper to the other end of the couch, he propped his elbow on the armrest and tilted his cheek against his thumb and forefinger. “And what’s that?”

He didn’t stop me from pressing my breasts up on his thighs, my face close enough to his crotch that he had to feel the heat of my breath when I parted the sides of his jeans. He wasn’t wearing underwear like he sometimes didn’t, and I blew air over his semi-erect length. “Your cock.”

“Mmm. Show me how you need it, then.” My nipples peaked with the low tone of his voice. I’d missed that, him, the subtle squint of his eyes while he waited to see if I’d follow his instruction—but there was no question. I complied, my mouth over him in half a second as a moan escaped my throat. I ran my tongue along his length and tried to part his jeans farther for better access, and Dean cupped his hand over the back of my head, using the slightest pressure to goad me on that made me squeeze my knees together. The swell of my clit had reached unbearable, and we’d only started. Dean inhaled when I struggled to free the entirety of his cock, because I wanted my lips down to the root of him but couldn’t get there with the block of his jeans. I sucked hard and lifted my fingertips to his waistband before Dean caught my hands and clasped them together against his chest. “Not yet, kitten.”

I dragged my mouth up and down, the taste of him rapidly overcoming my every thought, and the friction of my lips along his delicious shaft making me pine for whatever he had planned for me. While I worked, Dean’s breath increased slightly. But he kept his cool, reaching for the rope and starting to unravel it over my head.

“Here’s what I’m thinking.” His voice trembled with my attempts to overwhelm him. I sometimes could, but he held firm, and I wished he didn’t hold my hands in place so I could wrap one around him. “I’m going to use this rope you’ve chosen—an excellent pick, by the way—to get you right where you need to be. Then we’re going to address that out-of-line sassiness from last night.” He caught my chin and forced up my head, and I made a desperate slurping sound with the pop of my mouth off of him. “Then, no more gentle. I’m going to fuck you, Maya, like you need to be fucked.”

My heart battered inside my chest, every inch of my skin eager, waiting. Aching. “Yes, please.”

Dean patted his thigh. “Get up here.”

I scurried off the floor, and he shuffled to leave room for my knee between the couch arm and his thigh as I straddled him. When I rested my wrists on his shoulders, Dean gazed between my thighs and up to my face.

“You’re going to make a mess of my jeans.”

“Am I?” I asked innocently, but my cheeks burned hot.

Dean’s response was the trace of one finger along the split of my pussy lips. My eyelids fluttered with the tease of his tip inside. Then he traced the rim of my entrance in a circle that had me hoisting my shoulders up.

“You’re like silk,” he said, sneaking his finger knuckle deep and taking it away. “Give me your hands.”

The Bio of Ms. Jade A. Waters:

Jade A. Waters is an erotica author and poetess in sunny California. A lover of candy, coffee, dancing, and endless karaoke, she is happiest when surrounded by words—be they on the page or shared in good conversation. Her short fiction and poetry is featured in over a dozen anthologies from Cleis Press and Stupid Fish Productions, and currently, Jade is hard at work on her next project. Visit her at http://jadeawaters.com, or follow her at http://twitter.com/jadeawaters.

Buy the Books!

Amazon US   Amazon UK   Carina Press   Barnes & Noble   Google Play   iBooks   Kobo

Lessons in Control Series

 

The Assignment: An Interview with Jade A. Waters (!!!)

Earlier this month, Jade A. Waters released The Assignment, the first book in her three part series, Lessons in Control. Ethically speaking, I couldn’t review it because A. I helped beta it, B. She’s my best friend, and C. I am not at all unbiased so I’d probably just shout things like –> BUT IT’S SO FUCKING GOOD BELIEVE ME AND READ IT.

So, rather than do an (biased but TOTALLY accurate review), I asked Ms. Waters if she’d like to do an interview. She said yes so plans were made – plans that involved a pedicure and drinks over a long lunch. Sadly, I got sick and had to cancel for the first time ever in our friendship. Luckily, she didn’t mind typing in the answers to the questions because she’s awesome.

And so, without further ado, my interview with Jade A. Waters.

We’ve talked a lot over the course of our friendship about how the spark for The Assignment came from a very powerful personal experience. What did it feel like writing from that place? Did it ever feel like it was getting too intense?

Oh, that’s a good one, Malin. I mentioned over at Xan West’s place the other day what the actual spark for The Assignment was, and of course, as you know, there was indeed that powerful personal experience you just mentioned built in, too. I’ve referred to that often as “getting turned out,” and applying it to the book was…well, it was something. Honestly, I’m not sure I was aware that I was writing from that place until later in the process. I wrote the book in the aftermath of the breakup from that very relationship, and I poured all my energy/tension/pain into creating it…but it wasn’t until I went back in to edit that I saw exactly what you described. Add to that the fact that I’ve said Maya’s got a lot of me in her—her troubled past is a rework of my own—so I’d say overall it was both cathartic and challenging. There were periods in working on the book [and the subsequent series] that I was in real life working on my own demons from past experiences that so closely paralleled Maya’s. It was, in some ways, exciting and healing to rake her over the coals and have her work through similar issues. On the other hand, there were times I was like oh my fucking god why did I make her history so like mine because I don’t want to do this right now. They were extremely specific moments in the book—perhaps the spots you once mentioned to me you found “not hard…but real”—and so while I wouldn’t say it was too intense, it required some emotional stamina and fortitude. It was a good growth experience. And healing for Maya and me, both, I guess.

So, Dean and Maya. How has your relationship to those two crazy kids changed over the course of writing the three books? Do you feel like writing their relationship affected you as a person?

Ha ha. These kids! Having written the entire series, I kind of do look at them as a form of kids! Ushering them here, there, trying to get them to listen to what I’m telling them to do and yet watching them do whatever they want as characters tend to do (punks). J Initially, they were hugely connected to me. Maya was a lot of me, and Dean—while not the guy I just mentioned in your last question—had taken little specks of influence from him. However, by book two, Maya had grown and morphed tremendously. She was a real person to begin with, and then she was tackling all these awesome things in ways that inspired me. Dean, meanwhile, was no longer the man I originally pictured him as. He was growing, too, with several character traits that both excited me and would never work for me in a man in real life. That was interesting to work with…but also great for me in a growth manner. Taking them from the real life experience they were based on and progressing them forward, then even further, made them more complicated and intriguing. I think it strengthened my writing, too—and, perhaps weirdly, what I find attractive in relationships in real life.

However, while their progression developed them and me, I actually feel more separated from them now than I did at first. Maybe it’s because they ran their full course in my head? We have spent some good quality time together, these kids and me, for sure…but I feel like they made it exactly where they needed to be, and that’s good. That feels good.

What is it about Dean that made him super, dreamy appealing to you as a hero?

Besides his stunning dark features? (Because those usually win me over.) Initially, I loved that dominant edge. I found that sexy in the period I wrote the book, but I have long loved men who are a bit on the playful side, too. In fact, that is what appeals to me most in Dean, throughout the series. I like playful people. However, I also loved that he had his shit together. He knew what he wanted. He was direct. These are all traits that turn me on in real life, so I was happy to provide that as companionship for Miss Maya.

If you could have a little heart to heart with Maya, what would you tell her (bearing in mind that you’re kind of her mama, since you created her).

Ahh. This is such a sweet question! Hmmm. I think I would say, “Baby girl, you’re going to grow. You’re going to change. Sometimes, it’s gonna hurt. But you’re going to be stronger, and you’re going to find everything you’re seeking, in time, both in your heart and in your soul. Freedom—in every way? It’s yours. Just let your heart run free.”

I was fortunate to be one of your beta readers on this book, so I’ve seen it morph and change and deepen over the process of your writing it. Does it read, now, like what you imagined in your head? Or did it become something new and unexpected? Did the novel ever surprise you?

And I LOVE YOU to pieces for that! You were such a wonderful beta reader, I can’t get over how helpful you were. Thank you a million times over! As to the book, it’s so much better than it was when it started. I mean, I loved it to begin with, and then I had fabulous feedback from you and Tamsin Flowers, and it got even better. Then came my agent and editor (and more with my editor) and it’s definitely grown into a stronger book. I think it was always a little bit “deeper” than a light and fluffy erotic romance, for me, and through all the edits it’s grown more valuable in that regard, in my opinion. It’s richer, in many ways.

Your prose style is very dreamy and lyrical – was that ever a conscious choice, or did it develop naturally? Do you ever feel like your poetry colors your prose?

I love that you describe it that way! I feel that way too…and I’m not sure how that happened, but yes, I think it goes back to my early poetry, in high school, for sure. I was constantly writing about my pain with the boys I was dating (oh, the drama), and I had all these symbols I liked to use then—roses and petals and drowning flowers and such. (Like I said, oh, the drama.) In time it grew more flowy…somehow a bunch of water elements started getting worked in, and it came together somehow. I get a little trance-like when I write, and I like to feel like I’m getting swept along in my work, so I think that may be helping it translate to the page, especially with all the poetry writing.

Channing Tatum or Hugh Jackman? Now. Go. Don’t think. Gun to your head. Channing or Hugh?

NOOOOoooooo! I have to choose? Crap. Um….okay, Hugh. For sure. Channing has some AMAZING moves (we both saw Magic Mike 1 and 2, hello), but I’ve always had eyes for Hugh. He’s the whole package. Granted, I fell for him as Wolverine but then discovered his tap dancing song-singing goodness (also, those abs) and I’m 100% convinced that while he’s married, it’s his starter marriage. He’s obviously practicing for me. Jade Jackman sounds incredible, doesn’t it?

Maya’s relationship to Selby is really strong and very well developed. How important was it to you that their friendship occupy a healthy slice of the emotional real estate in this book?

I love my friends. I cherish you people to death. I am also extremely loyal to those I love, and will pretty much do anything for these people. So, Maya of course needed to have that connection to someone. Selby is a beautiful mix of a couple wonderful women I know, and I loved getting to play Maya—who’s had a rough go—alongside perfectly domestic and sweetheart Selby, especially with her innocent, vanilla past. Their relationship deepened in edits, too, thanks to some comments made by my editor, and I love how their connection flourished in later editions. Friends are important, and The Assignment couldn’t solely be about Maya and her romantic interest all the time. Oh, and fun fact—one of our rejections along the way was that the book seemed to have a lot to do with Maya and Selby. I laughed that one off, because I wanted her to be a whole person with rich friendships.

If you couldn’t paint your toenails blue, what color would you paint them?

Ha ha. I am pretty obsessed with blue toenails, aren’t I? (Which is funny since my favorite color is red and I refuse to paint my toenails red.) I guess purple? But the flower on the big toes is a critical piece, as you know!

You’ve told me that way high on your list of places to go is the Galapagos Islands. Why the Galapagos Islands? I’ve always wondered.

Really? That’s funny. I love tropical and/or island destinations. Always have, always will. Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Curaçao, Greece, Rovinj—these were places I went and treasured, that definitely surpassed Paris and most of my stops in Italy. I liked those trips, but I love the water, sun, and sky. I don’t know if this is true, but I heard that the Galapagos Islands were soon going to get blocked from tourism to preserve the animal life there, and I decided I needed to visit before that happened. I wanted to see the life and enjoy the tropical elements. You know what’s weird, though, about my tropical destination obsession? I hate being in direct sun because I burn too easily and run too hot, I am allergic to mosquitos (I get huge quarter sized bites and they love eating me alive), and I’m not a swimmer. So basically I enjoy these trips and have some definite moments of suffering, usually while under an umbrella on a beach for no more than an hour at a time. And covered in light fabric!

Okay, I know you don’t like champagne (I will never understand this) so what did you drink to celebrate the release of The Assignment?

I can’t even believe I didn’t drink anything but coconut milk lattes that day. How did that happen?! If I had enjoyed a drink, though, I would have gone for sambuca or a whiskey sour.

What do you absolutely love about this book? (I know how critical of yourself you are, so this question is really just a poorly disguised attempt to make you say nice things about you).

Jeezus. Thanks, lady, no pressure…hmm… Okay, I love that this book made me a stronger writer, and that I got to carry it farther than one single book. I love Maya’s growth—I feel like her path through both book one and the whole Lessons in Control series was inspiring (at least for me!). And I honestly love a couple sex scenes in there, a ton. Yes, I adore writing real people with real personalities solving real problems…but I do write erotica for a reason! I enjoyed watching Maya grow through her sexual experiences with Dean.

Oh, and that rain scene. You know how much I love the rain scene, and I will never shut up about how much I love the rain scene!

Thank you so much for having me over today, Malin, and for these beautiful questions—plus our beautiful friendship. MUAH!

 

For more on The Assignment, visit Jade’s official site. And to buy the sexy first installment in the Lessons of Control series, head over to the usual suspects, click and enjoy. 

Amazon US

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iBooks

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