Tag Archives: unlocking the mystery

About that C-word …

‘Tis the season for C-words—cranberries, cookies, candy cane … but I won’t be talking about these C-words.

This post contains THE C-word. Consider yourself warned. It’s not my intention to offend, but if you are someone who is sensitive to words, then you may choose not to read further. I’ve written about the importance of words before, so you know I’m passionate about the topic.

unlocking the mysteryI started thinking about this post following a recent free promotion I did for my novella, Unlocking the Mystery. It’s the only story included in my erotic anthologies that contains no sex, but it does contain adult language. As with all my writing, I don’t insinuate “bad” words into a story for the sake of it. I make a choice to use specific words because they reflect a mood or a feeling. Certain words are just more powerful than others.

The story was inspired in part by letters Irish novelist James Joyce wrote to his wife Nora Barnacle. Titillating, romantic, poetic, and often rude as hell, Nora initiated the correspondence in November of 1909. At the time, Joyce was in Dublin and she was in Italy raising their children. Nora hoped that by feeding her husband’s fantasies in writing, she would keep him away from the courtesans.

I’ve received several reviews for Unlocking the Mystery. They are good reviews, so this post is not to discredit any of them. I’ve also entered into some interesting e-mail exchange with readers of the story. The reviews and the e-mails have something in common. They all mention a particular word I used: Cunt, and to a lesser extent cock.

“… using the crude words the author chose were unnecessary and jarring.”

“… change the descriptive word used in this story for the woman’s lady part, as it turns away many readers for some reason from what I ‘ve gathered.”

“I liked the story very much, but did you really need to use the C-word?”

“… That word is so demeaning to women. It shocked me that you used it.”

And so on …

I am not easily offended. Honest feedback is what authors want and need in order to become better at what we do. Reviews help us know when we are connecting with readers, and more importantly, when we are not.

As such, I’m writing this post as a form of explanation. I respect the opinions of those I excerpted above. I’m sure they represent a segment of the population who feels the same way. The thing is, if I were to appease every reader who disliked my choice of words, I would not be writing my own stories, I’d be writing someone else’s. My own conviction is what dictates that certain words “fit” a story. That’s the reason I choose them and why I must stand by them.

Unlocking the Mystery is a romance between two grown-ups, separated by an ocean. They cannot use their senses to experience each other. They can only convey their desire by writing letters.

Letter writing—it’s a dying art, so why write one, post it, and wait two weeks or longer to receive a response? The anticipation must make the desire unbearable, and that’s the point. My story is about a generation that was a lot more patient than we are today.

Yes, Caroline and Shane were romantic, but it does not mean they could not be lewd, crude, and raw in their desire for one another.

My use of the word cunt is present in two passages in the story. In both instances, they were included in the letters Shane wrote to Caroline.

(1) … Your last letter had me excited for days. I read it over and over again, seeing you doing all the things you wrote of. It was wonderfully disjointed and made me feel the desperation of you fingering your cunt right before you wrote it. To play with yourself like that for hours in a deep sea of blankets, my god, but you are a vixen! …

(2) … I dream of your breasts, your cunt, your arse, your lips, your hands. I dream of you, my beautiful, sweet Caroline and count the seconds until I receive your next letter…

The raw nature of the letters was meant to express a man’s sexual frustration at being separated from his love. Though mere words could never communicate his feelings properly, they were all he had.

In my opinion, the word cunt fit. After all, sex is not always a polite “please and thank you” session. Sometimes, it is raw passion driven by libido, and in the absence of connecting to Caroline physically, Shane’s animalistic lust fueled his letters.

james joyce

James Joyce

Here is a post that contains some of James Joyce’s letters to his wifeCunt is used sixteen times, along with other “taboo” words. You soon realize how his lust fueled his letters as well.

Etymology of CUNT

Most sources I have read show the word cunt as derived from the Germanic “kunte” and dates back to the 1200s. The word’s etymology is complicated, and I am not a scholar on the topic. It does appear, however, that in the Middle Ages, English speakers were less squeamish about obscene language. With a lack of privacy, there was probably less shame about sex and body parts. The C-word was socially acceptable for a time until it became taboo. When and why the switch occurred is a source of debate. Dates are bandied about based on when texts were censored if the word cunt was used. If you wish to read more on the topic, refer to a comprehensive article on Matthew Hunt’s blog.

The word’s acceptability can also be regional. Barbados-born pop star Rihanna included it freely in her tweets until she was criticized for it. She defended her action by saying the word is not offensive to Bajans, and she used it as a term of endearment.

The queer subculture has been using cunt for years to describe something beautiful, delicate, and soft.

In the UK, the word does not apply only to women. It is a gender-neutral slur that is often directed at men as well.

My point is: the word cunt and words derived from it will offend if you hear it as the most vile swear word that can be directed at a woman, if it speaks to you of misogyny, sexual harassment, and abuse.

And here is where another C-word comes into play: Context.

It’s my firm belief that the volition behind the words we say or write is every bit as important, if not more important than the actual words used.

Language is a living and breathing discipline, and words that make up a language evolve. What was taboo at one time may transition from unacceptable to acceptable. In 1966, comedian Lenny Bruce was arrested for saying nine words: ass, balls, cocksucker, cunt, fuck, motherfucker, piss, shit, tits.  Today, most of these words are commonplace in spoken and written media.

Whether we like the C-word or not, it is not going away. Earlier this year, The Oxford Dictionary added four new words—cunty, cuntish, cunted, and cunting. You may never use them, but they exist.

Like the words sick, wicked, and bad, whose informal meanings have been changed from negative to positive, so too might the case be for cunt one day.

You just never know.

FiW.act-three_4And on this positive note, I offer one last FREE novella this month, available Dec. 22-24. ACT THREE is the most over-the-top erotic story I’ve written to date. It’s raw fantasy inspired by adult play, mixed with reality. At times, the lines blur. For some readers, this story will push the boundaries for what they find comfortable in erotic writing. I hope you’ll pick it up.

One final C-word—Christmas. Have a Merry one, and no matter what you celebrate, I wish you warmth, health, and happiness this holiday season.

Have a wonderful week,

~ eden 

 

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Filed under Craft of Writing, Promo of ebooks, freebies, Revelations & Humor

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY is #FREE Dec 16-18

I have another Amazon freebie as mentioned in my earlier blog,

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY is FREE for 3 days starting today. It’s a story that takes place in spring, guaranteed to warm you up as we head into the winter freeze.

No sex but deeply sensual. The story is inspired by the art of letter writing and my love of words. Part of it takes place in Ireland, a country of writers and poets–C.S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce to name a few. You only need to read some of the letters Joyce wrote to his beloved Nora Barnacle to understand the power of words.

Pick it up, and I hope you enjoy. If so, please let me know by way of a review on Amazon. Whether you thought it was good, bad, or meh … your opinion matters to me. 😉

Unlocking the Mystery

From: Spring into Summer (Spring)

“…one of the best short romantic fiction I’ve read in a very long time. It touched my heart in ways I cannot explain and gave my soul wings.” – Beach Bum Books

Hit the book cover and be taken to your Amazon region.

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Have a great week,

eden

 

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Filed under Promo of ebooks, freebies

Turn up the heat in December with my #FREE #erotic novellas

It’s December, winter, snow, cold … please don’t remind me.

The only way to stay warm is to turn up the heat. For me, that means crawling under a blanket with a hot book.

While promoting my latest psychological mystery, Stranger at Sunset, I’ve not paid much attention to my backlist of erotic books, so I’m turning up the heat this month by offering 4 of them FREE on Amazon. Each novella is included in one of my two anthologies—Fall into Winter and Spring into SummerI thought it’d be fun to offer one free from each season!

From sweet romance to BDSM ménage, my novellas cover the spectrum of heat. Download what you like. I’ll make an announcement right before their free days to remind you. Here’s a list of what to expect.

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Unlocking the Mystery

From: Spring into Summer (Spring)

Sweet and romantic. This is a unique story for lovers of words. An erotic tale with no sex – go figure.

Heat meter: 5/10 

unlocking the mystery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Norwegian

From: Fall into Winter (Winter)

Whimsical and redemptive. A Norwegian athlete and a Canadian writer meet for the first time, but it feels oddly familiar. An erotic thriller during Christmastime in the Great White North.

Heat meter: 7/10

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The Lottery 

From: Spring into Summer (Summer)

Creative and culturally-diverse. Thailand is where a young North American woman learns about eroticism. She also discovers what she will do in the name of friendship.

Heat meter: 7/10

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Act Three

From: Fall into Winter (Fall)

Kinky, wild, and raunchy. This story pushes the envelope with two men, one woman, and a New York City apartment equipped for adult play. And there’s a twist. 😉

Heat meter: 9/10

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Filed under Promo of ebooks, freebies

Unlocking the Mystery is FREE Sept 25/26

Hi, lovely readers, I have another free book coming up  — 2 days only!

Unlocking the Mystery takes place in the USA and Ireland and is the only erotic novella I’ve written with no sex.

What? You say, no sex?!

That’s right, and I’ve attached a brief interview to explain the reason why.

Pick up the book and spread the word. Book sales (whether FREE or paid) are helpful for authors, so the more I give away, the better!

As always, a review on Amazon is very much appreciated. 

Thanks for stopping by,

eden

FREE Sept 25 and 26

unlocking the mystery

Amazon: US | UK | CA | Other Regions

A mysterious key provides the first clue to opening a woman’s heart.

Evelyn Sutton goes in search of a man after a box is left to her by the former owner of her house. A story within a story spanning fifty years from America to Ireland, UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY has been compared to 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.

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Q & A with Eden Baylee

Q: Is Unlocking the Mystery considered explicit?

EB: On the contrary, aside from a bit of adult language, there is absolutely no sex in this book!

Q: Why did you choose to write an erotic piece without sex?

EB: It wasn’t so much a choice as much as I didn’t feel the story needed it. For me, erotica is not about building a story around sex scenes; it’s the opposite. Sex needs to be integral to the plot, and the story always dictates the amount of sex. In the case of Unlocking the Mystery, the act of sex was not required, yet I consider it one of the most sensual pieces I’ve ever written.

Q: What inspired Unlocking the Mystery?

EB: It was inspired by the art of letter writing and my love of words. Part of it takes place in Ireland, a country of writers and poets–C.S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce to name a few. You only need to read some of the letters Joyce wrote to his beloved Nora Barnacle to understand the power of words.

Q: Is the ideal reader for your book male or female?

EB: The ideal reader for this book, whether male or female, is a lover of words and someone who enjoys the mystery of life. They may also be a romantic but not necessarily wear their heart on their sleeve. Both men and women have told me how much this story touched them because the themes are universal. Love, longing, and loss are feelings most of us experience sooner or later.

 

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Filed under Important Announcements, Promo of ebooks, freebies

WIN a copy of Spring into Summer ~ Story 2: Unlocking the Mystery

Per my post last week, each Wednesday this month I’ll highlight a story from Spring into Summer, the companion piece to my first book, Fall into Winter.

I’ll also give away a FREE book each week. Four chances to win!

Leave a comment below to be eligible. 

Week one’s winner: CP Bialois!

Learn more about:

Unlocking the Mystery

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The Inspiration

“Unlocking the Mystery” was inspired by the art of letter-writing and my love for words. Part of it takes place in Ireland, where I had the great fortune of traveling throughout and meeting wonderful, friendly people.

flourishA Few Reviews

“… I was absolutely blown away by the 50 year romance … in “Unlocking the Mystery” with simply letters. Heck, they didn’t even progress to e-mail as the letters were still on paper in 2010 and 2011. Theirs was truly a deep, committed love to continue with writing these letters, some extremely erotic. Also, the woman who delivers the last letter, Evelyn, even gets a reward of her own…or at least it appears that way. And no, not sex…something even better. ~ L Smith, Top Amazon Reviewer

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“… My favorite story was “Unlocking the Mystery.” This was an unexpected tale of how a woman rediscovers love through a box filled with love letters written between Caroline Kent, the previous owner of her newly purchased home, and Shane Murphy, a man living in Ireland. The letters span Caroline and Shane’s 50-year long-distance love affair and range from sweet to incredibly sensual. As Evelyn, the new home owner, makes her way through the box of letters she also slowly discovers that they unlock the key to her heart. ~ Reese Ryan

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” … ‘Unlocking the Mystery’ is a deeply sensual, powerfully romantic story-within-a-story, a tale of two lovers who never met, who share such passion that it transcends time and distance, and a woman convinced she will tread life’s path alone until the mystery of a woman she never met and a legacy she cannot deny transports her to a destiny she could never imagine. This was perhaps one of the best short romantic fictions I’ve read in a very long time. It touched my heart in ways I cannot explain and gave my soul wings.” ~ Beach Bum Books

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Comment to WIN!

Since “Unlocking the Mystery” is about the lost art of letter writing, leave a comment related to letters, traditions that have changed, or feel free to comment on this post in general.

You have until May 20th to comment.

I will assign each comment a number and use Random.org  to choose the winner and announce it next Wednesday when I blog about the next story “Summer Solstice.

Remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read ebooks, FREE Kindle Apps allow you to read them on all devices.

Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck!

eden

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Related post:

WIN a copy of Spring into Summer ~ Story 1: A Season for Everything

flourish

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Filed under Promo of Spring into Summer