Thank God for beta readers. I mean, truly. I would be sunk without them. I am fortunate enough to have some amazing friends who give me beta reads. Among my colleagues, I am lucky enough to have had beta reads from Celeste Jones, Anastasia Vitsky, Natasha Knight, Trent Evans, Emily Tilton, and Katherine Deane.
I found myself chuckling this week because both Celeste and Katherine consistently call me out on being gross. Usually related to bottom play. :)
It's not that I don't think of these things! I really do! I mean I would never have my characters switch from anal to vaginal (unhygienic!). But sometimes, I can't quite figure out how to work a quick wash up in, especially in the historical setting where bathrooms aren't around every corner.
Both Katherine and Celeste asked that Jean-Claude from Humbled wash his finger after a little foray into anal penetration. Okay, okay! I added a wash basin in their cabin. Not sure if those really existed, but hey, I aim to please.
Celeste also informed me that talking about menstruation in "Unmet Desires," my story in Milestones (released on V-Day!) is gross. Unfortunately, I just felt I couldn't get around it. Claire is trying to get pregnant, so her menstrual cycle is pretty relevant. And then if you mention it starting, you have to mention when it's over, etc etc. You get my drift? I can't have them having sex a few days later and have people wondering if she's still bleeding, right?
In a new fairy tale piece that's in the works with Katherine Deane and Casey McKay, Katherine couldn't allow my hero to pull the butt plug out and toss it on the hotel room floor. She implored me to think of the lodge staff who would have to pick that thing up-- EW! I guess I thought the reader could fill in the details that he picked it up and washed it later, but I have learned that if one beta reader says something, guaranteed a reviewer will say the same darn thing! So, I obliged, adding that my amazing hero not only can use a butt plug on his adorable girlfriend, but he's the kinda man who cleans up afterward, too. :)
The last one, I lament, I could do nothing about. It's in Held for Ransom, my new medieval (coming out Feb. 20th!). They are way out in a barn. No sink, no stream, no water bottle. Nothing. And yes, he uses his finger for anal penetration. I'm sorry!! I just couldn't figure out how to clean it up. Hopefully you'll forgive me this one time...