by K.D. Grace
Spring is SO in the air, and I’d like to thank Stella for inviting me to celebrate it on Ex Libris. It’s always such a pleasure to be here. And in keeping with the season, today’s topic is garden porn.
My erotic novella, Surrogates is romance al fresco squared. Mind you, I’m no stranger to taking romance outside. I think outside is the best place for romance and for sex, and if the setting is a large estate with exotic renaissance gardens, rose gardens, ponds, streams and a kitchen garden that would make a veg gardener like me drool, then it’s a pretty good bet a good time will be had by all … along with fresh veg.
Vegging, published in Violet Blue’s Best Women’s Erotica 2010, I’ve had a reputation for writing ‘garden porn.’ Readers who know me are used to scenes being set outside and often in the middle of the veg patch.
There’s magic in a garden. Though I’m way more partial to veg gardening than flower gardening, I very much appreciate both. Gardening is a lot like sex, really, you put something in a hole and good things happen. Okay, that’s pretty blunt, I’ll admit, but it’s true. My husband and I just got an allotment, after three years on the waiting list. For my American friends who don’t know, an allotment is a small parcel of land set aside by the local goverments in Britain, which can be rented very cheaply for the purpose of growing food crops. The tradition is said to date back to Saxon times, but the first mention of allotments is in the 1500s during the reign of Elizabeth I. In some suburban areas the waiting list for an allotment can be many years.
Because we got our allotment in the Spring, we’re way behind everyone else around us at getting things in, so imagine my delight when I went over this morning to water and found that the peas and beans I planted are finally coming up. I put something in a hole and good things are now happening!
In our BA days – that’s Before Allotment – we used to look longingly through the gate into the allotments and fantasize about what we’d grow if we had an allotment. And, well size DOES make a difference. I’m not bragging, or anything, but our allotment is huge!
All of this is my way of saying that there’s something outrageously sexy about fecundity, about rampant growth, about green leaves and buds and new fruit, and oh yes, did I mention phallic veg? I know things to do with zucchinis and carrots and cucumbers that you wouldn’t believe. … Recipes, you naughty-minded folk! Recipes ;-)
Veg gardening is not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sort of proposition. Veg gardening is all about foreplay. It takes finesse and a firm but gentle hand doing the deed when conditions are just right. And then it takes patience and coaxing and more patience and more waiting. But the results are SO worth it. We have raspberries and strawberries growing in our back garden, and every morning in season, we go out and pick them fresh before breakfast. We seldom make it back to the house with our breakfast fruit feast without popping a succulent ripe red berry or two in our mouths as we pick because we just can’t wait to taste the firm, sweet juiciness.
I suppose the biggest reason that I love to write romance and sex al-fresco though is the fact that outside under the big blue sky, everybody’s doing it – birds, bees, butterflies, snails, frogs, plants. Outside in nature it really is all about sex and producing the next generation, and there’s nothing shy and retiring about it. There’s no embarrassment, no shame, no coyness, just a rampant sense of urgency that’s contagious. How can we ‘civilized’ humans, who have had that rampant unashamed urgency socialized out of us a long time ago, not look on in lust and longing? And ultimately, we’re not all that far removed from our animal cousins. Give us a garden with a little bit of seclusion and we’re quite happy to revert back to our more primitive, more yummy roots.
In my novella, Surrogates, Francie Carter is a master gardener who specializes in restoring medieval kitchen gardens on large estates. Dan Alexander is her boss and the owner of the estate, and he wants her. Problem is, he’s married, and he is neurotically faithful to his wife. Enter Simon Paris, owner of a landscape business and Dan’s old friend, and ménage of the strangest kind is in the air. The novella is a naughty, modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac complete with sex in the bean patch, fresh uses for phallic vegetables and romance with a twist. Here’s a little taste.
Surrogates by K.D. Grace
Even though he’s in love with his beautiful gardener, Francie Carter, Daniel Alexander III takes his marriage vows very seriously. Until he gets the balls to ask for a divorce, watching each other play is all he can offer her. Then Dan convinces Francie to allow his friend, Simon Paris, to be his surrogate – to have sex with her while Dan watches and supervises. It’s a win-win. Dan stays faithful to his wife, and with Simon’s help, he can keep Francie satisfied until he gets the nerve to ask for a divorce. And with their yawner of a love life, Dan’s wife, Isabel, is enjoying her own version of borderline fidelity with her massage therapist, Ellen. Bel can’t see the harm. After all, it's not proper sex if it's with another woman, is it? But Dan’s discovery of Ellen and Bel trysts strangely rekindles his passion for his wife. As sex with Bel gets kinkier and better, and sex between Francie and Simon gets ever more sizzling, Dan thinks he has the best of both worlds. But secrets don’t stay secret. Substitutes aren’t the real thing. And in the end there are no surrogates for matters of the heart.
Dan wasn’t listening. ‘Francie, darling, I know how hard it is for you, with us not able to really be with each other. I promise that’ll end soon, and we can be together properly. But in the meantime, it’s not right me having Bel and you having no one. So I’ve come up with a solution for us. Simon will be my surrogate.’
‘What?’ Francie had pushed herself back against the sink as far as she could. Her heart raced in her throat and her face felt like it would burst into flame. ‘You want me to … You want us to …’ She nodded to Simon, then she glared up at him. ‘Is this why you’re here?’
But before Simon could do more than make a couple of fish gasps, Dan ploughed on. ‘Oh don’t you see, darling, it’s so perfect. If I can’t be with you, if I can’t give you what I know you so desperately need, then who better to help us both out that my dearest, most trusted friend, Simon.’
‘He’s a landscaper. He’s hired help just like I am.’ She sounded a lot more hysterical than she meant to. What she wanted to sound was outraged. What she wanted to sound was incensed.
‘No, sweetheart, no. Simon and I are old friends. We went to uni together. We spent a wild summer in Italy together. Darling, I’d trust Simon with my life.’ He shot Simon a meaningful glance, then his gaze came to rest on her. ‘I’d trust him with the person in my life I value most, the one I most want to make happy.’ He caught his breath, and his face softened. ‘Please, darling. This is a gift, something I can do for you. You can pretend he’s me. I can make love to you through Simon, and you, anything you’ve wanted to do to me you can do to him.’
‘Anything?’ She spoke around her racing heart, which felt like it would jump right out of her mouth.
‘Yes, anything, darling. Anything.’
‘Good.’ Before she had time to consider what she was doing, she slapped Simon, hard, hard enough that he recoiled. Both men gasped, and her hand stung like fire. But she ignored the pain, squared her shoulders and looked Simon right in his now watering grey eyes. ‘Then you can give him that for me.’
To her total surprise, Simon did exactly as she said. He walked over to Dan and slapped him, slapped him hard enough to knock Dan up against the staging table, slapped him hard enough to draw blood where a tooth cut his lip.
The electric silence that followed was interrupted only by the heavy breathing of all three. The two men glared at each other for a moment, sizing one another up. Trembling all over, Francie grabbed the edge of the sink for support, just as Simon turned his back on Dan and came to stand in front of her. He stood so close his breath ruffled the hair that had come loose from the clasp she wore it up in, so close that the rise and fall of his chest beneath his T-shirt was impossible to ignore, so close the heat rising from his body felt magnetic.
‘Does that about sum it up?’ He asked.
For a second, she thought she might cry. But instead, she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him. She kissed him as hard as she had slapped him, like she wanted to eat him up, like she wanted to crawl up inside his warmth. And he kissed her back. Jesus, how he kissed her back! He kissed and nipped the hollow of her throat around to the sensitive place below her ear, then he whispered in between efforts to breathe. ‘If you want me to stop, tell me now before it’s too late.’
‘Don’t you dare, don’t you dare, don’t you dare,’ she gasped over and over again, guiding his hand to the knot tied below her right breast that held her wrap-around dress closed.
He yanked it hard, then he shoved and pushed until the dress slid from her shoulders and pooled on the floor around her gardening clogs. Somewhere in the periphery of her mind she heard Dan’s fly unzip, a sound she’d grown used to over the past few months, a sound that constantly taunted her with everything she could see yet never touch.
But there were other things to focus on today. Simon kissed his way down her sternum and cupped her breasts, cupped them and kneaded them until her nipples strained against the callouses of his stroking fingers. Then his mouth took over. What her breasts lacked in size, they made up for in sensitivity, and her whole body thrummed as he suckled and bit, nibbled and licked.
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening or walking. She and her husband recently walked the Coast to Coast rout across England. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots.
K D has erotica published with Xcite Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Erotic Review, Ravenous Romance, Scarlet Magazine, Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, The Pet Shop, and her newly released paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Heatwave trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011.
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Allotted Views by K.D. Grace
When the mysterious ‘Woo Woo Man,’ JONATHAN takes on the thin strip of bramble-infested ground in the Blue Bell Street Allotments, veg gardener extraordinaire, ROSE, whose bedroom window overlooks his ‘small holding,’ wonders what idiot would take on such a project. When she ‘accidentally’ sees him chanting a bit of woo-woo and having a midnight wank under a full moon in his newly rotovated plot, she suspects his methods aren’t found in any RHS manual.
As watching his late night garden antics becomes more for voyeuristic pleasure than for sussing out sound horticultural practices, and as Jonathan’s garden grows more exquisite with every wank, Rose begins to wonder if there just might be something to a little sex woo-woo in the garden. But can she learn Jonathan’s secret without him learning hers, or will she be forced to come clean?
All you have to do is leave a comment and answer Kathy's question: What is your favourite veggie and how is your favourite way to eat it?