At Her Call
(Mistresses of the Board Room #3)
Tiger walked away from the volatile outlaw biker world in which he was raised. As an alpha male, he embraces submission under the right woman’s control, his strong will and intimidating demeanor adding to the pleasure and challenge.
Skye has been mute since childhood. As a Mistress, she knows communication goes far beyond words. She enjoys regular sessions with Tiger inside the club, yet when Tiger’s past brings tragedy to him, taking more from him than he was prepared to lose, Skye’s own history of overcoming will be key to bringing him back –and showing them both how much more their relationship could become.
Background: This scene happens after Skye and Tiger dance together at his garage to the fabulous “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon:
“Come down here, Mistress,” he rumbled. “I’ll make you feel good. Rub yourself on me. Mark me as yours.”
Fire rippled through her. He’d talked dirty to her before, but there were deeper things happening here, requiring a different response.
She unbuttoned her blouse, letting him see the lace holding the weight of her breasts. Trailed her fingers over the cleavage as he watched.
Dominance and submission were all about the nuances. That was where the poetry was, the adventure, the unfolding of the story. A female sub might stand over her Master, between his knees, undressing as Skye was doing now, for the pleasure of his gaze and to obey his command. However, as a Mistress, she stood over Tiger, giving him the privilege of watching her undress, a gift subject to her desires, to how well he conveyed his gratitude.
In his gaze was the watchful appetite of a wolf and the reverence of a temple guard, worshipping the goddess he protected. A powerful mix. One she wanted to reward, not just as a Mistress, but as a woman whose loins had tightened and whose heart had pounded from passion to pain to joy and laughter, to utter need. All while she watched him dance with a warrior’s power, shout his defiance through the words of a song. She’d let his darkness rise and then fall again under her touch, at her invitation, so he didn’t have to dance alone.
Shut up and dance.
This woman is my destiny.
She’d never thought about being a man’s destiny. She’d had too much going on in her life to prioritize something like that. She suspected it had been the same for Tiger. But just like those D/s nuances, life had its own poetry, its own story to direct. It seemed to know when it was time for a plot change. To fork off in the direction it was intended to go.
Nadine Bookaholic: What was the most interesting (or surprising) thing you learned while writing your books?
Joey W. Hill: I am a female submissive, so when I wrote my very first BDSM romance (Make Her Dreams Come True), I assumed I would always write Male Dom/female sub books. Then my very next one, Holding the Cards, wasn’t working. The characters and muse were fighting me from the very beginning. I thought, “Screw it, turn it around and see what happens,” so I made the heroine the Domme and the hero the submissive. The book took off like a shot, and I could barely keep up with all the wonderful places Lauren and Josh went during that story.
After that, I realized Dominance and submissive psychological traits are connected through power exchange desires and needs, and therefore understanding both sides was accessible to me creatively. I just had to trust that flow, and supplement that flow with whatever research the storyline required. I had a similar experience when I wrote my first Male/male, my first interracial and physically/mentally challenged hero/heroine. As such, now I write all of them: M/f, F/m, F/m/f, M/m, F/f/M, interracial, physically/mentally challenged heroes/heroines, etc.
Nadine Bookaholic: How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
Joey W. Hill: The Mistresses of the Board Room series was a spin-off from my popular Knights of the Board Room series, which was primarily Male Dom/female sub stories. Someone eventually suggested, “Hey, how about doing an F/m version of the Knights, only with their own female style and relationship bonds?”
Just because someone suggests a concept doesn’t mean my muse will run with it, but this time she surely did. I love writing M/f, but as noted in the first interview question, I’ve also written just as many F/m stories during my writing career. The romance elements we love in M/f stories are JUST as accessible in F/m stories. It’s evident in my tagline for the Mistresses of the Board Room series: “Women who want a man strong enough to stand by them in the world, and kneel to them in the bedroom.”
For example, the first two books in the MBR series have Navy SEALs as the heroes. In the first book, the heroine needs protection from a local gang leader, and the hero has to straddle the line between protecting and submitting to her. In the second book, the hero is not only an active SEAL, but also a Dom himself. However, since the Domme in that story, Abby, has late onset schizophrenia, she needs a man who can take control when her illness requires it, all while he still respects her own power as a Domme. Even when the Dom/sub roles are clear, the power exchange elements and real-life challenges can mix together in unique ways.
As far as where the At Her Call characters came from, when I introduced the five women of Thomas Rose Associates in Book One, At Her Command, Skye was mute from the onset, and the company’s communication/tech manager. I’ve written physically challenged heroes and heroines before, and it’s a storyline I like exploring. Tiger was an important secondary character in Book Two who was ready to step forward and become Skye’s hero in Book Three. It often happens that way – someone in a previous book is significant enough I just know he or she will have their own book in the near future!
Nadine Bookaholic: Why should we read At Her Call and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
Joey W. Hill: Skye is a Domme, and she’s also mute. She’s learned to navigate and embrace a world while communicating differently from most of us. At the beginning of the book, Tiger suffers an injury that impairs his hearing, and the “club-only” relationship they had as Mistress and sub changes. As the writer, I had the chance to explore a Dom/sub relationship that doesn’t rely on “normal” communication methods, and how this impacted the life of my heroine before and the life of our hero now. Throw in the biker hero and businesswoman heroine angle, and it got even more interesting!
Most of my storylines look at the deeper psychological angles of Dom/sub relationships, plus expands that view outside of a strictly BDSM storyline. I don’t want to portray just a BDSM-session relationship. I want to see how the protagonists integrate that with everything they are; how they make that orientation work with their jobs, families and other aspects of their non-BDSM lives.
Nadine Bookaholic: Do you listen to music while writing? Does it influence the flow of the scene you are writing?
Joey W. Hill: Absolutely yes to both questions. If I love a song enough to listen to it multiple times while I’m writing, it’s going to influence the direction of a scene, plus give it more upbeat energy or emotional depth. Sometimes it even earns a mention in the book!
For instance, “Shut up and Dance” by Walk the Moon (which also has a great montage video, btw) plays a key part in At Her Call. Skye shows up at Tiger’s place and gets him to dance with her to it. If you’re saying, “wait a second, if he can’t hear, how did that work?” you’ll want to read the scene, lol.
Songs that have an important influence on the emotional tone of a scene will consistently get a nod, even if just as internal narrative. Like when Tiger has this thought about Skye as their relationship deepens:
Christ, Alan Jackson’s “Look at Me” was going through his head, an ode to a woman that pretty much declared the singer’s unconditional devotion. Darlin' can't you see I'd do anything you want me to? / I tell myself I'm in too deep / Then I fall a little farther every time you look at me…
Though it’s rare a whole album will have this effect, during the writing of At Her Call I discovered Elle King’s Love Stuff, and OMG it was a perfect soundtrack for a biker guy hero. It set the right tone for Tiger’s POV scenes, and also for the more action-oriented moments.
Nadine Bookaholic: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
Joey W. Hill: Between writing and marketing the books, handling the needs of one husband and seven animals, plus juggling all the domestic demands like bills, groceries and house repairs, the question should be, “What would I like to be doing if I had time?” lol. So let me answer that one instead.
I love gardening and straight-out yard work. Yes, pruning, mowing, weeding. When I’m doing it for fun, not as a “gotta get this done today” chore, I find those things really relaxing. I get to see instant results for straightforward, mostly mindless effort, which is nice. Over the years, I’ve moved from the more frustrating, “I need to lay out a whole garden plan and execute it like a NASA mission,” to “hey, I’m going to throw some seeds into a pot here, or see what flowers in my compost pile, and enjoy all of it with childlike wonder.” The result being a fun, eclectic-looking backyard. I also LOVE concrete lawn art, so my bushes and flowers are very likely to be populated by sleeping lions, dancing fairies, frowning frogs, Zen-like cats, and grimacing ghouls.
I of course love reading, and usually have four books going. Three are print books - one “pleasure” read, one non-fiction, and one more challenging read, like a literary classic. The fourth book is an ebook I read at bedtime, and it’s usually romance fiction. The purpose of all of my reading is to keep my style fresh and my mind working on new ideas. It’s easier for me to have a “purpose” for reading that feeds into my writing performance, rather than equating it with leisure or (shudder) relaxing. Relaxing is difficult for me, lol.
Thanks so much to you all for spending time with me and checking out my work!
About Joey W. Hill
Joey W. Hill writes about vampires, mermaids, boardroom executives, cops, witches, angels, simple housemaids . . . pretty much wherever inspiration takes her. She's penned over forty acclaimed titles and six award-winning series, and been awarded the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Erotica. But she's especially proud and humbled to have won the support and enthusiasm of a wonderful, widely diverse readership.
So why erotic romance? “Writing great erotic romance is all about exploring the true face of who we are – the best and worst - which typically comes out in the most vulnerable moments of sexual intimacy.” She has earned a reputation for writing BDSM romance that not only wins her fans of that genre, but readers who would “never” read BDSM romance. She believes that's because strong, compelling characters are the most important part of her books.
“Whatever genre you’re writing, if the characters are captivating and sympathetic, the readers are going to want to see what happens to them. That was the defining element of the romances I loved most and which shaped my own writing. Bringing characters together who have numerous emotional obstacles standing in their way, watching them reach a soul-deep understanding of one another through the expression of their darkest sexual needs, and then growing from that understanding into love - that's the kind of story I love to write."
Take the plunge with her, and don't hesitate to let her know what you think of her work, good or bad. She thrives on feedback!
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