Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Now available: POWER SHIFT


Today is release day for Power Shift!  Read more about Gabe and how my tortured hero tortured me at Nine Naughty Novelists. Here, I’m going to talk a little about the power exchange or...as it happens in my book, a power shift.



I’m fascinated by the whole idea of the power exchange and who really has control in a relationship. Gabe is a Dominant, who wants to be in control. Has to be in control. It’s often felt that it is really the submissive who has the power, because she (and I say she only because my story features a male Dom/female sub) gives the power to the Dom. If the submissive doesn’t submit, the Dom can’t dominate. But even so, there can’t be submission unless the Dom uses the power. So it’s not just one giving something to the other—it’s an exchange.



I came across this song as I was writing Power Shift. In fact, in the opening scene at le Chateau, I mention the music of Depeche Mode playing and this is the song. You can listen to it here (and I totally suggest you listen to it when you read that scene for the full effect!) but I’m including the lyrics because I think they’re fascinating. If you try to figure out who’s talking, is it the Dom or the sub? Really, it could be either. Because it’s about an exchange of power.



Depeche Mode I Am You Lyrics

Translation in progress. Please wait...


Songwriters: GORE, MARTIN LEE

You have bound my heart with subtle chains
So much pleasure that it feels like pain
So entwined now that we can't shake free
I am you and you are me

No escaping from the mess we're in
So much pleasure that it must be sin
I must live with this reality
I am yours eternally

There's no turning back
We're in this trap
No denying the facts
No, no, no
No excuses to give
I'm the one you're with
We've no alternative
No, no, no

Dark obsession in the name of love
This addiction that we're both part of
Leads us deeper into mystery
Keeps us craving endlessly

Strange compulsions that I can't control
Pure possession of my heart and soul
I must live with this reality

I am you and you are me
I am you and you are me
I am you and you are me
I am you and you are me

There's no turning back
We're in this trap
No denying the facts
No, no, no
No excuses to give
I'm the one you're with
We've no alternative
No, no, no



In other stories I`ve written about the power exchange (that was actually supposed to be the title of Taming Tara, but someone had already used it  ) the characters are clearly defined, Dom and sub. And in Power Shift, Gabe is most certainly Dominant. But for the first time I explored a Dom who needs to give up control.

The exchange of power is based on mutual trust and respect. Part of that respect is respecting the partner’s fears and doubts, needs and wants. It’s about connecting on a different level. In Power Shift, Reagan has an instinctive sense for what Gabe wants and needs. But Gabe is in denial. Gabe believes he has to be in control, always, and he refuses to give it up to Reagan. For a Master Dom, Gabe still has much to learn. As he says, the journey never ends. Gabe learns that there will be times when Reagan needs and wants to submit to him, to give up control. But there will also be times when she needs to take control, when he needs to shift the power to her. Does he need to give up the power —or does she need to take it?



The fluidity of this in a relationship where both partners are in tune with each other’s needs and wants struck me as a power flow. This endless flow of back and forth, giving and receiving, seemed to me more like a shift of power than an exchange. When both partners are open to each other, when they care and trust and respect each other, they know what the other needs and want to give it. Or take it. And if there’s love and commitment, trust and respect, it will balance and shift back and forth.



Here are two short excerpts from Power Shift. The first is Reagan submitting, because that’s what Gabe needs at that moment:



She followed him willingly, knowing what was going to happen, wanting what was going to happen, but unsure of exactly how it was going to happen. Nerves rippled inside her and uncertainty slid down her spine. She was still confused about what had occurred at her apartment, how one minute he’d been all into it and the next pulling away, and then he’d turned all alpha and had basically fucked her brains out on her couch.

Whoa. She went all warm and liquid inside remembering. Even though it hadn’t been tender, it had still been damn hot. And she’d felt the need inside him, driving him, the need for utter control when she could see how out of control his world was feeling. So she’d given it to him, given him what she sensed he’d needed. It made her heart squeeze for him. Which was why she was there. Though she worried a little for herself, she had to do this...for him.



And here’s another excerpt where she needs Gabe to give her the power:



The point was making him feel...something. Anything. Even mild pain was something and the fact that he’d submitted to this was the most important thing. That he’d trusted her, that he’d given this gift to her so she could in turn give it back to him.

Understanding washed over her, an instinctive comprehension of what had just happened, of the gift submission was that she could give to him, and the gift his domination was in return. Tears ran down her face and she dropped the belt and stepped up to him, pressing her body against his. She leaned over his back, wrapped her arms around his big chest and sobbed against him. “Gabe, oh my god, Gabe.”

He straightened immediately, loosened her arms around him and spun around, wrapping her up against his chest. He kissed her and his face was wet too, tears gleaming in the dark stubble on his jaw. Their mouths fused and she dug her fingers into his shoulders, into the back of his neck as she clung to him, tried to climb up on his body to get close enough.

When the kiss ended, she pressed her face to his neck, both of them still holding each other so fiercely she could hardly breath. “Are you okay?” she whispered.

 



As usual I’ll give away a free book to newsletter subscribers (including any new ones who join this week and leave a comment) 

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