Interview with Rachel Kenley: author of THE GLASS STILETTO

glass_stilettoMy guest author today is romance novelist Rachel Kenley, whose fem dom BDSM fairy tale, THE GLASS STILETTO, has just been re-released in a new edition from Riverdale Avenue Books. “What if Cinderella didn’t want to marry the Prince? And what if she discovered that a man who was in control of his public life enjoyed surrendering that control in the bedroom?” The result would be The Glass Stiletto: A Kinky Fairy Tale. I got to talking to the author about the sexiness of fairy tales, love, and writing:
1. I know you must get asked this a lot, but a lot of your work, not just THE GLASS STILETTO, has fairy tale themes. Why? What compels you about them? 
Rachel Kenley: I think it’s the universality of them. We all know them, we’re familiar with them but to turn them inside out or give them the characters and the endings I’ve always wanted them to have? That’s a great deal of fun. Fairy tales have always had sexual themes to them. Pricking a finger on a spindle? The drops of blood Snow White’s mother sheds? All references to loss of virginity. I enjoy bringing out that side of them more explicitly.
2. How did you get the idea for The Glass Stiletto? 
Rachel Kenley: I was watching one of the many versions of Cinderella and we were at the scene when the prince was down on his knee putting the shoe on her foot. In some versions she’s magically transformed back into the woman he saw at the ball. I found myself thinking, what if she was transformed into the woman she wanted to be and discovered that the prince wanted to remain kneeling at her feet.
3. What drew you to writing romance? 
Rachel Kenley: I’ve wanted to write since my teens and at fourteen my mother gave me my first romance novel, Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Wolf and the Dove. I was hooked. I love having the relationship be the core, the central focus of the book, and writing about two people who are able to grow and learn because of the relationship they are in.
4. What’s your favorite version of Cinderella? Disney? Hans Christian Andersen? Once Upon a Time/Grimm? 
Rachel Kenley: I love Drew Barrymore’s Ever After. That’s a Cinderella I think we can all get behind – those who still dream of being a princess and those who dream of the freedom to be themselves. My favorite current Disney movie is Maleficent. She was always my favorite villain. Now she has a story that gives her depth and heart. For Hans Christian Anderson – who’s characters end up dead more than the Grimm Brothers – I have to go with the little known Steadfast Tin Soldier. Yes, everyone ends up dead, but I got to fix that in my book Passionate Heat, which is not currently available but hopefully will be again. And I admit to watching both Once Upon a Time and Grimm. They are so wonderfully different and yet come from the same heart. Is there anything as versatile as fairy tales?
5. I loved Maleficent, too! What do you think is the thing readers cherish in your books the most? (And is it the same as what you cherish most?)
Rachel Kenley: I love this question!! I’ve been told that my heroines are very real, even when they inhabit a fantasy realm. They go through inner conflicts and challenges that women can relate to, journeys they themselves have taken or are in the process of taking. Over the course of my books, in addition to whatever is going on, my heroines must also accept the power of vulnerability that comes from taking risks and falling in love. This is something I cherish very much. When we choose good relationships – friendships, romantic, or other – we gain an amazing support in our own growth and ability to reach our dreams and desires.
6. If Snow White and Cinderella had to fight to save the lives of the men they love, who would win? 
Rachel Kenley: That’s a tough one. I think they are pretty evenly matched. They’ve both been doing a lot of household management which gains a person a lot of skills, although I think at first they’d both be stymied. Neither of them realizes what strength they have. They need a good challenge.
7. Anything else you’d like to tell readers about The Glass Stiletto or yourself? 
Rachel Kenley: I am thrilled that THE GLASS STILETTO is a part of the BDSM erotic fiction realm. The majority of what is out there is a male dominant, female submissive relationship, and while that is quite popular (and I love it myself), I think that it’s important to show that they reverse dynamic can be equally as sexy and exciting. The Cinderella I believe in would never have agreed to be submissive after leaving her stepmother’s home. To give her the story she deserved, that was right for her, she had to have the dominant role. I hope readers feel the same way.
Here’s a sexy excerpt from THE GLASS STILETTO to give readers a taste of what’s in store!
When the music ended, she thought he would ask for a second dance, but instead he said, “Meet me at the bottom of the stairs in the garden in ten minutes. I would like to spend more time with you, uninterrupted and without being the subject of a roomful of stares.” She was suddenly aware of the non-smiling faces of many guests in the room. Knowing there was no sense in looking for the Viscount again, and wanting to be away from the attention of others, especially since it increased her chance of being noticed by Bernadette, she agreed and they parted.
Mariella toyed with the idea of running home and devising a new plan for her freedom. She could pack everything she could, grab Finn and try and disappear, but chances are they wouldn’t get far, and although she could manage, what kind of life would that be for the boy.
She also thought this would likely be her last time to be with a man who excited her as much as the prince did. Since she had nothing more to lose, she might as well take pleasure in their time together. For once, she would experience satisfaction on her terms. He joined her in ten minutes, as he’d promised.
Tonight instead of going directly to the grotto, he took her hand and they strolled around the grounds. Mariella wondered if he was doing this intentionally so she could not disappear again. Between the distraction of his touch and their distance from the castle, there was no way she could find her way safely out of the maze of the gardens. Still, for the moment, she didn’t care or want to leave.
She enjoyed talking to him and, surprisingly, listening to him. He told her about the concerns of one of the Barons back in Galenet and she asked him about the ways he was handling it. He took her questions seriously and responded with thoughtful and complete answers, which led to other topics and shared laughter. She had no idea how long they had been walking when she realized the area looked familiar. He had led her back to their grotto after all.
They sat down on the bench and without any hints or preliminaries, he took her face in his hands and kissed her deeply. “You captivate me, Mariella,” he said when the kiss ended.
It was, she thought, an interesting choice of words, and it gave her an idea. “You must be pleased that tonight is your last night of social torture. Soon you can go back to your kingdom and continue to implement your vision. Days filled with strategies, planning, and unending responsibilities.”
“When you put it like that, it doesn’t sound like something to look forward to.”
“And yet it is something you love.”
He smiled and nodded. “I do.”
She looked at him with a knowing smile and gently caressed his face. “Would it not be wonderful to have someone to occasionally take you away from all those concerns?”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“As much as you thrive on what you do, your time, from what you have told me, is filled with many obligations and pressures. You work long hours, creating a kingdom of which you can be proud.” As she spoke, she pulled at a ribbon holding back her hair. She had been thinking about her erotic dream from the night before ever since they arrived at the grotto. Seeing him bound and helpless for her pleasure had excited her. Perhaps there was an opportunity here.
If she was going to lose any choices for her life for the foreseeable future, she would at least make the most of her time with him. For this one moment she would take control of her actions and pleasure and enjoy every moment. She played with the long strip of fabric before wrapping it around his wrists, and then pulled it tightly, bringing his hands together. Pressing up against him, she looked down to see the swell of his cock straining against his pants. Smiling, she looked at him and asked, “After a day of making rules and policies, how would it feel to come back to your rooms, to your wife, and turn yourself over to her? Completely.”
***
He was lost. The rush of feeling to his heart and blood to his cock took his breath away. When her hair tumbled down and the ribbon slid around his skin, he could see nothing, feel nothing, but her. When she tightened it there was a moment of panic and a touch of pain, but much more excitement and need. She was not toying with him. Instead, she was offering something he had never considered. Now, he could think of nothing else.
Until this moment, Teodor had not imagined he might harbor any desire to forget all of his duties or expected this newly discovered longing could be… sexually exciting. The knowledge brought him a new insight into himself. And her.
He grabbed her hands in his bound ones and pulled her to him for a kiss. “Damn, you excite me. Your words, your actions, your honesty. How can I feel this way after having met you only two nights ago?” He kissed her hard and let the truth of his words sink in.
He was bedazzled by her. Her beauty, grace, and intelligence captivated him. Clearly she had heard something in his words he had not known he was saying. She saw something he needed he wasn’t even aware of and certainly would not have asked for if he had known. She was not suggesting he not rule, or not want to rule – simply that there were times when he needed to be able to turn off the part of his life that required he be rigidly in control and instead simply be with someone else, and perhaps give the control to her.
Most of his life was defined by what he did. She saw him for who he was, beyond the title and elevated status to the man. This was the woman he wanted for his wife. He would have, could have, no other.
He kissed her again this time putting his joined hands over her head and forcing her close to him. They breathed together as her chest pressed firmly against his. He played with her hair, letting it caress his hands. As he moved his wrists, the ribbon loosened, but he did not try to slip out from its hold. There was nothing he wanted more than to be close to her, to give control in this moment over to her, and the realization rocked him to the core.
“I suppose you’ve answered my question,” Mariella said against his lips.
“It answers it for both of us, my sweet,” he said, moving his mouth to her jaw and kissing her softly there. “I had not pictured anything like this prior to your suggestion.”
“It is nice to think I can surprise you. I have a feeling you are not surprised often.”
“No, I’m not. It is more pleasant than I would have expected.” His kisses traveled to her neck and he smiled when he felt her shiver under his touch. “And now, I would like the chance to delight you.”
“Not without asking properly, then perhaps I will agree.”
His cock throbbed. She was demanding he ask her permission. He was not simply allowed to take what he wanted. This unexpected thrill brought his heart rate up.
“May I?” He hardly recognized his own voice. It was a question he knew had never uttered with a woman, and possibly not ever.
Available at all major ebook retailers including Amazon, Smashwords, and the publisher Riverdale Avenue Books.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A Jersey Girl currently trapped without good diners or boardwalks in New England, Rachel Kenley (www.rachelkenley.com) is a novelist, workshop leader, radio host, and co-founder of the Writers Business School (www.writersbusinessschool.com). She is the best-selling author of five erotic romance novels and seven anthologies. When she is not writing she is homeschooling her sons, trying unsuccessfully to keep up with laundry, and laughing as much as possible. She loves reading, chocolate, her morning cup of coffee, and retail therapy. Her radio show, The O Spot, is new every Wednesday at 10 pm EST on www.dkrn.fm and encores several times during the week. She can also be found (perhaps a little too much) on Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorrachelkenley) and posting on her blog, The Muse Salon, at https://musesalon.blogspot.com

Book Description:
What if Cinderella didn’t want to marry the Prince? And what if she discovered that a man who was in control of his public life enjoyed surrendering that control in the bedroom?
Mariella needs a husband to gain freedom from her stepfamily.
Teodor needs a wife to keep his crown.
When they meet at the balls, Teodor is captivated by Mariella’s intelligence, humor and sexual openness. Thrilled to have found a woman he could see spending his life with, he proposes, only to have Mariella turn him down.
Mariella has been trapped in one bad situation and refuses to exchange it for another.  Still, Teodor intrigues her, so she offers a proposal of her own that will allow her dominate him and to enjoy him in her bed while keeping him out of her heart.
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