Reflections on a sex club

One of the fun things we get to do as authors is put ourselves in all kinds of unusual situations without the risks associated with leaping too far outside of our comfort zones.

I think it was Joss Whedon who said it best: “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.” 

And as much as some might say that every single part of a book should come from some kind of true to life research or experience, sometimes this is just not possible.

For example, the sex club scene in The Enemy Inside. One of the pivotal scenes featuring the two main characters, Jay and Berg, takes place inside a sex club with some pretty serious BDSM themes. And you have to remember; I started writing this book back in 2006, before Fifty Shades of Grey made BDSM something so mainstream you could chat about it over tea and scones.

Now, as much as I’d like to be the kind of cool person who frequently attends swingers’ clubs for a sexy beating, I’m not (why, what have you heard?). I’m a married mother-of-two with a hygiene fetish who’d be more likely to visit a sex club, get out the handy wipes and give the place a thorough cleaning before I’d get down and dirty in it.

But this scene in the book was important not only for the plot, but also for the character development between my two detectives.

So what to do? I had to rely on something I’d almost forgotten in my drive to learn everything I could about forensics, autopsies, police investigations, and the US legal system: my imagination.

Knowing this scene was coming up, I sat down and had a serious think about it. Rather than looking up other people’s sex club experiences on good old Google (not that I was afraid of doing this, it would be the least scary item on my Google search history. I maintain that if the police monitored my Internet searches, I’d be in prison), I’d come up with the details.

I asked myself: ‘if I were setting up a sex club, how would I want it to be set up? Who would be invited? How would they know about it? What would they do once they got there? (apart from the obvious). What would I want to be supplied to my guests? What about security? Music? Catering?’ (Yes, catering. Never let it be said that I don’t think about things from all angles). I planned everything out to the smallest detail. It’s good to know that if this whole writing gig doesn’t pan out, I could perhaps become a madam or the purveyor of a chain of high-class sex clubs.

I had little sticky notes all over the house with ideas about how my sex club might look and be operated for weeks before I wrote the scene. My poor husband probably saw them and thought his life was about to take a major turn for the better.

The sights, sounds and smells Jay experiences as he’s being led through the sex club by an enthusiastic Cindy, are the sights sounds and smells I would expect to see if I was walking through the sex clubs of my dreams.

I imagined feel the soft, plush red carpet under my feet, the expensive art on the red walls, the smell of sweat and perfume, the top of the line liquor, the beat from the loud jazz thudding through my chest, the greeting room with a view to die for, and the individuals rooms in case I wanted to experience voyeurism, BDSM, an all-in orgy…wait, what was I talking about again?

And while I have no idea if it’s true to life at all, it’s true to my characters, and me and that’s the most important thing.

Never underestimate the power of a good imagination, it can take you places you never thought you’d go!

Get The Enemy Inside here:

Sherri Hayes Finding Anna, Book 4 Cover Reveal!!

Finding Anna, Book 4 Cover Reveal
Book 1
has lived the lifestyle of a Dominant for five years. After several rebellious
teenage years, it gave him the stability and control he had been seeking after
his parent’s death.
As president of a not-for-profit foundation, he knows what his future holds and
what he wants out of life. All that changes when a simple lunch with his
college friend and Mentor, Daren, leads him to buying a slave.Thrust into a situation he never thought he’d be in, Stephan can’t walk away.
He is compelled to help this girl in the only way he knows how.Brianna knows only one thing, she is a slave. She has nothing. She is nothing.Can Stephan help Brianna realize that she is much more than just a Slave?

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Book 2

As Brianna comes to terms
with the realization that she is no longer a slave, she must figure out what
she wants for her life. Forgetting her past isn’t an option. It is an integral
part of who she is now, and it will forever shape her view of life. The one
thing she knows is that she cannot imagine her life without the man who saved
her, but can she be what he needs? 
Stephan never imagined
falling in love with the woman he rescued, but the thought of her no longer
being part of his life is physically painful. The scars from her past continue
to haunt her, and he is helpless to stop them. All he can do is try to help her
work through the traumas of her past. Can he be everything she needs and help
her move on?
The two must figure out
how to navigate not only their relationship with each other, but also the
outside world. A friend from Brianna’s past shows up where she least expects
them, and Uncle Richard continues to enforce his well-meaning agenda to get
Brianna more traditional help. As forces, both friend and foe, threaten to tear
them apart, Stephan and Brianna have to navigate the turbulent waters and find
what they need in each other.

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Book 3
the last two months, Brianna has discovered something she never thought she
would again. Hope. After the horror of being Ian’s slave for ten months, a fate
she never imagined she’d escape, it feels as if she is living a dream. She has
freedom she hadn’t expected to have again, and she wakes up every morning not
fearing what the day will bring.

There is also Stephan. The man who saved her from the daily torture she had to
endure at the hands of Ian and his friends. The same man who makes her heart
race with just the thought of him. Life is good.

Outside forces are determined to conspire against them, however. When Brianna’s
father shows up on her doorstep, it sends her world spiraling out of control.
He brings with him new information about how Brianna ended up in Ian’s
clutches, but will it make a difference? Will Stephan be able to find a way to
make Ian pay for all he made Brianna suffer?

As Brianna and Stephan try to find out the truth, their relationship is tested.
She is forced to face her past head on and deal with the ugly reality of what
happened to her. Will Stephan’s love be enough to see her through her newest
challenge, or will the fragile trust they’ve built come crumbling down around
them as the truth makes itself known.

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Book 4 – Available March 20, 2014

Cover reveal: BROKEN

Behold! the AWESOME cover of Broken, the sequel to The Enemy Inside and the second book in the Edge of Darkness series!

‘A mother is murdered in an apparent robbery.
A young woman is raped and beaten in a home invasion.
Chicago Detective Alicia “Berg” Raymond doesn’t believe in random crime and is certain both cases are more than they seem—but can she trust her instincts, or is she too distracted by the feelings she has for former partner and new boss? For Berg, the need for justice burns deep and fills the emptiness where therapy and relationships fall short.
She’s certain the husband knows more than he’s willing to admit, but the trap to catch the killer is the loophole that sets him free.
As Berg fights to prevent another murder, she crosses the line between hero and villain—and there’s no turning back.’

‘I am so very impressed with this book. It gripped my innards and ripped them out, little by little…’ – Goodreads.

‘If you think The Enemy Inside is a thriller, just wait ’til you get Broken!’ – Goodreads.

To be released in February 2014.


Guest Post by Sherri Hayes

A Christmas Proposal

Matthew Andersen knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Cali Stanton. Since she came into his life just five months ago, his world had completely changed for the better. With everything in their lives finally coming together, he was determined to make their first Christmas a memorable one.

He spent almost an hour washing and cutting fruit,
prepping breakfast for the next morning. Breakfast in bed was the first order
of business. It would get things moving in the right direction and hopefully
show Cali how special she was to him. Before her, his life had been a series of
things that needed to be done. She’d opened him up, made him relax and enjoy
life a little. Cali made things less predictable.
Once he felt everything in the kitchen was prepared,
Matthew moved into the living room. They’d put up a tree and decorated it. He’d
never been much for Christmas decorating, at least not since his mom died. His
father and brother, Jason, had seemed to feel the same way, so their house had
pretty much looked the same all year around. The only nod to Christmas had been
a fake tree about two feet tall on a small plastic stand. Most of the time,
however, it remained bare of any ornaments.
With Cali living with him, decorating had felt
right. She’d sacrificed sleep so they could pick out a live tree together, and
buy other holiday themed items. They’d spent several hours covering nearly
every surface in their living room with some hint of Christmas. Each little
touch made their house feel more like a home instead of just a place to live.
She did that. Not just with the Christmas
decorations, but with everything.
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About The Author

Sherri spent most of her childhood detesting English class. It was one of her least favorite subjects because she never seemed to fit into the standard mold. She wasn’t good at spelling, or following grammar rules, and outlines made her head spin. For that reason, Sherri never imagined becoming an author.

At the age of thirty, all of that changed. After getting frustrated with the direction a television show was taking two of its characters, Sherri decided to try her hand at writing an alternate ending, and give the characters their happily ever after. By the time the story finished, it was one of the top ten read stories on the site, and her readers were encouraging her to write more.

Six years later, Sherri is the author of six full-length novels, and one short story. Writing has become a creative outlet for Sherri that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. She is most well known for her Finding Anna Series about a young woman rescued from being a sex slave by a wealthy Dominant. The third book in that series, Truth, released July 25, 2013.