Hi everyone! Sarah here, still in a food coma from the Big Game. Every year, we host a small party with some friends, where there’s usually about eight people in my living room and food for thirty in the dining room. We like to host the Big Game party because it’s the only reason to clean the house this time of year. Not that the clean kitchen will last, because we’re about to embark on a massive kitchen remodel and there’s going to be dust EVERYWHERE. But it’s nice while it lasts.
Last month’s winner was Misty Dawn! Congratulations, Misty Dawn! You get a cute pair of earrings and the print book of your choice! Email me at message AT sarahmanderson . com to collect your prize!
Okay, I’ve got something new for everyone today–an interview with a new author! Maggie Chase reached out to me about the launch of her brand-new series, The Jeweled Ladies, because she thought it’d be a good fit for the W&W readers–plus she’s bringing prizes! So here’s my interview with Maggie!
SMA: Hi, Maggie. Welcome to the Wild and Wicked blog! Tell us a little about yourself.
MC: Hi, Sarah! I’m Maggie Chase–wife, mom, crafter (crochet, beadwork, and drawing), reader and writer.
SMA: Now, Maggie Chase is a pen name, correct?
MC: Yes. I chose to write the Jeweled Ladies under a pen name because the subject matter–not so much the historical western part, but the erotically-charged stories–would be a huge shock to my regular readers. Huge. I decided to keep a line between, say, the story about the gay mayor, his bi assistant and the soiled dove who loves them both and my other, sweeter stories. There won’t be any crossover!
SMA: So, tell us about the Jeweled Ladies. They sound sexy!
MC: The Jeweled Ladies is a connected series all based in a brothel in Brimstone Texas (just north of real-life Fort Worth) in the years following the Civil War. All of the heroines are prostitutes who work at the Jeweled Ladies, the most famous brothel west of the Mississippi! The Jeweled Ladies is owned by Mistress, a mysterious madam with a hidden agenda. Every lady of the night there has given up her name and past to become a Jewel–Topaz Gold, Emerald Green, Ebony White, Sapphire Bleu, etc. The five stories are sex-worker positive, inclusive and diverse, just like America was (and is).
SMA: Wow, that’s a lot! Why post-Civil War as a time period?
MC: As a student of history and a voracious reader of historical romance, that time period fascinates me because the social order was being rewritten–or attempted, anyway–and a lot of the old rules were changing. But when you read romances set during that time, they almost always feature the angelic southern belle (who might have freed her slaves, but those characters always stick around because they’re so devoted to the woman who once owned them) and the Yankee solider who is taken in by her (very white) beauty.
I’m so tired of those stories. Anyone who owned slaves is not a heroine/hero to me and I felt there were so many stories that could be told about people who were on the right side of history. So this series started from that point–that abolitionists are just as worthy of romantic love as spoiled, misguided southern belles. 🙂
I also wanted to write stories where, to put it bluntly, sex workers were people in their own right instead of victims or casualties waiting to happen (the dead hooker phenomenon has launched many a plot!). (Fun fact: the word hooker to describe sex workers was coined during the Civil War to describe the prostitutes who followed Gen. Hooker’s camps around. They were Hooker’s Women, which became hookers.) I didn’t want soiled doves who were victims. I wanted to write strong, sexually proud women making their own choices. Mistress, the owner of the Jeweled Ladies, is the most powerful woman in Texas.
SMA: That all sounds a little heavy. Are the stories serious?
MC: Well, they don’t turn away from the realities of the time. His Topaz, the opening novella, features a Civil War vet whose wife died in childbirth and he was wounded in battle. Their Emerald–the gay mayor, bi assistant and prostitute who loves them both–they all get their happy ending together, but the mayor is never able to be out. Her Ebony, which is interracial F/F, Ebony is a former slave. His Sapphire, which is the May/December romance with the experienced sub who trains the reluctant Dom, explores the limits of the law during the time period and His Crown Jewel is a reunion romance featuring an interracial couple who can’t get married.
Although it all *sounds* serious, that’s just the background. The stories are primarily about finding satisfaction and happiness within the limits. So the gay mayor has to marry his favorite soiled dove to hide his sexual orientation, but the bi assistant forms a third in their marriage. They still get their happily ever after (VERY happily!) and everyone wins behind closed doors. Ebony, the former slave, not only falls in love with the schoolmarm, but gets to own her own shop and be her own woman instead of someone else’s property. Everyone deserves a happy ending and that’s what these stories are about–finding that happiness within the system.
SMA: So these stories are erotica?
MC: They’re definitely sexually charged, explicit stories. After all, all the heroines are ladies of the night! His Sapphire, especially, stands out for me. The hero is the judge and he’s a Dom. But he doesn’t know how to properly dominate so the sub, Sapphire, trains him. Which is not usually how Dom/sub stories go. I really enjoyed flipping it around and exploring the sexually charged lessons. Whew!
SMA: Do you have a favorite?
MC: Their Emerald was the first story I wrote in the series, s0 it holds a special place in my heart. I wanted something sexy and sensual and I didn’t want that southern belle angel. I didn’t find a lot of what I wanted, at least not set in America, so I wrote what I wanted to see.
I really just had the one story at first, but Mistress, the madam, just kept popping up. Who was she? Why did she run this brothel? What was her hidden agenda? The more I wrote, the bigger she became, overshadowing everything else. So I also love her story His Crown Jewel because she finally gets the happy ending she’s waited her whole life for. The epilogue to her story makes me cry every single time.
SMA: Where are the stories available?
MC: Currently, the whole series is available on Amazon exclusively. They’re free to Kindle Unlimited readers!
SMA: Do you have more books planned in the series?
MC: I do, but my other books with my other pen name take precedence right now. So the Jeweled Ladies will be on the back burner for the summer. Hopefully, when I have free time to work on all the lovely ladies (and gentlemen!) of the Jeweled Ladies, I’ll have a great series arc to tie all the stories together.
SMA: How can readers find you?
MC: Here’s where I’m online: Website: www.maggiechase.com
Check out Maggie’s Tumblr (occasionally NSFW)
SMA: Any excerpts you’d like to share? I usually have an exclusive excerpt for the W&W readers! And what’s your giveaway?
MC: I’m giving away a kindle copy of His Topaz as well as a copy of Their Emerald to randomly drawn commentators. Just answer the following question: What time period do you like to read about most? Winners will be notified and you’ll post them on your next blog, right?
SMA: Absolutely! Thanks for stopping by today, Maggie. Good luck with the Jeweled Ladies!
MC: Thanks so much for having me. *waves at Wild and Wicked readers* Great to ‘meet’ you all! Enjoy the excerpt!
Excerpt from His Topaz:
She came to her knees. He stared as the water dripped off her nipples and her body responded. Her nipples tightened as she spread her thighs to straddle his legs. Then she applied herself to washing his arms. “Like this,” she murmured as his cock nestled against her sex. She shifted her hips but didn’t stop lathering up his body. “Do you like this?”
He exhaled hard, staring down at where her breasts were pressed against his chest. “I…my wife,” he said, his hips flexing ever-so-slightly, dragging his cock along the folds of her sex. Little sparks of pleasure tingled over her sex at the movement. “I loved her.”
She recognized these thoughts—guilt. Mistress had said some men knew they were sinning and it weighed heavily upon them and it was Millie’s job to absolve them of their guilt. “I can tell you did. She must have been a wonderful woman,” she added as she washed his other arm.
“She never let me see her. We married and then I went to war and then I came back and I loved her,” he repeated. “But I never got to watch her undress or keep the lamp lit so I could watch her face, her…her body.”
Never? She tried to untangle what he’d said. She knew now many men liked to watch sex acts—their own and others.
It had been wrong and dirty and yet, there’d been something deeply arousing about watching a man’s cock slide into a woman’s mouth or pussy.
Pressure built low in her body and she shifted her hips again, sending another round of sparks chasing over her skin. “And you could not watch her body taking yours in, then?” She reached down between their bodies and brushed the tip of his cock with her fingertips where it jutted out from her thatch of curls. “You could not see this thick cock of yours sliding into and out of her?”
Matthew moaned, a quiet noise deep in the back of his throat and his hands came down on her hips, holding her still. “Miss Gold—tell me your name.”
She blinked at him. They were forbidden from giving a gentleman their real names because their pasts did not exist. That rule, Mistress had made clear, was iron-clad. “You know my name.”
Then, because it looked like he wanted to argue with her and for once—finally—she was aroused and curious and hopeful that sex was more than it’d been with Logan or Sterling, she kissed him. She cupped his face in her hands and brought her lips down over his and shifted her hips in time with the stroke of her tongue against his mouth and he groaned again, a deep noise in the back of his throat that burned through her like a wildfire.
There was a part of her that was worried about this, about not being good enough or about the pain. But then, she’d never felt this level of anticipation before. Her body was flushed and heavy feeling and, as she wound her arms around Matthew’s neck and pressed against his chest, she put those concerns aside.
She wasn’t in bed with Logan or Sterling. She was in a bath with Matthew and that made all the difference.
Their mouths met again and again. His callused fingers dug into her hips and then one hand drifted up to cup her breast. She moaned against his lips as his grip tightened, her nipple pointed under his touch.
She was supposed to be here for him but suddenly, she wanted more than a quick fuck and a few dollars.
His mouth moved lower, covering her neck with kisses that made her writhe against him. “I want to watch,” he murmured against the swell of her breast. “I want to see everything I do to you.”
“Yes,” she hissed, arching her back so he could capture her breast with his lips. She gasped as his mouth closed around her sensitive flesh and he began to suckle her. “Oh, Matthew.”
His hair was wiry and short, but she still laced her fingers into it and held him to her. Pleasure shot from where his lips worked her down to her sex and ricocheted back up from where his cock rubbed against her in lazy circles.
“You’re so pretty,” he murmured as he turned his attentions to her other breast.
“And you’re so handsome,” she told him. He tilted his head back, his brow quirked with doubt. “You are,” she repeated, dragging her breasts against his chest. The dark hair there was just as rough as the hair on his head and it felt deliciously sinful against her aching nipples. “I want you.”
Doubt was replaced with relief—she’d said the right thing. “Bed?”
She nodded and pushed herself away from him. When she stood, the water sheeted down her body and he stared up at her with naked desire. “Real pretty,” he said again, sitting forward to trace her legs with his hands.
She held still for the exploration, concentrating on the sensations he unleashed upon her. The air was cooler than the water—and him—and her skin prickled. She shivered but she wasn’t sure if it was the chill in the air or the way he was staring at her body.
Because he was looking his fill. His touch reached the top of her thighs and then he hesitated.
“Go on,” she said breathlessly. She spread her legs so he could study her sex. “Please touch me, Matthew.”
“Yeah,” he said, his voice little more than a growl. Then his fingers were against her, spreading the folds of her sex. “Goldie…”
She smiled at the name. True, Topaz didn’t exactly lend itself to being cried out in the throes of passion. “Look at you,” she said, balancing carefully to nudge his cock with her foot.
He sucked in a breath, but his gaze never left her. “So pink,” he murmured and then, finally, he did touch her. His fingers slid over her slit and up to the little button of pleasure that Mistress had located for Millie. “So perfect.”
She braced herself, giving him better access and watching him watch her. “I like it when you touch me like that,” she told him as his fingers stroked over her flesh. Mistress had told her she would have to exaggerate or occasionally lie outright to convince a man she enjoyed his attentions, but this?
This was not an exaggeration. Or a lie. Matthew’s careful strokes woke her body up from what felt like a long, dark sleep. This was passion—the passion she’d hoped to find in her marriage bed. Passion that led to children, to happiness.
No, no—she’d been warned about this. She was not to confuse lust and desire with love. That was the way to heartbreak for a whore.
The Jeweled Ladies Complete Boxed Set ISBN: 978-1-941097-25-0
His Topaz (The Jeweled Ladies #1) ISBN: 978-1-941097-20-5
A widowed Civil War veteran, Matthew Hawkins doesn’t know what to expect from a night at the Jeweled Ladies. All he wants is one night to feel like a man again. But when he’s paired with Miss Topaz Gold, he’s stunned by how deeply she makes him feel.
Former mail-order bride Millie Townsend came to the Jeweled Ladies and gave up her name because she thought it was the key to her salvation after her husband died. It doesn’t take long to realize she isn’t Topaz Gold. She only wants to be a wife and mother, not a whore. But when Matthew offers to take her away from the Jeweled Ladies, will Millie be allowed to leave?
Their Emerald (The Jeweled Ladies #2) ISBN: 978-1-941097-21-2
The mayor of Brimstone, Raymond Dupree, has a secret—he’s in love with his assistant, Hank O’Shea. The only person who knows the truth is Miss Emerald Green, the second-most famous Jewel in Texas. Raymond spends one night a week not with Miss Green but with Emmy, his closest confidant. She treasures her friendship with Raymond and although she wishes he could love her fully, she’s content. But when Hank kisses Raymond, everything changes.
The risk of their forbidden love is too great and Hank decides Raymond has to marry Emmy. But Emmy can’t give up her sexuality and she won’t cuckold Raymond. But will Hank’s proposal—Raymond and Emmy share him—be the solution to their problem?
Her Ebony (The Jeweled Ladies #3) ISBN: 978-1-941097-22-9
Prickly and difficult, spinster schoolmarm Minerva Krenshaw hides behind her shabby dresses and sad bonnet. She’s used to being invisible—until Miss Ebony White catches her eye.
Abigail Whithall escaped an abusive apprenticeship and is saving all her money from working at the Jeweled Ladies for her own dress shop. But more than the latest styles, she needs respectability—and to learn how to read. She offers to sew new clothes for the most respectable Minerva in exchange for reading lessons. But their lessons go far beyond letters. Will Minerva give in to the passion Ebony promises—or will she go back on her word?
His Sapphire (The Jeweled Ladies #4) ISBN: 978-1-941097-23-6
Judge Gerard Hobson believes Brimstone is his but the town refuses to bend to his will. Now someone’s spreading rumors that he murdered a whore. He’s lost control of his life. And although he’s never visited a brothel before, he finds himself in the Jeweled Ladies, making the acquaintance of Miss Sapphire Bleu in a desperate bid to hold onto his sanity.
As Sapphire, Sadie knows the judge’s type. He longs to be in control—and she longs to surrender it. But Gerard is afraid of hurting her—and more afraid of what he might become if he gives into his desires. Can Sadie show him there’s nothing to fear from a little pain?
His Crown Jewel (The Jeweled Ladies #5) ISBN: 978-1-941097-24-3
As the notorious madam Mistress, Emily Weatherspoon has spent years gathering secrets, wielding power and satisfying other people’s urges. Although she’s been richly rewarded, she’s never forgotten her first love—Cyrus Franklin, the former slave who suddenly appeared in Brimstone.
Cyrus never thought he’d see Emily again—and certainly not as a madam. But when their paths cross again, he’s not going to let the only woman he’s ever loved get away from him. But someone’s out to destroy Cyrus and, as Mistress, Emily has the power to keep him safe. When she tries to send Cyrus away, will he go or will he fight for her?