Virgins shouldn’t own sex shops. That’s what my best friend, Lille, short for Lillehammer, said when I told her about the inheritance from my mother. I didn’t disagree. I hadn’t even known my mother; the way I’d heard it, she was definitely not a virgin, but she couldn’t have known that I was one. At least, I hoped that wasn’t common knowledge.
My father never talked about her. He’d met her on a spring break trip he and his friends had taken down in Florida in 1988. He’d never been much of a partyer, preferring to spend his spring breaks exploring Native American cultural sites or reading enormous tomes on obscure topics such as the impact of tea exports on the spread of colonialism, but some friends of his had talked him into it, I guess. I was the result.
The only time he’d ever mentioned her had been two years ago, after my grandmother’s funeral, when he’d had too much Scotch. I’d come home from college for the funeral, and we’d been sitting at the breakfast table with a bottle of Dewar’s between us, looking at the assortment of tinfoil-covered dishes and Tupperware containers from well-meaning church ladies. He’d shaken his head and said,
“Your mother loved to cook.”I remember thinking that he was talking about someone else, or else he’d meant to say grandmother, but no, he’d been talking about the flame-haired, freckle-skinned mother that I’d never met. I had one picture of her standing on the beach in a tiny turquoise-andwhite- striped bikini, her cheeks sunburned, hand on one hip as she smiled into the camera.
I’d never met her. He’d only known her for a week—one fateful week. Apparently she’d written a letter to my father shortly after my birth, telling him that she couldn’t afford to take care of me and asking for his help. My grandmother had received the letter instead, and a week later, I was a permanent resident of Fate, Georgia.
My grandmother Ruth had raised me alone, for the most part, in our small home in north Georgia, with my father a vague impression in the background, reading with his noise-canceling headphones like giant black beetles on his ears. He was a professor of history at a small, private college; he drove a gray Volkswagen and seemed mostly content with his life.
My grandmother, a tall, slender, iron-haired woman with a knack for gardening, had believed life had two purposes: raising a family and worshipping God as he was meant to be worshipped, in the Baptist church.
As the bastard consequence of an affair with a trashy whore from Florida, I was subject to her constant scrutiny. She was never unkind, just distant and watchful. So long as I was quiet, respectful, and nondescript, she was generally approving, and though sometimes I felt like running through the streets naked and dancing like a wild woman, I generally tried to please her whenever possible.
I don’t remember being unhappy, really. Like my father, I am quiet and a little shy, a dreamer by nature, though I’ve always gravitated toward art rather than books. My grandmother taught me to sew, knit, and embroider when I was little, and starting in grade school, I began taking art lessons along with the piano and ballet lessons my grandmother insisted would turn me into a lady.
When I was eighteen, I received a scholarship to a private art school in San Francisco. My grandmother had refused to help me move, claiming that California was a den of iniquity and sure that I would return a tattooed lesbian with a drug habit like my mother.
Had I possessed a more rebellious nature, I may have done just that. Lord knew I had plenty of friends from the art world that fit that description. Instead I am a slightly hippyish twenty-four-yearold with a penchant for floral skirts, Birkenstocks, UGG boots, and paint-splattered overalls.
I fit in with the southern Florida crowd about as well as a sprig of lavender among birds-of-paradise, yet here I was, driving through Fort Lauderdale in my beat-up Nissan with all my worldly possessions (mostly canvases and art supplies) filling every conceivable nook and cranny.
I’d nearly turned around several times—once when I’d been driving through Oklahoma and a tornado warning had kept me huddled in the bathroom of the Motel 6 where I’d stopped for the night, and once when I’d nearly stepped on a snake at a rest stop in North Florida. Somehow God had seemed to be telling me that my current path was not in my best interest.
But the other side of me, the artist who loved to paint nudes and landscapes screaming with color, the part of me that relished the adventure—even the hint of danger—in my current trip, the part of
me that dreamed of wild sex and madness, thought that inheriting a dirty-sex shop in Hollywood, Florida, was the catalyst that would finally set my life in motion.
The Fetish Box, Part One: Open All Night
on-sale February 11th 2013
Virginal twenty-two-year-old Mary has just inherited a sex shop in Florida from her mother. After a long drive from California, she arrives at her deceased mother’s house only to be confronted immediately with two equally sexy strangers: the strong, silent John and the irreverent, taunting Max. She’s innocent, almost completely untouched, but feels a completely uncharacteristic pull to each man. Shocking even herself, she realizes it’s not an unwelcome desire.Max is a playboy who knows how to give women what they want, but John… John might just be able to give Mary something even she doesn’t know she needs…
The Fetish Box, Part Two: What Escapes
on-sale March 4th 2013
Mary is surprised by the deep feelings that follow in the wake of her first sexual encounter, but fascination with her lover John doesn’t dim her desire for the unapologetically lusty Irish bar-owner, Max. Feeding one hunger has unleashed other needs, and Mary wants to experience everything her new life has to offer.
But Mary’s dark desires aren’t the only ones swirling in the depths of The Fetish Box, and violence erupts amid the passion. When one of the men is attacked and the people at The Box put in danger, Mary realizes that some desires are more dangerous than others…
The Fetish Box, Part Three: What Remains
on-sale March 25th, 2013
The final breathtaking installment in the eBook series about a world where your fantasies come true and nothing is quite what it seems.
About the author: Nicole Camden, author of "The Nekkid Truth" in BIG GUNS OUT OF UNIFORM, has returned to erotica after a decade of teaching, dog-rescuing, and other mayhem. She lives in Houston, TX with her fiance and two dogs.
Thanks to the wonderful folks at Simon & Schuster US, we have 3 (THREE) ecopies of the first book in The Fetish Box series - Open All Night - up for grabs today! The giveaway is open to everyone 18+, world-wide. Enter via Rafflecopter below!
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