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Monday, May 17, 2010


When Two isn’t Enough
Jeanie Johnson and Jayha Leigh

Picture this: a roomy front porch on a massive log cabin sitting on 25 acres. Situated on the North Carolina side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the landscape is dominated by various hues of green and dotted by the bright oranges, yellows and deep reds of the towering lilies and roses that surround the porch. A Carolina blue sky laced with white cotton candy clouds and warmed by a lemon ice cream sun hovers above. The silence is broken only by the sound of the shimmering stream gurgling a happy song. It’s nothing short of beautiful, which is why Jeanie and Jayha are lounging on the front porch. Jayha is sipping the nectar of the gods (sweet iced tea) and Jeanie is drinking an ice cold Coca-Cola™ as they enjoy the warm day that is about to come to a close and allow night to have its turn. [Yeah, we know neither of us has that kind of money but this is our fantasy and our blog for today so just go with it].

“How was your day, Momma?”

“All good, Bambina,” Jayha answered with a sigh.

The sigh might’ve been quiet, but Jeanie heard it just the same. “Why the sigh, Momma?”

Sinking deeper into her seat, Jayha took a long pull of her tea before answering. “I was reading a lot today.”

“Which is normal for a writer,” Jeanie said in an attempt to insert some humor into the conversation.

Of course, Jayha simply smiled indulgently at Jeanie. “Uh huh, but it just felt like I was stuck in a bad version of Groundhog Day reading the same thing over and over again…almost like I could auto-populate the stories. It was pages and pages of the same damn thing just different characters, different places, different authors.”

“I know what you mean, Momma.”

“It’s like the industry got together and handed out a book of storylines that they expect every book to fall into. The secretary and her boss, the city girl and the country boy, the older man and the young girl. The only thing that seems to change is small tweaks here and there.”

“You don’t like the tweaks?” Jeanie asked.

“Depends. The tweaks make it interesting but it’s not the tweaks that bother me so much as the relentlessness with which the industry pursues the hot new storyline. And what bothers me more than that is that elusive 'Keeper of the Storyline' who snuffs out deviations that haven’t been pre-approved in order to be true to what LA and NY have certified as 'hot.'"

“What storylines specifically are getting you all hot up under the collar?”

Jayha took her time answering. “It seems that the industry is suddenly being flooded with stories involving women and multiple partners.”

Having also noticed the increase in ménage and ‘group’ stories in the industry, Jeanie nodded.

“I wonder if women are really into that kind of thing or if someone decided that that’s what women are into?”

“It’s mostly just fantasy,” Jeanie said.

“True but whose fantasy is it? Do women really want more than one man in their bed at once?”

“Good point, one man is usually messy enough,” Jeanie said tongue-in-cheek.

“Tell it.” Jayha laughed as she took another sip of tea.

“Although there is something to be said for two men who are all about pleasuring one woman…” Jeanie continued.

“Or three men,” Jayha said as she lapsed into a smile.

Jeanie knew that smile. She bet her momma had retreated to her warm, safe place where three men stood to do her bidding. Jeanie bet every man was dressed in a medley of ninja and highlander gear…as they flitted around her industrial-size kitchen and cooked and baked.

“Stop it, Momma” Jeanie said with a grin.

Jayha gave her a faux innocent look complete with fluttering eyelashes.

Jeanie rolled her eyes, “Momma, I know what you’re doing.”

“You do not.”

“Yes I do,” Jeanie sing-songed teasingly. “I’m betting there is some cooking going on by some ninjas and highlanders.”

“Oh, you hush. It’s not my fault that the kilt-wearing, ninja chefs want to defend my honor and cook for me 24/7,” Jayha said with a toss of her shoulder length Senegalese twists.

“Your ‘honor’? Did you actually say your ‘honor’?” Jeanie laughed loudly.

“Would someone like some restriction?” Jayha threatened.

“Only if I get to play with two dudes that talk to me about how they’re going to drink Coca-Cola off of me,” Jeanie said smartly.

Jayha shook her head. “You and your Coca-Cola fetish.”

Jeanie laughed again, “Yeah, and you and your ninja/highlander chef fetish.”

“As far as fetishes go, it’s a good fetish to have. Still, I wonder how many is too many?” Jayha wondered.

“I thought you had a harem of ninja/highlander chefs?” Jeanie asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Ninja/highlander/cowboy chefs,” Jayha corrected. “And I do…but I only want them for their cooking prowess.”

“So if five dudes wearing kilts, cowboy hats and Tims wearing swords rocked your world with their food you wouldn’t be inclined to ‘reward’ them?” Jeanie asked with waggle of her eyebrows.

“Of course I’d reward them…but not all at once. Plus, if they’re feeding me like they should, I’d only have time to rock two of their worlds at the most before the ‘Itis’ set in.”

“I agree five is like three too many,” Jeanie said.

“In bed but not anywhere else. I could totally handle five guys catering to my every whim. You know one to hold my sweet tea, another two to fan me with palm leaves. One to hold my plate of cheesecake, and another to sit at my feet and fawn over my greatness.”

“You’re a demanding something,” Jeanie said “although the other three could stand around and take notes on how to please me.”

“Yes, but being that I went to Shara’s School of Benevolent Despoting, I now know how to be benevolent. As such, I’d allow them to reward themselves by giving me a full body massage so I could be in peak condition to flip back and forth between all of the ESPN channels and the NFL network.”

“Oh, that’s mighty nice of you,” Jeanie said.

“I know, right? Of course, this is all hypothetical being that in real life I can see Mr. Me getting a little pissy about that kind of thing.”

“A ‘little’ pissy?” Jeanie asked.

“Yeah, a ‘little.’ You know how men are. Still, it would be nice to have those five men in my kitchen seducing me with their big…tempting…dishes,” Jayha sighed.

Jeanie shook her head in wonder as she heard her Momma’s wistful words. Five men in bed was three too many. And though they joked, she couldn’t help but wonder right along with her momma if that many partners at once was the secret fantasy of women…or was it simply the perverted dream of some faceless man/woman in a penthouse who loved money as much as he/she hated women.

—Jeanie and Jayha

A kickass tag-team bound together by the pen, Jeanie (the shagalicious wordslinger) and Jayha (the ninja master of h*ll no’s) are forces of nature that will either leave you begging for mercy or begging for more.

We are women who have brains we aren't afraid to use; feelings we aren't afraid to express; and, middle fingers that we aren’t afraid to extend. We pen stories that push all kinds of boundaries and we don’t apologize for it. Our heroines are feisty; our heroes are hot, and our stories are one-of-a-kind adventures. Come visit us at

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Serenity King said...

Loved the interview! No truer words have ever been said. The scenario was awesome!

Serenity King

Novellette said...

WOW! I thoroughly enjoyed that. The usual Jeanie and Jayha bantering humour is the perfect way to start my day.
I agree. Multiple men and one woman is somebody's stupid idea of what a woman wants. Two men and one woman in the shifter world I can accept because it is a story and fantasy and one really is messy enough.


Yazmin said...

You have made a valid point that I agree with. I find it difficult to believe that numerous women readers are into a handful of men at once. I wish I could see the numbers from a survey to determine who exactly is buying books of this type. Personally if there is more than 2 males to the 1 female, I find it a turn off and most likely would not purchase the book. This to me is more along the lines of written porn and not erotica. Heck as it is, I have enough time digesting some menages'.

BrennaLyons said...

Excellent! I love listening in on your conversations this way.

As for the subject? My best friend is in a polyamory situation...two husbands (one legal and one handfasted). That said, she doesn't share a bed with both of them at the same time. The two guys have their personal strengths and weaknesses and complement each other well, in that regard. One is a handyman; the other is lucky to be able to put a prefab cabinet together. (NOTE: Before she was married again, I did the building projects for her.) Back to the subject... One is an excellent cook; the other cooks only simple recipes. And she will sleep with one of the men at any given time. It works well for them, so why not? I've met many polyamory couples (some that had been together for decades), and if it works for them, it's none of my business.

Me? I recount the story of the woman and the thimble to her often. I have enough problems and joys with one husband...and his libido is just fine, thanks. Grinning... I don't want two or more around the house, no matter whether they expect to share a bed with me or not. It's one more person to get in the way and do things that annoy me. Besides, while I am not a household goddess, I am picky about certain things, like how clothing is folded and stored. They can mop floors and run the steam cleaner, but stay out of my garden and laundry room!

Do I read menage? Yes. I don't think any woman needs more than two men in bed at once, personally. Orgy is not my thing, and the idea of every available orifice (and possibly plus that) being thanks.

Is menage some wild fantasy of mine? No. And to be honest, I read them sparingly, because of that. I have to fall in love with the characters and situation to even go there.

BTW, I agree with you. The big publishers are so busy putting out copycats and not allowing variation, that's why they mistakenly say something is "dead." It's not dead and probably sells very well in indie, with the freedom to write something out of the box...and with the fact that indie isn't as compartmentalized. But they've run the readers so far into doldrums on the given subject, they just stop buying whatever it is this month.

rolanda said...

Loved it! That was so the two of you. I am in agreement. I love a one man one woman story the most. I am not sure where this whole influx of menage stories are coming from but I am an old fashioned girl and I guess I like the traditional man/woman pairing the most.

Reana Malori said...

This was a great way to tackle this topic. The only counter argument I have is this...."someone" is out there buying the books unless they wouldn't sell. Whether it's men, women, or martians, the multiple men (3 or more) and one woman stories must be making money unless the stories would stop being published.

Like Brenna, I know a triad and they are very happy together. No, it's not for everyone, but who am I to judge how people live their life and love who they love. If it works for them, all the better. It's a fantasy...if you don't like it, don't read it.

Do I read menage/polyamory? Yep, I sure do and proud of it. But they must have a plot...and must be happily ever after.

Hales said...

I loved the way you put the blog together.

I read menage/polyamory, there has to be plot and a HEA. I do like the paranormal genre when reading multiple, multiples in one bed because there's a way to connect them more spiritually than in real life contemporary reads.

But I also enjoy watching people embrace their sexuality and growing from their experiences. So I guess I'm on the fence lol!



Zetta Brown said...

I've never been a huge follower of trends. In fact, I have admitted that I'm waaaaay tired of vampires. Have been for YEARS.

Menage. Fantasy? Sure. Reality? Sure. It suits some people, and I think now they are getting their share of the pie (get your mind out the gutter!), so they definitely have more books to choose from these days.

I have no problem writing about a woman who has more than one lover on the run. Will they fall into bed all at the same time? If the story AND the characters call for it, sure, but I'm not going to do it just because everyone else is doing it.

Personally, I am a totally character-driven type of reader (and writer). I need to enjoy the characters as much as the story.

LauraGuevara08 said...

I like to read about menages and polyamory relationships..but they have to be done right. I just don't want to read about sex..if that was the case I would watch a porno...I want a HEA and there are some authors out there who write these types of stories very well.

Great blog ladies. Love the setting and convo!

Cira said...


Hmmmmm, multiple men? I am on the fence about that. I need a really good story in everything I read. If the characters and plot draw me in and the menage is plausible then it just flows into the story. If it is presented as sex for the sake of sex..., then no I'll pass.

I do think the "Keeper of the Story-lines" is a person who is all about the instant gratification of dollars and cents. That being said, what an author might create under one name to pay the rent may be different than what they might create under another independently assumed identity in the witness protection program to fulfill their writing potential. (lol)

The want of menage is like saying Britney Spears has talent. Whatever we may think.., someone has marketed sex and keeps re-wrapping it. It is up to the consumer and independent writers to change the game.

And I would love a kilt wearing, sword carring, musclebound, cake baking, big handed HUNK in my presence at all times.

Beautiful Trouble Publishing said...

You ladies rock. Thank you for the comments. We also read menage and multiple partners...the trick is finding good ones that as you say has a storyline, has a HEA...not simply a fruck-fest. And one thing we learned in the industry is how many good authors are turned down for the BS that is published (in all genres).

Thank you for the conversation. We might have to blog again...first we'll have to find something to blog JandJ

Classy n Sassy Promotions said...

Man that is a post and a half! I always enjoy how you take me on a trip when making your point. Too many players on the field ruin the game for me. YUCK! I think that a hand full of people are pushing this genre; I don't think a majority of females are dying for this kind of read. I am very interested to get some men's point of views on this. Any takers? VON

BrennaLyons said...

My husband said that the idea of many men with one woman is one he's not ever been into. He's considered two men with one woman before, but that's limited (if the guys aren't into each other...and that is decidedly not his thing). But a little sharing of one woman between two guys for just a night or two is enticing. More than two men? Wrong buzzer goes off.

Now ask him about two women on one guy...not so much the women with each other (though he agrees that's hot) but both playing with him... And that sounds interesting, until he has to consider getting them both off, in which case...he admits that's a young man's game.

However, he does comment that two young women with an old buck like him... What a way to die of natural causes for the life insurance! Two thumbs up!


Sammy1on1 said...

I don't mind reading a menage story if it's no more than two men, if it's more then two I just can't get into that.

Aliyah Burke said...

Great interview ladies!
I'm on the one to one ratio stories personally but hey, to each their own. Everyone deserves to be happy.
Here's to continued success!!
Happy reading,

Beautiful Trouble Publishing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beautiful Trouble Publishing said...

Thanks for the responses…we appreciate the conversation.

Jeanie and I both read ménages and even some books with multiples. Truthfully, I have been just as pissed off about books with one female/one male as I have been with ménages because when the heroine isn’t respected by the man/men/woman/women she is with, and she doesn’t respect herself that is the unforgivable turnoff for us as readers.
People like what they like and we respect that as authors although as publishers we don’t delve into books featuring anything over a ménage. To each her or his own but I notice that the industry seems to push authors into writing/re-writing stories a certain way. How many authors have been told something along the lines of ‘this story is great, now if you simply change the hero/heroine to this race/vampire/nationality and make it a (insert) instead of what it is, it’d be perfect.

How many authors have been discouraged to write single m/f not outright but underhanded with comments about what is perceived as boring sex. There is nothing wrong with a story featuring multiple consenting partners if that is one’s cup of tea…but I still wonder who decided that should be the cup of tea of the moment.
As far as certain categories selling well, we’re not surprised considering the things that have sold well. For example, the Pet Rock, the Chia Pet, etc., which were for the most part harmless but then there is the things that sell well that is not only harmful but sinful, such as the selling of people.

In the erotica category if one goes over to the free websites one will notice the categories that sell well: incest for example. On one website in particular incest not only does well in the most read/top categories, but it dominates the categories. Still, most publishers shy away from that. What would it take for pubs to ‘push’ authors into writing that category? According to the numbers that is what people want, but when is the last time you went to B&N or one of the big chain bookstores and saw a category labeled ‘incest?’

Just as you most likely won’t see a category labeled ‘incest’ one probably won’t find a category labeled ‘underage’ regardless of where the story takes place (for instance in a country where the age of consent law is much lower). The way that is worked around is having grown women acting like ‘schoolgirls.’ That is still a boundary for many pubs who want to sell their product in the US context…but it sells.
Something that sells well is pornography. A nearly hundred BILLION dollar a year industry, it sells more than Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, eBay, Netflix, EarthLink and Yahoo! COMBINED. If authors really want to get rich or die writing, they’d write porn because you don’t even need a plot…you just need something shaped like a penis and an orifice. But still, these stories are categorized under erotica and for the most part we haven’t seen much erotica in those stories. Many of those stories are thinly veiled porn and bad porn at that.

So it is not simply a matter of what sells well, is it then a matter of what sells well and what publishers can get away with? Just thinking aloud.

With seven billion peeps on earth we know there is a market for almost anything, but still, we wonder who drives the trends.

Sandra said...

Well, I've found that for me, the fantasy is hot. Note I said fantasy! Real life is anothernthing. And like a few other, I know people living the lifestyle. It's not for me, but I'm a firm believer in free will. Now, I've written a ménage or two, but that was because the story called for it. In one the two men were actually ONE man, separated magically, so really, it wasn't truly a threesome. But the dynamics were the same so I won't hide under the "really one" banner. As for more than two... That's okay, just not all at once. Where i've seen this work well was an apocalyptic story where a family of brothers shared one female because women were scarce. They didn't all climb into bed at the same time, though.

Personally, I think two is am embarrassment of riches. Three or more is just plain greedy! LOL


Dréa riley said...

i got nothing LOL...i don't share well and nether does the cwb. ha ha i'll read it but it has to be done well. and there are some scenarios that i just wont read it at all....if there is an hea i'm almost always there
and you too are strait nuts you know that right