Hello D.A.! Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today! It’s such a pleasure to chat with you. So tell me…
Thank you for having me! I’m so grateful. 😊
Can you tell us a little about your book?
Oh, yes! Sunday Service is the second Punishment Club book and the fourth in the Consequences, Live! series. All four books stand alone, although the two Punishment Club installments really do come together to tell one story. In the series, it’s a dystopian future America where young adults in the Age of Transition (18 – 22) are sequestered from the rest of society until they finish college. Anyone of them convicted of an act of “sexual mischief” can be sentenced to televised “Controlled Judicial Humiliations” under the care attentions of Nurse Reyes-Garcia at Huntington Regional Detention Center. In The Punishment Club books, two young women and two young men (Cassidy, Emma Jo, Peter, and Buddy) have been caught streaking across their college campus after dark—goaded into it by anonymous students on the web who trick them into thinking it’s a sorority-frat initiation. They didn’t believe they were doing anything wrong, but the courts feel differently. During their brief stay in jail (two and a half days), they form a bond of friendship with one another—and of course four individuals also become two romantic couples. None will allow another to suffer a punishment alone. In Sunday Service, we get the story of the second half of their stay—and also the story of how they deliver a little payback to the anonymous students who set them up in the first place. It’s the first time I’ve ever written four protagonists at once (which is why it became two books instead of one). They’re all very, very different and distinct (Think The Breakfast Club with a hearty helping of BDSM), and I absolutely believe that readers are going to love each one of them.
Was there as specific part of the story that you absolutely loved writing as well as not enjoyed writing?
I loved writing all of the scenes where the four of them were together and they got to play off of one another. I have a great time character building. But for a specific scene, I took a lot of guilty pleasure in the “Arena” scene at the end, where true justice is served to those who really deserve it. The trickiest thing was to never tell any one part of the story twice when I switch point of view from one character to another. Every scene is a step forward, always moving on—and that was hard. But, technically, the toughest scene in Sunday Service was the “Dollhouse” segment, where Cassidy has to pretend to be a doll and a plaything for animatronic dummies who pretend to be real people. I was so insecure writing that—and it turned out to be one of my editor’s favorite parts!
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I do plan them out, but they also develop along the way. In this story, I knew Peter and Cassidy very well by the time I started, whereas Emma Jo and Buddy kind of blossomed along the way.
What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?
I’m no pantser. I wish I could be, but I just don’t have that kind of confidence. I start with a general idea and then brainstorm individual scenes with my Ticonderoga black triangle pencils until I’ve got enough to work with. Then I put them all in some kind of order that makes sense, switch to the computer to type out an informal outline, and when I have the basic mold of the story from start to finish I start typing. Having said that, the best ideas come when you write, not when you think—so things change pretty dramatically along the way.
Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.
I’ve got to have my coffee in front of me and my little tokens arranged on the desk just so. Note cards and pencils ready. It works better in the dark of early morning, better in rainy weather than on sunny days.
Do you have a favorite line or scene in your book?
I try to make all of Nurse Reyes-Garcia’s lines count. She’s the fan favorite in the series, no-nonsense but full of compassion—and a virtual dictionary of highly elaborate profanity and creative filth. Here’s a sample: “I have not yet put Peter’s pants blaster to bread buttering duty. I cannot vouch for it.”
What’s your favorite thing about being an author/writer?
Writing people. That’s tops for me, even above plot. If I don’t love the people, I can’t write the story anyway. And of course I love getting feedback.
What was your process for coming up with the title and character names?
All of the titles have some kind of poetic device. Piper’s Price, The Dare Dungeon, and Sunday Service have alliteration. Savannah’s Chance and The Punishment Club have assonance. As for character names, honestly, I just picture the character in my head and end up thinking something like, “Okay, that looks like an Emma Jo to me.” All intuitive, nothing deep.
If you could choose, which published author would you like to brainstorm with and why?
For these kinds of books, definitely Ann Rice. She made all of this okay with The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. She’s the final authority in my opinion (he said on bended knee).
Do you have anything you would like to say to your current readers or to those that haven't yet read your work(s)?
Please don’t take this stuff too seriously. Have fun. The ground rules in every book are clear from the outset: no lasting or permanent harm or injury, no ruined futures, always love at the end, always a Happily-Ever-After. I truly believe my bdsm books are one hell of a lot nicer than the horror stories I write under my real name.
What future projects are on the horizon for you?
I have a Regency era trilogy already written! More on that soon, hopefully…
FAN READER QUESTIONS:
How did you decide on your genre? I had to summon the guts to write this kind of stuff. I’ve written young adult sci fi and horror since I was fifteen. My first dark romance book didn’t come until I was forty-nine. My friend editor, Barbara Posey—and my friends Erin Leaf and Aletta Thorne here at Evernight—definitely encouraged me.
Where do you find your inspiration? Stock answer to this question: Virginia. Seriously, I have no idea. Sometimes I stare at the computer screen for hours. Good thing about that: it works.
Blurbs for both books of The Punishment Club
Part 1: The Dare Dungeon
At Chesapeake Bay University, tomorrow is Hell Day. When freshman pledges Cassidy, Peter, Emma Jo, and Buddy are offered a way out of the mysterious initiation, little do they know they’re being played. The “dare” they must complete is a prank. They are meant to be caught—and to be found guilty, in court, of crimes for which there is only one possible sentence.
Nurse Reyes-Garcia knows just what to do with misbehaving college kids.
Their punishments will be carried out on live television. For two days, they’ll face their deepest, most intimate, and secret fears. Before they’re done, their shared sufferings will bring them closer together in ways that not even Nurse Reyes-Garcia could have predicted.
And the students who set them up in the first place cannot remain hidden for long.
Part 2: Sunday Service
At Huntington Regional Detention Center, the time has come for the four freshman pledges of the Punishment Club to complete their sentence. Their final day in the Controlled Judicial Humiliations Program will take them to the outermost limits of their endurance. They will be tested by torment, scourged with shame. For Emma Jo and Buddy, for Peter and Cassidy, only love can temper the agony of their discipline—and only friendship can give them the strength to deliver a little justice of their own.
“We’re all alone, bucko.” She got off her bike, rested it against the nearest tree, and held out her hand to him. Buddy dismounted.
“We’re going swimming?” he asked, nodding at the gym bag.
“Got a guy’s suit in there?”
“Maybe,” she said, taking his hand. “In a little bit. Come on.”
He walked with her. His heart was already racing. He hadn’t actually thought they were here to go swimming—he wasn’t that dim—but if she wanted to play coy, he could play coy, too. For himself, he would have been content just that she was holding his hand and walking with him. He could be happy without a lot of unnecessary talk. But if this was shaping up to be more than that, as he guessed, he was more than ready. And Emma Jo, she was…
He stopped, right where the grass began to recede. Emma Jo turned to him.
“I’m just going to say this,” he said, summoning fortitude, taking breath. “You’re beautiful. And… I—I mean everything about you, Emma Jo. Your eyes, your face … your courage, the way you always tell the truth…”
Her hand left his. She cupped the side of his face. “Thank you, Buddy,” she said, kissing him softly, breathing into his mouth. “So are you. Don’t you know that?”
He kissed her in return, hands gently squeezing her upper arms, which were both soft and strong, just like the rest of her. “I don’t deserve you,” he said. It was a thought that had occurred to him more than once—not something he dwelled on every second of the day, but still, it had occurred to him. “But I want you, Emma Jo. It’s selfish. And it’s too soon, but I think I love you.”
“Buddy,” Emma Jo said slowly, running a hand through his hair, thumbing his ear, stopping at the back of his neck, “you do deserve me. And do you know why?”
He shook his head. He was so happy, but he still wanted to cry. And he honestly didn’t know the answer.
“Because I want you,” she said, her voice steady and determined. “Because you’re beautiful. The way you talk when you have something to actually say. The guts you showed in court when you tried to take the fall for all of us. Your heart. Your sweetness. The way you listen—the deep, still waters behind those dark eyes. I love you, Buddy.”
Her other hand at the front of his pants.
“And this, too,” she said. “I’ve loved this from the first time I saw it.”
Another kiss, this one initiated by Buddy—long and slow and deep, his hands around her back, her hands at his shoulders and his rear. They drank each other.
“Don’t deny me, Buddy.”
He shook his head. He pulled back, gasping. “Are we going to—?”
“Yes, Buddy. Right now. Are you ready?”
He nodded, panting. “Are you? Are you sure?”
She let go of him, slung the duffel bag to the ground—yanked open the zipper with a haste that betrayed her need. From it, she drew forth a long, wide, soft-as-down white blanket and spread it on the ground where the grass was thinnest.
Then she came for him again, both hands extended. He took them. He smiled at her, unabashed by the tears in his eyes. “I can’t believe this is happening,” he said.
“Believe it,” she said, her voice husky with longing. Then, before stepping onto the blanket, she said, “Take your shoes off.” She kicked hers to the side without untying them.
Buddy reached down and hauled them off—then tossed them over his shoulders and behind him, not caring where they landed.
“Come here,” she said, curling her pointing finger, drawing him closer. “I’ve got a surprise.”
He stepped onto the blanket. Another one? he thought.
And she delivered—big time—when she reached into her back pocket and retrieved the small square of plastic with the raised ring in the middle. She flashed it to him like a precious gem she’d been eager to show off.
“Where,” he floundered—then started over. “How? Emma Jo? You have to be—”
“Twenty-three,” she agreed, her face unrefined smugness. “Thought I might get lucky asking Cassidy’s former roommate, Toni. No dice. But she did refer me to someone who kept a little hidden contraband.”
“Oh?” Buddy asked, reaching out as though to receive the holy grail.
“Your roommate, Ernie Morse. Also a senior, right?”
Eyes wide, Buddy nodded. And he thought, Still looking out for me like you’ve done since the frat interview.
Buddy knelt, set the condom on the blanket, then rose to his feet again and gave Emma Jo another kiss. “You’re very good at … planning,” he said, worshiping her mouth, her cheek, her forehead.
Emma Jo’s hand worked him over the fabric of his jeans. She shook her head. “I just … don’t want … to get into trouble,” she huffed into him, kissing him back on the neck. “Now hold still. I want to do this. I want to put it on you.”
Buddy straightened—in more ways than one. His cock ached against the inside of his pants. Feel free, he thought. Strip me. Show me no mercy. That’s the only thing I don’t want from you.
Emma Jo seemed to be of similar mind. “Such a good boy,” she said, tapping his nose—then dropping to his waist. Feverishly, she worked at unbuckling his belt, and in three stiff yanks she had it through the loops. Then the button over the zipper. Buddy looked straight ahead, and so he heard rather than saw his zipper come down. But he could not keep himself from watching when she tugged his pants down—leaving him in his underwear, which she could easily have brought down with them.
“Are you embarrassed?”
“No,” he said, though his cock jutted up like a tower and he was flushed in the face, even though Emma Jo’s fingers traced his manhood through his underwear, closer to the skin than they ever had before. He caught himself before allowing the drool to escape his lips, and he said, “Go ahead.”
She brought his boxers down to his ankles, exposing him completely, then ran the side of her finger along his length. Buddy had to redirect his gaze yet again. If he watched her doing that, he’d shoot. But … just feeling her do it was nothing short of incredible. It was so much better than being handled by strangers—or even Matron. This was neither punishment, nor humiliation, nor the clinical protection against blue balls. It was love, the first expression of it. And although he didn’t mind being the only one naked in front of Emma Jo, he longed to return that love.
But first, the tearing of plastic. The placement of the receptacle center of the condom over his tip. Buddy’s hands trembled at his side.
Help me not to lose it, God, he prayed. Not now, not now.
Emma Jo eased the ring of the condom down his shaft, unrolling it onto his hardness neither so slow as to cause him to ejaculate, nor so fast as to seem uncaring.
“Jesus,” she breathed, “Buddy, not that it matters, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this big before.”
Buddy dropped to his knees to meet her eye-to-eye. “I’ve never felt this big before,” he said, then reached forward to undress her.
Emma Jo raised her arms over her head, allowing Buddy to peel off her tank top. She’d already set aside her shoes and her sunglasses. And though she was wearing a bra (white shirt, after all), she wasn’t wearing any panties today. She was ready.
She shook out her hair a bit, reached around her back to unhook her brassiere and let it fall. It was hard for Emma Jo to rationalize or explain to herself why she felt the pink in her cheeks, same as Buddy had. It wasn’t like they hadn’t seen each other before.
So … fucking hot, she thought, taking Buddy’s shirt from the bottom and drawing it over his head. Briefly, she stood, fumbling for the snap at the front of her Capris.
“May I?” Buddy asked.
She let her arms drop and smiled down on him, watched his shaking fingers undo the snap, his tongue pass over his lips as he brought down her zipper, his eyes widen when he pulled back the folds only to realize she was already bare under there.
“Got you again,” she whispered.
Reverently, he eased her out of her pants—and, this time without asking, leaned in to kiss her pussy lips. Emma Jo’s breath caught. Her eyes closed. She reached around for the back of his head and pressed him in harder, parting her legs a bit more as his tongue poked out and gently tasted her here, there…
“Oh, fuck…” she moaned. “Fuck, yes.”
And, after a minute or three, joined him eye-to-eye on her knees on the blanket, seeping between her legs.
Buddy was breathing hard. That cock had to be killing him.
Time to give it up, girl. You need this. You both do—and you’re in love. But…
“One thing, Buddy, okay?”
“Anything,” Buddy promised, running his hands up her sides, kissing her, caressing her.
“I know it’s your first, too,” she said. “But it’s different for girls, right?”
Buddy nodded understanding. “I swear I won’t hurt you. I’ll—”
She kissed his cheek. “Let me do it to you, Buddy. Let me control how it goes for this time, okay? Let me guide it in.”
He nodded again. He allowed her to ease him down onto his back, though his hands still held her shoulders. “I won’t start until you’re ready,” he said. “I won’t hurt you, Emma Jo.”
She straddled him, her gaping lips hovering centimeters over his swollen organ.
“I love you,” he said again—and drew in breath hard when she slid onto him, just over the tip at first.
“I love you,” she said, bringing her face down into the hollow between his shoulder and neck, gripping his arms. A little farther down with the hips, a little more—the first hints of acute pressure, a slight sting…
It isn’t so bad, she thought, allowing the tears when they threatened, not stopping them, not stopping anything. And God—Buddy, his lips stretched in a grimace of ecstasy and Herculean control, wasn’t jamming up into her. Not yet. He was keeping his promise with every scrap of his willpower and strength, waiting for her to tell him it was all right.
With a yelp and a gasp, Emma Jo took him in completely. A quick jolt of pain—some lingering discomfort—and he was in her, his cheeks huffing in and out, his face bright red.
Oh, God, he’s in me—oh, God…
It was good. She’d been scared, truth be told, and she was definitely sore—but it was good.
It was wonderful. And it was time.
Buddy was dying down there.
She wrapped her arms around him, eased him onto his side until they faced each other, and said, “I’m ready, Buddy. Go ahead. Let’s fucking do this.”
He didn’t hesitate. He rocked his hips, sliding in and out of her. Together, they moaned into each other. It didn’t take long for either of them to finish.
First time, after all.
They lay in each other’s arms long after they were done.
Buy Links for both books of The Punishment Club:
Part 1: The Dare Dungeon
Part 2: Sunday Service
D.A. Maddox lives a quiet life in a small apartment in Woodbridge, Virginia with his cat, Shazam. He works very hard at the day job—but he rises each morning before the sun to get his words in. He enjoys drinking coffee from his mug of Shakespearean insults while writing, then revising in the evening while hard rock music from the 80s plays in the background. He has a penchant for naughty tales of excess and extreme BDSM, but at the core of all of his stories there is a heart, characters to root for and to love, and (of course) a happily-ever-after when all is said and done.