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When a freak snow storm threatens to cut off the already remote community of Corbin’s Bend from the rest of the world, the residents scramble to get enough emergency supplies from neighboring towns before the mountain roads are closed. It’s sheer luck of the draw that force Ettie and Vance into the same car together. The only problem is, they can’t stand one another. She’s a submissive who hasn’t been spanked in four very long years (four years, seven months, thirteen days…not that she was counting). He’s the resident paddle and strap maker, a man known to answer the call of needy submissives everywhere. In his workshop at home, Vance has every implement he’d ever need to win a war like this. In a car in the middle of nowhere with the storm of the century bearing down upon them…who will win this particular battle was anybody’s guess.
I put a lot of myself in Ettie, from the mouth that won’t quit (and often pops out with the perfect thing to put her bottom in the utmost peril) to the way she counts how long she’s been without a spanking. Before I was married, I remember being extremely aware of how long I was going between getting ‘taken care of.’ To me, frequency was a major deal. I actually had panic attacks if I went too long without.
When I sat down to write Ettie, I wanted to incorporate those subtle underlying symptoms of a woman on the edge because it’s been too long. You may recognize some of those symptoms—the obnoxiousness, mouthiness, short-tempered bickering, all the things that I (and probably many other women who crave being taken in hand) do when subconsciously we’re desperate for someone to care enough to draw that final line in the sand so we can just hop over it already and get the roasting that will make us feel wanted and worthwhile again.
He cast her a side-long glance. “All right, I’ll bite. What does that mean?”
She snorted and folded her arms across her chest. “As if you don’t know.”
It was a real struggle not to lose his sense of humor. “If I knew, Miss Thomas, I wouldn’t be asking.”
She glared out the window, muttering under her breath although not quite low enough to prevent his overhearing. “Horn dog.”
This really was anything but funny. He rubbed his eyebrow, laughing anyway. “What did you just call me?”
She looked right at him. “I said—”
“I heard you,” he said, cutting her off before she could repeat it. “I just wanted to know if you had the nerve to say it to my face.”
“You think I wouldn’t?” For the first time, she offered a smug little smile of her own. “I have no problem, Mr. Foster, calling it like it is.”
“And you don’t approve?”
“Whether I approve or not doesn’t make any difference.”
He laughed again, but there was zero humor in it. “Apparently, that doesn’t stop you from judging, does it?”
“I’m not judging anything either.” She turned her face back to the window.
“The hell you’re not.” Tiny flecks of white began to fall outside the car, drifting down through the dense growth of evergreen forest growing up and down the mountainside to either side of them. If it got any heavier, it might be concerning, but for now he was far more interested in the problem sitting in the cab with him. “Is that why you keep writing me into your newspaper? Are you pissed because I’m darkening other people’s doorstep, or because I’m not darkening yours? Is that why you keep killing me off?”
“Oh, like I care whose doorstep you darken,” she snapped. “And I’ve only killed you once or twice.”
“Twenty-seven times,” he corrected. “I’ve been stabbed, hanged, shot, poisoned…”
“You’re not a subscriber, how would you know?”
“I have a friend who brings me his copy when he’s done. Where was I? Poisoned…decapitated by space toilet—that was interesting, disgusting but interesting—electrocuted…”
“You forgot eaten by shark, and who said you could read my paper?”
“I didn’t particularly like the shark issue. Or the bomb, for that matter. Picking pieces of me out of trees and bushes—not to mention teeth—doesn’t make for pleasant imagery.”
“No, it doesn’t,” she cheerfully agreed, “but it does sell subscriptions.”
“Well, so long as my many deaths serve a purpose. How many times have you killed me this week?”
“Does mutilation count?” Her smile then was as close to genuine as he’d yet seen.
He waved a hand. “Forget I asked. You know, if you need a spanking that badly, all you have to do is call me. I’m sure I can work you into my very busy death schedule.”
“Nobody needs a spanking that badly.”
“At this very moment, I’d say that’s a matter of personal opinion.”