Storm Moon Press
Horse Play in Submit for Redemption: Book One – Submission Kathryn Sparrow My name is Kathryn Sparrow. I’m here today with my writing partner, Robert Cage. We wrote Submit for Redemption: Book One - Submission. Thanks to Jena Wade for letting us guest here today!
Robert and I both love horses and horseback riding.
I was one of those girls—you know the ones. I lived for riding. From six until sixteen I begged my parents for a horse. I went to a camp that had horses and was part of the cabin that took care of them in exchange for extra riding privileges.
We decided that Ev and Finny would go on a horseback ride during their time on the island. First, we had to pick color and breed—that’s just how we roll.
Ever since the movie Ladyhawke, I have had a special place in my heart for Friesians—the long flowing mane and tail, the feathering at their feet. These are beautiful horses and they are often black.
Robert, on the other hand, loves Andalusians. Pearl White Andalusians are his favorite. Secret fact—Robert just bought a new horse. When he told me I guessed “white Andalusian.” I was right.
After some discussion, we decided to have one of each of our favorite breeds. Finny would ride the Friesian stallion and Ev would ride a white Andalusian mare. Because the setting for this scene was the Island of Phineas, a Greek Island, Robert named them Perseus and Andromeda.
We both really liked the symbolism of the colors. At this point in the story, Ev has processed his feelings of guilt. In some sense, he has been wiped clean. His motives are pure. Finny, however, is just starting to understand that he has demons and that the things he has done in the past have darkened his soul. His motives are not pure—he had an agenda from the moment he “met” Ev, in quite a pre-planned way.
The rescue scene where Andromeda runs off with Ev was taken from a real event that happened in my life. I was on a horse at the end of a field on a trail ride. Earlier in the ride we had cantered across that field. When we returned to it on the ride home some of the girls wanted to canter again. I had decided to hold back because my horse was being a bit troublesome. However, the others started before I could get a good grip on the reins.
We had also forgotten that horses like to go home and knew this was the direction to get there. Instead of a gentle canter, several horses took off at a wild gallop and my horse followed. There was no Finny to rescue me. At the end of the field, the horse stopped and I tumbled to the ground. He had broken some part of his tack in the process, so I had to walk him back in a fair amount of pain. Don’t worry—I got better. It was fun to incorporate this into Ev’s story and change the ending.
If you’ve already read Submit for Redemption: Book One - Submission and are a horse lover like me, you have more good horse scenes to look forward to in Book Two.
Robert Cage I’m Robert Cage, co-author of Submit for Redemption: Book One - Submission. We really appreciate Jena Wade hosting Kathryn and I today.
Very soon after Kathryn and I met, the subject of horses quickly found its way into our conversation. As with many other elements in the novel, horseback riding just seemed to “fit” with Submit for Redemption and its characters, especially the character of Finny.
Given that Finny is a Duke who grew up in the north of England, it made sense that his controlling class-conscious father would only “approve” of the traditional “gentlemanly” sports for his son: hunting, shooting, stalking, fishing, and riding were literally all he was allowed to do to escape the somewhat suffocating air inside his ancestral home, Stratham Hall. I suspect it had been a chore for Finny to get his father to even approve of a fencing class!
We establish gradually that Finny’s childhood was far from idyllic --- he suffered both physical and emotional abuse from his father, and his circle of friends was controlled and limited. Consequently, he grew up quite lonely. His morning horseback rides were one of the few things that kept the young aristocrat sane.
When you co-write with someone, you find you naturally become closer to some characters than others. Ev was always Kathryn’s character --- she imbued him with a more than a few character traits and experiences of her own, and Finny was always mine. While my childhood was neither as grand nor as tumultuous as Finny’s, I would escape on horseback frequently as a boy. We were fortunate enough to have a large stable that housed our own horses as well as others that we would board and exercise for neighbors and friends.
As I was riding quite a bit during puberty, it was hard to “not” connect the dots between sexuality and riding. Virtually everything about the sport is highly sensual: the movement of your hips and legs, the visceral connection that grows between yourself and your horse over time, the way literally every movement you make (no matter how subtle) instigates a reactive movement in the beast you’re straddling. Horses are extremely intelligent animals and they grow to expect certain behaviors from you. It is not uncommon for them to “test” you, especially when they are young, so it’s important as a rider to learn to be able to “listen” to the gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) cues they provide to you. It’s much easier to get to know your horse if you’re his/her sole rider, and I think that stability gives the horse a sense of security as well. They know what to expect from you and they will reveal their personalities much more quickly and easily --- they aren’t as guarded and they won’t hold back if they’re happy or unhappy with your handling.
It was that dynamic—the inherent dominance of the rider, the submission of the beast—that also lent itself to our story’s BDSM context. While you definitely must assert that you are in charge with any horse by being a confident rider, you must also keep an open mind (or risk substantial peril) and listen to what your horse wants and needs. Like all animals, horses have a long “genetic memory” (at least I believe this)—they know what their purpose is and are happiest when fulfilling it. Horses have been bred for riding for thousands of years, after all, and when they find a master who knows “how it’s done” they respond almost joyously—just as draught horses seem content when pulling things. The pure idealized concept behind BDSM is finding fulfillment in set roles with distinct parameters but also in keeping a line of communication open to allow changes in those parameters when they’re warranted, and so horses just seemed an ideal vehicle and metaphor to us for Submit for Redemption.
And yes, Kathryn is right—I love Andals—for a number of reasons. I just find their appearance stunningly regal, especially the pearl whites, though the grays are much more popular. To me, Andals are just athletic enough but not so much so that they’re constantly “on fire.” Their temperaments are sweet and docile, overall. I’ve had a few Arabians over the years that, while magnificent dynamos, tend to be very strong-willed and bursting with energy, many times when you’re not ready for it. An Andal seemed to be a good fit for Everett’s first ride --- distinctive, elegant, but well-tempered.
As Phineas is a Greek name, I thought it would be cool to give all the horses Greek names as well, so look for plenty more exotic breeds with exotics names coming in Book Two!
When Army Ranger Captain Everett Palmer enters gay BDSM club Cuffed Links, he is seeking brutal punishment for what he perceives to be an unforgivable failure: allowing an entire squad of men under his command to die while he worked to defuse a bomb at his base. Everett initially wants only pure pain, which professional interrogator and jaded British aristocrat Colonel Phineas Bainbridge is more than prepared to give. Their meeting, however, is not at all by chance.
Phineas has been contracted to coerce a false confession from Everett, implicating the captain in planting the bomb. Phineas has tortured many men in the past, but there is something different about Everett Palmer, a man whose sheer purity of soul causes the colonel to question his every selfish, devious act and legion of war crimes.
In Submit for Redemption: Book One – Submission, erotic romance and spiritual redemption come from the most unexpected places – from the seedy extremes of a smoke-laden, neon-drenched bondage den to the tropical, hedonistic pleasures of Phineas’ private Greek island.
On this unbidden psychosexual odyssey, Everett and Phineas find exactly what they don’t expect: a chance to redeem their troubled souls and fulfil their every romantic ideal. But the clock is ticking. The deeper Phineas falls in love with Everett, the harder it becomes to finish his assigned task. If he succeeds, the consequences may be far more explosive than he ever anticipated.
Finny looked Everett up and down. "You're actually something of a first," he said.
"Why's that?" Ev asked.
"Oh, most of my conquests were a trifle on the feminine side, until now."
Ev chuckled. "What makes you think you've conquered me?"
Finny smiled. "Haven't I? Well, we shall see my good captain. I'm still something of a spoiled little brat at heart. When I want something, I take it." He laughed, the same evil chortle Ev had grown so fond of hearing. His prick became instantly hard. Ev broke into a run, jogging into the barn.
"Come get me, then!" he dared.
Ev darted into one of the long stalls, jumping back as he noticed the dapple gray mare occupying it. The stall had a long corridor on one side, and a roomy, gated area for the horse. The aisle was stacked with hay bales. Various accessories and tack were organized neatly along one wall on a pegboard.
Everett crouched down, feeling like a mischievous child in trouble with dad.
He listened as Finny continued to call his name. "Pet? Don't be naughty now..."
Ev heard the sharp clip of Finny's crop against his boot top. He heard a whistling, followed by a crack. By this time, his erection was driving him mad, which was obviously Finny's intention.
The click of boots got louder and he edged himself toward the door.
"Come out, come out, my good captain. Come and take your licks like a—"
Everett lunged from the darkened stall and pulled Finny in by his jacket lapel. Using all his strength, he pushed the powerfully-built man up against the pegboard, gripping his face with one hand and planting an intense kiss. It felt good to have an upper hand with this man, whom he was rapidly beginning to adore. To have all of his power and beauty in his control was addictive beyond compare.
"I want you Finny—now!" Ev hissed at him. Their eyes matched in a fiery deadlock. Finny's face twisted from a delighted grin to an amused smirk as he leaned his full weight into Everett. Ev clawed at the aristocrat's starched white shirt, but Finny caught and held his arms firmly, his face turning slightly red.
"No," he said simply. "No."
After several more seconds of intense grappling, Everett backed away. Finny's gaze went to Everett's, and shades of Reggie clouded his previously good-natured expression. He calmly turned with his practiced poise and walked back into the long darkened corridor, pausing to flick on a single bulb. He replaced the glove he had removed earlier and reclined back on several bales of hay, at the back of the stall's corridor, his long, sculpted legs widening to reveal a throbbing hard-on under the silken jodhpurs. He let one hand wander leisurely over his lengthy endowment, playfully patting it.
"You want this, my pet?" he taunted. "You'll have to crawl for it. To your knees, before my royal person!" he commanded, clapping his hands. He picked up the crop and flexed it, his white teeth sparkling with predatory malice.
Ev's body reacted without thinking, in an unashamedly Pavlovian manner. He dropped to all fours, pulling himself forward slowly, his eyes on the masculine prize before him.