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Guest Blogger: Marcia James (Contest)
Friday, August 12th, 2011

Researching Sin in Sin City

When I had the idea for my “Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist” R-rated, comic romantic mystery series, I knew the perfect setting for the books was Las Vegas. The town is known for its sexual excesses, although the 25+ legal Nevada brothels are actually located in twelve rural counties—not in Sin City itself. Still there are plenty of carnal delights in Vegas to keep my sex therapist amateur sleuth busy with both her patients and her new hobby: helping her police detective lover solve sexual crimes. In addition to plotting the perfect murder, I enjoyed creating two fictional casino hotels as part of the setting: one pirate-themed and the other an Arabian Nights fantasy.

As most people know, sex is big business in Vegas.

There are “gentleman’s clubs” like Cheetahs, as well as low-class strip clubs, topless female revues and Chippendales male strippers. Even Cirque du Soleil has a titillating live show.

While prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, those looking for sex can easily find paid companionship. There are plenty of free newspapers (sometimes called “bachelor guides”) and fliers touting paid “models” and “escorts”. Of course, if you hire one of them and get ripped off—left high and dry, so to speak—who are you going to complain to? So it’s “buyer beware” for those looking for sex in Sin City. Sometimes it’s even murder, which inspired my “Dr. Ally Skye, Sex Therapist” series.

Researching these books has led me to some very interesting websites. In addition to solving sex-related murders, Ally has her therapy patients with their own issues. Several are interested in trying things beyond their “vanilla” lifestyles, such as BDSM and role-playing, while others just want to bring the spark back to their intimate relationships. My heroine isn’t shocked by anything sexual between consenting adults, so as the author, I also keep an open mind while researching kink.

We first meet Dr. Ally Skye in Sex & the Single Therapist, when one of her patients is killed and a good friend is the main suspect. Before Ally and her Vegas insider friends can solve the crime, her investigations take her through a maze of lies, rampant adultery, steroid abuse, child pornography, and another murder. Of course, she also falls for police detective Zack Crawford, so the benefits definitely outweigh the risks of her sleuthing.

I’m currently researching the second book in the series, which features a serial killer who targets phone sex customers.

My research led me to an organization for sex workers (or “adult industry workers”) in Vegas called SCAPA, which is associated with the national Sex Workers Outreach Project. The SCAPA site has resources and information for escorts, prostitutes, dancers, erotic masseuses, phone sex operators, and more.

The third book will open with the murders of a ménage of swinger club devotees.

Two of the most infamous swinger clubs in Vegas are the Red Roster and the Green Door. Each has a long list of rules, such as BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) and No Means No. The Green Door appears to offer more BDSM props, along with the standard group rooms, hot tubs, and couples only areas. The victims in my third book are murdered in my fictional swinger club’s pool.

The fourth in the series will explore the world of the human pony fetish. And I have ideas for working plushies and furries into future books. I admit I find the research fascinating.

What erotic fantasies or kinks do you enjoy reading about? I’ll give away an e-book of my comic romantic suspense, At Her Command, to a randomly chosen commenter on this blog post.

Here’s the book blurb for Sex & the Single Therapist:

A crime of passion…

To clear an innocent friend, sex therapist Dr. Ally Skye investigates a patient’s murder. Soon she’s trading heated words and hot kisses with a sexy cop. Can this free-spirited amateur sleuth and her posse of Vegas insiders solve the crime before the killer targets her?

A sexy complication…

Cynical homicide detective Zack Crawford has the murder to solve. The last thing he needs is a red-hot sex therapist who haunts his dreams. Ally is trouble and, given her job and his luck, she’d probably grade his performance in bed.

A dynamic duo…

Zack and Ally form an uneasy and sexually charged alliance. Murderers, extortionists and psychos are no match for these reluctant partners. Crime-solving was never this sexy or this fun!

For an excerpt from Sex & the Single Therapist, click on this link: Sex and the Single Therapist

And please visit my website to sign up for my e-newsletter and enter my monthly contest!

Thank you, Delilah, for inviting me to guest-blog!
— Marcia 😉

28 comments to “Guest Blogger: Marcia James (Contest)”

  1. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 6:52 am · Link

    Hi, Delilah! It’s great to be a guest on your blog! My post looks very nice surrounded by your sexy book covers. 😀

    — Marcia

  2. Delilah Devlin
    · August 12th, 2011 at 7:13 am · Link

    Marcia! I thought so too! :mrgreen:

  3. Janie Mason
    · August 12th, 2011 at 8:23 am · Link

    I’m more of a vanilla sex gal.
    Sex and The Single Therapist was funny, sexy and kept me thinking, trying to figure out who-done-it. Murder-wise not sex-wise. The sex scenes between Ally and Zack were hot.
    The follow up books sound great. Can’t wait to read them.

  4. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 8:58 am · Link

    Hi, Janie! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the kind words. For those who may not know, Janie Mason has written several very hot books for Samhain, and she is one of my invaluable critique partners. 🙂

    — Marcia

  5. Becky
    · August 12th, 2011 at 9:13 am · Link

    Hi Marcia – best of luck on this new series. Sounds like a winner to me! 😛

    Hugs, Becky

  6. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 9:19 am · Link

    Hi, Becky! Thanks for the good wishes! From your typing fingers to God’s ears.

    — Marcia 🙂

  7. Nicole Passante
    · August 12th, 2011 at 9:30 am · Link

    What I found extremely shocking for myself was that as a straight woman in a happy monogamous 12 year relationship was that I enjoy (and find extremely sexy) reading menage and/or group sex with m/m action… huh who knew?

  8. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 9:44 am · Link

    Hi, Nicole! I think quite a few people (myself included) enjoy reading about sexual fantasies and situations that we would NEVER want to try ourselves. For example, I like reading gay romances because I enjoy the idea of two or more great-looking guys together. That doesn’t mean I would welcome a chance to visit a live gay-themed sex show. 🙂

    I think it’s a lot like people who read spy novels or watch adventure movies. They aren’t going to run out and join the CIA, but they enjoy the excitement in those books and movies.

    My Nook definitely holds a number of R-rated and X-rated e-books.

    — Marcia 😀

  9. Nicole Passante
    · August 12th, 2011 at 10:05 am · Link

    You hit the nail on the head, because I prefer them to be masculine bi-sexual men when I read. :mrgreen:

  10. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 10:46 am · Link

    Fictional masculine bi-sexual men work for me, too. 😀

    — Marcia

  11. tammy ramey
    · August 12th, 2011 at 2:19 pm · Link

    when i read i mostly stick to either vanilla, a little BDSM or menage. although i try to keep and open mind and if something catches my eye i will give it a shot at least once, i find that most of the time i am not tempted by anything else.

  12. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 2:28 pm · Link

    Hi, Tammy! It’s great that you occasionally read something outside of your preferred subgenres/sensuality levels. Still we all have those things we enjoy reading, and there’s only so much time in a day to read. So we tend to stick with what we know we like.

    I find that while I read a number of X-rated romances, I write R-rated ones. I enjoy gay romances and menage romances, but I write romances featuring heterosexual characters in monogamous relationships. 🙂

    As an author, I’m very glad that people have a variety of literary interests and that my funny contemporaries and comic romantic mysteries have found a strong readership.

    — Marcia 😉

  13. Nicole Passante
    · August 12th, 2011 at 2:46 pm · Link

    I also enjoy reading BDSM. I have no inkling to try it but it makes a scorching read.

    But that is why we call them fantasies!
    Some you want to try and some you just want to contemplate.

  14. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 2:48 pm · Link

    Perfectly said, Nicole! I contemplate many sexual fantasies, then use them in my books vs. trying them out in the real world. 😆

    — Marcia

  15. Kim
    · August 12th, 2011 at 4:26 pm · Link

    Great blog and I can’t wait to read your books Marcia! Thanks to Delilah for having you on her blog…I love finding new authors!!! 😀

  16. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 4:57 pm · Link

    Thanks, Kim! I love finding new readers! 😀 I hope you enjoy my sense of humor. I don’t think I could ever write a dark paranormal or a bloody romantic suspense. I like to laugh too much.

    Have a great weekend!
    — Marcia 🙂

  17. lisagk
    · August 12th, 2011 at 8:10 pm · Link

    The books sound great and loved the post. interesting research. lisagk

  18. Linda Townsend
    · August 12th, 2011 at 8:33 pm · Link

    I enjoyed your interview and must read your book! I’m sorta’ old fashioned but I enjoy reading about others’ fantasies… Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 8:50 pm · Link

    Hi, lisagk! Thanks for stopping by!

    — Marcia 🙂

  20. Marcia James
    · August 12th, 2011 at 8:53 pm · Link

    Hi, Linda! The hero in Sex & the Single Therapist is old-fashioned, too, but the heroine loosens him up. 😀

    I guess we’ll do the drawing for the prize tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

    — Marcia 🙂

  21. June M.
    · August 12th, 2011 at 10:38 pm · Link

    Gotta say I love BDSM, menage, and m/m stories. I have to say I have never read a f/f story–just never found one that called to me…I like men WAY to much, probably why I love m/m stories, lol.

  22. Marcia James
    · August 13th, 2011 at 7:02 am · Link

    Hi, June! I like m/m stories for the same reason. 🙂 But I’m glad authors are writing something for everyone.

    — Marcia 🙂

  23. Marcia James
    · August 13th, 2011 at 8:20 am · Link

    And the winner of my At Her Command e-book is: Tammy Ramey!! Yay!!! 🙂 Tammy — I’ll email you privately to see what format you would like the e-book in.

    — Marcia 🙂

  24. Marcia James
    · August 13th, 2011 at 8:21 am · Link

    Thanks, Delilah, for allowing me to guest-blog and meet some of your visitors. I had a great time!

    Happy Reading!
    — Marcia 🙂

  25. Patricia Sargeant
    · August 13th, 2011 at 8:45 am · Link


    I loved Sex & the Single Therapist. It was funny, quirky, sexy. I can’t wait to read more of your series.

    Best wishes!


  26. Marcia James
    · August 13th, 2011 at 9:03 am · Link

    Hi, Patricia! Thanks for the kind words! Since you are one of my critique partners, you helped to make the book a reality. And you’ll get a first look at the next in the series.

    — Marcia 🙂

  27. Jen B.
    · August 14th, 2011 at 9:44 pm · Link

    Bummer that I missed the giveaway! I have to add Sex and the Single Therapist to my wish list. I have to say though, pony play kinda freaks me out. So does puppy play. Yuck!

  28. Marcia James
    · August 17th, 2011 at 10:08 am · Link

    Jen — I’m so sorry for the late response. I was out of town for a long weekend.

    I try to be open-minded about anything sexual between consenting adults, but some things make me a little squeamish. I guess it’s good we all don’t like the same things, but when I read a book that includes piercings or branding, I admit I’m too much of a needle-scardy-cat to like even just reading about painful things.

    — Marcia 😉

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