Initiative–a smoldering new short story collection by Emerald. Heat and boldness abound in Initiative, a new collection of thirteen sizzling short stories from award-winning author Emerald.

Welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Let’s play Is It True with today’s guest, Emerald, author of Initiative: Tales of Erotic Boldness, an erotica short story collection. This is a game with yes and no questions. Writers can elaborate on answers as much as they choose.

Initiative: Tales of Erotic Boldness by Emerald

Genre: Erotic romance

Book heat level (based on movie ratings): R

From audacious proposals to first-time exploits to newfound inner confidence, taking initiative delves into the risqué in these thirteen smoldering tales. An accidental catalyst invokes a bold move in “Fulfillment,” while the brassiness in “Shift Change” belongs entirely to narrator Stacey. “Who’s on Top?” sees a meeting between fans of rival baseball teams turn into a game of chance and wits, and “The Beast Within” offers a present-day “Beauty and the Beast” rendition that puts a twist on ugliness, beauty, pain, and pleasure—and the surprising ways they can intertwine.

Sometimes brazen, sometimes subtle, the initiatives between these pages always showcase the erotic and how it can both inspire and evoke our most emboldened selves.

Is it true:

this is your first book?

It is not. I have had two prior short story collections published: If… Then: A Collection of Erotic Romance Stories and Safe: A Collection of Erotic Stories. This is the first one with a particular theme.

this book is part of a series?

No, it’s a short story collection, and the stories within it are not related to each other (except by the title theme).

you did research for this book?

Yes! With thirteen stories, the chances are at least a few of them are going to require some degree of research. Ironically, one of the stories that required the most was set in a place that is very familiar to me, namely a Midwestern state fair. But because I don’t live there anymore, I wasn’t there when I was writing the story and couldn’t remember how the fairgrounds were laid out and things like lighting, hours, and how deserted the section where I wanted the sex scene to take place would be at what time. I also had to research certain specifications of the farm equipment that comes into play in the story.

“Winter” also required a considerable amount of research, largely because it was set in a place I wasn’t so familiar with. I have been to Alaska, but not during the winter, and I became quite immersed in this story’s research—Alaska seems like a mysterious, beautiful place, and a lot of the photographs and materials from its tourism websites speak to this. I felt very drawn to the setting as I was writing the story.

Then there was research that was less extensive but aimed toward specificity, such as looking up the history of Beauty and the Beast and finding certain details about the original story, as well as ones that had tended to remain through various versions, so I could reference them in “The Beast Within,” which is a modern-day rewrite of the tale.

Even with short stories, research, in my experience, is part of the writing process, and it’s an aspect I’ve usually tended to enjoy.

some characters in this book are not human? (pets for example)

Yes, there are two stories that feature pets—and in fact, in both cases, the pet is at least partially responsible for the characters’ either meeting or connecting. In “Fulfillment,” the main character Kristen has a yellow tabby cat named Cheerio, and in “Changing Tides,” character Ray has a border collie mix named Jameison.

this book has more than one genre?

I would maybe say subgenre, given that it is all certainly erotica, but some of the stories in the book could be considered erotic romance more than erotica.

you speak more than one language?

No, just English, though I know a rudimentary amount of American Sign Language that I learned in elementary school. I also know a bit of French, though less than it seems I should, given how many years I took of it in high school and college!

you grew up where you live now?

It is not. I grew up in Iowa and lived in my hometown until I was twenty-one. I then moved to Pittsburgh, where I got my undergrad degree, moved to the Washington, DC, area for grad school, moved to Spokane, WA, to pursue an MFA (I ended up choosing to leave that program before attaining the degree), and then returned to the DC area, where I’ve been for about the last fifteen years. I live a little west of the metro area now in a small town in Virginia.

you love to read?

Yes, though I’ve tended to not do it as much as I’d like due to feeling like I “should” be doing other things. I’ve loved reading since I was a kid. I’ve tended to read more nonfiction than fiction in recent years, but I am specifically aiming to get back to reading for pleasure of late. As strange as it seems, it was only within the last year and a half that I discovered how much I adore Jane Austen’s work! I picked up Northanger Abbey on a whim last year and eagerly worked my way through Austen’s entire catalogue over the next several months. It really reminded me how awesome it is to read fiction purely for pleasure and entertainment.

you are never late?

Ha! Alas, I wish the very asking of this question wasn’t so laughable. Ironically, I despise being late even though I have frequently tended to be…I truly seem to have no sense of time.

you love pizza?

Depends on what kind. I seem to be in the minority of most of the people I’ve known in that my favorite kind of pizza is sauerkraut.

you love sushi?

I do love sushi, though there are some things I have not tried and don’t feel an interest in trying. But I adore spicy tuna hand rolls and hand rolls in general because I’m such a fan of the seaweed.

you have a pet?

I have four! Two sibling dogs (that I still call “the puppies” even though they’re five now) from the local no-kill shelter where I volunteer, and two cats who are also rescues—one is blind (was born that way) and one had to have her front left leg amputated prior to coming into my care. I end each monthly issue of my author newsletter with a picture of one or more of them!

Where to buy Initiative: Tales of Erotic Boldness


Barnes and Noble

Apple Books


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Emerald Social Media

Emerald is an erotic fiction author interested in elevating discussion of and attention to authentic sexual experience. Her short fiction has been featured in more than thirty multi-author anthologies in the genre, and her book Safe: A Collection of Erotic Stories won the bronze IPPY in the Erotica category of the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards. The author of three short story collections, she has also penned dozens of blog posts at her website,, on topics ranging from sexuality and self-awareness to politics, sex work, and reproductive justice. The majority of her wardrobe incorporates glitter in some capacity.
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