Indie Flutters: Under By Treaty by Kayla Stonor – Review, Excerpt, & Interview

Categories: 2014, 4 butterflies, action, adult, adult romance, adventure, aliens, bdsm, drama, erotica, excerpt, fantasy, femdom, fetish, futuristic, hot romance, indie flutters, interview, Kayla Stonor, kink, military, paranormal, power-play, RBR, re-published, review, sci-fi, self-publishing, Shurrn, slavery, some m/m, suspense and tagged

Under By Treaty

    • By Kayla Stonor
    • Editions: eBook
    • Published: September 9th 2014
    • Source:  Review by Request
    • Genre: Science Fiction / Erotic Romance
  • In a Flutter: Gloriously Kinky and Action Packed!

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He’s hers by treaty. She wants his devotion.

General Jaden is a thorn in the Qui’s side. Ambassador Sonil is on Earth to extract him by treaty. When Jaden is stripped naked then caged, he gets a taste of how far she will go to ensure he is worthy of serving the Qui Empress. Her training is ruthless and alien rules apply. Failure is not an option; saving Earth from annihilation requires Jaden’s complete surrender.

But Sonil demands more than obedience. She wants his devotion.

Under By Treaty is a bold, fast-paced adventure of femdom erotic romance, with a strong alpha hero who must submit to an alien temptress to save the human race from decimation by the conquering might of the Qui Empire.

~ GoodReads

Amazon | Smashwords

I was completely blown away by this Erotic FemDom Space Opera!

I adore fantasy worlds, and the universe created by Kayla Stonor did not disappoint! This whole story was beautifully written with the perfect amount of detail… I felt completely immersed in this Sci-Fi universe without being drowned in superfluous information.

Action, suspense, violence, space travel, alien domination, & romance…

I love a good bit of kink in my erotic fiction – In any D/s story, I prefer a strong-minded sub, so watching Sonil bend General Jaden to her will was delightful to witness. Jaden is your standard military tough-guy alpha-male. It isn’t in him to willingly submit to his enemy…

Jaden is a General on the front lines of Earth’s war against the invading K’lahn – a lizard-like alien species hellbent on conquering our world.

The K’lahn killed Jaden’s parents when he was just a boy. He has spent his entire life attempting to avenge their deaths. His exploits have propelled him to become one of the most decorated Generals in Earth’s military.

He is on his way to meet with the President of Earth when he spots an enemy ship. Jaden thrives on combat and immediately engages the enemy. After shooting down the alien craft, General Jaden goes toe-to-toe with one of the strangest aliens he has ever seen.

This creature is faster and stronger than any alien he has faced before.
He’s taken aback by how human she appears.
He can hardly believe how easily she stands her ground against him.

And he is floored when he is told to stand down hostilities so he can escort the blue-skinned sexpot alien to the President’s palace…

Gorgeous and deadly, Ambassador Sonil is no mere K’lahn, she is Qui – part of the ruling bloodline of the Qui Galactic Empire. She came to Earth on a singular mission: to extract one Human Male to serve as tribute to the Qui in exchange for a year long peace treaty between Earth and the Qui Galactic Empire… and not just any male… She wants General Jaden to serve as the tribute.

Think of it this way: Earth is offering Jaden as a sacrifice – a sexual submissive to the mysterious Queen of the Qui (‘Qui’ is both a species and an honorific title in this case) – Anyway, Jaden will need to prove his devotion to the Qui in order to secure the safety of his home planet.

The General will need to be broken into complete submission before he culminates with the Qui – and his actions and intentions must be honorable, because during culmination, the Qui will merge with his thoughts and know if he is anything less than completely devoted to her.

Jaden has no choice. Failure to prove his subservience to the Qui ruler will not only result in his death, but also the destruction of Earth itself. Jaden is stripped naked before his comrades and caged for delivery to the Qui’s ship.

Sonil will spend their journey back to her home planet ruthlessly training General Jaden to submit to the Qui. She is strict and methodical, yet patient and fair in her punishments. The alien Sonil is a beautifully masochistic Domme, and she trains Jaden in a way that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Sonil must be diligent and graceful in her training. She must prepare Jaden for presentation at the court, but she mustn’t break him of his strength of character…

Jaden will need to prove himself to his trainer, to the Qui, and attempt to save his home planet in the process. He will struggle to survive his training, and keep his emotional attachment to his trainer in check.

If you like intriguing characters and fascinating Science Fiction plots, you will love this book! And if you like your Space Operas with a side of kink, Under by Treaty is absolute perfection!

Excerpt

The Ambassador’s eyes trailed up and down Jaden in appraisal, then settled on Johnson. “Mr. President, as proof of the Qui’s sincere desire to settle this war, I am authorized to offer Earth a concession: General Jaden in return for a temporary cessation of hostilities.”

Jaden’s jaw dropped.

“During that time, I will personally train General Jaden for presentation to our Honored Qui. If the Empress accepts his devotion following culmination, within one Earth year, the Qui will accept Earth’s independence subject to a full trade agreement.”

Jaden launched to his feet. “Are you insane?”

The president waved him down, his expression grimmer than Jaden had ever seen it. “What is culmination?”

“Culmination is a full intercourse of body and mind,” Sonil replied. “The Qui has the ability to read a tribute’s soul and judge the true extent of their willing surrender.”

The president shot Jaden a warning look before addressing Sonil. “Is this some cultural thing, a traditional practice in the Qui Empire?”

Sonil narrowed her eyes. “If the representative for a planet has the selflessness and courage to embrace submission for his people, then the Qui will deem the race honorable and fit for survival. A male or female prepared to devote their mind and body to the Qui’s pleasure – for the sake of their kind – makes a worthy sacrifice.”

Johnson’s lip curled with disgust and the Qui’s Ambassador stiffened. “Do not presume to judge the Qui, Mr. President. Your society aspires to an ideal that exists only at levels like the United Regions. Analyze your world’s history and you find pockets of feudal life that continue to exist today. Cultures where rape victims are killed so as not to dishonor their family; countries where the male of your species has so little self-control, the female is obliged to hide behind cloth for fear they will tempt them into carnal acts; regions where children are slaughtered for no reason. And this was all before our invasion.”

Fists clenched, Jaden suddenly grasped she was deadly serious. “Why me? You must know I would fail your Qui’s test? I don’t willingly submit to anyone.”

 Sonil lifted her eyes and met his stare with eyes cold-as-a-lizard. “I do not countenance failure, General. I will train you to the exacting standards of the Qui, and you alone will be honored with the opportunity to save the human race from extinction.”

“Honor? You don’t know the meaning of the word. We have the K’lahn running in circles. Qui reinforcements are slow to arrive. This offer would give you a year to regroup and build your forces.”

 “You overestimate the time we need to ‘regroup.’ We can replace our ships and troops in several of your Earth weeks. You, however, have limited resources to equip an attack fleet with the hyper drive capability required to escape your solar system. Let me make our position clear. The Qui will destroy your planet if your leaders do not accept this offer. Mr. President, I will provide a contract clarifying our terms and the scope of General Jaden’s training.” She looked at Jaden. “You have gone very pale, General Jaden. Does the thought of my instruction cause you alarm?”

Jaden snorted. “The thought terrifies me, Ambassador. You say you could not accept failure.” He moved forward and pressed his hands against the arms of her chair, trapping her, his face in hers. “I would not wish to destroy you.”

Q&A with Kayla Stonor

If you were to describe your book in only one word, what would it be?
Edgy.

What inspired you to write it?
I wanted to explore a relationship where a strong, dominant alpha male hero emotionally and physically surrenders to a woman in a dark, extreme scenario that doesn’t allow him to assume control. I enjoy writing thrillers, so I let my imagination wander. What if they were enemies from completely different cultures? What would motivate the man to offer his unquestioning obedience, and what qualities would the woman need to persuade him to surrender his heart? One is very different to the other. The real fun of writing Under By Treaty lay in resolving this question. Every time Jaden adjusted his thinking about Sonil in a positive direction I couldn’t stop writing for wanting to discover what would happen next.

The main plot inspiration for me relates to consent. I wanted to establish consent without losing the gritty edge of captivity and forced submission that dominates most scenes of the novel. A twist in this plot addresses the issue of consent, yet takes both Sonil and Jaden by surprise and changes everything for them. This twist takes us directly into the heart of Jaden’s character and was immensely satisfying to write.

What was the source of inspiration for Ambassador Sonil?
Originally, the needs of the premise! I needed an alien female with the physical and mental strength to completely dominate an alpha-male who has never known submission in his lifetime. Her character became very complex, with facets Jaden could respect and love. The Sonil character has evolved. When I first published Under By Treaty, I didn’t open her up enough to the reader. Readers understood and loved Jaden. Some readers got her, others didn’t. What was it about Sonil that he could possibly love after she had tortured him like that? That question was my inspiration to develop Sonil’s character in this edition and my editor Travis Luedke has helped enormously with that. The quote about Sonil in your review is very much his summation of the relationship–it was so good I used it verbatim. He’s got very good at channeling my writing style in his edits.

“…a wicked mistress with a penchant for corporal punishment, she scared him, enticed him, excited him to new heights of arousal, and he could never take her for granted. Each day had brought a new challenge in their dynamic of Mistress and slave. It was the most unconventional, inhuman relationship, but he couldn’t get her out of his head.”

Travis helped to further develop another aspect of Sonil, her capacity to manipulate and sense pheromones. This added a fun, erotic edge to all their interactions. She smells every moment that Jaden’s attracted to her, sparking her own physical response. She is horny whenever he is, and that turned out to be much of the time.

What about General Jaden?
General Jaden is my ultimate hero: a bit of a rebel, handsome, stubborn, and heroic: a bit of Bourne Trilogy, Mission Impossible, A-Team, Kirk and Han Solo all mixed together. It’s galactic war and I wanted him to be strong enough to withstand anything Sonil threw at him, so his military training and field experience was essential backstory. He needed to be intelligent, competent and strategically brilliant to have attracted the Qui’s attention in the first place, which meant he needed to be top brass.

What inspired you to bring an Alpha-Male like Jaden to his knees?
The same reasons I was inspired to write the story in the first place. Did Sonil ever truly bring Jaden to his knees? He needed to come through her training intact. He submits to a role the Qui demands in return for Earth’s freedom and he surrenders his heart, but there is so much more to his choices and he is a match for Sonil in many ways. I love Jaden’s strength of character. What I enjoyed in writing his character was setting him up with such an extreme situation and watching him deal with the fallout he helps to create.

What made you decide to become an Author?
I love the writing process. Working out a twist that transforms a plot into new dimensions; exploring the hidden depths of characters that become very real to you; discovering facets to a story that reflect the world you live in. I can’t articulate what I want to say as well as I can when I type it out. When I get into a flow, the words pour out without thought. I’m not very good at outlining a story. It evolves and the characters take over. So often I get in a hole. Then I sleep on it, and my subconscious supplies the answer by morning. That’s where the twist in Under By Treaty came from. I have numerous stories, some fully written, others started, that I need to pull out, brush off, and apply everything I’ve learned over the last few years.

Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
I am more aware now of the reader’s needs. I look at my stories as a way to create an escapist experience – an emotional ride for the reader. I’m also a far better writer because I chose to self-publish and have subsequently met like-minded authors willing to share their experience. We love each other’s work and want it to be the best it can. A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine myself doing an interview, sharing myself in public, and opening myself and my work up to criticism. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to write a racy scene even for my eyes only. Exploring and writing darker themes has made me think more about the inner depths of a character, their backstory, and what would be needed to motivate them along a different path. I do look at people’s personalities more now. I think, “they would make an amazing character, remember that.” I think publishing my work has made me more appreciative of other writer’s abilities and my new year’s resolution is to read more!

What would you say was the toughest part?
Marketing. Choosing to self-publish means you must learn a whole load of other activities, which is fine, but it hits your writing time. On the other hand, I control my work, no one else.

Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
Go do or write something else!

Was there ever a time, during your work for this book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
Early into the edits on this new edition I rewrote the beginning of Under By Treaty to address one beta reader’s very well-expressed concern for building sympathy up for both characters. The rewrite flowed well and handled those issues, but it also lost a lot of impact that came from the blunt, in-your-face thrill ride of Jaden’s struggle to survive and adapt. I did feel a bit lost there for a while. I decided I’m not going to please all readers, so I should write for the readers who crave the darker, edgier storylines. In the end we reverted back to the original storyline with some improvements I’d discovered along the way.

How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
I do read reviews. I never respond to nasty reviews, and very rarely chat with a reviewer, unless they reach out to me. One bad review isn’t a problem. I do note areas I can improve and will address some of those in later editions. In Under By Duress, one reviewer felt I hadn’t allowed Tahima to properly confront her horrible ex-boyfriend. In the new edition Tahima gets more closure. That wasn’t a bad review. It was a lovely review with constructive feedback. My point is I don’t ignore reviews.

There have only been a couple of instances where I know the reviewer hasn’t read the book and is speaking from an assumed viewpoint regarding the premise. These I ignore. But some of the acid criticism can still contain pertinent points worth understanding.

What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning next?
Under By Duress Fourth Edition publishes November 25th. This is told from the female point of view only and has been edited into a much deeper first person perspective that works really well. Readers understand Gian Rossini from his behavior and previous readers of Under By Duress loved Rossini!

I am re-editing Locked In Torture, probably to be retitled Under By Vengeance. The premise involves a side-line illegal BDSM activity conducted by a criminal organization of human traffickers. The female protagonist is working undercover and discovery means death for both her and British agent Ryan Crichton, her captive. When I get this one right, I expect to republish.

I also need to finish a draft story initially called Raise or Fold that will get rebranded “Under By …” It’s a hard-hitting story about a former British Royal Marine turned publisher who wants to ban all erotic material from his company’s bookshelves then ends up spending a weekend with a sadist Domme. She is an erotica author whose successful books helped launch his father’s business, but are now being banned. It’s a very personal storyline for me and I think many readers and authors of erotica will enjoy Keira MacDonald’s fiery stance to defend her fiction novels and her way of life as a BDSM practitioner. Both Brandon Hunt and Keira are forced to understand each other’s perspective, but when circumstances derail the beginnings of a true intimate connection, it’s hard to say who comes off worse.

I also have a sequel planned for Under By Treaty. I want to develop Jaden and Sonil’s story, but it wouldn’t be a romance per se, so I’m considering the possibility of introducing a side plot romance between other characters, maybe Oltu and the president’s daughter!

How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to when you hit ‘Publish’?
First time around, about three months for Under By Treaty. For this fourth edition, add another four months!

What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
Years and years!

Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
I didn’t have any input at all for my first editions of Under By Treaty and Under By Duress, except for my husband who enjoys reading my erotic stories (more so than my usual writing). He picked up on some practical points and convinced me that in real life, bodies simply can’t be contorted that way!

With his encouragement, I decided to put them out there and see what readers thought of them. I got consistent positive feedback about the quality of writing (and editing), so that was good and I got some great feedback about the stories. However, I did grow reservations over whether I had established consent properly. My biggest challenge in writing edgy erotic novels that ‘walk the line’ is that my intent with a scene does not always translate into the writing. There’s more to writing than constructing a good sentence or a flowing paragraph. You are conveying a story. No one misses more problems with their story than the author. Another big issue for me was marketing an erotic brand when I’m focused on my normal writing and keeping my personal life private. For a time I unpublished, thinking that when I had the chance I would do another edit. I didn’t want to disappoint fans who wanted to read my work, so I offered the books free to those who contacted me.

How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
I think my new editor was a little horrified with me when he discovered I had unpublished. Maybe not horrified. More perplexed. Does not compute. Travis knows I’m skittish about publishing dark erotic material. I really should focus on traditional erotic romance, but the plots simply wouldn’t inspire me. We ‘met’ online because I loved his paranormal series and he particularly enjoyed Under By Treaty. We chatted over my concerns and he offered to edit and market my books in partnership, plus he had some great ideas to develop the ending to Under By Treaty in a way that would give more balance to Jaden and Sonil’s relationship, ideas that I loved. The new edition draws Sonil out so much more and allows the reader to feel Jaden’s genuine love for her.

We hired a cover artist for Under By Treaty as the artwork was beyond my capabilities, but I have done my own until then and will continue to do so where it’s good enough. Travis sets the bar it has to pass now. He doesn’t like it, he says so.

For these new editions, I am also getting critique and feedback from other erotic authors, which is very helpful.

Where is your work being distributed? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
I publish on Amazon and Smashwords! I’m keeping it simple.

If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
Nothing. We learn from life. Meet wonderful people. Gather friends along the way.

Fun Facts:

If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
All expenses paid holiday in the Seychelles.

If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one item you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
A Star Trek replicator.

Name your favorite fruit.
Strawberries.

Favorite season?
Summer.

How about favorite time of the day?
Late at night when it’s quiet!

Were you a Girl Scout?
No, but I do love the cookies.

Favorite food for breakfast?
Blueberries and granola.

What is the latest book you’ve bought and read?
Into The Blue by Robert Goddard

What was the last book you absolutely fell in love with?
Bloodslave by Travis Luedke. I love all his work, but Hope’s story was so desperate and her vulnerability mixed with a defiant strength hooked me in.

Is there a book you keep meaning to read, but haven’t gotten around to it? Don’t worry, we all have ridiculously long TBRs!
The Weald Fae Journals by Christopher Shields. I read and reviewed Book One. Loved it! It had such a great cliff-hanger and I would love time to sit and read the rest.

Do you recall the first piece of Erotica you ever read?
Story of O by Pauline Réage.

Do you recall the first piece of Science Fiction you ever read?
John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids is one I remember from my teenage years. I think I might have seen the film and then got the book from the library.

Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
Books. I have boxes in the garage because I can’t bear to part with them and there isn’t room in the house.

Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Blue.

Coffee or tea?
Tea. English Breakfast! In china. With a saucer.

Sweet or salty?
Sweet. Sticky gooey meringue.

Drama or comedy?
Drama.

Cats or dogs?
Cats.

Do you have a favorite quote or personal motto?
I have a terrible memory for quotes so no.

Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
My erotic writing!

Favorite Swear Word?
I’m always secretly proud of myself when I come out with “Sugar!”

About the Author

Amazon Author Page | Website | Facebook | Goodreads | G+ | Twitter

Kayla Stonor is a pen name for a British author with a unique brand of Femdom involving strong alpha-male submission. Kayla’s tales of erotic romance aim for ‘happy ever after/happy for now’ endings, but she also loves thriller/adventure themes with a darker edge. Her stories are not the usual erotic romance fare.

Married with children, Kayla keeps her erotic writing at long arm’s length from her private life. So much so, marketing became difficult and she unpublished. Thankfully, Travis Luedke, a fellow author who writes a unique brand of paranormal erotic romance stepped in and encouraged Kayla to publish new editions of her original stories and he would take on the marketing aspects. Travis is not short on ideas for the storylines either, and the new editions have new twists to enjoy!

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I'm an artist, married to my best friend, mother of two adopted dogs. Books are my drug of choice.

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4 thoughts on “Indie Flutters: Under By Treaty by Kayla Stonor – Review, Excerpt, & Interview

    1. Shurrn Post author

      Thanks! It was a lot of fun and I’m glad she re-worked her cover image for the re-release.
      🙂

      Reply
    1. Shurrn Post author

      General Jaden was a fabulous character – I hope you’ll read it and enjoy as much as I did!
      🙂

      Reply

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