Check it out! Alyssa Linn Palmer stopped by to celebrate the release of her debut novel, The Artist’s Muse, now available from Bold Strokes Books.
Not only that, Alyssa is giving away an ebook copy of the book! Woo! I love when people do that. Want to enter? It’s easy! Simply leave a comment in the space below. I’ll draw the winner on Friday, November 1. Good luck!
Before you read her blog, I want to share all the ways you can hook up with Alyssa here online. First, find her website HERE. Like her on Facebook HERE. Follow her on Twitter HERE. And of course, buy her new book HERE.
When I took my art degree, I was always the artist, and never the model. We had many, throughout the various classes, the various disciplines, in all shapes and sizes, and occasionally I used to wonder, What does a model think about? It can be an awfully long time to pose, and once that pose is set, one’s mind would surely wander.
I could never get up the courage to apply to be a life model. Not that I mind being naked in itself, but just the idea of being naked in front of an entire class had me quaking in my Converses. Never mind the actual having to pose part of the equation. What do I know of poses? But occasionally, I’d consider what it might be like, to have my image transferred onto paper or canvas, by charcoal or paints. Not egotistical enough to consider myself being immortalized, though. 😉
The idea kept coming back, time and again, even after I’d finished my degree and moved onto a career (not in the art world, but that’s a story for another day). Every museum, every painting or sculpture I saw, whether it be a work by Titian, or Manet, or Edvard Munch, I looked at their models. I wondered how long they’d posed for the artist, how many times they’d had to sit, what they’d had to endure to help in creating the beautiful works of art that we know and love today. Venus of Urbino, Olympia, Madonna.
And then, I wondered, would a model fall in love with her artist?
There are famous model/artist affairs, of course. Picasso had many mistresses, and some of them modeled for him. But we seem to hear about them from the artist’s point of view, or from that of the public, slavering for gossip. What about the model herself?
Colette, in my novella THE ARTIST’S MUSE, is that model. She’s only involved in the fringe of the art scene, bartending at a club popular with artists. When she’s in need of extra cash to pay the rent, modeling seems like a quick way to earn a little extra. What she doesn’t expect is to fall for the artist, Lise Beauclerc. She’s seen how some of the artists at the bar flit from mistress to mistress, and she doesn’t want to be one of those casualties, but the hours spent posing means that she has a lot of time to think, and to fantasize.
The trouble is, Colette’s never been nude in front of another woman when it hasn’t been about love or sex, and it’s awkward and nerve wracking. She is attracted to Lise, even though at first she tries to stifle her feelings.
I pull the straps of my slip off my shoulders and let it pool at my feet. It feels strange undressing before a stranger, especially someone I’m not sleeping with. I shiver, my skin covered in goose pimples. I will my hands not to shake as I unsnap my garters, perching on the edge of the bed to roll the stockings down my legs. I remove the garter belt and lay it aside. Now only my bra and underwear remain. I stand.
Removing my bra seems like a completely new experience, though I’ve done it every day since I was thirteen, and stripping off my underwear has my heart in my throat. I walk unsteadily to the divan, acutely aware of the slight sagging of my breasts, the roundness of my hips, the disappointing flatness of my bottom. I am hardly model material. Models should look like Lise and Nathalie, lithe like the flappers of the 1920s, with high, small breasts and slim waists.
I lower myself to the divan, hooking the sheet with a finger and draping it over my lap. Lise comes over, bending to address me.
“Sit back, Colette,” she says, and I do as I am told. The worn brocade of the divan scratches against my bare back. She takes the sheet from my hand and drapes it artfully over my lap. “Rest your hand, here,” she takes my right hand and lays it on my lap, palm up, “and your other hand, here,” she moves my left hand so that it lies on the divan, “and tilt your head back.”
I let my head fall back, and my body relaxes. I look at Lise through half-lidded eyes. She touches my knee and moves my leg outward. Her fingers brush the inside of my thigh and I want her to go higher, but she doesn’t.
“Comfortable? Can you hold this position for awhile?”
“Yes, I think so.”
“Keep looking just like that,” Lise says, backing away and reaching for her sketchbook. She perches on a stool, and for several minutes, just stares at me. I feel my cheeks heat and I take a deep breath. Think of the money. I will have enough for my rent if this goes well.
But, as these things go, Colette falls hard and fast. In the tradition of relationships between artists and their muses, nothing is ever easy. Being naked in front of someone is an intimacy, even if there’s no touching and it’s all business. Have you ever posed nude for someone, whether as part of a class or otherwise? If you haven’t, would you?
Blurb for The Artist’s Muse:
Broke and desperate after her girlfriend leaves her for a man, Colette finds a job as an artist’s model. When she arrives for an interview, she’s surprised to meet a striking young woman, Lise Beauclerc. Her relief at not having to pose for a man turns to infatuation as she observes Lise during their sessions, creating fantasies in her mind during the hours she poses.
Colette has no idea if Lise would return her affections, and when she finally gets up the courage to ask her out, their connection is more than she’d ever hoped for. However, a few days later, Lise introduces her to Marcel, her former fiancé. They seem intimately involved, and Colette is devastated. Will her dreams of Lise be unrequited?
About the Author:
Alyssa Linn Palmer is a Canadian writer and freelance editor. She splits her time between a full-time day job and her part-time loves, writing and editing. She is a member of the RWA, the Calgary RWA, and RRW (Rainbow Romance Writers). She has a passion for Paris and all things French, which is reflected in her writing. When she’s not writing lesbian romance, she’s creating the dark, morally flawed characters of the Le Chat Rouge series and indulging in her addictions to classic pulp fiction.