Lord Bateman in 'Who Thrilled Cock Robin' (House of Erotica, 2015)

Lord Bateman in ‘Who Thrilled Cock Robin’ (House of Erotica, 2015)

Who Thrilled Cock Robin? Erotica Inspired by Folk Songs is an anthology of erotica stories inspired by folk song.

Folk songs, with their themes of lust and love, sex and transformation, magic and mayhem, are a rich source of inspiration for the erotica writer. The eight stories in this volume are wildly diverse, with an assortment of pairings and a mixture of moods. Whether you like filthy fairytales, contemporary kink, paranormal or historical settings for your sexy shenanigans, you’ll find something to delight you within.

The anthology features stories by Elizabeth Coldwell, Janine Ashbless, Aishling Morgan, Vanessa de Sade, Helen J Perry, JM Kaye and Zak Jane Keir.

My story is one inspired by the ballad ‘Lord Bateman’, a tale of a Crusader knight finding love and redemption, which takes the song back to its roots.

I’m especially pleased to have a story in this anthology as the idea of doing an anthology of erotic stories based of folk songs was suggested by me to Zak Jane Keir at the Smut Manchester event in 2014. She (under the pen name Sally Anne Rogers) has edited this collection of stories featuring some fabulous authors, who I’m delighted to appear with.

Story blurb

The story takes the folk song ‘Lord Bateman’ back to its alleged origins as a song about a crusader. Lord Bateman, disillusioned at King Richard’s failure to capture Jerusalem from the Infidel and his experiences of the Crusades, leaves the Holy Lands only for his boat to get caught in a storm and washed up on the coast of the southern reaches of Byzantium. There he is captured and held prisoner by the local Sultan. One day, he is visited by Sofia, the Sultan’s daughter. In his prison the pair exchange tales, Sofia’s from exotic Arabia, Lord Bateman’s from his native Northumberland. Over the stories, the crusader knight and the beautiful Sultan’s daughter fall in love. She promises to follow him to Northumberland, but will she find him and will their love survive?

Buy links

Amazon.co.uk Kindle

Amazon.co.uk print

All Romance Books

Introduction to the anthology by Sally Anne Rogers

Defining what folk music actually is, is nearly as difficult as deciding what actually makes a story erotica rather than romance, horror, sci-fi or literary fiction. Is it the subject matter? The instruments it’s played on? The language used? While folk music tends to consist of songs which have been passed down orally for so many generations that their original composers are unknown (but bands like the Levellers are often described as ‘modern folk’), and erotica tends to have quite a lot of explicitly described sexual activity, the boundaries still blur. People tend to fall back on claiming that they’ll know it when they come across it.
The eight stories that make up this collection are all, broadly speaking, erotica and the songs they relate to are all, broadly speaking, folk songs. Some are light-hearted bawdy romps; one is a gentle, almost traditional romance; a couple are dark, twisted and just a little scary. Authors were given free reign to choose a song that they reckoned fell into the folk category, and then to see what kind of story they came up with. So there’s a gloriously eclectic mix on offer: present-day realism, paranormal, historical, LGBT, heterosexual, kinky or vanilla.

Vanessa de Sade picked the most contemporary piece of music: her story Widicombe Woods was inspired by Widicombe Fair, a modern take on the traditional ballad by Max Scratchmann and Michael Dyer, where a maiden has good reason to take drastic action rather than be married off to an unsuitable man.
My True Love’s Ring, by Zak Jane Keir, gives a BDSM-style makeover to a song variously known as Sovai, Sovay, Cecilia or The Female Highwayman, in which a woman who doubts her lover’s commitment decides to put him to the test with a spot of cross-dressing.

An unsettling and memorable reworking of King Henry, one of the Child ballads, pits Henry I against the terrifying dark goddess Erecura in Janine Ashbless’s More Meat, while Lord Bateman, a tale of an imprisoned crusader and the woman who sets him free, was sparked off by Jim Moray’s version of the old song with the same name according to Slave Nano.

Probably the best-known song drawn on for this anthology is Clementine, whose unfortunate heroine was chosen by Aishling Morgan for some 21st century full-tilt filthy fun. Elizabeth Coldwell offers a story based on Heer Halewijn, one of the earliest folk songs in existence. The original is in Dutch, and there is an English song on an identical theme known as Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight. In Halewijn’s Song, a resourceful heroine outwits a murderous elf-lord but only after she’s had her fun with him.

Broadstairs Bloke Week, by Helen J Perry, not only has its roots in The House Carpenter, sometimes called The Daemon Lover but also makes affectionate mention of the thoroughly real Broadstairs Folk Week. Finally, J M Kaye picks another Child ballad, Alison Gross, as the starting point for The Wyrm, featuring an overly arrogant young man who gets more than he bargained for when he wanders into the path of a witch with evil intentions.

Child ballads, it’s perhaps worth mentioning, are not specifically for or about children, but are a hugely comprehensive collection of folk songs amassed and published by one Francis James Child over a century ago. I must also mention that the original idea of doing an anthology based on folk songs came from Slave Nano and to him and all my other authors I extend my thanks.

To you, dear readers, I extend an invitation to slip between these pages with a song in your heart, as soon enough you should have your hand in your pants as well.

Story extract

And how his heart melted as the beautiful Sofia sat next to him in her silken gowns and golden bangles, smelling of exotic scents like an Arabian garden.

“There will be no talk of religion and wars today. My great love is for story-telling. I spend my time in the halls of my father’s fortress reading stories. I seek a companion to share them with, and so lighten the burden of your imprisonment, whilst my father deliberates on your fate. I shall begin and then, if it pleases you, you must tell me a tale from your green wind-swept country.”

Lord Bateman happily agreed to her request. He sat in silence, captivated as Sofia recited an exotic tale of a fisherman and a genie trapped in a jar he’d caught in his net and how he was rewarded with magical fishes which he presented to the Sultan. The story ended happily with the fisherman’s daughter marrying the Sultan’s son. Lord Bateman let the mellifluous tones of Sofia’s voice enchant him as he became absorbed in her story as if it were a dream.

When it was his turn Lord Bateman thought carefully about what he could tell that would match Sofia’s magical tale. Luckily, he was well read in Norman romances and responded with a story of courtly knights and unrequited love. Sofia was touched by the elegant and sad beauty of his story.

Sofia returned at exactly the same time the next day and each day afterwards. They would sit in the shady courtyard telling stories to each other. Sofia would tell Lord Bateman tales of exotic Arabia with sorcerers, genies, ghouls and magical animals. She would tell of Sultans and their proud sons and beautiful daughters and of their loves and losses. Lord Bateman would respond with legends from British history, of the battles between Roman and Celt and also of sea monsters, dragons and prophecies. He also had tales of brave knights and maidens and courtly love and, every so often, he would recite one of the ribald stories he had picked up from the local fishermen.

Lord Bateman loved more than anything to gaze into Sofia’s eyes and listen to her sensuous voice as it transported him to worlds beyond his imagining.

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