Note from Doc Talos author/contest judge R. Paul Sardanas: Leslie is an old comrade of mine from my days writing erotic thrillers — it was interesting to see that given total freedom of content here, she chose to dial down the intense erotic content of that genre of fiction. Instead, she has approached the topic of intimacy with a sophisticated, and even gentle story, which captures the spirit of adult fiction quite beautifully.
Comment from author Leslie Payton: Blending sex and adventure is really fun…sex really should feel like an adventure, as well as a joy and a fulfillment. I’ve written about the end of virginity before…usually the other way around, with a woman experiencing that day in each of our adult lives that changes us so profoundly, forever. But part of the theme of this story, where the woman is the one with experience, is that the core of virgin feeling in all of us never really goes away…sometimes a partner will unexpectedly take us back to a renewed closeness with that younger self, when we were perhaps more vulnerable than at any other time in our lives.
Additional note: If you are interested in submitting fiction to the Summer 2021 contest (first prize is a Bantam Doc Savage paperback Czar of Fear first edition, signed by James Bama, and all contestants will appear in a special souvenir paperback collection of the stories) you can read the contest guidelines HERE.