Bed Stuy Author Gregg Burton takes readers away to a world where all bets are off the minute the ship leaves port. What Happens Overseas Stays Overseas lets the reader leave their problems landside, to follow the escapades of an ensemble cast comprised of romantically complex characters.
Watch a reformed lothario slide back into his field-playing ways.
Follow a sexually frustrated housewife as she finds trouble and satisfaction away from home.
Look in on a lover longing to return home, but finding dark truths along the way.
Walk with a young soul looking to shed a short lifetime of heartache.
Each one of these characters find themselves slipping down paths that are quite different from what they expected from your average naval deployment.
Burton sets his sensuous, but intricate tale in the military world of the U.S. Navy. However, Burton’s Navy is not the one you’ve heard about in the news. On this naval vessel, there’s seduction, secrets, and complex couplings that threaten to ruin the lives each sailor has left waiting back at home.
Burton is a Brooklynite who hails from the infamous town of Waco, Texas. He came by the military experience showcased in his book, What Happens Overseas Stays Overseas honestly. Burton left Texas for the U.S. Navy in 1999. Those four years overseas gave Burton an insider’s eye to a world that few people know or even understand. Upon leaving that world, Burton stumbled upon his unique talent. While working with a group of women, lovers of mainstream erotic fiction, Burton picked up his first piece of erotic literature. Instead of blushing and then thrusting the novel aside, this future author studied its content, intrigued by a genre he hadn’t known existed.
His first product was a short story that friends and family analyzed and raved about. Burton moved on to poetry and a full-length novel What Happens Overseas Stays Overseas that was published in 2010. It draws on Burton’s naval experience, but is not written from a male perspective. Instead of becoming a tangled mess, What Happens Overseas Stays Overseas is a fluid, thrilling, and wildly entertaining foray into the provocative lives of four very complicated characters.
Interview with Gregg:a. It’s something that I’ve always done. I got serious after reading erotica and seeing what it was. I knew that I could tell those kinds of stories in a way that people can relate to them or take something away from them.
2. How much did you draw from your military background for this book?a. Of course, the book is fiction. So, don’t go thinking that these people really exist. They don’t. With that said, people outside the military need to know that the men and women in uniform are the same as the people in regular clothes. They are not robotic or hardcore individuals. They are just like you and me. They also have the same drama, problems, and romantic hang-ups as everyone else.
1. When did you start writing erotica?
3. Your book is written in a female voice, why should women trust it?a. Why not? If a story is a good, one that readers can lose themselves in, that’s the only thing that matters. Don’t worry about the person weaving the tale. That person is not in the story; he—or I—just wrote it. Avid readers pick up a book, read the back cover, the first of last chapter to determine if it is a good book anyway. Like the puppet masters used to say, “Pay no attention to the man pulling the strings behind the curtain.” Just sit back and enjoy the story.
4. What is Tahli’s Publishing?a. It is a company I started in order to publish market and promote my book along with others eventually. You can find out more about the company at www.tahlispublishing.com.
5. Speaking of your website, on there you talk about a new genre in fiction. What is that?a. You mean Romatica. It is a term that describes what we like to call the sensuous fiction genres, erotica and romance. The premise is that a good sensuous story has elements of both, but is not overpowered by them. The “steamy scenes” are all some of these writers concentrate on, but readers want more. They want a good story that holds their attention from the first page until the last. They want characters that are worth investing precious time in. With Romatica, you not only get a good steamy story, you get a quality piece of fiction—a good story–that is predominantly lacking in today’s market.
6. How do intend to get this genre off the ground?a. That’s where the Love Romatica Campaign comes in. Right now, it is an open forum to get people thinking and expressing their views on the state of erotic and romantic fiction today. Like every grassroots movement, the discussion will educate and empower lovers of sensuous fiction to question current standards. We welcome the questioning because that leads to change. All we want is to bring quality back to erotic and romantic fiction, while losing the stigma attached to them.
7. Where can we find out more about your efforts?a. You can look me up at www.loveromatica.com.
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(excerpt from What Happens Overseas Stays Overseas)
Finally. I didn’t think he was ever going to stop. Look at him smiling like he did something. Hands behind his head like he just conquered the United States. Hell, the only thing he’s done is make me want to take another shower. I mean, really, how can he not know how I like it after almost four years of marriage? I could understand if I haven’t told him a thousand times, but I have. Still, every time it’s the same thing. Three and out! That means three minutes and he’s finished. I’m so frustrated with his selfish ass.
Now don’t get me wrong—I love the fact that I can please my husband, but sometimes, I wish he would think about me.
Three-in, three-out. I know I’m exaggerating, but damn, can a sister catch a break? I do everything for him. I cook his food, wash his dirty-ass clothes, and clean up the entire house even though his lazy ass makes the biggest mess around here. All I ask for is him to think about me. He’s got me to the point where I’d rather not have sex at all. That’s all it is. Sex. Not lovemaking. Just “I got to get mine” S-E-X.
In the beginning it wasn’t like this—well, not always. My husband used to hold my hand, open the door for me, and repeatedly tell me that he loved me. He used to take his time with me, touch every inch of my body, and make sure I knew how much he loved me. With each kiss, stroke, touch, and moan, I knew. Now it’s, “Baby, can I have a quickie?” That’s what he calls it, a quickie. His ass would look stupid if I get myself a quickie from that fine-ass chief on the boat that’s always flirting with me. Shit, I’m still a good catch.
I’m only twenty-eight, I have a great Navy career, and just to let you know, before we got together I could have chosen any man I wanted. But, I chose him and look where that got me. Wanting.
Financially, my husband is the perfect man. He’s a Navy contractor that takes care of home. Remember I said financially.
I can’t believe how selfish a man can be. I wish I would have known he would turn out like this, because before we got married, he use to put it on me all night long. But, as soon as he put that ring on my finger, it slowly went from all night down to a minute or so every three nights. Like I said before, I love my husband, but I’m happy as hell my six-month deployment starts tomorrow. Why, why, why couldn’t he just let me get mine? It’s a good thing I have Mr. Wiggles. Without him, I don’t know what I would do. My three-inch stimulator has helped me reach that higher level every time Mr. Three-and-Out would finish his business. I would walk into our bathroom and give myself the orgasm my body so desperately needed to release. At least for the next six months I don’t have to hear, “Baby, can I have a quickie?” Thank you, Lord.
You know what? I have half a mind to check-in tonight. No, I can’t be like that. I’m going to try to give him another chance.
So, I look at my husband and say, “Baby, it’s only eight o’clock. What else do you have planned for us tonight?”
He smacks his teeth and says, “Nothing really. Law and Order is about to coming on. Do you want to watch it with me?”
Law and Order? Now see, this is the shit I’m talking about. I’m about to go on a six-month deployment and all this selfish asshole wants to do is watch TV. He’s pissed me off for the last time. I lean over to my nightstand and get a wipe to clean myself off. I was about to take a shower, but there is no way I’m getting out this bed until I tell this bastard off. I lose it.
“You know what? You’re a sorry-ass excuse for a husband. The night before I leave, and all you want to do is watch TV. You know what? Take me to the ship! You can watch fucking Law and Order by your damn self.”
Ed (that’s my husband’s name, by the way) looks at me like I’ve got something up my ass. “What’s wrong with you now?”
Sitting up in the bed, he asks, “Me? We just finished making love and—”
I know this motherfucker did not just say that.
I force my back against our headboard, making a sound loud enough to cut him off, and yell, “Is that what you call that? Making love? That was a fucking quickie!”
He snaps back, “Who do you think you’re talking to like that? Stop all that damn yelling and cursing. This is not the Navy, and I’m not one of your sailors.” He shakes his head and mumbles to himself, “I hope you don’t come back with that mouth of yours.”
Ed hates it when I curse, but he knew I cursed when we first met.
I was at a bar in downtown Norfolk with my girls blowing off some steam, and the bar was full of people who either needed to get a drink or find companionship. Dressed in my favorite pair
of skin-tight white jeans, a body-tight t-shirt that read I have a boyfriend in red letters with a black background, and 4-inch black stilettos with silver heels that helped my already beautiful round ass stand out more, one may have thought I was actually there to find a man. But, I really just needed a drink.
Work was crazy. I just got promoted to First Class Petty Officer and already they had started giving me more work than I could handle. Ed, on the other hand, needed more than a drink, and when he came up to me and asked if he could buy me one, I knew then that he didn’t care if I wanted a drink or not. One way I knew was because my drink was still full, and also because of the way he stared at me as we talked.
He allowed me to vent about my job, so I did. And with every sentence, I was using every profanity I knew. Every time I cursed, he flinched. I could tell it was bothering him, so I apologized for my language and told him that the Navy did that to me. The fact of the matter is I only curse when I’m upset, and that’s rarely.
Ed gave me the freedom to talk all night. It felt so good to vent, but it felt even better to vent to a man who seemed eager to listen. I was so impressed with his kindness that I gave him my number.
The next night, we hooked up and went to play pool. That night was the first time I gave him some. I know you may be thinking it was fast, but when you know, you know.
The pool hall we went to was huge. It had a lot of pool tables perfectly aligned throughout the building. The overhead speakers were playing a mix of soft rock and smooth R&B. Ed was looking good that night in his blue and white striped button-down shirt, dark Levi jeans, and nice pair of Cole-Hann shoes.
I tried not to overdue my wardrobe, but I had on a pair of black skinny jeans, a purple silk blouse, and some gorgeous purple three-inch stilettos. Ed stands over six-feet tall and I’m five-six, so it feels good to wear heels around a man and him not be intimidated. Most of the times I went on dates, I’d have to wear flats just to get my height-challenged date in a nice comfort zone.
Ed got our pool balls for the table and led the way. He asked, “Do you play pool a lot?”
“It’s been a while, but I think I can still shoot.”
“So how about we play a special game then?”
I started walking slowly behind him and asked, “What game is that?”
“What’s so special about eight-ball?”
“Well, the winner of the game gets a kiss.”
I smiled. “Is that right? And if you lose, what happens then?”
“You get a kiss, too.”
My smile was bigger now and I told him, “Oh, you’re fresh, huh? What makes you think I want to kiss you anyway?”
Ed set the balls on our table, walked over to me, placed his large hand on my shoulder, and began to slightly massage it. At first, he didn’t say anything. He used his large, rough hand to talk for him. I almost forgot what it felt like for a man to touch me. The way he massaged my shoulder was slow, firm, and so damn sexual. He was lighting a fire in a fireplace that had been without wood for some time.
At that moment, I took a good look at that confident man touching me. Okay, he was cute with sexy lips; not quite LL sexy, but sexy. A little lighter than me, he had great facial features from his true-to-life African nose, chiseled jawbone, and jet-black wavy hair. From looks alone, he was a keeper. I bet we would even make great looking babies together.
He asked me, “So you don’t want to kiss me?”
“I didn’t say that, but I just don’t think the game is fair, that’s all.”
“Well, we don’t have to play it that way if you don’t want to.”
I thought for a second and decided to play along for a little bit. What would it hurt anyway, right?
“I’ll play, but when I say enough, that’s enough. Okay?”
He smiled, showing a slight gap in his top teeth, and boastfully said, “Sounds good to me. So do you want to break or shall I?”
“You got it.”
After about three shots of some very nice liquor, I was feeling so good I didn’t wait for the game to be over to kiss him. I think that was his plan. Now we all know what happens when you mix liquor and sexual hormones; you let a person in when you told yourself you were going to make them wait.
That night, he made love to me like it was his first time. I felt his hands shaking when he touched me, like he was touching somebody so precious to him. This huge, strong man, who could very easily manhandle me in the roughest way, was touching my soft skin like a cat rubbing
against his master. I loved the way his lips quivered when we kissed. He kissed me like I would crumble.
I told him, “Baby, it’s okay. I won’t break.”
“You’re just so beautiful. Look, I don’t want to disrespect you because I really do like you. So, could we please go to my place or maybe yours? I don’t want the first night I have sex with you to be in the back seat of my car.”
Yes, we were in the back seat of his Audi, and yes, we were in the parking lot at the pool hall. Liquor and hormones.
I told him, “Ed, we can be at your place, my place, or even in a hotel room for all I care. I just want to remember being with you. Damn the scenery.”
We’re softly blowing liquor in each other’s faces. My back was against the side door, with my hands locked around his slightly sweaty neck. Our eyes were closed and he continued to glorify me.
“You know, your eyes are so seductive. The way you look at me makes me feel like I’m under your spell. They’re so narrow, so small.”
He lifted his head and gave my eye a soft kiss.
This boy better stop. He doesn’t know what he’s doing to me right now, I thought.
I pulled his lips to mine and we began kissing again. He sent his tongue to slow dance with mine and then made use of his hands by helping remove our clothes. Now naked, I opened my legs for him to get comfortable in between me. Ed slowly trailed his fingers up the side of my body and back down. He snarled his fingers in between my tights, causing me to jump a little from his touch.
Panting, he asked, “You okay?”
I guided his hand back to my special place to let him know I was.
He stuck two fingers in me and grazed over my walls with his fingertips. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the pleasant shocks running through my body. He took his fingers out, licked them, and moved to the other end of the car. I started to think he wanted me to go down on him because he started stroking his very nice- sized dick while smiling at me. Sticking that thing in my mouth would be an adventure, but before I got a chance to take that trip, he leaned down and gave me head.
When he started, all the quivering lips mess was gone. His soft lips made a tent over my clit, and his tongue tried to start a fire. His tongue licked X’s and O’s on me. I tilted my head back and took it all in. Arms stretched out rubbing his muscular back. This man was in no rush. He kept licking and licking me. He wanted me to cum, but I couldn’t. I needed to feel him inside of me.
I pulled his head up and begged, “Put it in. I want to feel you.”
I pulled him back close to me and started kissing him again. Ed lifted my right leg, and I used my right hand to guide him in me. With the first stroke, I lost my breath. We stared at each other as I tried to remember how to breathe again.
He mouthed, “Okay?”
After I nodded my head twice, he began to grind against me, not allowing too much room to separate our hot and sweaty bodies. I took my leg from him and held it up higher. I wanted more of him inside of me. He grabbed the back of my neck and kissed me uncontrollably.
I pulled away from him and asked, “What are you doing to me?”
“I was about to ask you the same question.”
I began to match his moves. As he rocked me, I rocked him back. He began to hit my spot, and I begged him not to stop. I hadn’t come in months, so when Ed kissed my ear, I crumbled. I tried to keep moving with him, but I had no control. My movements were so offbeat that I just stopped and let him work it. I was beginning to come off one orgasm when he started delivering long, hard strokes, causing me to have another one.
All I could say was, “Please, please, please, baby. I can’t take anymore.”
“Do you really want me to stop?”
“If you do, I’ll kill you.”
With that, he started to do me harder. His dick made full exits and entered back in me. I was coming again. This time, so was he. I closed my eyes and bit my lip as he worked the shit out of me.
He moaned, “I got to pull out. I got to pull out. No condom.”
I moaned back, “Don’t pull out. I’m on the pill.”
We both were feeling it. Feeling that connection that doesn’t need words to describe. That connection you feel when you found that soul mate. He didn’t pull out, and after he stopped shaking, he collapsed on top of me. No man has ever given me that amount of intensity. Later that year when Ed asked me to marry him, I said yes without flinching.
I still love Ed. I really do. I just can’t take this anymore. It makes me so sad to know that our love has come to this.
In a lower tone, I say, “Well, I hope when I come back you think about somebody other than yourself. Now, if you don’t mind, please take me to the ship.”
Ed grabs the remote and turns off the TV. “Whatever. I can take you to the boat, but you know we’re going to have this problem when you get back. That is, unless you’re not coming back this time.”
Fighting back tears, I ask, “What the fuck is that suppose to mean?”
“Just because you haven’t said it doesn’t mean you don’t think about it. Karen, I know you.”
“Know me? Know me? If you fucking knew me, we wouldn’t be having this argument. Right now, I should be lying on this bed, looking at the ceiling, and thanking God for that mind-blowing orgasm you just gave me. Instead, I’m sitting here looking at your stupid ass. Know me? You don’t know shit. Why don’t you know how to be a real man? How about you know that?”
“A real man? What are you trying to say? I’m not a real man now? Just because you can’t get what you want all the time you want to say I’m not a real man. You know what? I’ll take you to the ship because all you’re trying to do is run away…like always.”
I’m yelling and screaming trying to get my point across, but what I really want is for Ed to tell me to shut up, throw me on the bed, and fuck this anger out of me until my yells turn into moans, and from moans into I Love You’s, and finish off with choppy breathing and laughter. After all these years, Ed should be giving me the only thing I’ve ever asked for. Satisfaction! But, you don’t always get what you want. Now he’s looking at me like he doesn’t know me; like this is the first time we’ve had this talk.
He leans over and picks up his clothes while mumbling, “I had good intentions to make you happy, but that’s impossible. You can never be happy.”
I get up and walk to the bathroom, disappointed and cursing under my breath. “Motherfucker, the road to hell was paved on good intentions.” I then slam the door like I’ve done so many nights before.
On the way to the base, we let the radio speak for us. Ed still owns the same Audi, and I look in the back seat and remember how raw our love used to be. How I wish it still was. When we get to the pier, he takes my bags out of the back seat, slowly walks to me, and gives me a light hug and quick peck on the lips. I grab my bags and walk away before he can get in his car and leave me.
I love Ed, but I don’t feel the same love in return. I’m left at this pier wondering if I’ll actually return to our failing marriage.