Saturday, December 27, 2008

Spicy, Earthy, Sweet

Dig in to a delectable winter treat, as warm as a potato pancake on a frosty Hanukkah night!

Caught up in the magic of the Festival of Lights, Gabriella wants everything to be perfect for her holiday with Jared. Jared has very specific tastes-and a slight obsession with teasing the individual flavors out of the aromas of fine wines. Even the kosher wine he chooses for the first night of Hanukkah is subjected to his beloved wine aroma wheel.

But wine is not the only thing that can be tasted, analyzed, and savored. Gabriella and Jared discover new uses for Jared's favorite toy as the Hanukkah candles burn down...

Read "Spicy, Earthy, Sweet" by Erin O'Riordan at http://www.ravenousromance.com/ravenous-rendezvous/spicy-earthy-sweet.php

Erin O'Riordan, despite what her Irish name may lead you to believe, is of mixed Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Pagan descent. Following the philosophy of Joan Borysenko, she proudly embraces all of her diverse spiritual heritage. Her spiritual-sexual writings include the Pagan-ritual-inspired erotic novel Beltane, from Eternal Press. Visit her home page at www.aeess.com .

UPDATE (January 2015): Find "Spicy, Earthy, Sweet" at my Etsy shop, Writer's Brain Has Wings.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/208636827/spicy-earthy-sweet-romance-short-story-e?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some of my most recent stories and articles

Anthologies: My short story "Oliver's Famous Clam Chowder" is featured in the Torquere Press anthology Love Bites, now out in paperback and e-book. (Yikes! There's an editing mistake in the print edition, with the same character called by 2 different names!)


Look for my story "Bringing Eddie His Lunch" in The Mammoth Book of Erotic Confessions, coming in May 2009 from Carroll and Graf.

My short story "Handsome and Regretful" appears in a chapbook from Down in the Dirt.

Can't decide what to read first? Check out my short fiction collection.

Stand-Alone Short Stories: My short story, "Iced," appears online at www.lucreziamagazine.com. Lucrezia also published my review of a Jenna Jameson film in late August/early Sept.

Playgirl published my story "Going With the Flow" in the June issue. Oysters and Chocolate (www.oystersandchocolate.com) has published my review of the film Blue Magic and my short story "Cinnamon Honey Bear."

Contests: My story "Robo" received Honorable Mention in the fiction contest at FortheGirls.com. I've recently entered my short story "The Hope" in a fiction contest at Oysters and Chocolate (look for details soon).

Coming up next: Bent magazine will publish my story "Bat Mitzvah," and Sinister Wisdom will publish one called "Soaked."

I've also written fiction and essays for webzines including Clean Sheets and The Shadow Sacrament. If you're over 18, see aeess.com for details.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Finished the First Draft of MIDSUMMER NIGHT

When my first novel, Beltane, was released by Eternal Press last month, I let all of my readers know that Beltane was going to be the first in the 12-part romance series I'm calling Pagan Spirits. Tonight, I've finally completed the first draft of the second novel in the series. I'm calling it Midsummer Night.

Now the real fun-editing-begins!

Midsummer Night continues the story of Zenobia "Zen" Van Zandt. When we last left her, she was falling in love with handsome graduate student Ramesh Sudra. She was also embarking on a new career as a midwife, incorporating her knowledge of Pagan and witchcraft tradition with Western medicine. The love between Zen and Ramesh will be tested, however, first by her year-long vow of celibacy, then by a undergraduate student who comes between them, and finally by Ramesh's tradition-minded family. Will their story be one of happily-ever-after, or only might-have-been?

Find Beltane at www.eternalpress.ca/beltane.html. If you enjoy red-blooded romance and write reviews, I would sincerely appreciate some reviews of Beltane. You can read more of my writing, including links to many free stories, at www.aeess.com (recommended for readers 18+ only).

This is an affiliate link:

The Wheel of The Year. . by Maureen Murrish. $5.99 from Smashwords.com
The Wheel of the Year is a beginner's guide to celebrating the eight traditional pagan festivals of the the year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hanukkah Romance: Spicy, Earthy, Sweet

Dig in to a delectable winter treat, as warm as a potato pancake on a frosty Chanukah night.

Caught up in the magic of the Festival of Lights, Gabriella wants everything to be perfect for her holiday with Jared. Jared has very specific tastes—and a slight obsession with teasing the individual flavors out of the aromas of fine wines. Even the kosher wine he chooses for the first night of Chanukah is subjected to his beloved wine aroma wheel.

But wine is not the only thing that can be tasted, analyzed, and savored. Gabriella and Jared discover new uses for Jared’s favorite toy as the Chanukah candles begin to burn down.

"Spicy, Earthy, Sweet," my brand-new short story, is coming Dec. 29th to Ravenous Romance. The site officially launches in December, but visit now for a free story download and a chance to win an iPod!

Congratulations to Becky Senn and Tracey McLeod, the winners of signed copies of The Erotica Anthology by Erin O’Riordan from Bitten By Book’s Haunted Bloggy Carnival!

UPDATE (January 2015): Find "Spicy, Earthy, Sweet" at my Etsy shop, Writer's Brain Has Wings.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/208636827/spicy-earthy-sweet-romance-short-story-e?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Book Chat With Erin O'Riordan

What do you look for in reading? How do you choose what you read?

I enjoy reading both fiction and nonfiction. I enjoy fiction with fantasy themes. Sometimes, for fun, I read paranormal romances. What I read in nonfiction depends on what interests me at the time, or what I need to read for research. I like books on women's studies subjects, and books about books.

What are you currently reading for pleasure? Professional?

For pleasure: Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou, a book I picked up at a library book sale. I just finished re-reading Wuthering Heights. For research: travel books about India, books about Hanukkah.

Favorite books? Favorite authors?

One of my all-time favorites is Pretty Birds by Scott Simon. Simon is an NPR correspondent who covered the war in Bosnia in the 1990s. He turned that experience into the fictional story of 17-year-old Irena Zaric. She's a Muslim whose best friend, Amela, is Serbian. Readers who liked The Kite Runner will appreciate Pretty Birds. It's harrowing, but also wickedly funny at parts. Banana Yoshimoto is one of my favorite authors. I especially liked Kitchen and Asleep.

Most important, significant, or memorable book in your life?

A Woman's Journey to God: Finding the Feminine Path, by Joan Borysenko. When I read this book, I felt as if I must have dreamed it into existence. Borysenko has a different, unexpected way of looking at spirituality, and it was just what I needed to reconcile different aspects of my beliefs.

Were you read to as a child?

Both parents read to me, often, when I was a child.

When did you begin to read?

I began to read at age 4.

When you find a book you like do you try to read other books by the same author?

With the romance novels, I often get into reading a series or several books by the same author: J. R. Ward, Kate Douglas, Katie McAlister, Charlaine Harris.

Do you keep a list of books you want to read?

Yes. My to-read list includes Rhett Butler's People by Douglas McCaig, The Serpent's Tale by Ariana Franklin, and Novel Destinations by Joni Rendon and Shannon McKenna Schmidt.

Do you keep a record of what you have read?

Every new year, I make a list of the ten best books I've read the previous year. My diary provides the record of what I've read and my thoughts about the books. Last year I began posting my top ten lists on my preferred social networking site, gather.com.

Do you give books as gifts?

I love to give books as gifts! I gave The Lives of the Saints for Girls to my cousin's daughter for her baptism recently.

What books are on your bedside table?

Clotilda by Jack Kent. It's a picture book that I loved as a child; I was reading it to my nieces.

3 books you would take on vacation or to a desert island?

On a desert island: Songs on Bronze by Nigel Spivey (an excellent volume of Classical mythology), QPB Anthology of Women's Writing, and the Bible.

Did you have favorite books as a child?

The Cat in the Hat; Where the Wild Things Are; The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, the Bunnicula series by Deborah and James Howe; the Rotten Ralph series by Jack Gantos; Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. And I loved books about ancient Egypt, and books about monsters.

How have your reading tastes changed over the years?

I only started reading romance novels in the last three or four years. My tastes in nonfiction change constantly, and my taste in fiction has stayed pretty much the same for the past 15 years or so. I've always liked fiction with a fantasy theme.

What types of books would you recommend for young readers?

For older children and teens, I'd recommend The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu, and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events series. For younger children, I love Big Mama Makes the World by Phyllis Root and Helen Oxenbury, and The Book of Goddesses by Kris Waldherr.

(Questions by Ann Leonard)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

An Interview with the Author of BELTANE

Question: Beltane is a Celtic, Pagan holiday, an ancient name for May Day. Do you have personal experience with dancing around the maypole? Are you a Pagan, like Zen and Allie in the novel?
Erin: I actually had a very conventional upbringing. I was educated in Roman Catholic schools all the way through college. I’ve always been attracted to the feminine side of the religious experience, though. Goddess mythology is very much a part of my spirituality.

Q: Beltane is a very sensual, erotic novel. How did you get started in the erotic romance genre?
E: I wrote my first novel, Whip (unpublished) in 2006, and in Whip I was determined to show the characters as they really are, at their finest and worst moments. That included writing honestly about their sexuality. My first published short story was an excerpt from Whip, and it happened to be a scene of intimacy between Brigid and Leander. From there, I felt I had found my niche as a writer.

Q: In your acknowledgments, you dedicate Beltane "to my foremothers," and list a number of influential women writers: Emily Dickinson, Madeleine L’Engle, Barbara G. Walker, Joan Borysenko. Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
E: I named women whose writing I just adore and return to again and again. I just finished re-reading Wuthering Heights, and now I wish I had included Emily Bronte in my acknowledgments. But actually the one woman who has influenced my writing the most is my mother, Andrea. (Thanks, Mom!)

Q: How did your mother influence your writing?
E: My romantic partner has always been my biggest supporter when it comes to writing, but my parents always encouraged me. They were the ones who read me stories as a child, and I’ve never outgrown that love of storytelling. It was my mother, specifically, who got me started on reading paranormal romances, though. She introduced me to Charlaine Harris and J.R. Ward, and reading them introduced me to Kate Douglas. It was a great honor for me when Kate Douglas wrote, about my review of one of her books,"I enjoyed your writing every bit as much as the subject matter, if that makes sense. It’s very well done."

Q: Beltane launches the "Pagan Spirits" series. What is your vision for the series?
E: "Pagan Spirits" will be a 12-part series, each with a different Pagan holiday theme. I’m finishing the first draft of the second book now, and its tentative title is Midsummer Night. It will continue to focus on the Van Zandt sisters, Zen and Allie. Starting with the third book, Zen and Allie will still be featured, but we’ll also see some unexpected facets of the supporting characters, like Zen’s assistant witch Gillian.