Thursday, October 30, 2014

Someone Please Stop Me Before I Fanfic Again

Mourning angel in Florence, Italy. Photo by Mark Voorendt, April 2001.
I have a serious problem and I must be stopped. I turned to The Good Book for help, and I saw that it said:

"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

(Genesis 6:1-4, in the beautiful archaic English of the King James Bible. In the Hebrew Bible, Genesis is called Bereshit, Hebrew for "In the Beginning.")

Interpretations of this odd ancient passage vary, but it seems to be about male angels having sex with human women. However, it's male angel-human man sex that I can't seem to get out of my mind. But really, if human-angel sex is allowed by the Bible, it should be an acceptable subject for me to write about, right?

Even if it's Destiel fan fiction? Because after yesterday's video, I did another thing, in the paper-bound notebook:

Immediately after Cas tells Sam and Dean about having sex with April (this video), Dean leaves the room. Sam tells Cas that Dean is upset, but Cas can't understand why.

Photo by Gage Skidmore. Cropped. 

"You mean you really don't know?"

"I'm afraid I don't understand, Sam."

"The bond between you and Dean - it makes him feel a certain way about you. He can't stand the thought of you with someone else."

Cas is shocked. "Dean has...romantic feelings...for me?"

Sam claps a hand over Cas's shoulder. "He loves you."

Their eyes meet. "I didn't mean to hurt him, Sam. April is a wonderful woman: she's beautiful, kind, and so unselfish. I felt lonely, she wished to comfort me, and this body reacted to her."

Sam nods. "I get it, Cas, but Dean won't. He only knows how he feels about you, and right now he feels like you betrayed him."

"I would never."

They hear the door slam, and Cas realizes Dean has heard their whole conversation. He runs out after him, into the night. [Okay, it's day time in the video. I used some creative license. It's more dramatic in the late evening, after sunset.]

"Dean!"

Dean stops midway to the Impala, but doesn't turn around. "Leave me alone, Cas."

"Dean, I'm sorry. I didn't know."

Dean turns his head, his green eyes narrowed in anger. "After all this time, how could you not know?"

"I've never been human before. Your feelings are all new to me."

"Yeah? Well, it sounds like you figured them out with April."

"Dean, I like April as a person, but she and I can never have the bond you and I have."

"I know, Cas! That's why it hurts! How could you be with her and not me?"

Silence hangs in the air between them. Dean's breath leaves him in puffs of steam. Cas closes the space between them, but he knows better than to touch Dean. He does force Dean to look him in the eyes, though.

Photo by Gage Skidmore. I cropped it at PicMonkey. 
"Dean Winchester, I did not mean to hurt you, but I will not do so again. I vow to you that as long as you live, I will not make love with another being, human or angel. I will not ask you to make the same vow. I would not take away your freedom."

Dean's eyes are filled with tears. Cas longs to wipe them away, but he doesn't dare touch the other man.

"You don't know what you're saying, Cas."

"I do. I'm an angel of the Lord, Dean. I don't know how to lie."

In a quiet voice, Dean asks, "You would be my lover, Castiel?"

"Yes, Dean. I would like to know how your lips would feel against mine. This body reacts to you. It likes the way you walk and the way you smell. April allowed me to taste her. The scent of her body was...there are no words for the pleasure." He exhales as Dean rolls his eyes. "I would like to taste you. I would like to take you in my mouth and give you pleasure until your release, and then taste your essence. I would burn for you, and I hope you would let me inside you. April's body yielded to mine - would you do the same, warrior? Could you allow yourself to be so open?"

"Stop." Dean's chest heaves, his breathing hard.

Cas nods. "I'll leave you alone. I will keep my vow, and I hope you can accept my apologies." Cas turns back toward the house.

"Castiel." The angel turns, looking into Dean's eyes once more. The anger has softened. "I won't be your experiment. If we make love, it has to be because you care about me."

"I have always cared about you, Dean, body and soul."

Dean closes his eyes. His voice has a husky catch to it. "Not tonight," he says.

Cas nods. "Not tonight."

"I'm still angry with you."

"I know."

All at once, Dean takes Cas's face in both hands, caresses his cheeks, pulls him in, and kisses him deeply. Despite his dull human senses, every cell in Cas's body seems to react, and the evening's cold disappears. He is suddenly, desperately aware of how badly his body longs for Dean's.

They separate. Dean gets in the car and drives away. Cas skips dinner with Sam. Instead he takes a long shower and lies down to sleep.

When he wakes in the middle of the night, Cas is aware of Dean's body on the bed beside him, close but not touching him. He longs to pull Dean into his embrace, but he must wait for Dean's anger to cool first. He leans his face in toward Dean's, slightly, hoping to feel the warmth of his body.

***

Send help before I progress from angsty, suggestive fanfics to explicit angel buttsex. I really enjoy the phrase "angel buttsex," mind you.

I have been on Tumblr too long. Halp.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I've Added a #Destiel Fan Video to My YouTube Channel

Dear readers, I have all the classic signs of infatuation with a new ship. Having been introduced to fictional characters Dean Winchester and Castiel, an angel of the Lord, on Tumblr, I now cannot help but think of them as a romantic couple. It started with simply reblogging a few Tumblr posts, and then I had that weird male-pregnancy dream

From there, I progressed to reading a few fanfic stories on FanFiction.net. I knew that some people shipped the two Winchester brothers together as a romantic couple, but I didn't realize that Dean-Sam-Castiel was also a thing. FanFiction.net was my introduction to Wincestiel (Winchester incest+Castiel). Not to be a Judgy Judy, but I don't think I want to ship that. I know that consenting adults over the age of 18 can do as they please - especially when said adults are fictional - but brothers as romantic couples are a bit outside of my interests. (I think they are bio siblings. It would be slightly different if one of them was adopted.) 

But I am not judging you if that's your thing. You won't hurt Sam and Dean. They don't actually exist. 

The weirdest part is that I've still never even watched the first episode of Supernatural

Anyhoo, somehow the song "Angels Would Fall" by Melissa Etheridge got stuck in my head. I did a quick check of YouTube to see whether anyone had used this song in a Destiel fan video. I couldn't find one, so I decided that one should be made. Ta-da!



For the images, I visited the Pinterest pages of Isabella Disraeli, whom you may remember from "Shippin' 'Em Like FedEx." Her Destiel board is at http://www.pinterest.com/mscandida/castiel-dean/.

I don't do much with my YouTube channel, and I'll probably do even less once I start my new day job in a marketing department an hour's commute from home. But, should you decide to visit me there, you'll find a little clip of me in Milwaukee, a few Person of Interest fan videos, videos I made for Peaches and Shonen Knife songs I liked, a book trailer for "Spicy, Earthy, Sweet," literary music videos for The Count of Monte Cristo and James Jones' Whistle...it's really eclectic. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

American Girls Beforever: A Choose-Your-Ending Book Starring Rebecca #KidsBooks


The Glow of the Spotlight: My Journey with RebeccaThe Glow of the Spotlight: My Journey with Rebecca by Jacqueline Greene

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an adorable book. I got it with the intention of sharing it with my American Girl-obsessed, 8-year-old niece, who has the Rebecca doll. Of course, I had to read it first. I liked how it incorporated bits of history and taught a little bit about what life would have been like 100 years ago. It was done in a fun way that seemed like part of the story, not like a boring history lesson.

I never had very good luck with "Choose Your Own Adventure" books when I was a kid; I was always falling off a cliff or getting bitten by a snake and the story was about four pages long. This one isn't like that; it's actually fun to read. Choose-your-ending books have come a long way since I was a child.

Now I'm looking forward to reading to book about Kaya.



View all my reviews on Goodreads

I received this book from Amazon.com in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, October 24, 2014

In Which the Best-Laid Schemes o' Destiel Gang Aft Agley

I woke up from strange, wonderful dreams which I'll set out to record here [a paperback notebook], while Tit Elingtin is having an outpatient medical procedure [then transcribed to blog form later that same day].

First, let me begin by saying I don't watch the TV show Supernatural. I've never seen a single episode. My nieces watch it with their mom, and they used to have me play that they were Sam and Dean Winchester's girlfriends and I was their older sister.

But.

Tumblr.

Thanks to following so many Supernatural fans on Tumblr, I know that  many, many fans of the show postulate and ship a hypothetical romance between Dean and the angel Castiel. This ship has a name: Destiel.

Thanks to Tumblr and the general loveliness of actors Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, I fear that I now ship Destiel. I fear, too, that I am now developing a bit of a crush on Misha Collins.

I mean, look at this dumb nerd. Creative Commons image by Keith McDuffee
Such being the case, I may have been on YouTube, and I may have watched a Destiel fan video or two, as one does when one has a new ship and is seeking confirmation that said ship is sailed by others.

Dang it all to heck if Ackles and Collins don't each have deeper, sexier voices than I'd imagined. Blast their hides; why did they have to get even more attractive?

So while I watched a Destiel video:


...I noticed in the right-hand column a video of a sex scene between Castiel and a human woman. I think she's a mortal human - Dean called her a Reaper but I don't know what that means. I don't think she's an angel. (Charmingly, Dean asks Cas if he used protection, and Cas answers that he had his angel blade.)

Naturally, the prospect of watching a dramatic enactment of Misha's character in adult situations held a certain prurient interest for me. I'm only human, 0% angel, I assure you.


I watched, but the clip is very much rated for network television: mildly suggestive at best. Apparently Castiel is new to the experience of the human body. He'd recently discovered the feelings of hunger, cold, and loneliness. His reaper companion offers to ease his loneliness. She touches his face. His lips quivers in a charming, adorable way. They kiss.

Fade to black.

Then they're lying in her bed, he shirtless, she tastefully covered up - the deed has been done, and Cas wants to know if he did it right. What a tease! I believe my comment was something to the effect of, "If only this were on Showtime, and we could see Cas get his proverbial cherry popped in all its filthy, delicious glory." I'm only human.

Keep in mind, Tit Elingtin and I recently finished binge-watching Californication on Netflix. (Look for an upcoming post on my favorite female characters from that series.) I'd gotten used to True Blood-style explicitness.

All of that is the background information needed to understand the dream proper. I dreamed:

I was at my grandma's house, sort of. It was a dreamlike combination of her actual doublewide trailer home, including the bedroom where my cousin Joe sleeps, and of an imaginary fancy-schmancy suburban house. In the front room, someone - definitely not my granny, but possibly me - had set up a lot of Barbie doll houses and playsets. They were arranged, not in a cluttery Hoarders way, but the way a child might arrange them, like a whole Barbie village.

The house had a basement. It also had - and for this I blame a project I'd been working on for a travel website - an arcade. I played a video game involving The Avengers (and for that I blame the fact that the trailer for Age of Ultron leaked and was all over - what else but- Tumblr). It seemed like a new game, and I wondered whether Grandma was still adding to the arcade, which had been there since my grandpa was alive (he died in 1994). Tit and my parents were all present, as were some contractors who were installing flooring in the basement.

Then we ordered pizzas, went out and bought beer and wine, and had a party. The contractors' whole company - office staff and all - came and partied with us. Neighbors came. Strangers came. A local comedian who was getting kind of nationally famous came, with her boyfriend and three kids. I had fun playing Barbies with the two girls, while the boy ate some snacks I'd found for him.

Castiel and Sam were there, too. Not Dean but Sam. (I should mention we'd also recently watched the first couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls, with young Jared Padalecki showing up as a character named Dean to sweep Rory off her feet with his knowledge of Ruth Gordon in Rosemary's Baby.) They found a quiet, unoccupied room in the basement - a bedroom - and had the sex. Sam was sitting up on his knees, and Cas got behind him. They used lube but no condom.

Sam got pregnant.

For the record, I'm not generally a fan of mpreg (male pregnancy) fiction. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, and I don't judge anyone who's a fan, but it's just not for me. The exception is the canon!mpreg on Star Trek: Enterprise. I love that episode when Trip's hand-holding with a female from another humanoid species results in his body carrying the lady's clone/daughter (only her DNA, none of his). Spoiler Alert! Trip never does give birth, but the embryo is safely transferred to a surrogate, and then the daughter is lovingly raised by the mother.

But there Sam was, pregnant with a human-angel hybrid offspring, and he was freaking out because how was the baby going to come out?!

Easily, it turned out. Hours after conception, Cas simply opened a pouch on Sam's jacket and their unusual child came out, perfectly clean, no fuss no muss, as if he had never been inside Sam. He was a beautiful being, but not human-looking at all. He was similar to a snow-white fox, or the young of a Chinese dragon or of the dragon from Spirited Away. He was already very alert and aware from birth, and he grew very fast. By the end of the night, he'd completely morphed and looked like a 10-year-old boy. For simplicity's sake, I called him my nephew. It was too hard to explain to all the party guests.

Sam and Cas continued their physical relationship, but I guess they used protection, because no further magical offspring ensued. However, they were once interrupted in flagrante by the devil, who wanted to know if Cas's involvement in same-sex sexual relations meant that Cas was now a fallen angel. For some reason of dream-logic, Cas tried to assure the devil that he was, in fact, doing something very wicked. Then, while the devil was still standing there (looking perfectly human, by the way, but not like the actor who plays Satan on Supernatural, whom I understand to be the same actor who played Jacob on Lost - Mark something, I think his name is) [it's Mark Pellegrino], an angel came down. Cas argued just as vociferously to her that he was doing something fine and noble, acting in a natural way on his deep, everlasting love for Sam, the loving act of a devoted husband. Mind you, the devil and the angel were standing right next to each other while Cas argued two antithetical viewpoints to them. It makes no sense, I know.

I woke up, chagrined I'd dreamed of Cas fathering a child with Sam when everyone in the world knows Sam is a straight guy while Dean - well, I don't think he's canon!bisexual on the show, and yet it hasn't been conclusively established that he isn't attracted to men as well as women. He could be bisexual. And angels - well, since they're imaginary beings, who knows how their sexual orientations work? Maybe all humans are equally beautiful to them.

So as I tried to get back to sleep, I imagined that after he experienced sex with a woman, Cas was extremely curious about how sex with Dean would be different... [end of notes]

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cover Reveal: Little Boxes by Celia J Anderson (@celiaanderson1)

Little Boxes will be released by Tirgearr Publishing on the 4th November.


Blurb:

Suddenly bereaved, Molly White realises that she has never really known her feisty husband Jake when random boxes begin to appear through the post, each one containing a tantalising clue to the secrets of Jake and Molly’s past. Someone who knows them both well, for reasons of their own, has planned a trail of discovery. The clues seem to be designed to change Molly’s life completely, leading her around Britain and then onwards to rural France and deepest Bavaria.

Meanwhile, waiting in the wings is Tom, a charismatic artist who runs a gallery in the same town. Strong, independent and wheelchair-bound from the age of fifteen, he leads a solitary life and has no idea how devastatingly attractive he is to women. When Tom meets curvy, beautiful and funny Molly, he knows that she is his dream woman, but she seems way out of his orbit until the boxes start to weave their spell and the two of them are thrown right out of their comfort zones.

Author Bio:

After years of searching for the perfect job, I think I’ve finally found it in teaching, especially since changing to part-time hours to leave more space for writing. Let’s face it, where else do you get paid for reading stories, playing with glue and paint and making small people laugh? Over the years I’ve child-minded very contentedly, taught cycling proficiency (forgot to mention at the interview that I was still learning to ride a bike, but they found out quite soon), stamped books in a library, sold second-hand maternity clothes, dabbled in mental health care, to name but a few of my jobs.

When I’m not marking books or writing, I spend far too much time on Facebook talking to other, much cleverer writer people. I also blog as part of The Romaniacs online writers’ group. These are the ladies that make me laugh and keep me sane when I think I’ve run out of steam. My ultimate dream is to have children’s books published too.

The rest of my non-writing time is taken up with running Upstage – a children’s drama group – cooking, eating and walking off the damage. I live with my husband and deranged cats in South Derbyshire but, sea-starved in the depths of the Midlands, I can often be found striding over the Quantocks or wandering happily around Brighton visiting my two daughters and pretending to collect ideas for my next book.

Website: http://celiajanderson.co.uk 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CeliaJAndersonAuthor 
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/celiaanderson1 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wuthering Heights (Stage Production) Review


I watched the performance of Wuthering Heights by the Aquila Theatre on October 13, 2014. This adaptation of Emily Bronte’s novel was written by Desiree Sanchez, who also directed the production. This was a touring cast, which I caught at my alma mater of St. Mary’s College of Notre Dame, Indiana. The Aquila Theatre’s permanent home is at New York University.

Film and video recording were prohibited at the performance, so these photos are borrowed from Aquila Theatre’s website, for informational purposes.

The cast consisted of six actors. There are more than six characters in the adaptation, so this required some of the actors to play multiple characters. I’d recently watched a performance of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing by the Actors From the London Stage at the University of Notre Dame in which all the roles were played by five actors. I was familiar with this type of production, but I can’t say it’s one of my favorites.

Nor did I understand the framework of the adaptation. As the play opened, all six actors were on stage, and they appeared to be in some sort of industrial setting, working in a mill. I say a mill because the program, under the cast list, says “Edgar Linton/Mill Foreman,” “Heathcliff/Mill Worker #5,” etc. I don’t understand what the mill is supposed to represent. The novel doesn’t even take place in an urban setting. Perhaps if I’d gotten to my seat a little sooner, I would have heard a preface of some sort, but it had been a long day at work and I barely had time for theater-going.


Still, it’s tough for me to resist an adaptation of a Bronte sisters novel. I love Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre to bits.

The lighting designer was Peter Meineck. With the minimalist set (another theater convention of which I’m not overly fond – I prefer the elaborate production), the lighting was one of the most pleasing things about this production. I especially liked the way that the actor’s shadows projected on the right and left walls of the auditorium on both sides of the stage. It was lovely to turn my head and observe how much the shadows told the stories of the characters merely through their body language.

Here I’ve sorted my thoughts about the performances by character. I barely need to mention James Lavender, the actor playing Old Earnshaw, Joseph (the fire-and-brimstone-preaching servant), and the doctor, as well as a mill worker. I’m sure he’s a fine actor, but those are the least important roles in this adaptation.

Nelly:  By far the most sympathetic character in the adaptation, and a narrator just as she is in the book (of the story within the story, that is), Nelly Dean was played by Lizzy Dive. Ms. Dive is a lovely full-figured woman with a rich voice meant just for storytelling. She was by turns maternal, particularly with Heathcliff and then Hareton, and exasperated with Catherine. To use a netspeak turn of phrase, Nelly is SO DONE with Catherine.

The role requires an incredible amount of REACTING on Nelly’s part, and Dive had mastered the art. This was especially evident in the scene in which Nelly is physically menaced by the drunken, degenerated Hindley.

Dive also took a brief turn as Frances, the wife of Hindley and mother of Hareton. I know it’s impractical to keep another actress on the road tour just to play the small role of Frances. However, it stretches credulity to imagine the hale, hearty Nelly embodied in the same way as fragile Frances.

Catherine: Kali Hughes played Cathy. According to her biography, her acting credits include The Count of Monte Cristo; I wonder if she played Mercedes. Also, there’s a stage version of The Count of Monte Cristo?! We needs it, precious.

But back to the play at hand. Ms. Hughes as Cathy delivered an impeccably harrowing, suitably wild-hearted performance. When Cathy, as her final illness was coming on, didn’t recognize her own face in the mirror, Hughes gave a truly blood-curdling scream. Her mannerisms and body language managed to perfectly convey the depths of her feelings for Heathcliff, the instability of her wild character, her insouciance, the shallowness of her feelings for Edgar, her madness, and even her pregnancy. It was subtle performance.

I thought maybe at the end they’d lift her into the air like they did to Marge Simpson as Blanche Dubois in the Springfield production of Streetcar, but mercifully they didn’t.


Heathcliff:  The equally complex and challenging role of Heathcliff was taken on with aplomb by Dale Mathurin. Let me tell you a thing about Dale Mathurin: he’s stop-your-breath gorgeous. Now let me tell you a thing about why he’s so perfect for the role of Heathcliff: In addition to the fact that he’s been acting since he was seven years old, he’s a Briton of African descent. I know what you’re thinking: white British, black British, Pakistani British, Indian British, Chinese British, Polish British – they’re all just British. They’ll all pop ‘round to the pub with their mates, have a pint, grab a takeaway curry on their way back to their flats, and put on the kettle for a cuppa.

But the brilliance of casting a person of color in the role of Heathcliff is that Emily Bronte repeatedly describes him as “black” and “a Gypsy” in the novel. As much as I love Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff, there’s nothing about Fiennes’ lovely pale complexion that suggests the Roma people. The Roma are what my Jewish ancestors are: an Asian ethnicity that immigrated to Europe, except the Roma’s homeland is India. Heathcliff may be of Indian descent, or he may be of Afro-Caribbean descent; we can’t count on the rural English people of the novel to know or care about the difference. Either way, he is almost certainly a person of color.

When I first read that Andrea Arnold was filming an adaptation with Heathcliff as a black man, I was super excited to see her movie. I didn’t end up liking it, but not because of Solomon Glave as young Heathcliff or James Howson as adult Heathcliff. I just thought the sets were too dark for the action to be seen, the film was too silent, and half the time I couldn’t quite make out what was going on.

The stage production wasn’t plagued with those problems. Dale Mathurin will rank up there among my favorite Heathcliffs. He’s a damn sight better at it than Tom Hardy, at any rate.*

Edgar: The Masterpiece Classic movie version ruined for me any Edgar Linton who isn’t Andrew Lincoln. Stupid Englishman-turned-zombie-killing-American; why do you have to be so damn handsome? To be honest, though, casting Lincoln to play Edgar Linton is an example of what TV Tropes would call AdaptationalAttractiveness. Bronte herself named Linton in a Dickensian way; he was probably about as attractive as his name suggests. Calder Shilling did a fine job of playing him.

Isabella: One of the things that disappointed me most about this performance was that Isabella, a rather important character to this adaptation, was played by Michael Ring, the actor playing Hindley. Yes, Isabella is young, naïve, and silly, and she’s as frail as her brother, and to some extent Bronte makes her an object of mocking. Still, I’d like to see her humanized a little more by having her played by a woman, since having her played by a male actor makes her look that much more ridiculous. In theory I have nothing against gender-blind casting, but in the case of Isabella Linton it did somewhat rub me the wrong way.


In the end, what disappointed me about this play the most was what disappoints me the most about almost all the adaptations of WH: they leave off the ending. For me, if we don’t get to the part where Heathcliff finally joins Cathy in death, their spirits are said to haunt to moors, and Cathy the younger finally gets to be free with Hareton, then the story is seriously lacking in any sort of resolution. This one cut off just after Catherine the elder’s death, with barely a mention of Cathy the younger’s existence. After Heathcliff’s impassioned speech begging Cathy to haunt him, Nelly gave a brief wrap-up, they all returned to their odd mill worker poses, and curtain.

*At intermission, I heard some men two rows back from me talking about a recent film adaptation starring Christian Bale as Heathcliff. I wish! But they were simply mistaking one actor from The Dark Knight Rises for another. Also, they couldn’t remember what happened to Isabella in the novel, whether she died in childbirth or lived. They didn’t remember the latter chapters of the book very well at all. I thought that was a little sad, since the novel is best grasped as a whole, its plot being somewhat circular.


Here’s a quick rundown on them: Isabella escapes her wretched, abusive marriage to Heathcliff, fleeing to London with their young son, who is named, simply, Linton. However, Isabella eventually dies, and the fragile Linton is forced to move back to Wuthering Heights with his father. When Linton and Catherine the younger are teens, Heathcliff uses them as pawns in his revenge game, forcing them into a marriage. Then Linton dies, and Heathcliff treats his nominal daughter-in-law as if she were a household servant. Thus Catherine the younger meets the love of her life: Hareton. After Heathcliff’s death, Catherine and Hareton are free to pursue their romance – the redemptive ending to this whole sad drama. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

#SexTalkTuesday Welcomes Internationally known Sexologist and Therapist Dr. Gloria Brame As Special Guest Moderator Tuesday October 21, 3pm EST


[Press Release] – #SexTalkTuesday announced today that Dr. Gloria Brame will serve as special guest moderator of the October 21 edition of the Twitter-based chat show, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge about relationships and BDSM. The chat will run from 3pm-4pm Eastern Standard Time.

"Having been the co-owner of Wasteland.com since 1994, I've always highly respected Gloria as an expert and authority on BDSM relationships and am personally thrilled to have her on Sex Talk Tuesday," said Angie Rowntree. "Gloria Brame is one of the most knowledgable and articulate people in authentic BDSM culture and we very much appreciate her participation and contributions to the conversation!"


Dr. Brame, is the author of the landmark trilogy on sex science, "The Truth About Sex." Internationally reknowned for her pioneering work in removing the stigma from BDSM and fetish sex. Brame is a much sought-after expert on performance disorders, sexual wellness, sexual techniques, sexual variations, sexual identity crises, and relationships skills.

"People are afraid that sex problems are too mysterious, painful or complicated to “fix.” It’s not true.  Sometimes, sensitive education and non-judgmental support are all it takes to turn your sex life around" States  Dr. Brame, who has an incomparable track record in guiding and educating adults to get the most out of their sex lives.


A fun and provocative Twitter-based chat held every Tuesday of each month, #SexTalkTuesday is hosted and coordinated by Sssh.com, the web’s premier destination for porn for women and couples.

Each session, a guest moderator asks thought-provoking questions to a large and active group of participants, who send hundreds of tweets during each round of #SexTalkTuesday. The result is a lively and entertaining discussion that invites participants to be open and candid with their thoughts and opinions on sex, life, love and the humor of it all, in a way that fosters a supportive and compassionate environment for the conversation.


 Dr. Brame has packed her leather bag full of kinky fun and science facts. So to participate in Sex Talk Tuesday, go to twitter.com and use the #SexTalkTuesday hashtag during the hour-long show, which this week runs from 3pm to 4pm EST.

For more information on Dr. Brame @DrGloriaBrame, please go www.gloriabrame.com. For more information on Sssh.com (@ssshforwomen), or to inquire about serving as a guest moderator, contact Rowntree at editor@sssh.com or go to sextalktuesday.com

Monday, October 20, 2014

City Nights: One Night in San Francisco by Cass Peterson (@casspeterson1) #erotica #romance


Blurb:

Nicky and Liam have only twenty four short hours to find out if their instantaneous attraction can develop into something more than an electric mile-high fumble. San Francisco has everything they need to put their previous disastrous relationships behind them but when they lose touch with each other almost immediately, fate seems to have other ideas. As the precious hours tick away, Liam moves heaven and earth to find the woman of his (filthiest) dreams before she leaves the city. Will he get to her in time?


Excerpt:

‘That feels just amazing,’ he whispered, ‘but I really can’t. I’m sorry – I can tell you’re something of an expert in your field.’

I giggled. ‘I’ll take that as a compliment; not that I go around rummaging under men’s blankets on a regular basis, you understand.’

‘Of course not. Look, I’m in San Fran for a week – I’ll give you my card and you must call me if you’re staying long enough for a meet up? I’m free tonight, if you’d like dinner, maybe?’

‘That’d be nice – I’m only here for one night though. I’m on my way to stay with my brother in Southern California tomorrow evening, but I’ve never seen the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, or the cable cars so I decided to stop off in San Francisco on the way and be a tourist for twenty four hours.’

‘Good place to have a brother.’

‘I know – he’s an actor. He lives somewhere in the hills in a huge house called Coast Starlight. He did tell me why he named it, but I can’t remember. Something sentimental, I’m sure – he’s a big softie.

‘It was a nice idea to have a pit stop in the City first.’

‘Jack paid for it – this is his treat. He’s doing really well these days. I’d never have afforded it otherwise. I’ve brought him some great presents though to remind him of home. Marmite, a novelty big red bus moneybox, that sort of thing.’

‘Sounds great. Well, I’d love to see you later if you’ve got time? Will you ring me?’

I dimpled at him. ‘Might do. But you don’t even know my name. And more to the point, I don’t know yours.’

He grinned back and reached for my hand, turning it over and kissing the back of it so lightly that I’d have thought I’d imagined it if my whole body hadn’t begun to throb with pleasure at the touch of his lips. He began to work on my fingers, taking each in his mouth by turn and sucking gently until I was almost at the combustion point again.

‘You really are a find,’ he said.

‘A what?’

‘A find. A lovely woman, easy in her own skin, sensual and ready for anything. I bet if I lifted you across my knee now and lowered you onto my cock, you’d come in seconds.’

‘Hmmm. Well, I’d like to answer that one, but it’s a long story.’ We were still whispering, but I noticed one or two nearby people starting to stir and look around to see who was disturbing the peace. ‘Are you going to give me your phone number then, or what?’ I murmured, mind agonisingly full of the images he’d put there. I took the outstretched card he offered after a brief rummage in his pockets, and tucked it away in my bag.

‘Oh, and I’m Liam,’ he said, as an afterthought, ‘I’m a literary agent. I specialise in crime thrillers.’

‘Hi Liam. I’m Nicky. I’m thirty two, I guess I specialise in crime too – I’m a solicitor.’ He laughed and squeezed my hand, keeping hold of it and linking his fingers in mine. Settling down, we leaned together like old friends, and soon both drifted into sleep.

Author Bio:

Cass Peterson is passionate about many things; her family, writing, chocolate, wine, cake, curry, gin, sunlit beaches, moonlit bedrooms and good novels to name but a few. At the moment she spends a good chunk of her time working on the day job, but she tries to fit the other passions in as often as possible.

She is a cat lover, an all-weather walker, a reader and reviewer of contemporary romance and an enthusiastic cook.

Cass likes to laugh, especially at Bill Bailey, Victoria Wood, Michael Palin, and Eddie Izzard. She would happily live next door to any of these comedians.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

'Bob's Burgers' Now Has a XXX WoodRocket.com Parody!


[Press Release] - (Woodland Hills, CA) October 6, 2014 – One of the most popular animated series on television is about to go from the small screen to the ball screen, because WoodRocket.com presents the Bob's Burgers adult parody: Bob's Boners.


Today's special is the Bob's Boners Burger (made with 100% real adult spoof). One bite and you'll taste the sexiness!

When the Adult Entertainment Exotic Biz Con XXX Convention comes to town, Bob and Linda prepare the restaurant for a weekend of hungry adult stars, with appetites as big as their boobs and wangs. But fixing the menu isn't the only hard work the Belchers get up to.

Bob and Linda get down on today's special, Vaggie Burgers, while Tina writes some sexy slash-fiction about her 18th birthday party, featuring some hot Tina-Jimmy Junior-zombie butt action!

From WoodRocket.com, the website behind SpongeKnob SquareNuts, and Lee Roy Myers, the director that brought you the hit adult parodies of The Simpsons and Family Guy, comes a brand spankin' new live-action parody of a cartoon that's sure to get your spatulas up and your orders out!
Bob's Boners stars legendary adult actress Tabitha Stevens as Linda, Anthony Rosano as Bob, and features some of your favorite characters like Tina, Teddy, Jimmy Junior, and more!

You've seen it on the boob tube, now see it on the BOOB tube!

Check out Bob's Boners for free, only at WoodRocket.com

Watch the SFW trailer of Bob's Boners on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4XiHSVoE_0

WoodRocket.com is your source for free adult entertainment with a comedy and pop culture twist. With thousands of high quality adult movies and scenes like The Royal Tenendongs, Porks and Recreation, and Doctor Whore, as well as original web series like “James Deen Loves Food”, “Topless Girls Reading Books”, and “Stoya Does Everything”. WoodRocket.com and its content has been featured on Gawker, Gizmodo, The Hollywood Reporter, Jezebel, Esquire, Bon Appetit, Vice, Fleshbot, and more. WoodRocket even found its Game of Bones and The Knobbit parodies as a trivia question on the highly acclaimed Comedy Central Game Show, @Midnight.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Romancing Robin Hood by Jenny Kane (@jennykaneauthor)


Blurb

Dr. Grace Harper has loved the stories of Robin Hood ever since she first saw them on TV as a girl. Now, with her fortieth birthday just around the corner, she’s a successful academic in Medieval History, with a tenured position at a top university.

But Grace is in a bit of a rut. She’s supposed to be writing a textbook on a real-life medieval gang of high-class criminals – the Folvilles – but she keeps being drawn into the world of the novel she’s secretly writing – a novel which entwines the Folvilles with her long-time love of Robin Hood – and a feisty young girl named Mathilda, who is the key to a medieval mystery…

Meanwhile, Grace’s best friend Daisy – who’s as keen on animals as Grace is on the Merry Men – is unexpectedly getting married, and a reluctant Grace is press-ganged into being her bridesmaid. As Grace sees Daisy’s new-found happiness, she starts to re-evaluate her own life. Is her devotion to a man who may or may not have lived hundreds of years ago really a substitute for a real-life hero of her own? It doesn’t get any easier when she meets Dr Robert Franks – a rival academic who Grace is determined to dislike but finds herself being increasingly drawn to…


Buy links

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Paperback



Excerpt

It was all Jason Connery’s fault, or maybe it was Michael Praed’s? As she crashed onto her worn leather desk chair Grace, after two decades of indecision, still couldn’t decide which of the two actors she preferred in the title role of Robin of Sherwood.
That was how it had all started, ‘The Robin Hood Thing’ as Daisy referred to it, with an instant and unremitting love for a television show. Yet, for Grace, it hadn’t been a crush in the usual way. She had only watched one episode of the hit eighties series and, with the haunting theme tune from Clannad echoing in her ears, had run upstairs to her piggy bank to see how much money she’d saved, and how much more cash she’d need, before she could spend all her pocket money on the complete video collection. After that, the young Grace had done every odd job her parents would pay her for so she could purchase a myriad of Connery and Praed posters with which to bedeck her room. But that was just the beginning. Within weeks Grace had become pathologically and forensically interested in anything and everything to do with the outlaw legend as a whole.
She’d watched all the Robin Hood films, vintage scenes of Douglas Fairbanks Jr and Errol Flynn, Richard Greene, Sean Connery, and Barry Ingram. As time passed, she winced and cringed her way through Kevin Costner’s comical but endearing attempt, and privately applauded Patrick Bergin’s darker and infinitely more realistic approach to the tale. Daisy had quickly learnt to never ever mention Russell Crowe’s adaption of the story – it was the only time she’d ever heard Grace swear using words that could have been as labelled as Technicolor as the movie had been.
The teenage Grace had read every story, every ballad, and every academic book, paper, and report on the subject. She’d hoarded pictures, paintings, badges, and stickers, along with anything and everything else she could find connected with Robin Hood, his band of outlaws, his enemies, Nottingham, Sherwood, Barnsdale, Yorkshire – and so it went on and on. The collection, now over twenty years in the making, had reached ridiculous proportions and had long since overflowed from her small terraced home to her university office, where posters lined the walls, and books about the legend, both serious and comical, crammed the overstuffed shelves.
Her undergraduates who’d chosen to study medieval economy and crime as a history degree option, and her postgraduates whose interest in the intricate weavings of English medieval society was almost as insane as her own, often commented on how much they liked Dr Harper’s office. Apparently it was akin to sitting in a mad museum of medievalism. Sometimes Grace was pleased with this reaction. Other times it filled her with depression, for that office, its contents, and the daily, non-stop flow of work was her life – her whole life – and sometimes she felt that it was sucking her dry. Leaving literally no time for anything else – nor anyone else. Boyfriends had come and gone, but few had any hope of matching up to the figure she’d fallen in love with as a teenager. A man who is quite literally a legend is a hard act to follow...

***
Author bio and links

Jenny Kane is the author of the contemporary novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequel Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013)

Jenny’s first children’s book, There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hush Puppy Books) will be released later this year, and her third full length romance novel, Abi’s House (Accent Press), will be published in Spring 2015.

Keep your eye on her blog at http://www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?

Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?: . . . and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-box at the Vatican ObservatoryWould You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?: . . . and Other Questions from the Astronomers' In-box at the Vatican Observatory by Guy Consolmagno

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a thoughtful, entertaining, and provocative book. I'd recommend it to anyone who has any interest in religion, science, or both. The title question was the final one in the book. The Vatican Observatory astronomers who wrote this book first discuss, in an engaging dialogue format, the apparent contradiction between the Biblical account of creation and the scientific Big Bang Theory, the status of Pluto, the true story of Galileo's heresy trial, the Star of Bethlehem, and the end of the universe. (The last of these requires some fictional assistance from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.) Along the way, they address both Christian fundamentalists who believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible and scientific fundamentalists who think science eliminates the need for a God at all. The result is a balanced, well-reasoned book of nonfiction from two highly educated, highly scientific, highly theological authors - one a priest, the other an ordained brother - that should be eminently readable to most any lay person.

View all my reviews on Goodreads


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Feast Day of St. Hedwig

October 16 is the feast day of St. Hedwig of Silesia. If you're a Potterhead/Harry Potter fan, you probably know J.K. Rowling named Harry's snow-white owl companion after Hedwig, the patron saint of orphans. According to David Colbert in his book The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter, Rowling found the name in a book of saints.

Snowy owl. Creative Commons image by Matt MacGillivray
Now, there are two women referred to in English as St. Hedwig. One is Hedwig, or Jadwiga, of Poland, who lived in the 14th century and was canonized by Pope John Paul II. Jadwiga of Poland is a fascinating historical figure because her official title made her king, rather than queen, of her country. However, Jadwiga of Poland is not the patron saint of orphans.

Hedwig, Queen of Poland. Public domain image
That honorary title goes to Święta Jadwiga Śląska, also known as Saint Hedwig of Andechs or of Silesia. Andechs is a family name, referring to a series of Bavarian kings. Our Hedwig was born in Andechs castle in Bavaria circa 1174. Silesia is a place; it was a medieval (1138-1335) province of Poland, ruled over by a duke. Its neighboring provinces were Bohemia and Moravia. 

Hedwig married Henry I, nicknamed Henry I the Bearded. Henry I is remembered for bringing the German language and culture to Silesia. 

Henry I became Duke of Silesia in 1232, a position he held until his death in 1238. Their son Henry II the Pious became Duke of Silesia upon his father's death, and Hedwig spent the remainder of her life in a monastery (which she'd encouraged her husband to establish) as a lay sister. She did not become a nun. When Henry II died, Hedwig and Henry II's widow Anna of Bohemia (sometimes called Anne of Bohemia) established a Benedictine abbey together.

Besides founding several religious institutions with her husband and daughter-in-law, Hedwig of Silesia is known for her charity and humility. She refused to wear shoes, even in winter. She ministered to women afflicted with Hansen's disease. In folklore, she is also credited with stopping in Austria on a pilgrimage to Rome; where she visited Austria, a stream with healing properties sprung up from the earth. 


St. Hedwig of Silesia, public domain image by Matthias Feige
Although Hedwig was canonized by Pope Clement IV in 1267, her association with orphans didn't begin until 1848. In that year, Robert Spiske founded a religious women's association that eventually developed into the congregation of the Sisters of St. Hedwig. The nuns' principal mission is the education of orphaned/abandoned children, chiefly in Germany, Austria, and Denmark. 

Robert Spiske is not himself considered a saint, but the Catholic church considers him "venerable." He was a Polish priest born in 1821, known for his preaching, pastoral work with young people, and outreach to people who felt alienated from the church. 

According to TheHogsHead.org, a Harry Potter fan website, Hedwig of Silesia was the mother of seven children, like Molly Weasley. Her husband's name, Henry, is another form of the name Harry. The Hog's Head also reminds us that in the books, Harry chooses Hedwig's name after seeing it in A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot. We don't know what the fictional Bathilda Bagshot wrote in her fictional magical textbook, but it may have had something to do with those magical healing waters. 

You can read more about St. Hedwig on Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopedia. The Catholic Encyclopedia lists her feast day as October 17. She is thought to have died on October 15, 1243. 

Other saints' day posts you might enjoy:

St. Swithen's Day
St. Lucia's Day

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Penthouse and Cleis Press Announce the Publication of Penthouse Variations on Oral

[Press Release] Penthouse Variations on Oral: Erotic Stories of Going Down (Cleis Press 2014), marks the launch of the book series inspired by Penthouse Variations magazine that will showcase pleasures of every kind. This debut volume goes deep into the throes of oral delight, delivering tasteful tales of couples’ amorous adventures.

Both new and well-known erotic writers, including Alison Tyler, satisfy the hungriest appetites while dishing up an array of below-the-belt feasts. In this collection of short stories, lovers explore the delicious ways this intimate act can be affectionate and tender, a testament to devotion, or an expression of pure, hot lust. Going down is an experience meant to be savored …and shared.

Brenda Knight, who was recently named Publisher of the Year at Cleis Press, revealed, “I have been a reader of all Penthouse magazines since college. The articles and fiction helped form my sensibility and developed my eye for erotic excellence.”

Penthouse Variations On Oral will be distributed by Publishers Group West, and is the debut title of a six-part series from Cleis and Penthouse.

What People Are Saying About Penthouse Variations on Oral:

"Mouthwatering words drip like honey off the page. Lick your lips and savor the sweetness after you devour each sultry story.”
—Alison Tyler, editor of Afternoon Delight

Barbara Pizio is the executive editor of Penthouse Variations magazine and the editor of the Penthouse Variations erotica series from Cleis Press. Her writing about sex, kink, and relationships has been featured in Penthouse magazine. She has edited more than a dozen books in the best-selling Letters to Penthouse series from Grand Central Publishing and has authored screenplays for Penthouse Studios.

Cleis Press publishes provocative, intelligent books across genres. Whether literary fiction, human rights, mystery, romance, erotica, LGBTQ studies, sex guides, pulp fiction, or memoir, you know that if it's outside the ordinary, it's Cleis Press.

Globally recognized as a premier adult entertainment and lifestyle brand, Penthouse is part of FriendFinder Networks Inc. (http://www.FFN.com), a leading Internet-based social networking company operating several of the most heavily visited social networking websites in the world, particularly with respect to its adult-oriented websites. In addition, the FriendFinder Networks family of companies produces and distributes original pictorial and video content, licenses its Penthouse brand to a variety of consumer companies and entertainment venues, and publishes branded men’s lifestyle magazines.

Penthouse Variations on Oral:
Erotic Stories of Going Down 
Edited by the Editors of Penthouse Variations
$15.95, Trade Paper
240 pages, 6” x 9”
ISBN: 978-1-62778-093-3
Publishing on October 14, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

My Love Affair With Villains - Guest Post by A.F. Stewart

From an early age, I’ve always had a certain curiosity in regards to villains, from fairy tale witches to the murder mystery bad guys. It’s not that I wanted to be them—for that particular fantasy I looked to the heroes—but the evildoers always had a certain appeal I couldn’t quite shake. Maybe I wanted to know what made them tick, or maybe it seemed like they had more fun (I mean, what kid doesn’t secretly want to cause a little mayhem and chaos every now and then). Whatever the reason, I regularly succumbed to their allure.

My first major villainous crush was with Maleficent from the Disney cartoon Sleeping Beauty. And why wouldn’t I be enthralled by her? Of all the characters in that movie, she’s the one everyone remembers best. From her haughty, nefarious attitude to her commanding presence on film (made all the more remarkable when you realise she’s an animated character), it all instantly mesmerized. This villain’s arrogant demeanor, her regal stature beckoned to me, but it was the scene that sealed the deal. You know the one, where she went all fabulous demon sorceress on the viewers and turned herself into a dragon. Well, I tell you that spectacle gave me chills, and I was forever hooked. (To this day, I still get a little thrill when I watch that scene).

Number two in my childhood baddie parade is the one, the only, Darth Vader. The cumbersome prequel back-story aside, when he first hissed onto the screen in the original Star Wars my villain radar perked to attention. As I watched, a veritable legacy of sinister magnificence was born (okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but Vader was very, very cool). And even in the midst of my pre-teen hero worship, I felt a pull towards the dark side (for Halloween that year I donned a Vader costume and menaced the neighbour for candy).



The lure of the villain remained strong as I aged. From Sherlock’s Moriarty, to Batman’s Joker to Hans Gruber in Die Hard, and on to Dracula, the truly great bad guys pop off the screen and the page for me with a fascinating charisma. And it probably does hurt that they seem to get the best lines of dialogue. So, of course it seemed quite the natural fit for me to explore the villain in my writing, as I’ve done in my Killers and Demons series, and make evil the main character.

So why my great love for the villain? I don’t know, really. Maybe my brain has a loose wire, or I harbor a secret attraction to the bad boys. Or perhaps, just perhaps, I have a surreptitious wish to dance with the Devil by the pale moonlight, after dining on some fava beans and a nice Chianti…


Smashwords Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/466078
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MRKCFWM
B+N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/killers-and-demons-ii-a-f-stewart/1120170387
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/killers-demons-ii-they-return/id908095199?mt=11

Thursday, October 2, 2014

'Amazons: Sexy Tales of Strong Women' Edited by M. Christian and Sage Vivant

"Sexy Tales of Strong Women." What's not to love about that subtitle? Editors M. Christian and Sage Vivant chose well, because this is not only good erotic writing but good writing, period. Not all of it is explicitly erotic, by the way. Some of it is gently suggestive. For added fun, each tale begins with a quote from an extraordinary real-life woman, from Bette Davis to Pamela Anderson to Barbra Streisand.


My favorite stories in this anthology were:

"Bullbitch 8.0" by C.B. Potts. Cowgirls are all Amazons anyway, right? But Lynette is a special -breed of cowgirl - she's a rodeo bull rider.

"The Spear of Janice Kienan" by Chris Bridges. It shows just how deeply the modern woman can get in touch with her inner Amazon.

If only it were possible to combine Chris Bridges the erotica writer with Chris "Ludacris" Bridges the rapper/actor, because that combined guy would be a hell of an erotic songwriter.

"Amazon" by M. Christian. A sexy tale of Sapphic love among burlesque dancers, one of whom has dwarfism, and the twist of the story is that the shortest woman is the most Amazonian of all.

"Punk Syster Morris" by Bryn Colvin. This was my second-favorite story of the book, about an unsuspecting man who thinks he's only going to a rock show with his buddy and ends up finding so much more.

"The Hands of a Princess" by Catherine Lundoff*. Viking warrior Commander Agnes "The Bloody" Helensdottir will go to any length to serve her king, even it means pleasing his like-minded daughter.

"Sex With Ducks" by Hannah Strom-Martin. Worry not: Ducks is a man's name. He's a quirky writer, but our narrator learns how to exploit his hidden desires. Best phrase:

"When dealing with writers it breaks down like this: a regular writer is your average everyday megalomaniac. Like every artist, there's a part of them that believes--nay, knows--the world turns for them. Most are harmless. Some are obnoxious. Some are Bret Easton Ellis."

Technically, my editor-inner-ear tells me, it should say, "A part of them believes--nay, knows--the world turns for them, as does a part of every artist."However, that does not flow as smoothly.

"The Girl From Pellucidar" by Jason Rubis. Purporting to be about a woman who attempts to make peace with her ex-boyfriend's unpredictable new girlfriend, the story then takes an outrageous turn and ends up much, much better than I could have predicted.

"Thalea of the Mountain" by Kristina Wright. This has the mythic, timeless quality of a really good fairy tale, one that could have come from anywhere in the world. It's beautiful written, but then again, I'd expect nothing different from Wright.

"The Bearded Lady" by Madeline de Chambrey. My favorite of the anthology, and it's one of the merely suggestive rather than explicitly erotic ones. It's about the deep connection between a man who's in love with a woman who barely acknowledges him, as he nurses her through breast cancer. She survives, the ending is triumphant, and I think I actually pumped my fist as I read the last page. Also, a woman with a beard may not be considered traditionally beautiful by Western societies, but de Chambrey manages to convey precisely how this "unfeminine" feature is part of our heroine's allure.

"Blue Girl" by Kathleen Bradean**. Dystopian erotica in a Puritanical society, but one that's completely imaginable. Damn fine writing in this one.

"Sixteen Hands" by Paula L. Fleming. The heroine of this tale is a jockey, and she's an Amazon when she's on her horse. Her unexpected lover fits the more traditional Amazonian profile. This tale is full of passion and tenderness that really resonated with me.

"Legend" by Sage Vivant. This one explores the gap between reality and perception, and it's funny.

I bought this book with my own funds and was not obligated to review it in any way.

* Catherine Lundoff and I both have stories in Like a God's Kiss: Erotic Mythological Tales.

**Read more of Kathleen Bradean in Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica.