Saturday, February 26, 2011

Amber Chen's Hottest Sci-Fi Couples

Today's post is a commentary on a post titled "The Hottest Sci-Fi Couples on Film" by Amber Chen. I love this list so much, I just have to share.

Princess Leia and Han Solo (Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford)

Amber says: "Sure, it was only a PG relationship, but there was plenty of playfully sarcastic banter and escalating sexual tension between the princess and her hero. One of their best moments is in The Empire Strikes Back, in the Millennium Falcon engine room, when Han starts rubbing Leia's injured fingers. When Leia feebly protests that her hands are dirty, Han leans in and purrs, 'My hands are dirty, too; what are you afraid of?' The whole exchange is hotter than hot, even if he is a scoundrel--well, because he's a scoundrel."

Erin says: Han Solo was my first crush when I was a little girl. Then I got a little older and used to dream about Han and Leia both. Okay, sometimes I still do. I think it's sexy that Matthew Davis, who plays Alaric Saltzman on The Vampire Diaries, looks like a Han Solo-era Harrison Ford.

Sarah Conner and Kyle Reese (Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn)

Amber says: "Sarah and Kyle had a passion born out of adrenaline, of Sarah depending on Kyle for her very survival, and Kyle depending on Sarah for survival of the species. You can't get any more intense than that. It doesn't hurt that Sarah and Kyle are both blond beauties, and Kyle makes his entrance to the world of the past completely naked. Then there's the love scene, all passionate kissing with an undercurrent of reverential tenderness. What makes it even hotter? The handsome Kyle has been lonely in his apocalyptic future world, and is most likely a virgin."

Erin says: I've also found the Terminator franchise surprisingly sexy, an opinion I shared in "Getting A Rise From the Machines: Terminator as Erotica." The sex under James Cameron’s direction isn’t explicit, but the loving close-up of their intertwined fingers tells the viewer everything she needs to know about John Connor’s conception. And with the release of Terminator: Salvation, it becomes clear John Connor grows up to resemble Christian Bale, the mere sight of whom moistens panties the world over. Adult John Connor also has a hot wife, played by Ms. Bryce Dallas Howard.

Richard B. Riddick and Carolyn Fry (Vin Diesel and Radha Mitchell)

Amber says: "Sure, they weren't exactly a couple, but you could cut the sexual tension with a knife. A really scary, sharp knife, the kind Riddick likes. It starts as merely pervy innuendo on Riddick's side, but his interest in Fry increases when she proves she's just as tough as he is."

Erin says: Yeah, I don't have an opinion on this one. I saw Pitch Black but don't list it among my favorite films.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker (Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen)

Amber says: "Call it a bromance, or revel in the homoerotic subtext, but you have to admit these two had more chemistry than Anakin and Padme. Obi-Wan was all handsome nobility and valor, trying to mold his gorgeous young and passionate student into the perfect Jedi. That's hot."

Erin says: I would've picked Obi-Wan Kenobi and his mentor, Qui-Gon Jinn, played by Liam Neeson. For years after The Phantom Menace came out, I entertained fantasies of Ewan and Liam realizing their on-set attraction was real. Ewan, in my fancy, knew he was bisexual all along. Liam realized he was a deeply closeted gay man and, after much soul-searching, managed an amicable split from Natasha Richardson. (Rest in peace, Natasha.)

Now, enjoy a cheesy fan video.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pagan Imagery in "If I Die Young"

“If I Die Young” was recently a #1 hit for The Band Perry. The ballad tells the story of a young woman whose life has been cut short. She asks to be put to rest in a river at dawn. Whether consciously or not, when singer Kimberly Perry wrote the lyrics, she incorporated many images that have been associated with burial customs since ancient times. Many of them have a Pagan significance.

“If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses”

The ancient Romans held the rose to be a symbol of Venus; its petals reminded them of a woman’s genitals. Venus the Rose-Goddess was Christianized as Saint Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo. Like many European Pagans who associated the goddess of love with death, the Romans also considered roses a symbol of death. This association was not considered negative; rather, death was seen as a return to the goddess, the source of life. Being taken back by the goddess could lead to rebirth.

In North Africa, rosewater was used for purification. Roses could protect against evil and because of this were commonly placed in the graves of women. When Christianity arose in the Roman Empire, roses and their thorns became symbols of the blood and suffering of Jesus.

In modern flower color lore, red roses symbolize love and respect, white roses symbolize reverence and humility, and light pink roses are the roses of sympathy.

“Sink me in the river at dawn”

In Greek mythology, there were five rivers of the Underworld, each of which the dead crossed. The first was Acheron, the river of woe. The last was Styx, which comes from the Greek word for “hateful” and represents the horror of death. However, the river could also be seen as a positive symbol for washing away sadness. In Hinduism, the Ganges river is sacred. The river itself is a goddess, said to flow from heaven and wash away sins. It has long been a tradition to place the cremated remains of the dead in the Ganges.

“Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother”

The rainbow is a bridge between earth and afterlife in many mythologies. In Norse mythology, the rainbow bridge is called Bifrost and is imagined as “trembling.” Many peoples conceptualized the bridge to heaven as razor-thin, admitting only the good souls. The “pot of gold” at its end is a folkloric descendant of the cauldron where the mother-goddess (Macha in Irish mythology) kept the souls of the dead.

“And I’ll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom”

White is a symbol of purity, the reason why “virgin” brides wear white wedding dresses. The Welsh once buried children with white roses to symbolize purity. In rural Virginia, the custom was to bury children in white clothes; adults were dressed in black.

“So put on your best, boys, and I’ll wear my pearls”

Another symbol for the entrance to heaven (“the pearly gates”). Pearls were also sacred to Aphrodite, ancient Greece’s equivalent of the Roman love goddess Venus. Pearls have also been used to represent purity and virginity. They represent the moon because they look like little moons. The phases of the moon, as it seems to “die” and reappear, are a symbol of life, death and rebirth. An archaic practice was to wear pearls only at night; the sun was thought to damage them, while the moon would energize them.

“The ballad of a dove”

This is likely a reference to the gospel song “Wings of a Dove" written by Bob Ferguson and popularized by Ferlin Husky in 1960. In the Christian Bible, the dove represents the Holy Spirit. To the ancient Greeks, the dove was a symbol of Aphrodite, particularly in her role as the collector of souls at death.


Danielle. (n.d.) “Pearls…Symbolism and Meaning.”

Encyclopedia of Death and Dying. “Charon and the River Styx.”

Rose Magazine. (n.d.) “Rose Folklore.“

Scott, Dawn. (n.d.) “Old Time Burial Customs.”

Walker, Barbara J. The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.

Tye, Timothy. (n.d.) “Along the Banks of the Ganges River.”

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

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

J.C. Knudson Lives the Difference, Brings Experience to Memoir of Being Gay in America

Joseph "J.C." Knudson is an author on a mission to educate the world's population about understanding and accepting people who are gay. His first book, a memoir, is called Living the Difference (2010, Espresso House Publishing). Its subtitle is "An Enlightening Story Revealed For People of All Ages, Straight or Gay."

Editorial reviews of Knudson's book call Living the Difference "a fascinating journey no gay author has been able to capture to date," "conquering the final frontier of bigotry and ignorance," and "filled with love, hate, joy, sorrow and much more."

Living the Difference also turned up on Vonnie Faroqui's book blog, Writers in the Sky. Faroquai calls the memoir "remarkably under-sensationalized," praising Knudson's honest storytelling style that leaves the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. She mentions how Living the Difference lifts the curtain on the so-called "gay lifestyle," revealing a human portrait that resonates regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It's a portrait of success, of meaning, and of hope.

From Faroquai's description, Living the Difference seems to be an important resource for young gay men living with fear, shame or self-loathing; or for anyone coming to terms with a friend or family member's coming out. Knudson, it seems, told his story not to shock, offend or "convert" anyone, but simply to lay out a roadmap for acceptance. The book lights a candle against the darkness of ignorance.

The podcast of J.C.'s recent interview with Vonnie Faroqui can be found here. To learn more about J.C. Knudson, find him on Facebook, Twitter or Fabulis.

Friday, February 18, 2011

5 Reasons You’re Not Writing Your Novel

This post was written by Jessica Stilling who also writes for

So you’ve always wanted to be a writer. Maybe you got that fancy MFA, or you sit in your room during all hours of the night typing away, or maybe you fantasize about what it would be like to be a best selling author at your day job. Whatever the case, you know it’s time to write that novel and yet you’re waiting. Why? Here are a few reasons you might be waiting, and a few reasons why putting it off would be the worst mistake of your life.

#1. You don’t have time. Make time. Yes, you have a job, a family, a social life. There are bills to pay and a girlfriend to keep happy. You don’t need to give up your life, or your income, to write, just set aside some time. Wake up an hour earlier and write a few pages every day, set aside a few hours on the weekend when you would otherwise be breezing through an entire season of Dexter. Evaluate how you’re using your time and see where you might find room for writing.
#2. You’re not inspired. This is a problem and no, the solution is not simply get inspired. Though inspiration may seem like a magical force that comes and goes whenever it feels like it, there are ways to jumpstart creative juices. Sit and think for a while, go for a walk, sit on a park bench and listen and watch people. Maybe the inspiration for the heroine for your best seller is standing over by the hot dog vendor.

#3. Your head is not in the right place. Again, this solution is not so simple, you can’t just get your head in the right place to write a novel. Still, there are ways to evaluate where your head is and where it needs to be. Is your boyfriend being a pain, does your best friend need to cry on your shoulder about her latest break up? You don’t need to drop every emotional connection you have, on the contrary, those connections can feed creative juices, but you might want to re-evaluate where you’re spending your emotional energy.

#4. The Market. The market is bad, the market is flooded, the market doesn’t want this. Whatever the reason, the all mighty market seems to take a lot of blame for a lot of unwritten novels. What does the market have to do with your writing? Maybe by the time you finish this project the market will have turned around, maybe you’ll be the lucky one person who hits it big? And if not, so what? You’re writing a novel, not working for the market.

#5. You simply do not believe that you and/or your idea is good enough. Well, that’s just silly. You’ve wanted to write since you were how old? You’ve been planning this novel at least in the abstract for how long? Of course you have talent, and of course your idea has merit and even if those publishers and agents tell you otherwise, don’t listen. Your ideas, your talent will grow as you write this novel.
Overall, you owe it to yourself, you owe it to your work and the greater literary society to write this novel. So go for it.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

5 Must-Have Writing Books For Authors

By Joy Paley, who also writes on the best social work schools and for various other websites like this one.

There must be thousands of how-to books on writing out there. It makes sense, right? If you’re a writer who is good at writing, clearly you’ll want to share your knowledge with others through your favored medium. Have you ever heard an expert trying to explain their field, though? Just like listening to a nuclear scientist tell a layperson about their latest research, writers aren’t always the best at explaining the tricks of the trade to a broad audience. There are some good ones out there—you just have to persevere. I’ve sifted through the chaff and found five books on writing that won’t leave you groaning or scratching your head.

The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction
By: Stephen Koch

For the beginning writer, reading about craft can be, well, mysterious. It doesn’t seem so much a craft as some mystical process which happens in a writer’s head under a full moon on the winter solstice. Koch taught at Columbia University’s creative writing program for decades, and he’s clearly used to explaining the mechanics of fiction to those who are new to writing. His tone is that of a kind mentor, and he offers practical tips and interesting quotes from some of the most well-known authors out there.

Good for: the new short story writer or novelist

Zen in the Art of Writing
By: Ray Bradbury

Sci fi legend Ray Bradbury serves up inspiring writing advice in these ten short essays. Here you won’t find tips like how to outline or pace a story. The book is more about getting outside one’s head and tapping the creativity inside of them; consider this the zealous antidote to Koch’s sage, practical advice. While some might dismiss this as the same vague mysticism that comes with lots of writing advice, it’s more empowering than that—it can get me excited about writing, even when I’m sure I’m ready to give the whole thing up and become an accountant.

Good for: the depressed writer

Women Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews
Edited by: George Plimpton and Margaret Atwood

I would recommend all three volumes of this set, even though I’ve only linked to one. These Paris Review interviews are by far some of the most intimate and candid ones out there: instead of the standard Time magazine softball questions, you find the writers in a relaxed atmosphere actually sharing how they work and think about their writing. As fiction writing is still largely a man’s game, this set can be inspiring for any experienced or amateur lady writers out there.

Good for: women writers

The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers
Edited by: Vendela Vida

You can consider this the antidote to the Paris Review interviews. If you’re familiar with the literary magazine The Believer, you’ll recognize its funny, slightly off tone in the interviews of this book. Writers as diverse as Grace Paley and Haruki Murakami are interviewed by fellow writers. The questions aren’t only casual and funny, but also revealing—you’ll get a glimpse into their personal life, which, as a neurotic writer myself, I am always interested to see.

Good for: the seasoned writer

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
By: Anne Lamott

It’s only the truly masochistic person that decides to pursue writing seriously. Because of this, most writers have a pretty close relationship with self-deprecation. As you watch a new work unfold from its choppy, undeveloped self into something more readable, it’s always tempting to abandon it midstream and call yourself a failure. Lamott’s book offers valuable advice on getting over your own perfectionism and self-esteem hang-ups—something that all writers deal with. It’s personal and well-written, and I often turn to certain chapters for an inspiring pick-me-up.

Good for: the unsure writer

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Let the Lupercalia Begin!

I love the word “Lupercalia.” It’s an old word, older than the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. In very ancient times, the Romans celebrated the Lupercalia over several days in the middle of February. It’s a festival so ancient, its original meaning has been largely lost. One guess is that it celebrated Lupercus, the god who protected shepherds’ flocks from wolves. Another guess is that a wolf-goddess, called Lupa (which simply means she-wolf in Latin), was worshiped. The she-wolf was honored for having nurtured the infants Romulus and Remus, who went on to found Rome. Lupa was honored with animal sacrifices in her sacred caves.

The Lupercalia fell in the midst of the month devoted to Juno Februata, meaning Juno (the Queen of Heaven and goddess of marriage) of the fever of love. Perhaps because of the Lupercalia’s association with the goddess of conjugal relationships, the wolf-goddess’s feast was also celebrated with erotic games. Young participants in the Lupercalia chose their partners in these games by choosing slips of paper…the ancient ancestors of modern valentines.

It’s unclear how the Christian saint Valentine became associated with the Lupercalia. Catholic resources suggest there was more than one Roman martyr named Valentine. One Valentine is said to have been a priest who married Christian couples against the wishes of the Roman Emperor Claudius II. He was said to be executed on February 14, 270 CE. A particularly romantic version of the legend says Valentine, imprisoned awaiting his execution, fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and sent her a love letter signed “From your Valentine.” This is probably just a sanitized explanation of the lust notes generated by the Lupercalia, though.

This gives me an idea for a new m/m/f romance: two hot young Roman studs at the Lupercalia, only one slip of paper left…looks like they’ll have to share their blushing maiden. Let the Lupercalia begin!

More Lupercalia fun:
The History Channel on Valentine's Day
10 Most Romantic Valentine’s Day Foods (link no longer works)
10 Most Romantic Literary Classics

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spice Up Your Valentine's Day With 'Indecent Encounters'

It's here! Evernight Publishing has just released Indecent Encounters, an anthology of male-male-female menage fiction.

Official book blurb:

"Sometimes a woman needs more than a lover…

Independent, lustful ladies find pleasure and intrigue with more than one man, from a scandalous vacation in Australia, to a forced seduction at a cabin in the woods. A witch needs to break a shameful spell, and an older woman slakes her sexual needs with two younger men. Cougars purr with unrequited desire and werewolves compete for the love of their mate. Satisfaction is just a sigh away as a surgeon bends the rules for her patient, and an over-stressed boss finds more than a little peace with secret admirers.

Find out what wicked delights await you with Indecent Encounters."

There are 8 authors in this anthology: Amarinda Jones, Delilah Hunt, Erin O'Riordan (me!), Pepper Anthony, Ashlynn Monroe, Tessa Monroe, Melissa Hosack and Angelina Rain.

In "Post Op," surgeon Maggie Keller walks in on her patient, Joey, sharing an intimate moment with his roommate, Max. Dr. Maggie can't stop thinking about the gorgeous duo. She bends the rules of doctor-patient decorum to pay them a visit.

Indecent Encounters is $6.50 from Evernight Publishing. A print version is coming soon. View it at (now out of print).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Relaxing into Meditation with author Ngakma Nor'dzin, guest blogger

Relaxing into Meditation teaches how to live contentedly with a sense of well-being. We discover spacious peace of mind even when our life circumstances are far from ideal. Relaxation teaches us how to relax the body and meditation teaches us how to relax the mind. We discover that total relaxation of body and mind is our natural condition.

1. Relaxing the body.
Stress and unhappiness manifest in the body, so we begin by relaxing our muscles. We can achieve this by systematically tensing muscles groups throughout the body and then relaxing the tension on the out-breath. We can stretch the body and move into various postures, relaxing as we breathe out.

2. Relaxing the breath
When we are agitated our breathing becomes faster and more shallow. When we slow and deepen our breathing we become calmer. We can harness awareness of the out-breath through visualising tension streaming out of the body as we breath out; and we can cleanse the breath through alternate nostril breathing.

3. Relaxing the voice
When we are happy we may spontaneously burst into song, but it is hard to sing when we are sad or stressed. We can therefore learn to relax through free energetic sound. We can sing yogic syllables and give ourselves permission to make as much noise as we wish without caring about the harmony or disharmony of our voice. We sing the sound Ahhhhhh for the length of an out-breath and release energetic tension with the sound.

4. Ready for meditation
Having relaxed the body we wish to retain this sense of comfort and calm when we start to meditate. It is therefore essential to find a sitting posture for meditation in which we can be relaxed but alert. Relaxing the mind is more difficult than relaxing the body so we want to be as physically comfortable as possible so that the body does not distract the mind. The body should be upright, balanced and unrestricted. The spine should be erect but relaxed. The body should be balanced and not twisted or placed in a position that requires effort to maintain. Blood needs to flow freely to all parts of the body and in particular to the limbs without constriction or pressure.

5. Relaxing the mind
Meditation relaxes the mind through letting go of thought to experience mind without thought. Thought is an intricate conceptual mesh that surrounds the still deep quietness of empty mind and acts as a filter for everything that we experience. To relax the mind we need to loosen and let go of this mesh in order to discover and understand mind when it is no longer defined by thought. Thought is a natural process of mind but thought is not the essence of mind. We can only discover ultimate relaxation if we learn to become familiar and comfortable in the empty essence of the nature of mind. We begin by using the breath as a focus and letting go of thought as we breath out. Over time we can let go of the breath as a focus and simply let go of thought whenever it arises. Gradually spaciousness develops in the mind and it becomes easy to dwell in the space of mind without thought.

6. Daily practice
Learning to let go of thought and relax the mind requires commitment and effort. Meditating every day gradually allows the mind to settle and let go of thought, and increases our capacity to concentrate and experience spaciousness of mind. It is more productive to meditate for a short period every day than it is to meditate for a longer period more occasionally. The length of our daily practice must be realistic and easily achievable so that it does not become a burden or a chore. Ten minutes of meditation a day is all that is required for meditation to become a life skill that is simply part of who we are. At first we will continually lose our focus and we may find this frustrating, but we must not develop self-deprecation. Whenever we realise that we have lost concentration we must celebrate this as a moment of re-emerging awareness. To recognise loss of awareness is to have regained awareness. Over time a commitment to practising Letting Go every day will produce startling results. We will start to understand our relationship with thought and develop increased awareness. We will start to feel more relaxed about who we are. We will start to feel less pressured by our life circumstances. We will begin to let go of self-centredness and find joy in being kind to others.

7. Further practice
When we have established a daily practice of Letting Go we can experiment with contemplative practices that change our ordinary view. We can examine our relationship with others through looking at how we interact with a friend, an enemy and a stranger. We can practise purification visualisation to discover clarity, and we can practise methods of developing loving kindness to enrich ourselves and develop openness and generosity.

Through relaxing the body we feel refreshed and invigorated. Through relaxing the mind we discover openness and clarity. Over time the moments of experience of mind without thought will lengthen and occur more frequently and this spaciousness of mind will start to sparkle in our everyday lives. We will start to notice our habit patterns and cease to be their victim. We will discover that we have a choice about who we are and how we live our lives. We will discover emotion as naked energy and sensory experience will become enlivened. We will find that we become more open, patient, tolerant and kind people through the spaciousness of mind we have realised. We discover open appreciation and enjoyment and awaken to our natural state of well-being.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A full explanation of relaxation and meditation exercises can be found in Ngakma Nor'dzin's book Relaxing into Meditation, published by Aro Books worldwide, ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8. For more information please see

Relaxing into Meditation is available from (, (, ( and other bookshops worldwide

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How to Meditate for Beginners: Tips and Trick Your Mind for Meditation by AssussA. $2.99 from
Meditation aims to focus and quiet your mind, eventually reaching a higher level of consciousness and inner calm. It may come as a surprise to know that you can meditate anywhere and at any time, allowing you to access a feeling of tranquility and peace no matter what is happening to her around.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are Your Hormones Out Of Whack? Johnny’s Are

Today's guest post is by Arthur Levine.

Johnny can’t help himself. Even when he becomes a full grown man he has the raging hormones of a teenager. He is a veritable genius whose aggressive genes make him act out most of his sexual fantasies as his emotions boil over.

Johnny’s raging hormones lead him to a life on the edge. Moving swiftly from one affair to the next, he experiments with anything that will put his life in jeopardy such as drinking and drugs and sadistic women.

He thrives on living life to the fullest, and sometimes more than one life. Part of the time he feels he exists in different worlds at the same time thanks in part to quantum computing and his belief a game master is creating virtual worlds and alternate realities for him to live in.

Johnny seeks salvation in a new religion he creates called Dialectic Spiritualism, which promotes touching other people in their private essentials to help them find their inner selves. His weird concept of faith leads him to discover that he does believe in God.

He can’t, however, stop his aggressive out of control hormones from getting him in trouble when he falls onto the raging rocks of an inlet of despair, attempts suicide at college, falls off the roof of his fraternity house during a drunken party, crashes his plane in the jungle, parents a seven foot tall giant, hallucinates in a drug-infused frenzy that giant watermelons are falling from the sky filled with beautiful women, or enters into an adulterous affair with a movie starlet when newly married to the love of his life, Jody.

Constantly striving for his own redemption, Johnny crosses the country trying to help others find salvation, and he goes on national TV to promote his causes, but his dark side gets the better of him as he is captured in pictures printed in the newspapers hog tied and stripped naked in an orgy of masochism.

In a state of despair after his followers leave him, he loses touch with reality and even consciousness only to be redeemed by God with the help of his inner self – a one-foot tall albino dressed in a boy scout uniform who is responsible for Johnny’s new beginning.

Hi, this is Arthur Levine, author of the novel Johnny Oops. Find out why Johnny’s hormones are out of whack by purchasing the novel Johnny Oops at
Or check out my blog

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

'Dream Lover' is a dream collection of paranormal erotica

Dream Lover (Cleis Press, May 2011), edited by Kristina Wright, is a collection of diverse, elegantly erotic tales of paranormal romance. It's my favorite genre, I can't get enough, and this collection is an especially sweet one. Its arrival on my doorstep made a perfect pre-Valentine's Day gift.

The anthology begins with "Love Resurrection" by Justine Elyot. In it, the ghost of a long-neglected Victorian poet haunts the academic who comes to his ancestral home to research him. The tale is perfectly imagined. A. D. R. Forte's "Rainmaker" is another well-crafted tale, so vividly so sensual it feels like the air before a thunderstorm. Kristina Lloyd contributes "Living Off Lovers," an atmospheric piece in which an apartment building becomes a character and a woman lusts for a man about whom she knows only a name, "Peter." Sacchi Green's "Freeing the Demon" is a startlingly beautiful gargoyle story.

Given my personal preference for wolf tales, it may come as no surprise my personal favorite in this collection is Alana Noel Voth's "Moongirl Meets the Wolf Man." It's always wonderful when a lone wolf meets her one true mate. The vampire tale, "Lust as Old as Us" by Madeline Moore, puts a fascinating twist on the teenage vampire genre.

These are only a few of the stories in Dream Lover. There's much, more more in its 240 pages.

The Giveaway: Open to residents of the U.S. ages 18 and up ONLY. One randomly chosen winner will receive EITHER my paperback Advance Reading Copy (ARC) of Dream Lover OR, because my copy is a little shopworn, the winner may instead choose one of these Cleis Press titles:

Best Women's Erotica 2011
Best Lesbian Erotica 2011
Best Bondage Erotica 2011
Hide and Seek: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists
The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus

To enter, just leave a comment on this post. Make sure your comment links to a valid e-mail or that you give me your e-mail address in your comment so I can notify you if you win. You DO NOT need to leave your choice of book in your comment. Entries will be accepted through Friday, Feb. 11. The winner will be selected on Saturday, Feb. 12.

The author of this review received no compensation for it. She did receive a paperback ARC from the publisher.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fantasy Pornography: His, Hers, and Couples: A Perfect Valentine's Present

Our guest blogger today is Dr. Dorree Lynn, Intimacy Expert for

Once again, Pagan Spirits would like to thank Cathy Stucker and BloggerLinkUp for this opportunity. Special thanks to Darcie Rowan.

For years, women barely tolerated male pornography, although some would sneak a look at Playboy or Penthouse. Men, more than women, tend to have a very strong visual component to their sexual arousal and they are more likely to seek visual pornography to get turned on. Pornography can be a wonderful sex enhancer for both men and women. Women typically enjoy a different kind of porn than do men, usually with characters, fantasy themes and a story line. Female erotic literature has become a booming business, and it is one more example of how women, who are generally the less linear of the two sexes, prefer process over the end goal. Just read Erin's writings to see what I mean. I know women who get lost in these and other erotica books, find their fingers walking South between their legs, or reaching for the vibrator near their bed. (See Dr Dorree's Divine Desires e-store) for some additional Valentine's suggestions).

Grab some of the latest couple's pornography that appeals to both women and men. These usually combine story lines involving feelings and intimacy that are appealing to women along with graphic scenes that tend to be more appealing to men. Mutually stimulating pornography agreed to by both parties, either in the privacy of one's own bedroom, watching DVDs or via an adult channel in a hotel rendezvous. It's perfect for a special Valentine's fantasy treat. What a great way to spice up your love life!! In fact, why not try it all year round?

Special Valentine's Day Offer: Use Coupon Code: CupidsArrow at the checkout for a 5% discount at Dr. Dorree's Divine Desires e-store.