Saturday, June 30, 2012

What I'm Loving About Season 5 of 'True Blood'

Having devoured Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris a month or so ago, I was excited for the new season of True Blood, now three episodes in. The #1 thing I had to know was whether Tara would survive being shot by that awful werewolf bitch Debbie Pelt.

The good news? Tara is still around.

The bad news? Vampire-hating Tara is now one of the undead, having been turned by a rather reluctant  Pam.

Vampire Tara is super fast, super hungry, and super pissed at Sookie and Lafayette for letting her be turned. I would have hated to see the gorgeous and uber-talented Rutina Wesley leave this show, so I'm glad Tara's still around. I hope Tara can come to embrace vampire life - er, unlife. (She was last seen trying to fry herself in a tanning bed, but I have a feeling Pam will feel compelled to save her.)

Last season (or has it been two seasons now?), Tara's cage fighter girlfriend took off, so I can't say I'm not hoping something happens between Tara and her maker Pam, relationship-wise. How hot would that be - the two most badass women on the show?!

Speaking of badass women, I'm loving that Season 5 is treading on folkloric ground, bringing in the vampire Bible and the story of Lilith's creation. Whether Lilith will appear as a character on the show remains to be seen, but we've already seen the biblical Salome (Mark 6: 14-29)* appear as a chancellor of the Authority. The hypersexual, savvy Salome seduced Bill, then Eric, then her fellow chancellor (played by Christopher Meloni) in episode 3.

I'm also loving the cold, gleefully powerful Christopher Meloni character (quite a change from his passionate, moral outrage-prone character on Law and Order: SVU) and the fact that we're finally getting some background on Pam. In the books, she was an innocent young Victorian woman (sometimes described as looking like a grown-up Alice of Wonderland fame), seduced by a cad before she encountered Eric. On True Blood, she's the madame of an early 20th century (1905) brothel, pondering her mortality and begging Eric to turn her. I'm not gonna lie - I love cynical, angry, scary Pam.

Scary Pam doesn't even have time for Jessica's shit, and Jessica herself is a badass-in-training vampire princess. Jessica's a little clueless, a little distracted by her own sexuality (especially now that she's scented a male fairy), but she's coming into a sense of her own power.

Arlene needs to chill the fuck out, though, before Vampire Tara eats her for real. I get that Arlene's stressed out, since Terry's leaving her for an indefinite period of time for some mysterious reason and their relationship is coming apart, but bitching at Lafayette is not the way to deal with it. Lafayette has enough of his own problems. He sees dead people, and now his cousin's a flipped-out vampire.

I like Carrie Preston better as Grace on Person of Interest

Carrie Preston and Michael Emerson are adorable together. As Lady Gaga might say, there's something about this cool Iowa guy...there's something about, baby, M.E. and I.

*In The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker devotes an entry to Salome. She writes, "She may have been identical with the sacred harlot Mary Magdalene, or Mary of the Temple, whose so-called seven devils were the same underworld gatekeepers to whom the dancer gave her veils....some said she was the midwife who delivered the holy child [Jesus]. Salome was present with all three Marys at the death of Jesus (Mark 15:40). Obviously she was also involved in the death of John the Baptist, which seems to have been not a murder but a ritual sacrifice....Though only a fragment in its present form, the story of Salome presents evidence for the survival of the Tammuz-Ishtar cult in Jerusalem, where periodically someone died in the role of the god, and the women raised the ancient lament for the victim in the temple (Ezekiel 8:14)."

Southern Vampire Mysteries Gifts at Cafe Press

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Me and Mr. James Jones - We've Got an American Literature Thing Going On

What's this? A package from Better World Books (not just a bookshop, but also a literacy project - great to support if you can) for me?
It's not the prettiest package, but the shipping is always free, so I have no room to complain. What kind of fuckery is this?
It's The Thin Red Line. (The picture's a little blurry - I am not a great photographer. Please to not make fun of the faded blanket the cat sometimes sleeps on.) But wait - there's more!
It's Whistle, the book Jones was working on when he died of congestive heart failure in 1977, when I was a few months old. Nobody stands in between me and my man, 'cause it's me and Mr. Jones.

I hope this is a good edition, not one of the really heavily censored ones. Believe me, the homoeroticism will not bother this reader.

The sticker says, "Operation Paperback - Recycled Reading for the Troops -" Perhaps this book has been to Iraq or Afghanistan and come back! But wait - there's one more book in this package!
I've got to read Jane Eyre because, really, given that Wuthering Heights is my favorite book evah, I should have read the other famous Bronte sister's best work years ago. I've also got to read it because, secondarily, I should read the real thing before I indulge in Jane Eyre Laid Bare.

You always get a bookmark with your shipment, too. This month, Better World Books is promoting Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli & Isles novels, the basis of the TNT television network's series. I'm not much of a crime/mystery/forensics reader, and I've never seen a single episode of the TV series, but Rizzoli and Isles is quite popular on Dorothy Surrenders. Apparently Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles have a lot of lesbian subtext, though not explicitly intended to be a couple. Our blogger affectionately refers to the series as Gayzzoli.
A package full of books makes this is a pretty good Thursday. It was a pretty good Thursday anyway, being the last one of the month and therefore the day I get to pick two free items from the Amazon Vine program. What will I get - more books, a grocery item, a coffee product, perhaps a small household appliance? It's always a pleasant surprise. 
Also, Person of Interest. Yay, Thursday!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIP Wednesday ~ Bits of Works in Progress

Before we get to WIP Wednesday: The lovely, talented, preggers Michelle at The Vintage Apple is giving away a $30 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner. Check out her Oh How Pinteresting! blog post, add your Pinterest-related post link, and enter! Warning: you may become a Pinterest pinhead if  you're not already. 

This is the WIP Wednesday deal. Authors needed - all genres! Are you an author who'd like to share a 100- to 200-word blurb about a current work in progress on a future WIP Wednesday? If so, please send an e-mail to Erin O'Riordan (erinoriordan AT sbcglobal DOT net).  

Postponed: I am not going to be able to finish the story I intended for the Having My Baby anthology (you can read an excerpt HERE). I thought I had a workable draft, but what I actually had was a hot mess. That one's abandoned, at least for now. 

In Editing: "Going Native," a short story I wrote in which an anthropologist (a woman) visiting Vis, Croatia, picks up a street hustler, is in the editing stages.
Tit Elingtin and I are editing St. James' Day, the third book in the Pagan Spirits series. We added a sex scene this morning - it's almost entirely Tit's phrasing. A small sample: 

“Your pussy’s so beautiful. It’s the prettiest color of pink.” He leaned forward and licked up a bead of juice he saw emerge from her lips. Trina lay back, pulling up her skirt and spreading her legs wide for Mike to get the full view and easy access. She pulled her top off and started to rub her nipples as Mike suckled her clit. Rubbing his tongue as deep inside her as he could, he pulled her juices into his mouth, drinking her love. 

Started: I'm trying to write up the experience of the very last night evah in my local GLBTQ bar before it closed down - possibly for a SexIs article. I'm trying to capture the feel. This is how I started a very early draft:

10:04 a.m., Saturday, June 16, 2012. I’d rather be at home doing my usual freelance editing, but as a ridadie chick, I’ve solemnly sworn to accompany hubby to his remodeling job and fire-tape a garage ceiling. It’s early, the temperature is already in the ‘80s, and I feel like a complete slob in hubby’s paint-covered work shorts and a shredded-to-hell old St. Patrick’s Day tank top. As we pass the complex that was once the town brewery, I read the marquis…

We knew this day was coming, but until then, we hadn’t been sure exactly when or how it would end: The Truman’s Entertainment Complex (TEC), the linked GLBTQ bar/dance club/GLBTQ sports bar and only major not-straight drinking establishment within a 50-mile radius, is closing forever after 21 years in business. We’ve only lived in this small city for 12 of those years, and we’re not regulars, but the bar’s in our neighborhood. In the summers, we’d made it part of our occasional rounds enough that we knew the owner and the regular drag queens.  Tonight is its very last night. 

Ongoing: I'm still working with Ken Charles on the project tentatively titled Billy's Color Palette, an interracial erotica collection with lots of spanking and discipline. Yum. 

Might Be Something: I mentioned that one of my faves in Suite Encounters: Hotel Sex Stories was "Night School" by Valerie Alexander. In her story about a male escort (Dalton) and a female hotel desk clerk, Alexander wrote, "I wondered who Dalton was seeing tonight and what they would do. I knew most of his clients were men, though he saw couples and the occasional woman, too." 

I really liked the idea of a male escort seeing a couple. Without any particular market in mind, I jotted down a few ideas:

The woman who leaned out of the window of the town car looked around forty, very attractive and caramel blonde. Judging by her giggle, she was intoxicated as well. She waved him over to the window, and Ed felt relief. He hoped she wanted him. He would have done anything to get out of the hot, humid wind. If he had his way, he’d have liked to get out of his clothes.
He approached the car. “You lost or something, sweetheart?”
She shook her head. “I thought maybe you’d like to take a ride with us.”
“Us” meant the caramel blonde and the man seated next to her. He was about fifty and impeccably dressed in a dark gray suit. Ed flashed them his best smile. “Whatever you want, sweetheart.”
She opened the door, and Ed sat across from them in the rear-facing seat. The couple was married, judging by their matching platinum rings. Hers was topped by an engagement band with a diamond the size of a horse’s eye. Ed turned around and looked at the driver through the lightly tinted divider. “Can he hear us?”
The man shook his head. “Stanley is very well-paid not to hear a thing.” He looked serious.
Ed leaned back and made himself comfortable while the blonde poured them each a flute of champagne. As bubbly as she acted, it seemed as if she’d already had half a bottle. “What can I do for you folks tonight?”
“Keep us company for the night?” The blonde asked rather than told. She handed him the wine. With his free hand, Ed reached down and took hold of her ankle, lifting it into his lap and removing the blonde’s shoe. He placed his bare foot in her lap and stroked it. The blonde giggled some more and felt up Ed’s soft dick through his jeans with her toes. 

What are you writing this WIP Wednesday? 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What Happens at @GoodReads Doesn't Necessarily Stay at #GoodReads

A huge topic of discussion at GoodReads is always which actors should play certain roles in the movie versions of our beloved books. There's only one answer, really: no one. What mortal human is ever good enough to compare to the way we imagine our favorite fictional characters (and, let's face it, fictional boyfriends/girlfriends) in our heads? The fun of fictional people is that they're better than real people, possessing only those flaws with which the author lovingly bestows them, as needed for the plot and/or to make them charmingly quirky.

Therefore, I have no very strong opinions on who should play Finnick Odair in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Whoever gets to play Christian Grey, I'll be disappointed in, because he won't be my imaginary Christian Grey. I won't hate seeing Michael Fassbender or Cillian Murphy get the role, but I won't love it, either.

(Okay, I'll probably come to love it eventually, the same way I wholeheartedly embrace Dan Radcliffe - whom I just recently found out is half-Jewish, the kosher icing on a cake I already adored! - as Harry Potter and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen.)

I definitely, definitely have no strong opinion on who should play Matthew Clairmont, the medieval knight/modern vampire in A Discovery of Witches. My opinion is "nobody." Matthew Clairmont is so utterly inhuman, so otherworldly, so supernatural. How could he be played by a mere human? Still, I had to take a peek when a GoodReads discussion was labelled, "Who would you like to see play Matthew in the movie, if one were made?"

The first suggestion is Fassbender - an excellent choice. Then, a few comments down, Ms. Jackie Frye throws out Jim Caviezel as a suggestion...and I die a little, 'cause that's what happens when you take two of my sexual fantasies, jam them together and make them wrestle over who gets to be on top.

Some people agree. Some don't. One who doesn't is this chick Suay, who writes:

"Didn't really like any of the suggestions I have looked up so far. Jim Caviezel looks a bit too sleazy in my opinion (I apologize for the choice of words but can't think of a more polite word for this right now), Fassbender looks more vulnerable than I would have imagined Matthew to be. I agree with a previous comment that an unknown or less know actor would probably be best. I would have thought that a dark / sinister character would depict him best. But there aren't too many of that type around I suppose." 

...and I choke my chai latte, just a little. Oh no, book bitch*, you did not just call James Caviezel "sleazy." That is no way to talk about my own personal Jesus. I grant you the following points:

1. He's a dick to Demi Moore in G.I. Jane. Being a dick to Demi Moore is not cool.

2. He's a total dick to Ashley Judd in High Crimes, trying to kill her and all. He also makes being ambidextrous look creepy. But he gets punished for it, 'cause as Kat Bjelland sang/shrieked in "Bluebell," "You're dead meat, motherfucker/Don't try to rape a goddess."

3. His redneck domestic terrorist character in Deja Vu is completely sleazy. I give you that. He set a woman on fire. Again, he's severely punished. (He does, however, totally rock the back-of-the-neck tattoo. Makes me wanna be the chick who inked that, with the needles and the blood and the pain. Be still, my injury fetish.)

His style of acting can best be described as "intense," but "intense" can be a good thing, too. Intense can be passionate, and not just in the Christ sense. Suay says sleazy; I say man-pretty. I know I wrote in "Womb Pride," quoting Rob Bell's brilliant book Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality:

"Picture a group of high school boys standing by their lockers when a girl walks by. One of the boys asks, 'How do you rate that?' They then take turns assigning numerical values to the various parts of her anatomy, discussing in great detail how they evaluate her physical attributes...The problem is that 'that' is actually a 'she.' A person. A woman. With a name, a history, with feelings. It seems harmless until you're that girl, and then it hurts. It's degrading. It's violating. It does something to a person's soul."

So, please believe me when I say I mean no disrespect when I ask you to consider the following.

Those beautiful blue eyes.

These lips.

The cheekbones.

The hipbones.

The smile.

The really big hands...  

...and feet. 

What was I saying? Oh yeah. Matthew Clairmont? Maybe not. But definitely not sleazy. Just an intense actor and very, very man-pretty.

*Used affectionately. We're all book bitches here. No offense intended.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Stories I'd Like to Tell You About Erin O'Riordan

The "Bitches in Bookshops" post was intended to post tomorrow, but in my state of dealing with a head cold, I couldn't read a calendar.
I hadn't been linking up with All Things Fadra for Stream of Consciousness Sunday for a few weeks, but here we go.

Today’s (Optional) Writing Prompt: What are the stories of your life that you love to tell people when you have a chance?

I hadn't been linking up with All Things Fadra for Stream of Consciousness Sunday for a few weeks, but here we go. Let's see how much of my story I can free-write in five minutes:

My dad's family is Northern Irish, from Derry (Londonderry, U.K.). They came to the U.S. in the first half of the 1800s - probably around the 1840s. They fought in the Civil War for the North. My dad's dad was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, and raised in Los Angeles. A juvenile delinquent, he was given the choice of military service or jail. He joined the Navy. In 1941. And got sent to Pearl Harbor. He was 17 at the time - he was wounded, but survived. My dad was born in 1952, after his father got back from the Korean War.

My mom's Polish-Jewish family is from Warsaw, Poland, and came over around 1900. My mom's dad also fought in WWII; he once told me and my brother that what he did during the war was "sit at a desk and smoke cigarettes."

I was born in 1977, grew up a typical '80s kid - Cabbage Patch dolls, My Little Pony, jelly shoes and all - and have wanted to be a writer since at least the second grade. And Catholic schools - lots of Catholic schools, from kindergarten all the way through St. Mary's College of Notre Dame, Indiana.

...and five minutes is up.

Bitches in Bookshops - The Pinterest Board

On Mondays I hook up with Pinning! at A Night Owl Blog/Baxtron{Life}. On Wednesday, it's Oh, How Pinteresting! at The Vintage Apple.  

This is the clever song, a parody of Jay-Z and Kanye West's "N****s in Paris," as performed by LaShea Delaney and Annabelle Quezada. 

THIS is the Pinterest board I built around it. These are the lyrics: 

Read so hard librarians tryin'a' fine me
They can't identify me
Checked in with a pseudonym so I guess you can say I'm Mark Twaining

Read so hard, I'm not lazy.
Go on GoodReads, so much rated.
Fountainhead, on my just read, gave it four stars and then changed it.
Read so hard I'm literary.
Goosebumps series - too scary!
Animal Farm

Jane Eyre

Barnes and Noble - Foursquare it

No TV, I read instead
Got lots of bills but not bread



...all dead. 
Read so hard, got paper cuts
On trains while you're playing Connect the Dots
All these blisters just from turning pages
Read so hard, I'm seeing spots
Your Sudoko just can't compare
Nor Angry Birds, 'cause lookit here,
My Little Birds is getting stares.

This print's rare.
Read so hard, I memorize. The Illiad - I know lines

Watch me spit classic lit
Epic poems that don't rhyme
War and Peace, piece of cake, read Tolstoy in three days

Straight through, no delays
Didn't miss a word, not one phrase.
Read so hard librarians tryin'a' fine me - that shit cray (x3)
Read so hard librarians tryin'a' fine me - that shit cray (x3)
He said, "Shea, can we get married at the Strand?"

His #FridayReads are bad, so he can't have my hand
You ball so hard? OK, you're bowling
But I read so hard, I'm J.K. Rowling

That shit cray - ain't it, A? What you reading?

(Annabelle:) De Montaigne.

You use a Kindle? I carry spines
Supporting bookshops like a bra - Calvin Klein

Nerdy boy, he's so slow
Tuesday we started Foucault

He's still stuck on the intro? He's a no-go
It's sad, I had to kick him out my house, though
He mispronounced an author
(Marcel Proust)

Don't read in the dark
I highlight with markers
While laying in the park
And wearing Warby Parkers

Marriage Plot broke my heart

And it made me read Barthes

I special-ordered a copy
A softcover, not hard
Read so hard libraries tryin'a' fine me...
I am now marking my place
Don't want a crease on my page
Don't let me forget this page...
I've got bookmarks at home but I forgot one for the road

(Annabelle:) I've got a bookmark I can loan

(La Shea:) You know how many bookmarks I own?

I am now marking my page (x3)
Don't let me forget this page... 

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Literary Links to Love

I have opinions on Sara Esperanza's "Stephanie [sic] Meyer's Unforgivable Insult to William Faulkner." Esperanza argues that Bella Swan's characterization of "Bronte, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner" as "fairly basic" and "boring" is unreasonable, given that a 17-year-old is highly unlikely to grasp the complexities of a writer like Faulkner. On this, I'm sure we can all agree.

I would, however, like to once again thank my American Literature teacher, the late Mr. Tom Gerencher, for not inflicting Faulker on me as a 16/17-year-old. From Esperanza's description of the writer's work, it seems overwrought and pretentious - and, yes, probably boring as well.

Thanks to Kala, a.k.a The Dork Mistress, for introducing me to this awesome poem, "Femme Fatale" by Jeannine Hall Gailey. I'll quote one line, just a sample:

"the whiskey of their tongues already forgotten"

...So follow the VerseDaily link embedded in the poem's title and read it. You won't regret it.

On a sad note, Erica Kennedy, the author of the novels Bling and Feminista (a modern take on The Taming of the Shrew), passed away unexpectedly this past week at the young age of 42. Unconfirmed reports are that it may have been a suicide. Read more about her in the New York Times.

Even though I said I was going to get The Thin Red Line and Whistle from the library, Better World Books (not just a bookstore - a literacy project! Support if you can) had a sale on Thursday I couldn't resist. I also got a copy of a book I've never read, but really should get around to: Jane Eyre. I should read it and then read the upcoming Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair. It's the erotic version. I don't know if it's a mash-up; according to this Bookseller article, it was written as fan fiction.

On an episode of Jeopardy! this week, none of the contestants knew that Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre. They guessed Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Jane Austen and Emily Bronte.

Speaking of fanfics, I am loving this explicit Rinch piece by Katica Locke. I think maybe Reese-Carter is my OTP (one true pairing), but I can't decide. I don't want to decide. Fictional characters are flexible like that.

I'm on page 128 of From Here to Eternity, and you know what's a bad fictional pairing? Prewitt and Violet. I know he's a Southerner in the 1940s, but when she brought up the possibility of marriage, did he have to go off on a rant about how his white-guy sperm is too good for her eggs (Violet is Japanese-American)? Prew is such a racist, he doesn't even like Italian-Americans. It reminds me of the Virginians in Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap novels who keep referring to Ave Maria and her mom as "ferners" (foreigners) because the mom is from Italy.

Robert E. Lee Prewitt is from eastern Kentucky, near the West Virginia border. His father was a coal miner - so he actually has something in common with Katniss Everdeen. His father wasn't killed in a mine collapse, but his uncle was shot to death by sheriffs in a miners' strike. I'm gathering that, in writing the film version of The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick used a little bit of Prewitt in creating his version of Bob Witt. Clearly, they are essentially the same character, although I suspect Prew is dead by the end of FHTE. Prewitt is the one who witnessed his mother's death, struggling to see the eternity in her.

By the way, the slim, sophisticated Frank Sinatra seems like an odd choice to have played dumpy, hairy  Maggio in the 1953 film.

This is not Prew and Violet, but Milt Warden and Karen Holmes. Karen is a bitch, but I get why. Her marriage to Dana Holmes is pretty miserable.

On YouTube, I quoth (three weeks ago), "No one has any respect for James Jones anymore. Twice this month, "What is From Here to Eternity?" has been a Jeopardy! question, and no one got it right either time. For the love of 20th century American literature, someone - anyone! - please read the From Here to Eternity/The Thin Red Line/Whistle trilogy. If I get one person to read it, I'll die happy."

Yesterday, I got back, "I just ordered From Here to Eternity on Amazon - it's not every day you get to help someone die happy : ) "

Thank you, Now I can die 1/3 of the way happy. Not soon, I hope.

So, what are YOU reading and commenting on this weekend?

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review ~ Suite Encounters: Hotel Sex Stories

The introduction of Suite Encounters: Hotel Sex Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, opens with, "Hotel rooms are magical." They are, and so is this delightful Cleis Press anthology. 

The cover reminds me of the Niki Sanders/Nathan Petrelli hotel sex scene on Heroes

The stories I'd like to climb inside and inhabit include "Travelodge Tess" by Justine Elyot, "Night School" by Valerie Alexander and "Please Come Again" by Tenille Brown

The hero of "Please Come Again" is a homeless man. It gives me flashbacks to when I was a 19-year-old college student, doing a work-study at a homeless shelter. Working at the front desk, I had some interactions with "Tom" (not his real name), a resident who worked as a car mechanic. He had a smokin' hot body, and his tight mechanic's coveralls and grease-stained hands only made him more attractive. I got nervous around him, and he knew it. One time, Tom asked me for a bottle of hand lotion, then made quite a show of rubbing it all up and down his arms and over the back of his neck in front of me. I didn't do anything about it - except write a poem in the magnetic words on my dorm fridge. I believe it went:

"I said
I want the man
When he showers
Dry him with me."

Tom knew I wanted him, but the guy who wanted me was "Joe." A Gulf War One vet, Joe tried several times to show me his gunshot wound scars from the war. I didn't return his interest, however, and lived in moderate fear that his girlfriend would misinterpret something I did as flirting with Joe and try to kick my ass. She was skinny, though. I think I could have taken her.

Anyhoo...just in case anyone should question the sexual appeal of a guy who's lived on the streets - don't. Some homeless guys are way hot. See also: Mr. Reese from Person of Interest at the very beginning of the series, before he meets Harold Finch.

For me, a veteran of Catholic schools, the priest-prostitute role play in Ellie Vokes' "Dirty White Envelope" pushed all the right buttons. 

This collection also contains stories by some of my all-time favorites, Anna Meadows and Andrea Dale. I didn't quite love this one as much as I loved Lustfully Ever After, but I still enjoyed it very much. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Books That Arrived on My Doorstep + Fake Church Signs Put to Shady Purposes

I'm taking a break from Blue Monday for a while, until I can replenish my stock of fresh pins on Pinterest.

My squee! moment today was when my package arrived from Better World Books, containing four very used but new-to-me volumes. There's The Art of Disappearing by Ivy Pochoda, which has been on my TBR list for years:
Another book from my long-term TBR list is Five Finger Fiction by Brooks Sigler (Veronica Brooks-Sigler).
Several weeks ago, someone on GoodReads reminded me that I've only read two-thirds of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. I can't leave a trilogy unfinished! So I couldn't resist throwing this into my virtual shopping cart as well.
But most exciting of all, my copy of From Here to Eternity is finally here! It's 861 pages long. I am taking on quite a project when I say I'm going to read the entire trilogy. But now I have to - because I can't leave a trilogy unfinished. Prew's bugle is on the cover of this 1951 edition (not a first edition).
Now, please enjoy this video I made yesterday, on my lazy Sunday. As you can probably tell from my Lady Sovereign share the other day, I've been on an alternative hip-hop kick. I decided that YouTube needed a better video to accompany this awesome song, so I made one using fake church signs.

On a note unrelated to pants tents (unless you count my ladywood), I can't stop looking at this.
Seriously, if I stare any harder I'm going to end up pregnant. Because - oh my god. The beauty.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Shameless Summer Giveaway Hop - Winner Announcement

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Shameless Summer Giveaway Blog Hop! Are you ready to do something random?

Using, I've chosen the grand prize winner of the Lustfully Ever After and Going Down paperbacks. You can read my review of Lustfully Ever After here. It's a pretty great book. The winner is:

Elizabeth @BookAttict

Congratulations, Elizabeth! I'll be contacting you by e-mail. I'll also be e-mailing the following people, who won e-book copies of Ad-Dick-Tion Volume 2:

Maria Pronounced Mariah
Mary D.
Vanessa N.

Thanks for stopping by Pagan Spirits. I hope you enjoy your new reads. I'd really, really love it if you'd  leave a review of Ad-Dick-Tion Volume 2 on GoodReads or Amazon - nothing fancy, just your honest opinion.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WIP Wednesday with Sonja Diane Bandolik

Stopping by from the Shameless Summer Giveaway Hop? Please visit Friday's post HERE for a chance to win free books! 

Erin O'Riordan: Good news! If you've ever wanted to listen to my A Midsummer Night's Dream-inspired erotic short story "Pucked" in audiobook, it's now available on Amazon! You can get Erotica Volume 3: Four Hot New Tales of Desire as an download.

I wrote this last night, just for fun. I've decided that I'm going to put my money where my mouth is and read James Jones' trilogy all the way through. I have a copy of From Here to Eternity coming from Better World Books (not only a bookstore, but also a literacy project founded by University of Notre Dame grads). I can get The Thin Red Line and Whistle from the library (oddly enough, they don't have Jones' more well-known first novel). 'Cause me and Mr. James Jones - we got an American literature thing going on.

(I just wanted an excuse to listen to Amy Winehouse, ok?) For a little more background on this free-write, see the Memorial Day pin-up post:

“Private Witt.” I hated to wake him; sleeping, he looked calm and boyish. I needed the bed, so I held him by the shoulder and shook him. The slow way he opened his eyes told me he was still half drunk. “Private Witt, you’re being discharged.”

He jerked out of the grasp I had on his upper arm. “Is it morning yet?” After he spoke, he winced slightly, no doubt remembering the stitches beneath his left eye.

“No,” I whispered. He’d been so drunk when we stitched him up, we hadn’t bothered to undress him. I handed him his boots; he sat up and pulled them on. “Follow me.” I wasn’t sure if he followed me as I walked to the rear of the tent; I turned and caught a glimpse of him in the low light.

When we were outside, I looked him over in the moonlight. “You won’t be able to shave for a few days. I don’t want you undoing my handiwork.”

“So you’re the one who stitched me up.”

“Yeah. I’ll have the head nurse write you a no-shave chit. Before you go back to your company, I could give you something for the pain.” I touched his cheek below the wound. “Does this hurt?”

He clapped his big hand over mine, took my hand from his face and repositioned it on the zipper of his trousers. “My face don’t hurt, nurse, but I got another ache you could take care of for me.”
I drew my hand back. “What kind of a girl do you think I am?” I turned to go inside.

He caught the sleeve of my uniform. “I just think you’re kind, that’s all. Kind, and pretty. I thought maybe I could make you happy for a little while.”

I took his fingers from my sleeve. “I’m one of – what? Maybe twelve American women on this island. If we count the Australians, there are maybe thirty of us – compared to how many G.I.s?” He narrowed his eyes, lost. “My point is, if we nurses did it with every joe who gave us the eye, we’d all have fallen dead from V.D. weeks ago.”

He smiled; his smile was distractingly nice. “You married, Nurse…” He looked at my tag. “...McLaren?”

“Not anymore.”

“He get himself killed?”

“Nothing like that. I divorced him.” I looked Witt straight in the eyes. “He got drunk and hit me. I told him first off, I didn’t care how drunk he got as long as he didn’t hit me. The bastard must have forgot, because he busted my lip. I didn’t give him a chance to do it again.”

I hadn’t said anything funny, but Witt laughed. “I ain’t never hit a woman.”

I turned again to go back inside. The head nurse would wonder where I’d gone. Something stopped me, and I turned back around to see the G.I. standing in the moonlight, a half-drunk smile still plastered to his face. “What would you do?” I asked him.

“Beg pardon?”

I smiled then, at his Southern way of speaking. I didn’t know anybody who talked like him back in Boston. “What would you do, then, if you were drunk and I made you so mad you couldn’t stand me anymore?”

He moved in, closing the space between us, and put his hand in my hair, under my hat. “I’d take you by the ponytail,” he said. His face was so close to mine, our noses almost touched. Starlight sparkled in his pale blue eyes. “I’d take you by the hair and drag you into the bedroom. I’d throw you on the bed, lift up your skirt and rip off your little pink panties. Then I’d fuck you good and hard and I wouldn’t stop until you squealed like a little puppy dog with her tail caught in the car door.”

We were so close now, the moonlight couldn’t shine between us, and I could feel his hardness through our uniforms. I wanted it. I wanted it all so badly, and that smirk on his face told me he knew it, too. “Five minutes,” I heard myself whisper. He cocked his head to the side. I brushed the back of my hand against the front of his trousers. “Five minutes –no more- and just my hand. I don’t want to go home with a bastard baby.”

All at once, he pulled him into him with one hand, kissed me and undid his zipper with the other hand. I broke away from our kiss long enough to spit in my hand. I wrapped my fingers around his shaft, long and hard and ready for my attention. “It’s beautiful,” I whispered. He moaned as I ran my thumb over the tip, and I caught his lips with mine. He tasted like sour whiskey, but I didn’t mind. I kissed him until I felt him shudder and fill my hand with his seed. I pulled my lips away and our eyes met.

“I’m gonna find you again, Nurse McLaren,” he said.

“I’ll be right here. Try not to fall down and cut your face open on a rock again, though.” I stepped back inside, wiping my sticky hand against my hip. The head nurse was really going to have my head on a platter.

“After the war,” he said through the tent flap. “What’s your first name?”


“Mariellen McLaren, after the war – if I’m still alive – I’m gonna find you and marry you.”

“Who said I wanted to get married again?”

“I love you, Mariellen McLaren, and I’m gonna marry you.” Smiling like a fool, he ran off toward his company. He was still half drunk, I told myself, and still under the influence of my fingers; he’d get over it. I doubted he’d remember my name by the time the sun came up.

But I was wrong. 

Sonja Diane BandolikSex Warrior is a journey story that goes behind the scenes, delving into sexual subcultures that are readily available but mostly misunderstood by the mainstream.  The quest began as a serious exploration to find the path to sexual self-actualization for women.  It was in that spirit that Sonja struck out into the sexual arena ready to fight the good fight.  "I learned so much about my world, relationships, & sexuality it made me impatient to discover what else was out there to enrich my experience."  Fear & trepidation gave way to confidant joy; a most pleasant surprise!  The bigger picture that presented itself ultimately made this story a revelation in human sexuality, bridging gender and culture in a celebration of connections.  "I can't wait to share all the details with you!" 

While it may surprise many who know Sonja as a teacher and healer, Sex Warrior is a natural sequel to her first novel.  Surviving is simply a prerequisite for living - it's not the journey - and the best journeys answer questions you didn't think to ask when you first embarked.  The end of Twisted Passage begged the question, "What next?'  The answer turned out to be one wild and surprising ride into foreign territory.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review ~ Lustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic Romance

Stopping by from the Shameless Summer Giveaway Hop? Please visit Friday's post HERE for a chance to win free books!

Lustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic RomanceLustfully Ever After: Fairy Tale Erotic Romance by Kristina Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My introduction to fairy tales written specifically for adults was Barbara G. Walker's Feminist Fairy Tales, which I read while in college and still adore 10+ years later. From that foundation, when I discovered Mitzi Szereto's In Sleeping Beauty's Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales in September 2009 - my introduction to Cleis Press titles - I was very pleasantly surprised. Szereto is the mistress of combining the cleverness of the classic fairy tale with fun, naughty adult sensibilities. Since then, I've continually been impressed with the quality of erotic short stories in Cleis Press' anthologies.

An especially talented editor of these anthologies is Kristina Wright. See, for example, Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance and Dream Lover: Paranormal Tales of Erotic Romance. Since I really enjoyed 2010's Fairy Tale Lust: Erotic Fantasies for Women, I was sure I would find something enjoyable about 'Lustfully Ever After.' I was not disappointed.

The simple fact is, there is no bad story in this anthology. I have some favorites. Anna Meadows never writes an erotic short story in which I DON'T wish I were the heroine(s), so naturally, I loved "Matches." Emerald's "The Beast Within" was a magnificent beauty-and-beast tale, one sure to be a favorite of those who enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey. Charlotte Stein's "You" is sublime and speaks directly to the witch in me. Evan Mora's "Real Boy," a transgender take on Pinocchio, has wonderful heart and soul, hot sex and a great message. Wright's contribution, "A Sea Change," is exactly the way The Awakening should have ended - less sink, more swim. Less shame, more joy.

I could go on and on, but if I were forced to choose a favorite under pain of torture, I would have to say "Steadfast" by Andrea Dale. Maybe it's just because I've got a little bit of a military fetish thing going on right now (me and Mr. James Jones - we got a thing going on), but DAMN. WOW. When I write in all caps like that, that means it was a hella powerful story, emotionally, sexually and psychologically. I tip my hat to you, Ms. Andrea Dale.

I just can't think of anything I didn't like about this book, which is why I have to give it five stars.

Disclosure: I received an uncorrected proof of this book from the publisher, unsolicited, at no cost. I was under no obligation to write this review, which represents my own honest opinion.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Previous Cleis Press titles (fiction), reviewed on Pagan Spirits book blog:

Fairy Tale Lust
Dream Lover
Women in Lust
Steamlust: Steampunk Erotic Romance

Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica

Non-fiction Cleis Press titles:
Seal It With a Kiss
The Ultimate Guide to Fellatio
The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus