Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Women in Porn Debate ‘Wildly Successful;’ Sequel Already in the Works

[Press Release] CYBERSPACE – In the wake of the event, organizers of the online debate “Women in Porn: Shattering the Myths” declared the event “wildly successful” and announced that due to high demand, a second discussion featuring the same panelists is already in the planning stages.

“The response from people who watched the discussion has been tremendous,” said Angie Rowntree, owner of the porn-for-women site and coordinator of the debate. “We received so much positive feedback along with several requests asking that we bring back the same panelists, for another show on the same topic. This event really is just part one of an ongoing conversation – which is exactly what we hoped it would become.”

Rowntree said that while the entire discussion was animated and engaging, the most heated moments came when the panel took up the topics of performer compensation (including whether performers make less for their efforts now than they did 10 to 20 years ago) and the question of how much responsibility the porn industry should shoulder for keeping children from accessing pornography – exchanges that Rowntree said “people really need to see and hear for themselves.”

“That’s what this event was all about – giving women in the adult industry a chance to be heard in their own words,” Rowntree said. “I don’t want to try to paraphrase the great points the panelists made, and the debate is available to watch any time on; I encourage everybody interested in these topics to check it out for themselves, firsthand.”

Rowntree added that other live panel discussions, interviews and debates will soon air on, including the live broadcast of “An Intimate Talk with Nina Hartley and Ernest Greene”, which is scheduled for August 26, and a discussion entitled “Feminism and Porn: Can They Co-Exist?” slated for broadcast in September. The second edition of “Women in Porn: Shattering the Myths” will follow in October, Rowntree said.

Rowntree says that the goal for is to develop into a “TED-like platform for discussion of serious, weighty issues surrounding the adult industry”.

“One of the best kept secrets about our industry is that it is filled with amazing people,” Rowntree said. “I’d love to see become a vehicle for people to contribute their perspective on a range of issues, and not necessarily just those that directly relate to the adult industry.”

To watch the “Women in Porn: Shattering the Myths” debate and for more information on future events sponsored by, please visit

Erin's Note: All links in this post are to other blog posts on this site, for further reading. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Author Spotlight with Amy Thompson


Amy Thompson graduated from college with her B.S. in Biology. She currently works as a high school mentor and has just earned her M.S. in Higher Education. 

Amy is a self-published author of Retribution, a new adult, paranormal romance novel that is the first in the Lost Souls Trilogy. She lives in Southern Virginia with her family and two lazy cats. Amy Thompson is currently working on the next book in the Lost Souls Trilogy, Relinquish, and continues to be an avid reader of all things books.


The Lost Souls series


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Erin's Dream Diary: Wall Street

Another crazy highly creative dream I had:

I decided to watch the movie Wall Street. (Wikipedia link, in case you want to read more about it.) If you recall the film, it was directed by Oliver Stone and stars Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas as, respectively, a young stockbroker and his ruthless corporate mentor. It came out in 1987 and is considered emblematic of 1980s corporate culture in the popular imagination.

Well, that's the movie I thought I was going to watch. What Wall Street actually turned out to be was a film about a young stockbroker played by Madeleine Stowe.

Creative Commons image by Luke H. Gordon
In my mind, the American actress's most significant role was playing Cora Munro in the 1992 adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans. But that is because I am an American literature geek.

Vintage German edition of Last of the Mohicans. Public domain
Anyway, my nocturnal dream-version of Wall Street took place entirely in this character's home. It centered entirely on her interactions with a new acquaintance, an 18-year-old aspiring filmmaker played by Christian Bale. It was their intention to have sex in a wide variety of positions and videotape their enjoyment from a variety of angles for the benefit of his filmmaking experience.

But not in a creepy way, like Patrick Bateman and the prostitutes in American Psycho (and "This Must Be the Place"). The movie I was watching wasn't porn, it was a major Hollywood studio film with the highest production values and an emphasis on character development and storytelling.

I'm not judging you if you watch porn. I do think as consumers we should all choose entertainment that was made in a non-exploitative way with the enthusiastic consent of all the age-18+ performers, Zach and Miri Make a Porno-style. (Funny, sweet film, BTW. I recommend it, if you haven't seen it.)

...I think I dreamed this because I mentioned Naveen Andrews in yesterday's The Casual Vacancy post, and the British actor was in the film Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love.

In real life, Christian Bale had not yet reached the age of 18 in 1987, when the real Wall Street came out. Two years older than me, he was a 12-year-old at the time and making his feature film debut in Empire of the Sun, playing a fictionalized version of author J.G. Ballard. But in my dream I was crystal-clear on the fact that he was an 18-year-old grown adult.

I woke up from this most unusual dream, fell asleep again, and dreamed that:

a) I found a bullhorn, with which I intended to lead the neighborhood in a sing-along of the B-52s song "Love Shack," and

b) I ate some Legos.

Sigmund Freud, analyze this.

Previous Dream Diary Entries:

A Wonderful Vampire Dream
The Adam Levine Dream
The Beltane Fertility Dream
The Boy
The Inspirational Zombie Dream
Window Into the Mind of an Erotica Author

All links lead to other posts on this blog for further reading, unless otherwise noted. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: 'The Casual Vacancy' By J.K. Rowling

I recently finished The Casual Vacancy, the first novel J.K. Rowling wrote specifically for adults and her first post-Harry Potter release. If you have not read it, please look away now, as this post is not spoiler-free.

I didn't know whether or not I would like this book before I started reading. I'd read a few reviews, and they were mixed. Some people didn't like the characters, saying they were horrible people and therefore made bad protagonists.

It's true there are some conniving, cowardly, malicious, misguided, and unkind deeds afoot in Rowling's fictional town of Pagford and its neighbor, The Fields. With a variety of selfish motives, people commit crimes and misdemeanors against their fellows. A few times, compassion and humanity shine through.

Some of the residents of Pagford and the surrounding area are:

- Howard Mollison, the obese 64-year-old owner of the town's deli, and his wife Shirley
- Howard and Shirley's son Miles Mollison, a lawyer
- Samantha Mollison, owner of a boutique lingerie business and highly unsatisfied wife of Miles
- Gavin Hughes, an insurance agent
- Kay Bowden, a social worker and mother of 16-year-old Gaia. The Bowdens are transplants from London.
- Parminder Jawanda, the local general practitioner and the mom of three teenagers
- Vikram Jawanda, Parminder's impossibly gorgeous husband, a heart surgeon
- Sukhvinder Jawanda, the youngest of the Jawanda children, teased at school for being overweight and having more facial hair than is considered typically feminine. Suhkvinder feels inferior to her older brother and sister because she has a learning disability and doesn't do as well in school as them. Because she's bullied by her peers and criticized by her parents, she cuts herself to try to relieve the pain and stress.
- Andrew Price, also sixteen, one of two sons of crooked, verbally and physically abusive Simon Price and nurse Ruth Price. Andrew has a crush on Gaia Bowden.
- Stuart "Fats" Wall, a thin middle-class boy who's been Andrew's best friend since they were four years old. Fats' favorite pastimes include smoking marijuana, opposing his parents at every turn, and obsessing over "authenticity" in a Holden Caulfield-like fashion.
- Colin "Cubby" Wall, deputy headmaster at the school Fats, Andrew, Gaia, Sukhvinder and the other teens attend. A nervous, fussy man with a large, balding forehead, Colin has a hidden illness.
- Tessa Wall, the diabetic school guidance counselor, wife of Colin and adoptive mother of Stuart
- Barry Fairbrother, the town councilor, a substitute teacher, and coach of the high school rowing team whose unexpected death from a brain aneurysm kicks off the plot of the novel
- Mary Fairbrother, Barry's grieving widow and the mother of their son and twin daughters
- Krystal Weedon, the girl from The Fields, Barry's favorite rower, and the daughter of a heroin addict

Okay, so the cast of characters is as large and complicated as that of Middlemarch. Barry Fairbrother dies in the first few pages, and much of the main plot centers on Miles, Simon, Parminder, and Colin all competing to fill the empty seat - the casual vacancy of the title - on the town council created by Barry's death.

I really enjoyed this book. For one thing, it's nice to see that J.K. Rowling's spellbinding storytelling skills carry beyond the Harry Potter novels. The author is witty, she's a powerful observer of human behavior, and she writes with such intensity I get wrapped up in her fictional world to the exclusion of reality.

None of the characters are perfect by any stretch, but I did bond with some of them. Krystal and Sukhvinder are my favorites. Krystal's swaggering bravado disguised her inner vulnerability, including the fierceness with which she loved her loved ones, her ultimate undoing. In many ways she was a victim of circumstance - as was her mother, although Terri Weedon's soul-crushing mistakes seem much less excusable given that she's an adult, she should know better, and she keeps making the same stupid mistake over and addicts will do.

Sukhvinder seems to be falling apart, both from her own point of view and in the eyes of others. She doesn't seem to have much going for her, and yet she's a hidden well of strength. Through the events of the novel, Sukhvinder finds her voice and inspires her mother to become a better person.

Kudos to Rowling for writing complex, multidimensional characters who aren't stereotypes and who interact in complex ways. I'm now exciting to read the two mysteries Rowling wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. (Sigh - knock one book off my TBR list, add two more. Story of my literary life.) Apparently this book is being made into a miniseries as a collaboration between the BBC and HBO, and I look forward to seeing it.

P.S. If I were to fantasy-cast this movie, I would want Vikram to be played by the beautiful and talented Naveen Andrews, an Englishman best known to American audiences as Sayid Jarrah on Lost. (Fans self.)

It's not a great picture because we cant see his eyes, but it is Creative Commons. Image by Kanaka's Paradise Life of Honolulu, Hawaii

I purchased this book with my own funds via and was not obligated to review it in any way. My copy is a used book that came from a library sale, specifically from the Pikes Peak Library District of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Finally Finished Reading 'Middlemarch'

Middlemarch by George Eliot

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have ridden the mighty moon worm!*

Well, no, but I did finally finish Middlemarch. I've been reading this book since January. I thought I would breeze right through it, but it turned out to be 800 dense pages of characterization of virtually every person in the fictional Midlands English town of Middlemarch. It centers mainly on two marriages: the marriage of young, idealistic Dorothea Brooke to the older, bachelor scholar Edward Casaubon, and the marriage of spoiled "princess" Rosamond Vincy to a newcomer to Middlemarch, the physician-scientist Tertius Lydgate. Rosamond's brother, Fred Vincy, wants to marry the sweet-natured Mary Garth, but encounters many obstacles in the course of that courtship.

Edward Casaubon is described as looking like the philosopher John Locke.

Public domain image
However, when I started reading this, I did not know what the philosopher John Locke looked like, so I imagined Edward as looking like the character John Locke on Lost, as portrayed by actor Terry O'Quinn. Edward's life work is a lengthy philosophical and theological work that compares several ancient mythologies. Part of the reason Dorothea married him is that she wants to be a part of something important, and she thinks helping Edward with his scholarship will help her achieve this goal.

Creative Commons image
While the Casaubons are on their honeymoon in Italy, they run into Will Ladislaw, a young cousin of Edward's. Will is considered somewhat disreputable in Middlemarch because his mother ran off and married a man "below her station," a Polish musician. He has no inheritance, no living, and is out in the world on his own. Dorothy feels an immediate sympathy with him. Edward feels jealousy over his wife's interest in Will, and changes his will to say that Dorothy will not inherit any money if she remarries Will.

I can't exactly say why, but I keep picturing Will Ladislaw as Ben Whishaw.

Creative Commons image by KikeValencia
Will and Dorothea are attracted to one another, but they are proper Victorians and wouldn't dare do anything about it. They can't even admit their attraction to themselves. Rosamond, on the other hand, is an improper Victorian. Because she's such an attractive young lady, she's used to flirting with men and having them give her anything she wants. In her head, she imagines Will is in love with her. She has no intention of acting on her attraction to Will, but she has a romantic fantasy built up in her silly little head. Rosamond's ignorance of practical matters causes her husband great, great distress.

This isn't an exciting classic, like The Count of Monte Cristo or Gone With the Wind, but it is an interesting book. I read it because my copy of Jane Eyre said that if I liked that book I might also like this one. I LOVED Jane Eyre. I must point out, though, that there aren't a lot of obvious similarities. Both deal with class differences and the shifting position of women in society, though.

Middlemarch isn't nearly as romantic as Jane Eyre, nor is it as witty as anything Jane Austen ever wrote. I said before (in this post) that I thought George Eliot was a contemporary of Austen and the Bronte sisters, but this wasn't accurate. George Eliot was born (as Mary Anne Evans) in 1819, and Middlemarch was published in installments between 1871 and 1872. Jane Austen died in 1817, two years before Evans was born. Emily Bronte's short life spanned 1818-1848, and her sister Charlotte lived 1816-1855. Jane Eyre was published in 1847. Charlotte Bronte came the closest to being Evans' contemporary, but she died relatively young and published her most famous work long before Middlemarch debuted.

George Eliot is more cerebral and philosophical than her Regency-era predecessor Jane Austen, and the pleasure of reading her is a more subtle one than the emotional Romantic-era drama of the Brontes. However, I was not unsatisfied with the ending, and I'm glad I had the patience to finish all 800+ pages.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

I bought this paperback at Barnes and Noble and was not obligated to review it in any way.

*Nerdy-ass Futurama reference. Sorry.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Teaser Post From AJ Bennett

 Now or Never by A.J. Bennett

New Adult

Twenty-one-year-old Grayson Alexander finally breaks away from an abusive relationship and finds herself free for the first time in three years.

Determined to enjoy her new-found freedom, Grayson is intent on sticking with 'no strings attached' relationships—one-night stands, and steamy sex.

But she didn't plan on Derrick.

Her attraction to the sexy man in uniform quickly turns into an unhealthy relationship. They both try to resist the pull, but neither can stay away.

When tragedy strikes, Grayson realizes it's now or never—walk away or make it work.


About A.J.

A.J. Bennett lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and bulldog. She's addicted to coffee, popcorn and books. Becoming an author has been a lifelong dream, and she's extremely excited about her debut novel Now or Never.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway Tour - The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick

The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick

One October morning, high school junior Bryan Dennison wakes up a different person—helpful, generous, and chivalrous—a person whose new admirable qualities he doesn’t recognize. Stranger still is the urge to tie a red sheet around his neck like a cape.

Bryan soon realizes this compulsion to wear a red cape is accompanied by more unusual behavior. He can’t hold back from retrieving kittens from tall trees, helping little old ladies cross busy streets, and defending innocence anywhere he finds it.

Shockingly, at school, he realizes he used to be a bully. He’s attracted to the former victim of his bullying, Scott Beckett, though he has no memory of Scott from before “the change.” Where he’d been lazy in academics, overly aggressive in sports, and socially insecure, he’s a new person. And although he can recall behaving egotistically, he cannot remember his motivations.

Everyone, from his mother to his teachers to his “superjock” former pals, is shocked by his dramatic transformation. However, Scott Beckett is not impressed by Bryan’s newfound virtue. And convincing Scott he’s genuinely changed and improved, hopefully gaining Scott’s trust and maybe even his love, becomes Bryan’s obsession.


“Hey, you guys!” Marley plunked her ass down on the chair across the table from me. As usual, Kathy followed closely behind and hovered by her shoulder when Marley sat down. “I’ve got big news!”

We all turned to her at once. Josh even put down his walnut-grape-granola-goat-cheese chicken-salad sandwich on focaccia to give her his full attention. “What’s up?” he asked between enthusiastic chews.

“I just heard some teachers talking in the hall. And they said that Friday is Miss Libby’s thirtieth birthday.”

Kathy pursed her green lips. “We can’t let it pass without doing something for her. She’s the coolest teacher at Appleton.”

“You know what would be so funny?” It was Josh again. “It would be such a riot if we set up a flash mob for her.”

We all laughed, just imagining it in our heads.

“No, seriously,” Josh said. “We should set up a flash mob for her. Doesn’t she have lunch duty on most Fridays?”

Is this the Josh I know?

But, then, what did I have to lose? “I’m in.” It was the least I could do for Miss Libby, who’d given me a chance to redeem myself with Scotty.

“You’d do that?” Scott appeared absolutely scandalized. “What about those guys?” He again nodded toward the Superjocks. “They’ll never let you live it down.” 

“Ask me if I care?”

Scott just sat there, his full spoon frozen just beneath his lips.

When Scott didn’t voice the question, David did. “D-do y-you c-care?” 

looked squarely at David. “Not even slightly. Plus, you should see me dance. It is something to behold.”

Josh rolled his eyes, because he’d seen it a time or two, but everyone else seated at the Social Justice League Table nodded and grinned.

“I’ll get together as many kids as I can and I’ll find some music. We can practice at the community center right after school on Thursday. I’ll reserve it.” Marley was always on top of those kinds of things.

That posed a problem for me, though: basketball practice. But I had new priorities. I would work it out. “I’ll be there. How about all of you?”

Everybody nodded again. Scott had turned an enticing shade of pink.

I looked right at him and said, “Then Thursday after school is a date.”

Enter to Win! 

• (2) THE RED SHEET digital copy

• (2) THE RED SHEET Swag Bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five non-pedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

My themes I always write about:

Unconventional love, tortured/damaged heroes - only love can save them.

Author Links:  

Website  Amazon  Facebook  Goodreads 

Buy Links:

Amazon B+N Dreamspinner  

Tour Coordinator:

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