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2006 Authors Insider Tips

Beyond the Basics
With Tulsa Brown
The 30-Second Solution
Backstory vs. Flashback
Intimacy Begins With "I"
Hit the Ground Running
Make the Reader Leap
Meaningful Dialogue
Pulling the String
Central Image
Elegant Smut
Better Plots
Bitch Power

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
Predefined Your Goals
Spell Ink Miss Takes
Plotting & Planning
Character Building
Speech Therapy
Talking Sense

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Intro to Lesbian Erotica
3-Dimensional Characters
Submitting for Publication
Five Year Writing Plan
Setting Up Your Plan...
The Power of Naming
Language of Lesbian...
Sexual Description
What Can I say?

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
What Are Your Priorities?
How to Edit an Anthology
Follow the Guidelines...
A Cock is Just a Cock
But is it Still a Story?
Who Am I Fucking?
Potential Material
Rejection ...

The Business End
By Kate Dominic
Effective Cover Letters
How to Lose Contracts
Contracts: Agent Issues
Contracts: Read It!
Double Duty Bios
What's Sex?

Literary Streetwalker
By M. Christian
Ground Rules for Writers
No Muse is Good News
Effective Cover Letters
Location, Location
Say Something!
Dirty Words

The Erotic Book Docter
By Susie Bright
Marketing Your Book
Submission Concerns
Promotion Strategies

2006 Smutters Lounge

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Babes & Hunks of Erotica
Fantasy, Reality & Rape
Selling Ourselves Short
Selling Smut in Motown
The Frankenstein Bride
Frankenstein Revisited
Porn and Perfect Shoes
Porn's Passionate Pull
Instruments of Joy

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
Orwell's Eerie Parallels
Redefining Marriage
The Porn Menace
High-Quality Porn
About Profanity
Dirty Laundry
Big Brother


Wrong Reasons to do SM
by Midori

The Beautiful, the Bad and the Bitchy:
A Review of AMAZONS, edited by Sage Vivant and M.Christian

Review by Lisabet Sarai



Sage Vivant and M.Christian have a knack for picking great anthology themes. Metaphorical rather than concrete, their themes support a wide range of interpretations by authors, yet still connect these disparate visions into a satisfying whole. The stories in their new collection, AMAZONS: SEXY TALES OF STRONG WOMEN, are linked by the common thread of women exhibiting strength and power. The women in question are as different as you could imagine: gutsy competitors in male-dominated sports, midget strippers, stern schoolteachers, fierce warriors, seductive and dangerous femmes fatale, cave girls, circus performers - even daring, outrageous authors of erotica! The strengths that they exhibit are sometimes physical, but just as often psychological, emotional, even moral. In fact, the best stories in this anthology are the ones that feature the unlikely heroines, the women whose power you might not even notice, at first glance.

One story in this mold is Kathleen Bradean's intense "Blue Girl", in which the owner of a sex shop in a frighteningly familiar world of religious fanaticism is entrapped by a beautiful undercover cop and suffers the consequences. "The Spear of Janice Kienan", by Chris Bridges, features a harried New York editor, browbeaten by her boss and the world, who makes contact with her inner warrior.  In Madeline de Chambrey's "The Bearded Lady", "before political correctness and the Internet and PETA Xboxes, back when awe wasn't commonplace and thrills cost more than a dime a dozen...", a star circus performer loses her pride, her hair and her breast to cancer, only to be reborn in newly heroic guise. Helena Morgenstern, Hannah Strom-Martin's protagonist in the crisp and funny story "Sex with Ducks", is a mild-mannered, love-sick author who finally decides it's time to take what she wants from the philandering object of her affections.

The more obvious Amazons are equally engaging. Rodeo star Lynette, in C.B. Potts' "Bullbitch 8.0", rides the bulls and her manager/girlfriend with the same single-minded glee. In Catherine Lundoff's "The Hands of a Princess", battle-scarred Commander Agnes the Bloody demonstrates her obedience to her sovereign lady and reaps the rewards. The nameless beauty who disposes of unfaithful husbands in B.J. Franklin's "The Lady-killer" is simultaneously cold as ice and burning with lust as she seduces her victim. Then there is Sharna, the girl from Pellucidar in Jason Rubis' tale of the same name, a fierce jungle princess ripped from another dimension into our own by the machinations of a geeky NYU professor raised on a steady diet of Boris Vallejo and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Perhaps the collection's most unusual strong woman is Linda the inflatable sex doll in Felix Baron's creepy story "Fully Functional". Second place goes to Vivian VaVoom, the midget dominatrix in M. Christian's story "Amazon". Finally, in "Legend", Sage Vivant gives us the eternal optimist Priscilla who despite every setback never stops promoting herself as the diva of cutting edge erotica. One can only hope that there's no more than a tiny grain of truth in this satirical tour-de-force.

The collection includes a few stories too distant from the theme for me, at least, to make the connection. Overall, though, this is an entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking book, spiced with plenty of sex, but offering quite a bit more. The production, by the Avalon's more up-market imprint Thunder's Mouth Press, is exceptional.  Each story is prefaced with a quote from a strong woman of our own or earlier times: Mae West, Bette Davis, Molly Ivans, Bella Abzug, Dianne Feinstein, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Mary Wolstencroft Shelley. The quotes frame and elevate the stories to something more than smut. One of my favorites, which could stand as an epigram for the whole collection, comes from Roseanne Barr:

The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.

Lisabet Sarai
May/June 2006

Amazons: Tall Tales of Strong Women by Sage Vivant & M. Christian
(Thunder's Mouth Press; ISBN 1560257601)
Available at: / Amazon UK / Amazon CA

© 2006 Lisabet Sarai. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

About the Author:
Lisabet Sarai has been writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil. She is the author of three erotic novels, Raw Silk, Incognito, and Ruby's Rules, and the co-editor, with S.F. Mayfair, of the anthology Sacred Exchange  (Blue Moon), which explores the spiritual aspects of BDSM relationships. Read Lisabet Sarai's bio on the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.
Visit her website, Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory for more information and samples of her writing.

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Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
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