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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
Sluts


Editorials

Wrong Reasons to do SM
by Midori

The Black Masque
by Lisette Ashton


Book Review by Madelynne Ellis

 

 

Vampires, sex and gothic grandeur combine in this fourth outing for bisexual private eye Jo Valentine. The Black Masque are a secretive community whose ceremonies are steeped in an erotic blend of vampire myth and orgiastic excess. Here eager virgins are prepared for the sacrificial altar and new members are welcomed in twisted ceremonies of pleasure and pain. Presiding over this dark world is Barrington, their mysterious and commanding leader.

Sharp-tongued Jo is drawn into this community as they prepare for their greatest ritual to date. Barrington is to take a bride, and passions are running high over who will fill that illustrious position. Particularly affected are Eloise and Zoe, the foot rubbing lesbian lovers, whose affair has so far escaped Barrington's notice.

Jo finds herself on a tight deadline. She has been hired to get the Black Masque out of the mansion they're occupying by the weekend, or she forfeits her fee. In order to convince Barrington to leave she's going to have to use all her powers of persuasion, as well as her wits to find the wedding dress he's so adamant his bride should wear.

To top everything off, Jo's infuriatingly submissive partner Sam turns up and proceeds to do exactly the opposite of everything Jo asks her in the hopes of being punished. Still, somehow Jo manages to successfully conclude everything and win her fee.

What I like about this book is the delicious blend of high jinx and gothic overtones. It's very hard to take things seriously when everyone is having so much fun. And the emphasis is on fun. There's no heartache or real emotional turmoil here and you're left in no doubt that everything will come right for everyone, eventually.

I would have like there to have been more of a twist to the story. The mystery elements are fairly light, and really just provide an interesting backdrop for the book's real theme of sex, of which there's plenty. Lesbianism features prominently as do group couplings and vampire S&M trysts. Jo drifts from one sexual encounter to another (we never really see her do any detective work) enjoying everything that's thrown at her, and occasionally finding time to engage in a bit of witty repartee. The characters in general aren't particularly deep; however, they are distinctive, from the quick-witted Jo, through the waif-like Zoe, to imposing yet indecisive Barrington. Perhaps the most interesting representation is that of Eloise, who is practical, sexy, intelligent and large.

If you're looking for a bit of undemanding vampire fun with lots of sex then The Black Masque may just appeal. Should you find you're enamoured of luscious detective Jo, then you can follow her other adventures in The Black Room, The Black Garter, The Black Widow and The Black Flame, all of which are available from Nexus books.

________
© 2005 Madelynne Ellis. All rights reserved. 


The Black Masque by Lisette Ashton
(Virgin Books/Nexus; August 30, 2005; ISBN 0352339772)
Available at: Amazon.com / Amazon UK / Amazon CA



About the Reviewer:  Madelynne Ellis lives in the UK with her partner of 12 years. She began writing after a friend found the erotic novel she was reading and suggested that she give it a go. To date she is the author of two erotic novels, A Gentleman's Wager, and the Passion of Isis both published by Black Lace.
Read Madelynne Ellis' bio at the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.



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