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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

Sunshine and Shadow
Two Reviews Lisabet Sarai





Cat Scratch Fever
Available at:
Amazon.com / Amazon UK

Under the sunny skies of the southern California desert, glamorous, long-legged Felicia DuBois, development coordinator at a shelter and breeding facility for endangered felines, alternates between horniness and worry. The sanctuary is relying on the upcoming benefit event that Felicia's planning to help resolve its financial difficulties. But Felicia's bed has been empty so long, she's having a hard time keeping her mind on her work. When Gabe Sullivan, auditor from an animal watchdog organization, shows up to evaluate the shelter's operations, Felicia doesn't know whether he represents the solution to her sexual woes or a whole new level of problems. Meanwhile, someone's trying to sabotage the benefit, and in between bouts of rampant lust involving the Latino shelter veterinarian, the petite Vietnamese animal handler, and of course Gabe, Felicia must discover the culprit and save the shelter from ruin.

CAT SCRATCH FEVER has all the trappings of the prototypic Black Lace novel: a female protagonist who is gorgeous, impeccably dressed, and perennially aroused; an ambiguous hero whose motives are questionable but who's too buff and well-endowed to be resisted; a cast of ancillary characters, all attractive, and most attracted to our heroine; a plot that provides lots of opportunities for outrageous sexual encounters. In the brightly-lit world of the Southern California Cat Sanctuary, everyone is eager to get it on. CAT SCRATCH FEVER includes sex in a supply closet, on the operating table in an animal surgery ward, even in a walk-in refrigerator, as well as scenes in more traditional locations like the shower and the bed.

Unfortunately, this novel doesn't offer much in addition to sex. The implausible plot is a thin wrapper around writhing naked bodies. The characters are superficial and predictable. Their couplings focus almost entirely on the physical realm. A few sparks fly between Felicia and Gabe, but for the most part, the characters work their way through the sex scenes mechanically, with little mutual connection beyond their conjoined genitalia. It's a bad sign when I'm impatient to get through a bedroom episode in order to get on with a book.

The one exception is the fascinating and absurd Valerie, a middle-aged, eccentric patron of the shelter who just happens to be an accomplished dominatrix. Valerie plays only a few scenes, with voluptuous, tightly-wound Dr. Katherine O'Dare, the shelter's director, and with Richard Enoch, whom we understand to be the villian long before anyone at the sanctuary realizes, but those scenes truly light up the page. At first I thought this was because the authors were more interested in kinky sex than vanilla encounters (and this might be true). However, it's also the case that these scenes are narrated from Valerie's perspective, and Valerie is more interested in nuances of emotion than in physical acts.

CAT SCRATCH FEVER has its fun moments. Readers who enjoy sex for its own sake, without introspection or complexity, should find it entertaining and non-demanding. My personal preferences, though, lean toward erotica that is more psychologically and emotionally challenging, erotica where there are shadows that offset the brilliance of lust.


Life In The World Of Women
Available at:
Amazon.com / Amazon UK

Maxim Jakubowski's short story collection, LIFE IN THE WORLD OF WOMEN, is so dark that I might almost wish I was back in the sunny California desert. The nine tales in this volume were written separately and assembled post hoc. Yet they have a unity that derives from the fact that they all tell the same story, from different points of view, with different details, with different endings. Alternate realities, the names changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

An obsessive, luminous, adulterous affair that ended badly. Desperation and revelation found in the flesh, passion that leaves indelible scars. He met her, seduced her, convinced her to come away with him. They shared the raw purity of unrefined lust. She left him, disappeared, became someone else. His life became a black and hollow shell, echoing with memories of her body, bolts of anger streaking through his despair and threatening his sanity.

This book is frightening in its intensity. It is painfully intimate. One cannot help believing that the author is telling a true story, whatever truth means. He worries at the basic narrative like a dog with a bone, twisting it, shredding it, transforming it. His pain pours through the prism of fiction and shatters into shards of incandescent and awful beauty. The sex scenes are vivid and concrete, but the physical actions are more than just motions of the body. They brand the spirit.

"Then he laid her out on the bed, set out her limbs in a semblance of crucifixion, held the fleshy folds of her cunt apart and applied the lipstick to its outer lips. Then, they fucked and he told her that he loved her, and he whispered suggestively to her what they would do through the coming night, how he would wake her and enter her in the small hours of the morning, how he would remain embedded in her warm cunt while they briefly slept. Fingers, almost his whole hand, then his tongue in her various apertures, bringing her to climax again and again in moist abandon while he waited for his cock to grow hard between the successive bouts of lovemaking. Fish and chips on the promenade for lunch. Back to the room. Sex. Ice cream at the local Haagen-Dazs parlour. Sex. Tying her hands against the foot of the bed with the belt he threaded out of his trousers, wrapping one of her black stockings around her neck as he took her from behind. A late night meal at a noisy Mexican joint a few yards from the hotel. The room, a small isolated world away from the real world." (from "The KC Suite")

The stories get progressively darker and more desperate as the book goes on, but by the time I realized where we were headed, I was too fascinated to look away. I should have remembered that Maxim writes murder stories. As I said above, I prefer erotica with a twist, some psychological depth, a sense of the shadows. Reading LIFE IN THE WORLD OF WOMEN, I got more darkness than I had bargained for. Violence makes me nervous and queasy. Nevertheless, the remembered brilliance of perfectly attuned lust made the discomfort almost worthwhile.

Lisabet Sarai
August 2006


_____
© 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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2006 Book Reviews

4 Erotic Ass-ets
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Amazons
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bad Girls & More...
Reviews by Ashley Lister

The Best of Both Worlds
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Black Masque
Review by M. Ellis

Blood Surrender
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bound
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bound to Love
Review by Ashley Lister

Double Dare
Review by Ashley Lister

Filthy: Outrageous Gay...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Fire
Review by Gary Russell

Forbidden Reading
Review by M. Ellis

Leather, Lace and Lust
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mr. Stone & Lessons
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Nina Hartley's Sex Guide
Review by Adrienne

Oedipus & Rode Hard
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Orgasms & More
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Passion of Isis
Review by Ashley Lister

Sex in Uniform
Review by Ashley Lister

Six Top Picks
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Stirring up a Storm
Review by M. Ellis

Sunshine and Shadow
Reviews by Lisabet Sarai

Surrender & Dying for It
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Swingers
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Wicked: Sexy Tales...
Reviews by Ashley Lister

Writing Naked
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Non-Fiction

America’s War on Sex
Review by Rob Hardy

Callgirl
Review by Rob Hardy

Covent Garden Ladies
Review by Rob Hardy

The Commitment
Review by Rob Hardy

Eroticism and Art
Review by Rob Hardy

Expletive Deleted...
Review by Rob Hardy

Female Orgasms
Review by Rob Hardy

Government Vs. Erotica
Review by Rob Hardy

Heloise & Abelard ...
Review by Rob Hardy

International Exposure
Review by Rob Hardy

A Profane Wit
Review by Rob Hardy

Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
Review by Rob Hardy

Sex Collectors
Review by Rob Hardy

Sex Machines
Review by Rob Hardy