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'07 Authors Insider Tips

FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Formatting Your Manuscript
Scams / Choosing an Agent
Pitching Your Novel...
From The Call to Published...


Hard Business
From Greg Herren
Who Is Telling This Story?
It’s Work, Not A Hobby
Where Ideas Come From


Sexy on the Page
With Shanna Germain
Plotting Erotic Fiction
Seducing Your Muse
Creating Characters...
Description, Action & Dialogue
Fucking on Paper
Ten No-Nos of Erotic Fiction
Climactic Moments: First Draft
Critique Groups
Revising Your Erotic Story
Finding the Perfect Markets...
Just Submit Already
Rejections and Acceptances


Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Verb Tense Confusion
Coming Up with Story Ideas
Attend a Writers’ Conference
The Fundamentals of POV
Should I Sign That?
Etiquette for Authors
Erotica is Serious Work
No Body Writes for Free...
Shameless Self Promotions
The Myth of Writer's Block


The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
The Time is Write
The Beautiful People
A Book by Any Other...
Synopsis: the Necessary Evil
Erotica or Porn?
Feedback Whine


2007 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
What's it like being a writer?
Blog
An Apology to Salespeople


Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
About Secrets
The Perfect Fuck
About Choices
The Age of Consent
The Kingmaker
Kids and Sex
M.Y.O.B.
The Price of Beauty
The G.O.P.
All Worked Up About Hate
Real Men


Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Good Sex: A Physics Lesson
Meet Frankenstein
Thoughts on the Orgasm Gap
The Very Bloody Marys
The Doomsday Erection
Online Threesome Porn

Great Escape:
A Review of Burning Bright by Janine Ashbless


Book Review by Lisabet Sarai



Erotica in any form provides an element of fantasy, an escape from the mundane, an expansion beyond the boundaries of everyday. Reading erotica, we can lose ourselves in the intoxication of desire. We can forget the overbearing boss, the traffic jam, the bills waiting to be paid, not to mention our own physical weaknesses and imperfections. For a few hours, we are free to become someone else, to experience intense, exotic, outrageous sexual adventures that most of us are unlikely to encounter in the real world.

Paranormal or fantasy erotica provides an even more complete escape. Not only are sexual rules and restrictions suspended, the very laws of physics are subject to change. At its best, this subgenre can steal you away to a totally new world where the inhabitants have powers and lusts stronger than those of mere mortals.

Janine Ashbless' Black Lace volume, Burning Bright, is a fine example. Though the heroine Myrna appears little older than a girl, she is in fact the reincarnation of Malia Shah, a terrible goddess of destruction and despair reminiscent of the Hindu Kali. Trained from birth by the priests in her desert temple to ignore and transmute pain, she is hardly daunted when she is captured by vicious slavers who serve the Tiger Demons. However, she fears for her lover Veraine, beaten and left for dead by her captors.

Veraine, meanwhile, is barely alive and has completely lost his memory. He wanders through strange realms, seeking his past, following the ghostly shards of memory that he retains of a woman with dark skin and coppery hair. Somehow he knows that this is his true love, but this does not prevent the lusty warrior from ravishing every other woman that crosses his path.

Myrna is chosen as personal pleasure slave by the Harimau queen Shinsawbu, a magnificent and capricious creature who is truly feline in her cunning and cruelty. The goddess/slave becomes a pawn in the dangerous games played by Shinsawbu's brother Dhammazhedi. As Myrna is punished, marked, defiled and humiliated by the Tiger Lords, she awaits the return of Veraine. Although all live in terror of the blood-thirsty, shape-shifting demons, Myrna knows that Veraine can defeat them, and indeed he does, though just barely. Together they bring down the inhuman reign of the Harimau and find a new home after their exile.

Genre novels entertain partially because the reader knows what to expect. Burning Bright fits the mold of fantasy/paranormal romance. The plot is more or less predictable, and since this is an erotic romance, the frequent sex scenes are also easy to anticipate. Despite the stereotypes that come with the genre, however, I found the book entertaining with occasional flashes of brilliance. Ms. Ashbless paints vivid pictures of strange lands. When Veraine stumbles into the sadomasochistic clutches of the revenant Rani Mirabai, I could see, feel, even smell her haunted, decaying palace. The luxurious and colorful city of the Harimau comes alive when viewed through the eyes of desert-reared Myrna. The various peoples that Myrna and Veraine meet in their travels are distinguished by language, culture, superstitions and traditions. I particularly enjoyed Veraine's traveling companions, itinerant storytellers Rahul and Teihli, who bring tales of the gods to the villagers, and leave the blessings of their bodies.

I also applaud Ms. Ashbless' carefully limited use of magical powers. Too often, heroes and heroines in this genre easily conquer every adversary, simply by calling upon new supernatural capabilities. Though she is a goddess, Myrna has no real power other than her wits and her esoteric training. Veraine is heroic and skillful with weapons, but suffers from many weaknesses including the tendency to ignore his common sense in favor of his cock. Even the Tiger Lords are not invincible. In fact, this book is "paranormal" mainly in its aura of mysticism and inexorable destiny. Myrna and Veraine have visions; they walk in the world of the spirit as well as of the flesh. At the same time they are realistically fallible.

I did find myself wishing that Myrna's and Veraine's history had been given more prominence. The tale of their love, of their betrayal of their assigned fates and their flight into the unknown, would make a grand adventure in its own right, but the history is barely sketched out near the end of the novel, almost as an afterthought. In fact the end of the novel was a bit disappointing overall. Perhaps this is always true in romance. When the lovers reunite after their separation and their trials, in a coupling of inevitably incadescent passion, the tension that propels the story forward is dissipated.

On the other hand, this reaction is likely a reflection of my personal preference for a bit of ambiguity in fiction. Anyone who enjoys a romantic tale in the paranormal/fantasy genre, with plenty of exotic sex along the way, should appreciate Burning Bright.

Lisabet Sarai
July 2007


Burning Bright by Janine Ashbless
(Virgin Black Lace; March 6, 2007; ISBN-10: 0352340851)
Available at: Amazon.com / Amazon UK


_____
© 2007 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; co-editor, with S.F. Mayfair, of the anthology Sacred Exchange  (Blue Moon); and editor of Cream, the Best of 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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'07 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A for Amour / B for Bondage
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '07
Review by Ashley Lister

The Butcher, The Baker...
Review by Ashley Lister

C is for Coeds
Review by Ashley Lister

Cream: The Best of ERWA
Review by Ashley Lister

Cream: The Best of ERWA
Perceptions by Cervo

Coming Together for the Cure
Review by Lisabet

Cross-Dressing
Review by Ashley Lister

F is for Fetish
Review by Ashley Lister

Got a Minute?
Review by Ashley Lister

He's on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

Love on the Dark Side
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Lust: ...Fantasies for Women
Review by Ashley Lister

The Mammoth Book Vol 6
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Naughty Spanking Stories
Review by Ashley Lister

Quickies 1
Review by Angelika Devlyn

She's on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

Sixteen of the Best
Review by Ashley Lister

Novels

Amorous Woman
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Boss
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Burning Bright
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Call Me By Your Name
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cockhold
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Continuum
Review by Ashley Lister

Dark Designs
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Equal Opportunities
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Enthralled
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Flood
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Gothic Blue
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Hotbed
Review by Ashley Liste

The Lords of Satyr: Nicholas
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Love Song of the Dominatrix
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Ménage
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Riding the Storm
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The Silver Collar
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Split
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Suite Seventeen
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Sweet as Sin
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Tiffany Twisted
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Top of Her Game
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Whalebone Strict
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Wife Swap
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Wings of Madness
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Gay Erotica

Historical Obsessions
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Sex Guides

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Secrets of Porn Star Sex
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Non-Fiction

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Daddy's Girl
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Dirt for Art's Sake
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Entangled Lives
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Impotence: A Cultural History
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I, Goldstein: My Screwed...
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In Praise of the Whip
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Insatiable: ...Porn Star
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Letters of a Portuguese Nun
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