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'08 Authors Insider Tips


Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Epublishing: A Different Way
Choosing an Epublisher
Your Milage May Vary
Understand Your Contract!
Reasonable Expectations


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
The Publishing Biz
Critiquing: To Give and ...
Commerical vs. Literary...
Antiformalism for Fun &...
So You Want to Write a Novel
The Story Idea
Planning Your Novel...


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
5 Steps to Success
Inspirational
Opening Passages
Let's Get Critical
Writer's Block
Learning Lessons


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Be a Finisher ...
Listen to Your Characters
Conferences: Act Now ...
Starting an Erotic Story
Exercises & Writing Prompts
Revising & Rewriting
Copy Editing
The Manuscript Critique
How to Submit Your Work
Reading as Craft


Guest Appearances

Adventures in e-Publishing
by Lisabet Sarai

For the Love of Man
by Laura Baumbach

How to...Influence Editors
by Alison Tyler

Marketing your e-Book
by Brenna Lyons


2008 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Role Play
Busy Doing Nothing
Picture of a Fish & Chip...
What I Did With My Summer


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Naughty Cookies...
Tie Me Up, Please …
The Smut-Writer’s Holiday
Never Trust the Narrator ...
Compare and Contrast
Following the Pen
Naked at the Farmers Market
Iím Easy, But Iím No Slut
Good Girl Gone Bad
Pleasures of the Dark Side
Slow, Spare and Sexy


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Raising Daughters
Jamie Lynn
Utopias
Lust
The Good Old Days
Election '08
Traditional Marriage
Campaign 2008
Free Will


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Masturbating on SSRIs
Sex and Disability
Besides Ourselves
Adjusting our Contrast


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Sex Is All Metaphors
Turn-ons and Squicks
Sexual Truth
Fickle Muse
Porn, Erotica & Romance


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Alison Tyler
Ashley Lister
Debra Hyde
Donna George Storey
Jeremy Edwards
Kristina Wright
Rachel Kramer Bussel


Erotic Hot Spots
by William S. Dean
Interview with Tilly Greene
Interview with Devyn Quinn


Getting Graphic
with William S. Dean
New Times for Readers...
The Future in Words ...
Interview with Fantagraphics


On Writing Erotica

The Accidental Pornographer
by Lisabet Sarai

The End of Innocence
by Lisabet Sarai

Get Them Off in High Style
Helena Settimana

So, You Want To Write Erotica?
by Hanne Blank


Web Gems
Hot Movies For Her

Possession
by Mathilde Madden, Madelynne Ellis & Anne Tourney


Book Review by Lisabet Sarai



PossessionWhen I was asked to review Possession, I responded with an enthusiastic affirmative. I had previously reviewed Mathilde Madden's audacious Equal Opportunities and I was curious to see what she'd do with the paranormal genre. I've been a fan of Madelynne Ellis' work every since she posted some sizzling pre-publication excerpts from A Gentleman's Wager on the ERWA Storytime list many years ago. And I knew Anne Tourney as the author of "Come for Me, Dark Man", one of my favorite stories in Sacred Exchange, the anthology of BDSM erotica that I edited with S.F. Mayfair. All in all, I was expecting a challenging and enjoyable reading experience, and for the most part, I was not disappointed.

Possession is a collection of three paranormal novellas, one by each author. The three tales all feature characters who are blessed or cursed with various supernatural abilities, and they all contain abundant sex. Aside from these commonalities, however, they are quite different in tone and style.

In "The Silver Chains", Mathilde Madden gives us a classic werewolf story with a twist. Alfie is an alpha wolf, head of a small pack that includes clever, loyal Leon and waifish, seductive Misty. Alfie's strength and good looks make him practically irresistible to women, but he has a problem. Unlike normal lycans who change only at the full moon, Archie's unstable. His wolf nature is "close to the skin" and likely to emerge whenever he's subject to powerful emotion—in particular, whenever he's sexually aroused. If he changes, though, he'll kill his partner. Hence, Archie is one frustrated werewolf.

"The Silver Chains" chronicles Archie's efforts to find a legendary set of magical chains which can hold him fast and keep him from changing.  The quest takes him and his pack to the rainforests of Brazil and into the clutches of Hera, a female alpha who keeps him bound so that she can use him to satisfy her prodigious lust. The trials of living with the jungle pack threaten to tear Archie's own cohort apart, and gradually he realizes this is not where he's meant to be, that despite Hera's love for him, his fate lies elsewhere.

I found this tale amusing but a bit incoherent. There's no real plot arc, just a series of episodes, many of which involve pleasurable but not particularly meaningful sex. The dominant Caroline picks up Archie in a club, orchestrates a couple of red-hot BDSM scenes, tells him about the chains, then vanishes from the story. Somehow I didn't feel any urgency regarding Archie and his plight, even though there are frequent weighty references to his "life mate" and his "destiny". Though this tale revolves around creatures of the night, I searched in vain for any serious darkness.

Finally, I'll admit to being annoyed by the fact that the novella has no real ending. Instead, there's a come-on for Ms. Madden's trilogy of werewolf novels, in which the story would be continued. Serials and sequels are fine, but in my opinion, every installment needs to have a clear resolution, even if it raises new questions.

Madelynne Ellis' tale, "Broken Angel", is a different story indeed. Set in a decaying city that is literally haunted by the Ghost Wind - wailing, disembodied spirits that gust through the streets at twilight, carrying away human souls - "Broken Angel" offers a genuine Gothic ambience of madness, evil and obsessive desire.

Blaze Makaresh knows nothing of his heritage. He steals an ancient manuscript that he believes will cast some light on his history, only to be ambushed and near-fatally wounded by the youkai demons who terrorize the city. He is rescued by Asha and Yaku, members of the fearsome Talon brotherhood of demon-killers. Yaku is an elegant, cynical cross-dresser who couples with faceless men. Asha is icily beautiful, with a secret addiction that makes her doubly cruel. Yet something draws her to Blaze, even as he begins to undergo a physical and psychic transformation that confirms all of their worst suspicions—that in fact he is no human, but a demon prince.

I loved this story. The characters are sharply drawn, and the settings - musty archives, catacombs dripping with phosphorescent algae, abandoned alchemy labs - come vividly to life as Blaze, Asha and Yaku flee from the pursuing youkai. The sex is raw, painful, compulsive, fueled by the lust-inducing poisons secreted by the demon race and sought as drugs by the "bleeders". Whatever darkness was lacking in the first third of Possession can be found here with a vengeance. Distrust and fear threaten to destroy the fragile tenderness that binds Blaze and Asha. The power of evil is seductive and difficult to resist, even when you know that it will destroy you.

Finally, I come to "Falling Dancer", Anne Tourney's magnificent contribution to Possession. While Madelynne Ellis has created a baroque imaginary world of magical races vying for power, Ms. Tourney sets her tale in a deceptively normal, slightly sordid everyday of iPods and automobiles, strip bars and emergency rooms, rock bands and high-rise apartment buildings. Told in spare, elegant prose that left me admiring and envious, "Falling Dancer" gives us the first person experiences of Kelda, former stripper, current bartender, and sometime exorcist.

"Last night's Release just about killed me. The lost spirit tore through me with a need so monstrous that it left me crumpled up on the floor of an abandoned department store, whimpering and shaking, the aftermath shuddering through bone and muscle, through heart and brain... I call myself an exorcist. I'm really more like a co-dependent for fallen angels."

Kelda has not yet recovered from her last exorcism when she gets drawn into a desperate chase with a new Fallen One, who has taken over the exquisite body of a shy, insecure ballerina named Lia. Amara, the possessing spirit, has waited for ages for the chance to become incarnate—hungrily watching the humans she was supposed to be guarding.

"She touches her breasts, lifts their satin weight, touches the tips, which are small and pale as pearls. Under her fingers, the nipples darken and harden into dusky new buds. The flat silk surrounding them rises into scalloped rings. Using her nails, her palms, her forearms, Amara paints sensations across her skin - shivers, shudders, a deep electric throb. Desire used to haunt her like a shadow; now the ghost is coming to life again in stolen flesh."

Kelda struggles with the voracious spirit, but she has her own depths and darkness. Her own lusts are nearly as insatiable as Amara's. Kelda has powers, too - the Speak, the See, the ability to slip into the dreams of the man she craves. The chase quickens to a final, shattering climax, yet ultimately everything remains ambiguous. We do not know who Kelda really is, whether in fact she might not be part demon or part angel. We don't know if Amara has truly released Lia's body, or simply come to an accommodation with the human's fragile essence. Ultimately, all is dark and hidden, even, or perhaps especially, the souls of Kelda's lovers.

Possession showcases different facets of the hugely popular paranormal romance genre. On the whole, the collection is well-written, entertaining, even, perhaps, a bit thought-provoking. If you're in the mood for something other-worldly, I recommend it.

Lisabet Sarai
April 2008


Possession

(Virgin Black Lace; April 1, 2008; ISBN-10: 0352341645)
Available at: Amazon.com  / Amazon UK


_____
© 2008 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.
Join Lisabet's List on Yahoo for exciting chat, contests, and up-to-date information on publications and events: lisabets_list-subscribe@yahoogroups.com



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'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
Review by Oranje

The Fold
Review by Ashley Lister

Two
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Fallen
Review by Spooky

'08 Book Reviews

Anthologies

Best Bisexual Women's Erotica
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Best Fantastic Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '08
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Bound Brits (ebook)
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Deep Inside: Extreme ...
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Dirty Girls
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Hide and Seek
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Hurts So Good
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J is for Jealousy
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K is for Kink
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Lust Bites
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Open for Business
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Possession
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Rubber Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Rubber Sex
Review by Victoria Blisse

Seriously Sexy
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Sex & Candy
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The Shadow of a... (poetry)
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Spanked
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Tasting Her
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Tasting Him
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Tasting Him
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White Flames
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Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
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Yes, Sir: Female Submission
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Novels

The Art of Melinoe
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Demon by Day
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Gemini Heat
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Gothic Heat
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The Hidden Grotto Series
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The House of Blood
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In Too Deep
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In Too Deep
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Incognito
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Nicholas
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One Breath at a Time
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Out of the Shadows (ebook)
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Phantasmagoria
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Reckless
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Seduce Me
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Seduced by the Storm
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Serve the People!
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Signed, Sealed and Delivered
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Sunfire (eBook)
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Templar Prize
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The Wicked Sex
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Wild Kingdom
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Gay Erotica

Backdraft
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Best Gay Romance '08
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Hard Hats
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Leathermen
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Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
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Best Lesbian Erotica '08
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The Night Watch
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Non-Fiction

America Unzipped
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Best Sex Writing '08
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Bonk: The Curious Coupling
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The Book of Love
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Casanova: Actor Lover ...
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Dishonorable Passions
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Flagrante Delicto (photos)
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The Flesh Press
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Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
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The Humble Little Condom
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Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
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Man O Man! Writing M/M...
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The Not So Invisible Woman
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Swingers: Female...
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Who's Been Sleeping in...
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