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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

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
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
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

Tales from the Hidden Grotto:
House Of Dark Delights and Bound In Moonlight

by Louisa Burton

Book Review by Lisabet Sarai

House Of Dark DelightsLouisa Burton must have had a wonderful time writing these books. While most authors' work is stuck in a single time period, the stories in these books range over two millennia. Ms. Burton skips through history, from the Victorian era to the Roman conquests, from the lecherous eighteenth century to the Roaring Twenties. Her tales are anchored by place rather than time, set in the environs of the mysterious and seductive Grotte Cachée, where magic and sensuality reign and nothing is as it seems.

The Grotte Cachée is tucked away in a valley in Auvergne (incidently, the birthplace of Anne Rice's vampire Lestat). It includes a cavern of volcanic origin known for its psychotropic vapors, a geothermal spring whose waters magnify and transmit emotional states, a sacred grove shaded by an ancient oak, and the luxurious Chateau where guests to the valley are accommodated and debauched.

Humans come and go over the centuries, but the long-term inhabitants of the Grotte Cachée are a group of immortal creatures - sexual demons or "follets" - who require the sexual energies of the human visitors in order to survive.  There is Inigo the satyr, whose masculine endowment more than matches the Greek myths; Lili, an ancient Mesopotamian goddess who can mold her victims' perceptions to match their fantasies; Elic, a serial hermaphrodite who can take the form of a handsome man or an equally exquisite woman; and Darius, a shy, shape-shifting genie who cannot help fulfilling the expectations of the people whom he encounters. For two millennia the follets have been protected and kept satisfied by the mysterious Seigneur of the Chateau, and his administrateur, both unbroken lineages from pagan times.

Ms. Burton's tales of the hidden grotto focus on the interactions between various humans and the immortals. There is the jaded eighteenth century countess whose guilt is expiated in a fierce sadomasochistic session with Darius; the desperate Regency era beauty, disowned by her minister father for choosing a lover outside her faith and forced to auction herself as a slave in order to survive; the hard-headed daughter of the Victorian mythologist, who is determined to remain a spinster until Inigo changes her mind. Occasionally we view the world from the follets' perspective, but more often the outrageous wonders of the grotto are revealed through human eyes.
Bound in Moonlight
Ms. Burton writes with skill and enthusiasm, brilliantly capturing the distinctive voices and mores of each time period. The human characters are fully-fleshed and distinctive. The immortals, surprisingly, seem less fully realized. I say surprisingly because they feature in every tale, and thus have more opportunity to reveal themselves.  Yet none of the follets has much complexity (Darius seems to be the only one with any sort of internal conflicts) and none of them seems to change over the very long time span encompassed by the books. Inigo in the present is the same charming stud who posed for the Roman sculptors decorating the Grotto's pool. Elic and Lili share a love that can never be physically requited, but they hardly seem tortured by frustration.

I could not help comparing the world of the Grotte Cachée with Anne Rice's vampire chronicles. Both feature a cast of powerful and seductive immortals and range over centuries. In both worlds, the immortals become entangled with humans. Rice's creatures, though, are constantly experiencing spiritual crises, battling the ennui of immortality and questioning their own nature. Ms. Burton's demons have fairly sunny dispositions and rarely seem to be thinking of anything beyond their next conquest.

Of course, HOUSE OF DARK DELIGHTS and BOUND IN MOONLIGHT do not aspire to address spiritual or philosophical issues. They are intended to entertain, and they succeed admirably, with intelligence and humor. The books feature plenty of lively and varied sex, including some insightful explorations of BDSM relationships that I personally felt were among the best passages in the books. (I will not venture to guess whether this reflects Ms. Burton's interests, or my own individual tastes!)

Despite the title, do not expect darkness from these books. Ms. Burton views sex from an intensely positive perspective. Although the follets are styled as incubi and succubi, they do no more than temporarily exhaust their lucky victims. In the Hidden Grotto, no one is ruined by their sexual experiences. More often, they are redeemed.

Lisabet Sarai
January 2008

House Of Dark Delights

(Bantam; January 30, 2007; ISBN-10: 0553384120)
Available at:  / Amazon UK

Bound In Moonlight

(Bantam; December 26, 2007; ISBN-10: 0553384139)
Available at:  / 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:

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'08 Movie Reviews

Almost Perfect
Review by Oranje

The Fold
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Spooky

Review by Spooky

'08 Book Reviews


Best Bisexual Women's Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Fantastic Erotica
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

Bound Brits (ebook)
Review by Ashley Lister

Deep Inside: Extreme ...
Review by Cervo

Dirty Girls
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Hide and Seek
Review by Ashley Lister

Hurts So Good
Review by Ashley Lister

J is for Jealousy
Review by Ashley Lister

K is for Kink
Review by Ashley Lister

Lust Bites
Review by Ashley Lister

Open for Business
Review by Rose B. Thorny

Review by Lisabet Sarai

Rubber Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Rubber Sex
Review by Victoria Blisse

Seriously Sexy
Review by Ashley Lister

Sex & Candy
Review by Ashley Lister

The Shadow of a... (poetry)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Victoria Blisse

Tasting Her
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Tasting Him
Review by Ashley Lister

Tasting Him
Review by Kathleen Bradean

White Flames
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Yes, Ma'am: Male Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Yes, Sir: Female Submission
Review by Angelika Devlyn


The Art of Melinoe
Review by Ashley Lister

Demon by Day
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Gemini Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

Gothic Heat
Review by Ashley Lister

The Hidden Grotto Series
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The House of Blood
Review by Lisabet Sarai

In Too Deep
Review by Ashley Lister

In Too Deep
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Donna George Storey

Review by Victoria Blisse

One Breath at a Time
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Out of the Shadows (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Rose B. Thorny

Seduce Me
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduced by the Storm
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Serve the People!
Review by Donna G. Storey

Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Sunfire (eBook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Templar Prize
Review by Angelika Devlyn

The Wicked Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Wild Kingdom
Review by Angelika Devlyn

Gay Erotica

Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance '08
Review by Vincent Diamond

Hard Hats
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Donna George Storey

Best Lesbian Erotica '08
Review by Ashley Lister

The Night Watch
Review by Lisabet Sarai


America Unzipped
Review by Rob Hardy

Best Sex Writing '08
Review by Rob Hardy

Bonk: The Curious Coupling
Review by Rob Hardy

The Book of Love
Review by Rob Hardy

Casanova: Actor Lover ...
Review by Rob Hardy

Dishonorable Passions
Review by Rob Hardy

Flagrante Delicto (photos)
Review by Jack Gilbert

The Flesh Press
Review by Rob Hardy

Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Humble Little Condom
Review by Rob Hardy

Instant Orgasm (sex guide)
Review by Ashley Lister

Man O Man! Writing M/M...
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Not So Invisible Woman
Review by Ashley Lister

Swingers: Female...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Who's Been Sleeping in...
Review by Rob Hardy