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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

A 21st Century Courtesan

by Eden Bradley

Book Review by Donna George Storey

 

A 21st Century Courtesan

Every work of fiction requires its reader to suspend disbelief.  Genre fiction, such as erotica and erotic romance, is generally more honest in its expectations.  You know more or less what you’ll find between the covers.  Attractive lovers get together, experience profoundly reportable sensual pleasure and, especially in the latter case, find an emotional happy ending as well.  While literary fiction supposedly transcends formula, I would argue that it brings its own more subtle coercions and assumptions to the story-reader relationship.  The sex may be realistically bleak and the ending may not be at all happy, but even in the real world sex can have its rewards—and isn’t the very concept of an ending itself an illusion? 

In short, the more I read, the more I tend to dismiss the very notion of genre.  There are simply good reads and bad reads, stories that engage, entertain and move us, and those that don’t.

Eden Bradley’s A 21st Century Courtesan is a particularly interesting example of a novel that challenges genre.  On the face of it, Courtesan is a classic erotic romance.  The lead characters are straight from central casting.  Elite call girl Valentine Day is slim, elegant and lovely.  The leading man who tempts her from her emotionally guarded life is Joshua Spencer, muscular and virile, yet suspiciously willing to let love take precedence over business.  The plot provides enough of a thrilling rollercoaster ride of sizzling couplings and nail-biting separations to keep you turning the pages.  And the hot sex scenes will surely inspire most readers to take a break now and then, or at least proceed one-handed.

Like Valentine herself, Bradley offers die-hard fans of erotic romance a familiar experience of the highest quality.  Yet the book is also full of surprises that will please literary tastes as well. 

First and foremost, Bradley provides a credible and complex psychological depth to her characters.  Valentine’s voice is a bit world weary as you might expect, but her observations of her clients and the true nature of the services she offers, as well as her insights into her own past, are unfailingly smart and thought-provoking.  The protagonist also harbors an interesting sexual secret.  Valentine needs a partner to have an orgasm—more specifically, she can only have an orgasm when she is being paid for it.  I would venture to say it is not typical for most women to find frustration in masturbation and release in the arms of a stranger with a wad of cash in his hand, but rather than coming across as unbelievable, Bradley succeeds in giving Valentine’s desire an urgency that made me appreciate male sexuality in a new way.  How indeed would my life be different if partnered sex of any sort was unquestionably better than what I could get on my own?

The tall, dark and handsome Joshua also has an intriguing history of betrayal and sex-addiction, presented in a way that makes him real and vulnerable.  His patience with his skittish lover represents a victory over past hurts rather than mere service to a formulaic plot.  As the couple’s intimacy unfolds, we also learn why they do what they do, so that we come to know them as complex, wounded and interesting people.  The novel even has several riveting scenes set in a therapist’s office!  In her acknowledgments, the author thanks her editor for her trust in allowing her to “take some unusual risks.”  I would say that trust was well placed.

Add to this Bradley’s smooth and lovely prose, and a series of settings that provides a virtual tour of Los Angeles rich and poor, and you’ve got yourself a novel with much to offer.  If you’re a fan of erotic romance, A 21st Century Courtesan is sure to please.  Even if you’re not, you’ll find yourself settling in for a very enjoyable and enlightening read.

Donna George Storey
July 2009

A 21st Century Courtesan
(Delta, March 24, 2009; ISBN-10: 0553385577)
Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


______
© 2009 Donna George Storey. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission.

About the Author: Donna George Storey taught English in Japan and Japanese in the United States and has finally found the work of her dreams writing erotica. If you're really nice, she'll bake you a batch of her Venetian cookies, with layers of marzipan, jam and chocolate, that take a ridiculous amount of time to make and are (almost) better than sex. Her work has been published in dozens of journals and anthologies including Clean Sheets, Fishnet, Best American Erotica, Best Women's Erotica and Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica.
Her first novel, Amorous Woman-a semi-autobiographical tale of an American woman's love affair with Japan, Japanese food and lots of sexy men and women along the way-was published by Neon/Orion. It's currently available at Amazon and Amazon UK, and from her web site, DonnaGeorgeStorey.com.
For more of her musings on sensual pleasure and creativity stop by her blog:  Sex, Food and Writing. You can also take a quick trip to Japan with Donna's provocative Amorous Woman book trailer at: www.youtube.com



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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Faithless
Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky


'09 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Frenzy
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Novels

A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Broken
Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Exposure
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Faewolf
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Shuck
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Transgressions
Review by Vincent Diamond

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister