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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

Night’s Kiss: Lesbian Erotica

by Catherine Lundoff

Book Review by Jean Roberta

 

Lesbian Erotica

This collection of erotic stories, Night's Kiss, by the prolific Catherine Lundoff is a new, expanded version (available in print) of an e-book by the same name which was first published by GLBT (gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender) publisher Torquere Press. The cover image of the new version is more realistic and compelling than the drawing of a half-face on the cover of the earlier version, and there are two new stories in the new version.

Like the first version, this collection includes historical sagas, revised myths, fantasy or paranormal plots, and poignantly realistic stories that show the ups and downs of lesbian life at the very time they were written. The characters include a sexy dyke in a wheelchair, “women of color,” “women of size,” women who impersonate men for fun, survival, or revenge, and women at various points in the spectrum from butch to femme.

There are Dominant-submissive relationships, several women suffering from unrequited love, and women who dare to confront the Goddess Herself.

Approximately half of these stories appeared earlier in print anthologies, including Best Lesbian Erotica (from 1999 to 2006), several lesbian anthologies from Alyson Books, Naughty Spanking Stories and Sex and Candy from Pretty Things Press, the groundbreaking Zaftig (on “big, beautiful women”), two fantasy anthologies from Circlet Press, and Stirring Up a Storm, which includes stories by mainstream women writers such as Joyce Carol Oates. Finding sixteen of Catherine Lundoff’s stories in one place saves the reader from having to search for them in numerous erotic anthologies – not that the search wouldn’t be a pleasure in itself.

As the title suggests, most of these stories explore darkness, both literal and metaphorical. Several take place at night. In the three distinctly different vampire stories, the reasons for this seem obvious. One of the two vampire stories set in colonial Mexico, “Beso de la Noche,” is literally named “Night’s Kiss” in Spanish, and therefore it could be read as defining the tone of the whole collection.  Several stories begin, in classic style, with a pickup in a bar. “Viva Las Vegas” takes place in the desert city that never sleeps, where two dykes turn a cliché every which way but loose as they try to outdo each other as Elvis impersonators.

The role-playing in Lundoff’s contemporary stories pales beside actual roles, particularly those of two women pirates of the early eighteenth century, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, whose remarkable partnership in crime has been described in several historical accounts. Lundoff also reimagines the Victorian London of Jack the Ripper, and suggests a reason why he suddenly stopped killing “ladies of the evening.”

More stunning than Lundoff’s historical realism, however, are her two stories about actual goddesses. “Arachne” is a lesbian reworking of the Greek myth about a proud woman weaver who angers the goddess Athena not only by bragging about herself but by exposing the injustice of the gods in a tapestry which shows more than words can tell. This device has been used in other myths: the tongueless rape victim Philomela exposes her assailant this way before she becomes a nightingale. Protesting in pictures is a bold but admirable move on the part of the weaver and the writer. In Lundoff’s story, the goddess herself is impressed.

“The Goddess Within” manages to be erotic, hilarious and surrealistic. In this story, a desperate lesbian who has not managed to score a date with the woman she has secretly adored for the past two years self-consciously follows the prepared script for a love-spell:

“Holy Aphrodite, help me to be the goddess I know I am. Help me to find and keep love in my life. Let the love in my bosom find its way out to bring my love to me.”

At first, the fledgling goddess-worshipper thinks that “the Goddess” (understood as a metaphor for female sensuality and empowerment) is nowhere in sight. Later, however, the woman is amazed when her prayer is answered in a shockingly literal way by the ancient moon-goddess, Artemis of Ephesus.

The fantasy stories in this collection have their own logic, which usually involves the fleshing-out of a popular analogy. In “Planet 10,” the “coming-out process,” in which a woman identifies herself as a lesbian and finds her community, has become an actual metamorphosis like the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

In general, these stories are visual and sensory, containing just enough background information to clarify the setting, the characters and the sex. Two of the most effective stories in the collection each consists of one intensely sensual scene. In “Burn,” the narrator applies hot candle-wax to her lover:

“With the flick of a wrist, I leave a small red trail on your pale back, each spot bigger than it seems, burning your body, stoking the fires inside until they scorch everything in their wake. I must seem almost impassive as I watch you tug at the cuffs, groans muffled by the gag as each tiny hot wax sun finds its way through your skin to your pussy.”

In the bittersweet “Phone, Sex, Chocolate,” the narrator masturbates while slipping small pieces of chocolate into her orifices with one hand as she pretends to listen to the former co-worker who has called her to talk office politics. The woman with the warm, rich, chocolatey voice on the other end of the telephone is married to a man, and she shows no awareness that her female “friend” finds the sound of her voice exciting.

The author’s use of “you” in these and a few other stories seems to be her most experimental touch. Her style is generally realistic, concise, well-paced and not overly introspective. One of the stories (“The Model”), while infused with sexual tension from beginning to end, includes no explicit sex. In this case, mutual acceptance between a “woman of size” (the model) and a dyke photographer resolves the tension in a way that mimics and foreshadows orgasm.

“Left Bank” focuses on the eroticism of Paris, which has been defined as an American’s version of heaven. The atmosphere in this story is engaging, but the relationship between a Frenchwoman and an American visitor suggests a culture gap which will ultimately pull them apart.

The spanking and whipping in several of these stories is convincing as a consensual activity which is intensely desired by both Domme and sub, even though they never use such terms. The historical settings of some stories help in this sense. The young narrator of “El Tigre” (a kind of dyke retelling of the story of Zorro) shivers pleasurably when she remembers being whipped in a convent school in Spain, and the two women pirates in “On the Spanish Main” are familiar with naval discipline.

Since the first version of  Night’s Kiss appeared, the author has written another collection of lesbian erotica, Crave: Tales of Lust, Love and Longing, which won a Golden Crown Award (for lesbian literature) in 2008, and she has edited Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades: Lesbian Ghost Stories, which has been nominated for a Lambdalit Award (given to the best GLBT material published during the year). Her work can be found in various places on the ‘net, and probably in several dimensions.

Jean Roberta
February 2009


Night’s Kiss: Lesbian Erotica by Catherine Lundoff
(Lethe Press, 2008; ISBN 1590210344)
Available at Amazon.com  / Amazon UK

______
© 2009 Jean Roberta. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written


About the Author: Jean Roberta is the thin-disguise pen name of a writer who teaches mandatory first-year English classes in a Canadian prairie university and who writes fiction (erotic and otherwise), research-based articles, opinion pieces and reviews. She joined ERWA in December 1998, and has never looked back. Several of her stories can be found in the "Treasure Chest" gallery. Over sixty of her erotic stories have been published in print anthologies, and Eternal Press has released her single-author e-collection of erotic stories in various genres and flavors, Obsession (2008).
Jean is a staff reviewer for the monthly reviews site, Erotica Revealed (edited by D.L. King). She blogs on Livejournal as "Lizardlez" and at www.goodsturdyjeans.blogspot.com. Her website (www.JeanRoberta.com) is a work in progress.
Read Jean's full bio at Erotica Readers & Writers Association.



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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