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'10 Authors Insider Tips

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Have More Good Sex
I Can Do Better ...
Trying to Get the Feeling
Plotting and Planning
Character Profiles
Discovery Draft
Be Bad to Be Good
E-Book Revolution
Naked for Halloween
Sex With Pilgrims

by Louisa Burton
The Music of Words
The Balancing Act
Your Fictional World
Backstory & Foreshadowing

The Fine Art of Submission
by Shanna Germain
Nailing the Query Letter
Banish the Boring Bio
Becoming a Market Master
Become a Market Master, 2
Backstory & Foreshadowing
Enticing An Editor, Part 1
Enticing An Editor, Part 2
Contracts, Money & More

Serious about Smut
by Vincent Diamond
No More Horsing Around
Short Stuff
Selling Short Stories
Editors' Pet Peeves
Settings: Beyond Time & Place
Beating Up Your Scenes
Selling Your Books in Person
Staying in the Saddle

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Broken Rainbows
Talk the Talk
10 Commandments for Writing
Plotting to Avoid
Cover Story

'10 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
St Valentine's Day
Renaming Body Parts
Sex, Cigarettes & Erotic Fiction

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
C. Sanchez-Garcia
Kathleen Bradean
Lucy Felthouse
Neve Black
PS Haven
Tracey Shellito
Tresart L. Sioux

Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
Plenty of Miles Left
Don't Worry, Be Happy
Fly the Unfriendly Skies
Coffee Time
Castrated Words
Virtual vs. Actual Romance
The View from Gallows Hill

Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
The Fashion Industry
The Same Old Same Old
Writing Porn
About the Closet
... About Spirituality
Making Sense of Religion
Worked Up About Monogamy
What's Next
All Worked Up About Nature
Still All Worked Up...

Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Holiday Ghosts
Love and Romance
An "Interracial" Epic
Trying to Make It Go Away
Sexual Etiquette
Sex and Children
People Against Bad Things
Virtual Acceptance
His Cold Eyes, His Granite Jaw
A Flash of Northern Light

Bare Souls

by Marcelle Perks

Book Review by Ashley Lister


Bare Souls erotic fiction

Literary Erotica is an insidious term.  Sometimes it means ‘I got horny, but I didn’t understand why.’  Sometimes it means, ‘I was trying to crack one off, but I had to keep stopping to look in the dictionary.’ In the introduction to Bare Souls, Marcelle Perks explains her take on Literary Erotica:

It’s tended to be that if you write fiction that turns people on it’ erotica, and if your characters fail to have an orgasm and feel bad afterwards, then it’s literary. Well, we’re not having any of that. My writing is intrinsically sensuous, and as a former dancer and performer I’m concerned about conveying the physicality of an experience, expressing how everything goddamn feels. So even the most cynical of stories, like ‘The Scarless’, is ultimately uplifting because Katje, in her own way enjoys what she does.

This collection certainly merits the description of literary erotica, and not because of the crass reasons I mentioned in the opening paragraph to this review. Perks writes with an emphasis on the physicality of the relationship between her characters and the sensuous world they inhabit. Moreover, Perks conveys every nuance of the characters’ experiences to the reader. 

Ordinarily this would make for a compelling reason to buy this collection.  Good writers are always worth reading.  But Perks takes this collection one step further. The subtitle for Bare Souls is ‘Tales of love, sex and death.’ I mention this because, as a reader you can never be 100% sure of where Perks is going to take a story. 

Two thirds of these stories have been previously published in anthologies as highly respected as Alison Tyler’s Threeway, Rachel Kramer Bussel’s The A-Z of Naughty Spanking Stories, and multiple editions of Maxim Jakubowski’s The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica.  I mention this because it’s known that these three respected anthologists are renowned for working with talented artists who deliver compelling, well-written narratives. This collection offers a chance to read Perks’s collected works, along with original, previously unpublished material.

The stories in this volume aren’t going to satisfy every reader.  There is a dark edge to some tales that conveys a harsh realism that is usually verboten within the sanitised confines of erotica as a genre.  However, it is that potential for darkness that makes each of these stories all the more compelling and convincing.

As Perks explains in the introduction:

Bare Souls is a collection that reflects the diversity of modern erotica, from the modern mores of dating (with no sex) to fetish club exploits. At times dark and haunting, there is also tenderness and plain, old-fashioned desire. Some of these stories might turn you on, others will fascinate or repulse. This is sex in all its guises, with the mask off: the best and the worst of things. There’s desire, vulnerability and pain and the chance to be aroused and intrigued.

This really is a remarkable collection and well worth the investment of time and effort.  I urge you to go out now and explore all the Bare Souls

Ashley Lister
October 2010

Bare Souls by Marcelle Perks
(Xcite, 2010; eBook)
Available atXcite Books

© 2010 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms.His most recent work, Swingers: True Confessions from Today's Modern Swinging Scene Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753511355), a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his first title published under his own name.
Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.
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'10 Book Reviews


Apocalypse Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Bare Souls
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica 2010
Review by Jean Roberta

can’t help the way that i feel
Review by Ashley Lister

Coming Together...C. Sanchez-Garcia
Review by Ashley Lister

Coming Together...M Christian
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Coming Together...Remittance Girl
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Erotic Brits
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Fairy Tale Lust
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Like a God's Kiss
Review by Kristina Wright

Like a Sacred Desire
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Like a Veil
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Making the Hook-Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Review by Kristina Wright

Peep Show
Review by Kristina Wright

Please, Ma'am
Review by Ashley Lister

Spark My Moment
Review by Ashley Lister

Three In One Blow
Review by Shanna Germain

Review by Ashley Lister

Erotic Novels

Backstage Passes
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Ashley Lister

Fire in the Blood
Review by Jean Roberta

Freak Parade
Review by Jean Roberta

I Came Up Stairs
Review by Jean Roberta

Marianne! A Journey...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Marketplace
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Memorial Garden
Review by Lisabet Sarai

On Demand
Review by Ashley Lister

Once Bitten
Review by Shanna Germain

Rock My Socks Off
Review by Ashley Lister

The Tower and the Tears
Review by Lynne Connolly

Sensual Romance

Coin Operated
Review by Lynne Connolly

Review by Lynne Connolly

I Spy a Wicked Sin
Review by Harriet Klausner

Libertine's Kiss
Review by Lynne Connolly

The Master & the Muses
Review by Lynne Connolly

Review by Lynne Connolly

Review by Lynne Connolly

Review by Lynne Connolly

Tangled Web (MM Romance)
Review by Vincent Diamond

Tucker's Sin
Review by Lynne Connolly

Review by Harriet Klausner

Gay Erotica

Best Gay Erotica '10
Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance 2010
Review by Vincent Diamond

Biker Boys
Review by Jay Lygon

Necessary Madness
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Personal Demons
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Royal Treatment
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Silver Foxes
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Jay Lygon

Special Forces
Review by Vincent Diamond

A Sticky End
Review by Jean Roberta

Wired Hard 4
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Roamnce 2010
Review by Jean Roberta

Fast Girls
Review by Ashley Lister

Girl Crush
Review by Jean Roberta

Sometimes She Lets Me
Review by Jean Roberta


Best Sex Writing 2010
Review by Ashley Lister

A Brief History of Nakedness
Review by Rob Hardy

Condom Nation
Review by Rob Hardy

Dictionary of Semenyms
Review by Donna G Storey

Doctor of Love
Review by Rob Hardy

Florida’s Purge of Gay & Lesbian...
Review by Rob Hardy

John Holmes
Review by Rob Hardy

How Sex Works
Review by Rob Hardy

The Orgasm Answer Guide
Review by Rob Hardy

Screening Sex
Review by Rob Hardy

Sex at Dawn
Review by Rob Hardy

Whip Smart
Review by Rob Hardy