Friday, 9 November 2018

Wassup?


Just a catchup on what I've been doing this week...

  • I've sent off a horror story
  • I've started a fairy tale
  • I've asked a publisher to sub one of my stories to a reprint antho
  • I've been reading through stories for Lust in the Dust - there are some good ones already!
  • I'm off tomorrow to the Yorkshire Romance Writers' meeting (Yahay! Cake!!!)

I'm not the the most focused writer in the world, so for me this is pretty damn productive...  😜

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Feeling Justified


In my eternal quest to be 5 years behind everyone else watching TV, I'm keeping my eyecandy quotient up by watching Justified while reading subs for Lust in the Dust this week (GET WRITING btw, if you haven't subbed already!).

Timothy Olyphant has a pretty hot bod and is clearly the only good-looking guy in the whole of Kentucky...


but his eyebrows are the real stars. They deserve acting credits all of their own: Left Brow ... Right brow.  Quizzical, come-hither, or embodying barely-supressed rage (okay, mostly the latter), they are captivating 😀



Plus, it has great title music:

Monday, 5 November 2018

Blue Monday

Every Monday I post a sexy excerpt for your entertainment!

Today's is from my Arthurian story Knight Takes Queen, which appears in my collection Fierce Enchantments. In this scene Guinevere recalls the first time she went astray with Sir Lancelot:


So Guinevere dug her fingernails into the sheet and remembered the first time she and Lancelot had sinned together—the single memory that was sure to inflame her more than any other. She had been several years into her lukewarm marriage when Lancelot joined the Round Table, journeying to Camelot from his domain over the sea. That fateful day, she had been sitting with him in the rose garden, in a small pavilion among the blooms, and they’d been playing chess—a game he’d taught the Court and which had swept the nobility, just as this handsome foreign knight had overwhelmed the ladies of Camelot. A ferocious downpour had sent her ladies-in-waiting running for cover, terrified for their silken dresses, but the two of them had remained in their precarious shelter, cut off from the castle by a curtain of pouring rain.

Guinevere had already been aware of her strong attraction to the man who had claimed the honour of being Queen’s Champion, having bested every other Knight of the Table at the jousting lists. She’d been both absorbed by the chess game and giddy with pleasure. It hadn’t mattered to her that he’d been much the stronger player. In fact she liked that. They’d played three games, wagering small sums of gold to sharpen the interest, and she’d only won the first time because he let her. His fingertips had brushed hers on a number of occasions and she had been hard-put not to giggle.

Then he’d announced, ‘Knight takes Queen. Mate.’ He’d looked her in the face, and at that moment they had both known. Heat had flashed through her body like a lightning strike. She’d reached out to lay her king over in surrender, but her hand had shaken so wildly she did not dare touch the board. He’d seen that too. Suddenly, without a word, she was aware of the danger she was in.

She’d sprung to her feet and backed off, knocking over her stool like a child in a panic. He’d followed, instantly, closing on her as she backed up against a wooden pillar. Rain struck the back of her neck but she’d barely felt it. He’d loomed over her, his eyes holding hers, his intention implacable. But his voice had been pitched soft.

‘I win again,’ he’d said. ‘You owe me a forfeit, my queen.’

She’d nodded, running the tip of her tongue across her lip in a frantic effort to wet it so she might speak. She could feel her voice all bundled up into a croaky snarl in her breast.

Lift your skirts. Show me.’

Maybe he’d meant only as far as the knees—that would have been shameful enough, but it hadn’t occurred to Guinevere until later that there might have been some escape. She’d bunched up the floor-length front of her dress, hand over hand, revealing the secret path of her thighs, all the way to her sex. He’d glanced down briefly, no change of expression visible on his face, then pinned her gaze again.

‘Open them.’

She’d obeyed. She hadn’t questioned the necessity. His face was so close to hers that she’d been sure he was going to kiss her. But he’d put his hand down between her slightly parted thighs, and cupped the dark gold nest of her sex in his palm, running his fingertips into her cleft. He’d found her as wet as if she’d been caught in the cloudburst.

She’d nearly died of the pleasure and the terror of that touch.

All he’d done was stroke her. Stroke her soft and needy sex, caress her clit with one moistened, expert fingertip, back and forth, utterly patient, while his face hovered over hers watching every nuance of expression. She’d arched her shoulders against the wet post and gasped and quivered and shaken, completely in his power, until she spent with a gush and a helpless cry and a sudden rush of tears. It was the first time a man had ever brought her to climax.

And he hadn’t kissed her. Not that time.

But from that moment on, she’d known she was his to do with whatever he desired.


Buy Fierce Enchantments at:

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Sunday, 4 November 2018

Rumble



This 1958 single, "Rumble," by Link Wray, was - believe it or not - the only instrumental track to be banned by American radio stations! It featured the first (improvised) fuzzbox.

Friday, 2 November 2018

DVD review: Strange Days


Remember Strange Days? No? Even sci-fi fans might have missed this 1995 movie, despite the fact it was written and produced by James Cameron, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, stars some well-known actors and has a kick-ass soundtrack. It tanked at the box-office for reasons that are beyond me.


I watched it for the first time this week and I want to sing its [qualified] praises. It's set in a then-futuristic 1999 just at the flashpoint of the Millennium. Society is barely holding it together and in LA the law is stretched thin. Ralph Feinnes stars as Lenny, a weasley seller of illegal VR experiences recorded direct from peoples' brains, who is still pining for his dead-eyed ex-girlfriend Faith (Juliette Lewis), who ditched him for an even slimier low-life music producer.



 Angela Bassett plays his best friend Mace, who puts up with Lenny's shit WAY above and beyond the call of duty.

"There there, you useless idiot. Who made you the hero FFS?"
There's a plot involving a secret SQUID recording that Must Not Fall Into the Wrong Hands, a serial killer who tapes his snuff adventures, and much hanging about in neon-lit clubs or next to burning cars. It's beautifully shot, and though Lewis isn't the greatest actor she sure belts out a song:



But what really makes the movie now is its unnerving prescience. Without giving too much away, its tangled plot resonates with the current Black Lives Matter movement and eyeballs a racially divided America. When Mace asks if maybe they shouldn't just let full scale revolt kick off and burn everything to the ground, you've really got to wonder if the old system is worth preserving , and at what cost, to whom?

Caveats: This might not be the movie for you if you are sensitive to cinematic violence - and particularly sexual violence. It's a hardboiled thriller. Also, at this stage even middle-aged white peeps like me are wondering "Why's the protag a white guy? Can't Mace be the main character?" ... but that's 1990s Hollywood for you.


You should really watch it for Angela Bassett though, because she is DA BOMB.


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Salome

Salome Dancing Elegantly Before King Herod

It's Hallowe'en, so let's have some sexy horror art!

The story of Salome combines all the things that Victorian/Edwardian artists and rich connoisseurs loved: an irreproachable Biblical provenance, a dramatic death, an irresistible femme fatale, and some serious sadomasochism (along with hints of quasi-incest and necrophilia). The barebones New Testament version goes:

"On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias [Herod's wife] danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother."
 Prior to the 19th Century this story was treated mostly like any other Bible story in art, and in fact it could be difficult to tell whether the painting depicted bad-girl Salome or heroine Judith - like this:

Salome, or Judith, Sebastiano del Piombo (1510)
NOT sexy, right? But by Victorian times Salome stopped being a mere cipher pimped out by her mother to her step-father (Ew!) and accrued this enormous mythic status as the epitome of Feminine Lust, and the destructive power it could wreak on the most powerful of men. Who is mostly to blame for this? An artist, Gustave Moreau, and a writer, Oscar Wilde.

Moreau seems to have been obsessed with the Salome story and painted many many interpretations in the 1870s that focused on the dancer's sensual beauty and her guilt:

The Apparition of the Head of St John the Baptist



Oscar Wilde was introduced to these sensational paintings and wrote a play, Salome (published 1891 but banned in England until 1931!). It actually introduced the motif of the "dance of the seven veils" to the myth, which subsequently became a staple for erotic dancers. That play inspired an opera by Strauss, and suddenly there was full-blown Salomania in artistic circles.

Illustration for Wilde's Salome, by Aubrey Beardsley.

So here's some artistic Salomes, starting with the relatively innocent dancers...

Gaston Bussiere - La Danse de Salome (or The Golden Butterflies) 1923
Georges Rochegrosse - Salome Dancing before King Herod (detail) 1887

Rudolf Ernst (1854-1932) - The Dance of Salome

Gyula Tornai (1861-1928) - The Dance of Salomé
To the ominous just-a-gal-hanging-about-with-a-sword-and platter portraits:

Henri Regnault - Salomé (1870)

Francesc Masriera - Salome (1888)
Francis Luis Mora - Salome (1899)
From here on it gets pleasingly lurid, as Salome forms an attachment to her head and likes to hang out with it socially.

Bela Čikoš Sesija, - Salome (1919)

Franz Von Stuck - Salome II (1906)

Jean Benner - Salome (1899)
Eder Gyula - Salome with the head of John the Baptist (1907)
Pierre Bonnaud - Salome (c. 1900)
Adolf Frey-Mook - Salome and John the Baptist (1910)

Leopold Schmutzler - Salome (c.1910)
Leon Herbo - Salome (1889)
Leopold Schmutzler  - Salome (1907)
But honestly you can have too much of a good thing - even getting head...

Beardsley


Maurycy Gottlieb - Salome with the Head of St. John (1878)

Seriously?!

Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer - Salome (1896)

And just in case you think that mum Herodias had a sensible motive in engineering John's death (he had publicly condemned Herod for marrying her, the ex-wife of Herod's brother) ... here she is totally getting her rocks off too:

Francesco del Cairo - Herodias and the head of St. John the Baptist

Same artist, same title ... take a cold shower Francesco
So you see, the problem is not horny kings making bad decisions: it's horny women. According to Art, anyway... 😉

Monday, 29 October 2018

Blue Monday: Ian Smith guests

Every Monday I post a sexy excerpt for your entertainment!

Today's guest is Ian Smith, whose story The Christmas Party appears in new ERWA anthology Twisted Sheets: tales of sizzling menage:


The Christmas Party: Susie goes to her boyfriend’s office Christmas party, and hates it, suspecting her boyfriend is cheating on her. She meets the host’s daughter Emily and her best friend Pritti, and they decide to retreat to Emily’s room to chat over several bottles of wine... then things get interesting.


“Now that’s sorted, d’you know what I’d like you to give me for Christmas?” Emily murmured, squeezing Susie’s hand.

“No, what?”

“A kiss.”

Susie’s face heated instantly as she blushed. Um, okay, let’s see. She leaned closer to Emily, who tipped her head to one side so their noses wouldn’t clash. Susie closed her eyes and held her breath until Emily’s lips softly brushed against hers. Then she felt Emily’s hands on her cheeks, Emily’s tongue against her lips, and their kiss rapidly went from friendly and platonic to slow, hot and passionate.

When they parted, Emily smiled at her. “How did you know what sort of kiss I wanted?”

Susie felt almost breathless, surprised at what she’d just done, but also feeling a thrill of finding something new and exciting. “What else would you like from me?” Oh fuck, shouldn’t have said that.

Emily lay back and swung her legs up onto the bed. “I’d absolutely love you and Pritti to give me an orgasm.” She pulled her skirt up again. “I’ve done something as a nice surprise for Pritti, but I’m sure she’ll be happy to share it with you.” She took Susie’s hand and gently guided it to the top of her thigh, almost touching her panties.

Susie stroked Emily’s soft thigh, feeling nervous and unsure. Pritti moved to Emily’s other side and reached down to stroke Emily’s pussy through her panties, then slid a finger under the elastic.

Pritti grinned at Emily, then turned to Susie. “She’s only gone and shaved herself. Look.” She tugged Emily’s panties down, to reveal a smooth pale tummy all the way down to a plump vulva, the inner lips puffed up with her excitement.

Susie stared, feeling transfixed. I’ve never seen another woman’s body like this in real life. “That’s beautiful,” she whispered. She watched as her fingers seemed to move without her being in control, across the soft warm skin of Emily’s outer lips, then the more textured protruding inner lips, which were warm and slick.

Emily reached down and spread her lips wide. Pritti gently slid a finger inside Emily, then eased it in and out. “I’ll tease her G-spot,” she whispered. “You work on her clit. Start off with things you enjoy, watch her reaction and figure it out from there.”

Susie was still unsure and nervous, but regained conscious control of her hand. She ran her index finger up Emily’s pussy and found her clit, then rubbed it and moved her finger in tight circles very close to it. Feels weird from a different angle, but it’s really fun.

Emily gasped quietly. “You two are right on the money,” she whispered. She bit her lower lip and rolled her shoulders back, then her whole body tensed. Then she smiled at Susie. “Fancy kissing me again?”

You bet. Trying to keep her finger working steadily on Emily’s clit, Susie got to her knees and took her weight on one hand so she could lean down and kiss Emily again. Emily ran her fingers through Susie’s hair as they kissed, tongues dancing together. Emily tensed, then shuddered several times, gasping into their kiss. She relaxed and pulled Susie’s upper body on top of her, enfolding her in a hug.

“That was a lovely Christmas treat,” she murmured into Susie’s ear.

“Now it’s Susie’s turn,” Pritti said. “But I want to kiss her first.”

Susie felt another thrill. My second kiss with a woman. She got up on her knees and leaned across Emily to reach for Pritti. She put one hand behind Susie’s head as their lips met. They each slowly explored the other’s mouth, in no hurry to move on. Susie felt one of Pritti’s hands on her breast, a light and teasing touch. Feeling a little nervous, she did the same and felt excited when she realised Pritti wasn’t wearing a bra. She rubbed Pritti’s nipple with her thumb, and Pritti broke their kiss.

“Keep that up and I’ll get really distracted. You’re an awesome kisser, every bit as good as Emily.”

“I want another kiss, before I get all jealous,” Emily said. “And I want it right now, Susie.”

Susie leaned down over Emily again, resting on her hands and knees, and they started a long, slow kiss. Emily wrapped her arms around Susie’s shoulders as Pritti clambered across and knelt behind Susie.

Susie felt intrigued when Pritti reached under her dress and slowly eased her tights and panties down. Then she gasped into her kiss with Emily as two small, warm fingers teases into her. Surprised, but excited, she wriggled her hips around and Pritti’s fingers went deeper, then slid in and out slowly.

“Pritti’s got her fingers up me,” she murmured.

“She’s naughty like that, but cute with it.” Emily wriggled an arm between their bodies and found Susie’s pussy with her fingertips, then rubbed her clit. “She’s just lucky to get there first,” she whispered. “I’d love to see how excited you get with my fingers teasing you from inside.”

Susie’s climax was even more powerful than the previous one, and she flopped onto the bed beside Emily without sorting out her dress, panties or tights. “You two are evil in the nicest possible way.”

Emily snuggled up to her. “Wait until we all share a bed together. You won’t get much sleep, we’ll want to play together all night.

“Wait until we share a shower,” Pritti added. She leaned across to kiss Susie tenderly. “I so want to lather you all over.”

You and me both, Susie thought. Being with a woman’s nothing like I expected.


Buy Twisted Sheets at:
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Ian Smith is a professional scientist and a lifelong avid reader, who lives in the south-west corner of England with his wife, two horses, two dogs, and five guinea pigs.

He started writing fiction a few years ago, and found support and encouragement from the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, and was eventually invited to serve as one of their website gallery editors. To date, he has had nine stories published; three novellas in his “Merely Players” FFM ménage erotic romance series, and six short stories in anthologies. Another will be published in an anthology at the end of October, his first foray into plain romance (as in not erotic romance).

He says writing is one of his creative hobbies, along with photography. He'd love more people to read his work and hopes they enjoy it.

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Sunday, 28 October 2018

The Murderer


Just a creepy Hallowe'en painting for you: The Murderer by my old blog favourite, Franz Von Stuck (1891).  The three topless snakey women are the Furies lying in wait for their guilty victim...

Friday, 26 October 2018

TV Ten

For those who don't follow me religiously on Facebook(!?!) ... I took part in the "10-Day TV challenge" this month. The task was, once a day for ten days, to post an iconic image from a TV production which influenced me. So here's my roundup, in no particular order...

1)  Blake's 7



SF rebels in a dystopian future.The series that taught me that happy endings aren't mandatory. Utterly devastating to watch as a child.

2) Sesame Street
 

I grew up with a lot of American TV because we lived in Hong Kong. Sesame Street was a window onto a world that seemed incredibly alien - yet also happy and hopeful and loving. If I'm a liberal now it's because of this early indoctrination 😉


3)  Sapphire and Steel:

 

Creepy, genre-bending, starkly original, and the heroes were *shockingly* ruthless in their determination to fix things (OMG poor Mr Tully!). Also I fancied Steel like crazy👿


4) Game of Thrones

 

What can I say? Ground-breaking. Reignited my interest in secondary world fantasy, which I'd nearly given up on since nothing to that point matched The Lord of the Rings. Marked my personal switch from terrestrial TV to those weird pay channels like Sky and Netflix.

5) The Adventure Game



The prototype for every Escape Room in existence. Also popularised cute dragon shifters before the Romance genre got there.


6) Arthur of the Britons


Aired 1972, and surely the most obscure show I could find for this list ... but it certainly "influenced" me 😉  Here's the blog post I wrote all about it

7) The Storyteller


Starring the incomparable John Hurt, this series made fairy tales cool for people other than small children 💖Along with Angela Carter's stories, this greatly influenced my writing.
 

8) Michel Strogoff:



This cheesey French tea-time treat taught me *everything* I know about Romance - to whit, that it needs to take place in the setting of a major war somewhere foreign, that the antagonist's sexier than the protagonist, and that the best bit is when the hero gets tortured. (No wonder I'm a mess.) Another one I wrote a blog-post about

9) Blackadder



I am exactly the right age, nationality and class to consider this century-spanning dynastic epic the funniest TV comedy ever written. Because (apologies to all you woke folk) that sneering, world-weary smartarse speaks to my heart.

And I still say "Bob" and "I have a cunning plan," occasionally.

10) I, Claudius



I was allowed at 10 yrs old to stay up and watch this witty but very NSFW series because it was Culture 😄  Still love it to bits - along with Rome, its obvious descendant, and Game of Thrones, its secret bastard child. My most influential scene - a famous prostitute and the Empress Messalina have a shagging competition. The prostitute demands to be paid. "For you it's a hobby; for me it's work," she says. "MY hobby is gardening."

I think I raised a wisdom point from that exchange.