Friday, 30 May 2008


So it's my Lustie mate's Portia Da Costa's birthday, and since she has this huge thing for Vincent D'Onofrio I was looking for a nice pic of him for her. And I came across this.

Oo-er. Gosh. I hadn't remembered he was the bad guy in The Cell.

I really should watch that movie again. My memory of it from all those years back is that it was disturbing, repellant, but so imaginative and visually exciting. On the other hand I suspect that nowadays, in the torture-porn age of Hostel etc, it'll just look really tame.

I hate Gorno. I really hate it. I would happily see it banned. And I cannot reconcile this with my belief in artistic freedom of expression.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Dark Enchantment listed on Amazon

Hell's bells ...

Dark Enchantment, my upcoming collection of short fantasy stories, has now been listed on Amazon - due out in January 2009. (As has Lust at First Bite, the multi-author vampire anthology- November this year - in which I will have a short story The Blood of the Martyrs.) Black Lace have been busy!

Now you've gotta realise for the full impact that I haven't actually received the contract for this book yet. Nor has the editor seen the manuscript - only a copy of two of the stories. So in theory it could all go arse-up yet. He might decide that M/M/M/f/M/M/M is a bit much for Black Lace. Or that my bestiality-free Minotaur story is just too damn dark. But Marketing waits for no man: blurbs have to be written and catalogues sent out to booksellers...

Anyway, I'm in a state of nerves at the moment. In theory I've got another month till my hand-in date, and at the moment I'm going through the ms making corrections. But I'll probably break and hand in early just to get it over with (at which point when it is too late I will then have an epiphany and realise in a blinding flash what I should have written).

My routine for tidying a book goes:
  • Transfer from laptop to PC. PC version now becomes prime.
  • Spellcheck.
  • Print. I'm one of those people who spot typos much easier on printed paper: on a screen they are invisible to me.
  • Go through with a blue pen marking changes. Force myself to read slowly.
  • Go through again. SLOWER.
  • Make changes on PC version.
  • Print.
  • Reread.
  • Send to editor.
  • Panic.
Changes so far from the first draft? Well, The Lady in the Green has been retitled The Scent of Hawthorn. I decided I had one too many deflowerings (one is enough frankly) so a couple of characters have now been messing about with dildos. A kiss has been emphasised by special request. Raihn is now 18 instead of 17 yrs old. And Kitten got even harder. No major changes of plot though: I tend to alter things as I go along instead of in a big rush after the first draft.

Fingers crossed.

Three hours after posting this ... the contract arrived!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

"Beowulf and Grendel" - DVD review

I bought a copy of Beowulf and Grendel some time back, for obvious reasons, but put off watching because the public reviews were so poor and I didn't want to be disappointed. Then a friend of mine who doesn't know Gerard Butler from Adam happened to say, "Have you seen Beowulf and Grendel? It's really good but it's incredibly bleak."

So I watched it. And you know - it isn't half bad.

The plot is the traditional one: weary old King Hrothgar, great hall, monster attacks the Danes at night, etc etc. The twists in this particular version are that they have tried their damnedest to make it look historically plausible - proper Viking architecture & boats, epileptic Irish priests bringing the Word of God to the heathen etc - and that sympathy rests firmly with Grendel. Who isn't a monster despite being described as a "troll" throughout: he's clearly a Neanderthal. So Beowulf finds that his enemy (who bears a very particular grudge against Hrothgar) is intelligent and not interested in fighting him. Which is a bit embarrassing for the poor hero...

Filming was done in Iceland in the teeth of terrible climactic conditions, and the landscape looks stunning in every scene*. I still can't believe they staged a baptism scene in that river without actually killing their actors. This isn't a Hollywood movie though, and it shows - the pace is slow and deliberate, there's no CGI and it is very downbeat in its message. The female roles are strong and well thought-out while remaining realistically grim.

Online complaints about the sound-quality turned out to be hugely exaggerated. In fact there are only two major flaws. One is the accents; I can cope with Hrothgar sounding Scandinavian and Beowulf sounding Scottish but I cannot cope with a witch with a strong American accent. Why didn't they just coach everyone in a similar Danish accent?

The second flaw was not really their fault: you can spot to the second the exact moment that their finances were whipped out from beneath them, in the last week of filming. It's the fight with Grendel's Mother (who is a monster), which is desperately downplayed but can't disguise the fact they were clean out of cash for her costume.

I enjoyed it and I'd happily watch it again. I think it comes across as an ambitious and very earnest endeavour that almost worked beautifully.

The DVD extras are plentiful and very good too - including a thoughtful interview with Butler about the themes of the film. God he's beautiful. Ahem. Sorry about that...

Oh, and there's a very tempting trailer for their award-winning companion documentry Wrath of Gods (a sort of Icelandic Lost in La Mancha) which details the horrors they went through during filming: blizzards, landslips, waist-deep mud, a director who appears to be a total nutter, a rapidly-closing Arctic winter, financial disaster, ships that could only float for 4 mins before sinking... and finishes with a clip of Butler talking to camera while stripping off his wetsuit. They certainly know their market!

You need to release Wrath of Gods in the UK, guys!

* But they've started commercial whaling again so Iceland is off my holiday list.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Fantasy fantasies

Over at Lust Bites today Teresa is posting about her favourite Fantasy men and women. So i thought I'd post my sexiest picture of my sexiest fantasy bloke. Even if he can't get it up for human women.

Monday, 19 May 2008

"At Her Discretion"

So I was doing a websearch on Thomas Rowlandson (whose erotic/satirical cartoons I was intending to namedrop in a story) and I came across this great blog: At Her Discretion.

The owner posts mostly pictures which are quirky, beautiful or weird, usually with historic or vintage interest and tangentally erotic. The commentary is witty. Also (s)he is a big Alan Moore fan, which is a sign of True Taste.
Let's hope this is a blog that keeps going, because I want to see more.

Friday, 16 May 2008

History Lesson

Since I've been in an archaeological mood this week ... isn't this great?

It's a wall-painting from a pre-Roman tomb in Italy. It's just a pity so many people have rubbed at the painting and made a mess of the details, but she's clearly got a mouthful of one guy and is taking it from behind from another. And at the same time she's getting a spanking from both.

Now that's culture.

It does look slightly painful, I admit - personally I couldn't cope with bending over like that for long. But it'd be worth a try!

The article on this picture is here at the Spanking Art Wiki.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

"Amorous Woman" - book review

Here’s a book I’ve been enjoying recently.

The cover of Amorous Woman, by Donna George Storey, suggests that it is aimed squarely at the undemanding end of the male market, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re feeling horny and impatient this is not the right book to pick up. Give it time and attention because it deserves it.

Amorous Woman is written as the (fictional) autobiography of an American woman – Lydia – who travels to Japan to become a foreign language teacher and tries desperately to immerse herself in and connect with Japanese society. She marries a local man and when the marriage fails she has a string of erotic adventures while she tries to work out just what the hell it is she does want. Enchanted by the attractive aspects of Japanese culture (the aesthetic, the fetishtic eye for detail), she just can’t cope with the bad bits (the self-denial, the squashing of individualism) and eventually returns to the US where she relates her story to two men, as the framing device of the book.

This is a clever, well-written, lyrical erotic novel about the exploration of a foreign culture. DGS does an amazingly good job of writing it as if it were one of those "true life" erotic memoirs. For example there are relatively few "set-piece" erotic scenes with a beginning, build-up and climax that you are meant to strum along to. There is a lot of sex, but it is diffuse as well as pervasive. Not all encounters end as you’d expect, and there are frustrations and disappointments and heartbreak as in real life. How many erotic novels do you know where, having got it on with the man she’s been lusting after for years, the protag says "Sorry, it’s my period," and they therefore DON’T have sex after all? The characters act like real people rather than erotic puppets, which is good or bad depending on the mood you’re in.

My tolerance for contemporary erotic memoirs is normally pretty low but this author managed to keep my interest to the end, with her skilful interweaving of modern Japan, with all its contradictions, with the personal journey of a restless soul. A really fascinating read.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

The Acceptable Vampire

Well, it looks like my short story The Blood of the Martyrs has been accepted for Black Lace's vampire anthology Lust at First Bite! I am really delighted, and can think of no better excuse for posting a couple of screen-caps from Dracula 2000.

Of course the first thing I did on being told was re-read the story, and I found a massive and awful typo in paragraph 2...
*Bangs head off desk*

My vampire Aronne doesn't look anything like Gerard Butler's version. He's a red-eyed albino who is not only a savage predator but a bona-fide saint. Set in modern Venice, The Blood of the Martyrs is a tale of dark and crazy Catholicism. I'll post an excerpt as we get nearer to publication.

In the meantime, ask yourself: how did Dracula get tan lines?

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

"Dark Enchantment" finished!

Well, that's it done - the first draft of my short story collection Dark Enchantment is now completed. It came in at 77,000 words - which is ever so slightly short for the new format paperbacks, I now discover, but that does give me freedom to add stuff on the re-write.

The 11 stories are:

Dishonour - a fantasy set in the same world as Divine Torment
Pique Dame - a ghost story with a provincial opera company setting
Ruby Seeds - contemporary paranormal
And Their Flying Machines - steampunk
The Lady in the Green - set in Italy during the Dark Ages
Cold Hands: Warm Heart - an Edwardian ghost story
The Chimaera - contemporary paranormal set in Turkey
Scratch - historical paranormal, set in colonial America
The Red Thread - mythic Greece setting
Janissaries - fantasy
Darkling I Listen - fantasy

There's one gang-bang, one sado-masochistic F/m tale, one cuckolding story, one minotaur, three gods, two ghosts, two evil(?) spirits, three virgins - and three deaths but one Death. Oh ... and five romantic Happy Ever Afters (but only two unhappy endings: the others are not romantic).

Between now and July I need to correct and rewrite. Wish me luck.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

It's been a Dungeons and Dragons weekend...

... so for the last two days I've had zero physical exercise but have eaten my own body-weight in chocolate biscuits. Now I have a facial rash which will turn into a fine crop of zits tomorrow, a thumping headache, and have resorted to drinking prune juice to flush my system. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I have to eat while I game? Arrrrgh...

More gamer humour where this one came from at Genetic Anomaly.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Excerpt: The House of Dust

The novella anthology Magic and Desire is out this week in the UK, so here's an exceprt from my story The House of Dust.

Scene set-up: Ishara, high priestess and occasional earthly embodiment of the love goddess Inanna, is descending into the Land of the Dead in order to to rescue her murdered king. There are seven gates to the underworld, each guarded by a demon, and at each she is obliged to remove a piece of her regalia or clothing...

‘We are here.’ Neti sweeps me with a triumphant smile. ‘Behold the Second Gate.’

Before and below us is a patch of red light, hanging in the darkness. I try to nod, but he still has a hold of my hair. He pulls me to my feet by it and leads me the rest of the way bent double in his wake, gasping, his fingers knotted in my locks. There is no chance of me falling now. He leads me onto an island of stone that floats in the void. It is pillared with painted columns and furnished with mounded cushions. The gate in the far wall is of red bronze with two leaves; barred on this side. I realise for the first time that the gates are not there to keep intruders out of the Underworld; they are there to bar the way from below. There is a figure between us and that door and my sickened heart clenches.

‘This is the Great Lady Inanna, Queen of Heaven,’ says Neti, pushing me forward onto my knees upon a rich rug. I am grateful just to be still for a moment.

‘She smells like a gutter slut,’ observes the Keeper of the Second Gate, who gives light to this place. He is tall and built like a warrior. His skin is scarlet and flames burn about his head where hair should be.

Neti laughs. ‘She seeks to pass the Second Gate while still living.’

‘Then she must surrender her earrings.’ He closes until he is standing right before me, his feet nearly touching my splayed knees. I look up mutely, in dismay. His eyes are crimson.

‘Must I?’ When we write, the word for ear is the same as that for mind.

‘The laws of the Underworld are perfect, Inanna. Do not question them.’

‘As you command,’ I say. He unhooks the heavy gold clusters from my ears and they turn to water in his palms and run away over his wrists. I bow my head.

I will do this, I tell myself, for the sake of Uruk, for the sake of my love; I will do whatever it takes. And Inanna is with me. I feel her move more strongly than ever in the heat in my blood, in the pulse that beats at my sex.

Thoughtfully, the Keeper of the Second Gate hooks his bare foot under my skirt. His foot nudges up against my mound and I gasp at the heat of his skin as he plays roughly with the folds below. He does not find me dry. ‘So the Lady Inanna is humbled before the Great Below,’ he rumbles.

‘Yes,’ I whisper.

‘Yes,’ gloats Neti. ‘Do with her as you wish. As I did.’

‘Do you suck cock, Queen of Heaven?’

‘Yes.’ I can’t keep my voice calm.

‘I would have you suck this, little queen.’ He opens his kilt. My eyes widen involuntarily: given his body size I should expect a daunting length and girth – but this is a monster. It lolls and drools like a drunk between his thighs. The gatekeeper takes hold of me and rubs my face in his groin, forcing me mouth-to-cock, marking me with the scent of his crotch. The scarlet bludgeon kicks eagerly against my jaw. His skin is hot – not so hot as to burn but uncomfortable on my tongue. It is all I can do to stretch my mouth around his turgid glans. I tongue the slit, tasting his readiness and finding it both smoky and sharp.

‘Good,’ he says, surprised. ‘You are well trained, for a queen.’

Rebellion kicks under my ribs and my eyes flash.

‘Thank him,’ instructs Neti dryly. ‘He has complimented you.’

I pull my lips from his cock, leaving sticky saliva trails. ‘Thank you,’ I whisper.

Laughing, the gatekeeper turns his back on me. ‘Stay,’ he orders, and I do not move as he goes to sit upon a mound of cushions. He spreads his knees, opening his kilt so that I can see his huge, ruddy erection. Lovingly he strokes it up and down, hefts his balls and preens himself. ‘Now come here.’

I gather myself.

‘On your knees.’

I flush. Nobody has ever treated me with such contempt. Not even Nergal has dared do that to me. He knows I am a goddess. And Inanna…

Inanna loves this. My vulva is soft and wet and swollen.

Hitching up my skirt I crawl slowly over to the Keeper of the Second Gate on my hands and knees and look up from between his splayed thighs. He pats my head and strokes my face.
‘Lick my cock.’

I lick the hot, throbbing column, kissing the pronounced underside ridge all the way to his juicy plum.

‘Lick my balls.’

I roll his stones with my tongue, sucking them into my mouth.

He sighs and leans back in the cushions. ‘Now lick my hole, Queen of Heaven.’

And I do it, pushing my face down between his spread cheeks to probe that deep hole until the root of my tongue burns and my mouth is filled with the tang of him. He likes that. He sighs and spreads himself for me, jacking his cock with one hand, pushing me deeper with the other. His scrotum has tightened to a mass of wrinkles. Then it becomes too much and he pulls me out and forces my mouth down over his cock-head so that he can stroke off with a last few jerks, filling my throat with a fiery liquor that burns me and explodes behind my eyes like a sunrise. I choke as I gulp it down. Released, I fall gasping against his thigh and he caresses me roughly.

‘You liked that, didn’t you? Who would have thought it? The Queen of Heaven likes to get dirty for me.’ He pushes his bare foot back between my thighs and rubs it back and forth in my wetness, even hooking his toe in my cunt. I wriggle and whimper upon him. ‘Like that too? You going to beg me for more?’


Without warning he pushes me flat over on my back. The thick carpet cushions my bones if not my dignity: I stare as he stands over me and plants that same foot on my face. I can smell myself on his toes. I lick the salty skin.

‘Second Gate,’ he says as he pushes his big toe into my mouth and lets me suck it. From somewhere he has brought a red leather collar and leash such as one would use for a hunting dog: he stoops to knot it around my throat and then he drags me to my feet. I’m sick with frustration and physically reeling - his inhuman ejaculate has made me dizzier than the strongest beer. Then he pulls me over to the bronze Gate and knocks aside the bar.