Friday, 28 November 2008

Little known facts:

#1 - Greyhounds eat birdseed.

Heart of Flame update ... my heroine has just solved a problem by doing something I didn't expect, don't approve of and will cause me logistical problems further down the line. *sigh*

Characters - they're as bad as greyhounds!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

"Erotica 2008"

Yes, I did spend Saturday at the Erotica 2008 expo, in London. And I had a great time. But I can't give you a proper report - because they wouldn't let people take cameras into the hall. This was particularly stupid because they weren't confiscating phones, and who nowadays* has a cellphone that doesn't include a camera?

I was a bit surprised at myself really. It's amazing what 2 years of Lust Bites will do to someone: 2 years ago I could have imagined myself standing on the moon as easily as pictured myself attending a major sex-themed public event!

Erotica 2008 is basically a giant shopping trip with entertainment on the side (There was a repeating burlesque and circus skills floorshow staged by Torture Garden, which is a club with a funny name so stop worrying). The hall at Olympia is crammed with stalls selling, well ... Corsets and Boots. That's what you notice at first: you've never seen so many beautiful beautiful corsets in one place. There's a lot of Goth clothing on offer: cloaks, black lace dresses etc. There's also a distinct crossover into the LARPing world: leather armour abounds and people in costume included a gladiator and a lovely faun on sprung legs whom I reckon I must have already seen in a muddy field somewhere.

There are loads of sex toys (and DVDs, and furniture, and artwork) on sale too, of course, which were fun to try out. Especially the seriously expensive ones, heh heh heh. My hand (my hand!) had been subjected by the end of the day to lube, cuffing, electric shocks, several vibes and being stuffed into a number of artificial vaginas.

And there are shoes. Thousands of shoes all with crippling heels. Even I, who haven't much interest in footware, was smitten by the thigh-high crosslaced scarlet boots with the black tribal motifs (a snip at £700).

Yes, it's not a place to find a bargain. Entry was £30 a head to start with (£30 A HEAD!!) which is exorbitant ... but does make sense. It's priced to keep the casual or unfriendly public out. Inside, all was laid-back and entirely female-friendly.

But I won't be able to show you a picture of the faun. I can't wow you with the boots. I can't show you the distinctly underdressed lady who demonstrated body-jewellery to us. I can't demonstrate why I was quite impressed by Buck Angel's caberet performance. And I'm not showing you the nifty little dress I bought...

Yes, we spent way too much money. I'm still wincing. But it was fun. I totally recommend it even for the shyest shopper. Just don't blame me if the red shopping mist descends and your credit card melts!

* Apart from me, of course.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Oh Knickers!

I went into a berserk knicker-buying frenzy this week.

Yes, I've chucked out my old ones en masse. The ones that had gone grey. The ones that were too tight. The ones that were horribly baggy. The ones with the nasty little moth-holes. The ones that had stood staunch dull service for years and years - Oh, I just hate throwing things out.

Then I went and bought a new lot; colourful and lacy. Of course, being a total skinflint what I actually did was grab everything off the Sale rail in TK Max and make a sortie into Tescos (20% off), so they are last season's unfashionable knickers, but that is a step forward believe me. Though I'm peeved to find that my size-16 arse apparently counts as "extra large." Bah.

Anyway, with the money I saved I'm off today to Erotica 2008, the big annual expo in London. Yeah, I've surprised myself too!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Jordan #2 - Petra

Okay, it's nearly safe to come out ... this is the last set of my holiday photos. I've just about finished the laundry mountain too. Today's pictures are all from Petra, in Jordan.

Petra is justifiably famous, of course. Everyone who's seen the Indiana Jones film has seen the Siq ...

And the first incredible glimpse of the "Treasury" at the end.

But however incredible you think Petra is going to be ... it's more overwhelming than that. It's HUGE, for a start. We had 2 full days exploring the site. The "Treasury" is just the first thing you find - and it's not a treasury, it's a tomb. They're all tombs: hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them cut from the rock walls of the hidden valleys beyond. And 80% of the site is still awaiting excavation!

Most of them are sort of apartment-sized...

... but some of them are bloody enormous.

And the rock is candy-striped sandstone. The photo above gives the best idea of the colour of some of it (my other photos have come out a bit bleached).

This is a picture of our group ascending to the High Place of Sacrifice. It gives a faint idea of the extraordinary mountainscape that cradles the site, cutting it off from the world.

This is the sacrificial altar on the hilltop - approx 1000 years old.

Here's some cute goats - not for sacrifice. The Bedouin Arabs living in the Petra tombs were turfed out in order to save it for tourism/archaeology ... and in return they were (rightly) given the rights to make a living out of the place. So the whole site is scattered with handicraft stalls, and camel and donkey rides, making Petra a not unappealing cross between a necropolis and a market bazaar.

Just don't go buying souvenirs that look too convincing. My knock-off copies of antique artifacts got confiscated at Jordan airport!

And here is the not-recommeded route out of Petra. Three of us decided to leave not via the main Siq but by another little wadi which almost no one ever uses. As we walked it got narrower and narrower and narrower ... and I took this photo approximately at the point where it occured to me that if it rained on the hills overhead we were dead. Dead dead. We'd have been flushed out like toilet paper from a lavatory.

It was a hearts-in-our-mouths trek ... but we were lucky and it didn't rain until that evening.

I *heart* Petra.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Eyecandy Monday

To kick off my first ever Eyecandy Monday (many more to follow, I hope - girls as well as boys) here's Logan McCree. I love the tattoos.
He's the star of this very interesting looking DVD:

It's my birthday coming up soon ... Anyone?

Can you guess what he's doing in this picture?

*happy sigh*

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Blood of the Martyrs - an excerpt

Blogger willing, the above clip is Gerard Butler's audition for the role of Dracula. I can tell you, if I'd been that red-headed casting assistant (instead of just being a red-headed smutwriter), I would have come right there and then. Those eyes...

Anyway, this is all in aid of celebrating the publication of the vampire erotica anthology Lust at First Bite (nearly sold out at Amazon as I write this!). I've already posted a little snippet of my story The Blood of the Martyrs over at Lust Bites, but here's another exerpt:

St Aronne, a centuries-old vampire searching for redemption, has come to confess to Emily that he has killed her lover Paolo.

Then I was back in my own body, and I was pressed against Aronne, my heart hammering, my mouth sticky, my body full of fire and my mind reeling.

‘Did you see Him?’ he whispered, easing my head back from his throat. His body was all muscle under Paolo’s stolen clothes, every inch hot and hard. I’d had my teeth sunk in his neck; I glimpsed bloody half-circles on his pallid skin. ‘Did you see the face of God?’

I tried to clear my throat. I could feel his very obvious sexual arousal. The feeding had excited him: my vulnerable body pressed to his, prey to predator, almost asking for death.

‘Yes?’ he urged, and I nodded. Because I did understand. I understood how his tainted blood, an alchemical mix of psychotropic substances, could convince a medieval believer that they had seen God. What other explanation would they understand?

‘I cannot,’ he groaned. ‘My blood is a gift for mankind, but not for me. You are blessed, Emily.’

I wondered which was worse; lying to a saint, or lying to a vampire. The visions had shaken me, moved me, filled me with heat and awe, but they had not convinced me. These days we no longer believe that spiritual enlightenment can be found in hallucinogens.

‘Your blood, though…’ His fingers were gentle on my throat, stroking the pulse, even as the lift of his lips betrayed the tips of his teeth. ‘Tithe me a little, Emily. I have starved for nine centuries.’

My eyes widened.

‘I will not hurt you.’

Yes, I thought: like an alcoholic will stop at only one glass. But I couldn’t resist his need, and not just because he was physically so much stronger. The charged particles of the vision were still pouring through my body. My limbs felt heavy, my heart pounded thick and fast, my skin fizzed with the chemical memory. And he was holding me still, close against him. My unhinged mind could not respond to something so overwhelming, so my body was left to its own instinctive responses: terror and submission. I lifted my chin.

Gratitude lit his eyes, momentarily holding hunger at bay. He shook his head. ‘Too much.’ He slipped the buttons of my pyjama top instead, one at a time like a lover, until he was able to bare my shoulder. ‘Here.’

I nodded, certain he did not need my permission. He stooped to my shoulder. His mouth was hot.

The first wave was sharp, pure pain, the second euphoria. It was like when the Professor laid me over his knee and smacked my bare cheeks as hard as he could, until bottom and hand alike were burning with heat. It was pain, but it was good pain. It made my heart race. It made me soar. It made me open up like a blossom of sensation. I suddenly realised that my panties were sopping wet and had been since I came round from my visionary journey, that my sex was heavy and hot and my breasts tingling with need. I groaned out loud.

Aronne’s hands tightened on my hips. I pushed up into him. And again I felt the insistent jut of his erection.

Slowly he withdrew his mouth so he could look me in the eye. His lips were dark with blood. Holding his gaze, I reached between my breasts and slipped the remaining buttons, opening the pyjama top, revealing my flushed breasts. My nipples were engorged and hard. Paolo had enjoyed putting sprung paper-clips on those deceptively fragile points, then playing with them until I begged for release.

‘Bite those,’ I whispered, shaking

For those interested in the writing process, I've also added a new page of notes on this story to my website. (Go onto the main page with all the pictures of the book covers, scroll down nearly to the bottom to "Lust at First Bite", then click on Author's Comments.)

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Jordan #1

More of my recent holiday snaps ... this time from Jordan.

This taken in the Crusader castle of Kerak, base of the truly vile Reynald de Chatillon. I just think it's a nice picture.

This is a valley that goes down to the Dead Sea.

It's a markedly different country to Syria. For a start, until the 1940s barely anyone lived there: the current population is an astounding 80% immigrants from conflict areas in the Middle East - Palestine, Kuwait, Iraq. Secondly, having no oil (and very little water) but a stable and cordial relationship with the West, this Muslim country is desperately hawking itself to American/Christian tourists as part of the Holy Land tourist trail (which, not being a Christian, made my skin crawl a bit). These two factors mean that it is comparatively expensive (it's the only place I've ever been where you can't buy a single postcard, only batches, and you never receive small change) and somewhat lacking in a sense of place: it does have the air of being a load of tourist traps slung together in a patch of desert.

On the mitigating side, the tourist traps are right at the top of any "see before you die" list.

I'm leaving Petra until my last post ... but these two photos were taken during our Jeep Safari into the Wadi Rum, an astonishingly beautiful place.

A couple of artifacts from Amman museum. For me the museums were some of the highlights of this holiday, but Amman was the only one in which were were allowed to take photos, sadly. This is one of the Jericho Skulls (Neolithic) - I got very excited about that.

I also get excited about obscure goddess statues. This is Al-Uzza ("the Mightiest One"), worshipped by the Nabateans among others. Oddly enough, I've seen this same distinctive non-anthropomorphic representation of a deity used in a modern shrine to Kali, in India. In fact here it is:

No idea if there's any connection!

Next: Petra. However amazing you think it is, it's better ...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Monday, 10 November 2008

November Publications

It's sort of snuck up on me while I was away on holiday, but Frenzy: 60 stories of sudden sex is out now and available for purchase - though, I believe, only in the US. It hasn't appeared on Amazon UK yet.

I'm afraid I can't tell you much about the contents because my contributor copy is still in the post! So I don't even know the full author lineup. All I know is that there are 60 stories, all short (couple of thousand words max) and to the point, including my Pirate Treasure, and stories from the delectable Nikki Magennis, Jeremy Edwards, Craig J Sorensen,Teresa Noelle Roberts and Donna George Storey among, presumably, many others.

For those driven to suicidal despair by the frustration of not being able to order Frenzy from a UK source, there is of course always Lust at First Bite, the all-vampire erotica collection - which is out now in the UK (US readers will have to wait until January). Console yourself with 15 tales of blood-sucking undead hotties (uh ... coldies?) including my The Blood of the Martyrs.

I'll think I'll probably run an excerpt next week...

The Bad News: Some fuckoid has cloned my e-mail address and is using it to spam people. I know this because as of 8th November I started to get spam from myself. I want to issue a general and ongoing apology to any recipient, but I don't know how it happened and there's nothing I can do to stop it. Even changing my contact e-mail to a new one won't stop the trash arriving from the old.

To the person who did this: I hope your dick drops off.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Syria #2

Further photos from my recent holiday in the, ahem, Axis of Evil.

This is the imposing gateway to the citadel at Aleppo. I don't think the Crusaders ever managed to sack this one, and you can see why.
The waterwheels at Hama - used since the 15th century for drawing water from the river to supply the city and fields.

This boulder is all that's left of the 18m high pillar of St Simeon Stylites, winner of the Hubristic Self-Mutilating Religious Knob-End Award for a record 36 years running in the 5th Century. He spent that time on top of his pillar because he wanted some privacy from his hordes of adoring fans, to be alone with God. Quite how that was compatible with being on public display 24 hrs a day, including while taking a dump, is beyond me. And he hated women - to the extent that he wouldn't even allow his mother to come see him in case he had distracting thoughts ... which says rather more about the contents of his mind than anything else.

But he had a nice view.

This is the famous Krac Des Chevaliers - Mr Ashbless was in 7th heaven!

This is an unflattering photo of me in an (intentionally) unflattering mosque-smock. Just call me Gandalf.

This is the courtyard of the Great Mosque in Damascus. Shiny.

Just in case you need to know, it is reputed to be the place Jesus will re-appear upon his Second Coming, and from here will lead the battle against the Anti-Christ. It is most famous for its beautiful gilded mosaics of trees and buildings all around the walls. Like this:

This is inside the mosque. The green glowing kiosk is the Shrine of the Head of St John the Baptist.

This is the Damascus souk by night - note the old Roman archway. The souk in Damascus is a pleasure to walk around - not alarmingly labyrinthine or medieval in feel (try Fez for that) but relaxed and urbane and interesting.

Next: over the border into Jordan...

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Yes! Yes!! YES!!!

Wow. Incredible. The US has risen above its past and its worst impulses to take a chance on the future.
Would you ever have believed they would vote in a black guy to be president?
My battered and bleeding faith in the human race has just been rescued from death's door.
Congratulations Mr Obama and Good Luck - given the current state of things you'll need it.

NB: There's a copy of his acceptance speech here - well worth reading.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Syria #1

I'm back from holiday in Syria and Jordan - unscathed and without hassle, no thanks to the bloody American military - and here's the photo to prove I really was there!

I'm going to post a few holiday snaps over the next few days, starting with Syria, which is a country with so much archaeology you can hardly move for prehistoric and Classical remains. They've got a lot of desert too, which is as flat as a pancake for the most part.

Here's the Temple of Ba'al at Palmyra. Ba'al was a god who got a really bad press in the Bible, but he's a fertility and sex deity and therefore Of Interest To Me.

And here's a general view of the ruins of Palmyra, the oasis-city. Isn't it beautiful? This location was just awesome, and we climbed to the fortress you can see on the hill there for our view of the city as the sun set. Magical.

I really liked Syria, and would love to return one day. The people were friendly and laid back - there was little of the hassle you get in some Middle Eastern countries where you are just a magnet for traders. It was really cheap, which matters when you're on a budget. We could wander about at night on our own and feel safer than you would do back in the UK ... except when crossing the roads, mind. Non-Muslims are allowed to enter the mosques (something we couldn't do in Jordan, for example). There are plenty of women in evidence on the city streets. In case you're interested, most Syrian women wear a headscarf but not a veil, and modern clothes - a fair few go with hair uncovered too. There were quite a few heavily veiled women in Aleppo though - Shi'as rather than the majority Sunnis. What do they wear under all that black? Well, this apparently:

Seriously, the shop-windows of Aleppo were bulging with these sort of glamorous dresses. And really kinky underwear, which I'm sorry I never got a picture of! Women just can't get enough of sequins and swish, it seems - they just save it for the home.

And to strike a really low note (you would expect no less from me surely?) Syria seems to have an excess of strikingly beautiful young women and men. The incidence of eye-candy was astonishingly high - again, not something in evidence after we crossed the border.

The group tour we went on was run by Exodus, by the way. They did a great job of organisation - we were whisked through diplomatic channels at Damascus airport for example - and our guides in both countries were qualified archaeologists.

More soon...