Sensual writing that isn’t erotica? Let’s meet author Jim Crace…

There a number books in my house that don’t really belong to me. That is to say, I didn’t purchase or otherwise acquire them myself. Instead they were left behind when my ex-partner moved out and he told me I could have them.

Devil's LarderNo two people have the same taste in books, it would seem, and a lot of these books I gave away to charity; I simply had no interest in many of them. But some did intrigue me. While not being the kind I would have picked myself, I was interested in widening my reading experience, so I kept them.

Among this latter pile were a couple of small books by Jim Crace, and I’m now very glad I kept them. They have proved to be an extraordinary literary complement to my collection.

The first one I picked, The Devil’s Larder, is a gorgeous collection of short stories. Now then, there’s nothing kinky about these whatsoever, but the writing is beautifully decadent, as though the writer crafted each tale lying naked on a purple velvet chaise longue, being waited upon by a young castrated slave bringing endless goblets of wine to wash down sumptuous fruits.

But then, reading this tremendous work of Crace’s brings out these kinds of thoughts. It’s the kind of book which brings guilt trips upon the sensitive soul, for how could us mere mortals be deserving of even a moderate-sized portion of this rare treat?

If you get the opportunity to taste this amuse-bouche of literature, please do take a decisive bite. Chew it carefully and at a leisurely pace, preparing your literary taste buds for what is about to suppress the appetite of your mind.

 

 

 

Review: Inside Charlotte by Jo B. Hayve

I adore reading about strong female characters, women who take charge of their own destiny rather than expecting their men to forge a path for them to follow.

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In Charlotte Bannon, Jo B. Hayve has created just such a woman who craves freedom from what she considers the conventional norms of marriage.

Inside Charlotte explores how Charlotte turns from a happily-married thirty-something mum into a sexual animal, checking out almost every human being she lays eyes on.

Her exploits are well written: the erotic elements of the story are fantastically horny and really turned me on.

I loved the way the author explores Charlotte’s sexuality too, like a flower gently unfolding her petals towards the sunlight. (Yes, that is very much an intended euphemism!)

Her awakenings will resonate with many female readers who may have wondered what it’s like to sleep with another woman and whether or not it feels different than sleeping with a man.

I shall certainly be reading the next book in the series soon!

Oh, and stay tuned for an interview with the author appearing RIGHT HERE shortly…

 

Book Review: Forfeit by Caroline Batten – awesome read!

I met Caroline Batten when I appeared at the Peterborough Author Signing Event in March 2015 so, quite frankly, I’m ashamed to admit it’s taken me this long to finish reading her amazing book.

Now, I’m not a fan of chick lit, but let me tell you, this is not it. If that’s the case, then clearly I have been missing out. Hugely. For me, this sits well and truly in the romance genre, but think not of rose petals and rainbows when you read this book. It has the kind of edge you could file your nails with.

forfeit

The cover is one of the most striking you’ll ever see, with its luminous green background and pink silhouetted legs.

The themes are bang up-to-date, even to the use of a hashtag in the title, but it’s not for the squeamish. The copious use of alcohol as a crutch for several of the characters, and the almost ubiquitous usage of cocaine by more than one mean I wouldn’t personally recommend this for the under 18 age group.

Daisy is our heroine. Broken-hearted after the split from her celebrity husband, she wants to find solace in the Lake District. Instead, she finds anything but, as the blackmail of the game threatens to destroy the only thing she has pinned her hopes on: Xander.

But her insecurities about him, in particular the number of girls he has slept with, makes her nervous. How special could she ever be, when she’s competing with all that experience? It is for this reason that I have a little soft spot for Daisy. I would be exactly the same in her position.

This book is easy to read and the writing style is superb. I loved the twists and turns in the plot and I wasn’t sure until almost the very last page whether or not Xander would finally win Daisy over.

Certainly, you could never accuse the author or being predictable. This is one of the most original romances I have ever read. I haven’t yet purchased the follow-up, Nearly Almost Somebody, but it’s on my wish list for Christmas!

Well done Caroline!

Interview: Charlotte E Hart (The White Trilogy)

Welcome, One and All!

This is the very first in a new series of posts where I interview some of my favourite erotic authors and learn more about what makes ’em tick.

First up is the delightfully smutty Charlotte E Hart, who I met in person at a  signing event in Peterborough, UK, back in March 2015.

Charlotte is a lady who breezes into any room and smiles from deep inside her heart at everyone present. She is a truly gorgeous person, and it’s evident in her writing. I am thrilled she has agreed to answer my questions, so without further ado…

How long have you been writing generally, and in the erotica genre in particular?

I’ve been writing a little over two years now in any really sense of the word. Poetry I’ve toyed with on and off for a long time, but proper actual writing, novels etc, two years.

What inspires you to write your stories, and The White Trilogy especially?

In all truth, my life changed. A small person came along, with the help of some extra-curricular activities, and it changed the way I had to live my life somewhat. Who knew, right?

Worlds turn upside down when that happens and I needed an outlet for all the information in my brain, which was driving me stark raving mad most of the time. I started writing poetry again, just for me really, but from there a certain voice started talking to me.

He was very insistent, and still is most of the time. His ‘friends’ started joining the party a short time later and before I knew I’d written my first three chapters. Ta-da! I hadn’t got a clue where it was going but he just kept talking, quite explicitly, so I kept writing.

What kind of research, if any, do you do for your work?

None. Not of any consequence anyway. I’m lucky enough to have lived a *coughs* well-rounded lifestyle, and I have plenty of experience in my chosen genre, so that part’s reasonably easy.

I did need some Italian help from a very good friend, and I also like to visit stately homes, so I suppose you could call that research for all the beautiful homes in The White Triogy.

Can I call all my city visits research too? I travel a lot, so yes, let’s call that research shall we? Apart from that, very little really.

What is your daily writing routine like? Do you have any rituals?

Oh My! Do people have those? Some kind of structure, you mean? Lordy, I wish I had the time to put some kind of timetable down for my writing. I’m aiming towards it, somehow, and at some point I will I’m sure, but at the moment it’s simply not possible for me to commit blocked hours to it. I just snatch and grab as and when I can. It’s very confusing, but the story manages to stay inside my head most of the time so I can pick up reasonably quickly again.

Pen and paper, or straight-to-keyboard writing?

Poetry is scribbled on paper, it hangs around for a few days and then I piece it all together when the right word finds the right hole, so to speak. Actual writing is always straight to laptop, unless I happen to get a sudden urge and then I’ll grab a napkin or something.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I didn’t think I’d get anywhere to be honest. I had a few valued friends read Seeing White, one of which is deeply entrenched in this community, and all they all said, go for it. I had reservations but they kept pushing so eventually I just thought I’d have a crack at it.

It never even occured to me to contact an actual publisher, the thought would have scared me to death. Amazon makes it very easy to ‘have a go’.

Do you believe there is still a place for traditional publishing these days?

who knows? The self-publishing route certainly shows us that it is possible to get your work out there without the need for a publishing house to be involved. That being said, I probably wouldn’t have made the mistakes I did if I’d had a publisher.

Funnily enough, I wouldn’t change that fact. I firmly believe skills are honed and improved by our failures, so I’m actually quite pleased I went down the route I did. Also, I could have spent years searching for one who’d accept me.

Fifteen Fabulous Favourites:
1. Colour
Black
2. Food
Italian
3. Fruit
Hate it all
4. Day of the week
Sundays
5. Film
A few good men
6. Erotica author
Its not possible for me to narrow that down to one, sorry.
7. Restaurant
I’m not one for eating out, but if pushed I’d say Hibiscous in Mayfair, London.
8. Drink – non-alcoholic
Orange juice, smooth, dont like bits at all.
9. Drink – alcoholic
Brandy or gin
10. Celebrity
Jack Nicholson
11. Holiday destination
New York
12. Biscuits
Hobnobs
13. Car
I want my Aston …. Grrrrr
14. Fictional Heroine
Wonder woman
15. Fictional Hero
Batman

What’s next for you, writing-wise?

I have one more to come out of this trilogy. How big it’ll be I don’t know, but he desrves his own story, and I already have Post-Its dotted everywhere with his constant yattering. Some lovely peeps are also calling for a Belle and Conner book, who knows? I also have a ‘thing’ going on in the background which is going to be very exciting if it comes off. There’s also the poetry to publish at some point.

You can catch up with Charlotte on social media here:
https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteEHart.author
https://twitter.com/CharlotteEHart1

Review: High (Indigo Lounge Series #1), Zara Cox

I met this author at a book signing event in March this year and, after a spirited hello, I was drawn to her books and the gorgeous, vibrant shade of purple emblazoned on the covers.

I love purple. It’s been my favourite colour for many years now. It screams at you.

“I’m bold,” it says. “I’m different. Come and grab me.”

So, I did.

From the very first page, it was clear that this is not your average erotic novel. The language employed grabs you, hauls you from your humdrum existence and throws you into this wonderful world where invitations to life-changing events hurl themselves through your letterbox ‘like an exotic jewel in the dust’.

Our protagonist is one Bethany Green. Naive and heartbroken, and with more than a little shove from her best friend Keely, she accepts this invitation and her life is never the same again.

Our hero is also troubled. Zachary Savage has demons of his own to overcome. But, he’s never met a woman quite like Bethany, and she throws his world into turmoil in return.

This is the first in the Indigo Lounge series from Zara Cox. I have the second, also a signed copy, ready and waiting to start as soon as I can…

Review: The Knight Trilogy, Kitty French

I love it when I read something from a fellow erotica author which I become so engrossed in I have to read it in one sitting. This awesome trilogy from Kitty French does all that and gets a huge five stars from me!

I read the first of these books in two sittings actually, but both the second and third in the series I read in one go each. Such delightful writing from Kitty in this series. Allow me to tell you why, for me, they’ll take a good deal of beating.

Sophie Black is our heroine. She’s married, albeit unhappily, so not looking to become involved with anyone. However, she suspects her husband is cheating on her, so when her current boss’s harassment become too much to bear, and with the help of her friend Kara, she decides to look for another job. Enter adult entertainment venue owner and multi-millionaire, Lucien Knight.

From the first moment I was introduced to him, I went weak at the knees. I gotta tell you folks, I was enchanted, bewitched and seduced all in one fell swoop. And, I didn’t mind one little bit. I’m really hoping that men like that grow on trees in Heaven because they sure as hell don’t come easy here on Earth. Trust me, I’m trying (and failing miserably, but that’s another story).

From the moment young Sophie meets Mr Knight at her interview for the position of his PA, she feels exactly the same, and so begins the most wonderful love affair I’ve read so far this year.

Kitty writes with a confident flair and her characters are so real you can almost touch them. Some of that was probably wishful thinking on my part, to be fair. Books two and three in the series did not disappoint at all.

The sex is hot enough to make you turn down your central heating in the midst of a British winter, and the romance fills the air from every single page. The cliffhanger at the end of the first book ensured I was itching to pick up the second and it follows the timeline perfectly.

I also loved how the third book involved Sophie’s friend Kara and the newcomer to the story, Dylan Day – a man desperately trying to escape his past, and for very good reasons it turns out.

All in all, a fantastic read from Kitty French, who I was lucky enough to meet at the Orchard Book Club Signing event in Peterborough the other week. Such a talented lady! I can’t wait to start reading my signed copy of her new novel, Genie…!

Review: Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz (Books 1-4, The Red Years)

I adore it when books move me. Having to grab a tissue as I reach the end of an erotica book in particular, makes me smile. (For the filthier-minded among you, this is to dab my tears and nothing else, you naughty people!)

Tiffany Reisz goes a good few steps further with her Original Sinners series. These books bring out such raw emotions. It wasn’t one tissue but several, over and over again. After reading the first four books in the series, I have had to take a break to get my breath back. In the New Year, I intend to continue where I left off. Allow me to share with you everything I love about these stories.

The series begins with The Siren, a gorgeous book which had me hooked straight away into the life of the beautiful but somewhat wayward Nora Sutherland. Nora writes erotica, and following problems with her previous editor, she has been assigned a new one, in the shape of one Zachary Easton.

Zach has escaped a failing marriage and hopped over to the US to take up a position as editor. His first assignment is to make something of the tragically flawed Nora, over whom he tries to exert some kind of influence, but soon learns there is one person only from whom she takes orders: her beloved Soren.

Discovering the extreme nature of Soren and Nora’s relationship through Zach’s eyes made it much easier for me to understand this subversive subculture and how, despite the pain and suffering that Soren inflicts upon Nora, she can adore him nonetheless.

In The Angel, we learn more about the young and beautiful Michael, who also harbours a penchant for the subversive. He meets the arrogant but handsome Griffin, who submits only to Nora but dominates everyone else,and so Michael finds his niche and settles into it well.

The Prince follows another character’s journey. This time, it’s the turn of Wesley, the young student who lived as Nora’s lodger for a time. Nora has had fantasies about young Wesley for a good long while, and Soren knows it. He also realises that to win her back, he has to let her go. And go she does, fleeing to Kentucky to be with Wesley.

Finally, the whole story comes to a clattering and shattering conclusion in The Mistress. We learn about the simmering Kingsley, the King of the underworld who has been in the background until this point. And, finally, we learn how much Nora is prepared to give for her love. Will it be her life this time?

Reisz’s writing is glorious effective. The books are a roller coaster of emotion from start to finish. It’s horny, yes, but there’s that wonderful romantic current running right through the middle. This is five star quality erotica, shocking in parts for its graphic content, but I loved it all the same.

Review: Tormented Passage

This is a glorious book, and the first erotica I read which included illustrations. Now, I love watching porn from time to time, but I must admit, I was sceptical about the use of images in an erotic novella. I have always felt previously that porn had a primary function different to that of reading a book. However, they are sensual images. Graphic, yes, but also sublimely fitted to the story, rather like the figure-hugging outfits that our heroine wears throughout the story.

This was also one of the first BDSM stories that I ever read, and it interested me in the genre very much. I also loved the way the author sets his tale within a science-fiction and futuristic, almost fantasy setting. Some fantastic imagery, especially in the way he describes the first journey to the spaceship in something akin to an elevator. I imagined it to be like the capsules on the London Eye but instead of rising only a hundred or so feet above the ground, this is miles above the Earth’s surface. I bet the view was amazing!

Our heroine is a good, solid strong female lead, something which I admire very much. Her submissive role does not mean she is weak, something I am learning is generally true about the world of master-slave relationships. The sex scenes are well-described and use some beautiful language, which I find is rare and refreshing to see from a male author.

All in all, a good read. This is the first of a trilogy so, now I know it’s worth it, I shall certainly be looking out for the others so I can complete the story!

Review: Awakening The Virgin, Various

Another wonderful collection of short stories, this time concentrating exclusively on lesbian scenarios where one partner is new to the whole girl-on-girl thing. This is a delicious collection of tales, woven expertly by the contributors. The content is so ‘real’, I do wonder how any of them are writing from their journal entries..?

One of my favourite from the selection is In My Heart by Jules Torti – a gorgeously sensual story of when it’s the virgin who takes the lead and devours someone. Ms Torti has captured the essence of what it means to write erotica: “The words I wrote happen in the thick velvet of night” she states in her bio. I must away to my own velvet…

 

Review: Ultimate Decadence, Various

A charming collection of erotic tales about all sorts of encounters, ranging from the sublime to the downright horny. I loved these stories. Each one is just the perfect length for a few moments to oneself, now and then. My favourites include Tube Journey, in which the central character receives some much-needed attention on her way to work, in full view of the other passengers no less, and A Night At The Opera, where our plucky heroine learns how to add passion to her performances with a little practical help.