Monday, April 16, 2012

The Madness Of Art

We work in the dark - we do what we can - we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art. – Henry James
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation. – Graham Greene
Writers have a reputation for going off the deep end. Being crazy seems to be a requirement in the job description. The nature of writing tries your sanity anyway, with endless rejections and sometimes crippling self-doubt. Writing by nature is very isolating. Think of the stereotype of the starving poet writing his sonnets in his lonely garret. The emotional roller coaster of feeling your characters bare their souls as you type out your manuscript can easily wear down your own soul. After all, Ernest Hemingway said, "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."

Hemingway committed suicide with a bullet to the head. He's not the first writer to suffer from mental illness. Virginia Woolf drowned herself. Sylvia Plath stuck her head in her oven, but only after giving the kids milk and cookies as a snack. Her colleague and friend Anne Sexton also committed suicide. Zelda Fitzgerald was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and she spent the last years of her life in an asylum. F. Scott Fitzgerald suffered from depression and alcoholism. Hunter S. Thompson shot himself. Susanna Kaysen stayed in a mental hospital and later wrote "Girl, Interrupted". Hermanne Hesse, who may have been bi-polar, attempted suicide and spent time in several mental institutions. Another possible manic-depressive and definite violent alcoholic, Malcolm Lowry, spent time in a mental institution and died a "death of misadventure" combining booze and an overdose of sleeping pills. Whether his death was suicide, accident, or murder remains unanswered. Spalding Grey long suffered from depression and he committed suicide after leaping from the Staten Island ferry. Mental illness isn't confined to writers. Actors Patty Duke, Vivien Leigh, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Jeremy Brett were diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.

What if you're lured to The Dark Side anyway, and you are already a creative type? Confession time – I have dealt with these issues since I was a child. In fact, some years have been sheer hell for me, but I'm improving. I know that many forms of depression, bi-polar disorder, and schizophrenia are biologically-based and not merely a problem of suffering from "the blues". The idea of "picking myself up by my bootstraps" would make me laugh out loud if I didn't feel so damned miserable when people who should know better say something asinine to me like that.

What did make me laugh was a post I saw at BoingBoing about ads in a 1956 issue of Mental Hospitals magazine. Did you know that Pepsi was viewed at the time as the best drink to force on restrained mental patients? One ad described Pepsi in this manner: "Cheerful visitors are a great help during convalescence. So is Pepsi-Cola. A familiar old friend, Pepsi refreshes without filling." Another ad described Pepsi as "a ready, popular supply to a medical demand – Pepsi-Cola when forced fluids are indicated." Yippiee!! So if I'm trapped in a Snake Pit trussed up in a straitjacket and I need something to quench my parched mouth, Nurse Ratchet would force-feed me Pepsi. Even though I prefer Coca-Cola. Then pump me full of Thorazine. Sure brings new meaning to "Have a Coke and a smile!"

Are writing, acting, painting, and other creative pursuits a natural fit for people with these kinds of disorders? The ups and downs of writing, submitting, rejecting, and acceptance fit my normal pattern of ups and downs. I've always felt a great need to express myself, and I started out in acting and later crew work. I've written fiction since I was a child but I didn't take it seriously until a few years ago. I use my writing as a means of expressing not only my lusts and dreams but my frustrations and pain. Like Hemingway, I bleed all over my keyboard. It feels good – very freeing – and I leave no scars.  Well, not physical ones at any rate.

So you noticed the presence of alcohol in the lives of many of those people I mentioned? Yup, what kind of writer doesn't have a glass of spirits of some sort by her side? I like my vermouth, champagne, and occasional glass of microbrew IPA or stout, but if I drink too much my writing is worth a barrel of spit. There are lots of alcoholic creative types out there, in particular Dylan Thomas, who once said "an alcoholic is someone you don't like who drinks as much as you do." Other famous alcoholic writers include William Faulkner, Dorothy Parker, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe (although his alleged alcoholism has been debated), Truman Capote, and Tennessee Williams.

I ask myself am I attracted to The Dark Side because I'm a writer, or am I a writer because I'm attracted to The Dark Side? Could go either way. I do know that writing is a great stress reliever and problem solver except when I'm feeling so poorly I can't even get out of bed. There is definitely a stigma in admitting you see The Dark Beyond The Veil, and sometimes that scares otherwise "normal" people. They see Joan Crawford shrieking "no wire coat hangers!", or Vivien Leigh writhing on a shock treatment table for real, or Olivia de Havilland doing the same but in a movie, or Frances Farmer with an ice pick in her eye socket, or a wild-eyed Norma Desmond slowly creeping down the staircase, waiting for her close up with Mr. DeMille. I don’t care. We're not all like that, including me. I am who I am, and I won't apologize for being me, erotic stories and horror fiction and all. Besides, I'd rather jump into the abyss and feel what goes on around me than shut myself down or be "normal". All my experiences improve my writing. And they improve me.

[Feel free to browse my fiction listed at the top of this page. I write erotica and erotic romance.]

Friday, April 13, 2012

Censorship Again - This Time By Mastercard

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! I have bad news perfect for today.

Mastercard is getting into the censorship business. Here's what I learned yesterday and I've been updated this morning.

URGENT to All Fiction4All Authors and Associated Publishers


An hour ago I was notified by Verotel that Mastercard is changing its policies (again) and that as from now, content involving rape, torture, kidnap, or `forced sex` (not sure where that is different to rape, but Mastercard must do) is banned and Verotel will not be able to process for it. They say this includes both the words and also images inferring such content. How on earth any robot can decide if an image depicts an unwanted action is beyond me, but that is what Verotel have decreed.

We have four sites where Mastercard have specifically complained about content (, and

I have basically been given until Friday morning to remove content containing the new offending word list or images from my sites or Verotel will close my account with them.

A quick scan of our books catalogue indicate we currently have just over 880 books on sale which contain one or more words that Mastercard apparently now objects to, either in the title, blurb or excerpt/extract. I have no idea how many covers would fall foul of them and certainly no time or resources to check and alter over 880 books in just over 24 hours!

My decision is to initially ask Verotel to stop processing on these 4 sites. Two of them I already have Zombaio in place on, or can reactivate Zombaio in the next 24 hours. A third site can be redirected to one of the other two until I get a payment solution installed. The fourth site does about $20 a month in sales and can be converted easily to use PayPal (who will have no issues with it).

This is a stop-gap measure to see if this is a Verotel or a Mastercard decision. If ultimately it turns out to be down to Mastercard then PayPal and Zombaio will also end up having to complain about certain content. At that time the 880 books will have to be removed from sale, though I hope by then we can change some of them or tone down what is visible on the sites.

From now, can I ask you all PLEASE not to submit stories that contain the following words in titles, blurbs and extracts:

1) rape, rapist, raping (even if it is worded as `she wondered if he was about to rape her`) - use words like violated, f##ked or whatever instead

2) torture, kidnap, force and other words containing these words (eg tortured, torturing etc etc)

I know this is a real pain and I know that selling fiction with these words in it is legal - but I don`t have the resources to fight Mastercard, so we all need to play by the rules and hope to survive another day.

Also, ALL books submitted MUST be free of any images whatsoever. We`re already removing all images from any books that are on the publishing queues. Also, if you are providing covers please make sure they no longer give any indication of `kidnap, torture or forced sex` as well as all the things that have been banned in the past.

Meanwhile if you are a publisher or self-pub and hear of any other sites having problems having this content, please let me know.

If we have to remove any books from sale I will contact the relevant publisher/author individually, but I thought everyone should know about the latest swipe at adult entertainment.

Kind Regards
CEO Fiction4All (including A1AdultEbooks)

Stuart believed that this was being led by Verotel rather than Mastercard itself. This, however, no longer appears to be the case - he has spoken to them at some length today and they are adamant this is coming from Mastercard. More worryingly, he has obtained a list of words that cannot be used in erotica titles, blurbs, descriptions etc and these also target lactation and even tentacle erotica! There is also a stark warning that things are going to get a lot worse and one wonders if the targeting of dubcon is the beginning of a wider attack on BDSM. This from Selena Kitt:

Stuart said to me: "I’ve spent all day talking to Verotel’s Director of Risk and he assures me this is not a Verotel thing but directly from Mastercard. He also said, ominously, that things are going to get much worse in the near future."

What does THAT mean!? How can Paypal continue to stand on its policy, if MC is pulling this?

Stuart also provided me with a list of words Mastercard now will not allow in relation to erotica/sex, including the book title, blurb and excerpt!

Alcohol, drink, liquor etc.
Asphyxia, asphyxiate, asphyxiation etc.
Bled, Bleed, Bleeding etc
Drugged, Drug
Force, Forcing etc
Hypnotize, hypnotise etc
Incapacitate, Incapacitation etc
Intoxicate, intoxication etc
Lactate and variants
Menstrual, menstruate etc
Molest, molestation, molested etc
Murder (and variations)
Mutlilate, Mutilation etc
Passed out
Pedophilia (and various alternate spellings)
Rape, raping, rapist etc
Scat, shit, fecal, bukake etc
Fetal, foetal etc
Sedate, sedative sedation etc
Sleep, slumber
Smother, snuff
Violate, violating etc

Worrying stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. I will pass on any further information as and when I have it but you may be able to find out even more than me. Incidentally, Stuart's email is:


More censorship! What year is this, 1950? That list of forbidden words is downright Orwellian.

My short story "Purr" was censored and banned the last go-around with Paypal. That particular story is an erotic retelling of the fairy tale "Puss In Boots". It's likely to be censored again, this time because I include lactation as a sexual fetish in the story. I don't believe I used the words "lactation" or "lactate", but when you reach the scene it's pretty clear what's going on. I've noticed that people who have bought "Purr" have also bought other lactation fetish fiction.

So, pick up "Purr" before it goes away again. Here's all the information you could possibly want about that book.

Name: Elizabeth Black
Title: Purr (Based on "Puss In Boots")
Publisher: New Dawning Bookfair
Genre: Twisted Fairy Tale
Size: Short Story
ASIN: B005407APY
Cost: $2.99

Buy Links:

New Dawning Bookfair

Amazon Kindle


AllRomanceEBooks - NOTE: This link no longer works. I think the book and my entire publisher's catalogue has been pulled again. [UPDATE: The pub is back at ARe and so is "Purr". Seems ARe is futzing with listings now.]

Purr Blog Category:


The alluring puss in boots Muca aspired for her master to become the richest and most respected man in the land, but her job was cut out for her. Could she convince the local farmers to trust in her against the vicious ogre who ruled the region?


"Good afternoon, cat! How went your trip to the king?"

She smiled, happy he recognized her. She gave the farmer a confident smile, eager to continue her plan. She strode to him, and gave him a deep, elegant bow. "Very well, my friend. He enjoyed the gifts of my Master, the Marquis of Carabas." The farmer's wife nursed her infant, her full breasts spilling out from beneath her flowing cotton blouse. Such a hypnotic sight! An urge overwhelmed her to take a suck herself. She had a weakness for soft, enormous breasts, especially ones filled with milk. Her groin warmed, and shifted her stance to take the pressure from her arousal. "You have a fine infant there. How old is he?"

"Six months, and my wife has lost all her baby weight. Those breasts are especially nice, particularly late at night when it's cold outside." He smiled, walked to Muca, and laid a hand on her shoulder. "I see you're as enraptured as I am of her."

"She is indeed a fine woman, sir."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Azure Ray - Seven Days

Talking The '80s And My Book "Don't Call Me Baby"

Here's something that will make you go “hmmmm”... A woman was texting on her cell phone, not watching where she was going. That's nothing new. People do that every day.

The problem was she walked right off a pier and into a lake! Idiot! Can you be arrested for texting whilst walking?

The reason I bring that up is because you never would have heard of that sort of thing happening in the 1980s because cell phones weren't around yet. Granted, there were cordless phones but they were huge, clunky things that were unwieldy. You couldn't fit one in your pocket the way you can modern cell phones. Turns out “Star Trek” was prophetic after all.

The reason I'm bringing up all this is that my erotic romance novel “Don't Call Me Baby” is set in the 1980s. If you were around in those days you remember the Big Hair, shoulder pads, and television shows like “Dynasty” and “Hart To Hart”.

Other things I remember from the 1980s include the following:


Okay, "Alien" came out in 1979 but I consider it an '80s movie because it was the first real date I'd ever had, I saw it my freshman year in college which to me was the beginning of the '80s, and the guy who took me to see that movie was an asshole. He knew I didn't like gory horror movies because they scared me, but he took me to see "Alien" anyway – knowing I'd be scared out of my wits! He was one of my college professors and I was dating him at the time although he was married. That should ring a bell when you read "Don't Call Me Baby" since my protagonist Catherine Stone also has issues with married men going back to her father's shabby treatment of her mother. For some reason I thought "Alien" was going to be animated. Believe me, it wasn't. Keep in mind that at this time, there had never been a movie quite like "Alien". It was an entirely new concept – one that paved the way for new movie trends. I didn’t care. I was sick to my stomach, terrified, and ready to kill my date. I was nearly under my seat after the chest-bursting scene and I begged Asshole to leave. He called me a baby and said the movie was great. I couldn't sleep that night because my table lamp looked like the alien baby and I had to turn it away from me. I was sick for three days. I could not eat bean sprouts or salad because that's what Kane was eating when the alien burst out of his chest. I could not watch a modern horror movie for eight long years, until I found a tape of "Friday The 13th" on another boyfriend's video collection and he lent it to me. That one was of the movies I refused to watch since I thought it was going to gross me out. I loved it! I laughed my ass off all the way through it. After watching it, I immediately rented "Alien" to exorcise my demons. It worked. I loved "Alien" the second time around in the safety of my home. "Alien" remains one of my top 10 favorite science-fiction/horror movies and I've seen and own the entire series. Oh, and Asshole? He got fired a year later for breaking the moral turpitude clause by having an open affair with a student. Served him right.


I was in the middle of a painting class when an announcement cut into whatever music was on the radio to state John Lennon of the Beatles had been murdered outside his home at the Dakota in New York City. I didn't care about or remember the name of the man who shot him. This news devastated me since I was a long time Beatles fan, although John was not my favorite. George was.


I watched MTV every summer I was home in the basement, watching music videos and reading books. This was back when MTV was nothing but wall-to-wall videos, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, with interruptions for occasional animated shows. I saw the very first video – "Video Killed The Radio Star" – and it was love at first sight. I grew to adore the V-jays Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, J. J. Jackson, Alan Hunter, and Mark Goodman. Because of MTV I discovered many new artists (new to me at any rate) since I wasn't encouraged to listen to rock music in my conservative religious household. I discovered Peter Gabriel, The Cars, The Police, Culture Club, Men At Work, Dire Straits, Robert Palmer, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Van Halen, Guns 'N Roses, the Eurythmics, and Bananarama. I was in heaven! There was more to music than Mitch Miller, Bible radio, and Pat Boone! I think I was able to listen to and watch MTV because I did it holed up in the basement away from my parents. I remember how white MTV was before Michael Jackson came along and shook everything up. He could not be ignored, and he alone changed the color of MTV for the better. I couldn’t stand "Beavis and Butthead" unless they were ripping apart music videos. MTV was for me then the way Internet radio is for me now. I discovered new artists and bought their music.


"Don't Call Me Baby" is a fast-paced, quick-witted, sexy novel about a young woman exploring her sexuality and the cultural morés she collides with on a daily basis. It's 1983 in Maryland and Catherine Stone is sex on wheels. She plays the field the way men have done for aeons. Not content to strive for her MRS degree like so many young women her age, she seduces men of all stripes - married college professors, theatre students, virgins, complete strangers who intrigue her. She has already cost one man his job. But she asks herself lots of questions on her search to enjoy her sexuality. Why don't other women enjoy their sex as much as she does? Why do so many women and men look down on sexually free women, calling them sluts while sexually free men are called studs and Lotharios? She bucks at the double standards! Catherine has made no commitment to any man. She's free to explore and she gladly does so. No man can tie her down and no woman's judgment will stop her from playing the field to her heart's content. Does she meet her match in a new man who introduces her to sexual bliss she had never before experienced? When she tries multiple partners and bondage for the first time as a submissive, she believes she's found the sexual bliss she is looking for - and with a man who not only introduces her to the fineries in life but also cares about her like no man ever has before.


Her stereo sat up against a wall, and she stacked her LPs next to it. There was nothing quite as enjoyable in the evening after a long day in classes than to sip a gin and tonic while listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, David Bowie, and especially Peter Gabriel. She had enjoyed Genesis mainly because of Gabriel, and she had been a fan ever since he left Genesis in 1975. Now, in 1983, she grew to love his successful solo career even more. She liked how Gabriel felt secure enough in his talent to leave a successful band behind to go it alone, and he did it without burning any bridges. Catherine wanted to be able to move on in her life in that manner. So, she listened to Gabriel's music to remind herself of her dreams. Security, her favorite album by Gabriel to date, was released only a year earlier. She never listened to newer Genesis. Only the older version with Gabriel. She pulled out her LP of Security, and played it on the turntable. What a great way to enjoy her new digs!

She was happy to see that the small dorm fridge she had ordered sat in its corner, plugged into the wall. After filling it with bottles of cola, tonic water, and deli meats, she closed the door. Aside of her TV and stereo, she could not survive without a fridge full of cold drinks and snack food. She liked to wile away her evenings watching "The Twilight Zone", "Dynasty" and "Hart to Hart" while enjoying a light meal before retiring to bed for the night.


Amazon Kindle



Monday, April 9, 2012

Don't Let Bad Reviews Get You Down

Don't Feel Bad About Bad Reviews
Elizabeth Black

I remember my first bad review. I was devastated. The person leaving the review wasn't very kind. She bitched and moaned about the book in such a way I could tell she was angry. I had no idea why should would be so angry over a book. I guess that was a couple of hours of her life she would never get back.

That review stopped me dead in my tracks for a couple of weeks. I couldn't write anything. Even the good reviews I received couldn't counteract the horrible feelings I had over this one lousy stinking review. Once I had a few more good reviews under my belt I felt better enough to write again.

I even had a bad review from someone who read only about two pages of the book. How can you write a review when you haven't read the !@#$% book?!?

I've since learned about drive-by-reviews, sock puppets, and people who give one star reviews to books they've never read in genres they don't like merely because they want to blow an artery. Lots of people give erotica and erotic romance books one star reviews because they get a hair up their butts over the genres and the racy content. Those reviews are bogus. So now I don't take the bad reviews so seriously anymore. I learn from the valid ones and if I'm able to I improve the book or short story as much as I can.

All that aside, every writer gets sucky reviews. It's a part of a writer's life. I thought it would be amusing to look at one star reviews of classic novels. Some are quite astounding. It's clear the people in question don't read much. Or in the case of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's “The Women's Bible”, they don't know their history. The most amusing one is the one below left about Jane Austen's “Emma”. Just because someone doesn't like your book doesn't mean the book is bad. Much of it is a matter of taste. I for instance don't like J. R. R. Tolkein, much to the utter chagrin of my husband who is a huge fan.

So read these one star reviews of classics and feel better about your own writing. All misspellings and poor grammar are in the original reviews.

To read excerpts, blurbs, and see buy links of my books, please go to my web site.

Elizabeth Black – Web Site And Blog

Emma by Jane Austen
[I seriously believe this review is a Poe, as in we're being trolled. I'm mean, come on. The critic can't spell the word “stole” but she correctly spells “coincidences”? LOL]]

Best I can figure this Jane Auston woman stoll the plot of Clueless and rote a book. Too many coincidences to make me believe anything else. Why Alecia Sivlerstone doesn't sue Jane Austin is beyond me!

Seriously, this book is just convoluted and boring. I can't believe this is called a classic. Its terrible and the educators at certain high schools should not force this book upon kids--it lowers their grades and intelligence.

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

It's truly mind boggling how this book got the reputation it now has. I finally read it after being encouraged by so many of my friends who considered it genius. Simply put, the writing is immature and pointless, full of "craziness for its own sake" with a few lame attempts at cultural criticism thrown in to try to give it some legitimacy. The only thing I can say for this book is that perhaps it was somewhat original when it was written, but that hardly qualifies it as great literature, or even as literature. If it weren't so horrendously overrated and made no further pretentions than to be a mildy amusing story, it might have found a semi-respectable place in some obscure niche as comedy writing, but as it has been trumped all around as some groundbreaking example of an insightful cross-breed of journalism and literature, I can't bestow upon it any higher title than "Garbage." I suggest reading this only in that it is necessary to understand the infantile minds that cling fervidly to its pages. You will learn something about our culture, yes. What you will learn is how terribly the idea of literature has been degraded that such a book could be so praised by supposedly literate people.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

I bought this book because of all the "good" reviews it recieved. I am always interested when an author's work trancends it own era, there by being relevant at anytime in the future. However, this is not one of those. Aside from the obsurd and unbelievable situation Yosarrian is in, the book was, in a word....MONOTONOUS! It is not the amount of characters, nor the repetative back story of each character that Heller takes every opportunity tell us, but it is more the repetive, cliche' discussions that yossarian has with just about every character he come across. It goes like this, "Your crazy. No I am not. Maybe I am. Maybe you are too becuase you are here and you think I am crazy. Oh yeah, maybe I am crazy too, blah blah blah." I really wish I would have spent the money on cookbook instead, or really anything other than this. If you can find this book at a garage sale, do not pay more than a quarter for it.
If you like unbelievable war stories, long drawn out repetative character back stories, shallow dialog, and no real point, then this book is for you!

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone By J. K. Rowling

I know that this is an enormously popular series, and I've tried quite hard to like it (I have read all the books), but I can't get past the copious shortcomings of Harry Potter. For one thing, it's terribly overwraught; the supreme clumsiness and obviousness with which the writer tries to manipulate our emotions is totally laughable. In fact, I can't believe that even children fall for it. Not to mention the fact that there is no room for humanity is any of the "villains". None of them are shown to have any redeeming features at all; they are so one dimensional that they might as well be called "bad guy one", "bad guy two" and so on. Nor is there ever any opportunity for them to be forgiven or to be allowed to make amends. The story very much promotes an "us and them" attitude among the heroes. Even when one of the bad guys offers to make up he is rejected by Harry. Also, it promotes kids lying and stealing to get what they want (the end oh-so justifies the means); it encourages cliquiness and a ruthlessness towards opponents (win at all costs!). This is certainly nothing new, and neither is the advocation of disrespect and disobedience towards authority, but it grates just the same.
The writing and plot themselves are terribly derivative. There are many far more intelligent and original books out there for children.
All in all, I'd not recommend this book to anyone.

The Lord Of The Rings By J. R. R. Tolkien
[Author's note: I hated this book. I simply can't get into it.]

I hope the movie is better than the book. The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs. It just isn't well written. Quickly and quietly..., swiftly and quietly, etc.

[Review was entitled “Aweful”. LOL]
This series is horrible beyond all conception. Tolkien overbloats EVERYTHING to the point where it's absolutely ridiculous, and I loose tract of the plot amidst unimportant details. Quite frankly my only thought is I DON'T CARE WHO EVERYONE'S FATHER IS, IF YOU WANT ME TO KNOW THEN WRITE A PREQUEL, JUST TELL THE STORY IT IDIOTIC BRIT! I don't know how someone who wrote something as good as "The Hobbit" could produce this junk. I think what happened was he had a bunch of notes left over, and wanted to cash in by writing a sequel, so he threw all the details he had onto a shallow plot, but sense it was to complicated to be called "dumbed-down" like most money-making sequels noone could attack it. And it was so complicated people have been trying to convince others for decades that they're intellegent because they can understand this book, but since noone understands it, noone can test them to see if they really do or not. Anyway, if you want a complicated plot you can understand, read "Dune" by Frank Herbert.

American Gods By Neil Gaiman
[Even Neil Gaiman isn't immune to bad reviews.]

Huge build up about a war amongst Gods...
Incessant and irrelevant descriptions...
No real demonstrations of Godly Power (or any action for that matter)...
Pointless acid-trip dream sequences...
The War itself... less than 2 pages.
Gaiman managed to make a war uneventful.

A concept that should have been action packed and epic...
Gives a novella's worth of substance.
-Couldve been told in 30 pages

The Women's Bible by Elizabeth Cady Stanton
[One of numerous reviews by Christian women miffed that this wasn't the kind of Bible they expected Also, some had obviously never heard of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Did they fall asleep during that portion of history class? They also didn't seem to understand the book is over 100 years old and a first wave feminist classic.]

I was completely surprised and repulsed by its feminist stance. I couldn't bear to read much of it as I believe the Bible is the unerring Word of God. Women's stature in organized church has grown significantly and I would not want my daughter's and granddaughter's minds poisoned by these ideas. I have several women friends who have gone into the ministry and have been very successful. I know this is an old writing but it came off my Kindle the minute I saw the problems Stantan had been trying to express. She must have been a terribly abused girl to have such bitterness.


And finally, a bad review I can get behind.

Twilight By Stephenie Meyer

I started this book two days ago. I'm currently more than 200 pages in, and I can't finish this, man. I just don't think I have the strength.

Seriously? This is what everyone is freaking out over? I've read better fan fiction on Livejournal. Really, truly, waaaaaay better. Like, with sparkling, funny, romantic dialogue, great characters, the whole shebang. This book is..well, crap. Sorry, I tried to like it, but...yeah. No go.

The major problem I have is that I just don't care about any of the characters. Meyer's character development isn't just's absent. I don't know these people, and therefore I don't care about them. Describing their appearance (barely) isn't an adequate substitute for developing their personalities. Also, they make no sense. Is Bella a hottie? A plane Jane? Who the heck can tell? Boys at her old school don't know she's alive, but the second she gets to Forks she's Miss America. Boys in Phoenix are blind, maybe? There's a toxic waste dump in Forks that makes all the native residents fugly, and Bella is hawt by comparison? What is it, Stephenie? Come on now. How can I like this protagonist? Bella is boring. She's not funny, she's not even mildly amusing. All she does is fawn over Edward. I know that teenage girls always have and always will fawn over boys, but really, this is ridiculous. That's the only freaking thing she does. Everyone else has said this, but she's really only just a sounding board for wonderful, perfect, muscular, adonis-like, perfect faced Edward. She could have had one aspiration at least, yeah? Some Mary-Sues have aspirations, right? Right?

Note to Stephenie Meyer: Use a thesaurus and come up with some new words, please. She said clumsily. While glaring. And blushing.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Welcome Easter Blog Hoppers!

Welcome, Easter Blog Hoppers! I hope you're having a lovely day. Enjoy the blog hop weekend!

Please comment on my post and leave your email address. I will choose a winner at random once the Hop is over. The winner gets his or her choice from my backlist of books available in ebook format that I happen to have. Not all of my books are available. If you win, just ask for a book and I'll let you know if it's available or not.

I'm about to start on a new venture - self-publishing. My short story "Purr" has done so well I've decided to write some more twisted erotic versions of fairy tales. "Purr" is a short erotic retelling of the fairy tale "Puss In Boots". I'm currently editing "Climbing Her Tower" (erotic Rapunzel) and "Trouble In Thigh High Boots" (longer erotic Puss In Boots). If these two books are successful, I will tackle "Beauty and the Beast".

Which brings me to today's topic. How many reading are fans of the TV show "Once Upon A Time"? I sure am. At first my favorite character was Lana Parilla's Wicked Queen but since that time she has been upstaged by someone even more fantastic.

I'm talking about Scottish actor Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold. Is it possible to be both repelled and fascinated by a character at the same time?

I'd always found Rumpel and Mr. Gold to be fascinating but by the time I saw the episode "Skin Deep" I was hooked. That's the one where Rumpel falls in love with Belle. It's the "Beauty and the Beast" episode.

Fairy tales are very popular things to twist into an erotic puddle of goo. My prince in "Climbing Her Tower" has a shaving fetish that he acts out on Rapunzel. My Puss in "Trouble In Thigh High Boots" is a female shapeshifter with some very naughty habits. I named her "Tita", which is short for "la Gatita", which is Spanish for "female kitten". She has a real name but she won't tell that to anyone except for the man she loves. And she will reveal it at the end of the book.

I especially like creating twists in the characters and the situations they find themselves in. I took a bit of poetic license with the fairy tales so that they'd seem fresh and exciting. I'm looking forward to tackling "Beauty And The Beast" especially since I fell so hard for Rumpel when I saw him so vulnerable to a young woman. The ugliness in such a character doesn't have to be physical. Rumpel is a vicious, evil, and vindictive, angry man. A popular trope is to take such a character and redeem him through the love of a woman. I plan to do that in my own version of the fairy tale.

If you like fairy tales, you will enjoy "Purr". That one has done quite nicely for me. Look for "Climbing Her Tower" and "Trouble In Thigh High Boots" in the near future. Then, depending on how those two books sell, I will tackle "Beauty and the Beast". In the meantime, enjoy my pictures of Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold. He's quite nasty looking but you can see he has a heart in that last picture of him kissing Belle. Now that's a love story!

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