Friday, 26 June 2015

Dear Hef by George Pappas

“Dear Hef,
Maybe once you were like me – longing for sexual adventure and a wild bachelor
lifestyle – but with no idea how to obtain it.
Somehow I doubt it, but I find myself writing you anyway, Hef. I’ve always admired the
classy and open way you have lived your life. Not to mention the hot ladies you’re always with,
or I should say, are always with you.
I’m about to embark on a journey with an odd, but intriguing premise, and I had to write
you about it.
I’m curious to find out through using the Internet if I can transform myself into a
confident playboy who beds down sexy women regularly.
Could I somehow become a cyber playboy worthy of the ladies’ man tradition
represented by you as the King of the Playboys? Do you think it is possible? Do you have any
suggestions or a hint of a plan?”

So begins the tale of Jimmy Rausch in an email to the King of Playboys, and Jimmy’s idol, Hugh Hefner. And email is the vehicle chosen by George Pappas to tell his frequently hilarious, sometimes poignant, often very, very sexy story; “Dear Hef.”

George Pappas is writing within a well-established genre; that of the epistolary novel, where the plot of the novel unfolds through written letters between the main characters. Mary Shelley employs the epistolary form in her 1818 novel, “Frankenstein,” using letters as one of a variety of framing devices, as the story is presented through the letters of a sea captain and scientific explorer, Robert Walton. Published in 1848, Anne Brontë’s novel, “The Tennant of Wildfell Hall is framed as a retrospective letter from one of the main heroes to his friend and brother-in-law with the diary of the eponymous tenant inside it. In the late 19th century, Bram Stoker released one of the most widely recognized and successful novels in the epistolary form to date, “Dracula.” Printed in 1897, the novel is compiled entirely of letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, telegrams, doctor's notes, ship's logs, and the like, which Stoker adroitly employs to balance believability and dramatic tension. The French writer Pierre Cholderlos de Laclos published “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” in 1782. It is a story of decadence and intrigue told entirely in exchanges of letters. But I think that George Pappas is the first writer, certainly the first writer I have read, to embrace the technologies of the 21st century and use email as a device to tell a story. Other writers are delving into the cyber world, particularly the British/French writer Joanne Harris, in her novel “Blue Eyed Boy,” which is told entirely through blog posts.

Writers return to the same themes over and over again, and George Pappas returns to the notion that he presents with a visionary’s zeal in “Monogamy Sucks”. It’s an angry but fair enough proposal;

“All I ask for is no strings fucking. Is that too much to ask for?”

This is Jake Dalmus’ battle cry in “Monogamy Sucks”; Jake is a mature man; he argues his politics fluidly and fluently. He is demanding an absolute change in the way society views relationships. He abhors the status quo; one man, one woman for life. In other words; marriage. “Ridiculous,” Jake asserts.

Jimmy Rausch, in “Dear Hef, is a decade younger than Jake and he too has an agenda. And it is in the subtext of Jimmy’s emails to Hef that George Pappas cleverly, with the sleight of hand of a street magician, shows Jimmy’s immaturity. Jimmy still has some hefty rites of passage to step through. Though in his twenties, Jimmy still has the mindset of an adolescent. Jimmy, is the centre of Jimmy’s universe. He is not interested in any wider implications for society as Jake is; Jimmy is just interested in Jimmy and how he can become a playboy in the style of his idol Hugh Hefner. It is Jimmy’s dream; Jimmy’s deepest desire to be invited to Hef’s Mansion and have sex with lots of “hot women” in the Grotto.

“I have a dream – to have sex with hot women of all different colors and backgrounds. I
guess you could say I have a rainbow dick. I fantasize about being in the middle of an interracial
orgy in the grotto at the Mansion just lost in pleasure and desire. All my fantasies always seem to
start and end in the grotto for some reason.”

While Jake Dalmas wields an axe, Jimmy Rausch wields his erection.

You get the impression that Jake Dalmas will take his philosophy all the way to the White House if he has to. Jimmy Rausch is only interested in how he can make things work for Jimmy.

And immaturity again shows in Jimmy’s constant need for reassurance. Hef is Jimmy’s father figure.

“Is there a playboy code of conduct? Did I just violate it by not calling Darlene for a couple of weeks after she gave me her number?”

Jimmy investigates the Lava web site. He decides to write “an Internet fuck ad”

“"Seeking passion and adventure"
I’m a tall SWM 28 seeking open-minded, sensual, non-possessive and erotic women
for intimate encounters. I crave passion and adventure. No drama, just mutual pleasure
and fun. I luv to please. I’m not a selfish lover. Nothing intrigues me more than a woman
who enjoys expressing her erotic imagination and sexuality. Let's go on an intriguing
journey into wild desire and fantasy exploration. I’m for real. U be too.”

Jimmy’s Ad is crystal clear. He wants sex and fun. He does not want a relationship and the tears and trauma that seem inevitably to go along with it. He does not want that in his life. And he gets a response, from Carolyn. She says that she understands about casual sex and cannot get enough of Jimmy’s cock. That is all very well, but Carolyn is not a hot woman; she’s a long way from being a hot babe, like the women Jimmy sees on TV, always surrounding Hef. But she’s pussy and she’s all Jimmy can get.

And Jimmy has a dilemma. He hasn’t mentioned this small, but outrageously important fact to Hef; how does he find women who share his ethos of sex without love? Hef has obviously achieved it and the women that Jimmy has sex with appear to share Jimmy’s thought process; but do they really?

A much later email speaks of Pia; Jimmy tells Hef about her; his email to Hef hints at the young man’s desperation.

“Dear Hef,
These women are driving me crazy for all the wrong reasons. My belief that many women don’t understand casual sex was reconfirmed last night. The latest example is Pia – my big fat Greek slut. She talked about wanting more fun without strings and a boy toy, but it was all a lie. We fucked most of the night and early morning until I left at 4am, but she had second thoughts later the next morning. She sent me a Dear John fuck date email saying she wants more than sex. So typical…”

And later, in the same email to Hef;

“…Not surprisingly, our liaison ended as it began – through email. Later on Sunday, she sent me an email writing that she wants more than sex, but she blew it. Pia is another woman that doesn’t get casual sex and erotic fun. So many women don’t…”

And it’s true I think – women may like the idea, the fantasy of casual sex and erotic fun, but in reality our emotions get tangled. We re-live it, we re-play it over and over again, the exquisite night of mind-blowing sex, the primal orgasm and we fall in love with it – we don’t mean to and Jimmy is wrong to say it’s a lie – it isn’t, we mean it when we say it, but those emotions sneak in. We want more, and not just with any man; with THAT man.

Believe me, I know because it’s happened, disastrously, to me and it wasn’t pretty.

And what of Carolyn, the not hot woman who says she wants just casual sex? Jimmy’s intuition was correct about her integrity. His meetings with her are too much like a date. They have dinner before they fuck. At a Swingers’ group Jimmy and Carolyn are seen as a couple. Are they dating? A date means a relationship… is he in a relationship with Carolyn? Jimmy just wants to get down to the sex; he wants to get laid and Carolyn seems to be steering their meetings to a place where Jimmy doesn’t want to be.

Then in a complete about turn, Carolyn changes her mind. She wants monogamy, but not with Jimmy. Her email tells Jimmy that she is in a “real” relationship.

Jimmy forwards her email to Hef practically wailing his utter frustration with women.

“I just don’t get where she is coming from. A month ago she was telling me bullshit about how she could never be in a monogamous relationship again and now she’s telling me she doesn’t want to fuck anymore. I don’t get it. Was she playing some kind of role all the while? Who knows what lurks in a woman’s mind anyway…Does a playboy even think about these things Hef?”

Jimmy is a Disney puppy dog; his eyes big and wide, pupils dark and dilated, begging Hef to approve of him. Another email to Hef.

“I’ll let you know how the phone call goes with Darlene. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Or is that too uncool for a playboy to do? I don’t know. This playboy code is so confusing.”

Nothing is as easily confused as love and lust. It’s a fact that most of us do not realise until we are sexually mature. Some of us never do really get it. But Jimmy gets it. He isn’t confused, he is clear about his sexuality and what drives him. He makes this fact abundantly clear; it is the women whom Jimmy meets who are confused. Women, Jimmy realises, cannot set aside their emotions when it comes to sex.

I used the word dilemma earlier to sum up where exactly Jimmy is at. He has been emailing Hef for months and he has not made much headway. Jimmy still has to negotiate the rocky road between sex and commitment. Jimmy still has a dilemma on his hands.

Jimmy and Darlene make contact. Their exchanges of email are sensual, very definitely arousing and highly erotic. It’s a long distance thing and Jimmy prepares to cross states to have sex with her. Darlene makes Jimmy promise that sex is all it’s going to be about. Finally, a woman who gets it!

“Promise we’ll keep it fun Jimmy…Burning with anticipation.”

It’s all going so well, when at their second liaison Darlene goes weird on Jimmy. There are tears and Jimmy does not want to be around women who weep. Tears imply that Darlene has a different agenda to Jimmy. It’s a surprising emotional outburst, for the reader as well as Jimmy. Emotions imply a relationship. It’s over.

In his tweets about “Dear Hef” George Pappas asks; “Want to know what men really think about sex?” Well, having read the novel, cover to cover, now I know. And I have to ask the question; what do women really think about sex? The messages are muddled. If you look into Romance novels, we want to be seduced. Look into Erotica and we want to be whipped, tied up, hand cuffed, raped, humiliated; or we want to be in charge, control our man and we too fantasise about multiple partners. Cosmopolitan have featured endlessly about it. The writers of the “Sex and the City” television show have demonstrated how Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte all have differing desires and needs. And all of them at some point in the series have dabbled in what it is that turns the other on. Men are confused about what women really want and women are too.

Carolyn, Darlene, Dara, Melinda, Jin. Jimmy writes a great poem to Jin, “Coiled”. It’s loaded with satire.

George Pappas’ wry, dry sense of humour infuses every email; every chapter. His writing style is as much European as American. You’ll catch yourself laughing out loud in some of the scenarios. The ridiculous; the absurd, the empathetic discomfort. There’s more to entering Hugh Hefner’s Mansion and the honour of sex in the Grotto, than Jimmy could ever realise.

George Pappas has intellect and an intuitive instinct for the power of poetry in language and words. The way he uses language has a rhythm and pace, which seems to add to the chaotic feel of Jimmy’s immaturity. Like an adolescent, Jimmy wants everything now. George Pappas knows how to craft a character too. Jimmy’s Internet dates are not just ciphers as they would be in the hands, of a less intelligent, less talented, less experienced writer. They are women with personalities as complex as any that you’ll find in the real world. Incredibly arousing, always entertaining; this is Erotica at the highest level. You won’t see the twist of the ending coming in a million years.

And I’ve deliberately not mentioned Brenda, the sexy bad tempered married lady whose complicated life puts Jimmy in real danger. I’ve saved Brenda until last. It’s a testimony to the commanding power of George Pappas’ writing that I really did experience a thrilling, trembling fear for Jimmy. My heart flipped in a nervous paranoiac palpitation like a Victorian heroine on amphetamine. I tweeted my fearful anxiety to George Pappas – I think he was astonished, astounded, but pleased. Far, far away across an ocean and half a continent, carried in the wind, in the waves, in the storm clouds and in the rays of sunlight, I can feel the warmth of George Pappas’ smile…

Dear Hef is available at Amazon US Amazon UK and at Lazy Day Publishing

Friday, 19 June 2015

ABSINTHE! Turn on, Tune in & Drop out!

L’absinthe Edgar Degas 1876

It seems that as human beings, many of us, are engaged on a quest to find other realities. Hashish, extacy, magic mushrooms, vague 21st century, designer drugs that I don’t have a clue about. Back in the 60’s Ken Kesey expounded the virtues of LSD; “Turn on, Tune in and Drop out”, was the cry from Dr Timothy Leary speaking to a new generation. The user of “acid” experiences enlightenment, religious experience, mystical experience. Aldous Huxley’s drug of choice was mescaline. Mescaline is a dark brown powder, ground from buttons of the Mexican cactus peyote. With Mescaline and Acid there is a sense of oneness with everything in the universe. States of mind are achieved, in which new perceptions can arise, unhindered by everyday mental filters and processes.

The Victorians had their drugs of choice too, in particular, absinthe. It has the colour of a vibrant green; it was named by those who used absinthe as la fee verte. The green fairy.

Degas' groundbreaking L'Absinthe (1876) features two forlorn-looking café patrons staring out beyond their milky-green drinks. Although the people pictured were merely actors, this painting later roused intense comment for its unprecedented gritty realism.

Absinthe is alluring because of its beautiful and ever-changing green colour and its air of danger and seduction.

Absinthe. Albert Maignan

Albert Maignan. The Green Fairy is at work, liberating the mind of a poet. The dramatic pose of the poet and the misty-green appearance of the painting symbolise the effects of absinthe.

“Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium  "grand wormwood”, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but may also be colourless.” WIKI

“There is an essential ritual in preparing and drinking absinthe. It involves placing a sugar cube on a flat perforated spoon, which rests on the rim of the glass containing a measure or “dose” of absinthe. Iced water is then very slowly dripped on to the sugar cube, which gradually dissolves and drips, along with the water, into the absinthe, causing the green liquor to louche (“loosh”) into an opaque opalescent white as the essential oils precipitate out of the alcoholic solution. Usually three to four parts water are added to one part of 68% absinthe. Historically, true absintheurs take great care in adding the water, letting it fall drop by single drop onto the sugar cube, and then watching each individual drip cut a milky swathe through the peridot-green absinthe below. 

Seeing the drink gradually change colour is part of its ritualistic attraction.

“The “ritual” is important – it’s part of the fascination of absinthe. No other drink is traditionally consumed with such a carefully calibrated kind of ceremony. It’s part of what lends absinthe its drug-like allure (for instance, one talks about the dose of absinthe in the glass, a term you’d never use with whisky or brandy). From all historical evidence, it seems that absinthe was almost always drunk like this – even the poorest working man, in the roughest bar or café, would prepare his absinthe slowly and carefully. It was seldom drunk neat (except by the kind of desperate end-stage alcoholics who might also be drinking ether or cologne); the water was always added slowly not just sloshed in; ice was never added to the glass.

“Place a sugar cube on the spoon. Drip a few drops of water on to the sugar cube, just enough to saturate it thoroughly. Then do nothing, just watch the sugar cube for a few 
minutes. It will spontaneously slowly start to collapse and drip into the glass, eventually leaving only a few drops of sugared water on the spoon. Then add the rest of the water in a thin stream.”
From Absinthe Originals.

The Absinthe Drinker. Edouard Manet.

“Absinthe was invented in 1797 by Dr. Pierre Ordinaire. The first absinthe distillery opened in Switzerland, then moved to France in 1805. By the 1850's it had become the favourite drink of the upper class. Originally wine based, a blight in 1870's on the vineyards forced manufacturers to base it with grain alcohol. Everyone could now afford it. The bohemian lifestyle embraced it.” WIKI

“Absinthe, was most popular in France. Most days started with a drink and ended with the "green hour" (l'heure verte) as one or two or more were taken for its aperitif properties. It is interesting to note that it also has aphrodisiac and narcotic properties. Authors and artists were proponents for using it to induce creativity.” WIKI

Arthur Rimbaud, the French poet, sipped the green drink to liberate the "sacred thing" (his mind) as he daydreamed "voyages of discovery that nobody had heard of" and "every kind of magic". 

Those who take absinthe say that it produces drunkenness, but it is a weird kind of drunkenness, with a bizarre clarity of thought.

Portrait bleu de Angel Fernández de Soto, Picasso

“The French poet, Paul Marie Verlain, is said to have drank himself to death and damned his drink of choice, his beloved absinthe, from his death-bed. Through his times of poverty, in his later years, Verlaine succeeded in giving up all other habits, but absinthe. He took kisses of la fee verte  as he lay dying.

“Vincent Van Gogh’s love affair with absinthe is well documented. It has been suggested that his depression, combined with manic activity over the last two years of his life, were brought about by the additional effect of thujone poisoning from his consumption of absinthe.

Vincent, Toulousse Lautrec

“Oscar Wilde was also a devotee of absinthe. Wilde’s stage plays, poems, and short stories gained him celebrity status not only in his native Ireland but also in Continental Europe. From his post as foremost writer of his day, Wilde referred often to absinthe as a boost to the creative process. Oscar said of Absinthe;
“After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”

“The man who all but defined artistic decadence, Charles Baudelaire’s best known work includes a poem entitled “Get Drunk!” Baudelaire’s life was an extravagant one: he lived well beyond his means and drank far beyond the capacity of his body and pocketbook. For Baudelaire, trips to the poorhouse were followed up by trips to the café. He eventually died, young even by 19th Century standards, due to a combination of seizure and the ravages done to the writer’s body by his regular use of laudanum, opium, and absinthe. Baudelaire’s ethos was;
"One must be drunk always. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time that breaks your shoulders and bows you to the earth, you must intoxicate yourself unceasingly. But with what? With wine, poetry, or with virtue, your choice. But intoxicate yourself."

For Baudelaire, Time was a shackle, and he often turned to absinthe for release. The green fairy provided the ‘intoxication’, the distraction he longed for.

“Guy de Maupassant was a French writer known for his efficient prose and a style that championed brevity above all. In de Maupassant’s “A Queer Night in Paris,” the writer describes the sensations associated with absinthe in the streets of Paris. De Maupassant tells of the confusion, brought about by the emerald green wine and the madness. Finally, the despair and depression, of slowly remembering his antics of the night before. The tale that he crafts so sparingly, is a microcosm of the world of the absinthe drinker.
"Decidedly, the air of Paris does not resemble any other air. It has in it something indescribably stimulating, exciting, intoxicating, which fills you with a strange longing to dance about and to do many other things. As soon as I arrive here, it seems to me, all of a sudden, that I have taken a bottle of champagne. What a life one can lead in this city in the midst of artists! Happy are the elect, the great men who make themselves a reputation in such a city! What an existence is theirs!"

Details of writers and artists, from

“Absinthe's popularity soared from 1880 on. Advertisements touted it as being healthful. It was exported to New Orleans and reached the same acclaim in the United States. It was one of the few drinks considered lady-like and women freely enjoyed it in the coffee houses where it was most commonly served. Victorian era men however, found women freely enjoying absinthe, distasteful.

“At the height of absinthe’s popularity on through to its eventual banishment, the drink was considered both a miracle tonic and a criminal scourge, depending on your perspective. While little of the alleged psychoactive or hallucinatory aspects of absinthe have been explained by science, what we do know is that the drink touched the lives and influenced the work of many an artist, writer, and intellectual.

“In 1905, Jean Lanfray, while very intoxicated, murdered his wife. He supposedly only had two glasses of absinthe but none the less, his trial became known as the "Absinthe Murder". Prohibition movements were underway. Absinthe was singled out as the maddening culprit. Absinthism was named as a disease. . By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

“The legacy of absinthe as a mysterious, addictive, and mind-altering drink continues to this day. Though its psychoactive effects and chemical makeup are contested, its cultural impact is not. Absinthe has played a notable role in the fine art movements of Impressionism, Post-impressionism, Surrealism, Modernism, Cubism... and in the corresponding literary movements. The legendary drink has more recently appeared in movies, video, television, music, and contemporary literature. The modern absinthe revival has had a notable effect on its portrayal. It is often shown as an unnaturally glowing green liquid demonstrating the influence of contemporary marketing efforts.”

Thanks to Jan Vander Laenan, for suggesting this post and the images.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Daniella Bound by Jake Malden

Daniella Bound, by Jake Malden, is probably the hottest piece of erotica you’ll read this year. Through Jake Malden’s protagonists, Eric and Daniella, the reader is taken on a silkily smooth sexual journey worthy of the Marquis de Sade, or Leopold von Sascher-Masoch’s 1870 classic, Venus in Furs.

Each sentence, each word is calculated to arouse – and I’m not just talking about sexual positioning, although there is plenty of that; I’m talking about appeals to the senses; about feeling and feelings. Taste, scent, touch, skin on skin and how these are heightened when sight and hearing are taken away.

“For Daniella all was darkness. The sleep mask he had slipped over her eyes encased her in velvet black. Every other sense was heightened…”

“The soft whirring of the fan and rustle of his clothing, as he crossed his legs perhaps, or shifted in his seat. The scent of honeysuckle through the open window and the sharp tang of cologne whenever he drew close. The prickle of cooling sweat on her exposed skin every time the fanned air brushed her. And the tautness of knotted bonds around both her wrists and her ankles. Hell, she almost felt his eyes on her. They were patrolling her body for sure, calm and alert. Enjoying her. Consuming her.”

And as I read, I am aroused; Jake Malden’s writing not only arouses me, his characters demand to be heard and immediately, my senses sit up and take notice. We hear a lot about the immediacy of pornography; the method of the pornographer is to put it there, right in your face, hitting you before you’ve had the time to control your arousal or repugnance. And that is exactly the effect; the sort of immediacy, that Jake Malden’s phrases have on me. So, am I reading erotica or pornography? Daniella Bound might have the immediate, sharp sting of pornography; but to me, it has the mellifluous drip, drip of highly sophisticated erotica.

Pornography doesn’t have characters with psychological depth, erotica does; at least in the hands of Jake Malden it does. He’s an intuitive writer. Daniella and Eric are fully rounded, psychologically savvy characters; we know them and recognise aspects of them in ourselves, our family, our friends.

The paragraph quoted above opens the novel; Daniella’s arousal speaks to the reader. Some readers will yearn to feel what Daniella is feeling; the lucky reader will be thinking ‘yes, I have felt that too…’

And Eric too; his control over Daniella, brings unexpected dark, deviant thrills. There will be plenty of Jake Malden’s readers wanting to try out a bit of bondage after reading about Eric and Daniella.

It would be easy to say that this novel is just about sex; certainly sex drives the narrative. But the novel is more than that; it is about power and control. It’s about relishing control and it’s about giving up control. Whether it’s giving up control in order to enhance the rush of orgasm, giving up control because at that moment in time it’s pointless to fight, or relinquishing control because that’s the place you want to be, depends on the position either Eric or Daniella finds him, or herself in.

The tale unfolds in a third person narrative with an alternating point of view; and as each point of view emerges, the reader is privy to the particular character’s thoughts, intent and intensely, overwhelming sexual arousal and release.

In the hands of a less skilled writer, the changes in point of view could damage the reader’s trust in the writer. A reader wants to know fairly quickly, that this is a story that will be worth investing time, patience; and, of course a certain amount of money. The publishing industry probably has more erotica themed novels in its databases than ever before; erotica is highly competitive.

Jake Malden handles the changes in point of view seamlessly; the reader quickly connects with where the novel is going; all that is left to do, is relax and enjoy the sexy antics of Eric and Daniella.

Reading this through, it is probably more of a commentary and analysis than a review; a review is there to make you want to upload the book. So I’ll start as I began; Daniella Bound by Jake Malden is probably the hottest piece of erotica you’ll read this year!

Daniella Bound is available at Amazon UK and at Amazon US

Friday, 5 June 2015

THE BEAST IN ME by billierosie

My new book is out! The Beast in Me! "Fucking hot & surprisingly sweet!" "Dangerous; sweet, conflicted!" "Pushes the boundaries of Decency!" "I was scared to keep reading!" "Nauseatingly depraved! Wicked!" "Depravity and true love; a potent cocktail!" "True love exceeds the depravity!" "Exquisitely, utterly depraved!" "Fucking hot! What have you done to me?"

Our sexual proclivities are an enigma. We have them, we know that they are there; we hide them, we keep them secret – sometimes we act on them. We cannot talk about them – no one would understand. We feel heated shame. We block feeling, turn away from feeling; we do anything not to feel.

We crush the horror of the terrible deed that the little voice inside our head bids us do.

Freud tells us that repressing feeling will amount to neurosis – Jung says pretty much the same – the repressed will bubble to the surface in one way or another – it will find a way out.

It will find its voice and it will demand to be heard.

The two stories presented here delve into the idea of ‘what happens next?’ What do you do – where do you go, after crashing and smashing your way through the final taboo?

A Queen, her depravity told through the milennia. The god is offended; know your place. Snap your fingers in the face of the god at your peril.

Homer tells her story – Pasiphae the unnatural; the King, her husband, made a cuckold. Men snigger about the royal couple – even now, centuries later. What she did, her shame exposed to all, when she gave birth to a monster.

If you know Homer’s story about the Minotaur, you will know that the Monster is proof that Queen Pasiphae was indeed guilty of a terrible perversion.
And my own tale “The Beast in Me;” the taboo ever present in Daisy and Noah.

They are lovers, besotted with each other; besotted with a terrible secret.

They break man’s law and God’s law too.

Sensitive readers should be cautious, especially if easily offended.

The Beast in Me is available for Kindle at Amazon US and Amazon UK

Friday, 29 May 2015

GRACE & BLOOD by Erik Keys

I never know where Erik Keys’ is going next. When Erik tells me he’s got a new book coming out, a thrill shivers up my spine, followed swiftly by a shuddering clenching in the pit of my stomach; what am I going to be confronted with this time? I’m still not over the repulsively anti-Semitic Ilsa in For the Glory, and as for the taboo shattering Mstislav; vengeance and glory, my head’s still spinning with suggestions of forced sex; interspecies sex, incest and necrophilia. My shattered nerves have still to recover; I had just regained my composure enough to pick up a book, when Erik casually, just happens to mention, his novel, Grace and Blood.

Introducing Gracie; the protagonist of Grace and Blood; Gracie the nymphomaniac, the psychopathic heroine of Erik’s latest book. Gracie, at just eighteen, is exactly the sort of girl you pray your daughter will never choose as her BFF – look out, look out Gracie’s about; mothers, lock up your sons. Wives, hide your husbands – Gracie is on the prowl.

As a writer, I am daunted by Erik Keys’ ability to write the taboo in such smooth, tantalising prose. His writing is beautiful; lyrical. I haven’t yet worked out how he does it; how he can create such amoral characters and get his reader to fall in love with them. In the case of Gracie, maybe it’s her sheer audacity; whatever, however, I am besotted with Gracie.

Gracie would be a worthy accomplice to Norman Bates; how she would love that seedy motel. She could step into Bette Davis’ shoes in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Gracie wriggles beneath your epidermis like a pruritic skin infestation.
And Erik Keys is working on a sequel to Grace and Blood. The character of Steve, a hired killer, takes over from Grace the role of first person narrative. I’ve read a rough draft and believe me, Steve and Gracie together are a terrifying force to be reckoned with. The working title is; “The Blood-lust Gnosis of Carrie Jordan” although this may change.

In his previous books, Erik Keys has playfully hinted at the compelling force of sex to influence world events; I have an uneasy feeling that in this sequel, that notion will become a reality.

Erik Keys’ sequel stands alone as a great story; you won’t need to read Grace and Blood first. But to get where Gracie is coming from, do read Grace and Blood. And read everything by Erik Keys; follow his theme of the sacred and profane. If you haven’t yet read him; I’m envious. You have a lot to look forward to; if you have read him, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about.

Here’s my review of Grace and Blood, by Erik Key’s. (Amazon wouldn’t post it; I regard this as a badge of honour. The review is at Goodreads, along with my reviews of For the Glory and Mstislav; vengeance and glory.)

“Sex and death; sex as life affirming, sex as death affirming. Grace and Blood; Eric Keys’ blood saturated story will shock, arouse; wring your hands in agonised holy dread despair.

There’s murder in these pages; there’s blood and guts. If you want depravity, you will find it here. Gracie’s seduction of her boss, Kevin, is sensual, arousing; outrageous. It’s perhaps how we would like to behave; if only we had Gracie’s nerve.
Always teetering on the edge of subversive, Eric Keys undermines our notion of the sacred, our concept of what is good and holy, into a metallic, screeching nightmare; hey, welcome to the world of the profane.

It’s a schizophrenic story both in content and in Gracie’s mind. A ghostly Katie directs Gracie’s actions; but the fact that she is being told what to do, does not negate Gracie’s culpability. Gracie simply does not care; she acknowledges her actions and moves on. There is no redemption; no reconciliation for Gracie. What would be the point?

So what makes Gracie’s story so shocking for the reader? I think it lies in the tone. The note that Grace strikes is lulling. This happened…that happened; in Gracie’s world, all of this is entirely normal. Our shock would surprise Grace; our shock may even amuse her.

If you are going to look for logic here, you won’t find it. You will be wasting your time asking Eric Keys to explain Gracie’s actions; I’m guessing that he probably doesn’t know either. He give’s Gracie a free rein; he gets into Gracie’s head, or Gracie gets into his and she writes her own lurid tale. And through Gracie, Eric Keys delves into his theme of the sacred and profane.

Eric Keys has taken the concept of “what if,” to the extreme; “what if I created a character motivated entirely by lust?”

Eric Keys is a canny writer who makes his reader think; he’s made me think. I’m guessing that he has made himself think too. Read Grace and Blood; yes, it’s shocking, but I’m willing to bet that sometimes you will catch yourself smiling.”

Links: Amazon US: Amazon UK: Goodreads:

Visit Eric Keys’ blog

For the Glory is at Amazon US And Amazon UK

Check out also; Mstislav: Vengeance and Glory – also by Eric Keys. At Amazon US and Amazon UK

Friday, 22 May 2015

CHRISTINA HARDING interviews billierosie

A while back Christina Harding interviewed me about my erotica – in particular, my collection of erotic tales; Fetish Transcendence.

(CH) Can you describe your book in one sentence?

(BR) I cannot possibly describe my book in one sentence! Fetish Transcendence is a collection of explicit, fetish themed erotic tales. The fetishes ranged from sexual power and control over another, necrophilia, food fetish – and there’s Sherlock Holmes and Watson indulging in outrageous Victorian depravity. There are 12 stories in all. Some of them are brand new; others have appeared in a few Sizzler Renaissance anthologies, but I must emphasise that none of them have appeared as “Free Reads” on Twitter.

(CH) What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

(BR) Oh, definitely the first story in the collection! “Security” is about a security guard in an exclusive department store in London. Freddie, has his own unique form of justice for the shoplifters whom he catches stealing from his posh store. There is one thief who has always eluded the security guards of London’s West End. They’ve named her “the Shadow” and Freddie would love to catch her. This tale first appeared in Sizzler’s “London” anthology – and it’s my favourite story because I was writing about a part of London I know well. Freddie’s depravity helped too – of course!

(CH) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

(BR) Well, lots of sex. I hope that they will enjoy my tales – I think that some of the stories will amuse, will certainly bring a smile to their faces. I think that quite a few readers will identify with the characters I’ve created – I’m thinking of two brand new stories here, right at the end of the collection – “The Diary” and “Anastasia,” the protagonist is a woman on the receiving end of a man exerting absolute power and control over her – it’s a situation that I can identify with – I think that some of my readers will too. Maybe not to the extent of the character in my story, but enough to have a resonance of how power and control manifests. And I think that some readers will identify with the character in another way -- the woman in the story is turned on by her situation. Being controlled sexually is, even humiliated sexually, is a fetish for many men and women.

(CH) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

(BR) Just write…and write!

(CH) What made you want to write erotica?

(BR) I’ve always loved Romance novels…I think that the Victorian writers first introduced me to the genre -- Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, I love their work. And more than that, I love their bad boy heroes. Rochester, Heathcliffe and Anne Bronte’s hero, Gilbert Markham. Men who know what they want, and get it, creating the rules as they go. After university, I fell into reading 21st century Romance novels, but they dissatisfied me. I wanted men, and women who are not afraid to be different as to how they express their sexuality. I read a Mills and Boon writer, Samantha Hunter, who was not afraid to call a cock a cock and I realised that there was a whole genre of Romance that I was missing out on. I Googled Erotica – and wow, it was like coming home! I read and read as fast as the post woman could deliver them – I discovered what I liked to read – power exchanges, particularly sexual power exchanges.

Through those books, there was one writer who stood out – M.Christian. I checked out his blog and emailed him about one of his books. He responded, and we’ve been friends ever since. In fact, it was Chris who first encouraged me to write Erotica and he published my first story on his blog. Chris’ work is one of the reasons why I hate 50 Shades so much. There have been so many great writers of Erotica over the years. Not just Chris; there’s Patrick Califia, N.T.Morley…check out his Master/slave anthology, Kristina Wright, her short story, “In the Stacks” blew me away – there’s so many of them and they’ve never really gained much recognition. People who think that E.LJames’ silly book is Erotica should read some real Erotica – where the characters accept their sexual orientation as something special, not something to be “cured”.

And I am not talking about my books, before “Anon” begins penning hate-mail to my blog -- there’s some really great Erotica out there and you don’t have to do a lot of leg work to find it.Just do as I did; type “Erotica” into your favourite search engine and be amazed. But I was talking about 50 Shades; E.L James’ heroine, by the end of the first book, is determined to cure Christian Grey of his Fetish – I don’t know whether she succeeds; the book actually bored me, particularly that turgid contract, which has been duplicated from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, published in 1870. I never got beyond the first book of 50 Shades, one book of drivel is as much as I can take. I think that the reason for E.L.James’ success is her background in marketing – ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’

(CH) Where do you get your ideas/inspiration for your writing?

(BR) Everywhere! Stories in the media; magazines, newspapers, television. You see power exchanges everywhere. But sometimes I just think, “what if?” What if a couple, who have been married for years are bored with their sex lives? This was the basis for my short story “Dissonance”. The husband tells his wife that he feels suffocated by the dull routine they have slipped in to. And their dialogue is what tells the story – it’s a free read on Twitter.

(CH) What does your writing area look like?

(BR) A disorganised mess. You’d think with all the sophisticated systems we’ve got these days – files that we can access with a click of the mouse, I’d have everything in order in my Desktop. But not so…I create files, then forget what I’ve called them. But what adds to the disorganisation is that I write things down on pieces of paper. It might be a quote, or a phrase, or an idea – but when I want to get my hands on something, it’s nearly impossible, because of the piles of junk I have to go through.

I’d like to be able to tell you that everything is immaculate at my work station, but it is not, my work station looks like something out of the TV show, Storage Wars!

(CH) We see you on Twitter a lot – some of your Tweets talk about writing to arouse -- are you teasing future readers? Are you hoping that your readers will be turned on?

(BR) Oh, it’s absolutely true – I do write to arouse and yes, I am teasing too. I found out, when I was reading Romance and when I discovered Erotica, I found out what turned me on. And I realised that if I can identify with a writer in that way, well it must be something that other readers want as well. But I’m still learning – I’ve only been a published writer for about 5 years and I’ve got a lot to learn – I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning, and wanting to learn.

(CH) So, do you get turned on by your stories?

Yes, I do! I get very excited too, when I can feel that a story is going really well. Writing Erotica, for me, is about embracing my own kinks and dark, very dark sometimes, desires. Even as a small child, I could relate to masochistic ideas; my first fantasy was about being spanked, hard. I remember watching an old black and white film; I must have been about 8 or 9. I cannot recall the title, but it’s a cowboy western with John Wayne pursuing Maureen O’ Hara around the town. When he catches her, he puts her over his knee and spanks her. That was my first experience of sexual arousal and I would fantasise about being spanked at night when I was in my bed. And there’s an Elvis Presley film, Blue Hawaii, where Elvis puts a spoilt woman over his knee and spanks her. I was a teen when I saw that film and the spanking scene really did turn me on.

(CH) Do you think it is necessary for an Erotica writer to be turned on by the events in a story?

(BR) Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but my own arousal informs my writing. I think that if I didn’t get turned on, my writing would lack authenticity and my readers would see through me and know that I was a fake.

(CH) In your Female Domination tales, where are you in the stories? Your writing is often brutal; the men in the tales are completely turned on by the pain and humiliation. Are you the woman wielding the whip?

(BR) No, I am writing from the submissive’s point of view. That is me in the story being punished and begging for release. Being controlled sexually, like being forbidden orgasm, is a big turn on for a lot of people – men and women.

(CH)Anything you want to say to your readers?

Thank you for reading me! Thank you for the reviews, for reading my blog and for the support. And thanks to those of you who give me the ideas for the stories – my Twitter followers – you know who you are!

Here’s a review from lovely Dark Scribe at Amazon.

"This was my first read of a book by Billierosie, and armed with the knowledge that this lady pulls no punches I dived in! Each of the stories touch on edgy eroticism, blurring the lines in one or two places in a roller-coaster of a read. For those of you that like your fetish to be dark and dangerous you will LOVE this collection, and I would mark it down as a definite read as soon as you can! It's quirky, riveting, addictive and typical of the lady herself; VERY naughty!!"

billierosie can be found at her blog –
She is Billierosie author on Facebook and @jojojojude on Twitter.

Where to find billierosie's books:

Fetish Transcendence (a collection of explicit erotica) is at Amazon U.K in paperback and as an eread. at Amazon U.S.

Memoirs of a Sex Slave; the confessions of a submissive woman is at Amazon U.K;and at Amazon U.S.

Enslaving Eli, (A Fem/Dom tale) is at Amazon U.K. as an eread and in paperback.And at Amazon U.S

Rebellious Slave is at Amazon UK as an eread and in paperback. And at Amazon U.S.

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Ladies of Llangollen -- the two most celebrated virgins in Europe

This is the story of two aristocratic ladies who eloped together to Wales in 1778 and lived happily ever after in a cottage ornée, surrounded by gardens full of Gothic follies. Their names were Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, but they were better known as the Ladies of Llangollen, "the two most celebrated virgins in Europe".

Although the Ladies wished to live in "delightful retirement" - reading, writing, drawing and gardening - the fashionable world soon beat a path to their cottage door. Their visitors included the Duke of Wellington, Lady Caroline Lamb, Josiah Wedgwood, William Wordsworth, Thomas de Quincey, Prince Paul Esterhazy and the Duke of Gloucester; their pen-friends included Queen Charlotte, Lord Byron and Louis XVI's aunt. There were many days when the Ladies had up to 20 visitors in relays, entertaining literally morning, noon and night.

Why did two country spinsters become so famous? It is hard to imagine today how sensational it was in the 18th century for unmarried ladies to live independently, whether singly or together. In addition, the circumstances of Eleanor and Sarah's elopement were positively melodramatic.

Eleanor was the youngest daughter of the de jure Earl of Ormonde, of Kilkenny Castle (his titles were attainted, like those of other devoutly Catholic Irish peers). Eleanor's brother, Robert, paved the way for restoration of the Ormonde earldom by converting to Protestantism, and he made a brilliant marriage. Eleanor's sisters married well, too.

But for Eleanor - clever, bookish, satirical and already 39 - there was no such hope. What better way, then, to make amends to God for brother Robert's apostasy, than by putting Eleanor in a nunnery? It would be a cheap way to dispose of her, too.

Twelve miles away, at the mansion of Woodstock, her orphaned 23-year-old friend Sarah Ponsonby was suffering the unwanted attentions of her middle-aged guardian, Sir William Fownes. His wife, Betty, whom Sarah dearly loved, was still alive, but her health was failing and Sir William over-eagerly anticipated the day when he could take pretty Sarah as the second Lady Fownes.

Both women felt trapped in an unbearable situation. Clandestine correspondence flew back and forth between Kilkenny Castle and Woodstock, and they decided to elope to England together (elope did not have the same marital connotation that it does today, it just meant run away). Dressed as men, carrying a pistol and Sarah's dog Frisk, they rode through the night to catch the ferry at Waterford, but it did not sail and they were forced to hide in a barn. They were caught and taken home.

Sarah fell seriously ill with a fever, but Eleanor, faced with imminent incarceration in a French convent, ran away again - this time to Woodstock, where she hid in Sarah's bedroom and a housemaid, Mary Carryll, smuggled food in to her. When this was discovered, the Ormondes declined to collect their errant daughter and after 10 days the Fownes family caved in. Sarah and Eleanor were free to go.

No melodrama, however, would be complete without retribution - while Eleanor, Sarah and their maid, Mary, were touring Wales in search of a home, Sir William was struck down with "strangulation of the stomach", followed by a stroke, and after a fortnight of barbaric treatments - "blistered and glistered and physick'd" - he died in agony.

The nature of Sarah and Eleanor's "romantic friendship" has naturally excited curiosity over the years. They referred to each other as "My Beloved" (or "My B"), then later as "My Better Half"; were certainly as devoted as any married couple; slept in the same bed; cropped their hair into short curls and habitually wore riding habits with mannish beaver hats.

So they were lesbians - or were they? Few who visited them thought so. The word romantic simply meant fanciful or eccentric in the 18th century. And it was the fashion for friends - male as well as female - to write and speak to each other in language which we now reserve for sexual partners.

Nor was it uncommon to share a bed with a sister or friend. The Ladies' hairstyles and hats followed a French fashion - besides, they were practical for the country - and they spent their money on books and home improvements, not on frivolous clothes.

My guess, from reading Elizabeth Mavor's excellent biography, is that Eleanor was a lesbian, whether she realised it or not (likely not, as it was unheard-of until an outbreak of "sapphism" at the French court brought it to English society's notice in 1789); but that Sarah - if she had not met Eleanor at the impressionable age of 13, and if she had not needed to escape from her guardian - might have settled down just as happily with a husband.

As it was, she settled down, for 50 years, with Eleanor. They took a five-roomed stone cottage on a hillside above Llangollen, renamed it Plas Newydd (New Hall) and began to extend and embellish it. Windows were gothicised and old stained glass panels inserted into them. A library was filled with finely bound books and curiosities of all kinds, including a lock of Mary Queen of Scots' hair.

They developed a passion for old, carved wood - whether from medieval churches or broken-up Elizabethan and Jacobean furniture. The staircase hall was lined with it, and a bizarre trio of canopies built on to the door and windows. The front porch incorporates, inter alia, carvings of the four evangelists, Latin inscriptions, 17th-century bedposts and lions donated by the Duke of Wellington (visitors soon learnt that to appear with gifts of carvings ensured a welcome).

The grounds became similarly elaborate as time went on and acres were added. Passing through a "ruined" Gothic archway, visitors could cross the rushing stream in its miniature ravine on rustic bridges; visit Lady Eleanor's Bower, overhanging the ravine, and a temple complete with a font stolen from Valle Crucis Abbey's ruins; see butter being made in the circular model dairy; admire peaches, nectarines and melons growing in the ornate glasshouse; and read poetic quotations on boards tacked to tree trunks.

It was all highly, fashionably Picturesque; it was also highly expensive. The Ladies never did learn to manage on a small income. Despite their family allowances and state pensions, they were often in debt - and when this happened, to cheer themselves up, they embarked on new improvements. They drank the best wine and kept several servants, including the faithful Mary Carryll as their housekeeper.

Mary was uncouth and formidable (her Irish nickname had been Molly the Bruiser), but the Ladies were touchingly devoted to her, and she to them. When she died, they erected an elaborate stone monument, under which they later joined her; and she bequeathed them an additional field, bought with her life savings.

After their deaths, Plas Newydd had several owners, including one, General John Yorke, who left an indelible mark on the house. Following their enthusiasm for old, carved oak, he elaborately lined their kitchen to form the present-day Oak Room, where all that remains from the Ladies' time is their initials carved into the mantelpiece.

General Yorke also half-timbered the house facade in black and white, with curious, carved decorations between the beams; and he crammed the interiors with oddities, including mementoes of the Ladies and such esoterica as the skeletal head of a sea-serpent.

In 1932 the house was taken over by Llangollen Urban District Council, and it opened to the public a year later. The house is well-maintained but the garden's remaining features are in sad need of restoration - for which a National Lottery Fund grant is awaited.

Plas Newydd is in Llangollen, Clwyd (signposted from the town centre) (01978 861314). Open daily until end October, 10am-5pm (last admission to house 4.15pm). Admission £2.50 adult, £1.25 child.

Elizabeth Mavor's biography, `The Ladies of Llangollen' (Penguin, £4.99), is on sale at the house.

Also available at as an eread at Amazon UK and Amazon US

The article is from The Daily Telegraph, 4th May 2002
by Anne Campbell Dixon

I was lucky enough to visit Plas Newydd only this week, with my friend Francis Potts -- it is wonderful and I felt privileged to briefly the ladies home. The journals are there for visitors to read -- steeped in love, an all consuming powerful love. It really doesn't matter one way or another whether Sarah and Eleanor were lesbians or not-- that they loved one another was enough; quite enough.

Plas Newydd is set in peaceful gardens surrounded by trees and includes the font from the nearby Valle Crucis Abbey.
The house is now a museum run by Denbighshire County Council. The circle of stones, in the grounds of Plas Newydd was used for the 1908 Llangollen National Eisteddfod.
Open Easter to October 10.00-17.00
Telephone +44 1978 861314