Can't Please Everyone
 "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."   
—      Mae West

My friend Alisha Paige is a Romance Novelist and she brought up something that struck me as interesting.  The topic was pertaining to sex in novels. I’ll give you what she said in a moment, but first let me give you a little insight on the evolution that has taken place in regards to “The Romance Novel”.  In fact you might say that when it comes to the romance genre…”Mama’s Got A Brand New Bag”. The romance novel of yesteryear came in one of two genres; contemporary or historical. In other words, did it take place in the past or present? The one common factor in both is thatthey all contained some form of sexual context. Now, however, the romance novel has crossed over into other genres. These other genresinclude paranormal, fantasy, time travel and… well, you get the idea. Still, the common factor continues to be the sex, though it too has taken a bit of a spin in its direction.

Oh sure, there were always  those “other” books usually found on that shelf in the back of the book store between – “please don’t let anyone see me” and “Oh this isn’t the self-help section? Oops, silly me”. This brings me to the subject as far as the role sex plays in the romance novel andhow far sexhas truly exploded in these novels. So much so, there is yet another genre that has gained popularity, because it’s specifically geared toward material that contains a certain amount or type of sexual content. No longer is it way in the back of the store or in a completely different room marked “XXX only”. No, now you can find it in its own section right next to the romance section of the book store proud and shouting… “hey look at me, I’m no longer a dirty little secret”! That genre is erotica and erotica has been around for a very long time. By definition it means; art of literature intended to arouse sexual desire by portraying sex in an explicit way…

So now we can also add erotica to that long list of genres used in connection to the romance novel. Actually, the genres are so intertwined in some that it’s growing more difficult to actually put them in one category. So, yes the bag is brand new and it’s huge to say the least. We not only have all types of genres to contend with,but now there is also the sexual content that needs consideration when trying to categorize them.

Believe me as a book reviewer this can be very frustrating to say the least. J  I mean seriously, where the hell do you put a book that’s genres include; Erotic/BDSM, Paranormal Romance? I ask you where??? There is however one little genre that has a lot of authors cringing when it’s used in reference to their books: Pornography.

Alisha’s comment was very simple, yet it spoke volumes; “Sex in a novel does not make it pornographic.”  No author likes it when their work is described that way. What is it about that one word, pornographic, that has the power to have authors and publishers both quaking when they hear it? I had to find out, and the first thing I needed was to know exactly what does that word means. The actual definition will surprise you.

The reality is that society has taken the word “pornography” totally out of context, at least its literal meaning. Somehow along the way that word has become equated to nothing less than bad. When in truth the definition of pornography simply means… sexually explicit materials, such as films, magazines, writings, photographs and so forth, that are intended to cause sexual arousal That’s it, nothing more.So far, I haven’t come across any other definition for pornography saying…”and that means it’s bad”. You might go as far as to say it has been stereotyped in its representation as a whole industry. Pornography is not an industry unto itself it is the word that is use to describe the Adult Entertainment Industry; Adult entertainment can involve portrayals through any media of material which provides sexual excitement and erotic satisfaction to the viewer, usually referred to as pornography or erotica.

If a reviewer writes…”this book is so erotic and the sex so hot it burned the clothes right off of me” the books sales just went sky high. Even if the reviewer goes as far as to put an actual warning, say like this, “erotic isn’t an adequate enough description, because the sexual chemistry in this book was so explicit it should come with the warning: This title contains explicit, rutting-like-a-stallion sex and graphicsituations”, the books stores wouldn’t be able to keep it on their shelves.

Are we so brainwashed that if one word, one little word, was added to that warning, “with its rutting-like-a-stallion sex and (instead of graphic puts) pornographic situations” that those same people who couldn’t wait to get that same book home to start reading it before, would suddenly read between the lines and find that to mean only a deviant would read “a book like that” and should be avoided like the plague? Really? I mean hell if “contains explicit rutting-like-a-stallion sex” isn’t a pornographic situation then I don’t know what is. Are we really so narrow minded or idle brained not to know that?

So why is it ok with an author when their work described as erotic yet when described as pornographic it’s a death sentence? They mean the same thing.

The only difference between erotica and pornography is, well, not a damn thing. Regardless of the venue that is used they achieve the same thing. There’s sex that is explicit and it doesn’t matter how they “portray” it. It could be through literature or a scene in a painting, photograph, drawing or a damn book cover. It’s all semantics, because the intention is to cause sexual arousal.

Some may try to argue that erotica is specifically geared toward literature intended to arouse sexual desire by portraying sex in an explicit way…where as pornography’s intention is to use sexually explicit materials, that can include, but are not limited to films, magazines, writings, photographs, that are intended to cause sexual arousal. Again, my friend, SEMANTICS "you say tomato, I say tomahto".

Here’s what I think. Somehow, some way, pornography got on the infamous “bad word” list made popular by the late and great comedian George Carlin. I think George Carlin said it best; “Don’t confuse words with thoughts. Thoughts are fluid and then we assign a word to a thought and then were stuck with that word for that thought…BAD WORDS, that’s what “they” told us ‘that’s a bad word’…{pause}…noooo bad words…bad thoughts…bad intention, but no bad words”. It’s a lot better when you actually hear him it comes across so much better. So I also included the video of that routine, it is quite graphic, my goodness some might be so inclined to say it’s outrageously pornographic…so be warned.

I believe that is what happened with the word pornography. It got confused with a bad thought with bad intentions and from there it was all downhill.

I’m afraid the other culprit is all the propaganda that has bombarded us, telling us that anything or anyone that is involved with pornography must also have an illicit intent and are sexual deviants. It’s that attitude, or stereotype, that has given the word pornography the reputation it has today and that is why publishers and authors alike get skittish when associated with it. I don’t blame them. It’s simply deemed an insult although incorrectly deemed none the less it is.

As a reviewer I can see why they would, because I have myself made that same mistake when I posted my review for
Vampire Mistress by Joey W. Hill“She has taken erotica from a reputation of smutty porn to a new level of intensity…”  I should have written… “She has taken erotica to a new level of intensity” and left out the “smutty porn” stuff altogether. I know better now. I was however correct when I said, “She challenges her readers to look beyond preconceive ideals of right and wrong and good and evil”. That’s exactly the point I am making here that until we can get passed preconceive ideals we will be doomed to repeat past mistakes over and over again.

Alas, there is another factor that also needs consideration. Not all writers are created equal. I think when a reviewer or even a publisher describes a book as “too pornographic”, what they might be trying to say is ‘the amount or type of sex to the ratio of story doesn’t balance’. Also in relation to certain subject matters it takes exceptional ability when it comes to seamlesslyintegrate awkward transitions when exposing a reader who might not pick a book that contains a nature of certain undeniable sexual practices that are difficult to define or express that most find uncomfortable. For instancewhen an author is trying to integratetopics with the more taboo reputations such BDSM or GLBT (Gay/Lesbian?Bi-Sexual/Transgender) or "Menage à Trois", because of the sensitive issues related to them may have a more difficult time intergrading them into the more mainstream audience. Of course an open mind on the reader’s part doesn’t hurt either.

I used the word pornography as the topic of discussion here, but really what this all boils down to is that a word is just a word, and the only time a word has any power to hurt or discriminate whether by reputation or otherwise is because we alone gave it that power.

Not everyone has the same opinion as to what they find acceptable when it comes to the type if any as far as sexual content in what they like to read and there are many choices out there for everyone’s reading enjoyment. So if you just happened by and aren’t really one that likes certain content in what you read then don’t read it. Simple. I am curious though, if that is in fact true, I’m surprised you actually read this all the way through. J

We are still very prudish when it comes to the matters of sex. I don’t think that this one little article is going to change people’s “preconceived ideals” when it comes to the word pornography. Maybe someday, but not today, so if it makes you feel better to call books that are sexually explicit erotic and not pornographic then this is what I have to say about that… ‘A Book by Any Other Name would Still Read as Sweet’.

So to all my friends that write sexually explicit novels…you keep writing and when someone refers to the sex in that novel as pornographic you tell them it does if you got turned on and smile.

I for one find that novels, films, videos, romances or otherwise, that contain sex can be very sexually arousing so by definition means they are pornographically erotic. Hey I kinda like that…pornographically erotic, sorta has a nice ring to it “don’t cha” you think?

I’m just saying...

Let’s ask the Pussy Cats


Can Predictability Spawn Uniqueness?

Predictability. It wraps us in its far-stretching embrace and offers us comfort on oh-so-many levels. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially with Valentine’s Day approaching. When I was younger, roughly around the time the Redwoods were forming their seventeenth ring, it was waiting for the parental presentation of the Whitman Sampler. Really, there was nothing better than lifting the lid of that box and finding the Holy Grail of childhood happiness—the cherry cordial. Ahhh, what a great couple, my mom and dad! Laying the groundwork for a life-long chocolate addiction while unwittingly ensuring a fear of dentistry wasn’t far behind. My fillings tingle right now at the thought of that ooey-gooey sweetness.

Fast forward to the present and you’ll find me still waiting for something rectangular and wrapped in cellophane to arrive on February 14. I’d prefer it be delivered by someone dressed in uniform. Delivery guy in brown shorts or landscaping dude in the green polo shirt— either work just fine for me. But more than likely it’ll be one of my great girlfriends who’ll come through for me. And why is that? Because they know predictability is just fine when it comes to feeding the creative center of my being— which is what I call it when the hankering for a little Godiva hits. Yes, I’ve moved up the coco-licious ladder one rung at a time over the years. Yet, when it pertains to the outcome of that literary weaving, predictability isn’t so grand.

Time and again I encounter readers who say they’re looking for something new and exciting in their romance reads. According to them, nothing negates a well-crafted story of conflict and passion faster than dull characters. With the amount of talented writers whose books are available to the masses, cookie-cutter heroines are the kiss of death. Readers want to relate to these women on a variety of levels. Whether it’s the ‘girl-next-door encountering everyday obstacles’ mindset or the ‘I’m a warrior at heart and WILL kick your ass if need be’ sort of thing.

When I first began writing erotic romance, I gave my heroines unique careers that I would have loved to have called my own. Graphic airbrush artist, tarot reader, change-at-will mermaid, professional baker, tattooist …and the list goes on. And yes, I would totally be down with having a sparkling, double-finned tail every now and then if I was able to go through the orgasmic-induced change from human to mer form like my character in SEDUCING THE SIREN, which is a perfect example of avoiding conceptual predictability. No sitting on a rock commiserating with a singing crustacean for my girl, Ali. Oh, no. It was guardian-protected sea crystals and a naked, finely-chiseled guy perched on the side of the tub to help facilitate her transformation. Yep, that story took ‘just add water’ to a whole other level.

The quest for new and unusual characters is ongoing and a must for me. I’m asked how some of my recent characters have taken shape and the answer is simple. I pay close attention to the people I encounter in real life. The heroine in FILIGREE AND FANTASY is a jewelry intern who’s made a trip to Macedonia to refine her silver skills. My daughter’s dear friend was that intern. Granted, she didn’t encounter any shape shifting canines during her adventure but she was a wealth of knowledge when it came time to refine the details of that story. Thank you, Whitney, I’ll forever be grateful.

I have a notebook full of unique professions I’ve become privy to and will hopefully use each and every one at some point. Just this past weekend, while on vacation in Puerto Rico, I met a woman has recently taken over her late husband’s sailboat business. Chatting with her while cutting through the gently rolling Atlantic Ocean was fascinating to say the least. Her previous career was that of a geologist and I learned that she was also a flutist at one point in her life.  That single encounter has afforded me characterization for three future novels!

But any writer can turn a very traditional career into something a bit more unique with very little effort. When I decided to write a story for my publisher, Ellora’s Cave, that had a theme centered on beverages, a heroine who was a bartender immediately came to mind. It’s a role I could envision myself in. But I didn’t want to craft a tale of my hero merely encountering her in her

usual environment so the brainstorming began. It’s a scary thing at times, kids. Something you might not want to try without a net. Somewhere between the slightly edgy (placing her behind the bar of a swanky bondage club) and the totally fantastical (let’s all think Star Wars bar scene) I became hungry. It happens. A lot…and I was undoubtedly out of chocolate or I wouldn’t have had to leave my favorite writing chair and head toward the kitchen.

While standing in front of my opened refrigerator door wondering what I could do with leftover cooked turkey bacon, a small wedge of brie, one somewhat stale thin bagel round and the last piece of red velvet cake, the missing piece of the story presented itself to me. What if reaching her goal was dependent on taking simple bar ingredients and making something utterly fantastic from them? And with that, Susanne from SHAKEN AND STIRRED went from a bartender to a competitive mixologist. A true case of predictability spawning uniqueness. Because, really, when the going gets tough, the tough get food…and sweets. And they write about both every chance they get. you’ve got a very tasty snack, my friends. The red velvet cake stands alone, as do most things that can be considered true perfection. Like chocolate. And men in uniforms.

And for those who are secretly wondering the most important part of this blog, open the bagel round and line up bacon on each half. Microwave for 15 seconds before cutting the brie as thin as possible and placing on top of the bacon. Heat on ½ power for 45 seconds to 1 minute and


M.A.’s latest release, JUST PRESS PLAY, introduces readers to an aspiring romance-writing heroine who lives out her exhibitionistic fantasy at the hands of her very sexy, very kinky, very proficient younger lover. M.A. likes readers to believe it’sautobiographical…but since there’sno reference to chocolate in any variously yummy forms, we don’t believe her. But it definitely does have a little something for the voyeur in all of us. For the blurb and purchase link visit http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8595-just-press-play.aspx  For an expert of this book or M.A.’s other romances, visit her website at www.maellisromance.com


As the first month of the New Year draws to a close everyone’s thinking of a fresh start. New Year, new beginnings, right? Well, I for one think sometimes the idea of “new” can be overrated  and not everything it’s cracked up to be.  Maybe a better approach is thinking of better ways to keep the old ideas fresh and exciting instead of simply dismissing them all together.

Which brings me to this month’s blog topic: “The Immortal Warrior”. Washed up hero or just an old idea with a new twist?

Is the immortal warrior theme starting to get redundant? I mean, you have to admit there are a great deal of books out there containing a lot of immortal warriors.  Truthfully, how many times can the world get saved by these dashingly daring men before someone begins to notice all that yummy testosterone?

 Actually, that question got me thinking about how much I like pizza... [now hold on I’m actually going somewhere with this]. Even though where I live wouldn’t be considered a big town there are dozens of pizza places. There’s nothing new about pizza. So what is it about a flat round piece of bread dough topped with cheese and tomato sauce that makes it so special? The answer is because pizza is good, that’s why! Add to the fact there is no limit or rule as to what goes on a pizza or how it’s prepared makes the possibilities endless. So even though each pizza place is serving essentially the same thing each brings its own new way in which it’s prepared, and no matter what, you can always find a pizza for everyone.  What’s key to this equation isn’t how many ways you can change it, but whether or not you want to. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say “well that’s certainly a redundant choice of taste in pizza’s you have”. So who cares if you happen to like your pizza the old fashioned way or topped with pineapples? It’s still a pizza. Hence an old idea with a new twist and in the end it’s what YOU like that really counts.

How ya doing, still with me?

You might ask what determines ‘good’. You’ve all seen the new reality cooking shows…. [“OMG, what’s with this chick and food”? I’m Italian, we relate everything to food] I think you already know that no matter how good the recipe or how fresh the ingredients, it’s the person making it that’s truly important as to whether the quality will be good or bad. The same thing is true with the paranormal romance and those delicious immortal warriors. It’s not the form, but the author creating them that will determine how satisfying the outcome is. Each author is just like all those pizza places, each one adds their own certain flare to the recipe/story; some good some not so good. Sometimes you have to weed through a lot of different authors to find the one that’s right for you.

So how do you find the right author for you? Paranormal or not, at the heart of them all, they are first and foremost romances.  Therefore the first question you have to ask is, “How hot do you want the romance to be?” Are you looking for a bit of slap and tickle or full out ride ‘em ‘til it hurts? That’s where reviews come in to play. Read them! A good reviewer will tell you if there is a lot of sex or just a nibble. Some may even have a warning as to just how far the author takes their characters. For me it’s not just how much sex is in the book, or how often, but how effective it is in regards to the story as well as the characters. Does it add to the story or just distract? Romances, whether paranormal, contemporary or historical all come in a vast array of levels when it comes to the sexual content. If you can’t find an answer from reading the reviews, try going to the publisher’s site. At the publisher’s site you can usually find a heat level there if you aren’t sure. If the publisher’s site isn’t enough go to the authors website.

For me, I happen to like when there’s ardent sexual chemistry bouncing all over the place between the hero and heroine the more the chemistry the better. Notice I didn’t say a lot of sex scenes just that the chemistry is there so if and when a love scene happens, it’s explosive. Also, I like a lot of hair raising action that stirs the reader with exciting subplots that keeps the pages turning and the reader guessing. For instance, the hero and heroine may be the main focus, but if the author forgets secondary plots and characters it makes for a very dull book. The next important factor is how well the author brings the story to life. Does the author capture the reader’s imagination as well as their senses? Do you see as well as feel the scene the author is describing. Can you smell the musk of the hero as he draws closer, feel the caress as their fingers accidently brush against each other? Are you anticipating that first kiss, the meeting of their lips, with bated breath?  And last, but not least, there has to be a happy ending. There’s just too much unhappiness in the everyday world… I do not want it in my fantasy world. Fantasy being the key word here.

Immortal warriors can be very enticing fantasies. Especially today in a world that is filled with so much uncertainty. Each time we turn the T.V on there is something else that brings us this sense of impending doom. It’s disheartening and now with all the different facets to stream information in real time, there is no escaping the mayhem. That’s when I pick up one of my books, sit back, and for a few hundred pages I’m able to forget the chaos. I need a place where heroes win and where love is fervent and forever.

I think Robin Williams put it best when he said, “Reality, what a concept”.

Hero’s are needed no matter what form they happen to be in. Just like the many movie heroes of yesteryear such as, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Kirk Douglas, all of whom came to the rescue during times of trouble. Were they really saving the world? No, of course not, but for audience those few moments sweep them away and it felt good. Is that really so bad? That’s what romances are for me, my escape from the turmoil of today’s woes. To be honest, movies just can’t do better than my own imagination, even with all of today’s technology and special effects.  Let’s face it, movies certainly can’t take the love scenes to the point in the same detail that authors and your imagination can. They would all be rated X or considered porn.

However these heroes are served; in whatever fashion the author decides to bring them to us. I think there is enough variation out there to satisfy everyone’s taste. So the next time you order that unique pizza, made just the way you like, that has your mouthwatering; don’t forget to also include that unique paperback with a hero that can sweep you off into the sunset.

Too mushy for all you “I’m all that and more ladies of the boardroom types?” Ladies, don’t forget it’s not a bad thing being a woman, and it wouldn’t hurt to put some satin and lace under that suit to remind you of that fact. Also, having a warm hard body next to you at night doesn’t mean surrender [um…that is unless of course that’s your thing…let’s say we just keep that subject for another blog shall we?] it means you’re still women. Remember you may not “need” a man to save you, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have one on your side.

For this reason [in case you still haven’t guessed] I can never get enough stories where the good guys always win and the splendors are endless. Of course it goes without mention the smokin’ hot sex scenes with dreamy lick-a-lious alpha studs steaming up the pages don’t hurt the fantasy either! [I guess it did need mentioning] J

So with that said, what better way to end then with the video for “I Need a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler, enjoy!! J

I am very excited to have, Doris Gomez with us today. Doris and I have had quite of few very interesting discussions about the direction that romance novels have taken, and asked her to share a bit of some of her thoughts with us. The subject today is the new and exciting direction that romance novel are taking...Gone are the heaving breasted heroine who waits for the testosterone filled alpha male to save her. Oh don't get me wrong he's still out there (thank-god) only now instead of swooping in and saving the damsel in distress she is fighting at his side. She is tough without being butch, and before she surrenders she is going to make sure he is worthy beyond his good looks and warrior strength


Doris Gomez is a retired teacher of World History; she has her Masters in Counseling Psychology, and is currently researching issues related to modern romance novels.

What's Up with Women's Erotic Romance ? ? ?
Written by Doris Gomez

Whoa, what's up with women's romance novels these days???  Everywhere you look on bookstore shelves there's some new kinda kinky lovin' going on.  Looking for an M/M romance, written mostly by women so other women can fantasize about two hunky males together? A romp through Amazon's lists showed close to 9300 titles. Thinking of sandwiching yourself between those sex-ay males? You've got about 800 books to choose from. Got a yen for a human or furry beastie? There are almost 1300 titles. Or, maybe you favor a little sumpin' sumpin’ with a once-dead-guy. Vampire romance should fit the bill and you're not alone. Amazon brought up over 2000 books for vamps.


Okay, hey, it's all good clean sensual romance--a great way to let go of "frazzled" and get touch with your sexual side. But, what about those other books, those books some readers view with distaste? You know those BDSM romances where peeps get tied up and spanked? Yeah, what about them? Since I'm pushing sixty-five, I'm a bit confused over why BDSM fantasy is shoved to the back of the bus, especially when other once-taboo fantasies are hot in the romance marketplace. Modern dominance and submission games don't seem all that different from the 70's historicals that got labeled "bodice rippers" for obvious reasons. Those books were filled with rough sex that was far from consensual. In iconic, Sweet, Savage Love (1974), Rosemary Rogers gave us the spirited, but innocent Ginny, kidnapped and "ravished" by the dark, laconic Steve. The book shot to the top of best seller lists and became an all-time world-wide best seller, to the dismay of feminists who decried the "sadomasochistic" story.

Truth to be told, bodice-rippers are only the tip of the BDSM iceberg. Before Ginny and Steve, we had the boyish flapper, Diana, kidnapped by a desert prince and held captive until she was willing to call him "master". Valentino played the compelling Ahmed Be Hassan in the roaring 20's world-wide blockbuster, The Sheik, by E. M. Hull. Prior to that, there were generations of beast stories. In the 1830's, Hans Christian Anderson included one such folktale about a bear who married a woman, yet each night, when he got into bed with his wife he was a man. (Uh huh, heard that one before) In the mid 1700's a French woman, Villeneuve, reworked an old folk tale, "Beauty and the Beast", into a story written for adults. (Love that story!) In the late 1500's, Shakespeare, delivered a funnier, but still overbearing hero in Petruchio, who used an early form of behavior mod to tame the shrew. (The ending was pure male fantasy.) Moving from bodice-ripping to chiton-rending, Apuleius wrote the oral Greek myth of, "Cupid and Psyche", into one of his stories during the 2nd century AD. This tale had an invisible Cupid, kidnapping Psyche, marrying her, and then coming to her only in the dark of night for passionate love-making. (Yes!) Earlier in, The Odyssey, 800-600 BC, was the story of Persephone, kidnapped by the forbidding Hades, who raped her and imprisoned her underground. Later myths of Persephone show her willingly serving as the powerful queen of the underworld. Altogether this gives us almost 3000 years of silent, brooding men, conquering young innocent women and forming love matches. This story of dominance and submission transcends vast periods of time and major cultural differences in western civilization from BC times to the 21st century. So what's going on here?


Part of the answer lies in 200,000 years of human history, when larger, stronger males dominated smaller females. (Or, at least they tried to, *wink*). Modern ideas of human rights are as old as our 1776 constitution, but many of those rights didn't extend to women, unable to vote until 1920. Later, Women's Liberation made progress with economic inequities due to sexism. And, in 1983, The Gay Male S/M Activists coined the phrase, Safe, Sane and Consensual, addressing basic human rights for BDSM participants. Then, in 2000, The Psychiatric Association issued a text revision in their diagnostic guidelines, listing SM as a life style choice unless it impaired social, work or consensual behaviors. Bottom line is that as human beings we've had 199,900 years to stock pile, "You Tarzan--me Jane," sexual fantasies and only about 100 years to come up with something more "enlightened". Though some feminists, thought Jane would be better off if she dumped Tarzan completely, that didn't happened and love, at least in the world of romance, still seems to make the world go around. However, there have been improvements in women's lives and one of them is that "good" wives and moms can now choose their own brand of sexual fantasy and find it in a romance novel.


 Ladies choice rules and women have been voting with their dollars. Having gained more power over their lives, women increasingly choose stories with a heavy dose of sexuality to go with their romance. In the last ten years this has resulted in new erotic romance publishers, like Ellora's Cave and formerly "sweet" Harlequin shows its hot streak in their Blaze line. What then is the problem with BDSM, since it so closely resembles some of our most primitive fantasies? I suspect that part of the issue revolves around women making their own choices. In the bodice-rippers the male dominated the situation and women supposedly weren't willing. In the new BDSM romances, women choose to submit, which gives them significant power in the relationship. In addition, women in these stories also choose to dominate, as in the, Vampire Queen, series by Joey W Hill, where there are five dominatrix, out of six  books. It's no secret that our culture gets uneasy when women start making their own choices. This social anxiety about women with the power to chose is long standing and goes all the way back to Eve choosing an apple instead of a pear, but that's a story for another blog.

You can also find more comments and fun facts by Doris Gomez at  Joey W Hill Fan Forum.


You know the one’s mama warned us about, until of course you find mama reading one of her erotic romance novels with those very men as the heroes. Even better is when he’s not just bad, but fanged and fab-u-licious to boot. So why is it ok to enjoy these dangerous hunks in books?

I mean you have to admit, there is something about the danger and titillating effect of eroticism that the promise of uninhibited sex that really gets the engines roaring when they come wrapped in a lip-smacking package of hunk-a-licious, doesn’t it?  But surely there has to be something more than just the hot money sex that keeps us interested right? …(Ok wait I can’t stop laughing at my own question). 

Maybe it’s just the fact that we like our heroes with a little more bite to them? The unknown can be pretty exciting, and it does give us an avenue to step out of our regular everyday hum-drum lives that drive us to seek excitement in the dark and dangerous world of the paranormal erotic romance. Maybe something about succumbing to those inner desires we just can’t allow ourselves the luxury of chancing, except in our books is also exciting  as well as safe too. I mean it’s certainly better than the old commercial for "Calgon, take me away!" where a bar of soap, and a bath can take us away for all our chaos in our lives. Between you and me there was a whole lot more going on in the bath than just a bar a soap. If you’re too young to remember that well Google it. I don’t have the time to get into it.

Why does the Big Bad Wolf still scare and yet fascinate us still today?  There are all kinds of sexual references that showing the anthropomorphic wolf symbolizes as a man, who could be a lover, seducer or sexual predator. I mean there are alot of different versions of the tale, but I like the one where the wolf asks Red to take off her clothes and get into bed with him, and just when she does he eats her. (Whoa bummer, hope that one was about the sexual predator). There’s also the version when Red is just about to “give in” to the wolf the hunter rushes to her rescue, and save her from herself as well as that naughty wolf.  Maybe because Wolfy didn’t just want Red to surrender what was in her basket. He also wanted her to surrender to him. I like the one where the hunter and wolf both take an interest in Red.  What don’t tell me you never thought that might make an interesting tale? Deanna Wadsworth’s   Red Riding Hood, takes a spin around that park, and is a good example of some of the trouble you can get on the way to grandma’s house.  Oh my!!

The Big Bad Wolf fairy tales of yesterday have grown up, and maybe when it’s written in just the right way with just the right amount of paranormal added to the mix it also makes it easier to submit and enjoy when cloaked that way.

… between you and me I don’t really think Red was running away.  J


I love to hear from authors, and readers alike.  For the readers, tell me why you love the written word, and what kind of books you enjoy. Authors, tell me about your struggles, your work, and why you choose this avenue as a career. Why you write the genres you write, etc.  Reader and authors alike tell me what you like about review sites and what you don’t. I want to know. Being a small fish in a large pond I am constantly trying to look for ways to reach readers and find authors with books to review.

I’ll start. First with why I love to read. I think that reading is the best way to explore without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Reading can take you places no other transportation in the world can do. You can visit other worlds, and go on adventures without risk to life or limb. *grin*

Today everyone seems to be so in awe of movies stars and reality shows. I am in awe of authors, and reality is overrated. I can get all the reality I need just by stepping outside my door, reading a newspaper, or turning on the television.

In a society of instant gratification, the one thing that still stops us rushing here and there is the power of a good book. I love that today we can get books streamlined right to our e-readers, and that we are now able to get almost anything out there that’s published with the click of a button. It also saves a lot of time trying to find storage space for all of my books.  I will admit if I have a choice between holding a book in my hand and downloading it I still apt to choose the book, especially if it’s a partially favorite author. 

    Welcome to
    I'm Just Saying...


    Let me start with why I love to read. I think that reading
    is the best way to  explore without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
    Reading can take you  places no other transportation in the world can do. You
    can visit other worlds,  and go on adventures without risk to life or limb.

    The Raison D'être

    I read books. I review books. I babble on and on about books. 

    Very quickly you'll discover my tastes gear toward the
    steamier side of sensual, but in the end

    it's the story that

    Thanks for coming to my site!  Leave a comment to
    let me know what you think!


    February 2012
    June 2011
    March 2011
    February 2011
    January 2011
    November 2010
    October 2010
    September 2010


    A Dirty Book Is Rarely Dusty
    Big Bad Wolf Hero Or Villain
    Guest Author M.A. Ellis
    Never Enough
    Shortest Fairy Tale
    Something To Think About
    “The Immortal Warrior”
    What's Up With Women's Erotic Romance

    Barbara's book montage

    Demon from the Dark
    Primal Bonds
    Ecstasy in Darkness
    Vampire Mistress
    Atlantis Betrayed
    Red Demon
    Blood Bound
    Nocturnally Vexed
    The Mark of the Vampire Queen
    Deadly Desire
    Rapture Untamed: A Feral Warriors Novel
    Dreams of a Dark Warrior
    Love in the Time of Dragons
    Vampire Trinity
    Warrior Avenged: The Sons of the Zodiac
    Shadow of the Vampire
    Hunger Untamed
    The Fallen: Raziel
    Mistress of Redemption

    Barbara's favorite books »

      What Do YOu Read?

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