Tuesday, January 31, 2006

May Reviews Interview

  • Would you list the title and publishers of your works?  (If the work is not erotic, underline it so we will know that it is different.)

    • Erotique (October 2005 from Phaze)

      Mandy stands to inherit the family legacy – a famous Philadelphia adult toy store and museum called Erotique – but she first has to meet the terms of the will and spend the night.  With the help of her best friend, Bruce, she soon discovers the exhibits are VERY educational and her feelings for Bruce run deeper than she realized.

    • fine flickering hungers (November 2005 from Phaze)

      A finalist in the first annual Fruity Awards, fine flickering hungers is a collection of eight erotic short stories with accompanying poetry.  Sexual scenarios vary from hetero- to mono- to homosexual to group, with the only common thread being that they seldom (if ever) take place in a bed.

  • Is there a genre that makes you uncomfortable to write?  Would you write it in spite of your discomfort if your publisher asked you to submit a story of that genre?

    There are some genres which are less familiar to me than others and as such, the words don’t flow as easily from my mind and my fingertips.  However, if my publisher asked me to submit work in a particular genre, I would be very flattered and would do my best to rise to the challenge.

    Under no circumstances will I produce work – in any genre – which I feel would perpetuate bigotry, hatred, or violence.  There’s too much of that in the world already.

  • Do you lock yourself away when writing?  And when do you normally write?

    I wish I had the luxury of seclusion while writing!  I would prefer to write in the mornings – when my ideas seem to pop – but with an active family that’s not always possible.  Instead, I tend to sneak short periods of writing in between the cooking, laundry, housework, banking, soccer games, grocery shopping, homework, etc.  By the time the kids are tucked away for the night, I’m ready to unwind with a good book, an online game of euchre with my bestest buddy, or some sexy “research” in the bedroom.

  • Do you take your work with you when you go on vacation with the family?

    What is this “vacation” thing of which you speak?

    In this field, to think is to work – and my mind is always working (usually on the erotic).  I almost always have my computer with me “just in case” I get a few minutes to write.  Plus, I keep a journal handy for jotting down random inspiration.

  • Are you addicted to writing?   If yes, why do you think you are addicted?

    I am addicted to the rush that comes through creativity and problem-solving.  I need a productive outlet for those energies to stave off the depression and apathy.  When my writing evokes the desired emotional response in the reader, it is a phenomenal high.

  • If you had an opportunity to travel in time, where would you go and in what time period?  Why?

    There are times in the past I’d love to visit – as an observer, not a participant – just to determine the veracity of the historical accounts.  However, if I’m to go as a participant, I’d have to choose the future – particularly a future lacking the divisive attitudes about individuality which are prevalent today.

  • If you could bring any character from a book alive so that you could spend time with them, who would it be?  Do you think you would be able to form an emotional relationship with them?

    I’m assuming you mean one of MY characters, so I’d have to say Mandy – from Erotique.  She is strong-willed, competent, daring, and sexy – all qualities I admire.  I think we could be great friends – perhaps even more.

  • Once you brought this character to life, if s/he isn’t like you had believed, would you be willing to make them disappear, or wait to see if you can find the person within that you were looking for?

    I would never intentionally harm another person – especially one I “brought to life.”  If my creation was not as desired, we’d simply go our separate ways.

  • Do you believe people are willing to purchase erotic books in paperback in the same quantities as they do in e-book?   Why?

    It really depends on the environment and on the book.  I think that as far as erotic literature is concerned, e-books are preferred because sexual subject matter is still viewed as something to be concealed.  Visitors to your home might notice The Story of O on your bookshelf, but they’ll never know what’s on your computer.  You might not dare open your print copy of The Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty while waiting to board your flight, but on a PDA, it’s at your fingertips with none the wiser.

  • E-books are a growing product line. Do you believe e-books are a good way to publish?  Why?

    If you’d ask me this question a year ago, I would’ve probably said that anything less than print was not “real” publishing.  I now know better.  While I can’t say I’m a true fan of e-books (as a consumer – yet), I do appreciate the market and think it provides a perfect niche for shorter works that is missing in the print world.

    I really like the way my publisher (Phaze) handles things: book-length titles are released as e-books and when/if they reach certain sales benchmarks, they go to print.

    When I read, I do prefer to hold a print book in my hands.  Part of that is due to eye strain and physical comfort, but part is just habit.  I think that as the technology improves and PDAs & e-book readers become more common (prevalent, for example, in public libraries and schools), the market will gradually shift away from print books.

  • When you receive a contract do you read it before signing, or do you have someone else read it and tell you what it contains?

    I read the contract myself before even submitting work to a publisher.  If a sample contract is not available online, I’m not interested.  Period.

  • Do you have a collection?  What do you collect?

    I do!  I can’t explain the allure, but I collect decorative bird cages.  Go figure.

    While not exactly a “collection,” I also have an office supply fetish.  Family members give me gift certificates to places like Office Depot because they know I just love those fancy printer papers, labels, document protectors (*drool*), sticky notes, pens, blank journals, etc.  My file cabinets are just full of the stuff, most of which will never be used (although I do occasionally fondle it).

  • Time travel is an interesting thought, if you could live in the past, do you think you could be happy without the luxuries we have now?  What do you think you would miss the most?

    Once I have something which makes life easier, I don’t want to do without it for any length of time (if at all).  But, sure, I could be happy in the past.  As for “luxuries,” I’d most miss the modern bathroom.  I’m not sure I could ever be truly relaxed and comfortable if I felt unclean.

  • What is your favorite dessert?


  • Writing is stressful on the body, although many don’t realize it.  Do you pamper you body to relax it?  How?

    I find that extensive research of sex toys is wonderfully relaxing.  It’s also a tax write-off.  *wink*  Can’t beat that!

    I do also occasionally indulge in a professional massage, but right now – at least until I really start thinking of it as “work” – writing IS a form of relaxation for me.

  • Has the internet helped the publishing business in your opinion?

    Without a doubt – especially, as I mentioned earlier, for short stories and poetry.

  • If your latest book was chosen to be made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the parts of the main characters?

    Oh, my selections would probably be vetoed by the producers because I wouldn’t choose “eye candy” to bring my characters to life.  I prefer to stick to the written word, anyway – to the “mind candy.”  It’s waaaaaay sexier.

  • What genre do you believe to be the most intriguing? Why?

    Anything that relates to sex is intriguing.  Desire, motivation, love/hate, exploration, personal growth – sex covers ‘em all.  Romance, in and of itself, probably interests me the least.  I like character-driven works in all genres.

  • What genre do you prefer to write?  Why?

    I’d have to say that contemporary erotica is my strongest suit, although I’ve enjoyed my forays into the paranormal and historical realms. 

  • Is there anything you would like to tell our readers that I haven’t covered?

    Readers can find me online at http://alessiabrio.blogspot.com and in the Phaze Starlight Lounge at http://www.phaze.com/forum

    Peace, y’all.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Memorize Me

stilled life in darkness poised
repose under the raspberry blush
of a veiled aperture

dawn's kiss parts draped night
bringing day in diffusion

pierced by the shudder speed
of stilled loving;
a shutter sped on vocal lengths

breathless interlude captured;
freeze framed in naked contrast
and ambient wonder

tastes of shadow and sunlight
on sheets and skin
in the peppermint blink of mind's eye

forget not
the monochromatic simplicity
seen through passion's lens
on a stolen Sunday morning

©Alessia Brio

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Phaze Blog

As one of our posse said: "In the grand tradition of overkill ..."

The authors of Phaze have launched a blog for news, interviews, reviews, events, and just plain fun stuff. Check it out:


... or add the RSS feed to your favorites page:


Here's my first post -- part of the "10 Interesting Things" thread:



~ Alessia

Thursday, January 19, 2006

5 Kisses for FFH

fine flickering hungers
Diamond Taylor from Romance Divas gives fine flickering hungers 5 kisses!
A finalist in the first annual Fruity Awards, fine flickering hungers is a collection of eight erotic short stories with accompanying poetry. Sexual scenarios vary from hetero- to mono- to homosexual to group, with the only common thread being that they seldom (if ever) take place in a bed.

fine flickering hungers will take you on a wild ride with its snappy dialogue, sexy plots and a little history thrown in for good measure. This was a scorching hot read that only Phaze can deliver. I will definitely be recommending this book to all my friends. I can't wait to read more from this exciting author.

fine flickering hungers

Suzan from Coffee Time Romance gives fine flickering hungers 4 cups:

Alessia Brio has compiled several erotic short stories and poems with several interlocking themes and characters.

"Wetter Has Never Been Better"

An advertising executive and the head of a publishing company work together to make Costa Rica a hot vacation spot. This is an extremely sensual, well written, fast paced story.

Soul Slipping

This is a mathematical representation of eroticism and desire. A fun and different way to look at eroticism.

"Topping Love"

Sex therapist Dr. Richard Thomas helps Jess Connor figure out what she needs to find love, using pizza and its toppings as they discuss the items of importance in love. An interesting idea, but I think the metaphor is not as spicy as it could be.


This poem is an interesting interplay between heat and cold, the frigid wanting and hot desire of love.

"It's All About Customer Service"

An unnamed homeowner with a broken furnace is a damsel in distress and calls in for some relief. The homeowner finds out just how handy a repairman is when they test out the heat of the hot tub. A sexy little romp in the clichéd housewife and repairman genre.


Desire is painful, and its culmination is painfully satisfying in this poem about need and its ramifications.


Rushing home from a trip, Chloe finds herself unable to think of anything but Jake. Jake, her insatiable lover, who has satisfied her nearly non-stop for the past two months. When she finally gets home, she finds Jake where she left him; spent, batteries depleted, resting and waiting for her on her bed. A very funny ode to a girl's best friend, the vibrator.


A poem about the turbulent nature of love and longing, the roiling of desire and wanting.

"Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun"

Unnamed, unseen spirit helpers are eager to take charge and work with a Halloween hater to bring her to a passionate release. Unable to credit what is happening to her, she simply gives herself over to the other side. A rousing way of looking at paranormal eroticism.

Surrogate Sin

A nasty, erotic take on religious prayers.

"It's Just Sex"

Father Antony Secco is tired of hearing the same old venial sins every week at confession. Melissa has her own kink she wants to fulfill. Thanks to the It's Just Sex service, they are able to fulfill each other's fantasy. A very steamy, non-physical encounter.

It Comes

A poem about what awaits love and lovers.

"Boiling Point"

Ready to make her move, Carly decides to push things to the next level and Jenna finds herself thinking and feeling things she thought were wrong. This story pushes the limits of limit pushing, forcing you to decide when no means no.


Patterns, colors, and textures invoke various responses of eroticism and desire.

"Say It With a Strap On"

Carly is upset when her encounter with Jenna drives them apart. Jenna tries to work through her feelings. They come together in passion and love, wanting each other always. Desire and love are intermingled in this story about two friends going to another level.

ex sighs

A poem about the pain and suffering a lost love leaves.

* * *

This collection was surprisingly good. I was surprised to find the strength of each story, each of them holding my interest and creating heat and desire with each interaction.

Reviewed By Suzan
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

~ ~ ~

And Pam* from The Romance Studio said:
fine, flickering hungers by Alessia Brio is an anthology of erotic short stories and poetry. As there are too many to review separately, I'll pick a few to give you a taste of this sensuous, yet unusual book.

"Wetter Has Never Been Better" is the sensuous story of Stormy and the extremes she will go to in order to land a huge account, the country of Costa Rica, at the ad agency she works for. A "challenge" has been issued by the execs­ create an ad that will make tourists want to head to Costa Rica during the rainy season - and Stormy plans on winning that challenge…but how? Why not head to Costa Rica and see what might be special about the rainy season? Her discovery surprises and pleases her and introduces her to more than she ever expected, which leads to a winning presentation! This is a very hot story. Luckily, there is another story, "Topping Love," that picks up where this one leaves off and introduces family and friends of Charlie, the man Stormy starts seeing once she's home! Very interesting story I wonder where the author got the idea of using pizza toppings!

Carly has always been a follower ­ never a leader! On this night, when she's out with Jenna, her best friend, she finally decides to take the lead. However, Jenna isn't one to follow, until tonight! Carly, upon reaching her "Boiling Point," gives Jenna no choice in the matter and Carly's dreams come true...but what happens now? We find out in the next story, "Say It With A Strap-On." Carly buys something special for her next encounter with Jenna...if she has a next encounter! They occasionally talk on the phone but not about what Carly believes needs to be talked about! Jenna calls and invites her to dinner. She accepts and things go from good to great, as far as Carly and Jenna are concerned... until Jenna's husband catches them! So what will be next for these ladies?

This was a most unusual book, with a combination of poetry and short stories. Alessia Brio's stories and poetry flowed and they were written with a touch of humor and a lot of heat!

* Blatant errors corrected (Costa Rico > Costa Rica; Jeana > Jenna)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Artistically Inclined (Excerpt)

Here's an excerpt from a new collaboration entitled Artistically Inclined -- coming soon to a publisher near you:

* * *

Cyndi threw herself back into her work, determined to make some significant progress before calling it a day. She really wanted to take a break to relieve some of the sexual tension but knew that keeping the edge would help her infuse the piece with even more sensuality—and that was what her customer had ordered. The mysterious, and obviously well-to-do, man piqued her curiosity. He’d contacted her just over two weeks ago via her gallery website to inquire about a custom painting. He said he wanted something so erotic that it would make his girlfriend horny just to think about looking at it. “But,” he cautioned, “it must be innocuous enough to hang anywhere—school, church—anywhere.”

A tall order, Cyndi mused. She’d questioned him via e-mail about his girlfriend—her tastes, likes and dislikes—but he’d been maddeningly vague. Two days later, she received a generous down payment in the form of a money order with a note saying he’d pay the other half when he picked up the finished painting on Valentine’s Day. She really wanted to be a fly on the wall when he presented the piece to his girlfriend, but settled for his assurances that he’d let her know how it was received. As she worked, Cyndi envisioned the lucky woman’s eyes widening with surprise and then narrowing as the painting worked it’s magic. She’d raise her hand to her mouth to cover the gasped “oh” then slowly lower it, palm flattened to her chest, as she exhaled with exhilaration. Cyndi hoped the woman would be so appreciative that she’d jump him on the spot, wherever the spot happened to be.

Wicked thoughts of the couple coupling beneath her work danced through Cyndi’s mind. Perhaps she’d jump Kevin if he stopped by on his way home from work—take him right there in the studio before he knew what hit him. Not that he’d object. She knew he liked watching her work, although it made her uncomfortable at first. Exposed. The incredible intimacy—artist to canvas—often felt sexual. He might as well be watching her masturbate.

Cyndi studied the smooth, rich ground color flowing across the canvas like melted milk chocolate and imagined Kevin stroking his cock as he watched her paint herself. The first fantasy on her list began to take shape.

She circled the canvas, viewing it from every angle, before scooping up a fistful of the wet, crimson gel and applying it in the southwest quadrant. The mound gradually spread across the surface but remained somewhat raised, almost like a welt. Bemused, Cyndi took a smaller scoop of the paint and dropped it onto her bare thigh, watching the “welts” appear. Did she dare? The thought of Kevin’s hand tenderly caressing her ass on the heels of a sharp slap—his tongue tracing the raised red marks as if to blend them into her skin—removed any lingering doubts. Two down; three to go.

Just how intricate should these fantasies be? she wondered. Too much detail would result in a script-like performance. Not good. Better leave Kevin some room to be creative.

Cyndi pulled herself from her daydreams and returned to the work in progress. Another application of gel—a deeper cherry shade and slightly thicker—gave the work more depth. It wouldn’t go under glass. No, this piece begged to be touched. She fought the urge to strip off her paint-spattered clothes and just roll on it; to feel the silky colors sink into her skin and her psyche.

Since the reds would have to set and at least partially dry before she could continue, Cyndi peeled off her work clothes and padded into the bathroom she’d added to the east end of the studio last year. The fiberglass shower stall was streaked with a cacophony of watered-down acrylics. She’d long since given up on keeping it free of paint splashes, and it became a work of pop art in and of itself. When WQED interviewed her for its artists’ showcase last July, the cameraman even insisted on shooting the shower—resulting in several offers to purchase it.

Cyndi chuckled to herself as she towel dried her hair. Everything in her home studio, once merely a dusty attic, was splattered with paint—including the commode, which no one had yet offered to buy. She glanced out the bathroom’s tiny octagonal window just in time to see Kevin pull into the driveway. Pulling on a sweater and jeans, she rushed downstairs to meet him at the door, wondering if he’d worked on his list at all.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Leigh's Podcast

My intrepid Phaze colleague, Leigh Ellwood, recently launched a podcast. In this week's broadcast, she reads an excerpt from "Jake" from fine flickering hungers! Have a listen:


Monday, January 09, 2006

Starting the Week Right

fine flickering hungers gets 4.5 stars from eCataRomance!

"fine flickering hungers is an anthology of short tales and poems brought to us by Alessia Brio. Filled with fantasy, fancy, and erotic amalgams, "hungers" recalls memories of Anais Nin to this reviewers mind. Some of the tales are softly sensual, while others have a hard, erotic thrill, and Ms. Brio's poetry is as rhythmic and fluid as any I've read.

"From the wonders of the rainy season in Costa Rica, to the intimate bond between close friends, to the fantasies of everyday people, Alessia emerses the reader in her vibrant words and lush details, until, when we finally reach the end, we wonder just what else Ms. Brio could breathe life into, with her fertile mind.

"Personally, my favorites in this tale were the poem 'Surrogate Sin' and the following short tale. Though some readers may not find the humor and eroticism in these, as a woman raised Catholic, I relished in both. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Brio's work and I suggest all of you get a copy of fine flickering hungers to add to your erotic collections."

Reviewer Lynn Lowe

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Toys for Tarts

So, after reading fine flickering hungers, do you wanna know about the toys used in a couple of the stories? Do ya, huh? Okay!

JakeHeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Jake! Little guy, ain't he? Trust me, though, he's quite effective. (Tip: Try him backwards with a buddy. He's not the jealous type.) Jake is really the Angel Kiss vibrator by Vibratex. Be gentle with Jake. He's not the most rugged toy. Last I checked, you could pick up a Jake of your own for about $20 from drugstore.com -- which is pretty cheap for a jackrabbit-style vibe. (Note: The daisy is not included. *wink*)

Carly & Jenna's Strap-OnIn Say It With a Strap-On, Carly and Jenna get blissed with this strap-on jackrabbit vibrator. It's a really sturdy product at a great price ($38), and the vibe can be removed for use without the harness. She's considerably bigger (and heavier, thanks to all those delightful ball bearings in the shaft) than dear, dependable Jake ... so don't plan on a lot of hands-free action with this bitch. (Tip: Slip a bullet vibe inside the harness and your trains will reach the station at the same time -- or thereabouts. *nods*)


Now, what about all the great artifacts mentioned in Erotique? Yeah, they're real. (Well, I don't KNOW that a fragment of Carrara marble from the block used to create Michelangelo Buonarroti's Pietà was crafted into a dildo ... BUT marble dildos were indeed used in Renaissance Italy, so it's certainly possible.) I'll go through 'em one by one in a future post. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Giggled Again!

fine flickering hungers
by Alessia Brio, contemporary erotica (2005)
Phaze, $6.00, ISBN 1-59426-540-2

Alessia Brio's fine flickering hungers is a compilation of some of her erotic prose and poetry written under her Literotica online name impressive. I'm not sure whether these stories are first published on Literotica or whether they are still up on that website to be read for free. I tried to look up the list of Literotica authors to make sure but I have to stop after one too many profile of some man who loves to dress up in his wife's clothes but only his daughter understands him, sob sob sob.

About this compilation of assorted short stories and poetry, this is erotica in every sense of the word. Any morality and predetermined conceptions about fidelity and monogomy should be left at the doorstep. The stories here cover all kinds of couplings, straight or gay/lesbian, and it's not just games for two in these stories. I am expecting my membership card from the Society of Really Democratic People When It Comes To Free-For-All Erotica anytime soon.

The first story, Wetter Has Never Been Better, has this accounts manager in an advertising company, Stormy, heading off to Costa Rica to do some research for a project to promote tourism in that country during the rainy season. She first meets a hot older man, Charlie, in the plane, before hooking up with various beautiful and hot people, male and female, for threesomes as well as more conventional couplings all under the perpetual rain of Costa Rica. This story is hot, hot, hot, especially the love scene between Stormy and the local woman Mia, and it's not even safe to run outside and cool off under the lawn sprinkler because things get really hot here, after all, when it's wet all over the place. Forget the plot, the story itself is the actual advertisement for the best things in life that Costa Rica has to offer. The story continues in Topping Love where Stormy and Charlie meet the rest of Charlie's swinging - emphasis on the word swinging - clan. This story is more psychobabble than sexual but I really enjoy the author's quaint concept of love versus self-love and the meaning of love and lust presented as metaphors in the form of pizza toppings. I find myself wanting to read more of these dreadfully naughty people. Is Stormy even going to hook up with Charlie's sister-in-law? Is Richard even going to realize that his true love is his wife's vibrator? Okay, I made that last one up but it doesn't seem fair that everyone is having fun while he's just sitting there taking down notes.

It's All About Customer Service is a familiar fantasy of that ever-friendly service guy who shows up at one's doorstep ready to put a smile on the customer's face, so to speak. It's still a well-written sexy read, albeit an ordinary one after the previous two stories. Jake is more humorous than sexy as it tells the story of a woman very eager to go home to her lover Jake. Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun is a typical Halloween ghostly-seduction dirty story that, like It's All About Customer Service, seems a little too ordinary and even formulaic after Stormy's drenched-wet adventures in Costa Rica.

It's Just Sex! is a gem though. Father Antony Secco is so bored with the confessionals he has to listen to that, after getting unbecomingly aroused by a particularly naughty confessional, he decides to call up a sex-service agency and requests someone to come over and give him more sexy confessionals to enjoy. I must be a horrible person because I think the scene where Father Secco experiences his, um, crescendo in the confessional booth is one of the funniest and sexiest things I've ever read. "Thanks be to - oh - my - God!" never fails to crack me up each time I reread it.

Boiling Point and Say It With A Strap-On are linked stories about two female friends who eventually cross the line to become lovers when Carly decides to make a move on Jenna. Who says men are the only ones that practise forced seduction? The first story is about how Carly gets her woman and the second story deals with how the two women deal with the aftermaths of the event. Did I mention that both women are married (no, not to each other) with kids?

I never can appreciate poetry, a fact that my dear old English teacher back in school can testify since I never could stay awake through the sonnets of William Shakespeare, so I confess that I don't appreciate the poems here the way some people will. There are as many poems here as there are stories, however, so nobody is getting shortchanged here for $6.00. I find the stories wicked, sexy, and well-written with enough dialogues and characterization to provide ample depths. A big plus is how the characters are unapologetically sexual and revel in delights of the flesh with abandon without shoving tedious romantic erotica stereotypes at my face. No werewolves, no vampires, no space barbarians, no sex-mad secret agents or sheriffs, just people enjoying all kinds of hedonistic delights that the flesh has to offer. fine flickering hungers is a joy to read in every way that matters.

Rating: 85

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Thank You!

fine flickering hungers, my single-author anthology released in November 2005 from Phaze, is a finalist in the pansexual category of the first annual Fruity Awards.

Thanks to all who voted for its inclusion!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Erotique Giggled

by Alessia Brio, contemporary/paranormal erotica (2005)
Phaze, $2.00, ISBN 1-59426-548-8

Alessia Brio's Erotique demonstrates sometimes why actual erotica can be more romantic than those stories marketed specifically as romantic erotica. Sometimes romantic erotica is constrained by various limitations like how the heroine has to conform to some antiquated definition of "virtue" or "innocence". In Erotique, the heroine Amanda Long is the one who isn't sure of committing herself to a relationship because she'd prefer to have a man in her life for uncomplicated recreational sex - friendship with benefits, if you will - while her good friend Bruce is the one who'd like to get them to move beyond friendship into something more. This doesn't mean that Mandy has serious family issues or sexual hang-ups like most heroines of her nature will have in truckloads in a more typical romantic erotica: Mandy is refreshingly normal in the sense that she's just what she is with no weird psychological complexes to justify to readers why she shouldn't be tarred and burned at the stake for being "selfish" or "immoral".

What isn't normal is the sex store Erotique in Philadelphia that Mandy hired from her dear departed Aunt Viv. Mandy is now the latest in the long line of Long women who maintained and run the store since pre-WW2 days. Over the years, Erotique has expanded: a museum displaying a wide selection of sex toys like whale-bone vibrators to religious relics of sex gods of various cultures has been added along with a spicier version of Starbucks. Mandy learns that Aunt Viv's will has an unusual condition for Mandy's inheritance of Erotique: Mandy has to spend the night of the next full moon alone in the store. The reason for this is that Erotique isn't just a store: some of the items on display in the museum wing can project visions of events in the past associated with their use onto people who touch it. Mandy will have to experience firsthand just how unusual Erotique is before she becomes its new owner. Who knows, her experiences in Erotique may just bring her closer to Bruce.

The best way to describe this story is that it is a naughtier episode of The Twilight Zone. What I like about this story - apart from the normal yet sexual characters - is the fact that Erotique comes off as an authentic store instead of some typical lingerie/sex shop that some silly virgin will inherit in a Brava novel. Which is to say, the descriptions of some of the items here make them come off as actual and real items that one may actually come across in a sex museum instead of something for the heroine to blush and shriek silly at.

Erotique is a short story at 28 pages and the $2.00 cover price of the book reflects that. Yet within that short length, there is enough camaraderie and natural banter between Mandy and Bruce to suggest that they'll be alright in the future. The sex scenes here are pretty spicy as well. This book therefore makes a pretty entertaining short and sexy read if you can overlook the Return Of The Living Dead cover.

Rating: 81

Another Great Review for Erotique!

Alessia Brio's
Erotique (October 2005)
ISBN: 1-59426-548-8

From The Eternal Night
Reviewer: Leola Brooks (January 2006)

When Mandy's Aunt Sophie [sic] dies unexpectedly, she inherits her Aunt's infamous sex shop and even though she knew she would one day inherit the family shop, she had hoped to be able to complete her business degree prior to taking over the business.

The shop is an erotic mix of toys, paraphernalia, lotions and potions and lots of family history, but sharing the draw is a museum of ancient erotica and an interesting codicil in the will stipulates that Mandy must spend the night of the full moon in the museum.

The museum is filled with all manner of interesting devices and items gathered from exotic places all devoted to the fine art of erotica, but even knowing that, Mandy only thinks she is prepared for the extremely interesting evening to come.

This short tale has an intriguing historical aspect, and while I don't know if the historical tidbits are indeed true or a figment of the author's fruitful imagination, it makes for a very interesting read. A delightful story filled with humour and spicy tidbits, it's perfectly suited for a coffee break, lunch hour or even just a short fantastical interlude from everyday life. A great short escape!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Literary Nymphs Featured Publisher

Phaze : Romantic & Women's Erotica

Not Just a Phaze
By Crystal
Phaze Promotions Manager and Book Review Coordinator


Feeling a little naughty?  Maybe you're going through a mischievous Phaze.  Feeling a little silly?  Maybe you're going through a childish Phaze.  Feeling a little sexy?  Then Phaze is the right place for you to be.

fine flickering hungers by Alessia Brio

Phaze, the erotic imprint of Mundania Press, celebrated its one-year anniversary in November 2005.  Catering to the erotica and erotic romance readers worldwide, Phaze is known for its envelope-pushing stories as well as their risqué but always titillating book covers.  All covers except for Laura Bacchi's cover for "The Heart of a Hunter", were designed by Phaze publisher, Stacey L. King.

Under Distant Moons by Mara Kelly

With stories ranging from a married woman's weekend tryst with her co-worker to an erotic romance involving a woman and a merman, one thing you can't say about Phaze.  You cannot say that their stories are tame.

To crank the heat up more, Phaze excites readers with their new line of short erotic works called Snugglers, coming soon to warm you up this winter.  This past October, Phaze released another line of short erotic paranormal/horror stories called Shivers.

Lipstick and Other Stories by Petula Caesar

Phaze is proud of the wide variety of stories in difference categories we offer to readers.  From single author anthologies from notable authors like Madeleine Oh, Mara Kelly, Petula Caesar and Alessia Brio, to contemporary erotica to fantasy, futuristic and science fiction erotic romances, readers can find it all.

Muse by Leigh Ellwood

Phaze is also thrilled to be the first e-book publisher featured in the December 2005 issue of Playgirl magazine!  This widely-known magazine with worldwide circulation, was so impressed by Phaze and its authors that an editor requested to do an article on the organization.  Not bad for a year old company.

Waking Annabel by Jayelle Drewry

To check out more publisher and author news, catch new releases, read author bios and excerpts and other upcoming events, go to the Phaze website at www.Phaze.com.  And to chat with the authors, read exclusive excerpts from them and take part in Phaze and author contests, go to the new Phaze forum at www.Phaze.com/forum.