Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sex Sells (D'uh)

So, did you catch the recent article in USA Today about erotica? No? Well, you can find it HERE.

And here's a snippet:
Plain old courtship just doesn't seem to cut it anymore. At least not with readers of romance novels. More women want more fiction about what's going on between the sheets, book publishers say.

"If you had said five years ago, 'erotic, hot, sexy romances,' people would have said 'What, are you crazy?' " says Kensington editor in chief John Scognamiglio. "Publishing goes in cycles. Erotica now seems to be the new hot thing."

Kensington introduced its erotica line, Aphrodisia, in January. Harlequin's Spice imprint hits stores in May, and HarperCollins will publish the first two titles in its Avon Red line in June. Berkley was a pioneer with its Heat line last May.

"Over the past few years, romances have gotten sexier," says Liate Stehlik of Avon Red, "And with the advent of Sex and the City and more sex in movies and online, there's a sexual aspect to all forms of entertainment that women are feeling more entitled to than they have in the past."

Mainstream bookstores also are finding erotica attractive.

Since Borders began carrying women's erotica in summer 2004, growth has been in the double digits, spokeswoman Beth Bingham says. "The customer is predominantly the existing romance customer."

Is this a good time to be me, or what?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New Review of FFH


fine flickering hungers comprises of eight erotic short stories and eight poems. Each piece of sensually written poetry follows a truly exquisite erotic story. The settings are away from the conventional bedroom which adds interest and a wide variety of sexual couplings are covered. Even those who like to play alone are catered for ;)

You know how your own orgasm can be intensified by building it up and then slowing it down, then building it up again? Well, if you don't, you do now! But, this is how fine flickering hungers works. You, as a reader, are taken to the brink with the first story, then you rest, as you read the first poem in the collection. You are kept teetering on the very edge of fulfillment, hot and breathless with desire as each story ends and the courting begins. Your journey continues until you are finally allowed your release.

Alessia Brio writes in a creative and lively style and the banter between the characters are pleasurable and quick witted. A beautiful and unforgettable anthology. Well worth a read.

Carrie White, Erotic Author
http://www.ebook-reviews.net
http://www.hentracks.co.uk/onereviewer/index.htm

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Knead

Nin quote

This story is now available as an Amazon Short.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Stiletto

These two pieces of flash prose (each less than 500 words) were entries into Desdmona's Stiletto Flash contest. The first, Memento, won an honorable mention. You may recognize the theme in the second, Timeless, if you're a fan of Arthurian legend. Peace, y’all.

~ Alessia

Variations on a theme

[ I ]
Memento

Father Secco paused in his preparation for Sunday’s sermon when the recently-hired cleaning girl appeared in his peripheral vision. “Yes, Carlotta? What is it?” he asked without looking up.

“Please to excuse, padre.” Her voice dropped an octave, “Is this.”

It took him a moment to decipher what sounded like ees dees before lifting just his eyes to discover Carlotta holding a plastic grocery bag at arm’s length from her body as if its contents might suddenly explode. As he met her gaze, a blush crept up her neck and lit upon her full cheeks, making her appear even younger.

Father Secco rose and circled his desk, relieving Carlotta of the bag. Free of its burden, her body immediately relaxed, and her hands clasped one another just below her ample bosom.

“I…I found eet in the confessional,” she stammered, “just like the other.”

He took a quick peek into the bag, nodded once, and thanked Carlotta for bringing it to his attention. “There’s no need to bother anyone else about this,” he cautioned as he herded her toward the door. “I’ll take care of it.”

Carlotta crossed herself and muttered, “Sí, padre. Gracias.”

His heart racing, Father Secco closed the door to his office and pressed the knob’s button to lock it. He placed the bag on his desk and fetched a small key from the compartment of a hollow crucifix—one which once held a small vial of holy water. Taking a deep breath to quell the tremor in his hands, he inserted the key into the upper left desk drawer and slowly pulled it open. Her perfume—the vanilla musk—greeted him, flooding his mind with memories of that Saturday morning when he first heard her confession.

The black patent leather stiletto—never worn, from the look of its sole—had the drawer to itself, which was quite an honor considering the substantial clutter elsewhere. On the instep in flowing red script, a simple query:

Remember me?

Indeed, he did. In fact, he dreamt of her often; his seed soaking the sheets as he slept. How could he possibly forget the whisper rasp of her hands against the fabric of her clothes, the husky guttural sound of her voice as she climaxed, and the overwhelmingly enticing scent of her arousal in the close confines of the confessional? Odd that, in spite of what they’d shared, he wouldn’t recognize her if they passed on the street.

The bag contained the shoe’s mate—with one significant addition. He removed it gingerly, pinched between thumb and forefinger, and held it at eye level. Its message, in the same red ink, sent a shiver through him:

Until next time,

But it was the scent–her scent—which produced an instant erection. The heel glistened with her juices. Still wet. He brought the stiletto nearer his face and inhaled deeply. As he extended his tongue to taste of her, the remainder of her message came into view:

padre.



[ II ]
Timeless

First light peeks through the drapery sheers, appearing as a raspberry blush through closed eyelids. Their pale bodies lie atop the soft taupe bedspread, naked limbs entwined in a deeply sated slumber. Lance smiles softly without opening his eyes, remembering that the woman he loves is—against all odds—finally by his side. His beard is still redolent with her essence, and his hips ache with the memory of passion lasting far into the night. Into the pre-dawn hours, if truth be told.

Truth. If defined as the absence of pretense, he muses, then their love is most assuredly true. Truer, in fact, than any bound by the arbitrary constructs of sin and salvation. Call it destiny, if needs be, or call it lust. Both may be true, but neither matters when the silky skin of her thighs rests atop his groin. Their rhythmic union declares itself beyond the reach of definition, of mere words—timeless in its systolic perfection.

Gwen stirs—whimpers as if an unpleasant dream disturbs her sleep—and he kisses her forehead to smooth her brow. The ding of an elevator carries through the heavy door, accompanied by muffled voices from another realm, another reality. The wheels of a pulled suitcase echo as retreating hoof beats against the tiled floor.

He is painfully aware that the universe has but one such night set aside for them, and it is not without risk to their lives, their loves, and their cause. Yet her insistent kisses vanquish all doubt. Her hot tongue upon his cock eclipses even the threat of death, and her touch sears his very soul. There is no price too steep for this moment.

Opening his eyes, Lance drinks the sight of her face. Fair lashes rest against porcelain cheeks still flushed with sex. Her breath teases his mouth, and he moves closer to inhale the air once inside her—as if in so doing, part of her will forever be in his blood. She smiles as his tongue then traces the outline of her lips, and her eyes—bluest fields deep—slowly open.

Their kiss deepens, and their bodies move together—closing the narrow space. He feels the cold steel just as Gwen gasps. Neither recoils. They know—without looking—what lies between them, and their eyes lock in silent understanding. Time’s up. The stiletto’s ornate handle protrudes from the mattress, its blade embedded as they slept.

Together, their fingers grip the shaft to extract the blade, and they read the words engraved upon it. Timeless words for a timeless quest. On one side: Take Me Up. On the other: Cast Me Away.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

The Pink Posse

The Pink Posse
The Pink Posse Erotic Romance Community has officially opened its doors, and I am excited to have fine flickering hungers selected as one of the books showcased!

Check me out at http://www.thepinkposse.net/coverart1.html throughout The Pink Posse's debut month!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Preditors & Editors

The votes have been tallied!

Preditors & Editors

2005 Readers Poll Results


Short Stories:


See how Phaze authors fared HERE.

Friday, February 03, 2006

TCM Reviews FFH

Reviewed by TCM (Qetesh):

fine flickering hungers is a beautiful anthology of erotic stories and poetry. This collection is diverse in subject matter and written in a romantic style. You will be whisked to Costa Rica where the rain has a unique seductive quality, then you will be sitting amiably and laughing with friends who are discussing the amorous meaning behind what pizza toppings they choose. The sexual scenes are plentiful and filled with sizzling desire and romance. The poetry is placed artfully between each story and is a wonderful break for reflection and contemplation. Each story was a distinct pleasure to read and explore. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves romantic erotica.

Power Surge

Well, yesterday Phaze announced its spring HeatSheet contest (see below for details). I do believe that Mandy & Bruce (from Erotique) are about to have a body-swapping adventure. *grin*

HeatSheet Surge

What: Erotic fiction, romance preferred, wherein electricity is rampant, even pivotal. We're talking stick-your-finger-in-a-light-socket, get-struck-by-lightning actual amperage.

Length: 5,000-12,000 words

Deadline: Midnight of March 10th, 2006

Submissions: Please be sure to include the word [Surge] in your subject line!! Otherwise your submission may not get to the right people. Send all submissions to our standard submissions address (found on the submissions page).

Questions: Please consult our Submission Guidelines, FAQs and Sample Contract. If you still have questions, you may contact us at the address found on the submissions page.

ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST ADHERE TO PHAZE'S
Submission Guidelines.

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FFH on May Reviews

Reviewed by May Reviews (Christy):

fine flickering hungers is a collection of eight erotic short stories with poetry thrown in the mix.

This truly is not for the faint at heart. If you're looking for hot & steamy then these short stories are for you. Each story tells of its own sex encounter and some continue into other stories. The poetry that is scatted within is just as equally hot.

Ms. Brio has written pure unadulterated sex! No beating around the bush with these stories. They are very open & honest. ...I can say fans of Ms. Brio will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Riding Bare Back

My interview with Bare Back Magazine is included in its February issue:

  • Alessia, I want to thank you for interviewing with Bare Back Magazine. Can you tell us about your background and how did you decide to become an erotic author?

    My “background” has nothing at all to do with writing or publishing. I have a degree in mathematics, of all things, and I worked for the federal government as a computer scientist for almost 10 years before quitting to have a family.

    I started writing – essays, articles, OpEds – when I became a civil rights activist. However, I didn’t pen a word of fiction – erotic or otherwise – until just over three years ago (in the late summer of 2003). Apparently, the erotic fantasies in my head reached critical mass and demanded to be set free. Poetry is an even more recent fetish.

  • How would you describe your style of writing? And what would readers expect from your stories?

    I write very concise prose. Every word counts – much like poetry – yet my work is evocative and flowing. My style is ideally suited for short stories. I pride myself in being able to pack a lot of emotion into a small package, and I have a knack for dialogue.

    Readers can expect strong women, lots of humor, a heaping dose of irreverence, and very hot erotic encounters. No alpha males and damsels in distress for this author. I can’t write what I wouldn’t want to read.

  • How many erotic stories and poems have you written in total?

    In addition to the eight short stories & eight poems in fine flickering hungers, I’ve completed another twenty-two short stories & twenty-eight poems. I also have two novel-length works in progress and several short stories.

  • Where do you get your ideas for your stories? Do you have a process that gives you your inspiration to write?

    Inspiration comes from all angles and can hit at any time. A lot of times a story idea will grow out of a conversation with my bestest buddy. I’m not (yet) disciplined enough as a professional writer to have a “process.”

  • Are your stories and poetry from your personal experiences or purely from your fantasies? Also, do you enjoy writing stories better or poetry?

    You really think I’m going to fess up to writing autobiographical erotica? *snort* How ‘bout you read my work – and then you can decide for yourself if I have an intimate knowledge of what I write, eh?

    I enjoy writing poetry and prose equally, but my poetry muse is a fickle bitch.

  • What is the most challenging part of writing erotic stories? And what advice would you give others who are interested in becoming erotic writers?

    The biggest challenge, for me, was letting go of any trace of propriety. You simply cannot write sizzling hot sex if you’re holding back for any reason. Advice to aspiring writers? Release your inner slut! There is an element of exhibitionism in writing erotica. Get over it. Better yet, revel in it. Only then will your erotic prose feel authentic to the reader.

  • How long have you been a Phaze author? How did the opportunity to write with Phaze come about?

    Just over six months. I got “the call” from Phaze in late June of 2005. I’ve long been a fan of Piers Anthony, so Mundania Press (and Phaze, its erotic imprint) held a certain name appeal. After reading the no-nonsense sample contract, I knew I need look no further. I’m not interested in pursuing other relationships unless it’s for work which Phaze chooses not to publish.

  • Do you have any up coming writing projects and what can we expect from any of those projects?

    I’m working on several pieces at the moment. First, a novel-length work called Snatch. It’s about sexuality and rape and mother-daughter angst. Oh, and football. Next, is a novel-length piece of historical fiction which I started for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers’ Month – see nanowrimo.org for details) last year. It’s entitled Zane and is the story of Betty Zane, her brother Isaac, and Wyandot princess Myeerah – set on the Ohio River frontier at the end of the Revolutionary War.

    I have two completed short stories, which were co-written with Will Belegon: San Diego Sunset and Artistically Inclined. (Excerpts of each can be found on my blog!) We’re hoping both will be picked up by Phaze.

    A short F/F piece entitled Hallowing Eve will appear in the March issue of Torquere Press’ Fresh Off the Vine.

    I won’t bore you with the LONG list of partially-completed short stories. *grin*

  • Let's talk about "fine flickering hungers." The name is very intriguing. Can you talk about the book and what the term “fine flickering hungers” means to you?

    The title is taken from a poem entitled The Moon Is Always Female by my favorite poet, Marge Piercy. Here is the passage:

    There is knowing
    with the teeth as well as knowing with
    the tongue and knowing with the fingertips
    as well as knowing with words and with all
    the fine flickering hungers of the brain.


    It has come to symbolize all of the desires we keep locked inside – all of the wicked sexy thoughts that we don’t dare voice or act upon. Things like tying your best friend to a tree and mercilessly seducing her – like masturbating in a confessional – like having ghouls tongue fuck you – like blowing a tour guide in the rain forest. Yeah, things just like that. ;)

  • Besides writing erotica, you spend a lot of your time crusading for the disadvantaged, ranting about injustice. What kinds of things have you done for the disadvantaged and regarding injustices?

    You name it! I’ve picketed. I’ve soapboxed. I’ve written a gazillion letters to legislators. I’ve kissed ass, and I’ve kicked it. I’ve testified before legislative committees. I’ve lobbied. I’ve chaired boards and committees. I’ve fund raised. I’ve done radio shows. The only thing I haven’t yet done is get arrested for civil disobedience – but I’m young(ish), and it’s always nice to have goals.

  • How would you describe yourself and your personality? And are you like any of the characters that you write about?

    The easiest way to describe myself would be to tell you than I am an “INFJ” on the Myers-Briggs Personality Profile. (Google if you’re unfamiliar. Fascinating stuff!) Every description I’ve read of that type is so accurate it’s downright spooky. I’m like most of my strong, female characters in several ways: resourceful, irreverent, bisexual, witty, and … humble. *grin*

  • What would you like to see for your career as a writer? Do you want to write any other writing genres? Do you have any long term or short term goals either in writing or other than writing that you would like to share?

    Wow! My “career” as a writer. Has a nice ring to it. First, I suppose, I should start THINKING of it as a career instead of a deliciously naughty little (well, BIG) secret, huh? I have no aspirations to branch into other genres. Sex is just too damned much fun! I simply want what I do write to be published and appreciated. Judging from the reviews for both Erotique and fine flickering hungers, it is certainly appreciated.

    Thanks, Natasha!