Friday, November 30, 2007

Mini Rant

I have Google Alerts set up on certain keywords. One of them is erotica -- because I wanna know what the media is saying about my genre. It also occasionally provides blog fodder. Oh, I'm sure I could work up a blog rant about the typical alerts I receive -- a community's uproar over a "dirty book store" opening in its back yard or a politician's prediliction for BDSM reading material -- but I just don't have the energy. Once in a while, though, I follow the links to "news" and read something that speaks to me. Today, for example.

The email looked like this:

Not Oprah's Book Club: Getting Off
Feministing - New York,NY,USA
I've browsed and I like to check out Bust's one-handed read, but generally I've steered clear of porn or, even, truth be told, erotica. ...

I clicked. I read. I seethed.

The article is a book review (and the use of the keyword "erotica" is ancillary). Considering the source, it's no wonder that it has a good bit to say about misogyny in porn. The book's author is also, apparently, aware of it and very critical of his gender for its hypocrisy.

What pisses me off is the seemingly pervasive mindset that misogyny is a male "flaw" and, as such, is the responsibility of men to correct it; that by shining a light on it, men will realize the error of their ways and learn to appreciate women for the remarkable creatures they naturally are. (Y'know, we chastise our children for incessant whining.)

Misogyny sells. Why does it sell? Because it fuels the male desire to dominate. Why do men have this desire? Well, one school of thought is biological: Men are genetically programmed to do so (i.e., the cave man model). Another, however, is seemingly lost on most feminists: Men feel inferior (i.e., the playground bully model). Which is it? Probably both -- and in constant flux.

So, rather than bitching and accepting a subservient role (as the biological school of thought posits women are genetically programmed to do), why aren't the more vocal feminists DOING something constructive about it?

Misogyny prevails in porn (and in other realms) because women have allowed it. Women are enablers, and many women -- even the most vocal feminists -- are codependent enablers when it comes to fueling misogynistic behavior.

Porn has been described as addictive, as skewing reasonable expectations about sex and relationships. If likened to alcoholism, the pathology of codependency becomes quite clear. Everyone, I believe, wants to be so incredibly desirable that they drive their partner to complete distraction. (I know I do!) Yet when women achieve this objective objectification, they bitch about it. Go figure.

Yes, it's a slippery slope. Passion tends to work that way.

In defense of the book -- and its review -- they are merely triggers for this rant. I found the reviewer quite frank about her perspective and open to alternatives. I think I may actually read the book, too.

I've lost my steam, so rant over.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This Just ROCKS!

Coming Together: For the CureComing Together: For the Cure is a Top Pick in the January 2008 issue of Romantic Times BOOKreviews (magazine):

by Alessia Brio, Editor

RT Rating: ½
Category: EROTICA
Published: January 2008
Type: Erotic Romance (Anthology, E-book)
Phaze's 2007 charitable anthology takes on breast cancer, with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization. These 20 tales encompass a wide range of encounters, including same-sex male and female and BDSM. Some stories are sweet, some blistering, some artistic, others intellectual. The souls of the writers shine through, showing the beauty of loving relationships in deep and often poignant ways.
Summary: The strongest stories in this collection deal with breast cancer survivors. Other tales follow characters dealing with difficult situations, like the loss of a pet or a relationship, or characters struggling to revive flagging relationships. And some are paranormal tales. There's truly something for everybody. (, dl $7.00)
—Jennifer R. Wells-Marani

scan of print review

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Eat My Shorts!

Three of my non-erotic short stories are now available as Amazon Shorts:

The Seven The Seven: Revisited

Just $0.49 each!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

30% Off ArtiFactual

ArtiFactualQuestion: What's better than a collection of four, fun, sexy Mandy & Bruce novellas under one cover?

Answer: A collection of four, fun, sexy Mandy & Bruce novellas under one cover and ON SALE!

Now at CyberRead, you can download ArtiFactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique for 30% off the cover price. That's 58,000 words of haunted sex toys, Indiana Jones-style adventure, legal drama, and plentiful hot sex for less than the price of a Saturday afternoon matinée.

Just enter COUPON CODE 111007 at checkout!

Finally, in one volume, are the sizzling erotic adventures of Mandy and Bruce, connoisseurs of sexual pleasure, with or without batteries! ArtiFactual features the original tales Erotique, Switch (a Preditors & Editors Reader's Poll Winner!) and the exotic Amichu. Also included is the never before published novella Closing Arguments, where sexual desire is put on trial. Just as lawyer Bruce's courtroom savvy doesn't seem enough to save Mandy's shop, along comes help in the form of the delightful, and spirited, Aunt Viv.

I found this a thoroughly delightful erotic romp, complete with adventure, plenty of sex, and a few mysteries. The unusual items for sexual pleasure were especially intriguing. Amanda and Bruce are well suited to each other, playing off each other’s strengths. They complement each other well. I found a touch of comedy in one chapter that really had me going. I laughed so hard tears streamed from eyes and it took me a few minutes to start reading again. I loved it! The amount of detail the authors use in describing the items in the museum and their backgrounds reflected a thorough of the subject matter, incorporated well into the story without reading as a lecture. I recommend this story to anyone looking for a hot read on the beach or in the bed. You’ll laugh with Bruce and Amanda, snarl with them, and solve the puzzles and mysteries as they wind their way toward each other and a great partnership. ~ The Romance Studio

If ebooks aren't your thing, ArtiFactual is also available in print (and eligible for Free Super-Saver Shipping) from

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Brio Bytes

The November issue of my newsletter is now available:


peace & passion,

~ Alessia

Coveting a Covey

Naughty Rendezvous
One of my book cover designs is nominated for a Covey Award this month! Naughty Rendezvous, by Ms. Victoria Blisse, is entry #5. Please pop on over to the blog and cast your vote in both polls:

Most Eye-Catching Cover


Most Relevant Cover

Thanks, y'all! I hope to see my work nominated regularly (especially if I don't have to nominate it myself). *grin*

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

La Jolla Writers Conference

I am a writer. Imagination is my garden. I pluck succulent images from it and wrap them in sensual words for readers to savor. If I do it well, they experience things they might not otherwise experience. Hopefully, they are satisfied but at the same time, hungry for more of my fruits.

Where, then, do I seek sustenance? What feeds me as a writer?

This past weekend, it was the La Jolla Writers Conference. I will be rolling its many flavors around on my tongue for quite some time. No other conference or convention provides such a comprehensive menu.

The Romantic Times BOOKLOVERS Convention is a promo salad and raucous party dessert.

EPICon is an appetizer of craft followed by an e-publishing buffet.

But the La Jolla Writers Conference is a full-spread banquet prepared by some of the top word chefs in the world from a wide variety of cuisines. Wildly successful authors of many genres, publicists, screenwriters, editors, agents, booksellers all add their specialties to create a feast of art and craft. Then, they sit at the table and chow down with you.

They share their favorite recipes as well as taste your fare and offer constructive advice on how to improve your cooking or presentation. There is more food than any one author, no matter how big her creative appetite, can consume in one weekend.

Decisions on which dish to sample are downright agonizing. There is no way to stop, even when full to the point of bursting with fresh ideas. You simply must keep eating, stuffing everything you can possibly fit into your mind-mouth.

I'm home now, trying to digest everything I ate. I feel both gluttonously full... and ravenously hungry. Going through my notes (sparse, because I was too involved in the interactive meals to put pen to paper), I am overwhelmed and empowered. It's beyond invigorating. I can't wait to do it again next year!

The quality of the attendee's writing simply blew me away. It was so much fun to hear them read parts of their stories aloud, and then all of us jump in for a discussion afterwards. ~ Linda Lael Miller