Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Um, so what?

Talk about yellow journalism:
Did you know that Amazon sells erotica for its Kindle e-reader? Neither did we. Perhaps that's because Amazon (AMZN) doesn't go out of its way to publicize it. In fact, Amazon is so bashful about its blue material that it won't even tell you how well it's selling.
Bashful? PUH-LEEEZE! And, of course, the obligatory erotica = porn dig:
Our bigger question: Who's buying e-book porn?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring Training!

Spring TrainingIn all the RT madness, I realized I forgot to blog about the release of Spring Training

Last season, Andrea Spring had the ride--or, rather, rides--of her life with a pair of pitchers in Double Header. As the new season rolls around, Andi's focus has shifted from players to coach. Does Mark Hamilton have what it takes to earn Andi's trust and complete Spring Training?

April, 2008 ($5 ebook)
ISBN 978-1-59426-874-8

You can read reviews of this work HERE and HERE ... although the latter makes me wonder if the reviewer read the same book we wrote. If so, she certainly had a different view of our "hero."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Who's that girl?

Under the Sea Faerie Ball, RT 2008, PittsburghI'm gonna engage in a bit of narcissism, because sitting here barefoot in my cut-off sweats with my hair in a sloppy ponytail and the sounds of Sponge Bob in the background, the "glamour" of the RT costume parties seems so very distant. It'll probably be another year before I again don a costume (in public, anyway), so I'm gonna revel in the memories.

See that sparkly thing over there on the left? That's me in mermaid attire for the Under the Sea Faerie Ball. Everything in my suitcase was covered with that spray glitter. It's still between the keys of my laptop.

Blood & Steel Vampire Ball, RT 2008, PittsburghThat chick on the right? She was in black lace and leather from head to toe, complete with bondage belt, buckled handcuffs, 4" studded Harley boots, flogger, and steel-boned corset. What you can't see is the only part of her costume she had to buy in preparation: vampire fangs. The rest was already in her wardrobe. *grin* She won a costume prize at the Blood & Steel Vampire Ball. (Okay, I'll stop referring to myself in the 3rd person now.)

Dorchester's Shoe Party, RT 2008, PittsburghAnd the BOOTS! I not only wore them, I danced in them. A lot! They're really not uncomfortable, although after a few drinks they (and I) got a bit wobbly. With denim camisole and short-shorts, plus my white leather jacket, I was a perfect tramp -- and I won another costume prize. No, the boots weren't already in my wardrobe. *wink* I bought them 'specially for RT.

Lastly, although not a picture of ME ME ME, my computer's wallpaper has been replaced with a view of the 'Burgh from the Duquesne Incline. It's the setting (albeit at night) of a scene in Artistically Bound, the book that Phaze put in the goody room this year. Will & I made a trip up to Mount Washington on Monday afternoon to get some daytime photos of the view to accompany the night shots we took in December.

Duquesne Incline, Pittsburgh
Time to get back to work. I've got a lot of catching up to do -- plus some serious organization for the life changes ahead.

peace & passion,

~ Alessia

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's all over but the snarking

Well, I'm home and in the process of reacclimating to domesticity -- sorting through the mail & notes from the kids' schools, unpacking & doing laundry, taking stock of the pantry & thinking about what to fix for dinner. It's always an adjustment to return to "normal" after RT, since RT is everything BUT normal for most people.

The convention was terrific. During the day, I networked and promoted. At night, I partied. I met lots of new people, ate too much, drank too much, and didn't get nearly enough sleep. In a year, I'll be ready to do it all again.

Already, the bloggers who were not in attendance are either sick of hearing about it or reveling in the snark and the attention it draws. Those who choose to watch from a distance and pass judgment certainly have no shortage of fodder. *shrug* All I can say to them is: CONTEXT. Without it, they only have a fraction of the mosaic that is RT. The nice thing about the Internet is that we all have these nifty little back click buttons. Don't like it? Fine. Don't read it.

I was largely oblivious to the cover model drama. I don't pay attention to the beefcake. I don't seek photos with the man flesh. While the Mr. Romance pageant was going on, Will and I were having a relaxed dinner at a cute little Greek restaurant with a friend from Literotica who is attending graduate school at Duquesne. We've known her for years, but until very recently, she lived in India.

Yeah, I saw some folks at the parties who were sloppy drunk. I saw some costumes that raised eyebrows. I even wore a few -- and had a blast doing it -- and won prizes for two of them. I'm sure photos will be popping up on the 'Net. Yeah, I joined many in groaning about the lame, lengthy, self-indulgent stage productions. Yeah, I bitched about the hotel's rude wait staff. But you know what? CONTEXT.

Club RT was a success. Phaze received lots of positive feedback from readers, booksellers, and authors. Will & I had a great time partying with the gals from Romance Divas. The ladies from All Romance eBooks are deserving of an award for their professionalism in the face of the ridiculous mismanagement of the eBook Expo. (If I was a cynic, I'd say that RT botched it on purpose. I'm not a cynic, though. *wink* YMMV.) I got to meet Barry Eisler, who is as cute & charming in person as he is online, and I got him to sign his back cover blurb on all the copies of Coming Together: For the Cure that hadn't already sold. We got to see Lisa Jackson again -- and simply being remembered, given the number of people she encounters at her appearances, was a rush. There was a LOT of name-recognition and good buzz for Coming Together. It didn't hurt that the convention issue (May) of the magazine contained a 4-star review of Coming Together: Under Fire ... and that Coming Together: For the Cure was a Top Pick for January.

But now, it's time to tackle the laundry while I chew on the memories.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Plunging into the second half of RT

Well, the first two days of the convention are behind us, and I think that most of the rush-rush stress is also in the past (for me, anyway). The Ellora's Cave party and Faerie Ball are over. Club RT's all set up -- and the Phaze table is getting lots of attention. My promo swag is being gobbled up -- especially the chocolate-covered cherry edible warming gel. The eBook Expo was very well attended. I'm just gonna cruise now.

Below is a pix of Eden Bradley & me at EC's Golden Age of Hollywood party. I don't have any pictures from the Faerie Ball yet -- 'cause I didn't take any. My mermaid costume was too flimsy and too tight to dance in, so once the dinner & ceremony ended, I left. The upside is that I got a solid night's rest and am ready for the rest of the convention! Tonight is all black leather attire for the Blood & Steel Ball. Tomorrow night, white patent leather thigh-high boots with short shorts. Wish me luck!

Alessia Brio & Eden Bradley at the Ellora's Cave Golden Age of Hollywood Party (Romantic Times BOOKlovers Convention, Pittsburgh, April 2008)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Artistically Bound

Not attending this year's Romantic Times Convention event in Pittsburgh? No problem. We're bringing the passion in Pittsburgh to you in one print volume!

Special RT Print Release! Celebrate Passion in Pittsburgh with this collection of sizzling erotic romance.

Artistically Inclined: Determined not to repeat past mistakes and allow their sex life to become stale and repetitive, Cyndi issues Kevin a Valentine's Day challenge to exchange fantasy lists. His response provides the canvas for an evening of daring inclinations and passionate creativity.

Bound For Success: A stand-alone continuation of the tale which began with this writing team's most popular novella, Artistically Inclined, Pittsburgh's daring duo is back in a hot-blooded romance with a penchant for ties that bind! When Cyndi's nerves about her gallery opening get the better of her, Kevin takes matters into his own hands, replacing one tension with another and setting the stage for a very eventful evening.

In addition, to introduce readers to another pair of our popular characters, Artistically Bound contains a chapter from ArtiFactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique.

We are psyched that 100 copies of Artistically Bound will be in RT's "giveaway room" courtesy of Phaze. :)

~ ~ ~

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Off to the 'Burgh

As soon as I shower & finish packing, I'll be heading for Pittsburgh. It's gonna be a busy convention, and this introvert is trying not to feel overwhelmed. Plus, my mojo's been MIA for weeks, so it's tough to summon the enthusiasm I'm gonna need to make the event a success both professionally and socially.

This, however, is helping. A lot. Have a listen to Tula's Sex Shoes. (So totally not kid/work-safe!) I have it on loop, and every play is coaxing that elusive mojo back a little bit at a time. It helps that these are the boots I'm wearing Saturday night. Uh huh.

In addition to attending as many of the E-BOOK & E-MARKETING sessions as I can manage, here's a rundown of where you can find me over the next few days ...

Wednesday 5-7p: eBook Expo

Wednesday 8:30p-Midnight: Ellora's Cave Fantasy Party.
I'll be the cross-dresser in the grey herringbone tuxedo.

Thursday 9a-12p, 2-6p: Club RT.
I'll be manning the Phaze table the majority of that time. However, from 3-4p on Thursday, I'll be at the All Romance eBooks table.

Thursday 8:30p-Midnight: Under the Sea Faery Ball Dinner & Dance.
I'll be in mermaid costume, feeling way self-conscious. I anticipate needing large quantities of confidence lubricant in the form of vanilla vodka.

Friday 9a-12p, 2-6p: Club RT.
At the Phaze table again, except for a brief break for...

Friday 3-3:30p: Publisher Spotlight - Phaze
Since Kat can't make it this year, I'll be hosting Phaze's session. *gulp* That means I have to act all professional. After the first two nights' parties, I'll probably feel like roadkill.

Friday 8:30p-Midnight: Blood & Steel Vampire Ball, Dinner & Dance.
Look for me in all black leather... with fetish gear accessories.

Saturday 11a-2p: Book Fair.
Will & I will be showing a couple of Literotica pals around.

Saturday 9p-12a: Dorchester's "These Boots Are Made For Strutting" Party.
White patent leather thigh-high lace-up 5" platform boots. 'Nuff said. (I'll probably be dancing barefoot by 10. *wink*)

In between all these events, maybe I'll find time to sleep. Hope to see you in the 'Burgh!

Friday, April 11, 2008

eBook Petition

It seems the federal government is active in protecting the digital rights of the film and music industries, but they can't be bothered to protect the rights of authors and publishers. That's a sad state of affairs, and it says a lot about the dumbing-down of America and the devaluing of books, in general.

The publishing industry deserves the same protections film and music do. The laws being broken are the same...copyright and, in some cases, Millennium Act. The laws exist, and the FBI and other sources are supposed to investigate when pirates blatantly set up shop. These "sharers" make illegal copies of books, break security/DRM...and even split the binding on paper books, scan them in, and pass those copies, so books that have never released in e-book are passing freely in e-book.

Putting an FBI warning in the front of e-books is not protection enough. Despite a ton of information being provided to the FBI by the e-book industry (EPIC, in particular), there has been no sign that they will make any move to protect our rights. They have been provided specific information about e-publishing, pirate scanning of paper books, and specific pirate sites, and there has been not a single word or sign of movement from them. That is unacceptable.

They won't get to work, unless we make it clear we won't stand for it. Whether you're an indie/e author, a NY author, a publisher, an editor, or a concerned reader, you have a stake in this issue. Piracy affects us all.

If the FBI cracks down on the ISPs allowing it, the servers in particular housing it...and the sharers individually, when possible, we stand a chance. By doing nothing, the FBI makes rights management impossible and debases the laws of copyright and Millennium Act. We have them for a reason. Do not let them fade away.

By signing this petition, I agree that the FBI should be investigating and shutting down pirate sites that deal in e-book sharing activities. The publishing industry deserves equal protection, under the law.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

There's a new game in town ...


eXcessica is something entirely new. We are not a traditional e-publisher, instead we are a collaborative formed to remove the middleman and bring you, the reader, some of the best in truly hot erotica.

eXcessica publishes everything from sweet to scorching, including the taboo stuff other e-publishers won't touch. eXcessica authors cross the spectrum from award-winning professionals to fresh, new voices. Some are here because they want complete control over their work. Others are here because they want a larger cut of their sales proceeds. Still others, because their material is considered too edgy for traditional e-publishers.

By having each author take responsibility for their own editing and cover art, eXcessica is able to make its overhead expenses negligible. eXcessica authors know that sloppy work reflects poorly on us all and that success hinges on everyone doing their very best to ensure quality.

We invite you to step inside the minds of our eXcessica authors.

We promise you a memorable experience!

# # #

My take on the naysayers: With any publisher, quality varies from author to author. As does style. No reader is going to like every single thing published by any given house. This will undoubtedly be true of eXcessica as well. Readers are going to follow their favorite authors. Period. Those who assume eXcessica is all about uber-squicky stuff, who insist on painting everyone with one brush, are just snark lemmings. I admire Selena's efforts to make a home for her edgier works and for inviting others to join her. Only time will tell if it will be a successful venture. She has my support and, when I finish Zane, it will go to eXcessica.