Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hate Male

This gem appeared in my inbox this morning, and I just couldn't keep it to myself. Apparently this individual is unable to distinguish between narrative nonfiction and 1st person POV fiction. He is also quite defensive, isn't he? Enjoy...

* * *

Dear 'Whomever has the guts to read my comment in its entirety' (I'm not holding my breath):

In the posted excerpt from DOUBLE DECKER PP-034, PURPLE PROSAIC, JANUARY 2010, I was ASTOUNDED to read the following:

"Now, I’m not one of those dykes who won’t touch a woman who’s touched a dick, but there’s quite enough drama in lesbian circles without bringing Buffy and her angry ex-boyfriend—the one with the Chevy Silverado sporting a Confederate flag and a loaded gun rack—into the mix. The last time I dabbled in that kind of pussy, I wound up having to send a linebacker to the E.R. with a busted tibia. Those steel-toed boots do come in handy on occasion."

Drama? HOLY SHIT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Please forgive me for HURLING in disgust, but I find that the author's claim of hospitalizing an ex-high school football star/local-yokel-hick by breaking his leg with a single, powerhouse kick of her steel-toed boot to be A HUGE, STEAMING PILE OF SHIT!!!

Why do so many lesbians insist on espousing their IMAGINARY propensity for physical violence against males, to the point where they will LIE LIKE HELL in an attempt to glorify themselves into somebody they are not? It's just so fucking lame! You aren't fooling anyone with that crap, and you certainly aren't endearing yourself to anyone except other mega-angry lesbians with similar bullshit fantasies. All you have accomplished is to tell me that you have have deep-seated emotional problems and need a fucking shrink (what a shocker).

Why can't you just write about seducing and fucking one another without LYING YOUR ASS OFF about how street-tough and animalistic you IMAGINE yourself to be? I don't think you can - because you and your ilk apparently come (cum) as 'package deals' - super-butch and pretentiously bad/tough/cool. Try as you might, you will NEVER be James Dean…or Marlon Brando…or any other street-tough!

Think about it for a minute: In just a few sentences, the author comes across as immensely dumber and even more testosterone-soaked than the idiot redneck she ALLEGEDLY dropped with her Herman's Survivors super-kick to his shin! IT'S SUCH BULLSHIT...AND SHE KNOWS IT!

If you angry dykes insist upon BLAH-BLAHING about how important it is to 'be yourself' (as the author notes a few sentences earlier in the excerpt), then fucking be yourself, instead of pretending to be some fantastic super dyke hero with both the mindful vengeance and ovaries to pull-off such an idiotic, 'Barbie Bad-Ass' wet dream!

Get bent,

Big Al
Reston, VA

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Step on a Crack

From the lofty vantage of my late 40s, I can survey the depth and breadth of my sexual knowledge at each stage of my journey. When I look back at what I was taught by the authority figures in my young life, namely my mother and the Roman Catholic Church, it makes me shudder. To have escaped that indoctrination without a lifetime of crippling sexual hang-ups is, indeed, a miracle.

I'm still learning. Sex is fascinating on many levels. I know now that sex drive, being one of the most powerful forces known to nature, is used by organized religions and others, both individuals and groups, in an attempt to control. Young or old. Male or female or anything in between. Unbridled passions are anathema to those who know what's best for you. (You, after all, cannot be trusted to know what's right for yourself. You are, if you listen to them, weak and unworthy.) As a child, however, I lacked this insight.

Fortunately, I was born a rebel. A strong and worthy rebel. I am ever thankful that nature allowed the deeply recessive gene to surface in me. It certainly was not evident in any branches of the family tree that I could see.

When it comes to sex (no pun intended), I started young. Very young. I recall my first orgasm at 10, although I had no clue what it was called at that time. I just knew it felt good. I also knew my mother wouldn't approve. My childhood memories do not include any of my mother's laughter. None. I remember only her stress; her worry that I would "lay down" with boys, that I would get "a reputation," that I would cause "tongues to wag." My mother didn't approve of anything that involved touching your private parts. My brother & I were required to use a wash cloth for bathing so that we didn't have to touch ourselves. Yes, I'm serious.

That first orgasm was the result of masturbation, although I didn't know that word at the time, either. My bestest childhood friend turned me on to it, so to speak. How she discovered that scooting her pre-pubescent, cotton panty-clad crotch against the spinning fuzzy shoe-polishing machine, I do not know. Maybe someday I'll ask her.

I don't think much more than a day or two passed during my fifth grade year when she & I didn't simultaneously polish our pussies on that delightful dual-sided device. We called our orgasms "trances" and often competed to be the first to reach that state. The times that we "peed" a little bit in the process... well, those trances were even better. Our ignorance was magical.

It wasn't much longer before we abandoned the electrical device and sought our trances with one another. Although I knew I had to hide my activities from my mother, I felt no guilt, no shame. I assumed my mother was the one who was twisted, that I was normal. The concept of sin simply did not register sexually in the way it did with things like theft or murder or lying.

Fast forward a year. Sixth grade. I got my menses -- and breasts! While I had not yet achieved a "trance" with a boy, it wasn't for lack of trying. I can think of at least four boys who dipped their fingers into my honey that fall during high school football games. There were probably more, given that there were at least six home games each season, or maybe one or two of them had an encore. We'd sneak across the street and duck between the cars parked on the elementary school playground. There, on the crushed grass where kids played dodge ball during the day, I allowed George, Keith, and the Scott twins to finger me. None on the same night, mind you. I wasn't that progressive... yet.

My mother gave me a pamphlet about sex that year, shortly after I started my period. It was published by the Roman Catholic Church. Amidst the basic biology, it delivered dire warnings about sins of the flesh. Not only was I not to allow anyone else to touch me, I was not to touch myself. If I felt sinful impulses, I was to pray. Just pray. Well, I knew a faster and more effective way to make the "sinful" impulses subside... for a little while, anyway.

My seventh grade year was dominated by a new-to-me sensation: desire. Not desire for orgasm, with which I was already quite familiar, but desire for a specific person. Keith was the proverbial "bad boy" in the neighborhood. He was bigger than the other boys in my school, having been held back at least one grade. He smoked cigarettes and weed. He shaved. He had chest hair. He was a worldly rebel with a mysterious much older brother who told him stories about all sorts of naughtiness. I think, in hindsight, this older brother was probably in jail somewhere. I never saw him. My father threatened Keith's life on more than one occasion.

By 1976, my mother had taken to going to early Sunday morning mass. My brother & I were given the option of either attending mass Saturday evenings or later on Sunday mornings. He chose the former. I, the latter. Keith's house sat smack dab in the middle of the quarter-mile walk between my house and the church. I rarely made it past that point. I'd slip into his house, often mere seconds after his parents left for church, and into his bed almost every Sunday morning for a year.

I'm not sure how I managed to not get caught, but I am absolutely certain I learned more at Keith's house on Sunday mornings than I ever would have at church. Those lessons included my first orgasm with a boy, my first tactile exploration of a bare penis, and the first time I felt the electrifying sensation of a tongue against my clitoris. I also learned how much information was omitted from or misrepresented in that pamphlet my mother had given me. Nowhere in that publication was there any indication that sex could feel so damned good. How, I wondered, could they possibly miss that?

It didn't occur to me – at the tender age of twelve – that a church could be disingenuous; that it would intentionally seek to mislead its flock. I naively believed that religions were paragons of the virtues they espoused.

A year later, flat on my back under a tree on the dark riverbank with a gorgeous long-haired stranger several years older and several times stronger, I felt my first twinges of sexual fear. He was clearly intending to have intercourse, and I wasn't at all confident he'd take no for an answer. I wasn't overly protective of my virginity, but I didn't want to lose it like that: outside, cold, uncomfortable, and with someone I barely knew. He could've taken what he wanted from me, but he didn't. He was quite gracious, in fact. Almost gallant in his disappointment. Until that experience, I'd never heard the word rape or considered the possibility that sex could be anything but consensual and enjoyable for all involved. My once magical ignorance had become dangerous.

That loss of emotional innocence was far more profound to me than the loss of my physical virginity some six years later with a boy I dearly loved in the warmth and safety of his bed and his arms. I hated the introduction of fear into an area of my life that had, until that point, been nothing but fun & frolic. It really pissed me off, though I lacked the means to capture & express these feelings.

Did this potentially disastrous experience change my sexual behavior? Yes and no. I still had a hearty appetite for pleasure, but I turned my attentions back to their origins. Girls seemed safer. I could defend myself against another girl. The playing field was leveler and our topographies similar. I knew the turf. It surprised me to learn that not all girls wanted to fool around with other girls. What was this madness?

I look back on those critical, sexually formative years, and it's a marvel I emerged unscathed. They were, I think, somewhat less treacherous times. HIV and AIDS were a few years from interfering with our bliss. "Protection" simply referred to birth control.

Throughout my pre-teen and teenage years, there was no adult authority figure with whom I could discuss my experiences. Not one. The Internet was a couple decades from its maturity, and printed reference material was – as far as I knew – limited to dry, clinical publications & grossly misleading church pamphlets. There wasn't anyone to ask about the fluid that dampened my panties, about vibrators or other toys, about swallowing semen, about having sex during my period.

Luckily – and it was most definitely luck – I never got pregnant unintentionally, contracted an STD, or was raped, even though my college years were full of wild behaviors. Trial and error is not how I want my children to learn about sex. Nor do I want their sex ed limited to the dry mechanics of procreation. I don't expect them to bring their questions to me, even though I've tried to make it clear I'm receptive. I'm mom. It's awkward. I know this. That's why I'm glad there are resources like Scarleteen readily available online where they can get frank answers anonymously. They could use your support. Please donate if you have the means. Spreading the word & linking to them helps as well (and costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time).

peace & passion,

~ Alessia Brio

Monday, September 06, 2010

Author Beware

There's not much that pisses me off more than hypocrisy. When a frank, honest post to a publisher's closed author loop is removed from the message archives because it disagrees with what the publisher wants the authors to believe, I see red.

Y'see, there was a thread of discussion about the payment of royalties. The publisher has traditionally paid monthly (late, per my contract terms, but monthly nonetheless). The publisher has also repeatedly claimed that its contracts stipulate quarterly payments. Recently, the publisher announced that it would be transitioning to quarterly payments. Okay, fine. That's certainly the publisher's prerogative. Renegotiate contracts, as needed, and implement change. No problem, right?

When a question was asked by an author, another author replied that the contracts stipulated payment 60 days after the end of the period. I pulled up my contracts to check and each clearly specifies payment 45 days after the end of the MONTH. Not 60. 45! And not QUARTER. MONTH!

I posted a reply to that effect. It contained no bolding, no "shouting" in all caps (as I've done above). It simply stated what my contracts said along with the fact that I've not been asked to sign any modifications to my contracts.

That post has been unceremoniously deleted from the Yahoo!Groups message archives. The publisher then posted that "Some older contracts stipulated 45 days after quarter ends." Perhaps some do. But some (e.g. mine) of the older contracts (And, "older" equates to 2008, by the way.) say: "Royalty statements are produced monthly within forty-five (45) days after the end of each sale month."

I'm not going to speculate on the reasons for this censorship. I'm not going to make assumptions about the fiscal health of the publisher. I'm simply putting the facts out there for authors to decide for themselves whether they wish to do business with a publisher who operates in this fashion.

I pulled most of my works of fiction from this publisher's catalog in January 2010 due to the persistent discrepancy between what my contracts stipulated and when the publisher reported and disbursed royalties. I was quiet about it. I didn't make a fuss. I did not want to publisher to experience any backlash from my decision. Some folks did inquire privately, and I couched my replies very cautiously. I still have a vested interest in the success of this publisher, after all, because all of the publications for which I did cover art and/or editing pay an ongoing royalty. I want it to succeed. I cannot, however, remain silent in the face of this sort of unethical practice.

Interestingly, my contract for cover art does specify quarterly payments, and I was willing to continue in my role as art director for this publisher. The publisher, however, chose a knee-jerk reaction and ousted me from that position. I was a bit stunned by that seemingly churlish & puerile move, but... well, whatever. At the time, it simply served to reinforce the wisdom of my decision.

This latest behavior will result in the removal of my remaining work from the publisher's catalog. I apologize to the other authors who are impacted. I do not feel I have any alternative but to distance myself to the maximum extent possible.

peace & passion,

~ Alessia

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A New Interview

I recently responded to a request rec'd via my website's "contact me" form from a new review site preparing to launch, Deviant Divas. I completed an interview and submitted a book (Ripe) for review. The interview & review were posted on July 4th, which I learned only after a Google Alert notified me. You can read the interview HERE. (Do try to overlook the typos in the interview questions. I suppressed the urge to edit them while completing the interview.) The review (and I use the term lightly) can be read in one sentence, which I'll paste below. I kid you not. One sentence. One sentence in need of editing, at that!
"Alessia Brio's Ripe is a fast pace action short story with an erotic twist."
That's it. The entire review. At least they spelled my name right. Live & learn, eh?

peace & passion,

Sunday, June 13, 2010


This is a guest blog post I made for Lisabet Sarai's blog, Beyond Romance, in January. Since my goal for the summer is the organization & backup of my digital bounty (books, music, fonts, images, video), I thought it was worth re-posting here. Posterity 'n all, y'know.

Have a great summer, y'all.

peace & passion,

~ Alessia


First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

I hesitated with regard to writing yet another blog post about Publishing (with a capital P), publishing, epublishing, and self-publishing. You can’t spit without hitting one in the e-neighborhood these days, some with robust and often vitriolic discussions taking place in the comments. They’re all variations on the same theme: the antiquated business model struggles for survival in the face of changing market. (Yawn.) Adapt or perish. The End.

Yet it is the industry and those changes that currently occupy my attention as I strive to find my niche. (Niche being defined as that which enables me to indulge my creative impulses while simultaneously providing an income to feed my baser needs for food and shelter.) The resistance to change, especially within a system that was once profitable, is understandable. Corporations – like people – cling to what has been successful in the past. It’s safe and comfortable. Change is scary.

And, in the case of books, that level of safety is in the tangible. Tangible is comforting. It can be stroked, fondled, ogled. We can point to hoarded stuff and proclaim, “Behold, my bounty!” Not so easy to do with digital assets.

At one time in our not-so-distant past, the vast majority of business transactions involved an exchange of tangible goods: gold for land, livestock for slaves, cotton for woven cloth. Books.

We, both consumers and suppliers, do not quite know how to treat the intangible product, how to appreciate its value, how to stroke it. It's a relatively new concept in terms of civilization. It requires a level of trust and a shift in focus.

That started my wheels turning about money and the progression from a cash-only consumer base to one that is now predominantly credit/debit-based.

Money lenders have been around for a long time, so banking is nothing new. People were initially wary of storing assets in one physical location to protect them from theft.

Convenience won them over.

Yet, it took well over a millennium for the notion of the withdrawal of assets from a different physical location to catch on. Networks of financial institutions. Distributed assets. Distributed risks.

Convenience won them over.

With technological advances in communication, came the ability to rapidly confirm the availability of consumer assets and the introduction of the handwritten check. A modern IOU. It, too, was slow to gain acceptance. Yet it was still, in one sense, tangible.

Computers made cash transactions unnecessary. Even so, there was considerable consumer resistance to the use of credit cards. They were electronic. There was nothing to be fondled.

They were also easy… and fast. No delays while checks cleared. No waiting for payday.

Convenience won them over. 
With the financial structure in place, the emergence of digital products was the next step in our electronic evolution. First, music. Vinyl cedes to magnetic tape which, in turn, cedes to compact disc. Still tangible, but stored on electronic media. And portable!

Convenience won them over.

Digital storage made it possible for consumers to own and enjoy movies in the comfort and privacy of their homes. The porn industry exploded. The Internet made it all available at the click of a mouse.

Convenience won them over.

Digital photography enabled folks to take virtually unlimited pictures without the expense of both film and developing and… waiting. Instant electronic gratification.

One by one our forms of recorded art and entertainment transitioned to the electronic as convenience and pragmatism replaced the ingrained need for a tangible thing.

Books are no exception. In time, the tangible book will cede to its digital form. The industry will conserve resources, reduce (if not eliminate) printing expenses, and repurpose vast amounts of physical storage space. And yet books will be more accessible than ever before.

The difference is that, this time around, consumers are demanding the shift rather than having it driven by the industry. Perhaps it’s due to my vantage, but in the past, it seemed to be the industry saying to the reluctant consumer: "Try this! You'll like it. It's nifty neat-o better than sliced bread yadda yadda." With ebooks and their related gadgetry, it's the consumers saying to a reluctant industry: "Make this! We want it. Now!"

It can't happen soon enough for me. If my work touches hearts and souls and libidos, I've achieved my goal. Having it packaged in an efficient, effective, environmentally-conscious fashion is just icing on my e-cake.

Happy New Year, y'all!

peace & passion,

~ Alessia

Monday, April 26, 2010

My first audiobook release!

It's HERE! Audiolark has released "Wetter Has Never Been Better" as an audiobook. I listened to the 90-minute adaptation last week, and it was fascinating to hear another person read my words. Just $5.99 for the download. Put it on your MP3 player and listen in (or out of) the bathtub for some hot, wet fun in the Costa Rican rain.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sapphistocated Review

Evie's Whispered Words has reviewed the EPPIE finalist + GCLS finalist anthology, Sapphistocated.
This anthology is comprised of four short stories by four talented authors. My personal favourite from this collection was the first story, Double Decker by Alessia Brio. It's the story of a young butch lesbian named Tess who is seeking to win not only a Kareoke Contest but the heart of the woman of her dreams. This one had me flicking through my cd collection to listen to some old favourites. I felt immersed in Tess's world and was anxious when she was anxious and excited when she was excited, and found myself sorry when the story ended. I think I'll check out some more of Alessia's work soon and I am going to have to remember the term "SOL day".

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I bought one...

...with the money I'd budgeted for EPICon (which I had to cancel 'cause of scheduling conflicts). The ad is rather melodramatic, but the device capabilities are really quite cool. I've barely had time to play with it, but I look forward to the exploration.

peace & passion,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two Lips Reviews San Diego Sunset

San Diego Sunset5 kisses and a "Fantastic!" for San Diego Sunset from Sheila at Two Lips Reviews:
I loved the anticipation the authors built up in this story. Both have the dream. Both are searching. Both believe they have found the place, but will they find the person?

The ending of San Diego Sunset is perfect. I didn’t want explanations. I wanted the expectations fulfilled. And they were. Fantastic!

Read the entire review HERE.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Artistically Bound review

A new-to-me review (thanks to Google alerts) from Seanachie at iReadRomance:
I don’t know how Alessia Brio and Will Belegon managed to pack so many sexual fantasies into one short novella. But who cares? It’s a naughty peek into the sex life of a deliciously open-minded couple who seem to have a never-ending supply of equally open-minded friends to indulge their fantasies with. What’s your fancy? Three-ways? Phone sex? Three-way phone sex? Eating out [cough] in public places? A little tie-me-down-and-spank-me action? Then Artistically Bound is your tour-de-force.

Grab some fresh batteries, and enjoy!
What a lovely discovery on a cold, winter morning. (This title will soon be re-released via our self-publishing label, Purple Prosaic. One of its two novellas, Artistically Inclined, is already available as an ebook.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

TwoLips Reviews Sapphistocated

Sapphistocated: 4 Tales of Mirror Geography is an anthology of lesbian tales.

The first tale, Double Decker by Alessia Brio, tells of karaoke singer Tess as she competes in a bar completion. With few viable competitors she plays the crowd and gets a hold on them, especially one girl. But Tess is not after an audience member but one specific woman. Will she ever get that woman to recognize the love Tess feels for her?

I liked the build up of this story. It was not rushed although occurs in one day. I loved the planned seduction Tess has for the woman of her dreams but her uncertainty in her actions make the story realistic. The build up makes the story hot even though there is very little sex. I could identify with Tess. There was an emotional connection, not only between the characters, but with me, the reader, as well. I wanted to see if Tess won in the relationship department. Fantastic read! [Emphasis MINE!]

Rating: 4.5

Friday, January 01, 2010

Preditors & Editors Readers' Polls

Happy New Year, everyone -- especially the three people who regularly read my blog. I wish you health, happiness, and prosperity throughout 2010 and beyond!

It's polling time again over at Preditors & Editors, and I would greatly appreciate your votes in the following polls:

Print/Electronic Erotica Novel published in 2009

Romance Short Story published in 2009
San Diego Sunset

Poem published in 2009
Is It?

Anthology published in 2009
Coming Together: For Her

Author published in 2009

Poet published in 2009

Artist publishing in 2009

Print/Electronic Books Publisher
Purple Prosaic

Book/e-book Cover Artwork published in 2009
The Taming of a Vixen

Print/Electronic Book Editor

Thanks, y'all.

peace & passion,