Narrator: Stephanie Cannon, Mark Meadows, and John Guerrasio
Publisher: Audible Originals
Release Date: 4 August 2017
Length: 1hr and 17mins
Eighteen year-old Jessica’s life is turned upside down the day the police knock on her door to deliver the news that her parents have been in a fatal accident. Her late father’s gambling and reckless lifestyle leave her finances in turmoil and threaten to leave her homeless…until a chance meeting with a 30-year-old stranger means that her life changes forever.
Finding herself an unofficial ward of a mysterious, serious man, our American heroine and her enigmatic British ‘Guardian’ get used to living with each other…with all of the tensions, pitfalls and excitement that entails….
Last night, I compiled my fourth playlist since I started up again. The soundtrack to a fake romantic comedy about a girl who works as a barista. Inspired by nothing and everything. I made two copies. One for Angela (I promised her one way before it ever came to fruition), and one for me. A good amount of time spent on thinking about it, I realized that it’s something I may attempt later in the future. I just need to carve out the story a little more, and pepper it with romantic comedy clichés—”[T]his song sorta gives it the kissing in the rain feel. Which, as we all know, is romantic (but not in real life as rain water is really dirty due to all the pollution in the air).” For those of you reading this and wanting to recreate my playlist (I’d totally share it with you if I had the ability and disposable income), I’ll add the track list at the bottom of this post.
For the cover and CD art, I used a collage by Ashton Cutright entitled “Summer Reprise,” which you can buy at Etsy. Ashton and Miranda’s CDs were the first to feature art on the cover and CD label. It’s something I’m probably going to add from now one because, as I’ve stated before, I love making these CDs and creating arte for them adds to the fun. Like scribbling doodles on the cassette tape sleeve.
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@EnnuiPrayer Did it arrive? I’ve been having umpteen problems w/ USPS. Might be time for me to only gift Kindle & Nook versions of my books.
So the above happened today. Upon receiving my copy of Serving Him edited by the sultry Rachel Kramer Bussel, I noticed the packaged open. No explanation. No attempt to tape up the violation of my package. It’s been some time since I received an erotic book to review in the mail. About a year, actually. Copies have been sent to me via e-mail for Kindle or Nook readers (I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, and I use the Nook app due to Amazon’s tight ass restrictions on their Kindle app). It’s sad that Ms. Bussel may take the same route because the USPS decided to open and lose several packages because they suspect that their media mail service is being abused.
I started the book, checking off Lori Selke’s “What You Deserve.” I won’t review the story here (not yet).
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My coworker told me his creative well has run dry. It’s something I’m familiar with. However, there’s never been a time that I couldn’t write. It’s just what I write isn’t worth reading or worth the time spent writing it. Words, good or bad, never failed me. I can’t begin to imagine what he’s going through.
I force myself to write something every day. Good or bad, just keep writing and things will get better. I read as much as I write and I’m reading less these days. I need to change that. Need to switch off the TV and the computer once in a while and just start writing.
I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You – Black Kids
Now, it’s no secret I don’t consider myself a straight man. I curve at the edges, if you will. Mental sexual. Whatever you want to label, I’m all right with (mostly because, at the end of the day, I don’t give two shits what you call me). So what’s so special about Lana’s story? You gotta read it, I’m afraid.
A few months ago, I had an idea about creating an alter ego who wrote bad erotica. As there seems to be a market for it, anyway. (Not that Femme Fatale is bad erotica. It’s pretty good shit, here. Like the pineapple express of erotica.) Still, I’ve mentioned my run in with bad writing (and not just erotica) that I pick up for Kindle free via Smashwords or Amazon. Poor story lines, clichés, editing mistakes, etc. Makes a guy want to throw a business card (if I had any) at them and offer my editing services. I know what you’re thinking, “Please. There are so many grammatical mistakes in your blog posts, how can you possibly offer such services?” It’s easier to see others’ mistakes than your own.
Or maybe you’re one of those people who thinks that I’m jealous that I lack the skill that they have. To that, I ask, what skill? “So if you can do it, why not?” Well, that’s the plan. With said alter ego, I’m going to write some pretty shitty things and see who takes the bait. And this isn’t a one man operation. My co-workers are helping. So stay tuned for that.
While we’re on topic, I’ve halted all research on my sex club influenced story. The storyline became muddled with a murder mystery plot (even though I aimed for that direction). Or maybe I’ve become jaded towards sex. Or I haven’t watched or read enough porn to get this story off. I have scenes in my head, but they all feel a tad cliché. I want something new and fresh. What I need is a muse. Someone who can bring my creative self to the surface. Or I need to go out there and live a little. Either way, this dry spell is quite knackering.
*I’m using the title to refer to her book. I don’t know Lana Fox personally, so don’t go around quoting me that she’s a divorcée. There isn’t a doubt in my mind, however about her kinkiness.
Operation: Bad Sex with ****** *** **** is a-go. Talked to my partner in crime and the persona shall be hashed out this weekend. Writing projects are fun when they’re deviant. Bad Sex isn’t the final title, I’m simply referring to Nerve back when it was cool. I will state that project is erotic and humorous.
Aside from the erotic works of ****** *** ****, I’m planning to use the blog as a erotica review site. While A Book Hunter’s Journal is my book blog, the fact is I’m walking a fine line on what’s acceptable by the advertisers when I review an erotic work with a questionable cover–I’ve actually had to censor a couple. And I promise that I won’t limit the blog to just the works of Alison Tyler. Okay, I can’t promise that.
One question remains, what service will I use? WordPress has its perks, but we have our tussles in the past when it came to posts above a PG-13 rating. Blogger is the obvious go to, but Tumblr will give me a larger range of readers and rebloggers. And do I go with a custom domain name, or have the yourname.service.com route? Decisions. Decisions. At the moment, however, it’s just the blueprints. What font will I use as a header? Will I be able to sew together a custom picture for the header? And what posts will I feature first? Write write write.
Due to the nature of the story reviewed here, I feel like I should give a warning. There are several terms here that should blow my linetrap/Bailey Jay post out of the water. If you’re sensitive to vulgarities, it’s highly recommended that you not continue reading this post.
I recently read a story. A poorly written story. A story that could have been saved if the writer was willing to visit an editor, or, at the very least, handed it to a friend first. Or better yet, a total stranger. Handing a draft to a friend is a recipe for a bad story, unless your friends are also writers. And writers who aren’t going to sugarcoat their thoughts about your piece. I’m lucky enough to have friends like that. Some are teachers, some are published, but the majority are brutally honest.
I’m not going to say I was expecting a masterpiece when I downloaded a story with the subtitle An erotic tale of Anal Excitement. And I did get what I paid for – at the time, it was free. But is it too much to ask for that writers – even self-published ones – take the extra mile and edit their work?
I took the liberty of highlighting a few passages to share with you, so that you don’t have to experience the story in full (unless you really want to). [Note: There was a lot to work with here, so you’re just getting the ones I loved the most.]
Part of me was torn apart, but the other part of me had seen this coming.
Re-re-repetition is awful. “PART OF ME was torn aPART, but the other PART OF ME had seen this coming.” What about if it were written like this, I felt torn, but part of me had seen this coming or The news left me floored, but I knew it was inevitable. They aren’t the best sentences, but there’s no repetition to cut through. Moving on.
There was a number to dial, and I left a message for ‘Wolf.’ ‘Hey Wolf, I’m Stephanie. I found your ad in the paper, and you sound just what I’m looking for. Call me.’ I left my number and smiled to myself.
“When in doubt, opt for less rather than for more,” wrote John D. MacDonald. “We all know about the clumsiness the beginning writer shows when he tries to move his people around, how he gets them into motion without meaning. […] The reader knows how people get across cities, and get in and out of buildings. The reader will make the instantaneous jump.” While the quote isn’t the best example of what I’m trying to state here, still works. A number has to be dialed in order to respond to a personal ad in the newspaper (though, who does this anymore? With the advent of the Internet, people are turning to online dating sites and Casual Encounters on Craigslist). So why not just state she left him the message? And why even mention the message?
I left after 4 hours feeling amazing, my dark red hair shone in the sunlight, and my pussy felt delightfully tender and smooth now that it was waxed into a small strip. It excited me walking through the throngs of weekend shoppers, my silky underwear rubbing up against my bare slit.
Our narrator, feeling liberated (for some odd reason), treats herself to a beauty treatment with her cheating husband’s money (I’m okay with that). So she gets her nether regions waxed. So when she says that her “pussy felt delightfully tender and smooth now that it was waxed into a small strip,” she’s not talking about her vagina itself, but the pubic hair. Still, the sentence reads weird. And I can’t figure out a way to fix the sentence without it getting too wordy. Considering that I’m a not a female, how does pubic hair make one’s vagina any less tender? I couldn’t say mine protects my most sacred places like a shield. I’m aware the message she’s conveying, but perhaps tender isn’t the right word. Or perhaps, she meant to say tender as in delicate because she just got a whole bunch of hairs pulled off like a Band-Aid (I’ve seen a video of this procedure, what the fuck is wrong with some of you?).
And what’s with waxing one’s pubic hair down to just a strip? A little trim here and there, and it’ll save you some pain and still look hot as hell, am I right? And I get it, stating the fact that even her underwear is getting her off signifies how horny this woman is. But there’s just so many adjectives already.
‘I’m free tonight if you would like to get together for a bottle of bubbly.’
I’m a stickler about archaic words and phrases. If the term cutie-pahtootie sent me into a blind rage, can you imagine what the phrase “bottle of bubbly” did for my libido? Who even says that anymore? How hard is it to write champagne? Which brings me to my next question, who the fuck drinks champagne on a casual encounter? Sure, alcohol, but champagne? C’mon!
She later goes on to call it “the bubbly liquid.” I kid you not.
I nodded in reply, my heart fluttered in exhilaration, until I realized he couldn’t see my head bobbing up and down.
Raise your hand – who here doesn’t know the motion a head makes when nodding? Anyone? You in the back there? Oh. I thought I saw a hand go up. So everyone knows what nodding means, right? Okay. We won’t have to cover why the last part of this sentence isn’t necessary. Let’s cover why this sentence isn’t that necessary at all.
Sure, throw in some comedy. Why not? A lot of seasoned erotic writers do it. But a nod is a reply, one that doesn’t work too well on the phone. I nodded. My heart fluttered with exhilaration. And what’s with that word, anyway? Exhilaration? Running is exhilarating. Climbing a mountain. Swimming. Fucking. All these are exhilarating. Getting a phone call? No, that’s more like exciting to me. I know that exhilaration might look like it works, but it doesn’t bring up the same image for everyone. As generic as exciting is, you don’t want to throw around a word you pulled from the thesaurus either. Or better yet, why add it at all? Why else does a heart flutter?
The narrator moves on to say, “‘That’s sounds good to me!’ I burst out, ‘Would the Renaissance Hotel on 58th Avenue be okay? Say 9pm?” (Why didn’t I add this to the quote, because it only just bothered me.)
Okay, we know the narrator already did something stupid like nod her answer into the phone. We know that Wolf cannot see her reply, so she blurts one out. So why not write more in the lines of this: I nodded. My heart fluttered. “Is the Renaissance Hotel okay? Around 9 PM?,” I said, realizing he couldn’t see my response.
He undressed me slowly, kissing my porcelain flesh as he did so. It felt so forbidden, lying there on that hotel bed, with a stranger running his big, strong hands over my body. I gasped as I realized I was naked, and glanced up to watch him unbutton his white shirt, and slip out of his slacks.
Wait. Wait. Wait. WAIT! Is Wolf a Rock Biter? Will Stephanie be sucked away by the Nothing, while he weeps to Atreyu, asking “They look like such strong hands, don’t they? Like big, good strong hands, don’t they?” And where the fuck is Bastian? Oh, they’re not in the story? Lose it, then.
What shocks me most about this paragraph is that the narrator doesn’t know what happens when a person undresses her. “He undressed me… I gasped as I realized I was naked.” So either he did it slowly or he ripped off her clothes. Which is it?
He knelt down between my legs, and his tongue darted out to touch my sex lips.
Sex lips. Seriously? Sex lips. Why not pussy? Why not clit? Why not something other than sex lips?
He parted my ass cheeks, and ran his tongue around the rim of my tiny rose. I tensed. No one had ever touched that hole before.
And here I thought sex lips was a bad term to use. What’s next, she’s gonna use the term “balls deep” to describe his performance?
It hurt at first, but he pressed and pushed slowly so as not to tear my delicate anus.
He was balls deep now, and I could feel the muscle walls of my ass clamping around his cock, trying to push the unfamiliar intruder out.
Well I’ll be damned. She did it. She actually wrote “balls deep.”
And question, what’s the ratio between familiar intruders and unfamiliar ones? Because, I’ve been under the impression most intruders are unfamiliar, unless stated otherwise.
Wolf drew his cock nearly all the way out of my butthole, then shoved it back in suddenly, and I yelled out, ‘Oh my GOD, yes, fuck my ass baby!’
Who even says that? I mean, c’mon! Who says butthole in a sex story? Seriously, though. Porn clichés are bad news. They kill the story. No one who isn’t paid to say it, says anything remotely close to that. Especially on their first time.
I milked his cock with my ass until he shot his creamy load inside my anus.
Now that’s a trick I need to see. Possibly in Tijuana.
He bucked and came too, his hot liquid splashing against my pussy walls.
Here, obviously, we’ve jumped ahead into the next sexual act, shortly after the first. I won’t even mention how there wasn’t any cleaning before he dove into her vagina, and how unsafe that is outside a story and porn scenes. But if we’re going to for visual effect of year, why not just say his spunk filled her pussy? Why splash? I’ve seen the video of a penis ejaculating inside a vagina. There’s no splashing.
If you made it this far, you’re a trooper. Give yourself a pat on the back. I’m not saying I’m the best writer in the world. But if Marilyn More and I were in a writer’s club, these are the suggestions I’d make on the margins of her draft. They’re aren’t to bash her credibility as a writer. They aren’t even there to suggest she try something else. What I am stating is that she work on it some more before releasing it into the world.
“The men in the room are all bent into interesting positions. A big blond stands on his hands, balanced and unmoving. Another dangles from rings. A third is leaning over a polished leather horse. Hadley McCarthy watches the men as she moves passed them–imagining that they have been put there for her pleasure, fantasizing that they will never move. Hold still. Stay that way,” begins Alison Tyler‘s novella, Tied up and Twisted (Harlequin Spice). In summation of the story is, Hadley – a domme turned sub – sets her sights on a trainer – “Trainer. In another world, in her other world, the word means something else. There, he’d be Dom. Here, he is Coach.” – while her former sub attempts to win her back. It’s a role reversal I haven’t read before. At least nothing that I found worth retaining. No matter what, a dominate never subs and a sub rarely knows how to dominate.
I could be wrong, though. I’ve only lived vicariously through stories by Alison Tyler (the writer, not the porn star) and anthologies complied by Rachel Kramer Bussel. I, however, never lived vicariously in anything written by E.L. James. Her writing is just terrible. English majors around the world wept with the first pages alone. And I think that’s the subject of this post – it’s surely not about that weird sex dream I had about an older woman I don’t believe really exists (hence the photo of The Burning Lotus [NSFW]). What?! You haven’t heard about her? Either you’re highly religious or dead (and I consider them same thing), but dude. Yeah. Check that out.
ANYWAY. I like erotica. No. Scratch that. I love erotica. Classy erotica – Anaïs Nin – and the current writers. There’s also the guilty pleasure of poorly written fantasies found on blogs and Literotica rip-off sites. Thanks to the ever evolving technology of the day, writers everywhere (good and bad) are publishing works. Thankfully, a nice percentage of these writers offer freebies and I download for my Kindle. Not all of them are good, mind you. And somehow Fifty Shades of Grey managed to slip by caused such a stir that I’m still recovering from the shock.
Am I glad Erotica is getting noticed? Yes. But it’s never been greatly ignored. The only reason this genre is getting so big is the technology. Trust me, it’s the technology, not because the book is a masterpiece.
I work in the Children’s department of a library. I can’t just carry around a book with a semi-naughty cover and read it during my downtime. Brows will lift.
DAMNIT, I’ve gone off topic again. As I was saying, I love erotica. And I’m glad that it’s in the public view (whether that’s because technology or not, should be saved for another post). However, it’s depressing that something so poorly written is the reason, when writers – real writers who believe in editing and revision – are ignored.
Example, when I first picked up Fifty Shades of Grey – before I quickly put it down again – I commented that I can’t see how this is the book that set off the spark. My co-worker turned and replied, “Have you ever read anything else from the genre? It’s pretty much the same.”
Oh. No. You. Didn’t.
Romance and Erotica might be sister genres, but they are not “pretty much the same.” While publishers like Harlequin are publishing both, I can’t see the where the confusion comes from. But Romance is sex word fodder. Erotica is word sex.
Gonna end this post because I’ve gone off topic. I’ll talk about the other thing later. A compare and contrast. Think of this as a rough draft. And the next post a revision.