Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Samantha Sommersby and the Perfect Gift is a Book

The perfect book gift?

I've lost count of the number of Intercourses cookbooks I've given as gifts. This is a wonderful cookbook filled with fabulous recipes, memorable stories, and beautifully shot photographs.

The New InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook [Hardcover]
Martha Hopkins (Author), Randall Lockridge (Author)

Spice up you life with this collection of fabulous recipes.

The Temptation (Forbidden) by Samantha Sommersby

There’s a fine line between man and beast…one only the heart can cross.

A year ago, Jacob Madison got more than he bargained for during a rock-climbing trip to Yosemite. A freak accident left him badly injured, at the mercy of the elements—and the wolves who rescued him. If it hadn’t been for them, he’d be dead. He’d also still be human. Now he’s back, hoping to find out who he is and what he’s become. Instead, he finds smart, sexy Allison Connelly.

A forensic psychologist, Allison is newly divorced and proudly standing on her own two feet…until an unexpected storm shears off the snow bank she’s standing on. She plunges down an icy ravine, thinking she’s heading for oblivion. Then she lands in the arms of a tall, dark Texan. Jake.

Brought together by circumstance and bound by passion, secrets from their past threaten their future before it can begin. And somewhere in the mountains lurks a rogue Were turned serial killer. Whatever the danger Jake’s inner beast poses to Allison, there’s only one way to protect her—unleash it. Even if it costs him her love.

Warning: This book contains raging winter storms, truly inspiring sex, a kick-butt heroine, and one very hot, dirty-talking cowboy…who’s sometimes furry.

Buy paperback from Amazon
Buy eBook from All Romance

Commenting and/or asking questions on an author or blogger’s blog for the day will enter you into The Perfect Gift is a Book contest for a one of a kind prize. Unfortunately, this contest is open to US residents only.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Berengaria Brown and the Perfect Gift is a Book

I travel a lot for my day job, and many of my friends wish they could do that, too. But I have to go where the company sends me. I think I’ll give them copies of this book, and together, we can all plan the journeys we’d choose to do for fun. Maybe next year we’ll even take one of the trips we plan!

Raw Craving” Book 1 in the “Raw Claiming” series: Ayla thought it’d be just like Y2K all over again. But this time the world really did change. Now, she’s living in a community with far more men than women and has to choose some to live with. Ethan and Gideon helped rescue her, and she’s drawn to them. The sex is great, but she has to learn to live in a community that must become self-sufficient.

Also, what’s going on outside? Has the world changed forever? Will the men be torn from her and sent outside again? Should she go, too? And into what?

Buy Raw Craving from Bookstrand

Berengaria Brown

Commenting and/or asking questions on an author or blogger’s blog for the day will enter you into The Perfect Gift is a Book contest for a one of a kind prize. Unfortunately, this contest is open to US residents only.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jayne Rylon and the Perfect Gift is a Book

Long before I was an author I was an avid reader. Nothing I love more to receive as a gift. In fact, my family bought me a Kindle for Christmas before they even knew I was writing ebooks because they knew how much I would love the device (and I do!). So, I also give plenty of books. While I like to tailor the book to the person, I have a few fallback books. One that's fun and great for future events, is called Hello, Cupcake. The book has cute, fun and easy to follow direction for making sweet treats!

Eastern Ambitions by Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr
Contemporary Erotic Romance (menage)

He’s lost everything. Can he win her heart?

Compass Brothers, Book 3

Sam Compton never liked getting his hands dirty, at least not on Compass Ranch. Armed with a business degree, he’s about to become the youngest VP at an illustrious Wall Street investment firm. Until his partner in an office romance turns into an ultra-refined snake in the grass.

Staggering from the punch of betrayal, another blow threatens to level him. His father is dying. He races home to lend his brain to his brothers’ backs at the ranch, and finds something he never expected. A sophisticated yet playful woman stimulates his mind…and parts below the belt.

Compass Ranch gave Cindi Middleton’s wounded soul everything it needs: a home, acceptance, and respect—not to mention unlimited sex—from the ranch’s sexy cowboys. Despite their instant and intense sparks, Sam’s defection to the bright city lights she left behind is a big red flag. She’s been there, done that, burned the T-shirt.

Yet the heat of their attraction brings them circling back to each other’s arms…until a certain snake reappears, threatening to endanger the acquisition of the one thing Sam has realized is truly priceless.

Warning: Tissue alert! The authors recommend you have a few on hand while reading this book. To make up for any sniffles, a host of cowboys with open arms await to console you, distract you or make your wildest dreams come true.

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Commenting and/or asking questions on an author or blogger’s blog for the day will enter you into The Perfect Gift is a Book contest for a one of a kind prize. Unfortunately, this contest is open to US residents only.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Beverly Rae and the Perfect Gift is a Book

My favorite gift book for children is Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. I used to read this book to my daughter from when she was very young to well after she was able to read it on her. Not only is the book fun, but we gave it a twist by making it a challenge. Every night she would give me the book and say, “Bet you can’t do it!” I would then try to read the book as fast as possible and see if I stumbled over any of the tongue-twisting text. I did, in fact, get very good and made it through several times without a mistake. Of course, that wasn’t what my daughter was hoping. She loved to laugh whenever I fumbled. Buy a copy for any child and let them laugh, too.

One of my favorite books of mine is Howling for My Baby (Cannon Pack, Book 1), an erotic paranormal romance for those who like sexy along with humor.

Romeo and Juliet never had to worry about being skinned alive!

Sydney Skeller’s father is spitting bullets over her reluctance to join the family business as a shifter hunter. The last thing Daddy needs to know is why—she yearns for a lover who’s man enough for a relationship but animal enough to give her the wild ride of her dreams. After a treadmill mishap lands her in a tangled heap with Jason Cannon, she wonders if she’s finally found her beast, er, man. One session in bed and one bite later, she’s sure. Now if only she can keep her father from mounting Jason’s head on a wall…

Jason is all man on the surface, but wolf shifter down to the bone. He’s more than ready to stop “playing the pack” and find his one true mate, and Sydney of the luscious curves is the woman of his dreams. Finding out that she comes from a family sworn to eradicate his kind isn’t a deal-breaker. But her outrageous plan for him to masquerade as the wolf in hunter’s clothing, right under her father’s very nose, could be asking more than he ever expected to give.

Buy book from Amazon

Find more Beverly Rae books at:

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Commenting and/or asking questions on an author or blogger’s blog for the day will enter you into The Perfect Gift is a Book contest for a one of a kind prize. Unfortunately, this contest is open to US residents only.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

MJ Fredrick and the Perfect Gift is a Book

Books as gifts—my favorite!

I’m a teacher, so I love to give books to children. My favorite picture books are the Skippyjon Jones series by Judy Schachner. They’re adorably illustrated stories about a little Siamese cat who thinks he’s a Chihuahua. He has Mexican-flavored adventures with things he finds in his closet.

Tikki Tikki Tembo is another book my students love, with the repetitive parts they can recite along. It’s a Chinese fable explaining why Chinese boys now have short names.

For older students, my students loved Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. It’s a bit dated, the story of a fourth grader and the trials and tribulations he has with his toddler brother.

The children also enjoy Twisted Journeys, which are a choose-your-own-ending graphic novel. There is a series of them.

For the women in my life who read (sadly not many in my family), I bought my friend Trish Milburn’s Living in Color. It’s a women’s fiction about a woman reconnecting with her sheltered mother after the death of her father. It’s wonderful and I would say so even if she wasn’t my friend.

The Phillipa Gregory books are fantastic for people who enjoy history. I particularly like the performances on the audiobooks.

If anyone is interested in steampunk, I can’t recommend The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook highly enough. The second book is out now but I haven’t had time to read it yet. It’s the story of a female police detective in London in an alternate past, a woman who bears the physical reminder of England’s conquerors. It’s far too complicated to explain here, but it’s wonderful.

For the men in my life, I buy David McCullough’s books. He writes those big fat historicals.

I’m buying my dad Seal Team Six and David Crockett, the Lion of the West, both non-fiction, kind of self-explanatory.

You can see I think books make wonderful gifts!

My romantic adventure, Midnight Sun, might make a fun gift for someone who enjoys a sexy hero, a spunky heroine and an unusual setting—a cruise ship to Antarctica.

This wasn’t the adventure she’d signed up for…

A sexy boss, a rough crossing, and pirates—all Brylie Winston wanted was a job to help her earn money to buy her own restaurant. She hopes to earn it by working as a chef on a cruise to Antarctica. But she’s slept with her boss, which throws her off-balance even more than the rough seas and warnings of pirates in the area. And he’s determined to have a repeat performance…

Bad boy former snowboarder Marcus Devlin is running from his reputation, sent to learn the family business after decking a senator’s son and making the papers. So maybe he indulged in a last-minute fling before boarding his family’s cruise ship to Antarctica. Perhaps Fate is showing him that wasn’t so bad—the gorgeous redhead who snuck out of his bed is on the cruise. She’ll be a lovely distraction during his exile.

But when South American pirates take over the ship, his instinct is to protect her and the other passengers. But what does a spoiled rich boy know about saving people’s lives?

Buy eBook at Amazon

Commenting and/or asking questions on an author or blogger’s blog for the day will enter you into The Perfect Gift is a Book contest for a one of a kind prize. Unfortunately, this contest is open to US residents only.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tilly Greene kicks off the Perfect Gift is a Book Event and Contest

We have friends whose grandkids [from 3 to 6 yo] who come to their house a couple times a week and they're hosting an annual Christmas party, so we need a hostess gift - a book. I think the perfect gift for them this year would be a book they’ll keep, love and read every year with their grandkids, is one that possesses wonderful illustrations that feeds the little ones imaginations and pop-ups! I happen to love pop-ups and often think of which one would suit kids I know.  And with all that said, I've decided we’ll be giving them The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore and illustrated/paper engineered by Niroot Puttapipat.

Missing in Paradise by Tilly Greene
Contemporary Erotic Romance + Bondage

When the love of Mike’s life breaks up with him abruptly, he doesn’t know where to turn. Mary is an emotional mess who reacts without thinking, and immediately regrets her decision. Making things right with Mike isn’t easy. It requires privacy to rebuild their love and share their lust. Neither expects their getaway to become a major news story.

The tattooed retired surfer and daytime TV star are opposites, yet perfect for each other. But paradise isn’t easy on them. Their bond will need to stand up to the strain of a public-relations nightmare if they have any hope of making it work.

Mistakes are made and they need privacy to fix things, but what about the media?

Buy eBook from Ellora's CaveAll RomanceAmazonBNSony

Tilly Greene
Scorching romances full of twists, turns and ties.

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Commenting and/or asking questions on an author or blogger’s blog for the day will enter you into The Perfect Gift is a Book contest for a one of a kind prize. Unfortunately, this contest is open to US residents only.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from the Greene Household

Originally posted November 26, 2009

Today is a day full of family and traditions. In fact, when I lived abroad, I used to take Thanksgiving thursday and the following friday off. I cooked a turkey - even though the butchers balked because they were all needed for Christmas - and the fixings. The cutie says he misses my "green salad" [its so special, it will never be made public], but I know it's not because he likes it, but because it's traditional to me and my family. Another one of our traditions, no matter where we are on this day, is to sit down and watch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation".

Kitty gnawing on the lights, squirrel in the tree, seriously overcooked turkey [the mark of Thanksgiving throughout my childhood, sorry Grandpa, but it was so very dry], and Randy Quaid's character on the side of the road, well these and more make me laugh.

Enjoy your Thursday, be there turkey or not.

The picture above is from The Situationist and the link leads to an interesting Thanksgiving article they first posted in 2007, and again in 2008.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let's Talk About Books for Thanksgiving

Originally posted November 23, 2010

Not to long ago I mentioned in a Book Talk and eBook Talk about not liking to read holiday set romances and I also mentioned not understanding why, when I loved the picture book side of the holidays.

Well, I still don't know, but thought I'd share some of my Thanksgiving related picture and pop-up books that I truly enjoy revisiting every year.

Macy's on Parade by Pamela Pease is a pop-up with all the details of what goes into the parade on the side panels.

Milly and The Macy's Day Parade by Shana Corey and illustrated by Brett Helquist.  You might recognize his work from the Lemony Snicket Series of Unfortunate Events series and Blue Balliett's fantastic YA mysteries, but this is where I first discovered him and bought A Christmas Carol edition he illustrated and The Lump of Coal treat of a book - love his work!

A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley and illustrated by Jim LaMarche may not be Thanksgiving specific, but with us having to deal with leaves falling, it's a perfect book to read, especially to others.  And on a personal note, it also is one we tend to get for family and friends who have a baby.  That's right new borns are given a couple books to get their libraries started and for the parents to start reading to them.  Very important.

Just love books!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Perfect Gift is a Book Event and Contest is Almost Here!

That's right, I think the perfect gift to give someone you care about is a book, and the holidays are all about giving! So, with that in mind, I asked authors across the romance genre to share what book they enjoy giving and why.

It was fun to see what the authors and bloggers had to say and I'll be sharing them with you from November 25 through December 24.

To add a bit of festive spice into the mix, I'm putting up a one of a kind prize at the end.  There will be treats from a variety of countries and places all put together in a hip bag, and a few other things like an All Romance gift certificate as well.  What you need to do to be entered to win is comment. Comment once or everyday to be entered 30 times, that's all there is to it and enjoy learning a bit more about an author or blogger you've read or want to read.

Remember, it all starts on the 25th, so get your holiday lists ready to take down suggestions because there are some really good books being talked about.

Monday, November 21, 2011

An Easy Way to Make Mince Pies in the US

Originally posted December 12, 2009

In my case it's a lack of skill and attention that led me to learn how to make Mince Pies.  They are very simple to make and don't take long either.  So here you go, something for workmates, neighbors, relatives, or yourself - a little something to put you in the holiday frame of mind.

Here we go, Mince Pies:

You need flour, sugar, milk, rolling pin, two different sized glasses, teaspoon, anti-stick method [I use Pam, but anything will do], muffin tray for mini muffins [bite size :-)], pastry for pies [I use Pillsbury, yup, told you it was easy], and Mincemeat. 

This comes in basic mincemeat and the other is with Brandy and Rum.  I've used both, but the latter is my favorite - can't taste it, but it does add a little unique flavor to the mix. 

Now, like there are recipes for the pastry, there is help around the next for making your own mincemeat.  Good on you for going there, but I get the Crosse and Blackwell.  You'll find it in your local supermarket in the "baking aisle" or in the "holiday aisle".  There are other brands, but after ten years of making these, C&B is my preferred brand.

Throw a bit of flour on your counter, roll out the pastry, not too much, but some.  Now take the larger glass and cut out your bases.  After making sure your tin is sticky proofed, gently push the pastry disk down into the muffin holes.  Gently.  Don't press the pastry to the sides and don't leave anything poking up, should be flush.

Next, use your teaspoon, put a dollop of mincemeat into the pastry cup, making sure you don't overfill.  When all the holes are filled, use your smaller glass, cut out the tops, and lay them on top.  You may have to put scraps together in a ball and roll it out again, but that's fine.

The last thing you do before cooking them is have a small bit of milk in a dish, dip two fingers into it, and gently [again with the gently] paint the top.  Now you're ready to cook them.

Cook at 425, middle of the oven, for about 15 minutes.

When you pull them out, they will be seriously hot - especially the mix - give them a couple minutes [no more] to cool down.  Using a knife tip, release the mince pie from the cup and place them on a cooling rack.  When you have them all there, add a pinch of sugar to each top, and there you go:  Mince Pies.

They taste great whilst still warm and with brandy butter on them, but they are good any way you can get them.  You'll often find Hard Sauce by CandB being sold beside the Mincemeat, as well as Plum Pudding, which the hard sauce can also be used on - well, after you've lit it up that is - but that's another thing.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Did you blink and miss my exciting news?

Night Owl Reviews gave Highland Heat a 4.5 Top Pick!  I'm so excited about this because Hamish Buchanan, the gorgeous hunk of Scottish manhood who wears a kilt in the correct way - commando! - is and always will be one of my favorite heroes!

The other exciting news was that Tied Up For Love was nominated for a 2011 BDSM short story Authors After Dark (by the way, 2012 convention is in New Orleans and registration is open!) Bookie Award.  If you know only one thing about me other than I write erotic romances is that Greek Mythology is a love of mine.  To keep the joy alive, I write the Mythological Messes Redux series of which this is book #5, and the hero is Marsyas - he also happens to be one of my absolute favorite sculptural pieces.

Now, next month, December, Whiskey Creek Press Torrid is releasing both Call Me Lucifer and My Angel in one ebook and it's called Good, Bad and Kinky.  Whether in Heaven, Hell or on Earth, the people are good, bad and occasionally kinky :-)  By the way, Lucifer is another favorite hero of mine - the man has forever acquired quite a bit of bad press and yet he's one of the most loveable characters I've ever written.

My second to the last bit of squeeling good news is that Konnichiwa Cowboy, book 2 in the Branded series of which Ride 'em is book 1, is now available.  It's a short and slightly unconventional in a couple of ways, but I enjoyed my research into geishas and wanted to share the scorcher with everyone.  A side note to Konnichiwa Cowboy is that I'm almost finished with its follow up called Giddy-up (Branded #2.5).

The last bit of news I'll keep brief - there will be more about this next week - is that there's a big book event coming real soon [starting November 25] and I'm giving a one of a kind prize away at the end!

There you go - my squeelworthy news!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fashion Adopts Bondage Elements with Elegance

Recently I've noticed high fashion has been inspired by the BDSM world.  I get Elle Magazine and over a couple of months there's been two full pages and a box under the table of contents that highlighted these elements and use the headlines to vamp up the connection even further.

One trend box was noted as "Naughty by Nature: Severe high heels and glinting handcuff bracelets succumb to the seasons's decadent fetish fixation" and accompanied by pictures of a Nicholas Kirkwood patent leather bootie and Jack Vartanian gold handcuff bracelet with diamonds [to the right].

A full page about trends stated "Lock and Key: Obey your fancy with exposed bonding and risque accessories secured with arresting wrist and ankle cuffs".  This page included pictures of a John Galliano* patent and suede pump with chain details, Louis Vuitton brass handcuffs and a crocodile and brass clutch with handcuff clutch, and Betony Vernon's gold collar [to the left].  I've noted Vernon's collection before on a Naughty Thought posting.

The last page I noticed was a shopping guide called "Collars and Scarves".  There were eight collars on this page and they were labeled collar, cuff, necklace and chockers, but they all encircled the neck much like a "collared" BDSM participant would wear.

Intersting stuff.  I wonder if this means we'll see serious lifestylers stepping out onto Main Street in their real collars and cuffs on date night - hmmm.

*this site has music, but can be turned off.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rugby's Wolfman - oh my!

Australian rugby league player David Williams and 25 years old and he possesses a full Grizzly Adams beard. His nickname used to be Wolfman, probably from the messy hair and beard.

He's cute, but hot?

One day his best friend, Michael Roberts, shaved him live on a TV show and guess what there was behind all that hair?

Serious hotness!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Read Your Books to Save Them from Bookworms

Actually, they aren't worms that eat the pages of your favorite books, it's more likely to be beetles, moths, lice, roaches and other insects that are looking for the nutritious fare found on bookshelves.

Through the years a variety of poisons have been used to rid a library of these evil beasts, including cedar oil, citrus leaves, cyanide, carbolic acid and mercury chloride, but they have limited success.  It looks like the best advice came from Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist from 160 AD.

He criticized "the ignorant book collector" at length, charging that anyone who amassed books to show off their wealth rather than to read them deserved a plague of bugs:  "What else is he doing but buying haunts for mice and lodings for worms?" [Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart]
In other words, read your books and pests will have no time to settle into the feast attractively set out before them!

Friday, November 11, 2011

What is a Folly?

"A costly structure demonstrating the foolhardiness of its builder." is how the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite describes a folly and is largely true, but I think of it as more romantic than that - which is why I had Hamish Buchanan from "Highland Heat" have one on his property in The Highlands.  They were often built as little palaces to bring a smile to a lovers face, even though they weren't all that habitable.

My cutie and I frequently visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden in Ripon, Yorkshire, England and it has a few follies dotted around the extensive site.  The one in the picture below is the best preserved and easiest to peak through the windows.  In case you're wondering, it would make a lovely reading nook.

One of the ultimate folly dabblers is King Ludwig of Bavaria with his Neuschwanstein Castle, which literally translates to "new-swan-stone".  It was built to resemble a 13th century palace like those found in a German folktale about a German prince who morphed into a swan, but Ludwig went a bit wild on the details:

By the way, Neushchwanstein, in case you don't already know, is the model for Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland.
"It took fourteen carpenters more than four years to complete the carving in his bedroom alone.  A trapdoor in teh dining room allowed the table to be lowered into the kitchen and set while the servants remained out of sight.  The throne room was decorated in fantasy Bysantine style.  A stalactite grotto off of Ludwig's study came complete with a waterfall and an electric "moon" moving through its phases."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What is the Dark Tower?

Not the Stephen King series, but the real Dark Tower?

"A swank literary salon-cum-nightclub in 1920s Harlem." is what the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is talking about.

Let's be honest, this establishment offered everything that was fabulous in that time, book discussion from the Harlem Renaissance period and music, and it was handled in an open-door policy by A'Lelia Walker, heiress to the Madam C.J. Walker [her mother] Manufacturing Company hair care and beauty empire.  Everyone from luminaries such as Langston Hughes and WEB Du Bois to royalty from Europe and the fat cats of Park Avenue.  Black and white, rich or poor, I'm sure it was an exciting mix.

"...unless you were there early there was no possible way of getting in," Hughes [1902-1967] wrote in his autobiography.  "Her parties were as crowded as the New York subway at the rush hour."
Okay, now that's a packed house and she sounds like wonderful lady who, by the way, liked to wear turbans, jewels and carry a riding crop, so let's add sassy to the wonderful.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

What is a Good Swing?

I've written a scene or two that involved a swing - "Highland Heat" and "An Invitation to the World: China" come to mind - and the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite tells where the inspiration for such a device came from, at least it has to my writing.

"A suspended seat that oscillates backward and forward." is the brief description and pretty much states the basics, but the good stuff is in the details.

"In this diversion there are very many pretty shrieks, not so much for fear of falling off as taht their petticoats should untie," The Specatator noted in 1712.  "The lover who swings his lady is to tie her clothes very close together with his hat band before she admits him to throw up her heels."
Even better were the from Honore Fragonard who made swinging appear to be a bit of naughty foreplay.  Her skirts aren't tied and her lover is looking at her, um, dainty ankles and lovely legs.  Back in the day, The Swing [to the right] by Fragonard was denied entrance into England, but it now hangs in that country's Wallace Collection.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

What is a Pillow Book?

I know what they are, but only because I used one as the reason a model was talking naughty pictures in my ebook, "The Painted Lady".  Actually, I first read about them in a Johanna Lindsey romance, although I can't remember which one.  I really need to reread her Malory backlist - I'm sure it's one of those randy guys - to find that book!

However, in the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, a pillowbook is descibed as "A diary, or book of musings, kept under the pillow."  The Pillowbook of Sei Shonagon, a lady-in-waiting to Japan's Empress Sadako, was a few lines written about the day before she fell asleep kind of book.  Apparently it offers great insight into the era [965-1020] in which she lived.

There were lists included in her pillowbook such as "Squalid Things", "Vexing Things", "Hateful Things", but I laughed at the "Embarassing Things" where she added an oafish lover:

"Lying awake at night, one says something to one's companion, who simply goes on sleeping."
At least she doesn't complain about their snoring.

Monday, November 07, 2011

What are Painted Ladies?

I'm betting they probably aren't what you think they are.  In the Encyclopedia of the Exquisite by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins they are described as "Made-up muses who sat for prominent artists in the 1920's."

The two women she puts in this category are Alice Prin [Kiki de Montparnasse] and Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.  They were wild model-muses who played their roles with "guts, gusto, and striking originality, never forgetting the powerful effect of the unusual makeup."

Montparnasse modeled for artists, mainly nude, but got into her stride when she moved in with Man Ray as lover and muse for his work.  The artist took over her making her up and it's been described thusly:

"Before they went out for the night, Man Ray shaved Kiki's eyebrows, then replaced them with glued-on designs - sometimes cut like the accent over the Spanish n.  Her eyelids might be cobalt blue one day and copper the next, while her searing red lips "blazed agaisnt the plaster-white of her cheeks on which a single beauty spot was placed, with consummate art, just under one eye."
The baroness took things a bit further in Greenwich Village.  Artist George Biddle remembered meeting Elsa in 1917 and described the meeting in great detail.

"Over the nipples of her breasts were two tin tomato cans fastened with a green string around her back.  Between the tomato cans hung a very small bird cage and within it a crestfallen canary.  One arm was covered from wrist to shoulder with celluloid curtain rings, pilfered from a furniture display in Wanamaker's.  She removed her hat, trimmed with gilded carrots, beets, and other vegetables.  Her hair was close cropped and dyed vermillion."

Seriously, Lady Gaga has a long way to go before she's even in the same ballpark as these two Jazz age ladies!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November...

Originally posted November 5, 2007

November 5th is Bonfire night, a British celebration remembering the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. A group of English Roman Catholics organized and came up with a plan to destroy tyrannical rule by King James I of England and the Protestant Aristocracy. Guy Fawkes was the man chosen to blow up the Palace of Westminster [or the Houses of Parliament] but he was caught before this happened. After being tortured, he and other conspirators were found guilty of treason, they were hung, drawn and quartered. Apparently Fawkes escaped the hanging by getting free and jumping from the scaffolding and broke his neck. After that, he was still drawn and quartered.

It's not all doom and gloom for Guy Fawkes. He is credited with being “the only man to ever enter parliament with honourable intentions.” In 2002 he was 30th in the “100 Greatest Britons” and on the list of the 50 greatest people from Yorkshire.

Recently the festivities have made their way into popular culture beyond the British Isles. Two examples are a movie and book. The beginning of the movie V for Vendetta has an old rhyme that is often used to recall this incident. The full poem isn’t normally used, just the first bit, and sometime the second. When you read it you'll know why, it’s very inflammatory and no longer has a purpose. The cutie, who grew up knowing the first two verses, never knew the last until we saw it noted at a Tower of London exhibition. So here it is in it’s entirety:

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,'twas his intent
to blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below,
Poor old England to overthrow:
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, make the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!
Hip hip hoorah!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope.
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah!

There's another appearance of the Guy Fawkes Day celebrations found in the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. A muggle weatherman is reporting shooting stars are being seen all over Britain, and speculates some people are celebrating Bonfire Night a week early. Instead, it’s the wizarding world celebrating the disappearance of Lord Voldemort. And don’t forget Albus Dumbledor’s pet phoenix is called Fawkes.

So how does one celebrate Bonfire Night? Well, on the Fifth of November, once the sun has sunk, the bonfires, big and small, are lit in fields up and down the country. The guy is on the pyre before it’s set on fire and everyone stands around watching it burn. In northern England, Yorkshire, they have baked potatoes, parkin [a ginger cake with black treacle, or molasses], toffee apples, roasted chestnuts, beer and much more are all consumed in the cold damp air, long in to the night.

The “guy” plays a big part in the celebrations. Up until recent times, kids used to take the days leading up to Bonfire Night and make an effigy of Guy Fawkes, carry or wheel him around the neighborhood, knock on doors or ask people walking around for “a penny for the guy.” They’d spout off what they knew about the Gunpowder Plot, maybe sing a rhyme, and be rewarded with money. They used to spend it on fireworks but later it went toward sweets during the night.

Yes, we’ll be having a fire in the backyard with friends, a few pints, and some Oatmeal Parkin.

This month we give thanks and celebrate with our family, why not expand it further and immerse yourself in history, plots of murder, treason and more. Make some parkin, a cup of tea, and watch V for Vendetta.

Enjoy your Bonfire Night!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Clearing up a Geisha Urban Myth

"Geishas are traditional, female Japanese entertainers whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music and dance." [Wikipedia]

While the elaborate make-up and hair, coupled with the traditional attire, make it easier to label a woman a geisha, there is much more to who they are and what they do than their appearance.  They are entertainers through dance, games, masterful discourse and a skill at maintaining traditions, what they are not is prostitutes.  Prostitution in Japan exists and is very complicated, but geishas do not exchange their bodies for money.

Back in the late 600's the female entertainer position started to take shape as a serving girl who may or may not sell sexual services.  Over the years, a gap between those who were educated in the arts and those who served and were paid for sex grew, separating prostitutes from entertainers.

The Oiran who were courtesans and actresses - entertainers who also offered sex - took over in the 1600's and blended the line for what would later become geishas.

In 1872, after some controversy, surprise surprise, a law was passed that separated prostitutes from geishas, who the government considered more refined and shouldn't be sullied by association with the sex service industry.

When WWII broke out in 1945, the American GI considered geishas prostitutes and they haven't been able to discard that cloak ever since.  They are a private group who are focused on their own field and therefore don't address the issue, but I'm here to say:

Geishas are not Prostitutes - but they do make for a wonderful fantasy!

The geisha and prostitute roles are combined by the heroine who is neither, she's a woman who actually works in the import/export of beef business, in Konnichiwa Cowboy [Contemporary/Light Western Erotica + D/s].  Here's a small taste of her as all three:

Even though her hands clasped together in her lap, she couldn't stop her fingers from fidgeting with a desire to stroke the tempting package.

"Come over here, my little geisha girl, and show me how you entertain men with that sexy painted mouth."

There was no elegant way to stand up on her own, even crawling would be difficult unless she shifted the kimono out of the way. Letting her purse and fan fall from her wrists, she lifted one knee up a bit, pulled the silk robe from underneath, then repeated the process with the other before making her way to Matt.

eBook now available from AmazonBNSmashwords

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A Fashionable Kimono

Learning how to put on a kimono is one of those traditions a mother passes on to a daughter, although it's said to still be a difficult task.  I took the directions of how a kimono is supposed to be donned from JapanZone and made a few alterations for Konnichiwa Cowboy, and let's just say it was interesting writing both dressing and undressing scenes!

Here's an excerpt for the new release that touches on the kimono:

eBook now available from AmazonBNSmashwords
Without waiting for him to say anything else, she took a few steps back so he could see all of her, then worked on stripping in a seductive manner.

As a slow, sexy rhythm played in her head, she reached behind her and worked on undoing the obi. Once it was loosened, she held the ends behind her, causing her kimono to open far enough to give him just a hint of what lay beneath. Letting the long strips of silk and stiff cotton she held fall down to the ground, she was happy she’d decided to forgo the plain shift normally worn beneath the kimono.

Pulling the two sides together, she turned around and slowly shifted the heavy silk garment to slip down one arm, then the other. Looking over her shoulder, she watched as he reached for his cock and stroked the towering pole. Not able to hold out any longer, she let the decorated silk drop to her waist and let it slowly slip to the floor.

Completely naked except for the long white socks and sandals was a tricky look to pull off as sexy, but believed she’d managed. Sakura actually felt empowered by what she saw reflected on Matt’s face. She knew when a need so powerful took control of his body. He had started to stand, only to fall back into his seat. That one move ensured she wouldn’t doubt he wanted her, although she enjoyed it even more when she saw how much desire there was inside him for her. He may have seen a geisha, but wanted her.

“Turn around.”

Twirling around on her clunky sandals, she stood with one hip cocked out and finally looked him in the eyes to make sure he knew what she wanted. Him.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Hump Day Reflections of a Hot Cowboy - NSFW

Tony Ward by Dimitris Theocharis as posted at Homotography makes a fabulously wicked cowboy!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Cowboys Who Brand the Ones they Love

Yes, they are cowboys, but no, I'm not talking the type of branding done with a red hot poker!  That's for livestock, but I will say it's where I got the idea from.

So what am I talking about?

Cowboys are a special breed of man.  They're tough and strong, and their approach to love and sex is often just as unique as they are.  Branded is a series that follows a set of friends who share a dream of living the white picket fence lifestyle at the same time as maintaining their individual sexual preferences.

What gets them off sexwise is Domination/submission play mixed with bondage and a ménage thrown in here and there.

No fire is necessary because these cowboys create their own heat!

The second ebook in the Branded series was just released and is:

Konnichiwa Cowboy by Tilly Greene
Contemporary/Light Western Erotica + D/s

Matt Wilson, a cattle rancher from Montana, goes to Japan to discuss how to successfully export the Big W’s beef into one of the most restrictive yet lucrative markets. In preparation for the trip he’s spent months on the phone with Sakura Nakamura, discussing rules and regulations, along with some good natured flirting. That was fine over the phone lines, but in person, she makes him want more.

Sakura’s smart, funny and gorgeous, everything he wants in a woman, but can’t have, not if he wants to do business with her father. On his last night in Osaka, he decides to indulge in a fantasy — a naughty night with a geisha — and wishes the delectable made-up treasure in little more than a kimono was Sakura.

Is it a geisha or infatuated workmate who fulfills the visiting cowboy's fantasy?

eBook now available from AmazonBNSmashwords

The first ebook in the Branded series is also out and is:

Ride 'em by Tilly Greene
Contemporary/Light Western Erotic Romance + D/s, Bondage and Ménage
TRS 2008 CAPA for Best BDSM

At a young age, Sunflower Forever Free is put in a position where she must take control of her life. A gentle soul who never chose how or where she lived, decides to stay in a small town she stumbles upon and start over. Here she has hopes of finding her white picket dream.

Rehabilitated bad boy Courtland Dickerson returns to the town of his childhood, the last place he’d been happy. He starts his horse breeding business and settles on the normal path he’d always wanted, one far away from the destructive influences of his past.Besides hard work, kinky games are being played behind barn doors. After one particularly wild ride, Sunflower and Courtland discover how well matched they are and together, embark on a new path.

Is the dream of a white picket fence life possible for people who play kinky sex games?

eBook available from Ellora's CaveAll RomanceAmazonBNSony Reader Store

Oh, and as for the Brand itself, that's an item they give their lovers to seal their connection!