Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I've been busy- my new baby



Yes, I got a kitten. She only 2 months old, but actually kind of looks like a grumpy old man here. LOL We got her on Sunday and she's a brave and curious thing and very affectionate. We introduced her to our two older cats who, contrary to the norm, were soft and curious around her. She on the other hand, sits there like David with Goliath and hisses at them.

Unfortunately though, she developed a kitty cold or upper respiratory infection and I've had to keep her separate from the other cats. I took her to the vet, and of course, like a gazillion dollars later, we came home with all kinds of kitty goodies-- along with some antibiotics and L-lysine.
She was very listless yesterday and today she hasn't eaten. And, she's still sneezing non-stop. I did manage to get the antibiotic pill down her this morning since she wouldn't eat her food that I had mixed it up in.

Yes, I know all the tricks. I went and got her some baby food that apparently has a stronger smell, plus some sardines and tuna in oil. I will mix the oil in with her food to give a strong smell. Her nose is all plugged and if she can't smell the food, she won't eat. I hope she will get better soon. Sitting in the guest room all day to baby sit and care for her is not that easy. If I leave her alone, she starts crying, so it's a full on job these days. But she's a sweet little thing and I'm actually enjoying being mommy for a bit.

So.... I did finish The Devil Inside- it's a really good book and I hope to get a review out soon. Still have so much school work to do since I've been very distracted with gardeners cleaning out our yard and little miss Shakti needing constant attention.
I downloaded a short yesterday. I have it on good word that it's a decent little erotic story. Menage with f/f/m. So I might read it tonight if I get my text book read.


All For Shayla by Ava McKnight Jasmine Jade (Ellora's Cave)

Who says you can’t always get what you want? Shayla is a Savannah socialite with a secret fetish for bad boys. When the younger, mysterious Keith pulls up in a hot muscle car, she knows he’s exactly what she wants. Even if it’s only for one night.

Back at Keith’s apartment, there are no strings attached and no holds barred, especially when Keith’s pretty roommate Carla joins the action. Shayla checks her inhibitions at the door and enjoys an erotic ride that’s double the fun, with Keith and Carla focused solely on her pleasure!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This and That

Yes, I am reading. Slowly, but reading. The book I'm currently reading, The Devil Inside, is really good. I hope to review it soon. In two weeks I will be done with this quarter and will have a whole month off! Woot! I hope to get a bunch of reading in then. Until then though, several things have caught my attention, which I'll pass on.

First up some promo, which I saw on the GLBT promo blog:

I'm not sure if this is pure erotica or what it is exactly, but I've read and enjoyed all the authors who contributed to this book, so I'll probably buy it.

Tattood Ladies
Torquere Press- $2.99

Blurb:

What is it about tattoos that make them so sexy? This Toy Box answers that question for the ladies, with three hot stories.

A Bucket List Tattoo by Adriana Kraft finds just past fifty and freshly divorced cardiac nurse Natalie Gardner who decides it’s time to create her personal bucket list. On the top of her list? A tattoo -- but she’s nervous about the pain. Maybe Cindy McGraw, the hot young physical therapist she often lunches with, can help her out. Next on her list? It may be too much to hope for, but she’s definitely angling for more than tattoo advice from Cindy. Would a taste be too much to ask?

In Lipstick Prints by Kissa Starling, an online baker's site provides an introduction for Tessa to Maria, a bisexual wife and mother. Their friendship builds through daily discussion, phone calls and eventually an in-person meeting. That moment in time becomes a catalyst for change in Tessa that she never thought possible.

Finally, Beth Wylde brings us In My Skin. Melissa is a tattoo artist whose girlfriend has a serious phobia about needles. Kendra finally decides to confront her fears and let Melissa tattoo her, but just stepping into her lover’s shop leaves her shaking. Will Melissa be able to pull off the impossible and put her name in Kendra’s skin? It’s going to take some smooth moves and fast talking to get it done right.

Next up is an interesting post by a predominantly m/m writer Sean Kennedy:

Yes, Virginia, there is a place for lesbians in M/M fiction!

edited- heh, my bad, I've been informed that Sean Kennedy is a man, and not a woman as I presumed. I guess it's hard to tell these days with so many female m/m authors with gender neutral or male names. So, if Sean has come across this post by some remote chance, I do apologize. And for the record, I didn't change any wording in the following part, just the she's to he's. :-)

He wrote a m/m book Wings of Equity that featured a lesbian couple in that book. Apparently, from the reviews and what people have been saying, these lesbian characters and the minor story line of them, are amazing. In his post Mr. Kennedy honestly talks about some of the issues around females in the m/m genre and writing f/f and asks why there a subtle diss of women in m/m. It's a very good post and it's nice when a m/m author doesn't just jump on board with the general diss of female characters in m/m, but tries to integrate them by creating compelling characters that are amazing in their own right.

I read the review at Jessewave's review blog by Kassa and the fact that she spends a fair amount of space talking about the two lesbian characters in her review and in such a positive light considering that most m/m readers dislike any female characters in m/m, tells me that these are characters I want to read even if they are in a m/m. Now I do read m/m. It's not a totally favorite genre, but I do have my favorite authors whom I do read. But I do hope that if these lesbian characters are as compelling as stated, that Sean Kennedy does venture into f/f land.

The section from Kassa's review that talks about these characters. Click on Jessewave to see the full review.

"Here the friendship with his mechanic, pilot, and best friend Jazz offers a great contrast. Jazz is an inspired female character in a sea of weak females offered in this genre. Jazz is raw, biting, totally feminist, and absolutely delightful. Though these types of females tend to be militaristic and unattractive, Jazz is written with such subtly and skill that she becomes essential and just as interesting to read as Ezra. She’s not a stereotype and her banter with Ezra is both touching and reminiscent of bickering siblings.

Jazz’s girlfriend, Lady Bart, offers a more feminine and softer female presence but she’s equally delightful. Although featuring a lesbian relationship within an m/m romance is a chance, it’s one that pay offs entirely. There is no onscreen sex so don’t worry. The only sexing is hot and heavy between Ezra and Icarus but the relationship between Lady Bart and Jazz enhances the story in many ways. Not only is Bart instrumental in the action and plot but their caring give and take help shape Ezra and his thoughts on relationships. The great characterization afforded these women creates a wonderful and memorable dynamic. If there is any stumble it is in the characterization of Icarus."

From reading that review and from reading Sean Kennedy's post, I bought that book just to read those lesbian characters. Even if they are part of a m/m and there's no sex between them in the book, I'd rather read amazing characters no matter what the storyline they are in. I don't know if I'll review it here on LVLM, but if they do blow me away, I will talk about them.

Next up:

Here's a recent article I saw on Yahoo or somewhere that I found interesting. This is like the 5th or 6th article that talks about this phenomenon of older women switching sides or being open to a romantic/sexual relationship with another woman.

Late-blooming lesbians: women can switch sexualities as they mature

Women are embracing lesbianism in their thirties, according to research indicating that shifts in sexual orientation may be more widespread than previously thought.

This is the first article that openly suggests that it's not always about women who were suppressing their lesbianism. Most of the other articles focused on those women who switched but who were suppressing their real nature due to social pressure, or fear of not being "normal" or whatever. In this article, finally researchers are suggesting that it's not always about repression of inherent leanings, but that women can be more sexually fluid:

"While “late-blooming lesbians” are not uncommon in history – the married writer Virginia Woolf had an affair with the poet Vita Sackville-West – the phenomenon of mature women switching sexualities is now attracting academic scrutiny"

"One study even indicates that as many as two-thirds of women who feel lesbian attractions may have changed their sexual orientation over time."

"Following interviews with more than 200 married lesbians, Moran concluded that there is “great potential for heterosexual women to experience a first same-sex attraction well into adulthood.”

"She added that late-blooming sexuality was often wrongly dismissed as repressed lesbians finally coming to terms with their true feelings."

Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm Stealing Again




Autostraddle has a post up of the review of "The Kids Are All Right" by Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard although not in their usual vlog format.

I and others were hoping from the trailer that this wouldn't be that trope that a few of us hate of the magic cock being all a lesbian needs to finally realize that she's been straight all along. Apparently, one of the lesbian characters not only kisses but sleeps with the male character.

However, it's still getting rave reviews from lesbians and particularly Julie and Brandy who don't hold punches when it comes to any gay portrayals in the movies they review.

But they do have some interesting things to say to one of the writers:


The Pink Elephant Cock in the room!

"Let’s not sugarcoat it: it was weird, it made us uncomfortable, it didn’t make sense, and it wasn’t realistic. However, seeing the lesbian Julianne Moore have sex with Mark Ruffalo was a lot less offensive then reading that Lisa Cholodenko said, “I was much more interested in reaching out to the male population than I was concerned about alienating a sector of the lesbian population.”'

(Dear Lisa,
While you were busy reaching out (pandering) to the male community, you didn’t just alienate a small section of the lesbian community — you actually disvalued women, in general, as a viable ecomonic marketplace. It’s a shame that the one voice in gay/female filmmaking being distributed on a large scale had to become a cog in the wheel rather than a conduit for change. Reading your quote made us feel almost as bad about being women as Sex and the City 2. Okay well that’s going a bit far.

That being said, we loved your movie and are dying to work with you. Call us! We wrote a lesbian romantic comedy and we want you to direct it.

Love Always,
Julie Goldman & Brandy Howard)


You can click on the Autostraddle link above to see the full post. It's pretty interesting.

I'm still looking forward to watching this movie and see how it was handled.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rant - Teen movies cashing in on lesbian sex for male fantasies?





Movie trailer- Scott Pilgram Vs. The World

By guest commenter- M.A.

“I’m Straight, Irate, and I am NOT paying for this C-R-A-P!”

I just got through sitting with my nieces through the most overrated teen flick of the summer and have come home to rant. This is a brief rant, but I really mean it.

You know the twenty minutes of previews, advertisements, and other random crappola cinemas feature before showing you the movie these days? I try to be a good sport and not roll my eyes at what passes for teen entertainment at present. Do filmmakers believe U.S. teenagers have no intellectual depth at all? Glamorized substance abuse, keggers, academic underachievement, and lavatory humor do not a meaningful cinematic experience make. Or even a mildly entertaining one.

Okay, I admit, sometimes I witness an inspired clip and smile, but more often than not I’m inwardly shaking my head and wondering, “What’s up with all the mind fodder?”

Anyhoo, I semi-reclined in my seat and nibbled my nachos, prepared to bear it with good grace in the name of enjoying quality time with my brother’s kids. A lengthy trailer/infomercial for “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” blared across the screen, resplendent with slacker teen cluelessness, magenta-haired heroine, bad techno-rock accompaniment, and loud combat sequences more common to video games than good films hammering out what passed for plot. Oblivious teen musician/nerd A.K.A. Scott Pilgrim falls for Ramona Flowers, a U.P.S. delivery clerk, who agrees to date Scott if he’ll sign for his package and let her get back to work. The relationship unfolds to reveal Ramona’s colorful romantic history when Scott discovers he must defeat each of his lady’s seven ex-lovers in order to date her now. The dreaded seven exes include a girlfriend in bizarre, gothic dominatrix get-up and a pair of twins Ramona enjoyed, er, seeing at the same time.

All right, I’ve seen worse movies than that. I would have just let it go in one ear and out the other except for a line or two of dialogue.

At one point, Scott’s buddy advises him to let Ramona know how serious Scott is about her, “Break out the L-word.”

“Lesbian?” Our clueless hero seeks clarification.

“The other L-word.” (Good buddy MUST be wondering why he’s friends with a dolt)
“Lesbians?”

Annoyance stabbed me as a riff of giggles accompanied this Oscar-worthy material. Annoyance along the lines of Did he say that? Oh no he did NOT say that! Yes he did! Good heavens, people are laughing at this trash.

Another clip portrayed Scott baring his soul to Ramona with the thrilling admission: “I lesbian you.”

I fumed. And, truthfully, I marveled at myself for fuming. I could not get my pal Nicki, a lesbian with a young adult daughter, out of my head. What if Nicki and her girlfriend took their kids to see this movie? GBLT viewers, their friends, their families, and other interested parties paying admissions and concessions costs were all treated to this same disgusted moment, are they as peeved as I am, or is it no big deal? Last but not least, why am I so offended since I’m not a member of the group targeted in this “humor?”

I recall my anthropology instructor lecturing our class upon the process of an outsider acculturating to a group. Fluency in language is an important step, but so is the ability to relate to the group’s sense of comedy. If you understand a culture’s jokes, you’re “clued in” to that culture.

What about relating to what isn’t funny to a particular culture or class? Imagine how viewers might have responded if the word “lesbian” was replaced with the word “negro” or some other racial/ethnic slur? On the one hand, I see the cuteness in substituting the term “lesbian” for “love” and suggesting lesbianism is valid and positive, but for me the intent (if that was the intent) falls flat and comes across as yet another crass pot-shot at the lesbian community as fantasy objects of stupid teen boys.

This is one film I won’t be watching.

Trailers for “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World” may be viewed at http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810070753/trailer and at http://www.scottpilgrimthemovie.com/

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Review- Lessons Learned: Eldritch Legacy II by Katrina Strauss

Lessons Learned: Eldritch Legacy 2
by Katrina Strauss
Sept. 2009
Historical/ Fantasy/ Paranormal/ BDSM/ erotica/m/f, f/f, m/f/f/m
62K
Ebook- Loose Id

Buy it Loose-Id, Fictionwise, ARe, Amazon (Kindle)

An enlightened woman of her times, Camille Rocheford stirs up controversy with a novel published under her true name rather than a male pseudonym. Yet despite her modern views, Camille is at odds with the carefree morals of her more open peers. Lured into summering at the home of an undisclosed host, she is shocked to meet the infamous Stefan Eldritch, the greatest scandal being her instant attraction to him.

Stefan Eldritch is known for his provocative verse, more so for his wild soirees. Born into wealth, the poet enjoys a life of excess even as he holds the aristocracy in contempt. But one luxury eludes him—the woman who can match him in both wits and in bed. Until he meets Camille.

An unlikely pair, Stefan and Camille fall into creative collaboration—and unbridled romance. When the lovers stumble upon the lost path of the Magi, the power they unleash plunges them deeper into a world of reckless abandon. Yet sinister forces lurk in wait, putting the power of the pen and a pledge of love to the ultimate test.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, BDSM theme and content, ménage and moresome (m/f/m, m/f/f/m, partner swapping), same-sex interaction (f/f), voyeurism.


First, it’s hard for me not to compare this story to the first Eldritch Legacy book of the series, which I found to be exceptionally good. Secrets Revealed rocked as far as I’m concerned and even now the two main characters sit in my head as characters to set the bar by in their depth, intensity and overall characterization.

Lessons Learned carries on with the colorful and creative mix of having the feel of an historical with a bit of the paranormal and fantasy elements intertwined that Secrets Revealed had. It takes place few centuries later with Stefan Eldritch being a direct descendant of Lord Eldritch and Inga. Unlike Lord Eldritch though Stefan doesn’t quite have the intensity, purpose and darkness about him. He’s a lot more pampered and although he does have that dominant vibe about him, I felt overall he was a bit too soft and placating. This is one part where I think had I not read the first book, I might feel differently. The bar was set rather high already.

Stefan is basically living off of his family’s money in their ancestral home. He’s known to be a playboy and partier, the black sheep of his family and not really caring much about anything except is life of debauchery. When he meets Camille, it’s instant love and attraction. He introduces her into the world of BDSM, which she readily goes along with even though she initially comes across as spinsterish and shy. However, when Camille takes off, leaving him, he turns into a mush ball. Or if she decides to not be submissive, he doesn’t push it. I personally felt that he would be the type to be p-whipped in the long run. So while I rather liked Stefan as a character in general, he didn’t quite jump out at me like Lord Eldritch did as someone memorable.

Camille starts out rather innocent and prudish. I liked this. I love a female character who’s a bit uptight and cool and all proper at first and on the surface. So I got off on Camille in the beginning. She quickly though, and I mean almost right from the beginning, finds herself attracted to Stefan being dominant and being OK with him treating her submissively. I felt that happened a bit too quickly and easily. It’s not that I felt a disconnect in her personality, it’s just she went from 0-60 within a short period of time. I guess I would have, or I actually did wish there was more seduction involved that would have been drawn her out to show that she really wasn’t such a wanton woman in heat without needing more coaxing. But that’s strictly my preference.

As female characters go, I love me female who is or can be submissive and yet dominant and strong in other ways and Camille shows that she can be. She literally walks away from Stefan and she literally saves his life. On this level I quite enjoyed Camille. However, again, she was not as crisp and intense a character for me like Inga was. Maybe it was that Stefan being a bit washed out didn’t give enough contrast to make Camille really shine for me.

Even with my criticisms, I’m certainly not saying this is not a worthy book, it is. I loved the continuation of the generations theme. Camille finds Lord Eldritch’s mask in the river and it becomes an important magical item that connects the generations. The use of paranormal concepts as a connection to the characters in the former book, and which I think will be in the next book set in current times, is very nicely and uniquely done. Camille in particular finds her psychic abilities, which she never acknowledged and which has made her fearful at times, connects her and Stefan to the past.

The secondary characters Nicolette and Klauss, to be honest, felt placed in there specifically to turn this into a foursome. Their characterizations stayed mostly on the surface giving Camille and Stefan others to interact with and have contrast with.

On the level of how hot this book was, well, Katrina Strauss certainly delivered on that account. Maybe for me there was a bit too much sex in the beginning, but it’s very well written and erotically charged. And for the purposes of LVLM blog interest, there was quite a bit f/f mixed with m/f in it. Some of the best scenes are with all four and although the men are never with each other. All four do have strong feelings for each other and the f/f was written very honestly, Nicolette being Camille’s best friend. It came off as loving and natural and no big deal that they took it a step further.

This is exactly the type of book I love to read. As far as the BDSM aspect, I felt it a bit more subdued than in Secrets Revealed. Although all the elements are there and Stefan is very commanding at times, maybe again it was due to my feeling that Stefan didn’t quite step up to the plate or that he wasn’t as dramatic in his characterization. Or maybe I’m so used to well written BDSM now from Katrina Strauss that I don’t bat an eye at it. Heh.

The story on the whole, is rather fast paced and full of adventure and crisis, especially mid way on. Stefan and Camille have collaborated on some salacious and politically charged pamphlets that they’ve had published anonymously. His family, who feel he is a traitor anyway, cause a lot of trouble for him and this part of the story, along with the erotic adventures, are what made this book a good book for me ultimately.

I definitely recommend it for those who enjoy the particular elements to this book. Well written BDSM, historical fantasy, and most importantly for this blog, the f/f or m/f/f/m interactions. I look forward to reading the next installment of this series if only to see where Katrina Strauss takes it.

Heat level: 5 – BDSM, Anal, F/F, M/F/FM, D/s dynamics. Frequent, graphically written sexual scenarios.

Grade- B+