Sunday, September 25, 2011

Review- The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (DVD)

The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (DVD)
Contemporary/ Lesbian/ YA

While working part-time at her aunt's gas station, defiant tomboy Randy Dean (Laurel Holloman) falls in love with Evie Roy (Nicole Ari Parker), a rich, straight honor student who's already in a relationship. The two girls navigate the magical and confusing world of young love. Writer-director Maria Maggenti's touching and funny debut won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Independent Film in 1996.

This is such a cute, sweet story about two teenage girls falling in love for the first time. It’s done in realistic, honest, way but doesn’t get serious or heavy. Both actresses did such a great job. For once I believed both women were actually gay or attracted to each other unlike some other films I’ve seen recently.

Randy is a endearing character. She’s a tomboy/butch girl who is basically out in her school. Everyone gossips about her behind her back or even in front of her and she’s basically an outcast. But she does have a gay guy friend and she takes her situation with an ease that’s not typical of kids bullied or teased for being different, which I liked. She accepts who she is and while it does bother her that she’s picked on, she doesn’t let it overwhelm her and even tells people to fuck off. She’s also struggling with many other things in her life. She’s failing in school and might not be able to graduate and she lives with her aunt who’s trying to keep a tight leash on her.

Evie is the complete opposite. She’s one of the cool girls, popular, and has intellectual interests. She listens to classical music and reads poetry and lives with all the creature comforts that being upper middle class offers. You’d think she’d be really happy but she’s struggling. She’s not really feeling it with her boyfriend, who’s actually portrayed as the more emotional of the two, and there are hints that her over-achieving mother puts some pressure on her to be perfect all the time.

Both girls meet when Evie is worried that something’s wrong with her car and pulls into the gas station that Randy’s aunt owns and which Randy works in. Evie recognizes her as a school mate and they chat a bit. In school, they meet up again in the girls bathroom by accident when Randy goes in for a smoke, pissed off that she’s been chastised again by a teacher, and Evie comes in crying after having a spat with her boyfriend. They get detention for smoking and they start to form a friendship from that.

The rest of the movie is basically about their tentative coming together first as friends and then as lovers. It’s very poignant in parts, particularly when Randy confesses that she wants to hold Evie’s hand in a restaurant. Those first moments when things have started shifting in a relationship between two people from a friendship to a budding love is captured so beautifully and innocently.

Of course, there are kinks to this new love story. Randy lives with her aunt, her aunt’s girlfriend and her aunt’s ex-girlfriend who needed a place to stay. So she’s in house of all lesbians, which you’d think would be a good thing. However, they don’t have money, which causes friction. They’re a close knit, expressive group though compared to Evie’s staid home life. Shockingly, Randy’s aunt is not thrilled with this development even though they all know Randy’s a lesbian as well. And she’s pissed off with Randy for letting her grades drop and insists that she stop hanging out with this girl.

And Evie, whom I give a lot of credit to in this story since she has a lot to lose by being courageous and befriending the school outcast, is so open minded if a bit innocently naïve about how her friends will react to this new friendship. It’s not the reaction she thought or hoped for. But she doesn’t let that affect her feelings or desire to stick with Randy, which I thought was admirable.

The only thing about this film that went a bit hokey was the ending. It was a bit over the top, but it also explained a lot more of how and why the girls found themselves attracted to each other, the family dynamics and so on that partially formed who they were as people comes to a head giving the viewer a more intimate view of who the girls are. It was also funny and a sort of typical, gloss over reality for a light--- unrealistic love overcomes all--- American ending.

I definitely recommend this movie. It’s an all-around feel good movie and shows a young, budding lesbian love in a, fun, positive, and non-judgmental way.

Heat Level – 2  There’s some nudity in one sex scene. It’s a gorgeously, sensually choreographed sex scene that doesn’t try to titillate in sexual way as much as in a loving way.

Grade A-

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Guest Author Post-The Allure of Vampires in Romance Literature by Paisley Smith

Guest Author post: The Allure of Vampires in Romance Literature -by Paisley Smith

Why are we so fascinated by vampires in literature, especially in romance? Nineteenth century vampires represented sexual desires that were considered taboo in polite Victorian society. Both Dracula and Carmilla spoke to hidden lusts, with the penetration of the fangs mimicking sexual penetration.

Nineteenth century literature depicted vampires and their bloodlust as wicked. But modern literature portrays vampire eroticism as supernatural and the vampire becomes attractive rather than fearsome. They are the literary bad boys and bad girls, only ratcheted up a notch.

Girls Who Bite, edited by Delilah Devlin for Cleis Press, offers fresh takes vampire lore with an erotic lesbian spin.

For bad girls looking for love…fangs are more than an accessory.

These are no Twilight tales—the stories in Girls Who Bite are varied, unexpected, and soul-scorching. Bestselling romance writer Delilah Devlin and her contributors investigate vampire myths from around the world, and add fresh girl-on-girl blood to the pantheon of the paranormal.

Take a walk on the wild side with some of the hottest erotic romance authors out there. In La Caída, a Mexican “salt-eater” saves a fallen angel and redeems her own soul. In Bloody Wicked, a powerful witch’s spell to lure a lover turns her into a vampire’s love slave. Through a Pet Door, a shapeshifting vampire meets the dominatrix of her dreams. South African Impundulu sweeps you back into a vampire’s primeval beginnings. With a list of contributors that include Adele Dubois, Christine d’Abo, Paisley Smith, Myla Jackson, Shayla Kersten and Vivi Anna, Devlin delivers a dark and sexy read you can sink your teeth into!

Inside Girls Who Bite:

Bloody Wicked
A witch becomes a slave to the vampire lover she conjures

Al Dente
A jaded vampire in Rome savors a renewal of love

Dark Angel
After a fateful night in a Berlin cabaret, a woman undergoes a blood rite

Pet Door
A shifter passes through the pet door of a dominatrix she seduces

Dark Guard
A detective partners with a sultry vampire to stop a serial killer

La Caída
A nagual rescues a fallen angel in the Sonoran desert

The Crystal Altar
An ancient crystalline cavern becomes the setting for a most unusual birthday party

An Egyptian goddess exploring the remnants of her ancient world finds her immortal beloved

Bound Lust
A human dominatrix frees a vampire submissive from loneliness

The Gift of Lillith
An immortal surrenders her legacy to give continued life to her lover

Long lost vampire lovers rekindle their dark passion in London

Red Horizon
Sailing the seas, a modern day vampirate is seduced by her human captain

A vampire journeys to South Africa seeking her lover and creator

Night at the Wax Museum
A museum security guard falls for a vampire trapped in wax museum exhibit

She Knows I Am Watching
A New World Vampire in Oxford feeds her victim’s dark and secret fantasies

More information can be found at

Order Trade Paperback Now

More lesbian vampires from Delilah Devlin and Paisley Smith are coming soon in Bitten in the Big Easy, the first in the Femme Noir paranormal series!

About Paisley Smith:

Paisley Smith is a full time freelance writer and can usually be found in front of her computer either writing, chatting, promoting or plotting. It’s a glamorous life…working in one’s pajamas.

She attended college in the Deep South where she obtained a slew of totally useless degrees and developed an unrelenting sense of humor.
Her books can be found at Ellora’s Cave , Loose Id, and Cleis Press!
Paisley’s site:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Review- War Games by K.S. Augustin

War Games
By K.S. Augustin
July 27, 2011
Sci-fi/ f/f
96K words
Pub: Sandal Press

What can you do when you start falling in love with the woman you’re meant to kill?

Laisen Carros is a covert agent of the Fusion, sent undercover to infiltrate the Perlim Empire. However, the years she’s spent as Cheloi Sie fighting Menon rebels on an alien battleground are starting to exhaust her.

To Lith Yinalña, Cheloi Sie is nothing but a war criminal and she considers it her personal mission to kill her.

Unfortunately for Laisen/Cheloi, the Empire and an idealistic assassin aren’t the only things she needs to worry about. A treacherous subordinate—the ambitious Koul Grakal-Ski—is looking for any chance to grab control of the territory. When Laisen and Lith start falling in love, it’s only a matter of time before Koul notices. And acts.

I won this book in a contest and I’m so glad I tried! It’s again that rare SF/F book with a female protagonist who has a romantic interest in women, so it was a treat for me. The plot is fast paced, tension is kept high and the characters, all of them including the secondary characters, are all compelling and fully developed.

I really have nothing negative to say about this book. The romance and plot were interwoven in just the right way and with an equal amount of book space and development.

One thing I liked that might be reader preference is that a lot of the story is intertwined with moral conflicts. Cheloi Sie/Laisen Carros is the most morally ambiguous character in this story and it’s mostly from her POV that this story is expressed through. I can’t really say that she’s a morally upright person, which I think will push some readers’ buttons, but I loved it. I’m actually rather fond of characters who have to do things that are ugly or wrong for what they feel is a greater good. That character who will make decisions and not dwell on how it negatively affects their internal code.

Cheloi Sei is a general for the Perlim who are trying to get control of the planet Menon in order to gain some foothold to fight their real enemy, the Fusion. Cheloi is a spy for the Fusion and has been sent to infiltrate the Perlim by becoming one of them. To play her role to a T, she needs to make hard decisions in which she has to order the mass murder of innocent people so that her cover and loyalty to the Perlim is never questioned.

What’s interesting to me is that ultimately, maybe the Fusion are not the altruistic people that they are presented as. On the surface it’s implied that they are the more “enlightened” group trying to curb the “evil” Perlim Empire from destroying and subjugating an innocent people on a foreign planet. However, like in most situations of war, it depends on what side you’re on as to whether your side is the “right” side and that becomes an interesting conflict inside of Cheloi. Is she just a pawn for an equally controlling Empire?

 It’s interesting to me to think about these kinds of things because all of the characters in this story are acting and doing atrocious things, except for maybe Lith, in the name of the rightness of their empire and ideology. It’s for the greater good. K.S. Augustin did a great job of really getting into the internal conflicts or lack thereof when the characters are confronted with things that go against their beliefs, like falling in love with the enemy, etc.

Cheloi is a strong, steely, unflappable woman. She can’t afford to make one mistake or her cover and her mission to take down the Perlim as a Perlim general will all be for naught. Her second in command, Koul Grakal-Ski, is an ambitious man and resents her for being appointed to a position he felt was his. He’s looking at every turn to find something on her to take her down so he watches her every move carefully. He’s also extremely loyal to the Perlim Empire and would never do anything to hurt it. His need to follow orders and be loyal becomes Cheloi’s luck in her mission. But he still tries to undermine her constantly.

 To keep up with the stress of always being on top of things, she talks often to a virtual psychiatrist with whom she can interact with inside her head through a chip. In this way we get a good chance to see what’s going on inside of Cheloi Sie’s head, what she really feels, how things really affect her and we get to see that there are cracks. She’s very “human” and her relationships with the people she works with do affect her deep down. She's also got a painful past and that is constantly hinted at but comes out in bits and pieces, slowly allowing us see where she comes from ultimately.

Outside of her intense attraction to Lith, she’s particularly fond of Rumis, her adjunct who is extremely loyal to her and the Perlim empire. However, unlike the conniving Koul Grakal-Ski, Rumis is honorable in his loyalty to her and it eats at Cheloi that she is being deceitful to a man she admires. There are painful consequences in Cheloi’s later decisions about Rumis, which I thought added a lot to the choices she makes for her future and her loyalty to the Fusion. She pays severe consequences emotionally for liking him and I liked that spurred character reflection and growth.

So all in all I loved the dynamics of what drives all the characters. There are lots of interesting moral questions presented that made this story really interesting to me.

Then there’s the romance. Lith is a young idealist who gets swept up in the romantic ideology of freeing her people from the Perlim Empire even though her parents were born Perlim. She belongs to a small, rouge Fusion group who have sent her to kill Cheloi, whom they know to be a mass murderer of innocents. What she doesn’t know is that Cheloi and she are fighting for the same side, which sets up the very interesting conflict for her in her attraction to Cheloi.

Right from the get-go there’s a strong attraction between Lith and Cheloi, which both intrigues Lith and freaks her out. They get it on fairly quickly but if it’s found out that they are having an affair, Koul will have an excuse to get rid of Cheloi, so they have only stolen moments together.

One thing I’ll say here is that while I did feel they are attracted, I couldn’t understand why Lith would put up with being coolly dismissed after sex, which is what Cheloi does to 1. keep her distance knowing that Lith’s the enemy and she shouldn’t lose her heart to her, and 2. to keep the relationship secret. However, it was clear that Lith, while bothered by it, realizes that it’s necessary and can’t help herself, she wants Cheloi.

Lith's personal codes are called into question as well as she's forced to make an important decision, which could jeopardize her mission to kill Cheloi and her break her heart at the same time.

While not the most passionate couple due to these issues, the romance is nicely and slowly developed. I felt that these two ache to be together even if they’re rather reticent in their expression of it. And there is a happy ending.

Outside of all of that, there’s a nice tension and suspense throughout the whole book that kept the story exciting. There are so many twists and intrigues and alliances and deceits that I kept reading just to see what would happen. I definitely recommend War Games if you’re into sci-fi and f/f and even if you’re not. It’s just a good compelling story all around.

Heat level: 2-3. The sexual scenarios are not too graphically written. More sensually written with softer terminology used.

Grade: A-

Monday, September 5, 2011

For Labor Day, the fruits of my labor

Summer is almost over and I've been the queen of DIY for the last few weeks. Back in the day, I actually did construction. I loved it. Unfortunately, my body didn't and I couldn't continue with all the back and wrist problems. But I'm so stubborn and if I'm capable of doing something, I'm going to.

These last few weeks, and it's literally been like 6-8 hour, 5 days a week work, I've been redoing our deck railings and working in the garden, doing lots of yard work. And this last week I spent several days in the garage, putting up a bunch of shelves, organizing it and cleaning it. It looks so good now.

But all of this means I've had no time to really read. By the end of the day I've been exhausted and vegetated in front of the TV or caught up on Twitter and blogs I follow.

Last year I spent 6 weeks cleaning up the jungle that was our garden areas and put in some landscaping stone walls. It was hard work and it was this time last year when I finished, so we didn't plant anything. 

This year we went to a nursery and got tons of plants. This is pretty incredible, since my whole life I've hate gardening. I always thought that my worst nightmare would be having to work in a garden for even a few hours. Now, I'm in love with it. Proof that people do change over time. heh

We also found these really cool solar lights that change color, which we've littered throughout the garden. I can't stop looking and enjoy how nice it all looks now. It feels good when you work hard and create something gorgeous out of a mess. But I guess that's what authors do as well, huh? 

These pics don't do it all justice, but it's somewhat how it looks.

Before and After:

Buddha garden Before clean out

Buddha garden

Finished Buddha garden


Finished Drive


Finished Walkway

Finished Walkway

Our Deck:

Semi finished Deck- guys did the flooring and put up old floor boards as temp railing. This was two years ago, so it was time to finish this project.

Finished Deck-

Finished Deck

Speaking of labor, I still haven't been able to get a job. :( There are tons of jobs for what I went to school for, but it's the old chicken and egg story. They require 1 year's experience. But how do you get that experience if no one will hire you? Well, lucky for me, I got accepted to an excellent volunteer program at a clinic. In this clinic I'm actually able to do MA work, so this is great for me. At the moment, I'm working 16 hours a week and really enjoy it. Hopefully this will look good on my resume and more importantly, give me some actual  clinic experience. School is one thing, but reality is a whole different ball of wax.

In the meantime I need to start studying for my certification test, so still no rest for the weary. heh

I am reading. I've been reading full novels these last few months and, well, with only reading a few pages at night, it's slow going. So maybe when I'm done with my current book, which I'll be reviewing, I will read a few shorter ones. 

Also speaking of labor, this post took me days to do since Blogger's new UI sucks hairy pigs ass. Ugh

I hope everyone is having a good day off and revving up for fall. All of our new Japanese Maples will be turning orange/red soon. They will be gorgeous! :D