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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review: Transfer Student (Transgender Erotica)

Transfer Student (Transgender Erotica)Transfer Student by Sakura von Sternberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this shortie A LOT. The best part for me was beautiful, slick writing. I love that in erotica. In fact, I wish there were a whole lot more to this story. I would have liked some of the unspoken tension between, maybe in class or in meetings with colleagues. I would have loved to know where their relationship went from that first encounter. What conflict arises for them? How do they resolve it?

This book was a small bite of a relationship, and the writing was excellent, hence five-stars. But seriously, I'd love to read the novel that sprouts from this shortie. Write it, Sakura.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Riding Redemption

Riding Redemption (The 47th Lancers, #1)Riding Redemption by Jolie Mason
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Even though Sci-Fi is NOT my thing, this was a truly enjoyable read. On the first page, I had to phone a friend to find out what a "mech" is. Once I figured out that it would look similar to the robot guy on my ten-year-old son's sheets, I settled in to take in the romance.

Mason's writing is slick and tight. No extra fluff to be found. I love that, especially in an action-packed story. I don't want extra words slowing down the pace. Mason did not disappoint. The story moved like a freight train.

In the middle of all kinds of action, there is a sweet love story. Two damaged people with a history work far too closely together to be apart. Their commanding officer gives them the gift of time to work out their differences. Which they do in a sexy hotel suite. This is not erotica. There is a virtuous fade-to-black alluding to a wild night before rushing back into battle.

Jolie Mason's writing is so good, I wish that her interests were more similar to mine. She's excellent.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I've Finally Ventured into Book Trailers

Here's my first trailer, for Gay Greenhorn on the F/V Lost Agnes. In this blog post, I'll discuss where I found materials and the software I used for each step of the process. Eventually, I'll get my act together. (The trailer is totally safe for work. The book is NOT.)

I used mostly Public Domain photos, with a couple under Creative Commons license. The music is from Free PD. When I decided that my video needed seagulls squawking, I searched and found a free for commercial use clip from Freesound. I scrolled through fonts on 1001 Fonts until I found one that was labeled "free for commercial use" that fit the feel of my project.

Once my materials were collected, I worked on putting my slides together. For this book, I went with vague and mysterious. IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I have no idea if the CONTENT of my trailers is effective. I'm talking ONLY about the assembly process. (And if you know what makes a good trailer, drop me a line.) Many authors use Canva to put covers and pics together. It's free and easy to use. I've been using Adobe Fireworks since I was in grad school (I think my first version was Macromedia Fireworks 3, but I will probably have to switch to using Photoshop one of these days because they discontinued Fireworks a couple years ago.), so that's my go-to photo editing software. 

For the audio, I used Audacity. I have the Adobe Creative Suite, but since Audacity is free and so easy to use, I always use it. It took me minutes to slap the music and seagull tracks into Audacity, adjust volume and the length of the clip, and export it to drop into my video project. 

To assemble the whole thing, I used Photo Story 3. It's been around since my 11 year old was born, but it's free and easy to use once you get the hang of it. (Much easier than Adobe Premiere, which keeps getting more sophisticated, and I haven't kept up with the changes.) I have some tricks for making it work for me. I'll share them in a tutorial or something when I find the time. 

You should check out author A.M. Manay's blog post about making trailers. She inspired me to make this trailer. And she is a hell of a writer. 

Share your tips in the comments. Please. I'm desperate.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review: Landscaper in Lust

Landscaper in Lust by Robin Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Landscaper in Lust (The Landscaper Series, #2)I started Book 2 for the second time as soon as I could get it to load on my Kindle. This book leaves the first in its dust. In the first, I had the sense that the story was there to hold the sex together. In this one, I realized that the sex TELLS THE STORY in a delightfully subtle way. The sex escalates from Eric watching Kyle and Tracy from the sidelines to MFM action with both men--one rich and sophisticated, one a scruffy, hard-working man with dirty boots--in the bed, sharing a beautiful woman.

In my review of Book 1, I said (more than once) that the sex pushed my personal kink buttons. When it dawned on me that the men would come together in this one, it was as though Stone had answered a personal kink request. I LOVE M/M erotica, and in Lust, the author inches the reader closer and closer to watching these two sexy men do it. I squirmed all the way through the book, and when it ended with a promise of more, I nearly cried.

In addition to the smoking hot sex (and clean, slick writing), this book makes the reader FEEL right along with the characters. I am in love with all three of them, desperate to know if Eric and Tracy have the same feelings for Kyle that he (and I) have for both of them.

This is a short book, but it delivers a truck load of heat and emotion. I need the third book now. (I believe it's called Landscaper in Love. I like where this series is going. So, so much.)

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Review: The Landscaper

The Landscaper (The Landscaper Series, #1)The Landscaper by Robin Stone
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started Book 2 without realizing there was a first book. I read this: "The last time I saw Eric, I put his wife over my lap and spanked her, finger-fucked her, and pounded her until she screamed." I stopped right there. That one sentence pushed enough buttons to make me go back and read Book 1 first.

Book 1 is mostly sex. In the first few pages, I thought I was reading a typical "bored-rich-housewife-fucks-the-help" story. Said housewife soon lets her boy toy know that there is so much more going on--her husband was watching, and he wants a better seat next time. As I read, I thought there was just enough action outside of the sex to hold together a really smutty book, but Stone hit on so many of my own personal kinks, it didn't matter.

In addition to sex so hot it made me squirm in my chair, I was impressed with Stone's clean, slick writing. There's nothing extra here. It's short, not because it lacks detail or story, but because there's no filler. The author (and the main character) get the hell out of the way as soon as the orgasms are out of the way. But there is a story here. A landscaper who needs money gets paid to fuck a rich wife while hubby watches, but then he wants to pursue a girlfriend. Just enough tension to propel the story forward.

I'm just glad the second book was already on my Kindle when I finished this one. I couldn't have waited. Not patientlee, anyway. *wink*

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: The Present

The PresentThe Present by Patrick Khayler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me late for after school care pick up because I sat in the car finishing it! It is unbelievably hot, from the beginning to the very last page. It is my favorite kind of erotica- totally possible under implausible circumstances. Khayler adds authenticity by weaving the mundane of daily family life and work with fantasy, memories of past sexual escapades, and the anticipation of a hot, hot night.

The underlying love story of two people wrapped up in real life--kids, jobs, responsibilities--sang through the heat of the crazy menage sex. Throughout the book, you get a sense that the author is writing from experience. In the early chapters, he details the awkward beauty of the couple's first time together. It was like a look into a real past that blossomed into a happy lifetime, seasoned with hot fantasies.

The narrative was bulky in spots, but the sex was so hot, it didn't matter. Khayler's writing is slick and easy to read.

If you are in the mood for wet panties, read this book.

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Review: Erotic Shivers

Erotic Shivers by M.S. Tarot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A collection of six erotic horror stories.

Ratz in the Machine: A disgruntled video game developer codes his revenge and makes a victim of Jeff's sexy girlfriend.

The Hangin' Tree: A creepy tale about a tree no one should have disturbed.

The Bag Snatchers: Monsters disguise themselves in Halloween costumes to get the candy necessary for their mating and drive a psychiatrist to madness in the process.

Voices: A teenaged boy leaves a recorder running in his room and discovers a sexy ghost presence.

Lord of Devil's Night: One of M.S. Tarot's most disturbing stories. The story begins with a tragic, first-person account of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City in 1911. Flash-forward a hundred years and meet a serial arsonist in love with a good kerosene fire.

A Grimm Tribute: A disturbing tale of a homeless brother and sister who rob the wrong witch.

My Review:

What a collection this is. Yes, I've read almost all of them before, but I still love them. "Ratz in the Machine" is so sexy. The sex in this story is so hot, I got a tingle just selecting an excerpt. Creepy-weird and so damn hot. "The Hangin' Tree" is spooky. Just a simple, creepy tale that connects the reader to the truth of the earth. Rich language and powerful imagery makes this story great. "Voices" exposes a potential truth--disembodied spirits that live amongst us and have very clear desires. What if a being like that one exists in my own home? "The Bag Snatchers" is so in-your-face awful. Strange creatures disguising themselves as children, stealing candy, and devouring the males. And maybe they walk among us? Frightening concept.

"Lord of Devil's Night" is one of my favorite stories of all time. The Triangle Shirtwaist fire was a horrific tragedy, and MST gives it a face, the face of a young immigrant woman. The power in the first half of the story is the tragedy itself. Greedy men exploit women, and when a woman does one thing to give herself pleasure, it creates horrendous tragedy. Powerful.

In the second half of the story, we meet an arsonist--the Lord of Devil's Night. He's obsessed with the heat, the flame, the fire, and when he meets the Triangle Shirtwaist building, he finds the ecstasy of burning it down. My original comment on this story was that I felt like I was covered in soot and death when I finished reading. It's THAT powerful.

"A Grimm Tribute" is not my favorite in this collection. Way more horror than sexiness, but other readers will love it.

This is an amazing collection, and if you like horror, you will love it.

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