Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Music Leaves a Mark

I was going to be uber-romantic today, and let you listen to the song that was playing the first time Sweet and I kissed. Yes, I still remember. Because music leaves a mark. The song is inextricable from the moment. In fact, the music itself is probably better than the moment, considering I was eating a bagel at the time and had terrible coffee breath. Poor girl had to kiss my bagelful mouth. Yuck.

So, as I said, I was going to be romantic. As yet, nothing I've written seems to have hit that mark.

But I will tell what song was on and why I'm not playing it for you at this very moment. The song was "A la mitraille" by Weepers Circus: not their most popular, not findable on YouTube, and not at all romantic. But Sweet doesn't understand French anyway, so I guess that doesn't matter.

There is another song I can play for you, which was also playing that evening, though not at the very moment Sweet and I first kissed. "La renarde" is a favourite of mine, for obvious reasons, and another song by Weepers Circus (with Olivia Ruiz), so it's about as close as I can get to sharing this romantic, if bagel-y, moment with you. It's pretty perfectly apt to a new relationship, actually:

The kiss I'm talking about happened not four years ago, and it's amazing to think how much has changed in that time. How much Sweet has changed, and how much I have. How we've gone through gushy in-love-ness, through early complications when she wasn't sure yet if she could trust me with her fragile heart, when I had to prove in word and action that I saw her as a woman and I wasn't just in it for the novelty of dating "a guy in a dress" as she puts it.

(If you're confused and/or new to the blog, Sweet is a trans woman and she had a lot of fears early on. She didn't understand why I'd be interested in her. I'm still not sure she really and truly believes that, to me, she is the most beautiful woman in the world.)

It really is hard to believe that in fewer than four years, life has changed so drastically. Sweet and I have fought a lot since then. Argued, I should say. A lot. Which is not pleasant, but is, I gather, part of growing together as a couple. And, my god, have we grown. I know because I've felt the pain of it, the stretch of it. I've felt bigger and smaller, I've felt insecure and I've felt relieved. And she's always been there. And I've always been there.

And music's always been there. There have been days where a certain song caught my ear and I've found myself thinking, "If it wasn't for this music, I would probably die just now." Most probably I wouldn't have spontaneously dropped dead from lack of music, but there's something soul-salving about it.

Cabaret Blanc is another song that was playing that first-kiss evening, and I've noticed that every time it comes on, Sweet stops what she's doing and listens to it. I think she's a little bit hypnotized:

But I suppose when I named this post "Music Leaves a Mark" I was thinking about the nebulous relation music has to life and time, and the memories, images, and emotions certain music evokes because we lived with it at given moments. Sweet and I went to a k.d. lang concert this summer, and now I can't hear a k.d. lang song without thinking of Sweet and smiling.

As for Olivia Ruiz, as for Weepers Circus...I love their music. Every time I listen to it, I remember why. But I find I don't listen to it as relentlessly as I used to, and I suppose that's because their time in my life was not this time. I fell in love to their soundtrack, and now the time of falling is complete and the work of climbing back up to reality is in full swing.

I'm hoping one day my girl and I will arrive at a place where we can live out our days in relative peace together. I wonder what music will be playing when we get there.

Here's a little more Weepers Circus:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Best Lesbian Erotica 2012: But Are There Vampires?


*massive applause from the paranormal crowd*

Okay, well that's it for me. Have a great night, and try the lobster--it's to die for.

*perplexed crowd asks, "What the hell is Giselle talking about?"*


I'm talking about Best Lesbian Erotica 2012 and, more specifically, about my story Blood Lust. Although, on second thought, before I start in on my contribution, can we just admire BLE 2012's kick-ass cover? I think it's g-g-g-gorgeous!
Alrighty, back to the issue of vampires. Now, when I think about "Best of" anthologies in general, I tend to assume everything I'm going to read in that book will be contemporary, mostly relatable fiction. Am I wrong there? For the most part, that's what you get, right? And that's good shit. Most of the erotica and queer fiction I write is contemporary, primarily urban, often based loosely on real life events. For the most part, that's what I do.

But there are exceptions to every rule.

When Oysters and Chocolate announced a paranormal story competition a while back, I figured what the hell, might as well enter! I wrote a "cutting edge" (haha--that was a pun) lesbian vampire knife play story called Blood Lust.

It won an honourable mention, which surprised me, considering I didn't consider myself anything of a paranormal writer. (Though, since then I have published a shapeshifter book called A Tale of Fur and Flesh) Maybe that was the appeal for the judges. My work is often called "quirky" and "different" (which I've decided to take as a compliment) so maybe that's the appeal of vampire fiction by a not-usually-vampire author.

I can't quite remember why I submitted Blood Lust to Best Lesbian Erotica 2012. Looking back objectively, when an author is limited to two submissions, it doesn't seem like the best idea. Sometimes it's hard even to get in my own head. All I can think is that Blood Lust was initially well-received, and when I read it over I thought, 'Holy Mother, this is some hot erotica! Yeah, baby, cut her back with that scalpel! Drink her blood! Yesssss!!!'

Maybe that's what I was thinking.

Not that my thought processes matter at this point. Blood Lust is hot, kinky, paranormal--and it's in the book, for your enjoyment. Hope you like it.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Quick Six PRO with Cain Berlinger

Monday, Monday... Quick Six PRO day! And today we've got a fellow loveyoudivine author, Cain Berlinger, in the hot seat. (That's a lie--it's quite cushiony, the seat.)

Quick Six PRO with Cain Berlinger

Q: What's the most time-consuming part of a writer's life?
Cain Berlinger: The most time consuming thing for a writer is almost everything that comes after the piece is finished. The PR, the rewrites, even second guessing yourself in some cases.

Q: What should a writer's priority be?
Cain Berlinger: A writer's priority is to touch the readers' emotions, intellectually and sexually.

Q: What advice do you give aspiring authors?
Cain Berlinger: For an aspiring author: they should write, write, and write some more. You DO improve with practice.

Q: What makes an editor great or...not so great?
Cain Berlinger: A great editor is an editor where the writer says 'you're right' more often that they say "you're wrong"

Q: If you've ventured into self-publishing, what are the pros and cons?
Cain Berlinger: Self publishing gives you total control and all the monies. You never really feel validated though as an author until someone else wants to read your stuff.

Q: Do you have a preference for short stories of longer works?
Cain Berlinger: I prefer short stories, it's a personal choice; it reflects my own attention span.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Good Neighbors, Threesomed

In case you haven't heard, I'm very excited about a new anthology called Threesomed. It contains my story Good Neighbors, about which I blogged extensively yesterday. So today I'll leave the intro at this: prudish wife, gang bang in the woods.

Six Sentences from Good Neighbors:

Gazing at the men in her midst, Prudence licked her lips like a wolf on the prowl. The look in her eye was new to John, but he no less recognized it as lust. Unmistakable.

There was his perfect little wife stretched naked on a velvet-covered log, looking like she'd die without a good fuck. He couldn't believe it. This had to be a dream.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Canadian Erotic Identity (or Giselle Does the American Literary Tradition)

Threesomed, a new menage anthology, was just released by New Dawning International Bookfair, and you'll find me between the covers.

I've been itching for this anthology to come out, because I couldn't wait to tell everybody about my story, Good Neighbors. When it comes to short stories, I often don't have much editorializing to do because the works speak for themselves. While Good Neighbors certainly speaks for itself (gang bang in the woods--booya!) there is another dimension to this one I want to share.

The story of conceptualizing this group sex tale begins last March during a snow storm. Sweet and I had tickets to attend a conversation with Margaret Atwood, and with the amount of snow being dumped on the city I was really worried our evening's plans would fall flat. Good thing Margaret Atwood still lives close to our Alma Mater, because the event went on through the snow, in true Canadian fashion.

What I found most sticky, of everything discussed, was Margaret Atwood's mention of a Nathaniel Hawthorne story called Young Goodman Brown. She was talking about Canadian versus American literary identity, and characterizing Young Goodman Brown as a prime example of American literature, and a reminder of America's roots and why that country came to be.

Young Goodman Brown is a story about an upstanding young puritan who one night discovers all his fine upstanding neighbours involved in a Satanic ritual.

So that was my starting point for my gang bang erotic fiction work Good Neighbors.

This is an instance where spelling is important. I'm Canadian. Even when working with American publishers, I most often fight to retain my Canadian spellings. In this instance, I went the opposite route, opting for the spelling Neighbors over Neighbours, because this story is sort of an ode to America.

I walked away from Margaret Atwood's evening in conversation contemplating my work and what defines it as Canadian and not American. Identity is an issue we Canadians struggle with collectively, but Margaret Atwood's words got my mind working overtime. America is a country founded by puritans. Canada is a country founded by hunters, explorers, trappers. Therein lies our fundamental difference.

Most Canadians can't really explain why we're different from Americans, we just know we are. In a sense, we're eternally pubescent children trying to figure out our place in the world, knowing we're the continent's misfits, but not yet secure in our collective identity.

By and large, I don't think the American audience is all that interested in my writing. I make that statement based on absolutely nothing. No evidence, just a gut feeling. And the fact that most of my known fans are Brits, Australians, New Zealanders, and other Canadians.

With Good Neighbors (spelled the American way), my goal was to write a piece of American erotic fiction. It was sort of an experiment, and one I quite enjoyed, but it was entered into self-reflexively and I don't know if it will be received that way or not. At its base, it's a story about a "prudish" wife who actually quite likes getting fucked by the whole neighbourhood. (Oops! My spelling's gone Canadian.) It's explicit gang bang erotica. It can certainly be read that way. One needn't be aware of its American literary inspiration to enjoy the piece.

But at its BASE base, it's my Symphony For the New World.

Hope you like it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cuteness Overload, The Sequel: Even More Animals Hugging

Okay, I'm a suck these days. But you know what? I don't care. There's something irresistible about pictures that make you go awwwww! If you missed the first edition of animals hugging, you can catch it here. But today's post is bigger, better...fuzzier. Booya!



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sapphic Signs: Like Water and Water

I'm going to make this week's Sapphic Signs intro quick because I'm in the middle of writing a supercalafragalistically hot sex scene and you're probably in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, if you're American. But when you're full of food and hungry for some lesbian romance, give this excerpt a read:

Like Water and Water
by Sarah Ettritch
University roommates Rachel and Barb met in their high school’s zodiac club, where they spent hours doing their Scorpio charts and became best friends. Now Rachel has fallen in love with Barb, but Barb is dating the sultry Carla. When Barb and Carla experience problems, Rachel is uncomfortable with being Barb’s confidante, especially since Barb’s relationship issues involve sex. Finding it more and more difficult to hide her feelings and remain impartial, Rachel reaches her breaking point and makes an agonizing decision.


The laptop and textbook were in her bedroom. Rachel walked down the apartment’s narrow hallway, then stopped when the bathroom door swung open. Barb stepped out, wearing only her panties and a sports bra. Rachel’s breath caught in her throat.

“Forgot a towel.” Barb opened the door to the nearby linen closet and rummaged inside.

Rachel’s gaze lingered on Barb’s firm ass. Heat flooded her chest and travelled down to her crotch. It would be so easy to close the short distance between them, slip her arms around Barb, cup Barb’s breasts, slide her fingers underneath... oh, god. She turned away and mumbled, “Forgot something.”

She fled down the hallway and stood trembling in the kitchen. Thank god Barb had been focused on looking for a towel. If she’d seen Rachel’s face, sensed the raw desire oozing from her every pore . . . Rachel swallowed. She’d seen Barb half-naked before, but her interest in Barb’s body had been nothing more than idle curiosity. She’d never ogled her, wanted her, fought the urge to jump her. Christ, she had to be more careful.

Like Water and Water is available from Torquere Press... right here!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hot Under The Collar BDSM Anthology Now Available

Just noticed the e-version of Xcite's awesome Hot Under The Collar anthology is available in advance of the print version, which hits the shelves in January. The first time I saw this cover, my knees went weak. I just love it.

Hot Under the Collar - Tales of Submission and Domination

Domination and desire go hand in hand, but are you ready to submit to the ultimate in sexy seduction?

Masters and slaves get together to inflict, pain, pleasure and above all passion upon each other. Bondage and whips, dungeons and dominatrix, collaring and conquering, these 20 stories explore every aspect of sexual submission. From Xcite Books, winners ETO Best Erotic Book Brand 2010 & 2011.

My story in Hot Under the Collar is called Diamonds and Gold, about a woman who "never claimed to be a perfect slave." After 20 years of marriage to her Master, she starts an affair with man she met online and lies through her teeth until her husband catches on.

Jai Li isn't your typical millionaire businesswoman, or your typical submissive, for that matter. She's been married to her Husband and Master for nearly 25 years, and she's spent 4 of those years cheating on her Husband and Master with a man in another city, claiming she's traveling so often for business. Jai Li thinks she's got the wool pulled over Master's eyes until the day he buys her an early 25th anniversary gift: a permanently-affixed diamond and gold collar. When he then asks her to cancel her next "business" trip, how can she refuse?

And, yes, it happens to be named after a Tom Waits song. Thanks for noticing :-)

WANTED: Lovers of Cowboys and Westerns

Authors! Readers! Publishers!

You're wanted. Yes, you.
When? Today.
Where? The LoveRomancesCafe Yahoo group.
Why? For a celebration of cowboys and westerns.
Reward: Participation is its own reward!

Want more information? Keep reading, partner.

**Permission to Forward Granted**

Wednesday November 23rd is all about Cowboys and Westerns. Love hunky sexy cowboys with a slow drawl that makes shivers go up your spine? Well so do get ready for our Western theme day here at the LRC Loop.

Theme Day is EXCERPTS ONLY so save those new contract, blogging, etc news for Mondays.

Time: Midnight to midnight EST (USA TIME)

WHERE: LR Cafe Yahoo Loop

Genres welcome: Westerns as well as sub-genres as long as it's classified as Westerns or Cowboys by your publisher.

Any heat rating is welcome-from sweet to oh so hot you need a fire extinguisher.

Put "Excerpt" in subject line please.

Unlimited posting of excerpts this day.

Publishers-if you have any submission calls for this theme, please drop in and let us know.

If you have any questions, please email me at OFF
THE LOOP and I can answer you as soon as I get back online.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pre-order Now: Best Bondage Erotica 2012

Following a brief Twitter back-and-forth with Sommer Marsden, I realized I've been really bad at announcing my presence in short story anthologies. I'm not always clear on release dates, so I often forget to post about them here at Donuts & Desires. Well, I'm going to be better starting... NOW!

Best Bondage Erotica 2012 is coming out soon (and available for pre-order now!) and guess what? One of my short stories makes an appearance in it. I love this year's cover, too!

Best Bondage Erotica 2012 fully explores the joys of restraint with stories from top-notch (pun unintended) writers who have mastered the bondage fiction. Editrix extraordinaire Rachel Kramer Bussel lets the reader in on the subterranean world of forbidden desires and sexual fantasies that shock and scintillate as they mesmerize. How do you want to be teased, tied, and tantalized? Best Bondage Erotica 2012 covers all the ways you can get your kink on with stories of spanking, corsetry, rubber, crossdressing, handcuffs, robe, and pleasures that push into new, and exquisitely delightful territory. Surrender to the intense eroticism of bondage and fetish in full flower.

My little tale is called Dry Rub:

All these years into marriage, Terry's still the bad boy. As much as his bad behavior drives Gina crazy, she can't turn off the arousal his leather jacket and pants generate in her body. When he comes home late after drinking with the guys, Gina's pissed. Both kids are off at sleepovers and she's only just discovered she can fit back into her old high school uniform. It's serendipity, and Terry's missed his chance. Still, Gina's been gearing up for affection all day. How to resolve the dispute between anger and desire? Simple: she ties him to a chair and takes him the way she likes, rubbing her shaved pussy against the stiff cock underneath his leather pants.

Yummy yummers!

Pre-order now:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quick Six PRO with Elizabeth Coldwell

I am so pleased to have Elizabeth Coldwell here at Donuts & Desires for this week's Quick Six!

Quick Six PRO
Interview with Elizabeth Coldwell

Q: What should a writer's priority be?
Elizabeth Coldwell: Writing. Obviously, marketing is important, but you can’t market something you haven’t written.

Q: How do you handle a bad review?
Elizabeth Coldwell: Don’t let it get to you, and don’t try and point out to the reviewer why they “just didn’t get it”. Usually, for everyone who hates your book, there’ll be someone who really loves it. I’ve been lucky in that the good reviews have very much outweighed the bad ones.

Q: What advice do you give aspiring authors?
Elizabeth Coldwell: Don’t ignore publishers’ guidelines – they’re there for a reason. Publishers know a lot more about what works for their imprint than you do. And don’t give up at the first rejection. Everyone gets their stories turned down at some point, and it could be that what wasn’t right for one publisher will be perfect for another.

Q: What do you look for in a publisher?
Elizabeth Coldwell: Someone who knows their market, and gives the air of being professional. In my case, a lot of them are companies or people I dealt with in my life as a full-time magazine editor, so I already knew the standard of the books they were producing. The design of their website and book jackets are important, too, particularly with publishers who primarily produce e-books – some just give the impression they’re putting out books for the sake of it.

Q: How have the people in your life reacted to your career as a writer?
Elizabeth Coldwell: They’ve generally been very positive, although I did manage to disconcert one friend by telling him I’d had a story in an anthology called 'I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus'! He did later provide the inspiration for a story about a man getting his garage remodelled, though, so he was quite proud about that…

Q: Any promo tips for fellow authors?
Elizabeth Coldwell: Avoid drive-by promos. If you’re on a Yahoo group or similar, go in, chat and respond to what other people have to say on non-promo days. And don’t repeat the same blurb day after day, or blanket a site with promos of every book you have out at the moment. There are some authors whose promos I just skip over because I’m so bored of seeing them.

Elizabeth Coldwell is author of:
Stranded In Paradise: M/M novella with subthemes of bdsm, older man/younger man and multicultural (American/English)
by Elizabeth Coldwell.

Alfie Crane accepts a lift from Boston to San Francisco from fellow college student Brad as he's too broke to take the bus. When they argue, he finds himself being thrown out of the car with only his wallet and the clothes he stands up in. After walking for miles, he reaches the tiny town of Paradise, Nebraska. He is desperate for help, and is taken in by diner owner Ray Rendell, who's looking for a new bus boy. Ray has always hidden his true sexuality, afraid of the reaction of family and townsfolk alike, but he's strongly attracted to the cute young Englishman.
Romance begins to blossom between the two as Alfie settles in to the slow, easy pace of small-town life. When Ray is threatened in a hold-up, Alfie realises just how much the older man means to him. But can they really find paradise together?

Buy link:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cuteness Overload: Animals Hugging Edition

This post is going out to my Sweet. We've been arguing a lot lately, and yesterday I compared our relationship to a cat and a dog clawing at each other inside a burlap sack. So, today is the day for big hugs. Big ADORABLE ANIMAL hugs. (I love you, sweetheart)

And to anybody else who needs a hug right now, here are some of the best hugs on the planet:

Big (Human) Hugs,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sapphic Signs: The Balancing Act by Ann Cory

Howdy lesfic fans!

It's Thursday, and you know what that means: another excerpt from Torquere Press' Sapphic Signs line. This weeks it's:

The Balancing Act
by Ann Cory

Michelle and Gracie became fast friends on the gymnastics team, and were inseparable. That friendship intensified into romance, and they never looked back. More than Gracie’s confidence took a tumble during an important competition, resulting in an injury that has kept her in and out of surgeries, and their once red-hot relationship has never been the same.

But Michelle’s love for Gracie keeps her determined to find balance and revive the passion they had for one another both on and off the beam. She must come clean about where she’s been going during her spare time, while Gracie decides to have one final surgery.


She caught a glimpse of Michelle walking toward the coach in her navy blue leotard. The tight garment showed off her sinuous muscles to perfection.

Gracie never thought she’d be sitting in this place again. She expected anger and regret to keep her away for good, but she felt neither of those things.

Along the sidelines, Michelle practiced her routine on the floor. Her body moved with the same dancer’s grace she’d always had. Gracie loved how she bent forward, her back arched, with arms above her head. Her legs of pure muscle, the back one extended into a perfect arabesque. She leapt and then spun on her toes with her arms straight and body in flawless alignment.

For a moment she put herself in Michelle’s place. Gracie remembered how she used to glide and turn, flip and leap. Her teammates liked to challenge her to see who could hold a pose the longest without falling.

Much as she enjoyed the floor exercise, she preferred the rush of being up high, to be the envy of gymnastic hopefuls with the way she could hold her body with such intensity. She’d mastered all the dance moves on a small wooden beam instead of a spring boarded floor. Had she known the result of competition night, she might’ve treated her body better, been easier on her muscles, taken better care of her joints, but in the end perhaps she hadn’t been meant to perform in front of a large crowd. Gracie chuckled to herself. She knew this was all her way of analyzing, trying to justify and make the situation right considering there weren’t many options.

A woman in a business suit stepped up the microphone and announced the start of the competition.

The crowd got to their feet behind her and she cupped her mouth, screaming and shouting along with them. She watched her team on the uneven bars and the floor events. When it came time for the balance beam, she saw Michelle seek her out. Gracie nodded and smiled, giving her the thumbs up sign. And then the knots in her stomach doubled.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Relief for Writers: Words of Liberation from Salman Rushdie

A while back I watched Allan Gregg In Conversation with Salman Rushdie, and they hit on a topic that struck me deeply: being disliked as a writer. Of course, we all know that in our heads, but does it ever filter down to our hearts? It hurts to be disliked. That's how our hearts react--they hurt.

So when Salman Rushdie described the realization that there will always be people who don't like your work as a "liberation," I actually felt a bit of the pressure of life as a writer lift.

I rewatched the episode and typed out the relevant bit (I'm sure there must have been an easier way, but oh well) and here is the part that impacted me most deeply:

One of the things you learn as a writer—and, in my case, rather more so—is that you don’t please everyone. No matter how hard you try to do the best you can, no matter how many fans or people who like what you do there may be, there will be people who don’t like it, full stop, and that’s true not just of me because of what happened with The Satanic Verses, that’s true of all writers everywhere.
There’s a certain point where you see that as a liberation. Once you give up the idea of everybody loving you, you realize you’re going to have people who like what you do, you’re going to have people who dislike what you do, and that’s okay.
~Salman Rushdie on Allan Gregg In Conversation

If you'd like to watch the full conversation it is available here (hopefully worldwide, but since it was aired on TVOntario there might be restrictions):

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Call for Submissions: Bisexual and Genderqueer Reprints

Who likes deadlines? I do! I do!

Okay, you're going to smack me, but the deadline for submissions to this antho is TODAY. *shields sensitive areas* Yeah, I know, I'm sorry. I had this one in my iCal, but only just noticed the part at the bottom where it says "please repost" etc.

At any rate, it asks for reprints only, so if you've got one that fits the bill send it in. (Sorry!) See below for ze informations:

Deadline: 15 Novembe 2011

I will be editing a reprint anthology of bisexual and genderqueer speculative fiction for Lethe Press, to be released in 2012!

SF is the perfect field for exploring the in-between spaces of emotion, performance and sexuality. The queer, the variable, the fluid and the strange are all present in speculative worlds, from classics like Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness to contemporary queer texts like Catherynne M. Valente's Palimpsest. Speculative fiction is about imagination and extrapolation - what better to extrapolate on than stretching or breaking the binaries of performance, attraction and sexual identity?

As for specifics: The anthology will feature a mix of stories from various speculative fields, including fantasy, science fiction, and horror. I am accepting only reprints, but I am interested in both contemporary and classic material. The anthology will pay a flat fee of $100 per story, word count from 1,000-8,000, though I am willing to be flexible for particularly impressive pieces that run longer.

I'll be both soliciting stories and accepting submissions of previously published material; if you have a favorite bi- or genderqueer short story in a speculative genre, suggest it in the comments of this post. If you have previously published a genderqueer or sexually fluid short story in a speculative genre, please submit with the prior publication information in a cover letter and the story following below in the body of the email, not as an attachment. The deadline for both story suggestions and submissions is November 15th, 2011.

Submissions may be sent to BritMandelo (at) hotmail (dot) com. Suggestions from readers and enthusiasts may be left in the comments of this post--please, tell me what your favorite bisexual and genderqueer stories are!

I look forward to seeing what we can put together. Please, if you have a moment, repost and link this call for submissions across your internet neighborhood--I would like to have a wide spectrum of contributors.

Brit Mandelo - BritMandelo (at) hotmail (dot) com

Contact Information:

For inquiries: BritMandelo (at) hotmail (dot) com

For submissions: BritMandelo (at) hotmail (dot) com


Monday, November 14, 2011

Quick Six PRO with Jena Galifany (Part 2)

Remember how I said we'd be back next week with part two? Well, it's next week and...

Quick Six PRO
Interview with Jena Galifany
Part 2

Q: What do you look for in a publisher?

Jena Galifany: Co-operation with their authors, and easy access. I like to know if I have a need, my publisher will be there to listen and to advise. I've found that in both of my publishers.

Q: What makes an editor great or...not so great?

Jena Galifany: If the editor does not see what I am trying to say with a particular phrase, I have an opportunity to discuss it with them. I've had this situation a time or two and both editors have worked with me, and not attempted to over shadow what I was trying to convey. An editor should be open to working with the author in certain situations.

Q: Do you have a preference for short stories or longer works?

Jena Galifany: I'd love to write short stories but I always end up with too much to say. I'll keep trying though. I have written a couple of flash fictions but only one has been published in an ezine.

Q: If you've ventured into self-publishing, what are the pros and cons?

Jena Galifany: I've not tried this so can offer no comment.

Q: Do you find yourself writing for the market and not for YOU, or self-censoring in any way?

Jena Galifany: I tend to write for myself which is why I have several pieces that have not see the light of day as yet. When they seem to be acceptable, I will do more with them.

Q: How have the people in your life reacted to your career as a writer?

Jena Galifany: Most have been very supportive. I would never have been published if Joyce and Brandi had not shoved me into it. I will be eternally grateful to them both. My husband has his moments. He loves when I have a new book out but has mixed emotions about the time it takes me to write it. My youngest daughter has already written several books herself and is only 19. She has yet to venture into the publishing arena. My older two children are a bit proud of Mom and that makes me feel great!

Q: Any promo tips for fellow authors?

Jena Galifany: Do interviews and chats. Don't be afraid to give something away once in a while and make it something clever. I have the ShadowsForge series about an 80's rock band and I've given away a tour shirt signed by all five members of ShadowsForge and myself, and dog tags engraved with the band, tour and bass player, Ty Synclair's name. Three members of the band have their own email addys and they attend chats, too. I make video trailers for all of my books and post them online where I can.

The ShadowsForge series can be found at Whiskey Creek

Saturday, November 12, 2011

French Orgasms, Cucumbers, and Speaking in Tongues

A while ago, I wrote a slightly TMI blog post on the politics and poetics of the French language orgasms. Put like that it sounds pretty dry, but it's not. You can read that blog post here.

Or... I could recap very briefly. Basically, I wrote about this peculiarity of mine, where I have French orgasms on my own and English orgasms with my girlfriend Sweet. With an English-speaking girlfriend, I've always suppressed the French because, stupid as this may sound in the context of a relationship AND an officially bilingual country, one does get stamped a snob or a jerk speaking French in English Canada. If the personal is political, the political can sure as hell be personal too.

So that's the background.

And this is another TMI post on the topic. Be forewarned.

So, the other day my girlfriend was fucking me with a field cucumber. (Told you it was TMI!) After the initial "this thing is fricken huge" ache and moan, I really got into it. More than I'd ever imagined I could. Sweet kind of has a fetish for sticking weird things in me, and I just go with it. (And, let me tell you, English cucumbers do NOT measure up.)

Before I knew it, I was screaming and hollering. Looking back, I think it took a while for me to realize all the words coming out of my mouth were French. At that point, I was on a roll. I couldn't have stopped if I wanted to, and I couldn't switch languages. I was on auto-pilot, no control over which language came out of my mouth.

So I went with it. For the first time ever, I experienced an entire extended orgasm in French with my girlfriend. First. Time. Ever.

After the fact, Sweet brought it up a couple times. She seemed fascinated, and it was neat to get her take on the experience of switching languages:

Sweet: It was so strange ... like all of a sudden you were speaking in tongues.

Me: Oh really? That's cute. You probably noticed before I did.

Sweet: I mean one second English and then French and I go ... "What's that? What is she saying? Is something wrong? Oh my god it's French..."

Me: I think it was an entirely unselfconscious orgasm, because when I'm alone I usually come in french.

Sweet: I was just hoping that I wasn't hurting you and you were wanting me to stop in French and I was missing it.

Me: Ohh yes...hmmm that could be a concern. I did actually think that, once I realized I wasn't speaking English anymore. I was telling myself, "If you want her to stop, make sure she understands."

Sweet: Oh I think I would understand STOP in French and if it was really bad you would say that ... I just didnt want you to be saying "easy easy ... gentle."

Me: Ahhhh, no I think I was mainly saying YES and OH GOD and LIKE THAT LIKE THAT LIKE THAT and IT'S SO GOOD!

Sweet: The OH GOD and YES I got.

Me: Hehehe.

So that's the latest on the French orgasm front. It's funny how I'd never anticipated the whole "speaking in tongues" bit, or even the fact that she wouldn't understand me and be concerned. All I was worried about was being seen as a language snob. Interesting.

And I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but throughout my adult life I've always thought the most romantic gesture anybody could ever offer me would be to learn to speak French. (Sweet? Hint, hint.)


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sapphic Signs: Kenna's Virgo by Jolene Hui

I've barely been at my computer this week, so Donuts & Desires has been sorely neglected. Poor Donuts! Poor Desires! But we're back with this week's Sapphic Signs post:

Kenna's Virgo
by Jolene Hui

Shortly after Maggie graduates from college, she meets Kenna, a beautiful redhead. Mere moments after their meeting, Maggie reads her Virgo horoscope that encourages her to try new experiences and to “open your heart.” She reflects back on her life and decides she’ll take the horoscope to heart and attempt to come out of her shell. After outing herself to her mother, Maggie moves in with Kenna as her roommate. Even though Kenna is in a relationship and Maggie starts to date another woman, Maggie still has feelings for Kenna that just won’t go away.


I set down my spoon and stared straight ahead to keep the wave of nausea from sweeping down into my stomach. Emma didn’t wait. She grabbed my elbow and led me to the bathroom where I lost everything I’d eaten. The wine burned in my throat. I relaxed on the rug and stared at the ceiling. When I finished emptying the contents of my stomach I sheepishly walked out into the dining room area.

They had set up a pillow and blankets on the couch in the living room. Kenna led me there. Emma was still cleaning up.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, “I don’t ever drink much, and I think the ice cream didn’t mix well in my gut.”

"Just relax on the couch and don’t worry about it,” she said.

I snuggled into the couch nest they’d made for me and closed my eyes. I could easily fall asleep there, but I kept myself awake. Emma and Kenna joined me, and we talked about everything that came to mind. I talked about how I missed going to the waterpark in the summer. Emma confessed she felt attracted to David Beckham. Kenna said she missed all her pets that had passed away throughout her lifetime. My stomach began to settle as we chatted like old friends.

Kenna’s teeth were perfectly straight. Her body was slim – her clothes hitting her in just the right spots, just like the servers I always adored. Under her apron was a flowing pink blouse and Capri jeans. She must have forgotten to take her apron off after she finished cooking. She wore a bronze bangle on her wrist with a necklace that matched. I kept my eyes on Kenna while our conversation went from here to there. Somehow in the depths of the evening our conversation had turned to sexual experiences.

“My first time was with an older woman,” Kenna told us. She put her mouth around her ginger ale straw and sucked firmly but seductively. I sipped silently while she relayed the story.

“She was about thirty five. I was sixteen. I was a nanny that summer. She was the mother of one of the kids’ friends. She stayed to help me watch the kids during a sleepover. After the kids went to sleep we had our own sleepover. A movie was on but I wasn’t watching it. I could feel her breathing on my neck. She smelled like fresh lilacs, and her skin looked so soft.”

“This sounds like a made for TV movie,” I interjected.

Emma laughed with me. Kenna rolled her eyes and continued her story. “It’s all true! She was married to a wealthy man who traveled a lot. She wanted some hot, young, action!”

“That’s a movie I’d tune into!” It didn’t take me long to feel comfortable around the two women.

“How about you, baby girl?” Emma moved the spotlight to me.

I blushed and sipped my ginger ale.

“You’re still a virgin!” shouted Emma. Kenna smiled and sucked on her straw.

Kenna's Virgo is Available from Torquere Press!