New book!

Sep. 13th, 2014 08:52 pm
monamidnight: Sophia Myles, who is very pretty (isolde)
I'm so happy to be part of a new collection of short stories that will benefit the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, which is "dedicated to human rights advocacy on behalf of people who experience discrimination or abuse on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression." (You can learn much more about their good work at the website.)

The book, Her Private Passion, contains five never-before-released works from five different authors, all focusing on lovely ladies in love...or maybe just lust.

Here are the stories:

“Bound in Silk and Steel,” by Rebecca Tregaron. The lovely courtesan-spy Perrine travels to Serenissima to seduce and ensnare the noblewoman Fiorenza. But in the sensual abandon of Carnival, power can shift in the blink of an eye, the turn of a mask, the flick of a rope…

"Convent Discipline," by Honey Dover. Alessandra isn't looking forward to becoming a nun, but in strict medieval Italy, her family has given her no other option. When her training as a novice is taken over by the lovely Julia, Alessandra learns that submission can mean much more than prayer.

"Found," by Victoria Janssen. In the midst of the American Civil War, Clodia flees slavery and certain death. Found by her escaped friend Diana, who is serving as a man in the Union army, Clodia fears she can't be forgiven for the past.

"Spanked On The Prairie," by Isla Sinclair. When Emily Welland misbehaves on the Canadian prairie, she is due for a spanking from firm but beautiful Miss Grant. But little does she know the sensual lesbian delights in store for her.

“The Ocean's Maid,” by Mona Midnight. All Sarah wanted was to find her sister, lost to the mermaids more than a year ago. But in the world of the sirens, she finds welcoming arms... and the promise of the forbidden pleasures she has denied herself for so many years. Will she return to the surface? Or will she succumb to the temptations of life under the sea?

Please check it out! The stories are all great, and for $4.99...hard to go wrong!



Her Private Passion at All Romance Ebooks

Her Private Passion at Amazon

Her Private Passion at Barnes & Noble

Her Private Passion at Smashwords
monamidnight: Sophia Myles, who is very pretty (isolde)
Rebecca is only $2.99 US at Amazon right now, and as I absolutely love that damn book, I figured I'd hop online and recommend it before I forgot.

Rebecca is a first-person story told by a narrator who is never named, beyond her identity as "the second Mrs. DeWinter." The first Mrs. DeWinter, though, is the prime mover in this book, even though she's dead before the first page is turned. It is her ghost that haunts the manor, Manderley, where the second Mrs. DeWinter lives in increased isolation with her husband, who's getting less charming by the moment.

Later adapted into a movie by Alfred Hitchcock, it stands up well on its own, dreadful in the good-old fashioned 'full of dread' way, atmospheric and dark. The hold of the past has never felt so dangerous.
monamidnight: Sophia Myles, who is very pretty (isolde)
If you like romantic comedies, you can't do much better than the old Doris Day/Rock Hudson ones...at least if you remember to leave your feminism far, far, at the door. The basic concepts are all the same: Rock Hudson is a rake and a liar who wins over career-driven woman Doris Day by playing an innocent naif, and then the truth comes out, all hell breaks loose, and Rock realizes that Doris is an awesome, perfect woman and he's been a cad. They reconcile, eventually, but the journey is usually rocky and involves Doris shouting. If you think about it too hard, you want to smack people, but these are not movies to be overthought.

There's a general idea of a 'good' woman fixing a 'bad' man, but the movie doesn't take it too seriously, which makes me capable of enjoying it without wanting to throw things. And of course, Doris and Rock are endlessly charismatic, easy-going and sweet with wonderful chemistry. Tony Randall normally plays Rock's uptight BFF, and he is also just great. (If you recast these movies with other actors, you wouldn't have half the charm. It's very lightning-in-a-bottle, this stuff.) The color palettes and wardrobes are delightful, and Doris's hair is like a lovely gold halo in every shot, even when she's wearing the world's dumbest hats. IIRC, Rock ends up shirtless at least once every movie. (Doris also sings in almost every movie. Up to you whether that's a plus or a minus!)

If you're looking for a bit more depth in your movies, they're still worth checking out. There are lots of moments that could (or did) go in The Celluloid Closet, the wonderful documentary about coded gay content in Hollywood - Rock pretends to be gay in one movie and feigns doubt about his sexuality in another, Doris's secretary in Lover Come Back is pretty clearly coded as a lesbian, Tony Randall - and there's all sorts of interesting stuff to dig into about social and social roles. (Of course, Rock Hudson was gay and died of AIDS in 1985; his death was one of the events that brought AIDS to greater public attention.)

And they're funny. Dear heaven, are they funny sometimes. There are slapstick moments, silly moments, running gags, snappy dialogue. And Rock and Doris are just fun people to hang out with, even when they're being completely horrible.

TCM ran "Lover Come Back" recently, but my favorite is Pillow Talk.

Reading!

Dec. 29th, 2013 08:53 pm
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
Today's Kindle Daily Deal is some mysteries and thrillers for $1.99, and I want to recommend Joe Hill's NOS4A2, an extremely creepy and well-written book and one of the best I read this year.

I'm picking up Heart-Shaped Box by Hill because hey, two bucks.

(Be sure to double-check the price before you buy because this is a one-day deal.)
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
Author Jeremy Wilson has been decrying selected porn on Amazon for a little while now:

How Amazon cashes in on Kindle filth

An Epidemic of Filth

This has put Amazon in a flurry of blocking and banning titles, and UK retailer WH Smith has currently replaced its entire storefront with a bizarre disclaimer about 'unacceptable' books.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are some pretty gross book titles, covers and descriptions here, and I'm guessing my definition of 'gross' might not overlap with yours, because erotica and porn is weird and different things gross different people out. But I'm guessing at least one of those titles offends you deep in your soul. (However, at least one of those titles might make you eager to look inside. It's all good.) But here's the thing that I always find frustrating in these 'oh no, written porn on the Internet' stories: none of this shit is real. It's all made up. That, for many people, is the whole appeal: It's stuff they would never want to do in real life that they find fun to explore in fiction.

But anyway. I'm picking on Jeremy Dunn - though he's certainly not the only complainer - because he also posted this defense (er, 'defence') of "Revenge Porn."

In Defence of Revenge Porn

"Images can’t be removed from the internet and trampling over freedom of expression in the attempt to do so is crazy."

Hmmm. Porn of real people, released without the real person's consent, is okay, but fake stories where no real people are involved are 'filth' that should be removed from the internet.

At a first glance, this seems to be a contradictory stance, but of course, it isn't. Why is that, you ask?

Because the primary purchaser of books - all books read for pleasure, be they Wuthering Heights, Fifty Shades of Gray or even I Banged Daddy on the Kitchen Table - are women. Women lead all book spending. Women read more.

Any woman who's read erotica, romance or straight-out pornography will know that when guys watch porn they're normal, but when girls do it, they're strange, weird, deviant. Take what Andy Millen pointed out:



Real eighteen-year-old girls in their undies who look younger? Plaster 'em on the second page. Fake nineteen-year-old girls having fun, pleasurable first time sex? Lock up your daughters. Stop the Internet, women are taking charge of their own sexual needs. This must stop.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

EDIT: Here's a little more about the misogyny behind this round of complaints and moral outrage.
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
I'm halfway through Prince of Silk and Thorns by Cherry Dare, and man, it is delicious. Angst! Dubious consent! Passion! Secrets!

Full review to come but seriously, check it out.
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
This article talks about how the book market is changing, and how bookstores continue to struggle. It's interesting but depressing if you're a 'traditional' book lover (which I am, even as I love ebooks too).

One of the most interesting things I found was that 'narrative reading' - that is, a story that goes from point A to point Z - is most successful in ebook format. Makes sense to me. It's hard to skip back and forth in ebooks and I don't think my mind is quite wired to 'flip back' in a book and try to find something I saw earlier...at least not yet. Probably 95% of the ebook reading I do is narrative, from short stories to longer books to Keith Richards' memoir Life. (Which is excellent, by the way!)
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
Very happy Thursday to everyone else. I've mostly spent it watching bad TV, but I also checked out Drugstore Cowboy for the first time. What a great movie - it sure doesn't feel like a first movie, and it is far more sophisticated about addiction and drug use than many movies that followed it.

The ending is dark but oddly hopeful, I thought. And it's a beautifully crafted movie.

I got it free On Demand. I love the things that just show up for free.
monamidnight: Sophia Myles, who is very pretty (isolde)
Back To Black, Amy Winehouse

Everyone knows this one. But I still want to talk about it.

For a long time this album, and especially "You Know I'm No Good," was something of a personal anthem for me. My husband had decided he was sick of me, in his words, 'sharing my sexuality with everyone,' and demanded that I stopped publishing explicit stuff (I was writing a lot of fanfiction at the time).

And I gave in.

But I didn't like it. And I had always been upfront with him about what I was doing online. I'd told him I was trouble.

Of course, in the end, it was all for nothing. He left me for the dream of another woman, one with a different, better (?) sex drive, who had younger kids, who was thinner and pastier and deeply, entirely sincere. I never had a chance. (Did he sleep with her? I'll probably never know. It doesn't matter.)

But I'm glad I had Amy. She helped, actually. Her pride in her flaws, her seeming eagerness to burn the whole thing down; I felt strength in it. And she's still with me, now, even though she and my marriage are gone.

Thanks, Amy. I wish I could send you an email about it or something.
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
The audio's not great, but I love her performance. There's just something about good country music. Check out "Crazy Ex Girlfriend":

monamidnight: Sophia Myles, who is very pretty (isolde)


The one artist Mike and "Sam" agree on. As they should, she's amazing.
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
Live on the Air is about two lost souls finding each other through unlikely circumstances. It's short story length but is a full story, with romance, love scenes, and humor.

It's the late 1980s, and Mike Pattison has spent his life in the closet. As a young doctor working at a small emergency room, he's resigned himself to staying there. But a voice on late-night radio keeps grabbing his attention. Will DJ "Sam Spade" be the one to convince Mike put his fears aside and live?


Amazon link


All Romance link

I even have an auto-fill at AllRomance! So exciting!

Edit: Now on Smashwords too!
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
This is one of the songs I kept thinking of when I was writing "Live on the Air." It's one of Mike's favorites:

monamidnight: Sophia Myles, who is very pretty (isolde)
I was finishing up Live on the Air when I found this at my local library and picked it up pretty much on a whim. I'm so glad I did.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home is a literary novel that could be sold as Young Adult if someone at a publishing house didn't decide 'literary' would likely make them more money. (For the record, that's because it's a 'coming of age' book, reads beautifully, and isn't explicitly 'adult,' not a knock on the book.)

June is fourteen and would rather live in a world of her imagination, or maybe the Middle Ages, than the boring neighborhood she's stuck in, with two accountant parents and an older sister who seems more like a stranger every year. When her beloved uncle Finn dies of AIDS, she ends up connecting with the only person who misses Finn as much as she does; his boyfriend, Toby, who starts as a mysterious stranger but who quickly becomes a vital part of June's life.

The book is set in 1987, and I found myself remembering the raw nastiness of the late 80s. I was too young and in too isolated a part of the world for the worst of it to reach me, but I still remember the fear and bigotry and sheer stupid cruelty of it, and this book doesn't gloss it over. For all that - and for all the sorrow - Tell the Wolves I'm Home is tremendously alive, and it glows with the power of love, the strength that people have to keep loving, no matter what might come next.

You'll cry, but you'll feel good about it.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home on Amazon
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
My book - really a short story, but an ebook nonetheless - is going through its final formatting. It should be for sale soon!

Enjoy some Cyndi Lauper while you wait.
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (shirtless dude)
Author Selena Kitt has an entry on Amazon's latest follies in filtering.

I honestly don't mind if 'adult' titles end up in 'adult,' but having a gay couple on the front cover should not automatically mean 'adult.' Not even close.

EDIT: Fishing around it seems the case isn't as clear-cut as Selena made it out to be. I still wish I knew how Amazon filtered things, though! (Smashwords has an adult filter where you just push a button. So handy. Get on that, Amazon!)
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
What's a femme fatale when it's a male character playing the role? A dude fatale just doesn't have the same ring to it, and homme fatale sounds like something you'd have for dessert.
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
Via Buzzfeed.

Note: The "Tunnel of Love" isn't actually abandoned! But it's still really cool. This hotel is the one really catching my eye, though, it makes the Overlook look friendly.
monamidnight: Stuart Townsend shirtless (Default)
Because you have all this YouTube evidence that that era really happened. And people really wore those clothes....



It's kind of hilarious that the sweaters seem weirder than the dance hall clothes to me now.

EDIT: This one's even better:



Amazon has lots of Wang Chung:

The Best of Wang Chung - 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection

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