August 30, 2014

Erotic Expert Round-Up

I'm the sort of person who likes to gather information to, um, inform me. (Hey, it's early, and maybe I'm still a little tipsy.) But tipsy or sober, I'll readily admit to being a review addict. I want to know what you think, and what he thinks, and what your boss thinks. And what the person next to me on the train thinks, and... well, that is why I decided to create my own expert round-up. Every so often, I'll toss a question out to a select group of knowledgable people and see what they have to say. 

So here goes... my first query was:


"In your opinion, what is the most important sex toy a woman should own and why?" 


(Don't worry. We'll get to the men soon. I promise!)

Once upon a time, I actually was a sex toy reviewer. But I'm fairly secure that things have changed in the last two decades.

I approached a handful of writers and reviewers I admire and here are the responses I received (in the order they fell into my box). The bios are below. (No reviewers were paid for this article—and no payment was given for any product placement. These are honest-to-goodness opinions.) I hope you enjoy the plethora of information!


Cara Sutra said: Interesting that you've asked the 'most important' sex toy, rather than 'the best' or 'your favourite'. I have mused over this question and wanted to select a sex toy which I believe really adds to a woman's sex life in my opinion. Not for power, novelty or brand name, but because of versatility and opening up new sensations and dimensions for the woman. 

The Cara Sutra Collection
For the reasons stated above I would have to say a bullet vibrator is the most important. Not a rabbit vibe which can be heavy, unwieldy and not shaped to please every woman; not a wand vibrator which can intimidate and be too powerful and noisy for some. A bullet vibrator is the ideal blend of quiet vibration, portable pleasure, an unassuming and discreet addition to either masturbation or enjoyed with a partner during foreplay and sex. it can also add new excitement to bondage sessions when used with orgasm control, tease and denial, and against rope harnesses. The vibrations can be enjoyed inside the vagina or over the clitoris, as well as elsewhere on the body - for either gender. 

I believe a bullet vibrator is the one sex toy that every woman should own at least one of. My suggestions when it comes to specific bullet vibrators are the We Vibe TangoRocks Off RO-80 and the Supersex bullet by Tracey Cox.

*****

Kristina Wright said: The most important sex toy a woman should own is the one that gives her the best orgasms. I'm a big fan of the old-fashioned vibrator, but I don't think it's a case of "one size fits all" because, like music, we all have different tastes. Size, shape, type and strength of vibrations, noise factor, texture-- they can all play a roll in sensual satisfaction and it's worth the research to find the perfect match. (I like the Lelo brand (http://www.lelo.com/) as their variety of toys offers something for everyone.)

*****

Jenne Davis said: I'm not going to tell you you should own any particular sex toy, because I believe that the best sex toy is the one on the end of your arms. Yep, we underestimate our hands and fingers when it comes to sex and especially masturbation. Even if you do buy a sex toy, think about it, you still have to use your hands to hold it in most cases. So yep, use what is always handy, available, and never requires batteries, although sleep is highly recommended. 



*****


Coyote Days said: The Magic Wand! This is a must have. Though some people may find it to be intimidating I think it’s worth trying out (a few times) to experience the pleasure it can bring. Yes – it’s large, it plugs in, it’s a wee bit loud & very verystrong... but all that adds to its charm & helps make it one of the most consistent sex toys on the market. It’s been a top seller for over 30 years & is a favorite of too many people to name. My recommendation is to start slow & warm up with the Magic Wand. With great power comes great responsibility... to your pleasure!




*****


Karen Blue said: I think the most important sex toy a woman can own is a bullet vibrator. I have lots of them. A quiet one that is rechargeable and strong would get my highest recommendation.  In my own personal experience the clitoris is an almost guaranteed orgasm. I know it is not the same for all women, but most can get off on clitoral stimulation with or without penetration. Discovering what makes you feel good is the most important thing a woman can do for her sex life. 





*****

Thomas Roche said: First, I want to state what is probably obvious to you and your readers... a woman's most essential sex toy(s) will be the ones that work for her. Everyone's different and no one "prescription" for sexual pleasure is possible or productive. Use what feels good and what turns you on, and don't spend too much time trying to conform to notions of what's "essential." That said, however, I think it's useful and helpful to look at what works for a lot of people and in particular a lot of women.





That's why if anyone with a clitoris (not all of whom are women, of course... this recommendation goes for transmen, too) has not used a vibrator, that's definitely where to start. The significance of the vibrator in pleasure is often overstated and misunderstood, and I've been surprised through my life at how many women I meet who actually DON'T like vibration all that much, and how many really DO like penetration (For years, there was a strong message in sex-positive feminist circles that penetration was far less important for female pleasure than it had historically been made out to be, which is almost certainly true, but the truth is somewhere in the middle some women like vaginal or anal penetration best, some like clitoral stimulation best, and the vast majority respond at least somewhat positively to both, in the right context.) A given person's tastes can also vary to some degree throughout her lifetime.

So, then: One "essential" toy? A vibrator. But there are a zillion models of vibrator, so my "one toy" recommendation is by necessity limited. I suggest getting a plug-in vibrator rather than a vibrator model. I'm actually going to cheat and recommend either of two (or both of them), but they're both the same category. The Hitachi Magic Wand is perennially popular, as is the Wahl Coil. They are easy to find. You can get either or both of them at many drug stores for or online for between $25 and $40 or so, or for a little bit more at a sex toy store. That's considerably more than a cheap battery-operated vibrator costs, but considerably less than a one of the more complicated battery operated vibrators (which can pretty easily top $60, $80 or $100).In cost and practicality terms, the real advantage to those two models is not only the initial outlay, but the durability. These things can last for at least a couple of years of regular use, and I've known some to go for ten years even when being used pretty regularly.

In sensation terms, the advantage is this: When you plug one of these vibrators into the wall, you're going to feel it. I've known some people with clits who bought cheap battery powered vibes and were disappointed because it didn't rock their world.

Well, a plug-in vibrator is more likely to rock one's world. The DISADVANTAGE there is that many people actually find the sensations of the Hitachi too intense and even overwhelming. That's even truer of the Wahl Coil, which can be said to have a little bit of a "ragged" sensation to it. For both vibes, these sensations can be muted with a small or thin pillow, a piece of fabric, or by using them through underwear.

I've known a lot of people who use a plug-in vibrator as their "big guns." That is, when they really want to cum (or cum again) that's their sort of guarantee.

But a cheaper or smaller battery-operated vibrator might turn out to be more to someone's taste for everyday (or every week, or whenever) use. They offer other advantages, like portability. And the newer, more "advanced" models of battery operated vibrator offer some CRAZY innovations, like varying patterns of vibration and a variety of parts that stimulate more than one piece of you at a time. As I said, those can run up to $100 and sometimes considerably more than that. But if you've got the money to spend, it can be fun to try them out.

Speaking of variety, most versions of the Wahl Coil actually come with a set of attachments, which may or may not be useful (and may just seem annoying). They're intended for various non-genital applications, but can be used for variety. For example, one of the Wahl's attachments is a kind of cup that actually just happens to fit pretty neatly over the glans of the penis. Speaking of attachments, some third-party companies make penetrative (dildo) attachments specifically for the Hitachi Magic Wand, for people who want penetration inside them. They're expensive, but nice.

Again, not all toys work for everyone. But if someone's looking for a first toy or one to recommend, that's where I'd go with that.



*****

Alphabetically About the Experts:

Karen Blue is a blogger and a mother in her thirties in a committed relationship. Karen has been blogging sex since 2009. She and her lover are very active in the swinger lifestyle and she reviews books and sex toys for her blog in her 'spare' time. She is an US Army veteran, a full time professional in her vanilla life, and the mother of four. She resides in sunny Florida.


*****

Jenne Davis is also known as CliticalJenne and is generally accompanied on the web by her trusty friend and sidekick, Yoda. Her website www.Clitical.Com is part blog, part website, is devoted to female sexuality and especially female masturbation. Currently Jenne is working on her book: 'The Clitical Guide To Female Self Pleasure,' which is due to be released in May 2015.




*****



Coyote Days is the Purchasing Manager for Good Vibrations—San Francisco, Berkeley, Brookline, Oakland, and Palo Alto. She is a queer, feminist femme making a living buying and developing sex toys for GV.


*****

Cara Sutra is a sex expert and writer best known for her multi award-winning e-zine, CaraSutra.co.uk. This popular and regularly updated blog is home to a variety of sexuality articles and advice as well as opinion pieces, sex toys reviews and a personal journal.

Having worked in and written for the adult industry for a number of years, Cara is no stranger to all facets of sexuality including the evolution of cultural attitudes and the changing needs of men and women. Drawing on her own experiences whether in relation to sex, sex toys or kink, Cara is always ready to share her advice with anyone who has questions about sexual or relationship issues.

In her personal life, Cara lives in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside enjoying all the adventures life has to offer. Her long term partner, meanwhile, despairs at the mountain of sex toys, high heels and corsets taking over the house.




*****


In addition to being a widely published author of erotic short stories and occasional crime-noir and zombie fiction, Thomas S. Roche recently celebrated his 20th year as a volunteer with San Francisco Sex Information, a sex-ed organization that answers
questions about sexual health, pleasure, and relationships. He has been a training instructor there for 18 years, where he co-teaches a 60-hour sex ed training course twice a year in San Francisco. He also spent three years as the Marketing Manager at Good Vibrations and worked in marketing at sex toy shops Libida.com and GreatPleasures.com.


*****


Kristina Wright is an anthologist for Cleis Press, a writer of essays, short stories and novels, wife to a sexy naval officer, mother to two rambunctious boys and an enthusiastic drinker of coffee. 

*****
Now, here's the fun part. Please chime in with your own answer in the comments. And write me an email if you'd like to be considered as an expert in the future. (Especially, if you have a specific field or genre you think I should know about.) I am going to try to wrangle these round-ups whenever the inspiration hits. (Oooh, maybe the best floggers or paddles next!)

XXX,
Alison

August 29, 2014

Parisian Blonde

Photo by Riendo

In honor of Kristina Lloyd's new title, Undone, she is throwing a super sexy cocktail party. Check out the bar menu—hey, check out the bartender...because the idea of this party made me curious about how many stories I've set in bars. The truth is, I have no clue.

There was:

Plucked
Sitting Pretty (referred here simply as a WIP)
Last Call (reviewed by Kristina Lloyd—see what I did?)

But I know I'm being forgetful. (Must be the Sea Breeze.)

I'm not ashamed to say that I love bars, and honestly, I have a difficult time not setting every story at my favorite bar. The atmosphere is so intimate. The situation lends itself to a story. A different story a night, honestly.

But in honor of the title of this post (which is a cocktail made of rum, curacao and sweet cream), I've decided to give you a tease from a different type of "Parisian Blonde." This is a character who appears in the fourth book in my series. (The one after Wrapped Around Your Finger.)

This scene is set at a club in Paris and there is drinking, but it's not precisely a bar:


There was a mammoth canopy bed in the center of the room, and off to one side of the far wall… was that a shower? Glassed in on all sides. Everywhere I looked, I saw beautiful couples. Women dressed elegantly. Men in suits or slightly more casual attire, like Jack’s. Many were dancing. Some were sitting on sofas or loveseats, drinking from champagne flutes.
            While I stared, the waitress left and returned with two glasses of champagne. Not Jack’s normal drink, but apparently the drink of the club.
            I sipped from my glass, and continued to stare. Jack hadn’t taken me here to dance. I was sure of that. But he’d given me no clue as to why we were here. And then, across the room, I started to get a picture.
            There was a larger group, three couples. The men slightly older than the women, perhaps in their fifties, while the women were early forties, very chic, very well put together. And while I watched, one of these women stood up to dance for her companions. Sinuously, her hips rolling like the waves in the ceiling, she undid her dress and let it fall away. In moments, she was down to a shiny black bra and panty set, her heels, and her long blonde hair. And she was reflected, and re-reflected in the mirrors on the wall, a goddess, a vision, so striking in a sea of black.
            Jack watched her, and then watched me watch her. And then, as if on cue, several other women nearby began to shed their clothes. One after another. A rippling effect. The hostesses were there at hand, to scoop up the belongings, to hang them on hooks behind the bar. But the vision was mesmerizing.
            The men dressed.
            The women stripping down.
            So elegantly. So slowly.
            Jack’s hand was on my knee. He nodded for me to finish my drink. He leaned in close and gave me another kiss. Like the one on the boulevard. All-consuming.
            And then he led me onto the dance floor and under the mirrored ball.

So there you have my Parisian Blonde—and my offering for the cocktail party. Please join the Twitter festivities with #kinkydrinks and enjoy the progressive fiesta throughout the day (and into the night).

XXX,
Alison

August 28, 2014

The Door's Open...

This is one of my favorite photos by Riendo

I kind of love bathroom stalls. When I think about bathrooms, I remember the retro movie theater where we would watch Rocky Horror. The bathroom was entirely pink and covered with graffiti—decades of delightful graffiti. I think about bathrooms, and I remember walking in on two unbelievably hot men fucking over the sink in the unisex restroom of a famous San Francisco restaurant. I was out for my 21st birthday and drunk enough that I didn't simply apologize and leave. I stood for a minute, mesmerized, watching intently before I realized that I was being rude. (They'd left the door unlocked. Had they wanted a voyeur?)

So when I barged into a conversation on Twitter yesterday about fictional sex scenes set in seedy bathrooms, I immediately tried to remember which ones I might have written.

There's Hole in the Wall—which I penned about four years ago.

I have an embarrassingly romantic story called "My Darling, My Angel" in Blue Sky Sideways. And I know I've written others. But the only ones I can remember this morning are this scene in Dark Secret Love:


“Head to the bathroom, but leave the door unlocked.”
            I stood immediately and walked through the café, to the single restroom at the end of the hall. I turned on the light, and waited. The room was tiled in blue and white, decorated French-style, like the rest of the café, with a basket of potpourri and angel-winged mirrors. In seconds, Jack had joined me. He looked at me, from the doorway, stared at me in total silence, and then flicked off the light, shut the door and locked it.
            I felt my heart racing. We were in inky blackness. A tiny beam of light from the crack at the bottom of the door was the only illumination. Jack was on me in a heartbeat, turning me around to face the wall, lifting the hem of my dress, pressing his body on mine. I could feel how hard he was. So fucking hard. He bit into the back of my neck, and then undid his jeans and thrust inside of me.
            “I can see you in my mind,” he whispered. “This young girl, desperate. I can see you. And I only wish that I was the one who found you first.”
            He fucked me fiercely, slamming me up against the cold tiled wall. Darkness enveloping us. “I want to know everything about you,” Jack continued, his voice low. “I want to know it all.”
            Again and again he thrust into me, and right before he came, he slipped one hand in front of my body and pinched my clit, sending me spiraling with that glimmer of pain. That spark of pleasure. I pressed my face against the wall as the climax flared through me, and I felt limp as Jack pulled out, tucked himself back into his jeans, and then flipped on the light. He pulled my dress back down, then turned me to face him. I kept my hands to my side, and I stared at him, somehow waiting.

And this one from Wrapped Around Your Finger:

“Enough excitement for one night?” he wanted to know.
“The last part sort of made up for the first part.”
“And what about the next part?” he asked, watching as one of the unisex bathrooms opened up, ushering me forward and stepping into the room after me. The square room was designed in the same style as the rest of the chic location: Black tile on the walls. A urinal and a toilet. Black paper towels in a modern dispenser. A single ebony rose in a silver vase.
“This part?” I asked, gazing at him.
He gave me a nod, watching as I lifted my skirt for him, as I slid my panties down. “Your stockings, too,” he instructed, and I gave him a blank look, while he folded his arms and waited. Carefully, I stepped out of my shoes, unhooked the garters, and pulled off one stocking, then the other. This old-fashioned action never failed to arouse me, the homage to a style from yesterday. Jack took the fine hosiery from me, and in moments, he’d bound my wrists behind my back with one of the stockings, the knots so tight, I couldn’t move my arms at all.
He pressed me up against the polished black-tiled wall, and then reached between the cheeks of my ass to pull the plug out, leaving me feeling empty and open, forgetting where we were, forgetting the duo of ice queens remaining at the table, the men in their cookie-cutter suits. The odd-flavored sorbets melting in the dishes.
“Are you ready?”
“Yes, Jack.”
“Then say it.”
“I’m ready for you, Jack.”
“Tell me you want it.”
“Fuck me, Jack. Please, I need you inside of me…”
“Say it again. Keep saying the words.”
“Fuck me, Jack.” It was as if I were biting off the hard consonants between my teeth. Chewing on the words. Gnawing at them. “Fuck me, Jack.”
He did precisely that. On the mantra I was whispering, Jack thrust hard, his cock driving into my pussy. I was wet and ready, and I felt lit up at how hard he worked me, illuminated even more brightly when he continued to talk.
“You know where I’m going to take you next.”
“Yes, Jack.”
“Say it.”
“You’re going to fuck my asshole.” My pussy swam with sex juices as I said the statement out loud.
“I’ve been like a rock all through dinner, thinking about this. Thinking about what I wanted to do with you. I couldn’t wait any longer. You drive me crazy. Do you understand that?”
“Yes, Jack.”
“Watching you with those dead-eyed corpses. You’re so alive compared to them.”
He’d seemed immersed in work every time I looked his way, but now it was clear that he’d been keeping an eye on me throughout the endless nightmare of dinner.
“And I thought about you, with that toy in your ass, trying to act normal. Trying to behave like a good girl. Trying your best to blend in with the beige ladies.”
I had been. He’d noticed.
“But you can’t blend in, Sam. You’re not like them. You’ll never be like them. Thank fucking god.”

*****

Neither one is "seedy," though. So how about you? Is there a bathroom stall scene you've read—or written—that's stayed with you? Do you have an issue with stories set in locations like this? For some reason, I'm channeling Xan West here—I have the feeling I've read some gloriously erotic story in a stall. Xan? Am I right? And how about Thomas—you've got to have a stall story that I'm forgetting. Help a girl out?

XXX,
Alison

August 27, 2014

Summer Loving: Loving Angell Brooks



Sometimes this happens to me. I have too many ideas, and I cannot make my fingers type fast enough. (Which is saying something, because I have been clocked at over 115 words per minute. And that was on Theraflu. Not recreationally, of course. I was actually sick and on Theraflu. Why? What do you do when you're sick? You don't dick around taking typing tests on line? That's just me? Damn. I thought it was a thing.)

Anyway, I had this idea last night that I would start showcasing the awesome authors in Summer Loving. One at a time. Here on my blog. Because the authors are excellent, and they deserve to be praised. (I love me some authors.)

So in order of the contents page (to be fair), here is the first one up. Angell Brooks. Angell penned the foreword. And it's powerful. Seriously, powerful. Her words make me cry—each and every time I read the opening.

But who is Angell? Her bio says: When not arguing with the voices in her head, Angell Brooks is found following her muse around her hometown of Toronto to see what trouble she can get into next. At 39 she feels privileged to have had her work included in prestigious anthologies by Cleis Press, Harlequin and December Ink.

Still, there's so much more to a person than what's in a 50-word bio. Angell is a champion. Angell is there when you need a friend, a helping hand, a positive word. She's shown us her bookshelf. She's penned reviews for other authors. She's won first place. She's joined tours. (This is only a tiny snippet of our interactions over the years. I tripped over 65 posts mentioning her work in some way on my blog.)

Best of all, she is one power-house of an erotic writer. Her words absolutely delight me. I always look forward to reading her stories, to falling into them, to seeing what mischief she's spun. Here is one of her short pieces (that is scheduled to appear in one of my upcoming collections):


Power Struggle
By Angell Brooks

You take my power.
Take away my right to choose.
Slide the shackles up my arms, the smooth metal cold on my skin.
Tighten them in place with a controlled fury.
Notice the desire between my legs, the flush of my breasts, the want in my eyes.
Know I’ve misbehaved on purpose. Know that I conspired to incur your wrath.
Know that I know that you want me this way.
So take my power, take my rights. Make me helpless.
And then make me yours.
Tie me up – and then take me higher.
Until I come ... down hard.


Basically, Angell rocks my world. Get to know her better if you don't already.

Now, I'm not going to do one of these posts everyday. I'm planning to sprinkle them over my blog as I have a free moment. But keep your eye out for these 21 posts. If you comment on each one, there will be a prize at the end. See, I really like prizes. In fact, prizes are what get me through almost everything I do. Need to finish editing a manuscript? I reward myself with something from the tiny (watching a video) to the obscene (a new lipstick). Wait—why is that obscene? Simply because I have more than enough. In fact, I may have some of yours.

I have to confess that my idea was bigger than this. Not simply to showcase the authors in Summer Loving, but to showcase all of the authors I've worked with—ever—going back to the beginning. But that is going to take more time than I have at the moment, so I filed that (in my crazy filing cabinet of a brain) for another day.

XXX,
Alison

August 26, 2014

All Wrapped UP and Everywhere to Go!



No, really. I have Wrapped for you... and a tour of sorts. If you would like to review the book, or post an excerpt, or take a snapshot of the title on display at your favorite store, or invite the book out to lunch, or wear my tattoo on your finger, or all of the above, please let me know.

The book ships on September 9th—but I have advanced copies (in PDF form) for reviewers who simply can't wait. Drop me a note to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com, and choose a date. I'll fill you in below.

As I mentioned here—if you do review the book—and you'd like to continue the story—I will send you a novella (available nowhere else right now except on my laptop) that links Wrapped Around Your Finger with Book #4 in the series.

September 1: Wrapped Around Your Finger Tour starts HERE.
September 2:
September 4: Tamsin Flowers
September 5: Ella Dawson
September 10th: Kristina Lloyd
September 13: Helena Black

TBA:

Jade A. Waters
Clitical.com

I have been up for hours. In fact, I've been up since yesterday. So hopefully the words in this post are in some sort of logical order!

XXX,
Alison



August 25, 2014

Trollop with a Question #19


This is my window sill. (Well, one of them.) I like toys. I like things you can put in your pocket, you can hold in your hand. If you open my change purse, you'll find a slew of little animals. I tell myself that I'm going to grow up. Someday. Maybe. But not yet.

I remember buying a boyfriend all of the little plastic figurines for PeeWee's Playhouse, back in the day.

My Amazon recommendations often look like this:


And I'm kind of (seriously) in love with the new line of Mr. Potato Head super heroes.

Thankfully, I know I'm not alone. One of my best friends makes dollhouses (from scratch!)—another has a full-blown addiction to model trains. And a third likes to make settings for tiny people. (There are whole blogs and books dedicated to this type of art. And book after book, like the one below.)

So my question this week is:

Do you still have toys? And if so, what are your favorites?

As ever, if you answered last week's question, please send me your snail mail address so I can mail you out a prize. (I'm at msalisontyler at yahoo dot com.) I'm just about (almost almost) caught up on mailing out books and goodies! People should be receiving assorted candies soon!

XXX,
Alison

P.S. Here is my Pinterest Board dedicated to tiny houses and towns.

August 24, 2014

Wrapped Around Your...

Photo by Tamsin Flowers

I stole this picture from Tamsin Flowers. Ha! And I'm not giving it back—so there! See, I couldn't help myself. I'm so damn jealous that she has a copy of my book before I do. This is the UK edition of Wrapped Around Your Finger. Look at it, all scarlet and gorgeous with that fab chrome buckle just begging to be kissed.

(I suppose Freudian scholars would say I'm trying to top Kristina Lloyd—Freud was into kink, right?—but that's a post for another day.)

This morning I'm going to tempt you (or at least attempt to tempt you) with an offer. If you are interested in reading Wrapped Around Your Finger and penning a review for Amazon, I will reward you with a novella (novelette?) that links book #3 with book #4.

Yes, you will be the first to receive a PDF of the next step in Samantha's journey. (At the moment, this novella is nameless, but I will have a title shortly. Promise.)

Also, if you want to wrap me around your finger, I have more tattoos to send. Simply slip me a note to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com, then email me your snapshot when you take the picture.

I will be posting a few excerpts from Wrapped over the next few weeks in anticipation of the book's official release date: September 9.

XXX,
Alison

P.S. While Random House states that the book is the last in the series, I have books four, five, and six almost complete.

August 23, 2014

"books are my fetish..."


Back in November, I took a shot of one of my battered bookshelves and asked if you might send me yours. I've been seriously delighted by the snapshots of shelves that have appeared miraculously in my in box. (You know what a voyeur I am.) Here is a picture from the masterful Malin James, who says:

Dear Ms. Tyler,

I love looking at other people's bookshelves. I love it so much that I've spent nearly an hour linking through to all the lovely people who sent you photos of theirs, which made me think it was only fair offer a look at one of my own in exchange. 

My house is full of bookcases and all of them are packed with everything from erotica and literary fiction to cookbooks and history. Someone once told me that books are my fetish and it's true. We're pretty voracious readers and we collect books like its going out of style. 

The bookshelf in this picture is built into the bed and it's a bit of a hodgepodge. It's hard to see everything, but there's a small stack of erotica in there, including Anais Nin and a couple of your collections, as well as some history, biography, thoughts on writing and Buddhism. There are also a lot of short story collections, including some favorites by James Thurber and Aimee Bender. Then there are the novels. Some of these I've read, (Alias Grace and Sweet Tooth), and some are waiting in line, (All in One Person and Night Circus), but regardless of whether or not I've cracked them open yet, they all make me happy. I love being surrounded by books :)

All the best,

*****

If you would like me to feature your shelves, please send a snapshot and a write-up to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com. And if you are interested in taking an online writing class with me (yes, as the teacher) also drop me a note. I was asked to lead one—but I'm not sure if there would be enough interest, so I'm dangling a line in the water to see.

XXX,

August 22, 2014

10 Shades of Seduction

Photo by Eva Gantz
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who finds things like this funny. But I was reading a fashion magazine spread on the new blazers without sleeves. (I thought those were "vests," but what do I know?) The query from the hapless fashionista was along the lines of: "How do I incorporate this fabulous new no-sleeve look for daily wear?" And the answer: "Treat these pieces like you would your favorite jacket with sleeves."

Excuse me?

The jacket doesn't have any sleeves. That's the definition. It's a sleeveless jacket. Usually, when you wear a jacket, you're at least mildly interested in what the sleeves do. Treat these empty frames like you would any glasses with lenses. Treat these short-shorts like you would any trousers with pants. Treat this drained glass like you would any shot of tequila.

The other fashion item that made me laugh was this one... 16 Shades of Beige by Clinique. Truly. This is a palette of eye shadows with a nod to FSoG, except the color is beige. Which struck me as so totally boring. If you're going to jump on, jump all the way on. Make a palette from gray to chrome—silver, storm cloud, pounded metal. (Which reminds me of Any Lightness Between Black and White.)

Oh, but here is the point of this post. (Really, I have one.) If you would like a copy of 10 Shades of Seduction, which features two of my novellas from Harlequin, please drop me a note to msalisontyler at yahoo dot com. I would love a review of either of my stories in the collection: Giving In and Tied Up & Twisted. I'll happily link to your blog, website or Amazon review. I've got plenty to spare. Don't be shy! (Or beige.)

XXX,
Alison

P.S. Of course, before there was FSoG there was Forty Shades of Blue. (That might have made a truly awesome eye shadow kit!)