Saturday, July 28, 2012

Free on Amazon this Sunday through Wednesday

Free on Amazon, Sunday July 29 through Wednesday August 1;

Night Vision: An Erotic Entertainment

In this noir-ish tale, a down-and-out ex jazz DJ discovers an unusual ability, born of his very ordinariness. But his new-found talent is put to the test when a beautiful, strangely troubled woman walks into his life, and leads him on a bewildering night journey, culminating in unexpected pleasure and an even greater mystery.

This short story was originally intended for "Playboy", but by the time I had it ready to send, the magazine was no longer accepting un-agented submissions. Too bad, but these sort of things are part of the writing life, and we've all been there. Personally, I think "Night Vision" is some of my best work to date, and would love to see it gain a wider exposure.

So, if you're reading this, click on the link and pick up the story for free. If you like it, let me know; if you don't like it, let me know! Affirmation and/or friendly constructive criticism are always welcome!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review of Elizabeta Brooke's "Never"

Elizabeta Brooke's "Never: An Erotic Retelling of Peter Pan" is one of those books that makes me wish I were an old-time literary agent. After reading the first two or three paragraphs, I would clear my schedule for the rest of the day, pick up the phone--notwithstanding the long-distance charges to Australia--to congratulate Ms. Brooke, and start negotiating a huge and well-deserved advance, I would tell every editor I knew that I had just discovered that one-in-a-million erotic masterpiece; the stuff of big-time publishers' wet dreams,  "Never" really is that book! Here is my review, posted on Amazon several weeks ago.

Never: An Erotic Retelling of Peter Pan

With "Never," Elizabeta Brooke has accomplished a rare feat in erotic literature, creating an elaborate, extended, character-driven story that remains exciting and fresh throughout. Unencumbered by the bland, inartistic repetition that plagues so many aspiring "novels" in the genre, "Never" is clearly the product of a brilliantly fecund sexual imagination, as vivid as it is varied. Cleverly conceived, elegantly executed and beautifully written--though clearly in need of some polish--this book has the potential to become one of the great classics of literary erotica.

What makes this work unique among so many competitors? First and foremost is the author's insistent emphasis on plausible story and character development, a probing, deeply sympathetic exploration of her subjects' inner lives. This takes time to do well. But like the most exquisite foreplay, Brooke's narrative builds deliberately, logically, inevitably, missing no opportunity for psycho-sexual drama and illumination. For all the magnificently explicit portrayals of orgiastic excess and visceral delight to come, there are no one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs or stock characters here; these are living beings, complex and complete; each with her--or his--own set of deeply personal conflicts and contradictions.

But make no mistake; while this is clearly a well-crafted piece of writing with genuine literary merit and substance, "Never" is also one hell of a sexy read; a veritable smorgasbord of sensuous wonder at which we are invited to cast off our inhibitions and revel in every exotic texture and taste. Each new scenario in Brooke's vibrant omnisexual universe is as unabashedly adventuresome as it is refreshingly irreverent; no obeisance paid to taboo here; no patience for prudery, and, best of all, no squeamish self-censorship--the proverbial lead balloon of far too many failed erotic narratives.

And there are so many memorable characters! Standouts among the large cast must surely include Belle, the diminutive, endearingly sociopathic dominatrix and sometime-covert assassin, so ingeniously drawn as to make us beg the author for a dedicated prequel. The naïve passion of Skye, the lesbian mermaid, is portrayed with great poignancy, and the hurt of her ultimate betrayal is palpable. The wisdom of Josh, the openly gay member of the Lost Boys, who teaches the heroine, Wendee--and all of us--a valuable lesson about the nature of sexual perception; and Long Shadow, the Indian Brave, whose love for Wendee is also a cautionary tale about lust and obsession.

Admittedly, there are a few technical problems with the book; it needs better formatting, and there are some rough spots in want of an editor's attention. Where the overall quality of the writing is so well refined, such flaws tend to stand out all the more glaringly. (This has nothing to do with the British/Australian spelling conventions, though an astute publisher would do well to prepare an edition for eager American readers.) In addition, there are several unsightly tears in the gossamer fabric of illusion otherwise so subtly woven by the author; these are the direct references to characters in the original "Peter Pan," here employed as similes. The effect is quite jarring, and unexpectedly inelegant.

Such small complaints notwithstanding; "Never" is a nascent masterpiece, an unburnished gem; it truly deserves to be read and admired, seriously discussed and widely celebrated. Highly recommended!