Wednesday, March 28, 2007

There She Goes Again

Today, for a change of pace, I’m going to be political. I see you there, rolling your eyes. Cut that shit out. This is important. You might even find yourself agreeing with lil’ ole bleeding-heart-liberal me. And if you don’t, I’m happy to listen to a different point of view on the subject.

This is the thing: I’ve read and listened to the discussion and debate about why the new spate of movies like HOSTEL, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, and the SAW series -- otherwise known as “torture porn” -- are an important comment on the level of inhumanity in our society. About how they’re a satirical swipe at our violence-obsessed culture. How they’re a commentary on the excesses of Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, and an indictment of our willingness, as a country, to apply electrodes to testicles first and ask questions later. (All while The Powers That Be insist that we’re a Christian nation chock-full of life-affirming values, of course. But I digress. Except, not really.)

I’ve been skeptical. Mostly because I have a sinking suspicion that most of the folks reveling in these kinds of films aren’t reading the same articles I am. I’m afraid they’re mostly doing it because it’s fun to watch some chick in shorts and a wife-beater be forced to jump into a pit full of dirty hypodermic needles as part of a life-or-death game.

Okay, fine. The members of that particular audience are wired a little differently from me, but I can respect their movie-going preferences on a “live and let live” level. I’m the last person to suggest that because I find a piece of art offensive, it shouldn’t exist. Live free or die, baby, and that includes free expression.

And in the interest of full disclosure and because I try very hard not to be a stinkin’ hypocrite, I should mention that I’m currently finishing a novella that features torture fairly prominently as a plot point. Most of it happens “off-stage” and by implication, but not all. So, clearly, I’m not against torture as a theme or a plot device. I just have no desire to experience it in Technicolor and Surroundsound, and your mileage may vary.

BUT -- and you knew that was coming, because you’re smarter than the average bear -- I think there’s a limit to what constitutes reasonable “free expression” in a public place. You don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theatre. We no longer allow cigarette companies to advertise on TV in order to protect our children from an addiction that killed 435,000 people nationally in the year 2000. And chances are excellent you won’t see a bigger-than-life billboard any time soon for the new disposable, vibrating cock ring invented by Trojan to complement their line of safe-sex products.

Yet the company that’s producing the upcoming release CAPTIVITY -- a film in the SAW/HOSTEL/HILLS HAVE EYES sub-genre -- has a new ad campaign. Go and read about it here, and read about one woman’s counter-campaign. Read about the MPAA’s reaction and how it plans to handle the situation. Also read BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER/ANGEL: THE SERIES/FIREFLY/SERENITY creator Joss Whedon’s letter in support of this counter-campaign.

There are those who’ll say these folks are blowing this out of proportion. That they’re impinging on the First Amendment. That they’re making it possible for the neo-fascist elements behind the current administration (whoops, wasn’t gonna go there, too late now, better luck next time) to use this as an excuse to put the screws to the film industry as a whole.

I say bullshit. I say a society that can’t police itself with honest dissent against something it finds reprehensible isn’t free in the first place. I say the neo-fascists LIKE this shit, because it desensitizes the public to torture, misogyny and general inhumanity, which is exactly where we need to be in order for them to take over. *adjusts tinfoil hat to jaunty angle*

Furthermore? Until the MPAA is willing to allow the graphic depiction of a young woman in the throes of ecstasy from the peak sexual experience of her lifetime to be presented as a movie advertisement visible from the child safety-seat in the back of your minivan, it has a responsibility to make sure that the graphic depiction of the capture, imprisonment, torture and murder of a young woman is likewise not coming to a billboard near you.

Because I think the MPAA should try at least as hard as I do not to be a stinkin’ hypocrite. - Romance of Dubious Virtue

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sometimes, against all odds...

...good things happen to good people. And to the good books they write.

Barb Ferrer (writing as Caridad Ferrer) has DOUBLE-finaled in the Best Single Title and Best First Book categories of the 2007 RITA Awards for her recent release, ADIOS TO MY OLD LIFE.

Allow me to take a moment to offer my loving congratulations to my best friend and crit partner, and to say, with all due respect...

...told ya so. Nyah. :p - Romance of Dubious Virtue

Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm a 'ho for the Hollyweird, PBW is back, and the RITAs are controversial. WHEE!

Goddess of all things Alison Kent has offered up her blog to all and sundry with something to say and I, being the shameless 'HO that I am, jumped at the chance to flog DIRTY SHAME.

See where I rationalize my obsessive love for actors and all things shallow and Hollyweird.

Or go welcome back PBW from her ten day stint in hell.

Or go debate the merits of the RITA at Smart Bitches or Romancing the Blog.

Just for God's sake GO, because there's nothing to see HERE. I'm WRITING, dammit. :p - Romance of Dubious Virtue

Monday, March 12, 2007

Did I mention how much I hate this self-promotion gig?

DIRTY SHAME is now available here. And it's on sale this month, marked down from $6.00 to $4.50. And it's my longest released work to date -- forty thousand words. That's long for a novella, apparently.

You case anybody's interested.

Other than that? I got nothin'. - Romance of Dubious Virtue

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp.

Check it out: author Eva Gale's free ebook, THE SEDUCTION OF GABRIEL STEWART, is available here, as part of the Romance Divas Ebook Challenge.

Eva manages to combine serious spiritual considerations AND hot lovin' in this story, while setting it in a time period not often seen in romance today.

Go and read, and be sure to leave a comment. Feedback is LOVE, people. - Romance of Dubious Virtue

Friday, March 02, 2007

In which I break with tradition in a spectacularly vulgar manner.

In trying to choose an excerpt from DIRTY SHAME (for sale later this month at Amber Quill Press) to post here, it occurred to me that most -- if not all -- sex scene excerpts I see posted with the intention of promoting a given piece of writing focus on the female point of view. Certainly, up to this point every excerpt I'VE ever posted has been from the perspective of the heroine.

Today I will break with tradition. Without further ado, I give you... *insert drumroll* ...the "airplane hummer scene" from Chapter 6 of DIRTY SHAME, starring Dare Daniels and Josephine "Joey" Fiorello.

* * *

Joey opened the door, pulled him into the tiny cubicle, and reached around him to shove the lock into place. “Did anyone notice?”

“Of course not. Why would anyone pay attention to the guy with the beer-stained tent in his pants following the girl into the restroom?”

She glanced down and smiled. “We’ll have to do something about that. The tent part, I mean.”

“Whoa.” He took her wrist in his hand as she reached for his belt. “You said this would be a mistake.”

“I also said we needed to clear the air and remove distractions.” She twisted her arm from his grasp and reached again for his buckle. He grabbed for her wrist a second time, mostly because things were moving way too fast. But also because she was taking charge. Again. And maybe it was his turn.

“Slow down and let’s talk about this a second,” he said and instantly wanted to rip his own tongue out. Sex on a crowded plane had always been a serious, top-of-the-list fantasy for him, and here he was working overtime to prevent it. Why, exactly? Because he didn’t want her to think she was obligated? Because he wanted to respect her? Because he wanted
her to respect him?

The plane hit a pocket of turbulence, throwing them off balance. They fell hard against the door, make a loud, rattling thump. Dare froze with Joey’s face mashed into the middle of his chest, waiting for the inevitable.

“Is everything all right in there?” The flight attendant sounded annoyed.

He smothered his laughter in Joey’s hair as she answered for both of them. “Yes! We’re fine!”

She righted herself and glared at him. “Are you going to cooperate?”

“What’s in it for me?”

The glare evaporated and she smiled again, the tip of her tongue peeping between her teeth. “A little release of tension.” She made the words sound dirty, her lips shaping them so he could almost see each individual letter.

A trace of Brooklyn had crept into her voice. She’d said her accent popped up in moments of high stress. Interesting. Then she stretched up and stuck her tongue in his mouth. She tasted tangy, like cherry SweeTarts™, and he lost his train of thought.

“You smell like a brewery.” She whispered it against his lips as her hand found their way to his belt once more.

“I…uh…” Whatever he’d been about to say deteriorated into a grunt when she worked open his fly and slid her fingers home. Then she leaned her forehead against the center of his chest as she slipped his jeans and briefs over his hips and pulled his cock out into the cool, dry air. The pilot’s voice sounded overhead. “Ladies and gentlemen, we ask that you return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts, as we’ll be passing through some rough air on our way to touch down in Denver.”

Well, of course. This was God’s way of giving him another chance to do the right thing. Couldn’t get much clearer without a divine baseball bat to the head. “Joey? We have to go back to our seats.”

“Shut up. This is my show now.” She dropped to her knees, pressing him back against the door. “Hold still and try to be quiet. I’ll make this quick.”

She grasped the base of his cock and ran her finger up the length of him, stopping just short of the crown. He hissed between his teeth in reaction, feeling his balls pull up tight and firm. She wasn’t kidding about the “quick” part. Then her thumb slurred over the tip, slipping in the shiny moisture collecting in the slit, and he all but whimpered at the too-much-not-enough sensation. Heat pooled at the base of his spine like a storm threatening to erupt out of invisible clouds.

The plane hit another bump in the sky. Her fingers tightened, holding on, and when she stuck her tongue out to lick all around the rim of the crown, he let his head fall back against the door with a thud and closed his eyes. Behind his eyelids, the pervy part of his soul showed home movies of what Joey would look like with his dick between her lips. Not that he expected her to actually—
oh, Jesus.

She’d just leaned in and enveloped him in the warm, wet heaven of her mouth when the pilot’s voice intruded again. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re beginning our final descent into Denver. Please make sure your luggage is securely stowed, your seatbelts are fastened, and your tray-tables are in the upright and locked position. Flight attendants, prepare the cabin for arrival.”

The rap on the door came three seconds later. “Sir? Miss? You’ll need to return to your seats immediately.”

At the sound of the flight attendant’s voice, the private porn showing in his head faded. Speaking of upright and locked, he wasn’t looking forward to stuffing this particular boner back into his jeans, but those were the breaks. And yet—maybe not. Because Joey just sucked harder, using her hand to caress the part of his shaft she couldn’t fit into her mouth, her teeth scraping lightly against the underside in a way that made his toes curl inside his ridiculously expensive sneakers. He groaned loud and long over the whir of the overhead fan. Because the folks in the first three rows needed that extra clue to solve The Mystery of the Hummer in the First Class John.

* * *

Merlin, if you're still with us, that one was for you.

In other news, my dearest, bestest friend Barb Ferrer (writing as Caridad Ferrer in this instance) has been awarded the Bronze in the Young Adult division of The Florida Book Awards for her recent release ADIOS TO MY OLD LIFE. Kudos to you, baby. You should have had the Gold.

And as this is my second blog post in just a little over 24 hours -- a sure sign of the coming End Times -- I'll probably be scarce for a bit. Two deadlines creeping up fast. But I'll return around the official release date of DIRTY SHAME to run a little contest and give away a free ebook or two.

In the meantime, be nice to each other. For Britney's sake. Hasn't that girl suffered enough? - Romance of Dubious Virtue

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Behold The Pretty. And other stuff.

A failed-actress-turned-personal-assistant and an emotionally damaged TV star return to his hometown to confront the past. In the process, they face unforgiving relatives, amoral tabloid reporters, a murderous stalker, and their own slightly kinky passions. Will they survive long enough to fall in love?

* * *

Nice, huh? Trace Edward Zaber, cover designer to the stars. And the planets. And the barely-counting-as-asteroids, which would be me.

So this novella - DIRTY SHAME, see The Pretty? Do ya, huh? - is due to be released later this month by the Amber Heat imprint of Amber Quill Press, as part of their "Risk" AmberPax collection. Tomorrow...or maybe the next day or the day after that...I'll post an excerpt that'll singe your socks. If you're into that sort of thing.

DIRTY SHAME is slightly (but ONLY slightly) more light-hearted than my last three published works. But I promise my next three will be back to my usual "in what way can I torture my characters nearly to death without having them actually bleed out on the page and thereby destroy any possibility of a happy ending?" way of doing things. Because my soul? Is a dark and gritty place. Ask my children, who live in fear of my turning on them and chanting in a flat monotone, "Life is hard, and then you die." They've taken to parroting it back to me. In public. We get some looks, lemme tell ya. No one has actually called us The Addams Family to our faces, you understand...but it's just a matter of time, I suspect.

* * *

In other news? Britney shaved her head.

Yeah, I know, I'm many days late on this. But here's what I think:

When she starts yanking out her teeth or carving out strips of flesh from her arms, thighs, and/or belly? Call me. Until then, she's no different from the other three chicks I knew back in college who did the same thing while going through bad break-ups.

Shaving her head? Is not a cry for help. Not wearing panties in public? Nope. Drinking herself into a stupor? Possibly, but only if someone can prove to me she's got an actual addiction and is not just acting out in rebellion against the people who traded her entire adolescence away for fame and money.

See, I think marrying her hometown sweetheart in Vegas was the original cry for help. And see how that ended? In a hot, K-Feddy mess of craptastic proportions, because nobody listened. They're listening now, though. Because she made herself UNPRETTY. Oh, the HUMANITY. Pbbbbbbbfffffffffffftt.

Hair grows, people. Which Brit-Brit knew when she picked up the razor, which is WHY SHE DID IT. Like I said, call me when she's missing some teeth by her own hand.

Life is hard, and then you die. Ask Anna Nicole. - Romance of Dubious Virtue