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Twisted by Alison Tyler

**I received a free pdf copy of Twisted in exchange for a review**

We all know I’m a sucker for Alison’s anthologies, and Twisted is no different.

Today I’m doing a review of Bondage Blogging by Meadow Parker from that antho.

I was inspired to review this particular story because long ago and far away I was a sex blogger.  (My former blog was deactivated and locked.)  As a former blogger, I approached Bondage Blogging assuming the blogger(s) would be narrating the story.  Instead, our narrator is a fan of a former couple who had a brief but popular blog highlighting their bondage exploits.  (The brief but popular sex blogger is an all too true detail of the sex bloggersphere.)  A slightly adorkable novice, she is soon fast in over her head when the couple begins a seduction, and then eagerly hands herself over to them.  The way Parker describes the sensation of hot wax landing on your skin, particularly skin that has been recently punished had me wondering if I still had any bondage friendly candles sitting around.  Any story that inspires me like that gets a thumbs up.

If you pick up Twisted, be sure to let me (and alison @msalisontyler on twitter) know which one you liked best!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

*****Edited to add–I ended changing Gemma’s name to Lucy as a story already under contract at that time had a character named Jenna and I didn’t want confusion.  This story was accepted for publication in Coming Together: For the Holidays, edited by Alessia Brio, expected publication date Dec 2014.  Read an updated excerpt here****

I wrote an erotic story about one of Santa’s elves back in 2012.  It’s still looking for a home.  However, I am writing other stories set in the same world (I really love these characters) so I may eventually self-publish.

Here’s a snippet.

‘Are you Matthew?’ Gemma asked.

‘Yeah. You are…’ 

‘Gemma. I think the mailman was dyslexic. I live in 3C at 32 Fairfax, and he left this at my apartment.’ She smiled and held up the Amazon box.

Matthew relaxed. “Thanks. Not many people would bother to bring it over in person.”  He stepped back, gesturing her inside.

‘”It’s Christmas. I thought I’d play Santa’s elf,” she winked at him as she entered. “What’s the book?”

“Uh, well…’”he faltered.

His awkwardness was cute. If only he wasn’t on the Naughty list. She’d always had a thing for men in wire-frame glasses. ‘75 ways to murder a stranger who delivers Amazon packages to your door?’ she teased.  ‘Unless it’s that, what’s there to be embarrassed about?’

He turned bright red and cleared his throat. ‘Um, it’s a book of Christmas erotica.’

A delicious idea invaded the elf’s mind: what better way to find out if he was a sexual deviant than to find out first hand?

An Interview with Alison Tyler

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Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.

As part of her blog tour for Dark Secret Love (review below), I have author and editor extraordinare Alison Tyler visiting here today.

Readers know that I’ve been struggling with balance and writing process of late.  So when I had the chance to metaphorically sit down with Alison I needed to know how she does it.

You are ridiculously prolific.  Are you a robot?  How do you do it?  Do you ever blow off writing to binge watch a tv series on Netflix?

Ha! How did you know that I am a robot? I try to keep my wires all tucked in nice and neat. And I wear this fine dusting of pale powder over my chrome-colored skin.

Truth is, I write all the time. Even when I’m not writing, I’m writing. (Yes, that made oodles of sense.) Basically, I can’t turn off the part in my brain that tells stories. I entertain myself 24/7 (or 23/6) with scenarios about strangers I see only for a sliver of time. Not sure what life would be like without the constant whirring of words, but that’s my world.

That said, yes, yes, yes, I am addicted to a few different series. Late to the game, I found West Wing and became instantly obsessed. I lost a few weeks to House of Cards. If I love a series, I will start re-watching from the beginning as soon as I hit the end.

The strangest place I’ve found myself writing erotica was on my laptop in the parent cafe of an indoor kid’s playground.  I was huddled off in a corner, trying to finish a story while my (then) 4 year old ran around with the other kids.  What’s the oddest place or situation you’ve found yourself writing?

The bathtub. The shower. The car. Anywhere I can’t easily get to a piece of paper and pen. That’s often when I come up with my best ideas. Then I simply have to repeat the words to myself, like a mantra, until I can get dry or pull over. (Or both.) You don’t know how many times I’ve been wrapped in a towel at the computer, typing as fast as I can to make sure the words don’t escape. That wet spot on my seat is proof.

Obviously Dark Secret Love is a bit different than other books of yours with regards to how long you’ve been working on it/the highly autobiographical aspects.  Can you talk about how the process of putting it on (metaphorical) paper was different from the way you’ve written other stories?

Dark Secret Love began as a solitary blog post. An answer to a reader’s query: How did you get your start? Many writers would be able to respond in a neat, orderly fashion. My answer has taken 500,000 words—so far. My guess (or hope?) is that I’ll never reach the end. For a year and a half, give or take, I wrote approximately 1,000 words a day on the story. Gathered all together, the “book” would be over 2,000 pages long.

This is the most unique project I’ve ever worked on. There are scenes (coming up in future installments) written from the point of view of different characters. I’ve switched tenses. I’ve played with time. I’ve broken every rule taught by English comp instructors. If you can’t entertain yourself, why bother? I wanted this series to be different.

About Alison

Alison Tyler is nothing if not busy. She’s the editor of 50 anthologies (for Cleis Press), as well as collections for Harlequin, Plume, and Pretty Things Press. Her novellas include Giving In (Harlequin), Those Girls (Go Deeper), and Banging Rebecca (Pretty Things Press). Visit alisontyler.blogspot.com for impromptu makeup reviews, lingering musical longings, and the occasional 80s flashback.

Review of Dark Secret Love

Dark Secret Love is a fictionalized semi-autobiographical story of a woman’s entrance into and acceptance of her own submissive nature.

While I enjoy erotica, I don’t often connect with characters the way I did with Samantha.  Perhaps it’s because Sam’s experiences are based on some of Alison Tyler’s experiences, and thus ring more true?  Or perhaps because I understand all too well the experience of being offered what you want and running away in fear.

While there is plenty of hot sex, Dark Secret Love is more than that.  It is a deeply personal exploration of submission.  If you’re not a member of the scene and want to understand how we got this way, this book may be enlightening for you.  If you are a member of the scene, the book will ring more true than most.

My only complaint?  That the second book isn’t out yet.

I can’t recommend it enough-run, don’t walk to get your copy today.

Disclosure-I did not receive compensation for this review or the opportunity to interview Alison.  I am, however, included in an upcoming anthology of hers.

Shhh! Don’t Tell Anyone… Erotic Fantasies about Sexy Occupations.

So you guys may remember that back in January, I mentioned that I’d gotten an acceptance, but couldn’t tell you anything else?  Well, the time has come for the curtain to lift…

I have a secret. Oh, well. I guess it’s not a secret anymore, because I’m about to hit the “publish” button and send the information out to anyone who cares to peek. Yes, after months of hard work, and a bit of back and forth with my publisher, Cleis Press, I have the table of contents for Shhh! Don’t Tell Anyone… Erotic Fantasies about Sexy Occupations.

This idea lingered on my hard drive for nearly seven years. Some books take longer than others. I’m so pleased to share the TOC with you all.

Introduction: The “Want” Ads
Construction Worker: Grimy by Sommer Marsden
Cowboy: Bonanzed by Kate Pearce
Professor: O for Effort by Delilah Night
Chauffeur: Driver’s Seat by Sophia Valenti
Meteorologist: Warm Front by Heidi Champa
Physician: Doctors Orders by Sasha White
Delivery Boy: Just A Little Tenderness by A.M. Hartnett
Pool Girl: California Dreamin’ by Andrea Dale
Book Binder: Rule of Thumb by Laila Blake
Baker: Kneading Lessons by Tilly Hunter
Personal Trainer: Work It Out by Elisa Sharone
Stage Manager:  SM Or How I Met My Girlfriend by Giselle Renarde
IT guy: Talk Nerdy to Me by Crystal Jordan
Porn Star: Current Photo, Please by Devin Phillips
Mechanic: Body Work by Cora Zane
Museum Curator: Under Her Auspices by Jeremy Edwards
Treat Vendor: Ice Cream Boy and Sprinkle Girl by Kathryn O’Halloran
Barber: Close Shave by Alison Tyler
Alison is an author and editor whose work I love (in case you haven’t noticed) so I’m thrilled to be included in this anthology.
A small excerpt from “O for Effort”

Professor Kumar leaned back in his chair, fingers steepled.  “This is your third class with me.  You’re aware of my no extensions policy.  You’ve been an exemplary student.  So what could keep diligent young woman such as yourself so busy that you skived off on the assignment?”

“The sex,” I confessed, and immediately blushed.

“The sex, Ms. Cohen? You have my attention.  Please, continue.”  His eyes took a slow inventory of my body as if he’d never noticed that I was a woman before.  His gaze lingered at my breasts.  I had skipped a bra today, when it became clear that laundry had also taken a backseat to Paul’s touch.  My nipples hardened, impudently thrusting against the all-too-thin fabric of my t-shirt.  I shifted in my seat, clenching my thighs together under my skirt as my clit swelled.  I felt myself slicken between his unrelenting inspection of my body and my memories of the sex.

“It’s been really intense,” I whispered.  “I’ve never had such powerful orgasms in my life—“

“Let’s see how many times you can come in an hour,” Paul had raised an eyebrow at me in challenge two nights ago.  “In two?  In four?” 

First I’d moaned for more.  Then I’d begged to be fucked.  I hadn’t expected that he’d hold a vibrator to my clit as he did so.  He would let me rest, to allow my system to start to calm.  Then his hands, his mouth, or a toy would find me again.  It was something of a miracle I was capable of walking yesterday, much less finishing a term paper.

“Your excuse for not writing your paper in a timely fashion is that you were busy having too many orgasms?”

Ass Tour: Executive Training by Sophia Valenti

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Smart Ass, Bad Ass, Kiss My Ass: The Trilogy edited by Alison Tyler is a compilation of three years worth of anal themed erotica repackaged into a single volume.

Alison tells the following story about the inception of the series

When we first decided to compile a collection of stories about anal sex, I was not sure how readers would respond. Five of us got together and decided to write tight, taut, literary, smutty stories that revolved around backdoor banging. What made the endeavor unique is that we were being bold, not coy and quiet, about our theme. There was no beating around this bush, we stood up tall and proud and called our first collection “Kiss My Ass.”

Within a few months, our sales were soaring and we were receiving reviews like this one from Aisling Weaver: “Each one held me on the edge of my seat, breathless and flushed, eager for every word.”

We knew we wanted to tackle a sequel, but spent some time debating the title. We asked ourselves questions: Do we like writing about anal? Fuck yeah. Do we hide our feelings? No fucking way? Why? Because we are bad asses, which is why we ultimately named our second collection “Bad Ass.”

“Bad Ass” won instant five-star reviews, such as the one that called it “Asstacular” and this one: “So good. It surpasses its predecessor. I read it one quick swallow, but at the end of each story I almost didn’t want to keep reading, because each one is its own little gem, even though they all fit so well together.”

What had begun as a one-off endeavor transformed into an “annual anal” series. Our third installment was “Smart Ass,” which readers were anxiously awaiting.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the trilogy. Today I’ll be reviewing the first story in the book, Executive Training by Sophia Valenti.

Sophia’s story is written in the first person, and we never learn the name of her protagonist. For me, this worked exceedingly well as I related, strongly to her. The following is a description of the protagonist, but it could just as easily describe me.

I was tired of being the responsible one who planned out her days with clinical precision, weighing the pros and cons of every move. I didn’t want to think anymore; I simply wanted to feel.

Valenti blends submission, (potential) exhibitionism, spankings and anal into a well-crafted story. The juxtaposition of the character-a well put together executive exterior-and the woman behind the exterior works well to open the story. The paddle that the protagonist “craved and despised” is one of the most accurate descriptions of a submissive’s relationship with a toy that pushes her limits I’ve seen, and the spanking scene had me squirming-in all the right ways.  I also love that her protagonist had a moment of doubt before going through with her first anal experience. Due to the taboo nature of anal, most people with whom I’ve talked to about anal (which, granted, skewed data sample) confessed to either needing a few tries to go through with it, or at least a second thought before going through with it. That doubt creates a nice element of realism and relatability to the story.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the book, and I highly encourage you to go out and pick up The Trilogy.

Sudden Sex Blog Tour: Sugar Upsets My Vagina by Kristina Lloyd

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Alison Tyler has done it again–a compilation of short, sexy stories that will keep you hot on those cold winter nights (or, in my case, further steam up a tropical night).

Sudden Sex is out as of this week (Amazon, B&N, Book Depository if you’re outside the US-free shipping worldwide) and it contains 69 sort stories of 1500 words or less.  I can tell you from experience that it is no easy feat to write a story that is hot AND has plot in so few words.  Here are 69 examples of how it can and should be done.

When Alison asked for people to participate in a blog tour by reviewing one of the stories, I was eager to do so.

Perusing the titles of the stories, one jumped out at me–Sugar Upsets My Vagina by Kristina Lloyd.  With such a great title, I knew I HAD to read that story.

Sugar Upsets My Vagina appealed to me on a number of levels.  This story leaves the sugar on the table, and reaches instead for spice.  Lloyd knows which details to include to complete the picture without losing focus; the fanned tail of a flogger as it punishes a submissive, heels ringing on a London street, a hung up coat.  Forget drawn out foreplay and romantic sex–it’s not wanted here–the protagonist wants a hard, satisfying fuck.  Kristina rewards her, and us, with just that.