Friday, 29 May 2015
I never know where Erik Keys’ is going next. When Erik tells me he’s got a new book coming out, a thrill shivers up my spine, followed swiftly by a shuddering clenching in the pit of my stomach; what am I going to be confronted with this time? I’m still not over the repulsively anti-Semitic Ilsa in For the Glory, and as for the taboo shattering Mstislav; vengeance and glory, my head’s still spinning with suggestions of forced sex; interspecies sex, incest and necrophilia. My shattered nerves have still to recover; I had just regained my composure enough to pick up a book, when Erik casually, just happens to mention, his novel, Grace and Blood.
Introducing Gracie; the protagonist of Grace and Blood; Gracie the nymphomaniac, the psychopathic heroine of Erik’s latest book. Gracie, at just eighteen, is exactly the sort of girl you pray your daughter will never choose as her BFF – look out, look out Gracie’s about; mothers, lock up your sons. Wives, hide your husbands – Gracie is on the prowl.
As a writer, I am daunted by Erik Keys’ ability to write the taboo in such smooth, tantalising prose. His writing is beautiful; lyrical. I haven’t yet worked out how he does it; how he can create such amoral characters and get his reader to fall in love with them. In the case of Gracie, maybe it’s her sheer audacity; whatever, however, I am besotted with Gracie.
Gracie would be a worthy accomplice to Norman Bates; how she would love that seedy motel. She could step into Bette Davis’ shoes in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Gracie wriggles beneath your epidermis like a pruritic skin infestation.
And Erik Keys is working on a sequel to Grace and Blood. The character of Steve, a hired killer, takes over from Grace the role of first person narrative. I’ve read a rough draft and believe me, Steve and Gracie together are a terrifying force to be reckoned with. The working title is; “The Blood-lust Gnosis of Carrie Jordan” although this may change.
In his previous books, Erik Keys has playfully hinted at the compelling force of sex to influence world events; I have an uneasy feeling that in this sequel, that notion will become a reality.
Erik Keys’ sequel stands alone as a great story; you won’t need to read Grace and Blood first. But to get where Gracie is coming from, do read Grace and Blood. And read everything by Erik Keys; follow his theme of the sacred and profane. If you haven’t yet read him; I’m envious. You have a lot to look forward to; if you have read him, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about.
Here’s my review of Grace and Blood, by Erik Key’s. (Amazon wouldn’t post it; I regard this as a badge of honour. The review is at Goodreads, along with my reviews of For the Glory and Mstislav; vengeance and glory.)
“Sex and death; sex as life affirming, sex as death affirming. Grace and Blood; Eric Keys’ blood saturated story will shock, arouse; wring your hands in agonised holy dread despair.
There’s murder in these pages; there’s blood and guts. If you want depravity, you will find it here. Gracie’s seduction of her boss, Kevin, is sensual, arousing; outrageous. It’s perhaps how we would like to behave; if only we had Gracie’s nerve.
Always teetering on the edge of subversive, Eric Keys undermines our notion of the sacred, our concept of what is good and holy, into a metallic, screeching nightmare; hey, welcome to the world of the profane.
It’s a schizophrenic story both in content and in Gracie’s mind. A ghostly Katie directs Gracie’s actions; but the fact that she is being told what to do, does not negate Gracie’s culpability. Gracie simply does not care; she acknowledges her actions and moves on. There is no redemption; no reconciliation for Gracie. What would be the point?
So what makes Gracie’s story so shocking for the reader? I think it lies in the tone. The note that Grace strikes is lulling. This happened…that happened; in Gracie’s world, all of this is entirely normal. Our shock would surprise Grace; our shock may even amuse her.
If you are going to look for logic here, you won’t find it. You will be wasting your time asking Eric Keys to explain Gracie’s actions; I’m guessing that he probably doesn’t know either. He give’s Gracie a free rein; he gets into Gracie’s head, or Gracie gets into his and she writes her own lurid tale. And through Gracie, Eric Keys delves into his theme of the sacred and profane.
Eric Keys has taken the concept of “what if,” to the extreme; “what if I created a character motivated entirely by lust?”
Eric Keys is a canny writer who makes his reader think; he’s made me think. I’m guessing that he has made himself think too. Read Grace and Blood; yes, it’s shocking, but I’m willing to bet that sometimes you will catch yourself smiling.”
Links: Amazon US: Amazon UK: Goodreads:
Visit Eric Keys’ blog
For the Glory is at Amazon US And Amazon UK
Check out also; Mstislav: Vengeance and Glory – also by Eric Keys. At Amazon US and Amazon UK
Friday, 22 May 2015
A while back Christina Harding interviewed me about my erotica – in particular, my collection of erotic tales; Fetish Transcendence.
(CH) Can you describe your book in one sentence?
(BR) I cannot possibly describe my book in one sentence! Fetish Transcendence is a collection of explicit, fetish themed erotic tales. The fetishes ranged from sexual power and control over another, necrophilia, food fetish – and there’s Sherlock Holmes and Watson indulging in outrageous Victorian depravity. There are 12 stories in all. Some of them are brand new; others have appeared in a few Sizzler Renaissance anthologies, but I must emphasise that none of them have appeared as “Free Reads” on Twitter.
(CH) What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
(BR) Oh, definitely the first story in the collection! “Security” is about a security guard in an exclusive department store in London. Freddie, has his own unique form of justice for the shoplifters whom he catches stealing from his posh store. There is one thief who has always eluded the security guards of London’s West End. They’ve named her “the Shadow” and Freddie would love to catch her. This tale first appeared in Sizzler’s “London” anthology – and it’s my favourite story because I was writing about a part of London I know well. Freddie’s depravity helped too – of course!
(CH) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
(BR) Well, lots of sex. I hope that they will enjoy my tales – I think that some of the stories will amuse, will certainly bring a smile to their faces. I think that quite a few readers will identify with the characters I’ve created – I’m thinking of two brand new stories here, right at the end of the collection – “The Diary” and “Anastasia,” the protagonist is a woman on the receiving end of a man exerting absolute power and control over her – it’s a situation that I can identify with – I think that some of my readers will too. Maybe not to the extent of the character in my story, but enough to have a resonance of how power and control manifests. And I think that some readers will identify with the character in another way -- the woman in the story is turned on by her situation. Being controlled sexually is, even humiliated sexually, is a fetish for many men and women.
(CH) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
(BR) Just write…and write!
(CH) What made you want to write erotica?
(BR) I’ve always loved Romance novels…I think that the Victorian writers first introduced me to the genre -- Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, I love their work. And more than that, I love their bad boy heroes. Rochester, Heathcliffe and Anne Bronte’s hero, Gilbert Markham. Men who know what they want, and get it, creating the rules as they go. After university, I fell into reading 21st century Romance novels, but they dissatisfied me. I wanted men, and women who are not afraid to be different as to how they express their sexuality. I read a Mills and Boon writer, Samantha Hunter, who was not afraid to call a cock a cock and I realised that there was a whole genre of Romance that I was missing out on. I Googled Erotica – and wow, it was like coming home! I read and read as fast as the post woman could deliver them – I discovered what I liked to read – power exchanges, particularly sexual power exchanges.
Through those books, there was one writer who stood out – M.Christian. I checked out his blog and emailed him about one of his books. He responded, and we’ve been friends ever since. In fact, it was Chris who first encouraged me to write Erotica and he published my first story on his blog. Chris’ work is one of the reasons why I hate 50 Shades so much. There have been so many great writers of Erotica over the years. Not just Chris; there’s Patrick Califia, N.T.Morley…check out his Master/slave anthology, Kristina Wright, her short story, “In the Stacks” blew me away – there’s so many of them and they’ve never really gained much recognition. People who think that E.LJames’ silly book is Erotica should read some real Erotica – where the characters accept their sexual orientation as something special, not something to be “cured”.
And I am not talking about my books, before “Anon” begins penning hate-mail to my blog -- there’s some really great Erotica out there and you don’t have to do a lot of leg work to find it.Just do as I did; type “Erotica” into your favourite search engine and be amazed. But I was talking about 50 Shades; E.L James’ heroine, by the end of the first book, is determined to cure Christian Grey of his Fetish – I don’t know whether she succeeds; the book actually bored me, particularly that turgid contract, which has been duplicated from Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, published in 1870. I never got beyond the first book of 50 Shades, one book of drivel is as much as I can take. I think that the reason for E.L.James’ success is her background in marketing – ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’
(CH) Where do you get your ideas/inspiration for your writing?
(BR) Everywhere! Stories in the media; magazines, newspapers, television. You see power exchanges everywhere. But sometimes I just think, “what if?” What if a couple, who have been married for years are bored with their sex lives? This was the basis for my short story “Dissonance”. The husband tells his wife that he feels suffocated by the dull routine they have slipped in to. And their dialogue is what tells the story – it’s a free read on Twitter.
(CH) What does your writing area look like?
(BR) A disorganised mess. You’d think with all the sophisticated systems we’ve got these days – files that we can access with a click of the mouse, I’d have everything in order in my Desktop. But not so…I create files, then forget what I’ve called them. But what adds to the disorganisation is that I write things down on pieces of paper. It might be a quote, or a phrase, or an idea – but when I want to get my hands on something, it’s nearly impossible, because of the piles of junk I have to go through.
I’d like to be able to tell you that everything is immaculate at my work station, but it is not, my work station looks like something out of the TV show, Storage Wars!
(CH) We see you on Twitter a lot – some of your Tweets talk about writing to arouse -- are you teasing future readers? Are you hoping that your readers will be turned on?
(BR) Oh, it’s absolutely true – I do write to arouse and yes, I am teasing too. I found out, when I was reading Romance and when I discovered Erotica, I found out what turned me on. And I realised that if I can identify with a writer in that way, well it must be something that other readers want as well. But I’m still learning – I’ve only been a published writer for about 5 years and I’ve got a lot to learn – I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning, and wanting to learn.
(CH) So, do you get turned on by your stories?
Yes, I do! I get very excited too, when I can feel that a story is going really well. Writing Erotica, for me, is about embracing my own kinks and dark, very dark sometimes, desires. Even as a small child, I could relate to masochistic ideas; my first fantasy was about being spanked, hard. I remember watching an old black and white film; I must have been about 8 or 9. I cannot recall the title, but it’s a cowboy western with John Wayne pursuing Maureen O’ Hara around the town. When he catches her, he puts her over his knee and spanks her. That was my first experience of sexual arousal and I would fantasise about being spanked at night when I was in my bed. And there’s an Elvis Presley film, Blue Hawaii, where Elvis puts a spoilt woman over his knee and spanks her. I was a teen when I saw that film and the spanking scene really did turn me on.
(CH) Do you think it is necessary for an Erotica writer to be turned on by the events in a story?
(BR) Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but my own arousal informs my writing. I think that if I didn’t get turned on, my writing would lack authenticity and my readers would see through me and know that I was a fake.
(CH) In your Female Domination tales, where are you in the stories? Your writing is often brutal; the men in the tales are completely turned on by the pain and humiliation. Are you the woman wielding the whip?
(BR) No, I am writing from the submissive’s point of view. That is me in the story being punished and begging for release. Being controlled sexually, like being forbidden orgasm, is a big turn on for a lot of people – men and women.
(CH)Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading me! Thank you for the reviews, for reading my blog and for the support. And thanks to those of you who give me the ideas for the stories – my Twitter followers – you know who you are!
Here’s a review from lovely Dark Scribe at Amazon.
"This was my first read of a book by Billierosie, and armed with the knowledge that this lady pulls no punches I dived in! Each of the stories touch on edgy eroticism, blurring the lines in one or two places in a roller-coaster of a read. For those of you that like your fetish to be dark and dangerous you will LOVE this collection, and I would mark it down as a definite read as soon as you can! It's quirky, riveting, addictive and typical of the lady herself; VERY naughty!!"
billierosie can be found at her blog – www.billierosie.blogspot.com
She is Billierosie author on Facebook and @jojojojude on Twitter.
Where to find billierosie's books:
Fetish Transcendence (a collection of explicit erotica) is at Amazon U.K in paperback and as an eread. at Amazon U.S.
Memoirs of a Sex Slave; the confessions of a submissive woman is at Amazon U.K;and at Amazon U.S.
Enslaving Eli, (A Fem/Dom tale) is at Amazon U.K. as an eread and in paperback.And at Amazon U.S
Rebellious Slave is at Amazon UK as an eread and in paperback. And at Amazon U.S.
Friday, 15 May 2015
Although the Ladies wished to live in "delightful retirement" - reading, writing, drawing and gardening - the fashionable world soon beat a path to their cottage door. Their visitors included the Duke of Wellington, Lady Caroline Lamb, Josiah Wedgwood, William Wordsworth, Thomas de Quincey, Prince Paul Esterhazy and the Duke of Gloucester; their pen-friends included Queen Charlotte, Lord Byron and Louis XVI's aunt. There were many days when the Ladies had up to 20 visitors in relays, entertaining literally morning, noon and night.
Why did two country spinsters become so famous? It is hard to imagine today how sensational it was in the 18th century for unmarried ladies to live independently, whether singly or together. In addition, the circumstances of Eleanor and Sarah's elopement were positively melodramatic.
Eleanor was the youngest daughter of the de jure Earl of Ormonde, of Kilkenny Castle (his titles were attainted, like those of other devoutly Catholic Irish peers). Eleanor's brother, Robert, paved the way for restoration of the Ormonde earldom by converting to Protestantism, and he made a brilliant marriage. Eleanor's sisters married well, too.
But for Eleanor - clever, bookish, satirical and already 39 - there was no such hope. What better way, then, to make amends to God for brother Robert's apostasy, than by putting Eleanor in a nunnery? It would be a cheap way to dispose of her, too.
Twelve miles away, at the mansion of Woodstock, her orphaned 23-year-old friend Sarah Ponsonby was suffering the unwanted attentions of her middle-aged guardian, Sir William Fownes. His wife, Betty, whom Sarah dearly loved, was still alive, but her health was failing and Sir William over-eagerly anticipated the day when he could take pretty Sarah as the second Lady Fownes.
Both women felt trapped in an unbearable situation. Clandestine correspondence flew back and forth between Kilkenny Castle and Woodstock, and they decided to elope to England together (elope did not have the same marital connotation that it does today, it just meant run away). Dressed as men, carrying a pistol and Sarah's dog Frisk, they rode through the night to catch the ferry at Waterford, but it did not sail and they were forced to hide in a barn. They were caught and taken home.
Sarah fell seriously ill with a fever, but Eleanor, faced with imminent incarceration in a French convent, ran away again - this time to Woodstock, where she hid in Sarah's bedroom and a housemaid, Mary Carryll, smuggled food in to her. When this was discovered, the Ormondes declined to collect their errant daughter and after 10 days the Fownes family caved in. Sarah and Eleanor were free to go.
No melodrama, however, would be complete without retribution - while Eleanor, Sarah and their maid, Mary, were touring Wales in search of a home, Sir William was struck down with "strangulation of the stomach", followed by a stroke, and after a fortnight of barbaric treatments - "blistered and glistered and physick'd" - he died in agony.
The nature of Sarah and Eleanor's "romantic friendship" has naturally excited curiosity over the years. They referred to each other as "My Beloved" (or "My B"), then later as "My Better Half"; were certainly as devoted as any married couple; slept in the same bed; cropped their hair into short curls and habitually wore riding habits with mannish beaver hats.
So they were lesbians - or were they? Few who visited them thought so. The word romantic simply meant fanciful or eccentric in the 18th century. And it was the fashion for friends - male as well as female - to write and speak to each other in language which we now reserve for sexual partners.
Nor was it uncommon to share a bed with a sister or friend. The Ladies' hairstyles and hats followed a French fashion - besides, they were practical for the country - and they spent their money on books and home improvements, not on frivolous clothes.
My guess, from reading Elizabeth Mavor's excellent biography, is that Eleanor was a lesbian, whether she realised it or not (likely not, as it was unheard-of until an outbreak of "sapphism" at the French court brought it to English society's notice in 1789); but that Sarah - if she had not met Eleanor at the impressionable age of 13, and if she had not needed to escape from her guardian - might have settled down just as happily with a husband.
As it was, she settled down, for 50 years, with Eleanor. They took a five-roomed stone cottage on a hillside above Llangollen, renamed it Plas Newydd (New Hall) and began to extend and embellish it. Windows were gothicised and old stained glass panels inserted into them. A library was filled with finely bound books and curiosities of all kinds, including a lock of Mary Queen of Scots' hair.
They developed a passion for old, carved wood - whether from medieval churches or broken-up Elizabethan and Jacobean furniture. The staircase hall was lined with it, and a bizarre trio of canopies built on to the door and windows. The front porch incorporates, inter alia, carvings of the four evangelists, Latin inscriptions, 17th-century bedposts and lions donated by the Duke of Wellington (visitors soon learnt that to appear with gifts of carvings ensured a welcome).
The grounds became similarly elaborate as time went on and acres were added. Passing through a "ruined" Gothic archway, visitors could cross the rushing stream in its miniature ravine on rustic bridges; visit Lady Eleanor's Bower, overhanging the ravine, and a temple complete with a font stolen from Valle Crucis Abbey's ruins; see butter being made in the circular model dairy; admire peaches, nectarines and melons growing in the ornate glasshouse; and read poetic quotations on boards tacked to tree trunks.
It was all highly, fashionably Picturesque; it was also highly expensive. The Ladies never did learn to manage on a small income. Despite their family allowances and state pensions, they were often in debt - and when this happened, to cheer themselves up, they embarked on new improvements. They drank the best wine and kept several servants, including the faithful Mary Carryll as their housekeeper.
Mary was uncouth and formidable (her Irish nickname had been Molly the Bruiser), but the Ladies were touchingly devoted to her, and she to them. When she died, they erected an elaborate stone monument, under which they later joined her; and she bequeathed them an additional field, bought with her life savings.
After their deaths, Plas Newydd had several owners, including one, General John Yorke, who left an indelible mark on the house. Following their enthusiasm for old, carved oak, he elaborately lined their kitchen to form the present-day Oak Room, where all that remains from the Ladies' time is their initials carved into the mantelpiece.
General Yorke also half-timbered the house facade in black and white, with curious, carved decorations between the beams; and he crammed the interiors with oddities, including mementoes of the Ladies and such esoterica as the skeletal head of a sea-serpent.
In 1932 the house was taken over by Llangollen Urban District Council, and it opened to the public a year later. The house is well-maintained but the garden's remaining features are in sad need of restoration - for which a National Lottery Fund grant is awaited.
Plas Newydd is in Llangollen, Clwyd (signposted from the town centre) (01978 861314). Open daily until end October, 10am-5pm (last admission to house 4.15pm). Admission £2.50 adult, £1.25 child.
Elizabeth Mavor's biography, `The Ladies of Llangollen' (Penguin, £4.99), is on sale at the house.
Also available at as an eread at Amazon UK and Amazon US
The article is from The Daily Telegraph, 4th May 2002
by Anne Campbell Dixon
I was lucky enough to visit Plas Newydd only this week, with my friend Francis Potts -- it is wonderful and I felt privileged to briefly the ladies home. The journals are there for visitors to read -- steeped in love, an all consuming powerful love. It really doesn't matter one way or another whether Sarah and Eleanor were lesbians or not-- that they loved one another was enough; quite enough.
Plas Newydd is set in peaceful gardens surrounded by trees and includes the font from the nearby Valle Crucis Abbey.
The house is now a museum run by Denbighshire County Council. The circle of stones, in the grounds of Plas Newydd was used for the 1908 Llangollen National Eisteddfod.
Open Easter to October 10.00-17.00
Telephone +44 1978 861314
Friday, 8 May 2015
How far can you go?
Incest and bestiality are illegal, at least in the UK, but the boundaries aren’t clear. Full sex with my brother clearly counts as incest, and fucking a donkey counts as bestiality, but what about heavy petting, for example?
In Ginger, the toothless cat enjoys licking and chewing Gladys’s ‘thingy’. It’s his favourite, and he prefers it even to mashed sardines. Does that count as bestiality? Gladys enjoys it too, but it isn’t actual sex. A cat licking sardines off a finger is obviously okay, but what about the same cat licking fish sauce off an elderly woman’s ‘boobies’? She tries the sauce on her arm first, to see if the cat likes it, and that’s presumably okay. If I had infinite patience, I could write different versions of the story, with the cat licking a different bit of Gladys in each one, and see where on the scale of finger to thingy Amazon decides to ban it.
If I share a bed with my brother, or my sister, and we just sleep, that’s probably fine. If we kiss each other goodnight, that’s probably also fine. Maybe we can have a bit of a cuddle if it’s cold. However, somewhere along that line we reach the point at which Amazon starts banning things.
Am I allowed to wank my brother with my hand? There’s no penetration involved. What about fingering my sister? Is clit play okay, or do I have to limit myself to kissing her boobs? What about kissing my brother’s chest? He hasn’t got boobs, so that’s presumably all fine, and if I can kiss his chest, surely I can kiss my sister’s chest.
In Butcher And Baker, the brother sticks his finger in his sister’s arse, to see if she likes it. She doesn’t, so it presumably doesn’t count as sex, in which case it isn’t incest. If he were a proctologist, he could be checking her out as a favour, and that wouldn’t be incest. If she likes it, though, does it become incest, or do they have to go further than that? Supposing he were only her half brother? Would he be allowed to go that little bit further before it becomes incest, or are the lines in the same place?
In the UK, first cousin marriages are legal, even if the cousins are ‘double cousins’, who share 25% of their genes. If I had a half brother, though, I wouldn’t be allowed to have sex with him, because we would be too closely related, with 25% of our genes in common.
According to Wikipedia, consensual incest is legal between adults in Spain and the Netherlands, and I haven’t noticed society falling apart in either country. Maybe I should just translate Butcher And Baker into Spanish, and put it on amazon.es, where it presumably wouldn’t be banned, since the brother and sister are both in their fifties, and they want to do it, thereby sitting solidly within the law.
In the circumstances, it’s a lucky thing I don’t fancy either my brother or my sister, and I haven’t got a donkey, or even a cat. Life's complicated enough.
Butcher and Baker
Post Mortem (UK)
Milk Amazon(UK) and Amazon US
Billy and Rosie; a Tale of Innocence and Taboo is here.
Rose is @rosew007 on Twitter and her blog is http://roseworms.blogspot.co.uk/
Friday, 1 May 2015
Bernini was the first sculptor to realise the dramatic potential of light in sculpture. This is fully realised in his famous masterpiece Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (1645-1652, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome), in which the sun's rays, coming from an unseen source, illuminate the saint and the smiling angel about to pierce her heart with a golden arrow.
Saint Teresa was a nun who was canonized (made a Saint by the Church) in part because of the spiritual visions she experienced. She lived during the middle of the 16th century in Spain—at the height of the Reformation. Saint Teresa wrote several books in which she described her visions.
Here is Saint Theresa’s description of the event in her own words.
“Beside me, on the left, appeared an angel in bodily form.... He was not tall but short, and very beautiful; and his face was so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest rank of angels, who seem to be all on fire.... In his hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron tip there appeared to be a point of fire. This he plunged into my heart several times so that it penetrated to my entrails. When he pulled it out I felt that he took them with it, and left me utterly consumed by the great love of God. The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one cannot possibly wish it to cease, nor is one's soul content with anything but God. This is not a physical but a spiritual pain, though the body has some share in it—even a considerable share.”
To a contemporary viewer, Saint Theresa is a woman on the very verge of tipping over into orgasm bliss. The ecstatic expression of her slightly parted lips; the tightly closed eyes, shutting out superfluous sensation. The angel’s spear, with the flame at the tip. Bernini presents us with a sacred image; it is profane too.
You can see Bernini’s fabulous (fabulous in the truest sense of the word) in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome.