My Love For All Things Bizarre edited by M. Christian
Link to buy My Love Of All That Is Bizarre
Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 3
I have never read Sherlock Holmes. This title was erotic telling of Sherlock Holmes’ investigations. It was interesting but lacked my favorite theme of BDSM. There were some kinky moments but no real bondage, domination, submission, or sadomasochism. With each story I looked for hints of BDSM but really there was a bit of kink mixed in with stories about Sherlock Holmes and his partner John Watson.
For fans of the BDSM genre I would say pass this up, but for Sherlock Holmes fans looking for a kinky twist I would say give this a try. There are various authors and I would say my favorite was the voyeurism themed story. I always like the idea of seeing something naughty when you think no one is watching. What better to see than the secret life of Sherlock Holmes.
Reviewed by Sizzling Miss Kim
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The Love That Never Dies edited by M Christian
Story Rating: 2.5 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 2.5 out of 5
This is a 19-story anthology with the dead, the undead, and undeath as a theme. It’s not BDSM focused, but there’s some BDSM content scattered throughout. Pleasantly, it’s not exclusively hetero in focus. A good number of the stories featured male/male sexiness, which pleased me greatly – readers have broader tastes than most publishers realize, I think, and it’s good to see that being acknowledged more and more often. It’s not so much with the female/female action, unfortunately.
Yes, the expected zombies and ghosts and vampires are here, but the story concepts are often quite creative, so, thematically, it’s varied and never tiresome.
And that’s about the best that can be said. It’s lukewarm. The sex is tepid, the writing lackluster and sometimes outright bad. I hate saying it, because M. Christian has edited some stellar anthologies, but this isn’t among them.
There are a few standouts, and they really stand out.
Linda Watanabe McFerrin’s “The Wolf Man and the Mule” is full of vivid, beautiful language. It is also part of a longer work, Dead Love, which completely explains and excuses the fact that it doesn’t make much sense. It’s a story about drug trafficking in Amsterdam, which really doesn’t make it sound all that spectacular, but there are implications of werewolvery and there’s a lot of metaphor going on with drug use and zombies. Again, beautiful writing. The metaphor may sometimes miss its target, but at least she reaches. She’s ambitious, and I expect to see more of her.
The Painted Doll by M. Christian
Story Rating: 3 out of 5 Paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5
Painted Doll is a futuristic, sci-fi tale about a woman hiding in disguise as a Geisha to avoid being discovered by the underworld figure who hunts her and her lover.
Like all M. Christian work the book is well written, although I did find it a bit slow to start and a little confusing to understand what was happening in relation to the main character, Domino/Claire’s profession. As the story unfolds you are also let into the futuristic setting of the book and details surrounding the dual identity of the books protagonist. Something that’s not clear in the first few chapters.
The erotic portions of the book mainly revolve around the main character describing acts or scenarios as part of the technique she uses in her trade as the Erotist. A Geisha called Domino, who uses neurochemicals painted on her clients’ bodies to elicit reactions of ecstasy, arousal, pain, joy, anger or whatever emotion she feels the client needs. Even though the sex isn’t BDSM in nature I have given the kink factor of the book a score of three mainly because of the erotic and unusual nature of the acts.
As the story progresses you see the facade of Domino begin to crack and the author leads us into the psychological dilemma of leading a double life, trying to be someone you aren’t and being forced to live apart from the person you love. The emotional drama increases as the book reaches its conclusion and a few final twists make the story all the more interesting.
1. When you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books? Do you write in any other genre?
Well, let’s see … my first published story was in the late-lamented magazine FutureSex, back in 1994. The story – “InterCore,” by the way, was then picked up for Best American Erotica (same year) and it all just kind of snowballed from there. While I’ve pretty much always wanted to be a writer it wasn’t until I stepped into the slippery, steamy, world of smut that I had any real success so – surprise – I’ve done most of my work there. But I also write non-fiction (including a book of my weird history pieces, Welcome to Weirdsville, which is coming out soon, and How To Write And Sell Erotica — my book on smut writing, and Pornotopia – which is non-fiction sex pieces); science fiction, fantasy, and horror (such as my collection, Love Without Gun Control); romance (see my novel Brushes), and lots of other stuff.
Here’s a quickie bio:
M. Christian is – among many things – an acknowledged master of erotica with more than 400 stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and many, many other anthologies, magazines, and Web sites.
He is the editor of 25 anthologies including the Best S/M Erotica series, Pirate Booty, My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica, The Burning Pen, Guilty Pleasures, The Mammoth Book of Future Cops and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi) and Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant) as well as many others.
Zumaya Boundless [link to buy]
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 paddles
This book is not usually the sort thing I’d read. The description is gay/horror; the cover is a hand with part of a digit missing, so normally I’d probably give it a miss. I’m so glad I didn’t. The book blurb from Amazon says you have never read a book like fingers breadth, which is the most accurate description of this book I’ve seen. I started reading with trepidation. I’m not into horror and I have a knack for turning the written word into a vibrant image in my mind. My hesitation came from what I might end up visualizing, as I read about the attacks on gay men, who are drugged, and have their finger (or part of it) cut off. I didn’t need to worry, as it turned out having a finger cut off isn’t the most horrifying part of the storyline.
There were many things I loved about this book. The author spares us gruesome details in relation to the attacks, and in some instances the act itself is done in a caring manner. He doesn’t limit his storytelling to a few main characters who tell the story and its impact on those around them. This is a book about a community that’s being terrorized, so there is a community of characters depicted throughout the book. Like many of us who are avid readers, I can usually get to a point in a story where I can predict the ending. Not so with Fingers Breadth. The book turned into something I never expected, a psychological mind twist, an immersion into the human condition and how people react to trauma, whether they are the victim of it or merely a spectator from a community perspective. The truly horrifying aspect of the book was the community response to what was taking place. Totally believable reactions of hatred, fear, violence, and the need to be part of what was going on by copying actions, or self inflicting injuries. The heinous act of mutilation becomes secondary, almost an afterthought, to the popular perceptions missing part of a digit evokes.
Bondage by the Bay
edited by M. Christian
Sizzler Editions [link to buy]
Rating: 3 out of 5 Paddles
Are you ready for a buffet catered by a chef with eclectic tastes? M. Christian’s Bondage by the Bay provides sensual appetizers to meaty entrées. There are a couple of sweet dessert stories as well as a couple of dishes I’d have rather left untouched. This is the double-edged sword of an anthology. I’m generally not fond of anthologies for a good reason. I don’t always like the writing material or styles of all the authors included. The more authors, the less likely I’m going to enjoy the anthology. The plus side of an anthology is I’m introduced to authors I haven’t read before and I’m able to discover a true gem.
In Bondage by the Bay, the tying theme other than sex is that it revolves around San Francisco California. If the book was designed to perpetuate the image of San Francisco as a hedonist haven, it succeeded. Some of the stories were light and sweet. One that I found amusing and light was a couple celebrating their anniversary in a top flat. The Dom husband and the sub wife enjoyed a D/s interlude sans their children. The first few stories were a bit more intense with edge play and mind fuck tactics. I enjoy edge play as well as the mind fuck tactics. I was particularly delighted with the fear and terror play session. I did not enjoy the edge play where someone was repeatedly punched. I found it tasteless and a complete turn off. If I want to watch punching, I’ll tune into my favourite sport – UFC. Punching isn’t sexual nor is a turn on for me when applied to BDSM sexual play.