What Have I Been Smoking?

Photo by flickr user "**RCB**

Photo by flickr user “**RCB**

Do I have a doppelganger here on Earth or a twin in some alternate universe hitting some cough syrup or hallucinogens on the daily? Because I have been having some incredibly trippy and entertaining dreams. Really vivid ones, the kind you only experience in deep REM—or if there was something in the water.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. In fact, I want these dreams to continue to flicker through my brain at night, because who wouldn’t want a semi-private concert with Prince while they sleep?

Here’s a roundup of my nighttime cranial romps. I hope you’re half as entertained by these as I am. And if anyone out there examines the meanings of dreams, please enlighten me as to what they are trying to tell me!

The Count and the Castle—In this dream, Count Dracula was alive and well in modern day Romania and his castle had become a full-fledged tourist attraction. There were 13 floors to explore, and people would flock from everywhere around the world to check it out. Of course, I was Dracula’s human girlfriend and since I was so badass, it made perfect sense for me to walk around topless—perhaps because we were in Europe?

Chris Pratt and Fringe—In this dream, Chris Pratt decided to become a pop star and his first single was a cover of a Queen song, although I can’t tell you which one, because I’d never heard it before. Anyway, Chris did an open call for backup dancers and naturally, I jumped at the chance. I showed up in a gold dress made entirely of fringe and shook it on set for hours. I was in about five seconds of the final music video, but it was totally worth it.

Anne Rice Likes Earl Grey—A few days before I went to the Anne Rice and Christopher Rice book signing at Changing Hands in Tempe, I dreamed that only 12 people showed up for the signing. (Crazy, I know, because they are both such phenomenal writers with huge fan bases!) Anne and Chris proceeded to hand out a bunch of free books to us and at some point, Anne said she wanted something to drink. So, what did I do? I made her a spot of Earl Grey tea and we talked like old friends.

Private Purple Party—In this dream, I was attending a generic music awards show and my musical boyfriend, Prince, was scheduled to perform. Prince asked about 20-30 of us onstage, hugged each of us individually, closed the heavy, red velvet curtains, and proceeded to treat us all to a private concert. He just sat behind a piano and sang to us. He even took off his mic, so everyone in the auditorium couldn’t hear him. The impatient audience on the other side of the curtain got restless and everyone left. But Prince wasn’t done partying. The curtain opened again, we went back to our seats, and we were treated to a full Prince concert with tons of dancers and theatrics.

High Heels and Hawks—In my latest dream, I was not only a newbie vampire but a hardworking and fabulous drag queen. And I’m talking a big, bold, and beautiful lady of the stage. The middle of the dream got a little fuzzy, but I do know there was drama surrounding my two boyfriends (that’s right, not one boyfriend, but two!). A little later, I’d found some human companions who wanted to help me control my vampiric powers so I could learn to use them for good. I woke up just after we’d taken in an injured hawk named Amy, who was destined to be my sidekick. How’s that for a superhero origin story?

So, what do you all think? What the hell have I been smoking?


Photo licensing**RCB**


Christopher Rice Writes Sexy, Intelligent Erotic Romance


I had started to lose hope in regard to the erotic romance genre. Seriously, if I read one more story about a virgin or good girl who found her sexual awakening with a bad boy (who generally treats her like crap, by the way, so how is that sexy?), I was going to start tossing books off my balcony.

And don’t get me started on the prose in some of these books. It’s as if writing about sex gets you off the hook; you suddenly don’t have to worry about beautiful language, just turning on your audience. (News flash—beautiful language is HOT!)

Then, Christopher Rice made me a believer again with his novella The Flame. Chris’s novella is an installation in the 1,001 Dark Nights series, a sexy take on the legend of Scheherazade. I mean, what better way to distract your murderous husband than by telling him undeniably erotic and magical stories? The Flame would most definitely distract me…And I’m hoping you’ll pick it up so it can transport you, too.

The Flame centers about Cassidy Burke, her doting and gorgeous husband, Andrew, and the couple’s impulsive yet sweet gay best friend, Shane. The three have found the seemingly perfect balance of friendship—until a Mardi Gras party and a stolen kiss awakens hidden longings within each of them. The encounter and the swirling emotions left in its wake will make them rethink their relationships—and their sexuality. Add a dabble of magic and you have the premise of a very sexy and fun book.

In a mere 110 pages, The Flame contains more depth and meaning than erotic books three times its length. Chris obviously understands the importance of the emotional connection to sex and intimacy in erotic fiction, because The Flame is rife with human emotion that runs the gamut—excitement, disbelief, hesitation, fear, and love. The entanglement of the three central characters is complicated, messy, and real—and, as the reader, we sit next to them on their emotional roller coaster, trying to sort out all the new feelings and longings alongside them.

And can I take a moment to fangirl over Rice’s writing? It’s intoxicating. I honestly felt like I was sipping a cocktail by page two of the book, because I was swimming in luxuriant words. I knew that I was reading something that appealed to both my mind and my…well, we won’t go there…but you get the point, right? This is smart work for fans of sensual literature. And it’s about damn time. I love the experience of picking up a book and learning about sexual positions and vocabulary.

Lucky for all of us, Rice plans to write more works in this genre. (Did I mention this is his first foray into erotica? Bitch.) Apparently, the public reception of The Flame has been astoundingly positive. And I think Chris enjoyed the process. Just a little bit. Because The Surrender Gate, his next erotic romance novel, is already being promoted on his website.

Whatever is compelling Chris to write more, I’m excited he’ll be a new voice in the erotica genre—a genre that needs writers like him—writers that use gorgeous prose, create complex, deep, interesting characters, and leave us begging for more.