Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's a Mystery! OR... Whodunnit?

Image: New York Public Library Digital Gallery

My suburban tale of debauchery, "Blind Tasting," appears in the newly-released eBook and paperback, Coming Together: Against the Odds, a short story anthology edited by the altruistic Alessia Brio as part of her Coming Together series published by Phaze Books. All proceeds will benefit the charity Autism Speaks. (The profits are highest when books are ordered directly from the publisher). The Kindle version is available from Amazon. The print edition can also be purchased from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

The singular, inimitable noir/erotica writer and editor, Maxim Jakubowski, has penned the introduction. Behold! Here is the stellar lineup of contributors:

Introduction Maxim Jakubowski
Will She Kiss Me? Giselle Renarde
Under a Moving Star Angela Caperton
Blind Tasting EllaRegina
Undercover Angel Alessia Brio
Always a Bridesmaid Andrea Dale
Choke Gregory L. Norris
The Booty Call Caper Kathleen Bradean
Sen-Sen Alicia Night Orchid
It Had To Be You GS Wiley
Missing Pieces Jasmine Black
Claim Mate Brenna Lyons
Sixth Sense Teresa Noelle Roberts
No Boundaries Moondancer Drake
The Arch Eva Batonne

When I first read the submission call, soliciting "mystery-themed erotic fiction," I wasn't sure I had anything that fit the bill, though the accompanying description gave food for thought:

All behavior is communication. The trick is to figure out just what it's saying. No behavior communicates as clearly or on as many levels as sex. All the physical and emotional senses are engaged. Add the element of intrigue, and the intellect is engaged as well.

Then I heard Alessia Brio interviewed on Gracie Passette's Cult of Gracie internet radio program. Towards the end of the hour-long discussion, Ms. Brio talked about the anthology, providing the exact words I needed to hear. She said the story could be "any sort of mystery -- it doesn't have to be a crime-drama type of mystery -- it could be a 'which one of these party guests is licking your backside while you're blindfolded?' type of mystery." Ms. Passette laughed and said she'd much prefer that to "the dead dinner guest" while I practically screamed into my computer's loudspeaker holes, "Alessia, have I got a story for you!"

In fact, "Blind Tasting" does involve -- among other things -- dinner guests (though none are killed off), and it's closer to what Ms. Brio proposed: not exactly a whodunnit, but rather a "who done it to whom?"

I find it particularly ironic and poignant, given my story's scenario, that the profits from Coming Together: Against the Odds go to Autism Speaks. The majority of autistic people do speak -- contrary to popular misconception. "Blind Tasting" offers an interpersonal counterpoint: four couples who, at a strategic point in the narrative, are not permitted to communicate with speech or sound or even by using physical/body language, if doing so causes the "message transmitter" to be identified by the recipient.

Image: New York Public Library Digital Gallery

To whet your proverbial whistle,* here is an excerpt -- a wee taste of "Blind Tasting." I shall begin as most mystery stories do: at the beginning...

Blind Tasting
by EllaRegina

They called themselves The Montridge Eight, after the metropolitan area suburb in which they lived, a thirty-nine-minute commute to the City, and though the name sounded like an underground terrorist group from the 1960s, their most incendiary efforts had involved turning on a Viking stove or lighting a Weber grill. A four-couple gourmet cooking club, The Montridge Eight met once a month, their homes revolving as venue, to travel the world gastronomically, one country and cuisine at a time. Creative professionals all, they were detail-oriented: an evening's theme would extend well beyond the food, to the decor, the wine, the music, sometimes even to the furniture.

The Greens, the Blacks, the Grays, the Whites: a box of crayons -- an odd one since the Blacks were not, the Whites were light brown and the Greens and Grays beige variations. They were the epitome of sophistication and urbane modern living. The men had long been vasectomized, completely relieving their marriages of pregnancy scares and latex fluid barriers. The couples were close and getting closer. The Montridge Eight gatherings elicited flirtatious behavior that grew stronger over the years. It began with one foot finding another under the table, or venturing further, toes slowly massaging a crotch. Hands would sneak inside waistbands from behind. Soon, parlor games were incorporated: first dirty Mad Libs -- "Name of Person in Room" particularly revealing -- then adult Charades, followed sequentially by Twister, strip tease, Strip Poker and Spin-the-Bottle. The Blacks, who lived in a former firehouse, offered their pole for dancing when they hosted, a mirrored ball on the high ceiling throwing sparkles over the dimmed space as each woman spun around the shiny brass upright, inspired by the thumping disco groans of Donna Summer and company. With each installment of the cooking club The Montridge Eight became increasingly daring and experimental. Perhaps it was the Cabernet, or the Pinot Grigio, or the Riesling, or the Rioja.

Although beyond familiar, the Greens, Blacks, Grays, and Whites -- a living version of the board game Clue -- decided from the onset that during these occasions they would refer to each other, including their own spouses, as Monsieur or Madame, evoking old black and white movies where the husband called the wife "Mother," lending the evenings a certain frisson of staged formality -- an interesting counterpoint to the sub-table footsie and miscellaneous lusty doings -- often inspiring unscripted postprandial role-playing once the couples were back in their own bedrooms:

"Would you do it to me in the Library with The Lead Pipe, Monsieur Gray?"

"Most assuredly, Madame Gray. My very large one. Where shall I put it?"

Across Montridge's verdant tree-lined streets, a parallel scene was unfolding at the Green house:

"In the Billiard Room, on the table, with The Rope, Madame Green?"

"Of course, Monsieur Green. A hog-tie is definitely in order," she replied, spreading her excited legs as Monsieur Green undid his perfectly slip-knotted neckwear, anxious to truss Madame's limbs, rigid cock pointed towards her from an unbuttoned fly.

To be continued, dot dot dot. Buy the book, dot dot dot!

Copyright 2009 EllaRegina. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without prior written permission from the author.

A clue relating to a key scene in "Blind Tasting."

One of my inspirations for the story.

"Blind Tasting" was initially featured on the Erotica Readers & Writers Association website in their February 2009 Erotica Fiction Gallery. Kisses to Rose and Adrienne! And a special hug to Donna George Storey for plugging "Blind Tasting" so nicely at the time on her blog.

*A big thank you to phantaglyph of thefreesoundproject for the 2-second wolf whistle recording.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

Photograph: Shaan Kokin/Julien's Auctions/Reuters

In those few moments during which they unloaded his white-enshrouded body from the green helicopter onto a maroon-padded gurney atop the Los Angeles Coroner's Office building, one could decipher within its mummy-like shape: the feet pointed together as if tightly bound, and it was a sad feeling to know that they would never dance again.

Michael Jackson's patent for a special shoe-engagement system.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Mammoth Lump of Happiness

I am chuffed to bits at the news that my O. Henry parody, The Gift of the Magic Lump of Coal, has been selected by the discerning and ever-esteemed Maxim Jakubowski, editor nonpareil, for inclusion in his prestigious anthology, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 9, a showcase of literary finery. (Of course, my story will first be translated into proper English.) The annual volume, containing works by over 40 writers -- both established and "new" voices -- will be published across the pond by Constable & Robinson (January 2010), followed likewise in the US of A by Running Press. I am most humbled and honored to be in this respected collection once again. 'Tis my supreme pleasure, Maxim! Thank you!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Alison! a Groovy Chick!

All we know is that Alison Tyler -- the lovely and talented writer, editor, publisher, gift-giver, contest-thrower, door-opener and all-around creative inspiration to many -- blasted into this world during the fair month of June, tilting our green blue planet slightly off its axis with her entry. And, of course, nothing has been the same since. We are choosing today to celebrate though Alison herself is partying until July.
So, without further ado, Alison, I present your birthday presents: a duet of vintage cards expressing my felicitations; an eternal bouquet of balloons; the Happy Birthday song, as sung by one of the omnipresent "hot monkey sex" monkeys; and a topical Donald Duck cartoon. Then, get your dancing shoes on for a singalong Beatles Birthday and a Japanese animation cover of their song. (It's hallucinatory when both are played together.) Finally, it's time for deliciously psychedelic birthday cake. Oh, I also got you a pony! For birthday boots, please go here.
I hope you enjoy(ed) your birthday, Alison! I wish you many more! And, may they be happy and healthy, always!


Your friend and admirer,


This cross-blog birthday party present is the brainchild of the ever-charming Nikki Magennis.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


In the previous post I referred to The Dark Room, my entry in the recent 250-word story contest held by the lovely Alison Tyler. Our instructions were to write about sound and hearing, or lack thereof. Feeling like I'd missed the mark with that piece -- which seemed focussed on a different sense -- I assembled another 250 words to make up for it. Enjoy! No earplugs necessary:

© 2009 by EllaRegina

I couldn't have invented better upstairs neighbours. No television, loudspeakers, not even a radio. The previous occupants' sonorous electronic lifestyle had regularly bombarded my senses, so I was quite relieved at a change of tenancy.

They kept apart, not speaking to others in the building, smiling at me whenever our eyes aligned; walking arm-in-arm, both nattily dressed, trailing plumes of hypnotic scents. I envisioned them artists from some exotic land.

She was a cluster of staccato taps, a path over my head -- likely travelled wearing sexy heels -- traversing my sitting room ceiling, an invisible moving dotted line. His full frame lumbered through their flat with a distinctively masculine gait. Normally, such aural evidence of human ambulation would bother me but with them it did not, given the other sounds they provided...

I most appreciated their proximity at night, abetted by open summer windows. She moaned fifteen feet above in a bedroom mirroring my own, cooing like a pigeon in a beguiling indecipherable sing-song. His outbursts were deep and guttural, synced to her sonic erotic dance; their rhythms parallel, complementary. A hand met flesh in resounding slaps; I imagined his palm on her nicely rounded behind. She'd whimper following each blow. Words were never used; their language seemed purely physical.

Months passed before I first encountered them beyond our building. They sat outside the cafe, each gesturing in a fast-signalled lexicon of fingers, something between a puppetless puppet show and how the ancient black-clad women crossed themselves in church.

Copyright 2009 EllaRegina. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without prior written permission from the author.