The Quickie by Kitty Fine

Sadly, the last time I read any erotica was a purloined copy of Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus, way back in middle school. Kitty Fine’s The Quickie reminds me of the innocent and illicit pleasure of reading erotica for the first time. In comparison to my naïve, closeted childhood, there is nothing reserved about main character Nikki’s frank appreciation of sex, imbued with all the open wide-eyed wonder of youth. Nikki’s quickie sexual encounter is erotic and titillating, of course, but the character’s narrative voice still feels age-appropriately wholesome and fresh, in that it matches the young woman’s maturity level and personality.  Nikki does define herself as a nympho, but in a charming way that reminds the reader that we were all young, with rapacious sex drives, once upon a time (or still!).

I think what appealed to me most about The Quickie is that the writing is concise and straightforward. I’m always a fan of clean, unfettered writing, but the naturalness of Kitty Fine’s prose makes this erotica piece both comfortably enjoyable and stimulating at the same time, without that odd undercurrent of guilt that some erotic writing can evoke. I felt that a little more attention to sentence style and structure would have helped smooth over a few minor glitches that disrupted the flow of the read.

Overall, a strong, and sexy, read from a strong and well-balanced writer. Quite enjoyable!



Egmont Key State Park and Lighthouse

Egmont Key State Park is located near Fort DeSoto. It’s home to a wildlife refuge, a lighthouse, and the cool-looking ruins and structures of Fort Dade that date back to the Spanish-American War. It’s only accessible by boat or ferry, and there’s no overnight camping allowed on the island, but you can rent a boat and camp on the nearby Shell Key Preserve. We took the ferry out with a group of people (most of whom we didn’t see the rest of the time on the island), although our ferry operator was so visibly pissed that he had to go out to Egmont Key and that he complained about the trip the whole way and kept trying to bully us into going to Shell Key Preserve instead. In spite of our grumpy ferry operator, it was well worth the trip, and I would love to go back and camp out on Shell Key Preserve with a rented boat, so I would have more time to spend on the island.

(All photos taken by me–copyright disclaimer)

Music to Write By….

My tastes in music are pretty much on the gothic/industrial/punk/neo-medieval/ambient side–a lot of older stuff, and some intriguing new-to-me bands I’ve been introduced to, like VAST (They’ve a new album released/coming out this year, I believe).

My music is generally separated by usage rather than genre: music to drive with, music to dream by, music to clean to, and, of course, music to write by. I rely on ambient music to inspire the writerly muse; especially movie and video game soundtracks.

Here’s a list of ambient/classical-ish favs that I write by:

Myst: Exile Soundtrack
Harry Potter Soundtracks (Philosopher’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows 1&2)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Soundtrack
Nadja Soundtrack
Halo Trilogy Soundtracks
The Island of Dr. Moreau Soundtrack
The Fifth Element Soundtrack
Amber Asylum
Raison d’etre
Cast in Bronze

What’s your favourite music that inspires your writing, or art? Let me know in the comments, if you want!




The Vampire Squirrel of Borneo

Articles about this fluffy, but apparently bloodthirsty, rare squirrel caught my attention this morning (courtesy of Janet Fang at and Jim Meyer at

They’ve already written two excellent articles on this tufted ground squirrel (Rheithrosciurus macrotis) so I’m not going to regurgitate the contents of their work. You can read their fascinating articles here.

Unfortunately, the squirrel is threatened/endangered due to habitat loss via deforestation to feed the greedy appetites of us humans. I am deeply saddened, every day, over the loss of so many amazing life forms that share the planet with us. It’s way past time to make some lifestyle changes, and get off the couch and do something. It’s not just about survival and preservation for these animals, as we will not be exempt from the same fate that these endangered species are face as a result of our self-absorbed, limited-view actions.



Monterey Grill (It’s Closed :-( )

Monterey Grill
3800 South Tamiami Trail
9 Paradise Plaza (Located behind Publix)
Sarasota, FL 34239

This local restaurant is one of my favourite places to eat in Sarasota. I love their veggie burgers and their veggie quesadillas with red beans and rice tucked in with a colourful variety of vegetables.

Monterey Grill offers American-style food, as well has unique seafood dishes (including their famous rice bowls), delicious vegetarian/vegan options, and great salads and sandwiches. Serves beer and wine, along with refreshing herbal ice tea.

It’s a cozy place to have lunch with colleagues, or a low-key dinner out with old friends. The wait-staff is always attentive, and the food is always consistently delicious and fresh. Try their house-made, seasoned potato chips as a zesty start to your meal!










Michael Rothman’s Heirs of Prophecy

So, I’ll try to keep from giving away too much of the book if I can help it. Like a lot of reviewers about this book, I agree that this makes a great read for young adults. It manages to pull off being both an intriguing fantasy that kids can relate to, while also exposing the reader to an informative passage on blacksmithing that might peak a kid’s interest in such an old-world craft without being too obvious. I could just see a new generation of medieval fair re-enactors being created after reading this book. It’s enjoyable that Rothman seems to have done his research on the art of blacksmithing, which makes its inclusion as the unique skill of one of the main characters seem all the more valid.

My favourite character in the book was the gentle, misfit, vegetarian ogre Ohaobbok from the Bloody Fist Clan. He was well worth the read in itself! I’m hoping that the female characters develop a little more presence in the following books (Heirs of Prophecy is the first in the series), especially the smart and independent young woman (non-traditional, it seems, in this book’s society) Sloane, but I would continue on the in the series. I have to find out what happens to the Riverton family, of course! After all, it’s set in a world where “magic is real”, and who doesn’t love that?

Dreaming of Cornwall….

So, this is not technically a travel piece for Cornwall, as I’ve only been there once, on a too-fleeting trip overseas, so it’s more of a wishful thinking travel blog. I have it in my heart to go back to such an amazing locale, within a great country, so, maybe someday! While on my fleeting trip, I did visit the Tate Gallery located there, and St. Michael’s Mount…the Mount was amazing…taking the boat out during high tide, and then sloshing back over the now-revealed path as the ocean sinuously retreated. I have pictures of my trip, but, unfortunately, they are stashed in an unknown location at present (taken pre-digital camera). So, I’ve provided links!

Website for the Tate Gallery:

Website for the Mount:

That’s all I remember from the tourist sight-seeing I did while there. I wish I could go back and visit it again…maybe someday, especially after looking at this charming little website of Cornell attractions ( I actually spent most of the time, British rain notwithstanding, walking along the high, windy coast, looking for grottos and indulging in fanciful imaginings which, of course, involved pirates and old-world manor inhabitants as can be found in the pages of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

Cornwall has been a significant source of inspiration for literary types, both in the past and in the present. According to the convenient ever-present Wikipedia, authors such as Virginia Woolf, William Golding, John le Carré, Charles de Lint, J.K. Rowling, and one of my childhood favourites, Susan Cooper, have either lived there, and/or drawn literary inspiration from and set scenes amidst the natural beauty of Cornwall.

Guides to Cornwall’s literary background:

If you’re planning a trip, or have already been, feel share your trip adventures and snapshots below! Let me know how the surfing is!