"Reading it is... sort of a permanent occupation"
~ Katherine Anne Porter (1927)
Mind Caviar, Vol. 2 Summer Issue, 2001
Reviews of Today's Hottest Books
by Emma Kaufmann
Our latest Literate Slut is Emma Kaufmann, whose new book Lawless Games was just released on July 20, 2001. She was first bitten by the erotic muse while working as a maid in a London Dominatrix’ parlor. The sights and sounds that she heard from the dungeon soon revved her imagination into overdrive, and soon she was penning and publishing erotic literature.
"A friend suggested I take the job when I was in between jobs. At first I was apprehensive, but once I discovered that most of the clients were perfectly charming, I soon got into the swing of it. I have always been interested in the side of themselves that people keep hidden from the public," she says. "In the Dominatrix’ parlor, I was privy to many intimate exchanges."Her experiences were fictionalized in her first book, Lured by Lust (Black Lace) (written under the pseudonym Tania Picarda), published by Black Lace. Now, in her new book she mixes the thriller and erotic genres to great effect. Guilt, a psychological thriller, will be out soon. Her short stories have appeared in numerous webzines including CleanSheets, the Erotica Readers Association, Hercurve and Sexilicious. Last year she appeared on a UK television documentary on female sexual fantasies.
Emma Kaufmann lived in London, England for the first thirty years of her life. She has had several professions, including public relations for a law firm and an art gallery. Finally, tiring of the London rat race and the rainy weather she immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland where she now writes full time.
She says, "It annoys me the way people always assume that a book can’t be great literature if it has a fair amount of sex in it. That kind of attitude is just ridiculous! Of course, there is badly written sex out there, writing that gives erotica a bad name. However, my work does not just encompass sex, it’s always about sex and SOMETHING ELSE. I am constantly pushing forward the boundaries of erotica, and enjoy mixing genres together, as in Lawless Games, which is a legal thriller, but also very sexy."
Imagine a cocktail, one part Anaïs Nin, another part John Grisham, laced with a secret ingredient, a little something that gives it that extra zing, and what have you got? The new erotic thriller by Emma Kaufmann: Lawless Games. Emma Kaufmann leads you into an exclusive, high-stakes world of passion and deception where two ambitious lawyers are locked in a furious power struggle.
John Richardson, the ruggedly handsome partner at a top London law firm, handled his business affairs the way he handled his women: with charm, daring and ruthless self-control. A man used to the very best, John hired Chloe Hamilton, and assumed the proud beauty would be another easy conquest. Destined for each other, yet wary of each other’s motives, John and Chloe engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love.
As a twisting path of secrets
takes them from London’s courtrooms to the witchcraft-imbued Cat Island,
Chloe finds herself ensnared in a bewildering web a seductive, dangerous
trap of pride, passion, loyalty, and overwhelming lust.
Reviewed by Emma Kaufmann
As an English girl who’s only lived in the States for a year, I treated the reading of Strange Bedfellows— an anthology of erotic political fiction— as my second crash course in American democracy. My first occurred last November when I also became familiar with the term, ‘hanging chad’.
They say that fact is stranger than fiction, and if that’s the case then you have one helluva kinky bunch running your country, if this anthology is anything to go by. These stories teem with political animals of all descriptions, from presidential candidates to lobbyists, from closeted senators to the journalists trying to out them. Each story manages to pull of the seemingly impossible feat, that of satirizing the hypocrisy inherent in politics, while at the same time containing some extremely hot and well crafted sexual escapades.
The sexual heat is generated by the circumstances under which the sex occurs, much of it occurring while the politician fears he might be caught at any moment, which only heightens his thrill. The palpable feel of erotic danger that runs through these tales is undoubtedly brought about by the conflict between the illicit sex the politician indulges in and his moral public face.
At the core of these stories lies the question of identity: what is a politician, aside from his public persona? Who exactly is he once the cameras stop rolling? Each story deals with the conflict a politician faces when he tries to reconcile his public and private selves.
The strain of constantly playing out a role in public which is at odds with their ‘real’ self becomes too much for some of these characters. In Rob Byrnes’ "Media Relations" a presidential candidate who is a gay bigot in public, knows that if he gives in to his desire for a male journalist he risks destroying his political career.
For others their public role-playing becomes who they are, an all-consuming state that they can’t or won’t shut off. In Debra Hyde’s "An Evening Out", a submissive named Timid, who is also a lobbyist, takes his Dominatrix lover to a good cause gathering. The Dominatrix, who is training Timid to be a full time submissive, uses the evening to cause havoc amongst the political luminaries, some of who are ex-clients. The evening ends with her instructing Timid to perform a public act of humiliation, which both cements the submissive/Dominant relationship as well as blurring Timid’s private and public spheres, which he had previously kept rigidly separate.
To my delight there was even a story, Isambard’s "Just Do It", set in England, about a girl’s affair with a Member of Parliament. This passage,
"His hands were so soft, stroking my stomach, squeezing my breasts. 'Politicians have soft hands,' he’d said once, 'Because they never do any real work.'”led me to conclude that maybe there isn’t such a great difference between the English and American political system after all!
Review Copyright ©
2001 Emma Kaufmann. All rights reserved.
Literate Slut News
Tidbits for all You Hungry Connoisseurs
Isabelle Carruthers, our associate editor, is also on staff as fiction editor of Clean Sheets. Read an interview with her and co-editor Bill Noble at Erotica Reader's Association about editing erotica, and what they look for in a story. It's not all about the sex. Are you surprised? Of course not, you are an intelligent Mind Caviar reader!
Look for Mind Caviar's own Jamie Joy Gatto in Guilty Pleasures: True Tales of Erotic Indulgences edited by M. Christian and published by Black Books due out this fall. Read the book and find out her and all the other contributor's most intimate and secret kink!
Susannah Indigo editrix of Clean Sheets has created a non-erotica literary journal on-line called Slow Trains. They are publishing fiction, essays, and poetry that reflect the spirit of adventure, the exploration of the soul, the energies of imagination, and the experience of Big Fun. Jamie Joy Gatto has a short piece which debuts in the maiden issue entitled, "Read My Mind." If you like good, passionate writing, (however not specifically erotic) check it out!
"Music, travel, sex, humor, love, loss, art, spirituality, childhood/coming of age, baseball, and dreams -- these are a few of our favorite things -- but most of all we want to read about the things you are passionate about," says Indigo in regards to submissions for Slow Trains.
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