VALERIE ALEXANDER

  • Best Women's Erotica of the Year is out

    It's the magical date of 12 January, and that means Best Women's Erotica of the Year, vol. 1 came out today. If you pre-ordered on Amazon, you may already it in your eager hands or maybe on your iPad. My copy arrived this morning and I haven't read a single story in it yet (besides mine) but that'll be rectified soon.

    In case you didn't know, there's a big Best Women's Erotica reading Tuesday night, 19 January, in San Francisco with authors like Amy Butcher, Dorothy Freed, Jade Waters, Rose Caraway and of course legendary editor Rachel Kramer Bussel. Swing by and you can hear some of the hottest erotica writers today read aloud from their stories. I actually planned on attending this one, but as always my insane schedule wouldn't allow it.

    Anyhow, here's an excerpt from my story "Demimonde." If you've read a few of my stories, you might think this doesn't sound like me. Set in 1899 New York, it's the story of a young society widow who meets a charming hustler at a Spiritualist seance and goes on an adventure, exploring the naughtier side of the Gilded Age.

    On the night of the séance, my cousin Ora lays on my bedroom chaise and tells me that we are about to be visited from beyond the grave. “They say Celeste Clair saw her dead mother appear right there in the dark - and Miss Greenbow was told she'd marry by summer.”

    I wind my long black hair into a rope and pin it up. “You’ll be told of your future husband too. These traveling mediums deal in flim-flam, Ora. Pure nonsense.”

    Ora sits up, indignant. “Elizabeth! Why are we going to the spirit parlor tonight if you’re going to be gloomy?”

    I check my reflection in the looking glass. The seance will be held at Lady Wentworth's and all of her Fifth Avenue friends will be there; it’s important my deep blue evening dress with the open neckline is respectable for a widow of thirty-one. “How else am I to amuse myself?”

    Down the oak staircase we go, electric lights burning dimly from hallway sconces. The house is quiet, my infirm mother-in-law asleep upstairs for the night. The butler opens the heavy front door to a snowy 72nd Street.

    “Mother says these table-tappers are a wicked blasphemy,” Ora says happily as we climb into the hansom. “She will be so livid that we’ve gone.”

    My cousin is quivering with excitement - at twenty-four, she rarely goes out unescorted at night. Despite it being 1899 and New York perched on the edge of a new century, my aunt is terribly strict about Ora’s freedoms. A member of the temperance movement, she is scandalized when we ride bicycles in Riverside Park and frowns on my uncle’s cognac and cigars. She is desperate for Ora to marry soon and considers me a bad example for refusing to remarry in the six years since my husband’s death.

    Like everyone else, she thinks I’m waiting for a wealthy railroad magnate, maybe, or a banker from an old family. Or that possibly I’m waiting for my sweet bedridden mother-in-law to pass on before I choose a new husband to replace her son. It never occurs to anyone that I’m waiting for passion. But I know I could meet someone; I could meet the devil himself, handsome and tall, with a beautiful mouth like the doorway to the doom where all fallen women go.

    Fallen women. It's the worst fate that can happen to women like Ora and I, but the idea of the falling itself sounds like a swoon in a dream.

    I could meet someone like that. I could meet him tonight.

    The book has gotten some very fabulous reviews, so check it out. And if you're in SF, don't miss that reading!

Email: Vaxder@gmail.com

Twitter: @Vaxder

Tumblr: tumblr.com/blog/valeriealexander

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