Tag Archives: Rubyyy Jones

The Eye of the Beholder Has its First Reading

I’ve done lots of readings from my work since my first one at Sh! several years ago. I love it. I love the interaction with the audience and I love the way it feels to be reading my story out loud. Well, Monday night that read-it-out-loud feeling got topped when, for the first time, OTHER people read my words out loud!

Monday night was the first read-through of my play, The Eye of the Beholder. I couldn’t have been more chuffed. Especially when my partner in the adventure, the delicious Moorita Encantada, showed me the room at the Green Carnation in Soho where she had arranged for the reading to take place –plush cushions, mirrored walls, thick velvet curtains. Someone commented that it looked a bit like an opium den. I don’t know about that, but it was Happy Hour with two-for-one cocktails and we had a bar tab! Cheers!

I brought the print copies of The Eye of the Beholder to pass out among our readers — those who wanted a print copy rather than to read from their iPads. To see even a rough copy of the play in print was a pretty cool experience for me. And I was very pleased when the room began to fill up with people, most of whom I’d never met before, who had responded to Moorita’s invite for readers. There were performers, dancers, actors, and people who were just friends of Moorita’s who showed up for the first ever reading. I couldn’t have been more pleased.

1016269_419906304789584_266530588_nWhen the gorgeous Rubyyy Jones, who had agreed to lead the evening’s read-through, arrived looking fabulous as ever, and everyone was well lubricated with pina coladas, French martinis and mojitos, the party could begin.

I have to admit I was more than a little bit nervous at that point, having discovered that I, as the playwright, (my goodness! Me, a playwright? How cool does that sound?) was traditionally supposed to read the stage directions. I Have to admit, it was not one of my finer moments as a reader. Talk about opening night jitters! Fortunately Rubyyy took pity on me and helped me out when I stumbled, which was frequently.

IMG00531-20130628-2133However! Everyone else was brilliant! And if it was amazing to read my own words out loud in front of an audience, it was even MORE amazing to hear other people reading my words out loud! It’s hard to explain how it made me feel, but definitely giddy is right in there. My words being well-read and even acted by some totally amazing people who came of their own free-will after having read the script did amazing things for my fragile little ego. We didn’t even have to bribe or cajole! (Well, unless you count the two for one cocktails, and how could we expect anyone to read with a dry throat?)

The reading of the script took a little over fifty minutes, but the play itself will probably be twice that long when the performance numbers are all added in. Really, the script is the basic story for the director to work around, and my job is to make sure that basic story is strong enough to inspire the creativity of whichever director takes it on.

After the read-through and a short break, then the brainstorming and the critiquing began. That took up the majority of the evening. The discussion was lively, positive and extremely helpful. I took notes fast and furiously, and I wished desperately I could have everyone read it through one more time. But, Rubyyy tells me that’s what happens next after my next rewrite. There’ll be at least one more read-through, then a walk-through. And then things get complicated, finding a director and a venue and casting the rolls and OMG! I had no idea! For those of you reading this who have some background in theatre, I do apologise for sounding like a total ignoramus, but I write novels, and writing a play and taking it to the performance level is a whole new animal. I’m still trying to get my head around the whole experience.

After 1st read-thru 1 July 2013Moorita has taken up the reigns since the basic writing is done, as she knows and understands the world of performance. I’m relieved to have that part in such capable hands. From the beginning Moorita has brainstormed with me and helped me to see what might work and what might not. Moorita has been the driving force from the beginning. The Eye of the Beholder would never have happened without her.

And now, it’s my turn again, as I face the challenge of the next rewrite. I’m on deadlines with the next Grace Marshall novel at the moment, but the next incarnation of The Eye of the Beholder is another challenge on my plate, and one I’m very much looking forward to. A very heart-felt thank you to all the lovely readers: Performers: Ava Iscariot, Annie Player, Miss Cairo Mascara, Davis Brooks, Lilly Snatchdragon, Sadie Sinner, Ursula Dares, Adela Apetroaia, Laurie Young, and Sarah Malter. And a special thanks to Rubyyy Jones and Moorita Encantada for making the first read-through of The Eye of the Beholder not only a success, but a totally fun time. You all rock!

Erotic End to October with Smut and Magic and Velvet Tongue

Smut and Magic Rocks!

Partying with the Sh! Ladiez is always fun, and never more so than when it’s a launch party. A launch party at Sh! is always the best, and never better than when it’s a shared launch party! That means Smut and Magic pushed all my buttons for a fabulous evening in London.

I had the honour of sharing this launch party with very talented Smutters, Victoria Blisse and Lucy Felthouse, who were launching their naughty new anthology, Smut in the City, co-edited by these two lovelies, and filled with stories about, well, smut in the city, any city, lots of cities, lots of sexy nastiness written by lots of the very best and hottest erotica authors. Wow, what an anthology! And one I was very excited to share the celebration with.

The party was perfectly timed for me as well. I was the ‘magic’ part of Smut and Magic – well not me per se, but my new novel, Riding the Ether, book two of the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy and the continuation of the sexy battle of the Elemental Coven against a very nasty, very bad-ass demon, Deacon. And all this just four days before Halloween!

There was the usual combination of fun, filth and fizz. And might I add food, in the form of delectable sweet treats furnished by Lucy’s OH, Ian Hanes, and the Queen of Multi-tasking, Victoria Blisse! There was yumminess on every level!

Of course it wouldn’t be a party without some seriously cool giveaways, some by The House of Erotica, some by each of the authors. The Sh! Ladiez, led by the fabulous Jo, passed out balloons containing a raffle for  one of Sh!’s much-coveted goodie baskets.

When Sh! closed, the party spilled out on the street and over to the basement of the local Byron, accompanied by three of my favourite stunning stars of erotica, Remittance Girl, Kay Jaybee, and Lexie Bay. You can probably guess the topic of discussion. It’s what you’d expect writers to talk about; what makes a good story, what captures the reader’s heart. Of course with the 50SoG phenomenon, these are questions everyone is asking. Times for erotica writers, and for all writers, are changing rapidly. Exciting stuff.

The conversation continued into the wee hours, and once again, I was reminded how lucky I am to be in the company of such a supportive, such an amazing writing community. A special thanks to Lucy and Victoria who made the evening thrice as fun. And that’s a whole lot of fun!

Velvet Tongue pre-Halloween Soiree

As most of you know, I’ve been very much looking forward to reading for Ernesto Serazele’s fabulous Velvet Tongue Erotic Literary Soiree. With it’s pre-Halloween theme it was the perfect setting for me to read about witches and ghosts and demons and sex magic. Shoreditch is such an exciting area of London, and only a few blocks away from Sh! Women’s Store, is the fabulous Bar Kick, where you can get a mean hamburger, play foosball, and once a quarter down in the basement, you can hear naughty poetry, prose, see sexy performances and if you’re lucky see someone get their kit off while they offer you the best in performance poetry.

Rubyyy Jones


It was London in the end of October, so naturally the night of the performance it was pouring down rain. We arrived early, wondering if the horrendous weather would put off any of the people planning to attend.

Ernesto Sarezale

We needn’t have worried. By the time Ernesto got the evening under way, the place was packed out, some people dressed as devils and as naughty school girls, some people dressed for fast clothing removal. Me, I was disguised as a mild-mannered American tourist out with her hubby  for a taste of London night life … You don’t believe me??? Well, neither did anyone else …

S. P. Howarth

In addition to some amazing open mic participation, I was lucky enough to share the stage with Anthony Howell, Ernesto Sarezale , S. P. Howarth, and Rubyyy Jones, with a bawdy appearance by Ant Smith.

Ernesto and S.P Howarth both got their kit off while reading fabulous poetry. Of course I hardly noticed the removal of said kit because their poetry was so stunning … You don’t believe me??? Neither did anyone else … Seriously though! Wow! Stunning … poetry!

Demon possession? Or did I just forget where I put my drink?

The best part of the whole evening was just being in a place with so many people who were celebrating sex and all things erotic. That’s definitely my kind of company. Thanks, Ernesto, for inviting me to read. It was truly a fantastic experience. (Thanks Ant Smith and Ernesto for the photos! )

Velvet Tongue Erotic Literary Soiree Pre-Halloween Fun and Filth

I’ve been crowing for the past two months about how excited I am to be a guest at award winning poet, Ernesto Sarezle’s fabulous Velvet Tongue Erotic Literary Soiree coming up on the 29th of October at Bar Kick in Shoreditch. AND just in time for the release of novel two of my Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy, Riding the Ether, a paranormal erotic romp with ghosts and witches, sex magic and demons. I’ll be offering up a few naughty, maybe even scary tidbits.
Ernesto, more widely known as the Naked Poet, was kind enough to share a little bit with me about how the Velvet Tongue Erotic Literary Soiree came to be.
“Velvet Tongue started in February 2011. After many years considering the possibility of hosting an erotic literary event in London, I finally went for it when I was offered a fantastic venue, a sexy little gallery in Bethnal Green (Ten Gales) which, with its smart art deco style, adorned with lots of red drapery, proved to be the perfect setup for such an event. Sadly the gallery closed down and the second edition of VT had to be hosted in a new venue, where Velvet Tongue is still hosted. Luckily this new venue is also very special: the Bar Kick, a trendy sports bar in Shoreditch which, unbeknown to many of its punters, hides a charming little performance space in its dark basement.
For many years, I had been thinking that there was a niche for this kind of soirée. I was not aware of any other event like this in London (apart from an “erotic reading group” that gathers monthly to discuss erotic books) and I felt – rightly as it turns out – that there was a demand for it. Also, I had had experience organizing queer poetry nights (Glam Slam and – in the distant past – Homophone) which I quite enjoyed. But I wanted to try out something a bit more “polysexual” and more varied, including not only performance poetry but also other literary forms and performance approaches. Among events that have inspired me I can mention poetry open mic nights and literary salons in London. But VT is closer to an event called Perverts Put Out in which I once participated in San Francisco. The event, which normally coincides with the Folsom Street Fair in September, gives voice to alternative sexualities and lifestyles (so prominent in the Californian city).
What to expect at Velvet Tongue: If you are there as a member of the audience, the opportunity to hear the stimulating and diverse voices of people from all walks of life dealing with intimate aspects of their sexuality.  If you are a writer or performer, the opportunity to present your own erotically-themed material at one of the open mic slots (if there are any available; booking in advance by email is recommended) in front of an appreciative audience. To ensure quality literary standards I always invite three or more guest performers whose work I am familiar with and thus I know are going to deliver something exciting and worth listening to.
In the past two editions, there has been a good deal of flesh exposure, including full frontal, both male and female. But potential contributors should not be scared; rather, they should be excited and expectant at the prospect of performing in front of a warm, open minded and enthusiastic audience.”
Thank you, Ernesto!
I’m way too shy to get my kit off, but I’m not too shy to read about people who aren’t, and to read about all the fun they get up to once they do get their kit off. If you’re in London on Monday evening, the 29th, be sure to join the fun.
Hosted by Erotic Award winning poet, Ernesto Sarezale.This autumn, our featured writers are:

K. D. Grace (novelist)
S. P. Howarth (poet)with special appearances by:
Rubyyy Jones (burlesque artist)
& Itzi Urrutia (performance artist)Plus the usual open mic slotsand other surprises still to be confirmed.To get one of the (5 mins) open mic slots: email Ernesto (ernesto [at] sarezale.com).

Velvet Tongue
127 Shoreditch High Street, London. E1 6JE
(Old St/Liverpool St tubes)
7pm-10:30pm, £3

The Book Launch Extravaganza!

I’ve been anticipating the big launch of The Pet Shop forever now, and when Maxim Jakubowski and I decided to share the launch party — with him launching his exciting new novel, Ekaterina and the Night, it was a great opportunity for me to work with the King of the Erotic Thriller. We couldn’t be more different in our writing styles, and that made for intriguing possibilities.

I was actually feeling a little smug when launch day dawned bright and sunny. When I launched The Initiation of Ms Holly this time last year, I was a frightened, uncertain newbie. The Pet Shop was book number two. I was an old hand at this launch business now. I was ready for it!

There’s a price to pay for smugness. There was a broken printer, there were trains running late, there was Lucy Felthouse and the fabulous Ian stuck in traffic on the M1, there were windows shattering in the train Kay Jaybee was on, and there were problems with getting enough books for the launch.

Okay, most people think I’m the Queen of Calm (rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably) but by the time we got to Sh! the calm had cracked, and poor Raymond, the Birthday Boy, was having to deal with The Wicked Witch of the West.

But Sh! is an oasis of love and calm if ever there was one. There were hugs all around, a nice cup of coffee, and Renee’s peaceful influence assuring me that all would be well. And I totally trust Renee!

Over at the Bluu Bar next door, where the pre-party was due to kick off, Mel Jones was already anticipating the thirsty convergence with a bottle of wine, several glasses and more reassuring hugs. While Maxim and I briefly rehearsed the reading from the prologue of The Pet Shop that we were doing together, Kay Jaybee showed up with Rebecca Bond, and more reassurance that all would be well.

Back over at Sh!, Sh! Sweeties extraordinaire, Jo Wierzbicka and Sarah Berry greeted us with hugs and congratulations, and I felt like I’d come home. The pink fizz was already flowing and the guests milled about amid riding crops and collars and vibes and corsetry. Lexie Bay and her lovely husband, Doug, arrived. In the Fab Footwear Parade, Lexie was the clear winner with ‘Sh! pink’ heels sporting a whole garden of tiny leather flowers. The competition was stiff with Jo’s ‘there’s no place like home’ ruby slippers. Not to be completely left out, I wore the leopard print Pet shoes, which bit my feet rather sharply when I moved just right. I suppose that was appropriate under the circumstances.

I was elated to finally meet Marilyn Jaye Lewis, who was here visiting from the States and will be doing a reading at the Last Tuesday Society on Friday. And it was great to have Rubyyy Jones in attendance, looking rather Pet-like herself in black and leopard print.

The party started with Maxim and me doing a joint reading of the prologue of The Pet Shop, as ‘The Boss’ and his secretary, Anne O’Kelly argue about the appropriate gift to give employee, Stella James, for a job well done. It was the perfect lead-in to my introduction of Tino, the Pet, who is possibly my favourite of all the characters I’ve ever created.

Before Maxim read, we had one of three giveaways that were spread throughout the evening. Maxim gave away two copies of the many fabulous anthologies he has edited, and I gave away two Holly/Pets coffee mugs. But the biggie, and much coveted grand prize, courtesy of Xcite Books, was a great gift package complete with gift vouchers from Sh!

Then it was time for the Queen of Raunchy Poetry, Mel Jones, to titillate us all with extraordinary filthy verse. And she did NOT disappoint. Later Mel’s partner in poetry crime, Alan Wolfson also read some steamy kissing poetry. (Alan was also in the running for the Fab Footwear Award with his truly exquisite amethyst shoes) These two lovelies co-host the Kiss The Sky poetry event every other Wednesday at the Kiss The Sky Bar in Hampstead. I have a special place in my heart for KTS because I lost my ‘appreciation for performance poetry’ virginity there. I could listen and watch for hours! Here all this time I thought I was a Philistine.

After poetry, Maxim took the stage (or in this case the pink setae) and read the gripping ending of his novel, Ekaterina and the Night. I have to admit, I would have thought giving away the ending would be a bad idea, but in this case, Maxim knew exactly what he was doing (no surprise there). This eerie, sexy, moving ending definitely made me want to read the rest of the book and find out how Maxim GOT us to such an exquisite finale.

Having finally made it through the traffic, Lucy and Ian arrived at Sh! with scrummy cupcakes in tow — none of which survived the resulting feeding frenzy. Once they had arrived, it felt like the party could begin. As the evening continued, there were questions and answers, book signings, snatches of fantastic conversation with lots of people I wish I’d had a lot more time with. There was more poetry, there were more readings and there was lots of milling around upstairs with the fabulous vibes, corsetry and books. I noticed more than a few people leaving with large pink bags of Sh! yumminess.

I thought by my second launch I’d be able to manage my time a little better, but not so. I’d had visions of photo ops with all my favourite people and quiet conversations happening in front of the collar and cuff display. What was I thinking? My lovely husband, Raymond celebrated his birthday by taking pictures and never missing an opportunity to promote me. Bless him! But what I really needed was to be TWO of me.  That way, one of me could just take in the whole experience as an observer, taking note of the things I missed because I was signing books or being so excited to see someone I hadn’t seen for a while or answering questions. I would love to have taken in the nuances, experienced the whole wild amazing evening a little less fleetingly and held it all a little more clearly in my overwhelmed memory. Because it was wonderful! My book, my baby is out there for all the world to see! Maybe I’m not as much of an old hand at this as I thought, because Wow! Okay. Just wow!

Afterward there was a very late dinner, with nine of us squeezed together in the basement of Pizza Express reliving the events of the evening and catching up with old friends. Then it was back onto the streets amid the clubbers and smokers milling outside and the street venders selling sausages and grilled onions to those with the late-night munchies. We said our good-byes near Old Street Station to friends who had to catch the tube or bus or a taxi. Kay Jaybee, Rebecca Bond, Raymond and I had hotel rooms for the night, so it was back to the all-night hotel bar for a night cap amid a raucous hen party, all bedecked  in sparkly headbands and surly looking blokes who had clearly taken advantage of the bar’s five for £10 beer special. Then, at last, it was off to bed.

I had the pleasure of having breakfast at the Breakfast Club near Hoxton Square with Kay Jaybee and Rebecca Bond the next morning. We talked writing and more writing over eggs and bacon, pancakes and hash browns and fresh squeezed orange juice. And lots of coffee! Amid the clatter of breakfast dishes and the buzz of lazy Saturday morning conversation all around us, we talked of our plans and schemed our future take-over of the world. It was the perfect way to top off a great launch.

I can’t think of the launch without feeling very grateful for all the support and good will that I felt. Thanks to Maxim Jakubowski for being a great ‘partner in crime.’ Thanks to all the people who wished me well via Facebook, Twitter, email and snail mail. Thanks to everyone who came to the launch party, and especially to those who braved traffic, exploding train windows and other hazards of long journeys to get there. Thanks to Mel Jones and Alan Wolfson for sharing their deliciously raunchy poetry. Thanks to Xcite Books for furnishing the food, drinks and give away. And a very special thanks, once again to the incomparable Sh! Ladiez! There aren’t enough hugs and kisses to express my gratitude to you sweeties!

Dozing on the train, in the unseasonably warm sunlight on the way home, I relived the highlights of the fantastic Book Launch Extravaganza once again and tried to remember more of the bright, bubbly details that rushed by so quickly. I imagine I’ll be sifting through all that lovely excitement in my head for days to come. A book launch at Sh! is most definitely the gift that keeps on giving.