Victorians: Hysteria and the Vibrator, Part Two: The Vibrator

In Part One of this blog miniseries, we learned how Victorian doctors defined “hysteria” and how they treated it. Spoiler alert: doctors used various methods of stimulation to bring women to achieve the “hysterical paroxysm”, i.e., an orgasm.

Around 1879, the electric or electro-mechanical vibrator was introduced into doctors’ tools of the trade for treating hysteria. Vibrators were first used in France, then this method spread to the rest of the European continent, England, and America.

But what did the Victorian vibrator look like? One perhaps imagines corseted women cowering as a mustachioed doctor approaches with some bizarre Steampunkish contraption… Continue reading

Victorians: Hysteria and the Vibrator, Part One: Hysteria

I recently saw a revival of the play In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl. In case you haven’t heard about this play it takes place in upstate New York in the 1880s. A doctor provides treatments for hysteria – to both women and men – using the latest technology, the electric vibrator. In the course of the play there is emotional and sexual discovery amongst all the characters, along with several orgasms.

I originally saw the play in February 2009 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California. The play had been written for the Berkeley Rep and made its debut there before being launched on Broadway. I’m not a theater regular – I do see shows from time to time – but when I heard about this play, I absolutely had to see it.

“Had to” because I had already started my notes for Dr. Christopher’s Device (later The Pleasure Device). Perhaps I should have subtitled that book, Or, The Vibrator Erotic Romance. Continue reading

Naughty Lovers Official Release Day: More Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles!

I am excited to announce the official release of Naughty Lovers: Love Is In The Air. “Official” release because we, the Naughty Literati, actually had the anthology uploaded to Amazon about a week and a half ago, but we didn’t want to announce it until March 1st so we could coordinate promotion efforts.

Ah, the life of an author…so nuanced.

Anyway, I am happy to announce that Naughty Lovers contains the third installment of my Steampunk erotic romance series, the Ockham Steam-Works Laboratory Chronicles. “Swing Follies” further explores the relationship between Professor Edward Ockham and his laboratory assistant Delia Bennett, plus throws in a touch of romantic intrigue with a bit of backstory. Oh, and also gives a hint of a future relationship for laboratory Special Assistant Sebastian Broadchurch. Continue reading

Harwell Heirs: New Gorgeous Covers!

Today is a very special day for me! Today the rights for two of the books in my Victorian erotic romance Harwell Heirs series revert back to me. This means I can go forth and republish The Pleasure Device and Disobedience By Design! And part of that exciting process is getting new covers:

2016HarwellHeirs1and2 Continue reading

The Harwell Heirs, Reverted

Rights reverted, that is…

A special announcement to fans of historical erotic romance! My Victorian series Harwell Heirs is currently in limbo. Rights for two of the three books are in the process of reverting to me. I’m preparing to re-launch the series in February 2016.

So, if you are looking for The Pleasure Device (Harwell Heirs Book 1) and Disobedience By Design (Harwell Heirs Book 2) they are not available at the moment! But hang on tight, because I’m editing the text (minor edits really, no changes to the story) and getting new covers made (I cannot wait to show you the new covers!!) in preparation for the relaunch.
Continue reading

My Bisexual Heroes: Extended Version

Hi Everyone, I’m blogging over at AReCafe today about my bisexual heroes for LGBTQ Pride Month. But I had to keep it short and was only able to promote my books listed on ARe. I got a lot more stories with bisexual heroes. Below is the extended version of my blog post.

Remember Torchwood? The Dr. Who spin-off show set in Cardiff? There’s definite sexual chemistry between Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper, and we the viewers so want something to happen, but we know Gwen already has a boyfriend who is a nice guy and she can’t just have an affair without consequences then suddenly…

OMG. Continue reading

Steampunk Inspiration (Part 1): A Naughty Device

Steampunk? A historian writing Steampunk?

I’m used to writing about characters and situations and places that actually existed or could have possibly existed (I mean, c’mon, it is fiction). I’m definitely not used to writing stories that take place in some futuristic pseudo-past where women wear corsets — leather corsets! — on top of their clothes. Besides I know absolutely nothing about science or mechanics (except when I was young and owned a VW Bug).

What’s the old adage? “Write what you know”? When you get right down to it, what on Earth does a librarian-art historian really know about erotica, much less Steampunk erotica? Continue reading

Personal Reflection: In memoriam, Carl Degler

I thought I’d end the year by starting at the beginning, and by doing so, I have to start with the end of a life. Carl Degler, professor emeritus of American history at Stanford University, died on Saturday, December 27, 2014, at the age of 93. It was an article by Degler that was influential on my embarking upon a career writing Victorian erotic romance. Continue reading