Category Archives: writing

‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’ coming soon!

Finally, my new novelette, ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’, is almost ready! It is currently with my editor and, PG, should be peeking its little head out into the world next month.

I’m so excited!

In case you haven’t seen my story summary on the front page, the book is about:

HNP cover image 3.12.15Esther is a rabbi’s daughter, a rabbi’s wife, a teacher, and the mother of three young children. She is also more than a little fascinated by the young married couple who live in the apartment across from hers. When, late one night, she accidentally witnesses her neighbors having sex, Esther’s life is turned upside down. Hit by a sudden and inescapable sexual awakening, Esther must navigate the chaos that pursues her marriage, her husband and, most of all, herself.

If that sounds like fun, please make sure you are on my mailing list so that I can let you know as soon as it is available.

I’ve developed a real love of my central characters, Esther and Sholem, and so I’m thrilled to be able to share their story with you soon.

Hope you all had a Chanukah sameach! I, for one, will not be making any more latkes for a while!

Shosha :)

Hold on to your panties: Adam Arotti has arrived

Orthodox erotica is only getting better. You’ve met Jayde Blumenthal and now it’s time to meet Adam Arotti – author of forbidden Orthodox and biblical erotica.

Adam’s soon to publish and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a sneak preview of some of his stuff – it’s hot.

We’re all looking forward to him unveiling his stories, but in the meantime take a look at the opening salvo on his new website

Hey :)

This is nude for me, so please bare with me as I figure everything out.  No, those weren’t typos; they were just my fairly lame attempt at introductory humor with a bit of the flavor that you can expect from my website.

For generations, society has seen sexuality as a force that needs to be suppressed, or even better – repressed, before it even blossoms.  And there are legitimate and fair reasons for that.  Sexuality has unbelievable power; as an orgasm grips our entire body, so does sexuality permeate – and sometimes control – almost every area of our existence.

Tragically, however, we often tend to try to contain forces that we view as too powerful to control, rather than finding a way to harness or guide the power.  If sexuality was a horse, the Christians would try to shoot the horse; and the Jews would lock it up in a beautiful palace, exclaiming how beautiful the horse is, but never letting it out for a wild run.

As a Jew, my approach to sexuality begins with the Torah.  Yet, I have found that, when it comes to sexuality, the Torah-mores of today are not necessarily reflective of the Torah-mores of yore.  Today, we try to present versions of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs that are decidedly asexual; as though those legendary lions could not possibly have squandered their divine energy on something so base as sexuality – and it would behoove us to follow in their too-lofty-to-be-sexy footsteps.  Those few unavoidably sexual episodes in the Torah are either skipped entirely, or quickly glossed over as if they were the introduction to a boring blog.

To me, however, a close examination of our biblical forebears (with the help of a bit of creative license) reveals a different picture; one in which the lives of our models and Jewish archetypes were robustly erotic and sensual, and far more accessible to us than many would have us believe.  In the coming weeks and months, I hope to share with you some of my erotic writing, in which I will endeavor to bring to hot and erotic life some of Torah’s more spicy stories.

However, some of my pieces decidedly take advantage of the sexual taboo created by our sexually-repressed environment.  Everything sexual is even hotter when it is forbidden, when it goes counter to the prevailing culture, and Jewish Orthodoxy accommodates this dynamic by providing many forbidden areas.  And so I will also be publishing some forbidden Jewish erotica, set within the very stern Orthodox sub-culture, which is populated by devout – yet nonetheless extremely erotic and sexy – rule-breakers.

To be candid, I am a bit more hesitant when it comes to these, as I am sensitive to the Jewish people’s role as a light unto the nations, and have no desire to make a Chillul Hashem by suggesting that the Jewish people are anything less than holy.  At the same time, Jewish people have fantasies too; and, well, I’ve written some of them down, and I’m wondering if it would be selfish to keep them to myself!

So please stay tuned!

You definitely need to watch out for Adam. In the meantime, keep up with him at www.adamarotti.wordpress.com/

Yom Kippur is over: we can talk about sex again

Shana tova – I hope you all had a meaningful Yom Kippur and an easy fast. It feels great to be on the other side of YK and waiting for the excitement of Sukkot. I love Sukkot as I discussed in my piece for Jewrotica last year.

First of all, I apologize to any of you who I have offended – or to those of you who I have disappointed by keeping so quiet over the past few months. I have resumed my university studies; this combined with my job and my family means my time for Shosha stories (and anything else fun) has been severely limited. Plus, every time I thought of something to post on my website it was Elul or the Yamin Noraim and it seemed inappropriate to be talking about such frivolous things.

Her Neighbors pleasure coverBut YK is over and we can get back to talking dirty. I am finally making headway with my story, ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’. It’s crazy that it has taken me so long to get to this point, but it’s not for want of trying or commitment. As you can see, I have settled on a cover for the book – and not one that I displayed in my earlier post. I just hope you all like the story now!

Wishing you all a shana tova u’metuka. Let’s make 5776 a year of wonder :)

Shosha

Absence makes the heart grow fonder – when all you want to do is write

Two things have been happening recently in my life that have halted my writing: we have moved house and I have been sick for weeks. The latter has meant that the world of function beyond necessity has effectively stopped – so that we still have numerous unpacked boxes in the house and today is the first day that I have sat down to write anything creative in at least a month.

Being ill drains my creative energies but, as time progresses, does little to stop the  need to express them which builds like a swelling river at the walls of my mind. What exacerbates this situation is that I have been able to read and tweet and do all manner of low-intensity activities which, after a while, add to the pressure at the damn walls – because it is a constant reminder of what I am NOT doing.

It hasn’t helped that part of my reading has been going through The Indie Author Power Pack. It’s a fantastic resource which I thoroughly recommend for indie/self-publishing authors (I picked it up for 99c when it was first released, but it is still a bargain at $3.99). On the flip side, it has been causing me to go into conceptual over-drive about the things I need to be doing, how many different ideas I have and how exciting this whole writing adventure could be…if only I could do it!

My mind wants to sit and write but all my body wants to do stay horizontal in the warm embrace of bed covers.  This is where I start to feel sorry for myself – or go crazy…

But there is a bright side to all of this. Enforced rest and recuperation does give you time to stop and think about things in a quiet way. I won’t bore or frighten you with thoughts about my life (!) but I am happy to share that  so much time in bed has given me the conceptual space to reexamine some of the projects I have been working on.

529091_64006668 (1)In particular, it has helped me chip away at the concerns I have been having regarding my Tamar novella. Writing halachic erotica is fraught with unique sensitivities and considerations. I want to write a book that is fun, sexy and appealing, but I also need to be mindful that some of my readers can only travel so far along the road of erotic exploration. I need to strike a balance for Tamar and so far I have struggled with this.

Let’s hope, that when my coughing quietens and my energy reserves return, the reward of waiting will be that Tamar will finally have her moment in the sunshine.

The decision to publish is like eating the last of your favourite chocolates

Really! It means you can’t hold on to the anticipation any longer: you don’t have that moment to look forward to – and there is a chance that everything could be downhill from here.

Although we live in hope.

I made the decision to publish my short story collection about four months ago. Once I realised this was an option, I became very (very!) excited – and not just because it offered a legitimate distraction from my novella, which had been causing me – and continues to cause me – confusion. It also provided an opportunity to do something with  stories that I was proud of, but which, until then, I had not really known what I should do with.

A woman with a mission, I edited and re-edited and then sent my edited stories to be beta-read by friends, family and colleagues. All this was completed within two months (about seven weeks ago). But then, inexplicably, the momentum stopped and my manuscript sat waiting. And it waited.

I chose my cover art two months ago. Time after time I  revisited the image bank to check that I liked the picture, to see if it still worked – I did and it did. But still, I did not buy it.

Then yom tov happened. So nothing else happened.

One of the amazing things about Tishrei is that after all the yammin tovim, I invariably feel like I need to make up for lost time. And no doubt I do. So, this week I finally began to appreciate that my short story collection was never going to exist in the world if I didn’t get it out there. I heard my own call to action.

Two nights ago I bought the cover art. I was exited (you like?).

Beautiful pic, no?
Beautiful pic, no?

Last night I emailed the image and instructions to a friend who is arranging for a designer to put together a cover (thank you!). It was a difficult email to write, but I am grateful for the enthusiastic response my friend sent me. My shoulders loosened and the thrill came back. Excitement.

Today, in an unexpectedly brave move, I sent my manuscript to an editor. Now it is real.

I am that person who hoards their favourite chocolates for so long that they turn grey (or worse, green!) – and then has to throw them out. I am that person who puts aside a gift voucher for a special occasion, but leaves it so long that I wind-up wasting it on something I don’t particularly like because it is about to expire (or worse, it has already expired!).

Delayed gratification is delicious. But delay too long and it gets moldy.

So this week Shosha Pearl, the writer of halachic Jewish erotica, started taking her project seriously again. I’ve popped the last chockie in my mouth and it is oozing delight all over.

How Fifty Shades of Grey gave birth to Shosha Pearl

I have just finished reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. It’s been a long time in coming and was, frankly, embarrassingly overdue, but finally now I can put my hand up and say I’ve done it.

And it was awful, but not so much for the reasons I expected. More on that later…

50ShadesofGreyCoverArtEL James’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘ was a seminal (!) part of my journey towards deciding to write ‘halachic’ erotica. The enormous splash the book made in the mainstream world was fascinating in itself, but what was even more interesting was the slowly revealed news that observant Jewish women were reading the books. And enjoying them!

I have always been interested in erotic literature as a genre; not just for its content, but also to know who is reading it and what they like, and, of course, who is writing it and how well they are doing. The Fifty Shades phenomenom meant that all this information was being discussed openly and a lot – in the media and online. And I was consuming all the details with fascination.

One of the intriguing details that emerged at the time was that ethnic and faith specific erotica was becoming increasingly attractive. Christian erotic literature, in particular, was on the rise, which made me ponder whether there might be an audience for Jewish erotic literature. And then, right on time, came Jewrotica. I was suddenly incredibly excited.

Jewrotica provided a forum for people to explore erotic stories and ideas within a Jewish context. And it gave me confidence to think that my increasing interest in exploring erotic writing within a frum (observant Jewish) context. I wanted to write about and for halachically observant people, while making things accessible enough for anyone to read and understand.

In 2012 I wrote my first short story in my newly created sub-genre, halachic Jewish erotica, entitled ‘Little Secret, Big Secret’. Then, within a few months of Jewrotica’s appearance I wrote some more stories and Shosha Pearl was born.

And so this very exciting journey began.

Choosing life over art – for the moment

It’s been a busy time. My family and I have packed up from one city, put all our things in storage and moved to another in search of the foundations of the next chapter of our new life.

movingThe process has taken several months and in between the chaos of moving, I have tried to maintain a creative schedule, with some success and a lot of failure.

The question of whether my writing should be such a burning priority that I maintain a schedule of early morning rises in between the stress of finding a new home, new job and so on, has burdened me. I feel tantalisingly close to completing one, if not two, important projects, but right now, finishing them seems just too hard.

Any writing on writing always contains the advice just to keep at your keyboard, to maintain a schedule. And I agree, but not when the waves of life are just too choppy to let you keep balance.

So, I may be lazy, I may lack boldness, I may be hiding behind excuses, and I may not be disciplined enough, I’ll accept it all, but right now, I have given myself permission to focus on getting my life back on track so that I can go back to my writing with my world a little more in place.

Frankly, I think it is wise. Plus, breaks between work mean that my mind travels and reviews what I have completed to this point (sometimes without my consent) – and distance can be very useful.

And the best part is that although I am feeling a little bogged in the middle of some thick editing mud for my short story collection and I am having some doubts about the form of the first draft of Tamar’s story, I am now, after this enforced break, developing that restless need to get back to it and finish the job.

Baruch Hashem  :)