Saturday, June 23, 2007

Binge And Splurge

It may come as a shawkah, but I often practice avoidant behavior. Yes, I have big fish to fry, but instead nail myself to the wall -- not to be confused with being nailed UATW -- by doing nothing but reading books Not For Professional Purposes.

The last few days I've been fairly swooning from reading nothing but our Bella Portia Da Costa. You know our Portia. She likes to act like everyone's slightly-pervy-but-touchingly kind favorite auntie. But we know the truth about the Vincenzo D'Onofrio obsessed purveyor of fine romantic erotica, don't we.

If you don't know, I'll tell you. Not only are her books remarkably sensual, and elegantly blatant in thier exploration of the fantasies nice girls didn't even know they had till they read the books -- oh, no.

Bella Portia's books are like primers for anyone who wants to study the art of writing well erotic fiction, and, for the uninitiated reader of erotica and romantic erotica, the books I suggest you try, even if you think you'll not like the genre/sub-genre. You may not come away a fan of the style, but you'll have tried it by reading examples of some of the best there is.

We're All Adults Here Warning: As Portia remarks on her site,, Please be aware that [her novels] contain sensual content that is only suitable for adult readers who are comfortable with frank language and descriptions of erotic scenarios.

But despite that, you need to know that, contrary to pure erotica, I've come away from every Portia DaCosta novel I've ever read feeling romantically satisfied, not just wildly aroused. Brava on that!
Have you read Portia? What's the last novel you read that left you romantically satisfied as well as feelin a little (or a lot) lusty?
Encore! Yep. I read these novels, and one more I couldn't fit here. "Suite Seventeen" is out in the States early August, and I think herself will be joining us at my blog.
Encore due! BTW, the relaunch has been moved back a couple days, so I'll let you know when to start packing.


Kati said...

Evening Bellas! Hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'm off to ride the coasters tomorrow at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Yes, I've read plenty of Portia. My favorite by her is THE TUTOR. It's elegantly written, amazingly sensual and features and UATSH (Up Against The Saw Horse) scene that is fantastic. I also own a slew of other Portia's too, and when someone asks about erotica, "EmmaHollyandPortiaDaCosta" always comes out of my mouth as a recommendation.

Just last night I finally read Wild, Wicked, and Wanton by Jaci Burton. Extremely arousing book. Beautifully and tastefully written. Very different heroines and heroes. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Rach said...

I haven't read any Portia *yet* but she's in my TBR. I think I'll just bump her right to the top and start tonight ;o).

MK, you'll be at BG with us! We typically head out on a Sunday morning and stay all day. The "Griffin" is AWESOME! Hope you have a safe trip down and have TONS of fun!

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi Bellas! It's your pervy auntie Portia here! :)

Wow, this post has just blown me away... I'm so thrilled you're enjoying the books, Michelle, because I know you're afficionado of fine romance, erotic romance and erotica... and if I'm meeting your discerning standards I must be doing something right! Big smiles!!!

I'm so cheered up and bucked up by this... I was awake half the night turning the plot of my WIP over and over again in my head, in a semi dormant state... and getting nowhere. And the other half of the night, I was up chasing a mouse around the house because my stupid cat had set it free inside! My felines are so dumb that in this situation *I* have to recatch the mouse because they lose interest... which meant I was running from room to room in the small hours, in my pyjamas and my gardening gloves, trying to grab hold of a free range rodent!

So consequently, I was feeling like death warmed over... until I checked into RBTB! :)

Anyway, thanks again Michelle and all other Bellas... you've made my day. Oh, and yes, looking forward to Lifetime TV and blogging again! Dunno what I'll say... Maybe I could give a bit more background skinny on what I call 'Stoneworld'... where Entertaining Mr Stone and Suite Seventeen are set?

ps. MaryKate and RachD... I hope you have a brilliant time at Busch Gardens... we have TV ads for it over here on our telly and it looks fantastic!

Rach said...

Well, no BG after all--Little Bit has been in melt-down mode most of the day. That's the beauty of living 10 minutes away.

Portia, it is pretty fantastic there, even if a little cheesy :o). I can't believe there are adverts for it over there--amazing. :oP

ev said...

HI guys- just a quick pop in from Jersey. LOL. We aren't doing much today but resting, although we went swimming this morning and then had the Sunday Brunch. I love a brunch that has fresh shellfish!! And a chocolate fountain. mmmmmmmmm

I haven't read Portia yet, although I do see her stuff on the shelves at the store all the time. i have such a hugh tbr pile, i have had to start writing stuff down- I keep getting doubles.

Have fun guys and I hope Little Bit feels better!!

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi! I'm back again... and more awake this time! LOL

MaryKate, to my shame, I only dimly remember writing that up against the sawhorse scene... It must have been okay though, to make such an impact on you... ;)

And I love being mentioned in the same breath as Emma Holly... she's one of my favourites too!

Sorry you didn't get to the gardens, Rach... :( Hope that Little Bit quickly feels better and you can go another time soon.

Hey, Ev, good to know my books are readily available in the stores over there! I think Black Lace are much more widely distributed in the States now than they once were.

Julie in Ohio said...

Good Sunday, Bellas!!!

I have to laugh at this blog only because I'm a very recent convert of Portia's. I have just read EMS and it was terrific.
I, for one, would love to hear more about "Stoneworld". Are there going to be more additions to that world? :o)

FYI- When Portia said she designed Robert Stone around Vincent D'Onofrio, I believe her. I don't picture actors or any others in a book character but I couldn't help it with this one. He jumped right out of the pages at me.

Rach said...

The grumpies were caused by teething and a whacked-out week last week. Bit has currently been napping for three hours, so I know she's been wiped out. Thanks for the kind thoughts, Portia!

Ev, what a great morning. :o)

Jules, which Portia did you start with and which would you rec I start with?

Rach said...

Oh, yeah, Portia, you too. Which of your books should I read first?

Julie in Ohio said...

I can only rec the ones I've read, Rach. Although, I have a funny feeling they are all splendid.
"Suite Seventeen" is actually a related book to "Entertaining Mr. Stone". I would rec reading EMS followed by SS.

Kati said...

Hi Rach! Wouldn't it have been fun if we could have met up?? I have the season pass thingie, so I'll try to get in touch with you next time we're down. I'd love to meet you in person!

The drive home was horrifying. It takes generally about 2.5 hours to get to W'burg from where I live. But it took me 4.5 to get home. There's nothing like doing 35 mph on I-95. Horrible. Plus, I drive a stick shift, so I spent the entire time 1st-2nd-3rd-downshift. What a pain in the tookus.

Rach, I started with The Tutor, which could very well be why I love it so much. It's quite a sweet story, and lovely if you're not a big erotica reader, only because it's pretty straightforward sex and not too much wild and crazy. I adore it. It's literally on my night table.

Portia, yes the UATSH made an impression on me, mainly because you don't see much voyeurism in a lot of the books I read, and I really am intrigued by the idea. The whole element of could be discovered, well, it's a turn on. *blush*

Rach said...

MK, I hear ya on the stick-shift-in-the-interstate-traffic thing. UGH! When I used to drive up to see Jessie and we hit 95 traffic I would look for the closest alternative route.

And yes, the next time you are down this way I would *LOVE* to meet up with you! We too have season passes (duh!) and go all the time! :o) Oh, and I was thinking THE TUTOR would be one of the books I would try. Sounds delish.

Jules, thanks, I'll check into EMS--sounds good ;o).

Portia Da Costa said...

Hi guys... well, one of the books of mine that people have said is most romantic is THE STRANGER. Think that it's currently available in print, if anyone fancies it as a starter PDC... It's another older woman/younger man story, but with an amnesia twist. I wrote it when I was mad for Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor Who...

And yes, definitely read EMS before S17... although they don't *entirely* depend on each other, so you could read them the other way round and still enjoy them.

And in a touch of shameless promo here... I've got a publication day today! My second ever ebook... well, it's a mini, mini novella actually...

Info at my blog if you're interested. It's a pretty romantic piece... but v. hawt. ;)

Stacy~ said...

I am going to have to check these out by Portia - they sound hot and romantic, which I love.

"Voyeur" by Lacey Alexander and WWW by Jaci Burton both worked for me in a big way ;)

Keira Soleore said...

Sorry to hijack the blog here, but I wanted to know how many of the Bellas are attening National this July? Please comment, so I can be sure to meet you and also buy myself a RBTB button.

So far I have: Michelle and Keira.

Portia Da Costa said...

Would love to attend Nationals, but I live in the UK, and I don't travel much, so the prospect of crossing the Atlantic is a very big deal. I hope to get there one of these days though... Better not leave it too long though, or I will need to air freight a bath chair too!

Portia Da Costa said...


Eek, just the title of that one makes me want it on my TBB list! ;)

Rach said...

Portia, thanks for the thoughts :o).

Keira, I *wish* I was going to nationals. Maybe 2009 when it's in DC. I'll crash with MK :oP.

Kati said...

I'm not going to make it to Nationals either. Just started a new job last week, so taking time off just isn't an option. But yes, in 2009, open invitation for the Bellas to crash w/me!

Julie in Ohio said...

Keira-- I'll be at nationals in spirit. DC is alot closer so I'm aiming for 2009.

MK-- You may need to get a bigger place... :oD

Portia Da Costa said...

Maybe I'll be able to attend in '09? Should be more choice of direct flights to DC from the UK.

Should have screwed up enough courage by then too... and saved enough money! LOL

Julie in Ohio said...

Portia-- You're not a flyer, either? I hear if you get good and snockered before boarding the plane the flight's more enjoyable.
I, personally, haven't been on one but would *have* to test that theory if the occasion ever arises. :p

Kati said...

Portia - Yes, you take it "medicinally" to help you "sleep." I find two glasses of wine help on an international flight.

I fly all the time, but still get nervous if it gets a little bumpy. You'd think I'd know better, since my brother is a pilot. But, I can still white knuckle with the best of them.

Jules, no worries, we've got lots and lots of room at our house (and a swimming pool!!). Two guest rooms and then a couple of aerobeds. Plus, the Metro is nearby, so we can just hop that each morning to get to the conference. I'm going to try to talk Michelle into coming early for a slumber party. She already got a lecture about not coming back to the DC area RWA chapter meeting without calling me and coming in early so we can hang! LOL!

Rach said...

Portia, flying from Hethrow to DC is a breeze--lots of alcohol and some other aids make sleeping easy ;oP.

Ah, the MK, the metro close by? Perfect! I'm SO there :oP. Actually, since Jessie moved from Sterling to KS, my DC connections are few and far between. There's nothing quite like using family and friends for free lodging :oP.

Rach said...

Oops, edit before hitting submit, Rach! Sorry, that should have read, "Ah, MK, the Metro" but I reckon the MK is close by as well...Oy vey. *Rach rolls eyes are herself for being stupid once again*

Kati said...

LOL! I've missed you Rach! How's the kiddo feelin'?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas and Portia! I've been AWOL with a yukky migraine, butc I'm back in form today and (mildly) rarin to go.

Yes, Jules, I must say also I saw Mr Stone as D'Onofrio, too. And I never ever see an actor when I'm reading a novel. I thought it would annoy me, but, well, since Vincenzo rocks my world, too, maybe I got off on the whole thing even more.

Good God! I so wish I'd have had a boss like Stone. And he and his heroine make an appearance in "Suite Seventeen" in most delightful ways. (I read S17 before Mr Stone and it gave me a big smiley Aha moment when I made the connection).

ev, you lucky brunch girl, you. Glad you had fun.

MK, you may regret having invited us over.

Portia! You have to come to RWA sometime! Was so hoping you'd visit this year. But DC will do in '09, I guess {she pouts}.

Stace, I was just flippin through "Voyeur" last night and thought it was really hot, too. And WWW was terrif; just gave it to Amyskf yesterday.

Rach, what a week you're having! I keep saying it, but I hope you'll get a little rest soon. When my kids were that little, I remember always being dawg tired.

Hi, Keira! Good question. I'll be at RWA, of course. We;ll have to ask the question in a blog this week. And I'm not sure if Blogging National will be up again this year. They had lists of everyone blogging daily at Nat'l last year, too.

Rach said...

MK, Michelle, the Monkey is doing really well but I fear she's going to have two mondo scars. I'm going to talk with the pediatrician today to see what she thinks. I just keep thinking that life before antibiotics must have been sheer unadulterated hell on parents.

Little Bit is back to her usual chipper, 18 month old self. And yes, Michelle, I spend my days *exhausted*. But, then again, I only have two monsters. I have no idea how people with more do it! :oP

Julie in Ohio said...

Where is Miss Amy? Haven't seen her in a while. I hope all is well.

"I only have two monsters. I have no idea how people with more do it! :oP"

Rach-- We put the kids in a gladiator's ring and let them duke it out. Summer entertainment for the entire family. :o)

Playground Monitor said...

Hey y'all! I've only read one little short story by Portia in "Sex and Shopping." While you get the hot sex, you don't get the characterization and plot development. I'm gonna have to hunt me down some Portia books.

I'll be at Nationals this year. I hope they do the Blogging National blog again. I can't remember where I found out about it last year but our blog was listed and we did do minimal blogging from Atlanta. I'll probably schlep along my new laptop this year and try to blog. I think the i-net access is free in the lobby. I can't understand why I can get free wireless at a Days Inn but I have to pay for it when I'm handing over $150 for a room. Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? Not that I think it will make any difference, but I plan to protest when I check into the Dallas Hyatt and offer up that Days Inn comparison. Who knows? I've received some nice freebies by complaining.


Portia Da Costa said...

Yikes, sorry to hear about your migraine, Michelle. I had a nasty one last week too... so I can sympathise. What we need is the sort of treatment Valentino got... only *from* him! ;)

Right... my long term plan now is to get to get to RWA '09! My friend Saskia Walker and I have talked about it, and about travelling together, so maybe you will get not one Brit erotic romance author, but two!

I do hope that Blogging Nationals runs... that way I'll be able to be there in spirit, via the blogs! :)

Hi Play! No, in shorts you're pretty limited in terms of plot and whatnot... although I would imagine that the Sex and Shopping story you read would have far more resonance for those who've read Entertaining Mr Stone. It's part of the Stoneworld 'saga'...

Rach said...

LOL, Jules! :oP

YAY Portia! I know I would *LOVE* to meet all the Bellas at '09 Nationals!

Playground Monitor said...

Good news! I just tracked down Jude and she's going to do the Blogging National blog again this year. It was fun to participate in it and also to read other authors' take on the conference and happenings.

The URL is .


Playground Monitor said...

Gee. Did I forget to put on deodorant and everybody ran away?


Portia Da Costa said...

Hi again Marilyn!

Thanks for that link to the Nationals Blog. I've bookmarked it in readiness.

I would have hung around to chat, but I'm on a different time... I had to go to bed, alas!

Rach said...

Marilyn, thank you for digging up that info for us. This way we can live vicariously through those of you who will be attending. :o)