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The Erotic Mystique
M. J. Rose discusses the importance of recurring themes of sensuality and erotica in her work.
As a reader first, and an author second, I'm all too aware of how much easier it is to sit down and watch TV or rent a movie than it is to read a book.
Television is passive entertainment that requires so little effort on the viewer's part: even if you're watching a wonderful movie -- you're just watching. You don't make the leap that it's you up there living that life or experiencing that drama.
The actors, the images, the atmosphere are too specific.
Books on the other hand are active and engage your imagination. As a reader you're required to become more involved and devote more attention -- and, if the book is good, you're glad to.
You can't read a book and talk on the phone or cook dinner at the same time the way you can with TV.
And so I think it's part of my job as an author to make sure the reading experience isn't just more work for my readers but is more rewarding and offers something you just can't get on a screen.
In a book you can discover the insides and undersides of experiences: the sensual and the erotic, the artistic, the insane, the dark and the devotional.
I owe it to you -- in exchange for your time -- to take you on a journey and offer a rich and rewarding fictive dream -- the kind you can only experience between the covers of a book.
And I think it's impossible to take a reader on that journey without looking into my characters' heart and soul.
In an essay in the New York Times, Roxana Robinson wrote: "Passion in the character is what elicits compassion in the observer."
And so if my job as a novelist is to move you and entertain you, I have to expose you to all of my characters' passions.
Which brings us to love -- one of the most universal and powerful emotions we experience. Its force over us is mysterious and often impossible to explain.
In the face of love we can compromise all our values, risk our lives, lose our ability to reason or rationalize -- and in the process we can be defeated or exalted.
If there is eroticism and sensuality in my novels it is because it is in our experience as human beings.
And, I believe, it's an area of our lives that can be explored in fiction in a deeper and less prurient way than on any TV or movie screen.
As for my inspiration? A little bit from life and the rest from imagination. M. J. Rose
Posted August 12, 2002
'Flesh Tones' is a fast-pased sizzler, a page-turning courtroom drama that unfolds to expose the underbelly of the New York art world. Obsession drives the protagonist, Genny Haviland, to help her terminally ill lover--legendary painter, lovable and despicable Slade Gabriel--end his life. Or did she murder him? Author M.J. Rose weaves a tight and compelling story of love and lust and the lengths to which individuals go to perpetuate both. Steamier than Louisiana in August, 'Flesh Tones' reaches triple-digit heat indices. The story kept this reader hooked until the final denouement. Going on vacation? Don't leave home without 'Flesh Tones.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2002
I was immediately drawn into the Manhattan art world by this intense courtroom drama. M.J. Rose explores love and obsession in romantic, passionate unions as well as in familial, parent-child relationships. An absorbing and emotional read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 22, 2002
A real page-turner! I stayed up most of the night to finish it. Ms. Rose 'paints' a superb, riveting story, with strong, complex, and fascinating characters. She is a great storyteller and the first-person narrative works very well with the detailed descriptions of scenery and feelings alike. Courtroom settings and dialogue are first-rate, with very thorough research, as is all the minute details about art and the art world. FLESH TONES is also a great love story, with a once-in-a-lifetime love, devotion, passion and desire. It is high drama, love, suspense and intrigue, with intricate characters and relationships. Ms. Rose is a real winner with FLESH TONES. It is a sophisticated, intelligent, highly entertaining and very well written novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 4, 2002
M.J.Rose knows how to spin a tale and create characters that you care about. Her knowledge of the art world and its vocabulary adds to the authenticity of the story. It was a page turner that made a five hour airplane trip seem like 20 minutes. I can't wait to read her next book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2002
Posted June 24, 2002
I can't remember the last time I read a book that kept me riveted to the page for so long. I was even shunning the family at the dinner table for three nights to keep my nose in it. Rarely is a novel written that evokes such intense emotion in the reader. It's been years since I've read a book that made me cry. Flesh Tones made me cry.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
Although Genny knew at seventeen that her thirty-seven year old lover was married and had a child, it didn¿t matter. His intense need for her fed her love for him until it threatened to consume her. When artist Slade Gabriel learns her true age and that she is the daughter of the gallery owner where he exhibits his paintings, his discovery makes the decision to return to his wife and child that much easier. <P>Genny¿s love turned to hate and then to indifference. She got married and divorced, made a successful career as a producer, winning two Emmys in her career. During that time Gabriel becomes a legend in his own time, his paintings selling for $200,000 and more. <P>Twenty years later Genny is reunited with Gabriel when a freak accident puts him and her father in a hospital. Their passion reignites and they have one grand and glorious year together before Genny goes on trial for his murder. Numb from the pain, she is almost unable to defend herself on the assisted suicide story her lawyer is trying to convince the jury is true. <P>FLESH TONES is an erotic and haunting love story about a man and a woman who have a connection that transcends age, society and morality. Told in the first person narrative within the framework of a murder trial, author M.J. Rose uses the flashback technique smoothly so there is no disruption of the prime plot line. Once started, this novel will prove impossible to put down until the reader reaches the end. <P>Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 14, 2008
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