Cover © Alessia Brio
ARTIFACTUAL (BOOK 1)
PP-017, PURPLE PROSAIC, OCTOBER 2009
Mandy stands to inherit the family legacy--a famous Philadelphia adult toy store and museum called Erotique--but she first has to meet the terms of the will and spend the night. With the help of her best friend, Bruce, she soon discovers the exhibits are VERY educational and her feelings for Bruce run deeper than she realized.
Erotique was first published by Phaze Books as part of its Shiver HeatSheets. The story continues in Switch, Amichu, and Closing Arguments (which comprise the ArtiFactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique collection). At First is a prequel.
[EROTIC ROMANCE, EROTICA, CONTEMPORARY, PARANORMAL, PRIMARILY HETEROSEXUAL]
BUY DIRECT USING
PAYPAL ORDERS ARE FULFILLED AUTOMATICALLY
GOOGLE CHECKOUT ORDERS ARE FILLED MANUALLY
DELIVERY MAY REQUIRE UP TO 48 HRS
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"You've gotta be kidding me!" Bruce took the proffered legal document and
scanned it. "That's just so ... so Scooby Doo."
Mandy snickered as she dove into her taco salad. "Wanna hear the best part? I have to do it on the next full moon."
"Amazing. Just amazing. Where is this place, anyway? If it's in a rough neighborhood, I'm going with you."
"Oh, come on! Don't tell me you've never heard of it? It's only the most celebrated sex shop in Philly, maybe even on the entire east coast." Mandy fished in her backpack and pulled out a glossy catalog. "This," she said, proudly handing it to Bruce, "is Erotique."
"Oh! Okay, I'm a little slow. I just put two and two together. So, your great aunt is... was the notorious Miss Vivian? I'd no idea."
"Yup. I come from a long line of lusty ladies who've used sex--in one way or another--to succeed in this man's world," she winked. "The shop's been in the family for generations. My great-great grandmother opened it in 1897 as a treatment center for 'hysteria.' It was one of the first places in the city to have electricity which, of course, powered the equipment. Once upon a time, there were eighteen electro-mechanical vibrators in operation from the time the shop opened in the morning until it closed in the evening. She made a small fortune. Booked months in advance. Regular customers, too, from affluent families. They just kept--pardon my pun--coming."
Bruce just shook his head, still absorbing the news.
"As more and more households got electricity, she gradually shifted from selling the service to selling the actual merchandise for home use. And, she made sure her products were always cheaper than the model Sears advertised as 'a device for anxiety and female tension.' Those mainstream promotions disappeared in the 1930s, when the porn industry made it impossible to overlook a vibrator's true purpose. Even so, a few of the 'climax closets'--as Aunt Viv called 'em--stayed in operation clear through World War II. Her predecessor, my great-great aunt Sophie, even accepted ration coupons in payment: sugar, coffee, gasoline, shoes."
"Whoa! Slow down," Bruce interjected. "Where'd you get all this information, anyway?"
Mandy shrugged, "I grew up with it. Some of it was bound to sink in. It's fascinating stuff, huh?"
"And it's all yours now--the whole enchilada? That makes you a very wealthy woman."
"Not yet," Mandy reminded him. "First, I have to meet the terms of her will and spend the night in the shop--alone.