A Quirky Tale of Poison and Poetry

Publication Date, May 1, 2015



The Erotica Book Club for Nice Ladies
Connie Spittler

Publication date: May 1, 2015
Publisher: River Junction Press, LLC
Fiction Junction Imprint
Distributor: Independent Publishers Group

ISBN: 9780991409365, 320 pages
Price: trade paper, $15.95, ebooks, $7.99

Author Tour: NE, IA, CO, NM, AZ, CA
Book Club Discussion Guide

Kira Gale, Publisher:
(402) 451 2878

Lily, a librarian with a bookmobile, arrives in the small California town of Nolan to help start a book club. Across the ocean in an Alsatian chateau, an ancient 'Book of Cures' is stolen and surreptitiously travels to a California coast library, then on to Nolan. Suspicion swirls around the three lonely book club members. Unaware of the theft, they secretly pursue their curiosity about classical erotica, while sipping a strange tea infused with herbs grown in a gypsy garden. Mysterious events collide. A crime wave and a murder shake up the town, as the women are entangled deeper and deeper into a baffling and increasingly dangerous puzzle.


for The Erotica Book Club for Nice Ladies

Gypsies, tattoos, ancient teas that stimulate … a dizzying and delightful tale of polite provocateurs who discover classic works by Anais Nin, Sappho, Margaret Atwood, Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen. A fantastical romantic mystery of friendship, science, sex and literature.  —Sally Deskins, Editor, Les Femmes Folles Books

An intriguing, herb-seasoned page-turner, with engaging characters and plenty of plot strands to untangle. — Susan Wittig Albert, author of Death Come Quickly.

The women in The Erotica Book Club for Nice Ladies captivated me in this richly woven tale of mystery, erotica, and ancient herbs. The author skillfully connects disparate elements into an intriguing story, with spicy quotes from famous works like Candide and The Decameron. For book clubs, mystery buffs, cancer survivors, librarians, gardeners and a wealth of other readers. This book has it all!  — Elena Díaz Bjorkquist, co-editor of Our Spirit, Our Reality, author of Suffer Smoke and Water from the Moon

 … a highly original, entertaining read. A multitude of beautifully defined and amusing characters swirl into a single, engaging plot-line.  — Christina Britton Conroy, author of One Man's Music

I love these ladies. The novel is inventive and lyrical, reminiscent of the magic of Alice Walker.  —Margie Lukas, author Faraway House

Spittler's writing and imagery are stunning. Her words paint vivid pictures of memorable characters and places while summoning up herbal magic and mystery. This wonderfully imaginative story is an homage to female friendships and classic writers who penned subtle words of erotica for curious minds. I look forward to my next cup of tea and hope it is as lively as in the book.  Di Saggau - Theater and Book Reviewer, Island Sun, Sanibel/Captiva FL & The River Weekly, Fort Myers FL

This nontraditional mystery revolves around the theft of an ancient book of gypsy herbal remedies called the Book of Cures. It’s also the story of how near-strangers transform a book club into a family. As the story arc dances from one subplot to another, the underlying theme reminds us that although we cannot choose our blood relatives, we can create powerful, supportive relationships with like-minded friends. 
— Susan Cummins Miller, author of Chasm, a Frankie McFarland mystery

… colorful characters, quivering description, and a who-dun-it. What more could you desire? — Marilyn Coffey, author of Mail-Order Kid and Marcella


Connie Spittler

How would you describe your book?
A women’s fiction/cozy mystery, also called a literary fantasy by some. I do appreciate whimsical and quirky events and enjoy cozy British mysteries. I began to write one with realistic characters and a reasonable plot. Paraphrasing a Tom Robbins quote, “Truth above realism,” the truth of the characters sent the book careening off center and the plot took twists and turns I’d never imagined.

Are you a naughty or nice lady? Do you read lots of erotica?
Mostly a nice lady, but one filled with curiosity, the kind who reads some of everything. Through the years, I’ve read most or parts of the erotica books mentioned in the novel and met lots of women as curious as I was. Imagine my surprise to find favorite authors Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen in an anthology about classic erotica.

What are the themes running through your novel?
The storyline looks at the way friendships develop and I chose a book club setting, because of the many friends I’ve found that way. Each woman is lonely and troubled, but gradually, reading and stories drew them together, despite differing ages and backgrounds. By the way, each woman owned her own business, a fact I didn’t realize until the book was finished. The herbal theme came from a collective of Mexican/American women writers I belonged to in Tucson. AZ. From them, I learned of herbal cures passed on to family members. However, remedies in the novel were taken from my research into ancient usage.

Have you had some exciting author moments?
One of my essays was chosen for an anthology The Art of Living, A Practical Guide to Being Alive. When it was about to be published by Editorial Kairos in Spain, the British editor emailed the names of those in the book to the other authors. I almost fell off my computer chair when I read the names: The Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra, Mario Vargas Llosa. Another thrill was to be published in What Wildness Is This, Women Write the Southwest. In this anthology, my nature essay appears alongside those of Barbara Kingsolver, Terry Tempest Williams, and Susan J. Tweit. I’m still amazed at the turns life takes.

What is your writing background?
My husband and I met at Creighton University, Omaha, NE, both studying Radio, TV, and Communications. After we married, we had a film/video production company. Bob was pilot, cinematographer/editor, and I was writer/producer. We flew around the country on interesting projects and received Clio recognition. When we moved to Arizona, I began writing essays, short stories, and memoir pieces and was published in twenty anthologies. I’ve also published two award winning nature essay books, a book of poetry, a creative non-fiction, and a novel. I was invited to teach writing workshops at the U of AZ Writing Works Center, focusing on the importance of women telling their stories.



from the Ladies' Book Club Meetings

A  Match
If you were queen of pleasure, and I were king of pain,
We'd hunt down love together, pluck out his flying-feather,
And teach his feet a measure. And find his mouth a rein.
— Algernon Swinburne, 1866

Ah, Why, Because the Dazzling Sun
Thought followed thought - star followed star
Through boundless regions on,
While one sweet influence, near and far,
Thrilled through, and proved us one.
— Emily Bronte, 1844

Bianca Among the Nightingales
We paled with love, we shook with love, We kissed so close we could not vow;
And through his words the nightingales drove straight and full their long clear call,
Like arrows through heroic mails, And love was awful in it all.
The nightingales, the nightingales!
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1860

Pride and Prejudice
To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love
— Jane Austen, 1813

The Decameron
She, being hotter than wine than cool with chastity, unreservedly undressed herself before Pericone ...  She had never before known the horn with which men –  (reading is interrupted)
— Boccaccio, 1353

O would I were the salt sea-wind and you upon the beach
Would bare your breast and let me blow
upon your heart I reach
—  Anonymous, B.C.

The New Atalantis 
She placed herself by the Duke. His eyes feasted themselves upon her face, thence wandered over her snowy bosom, and saw the young swelling breasts, just beginning to distinguish themselves and ...  gently heaved …. (Piper quits reading)
— Delarivier Manley, 1709

Upon the Nipples of Julia's Breast
A red rose peeping through a white? Or else a cherry (double graced)
Within a Lily? Centre placed? A strawberry shows half drowned in cream?
— Robert Herrick, 1638



Submitting Form...

There was an error with your submission. Please try again.

Thank you for your message!

Please enter the information found in this photograph in the field next to it.