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WHEN DIANA DELUCA first started doing her Botanica Erotica workshops several years ago, she envisioned an afternoon of esteem-building, five-sensory bombardment, and practical herbal instruction. Often described as "play shops" for women, the classes would be playful explorations of the vast spiritual dimensions of sensual pleasure, with inspiring facts about love goddesses and the natural history of the senses--and recipes for herbal aphrodisiacs and sensuous bath and massage oils.

From her own experiences as an herbalist, she already knew plenty, but in the interest of research, DeLuca went searching for books on herbal aphrodisiacs. She didn't find any. As the years passed, however, she realized she'd collected enough recipes and secrets to make a book of her own. Thus was born Botanica Erotica: Arousing Body, Mind, and Spirit (Healing Arts Press, 1998).

"This is the sort of book I went into stores looking for," says DeLuca, who will be reading and signing her work at Copperfield's Books in Sebastopol on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. "I had this vision of women being able to have a guideline to pick out a recipe for different things, whether it's for the bath or for the kitchen, or different lotions or potions--things to inspire you."

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From the February 10-16, 2000 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

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