Monday, 25 May 2015

Difficulties finishing a series

It’s been approximately 16 years since the second in a trilogy
by one of my favourite sci-fi/fantasy authors, Melanie Rawn. This is a continuing series following the same characters, and for all that time I have been pulling my hair out wondering what happened to them since war was brewing between the good guys and the bad guys and the good guys had fled to safety – although the hero was tragically killed. Sadly, Melanie had a major illness after that last book and has talked about the problems of getting back into this series. Instead she had written other books, although has promised to bring out the last in this trilogy….

Another author of a sci-fi series (David Feintuch) similarly wrote about the same characters, but each story was self contained and the next one usually moved the timeline on some months or years. Except the last one where he left the good guys in an alien spaceship with aliens that they had made friends with after battling them for decades, swiftly following the bad guys (in this case other humans) back to Earth to stop them. When a friend was reading this series and got to the end I warned him there wasn’t another yet and he jokingly asked if the author was still alive. I checked on google – not expecting to find his funeral was that afternoon! Myself (along with his other fans) have had to mentally work out what we think would happen!

So all this was before I became an author myself and realized the difficulties an author can have when writing series. I have suffered from drops in energy levels, caused, mainly, by the fact that I also have a full time day job. Receiving some poor reviews, which puts you off writing other stories in that series. No ideas where to take the series further. Lack of interest in the characters. Having other plot bunnies demanding that you write their stories! (This latter is a HUGE problem). And readers requesting you write more stories about specific characters.

Most of my series have followed the fortunes of different characters with those from previous books being minor characters in the later ones. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter that I only did two in the Duoterra series set on a colony planet sometime in the future – I might do more but I’ve got more interested in other sci-fi series.



Some series I have completed – the Friends & Acquaintances trilogy and the Doms & Acquaintances trilogy which has cross over characters. I have an idea to do a 10 year follow up of these six friends to show what happened to their lives. I’ve done a few chapters, so that may get completed. Similarly, the Battle of Wills duo was only ever intended to be two stories. And Susan Laine and I still hope to do a follow up in the ‘Weres of Europe’ series – although we weren’t originally intending to write about the same characters, but readers have asked so we are going to bring the characters to England for this story (last time most of the action was in Finland as my fellow author is Finnish).
 
However, I still have to do more in ‘The Haunt of the Wolves’ series – and book number three is in the early stages of being plotted. Number two in the ‘Captured in Space’ series is being written as we speak. I had no intention of doing more than one but the sister of one of the heroes went and got herself kidnapped so it became a series (bloody characters won’t always do what we want them to do!!).

This, though, has been put to one side because I came up with ideas to finish off the ‘Alien Manhunt’ series (actually the series is called Hunted but each book is called Alien Manhunt 1, Alien Manhunt 2 and so on, and a different one of the heroes gets himself hunted in each one). Again, I wasn’t going to do more than one but several readers said they wanted to know what happened next! (LOL I won’t say ‘bloody readers’ as I love you to bits and thank you from the bottom of my heart for buying my books).

The last series I want to work on further is ‘The Manor of Decadence’. I have lots of ideas for the setting… just haven’t any ideas for characters or plot so far.



I will try not to come up with any more series until I have finished the others… but I can’t promise that a fabulous character won’t walk into my head, smile and say, “Take me, I’m yours.” Actually they are more likely to say, “If you don’t put me in your story I will hound your every waking moment…….”

Friday, 22 May 2015

Weekend Reading

Limousines, winter wonderland or an alternative universe reminiscent of New Orleans – where will love strike next?



Title of book: Passion’s Hope (The Doms of Passion Lake 3)

Name of author: Julie Shelton

Genre: BDSM Contemporary, MMF and MFM Ménage

Description of main characters:

Nik Rostov: Russian, mid-40's, six feet eight inches, long black hair, dark brown eyes, tattoos on arms, back and head. Wears gold hoop earring.

Jay Gillespie: early thirties, six feet four inches tall, shaggy brown hair, green eyes.

Charlotte Fielding: long, straight black hair, light brown eyes, six feet tall and gorgeous.

Setting: The Passion Lake Lodge (a log cabin fishing/hunting/camping/ hiking paradise in the Virginia foothills, which Nik and Jay own)

Length: 110,000+ words

Blurb:

Charlotte Fielding witnesses a scorching scene between Nik Rostov and Jay Fielding in a BDSM club. When they spot her the combustion between them flares into a conflagration that consumes them all. But Charlie is fleeing a vengeful ex-Dom. Will Nik and Jay be able to keep her alive?

What's hot? Sex in a limousine





Title of book: Bound To Her
 
Name of author: Michelle Monkou

Genre: Erotic Romance

Description of characters:

Rock, park ranger, jet black hair, sky blue eyes, rugged close shaven beard, early 30s, 6' 3"

Bethany: soft green eyes, honey blond, entertainment publicist, late 20s, 5' 7"

Setting: Maine

Length: novelette (12K words)

Blurb:

California beauty, Bethany Rhodes, needs an emergency getaway after a humiliating revelation about her surfer boyfriend. She chooses the opposite coast for her escape to the Maine mountainside. A blistering blizzard rolls keeping her snowbound at the inn where her attention focuses on the grumpy, but gorgeous, innkeeper’s brother…Rock Braxton.

What's Hot: Sexy hot nights in a winter wonderland






Title of Book: Jack the Stripper (Jack the Stripper was originally published by Loose Id as "Zombie Jack". It has been re-edited and re-issued by Evernight Publishing.)

Name of Author: Jennifer Macaire

Genre: Urban fantasy

Description of main characters:

Jack, 29 when he died, 6'5", black hair, blue eyes, is a zombie but works in the ultra secret M.U.C.I. (Mutant and Undead Criminal Investigation). 

Setting: in alternate universe town reminiscent of New Orleans.

Length: 300 pages

Blurb

Jack's back from the dead. His mission? Catch the Heart Taker, a mutant terrifying human and undead alike. Jack teams up with his ex-girlfriend Brianna and a hot zombie named May to catch the killer - he has to hurry, the Heart Taker has chosen Brianna as his next victim.

What’s hot?: A hot scene when Brianna makes love to Jack after he shows her his stripper moves.

Buy link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/jack-the-stripper-by-jennifer-macaire

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Doing the Johari Window

Earlier this year I heard about Johari Windows. This was invented by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in the 1950s as a model for mapping personality awareness, eg, how others see you from a fixed set list of adjectives. Anyone fancy doing it the link is www.kevan.org/johari

So you start off by choosing up to six adjectives from a large list of fairly positive adjectives and you send a link to friends, family or colleagues and ask them to choose up to six from the same list of how they see you.

You can then compare how others see you against how you see yourself.

I did this as Jennifer, the writer, asking various writing friends to take part. Many of them have never met me, only know me via my online presence.

I then did it as Jennifer, the secretary at the day job, where we asked everyone in our team to take part. The interesting thing is how the two lists compare because how you come over to others in a safe online environment can be very different to how you are perceived on a daily basis, often under pressure. You have time to compose how you say things online that you may not in other circumstances, but also, how much of how you are perceived face-to-face is visual body language?

Jennifer the writer

80% think I am warm (wow! That isn’t one I would have called myself in a million years!)
60% think I am cheerful J
60% think I am friendly J
60% think I am intelligent (naturally!)

Other words chosen included independent, confident, bold, happy, self-assertive, trustworthy, giving, witty (witty?!) I would agree with all of those, although I’m not too sure about witty.

Other ones I chose included organized and reflective but no-one else chose those.

Neither did anyone (including myself) choose shy (me! Ha! Maybe 30 years ago). Nor sympathetic (true – I am be very cutting), dignified (*snort*), modest (*double snort*) or quiet (hahahahahaha).


Jennifer the secretary

85% think I am cheerful (interesting that came up in both lists)
85% think I am organized (intriguing it came up in this list but not the first, but then as a secretary they see the true extent of my organizational skills)
42% think I am friendly
28% think I am sensible (boring!)

Other words chosen included dependable, energetic, trustworthy (again), confident (again), kind, patient, self-assertive (again), modest (really – me?!), warm (again – but not as many as in the first list). Again, I would agree with all, except, maybe the last two. But clearly some people see me differently than I see myself.

The two words which were thought-provoking, though, were when some said I was tense and nervous. Which is true, in difficult situations I can be, and often more tense and nervous around some people that I might find hard to get on with than others.


And still no-one saw me as reflective and yet I can be an incredibly reflective person. After all, I wouldn’t be reflecting on these tests if I wasn’t!

Monday, 18 May 2015

Something you never knew...

Something you never knew about me….

My first career (way, way before I was an author), before I became a secretary, I was a nanny. I went on a nursery nursing course (and failed the exam – I am awful at exams!). However, I didn’t particularly need a qualification to get a nanny job, which is what I wanted to do anyway as my mum had been a nanny before she married.

I did this for eight years, working in Cambridge, London, Germany (in Cologne), Surrey and Dorset. I looked after seven girls and six boys ranging from about 2 years to about 10 years throughout those jobs.


We had some fun times – there were Christmas plays, walks around historical cities, playing in the woods or parks, visits to swimming pools (I was hopeless at mending their clothes or cooking meals but I could certainly ‘play’!).




This was taken in the London job. The boy was a monster! LOL. He managed to blow up the tv and take an overdose of children's medicine (but neither of which he did when I was there!)





In the Cambridge job I started a bank for the boys who gave me their money and if they got to a certain amount I would give them ‘interest’. Meanwhile they could give out ‘cheques’ to their family to reclaim the money from me. (Try to ignore the dreadful 1980s perm!)



I was in the Surrey job when Charles and Diana married and we made bunting and flags and designed what we thought the wedding dress would be like.

In the job in Germany I made up quizzes for the older children which involved answering questions or doing things and they had to pass one quiz before they could move on to another which got increasingly harder.

After eight years I gave it up because I needed a change of career, but still miss all those children, the eldest of whom will be 43 now…. (Yikes!)

Friday, 15 May 2015

Weekend Reading

Love takes place in different settings whether it is a different country, outer space or the University of Musical Prodigies .….



Title of book: Native Tongue

Name of author: Lucy Felthouse

Genre: M/M Erotic Romance

Description of main characters:

Hugh Wilkes, 27, dark hair, blue eyes, soldier.

Rustam Balkhi, 28, dark hair, dark eyes, trainee doctor.

Setting: England

Length: 30k

Blurb:

When Captain Hugh Wilkes fell for his Afghan interpreter, Rustam Balkhi, he knew things would never be easy. After months of secrecy, their return to England should have spelt an end to sneaking around. But there are many obstacles to overcome. Can they get past those obstacles, or is this one battle too many?

What’s hot?: Learning to love in a different setting





Title of book: Valan's Bondmate (Zarronian Warriors 1)

Name of author: Mardi Maxwell

Genre: Steamy sci-fi romance

Description of main characters:

Valan Eirikson, Commander of a Zarronian starship, age 32 1/2, 6'11", muscular, gorgeous face, silvery gray eyes, long black hair - shaved and tattooed on the sides.

Lia ad-San, age 20, 5'5", curvy but delicate, long red hair, aqua eyes, golden complexion, Wrothian female.

Setting: Valan's starship, The Invincible and planet Zarronia.

Length: 172 pages

Blurb:

Lia's sire killed the Zarronian females. Valan has to bond with a compatible female or die of the Zarronian mating fever plaguing him. He abducts Lia even though he considers her the enemy. The fever they share will keep them together but only love can make them want each other.

What’s hot?: A mating fever that's burning out of control.

Buy link: Amazon US http://amzn.to/1vDx8vp




Title of book: Heartstrings

Name of author: Nova Arisól LaMason

Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Erotic Romance, M/M, M/M/M
Sub-genre: School Life

Description of Main Characters:

• Vladimir Andante, 19, Croatian-Italian, 5'7.75", athletic physique, hair-near purest white, shoulder-length, long sidelocks, eyes – gold. Occupation: 2nd-year student at La Università di Prodigi Musicali. Position: Elite Class, Vocalist (Opera). Title: Best Male Vocalist

• Guy Largo, 20, Irish-Italian, 6'2, broad-shouldered and muscular. Hair - fiery red, somewhat short, attractively unkempt. Eyes - bright blue. Occupation: 2nd-year student at La Università di Prodigi Musicali. Position: Elite Class, Pianist (Classical, Romantic). Title: Top Pianist

• Sergio Grave, 25, Italian, 5'9.5", Slim and sinewy. Hair - black, short, spiked upward in front. Eyes - gray with green centre. Occupation: 1st-year student at La Università di Prodigi Musicali. Position: Elite Class, Violinist (Classical, Romantic). Title: None

Setting: La Università di Prodigi Musicali ("The University of Musical Prodigies")

Length: 28,226 Words

Blurb:

Vladimir Andante and Guy Largo are lovers and students at the world’s most prestigious music university. Their peaceful cohabitation is disrupted when new student Sergio Grave is assigned to room with them. Handsome and mysterious but aggressively antisocial, Sergio’s entrance begins an emotional roller coaster that shakes the lovers’ relationship.

What’s hot?: Anal, oral, anilingus, spontaneous sex on the floor

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Smut by the Sea 2015




This year will be the third Smut by the Sea at Scarborough Library and it’s bigger and better than ever before with a schedule filled with sexy, seaside shenanigans.  This year’s event is sponsored by Sexhibition, the brand new and innovative Sex expo to be held in Manchester this August. Smut UK will be there, you should be too!

On the 23rd May 2015 Smut UK will take over the upstairs of Scarborough library from 9am -5pm with workshops, performances and more to delight you. All day you will be able to indulge in the delights of the erotic market place. Get your homemade gifts and treats from Bella Settarra, and Cara Sutra will be giving away goody bags and selling sexy treats including DVDs, bondage gear and lube. Pick up a book from the Smutty book stall, check out Steph’s Ann Summers table and of course you must have a go on the world famous Erotic Tombola, you never know what you might win.

There will be two reading slams filled with top quality authors, make sure you come and listen to Cara Sutra, Janine Ashbless, Kiki DeLovely, Charlie J Forrest, Bella Settarra, Anna Sky, Slave Nano, Cameryn Moore, Helen J Perry, Ashe Barker, Jacqueline Brocker, Ashley R Lister, Lisabet Sarai, and Victoria Blisse as they read 5 minute excerpts for your aural pleasure.

Three diverse workshops will take place though out the day, Jennifer Denys will be leading one on researching and writing Werewolf stories, Slave Nano will be Kinking up the Past in his historical and sexy workshop and Cameryn Moore, professional potty mouth will be talking dirty to filth up your fiction or steam up your sex life.

And as if that’s not enough there will be performances from the Enchanting Bea Noir and the sensual Blue Belle and those brave enough can pick up a Free Spanking from Mistress Cara Sutra!

Tickets are still available including a VIP package that includes a sexy goody bag filled with treats, your lunch and priority seating in all workshops, performances and slams.


The Smut UK team

Monday, 11 May 2015

Submission call! 'Men for Hire 2'

Submission call!



The ‘Men for Hire’ anthology will be out in late September. This is four MF/MFM stories.

And now I am happy to announce we will be doing a follow up anthology 'Men for Hire 2' to contain MM/all male menage stories.

Here are the details below. More on Luminosity website. The deadline is 1 September with a release date in January 2016. Get writing!

Setting: Jennifer Archer runs a firm in London offering ‘men for hire’ to do any job from dog walking, house sitting, DIY, chauffeuring, etc…. (Not sexual, since this isn’t about running a brothel! HOWEVER, in the course of doing the job the main characters will be expected to have sexual relations).

Story ideas: We are looking for unique and erotic situations in this anthology. The plot should be strong, even though it is short, the characters notable, the romance powerful, and the sex PASSIONATE!

M/M, and all male-ménage combinations accepted.

Stories should be between 8,000-12,000 words. Stories should always have a HEA or HFN ending.

The submission deadline is 1 September 2015 for release in January 2016.

Submit the full story plus synopsis to:
Jennifer Denys – Acquisitions: Jennifer.denys@yahoo.com

When submitting, please enter “Men for Hire MM” in the email subject line.