On the colony planet of Duoterra, unattached women are expected to marry one or more men. But Emily Dubois, a widow in her forties who owns the bar in Frontier, loves her independence too much and the freedom to have sex with whomever she wants—particularly the young men of the area.
When she is caught in a compromising position with fun-loving, cocky Finn Taylor, a travelling musician with a commitment-phobia, the Judge insists they marry, much to her horror.
However, the ceremony is interrupted by another lover—serious, protective, hunky Robin McPherson, who’s been in love with Emily for years, but she keeps rejecting his proposal as she had such an awful first marriage. Both younger than her, the men are jealous and fight over Emily, but ensuing events mean that they have to work together to keep their woman from fleeing them.
So, I know you’ve been wondering how my long weekend in Finland with fellow writer, Susan Laine, has gone!
In brief, we had a terrific time.
Susan and I have written a book together (The Last Werewolf due out on 12 October) http://www.evernightpublishing.com/jennifer-denys/) but we have done this entirely by email, having never spoken to one another before I arrived at the airport (wearing a t-shirt with a wolf on it naturally! I had to make sure she recognised me somehow…..)
One of her concerns beforehand had been whether we run out of things to say since it is vastly different spending several days with a person than it is to converse over email. She gave me a lovely compliment that I had made it easy for her to talk to me! (In truth I never shut up. Well, I am an enquiring person – I wanted to know all about her and her life and her country so was constantly asking lots of questions. Some people might regard that as being nosy, of course…..)
Susan was a lovely host (and I must give thanks too to her long suffering mum who gave up her home and her bed for me!). After experiencing a Finnish sauna on my first evening, Susan took me all over Helsinki (this is me under the ‘Maiden of Finland’ who will not have ‘maidenly’ thoughts if she reads any of my books!!).
The next day we walked around Nuuksio National Park (well, 4km of it although it felt like all of it) – very beautiful with millions of lakes. Unfortunately, it was raining and we were your typical tourist wearing totally inappropriate clothes but it was a great walk!
And on my last day we went to the second oldest city in Finland, Porvoo, which had a beautiful cathedral (their churches are NOTHING like anything in England!) and lots of craft shops. Susan had to remind me frequently that I had absolutely no space left in my bulging suitcase to buy anything else……. We finished our trip there with a meal at a lovely restaurant where I ate reindeer!
Thanks for having me stay, Susan. Hope to see you next year!
This is the second in the Duoterra series and follows the fortunes of feisty bar owner, Emily.
Here is an extract:
“That makes it very simple. The man in question being unwed means he is free for Emily to marry him.” The judge had a broad grin on his face as he made this appalling pronouncement.
“No!” Emily was horrified. There was no way she was being forced into marrying Finn—or any man.
“There’s no ‘no’ about it. I have made my decision, and you will have to abide by it.”
She looked dismayed at Finn, who appeared equally horrified. She could hear mutterings from the crowd.
“About time, too.”
“That’s a shame.”
The last had come from a young man who had approached her just a couple of months ago wanting to come to her bed. She had gently rebuffed him, telling him he was too young, but in all seriousness she’d wonder if she would ever want to bed a virgin again. She’d had enough of them and wanted someone she didn’t walk all over. That was one major reason she kept turning Robin down—he gave in to her far too easily.
Adam, one of Brianna’s husbands, rose to his feet. As usual his natural dominance forced a hush to descend. “I can’t believe you people. You should know by now you can’t force women to marry. Look what happened with Brianna. That could have ended badly.”
The judge shifted in his seat to peer around Adam and looked over his spectacles to Brianna, who was trying unsuccessfully to sink down in her seat and hide. “Ah, the other scandalous woman with whom I have had the misfortune to have in this very courtroom.”
A growl from Adam caused Judge Wright to stop his inspection of Brianna. “You can stop snarling at me, Adam Hollis. You are only married to your wife because I allowed it.”
That didn’t stop Adam from glaring thunderously. “You know Brianna was properly married to me and my brothers, but she nearly ended up having to marry that slime bag, Quinn. I’m sure you would have made her if I hadn’t spoken up.”
One of the townsfolk, Clark, stood up. “But, Adam, there are…how many? Seven young men in town, my son included, who are in need of a wife. Shouldn’t all unattached women be made to choose a man?”
Emily was aghast. She didn’t want either Finn or Robin. She enjoyed her freedom too much. Standing to her feet swiftly, the legs of her chair screeching on the wooden floor, she declared forcibly, “I don’t want to get married. You can’t make me—I’ve been married. The law is quite clear that only single women need to marry.” She finished on a triumphant note as if that would be sufficient.
“Ah, my dear woman,” the judge started patronizingly, “you are wrong there.”
Judge Wright shuffled in his papers for a moment but then brandished the one he was looking for. “Let me quote you exactly what it says in the amendment to the Colonist’s Charter number three hundred and forty-two. It declares that any unmarried member of the female gender found having sexual intercourse with a member of the male gender must take out a marriage contract.”
“But that’s for single women, not widowed ones,” declared Emily.
“Really? Where exactly does it say the word ‘widowed?’ So are you, or are you not, unmarried at this very moment in time?” When he repeated the offending word loudly, she could have slapped him for his delighted expression.
“It is understood…” She looked around at those in the audience she knew were on her side, but they looked just as bewildered as she felt.
“Unfortunately, innuendoes and half-understood expectations are not sufficient. This amendment was brought in to keep people like you out of trouble. And I, for one, will be heartily pleased to keep you out of mischief in my town by enforcing the said law! Otherwise, I have no other recourse than to send you to the state brothel.”
The uproar that erupted in the room deafened Emily, and she collapsed back in her chair trying to take everything in.
So her choices were to marry a man, who was much younger than her and who she didn’t know, or go to the brothel.
Terrific choices! And what on Earth would Robin say when he heard about it?
As she ruminated on the options, a third possibility began to emerge, but she swiftly shook it off as there was no way she could leave town before the marriage took place as that would mean giving up her bar. She had fought hard to keep her business from being taken from her in this male-dominated society. And if she went anywhere else, she would have to start again. Beside which, where would she go?
I am off to Finland on Friday for a long weekend to visit fellow writer, Susan Laine, who is Finnish and with whom I collaborated on a story, The Last Werewolf, due out next month through Evernight Publishing.
Susan and I have never met before, nor even spoken, although I have sent her a little video of me. I’ve commented before that getting on with someone on the internet is like internet dating – it is only half the story. How we will get on in real life when factors like body language, facial expression, tone of voice, habits, smells and other things come into play (I am warning her now if farting was an Olympic sport I would have won a gold medal for England!).
She once said that it is so much easier to converse with someone over an email when you don’t have these factors in the mix. I was quite shocked when she told me she was shy. Up to that point I would never in a million years have categorised her as shy as she certainly doesn’t come over that way in emails. Whereas I used to be shy when I was younger, I can now be a pushy, opinionated cow!
So, if you hear about a noisy, smelly, argumentative Englishwoman getting deported from Finland you know we didn’t get on. On the other hand, we may continue the fun we’ve had over our emails (I call her my little Finnish Were-beast and she calls me an English Goblin) and I could come back from my sojourn having brainstormed our next story…….
Earlier in September I visited the historical city of Lincoln to visit fellow British writer with Siren Publishing, the lovely Jan Bowles.
This was my first visit to this gorgeous city and I will forgive her not warning me of the INCREDIBLY steep hill up to the cathedral where we were meeting (!!!) particularly as we discovered we are alike in lots of ways from how we write to what we write to what we were wearing (black cowl neck jumpers – it was cold!).
Jan said I was the first author she had met despite writing since 2009, so I am glad to have arranged to meet her for lunch. Although I have to admit I rather interrogated the poor woman since she has been writing so much longer than me. Having just completed my first year as a writer I am still keen to know more about what it takes to become a bestselling writer like Jan who recently got an award from Siren for being one of their top 25 bestselling authors for 2011.
It is interesting to note (since I also write BDSM stories) that her own BDSM ones sell better than her cowboy ones. And, although she is interested in writing historical stories, she knows full well that they don’t sell as well, but she would like to have a go at sci-fi some time. (At this moment in time my sci-fi has sold much better than my BDSM stories on Bookstrand, which in turn sold vastly more than the romantic comedies, but not so on Amazon where the BDSM ones are better sellers). In fact, when I checked out Siren’s top bestsellers on Amazon UK the day before our meeting, Jan had four books in the top 12!!!
Along the same lines was her answer to my question about why she sets her stories in the US rather than the UK – they sell better. (I deliberately don’t name a city so that UK readers can visualise my stories set in the UK and US ones can do the same over the pond!). We had a laugh over what we call having to ‘Americanise’ our work, eg, color and not colour, take out and not take away – and we have both found certain idioms creeping into our conversational language like calling someone ‘honey’ and ‘sweetie’!
I asked her what form of promotion works best and Jan said she got a lot of traffic to her blog/website when she started posting the first chapters of her books whereas, to date, I’ve only done a short extract. Hmm. Food for thought.
We also talked about the difference between male and female writers. I knew that men tend to write more action and the women more about the emotions of their characters, but I hadn’t realised it is a known fact that men write in shorter sentences! I wonder if I have a male brain because I just cannot do the purple prose and struggle to add ‘description’ to my stories!!
Thank you, Jan. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and hope to meet up again in the near future and I plan to do more Erotic Writers’ lunch date posts (not necessarily in Lincoln! although it was a beautiful city) so watch out for them.
Mr. Bear and Mr. Rabbit didn't like each other very much and one day, whilst they were walking through the woods they came across a golden frog. The frog turned to them and said: "Ooh, I don't often meet anyone in these parts." They were amazed that the frog had talked to them.
The golden frog admitted: "Mind you, when I do meet someone I always give them six wishes. You can have three wishes each in this case.
Mr. Bear immediately wished that all the other bears in the forest were females. The frog granted his wish.
Mr. Rabbit, after thinking for a while, wished for a crash helmet. One appeared immediately, and he placed it on his head.
Mr. Bear was amazed at Mr. Rabbit's wish, but carried on with his second wish. He wished that all the bears in the neighboring forests were females as well, and the frog granted his wish.
Mr. Rabbit then wished for a motorcycle. It appeared before him, and he climbed on board and started revving the engine.
Mr. Bear could not believe it and complained that Mr. Rabbit had wasted two wishes that he could have had for himself. Shaking his head, Mr. Bear made his final wish, that all the other bears in the world were females as well, leaving him as the only male bear in the world.
The frog replied that it had been done, and they both turned to Mr. Rabbit for his last wish.
Mr. Rabbit revved the engine, thought for a second, then said: "I wish that Mr. Bear was gay!" and rode off as fast as he could!
Following on from Monday’s blog about having passed my first year as a writer and a writer writes words so….. the first person to post the easy answers to these questions will win a signed copy of either the complete Friends or the complete Doms series when they come out in paperback in the next few months. You have to look for the answers on my blog.
Third book in the Friends & Acquaintances series.
On the coming soon page a heroine is listed as fiercely what….?
The third county in the list of countries in ‘readers to this blog come from …’
First name of the writer with whom I am collaborating on The Last Werewolf.
Number in title of fourth book down on right hand side of page
Fourth letter of my surname
Name of the heroine who gets married in November (Doms & Acquaintances series)
Name of the club Retraining the Sub is set in
Name of 2nd hero mentioned in blurb on Chasing Emily, the Duoterra sequel
Now take the first letters of each word and what do they spell…….?
PS Well done, Diana for completing the quiz despite me forgetting to put the name of the hero in question 9 somewhere on my blog!! For those still wanting to take part the first three people to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of that hero (that I have now included!) will win an ebook of one of my books of your choice but not the Friends or Doms series as those are not available in ebook. The competition will close 5pm on Sunday (uk time).
It’s my First Anniversary of being a writer!!! And what a year it has been. I am still astonished that people want to read my books.
Here is what I have achieved in this year:
Eight books published (another two due to be released in forthcoming months) in various genres: romantic comedies, BDSM, sci-fi and paranormal;
Known sales within my first year amount to approximately 1,700 but Amazon sales since April are only estimated via Novelrank(!*!) and could amount to another 3,000 and then there are others like third party sellers whose sales are unknown until you get your royalty statement. So by that reckoning, and hoping Novelrank have underestimated, I could be in the region of 5,000 sales in my first year!;
Works in progress not including the two due to be released soon include: a comedy sci-fi, the sequel in the latest BDSM series ‘Retraining the Dom’, the first in a werewolf BDSM series ‘The Haunt of the Wolves’, a follow up ten-years on story which links the Friends & Doms series ‘A Champagne Friday Reunion’;
Hit the top ten on Bookstrand’s list of bestsellers in the MF category;
‘Submissive Training’ was number one on Siren’s list of bestsellers on Amazon UK for pretty much most of June and July;
Gave a talk on becoming a writer (am open to doing it again….);
Contributed to blogs, articles and interviews;
Set up my own blog and I post to it 3 times a week which is good fun and I’ve had some great blog discussions;
Set up facebook and twitter accounts (very difficult – I am not at all technical!!);
Made LOTS of writer friends – in particular Susan Laine, Tatum Throne and Angela Wray all of whom I am due to visit this Autumn. We have such fun talking books, men, writing, sex, plots, more men, firemen……;
HUGE learning development in how to write – am getting to grips with comma splices, dangling modifiers and em-dashes! (Don’t ask);
Worked on my first collaboration with another writer (Susan Laine) which was another big learning curve (but great fun!) – this one comes out in October;
As I write for American publishers learned to set up a document in first place which changes my words into American spelling without me having to think about them!;
Accepted by more than one publisher;
Completed my first short story and submitted for an anthology (and it was my first MM story);
And got my first fan emails.
What will I achieve in the next 12 months? Watch this space.
I talked previously about Retraining the Sub being a new BDSM series – it is actually a two part series, the second one is entitled Retraining the Dom. Haven’t done much more than start to outline that story so you have a little wait! However, I can tell you that it will feature Master Trey who was mentioned in Retraining the Sub.
If you have read RTS you will know that the sub in question was told to go on a retraining program for misusing her safe word.
In RTD the retraining program will be one for Doms – but you will have to wait to find out what Master Trey does that he needs to go on the retraining program……..
I’d like to welcome the lovely Lea Barrymire to my inspirational author interview for September. Lea has done terribly well, terribly quickly. Her first book was only out in April and she is already getting published with more than one publisher and has a variety of books out. (I read Alpha in Hiding for Lea as a ‘critical reader’ before it was accepted and thoroughly enjoyed it). Over to you Lea:
I have to say that writing about myself is just as difficult as writing a synopsis. I’m a reader more than a writer, a fighter more than a lover, and an antagonist in all aspects of my life. I’m a mom, a wife and a business owner. I try to keep my priorities in that order. I can’t live without coffee and chocolate, but could gladly go my entire life without eating another donut. I love writing strong heroes and stronger heroines. I have a fondness for BDSM that has flowed over into my real life. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, live fifteen minutes from my childhood home, and still call my parents Mom and Dad.
The book surrounds a pair of wolf shifters, Seth and Emily. But, this isn’t the normal alpha male saving the weaker female. Oh, no.
Emily is the Alpha’s daughter, who takes a job for her father that she doesn’t want to undertake. She is tasked with trying to get Seth in touch with his animal side. She’s disgusted the first moment she lays eyes on the weaker male and lumps him in with all of the other weak males in her life. Her strength allows her to do her job, but keeps her segregated from other wolves.
Seth has tried his entire adult life to avoid his wolf, going to any extreme he can think of to stop the monthly change that overcomes him. When he finds Emily Prescott, the dreaded daughter of the Alpha, standing on his porch he’s terrified. He isn’t happy about being forced to accompany her on a short camping trip, but what else could he do?
Eventually Emily and Seth find that they aren’t so different after all, and the road to Seth’s communion with his animal side is great to read.
(Read an extract at the end).
Is there any trivia about your latest/forthcoming story that you can share with us?
I actually worked with both wolves and cougars as a teen (way cool stories there, let me tell you) so their mannerisms and such are pretty comfortable for me to write. When I'm writing animal scenes I try to remember how the wolves interacted with us and each other. Being part of a wolf pack is one of the coolest things I've ever done.
What are you currently working on, or what’s on the horizon?
As always I have so many things going. I’m working on a shifter book for a new series, Accidentally Yours. I have a couple of books to get written for series I have already started. AND, if that isn’t enough I have a space abduction that is quite a change from the norm. How about a female alien on the lookout for a male to sate her needs?
Who did you dedicate your first book to?
My hubby had the honor of my first dedication. Without his unending patience with me pulling out my laptop at every possible moment, disappearing for hours, and constantly writing things in my little notebook, I wouldn’t be a writer.
If you had one item to take into the bedroom with you what would it be?
Trick question? I’d say if it couldn’t be my hubby, I would pick my cordless, multi-function butterfly vibrator. Wait, was I supposed to say a book or something? LOL
“Lenny, how many times do we have to do this, hmm? Go eat. You aren’t going to lose face with your buddies if you just go back over there and eat like a good boy.” She smiled and whispered, “I don’t want to hurt you today.”
Lenny, being the follower he was, turned to see what his friends were doing. They were all watching him expectantly, grinning like adolescent idiots. He turned back and she could see the determination on his face. Fine. They wanted a show, she would give them one.
She stood from the table, took a step toward Lenny and growled deep in her throat. She let her eyes partially change, her wolf yipping for a fight inside her head. Harnessing the Alpha blood racing through her veins was easy. She unleashed a little of the power and wrapped it around the irritating male standing in front of her.
The change in Lenny was instantaneous. He couldn’t fight her power—none of them could. He backed away from her, all six foot three of him, cowering slightly. Tremors worked their way through his body, making his teeth rattle. He turned his head and looked at the floor, tilting and baring his throat submissively. A low whine worked its way from through his lips. If she pushed much more he’d be a puddle on the floor, belly-up and quivering.
She looked up and slowly met every set of eyes in the place. She bared slightly elongated canines and growled, “You will all leave me the fuck alone for the rest of my meal. If any of you approach me, so help me, I’ll make you piss yourself right here in front of everyone.”
Two steps had her sliding back into the booth. She grumbled to herself about assholes and their friends. A chuckle brought her from her thoughts. She had totally forgotten about Seth. He was laughing silently, shaking hard enough to make the table vibrate. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to be pissed at him or laugh along with him, so instead she scowled at him and went back to shoveling her now-cold eggs into her mouth.
“Would you really make one of them piss their pants?” Mirth still clouded his voice, making it deeper. Amusement sparkled in his eyes. She almost kept from smiling back—almost.
“Sure. I’ve made Lenny lick my boots before. Actually, most of the males in here have been belly-up at my feet a few times.” She said it with pride, although she almost cringed. How would he react to that? She never cared what anyone thought of her actions, but this one time she looked at how she treated some of these males and saw how bitchy she could be.
“Nice. Well at least the threat took care of them, although I was sort of looking forward to you making one of them piss himself.” He chuckled. It sounded nice rolling from his chest.
The sound cut off abruptly and he exploded into a sneezing fit. She sighed. Weak males were the bane of her existence.
“Come on, we’ve got about forty more minutes until we reach the cabin and I have a full day of fun planned for us.” Scooting from the bench seat ended the conversation. She threw a wave toward Sal and strode from the diner, fully aware that every set of lungs breathed a sigh of relief as soon as she was gone. Some days she wished she was a normal female. It sucked having to be always on her guard, always the strong one.
Thanks for being interviewed, Lea. Good luck with the books. Next month’s inspirational author is Marie E Blossom.