Friday, 28 November 2014

Weekend reading

Demons, holidays and horror – nope, this isn’t a recipe for Christmas but this week’s books!


 
Title of book: Devils in the Dark

Name of author: Marcus Damanda

Genre: Horror/Evernight Teen

Description of main characters:

High school freshman Audrey Bales, dyed black hair, green eyes, goth--bullied by her classmates, suicidal

Alastair Hutchinson, master of 1000 ghosts, plotting revenge on Audrey's behalf against those who drove her over the edge. In the first book, seen mostly as an undefined shadow except when he takes on the form of one of the child-ghosts who live inside of him.

Setting: suburb of Fairview; St. George's hospital (in the psychiatric ward); Manassas Regional Juvenile Detention Center

Length: 28,000

Blurb: After five weeks in her new high school, Audrey Bales wanted to die. But even as the doctors put Audrey away, the kids who drove her over the edge have attracted the attention of an ancient evil, master of 1000 ghosts who wreak vengeance against those who would prey upon the weak.
  
What's hot?: A self-destructive teenager has attracted the attention of an ancient evil, who sees in her the memory of the girl he had once loved before his damnation.





Title of book: Her Christmas Wishes

Name of author: Lorraine Nelson

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Description of main characters:

Erica London, 5'9", long blonde hair, blue eyes, curvy build, rancher.

Spencer Rafferty, 6'4", dark shoulder-length hair, blue eyes, muscular build, author.

Setting: A Mountain Lodge in Alberta, Canada

Length: 13,000 words (45 pages)

Blurb:

Erica London hadn’t counted on a freak blizzard stranding her at her family’s lodge, but when handsome Spencer Rafferty ditches his car and shows up at her door, being stranding doesn’t matter in the least. The only question was…could she survive his leaving when the storm was over?

What’s hot in your story? When the power goes out, things heat up.



Title of book: Corrupting Demon
 
Name of author: Marion Webb-De Sisto

Genre: Paranormal/Romance (erotic)

Description of main characters:

Hero - Turael, very tall, well-built, handsome, black hair, dark eyes, a demon who corrupts women through sex.

Heroine - Emmi, small, brown hair, gray eyes, considered unattractive, mostly human with a little fae DNA, afraid of Turael, but feels attracted to him.

Setting: The world of Kurbridor, present time.

Length: 23,700+ words, 59 pages.

Blurb: Turael, a demon, pursues Emmi so that he can corrupt her through sex, and then she'll become the sex slave of the demon lords. An attraction builds between them, so does this ruin his plan?

What's hot?: Mind-blowing sex with a demon.

Buy link: http://luminositypublishing.com/product/corrupting-demon/

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Writing a new genre - Steampunk

I am pleased to welcome Susan Laine talking about writing steampunk for the first time.

Steampunk is a fascinating genre, a hybrid. It allows for all kinds of stories. The emphasis can be on an inventor and hard sciences with a futuristic touch, or on a social maverick who rebels against traditions and the system, offering relevant social commentary through action and suspense.

I chose steampunk because I had a ready-made world for it, one that I have been working on for many years, on and off. Steampunk offered a fitting term for a fantasy world where the two conflicting ruling bodies are a theocracy and feudal lords, elemental mages are divided by the regime, and inventors and steam technology are pushed to the fringes of society with the rise of religious fanaticism. In short, the genre gave shape and limitations for the series, the Isleshire Chronicles.

Two stories are out in the series. In the first, Lofty Dreams of Earthbound Men, we meet an inventor in danger, Jules, and an elemental mage, Obadai. They are hunted by a deadly steampunk creature through a small maritime town on the edge of the known world, even up to the heights of an airship tavern. In the second, Wishing Wings, Obadai and Jules encounter a new threat—in the unassuming form of a church bureaucrat. And all the while Jules is trying to get the hang of his latest invention—wings… for horses? Read the books to find out more. The third tale which will complete the starting trilogy is in the works.

Originally I hadn’t seen the series as purely steampunk. But over time, as steam-tech details began to increase during the world-building process, the genre was the first to fit, with fantasy coming in second. And I realized there is no such thing as pure steampunk, which is a renegade genre, letting every other genre play a part too.

As I started writing the series, the first trouble I encountered was the English language. I’m Finnish by happenstance of birth, and many of the steampunk world details were in Finnish, as I had written them as a teenager. Translations took their time.

My next problem came with my excitement over the fantasy world I had created. I had it all covered: Geography and nature, races and languages, myths and divinities, cities and towns, etc. In my enthusiasm I wrote the first novella, Lofty Dreams of Earthbound Men, with a heavy emphasis on world details along with the plot. Thankfully, by the time the second novella, Wishing Wings, came out, I had learned my mistake from the first novella and vastly reduced the abundance of details not every reader was going to appreciate.


Steampunk allows for great variety, and like a true rebel prefers mixing things up. Giving the world of Nebulosia aspects from other genres—fantasy, action and adventure, mystery and suspense, and even erotic romance—wasn’t difficult, as steampunk lets authors get away with it, leaving imagination and creativity as the only boundaries. I sure had fun choosing elements from other genres to play with as I wrote the stories.



For example, many would consider steampunk to focus on gadgetry, inventions, and naturally, steam-tech. But the overall setting could be anything, from the Wild West to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, from Lovecraftian horror to steaming hot erotica. Initially, the world of Isleshire (which is the archipelago at the heart of the stories, set on the planet of Nebulosia) consisted of low fantasy features, like mages without a lot magick and elves as a dying race. But the world was reshaped by adding steampunk into it, and where there were humans, elves, and dwarves, now also walked steampunk monsters, outcast inventors, and elemental mages in a cold war with religious fanatics.

A part of steampunk is gaslight, which is a sub-genre of fantasy, historical fiction, and original steampunk (focusing more on hard sciences and credibility). That’s about the range where my stories fit. The beauty of this mix of genres is that the only limits really are in my creativity. Steampunk, which in itself is a sub-genre of science fiction, gives an author great gift of freedom to expand to whatever might come, to simply explore.



I like reading steampunk—and I love writing it. Among romance readers, the genre unfortunately isn’t a particularly popular one, but curiosity toward it is growing. That promises good times ahead. I am continuing the series nonetheless, improving it and learning from past missteps, like any author would. I enjoyed writing these tales from Isleshire. I hope you enjoy them too.

Excerpt from Wishing Wings:

7:00 p.m., Faithday, 10th of Hay Days,
Year 2659 of Epoch of Pious Virtues

“I SMELL impending disaster…,” Obadai whispered to Captain Lovelace.
Jules heard him clearly since they all stood outside in the waning light of the summer evening. “Keep your opinions to yourself, killjoy,” he snapped back, continuing his preparations in tightening the new harness to the horse’s breast collar and cinch.
Lovelace’s chuckle was counterpointed by Obadai’s acquiescing grunt. “Sorry.”
“It’ll work. You’ll see.” Briefly Jules wondered exactly who he was trying to convince of the positive outcome of this upcoming field-test. Himself maybe?
When the airship had crashed against the New Town outer curtain wall nine years ago, it had brought down two adjacent structures. Fortunately, one had been a poor granary warehouse for New Town Market, which was up the street, close to the Dunbruth Secular Humanism College campus, while the other had been a stable, with only three horses that had all gotten out in time. No one was harmed or killed.
Still, Lovelace had been busy apologizing and fixing things that day!
Nonetheless, while the warehouse was beyond repair—half the airship sitting on top of it being the main reason—the stable had been rebuilt.
And now Jules had borrowed a horse from there for the field-test.
“I still don’t get how the, uh… thing works,” Lovelace commented as he scratched his head.
As usual, he wore a kilt and a half-open shirt that revealed tufts of blond chest hairs, and managed to look like a statue of divine masculinity. As dedicated as Jules was to Obadai, even he couldn’t help but notice his friend’s natural beauty.
“I call it the Wishing Engine,” Jules explained proudly, beaming at his invention, even though it wasn’t yet functional with any degree of certainty. That was where today’s field-test came in. “It is composed of a sensory awareness matrix, a subconscious energy flow control unit, plus integrated memory, dream, and wish nodules, among other simpler clockwork mechanisms. At its heart is a Dwarrow Shadow Crystal that focuses thoughts and amplifies mental commands, and this activates the wings and bows them to the aviator’s conscious will and subconscious desires to fly, of course.”
“How much of that made sense to you?” Obadai asked Lovelace on the QT, clearly baffled. But he was easily audible to Jules, who sighed, gathering patience.
Lovelace shrugged and grunted, “I was an airship captain, not an engineering sage. It’s all gibberish to me.”
Jules rolled his eyes. “To put it simply, the clockwork mechanism functions based on dreams and wishes. Horses may not think like us, but they can dream, surely. Everyone wants to fly. The sky is the ultimate unexplored frontier. All that matters is that it works.”
“Trust me, we’re all for that,” Obadai vowed with resolute nods.
Jules wrung the last bonds and buckles in place and backed off a few steps, exhaling loudly. “I guess we’re about to find out.” Suddenly he was sweating profusely, and his hands and knees trembled. His nerves were getting the better of him.
“Hey, Jules?” Obadai waited until Jules faced him. “It’ll turn out fine. You’re a bloody genius, is what you are.” He grinned and winked, and a cool certainty washed over Jules, who felt gratitude for his lover’s consideration.
“Thanks, Obadai.”
He studied the mechanism attached around the dark gray gelding’s breast and back. The wings would extend once the Wishing Engine responded to the animal’s hope to fly and retract after a minute of continuous operation. After all, this was only the first field-test.
He had chosen a gelding horse because it was still young and wild, not domesticated or tamed to the point of fearing new things. Jules hoped the feral beast longed to soar as much as humans and would therefore make the best of the situation.
“Ready?” Jules asked of his companions, of the horse, and of himself too.
Out of the corner of his eye, he witnessed Obadai and Lovelace backing up to the wooden wall of the chapterhouse. Only then did they holler their affirmations. Jules wasn’t sure if he was irked by their reaction or envious they had retreated while he could not, needing to remain close to verify the results of the test, be it success or failure.

Links:
·        Lofty Dreams of Earthbound Men: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4660


·        Author Website: http://www.susan-laine-author.fi/



Thank you, Susan. Next month is the turn of Lea Bronson talking about moving from crime writing to erotic romance.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Smut in the City - Manchester

Cowgirls, nuns and smut

I attended another event organised by the team that make up Smut, which was held in the city for the first time - in Manchester (the previous ones have been Smut by the Sea at Scarborough).

And here’s another first - it was the first time I had done a writing workshop! The topic was 'Collaborating with a co-author: the way to make or break a friendship'. We discussed the pros and cons of collaborating, looked at tips and had a speed collaboration session (speed dating with a difference!). The buzz was fabulous, and I think they enjoyed it! Comments included ‘Thought-provoking’, ‘thoroughly enjoyed it’, ‘you’re a born teacher’ (the latter was from a friend so she might be slightly biased!)





I also did another reading - my third! I am getting practiced at it (although not a patch on the terrific reading by Ashley Lister who read some very funny poetry). My reading this time was from ‘The Last Werewolf’ and I read a scene where one of the heroes, who hasn’t told the heroine he is a werewolf, tries to hide his natural wolf instincts as he has sex with her, eg, nuzzling and licking her face, biting her neck, chasing her on all fours…. And so on.

As for the rest of the event, Ashley Lister had us trying to write smutty poetry. He did say something that resonated with me - that with all writing, poetry or otherwise, you need to get the rhythm, sound and pacing right.

Car Sutra demonstrated her fantasy bondage kit and everyone got a chance to try tying others up (which culminated in one poor guy ending up near naked!)

Zak Keir talked about the importance of doing research if we are writing BDSM scenes and brought along various implements for us to try out – I heartily agree with the sentiment and often try it out on myself so I now what the sound of the implement is, how heavy it is, and how it stings.

Lastly, Melinda from Voluptasse had us review various sex toys and one member from each team had to sell or review their item in front of the rest.

So how did cowgirls and nuns come into it?




My lovely friend Bella Settarra dressed up as a cowgirl to read from her latest book (here she is with her very own cowboy!), and Sister Jacqui just dressed up! (Standing in between my newest protege, Marianna Miles, and myself).



One thing I would say is that, although I missed several of the regulars at these events, it was nice to see some new faces.



Looking forward to Smut Luton in March. Thanks to the great Smut team for another great conference!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Weekend Reading

Alien plants with special properties, kinky BDSM and hot sex in a car…. Read on


Title of book: Alien Manhunt 2
 
Name of author: Jennifer Denys

Genre: MMM/Sci-fi

Description of main characters:

Greg – human, dark haired, blue eyes, aged between 28-30. Tall about 6ft.  The Dominant one in their relationship.

Taran – from planet Cinattra, long red hair in a plait, reptilian species so is humanoid but has scales down the sides of his arms, body, legs and a tail. Dark eyes.  Red skin. Aged about 22. Very short about 5ft 3in but very muscular.

Suva – from planet Espoorn, fair hair, loose to the shoulders. Very very tall about 6ft 6in. Amber eyes. Pale skin. Imagine elf lord.

Setting: On Espoornia, home of Suva

Length: approx. 10,200 words (short story)

Blurb: Planning to let his mates act out their fantasies, Suva takes them to his home planet and lets submissive Taran chase dominant Greg for a change. A sneaky scheme to end it all in a marriage ceremony goes awry and one of them is hunted for real. Will they escape?

What’s hot?: An alien plant with ‘special’ properties

Buy link: http://www.evernightpublishing.com/alien-manhunt-2-by-jennifer-denys





Title of book: Training James (Hard Hits 11)

Name of author: Tatum Throne

Genre: MM/BDSM/Contemporary

Description of main characters:
Layton Shaw. Brown hair, blue eyes, 39 years old, 6’, 175 lbs. Muscular.
James Anderson. Black hair peppered with gray, brown eyes, 5’11”, 170 lbs. Muscular with a runners build

Setting: Cincinnati, Ohio

Length: 26,000

Blurb: James Anderson is no longer the chief of police. He’s now working with IA to weed out the bad guys. When Lt. Layton Shaw goes missing, James works with the team to find him. Layton is a Dom who only wants James as his sub. Will he say yes?

What’s hot?: Hot kinky BDSM sex with Chief Anderson


Title of book:  Nightfall

Name of Author:  T.K. Lawyer

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Description of Main Characters: 

Nightfall/Josh- Gray wolf, color-changing eyes from amber-gold to black; 6'3", ripped muscles, washboard abs, short, medium-brown hair

Tamara- 5'1", curvy plus-sized female, shoulder-length dark brown hair, chocolate brown eyes

Setting: Orlando, Florida metro area - more woodsy where the heroine lives

Length:  83K

Blurb:  Tamara’s done with men.  But she finds a stray dog on her doorstep and wants a relationship with a male after all- a pet.

Josh is not a dog and he has no interest in staying her pet.  He has one burning desire- Tamara- in his bed, nightly and permanently. 

What's hot?: Sex in a car

Buy link: http://luminositypublishing.com/product/nightfall/

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Character Profiles - Just Good Friends


Thought I’d go back to my very first book for this month’s character profiles!




Name – Jessie

Book – Just Good Friends

Love interest – Sam

Age – 37

Hair/eyes – Light brown should length hair, usually tied back in a ponytail.

Height/weight – Average but nice

Looks – Wears reading glasses

Other – Sam is her best friend. They share a love of sci-fi. She is very shy. Hasn’t had sex for years.


Name – Sam

Book – Just Good Friends

Love interest – Jessie

Age – 32

Hair/eyes – Dark blond short hair.

Height/weight – Fit as he goes running.

Looks – Average but nice!

Other – Jessie is his best friend. They share a love of sci-fi. He is a computer geek.



Blurb: When Sam accidentally discovers Jessie’s secret stash of erotic romances, he is astounded but fascinated, so he pretends to be interested in this genre to persuade his shy best friend to start discussing her favorite erotic romances instead of their usual sci-fi.
Then, at one of their discussions, Sam stuns Jessie by suggesting they try out for real a scenario they are reading. Not having had a lover for fifteen years but intrigued to see where this will go, she agrees. So they begin to investigate various aspects that appear in the books, such as bondage, spanking, sex toys, etc.—not always with the same effect the author intended. Some laughs ensue, some tears, and lots of improvisation.

As they continue their explorations, Sam relishes his role as the dominant sexual while Jessie gains confidence in her sexuality. Soon, they realize they are more than just good friends.


Review on Amazon: This is a fun enough and quick read. It's well written with an easy style. It kind of reminds me of something one of my friends would come up with...that type of familiar ease.

Buy links:





Monday, 17 November 2014

Something you never knew about me...

Something you never knew about me….

I used to belong to an amateur dramatic group and I performed in several shows including, ‘No Sex Please We’re British’ where I had to go on stage in my underwear! (Unfortunately, no pic of me in my underwear!). I’m in the middle – naturally.








Can’t remember the title of this one but I was a crazy murderer!








This one was the bizarre, but terrific, play by Tom Stoppard called ‘The Real Inspector Hound’ (second from left).



I was the heroine in this romantic comedy (on the far left) … but I thought I forgot to come on at one stage and panicked and came on saying my line….. except I was too early!!!!!! The director was pulling her hair out off stage!








And lastly I am performing in ‘Lettuce and Lovage’ where I played a middle aged woman who tells over the top stories…. Didn’t have to act too far for that one… and in case you didn’t guess I am the one on the right!



Friday, 14 November 2014

Weekend Reading

A four poster bed, food and domination – what more do you need in the bedroom?



Title of book: Guarding Her Heart
 
Name of author: Jules Court

Genre: MF contemporary

Description of main characters:

Travis Green: 6'4" of jacked Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Travis has short dark hair and brown eyes. He's of mixed Japanese, Native Hawaiian, and Caucasian ancestry.

Tiffany Donnelly: Tiffany is 5'1" and delicately built. She has dark hair cut in a pixie and big gray-blue eyes.

Setting: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Length: 42,487 words

Blurb: After Tiffany’s groom ran off with her bridesmaid, one of her few remaining pleasures is verbally sparring with sexy Coast Guard rescue swimmer Travis. But they’re just friends--until pretending to be a couple blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. One weekend of passion could change everything.

What's Hot?: Between a fireplace and a four poster bed, passion burns hot.



Title: Truth
 
Author: Maggie Walsh

Genre: Erotic Romance, Menege a Trois, Paranormal, Shifter, Alternative. M/M/M

Description of Main Characters:

Sebastian Angel - Timberwolf shifter - Enforcer, 6’-4” 250 lbs. Long Jet black hair with white streaks that goes down to his waist. Light violet eyes. Looks 32, but is 301 years old. He is a sensitive. He can see inside people and see what they have seen, feel what they have felt.

Storm Winthrope - White Tiger shifter - Leader of the Winthrope Pride, 6’-4”, 230 lbs. looks 30, is 250 years old. Long white hair that goes past his ass. Deep violet eyes.

Noah - Fae Looks 27, is over 1,000, Long blue hair to his waist. 5’-5” 120 lbs. light blue eyes. Has iridescent blue wings. Very angelic face

Setting: Cat shifter pride in Napa Valley, Ca.

Length: 58,312 words

Blurb: Sebastian and Storm find their third mate, a blue-haired fae named Noah. But he is being held captive by an evil master. When Storm lies to Sebastian it causes him to want to end their mating. They set out to rescue Noah and try to learn how to trust each other.

What's hot?: Domination in the bedroom.





Title of Book: The Orchard: Tame Me
 
Name of Author: Mackenzie Williams

Genre: Contemporary Erotic BDSM Romance

Description of Main Characters:

Samantha - short black hair and sharp green eyes

Master Cole - dark hair, muscular, hazel eyes that seem to change from brown to green

Setting: The Orchard, a BDSM club.

Length: Word count - 59,831

Blurb: Master Cole is paired with Samantha and soon realizes that she will be a bit more work than other subs at the BDSM club. Is she worth the extra time and aggravation?  Master Cole decides he must push Samantha, emotionally, to make her a good fit for himself and The Orchard. His plan works but maybe too well.

What's Hot?: Sexual food play between subs and Doms using chocolate pudding.



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Portmeirion - again!

I am going back to the lovely Portmeirion! This time with my writer friend, Bella Settarra. This is a photo I took last time.







Portmeirion was first built in the 1920s and the marvelous creator, Clough Williams-Ellis, continued up until the 1970s when he was in his nineties! His vision was to create a tourist resort where different architectural styles complemented each other. So you have Rustic next to Georgian next to Maritime and so on!








It is the most quirky and bizarre place with loads of bridges, steps, gazebos, murals and archways – and architectural features to make the resort seem bigger like dummy windows! It feels like you have been miniaturized and put in the most amazing doll’s village!





We are staying overnight in another one of their wonderful cottages and going to a food and craft fair in December – so hoping to come back with lots of xmas pressies! In addition, it will be great to spend time with Bella – I am sure we will talk lots about books and writing.


One of my works-in-progress is a fantasy story using the layout of Portmeirion as the setting and various symbolisms from around the village for the characters so it involves a Lion-man who is having an affair with a mermaid but falls in love with a fairy, to the hatred of the mermaid and the disgust of his overbearing mother. Watch this space…. I’ll finish it one day!