Friday, 27 April 2018

Wicked Weekends

Wicked Weekends

Title: Black Cat Security
Author: Katerina Ross
Genre: paranormal, BDSM (Femdom)
Length of book: 65 pages
Sexual orientation: MF
What’s hot: bondage, whipping, spanking, pegging… and some magic, too :)
Dragomir, a magician with PTSD and a very inconvenient curse upon him, struggles to make a living, taking part in illegal boxing matches. Fighting is the only thing he’s good at now. But how long can he keep it up? The fights are dangerous, and he’s untrained. A pretty witch he meets one night says she might change his life for the better. Is she really willing to help, or does she have her own wicked plans about him?

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Title: Her Sir

Author: Megan Slayer

Genre: Contemporary BDSM romance

Sexual orientation: MF

Length: 36,000 words


There’s only one man for Andy-her Sir.

Andi McCarron knew the moment she met Sir’s gaze, he’d change her life forever. Despite other Doms wanting her as their sub, she only submits to him because he knows how to make her skin tingle. The pain delivered from his crop makes her spirit sing. She needs Sir but she wants more—except he’s not interested in taking the relationship outside of the club. What’s a girl to do when the man of her dreams, the one wielding the crop, won’t leave the club?

Dean Meyer craves his sweet sub, Andi. She fills his dreams and fantasies, but she wants a relationship. He’s not sure she can handle both his demons and secrets. Still, he can’t deny the attraction to her. When fate throws them together, he has to make a choice—give his sub what she needs or let her go for good.

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Title: Impossible

Author: Allyson Young

Genre: contemporary romance

Sexual orientation: MF

Length: Romance on the Go (15k)


Both being extremely independent and familiar with rejection, Celeste Hill and Elliot Godwin have a short but intense time together, something very special.

She heads off to a coveted job, leaving him to puzzle out how he might pursue a connection he’d never dreamed of having. And, despite pursuing her dream, Celeste can’t stop thinking about Elliot and what might have been.

Returning home before he can follow her, she tells him they are pregnant. Impossible. Believing he’s sterile, the reason his wife left him, Elliot is devastated—and lashes out. Celeste flees his cruel words, putting distance between them, and now determined not to name him as the father of their child.

But miracles do happen and men can come to their senses. Elliot follows his heart and Celeste again opens hers for their happily ever after.

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Monday, 23 April 2018

Monster, Machine or Humanoid - which is the scariest sci-fi adversary?

Monster, Machine or Humanoid - sci-fi adversaries

I recently ran a workshop looking at sci-fi adversaries for a group of Yorkshire writers. For the purposes of the workshop when I say sci-fi, I am not talking about fantasy, eg, alternative universes or magic even if in the contemporary world. It needs to have an element of space so could be futuristic earth, on spaceships, alien worlds, with aliens but not Harry Potter, not Middle Earth, not Game of Thrones.

First of all, consider how some sci-fi lines have become part of our culture: ‘I will exterminate you’, ‘I’ll be Back’, ‘Resistance is Futile’, ‘Live long and prosper’, ‘May the Force be with you’, ‘ET phone home’, even ‘Take me to your leader’! Suffice to say the sci-fi bad guys are nearly as well known as the heroes so it’s important that they be well drawn characters to make them memorable. But how do you decide as a writer how to choose? Well, I am arguing that they could fall into just three categories – monster, machine and humanoid (I am not including gods in this breakdown as it has to be something mortal – Gods as adversaries is a whole other category).

When we think of the archetypal alien is it the little grey man with big black eyes? In 1893 HG Wellsenvisioned the possibility of humanity transformed into a race of grey-skinned beings; who were perhaps 1 meter tall, with big heads and large, oval-shaped pitch black eyes. He then used this concept for the aliens in First Men on the Moon. Since then it has been taken up by other writers and those claiming to be abducted. Were they all copying Wells, was the little grey man known before Wells, or did people truly meet aliens like these? I argue – look at how diverse we are on earth. Surely any aliens wouldn’t all look the same (in Stargate they use the plot device of these aliens having been cloned over and over again that they now look the same).


That aside, writers have come up with an amazing variety of alien beings as we look at the first category of monsters. For this category, I am talking non speaking beings – Godzilla, Predator, Alien from the first alien film, the Goa’uld snake from Stargate (which could only speak through a host they took over but had no voice otherwise), the insectoid shadows from Babylon 5, the monster from the Thing from outer space, the Triffids, pod people from invasion of the body snatchers (though they did have speech when they transformed), the bugs from Starship Troopers, even the mindless thread from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon books.

Usually physically strong to made up for lack of intelligence or speech. But impossible to reason with. One of the reasons we find them so scary is that they can be equated with those things in our own natural world that we loathe – spiders or bugs, snakes, reptiles, or just a big monster that will envelope us in the night and carry us away from everyone. The dark always scares us so these monsters are often depicted as being black. We know from Monsters inc that they are okay purely because they are so colourful. 

Also a number of them are invisible – like the monster from The Forbidden Planet, the Predator had the ability to be invisible, as did the Starship Trooper bugs, adding an additional element of fear and sometimes they may have more than two arms making it more difficult for us to defeat them. Also note, they are generally ugly – the word monster conjures something revolting. One of the ugliest has to be Scorpius in Farscape but as he is a ‘speaking’ being he crosses over to another category. The ultimate monster is, of course, Frankenstein. Our heroes and heroines are usually good looking so the baddie has to be the opposite because we prize beauty so much.

I am intrigued by the fact that at least three of these – the triffids, the monster from Thing and the Pod people are actually plants which, in itself, doesn’t sound so evil! After all, we love our plants and flowers which are beautiful. It might make it harder for the writer to convince the reader or viewer but I love the irony in making monsters out of plants.

A lot of these monsters rely on a particularly destructive ability – the stingers of the triffids, the acid thrown by the aliens of David Feintuch’s Seafort saga, the organic eating thread – and didn’t Godzilla zap people with their eyes?

So how do we overcome them? They are flawed in that their skin can be pierced with bullets, their brains can be bashed in, they can get tired, tripped up, electrocuted but it takes some doing. Of course, you have to do this before they enter your body and rip through your stomach, aka, the first Alien film. But sometimes we get them on our side and we conquer them - the worms in Dune for example.

I also find it very interesting in the Seafort saga how the aliens throughout all the books, suddenly becomes the ally in the last book by making you realise it was the humans that were hurting them and they were just retaliating. It was only after decades that they eventually discovered how to communicate with us. Because that is the crux of what makes this category so scary – the lack of communication.


Machines next. Think dalek from Dr Who, the borg from Star Trek, replicators from Stargate, the Terminator, Hal in Space Odessy. The Matrix. The Replicants of Blade Runner. The Cylons from Battlestar Galactica. You could argue that Gort, the robot, from the Day the Earth Stood Still was an adversary – certainly to the humans who tried to use their puny weapons on him he was.

This is another adversary we cannot reason with but also not having feelings they have no compassion (although not sure monsters do either but being machine makes it that much harder!) They are physically superior with no animalistic flaws that we could overcome like we did with the monsters (I’m ignoring the fact that Daleks cannot climb stairs – I think they got over that plot flaw by having them fly). Machines can think quicker than us. They have no humanity we can appeal to but at least we can communicate with them even if they don’t listen to us!

Interestingly writers have often used the suggestion of a ‘hive mind’ in conjunction with machines – the Borg, the Replicators and the Daleks, certainly, worked as one hive or one enemy, giving a greater fear for us to overcome.

And I like the use of the term Tripods for the spaceships in the War of the Worlds – it gives them an insect quality – these might be spaceships operated by unseen aliens but it combines the monster with the machine in our imagination.

And yet humans overcame most of them – how? Well for a start, most machines seem to just want to exterminate you. Limited in their thinking! By being cunning we can get around them, by thinking outside the box, by thinking as illogically as only humans can do! In many cases it was get as far from them as you could, like with the Cylons, sometimes it was come up with a weapon to destroy them, eg, with the replicators, or computer virus in Independence Day (although they weren’t machines they needed their machines to make war on us) or make laws so they are banned from human worlds, aka replicants. Of course, in some films the machine won and they, to me at any rate, are the scariest. I am thinking of Colossus in the Forbin Project which took over the world and the hero had to give in at the end (I love a story that doesn’t end up with the good guy always winning).

But generally humans win the day and let’s remember not all robots are bad – Data in Star Trek, Robbie the Robot in Lost in Space. And Assimov wrote the 3 robot laws so that robots did not become a danger to man!


Finally, humanoids, eg, they physically look like humans unlike the monsters so are less scary to look at and more of a stature with us making it easier for us to physically fight them, have feelings unlike machines, we can communicate and thereby reason with them. Klingons. Darth Vader may be part machine but he started off as a human although he had a tendency to violence even then. Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon, Khan from Star Trek. The evil children of Village of the Damned (The Midwich Cuckoos if you go by the name of the book). Lex Luthor from Superman. The Master from Dr Who (who eventually became a Dalek if I recall). Magneto (although I preferred him when he was being bad – we don’t always like our bad guys turning good). So, they can be from Earth but many sci fi adversaries are actually other humanoids even if they are alien, eg, two arms, two legs, a human like face, they speak English (actually it’s amazing how many alien species do speak English!!). I would argue that the apes from Planet of the Apes come under this category – they can speak English (although in the modern films the Apes are the protagonists).

Many of these villains can be equated with the ‘Hitler’ complex, the meglomaniac – Emperor Palpatine, Big Brother of the novel 1984, President Snow of the Hunger Games, Ming the Merciless (see pic), Khan, General Zod, Captain Nemo and so on. This is a different kind of dread for the reader to the ugly monster or cold machine.

Hated maybe, but possibly not feared. As a reader why are we less frightened of human adversaries? Is it because they are us we know how they think, we can reason with them, we can appeal to their good side, and even if they are a psychopath we know their physical and mental flaws? Is it because they lack the ugliness of the monster – we perceive those made in our image to be the good guys? Is it because we are not so physically overawed by them?

On the other hand, they know what makes us tick so it is easier for them to overcome and kill humans – Scorpius continually got into John’s mind to try to get the information he wanted. The use of the ‘hive’ mind was put to great use by the children in the Village of the Damned who used their mental abilities to destroy humans wanting to hurt them – not understandably except when they creep you out.

You do sometimes have the humanoid villain who is bit like a scary monster but speaks English, I’ve already mentioned Klingons or Scorpious – a nice crossing of categories. But the advantage of having a humanoid villain that looks like a human is they can appear the good guys when in fact they are the opposite. The ‘visitors’ from the 1980s series V. Darth Vader until he turned to the bad side, etc. However, you will often find the sci fi writer takes the humanoid villain down the route of mentally scaring the reader. Consider all the sci-fi stories where humans with strong mental abilities are feared by others, eg, x-men, humanz, John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids.

The greatest megalomaniac with superior mental powers was Marc from Julian May’s Saga of the Exiles. Charismatic, strong, good looking – everything a hero should be! Except he is the anti hero. And sometimes a hero might be on the edge of being bad – the gorgeous Avon from Blake’s 7.

Some of the films and series of ‘superheroes’ have, of course ‘anti superheroes’ who have a variety of powers. I’ve already mentioned Magneto. We also have Mystique from Xmen – I was never sure if she was good or bad – I think she could swing both ways. Interestingly, one of few women to be the sci-fi villain. Consider all those I’ve mentioned so far – apart from the Borg Queen (who I found more sexy than scary) there are only tiny pockets of occasional girls.

How do we overcome humanoids whether megalomaniac, pretending they are good or those with superpowers? In most of these cases it seems to be with help from other humans. That fits with our democratic culture – work together to overthrow the despot, those with prejudices, those hurting others. Find the chink in their armour (in Magneto’s case take all metal from his vicinity). Mentally reprogramme (Alex in a clockwork orange). I recall a Dr Who programme where the Doctor or their assistant recited nursery rhymes. Can’t for the life of me remember who or what it was that they stopped in their tracks with that method but what a great idea! Only when necessary, use the bomb. The professor in Midwich only resorted to the bomb as a final straw which cost him his life. A parable for today’s life, surely! Except this is fiction and not real life!

So in conclusion, I argue that the scariest of these three groups are the humanoids.

After all, Klatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still came to Earth to warn us they will destroy us before letting us - mankind - go into space for they saw how destructive we are. And in Forbidden Planet the invisible scary monster that tore people limb from limb, although made by machine, was created from man’s own mind. Be afraid – be very very afraid….

Friday, 20 April 2018

Wicked Weekends


Author: Janelle Reston

Category: Erotica
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 36,000
Sex Content: vanilla to kinky; kinks include BDSM, femdom, anal play, and role-playing/sexual cosplay
Pairings: Female/Female
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About the Anthology
Hot Drinks Press is thrilled to present nine delectable stories of lesbian love and lust by Janelle Reston, the best-selling queen of Sapphic eroticism. Experience shower sex, outdoor loving, BDSM, and a variety of forbidden pleasures. From first-time sexual experiences at a women’s college to the kinky exploits of experienced dommes, these scorching hot stories have something for everyone.
Body Shots
A first-year college student goes wild at a party thrown by the women’s rugby team.
An Amish Girl Experiments with Chemistry
Rachel Yoder has long discarded her drab Amish garb for hot pink short-shorts and loud music, but she hasn’t forgotten what she learned growing up — that love is best expressed through baking. That philosophy has made her downtown bakery among the city’s most popular, so she hires Leticia to help her out. Leticia’s learning a lot about food, but she wants to taste more of Rachel’s love than melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls can provide.
Bicycling Puts the Fun Between Your Legs
Two women experience lust—and maybe love—on a long-distance bike ride through New Jersey’s Pine Barren’s to the Atlantic shore.
Water & Air
Miranda is an ordinary young woman resentful of the magic that runs in her family but has skipped her generation. If she had such powers, she certainly wouldn’t be like the witches who descend on her lake resort town every summer, wasting their powers on stupid party tricks.
But when Miranda meets a water witch named Hazel, she starts to wonder if the practitioners of magic aren’t so bad after all. And if reconciling herself to the world of witchcraft means she has a better chance of sleeping with Hazel, well, so much the better.
Making Snow
In this sexy, modern take on the Grimm fairy tale “Frau Holle” (“Mother Hulda”), a ski resort manager falls through the ice and finds herself in a new world of sensual delights.
Dance for Me
Miranda Jamison’s submissive tendencies awaken under the rigorous teaching methods of dance professor Hannah Lacey. But Miranda soon discovers not any Domme will do. Only Professor Lacey knows how to break Miranda down, then make her more whole than she was before.
In a Pinch
Grad students Jess and Kendra have always had a pretty vanilla sex life. That all changes when Kendra overhears Jess making strange sounds behind a closed door.
Alien Vibes
A couple’s obsession with The X-Files and little gray aliens goes deeper than most.
Wordless Surrender
A Deaf dominant plays with the submissive female partner of her dreams. All About Romance says this story “has an extremely strong sense of character alongside a rapturous sense of love for bondage and dominance that translates well even if you don’t kink to it.”

Friday, 6 April 2018

Up, up and away!

I was delighted to tick off an item on my bucket list recently, that of going up in a hot air balloon (with my lovely friend, Stef).

But it nearly didn’t happen! We had bought our voucher nearly a year ago but didn’t realise you couldn’t book a date at the same time – dates were only made available about a month before and we were aiming for early August. However, when Stef went to book it last July, she found out the pilot wasn’t available when we wanted to go! So the next time we were both available and there were dates was early September.

But it got cancelled – there are very limited critera for balloons being safe to fly. It has to be under 10mph (up in the skies as well as down on the ground so if you are checking the weather forecasts like we were doing, bear in mind it may be windier higher up), it has to be dry and also good visibility. And on that occasion the conditions were not right.

Similarly, it got cancelled again in late September. Then neither Stef nor I could make it in October by which time we discovered they don’t run the balloon flights from Nov-March!

HOWEVER, Stef booked us on the first date available in the new season and I am happy to say that on Monday 26th March 2018 at 7.45am from York racecourse we finally went up, up and away!!

I am a great believer in things are meant to be – and maybe our earlier cancellations were meant to be because the day we went up was an incredibly crystal-clear, sunny day. (We were also lucky because we learnt that some people have had to reorganise their trips up to half a dozen times so if you want to go yourselves, bear this in mind).

People asked me if I was nervous or they say they are too scared to do it themselves. I don’t like heights myself, but that doesn’t deter me from trying out things at height. As long as I feel safe (like I did safely harnessed going down zip wires at Go Ape), I am fine – the hot air balloon basket came up to my chest – no chance of falling out. In fact, there was no sensation of movement. You just drifted up into the sky.

My overwhelming impression was one of total and utter relaxation. It was so still and calm and peaceful (I think everyone in our 8 person balloon/9 with the pilot - was overawed by the sights we were seeing and hardly said anything). Having said it was peaceful, I was astonished from that high up (we went up about 3,000 feet I believe at the highest) to hear dogs barking, sheep bleating and geese hissing).

Another big impression was how much green space there was – there were pockets of villages and towns surrounded by ten times as much green fields/forests. Of course, we were flying over North/East Yorkshire!

One strange field I photographed, I later discovered was a golf course.

Because there was so much countryside we went over, there wasn’t a lot of sights to photograph, although we did see Bishopthorpe Palace just outside York, and the river Derwent was so flooded it was quite a sight. 

And, of course, I took several pictures of York as we flew up.

Not sure if you can tell this is York Minster and the one after is Millennium Bridge in York.

Having said that, there was still a great opportunity for some good photos even though they weren't of places: going over power lines to the right, our reflection below.

And going over a ditch.

The balloon goes whichever way the wind blows – on this occasion we went in a south easterly direction going over Wheldrake and Thorganby and finishing up in a field somewhere in the vicinity of the wonderfully named Foggathorpe – about 15 miles or thereabouts depending on whether you are going by car or as the balloon flies!).

People asked me if the landing was scary – the pilot explained he could land one of two ways. Either upright (which we did – but that involved several bigger people in the balloon having to jump out and hold us down!) or on the side and slide along until we come to a standstill. However, the pilot gave excellent safety instructions which included sitting on the low bench deep inside each section of the basket (there were two people in each section) and to untie any scarves or bag straps, tuck long hair into coats and so on.

So, the only downside for me was the stress on my poor knees (I suffer from wear and tear) because there was about an hour standing around at the start helping them get the balloon up (photo below), you stood for the hour’s ride in the balloon and then there was about an hour at the end getting the balloon packed away and having a glass of champagne.

But it was well worth it and I think Stef wants to go again!

I leave you with my favourite picture - of the balloon that went up just ahead of us going over Drax power station. Wind power meets coal power!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Wicked Weekends

My Wicked Weekends today is all about the lovely Kryssie Fortune with her latest book, ‘Wickedly Used’, a Dark Regency Romance.


While he is no stranger to pleasurable company from ladies of the night, Major Richard Rothbury of the royal dragoons is not the kind of man who will stand idly by as a woman is taken against her will, and when he witnesses a disreputable cad attempting to force himself on a girl in a back alley, he does not hesitate to intervene.

But after the grateful young woman offers herself to Rothbury, he is shocked to discover that not only was she no harlot, she was a maiden and he has deflowered her. Furious at the girl’s scandalous behavior and her carelessness with her own safety, Rothbury chastises her soundly.

Though she is due to inherit one of the largest fortunes in England, the fact that she cannot touch the money until she marries or turns thirty has kept Elizabeth completely at the mercy of her cruel uncle, and for years she has been treated as if she were a servant. Her encounter with Lord Rothbury is by far the most exciting thing that has ever happened to her, but while he shows great concern for her safety, he refuses to believe that she is anything more than a serving girl.

Despite having made it clear that he doesn’t consider a match between them to be possible, when Elizabeth disobeys him Rothbury proves more than ready to strip her bare, punish her harshly, and then enjoy her beautiful body in the most shameful of ways. But can she dare to hope that he will one day make her his wife, or is she destined to spend her life being wickedly used?

Publisher’s Note: Wickedly Used: A Dark Regency Romance includes spankings and sexual scenes. If such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.

Social Media Links Kryssie Fortune Social Media

Amazon Author Page

More about Kryssie Fortune

Kryssie reads everything and anything, from literary fiction to sizzling romance. Her earliest memory is going to the library with her mother. She can’t have been more than two at the time. Reading, especially when a book’s hot and explicit, is more than a guilty pleasure. It’s an obsession.

Kryssie loves to visit historic sites, from Hadrian’s wall to Regency Bath. The first book she fell in love with was Georgette Heyer’s The Unkown Ajax. After that, she devoured every regency book she could. After a while, they went out of fashion, but part of Kryssie’s psyche lives in in in Regency London. She longs to dance quadrilles and flirt behind fans. Of course, Kryssie’s heroines do far more than flirt.

Kryssie lives in Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast –about thirty miles from Whitby, where Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. She enjoys gardening, travel, and socializing with her author friends. You’d be surprised how many erotic romance authors live in the North of England.

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Friday, 12 January 2018

Wicked Weekends


Title: The Beauty of Forever (A Christmas Realm Tale I)

Author: Elyzabeth M. VaLey

Genre: Vampires / Paranormal / Seasonal-Holiday

Sexual Orientation: M/F

Length of Book: 24, 423


Once dead, always dead. 

Christopher Beaufort works in what could easily be the most cheerful place on earth, Santa’s Christmas Realm, but as a vampire, he is nothing more than a shadow among the living.

Worn out by the demands of his job as Chief Toy Officer, Santa assigns a human woman to help him, Samantha Kraus. Tantalized by the fiery red-head, Christopher makes it his business to seduce her, but as he does, something within him begins to stir.

Life is a gift in which every moment counts. 

When Samantha Kraus accepted the job of assistant manager at Santa’s, she expected elves, fairies and maybe some shifters, but definitely not vampires. Least of all did she imagine her boss would be one of them or that she’d be attracted to him. 

Though she tries to remain professional, Samantha finds herself falling for Christopher. But, can a vampire’s heart ever beat again?
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Title of book: Branding Houston (Rough Riders 8)

Name of author: Tatum Throne

Genre: BDSM Romantic suspense

Length of book: 76 pages

Sexual orientation: MM


Border Agent Houston Modey has had a really bad few months. Doubt has him questioning his abilities when he's unable to save a man while off duty. Unable to move on, he starts making really bad decisions.When Lucas Quintin comes home to clear out his uncle's estate, he quickly realizes that he has to take over the bar too. Late one night, a fight breaks out at the bar. In the chaos, he saves Houston. With the damages to the bar, Lucas plans to force Houston to work it off on his ranch.Houston is a submissive who isn't looking for a Dom until he meets Lucas. Will Lucas still want him when he realizes that he is the one responsible for his uncle's death? With time running out for big decisions, Houston hopes his Dom won't regret taking him on as his sub.

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